According to Gil Shif, public relations manager for, the latest major patch to the game--version 1.10, which is designed to adjust the talents of priests--caused some "snags" that have affected the servers going back online as planned.
"It's part of the normal process," said Shif, "and unfortunately, it went a little longer than expected today."
Blizzard regularly devotes Tuesdays to scheduled maintenance and has implemented eight previous major patches, the most recent being version 1.09 in January. But while the company routinely requires server downtime for its patches and maintenance procedures, today's implementation caught it off guard.
"With previous patches, it hasn't taken (this) long," said Shif. "But you never know until you can full identify the issues and take care of it."
In addition, the main "World of Warcraft" Web site was experiencing extended delays Tuesday, but Shif said that had more to do with the site being slammed by users seeking the patch than any kind of technological problem.
And in any case, he said, Blizzard has been providing regular updates throughout the patch process, including notices beforehand that it was imminent.
At 6 p.m. PST Tuesday, Shif said that some servers were beginning to come back online, but that the process of getting all players up and running would be slow.