The first week has passed by and I’ve been having a lot of fun so far. Mostly I’ve been doing things completely unrelated to the actual questing but instead, been wrapped up in farming and getting the materials required for my house and large farm. Oh and lots of tree hunting but it seems that most farms don’t come ready in my usual play time, being designed to ripen during NA morning, when I’m sleeping. I have tried some of my own illegal tree farms but it seems I’m not as focused enough so I forget about them and they get taken.
I’ve been having a good time but it seems a general consensus is of just waiting in a queue rather than playing the game. I joked that The release of mmo’s is the only time I’m thankful to be an Australian player but that’s true as I’ve experienced very little of the issues others have had. I face maybe an hour or more logging in during our peak play time and while there were insane queues during NA times when I needed too, like yesterday I became one of the people I hate and just left it in the character select screen overnight. I’m a terrible person but i need to farm.
If i was to deal with the queues more, which I’m doing right now your looking at several hours to enter the game, a waiting time that goes across all the servers and is pretty much what I’m doing now. IT’s a long time to wait to play, the worst wait time I’ve ever had but then a lot of those other games had there own issues too aside from that.
Of course being the internet we reached unheard of levels of Hyperbolic from many.. “worst release EVA”, “Worst game EVAA!!” “worst Company EVAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!” and a whole heap of arguments around those lines filling up the forums. Yes we get it, you mad bro.
This has happened a lot in recent times for most major mmo releases. A wealth of issues that plague the game for a month of more all the while a collection of people take it upon themselves to proclaim failure or how the game has personally wronged them so no one should expect different. Of course I understand the general consensus. It’s annoying to have these issues when all you want to do is play a game. We’ve also seen a lot of issues with many AAA releases for a while now wherein the are plagued with bugs, exploits and game breaking features to the point where it seems like every game we get right now is unfinished. It’s time to expect better from these big publishers.
Of course for an mmo though it isn’t that easy, I would like it to be and I did expect far better from Trion in regards to a few complaints but the major one, that of the unbearable queues is far more complicated than it seems.. more so when compared to other recent releases.
Firstly i’ll say that the size of the queues is ridiculous. Something that long you kind of need to open up new servers to cope and new resources to handle the strain. Two new servers were added for NA but that doesn’t seemed to have helped that much, both filled up pretty quickly and are now in the same situation as the others. In the recent development post on the forum it was stated that improvements where on the way with new hardware for servers and capacity but that doesn’t happen instantly and doesn’t help the situation at the moment.
When looking in from the players point it’s seems easy enough to think that of course more servers were needed on release, did they not see the level of interest. Trion has stated that their predictions based on alpha and open beta didn’t see this coming but, it’s always better to be prepared, especially in the online space and they just weren’t. We’ve seen time and time again how mmo’s see and unprecedented amount of people on release, Wildstar and ESO both saw there ruch, I even remember gw2 getting their own. We should be prepared for this as most people don’t won’t to pre order and for a ftp release they don’t even need to purchase anything.
At the moment I do see it probably pushing away people, both those who have spent money, those that will and just the many potential ftp players that can’t get in as they are second class queue citizens. If you can’t play a game at all, you just won’t and it will be forgotten for other games out there. I just think they are particularly lucky because Archeage isn’t just a typical Themepark so there are no modern competitors at its level of quality. And word of mouth when you do play generally seems pretty positive soo, I don’t know. Some will, some will stick around and some probably avoided the rush altogether and it’s very hard to make predictions about mmo’s anymore.
Looking at the recent releases both Wildstar and ESO saw massive departures after a few months, of course ESO the mega server Tech seems to be there for both with ESO having it at launch and Wildstar transitioning to it. Archeage Korea ended up having to close a number of servers too. It’s these days that a lot of people don’t stick with an mmo for very long and it has a visible impact on gameplay when this does and closing servers is a bad PR move so getting that initial server number right in the beginning is a hard thing. Piss of players now or later.
Of course this ends up being a far more complicated issue because of housing. Merging servers would mean many people lose the land they’ve claimed, a big part of the game and something people hold closely at the moment. Merging into a server from another would make it very hard to get land as well.. if you do at all. Land is also limited enough that a lot of people are going to be missing out on each server and to make it so people don’t would involve a lot of very unpopulated servers. I think there are a few spaces not being used in game that could be opened as housing but I don’t see it ever being enough
We will be getting more space to build once the north continent opens open, large tracts of land but the houses here can be destroyed after a siege and many wouldn’t like that level of impermanence. It’s also that some are very stuck in needed the best spaces and are unwilling to make allowances for anything else but the best spots in the best areas. No pleasing those people.
Open world Housing is the other reason why I don’t see the mega server tech actually working. That’s a technical nightmare right there between needed a huge amount of instances to cope with how many people want housing and how many of these instances would need to be open at all times to accommodate people in their housing phase. How do you move between that too, how to determine where and when to build organising guilds and friends between these. I also don’t see people ever bothering with the housing spaces in the PvP zones if this was the case as well, just go for the best land possible at all times.
Then you need to worry about the economy as letting everyone have land, and as much as they want would no doubt result in an influx of materials. Doing this would mean you could also be quite self sufficient in your crafting endeavors rather than having the dependency on others there is now.Right now I need and rely on my guild occasionally, I but things off the auction house and the reason why I can make a little money as well through farming. On a megaserver or even if housing was instanced everything farmed would lose a lot of value and the effort mostly meaningless. Sure you can limit how much space people get to compensate but in a ftp mmo getting around that just involves creating another account.
The other complication is of course that people have spent money on this game to play, and a lot in some cases and have expectations because of that. You buy a game, no matter the type and you kind of expect to play. Those that don’t have all day or fancy tech to get in queue remotely just don’t get to play the game, or if they do far far less. Even on the weekend this is a hard thing to get as today I think the queue was 6 hours long today…crazy and that’s as a subscriber. Queues should be expected, for the reasons above and probably more if your not subscribed but being able to play is an important point for running an mmo.
It’s obvious that a server or two more is in order, queues would still be awful but not as bad and i think a good pop would stay on each after the initial new shiny feel has worn off. But this doesn’t seem like a good enough solution. I think having sub only servers is a little bit stupid as restricts playing with people and could break up groups and guilds. The other option is temporary servers, some that you know will be turned off first if needed and then having the ability to transfer off beforehand. Maybe there could be servers just for leveling that are separate from the others and hold character data… I don’t know although it’s probably far too late for any major changes like that so the best we can expect some new servers but not enough to break the experience later on.