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Reader Comments (46)

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:09PM Renko said

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"And while Aion has seen a very successful launch that has exceeded our expectations"

Makes you wonder what MMO companies launch expectations actually are, I've seen this tired excuse used without fail for every new game.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:42PM (Unverified) said

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especially when they were touting their amazing, record breaking presale numbers just a few days earlier.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:15PM Jesspiper said

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Damn, good thing I picked the server I did. I haven't had to wait once since headstart.

Posted: Sep 24th 2009 12:47PM MewmewGrrl said

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It may have to do with play times also that you have been playing, and some pure luck, as every single server had queue times certain times during the day. I know this from selecting them all, one by one down the list, looking for any that didn't have too much of a wait time. I did find one that had less than the usual wait eventually and have also been logging on at 2-3 a.m. to find no wait times too on my server.

The thing is the game already has a channel system built in, so I don't understand why they don't just raise the channels available and put more server power to the current servers to support the channels, rather than open new servers that may have to be closed later. They even mention themselves that problem, people open with all the servers to hold all the new players coming on, and then a few months down the road they have to close a number of them and merge the servers, ending up screwing over a lot of paying players on the current servers (they usually have to pick different names, etc). If they just raise the channels they can scale them back later without having to do any server merging...
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:18PM Scuffles said

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What about channels ?

I for one have really warmed up to channel based server setups
Server1 - 1 (full)
Server1 - 2 (Medium)
Server1 - 3 (Medium)
Server1 - 4 (Light)

Server2 - 1 ..... etc etc

Then they could add or subtract channels as necessary and scale the servers accordingly, It also helps cut back a bid on the overcrowding of say newbie areas or popular hunting areas as Server1 for example would have 4, possibly more, identical and independent linked zones.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:27PM DrewIW said

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Aion's servers already have channels in the lower-level zones.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:27PM (Unverified) said

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I don't know if it scales that way in the server architecture. Lag and stress on the server load would still exist with too many people on, even if they were subdivided into more channels. Not having those additional folks on your screen is a factor in your individual performance (and nice to not have to compete with them for resources), but I think they are monitoring the overall performance of the game, which in my experience so far has been stellar.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:33PM Triskelion said

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"NCsoft is thrilled to announce that we sold a gazillion copies of the game"

"NCsoft would like to apologize for the challenges our players are experiencing, we had no idea that demand would be this high".

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 3:59PM TheJackman said

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NCsoft did it again :) First they release preorder numbers and later they are like WoW did not know that was going to happen!

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 4:17PM aurickle said

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If you think about it, a company has no choice but to set server populations low initially. This is because the entire server's population is in the same place -- the two starting zones. No matter how many channels they create, those zones are being run by the same server. Too many people hitting it at once would destabilize the system.

Remember Ironforge right after WoW's launch, and what a mess that was? How about even a couple years later when people could still crash the server by deliberately gathering in one place?

As people move past the starting zones (which are actually on different servers), the server populations can be raised. That is exactly what NCSoft is doing here, and we have seen server queues grow shorter over the last few days.

The alternative would be to do what AoC or WAR did: bring up a bunch more servers as quickly as possible. But look at the long term results of this. Like those two games, Aion is a PvP-heavy game with end content that requires good balances and large populations. Every game has attrition after the first 30 days. It's a fact of life.

If Aion started with enough servers up front for there to be no queues, then by the time enough people got to end game for it to be fun the population would be thinning too much. The ultimate result is that the game then starts to have to merge servers, which results in all sorts of issues. It is also something that communities pick up on as being another way of saying, "the game is failing". Not to mention the hardware costs that are now going to waste because those machines are off line. So server mergers are the last thing that any company wants to do.

History has shown that games can weather queues in the early days. Just look at WoW, where I distinctly remember waits of 90 minutes to two hours most nights. History has also shown that games that start with too many servers to begin with lose more people due to a feeling of emptiness than they would have lost from standard attrition.

So while queues are unpleasant, they are also a necessary evil. And they will certainly disappear very quickly as the servers balance and more players move out of the initial zones.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 6:14PM TheJackman said

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Its almost 5 years later after the WoW's launch! Tons of new hardware did come, much stronger processors are out. What was 5 years ago a super computer is now the more low price pc in the stores...

Things did change, people did change. Sadly bad service and poor excuses did not...
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 9:06PM aurickle said

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You know, I spent a little time after reading your comment to consider matters. You see, every character that you can see needs to be sent to your machine so that your computer knows what to draw. So let's compare WoW to Aion and see how it stacks up.

WoW:
1 racial variable
5 customization variables
7 armor variables
2 carried variables
Total: 15 variables per character, each of which is a simple numeric value.

Aion:
1 racial variable
2 base character variables (body and head base)
1 voice variable
4 head modifier variables (hair style, face texture, accessory, tattoo)
12 hue variables (4 coloration variables in RGB values)
40 (approximately) body and head morph slider variables
6 armor variables
6 color variables (1 for each armor piece)
2 carried variables
Total: about 74 unique variables for each character

That means that every single character in Aion requires at least five times more bandwidth than in WoW.

This is just one example of how Aion can certainly push systems farther than WoW does. I chose this example because it's not affected very much by the server itself. Where this plays a big role is in the connections between your machine and the server. And then also between the server and all the computers that are viewing you. You see, server limits are not set exclusively on the capacity of the servers themselves. It goes without saying that those are super powerful machines. Server limits are also set based upon the amount of data that can be fed to and from the servers, as well as by how much the average client machine can handle.

Yes, I agree completely that servers, the internet and the average user's computer are all more powerful now than they were five years ago. But as the example above shows, Aion does put all three through more than WoW.

Regardless, I would rather live with the short term pain of server queues now than the long term pain of empty servers later.
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Posted: Sep 24th 2009 3:10AM Temko said

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Actually,

They knew this was coming - fully expected it and did nothing for 2 reasons:

1 - Tourists will be gone in a month and "hype screamers" in 2. there goes 50% of current numbers. it's a very logical and sound decision to think further then 2 weeks ahead.

2 - Server(Cluser) Architecture design is one of the most difficult and deep processes in the setting up of the system. Look at all the different games and how they all function differently.
WoW runs on Small static clusers, EVE has a single massive farm that has static properties within it's processing power, Darkfall uses a dynamic accolation system, etc...

Each of these has it's advantages and disadvantages (EVE/Darkfall need daily maintenence becouse doing maintenence on 10-15 machines takes 1 hour - doing it on 200+ takes a bit longer and is done in parts during a period of a week.

Aion uses the same system Tabula Rasa did. Miniclusters + step in support processing power. the problem with this system is taht adding extra power gives extremly large deminishing returns. and their only option is opening more miniclusters... which they dont want to for 1.

a very businiss sound decision that fucks up paying customers.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 4:11PM Pojoh said

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Lies.. all lies... well... i saw this happening.. glad I didn't start the game yet.... now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be driving my atv into zombies on Fallen Earth.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 5:09PM Celestian said

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Kinda says alot about the popularity of your game choice. But yeah, waiting a month is a good idea for anyone who is to uptight to wait through queues. I'd rather have queues for a while than empty servers in a month or so. Thank you Warhammer.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 4:13PM myr said

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I only waited in a queue on the first day. It said 8 hours, it was more like an hour and a half.

Granted I'm one of the "assholes" that sets up an afk shop and goes to bed, too. If someone paid 999,999,999 kinah to make me disconnect then I'd gladly wait in the queue to get back on. :)

But then UPS screwed me by messing up the shipment of my box, so now I'm offline because I don't have a retail key yet. Serves me right? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on your viewpoint, but I don't have a problem with people doing it personally.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 4:26PM (Unverified) said

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Some people appear to be intentionally bypassing the login queues by setting up an AFK shop -- with garbage for sale -- instead of logging off. While I like the idea of AFK shops NCSoft needs to prevent it from the being the server queue loophole it is today. Maybe automatically log them off if there is no sale after 1 hour or something like that? The "no sale" condition is intended to separate legitimate sellers from those with offering worthless junk for insane amounts of kinah.

Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 4:34PM myr said

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No. What if you've got one extremely rare item you're trying to sell? Unlikely you'll get rid of it within an hour.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 4:40PM (Unverified) said

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The Trade Broker is always available. AFK shops are not the *only* method available to sell goods.
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Posted: Sep 23rd 2009 4:47PM (Unverified) said

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Ahem...this was posted on the Aion website last night and whatever they did had no impact on queues. High population servers, mostly EST-based servers, had 3+ hour queues throughout the night.

I actually watched someone who was broadcasting their WoW raid flip over to Aion and make sure their AFK shop was still there. On one hand people are complaining about the impact AFK shops have on queue times and on the other some of those same people are doing it to avoid the queue. It's self perpetuating!

There is also no point in venting on the official Aion servers because 1)NCSoft doesn't read them for issues, and 2)they are bugged to hell and back and don't work more than half the time.

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