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Reader Comments (71)

Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:38AM dudemanjac said

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So far I've just been putting myself in que at night an hour before i plan to play. it's easy enough to get around until they get the problem fixed. It's really not that big a deal. I do hope they allow server transfers and such once they have them up.

Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:41AM JonBuck said

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This concerns me, but these are growing pains and nothing more. BioWare's having a trial by fire for its first MMO. I've ended up abandoning a server I was using for my Imperial characters due to the queues. Fortunately none of them were very far in and I'll return to them once they fix their problems.

They're going to have to bring up another 50 servers for launch as it is.

Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:41AM (Unverified) said

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"Then you are forced to changed your name or add some prefix/suffix to your name, etc etc....Happens way too often, lets hope not here! "

Well, if we could just do away with this whole "one name a server thing", that would be less of an issue.

I have three "Mike Smith"s in my Facebook friend list. They can all be Mike Smith. Facebook grants a unique ID to each. If I want to message Mike Smith #1, I just click his name and hit message. This unique identifier doesn't have to display anywhere but in social panels.

Oh, and let us have surnames from the get go. Legacy system? Really? Sure the "Skywalker" name is unique, but the "Antilles" name is the "Smith" of a Galaxy Far Far Away.

Posted: Dec 19th 2011 12:42PM Jetflame3 said

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@(Unverified) I'm still trying to decipher your comment... How in the world would adding in some ridiculous multiple name alllowances fix the issue with queing into a server? I also completely disagree with everyone having the same name, it's different for social networks lik facebook where you can't avoid having a similar name with someone. In an MMO it's a large portion of the game is customization.
a name is equally as important to that custimazation. I do not want to be running around and see people with the exact same name as me. To assume that this would fix anything is ridiculous. How about attempting some imaginative ideas and come up with a name that is different.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:44AM Space Cobra said

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Really, this is a bit like a "game of chicken" for any MMO game starting up; try to anticipate demand but not overdo it with unneeded empty servers (that cost money). WoW has had their queues, especially at launch. Only when they added more servers, did things become easier, but they do still get queues, especially after a new expansion.

(Okay, I copy-and-pasted the above reply from my reply at Joystiq.com ;P)

In any event, there are bound to be MORE people coming in AFTER launch that have not pre-ordered; those that pick up a game off the shelf. Many reasons for those people not to pre-order, but I assure the doubters, there are many MORE of those types of folks than those that pre-order.

So....Bioware *may* have to pick up it's "game" fairly fast and have some servers on standby. Judging from Sunday, it may have to act fast to scramble for more servers. Even if there are "first monthers", no one likes queues.

Off hand speculation: They should think of doubling their servers, if not doubling and a half; basically, a bit under "tripling" it is what I am saying. Although, it'd be alright to have those extra servers for tripling available at a moment's notice.

Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:48AM MMOaddict said

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10 minute queues I can handle. 1 hour queues is eating into MY time and is unacceptable. Either start offering free transfers like Trion does or limit the server list so people just joining can't see the full servers. Characters already there obviously get priority.

Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:50AM MtthwRddl said

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I'll be honest. I'll probably be a little upset if I pick up my game from GameStop tomorrow only to get home, wait through an hour or two install, and then have to stand in a queue just to play the game for the first time.

I'm sure there are people that didn't pre-order either that will be in the same boat. Perhaps even a few people that are just giving the game a chance and may be disappointed in having to wait the second they get into the game.

Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:50AM Tizmah said

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In the morning times, I have zero queue time. I'm on Harbinger, which is actually the heaviest server. However, in the evening, the queue time gets to over an hour. It's nothing major in my opinion. I just get the queue running, watch something on Netflix for a bit, then head back.

Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:51AM Kalex716 said

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The fact that we, as a community just "accepts that queue's are the way things are" is ridiculous.

For this very reason, we should have expected bioware with their 100million dollar + budget to actually try and fix this AGE OLD PROBLEM of queue times. This is alleged to be a "next gen mmo".

I don't think their approach to servers was progressive enough. They're basically using the same server architecture that everquest used in Nineteen Hundred, and Nintey Nine. I would have expected them to try and come up with a better solution that stores playerdata on a central server, and loadbalances to all their blades in some seamless way under the hood.

Queue's are not the only problem with this server plan. Later on, it gets annoying when you find one group of friends are playing over here, then these guys are over there, and then your girlfriend is on this server etc... Paid transfers is a cop out.

I might be inclined to give them a pass on this, but they wanted to make a mass appeal game, now they have to deal with mass appeal problems. I don't think their core audience is going to want to spend an hour+ in queue times before their ride night after night. Maybe the first few times, but after that, they're just going to go on "other" rides instead.

Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:55AM MtthwRddl said

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@Kalex716 Is Bioware and their "100million dollar + budget" fixing any of the AGE OLD PROBLEMS found in MMOs?
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Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:59AM Kalex716 said

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@MtthwRddl

Not particularly Mtthw. I mean, I'm enjoying their game but I don't think anyone can honestly say their pushing the ball in interesting new directions.

Queue time issues however, is one thing that I don't care if you are a sandbox guy, or a theme park guy, could ALL get behind.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2011 2:37PM Dracones said

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@MtthwRddl The $60 million dollar costs are why they're not fixing any of those age old problems. Most of the industry is "do what the other guy did" because its a low risk path to take.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:18PM Tizmah said

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@Kalex716 Dude...Lines happen, especially with a brand new game. You sound like a jerk outside the opening day of a brand new, hit restaurant because the line stretched out the door and you had to wait an extra 30 minutes to get your seat...

Those who really want it will wait, those who don't will come back another day, simple as that. No one just writes it off because the place was so busy the first month it was opened.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:28PM Kalex716 said

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@Tizmah

Thanks for the response,

But let me make something very clear to you. I'm completely comfortable waiting my turn to play their game, and I have been so far every night. When that stops, i'll be sure I'll be on some thread here saying particularly why. But I'm not their main demographic either because i've been playing these things for years and can take my bitter medicine plain.

Nevertheless, I don't let my patience lower my expectations for making games better either. Just because we are complacent with something, doesn't mean you shouldn't advocate for better change. I didn't mind calling camp check when i went into a zone, and waiting my turn at a rare mob back in '99. But when was the last time you had to do that in an MMO? Did things change for the better due to instancing etc? Probably. Better server tech would too.

Queue times. They suck. I don't care what kinda gamer you are, or what kinda game you want to be playing, ones with queue times would be better without it. I wished that big old budget of theirs saw some more dollars allocated towards a different server schema.

Oh, and when you are in line at a restaurant, you haven't paid already. Big difference.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:52AM Heraclea said

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The larger problem is that due to guild pre-launch assignments I'm married to a specific server that I cannot actually play on. Adding more servers will not help unless they give everybody a free transfer to a new one.

I am employed and get to play maybe three hours a night, so a two hour queue means a cancelled subscription.

Posted: Dec 19th 2011 11:52AM valdi313 said

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People.....people....
When are gamers going to learn that if EVERYONE wants to play something, there will be a line sometimes.

Here are Bioware's issues:
1. Servers do not have unlimited resources, thus, there must be a population cap.
2. Everyone wants to play at the same time.
3. Opening too many servers will causes a lot of ghost towns once the initial feeding frenzy, that is the launch, is over.
4. People are impatient and do not want to wait.

So, this isn't really something Bioware can fix easily.
Let me put it for everyone since and simply.
If there is a new MMO that everyone wants to play, YOU WILL HAVE QUEUES. People just have to get over it.
And, before anyone barks back at me, yes, I pre-ordered the game. Yes, I am playing it now. And yes, I have waited in queues to get to my server.

Posted: Dec 19th 2011 12:05PM Kalex716 said

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@valdi313

I can't say I disagree with you, but let me try and put it another way...

At one point before instancing, things you did in game were all in the same world. Mobs and bosses, spawned and anyone and everyone could go for them. Communities then had to get together and come up with lines and rules, and systems to try and accomodate the fact that their was too many people wanting to get at these things. You can imagine, this was problematic. "Camp checks" just became the rule.

Then certain games came along and basically fixed this issue with technology.

I expect the same for server queues. Yes, their is an acceptable ammount of time that I'd wait to get in game, but what Bioware has going on with their property right now isn't it. If every night its the same thing, I mean come on...

This is a theme park game we're talking about here. If I go on pirates of the carribean once, i'll wait the 45 minute to an hour line, twice, okay maybe... three, four, five times... Eventually the rides not going to be worth the wait, and I'll go on other rides.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2011 12:22PM (Unverified) said

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@Kalex716 Yesterday, I queued from 1 pm untill 6:30 pm. That is an unacceptable 5,5 hour wait. I am not an impatient man, nor do I like to whine, but there are limits to what I can take. Of course, I like to believe that things will turn to normal as soon as I put money in their bank but I can't shake the feeling that this could have been avoided. They have the numbers, they control the placements of guilds. If onyl they would disclose their view on the situation and openly discuss what is goign on and what they are doing about it. All this mystery surrounding it only confuses people.

Currently, even the newest servers are filling up at lightspeed and there are almost no servers on EU without a queue after 12 pm, so rerolling on another server is almost pointless. Except I would go ffrom a 5 hour queue to a 3 hour queue. For someone who has to work during the day and plays during the evening, it still doesn't cut it.

Let's hope it'll be solved soonish.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2011 12:35PM aurickle said

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@Kalex716
I understand how you think that instancing provides some sort of magic bullet by which an unlimited number of players can all share the same server with no queue time.

Unfortunately, it doesn't really work that way.

Instancing only really allows more players to occupy the same space without bringing frame rates to a crawl. By making some players invisible to you because they're in a different instance of the zone, those players don't have to be drawn and frame rates can stay higher. It also of course means that those players aren't competing for the same mobs, etc. and so makes the game a bit more fun.

However, there is a lot more going on in an MMO than just what's being drawn on the screen. There are tons of databases that are constantly being updated to reflect things like gear, inventory, position, quest progress, resource nodes, mob presence, etc. Databases have limits. The bigger they get, the more resource intensive they become.

There are other factors as well, such as data pipelines as thousands of people communicating with one server cluster turns into millions of people trying to do so. And let's not forget things like latency as players join in from remote locations due to the fact that the cluster doesn't happen to be close to them.

Then there's maintenance. With the current model, if a server goes bad it typically affects just one segment of the population. It also provides the developer with additional maintenance options such as rolling server restarts. With the single-cluster model, you're looking at a whole different kettle of fish. It's much more limiting to the developer while also opening any little problem up to affecting the entire player base.

As far as I know, only one company has managed to provide a single shared world to a large population of players. That would be Eve Online, which has significantly fewer subscribers and I don't believe has ever seen more than 35,000 concurrent players. Even then, they have had many, many problems that were directly caused by their server architecture being pushed to the limits by the players. And let's face it: SWTOR dwarfs their numbers.

Is it time for MMO server design to change? Most likely. But what company in its right mind is going to risk their AAA title (that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make) by using untried server technology?
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Posted: Dec 19th 2011 12:44PM valdi313 said

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@(Unverified)
I feel for you man. My time is also limited because I work a regular day job also. Along with that, my wife just had a baby, so my free time is really limited. However, I am going to stick by my point.
Yes, 5 hours is a really long time in a queue to play a game. I'm not saying it isn't. However, we both have to just deal with this. These queues aren't going to stay like this. This is the initial rush that always happens with games. Once the people start to spread out, and they will, it will get to a manageable time.

As far as the server technology goes, servers are limited as to what they can hold. Even if bioware buys the best servers possible for this game, which I believe they did, then there will always be a ceiling to them.

They can either have queues or let too many people in and have all of the servers constantly crash. Anyone remember WoWs great launch? I do, and I'd rather a wait in a queue than a wait for a server reset that never happens.
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