Trion play

Trion.

Try and…okay, bad ‘word joke’.

But really, why are people thrown off by these queues I’ve heard so much about. How did noone realize this was coming. If you’re a tripple A title using game shards, you have two choice – launch with a plethora of servers to avoid this, and then consolidate after, or launch with a more modest number and have queues – and the player frustration that comes with it. Until companies start finding a better server structure, or a way to handle that many players at once, this is the poison we have to deal with.

As an experience MMO player, you shouldn’t be surprised at this stage.

On a more upbeat note – congrats Trion on launching a game that apparently 100s of thousands of players want to get into. That’s what we call, “a good problem”.

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About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

13 Responses to Trion play

  1. Rikker says:

    Is it bad that I thought you were making some kind of Kink reference until 3 seconds later when I realized you were making a pun on “trion”?

    Well… either way… this is actually one of the major reasons I didn’t pick up Rift on launch… I didn’t want to deal with this. You’re right though, I have seen a large number of complaints about queues, lag, etc. I think Rift will do fine.

  2. Pitrelli says:

    I think my main problem is it was easily avoided, noone likes server merges but again on day 2 I’m sitting in a queue for 2 hours + and wondering why after boasting about 1 million accounts + they did not have the structure in place to deal with the influx of gamers.

    Sure you can say its par for the course for an MMO however this aint 2004 anymore and Im sure technology has moved on a bit to expect a bit better. With the bigger picture in mind Im still totally supportive of Rift and indeed Trion who have proved so far to be very vocal but I just cant help but think they made a bad decision to limit the realm count at the very start

    • Shadow says:

      It’s one of their two options. Even if they only had 75% of the registered accounts make characters and try to log in, that’s 750k players all heading to the same place at (relatively) the same time. The technology has not advanced far enough to make that an easy task to handle, and the only options a company has is to shell out lots of extra cash and set up new servers for players that you only have a tenuous grasp on anyway, and (probably) be forced to then consolidate servers further down the line. OR have queue times, with the understanding that those same players are at their most fevered and forgiving state of anticipation, and are more likely to willingly deal with queue times than they would be further down the road.

      As a business, MMOs are damned if they do, damned if they don’t by the tourist crowd. The reason these problems keep happening, is because there is no perfect solution to them, at this time. The best work-arounds all involve having a game that doesn’t use sharded servers. Either one big universe, or instanced versions of the same zones created when population numbers exceed a limit (as CO and EQ2 at launch did).

  3. Jestor says:

    I don’t play the game but here is what I don’t understand about the whole deal –

    Most MMO players purchase thier product online in this era of gaming. This start day was only for pre-orders. How did they not know how many people were going to play and not have the correct number of servers up? Queues to make sure start areas are not flooded is one thing, massive queues because you did not intially release enough servers is another story all together.

    • Shadow says:

      It’s the same problem that Warhammer did at launch, and I touched on the reasoning briefly in my response to Pitrelli. If you have too many servers, inevitably, you’re stuck consolidating, and that’s worse PR than server queues, and the company is out of the money they had to shell out for said servers.

      Maybe I’m pessimist, maybe I’m just a tight-wad, but if I was releasing a triple-A, themepark MMO, I’d low-ball the servers, and hunker down for the month until the WoW tourists left. I wouldn’t want to spend long-term money on a short-term problem.

      • Pitrelli says:

        I can see your point however you also run the risk of alienating a lot of gamers such as myself who do not have a big window to play in.

        My point is it was obvious that they did not have enough realms up however by publishing the list early guilds (such as mine) picked a realm and therefore had to try stick with it. The fact they have hinted they are perhaps going to be adding realms daily is a bit annoying

      • Mister Meh says:

        WAR didn’t have excessive queue issues. On head start for Collectors edition we had a problem with just not being allowed to join a full server. But there was no queue, it was just an “F off.”

        By this point in MMOs, you would have figured atleast one developer would go “Hey, open transfers during launch.” That way Guilds could move out and this unnecessary rage would just be easily mitigated by friends being able to stay with each other.

        Also, the Queues are worse today, and I’m guessing it will persist throughout the weekend. Just like AION’s horrible launch weeks, players are able to stay logged in forever, so the queues only get worse. Thought about it last night, but … ehh, shoulda woulda coulda.

  4. skarbd says:

    Okay you need to accept that unless you are very lucky and your subscription curve continues up after the 1st month, then you will be consolidating. Now you can accept that’s what you’ll need to do and make it clear at the start that as developer of the MMO, you will merge them quickly if there population drops off.

    Make it not such a negative, more a positive.

    There will never be as many servers as you want at the beginning. I really don’t know why people complain. There is no golden solution to the problem. So you have “Massive” servers at the beginning, this means you roll out less of them, you still have the same queuing problem. Because the populations are bigger per server.

    You don’t buy 50 porsches to have 35 of them sitting in the garage unused.

    • Shadow says:

      That’s definitely a strong possibility. Change the perception of the activity by being open and accepting of the reality from the beginning. I think though that merges are always a drag on manpower. Even if people view the inevitable post-launch merge as a forgone conclusion and not something to be derided, from a management view-point, I’m sure it’s a bear of work. Set up a system to allow players to do the transfer. Set up a system to allow guilds to do it. Have enough empowered customer service reps on hand to deal with the inevitable failure of players/system to transfer properly and have to do it manually.

      That might be the best solution in a slew of bad-ones though. Development studios will just need to acknowledge that need, budget for it, and make sure that the money dedicated to that doesn’t get slashed in game development time.

      • skarbd says:

        You see server mergers shouldn’t be a drag, they should be a planned and tested function prior to rollout of any new MMO. There should be a “Switch”, so that when a user logs on one morning, they are simply pointed to the new server.

        Servers go down for maintenace, the characters for that server are repointed to their new home.

        Just like in business you test that in the event of a failure the new home for your data and functions is ready to go with minimal down time.

        When you build the backen/server structure, you have to be looking to minimise the character data held on the server to an absolute minimum. Storing that longer term data in solution that has the capacity to grow, without hampering the server performance.

        This way the servers should be merged with a minimum of thought. Same name, then rename with a sur name and allow an rename certificate to appear in the ingame email.

        As you can see, I am less than sympathic to companies which make a meal of this.

        • Shadow says:

          I agree, things like that SHOULD be done. I think that the reality of scope of MMO projects, is that funding gets gobbled up, and companies have unrealistic expectations of the money and time needed to do things right, so the QC and testing for that kind of stuff gets pushed off the plate.

          That said, I don’t hold development studios as much at fault for that kind of stuff, because it seems like they are at the mercy of their publisher, who is probably forking out the lion’s share of the capital to make the game a reality.

          • skarbd says:

            We will soon see how well Trion have planned for this.

            Given that there software seems to be holding up well at the moment (From an outsiders perspective), I would expect them to be on the ball with this.

            I think you forget the back office functions at your peril.

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