It seems all is not well in Denmark. Server problems are not unusual during a game launch; veteran MMO players have come to expect them. Every statement of “this is a horrible launch!” is met with “this is a standard launch!” I’m in the latter camp – I will never again take a day off work, or set aside an entire day for a game’s launch. But every now and again, a game launches with problems that stand head and shoulders above the rest. ArcheAge is one of those games.
The headstart was plagued with issues – servers fell apart as Patrons hammered in, all seeking to grab up the non-instanced land as quickly as possible. Denial of service attacks, authentication servers failing, characters vanishing from the character selection page, crashes to desktop … the four days of Patron headstart were anything but smooth. And every problem for a game like ArcheAge was magnified by the knowledge that for every minute a Patron wasn’t in game was a minute lost in the race to find choice housing, or even housing at all. I didn’t pick up a Founder’s pack, so wasn’t in the headstart, but by everything I’ve seen the headstart cost many Patrons the chance to get housing, as organized guilds and alt accounts grabbed up everything in very rapid order. There are a lot of unhappy people out there, and in this particular case, I can’t really blame them.
Enter free players.
Yesterday the game opened to everyone. The headstart was over, now free players like myself are swarming the game, like locusts out to strip fertile fields bare. When I logged in, my first thought was WoW! It’s SWTOR all over again! I was #2034 in the queue, and I saw that all servers had massive queue loads. Furthering my deja vu, about an hour and a half into my wait, I was disconnected from the queue and had to start my wait all over again! Oh, how apt my comparison was. I finally managed to log in sometime after dinner, only to have about 10 minutes of play time before being disconnected. Huzzah, for another queue!
And server problems aren’t the only issues. The servers are currently shut down for at least 6 hours while Trion sorts out an issue with Patron status. It seems the Patron buff is playing musical accounts, and deserting some paying accounts to jump onto non-paying ones.
To make up for all of the issues, Trion is adding 5 days of Patron time to Founder accounts. But while the issues aren’t particularly bothering me, I do have to wonder, is that really enough? Does 5 days of extra time make up for the loss of a headstart in a game with limited land plots? I would have to say – no. If I had been a Founder, I’d be pretty steamed right now.