Rift officially launches on Tuesday, March 1, but that hasn’t mattered to thousands upon thousands of hungry MMO gamers. Seemingly ever member of the title’s beta community has pre-ordered the title to secure a place in the Head Start, a four day romp in what was assumed was going to be fairly unpopulated Telara. Instead, players have been greeted by long queue times – sitting in a six-hour queue as of this writing – for all of the original servers.
Missing an opportunity to powerlevel ahead of the masses and sell junk at huge mark-ups sucks, but it’s nice to know that freshman publisher Trion Worlds is on the ball. Not only did the company have extra servers prepped and ready, but the company was smart enough to stagger the hardware’s deployment. Only as the new servers filled were more put online, instead of spamming connections. Hopefully, this means the population density will remain quite consistent in the coming months.
Well, that’s kinda covered by the other Head Star day announcement. Trion proudly announced that the title has over one million registered users. That’s not subscribers, or even purchasers, but people that have registered accounts. Something that could have been done for beta access. While not concrete interest, or even money in the bank, it is proof of considerable amount of intrigue in 2011’s biggest MMOG launch to date.
PR and hardware techs weren’t the only employees crunching the midnight oil. The title’s GMs have already been tested, busting Rift’s first speed hacker in the scant few hours of up time. Network programmers made Day -4 changes to the server code, increasing performance on North American realms.
All in all, the pre-launch shenanigans remind me of World of Warcraft’s launch way back in the day. That’s a good thing. The headaches are annoying, yes, but the company has handled a issues beautifully. And that’s what I want to see right now.
As for other launch day activities go:
- Numerous restarts: Check!
- Swamped starting zones: Check!
- Camping: Check!
- Quest Giver/Mailbox Griefing: Check!
- Guilds, Friends & Acquaintances Scattered: Check!
- Swarmed Nodes: Check!
- Poop-socking: Check!