09-18-2014 03:44 PM
ArcheAge Launch Update: Capacities, Communication, and Where to Find Info
Hi everyone, we'd like to thank you all for being a part of this absolutely massive launch of ArcheAge.
We've heard from a lot of you that ArcheAge has stirred up excitement for an MMO in a way that many of you haven't felt in a long time. When people are in and playing, we hear a lot that the game's the great, exciting experience they were waiting for.
While it's been great for many, it's been uneven for others, most notably if you're stuck waiting. (We know, we wait in the same queues you do.)
Know that we haven't been, and won't be, resting until the experience is great for everyone. We've been talking to you a lot about this on Twitter and our forums, and we wanted to thank you for your patience -- which has been extreme in some cases for sure.
I'd like to talk about what we’re doing to make sure that all of you can have that same kind of experience.
SERVER CAPACITIES AND YOU
In an ideal world, we have all the hardware we need to host the ideal number of servers, in a way that works best for everyone. We'd strike the perfect balance between launch popularity, when everyone wants to be online 100% of the time, and the settled population of more normal play patterns that will naturally come over time.
In reality, we have to plan capacity months ahead of time, based on things like web site signups, numbers of people who play in alphas and betas, how long they play, and so on. There's a fair amount of science that goes into it, and in general it's pretty accurate. We then include extra for overflow, just in case we need more.
In this case, so many entirely new people showed up that we opened not just all of our launch hardware on the first day, but the overflow hardware soon after as well. Since Head Start, we've expanded both the number of servers and the capacity of all servers steadily. We try to let you know this both on the forums and on Twitter (@ArcheAge) whenever this occurs.
Inside the business you'll hear people call this "problems of success," but make no mistake - since it negatively affects you, we remain obsessively focused on the "problem" part, not the "success" part. We treat these as high priority problems that we need to solve, as rapidly as possible.
GREAT, THANKS. THAT'S SUPER. WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW?
Right. There are things going on both in and out of game to make things better:
1) Yes, more hardware is on its way to helping you! We're still aiming to strike the balance between short and long term and we know with certainty that more hardware is needed for both. We've heard both the "more servers" and "no more servers" crowds, and are certain we need to take steps toward more. I'm happy to share that the next round of hardware landed with our team in Texas this morning.
While I do wish that we could violate the laws of space and time to transport physical servers instantly, and help both NA and EU simultaneously, because of the way hardware is shipped out, and factors like "customs," there will be some delay between helping out the two regions. Do note that we're doing everything we can to make sure that delay is as minimal as possible. (We are aiming for days, not weeks, between.)
We'll be talking more about the details here over the coming days, in our Launch FAQ thread.
2) Note that we've been more aggressively sweeping AFKers, even manually when needed. For example, while we had said during beta that we were tentatively tolerant of AFK mount riding, we'd be keeping an eye out to see if it became a problem. Well, it's officially a problem when actual players who will be playing can't get in.
If you're not actively playing, please do be aware that you might not be there when you get back. Of course, while we do appreciate creative justifications such as "I am merely celebrating the excitement of launch by exercising my steed in a circular pattern for an extended period of time," those will still earn a quick trip to desktop.
We're also going to be setting up a more aggressive AFK timer as is suited to an over-popular launch, and ensuring that there are fewer ways to get around it. Again, this is all to create the greatest opportunity to get active human beings into the game.
3) As with any launch where you get massive numbers of new players, we need great people helping out with the typical things that happen as services scale up, which is why I wanted to talk Customer Service. You have wanted to talk with them. You've wanted to talk with them a lot. And they really do want to help.
Trion's CS team has already been expanded pretty massively, with scores of new people coming on board in the weeks leading up to ArcheAge's launch. There's a veritable dedicated army of people wanting to help. We're also happy to announce that we're ramping that up even more. As with all of our CS in the past, we're continuing down the path of natively fluent CS reps in each language we service.
4) Communication is critical during launches - We do get that. I've personally tweeted more during this launch than I think I have since Twitter existed. We're going to be redoubling our efforts, most notably on our forums, with even more people pitching in. Once again – Thank you all for your patience, and we have constant improvements that will continue to be rolled out. As always, to keep track of the latest details of what’s being worked on, you can find updates in the ongoing Launch FAQ update thread. We look forward to getting even more capacity up for you across the board, being more visible about it, and giving you all the great experience you deserve.
We had been trying to focus our updates into specific known locations, but that's not having the effect that we had hoped. We need to be in more places and threads that you're already discussing, so you can expect more of that beginning today, and in a more visibly 24/7 fashion than it might have appeared previously. We've been continuously working like crazy knocking down the types of launch issues one might expect, but if you don't see evidence of it, then it's not as helpful to you. We get that too.
Okay, I may never have seen a launch with this many problems, but I've never EVER seen the CEO respond with details. Congrats Trion, you've made me think about spending more money on you. Keep doing stuff like this and I'll just have to get whatever you replace the founder's pack with.
I sure hope with 2.5-5 hours Queue for Patrons, and 5-10 hours Queue for F2P that there will be people working weekends to lessen the delay.
Of course AFKers are a problem, I want them kicked too. But of course hopefully you realize that those huge Queues mentioned above will only motivate players more and more to find new ways to stay online even when not around to avoid having to spend half their day waiting to play if not all their day after work hours.
EDIT: I'll admit this post was probably better than all the posts from CM saying Trion is "monitoring capacity and queues" cause obviously even a new player that just took a glance at the forum would know there needs to be more.
Finally some communication!
Thanks for the update, and thanks to the team for such good communication and responsiveness.
Have you guys really thought about how many people are running in place or riding mounts because online labor generation is higher than offline? I think this and this alone would make people more comfortable with logging off. Seems like something that could be changed quickly and easily.
**** you Atome. They're doing the best they can.
Wow! Thank you for the update. I'm cranky about the afk thing, but i totally get it. I just want to play is all. I'm very excited that your hardware hit Texas. Wahoo! Servers soon ( a couple days, i can handle.) Again thanks for the update.
And what about regarding patron time that was purchased prior to any launch? If my patron status started on day one and I sat in queues for two weeks, are you adding time to my patron status? Or was that overlooked by your company at the time of the sale, therefore forfeiting what I purchased and was promised?