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Rift Day 1: Queues and Lots of New Servers

Day one of Rift has come and gone and unfortunately I wish I was able to play more than I did.  I spent the majority of the day sitting in a queue of ~1000 which is small compared to some servers that had ~2500 queues.  The day pretty much started like this.  Servers can up, a handful of people got in right away and not more than seconds later the queues caught everyone else and told them they would have a three hour wait.

It’s quite obvious that the servers are being purposely choked to keep them running smoothly.  It helps to create a “smooth launch” mentality because the people actually playing are loving life, but it does nothing for the people sitting outside staring at the same screen literally for hours on end.  Laggy and crashy servers suck but I would take them over not being able to play at all any day.  Clearly it was Trion’s call to make and it’s a damned if you do/damned if you don’t situation.  I would have sacrificed some performance and let more people play, but that’s just me.

What really has me concerned more than the temporary inability to play is the fact that they have launched lots and lots of new servers.  I stopped counting at ten and that was somewhere around two hours after launch.  They continued to make announcements about new servers all day long and I wouldn’t be shocked if the number were above 20+ new servers.  They added the servers to satiate what is claimed to be more demand than they expected.  Without getting cynical and calling that a humble brag, it’s not a very bright idea.  While it may be nice to saturate us with servers right now, what happens in a month when the numbers inevitable fall?  If it’s not done just right, you’re looking at ghost town servers like WAR and I know first hand how that absolutely destroys peoples desire to play the game. Rift is not WAR, as the fanboys have already shouted at me for even alluding to the fact that this server saturation is similar, but it’s not rocket science to see a very clear and dangerous pattern.

Despite my grievances with queues and fear of empty servers, I had fun for the two hours I got to play today.  Graev and I got to level 9 on our Paladin (tank) / Cleric (pure heals) duo.  We’re hoping to make a lot more progress tomorrow barring any further delays.

Random side note/question: Anyone else getting slightly blurry and/or washed out textures?  Is it time-of-day effects in the forest where the sun isn’t illuminating things?  Occasionally things look a bit blurry.

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Comments

  1. Sunrest has a queue of like 1100 right now, time to make an alt on a different server for awhile

  2. FreshfrmHell says:

    no performance issues experienced. Everty thing was crystal clear.

  3. I had a lot of fun today – luckily I got in early and only had to wait about an hour in the queue – lots of chaos as expected with people running everywhere, but it was stable and fun, and the rifts were popping like mad since they are linked to the population in the area.

  4. Some people find turning off the fullscreen fx (the bloom, etc) makes things look better. Might clean things up a bit for you.

    I got in to Faeblight right away this morning. I felt a bit smug. Until I got booted and found a 5 hour queue to get back in.

    Having too many servers is a real concern. But considering the game doesn’t even release for another week, I’m not sure what else they were supposed to do.

  5. Have you checked all you video settings? I have a decent system, and for some reason the game picked the lowest settings for me.

  6. I was lucky and got on Seastone when it opened. Performance was decent, although I did suffer from disconnects and ability lag near invasions.

  7. Way too many servers added, very well could kill the game in a month or 2 when servers are ghost towns. Doesn’t matter how you spin it but empty or merged server announcements are not good and having that many servers already is virtually guaranteeing it to happen.

  8. I’m not sure if it will be the same problem as warhammer. The thing about warhammer is that you need a ton of people to do pvp ( to make it fun). Rift is a little different in that you have cross sever warfronts. The pve is a lot better than warhammer also if you have no one to fight.

  9. Bubbaquimby says:

    I guess it depends how vital is server population? I know WAR it is vital, but WoW not so much.

  10. JediConsular says:

    I would have preferred to have been stuck in queue, but I wasn’t that lucky. I preordered the CE from my local Gamestop. However, upon entering the code I received from them, under the appropriate page of the My Account section at Trion’s website, I receive the error “this code has no more uses”.

    I contacted my local Gamestop only to be met with, “Uh, gee, I don’t know, I just work here. My manager won’t be in until Saturday, so call back then and bug him, cause I can’t be bothered.”

    My next step was to contact Trion immediately regarding the issue although I’m not optimistic I will hear back anytime soon. After that, I checked the forums for a solution in which I found out that I need to contact Trion with the words “Proof of Purchase” in the subject line, along with a photocopy of my receipt. Great, another hoop to jump through, yeah!

    Finally, after giving it a bit more thought, I’ve decided with both SWTOR and TERA on the horizon and the fact that I was really on the fence in regards to Rift anyhow, I’ll be skipping this one and not giving either Gamestop or Trion my money. Just like that local Gamestop employee, I can’t be bothered :(

  11. The queues are manufactured. They have to do this in order to avoid having 2000 people in the starter zones at the same time. So at best you have a few people inconvenienced waiting to get in. If the devs follow your suggestion: “Laggy and crashy servers suck but I would take them over not being able to play at all any day.” then you have pissed off players too. Lose-lose.

  12. Intruder313 says:

    Jedi – a friend of mine requested a code from Trion and got it about 12 hours later it seems. Good luck!

  13. Yeah, the new servers are a worry. I can see a real problem if they’re not merged later on (since the population will inevitably fall.)

    Also: about the textures, it’s either the Fullscreen FX option (although daylight looks shite without it) or the anti-aliasing. Whilst there’s an option of Off, Edge Smoothing or SupermegaAA (I forget what it’s actually called :P) I’ve found that Edge Smoothing makes everything really really blurry, so you their have to turn AA off completely or go for the FPS-killer. Your call.

  14. Its queue throttling, basically letting people in every couple minutes to avoid 200 people trying to kill same monster.

    It has nothing to do with performance imo.

    Aion launched with 4 hour wait times, War did as well.

    I think they are smart enough not to be like Mythic and open 20 servers when they dont think its worth it. It’s also different from War in that ghost town servers really dont have a domino effect. You dont need people out to PVP, you dont need people on your server to do warfronts. So that is a big reason why a low pop server isnt necessarily doom and gloom.

    They’ve released a post saying basically were not opening more servers, you guys need to move from hi pop to low pop.

    They will open free transfers to help guilds move from one server to another.

    Also KEEN! I HAVE noticed that textures / graphics seem to be worse then in beta. The textures seem muddied and low res. Verified all settings to ultra, and no change.

    At least its better than wow launch, they had 4-5 hour queue times AND horrible server instability, exp roll backs, broken class mechanics, half finished zones, broken quest givers.

  15. I think any launch will end up creating more servers than you ultimately need. Damned either way.

    However the really mark of the company will be their server rationalisation strategy which they will of course need.

    If the concept of the server is very virtual with Trions implentation, then they will have planned on bringing servers back together, as an when they are needed. As well as potentially splitting them up if required if grow to big.

  16. Thanks for the suggestions to fix my graphics guys. I’ll try those this afternoon when I get home from classes (In this massive snow storm) and get through the inevitable queue.

  17. FreshfrmHell says:

    @Jediconsular – Lesson learned..buy direct = No problems.
    Gamestop is for Platforms not computer games.

  18. Adding servers doesn’t 100% guarantee that they’ll collapse into black holes of 0 population. I mean Warcraft certainly didn’t start out with 60+ servers.

  19. Yeah yesterday was crazy, my first real time trying to play a game at launch. I hope to have better luck today, but the incoming snow will probably take out my power & internet.

  20. So how is Rift? What is the overall focus of the game, is it basically a WoW clone? And by a WoW clone I mean, you level to 50 and then spend your time teleporting to instanced dungeons and raid with your guild every week, then queue up for battlegrounds to grind pvp gear?

  21. Had a 2500 queue to play today. Still managed to get a nice little session in and get to 16 so wasnt to bad. But yea they needed to open the servers up, lag is a shitload better then a 8hour queue.

  22. @Askander: Correct. It ends badly just as many times (or more) than it ends well, though.

    @John: It’s like WoW as you have defined it, yes. Hopefully there is some semblance of an open-world PvP end-game.

  23. Queues are much much better today Keen.

  24. @Keen , thanks. Have they announced any open-world PvP mechanics? Like castle sieges or something? I want to buy this game but I’m worried it will turn out to be like WoW where once I reach max level I just sit in town all day long and pretty much never leave because I just get summoned to a raid or teleported to a dungeon, etc. That is no fun for me.

  25. Yeah, my first thought to seeing all the servers full and servers getting added was ending up with people bailing out leaving a bunch of serversup.

    Yes to the textures. It doesn’t seem overly crisp or shiny graphically for some reason. I mucked around with my settings a little but couldn’t seem to fix that.

  26. ROFL What a lot of you are saying is that basically “We know WAR opened alot of servers at launch because of a huge initial demand but… but… Rift is different!” I don’t buy that.

    Too many servers is bad, it may not be as bad as WAR but don’t try and paint it as good or even something that will be a none factor. When people vacate the 20 servers in a month or two it will impact the game in a negative manner.

    I’m not pro or anti Rift but take a step back and look at this for a second from a neutral perspective.

  27. JediConsular says:

    @FreshfrmHell – Funny, I usually do buy direct, through Steam. However, I wanted the items that were included with the CE Hard Copy (ie soundtrack, mouse pad, thumb drive, etc.)

  28. @John: There is some kind of outpost/village claim mechanic but how it actually pans out on live servers I am unsure.

  29. FreshfrmHell says:

    @jediConsular – Then I agree with you taking the risk with gamestop. Too bad it effected your decision to play RIFT.

  30. I was also surprised at the amount of servers they added, but I think this kind of congestion was bound to happen when they didn’t announce launch servers until the day before. Guilds had already chosen and no one is going to abandon their friends to avoid a queue. Scott Hartsman mentioned before that he was very leery of adding new servers at launch, so I hope they have some kind of plan in place to prevent those ghost towns you speak of.

    As for the blurriness, do you have edge smoothing on? Dril mentioned it above and I second his observations. It makes my graphics pretty blurry too.

  31. “Keen Says:
    February 25th, 2011 at 1:24 pm
    @John: There is some kind of outpost/village claim mechanic but how it actually pans out on live servers I am unsure.”

    Keen you’re absolutely wrong here and spreading false wannabe lies about Rift. There is exactly as much open world PvP in Rift as there is in WoW. The devs have stated that as recently as 2 weeks ago that the only way they will put in any objective based PvP is if the player based demands it.

  32. DANGER DANGER KEEN ROBINSON FAN BOY ALERT!

    Gnome, I’ve heard other people talk about some sort of claim mechanics in Rift. Instead of trying to crucify Keen why don’t you enlighten us on what kind of PvP it actually has, rather than saying what it doesn’t.

  33. from http://telarapedia.com/wiki/Open_World_PvP

    “Objective Based Open World PvP occurs in RIFT as follows. Major towns in a province provide services such as crafting stations, quest givers, general goods merchants, rare planar goods merchants, trainers, etc … One side can contest a town in an opposing province which in turn denies the use of any of that towns services as long as the town remains contested. As this is a significant impact on play for those currently playing in the province, it becomes the focal point for larger scale battles as the defender must respond to bring those services back on line. ”

    It doesn’t say if the towns services become available to the attackers however though that would be an interesting addition, if it doesn’t already work like that. And it does sound like the town is out of commission until the defenders can win it back

  34. @Gnome: I’ve written about it before stating that this is what everyone has been saying and I have yet to experience. There are things called “wardstones” that allow you to claim areas. As I said, how it pans out on live severs I am unsure.

  35. coppertopper says:

    @Gringar
    As stated at the top of that link: “This overview is based on RIFT Beta’s 3 and 4.” After Beta 5 this happened:
    “RIFTS AND INVASIONS
    * PvE Quest hub Wardstones are now immune to players of the opposite faction. This change applies to all server rulesets and does not include Ancient Wardstones.”
    http://rift.incgamers.com/beta-6-mega-patch-notes/
    People freaked because that was a legitimate PvP mechanic that was taken away. So Trion reinstated it for PvP servers only

    But what happens when you kill a wardstone? The NPCs are easier to kill. Thats it!

    What exists for PvP is a zone called Scarlet Gorge with Ancient Wardstones, and the BG’s. There is so much misunderstanding of the “I’ve heard other people talk about” variety, but there is no town control mechanic in Rift. The latest Rift podcast has a dev roundtable where this very question is addressed.
    http://www.riftpodcast.com/podcast/2011/02/21/podcast-32-dev-roundtable-pt2-horriftic-abigale-launch.html

  36. coppertopper says:

    @keen
    Sorry about coming off like an ass there. Its a huge disappointment for me, but I think there are plenty of opportunities for PvP within Rift until they get around to bringing in a siege mechanic of some sort : )

  37. So in a way you can claim towns/outposts/wardstoned hubs on PvP servers. That’s certainly not much, but it’s something. I assume the people stating that capital cities can be sieged are full of it. It’s definitely, as I have fearfully alluded to for a long time, lackluster for a PvP end-game.

  38. Wardstones in hubs respawn in about 30 seconds (while guards do in 5) so its not exactly any use. I have a faint hope they introduce real pvp (as devs hinted about rvr zones and such ) but as of now rift aint it

  39. That’s going to be a real problem for the game soon.

  40. awww, that’s highly disappointing. I liked reading that bit about holding towns captive

  41. gahh…. and another 3 hours queue, alt time again :(

  42. Essentially you could go and hold a town… but it’s more of a “for fun” thing since there aren’t mechanics for it, unless this Wardstone thing pans out.

  43. Rift’s biggest PVP attraction right now is that they haven’t totally screwed up PVP yet (meaning: they havent made any irreversible changes yet that would ruin open world PVP for good) and there is hope that they will implement it in a somwhat reasonable fashion in the “future”…

    They have two problems that they need to address. The first one is the rewards for open world PVP. Once you run into your first defiant and manage to score a kill, you may sit there wondering “ok…that was fun but did I get something for the kill?” If that isn’t addressed soon then open world PVP will be in trouble.

    Objectives are the second problem but I believe the rewards are the most important. It seems like you could do some fun objectivs that tie into this RIFT system. Maybe one side can do “something” to trigger NPC invasions in the other realm. The other realm has to defend these invasions. If they do not, the the NPC invaders will take over towns etc. which will open the realm up for invasions (via Rifts?) by opposing player characters. The opposing players can then claim towns and control the land – maybe steal something of value as the DAOC relic system.

    Right now I feel the RIFT system is kind of like the show LOST. YOu participate, it is all kind of fun, but you wonder how they will tie it into some sort of reasonable story. Right now it is sort of – ok…what is the point…do we win something? But on the other hand, maybe that is the lesson learned. Fighting against the forces of evil is pointless and frustrating because they just keep coming and it is a war of attrition!

  44. Today, I rolled on a LOW server (Kaleida?) after being struck with a 2 hour wait onto Lotham (where I started yesterday), and unsurprisingly had no queue at all.

    Then I told the rest of my guild to reroll, and we did.

    I can only suggest the same of others willing to sacrifice the couple hours they spent on their char on the Full Server.

  45. @Lokked
    That works for some, but people who are on the fence about Rift aren’t willing to do that. During WAR’s first week we rerolled on 4 or 5 servers, by the end of it we had lost around 10 people who just didn’t want to deal with it. They went back to WoW.

    Everyone has to WANT to play the game for rerolling to be viable.

  46. biggest problem is not lack of objectives (DAOC forts and real RAs did not really appear till later on) real problem that people will be sitting in warfronts. Right now alot of wishful thinking is going on.

  47. @Argorius

    You do gain favor for killing opposing players in the open world so there is some reward, however if warfronts totally overshadow that for favor gain then it’ll seem like there is no reward, and people may be drawn away from it.

    As for the NPC invasions they do happen in a way, players do not trigger them but those Defiant or Guardian footholds that you see appear randomly just like rifts and begin to spawn invasions. As a Defiant you could go into Guardian territory and find a Defiant foothold, it would be friendly, unfortunately there’s not much more to it than that, you could defend the foothold while it spills out invaders but it would be nice to see it a bit more fleshed out. Say if those invaders made it to a town, and with the help of players wiped it out they could set up their own shops, healers, guards, and even quest givers.

    This would made very easy if they took their Ancient Wardstone system and made a makeshift town spawn around it complete with all the services you’d normally find, even some bonus quests. It would be like a bonus quest hub and not crippling to the losing side if they were unable to repel the invaders.

    I see why they do not have a town claiming thing in place, if you are level 20 or so and your level 20 hub is taken over, and try as you might you can’t beat back the invaders, then get owned, you might as well log off. Really the footholds and Ancient Wardstones should be expanded, if a player finds a foothold that belongs to their side, they should be able to shop, heal, and even pick up some pvp quests from NPCs around it, bam, you’d have an epic town system in place.