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.