ArcheAge has a bit of a problem with queues. Turns out that when there’s no WoW expansions or anything else to play for a while people tend to lean toward playing a new MMO launch — especially if it’s F2P. Queues? Whodathunkit.
I don’t know whether or not the people complaining about 15 hour queues are exaggerating, if they chose the highest pop server and it’s an isolated problem, if they’re just the F2P people, or if it’s all a legit problem for everyone. It’s a problem for someone if the coverage of ArcheAge this weekend was nothing but talking about queues.
Queues stifle hype. Queues create the ‘screw this’ mentality in a lot of people. HOWEVER… those people would have quit in 1-2 months tops anyway. Queues can be a necessity, but managing queues, customer service, and a game’s population in the first month is the difference between managing an MMO with millions of players and an MMO that shuts down in a couple of years.
The solution is NOT to open tons and tons of new servers — especially when your game is F2P. Not even half of the players currently logging in to ArcheAge are going to stick around past 3 months. The population of ArcheAge is dominated right now by looky-loos. In 3 months from now when there are 2-3 populated servers you’re going to have a really interesting time condensing servers in a game where things are persistent in the world. Get the engineers working on instances because I can’t figure out how else it’ll work.
What would I do? Couple of things.
- Don’t have a system that rewards you to stay logged in right when a game launches.
- Launch with a set amount of servers in a game with player-driven open-world assets.
- Offer a F2P only ‘trial’ server.
- Never have a F2P MMO but that’s another story.
Bottom line: Queues suck, but they are a necessary evil. They are the colanders and strainers weeding out the people who don’t plan to stick it out anyway. Yep, they hurt hype. They hurt the real players interested in learning about and trying the game, people who bought it, and even the ones who will stick around. Minimize queues. Find clever ways to hide them. Developers: Do not give in to them or design around them. Players: Deal with them.