Queues: The Best Worst Thing Ever

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.

  1. Don’t have a system that rewards you to stay logged in right when a game launches.
  2. Launch with a set amount of servers in a game with player-driven open-world assets.
  3. Offer a F2P only ‘trial’ server.
  4. 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.

  • I play on Kyrios, which is the highest pop NA server. And yea the Queue can be rough, a good 4-6 hours as a Patron. But I’ve still managed to play every single day since headstart.

    And I’m loving the game. Great PvP thus far, PvE is NOT jump around madly and avoid red stuff, so decent there. Lots of CC, lots of CC breaks, lots of Healing and tanking and pewpew. Leveling both with quests and simply by gathering and crafting (both).

    I don’t know if I’ll get much into the large scale zergy pvp once the northern continent opens up for the castle sieges, but right now I’m definitely having a good time. And it is amazing to be able to kill annoying people that are on your side. You still get criminal points for it of course, but man its great.

  • I’m one of the “looky-loos” but I might have stayed around long enough to drop some cash if the PvP was good enough. The queues in Archeage are bad enough but what is worse for me is one particular game mechanic. Sadly this one game mechanic from the early MMO days reared its ugly head… camping.

    Mob kill credit is not shared outside of parties (and in some cases not even members of the same raid) so everyone PvE’ing has to kill steal and camp to get their quests done. Without instancing or a design that at least offers divergent leveling paths they have ended up with 50+ people camping the same boss.

    You spoke about “quit walls” but this for me is a “do not pass go wall” (apologizes for the weak attempt at humor!) At this point I have no desire to log in and endure more in the hopes that the PvP will be good down the line. Maybe in a few months after things settle down.

  • Made a character on the newest NA server last night. Queue time – four minutes. Logged in this lunchtime – no queue. Looks like Trion have found the capacity limit. It’s going to be all downhill from here.

  • After playing Archeage for days.

    Do no play this game unless you are gonna sub.
    Only frustration awaits otherwise.

    lack of labor points and lack of a place to do some serious farming.
    (you lack materials needed for crafting and traderuns)

    Once I fully realized this —-> uninstall.

  • Oh and there is no excuse for queues if you handled mmo’s before. (trion had rift and data from other places in the world about Archeage player numbers/servers.)

    Queues are an insult to your paying and potential customers.

  • They cannot open many servers in a game with open world player housing. They have said so because merging is NOT an option in the long run…

  • I wonder if darkfalling it, selling limit copies at a time, helps or hurts your ability to continue the hype.

    Also for a lot of MMOs, those 3 monthers will be the bulk of their income sadly. They are not a group that is easily dismissed.

  • @Zyler

    You pretty much get what you pay for… in anything in life. So freeloading in an MMO you couldn’t really have expected to have everything paying customers did? I assumed everyone knew this about consumer life.

    As for queues being unacceptable… pretty much every single MMO has them and needs to open additional servers at launch. There is literally no way to accurately estimate how many people are going to flood your servers the second you open the gates. Especially in an MMO with a F2P entrance option.

    Can they expect to be utterly flooded and have fires in the server room, people crying end of days, and the usual utter insanity and anger that are associated with all MMO launches? Sure. But it still isn’t going to tell them they need X servers for X exact amount of people. And most people are indeed just lookey-loos these days as Keen put it. So in a month Trion won’t even have to worry about those people trying to log in. So what do you do with all your extra server hardware once those people bounce? Do you see how incredibly impossible a launch is to make everyone happy?

    It really matters not though. Those queues? Those are made up of people that obviously want to play. And when the dust settles those same people that really want to play will be there. So we are fine. Would I prefer a perfect MMO launch? Absolutely. Will it ever happen? Haha… Not a chance.

  • I think point one, “Don’t have a system that rewards you to stay logged in right when a game launches”, is a massive one.

    I’ve seen it suggested that the Labor Point system for F2P players be inverted – that they should earn LPs when logged OFF than when logged ON. This might be a bit problematic but at least it could be that you earn them faster when logged off.

  • People moaning about queues that don’t pay a sub is very weak. I pay the sub and I am having a fantastic experience, the game is just what I have been looking for.

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