Warhammer Online and the queue issue, RELAX!

I really should not be getting this worked up about a pre-release MMO topic, but this just hit a nerve for some reason. Keen, and today Tobold, made posts about Mythic’s plans for realm balance, and that ONE tool they will use to achieve that balance is realm queues for logging in.

Well for some reason (nerd rage) some people are getting all doom and gloom with the possibility that they might face a queue when logging into an MMO. Dear god people, queues are nothing new. Remember WoW at launch, the two hour queues only to enter a server that lagged so badly it was unplayable? What about the everyday queue for Arena/BGs? Ever log out in Jita and try to log back on during prime time in EVE? Good luck with that. Queues exist all over the place, as does server downtime and massive patching. Welcome to MMO land, enjoy your stay.

Aside from queues being as common as gaining levels in MMOs, let’s really think hard on this particular issue. First of all, we don’t even know WHICH side is going to have the population issue. Sure fansite polls point to Destruction, but guess who follows an MMO pre-release? The hardcore. Is it really that surprising that the majority of the hardcore would gravitate towards the bad guys, the side with the cool lore and interesting mechanics? The ‘we are sick of cutesy elves’ crowd? Has WoW not shown us that the majority of casuals love to play elves and humans, and be the good guy, just for the sake of playing a role they naturally assume is what they ‘should’ do? Are we forgetting that unless something disastrous happens, WAR will be a huge MMO with millions of subs?

When we talk millions, we are talking large quantities of the ultra casual, the guy who never looks at a message board, never reads a blog, and just logs in for a few hours a week. He does not min/max, raid, or get super involved in guild drama. He just likes to enjoy himself in an online world during a limited amount of downtime in his life. Is that guy really going to bend over backwards to play on a certain server, or is he more concerned about getting in and playing asap? Picking a low pop server, or having to transfer over won’t matter much to that guy, as long as he can avoid a queue that could eat up a good chunk of his game time. My dad is that guy, and trust me, he would switch servers in a heartbeat to avoid a queue. He did it repeatedly in WoW, even midway into leveling a character. While the hardcore players get attached to what we play and with who, the casuals live a different MMO life, one that can be a bit difficult to understand from the outside.

People also seem to be ignoring the fact that while not announced, what’s to stop Mythic from offering free transfers from high pop servers to low pop ones almost immediately? Just because Blizzard waited months/years to do it, does that mean everyone is going to follow? In WoW population imbalance was a minor annoyance, while in WAR it could be game-breaking. Why would Mythic not react quickly to solve a game-breaking issue, one that can easily be remedied by something as simple as a character/guild transfer?

So while silly to state, everyone needs to relax a bit here. This is not Mythic’s first time dealing with the issue of realm balance, and they are planning pre-release on ways to deal with it. It will be addressed day one, and while I’m sure it will still be an issue, I highly doubt it will be a two hour queue issue like it was in WoW, or a constant 45 minute queue like we had in BGs. To not learn anything from those clear examples would be selling Mythic short, a foolish mistake.

20 Responses to Warhammer Online and the queue issue, RELAX!

  1. Hudson says:

    Nice post, hit the nail on the head

  2. Bonedead says:

    Yeah I’d say they know wtf they’re doing considering that they made DAoC and balanced it good enough for most people. Not to mention DAoC had 3 sides to pick from, which probably made it even harder. Everyone is gay Syncaine, don’t listen to em! They like killing frogs and shit, wtf.

  3. syncaine says:

    Killing frogs? Lost me on that one…

  4. Bonedead says:

    PvE lololzolz!

  5. Dvorak says:

    “playing a roll” -> “playing a role”

  6. syncaine says:

    Thanks Dvorak. That mistake, for whatever reason, is like the most common mistake I make when I write, I have no idea why. I even sent out a corporate email to a bunch of people recently with that mistake. So odd, but thanks for spotting it, fixed now.

  7. Tim says:

    Bone,

    I’d think balancing three sides is easier. As long as one of the three doesn’t get significantly more than 50%, it’s balanced. The two smaller sides will usually band together to go against the largest side.

  8. Graktar says:

    Agreed, the doom-crying about the queues that are just ONE part of the solution is really ridiculous. I suppose these people think either A) Mythic should wave a magic wand and make any annoying destruction players reroll order for balance or B) Population balance isn’t as important as not having to worry about possibly waiting in line for a few minutes.

    WoW had terrible queues at peak times and while people complained, nobody ever stopped playing as a result, at worst they switched servers (which was kind of the point after all).

  9. [...] Hardcore Casual says “RELAX!” about server population queues [...]

  10. shamb1s says:

    hey guess what, its september 16th, the game is launched, (head start, so not everybody is playing yet.) and I’m staring down the barrel of a 1 hour queue.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Its easy to say these things, except when I just waited over an hour in a 600+ man queue to loginto my server, then an hour and half later get disconnected and have to get back into yet another 600+ man queue.

    They should have locked servers up knowning it would get bad at least for a week after release. Casual and Hardscore are going to make their newb char and stick with it at least for the short term, once server load got to a critical level they should have cut them off from creating new characters to prevent people from making new characters on servers with high population loads so durring prime time they don’t get swamped.

  12. syncaine says:

    4 servers are overloaded, and all 4 have MAJOR guilds that pre-planned to play on those servers. When one guild takes up 50% of a servers cap, are we really surprised the server is F’ed?

    No amount of pre-planning is going to stop Goon Squad from picking a server, dumping all their members on to it, and creating massive problems. Yes it sucks for people on those servers (my guild was on one before we moved), but it was not hard to see it coming.

  13. doctz says:

    I disagree. You’ve basically said “this is normal in an MMO so its not a problem”.

    Well, it is a problem. I’ve only just got the game and I have to wait 20 mins to login, others saying they have to wait an hour +. How can that not be a problem!?

    For the casula gamer who wants to log on for 2-3 hours, its a nightmare to have to waste 20-30% of that time in a queue. Maybe for the hardcore who starts logging in in the morning and doesn’t leave until midnight its not so bad.

    I think its just badly managed servers. My server was “Medium” capacity and has this queue.

    Its not normal and I very much hope this fix it quickly!

    P.s. whilst I was writing this (obviously the game alt tabbed) I got disconnected and sent to the back of the quque… so it looks like we have to watch the counter go down too.

  14. Fred says:

    I will never understand ppl defending bad mechanism, WoW had queue EvE got queue that doesn’t mean its good it just mean they simply didnt find the RIGHT fix.

    The imbalance on server population is nothing new yet nobody got a GOOD fix for it.

  15. Jack says:

    In WoW lore, humans are the bad guys. Get a clue.

  16. Super n00b says:

    i don’t mind the queue when o log in but i experience being kicked out of there often not dcing or anything just logging out with out the “you will log out in 20sec” or asking me first….server problem? don’t know mythic problem? don’t know but can’t be computer or network problem they both are VERY good and expensive……so if u gotta queue 30min-60min every 1-2h it is kinda annoying

  17. sid67 says:

    The “alt-tab” issue that kills the video display is horrible with the queue problem. A restart is bad, but a restart +queue is an ugly price to pay for alt-tabbing.

  18. Angry old man says:

    I sit here with a game that is supposed to be a PVP game but there is absolutely no PVP action on my server because of an imbalanced order/dest pop. If you ever see an order char it would be a damn miracle. You have 10 hour queues for the scenarios and the RvR action is no where to be found.. whats the fun of doing RvR when only one side is ever present.
    Imo I would rather wait for 1 hour and get some form of PVP action instead of just getting a damn PVE experience.

    It sucks so bad.. wake up developers and fix the problems. Use x-realms or something similar.

  19. Happy young man says:

    THe Angry old man is wrong, the queues are not there because the server is full and cannot take more players, its there to make sure there is an equal amount of players on each side.

  20. painfury says:

    # Jack Says:
    September 23, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    In WoW lore, humans are the bad guys. Get a clue. #

    smartass a casual who just starts neither knows nor cares for the lore, and since we’re all humans ; humans= good guys

    # Happy young man Says:
    September 29, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    THe Angry old man is wrong, the queues are not there because the server is full and cannot take more players, its there to make sure there is an equal amount of players on each side. #

    the queue is there because the servers full. now that encourages people to go to the other side (i.e order) but its not the direct reason for it. also order and destruction on each realm is hosted on a different set of servers so if your order with a realm full of destructions you will have no problem logging on without a queue

    i think the queue is a good solution for the first FEW months after the launch. but for a hardcore gamer like myself who wants to keep playing but also take breaks in the game, this is a huge problem. a good idea could be to increase the number of servers on each realm so more people can fit in, or like WoW stop character creation on that realm.

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