Tag Archives: Elder Scrolls Online

On Launches

You would think that there would be some good solution by now for turning the servers on and letting people in to these online games. But time after time, games launch with troubles. All things considered, WildStar’s launch wasn’t really that bad, but it still creates a lot of frustration when everything doesn’t go smoothly.

First, they dramatically underestimated the number of players who would be interested in playing on a PVP server. As a result, all of the PVP servers at launch had queues, some of them several hours long. In addition, the number of English realms for EU was too low in general, so those also had long queues. More servers and free server transfers seem to have addressed the problem over the weekend, so it isn’t all bad.

Despite the complaints, it really isn’t all that bad. SWTOR had similar queue issues, but it’s a better illustration of a different problem. After launch, there were too many servers, leading to server merges and the general unhappiness that accompanies that. FF14 (Realm Reborn version) had numerous issues on launch, including not having queues (so you had to retry login until it worked) and during head start, having the instance servers (which were required for quest and character progression) frequently fail to work entirely. WildStar is at least ahead of both of these cases.

On the other end, ESO’s launch had fewer issues. Quest bugs were particularly bad during the first week, but at no point did I ever have trouble logging in to play. WoW’s original launch wasn’t great, but their expansion launches are pretty good at this point, even though the rush is usually at least the size of a typical MMO launch [citation needed]. TSW also managed to remain mostly functional (again with quest bugs) during its launch. I think the traditional servers are presenting scalability issues for games that use them, and something else (like TSW) might serve better in the long run.

Aggrochat and More

This week’s Aggrochat is out, and the usual cast is missing Rae, but joined by Tam. About halfway through we switch to discussing massive spoilers for Transistor, so I recommend stopping there if you haven’t finished it. (We don’t talk about anything else after.)

As an additional note, registration for the Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta is now live, and you should sign up for this wonderful charity event. Ongoing documentation of my pre-fiesta run is here, on YouTube. If you are in Alliance of Awesome, you should take a look, as there is an extra bit of charity money riding on your registration. (If you’re not, you should still register, and then consider poking into what AoA is doing in various games.)

On Competition

I’m not much for traditional PVP. I play a bit of League of Legends, and I’ve messed around in Cyrodiil in ESO a bit, but it’s not really my thing. I don’t take particular pleasure in the experience of facing off against someone, knowing directly that it’s a zero-sum game; someone must win, and someone must lose. I especially don’t like it in situations that are massively one-sided, like most gank situations in Open-World PVP. There’s little sense of accomplishment in winning such a fight, and it sucks to be on the receiving end. In a sense this is why I tolerate League more than other “PVP games”, because match-ups are relatively even, at least at the outset.

But this isn’t to say that I don’t like competing against other people. I’m a sucker for leaderboards and time trials. My very first real post ended in a challenge (which as far as I can tell no one’s taken me up on). I put up a relatively competitive score for Pixel Purge as part of the Indie Game Gala for the Newbie Blogger Initiative. Someone doubled it, but I’m pretty happy with second place. I’m pretty excited about the Trials in ESO because they have leaderboards, although I realize I am not likely to be hardcore enough to appear anywhere near them. I’m not even at veteran levels yet.

I really appreciate this form of competition more than others for a few reasons. First, you can usually try again immediately. There’s a sense of progression in constantly improving your score/time. There’s a feeling of accomplishment for actually passing someone else. And when someone else passes you, there’s incentive to give it another shot and beat their score. I know World of Warcraft attempted to get this sort of thing going with Challenge Modes for dungeons, but it fell pretty flat. I’m not sure how to get people more interested, but making it part of “normal” progression helps, because at least people are trying it and making some sort of entry.

I’m not saying that other forms of PVP are bad. Battlegrounds and the like can be enjoyable if well done, and their general popularity reflects it. However, I think things like this should be considered more often.


It’s Sunday, so there’s a new Aggrochat available (or there will be soon, if you’re here early enough). We spend a bit of time talking about League (and why Braum is awesome), Hex (and why lawsuits suck), FF5 (and why I’m insane), and crowdfunding (and why I think early access isn’t living up to expectations). Also, hear me be wrong about when the Wildstar Beta ends (it’s actually tonight at 23:59 Pacific). Check it out here.