Queuetastic!

“It was as if a million voices at once said ‘Meh.'”

~ poster on the RIFT forums

Now that we’re safely out of the first month of post-launch insanity, hopefully we can restore some of the balance of discussing both good and bad aspects of RIFT without being labeled as a “hater” or “fanboy.”

I have to say, however, we’ve just seen Trion fall flat on its face, and it wasn’t pretty.

Personally, I really love the idea of world events.  I think it’s going to be one of the defining features of RIFT — if and when they get them running right.  This one?  Intriguing build-up and an absolutely, stunningly disappointing conclusion.

We’ve been weeks into phase one of the River of Souls event, marked by special rifts (with their own mechanics), ominous signs in the sky, and special rewards.  All was well and good, but everyone wanted to see what would happen next.

First, Trion delays phase two for a week because of technical difficulties.  Today, when the event was scheduled to go live, it was over — both phase 2 and 3, if reports are true — before most people could even log in.

Crippling queues hit Faeblight, the server I’m on, up to 8+ hours of wait.  Part of the problem is that Trion also scheduled this to be one of its free weekends, so there were tons of potential players trying to squeeze in as well.

Me?  I couldn’t even log in.  I have no idea what the event was, other than it’s over.

Awesome.  Better luck next time!

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29 thoughts on “Queuetastic!

  1. pasmith April 16, 2011 / 4:26 pm

    Such a h8tr!

    Event must be over, queue is finally going down. Mine peaked a bit over 8 hours (to get into a 2 hour event) but I saw reports as high as 10+ hours.

    Can’t imagine how they didn’t see this coming…

  2. paeroka April 16, 2011 / 4:39 pm

    Sounds a bit like the AQ event in WoW where every player gathered in one area and the server crashed. Repeatedly. 😉

    I hadn’t even known it’s that event today. But when I logged on earlier today, there were no queues. I guess I was too late anyway? I was “away from gaming” for a while, so I had just read about the postponing but had no idea the event took place today (I think I logged on at around 3pm European time… probably too late then).

    I guess making events at certain times where you have to be there or miss it completely are not a good idea unless you can have several thousands of people online on one server at the same time.

  3. Rog April 16, 2011 / 4:41 pm

    I’m of the opinion that MMORPG events should be small and happen often. Maybe that’s a bit old-school, from the days when GMs weren’t just about slapping down the spammers and they would sometimes don the appearance of a mini-boss.

    Granted, those days were very short because they had their share of problems and many voices crying out about what they missed too.

    There’s gotta be some sort of happy medium, some kinda system where events are special, unique and at the same time a little more commonplace (at least in terms of how often).

    Because fighting the queue isn’t experience worth gaining.

  4. Elementalistly April 16, 2011 / 5:13 pm

    And yet, I see Trion success in marketing. Imagine doing a free trial and seeing so many full servers…as a new player “impressed” is what I would be thinking.
    For us that HAVE been playing, yes, we may be disgruntled at big queues(I’m not, as I had been logged in most of the day and caught all layers of the event and have the quest to get the awesome weapons), but for Trion, this is a world of win.

  5. Kierbuu April 16, 2011 / 5:37 pm

    I figure Trion has been doing such a good job with everything so far they had to fail at something sooner or later. At least it was something temporary and not a crucial part of game play. Not that this was fun, but it isn’t game breaking.

  6. Jeremy S. April 16, 2011 / 5:46 pm

    I love the idea of live-events. I haven’t played RIFT since the closed beta, but I’m looking to give it a run in the summer. If they can hash out a way to standardize these large events, it could set the stage for other companies to follow. I think that’s good news for players of any MMO.

    Tiny impromptu GM run “events” are fun too. There used to be a couple GMs on the Runes of Magic US servers that would occasionally show up on the main cities bridge and spawn a bunch of bosses. It was some fun times.

  7. James April 16, 2011 / 6:39 pm

    sux2bu

    The event was awesome! On Greybriar, there were at least 5 full raids of us Defiant’s around Perspice killing the big baddies.
    The wife’s lvl 50 got into the River of Souls and it looked great from my chair.

    My big quip is the rewards, we got less planarite and sourceshards than a rift…and nothing NEAR how much you get from a standard invasion boss. 😦

  8. AshenDreams April 16, 2011 / 10:25 pm

    The real killer, for me, was the server bounce. I was already logged in and waiting, and then the announcement came that they were taking the servers down for 15 minutes for some last-minute stability hotfixes. When I came back 18 minutes later, I was already too late. The event was over long before my queue came anywhere near to popping.

    Right then, I was ready to punch a developer through the wall.

  9. Chris April 17, 2011 / 2:08 am

    I agree. I totally missed the last two phases because I spent the day with my niece and couldn’t log in until evening. Not that it sounds like actually being there was that great — and the extras they’re mailing out to everyone are nice — but I find it incredibly strange they’ve build up for two weeks on repeating zone events only to have the most exciting part last for 20 minutes (on Sunrest) and then be gone forever. I honestly felt cheated. I’d spent the last two weeks of my limited playtime doing those dailies whenever I’d log on. It would have been nice to see it through.

    Oh well. Keeping all things in context, I temper my disappointment by reminding myself that this is their first world event — and one that came early enough so as to stir its fans into a venerable cheer. And the only thing more you could ask for in an official response would be to re-run the event.

  10. Mallika April 17, 2011 / 6:21 am

    They’re making it up to everyone. Here is Scott Hartsman’s response:

    When we set out to get this unveil event in front of you, it was all about some serious ambitions.

    Great new types of content to unveil a brand new raid zone. Events that really push the edge of what’s possible not just in Rift, but in any MMO of its kind. All within an incredibly rapid amount of time following launch.

    In this case, while we did get to “what’s possible” we didn’t get to “solid gameplay for the entire game universe.” The later phases of the event were too concentrated and time-compressed, which caused issues on a number of worlds.

    Ambition is important — It’s what keeps us improving day to day, week to week, month to month. But, it’s equally important to know when you walked too close to the edge and got cut.

    Between our previous experience with zone events and now with world events, we have a much better idea of the range we can create “fun” for at a mass scale in the future, and the steps we need to take to continue progressing the more solid gameplay experiences that only happen in RIFT.

    As I had posted earlier, our next world events will already be taking everything we learned, as well as all of your comments about the event, into account. Please do keep them coming — I guarantee we’re here reading them all, weekend or not.

    As developers, none of us are happy when anyone who chooses to spend their valuable time in our game feels like they got the short end of our aspirations.

    To that end, even if something goes great for some, when it doesn’t go great for all, we’re going to go out of our way to make it up in some way wherever we can.

    We’re going to assume that if you are an active subscriber you were intending to participate in the final stages.

    1) Operating on that assumption, later this week everyone will be receiving an in-game mail with the River of Souls Event Reward Pack containing:

    Symbol of Purity – This item starts a quest you can complete to obtain

    * 250 Otherworldly Sourcestone

    * 1x – Purified Treasure Cache – Contains a random chance of obtaining one of the special world drop event rewards from the day of the event
    o Common – Grave Goods Bag -Unique 20 Slot Bag (NEW ITEM)
    o Uncommon – Shroud of Anti-Life – Lorn non combat Polymorph
    o Rare – Nimble Spectral Horse – 90% Speed Mount
    o Ultra Rare – Swift Spectral Warhorse – 110% Speed Mount

    * Shadetouched Weapon Cache – The starter item for the Rare Death weapon quests. You can choose whichever level appropriate one you’d like.

    * The following two Achievements, since not everyone who was (or wanted to be) present was able to obtain them.
    o Grim Hero
    o Grim Protector

    2) The achievement for kneeling to Alsbeth will remain available in her incarnation inside the River of Souls.

    3) Additionally, we’re also going to continue the Otherworldly Sourcestone drops for the next few days, for those who haven’t yet finished off their collections and would care to.

    4) And since the question has come up quite a few times — the ability to complete the quests from the Shadetouched Weapon Cache will continue, such that you’re always able to finish them.

    We do thank you for your patience with us during this first ever World Event. We know that patience isn’t infinite. We do respect that fact greatly, and you have our word that we’re listening and reacting smartly for the next round.

    – Scott

  11. Gaugamela April 17, 2011 / 7:11 am

    It’s a shame the event was a fiasco. Now the haters have a lot of ammunition to attack Trion which isn’t good since it is a new MMO company that released a really good first product.

    But I hope they took some lessons:

    Phase two should be more much longer spread out and offer different and maybe better rewards than phase 1. Phase 3 should work as a climax and not as a less important part of the event.

    Ah well, considering that the next patch will have a lot of interesting changes the game deserves a chance. 🙂

  12. Utakata April 17, 2011 / 10:07 am

    I think this is a situation where Trion is a victim of their own success. That is, this is something they could get away with if their clientele was modest and intimate (like City of Heroes for example). Not when they are hugely popular on a free trial weekend, where servers meltdown with everyone and their dog is trying to get in and/or in the action.

  13. Bhagpuss April 17, 2011 / 1:17 pm

    Mrs Bhagpuss and I have our Guardians on Faeblight. We got in fairly easily, with a 20 minute queue the first time and instantly following the server restart just before the event. We also had little or no lag throughout the event itself.

    I was a little surprised that Phase 2 on Faeblight took just 15 minutes. We managed to fight one boss and counted ourselves lucky to have done that.

    I was a lot more surprised that Phase 3 consisted of some NPCs having a chat. I quite enjoyed it, as it went, the voice acting being very amusing, but as the climax of a week-long “World Event” it was somewhat undercooked.

    (And yes, I know there should have been a big three-way fight instead. And I knew that Phase 2 was a one-time only deal and that it wouldn’t last more than a coupel of hours at most. It’s shocking, if not surprising, that anyone can have been playing Rift for the last couple of weeks and *not* know at least that much, but it was evident from countless in-game conversatins that many people had no idea what to expect).

    On balance, I don’t think it was that bad. It was over-ambitious, especially for a first try, and some of the things that went wrong could and should have been foreseen and avoided. But the queues and full servers show how much people wanted to give it a try, and for those that did make it in it was entertaining while it lasted.

    The most impressive part has been Scott Hartsman’s damage control. The Rift forms are normally a pit of seething despair and loathing, but the comments on the long thread following his Wrap-Up post show that it is possible to turn disaster into victory.

    If the next event is as much of a shambles as this one, though, then we might begin to worry. You can only get away with holding your hands up and saying “sorry” so many times, after all.

  14. PeterD April 17, 2011 / 1:30 pm

    I ranted about this on my little blog so I’m not going to repeat myself (much), but I’m really staggered by Trion’s lack of foresight on this. I do appreciate that they’re trying to make it up to the playerbase, and if future events turn out better we can call this one a “lessons learned” event, but it’s still very frustrating that the event turned out the way it did, and that Trion somehow thought this would every work in the format they used.

  15. Barrista April 17, 2011 / 4:27 pm

    “hopefully we can restore some of the balance of discussing both good and bad aspects of RIFT without being labeled as a ‘hater’ or ‘fanboy.'”

    You really think that is possible in this community? On any thread concerning this it ultimately dissolves into “quit if you don’t like it”. I’m not sure why these games become a religion with so many such that their companies are either beyond reproach and evil! I have been labeled a hater just by pointing out that the feedback being given is what Trion has always asked for and that all are entitled to an opinion especially since they are paying for it!

    In any case, as I’ve said on blogs and even forums, I got to take part in Phase 2, I got the special drop that opens a quest, I had no lag or line for my server, but after Trion planning a week for the first portion the later phases were uneventful, even as I was participating in some of it.

  16. Barrista April 17, 2011 / 4:28 pm

    I meant “beyond reproach OR evil.”

  17. Doug April 17, 2011 / 10:22 pm

    Yawn. Doesn’t look like I missed anything. Oh wait, I didn’t sub.

  18. ZombiePirate April 18, 2011 / 3:45 am

    After weeks of build up I was amazed that the 2nd and 3rd phases were over so quickly. I do like what they are doing with the event pack though, as I will do those quests (hopefully it scales with level rather than being pure level 50) to give me a shot at a new mount. I missed out as when I logged in for phase 2 the lag in Argent Glade was horrific so I got DC’d and thought I’d try later when there may have been less congestion. Then it was all over.

  19. James April 18, 2011 / 6:41 am

    @ZombiePiate – I got mine in Scarwood Reach and it was a level 33 item, supposedly there’s one for each zone with appropriate level. The reward for that quest (for mages) is a choice of a really nice off-hand totem or a sweet staff.
    According to the forum post by Scott Hartsman, you’ll get to pick which level you want the Shadetouched Weapon Cache to be.

  20. Mojeaux April 18, 2011 / 8:50 am

    I’m really surprised at some of the above posters trying to put some sort of positive spin on what most people found at the very best a stumble and at worst a fiasco… Kool-aid anyone?

  21. Trippin Ninja April 18, 2011 / 11:32 am

    My experience was a strange one. Before the event started I was on my alt about to heal Iron Tomb and my game just froze. I didn’t know phase 2 was about to start so I tried relogging and it would stick at 9% after I selected a character. After talking with a friend who was experiencing the same issue I figured the servers were down.

    A few minutes later my friend texts me that he finally got in and it was over. At that point I was glad I had decided to just play Red Dead Redemption instead. We never saw a warning that the servers were coming down so it was a really frustrating experience.

  22. Stubborn April 18, 2011 / 4:18 pm

    I missed the event because I had to go to a wedding 1000 miles from where I live. I’m pretty disappointed by the outcome of all this, especially since I did the dailies pretty religiously up to this past weekend when I had to travel.

    Ah well, though. While I am disappointed, it is just a game, and a new one at that. I’m looking forward to the next one.

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