Queuetopia

Hooray. I get to use the word “queuetopia”.

Star Wars: The Old Republic has been released. They’ll try to tell you it hasn’t. That it doesn’t get released until the 20th. Do not let them shape reality. The final version is out there, people are playing it, I was playing it this morning. At best I’ll allow them to call it a limited release. However saying that the game “is not even released yet” is a lie. Don’t lie.

This isn’t one of those rants though. This is just a minor discussion of a feature I want to see a game use. Perhaps there even is a game that uses it. If there is, it’s probably Eve Online. That game seems to have a lot of features. If only they’d add fun at some point. (Boom)

Prior to release the hive mind decided on a couple of servers for Oceanic players to use, since we’re not getting servers on launch (and probably not any time soon). So I jumped on one, started my character and got him up to the last part of the first major quest chain. Then I had to jump off for unrelated reasons. Coming back, I’ve been sitting in a queue for an hour now. Still got a while to go.

Why does this still happen? It happened at the launch of World of Warcraft, and again each time an expansion launched. As happened there, I’m sure it will go away in time as servers are upgraded, code is optimised, and players spread out or drift away. In the meantime however I’m faced with waiting at least an hour to play the game, or starting again elsewhere and re-playing stuff I’ve already done.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Why can’t I just grab my character and go play on a server that isn’t full? Why can’t everybody do this? A server is full, well fine I’ll go find one that isn’t, and not be penalised with wasted time or (even more) repetitive tasks.

(Of course it’s one thing to ask why this isn’t so, and it’s another to engineer the systems required to make it so. I’ll stick with the former thanks.)

SW:TOR shamelessly takes a lot from WoW, and adds its own progression to the genre, effectively mapping a single player RPG onto an MMO framework. That’s great, and will hopefully raise expectations for any future MMO. But I wish Bioware or somebody else would address some of these other annoyances that seem to just be assumed as “part of the MMO experience”. It seems ludicrous that not playing the game should be considered part of the experience.