Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Missing the first week - curse or boon?

If this blog had sound, you'd now be hearing Chris Rea singing "Driving home for Christmas". Because that is what I'll be doing a few days before Christmas, driving to my parents place to spend the holidays with my family. Which means that on release day of Star Wars: The Old Republic I won't be home. I could take a laptop with me, but then I'll be hit with a triple whammy of lack of time, lack of computing power, and lack of a decent internet connection. The safest assumption is that I won't have time for SWTOR before New Year. And I wonder if that is such a bad thing.

I've been present at many MMORPG launches over the years. And the overwhelming majority went badly: In some cases you couldn't even reach the website to open your account. Game servers were generally overloaded. And in the newbie zones a dozen level 1 characters were camping a single mob spawn point.

Now things have generally gotten better over the years. But in the case of SWTOR I'm not terribly confident that they will have a smooth launch. They will have to deal with the onslaught onto Origin, with hundreds of thousands of people trying simultaneously to download a multi-gigabyte client. And while EA Bioware has people from Mythic on board, SWTOR is technically their first MMORPG ever, so there is still a chance of them getting surprised by stuff SOE or Blizzard would just yawn about.

Starting a week or two later would give me both a better chance of a stable service, and less overcrowded newbie zones. And as I do not consider MMORPGs to be a race to the level cap, I don't see what I'm losing out on. So what do you think: Is it better to start SWTOR on day one, or rather a week or two later? What are your plans for the launch?

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