Friday, December 16, 2011

The queue is here

It appears that EA Bioware let in a lot of players yesterday. The result was predictable: While server loads where between "light" and "normal" on the first 3 days of early access, they now went all the way up to "full". I relogged once during the evening to try out an .ini file modification to force anti aliasing, and had to wait in a queue half an hour to get back in. And that wasn't the longest queue.

The problem is that for a given server population, the server load depends on the percentage of players wanting to play on that particular evening. In the long run that is between 10% and 20%, there is an industry rule of thumb that overall server population is between 5 and 10 times prime time population. But during early access and launch this percentage is significantly higher, because pretty much everybody wants to play NOW.

I don't have the technical knowledge to judge why it is still necessary to run big MMORPGs with separate servers instead of one single server distributing players in many instanced carbon copies. But as long we have servers, and we don't want those servers to be underpopulated after launch, we will have those queues on launch day and early access.

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