Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Someone help me out...
01-31-2010, 12:44 PM
As I have said in a previous thread, I am new to MMOs. That being said, I am curious, how long does it usually take for an MMO launch to get it's servers in order? Is the head-start designed to further the testing prior to launch? Do most people who purchase the game purchase it prior to release day? If the head starters (of which I am part) make up the MINORITY of your subscription base, do you sacrifice some of their happiness to ensure a smooth retail launch date? I am curious as to the "ins" and "outs" of this from the perspective of your "bottom line".

I think the major issue is this: If you call something a head-start, an ignorant person (as I am to MMOs), will associate the term "head start" with getting the advantage to play the FULL game early. I would also expect the game to be playable. When I played the beta - I expected issues. HELL it's called a beta. I was happy to be part of the efforts to get the game where it needed to be, but my expectations are that the "head start" is more playable. Perhaps my standards are too high? I don't really know. Can someone help me out?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
01-31-2010, 12:48 PM
Your standards on not too high.

I don't think its unreasonable to be able to play a game when they say you can. And they said those of us in Headstart can play Jan. 29th.

But I suppose they did not specify how long you could play.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
01-31-2010, 12:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunofVich View Post
Your standards on not too high.

I don't think its unreasonable to be able to play a game when they say you can. And they said those of us in Headstart can play Jan. 29th.

But I suppose they did not specify how long you could play.
Okay cool. I wasn't sure. I mean I could see scheduling maintenance time. Then there is an expectation as to when the servers will go down for the players. But then again, if you offer a head-start, and then you are always scheduling maintenance time you are going to alienate your avid customer base.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
01-31-2010, 12:50 PM
The average time it takes for a new MMO to go from launch to stable is about 2-3 weeks. Most developers plan on a 2 month intensive dev cycle where the "office" as it were, is manned by a double-sized staff 24/7 for the first 60 to 90 days to deal with issues.

An MMO is a gigantic information system comprised of dozens and dozens, sometimes hundreds or thousands of servers or blade servers. There will be issues as loads are increased. It is a fact of life and is played out every day in corporate arenas.

The problem with MMOs is that you cannot stress test the actual system until you go live. Corporate information systems can be tested internally ad nauseum and the process takes a year or more to complete. MMOs don't have that luxury because they are globally accessible and since they are pay to play, you cannot load test them properly. A beta section of 30,000 players is not adequate for the 500 thousand to 1 million or more players who often frequent popular MMOs on launch week.

This, is why you have problems. They are unavoidable. If anyone thinks otherwise, go in and connect 20 PCs together with a couple of routers or a switch. Then, try and make them work without having problems. If you can do that, then increase the size of that project 100 fold and add in a couple of PCs to operate as a server. Then, you have something akin to a cheezy MMO setup.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
01-31-2010, 12:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by xylander View Post
The average time it takes for a new MMO to go from launch to stable is about 2-3 weeks. Most developers plan on a 2 month intensive dev cycle where the "office" as it were, is manned by a double-sized staff 24/7 for the first 60 to 90 days to deal with issues.

An MMO is a gigantic information system comprised of dozens and dozens, sometimes hundreds or thousands of servers or blade servers. There will be issues as loads are increased. It is a fact of life and is played out every day in corporate arenas.

The problem with MMOs is that you cannot stress test the actual system until you go live. Corporate information systems can be tested internally ad nauseum and the process takes a year or more to complete. MMOs don't have that luxury because they are globally accessible and since they are pay to play, you cannot load test them properly. A beta section of 30,000 players is not adequate for the 500 thousand to 1 million or more players who often frequent popular MMOs on launch week.

This, is why you have problems. They are unavoidable. If anyone thinks otherwise, go in and connect 20 PCs together with a couple of routers or a switch. Then, try and make them work without having problems. If you can do that, then increase the size of that project 100 fold and add in a couple of PCs to operate as a server. Then, you have something akin to a cheezy MMO setup.
Awesome info.... my guess was that you can't really anticipate what the workload will be until you really start getting the majority of your subscribers online. That makes complete sense. I appreciate the info. I wanted to make sure I understood the standards of the industry before I FREAKED out. LOL... thanks again.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
01-31-2010, 12:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by xylander View Post
The average time it takes for a new MMO to go from launch to stable is about 2-3 weeks. Most developers plan on a 2 month intensive dev cycle where the "office" as it were, is manned by a double-sized staff 24/7 for the first 60 to 90 days to deal with issues.

An MMO is a gigantic information system comprised of dozens and dozens, sometimes hundreds or thousands of servers or blade servers. There will be issues as loads are increased. It is a fact of life and is played out every day in corporate arenas.

The problem with MMOs is that you cannot stress test the actual system until you go live. Corporate information systems can be tested internally ad nauseum and the process takes a year or more to complete. MMOs don't have that luxury because they are globally accessible and since they are pay to play, you cannot load test them properly. A beta section of 30,000 players is not adequate for the 500 thousand to 1 million or more players who often frequent popular MMOs on launch week.

This, is why you have problems. They are unavoidable. If anyone thinks otherwise, go in and connect 20 PCs together with a couple of routers or a switch. Then, try and make them work without having problems. If you can do that, then increase the size of that project 100 fold and add in a couple of PCs to operate as a server. Then, you have something akin to a cheezy MMO setup.
This is quite possibly the sanest most realistic post I've read all day. Bravo!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
01-31-2010, 01:02 PM
I would say with ANY (mmo, FPS, Sports) online game on ANY platform (PC, PS3, x360) it has server issues, small bugs and game play issues for the 1st 2 weeks....

Its an "industry standard" that after the 1st weeks no one realy cares about or remembers much... While your in the 1st 2 weeks though its hell- Think of it as paying your dues, battle scars, earning loyalty, etc... othrewise your just going to be ****ed off at the game, the industry and life. lol
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
01-31-2010, 01:04 PM
While I don't think it's unreasonable for people to expect that the servers be up more than they have, my experience with other MMOs have been similar or worse than this launch. Like Xylander said, there are inevitably server problems that come up the first few weeks of the launch of an online game. I'm fairly pleased with how things have gone so far in headstart, and if I miss a few hours of play...well, we're getting these 3 days, free after all
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
01-31-2010, 01:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Louis.Martin View Post
As I have said in a previous thread, I am new to MMOs. That being said, I am curious, how long does it usually take for an MMO launch to get it's servers in order? Is the head-start designed to further the testing prior to launch? Do most people who purchase the game purchase it prior to release day? If the head starters (of which I am part) make up the MINORITY of your subscription base, do you sacrifice some of their happiness to ensure a smooth retail launch date? I am curious as to the "ins" and "outs" of this from the perspective of your "bottom line".

I think the major issue is this: If you call something a head-start, an ignorant person (as I am to MMOs), will associate the term "head start" with getting the advantage to play the FULL game early. I would also expect the game to be playable. When I played the beta - I expected issues. HELL it's called a beta. I was happy to be part of the efforts to get the game where it needed to be, but my expectations are that the "head start" is more playable. Perhaps my standards are too high? I don't really know. Can someone help me out?
If you are still curious, I would suggest getting out of this forum. You will find very strong opinions here on all sides. I looked elsewhere online and found everything from reviews of past Cryptic MMO projects, to Atari financial information. I am not going to tell you what to think, but I am confident in my concern for the life of this MMO. Readers disagree with me....fine...look it up.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
01-31-2010, 01:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by salion2 View Post
While I don't think it's unreasonable for people to expect that the servers be up more than they have, my experience with other MMOs have been similar or worse than this launch. Like Xylander said, there are inevitably server problems that come up the first few weeks of the launch of an online game. I'm fairly pleased with how things have gone so far in headstart, and if I miss a few hours of play...well, we're getting these 3 days, free after all
Good perspective my man.... let's all just relax and let thing be..
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