Believe it or not, my biggest gripe is NOT about the server crashes, lag, or amount of downtime.
Now, granted, I only started playing for the first time yesterday... yes, I'm new... so maybe I'm just missing something. However, each time I have logged in to play with my friend we have the WORST time trying to play together. This game seems like it goes out of its way to keep you and your friends and/or groupies apart.
We each have to spend quite a few minutes finding each other, grouping up, and getting in the same instance. Then we head out to do a mission and the real trouble starts. We get to a deep space encounter and we try to enter.... but once inside we constantly find that we have been separated into different instances. Why would the game do this? I can't understand that. I want to play with my friend... and my group mates... NOT RANDOM STRANGERS.
So, I will try to go to his instance... but that doesn't work because his is full. Then he will try to come to mine... but that doesn't work because mine is full. So then we both try to find another instance we can BOTH join... and even THAT is near impossible because the list of instances seem completely random and neither of us ever seem to have the same ones listed as available at the same time. The list is not even in numerical order and is not sortable... gosh it is frustrating.
For the next 15 minutes or so the two of us keep doing this back-and-forth zoning dance in and out of instances until we can both finally get into the same instance. THIS IS CRAZY! Why is this game trying so hard to keep people apart? I don't get it! Then we go to another mission and start this process all over again, and again, and again.
What is even worse... there doesn't seem to be a way to tell which instance you, yourself, are in. My buddy can look through the list of instances and see which one I am in... but I have no idea which one I am in. I can look at the list and see which one he is in... but he can't see which one he is in. And I keep thinking to myself... it is just two of us now... what a pain in the arse it would be if we had a full group of guildies grouped up and trying to play together... what a nightmare!
We have to go through this ritual every time we zone in to do a mission and after two days... frankly... I'm getting very irritable about it.
I don't know... maybe I'm completely missing something and simply haven't discovered some part of the options or interface yet that will make this process much simpler. But for now... I'm about to pull my hair out.
The point of the mission is to boldly go where no one has gone before. So if your team-mate has already been there, then someone has gone there, therefore you have to go to another instance where there is no-one. Maybe.
I haven't got far enough into the game yet to try deep space or make friends... *sniff^.
Try guilding-up (Fleet, actually). That may help some of your issues.
My frustration is the 10-15minute (or longer) zoning-lags. I was just in Memory Alpha -- I wasted 18 minutes trying to "beam back" to my ship (zone lag) ... only to give up, kill the program, relaunch it, start again-only to go straight back to zoning ... another 12 minutes .... only to spend 15 seconds in space, choosing to "Warp out" ... and another 13 minutes zone-lag. Death by zoning? Oh yeah. Don't get me wrong I like this game a lot, and I hope enough people get the Devs attention before they lose too many people to this zone-lag-lunacy.
I would think the best fix for the team/instance problem would be for the game to check the size of a team when it first enters a area. from there the system should assign the team to an instance with enough slots then mark those slots as full for people not on the active teams.
Zoning Dance....I like that description. My husband and I have had issues with that during the time we played on Sunday. We were both wondering if we were missing some vital component in timing that was keeping us from being together in the same instance. It's very frustrating to find you aren't with the person you were playing with when you get into an area. There's got to be a way to make it so you stay with the people you are grouped with. I hope there's a fix soon!!!
I complained about this myself. I haven't really experience this problem with normal mission instances. but with deepspace encounters and fleet actions they seem to have the mechanic of shoving everyone where ever they fit.
in the case of the deep space encounters, most are limited to 5 players per instance (from what i saw). really the game should see a full team and automaticly make a new instance to fit the full team. with the fleet actions it is annoying but you can generally switch to all the same instance.
Yes, there ought to be a check for when you enter a deep space instance, "is there an instance that can hold the whole group? True, put them in that one. False, prompt for cancel, separation or queue."
All the reasons for this is irrelevant. In an MMO you should by default be in same instance than your friend is (If groupped) Imagine it in wow.. You make a 5 member party and enter a dungeon and most of your team ens in different instances. Unacceptable
Again this should not be responsibility of a player to tweak yourself in same instance but instead game needs to be improved that all party members are in same instance.
I'm curious why it seems to be fairly well implemented for Ground Combat, and even slightly better for story missions. But yeah, try to get into a Deep Space Encounter, or Fleet Action with a teammate, and good luck with that.
it should just definitely not be on the player to try to coordinate this themselves. I wouldn't mind if I had to wait a couple of minutes (I mean, you tend to have to anyway) for resources to open up for a new instance to be spawned for my team rather than the inevitable splitting of our group and attempting to all pile into the same instance manually.
....at the very least, could this not be so intentionally difficult? organize the instance list by name, place your teammate's instance on top by default...SOMETHING!
Seriously what is the point of an MMO if you can't play with your friends, or show off your stuff to your friends without having to do a zoning dance.
Zoning is a technical issue the users should not have to worry about.
I don't understand why Cryptic wanted to go the "single server" route. The point of a single server would be so that everyone from around the world could mingle and have fun together. However having all the instances rips that novelty to shreds, especially if people in your group get assigned to separate instances.
I'm not sure how the community of CoH/CoV has evolved to handle this, I can't imagine there is much of a community at all outside of guild buddies.
I think it would have been a better idea to have a "multiple server" model where users can choose which server they want to create a character on. Then from there, split regions or sectors or whatever into separate servers. Then reserve instances to fleet encounters and massive large scale battles.
As it stands now, I have not run into the same person or have been grouped with the same person in ST:O yet.
Just my 2 cents which in all honesty may be worth half a cent.