This was a pretty good weekend overall – Phil and I got to do some gaming together (it’s been ages) and we got to hang out with some good friends. However, none of this was attributable to Square Enix and the horrific FFXIV launch.
I started playing Vanilla WoW after launch so I wasn’t around for that, but from what I’ve been hearing, however, this launch is approaching that level of fail. Hard to imagine. The beta woes continued into headstart, and both Phil and I had our characters locked at one point (instanced quests would hang, leaving your character stuck in limbo until a server reboot. You couldn’t play that character, nor any other since the system thought you were still logged in.).
Mainly, though, you just couldn’t get on to play. There is no queue, you just get bounced with an error message about trying again later. Occasionally you’ll get in a faux queue with some random number basically pulled out of thin air – 12, 255, 900, it doesn’t matter, you’ll be in in a minute or so. Basically all players were spamming to be let in, bouncing around like bingo balls in some cosmic tombola, waiting to be one of a handful shaken out at random onto the server. Since so many systems were failing due to a misunderstanding of the levels of robustness needed in their system architecture, load balancing, whatever, they decided on just locking down the servers.
At one point when I was trying to log in there were no EU servers open for character creation. If you were an EU player who had just managed to get in and create a character, you couldn’t save it anywhere. Many people ended up playing on the Japanese servers, as they were sparsely populated in comparison with overloaded NA/EU servers. After levelling a conjurer/arcanist to 22/12 on one server I decided to re-roll on a new server and was unable to create a new character. I can only play one at a time, so this restriction seemed silly.
If you were one of the lucky ones who managed to actually get in and play, it was amazingly fun. We had a blast, even with the re-rolls and levelling through the same areas again. At lower levels dungeons are fun (especially for a new healer with no gear and limited skillz like myself) without any really difficult mechanics. Even when I was kiting a boss around in circles and trying to keep both myself and the group alive it was fun, hysterical in fact. Once things settle down, this game is going to be a keeper and I am really looking forward to being able to relax, explore, and get lost in this beautiful world.