The headstart rollout for Star Wars has me quite irritable. As I wrote previously, I had a huge amount of fun in the beta while playing with the other half, and very much looked forward to doing it for realsies. Staggered launch, however, is going to make that impossible. Everyone I know is playing, and this morning are in the 15-18 range. Although MMOs are my game of choice, I am not the most social person in the world, and hate playing with strangers. I detest having to pug anything, and the forced grouping in SWTOR is going to ensure that I have to pug all flashpoints and heroic quests – or have a higher-level friend run me through, which is going to be stupid.
Have I mentioned my luck with pugs? If you are psychotic, a potty-mouthed ten year old on crack, or someone who dwells in a basement so deep that rats won’t even keep you company, I will get you in a pug. The gaming fae have cursed me to only get crazy people in pickup groups.
Thanks Bioware for making my MMO less social.
I am feeling quite nostalgic for the Rift launch, where the servers were slammed, everyone played at the same time, and it all stayed up and was playable regardless. Why don’t you call Trion and ask if they can share some of their wisdom with you? I have great memories Rift, and although laggy it was a TON of fun to have so many people rifting and fighting incursions into towns (although it did look like a series of photos at some points, which was ok – at least the servers generally stayed up).
Time and time again I have read on Twitter or guild forums or on the official forums that the server population is very light, and the starting areas seem almost deserted. The server status page shows light or medium servers across the board, except for later at night. Why keep server populations artificially low, just so that you can pat yourself on the back for having a problem-free launch? That is ridiculous. And the people (who got in, obviously) posting slavish praise on Bioware make me ill. If there are (as reported over and over again) 68 to 100 people on your server, it damned well BETTER be stable. I don’t think that justifies applause.
And why the secrecy about when people will get in? There is obviously a schedule, and they know when people will be allowed to play – why not just post that and still the raging on the forums? I can see no downside to it, since supposedly it is based on an impersonal preorder date. Speaking of the forums, why keep deleting all of the threads where people are quite legitimately complaining? I don’t like supporting game companies that are run this way. I think that the fairly substantial amount that I spend in an MMO that I am passionate about gives me a right to speak up, even if you refuse to read the message.
So I am a sad panda today. Something that I very much looked forward to has been ruined, since I won’t be able to make up those levels and play with friends. I’m not going to hope that people roll an alt so that we can play together, any more than I would have asked Phil to not play until I can get in.
EDIT: After the jump, screenshots of empty starting areas on Day 2: