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My views on Early Access are 50/50

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Customer Service (Read-Only)
My views on Early Access are 50/50
 

sotaka's Avatar


sotaka
12.13.2011 , 06:18 PM | #1
On one end, I think it was nice of BioWare to reward those who pre-ordered their game from the get go with a slightly earlier access. I think it was very respectful of them to honor such a thing, as it was announced that way, and for that - I think they did a good job.

However, on another end, I feel this is a bit of a Favoritism method, and I worry that it will set a standard or create a stigma that BioWare favors people who fanatically follow them / unconditionally follow them. It creates a sort of culture of opportunity based around who has the most time to throw away, in my opinion. A randomized method, or opening the floodgates all at once might've been a bit better for a method.

Now some might wonder what I mean by the second paragraph. Well, think about Final Fantasy XI for a moment. Some look back on that game with fondness, some with feelings of 'I'm going to murder-**** you for even mentioning that game on my beloved SW:TOR's forums!', and others still might only know it from articles about how Pandemonium Warden took so long the people fighting him got sick. In the end, it serves as a good example.

In FFXI, one of the largest problems that came up was the release of a game that was Worldwide. In most cases, content was released simultaneously via a content patch sent worldwide. It was very well done and even for all players playing, though some say it usually happened during Japanese downtime (as Square-Enix is a Japanese based company.) Then we started to get Expansion packs.

I didn't play around the time that Final Fantasy's Rise of the Zilart was released. I joined the game after, during the prime of it and when I had a capable PC. Ultimately, I would witness Chains of Promethia's release, which sadly left me with a similar taste to what BioWare has done here. In this game's case, it was released for Japanese players (A physical box CD) first, and all of them were able to become well-established and set up an economy or overcharge for items much faster than North American players, because the North American players had to wait to enter the zones to gain the same items.

This is how I roughly feel that BioWare has handled their release. Even if it was randomized, it still wouldn't of worked by virtue of the fact that we'd still have complaints of people being in 'first' (Though it would resound from different people, such as one's who have followed it from release), and thus the cycle would continue. We've set people up at a pretty good advantage (And yes, 2 days is a lot to some people. Particularly those who don't work jobs) - and while I'm sure many of us will catch up with them quickly, we'll still see a slight disparity from the get-go.


TLDR;
Ultimately, I would've preferred everyone got in all at once, and to have had 'server issues' for a day or two while BioWare dealt with the Max number of players trying to connect all at once. Why? Because ultimately, we will need to see what sort of affect all these people at once will have, and it woudl set everyone up on an even playing field without feeling like there was favoritism. I think the idea of saying 'first to pre-order' was bad and also discouraged me from advising this game as a pre-order to my friends. Why? Because none of us would be able to play together on the pre-release, and I explained that to them as well. Many will still play, but it was the difference for some between Collector's edition and Regular edition.

ialsoagree's Avatar


ialsoagree
12.13.2011 , 06:22 PM | #2
So the better alternative is to crash the servers with too many people logging in, and just keep fighting to keep them up for the next month or two?
Having trouble signing up for game testing? Check this thread out for possible solutions:
http://swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=75371
If that doesn't help, post your problem here:
http://swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=75306

sotaka's Avatar


sotaka
12.13.2011 , 06:25 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by ialsoagree View Post
So the better alternative is to crash the servers with too many people logging in, and just keep fighting to keep them up for the next month or two?
Fair enough, perhaps not the best of alternatives. But I do feel it's best to let the serves get rushed now, instead of later. After all, when they get rushed later and still fail to meet the demand of so many people, it will still be an issue in regards to the fact that people will still crash the server.

You'll just have the added bonus of people then whining about 'I waited for my Early Access and THIS is what I get?' or 'People have been playing for X# of days and now I can't because I was part of a later wave, ***?'

In the end, it's really a double-sided blade, and that's why I remain divided on the subject. Sorry for my slow response, I am playing Beat Hazard right now.

imtrick's Avatar


imtrick
12.13.2011 , 06:26 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by sotaka View Post
Fair enough, perhaps not the best of alternatives. But I do feel it's best to let the serves get rushed now, instead of later. After all, when they get rushed later and still fail to meet the demand of so many people, it will still be an issue in regards to the fact that people will still crash the server.
Server capacity issues at launch have killed games right out of the gate. Many never recovered. What's happening here is the far better alternative.
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Trailblazer's Avatar


Trailblazer
12.13.2011 , 06:27 PM | #5
Those who fantically/unconditionally follow Bioware may be torqued off about the early access program, but because they are fanatics, they will suck it up and pony up their (parent's) hard-earned scratch to play the game.

sotaka's Avatar


sotaka
12.13.2011 , 06:27 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by imtrick View Post
Server capacity issues at launch have killed games right out of the gate. Many never recovered. What's happening here is the far better alternative.
Care to elaborate for me a little? I Don't follow a lot of other game releases, as was demonstrated with my experience from Final Fantasy XI. I do believe that BioWare is the type of company with the resources to handle this kind of launch better than the usual, however.


EDIT:
Quote:
Those who fantically/unconditionally follow Bioware may be torqued off about the early access program, but because they are fanatics, they will suck it up and pony up their (parent's) hard-earned scratch to play the game.
Heh, I won't result to insulting any of them. There's really nothing to be gained from it. I think the furthest I'd go is the benefit they would get will always be more substantial, by virtue of the fact that they don't have to deal with a job and/or school.

Boubba's Avatar


Boubba
12.13.2011 , 06:29 PM | #7
If you ever have the time, find out some articles on the launch of Anarchy Online ... Now this was a nightmare that I will not soon forget

Gomiiie's Avatar


Gomiiie
12.13.2011 , 06:33 PM | #8
your forgetting the beta testing weekends that tested server stability with everyone in them so there servers can handle it

sotaka's Avatar


sotaka
12.13.2011 , 06:35 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Gomiiie View Post
your forgetting the beta testing weekends that tested server stability with everyone in them so there servers can handle it
It's not 100% a true test of the game's stability. There's no way to account for the excess of people that didn't assist with beta but were invited (I'm on this list. We had a busy week at the oncology center), or the people who wouldn't play by virtue of the fact that 'My character won't transfer over.'

I do believe many of them would've jumped on the opportunity, and I regret I wasn't able to assist bioware in this capacity, but work and life come first for me. Regardless of this statement, I do believe that they have the capacity for it as well, but this is a debate that we do not have relevant info on and will only see. If the launch is smooth, all we can really do is speculate that they 'had the resources' for it.

EDIT: At bouba, I found one article on it @ here! It sounds like while it may have had a bad release, it is still a popular game. I've seen it references a number of times, so perhaps it wasn't as killed off as one might think?

XTREDEN's Avatar


XTREDEN
12.13.2011 , 06:42 PM | #10
I like the pre-order/pre-start idea, I think it could be improved just by announcing the schedule. If others are like me, it's not the fact that some are in and some are waiting and worried they wont get in early. It's the not knowing when that is frustrating. If there is a possibility that I could get in 1-7 days early, and they told me I ended up getting 3 days early I could plan for it and have time to get over my mood.

My biggest beef is I am sitting here at my computer waiting for an email so I can play. It's like bieng in the waiting room and no doctor showing up to tell you one way or the other. If they say "Hey, sorry, more people than expected. We can give you 1 day" I am like "cool, get your server situated so I can be all smiles when I play".

That and the whole redemption code bs is really stupid.