WildStar struggles with lag, bugs after F2P conversion [Updated]

It’s been a long and stressful day-and-a-half for both WildStar players and Carbine, as the game’s free-to-play patch resulted in horrendous lag, lengthy queues, and critical bugs such as not being able to create new characters.

Carbine has taken the game servers down multiple times since Wednesday morning to attempt to rectify the issues. “We’ve been working hard to address the problems arising from the added strain, and we’ve already performed a number of hotfixes — as well as short maintenances and restarts over the last couple days — aimed at optimizing the service to reduce lag, shorten queue times, and help with character creation delays,” the studio posted.

The team said that it will continue to perform on-the-spot maintenance as needed in the near future and encouraged players to follow the operations team on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.

Source: Reddit, official forums #1, #2 . Thanks to the Grand Nagus for the tip!
Update: Reader Leiloni has pointed to tweets from some of the devs tirelessly working to fix the game:

Reddit thumbed-up this sacrifice.

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DarkWombat
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DarkWombat

ColdinT  I was all prepared for something deep and insightful with that first
sentence, but turns out you’re just a troll. I’m left disappointed.

CathyHoyns
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CathyHoyns

Listen I think this game is fun and has a lot of potential.  There was a rush of players that came in some old, some new and it was causing horrendous lag times, ques, etc.  But they have since added some additional servers and I have noticed a great deal of improvement.  From time to time it still gets really laggy, I do think it must be a memory leak because when I shut the client down and restart my computer it is completely lag and glitch free for at least an hour.  Anyway, I have seen other games have similar issues and it is always dicey when a new game comes out or if a game goes FTP suddenly.  Be thankful you don’t have to spend money to play this game.  It is worth at least playing around with for awhile, give it a chance folks.

Obzedat
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Obzedat

Sazri Obzedat So people playing this game are all new to the game?  Why the goldrush?  If nothing has changed since launch, other then removing a monthly sub, why are people playing it unless they never played before.  Which makes my question a valid one – what has changed?  If I got bored after a month, going F2P isn’t going to change that.

DugFromTheEarth
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DugFromTheEarth

Valkyriez Love how everything is black and white to some people. The mutliple shades of grey in between just dont exist i take it?

Yes, taking the extreme examples of what I stated above, you could have a game that took 15 years to make, and 500 million dollars to produce. On the flip side, you could have a game that took 10 dollars to make, and only 1 day.

My point about IMPROVING things, was never about the most extreme method of betterment. If a game was crap because they only spent 3 months testing it… then take 6 months. (but see what you did, was automatically bump it to 6 years, making it sound outrageous).

Any amount of money above what they have spent, and any amount of time above what they have spent, only work towards making an improvement.  Spending one more day may only improve 0.01% of the problems, but thats STILL an improvement. Spending 1 more month might actually fix 10% more bugs and tech issues.

Valkyriez
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Valkyriez

You just made a game that costs so much to make that it never recoups it’s cost and clears a profit. Spending ages on development and hardware only makes it more expensive to make and obsolete when it releases.

wjowski
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wjowski

ManastuUtakata BKone Samizdat 
And between all this they couldn’t be arsed to set up more server space?

wjowski
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wjowski

Skyewauker DugFromTheEarth 
And here comes the bog-standard ‘Let’s see you do better!’ apologist, right on schedule.

wjowski
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wjowski

Skyewauker Neo_Wolf 
Except this isn’t a launch.

wjowski
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wjowski

Zariarn MeddlingMage 
How much more time could it possibly need?

wjowski
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wjowski

Wildstar shitting the bed, as usual.

yeahreally
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yeahreally

Man, they really can’t catch any breaks, huh? I feel sad for the development team that they have to put in so many hours right now to get things fixed.

Sazri
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Sazri

Obzedat Why would a game going F2P change your personal tastes? You have weird expectations.

AlexSmithWI
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AlexSmithWI

Zariarn MeddlingMage This isn’t a new game though.  It’s been out for over a year now.

Obzedat
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Obzedat

So, I quit Wildstar after 30 days back when it launched.  If I got bored with the game then, how is making it F2P going to change that?  I don’t get it.

RicharddeLeonIII
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RicharddeLeonIII

solipsis Quincha You may want to have that checked…male breast cancer is not pretty….

Zariarn
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Zariarn

MeddlingMage Give it some time.  All MMOs have rough starts.

MeddlingMage
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MeddlingMage

My computer MORE than meets the min specs for this game, and I play several much more intensive games (far cry, total war, sc2 etc) this game will literally go black, music stuck in a loop, and give my computer a hard restart. Ive seen many other posts on the issue and it seems like a memory leak or something. I just can’t play the game anymore, nothing worse than being in the middle of a quest or even simply going through your inventory and getting a restart

DugFromTheEarth
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DugFromTheEarth

Skyewauker Leilonii BryanCole Just to clarify here. The number of players has always been known to be the source of the problem. However, “lag” in the tradditional sense, is not the only negative side effect from all these players. 

For instance, when it comes to the way databases work, they process requests on a queue system. The more frequent the requests, and the more complex the requests, the longer the queue gets. This isnt lag, this is legitimate waiting in line.  Its also something that can be improved through multiple means. First most, reducing the number of database calls that need to be made by each player, both the number and the frequency.  Beefing up the DB servers can help as well, splitting the servers can help too. Database issues, in addition to the lag delay, are one of the reasons why it takes so long to loot, get your mail, retrieve items from your account storage, turning in quests, characters to be finalized when making a new character, etc etc.

DugFromTheEarth
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DugFromTheEarth

Skyewauker DugFromTheEarth

I wanted to address this seperately:

“You make it sound like they want this shit to happen lol.”

So a man leaves his house and shuts the door behind him. He doesnt lock the door, or have a house alarm. Does he want to be robbed?

No, clearly he doesnt. Perhaps he thinks shutting the door is enough to protect himself (ie: ignorance)

Perhaps he doesnt want to spend the money on an alarm system (cutting costs but taking a risk)

Perhaps he hasnt the time to stop and actually lock the deadbolt with his key because he is late (rushed time)

None of these elements mean he WANTS to be robbed. However, there are still MANY things he can still do to improve his chances of NOT being robbed.

DugFromTheEarth
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DugFromTheEarth

Skyewauker DugFromTheEarth Wow… so let ignorance be your reason for acceptance? Thats a great way to go through life.

I already stated that it takes both time and money. So lets break those 2 elements down into how it can help IMPROVE (not make flawless) the situation.

Time:
1.  Start by taking more time to develop. Games these days are rushed out the doors (mostly due to impatient publishers who want money faster). When games are rushed, there are going to be more issues that dont get resolved. Spending more time on something, means catching more of the problems because you have the time to do so

2. Man hours spent. So your game development time is 1 year. You can have 1 person working 8 hours a day on it, or 200 people working 8 hours a day. Most studios cut costs by not having enough workers putting in working hours. This leads to many dev studios being over worked and burnt out. 1 Dev working 40 hours of over time isnt going to be as efficient as 2 devs each putting in a normal 40 hours

3. More time for testing. Again, this falls back a bit on #1, but its now placing a time element on testers, rather than just on the devs. Game testing these days has turned into a “Paid early access” privilage, rather than tradditional, old school testing. Many of the common issues gamers see at launch dont get seen during testing because they dont have enough people testing, for a long enough period of time. For example, not ONCE did Carbine do a real server stress test during the F2P beta.

Money:
1. Hire the people with the skills to do the job correctly the first time. Companies cut costs by hiring lesser skilled people so they dont have to pay them as much. It happens often, and not just in game development. In Wildstars case, its clear that their database engineers are NOT top of their skillset. Possibly true about the server team as well.

2. Research. Mmos have been on the market for nearly 20 years now, yet companies keep making the same mistakes. Many of the database issues Wildstar is suffering from with F2P are very similar to the same database problems WoW had at the initial release over 10 years ago. Invest money and research into learning from past mistakes.

3. Spend money. Not just on anything, but on the things it needs to be spent on to get the job done right. Every business has to spend money to make money. This is a common known thing in any business.  Its also the risk every business takes, because if what they are “selling” doesnt take off, they might not make back what they invested. When you dont invest enough into getting something done, it shows by the mistakes and problems that pop up when its ready to hit the market.

Again, none of this will make things perfect. I never claimed there was a godly fix, only that things CAN be better than they have been. As long as gamers keep throwing money at their screen and defending the same companies for their mistakes and sometimes intentional shortcommings, things will never change.  As long as gamers think, “If it cant be made perfect, then its pointless to even try to improve things”, then companies wont even bother trying. Why should they? They still get their money, without having to try as hard because they dont fear their customers leaving.

You say their careers depend on good launches? No, they really dont, Because they know the gaming industry, over the years, has come to accept failure for things like game launches, and that all will be well again after a week or so.

Deathage
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Deathage

DugFromTheEarth except that no one is “buying” anything. More like at one point someone “bought” the car (subscribers) and now 30 of his friends want to pile into the back for a free ride, blowing out the wheels from the strain. You’re right, gaming consumers are quite different from other consumers, but its because they expect a new shiny perfectly working car for free

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Cartap ManastuUtakata 
The only way this will be a problem if the issues persist after 2 weeks. My experience and understanding with most MMO launches is that most issues like these have cleared up by then. I am strongly suspecting this will be no different with WildStar. /shrug
Edit: For some clarification.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Serrenity ManastuUtakata 
To be fair, I am not sure the intention BKone was a hate on for WS. But the question he or she phrased was mostly likely a JAQ’off, hence my heated objections to it. Thus I wouldn’t be surprised it was leading in that direction. And to think, some of the responders in that dispute should of been aware of this tactic from their dealings with Manzes and Smart. /sigh

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Red Alert  ManastuUtakata Samizdat 
*Glances towards Lumbetown in TERA*
Eh…okay. :(
…but thanks for clarifying that! <3

Serrenity
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Serrenity

ManastuUtakata The rage for arm-chair developers claiming the death of WS or criticizing architecture decisions they know less than nothing about is strong with me today.

Serrenity
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Serrenity

Wild_Phil Greaterdivinity It’s almost like you don’t have all the information to accurately criticize their decisions … or something. 
Seriously, if someone could solve this problem they would be shouting it from the roof tops.  This idea that develops sit around drinking scotch and smoking cigars while finding the laziest way to do this is really insulting.  These people’s livelihoods depend on successful launches therefore its FAR more plausible that this is an issue that no knows how to solve, and if it were as easy as throwing “throwing a couple thousand more dollars at a problem” you can guarantee they would, because that is the ultimate easy way out.  The fact that this continues to be an issue does more than anything else to demonstrate that this is not a simple issue with a simple solution.

Detton
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Detton

I’ve been able to play, and so far, i’m enjoying myself.  Mostly just plodding through the first few levels rather than socialize around (most of what you see in the chat channels is related to how much lag people are getting, but since i’m not seeing any, I didn’t want to include myself in the convo and derail it.)

Neo_Wolf
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Neo_Wolf

Skyewauker Neo_Wolf Oh I agree that there is no such thing as an issue free test but as I say this is not their first game much of this they should have been prepared for/dealt with before.

but that aside the minimal I think most people expect is to actually be able to log into the game, which seems to be something they are struggling with even lol

I just hope all these issues don’t drive too many folks away before they get to try the game finally.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

Neo_Wolf Skyewauker I meant in regards to the stress that the servers are under and a developer’s ability to roll out a lag free launch / re-launch.  
I have tested games since the SWG days where you had to pay for them to mail you the disks lol.  Never have I seen a game launch without the issues that Wildstar is going through right now, regardless of how “successful” stress tests are. 
The real stress test is the launch.

Neo_Wolf
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Neo_Wolf

Skyewauker Neo_Wolf I can tell you emphatically when Beta/alpha meant something with regard to MMO’s because I have beta tested MANY of them.  Back in the day it was more than a preview you had to sign NDA’s, and got rewarded with free copies of games for participating in them etc..  you had to right detailed bug reports and feedback.  You had to focus on specific things from test to test..

Of course this was all before the time of beta = free preview and we sell you beta access which is the current era lol

times do not always change for the better :)

Vexia
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Vexia

It’s to be expected. I want to give WildStar a chance, so I’m going to wait it out. If we keep seeing these issues in subsequent weeks, then I’ll start worrying. I guess my only concern at the moment is that not only are the first few days following a (re)launch some of the most stressful for the game’s servers and systems, they’re also critically important for securing a healthy player base population. 
But in the end, I do feel for the people who end up working extreme overtime to bring everything back up to speed. Get some rest!

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Tridus pkudude99 A Dad Supreme I mostly agree with the illusion of choice – i.e. the old WoW talent trees really were look up the approved build.

But Rift, at least for non raiders, did provide choice.  Solo leveling I found my stealth plus tank spec.  It may not have been viable for group content but I am clever enough to avoid that.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Samizdat Serrenity usagizero DPandaren Yeah.  The Holy Grail is cloud computing – just ask any company selling it. OTOH, CU was using some could servers so maybe someday we could get there for some things

Red Alert
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Red Alert

ManastuUtakata Red Alert  Samizdat Actually i wasn’t talking about performance issues alone. I was refering more to the community. The first month of an mmo’s transition to F2P usually attracts the worst the gaming community has to offer in terms of players. Not to mention the insane amount of gold seller spammers inflation. So a month or even maybe two is a good period to avoid all that drama.

Mikey Moo
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Mikey Moo

there was a loooooooot of data being loaded by the servers between the item conversions, new players, regular players, returning players, etc…But it seems to be working now I just tried for a few minutes and there was no lag or anything.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

DugFromTheEarth The alternative is to do what?  How would you fix the problem?  Please enlighten us good sir.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

Leilonii BryanCole I lag from just running around.  So false.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

Neo_Wolf You do realize that we are all pretty much DDoSing the game right?  It might have launched a bit over a year ago, but this is just like a newly launched game with the amount of players hitting it at once.

MaxSand
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MaxSand

I am willing to wait. It’s a quality title(one I was skeptical of before it launched last year) and When everything is stable, it will likely be my main MMO. Just gotta give it some time.

Wild_Phil
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Wild_Phil

Greaterdivinity Wild_Phil Sure most people who try it never spend a cent.  Most people who actively play F2P games never spend a single penny.

But this a reluannch of the game which means trying to appeal to potential new players.  You only get so many first impressions regardless of how many times you ‘launch’.

What I especially don’t get in the MMO industry is easily spending $1 million a month on average every month for multiple years and then getting stingy a launch.

Spending that extra tens of thousands on hardware is pocket change in the grand scheme of things.  Even if they only need it for a week it more than pays for itself when you consider the negative publicity created.

Greaterdivinity
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Greaterdivinity

Wild_Phil I’m aware of that, but they also know that not everyone who tries F2P, and in fact the vast majority of people who will try F2P, will not stick around beyond even the first week or month.

Leilonii
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Leilonii

BryanCole I think that what others have said on the forums and reddit regarding the lag is correct, and that it’s not server lag at all. It’s lag related to earning XP, or getting quest updates, getting loot, things like that. Because everything is fine until a mob dies or something like that, so perhaps a code problem or a bug that needs fixing.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Serrenity Madda 
Madda-san told you so! :(

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

ManastuUtakata BKone Samizdat 
Thanks for cleaning that now moderated heated exchange up, Bree ‘n Compnay. And my apologies…I should be far less testy in my approach at times. /bows

anatheod
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anatheod

Yeah i had issues logging in and that freakin daily reward spam doesnt seem to end… i am sitting this one out till it gets fixed. GW2’s BW3 is coming this weekend so i can keep myself occupied with other stuff.
 I kinda expected to see issues since this is a big patch and introduces a lot of stuff in the game. Its not the 1st time it has happened to me either. People, be reasonable. Its not like your losing money from your subscription now.

MetaDune
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MetaDune

Yea usually there’s a test server to iron out most of the big bugs out

Wild_Phil
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Wild_Phil

Greaterdivinity Wild_Phil “They’re not expecting everyone to stick around, the data shows that
doesn’t happen. So those people will leave regardless, while the more
dedicated players and those who are more interested and more likely to
play will remain with the game.”
I think you missed the whole point of why they had to convert to F2P for revenue in the first.  They weren’t making enough from a small, more dedicated playerbase to continue.

ColdinT
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ColdinT

solipsis DPandaren They didn’t get anything. I was one of the first 1000 into the game, and the only thing I got was about an hour in the game before everyone else.

Letting people in early was purely just to see if the servers were okay.

MetaDune
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MetaDune

FF14 is basically a new game, been reworked so I won’t say its a typical relaunch like most mmos goes to ftp

Greaterdivinity
Guest
Greaterdivinity

Wild_Phil The same applies to the initial launch, the foundation of the game and its entire revenue is based around volume then, too.
Every game has trouble handling volume at launch, and that’s fine. It’s frustrating, but dumping money on enough hardware to handle everyone is a waste. Not only is that pricey, and even moreso when you need to spend the time spinning much of the hardware down in a month when it’s no longer needed, but developers expect players to quit after a day or two. They’re not expecting everyone to stick around, the data shows that doesn’t happen. So those people will leave regardless, while the more dedicated players and those who are more interested and more likely to play will remain with the game.
Basically, those that are likely going to be spending money aren’t the ones who are quitting because they couldn’t log in day one.

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