Elder Scrolls Online implements temporary queues for EU megaserver thanks to burgeoning playerbase

    
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Generally speaking, all MMORPG developers seek more players. More players means more money, right? Except when it means server problems.

That’s exactly what’s been going on in The Elder Scrolls Online the last few months. According to ZeniMax, there’s been a “massive influx of players” to the game on the European side, causing “server performance issues for [its] players on the PC-EU megaserver, especially during prime-time hours.” In a note to players this morning, ZeniMax’s Matt Firor explained that the influx began in January.

“We’ve have had some of our highest weekly average user, daily active user, and peak concurrent user numbers in the last six weeks since we launched on console back in 2015,” he writes. “However, in late March, we really saw a huge spike in the number of users logging in, which led to too many concurrent users for the platform to effectively support. As a result, players on PC EU have seen a severe degradation in service. This degradation started in January, but has greatly accelerated in the last week – lag spikes, disconnects, inability to zone from instance to instance, weird interactions with LFG, etc.”

(Interesting note: Firor says EU is affected more heavily because the EU market is more highly PC-centric and because peak playtime isn’t as spread out as in NA since there are two timezones instead of four, creating higher peak usage.)

The bottom line? The studio’s implemented queues to handle it.

“As a short-term solution to address these issues, we are turning on a login queueing system for that server. Set in place to create an optimal player experience for our ESO fans playing on the PC-EU server, this queueing system allows for a set number of players to be in the game at a time. Players waiting in the queueing system will be able to enter the game as soon as a spot opens up. (Please note that your estimated on-screen wait time may not reflect your actual wait time.)”

The good news, especially for those grousing in the comments about paying a sub and still being confronted with queues, is that this is a temporary thing. That’s because ZOS is ultimately planning to boost capacity for the EU servers, “spinning up additional hardware in both our NA and EU datacenters in order to support our growing user base” since the company is “rapidly approaching the same problem in NA and want[s] to get ahead of it.”

Yeah, there are definitely worse problems to have.

Source: Official forums. Thanks, Panagiotis!
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Schlag Sweetleaf

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fus queue dah.gif
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Leo_Ascendent

I’m surprised they haven’t had these issues more often considering they decided against more than 2 servers outside of Cyrodil.

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Sana Tan

I believe them when they say the problem is the recent influx of new players, you can see how popular is becoming and apparently is receiving a lot of WoW players. But I hope they upgrade the servers soon because this must feel very bad for EU players.
I wonder if this big influx is from Russia and China since NA doesn’t seem to be suffering that much, or is it that EU servers are just worse?
Or maybe europeans have better taste and that’s why is more popular there? :P

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Frank White

“EU is affected more heavily because the EU market is more highly PC-centric and because peak playtime isn’t as spread out as in NA since there are two timezones instead of four, creating higher peak usage.”

Covynant001
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Covynant001

Clearly European players well understand the concept of PC Master Race. ;)

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Roger Melly

Well that is good to hear . I quite liked it until the one tamriel patch came out and after that questing became far too easy for me to enjoy it anymore . I still dip into it now and again when they have one of their weekends that unlock content that I don’t have .

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Dankey Kang

Back when ESO first came out, I didn’t think that it would last 2 years so it’s very surprising to see that it’s still growing even now; then again I think the elder scrolls brand is propping it up a lot.

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

Elder Scrolls brand didn’t help it when it came out. Quite opposite, actually, because people expectation were extremely high. It was nearly dead in 6 months after release. The reason why it’s doing this good now is that ZOS did change a lot of things and still do, Champion System was their weak point and they started to redo it from scratch. That’s the thing, they are not scared to look at their mistakes and work on them instead of simply adding more and more each content release as it happened to many other MMORPGs.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

The brand is basically what almost killed it.

People were ticked off that Bethesda wasn’t handling it themselves. They were ticked off that it didn’t look and play exactly like Skyrim. They were ticked off about a lot of things that they had no reason to be ticked off about – but basically the only thing the brand did when it was released was bring a bunch of critics and expectations for things from single player games that didn’t work quite as well in a MMORPG.

Those first people going into the game were all disappointed that it wasn’t some kind of advanced Skyrim Online and just badmouthed it all around and gave it bad reviews. Being Buy to Play at a time where many other games were free to play and try, a great many people just listened to the critics and didn’t buy the game. We put it off for other stuff that was out that we could try for free or what we were already playing. We didn’t want to buy a game that was getting nothing but complaints from the Elder Scrolls crowd.

Realistically, it could have shut down during the lull rather than continuing to go for it. Some companies *would have* shut it down rather than build on what they had.

We should be happy it didn’t get the Tabula Rasa treatment.

One of the biggest things people were upset about was that Zenimax was creating the game and not Bethesda. Fast forward a number of years and Bethesda tries to release their own quasi-MMORPG in Fallout 76 and it’s a disaster beyond disasters.

We don’t know what would have happened if Bethesda handled Elder Scrolls Online, but a lot of us imagine it would have gone something sort of like Fallout 76. Maybe now that they’ve got that disaster under their belts they’ll have the experience to not let it happen again, but looking at what they did for their first online multiplayer foray I’m glad they didn’t do ESO themselves.

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Siphaed

Can you imagine an online Elder Scrolls game completely lacking in NPCs? Just imagine it for a sec…

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Dankey Kang

I’m only going to speak from my experience here but the sole reason me and all my mates played it at release was because it was an elder scrolls game. (Skyrim online) Obviously the game was bad at release but this allowed them to make a substantial return on the development costs. Then the only reason my flatemates all played it was because it was an elder scrolls game, basically you have people that would never touch an mmo playing this game.

I’m glad that they’ve improved the game considerably since launch but I have an extremely difficult time believing that the elder scrolls brand has damaged the game.

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Akagi

It’s good that the game is still around, but the bad thing is they are catering to the casuals, which makes the game very easy and boring for people who want more of a challenge. PvP and PvE are all gear-dependent and gear grinding is like in WoW – you have to waste a LOT of time to acquire it.

On the surface it looks like a TES MMORPG, when you get into it, you realize its something of a WoW clone with a TES skin on top.

Definitely not a bad game, but a huge letdown if you want some challenge and are a real TES fan and see that this game doesn’t have one bit of freedom games like TES 3 Morrowind used to have…

I’m honestly having more fun playing TES 3 Morrowind over and over, over playing ESO honestly.

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

I’m not sure you actually played the game recently. Veteran trials and DLC dungeons are not easy in any way, casuals have their normal modes and happy with that. Gear farm is far from grind because everyone get their own loot and traits are changeable. Even Maelstrom is not as grindy as it was anymore. Freedom is right there, you are free to go wherever you want and do whatever you want. Is it Morrowind? Of course not. But your points are far from the truth.

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Tandor

I agree that the game is far from being too easy, other than in one respect. Players who want a challenge need to play the part of the game that is intended for that, notably the dungeons, trials, and PvP.

The one thing that should be changed, nonetheless, as part of any review of the Champion Points system is that its benefits should not be able to be applied to alts until they reach level 50. It’s hardly surprising that players running through the base game with low-level alts who have over 1,000 Champion Points find it easy. Kitting them out with all the best gear just compounds the issue.

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Schmidt.Capela

Kinda amusing that I’m reading this while literally playing a different Elder Scrolls (specifically Skyrim) on my other monitor.

Unfortunately I can’t quite stand ESO, though. Trying to play it only results in myself uninstalling it and going back to one of the older, offline Elder Scrolls games where I can mod it to my heart’s content and assume full control over the game world.

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Ironwu

I certainly understand where you are coming from here. Skyrim really has a lot more depth in some of its systems than ESO, and the ability to be in full control of the world is a real draw.

ESO does shine in a number of areas though, and if one does not play deep into ESO, one might never see them.

Key to getting involved with ESO quickly is to find a good Adventure/Trade Guild (as opposed to a pure Trade Guild). The good ones do all sorts of events, dungeons, trials (raids), farming and other stuff. There is nothing quite like playing with other like minded folks, learning the game, getting help, and just plain socializing.

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Alex Willis

ESO and Warframe are good places for me to spend my time these days. Not just healthy, but thriving and forward-looking. You can feel the sense of optimism in both.

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Ironwu

Congratulations, Zenimax!

This is what happens when you make a superior game, support it, expand it, and improve it.

As opposed to other game companies which simply poop on their game, their customers, and their code – just to make more short term dollars. You all know who you are.

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drelkag

Good problem to have.

ESO is one of those rare games that gets better with age.