EverQuest’s new Aradune server struggles with nasty queues

    
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Not to be left out of the launch fiascos of last week, EverQuest is struggling in getting its two new progression servers operating the right way. There were a number of day one technical issues, but the ongoing issue seems to be excessive queues on the Aradune shard that everyone wants to join.

One player reported that not only were there queues several hours long, but that players had to be camping the login screen itself to make sure that they didn’t miss their small “acceptance” window and be thrust back into the queue to wait even longer. Others have noted that the game has crashed after logging in, which also sent them back into the queue.

Over the past weekend, Daybreak addressed the situation, saying, “We know lots of you are excited to play on Aradune, and wanted to provide an update. We’ve been monitoring queue times for the server closely and at this time we’re at the maximum capacity it can safely handle. We have noticed, If you have a flexible play time, there have been little to no queues between 12 AM and 7 AM PDT. We have made changes to the AFK timer to improve queue flow and are continuing to look at further improvements to reduce queue times during peak hours.”

MMO blog Ancient Gaming Noob wondered if this might call for a sister server: “The question now is whether the pressure on the Aradune server is something Daybreak can manage until the population spreads out and the initial enthusiasm wears off, at which point the queues will likely disappear, or if they will need to add an additional server, the old school way to solve this sort of problem.”

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kjempff
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kjempff

The problem is that classic eq is very limited in terms of content. Every expansion up to incl Planes of Power more or less double the content every time.
So basically we have like 3000 concurrent players competing for end content that can hold 100 players. Picks makes it a bit better but as we all know the number of players needed to spawn new instances is set way too low to work well… so in best case we could say end content for 300 players to be shared between 3000 = making alts and competing for spots is what you do in classic.

This is why 3 month unlock is stupid… even more stupid to make two servers at the same time both with 3 month unlocks. Last year they got it right with the Selo server that started in Luclin and progressed fast, immensely popular and for good reason. Either make a fast moving server from classic to quickly unlock enough content for all the players who want to play, OR start from a later expansion that has enough content for all players and this can work with 3 month unlocks.
Actually I think unlock times should be matched to the expansion, starting in Kunark:
classic+kunark=1month, velious=2 months, luclin=2 months, pop+ldon+loy=3 months, …

Obviously in a month when the first sub runs out half the population will drop out, both because they got their “eq fix” and also because doing classic for 3 months is just … mind numbing even for a casual.

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squid

They tried the extra server a couple days after launch thing with Ragefire/Lockjaw. It successfully killed both servers a few months down the line (though six month unlocks certainly did their part as well).

The better path would be a smarter AFK-kicker. Everyone I know who rolled on Aradune uses an auto-clicker when they’re not playing so they don’t get logged out and don’t have to queue up again the next time they want to play.

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Ironwu

Would be nice. But with the ability to program macros into mouse and keyboard, it would be extremely difficult to detect such things. Especially if one includes timing randomizers.

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squid

I know, but anything that raises the level of complexity would reduce the number of users and open up space for actual players. A movement requirement, for instance, would make the AFKers more vulnerable to being ‘messed with’ or being shown to be macroing, if GMs care about such things.

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Ironwu

These old school EQ servers and software tech are not like the hardware and software of today. They cannot just throw in some more blades and spool up additional zone instances on the same server. When they say that the server is at “…maximum capacity…”, they mean the total of ALL players on the server. Not just the ones in the specific zones.

The only way to reduce the actual player count is for players to stop playing on those servers. Having the population ‘…spread out…’ will do nothing. Certainly zones can be overloaded, but zone population is not what Daybreak was referencing hear.

So, the ‘old school’ solution of an additional server (then, inevitable merge) will probably be the solution.