Path of Exile addresses messy Ultimatum launch, says giving streamers queue priority was a mistake

Did they just now realize that sucking up to streamers ticks everyone else off?

With or without Ryan Lewis.

In a week that should be full of heady excitement for Path of Exile players, thanks to the release of the Ultimatum league, the mood has taken a turn for the worse due to a messy rollout and a decision to cater to prominent streamers over the rest of the playerbase, which has royally ticked off regular players.

Grinding Gear Games addressed the mess in a new post, saying, “The decision to allow any streamers to bypass the queue was clearly a mistake. Instead of offering viewers something to watch while they waited, it offended all of our players who were eager to get into the game and weren’t able to, while instead having to watch others enjoy that freedom.” The studio vowed to not repeat this decision in the future.

As for the technical issues, including server instability, the studio said that an error on its part caused a super-slow queue and kept ejecting players from the game. This problem resulted in, as Grinding Gear said, “catastrophically ruining [that] launch day.” Fortunately, the issue has since been identified and corrected.

Source: Path of Exile. Cheers, Pepperzine.

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Now.. Is it time that we discuss the concept of “streamer luck” as well ? Or shall we keep pretending it is just random chance.


Problems fixed. Day two just the regular random pausing but that always happened anyways.


Had it been any other league launch people would have been annoyed at the Streamer priority queuing but it wouldn’t have been a big deal. I can’t even think of a league where queues weren’t just part of the first few hours and then you never saw a queue rest of the league.

However with the straight up dumpster fire of a league launch everyone was disconnecting and dumped into that queue which just made everyone even more hyper focused on the fact others were able to just bypass the queue right back in. I have really low sympathy that they were “burning money” by not letting the people they paid to stream to get in right away: Not because I couldn’t play but because it seems like a really bad business decision to cram some 30k viewer Streamer onto launch day when anything can go wrong. I mean the very least they knew there’d be a queue and gave them queue priority which why are you paying someone to show off your game at arguably the worst possible time.

Kevin Smith

Was really bad for them with this launch. I agree letting streamers bypass the queue was a horrible idea. There was 180k people trying to get in to see a person jump that just because they were a streamer really set a bad tone. Wouldn’t have been as bad if people were not getting a DC about ever 5 to 10 mins to just have to sit in the queue again to seem others just pass the queue again.

It felt like those that got in first and were ahead didn’t get the bog down and get kicked by the servers because they were in different parts ahead of the average player. That is the biggest issue those ahead just got further and further ahead. When the average player can’t stay connected for more than 15 or so mins you are going to have a lot of bad press. They should have just turned off all the first notifications because that just seemed to upset people more and more as the DC’s kept coming.

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Totes McGoats

People are such whiners.

Yes – the streamers are more important – the company is literally paying some of them to play the game!

Do people get so triggered when a film critic gets a screening of a sold-out movie?


The answer is yes, only TRUE fans should get the first viewing and if a critic does get a seat, they’re morally obligated to write only good things.

Writing a negative review for the screening of a big hyped up movie is a sure way to get death threats.


If the reviewer notes that admission was free in their review and and when people complain he says he doesn’t know why everyone else had to pay, then yes, that is stupid.

If streamers knew they were getting an experience everyone else was not and didn’t say so that is a problem. And if they do say so, that is also a problem because they could be the ones either looking like assholes when it’s the company that should be taking the hits. That’s probably what resulted in the statement we have above.

And if the company wasn’t forthright with everyone, including the streamers, that they were getting perks that is also a problem.

Both the game companies and many (perhaps most?) streeamers suffer from a lack of ethics which compounds the problem.

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Except Wilson gave a talk at GDC a year or two back about how exciting league launches were because it was a “level playing field”, and this decidedly removes that level playing field for many of the people that need it the least. It wasn’t just sponsored streamers, they gave it to a lot of non-sponsored community streamers too. Yes, all of them will be far ahead of the rest of us because they’re largely better and play WAY more than most of us, but a lot of folks like the early races and want to see how close they can get to the streamers/be a part of the launch day action.

I get why they did it, they thought it was queue issues and had no idea there was something more serious going on. And were it a normal league launch, people may have been a bit miffed but wouldn’t be anywhere near as upset.

This has nothing to do with film critics getting pre-screeners at all. These streamers aren’t product reviewers/critics, them seeing movies early doesn’t give them any “advantage” over the rest of us, movies are a passive experience. This is a bad comparison.


A movie critic is never paid or works for the company that made that movie. They work for a print or media company. Streamers are paid in one way or another by the game developers or the publisher to play their game. So that´s the first important difference. Streamers are not neutral, their opinion is almost every time biased because of the money that flows directly or indirectly.

Second streamers are not more important than the players, they are advertisement whores basically. It´s not the streamers who keep games alive it´s the players that do that. Streamers are like a plague of locusts, they move quickly from game to game if there is not something to earn any more.

Bryan Correll

It´s not the streamers who keep games alive it´s the players that do that.

I remember a time when there was no such thing as streaming, and yet we still managed to play games.

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I feel bad for them, it was pretty much a perfect storm of bad bugs and unforced errors. Feel bad for the streamers too, folks like Zizz that found out they had priority and asked for it to be removed were still getting harassed in chat for being given that perk which IIRC he didn’t ask for.

I’m not remotely mad at GGG for the server issues, shit happens and the explanation from Chris makes a lot of sense. I even get why they’d instantly think to give priority queue to the streamers they paid on launch day (though paying for streamers on launch day is…not a great move given the history of POE servers come launch day). It’s not something they did maliciously or anything, it was well intentioned…it just made everything so much worse : (

But I’m at least glad to see the community realizes they’re not some scrappy little indie dev and have the resources to plan/communicate better than this. Shit happens, and hopefully the next league won’t be this bad, because it’s gonna take them a while to clean up issues with duping etc. since apparently some of the bigger streamers were abusing the server issues to dupe thousands of exalts. Specifically that one streamer that justified him and his group having priority access because, “life isn’t fair, there are kids starving in africa and you’re sitting in a queue” or along those lines. I guess he’s trying to clean that up now (don’t want to name drop) but man was that a bad look for him.

Really, really glad I’m not super interested in playing right at the start, this would be frustrating. And hopefully the server/coder folks that were frantically trying to find the problems can get some rest now.

Good news though, fragment tabs have been massively improved!

And bad news…harvest is massacred. Seeing screenshots of plots with 1-3 craft options. I guess it’s much more in-line with other league mechanics in terms of power now but damn if they didn’t kill the fun/excitement of it, even if most of the time your crafts weren’t too valuable.


Behold the mighty streamer, lording it over the peon rubes who pay their salary. Truly they are the best among men.

Jeremy Barnes

I’m starting to think livestreaming was a mistake and we may need a world war or two to make it stop.


I wonder who’ll be the first to stream it?