New World, Day 2: Where Amazon’s new MMO stands on queues, concurrency, servers, and transfers

    
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It’s been almost 24 hours since the final region of New World went live, and those have been an interesting 24 hours, as anyone who saw our coverage yesterday knows. If not, then let’s get you up to speed!

Concurrency: The game saw a peak concurrency of 707,000 people yesterday afternoon – that counts everyone in the game and trying to log into the game and sitting in queues. (That peak might’ve been higher but for EU server and login troubles when the game hit primetime overseas.) At one point, almost a million people were watching the game on Twitch. Overall, the huge numbers put the game in the top spot for players on Steam yesterday, pushing past even the usual titles like DOTA. As I type this Wednesday morning (EDT), around half a million people are already logged in and playing around the world, but while queues are minimal in the Americas right now, Europe and Oceania are already suffering again. That leads us to…

Queues: They’re not calling it “Queue World” for nothing. The huge crush of people and the apparently low server capacity ensured that the majority of people trying to log in at any given time yesterday were actually waiting in a queue. The overall number of folks in each server’s queue is listed on the server selection screen, though servers each appear to have several different queues depending on the area of the server you’re trying to log into. This also means that some queues that appear short actually took a long time; it took me three hours to get through a 60-person queue into a lowbie zone last night. Our testing confirmed that once a server hit 25,000 people total in a queue, newcomers were simply errored-out. And yes, several regions did see servers with that many people in line for a single server – including Australia, which is usually neglected.

Servers: To alleviate some of those queues, Amazon announced that it would be expanding capacity for existing servers and firing up new servers, which it did last night, adding more servers in particular to US East and Australia.

Transfers: All those new servers wouldn’t do much good if you’re already rolling on existing ones, so Amazon also announced that it will be granting free transfers to everyone “in the next two weeks” – the idea is you can roll on an underpopulated server now, play, and then move to the server you really wanted later once the launch crowds have died down. MMO veterans will probably be leery of this, having lived through one or two (or 20) similar launch promises in the past, but if you haven’t gotten very far in the game and don’t need to be on a server for a specific community, it’s a solid option.

Bugs: Bug reports have been relatively minimal, apart from login crashes. Amazon did report last night that it had fixed “a few player log-in issues that caused the majority of the longer queue times in the last 18 hours.” The only major issue I’ve witnessed myself is the left-click attack bug, though of course you can see the whole list of what people have reported so far on the official forums. The juicier bugs are definitely going to make mainstream headlines; as MOP reader Megan pointed out, some folks have a reported a nasty respawn bug.

Reviews: Reviews of the game on Steam yesterday were in free-fall at one point, dropping from around 66% when I first peeked to as low as 45% during the height of the queue situation yesterday, as angry red thumbs joined in the review-bomb and blasted Amazon for its server infrastructure and launch-day woes. The overall ratio has shifted overnight, with 52% now flagged positive, though overall it’s still set to “mixed.”

And beyond: MOP’s Chris got to play through part of the midgame and endgame on a press server prior to launch, finding that experience pretty different from the newbie experience most folks got to see during the betas, so if you’re still on the fence about playing or staying, you can give that a look. In the meantime, we’re looking ahead to what the rest of Wednesday – and then the game’s first weekend – to see what else the game and its playerbase have in store.

Update, afternoon 9/29
European friendos, Amazon has heard your pleas and is adding new servers.

Oh yeah, and that 707K record from yesterday? The game is besting it now as of 2:55 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.

Update
More South America and US East servers are en route:

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