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On SWTOR Queues

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website outlines BioWare's concern over reports of long player queues to access Star Wars: The Old Republic, their MMORPG in the midst of its early access period. Here's word from Live Services Executive Producer Jeff Hickman:

We know there have been questions about the queues on the servers, so we wanted to take a moment to give you some insight.

In order to ensure that the service would be smooth and stable, we staged how we brought people into the Early Game Access program, adding people in waves. As you know, there are a lot of folks who want to play the game right now and we want to make sure they have lots of people to play with. Balancing this with figuring out when to bring new servers online to help alleviate the size of the queues is part art and part science. On one hand, you do not want people to wait too long – on the other hand, you want to make sure that people have a dynamic, engaging community to play with for long after launch. Either way, we have one clear objective – to make sure folks have fun.

While we can’t promise that there won’t ever be queues, we can promise you that we are taking this matter seriously and constantly reviewing them to make sure that they are manageable and reasonable.

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37. Re: On SWOTR Queues Dec 19, 2011, 13:22 briktal
 
entr0py wrote on Dec 19, 2011, 12:10:
Nin is right, they constantly add new servers, that's not the problem.

But there's a catch 22. If they do cap new account creation on a server (especially before official launch) it will cause massive rage among guildmates who want to play with their friends. If they don't cap new accounts, people will keep piling into the highest population original servers and cause long queues. Though so far my longest queue was 45 minutes at peak, compared to 6 hours on RIFT.

But in the beta it seemed that every world could be instanced on the same server several times over. My question is why they can't just instance everything as much as needed, and get rid of server population caps all together.

I think they attempted to manage the guild issue with the pre-release guild system. You could create a guild and have people join it and even set friendly and enemy guilds. A day or two before the early access started, they did some matchmaking stuff (I guess) and assigned those guilds a server. Then when you created a character on your guild's server, you automatically received an invite. That, and they probably hoped that people who wanted to play together had decided on it some time back and got an early preorder.

Instancing could work, but it would come at the expense of "server community" and (I'd imagine) bring some potential data-related performance issues. It could possibly cause issues with the economy as well, due to the volumes involved.
 
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