Tobold's Blog
Saturday, May 17, 2008
AoC early access problems, what a surprise

In principle the Age of Conan early access should have started today. But of course the Funcom servers didn't hold up. You can't log into the game because the authentication servers are unreachable, and you can't visit the game website or the forum either, because they are down. And the saddest thing about that is that it doesn't surprise me at all. In fact I would have been surprised if that pre-launch would have gone well.

Age of Conan is coming out with perfect timing. People have grown bored enough already of the daily quests and the added content of WoW patch 2.4, and WAR and WotLK are still months away. Funcom could have made a killing, at least for half a year or so until the competition catches up. But if they aren't prepared for that many customers, and their infrastructure can't handle them, there will be a natural loss of frustrated players going on until the remaining numbers are just big enough for Funcom to handle. One would have thought they had learned something from Anarchy Online, but apparently they didn't.
Woah there :)

The servers aren't due to be up for 5 minutes (5pm GMT), and it looks like they're setting up the new forums to replace the old one, so not quite time to doom and gloom just yet.
I really enjoyed your Funcom slam...servers not even up yet...but lets start predicting Funcoms demise...
Nice is NOW 5 minutes after start..and the server is not up yet..
The main site has returned, and the forums are being redone now..

I will give it an hour...then I would suggest you do the "Doom and Gloom"
Dang (ps: I have yet to see a game come up on time...and this includes the oh so wonderful launch of LOTRO)
A 3 hour delay has been you may Doom and Gloom
Actually, the early access of EU LotRO came online a day earlier than scheduled :)
Back to WoW
Well, I can't say I'm surprised, but I'm prepared to hold off on the doom and gloom for another few hours..
"I have yet to see a game come up on time..."

Other than the massive queues, how did WoW do on it's first day? I'm asking because I don't remember the details, and I joined only on the second week.
Patcher now says there's a delay, new start time 8 p.m.
Er, I should mention that that's 8 p.m. GMT.
People can defend Funcom all they want. The fact is they had to have known the launch would be delayed, but didn't inform people until the very minute the game was to go live. Can you think of a better way to piss off the loyal customers who have payed extra to get into a game early.

Don't be surprised in 3 hrs time to see another delay, on the very minute the game was suppose to go live again.
Their forums are up, but requesting a log-in. Did they block out anonymous viewing or are they still not fully up?
>> Other than the massive queues, how did WoW do on it's first day? I'm asking because I don't remember the details, and I joined only on the second week.

There were issues. There was a big problem with looting for a few weeks, where your character would get stuck kneeling down.
I believe it was announce that the forums would be down today to change from the beta to the permanent forums. Including adding sub-forums for classes and what not.
Wow, I normally come here and really enjoy the blogs posted.

This one was just a nice kick in the pants to read. Its a huge freakin game with thousands upon thousands of players waiting to play. They went ahead and did Early Access as a nice tip of the hat for those players *a $5 tip of the hat*. Im frustrated myself that I cant play the game yet, or look up information on their forums about what the hell is going on. But im sure as hell not going to cast doom and gloom on Funcom for this.

Bloody hell, events like this rarely run smoothly. I work for a tax preparation software company, where we run our own E-Filing Center. Every season we prepare the EF Center to handle a greater load than the previous year, and guess what happens?
Our shit always goes down. All the planning in the word cant really stem the fact that your going to be recieveing a load of information that should buckle and collapse any server structure.

Same freakin deal here with any MMO launches nowadays. Even though im pissed about it, I commend Funcom for trying to launch with their game actually working rather than to have it work and break every time you try something.

I've been in World of Warcraft launch, WoW:TBC launch, LotR launch, Hellgate London Launch, TR launch, Eve Online launch, Ragnarok Online launch, and countless others. Each and everyone of them had issues either at launch, or the first quater of gaming.

So piss off with this Doom and Gloom shit.
I agree with the anonymous poster who was fed up over the blog post of DOOM

I always came here as well, enjoying the intelligent conversation, but I could tell you had it in for AoC as soon as you got into OB...

I understand you like WoW...but, really...that game is getting long in the tooth, and we should be trying to support any new MMO developed....not take stabs at an up and coming title...

Lets hope release works better though as I am disappointed...but sure am not going to kick em while they are down (haha they are down...get it?....)
No surprise at all indeed, seems like a typical mmo launch. Seems the "final testing and tweaking" will take another hour or so (till 2300 local here). A bit late if you ask me for final testing and tweaking. Not a good start. EA buyers (which includes me) may have paid for an extended beta of sorts.

The omen were there though: the strange restriction of EA entry, the keeping Beta servers live.
Well, my proclamations of Doom and Gloom were intended to be facetious.

I don't really think that a few hours delay will make a whole lot of difference to whether this game succeeds or not.

Heck, even if they cancel early access and give us all refunds for it, we'll all still be there in a few days time waiting to login.

The fate of AoC resides on whether or not it is a fun game that people want to keep playing. It has a fortunate launch window, and unless there are unprecedented server or client issues, it will live or die on its own merits.
Nice to see not many here actually want a change to the practice of bad launches and sub-par games at launch. Quite the enablers.
No...not this is not a LAUNCH but an Early Access..

Now, if this happens on opening day...then you bet...I will be screaming along with everyone else.

For now, I will be screaming for my 5 bucks...
I will want my full 10, whatever time that server comes up is when my 10 days starts..
Anyway you slice it, Early Access is a launch. Customers playing the game (not to test) == launch. They just have 2 phases of launch.

I am looking forward to more information, seems pretty slim pickings right now.
Yeah got my copy from EB/Gamestop in the mail friday and had no idea EA was sold out already, so kind of ticked off. Pre-orders should have been guaranteed EA. What they should do is just open all the servers up and let everyone in and either refund the $5 fee or give out free in-game item to make up for it.
Well, the EA became available here about 3 hours after the initial promise. And because of all the horror stories about performance, bugs. loading disasters and such i did expect the experience to be quite painful. But all in all it was rather smooth, even on my "mediocre" system (core 2 6600, 2gb, 8800gts 300mb). Loading was fast (<10 secs), at least in the beginner areas and i encountered no bugs. The game isnt revolutionary but its a change.
I'm reserving my final response until I get two more days of playing under my hat, but I had absolutely no problem getting into the game and playing once they got the servers up.

It seems you're predicting a crash and burn scenario with little real facts about the final retail product. Things could still crash and burn, as of this moment you're completely wrong.
Bit of a delay, a last minute patch, but after that seems fine; been playing the last few hours with no problems in game.
Yep, servers seemed stable, performance was good, and no crashes as yet. I'm pretty impressed so far.
I cannot be happier right now...
After playing several hours, starting two characters, not a single glitch or hiccup since open.
The games graphics have been enhanced even more, yet, not a bit of slowdown or issues...
I am so glad that a company has finally done something different than the normal crap out now..
Finally a new MMO worth playing.
Well, I've played constantly since the game opened. Not a glitch, not a crash, not a disconnect - absolutely flawless. Kudos for Funcom for making this a smooth experience, even if I did have to wait an extra 3 hours.

I'm getting a better sense for the game than I did on the PvP beta holiday. My one complaint so far is that there are still separate servers, even though *every* zone so far has multiple instances. Why they couldn't just have a single server and up the number of instances, I really don't know - it sucks trying to get everybody onto the same server.
After the 3 Hour delay I played a bear shaman to level 14 (4+ hours). Zero problems, great (and meaningful) quests, nice players, and a stunning environment.

Extremely smooth launch so far. Although early access is capped, which I am sure helps.
It's working great for me. Good framerate, no connection problems, no crashes or serious bugs.

Seriously. It's running smoothly. Same goes for the rest of my guild. I haven't heard anything from them in the way of technical complaints at all, just a bit of "where's this, how do I do that?"
For the TBC midnight launch, I lined up at 11PM, got the game by 12:30, had it installed by 1:30, and played until 9AM. :) No server problems for Blizzard.
TBC doesn't count, mate, sorry. How about original WoW. Now, they were some problems!!!
Mine worked brilliantly until I got to Tortage, then on the loadscreen it froze, then another char had same problem, then another got tortage loaded but crashed not long after, cant understand why, it worked fine on the Open Beta!!!

And the forums are down cant find out anything!!!!!
I don't think WoW had any delays on release... just long queues, but then they quickly doubled the server count. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

I remember the "stuck kneeling when looting" bug, but that seems incredibly mild by comparison.
If I recall correctly, wasn't this the exact problem WoW 1.0 had at launch?

It was actually a good thing disguised as a problem since it really meant the game had been more popular at release than they had expected. They simply upgraded to hardware that could take more of a pounding.

Like the queue times most of us remember with early WoW, any problems that are solved simply with more horsepower could actually be indicating better than expected success for the game.

The sky isn't falling just yet, but that's not to say that it won't.
This is AoC you are talking about. In a couple of months, nobody will care and fewer will still be playing.
The WoW kneeling-down bug was present for months after launch ... but as time went on it got rarer and rarer - and it was only a fairly minor hassle in the first place, never a pull-your-hair-out and scream-bloody-murder scenario.

I do recall a Korean guy made a funny video about the bug using real-life people instead of the game. I should go look that one up.

The real hassles with WoW I remember were frequent client problems - crash after crash. I quit for about three months in April 06 because it just started crashing on Easter and nothing I could do would fix it. How about that little gem, the old error 132? But those weren't problems specific to launch.
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