Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Guild Wait 2

I'd love to tell you how much fun I had playing Guild Wars 2, but in reality I haven't even beaten the first enemy of the game yet: The login server. Deviously that login server is needed *twice* to play, once to get the client to start, and once at the end of character creation. Thus when I finally cleared the first hurdle and could create my character, all my effort was in vain. The character never got saved, I never got into the game, and after some time I got dropped back onto a character selection screen with no created characters at all. Plus somebody stole my name "Tobold".

What I find dishonest about the experience is that when THEIR login servers aren't working, you get an error message suggesting that the problem is on your side, with firewall or security settings. I wonder how many people frantically fiddled with firewall settings they didn't half understand last night, when in fact the problem was on the server side. Why can't we have error messages that at least state the login server being overloaded or down as one possibility?

I had the same problem as you yesterday when I wanted to make a new character. I got all the way to the end of creation, chose a name and all that and then got the error. After trying it a few times the game said that the name was already taken. I then proceeded to log on my other character and then logged back to the character select just to find my newly created character there.

I truly don't know how that happened and it also means I didn't get to see the opening cinematic which was a mild annoyance at best. It must have been a bigger problem for folks such as you who didn't have another character waiting for them to do that trick.
Yeah, during the 3-day head-start I think the log-in servers actually melted for about 12hrs or so. They DO update via twitter, but I hate going there. There should be a MOTD-type notice attached to the launcher which advises of common problems.

And yeah, the whole 'something wrong with your router' thing is a bit of tech support trickery, hoping that clients will actually pay attention to it and check it before coming in with a genuine problem, in a desperate (futile) attempt to reduce their 'not a real fault' workload.

Having been in that kind of support position before, I understand it... but I still don't approve.
It was a similar situation to Diablo 3 - a ton of errors on login. Once you clear one (authentication) you hit the next one (unable to retrieve character).

It is really amazing that game companies still lack the networking expertise to make MMOs run smoothly. Thousands of web sites manage logins on a massive scale (blogger included) and they have been doing it since inception with little or no downtime.
Thousands of web sites manage logins on a massive scale (blogger included) and they have been doing it since inception with little or no downtime.

1. None of these web sites have several thousands of websites hitting login servers at the same time. Most websites that get bursted on the level of a game release launch get blasted (see "slashdotted").

2. Managing a login is not the same thing as actually logging in.

3. Companies manage for the long term average, not spend wasteful money to allocate extra resources that will never be used beyond launch day.

All in all, it's par for the course. No one cares enough because you've already bought it, and you'll still play it a week later anyways.
I should also mention that US servers have been holding up pretty fine, so YMMV.
Yeah there was apparently a problem with creating characters yesterday.

It's a shame that they don't have their forums up, but if you want relatively fast information check their twitter feed.
@Cam that and also in certain situations it might be impossible for the game client to recognize whether the issue is in client's firewall or the login servers.

Although a more honest way would be to have a message stating it might be problems with the login server or client's firewall/router and patch the client with a message not mentioning the login server several weeks later.

The names are unique (unlike WoW where they were only unique on a server) so it's already a bit challenging to get a single-word name at this point.

Interesting enough, I'm logging from EU too but haven't experienced login server issues since the start of the week. We do experience problems with guilds and guild chat, messages take minutes to show if they do at all.
I had similar problems on day one of the headstart but it's been fine since then (and I wasn't fooled by the error message). It seems to be players from the EU that are effected.
I had the "Firewall" pop-up on the first day of headstart. Like you I assumed it had nothing to do with my Firewall and was just due to the pressure the log-in servers were under.

After an hour of not getting in I googled and found several people saying that it *was* a Firewall issue. I switched my Firewall off and got into the game immediately, first attempt.

I don't think you can assume that just because the issue you had wasn't the one you were being warned it might be that the warning itself is meaningless.
It sounds like this is mostly an issue with the EU servers -- I've been playing every chance I get since hour 1 of the headstart and have never had a single issue logging in (playing on NA servers, prime time PST).

I wonder what the difference is?
Anyone who has ever worked any customer service job will tell you, as soon as you give the slightest hint at the possibility that it isn't the customer's fault, they will be forever CERTAIN it is the company's fault. If they really have firewall issues, you will NEVER get them to fix it.
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