I got up this morning,
The game was still there,
And so were the bugs,
The game, the bugs, the game, the bugs, the game, the bugs
(Any parent forced to watch Peppa Pig knows the tune)
It started well. Bugs during the first 30 minutes were minor and easily rectified. Log in servers coped well.
We should have known it was too good to last.
Enter the Duty Finder
The Duty Finder isn’t just LFG – it hosts all of the instance servers including solo quest ones. I bet you see how this is going to end right? Of course you main quest lines make use of instances! So I got stuck, before having completed the level 10 class quest because the Duty Finder broke.
This meant I couldn’t:
- Continue my class quest chain.
- Access the airship to go to other places.
- Learn other classes.
- Learn any professions (these are classes, and so dependent on the same level 10 class quest).
But Sqenix saw, they took the servers down, they fixed it.
Or rather, they saw, they took the servers down for two hours, they failed to fix it. And it got worse. After the maintenance I couldn’t:
- See or interact with my linkshell.
- Use /tell.
- Use the find player functions.
- Be found using find player functions.
4 hours later they will be taking the servers down for another two hours to fix this bug. Which makes players feel like we’re playing to beta test. The real dig, however, is that during this whole debacle the Japanese servers were fine. Only minor instabilities with individual servers.
Now, not a bug, but another ‘feature’ of this launch is that servers are turned on and off for new players depending on the load. This spreads the server population, yes, but is also breaks social connections with many people being unable to join their friends on chosen servers.
I started off being fairly forgiving, but when the maintenance made things worse, I have to admit to raging a little. I am seriously questioning whether I will subscribe or not. Communication was poor to non-existent with people having to wait a long time for confirmation of problems. We’ll have to see how it goes. I’ve done early access and first day play before, but this was worse because it messed with community. All the bugs in the world can be coped with better if you can do it with your friends! Community is the single most important part of MMOs.
Its a shame because the game is good, but Sqenix needs to learn some lessons from this. It needs to learn to communicate better. It needs to learn to ensure the pain is shared a little more evenly across the globe. Deserved or not the NA/EU server group feels very much like a second class citizen. It also needs to consider compensation – it can be something small, but the gesture will be important. Finally, it needs to announce a free server transfers so that players can play on other servers now and move to join friends later. These things would go a long way towards restoring confidence.
Most of all, however, it needs to fix the bugs.