Star Wars: The Old Republic server queues upset players

Early access players report waiting for hours to get a spot in latest massively multiplayer online game; BioWare promises it is "taking this matter seriously."

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Electronic Arts and BioWare have been preparing for tomorrow's launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic for years, but that preparation hasn't been enough to produce a completely smooth debut for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

On Friday evening, estimated server waits ranged from five minutes to an hour and a half.

Preorder customers in the game's early access program have been reporting long waits to get into servers since last week. There are hundreds of pages on The Old Republic message boards regarding the server queues, as users chimed in on the problem until the original thread reached the forum's length limit and had to be restarted. GameSpot editors experienced waits of up to an hour to play, although users in the forum complained of waiting multiple hours to get into a server.

The game's executive producer of live services Jeff Hickman released a statement regarding the issue but stopped short of detailing actions to improve the problem.

"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."

The demand to get into the game was not unexpected for the publisher. In August, Electronic Arts said it would be limiting the number of Star Wars: The Old Republic copies available at launch through both retail and digital channels to ensure server stability. At the time, the company said that if that sales figure is reached, it would cease digital sales through its Origin downloadable storefront while it expands server capacity.

For more on how the game works after players make it through the queue, check out GameSpot's live play sessions of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Discussion

214 comments
Wedge55
Wedge55

From experience playing other MMOs, it's better in the long run if the customers put up with the queues. The only other alternative is that Bioware launches more servers. A lot of companies make this mistake early on. Then a few months down the road when the newness has worn off you suddenly have a lot of medium to low population servers. By asking that customers put up with queues now, Bioware can maintain a number of servers that better supports the game through the long term.

Gruug
Gruug

@AMCoreX You misread my comments. It was not that I want special treatment. It is the fact that queues are unacceptable for EVERYONE. My comments were how I felt about queues and I did not in anyway infer that I wanted special treatment. Far from it.

alzeer1
alzeer1

everyone fix hes car

Jahiim
Jahiim

The whole "shut up and wait, I can't believe you guys didn't expect queues" comments aren't really the issue here. Bioware screwed up when they imported all of our guilds during headstart from the pre launch program. Specifically, they didn't spread them out evenly on enough servers. So you get like 25-30 pre order guilds on one server, and maybe 10 on another. This is the main reason for the queues.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

Just play your 3/DS or PSP while you wait.

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

The problem isn't bioware here, it's the tards who all insist of trying to log onto one of a dozen popular servers while dozens of others sit with empty or light populations for no reason other than that people are too dumb to get on them.

commando1992
commando1992

I've been having a great time playing TOR, with queues no longer then 20 minutes. I haven't even had server lag or crashes. TOR's launch has been so much smoother then any MMO that I've heard of.

foofighter619
foofighter619

Can't play now due to game not giving me credit for purchasing the game. Not sure how many others aren't able to get in. SWTOR was aware 8 hours ago (they tweeted about it) and still nothing. We had better get some free game time out of this.

AlexFili
AlexFili

Limiting the amount of copies digitally? I never heard of that before.

gmushman
gmushman

The flip side of queues is once in game I have had zero lag! I've played every day since early access began and had 3 or 4 queue waits, the longest being 10 to 15 minutes.

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

I've been waiting for hours at times. Ridiculous.

GameBraindead
GameBraindead

This is considered news? How surprising, server queues. if (your) upset by this, then clearly there's a missing chunk of understanding about how these games operate. I, for one, had zero problems logging in throughout my days of early access, and my server is considered "full."

keech
keech

Honestly, did anyone NOT expect server queues? It comes with EVERY major MMO release. Blame all the people who insist on getting into a full server just because it has a cool name. The most extreme queue I've had to deal with since I got early access on the 14th was 30 minutes. It's a sucky wait, but in a few weeks the server population will have evened itself out. Kinda irks me that a lot of over dramatic people have the attitude that this game needed to be bullet proof.

706Somtaaw
706Somtaaw

If you don't like sitting in queue's, change server and quit complaining. Or better yet, go sell your copy of the game and go back to WoW, EQ, or UO. I rarely sit in queues and I picked a server with a cool name, that was East coast, and yeah I occasionally have issues with log in. But I choose to put up with it, if I want no queue times I'll go with EVE. although @Olgark, try logging in seconds after a unexpected downtime, or after an extended maintenance, and then tell me you don't see login queue's. I've seen a login queue on EVE of over a thousand when I tried to log on a minute or two after an extended DT.

alienmonkeycult
alienmonkeycult

its an MMO, theyre never perfect on lunch. Just be happy the game even works. Compring this to other games that are already out is unfair because... well theyre already out and have been for a long time and have had plenty of time to fix their own problems. Im sure Bioware will be investing money in more servers and bettter support if they really have the crush of this many people throwing money at them to play the game. You just cant install new servers over night.

gimousis
gimousis

I joined the queue this morning at 11:30 and now it's 14:06 and I'm still 200+ on the queue. I'm really disappointed in Bioware. I thought they would have forseen this kind of problems.

Olgark
Olgark

I have waited for just under the hour to get onto my server of choice. I don't mind so much because at the moment I am not paying anything for it, but if and when I do pay subs it will be my money BioWare is taking with me waiting to get logged in. Eve Online I have seen with over 50k people logged in at the sametime, guess what there are no queues to log in. Even when your in Jita a system with over 1000 people all logged in, there are no queues. Just amazes me that a game like Eve was released in 2003 and I have not ever seen one queue to get logged in, yet a new game like SW:TOR you got waits for up to and sometimes over the hour. Because at the end of it all a server is a server and Eve can have more than 60k players on one server. SW:TOR can have about 1/20th of that on a server.

SilentChicken
SilentChicken

This is exaggerated, there are usually only 5-20 minutes queue on the full servers and somewhat longer on a select few. The servers have been capped so that new players will choose other servers to avoid queues, spreading the population, and the cap will be raised later to remove the queues. Several servers were added today, and they all have LIGHT population and no queue. There is only a problem if for some reason you really want to join a full server :)

Neo_Sarevok
Neo_Sarevok

I wonder if this is a marketing strategy on Bioware's part. By making the servers very full, it provides a strong impression the game is popular. It's similar to a console manufacturer releasing too many consoles. If they release too many, they sit on the shelves and seem less desirable. If they release too few, desire grows and marketing buzz suggests demand is strong.

kokonut1971
kokonut1971

I am willing to bet that a lot of these servers are virtual servers nested into real servers infrastructure who are maxed up with hardware. There is no way a company can pump up or start up a bunch of servers in one day without a meltdown. When the population stabilizes all they have to do is load transferring and delete the unused servers. There is no way i see that EA or Bioware would spend that much money for that amount of servers that are on right now. Servers are insanely expensive ( the good one to do that kind of work) and would just ruin them. And why would you blow millions of dollars in server hardware when you are not even sure of what to expect. And unless you have a crack team on crack, you cannot install a server and get it up and running in a matter of hours...its just not possible. nuff said...

SDSkarface
SDSkarface

well see the thing is the majority of players dont want to join some non factor server thats going nowhere..i joined the most populated biggest server with the longest que.. "The Fatman" because it is destined to be the premier pvp server for SWTOR.. and thats because of its massive population.. population is what im looking for in a server and im sure everyone else is too.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@Philly1UPer (and @jhcho2), there's no problem with the "right to play the game" - you can pick any of the servers that DON'T have a queue and play the game. It's like going to a theme park, you pay at the gate so you have a "right" to go on the rides, but if you go and queue up at the latest roller-coaster, with a queue a mile long, you can't complain that you only got 2 rides out of the day. Just because you picked a server doesn't give you the right to play on it. Unfortunately people who think like that are affecting those who didn't choose their server (Server-assigned guilds, etc). That sucks, true, but take it up with the rest who are constantly trying to join already full servers, nothing Bioware can really do about what players choose to do.

CraZkid37
CraZkid37

@Philly1UPer No, thats understandable. However today was official launch. Last night I already saw a dramatic difference on my server. I'm sure today they increased it for launch. They also added a buttload of new servers that they are persuading newcomers to use. I won't be able to see how its going until tonight when I log on. It's just some people take the issue way too far without understanding the entire picture.

Vari3ty
Vari3ty

Is it just me or do all EA games seem to have server problems at launch?

megakick
megakick

You playing a new anticipated MMO, this happens. The sad thing is EA didn't do much to stop it. I waited a year before I played WOW.

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

If the queues don't freak you, the graphics and animation bugs will disappoint you. Millions of beta test hours just didn't get the job done, so be ready to do your duty and report lingering bugs to customer service. ...and if I see another dead mob floating in the air I think I will puke in my CE box.

ragnar320
ragnar320

what i dont understand is why the hell dont they just add a crap load of severs and then offer free sever transfers once the influx of players has calmed down to have an active communitity. Id rather start playing the game then have people to talk to

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@CraZkid37 Well...not to sound like a douche but...If I buy a MMO on Launch day, along with paying for additional game time to go on past the free trial or whatever they are doing, I, along with everyone else have a right to be pretty angry that I can't play a game the first day I buy it or have to wait a few hours to play it, especially if its a game that you actually paid money to play the damn thing to begin with.

Chefjase
Chefjase

I'll wait a few months, then consider getting it. I'm currently NOT recalling fond memories of how amazing KOTOR 3 was, sigh....

baltim123
baltim123

it would be awesome if EA pulls that f2p crap on this game in a year , but that probably won't happen :P

Herbaceous
Herbaceous

Server queues aren't the only problem. Many people, including myself, activated our CD keys the day before release and are now finding our games are registered as 'Early Access' codes instead of product codes. EA support aren't answering my support emails, and it looks like I could have paid for a game that is rendered useless by a messed up validation system. The launch is a joke!

megakick
megakick

Boo Hoo has none of them played World of Warcraft or any other . EA is loaded just add more servers... If the sales figure is reached? What is the number? EA has to pay for development and licenses it can be weeks or months before SWTOR hits the number. This is a example how pirating can hurt a game.

TheFonzie
TheFonzie

Probably a lot of the players are new to MMOs, only trying SWTOR because it's Star Wars and it's Bioware. I wonder how many of them will quit playing when they realize the standard MMO annoyances they'll have to deal with.

Kayweg
Kayweg

I laughed at the "limiting the number of TOR copies available at launch" article back in August. We all knew there was no way in hell EA would really do that. So, EA launches TOR with an influx of hundreds of thousands of players and the servers go belly up. How is THAT surprising news to anybody ???...LOL

Muaddib87
Muaddib87

@foufoufun0 Obviously you haven't been playing the game. As a matter of fact, the most annoying aspect of this issue is even if you log in, if you experience a server-side crash, or get disconnected for any reason, you have to wait in line again. The full queue, no preference, no grace period. It's WoW that had this feature.

GOWzztrippinzz
GOWzztrippinzz

WoW killed MMOs for me, I spent way to much time playing that ridiculous game to ever want to play another again.

foufoufun0
foufoufun0

This is just normal procedure for an mmo release and the wave method was actualy a smart move to monitor server population to avoid having 4-5 full servers (with 5 hours line) and the rest of the servers empty. Aaaand, in the end, to also avoid having to shut down or merge servers as in a quick emergency increase in population for two low pop servers. These queues shouldn't last very long, they will probably increase the server capacity to their fullest in I'd say 2-3 weeks. At least if you log out (or crash) for less than 20 min, you don't have to wait in line to log back in, it was pretty horrible back in those WoW days when disconection was a common thing and players had to wait over 30 min to get back in. But even then, it might be more enjoyable if the waiting line was on the character creation instead (unless your account is bound to that server from the pre release guild creation thingy). It would just discourage the loner newcomers from picket allready full servers and if you have some kind of attachment to this server, then you'll wait for it just once.

CraZkid37
CraZkid37

This is only TEMPORARY! They set the population caps low to ensure the game itself runs smooth. They are closely monitoring it and raising them on each server as they go along. Does anyone not have patience anymore? Its either this, or the game is a laggy mess where you cant even play at all.

MADDjoe
MADDjoe

I think this has been one of the best launches of an MMO. Those complaining about long queues must have never had to deal with the horrors of WoW when it was first released. Not to mentions all the problems with the game it self. SWTOR did awesome job with the beta and fixed a load of issues before the game was even release. I was happy to be part of the beta to help find issues with the game to give others an awesome experience on release day. It hasn't been out for 8 years (like WoW) to have millions of updates and some expansions for it, but this is an awesome MMO which stands with games such as WoW/Everquest in quality of play and experience. But, doing the same in a very small period of time.

MaxPower2704
MaxPower2704

Our server (Bloodworthy), in europe have had more than 1500 in que mid-day since Friday :(

TheFonzie
TheFonzie

For some reason I bet KotOR 3 wouldn't have had server queues. Just saying....

YummyMango
YummyMango

BTW this is a great game. I am by no means a SW fan and was skeptical about this game but the more you play the more you love this game. The game is very much polished and awesome. I have played WOW for years and I have to say that this game is no less than wow but some more. I hope the end game content is good and will keep people playing but time will tell. Only haters will hate on this game who havent played it for some time. Give it a try you will love it.

YummyMango
YummyMango

I expected queues but the situation is very bad. Even during teh expansion release in WOW the queues were not so long even on server like Illidan. I am ready to wait 1 hour but sadly it is way more than an hour and by the time I want to play after work it is time to go to bed. I could play on a different server but my character is already 30 and I am already a part of guild which was formed months ago. I think it was very wrong on their part to decide Server for guilds. They just messed things up. Today I left my game running in morning hoping I wont be logged out and will be able to play in evening. Lets hope i am not kicked out. (left my character running)

rodier3
rodier3

They limit servers to 50% of population to make queues. Why? Because they dont want all population to go on5 servers. They want distribute population trough all servers

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

So let me get this straight, they stagger the rollout, limit the amount of pre-orders so they know exactly how many servers they will need and they still have bad wait times? I don't get that, I really don't. If they weren't going to use those the limits that they put in place during the launch to make sure they had enough servers online then what was the point?

GamerOuTLaWz
GamerOuTLaWz

pu**ies are already crying the game aint even out yet. I knew this game wouldnt be better than any other mmo in term of community. Have they ever played on Warsong server during WoWs release? guess not. 2hrs queue is what im talkin bout. stupid crybabies. you want to pay per month to play a shi**y stupid game? then live with it. Ill stick to PC BF3 until KoA comes out with happiness

spector000
spector000

Thumps up if your where not surprised at all just like me. Why set up a lot of servers when after a month or two half of them will be empty cuz not even 50% of players will keep paying.

jhcho2
jhcho2

It seems criminally wrong to market a game as an 'online-only' game, without actually providing proper online infrastructure for everyone buying the game. This isn't a bug where it could be overlooked. Server bandwith is something that comes hand in hand with install base. Now unless Bioware or EA wasn't expecting a lot of people playing this, it's unexcusable. And we know that you don't make a Star Wars MMO and expect to cater only to a niche.