The Truth About Queues in ArcheAge

ArcheAge queues are enormous - Patrons are forced to wait upwards of 3 hours for server space to free up, while free-to-players are lucky to connect in 5. What has Trion done to combat this issue, and what does this mean for the game's future?
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Recently, a typical afternoon for me involves returning home from work or school to login to The Crane Coalition’s Mumble and starting up ArcheAge. I’m all ready to get in-game, check on my farm, run a dungeon or two, and head out on the high seas for some adventuring.

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Instead, I’m met with the hardest boss of all: the queue.

ArcheAge’s NA release began with a four-day head start lasting from September 12th, 2014, to the 16th. At the end of this time, the game opened its doors to all players. Since then, the game’s queues have grown exponentially, despite publisher Trion Worlds increasing server capacity and even purchasing multiple new servers to run the game on.

“Free-to-play players have reported queues of anywhere from 3 to 10 hours.”

Instead of being able to enter the game immediately upon login, players have had to wait upwards of 3 hours to play – and that’s only the Patrons, or those paying the $15/month subscription for the game. Free-to-play players have reported queues of anywhere from 3 to 10 hours. The situation has drawn a lot of criticism from the game’s community, as seen on game’s Subreddit.

Why isn’t Trion doing anything to fix it?

The short answer: they are.

Anticipation

Players were definitely excited for ArcheAge’s much-awaited arrival in the west, as many opted to pay between $50 and $150 for a Founder’s Pack when they were first announced, guaranteeing them early access to the game. One would assume that, given the fact that players were willing to pay so much money to play the game, Trion would have realized the amount of players and would have made the necessary preparations to handle them all.

Apparently not.

While it comes with an extensive list of innovative features and impressive graphics to boot, Trion likely saw the Asian MMO as having only niche appeal. The genre tends to have more grind than western MMOs, and are often at more risk of becoming pay-to-win. While those sort of features appeal to the audiences in the countries where the games are developed, their western ports don’t tend to be met with the same success. Whatever the reason, Trion and XLGames underestimated the population ArcheAge would draw, and now players are beginning to complain that Trion is not communicating well enough with players and that not enough is being done increase the server capacity.

As mentioned earlier, Trion Worlds has tried to end the queues that have come to define its game. Since the head start, server capacity has been increased by 70% and new servers continue to open up (at the time of writing this, three new servers have been added in NA, while two have been added in EU. More details and updated info here.) Despite these attempts to free up space, the queues continue, and the game has come to be known as “QueueAge” by many players.

To Megaserver or Not To Megaserver?

Many players have responded to Trion’s so far unsuccessful attempts to decrease queue times by suggesting Megaserver systems like those found in Guild Wars 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, or Wildstar. In many games that run on Megaservers, players are put onto different shards when entering a new map. When one version of a map fills up, a new one is generated and any players loading into the zone, regardless of their home server, will be placed on it. This helps to remove the possibility for “ghost town” servers and zones, and can also help to free up server space by condensing players from many different servers into one section.

A system like this would not function as smoothly in a game where 90% of the content is open world and where player housing appears in uninstanced zones, however. In the long run, Megaservers would likely be too expensive and not yet versatile enough to handle the requirements for a game like Archeage.

But, even Trion’s current solution has flaws. Adding multiple servers now leaves the potential for populations to plummet in the future when some players have moved on to new games. At this stage, many games have turned to merging servers, but this would cause far too many headaches for the developers of ArcheAge. Server mergers would likely mean players losing their spots in housing zones that they’ve put countless hours of work into, and their complaints would only mean  more trouble for Trion.

Looking to the Future…

“Trion may have had a rough start, but it’s apparent they are already trying to communicate with the community more.”

My suggestion is to be patient and wait. No major MMO has had a flawless launch, and it’s obvious that ArcheAge won’t be an exception. Trion may have had a rough start, but it’s apparent they are already trying to communicate with the community more, whether its by quickly addressing player complaints about gameplay mechanics, frequent update posts on their website, or constant tweets to let players know about server statuses and other important changes.

Queues are growing shorter each day and with each server Trion adds to their arsenal. Soon enough, the wait times to play will be a thing of the past. But, for now, players can rest easy knowing that Trion is doing what they can to give them a better experience, and that things can only get better from here.

If you don’t want to deal with queues, give the game a month or two before playing. As someone who has already been sucked into the world of ArcheAge, I can tell you that, whatever you decide, I think it will definitely be worth the wait.


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Author
Image of Kelly G.
Kelly G.
Kelly is a video game obsessed college student, studying both English and Computer Science at Indiana University in Bloomington. She is a lover of all genres, but her passion for MMOs makes those take up 90% of her time. Her favorite games include DotA 2, Leage of Legends (yes, both,) ArcheAge, and The Elder Scrolls series.