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MMO Fallout Simulcast

Massively Multiplayer games are unique in that they can be pulled from under your feet when they are no longer profitable. What MMO Fallout attempts to do is to look into what trends result in success, but also failure.

Author: Omali

NCsoft Nukes Server Cloggers: New Servers!

Posted by Omali Friday September 25 2009 at 11:44PM
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Aion is one of the few MMOs to incorporate private shops in addition to an Auction House. Players are able to set up shop wherever they go, allowing their character to set up a little table for other player to browse. Current Aion players that I talked to on the subject prefer the private shops to the auction house, noting that in the auction house there are "too many instances of players doing everything to undercut each other in price." Setting up a shop also removes the automatic logout feature for players who are away from keyboard.

Players quickly put two and two together, and surmised that by setting up a private shop, they would never be logged out barring a server restart. When players get stopped by server queues, or occasionally in more recent days, queue lines to get into the queue lines, some of that wait can be attributed to players simply sitting in-game, away from keyboard, as to bypass the server line. In an ironic cycle, the server queue results in players using this shop method, that clogs the servers and makes the wait time longer, encouraging more players to restart the cycle.

NCsoft, once again showing their speed to react, and took the obvious route: place a logout timer on player shops. The new timer is set at 30 minutes. Long enough that players could watch an entire television episode without having to pay attention to the computer, but short enough that the system can no longer be abused when, for example, going to work/school.

But wait, there's more! To further alleviate server load, NCsoft has released a brand spanking new West Coast server, with promises that an East Coast and European server are on their way in the near future (We're assuming next week).

People are asking why NCsoft did not realize this when they released the game in Korea, and the obvious answer is that players would not leave their games running for a long period of time. Unlike in the West where the MMO standard is buying by the month, the standard for MMO subscriptions in Korea is based on paying for a package of hours, not unlike a prepaid cellphone. To leave your character in an AFK state because you don't want to wait out the queue line would be considered a waste of money, as you would be directly paying for the time you spent not even playing the game.

MMORPG.com writes:
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