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Aion (Aion)
NCSoft | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 09/22/09)  | Pub:NCSoft
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:n/a
System Req: PC | Out of date info? Let us know!

Interviews: Head Start Issues Interview

By Jon Wood on September 22, 2009

Head Start Issues Interview

Players experienced what were described by some of extremely long queue times to take part in Aion's head start on Sunday. Can you speak to this?

Brian Knox:

With [Sunday]'s launch, we saw a massive influx into the game when we opened the servers for Head Start. It's important to remember that this initial rush is due to everyone trying to get into the game at the same time - this isn't a scenario that's likely to be repeated regularly since it's really just about that initial rush of players trying to gain access to the game. That being said, we are actively monitoring and tracking the stats to ensure optimal experiences for players. As you well know, it's a delicate balance between keep our servers healthy and maintaining a optimal experience for players.


Why were queue times necessary at all. As this event was for pre-order customers only, why wasn't it easy to predict exactly how many servers would be necessary to make sure that players weren't waiting in line?

Brian Knox:

There are numbers and stats that help us predict servers. We know what our average percentage of users is per active accounts at a peak time based off our beta events and our other products. We know how many users our servers can handle at capacity, and we know how many users makes for an ideal game play experience in Aion. Most importantly we know that there will never be a time when every single Aion customer wants to log in and play all at once than when we first turn on the servers. All of these go into picking the correct server count and the right time to spin up new servers.

We had to keep max server capacity low at first because everyone was crammed at the starting area. Had we opened it up to everyone, no one could have progressed. As the day went on, we opened up the servers more and more. We want to ensure that our servers are healthy during Head Start, but also once a retail code is applied. These next few days we will be calculating data and weighing the ideal time to open more servers. I think that the community will understand that in a game with PvPvE how important a healthy populated server is and that we do not want to go down the low pop server path...

What, to the best of your knowledge, was the average wait time for players at its height?

Brian Knox:

Our data indicates around 3 hours for the most popular servers. However, there were servers that never had a queue, as well. Our suggestion is as always go to the low pop/recommended servers.

Does NCsoft plan to issue any kind of compensation for players who pre-ordered strictly to gain access on the 20th , two days ahead of launch, only to wait in queue?

Brian Knox:

While there are no plans for compensating players, we are monitoring this closely and do take their feedback very seriously. We're working hard to make this as great a playing experience as possible with the incredible demand we've seen.

Does NCsoft currently have any plans to make sure that this scene isn't repeated on retail launch day?

Brian Knox:

We have preparations in place but there is some weathering of the storm that needs to take place. As players start to purchase the product and the initial first day excitement calms down I think you will see better queue times and a better play experience.