Elder Scrolls Online Launch – A Sign Of Things To Come?
MMO gamers young and old have come to expect the worst in regards to the launch of a new MMO but more and more titles and proving prior preparation can prevent poor performance. I've been MMO gaming for as long as I can remember and all too often I see brand new launches inundated with technical problems.
Even the biggest AAA titles launch to a wall of issues that sees players unable to enjoy the experience, stuck behind a massive patching wall or unable to join the game at all. Developers always use the same excuse. They weren't prepared for the level of interest shown by the gaming community but answer me this. How can you not prepare for an influx of players after huge marketing campaigns, several alpha and beta weekends and then exact numbers provided by pre-orders and early supporters?
As with many of today's problems in the MMO industry it comes down to one simple thing, money. Paying for additional resources to host more powerful servers or shards costs money, and that's money that won't see the pockets of developers, publishers and investors. So instead of preparing for the best, they prepare for the slightly less than expected numbers so they don't run the risk of paying for too much hardware.
However, not all MMO developers are guilty of this. The Elder Scrolls Online launch was, for the most part, incredibly successful. This is in part due to the preparation of the development team and the wisdom of splitting access among large groups of gamers.
The Early Access began, allowing all players that pre-ordered the Imperial Edition to enter the online world of Tamriel before Head Start access 3 days before launch. Then came official launch day. By the time the game was available to the masses, a large majority of the problems had already been resolved.
Other than some unexpected maintenance and short spurts of downtime, the launch of The Elder Scrolls Online was smooth as a babies backside. It wasn't perfect but it makes a very nice change to buy an MMO and enjoy it on launch day, which is sadly all too rare in today's MMO niche.
Did you pre-purchase The Elder Scrolls Online? What were your launch day experiences?