WildStar Launch Update DevStream
On October 2, 2015 WildStar’s afternoon stream went from the Casual Friday layout they’ve been exploring recently into a WildStar Launch Update DevStream with Chad “Pappy” Moore, Omeed Dariani, and Chris Thomas, Lead Software Engineer (who was excited to participate in his first stream). Chris is responsible for all the game systems (outside of combat) that the designers use to make neat things for the players, as well as all the server structure involved in the back-end.
The three of them wanted to do a stream today to make sure that the players knew what was going on behind the scenes with the issues they have been encountering. It was noted that the big issues of the past few days, lag and queue times specifically, have been due to a specific part of the megaservers’ process being extremely taxed with the high demand of players.
With no time for excessive banter, the team launched right into the biggest announcement from last night: the spin up of new servers. The developers didn’t want to add extra different servers, but instead wanted to add in new ones with the intent to merge them back together easily and quickly later-on. There is no current ETA on when the servers will be merged together because they want to make sure it works correctly the first time, and prevent any further bugs. It was briefly mentioned that there are Realm First achievements available on the -2 servers, because it was easier to leave them on than trying to turn them off, and creating characters on a -2 server will give you free extra character slots (which will go away when you delete these extra characters).
Players who have already logged in will be defaulted to the last server they logged in on, and new players will be defaulted to the lowest population PvE server, so double-check the server you’re on before playing to ensure you’re with friends.
These new servers are being implemented as a short-term goal to address the lag and queue issues players are experiencing as a whole, giving developers extra time to get megaservers up to speed (and size) for the player demand. The demand for the game is “unbelievably huge”, and Pappy exclaimed being, “blown away by how many new players want to play”, noting that the coding team is “working around the clock”. Omeed added in that they have everyone working in shifts, as the downtime is necessary for people to recharge and get some much-needed sleep.
Another issue that cropped up with the implementation of these new servers was an issue with the limited time free-transfers. There is currently a fix for this in testing. While transfers are something that has been detailed as a part of the business model for the game, Carbine is opening up free realm transfers in the interim to allow people to get on and play on the -2 servers as they would like. There is a comprehensive FAQ available on WildStar’s website for those interested in how to prepare their toons for transfer. It was also noted that there is a seven-day cooldown between transfers.
The “Character Loop Bug” was also discussed a few times throughout the stream for people joining late. There is a fix in the work for this bug. The reason it happens is there is some sort of issue on a players’ character when loading in (items not appearing, LAS issues, etc.) and instead of throwing the character into game with an error, they are being kicked back out onto the character-selection screen. During high times of demand this bug is more likely to happen, especially as it continues to happen to a larger number of people. Their best advice for now, until they are able to implement a fix, is to just keep trying, and keep in mind that the more people trying to bypass the bug can make the issue worse.
A few questions were addressed during the stream, including both the positivity and negativity of the community. First, the three on-stream Devs thanked the people in the community promoting positivity about the game, and being patient with the time it will take to fix some of these issues. The negativity was addressed by asking players to keep in mind that while a corporation can sometimes be a faceless entity, they themselves are people, too, and are working their hardest for everyone to get into the game.
Pappy discussed that the other teams who don’t work on coding are offering as much support as they can both internally and externally. They are volunteering to talk to people with frustrations; they are trying to respond individually as much as possible; and they are trying to be open, transparent, and as communicative as possible. If you hit up one of the social media channels for WildStar, someone will be in touch ASAP.
Developers are looking for specific feedback on two matters. First, if you are having issues filing a Customer Service ticket, and if you are having any Launcher crash issues. Omeed said to put in a CS ticket (if you are able), or get in touch with them via the @WildStarOps twitter, through Reddit, or on the forums.
Omeed stressed that while things are currently intense, MMOs themselves are a long-term investment, and that WildStar isn’t just a week-long game. The development team as a whole is trying to get the game to a state they want as soon as possible, but it may take a little bit of time to iron out specific issues.