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Are "Head Starts" a "Get out of Jail" card for a terrible launch?

VooDoo_PapaVooDoo_Papa Somewhere on a beach on the east coast, FLPosts: 883Member Uncommon

Every MMO has them and if things go to the crapper the first day of pre-launch its brushed off as "the game hasnt released yet".

 

 

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Comments

  • Agricola1Agricola1 PortsmouthPosts: 4,984Member Common
    Originally posted by VooDoo_Papa

    Every MMO has them and if things go to the crapper the first day of pre-launch its brushed off as "the game hasnt released yet".

     

     

     

    I'm thinking about AoC, had an "open beta" aka 20 days of play before launch if you pre-ordered and it was probably the best part of the game. After launch it was just all downhill from there.

    If it sucks at the pre-launch/open beta/whatever then it ain't getting any better after that trust me! Is it an justified excuse for it being shite? No.

    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience"

    CS Lewis

  • SiugSiug TallinnPosts: 1,236Member Uncommon
    Head start is same as launch no matter how fanbois try to spin it. MMO companies offer head start as a bonus for pre-ordering the game and it should be playable at once. So rocky head start = rocky launch.
  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member
    No, but you can prepare with stress tests but when you have literally thousands of people make a whim decision to buy the game at zero hour and get way more traffic than you expected - it's hard to adjust right away.

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
    image

  • NikkitaNikkita ParisPosts: 790Member
    Originally posted by Piiritus
    Head start is same as launch no matter how fanbois try to spin it. MMO companies offer head start as a bonus for pre-ordering the game and it should be playable at once. So rocky head start = rocky launch.

    What is even more interesting is that in case of SWTOR there was no distinction but now clearly Headtsrat and launch are two different things in case of GW2.

    *rolls eyes*

    image


    Bite Me

  • UrkoUrko TruroPosts: 88Member
    Originally posted by Piiritus
    Head start is same as launch no matter how fanbois try to spin it. MMO companies offer head start as a bonus for pre-ordering the game and it should be playable at once. So rocky head start = rocky launch.

    Especially when in some countries you actually pay more for the "bonuses", and i agree with OP.

  • MystlynxMystlynx Rochester, MNPosts: 68Member Uncommon
    Headstart is the launch of the game in every meaningful way.  The game is brought up to be in continual service just like at launch.  The only difference is the numbers of people are going to be a little lower on those first days.  
  • tordurbartordurbar Alexandria, VAPosts: 429Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Piiritus
    Head start is same as launch no matter how fanbois try to spin it. MMO companies offer head start as a bonus for pre-ordering the game and it should be playable at once. So rocky head start = rocky launch.

    Totally agree.

  • TalmienTalmien Hopewell, NJPosts: 78Member

    No to me it isn't.

     

    The "Head Start" is the official launch. People can argue semantics all they want. The fact is the servers are live right now, and they can't handle the load. The launch is going poorly and doesn't seem like its getting resolved very quickly at all.

  • MagnetiaMagnetia SydneyPosts: 1,029Member Uncommon

    I think the head start is a launch despite what some diehard fans say. Now I do expect problems with any launch day, even mighty blizzard could not handle that massive influx of players for diablo 3. I am disappointed that the servers are down but my real question is how long will it take to fix?

    It is not an excuse for a terrible launch, I also expect things to break on launch. I am waiting to see how they recover and then start comparing it.

    Play for fun. Play to win. Play for perfection. Play with friends. Play in another world. Why do you play?

  • UrkoUrko TruroPosts: 88Member
    Originally posted by GrumpyCharr
    No, but you can prepare with stress tests but when you have literally thousands of people make a whim decision to buy the game at zero hour and get way more traffic than you expected - it's hard to adjust right away.

    I dont believe companies get in extra server equipment than they need, i DO think they use the headstart  work out what they need to buy in.

    This shouldnt be how it is , there should be a SURPLUS of hardware ready  to addon if needed

  • strangepowersstrangepowers Chiacgo, ILPosts: 602Member Common


    Originally posted by Urko
    Originally posted by Piiritus Head start is same as launch no matter how fanbois try to spin it. MMO companies offer head start as a bonus for pre-ordering the game and it should be playable at once. So rocky head start = rocky launch.
    Especially when in some countries you actually pay more for the "bonuses", and i agree with OP.

    You mean you could of bought the boxed edition and had it mailed to you for cheaper... still spinning that one?

    Many retailers sell the "box" cheaper.

    You did not pay more for anything, you paid the regular price and did not pay a discounted price from the "Amazon" retailer for a physical disc and packaging.

    The scary part is one day the world will be run by adults who were never spanked as kids and got trophies just for participating.

  • xtravertxtravert Lloydminster, ABPosts: 134Member

    Head starts are indeed the official launch of a game.  Especailly when considering that companies send out emails with content such as:

    "Hundreds of thousands of players from around the world will become a part of MMO history when Guild Wars 2 launches at 12:01 AM Pacific time on August 28, 2012.But as a Pre-Purchase customer, you're entitled to three days of Headstart Access – starting right now!"

    As a Pre-Purchase customer a person is ENTITLED to three days of Headstart Access.  These 3 days are a unique opportunity that does not present itself after launch and could be considered a seperate commodity when compared to game time that starts on the 28th.

    Hundreds of thousands of players have provided ANet with operating capital months and weeks ahead of launch for 3 days of time.  These players have a right to voice their frustrations when their expectations are not met.

  • TalgenTalgen Reading, PAPosts: 400Member
    Originally posted by VooDoo_Papa

    Every MMO has them and if things go to the crapper the first day of pre-launch its brushed off as "the game hasnt released yet".

     

     

    Not really, imo. To me a terrible launch is a terrible launch, they either have the bugs worked out (the majority) and content  -in game- or they dont..  A Head Start to me is just a fancy way to stage entry to test server capacity.

  • strangepowersstrangepowers Chiacgo, ILPosts: 602Member Common


    Originally posted by xtravert
    Head starts are indeed the official launch of a game.  Especailly when considering that companies send out emails with content such as:"Hundreds of thousands of players from around the world will become a part of MMO history when Guild Wars 2 launches at 12:01 AM Pacific time on August 28, 2012.But as a Pre-Purchase customer, you're entitled to three days of Headstart Access – starting right now!"As a Pre-Purchase customer a person is ENTITLED to three days of Headstart Access.  These 3 days are a unique opportunity that does not present itself after launch and could be considered a seperate commodity when compared to game time that starts on the 28th.Hundreds of thousands of players have provided ANet with operating capital months and weeks ahead of launch for 3 days of time.  These players have a right to voice their frustrations when their expectations are not met.

    That's the problem with kids these days, the entitlement complex.

    It's not just me, its well documented.

    Anyways, stuff happens, and despite what your parents raised you to believe, you are entitled to nothing in this world.

    The scary part is one day the world will be run by adults who were never spanked as kids and got trophies just for participating.

  • xtravertxtravert Lloydminster, ABPosts: 134Member
    Originally posted by Urko
    Originally posted by GrumpyCharr
    No, but you can prepare with stress tests but when you have literally thousands of people make a whim decision to buy the game at zero hour and get way more traffic than you expected - it's hard to adjust right away.

    I dont believe companies get in extra server equipment than they need, i DO think they use the headstart  work out what they need to buy in.

    This shouldnt be how it is , there should be a SURPLUS of hardware ready  to addon if needed

    Indeed, with existing imaging and virtualization technologies, expanding infrastructure is easier that it has ever been.  So long as the physical resources are purchased and on-site ready to go.

  • TalgenTalgen Reading, PAPosts: 400Member
    Originally posted by strangepower

     


    Originally posted by xtravert
    Head starts are indeed the official launch of a game.  Especailly when considering that companies send out emails with content such as:

     

    "Hundreds of thousands of players from around the world will become a part of MMO history when Guild Wars 2 launches at 12:01 AM Pacific time on August 28, 2012.But as a Pre-Purchase customer, you're entitled to three days of Headstart Access – starting right now!"

    As a Pre-Purchase customer a person is ENTITLED to three days of Headstart Access.  These 3 days are a unique opportunity that does not present itself after launch and could be considered a seperate commodity when compared to game time that starts on the 28th.

    Hundreds of thousands of players have provided ANet with operating capital months and weeks ahead of launch for 3 days of time.  These players have a right to voice their frustrations when their expectations are not met.


     

    That's the problem with kids these days, the entitlement complex.

    It's not just me, its well documented.

    Anyways, stuff happens, and despite what your parents raised you to believe, you are entitled to nothing in this world.

    "Oh gee mom, you mean I get a trophy for just _being_ here?  golly gee that's the bee's knees...."

     

    Whatever happened to, 'you lost, learn to deal with it, life's full of disappointments, the sooner you realize and accept it, the sooner you can move on, not everyone is going to be a star....'

  • xtravertxtravert Lloydminster, ABPosts: 134Member
    Originally posted by strangepower

     


    Originally posted by xtravert
    Head starts are indeed the official launch of a game.  Especailly when considering that companies send out emails with content such as:

     

    "Hundreds of thousands of players from around the world will become a part of MMO history when Guild Wars 2 launches at 12:01 AM Pacific time on August 28, 2012.But as a Pre-Purchase customer, you're entitled to three days of Headstart Access – starting right now!"

    As a Pre-Purchase customer a person is ENTITLED to three days of Headstart Access.  These 3 days are a unique opportunity that does not present itself after launch and could be considered a seperate commodity when compared to game time that starts on the 28th.

    Hundreds of thousands of players have provided ANet with operating capital months and weeks ahead of launch for 3 days of time.  These players have a right to voice their frustrations when their expectations are not met.

     


     

    That's the problem with kids these days, the entitlement complex.

    It's not just me, its well documented.

    Anyways, stuff happens, and despite what your parents raised you to believe, you are entitled to nothing in this world.

    Entitled is the word ANet used in their e-mails.  Perhaps I can call my grandchildren over to help you to brush up on your reading skills.

    Companies these days have little regard for consumers and make promises they cannot meet or, unfortunately in many cases, have no intention of meeting.  It's unfortunate as well that young people such as yourself are so eager to make excuses for them.

    As someone that has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years I am contantly amazed at how these companies fail miserably at planning for dynamic scaling for their infrastructure and proper testing ahead of launch.  It's shameful and I've fired employees for less.

    You talk of young people feeling entitled.  The real issue is that, on the corporate side, there is little sense of responsibiliy anymore.

     

  • Grimm666Grimm666 Thornhill, ONPosts: 126Member Uncommon

    I tend to see Head Starts as a way to stagger the gaming populace so they don't all hit the server at the same time. Of course, it would be better to do an actual stagger (like SWToR did), but then you of course get complaints from people who had to wait a horrid 3-5 extra days to play a video game.

    My only thought for these constant launch day issues is that everyone knows the population in most MMOs drop like a rock after the first month, so the developers/publishers don't want to waste the money buying, contracting or leasing the equipment, people and/or tools necessary to handle the opening day crowd.

    But as much as that sucks, I do wish people would stop taking off school/work/real world with the expectation that they'll be able to play an MMO for 8-12 hours a day during the first week. It would really cut down on the forum rage if they realized that there are other things they can do while the devs fix the queues and that if they wait even 1-2 days, then they would likely be able to play uninterrupted when they first sit down. Besdes, no one brings up a stalled launch these days unless they're comparing it to other stalled launches. By the end of the first week, it will be forgotten (although not forgiven, because that is not the internet's way)

    But alas, this is the MMO cycle. I expect in 30 days from now, GW2 forums will be filled with the theorycrafters stating "You must play X build to be an effective [insert profession] and in 60 days, we'll be seeing threads filled with "there's nothing left to do" complaints.

  • GurpslordGurpslord Hutchinson, MNPosts: 350Member

    No, don't get me wrong, I love GW2, it's a fun game and I'll be playing it like a rabid man-ape for some time I think.  However, a head start is launch as far as I'm concerned.  You can spin it as much as you want but the fac tis head start is launch for people who met the conditions.

    It's not a new 3 day stress test or beta, it's an early launch.  So, for the time being yeah, it sux but then I'm past the point of being upset about these kinds of things.  It'll be up when its up and in the interim I'll do other things.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,758Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Piiritus
    Head start is same as launch no matter how fanbois try to spin it. MMO companies offer head start as a bonus for pre-ordering the game and it should be playable at once. So rocky head start = rocky launch.

        Yet gamers will still fork over whatever amount they ask to get in early.....

  • eldariseldaris LondonPosts: 349Member


    Originally posted by xtravert


    Companies these days have little regard for consumers and make promises they cannot meet or, unfortunately in many cases, have no intention of meeting.  It's unfortunate as well that young people such as yourself are so eager to make excuses for them.

    As someone that has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years I am contantly amazed at how these companies fail miserably at planning for dynamic scaling for their infrastructure and proper testing ahead of launch.  It's shameful and I've fired employees for less.

    You talk of young people feeling entitled.  The real issue is that, on the corporate side, there is little sense of responsibiliy anymore.


    Yes ,seems that fanboys think that customers are the ones suffering of the entitlement complex just because they expect that a product they payed for to work.Every time a (game) company fails to deliver you have people trying to blame customers while in fact it's their beloved company fault for selling products or services not working as described.In fact entitlement complex is just used by corporate astroturfers to attack a lot of legitimate complains while trying to ignore all the failings of corporations.
    To answer the original question - a head start is the same as a launch to me ,as soon servers are live and there are no more character wipes the game is launched.

  • dougmysticeydougmysticey Pflugerville, TXPosts: 1,176Member
    I am not mad or anything. It is just a game and it will come up and it will be fine. No need to frustrate myself with this. BUT....to those who are giving a pass, Anet sold the headstart as part of a pre-PURCHASE so it has the same relevence to me as launch day and should be just as smooth.

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  • darkhalf357xdarkhalf357x Brooklyn, NYPosts: 1,164Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by VooDoo_Papa

    Every MMO has them and if things go to the crapper the first day of pre-launch its brushed off as "the game hasnt released yet".

     

     

    Its not a get out of jail free card.  ANet has to own up to this massive failure.  Of all the things I would expect to go wrong, a complete network failure is not one of them.  But at the same time I need the details of what actually happened.  As a Systems Architect there are many aspects of a failure that you dont have control over.  Did the links fail?  Are they over-saturated?  Or is it just simple server overload that wasn't predicted properly?  I can excuse the former but not the latter.

    Though this is pre-launch ANet has egg on its face (big time) and I wouldnt be surprised if they offered something as an apology.

    Bigger question is can they stabalize their environment to support the near historic load.  I can only see this getting worst come the 28th when everybody and their mother can join.

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  • atticusbcatticusbc Posts: 1,069Member Uncommon
    nah. headstart is launch. smaller launch sure, but it's a launch. however, people seem to have a pretty funky definition of "terrible" today. i'll say this now: i will give up all of my possessions and live as a hermit in cambodia the day we have a flawless mmo launch, or even one without server crashes.
  • CalerxesCalerxes LondonPosts: 1,630Member Uncommon
    Headstart is launch simple as that any argument to the contrary is just semantics.

    This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

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