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Adding temporary Divine Gateways for launch

NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
edited January 2022 in General Discussion
Games only get one launch yadda yadda yadda, you know the speech. :smile: First impressions are super important. This suggestion is about trying to improve that.

The goal is 10k concurrent players and 50k accounts per server. At launch there is talk of around 15k pre-registered accounts per server and queues are expected. The hope is the server population continues to rise after launch obviously, instead of going into a negative spiral of what feels like an empty server causing the game to be unfun and people to leave the game. I think we should cram as many people onto the servers as possible from day 1, without it being a huge mess.

Currently there are 4 Divine Gateways they portal people into, that are in proximity to one or more starting areas (marked as diamonds). That's around 2500 players per gateway if they are spread out evenly by some miracle (unlikely). That's too many I think, so they might feel obligated to reduce the number of concurrent players at release from 10k to much lower on the first few days. This creates looooong queues and causes people to not log out when they go to sleep or work, exacerbating the problem.

My suggestion is simply to add several more temporary gateways for launch. They can be without the nearby racial starting areas and be clearly labelled as such, but it's probably necessary to add an NPC encampment with some starting quests, like we saw in Alpha 1. People who want to experience their racial starter area can do that at the original gateways, and the people who care more about establishing their own node ASAP can go through the temporary gateways.

Doubling the number to 8 divine gateways should be relatively easy, potentially doubling the amount of concurrent players on day 1, and/or improving the experience for new players. After a while the extra gateways should be closed and the camps around them dismantled and removed, leaving only the 4 original divine gateways.

Below is just an example of placement. White dots are the originally planned divine gateways with the racial starter areas nearby. The pink dots are the temporary ones placed in the same biome, but probably around 20-30 minutes away. More could be placed in other biomes for sure, to spread the population out further, but I assume there are reasons why Intrepid have placed the divine gateways where they are.

https://i.imgur.com/eu7VXoC.jpg (click link to zoom in more easily)
eu7VXoC.jpg

I think the Pro's of adding temporary divine gateways are pretty self evident to be honest. Lore-wise it fits as well, with the gods and governments on Sanctus recognizing the extra temporary effort required to accommodate the rush to repopulate Verra at first.

The Cons are added development time. Even if they copy/paste as much as possible, which is fine for temporary stuff, they still have to be made to feel good, and subsequently be removed from the game. There is no getting around that.

I see it as a worthwhile investment into making the launch as smooth and good an experience as possible, because it really IS that important to the game. Other tools, like the pre-registration of players and guilds on the servers are important as well, but it might not be enough.

Comments

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    Has the number of divine gateways been finalised? Do you have a link/reference for us?
    This link may help you: https://ashesofcreation.wiki/


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    I like the idea! @daveywavey I don't know about finalised, but on the map they show 4 gateways. https://ashesofcreation.wiki/World_map

    I worry going from 15k at launch to a max target of 50k later on is a tall order. Unless the game is really, really successful of course.

    Pulling some numbers out of my ass, let's assume the minimum viable population on a server for a healthy and fun game is 25k accounts and 5k concurrent. Half the max. The real numbers are hopefully figured out during alpha.

    Ideally we hit that number on day 1. Let's again assume (because that never fails) they hit the 1000 players siege goal, meaning they can potentially handle 1000 players per starting area. We'd need 25 divine gateways at launch to hit that target. That seems unlikely, but half that, 12, seems doable when looking at the map. That's just 4 more than @Nerror suggested. There's enough room on the map for them at least.

    25k players per sever on day 1, with half of them in queue until the first-comers leave the starting area and make room for more. Without knowing anything about server architecture, perhaps they can also temporarily boost server capacity the first couple of weeks until things settle down.

    I don't know if it's technically possible, but if it is, I think, from a business point of view, they will quickly recoup the extra cost if it means a successful launch without queues for days, and a healthy server population.

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    On the other hand though, they'll want new players to emerge near to existing civilisation, rather than into an empty node with nothing for them to do other than level on mobs. The fewer gateways there are, the more it pushes players together.
    This link may help you: https://ashesofcreation.wiki/


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    daveywavey wrote: »
    On the other hand though, they'll want new players to emerge near to existing civilisation, rather than into an empty node with nothing for them to do other than level on mobs. The fewer gateways there are, the more it pushes players together.

    True that is a consideration for sure. I think it will be ok if the extra gateways aren't placed too far away though. Either way, no matter which gateway we are talking about, there is bound to at least be a village node or higher there from all the starting players. Unless and until it is destroyed of course, but that can happen even with only 4 divine gateways too. It's not like it's a guarantee for the future.
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    I think the 1300 animated combatants that we saw in the Dec2021 livestream suggests that 6500 can be displayed extremely well (Clayton's rig spec?) if equally spread across the five starting areas (four divine gates and Tulnar area). I think it was purely a display of client side capability. Obviously, it would be more impressive if the demo represented 1300 individual demands on a server in one Verra map location which was then viewed from a client. Please can someone correct me if I am wrong or clarify if necessary.

    I'm sure that we will see more and more impressive capability demonstrations over the build up to Alpha2. I'm intrigued to know if Intrepid will allocate 2000 players to each starting point or let players choose, potentially resulting in >>2000 in one location.

    I'm hoping that Intrepid do all the groundwork to ensure that the servers can handle 10k coming into the server all at the same time, but if it isn't possible then there are alternative solutions.

    For example, they could stagger the new players into 4? batches with only 2 hours 45 minutes (before kick) to get into the world before the next batch start at 3 hour intervals. That's enough time to have a little play experience and let others have a go. After the first 12? hours let it become a normal free-for-all queueing system.
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited January 2022
    daveywavey wrote: »
    Has the number of divine gateways been finalised? Do you have a link/reference for us?

    I believe it's 4 on the world map, as @Jhoren was saying.Two racial starter areas for each, and perhaps a special one for Tulnar somewhere.
    Jhoren wrote: »
    I worry going from 15k at launch to a max target of 50k later on is a tall order. Unless the game is really, really successful of course.

    If the game isn't good, nothing will help obviously. If we get New World drop-off numbers, the game might die. But yes, I also worry about filling that gap from 15000 to 50000 players on a server. It's not often I have seen server population numbers go up like that after launch.
    daveywavey wrote: »
    On the other hand though, they'll want new players to emerge near to existing civilisation, rather than into an empty node with nothing for them to do other than level on mobs. The fewer gateways there are, the more it pushes players together.

    Yes, true, but I wasn't thinking that these extra gateways should last more than a couple of weeks or so. They are ONLY there to ease the initial rush of people, including the no-lifers that will hit 50 in those 2 weeks and never log off.

    I think the nodes near the original 4 starting points will be solid and stay there until their eventual destruction, so new players have a place nearby to go to.

    I would not be surprised to see the nodes by the divine gateways be the first metropolises on a lot of servers. Even with temporary gateways elsewhere for a couple of weeks.
    McMackMuck wrote: »
    I think the 1300 animated combatants that we saw in the Dec2021 livestream suggests that 6500 can be displayed extremely well (Clayton's rig spec?) if equally spread across the five starting areas (four divine gates and Tulnar area). I think it was purely a display of client side capability. Obviously, it would be more impressive if the demo represented 1300 individual demands on a server in one Verra map location which was then viewed from a client. Please can someone correct me if I am wrong or clarify if necessary.

    I'm sure that we will see more and more impressive capability demonstrations over the build up to Alpha2. I'm intrigued to know if Intrepid will allocate 2000 players to each starting point or let players choose, potentially resulting in >>2000 in one location.

    I'm hoping that Intrepid do all the groundwork to ensure that the servers can handle 10k coming into the server all at the same time, but if it isn't possible then there are alternative solutions.

    For example, they could stagger the new players into 4? batches with only 2 hours 45 minutes (before kick) to get into the world before the next batch start at 3 hour intervals. That's enough time to have a little play experience and let others have a go. After the first 12? hours let it become a normal free-for-all queueing system.

    I am not a fan of the batch-idea with kicking players after a certain time. I get it, I just don't like it. :smile:

    Another thing with 1300 or 2000 or so at the starter area, the layout has to support it. With collision detection, we can't really have more than 10-20 players surrounding a single NPC. We saw that in A1 at the siege captains and siege merchants, with 200 players clumped up and people not able to leave the crowd from the middle of the clump/close to the NPC, nor new ones get close enough to talk to the NPC. Nobody wanted to move and lose their spot.

    Collision detection makes an enormous difference in how many can be in an area at once.

    Personally I would be ok with 25 gateways, so people can access the NPCs and get on with it.
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    DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Hmmn.
    I typically immediately run from the starting area of my race to the starting area of a different race.
    I think many people will be trying to establish their ideal Racial Node Type in their ideal geographical location as quickly as possible to have the best possible chance to end up establishing a Metro.
    I don't think most people will be hanging around in the starting areas long.
    Complete newbies might.

    I also believe most MMORPG players will forgive snags due to masses of players the first week.
    First week launching pangs are forgettable. An overabundance of bugs and horrid gameplay mechanics is what would be unforgivable.
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    OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Dygz wrote: »
    I also believe most MMORPG players will forgive snags due to masses of players the first week.
    First week launching pangs are forgettable. An overabundance of bugs and horrid gameplay mechanics is what would be unforgivable.

    I agree in general for most mmos. But Ashes is going to be very competitive. If there's tons of 9-5 workers that miss most of the first week or two, while 16 hour a dayer's like me are in there progressing, a lot of people could get demoralized and quit, or demand new servers. I'd be pissed. Not only are you not getting to play something you paid for, but you're falling behind in a competitive game where getting a running start is probably going to be very beneficial. I hope Intrepid has ideas to mitigate this, and NOT by spinning up all kinds of new servers like New World.

    I thought you were dead dygz.


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    Taleof2CitiesTaleof2Cities Member
    edited January 2022
    Dygz wrote: »
    Hmmn.
    I typically immediately run from the starting area of my race to the starting area of a different race.
    I think many people will be trying to establish their ideal Racial Node Type in their ideal geographical location as quickly as possible to have the best possible chance to end up establishing a Metro.

    Your starting Divine Gateway isn't restricted by race, @Dygz.

    That's already been confirmed by Steven and in the wiki.

    Good news for you and other players in the same predicament.
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    DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Yep. I know that starting Divine Gateway isn't restricted by race.
    I still plan to immediately be move away from there and attempt to begin progressing my ideal Node based on whatever we learn during Beta.
    I just have 25 years experience doing something similar in previous MMORPGs.
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    DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Okeydoke wrote: »
    I thought you were dead dygz.
    <3
    Yeah, when I popped back on, that thought crossed my mind...

    I don't know that you're falling behind anything.
    I suppose that depends on whether new servers become available a few weeks after launch.
    Competitive people will always be butt hurt about something, though.
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    daveywavey wrote: »
    Has the number of divine gateways been finalised? Do you have a link/reference for us?

    I just happened to come across a reference to this one: https://youtu.be/T4Jw6jtWGPw?t=3902
    1 hour 5 minutes in. 4 divine gateways planned.
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