Trion committed their first real misstep this weekend. The big River of Souls world event started with a big two week ramp up and ended with a single event that lasted less than an hour on Saturday afternoon. Phase two was a single instance of multiple bosses spawning in each zone followed by phase three which was in-game cutscene introducing the new raid instance.
I am completely disappointed.
I spent quite a bit of time with the dailies and looking into the lore behind Alsbeth, the River of Souls, and the Plane of Death. I was also at the level cap early, which never happens. So I was really looking forward into experiencing the event. Unfortunately I was out of town doing family stuff this weekend, so I wasn’t even one of the people stuck in an eight hour queue. Originally, I wasn’t to worried about missing anything. I figured that the event would a least last the weekend and I’d be able to login on Sunday evening and catch up with a little work. It never occurred to me that the event would only run once, since the entire build up phase was repeating rift invasions.
This event was especially frustrating because of Trion’s history of good decisions until now. They did a great job of running their betas. They had a smooth launch, if not perfect, and they impressed me with how well they handled their account security problems a few weeks ago. So given all of that, why did they think it was a good idea to follow up a huge two weeks long (even if it was only planned to be one) build up with a short one hour (or less on some servers) one time only event? It just doesn’t make sense.
By Saturday night, Scott Hartsman has a follow up post where he tries to do some damage control. Like Trion’s done before with other issues, they’re giving out from free items and awarding the event achievements to everyone who’s a subscriber. That’s a nice way of saying sorry. For me though it wasn’t about the loot, it was about getting to be online and experience the content, and that’s gone. To put it another way, getting a t-shirt from Disney World is nice but I’d much rather ride Space Mountain.
Reading through Scott’s post, he talks about how their ambition got the better of them, but I don’t agree with that. The event itself sounds like it was fine, the problem was that it only happened once. The queues and the lag were all a consequence of motivating the entire population of every server to login at the same time, which was exacerbated by bringing the servers down shortly before the event and compressing the login rush even further. Had the even been scheduled to happen every two to three hours during the course of the weekend, I don’t think they would’ve had nearly the same problems. There still would’ve been the issue with Phase Three only taking place in Stillmoor which locks out any players under level 45 or so, but at least two-thirds of the event would’ve been accessible.
I still logged in Sunday evening and had some fun. I’m not upset or planning to quit over this, but I don’t see myself investing quite as much time or interest in the next event. They’re saying the right things now, but I need to see if they can follow that with actions.