In fact, I have only seen this once.
And I saw it on the first week the game went live.
I realize that we have gone around, here and elsewhere, on the idea that the number of subscribers is not a direct indication of the health or profitibility of an MMO.
On the other hand, with a new game that is getting good reviews and that has a strong IP behind it, I would expect to see this message more and more as time went along, eventually leading to the addition of a new server or two and all the gymnastics that go along with that.
Even Brandywine, which used to show a queue every night when I logged in has been clear of such waits recently, at least when I have been coming online.
Of course I have no subscriber data, but I wonder why this is. Have all the power gamers hit level 50 and run off already? Is this the summer slump?
We could be optimists and opine that Turbine has streamlined login so server queues only occur in extreme conditions…but optimistic blog posts probably aren’t as much fun as other types of speculation :)
Summer slump is certainly a possibility, although Eve Online is still hitting 30,000+ online most days. Maybe summer comes later in Northern Europe?
I only played LOTRO in beta, and I didn’t purchase it at release because I saw little in the game that would keep me there beyond sightseeing my favorite spots in Middle Earth. I’ve sort of been waiting for the LOTRO honeymoon to end as people try to figure out what to do every day once the sightseeing ends…but since I only played it in beta, I’m certainly prepared to be wrong if a healthy community arises and continues to have fun with it. Just because I didn’t think I’d enjoy it long-term doesn’t mean much, it’s just one person’s opinion.
I strongly agree with two of your points. First, any importance ascribed to a lack of server queues is just speculation at this point, absent hard data. Second, though, you’re totally right about adding servers. If LOTRO moves through the summer and into the fall, and no new servers are added, that’ll tell us something about the upper ceiling for subscribers and whether the game will ever grow past the initial launch rush.
A lot might depend on content addition too, which Turbine seems to be paying attention to. Whatever happens, it’s fun to watch, isn’t it?
There’s been some speculation floating around that Turbine uses artificial queues to control server population.
Landroval had a queue for a few weeks in May, but it was odd. First of all, several people reported seeing their queue numbers jump up while they were waiting… from 9 to 11, for example. That actually happened to me once, too.
Second, the queue occurred at all times of day and always hovered around 10 people. I know because I log in at weird times. In the morning, in the evening, mid-afternoon, late at night… during the whole period there was ALWAYS a queue and it was always between 8-14 people in line… the total wait time was usually 60-120 seconds before you were allowed to log in.
Since then, I haven’t seen a queue on Landroval ONCE at any time. So, take that as you will. I wouldn’t put it past them to toss up a minor artificial queue on servers approaching critical mass to curb the population before nasty 15-20 minute queues piss people off.
I think you might be seeing a combination of summer slump and the effects of a lifetime subscription plan. I know that having purchased a lifetime plan, neither my husband nor I feel the same ‘must log in’ compulsion. We’re not paying month-to-month, so don’t have that same urge to get our moneys worth. As a result, we play once-a-week with friends, and randomly beyond that. That doesn’t mean we don’t love the game, we do, but there’s more of a compulsion with EQ2 and WoW since we’re paying that fee each month….
Ancient, I think it gets summed up here
Kinda how I felt at least.
Well, I hope I will benefit from these sorts of reviews since I am moving at a much slower pace in LOTRO.
I am feeling a bit of the crafting pain, but mostly because I insist on having alts, all of whom have a craft.
This is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation if I ever saw one. People bitch up and down when a game has queues, but as soon as they are gone the worry and speculate if there’s a problem. Heh. I think the simplest explanation is the best one: Turbine was manipulating queues early on in the game to encourage an even distribution of players across all servers. Now that things have stabilized, they’ve removed the queues as well as the “new players are encouraged to start characters on XYZ server” messages.