Stephen Reid has been spending some time responding to frustrations that players have been expressing with server maintenance and lack of communication from the development and community teams regarding the recent patch.
More after the jump.
When the team at BioWare decided to roll out Friday’s patch they did post a notice about it on their forums, yet some players did not feel that this was enough of a notice from the developers. While they did not quote a specific time in their original post, they did update the the announcement later to include the start time for the patch. In all there was around a 9 hour window where BioWare made the fact that they were going to bring the servers down known on their forums. Still there are players who fell that this was not enough notice, especially considering there was no in-game notice of the patch.
Reid was quick to admit that the amount of time given for the notice was not substantial, and was quick to apologize for it. He did however point out that they updated players on the maintenance times as soon as they decided on a time to take the servers down. Reid also made mention of the fact that even though BioWare tries to get all their maintenance done during the weekly scheduled session, at times they will take down servers for maintenance if they feel a particular issue needs to be addressed asap. Hopefully these times will be few and far between, but they are always a possibility.
The weekly maintenance has come under fire as well, and the group that has been most vocal with their displeasure about the maintenance times have been European players. For most of us in North America the server downtime comes at a time that is not very interrupting, many of us are fast asleep by the time the Tuesday maintenance rolls around. But for European players this down time strikes right in the middle of afternoon play sessions. Now this is frustrating when enough when it occurs once a week, but when extra patch times such as what happened on Friday are thrown into the mix you have two days where you cannot even log on during high traffic times. This has, understandably, created a massive amount of frustration among the European players but Reid has promised that the team is currently discussing maintenance windows and how they can improve timing so that the EU is not hit as hard when it comes to server down times.
Another issue that has been brought forth by players is the inability to post on the forums during server down times. For those who may not be aware the swtor.com forums are put into a read only mode during the maintenance periods. Many games keep their forums up during maintenance periods unless the forums themselves are actually undergoing maintenance. This has lead some players to believe that the forums are being brought down in an attempt to stifle complaints from the players about the maintenance times. Reid assures players that this is not the case and that the only reason the forums are put in a read only mode is due to the fact that the forums put quite a bit of stress on their servers, particularly when the game goes down for maintenance when the forums can get hit hard, and that this stress causes performance issues. He does, however, admit that this policy is not acceptable in the long run and that their goal is to have the forums stay up in their full capacity during server downtime.
While BioWare continues to work on their maintenance issues here are a few tips to help you alleviate some of that frustration you may be experiencing.
1) Check the forums (or swtor-life.com) often for announcements about server down times. Frustration levels can rise exponentially when you are unaware of servers being down so keep yourself informed and plan your play times accordingly.
2) Remain patient. Any time you cannot log on sucks, but try and remember that the purpose of these down times is to improve your overall game experience.
3)Think of others. I know this sounds odd, but keep in mind that if the servers go down at a time other than the scheduled period is because players are experiencing major issues that need a fix asap. Just because you personally are not experiencing these problems does not mean they do not exist for others.
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