Let’s start a Riot

Last week I wrote a bit about League of Legends and how I think the queues on the EU servers are a good thing. I still consider what I said to be correct, but at the same time I now realise what a permanent state of such bad service can do to the game. Let me show you what prompted today’s whine.

1 second queue that won't end.

The one second that lasts an eternity (literally, it wouldn't let me in).

My week in LoL

  • Saturday: I tried logging in but the servers were constantly busy. I spent my time watching Dreamhack streams instead.
  • Sunday: Pretty much the same as Saturday.
  • Monday: After failing to log in during the day I managed to get in after midnight (less than ideal) and play two games. Unfortunately I lost both.
  • Tuesday: Weirdly enough, I managed to log in just fine during the day and played quite a few games (lost most of them). Attempting to play a few games during the evening failed though.
  • Wednesday (yesterday): I was unable to log in during the day, after waiting in queue for an hour and a half I get the server busy message. Spent that time reading the rage threads on the official EU forums. Fortunately I was free the next day so I managed to log in at 2 am. I played a game (which I lost) and then had to log off because the servers were going down for an update (in 90 min, but you can’t start any games).
  • Thursday (today): I was unable to log in for the better part of the day because of the “server is busy” message. While writing this post I managed to get in after many repeated attempts.
    Update: I got disconnected before I could play any games and now the servers appear to be down. /facepalm

For the past few days the EU servers have been in a state of disrepair. It’s almost impossible to log in during the day because of the 1 hour+ queues (after which you often get a server is busy message) and players are lucky if they can play a few games after midnight.

In my last LoL post I said that this is a good thing because it indicates an enormous growth in the playerbase, but that is only true assuming Riot reacts properly. Which would be talking to the players, keeping them in the loop and have adding new servers/fixing the code be the first priority for fund/manpower allocation.

Server busy message.

Waiting in queue for an hour only to get this message at the end of it can be infuriating.

The problem is that Riot are silent so the players have no idea whether they are working on the problem or not. What little official response I picked up seems to be “We don’t have time at the moment because of Dreamhack and season one ending, we’ll fix it later”. Which comes over as an excuse because, while Riot did have a tournament on their hands, they can’t claim they had the whole EU team in Sweden. If they did send the whole team over there (instead of only the PRs), then it was an incredibly stupid thing to do.

Naturally, the playerbase is enraged. There will always be people who will start threatening with lawsuits the moment they can’t log in, but I get the feeling that’s not the case here. It appears like the majority of EU players are sick of not being able to play and they feel like they are being treated as second-rate customers, with NA servers being compensated for any downtime and having relatively stable servers (not to mention the bad service they suffered under GOA).

Frankly, I don’t care about Riot’s excuses. I’m not a part of the mob demanding blood either, because I realise that servers can’t be added overnight. But if things don’t change for the better in a week’s time, I could see this ordeal severely damaging Riot’s reputation, if not their whole EU community. Though considering that the game is free to play, the term “any publicity is good publicity” especially applies here. But I wouldn’t count on it.

And no, this is not a whine post. This a “you can (and should) do better Riot” post. Let’s not start a Riot. That can be nasty.

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6 thoughts on “Let’s start a Riot

  1. There is nothing more frustrating than poor customer service or silence from the company during server-realted problems. I never understand whey they dont take a few minutes and have someone post something, anything, to let customers know what is going on.

    Hope you get to play (without ques) soon.

  2. To be honest, I’m not very impressed with the stability and queue times on the NA side either. Many times I have run into the exact same problems (hanging at 1 second), taking 40 mins to get in, etc. Also, I would really like it if they could get their act together in their client, but that’s perhaps a rant for another day.

    All in all, for a free game I can’t really complain, but I do tend to agree that they’ll lose their playerbase if it goes much further.

    • Well just yesterday they posted that all EU players are getting 550RP as compensation and all leaves will be forgiven. Apparently the server issues were still problems from (ongoing?) Lulzsec attacks.

      So I’m content. Of course the servers are unavailable today again but I can always go troll the NA servers. :P

  3. Duuude! They totally heard you! I read you blog! Went home from work, got distracted and had a drink on the way home and logged in to this:

    >Riot’s mission is to be the most player-focused company in the world. League of Legends has grown from an idea to a worldwide phenomenon at a pace that’s both thrilling and humbling. Our player base is now several million strong and spans over a dozen countries. Unfortunately, this has garnered us some extra attention from cyber bullies. Some of which has been detrimental to your gaming experience.

    You’ve probably heard rumors of the DDoS attacks that we’ve been experiencing. Unfortunately, these rumors have been a reality, and are a big part of why our service has been suffering. We’ve been working around the clock to maintain stability, but the malicious nature of our internet assailants have made that difficult.

    In any case, we understand that the service that we’ve been providing you has been unacceptable and we will not rest until we provide the phenomenal service that you all deserve. So to thank you for your patience during this period, we’re happy to provide the following:

    550 RP to every summoner who has logged in between 12:00 a.m. CEST on June 1st, 2011 and 11:59 p.m. CEST on June 23rd, 2011
    Leaver amnesty from games going back to June 1st. Many disconnections weren’t your fault, and we don’t want unintended leaves to reflect negatively on you.
    We know that the best form of compensation we could provide you with is consistently stable access to League of Legends, but as we strive to make that a reality, we want to give you this as a token of our appreciation for your patience and support. Also know that a long-term fix to these stability issues is on the horizon, and we’ll have more information regarding these coming changes in the near term.

    >In the meantime, thank you for your support, your passion, and your patience.

    Admittedly they seem to be blaming the whole thing on hackers but still….I’m entirely attributing this to you :-)

    • Haha, I wouldn’t be attributing this to me, but rather to the thousands of rage posts on the forums and Riot’s desire to keep making money. :D

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