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.
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.
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.