First of all, I have to say that I really enjoyed every minute I played and that the localization, voice acting and adaptation are great, congratulations! The bad part is that looking at the Steam data I have spent 5 times more time in queue than playing, which, like thousands of other players, has generated a very bad feeling.
I know there are many people angry right now with the Lost Ark development team (myself included and not without good reasons), but I thought that another thread complaining about the situation was not going to help, so I thought of making a thread with some proposals and solutions to try to reduce the stress and frustration of the players at this time, since I understand that I know how complex technical developments work and that if there was a simple solution to the problems of queues and disconnections you would have already implemented it.
Possibly some of these things you have already thought of or can not be implemented due to technical or infrastructure limitations (or business decisions) but here are my two cents:
Do not force to close the game after a connection problem
I understand that this decision was taken due to some technical limitation in the architecture of the client or servers, but if having an “error” of any kind (especially a connection problem in the current state of the game) is already frustrating and generates a bad experience, having to close the game completely and reopen it, generates much more frustration (especially in this case, in which the client takes so long to start and load and with several intros of logo animations that can not be skipped).
I understand that this could generate more problems to the servers if the clients are making reconnection requests very fast, but it could be solved by putting a delay between each connection attempt.
Do not force to close the game to change region
I imagine that this will be some kind of technical limitation and maybe it is related to the previous point, but if to see how are other regions queues I have to close the game and reopen it (with the time it takes to open), it discourages users to change region and try other servers in a region where it is not peak time and there is less saturation.
I understand that it is not a solution for everyone but if you can’t play on your server because there is a 3 hour wait, maybe you can entertain yourself by trying other classes, or simply leveling another character on another region with different people to chill out.
This would greatly reduce frustration for these players and also lighten the overall wait times for those who don’t want to or can’t try another region.
Show wait times or number of players in queue on the server selection screen
Right now, all servers show the “busy” warning, but maybe there are servers with less population and more bearable queues, but having to try one by one to see how many players are in queue and get an idea of the waiting time of each one is tedious and frustrating, and in the end you end up thinking that all servers have 20k queue, when maybe it is not true.
This again discourages switching servers and servers with highest queues are still the ones that suffer the most from congestion, with no way to spread the load of players.
Separate server access queues for free and paid users
This is quite controversial and probably will have already been studied at a business level, but in times of high saturation I think it would be helpful and would encourage behaviors that would be beneficial to the company without generating much friction with the players.
It wouldn’t be about giving only paying players access, but about having a preferential queue that would advance somewhat faster.
In this way players who have invested money and bet on the game would be rewarded and less frustrated, and would value their financial investment more.
Most users who play for free understand that paying players have certain advantages, so it would not be something that would generate much rejection and on the other hand could be the incentive for them to decide to explore paying for any of the products.
Evidently there would be an important economic benefit for the company that would surely increase its sales considerably.
Manage maintenance hours better
Well this has already been mentioned many times, and I understand that now they are working against the clock and that the maintenance is done whenever they can, but if it is not something urgent, waiting a couple of hours to do a maintenance and do it in the time slot in which less players are connected, would greatly reduce the anger of the players, who have to spend long hours to play and who see that in their game windows they can not do it because the server is in a downtime.
Since the servers are separated by region, I’m sure it would be very easy to identify off-peak hours for each server cluster and impact the player experience as little as possible.
Do not restart the server on short notice
Well, this one is obvious, and is related to the previous point, but restarting a server with 2 minutes notice in a peak hour for players in that region is already a hassle and something that can anger players, but if those players have spent 1h trying to log into the game and then 3h queuing to play, to play 20 minutes and get kicked out of the server in the middle of an abyssal…
Unless there is a problem of utmost urgency, I don’t think it would have been much of a problem for anyone to delay the restart by 10 minutes and give everyone time to finish what they were doing.
Again congratulations for the great game and keep up the days (hopefully not weeks) of hard work stabilizing this