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Logical look at staggered EA.


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1. Rewards those who ordered earliest

2. Can roll out more servers as needed to avoid queues*

3. Less zone crowding



*1. Those servers rolled out later won't fill up as quickly because those getting in later likely already know people on (or are in a guild assigned to) those first servers and will thus be going to those.

2. Unless you happened to pre-order around the same time, good luck getting to play with your friends until 50.

3. False sense of "this is going well, we'll be fine."

4. Punishes people for waiting to pre-order till they either know they want it for certain, or can afford it, or know when it even comes out. Especially with projects like MMO's that are prone to delays.



If you want to reward those who ordered earliest, fine. But don't claim this is for logistical purposes. If it truly is for logistical purposes, I fear for the future of this game given the clear lack of foresight you possess, for you have already clearly forgotten about the social aspect of MMOs by choosing this staggered model. You have pre-order data, you have data from your stress tests. You should be well aware of the number of servers you need to properly service all those with pre-orders. Given the fact that you aren't some small company releasing for the first time, and have the benefit of EA's market knowledge, you should even be able to ballpark release week purchases and be ready for those.


This idea of avoiding deserted servers in the future by making the game less enjoyable in the present is self-defeating. When I first heard of the staggered I knew it would flop, as the only thing such things do is reward those who ordered earliest, leaving them pleased while the fanboys could care less, while the rest of us sit here and twiddle our thumbs around uselessly as our friends pass us by in the levels. Especially painful for the pragmatic of us who waited till we had a hand in the beta (or the NDA was lifted for glorious amounts of information) to pre-order.


Of course a bunch of Bioware fanboys who ordered first day will entitle this a "whine thread" and you may be inclined to agree with them. But remember this Bioware, it's not the fanboys you have to win over and please. You could make the monthly subscription $30, charge them $150 for the basic version, and install devices in their desks to hit them in the nuts every time the servers go down for maintenance and they would still praise you. It's the customers who tread the line of whether or not they'll play the game that you have to worry about to make this successful, not the ones that would follow you anywhere and never question you, and while this admittedly shouldn't be the straw that breaks the camels back (considering it's the first one) it's a rather ominous sign that you don't think things through, and it's certainly a push in the direction of the "not" side of the decision to play this game. And pushing them in that direction is what will make you truly end up with the problem of having to merge servers as they become ghost towns.


In fact, let's look at how you've prioritized this. Rather than being concerned about making all those who pre-ordered happy, you've prioritized not letting servers become ghost towns and having to go through the trouble of merging them ahead of that. That is the most frighteningly telling part of all this.

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