Open Request to ArenaNet - Give more information about the EU issue, not less. — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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Open Request to ArenaNet - Give more information about the EU issue, not less.

ArenaNet developers and PR staff,

I've been with the game since 2012, so I know it's not your general policy to expose much information about what causes issues and what mitigation plans and timelines you have to fix things. And for these eight years, you haven't really needed them! Your track record is extraordinary compared to your peers in terms of keeping a system live and stable.

But we've got a problem now that threatens to erode all the trust you've built up from years of excellence. For many EU players, there's been months of brutal, seconds-long latency; and now, a major rollback and its daily aftershocks of login server errors and crashes. While the rollback may have been well-resolved, the aftershocks make players worry that a fault-line has been formed, one which will continue to make the game unplayable.

When players are uncertain about a game's future - or at least, their ability to continue playing it - they will leave. If another rollback occurs due to the underlying issues at stake, they will certainly leave. There's too many echoes from dealing with rollbacks in other MMOs for players to stick around and be subjected to the risk of repeated rollbacks. There's also a limit to patience in dealing with login server errors constantly, getting in the way of every little thing.

When other companies encounter issues of this scale, they do one vital thing: they communicate. They become more transparent about some of their internals. Why do that?

  1. It shows you are working towards or have already created a diagnosis for the problem. Players can follow your reasoning and see why the problem is difficult, and sympathize somewhat with the scale of the problem. It can even help players understand which factors were and were not out of your control, and most issues are a factor of both architectural accidents and bad luck.

  2. It shows what your actions have been. Players can see what steps you've taken, that you've been acting so far to tackle the issue with excellence. It allows them to root for you instead of dwelling only on the issue.

  3. It shows them what long-term plans you have to mitigate the issue from arising in the future. This component is critical when the issue is a recurring one: it shows that you have taken steps to change your system in such a way that a whole category of failures is significantly less likely to recur.

This request is not aimed towards harassing or demanding information, but rather to lay out a case for you to do so in this situation. Players that may have dismissed a one-time hiccup are becoming rapidly more frustrated by what seems to be a daily chronic issue, and your time to respond before many of them begin a mass exodus is running short.

I also genuinely hope that player tempers running high doesn't lead to further harassment for you all. That is not something I desire for any dev, least of all you lot.

I hope this request is a helpful one for you.

Best Regards,

  • Firiann Fellshard (US, Tarnished Coast, Software Developer)

Comments

  • Blude.6812Blude.6812 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 13, 2020

    As soon as the recent issue surfaced basic info, like it EU servers only, All you players in NA can relax and play. Simple things like that would be appreciated.

  • Kenogu.3640Kenogu.3640 Member ✭✭

    EU and NA are not disconnected - I want our EU compatriots to be able to continue playing alongside us, as well. And I have a few friends who play in EU, some of whom have been reporting on the latency and login issues for some time.

  • Kenogu.3640Kenogu.3640 Member ✭✭

    Re-opening this letter, because it's only becoming more applicable with the repeated outages we've been seeing. Better communication is essential, as EU players are widely stating they have little trust remaining. You are in danger of losing vast swathes of players, and you need a better strategy than the one you've been using.