Server Status on the Launcher?

I’ve always wondered why it was so bloody hard to put the server status right into the launcher. I mean, if you start the game and it takes you to a launcher before you can play, doesn’t it make sense to tell the users right then and there, “Hey, servers are down!” or “Server status is:  (list)”.

I understand it’s tougher for Blizzard to do since they’ve got more servers than some countries have computers, but a simple mechanic of setting up a server watch. Person fires up launcher, goes into options, selects Show Server Status, checks off a limited number of servers to watch, launcher pings those servers for status and displays them for the user so the user doesn’t have to click play, log in and discover the servers are down.

I’m not even really talking about Blizzard here.

Think about it.

  1. Start game.
  2. Doesn’t actually start game, it fires up the patcher/launcher. Okay, sort of needed for MMOs, gotten check files and make sure you’re up to date.
  3. Click play.
  4. Game actually starts. Depending on the game you might have to deal with the cinematic and various sponsors or companies involved. Some actually fail to have a mechanism to bypass this or require interaction to skip (WoW doesn’t it notes that you’ve seen the cinematic and likely want to skip right into the crack, er, game.
  5. Type username (if it doesn’t save it for you)
  6. Type password (maybe even an OTP from an Authenticator)
  7. You might have a loading screen here.
  8. Here is where games deviate; same will have a server selection, some will have character selection but almost all of them will tell you at this point if the servers are down.

That’s roughly 8 steps to tell you that the servers aren’t available when you could inform them as early as step 2, but instead you decided to fill the launcher with advertisements.


Why wait or make a customer do a bunch of stuff only to discover the service isn’t available?

I’m flagging all the MMOs I think this applies to. I could be wrong because it’s been awhile since I looked at any of them and I hate to admit it, but I think DDO actually does show server status on the launcher. For others I simply can’t remember (DAoC, AoC).

Something About Stuff

Not a whole lot going on lately but I’m going to fill a page with drivel anyway.

Oh, I did start watching The Glades. Good show. Kind of reminds me of a cross between House and CSI, though in Florida. Lead is kind of like House but the content is solving homicides. Lots of homicide shows; Castle, The Mentalist and now The Glades. I don’t really watch CSI (in it’s various flavors) or some of the other shows like Criminal Minds or Law and Order.

I’m almost all out of books to read. I devoured the last Feist book in a couple of days. I found it pretty short and not nearly as good as his usual ones. I suspect people who put Feist down once the story shifted away from Pug might like it since he’s focusing a little more on that area. I have a Glen Cook book on pre-order (it’s an old book just released again) which will finish off a sci-fi trilogy (Starfisher trilogy). Until then, I’m reading through a related book; Passage at Arms which takes place in that sort of time frame. It’s interesting.

I haven’t done much in WoW lately. Really, nothing. I don’t think I’ve even logged in for a week. I’m going to try to go to this Ulduar raid Twisted Serenity has planned since I haven’t actually killed the General, Yogg-Saron or Alganon. Or even seen them really – well, I saw Alganon though we didn’t beat him. I think I mentioned I canceled the LittleBigOgre’s WoW account. I think he played it maybe three or four times. He had been asking about playing City of Heroes more and more. This is the first time I’ve seen him actually remember to ask about playing something consistently for several months.

So I bought him the Architect Edition and set up him to play it. He’s been playing it a lot more than he was playing WoW. Though he keeps making new heroes and barely plays them. I was surprised to see he’s got about four characters that use the Assault Rifles power set. “But this guy looks different and uses this different gun!” Gotta love kids.

I caved yesterday and re-enabled my account so I could play along side him for a bit. He was really happy about that. Even the LittleLittleOgre hangs out and watches. If we play tonight, I think I’ll let him push some buttons and stuff (LBO will probably protest to that).

Sibling rivalry is a funny thing. LBO has moments he claims to hate LLO and other times they’re playing together like good friends. LBO will convince LLO to get things that LBO likes instead of what LLO likes – so we’re watching that. LBO will also want to buy things for LLO that LBO wants. Meanwhile, LLO is willing to sacrifice something he wants to get LBO something and when TheWife was out shopping for stuff for LLO with LLO, LLO wanted to buy stuff for LBO. He loves his big brother so much, it’s sickeningly sweet.

I joined an Agency in Global Agenda, it’s HellsGamers. Seems like a good bunch though they’re a gaming group that spans a ton of FPS type games. Vent is about what you’d expect from a bunch of teens to 20 year olds. UFTimmy made me do it. Actually, he knew some people from there and I’d rather go with people that someone I know, knows than throw myself out to the basement-dwelling and unwashed masses. I mucked around with a group on Tuesday, but haven’t been on much since. Maybe later tonight.

UFTimmy is stealing my class.

I decided I wasn’t happy with the way the Recon played after 30 so I flailed around, staying away from Robotics because that was his thing, until I found that I liked the Assault class. After several missions of standing on the point (YES! I’m an Assault that will actually try to take the point!) and mowing down enemies, it was just too much fun. I tried Medic a bit, but it’s not fun to play in PVP since everyone targets you and you’re pretty squishy… even with mods and trying to line the tank up between you and the shooters. Recons get you. heh.

He says he is going to go Assault because everyone else is playing Robotics.

So everyone who reads this and plays GA, go Assault! Maybe that’ll drive him back to Robotics.