The team at Phoenix Labs have apparently not gone home from work since the game entered open beta on Thursday, May 24. They have opted instead to say at the office, plugging away at the myriad of issues and problems that the game has faced since release, deploying fixes and adding servers willy-nilly in an attempt to keep up with the unanticipated waves of players attempting to get into the game.
According to the game’s official Reddit, “We anticipated 75,000 concurrent Slayers hitting our servers at launch. This number was based on player activity during the Closed Beta and on our previous experience with game launches. 75,000 players would have put our game in the top three of actively played Steam games (for comparison). A lofty goal, but we didn’t want to run out of servers for our players. However, an error in our system prevented our online service from working correctly.”
Looking at the player comments, the “error in the system” might have been due to the hoard of slayers banging on the door to get in, with one player noting that he was “currently 144,000th in the queue”. For their part, the Phoenix team has repeatedly stated that "our ultimate goal is zero-queue, global matchmaking, and we will be working tirelessly to deliver on that.” They have been extremely open and transparent with the community, offering updates regularly, even in the middle of the night. Often, the update deploys come during the middle of hunts, knocking players out of the game with little warning. For the most part, players seem to be responding with cooperation and encouragement (with the occasional troll thrown in there for good measure, it IS Reddit after all). It is clear that the Phoenix team is locked in their office, running on coffee and good wishes as they work through the nights in shifts in an attempt to stabilize both the queueing system and the global matchmaking system.
For my part, my attempts to log in to the game on the first couple of days were met with hard crashes during the opening cut scene, causing my computer to completely shut down (first time that has ever happened!). I decided to give the team some time before trying again, and last night I was able to log right in, completing the tutorial and the first hunt with relatively few problems. The load times seemed a bit long, but hey, its only been three days. During the hunts, the game performed smoothly, right in line with what I saw during the closed beta.
As I expected, there is a huge amount of interest in this game, making the opening day server stress something akin to trying to pump the Mississippi River through a garden hose. I am quite sure that the devs will continue to stabilize things and get the problems all smoothed out within the next week or two.
If you are a Dauntless fan, raise a chicken wing towards Phoenix Labs’ dev team at the BBQ this afternoon. They are not likely to get any chicken wings themselves, as they add matchmaking servers and deploy codez.