There are not so many buy-to-play or subscription-based MMOs going free-to-play no more, mainly because most of them that may make the jump already did so earlier. So this week, PvP sandbox MMORPG Albion Online released its transformation, and if you consider Sandbox Interactive, it was because the game was doing fine and even could better in perspective, not because the game was troubled.
The kick off was on Wednesday, so we see the top of that yet on the weekend, but speaking of its current state, the game has had massive leap in peak players, from 758 in March to about 7000 so far. And that’s only a Steam statistics; as MMO players may remember, the game went live off Steam a long time before it appeared on Valve’s platform, so the players who are back might not even be included here at all.
However, the rollout doesn’t seem like it has been completely perfect. After it released the update, the studio shutted down the game to fix some emergencies which appears to have been a gold deceptive exploit; conspicuously, there weren’t any cancels because only a few accounts responded and “the total amount of fake gold created by the exploit [was] very small,” which didn’t stop players from grumbling about “rampant inflation.”
The studio probably was right warning everyone about the possibility queues and lag as the servers are in pressure under the heavy loads.
“We deployed several changes and improvements to the network infrastructure during today’s maintenance,” the devs wrote this morning. “The results look promising, we’re not recording a significant amount of packet loss anymore. With the reduction of packet loss, you should also note a significant reduction in lag and we’re able to let in more players. We’re now carefully increasing the player limit to avoid further queues, but we will be monitoring performance closely and might have to employ queues again if they become necessary. We already have significantly (35%+) more players playing concurrently than we’ve had the last couple of days, however!”
Actually, this weekend, we probably see “overload protection features” like other players being unshown. Well, better more players than less, isn’t it?