Path of Exile 2 is on its way, but the latest expansion for the first game, Ultimatum, launched this week. It was a bit of a mess, to put it mildly, with players stuck waiting in server queues and unable to play. However, the issues were magnified due to Grinding Gear Games’ decision to let paid streamers skip the lines and start playing immediately.
As Eurogamer spotted, Path of Exile producer Chris Wilson explained on a Reddit thread that the Ultimatum Challenge League, which is a risk / reward trial in which players are essentially competing against each other. others, let the players enter much too slowly. “Human error” prevented the normal trickle migration process from performing, and players continued to be flushed out of the realm until a possible fix was made several hours later.
But why was this Path of Exile situation any different from the server issues that plagued a game like Outriders, for example? Well, because not everyone was hit. The paid streamers that Grinding Gear Games brought on board for the launch were cleared immediately, as they were supposed to stream for two hours. Not being allowed to play was, the team believed at the time, out of the question.
“It was about as close as I could get to setting a big pile of money on fire,” Wilson said. “So we made the hasty decision to allow these streamers to bypass the queue.”
As you can imagine, getting players interested in new content through influencers isn’t too effective when you also poke fun at their lack of ability to play. The studio won’t do those kinds of preferential treatment workarounds in the future, and noted that “most” streamers haven’t asked them to do so.
Giving some players a chance to get ahead of everyone certainly doesn’t seem like the right decision whether you paid them or not. However, based on Wilson’s comments, it appears the studio has learned a very valuable lesson in public goodwill and likely won’t make the same mistake again.
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