Massive Squad Server Queues: Miserable for the Player, Inefficient, Detrimental to Seeding Server.
Hi, my name is =SZ=BitingWit. I am an admin on the SEALZ West Coast Server. I am asking this here as just a squad player/individual, not as a figurehead for the organizations opinion/demand/etc. I am a veteran squad player both in time and hours played but recently joined the administrative side of the server and have learned firsthand the flow of running it. Populating it, battlemetrics and command administration, etc. However, I have also learned the sometimes painful experience of trying to populate it, even as one of the more popular servers around. I think there is a possible easy solution that would enrich the overall squad community particularly its servers. Server Queues need to be limited or capped at a maximum amount for the benefit of the whole Squad community, its players experience, and the servers seeding that could really use a few players at a critical time. I believe so, and I hope my argument may convince OWI to as well.
How long is a queue before it becomes irksome for queue members, worsening their experience, and it becomes inefficient waste/excess that could likely populate another server on their own? How detrimental is waiting an hour or longer in a 15,20,25, even 30 person queue for the Squad playerbase and OWI's bottom line? Not to mention the seeding server players and owners wanting enough players for the normal match to begin? The only likely winner in the current server queue scenario is the organization that needs it the least of all, the server with the massive queue. The current queue system benefits popular servers while actively hurting smaller servers before they can ever get their true wings. How are you ever able to find out if X server is actually a competitive, fun server-worth it over Y server with the 25 person queue you are currently in-if they are never able to get to the point where they have enough players you are willing to try them out and they are finally visible to you on default filter settings. Ok, BitingWit, but you are able to play on another server while in queue, so they're not actually hurting anything, right? Wrong. First, I would venture to guess that feature is widely underutilized, representing less than a quarter or certainly half of those queue members. They are clicking right off the main screen for the most part, and furthermore, even if that play while in queue feature was utilized 100%, the queues above 15,20 take so long to work through the game will likely change before you enter the other server from its queue. This forces you to reset and jump right to the back of the line once again. The fact of the matter is there comes a point that more queue members truly help no one. They are purely waste at peak hours. Players like to play on familiar servers and do not want to spend the extra time finding a "good" server to them from the "bad" so they rather just sit in line for 1,1.5, maybe even 2 hours. Again, this helps no one, and its a miserable experience. This is the point where you as the game developer must artificially limit queues to a more reasonable time limit and number. Maybe 12, 15, or 20 maximum.
OWI, you are hurting your own bottom line with the current queue setup and its a small thing that would help enliven the community and various smaller servers. If this was implemented those last queue members would be forced to spread out to various other seeding servers which would be just the boost of 5, maybe 10 people they would need to bring them over the seed "hump" from 10 to 20 or 20 to 30 ish players where I have found the natural inflow of players occurs. Players realize its actually a game at that point rather than the tedious seed. No one would even be hurt/lose anything in this new scenario. The servers with those massive queues are still more than popular enough to see no impact whatsoever. Those guys are just waste anyways not truly impacting their ability to populate or their popularity on the whole as a server.
Help yourself as a developer, help all servers, particularly the most vulnerable new or critical point seeding servers almost ready to start, help the players avoid miserable server waits but unwilling to branch out to something new out of fear of a bad experience. Help Squad as a game.
Minimize server queue waste by hard limiting the queue to no more than 20 at maximum. Preferably 12,15, 20. It works great in Hell Let Loose. It ultimately will aid your own pocketbook OWI by improving the Squad experience, causing players to be much more willing to purchase another OWI product or purchasing a potential future Squad content/expansion pack. It is a small fix in my opinion that would help the overall server and player community as a whole by artificially forcing exploration of various servers, even if on their own players love the familiar. That's human nature.
Thank you for the great game and listening to my suggestion.