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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Surprise queue: There’s a line to play Warhammer 40K: Darktide

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Yesterday I was watching my colleagues queue up for World of Warcraft’s new Dragonflight expansion with a bit of schadenfreude. Good thing I wasn’t trying to play a massively multiplayer game on launch day, I thought. Everyone knows servers can only handle so much strain, and the only way for developers to prevent that strain is to implement a login queue.

This morning I took a big sip of water and pressed the Play button on Warhammer 40K: Darktide and got this. Hoisted.

Fatshark’s last two co-op brawlers, Vermintide and Vermintide 2, both ran on peer-to-peer networking. For Darktide, Fatshark has switched to dedicated servers, and aims to make its hub world a more populated space for players to mingle in. That change will hopefully pay off with smoother live play and a more flexible live service model for adding new quests and items to the game. But at least on launch day, it also means a login queue.

From our experience though, the queue hasn’t been bad—it took me just shy of 10 minutes to get through 35,000 players.

I did have a momentary panic when I reached the front of the line and was greeted with “BACKEND ERROR: Error signing in” but I was thankfully able to hit close and continue the login process, no problem. My beta character and all progress carried over, and I connected to the server with no issues.

If you’re aiming to get online in Darktide today, expect to hit a queue: as of this writing there are 80,246 players on Steam, and that number is likely to rise. But unless the servers take a turn for the worse, you should be able to make it into the game without too long a wait.

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