World of Warcraft-style queues weren't what I'd bargained for upon opening Temtem, the PC MMO that's absolutely not Pokemon, but the early access game has had a bit of a rough day.
Today marks the early access launch for TemTem, which raised over $838,900 back in 2018. Developers Crema have had a few stress tests since then, but as anyone knows, betas don't hold a candle to a proper launch.
Just under 30,000 players have jumped on the early access launch already, vaulting the Not Pokemon MMO into Steam's top 15 games for the day. Unfortunately, the game has struggled to deal with the level of interest, with users complaining about long queue times, massive server lag and other frustrations.
It took me about 45 minutes this afternoon to jump into a game, and after going through the customisation process and outfitting my character, I was presented with a black screen for 10 minutes while the background music played. The game crashed, so naturally I had to restart ... where I was dropped into the 6126th place in the queue.
The game has already gotten just under 1,100 reviews on Steam, with a 75 percent "mostly positive" rating. Connection issues are the primary thing mentioned throughout most of the reviews, good or bad. Some players have gotten through the queue gauntlet, only to get into the game and find themselves permanently stuck.
And sometimes the game locks up midway through:
Or the server drops out:
And some players have been dropped out, only to find their starter and captured Temtem are missing.
Friend and I started co-op and my Temtem disappeared. I left co-op and relogged in. Temtem are still gone. Please fix as now I can no longer play. Or at least let me know that bug is being worked on as well.
— Quinn (aka: Lord Muse) (@LordMuse2) January 22, 2020
just found a gamebreak bug, encountered wild temtem, froze game, lost connection, couldn't connect, came back few hours later with new patch. black screen when log in
— KronosTDS (@kronos_tds) January 22, 2020
To their credit, the developers have been hugely active over the last 24 hours. New server configurations and hotfixes have been rolled out; some of the hotfixes were even rolled back within hours. The company also noted a strange bug where users with poor connections could create a laggy experience for other users:
We're restarting the server with a couple of hotfixes while we're working on some bigger fixes.
— Temtem (@PlayTemtem) January 22, 2020
But the studio hasn't shied away from the issues. They've posted 29 tweets addressing or acknowledging issues users have had in the last 10 hours, touching on lag, hotfixes, and an unfortunate limitation of the starting town which couldn't handle 20,000 players at once:
Zadar is a small village, it's not ready to receive 20k new tamers. Aina can't cope greeting you all!
Hotfix coming soon!
— Temtem (@PlayTemtem) January 21, 2020
That capacity is being increased, according to a tweet in the last hour, however. Crema are also fixing three of the biggest early access issues right now, including the loss of Tems following server restarts, game lockups during battle and being stuck out of bounds after reconnecting.
Currently most of the lag issues are solved and everyone in-game are playing normally without problems.
We're working on some additional fixes to increase the amount of people the server can handle (hopefully reaching 25k soon).
We're also working on the bugs previously stated.
— Temtem (@PlayTemtem) January 22, 2020
In most instances, an indie game having their day one early access launch wouldn't run into these sorts of massive server issues. But there's a perfect storm of problems for the Pokemon-like MMO. It's January, so there's not a huge amount of competition when it comes to fresh games, particularly streamers who are looking for new things for their audience. It's also the closest PC players have ever come to an official Pokemon MMO, which is a massive deal in and of itself. Those two things have proved to be more than Temtem can handle today.
On the bright side, at least the Temtem animations are cute to watch.