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BioWare deny they've under-planned Anthem's server capacity

EA
A soldier in Javelin, exosuits from BioWare's game Anthem
Anthem

Even though it was pretty brief, much has been said about Anthem's server issues, prompting BioWare to post a lengthy explanation on what's been going down during the VIP demo and what exactly the company learned from each issue that arose.

BioWare's explanation was posted on Saturday, 26 January 2019, by their head of live service, Chad Robertson, who himself admitted that the first day of testing "was rocky", which was apparently not exactly according to the plan.

Robertson reminded that they've been testing Anthem behind closed doors for a while now, but real-world testing usually brings with it a new set of real-world issues. BioWare are adamant about one thing though, which Robertson touched upon by saying, "I want to dispel one comment we've seen: that we under-planned for server capacity."

The post claims BioWare planned to manage servers as player population increased and "what's important is that all parts of the game work as designed to meet players' needs, and that did not happen in the opening hours."

All in all, Anthem's fledgeling infrastructure suffered from three main issues - platform connections, entitlements and infinite loading. Platform connection issues were "caused by the spike in players entering the game when [the game] opened up" and apparently weren't there in BioWare's previous testing.

BioWare defined entitlements as account flags that grant players things like pre-order perks and demo access but "players with a specific combination of entitlements were being blocked from accessing the demo." That too has apparently been addressed. 

The last one, however, has proven to be a tough nut to crack and even though BioWare thought it was addressed by either official or unofficial fixes, in reality, it turned out a bit more complicated. They said that the "problem is exacerbated in the real-world" due to player ISPs and home network behaviours.

Interestingly enough, a post on ResetEra by a user called Gossi, admittedly the person who went out of his way to test whether No Man's Sky really had multiplayer at launch, had this to say, "I did packet capture on Anthem and it has the opposite problem. If it fails to connect it floods their servers trying to reconnect. They've created a condition where they're DDoS themselves [sic], and EA."

BioWarePicture of a javelin flying around in AnthemAnthem
Ultimately, we don't think anyone would normally cause fuss over server issues in Anthem's beta testing had it not been so brief and had the pre-orders not been included as perks. This way, fans, even the one who trusted BioWare from the get-go, have to wait until 01 February to try it out with the rest of the Great Unwashed. 

You can find the blog post in question here.