EUW has been in quite the rut lately. Severe server problems have left the many EU players dissatisfied with the game and angry at Riot. Things were blown wide open after the Korean servers, who have been having similar troubles, announced that Korean LoL players will all be getting a free champion, skin, and some other goodies as compensation for all the server problems. This, of course, left EU players very upset and feeling as if they are being ignored and forgotten by Riot.
Here is a short snippet from Riot Pwyff, taken from a larger conversation, on EU players receiving compensation for all these recent server problems.
"Ultimately, to stay on the safe side, we opted to refrain from promising any concrete compensation until after we fixed the problem and knew absolutely what we were dealing with.
Unfortunately I think this really hurt your trust in us because you filled in the blanks where we didn't fully communicate that. There were also places like Korea announcing their compensation for players before a fix had been implemented, and the assumption was that because we didn't announce anything, we didn't have plans."
Continue reading for the full discussion.
Riot Pwyff jumped in to the heated forum conversation, saying:
"LION'S PIT HERE I COME.
Lot of angry people here and I understand - these server problems hit us across the board, so I figured I'd jump in here to lead some discussion.
First... Saying we'll be compensating players before we have a fix is a bit of a tricky subject just because that uncertainty of time (that we literally did not know up to today) can really mess us up. If we say, "You get a 4 game IP boost!" but then our problems extend beyond expected, players can get more angry about the small 4 ip boost for down time that extends beyond what 4 ip boosts can make up for. In other words, we want to make sure our apology is the right apology and we are apologizing for exactly how much we screwed up, rather than promising an apology before we even know what we're apologizing for.
That was convoluted. Sorry.
Ultimately, to stay on the safe side, we opted to refrain from promising any concrete compensation until after we fixed the problem and knew absolutely what we were dealing with.
Unfortunately I think this really hurt your trust in us because you filled in the blanks where we didn't fully communicate that. There were also places like Korea announcing their compensation for players before a fix had been implemented, and the assumption was that because we didn't announce anything, we didn't have plans.
At this point in time there's just a difference in communication philosophy here, but at no point was there the intention to make you feel like second-class citizens. We want you to be happy and we are deeply. deeply apologetic for these server problems. We will be compensating you, but we wanted to make sure we fixed the game before we even started that other discussion. Once again, we wanted to make sure our apology was to scale and maybe, in this case, we shouldn't have done that.
We'll keep working on this and we're blitzing as hard as we can to fix this. And we're really sorry it's taken this long."
In response to someone claiming that the Philippines server was a "guniea pig" for fixes and NA got fixed first, Riot Pwyff replied:
"On this particular point, I'll just say that testing with NA was because of its large server loads - something we couldn't test with PH because it was deployed during off-peak hours (and we used PH as our first test for this fix overall). EUW is a huge server and the worry was that if we went straight to EUW from PH, we might run into incredible problems when dealing with the server loads and we'd give you an even more negative experience. It's one step at a time - literally."
As this post came quite late at night, some of the EU summoners questioned why Riot Pwyff, one of the first Rioter to comment on the topic of compensation, did so so late at night and was the only person addressing these complaints:
"Because I'm currently posting from our LA offices.
I generally like to post about 50/50 on EUW/NA but it's something I've made a conscious decision to do. In some cases it's actually very difficult to keep up with both. I do live and work in LA though, so just FYI.
I can't speak for any other red and I apologize if this doesn't speak to the bigger picture but I'll talk about this from a personal perspective.
It's difficult for me to post on EUW for a number of reasons - the biggest of which is honestly just finding the right places to engage with players. If I enter into a deliberately negative topic, it's tough to have a good conversation because players just want to vent at that point. So my first goal is to find a good thread with a good title so I can try to drive discussion where possible. Believe me when I say it's harder than it sounds.
Time zones are obviously a huge issue. I'm talking to players from across the world (POWER OF THE INTERNET YO), but their level of immediate engagement just isn't there for that VERY reason. It's 2am there as you say, so I'm literally talking to a small core group of players who have the luxury of staying up to 2am to chat with me. My usual posting hours on NA are anywhere from 12pm to 12am, although even then I get busy as all hell and it's tough to keep up posting.
Final point, it's difficult to walk into the lion's den and I'm acknowledging that as someone who does so. While I was hired specifically for my ability to engage with players in a clear and concise way, I am an exception to the case. Almost everyone at Riot was hired to do a different job (art, coding, engineering, design, community, UX, and beyond) who were then told that they could also post on the forums and engage with our players. Driving a discussion and interacting with passionate forum goers is actually a nuanced skill that requires a lot of practice, and it's scary as heck. Speaking with so much authority can be disconcerting.
Final point, as much as I love to engage with y'all in discussions on these forums, I'll also say that there is a propensity to spin things to the negative, and for anyone who doesn't know how to bring the conversation back, that's intimidating. The choices become either slink away quietly into the night or man up and try to right the course. Red posts have extremely high visibility, and it's not uncommon for even me to feel embarrassed when a high-post count conversation refuses to die. At some point you just become hoarse from explaining the same thing over and over.
Regardless, I'll reiterate that these are my own opinions. I heavily debated even posting something like this because the end resolution is actually not there. I'm literally sitting here telling you why it's difficult to post on NA and EUW and then I got nothing at the end of the day. I'd really, really like for you to feel like there's a strong and clear communication line between you and Riot Games, and I will be working hard to act on that."
Another summoner posed the question, as this isn't the first time EUW has had lengthy server problems problems, "Why are there SO many problems on EUW?". Riot Pwyff responds:
"Because you are huge. Like mind-blowingly huge. At peak times we literally run out of internet and servers to provide you with a quality service. It's not something as easy as like "BUY MORE SERVERS," or "BUY MORE INTERNET," it's literally that the infrastructure is buckling under your weight and we're desperately trying to shore it up. Additionally because your population is concentrated in certain time zones, your peak times are incredible - NA has staggered time zones so this spaces it out a bit, but it isn't the case with EUW."