The Warhammer Online open beta has had a rough start in Europe as account registration and authentication systems for new players refused to work when the game opened.
GOA, the company managing the game in Europe, posted a message earlier today saying "serious problems with the authentication system," combined with "an exceptional amount of traffic and a fault which was not identified during the extensive tests we ran on our platform" have resulted in the vast majority of people attempting to access the open beta being unable to do so. The problem was serious enough that GOA Chief Executive Ghislaine Le Rhun posted a message apologizing to gamers.
"As my team explained in the previous post, although we have opened the servers and corrected numerous issues during the last 24 hours but we have not yet solved the issue of saturated Open Beta key activations that we're currently experiencing," Le Rhun wrote. "I am sincerely sorry for this, and I understand all the frustration the situation has spawned."
"Today was a dark day. We expected a massive influx of players, but reality was even harsher," he added.
Since then, GOA has taken the Warhammer Online key validation system offline and replaced it with a new code registration page, which will store and then asynchronously check beta key codes. Unfortunately, the system is currently only available to players who either already have a beta center account or who were able to create an account the previous day and have received a confirmation email about it; everyone else will have to wait "a little longer."
The Warhammer Online open beta is only scheduled to run 11 days, a laughably short span for any sort of meaningful testing. Mark Jacobs, co-founder of Warhammer Online developer Mythic, said he wished the open beta could have run longer, "but the timing just didn't work out." Given this inauspicious start, perhaps it would be wise to toss the timing out the window and tack another week or two onto the open beta phase. Rigorous testing now means a whole lot fewer headaches later.
On the other hand, kids these days seem to think "beta" is Latin for "play it free," so maybe it's all just a waste of time. In any event, you can stay up to speed on the status of the Warhammer Online Europe open beta at war-europe.com.