View Full Version : Celestrata: New servers, new start. Returning players? Time to build bridges TRION.

07-14-2015, 03:50 PM
I very much doubt that financial viability of servers are the key issue prompting this change. It may help with costs slightly but I really don't think it reaps that much benefit.In the life-cycle of most MMO's there always comes a time where the public perception of the game becomes slightly toxic, it usually happens after the period of drop-off where an exodus of players turn what was a worth while and vibrant community into a stagnant, introverted, contradiction to what once was. If you go look at most news sites or MMO websites that discuss various games and look up ArcheAge you will see that this toxicity has actually been exacerbated by the mis-management and bad handling of TRION Worlds. Whether some agree or not, we can all say that without a doubt the public perception of ArcheAge as it stands is a negative one. Price-gouging, pay 2 win, whale central, various other terms that can be pinned on the games outer-shell. With the use of "evolution" as the soundbite it is quite clear that TRION is trying to pull off server merges without reducing the public perception even further. With the addition of new servers I believe it is also trying to somehow reach out to those who were previously scorned by mis-management and lack of planning. If this is the case then I can say for certain that TRION really needs to up its game and show repentance and understanding of the issues that caused players to leave.My issues were as follows:The perception of holding content back in order to maintain subscriptions - Namely putting Auroria out so late after launch. There were 2 months of subscription time and while I myself would have remained subscribed there was always the bad taste that they extended the time from launch to Auroria in order to gain an additional subscription cycle out of players.No trials, no tricks, no traps - one of the key phrases used by TRION prior to launch. I think we can all say without a doubt that this was a lie. When a game is entirely run by its economy then a company implements items you can sell in-game from the cash shop, it is without a doubt reneging on the promise of no tricks. This was my biggest issue, especially when rumbling sapplings were introduced into the game and broke the economy on multiple servers. Pay 2 win really isnt something I like and TRION promised prior to launch for it not to be the case - they lied.Trions direct interaction with a sandbox - Maybe this is more of the same as the above but when you can essentially get Archeum from the Cash-shop through RNG boxes or thunderstruck saplings that all but guarantee you a thunderstruck or 50 then you know that something has gone wrong. Direct interaction with the sandbox through any means should be completely forbidden and yet it was still done. Let the players dictate the game, not trion. (Provided they are playing within the games TOS)Land Hacking - another huge issue that was rife and probably still is. Very little response on this in the early days and even if you had recorded evidence of someone planting down a house before the timer was up (or before the prior house was burnt down) you would still see that character running around for weeks after without any repercussion placed upon them. Bots, bots everywhere! - Pretty self explanatory, you go to some areas within the game and bots are insanely rife, it would take a GM 30min to run around and simply insta-ban each one every day but this just doesnt seem to happen. Seeing the same bots day after day becomes rather frustrating. Hacks in general - We all mostly know the coding for the game is somewhat shoddy and with the amount of hacks available for the game its no doubt that some communities become so toxic. Sure TRION upped their game and implemented further controls but hacks do still occur, if less frequently.Wrongful bans - The amount of innocent players that have been banned by TRION is staggering, whether its because their system reports so many false positives or because of human error I personally dont know, but this is something that should have been resolved as quickly as possible, and yet we still see threads of people being wrongfully banned, from those who support TRION and are highly unlikely to use any 3rd part programs. If TRION wishes to make any headway with players who have left the game then giving us an idea of how they have taken previous experiences and learned from them. How they have put frameworks into place to deal with these issues. How they will ensure the game will not be Pay2Win on the new servers (starting from scratch servers). Show us that you have gained in experience and ability TRION and maybe, just maybe, some faith will be restored.So here's the answers I can give to your many questions, Aneu. Clearly you have a great amount of concern that we do not take ArcheAge seriously, nor are we receptive to the comments of our community. These are two things I can very clearly say are false. Khrolan, Amary, and myself are all involved in ArcheAge both as team members and as players. (And I, sadly, rolled on the same server as those two, but on the opposite faction. The camping will most likely be real.)I say that last line because I want to make it very clear that the decisions we make aren't being made in a vacuum. We, as players, are impacted by them too. And it doesn't stop at the three of us -- many people involved with ArcheAge play the game on the server of their choice. I say this because I read far too often that "devs don't care" or "devs don't play" or "devs aren't gamers." The reason so many of us got into this industry is because we are gamers and we love games. We love them so much that we want to devote our lives to making them so others can enjoy them. This is more than "just a job" to us -- this is our passion.What's written below are not only things we've learned from ArcheAge, but things we're actually carrying forward to future titles like Devilian. We've learned a great deal from launching ArcheAge, and those learnings are going towards making us a more robust company and making our game better, step by step.Why are we merging/evolving servers? -- This is a question I've seen from more than a few people, and we'd like to take the time to explain why we are doing this. Some people have pointed to it being a financial decision, and honestly it's not rooted in finances. ArcheAge is a very solid game with a stable population of players, contrary to what some folks may believe. However, those players are dispersed oddly, which has resulted in a poor experience for some servers. This finding is more than just anecdotal -- it's visible through data. Servers with higher populations remain stable or grow because they provide excitement, activity, and something for everyone. Our lower population evolution candidates are servers that continue to decline while other servers thrive. We hope that by putting these populations together that we can rekindle some of that excitement for folks. Our game is, after all, built on communities. While server merges/evolutions were actually requested by many members of the community, we understand that not everyone wants to go through a server evolution, especially land owners -- that much is clear from all of the posts made. But, we believe this is important for the overall health of the game and your servers. We are going to do our very best to make sure we make this as painless as possible for everyone involved because we do respect the hard work you've put into setting up your plots and setting up your land and setting up things the way you like them. This is why we have things like the server evolution FAQ, and why we go to lengths to collect your feedback and address your concerns.The perception of holding back content -- We're sorry to hear that's the perception, because it's honestly not what's going on. We are actually catching up to the Korean version in terms of content and patches, and we're working closely with XL to accomplish this. As Khrolan mentioned a few times, our relationship with XL is very strong, and we're constantly discussing how to progress our version forward to keep closing the gap.There is a lot of work that goes into each build, and it's most certainly not as simple as getting a patch and slapping it on the servers. Each build requires translation, a testing period, collaboration between us and XL, and then proper implementation. When a build is ready, we roll it out as soon as we can. No build is delayed simply because we want there to be a delay. :) It very honestly doesn't work like that, and we are working to keep catching up.Plus, even when we do catch up, we will still have some delay due to localization and testing. That is the nature of things, after all.No tricks, no traps / Sandbox -- I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to merge these two topics as they really seem to be focusing on the same thing: the marketplace. We are a free to play game, after all, and that means we do need to have a marketplace in order to sustain the game and the team. But, the core caveat of having a marketplace where a player can sell cash shop items for in-game currency is a good one for those who don't want to or cannot pay money for those items. It gives players a way to still reach those items without paying a cent.But, we realize that some things that have gone into the marketplace are not to the community's liking. As we move forward, we are looking to improve that, and that's why our strong relationship with XL is so big. What goes into the marketplace, what items are tradeable amongst players, are things decided upon by XL as they are the creators of the game. Together with them we are continuing to work together to make sure that what's being placed into the marketplace are things that work for both of our regions.You may have noticed that we have started putting microtransaction items onto the public test server, giving you guys an early look into what's coming. We do this so we can get your feedback as early as possible and, if there is an issue, we bring your comments and thoughts to XL so we can start a discussion on behalf of the community. I think that highlights how much we do cherish your feedback and rely on it, even if it's negative. Without that feedback, we cannot help change things for the better, so thank you, everyone, for continuing to offer it.As to progression paths, RNG, and things of that nature, I’m going to leave that stuff to Khrolan, who recently wrote a great Producer’s Letter that covers some of these topics (and more!) You’ll be seeing that producer’s letter this week.TL;DR: We know some stuff has gone into the marketplace that the community does not agree with. We have learned from this and we ask that you continue to give us your feedback as we continue to work with XL to make sure that marketplace offerings work and do not cause this type of interference for our region.Land hacking/botters -- Again, these two things go hand in hand, so I'm going to merge them. Both of these types of automated accounts are things we do not want in our game. We realize that they were a problem in the past and we have created new systems within the company to deal with them, both manually and automatically. As stated before, we ban over 1,000 accounts daily from ArcheAge, and that's after the accounts that we block from even getting into the game. But, we realize and understand botting is still a problem, and while our methods are working, they need to work better. That's why we have a daily meeting regarding this topic and why we continue to work to keep increasing the amount of bots we're able to block before you ever see them. In fact, I was currently writing up an article regarding what the team is doing about bots that includes metrics for how much we've been able to block and how much gold we've removed from the game economy before I stopped to answer your question. :)For the bots you see in game, there's now a new thread where you can drop your reports for us to investigate. Please be aware that not all accounts will be actioned (because there are plenty of times a player has reported a "bot," only for us to find out it's a legitimate player or a legitimate multiboxer.) Plus, as always, we encourage players to use the in-game tools to report bots.Hacks -- As you pointed out we are making strides on stopping these issues. But, we will continue to work hand-in-hand with XL to make sure that we keep fighting the fight against these types of issues from entering the game. We continue to pass along the information we have to XL so they can keep making things better, and we keep our eyes open for new problems on the horizon. That said, we encourage everyone in our community to continue to report the things they believe are problems, or potentially rising issues. My PM inbox is always open for those types of discussions, and there are ways to report bugs in-game.And, when it comes to gameplay, we are trying to be more forward with our stances on various strategies/exploits. Obviously there is the new exploit thread that we started, and we're going to continue to add to that as we move forward.Wrongful bans -- Now this is one that is hard to answer, because each individual ban needs to be weighed on a case-by-case basis. The team strives to make sure that we're not banning people who shouldn't be banned, but these things can sometimes happen by triggering one of our automated anti-bot methods and other ways. If someone has been banned and they shouldn't be, they can appeal their ban at appeals@trionworlds.com. Our customer service team will look into the ban, investigate it, and then determine if they should be overturned or not.Phew. So, that was an intense post. But your intense post does deserve another intense post in response. If you have more questions, by all means, post them. We are happy to provide responses. We hope that provides additional~Celestrata

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