Confused, but Good News (TM)

And for the record, I’m setting this to post this afternoon so you know it’s not April’s Fool. But my confusion really made me second guess that for a moment, except GOA didn’t post it today.

GOA are instituting a system of ‘wildcards’. You get to use three a year. They can be used to change influence items chosen by mistake, to sort out mistaken server transfers or messed up guild transfers or to fix need/greed rolls (when you thieved an item from someone else by mistakenly hitting need).

Read all about it properly on GOA’s site. It’s not even a translation thing, just reading it made my mind go funny. Seriously.

Now, I do like the idea of being able to fix certain things, especially the server transfer stuff. The items and need/greed stuff seems a bit of a nightmare to monitor for CS staff, but I think limiting people to 3 uses of these things on a rolling year cycle is something and to then offer them is good and useful progress.

It’s just a bit confusing, but maybe that’s because I’ve never needed to do any of these things. Or, maybe I’m having a fuzzy-headed day!

Holding Grudges

Let’s face it, there’s a reason we picked the name ‘Book of Grudges’ – we like the concept of a big Grudge book!

So let’s examine the biggest grudge on my mind at the moment:

EU vs US

We’re patently not getting ‘equal treatment’ to the US players.

But it should never have been promised to us.

GOA aren’t the developers, they’re not in a position to answer as developers, they get given the code, they don’t write it. The things we¬†dislike about GOA (ie. the website) will probably never change. We could take bets on that, I think it’ll change just to shock us, actually – but really, they could have got a new site up quickly. So let’s ignore that. US GMs are complained about as often as EU ones, I imagine. And at least GOA have been in charge of when we get server transfers!

My original post was going to be a list of Mythic ‘untruths’ about Europe. I honestly feel that to Mythic, we are irrelevant except as a pay packet. Over and over they offer incentives to their US players, devs answer them (and 100% will answer US forums more than EU ones, we can guarantee that), they have access to devs at events, they have competitions with in-game prizes (again, GOA not the developer, so they can’t add stuff to code).

And it’s frustrating to feel that we matter so little that they merely wait until fan unrest so strong they offer something calming, like a message from Mark about how much we matter, or Paul saying something on his video blog… it should be an everyday thought. I don’t want to be the afterthought of a marketing team that know their game isn’t performing as it should. I want to matter.

And that’s the same problem all games have with class balance, and core groups and hybrids and things like that. Deep down, we all want to matter. And we should. And games companies REALLY need to examine how they treat their worldwide audiences. It’s fine to offer examples of how great one company has been, or another. But it shouldn’t be that such examples are unusual. I hate having to choose between a US and EU server. I hate that Oceanic servers are usually not even considered by companies. If you want our cash on a monthly basis, and you don’t want us to skip games focus on getting the game right and then on not going out to exclude people just because it might save you some money. In the longterm you’d avoid the grudge-fest, which frankly feels like it’s festering at the moment.

I don’t really care about little differences, being on the PTS at the exact same time. I do care about speed to fix things that are broken, I care about being brushed off when there are real concerns.

GOA State of Play

So, how are they doing? We don’t say too many negative things here because we’re genuinely not suffering many of the problems reported.

  • I’d say they could still be a little more speedy on communication – but it’s a lot better than it was.
  • Still can’t add our payment details to our account (would rather have this work than be put up too early however). It’s due up today, so hopefully once this is posted, we can cross this one up straight away!
  • Still no realm war page, Magnus said once again, it’s coming this week – hopefully
  • No sign of Iain C anywhere. Very disappointing all round, if he’s still there, we’d like to hear from him
  • Queues – the server cloning didn’t really work even though players asked for them they didn’t want to move for fear of empty servers, it seems (based on my reading, since we’re not on that fully populated a server). Not GOA’s fault entirely – they provided clones when asked, but maybe if it had been a little quicker and people were moving lower levelled characters it might have been different
  • Lag issues, there’s an 8-page thread over at Freddyshouse about lag problems across many servers, sometimes just in scenarios, sometimes elsewhere – seems a few different issues, but it’s in people’s minds
  • No server status page – can’t be hard to introduce, very useful after patch downtime or if you crash to see if everyone else did (it’s on Magnus’ list for the realm war page – as a ‘to follow’)
  • GOA have invented their own time system (and read the next few posts in the thread), luckily everyone’s kept amused by it
  • Our guild and ourselves have had pretty good responses from CSRs and techical support, but not sure how universal that is

Anything else you have to add if you play in Europe? It’s good sometime to focus on both the good and bad, so we’re more than happy to get stories of what GOA’s done well and what you think they could improve so we can keep an eye on it.

Thanks GMs!

We’d like to take a moment to say thanks to the GOA GMs who did something great for one of our guildmates last week.

In the great naming rush ’08, quite a few people selected the names they wanted as well as popular alternate spellings of such names. So we’re a week or two in (depending when you started) and we’re starting to delete these ‘extra’ names. One of our guildmates, not paying quite enough attention, managed to actually delete her main.

Whatever rank and gear she had, she’d put a lot of effort into the character, but didn’t bitch or moan, she just got on with making and playing an alt, while submitting a ticket to see if anything could be done by GMs.

By the end of the day her main character had been restored.


[obvious disclaimer – not sure if this is something they could do because of particular circumstances, so don’t assume it’s easy or possible – if you delete something by accident it’s best to submit the ticket, but expect the worst].