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EQ2 Transfer Controversy Follow-up

A post to the EQ Forums (thanks Mike Martinez and Ars Technica) follows up on questions raised about the transfer of a guild from an EverQuest II test server to a live server in a move contrary to SOE's stated policies on the topic (story). EQ2 senior producer Bruce Ferguson admits to the move, said to be a "kindness" to valued testers for their service, and says they will be reverting it by deleting the characters in question. He also says these characters were stripped of key loot before the transfer, something refuted in the original allegations and again contradicted by an account of the whole affair on Massively. Word is:

There has been quite a bit of discussion recently about something we were doing to show kindness to some valued members of our testing community who have been working diligently to improve EverQuest II for the last three years.

What we did was take a group of characters from the test server, scrub them by hand of all test gear, and any 'privileged' equipment, titles, etc, and grant their wish to continue to play as a group of friends, on a live server.

Had we been aware that being a little extra kind to these folks would cause such an uproar, there is no doubt we would not have taken this step. However, due to the current situation, I find myself apologizing to you for allowing this situation to occur.

We are in the process now of removing the characters that we copied to the live servers. Obviously, we overstepped the bounds of kindness in attempting to thank these people for their efforts in testing, and we are working to rectify this situation before the end of the day today.

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41. Ha Dec 22, 2007, 10:52 RaZ0r!
 
They wouldn't reverse it if they did nothing wrong.

 
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40. Re: No subject Dec 22, 2007, 09:18 Some Dude
 
Second, they were NOT moved to a PvP type server.

Third, they were purged of all "uber" gear that was terst realm specific leaving them with gear UNDER the maximum that someone on a live server can get.


If that's the case then this thing really was just blown out of proportion.

People need to stop comparing it to what happened in Eve; it's apples and oranges, baby. The blueprints that were given to the Eve developer's buddy are, by definition, Holy Grails that exist in tiny, controlled numbers. What happened there prevented everyone else from having their fiar shot to obtain those things.

Even if EQ2 didn't strip these guys of the high end stuff -- and barring Test-only items -- you still couldn't compare the two because everyone still has their fair shot to obtain whatever gear that might have been. Big difference.

If you look at this in a total vacuum then sure, you can get all pissy about it. But given the circumstances, I say big deal. These guys probably helped squash hundreds of bugs over the years and I'm sure that somewhere along the line their testing and feedback helped to improve other parts of the game. After three years of that they wanted to "retire" from that duty and just play the game like everyone else. Their reward was the granting of that wish, which seems justified to me. Who got hurt? No one as far as I can tell.

 
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39. No subject Dec 22, 2007, 00:38 Kedyn
 
Wow, Bruce Ferguson = emo. If this kinda shit happened with World of Warcraft, I'd quit just on principle.

 
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38. Re: ... Dec 21, 2007, 18:37 Brian
 
"And people pay Sony to play it... without money it closes. It's not whining for people to complain about the decision - it's you that has the problem thinking that no-one should be allowed to express themselves."

Absolutely. Business is much like a democracy - you vote with your money. The idea that consumers have to simply accept whatever a company offers... is as ridiculous as it is disturbing. If I pay you, then you work for me. If I'm not pleased with your performance then I have a right - NO, I have an OBLIGATION - to say something, and potentially take my business elsewhere. People who unthinkingly surrender their consumer rights, quite frankly, make me sick.

 
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37. No subject Dec 21, 2007, 17:41 Hump
 
I find it hard to believe the EQ2 populations are steadily increasing.

Not here. I haven't played since its first year of launch but I found the experience far richer than WoW's gameplay. I can understand WoW's popularity simply because system requirements are much lower and the initial learning curve is much more conducive to casual, limited session playing that one can jump into without committing hours to get anywhere. For a more immersive, complex (in a good way) EQ2 is just a better choice (IMHO of course).

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36. spam Dec 21, 2007, 16:06 qus-i
 


 
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35. No subject Dec 21, 2007, 16:04 Pinky's Brain
 
The customer is always right ... mr. Ferguson is very wrong.

The exact same mindset they abuse to make money is the mindset which comes crying when the leveling process is bypassed in some way which won't affect them personally in any way (ie. if they have to grind then no one is allowed to ever get anything without grinding). If he can neither understand nor stomach that mindset (or at least can't lie a little more convincingly) he shouldn't be where he is.

 
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34. Yeah, whatever Dec 21, 2007, 15:55 Tigger
 
I'm sure there is an e-mail going around that goes something like this:

"OK, now we are going to rename your characters. This time, PLEASE do not tell anyone that we transfered these characters from test."

As with all Terms of Use, I'm sure that Sony has a clause that lets them change the rules whenever they want. If this is the case and thats what we agree to, then thats the way it is.
 
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33. Re: EQ population Dec 21, 2007, 15:40 Krovven
 
Also keep in mind that the world is a lot larger than the United States.

They just released or are preparing to release a Russian version of WoW. That will bring in another large chunk of fresh blood to that number.

EQ2 has been growing in popularity because they have made some great changes making the game more fun to play. I've heard several people over the last few months (that have played many MMO's) call EQ2 the best MMO available right now.

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32. ... Dec 21, 2007, 15:37 theyarecomingforyou
 
WAAAAAAAAAAH WAAAAAAAH

Sony make game. Sony make rules. Sony change rules. You suck it up.
And people pay Sony to play it... without money it closes. It's not whining for people to complain about the decision - it's you that has the problem thinking that no-one should be allowed to express themselves.

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31. ... Dec 21, 2007, 15:34 theyarecomingforyou
 
It's funny how Blizzard always seems to be gainign subscribers and not losing any of them.
As Frijoles pointed out the numbers only include actual players. Sure plenty of people have left or have inactive accounts but a lot more people are joining to make up for it. The last press release concerning subscribers was back in July where they had exceeded 9 million, passing 8 millions only in 6 months earlier. It's entirely possible we'll have a new press release early next year announcing 10 million.

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30. Re: EQ population Dec 21, 2007, 15:17 Mead
 
Ok, I'll bite - how is Mr. Ctrl+Alt+Del a hack?

 
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29. Re: EQ population Dec 21, 2007, 14:58 Frijoles
 
I'd love to dearly know what the actual active/paying subscriber numers really are. I'd wager a hell of a lot less than 10 million.

9 million. And I know this has been posted many times before, but I'll do it once more. I'll even highlight the important bit:

World of Warcraft's Subscriber Definition
World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees’ territories are defined along the same rules.

 
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28. Re: EQ population Dec 21, 2007, 14:40 Cutter
 
10 million, yeah right. It's funny how Blizzard always seems to be gainign subscribers and not losing any of them. Most everyone I know stopped playing over a year ago. After a year I was bored with it. Funny how they never mention how many customers they lose. I'd love to dearly know what the actual active/paying subscriber numers really are. I'd wager a hell of a lot less than 10 million.


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27. Re: EQ population Dec 21, 2007, 14:20 Sepharo
 
I find it hard to believe the EQ2 populations are steadily increasing.

I believe it, I played for a bit a few months ago. A lot of my WoW addict friends recently switched. Ctrl+Alt+Delete webcomic is doing a stroy arc about EQ2 [but knowing that hack he's probably being payed].

I hear far more about EQ2 nowadays than I ever did a year or so ago.

Obviously, it's no where near 10 million.

Obviously.

 
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26. EQ population Dec 21, 2007, 13:44 MMORPGHoD
 
Test characters are hardly ever transfered to retail servers in any decent MMORPG. There is almost always a character wipe after the beta. If Sony had indicated in their rules that testers could be transfered to retail servers after spending x hours testing, then there'd be fewer complaints. What where their levels? Did a dev ever give them +10 levels to test an instance out. Were they were able to bring a significant amount of gold over? Anyways, it has no impact on me as I'll never play EQ2 after playing Wow to 70.

I find it hard to believe the EQ2 populations are steadily increasing. If they are confident in the subscriber base, release the numbers like Blizzard does. Obviously, it's no where near 10 million.

 
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25. Re: No subject Dec 21, 2007, 13:44 Surf
 
Oh please, overstepping the bounds of kindness, such an understatement.

Its like letting cops park in handicap zones, run red lights, drive on the emergency side lanes, park in red zones, all while they are getting lunch or shopping and not working or on an emergency call.

Can't have it both ways. The same rules applied to one group must be applied to all.

This will show that testing team that they are merely working for free and will receive NO special treatment. Why should they?

Just because you worked on some movie means you get to go in front of the line on opening day? Fuck that shit.

 
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24. Re: No subject Dec 21, 2007, 13:26 Krovven
 
If I want a similar experience, I can become a pre-school teacher.

QFT. The last few days on Blues have proven that's about the maturity level of many gamers unfortunately.

Gamers seem to think they are owed something...from everyone.

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23. Re: No subject Dec 21, 2007, 13:23 ldonyo
 
If anyone ought to be pissed about this, it's the people whose characters are getting deleted. Since I don't play MMO games, and it is things like this that continually reaffirm my decision to never play them, I just sit back and chuckle about the whole absurd mess.

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22. No subject Dec 21, 2007, 12:48 sponge
 
This is why I don't intend on getting into game development. If I want a similar experience, I can become a pre-school teacher.

 
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