test server population crash

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by tofu stir fry, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Cerris Augur

    I don't know if I'd describe test's population as necessarily more skilled than any other server's, but it definitely does require you to be more self-sufficient, or at least adept in being the sort of person that other people want to help. We don't have a bazaar to speak of so we have a lot of people who master tradeskills out of frustration, for example, and we see a lot of rotting loot linked into general for whoever can get to it without dying...

    ...which can be a skill check in itself. When I was getting established on the server a couple of years ago, I died a lot running to hoover something or other. Learned a bunch about where the zones were and what saw invis, though.

    Our relationship with the Firiona Vie server is... weird. There are a lot of people who will trade a krono on FV for a set of raid gear, which then gets copied to test. Some people do this over and over again, buying a copy, leveling it to max, getting bored and starting over with their next character. It's weird, but it makes Sony money so nobody pays too much attention to it.

    Except, of course, when one of these copies starts linking their awesome gear into general and we make fun of them.

    Getting anywhere near The Grounds can be a very risky thing when one of these characters is in-work, as an aside. When I was working on Dreamslayer, I had to dodge a lot of swarm pulls and got cursed at a bit in ooc for being in the same zone at the same time. It's the closest thing we have to antisocial behavior.
    Lisandra likes this.
  2. Corwyhn Lionheart Augur

    MAYBE allow people to transfer off test BUT without ANY COPIED gear.
  3. Goth Augur

    I dont understand why people call Test home.... its test your suppose to play on your server and /testcopy to test... i dont think you are suppose to live primary on test...
    guado likes this.
  4. guado Augur

    This, 100%

    Even for Free All-Access, I wouldn't want to play any game with Test's guidelines... specifically the one about (paraphrasing here) "Your toon could get deleted at any time with no hope of recovery"

    Hah. I have hundreds upon hundreds of days played, and even if I had a fraction of that, I still would not want that unavoidable risk of losing all my progress.
    Axxius and Leex like this.
  5. Iila Augur

    Nah, having a population playing on the server means normal aspects of the game get tested without anything special going on. Certainly not nearly as much as once something goes to live, but it catches a chunk of the stability type issues that seem to be the major reason for keeping test around.

    For focused testing, yeah, /testcopy and /betacopy are very important. But no one is going to testcopy to go check out aggro ranges in Dredge. People playing on test will run into those changes as a matter of course.
    Lisandra likes this.
  6. Benzarden Augur

    Well, Test wasn't always the pile of poo that it is today. I started on Test in early 2000, and it was a legitimate and healthy server for a while, albeit one with a lower population. Raid guilds kept up with Live server guilds until ~GoD. After GoD was released, Test started falling behind. Both in population and progression. But there was never any concern that the server would fold, and your toon would get deleted.

    I left Test, and EQ, in 2006 to play WoW for a few years. At that point, the population had diminished to a point where fielding a functional raid was difficult. Soon after I left the server, I believe is when they opened it up for /testcopies. However, they did allow long time Testers a one month period where they could transfer to Live servers. Most people took advantage of this opportunity. When I came back to EQ several years ago, I logged in my character on Test and was shocked and disappointed in what the server had become. I missed my opportunity to transfer my character, so I had two options. Level my character up on Test, that was already far behind but had so many memories and pieces of irreplaceable gear (Mask of Tinkering/Primal Weaps/SoDs), or start over on one of the Live servers. I chose to start over on Live, and I couldn't be happier that I did. With some certain exceptions of great people that are still on Test, it has become a cess pool of /testcopies.

    The OP was one of the original Testers, and he may have started on Test before I did. He remembers what the server once was, and appears to wish that SoE would do something to restore the server to better times. I fear that will never happen, Tofu, and you are fighting a lost cause. If you want to play on a healthy server again, and enjoy Everquest like it's meant to be played, starting on a Live server is your best bet. With Heroic chars and AA grants, it wouldn't take long for your character to get caught up.
    guado likes this.
  7. Lisandra Augur

    Seems like a lot of bias & judgement going on in this thread by people who have either no idea what they are talking about due to no experience with the server or by people who are upset with one thing or another & are bitter about that so lashing out at Test in frustration from that bitterness.

    There are many decent players on Test & some are great & have all sorts of experience both in the raid & group game. Most folks that do play there are friendly, helpful & generous with both their time & items for other players.

    Raid copies did not even come close to killing the server, they prolonged it's life & have generated a massive amount of revenue for SOE. Just because you didn't personally benefit from them doesn't mean they are a bad thing & if SOE/The EQ Team was unhappy with them they would have shut it down a long time ago. Unlike those who take the negative approach they realize it's a good steady source of revenue for them & that it benefits the entire game to have more money coming in as often as possible.

    Prior to the launch of TDS there was an active current content (COTF t1 & t2) raid guild working their way through the last COTF t2 raid & while the EQ team never utilized them in the manner that they could have, that's not that guild's fault. Had they kept to the normal routine & released TDS to Test for free it would have been tested & bugs would have been caught sooner & patches would have rolled out in a more timely manner. I personally have TDS on 5 of my accounts & may eventually get it on 5+ more depending on a few various factors.

    Even though I am now retired from FV & play exclusively on Test (3 accounts with 120 to 220 days of All Access) & no longer benefit from them I feel that most of those complaining about them (raid copies) are either unwilling to buy a krono or game card or go farm plat on FV or are just below the average skill level & upset that they got surpassed by other players or are veterans upset that "noobs" got a great set of gear to start their journey when they had to start with cloth & rusty weapons & banded armor. Too many people try to live in 1999-2000 when it's now 2015 & many things have changed & will continue to change as time passes. The same people were the ones complaining about defiant, xp potions, mounts, the abundance of clickies, hero's forge & heroic characters.

    First & foremost we should all be thankful that EQ is even still around & hasn't been sunsetted & thankful that there are options to play for free or pay as you see fit & as you prefer within your budget & at your discretion. Whether that's on Test or any of the Live servers & in whatever form you choose to contribute in or even if you choose not to contribute financially.
  8. Cerris Augur

    Spoiler alert: Get ready for a ton more see-invis mobs in Dredge. I've only been through a few times on my way to Arx, but I have been getting jumped left and right. I can't speak to aggro/assist ranges.

    T3 zones are pretty much empty because maybe twenty characters on test are flagged and all done with whatever farming they wanted to do, which is one of the drawbacks of the population crash - this stuff that should have been exercised, and would have been exercised under the original rule set, is going live without any real review.
  9. Crowd Controller New Member

    I will give my opinion about what's going on with the Test server.

    I played in Test for about 1 year. The main reason to go to test wasn't that it was free (that was nice, though), it was that you had double experience. I then started and realized that there wasn't an economy - people did give things away in General, including millions of pp and, in general, if you needed something you just had to ask for it - that suited me even better, I HATE gearing. Despite of this, I always sent a bug for every issue I found (which wasn't much).

    At the time, there was a lot of grouping. 99% of it was for Gribble HAs but you could get a group and not have to solo at all, or you could get a PL from people who were levelling their alts. I PLd lots of people and all I asked for was that they were nice to others. I maxed out my two main chars.

    I took a few months break due to RL and, when I came back, things were even better. My guild had folded but there was a new one (Relentless Insanity), with lots of nice people in it and lots and lots of groups. I managed to get a few chars to 100.

    On the other hand, a few people I used to play with (like Serriah) had disappeared. It felt like the population was being replaced. I saw more and more the raid copies (nothing wrong with it, just shows that a lot of people were new/willing to move to a server just to get raid gear, most old-timers either didn't care much or were in LoB and raiding).

    I took another break in August after which I came back in a couple of times and population was down a lot, my guild had folded and most of the people I used to play with every single day were MIA again. That was before the launch of TDS, so nothing to do with it not being free.

    After this, I really felt no reason to log in, apart from a few people that play in different time zones, there weren't that many people I knew. For me, EQ is mostly about the people, so I deleted the game from my computer. I have been tempted a couple of times but I really can't be bothered. I thought about doing what Serriah did and delete the chars but, before I do that, I would give away all my gear and that would take a little while, time I do not feel like spending in the game.

    To me, the main problem with the Test situation is the instability of the population. Old-timers will always play in Test but many people go there for the free Gold and, because they invest no money in the chars, they are not attached to their them the same way. All of those people who went to test for the free-for-all have now left, leaving the server even emptier than before. Add to that those that did not think that TDS was worth it (I can't see anything making it worth it while I see lots of nerfs and changes that make it worse) and we have the population crash.

    Personally, I feel I am done with EQ. After playing in Test I tried playing in Live and I just miss too many things from what now is my main server and Test a shadow of itself.

  10. Narknon Augur

    I started on test before gold or expansions were free. I've had a very on/off relationship with EQ, but over the last year I, in large part, helped Test become current with raiding. That may seem cocky, and I understand that I couldn't have done it without a lot of other people, but I also know it wouldn't have happened without me. And the character I did that with is fully raid geared in t1/2 cotf that I painstakingly earned by holding a guild together through tests ups and downs and lots and lots of drama due to the small population and inability to be discriminatory in who was allowed into the guild.

    I currently can't play EQ due to reasons aside from the change in tests rule set, or I would likely still be struggling along with my guild. However, I don't see why Sony wouldn't allow transfers off to live servers. I may make a stronger effort to return if that option was available. My options are to quit, continue on test where my guild I put hours of my life into is in a slump, or start a new character on live.

    Starting a new character that would have none of my server first achievements, none of the lore I associate with it, and none of the limited or impossible to collect items or titles. Not to mention that if I wanted to raid new content I would have to join a guild that was lesser than the one I built until I could collect the same raid gear I previously had and be allowed into a higher tier one. Which would involve doing the raids that I raid leaded for for months and months and I know inside and out. I was at the point I had to quad box to be entertained on some of the raids that I was tired of.

    So, I hope LoB can return to its high standing. It may, as people who purchased TDS on live and want to continue playing but don't find it worth paying 15 a month transfer over to test. Which I see as a very real possibility. However, if test does fail, and I can't keep the gear that I previously had, I see no reason to return and play on live and join a guild that couldn't hope to be anywhere near the same quality that LoB was.

    This post may piss people off. But it was mostly my rambling about how I currently feel. I know there were many others there with me through LoBs problems who helped to build it up, but very few for the same length, and even fewer with the same effort throughout that length. So watching its current progression was especially frustrating for me.
  11. Serriah_Test Augur

    This could just be the canary in the mines, too.
    Even the traffic on these boards is somewhat thin for what it used to be a year ago.

    I think a lot of people just burned out on COTF.
    Makes me wish I was level appropriate during the RoF expansion. Lots of fun in those zones, but barely anyone was playing in them when the HAs came about.
  12. Cerris Augur

    I'm in much the same boat as Narknon. Too much blood sweat and tears poured into one character to start over on live, no real way to advance myself on Test. I've been playing some alts, but now I have four 105s that are all done with TDS progression and no real enthusiasm to keep at it.
  13. Ravengloome Augur

    It took me a month on Live to get raid ready. You should of came with me ;)
  14. Fogbust Journeyman

    Yep i did...not just on Cotf (more the overall lack of zones that really drag me in), but it was a rock bottom.

    I don't like dragging this game down, i would come back if i see some effort again.
    Problem is, i just cannot find it.
    I find no joy in boxing and playing on my own, why not pick a single player game with a good story for that instead?

    Come on Sony, give us a zone of Sebilis calibre again (or 2, or 3...).
    How hard can it be, i don't think the real fans of this game play for boxed toons HAs.
    That is really just a way around to stay in game, most people would love to see classic Eq zones again.
    I am bored to death of merc / partisan type of quests too, and hunger for zones that offer real exploration.
  15. Sebbina Augur

    I am not sure how much plat one could "smuggle" off test in a free transfer, and certainly taking a raid character off to FV, to sell now tradable raid gear after having copied back, doesn't seem very sensible as plat seems to have much less value on Test. If one decides that a future on Test is limited and wants to move a supply of plat off on a mule, consider that with 34 bags, and all Deluxe Toolboxes with possibly some larger non copied bags for a total of 350 slots, at 100 stack is 35,000 gems. I doubt that there will be that many diamonds on NPC during any such new allowed transfers, so Rubies cost 130 sell at 120pp, would mean for a cost of 5 million one could get 4.2 million plat. That is a fair bit, but, one would have to have it already, and 4 million wont go far live buying Krono or high end items, plus, I really have no idea just how many test folk have that much or more, I doubt there is a high % of folk live with that much, and those that do, would probably not bother trying to testcopy some mules so as to be able to bring back 4 million on a chance.
    I tend to think that EQ is a classic game with character, that could use some sprucing up both on live and Test, including a return to a silver option, possibly a restoration of Eqplayers. The parent Sony has some financial problems and SOE may not be getting the attention it needs to do well. With the proliferation of more Instant gratification games rather then long term accomplishment, maintaining subscription and building it are likely to be a problem. Still, I think that it is possible, the difficulty lies in having fresh ideas, with some great implementation, which would likely solve the matter of test population.
  16. Corwyhn Lionheart Augur

    [QUOTEI'm in much the same boat as Narknon. Too much blood sweat and tears poured into one character to start over on live, no real way to advance myself on Test. I've been playing some alts, but now I have four 105s that are all done with TDS progression and no real enthusiasm to keep at it. ][/QUOTE]

    But I keep hearing people on Test saying they are there to Test things. You seem to still be in good shape to handle game testing because most of the testing needs to be done in the end game so don't feel too bad.
  17. Cerris Augur

    Curiously enough, I do love testing and have over a decade of experience doing software QA. It's all been working on industrial and medical applications, because frankly game testing pays peanuts and working on software that tells an emergency room nurse not to give Tylenol to your grandfather who takes Coumadin for his heart condition pays REALLY well. It's not exactly exciting work, and it's a lot more fun to drag a 105 merc to Txevu to see if maybe the reason they're so squishy is that the devs forgot to give them a mod2 cloak.

    (For the record: nope. They have 35% shielding. They're still squishy.)

    That sort of active testing is only part of what Sony has gotten from test over the years, and honestly probably a minor part of testing. The value of the Test server has always been in having somewhere to push changes to in order to see if they break (like the week+ in December where nobody on test could zone into any zone with golem models, and you're very welcome for that one not going live) and in generating metrics.

    Those two things are why the server has traditionally gotten perks and also why Sony has been pushing people to play there through various incentives, but both of them require reasonably-sized populations and the server just isn't seeing those. Combined with the focus on testing new content on Beta rather than test, it seems like Sony just isn't seeing the same value from test players and no longer feels the need to offer the same incentives.

    The last time Sony made a significant change to the rules on Test, they gave its players the option to move their characters to live servers, giving up all the perks of test in favor of actually having people to play with, so there's precedent and I'm hoping that they do the same as a result of this most recent change.
    Lisandra likes this.
  18. SpamFactory Augur

    Nobles sell back for 100k each and you can stack 1000 of them per slot.

    The first time they allowed moves off tests /testcopy didnt copy plat. I don't see how they can do that again after allowing plat to be copied over. Inflation is bad enough on other servers without copied plat getting laundered over.
  19. Narknon Augur

    For transfers off test they could only allow characters created on test, or even only created before the original transfer and copies became available. I'm sure it also would be possible for them to create a blacklist of items. Copied items, nobles, blue diamonds, plat, etc. Or a limit to amounts of those items.
  20. Contrition New Member

    Didn't read the whole thread so maybe it was said already, but when EQ went F2P, they never should have given free gold status on Test. Before that people payed to play there just like any Live server. Test should have just been given the same pay set up as Live servers for subscriptions and then everything else could have been left the same. There is no way they didn't lose revenue on it as far as I'm concerned. Maybe SOEs accountant can post otherwise, but I can personally attest to dozens of lost year round subscriptions and all by people that never spend a dime on station cash.

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