test server population crash

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

  1. Garshok Augur


    All sorts of efforts recently to try and squeeze 'just a bit more blood' from the rock.
    - jacking up the price of the Collector's Edition, and later adding the teleport clicky to try and boost sales. ( Dinosaurs and a pirate ship, they did a great job of appealing to anyone with a bit of 7-year old boy left in them .I can see upping the price by $10, but $30? I wonder how well this has really worked out.)
    - requiring Test to buy TDS . . . I don't know how many accounts are on Test, but I highly suspect that the revenue gained vs. the bad blood generated makes this a losing proposition over the long term for SOE. (For those complaining about 'freeloaders,' would suspect that folks buying kroon, etc. on FV still generated some revenue for SOE.)
    - there is good reason for eliminating ROF's huge Partisan task EXP , but I can also see them deciding to go with the overall ROF and below nerf due to management thinking 'Hey! This will help encourage TDS sales!' (Yes, I know people affected by the nerf have already bought TDS. But remember, SOE management took almost a year to figure out that giving away free SC with Gold accounts, having repeated double SC sales and bonus days for SC cards, and allowing people to buy subscriptions with SC would result in reduced subscription income.)

    I wouldn't be surprised if they wait until they shut down test server before allowing transfers, but when they do - they will allow transfers one way or another. No way they are going to pass up the revenue

    - How many players will want to start over, even with a 'free Heroic character' - vice will likely walk? Does SOE want to gamble on that?

    - Why make it harder for players who might otherwise quit to move to a server where they will be paying $10-$15/month?

    I suspect that they will do something to try and limit plat and gear coming back from test - maybe eliminate everything with a 'copied' tag, come up with a new version of 'defiant' armor for suddenly naked level 100s/105s. Hard to see how many people would object if they come back with gear that either a) they did loot themselves, or b) is no better (and likely a bit worse) than what most groupers of similar level are wearing. No skin off my back if they come over.

    So they got double XP? Big deal - they won't negatively impact my play. I don't expect my guild to give a chetari's patooti that I have 14k AA - I expect them to care whether or not I can perform as required on raids. Likewise I don't think that they are going to care where someone transferring from test got their AA; they will care whether or not they can perform. If someone transferring over from Test has any 'moral failings' like some in this thread allege are widespread on test, I would expect that that would be revealed during the app period.
  2. Garshok Augur

    And that is the nub of many of the gripes with SOE's current direction.

    They make design decisions players don't like? Got it - they are the devs. They need to change longstanding game mechanics etc.? Got it.

    Change those without any warning? Not so cool. It creates a situation of moral hazard when players act based on long-standing rules, only to have them changed without notice and suddenly find that a lot of what they have spent their time doing the last few months is suboptimal. If things need to be changed so dramatically, then hopefully the decision is enough of a deliberate one that players can be given ample warning.

    I wonder if this change would have gone over better if SOE had announced a few months earlier that, 'Hey guys, at days end SOE is a business and EQ has to make a profit or at least break even. In light of that, we will have to start charging for expansions on Test with the release of TDS.'

    I think a lot of SOE's decisions over the last year would have gone over a lot better with more notice to players.
    Lisandra likes this.
  3. Battleaxe Augur

    Disagree. Players on FV and testers on the Test Server have always been well aware that they chose to participate on special rules servers. Despite periodic requests over the years to ignore such things as copied pp and gear, experience acceleration or bazaar purchase of what's normally no drop gear SOE has refused to allow transfers to normal servers where people play by normal rules.

    Certainly SOE wouldn't want to lose paying customers or for that matter people playing on a Test Server and Testing. But I believe providing a Heroic Character Upgrade to a newly created production character on a production server underscores a genuine desire to play a normal character, is more than adequate transition assistance, and would be perfectly acceptable to regular players who have always played by regular rules.

    However I expect this not to happen and the Test Server with its Special Rules and covered from head to toe in special rules toons to exist in perpetuity there.

    How is an alleged population decline on the Test Server rectified by allowing Test Characters to migrate to Production Servers? It isn't. Encouraging an exodus of Test Characters from the Test Server as if they were production characters (which they are not) does not support its testing mandate.

    How are characters advanced under profoundly different special rules normal characters created and nurtured by normal means? They aren't.
  4. Nylrem Augur

    I have to chime in here...

    I copied on to Test... whenever that mass copy thing started, just after SoF was released I believe. It was the best decision I ever made.

    I transferred off when it became available in 2011, when TSF couldn't even put together 30 people to raid UF.

    That was the second best decision I ever made.

    Test server BY FAR has a MUCH better quality of player than the average player on live servers. I would say the average Test born player is about equal to the top 10% of any mid tier raiding guild's roster, as far as skill playing their toon, and probably more like the top 5%.

    The community as a whole on Test was far nicer. 99% of all players were there to help others, Test truly was (and I'm sure still is) the greatest true community in all of EQ. A mature, small environment where the rude and 'not nice' players are shunned, in a community that is so small, that they do not stick around, because they may as well be alone on the server.

    That being said... The game, and all it's player base, is getting older. Wiser. Not a young, hotheaded, and much easier to get along with, on live servers.

    I've heard of very little KSing of named, stealing of camps, intentional training, etc, in the last couple years on live. Mostly, it's how much of Test has been for over a decade any more, even on live servers now. Even higher tier stuff is being offered in general chat, like test has been for the longest. (T1 stuff is still sold in baz though, of course).

    So, my statement to all those on Test that are frustrated:

    Start over on live. You would be very surprised how fast you can get a couple Heroic toons to 105, in good gear, and even raid ready, if you wanted. A couple months, at most.

    And there truly are some great players, both skilled and attitude wise, on live servers.
    Benzarden likes this.
  5. Girlfriend Lorekeeper

    This really is a canary in a coal mine issue.. and the canary is wheezing because....

    This is the last expansion of this version of Everquest.

    I know they've said they're 'working on the next expansion.' But consider:

    • 2 years ago they were meeting the ceiling on AAs and Elidroth (I think it was Eli) said that AAs have about reached the end of the road. AAs have reached such diminishing returns they're now more about a ding and a grats than a power addition. It got to the point where they asked the playerbase what to add.
    • At the same time they began scaling back DPS slowly but surely. Those of you with archived parses will actually see a STEP drop in DPS in your raid data on the same raids around that summer if you plot DPS VS raids over time. To me (a caster) it looks like part of this was a weighting of RNG for nominal and crit data to the low side, to begin with. That's just part of how they started putting thumbs in the dike...
    • Everything has reached diminishing returns. Look at your gear, spells, dps. Flat flat ... flat.. flat. And as already mentioned.. AAs are.,.. done as.,... done. AAs officially met the what-the-heck-do-we-do-now point this expansion. There is no more headroom.. only hand-waving room.
    • Look at the drastic and (ridiculous?) justifications given for xp nerfs this expansion.. trying to give people something.. anything to do for as long as possible.
    • The shrill NEW REASONS TO BUY THE COLLECTORS EDITION and other hawking of EQ merchandise. Squeezing every last blood dime as possible out of the market as they can.
    • Heck LoN's been gone for quite awhile, but without any fanfare. Whiskk.....
    • Class nerf after class nerf after class nerf....
    • Finally, this expansion itself. /BOGGLE. That's the only thing I can say about this. I really do feel sorry for the devs on this thing. It has potential... it's very good in very many places. The problem is that it is about 25 percent of the size it should be.
    A proportional model of DPS increases and MOB power increases without other infrastructure (like a functional AA system) is not sustainable.

    As a game, EQ is no longer sustainable.

    Later this year we'll get the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.

    The only other alternative is a cynical continuation of the current bleeding model.

    You heard it here first.

    /sigh /cry
  6. Benzarden Augur

    Lisandra and SaderakhBertox like this.
  7. Abazzagorath Augur

    Vanguard was around for like 2+ YEARS after they were down to a total of TWO servers (one U.S. and the other Euro) before it was sunset. And that is an intellectual property that isn't their "flagship" property for the SOE division.

    They will merge servers down to a few before they stop releasing content. Do we get less content for the same price? Yes, because less people paying the price means less money for them to invest in more content.

    I am more concerned about the decisions they are making with how to use their resources than the labor hours we are getting put into the game as an investment. They are using way too much time trying to "fix" things that don't need to be fixed, trying to change the way things have worked for a decade or more, etc. Just churn out more content with the game play we have shown we liked by paying for years, and quit trying to force us to play differently, it just drives away subscriptions.

    I have zero issues with TDS needing to be purchased by people on test. There is zero justification for people whining about it. If you don't want the content, don't buy it. I didn't buy it for all my paid accounts.
    Lisandra likes this.
  8. Garshok Augur

    True - and just look at how long they kept the Mac server around. As long as subscription/SC income from EQ-only players > server upkeep, I can see them keeping EQ around for years after they stop making new content. (While they have moved to their all-access subscription model - which among other things may preclude any requirement for refunds when a specific game is sunsetted - I hope, for EQ's sake, that they track how many subscriptions play only one game or spend 80% of their time with one game.)

    I don't expect any special love for EQ. My guess is that EQ is such a small portion of the revenue stream, with Sony's overall gaming focus being so much on Playstation rather than windows, that there will be relatively little sentimentality when it comes time to pull the plug.

    If the financials for EQ itself are already shaky, I wouldn't be at all surprised if EQ's sunset is announced in conjunction with EQ Next's roll-out. The financial statements don't provide much granularity, but I wouldn't be surprised if EQ has already been a net loss in some years - like the whole 'paying for subscriptions with SC' debacle.

    That's all opinion though - no special insight, 'friend on the inside,' etc. Must be interesting for CFO Ken Dohus, though.

    Could. Not. Agree. More.
    Lisandra likes this.
  9. Girlfriend Lorekeeper

    Yeah. That's kind of what I expect.

    And, btw, I'd be fine if they just kept things "status quo" and pushed out more of the same level-ish stuff. By no means do I want EQ to fade.

    Or, if they brainstorm and come up with some game mechanic/infrastructure to replace the dead AA system I would continue to be first in line buying new expansions.

    My main concerns stem from the obvious skeletal staff, the poor justifications given for 'stuff', and the glass ceiling (unlimited growth with finite resources model).

    And I agree with you Abaz.. allocation of the available time for available devs is a concern. Constant non-fix 'fixes' are bad. Back-pedaling fixes are bad.

    A fix would be a plug-in idea to take over where the AA system has died. This would add life to the game and allow growth.

    The writing is obviously still top notch.. there are obviously passionate and motivated devs trying to make things work.

    Hopefully a "Eureka" moment will manifest and I can eat as many crows as anyone cares to provide.
  10. Serriah_Test Augur

    In light of recent recent events: ROFLCOPTER?
  11. Benzarden Augur

    First and foremost, I can't take a post seriously in which the main content is "ROFLCOPTER."


    Doomsdayers gonna doom.
    Lisandra likes this.
  12. Serriah_Test Augur

    My "ROFLCOPTER?" was satire to your rude animated gif.
    I was asking if your next remark was going to be "ROFLCOPTER"

    I'm glad I could clear that up.
  13. Thancra Augur

  14. Rainbowdash Augur

    At first I was going to make a long elaborate post asking why you're still here if you hate this game, quit long ago, and totally washed your hands of it. Implying all the while you must not have much to do in your life.

    Then I was just going to post an image of some emo chick from Myspace with a quote like "It doesn't matter, we're all going to die anyway. Why should I bother having fun? We're all just dust in the wind" mocking your attitude in every single post ever made ever. Then remembered I'm oddly attracted to most of the resulting pics on Google and chose not to associate you with any of them.

    So instead i'll just ask short and sweet....why in the world are you still here?
    Lisandra, Benzarden and Thancra like this.
  15. Serriah_Test Augur

    In my career, I'm usually brought in to restructure, streamline, and document process for the selling of, or closing out of products and sometimes entire businesses. It usually starts with creating the documentation required to support a product for 7 years and end the development cycle.

    If you remember my prediction before I quit, I said EQ/SOE would be sold or gone by spring 2015, so I was only off by one quarter. I also said that SOE was completely dependent on the success of EQ:next and landmark.

    Also, If you remember my posts in my last year on test (on these boards), I was giving ideas for SoE to redesign and grow EQ, encouraging new players to stay by:
    • tuning raid content to instances to be groupable so they could experience the lore rather than skipping it.
    • filling in gear progression dead-zones by removing old flagging requirements (like SoD void and factions)
    • moving away from twitch game play and going back to something closer to resource management game play
    • improving the UI and in-game feedback

    All of them met with sarcasm, personal attacks, etc etc by this very community.

    You have it wrong.
    I absolutely love EQ.
    I'm sticking around with the small hope that MAYBE this new company will see the same things I saw and realize that EQ can survive as a stand-alone in a 7 year life cycle after one final development cycle.

    Look at how long Al'Kabor and EQOA lasted without a dev cycle.
  16. Girlfriend Lorekeeper

    Neat. But..

    I didn't see any "hate this game" comments in either his post or mine.

    So, you really spent that much time and effort deciding how to best make an insult.....

    Thanks for that play-by-play on your thought process. It was interesting.

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