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Character TransfersFollow

#1 May 17 2011 at 8:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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Hi all,

We’ve seen renewed discussion lately asking about character transfers and how we plan to allow more of you to play together and enjoy RIFT with friends. While it has been mentioned in interviews we wanted to clearly state that a character transfer feature is currently under development. We’re still ironing out the details which we will share as we get closer to its release, however, we wanted to let you know today that it is something we're actively working on.

We greatly appreciate your continued feedback and we’ll keep your suggestions in mind while answering your questions whenever able. We look forward to talking more about this new feature and keep you in the loop throughout its development – thanks!


Source.


Edit: many salty tears in that thread: oh noes, our high pop shard will only get worse! oh noes, our low pop shard will only get worse! It doesn't seem to occur to anybody that just because transfers will be possible, that doesn't necessarily equal a free-for-all. Or that what's obvious to Average Poster #4537 might be equally obvious to the people who make the game. Trion has shown themselves to be pretty clever; I'd be shocked if they didn't organize this is in such a fashion as to help stabilize population across shards, not make existing problems worse.


Edited, May 17th 2011 11:00am by teacake
#2 May 17 2011 at 11:25 AM Rating: Good
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I hope by char transfers they mean "we're going to merge clusters and servers."

I think if they trimmed a few of the low pop servers and added them to the medium pop servers it would work pretty well. But I am all for the server transfer stuff.
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#3 May 17 2011 at 12:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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ArexLovesPie wrote:
I hope by char transfers they mean "we're going to merge clusters and servers."


OMG no. Do you know how many shards I had to try before I got my name of choice? If they merge and I lose my name, I will cut a *****.
#4 May 17 2011 at 2:33 PM Rating: Good
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Lulz, tea.

I see it more as helping the people who were pushed onto a server that has an incredibly low pop.
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#5 May 17 2011 at 3:15 PM Rating: Decent
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There seem to be a couple of things that are throwing people off in their perception of shard population.

A lot of us are used to games like WoW where a healthy server population involved having 5k+ people online (both factions) during peak hours. Rift is a little different. We'll never see that kind of shard population in Rift (unless Trion starts going bizonkers with hardware, but it's not just their end that raises concerns.) Rift is designed from top to bottom to allow every player on a given shard to show up in the same place at the same time and not have the servers implode. The devs have gone into a bit of detail with the way they've configured the server hardware. In WoW, every zone had it's own physical server that handled everything from mob behavior to combat to player movement and other activities. And that's why, if you've ever seen the Legendary After Dark episodes on gamebreaker TV, having a few hundred people roll level 1 alts on the same server at the same time and go for a cruise frequently resulted in server crashes.

To put it more succinctly, games like WoW operate with large(r) server populations and manage server load by splitting processes and physical hardware by zone while anticipating that player population will be spread out to some degree throughout those zones. Rift does the opposite. They support smaller shard populations with physical hardware devoted to specific tasks regardless of zone while anticipating that at any point in time, the majority of online players are going to converge on one zone (ie. zone event) and the hardware will be able to support it. We saw it with the River of Souls event with full shards and hundreds upon hundreds of people converging on the same spot in Stillmoor and there were a lot of hiccups, but few shards actually crashed.

So what happens is that people compare what they see in cities and zones in Rift to other MMOs and label shards as being "dead" or "low population" when the shard list says something else. Very, very few NA shards show up as low population. Most are medium, some are high, and during off-peak hours you'll see maybe a half dozen that are actually listed as low. If you're used to having 2k+ people on from your faction alone in a game like WoW, only having 400 online for your faction in Rift is like...whoa...talk about dead. But it's not. Because 2-3 months from now when even the most casual of casuals have a level 50 character (except teacake, who will have 17 level 25ish characters ;D) and stuff starts going down in Stillmoor, those zones are going to be PACKED.

So no, shard mergers at this point would be grossly premature. Trion is still in the process of growing the population and merging shards would send the absolute wrong message. The game's population is growing by all accounts and will continue to do so. Free trials can bring in a lot of new customers. The last thing Trion needs to be doing now is merging shards to create a bunch of high pop shards with queues and having all the new players shunted to empty shards that take weeks/months to fill up.
#6 May 17 2011 at 3:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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ArexLovesPie wrote:
Lulz, tea.

I see it more as helping the people who were pushed onto a server that has an incredibly low pop.


I don't get what you're saying. Surely you aren't suggesting that these paying customers' ability to play the game as it was intended to be played supersedes my desire to have things exactly how I want them? Because that's a slippery slope. Start going down that path, and before you know it, I'm no longer the center of the universe.

Aurelius, I've heard them say before that they organized their servers differently but didn't really understand what that meant until you explained it. Nonetheless, many shards do seem to have a problem. I left the shard I started out on because I simply could not, ever, participate in things like zone-wide invasions (which really are the fun things that set Rift apart). I just had to log out and play one of my other 17 characters (see what I did there?) until it was over and I could get to the quest hubs again. Because there just weren't players in the zone to group up with. I don't care what label the shard status page gives the population, any time I'm paying to not play, it's an issue.

I don't think server merges are the way to address it though. While that may help the people on low pop servers, it doesn't do much for the people on Wolfsbane who now have atrocious queues because everyone did what I did and rerolled someplace busier. (For the record, I did not reroll on Wolfsbane though, so no hate mail please. :)). I suspect Rift has a healthy population overall that's just distributed poorly. Transfers, if properly organized so as to make it appealing for people or entire guilds to transfer from a higher pop shard to a lower pop one, could benefit everyone.
#7 May 17 2011 at 4:30 PM Rating: Good
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teacake wrote:
Aurelius, I've heard them say before that they organized their servers differently but didn't really understand what that meant until you explained it. Nonetheless, many shards do seem to have a problem. I left the shard I started out on because I simply could not, ever, participate in things like zone-wide invasions (which really are the fun things that set Rift apart). I just had to log out and play one of my other 17 characters (see what I did there?) until it was over and I could get to the quest hubs again. Because there just weren't players in the zone to group up with. I don't care what label the shard status page gives the population, any time I'm paying to not play, it's an issue.


There's still room for them to adjust how invasions and zone events play out in zones that don't have a lot of players in them. I know what it's like to show up to a quest hub that has a planar foothold instead of a wardstone and all the quest givers are dead. And when it's the aftermath of a zone event, sometimes it's way more than the standard wardstone guards that you have to clear through to get your quest givers to respawn.

In fact, lowbie zone populations on the shard where I rolled my second rogue have been so low for so long that when I came across a major fire rift in Silverwood with my warrior (level 16) today while out getting eggs and plane shards (for soul quests) I didn't even realize it was a major rift until I almost got clobbered because I wasn't in the habit of checking.

The solution is to retune and refine the zone activity. Part of that process requires that the devs keep a close eye on things and how players are responding to the invasions and rifts. I know that personally, if I've set out into the field with a goal in mind (ie. quest, gather for dailies, etc.), the planar activity has to be directly in my face before I pay any attention to it. Not because I don't like it, but because I've got other things on my mind. And a lot of players are the same way. If they don't HAVE to clear it, they won't. So maybe things are tuned right now so that if you've got > 20 people in the zone, it might trigger a zone event or major rifts when in reality, 28 of those 30 people are just going to ignore it. They've also got to consider that some of the epic quests require specific zone events and if those don't happen because the lowbie zones are empty, the quests can't progress.

Trion designed the game around the assumption that most players saw leveling as a means to an end. Obviously you're a good example of someone who is more than happy to take their time and enjoy the process, and unfortunately that puts you at sort of a disadvantage. Either you're going to get blocked by remnants of invasions that spawn when there aren't enough people around to help you, or you're going to miss out on a lot of the lower zone rift content because it's just not going to spawn.

There's not much the devs can do to bring the lowbie zones back to life. Even on higher population shards (my original realm is medium pop most of the time, high pop during prime time), lowbie zones are frequently very empty in terms of players. Everyone has just leveled through them. And if they keep trying to pack people onto shards, they're only going to fill the lowbie zones for so long before those people also have leveled through them and they'll be back where they started. And considering the amount of indignant rage and QQ that goes up on the official forums about high level players "ruining" the lowbie experience by showing up to rifts and zone events and steamrolling the place, it's not like they'd be well advised to offer incentive for higher level players to go back through the lower zones to do this or that.

I expect to see continued refinements to the way planar activity plays out in low population zones, but I highly doubt it will have anything to do with trying to re-populate those zones. That's just not what the devs had in mind.

I don't think server merges are the way to address it though. While that may help the people on low pop servers, it doesn't do much for the people on Wolfsbane who now have atrocious queues because everyone did what I did and rerolled someplace busier. (For the record, I did not reroll on Wolfsbane though, so no hate mail please. :)). I suspect Rift has a healthy population overall that's just distributed poorly. Transfers, if properly organized so as to make it appealing for people or entire guilds to transfer from a higher pop shard to a lower pop one, could benefit everyone.[/quote]
#8 May 17 2011 at 5:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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That's all well and good if you just want the convenience of getting around the zone freely. But I want to be able to do the invasions. I want to play on a shard where there's enough people around to make them work. My favorite nights in Rift are the ones where I barely quest at all because I'm busy with those sorts of things.
#9 May 17 2011 at 8:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think over the next few weeks we're going to see more people in the game. Some people didn't run out and get the game when it came out because they wanted to hear what it was like from other gamers. Some were waiting for the trial. Now that we have the trial and word is getting out, I'm seeing a lot more activity on my server (which was never low pop to begin with). And more and more will come.
#10 May 17 2011 at 8:46 PM Rating: Good
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teacake wrote:
That's all well and good if you just want the convenience of getting around the zone freely. But I want to be able to do the invasions. I want to play on a shard where there's enough people around to make them work. My favorite nights in Rift are the ones where I barely quest at all because I'm busy with those sorts of things.


Population in lower level zones has nothing to do with server population. The game was designed for a speedy trip to the cap. The devs have said as much. So that means that the lower level zones are already populated by latecomers and alts, and not a ton of either at any given time. The lion's share of players are already 50. There's nothing Trion can do to keep the lower level zones active because you level through them too quickly. And because of all the QQ from people about higher levels ruining their fun, Trion won't be offering incentive for higher level players to go back to lower level zones any time soon.

The game was offered with commentary from the devs to the effect that they didn't want leveling to be a time consuming task. They made a smart move in that regard, because the only thing worse than being stuck in a zone where either nothing happens or your quest hubs are constantly being overrun with invasions is being stuck there for a really long time with the same circumstances.
#11 May 17 2011 at 9:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Nadenu wrote:
I think over the next few weeks we're going to see more people in the game. Some people didn't run out and get the game when it came out because they wanted to hear what it was like from other gamers. Some were waiting for the trial. Now that we have the trial and word is getting out, I'm seeing a lot more activity on my server (which was never low pop to begin with). And more and more will come.



This is what I'm seeing as well. Laethys, a medium-to-low pop server, has been extremely dead since release. Free Ascended weekends spiked pop a bit, but the new week long trials have brought an explosion to the population here. I've had multiple guild recruits this week alone that were on trial and ended up buying the full game.

Aurelius' point about perspective in regards to population size seems valid. Trion's method of hardware use and orginal planned method of population management sounds great...on paper. However we've seen now with the last couple months used as data, that "medium" population = sitting around with nothing to do, and no one to do it with.

They have greatly improved zone event frequency, in relation to zone activity/pop. Atleast that's been the case on Laethys. However if Aurelius is suggesting that over-all (total server) populations are working as intended, than that's very disappointing, and the LFG tool release shows us why. Myself + 3 Guildies will que up for a T1, needing only 1 dps, during peak hours, on a medium pop server, and get a wait time. Anything less than instant when only needing dps shows a very serious flaw.

I agree mergers would probably cause more problems than it would solve. However, that would lead me to believe that they must implement cross-shard LFG ques. As stated, they didn't intend for shards to handle enough population to equal to what others expect from their WoW experiences. However, this means that a single shard LFG tool cannot execute as needed. I'm sure we've all read/heard the interviews saying they'll most likely implement cross-ques, and I suspect they're just trying to decide if they should make it clustered or global. I suspect they'll keep it clustered, so as to hope to be able to spin it more positively to the QQ posters that complain about server community. Though I suspect it will be fine as 4-ish servers should provide enough pop to the que tool to make the LFG tool releveant. Which it is not currently, and I suppose that's the point of all my ramblings :)

Edited, May 17th 2011 11:13pm by Brega
#13 May 21 2011 at 1:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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DigitalSingularity wrote:
Trion will not downsize its servers for the very reason of working capital it is an accounting practice not all the fluff this empty drum continues to rant on about. Gameover enuff said.

Btw the signature you provided seems to be done by an adolescent please stop embarrassing yourself thanks.


Who are you and how did you get banned from Trion's forums?
#15 May 22 2011 at 3:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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Digital, it might help if you knew anything about... anything.

Servers are neither a current asset nor liability. It has zero affect on their working capital. You don't know what this term means.

Trion doesn't own their own servers, they lease them. This affords them the ability to quickly and cheaply increase or decrease capacity, is pretty much how every other MMORPG developer does it, and makes population increases or decreases a non-issue. You don't know anything about online business models.
#17 May 23 2011 at 11:47 AM Rating: Good
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#18 May 23 2011 at 3:10 PM Rating: Good
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DigitalSingularity wrote:
A business model is a three tier system enuff said and as far as leasing servers go please present actual account through a leasing agreement that stipulates if the lease is broken a penalty must be paid. Either way Trion is not going to downsize the servers. I doubt Trion would lease servers do to security issues. There you go troll I gave you little bone to gnaw on now you are suppose to respond by asking what do you mean security issues. I wont be checking back on this fail thread. Bye cupcake.


You don't have the credibility with this community to make stupid statements followed be "enuff said" and expect to be taken seriously. And if you keep posting like such an arrogant twunt, you never will have that credibility so get some people skills or gtfo.

Leasing servers is like leasing a car. Is a leased vehicle any more or less secure that a bought vehicle? No, it is not. The server hardware is leased. Companies tend not to buy computer hardware. It's too expensive, it depreciates too quickly, and it needs to be upgraded too frequently. Between cost savings and tax incentives, leasing is typically the superior option. It's not hard to negotiate a favorable lease arrangement.
#19 May 23 2011 at 4:31 PM Rating: Good
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Aurelius wrote:
Leasing servers is like leasing a car. Is a leased vehicle any more or less secure that a bought vehicle? No, it is not. The server hardware is leased. Companies tend not to buy computer hardware. It's too expensive, it depreciates too quickly, and it needs to be upgraded too frequently. Between cost savings and tax incentives, leasing is typically the superior option. It's not hard to negotiate a favorable lease arrangement.

It doesn't even mater why they would do it, because they are doing it. I live less than 50 miles away from the company that is running all of Trion's servers.

I don't even care that DigitalSingularity is trolling. I take everyone 100% seriously 100% of the time, because it's just more fun that way.
#21 Jun 09 2011 at 12:39 PM Rating: Good
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DigitalSingularity wrote:
Again Trion did not take down any servers and just implemented server transfers enuff said.


You realize that Oceans 13 was just a movie, right?
#23 Jun 11 2011 at 6:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
This is what I'm seeing as well. Laethys, a medium-to-low pop server, has been extremely dead since release. Free Ascended weekends spiked pop a bit, but the new week long trials have brought an explosion to the population here. I've had multiple guild recruits this week alone that were on trial and ended up buying the full game.


I too have noticed an increase in population. In about a week I added sever recruits that were on the week long trial, many visiting from WoW.

I've also seen alot of complaints about server populations being low and alot of people thinking the game is starting to die off. Usually I just ignore them as obvious trolls, but its starting to appear like people are a little unaware of how trion has things set up.

While yes, the servers will be smaller than WoW (which i love having a smaller community), there are still plenty of people on alot of the time, they just don't stand around in Meridian (or Sactum) like people do in WoW towns. With the use of world chat and the dynamic open world content in Rift.... there is pretty much always something to do, not saying there wasn't in WoW, but people seemed to always have free time.
To illustrate my point, lets consider dailies:
In WoW, I could probably finish a good amount of my dailies in 1 or 2 hrs, faster if I had a friend... (depending on which ones i wanted to do or w/e)
In Rift, it usually takes me all **** day, because every time i start to do my Stillmoor or SS dailies an invasion triggers, and if its a major one, it could be an hour or more before we're done clearing everything. Then after that I usually am pumped up and find either a weekly raid, or a DF group to do some xperts with... so I find myself 4hrs after setting down, finally back to getting dailies done... then it starts over.
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