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#1 Jun 25 2011 at 4:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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My shard got designated a "trial shard" and we were forced to transfer off. I find it very curious they'd do this with a medium pop server instead of one of the dead ones. One of my names was taken. Angry.

But despite my whining, I will say the transfer process is extremely smooth and easy. Transferred the guild as well without a hitch. They do a nice job of letting everyone know which shard the guild went to, and on the other side they let everyone know the pre-transfer name of the character if it was changed.
#2 Jun 25 2011 at 5:00 PM Rating: Decent
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I went from Faemist to Millrush. Same here. Very smooth and the change between pvp server and pve server is freaking night and day in this game.
#3 Jun 25 2011 at 7:07 PM Rating: Good
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Would you care to elaborate on the difference?

Edited, Jun 25th 2011 6:08pm by LebargeX
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#4 Jun 26 2011 at 10:03 AM Rating: Good
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Same here. Only out of three servers I play I have to move off 2 and the third is high pop.

All of the ones marked recommended are PvP.

It looks like I have a choice of two English-speaking PvE servers.

And the logic kind of escapes me. If I do the Ascend-a-Friend to give a friend who might be interested a go at the game then I want to play with them. If they are quarantined off on a "trial" server then their experience isn't going to be as encouraging - ie good for converting trials to subs - as if they could play with friends on a normal server.

I think this is a commercial error.

Edit:
Actually I think it is the server merges people predicted. But they've done them as enforced transfers. Why clear 2 entire servers for trials and cram the players from them into three existing shards? They're not going to get that many trials and anyway a server full of people under level 15 with no general chat etc and all the other trial restrictions is hardly going to be an inspiring place to play. Unless of course it lets them drop the restrictions. Still don't see it working.

Edited, Jun 26th 2011 3:48pm by Cobra101
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#5 Jun 26 2011 at 10:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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This is the first real mistake I've seen Trion make.

They want servers specifically for people on trial accounts... ok, I can go with that logic, especially during big trial pushes you don't want to create queues, and it's helpful if trial players have some vague clue of where they should go (and have people their own level there with them). But you don't do that by altering existing servers, free transfers or no free transfers.

The correct solution to this was to add 4 trial shards for each region (one of each server type) and then offer transfers off of those as people completed their trials.

By essentially forcing people off of certain servers you break up groups (no matter how small they may have been) of friends and you create bad will among those people who are forced into this situation and are currently paying a subscription fee.

This is a mistake... the first big one I've seen from them.
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#6 Jun 27 2011 at 1:50 AM Rating: Good
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I'm not thrilled about this recent development. My "main" and supporting alts are on one of the shards now listed as a trial shard. I got the message requesting that I transfer "soon" which is what I'll do...soon.

The thing is, it makes a lot of sense to do it this way despite the short term irritation it might cause. One of the issues newer players face is that they don't get to experience the game as it was "intended" in the lower level zones because most of a given shard's population is level 50 (or darn close to it). For those lower level players asked to transfer, worst case scenario is you end up in the same situation on a different shard. If your destination is a higher population shard, maybe players leveling alts will help build out zone populations on your way through to 50.

For characters at any level, if you've got an established group you can move with that group. And you can choose where you want to go (with certain limitations).

Trion had three options: the option they went with (free transfers, designating shards as trial shards), shard merges, or take the patient route and continue with trials and let the shards fill up over time.

With server merges, players wouldn't get a choice. They'd just get sent wherever their shard was merged to.

With the patient route, players unhappy with their experience as a result of being on lower population shards might give up before Trion gave in.

With the option they chose, the end result is the same, but the results come faster and players get a choice. And trials get to experience the game as intended with lowbie zones likely packed during trial events.

It's the nature of MMOs today (compared to say, 5 years ago) that people buy a game when it's launched, play their first 30 free days, and then **** off (with or without an inordinate amount of forum QQ about how horrible the game is/game is dying/<game coming out in 6 months> will be better, etc.) This may well be one of the more effective solutions a game studio has come up with. They get to avoid the stigma associated with server merges, players get a choice, and they improve the new player experience on trial shards. Win-win-win. And the downside is a minor inconvenience to existing players who were already sniveling up a storm about shard populations to begin with.
#7 Jun 27 2011 at 4:49 AM Rating: Good
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Yes it is a lot less embarassing than actual merges and possibly gives more choice. Although choose one from two isn't an enormous amount of choice.

The trial thing still bugs me though.

I have a couple of people I was hoping to get interested in the game via the Ascend-a-Friend. But they were definitely in the "try this and I'll help you with it" rather than the sort of MMO vets that just wanted a free trial. Unless they give special dispensation for the AaF deal it is dead in the water. Even then I have all the slots full on my mains server (my new main server!) so I couldn't continue the pairing if they decide to subscribe.

The other issue was whether they pushed it too far too fast. The server I transferred my Defiants to last night was lagged to blazes. Meridian was "only coming through in waves" to coin a phrase. An invasion in Shimmersand just halted every few seconds while the lagspikes ate people.

All in all it is a temporary annoyance that will go away but I think it could have been handled better.
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#8 Jun 27 2011 at 7:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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Maybe they designated too many trial shards because they obviously don't have room on their destination servers for everyone they've displaced. I'm one of the unfortunate ones who went to Alsbeth because at the time I was choosing, Shardwatch showed a good healthy medium population with some highs during peak times. Within 2 hours of my transfer it was a hot sticky mess. I don't blame the people who originated there for being mad at the 400 person queues. And I'm not any happier with having to wait another 7 days to pick up and move again.

There seems to be a lot of speculation that they were only trial-izing "dead" servers but Plutonus was not dead. It was medium all the time and had a nice little community going. Which they blew up without warning.

It'll all settle and balance out within a few weeks no doubt, nothing to get foamy at the mouth over, but **** this is irritating short term. Mainly because it seems obvious it could have been avoided with the tiniest bit of organization. Someone dropped the ball bigtime.

Edited, Jun 27th 2011 9:05am by teacake
#9 Jun 27 2011 at 7:07 AM Rating: Good
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Cobra101 wrote:
Yes it is a lot less embarassing than actual merges and possibly gives more choice. Although choose one from two isn't an enormous amount of choice.



Not sure if you ever played WoW, but back in the day before x-server LFD people used to ***** and moan they were on completely dead/unbalanced servers.

I guarantee I can match the wording on Rift thread to the WoW general forums. You know what we used to tell them when they would ***** and moan? "Blizzard has a transfer option now go use it"

WoW has dead servers and a **** of a lot of them. Take a screen shot of the WoW shard list at prime time and take a screenshot of the Rift one and they will start to look identical. Only thing you will notice is Trion trying to actually do something with the ones that say low instead of pretending like they do not exist.

It is called human nature...here is what I have seen "well Hal Hanlin said it is growing where are the people at"..my answer.."ON THE SHARD THAT SAYS HIGH POP". Why would someone join a shard where just two seconds ago you were ******** it was dead, no groups, and felt alone?

The funny part and the catch 22 and Aion proves this idea fails. Why not just limit population and close shards and force people to roll on low pop servers? Well Aion proves you actually lose more subs with this plan. It turns out forcing MMO players to do something and not giving them a choice is a really really bad idea.

Edited, Jun 27th 2011 9:07am by Puremallace



Edited, Jun 27th 2011 9:11am by Puremallace
#10 Jun 27 2011 at 9:33 AM Rating: Decent
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Cobra101 wrote:
Yes it is a lot less embarassing than actual merges and possibly gives more choice. Although choose one from two isn't an enormous amount of choice.

The trial thing still bugs me though.

I have a couple of people I was hoping to get interested in the game via the Ascend-a-Friend. But they were definitely in the "try this and I'll help you with it" rather than the sort of MMO vets that just wanted a free trial. Unless they give special dispensation for the AaF deal it is dead in the water. Even then I have all the slots full on my mains server (my new main server!) so I couldn't continue the pairing if they decide to subscribe.

The other issue was whether they pushed it too far too fast. The server I transferred my Defiants to last night was lagged to blazes. Meridian was "only coming through in waves" to coin a phrase. An invasion in Shimmersand just halted every few seconds while the lagspikes ate people.

All in all it is a temporary annoyance that will go away but I think it could have been handled better.


It's not really worth being troubled by what might happen with trials. The devs have said the trial shards are being reserved for large-scale trial events, not that all trials must and will forever be required to roll on trial shards. Sometimes it's best to just deal with the concrete information we have instead of looking for trouble in the future.

It's unfortunate that people ask for things and then complain that they got what they asked for. People wanted server merges...they got something better. They complained that trials were taking spots on full servers when paying customers were stuck in queues. They got a solution. They complained about dead servers. Server capacities were expanded and free transfers were offered...we're all free to find fame, fortune, and higher population as we see fit. And people still complain.

That's what the vocal minority do, and it's probably one of the single most fatiguing aspects of playing an MMO. It's all just complain, complain, complain.
#11 Jun 27 2011 at 9:58 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Not sure if you ever played WoW, but back in the day before x-server LFD people used to ***** and moan they were on completely dead/unbalanced servers.


I did play WoW (avatar is a bit of a give-away Smiley: smile)and I know what you mean. It never really affected me but I was there.

It was a lot more noticeable in EQ where I suffered several server merges with attendant pains. What Trion has done is vastly better than server merges. And they have avoided the negative implications. That side of it they have handled well.

Personally as a mostly solo player it doesn't hurt me too much if a server is a bit empty. However the nature of Rift almost demands a sizeable server pop to cope with zone events. If they just roll over you and there are never enough people about to beat them then they just become an irritation instead of a defining feature of the game.

I don't follow the Rift forums so I've no idea what people where complaining about but I certainly didn't find my old server empty or needing to merge.

Still, if the lag problem stabilises soon it'll all be over.

Quote:
It's not really worth being troubled by what might happen with trials. The devs have said the trial shards are being reserved for large-scale trial events, not that all trials must and will forever be required to roll on trial shards. Sometimes it's best to just deal with the concrete information we have instead of looking for trouble in the future.


Well I was working from the text that came up on my screen saying that my server was now reserved for "trial accounts". That is fairly concrete information. I have no idea what is meant by a "large-scale trial" or how one would come about.

What comes of it is that I'll hold off inviting friends until it is clear what is meant, and that is a potential own-goal for Trion.
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#12 Jun 27 2011 at 2:02 PM Rating: Decent
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Cobra101 wrote:
Quote:
It's not really worth being troubled by what might happen with trials. The devs have said the trial shards are being reserved for large-scale trial events, not that all trials must and will forever be required to roll on trial shards. Sometimes it's best to just deal with the concrete information we have instead of looking for trouble in the future.


Well I was working from the text that came up on my screen saying that my server was now reserved for "trial accounts". That is fairly concrete information. I have no idea what is meant by a "large-scale trial" or how one would come about.

What comes of it is that I'll hold off inviting friends until it is clear what is meant, and that is a potential own-goal for Trion.


When the devs announced that certain shards were being flagged as trial shards, they said that they were planning major trial events in the future. They also told us that they would give us more details on those events as those details were finalized. The point is, they didn't say, "This shard is about to become the only shard that trials can play on." They said that the shard is being reserved for trials, and there's a difference.

That's why I'm saying let's not jump to any conclusions with regards to what trials will or will not be able to do. We don't need more MMO players assuming the worst, because if there's anything Trion has shown us, it's that assuming the worst is usually the wrong approach with Rift.

Edit: Straight from the Elrar's mouth:

Quote:
Greetings! With today's update you may notice that several shards have been marked "Trial." These shards are the ones that we will be using for future large scale Trial programs such that they do not cause undue queues on paying servers, as we've all seen in the past. (We'll roll more info out on those new programs as their time comes.) As always, under our current Trial program, new players remain welcome to sign up and play with their friends on existing shards, Trial or otherwise. If you happen to be on a server that is now marked as a Trial shard, here are a few things you should know: - For the time being, character creation is disabled for non-trial users on Trial shards. - Subscribers with characters on them are able to transfer for free to any of the available destination shards. - Subscribers can transfer characters of any level off of these shards - Subscribers who log into a Trial shard will be informed that they should consider transferring to a new shard at their convenience.


(I added the bold/underline for emphasis.)

Edited, Jun 27th 2011 1:09pm by Aurelius
#13 Jun 27 2011 at 2:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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teacake wrote:
Maybe they designated too many trial shards because they obviously don't have room on their destination servers for everyone they've displaced. I'm one of the unfortunate ones who went to Alsbeth because at the time I was choosing, Shardwatch showed a good healthy medium population with some highs during peak times. Within 2 hours of my transfer it was a hot sticky mess. I don't blame the people who originated there for being mad at the 400 person queues. And I'm not any happier with having to wait another 7 days to pick up and move again.

There seems to be a lot of speculation that they were only trial-izing "dead" servers but Plutonus was not dead. It was medium all the time and had a nice little community going. Which they blew up without warning.

It'll all settle and balance out within a few weeks no doubt, nothing to get foamy at the mouth over, but **** this is irritating short term. Mainly because it seems obvious it could have been avoided with the tiniest bit of organization. Someone dropped the ball bigtime.

Edited, Jun 27th 2011 9:05am by teacake


I miss not having queues on Alsbeth. :( But it should be fine after 3 more days.
#14 Jun 27 2011 at 2:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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Ravashack wrote:

I miss not having queues on Alsbeth. :( But it should be fine after 3 more days.


Yeah, erm, sorry about that. Lots of transfer hate in the chat and I can understand it, but even for those of us who tried to make an informed choice, early on before the deluge hit, we had no reason to anticipate this. Personally, it would've been better if I'd understood some hard numbers, how many trial shards they were talking about, what kind of numbers were going to be displaced, etc. If I'd known there'd be - what? we must be into the thousands all together - other people being forced to transfer at the same time and looking for "medium to occasionally high but not too high" I would have adjusted my thinking. Nobody wants a low pop server but it doesn't help anyone to flood and disrupt one the way Alsbeth has been flooded and disrupted.

Actually what really would've been better is automated caps on transfers. As soon as x number was reached, with some overflow assumed since guilds are always allowed to stay together, the shard is automatically taken off the destination list. I'm sure it's difficult to estimate just how many accounts can be assigned to a shard before it gets queues, given the range of play times and frequency, but they must have some data on what an ideal population range is. Exceeding it by so much that queues are over 500 is too big an error margin.

It seems it also doesn't help that they gave everyone the "Adult Swim! Everyone out of the pool!" notices on a Saturday. Either there's a skeleton crew working weekends or nobody at all, because they closed Alsbeth to further transfers half a day too late.

And as far as the "you'll complain no matter what they do," thing, I actually wasn't complaining before. I started on a shard whose population I didn't like, so I rerolled on one I liked better. They implemented free transfers so people who wanted to change wouldn't have to level again, how nice, even better for the people who wanted a move. I had no complaints. I do have what I think is a very fair complaint about an established community being forced to "take advantage" of this transfer system when they have no desire to. We were happy where we were and doing just fine.

That said, in a month I won't be complaining either. Or at least not enough to write five paragraph posts about it. The overall strategy is a good one, it was just implemented very poorly, particularly this past weekend.

Edit: Hey Ravashack, just for the record, there are only half a dozen people in my guild, of whom only 3 actually play (versus logging on once a month to say hey), so, like, it's totally not my fault. Smiley: grin

Edited, Jun 27th 2011 4:56pm by teacake
#15 Jun 27 2011 at 3:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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LOL, no worries.

There's actually a raid guild on our server who is planning on bailing to Faeblight I think, so there are some people leaving. Not many in there though, because...well...their attendance is so bad that they have a reputation of yelling for randoms to fill in spots in Greenscale's Blight.

Honestly, I think people picked Alsbeth because it was the first choice on the list that didn't look full. I'm sure the next server up for the rush is probably Belmont.

#16 Jun 27 2011 at 5:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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Let the record show I did not go alphabetically! Nor did I choose Alsbeth because I think her costume is neat! NO REALLY!

PS: 7:15 EST and no queue yet. Monday is bound to be slower than Sunday but I also wonder how many people already transferred off. Anyone who did would be a native since us transfers are still in our 7 day lockout. I'm glad the system is self-balancing and with transfers being so easy, people who don't like queues can do something about it so readily. I'm not glad if it's worked out that the interlopers end up staying while the original denizens leave. I don't think it's fair for their community to be scattered any more than I thought it was fair for mine to be.

PPS: On the other hand, as much as this whole thing has peeved me, people who are tearing their hair out and jumping ship over 2 nights of queues need more books.



Edited, Jun 27th 2011 7:24pm by teacake
#17 Jun 27 2011 at 7:39 PM Rating: Good
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And another queue when I got home. (44 minutes)

Well, on the good side, that means most of the people who are causing the blockage are probably PST friendly. >_>

Edited, Jun 27th 2011 9:40pm by Ravashack
#18 Jun 28 2011 at 6:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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The Witching Hour appears to be about 8:00 EST. I logged in at 8 to a queue of only about 10 minutes. Husband logged in 15 minutes later to a queue of over half an hour.
#19 Jul 01 2011 at 6:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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Well, I guess self-balancing works. Not even a week later and Alsbeth's graph looks exactly the way it did before the transfers rolled in. And there hasn't been a queue in 2 days. Do we attribute this to WoW's latest patch, or the transfer system working as intended?
#20 Jul 01 2011 at 7:38 AM Rating: Good
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I think it is a bit of both.

I do think the initial load caught then by surprise but it seems to have levelled out a bit.

Some of that may be them fiddling under the hood. Much of hotfox 5 seems to be that sort of thing. And undoubtedly some people did decide to go off and do something else. (I was one of them)

I still get a lot more client crashes than before the patch but I think that is something unrelated to the transfers or population levels.

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