Q-3PO's July 28th Q&A

Here is the Q&A Q-3PO posted in the official forums. Feel free to add your comments: ------------------ I’m not going to touch profession issues right yet. We’re in the process of reviewing all of the top 5 issues and getting some responses back to the correspondents. Here are a couple of other questions answered. I’ll post a bit more later today. How long will my character be saved if I cancel my account? Currently the answer is 5 days. Our intention is to have it be for at least a month or more, but that won’t be changing in the near future. As many of you know, every character in SWG takes up an order of magnitude more database space than other MMOs. That is because we have so many unique variables per character (millions of character customization possibilities, every player made object having several unique attributes, large storage space in banks and houses, etc.). When we have a solution worked out for saving these characters longer, I’ll let you know. Believe me, we want to save these characters. There are a significant number of people who, after leaving an MMO, will return at a later time if their character is intact still. i've noticed over the last 2 weeks that a lot of people have either quit SWG, or have gone on vacation. its a lot more empty around cities, yet somehow the lag is worse. even in the middle of a barren planet, the lag is horrible. anyways... just wondering if i'm the only one noticing that this place is starting to get a bit empty. Airstud32, our simultaneous user numbers continue to break internal records. In fact, we will likely be bringing up additional galaxies soon. While there is expected “churn” (industry term for people who have decided the game isn’t for them and left), we’re seeing decent retention rate so far. What you may be experiencing is other players moving on to more challenging planets. As for the “lag”, hopefully you will see that getting better, not worse, at this point. Where are the game cards? Still planned but no date yet. I'll bug the Powers That Be again about this. Kevin "Q-3PO" O'Hara SWG Community Relations Manager


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# Jul 29 2003 at 6:28 PM Rating: Default
I some how doubt that. Early on in EQ they said, and still say that your characters will be deleted after 1 month. Well I have been on again off again on that game for the last 4 years since its release. Once for over a year. And guess what, they never canned my character because had they, I wouldn't have come back and they made more money by holding on. Are the characters dynamic? yes. But with the cost of memory these days I would be hard pressed to believe it is not cost effective to keep the characters around for at least a couple of months to get most people to sign up again. Since SWG Beta I have canceled my EQ account, but I bet you anything my character is still there ready to play. I suspect this whole thing is just a strong arm tactic. The fellow who mentioned he wont beable to reup his account....let us know what happens in 2 weeks would you.

# Jul 29 2003 at 8:45 AM Rating: Decent
Classic SOE strongarming tactics to get people to stay. I quit EQ 9 months ago and I guarantee that all 4 of my t00ns are alive and well, waiting to be resurrected. This 5 day and "order of magnitude" nonsense is their way of quietly scaring you into keeping your account.

To debunk the character storage myth, I gurantee that even a crappy database server running Oracle (which they claim is their RDB) can easily hold every character on every galaxy and include all manner of detail, without breaking some theoretical bank of memory. Having worked in sales for one of the antion's largest cell phone networks, with over 3 million people in my DB, I can tell you that crappy DB servers of 7 years ago can easily handle millions of records in very complex databases. If they need help, they should email me, since it isn't rocket science.

The 5 day thing cracks me up. In EQ they used carrots to draw the horse, now they tell the horse that if it doesn't pull the cart for 5 days, it's getting shot. What a feel good story. =(
RE: Venjenz
# Jul 29 2003 at 4:17 PM Rating: Decent
Isn't EQ a SOE product as well, though? I don't see how these are classic SOE strongarm tactics. They are pretty good strongarm tactics, if that's what they are. I'd be more inclined to think that they're just very bad database handling, which I've seen plenty of, including the horrifically slow and buggy Oracle database used to keep track of customers and orders in my technical support job.

What it probably -really- boils down to is that whoever coded how objects are stored didn't do anything to make those files as small as they could be- so there probably really is a space crunch issue.
I hate flames too!
# Jul 29 2003 at 7:09 AM Rating: Decent
Despite what I have read here, I think SWG is a great game. I have had some major issues with server (Login Server) connectivity and server outage, but Other than that I love it. I came from Playing UO (ultima Online to you non-MMoRPG types) for 5 years. I had seen the game get Nerfed in everyway and every fasion possible, but I adapted. I adapted to these changes (and the multitude of bugs)not only because I thought the game was the great, but more importantly because of the friends I made online. Yeah it sucks that probots were nerfed. Deal with it. The flexability to change professions is built into the game (As it was with UO but in a much harder fasion). Change from being a droid engineer to an Archetect or Weaponsmith... No biggy in my opinion. I understand the issue with character deletion after 5 days is a rather short period of time. I personally feel it should be 30 days.. But then again I do not maintain the SWG servers so I dont know the ramifications of keeping a (potentially) n on paying customer around for that long. Remember this is not only a game but a business. SOE needs to generate a healthy profit from SWG in order to justify its ongoing existance. On the other hand, If my cable company, Electric company or phone company fails to provide service for a period of time it is understood that I will not pay for a service I did not recieve (i.e. I will not pay a full 30 days of a cable bill if my service was out for 3 days).. So some of the above arguments hold a fair amount of water.. I hope I have not been to abiguous, I an just trying to give wieght to both sides (from the gamers perspective and from the Companys perspective). The Gamer should recieve top quality service for his premium service fee and the company should recieve healthy profits while giving the customer the best product available. For the most part I think SOE has lived up to its end of the bargain. For I have enjoyed (almost) every minute of gameplay on SWG and the people I have been able to Interact (and Roleplay) with.
Thanks SOE, Keep up the good work.
Thanks Gamers, Keep the faith.

(Disclaimer) I am no powergamer, and this is my personal opinion, flame if you must.

Reggi Lonestar (Starsider)
# Jul 28 2003 at 11:33 PM Rating: Default
Bleh , its only 5 days ? I'm screwed then , The game is on my roommates card , and hes out of town for two weeks , so i have to wait till then before I can reactivate. =+(
# Jul 28 2003 at 6:20 PM Rating: Decent
I agree.
I hate flames
# Jul 28 2003 at 4:11 PM Rating: Good
31 posts
I hate flames in general, i really dont like checking the boards and see people get bent out of shape about game decisions that are hard to make.

But 5 days on a suspended account really pisses me off.

I played the game on release and gave it a chance, it was one of the most fun times I have had on a MMOG. It really was a good time, and I got quite a ways with my character (few skills into the Master Scout, Master Marksman,BH tree, played with CH a bit to see if I wanted to get some hunting dogs, quite a chunk of artisan skills to play with trades etc).

The thing is, and i know this is too ideal and would not happen, but when a game is leaned on to launch a game early and they know that it is buggy they should consider extending the "free month" for the early adopters. Those that went all out droid engineer and then had thier top of the line pet temporarily nerfed. People who got into classes based on what they were on launch and are being re-tooled have a valid complaint when thier free month is spent achieving a goal that is then removed from the game.

Since they did not do that, I decide even tho i was having a blast, until they fixed a few things i was going to take some time off. The first "major" bug fix patch is only supposedly a week away, but I wasn't going to pay 15 bucks on good faith that the game would be more playable or classes more solidified before i masters an elite or advanced profession. I figured i would wait at least a week to see how the patch is handled and then re-up.

Well, for those who got the game on day one the free week ended yesterday, and now they are saying that the characters will be deleted before the first patch so you can't afford to "wait and see" or give them a chance to prove they can clean up the far too large amount of little things, and a few of the big things, that are keeping what is an amazing game from being amazing.

This game does rock, it does need some content but the systems are incredible they just need some bugs worked out. I'm not in the habit of paying money for promises tho, i just wanted to take a week off and let tem fix some things before i started spending my hard earned money a continued subsription. Now they are saying either I put up my cash in advance or I loose a good chunk of play time and have to start over.

I want to play SWG eventually, and I'd like to continue the work I started, but as it rests right now I can't justify the premum price. The obviouse soluion is for those of us who left for a while to let it get cleaned up is to just not come back. That really sucks because i know the game is going to be great once they can work out these issues.
Feed me!
# Jul 29 2003 at 3:31 AM Rating: Decent
Class balancing in EQ and any other game takes over a year to do. Do you really want to wait that long? The bugs, yes there are plenty. But feed the addiction! :)
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