If you have been keeping up with all of the issues AA is facing thanks to Trion (queues, bots and hackers going unpunished, spammers destroying public channels for hours at a time), my guess is you have also picked up on this theme: Trion laying blame for the issues with XLGames, or at least deferring to them to take some heat off.
Now granted, Trion isn’t the developer of AA (thank god, or this would be a Trove-level game), so they don’t have control over things like skill power, general bugs, or when new content is coming. That’s all fine and understood. But Trion DOES have control over server numbers, how queues are handled, and what actions they allow their GM’s to take. XLGames can develop better tools to track and catch hackers, but if Trion has an insufficient or incompetent GM staff, that’s on them.
For example, in a reply to hackers picking up housing spots as buildings decay:
We’ve been closely following the accusations of unfair land claiming methods. The team is actively investigating accounts that appear to some players as outliers in terms of number of properties owned. This data point alone isn’t sufficient evidence of foul play as some players are focusing all of their gameplay on real estate and flipping properties.
We agree that one player claiming multiple properties that many other players are simultaneously trying to claim is suspect, which is why we’re taking a close look to determine the cause, prevent it, and remove the players using it. Additionally, we’re proposing new methods for land claiming to XLGAMES that will remove the benefit of fastest ping or most clicks per second.
So Trion is aware that certain players own silly amounts of housing, yet currently haven’t done something about it like, oh I don’t know, have a GM look into how that player got all that property? Maybe flag that account to see what they do? Look into who owns that account? See what happens to the houses they claim (wonder what’s happening if they are being traded for next to nothing in-game…)? We don’t need weeks worth of investigating here, not when housing spots are being picked up daily.
It’s 2014. This isn’t 1997 where all of these basic MMO issues are something new. Hell, this isn’t even Trion’s first big MMO, not to mention the fact that Trion was founded by ‘MMO vets’. If AA’s design is an example of learning from MMO history to make a better game, Trion’s handling of AA as the EU/US publisher is currently a textbook example of how to royally screw a successful launch in every possible way.AA is a fun game DESPITE Trion. All they had to do was be decent. That’s it. The bar is so freaking low here, and yet Trion continues to knock it down day after day.
I mean, how is gold-seller spam in your global public chat channels something that caught you by surprise and the added tweak (need to be level 15 to type) not something you had in on day one of a massively popular, free-to-make-accounts MMO? Did you really thing “gee, surely no one will attempt to spam our global chat channels with throwaway characters, better just focus on copy/pasting text into Google translate”?
Are Trion and SOE in some sort of hidden bet for who can be the king of incompetence, with MMO players as the unaware test subjects? That has to be it. Entire companies with prior MMO experience can’t be unintentionally this terrible… right?
“”We don’t need weeks worth of investigating here, not when housing spots are being picked up daily.””
I understand they are busy. They’ve been playing catch up since headstart. But things that are so visible to your customers should take priority. Set aside one day and have your whole GM team look at these accounts and then blow them up. Even if what we see is only the tip of the iceberg. Make it a very public and easy to see iceberg tip with all those properties becoming available immediately. Just one day of a public show would go a long way towards appeasing their customers.
There is no GM “team”. The sooner people realise this then they can better understand Trion’s complete lack of engagement and support for the community. One Trion person has appeared in the Trion forums to make an occasional mostly pointless comment – Scapes. And he is next to useless as he never commits to any real action to solve the problems with the game.
ArcheAge is an example of support by neglect. And the longer they leave it the more the US/EU servers will morph into the utter clusterfuck that the Russian and Korean servers have become.
Syncaine, you wrote that Trion mentioned
“We agree that one player claiming multiple properties that many other players are simultaneously trying to claim is suspect, which is why we’re taking a close look to determine the cause, prevent it, and remove the players using it.”
And then you asked:
“So Trion is aware that certain players own silly amounts of housing, yet currently haven’t done something about it like, oh I don’t know, have a GM look into how that player got all that property?”
Didn’t you read the paragraph you quoted, where they said that that is exactly what they’re doing?
Trion successfully snowed you here dacheng. They said something which amounts to “the logs show nothing, but we’re working on it”, but it convinced you that they’re poring over the logs and fixing the problem as it occurs. If you go to the AA sub-reddit and read more statements from Trion, this statement will fall into context.
Unpacking their statement more precisely for you Dacheng:
“we’re taking a close look to” = I’m glad they’re not looking from far away, because it’s hard to code from far away.
“determine the cause” = they know what the cause is, they need to find out exactly how the packets are being injected so they can fix it though, which is tough because it’s not their code.
” prevent it” = this game has been out for a long time in other countries, why haven’t these bugs been fixed by XLgames long ago?
“and remove the players using it” = this doesn’t mean “and now remove”, it means “and after all the above happens, only then we will remove the players using it with a minimum of GM hours needed do to waiting for XLgames to deliver us a highly automated tool to fix the problem, which probably wont’ happen so you guys are screwed”.
Trego did a nice job breaking it down, but basically;
Currently in-game there a characters that own absurd amounts of property.
Currently in-game Trion has done nothing about it.
Currently in-game and out players are pissed because the abuse is so blatant, to perhaps the most important part of the game.
One would expect that at some point, Trion will actually do something about it, hopefully.
It’s like the queue issue; great that Trion was ‘aware’ that they had 5hr+ queues for paying customers. Would have been nice to provide a fix for those (especially given the fix was so simple) prior to a week of frustration.
If its 1997 then yea, a larger-than-expected influx of players might catch you off guard and the fix might not come in until a week or so. It’s 2014, and Trion says they aren’t some amateur shop running out of someones garage. Would be nice to see them act like it at some point so we all could fully enjoy the game.
I got my eye on 3 properties near my 8×8 farm that are all due for demolition because of unpaid taxes. I’m hoping I can snag one but all this talk about property sniping possibly with hacks has me worried. Trion should be too, subs are gonna start dropping if people can’t get any land fairly.
We are in a similar boat; there are two large chunks of land right next to our guild area that might go unpaid shortly, and it would be a real shame if we didn’t get it because of Trion’s inability to run their MMO properly.
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To have any chance at grabbing expired property you will need to have your entire guild there. Everyone will need to be running some sort of auto-macro clicker that selects the exact position of the Build button when it appears on screen. The difference between being successful and not successful is a matter of milliseconds.
This is assuming there isn’t someone already in the area running the Russian Housing Utility program that can grab property remotely using code injection. Most of us are now running macro utilities to do this and we also have a throwaway account that runs the HU injector. It’s crappy but other guilds are doing the same thing to grab property.
Here is what you’re up against – if someone else is running the program (most large guilds are) in your area your going to have a hard time grabbing the property. Our guild has lost two property redevelopments because of this.
I really think you are overly blaming Trion for XLGames poor programming. XLGames wrote the crappy chat that allowed scripts to put 1000 of characters per second into chat. 8 years ago I put the simple code to prevent this into my companies game chat. Why did XLGames not do this. Trion is to blame for not getting XLGames sooner to fix their crappy code.
My understanding is all these exploits with teleporting and house grabbing existed on the Korean and Russian servers for a long time but XLGames never addressed the issue. Servers can detect clients sending in thousands of “clicks” per second and kill them. The Spam Build button is a joke to allow your servers to not detect.