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Reader Comments (111)

Posted: Jan 11th 2010 1:05PM (Unverified) said

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Its because they need the money. Game is dying pretty fast. Making people buy that new expansion when it does not really add in content is stupid. This newsletter just explains how they need more money from a failing product.

Posted: Jan 12th 2010 11:55AM Misterlee said

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Could you make even less sense if you tried? How does deleting old inactive characters make money exactly? Especially since you can play 1-20 for FREE for as long as you like.

Also, since you know so much about the expansion can you pls explain how an entire new continent, new player race, multiple factions to join, lots of new dungeons and new mounts to quest for (to name but a few things) is 'no content added' ?

Or is it that you really don't know what you're talking about?
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Posted: Jan 16th 2010 5:03AM GreyFox said

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It reduces server maintenance costs ergo it saves money.
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Posted: Jan 17th 2010 12:25PM (Unverified) said

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*** Could you make even less sense if you tried? ***

Could you be any more thick if you tried? It's a play to get people back into the game.
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Posted: Jan 11th 2010 1:05PM Darkdust said

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I don't quite get the reasoning here. Storage is cheap and it surely can't be that they want to free up storage space. This will likely dissuade players from wanting to get involved with a Funcom game, as they might start to level a character then decide to wait until a game has matured a little more (or fixed something they didn't like, or whatever).

Potential cost with no benefit I can perceive. Bad move.

Posted: Jan 11th 2010 2:16PM ultimateq said

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It's not about the storage space, it's about scaring people into reactivating their accounts, so they can get money. At least that is how I view it. Correct me if I'm wrong anybody.
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Posted: Jan 11th 2010 2:35PM Derf said

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Enterprise level storage is not cheap. It's cheaper now then it has been in the past, but it's still pricey. The other aspect is whenever you add storage you have to add costs for staff to maintain that storage, additional costs are incurred for licensing of the SAN storage, backup costs, and electricity/cooling.
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Posted: Jan 11th 2010 2:48PM Darkdust said

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David, it's a lot cheaper than it was (and I speak as somebody who has specified, implemented, and audited enterprise SANs). If they're running up against storage constraints at this point, and can't get budgetary increases, they likely have topline revenue problems (to UltimateQ's point).

Still, disincentives will not motivate customers as well as incentives will.

With whom would you rather do business? The company that threatens you if you don't reactivate, or the company that offers a little bonus to come back together with a couple of days of 'free' play?
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Posted: Jan 11th 2010 5:30PM Res said

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I'd think you'd need a larger number of subs before "space in the database" became an issue. They are just doing this to encourage people to think about those toons they played for 2 weeks last year and sign up again in order to keep them alive.
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Posted: Jan 12th 2010 8:12PM MewmewGrrl said

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Absolutely, of course it's to threaten people "come pay or we'll wipe your characters." We have some sense of life in our old characters sometimes, even if we aren't ever going to play them again. Then there is an issue people have with names, and thinking of others using them. It truly is a scare tactic. And I'm a current paying customer. I always come back once and a while to re-play old games I have characters on. At least if I stop playing and they wipe me, I will have an excuse to never go back. People who actually believe it's a space issue are seriously naive.
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Posted: Jan 17th 2010 1:03PM (Unverified) said

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*** Enterprise level storage is not cheap ***

Enterprise-level storage is DIRT cheap by the standards of enterprises. For all practical purposes, free.

Impact on database performance is something else, though. Actively-played characters in an MMO can comprise as little as 5% of existing characters. Purging unused accounts can be a big win from that perspective.

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Posted: Jan 11th 2010 1:08PM (Unverified) said

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I got the email and I don't care. I quit the moment the 1 month free play expired and have absolutely no intention of going back. Enjoyed DDO and Warhammer far more. Looking forward to TOR and maybe STO, but if either of those come out in the poor condition that AOC did upon release Ill cancel them too.

Posted: Jan 11th 2010 1:08PM (Unverified) said

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Wow.... :-o
You'd think that, after *everything* this game has been through, the very last thing they'd want to do is give people another reason to loathe the game and it's developer??

That's utterly unbelievable. I had to re-read to make sure I hadn't got the article wrong.
Story of 2010 thus far imho.

Funcom - what are you thinking!?

Posted: Jan 11th 2010 1:09PM Mad Dog said

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LOL just LOL at Failcom.

Posted: Jan 11th 2010 1:13PM (Unverified) said

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SE stopped deleting unused characters years ago. At the very beginning they would delete your character if it wasn't used for 3-4 months. But that was ended well before Treasures of Aht Urhgan (3 expansions ago). Now you can deactivate and reactivate your character as you please.

Posted: Jan 11th 2010 5:52PM mmark said

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I just reactivated my FFXI account after 2 years, which is about the limit according to the customer service representative.
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Posted: Jan 11th 2010 1:14PM (Unverified) said

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Oh hang on - after heading to their forums:

"As announced in the December Letter from the Game Director we will merge the Age of Conan servers soon. Today we wanted to announce some preparations for the server merge that will include the deletion of characters from levels 1 to 20 on accounts that were inactive (without subscriptions) for 7 months or more."

So it's the result of a server merge, which kinda makes more sense in terms of freeing up names etc.

Still not a great way to go about it (with most companies simply forcing a rename) and it smacks of a desperate attempt to railroad subscriptions, which is just embarrassing.

Still, more telling than character deletions is the fact that more server mergers are taking place (surprised you didn't mention that, Krystalle..?)

I guess the sub numbers are really *really* dwindling.

Posted: Jan 11th 2010 2:07PM Krystalle Voecks said

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Just as a comparison I would note that EverQuest, Warhammer Online, etc. have also performed server merges and never to the best of my knowledge deleted any inactive characters. Deleting characters is a /very/ uncommon tactic in an MMO environment, regardless of things like merges, relative levels, etc. City of Heroes has a mechanic whereby they release inactive names, but they don't delete the characters people have put work into - even if they're level 1.

That said, the TOS pretty well means they don't need any justification for any deletions - it's simply an unusual tactic in the MMO industry on the whole.
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Posted: Jan 11th 2010 2:12PM (Unverified) said

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Very true, and agreed.

I guess I meant that your article could be construed as a little out of context given that you didn't mention the server mergers, but you're absolutely correct - no matter the context, it's extremely uncommon, and in my opinion most certainly doesn't promote positive feelings no matter which angle you look at it from.
:S
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Posted: Jan 11th 2010 2:21PM Krystalle Voecks said

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Ah, well then apologies if anyone feels the news of the impending deletions was taken out of context. That wasn't my intent. I'd primarily meant to note it within the context of the industry on the whole, in which inactive deletion is a fairly uncommon tactic. They haven't even done this in AO with inactives, thus it's a rather interesting shift.
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