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Reader Comments (13)

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 9:44AM Bijaz said

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I call shenanigans. That's right.

1.9 seems to me like it has barely any new content in terms of quests (Just a few new daily quests?). The Koreans had this patch on their test realms on the 4th of march. there's no way it would take THAT long to translate item names and a few quest descriptions. In my opinion they should have finished the translation process by the time 1.9 was released after the Korean PTR, and had it ready to launch here within the week.

The entire thing feels like they waited a week after the Korean release to even start their process.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 9:59AM Scuffles said

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I can sum it up in two words

Bureaucracy
&
Localization

Any game where the publisher is not the developer (well not so much console games) and you are looking at steady patching and content updates especially if the developer is foreign to your region, your looking at some serious lag time.

On the localization side it takes time to translate for all intents and purposes "moonspeak" as far as their playerbase is concerned into understandable text. Then you have to figure that depending on the country of origin you could be looking at unicode which can get wonky on non unicode systems so that all has to be addressed adding further lag time.

Then there is (if they arn't pants on head retarded) the internal testing phases to make sure that the patch is going to work when they toss it up on the live servers, no one likes a patch that breaks you game ....... especially when (and I never understood this) they patch it as close to end of day as they can on FRIDAY meaning that no one will be around to fix it until Monday....... (again see pants on head retarded)

Now you get down to the bureaucracy, companies don't play well with others ..... especially when it comes down to the fact that everyone involved wants 100% of the profits. This is why most business ventures tend to go south after a while. Departments butt heads, requests for fixes go unanswered, simple things that the publisher could easily fix but thanks to how they contractually tied their hands it takes a small act of god to get a fix

sent off, denied, revised, resubmitted, approved, sent back, reviewed, tested, applied.

Mind you the developer often times has their own screaming unwashed masses to deal with and the publishers screaming unwashed masses are going to go strait to the back burner, that again adds lag between the patches.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 11:35AM (Unverified) said

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If it takes this long to bring 1.9 to the West, a patch with very little actual new content, mostly just game system changes; imagine how long it will take an actual content increase like 2.0!

NCSoft seems to be going out of their way to make this game fail in the western markets. I've watched 3 legions (well over 200 people) quit the game; not because they don't like it, but because NCSoft pretty much refused to address problems the game has, let alone add anything really new content wise; or to increase the amount of XP gained from quests as they claimed they would. NCSoft finally got around to addressing the bot/gold sellers, but took far too long to do anything about it, even though players were warning about this back in beta. Still no real GM support (24/7, hah). Limited numbers of alts (oh,wait, they'll probably want to charge extra for more slots, no way NCSoft, when you need to level up 5 characters on the same server for some armor sets!!!) CMs that would rather play around on social networks and argue semantics than actually help the player base; all news about new features and content comes from Korean players because the western CMs are either totally out of the loop or aren't allowed to respond to anything about the game until days or weeks after information is released in Korea!

Rifting / ganking has driven away large numbers of players, something that was questioned by many players from the start and could be fixed with something as simple as limiting how often rifts open; as the way it is now there is almost a constant stream of gankers into the rift areas, while the Abyss (were most of the PvP should be) is usually empty.

The lack of PvE only areas for levels 26 through 45 is a major game fault in a game that claims to be PvPvE. PvP is fine, but not so great when you don't feel like it and just want to work on quests or kill things for the drops and XP. An easy fix would be something along the lines of having rifts not open for three days in a row, then 3 days they do, repeat, so it rotates which days that happens. That lets players that just want to explore or do quests enjoy that part of the game, while funneling the PvPers into the Abyss.

The core game is a lot of fun and the devs have shown they can add some very good new content (1.5), but the extremely slow response to much of anything by NCWest belies their claims that the western arm of the company is anything much more than an afterthought to their main Asian market. Since the failure of Tabula Rasa and restructuring of the company, it seems NCWest is little more than a PR / marketing division, which doesn't bode well for Guild Wars 2. Even if ArenaNet is independent enough from NCSoft/NCWest (which with all the people that have left I question), it still won't change anything in Aion, which by that point may be completely dead. They really need to get 2.0 out soon, but at this rate we'll be lucky to even see it this year in the West. With 1.5 released last year, 2.0 should have come out the first half of 2010,with 3.0 near the end of the year.

Aion may end up being the perfect example of how to take a potentially great game that could have had a very large player base, and mismanage almost everything about it so that you drive away everyone that enjoys the game. Hey NCSoft, remember those comments you were making about Aion being the #2 game after WoW? Well, you could very well have had that if you hadn't completely ignored the western players and spent some of those millions of dollars you made off of the box sales to actually hire enough people to properly run and support a supposed AAA MMO game. I find it amazing that F2P games can actually do a better job (Runes of Magic springs to mind) at bringing a game from Asia to the West, with better translations and support; than the second or third largest MMO company in the world.

I mostly regret going with a long term sub to Aion (at least I'm not paying $15 a month, thank goodness) and am very unlikely to renew unless they pull their heads out and start investing the money and people needed to support and grow this game. Sadly, NCSoft owns Guild Wars, which I can only hope doesn't follow the same sad path that Aion seems to be on.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 12:36PM johnnliu said

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This really isn't something new, NCSoft has always been very slow bringing an Eastern title over to the West.

I remember playing Lineage 2, and we had players running around with bots hacking the game.

The US team first silence the forums, then "tested and verified" the reports. And then reported it to the Korean dev team during their once per fortnight sessions.

The Korean dev team then reproduces the problem, then come up with a solution, then code, then beta/PTR, then release to Korean server, then localize and finally bring the fix to US server.

The whole process took 2 months to fix a bot hacking bug... by that point nearly all my friends had given up and vowed never to return to a NCSoft game.

I had hope they'd do better with AION, but sounds like nothing's changed.

---

Normally, I'd give some excuse and say perhaps that's just the nature of localization. But you got to look at things in perspective:

WOW US patches on Tuesday
WOW EU patches on Wednesday - same week, localized for EU languages
WOW TW patches on Tuesday - following week, localized for traditional chinese language
WOW TW isn't run by Blizzard - it's also hosted by a 3rd party partner.

So really NCSoft just need to schedule better I think? But then again... I doubt they would ever change their lazy ways.

NCSoft is a Korean company whose main source of income is in Korea, I just don't think they are in the western market to win - it's just extra pocket change.





Posted: Apr 20th 2010 12:57PM Deadalon said

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Comon - its an Asian game. Its not like ppl in Asia get the WOW patches and expansions in the same day as we do.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 2:38PM (Unverified) said

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As already mentioned, they do get them within the same week. The only reason china doesn't get the wow expansions in a reasonable amount of time is because the chinese governement cock blocks them.

I've played many mmorpgs, many of them being asian f2p, and yet these games no matter how big or small they are, consistantly provide better support and bring updates faster from korea to the states than ncsoft ever has. Ncwest has already demonstrated that the translations and localizations are done by posting fucking screenshots on the offical site with their little interview. They are sitting on the content to squeeze another month of subscriptions. A 4 part interview for a patch that was discussed in every possible faccet the day it was out in korea on aionsource? REALLY? Give me a fucking break.

The ncwest translation/localization goes like this: korean -> english , english ->french/german. The na and eu services are distinctly separate. We can't play on their servers, they can't play on ours. But for some reason we na players have to wait for them to translate the game into 2 other languages before we can play our update? Give me a fucking break.

Ncsoft is the number 2 provider of mmorpgs in the world, just below blizzard and they have been translating their games from korean to enlgish for over 10 YEARS. How the fuck have they not figured out a more efficent and speedily process by now? Sorry for my rant, ncsoft is the only company that makes me rage like this. They intentionally waste our time, our money, and then always blame it on us or explain the problem to us like we are brain dead children.
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Posted: Apr 20th 2010 2:42PM (Unverified) said

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I'm less interested in the process it takes to translate a patch, and more interested in the process it takes to answer basic requests, like when players reported Dredgion broken following the 30 minute fort timer patch, or players complaining that Hot Heart of Magic features way too much randomization.

Is it that hard to talk to the design team, get their input in paragraph form, then translate that?

I'm glad to see this week's community question is actually a question, and not another fluffy explore-the-lore piece of fiction.

-SirNiko

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 6:05PM esarphie said

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"I'm less interested in the process it takes to translate a patch, and more interested in the process it takes to answer basic requests, like when players reported Dredgion broken following the 30 minute fort timer patch, or players complaining that Hot Heart of Magic features way too much randomization."

Here's the short answer: Did you submit your basic request in Korean, from Korea, from the Korean server community? If so... you've probably been answered already. If not... the answer is actually somewhere between an epoch on the short end and never ever ever ever ever on the long.

I learned this lesson fast in Linneage II, the NCsoft games from the home market are for the home market and you're essentially paying for a delayed copy in English.
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Posted: Apr 20th 2010 4:28PM (Unverified) said

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If NCsoft had half a brain, and actually cared about their western audience, they'd do all this simultaneously (or at least as close as possible) . Does anyone really think that Blizzard sits on one version until it is completely through development, Q&A, etc. before getting localized?

If NCwest was anything but a superficial extension of their office, they'd have real developers, artists and content writers working in concurrency with the Korean office to ensure that the product is as true to their visions as possible, as well as being deployed in a timely fashion.

Instead, we are left with some twits on twitter doing what amounts to nothing more than cheerleading and misdirects to try and keep what few paying customers they have left happy.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 5:22PM Graill440 said

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Just to reiterate the ignorance of ncsoft and the folks making this game based on their "money model" , this is what ncsoft and those ignorant asses across the water think of you folks..........and hasnt changed.

Lets create a quest that will require the subscriber to level 5 character to get the complete set of armor and a weapon.

We know the why behind it, time and money....from you, but who in their right mind would actually would implement such a dumbass "quest". This shows beyond a doubt the disconnect between anyone working with aion and what they think they know about subscribers.

By all means keep paying for aion.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 5:53PM Georgio said

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To all the above people wondering about what is NCWest doing. From what I know real NCWest employees are just the CMs , some marketing staff and some accounting staff. The server hosting and management is outsourced to a German company who is deploying the patches with the "text label" resources replaced with the ones delivered by the company to which the translation is outsourced. The translations are outsourced to a big US translation company (translation staff in Bangalore India for English and Czech republic for the other EU languages). So the "real" NCWest staff do not even have access to the staff the Korean developers are delivering.

Posted: Apr 21st 2010 6:07AM Synthetic said

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Why does that seem very likely to me, Georgio? Very likely, indeed.

Oh well. There's nothing I can really add to all the rage in this thread (with which I empathize).

Maybe we should have learned our lessons from Lineage II and not fallen for the honeyed words of an inscreasingly less reputable company?

Posted: Apr 21st 2010 10:44AM Georgio said

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What I mentioned was for EU servers but I'm sure is the same for NA. They do not even manage the hardware and patching as they are outsourced.
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