When game companies break "it" off in a gamer's as

I decided I’d give Asheron’s Call 2 another whirl, maybe get that 38th level Defender, Trestolt Oakhart, up another few levels, giving myself a mini-RPG fix since I recently finished ToEE, KotOR, and Gothic 2. Reinstalled the game, all 2.5GB, re-activated my account for $13, and then waited about 1.5 hours while I downloaded almost 200MB of patches and new content. After all this I finally got into the character selection screen which, to my puzzlement, I found to be empty. The character I’d sunk probably well over 100 hours of time into was gone. Deleted. I’d stopped playing the game last September, so sometime in those intervening four months someone, either MS or Turbine, decided to free up some apparently much-needed disk space on their Frostfell server by deleting my character. Strangely enough, I’ve returned to DAoC after almost a year away and my characters were still there, and friends of mine who play EQ often take long breaks without concern for the time they’ve spent developing their toons. Yet either MS or Turbine, or both, apparently do not feel the need to extend such a courtesy to their paying customers.

Almost needless to say, I immediately cancelled the account, though I am out $13. I was definitely geared up to explore some of the new content I’ve read about that’s been added to AC2 during my absence, and was eager to see if I could get to 50th level (something that would’ve taken probably several more months). And I wish MS or Turbine would’ve notified me of their desperate need for disk space, because when I consider the time I’d sunk into that character I might’ve donated them a 50GB drive to help them in their time of fiscal woe. As it is now, though, I’m out my character and they’re out yet another customer, and from what I read AC2 needs every last player Turbine can find.

Wow, that seems like a dumb move on their part.

Sucks to be out the $13, too.

I’ve been thinking about giving SW:Galaxies another shot, but I’m only interested if my old character is still there. I really don’t want to spend another few weeks blasting paralope lairs. There doesn’t seem to be any way to find out if it’s still there without signing up again, though.

I heard a rumor they delete characters within 5 days of cancelling because of the serious database issues they were/are having.

– Xaroc

If you aren’t paying, I don’t see why they should waste the space to keep your characters.

It’s most likely written somewhere that after X time without paying, your characters go away.

If someone decides to come back and their characters aren’t there you have just lost money not to mention the bad word of mouth you generate.

– Xaroc

I think it’s standard practice for MMORPGS these days.

Now was that topic name really necessary?

somethingawful.com is thataway… ----->

If someone decides to come back and their characters aren’t there you have just lost money not to mention the bad word of mouth you generate.

– Xaroc[/quote]

There is no financial guarantee that a player will return after he quits anyway. I’d assume most games have a grace period, and that if you were observant enough, and thought you may return, you’d make note of it.

[quote=“Jazar”]

I think it’s standard practice for MMORPGS these days.[/quote]

Maybe after 90 days or so but right away like in SWG or it sounds like in AC2 is not going to gain you any good will.

– Xaroc

Yet either MS or Turbine, or both, apparently do not feel the need to extend such a courtesy to their paying customers.

John, I actually think this was an artifact of their server consolidation a little while back, and not a purposeful discarding of your character. When they consolidated, they kept otherwise “inactive” characters alive for 60 days or so, then they started deleting them, as the consolidated subscriber numbers were too large to maintain on the resulting 2 server clusters (or something to that effect).

My AC2 account is still active, and I occasionally jump back in. The new content is particularly responsive to the audience’s requests, to date, and they’ve got some plans in the future that look really good. I’ll be visiting again – probably during one of those ridiculously long offline training sessions in Eve.

It seems to me like its in these companies’ best interests to keep characters around for as long as possible. I am surprised yours was gone.

olaf

I was playing after the servers were consolidated.

Oh, give me a break. The way the F word is flung around on this forum is the topic name really that offensive? Besides, it got your attention didn’t it? ;)

In a recent interview, Jessica of AC2 mentioned that the old/unused characters may not be moved over with the recent server move but would be transfered over after they moved the live accounts without trouble. In fact, from what I read, no characters except those that were banned have ever been removed. They also have had a policy of six months before they said they would delete your old character (But never have.)

I’d check to see if you’re still using the same passport account that you originally signed in under, or chalk it up under the recent server move (Not the consolidation) as your character may actually still be there but hasn’t been moved over as of yet.

Kevin

Actually I think it makes a huge amount of cold, hard, business sense to KEEP the characters, assuming you’ve developed the game with a reasonably efficient database and enough hard storage. Specifically, many MMORPG players have a “binge and cancel” play style. I’ve done this with EQ and I know others who do the same thing. In the 5 years EQ has been out, I’ve played it about 1 month per year - I play, enjoy it for a bit, burn out, cancel, then a few months or a year later, I go back. If they ever permently deleted my chars, that would be the permanent end. Instead, by keeping the chars, they’ve made another $75 or so off me that they wouldn’t have. Given the low cost of data storage these days, assuming they designed a reasonably efficient system, I’m fairly confident their cost in storing my chars is MUCH less than $75.

DAOC also keeps my characters around - I’ve played that game off and on for 2 years, maybe playing a total of 4 months in that span.

Given that common pattern for MMORPGers it makes sense to maintain the chars. I can’t understand why AC2 and SWG would delete chars unless they were having serious database problems or if they were having economic viability issues and needed to cut short term costs ASAP.

Dan

Supposedly the characters from the original Beta are still kicking around on Pendragon (inaccessible of course) - they have apparently never deleted any characters at all, and just started deleting dead guilds (0 characters, can’t be recovered) recently.

As for your $13 - I suggest contacting billing support. I’m pretty sure you can get the money refunded, or they could explain why your character no longer exists.

with the recent acquisition of the AC franchise (AC1 & AC2) from microsoft, and the current transition of moving the properties under turbine’s control, i wonder what side will blame which?

as a long aside, i’ve just cancelled my AC1 accounts this past week after they announced a price increase from $9.95/mo -> $12.95/mo active Feb1st. while i admire the time and efforts they’ve put into the game thus far, they really didn’t give much of a sound reasoning for their price bump aside from “we’re the last $10/mo game… well, not anymore”. no new graphics, no new UI, same regular monthly content additions, usual monthly nerfs of something. instead of getting my $20 (2 accounts), they hoped to get $26, and instead end up getting $0. thanks turbine.

The customer support hasn’t changed for AC2 as of yet as far as I’m aware, but I’m only have cursory involvement in it.

Did you bother to make any effort at all to find out why you couldn’t see your character? Having spent $13, I would have at least asked someone (support e-mail, call CS…) “Dude, where’s my guy?”

From my experience, EQ and DAoC make no promises regarding character deletion, but both companies probably realized early on that keeping inactive characters = $$$$. People come back, lend out their characters to friends/guildmates or sell them to someone who will activate them.

Like someone mentioned earlier, if EQ or DAoC ever actually deleted characters, that would be a very permanent end of any interest in those games for literally tens of thousands of people. Cold turkey is a wonderful cure for many types of addiction.