Monday, April 2, 2012

Here Comes The New Boss...

I was pretty cross back in February, when SOE's whole "sell your customers" thing blew up. A lot of people were. Then the weeks rolled on and, as is the way of things, it all slipped to the back of my mind. No news is good news, right?

Well, not always, or so it seems from the inordinately long and complicated new FAQ that surfaced at the weekend, found at its most readable over at EQ2Wire. Plow your way through that if you've nothing better to do for an hour, then spend the rest of the evening picking through SOE Community Director, Global Community Relations Brasse's many forum clarifications in this thread.

Wait, I'll save you the time. SOE listened to the concerns of their players as expressed in a 231 page-long thread on their forums, took it all on board, went away and talked to their German partner PSS1 for a month and a half and came back with a worse deal than they'd started with.

Under the original deal that we all kicked off about, existing SOE customers would have been grandfathered in on their US servers and SOE accounts. Under the new deal we gain the ability to play on any server worldwide but at the cost of a mandatory PSS1 account for anyone logging in from an IP in any of the forty countries for which they now handle SoE's MMO stable.

Mine! Hands off!

And if only it were that simple. PSS1 didn't want all of SOE's MMOs. They turned their noses up at the "it's how old?" Everquest and the "where are the players?" Vanguard. So those two wonderful worlds remain with SOE and everyone in PSS1-Land will still need to log in with their SOE account through their SOE launcher to play them.

Oh, didn't I mention? We get new launchers for PSS1-run games. Yes, we did just get new launchers for all SOE games. Now we get new new launchers. Can't have too many launchers, amiright? Oh, and we keep our existing account names for both PSS1 and SOE, but since SOE can't legally transfer any personal data so PSS1 don't get the passwords. We have to come up with new ones. That's always fun.

So, that's the practical side. Two sets of accounts, passwords and launchers. Messy, incoherent and irritating. Then there's the financial side. We're still waiting to hear if we also have to make two sets of payments. Want to bet?

Don't ask for credit as a bitten-off head often offends

 Then there's the cash shop. Leaving aside what it might sell and for how much, both hotbutton issues, PSS1 won't be using Station Cash. They have their own funny money to which our SC balances will be mirrored. They don't issue game cards, so if we want to add any PSS1 toy money at any time, say to buy an expansion, we'll need to give them some payment details. A lot of people aren't happy about that.

There's a lot more but frankly, who cares? It's a done deal. Live with it or stop playing is the offer on the table. Some people are talking about using proxies and VPNs. Feldon's promised to put up a list on EQ2Wire as and when necessary but I won't be trying to tunnel under the fence like that.

I'll make a PSS1 account providing it's possible to do so without entering payment details. If I want to buy anything from them I'll use PayPal, if they take it, which I believe they do, or game cards if they ever issue them. If they don't, I'll stop playing as Gold under my (now defunct but that's another kettle of worms I don't want to let the cat out of) All Access Pass. We get 30 days notice before any transition so when it comes I'll buy a shedload of unlockers with my hoard of SC and just play Silver. I like Silver better anyway.

Probably be playing GW2 anyway...


  1. On the upside, Vanguard players will not have to deal with PSS BS. Not that it was going to come up for me personally anyway. I hope this deal makes financial sense for SOE, because on the face it it it sure sounds rotten for the players.

  2. Hard to understand. Anybody still interested has quite the emotional commitment to these old games. And they're just selling everybody off when it's all said and done, after all.

    Next comes the US market, and SOE sheds its old games to Zynga or some such gaming group. Glad I'm not playing at the moment.

  3. So here is what I don't get - if they weren't going to get Vanguard, then how did their leader dude manage to blow the announcement that VG was going F2PYW?

  4. That's a very good point, GA. There are a few odd comments here and there in the various Dev interventions that suggest that other SOE games could be added to the PSS1 portfolio later. Want to bet they don't have a rain-check on EQ and Vanguard should those titles blossom under F2P?

  5. /facepalm
    That really should be "nuff said" except I want to add my sympathy for everyone who has stuck with SOE up to this point through numerous debacles.
    I simply couldn't do it and left quite some time ago.


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