Thursday, February 7, 2013

TERA Fall Down, Go Crash

Jeez, it was fine this afternoon. I go get dinner with friends, come back, and it looks like no one can log into the game. It's definitely a server-side issue, according to EnMasse. Well that's fine for now as far as I'm concerned. It gives me a little time to blog.

Y'know, one thing I didn't mention in my last post that has really had an impact on my game since the FTP launch yesterday is those egg thieves. So far out of those eggs they drop I've got some regular Alkahest, a nice amount of Refined Alkahest, and a bunch of other assorted goodies from cracking those suckers open. Very nice...and it would be even better if I were actually wearing anything enchantable at the moment. Doesn't really matter though...I'm sure I'll find a use for it sooner or later.

Right now, I can't even get a login screen, which kinds sucks. I wonder...could the servers be massively overloaded from bazillions of people want to check out the game now that it's free?  That's my bet.

It seems that no matter what MMO I'm playing at any given moment, there's always one guaranteed commonality among them all: When the servers go down unexpectedly, someone will post on the game's forums that the publishers/devs/mods/whatevers are idiots and launch into an apocalyptic rant in which said and game and company will go under soon, never to be heard from again. We were not disappointed today.

Having been a forum mod several times and having even been a forum owner once or twice, I know that no matter how good a forum you start with, sooner or later the trolls are going to show. It's simply the nature of the Internet and a function of the anonymity and safety of physical distance has on a certain type of person.

Personally, I've learned to deal with it, and in fact even have had fun with it. Of course there are limits and I've whipped out the ol' ban stick on several occasions and I've seen it used by others on many more. The trick is to keep out the true jerks without coming across as a complete asshole. Forums run by assholes don't get a lot of traffic. On the other hand, forums inundated with trollish drama don't get much traffic either, at least not good traffic anyway.

TERA's  forums have good moderators, that is, simply put, they're not assholes. This has not always been the case in some of the games I've played.

In one game, Crimecraft,, a fellow player and I started a blog for the game and invited players to post. The Community Relations (or whatever) head decided that he didn't like that we had some negative things to say about the game and the way it was run and banned us from promoting it on the official forums. It got so annoying that I actually left the game. It's a pity too. We probably could have had a good thing going there if that guy hadn't been such an asshole. As it was, I just decided that I didn't really care enough about that game to deal with the bullshit so I sailed off toward sunnier shores.

TERA's forums are about average in my experience in terms of traffic and temperament, and the mods do a pretty good job in terms of not being too heavy-handed while at the same time knowing when a topic has run its course and it's time to lock the thread.

This matters. MMO's are social games, and those social connections can and do spill over into the forums. A shitty social experience can make the difference between a great MMO experience and a mediocre one.  Crimecraft was like that for me. I was at one point into it enough that I co-created a blog for the game, but all the negativity and drama that ensued as a result inspired me to move on.

Alright that's enough for now. I wrote this over the course of the entire day in-between server failings. Here's hoping they've got it together tomorrow.