Anyway, where to start…I wanted to respond to about 20 individual posts…but let me try to sum it up.
First of all, I would like to take a moment and say how proud I am that this community has come so far over the last four weeks that for the most part, you all gave excellent feedback and new suggestions. There were some useless posts (OMG G1 PROMISED THEY WOULD GET THE DB BACK AND THEY ARE LOOKING FOR THE EASY WAY OUT WITH THIS), but most of you treated each other with respect and did try to look more at the “big picture” as opposed to your own concerns.
To clarify, template characters will not be naked. They will be given weapons/items/general stuff that will allow you to play at the level you are at. [ Most people are concerned about their items, rightfully so. The template characters will NOT have the weapons you grinded for (in most cases), but i believe the idea is to give above average weapons (with slots) that are appropriate for the level. So in some cases, the weapons/items you would get would not be as good as the ones you had.]
A few weeks ago, someone made a post about this template idea, and detailed why naked characters would be bad. I sent that thread to Indy21 because we have been considering this option for some time and I thought it was clever of the poster to figure out what we were up too, Kudos to you, it did very much influence our plan…(forgive me for not remembering exactly who made the post).
Screenshots will not be used for manual restoration. Again, the VAST majority of people in the community did NOT manage to get screenshots that would be necessary for full restoration. Acclaim gave around 12 hours of notice that they would be taking the servers down, had they given 12 days notice (which is still too little time IMO) it would be a different story. While the game was offline between Acclaim’s servers going down and GamersFirst’s servers going up, the number one thing I got PMs about was that people were unable to get screenshots (500+ PMs about this).
We asked people to take screenshots because it was a good idea at the time to do so, as we had no idea what the situation we were in would evolve into. For all we knew, full restoration based on screenshots could have been a viable option, however, as we know significantly more now about what that would involve, the option is off the table. It would be a HUGE cost for us to hire the necessary resources to do this, and it would still take between 3-6 months given the amount of characters requested from the submission form. Given that this game is already running at a much larger cost then profit ($0 so far!) and I don’t think anyone wants to wait 6 months for their character to be restored, I think we should just move on from this. It would be completely unfair to most people, and for the people that HAD screens, they likely wouldn’t have all the screens necessary for FULL restoration (do you all really have screenshots of each bag, with your mouse over each item so we can tell what the item is? Just the items in your bag doesn’t help much when it comes to weapons unless you clicked on it to pull up the specific info).
I think the only viable use for screenshots at this point is for the people that missed the character submission form and they could submit a ticket to support with the screenshots attached to make their claim. We got over 40k characters to recreate, templates can take a few days once the process has been set, full restoration will take months.
I want to make the maximum amount of people happy (knowing full well that means some people will not be happy). But such is life, and I think that there should be NO special rules for certain groups (such as the Screenshot people), because I’m a socialist like that (not really). Seriously though, this is a major decision and affects the game in major and unpredictable ways, however we stand a much better chance at making the best decision by doing so as a group.
I feel the best option is a hybrid of option 1 and 2. Creating template characters, with some cool events over the coming months that help the community as a whole. I think the base XP rate being at x2 is a big improvement, but that combined with XP events, xp cards/item drop cards ETC to the whole community will be great. I think this works for new players and veterans best as a whole, much better for veterans as they will be getting the template characters + benefiting from the events.
I don’t really think that option 3 is a REAL option, because waiting around will just be frustrating for everyone. If we do this restoration combined with events, then the question becomes more like “now that we accepted the template characters, do we still go after the Database?” Think about this, if we give you template characters, and then we get the database back in 3-6 months, what then? You will have progressed further than the old characters, probably have equivalent or better items by that point. Consider what is good for us and Indy21 as well, if we give you too much free stuff/characters, you won’t spend money and the game will remain unprofitable, which is not good for anyone. I don’t the communtiy in general has considered this scenario fully yet.
It should also be noted that I went through and picked out some of the better ideas into a word document, which I am sending to Indy21 now…there just did…but that is a little redundant as I just got off the phone with Yongnam at Indy and he knew everything already because he as been reading this topic, and I quote: “line by line”, all weekend.
Adding the poll(hopefully). Keep in mind, this poll is for reference only and we will move forward with the option GamersFirst and Indy21 agrees to. That being said, it should be clear by now we have read your opinions on the subject and will make the decision we feel to be in the best interest of the whole community and whole game based on the suggestions you have provided.
Poll option < click me >