11 July 2012 - 09:13 AM Posted By 8 Comments
As promised by Volker's interview answers below, the EU Vet rewards have now been implemented. The rewards include a continuation of the Vet rewards from pre-Gameforge days as well as the implementation of Collector's edition items and former purchases at the NCsoft store.
Get your items. They are only available for one month!
How it works:
1) Visit the AION Shop
2) Click on 'Manage bonuses' to assign your Veteran rewards
The Veteran rewards will be provided in two steps.
Phase 1 – Starting today
Today, all players with a transferred account will have the possibility to secure their items prior to the transition. That means that all players who received their rewards at NCsoft times before it has been switched to free-to-play, will be able to apply their rewards.
Important: Please keep in mind that the delivery of those items into your shop vault can currently take up to a couple of days due to the large amount of data.
Phase 2 – To be announced
In this step, Gold Packs activated by now - no matter how you have purchased and obtained them – will be calculated into the Veteran Rewards to give new players the possibility to receive a reward for their loyality!
For each used pack you will gain a Veteran level and be able to receive respective reward. (Example: If you are a player who purchased 1 Gold pack in the AION shop and 1 Gold pack via Broker from another player, you will receive Veteran rewards up to month 2)
We will announce the date of the second phase!
Important: You can acquire a Gold pack in the AION Shop right now to gain levels for the Veteran rewards and receive your rewards in Phase 2! (Example: You are at month 13 in the Veteran reward Level but you want the rewards for month 15 badly. If you activate 2 more Gold packs, you will level to month 15 in the Veteran list and receive your desired reward).
All Veteran rewards are listed here: http://www.aionfreet...item/account_09
After our interview with Volker in April, it looks like he continued to stockpile questions and then last week he started answering a bunch of them. One of the answers was about Vet rewards and that one has currently come true. The following are all the questions and answers posted in the Gameforge Interview thread.
Can you give anymore details on the way the discussions with NCSoft are going as stated in your last interview above? (Reference: Info [Fansite] Aionsource Exlcusive - Interview with our Producer)
These discussions are still ongoing. We have made a proposal on a way to improve the rifting system for all involved, and have launched this under the “Rift Revolution” named event that is currently (as of me answering this) still ongoing. We will collect the results from this event, both in terms of data as well as in terms of your feedback, and then use this to continue the discussions with the developers on what we feel is necessary to improve the Rifting buff system for European players.
What forum feedback has been taken into account, has anything been altered or planned for the Aion EU future because of it?
One of the main points we look at in terms of Forum feedback is the overall mood, the main points that are being brought up, but also individual feedback. As you may be aware, on the internet it is always a bit difficult to distinguish what is the general opinion on something, and what is the loudly expressed opinion of a minority. This is something that makes it not only difficult but sometimes even dangerous to take feedback and simply put it into reality.
However, one of the things that was taken into account was the feedback on the Rifting situation (we launched the “Rift Revolution” event), the overall event situation (we have run several events by now, and have a lot more planned for the coming months), the urgency of Veteran Rewards, CE items and NC Shop purchases (these will come), the feedback on our shop items (this may not be visible to you, as this feedback is mainly gathered before we make a decision on adding something to the shop), and much much more.
Again, not all feedback is necessarily always possible to be made into a reality, but please do not ever think for one moment, that your voices aren’t heard on the forum. One tip on improving the chance that your feedback is considered even more: Be nice to the CMs, Moderators and your fellow players, respect others opinions and the fact that not every idea can find a way into the game or service, and always keep it constructive.
When can we expect to see the "Aion club" improvements or "My Aion" feature that is often talked about?
We are currently focusing the majority of our attention towards topics such as 3.0, the veteran rewards, and more. The AION Club improvements are still in progress (I actually had a meeting about this today), but unfortunately I cannot provide any specific date yet. The Community Managers will inform you once we get there.
As for the “My AION” features you know from the NCW website, we do not have any specific date for yet either. This is something that is on our (enormous) To-Do list, and once we have done and dusted all the other topics that are above this feature in terms of priority, then we will get to it.
Why has the gold pack been implemented in such a way that it helps gold sellers do lvl1 LFG spam who then push up their prices at the brokers? Why have the restrictions failed to stop gold sellers?
The Gold Pack was not implemented in any special way as to support Gold Sellers or make anything specifically more easy for them. The fact that we have the Gold Pack System (or more specifically the Chat Restrictions for Free Accounts) in place, already helps to keep the Gold Sellers and Spammers more at bay, than in many other Free-to-Play games. However, this is not directly visible for the community. How can you know about something that is not there.
Why the restrictions have not succeeded in completely getting rid of something that has plagued MMORPGs for (online-) generations is easily answered: No system is perfect. We have tried to, and succeeded, in making it vastly more difficult for Gold-Spammers and –Sellers to impact on the game and the game experience of regular players, and we are constantly working on various other systems to mitigate the remaining impact we have despite the Gold Pack system. An example for this is the recent efforts we took in removing more Gold Spammers, which you have surely noticed has helped reduce the amount of Chat Spam drastically.
Do you have any plans to introduce greater supplements in the cash shop for manastone socketing?
No, we do not currently have any specific plans to introduce these items to the AION shop. This does not rule out the possibility that these supplements may be availbe through alternative methods at some point, but this is not planned right now.
Can the path for starters to veteran status be given any higher priority?
Unfortunately not at the moment. I know this topic is important for the players, but our list of things we need to do (and this topic is still on it) has a couple of things that are currently more vital to the game and service.
Can we expect more regular updates from NCSoft devs in the future?
Absolutely. NCsoft is continuously working on new updates for AION. While we are still hard at work to get you the 3.0 update, NCsoft has already published the Testserver version of Update 3.5 (for which we have already begun the localization and integration process). With AION still being the No. 1 MMO in Korea, there is no end in sight for new content any time soon .
Is the "To-Do" list getting any less and do you have any plans to add or borrow more game designers or-sub-contractors to catch up faster on the delayed 3.0 spring schedules?
Getting 3.0 onto the European players is one of the main priorities for the AION team at the moment. We are working with all available people and methods to get the release as close to the present as possible. Hiring new Game Designers would not really help in this process (as it is mainly about localization), but rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to get this done. The overall To-Do list, not only for 3.0, but for AION F2P in general, is getting shorter, but there are still tons of things we have and want to do.
Is GF still expecting veteran rewards to be issued within the next month?
No. We are expecting them to be issued within this month.
We live in a competitive world. Many veterans have transferred to NA 3.0 others are frustrated waiting or quit. What is the future plan for EU English servers with 3.5 to prevent this player loss to NA?
We are very aware of the importance of bringing updates such as 3.0 to the EU service as quickly as possible. Not only do we of course want to keep the European players playing on the European servers, but we also do not want anyone to have to go through the trouble of switching service and leaving their characters behind.
There were many unfortunate delays in terms of bringing 3.0 to the live servers. As mentioned above, we have already begun the localization and integration process of update 3.5, so we can ensure a speedy delivery to the EU servers. We have learned a lot from the localiazation of 3.0 and will be able to speed up things considerably with the coming updates.
Will the English Press notice the difference between the EU PTS and the NA version and not promote the NA version?
While there is a certain amount of international press, we are also focusing on residential press that caters to a EU audience. Just as some core sites who will also report about the Korean PTS, many sites will report on both, the NA service and the EU service. We have invested a lot of time into working with various press outlets, so that the difference between the EU and US service is pretty clear to the vast majority of them. So yes, they will notice the difference and they will also promote the EU service, even though they may also be reporting about the NA version of AION.
How is GF looking forward to the future, for example:
a) Is GF reconsidering the release policy, for future patches (3.5)
Our policy will remain the same. Bring quality updates to all AION EU players. The only thing we will reconsider is the speed with which we release updates. Future versions of AION will be deployed much faster.
b) What is the current state of customer support (billing)
Customer Support (and especially supporting customers with possibly payment problems) is one of our key focus points at the moment. The situation since launch has been improved dramatically, with ticket response times going down constantly. We are still not at a perfect level and will continue to improve response times, but things have gotten a lot better. You can now expect a speedy response and resolution of your issue, especially if you are having billing issues.
c) What are the plans and time limits on/with low populated servers (Tele/Perento) (and what will happen after)
Currently there are no “hard” plans regarding servers with a population that is not at the maximum. We will take some measures in terms of faction balance in the near future, and we will also take some steps to steer new players to servers that have a lower population. Especially with the launch of 3.0 and the accompanying marketing efforts, we expect an increase of the player numbers, that will also increase overall server population.
d) How will GF try to lure more people into this game?
By delivering a great game experience for free, and telling interested players about it via PR, Marketing and events (such as the RPC). Please understand that I cannot share our Marketing plans as part of this interview :)
e) Any estimation on 3.0 (without promises)?
Ha, you tried to lull me in with innocent questions and then pull out this at the end? But I spotted your ruse :)
Why does Gameforgoe not provide any information of progress of 3.0 or updates? Not the day but information on it
There will be news on 3.0 very soon. I promise.
How much time do we need to wait for a time of release?
The real question is: How much time do you need to wait for the time we can tell you how much time you need to wait until we can tell you a date that we are confident that we can keep.
The planned move from NCsoft to Gameforge, was to my understanding, that we would gain updates at the same speed as NCsoft KR. However I would say we're still the same as NCsoft, if not slower since they now don't have to translate to Euro languages, this gives NCSoft west even more time to fix bugs while we're still waiting on 3.0. Is it possible for Gameforge to update the servers and be en par with Korean AION?
No. Releasing an update at the same time as NCsoft in Korea is a technical impossibility for us at the moment. There are some complicated internal development processes at work that I am not at liberty to explain, but seeing an update go live in Europe (or any other AION service) at the same time as in Korea is something that is not possible at the moment.
We will try to make the gap between an update in Korea, and the same update in Europe as short as possible though. Already with 3.5 we are working on reducing the time significantly when compared to 3.0.
Why do we need to wait for German and French translations if we are the English servers?
Apart from the fact that we would like to make sure that all EU players get access to content at the same time (imagine how you would feel if we released the German version first), there are some technical points that make it impossible for us to update the English servers to 3.0, while keeping other servers on a different version.
Why doesn’t GF release 3.0 on the English servers first and release 3.0 on the other Servers later in their repsective Language?
Is GF capable of editing things in AION?
For example removing the AP cap or put it to a higher limit because reaching the cap as an active PvP player is done within a few minutes.
This is something that we do together with the NCsoft design team. When topics like this are being brought up in the forums for example, we will gather the feedback, review it internally (with Game Designers for example), and then make the according change request to NCsoft, who will then be able to implement the changes and provide an update that we can then release. This is not true for all changes (some things can be changed on the fly), but for more complex topics, updates may be required.
Is GF able to manage AION?
There are several statements saying that things need to be handled by Korea (like bug fixes etc.). Does Korea manage GF’s AION? AION NA as well?
There are many aspects to releasing and publishing an Online game as complex as AION. The publisher (Gameforge) and the developer (NCsoft) take on different roles and responsibilities in this scenario. Essentially, we manage the game together. While Gameforge has direct control over for example the business and service side, the developers are of course necessary to create and publish updates, bugfixes, new client or server versions, and so on. This same relationship is also true for the other publishers of AION throughout the world.
If NA is being handled by Korea as well, why are they faster?
The localization of updates is one of the responsibilities of the publisher. So NCWest had to translate AION into English, and then were able to publish it, while Gameforge had to additionally translate it into German and French. Among other things, this made it possible for NCwest to release 3.0 quicker than Gameforge. For future updates we are working hard to improve our processes, so we can release updates much quicker.
Since you are in possession of 3.5 and we are still being updated to 3.0, what about 3.2?
There is no 3.2 update of AION. The next version after 3.0 is an “unofficial” 3.1 version that includes some bugfixes (and other things). In order to bring 3.0 online as soon as possible, we decided to launch with the 3.0 version, and to then release the 3.1 update as soon as possible thereafter.