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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 22:00:06   #101
Toyhazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilaliya View Post
There has been a ton of progress on the server merge and the new player experience, and the engine until we learned about the restructuring internally. After we got the information, we had to shuffle priorities. Because you want every feature to be at a good "pausing point" so it can be picked up again with minimal hassle after the move.

For us, this means we need to push hard on the server merge so it happens before the move, and we need to get the NPE to testlive because moving studios is always disruptive to production and the NPE is going to need to be on testlive for awhile, because there is so much content there. Meanwhile, the engine is already playable internally (like, actually playable), and we're not going to have time to reach the next "pausing point" (external beta) before the move anyway. All the move did was increase the internal priority of the NPE vs the engine.
I understand that you guys do the best you can with the limited ammount of resources availabe. And I do expect that the merge and NPE will be here soon but i dont see much happening after that tbh. You cant deny that AO will be at the bottom of Funcoms priority list when there is one dev team and remain there until it stops being profitable at which point Funcom will simply pull the plug.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 22:00:13   #102
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Originally Posted by Lazy View Post
does that mean you're moving to NC?
This is honestly one of my main concerns.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 22:03:20   #103
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If Ilaliya, Genele and Macrosun are still on board I don't think the sky is falling. If not, thanks for a lot of fun and it's been a pleasure .
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 22:06:40   #104
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If Ilaliya, Genele and Macrosun.
These 3 will be vital i'd think. I really hope they come along.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 22:10:09   #105
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Well moving somewhere entirely else is still a very personal decision and possibly not only affecting the person who moves, but also family, friends and else.
This is nothing to be rushed and the time even since these concrete consolidation plans must have been known internally is still very short. I think we shouldn't push anyone to state how they decide but just wait until they think the time is right.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 22:14:32   #106
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Who cares which and when developers are on the AO project instead of TSW or AoC. Statistically seen, it is always postponed one way or another with or without a dedicated team.

But i still hope for the best
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 22:18:49   #107
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Nice to see i reactivated several accounts for.... well, nothing.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 22:38:56   #108
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I used to work for a big entertainment company that had leveraged its assets into online experience, just before the Bubble burst. The company had a bunch of different divisions, each with an online team. After the Burst, money dried up and the online group had to consolidate. We did pretty much what FC is doing now: distilling individual teams down into one shared group.

It's not pretty. People are losing their jobs, and the resulting group will be left overworked for some time. If the mobile media team is separate from the MMO team, there will be hope for survival. But the restructuring was a good thing for the company I used to work for. Much as Ilaliya said, with so many divisions doing similar, almost redundant work, it sucks to have leaders in each group with their own agendas. Having one solid leadership structure will allow for better communication in development, and they may be able to globalize the toolsets required for each product across the board.

I shall remain hopeful. I remember playing AO when WoW got launched. I left for a while, but just came back. I will be keeping my sub at monthly until I see the future stabilize a bit, but this actually makes me feel more confident about the survival of the game.

Ilaliya, I can appreciate the position you're in. It is tough to say anything, because you know someone will immediately read subtext into your statements where there is none. And whatever you say will be immediately quoted by game rag mags. I applaud your discretion. Hang in there, and thank you and the rest of the AO team for your efforts under the duress you're experiencing now.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 22:45:44   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilaliya View Post
It's part of my job.
Sorry if I sound bitter.. but shouldn't part of your job be making sure the new engine comes out sometimes this year?
It's been promised since 2006...... AO has been around 8+ years longer then AoC, and TSW, however it continues to get shafted and 0 marketing because its an "old game."

(Also in comparison... both suck compared to AO. There is not a single game made to date that has the twink ability and toon development AO has. I remember using Excel, and searching for months for items to buff L190 imps and AI armor onto a L118 agent so I could kill everyone for months on the tower fields. Can't get this enjoyment anywhere else.)

New Engine + half decent marketing could make AO more popular then SW TOR and WOW combined, but ONLY if the new engine can actually support users again (anyone remember back in 2006 we had 1k people on rk1 and the server would lag for 5 minutes or more during NW battles?)

It really seems that FunCom is happy with the amount of "subs" locked into AO currently, so they don't really put any priority in keeping players happy.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 22:58:43   #110
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Thank you for pushing so hard to ease the transition period, and for whole heartedly believing in ao all these years. I look forward to seing NPE and merge! May all your hard work be repayed (:

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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 23:04:19   #111
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For some reason, I'm not surprised. More of the never ending "Soon TM" .
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 23:23:03   #112
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OK I have taken most of the day to digest this news and avoid writing a response that is not thought out and comes off as a rant. So here goes in no specific order of importance.

First question and probably the most important: Who of the AO team is remaining past the move?

Statement of opinion: AO getting the new engine is really not something that FC will cancel and I have a good reasons behind it. First, having all the games on the Dreamworld engine will mean they are overall easier to maintain with the smaller team. Second, AO does not have a life past the next two years given how modern hardware and OS's are taking to handling the game now. Third, a good of the work is done and paid for and bean counters are not prone to throwing away an investment of the size the engine now falls into. If the game is making money then keeping that way will be important.

Statement of opinion: I expect a GREAT deal more items in the "item store" over the next several months as AO moves more toward a pay to win model. I also expect this in AoC and TSW. FC has a bean counter in charge and they like the bottom line to be in black and not red. The "me now" generation is being targeted by FC across all the MMO's for easy profits so anyone thinking otherwise is probably in for a rude awakening.

Statement of opinion: FC is moving into mobile gaming. Expect this area to be where all new things are to be focused. Any substantial content or expansion to the 3 core games is pretty much history now. Beyond anything that impacts the bottom line I don't think the live team will have the resources to tackle such projects anymore. FC wants to be Zynga or the likes now. See previous statement about pay to win model. Consider a game like "Hay Day" on iOS is making around 100K+ a day and you quickly realize that in a month or two a small mobile game is making as much as all the MMO's at FC are doing for the year. Bean counters see gold mine and are rushing towards it. Hold on to your hats.

More opinion: I suspect that the server merge is going forward as it reduces hosting cost overall. Bandwidth usage will stay in the same range but having 1 server versus 2 is a cost saving. Remember bean counter in charge.

Observation: All decisions are weighed as "a plus to bottom line vs a minus to bottom line" and any large work being done is most likely going into a standard ROI equation. You know the equation that says investing 50% of the profits for 1 year will generate +20% profits for the next 3 years type stuff or some similar equation. In simpler terms any new content or changes need to return a positive value to their actual cost to produce and deliver.

Big Statement of opinion: Remember TR? You know they shut that game down while it was still cash flow positive. This is important considering we have a bean counter running FC. When cash flow drops to a point that factored in with shutdown cost is break even I suspect that FC will shutdown that MMO. In today's world getting out before you are loosing money is consider the best business choice. So I don't take the "cash flow positive" listing in the quarterly reports as a good thing past today. I doubt we will ever see them listed as break even or loosing money. At least AO and AoC for now. TSW still has the new car smell that needs to wear off before it falls into the category.

Overall I am deeply troubled by this restructuring. I have had a few PM's about the need to get the engine out a head of anything else and was assured that nothing would stand in its way. Sadly the "New AO Engine" is the new "Duke Nukem" joke in the game world. Even feeling that it will happen it really is in the real of joke now more than anything else.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 23:26:01   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lheann View Post
Big Statement of opinion: Remember TR? You know they shut that game down while it was still cash flow positive.
That was a completely different set of circumstances.
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Give shades love or we will stop buffing people!!
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 23:31:29   #114
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Originally Posted by Notcrattey View Post
That was a completely different set of circumstances.
The point was that being cash flow positive is not a guarantee of continued operation now that FC has a bean counter as the CEO.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 23:44:16   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bainzy View Post
Confirmed: (Legit) Vhab will not be making the move to the NC office. (I asked him!) We will miss him! He won't comment anyone elses positions on the matter however. I don't want to see AO breaking up, been part of my life for far too long, as I assume it has been for you guys also! Lazy: Get this Kickstarter running! AO won't be being taken offline without a fight!
Yeah I was really saddened reading this tweet by Vhab.

Edit: Seems like Vhab didn't want to relocate to the US. source
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 23:52:57   #116
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Yeah I was really saddened reading this tweet by Vhab.
Well that's a damn shame. I feel like Vhab was the best thing to happen to AO development in a long time. Also the best connection between players and FC.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 00:01:23   #117
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 00:02:24   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenneyez View Post
There is no reason to lie anymore, just tell us you're letting AO go and stop milking us for more money for you're stupid Lego game. If people keep paying the sub it means they either have no other life beyond AO or they just can't accept the fact that they've been lied to all this time.

Unless they make a really decent video of the new engine to actually show us what they worked on all this time, the engine is none existent. Screw you're pictures, they're all lies!

Wake up people!
I think it's time to remind some poor-intentioned players that the reason you PAY is to play the game ... to be more clear, the game that exists on the live servers right NOW.

If you pay for any other reason, especially one where you THINK something will happen in the future, that's your own fault.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 00:26:00   #119
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Well, if this is what FunCom wants, I want no part of them. 3 accounts canceled. Wish I got in on AO on it's upswing (to the release of LE) and not on it's decline (LE onward) :/
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 00:35:04   #120
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I'm looking forward to killing many, many more clammers from rk1 with the merge, but i'm still have question about if/when ao will hit STEAM.. would be nice if that could be put into focus as well.
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