Thursday 5 March 2009

GOA: How to break up friends and influence people (to leave)

I’d like to say in advance, if this comes across as a rant, then I apologise now ;) Since WAR launched I’ve not once ragged on GOA, but alas today I have joined the masses drowning in frustration and misery brought on by their inept customer service.

Yesterday patch 1.2 went live on the European servers. Big news indeed, but for players on Karak-Hirn it’s turned out to be just the “and in other news” moment. You see directly after the GOA announced the patch had gone live, they then declared a new round of server transfers. Starting the following morning! So we’re talking about no more than 12 hours notice of server transfers and the icing on the cake is, they didn’t state what time limit the transfers have.

Panic has ensued.

Now this is clearly badly done by GOA and more than a little bit rubbish. How GOA expects guild and alliance leaders to coordinate a transfer with only a few hours notice, I don’t know. However for me what’s increasing my annoyance is the manner of their announcement regarding Karak-Hirn. There has been no discussion previously about population problems, yet their announcement basically says get out now your server is dying. We then also had a bit of inside information leaked to some of our server’s influential players that the population is decreasing badly, confirming the “get out of Dodge” message.

Whilst writing this, I’ve just heard that now when you log into WAR and Hirn, a message from GOA warns you this is a low population server and go play elsewhere. Magnus the GOA rep has also just posted on WHA talking about the “decision to close Hirn” being tough, etc. So GOA is well and truly ringing the death knell for my server. With just a few hours notice…
Link here to Magnus' post:

I have mixed thoughts about the transfer (transfer? I mean closure), as whilst our server’s community was recognised as one of the best in Europe, it is smaller and the difference in server activity particularly in the lower tiers is monumental. You can forget open RvR in tier 1, it just doesn’t really happen and tiers 2-3 are only marginally better. In tier 4 there’s regular action, but it’s nearly always focused in one zone at a time. There’s not the numbers to effectively attack multiple zones regularly, apart from those nights where we pre-arrange attacks. So in that respect, I’ll be happy to move and get more WAR action. I understand and accept that something needed to happen.

However, that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about the situation we’ve been put in. Something needed to happen, but it should be done in a sensible and planned manner. Transferring guilds and alliances causes hassle both in and outside of the game world, hassle for your paying subscribers; we deserve more respect than this.

As a guild leader I have to stay positive to try and keep my guild together, there’s no option but to move and now I have to make this work. But frankly I’m stunned (perhaps naively) at how bad GOA’s timing and communication has been. Let me elaborate:

· It was bloody patch day! Emotions are running high as the nerf debates rage, so obviously dumping a short notice transfer on people is not a good idea. Imagine you’re a Witch Elf player and you’ve just discovered not only has your character been nerfed beyond all sanity, but you’ve also got to move server and quite possibly have to lose your characters name, is that perhaps going to annoy you? You think? What a wonderful incentive to log in that is eh? People that were verging on quitting are being nudged over the edge.

· Guilds that transferred to Karak-Hirn now have to transfer AGAIN. People are not happy.

· Any server’s members being told to transfer would ask this, but with Hirn’s competitive tier 4 and decent community and instead of killing it, why is Karak-Hirn not a destination server? I presume there are valid reasons, but why could they not have been shared?

· Players may have to change their characters names. Whenever there’s a server transfer this comes up, but again with the short bloody notice it exaggerates the annoyance.

· Guilds may have to change their names. This hits my guild and it sucks. What do we do then; call ourselves “The REAL Blood Pact”? Or how about “Karak Hirn Blood Pact not to be confused with this servers Blood Pact?” Sigh… so it’s basically time for a new name, which means changing our website, graphics, logos, everything. A bit of our identity gone. Blood Pact was created the first day of the Collectors Edition headstart, we like our name :( And you can bet your bottom dollar the destination server’s guild with our name isn’t even bloody active.

· I’m fairly confident all my active members will wait for our alliance’s confirmation of where to go, but not everyone will be this lucky (and I’m only confident, not certain). GOA has rushed this through; because of which lots of guilds are going to loose players in the move. People will move to the wrong server in the panic, plus people will be left behind. For some this will be a guild killer. And what about your friends not in your own guild? With time and a little thought, this could have been avoided.

· What if you’re in a Destruction Karak-Hirn guild, but you have an Order alt on the destination servers? Sorry bud, you can’t move it first. Tough shit old boy, delete your Order character or you can’t stay with your Destro friends anymore. This could have been totally avoided with transfers allowed between destination servers BEFORE launching the full transfers, allowing people to prepare.

· There’s a lot of bloody admin and organising work for guild officers and leaders. In fact our whole alliance wants to stay together, that complicates things. Hell, our whole bloody server wants to move as one. Why oh why could you not have given us time to prepare?

In a months time I might be thinking that moving server was the best thing we could have done, but right now I have a total nightmare to organise with hardly any time to do it properly. I'm pissed off and so is everyone I've spoken to about it.

I really wish GOA had handled this better.

Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.


  1. Ouch. All I can say is good luck with the transfer :/

  2. I was very surprised to find Karak Hirn there, last I checked it had a - if not good - at least fine population. Was thinking of rolling there until they announced this. And I agree that it was way too short notice.

    Oh well, hope you come to Azgal, seems there will be a few bloggers there.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys, I'm a regular reader of both your blogs and I appreciate you popping over here ;)


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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.