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Castle Thorn Software / Nexeon Technologies | Official Site
MMORPG | Genre:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 09/21/07)  | Pub:Castle Thorn Software / Nexeon Technologies
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StarQuest Online Forum » General Discussion » 3 months in SQO. Why i left

17 posts found
  Dog6880

Novice Member

Joined: 2/03/09
Posts: 29

 
OP  5/27/09 8:21:18 AM#1

OK I am done and that should be a relief to many of the cool aid drinkers.

This game is most definitely over for me. The progress on improving the game has been sub par, slow and mostly cosmetic. The major bugs and problems are still there and they do not seem to be going away anytime soon. The community for the most part was great, but the problem is the vocal minority have destroyed any hope of a pleasant setting.

For about 3 months I have played this game and all the biggest problems have not went away. Perhaps in better hands Star Quest online would prosper and thrive.

After posting a topic about a reply made by an Admin, where I commented that the Admin’s reply was flame, and extremely unprofessional I received a forum warning and the topic was removed. When I inquired into the reason this is how the PM conversation went.

Dog6880 - explain my warning.

What did I do wrong? I believe the person who was logged into Admin made an unprofessional post.

It was spam, it was rude it was immature. A moderator removed it. I want an explanation. Feel free to ask me not to pay for this game anymore. That is where this is going. Every time I post a question and poll it gets locked. The question is reasonable.

And when and IF an Admin replies I want to know who I am talking to. This could be a player with special privileges for all I know.

Admin- The warning was justified and it stands

If you had been paying the slightest bit of attention, you would have known that the player GM powers had been removed - and the subject did not need to be brought up again

Furthermore, I really can't remember anything you've had to say that was the least bit positive, so feel free to spend your 33 cents a day somewhere else, no one here is going to lose any sleep over it

Dog6880- May I know who it is that is talking to me or will it just stand as an anonymous "Admin".

Admin - Bardon, it doesn't go any higher

I have had no desire to play this game for the last 4 days, none. It’s a shame a great idea in the hands of really poor management can turn into a very bad experience. I wasted a total of fifty five dollars here and I am glad to have the experience of seeing the potential future of Sci Fi MMO’s. May someone with more competence and skill one day take this idea and run with it.

My final recommendation to those who want to try this game: Try it but prepare to be disappointed. Poor management, unpleasant forums and a huge colony of bugs are the three biggest problems you will find. The future of Sci Fi MMO’s, I believe, lies in the core of this games potential and central ideas.
 


 

  Theo

Novice Member

Joined: 10/02/03
Posts: 242

5/27/09 9:43:37 AM#2

It's probably been a year or so since I've played, and in that time I haven't seen any significant changes in the game. The economy is still horribly broken, exploration is still completely pointless, and worst of all the community still attacks each other mercilessly on the forums more than they play the game.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with you. SQO is an interesting experiment, but beyond a rough concept and a few mechanics I really don't think CTS had any idea what to do with the game or where to take it. I'd like to think something will come along that will inspire me to give it another try, but after all this time with no tangible progress I've lost hope.

  HalfEmpty

Novice Member

Joined: 10/20/06
Posts: 45

5/27/09 2:43:08 PM#3

I was going to re-update my old "Unbiased Review" post, but you've saved me the trouble.

I agree, the core ideas are good, but this wouldn't be the first game with "potential" I've seen that never lived up to it. More often than not, they don't. "Potential" is never enough without lot's of money, talent and a plan.

It's become clear as time has passed that the developers have painted themselves into many corners. There obviously has been a lack of research (useability, amongst other things) combined with bad descision-making (premature public release, adding additional factions for an already tiny bickering playerbase, relying too heavily on the playerbase to "run" things in-game, expecting the Military to work like it does in the real world, etc. - I could go on). The playerbase points the finger of blame at each other, but the real blame rests with CastleThorn for not doing the heavy lifting that all mmorpg developers do - and are expected to do (by paying customers, at least).

Why did the live server blow up? Why was it allowed to get to that point without a backup in place? It has caused untold grief and seriously undermined the playability of the game. Heads would have rolled if this had happened in a company where a Risk Management plan was in place. There was great outrage when their ISP lost the forum servers. This is far worse.

I had a beta account and stopped playing because it seemed pointless. Even so, with where things stand now I would consider $0.33 a day too steep for my time.

  zephar123

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 70

5/27/09 11:17:48 PM#4

Sad to see you go dogg.

 

EDIT 

 

Ill, most more on this later seeing when admins respond or not. 

  Shreddi

Novice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 316

"The decisions you make today will effect the rest of your life"
-Danny Devito

6/19/09 1:13:19 PM#5

That was a real admin who communicated to you the customer that way?    Thank you for saving me the trouble of looking any further into this game.   Sounds like a bunch of kids are running this game and will drive there customers out faster than they could ever hope to keep it afloat.   They should sell out to major company and play video games not manage them.  Thanks again op.

This post is intentionally written as to not make any sense what so ever. Thank You Very Much.

  TexSciFiChic

Novice Member

Joined: 10/05/07
Posts: 14

6/19/09 5:07:39 PM#6


Originally posted by Dog6880

OK I am done and that should be a relief to many of the cool aid drinkers.


Yes it is


Originally posted by Dog6880
After posting a topic about a reply made by an Admin, where I commented that the Admin’s reply was flame, and extremely unprofessional I received a forum warning and the topic was removed.

Sorry, I was there. The same snotty post made in half a dozen different areas of the forum would get someone a warning on any BBS I've been on.


Originally posted by Dog6880
Feel free to ask me not to pay for this game anymore.

So they did, and you're surprised ?

 

  HalfEmpty

Novice Member

Joined: 10/20/06
Posts: 45

6/19/09 6:09:44 PM#7
Originally posted by TexSciFiChic

Originally posted by Dog6880
Feel free to ask me not to pay for this game anymore.

So they did, and you're surprised ?

Dog probably isn't, but I think anyone who runs a business would be surprised shocked by the sheer lack of common sense shown here. Problem customers aren't anything new, and there are time-honored methods of dealing with it. The reason these methods exist is so that bad publicity (like this thread on MMORPG) are avoided.

Complaints about a game are one thing, but this is the worst kind of publicity any company could ask for...and it sounds like they did ask for it.

  TexSciFiChic

Novice Member

Joined: 10/05/07
Posts: 14

6/19/09 6:24:25 PM#8

I'd say that cuts both ways

It's kinda refreshing to see an administrator have the cajones to tell a problem customer off , rather than make the rest of  the customers (me included) put up with them

  HalfEmpty

Novice Member

Joined: 10/20/06
Posts: 45

6/19/09 8:42:18 PM#9
Originally posted by TexSciFiChic

I'd say that cuts both ways

It's kinda refreshing to see an administrator have the cajones to tell a problem customer off , rather than make the rest of  the customers (me included) put up with them


 

Of course it's refreshing. Anyone who's worked in customer service would agree, but that's beside the point.

The real point is succinctly made 5 posts up by Shreddi, and if you think hard about the implications, you shouldn't find it too refreshing at all.

  Dog6880

Novice Member

Joined: 2/03/09
Posts: 29

 
OP  6/21/09 1:44:43 PM#10

Simple fact is Bardon is a self righteous pompous arse. Game improvement has in fact been stagnant with all its major flaws gone unchecked in the 4 months i have watched the game, 3 of those i played, and now after i have left i still see no change. All changes have been cosmetic or frantic yet halfassed struggles to fix bugs that make the game unplayable in combat. The game is played more on the forums then in game and the veteran community is full of a bunch of elitist arrogant morons.

I encourage everyone to try the free trial. Get on play the game go to the website and read the forums. Just don’t be surprised when your left shaking your head and annoyed at all the veterans yelling at you that if you don’t like it you can always go back to playing WoW.
 

  Morrok

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/08
Posts: 132

6/23/09 12:17:26 AM#11

Well...

I have to say i did not like the tone in the first post you quoted - yours, the one with the "question" for an explanation - either.
And i think from a human point of view the reaction you got, based on the quoted exchange only, is more than justified.
But yes, "professional" is something different.

But bitterness is hardly ever a good foundation for objecivism.
I can understand that you react the way you do, perhaps would feel the same if it happened to me.
But to call one of them an arse, pompous and self-righteous is not exactly helping your cause, or is it?

Besides:
You claim there is no development going on.
You are dead wrong.
DESPITE them having to hire out to keep themselves going (yes the playerbase is too small to support even the small devteam they have now), they have made great progress in implementing the OTHER two factions around which this game is intended to revolve.

But yes, you do not see much of that if you are just playing on the single open faction.
I had the luck to be invited into one of the other two, and i DO see the progress for our faction.
If i would still be limited to the view i had before i got invited there, i would perhaps agree with you.

But the way i see it, they DO have a plan, and that plan is to implement the other two factions and enable them to compete with the one faction that has been around for ages.
Once that is done, they will (hopefully) go over to bugfixing.

But yes, all this is going to take time.
Time not measured in days or weeks, but months - in some cases perhaps even years.
Let's not forget that we are talking about a team of 7 (SEVEN) developers doing it all.
They do NOT have the financial backing or the huge support team that other "professional" companies do.

Above, someone asked how they could allow their server to break, how they were not able to have a backup server in place etc.
That is explained rather easily: it's their budget.
They had, due to the server going down the drains, to go live with the new server before they were ready.
The alternative would have been no gam for the whole playerbase.

Yes that transition was painful. and yes, it looked - or perhaps even was - "unprofessional".
But everyone who has ever done a 32bit to 64bit transition knows it does not come without difficulties.
And they had to do it all in one huge step, instead of having the time to build that server up in the background (oh... another action you'd see nothing about as a subscriber if it'd all work as planned, but NOT a sign they do "nothing" as was claimed)
work out the problems they have, with the socket for example, and THEN push it live.
It was simply force majeure.

There are MANY things wrong with the game, yes.
But the dev's aren't one of them in my opinion.
More likely the major part of the community that likes to attack each other instead of working together.
Those that use every exploit that they can make out instead of making them public so the devs can - slowly but surely - fix them.
The economy need not fixed, but implemented in major parts still, yes.
There are many reported bugs that are not taken straightened out immediately, yes.
Development is slow, yes.
But to conclude from all that that they "do nothing" is... simply wrong.

  Dog6880

Novice Member

Joined: 2/03/09
Posts: 29

 
OP  6/23/09 4:48:49 PM#12

First off nothing needs 'help my cause' due to the fact i don’t have one when it comes to this game.


Second i don't know where you keep quoting "nothing" from as that word does not even appear on the first page of this topic. I didn’t say they did nothing i was saying they have done little of consequence to make the game better, expand it or improve its playability.  patch 1.2 is not suppose to be made to fix the problems with patch 1.1 its suppose to expand, improve and make the game better.  All they do is fix the problems they overlooked last patch or that came about due to the patch.


Another thing, I played as a Therat and the players there were great but up until last patch, as i have read, there was no Therat content despite the promises that there would be forthcoming additions.


When you talk about years of development you really need to be aware that the life span of most games never really goes past 2 or 3 years, so if they plan to have a playable game in 3 years they will be rather behind in the times. If this game came out years ago say aroudn the time of EverQuest original it would have been huge and made these guys rich. But this is 2009 and they are sorely outdated.

 

Ahh if only an SQO forum moderator was here to lock this thread.  In a way Bosh's heavy handed Fascist ways of forum moderation were rather useful.
 

  HalfEmpty

Novice Member

Joined: 10/20/06
Posts: 45

6/23/09 5:37:45 PM#13
Originally posted by Dog6880 

Ahh if only an SQO forum moderator was here to lock this thread.  In a way Bosh's heavy handed Fascist ways of forum moderation were rather useful.
 


 

Lol. You read my mind. Remember though...while the heavy handed moderation may have been useful in it's own way, it also has alot of unintended/unforseen consequences.

  TexSciFiChic

Novice Member

Joined: 10/05/07
Posts: 14

6/23/09 7:54:35 PM#14
Originally posted by Dog6880


Another thing, I played as a Therat and the players there were great but up until last patch, as i have read, there was no Therat content despite the promises that there would be forthcoming additions.

 

Ummm...the last two patches were Therataan content, and I heard, Klinshayan also - but the Klins aren't talking :-)

  Morrok

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/08
Posts: 132

6/23/09 8:53:05 PM#15


Originally posted by Dog6880

First off nothing needs 'help my cause' due to the fact i don’t have one when it comes to this game.



So you say, yet your actions tell us differently.
The very fact that you post - not only here still to this date but also almost the same post as your OP on their forums - clearly shows that you DO have a cause.
And from how/what is posted it seems that you have to settle a score with them over the "unjust" treatment you received.
Granted, as i said above, it perhaps was not the most professional way.
But as i read it you got what you asked for - in THIS exchange at least.
Mind you, i have read and liked most of your actual suggestions and ideas for the game.
But you cannot expect to accuse the ADMINS/DEVS of spam, rudeness and immatureness and sincerely expect them not to react.
Your initial post/PM to them was exactly what you accuse THEM of, and that is what i ment when i said i didn't like YOUR tone.


Originally posted by Dog6880

Second i don't know where you keep quoting "nothing" from as that word does not even appear on the first page of this topic.



I do not "keep" quoting that, as the above was my first post in this thread.
Second, i was refering to YOUR post immediately before mine.
And yes you did not use the word "nothing" or "no development", but you DID use stagnant and "sub par, slow and mostly cosmetic" which is basically the same and still wrong.
Furthermore, i was not quoting (even though i used quotation marks).
Rather i was using these marks to express something which i cannot put in words (english is not my first language).
But it's the same usage as when i say: you are my "idol".
See, you did not use that word either, and i did not use the word idol in the exact meaning of the word in this context. Hence the quotation marks, in both cases.


Originally posted by Dog6880

All they do is fix the problems they overlooked last patch or that came about due to the patch.



This is what you might think, but it is not the truth.
I was trying to tell you that with the mentioning of the CONTENT patch they have done recently.
Are you really thinking that they could have done that in the short time you were gone?
No.
They HAVE BEEN working on this, and other stuff during the time you claim they "have done little of consequence to make the game better, expand it or improve its playability".
While in ADDITION to that, they work as hard as they can on the really important bugs TOO.
Also, you played Therat and i know you did.
Yet you seem to forget that the Therat are the 3rd faction to be implemented too.
There is another faction that got their attention - contentwise - before the Therat.
But, as was said, they are not posting about their content in the open forums so i guess you must have missed it...


Originally posted by Dog6880

When you talk about years of development you really need to be aware that the life span of most games never really goes past 2 or 3 years, ...



Well, i have talked some to a guy who's returned TO the game after a year or more absence.
And when talking about even the "most trivial" pieces (like the right-click list of objects in short range sensors for example) he told me "wow, they did not have that last year".
So your claims that they do nothing (significant) about playability and such are simply wrong.
Not from your - and perhaps mine - limited point of view perhaps, but still objectively wrong.

It is one thing to foul-mouth around on THEIR forums with lies (yes, unfounded and even disproven claims are basically that: lies!) like that, but i would be double-careful about doing so on sites like this.

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1828

6/26/09 2:51:53 PM#16

While I like/play the game..... they really do seem to be lacking in experience from a technical standpoint in some areas. Alot of things might be budget issues...but some things are just plan evidence of lack of skills/experience from the technical standpoint.

I can't speak to the development aspects because I'm not a developer.... but I can speak to the network engineering aspects because I do that for a living.

Some examples....

1) When the server started having problems... (lockups, freezes, crashes)...it took them several days before they found the problem.... Thier disk controller was experiencing faults.

There is not excuse for it taking that substantial amount of time to discover that.... Faulty hardware generaly records such faults to the server logs... a simple examination of those logs should reveal those types of errors immediately. Furthermore, a proffesional company will generaly have monitoring software that polls such logs and sends out alerts when they occur. There are even non-commercial freeware/shareware versions of such software (one would assume especialy for Unix) that can be run at no cost.


2) The decision to host on their own hardware is generaly a pretty bad one for start-ups anyways.... and not actually all that cost effective... plus it sounds like they are even hosting out of thier homes/offices rather then a co-lo.

The most cost effective way for them to go would be a cloud option.... where they have no capital outlay for their hardware.... and have all the benefits of a Tier 1 Data Center in terms of network connectivity and power protection..... and removes the need to worry about recovery from hardware faults (the hosting companies tech's handle that). There are alot of clouds that offer VPS options...that would allow them full customization and mangement of thier server. They'd also only be paying for what capacity they actually use..... and generaly at a fairly cheap rate.... and have the ability to scale up rapidly when they needed.

Absent that, even managed hosting solutions tend to be more cost effective (and deliver higher quality service) when you consider all the costs involved. Again, no need to worry about hardware outlay or replacement costs....managed hosting companies generaly have 24/7 NOC's that will do all HW/OS fault monitoring for you...as well as some initial responce.... plus once again all the reliability benefits of a Tier 1 Data Center. For a top notch managed hosting solution... they could probably simulate thier current hardware setup for about 24K a year.


3) When they replaced their server with the new one....many people had initial connection problems.... because they changed the IP address for the new server... but the client still defaulted to the old one.... They had posted the changed IP in thier forums... but of course...users often don't read those. This is also symptomatic of poor engineering choices.

- A customer should never be required to know an IP address in order to connect to a server. This is what DNS was made for. They should use a FQDN for their client connection. Furthermore, the client shouldn't even have to be exposed to this... it should be listed in a config file somewhere that the end user never needs worry about touching... the client should read this from the config file for it's connection. Using this method insures that even if the company changes hosting providers, it's connection string will remain the same.

- Furthermore there is NEVER a need to have the IP address of the service you are exposing change when you replace the hardware that you are running on it. Proffesional companies don't handle things that way. They should be performing NAT on their firewall. The IP exposed on the public interface simply maps to a private IP on the internal interface. When you change hardware that a particular service runs on.... EVEN when you are still keeping the origional hardware running for some reason.... you simply change the NATing of that public IP to the private IP of the new hardware when you are ready. This transition is SEEMLESS for the end user...nothing needs change about the IP or FQDN that they access.... They don't even need to be aware of the change happening.... other then the server is no longer crashing/freezing.

Neither of these things come with any additional expense....even if they are running on thier own HW and own firewall... reNATing an IP simply involves a change to a couple of lines on the FW config.... about 5-10 minutes work on most FW's...and maybe a reboot.


4) Recently, CastleThornes DNS went dark for about a day. They claimed the problem had to do with thier ISP. That should never happen either. You should ALWAYS have at least 2 name servers listed on your Domain Registration. These name servers shouldn't (for proffesional level companies) be ones running on the hardware you own (unless you are able to meet high availability/redundancy standards). If you are going with a Data Center or Cloud Hosting company....they generaly provide the DNS for you.... and those are upto Tier 1 standards and pretty much never go down for any significant amount of time short of a missle strike on the Data Center. If you don't have that...and you have to rely on some mom & pop ISP... there are a TON of VERY RELIABLE DNS hosting services out there...and most of these are ABSURDLY cheap for basic services....probably less then a couple hundred bucks a year.


I'm not trying to pick on the guys over at Castle-Thorne, I like them and wish them success. However it's become pretty evident to me that they have some serious experience gaps.....at least in some areas.


 

  fcazares

Novice Member

Joined: 11/21/07
Posts: 192

7/01/09 1:21:29 AM#17

Well I won't be ever playing this game. Unproffesional staff is not conducive to good business. They call it customer care for a reason. Obviously this company does not care for customers and they should consider this when they look at their lack of subs and income. Secondly, there is nothing worse than a small group of elitists running unchecked in a game making it unplayable for new players. I read the forums for the game out of curiosity and these truths are more than evident. No matter what the gentleman said in his post the facts remain.