Here’s what’s up with Ashes of Creation’s borked forums and website

    
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Let’s recap on what’s going on with Ashes of Creation, shall we? Just ahead of the holidays, Intrepid rolled out Apocalypse, its battle royale mode, which began life as a test scenario for combat in the MMORPG’s alpha but has since become its own standalone free-to-play product, causing much grumping within and without the community worried about the fate of the MMORPG (on which production continues).

But in the meantime, the game’s website and forums have been a hot mess. Intrepid’s Steven Sharif addressed what’s going on with the site this weekend; the short version is that the new website that was meant to go live with Apocalypse is suffering from data corruption and architecture problems, hence why it’s still mostly offline weeks later.

“On December 18th we took a snapshot of the database from the old website, which was on WordPress (not a very scalable or game account centric solution) this snapshot is the source of truth for all purchases, affiliates, and data. This process took about 8 hours to do. When we activated the new website, and allowed users to claim accounts from the database by logging in, errors and code issues became apparent in the process mainly due to the large number of requests coming into the website. This revealed some major issues in the new backend of the account services architecture. As such, we attempted to hot fix these issues during the playtest, it also became apparent there was some corruption in the new database (not the snapshot, that is backed up and secure). Suffice to say, I’ve brought onboard a new web team to assist in the cleanup and repair. But it takes time. Need to make sure it is done right. You will have already noticed there is no longer 500 errors, and many can now see the appropriate shops. In due time the other issues will be fixed. Obviously I’d prefer we had 0 issues, but the benefit of having issues now, is that we will be better prepared for the Alphas, Betas and launch in the future. I know it’s hard, but we are working on it. And will have updates on our live stream this Friday.”

The Reddit community, at least, seems more or less mollified, though some backers have called out Intrepid for poor communication on this and other issues. The studio is planning a stream on Friday, so presumably it’ll address restoration progress and the resumption of the Apocalypse test, now planned for February, at that point. In the meantime, check out MOP’s own hands-on with Apocalypse.

Source: Reddit, Discord. Thanks, Jecava!
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rafael12104

The website is suffering from corruption? Data corruption? Or was it simple bribery? Heh.

No, seriously, I don’t understand data corruption at the front end of a website. Hell, you don’t even need much of a front end.

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Crowe

Yup, communication is NOT Intrepid’s strong point by any means. I think they mean well but the way they release info to their customers/testers is really poorly handled. It doesn’t appear that they have any sort of community management — or if they do, it’s poorly managed for sure.

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Leiloni

They actually just hired a new CM who started yesterday so maybe it’ll get better. Or maybe not, considering her title is Community Marketing Lead and not Community Manager (lol…).

Edit: Actually this Reddit post looks to have more info.

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Armsbend

That young lady is a sales woman not a manager – you can see them in gaming from a mile away. I won’t go into it more than that.

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Leiloni

Yea I was hopeful after reading that reddit post and thread but I am apparently not great at catching liars (My heart always instinctively believes people are good and honest when my head knows many are not) so I’ll trust you guys when you say you’re skeptical.

And thanks to whatever mod edited my post. It was late when I posted so I was feeling lazy with formatting… :D

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Armsbend

Just because this is you and I’m not going to filter my thoughts. Very pretty. Female. Using figurative language in posts. It is the archetype for a sales position dedicated to selling things to young boys/men with little experience of the female variety i.e the majority of gamers. It has been employed as a “Community Manager” position for a very long time now – especially in popular pvp scenarios.

I’m not saying she isn’t qualified to do whatever – I am sure she is very capable at said ‘whatever’. But these young ladies are there to do one thing – sell to boys who then in turn may trickle down sell to girls. They ain’t shufflin’ papers or working hard at modding or anything. They are the modern equivalent of booth babes – more often than not.

Again – not trying to get metoo’ed or discount the power or intelligence of any female – but that is how game developers hire. That is what this is.

I sincerely wish I had your rose colored glasses – I think it leads to a much more fulfilling life. I am on the opposite end of the spectrum. I think the worst of people before I think the better. Probably because my own thoughts race towards the vile and I have to bring them back towards being civilized – I know the shadows that lurk.

tl;dr keep the glasses on. It is a much better way to exist.

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MrNastyButler

Odd list of job duties and title to lump together.

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socontrariwise

Reading through this she is going to have a heck of a full plate and facing a total mess of things internally it seems to me. I wish her good luck.

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Jeremy Barnes

Will they even tell people when they officially drop the RPG/Survival elements and are just a battle royale?!

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Armsbend

A company who can’t put a website together needs more of your money everyone. Hurry.

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PanagiotisLial1

I dont know, but any company that promises a specific type of game that gets crowfunded and instead makes something totally different first(with backer’s money) for fast cash grabs isnt one I want to deal with in future

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Armsbend

Ive found the way to avoid kickstarter scams is to never do kickstarters at all ever – because they are all scams.

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Tobasco da Gama

Isn’t this the MMO project by the dude who used to run MLM scams?

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PanagiotisLial1

what is MLM if I may ask?

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Reht

Multi-Level Marketing otherwise known as Pyramid Selling, etc.

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Tobasco da Gama

Multi-level marketing“. It’s a variation on the classic pyramid scheme that manages to skirt around the edges of laws rendering pyramid schemes illegal by introducing an actual product that members sell. Think Amway, and then they all get substantially less reputable from there.

(Since I was responding to somebody anyway, I had to Google my vague recollection, and yes this is the MMO where the “Creative Director” is a former MLM guy. And then he got into real estate, which is an industry that’s almost as scummy.)

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Armsbend

People far and wide saw what Roberts did and wanted a piece of that sweet free money for nothing.

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PanagiotisLial1

I think if SC flops or doesnt even come out ever on a full version the aftershock will be so big it will be the end of kickstarter platform due to the big amounts involved

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Reht

If the net worth websites are to be trusted, Sharif is wealthier (especially if he actually put $30M of his own money into AoC) than Roberts even when you factor in Robert’s wife’s net worth. Found a MLM site that says they (Steven and Sharon) make $350k a month in earnings.

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Armsbend

Maybe – but free money is free money. MLM might take more work. Maybe he was like Roberts in the sense he always wanted to be in another field – like entertainment – harking back to Roberts wanting to be in movies more than games.

MLM, crowdfunding. Notice a trend? Hint: its all one giant fing scam. Scams attract con men from every field.

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PanagiotisLial1

I see, thank you

Antiseptic
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Antiseptic

He and his family were involved with an MLM known as XanGo. The main product was something “Xango Juice” which was made from Mangosteen (native to Southeast Asian countries like Thailand). The premise was some wild claims about how it cured all sorts of ailments and provided a bunch of health benefits (all unsubstantiated even though some of those testimonials supposedly came from medical experts) where the US FDA eventually intervened warning the company a few years later about the false marketing.

A 750ml bottle went for something like $30-40 when the reality is it was a fruit juice that should’ve cost no more than $5. If you search around, there are bits and pieces of info showing how the Sharif’s were grossing at minimum, six figures USD a month (as they were on several top seller MLM lists). Steven invested some of that wealth into real estate and grew his fortune further.

Successful MLM people know what and how to say the right things. When I learned he was going to create his own MMO, I followed his communications early on just so I knew what game/studio I needed to avoid. Didn’t surprise me he could create the following he did with AoC though because he’s a smooth talker.

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Greaterdivinity

And today in, “Reminders for why investing time and money into making sure you are set up for speedy communications about your game in case shit hits the fan.”

I don’t want to bag on them for this, sometimes shit happens. But it was definitely poor planning to roll this out right before everyone went on break for the holidays (almost always a bad idea to do that). Not sure how many folks they had on call to address issues and communicate (even they need a break!), but whatever they’d planned didn’t seem to work. Hopefully they learn from this and don’t repeat the mistakes moving forward.

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NeoWolf

Gee if only this were a headache that could be avoided by companies not selling UN-finished, broke a** early access products (whatever thier form) rather than FINISHED products… oh wait it was lol

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BDJ

Yep. Got my refund through paypal dispute. Never looking back.