The Daily Grind: Has your MMO of choice ever had a major data loss?

Big time.

When Justin mentioned to me on this week’s podcast the rumor that Lord of the Rings Online’s and Dungeons and Dragons Online’s multi-day downtime last week might have been partly the result of a lack of proper redundant backups for the games, I gasped audibly. No way, I said. There’s no way a studio like SSG would make that mistake.

But it’s not impossible. Companies do make this mistake. Look at how long parts of Ashes of Creation’s website has been nonfunctional. Earlier this month, the LEGO Universe emulator admitted it had lost all its website data since November. And do you guys remember M2? It was a Hangame title that was taken offline in 2011 to fix a server issue, only the company found it couldn’t restore the game from its backups, so it literally sunsetted the game right then and there. Yikes.

Has your MMO of choice ever had a major data loss? What’s the worst such rollback or deletion or outage you’ve ever personally faced?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Fenrir Wolf

Gosh, I remember when a friend dragged me (almost kicking and screaming) from my galka bard to the brave, new World… of Warcraft.

Within the first month of playing, I saw a number of rollbacks that reset progress, even going so far as an hour. I think it was just after beta when we played, though, so it’d be unfair to judge it for that as it was only just getting its footing.

Still… I can’t say I ever saw that happen in all the time I’d been playing Final Fantasy XI. I’d honestly forgotten it was a thing as I haven’t really seen it since, either.

Kickstarter Donor

I remember Waaaaaaaaaay back when, a few MMO’s I played had the occasional rollback that would cause the loss of a few hours play but beyond that not really.

Maggie May

Not really the same but many years ago on Second Life I lost pretty well all my inventory … and I had a lot, really really a lot (part of the reason it happened I believe). There really is a reason games limit inventory size. I guess 60 k was a bit much. I can’t remember how I got it back but after doing everything I could and I had almost given up, after about a month, one day, there it was. Go figure. And funny thing, about a month ago I went on my account … looked at the mess, screamed and left again.

Fenrir Wolf

Oh no! I admit, I’m glad I wasn’t there for that. I know how expensive it can be to build up a good repertoire of personally identifying doodads it can be in Second Life. I mean, I’m obviously furry/otherkin-aligned so of course I’ve played Second Life, goes without saying. As such, I genuinely empathise and I’m sorry you lost all that. I can only imagine how soul-crushing that must’ve been. :C

What I was there for though were the exploitation wars. I was so glad that a.) I’m a programmer, and b.) I had a cadre of nerdly acquaintances to share code with. You needed a good set of self.armour() in those days.

Can’t even remember what the Second Life scripting API looked like now, though. Probably not lua, I imagine.

Second Life was an odd thing, wasn’t it?

Maggie May

Very odd, I met lot of interesting people there though. It showed what could be possible in a virtual world, Unfortunately, there were issues running it and lag was terrible. Something of a social experiment that didn’t quite work but was fun to tool around in. A lot of different communities ….


Data loss, no! Worst ‘troubles’ were perhaps early wow, but we were well compensated for the downtimes/problems.

Toy Clown

I was playing SWG in the last year it was running. In April, the game shut down along with all other Sony Online products that affected their online and PS games. It lasted 2-3 weeks, I think.

Many of us speculated that SWG was shutting down then, because we couldn’t understand why the game was down so long. The longer the game was down, the more panic there was. We waited every day to hear news.

When it finally came back up, we rejoiced for the MMO that all of us joked about through the years saying the only way we’d ever leave is if it shut down. We started to get back into playing business and shortly after, it was announced that SWG was shutting down.

It was the worst month in gaming history I’ve experienced and supposedly the entire SoE network was shut down by a disgruntled group of 4Chan hackers.


I can’t remember a single instance of it happening to me, so either I never experienced it or it was such a small deal that I erased it from memory.

On the other hand, in always-online games I do enjoy planned data loss: situations when you can do any and everything you want without consequences because you know for a fact that it won’t count in the end. Though I still prefer having full control over this in the way offline games typically grant me when they allow me to reload old saves.


Nope. All the hairs that make up my pigtails are accounted for. <3


I’d have to say most people (that I know at least) have been pretty lucky over the years… its been over 20 for me… I’ve tried pretty much all AAA games since starting in 1999 with EQ and I can only remember having a rollback of maybe a day’s activity at most.

Ironically, I think it was in EQ … one of the race war servers … Tallon Zek??? Vallon Zek ???. If memory serves, it was for a duping bug.

1 day missed out of 20 years? I’ll take those odds any day of the week.

As much as everyone under the sun likes to complain about all the games we love playing, most companies do a pretty fine job of keeping their services running. Hiccups happen.

Barnoc N'Draak

Thankfully, I’ve never experienced more than a n hour or two roll back. Also, uneventful hours. I know people who had great drops or achievements erased.


I dont recall this happening to me unless it happened in the early days of WoW perhaps.