LOTRO and DDO re-enables character transfers, Wayfinder suffers three-week rollback [Updated]

    
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LOTRO and DDO re-enables character transfers, Wayfinder suffers three-week rollback [Updated]

We’ve got a bit of good news, bad news, and really bad news for those looking to hop servers in Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online. Yes, you can once again pay to move your character between active servers, but no, your characters on dead worlds are still in virtual limbo. And some DDO players are absolutely screwed.

“World character and shared item transfers have been re-enabled. Transfers from Bombadil for free are now available and will remain available through September 15th,” the studio said. However, take note that this doesn’t apply to everywhere: “Transfers from the closed game worlds remain unavailable.”

The really bad news comes for DDO’s Wayfinder server players: Wayfinder was taken offline last night and apparently a suffered catastrophic rollback of over three weeks thanks to data corruption.

“Wayfinder experienced a significant issue during our data center work today that caused character data to be corrupted going back to the morning hours Eastern of July 15th. In order to correct this issue, we have had to roll Wayfinder back to about 7:30 AM Eastern on July 15th. This means that all character progress made since July 15th has been lost, and is not able to be restored. We are currently working to capture and refund any points spent on character-based purchases made on Wayfinder during that time, and we will provide further information when it becomes available. That work is not expected to be completed this evening. All Account-based purchases remain intact. We will be providing more information in the coming days. We deeply apologize to players on Wayfinder for this issue. We will be announcing make good gifts for affected players in the coming days. This is the first time in the game’s history we have had to do this kind of rollback, and we intend to make sure we take steps to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future.”

This week, LOTRO brought the game up to Update 27.2, which unlocked Helm’s Deep on the progression servers and added Rohan housing. Curious if these new premium houses are for you? Read our take on the subject.

Source: Twitter, official site. Thanks, Sophiskiai.
Update
SSG has now announced what precisely Wayfinder players will be receiving as compensation.

We have enabled a bunch of event-related bonuses on Wayfinder to help players get to where they want to be following a server rollback this week. The following bonuses are available on Wayfinder through August 23rd:

+200% Heroic and Epic XP
+100% Cannith Crafting XP
+100% Challenge Rewards Boost
+50% Reaper XP
+50% Guild Renown
+10 Treasure Hunter’s Boost
+10% VIP XP
Double Mysterious Remnants (twice the chance for Remnants to appear when defeating a Champion)

We will have more information on subscription time and other concerns as we work through the process. Expect more information next week. Once again, we apologize for server issues this week on Wayfinder that required us to roll the server back to July 15th. We will make sure this kind of issue does not happen in the future.

Thanks, Howard!

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Jack Pipsam

Three weeks? Bruh.

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Vincent Clark

IKR. I’m curious what type of reaction it would have received had it happened to a LOTRO server.
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Jack Pipsam

Or one of the larger DDO servers even, my understanding is Wayfinder is already extremely tiny compared to the others, perhaps this might be the final nail in that servers coffin perhaps.

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gamingforfun

Yes, Wayfinder is by far the smallest population server. Even during active periods there are only about 250 players online at any given time (perhaps more on Saturdays). https://www.playeraudit.com/servers?s=wayfinder

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Armsman

Wow – they have no system for protected archive backups on a separate (and protected environment? Either that or they NEVER check the integrity of their backups at all?

Maybe the company should look at obtaining some actual IT professionals who know how to do their jobs because it’s crystal clear whatever type of team they have in place clearly is incompetent (along with SSG management).

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Sykes

To be fair – a rollback like this means that their protected archive backup was in place and worked. According to glassdoor, SSG currently has “1 to 50 employees.” Presumably, that’s the whole company – all payroll staff for LOTRO and DDO.
Axel, a DDO youtuber, did some groundwork estimating DDO numbers across all servers with the help of the community. In February 2019-February 2020, they estimated an average of 1,482.45 players per week across all realms. SSG, in my mind, is about as small and indie as it gets, treading water by riding on the back of whales that form a sub-category of those <1500 active players. I doubt that there's enough money for them to hire more people, though now that this has happened, they may have to consider changing hats from new content creation to archival development for a time.


https://www.glassdoor.com/Overview/Working-at-Standing-Stone-Games-EI_IE2460117.11,31.htm

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Tanek

It only means the backups worked until whatever problem they had a few weeks ago. For it to not have anything usable between then and now, though, would seem to indicate either it was not backing up since then, or the backups were not valid and possibly not checked.

I don’t think we can say we know how their tech is managed either. It might be SSG employees or it might just be outsourced to wherever the servers are.

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gamingforfun

You seriously believe that the DDO has a total of 1,500 active players? How could that many players support even one developer’s salary along with DDO’s server infrastructure? There are over 3,000 players online AT THIS MOMENT according to DDO Audit’s figures. https://www.playeraudit.com/servers

There are tens of thousands of active players and several hundred thousand new, returning, and casual players who login and play (however briefly) over any 12 month period.

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gamingforfun

Correction: There are almost 3,600 players online in DDO at the moment. On a Sunday afternoon. “There are currently 3584 players online and 140 LFMs posted.” https://www.playeraudit.com/

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teppic

Just more evidence that SSG has no idea what they’re doing any more unless it involves adding on recycled assets and cash shop items.

I really wish another company would take over running the games. They let go lots of staff a while back and appear to operate on bare bones. It seems the company is making an extremely large profit, so I doubt anything will change as people continue to throw money at them whatever they do.

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Darthbawl

THREE week rollback? I think this fiasco needs to get promoted to another level and term. Something like a FUBAR comes to mind. I feel sorry to all those affected, that has to be some serious pain, esp. if you were a very diligent player.

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2Ton Gamer

This is really scary across the board for players who pay and entrust their experience to be safeguarded by SSG. As a player, I personally would (and will be) hold off on doing anything with either game for a few months until stability and trust can be earned back. I found it so strange how people in the forums were saying that everything was fine after a day of the servers being back up, like all was under the bridge at that point.

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zoward

Oh …. crap. Wayfinder is my home server. I saw it was down last night, but certainly didn’t foresee this! I’ve scored four levels and a half dozen rep upgrades on my main (warlock) in the last three weeks. I’m almost afraid to go look…

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zoward

I looked. Yup. It was that bad. Went from level 15 back to 11, lost rep status with Houses Kundarak and Deneith, the Gatekeepers, The Twelve, Keepers of the Feather (lost credit for completing almost every quest in Ravenloft, which I bought before they offered free questing there), plus progress in several others. Dunno if I kept the DDO points I got for questing.

*Sob.*

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Fisty

Yeah, I’m not buying anymore time. Probably wont be playing again either. The thought of losing a month of progress is crazy. Has any other MMO had a rollback that was so long?

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zoward

Wakfu had a three month rollback in June 2015. I can’t even imagine.

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Ironwu

“Where should we store our server backups?”

“Well, let’s just copy the data off onto the same drives!”

“Wow! Great idea! Think of the money we will save (for ourselves)!”

“Let’s do it!”

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treehuggerhannah

This makes me nervous about investing time in LOTRO. I enjoy the game, but if anything I do (for weeks at a time!) may just disappear with no real explanation and only vague apologies, I’m not sure it’s a good use of my gaming time.

Several of my MMOs have had brief rollbacks at some point, and it just goes with the territory of having live servers. But this is really, really extreme, and I’m concerned that the company doesn’t seem to be acknowledging how catastrophic the current situation is from a player retention standpoint.

SSG really seems to be having a hard time getting it together and maintaining a minimally viable product right now, and that worries me for the future of their games.

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sophiskiai

This time last month I had a huge amount of goodwill towards SSG for the way they’d made so much paywalled content available for free after the pandemic started, and then offered so much of it permanently either free or very cheap. Now I’m worried about the future stability of my characters’ data, and annoyed at how little communication about and explanation of the data centre problems there’s been, and a huge chunk of that goodwill has evaporated. I’m less angry at them than I am concerned about how close to the edge they’re (assumedly) running things.

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Tanek

I saw this kind of trend in a company I worked for a while back. I compared the atmosphere there to running down a steep hill. As long as you keep going fast you might be able to keep your feet under you, but any small problem can start a tumble you won’t be able to stop. And one way or another, you’ll eventually hit the bottom.

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sophiskiai

Yeah. I’m wondering if this is their becoming a victim of their own recent success, their generosity with making formerly paywalled content available to everyone resulting in more new and returning players than their creaking servers could handle?