If active players would not have already invested so much time, money and friends in this game, would they still decide to start to play this game and deposit? Knowing how the game is now, and how it is run?
To clarify as to why I'm asking this question:
After playing other MMORPG's, I became tired of the 1337 shouting script-kiddies and servers closing. Looking around for a better suited game I wound up at Entropia Universe, because it is already running for a decade and has a RCE, which generates a more mature player base.
So I after arriving on Calypso last weekend I was going to deposit, ready to dive into the game. However then this whole 'summon' debacle started, and I came to this forum to find out what was being done about it.
Since I didn't want to log in while there was still a risk of accidentally accepting a summon, and winding up in space, killed, looted and stranded on the space station with no means to get back planet side; I started to read threads.
And although I know that in general forums tend to give a bit more negative view of the situation, because good news is no news. (For example: the news wont report the return of a lost wallet; unless it turns out to be from the Secretary of State, and the wallet contains a picture of him and his not-wife in a 'compromising' position... Then it will be front page news guaranteed.)
I was still surprised to read about so many problems that seemingly haven't been addressed satisfactorily by MindArk. Like this latest abuse of the summon feature is according to the posts here the work of a person who has had several support cases made against him, has been banned for having multiple accounts on this forum, but still has multiple in-game accounts with the same names, has apparently been previously banned from EU for scamming, yet somehow is allowed to continue his (mal)practices?
Is this really an example of how MA generally works?
A week seems a long time to take action, especially without any official statement to the general player base whatsoever; it doesn't promote a safe feeling.
(For instance reading here that it took 6 years to finally perm ban a bot abuser, doesn't really inspire a lot of trust in the way support/customer service is handled.)
This made me wonder: if active players would not have already invested so much time, money and friends in this game, would they still decide to start to play this game and deposit? Knowing how the game is now, and how it is run?
Furthermore: would you recommend new/potential players to play and deposit in this game? (disregarding any personal interest/CLD/LA you might have)
I apologize in advance if this is interpreted as criticism on a game I haven't even played properly yet; this is certainly not intended that way. I'm simply trying to get my doubts dispelled: I like the (basic) game itself, but this aspect of MA makes me hesitant.
And I'm just curious to see what the experts opinions of this topic really is.
Thank you for any (constructive) feedback.
First and foremost, welcome to Entropia (edit: and after reading some of your other posts, to Planet Calypso, as well).
Well, you asked for constructive feedback, so here goes...
I suppose you've come to the forums during a particularly tumultuous time, what with the whole Space Pirates thing going. I haven't followed the whole thing too closely, being a veteran of gaming forums. Since you come from other MMOs, I'm sure you're very aware of how players normally act on forums and such...
In a normal game, the whole gestalt of forum users tends to be the common "the company is greedy and is out to screw me over" position, and so they're a bit paranoid, a bit high-strung, and blow things out of proportion.
This tends to be amplified quite a bit when, instead of just 15 bucks of monthly fees or a couple micro transactions here and there, everything in the game costs, in some way or another, actual real money, as is the case in a RCE type of game.
Just take a look at all the conspiracy-theorizing you'll find in the "loot theory" forum section.
Here's the thing: the real cash economy is the reason why MA needs more time to take action with things such as exploiting and abuse (not to mention, in this particular case, that apparently a fair bit of key personnel were on vacation).
Imagine yourself in the position, not of the one suffering from an exploit, but of one accused to have abused one. After you've invested thousands of dollars in game, would you feel safe if people could get banned with a few forum posts of complaint, a couple of dubious screenshots? And lose all the investment if the ban turned out to be permanent?
But more to the point... yes, I would start playing Entropia just as it is now. I have neither CLDs or LAs, nor any particularly large investment in the game that could cloud my judgement. The game had a rough couple of years (during which I wasn't even playing) a few years ago, but things seem to be decidedly moving in a good direction right now.
Would I recommend a deposit, tho? Well... that's another can of worms entirely. Not for the reason you'd think. If you are truly a new player, I believe you'd do well to hold off on depositing until you're sure that you want to give the game a fair try, unless you're able to view that deposit as entirely disposable and don't expect to get anything out of it other than experience (in the sense of learning the game, not in the sense of character stats) and maybe some skill points.
I would also recommend trying to find a trustworthy and experienced player to be your Mentor (there's a mentoring system in game) to help you with getting the hang of how things work here before depositing, as a proper mentor might advise you in ways to not waste that initial deposit too much (or too quickly).
Edit: Also, about your idea of moving to Arkadia expressed on another of your posts on this topic, regardless of where you start, you can still hitchhike (if you're patient enough) for free to any planet you might prefer. Just keep in mind that, while the Planet Partners on other planets than Calypso might appear to communicate better with their forum population and whatnot, the key issue here (regarding the exploiters and such) would still be the same anywhere, since those aspects are handled, as far as I know, by MA, with the Planet Partners being only responsible for the content developed on their planets. So anything character-related would have to still be handled by MA regardless of where you are.
Be that as it may, feel free to look me up in game if you have any questions or want some help with the (admittedly always rough) start of your career as a Calypso Colonist.
Edit: I actually went ahead and sent you a friend request instead.
Edit: As a closing comment after reading your other posts on this topic, I suppose its fair to make it clear that I love and believe in this game, and one key aspect for it's success is new player retention, so I suppose I do have some vested interest on you staying.
In the mean time, good luck!