SOE EQ2 Community Team Deletes 100′s of Posts, Bans Dozens Over ProSieben Feedback

Written by Feldon on . Posted in International (Pro7Sat1)

If you want to know what’s been going on at the EQ2 forums, the quickest way to sum it up is this — I have been banned for the first time ever from the EQ2 forums for “excessive negativity”.

ProSiebenSat.1/Alaplaya — A Company Unfit for SOE Customers

Six weeks ago, an exclusive distribution deal affecting all Europe-based SOE customers was announced with a German TV media company named ProSiebenSat.1. Within minutes of the announcement, players discovered that ProSiebenSat.1′s gaming division is called Alaplaya, a company known for IP Region Locking, publishing the personal details of customers in violation of EU and German privacy law, shady dealings with customers, and a lineup of poorly supported low-grade pay-to-win browser games riddled with exploits which even Alaplaya’s official moderators have admitted the company plans to do nothing about.

This Tuesday afternoon, after six weeks of silence, SOE finally came forward with a Frequently Asked Questions about the ProSiebenSat.1 deal. Our worst fears were realized.

When the deal goes into effect, U.S. players will no longer be able to access EU servers. For a variety of reasons, this is a serious problem.

Also, no new EU-based players will be able to access U.S. servers – only current players will be grandfathered in. The end result being that the hundreds of Euro-based guilds on U.S. servers will no longer be able to recruit new players from the EU.

But the real elephant in the room is: NOBODY who has done even the most cursory of investigation wants to do business with Alaplaya.

Everyone we have spoken to about Alaplaya has equated them to such fly-by-night outfits as the makers of Evony and other heavily advertised trashy pay-to-win browser games where you have to pay money to get the best weapons, more power, more speed, etc.

[Read 20 Things SOE Forgot About in the ProSiebenSat.1/Alaplaya Deal for more details]

Making a Stink on the Forums?

In many ways, it’s too late to resolve this matter by posting on the forums. SOE has a history of ignoring lengthy forum threads, no matter how impassioned. EQ2Wire has never seen the EQ2 player community so united with one unwavering voice about an issue until this ProSiebenSat1/Alaplaya deal, but it’s probably too late for reasoned discussion.

A Planetside player named Dart <Delta Triad> summed it up best:

The notion of SOE asking us for “feedback” on this deal is insulting and disingenuous. The contracts on this multi-year deal were signed 6 weeks ago… Our negative feedback will make less than no difference now.Their pretense of being interested in our ‘feedback’ is ridiculous and I’m amazed more people haven’t commented on it. Don’t kid yourself, this is a fait accompli!

A Disingenuous Response?

So far the response to the ProSiebenSat.1 discussion thread has been hundreds of innocuous posts deleted by EQ2 moderators (who contrary to popular belief are paid contractors and not unpaid volunteers), and dozens of bans handed out to long-time forum members including myself.

The reasons for posts being deleted have been myriad and nonsensical “not constructive”, “excessive negativity”, and “trolling” on a scale we have not seen since the dark days of Grimwell who single-handledly drove hundreds of players to EQ2Flames back in its more constructive days as a helpful EQ2 player outpost.

However the most disingenuous response has been this from Linda “Brasse” Carlson:

Hey folks – I know it’s been a long few days. We fully appreciate the time and effort you’ve taken to provide your feedback.

As we’ve said before, we ARE listening, and we are in discussions with ProSieben. We will come back to you with information when it becomes available, but it will be some time yet.

Please keep in mind that this is not an overnight process and no games are transitioning to ProSieben immediately.

Thank you for bearing with us during this planning period.

Linda “Brasse” Carlson
Director, Global Community Relations, SOE

In reality, Brasse indicated in SOE Podcast #126 (posted on February 15th) that she had been intimately involved in the ProSiebenSat.1 deal and had traveled to Germany (listen starting at 53:40):

[I'm] still getting over the jet lag of being in Munich [Germany]. I know that everybody’s anxious for more details about how the ProSieben deal will affect our international players, and I’m happy to say that we’ve got an FAQ that’s gone back-and-forth back-and-forth up-and-down sideways back-and-forth.

Let’s face it, this is a really complex deal, so we should be able to get some information for you — I hate to use the term ‘soon’ — We’re hoping for next week. We’re not going to release the information until we’re sure we’ve got all the right answers. There’s no point in telling players stuff and then having it change the following week.

So to somehow suggest that she was unaware or unprepared for the player response is beyond the pale.

Six weeks of feedback in the previous ProSieben thread which raised the same issues went completely ignored. None of those concerns were reflected in Tuesday’s announcement/FAQ, so there is no reason to believe that anything will change now despite tweets from SOE President John Smedley:

Lots of good feedback from our player base about our existing European community.. Guilds, servers etc. we will be discussing with Prosieben

Just wanted to make sure you knew we were listening.

Real Cancellations

It’s the nature of every MMO that frequent forum posters threaten to cancel their accounts all the time if the developer doesn’t do X. Weeks later, we see them back posting as if nothing ever happened.

What’s unique about the ProSiebenSat.1 deal is the number of players who have NEVER posted on the EQ2 forums who logged in just to state that they are canceling after 5, 7, or 10, or even 12 years of active SOE subscriptions.

We have seen dozens of players who have logged in to report that they have ALREADY cancelled — past tense — with some even posting the cancellation e-mail.

At this point, sure you can Sign a Petition just to get a count of how many people are against this deal, but the only thing SOE will listen to at this point is money, or loss of it. The only thing they will listen to is Cancellations.

If you disagree with the ProSieben deal (regardless of what region you live in) and/or don’t want to become an Alaplaya customer, you should CANCEL your SOE/EQ2 account immediately.

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Comments (54)

  • Revman

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    Add me to the list of the “banned”, cancelled my 4 accounts.

    Reply

  • Nakzuk

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    5 accounts cancelled

    Reply

  • Aarionn

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    I support you Feldon.

    I posted on the soe forums and I post here. After 8 years my account is cancelled.

    EU player here.

    Reply

  • Aaron

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    2 accounts cancelled yesterday. A sad time for loyal players.

    Reply

  • Evolt-Splitpaw

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    2 accounts canceled and signed.

    Reply

  • Mike

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    cancelled one year sub :/

    Reply

  • Mateo

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    2 accounts cancelling this evening.

    Reply

  • Shepherd

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    Signed.
    I’m not sure I will cancel my account, I don’t want to screw over my guild that helped me gear and all that, I may give it to a guildie.. In any case I won’t be renewing any sub.

    Reply

  • Klixe - Splitpaw

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    Cancelled my own 2 accounts and a friends account, when I told her about this… Have deleted CC info (can’t delete that without cancelling).

    Reply

  • Cavius

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    Cancelled, thanks SOE for destroying the game.

    Reply

  • CheesePirate

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    Ok, let’s see if this works..

    Reply

  • Ross

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    they have lost 6 month subs from me, my parter and her mother. They can kiss our asses this is that last straw. I put up with the game being down during the hack and put up with the class imbalance because we both enjoy the game and playing with friends

    Reply

  • Nicolas

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    5 accounts cancelled for me.

    Reply

  • Mrrshan

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    Permanent ban here :).

    No money given to SOE and no alaplaya deals for me

    Reply

  • suzita

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    account cancelled yesterday

    Reply

  • Ravensilver

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    One account cancelled. Hurts to do so, considering I’ve been playing EQ2 since the very first day that it launched. But there is no alternative. Not with this idiotic move on SOE’s part.

    *sigh*

    Reply

  • Inevera - Splitpaw

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    Regional lockdown for a game that has been running for years as an international game thus breaking up communities, friendships and guilds is madness.

    Forcing us to sign up our account (credit cards etc.) to a company with a dubious reputation and no MMO gaming pedigree is INSANE!.

    Reply

  • Chriss

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    7 Year sub canceled

    Reply

  • skippydippy

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    4 accounts cacelled in my household the way the “mods” on the forums have acted in the last 24 hours is nothing short of madness,little people drunk with power,frankly they need to go and get a life.

    Reply

  • milliebii

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    done and done (petition and six accounts)

    Reply

  • Cavius

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    SOE moderators

    Reply

  • Wylamar

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    Cancelled… FU SOE and Alaplaya.

    Reply

  • Elenathion

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    Just posted this and reposting here in case it gets modded:

    I played EQ for 5 years then played EQ2 since launch and I would urge everyone to cancel their accounts immediately.

    Even if this deal doesn’t happen which is very unlikely as it has already been announced and therefore the deal has been done, do you really want to give any more money to a company that thinks so little of its customers that it would do this. Any loyalty any of us have to sony should have vanished with this announcement. It doesn’t care about any of us, no matter where in the world we are, so why continue to give them business.

    Additionally, we have no way of knowing all the terms of the contract with Prosieben but one thing that may halt this is if the product Prosieben have paid for is substantially different to what they get as that may constitute a misrepresentation or frustration in the contract. The only way to make it substantially different is for it to come without the playerbase they were promised. For that to happen, accounts need to be cancelled.

    Sony only listen to one thing – money. I reiterate that everyone, no matter where in the world should send sony the message that we will not stand to be treated like this, by cancelling your accounts. Then think long and hard about whether you want to give any more money ever to a company that doesn’t value you.

    Reply

  • Skwootch

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    Been an SOE fan since January 2001 (EQ1), got an all access since the release.I was playing EQ2 since beta, vanguard, DCUO, I have bought thousands of LoN cards, but I just canceled my account, enough is enough.

    The only thing SOE may understand, and even on that point I have doubts when I remember the NGE, is money.

    And SOE, you will not have my money anymore.

    Reply

  • Cristamir

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    I’ve been an SOE customer since 1999. I remember Smedley standing up in front of us all in 2001 in Baltimore and swearing on a stack of bibles and his granny’s grave there would never ever be an EQ2. I was in SWG beta and my feet were on the ground until the NGE disaster. I stayed the course through EQ2′s downward spiral with the hack and the ftp.

    I’m done.

    Reply

  • Hak

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    Haven’t cancelled yet but heading that way after they banned me on forums for – as Feldon said “unconstructive feedback” I mentioned he was banned, got logged out, logged back in and I was banned. Been in EQ2 since 2004 and put up with a lot but it is about at an end.

    Reply

  • Eschia

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    It’s easy for a deaf man to say he’s listening, but when he responds, that’s a story for another day.

    Until I see them publicly come out and address our questions, tries to fix what is wrong, and give good reason why they chose to go with this bad company who region blocks, gives out private information, and is a security threat by hackers, I call bull on the thought of them ‘listening’, unless they are listening but think they’re immortal. The other company is doing their damnedest to ignore the red question as well. That’s what looks fishy to me. Both companies ignoring concerns about the digital Berlin wall, pretending everyone is happy, when nobody has expressed good vibrations. Just pages on pages of people showing disdain and canceling accounts. SOE is going to feel the impact of what they’ve just done.

    Reply

  • Thundy

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    Cancelling does nothing (other than your personal satisfaction) to Sony – EQ2 is F2P now, and the real money comes from RMT/Marketplace.

    Face it – there’s no real recourse to this situation. The best solution would be to just gather your friends and play another game, and forget about this mess.

    Reply

  • camelotcrusade

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    Time for a dumb question. Feldon, DID you cancel? And if so, dumb question follow-up… what will happen to EQ2 wire? :(

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    Camelot,

    Reposting my comment from another thread because it’s important…
    ————————-

    I need to make an ethical statement here.

    I have a responsibility to EQ2Wire and EQ2U to keep them running as long as people feel a need to use them. I have turned EQ2Wire black, and may disable EQ2U for 24 hours to bring this issue to people’s attention, but as long as there is a need for this site, I will not shut it down. I also have an obligation to Dethdlr who has spent the last 4 1/2 months programming EQ2U.

    So I am sorry if it sounds like hypocrisy to suggest that others cancel their accounts while I keep mine, but it is necessary for me to maintain an account to continue to do my “job”.

    At this point, I am doubting I will go to Fan Faire, and I think it would be a very visible statement that might get picked up by “real” press sites if Fan Faire numbers were down by 50%+. Actually, it’s interesting that SOEFanFaire.com now redirects to SOE.com. Maybe there won’t be one?

    Reply

  • Aarionn

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    @Thundy,

    Man u are so wrong. I don’t have numbers but I can say that veteran players didn’t went to f2p mode as it is really not f2p (having to pay unlockers, for more plat to hold or for bags).

    At least in my guild I can say that 60 ppl who are playing together since launch didn’t go f2p. So our subs count for something….

    Ans if SOE didn’t need gold subscribers, they wouldn’t offered it anyhow…

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    Maybe there won’t be one?

    BlizzCon was already cancelled this year–SOE might just say they’re ‘concentrating on product development’ and follow suit, though I don’t think anyone will be fooled at this stage.

    I haven’t cancelled my one account…yet. (Seriousy, 4+ accounts? And my guildies thought I was nuts…) As a guild officer I have a responsibility to be there while there’s still a guild–but if that unravels, well, I have my escape routes planned out long since…

    This is inexcusable. Nothing short of the firing of Smed and the mods who have been running berserk for the last 24 hours will even begin to make good for this round robin Charlie Foxtrot.

    Reply

  • SteveT

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    I’m not affected by this being in Australia playing on US server Unrest (yet) but I strongly disagree with this move and see the risk that they could go and do something similar to Australiasia in the future. I’ve cancelled my sub renewal (has 4 months to go till dead) and will only renew it if they undo this ludicrousness.

    Reply

  • Andross

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    SOE is probably cancelling FANFAIRE for fear they will be mobbed over this nonsense. I have not yet cancelled my two accounts as i ma a USA player on Splitpaw and waiting to see what they are going to do with the USA and Australian players (96% of my guild).

    Reply

  • Kralus

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    Cancelled my account, won’t be spending another time on an SoE game. How they are this clueless is beyond me.

    Reply

  • Grimmond

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    My wife and I cancelled as did my sons two accounts. even my ex wife and her partner cancelled their two accounts as well as a dozen EQ1 former guildies. This “tossing us to the sharks” is un-conscienceable. Throwing in with such criminals is beyond dirty … it’s purely foul.

    Free Feldon in 2012 !!

    Reply

  • Retjzkai

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    You have been banned.
    Your account has been permanently banned for threats against an SOE employee.

    If you feel this ban is unjustified please review the Forum Guidelines, and if you still feel the ban was enacted in error, contact the administrator via email.Please provide us the forum name and game in your request.
    forum-admin@soe.sony.com

    ——————–

    I have not so much as treathened anyone, what I have done is report moderators for deleting posts that were in no way trolling, offensive, or off-topic- clearly they didn’t want moderators to have to abide by the same rules?

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    I was at the Fan Faire when they tried to talk to the Star Wars Galaxies fans after their game imploded (I wasn’t a player, I was there for EQ). It was UGLY. I would not be surprised if they tried to minimize anything like that for Fan Faire this year, considering how many more EQ2 players there are at the same level of rage.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    Free Feldon in 2012 !!

    I’m actually unbanned, although I tried to post and it was immediately deleted, so how do I tell the difference?

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.”
    – George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 1

    Reply

  • Landiin

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    ROFL, I bet that pissed them off that they was told to unban you.

    Reply

  • steef

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    Me and Gf Canceled the moment we did read the F.A.Q’s
    most african countrys are eu time zone but can they even play on eu server if they were mad enof?

    Reply

  • Nick S.

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    Add me and my guild to the list of those cancelling. We’ve moved over to SWTOR, but we kept EQ2 just so that we could continue to do the occasional raids, but this has just motivated us to just quit altogether. We’ve been together for 14 years, moved from EQ to DAoC back to EQ2 and now SWTOR. We’re comprised of North Americans, Europeans, Australians, and a few asian players.

    So adios SOE. Can’t say you’ll be missed.

    Reply

  • Sambeckett

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    EQ2 has slowly been going downhill and I think this will finally be what kills it completely outside the US. I was so hopeful it would live on until EQ Next (if it even exists) comes out but if SoE are involved in that…well I don’t think I ever want to be an SoE customer again regardless of the games they release!

    Reply

  • Shayde

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    Wow.. EQ finally got their NGE.

    If you think they’re listening, google SWG and Rollback.

    Reply

  • milliebii

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    so Feldon what is it to be: RiftWire, SWTORwire, TSWwire or LoTROwire?

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Originally posted by Milliebii:

      so Feldon what is it to be: RiftWire, SWTORwire, TSWwire or LoTROwire?

      I gave Riftwire a solid shot. I got one dedicated person writing it and they ran a fantastic site–until they burned out. One volunteer did step forward to keep it running, but I asked them if they knew anyone else who could help them and they drew a blank. I think any site I start from now on should have at LEAST two people running it. One person will burn out, as I have come close to many times. It doesn’t help that Rift gameplay is rather one-dimensional and a large portion of the community is impatient former WoW players.

      I don’t know anything about SWTOR or TSW and very little about LoTRO. Guild Wars 2 looks interesting. Are there already a ton of sites about GW2?

      EQ2Wire is News AND Commentary. Any [...]Wire site will have to be more than just copying and pasting press releases, update notes, and producer/dev statements.

      Reply

  • Derf

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    Well cancelled my accounts, deleted payment sources and all that stuff. I won’t be back to play any SOE game again.

    Reply

  • Holgual

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    Oh man this dealing is rich. If someone said “Predict what terrible customer service thing SOE will do next and write it down and put it in this bottle”.. I don’t think I would of thought of this but it doesn’t surprise me hahahahhahaha god…..

    Reply

  • ArwenEvenstar

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    Signed the petition. I’m quite new compared to the rest of you but already angry at myself for sinking money into EQ on expansions and subs straight away; the biggest mistake I ever made. LoTRO doesn’t have these issues. I don’t know if there’s an alternative to EQ2 that’s worthy trying.

    Reply

  • Johnny Cage

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    well my account was comprimised about 2weeks ago now i opened an Unauthorized account access and looks like support found my ip was accessed in a foreign country so next morning after finally getting back into EQ i click play in the launcher to find my account is banned/suspended for 8 days after those 8 i play as my alt i had a random ingame mail i open it its some jerk who was ninja looting who i kicked from the dungeon party saying “YOU HAVE BEEN HACKED XD” and now sony refuses to compensate me for missing gear and platnium!!

    FYI im a 12 year EQ Veteran

    Reply

  • Turnsignal

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    Was just banned from the planentside 2 beta forums for the something huh I wonder why people hat SoE…

    Reply

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