As players learned last week in an e-mail from SOE, DC Universe Online is now 30-60 days from transitioning its European customers from SOE/Station accounts to Pro7Sat.1 accounts:
An exciting time in SOE history has arrived and we are very pleased to be celebrating it with you, some of the most passionate DC Universe Online fans! As many of you know, SOE has partnered with ProSiebenSat.1 Games to provide and market eight of its games to players in Europe, including EverQuest® II, DC Universe™ Online, Free Realms®, Star Wars®: Clone Wars Adventures™, Magic: The Gathering – Tactics, and PoxNora®, as well as the upcoming PlanetSide® 2 and the next game in the EverQuest® franchise.
Specifically, the above mentioned SOE games will be made available through the ProSiebenSat.1 Games service in more than 40 European territories, including Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Other countries may be added at a later date.
Today, Linda “Brasse” Carlson has come forward with answers to a number of questions which have been outstanding since January when this deal was first announced. Her comments from the EQ2 Forums:
We are moving closer to transitioning our first game, DCUO, to ProSiebenSat.1 in Europe. This means we are far enough along to clarify a number of outstanding questions, although not all. We thank you for your patience in allowing us the time to ensure the information was accurate and confirmed possible to carry out.
I am going to use the list of questions compiled by Lempo here as a base – thanks Lempo! Some of these questions have previously been answered, but this is a very long thread and it’s easy to lose sight of so many posts, so these things bear repeating:
Lempo’s Question List:
Will billing information and account information retained and maintained by SOE?
Billing and account information for EU players will be retained, maintained and administered by ProSiebenSat.1 based on information that EU players enter when they create their new account. No direct transfer of account information will take place.
Will cross server communication mail/chat/server channels be permitted?
There is no physical change to the servers, so cross server services should work exactly as they do now. Cross-game mail should continue to work as well. Items cannot be sent via mail cross-server now and this will not change either.
Will players be able to continue to transfer servers assuming recurring billing/account age etc. are met?
Players can transfer servers subject to the same terms as they do now. Again, there is no change to the servers, merely in the account management and Marketplace.
Will new accounts have the choice in who to sign up with SOE/ProSiebenSat.1?
New accounts will be assigned according to their billing country (or, in the case of free players, the country on the account). Players in The ProSiebenSat.1 regions will be assigned to ProSiebenSat.1, and those outside of the regions will be assigned to SOE. Akella continues to serve Russia.
Will ALL players continue to receive LoN cards (part of US subscription, if not they get less and adjustments are needed)?
LoN cards are tied to membership in EQ and EQII. Any EQII players who have a membership as a ProSiebenSat.1 customer will continue to receive LoN cards as part of their benefits.
Will ALL players have access to EQ2 Players?
Yes, as EQ2 Players tracks character information across all servers. No changes are being made to the servers, and all player characters are being tracked. The website can be accessed from anywhere, and while the ProSiebenSat.1 version of the EQII site has not yet been built, it will certainly include vital features such as the EQ2 Players data.
How much will accounts be at ProSiebenSat.1?
They will be economically similar, but the prices will never be one hundred percent equivalent, because world currencies change by the day. This is not something that we can control. I’ve had accounts in EU games before and found the rate I paid varied a lot. As ProSiebenSat.1 will undoubtedly use the Euro, you should see less fluctuation. Unless the world adopts a single global economy, there will be differences. Keep an eye on the ProSeibenSat.1 site and forums for further information!
Will ProSiebenSat.1 customers continue to get 500 SC or will there be a clear equivalent of Alaplaya points?
ProSiebenSat.1 is working on a pricing and product strategy for all games and will offer a similar monthly grant to the existinng EQII recurring membership bonus. Again, because world currencies and economies differ, it may not be identical, but equivalent. We are not sure what the game currency will be called yet, but watch the ProSiebenSat.1 site and forums for announcements!
Will accounts be deleted for inactivity? If not will Alaplaya’s FAQ be changed to reflect such because it says they can.
The ProSiebenSat.1 FAQ/TOS needs to be amended to declare that they will not delete characters for inactivity, a post explaining that they do not really do that on the forums is not sufficient.
Answering these questions together as they are fundamentally the same: I believe that the ProSiebenSat.1 team has changed that information already, in response to such requests.
How will Station Access accounts be handled, i.e. will they still have the same access to games not included in this deal?
They will have access to their SOE games on their SOE login. As games transition to ProSiebenSat.1, they will use the ProSiebenSat.1 account to log into those.
Will ALL accounts be able to access and POST on the official SOE forums (for feedback on mechanics to the devs etc)?
Yes. We have no plans to region lock any forums on the SOE or ProSiebenSat.1 side.
Will the guide program continue to be available on ALL servers?
As long as there are Volunteer Guides able and willing to support the servers, of course there will be Guides on all servers. We are meeting next week with representatives of the Guide Program to talk about how we can better support, promote and celebrate their efforts in our games. Shout out to all our amazing Guides out there!
How will /bug and /feedback be handled?
Bugs and feedback submitted in game will continue to go our QA department as they do now. Bugs and feedback submitted on the forums will be forwarded to the dev teams by the Community Management and Customer Service teams of both SOE and ProSiebenSat.1.
Will players get a free transfer to a US server if they do not wish to create a ProSiebenSat.1 account or play on their servers?
There will be no free transfers offered, because the state of the servers remain unaffected by the transition. All servers are maintained by SOE and ALL players can exist on the servers of their choice. Only the account and Marketplace are affected by the change, regardless of what server players reside on.
What will happen to SC on accounts that had existing characters on EU and US servers the FAQ states it will be converted into ProSiebenSat.1′s currency, but players may have other characters on US servers and in EQ that will require the retention of their SC?
The SC balance at time of transition will be credited to the new ProSiebenSat.1 account, which is different (and better than) a straight conversion. To be specific, the SC will be mirrored in ProSiebenSat.1’s currency, such that if you started with 750 SC, you will end up with 750SC on your SOE account and an equivalent amount credited on your ProSiebenSat.1 account. From that point forward, the accounts are separated and currency is added separately, but I think you’ll agree that this is a pretty generous solution.
Will the EU and Akella servers be included in the in-game polls that you will be using to influence the direction of the game?
Keep in mind that the servers are not changing from their present state. Akella servers ARE segregated already, so they will remain separate. In-game polls will continue to be offered in exactly the same way that they are offered now. Moreover, feedback from the ProSiebenSat.1 maintained forums will also be delivered to the Dev teams for all games, just like we do with all current feedback (including any provided in our International forums).
Additional questions (again, some previously answered but reiterated here):
If a customer has membership time remaining at the time of transfer, what happens?
Membership time will be carried over at the time of transition, whether it’s a few days or several months. For DCUO players, this means those with lifetime memberships will carry over as lifetime memberships.
Will veteran rewards and account age be transferred (for the purposes of accruing new veteran rewards)?
These will be in synch at the time of transfer. ProSiebenSat.1 has stated that they’d like to continue veteran rewards. As these are a promotional feature, they may begin to diverge over time from promotions offered in the US, so watch for details!
For users who undergo relocation from one geographic region to another, how will their account be handled? Will they be able to transfer their account to the appropriate region?
Accounts are based on the billing country’s address, and can be changed accordingly when people relocate.
For US customers who travel overseas, or EU customers who travel outside of the ProSiebenSat.1 region: will they be IP locked and unable to access their account? What about US Military personnel?
Players can log in on any server using the account appropriate to their billing address. If you are a US player serving in the military or on vacation in a ProSiebenSat.1 region, you can still log on with your US account.
I am in the UK and play on a US server. Will the ProSiebenSat.1 launcher conflict with the US server (patches, data, relevant news features, etc.)?
The launcher will be customized as it relates to account location, news feed, etc. for ProSiebenSat.1 territories, regardless of what server you play on.
When a player tries to register with ProSiebenSat.1, what happens if their SOE account name is already taken?
The player can choose a new account name that is available on the ProSiebenSat.1 account system, without affecting the transfer of their characters and items. The two are not tied until the transfer of data is initiated. We are currently working on an instructional process for DCUO, EQII will get something similar before the transition.
Will my /claim items still be available?
All character and item data will be transitioned, so these should be available. If you encounter any difficulties, Customer Service will be ready to help.
How will we ensure consistent standards in Customer Service across the two providers?
The SOE and ProSiebenSat.1 Customer Service teams have been working closely for some time to ensure strong information flows as well as consistent processes and toolsets across the games. They will continue to work together after the games transition.
Will we get 30 days notice of the transition?
We always endeavor to provide 30 days notice of any action affecting accounts, whenever it is technically possible to do so. Our track record is pretty good in this regard. It is our intention to provide 30 days for these transitions and our engineers are working hard to make that happen. Please take the time to ensure that your email address is current and accurate in “My Account”, and that you have enabled email communications. We send customer service notifications via email, although we will also post the information to the forums.
Will the KeyFobs EU players spent a lot of money on continue to work for them?
We are still looking into this and do not have an answer yet, but if there is any reason they cannot be used, players may contact our Customer Service team for a refund at the time of transition.
When will ProSiebenSat.1 game cards be available for people who prefer that payment method?
ProSiebenSat.1 is reviewing their monetization and game cash models at this time. Watch for details as they become available, on the ProSiebenSat.1 site and forums!
Will existing SC cards continue to work under ProSiebenSat.1?
This is still under discussion, but we will provide info as soon as it is available and in advance of the transitions. Remember that any SC you have on your account will also be credited to your ProSiebenSat.1 account at the time of your account’s transition so that it appears on both (and then the paths diverge and remain separate from there).
Will ALL players have access to Test, TestCopy and Beta servers? (ALL meaning EU and US players)
How will access to beta forums be handled?
Two similar questions here, so I am grouping them together. I have submitted this question to the EQII team, but as Test and TestCopy operate as regular servers for all intents and purposes, there should be no barrier to entry. EQII’s game updates are typically handled on Test/TestCopy. Beta opportunities and parameters are always decided when we have an actual Beta process in the works! We have confirmed that the PlanetSide 2 Beta will be open globally, but we have no details to share on precisely how it will be handled yet.
And in the end…
Remember that no matter how well we prepare, and how smoothly things go, there will always be edge cases in any complex transition, as we’ve seen with our long experience across numerous launches, expansions, server merges and our recent Free-to-Play transitions.
Our Customer Service teams are gearing up to assist all customers with any issues that may arise, while both the platform engineers and development teams are working hard to make these transitions as seamless as possible.
Your feedback during the transition process is critical – our Community Team will be monitoring forums and social media for issues and concerns when the time comes, to have them addressed as soon as possible.
UPDATE: Brasse responds to Whilhelmina’s questions:
Will we have to pay double if we play different games?
See my answer above regarding Station Access.
Will station market be different on different servers?
Will we have the same SC promotions/items on all servers?
These are similar questions, so I’ll answer them at the same time. All servers are identical in content. The account management, subscription services, promotional offers and Marketplace will differ in some respects (items offered on the Marketplace will probably be identical unless they are tied to regionalized promotional offers). We anticipate working closely with ProSiebenSat.1 on many promotions, and they will certainly have their own as well. They are far better positioned to tailor promotions sepcific to the EU audience than we are. =)
No hard data on the prices we will pay, conversion rates and so on still.
You won’t have to deal with conversion rates, everything will be in Euros. We do not have hard data on prices, no. Those are under discussion at ProSiebenSat.1 – watch their website and forums for announcements! EQII is not transitioning tomorrow. =)
Will the patches be delayed like you already do for EU but this time for the prosieben launcher?
Patches will be scheduled as well as we can. There is no perfect time for everyone, of course. The transition for EQII is a long ways off yet, and so no scheduling has been worked out for post-transition patches. We will continue to provide notification as far in advance as we can of patches, but as you know, that is typically not more than 24 hours in advance.
As far as I know QA never gets /bug or /feedback sent from Storms if they’re in french and if one of our (2 I think) GM takes the time to translate them, so yeah, it will not change, we still not be able to bug, feedback or typo anything.
Well, with ProSiebenSat.1 you’re about to get a whole lot more dedicated international support. =) I do not work in QA, but as an example, our Community Relations Team has been sharing our daily, weekly and monthly reports with our counterparts for some time, so that they are aware of the scope of information (feedback, bugs, concerns, kudos) that we pass on to the Devs/QA/Support/Platform/Execs. They are keen to do the same.
and about Station Access and Vanguard:
- Station Access is a promotional offer. Existing Station Access holders (regardless of regional location) can continue to partake of Station Access under a grandfathering clause until they decide not to use it any longer. All current games are included.
- For people NOT already enrolled in Station Access, we are no longer selling the SOE version to EU customers. That said, ProSiebenSat.1 is discussing their own version of our Station Access, which of course requires at least two games in order to make any such promotional offer feasible. They can then assess whether or not they feel the promotional offer is worthwhile to them for games offered by ProSiebenSat.1, or whether they wish to maintain separate memberships across any number of games, including SOE games that are not transitioning.
We will certainly see other promotional offers that are extended only to ProSiebenSat.1 accounts, or potentially only to SOE accounts. Such is the nature of promotional offers.
Incidentally, news that Vanguard is also going to transition to ProSiebenSat.1 as well was leaked some time ago, and we’ve not denied it. We do not have full details yet and NO information on timeline, not even a hint. It needs to convert to free-to-play first.
This leaves one major SOE MMOG that has not been announced as transitioning, EverQuest. PlanetSide 2 will launch on both services at the same time.
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