Today’s notifications at SOE Facebook and SOE Twitter explain that services will not be restored today. With no indication that we’re any closer to a resolution, the question on everyone’s minds is: When will SOE, and by extension EQ2, become available again?
Crossed Wires About Dates
Bloomberg.com latched onto a terse quote from a Sony spokesman and published a service restoration date of May 31st, leading many publications to report that the PlayStation Network and SOE networks had little hope of recovery before then. But that’s incorrect, according to Sony spokesman Patrick Seybold. In fact, Sony has yet to announce a date for the restart of the PlayStation Network, which has been down since April 20th, or the games and websites of Sony Online Entertainment, down for 9 days now. At one time it was hoped that service could be restored by Friday May 6th but that deadline was scrapped once the extent of the intrusion into the SOE customer database became known.
Speculation Running Rampant
The lack of information from Sony and SOE, with communications to the public no doubt being funneled through a team of Sony lawyers, has encouraged a great deal of speculation. CNET‘s Erica Ogg certainly had a red letter weekend, posting articles thinly sourced from unknown individuals in an IRC chatroom, first prognosticating a third attack, and then basking in the credit for Sony’s alleged thwarting of said attack. Apparently the idea that there was no attack even planned never occured to her. 😉
Other news sites have posted missives no less farfetched, with conflicting theories as to whether Sony’s PSN and SOE networks were running outdated Apache software, and trying to pin the blame on Anonymous, perhaps a splinter group, or maybe profiteers hoping to acquire reams of credit card data. Readers interested in the lengthy and tangled speculative mess of the PSN/SOE Compromise have had a virtual buffet of editorials and articles to choose from by security professionals, linux gurus, and players big and small inside and outside of Anonymous and other hacking crews.
But is all this speculation helpful?
Sony could tell us more, a lot more. Most of us are not demanding a restoration date so much as a window when it *won’t* be done. Checking several times a day has only magnified our perception of time. For those asking “Well, how would you handle it?” look no further than this exemplary press release which might serve as a model for how Sony should be handling this situation:
Yet none of this helps to pinpoint a date. The 51% of our readers who voted “After May 11th” in our How Long Do You Think SOE Will Be Offline? were right on the money, but the only prize forthcoming seems to be a bit of grim satisfaction.
Make It a Date
With last night’s Playstation.com blog post pegging PSN restoration as still “a few more days away”, We are fairly confident in predicting that the SOE network and thus EverQuest II will not be restored until next week. Even Monday seems optimistic at this point. And it remains unclear whether the restoration of the SOE network is predicated on restoring PSN, or if they’ll come online simultaneously. We may be waiting for PSN.
As for game patches, Game Update 60 had just made its debut on the Test and Test Copy Servers on April 29th. With a previously announced launch date for GU60 of May 17th, that would have allowed for 18 days of crucial testing of the new group zones, raids, new 18 vs. 18 Battleground, as well as substantial PvP changes. It stands to reason that when SOE’s servers do eventually come up, at least 2-3 weeks will be allocated for players to finish testing and feedbacking GU60 before pushing it to live.
Incidentally, EQ2Wire received a player inquiry from Kitalya on Antonia Bayle wondering whether the in-game clock has continued to run in our absence. Have events continued to happen week-in and week-out in EQ2? For instance, the City Festival was entirely missed this month. There is also a matter of house rent, lockouts on persistent dungeons and raids which will have expired, Vitality, Faction repetables, etc. Truthfully, we just don’t know how this will be handled. Today’s announcement indicates a free month’s rent is being credited to our houses (and hopefully guild halls). Hopefully, some live in-game events and activities are being planned to try to make up those missing days.
In other news, we’ve been able to confirm with a source close to SOE that Fan Faire is still on track for July 7-9th. As we found out on Twitter, the Fan Faire early bird ticket price (it’s just $10 off to be honest) will be held over until a few days after SOE’s websites come back online.
Looking further ahead, we’ve been told to expect further Game Updates through the end of the year and into 2012 which will fill out the Destiny of Velious storyline with new zones, new dungeons, raid zones, and other content. One wonders if developers will still be able to hit SmokeJumper‘s suggested window of August for Game Update 61.
Speaking of next year, several folks I’ve spoken to in the EQ2 community now believe that EQ2’s next truly new expansion (not Velious Part II) may not make an appearance until November 2012. Obviously this is pure speculation, and we’ll learn more (but maybe not much more) at Fan Faire.
For everyone predicting a net loss of subscribers (especially for games such as DCUO which lack housing and other ‘sticky’ features which will undoubtedly draw players back to EQ1 and EQ2), there’s others predicting that players who haven’t logged into EQ or EQ2 for years will come back in droves to see what they’ve been missing. Time will tell who is right. We’d just like our game back. For all of Velious’ flaws, it’s one of the better expansions and there are only so many times we can beat Portal 2.
More as we have it…
UPDATE: This article was substantially redrafted as of 8:40am PDT to improve its clarity.
Tags: account security
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