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Dual Universe: DR Drops Support

Our Guild and Community has been around for quite a while.  We have learned many lessons the hard way, and one of those lessons is to never try to play a pay-to-win game.  Any game that allows real-world money to affect the in-game economy or power-balance is Pay-To-Win.

We have decided to drop support of Dual Universe after several of us backed the game after finding that they would be employing “Pay-To-Win” business models on day one.  While the pay-to-win elements of the game are unlike most other games they meet our criteria to be pay-to-win.

If two players were to start the game, one with a $100 budget and one with a $100,000 budget, could both achieve equal stats {in-game currency included} in the same timeframes?

This game fails our metrics because of the DAC system, which is a method of a player purchasing game time with IRL money and allowing that item to be traded to other players on the in-game market and economy.  Akin to EVE Online, by the use of PLEX, corporations win wars based on IRL wallet sizes and not necessarily people, skill, or trade.  The common saying in EVE goes like this:

Never undock in anything you can’t afford to lose

Anyone with a large wallet can undock without fear, replace what they lost without any time investment in the game.  This is wrong and encourages wallet wars and not PvP.  It is in our opinion that a wallet war is generally not very fun, not because we are all economically challenged and lack the money, but because we’re simply not stupid enough to invest a month’s worth of income into fighting a billionaire that can drop thousands into the game like pocket change.

Our members were asked to cancel their pledges early yesterday entering the following cancellation message:

DAC = P2W, Sorry!

If you would like to join our support of stopping the Pay 2 Win cancer in the video game industry, join us by canceling your pledge with the above-stated comment.  Let the developers know this behavior is unacceptable!

We will update this article if this changes at any point in the future.  This is a game we would love to get behind but we are unable because of the newly announced DAC system.

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Cheaters on Empyrion and How we Catch’em :)

Just today our server automatically wiped 2 players from the server. Here is what I awake to:

76561198182136987 removed 24,172:1
76561198012383451 removed 24,172:1

For any interested here is the info for each player:

steamID: STEAM_0:1:110935629
steamID3: [U:1:221871259]
steamID64: 76561198182136987
Name: Insanity
profile: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198182136987

steamID: STEAM_0:1:26058861
steamID3: [U:1:52117723]
steamID64: 76561198012383451
customURL: Krookedkilla
name: Krookedkilla
profile: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198012383451

These two players serve as a new case study of how my software works. Basically, because there is no real-time monitoring (hint: Devs, add this and the software becomes deadly accurate 😉 ) that can occur on someone’s inventory, the server employs passive monitoring. For instance, instead of checking the inventory, it checks the resource values on ships and in containers as well as keeping track of where the player is and the nodes in which they have mined and calculates, through game values what a player should have vs what they really have.

This process isn’t infallible in fact if an admin becomes involved and replaces something due to a bug the metrics can quickly become distorted, in fact, it has done so with each player but it can be re-calibrated after a wipe or whatnot. We expect numbers between 0.1:1 and 2.5:1. What that means is, the first number is what someone actually has, the second number is what is “expected”. Of course, if you are hit by a game bug and lose something unexpectedly, you’re going to look like that first example, 0.1:1, and if an admin over-refunds you, 2.5:1 would be expected.

These two players were flagged for having 24,172:1 for their faction, that means, and to reiterate, for every “Combat Steel Block” the server COULD account for, there were 24,172 it could not account for. A “safe” number was created a week ago of 100:1, that is, 100:1 is pretty much a “100% cheater” metric.

After checking, since a server wipe for a patch, within 22 hours they were able to create 3 CV with 100% combat armor cubes, 4 SV’s, 100% combat armor, and a mega-base with 100% combat armor cubes and approx 100 turrets.

The only excuse is given after asking how they gained the resources?

We already had the base cooking before server wipe.

Which all sounds valid until you consider that all timers were reset and the blueprint of their base shows a 48-hour timer.

Before the wipe, one of the above-mentioned players was warned already with a player wipe as their ratio reached 101:1. And after a raid last night there were multiple reports from the defenders that players that were and had been offline for hours had their bases and items absolutely obliterated. I, of course, generally take the complaints from raiding with a grain of salt, but in this case, discounting all the reports from other players, the numbers are prima facie.

So, while this software proves that our software does work, we send a warning to other Empyrion: Galactic Survival Admins: You may want to delete these players.

UPDATE

The admins made the decision being as these cheaters aggressed another faction the day before and completely wiped them with cheated resources that we would allow them to loot their base minus obviously duped items (See video).

Just in case there was any doubt, we found a STACK of credit cards, not to mention their accounts had already redeemed about 200 each. If there was a smoking gun, it is the below screenshot or the video showing a bag full of reactor cores.

383120_screenshots_20160710075809_1

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Ping Test

Here is the latest ping test results for our main game server:

Ping Results

Location Requests Min Max Avg Std Dev Loss
New York 4 36.689 ms 36.874 ms 36.799 ms 0.154 ms 0%
Miami 4 6.266 ms 6.372 ms 6.297 ms 0.043 ms 0%
Dallas 4 39.096 ms 39.623 ms 39.279 ms 0.286 ms 0%
San Francisco 4 77.881 ms 78.077 ms 77.958 ms 0.288 ms 0%
Seattle 4 104.692 ms 104.934 ms 104.789 ms 0.406 ms 0%
Toronto 4 47.160 ms 48.337 ms 47.500 ms 0.556 ms 0%
Frankfurt 4 124.641 ms 125.048 ms 124.819 ms 0.289 ms 0%
London 4 104.706 ms 105.004 ms 104.805 ms 0.257 ms 0%
Paris 4 111.856 ms 111.975 ms 111.907 ms 0.337 ms 0%
Amsterdam 4 117.174 ms 117.518 ms 117.296 ms 0.131 ms 0%
Sao Paulo 4 148.026 ms 166.390 ms 152.742 ms 7.880 ms 0%
Singapore 4 263.532 ms 263.678 ms 263.618 ms 0.367 ms 0%
Sydney 4 234.368 ms 234.503 ms 234.452 ms 0.595 ms 0%
Tokyo 4 197.378 ms 197.988 ms 197.547 ms 0.600 ms 0%
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Website Version 3.0 is Here!

As you can see, we have taken a wrecking ball to the old website and we have added a new style and have integrated Steam into the new website!

Most of the games we play these days are on Steam, and our old theme was basically a free WordPress style.  This new theme is a custom theme created for us by Goldsboro Web Development. In this new system, there are many new things you will see that you’ve never seen before on our website.

Group/Chapter Fix

First of all, “Groups” are no longer groups, they are “Chapters” and the website now accurately represents this.

GAME INFO

All Chapters in which we have a server for now have a “Game Info” tab that shows the following data:

Get the Game

game-info

Server Info

server-info

Server Listing Page

We now have a server list that shows all of our active and dormant game servers!  Each segment precisely details the information about that server’s hardware.  We plan on having other features on this page in the future such as how many users are online.

server-list

The Mega Menu

This was a big undertaking to add to our site.  The “Community” link at the top now contains a mega menu that details each of the main segments of our website such as our Chapters, Members, and Forums!

mega-menu

Server FAQs

Now, when you’re looking at our server list, it is in plain English!  There are also Server FAQ’s at the bottom detailing why we use our own servers and what some terms mean.

server-faq

Steam Link

Now when you login or register to your website, you can do so with Steam instead of the traditional username and password challenge.  This also links your account to Steam.

steam-linked

But you can manually do this by setting your profile data to your Steam Username (not Display Name).

steam-user

SUMMARY

We hope you are as thrilled with the changes as the rest of us are! If you see any errors or if a page is not displaying correctly, please let us know!

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CALLING IT: ESO is Dead

I reported a little while back that we would give ESO yet another try.  We did.  After logging in, I struggled to find a single player actually doing anything out in the world of ESO.  I then jumped into a PVP server to see it completely one-factioned with no one in the server and switched to another. This time, I see another faction has completely taken over that server and switched once more (to guest) and I see the exact same thing with yet another faction.

At this point I knew PVP was officially dead, there was no resurrecting it beyond the few dudes that like running around and measuring their e-pens and the fact that I saw absolutely no one in the newer zones, I gave up and logged off.

At E3, Tamriel Unlimited announced that they are “unlocking” and removing nearly all faction limitations and requirements and only limiting players from visiting Coldharbour until after they reach that part of the quest line.  This was my confirmation that my experience wasn’t just anecdotal.  When Zenimax has to open the gates so the segments of players that are left can see each other to prevent it from feeling like an empty game, while there are only 3 segments, the game is officially dead.

Sure, they’ll keep right on running the servers for a bit, hopefully, they can nab, into Zenimax’s pay to win scheme, a few more returning, and curious veterans.  But this all leads to one inevitable and immediate fate.  The servers will soon be turned off.

But don’t take my word for it.

ESO

This graph shows just ESO interest on Google Search.  While we can argue that we’re only talking about one search engine, while they have the dominant share of the search market, we’re safer using them as an accurate sample.  But pay attention to this, you see 2 distinct spikes of activity.  The first spike was a very steady-rising spike, you can see when the game went beta from the first peek, then released on the second peek and you can see the first patch on the second peak, the third peak wasn’t an interest “rise” it was a failure, that is when the community manager told everyone on the forums there was nothing they could do about exploiters because it was a “TOS Grey Area”. Look at how hard that fell.

The second peek is very obvious, it was the announcement of Free-to-Play, but again, look at how fast that died.  They are looking at pre-beta number as a player-base right now and telling everyone, “everything is fine”.  It couldn’t be further from the truth.

But how do I know this?  Well, experience.

eso2
A few games are listed on this one, but EQ is the one you should really study closer there.  You can see when EQ2 released, of course, the 2005 spike is the marketing of that game. But something else also happened in 2005 that is interesting, the “Station Cash” shop was added. And what do you see? A steep decline, and even steeper when they added that shop cross-game for every SOE game but Vanguard.

But look at World of Warcraft in the same example.  There is a very regular rhythm here: when a game is failing, the answer they want to use is “Pay to Win” or “Free to Play” from which, there is no coming back from.  But you can see very clearly that neither model has ever helped any of these mainstream MMOs.

The difference between EQ/WOW and ESO is that these games had a running start before diving off the deep end, which has helped them keep the doors open just a little longer.  ESO had no such running start, it was not a 10-year-old game with 20% of its fanbase that didn’t give a rats ass if the devs pissed on their heads and told them it was raining — No, what happened was this did happen in ESO and the fans told them to suck egg.

So what’s next for ESO?  Well, the servers will eventually be turned off, that is to be expected.  Because of this massive loss, as I can’t imagine they’ve finished paying their debt to develop the game, I don’t think we’ll see another big title from Bethesda for quite some time.  This will be something that will take some accounting magic to wiggle out of; though, thanfully they did form Zenimax as a severable company so they could cut that limb of the company off if the debt got too much to handle.

In short, I wouldn’t advise buying Beth or Zeni stock any time soon.

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Big Splash Made in Eve

While using Eve as a crutch to get away from ESO for some in Divine Reapers, we have made a very big splash in Eve already.  While only in the game for two weeks, there are larger alliances that are absolutely terrified of the nature, secrecy, and unpredictability of our guild.  Now some of you that don’t play may be thinking, “Bejezus, Chip! Why would you want to terrify people?” and I would say to keep in mind the alliance we are referring to here are professional newbie griefers (they seriously earn in-game money on it).

So, the story of Divine Reapers once again keeps going.  We are currently setting ourselves up to immanently be a PVPing mega-corporation in low sec.  We have a few steps we all have to take care of first as a corp (faction grinding for corp faction to get jump clones so we won’t loose implants when we die) and we’ll be diving in head-first.

Some other updates:

As I posted in the forums yesterday, we had a member leave the guild in Eve because another member called me a penis.  At any rate, it was a funny story, and if you missed it, I am terribly sorry 😛