The Total Debacle and Continuing Drama of the Aion RP Server

I have said many times that I do not roleplay, though I totally respect those that do, but I do tend to role on RP servers.  The community always seems more mature and there are a whole lot less ridiculous names running about.  I rolled on Phoenix Throne in WAR, on Cimmeria in AoC and on many other RP servers over the years.  All of them were light years ahead of other servers in terms of community and I loved all of them, even if I ended up disliking the game itself.

Now we come to Aion.  Every phase of closed beta there was a long, long thread and petition on the Beta Forums to create a RP server.  The overwhelming response from the community, RP’ers and non-RP’ers alike, was positive.  Ayase or Liv posted in all the threads that they were asking around and would get back to us when a decision was made.

It was.  And they did.

“No official Aion RP server” was the answer.

The RP community took the blow well and started organizing to create an “Unofficial” RP server.  Websites were created. Forum posts grew. If NCSoft wouldn’t create a RP server, by God, the players would do it themselves!  A poll appeared on Aion Roleplayers and the Lumiel server won by a fairly wide margin.  Pretty clear cut, right?

(More after the break!)

Wrong.

A large contingent of RP’ers from Phoenix Throne all got together on vent and decided that Lumiel would be a dead

Phoenix Throne Vent vore on Aion (God, WAR is soooo dead....)

Phoenix Throne Vent vote on Aion (God, WAR is soooo dead....)

server.  They voted for themselves and decided that Zikel should really be the Unofficial Aion RP server.  Breaking totally away from Aion Roleplayers and the previous server decision.

The confusion gets even worse.  Now NCSoft has released their Official RP server poll.  The intent was good, to allow everyone in the community to vote for what they thought would be the best server.  However, in reality, it’s not helping matters any.  Now there are posts on both sides of the debate asking for the other side to rethink their server decision.   No one on either side knows who they should vote for and the RP community is fragmented.   To further confuse matters, anti-RP’ers and griefers now have a vote into something they hate and ridicule.  More than likely votes are being placed to place the RP’ers all over the place, just because the voter doesn’t like RP.  It’s a very sad way to do it.

Additionally, the “Official” server poll is coming very late in the game.  By the time the poll is over Headstart will nearly be upon us.  This will make it difficult to make final arrangements and coordinate Legions and friends.

It has really gotten to the point of the ridiculous.  The whole thing is a debacle and getting worse.  A once potentially strong community is fracturing and splitting up.  Intense arguments are now taking place over what should be an easy decision.

So, who is to blame?  The Aion Roleplayers website for not waiting for an official poll?  The Phoenix Throne community for breaking away from the other RP’ers?

No.  Absolutely not.

Quite simply it’s NCSoft’s fault.  Completely and totally.  The whole thing could have been averted had they just named one single server as the RP server.  Barring that they could have announced the RP server vote much earlier so that plans could have been made, instead of the mad rush and confusion that is now happening.  Because they did not do either a potential strong and loyal community is now fractured, maybe beyond repair.

NCSoft has made few mistakes with the Western launch of Aion.  This, in my humble opinion, has been the biggest.

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16 Responses

  1. [...] and posted my thoughts about it on Aionic Thoughts. They are way too long to post here, so click here and check them out if you want. __________________ My Aion blog: [...]

  2. I agree wholeheartedly. Being part of ARP I don’t really like how PT went about things, but I can sort of understand their reasoning (even if I think it’s flawed). All this drama does nothing to help RPers as a whole, and could have been completely avoided if they’d just flagged a server as RP and paid some of their GMs to look into name complaints on top of other complaints. I doubt they’d see so much more traffic that they’d need to hire new people to enforce the RP server rules, and RPers are a large enough base of paying subscribers that I hope they’ll rethink their decision some day (sooner rather than later would be nice) and launch an official server.

    • I don’t blame ARP or PT at all really. Both made the best decision for their respective group with limited assistance from NCSoft. PT’s decision was based on many different factors and, in the end, was the right decision for them. Same goes for ARP.

      NCSoft dropped the ball, it’s sad but that’s the truth.

  3. This shouldn’t be a surprise. While NCSoft has some great games: Guild Wars, City of Heroes and now Aion, the actual people running things make bad decision after bad decision. From totally ignoring the GW community, to the mess they made with the player created content in CoH, the Tabula Rasa / AutoAssault disasters, and now the Aion RP and gameguard blocking of legit controllers like keyboards and mice, NCSoft seems totally clueless. The sad thing is this seems to be the norm for most MMO companies.

  4. My top 3?:

    Fort Timers
    Ignoring An Entire Region (Aussies)
    No Official RP, Hardcore, or Oceanic Server

    Hopefully all 3 will be rectified within the next few days.

  5. So, the community is fractured into two pieces? Using two servers for RP instead of one seems perfectly reasonable to me, especially if they have different mentalities or server times. Arguments springing up over which server to choose are important for the players to work out; if there are differences of opinion about the name of a server, there are likely to be deeper differences that would fracture the community across a single server in the future.

    It’s sad that NCsoft didn’f flag an RP server in the first place; the overhead admittedly doesn’t seem too big. But if they don’t want to have official RP servers, that’s their prerogative, isn’t it?

  6. I feel bad for the Aussies and I understand the RP situation but there is only SO much you can do to accommodate an RP-er in a PvPvE game. If it was an RP game, it would be one… but clearly it is a PvPvE game with strong ties to PvP.

    Its’ the same line of QQ that came from WoW as RP’er’s said they did not have a place in the game, reguardless of the HUGE amount of non-functional items, empty rooms, whatever… you can argue all you want that these are MMORPG’s but now they are sticking to just ‘MMO” so wake up and smell the coffee they don’t have the time/money to cater to everyone.

    I personally RP with my friends IRL still, do that! :)

  7. /shrug

    Unofficial server serves a good purpose. There are never, ever enough RPers to have an entire server dedicated to them. I know this because I am one, and frankly, no, it requires all or nothing to maintain the necessary environment to promote pausing for conversation.

    Hardly a ball drop. MMO RP is inherently gimped because the world never reacts to decisions made in play. If you’re looking for a real RP experience, go buy a copy of Neverwinter Nights and hit a server run by roleplayers and managed specifically towards that need. To go and blame NCsoft for using a democratic solution to a problem that will never be fixed is just asinine.

    • No it won’t ever be “fixed” but NCSoft did screw up the whole thing and made the mess even worse than it should have been. Easiest thing was to create a RP server, like nearly every other MMO has done before them. If they decided that they did not want to do that, then they should have released the official poll much earlier.
      Most Legions are coming up to the make or break time to decide what server to roll on, a poll this late in the game adds unnecessary stress. Had the poll come out last week and ended Monday the whole thing would have been much easier.

  8. I do blame NCwest for all of this anxiety and angst, its not hard to listen to your player base and give what all of them want, official designated servers.

    PT is not attempting to make Zikel the unofficial RP server, we would like it to be the PvP-RP. PT voted based on the fact that it was decided 1st and for most we wanted good PvP and didn’t feel Lumiel would give us that. RP is completily a secondary consideration for the majority of the PT community and those that want 1st haven’t declared for Zikel and are still riding the fence in making a decision.

    Frankly, I am a bit disappointed in the ARP community for so vilifying the PT community for choosing not to bring their strongly PvP focused community to their server and focusing on the fact that some of the PT would like to see RP be Zikel as well.

    No where on the Zikel forums has anyone ranted about the ARP community on Lumiel, but they have not given us the same curtsey.

  9. The oceanic community had the same problems, no servers based here, no official marked server, no response from NCsoft… yet we all managed to make it work and decide on one server. you started off by saying how much more mature the RPers were, yet when they failed to organise themselves it was someone else’s fault?
    Don’t get me wrong, NCsoft did not help, and if they had of the whole situation could have been avoided, but ultimately it came down to you guys…

  10. Hey I’m in that picture!

    If NCSoft had just picked a server and called it the RP server none of this would be a problem. We’d all just be going there.

    That being said there were a number of people on PT who didn’t really roleplay, they just liked the ‘mature’ atmosphere of RP servers.

    I don’t see splitting it up as a bad thing. We all need a server to roll alts on after all.

    Also can we get rid of the idea that all roleplayers have a hive mind and all do things the exact same way and are all obligated to each other? Kinda silly to think that way.

    There’s a bunch of errors in the original post up there – first of all saying PT ‘broke away’ from ARP implies they were ever unified in the first place. This is simply a case of two communities who like the same thing but do it differently picking two different servers.

    A lot of guilds like mine (I wasn’t there representing the War Seekers I just was there and happen to be a War Seeker) were caught in the middle and we just sorta threw up our hands and said ‘screw it we’ll see what NCSoft poll says’ …and then that got canceled lol.

    I’m telling myself not to see the signs of another WAR here =)

    Oh well, have fun playing guys =)

  11. [...] as you may remember, is the final destination of most of the RP community in Aion and will be the [...]

  12. [...] There’s no drama like RP drama. So when players decided to select one Aion server as their unofficial RP home it was guaranteed to become a dramafest, right? Of course right. Aionic Thoughts is at ground zero to report. [...]

  13. I think game developers underestimate the magnet that is “RP”. Lots of old and by now crappy games out there persist, because none of the newer offers anything for RPers.
    I for one don’t even test a game for free if there are no RP-Shards / Realms / Servers.. if it is RP-unfriendly in general.

    To just run around in a funky armor and collect rat-tails is as inspiring to me as playing solitaire.

  14. [...] Lumiel and Zikel are unofficial RP servers (drama explained here) [...]

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