Well it’s been over 24 hours and I thought I’d comment on the Great Account Migration.
I had a BRIEF COMMENT about the problems a few minutes ago, but I’d like to go more in-depth.
First off, yes, I understand that it was not the decision of the UO Team. This migration, or upgrade, affected Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot, and Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. I do agree that it should make our lives easier in the long run to be integrated with the main EA.com/Origin.com billing and accounting system, however there were some serious issues. I also think there can be some changes made that make things easier, but more on that in a bit.
While I don’t know the whole story, given how rushed this felt, I’d have to guess that BioWare becoming a label and Star Wars: The Old Republic have something to do with it. BioWare/EA may have wanted to get the three main MMOs up and running on the main accounting system before they started collecting monthly subscriptions from Star Wars, and Star Wars could be launching later this year or early next. There will be more people initially playing Star Wars than UO, DAoC, and Warhammer combined. From their perspective, it would probably be better to get the other three MMOs up and running on the main system and any problems squashed before Star Wars launches, because after Star Wars launches, customer service and database development is going to be primarily tied up with it.
In addition to my brief comment I just made about the problems, I said yesterday that we should have had more time to prepare and we should have received a lot more instruction before the process started. This would have saved a lot of support time on EA/BioWare’s end, and it would have saved a lot of frustration for the players. People should have been told that it would be a good idea to get any email address issues or password issues resolved before everything started, or to move the accounts they want linked over to one email. This is one of the biggest issues that I’m hearing about and reading about. I know I’m having problems linking some accounts even though I still own the email addresses and can log into the game just fine with them.
The process in general, and the new website in particular, should have been better explained with a tutorial, complete with screenshots. A lot of people would not have guessed the _uo thing, regardless of how obvious some think it is. A lot of people are confused about Mythic Master Accounts and how a UO Account can be a Mythic Master Account but a Mythic Master Account can be many other things. People are confused about the whole EA.com accounts thing as well. The EA Account aspects should have been left out of this process or covered up for the time being, and people should have only had to focus on setting up their Mythic Master Accounts.
It’s been 24 hours, an hour or two from a few people working on a tutorial placed front and center and not a link to a fansite would have alleviated a lot of problems and a lot of stress for people, not to mention saving EA thousands in customer service calls.
Linking and Unlinking Accounts
The process of linking and what it entails should have been better explained. This is another huge issue I keep hearing or reading about. There should be an obvious process for unlinking as well, rather than having to go through customer support. Many people hold on to accounts for others who aren’t currently playing, or can’t for some reason, and they may have unwittingly linked those accounts to their own accounts. Many of these are not accounts that are being sold or traded, these are accounts that are being held as a favor, and these people should not have to pay the account transfer feeds because they mistakenly linked those accounts to their own.
So I can’t go beyond linking 9 accounts. At least let me unlink some dead accounts so I can add active accounts. I don’t know if this is affecting me personally or if it’s a bug.
UO Game Codes
It seems like a lot of people are having issues revolving around things purchased in the UO Game Codes store, whether it was gametime or account upgrades or character slots. I know of people missing characters and I am as well. Obviously the new accounting system doesn’t play too well with the UO Codes store, so halt sales of items on it and make those items available through the new account system in another fashion.
And a few people on Stratics had a good idea similar to what I was thinking yesterday – make it easy to upgrade to Stygian Abyss, or purchase the High Seas, Rustic, or Gothic packs through the account system. Offer us a bulk discount or something. You want new players, don’t make them have to go to Origin.com or uogamecodes.com to buy stuff, let them buy it within the new account system.
Again, I know this was not the way the UO, Dark Age of Camelot, or Warhammer devs wanted to spend their weekend, but there should have been tutorials for all three games put together well before now. We got the notice on August 4th, and it’s August 14th.