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Thread: Let's talk about trial servers.

  1. #1
    General of Telara
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    Default Let's talk about trial servers.

    So far to date everything I've seen about trial servers indicates that they're a mistake. Trial account users aren't forced to create characters on them, they're only marked as Recommended. Worse yet Trion actively chases paying subscribers off of the servers even though so far as I'm aware there's no actual reason to leave other than the annoying popup box and, perhaps, randomized group content like LFD and WFs. I say that last part as someone who still has a healthy character on Akylios after it was converted to a trial server something like half a year ago IIRC.

    This can result in the smarter, or more inquisitive, potential subscribers playing on populated servers instead of the trial servers. When you combine that along with all but the most stubborn/daring/stupid/diehard players on the trial servers having already left the populations of these trial servers will often be at or near 0.

    Think about the sort of message that that gives to potential new players.

    Another point that I'm not particularly comfortable with is how by chasing off the experienced/paying subscribers from trial servers you're effectively removing the pool of player knowledge and experience. I can see a point to that if you're going to have enough trial players on at any one time that some can help show others the ropes or band together to do what content is available to trial accounts and want them to experience the game as it is with as few "spoilers" as possible. Unfortunately due to the near zero population on the trial servers I've peeked in on (I now have characters on 4 different trial servers thanks to the conversions) that's not very likely to happen.

    What's far more likely to happen is that trial account players are going to create characters on trial servers because they are recommended. They are then going to be playing what amounts to a single-player online game without even someone/something to chat with. They are going to run into stumbling blocks when they hit major rifts, zone events, and even group quests since low-level group quests in Rift actually do require a group.

    Personally I'm not sure I much care for how that could affect Rift's subscription rates. It looks very much like Trion created trial servers with no real intent of enforcing their usage by trial accounts while at the same time doing everything possible to remove any potential player interaction that might get trial players to stick around after the trial period is up.

    In short it looks strongly like they're a waste of resources and that by even having them when they are such a waste Trion is potentially shooting themselves in the foot as in their current state many if not all trial servers run the very real risk of chasing people off by giving them the impression that Rift is dead or dying.

    What says everyone else on the subject?

  2. #2
    Ascendant Hotter's Avatar
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    Well it saves us from the "Want have plat?" spam, I suppose. It also creates unique farming opportunities for those of us who left toons on the trial servers. Lately I've been thinking of the rare creatures for the Ultimate Hunter achieve. With no competition, things will be easier. Nobody to gank me as I battle an elite or two...

  3. #3
    Ascendant the_real_seebs's Avatar
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    My understanding is that players who aren't referred in are sent to trial shards. I do agree the lack of experienced players undermines the game experience -- but the lack of plat spam does wonders for it for the rest of us.

    Mostly, I think they are a tool for consolidating servers without an explicit shutdown phase. I think they do get used more during promotions, and I suspect we'll see some big promotions in the coming months; the 1.7 changes to the presentation of the soul system look newbie-friendly, and I bet we'll see some big promotions when those are live.
    You can play WoW in any MMO. You don't have to play WoW in RIFT. Oh, and no, RIFT is not a WoW clone. Not having fun any more? Learn to play, noob! I don't speak for Riftui, but I moderate stuff there. Just came back? Welcome back! Here's what's changed. (Updated for 2.5!)

  4. #4
    Soulwalker
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    I haven't seen a newb in rift ever. These points you bring up have kept me up all night drinking, and wondering. Why? Why? Why?

  5. #5
    Rift Chaser TheSiren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marikhen View Post
    So far to date everything I've seen about trial servers indicates that they're a mistake. Trial account users aren't forced to create characters on them, they're only marked as Recommended. Worse yet Trion actively chases paying subscribers off of the servers even though so far as I'm aware there's no actual reason to leave other than the annoying popup box and, perhaps, randomized group content like LFD and WFs. I say that last part as someone who still has a healthy character on Akylios after it was converted to a trial server something like half a year ago IIRC.

    This can result in the smarter, or more inquisitive, potential subscribers playing on populated servers instead of the trial servers. When you combine that along with all but the most stubborn/daring/stupid/diehard players on the trial servers having already left the populations of these trial servers will often be at or near 0.

    Think about the sort of message that that gives to potential new players.

    Another point that I'm not particularly comfortable with is how by chasing off the experienced/paying subscribers from trial servers you're effectively removing the pool of player knowledge and experience. I can see a point to that if you're going to have enough trial players on at any one time that some can help show others the ropes or band together to do what content is available to trial accounts and want them to experience the game as it is with as few "spoilers" as possible. Unfortunately due to the near zero population on the trial servers I've peeked in on (I now have characters on 4 different trial servers thanks to the conversions) that's not very likely to happen.

    What's far more likely to happen is that trial account players are going to create characters on trial servers because they are recommended. They are then going to be playing what amounts to a single-player online game without even someone/something to chat with. They are going to run into stumbling blocks when they hit major rifts, zone events, and even group quests since low-level group quests in Rift actually do require a group.

    Personally I'm not sure I much care for how that could affect Rift's subscription rates. It looks very much like Trion created trial servers with no real intent of enforcing their usage by trial accounts while at the same time doing everything possible to remove any potential player interaction that might get trial players to stick around after the trial period is up.

    In short it looks strongly like they're a waste of resources and that by even having them when they are such a waste Trion is potentially shooting themselves in the foot as in their current state many if not all trial servers run the very real risk of chasing people off by giving them the impression that Rift is dead or dying.

    What says everyone else on the subject?
    Um, how can I put this so that it finally sinks in to you moreso than the last 2304987 threads on this subject have obviously failed to do?

    NO ONE can roll on trial servers, PERIOD. NO ONE. Not new players who've just downloaded the trial version of Rift, not current players with old toons still stranded on those trial servers, and sure as heck not current players who don't have toons on those servers-- because contrary to your incorrect comment, those trial servers DO NOT SHOW UP ON THE SERVER LIST. Not only are they NOT recommended servers, but they aren't servers on the list at all, to anyone, trial or not, except if you still have old toons stranded on one of them.

    If you DO have toons stranded on a trial server, they are LOCKED in the main city, you cannot portal them out (portals fling you back to main city), you cannot walk out, run out, or ride your mount out of the city, and an invisible wall prevents you from leaving. If you transfer those trapped toons off (like the game spams you to do every time you try and log into said servers), you cannot roll any more toons to take their places because the Create Character button is greyed out, and if you transfer off all your trapped toons, then that trial server vanishes off the server list. You see what everyone else who doesn't have old toons trapped on those dead servers sees-- nothing, because they disappear forever off the server list.

    We have 16 Rift servers left on the US list.

    In short, those trial servers are CAPUT, DOWN, DEEP-SIXED, NO ONE uses them ever, at all, for anything, and no new players are going to get "bad impressions" of Rift from them because no one can roll on them and they don't show up in the server list for them to begin with!! This whole "trial server" nonsense is just P.R. speak for server merges, minus the "Major DOOOOOOM" part that spreads like wildfire throughout the gaming community and across the internet when a game shuts down 42 of its 58 servers.

    Comprendo, mate?

    Now....no more ridiculous threads about this very tired subject, mmmmmkay?

  6. #6
    General of Telara
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotter View Post
    Well it saves us from the "Want have plat?" spam, I suppose.
    Quote Originally Posted by the_real_seebs View Post
    but the lack of plat spam does wonders for it for the rest of us.
    What spam? I haven't played much in the last few months but the last time I actually saw any was something like six months ago, maybe longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_real_seebs View Post
    My understanding is that players who aren't referred in are sent to trial shards. ...

    I think they do get used more during promotions, and I suspect we'll see some big promotions in the coming months; the 1.7 changes to the presentation of the soul system look newbie-friendly, and I bet we'll see some big promotions when those are live.
    That would be good, if accurate, but I have to wonder whether or not it would be "good enough."

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSiren View Post
    Um, how can I put this so that it finally sinks in to you moreso than the last 2304987 threads on this subject have obviously failed to do?
    I'm torn between either accusing you of invading my privacy or illegally accessing my internet service and/or data records held by Trion or making a virtually identical response to yours in order to ridicule you.

    Without doing either I'll simply state that I've seen, and subsequently read, no other topics on this subject. As such you should probably mop up the bile from the floor, put it back in your spleen, and wait to vent it on someone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSiren View Post
    NO ONE can roll on trial servers, PERIOD. NO ONE. Not new players who've just downloaded the trial version of Rift, not current players with old toons still stranded on those trial servers, and sure as heck not current players who don't have toons on those servers
    The only part of that spleen venting that has anything to do with my post is the part about trial players not being able to create characters on trial accounts. In point of fact that inability, if true, actually further reinforces my supposition that they are a mistake.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSiren View Post
    If you DO have toons stranded on a trial server, they are LOCKED in the main city, you cannot portal them out (portals fling you back to main city), you cannot walk out, run out, or ride your mount out of the city, and an invisible wall prevents you from leaving.
    Thanks for pointing that out, I actually hadn't noticed it because up until Atrophinius got hit I'd only created "when I'm really, really bored and want to explore Guardian 'lore'" alts on servers that had gotten the Trial axe. When you routinely park low-level alts in the capitals to accrue "rested" buffers and recently converted servers don't have such a lockdown in effect it's not something you're going to notice.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSiren View Post
    If you transfer those trapped toons off (like the game spams you to do every time you try and log into said servers), you cannot roll any more toons to take their places because the Create Character button is greyed out, and if you transfer off all your trapped toons, then that trial server vanishes off the server list. You see what everyone else who doesn't have old toons trapped on those dead servers sees-- nothing, because they disappear forever off the server list.
    And this has what to do with my post except to further reinforce that there's little to no way for experienced players to interact with potential new players, assist them, and help convince them to stay and pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSiren View Post
    In short, those trial servers are CAPUT, DOWN, DEEP-SIXED, NO ONE uses them ever, at all, for anything, and no new players are going to get "bad impressions" of Rift from them because no one can roll on them and they don't show up in the server list for them to begin with!!
    I wonder if that holds true for trial players who have characters on servers that were converted. I did, in fact, speak with one just the other day.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSiren View Post
    Now....no more ridiculous threads about this very tired subject, mmmmmkay?
    Why, because you felt the need to verbally assault me and vent your spleen due to whatever personal issues you have? If anything it just tempts me to create more in an effort to see if I can push you into the message board equivalent of apoplexy.

    I haven't read any other topics on the subject, I haven't made any other topics on the subject, and given that I've actually spoken with someone playing through a free trial on Atrophinius the issue of whether or not trial players can even play on them doesn't seem clear cut.

    /shrugs. At any rate your point that trial servers don't show up even for trial accounts is accurate, at least for brand new trial accounts, as I just tested it out. That point just makes the observation that "trial" servers are little more than a waste of resources with no real purpose or use more accurate. It's really confusing when someone supports your position while attacking you over even posting it in the first place.

    Still, in all that spleen venting you never once offered your opinion on trial servers. Care to do so now before you squeeze out that mop and can vent it again, or should I just presume you don't actually have an opinion on whether or not they're a waste and should be shut down?

  7. #7
    Ascendant
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    They made a mistake last year by reopening Tahkaat for a week. It was a hoot with even elites in the first area in Silverwood where the new players enter. There was like half a dozen of us in Silverwood and one guy in Droughtlands at level 35. All the areas were totally infested with invasions and most with elites in them. Argent Glade was occupied by Goblins and stones and you couldn't do any quests. Was great fun for the week then the bloody GM told us to pack our things and leave. Spoil sport !!

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