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NCSoft To Close North American Lineage Servers

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the end-of-an-era dept.

Businesses 91

NCSoft announced yesterday that they plan to shut down all North American servers for their long-running Lineage MMORPG on June 29th. The game came out in 1998 and gradually became one of the most successful MMOs of all time, reporting over a million subscribers as much as a decade after launch. Account creation on North American servers has been disabled, subscriptions for coming months have been refunded, and existing accounts have been reactivated for free. "We will not be making any additional content updates, but we do have US Ruleset changes and lots of great events planned for the next two months. We want to give you every opportunity to make all of your remaining Lineage dreams come true. We hope that everyone will stick around to have fun with the game you love in the time we have left. We know that we have incredibly loyal fans that have stood by us for the past ten years. As painful as it was, as a business, we had to make a very difficult, but necessary, decision."

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I hate it when this happens (4, Interesting)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103992)

I say any MMO operator should freeware the servers once the game becomes abandonware like this. I mean, it's like you have an entire universe in these old optical discs but you're locked out of it because you can't log on...

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104026)

I googled Lineage 1 private servers

More than enough to go around apparently!

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104036)

There's lots of free servers which have from what I know most of the official functionality...

Re:I hate it when this happens (3, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104064)

Agreed. Private server software does exist for most MMOs but it's usually not as functional or stable as the real thing (unsurprising given that the software was essentially reverse engineered by fans). They should just release the official server software into the public domain.

As an aside I've always wondered about the hardware and OS requirements for major MMO server software. Perhaps they can't release it because the hardware and environment requirements are so specific that the average Joe simply couldn't get a server running if they wanted to...

Re:I hate it when this happens (4, Informative)

Exitar (809068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104160)

They should just release the official server software into the public domain.

They're shutting NA servers only, not all of them.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104180)

Ahh good point! Didn't think about that.

So yeah they couldn't really do that in this case.

Re:I hate it when this happens (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104528)

I have no idea for Lineage, but EVE Online make their server specs public. The database for their economy... well, you can't afford it. RAM. Lots and lots of RAM, in nice rackmount enclosures and linked by infiniband. They run it on a colossal ramdrive, because not even flash could handle the IOPS.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

dcl (680528) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106340)

Is that due to the sheer number of users on a single server or perhaps bad coding causing so many perhaps unneeded requests?

I wonder what sort of specs the highly populated WoW servers are running?

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36108888)

Is that due to the sheer number of users on a single server

Combine the Stormwinds on every WoW server into one, likewise with every other city. Just one Stormwind auction house for all of WoW. Same with all the territory, all the economic and PvP, all one server image. PvE raids are sharded but they're newb tuts and farms, they're like playing PvZ when you want a brainless break.

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36109482)

Bad coding indeed.

Ships in the middle of combat are making F'ING database calls for everything they do.

I'm no programmer, but that sounds like something that should be fetched at the start, and updated when the ship blows or docks.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114464)

Firstly, you're assuming that "database call" means the same as $sql->exec("select blah from fuckoff_massive_table where player = $player");

Secondly, what if something a ship does affects another ship? They all need to exchange information at some point. They should definitely be caching based on locality, but they'll have to store everything somewhere.

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36115332)

You're probably right.

But reading their dev entries/news on progress, it sounds like they are doing it the other way.

Too expensive...now... (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36109298)

The database for their economy... well, you can't afford it. RAM. Lots and lots of RAM, in nice rackmount enclosures and linked by infiniband. They run it on a colossal ramdrive, because not even flash could handle the IOPS.

you can't afford it...today. But wait six months and now you suddenly have a use for your 48 core desktop with fiber raid and 1024 gigs of RAM. Steep hardware specs are no reason not to release something. When quake was released Id was using something like a quad proc pentium 200 pro box for compiling their BSP trees and it was still taking many hours to build a single level, but that didn't stop them from releasing the map files.

Plus, as good as I am sure their devs are, I am willing to bet money that the community at large would be able to improve the performance of the code base. Even a large and successful company cannot marshal the development resources that the greater internet can.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36108542)

Doesn't matter. Once the official servers are shut down, the specs required to maintain the leftover group that wants to play on a private server would be so much smaller than even if it required high end hardware before, low end might work just fine still.

Even if EVE Online had a huge RAM disk, perhaps a modern SSD is needed if you reduce the number of players down to 1% or so.

And yes, a lot of it is in configuration, but mostly because it's easier to throw hardware at the problem - it's far easier to spinup a new server when required than it is to find the bottleneck in the code, so the server software has to be able to adapt to varying configurations as servers spin up and shut down.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36115688)

"As an aside I've always wondered about the hardware and OS requirements for major MMO server software. Perhaps they can't release it because the hardware and environment requirements are so specific that the average Joe simply couldn't get a server running if they wanted to..."

That's rarely, if ever the case. Dark Age of Camelot for example ran on plain old commodity hardware and used MySQL for it's persistent storage, there's an article somewhere on the net about it, probably at Gamasutra I believe. There was an anecdote from Mythic, the company that ran it, that at one point they even used a plain old desktop PC to run part of it because they didn't have anything else lying around and because it did the trick.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104140)

Lineage (I) was 29% of ncsoft sales in Q4 2010 according to their financial report.

Re:I hate it when this happens (4, Informative)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104154)

For comparison, North America is 5% is the ncsoft's market for *all* their games (lineage, city of heroes/villains, aion, guild wars). They are not going to base any decision on releasing code on how the game is doing on the North American market.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104846)

NCSoft is a company that wouldn't take my money when I was interested in Aion. They required a PayPal account that was linked to a checking account. There's no chance in hell I'm trusting PayPal with banking information so they can take whatever they want from my account with no recourse. Aion looks pretty, but NCSoft management sucks.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

mtthwgrms (1985458) | more than 3 years ago | (#36110082)

There's no chance in hell I'm trusting PayPal with banking information so they can take whatever they want from my account with no recourse.

Yeah because your bank would offer no recourse. That's how it works.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114678)

It's not their fault your banking system is so screwed up you can withdraw from arbitrary accounts with nothing more than the account numbers.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

a61sun (1787888) | more than 3 years ago | (#36117946)

Two words for ya, Game Cards. You can buy them online or at most Target, Walmart or even 7-11's.

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36105420)

That's probably in Korea.

Re:I hate it when this happens (-1, Flamebait)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104566)

Do not buy games that need a online server to function.

Re:I hate it when this happens (4, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104704)

Unless you actually, you know, like MMOs. Which are pretty much known for needing an online server to function. This isn't like refusing to buy games that have DRM requiring online authentication; this is a genre that functions only on the basis of large, centralised servers.

I've been "clean" for over a year now, but prior to that, I spent almost 7 years playing first Final Fantasy XI and then World of Warcraft. And I don't particularly regret it. I had some good times, met a few friends and then moved on when I got tired of it. For the average MMO-gamer, their initial purchase and monthly subs represent spectacularly efficient spending on an hours per dollar basis compared to pretty much any other form of entertainment purchase.

Having a moral objection to offline games that require online authentication for copy-protection is one thing. Objecting to a game that is fully online by its very nature for requiring players to be online just makes you look silly.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104852)

Agreed, very much so. When I was in the military generally I was stuck on a base somewhere where my options were go out and drink or stay home on my laptop. I always felt that most people would be surprised that at that point in my life, my monthly bills were internet, and WoW (utilities were free living in the barracks). That's about 50 bucks a month to have decent entertainment on hand.

I'd gladly make that trade again.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105036)

You do not understand me ... What I mean is it a bad idea to buy games that rely on online servers because the server sooner or later will be turned off and you can not play anymore. Especially when the server is controlled by the company that created the game (ie, you can not create your own server in order to continue playing).

Now personally I do not really like MORPGs and derivatives, I'm too busy with my real life to be caring for a "virtual life". Especially when the other players in their vast majority are just jerks. As more recent example, see the multiplayer version of Minecraft.

Re:I hate it when this happens (3, Insightful)

tebixan (2118724) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105268)

I think he understands you fine. The point is, if you want to play this genre of games (MMOs) then you have no choice but to rely on online servers. Without centralized servers, there is no game. It's like saying 'don't play any sports which require a team, because you might not have access to a team one day'. I think everyone who plays these games understands that one day the game will cease to exist. Also, lose the whole 'I don't play games because I have a real life' routine. It's possible to have a real life and a hobby at the same time.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105750)

puny humans, so difficult to understand without taking things to extremes ...

I know perfectly well that to play a MORPG, you need a server. What I said is that it is not a good idea to buy a game that next week may no longer work because the company that keeps running the server decided to shut it down for not giving the desired profit (and is just one of many possible scenarios) . If you know of that risk and do not mind it's alright, it's your money and your time, not mine. But, there is a huge difference between a hobby where you can spend time as you can when you can, and a MORPG where if you want to have a decent "avatar" you need to play for - literally - days and weeks, and if you leave it aside for a few days you risk being left behind. That is the biggest problem I see in an online game, you can not leave at any time to attend to something else.

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36108264)

puny humans, so difficult to understand without taking things to extremes ...

That's what you're doing, not what your parent poster is doing.

there is a huge difference between a hobby where you can spend time as you can when you can, and a MORPG where if you want to have a decent "avatar" you need to play for - literally - days and weeks, and if you leave it aside for a few days you risk being left behind. That is the biggest problem I see in an online game, you can not leave at any time to attend to something else.

This problem has long since been solved by MMO's. Sidekick systems, content level-scaling, etc.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36109130)

"This problem has long since been solved by MMO's. Sidekick systems, content level-scaling, etc."

Oh, really? Says that to the many MMOs around here that do not have features like as you say. And even worse, none of mechanism you mentioned is capable of preventing a year-long effort by the player to be lost forever because the server administrator has decided to shut it down permanently.

In conclusion, my solution? is to stay away from online games (no big deal, most other players are jerks that do not add anything good to the game, I quit minecraft multiplayer because of griefers).

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36109686)

Oh, really? Says that to the many MMOs around here that do not have features like as you say.

They don't have those features because they were made before such solutions were invented. You're like someone who is using the clunky old password systems from 8-bit era as an example of why games suck at saving your progress. Just because some older games still have the problem doesn't mean the genre as a whole hasn't moved past it.

And even worse, none of mechanism you mentioned is capable of preventing a year-long effort by the player to be lost forever because the server administrator has decided to shut it down permanently.

Don't move the goalposts. Those mechanisms don't solve that problem because that's not the problem they were designed to solve. I mentioned them in response to you bringing up the "getting left behind" issue. Now you're backpedalling with a complaint that they don't solve a completely unrelated problem. Not only that, but it's one that isn't even an actual problem for most players at all.

Perhaps for an encore you'd like to complain about how hard it is to get a nail into a board, and when someone shows you a hammer you can blow them off because the hammer can't also turn screws.

In conclusion, my solution? is to stay away from online games

That's fine, but you're telling other people that there's somehow something wrong with not doing the same, and using specious logic and outdated information to do so.

most other players are jerks that do not add anything good to the game

No, most players just want to play. Griefers are a minority.

Online servers != a monopolist's servers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106186)

The point is, if you want to play this genre of games (MMOs) then you have no choice but to rely on online servers.

Relying on online servers != relying on a monopolist's online servers. There's no reason why an online RPG can't allow creation of private servers that include an island on which to run some campaigns.

It's like saying 'don't play any sports which require a team, because you might not have access to a team one day'.

Anyone with a decent local social network, whether in person or online in the same city, can start a ball sport team. But only NCSoft can set up a Lineage server.

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36105266)

Do not buy games that need a online server to function.

I dare you to write a more stupid comment.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105918)

What is more "stupid" ... My comment or the whole idea of buying virtual objects with real money to live a virtual life, and where it all might end up with a simple push of a button by the server administrator? Well, you can have a real life so miserable that it is better to live in virtual form, but that does not give you the right to arrogantly say that anyone who thinks otherwise is ... "stupid. "

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

darkshadow88 (776678) | more than 3 years ago | (#36108998)

Now you're conflating playing MMOs with buying virtual objects. The MMO subscription fee is not to buy virtual objects, but to access the service and play the game. Granted, some MMOs do allow the purchase of virtual objects, but those games constitute a minority of users (they often have no subscription fee, and there's a ton of them, but most of them are played by almost nobody).

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36109442)

Ahhh... Now you have a name. Well, you forgot the part "virtual life". You do not just spend money on an MMO, you also spend time. You can even play without need to spend money on virtual objects/aids and therefore do not lose it if the server is shut down forever, but you can not play without spending time. His months of effort making an initial expressionless character into something powerfull? Lost forever at the push of a button. Starting to see my point?

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36110088)

How is this any different from any other video-game? I can understand if you think that video-games as a whole are a waste of time, but many people enjoy the entertainment they provide.

With an mmorpg, specifically one that requires a subscription fee, you pay for your entertainment monthly. It's not different than paying for a service like Gamefly or Netflix. If you stop paying the fee or Netflix goes out of business, you lose all "your" movies that you've been paying monthly for.

A mmorpg is simply entertainment that you pay for monthly. If you see it as "work" to build up your character, then why would you be playing the game in the first place? I've never understood why someone would play a game that is work and not simply fun.

If my character is deleted, who cares? I can go on to play a different game now. It's not like single player games are played forever either.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36110656)

Wrong. I think that online games are a waste of time. And why? Because on almost mmorpgs you do not get a game character "ready to play", you need to "upgrade" him with "game money", itens, etc. And this cost time. And when you finaly have a good character, good enought to visit the many (and maybe dangerous) places on the game world, you lost then to a server crash, some jerk player, need to disconnect to save your real-life lunch from burn or etc. And then need to do all again from starting point. I don't think this is "fun"....

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111130)

Then I assume you don't like an RGPs. That's fine, not everyone does, but everyone likes different things.

You can't objectively say that your preferred game genre is superior or less of a waste of time than anyone else's. Personally, I think sports games are a total waste of time and "I don't think [they are] 'fun'..."

However, I'm not going to sit here and say that sports games are a waste of time and no one else should enjoy them just because I don't.

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36111458)

Because on almost mmorpgs you do not get a game character "ready to play", you need to "upgrade" him with "game money", itens, etc. And this cost time

I defy you to name a single MMO where a starting character can in any reasonable sense be said not to be "ready to play".

And when you finaly have a good character, good enought to visit the many (and maybe dangerous) places on the game world, you lost then to a server crash, some jerk player, need to disconnect to save your real-life lunch from burn or etc. And then need to do all again from starting point.

None of those events will cause your character to be "lost". A server crash MIGHT reset a few hours of progress when they restore a backup, but that's the worst-case scenario. Either you are grossly misinformed about the most basic facts regarding MMOs, or you are lying to cover for your failure to make a coherent point.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36111804)

"I defy you to name a single MMO where a starting character can in any reasonable sense be said not to be "ready to play"."

Easy, since you do not understand in what sense I said "ready to play". Create an account on WOW (the first game that came to mind), and with your fresh character try to visit the various places of the game. Ah yes, without being "killed"in the process and without spending a long time first trying to raise money enought to buy armor and weapons that are good enough for you not to be killed in the first foot outside "safe" spawn area... Now understood in the sense that I said "ready to play"?

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36112248)

Now understood in the sense that I said "ready to play"?

Yes. As I suspected, you meant "ready to handle encounters far above your character's capabilities", which is something that does not intersect with any reasonable definition of "ready to play".

I defy you to name a single MMO where a starting character can in any reasonable sense be said not to be "ready to play".

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36113952)

Wrong. As i say on another comment, humans have problems to understand things without going to extremes.

"Ready to play" means a character who can at least run when he finds something he can not deal with, rather than being killed immediately by stepping outside the "security zone" or find a jerk. But I see that your definition of "ready to play" is "ready to spend days collecting money to buy a half-assed sword and thinking this is fun" Excuse me, but I are unable to consider this fun.

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36114304)

And as I said in another comment, it is you that is taking things to extremes.

Not in WOW nor in any other MMO will a character be "killed immediately" upon stepping outside of the newbie zones, nor will they have much trouble evading mobs or other players. I myself have taken level 1 characters to the nearest major city straight away several times; this usually requires evading at least a couple of mobs that will make short work of a level 1 character.

Furthermore, your definition of "ready to play" is objectively false. "Ready to play" means the player is able to play the game with the given character, which is absolutely and indisputably true. They can easily handle lowbie encounters with starter gear, they can easily upgrade their gear with the loot and money they get in the course of normal play, and they can explore other zones if they keep their wits about them and don't have too much bad luck. And even if they were instantly killed upon setting foot in a higher-level zone as in your ridiculous claim, that still wouldn't mean that they weren't "ready to play", any more than a starting character in a single-player RPG would be "not ready to play" just because they can't wander around in the end-boss' lair safely. You're trying to define "ready to play" in a way that is specifically tailored to exclude MMO's. And not only is that dishonest, but you're not even doing it competently.

I defy you to name a single MMO where a starting character can in any reasonable sense be said not to be "ready to play". You haven't done it yet, and smart money says you're just not going to.

I also note, with no surprise, that you have chosen to silently concede the matter of "lost" characters.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

neminem (561346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36119312)

While silly semantics, I'm going to sort of have to agree with the person you'd been arguing with: the leveling process in WoW is just one extremely lengthy tutorial for the endgame, where the actual interesting game starts. If a single-player RPG had 40 hours of tutorial before the actual game started, and then you needed to run a bunch of sidequest arena things to get your character gear before you could start the game proper (i.e. raiding), I'd say that single-player RPG's character didn't start "ready to play" either, in any meaningful sense.

(And yes, I do play WoW, and had several characters at 80. I'm still working on getting all my alts to 85, cause this most recent not-raid content extension is more boring than most. But I'm a silly completionist like that, so they'll get there eventually.)

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36119956)

While silly semantics, I'm going to sort of have to agree with the person you'd been arguing with: the leveling process in WoW is just one extremely lengthy tutorial for the endgame, where the actual interesting game starts.

You may choose to view endgame raiding as the "real" game since it is the part that you personally care for the most, but in actuality that's only part of the real game, and the leveling process that precedes is no less a "real" aspect. There are plenty of players who don't raid and/or haven't reached the highest levels; would you seriously suggest that those players aren't really playing WoW?

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36120982)

Oops, forgot to blockquote that first paragraph.

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36124204)

Not the same AC who originally responded to this post, but just wanted to expand upon the concept of what the "real" game of WoW is.
To you, it is raiding once you hit max level. To others, it might be the myriad number of quests which provide insight into the lore of the game's universe.
Or it might be crafting.
Or it might be the simple act of leveling itself.

Just because your goal was to pump up your e-peen rather than take in the atmosphere and the lore, doesn't mean your character wasn't "ready to play" the second you took control of it. Likewise, just because I need to beat all 8 gym leaders + the Elite Four before I can accomplish my goal of "catching them all" in a single-player Pokémon game, doesn't mean my character wasn't "ready to play" the moment I stepped out of the Professor's lab with my first pokémon.

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36114096)

It's not that we don't understand in what sense you mean "ready to play", rather we cannot understand why you think offline games are any different wrt giving you a "ready to play" character.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104576)

It should, but it will never happen as long as people keeping voting the Business Party into power.

Copyright law needs to be seriously reformed, if not done away with altogether -- and, yes, serious study [ucla.edu] has been done in that direction, and not only is it feasible, but it is actually more beneficial to society overall.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104894)

The game isn't abandoneware. They are still running the game. Just not in North America.

Re:I hate it when this happens (2)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105190)

And create a free directly competing game to their newer titles? They'd become their own competitor in an already crowded market. Not sure they'd like that idea.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105794)

Somebody mod the parent up. This is exactly why it would be stupid for NCSoft to release their server code. Some people seem to think publishers exist purely to entertain them.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36107320)

Whatever publishers may think they exist for the, the fact is that people pay money to be entertained, and thus, that is the only reason that the publisher in question actually exists.

Re:I hate it when this happens (2)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36108684)

Whatever the consumer may think, a publisher is in the business of making money. If there is no money, there is no product to be produced and delivered to the consumer.

In the case of NCSoft, why would they freeware a product that would directly compete with their existing titles? I think, in the case of MMOs, the consumer should be aware that they do not own the game in question. They really do not own their characters. They are essentially renting space for entertainment purposes. When you go to the theater, you are renting a seat for the time required. They are not selling you the seat nor the movie.

Now, I do agree that old single player titles, abandonware, should be opened up to at least allow the user to run the game. Similar to a book. When I've bought a book, read through it several times, placed on my shelf for 20 years, I am not prevented from reading it again later. Many times, this is exactly what has and/or will happen with single player games that require draconic DRM measures (perhaps that codewheel was lost in the wheel of time, perhaps the DRM authentication servers have died a fiery death never to be resurrected). This doesn't necessarily mean the company gives up their rights to the software, code, and IP - they would still be free to create sequels, or whatever.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114294)

The basic problem is not money, there will always be money. The problem is that as corporations grow the minimum level of income projected before a project gets the green light increases.

Just consider "micro-loans". The sums involved there are small in western eyes, but a very big deal to those that can get them. But ordinary banks will not bother as the ROI is not up to their inflated standards.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36108776)

You live in a fantasy world. Companies exist to make money. Nothing else. If they can make money by entertaining you, then they will. As soon as they stop making money entertaining you, they will do something else instead (or go broke).

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114258)

Huh, why else do they exist?

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36117058)

To make money. Same as any other business.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36123600)

Used to be that corporations only existed for a limited time to provide a service to the public.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36139170)

No it wasn't. That has never been the case. What fantasy world do you live in?

Clearly you're not cut out for capitalism.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36163066)

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/History_of_corporations#United_States [wikimedia.org]

note how only 8 out of 300 was not providing a public service of some kind.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36164948)

Notice how all of them were in it for the money. It's money that attracted the investors in the first place. The whole reason for limited liability corporations is so that investors can make money while mitigating the risks (the "limited" part of limited liability).

Corporations exists to make money, nothing else. If you can't handle that simple fact then you must have a frustrating and confusing life.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36114274)

Who cares if they like the idea, nobody has a god given right to earning money into infinity. This is the same shitty argument that was used against the first public libraries back in the day.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105230)

I say any MMO operator should freeware the servers once the game becomes abandonware like this. I mean, it's like you have an entire universe in these old optical discs but you're locked out of it because you can't log on...

I say anyone who was willing to pay for a client and then pay for monthly access fees for something that was designed to be retired and unplayable when it was no longer profitable got precisely what they asked for. You literally funded this move. You have no right whatsoever to complain, you asked them to do this with the only clear voice in capitalism... your wallet.

Re:I hate it when this happens (3, Insightful)

Saxerman (253676) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105318)

Actually, this was was part of the entire point behind the creation of copyright law. In the US, the 'for a limited' clause was there so that the author could benefit by monetizing a short term monopoly on their work, and then the copyright would expire and it would revert into the public domain.

Of course, this was in the days of hand written scribes and latter of movable type presses. The concept of digital information transmission did not yet exist, nor with it the idea that information could be shared near instantly at a fraction of the cost.

Since then, copyright laws have increased in duration from the original 'Statute of Anne' which provided 14 years, with an additional 14 years of the copyright was renewed. Compared to the current US version which protects from 70 years after the death of the author, or for corporate owned works, 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication.

We've also moved away from the publication of plain text works, to the new age of computer binary code. So even if the copyright on a computer program would expire, there are no provisions that the author need also provide the original source code. So the US copyright on Lineage should expire in 2093 (should no further extensions be added, and NCSoft is South Korean, so foreign copyrights can get even tricker) then we would be freely able to distribute the compiled client code... but without access to the never published source code or server software... well, doubtless 95 year old software would only be of any interest to historians anyways. Who could freely view the copyright code all that wanted, even during the duration of the copyright... just as long as they didn't distribute it amongst themselves for study.

Re:I hate it when this happens (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105880)

Dude, the US never had hand scribes! The Gutenberg bible was more than a generation before Columbus set sail, in fact without movable type there's little need for copyright because there's no cheap way to copy a work.

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36111012)

To be even more brutally specific on the issue of presses: Ben Franklin ran his own press before the revolution!

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36110556)

What you (and most people on this thread) seem to forget is that their engine - which you want to be open source essentially - is very likely the basis of the engine in their newer MMOs as well. So by opening up the code for Lineage I they'd be essentially opening up their current tech to exploitation as well. Yes, it IS security by obscurity, but securing code hundreds of thousands of lines long with a pretty small (no matter how experienced) development team is a herculean effort. They basically cannot afford it. Right now they fix maybe a couple of exploits every few months; with the code out there they'd be doing nothing else but fixing exploits. Sure, eventually they'd have a much more secure codebase, but by that time the development company might have gone bankrupt.

Re:I hate it when this happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36110680)

NCSoft already shut Tabularasa servers, but Linage? Well the private servers will carry on.

STOP IT! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103996)

Oh my God Jesus Christ my half-ork mage goblin has nearly obtained a level 34 enchantment reflection spell that can even counteract the unstoppable impending doom of the night-witch amulet, even if worn by a half-blood rock slayer! What the fuck am I going to do now god damnit god damnit!

Re:STOP IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104136)

What the fuck am I going to do now god damnit god damnit!

Not much you can do. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

Re:STOP IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104664)

What the fuck am I going to do now god damnit god damnit!

Not much you can do. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

*** YOU HAVE DIED! ***

And nothing of value was lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104002)

Meh.

Lineage or Lineage 2? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104022)

Although Lineage is still played in Asia I don't think it's much played in the western world.

Re:Lineage or Lineage 2? (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104046)

Apparently not, since they're shutting down the servers. Still thirteen years is not a bad run for a pay-to-play online game!

I still have an active Lineage II account myself, but almost never log in. Never played the original Lineage though (the one they are shutting down).

It is sad (2)

Garst (2074468) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104146)

It is sad, but I never got into the first game. However, I did enjoy Lineage II. At least until Chinna wouldn't stop killing me. I wasn't able to level up any longer, so lost all interest in it. P.S. Chinna was the person's name. I remember because by the end, I had a macro to do "/target Chinna" to make sure i didn't have to try in vain to run.

Re:It is sad (2)

xhrit (915936) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104552)

I play Aion, which is pretty much Lineage III with an original setting. I was never into generic fantasy but the lore and art style in Aion were unique enough to catch my interest. The game has some of the most ruthlessly brutal pvp I have ever see tho, and it is definitely a deterrent to all but the most hardcore players.

Re:It is sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104824)

More sad is that Aion is a ghost town, that "fabulous" PVP is non existent because of that and I will not be surprised if NCSoft will scrap NA Aion servers also. That game was to hyped and proved to be a piece of crap with no content and worst that Lineage or Lineage II. Pretty graphics is the only Aion asset.

Re:It is sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36105488)

The game is a really long, shitty grind. That's the big problem. The PvP was great when the game was brand new, but lots of people dropped it once they started having to deal with the crazy grind bullshit towards the end.

Re:It is sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36105162)

I'm interested to know what you consider to be "brutal" about the Aion PvP; I'm curious.

Re:It is sad (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 3 years ago | (#36117618)

First off the game is highly gear dependent. Rare equipment gives a huge stat bonus over the more common gear. A level 32 gladiator in full elite abyss golds could kill level 50s if they are careful, and 3 shot someone their own level who was in average gear. More or less the only advantage leveling up gives you is access to higher tier skillbooks and equipment.

Second, no matter how gear dependent the game may be, pvp requires a high level of player proficiency to be successful. You can't just use auto-attacks, cookie cutter skill rotations or random skill spam, because the skill chains and reaction skills require you to respond to your opponents actions. Also, there are a large number of methods of incapacitation, from stuns, stumbles, knockback and knockdown to paralysis and aethers hold. This creates a lot of opportunity for combos and synergy between the classes. For example a chanter uses a Staff, and a Staff has a high number of knockdowns. A gladiator has a lot of skills that proc off knockdowns, so if a Chanter runs up and knocks someone down, a gladiator can follow up and combo with skills such as crippling cut or final strike.

Third, the rift system allowed groups of heavily geared characters virtually unrestricted access to the opposing factions homelands and quest hubs. Most of the endgame instances are located in contested areas, as are most world bosses. In fact it seems to me that most of the pve activities in the game are designed to funnel players into killzones to be harvested in pvp.

These three factors combined lead to not only individual players being able to lock down other players and kill them before they have a chance to do anything about it, but a group of geared players can lock down entire regions of the map for hours on end.

Which leads to my next point, PVP in Aion invariably breaks down into a zergfest. A geared group will camp an area for hours on end, until enough people get fed up with it and form an alliance. Then 20-30 people will go hunt down the offending group and camp their corpses until they leave.

And my last point, as others have said the game is a massive grind in both pve and pvp. The high end abyss gear costs millions of points, and while the game is not so ruthless to have full loot on death you do lose an exponentially large number of points. At the highest ranks you lose thousands of points per death while most players you kill will only be worth a few hundred at best. You can get 10k points in each pve abyss instance you run, but you are looking at running alot of instances to get enough points to afford the high end gear. In any case, as grindy as it is, its no worse then then scumming altars or thrones in nethack.

I admit the game was massively overhyped. It was billed as an east meets west wow-killer. In reality it is a hardcore Asian mmo, with Asian style pve grindfest that I would describe as merciless, combined with hardcore Asian style pvp that I would describe as brutal.

In short, two thumbs up from me, a hardcore oldschool gamer. In the end Aion might not be as good as nethack, but it looks alot better... and the pvp is lots of fun.

Shame (1)

augi01 (1209002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104856)

Shame. The original Lineage was my first MMO-RPG. And I think it is still the best online game I have ever played. Even though it is remarkably simple when compared to current online games, that not only worked, but was a strength. In addition, there is a level of secrecy unmatched by other online games; your appearance does not change when you equip different armor or weapons (minus a different, generic graphic for swords vs. axes vs. bows, and so forth), nor is there an online armory (e.g., World of Warcraft's armory) where players can view another player's gear. I always liked that.

Where will griefers go (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105072)

... to murder lowbies who are just trying to go in or out of the main hub towns?

Re:Where will griefers go (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#36108788)

Eve Online?

Not that popular in the US (2)

Aereus (1042228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105462)

Did they really have a million subscribers to the North American servers? I remember playing the English alpha/beta test for Lineage1 way back when, and the game felt dated even back then. There was a steep learning curve, pointless grinding, and not all that much to do.

That said, the game met large success in SE Asia at least, with something like 4million+ accounts there alone. At the same time that North America was considering Everquest1 a huge success with 500k subscribers.

This.... (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105828)

...is why I don't play MMO games.

Sure playing games is inherently pointless, but things like this really ram it down your throat.

This is what is wrong with these games (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36105980)

I did play City of Heroes for life half a year. But the realization is that no matter how much you like a game it's going to die and you won't be able to play it anymore unlike traditional lan games. I will not invest any of my money or invest my time in anything so ephemeral. I do consider games art and like a good book I want to be able to come back to it again 20 years later.

Weirdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36107720)

So you don't want to have fun *now* because you will be unable to have the exact same fun *20 years later,* when other categories of fun will be available?

Do you refuse to have sex because the woman in question will be old and ugly 20 years later?

Re:Weirdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36108894)

Yeah, why bother getting up in the morning? You're just going to eventually die anyways..... Time is meant to be "wasted", waste it.

Re:This is what is wrong with these games (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 3 years ago | (#36120720)

Most software bitrots. The number of games that I think of as good that will not play anymore on modern OS is astounding. Knights of the Old Republic does not work on widescreen monitors and randomly locks on windows 7. System Shock 2 wont run on any windows after 98. Mechwarrior 3 won't run on any windows after XP. Mechwarrior 2 will run in a dos emulator, but won't be hardware accelerated because 3d only worked with 3dfx voodoo drivers.

I played a phenomenally awesome Atari arcade game in the 90s called Space Lords, that is impossible to play on an emulator because it used custom hardware to render the sprites.
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