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Character Purge Proof an Account?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Pickaxe Pete, Sep 10, 2013.

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  1. Pickaxe Pete

    Pickaxe Pete Lore Master
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    One of my accounts is inactive and I have some items stored in the bank(s) of the character(s).

    I know in the past there have been some purges of characters meeting certain criteria.

    How would you go about making a storage account purge proof?

    Things such as minimum number of skill points...?
     
  2. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    I know that it is written somewhere that they do this to inactive UO accounts, but I have never heard of anyone who had their accounts purged. Ok, maybe not entirely true, I have heard of incredibly old UO accounts that were closed ages ago that were missing characters when it was reactivated ages later, but those reports are very few and dated.

    You shouldn't have to worry about it. Just make sure it's connected to a master account though.
     
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  3. Plant Elemental

    Plant Elemental Journeyman
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    I have heard about the past devs talking about this years and years ago. The thinking was back then to free up server space, decreasing log in time, and lag. Of course nowadays with advancements in computers, networks, hardware, and data storage not to mention less UO population, a purge would never happen.
    I think that I heard that they would do a purge if server storage ever became an issue. I've re-activated accounts as old as 2001 with characters simply created to get gifts and never used again. Sure enough, they are still there.
    I don't think you have anything to worry about.
     
  4. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    Pay $9.99 a month and they'll even allow you access to your stored items at will!
     
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  5. Pickaxe Pete

    Pickaxe Pete Lore Master
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    Great! I recall some talk about purging the Christmas gift trading characters, which made me think of this. :)
     
  6. Speranza

    Speranza Slightly Crazed
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    This happened to me around '99 or '00 but has not happened again since. I've got 6 years on a 15 year old account >.< Herp Derp
     
  7. Orgional Farimir

    Orgional Farimir Lore Keeper
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    My first account was purged. I started it in 1998 and stopped playing in 2003ish..... When I started playing around 2010 I couldn't remember any of the account info so I started a new one. During the last RTB I was able to track down the login info and log in..... It said my account was one month old and had no character. I didn't even bother to call EA over it because if they can't help on minor issues I am sure they can't help with this. So I just let it stay inactive.
     
  8. HP_Zoro_HP

    HP_Zoro_HP Seasoned Veteran

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    I don't know where you get your codes buddy but I sure wish it was only $10 lol... I have to pay the cost PLUS TAX which is ilke over $13 ($12.99 plus tax).... I'd love to know where to get them for $10.
     
  9. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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  10. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    My current account was purged. all characters were gone when i came back to the game after around 3 and a half years of inactivity on that account. this was around 2004 tho. I wasnt happy about it, but really didnt lose much as there wasnt much to lose back then. I was credited with vet rewards / account age time for those 3.5 years. not sure if this was just a random thing, or if it was done because i wasnt happy about my character loss when i talked to someone over the phone.

    I heard - key word is "heard" that account characters are only kept for 5 years normally.
     
    #10 Smoot, Sep 11, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  11. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    I have checked some very, very weird looong abandoned old trial accounts during various RTB things. All have always been there. Like..old trial accs from 2002 that have never had a sub on them.
     
  12. Xalan Dementia

    Xalan Dementia Slightly Crazed
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    I remember them discussing Unused Character Clean up right around the time Savages and controllers started popping up around minoc/yew areas. never went thru though and I also have many old accounts i check every RTB and none are missing any chars etc.
     
  13. Goldberg-Chessy

    Goldberg-Chessy Crazed Zealot
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    Storage should never be free.
    How important can the stuff be if you want to leave it unused in the bank of an inactive account?
    Its simple imo. Pay your monthly sub or lose your crap.
     
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  14. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    So you think if someone drops their sub for a month or two they should lose all the items in their banks?
     
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  15. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    He's not talking about right away. There's still the 90-day grace period for houses.
     
  16. Goldberg-Chessy

    Goldberg-Chessy Crazed Zealot
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    Not at all.
    I didn't mean for it to sound that way either. My bad.
    But the person I was quoting certainly seemed to be talking about long term inactivation when he asked about how to make an account "purge proof"
     
  17. sablestorm

    sablestorm Certifiable
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    I have a ton of accounts myself and my current longest inactive account hasn't been active since March of 2006. I've never had characters or accounts get deleted but I always make sure to login to each character on each account every time a Return to Britannia promotion rolls around.
     
  18. Risso

    Risso Babbling Loonie
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    Well it's UO's 16th Anniversary, so the last purge must have been....15 years ago?
     
  19. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    By "purge proof" he is meaning the rumored character deletions that would be done to inactive accounts to save data storage, not free storage such as keeping houses up.
     
  20. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    This is such BS. That pixel crack comes with very real value, sentimental and otherwise,for many people. If devs of this game heeded your uselessly cold advice, I'm quite sure UO would have been long dead for a good while. Most people want something to come back to.
     
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  21. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    As I've recently pointed out, UO is not a charity. Why should a non-subscriber have any expectation EA will keep any of their data for free, when space is finite?

    It's a simple enough solution: if the pixels have that much value to someone, then the person needs to care enough to keep the account open.
     
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  22. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    Significant majority of people playing the game today have been 'non-subscibers' at one point or another. So clearly, being a " non subscriber" isn't always a pernament state. It is EA's best interests and essential for UO's survival to ensure some of those few hundred thousand people vaguely interested of the game come back every now and then. Doing so is much easier if they have something to return to. Keeping the characters intact is good business.

    Not a single major MMORPG I have ever heard of actually wipes their character data. Do you think this is because they are all charities? Or you recon there is some extremely good reason for not treating your old(and potentially returning) customers poorly enough to just wipe their accounts clean some months after they unsub?
     
    #22 Flagg, Sep 13, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
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  23. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    There's a difference between letting an account lapse for a month and letting it lapse for years. As someone's absence grows longer, the odds exponentially increase that the person will never return. The timeframe is the Devs' discretion, and I hadn't heard before they started wiping characters, but it's a reasonable business decision when server space is limited. It's not like they wipe after a few months, which would be their right anyway.

    Other games don't have to be as concerned with wiping, since they don't have all the items UO does, namely houses and storage.
     
  24. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    @ The Zog Historian

    I'd like to hear more of this expensive heavy toll hundreds of thousands of unused old character files take on poor EA/Mythic's servers. I honestly don't have a clear idea just how much precious, allegedly expensive terabytes it consumes. And what sort of an island of data that makes in ocean cluttered with things such as housing and thousands of items average active player has going on vendors, homes, etc. Assuming this makes a relevant price tag, imagine the issues in MMos with multiple millon players and tens of millions of abandoned characters.

    Just for sake of conversation then, what would you deem an appropriate time to erase old customers' entire digital existence since he has stopped giving EA money on monthly basis at least for the time being? Six months? One year? Three years?

    If Dev team actually purged lets say 100.000 characters not played anymore, in what way would this, in your mind, benefit UO? Would you be happy or somehow optimistic if you heard some one hundred thousand chars of people who haven't played in ages are gone?

    Pretty much every singles significant MMORPG has bank, inventory, etc. Wether or not quaterstaff in UO's bank slot takes more or less space on server farm's hard drives than katana in WoW's bank, I have absolutely no clue.
     
    #24 Flagg, Sep 13, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
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  25. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    To the best of my knowledge there has been no 'purge' for as long as I have played. At some point prior to that some accounts with characters having virtually no skills or significant paid playtime were removed - trial accounts that were never activated etc.
    It is my belief that some people who may believe their accounts were 'purged' by EA may in fact have had their accounts stripped and characters deleted by other players to whom they had given access to their accounts. They may even have given permission for such a clearance and forgotten it.
     
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  26. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    I think(even) more likely option is that the chars got deleted in some " Ahhh!! I'm SO gone from this game!!" -spree and while chars/account themselves never got forgotten, act of deleting them did.
     
  27. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    If characters are wiped, then clearly there's a need to save space. Or do you really think it's being done callously?

    Think about it: 200,000 accounts no longer active, each with five characters and 125 items. Each item is unique, and it needs additional information on where it's placed in a bank or pack, so it can't be just a single byte that's just a data pointer to a master table. Add to that what I'd design as reserved space for customized item names, and one item might take 512 bytes. On a shard with 10,000 inactive accounts, that's 3 gigs of data right there, not including the information for characters and items being worn. It's even more if I underestimated the required space. But hard drives are cheap, right? It isn't even so simple now that things were moved to "the cloud." More storage means higher fees, and with UO being on its decline, can you imagine any Dev asking EA brass to pay more?

    I'm not saying what the timeframe should be. That's up to the Devs, because they're the ones who know the server load, the ones who can crunch their own numbers about the probability of old accounts being reactivated, and the ones who are told "You'd better clear out space since you aren't getting any more." But I will tell you that back when certain financial records were under my purview, I had files kept longer than the SEC's minimum requirements under 17a-3 and 17a-4. When data was migrated to a new database, the cost of more sophisticated indexing and searching was that each record, new or migrated, took up more space. So in order to save space, the SEC's minimum requirements became good enough.

    And once again, there's a very simple solution. Don't want to lose your houses and items? Don't want to lose your characters? Then keep the accounts active. Don't expect EA to keep your information for free, no matter how long or how good a customer you were.
     
    #27 The Zog historian, Sep 13, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  28. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    highly likely. I do know there have been several tearful posts on these boards over the years when accounts were 'purged' by angry spouses etc. :D
     
  29. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    Perhaps you can clarify your position, then, on opposing a purge. For my part, I'm not sure any characters have been purged, but if there has been, I can understand why.
     
  30. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    "Houses and items" is not what we speak of here. We speak of characters, their skill points, their bank accounts.

    Should such 'simple solution' be enforced, it would require line of thinking from EA/Mythic that displays absolutely zero grace towards people who have invested significant amount of cash on their product and, more importantly I guess, are ALL potential returning customers.
    This line of thinking would co-exist with Free To Play MMOs that treat customers who have never paid a single dime with more respect and grace than folks behind UO would treat their former monthy subbing customers.

    I 'm unsure what the argument here is tbh. There is no evicence for such purge ever having taken place or ( that I know of) any evidence of such ever happening on large scale.

    Do you argue on it's behalf? Do you want it to happen? Would you sleep more peacefully if you knew a person who once upon a time paid..let's say, 200 dollars for playing UO has gotten everything erased since he dared to end this commitment for few years?

    If storing all this precious character data is so exceptionally costly and dififcult in UO, imagine what an **IMPOSSIBLE** concept it would have been around, say, late 90s or early 00s! Typical hard drive costing, say, 200 bucks has...what, one or two hundred times the storage capacity of one in late 90's. This development reflects all the related costs of server farms as well.
     
    #30 Flagg, Sep 14, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  31. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    Isn't this thread somewhat making mountains out of molehills? Accounts, other than ones with no trained characters and unsubscribed trail accounts, have never been purged. EA/Mythic have not announced any intention to do so.
    Or is it a case of not letting reality and facts get in the way of a good argument?
     
  32. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    I have been discussing characters, if you didn't notice, but I brought up houses and contents as the same principle: if you don't want to lose your stuff, then pay for the account. You can't give even a simple answer as to why EA or anyone else should continue to maintain data for free.

    To EA, it's all data with no distinguishing between what the data represents.

    You're talking about people who spent a little money once upon a time. "I used to put a lot of money into your business" has no weight when the customer hasn't shown up in a long time and may not return again. These aren't people who still drop tens of thousands at a hardware store, or still patronize a restaurant restaurant so often as to get preferential treatment.

    The odds of someone who quit in 2010 are already not that great, and the odds against return increase exponentially with years, to where someone who quit in 2005 probably won't return, and someone who quit in 1998 has a definite asymtote of zero -- and would have such outdated characters and items anyway that rebuilding skills is preferable.

    And we get back to that simple thing again: if you don't want to lose your stuff, then pay for the account. You can't give even a simple answer as to why EA or anyone else should continue to maintain data for free.

    I'm not sure what you are saying. I've already made my position clear: not knowing if it actually happens, a purge makes sense for very old characters if an account hasn't been active in years. Do I have to repeat myself for you? It doesn't matter to me, but if that's what EA has directed and/or the Devs have decided, I can understand the business reasons behind it.

    A couple of hundred bucks isn't even two years. Big deal. That barely gets the lowest-level vet rewards.

    It's not as simple as EA buying its own hard drive. It's a matter of longer items causing longer server maintenance times, or didn't you know the purpose of the original 1999 cleanup? It's a matter of things being stored in the cloud, being charged by a unit of storage, with the guarantee (ahem, Atlantic, December 2012) that when something screws up, there are redundancies to save the data -- and redundancies with backups.

    When you understand data storage, then come back and talk to me.
     
  33. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    You're telling me. I'm not certain there's ever been a purge, but my position is that if there has been, I can understand the reasons behind it. However, certain people seem so adamant that EA store their data for free, just because they spent a few bucks.
     
  34. Goldberg-Chessy

    Goldberg-Chessy Crazed Zealot
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    Total nonsense.

    There would be nobody riding or using the higher end vet rewards if a "Significant majority of people playing the game today have been 'non-subscibers' at one point or another"
    If you let your account lapse for too long you don't lose your stuff but you do stop aging in terms of rewards.
    The huge majority of vets have obtained these higher end rewards because they have not let their accounts ever lapse long enough to stop aging.

    So clearly, you do not know what you are talking about.

    As I already stated in this thread, I have no issue at all with short-term deactivation. There are a lot of very valid reasons and I myself have let a couple of lesser used accounts lapse for a couple months at a time. Usually because the cc on file expires and I just don't log in the characters regularly.

    My point quite clearly was that I have issue with people not playing/paying for extended periods of time then expecting everything to stay safe and sound. Especially houses.
    Items in banks are certainly a more debatable point but I still believe that you should pay to play. Storage is not free and it consumes resources.

    Either way imo it is a moot point because I don't think they would ever seriously consider large scale purging.
    I have to think that the resources used storing all the data are very small when weighed against the extra profit earned when old players return to full banks and start playing/paying again.

    I like to see old vets return just as much as anyone else. I just dislike it when I see them ranting here or ingame because they feel they are owed something for their contributions 6 years ago.
     
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  35. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    There has been ONE, I repeat, ONE purge that I can remember and it was so very, very, very, very long ago, if I remember it was pre Tram and it might have been pre T2. The only chars that were purged were cars with less than, I think it was, 300 or so skill points. I remember that there was a min skill point req. but it was never enforced until they added some new land and they needed the computer space. UO was suppose to auto purge chars with less than the req. min. skills but I truly don't think it was ever turned on. That is the ONE AND ONLY time I can remember UO ever doing it. As far as now doing a purge, NO WAY IN HE!! SHOULD UO PURGE ANY ACCOUNT. Storage is so cheap that there is no reason to purge any UO Account. Look at some of the posts of people returning after 6+ years or longer, for that reason alone accounts should never, I repeat, NEVER purge accounts. We are not talking houses here people, we are talking Chars. One shard, 5 chars with 250 items each aint squat when it comes to storage now a days. Lets be real before we make remarks like "UO should purge".
     
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  36. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    Let's put an end to this storm in a teacup.
     
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