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[UO Herald] Ultima Online Account Migration - A Note From The Producer

Discussion in 'UHall' started by UO News, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. UO News

    UO News RSS Feed
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    Greetings,

    Ultima Online is migrating to a new account center and billing system. These changes are essential to the future and progress of Ultima Online.

    So what will change?

    On the surface the look and feel of the Account Center will change. Your page, as always, will be filled with personal entitlement (e.g. gametime, expansions, boosters) and other account information.

    Electronic Arts is transitioning to a more robust payment system. Ultima Online’s current payment system is built on old technology, and if we want to insure the success of the product we need a more advanced platform. In addition, the account center will ultimately broaden payment options for our European players.

    An additional feature is the capacity for trial accounts to immediately join the game without waiting for the full 14 days.

    More importantly, for recurring players, we will have a fresh and solid platform that will effectively and correctly track account age.

    Finally, the system will be fully integrated with the functionality of broader Electronic Arts. If you’ve created a Nucleus account with Electronic Arts, you should be familiar with the interface and process of viewing and interaction with your player account information. If you are not sure what any of this means, we’ve put together some common questions you may have.

    Is your billing and account information secure?

    Absolutely. One of the key reasons for updates to the current registration page and account center is to take advantage of the increased security offered by new web technologies. The first step in this transition is to make certain all your account information is safe.

    All changes and updates are in line with Electronic Arts Terms of Service.



    Thank you for your continued support and we'll see you in the game!



    More...
     
  2. Bazer

    Bazer Slightly Crazed
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    hmm this looks good, more security is always worth it, and better updates on account age sounds Great!
     
  3. Nok

    Nok Lore Master
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    Long overdue, great to see this happen.
     
  4. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    Overall good news, but one question did strike me :

    "When will the account center be offline?

    o On August the 5th, 2011 the account center will be offline for maintenance. It will come back up on the 11th of August. As we update the account center and migrate billing information, account transfers and other payment associated services will be offline. This is necessary so we do not affect account data during the transfer.


    So if someone is currently using pre-paid game time, and that runs out between tomorrow and the 11th - are they stuck until the account centre comes back up again?
     
  5. Europa Trader

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    I myself have two accounts that I was to renew next week so I hope not, but maybe the UO Code store still works to get GT straight onto account else they should make it 6 days free play time for people :) do it like Return to Brit for 6 days :)
     
  6. Miri of Sonoma

    Miri of Sonoma Lore Keeper
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    I just noticed there is a new section called My Games (well it is new to me at least) where you register your games and get a free cheat code??! The only UO version listed is Ultima Online: The 8th Age. Was there an 8th Age expansion? I don't remember it.
     
  7. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    I think that's when house design came in.

    Maybe they'll bring All RMT (sales) in-house
     
  8. Black Sun

    Black Sun Grand Poobah
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    Well that's 2 things I'm happy to hear.
     
  9. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    No kidding, I heard that EA was trying to bring all of their account management stuff under one system. I know this is partly due to them wanting players to be able to play the same games cross-platform (PS3, iPad, PC, etc.) since they are talking about it a lot, and partly due to the Origin.com and social networking crap they are working on, but I'm hoping this will make the game codes store easier to update and use.
     
  10. Queen Mum

    Queen Mum Babbling Loonie
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    • What if I misplaced/forgot my account information?

    o You will be able to recover your account information if you have access to the email address you originally used to create the account.


    Wow, that is a big security hole if all you need is the original email address used to create the account. Over the years folks have legitimately purchased accounts from other folks who left the game and now the potential of gaining accounts back without additional safeguards is very troublesome!
     
  11. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    *wraps this in red flags with orange sticks*
    This is a good question Mum!
     
  12. Saint of Killers

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    I can't wait for for my 10 houses on 10 shards to start to decay due to some "unforeseen glitch" with this new system.
     
  13. Cetric

    Cetric Grand Inquisitor
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    Could really use the guild pages of myuo working again, the SQL queries or WHATEVER it is you guys do to handle that..

    yea..

    that'd be super cool
     
  14. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Even Henny Penny says, "Chill bro" on this one :)

    [​IMG]

    Sure this raises some legitimate concerns but I tend to believe the more collective positive thoughts channeled towards improvements, the better off the outcome.
     
  15. phantus

    phantus Stratics Legend
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    So we are considered important enough to be included in the EA games club. This appears to be good news. Let's see how the implementation goes...
     
  16. Cal_Mythic

    Cal_Mythic Guest

    Good point here. We actually have taken a LOT of time on the backend to make sure this doesn't happen. We know that the majority of our players put time into their homes, so we taken a few precautions to make sure this does not happen.

    - C
     
  17. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    Are payment methods etc staying the same
     
  18. phantus

    phantus Stratics Legend
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    Nothing would make me(and a lot of others I'm sure) happy is to know the transition will occur smoothly. However, 13 years of experience and the "we don't replace lost or stolen items" clause are good reason to be uneasy. How many times has a EA account error ended up causing the decay of grandfathered houses ended with no fix and the player leaving? We only know of the ones that post about it but we know there must be more. I too worry about my grandfathered houses and would like to think all will go well but again, history has shown us these things have the potential to go poorly. Not only that but they have the tendency to be "fixed" poorly in the event of a problem. i.e. Maginicia rubble replacement
     
  19. phantus

    phantus Stratics Legend
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    I really look forward to this being the case.
     
  20. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    Would it be possible to get a 1 month non recurring credit card option
     
  21. Specialshoes

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    This is good news. Call me greedy but is this the only big news today? Just havent seen Cal hang out on the boards this long for quite awhile.
     
  22. Ezekiel Zane

    Ezekiel Zane Grand Inquisitor
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    So does this mean that that housing server will now finally be able to find houses on unpaid accounts and start the decay process?

    I'm specifically talking about the Welcome Back to Brit or Return to Brit houses that were placed on unpaid accounts when active during these promotions.
     
  23. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    If your account currently has no billing information stored on it and your paid time is set to run out any time on and between the dates of August 5th and August 11th, are you just out of luck when it comes to being able to add billing information to the account? Also, if your account does have billing information on it and is set to renew within that period or shortly thereafter, will the renewal happen automatically on the same dates it normally would happen, or will there be a delay until after a successful transition to the new system?

    I have several accounts that are scheduled to run out in the next couple of days and have no billing information on them because I wasn't sure I wanted to renew them. If I'm reading the FAQ correctly (it's written in very vague terms), it sounds like those accounts will shut down when their time runs out and I will not be able to add billing information to them and be able to log into them until August 12th, at the earliest. I would imagine people who use game time cards to make their payments will also be in a similar situation (i.e., will have to wait until August 12th to apply a payment to their account).

    Is this correct, Cal? And if yes, why are you giving people such short notice? It won't be that big of a deal to me to have some accounts shut down for a week, other than scrambling to put some plants in secure containers today, but I imagine for people who don't see this information today, the short notice is really going to put them in a bind and you may lose some customers as a result.
     
  24. Vampyre Kitty

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    I agree with Queen Mum on this... there are alot of people out there who have bought accts in the past.. some way before the transfer via EA was put in place (im one of those people) ... Come next week if this isnt resolved there are going to be alot of pissed off people.. Cal I pm'd you regarding this I hope you can shed some light on this further please.
     
  25. Barok

    Barok Grand Inquisitor
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    I want to know how many people here remember the email address they used 10+ years ago....
     
  26. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    I'm more concerned with billing issues. I'm guessing this is the same billing system that went haywire a while back with billing for WHO and other game accounts. (Mythic Entertainment | Warhammer Herald)
     
  27. Mesanna

    Mesanna UO Producer | Dark OverLady
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    Thanks for pointing this out, so to clear up the confusion we will be changing the FAQ to state: You will be able to recover your account information if you have the correct current email addess and billing information.

    Hope this makes everyone feel a little more secure.

    Mesanna
     
  28. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Thank you for the clarification Mesanna! And thank you Queen Mum for bringing it up!
     
  29. sirion

    sirion Seasoned Veteran
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    By the way, I noticed there is a recent change in the Cancelling account option.

    There used to be an option to "stop billing at the END of your billing cycle". This is no longer there. You can only choose "stop now".

    This is very inconvenient for people who only want to activate for one month.
     
  30. Queen Mum

    Queen Mum Babbling Loonie
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    Cookie thumbs up to Mesanna for clarifying it. :)
     
  31. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    It's probably the new system being setup with Origin.com that was put together earlier this year. I'm surprised EA didn't do all of this before now, given how many billing/account systems they had, but they seem to be doing this because of the Star Wars launch this year or next, and because EA Sports wants unified accounts and games. They will probably save a lot of money, lot of hassle, and reduce staffing on the billing and support side. Account support should be easier if everybody is under the same system.

    I just hope that they don't tie the social networking crap in. I don't feel the need to post on Facebook when I make a nice weapon :lol:
     
  32. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Well, it will suck if they've had all this time to know the change was coming and then posted one-day notice of a change that prevents people from being able to make payments on their accounts for a week or more. And why these major changes always seem to be made on a Friday is beyond me. Something invariably gets screwed up and there's usually no one around until Tuesday of the following week to deal with the negative fallout. Companies that take over recordkeeping large retirement plans from other companies usually have a blackout period that lasts for a day or a weekend up to maybe a week. They plan for the transition over a period of months and advise participants well ahead of time of the blackout period and account and transaction restrictions. Here we've got EA making an internal transition between systems of very basic account information that isn't tied into anything external like stock market prices and apparently the process is going to cause a week-long blackout and they've given us 12 hours notice. It just doesn't sound very efficient and I'm concerned about how well they will handle the process. If they muck this up, it will be my last straw with them.
     
  33. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    For all we know, Cetric GL might be right and this was tied to the My UO stuff being down for a while.
     
  34. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Whether it is or isn't, I'm feeling very uncomfortable with how this is being handled, with the last minute notice and Mesanna and Cal not being able to provide a quick answer to basic questions like, "Can I make a payment on my account or will my account automatically renew in the next 7 days."

    I just finished pulling the credit card info off the couple of accounts that were still set up to renew automatically. It's not worth it to me to see this get screwed up and then end up being billed double or triple because EA is handling this in their usual lackadaisical fashion or to wonder about the security of my credit card information on both their OLD system and their new one. I'll go buy game time cards somewhere and use them if I have to until I feel more comfortable with how this is being done. Right now I have a very very low comfort level about this whole situation, primarily because of one recurring problem: Really cr**** communication.
     
  35. Shiznit Bo'Bourbon

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    Thank Jeebus, this was more than needed. The old billing system has been a running disgrace to EA for years.
     
  36. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I hear you - I'm not fond of the accounting system as it is now and do worry a bit - I have some accounts that are supposed to bill in the next week as well. My two most important ones are thankfully already paid, but it would be a pain if the others got screwed up.

    It was announced awfully quick.
     
  37. Cal_Mythic

    Cal_Mythic Guest

    Thanks for all the feedback so far:

    In regard to accounts set to expire during this period: We will make it more clear in the FAQ that there may be some accounts that may fall into this category.

    During this time your account is held in its most recent state, and once the migration is complete will return to its normal rate of billing + the number of days lost during the migration.
     
  38. Wonder if Lloyd's of Britannia is insuring this... EA might want to ensure they have enough gold in the bank.
     
  39. Cal_Mythic

    Cal_Mythic Guest

    There's always one in every class :p Thanks, sir! Somewhere every English teacher I've had is facepalming ... :)
     
  40. QueenZen

    QueenZen Always Present
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    Migrations have a tendency to ...go south:D at this time of year up in this hemisphere too !


    *places vacation waffers in her fish tanks today, on two shards...

    just in case*
     
  41. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
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    Back in June my main account was due for renewal and I asked this question here:

    Will the gametime codes be used if cc info not updated?

    A couple people seemed easy with it, so I decided to let the codes take effect on the account, knowing that I could just update the information if they didn't work. Needless to say, that backfired.... not only did they not kick in, they totally disappeared.

    reported here

    If you read the posts, the customer rep I talked to assured me that all would be corrected, which, to date, has not happened. The codes have not been re-applied to my billing page. (Indeed, he even stated that something similar had happened even to him)

    So, Cal, was the loss of 120 days gametime part of this migration process and they'll eventually be reinstated or has my pocket been picked clean?
     
  42. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    If you have concerns about the migration period or the billing system, you might want to send Cal a PM instead of posting them here or clear your browser cache and check the commonly asked questions page for updates. Based on a PM Cal sent me a while ago, I sense there is more he'd like to say about the billing system and the migration process, but perhaps for some reason cannot or will not do so in a public forum. Maybe it just depends on who is asking questions and how they ask them.

    I'm not sure I'm allowed to share publicly what he told me, so in an effort to be "constructive," I'll just tell you that after reading his PM I am less concerned than I was earlier about account security.
     
  43. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    This just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
    By "current billing information" please include the actual credit card number used.
    Not just someone who happens to know your name and address.
     
  44. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    After the Warhammer Online screw ( 13 charges in one time) up which was a 3rd party error not Bioware (Mythic at the time) I see this as a good thing.

    Evere since the above fiasco I just mentioned, I have only trusted gametime codes. Way much easier to deal with.
     
  45. Zurhet Pebblethief

    Zurhet Pebblethief Journeyman
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    If its most recent state is that the account is closed and the house on that account hits the 90 day mark and starts to decay, will the system recognize that an account has been refreshed? Is it supposed to?

    We have RP houses in decay on Catskills because even though the accounts were reopened, the houses are not refreshing.
     
  46. BahamaMama

    BahamaMama Seasoned Veteran
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    Whee.. was trying to do the Account Transfer Program today. Called EA and after several phone transfers I got, "it's not available."

    So, if I do the deal today, what billing info (and email) on the acct will show up after Aug 11th??
     
  47. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    I suspect that you cannot refresh an account during this period or do anything else with it, for that matter. Since earlier this afternoon, if you try to go to the account maintenance site (e.g., you still have the link in your browser history or have it bookmarked), you are redirected to the FAQ page.

    [I'm really trying to not be disrespectful / inflammatory with what I said in the paragraph above. Got chewed out for that yesterday in a PM from Cal because of my other questions and comments in this thread. I'm merely reporting what I noticed myself today checking the account maintenance site. Take my comments for whatever their worth (i.e., a GUESS on my part and nothing I know with any certainty whatsoever because I don't work for EA) and be sure to read the FAQ yourself, call EA if you have to, don't panic, stay positive, be patient, and so on.... This migration is supposed to be a good thing for UO players.]

    :hug:
     
  48. Zurhet Pebblethief

    Zurhet Pebblethief Journeyman
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    We came to the same conclusion and began the merry-go-round needed to refresh the houses by transferring them so they won't go IDoC. I appreciate they are updating their systems etc. they wouldn't be if the game were in the throws of its final days like gets bantered about so often. Just caught us off guard, but we always have a contingency plan in place.
     
  49. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I just got an email stating that my EA account was migrated to Origin.com. That was quick. I know a few other people that got the emails as well.

    Very ironic that they are migrating our UO accounts to Origin.com.

    Very ironic.
     
  50. DarkVoid

    DarkVoid Guest

    A few questions:

    1. Will this new system mean I can now see the date on which my currently active subscription for a given account will expire if not paid? I've always wanted that option, and it's certainly not on the current system.

    2. Will this new system mean that an account with payment problems can finally be reactivated with a click on a menu option, even if that account has not yet gone inactive in-game? I had a payment situation exactly like this with an older account of mine, emailed support, and they fixed the problem, but I'd like to be able to do this with one click (or as few clicks as possible) directly through the billing website. (Yes, this is connected somewhat with point 1 above.)

    3. Will this new system allow me to track all of my accounts I'm paying for at the same time? One big problem with the old system is that people with multiple accounts could only get information about one account at a time, I'd like to see a summary of all my UO accounts that the billing system knows about on one page.