There has been a follow-up statement in the "Cheating and Third Party Tools in TERA - You Won't Believe What Happens Next!" thread in General Discussion. While posting about 3rd party programs is still against the forum rules and we ask that you adhere to that, we hope this helps address some of the questions we've been seeing in the community.
"uncivilized way to harrass" ...that's quite a funny statement.
so what's a "civilized way to harass", I wonder?
While I understand these "harasser and attackers" aiming at "forum defenders" issue, you gotta realize, people are tired of the piled up false promises, as well as persistent ignorance from EME staff, nor there have any full discussions about what to do to resolve such issues. a lot of arguments that went back and forth just seemed like "I'm right, you're wrong" rather than actually understanding AND respecting other's opinion while at it. Standing on your own grounds in discussion is the the reason why things never go anywhere.
Both sides make valid arguments, and I both agree and disagree in many parts.
However, the issue is that none of the side is trying to listen because they are only talking in their stances, not considering what the other party may be going through.
People have reached their hands on 3rd pty app because game has gone beyond its "normal" playable state, whatever that "normal" may be: do we really create the intended environment with proxy?
It was pointed this out that proxy can simulate but will never create anything near its intentional environment it was meant to be played in, which is Korea. All Korean players are at sub 30ms ping, at worst they do get to 100ms iirc from inven long ago, but for them, reaching higher than 50 ping means unplayable because it is abnormal. Now look at us, we play even on red ping, which can be normal for some of us. For me, normal ping is 90~120 at stable average values. But I'm get this for quite a while now. For Los Angeles, California, that's abnormal. Speedtesting to servers in Chicago results in 60~80ms, but even at normal circumstances for stable ping to TERA, I'm getting additional 30ms on top of that, which I can understand by routing. The issue is that now I'm sitting here with 200~500ms. Yesterday was even worse, jumping 70~140~300~1000 all over the place, showing stable ping at around 300ms.
So using proxy helped with issues like in this case for many players to play the game mostly some what close to what they'd normally experience for the intentional game design; However, someone decided to go rogue and abused it that has nothing to do with what its original purpose of proxy was created for.
This is like saying "hey, someone invented a cell phone and I can call police anywhere I want as prank call, then run away!"
Did the inventor of cell phone create it for that very purpose? No, their intention was different and someone else abused it. So whose fault is it?
Don't tell me the innocent, curious inventor is at fault. Poor guy, he only wanted to make life easier to have such a handy device!
Anyways what makes this such an uproar about this third party app is that players who were finally able to enjoy the game after all these "never fulfilled promises" with words of "we're looking in to it" never came for years. it was something these people-- as in, we, players of NA server, all wanted.
Who knows, maybe it's not an easy fix, but what's important is that the players solved it, and companies are turning blind eye on it saying it's an illegal program that only causes harm to the game, while in reality, it only made the game more alive-- it made the game playable at a simulated, intentional functions. Clearly, they are showing that they are lacking competence knowing they are not confident that they would win any argument related to the matter as they lack the power in doing so, hiding their tail behind the back and evacuate back in their shelter, hovering over a button to nuke us.
But to completely block us, players, to have such experience taken away WHILE being completely silent about it is not the way this so called "Community to Company" interaction should be. There has to be a communication, which is what I am trying to attempt in achieving with you right now to help you understand the backstory.
Don't just look at the people say "OH NO 3rd PTY APP IS BANNABLE? I CANT PLAY!". research, look into what made these people say these. If you've played endgame content several times, you meet these people and they talk about the experiences as well. In other words, BE THEM.
If you are going to stand your ground on "rules are rules", so be it. As Korean myself, I also stand by the rules too, and I like to try to keep them as well since it's in my blood. I've been raised and disciplined harshly that way and I can completely understand that-- but society will never follow rules all the time if there is flaw.
And that flaw right now is that after several request for fixes, there have not been any and a player sat down and fixed it in few hours or so of coding. That's what's making the players even more frustrated.
EME : If a problem arises in the community, please step up and take time to discuss with people who are involved that completely understand the issue. Maybe you did try to attempt making communication with these proxy developers, but what I'm hearing is completely different story from both sides.
Spacecats : While some community members may not understand with current issue, you're a cool guy and I respect you and I've tried to be on your side quite often-- you know that yourself, and I've offered that I'm always willing to help as long as you contact me. But I can't understand how you and Bern failed to make contact when Bern and I are on the same discord where you can reach out to us. Also, if Bern did not respond, you should have attempted contact with other moderators. I don't know how busy you are and I won't question it. You are doing your part at your best but things are simply not looking good... And I'm not seeing that same Spacecats I see on my chat log. So please, let's have a talk.
Also, trying to argue against some people on the forum, hiding behind people who aren't clearly understanding the situation hoping that this entire chaos would eventually alleviated in time, as well as holding on your own ground just because you are the staff is not a tolerable excuse to completely ignore those who are involved, and I dare say, I am included just because Bernkastel, whom I deeply respect among community since I've been in community, is involved.25
April 19th, 2012, TERA started it's beta test and opened its servers to players.
Since the very start, players have been dealing with and complaining about ping dependent skills.
Rapid Fire casted at 30% speed for high ping players compared to low ping players, but it wasn't a big deal because Rapid Fire was only ever used for its first shot animation cancel. It was a legitimate if minor concern. However, anytime it was brought up, the only answer we ever got was "we understand your concerns and we'll look into it".
Then 2013 came, same unfulfilled promises.
Then 2014 came, same unfulfilled promises.
Then 2015 came, a new Gunner class was introduced that had the same ping dependent skill problem, same unfulfilled promises.
Then 2016 came, a new Ninja class was introduced that had the same ping dependent skill problem, same unfulfilled promises.
Then Archer revamp came, Rapid Fire was not only not fixed, it was massively buffed, same unfulfilled promises.
The problem? These classes cannot use their skills properly. It's like enchanting a +15 VM weapon, but it only does +12 mid tier damage.
It is now April, 27th, 2017, more than five years since launch, and none of these issues has ever been fixed.
And therein lies the problem. Players were told their concerns mattered, that their voices would be heard, their issues handled.
EME, forgive the bluntness, but your promises are empty. Players have completely, utterly, and totally lost faith in your ability to manage and fix your own game, and that's the real reason we're here today. Do you think any of the issues we're having now would even exist if you had handled it back in 2012?
It may be five years late, but the situation is still salvageable.
Fix the game for real this time. Set a real plan of action, find out who to talk to, create a time table, get this handled finally. And give the community updates on when it's getting done. We need real goals and deadlines, not more empty promises.
EDIT: Since people are coming into the thread without reading replies and leaving uniformed snide comments, I'll leave this here:
I personally play from Washington state with 50ms ping. These issues largely do not affect me, but they do affect many many players and friends I've met in game, and it is extremely frustrating seeing them suffer from EME/BHS's inaction.26
Quick question : do you know how computers work?20
This has become a hot topic over the last 24 hours. We don't allow discussion of 3rd party programs in the forums because they inevitably lead to detailed discussion on their functions, how they're used, where to get them, etc... stuff that leads to more people breaking the ToS (and massive forum drama). There have also been a lot of rumors and upset. So I’d like to follow up and give people some insight into what led to Noesis' above statement. Hopefully some of the questions we've been seeing in the community get answered in the process.
To start, the Terms of Service is a legal document every player agrees to when they sign up to play TERA. That document states that 3rd party programs aren’t allowed. Over TERA’s lifespan various 3rd party programs have been developed by players, some way more harmful than others, and the discussion in the community (outside the forums) has pretty much become “so which 3rd party programs will I ACTUALLY get in trouble for?”
That’s led things down a slippery slope where more and more people started using 3rd party programs to the point where they got used to them. For some people 3rd party programs are just part of the everyday TERA experience. So why are “innocent” 3rd party programs suddenly not allowed? The answer is that… well… no 3rd party programs were allowed to begin with. Some people have been discretely using them and haven’t been banned, and now recent events have called the use of ALL 3rd party programs into question, throwing a spotlight on some of those people.
The injector -
We can’t say DPS meters are allowed. They aren’t allowed. Attempting to interpret or amend the Terms of Service in a way that specifically allows the DPS meters or any other 3rd party program goes against the very nature of the agreement and why it’s in place to begin with - to protect TERA, En Masse, and honest players. There are malicious 3rd party programs out there – they aren’t licensed, they are in no way tested by our staff, and they can be purposefully or even accidentally harmful for both the TERA live environment as well as your PC. We can’t endorse them.
Packet injecting is a good example of a 3rd party program that directly interferes with TERA gameplay and is harmful for the live environment. It’s been a complaint in the community for weeks now, if not months. If you’re an honest player who appreciates tackling the challenges TERA has to offer, chances are you’re not a big fan of packet injection. Packet injectors, like other malicious software, directly interfere with how TERA servers receive information from clients. Software designed to do this can be programmed to do lots of crazy things that directly and indirectly impact the game for others… they can also include DPS meters. A hacker could easily create “a DPS meter” that also acts as a packet injector or other harmful software, interfering with TERA in ways we won’t list (and the players installing that software might not even realize).
Our commitment to making TERA an awesome experience for our players includes ridding the game of malicious 3rd party programs like the packet injector, and that’s what we’re working to do.
Player bans –
Since Noesis' post, a handful of players have been permabanned for the use and development of malicious 3rd party programs.
Are we actively hunting for players using 3rd party software in malicious ways? Yup! It’s the right thing to do to make sure malicious software doesn’t interfere with players who just want to play the game.
But this isn’t mass player eradication. We’re investigating those who are egregiously modding and tampering with the client. In some cases players are very clearly guilty of hacking and interfering with the live service of the game, and those players will be banned without warning. Again, like all players they've agreed to a legal document stating that they WILL NOT do this, so a ban isn’t exactly the worst possible punishment considering some of the real problems hackers cause. In some cases the TERA team has had to put a lot of effort and work hours towards stopping hacks and cheats that could have been put towards other things (further affecting TERA players).
Hopefully this alleviates some of the concerns and rumors that En Masse is going to insta-ban hundreds and hundreds of players. Though at this point if you’re thinking to yourself “oh cool, so installing XXXX is fine because I probably won’t get banned,” please re-read everything above and reconsider. We want to tackle this problem in a way that’s best for all TERA players, and you can help by respecting the spirit of the game, the Terms of Service, and your fellow players. If the thing you’re doing messes with any of those, you should stop.
In light of recent events and the lack of communication actually ocurring following this debacle, I'd like us all to take a step back and think of how communication between the playerbase of a game and the developers/publishers should work.
The relationship is symbiotic, the game cannot function without the developers or publishers, but it also cannot function without a satisfied playerbase. Both of these elements are key to understanding why this has turned so nasty - EME's community managers are hiding their heads, or stomping their feet and quoting the rules, and the players are extremely angry, some overreacting, but many with valid concerns. Before we start on the specifics, let's look at two examples of how this has gone for other games, shall we? One of these examples has a happy end, the other is ongoing.
First example - Warframe, developed by Digital Extremes, has seen a fair number of big clashes between developers and players (yes, I know EME aren't devs, but they are the only source we can communicate properly with in NA Tera). For this example I'm going with Viver, or Warframe's famous "loot cave" debacle. Effectively what went down is that a method existed to grind "syndicate reputation", which functioned pretty much the way reputation & credits function in Tera, the only difference was that the reputation also acted as the credits, instead of the two being seperate. This method involved a specific 4 characters on a specific map that could AFK the entire mission only pressing one button each for extremely fast reputation gain, and to counter this, Digital Extremes made changes to these 4 characters instead of changing how the map, and the game mode it was a part of, functioned.
The resulting backlash from this kneejerk change had the community in a fervor, and Digital Extremes did what EME seems to be doing now - they hid their heads after saying "you should've known" and buckled down hoping it would blow over... it did not. After a week of constant bombardment from angry players, one of the developers made an official post, apologising for the changes that genuinely made these 4 characters buggy messes, and then they reverted the changes and changed the map to a different game mode so it could not longer be farmed in this way. People calmed down and moved on, content with this end.
Second example - SMITE, developed by Hi-Rez Studios, SMITE has also had a fair number of these clashes, and two of them are still ongoing. I'm going to use EasyAntiCheat (EAC for short) for this post, sorta relevant, ain't it? EAC is a system that Hi-Rez introduced to Paladins, another game of theirs, and EAC seems to work perfectly fine on it, however, it wasn't until Hi-Rez introduced the system to SMITE in the beginning of Season 4 that things got ugly. See, the objective of EAC is, overall, to prevent cheats, however the problem with this is that SMITE already had such a low amount of cheaters that ever made it to Level 30, where most of SMITE's playerbase was actually at, that the inclusion of it had no real impact on the gameplay of the core part of the playerbase - or, I should say, no positive impact.
You see, shortly after EAC hit, the reddit flooded with complaints of constant disconnects from games, as well as a significant number of videos taken post-EAC that showed people cheating, the community perception was that EAC actually made things worse. What the community saw was: EAC hit, servers got worse, DCs constantly, more cheaters, and that last one? Ooh, that was the killer. People were outraged, and Hi-Rez didn't make many acknowledgements until one post, it was a long-winded post made by one of the community managers at Hi-Rez, and the community weren't buying into it. Sure, people were happy to get a response, but they hated the contents of it. EAC is still active in SMITE to this day and complaints about connection quality while not as frequent, are still commonplace.
Now - what do these two events have in common, and what do they do differently? Obviously both angered the community in some way, and both got responses from community managers, but what's missing?
The acceptance of the response. See, your community, no matter what game you're running, is not stupid. If they think you're trying to pull the wool over their eyes, it will only make them more unhappy, publisher/developer and community need to be able to have a proper connection, a heart-to-heart, a platform to discuss these issues. If you begin deleting everything and silencing everyone, it's like angering a swarm of bees and then poking the hive even more - just not a good idea.
EME - you need to make a proper response to what is happening here, a proper, well-ordered response that doesn't silence "naysayers" and involve you stamping your foot on the ground saying "Them's the rules, you should've known!" Everything can be made constructive, you just need to give your players a proper way to do it, and only keeping select threads up isn't the way to do it; this is a forum, a place for people to voice their concerns, share their views, and connect with you. This is too rash, while you can spin around after 4 years and suddenly start forcing out 3rd party software, you really shouldn't. Consider that you need to ease these things in, if anyone's to blame for allowing this to go on for so long with no repercussions, you have to accept that it is you, the ones in charge of the rulebook.
Please, I beg of you, for the sake of yourselves and for the sake of Tera, the game everyone here has a connection to - please do not sever this connection.
To the players - stick to your guns, this is as much your game as it is Bluehole's and EnMasse's, you have a right to be heard on anything you think is an issue, but keep it civil, at the very least.
Silencing the mass and turning your backs on the community acting ignorant and arrogant with no basis for your actions with no proper thought of future progression and what's actually keeping this game alive is sad to see. Open your eyes for half a second and see past your blind ego. Top contributors to the community are in consensus and the dedicated community is riled. You are not doing the right thing.
But then again, if your fundamental goals of this company is put control and self satisfaction over profits and customer satisfaction, I can understand your brash and downright horrendous decision and PR. If that's the case, then I won't be supporting you nor your game any longer. Consider it a proper warning of concern with actual merit when the most active playerbase of the ONLY game your company has to offer that will feed your meals (afaik, PuB is not affiliated with you) tell you you're killing your own game. And trust me, I'm a magical genie that can see the truth in the world like no other /s, those people whiteknighting you don't provide even a fraction of your income, nor have any proper evidence nor basis for argument.24
The line that rules them all - By Pomchi
A long time ago, there was an ancient turn based strategy game called XCOM which for the most part was dead. In 2012, Firaxis brought this game back to life and was thriving for a brief period of time. Eventually, things came to a screeching halt and started to die off again, until one day, a bunch of talented modders from the community brought out their interpretation of XCOM, and called it Long War. While Long War maintained most of the basic mechanics of XCOM, there were many new and exciting features which made the XCOM franchise burst with popularity, and till this date, fans are still enjoying.
Fast forward a few years to 2016, XCOM2 came out, and Firaxis upon learning how valuable these modders were to the popularity and longevity of their game, decided to take a different approach. Firaxis hired the Long War team, and together they made Long War 2. The result was many diehard XCOM fans embracing Firaxis' approach and their open arms to community development. Long story short, the Long War Team breathed life into a dying game, and didn't cost the company a single cent, until they decided to officially hire them.
This is just one of many example that has happened in the gaming industry where modders have changed the QOL for players for the better and increased profits substantially, for free. Some other example would include DOTA which started as a custom fan-made map on Warcraft III. World of Warcraft and Deadly Boss Mod and many many more.
What needs to be done
The most important thing to do, is to draw a line which cleanly distinguishes what is acceptable and what is not. There may be some things which sit directly in the middle which may need to be discussed to determine which side of the line these things really sit on. Transparency is they key here because currently the community has no idea what to do, and for the most part, are too frightened to even play the game, thus resulting in loss of sales and profits. Here is an example of a line I have made.
Once this line has been made, we need to work together as a team, EME, BHS and our talented modders alike to tailor the game which best suits not only the company profits and code of ethics, but also QOL and enjoyment for our community. This would be very similar to how Firaxis worked together with the Long War Team. The modders who have made Tera Proxy are very talented people, and if they are utilised and recognised in a positive light, will bring Tera to the next level, the same way Long War breathed life into the dying XCOM series. Currently they are being vilified and eventually will come to a point where the whole Tera community loses. When we lose, EME lose too. We are a team, and we need to work together, not against each other.
There is a very good reason why this part gets its very own section here, as this is the very core essence of the Tera Proxy. All the other things are simply QOL and cream on the cake. Skill prediction will basically give you similar ping as if you were next door to the servers. Essentially this balances out -most- ping differences between the large NA continent, and the cluster of international players abroad.
BHS has designed the game in such a way which encourages to make as many alts as possible. Features such as vanguard limitations, dungeon limitations, dungeon reset cooldowns are all such examples. The reason is simply financial, the more alts people make, the more costumes people will buy. That is completely fine, that is just the way business is. What skill prediction does, is open up the doors for all players to make more alts on classes which they previously were not able to play due to ping limiations. Archers and Lancers are very good example which most people will deem unplayable on high ping. The bottom line is, the more people who use skill prediction, the more alts people will make, the more money EME and BHS will make. Simple as that.
The storm is here, but its never too late to come out as the hero with a strong change of heart. Acknowledge the mistakes made, take ownership of past irrational decisions. Respect the modders who make Tera more profitable for the company for FREE, and work with them, not against them. Draw your lines, be transparent with what is acceptable and what is not. Then stick to your guns after that. We are all on edge, we have given you the answer you are looking for, now just take action.
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