Community Letter

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    • Community Letter

      Dear community,

      today we want to approach you with a statement about the merge and everything that happened related to it. We want to explain what went wrong and how we want to prevent such issues in the future. And most importantly, we want to apologize.

      We want to apologize for every step that went wrong and wasn’t expected (like it happened) and for all the inconveniences you might have had during the merge phase. We would also like to take this opportunity to send a huge “thank you” to our voluntary teams out there, who did (and still do) an amazing job within the communities supporting our players and assisting them with all the given issues.

      But what happened?
      As you know, the last OGame merge was done a very long time ago. Old universes became more and more inactive, players had not much to do anymore, and for sure it was time to bring everybody closer again. Initially, it was our goal to develop a completely new merge system. However, based on the required time to do so, we decided to take the old system once again, make all the necessary changes and use it for the biggest merge ever.

      Talking about numbers, we merged more than 300 exodus universes into their targets. Nearly 25k accounts actively selected a new target, and 250k accounts were moved in total.

      Now, be sure that we put quite a lot of effort into this system in terms of development and testing. And before starting the merge we were completely sure that everything works as expected. However, this assumption turned out to be wrong.

      At first, some accounts went out of their actively selected vacation mode. This issue was related to our adjustment of moving inactive accounts and having them available with the same status they had in the exodus universe in the target universe as well. Around 0.3% of the players who actively selected their target were affected by it. To solve this issue, we put the lost fleets back into their wreck fields, and community management and the teams worked on all additional losses. Also, we fixed this issue for further merges.

      This fix, however, also stopped the inactive accounts later on to move out of the vacation mode. Therefore, we now have a lot of “useless” accounts out there. We worked on a fix for this issue and tested it in Antares & Vega. During this test, also very old accounts lost their vacation mode, not just the accounts we wanted to release. All accounts which went to vacation mode at least 5 years ago got their vacation mode removed as well (even if the vacation mode was manually selected by the player). Once again, the team and community management had a lot of work solving this issue for us and we are very thankful for their help. We found the issue behind it and will fix it as soon as possible, before using this fix for the next target universe.

      We also worked on several extra issues coming up during the merge. The load during this enormous merge was a challenge for the lobby system itself. Several players reported wrong building queues following the merge (this issue is solved for the next merge). And several target universes are now completely overcrowded by inactive accounts. That’s an issue we need to keep in mind for future merges.

      And how do we want to prevent such issues in the future?

      The most important thing: we solved all issues coming up during this year’s merge. We now can use the system more frequently, not having such a big merge and impact again. Additionally, we will keep all your feedback in mind for the development of a new system, especially inactive accounts blocking some of the target universes right now. Our favorite solution will be some kind of “graveyard” server which can be used as target for inactive accounts, also giving them the option to move back on normal universes as soon as they become active again. And we want to give you more target option for future merges, which was just not possible this time due to the huge amount of already affected universes.

      Once again, we are sorry for all the troubles coming up during the last two weeks. Everybody here at Gameforge and out there in the teams worked hard to solve the given issues and prevent them from happening again. It is a lot to ask for in the given situation, but please be patient with us. The volunteers, spending endless hours of their spare time, and our community management will need some time to solve every single case being reported to us. We are on it.

      Thank you for your understanding
      WeTeHa & the OGame team
      "Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"