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Horizons: Special Report, Part II

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member


In the second part of Carolyn Koh's special reports on Horizons the EI Interactive takeover, she looks at payment issues, the vulnurability report and more.

"After notifying EI I got a response from Mr. Rask, informing me that the executive GM will contact me shortly. This never happened."



So what did he do then?



"I waited 60 days," he said, "then I published it and I informed you."



Ed Andercheck of EI Interactive/Pixel Magic saw this in a different light.



"[The SOAP vulnerability is] a non-event from the standpoint of security," Andercheck told MMORPG.com. "It's being closed."


The full article is available here.





Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

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Comments

  • graillgraill erty, MOPosts: 257Member

    will this game just die already. as i have stated in previous posts, the games owners are not to be trusted. they have not, and will not to this date help any customers in any direct way, old or new.

    whether it was tulga or the new owners, they both were on track with one another, deny problems, silence the community, and throw out the tag line "its not our problem". too much bad blood in this game and an example of what not to do to your player base by both companies. does anyone wonder why the new company conducts business as tulga did? who is with this new company that has these tendancies...........bowman maybe?.

    also sad to see bowman still employed with the new company even in a consultation capacity the individual is simply dishonest. i would have called him a thief directly but i wouldnt want my thread bounced.

    can you smell that?!!...............there is nothing quite like it.....................the smell of troll in the morning............i love that smell.

  • gopher65gopher65 Saskatoon, SKPosts: 46Member



    Originally posted by graill
    also sad to see bowman still employed with the new company even in a consultation capacity the individual is simply dishonest. i would have called him a thief directly but i wouldnt want my thread bounced.




    Umm... David Bowman isn't working for this company in any way shape or form. He moved to Texas and works for the new Bungie split-off (I can't remember the name of the company, but it just went public. They are currently working on some halo 2 maps, and have hinted in an interview that they are working on their own consol title as well).

    Not only does bowman not work for EII/PME, he doesn't even work on MMOGs any more:P. Do you even read the gaming news sites, or do you just yank random words out of the air?

  • EstrusEstrus Portland, ORPosts: 357Member
    OY
    Will someone stick a fork in this SOAP opera already!!   image



  • dand3dand3 San Rafael, CAPosts: 241Member
    Solidly researched.  Nice job, seemed better founded than part 1.
  • uncusuncus Fonda, NYPosts: 528Member

    "solidly researched?!" No, this is all OLD NEWS except for the last 3 paragraphs or so [the part about Pixel taking over from IE - and even that is month old news!]

     

    News Flash:  Julius Ceasar stabbed at Senate!  More at 11!

  • docminusdocminus J.Posts: 717Member
    gosh, they treated the community equally bad as SOE did with the all the SWG changes.
    I am glad I got my cancellation through and only played the trial, and did get my refund.
    A shame, I think the game had potential.



    imageimage

  • mikesterbraumikesterbrau Denton, TXPosts: 25Member

       Sadly when this all falls apart once and for all some of these folks will then be qualified to write the how not to do it manual.  The game had some great ideas and potential but the implementation and execution from early on was awfull.   The player community for the game must be the most patient kind hearted group in gaming though.   I never played the game but tried to keep an eye on it in the hopes it might turn around but alas things only seem to be getting worse.  I even had thoughts that maybe during a vacation I might download the try and give it a look but now I feel totally uncomfortable even doing that.

     

     

    Founder of Skara Brae Guild
    Sysop Bard's Tavern BBS 1987-2002
    Co-Leader Skara Brae guild
    Everquest 2 chapter.
    Guild Hub site: Http://www.bardstavern.net

  • shaeshae Ottawa, ONPosts: 2,509Member

    Wow, the amazing research award goes to Carolyn this year :).

    Very well done article, well writen, well explained and very informative.

    Thanks for all the work.

  • thepatriotthepatriot Omaha, NEPosts: 290Member
    What a sad sad tale and a pathetic attempt at fixing their reputation by forming a new company.  Hey, I have an idea, why don't you actually treat your customers with respect.
  • MW2KMW2K Northern Rivers, NSWPosts: 1,031Member Uncommon

    As much as I've bagged HZ, it's exceedingly sad to see the road this game is its few diehards have had to go down.

  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Dallas, TXPosts: 453Member Uncommon
    I enjoyed the game but did not have time to invest at the time to learn all I needed. I left but was waiting to come back. I heard it was sold and decided to wait and see. Am I ever glad that I did wait and I don't know if I will ever go back. People complain about Sony but my only true problem with them is when they said I had an Everquest account and had never bought the game. They set me up with the download and everything even though I said I never had the game. I don't hate Sony though I don't say the people who don't want anything to do with them is wrong. What is going on with Horizons though scares me and I will stay away. I appreciate the article even is not really any new information.
  • MustasioMustasio Houston, TXPosts: 9Member

    Again, wonderful job by Miss Carolyn Koh, looks like she put some real work into this.

    I guess Andercheck learned that taking over an MMOG game company is sort of like taking over a sports team, except every single fan travels with the team.  The community of an MMO game IS the MMO, and to ignore and mistreat them is the worst idea you could have.  I can't help think that if Horizons didn't already have such a devoted player base, then it never would of gotten off the ground with Andercheck.

    -Mustasio




  • LordSlaterLordSlater petebouroughPosts: 2,087Member



    Originally posted by Mustasio
    Again, wonderful job by Miss Carolyn Koh, looks like she put some real work into this.

    I guess Andercheck learned that taking over an MMOG game company is sort of like taking over a sports team, except every single fan travels with the team.  The community of an MMO game IS the MMO, and to ignore and mistreat them is the worst idea you could have.  I can't help think that if Horizons didn't already have such a devoted player base, then it never would of gotten off the ground with Andercheck.

    -Mustasio






    Its a real genuine shame about what happened to this game. It really was, this game actually ahd some potential of having some trully unique atributes one of which was that one of the races i belive was not even humanoid [Dragon's].

     

    I will however hope that this new company will find a way to drag this game back toa working title with a decent level of lag rather than what was there when i tried it last time.

    image

  • gatherisgatheris Charlotte, MIPosts: 995Member Uncommon

    it sounds - from the last part of the article - that the clueless are trying to get a clue on how to build an MMO

    i doubt that there are intentions to improve Horizons however - but to build a new one (like everyone and their grandmother) without the bad associations that Horizons has

    of course i am wearing my tinfoil hat as usual

    image

  • KyoteKyote Pineville, KYPosts: 7Member
    I have played nearly every MMORPG out there and my opinion of Horizons is not fit for print.  I never thought I would ever see a game have a worse opening day than Anarchy Online did.. but amazingly enough this game was worse. 
    At least AO went on to finally correct their mistakes and build a pretty decent game (too little too late to get back all subscribers they could have had..but oh well) 

    I bought Horizons because I was nostalgic for Atari and thought .. wow they have a history of making games, this could be good.  Five minutes after I bought it I was pulling my hair out.  I waited 2 days for the updates to finally finish.. then I find that it is so poorly optomized and was based on a system of loading the scenery, etc as you moved that no one in the game could move more than 5 feet a minute unless they were on a T3.

    after a week of total unplayability, wasted emails and phonecalls trying to see how to finally get it to run I gave up and contacted the walmart that my wife worked at to return this piece of garbage.  Lo and behold, she informed me that this particular game had so many people trying to return it that they had pulled it off the shelves and were not taking any kind of exchanges on it. you had to send it back to the distributor, which also refused to take it.  The game store down the block said even "kinder" things about the game.

    I also had the worst time in the world unsubscribing to this crap of a game.  There is no use blaming the new owners, or even Tulga, this game has stunk since the start. 

    I agree it had some great ideas and at the time some good crafting ideas and I really was looking forward to it...so much that even after my inital bad experience I went back and tried it again a year later and then a few months ago.. sadly both times I erased it from my hard drive after less than a day.  It is just unplayable and always was.

    I will never be happier to see a game die than this 49.99 nightmare.image



  • spajdrspajdr Ostrava 2Posts: 5Member
    I still didnt get my money back, they charged me for trial and never answered
  • aviendehaaviendeha Albany, ORPosts: 9Member
    Ive played just about every fantasy based MMORPG out there and i loved this game, still miss it at times, but had to leave it behind due to the poor management and the fact that they broke more things then they fixed. Why dosent the community just stop getting bent over by the companies and EMU Horizons?
  • MenkureMenkure Des Moines, IAPosts: 30Member

     



    Originally posted by aviendeha


    Ive played just about every fantasy based MMORPG out there and i loved this game, still miss it at times, but had to leave it behind due to the poor management and the fact that they broke more things then they fixed. Why dosent the community just stop getting bent over by the companies and EMU Horizons?



    Emulating Horizons is next to impossible without some amazing server hardware and resources.

    Here is the information about server specs for the Horizons shards, as told by Amon Gwareth on another forum:



     



    Amon Gwareth:




    Current server runs on Xeons. not sure about a Woodcrest. Most ram you'd need would be 4gb per server box. Harddrive needs are negligible as its all database driven. You would need a database server, I have no idea what their requirements are or how many you'd need.

    The big costs are of course, the servers themselves up front and then the power, cooling and especially bandwidth.



     



    Amon Gwareth: 




    You cannot get the footprint down to 2-3 servers. Not if you want monsters enabled and more than 10 players online at a time.



     

    As for why you need such a powerful server farm to run a Horizons shard, another poster by the name of Dangit (Who used to be the lead moderator for Tazoon.com, and later for the main community site run by Tulga) posted this in the same thread:



     



    Dangit:




    The original server code was written to make heavy use of the ram. And at the time was hitting against the 2GB (or maybe 4GB) ram limit that MBs and OS had at the time. To make use of more ram than that, the server code has to be rewritten. The server uses a lot of memory.. 15MB per character 1.5 per other entity. An Entity is anything the player interacts with. Monster, resource node, machine etc. (I believe those numbers are correct) Then you have all the memory taken up by other aspects.

    From my own experience what I have found is you need 3 Servers with at least 2.0GHz Xeons, 4GB ram 60GB hard drives. And a database raid server with about 80GB.

    That would be able to support about 150 people with enough monsters and resource spawning to keep some people happy. But your map size would be about the size of Lesser Aradoth.

    Increase your land size and you will be adding another server. Otherwise performance becomes too erratic





    -Menkure

     

  • VandieVandie Newport News, VAPosts: 1Member
     Sad to say  the new owners seem to be clueless. I have not had  any kind kind of reasonable response from them  nor to any exten any reason to get the warm fuzzy feeling  that  you should. I Invested a lot of time  blood sweat and yes ,tears into Horizons  when  I finally  had hope that the One craft school i actually loved was going to be  fixed and  finished  the rug got pulled out from under my dreams. Needless to say  recent events show that  My dearly  loved game  is  going to fade into the bits and bytes  of  the  once loved. 
  • xaussxauss londonPosts: 384Member

    graill said:-

    will this game just die already. as i have stated in previous posts, the games owners are not to be trusted. they have not, and will not to this date help any customers in any direct way, old or new.

    hmmm, ok you dont like it, why keep on about it - just dont play it....

    uncus said:-

    "solidly researched?!" No, this is all OLD NEWS except for the last 3 paragraphs or so [the part about Pixel taking over from IE - and even that is month old news!]

     News Flash:  Julius Ceasar stabbed at Senate!  More at 11!

    lol - though many dont have the time / inclination to follow the trials and tribulations behind the scenes of MMOGs, so any reporting of this type from MMORPG.com is appreciated

    thepatriot said:-

    What a sad sad tale and a pathetic attempt at fixing their reputation by forming a new company.  Hey, I have an idea, why don't you actually treat your customers with respect.

    this sounds suspiciously like common sense, wrapped around the truth

    kyote said:-

    It is just unplayable and always was.

    it certainly had (lol has) its problems, but i fear you were playing it on an abacus, even my pretty ropey laptop could make a satisfactory attempt at running it.

    the facts are... the game is too long in the tooth to warrant the premium subscription rates (it should be <$10/month - $25/quarter). at least that is what it should be without the thieving ineptitude, getting anyone to pay anything now will be difficult

    a company treating the clientele like sh1t deserves to fail

    the reputation of the game and the companies involved with it are all tainted, so best thing for it would be for those that care - the community to "stop getting bent over by the companies and EMU Horizons." aviendeha dec. 2006

    image

  • LiddokunLiddokun San Francisco, CAPosts: 1,665Member Uncommon
    Kinda sad to see the state of the game that I used to love gone to the dogs.
  • TherosIronTherosIron PakenhamPosts: 24Member

    An update to this ongoing saga

    Andercheck is incorrect billing on some accounts is still borked and are still being over billed.

    Not everyone has been refunded

    And now they shut the test server ( Blight ) to use the hardware for the new Unitas ( old unity ) people.

    Blight based players are now with out a home and the email address eii/pm supplied was non operational for five days.

    The official forum is heavily modded to suppress the outcries about this.

    End result : No Blight Shard no further development contrary to what eii/pm will report

    Since taking over in July '06 horizons EII/Pm or whatever they call themselves have flushed customers down the gurgler at every change they have implimented.

    I have no trust in Andercheck nor faith in the company he runs

  • LiddokunLiddokun San Francisco, CAPosts: 1,665Member Uncommon
    Horizons is a great game with a great concept. Unfortunately it was grossly mishandled and mismanaged by crooked people who doesn't really care about the game.
  • mikesterbraumikesterbrau Denton, TXPosts: 25Member
    Originally posted by Mustasio

    Again, wonderful job by Miss Carolyn Koh, looks like she put some real work into this.



    I guess Andercheck learned that taking over an MMOG game company is sort of like taking over a sports team, except every single fan travels with the team.  The community of an MMO game IS the MMO, and to ignore and mistreat them is the worst idea you could have.  I can't help think that if Horizons didn't already have such a devoted player base, then it never would of gotten off the ground with Andercheck.



    -Mustasio





       That is such an awesome observation Mustasio!   I admit that in weak moments I wanted to try the trial and am so glad I did not and am 100% sure now I will never go near that game after all I have ready though the Guild and building aspects still catch me fancy.  :)

    Founder of Skara Brae Guild
    Sysop Bard's Tavern BBS 1987-2002
    Co-Leader Skara Brae guild
    Everquest 2 chapter.
    Guild Hub site: Http://www.bardstavern.net

  • RhoklawRhoklaw Ft. Bliss, TXPosts: 3,493Member Uncommon

    I remember beta testing this game and I think a lot of the testers were on some sort of floating city or something. As a special treat, David Bowman decided to unveil what an ancient flying dragon looked like by flying in as one and landing nearby. I never did buy the game, which apparently was a good thing, but the game in itself seemed to have a pretty solid crafting system. It was a sad day when Shadowbane died, but atleast its still playable for free. Perhaps they should do that with Horizons, cause I doubt anyone would pay to play it now, no matter who owns it.

    image

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