Friday, March 14, 2008

Credit where credit is due....

In the past I've posted a number of more or less scathing entries regarding e-Games' support (or lack thereof) for the the popular local MMORPG RAN Online. It's been several months, but I have to hand it to them. The service has indeed improved a lot. It's still nowhere the level of service I would like to expect from them, but compared to the dismal performance they have been showing not so long ago, the playing experience has definitely changed for the better.

Gone but not missed is the dreaded connection error dialogue box.

It's been months since I last encountered a user's account is being connected error message.

The number of disconnections that I have experienced lately has dropped significantly.

"Server resets", that is, when everyone logged in is abruptly disconnected when the server is full to capacity, are things of the past.

The missing EXP events seem to have disappeared as well.

I'm not in a position to state whether or not all players have enjoyed these improvements, but I can say with certainty that at least from my vantage point, the gameplay has graduated from being merely "tolerable" to actually being "enjoyable". Given the dismal state Ran Online was in a few months ago, this represents a huge leap for them.

Of course some things never change.

Lag, for instance, can never be really totally eliminated, particularly during peak hours since network conditions are highly variable both on the server and client side. I still see a number of partymates get disconnected now and then, in all likelihood due to gaming cafes connecting as many clients as they can to a single broadband connection.

I haven't had any recent experiences with e-Games' helpdesk facilities as of late though, so I really can't say if the quality of support provided by helpdesk personnel has improved, or if their issue resolution response times have been reduced.

Of course, there is still e-Game's penchant for adopting schemes that maximize its profit margin. For example, they have driven up demand for 3x EXP Ultima Rosaries by virtually eliminating 3x EXP events. Such schemes don't really come as a surprise, though. Business is business, as they say.

It's probably worth taking note that I haven't been playing the game as often as I used to, since nowadays I only play about once a week or perhaps twice a week at most. On other days I usually just keep a vendor minimized in the background. So I guess it's possible that the reason I haven't been experiencing many problems lately is because I haven't been playing much at all.

But all things considered, it can be safely conceded that there has indeed been an improvement in RAN Online's quality of service and gameplay.

Who knows? Maybe they got tired of the sea of complaints and finally decided to get their act together. Maybe some of the complaints even got into the hands of some government bureaucrat or politician who's in a position to pressure e-Games to resolve the complaints leveled against it. Your guess is as good as mine. The main thing is, the service and support has improved, and whether its a huge or small improvement, it's still good news to us Ran Online players.

Hopefully, e-Games will be able to sustain this, and that this recent turn of good luck as far as us players are concerned isn't just a fluke or one-off.

Only time will tell though.

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