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So dear Mr. Kim Hakkyu has decided to pop into a player's thread to clear up some misconceptions that the playerbase has been having with the game.

"The trade restriction in TOS was designed to solve the bot and RMT problems. I do recognize that it might cause inconveniences towards the players as well. If, like you have said, the restrictions were not there due to the fact that the bots and RMT are inevitable and unavoidable, would that have improved the game overall? Unless we compare two situations side-by-side, I cannot say for certain. However, I would like you to understand that we have been working on reducing restrictions through continuous patches."
If the botters are still benefiting from the game with the restrictions in place, wouldn't it be more logical to simply lift the restrictions instead of continuing to hinder legit players? I don't know, just thought it's kind of weird for them to keep the restrictions in place if botters are still able to do their thing.

"Server instability is an issue that we have been and currently are trying to solve but it is indeed a difficult issue. However, what I can say [is] that the client lag has been improved through the recent optimization effort and it will be included in upcoming patch[e]s soon.

As for DDoS, its very difficult thing to overcome. Every[ ]time DDoS attack occurs (including today), Service provider blocks targetted machine, so we have to provide service excluding that machine. The problem is Service provider also limited our access to admin account as well, so we cannot add machine instances for now, resulting very crowded users in less machines in SA regions.

We have made a contract with one of the world’s biggest cloud service provider, but their counter-DDoS measures differed from region to region. This situation is beyond our expectation and we are currently in talks with the service provider but we are yet to receive a satisfying answer from them. The proposals we have received were seeking a different service provider or move it to the NA region, which may leads to also dissatisfying solution to many users. So we're seeking for other solutions now."

So here we have a double-edge sword. IMC Games has been using an anti-DDoS service, but the problem lies with the service itself hindering the developers from addressing issues related to DDoS. Which makes sense, since it's not like the anti-DDoS service could know which computers should be allowed through to mitigate server issues. This issue has also cropped up on the international Ragnarok Online servers as well, so I guess it can't be avoided due to the nature of DDoS itself.

"Even since the announcement of the One Month F2P Delay plan, our users have raised many issues such as a ping problem, lags and even racism and regional pricing. In order to address those issues, I have decided to separate regions and transfer the necessary data between them. During that process, each region required its own devices and infrastructure. It meant that the cost of having the servers in four separate regions was drastically higher than having them all in one region.

You mentioned that, the region transfer usually only takes 10 minutes for other company. In reality, that is simply not possible. DB duplication process from one continent to the other continent takes a considerable amount of time and the whole process requires our utmost attention if we were to avoid any errors. The fact that the process was not planned months in advance meant that much effort and care were needed for the preparation, execution and confirmation."

This makes sense. If it's hard for a company to plant offices in other countries, moving servers wouldn't be all that much easier considering they would be using another country's resources. I would think there'd be a lot of red tape involved with relocating servers to other countries in order to improve player connections in those regions.

"We also wished to allow players to obtain TP as soon as possible after transitioning to F2P. However, we were unable to sell TP via DLC products as identical DLC products cannot be purchased more than one time.

There is a separate system, the ‘Steam Inventory System’, but it is taking some time to develop and verify since it is different from the DLC system which we had been using up to this point. The Beginner’s & Veteran’s Packs were launched to allow players that wished to purchase more premium items until the ‘Steam Inventory System’ is fully implemented.

You do not need to purchase these DLC products if you do not agree to their contents or pricing. You will most likely not need the extra boost as you already had purchased all the Founder’s Pack. We did not launch the Beginner’s and Veteran’s Packs thinking that everyone needs to purchase them. It was more of a stop-gap measure to allow certain players to obtain more TP and other items before the launch of the ‘Steam Inventory System’. Those items were currently un-obtainable since there are no DLC products in the Store.

It would have been better if we could have also launched various DLC products that only contain TP. However, There is a limit Steam places how many DLC products we can sell at once. It was not possible to create diverse products since we had to create 8 different DLC products in order to provide 2 types of products to each of the 4 different service regions."

This pretty much echoes my suspicions regarding the use of Steam to self-publish the English version of Tree of Savior. I was right that Steam wouldn't allow IMC Games to completely control the pricing of their cash shop, but I never thought it would hinder the developers this much. All these approval processes make Steam about as bad as the iTunes Store and Google Play store when it comes to publishing games. If I ever make an MMORPG, I'd rather come up with my own hosting platform rather than publish it through Steam.

And of course, all the Steam white knights come out of the woodwork to tell IMC Games that THEY'RE in the wrong, not Steam. Because Steam can do no harm, it's all the developers' fault for having these expensive cash shop items. As far as I can see, IMC Games is used to having publishers deal with all the difficulties of making profit and distributing the game so obviously they are not used to publishing their own game on their own. Unfortunately players think publishers are the devil, so this is another case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't."

"We did not reject the communication. We did not fired the Community Manager. Her leave was made by her own and I also hoped her to continue working. She had hard time dealing with responding community. It's difficult to improve and solve problems fast in these situations. Current community managers, may seem to be less enthusiastic. But, I believe they are doing their best as they can."
With such a salty playerbase in addition to a ridiculously impractical forum system, it's no wonder Julie quit. The official TOS forums is a veritable Tower of Babel in its current state. It's a miracle that any CM they hire could maintain any sense of order there.

"It's regrettful if you consider that IMC is a cashgrab with over-priced DLC products while not trying to deal with any identified issues. It could have been due to the fact that we weren’t capable enough or did not communicate as well as we could have. However, I sincerely hope that you do not misunderstand that to mean that IMC does not care about Tree of Savior as a game, because we do care. We love this game at least as much as, and probably even more than, the players do. We created this game and will continue to improve this game to the end."
Whether or not IMC Games truly cares about TOS's success, the fact remains that they are WAY in over their heads in publishing this version of the game on their own without the aid of a publishing entity. At this point, they are losing players regardless of if they take on a publisher for the English version of the game so I think they really should start looking into an English publisher. If they continue to publish the game through Steam, they will lose a lot more players by the time they finally get the hang of Steam's red tape. I don't know if that's a risk they should be taking at this stage in TOS's life.

One thing that the original poster of the thread mention is IMC Games going back on their initial 3-month transition plan, which was eventually lowered to 1 month due to outcry from the community. In all honesty, they should've kept with the 3-month plan since that was the best for the game. Unfortunately, I think IMC Games is still scarred from what happened with Ragnarok Online. For those not in the know, when the developers of IMC Games were still part of GRAVITY Corporation, they decided to make Ragnarok Online pay-to-play after the free alpha and beta tests were over. (Back then, pay-to-play was the norm for MMORPGs; the free-to-play model didn't catch on until much later.) A lot of RO players got really mad at the subscription decision and decided to hack RO, stealing the AEGIS engine from GRAVITY to make their illegal/private servers. IMC Games wanting to please the playerbase is likely due to them not wanting history to be repeated.

If a game like Xen Online (known as Secret of the Solstice in the west) was able to keep their source code from getting stolen, surely IMC Games could do the same. So unless IMC Games is still using insecure coding like they did with RO, they shouldn't have to worry about TOS private servers popping up. But with inefficient coding like this, I can't help but fault them for not getting with the times. Yes, having things client-side has its good points, but putting so much stuff on the client in addition to bad networking is just asking for trouble.

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