Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Third Party Aion Online Character Viewer Fiasco of 2013

Back in March 2013, a peculiar post popped up in the Aion online forums, on the official website of the game, in broken English, advertising a website which supposedly made it possible for everyone bold enough to create an account, to view all the gear of every single player in the game regardless of server. It was also possible to post images and videos to one's character and to comment on other players' profiles. In all honesty, the post had all the makings of spam, but there were a few souls online whose temerity knew no bounds and who gave it all a shot nonetheless. These players returned to the forum to sing the praise of the linked website (the actual URL of which is now wholly irrelevant), confirming that it did indeed work and that it did indeed do what it was advertised to.

The post quickly blossomed into the most prolific thread at the forum, with scores of players chiming in, some of them delighted with the analytic tools offered by the site, others complaining more or less in jest, that they could no longer hide the questionable quality of their gear from anyone anymore. The general consensus was though that the third party operation was indeed awesome and that it had accomplished something NCsoft, the company behind the game, never really did on its own.

This is where the whole affair began sliding towards ridicule, as poster after poster unleashed his/her tirade lambasting NCsoft's incompetence in the matter, everyone adding his/her specific brand of wit as an added jab in the side for the company actually responsible for the very existence of their favorite game.

Due to the massive traffic it received, the said site began crashing shortly and after a few days, it began misfiring accuracy-wise too. Suffice to say though, that for all its shortcomings, it inflicted a nasty blot on NCsoft's prestige, who by the way apparently never granted any sort of permission to the operator to use its game data, some of which did indeed represent information which could've been considered sensitive.

To make a long story short: the third-party statistics operation turned out to be short-lived, but the fact alone that even in July of 2016 there are people on the forum looking for it and complaining about its disappearance, is clear proof of the fact that NCsoft hasn't really made any progress of its own in this direction since...

Philip Thalberg currently works on The International coverage as a member of GosuTeam. 

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