Titan Network

Graveyard => Save Paragon Retirees => Save Paragon City! => Topic started by: TonyV on September 15, 2012, 06:17:50 AM

Title: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: TonyV on September 15, 2012, 06:17:50 AM
UPDATE (Tuesday, September 18)

Hey all, good news.  As I indicated in my update yesterday, I asked for an e-mail address that we could use to send messages to NCsoft without interfering with company operations.  Today, I received the following: "I asked about setting up a monitored email address for players to be able to communicate with NCsoft, and one has been created at: COHSunset@ncsoft.com."  (Emphasis mine.)

Now I know that some of you are thinking, "But that wont do any good!" but I'd like to point out that 1) you don't know that, and 2) they most certainly did not have to do this; I appreciate that not only did they, but they did it very quickly, which shows to me that they are listening.  I honestly believe that someone will be reading these messages.  Accordingly, please don't use it to grind your ax at NCsoft or e-mail bomb it.  If you do, that will most certainly assure that it gets redirected to a black hole never to be read again, which would be screwing over your fellow players, not NCsoft.


UPDATE (Monday, September 17)

I have received a request from NCsoft to remove these addresses from being publicly posted.  I have decided to comply, and I wanted to make sure everyone understands my reasons for doing so.
So I'm going to go ahead and take down the addresses.  In return, I will ask for an address or addresses to which we can continue sending e-mail without interfering with the company's operations.

Again, I want to make this crystal clear: I was not threatened by NCsoft; it was a request, one I am voluntarily complying with as a sign of good faith.  The intention was never to interfere with company operations.  It was to give the NCsoft executive management team an unfiltered glimpse into our community, warts and all, but mostly loyal and dedicated customers making up a community they helped to build and should be proud of.

I'll let you know if I hear anything else.  In the meantime, we're going to consider this project closed, and there is no further need to e-mail NCsoft executives.  Thanks a ton to everyone who did send e-mails.  I've read some of them and they truly were exceptional.


ORIGINAL POST (edited to remove e-mail addresses)

Hey all,

[SKIP TO "TL;DR" TO BYPASS SOME FLUFF]
(but it's worth a read if you think I've lost my mind)

So here's the situation.   Two weeks ago today, we received word that NCsoft is closing Paragon Studios and shutting down City of Heroes.  Since that time, the community has pulled together with amazing strength and clarity.  Our story has been published on over two hundred news sites and blogs, we've gotten notable personalities including Mercedes Lackey (who has unwaveringly supported and promoted this game for years), Neil Gaiman, Sean Astin, Felicia Day, Scott Kurtz, Tara Platt, John Kovalic, and John C. Wright to support us.  I personally have been on an Internet streaming radio show, and a pre-recorded interview from yesterday is due to be played on a broadcast radio station tomorrow.  Our community has reached out even further through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, through user-submitted articles such as iReports on CNN (one of which was vetted by a producer), posts on other gaming forums to rally our extended community to our cause, and we have touched literally millions of people.

Over the past two weeks, I have tried my best to communicate with NCsoft.  I have been copying upper-level management on our press releases as well as sending e-mails imploring them to talk to us or provide some sign that our Option A--allowing Paragon Studios to acquire the game--is being seriously considered.  I presented this not as a demand or even as charity, but in clear terms of how this would benefit NCsoft both financially and in terms of public relations not just to the City of Heroes community, but to the community of gamers--their customers--as a whole.  I have tried to convey that I respect their business decision, but that there are alternatives in which we all can win and that our community can avoid being needlessly destroyed as a casualty of a strategic realignment.

Unfortunately, I have heard nothing back from them but silence, the silence is deafening, and now we are at serious risk of losing even if we win.  Our development team is a highly qualified group of people with proven talents in developing successful games.  We have undoubtedly lost some through finding other employment, and we are at the time now where if we don't fall through to our next course of action, our window of opportunity for retaining the people who made this place great will be irrevocably closed.

TL;DR READERS START HERE (yes, I know it's still long, bear with me; this is the most important part of our most important call to action yet)

Before any of this craziness was going on, I managed to get e-mail addresses for NCsoft management.  Not e-mail addresses you'll find on any public publications.  I have stressed that our goal is not to cause NCsoft harm, neither financially nor reputation-wise.  At this point, I am convinced that our message just isn't getting through.  I still think that they do not understand why this game is so important to us.  And it might be my fault; if they have not been seeing the news or our efforts with the rallies or the outreach, what does the word of one random stranger on the Internet really mean?

So for two weeks, I have been desperately resisting doing this because I don't want it to be mistaken as a sign of harassment, but we have to get our message through.  I am now asking you all to contact the following people at the following addresses.  Let them know what this game means to you.  Tell them your stories.  Send them your pictures.  Stress how much our development staff has meant to us over the years, why they are unique in the industry, the story of how fun it was on Game Night before the Player Summit, how nice the artist was who signed your Blue King #1.

[address removed]: Mr. Taek-Jin Kim, CEO (male)
[address removed]: Dr. Song-Yee Yoon, Chief Strategist (female)
[address removed]: Mr. Dong-Il Kim, CFO (male)

Please note that all three are fluent English speakers; there is no need to translate your e-mail to Korean.

I hope that the e-mails will stress positives, reasons why we believe releasing City of Heroes to be acquired by a third party is a good business move that benefits everyone.  However, I know that there are still a lot of hurt feelings in the community, and I suspect that there will be some negative e-mails sent no matter how much I ask them not to be.  I will ask that you at least do this for me: Tell them why you are hurt and angry over a game being canceled.  Express to them what you're feeling, how in the past five years this makes five games now (Dungeon Runners, Auto Assault, Exteel, and Tabula Rasa as well as City of Heroes) that NCsoft has shut down; why that is having a very negative impact on their reputation; why you have started "Boycott NCsoft" movements and why you are telling friends in the gaming community--their customer base--to avoid titles such as Guild Wars 2 and Blade and Soul, titles they need to thrive.  If you are angry over having sunk costs in City of Heroes that cannot be recovered (extended subscriptions, Paragon Points, microtransactions for which you feel you are not receiving the full value of), be sure to point out how these issues go away if the game continues.

Send them e-mails.  Tell your friends, supergroups, coalitions, and teams.  Post on Facebook.  Tweet it.  Yell it out your front door if you have to, but get the word out.

I know some of you might disagree with this strategy and opt not to take part, and I understand; it's your choice.  Please know that this has been a well-thought-out decision that I've struggled with and I was really hoping that there would be some hint that things would be resolved by now.  I wish we had the luxury of continuing our current plan of urging one-on-one communication or waiting until we receive some sign that things are going our way, but we've gotten to the point that now, every day we wait is one more day that our development team is permanently at risk of dissolving through attrition, one more day that we lose players who become demotivated, one more day until November 30 when this all becomes a moot point.

I'll continue posting news and updates on the Titan Network forums.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Codewalker on September 15, 2012, 07:00:42 AM
I'm not a huge fan of doing this, but I think it's necessary. People have been trying to contact them and there has been literally nothing. Not even a blow-off or a stall tactic, they're just ignoring us completely.

2 weeks is the standard amount of notice time before changing employment. If we wait much longer, then even if some third party acquires the IP it's likely that most of the studio will have dispersed, and even in the best case we'll have an inexperienced crew working on it, and at worst some big name publisher tinkering and screwing things up.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Zolgar on September 15, 2012, 07:05:44 AM
To quote Han Solo:
"I've got a bad feeling about this."
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: blue storm on September 15, 2012, 07:10:23 AM
I agree that not receiving a single acknowledgment from NCSoft is just plain unacceptable. However, let's consider that cultural differences between western and asian standards may come into play in this situation... So let's not just start bashing NCsoft in those emails...

I stand by you nonetheless, fellow Titans. for the time is short before we fade into nothingness...

“To whatever end. Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountains. Like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the west. Behind the hills, into shadow. How did it come to this?”

Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Flamed on September 15, 2012, 07:21:32 AM
I have to agree here, as much as we want to save the game, I don't think it will be as good as it is without our Devs.  We can't wait forever because we will most definitely lose one of the most important aspects of the game...the insiders of our family.  But I do believe it is very important as Tony V states that as mad as we are, we keep the emails professional and just state why the game is so important to us.  They start getting pissy emails it is just going to turn them off to what we are asking for and there is no sense fighting this fight just for them to say "what a bunch of a&^holes, we aren't giving them anything". 
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Electric-Knight on September 15, 2012, 07:29:31 AM
I'm going to trust your judgement on this, that it has reached the time for such steps.

(https://images.weserv.nl/?url=imageshack.us%2Fa%2Fimg341%2F4905%2Fekappmssg01a.jpg)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Ultraviolets on September 15, 2012, 07:29:58 AM
Bluestorm has a very good point about cultural differences. For those choosing to send emails at this time, I'd recommend at least glancing at a few of these websites before writing your email in order to maximize the effectiveness of your email:

http://etiquette-guide.com/korean-business-etiquette/
http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/south-korea-country-profile.html
http://www.kieff.com/gary/StudentExamples/South%20Korea/SK_culture_ett.htm

Just a suggestion :) If anyone has any issues with any of the links I'll delete this post.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Liberties on September 15, 2012, 07:31:15 AM
This is what I sent

Quote
Dear Sirs,

I am writing you from a state of mourning. It's been two weeks since we were told of the sudden and painful decision your company made to cancel City of Heroes. Friends lost jobs, and suddenly the world was darker.
I received this news from a very good friend, who was meeting me at the local mall to go to the movies. She too plays City of Heroes, and in fact that's how we meet.

City of Heroes has been called many things in the past couple weeks by a LOT of news outlets in the gaming industry and even a couple outside of it. The one thing that stands over it all however has been how passionate the players are about the game, how much we have created from ourselves within it, and how this work of community driven art would be severely, perhaps fatally wounded by your decision.

Petitions began moments after your company released the news, and Paragon Studios told us. Petitions that have reached 16000 signatures! We are all passionate and devoted to this game, and hate the idea of not having it in our lives. Children have grown with they're parents playing this game with them. The community charity drive, Real World Hero, has collected 30000 dollars over three years for charity! This is the strongest knit community perhaps in video gaming history.

We organized a meet and greet for the Baltimore area, without any support from the Paragon Studios, and we had over 40 attendees, most of whom I still talk with Every Single Day! Without this game, those people wouldn't be in my life, especially not one special person, my fiancee, who I meet for the first time in Steel Canyon, Paragon City, Rhode Island... In your game.

My four year old looks forward to a chance to play this wonderful work of art you helped create and now she may never get that chance. That saddens me tremendously.

I hope that between the petition and recipt of letters such as this, you may realize that there is not only money to be made by keeping City of Heroes but plenty of good reasons to do so outside of profits as well.

I hope my fellow heroes and I, can Save the City one more time...

 Mark Taylor
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: darkhawktman on September 15, 2012, 07:49:41 AM
So some stupid thoughts I want to point out. Do we know that these higher ups can read english? Is there some one high up in North America operations that we can also contact?

Part of my reasoning is that if we can talk to a North American higher up, one we would know for sure we can communicate to them, two they could send the message up the food chain and lastly since they work with these people they would probably know the best way to approach them on this situation.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't contact these people, far from it. I'm just trying to think of some ways to help us be heard.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Insatiable One on September 15, 2012, 07:49:49 AM
For starters, Tony, please do not interpret this as a criticism of your leadership.  You have inspired us and I will follow you wherever you wish to take us.  The last thing we need is any dissension among our ranks. You have nothing but respect and admiration from me.

I'm a bit worried, after learning we have heard NOTHING from NCSoft.  To me this suggests that this was not a business decision that they rendered themselves, and perhaps we are not directing our resources in the correct direction.  As this announcement came on the heels of another entity that acquired a majority interest in NCSoft, and COH was turning a modest profit even after going free-to-play model, after the most robust development period the game has seen... this business decision does not appear to have made on any logical basis, and the terseness of the announcement, the brevity of the sunset period.. do not suggest that the entity involved in making this desision has any familiarity with the product.  Its literally as if someone walked in, started singing the "One of these things is not quite the same" song from Sesame Street while perusing the games managed by NCSoft and went, ok, this one goes.  And by your own observation, you noted NCSoft's history of picking up and killing titles, which strongly suggest a pattern of behavior. 

For what it's worth, I work for Executive Customer Relations at one of the largest financial institutions in the States.  And i speak from experience that an email sent to our CEO, while it does get placed at the forefront of all other customer service complaints, and responded to within hours, it rarely actually gets read by the CEO.  It is just handled by the same associates who handle our other complaints received from regulators and elected officials.  In my job function, I am lately working 10 to 12 hour days, 6 days a week to try to save people's homes.  Sometimes I can help and other times, too much time has passed or we are not empowered to help, with the decision out of our hands, instead being at the prerogative of the entity that stands to collect when the property is foreclosed. 

I havent had a chance to send a letter yet.  Some of my hesitation is attributable to workload, and partly I think I finally got to the point where I can articulate what I want to say, about how much this game means to me and my wife.  In the meantime I have been trying to help by running a little player created website on Facebook where I have been collecting various posts from all the player sites and the forums of COH, most importantly the calls to action from these forums, sometimes up til 2-3 am here only to get up and go back to work 4 hours later.  It's ironic that it has taken me two weeks to get to the point where I am ready to write  a letter, because I write letters for a living.   I just wish I had more confidence in who I should put in the addressee block, any surety that this person on the other side of the world cares what I think or is in a position to do anything.  I honestly think whoever is in charge may have already told me exactly what they think of my opinion by tanking a game with this devoted of a playerbase in the first place.   

I think initially it I thought that this was maybe a good marketing ploy to announce the game was on its way out, get the populace riled, and let the playerbase do all your advertising for you while you sit back and see if you get any bites on the property.  Now I think, maybe they NCSoft has incentive to let this game rot, like a push from their new majority owner or maybe a push from an entity who is going to soon be releasing their own foray into this niche, and who may stand to benefit from the removal of the established and honestly superior competition.....I can come up with no other plausible explanation of their rationale.  I realize the developers may not be in a position to comment on any discussions they may have going with NCSoft, but honestly if anyone would know who to talk to about this decision, it would be the developers themselves.   And from the swiftness these fine people were kicked to the curb, it doesn't bode well.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Victoria Victrix on September 15, 2012, 07:51:38 AM
I'm backing this.

And I just flooded Dr. Yoon's email box with the most heart-wrenching of the posts from the Testimonials thread.  If nothing else, I can leave her secretary in tears.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: emu265 on September 15, 2012, 07:53:57 AM
I sent this.  It's relatively short, and I sent it to all three of them.  I'm working on individual emails now, but I might not send them until tomorrow for fear of burning myself out in the wee hours.


Dear Sirs,
I will not pretend to know why you have decided to shut down City of Heroes.  As a college student studying history, I do not know much about business; I do not know where your focus lies or what your profit margins look like.  What I do know is how much I love the game you have published for years now.  I have learned so much and met so many amazing people.  I am not ready to see it go; I still want to learn and grow.  This game has created a group of people who are like a family to me.  We laugh, we fight, we love each other.  We play together.  I am not asking you to reverse your decision concerning City of Heroes. I am asking you to consider alternatives.  Consider selling the game to another publisher, or to the community itself.  Please, please consider something.  I do not want my family to be torn apart as a result of a realigning of your focus.  Please consider preserving the amazing community you have fostered for all these years.  It is heartbreaking to think of it fading into obscurity, and ultimately distant memories.

Warm regards,
Allen Aho     
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Mr. Wentworth on September 15, 2012, 08:04:34 AM
What we are being asked to do is very much like what we have already been doing. We have been speaking out to anyone and everywhere possible that we have loved this game, loved this development team, loved this community. That we still love it. Now we can tell three more people, Mr. Taek-Jin Kim, Dr. Song-Yee Yoon, and Mr. Dong-Il Kim about this vibrant community. Tell them so much that it makes them proud of what City of Heroes is, that they see what we value so much.

I have been inspired throughout my time in City of Heroes. I have added to my life. With others by my side, I have created a charity drive. I raise my children to value service to those in need. I have come to know and respect a multitude of friends from around the world. They are the ones that have inspired me. I can't think of a good reason not to tell anyone, even these three persons, about my experience. I will write and tell them. Will they take pride in who I am. Perhaps they will find their own inspiration...
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Victoria Victrix on September 15, 2012, 08:07:54 AM
JUST FYI:

Dr Yoon is Mr Kim's wife.  Don't think she would appreciate being called "sir."
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: TheFlea on September 15, 2012, 08:24:56 AM
I'll be typing something up for this later on tonight. Time to put that degree in the English language to work. I've met some of my best friends in CoH. Some of you might remember them - the old Vent Crew folks from the Ventrilo server that was running a while back - Spartan, Void, Crysei, PratzStrike, Monsoon - these people over the past few years have become very close friends and we've formed an odd society. So much that one of us used it as a base for a paper he had to write for college and managed to ace the damn thing from a lecturer who hadn't given a 100% mark to anyone in close to ten years.

That is what this community means to us. I know people who have found their significant other through CoH. I know people who used it to keep in touch with others while serving overseas. The creativity from the relatively open lore setting has led to so much and you have examples abound in Virtueverse. We have writers in this game, several of which are known to the world. We have writers in this game who work within the genre it is based on. We have writers whose inspiration sparked from the first character they made, the first footsteps they took into Paragon City.

For myself this game has saved my life not once but twice - first, when the woman who I was engaged to decided to not only cheat on me but also to break up with me, three days before we were due to move house together, three months before we would have been married. As friends have put it - at that moment in time the fact I kept standing was incredible. Several other people, years more experienced, far wealthier and with access to so much more would have fallen apart but I kept walking. I couldn't have done that without the folk I met in CoH and spoke to over Vent, Skype and in other ways.

Second was the most recent time - after being diagnosed with long term depression, in part from the events that happened six years back. Again it was people in this game, from the friendships I had formed that kept me going when on the brink of collapse. The depression was so bad they didn't bother with milder anti-depressants to see if my moods adjusted. I went straight onto full strength prozac. That is how strong it was.

NaNoWriMo and Deviantart have several, several people who originated in CoH. I have no doubt that CoH art pieces comissioned from us, the players keep them alive in some part. I have no doubt that we've probably paid several tuition fees and helped several careers spark to life.

Some may not approve of this tactic but tonight I will be composing the email. I will be composing what is probably going to be one of my best pieces yet. Yeah, I know I'm not published. I know I have no sort of fame power. If anything what I gained over the years in CoH was probably closer to infamy.

But this is my home. These people are my family. And I believe strongly in the following...

Scott Kurtz pointed out his main worry with supporting the SaveCoH movement was that he was just one voice. One voice in many and he feared he couldn't be heard by the masses. The man does himself so much disservice it is unreal. For that humilty I think so much more of him. And had to thank him and make the following point.

One voice is a whisper.
One thousand voices is a loud whisper.
One hundred thousand voices is a shout.
One million voices is a roar.

Yes, we are all just one voice. One person amongst many, regardless of our fame, fortunes or personal circumstances. But the more voices that are heard, the louder and louder the message becomes. So far NCSoft have said nothing, taken two weeks to even touch their site as far as CoH was related and still keep up adverts promoting new powersets and the like. The B&S email was a sharp, painful slap for all of us - I'm almost half tempted to point out that their 'new' focus of bringing Eastern MMOs to the West is something that has already been done a few years ago by Perfect World Entertainment, who, I will note have never axed any of their games.

I will write this. And I will let you all see it when done.

Now is the time to be heard. Now is the time to show NCSoft how we roar.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: jacknomind on September 15, 2012, 08:30:26 AM
Well, how we whisper loudly, anyway.  The responses are going to be in the low thousands at best; I'd expect more like a few hundred.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: emu265 on September 15, 2012, 08:31:34 AM
JUST FYI:

Dr Yoon is Mr Kim's wife.  Don't think she would appreciate being called "sir."
Fixed in the final draft.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Victoria Victrix on September 15, 2012, 08:40:48 AM
OK here is what else you can do.

Those of you who have posted in the Testimonials thread: Most if not all of you have children with issues or issues yourselves.

Write a similar letter to Dr. Yoon.  As the North American liaison she certainly has a good command of English.  Then tell her you are posting your letter to every board you can for whatever group you fall under, be it parents with autistic children, ADHD, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MS, Chronic Pain, St Jude's Hospital....every single one. 

Then do it.  For heaven's sake, parents with autistic children will grasp at anything that offers them a little hope of bringing the kids back to the world, and this game has demonstrated it at least once IT CAN DO THAT and NOW they are yanking it away?  People with Chronic Pain, CFS, all the other things you folks are laboring under are dying to find something that will help a little, and this is a lifeline and it is being pulled!

We want the glaring hot eye of the mundane world on them....and they will get it.

I can't make those posts for you.  I'm just the messenger.  YOU are the message.  Sound it loud and clear.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Insatiable One on September 15, 2012, 08:45:31 AM
Dear Sirs, (well i wish i had see the post  a couple back before hitting send but oh well)
 
Thank you for your time and your consideration of this request.  Thank you for your tenure as the publisher of City of Heroes.  I purchased City of Villains hoping this could be a game I could play with my younger brother, who lives 2897 kilometers away from me.  He was not as interested in the game as me, as he was a fan of World of Warcraft (WoW). This was probably his biggest mistake, and now he does not even play WoW anymore, and says that he looked at how many hours he used to play the game as wasted time.  I however played into the wee hours of the morning while I was visiting every night and came home and was unable to play using my computer, it was not sufficiently up to date to run the program.  A few months later, I had a computer built that would run the game.  My wife and I created our first few characters, on my game account.  Soon after, City of Heroes became available, and expanded the worlds to which we may visit, and we are still playing content in the Rogue Isles, Praetoria, and Paragon City that we have not already played, and we continue to enjoy content I am already familiar with. Eventually we moved out of my mother-in-law's house and I had a second computer built for my wife, and go there her own account.  This was four years ago.  Now we have about 15 or 20 level 50 characters, and over this past couple of years we have seen great things accomplished in this game, all made possible by NCSoft and Paragon Studios, working together.  We have even been able to empower our level 50 characters as Incarnates, with no end in sight to the accomplishments that may be achieved.  The character creator in this game is vastly superior to anything available elsewhere. My wife and I actually schedule our vacation days to coincide with Double XP weekends. This is something we share as a common interest and things like these are precious as they are the glue that keeps a marriage together.  I do not pretend to understand why NCSoft chose to sever its relationship with Paragon Studios and to bring the City of Heroes game to an end.  I cannot help but to feel deeply disappointed and saddened that my wife and I stand to lose so many of our beloved Heroes, Villains, Rogues and Vigilantes.  It feels wrong to be hurt by a company like yours that had previously brought us nothing but joy.  I do not feel my time has been wasted, even if it must come to an end, because I have shared this with someone I love.
 
This is why I humbly implore you to consider any reasonable offer which would allow this game to continue.  In my professional career, I work to save people's homes from foreclosure, and I spend 10 to 12 hours six days a week trying to help people.  I do not get much time to my self, and when I have time I love to spend it in this world you have made. I love that not only do we get to play in such a varied world, but we get to create our own worlds using the Architect system.  I appreciate the value of hard work, and I appreciate the beauty that you and Paragon Studios have created and I do not want to see that beauty die.  Please do not let the work you have invested in this world simply fade into nothingness, empower us to keep this world going, or please direct me to those whom we should appeal.  Otherwise, we are left with nothing but loss and the regret of what might have been. 
 
Thank you for your time,
 
two loyal subscribers of eleven years combined
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: BigAngry on September 15, 2012, 11:22:44 AM
Tony, everything you've done up to this point has been amazing and frankly, wonderful, but ... well, I don't want to be "that guy" (and I'm realizing now how often I've been saying that lately...) but I have this horrible feeling that this is going to backfire and have a negative impact on the negotiations between Brian Clayton and NCsoft/Investors. Those negotiations are VERY delicate, and I think that if we're flooding inboxes of the highest of the higher-ups at NCsoft, they'll see it as a nuisance instead of a touching gesture that it's supposed to be.

Though, this is just my cynical view of things, but what if those email addresses get into the wrong hands? People doing baaaaad things with them? It will be our fault and it will be DEVASTATING to the movement.

On the other hand, of course, none of us want to lose this game. I don't want to lose this game, either. I just think that maybe going over this with Alpha Wolf or Misty's contact from the negotiations FIRST would be a better idea before unleashing the masses.

I'm really torn on this.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Maressa on September 15, 2012, 11:50:07 AM
Tony, everything you've done up to this point has been amazing and frankly, wonderful, but ... well, I don't want to be "that guy" (and I'm realizing now how often I've been saying that lately...) but I have this horrible feeling that this is going to backfire and have a negative impact on the negotiations between Brian Clayton and NCsoft/Investors. Those negotiations are VERY delicate, and I think that if we're flooding inboxes of the highest of the higher-ups at NCsoft, they'll see it as a nuisance instead of a touching gesture that it's supposed to be.

Though, this is just my cynical view of things, but what if those email addresses get into the wrong hands? People doing baaaaad things with them? It will be our fault and it will be DEVASTATING to the movement.

On the other hand, of course, none of us want to lose this game. I don't want to lose this game, either. I just think that maybe going over this with Alpha Wolf or Misty's contact from the negotiations FIRST would be a better idea before unleashing the masses.

I'm really torn on this.

I have to agree with this completely, for now. Unfortunately due to timezones Tony is asleep right now other wise I would be finding out what I've missed. I'd like to ask everyone to please hold off for now on the emails until I can fully understand what is going on. As it sounds like this is a bit of a panic move. I just want to make sure that everything is going alright before giving the go ahead. As I could see this really biting us. In a few hours Tony will wake up and we will get some answers. Please do not spread the message. Even if this is something we should do we can hold off on it as it is the weekend.


Edit: I'm going to leave my previous message in tact. But having talking about it, while I don't agree with it. I understand it. Please guys, be polite. And don't forget about the Posi run next week. We're still doing it.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Ultraviolets on September 15, 2012, 12:13:08 PM
I have to agree with this completely, for now. Unfortunately due to timezones Tony is asleep right now other wise I would be finding out what I've missed. I'd like to ask everyone to please hold off for now on the emails until I can fully understand what is going on. As it sounds like this is a bit of a panic move. I just want to make sure that everything is going alright before giving the go ahead. As I could see this really biting us. In a few hours Tony will wake up and we will get some answers. Please do not spread the message. Even if this is something we should do we can hold off on it as it is the weekend.
I did decide to wait to email until Monday at the earliest. I admit, I'm a bit nervous about the email addresses being on the public CoH forums. I'm not sure if bots scour the forums or not but I could see them getting their hands on the addresses and sending spam, especially with the addresses not being altered to fool them :( Then again, like I said, I'm not sure if the official forums have measures set in place to fool those types of spammers.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Woodnimph on September 15, 2012, 12:21:18 PM
Tony, everything you've done up to this point has been amazing and frankly, wonderful, but ... well, I don't want to be "that guy" (and I'm realizing now how often I've been saying that lately...) but I have this horrible feeling that this is going to backfire and have a negative impact on the negotiations between Brian Clayton and NCsoft/Investors. Those negotiations are VERY delicate..


My question is, do we have confirmation that negotiations are still happening? We haven't received an update on this in at least a week. All we've heard that I've seen is how motivating our support is
 Perhaps we should find out an update to the negotiations if possible.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Sophronisba on September 15, 2012, 12:46:31 PM
I also agree with Maressa and BigAngry. I think it is really important not to have kneejerk reactions at this stage. A flood of emails might do more harm than good.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: voodoogirl on September 15, 2012, 12:47:01 PM
Always start off with a compliment. Thank them for the wonderful service that they have offer us the last 5 years. Tell them how wonderful their customer service has been whenever you've had an issue, even when you've lost your cool (lie, if you must.)

Then - gently - address the issue. Inform them that as a dedicated, long-term customer, you are dismayed to see your favorite product be canceled but even more than that how it was handled. That the silence you have encountered the last two weeks must be an oversight of some kind and you, as a consumer of NCSoft's products, would greatly like to be assured of that. That surely they didn't mean any disrespect towards you.

Etc. etc. etc.

What I mean is - don't go on the offensive. Go from the angle that you are still a customer of NCSoft (for now.) If you go from the angle you are a lost customer - well, then you're already lost and there will be no effort to get you back. If you continue that you are still a NCSoft customer then they'll want to keep you.

How to Win Friends and Influence People - great book - especially when it comes to approaching situations like this in business matters.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Manga on September 15, 2012, 01:01:20 PM
TonyV, it's also possible you're being blown off for not going through official channels.  Some companies are very, very strict about that.  Since Korean companies are apparently on the conservative side, probably moreso for them.  If I need to, I can try calling the U.S. HQ on Monday and verify just who the official channel is and how they are to be contacted.

On the more hopeful side, it's possible NCSoft is unwilling to talk because other negotiations are currently in progress.  That would be good news.  Usually a company, even a Korean company, by now would have released a "our decision is final, so save your breath" press release, or even the more ill advised "stop whining and buy another title of ours"  if there is zero chance. 

It could also be a liquidator, a third party company charged with taking control temporarily and eliminating jobs and products to save the company - those never negotiate, and work in cold, logical silence.  Or it's possible that after the shutdown notice, the Board took huge bonuses and went on vacation for a month, which is pretty common in Europe and Asia.


Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Turjan on September 15, 2012, 01:16:10 PM
For those of you worrying about potential communication issues arising from 'cultural differences ' I say simply this - those issues already manifested very clearly in NCSoft's decision to close the game.

Whether you regard the closure decision as a simple proft/loss one, or a move to appease shareholders, or some influence from Nexon...or any of a dozen other corporate strategems, one fact cuts across the entire issue : NCSoft have apparently completely misread the cultural significance City of Heroes has to us in the west.

Superheroes in the west are not merely a money making franchise, a creative theme to build a product around, they have become deeply rooted in our collective psyches in a way they obviously are not in Korea - as can be clearly seen in the bizarre and confusing trailer for 'City of Hero', the aborted Korean launch of our favorite game.

So while there's no doubt corporate reasons underlying the closure decision, I believe that 'cultural differences' lie at the true heart of NCSoft's decision. The recent Blade and Soul news article was titled "NCsoft to Introduce Western Gamers to Asian Martial Arts Fantasy with Blade & Soul" - I actually laughed when I read that. Introduce western gamers to asian martial arts fantasy? Like we've never seen it before? Do they even know what goes on in western culture?

The article went on to say NCSoft were going to "aggressively tailor" Blade and Soul for the western market. I laughed even more at that. For me, their decision to abruptly kill off a game based on a core western cultural concept speaks volumes about their ability to "aggressively tailor" anything for the western market.

Is their attitude crass, or simply culturally naive? One thing is certain - cultural differences between western gamers and NCSoft's Korean based operations mean that if any misconceptions in communication are possible, NCSoft themselves have already made them, so I don't honestly feel any more harm can be done to our campaign via this new email strategy than NCSoft have already done themselves.

If people aren't familiar with Korean culture right now, they're unlikely to be able to cram in a crash course on east-west etiquette before sending an email. This doesn't stop us trying of course, because we'd be being as rude as NCSoft if we didn't at least try to widen our cultural perspectives. Ultimately however, I wonder if it's actually those very differences which will make or break this whole issue.

I suspect NCSoft are preparing to pull back to within Korea's borders, financially, and also culturally. They have remained silent so far because they want this overseas problem to go away, like it never happened - and make no mistake, it WILL go away, one way or another. They will either bury the game, or let it go as they wave goodbye to the west. Past history suggests they'll try to bury it, so I believe our best hope would be if NCSoft actually understood how much superheroes mean to us in the west - and to do that, I believe we have to play on that cultural difference, while still respecting their own culture.

It's a difficult balancing act, but remember that the language of the heart is universal. Play nice when you write - and play the heart strings. We are all people. Yes, even the execs at NCSoft. We may share different cultures, but we are all the same flesh and blood, and we all hurt the same way.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Vulpy on September 15, 2012, 02:09:50 PM
I'll have to think about this. It isn't the sort of thing I want to embark on lightly.

But I do like V.V.'s idea of networking with autism/CFS/MS/etc. sites. Even if it isn't CoH, those afflicted by these things need to know that there are ways their minds can be free.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Soundtrack on September 15, 2012, 02:25:03 PM
Tony, everything you've done up to this point has been amazing and frankly, wonderful, but ... well, I don't want to be "that guy" (and I'm realizing now how often I've been saying that lately...) but I have this horrible feeling that this is going to backfire and have a negative impact on the negotiations between Brian Clayton and NCsoft/Investors. Those negotiations are VERY delicate, and I think that if we're flooding inboxes of the highest of the higher-ups at NCsoft, they'll see it as a nuisance instead of a touching gesture that it's supposed to be.

Though, this is just my cynical view of things, but what if those email addresses get into the wrong hands? People doing baaaaad things with them? It will be our fault and it will be DEVASTATING to the movement.

On the other hand, of course, none of us want to lose this game. I don't want to lose this game, either. I just think that maybe going over this with Alpha Wolf or Misty's contact from the negotiations FIRST would be a better idea before unleashing the masses.

I'm really torn on this.

I'm afraid I agree with Big Angry here...

I try to place myself in the shoes of those who will be receiving these emails. If I sit down on Monday morning to my computer, turn it on and start up my email software...only to find my inbox inundated with emails from CoH customers voicing their complaints...  I try to find that one email from the Production Designer who told me he has an urgent message about a problem with the new design...but I can't...because I have 50+ emails stating basically the same thing...

I'm not sure my deaf ear...won't become more deaf. Or worse...become angry.

That being said, I do admire those who choose to email...because of their passion and their willingness to let it be known.

I just fear this will be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. And not in a good way.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Omega Mark V on September 15, 2012, 02:40:33 PM
I have to agree with soundtrack. I don't think this is the right way to go with mass emails.

If there's something under NDA, they just aren't going to share this info with us. It's under the contract.

I know we all want information, and we want to know why this is happening, and most importantly STOPPING IT; but if we're resorting to spamming the Korean CEO's of a company... I just don't know if it's the best thing to do.

I've been praying that God will lend a hand in our movement, prayer is the thing that keeps me optimistic with this catastrophe.

I may email them, but I'm going to wait until the spamming quits. If Koreans expect respect, spamming them definitely won't get us on their good side.

Just my two cents.

Omega Mark V, out.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Altoholic Monkey on September 15, 2012, 02:49:59 PM
I really don't think sending emails to them 2 weeks into our movement is a great idea.  Sending them letters is great and has more impact. I wouldn't expect to receive any word if they are in negotiations.  I'm concerned that flooding an inbox with email will not be received well. 

Let's reconsider this action, we will be spamming their inbox with messages. Especially when we've stated that letter writing was better because they could not filter out the mail. I believe that we have some expectations that NCSoft to respond quickly, and because they aren't doing so then we're taking a somewhat drastic action by sending floods of emails.

Perhaps we should try a calling campaign instead, if we really want to contact NCSoft directly, then why not call them and talk to someone?
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Rae on September 15, 2012, 03:04:49 PM
Or perhaps there's a way we can do this..but..not do it?

Maybe it would make more sense for say, five of the Project Co-ordinators on the 'save' campaign to send an email, but attaching some of the testimonials VV has collected (say, five each) as documents to the emails. That way the big bosses will get 5 emails and (say) 25 testimonials, instead of 50 trillion emails.

I think they might accidentally read one, or two of them - maybe even all of them, if there's only a small number - but if they see they've been bulked mailed, they're likely to just hit the delete key without reading any of them, or their spamfilters will be upgraded and we'll be cut off foreverz.

It's also a way of saying 'look, we /could/ have mailbombed you. We're trying to be nice.'

Just a thought, anyway. I'll go back to my corner now :)

Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: BobMc on September 15, 2012, 03:14:25 PM
In reading those etiquette links, I see it is common for a lag between initial interest in meeting and actually meeting... as well as it being advisable to be introduced by a mutual friend if possible, instead of direct contact.

So we may very well be in  mismatch of styles.

Taking the Devs out to a meal  however may resonate with their culture well. So that may be a point in our favor.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Soundtrack on September 15, 2012, 03:18:35 PM
Or perhaps there's a way we can do this..but..not do it?

Maybe it would make more sense for say, five of the Project Co-ordinators on the 'save' campaign to send an email, but attaching some of the testimonials VV has collected (say, five each) as documents to the emails. That way the big bosses will get 5 emails and (say) 25 testimonials, instead of 50 trillion emails.

I think they might accidentally read one, or two of them - maybe even all of them, if there's only a small number - but if they see they've been bulked mailed, they're likely to just hit the delete key without reading any of them, or their spamfilters will be upgraded and we'll be cut off foreverz.

It's also a way of saying 'look, we /could/ have mailbombed you. We're trying to be nice.'

Just a thought, anyway. I'll go back to my corner now :)

I like this idea... especially the implied message of: "We're being reasonable and just communicating with you."
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Burnt Toast on September 15, 2012, 03:47:48 PM
Retweeted and emailed.

My email was short and polite. Focusing more on the community and the great things CoHers have done (Real World Heroes). I didn't beg, threaten, or demand anything...I simply asked them to reconsider a complete shut down and to stay open to other possibilities.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Chaos Ex Machina on September 15, 2012, 04:01:25 PM
I think it would be a lot smarter to not show the emails and personally forward only the best submissions, OR AT LEAST FILTER THE TROLLS.

Bad idea.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Harermuir on September 15, 2012, 04:02:34 PM
I m pretty sure that this is exactly their strategy. Telling nothing, waiting, until server will shut down and we will let it go. Exactly the same as when they decided to drop localization, a few month ago.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Burnt Toast on September 15, 2012, 04:16:22 PM
I don't see it as spamming them. What I do see it as is passionate customers contacting them in a civil manner telling them why CoH is important to them etc.

If I was a CEO of a game and closed it down and received a couple emails - to me that is indicative of the population - a couple passionate people. Now if I received 20,000 emails of a product...that sends me more of a message. I do think it is important that the emails are courteous and professional. And I do NOT think it should be a scripted email that is simply cut and pasted...that has no meaning behind it. I think people should be encouraged to simply tell their stories about CoH, why it is important to them, asking them to reconsider shutting it down, and thanking them for taking the time to read their thoughts.

No threats of a boycott
No Demands
Focus on the community
Focus on what the game means to you
Ask for them to please reconsider their initial choice and be open to other options

To me THAT is the format each email should take...personal, professional, and focused.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Omega Mark V on September 15, 2012, 04:25:20 PM
I sent an email to the webmaster, because I thought this method of direct email was rude. I apologized to them, on behalf of how many emails the CEO's may get, and tried to explain why I thought the game has potential in America.

Basically in a summary, I said: "Action games are huge in America, as well as Super Heroes. Since NCSoft makes really original games compared to other companies that I have seen, a new Super Hero Action MMO would do great. Champions Online didn't do this, because it was based on something else, compared to having originality."

Yes they aren't replying to us, but as I've said, it may be under NDA, and they might just not be able to tell us.

One thought I had, is that this whole thing might actually be for a new City of Heroes/Villains game.

Let me explain:

If you have noticed, NCSoft has taken down City Of Heroes on their official website, but Paragon Studios is still on their corporate website. I don't know if this means the studio is being re-developed to make a new game, or will soon be disbanded and removed entirely, but it may be the prior than the latter.

I've also been holding this off, but now seems the time to say it, because this applies to my explanation as well:

I had a dream a while back regarding City Of Heroes, I was under Atlas's statue, talking to someone about something, but it was something good of some sort that happened outside of the game, regarding the game. I don't know if this has to do with the game being saved, there being an announcement of a sequel or what else, all I know is that it wasn't bad. I can't remember written words in my dreams, but I remembered the feeling and what it was for. It was a sigh of relief of sorts, paired with excitement.

I tend to have Deja vu quite a bit concerning games, and I felt this was important to say.

Now, I may be wrong, DEAD wrong, but I like to keep headstrong and optimistic about this catastrophe we all are facing.

We are still a community throughout all of this, but we have to take into account the things we don't know.

Patience is a virtue, and because we don't really have concrete answers at this moment, I resort to prayer.

Omega Mark V, with respect, out.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: houtex on September 15, 2012, 04:51:20 PM
I waffled a little on this.  I truly did.  On the one hand, sure, it's rude, and they'll be getting a ton of crap from some seriously angry people, and that is the damn shame of it all right there.

And as such I on the face of it wanted no part of it.  Because I don't want to be part of those who would threaten and shout at the people who did, in fact, keep this game going for 8 years.  Let us not forget that.

And I thought... I had other things to do... still do, they're delayed now... but I thought... and decided... if I don't do it now, I won't get an opportunity later.

So I sent a letter to the three of them.  It took me an hour to write, and I'm sure it's completely inadequate and wrong of me to have done so.  But I did it anyway, because time is short, they're not talking, so I'm going to speak up, and directly.  Frack it.

Here is what I sent them, for better or worse.  And if you guys/gals have a problem with it, well... I'm sorry I disappointed in some way, but It Is Done.

Quote
Dear Sirs and Madam:

I am hoping that I may somehow get in before the deluge of emails that are probably coming your way.  I am hopeful you will understand the passion for which some of the people who are going to email you, since your addresses have become public.

But it is my belief that not speaking now is a mistake.  Time is short, and any effort needs to be swift, and as such, I am writing to you directly.

---

The unexpected decision to close Paragon Studios and sunset City of Heroes was a shock two weeks ago.  It still is. Many would (and have done so, sad to say) decry this decision, simply because their 'toy' is being taken away.  I do not believe I am one of those people.  I would not fight for just the game, that is self-serving of an individual at best, and is not the only reason why I'm writing you.

I personally can understand business decisions regarding product.  If the product isn't selling, or more to the point, isn't generating profit, then it is something that cannot sustain itself, and it needs to be taken off the market.  To read what I have, this was not the case for City of Heroes.  There appear to be other titles in your library that would have been a better choice in this respect, to read the reports.  This sows confusion among the customers.

Then there is this: That Blade and Soul is now being offered just after, and that Guild Wars 2 was released just before, the announcement of the closure of City of Heroes simply reeks of a push to get us to play something else in your library rather than carry on with our preferred game of choice.  That there was also more content (and that content was to be, as is said in the community, "HUGE") on the cusp of being released 'Live' in City of Heroes just about drives the stake in on this theory.

Further, the complete silence about the closure from NCSoft, apart from Paragon Studios posting it on the main website for City of Heroes, and the following PR statement from your company just after.. more confusion.  "Why is NCSoft treating us this way?" people are wondering, myself among them.

To be quite frank, your continued silence, and your corporate management of these three titles (as well as the five titles in five years being shut down, including City of Heroes) has many in the community of City of Heroes.. if not an extended community of MMOs.. asking these questions:

1) Why would anyone play anything to do with NCSoft if the end result is a 'lightswitch' end to the game, and not talk about why that is happening?
2) Why would anyone play antything that they can create characters in, make relationships in, only to have it killed unexpectedly by a board meeting?

As an example, Tablua Rasa was not 'making it'.  It's closure was expected.  There was no doubt.  But City of Heroes?  Nothing so far as can be seen proves it wasn't fine and profitable as it was.  This closure puts confusion and doubt about all MMOs, and damages the reputation of the entire industry.  In my opinion, NCSoft would be very ill advised, from that particular standpoint, to let City of Heroes or any other property be closed down, and not just for the well being of your company, but ALL of the online gaming industry.

---

From a personal standpoint..

As long as this action continues to its inevitable conclusion, I have no choice but to do what I think is right for myself.  Which is, namely, never play any MMO again.  Never play anything where I might create something that is under the control of another entity.  Because I will simply not pour any money or time into anything of this nature to have it ripped away unemotionally, unexpectedly.  Not going to happen.  It may extend to most of the online gaming industry, to be honest.  And definitely, NCSoft's reputation is tarnished by the way this closure was/is being done, and as such.. I cannot support your company's efforts beyond November 30, 2012, I am sorry to have to say.  Barring something saving City of Heroes and your company is widely known to have helped that cause, in which case.. perhaps I will try GW2 or Blood and Soul....

In City of Heroes, I made characters I care about.  They are being taken away.  This is not trivial.  Without the work of Paragon Studios and your company, I would not have had that experience, nor that creativity.. that continues today.  I make other characters still, more costumes..

But even that pales into the sudden requirement of the entirety of Paragon Studios being told to go work elsewhere, your profitable game, the hard work and effort into the art, the community they've helped generate.. all that means nothing anymore.. that had to hurt them worse than anything in the City of Heroes community can express.  I do not know if you saw the news about the community buying the entire staff of Paragon a dinner, in a window of around 3 hours to generate the monies.  I myself was unable to donate to that particular idea, as it was done and over before I could hit [Donate!], and hope (as do others) that there will be other opportunities to do similar acts for the fantastic people who made and worked on City of Heroes.

I do not believe there is any precedent in the history of MMOs or online gaming like it.  This is how much we care about the fantastic people who made this work of art.  This is part of what you are closing, a fantastic community of players, developers and moderators of the forums and the game, and the like of which one would be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

I must say this: I would pay double the subscription fee... perhaps more... if it would have helped.  As it was, once I subscribed all those years ago, I never stopped paying.. even if I wasn't playing for whatever personal reasons, the subscription kept on, waiting for my return, and return I did.  Often.  And with new ideas to try.  The game still has so many years of play left for a lot of us, because we haven't done it all yet.

There is nothing like City of Heroes out there.  Not. One. Thing. 

Please, somehow, let this work of art be saved.  Somewhere.  In it's 'final form' if that is how it is to be, even, would be a better fate than burying this fantastic machine of creativity and expression.  Do not let your hard work, Cryptic/Paragon Studios hard work, and frankly, all the players hard work in their characters be lost. 

There simply has to be some way other than complete closure.

---

There is one thing I'd like to say before I close. 

I appreciate your part in allowing City of Heroes to be alive for the time it was.  I am fully aware that without your help over the years, Paragon, and before it, Cryptic, would not have had City of Heroes see the light of day.  We would not have had the expansions, the new content, get the opportunity to play the 'other side' in City of Villains, get to be in between a Hero and a Villain in Going Rogue, nor had the artistic abilities that are possible in the Mission Architect system. 

We would not have gotten to know and discuss things with the Developers and Moderators.  We would not have gotten to know and talk with people from all over the world.

So sincerely, and honestly:

Thank you for the grand ride.  Thank you very much indeed.  I truly wish it didn't have to end.


@houtex in City of Heroes
houtex in the City of Heroes Forums.

Mike
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Olantern on September 15, 2012, 05:09:40 PM
This doesn't feel like the right thing to do at this point to me.

I don't like the lack of feedback any better than anyone else, but it hasn't sent me into panic mode yet, either.  I expect delays and stonewalling, purposeful or inadvertent, in a situation like this.  I also don't expect communications, whether through letter, e-mail, or otherwise, to have a great effect.  (If someone wants, I can edit my post and explain why based on what I've seen in government, but I'm trying not to make this about my issues.)  I'm particularly concerned about those e-mail addresses getting out elsewhere on the internet, having someone misuse or simply send nasty e-mails with them, and that coming back to bite us.  I don't think protests, boycotts, or grassroots anything have the same significance to your average Korean businessman as they do to your average western MMO player.  All these things on top of NCSoft and Nexon planning to shut the game down and expend no further effort on doing so are likely to combine to create a lot of silence.

All that said, whether to do this, or anything at all related to the rescue of CoH, really, is a decision each of us has to make for himself or herself.  For those who are writing in, I see plenty of good advice being posted in this thread.  I'll add one more.  It may sound intuitive, but I see a lot of students miss it, so it might be helpful here.  When writing this sort of e-mail, draft it as you would a letter, with multiple drafts, complete sentences, paragraphs (they really help with breaking up those walls of text), you name it.

Good luck to everyone.  Speaking of dreams, in the one I had before waking up and writing this, I said to someone in a very bad situation, "We must survive this."  I know we will.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Papi-Desire on September 15, 2012, 05:31:41 PM
hello ...

Why do I feel that CoH is victim of it's success ... if it stays, no other games would make it. I agree that all such games could go for an end, but not so abruptly, I would advise any company to announce at least 1 year in advance of their intention of closing down & at 3 months near the end, would give freebies to loyal supporters / customers.

I've been in the game in only 1 year & was one of the best gaming year of my life, before that I never played an MMO. Now I'm scared that when I play another one, it may be suddenly removed from me, so if this move was to make someone like me carry on by buying another game from same company, it's a fail.

So Sad, for I met so many wonderful friends there, was so many great hours & even if I think I never went beyond 10% of the game, I really enjoyed it to 200% & spent a lot of money in costumes & built a lot of great toons .... for me they are an extension of my creativity & would certainly love to have them around for some more times...

I shall try my best to support the #SaveCOH cause & to all of you, thank you for what you are doing ...

Special greetings from Mauritius

A vous tous: Merci & que Paragon City soit sauvé

cheers!

Papi Desire
aka @TheNephilim (Vigilance : The-DarkAngel / The Nephelai;  Virtue: The-Nephilim / Element-AIR; Freedom: Peace Angel / La Espirita / Tenebris Spiritus; Exalted: Sirene / Raw.Bin HUD & so much more I shall mourn over... )

Ile Maurice
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: GuyPerfect on September 15, 2012, 05:43:51 PM
I did decide to wait to email until Monday at the earliest.

Imagine a world where Monday is too late...

...
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: padathir on September 15, 2012, 05:55:51 PM
the silence is deafening

Indeed it is. I can't understand it. It is super disrespectful and honestly a bit creepy. You make decrees without explanation and ignore attempts at discussion when you believe you are dealing with inferior beings. Even saying something outright belligerent like "We're canceling because we hate this game and don't care about your complaints" would at least be acknowledgement that we exist.
 
(Further, I've seen a lot of noise about cultural differences in this situation, but honestly I think that is nonsense. You don't stay in business anywhere in the world if you convince all your current and potential customers that you are untrustworthy. This is not a "Korean" thing happening here, it is an NCSoft thing happening.)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Codewalker on September 15, 2012, 05:58:13 PM
The other risk of waiting too long for something like this is attrition of our own numbers. The Save CoH movement is at its strongest right now, but is starting to plateau (look at the numbers on the petition for instance). Closer to Nov. 30, people may have given up by then.

What's the old saying about striking while the iron is hot?
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Myriade on September 15, 2012, 06:12:31 PM
Damn. It was time! I'm happy you consider this kind of action now that you have seen peaceful community action does not get heard at all - NC does not care. Sadly, as beautiful and pure as it is, in real life it does not work.

Let's do this respectfully again. But for the last time. Cause Time is running out.

But prepare already a more violent step 3. Mark my words. Cause Step 2 is probably doomed to fail. They don't respect us so far. Why should I respect them?

Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: SkyStreak on September 15, 2012, 06:15:25 PM
I'm going to join the chorus of 'too soon' here.

The announcement was made on a Friday before a holiday weekend.  A lot of places in North America run on reduced staffing the week following Labor Day. 

There have been statements about behind the scenes meetings going on for the past two weeks.

NCsoft only updated their site to remove CoH stuff this past week.

Flooding a less public email account might not be taken too positively.

We've been doing an amazing job keeping things positive up until this point, and doing this seems so contrary to what we've done so far that I was actually wondering if Tony V's forum account was hacked. 
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Myriade on September 15, 2012, 06:19:47 PM
I'm going to join the chorus of 'too soon' here.

=>Some consider it's "late". Me included.

The announcement was made on a Friday before a holiday weekend.  A lot of places in North America run on reduced staffing the week following Labor Day. 

There have been statements about behind the scenes meetings going on for the past two weeks.

NCsoft only updated their site to remove CoH stuff this past week.

=>Yes but it has been said those talks were just "talks". Talks about what? With who? For What? No positive sign from NC.

Flooding a less public email account might not be taken too positively.

=>As well as closing the game the way they do, not refunding people, and not even saying something about our actions.

We've been doing an amazing job keeping things positive up until this point, and doing this seems so contrary to what we've done so far that I was actually wondering if Tony V's forum account was hacked.

=>I was not expecting Tony to go that route neither but the absence of facts is here. In my opinion it's the only righteous thing to do and still i find he keeps it way too 'soft'. But i'm probably an extremist.
Anyway I prefer Tony to lead the action and keep it under control. If he did nothing, believe me, the situation would have become chaotic with individual violent but useless actions. Even if I still disagree with the high level of kindness we put in our messages, I'll do what is written in the action strategy cause Tony said so. We don't need 50 leaders. We've got one. He's our Statesman lol. For the nay sayers, if you don't "feel" it right, don't do it. In the end each one leads his own life the way he feels it's the best.

Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: eabrace on September 15, 2012, 06:23:19 PM
All I'm going to throw in here is this:  I'm going to trust Tony's judgement on this.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: DrakeGrimm on September 15, 2012, 06:26:43 PM
But prepare already a more violent step 3. Mark my words. Cause Step 2 is probably doomed to fail. They don't respect us so far. Why should I respect them?

You don't need to respect them, but you sure as hell need to appear to respect them. If we come at them from a rude, angry, and belligerent angle, their hearts will turn to stone and they will dismiss us as a bunch of mewling, immature children. You get more flies with honey than vinegar.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Myriade on September 15, 2012, 06:27:28 PM
You don't need to respect them, but you sure as hell need to appear to respect them. If we come at them from a rude, angry, and belligerent angle, their hearts will turn to stone and they will dismiss us as a bunch of mewling, immature children. You get more flies with honey than vinegar.

We'll talk about this again in Mid november. So far let's follow Tony's words.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: elizibar on September 15, 2012, 06:52:27 PM
http://consumerist.com/2007/05/how-to-launch-an-executive-email-carpet-bomb.html

1. Exhaust normal channels

Check!

2. Write a really good complaint letter.

Working on it.

3. Determine the corporate email address format.

Tony took care of that for us!

4. Compile a list of the company's top executives

See 3.

5. Combine the names from step 4 with the format from step 3 to create an email list

See 3.

6. Send your complaint to the list from step 5.

Some people don't want to emulate the Consumerist's track record of getting corporate executives to bow down to their customers.  We can't proceed with this step en masse. :(

7. Sit back and wait.

Hm...
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Mantic on September 15, 2012, 06:56:02 PM
I don't think anything positive can be gained by trying to bully NCSoft.

Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: SithRose on September 15, 2012, 06:59:18 PM
However, polite emails MAY result in a positive response.

I am very polite when I choose to be. I also will be noting the possible benefit to the autistic community...since South Korea has recently done studies indicating a very high incidence of autism in their population, that may sway opinion more....
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Soundtrack on September 15, 2012, 07:01:47 PM
And if this email spamming doesn't help? What will be our next recourse?
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Grower on September 15, 2012, 07:45:50 PM
I have to say, I am behind TonyV on this one... I too have been increasingly worried about losing our Devs to the job market.  They are amazing, talented people and they won't have trouble finding another home.

While the intellectual property, the billing info, databases and all that might be saved by more sedated long term protest before November 30, or even after that date - the GAME will be lost, because what makes it amazing is not just the digital data - it's the people who created it.  The people with the tongue in cheek humor we love so much, with the vision and amazing drive to put up with our antics and stick to their guns making CoH what it is today.

Without them... we will have lost the battle, even if we win.  And they will NOT wait until Nov. 30 to find other jobs.

So... without an answer from NC, we have to do SOMETHING to step up our game.  It may make things better, and it may make things worse... but at this point, if we don't try it is guaranteed to make things worse.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Chaos Ex Machina on September 15, 2012, 07:57:41 PM
Frankly, if any developers get another job, that is a thing you should celebrate.  No matter what you accomplish through these efforts some of the developers will be getting new jobs.

Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Electric-Knight on September 15, 2012, 08:02:56 PM
As I posted in the other forums:

Sending emails to these addresses is no worse (and possibly no better) than sending physical letters (or packages of capes and masks) or emails to publicly listed addresses.

I'm not a follower (hah, that is quite the understatement, but how do you express such things via text to strangers... it just comes off as arrogant blah-blah-blah-ing, but I put it here just in case you choose to believe me... I'm a frick'n independent artist that gets along with neither the established industry nor most artists that are supposed to be my peers and I've been sticking to my guns and will do so until I die for whatever good or bad it does), believe me I tend to lead my own initiatives through most everything I do (no doubt, sometimes to a fault).

However, in this case, I trust in TonyV's judgment call here. He could certainly be wrong. He may not know a thing more than I do... But I am 1) figuring that he has more of an inside track, regarding the people of Paragon Studios (again, I could be wrong. And I have no belief that TonyV would or should out any such information he may have gained through such possible contacts, but I figure he's more in the know than I am regarding that aspect) 2) following his lead on this, because I am in with him and this movement.

If he makes this move without our full support, it'll pale in comparison to the move with our support.
So, he's called for this... and I'm backing him, because I believe it's in our best interest for what we want.

Again, I do not tend to follow another at all, but I understand the concept of sticking together and I am sticking with TonyV on this.

Oh, if I have an issue, I will question, I will voice my opinions and I may balk... But, for me, this is not one of those times where I feel any need to do as such.

Was I surprised to see this step now? Yep!
Do I recognize TonyV's own uncertainty and displeasure at taking this step now? Yeah, I think he expressed himself very well in this message.
We're all just humans (out of game) and I'm willing to move forward and go along with the informed decision that a guy (who I have been trusting, relying upon, and benefiting from through all of this so far) has made. That's just it. We've been benefiting from his lead (for longer than this SaveCoH movement) and I am going to place trust and give my support back to him for it (for all of it). I'd rather be proven wrong and fail with him than to abstain. Still, I have no reason to think that he's wrong to make this move now.

I'd never ask anyone to step beyond what they truly believe is right. However, this is just a case of sending emails to another address. It's not really that large of a deal.
It may have a beneficial impact. If this company is really going to sell things and/or play ball, any potential "spam" is not going to stop that or make them look less favorably upon us and/or the business aspects of allowing CoH to continue (legally).

At best, in my opinion, this (just as the cape and mask initiative) may lend a result something like the trial in the movie "A Miracle on 34th Street" -  A clear outpouring of support, unmistakable in size and intent.
It could impact the person behind the screen.
It could make a difference.
It very well may not help at all, but the lack of doing saves nothing but your time and energy to be spent on something else.

Such a direct showing could connect with them and that could add the human element that may be necessary to make them interested in allowing CoH to continue.
No matter how negatively such a showing could be taken by these people, that type of negativity would not counter a business move that they believe would be smart and/or are taking action towards or are contemplating.
While the likelihood may be small, the positive impact could be a spark that kindles something more... but I cannot see the impact of this being a negative that extinguishes the flame.

Please, let's stand together and not splinter, leaving our efforts far more feeble than they would be otherwise. Together, we are more than we are apart.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Sunlover on September 15, 2012, 08:06:49 PM
I am blown away by the thoughtfulness and intelligence and excellent viewpoints of all the posters here.  Kudos and cheers to you all -- if I needed a new Wise Council for Lord of the Rings, or a solid Kryptonian Council to pass judgment on criminals before banishing them to the Phantom Zone...I'd want you all. :) (forcing a smile out, even in our darkening situation)

That being said, and I *do* love all the viewpoints posted herein...I wanted to humbly offer my 10 cents of opinion to the pile.

I'm afraid I agree -- not in spirit of course, but in matters of practicality -- with all the people who are saying "...This is a mistake."  Here's why -- and this is all in my envisioning, your mileage may vary...(paints with a virtual paintbrush for you all): 

My fear is that, regardless of how wonderful or terrible we collectively decide to be, the CEO of a major company comes in Monday and sees 5000 emails staring him in the face (or even 500), and has very heated words with his IT department -- wherein the IT department creates a completely new email address for the exec and deactivates the old one to go into the giant spambucket in the sky -- or worse, filters out any email with the phrase "CoH", "Heroes", or "City of Heroes".  It's a grim possibility -- and if I was in that CEO's shoes, that's what I'd do.  A CEO [I imagine] doesn't have time to sit down for what would amount to days, avidly reading every email that comes in.  He's got a company to run (even if he chooses to run it into the ground in a possible PR nightmare)...

That's my worst fear regarding this situation; it echoes many other postings I've seen here in this forum.

Secondly, and I think this is probably a MUST DO for TonyV -- I do understand his passion and probable exhaustion at this point -- I would also make the suggestion [a very smart one, I think], that the email addresses in the original post be chopped up "Craigslist style": breaking it down for you, Craigslisters are very savvy about bots and spam-email-address-collectors and what not; many of them when they post an ad for sale say "Contact me at eight 6 7 five 3 oh 9" or "Email me at bogus [at] moocow.com".  This way the stereotypical format is broken up and is far harder to detect for "sniffer" programs out there.  It would also, I believe, probably deter some percentage of letter writers who cannot get over their anger and want to blast, or trollers who are hellbent on destroying our efforts.  Because you've got to *think*, however briefly, to format that text into a real email address -- you can't just cut and paste it.

Anyways...those are my thoughts.  I want to email the execs -- and I plan to, after I have time to craft a letter -- and may very well copy it to a real Word document and send a real letter through the "proper" channels -- but seriously: if *you* were an upper-level exec and came in and found yourself deluged with emails...what would *you* do? (Highlight all, press the "delete" key? Get your IT department to filter out anything with the words "COH", "Heroes" or "City of Heroes" out of your mailbox? ...I would.  :'( )

I wasn't going to bring this up, because I didn't want to dent anyone's hope -- but I question whether this approach is refined enough to actually work.  It's very risky.  And I hate saying that, because I am a hardcore realist through and through and the last 2 weeks, have been wearing the cape and the suit and being the encouraging optimist.  Thanks for your collective time reading this...I will follow what TonyV is suggesting...tempered by all your intelligent viewpoints. 

Hugs and support to all,
~@Sunlover (95% on Virtue, 5% on Infinity: Transcendent Man, Cinnamon Girl, Kiss of Light, Alluring Arsenal, Fabulous Cash Prizes, Sonyk Boom, Big Ba-Da Buum, Taxibot Alien and Taxibot Stonestrike -- my 9 "active" 50's [and from his dusty, unplayed-for-years tomb, Mister Negative, my 50 Undead Mastermind])
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: The-Hunter-JLJ on September 15, 2012, 08:43:51 PM
Let me throw in my insight based on years as a tech in a huge, soulless corporation. Don't waste any sympathy on executives at any company. They are there to do exactly what they are doing, and they get paid plenty well to put up with little problems like a few thousand emails when their customers think they screwed up. If they can't be adult about it, then they don't belong in that position in the first place. (Admittedly, many people in corner offices DON'T belong there, but that's a whole 'nother argument.)

And as Electric-Knight says not far above me, when you get right down to it, I'm standing with TonyV's judgement on this.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Myridean on September 15, 2012, 08:57:14 PM
Or perhaps there's a way we can do this..but..not do it?

Maybe it would make more sense for say, five of the Project Co-ordinators on the 'save' campaign to send an email, but attaching some of the testimonials VV has collected (say, five each) as documents to the emails. That way the big bosses will get 5 emails and (say) 25 testimonials, instead of 50 trillion emails.

I think they might accidentally read one, or two of them - maybe even all of them, if there's only a small number - but if they see they've been bulked mailed, they're likely to just hit the delete key without reading any of them, or their spamfilters will be upgraded and we'll be cut off foreverz.

It's also a way of saying 'look, we /could/ have mailbombed you. We're trying to be nice.'Just a thought, anyway. I'll go back to my corner now :)

Or better yet a video containing testimonials, similar to the one that the Guild of Greeters did on behalf of the MYST community that I posted last week on YouTube. Emails can be deleted. A publically posted video on YouTube that they can watch and send to media if people are willing to share their stories might make more of a compelling case. It worked with Cyan Worlds as eventually MYST Online is alive today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eYRFW_m8E8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eYRFW_m8E8)

I'd make it and gather it myself but I don't have the ability nor the experience to make something like this but I was hoping at least if NCSoft saw this that they would realise that disabled people who play CoX feel absolutely the same way and treasure CoX just as much as these people with illness and disabilities did if not more.

Myridean
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Rae on September 15, 2012, 09:07:52 PM
Ok. I've been thinking about this all day.

I trust you guys. I'll send off my emails in the morning, when I can brain properly, and unless something happens overnight and there's been a change of plan.

/em holdtorch.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Gothica on September 15, 2012, 09:49:48 PM
The problem we're facing is that we don't have enough information to make as informed a decision as we would like.

ARE there in fact negotiations going on? I know that earlier there were intimations to that effect, but how accurate were those intimations, and has anything changed since we received them?

Absent negotiations, might there be in-house reassessments in progress in light of our agitation thus far?

If there are in fact negotiations or reassessments in progress, will an email deluge mess them up? Or will it increase the leverage of the negotiators/customers who are trying to save the game?

If there aren't negotiations or reassessments going on, will an email campaign do anything to kick-start them?

If there aren't negotiations or reassessments going on, and we sit around in the expectation that there are, then aren't we waiting for word that in fact will never come, and thus wasting irreplaceable time?

Our best bet is to discover whether we have answers to any of the above questions. Even if we do, we sure don't have answers to most of them, so we must make guesses based on human nature, the world of business, the culture of NCSoft, and even the personalities of the executives involved.

Therefore, any action we take will be, at best, based on the principle of calculated risk. As Huxley said, you pays your money and you takes your choice.

Does everyone agree with this analysis? Does anyone have anything to add to it?

If it seems sound, then what's the best course, and can we all agree to pursue it as a group so as to maximize its impact?

Respectfully submitted.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Victoria Victrix on September 15, 2012, 09:50:04 PM
Tony apparently knows something we don't.  Posi's gotten a tasty job offer?  A venture capitalist has come forward?  NCSoft is planning on shutting us down at the end of this month?  I don't know.  But it is clear that it is big, and a cause for urgent action.  So far he has been a voice of reason here.

Now for those of you who are going "But what if those execs come in on Monday Morning and find their email box flooded!!!!!!"  I have only one thing to say.

Have you never worked in a big corporation?

Execs do not see their raw email boxes.  Ever.  This is why they have assistants and multiple secretaries, and spam filters the like of which the Pentagon has.

If we are lucky some of those emails will make it past the spam filter and into the primary box.  Then the assistant or secretary will see it.  If we are lucky, said assistant or secretary will make a note of the contents for an email summary report, from which the executive will select anything he or she might want to look at after the "important" business is taken care of.  If.  They could already have been instructed to discard anything related to COH that comes from outside the company.

Chances that any of these will actually land in the executive's pristine and mostly empty mailbox?  Optimistically thinking, 1/100,000.  And then only if we somehow manage to touch what passes for a heart in the assistant.  Or if we are making so much noise that we cannot be shut out and the summary report is overwhelmed with our numbers.

That is how these things work.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Colette on September 15, 2012, 10:20:53 PM
Y'all do what you wanna do. I sent a courteous letter last night when Tony first posted his go-ahead.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Philly Girl on September 15, 2012, 10:23:00 PM
Just a few things I would like to say:

First to address something I saw earlier, the e-mail campaign is definitely different then a postal mail campaign.  You can easily fill someones inbox and stop business critical e-mails from getting through.  This will not garner favor and will most likely end with having keyword filters or addresses being blocked.  It may also be seen as a malicious action, rather than one to get their attention.  A postal campaign sends a tangible message and may put stress on a mail room but business critical messages will still get through.


Secondly, I already stated this on Facebook, Silence does not mean anything.  It is early yet and if negotiations are happening they will be confidential.  Also we are consumers not business partners, if and when they decide to make a statement it will most likely come via Z or one of the other OCR reps since that's why they pay them.  It's a common business practice to have no announcements during negotiations.  The reason I state this is because people will get frustrated with the silence and stop fighting/trying, or will get desperate and possibly more negative.  If you expect the silence (as I do) then you can just keep fighting at a consistent pace.   A consistent pace will show solidarity and meaning, as opposed to a short fast and furious pace that dies from attrition.


Now saying silence means nothing, I do have a minor experience with Paragon/NC Soft regarding this statement.  Back during the AE account bans I was, lets say, rather persistent in my efforts to make Paragon see my ways. So much as to start contacting NC Soft Public relations among other places.  I also figured out paragon's e-mail scheme so that as long as I knew the name I knew their e-mail address.  Now I got ZERO replies, but that doesn't mean they didn't hear me.  I was told by Ghost Falcon (see sig) that I was brought up at some rather high level meetings.  So while I heard nothing from them, I wasn't being ignored.  Oddly enough, I found out later that I was mistaken about the numbers of people banned because I was basing it off Justice #'s and my server was *cough* rather hard hit by the bans.  Had they just put that info out there the reactions would have been much better.  This is a company that likes to stay silent on certain business aspects though.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Paindancer on September 15, 2012, 10:33:34 PM
I will say, I agree, that we are against the  clock.  Server morale, and team attrition at Paragon both work against us.  Couple in, the longer they wait, the greater chance the situation disperses organically is also in NCSofts favor.

However, I dont see that applying direct pressure to them is a viable strategy.  They have already decided to minimize us.  Applying indirect pressure, through media awareness, is the best way to go, and I know a little bird or two who is up to another salvo.

Keep the faith.  Keep playing.  keep having fun!  Get your friends to download the game.. that is probably the biggest thing we can do right there.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: dwturducken on September 15, 2012, 10:34:00 PM
Just a word from a guy who has worked on the admin side of spam filters.  Look through your spam folder in your email whatever (webmail, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc). Look at the subject lines.  Avoid using anything in your subject line that resembles anything you see there, and you should be OK.  You're not writing something that is going to look like you're trying to sell something or pass yourself off as a prince of a random African country or head of some random US federal body, so the ones that filter the body of the email, too, should let you through.  Don't put the game name in the subject line, or they will trigger the filter after too many.  Don't use something generic, like "A Plea," "Don't Do This," or "Save Our Game."  Mix it up.

Obviously, yes, they're going to have something a little more robust than an entry-level Barracuda, but we can keep them from being automatically deleted by the spam filter if we're judicious and creative. That doesn't stop them from being manually deleted, but the executives will know we're doing it, even if they don't read a single one.

I'm against this, too, but I'm going to do it.  I trust Tony and his team, and all of you, for that matter, or I wouldn't be here.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: emu265 on September 15, 2012, 10:45:02 PM
After what I sent last night, I have been going back and forth on how I feel about this.  I think, however, it will not ultimately hurt us.  Simply getting on their nerves isn't going to trigger any sort of mental meltdown on their part.  It shouldn't.  People at the top of successful companies generally aren't unstable or vindictive.  Since we didn't launch this at the outset, I think it will be interpreted as frustration towards their silence. 

Someone mentioned how this could clog up their inboxes, burying potentially important business emails.  That's good and bad.  Whether they read every email or not (which they most certainly will not) it shows them, in a very real way, the weight of their actions.  It gives them an actual burden to work through as a result of the decision they made.  That's the good.  The bad is that they could be getting tired of us, and we don't want to force a premature decision if we put them in a bad mood.  Though I don't think they will act vengefully on important business simply because we made their morning email routine a little more tedious.   
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Thrillseeker on September 15, 2012, 10:58:14 PM
I have sent emails. I was VERY polite. I was short. I did not ramble.

Here is a copy of the one I sent to Dr. Song-Yee Yoon

Quote
My humblest apologies for this interruption.

On August 31st. 2012 your company announced the intent to close down
Paragon Studios in California, USA and sunset City of Heroes. I
completely understand the business reasons for this action. However,
those of us who have been loyal paying customers of the game from it's
start would like you to consider, instead, allowing the sale of the
game and studio to those that were employed with the studio before you
closed it down or to another interested 3rd party with the intent of
continuing to run the game.

The actions of NCSoft in this matter has not been in good faith with
those that have been paying to play the game. Please consider and take
actions on the offers that are being made from parties in the USA.

At the very least, send an official response to those making the offers.

Prior to the closure of Paragon Studios, I was seriously considering
buying Guide Wars 2, Blade and Soul and Wildstar. However, if NCSoft
does not at least make a public showing of making an effort to let
those interested save City of Heroes from closing down, I am afraid
that NCSoft and it's holdings will never, ever, see another dollar of
my hard earned money.

I deeply respect the three that we are sending this to. It weighs heavily that it was felt that we needed to do an email campaign to private company emails. I hope by keeping it short and showing my respect the only way I know how in my words when sending something like this, that it will not adversely affect things.



Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Chaos Ex Machina on September 15, 2012, 10:58:18 PM
"With respect, how I think City of Heroes profits can be dramatically increased"

How about that?
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: dwturducken on September 15, 2012, 11:03:40 PM
"With respect, how I think City of Heroes profits can be dramatically increased"

How about that?

As a subject?  Probably too long, but that's a different concern.  I can't say how they would have their filter set, but it's possible that they have already come up with an internal code name for the game and have it in the filter.  We can but try.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Burnt Toast on September 15, 2012, 11:04:47 PM
I am tired of hearing about Asian culture/etiquette. If anyone had a CLUE about South Korean culture you would know that Seoul is the most active city when it comes to civilian protests. These protests have paved the way for many democratic reforms as well as labor reforms to benefit the people. South Koreans are NOT Chinese...and their culture is completely different.

If you honestly think sending a few hundred emails that are going to be read by a secretary is going to cease any talks...then those discussions were already on the verge of collapse. South Koreans welcome passionate responses (Hell the right to protest is in their constitution). Almost all the changes in the past 20 years for the betterment of it's citizens have been the aftermath of the population standing up and speaking their mind. Change doesn't happen because people stay silent...change happens because people let their voices be heard.

Will there be trolls spamming these guys...probably....and more than likely from Non-CoHers.
Will there be passionate letters sent...absolutely...I have seen a few of them already.
Will this result in anything positive or negative happening...who knows.

I do know that doing nothing will only have one end result:

November 30, 2012....Unable To Access Login Server.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Zolgar on September 15, 2012, 11:14:51 PM
If anyone is intending to use a reference like Thrillseeker's, implying or stating "I won't be buying more of your games", I might suggest not making it as a threat or a "You took away my toy, so I'm going to strike back at you!"

Instead consider something like:

"I had been interested in (games), however the sudden closure of Paragon Studios and announced shutdown of City of Heroes only cements the reputation your company has earned in closing down MMOs. Looking at this reputation, I do not know if I could invest the time and money in to another of your games." (others could write it far better than I)

It will get the same point across, without either sounding like a threat ("Give me my game back or you'll never see my money again!") or a bribe ("Give me my game back and I'll buy your other games."), additionally it shows a reputation the company has earned (at least here in the US) that can seriously hurt them in the long run, especially in the US market.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: emu265 on September 15, 2012, 11:16:10 PM
I am tired of hearing about Asian culture/etiquette. If anyone had a CLUE about South Korean culture you would know that Seoul is the most active city when it comes to civilian protests. These protests have paved the way for many democratic reforms as well as labor reforms to benefit the people. South Koreans are NOT Chinese...and their culture is completely different.

If you honestly think sending a few hundred emails that are going to be read by a secretary is going to cease any talks...then those discussions were already on the verge of collapse. South Koreans welcome passionate responses (Hell the right to protest is in their constitution). Almost all the changes in the past 20 years for the betterment of it's citizens have been the aftermath of the population standing up and speaking their mind. Change doesn't happen because people stay silent...change happens because people let their voices be heard.

Will there be trolls spamming these guys...probably....and more than likely from Non-CoHers.
Will there be passionate letters sent...absolutely...I have seen a few of them already.
Will this result in anything positive or negative happening...who knows.

I do know that doing nothing will only have one end result:

November 30, 2012....Unable To Access Login Server.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing."
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Justaris on September 15, 2012, 11:20:42 PM
I would suggest "He who does not punish evil, commands it to be done."   Not quite as directly applicable to our situation, but Mr. Taek-Jin Kim's email is "davinci" so perhaps he would appreciate the quote.   It's always been a favorite of mine. 


Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: emu265 on September 15, 2012, 11:25:02 PM
I would suggest "He who does not punish evil, commands it to be done."   Not quite as directly applicable to our situation, but Mr. Taek-Jin Kim's email is "davinci" so perhaps he would appreciate the quote.   It's always been a favorite of mine.
I like this one as well.  Hey, using different quotes lends to sending more than one email :)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Philly Girl on September 15, 2012, 11:27:50 PM
I am tired of hearing about Asian culture/etiquette. If anyone had a CLUE about South Korean culture you would know that Seoul is the most active city when it comes to civilian protests. These protests have paved the way for many democratic reforms as well as labor reforms to benefit the people. South Koreans are NOT Chinese...and their culture is completely different.

If you honestly think sending a few hundred emails that are going to be read by a secretary is going to cease any talks...then those discussions were already on the verge of collapse. South Koreans welcome passionate responses (Hell the right to protest is in their constitution). Almost all the changes in the past 20 years for the betterment of it's citizens have been the aftermath of the population standing up and speaking their mind. Change doesn't happen because people stay silent...change happens because people let their voices be heard.

Will there be trolls spamming these guys...probably....and more than likely from Non-CoHers.
Will there be passionate letters sent...absolutely...I have seen a few of them already.
Will this result in anything positive or negative happening...who knows.

I do know that doing nothing will only have one end result:

November 30, 2012....Unable To Access Login Server.

I am curious if you work for a large business or have any business experience?  Or if your just basing your statements off things you have read online.  In my company our top execs do handle their own e-mail, their assistants only schedule meetings for them and take calls.  My company is one of the top pharmaceutical companies.  I can't speak to e-mail filters but I know that I personally would be royally pissed off and screwed if my email box got filled with spam and I couldn't reply to the CRO team I am responsible for and other internal communications that are time sensitive.  I am low on the totem poll so I can imagine if it happened to our CEO things would not be good.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: emu265 on September 15, 2012, 11:31:39 PM
I am curious if you work for a large business or have any business experience?  Or if your just basing your statements off things you have read online.  In my company our top execs do handle their own e-mail, their assistants only schedule meetings for them and take calls.  My company is one of the top pharmaceutical companies.  I can't speak to e-mail filters but I know that I personally would be royally pissed off and screwed if my email box got filled with spam and I couldn't reply to the CRO team I am responsible for and other internal communications that are time sensitive.  I am low on the totem poll so I can imagine if it happened to our CEO things would not be good.
I understand being pissed but, realistically, what are they going to about it?  I do not think their is any fatal harm in this. 
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Felderburg on September 15, 2012, 11:32:11 PM
I think it would be a lot smarter to not show the emails and personally forward only the best submissions, OR AT LEAST FILTER THE TROLLS.

Bad idea.

Ooh, now that's a good idea. Filtering the emails would have been much better.

Then again, they could just set TonyV's email to spam, and ignore every single one...
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: emu265 on September 15, 2012, 11:53:33 PM
Ooh, now that's a good idea. Filtering the emails would have been much betters.

Then again, they could just set TonyV's email to spam, and ignore every single one...
I too like this idea.  He could also entrust the emails to a few of the admins (Codewalker, eabrace, etc) so that way the won't be so easily blocked.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: ukaserex on September 15, 2012, 11:56:28 PM
I have sent the email, specifically citing NCSoft's Corporate Mission, Format and Spirit, and how the lack of a company statement goes against their positions.

In any event, I suspect most of our emails won't go through; that is, they aren't likely to be read. But, couldn't hurt to try.

I did wait a couple of hours before I sent it, made sure I was as brief as I could be, polite and respectful.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: laufeyjarson on September 15, 2012, 11:57:28 PM
I'm going to trust Tony's judgement on this one.  There's been too much silence on things that the company should have easy answers to.  Maybe it means something and maybe it doesn't.  They can tell us.

As far as e-mail... these are not personal addresses.  These are all @ncsoft.com.  These are work addresses.  This is part of their work.  This is an appropriate use of these addresses.

If they are truly deluged, they'll just change the address.  We should use them while they work.

I think we've been treated badly.  The November 30th date isn't in the official shutdown notice on the site.  There's been no in-game notice.  There will be players surprised by this.  There's no reason for that - this should be in the MOTD when you log in.  There's no reason for there to be no process defined for refunds.  Their support team should have those answers.  They aren't telling their own staff the things they need to know to answer our very reasonable questions.

That being said, please do be polite and respectful.  We have a serious question, and they have an appropriate way to provide us with information and answers to our questions - they have customer service representatives to post on the CoH forums.  The CSRs have nothing, and NCSoft can fix that.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Codewalker on September 16, 2012, 12:06:51 AM
I too like this idea.  He could also entrust the emails to a few of the admins (Codewalker, eabrace, etc) so that way the won't be so easily blocked.

I can't speak for Tony, as he's been a little reclusive the last few days (deluged with other responsibilities I think), but IMO the issue with that is that for such a tactic to be effective, it has to happen fast. The timing has to be right so that they get these right around the same time the capes, masks, and physical letters are starting to arrive in the postal mail, and so that they get a lot -- thousands of them -- at once. Even with all of us filtering nonstop, we could at best get through a few hundred a day, and I don't think it would have the same effect.

Yes, some will be negative, and that's a risk. However these people work in the gaming industry. Surely they are no stranger to trolls and know how to deal with them. I'd really like for them to look at the list of incoming messages and think to themselves, "Wow, these people must really care about this game. Look at how many positive messages there are, compared to all the nerdraging we got when we shut down game X! This might be different."
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Manga on September 16, 2012, 12:51:55 AM

Who are we kidding?  The trolls have had those email addresses since Aug 31st, and already got the spamming out of their systems!  :)

Please try to be positive and encouraging when emailing any of those addresses.  If they are to avoid reading their email, it should be because we're making such a heartbreaking appeal, rather than out of irritation.

Also one more thing to consider:  It looks like it's a family-founded company.  That means they likely discuss things with each other away from work.  Give them something positive to remember, and to discuss.  Even if they laugh at us, they still remember!  The important thing is to keep us CoH players at the top of their minds.  It's like advertising.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Colette on September 16, 2012, 12:52:09 AM
"I would suggest 'He who does not punish evil, commands it to be done.'"

And I prefer Acquinas. "And he who witnesses injustice having power to prevent, and does naught, he shares in the sin."

Folks, I sent e-mails and physical letters. In both cases I explicitly compared our campaign to the "Save Star Trek" letter campaign of 1968. Why? Because Star Trek, once so fragile, is now Paramount Studios' tentpole franchise. And I told NC-Soft that, if they only have the vision, City of Heroes could potentially become their tentpole. And I meant it.

I urge you to look up the history of that campaign, notice the similarities, and act accordingly. History does repeat itself.

http://io9.com/5795505/the-grassroots-star-trek-campaign-that-saved-the-series
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: LexiVega on September 16, 2012, 12:59:57 AM
I have been noticing an assortment of posts the last few days pointing to the lack of response from NCSOFT.  While all of us would love dearly to know what they're thinking and whether or not we're making any inroads, the reality is they are a large corporation, with accountabilities to their business needs and those of their shareholders. Whatever decision they reach as a result of our efforts or those working behind closed doors will simply not happen in a expedient fashion. If they are courting investors, then silence on their part is the best strategy.

I do support writing positive emails, but caution folks not to get their hopes too high when it comes to hearing something from NCSOFT. For them this is business and while I hope those emails demonstrate what a valueable asset they have their hands on, I really hope it doesn't put it out of reach for potential investors should they be willing to part with it.

Lex
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Justaris on September 16, 2012, 01:25:52 AM
"I would suggest 'He who does not punish evil, commands it to be done.'"

And I prefer Acquinas. "And he who witnesses injustice having power to prevent, and does naught, he shares in the sin."

Folks, I sent e-mails and physical letters. In both cases I explicitly compared our campaign to the "Save Star Trek" letter campaign of 1968. Why? Because Star Trek, once so fragile, is now Paramount Studios' tentpole franchise. And I told NC-Soft that, if they only have the vision, City of Heroes could potentially become their tentpole. And I meant it.

I urge you to look up the history of that campaign, notice the similarities, and act accordingly. History does repeat itself.

http://io9.com/5795505/the-grassroots-star-trek-campaign-that-saved-the-series

I mentioned the quote because Leonardo da Vinci said it, and NCSoft's CEO appears to be an admirer of the man.

Excellent analogy to the Star Trek campaign, I hope we can be as successful.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Justaris on September 16, 2012, 01:35:40 AM
Just sent off my email.     I'll copy the text of it here.   I've also purchased a cape to be sent to NCSoft Seattle.   

Quote
To Mr. Taek-Jin Kim, Dr. Song-Yee Yoon and Mr. Dong-Il Kim:

I am writing to you today regarding your regrettable decision to shut down the online game City of Heroes and with it the subsidiary company Paragon Studios.  I am writing as a longtime subscriber and avid player of this game and one of the many who make up this unique community within the world of online games.   This community has been a point of pride for this studio and for us, the players of this game, for many years.   We are dedicated and loyal supporters of this product and of these people.  I hope that you will reconsider this decision.   I have always been very pleased with my interactions with NCSoft in the past and have maintained an uninterrupted subscription to City of Heroes for over seven years, in addition to purchasing additional products and services on a regular basis.   

Like many in the City of Heroes community I am an adult and a working professional, so I most certainly understand the realities of business must sometimes necessitate hard choices.   I would like to briefly draw your attention to just a few key points.   Firstly, as activity on the part of players since the announcement was made will no doubt attest, this is a tight-knit community.   We have been vocal in our disappointment at this decision, and we would be equally vocal in our praise should you choose to decide favorably on our behalf.   Second, while City of Heroes may not fit into the new strategic long-term vision for NCSoft, it can still be a valuable asset for NCSoft while at the same time generating goodwill amongst the greater online community for high-profile releases such as Guild Wars 2.   The coverage of and the reaction to the decision to close down City of Heroes can be safely said to be unprecedented in the history of MMO game closures.   This could be a negative for your company, but it could just as easily be a positive.   This could be your chance to demonstrate in a real and meaningful way that your company cares about the welfare of its most loyal western customers and wishes to be a responsible force in the larger world of games.    Your actions, whatever they may be, will be remembered by the gaming community long after these current negotiations come to a close.

On a more private note, this game is one of the few diversions I allow myself.   My professional life is extremely demanding, but with the help of a group of close friends nearly all of whom I met via the game itself, we have set up a regular schedule which allows me and the other busy professionals within the group to play on a regular basis with one another.   It is a community unlike any I have seen in an online game before and one I doubt I will easily find again.   I am currently dating a woman living in another city and the majority of our contact each week is via playtime in City of Heroes, as she is herself a busy professional as a university professor.   I introduced her to the game and she has herself been an active subscriber to the game for the past several years.   The prospect of the loss of this game is frankly devastating to me on a personal level.   

I firmly believe that NCSoft can generate positive press not just from the City of Heroes community but also from millions of other gamers who have been following this story since coverage of it began in the larger gaming media following the closure announcement weeks ago.   If this closure proceeds as planned, this would be the fifth NCSoft title on the western market to be pulled in recent memory, following in the footsteps of Dungeon Runners, Auto Assault, Exteel, and Tabula Rasa.  This creates a negative impression for the wider gaming audience.   We will be reluctant to invest ourselves in future NCSoft massive multiplayer online game titles if we believe they too may be shut down abruptly.   I do not believe this is the perception you wish to promote so close to the launch of a major new NCSoft game title, and I hope you will seriously consider taking action to preserve this great game.   Once, years ago, you bought this property from Cryptic Studios and invested in it.   You must have believed in this project at one time.   I only ask that you honor the great accomplishment you have built, the game that I and hundreds of thousands of other players enjoy on a daily basis. 

I understand that negotiations on this matter are ongoing and there are of course facts and variables to which I am not privy.   Even so, I speak as one of your current customers.   I have been your loyal customer for over seven years.   I have faith that the company which produced and supported this unique game for so many years will find a way to support it one more time, for the benefit and profit of all involved.   Thank you.


With great respect,

Dr. Joel Robinson
Physician, Avid Gamer
@Justaris in City of Heroes
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: TomFury on September 16, 2012, 03:57:07 AM
Done.  I kept it short and to the point.

"Mr. __________,

I am writing to you in regards to NCSoft's decisions to sunset the massive multiplayer online game City of Heroes/Villains and dissolve Paragon Studios.  As a subscriber of over 8 years and a current player of this game, I hope that you will reconsider.   I have long been an admirer of NCSoft's products and have been delighted with your investment in a form of entertainment that I have long enjoyed.

I am not a business professional, and I will not venture any assumptions as to the causes for the closure of City of Heroes/Villains and Paragon.   I would, however, like to reiterate a viewpoint I believe I am not alone in possessing: City of Heroes/Villains is a unique game unlike anything else on the market today.  With its termination, I will have no satisfactory alternative for it.  I would like to continue playing the game, preferably with at least some of the talent that was employed at Paragon Studios.  While I understand that this may not be possible, I would be disappointed to lose such a fantastic digital playground, particularly one which has shown such impressive capacity for positive evolution.

Thank you, both in advance for your consideration and for the years of pleasure I have taken in your City of Heroes/Villains product line.

Sincerely,
___________"
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Burnt Toast on September 16, 2012, 04:07:46 AM
Very nice email :)

Done.  I kept it short and to the point.

"Mr. __________,

I am writing to you in regards to NCSoft's decisions to sunset the massive multiplayer online game City of Heroes/Villains and dissolve Paragon Studios.  As a subscriber of over 8 years and a current player of this game, I hope that you will reconsider.   I have long been an admirer of NCSoft's products and have been delighted with your investment in a form of entertainment that I have long enjoyed.

I am not a business professional, and I will not venture any assumptions as to the causes for the closure of City of Heroes/Villains and Paragon.   I would, however, like to reiterate a viewpoint I believe I am not alone in possessing: City of Heroes/Villains is a unique game unlike anything else on the market today.  With its termination, I will have no satisfactory alternative for it.  I would like to continue playing the game, preferably with at least some of the talent that was employed at Paragon Studios.  While I understand that this may not be possible, I would be disappointed to lose such a fantastic digital playground, particularly one which has shown such impressive capacity for positive evolution.

Thank you, both in advance for your consideration and for the years of pleasure I have taken in your City of Heroes/Villains product line.

Sincerely,
___________"
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Myriade on September 16, 2012, 07:45:34 AM
Should I or should I not?

 Of course I should.

 Why?

 1-) For the people (like me-but I would be rated as an extremist down here) who think we've been too soft sending long letters that takes ages to go (and i still haven't got my registered receipt back!) to Korea and for those who can't pay the price of a registered letter to Korea, emails are cheaper, easier. This new action allow those people to join the dance and the fight.

 2-) People who think it's a bad idea because of the possible use by trolls : it's another reason to counter and outnumber the trolls! Write your most beautiful and respectful letter! Not writing your beautiful letter = letting the trolls have their words up.

 3-) For those who think it may cause problems to negociations : showing our love and support to this great game can't cause a problem if there are negociations. Cause if there are negociations, that means NCsoft is interested in selling the rights. If there is a negociation at this stage, it's probably motived by money and business. Not by letters. Even though letters and family action is good to help the hand that could sell the game.

 4-) For those who say it is over already : doing nothing is accepting it.

 So where are the bad reasons to do what Tony says? Follow your Leader. He proved his worthyness. If he says after much thinking that it's the next option, trust him. He's not a 4 year old kid who wants his toy and nags here and there. Neither are we. Trust the good sense of the community. Follow Tony "Stasteman" V. Unity is strength.


 So it shall be written so it shall be done.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Empyrean on September 16, 2012, 01:58:29 PM

Folks, I sent e-mails and physical letters. In both cases I explicitly compared our campaign to the "Save Star Trek" letter campaign of 1968. Why? Because Star Trek, once so fragile, is now Paramount Studios' tentpole franchise. And I told NC-Soft that, if they only have the vision, City of Heroes could potentially become their tentpole. And I meant it.

I urge you to look up the history of that campaign, notice the similarities, and act accordingly. History does repeat itself.

http://io9.com/5795505/the-grassroots-star-trek-campaign-that-saved-the-series

Awesome point, and one that I have felt since the beginning.  A well developed, well backed City of Heroes/Villians 2 would be HUGE, with our whole loyal community there for the backbone, the people who have played CoX 1 on and off over the years coming over to check it out, and the "gamers" coming to see what the latest thing is about.  Unless they REALLY botched it (and some think that they really botched the first Star Trek movie, so maybe even if they do...), it would OWN the Superhero MMO marked for years to come.

Honestly, business-wise, I don't understand how they don't see it.  NCsoft or whoever has the CoX IP could OWN the Superhero MMO niche with a CoX 2.  Just own it.  While the Superhero MMO market isn't huge, absolutely OWNING the entire niche is.

Aaaaaaaaaaand emails sent politely saying so.  Plus telling them about my son growing up on City of Heroes with me for a tug at the heart strings...

CoX 2 is the dream that makes me smile at night sometimes...
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Rae on September 16, 2012, 02:29:50 PM
I sent my emails off today.

I was polite, reasonably short, and just drew their attention to the 100+ articles we've had backing the 'save campaign', pointed out that it was a bit of a PR nightmare as NC Soft was getting dragged through the mill by the gaming press in the wake of a polite, respectful 'save' campaign with high-profile celeb support that couldn't be more of a media wet-dream if it tried (really: Superheroes trying to save the world, no wonder the press are all over this) .

I urged them to engage with the games community, investors and other publishers to keep the game open. I included links to articles, the petition, the youtube channels , VV's webpage, and the Twitter #SaveCoH feed so they could see I wasn't making it up and I headed my email: Public relations issue.

I also pointed out their company mission statement is to 'do the right thing' and to 'make everyone on earth happier' and that simply pulling the plug on the game flew in the face of that.

Here's hoping it helps.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Horror-Frost on September 16, 2012, 02:44:42 PM
Something to consider when writing...

A good point to drive home is that Saving CoX isn't just in our interest, but can be in the interest of NC Soft. Paragon's been our home for years, but we should emphasize that if NC Soft saves this game, it will continue to be. And that we will remain its' customers. Otherwise, we probably won't move on to other NC Soft titles. But write it not as a threat, but an incentive.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Colette on September 16, 2012, 04:26:47 PM
"NCsoft or whoever has the CoX IP could OWN the Superhero MMO niche with a CoX 2."

While I don't know the MMO market well enough to agree or disagree. I do believe that Hollywood's box office this year was owned by The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and Spider-Man. Had Time Warner and Magazine Management Co. given up on marginally profitable superhero comic books, they would never have enjoyed the earnings from these titanically profitable films.

(Heck, considering Lucas and Kasden plagiarized Jack Kirby's New Gods, the Star Wars franchise wouldn't exist either.)

But yes, you get it. We didn't see this sort of response to the cancellation of other MMOs. Fanatical customer loyalty like this means City of Heroes has the potential to become a mega-franchise, provided somebody in the corporate world will think beyond the next quarterly stock meeting and show some long-term vision.

Let me say this again: NC-Soft owns a superhero franchise with a loyal fanbase, and superheroes dominated this summer's Hollywood box office. So they're canceling this franchise? Was I a stockholder, I'd be calling for the top execs to step down on that basis alone!
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: ukaserex on September 16, 2012, 04:51:02 PM
I have said this on the regular forums - but if everyone were to buy one share of NCSoft - we'd all have 1 vote. Mind you, the stock is pricy, and we likely wouldn't have enough votes. But, still...
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Mindscythe on September 16, 2012, 05:16:24 PM
I tried a slightly different angle. I have no idea if it'll work, if anyone will read it, but it was worth a try.

Greetings,

I am writing to beseech your support for the City of Heroes community's efforts to not lose their world. And I do not use that word lightly, for it is a world, albeit a virtual one, that I am referring to.

I am a Professor in the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University in the USA. My field of specialty is virtual identity, culture, and community. The City of Heroes community is truly unique when compared to all other virtual communities based around Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. I have studied them extensively (WoW, LotRO, SWTOR, Champions, AoC, EQ, DCUO, EQ2), and none of the other game-based communities show the cohesiveness, the compassion, the genuine interest and caring, and the sense of honor, that the CoH community does. This is evident when one looks at everything the community has done in an effort to find a way for City of Heroes to continue.

Each semester, I bring students into CoH for a week-long exercise in virtual identity and community, and every semester there are those who stay and become paying players. I intend to continue this practice as long as I am able, for I wouldn't feel as positive about sending them into any other setting. In all of the other games previously mentioned, dozens of new players coming in at once would be ignored or ridiculed. In City of Heroes, they are greeted warmly, they are offered assistance, they have their questions answered, and they are given a very positive view of becoming part of an online community. As someone who has spent decades seeking to dispel the stereotype of gamers as callow, insensitive, and socially awkward, this exposure to a functional, prosperous online community is extremely important!

I also, of course, have personal reasons to wish to see City of Heroes continue on in some form. I have been a paying subscriber since August of 2004, adding a second paid account in 2008. City of Heroes is my home, a place where I can connect with friends no matter where in the world my travels take me. I have made life-long friends from my participation in the community, and enjoyed thousands of hours of gameplay. Both the game itself and the community have been such an integral part of my life for so long, I simply cannot imagine my life without knowing I can duck into Paragon for some much-needed stress relief with friends I never would have met were it not for City of Heroes!

If there is anything you can do to aid in the efforts to, somehow, continue City of Heroes, there are hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world who would be so very grateful, myself included.

Thank you for your time, your patience, and your understanding.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey S. Smith, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Internship Coordinator
School of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Burnt Toast on September 16, 2012, 05:19:59 PM
Very nice email Professor :)
Here is hoping someone at NCSoft reads it and it makes them pause just for a moment :)

I tried a slightly different angle. I have no idea if it'll work, if anyone will read it, but it was worth a try.

Greetings,

I am writing to beseech your support for the City of Heroes community's efforts to not lose their world. And I do not use that word lightly, for it is a world, albeit a virtual one, that I am referring to.

I am a Professor in the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University in the USA. My field of specialty is virtual identity, culture, and community. The City of Heroes community is truly unique when compared to all other virtual communities based around Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. I have studied them extensively (WoW, LotRO, SWTOR, Champions, AoC, EQ, DCUO, EQ2), and none of the other game-based communities show the cohesiveness, the compassion, the genuine interest and caring, and the sense of honor, that the CoH community does. This is evident when one looks at everything the community has done in an effort to find a way for City of Heroes to continue.

Each semester, I bring students into CoH for a week-long exercise in virtual identity and community, and every semester there are those who stay and become paying players. I intend to continue this practice as long as I am able, for I wouldn't feel as positive about sending them into any other setting. In all of the other games previously mentioned, dozens of new players coming in at once would be ignored or ridiculed. In City of Heroes, they are greeted warmly, they are offered assistance, they have their questions answered, and they are given a very positive view of becoming part of an online community. As someone who has spent decades seeking to dispel the stereotype of gamers as callow, insensitive, and socially awkward, this exposure to a functional, prosperous online community is extremely important!

I also, of course, have personal reasons to wish to see City of Heroes continue on in some form. I have been a paying subscriber since August of 2004, adding a second paid account in 2008. City of Heroes is my home, a place where I can connect with friends no matter where in the world my travels take me. I have made life-long friends from my participation in the community, and enjoyed thousands of hours of gameplay. Both the game itself and the community have been such an integral part of my life for so long, I simply cannot imagine my life without knowing I can duck into Paragon for some much-needed stress relief with friends I never would have met were it not for City of Heroes!

If there is anything you can do to aid in the efforts to, somehow, continue City of Heroes, there are hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world who would be so very grateful, myself included.

Thank you for your time, your patience, and your understanding.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey S. Smith, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Internship Coordinator
School of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Captain Paragon on September 16, 2012, 06:52:26 PM
Here is my email.

Dear Sirs/Madam
 
        I'm sure by now you have received many emails about saving your game City of Heroes. I would just like to express my regard to how much the game means to me. I started playing this game just after leaving secondary school at the age of sixteen. I didn't do well and i wasn't in line for a good job or able to follow a career path in further education because of my poor grades. I remember back then finding a job in a local supermarket and starting my life. I bought a computer and decided i wanted to play computer games on it. Your game city of heroes was the first game i bought and it still sits on my desktop seven years, and three new computers later.
 
The game means so much to me because, i am not the brightest person but my kindness and caring for other people didn't go un-noticed in CoH. I soon made friends in your game and not only did i have fun. But they helped me to grasp the english language better and also learn the basic grasp of manners.
 
Those people i met are now good friends in my everyday life, and have having them by my side have given me the confidence to go back to school and get the grades that i missed out on seven years ago. I started in college just one week ago and my plan was to slowly better myself in life.
 
Can i just say. This is why the City of Heroes community loves this game we all are friends and feel like a part of my life is being taken away. This game for me was a school of how to treat other people and how to make friends. In the last year or so. My girlfriend has moved away to go to university, Her and I play the game nearly every night she was away last school year and i know this letter is not just from me but her as well.
 
I would like to thank you if you have at all read through some of our letters or maybe even this one. Can i leave you with my eternal hope that you do the right thing or at least try to do it. Just one message i would please leave you with.
 
 

HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams
 

W.B. Yeats

 

Thanks for your time

Yours Faithfully

Captain Paragon
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Omega Mark V on September 16, 2012, 08:27:46 PM
... Earlier I thought this method was rude. Now I forgot about the spam filters.

I'm sending a message hoping that it gets through.

Disregard my last post on this thread, I was having a crap day that day anyway.

... Other than that Deja Vu soon-to-be-dream I had. I WILL POST ABOUT IT when it happens.

Hopefully it will be good rather than bad Deja Vu.

Omega Mark V, hoping for success.

Out.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Riff on September 16, 2012, 09:26:55 PM
I don't want to put too much of a downer on this but I think it's a bit premature. I know it seems like ages to us. But the reality is it's only been just over two weeks. 9 working days in fact, given that one of those was a holiday in the USA.

I'm pretty sure NCSoft are aware of the fans and players positions - and they could be doing anything from pointing and laughing to saying to themselves "oh crap we've dropped a bollock here, how can we turn this around without losing face?" to "meh, it's just westerners" to "oh lord, how'd we manage to do that?"

There's also conversations they need to have with Paragon, other shareholders and other divisions of NCSoft, all of which takes time. Well crafted, reasonable letters shouldn't hurt our cause, so long as they are respectful and not containng accusations of malpractice, questioning the CEO's parentage etc but at this stage it's hard to see how it can change.

Granted some of the Devs may get snapped up by other studios - but I'm sure for many of them if NCSoft said "ok you can have your job back" they'll jump at it. And if not, then that's an opportunity for somebody else to fill those boots.

Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: dwturducken on September 16, 2012, 10:33:59 PM
I don't want to put too much of a downer on this but I think it's a bit premature. I know it seems like ages to us. But the reality is it's only been just over two weeks. 9 working days in fact, given that one of those was a holiday in the USA.

I'm pretty sure NCSoft are aware of the fans and players positions - and they could be doing anything from pointing and laughing to saying to themselves "oh crap we've dropped a bollock here, how can we turn this around without losing face?" to "meh, it's just westerners" to "oh lord, how'd we manage to do that?"

There's also conversations they need to have with Paragon, other shareholders and other divisions of NCSoft, all of which takes time. Well crafted, reasonable letters shouldn't hurt our cause, so long as they are respectful and not containng accusations of malpractice, questioning the CEO's parentage etc but at this stage it's hard to see how it can change.

Granted some of the Devs may get snapped up by other studios - but I'm sure for many of them if NCSoft said "ok you can have your job back" they'll jump at it. And if not, then that's an opportunity for somebody else to fill those boots.

My fervent hope is that the devs are already being courted with tantalizing job offers, and I hope that they take them, when they come.  As much as we became a community, so did they.  While one person can make a large difference, it's is also my hope that, should the lights get turned back on at Paragon, enough of that community spirit remains.  It would be sad if this work, and what returned was not what we knew.  The question is: is Paragon defined by Posi and War Witch and whomever else you hold dear, or is there an underlying something that will remain to bind them together, and us as well?
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: kgiesing on September 16, 2012, 11:25:24 PM
My fervent hope is that the devs are already being courted with tantalizing job offers, and I hope that they take them, when they come.

They had a job fair the Thursday after the announcement (so just under a week).  I went for a bit to hand out business cards and get resumes.  There were about 8-10 other companies there soliciting resumes from Paragon folks.

I think they'll be OK.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Dark-Eve on September 17, 2012, 01:31:26 AM
This is great ....but we also need to contact the CEO of NcSoft West as well....so when everyone is sending out letters might want to include this as well when addressing them!

Jaeho Lee CEO NcSoft West (or just NcSoft should work as well)
1501 4th Avenue, Suite 2050, Seattle, Washington 98101

From what I have read Jaeho Lee's appointment at NC West was made with the intention of improving the subsidiary's communication with home base in Korea.

http://massively.joystiq.com/2009/05/15/ncsoft-west-gets-a-new-ceo/ (http://massively.joystiq.com/2009/05/15/ncsoft-west-gets-a-new-ceo/)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Lilabird on September 17, 2012, 01:37:44 AM
It mentioned the PR Department. Should we send all the links to the articles to that person?
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: LT. Couper on September 17, 2012, 03:15:50 AM
I'll definately start writing up draft letters to review and edit as needed later.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: dwturducken on September 17, 2012, 03:28:25 AM
I feel obliged to point out that it's afternoon on Monday, there.  Does anyone know if the email addresses even work, anymore?
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: ThorsAssassin on September 17, 2012, 03:59:45 AM
I went ahead and sent mine in, a bit different than my written letter but I sent this to all 3 emails. Hopefully they get through...


Quote
Mr. Taek-Jin Kim,

First off, please know that I deeply respect and cherish my relationship with NCSoft over the past 9 years. I do not believe I have ever had one issue account or billing wise and have thoroughly enjoyed your product. That product being City of Heroes. Though directly developed and managed by Paragon Studios, the experience I have had reflects positively on the parent company. In that spirit I can promise you that I would still happily subscribe to the game if it were a choice I could make. As well as purchase the Paragon Points for the extra content that was created for the game.

I would like to tell you a story of how much this community, it's developers and the game itself has meant to me. In 2004 I initially purchased the game in order to be able to spend time with my mother and my brother. It let us experience interaction and sharing in a way that would have been impossible otherwise. At that time I took a job in Georgia,USA and they lived in Florida which was over 600 miles away from me. I was alone in my apartment and missed my family and the game helped me bridge that gap.

As time went by, my relatives moved on to other games or life itself took them away though I remained. I had started to accrue quite a bit of close friends on the Justice server and I had immersed myself in the overall experience of the game itself. I absolutely LOVED the first time I was able to fly in the game, truly one of my favorite moments in the game as I had always dreamed of flying. During this time I really adopted my main character as my mirror self, my imaginative 2nd life in this world that you and the developers over at Paragon had created for me. I also started posting on the official forums and came to see how direct and involved the developers and the community managers were to which I was elated. So much so that I would later start a career in Community Management myself. It was around this time that I started collecting art of my character as well. To which I currently have just under 1000 pieces of art (http://thorsassassin.deviantart.com/). Over the years I have spent just over $13,000 for just this purpose.

I started chatting with my now fiance' in early 2005. General discussions about life and the issues of the world but we both knew there was something more. Then on November 22nd of 2005 I was told I had cancer. I was still alone in Georgia with no family around. This was the day before the American Holiday Thanksgiving which is about family gatherings. I was devastated and really see that now as the darkest time of my life. I was told that I had Hodgkin Disease which is cancer of the lungs. It was a 3 month period that also covered Christmas where I would be in the hospital receiving advice on what to do next.  I had no choice but to turn to the City of Heroes community and was honored that they all supported me completely. Even the Community Manager at the time (Jo Burba) was supportive, sending me personal messages on the forums and encouraging me to 'hang in there'. I honestly do not think I would have made it through this time without the game, the community and the management of the game. It was a transformation in my thinking towards online communities and still holds true today.

After months of doctors and specialists and dark times, I was finally given the news that I was misdiagnosed for cancer and that it was a severe viral infection that had caused all the issues that I was having.  I was, as you can imagine, elated and overjoyed. I had a second chance at life and was left with an impression of support and adulation from everyone involved with the game. This turn of events led me to be more daring in my life, to take a chance, so I did. My fiance' lived in California at the time which meant I would have to drop everything I had going on in Georgia to be with her. A promising job and a career that spanned 20 years at that time. But I took the chance for happiness, packed everything up, left it in storage and made the move 2800 miles away not knowing what would happen. Upon arriving I discovered that my expertise and knowledge was not needed or required within a 200 mile radius. I spent over a year trying to find a job in my profession with no luck. Jill Henderson was the community manager at the time and along with Christopher Bruce and a few other developers, encouraged me to start anew. So I bravely decided to start a new path, a new career and began moderating for a local company. I am now a community manager myself, in the gaming industry all due to my experiences with Paragon Studios over the years.

For my personal life and my fiance as well as my chosen family, the game has only brought us closer, her 2 girls have played the game since they were 8 and 12 and absolutely loved it. As we all were, they were heartbroken to hear that the game will be closed down on November the 30th of this year. Our girls are now 16 and 20 and have spent most of their lives engrossed in this world you created for us. For me at 40 years of age, I have spent over 1/5th of my life here in the game and as you can see, the game, community and the developers themselves are entrenched in my last 8 years of life. Both professionally and personally.

This world that you have built for us, the sights, the sounds, the feel of flying through the air. the stories, the ease of game play, the teen rating, all of it is irreplaceable and we as a community do not want to lose this foundation you have given us, this trampoline called City of Heroes that lifts us up in our day to day lives. Please help us save it. I have known children besides my own who started playing and are now in college. Professionals in the world who still call City of Heroes their 2nd home. I have heard so many inspiring tales from people with disabilities who were able to play with anonymity without persecution or disparaging looks. I have seen the real world affects of heroism that has sprung from this community such as Real World Hero (http://realworldhero.com/) and Charity events put on in the game itself (http://na.cityofheroes.com/en/news/news_archive/tis_the_season_for_player_run.php). So many real life changing movements have started due to this game.

So I implore you to whatever end, please do not end this game. Don't end the relationships that have emerged, the childhoods attached, or the spirit of community itself that has been encouraged by and flourished under Paragon Studios. Selling the IP to a 3rd party may be an option, letting Paragon Studios continue on with their vision for the game is preferred. We as a community, with the developers and the game are a family of heroes, this is what we do, please do not take this away from us!

Respectfully,
Michael Poe (AKA Thor's Assassin)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: houtex on September 17, 2012, 04:40:46 AM
Thor, aka Michael, that is a fantastic letter.  I was *elated* when I read "misdiagnosed".  I had no idea you'd been through that.  Guess I missed it in the forums...  Thanks for lettin' us see your letter.

Goodness me.  Freakin' dust...

Mike
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: TonyV on September 17, 2012, 06:27:52 AM
Wow, count me among the people that didn't know you had gone through all of that. What an amazing story!
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: ThorsAssassin on September 17, 2012, 06:56:55 AM
Yeah this game has really been woven into my life in almost every way.

The bout with cancer (through the forums) was played out through the Justice server forums. I have been trying to find that thread but it only goes back to 2006. I tried Google cache but I am not savvy enough I guess. I started that thread but cannot remember the name of it. The waybackmachine only got me so far as well. Any advice in this? Would love to save that particular thread as it was life changing for me.

But anyways, I'll never forget that moment when the cancer specialist sat by my hospital bed and literally said to me "I'm the guy you don't ever want to see" and then went on to tell me I had Hodgkin Disease and only had a year or less to live. During that 3 months 2 of my uncles were diagnosed with Hodgkin as well. One died during that 3 months and one fought it for a year before falling to it. My mom was a wreck as you can imagine, her son and 2 of her brothers were all given a terminal sentence.

My mother was flown up by my company to be with me for a week during Christmas, I was on a leave of absence and they continued to pay me which was awesome. But for that 3 months all I did was play and post and the Justice community got me through. Then everything that came afterwards. I remember feeling better when I got in game and played as my main Thor's Assassin, I made the character a demigod and near untouchable because I needed that strength, Pretty much where the story of TA started as far as his bio. I wrote it during that time. http://peacekeepers.wikia.com/wiki/Thor%27s_Assassin

Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Soundtrack on September 17, 2012, 12:14:28 PM
Michael, thank you for sharing your story with us.

I, too, am very grateful that you were misdiagnosed. What a blessing!
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: CapaDevans on September 17, 2012, 01:15:41 PM
Got three emails off today. Each one unique, so hopefully if they all get together, it'll look good!
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: ducklorange on September 17, 2012, 01:22:20 PM
Michael, your story just brought me to tears... that seems to be happening a lot lately.  For what it's worth, I'm glad I got to add a few drops to that lake of artwork :)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Moonfyire101 on September 17, 2012, 03:13:49 PM
I wrote one last night about my dad and what this game means to him.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: CMKook on September 17, 2012, 04:15:04 PM
this is a dangerous thing to do Tony, for one while you may not wish to harm NCsoft, some of us do. I for one want NCsoft's reputation to suffer over what they have done, and I would mind seeing there profits take enough of hit from this for them to feel it.

Yes, these things do take a back seat to the goal of Saving CoH and my (and i am sure0 others unwillingness to buy other NCsoft games in the future simply for the fact that we don't want to repeat the experience of what has happened with CoH again (IE the 0 warning shut down).


That said when to email them, I wouldn't be so crass as to Level threats ( a)cause that would reflect badly ad hurt our goal b) I really can't back them up so no point to doing so) or send any thing Defamatory or inflammatory, but some people might. How do I know this? you might ask. Well cause simply put I pondered hate mail for a few moments (and I'd be lying if I said I didn't contemplate it)

Something that I will likely put in my email is the simple fact that due to the way this has gone down I will not be buying NCsoft games in the foreseeable future and the reasons why. (IE that I am not willing to deal with another Repeat of the Paragon closure). While not a fan of threats these are businessmen and I am afraid an emotional plea may not work so great. They care about profits and loss.

All that said, IF NCsoft's reputation and profits suffer from this, I don't want it to be as a result of mud slinging. I want it to be due to the way they have handled this situation.

Edit below it my email to NCsoft (I just hope they read it and not just delete it):

Quote
Greetings Dear Executives,


My Name is Chad Michael Kook, I have been a customer of yours for at least eight years and have played many of your games including Guild Wars, Aion, and City of Heroes. The impending closure of the latter is the reason for my letter today. I am with an organized group of people who have formed on the forums of the Titan Network (http://www.cohtitan.com) in an effort to save City of Heroes from being shut down. First off I would like to thank you for backing such a wonderful game for so many years. We understand that nothing lasts forever and that games like this some times get shut down. What we don't understand and are upset about is the nature of this shut down. Every one felt rather blind sided when what seemed to be a rather populated and profitable game was suddenly announced to be shut down and the staff behind it fired/ let go.

We sort of understand the line "It does not fit with our company's current direction", however to be honest that doesn't feel like the whole story and it has left things wide open for speculation in the wake of other random facts; this of course leading to wild speculation and reasoning that sounds like a conspiracy theory.All this said, we need you to know what it is you are doing.


In this case you are not only tearing down a game that has been going for eight years, you are also tearing apart a tightly knit community of people and disposing of what has been an ever evolving work of art. This is game has fostered a community of both Devs and players who have worked closely together to bring many, many constructs from our inner most imaginations to life. In many case these where ideas that would have otherwise remained trapped in our heads for lack of ability to create them ourselves. The imagination fueled the community and the community fueled imagination and we created this world we play in. That said it isn't just a place we play, we have created friendships some of us have gotten married to people we met in game, I have seen generosity in City of Heroes I have not seen in any other game, both in the sharing of in game funds through various contests, but also from the Devs and the sharing of there time to talk to us play with us and make us feel like we mattered. This is what you are taking away from us an world we created. You may own the Game, but we made it what it is and this is why if feels so cruddy that it is being balled up and tossed away in this manner. We understand nothing we can say or do will make you suddenly want to keep City of Heroes and rehire the Dev team, what we are asking is that you don't toss it in the trash, but rather sell it to another company or group that would like to keep it alive. We would prefer the game continue to get developed by what ever entity it ends up with but we would be at least some what content with keeping the game as is.

I would now like to talk about how this effects me personally. As stated above I have made friends in City of Heroes have seen my imagination come to life in ways I couldn't other wise express in any other way much less any other game. I have come back to City of Heroes time and time again, my lapses in playing being for financial reasons, but I always came back because i love it (yes I love a game). The closure of City of Heroes is depressing and sad all on its own. It is the nature of how it was closed that added anger, resentment and distrust to those feelings. It is because of the distrust that I find my self  telling you I will not be buying any more NCsoft products in the foreseeable future. To be blunt I am not willing to pick up a game fearing that when ever the company paradigm shifts that the game I play and community I have become attached to will simply be ripped away with  a moments notice, no reasons, no recourse and no hope of proper closure such as on last patch with proper story and send off for the game.

Sincerely,
Chad M. Kook
Virtue Server City of Heroes
Global @Xen0phage
Member of Razors Edge
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Electric-Knight on September 17, 2012, 05:07:17 PM
Perhaps I did not get personal enough, but I decided to just go with my simple, polite, short and sincere opinions on the matter (can always send more):
Subject Title: Legacy
Quote
Greetings,

 I wish to truly thank you, as I appreciate the wonderful heights that NCSoft has allowed Paragon Studios to reach through the purchasing and continued support of their American Super Hero mmorpg.
 It has remained a product that is recognized within the industry for its innovations, its integrity and the loyalty it has always displayed towards its customer-base. It is a high quality product that receives critical awards for its innovations. A product that already had so much development work put into further releases and additions that were highly anticipated by the customer-base. A product that is well recognized and loved for blazing its own path successfully, instead of following the repeated formulas of so many other titles within the industry. It is a product that has an extremely loyal following and seems entirely profitable on a smaller business scale.
  That quality product, that quality development studio and the astonishing community that surrounds it, all deserve to continue building upon this legacy.
 I completely respect your company's decision to move in a different direction. However, if there are any options to prevent a complete shut down of this game, this tremendous legacy should continue on. And NCSoft will continue to have a positive aspect within this great legacy.
The game, the studio and the community still have much more life within it all. It all should truly continue. The financial, emotional, artistic and personal investments that have been put into this project are still far too great to be brought to such an abrupt end.

Thank you for your time, your consideration and for all that you and your company can do about this situation.

- Paul Damon Thomas

Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Khelben on September 17, 2012, 11:50:24 PM
I just wanted to post this for you Tony. I just recieved word that my local newspaper is going to do the story.  So i have high hopes of getting some of our goals into print as well. Hopefully mainstream media will inspire ncsoft to break their silence.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: TonyV on September 17, 2012, 11:55:13 PM
I just wanted to post this for you Tony. I just recieved word that my local newspaper is going to do the story.  So i have high hopes of getting some of our goals into print as well. Hopefully mainstream media will inspire ncsoft to break their silence.

That's awesome!  Let me know if I can help!

Also, everyone please note the update in the top post.  I have voluntarily removed the e-mail addresses.  I think this project has been successful in its goal, and at this point, I don't think any further e-mails will get read.  Also, I want to minimize the possibility of trolls getting the addresses at some future point and using the addresses to grind an ax.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: DrakeGrimm on September 18, 2012, 12:07:46 AM
...that went better than I expected, too, Tony. Good work, and thank you.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Khelben on September 18, 2012, 12:14:32 AM
I noticed the update already,  and agree entirely. Right now we are trying to work with them rather than at cross purposes.  Great call to action though Tony!
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Cold Bob on September 18, 2012, 12:23:44 AM
I gotta say, I'm glad the email addresses were taken down. I am fully behind the Capes and Masks Call to Action...but contacting the top three people at NcSoft via their personal email addresses? Well...my gut tells me, it's too risky of a tactic -- too much potential to backfire...

OK: I'm off to handwrite another two letters, one to post to Seattle, the other to post to Korea... :)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: dwturducken on September 18, 2012, 12:47:16 AM
I gotta say, I'm glad the email addresses were taken down. I am fully behind the Capes and Masks Call to Action...but contacting the top three people at NcSoft via their personal email addresses? Well...my gut tells me, it's too risky of a tactic -- too much potential to backfire...

Let's be clear.  These were not personal email addresses. They were direct work addresses.  It may be that they can receive the emails from this account from home; I had my work emails from the Exchange server download to the mail app on my Android phone when I worked IT. That may make it an intrusion, but not like we're emailing [removed]. (Bots! ATTACK! :))
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: TonyV on September 18, 2012, 01:13:38 AM
I think that was a joke address, but just in case...
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: dwturducken on September 18, 2012, 01:25:48 AM
I think that was a joke address, but just in case...

It was.   ;)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Thirty-Seven on September 18, 2012, 01:14:39 PM
UPDATE

I have received a request from NCsoft to remove these addresses from being publicly posted.  I have decided to comply, and I wanted to make sure everyone understands my reasons for doing so.
Frankly, I am surprised it lasted this long... considering the way you phrased the original announcement of this project.

I hope they got an eyeful of our best, and only a small smattering of our worst.  Besides, anyone who actually wanted to do damage, now has the addresses.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Segev on September 18, 2012, 01:32:57 PM
I still believe that the best way to get NCSoft's attention and to get them to take any effort seriously is to show them that not only are we willing to play the game if they'll sell it to somebody, but we're willing to put together money to try to build that third party who will buy it from them.

(reposted here; I put it in the wrong thread before, sorry)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: ducklorange on September 18, 2012, 01:44:11 PM
I choose to take the fact that this CTA was noticed and you were contacted at all as a good sign :)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: eabrace on September 18, 2012, 01:45:37 PM
I choose to take the fact that this CTA was noticed and you were contacted at all as a good sign :)
One way or another, we got someone's attention.  And it's the first time NCsoft has broken radio silence.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: CapaDevans on September 18, 2012, 02:40:41 PM
I'm a bit concerned the response was "stop emailing us" rather than "we're working hard to ensure a situation we're all going to be happy about".

They were only up three days; hardly enough time for them to be deluged with mails. It smells of "Ugh nasty customers CONTACTING us; make them stop.".

:(
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: dwturducken on September 18, 2012, 03:13:02 PM
Much as I dislike painting any group with one large brush, executives are not in the habit of dealing directly with customers, with a couple of exceptions. Maybe the message of "we won't take this lying down" got thru, tho.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Myriade on September 18, 2012, 03:46:42 PM
Well all in all it was positive. Now we know they have noticed about us. Finally.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: TimtheEnchanter on September 18, 2012, 04:35:21 PM
They were only up three days; hardly enough time for them to be deluged with mails.

Don't be so sure about that.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: DrakeGrimm on September 18, 2012, 04:38:09 PM
Three days in Internet Time is an eternity. Trust me.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: StarRanger4 on September 18, 2012, 04:53:37 PM
Three days in Internet Time is an eternity. Trust me.

+1 for truth
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Hyperstrike on September 18, 2012, 05:49:46 PM
Yeah this game has really been woven into my life in almost every way.

The bout with cancer (through the forums) was played out through the Justice server forums. I have been trying to find that thread but it only goes back to 2006. I tried Google cache but I am not savvy enough I guess. I started that thread but cannot remember the name of it. The waybackmachine only got me so far as well. Any advice in this? Would love to save that particular thread as it was life changing for me.

But anyways, I'll never forget that moment when the cancer specialist sat by my hospital bed and literally said to me "I'm the guy you don't ever want to see" and then went on to tell me I had Hodgkin Disease and only had a year or less to live. During that 3 months 2 of my uncles were diagnosed with Hodgkin as well. One died during that 3 months and one fought it for a year before falling to it. My mom was a wreck as you can imagine, her son and 2 of her brothers were all given a terminal sentence.

My mother was flown up by my company to be with me for a week during Christmas, I was on a leave of absence and they continued to pay me which was awesome. But for that 3 months all I did was play and post and the Justice community got me through. Then everything that came afterwards. I remember feeling better when I got in game and played as my main Thor's Assassin, I made the character a demigod and near untouchable because I needed that strength, Pretty much where the story of TA started as far as his bio. I wrote it during that time. http://peacekeepers.wikia.com/wiki/Thor%27s_Assassin

Okay TA, just read your e-mail.  Wow.  Just...wow.

Doctor: You have cancer.  HAHAHA.  Make your time!
TA: That sucks!  *Punches the walls of reality*
Doctor: You have a viral infection.  Take two of these and call me in the morning.
TA: That sucks.  But okay!
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Osborn on September 18, 2012, 08:09:51 PM
I'm a bit concerned the response was "stop emailing us" rather than "we're working hard to ensure a situation we're all going to be happy about".

They were only up three days; hardly enough time for them to be deluged with mails. It smells of "Ugh nasty customers CONTACTING us; make them stop.".

:(

The Streisand Effect almost guarantees that even if it was just up 3 days they'll need completely new email addresses. The longer this goes on the more negative press they get, the more people are going to pass that mailing address around the campfire, whether or not TonyV wants it or not.

Putting something like this of somebody or yourself on the internet is basically opening Pandora's box. It never ever shuts.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Segev on September 18, 2012, 08:11:31 PM
As a bit of literary wit which you can take however you like:

The thing about Pandora's Box is that, in the end, the last thing to come out was Hope.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Victoria Victrix on September 18, 2012, 08:20:03 PM
I'm a bit concerned the response was "stop emailing us" rather than "we're working hard to ensure a situation we're all going to be happy about".

They were only up three days; hardly enough time for them to be deluged with mails. It smells of "Ugh nasty customers CONTACTING us; make them stop.".

:(

Or, possibly, the Testimonials I sent had someone's secretary in tears.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: eabrace on September 18, 2012, 08:20:36 PM
The thing about Pandora's Box is that, in the end, the last thing to come out was Hope.
Technically, hope was the only thing that did not escape from the box. ;)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Segev on September 18, 2012, 08:42:24 PM
Technically, hope was the only thing that did not escape from the box. ;)
Fair enough. The story gets told in a few ways with slight variants on interpretation. The version I was going for was that Hope was also out there to combat all the rest of the horrors, whether you take that as holding on to Hope in the box so we still have it or Hope also getting out to counterbalance the rest.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: TonyV on September 18, 2012, 08:44:37 PM
Hey all, I just updated the top post with another communication I received.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Osborn on September 18, 2012, 08:49:22 PM
Hey all, I just updated the top post with another communication I received.

I'm glad they gave us a proper channel to communicate to them through, and that you were able to secure such, which I imagine was harder than it sounds.

Fair enough. The story gets told in a few ways with slight variants on interpretation. The version I was going for was that Hope was also out there to combat all the rest of the horrors, whether you take that as holding on to Hope in the box so we still have it or Hope also getting out to counterbalance the rest.

>.> I didn't mean to make us argue over my uninspired turn of phrase.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: TimtheEnchanter on September 18, 2012, 08:54:32 PM
That new email is pretty double-edged. It could mean one of two things.

A. It's real, and someone actually intends on reading anything we put there.
B. It's a spam folder.

Yeah, I'm a pessimist, but I've been given very few legitimate reasons in my life to trust businesses.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Segev on September 18, 2012, 08:57:32 PM
As Tony said, they didn't need to make it. If they just wanted to ignore it, they could have just ignored it.

It still could be a spam folder...but it's effort they put into making it.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Osborn on September 18, 2012, 08:58:51 PM
That new email is pretty double-edged. It could mean one of two things.

A. It's real, and someone actually intends on reading anything we put there.
B. It's a spam folder.

Yeah, I'm a pessimist, but I've been given very few legitimate reasons in my life to trust businesses.

Honestly it's more likely the first. NCSoft has had a long standing habit of silence in this matter, and it seems weird they'd break that to give us a spam folder. All they'd really have to do at this point is change their CEO's email addresses and move on. Which is probably something it'd be smart for them to do every few years anyways, if just to avoid compromising leaks of sensitive information.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Omega Mark V on September 18, 2012, 09:03:13 PM
... So should we resend messages to the new address?

In case the other ones got deleted?
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Codewalker on September 18, 2012, 09:11:02 PM
Couldn't hurt.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Kheprera on September 18, 2012, 09:13:52 PM
Darn it TA, *sniff*  You made me cry all over again.

*hugs*  I remember when you moved to CA to be with Sassy.

Glad they gave us a way to communicate.  I've tried handwriting but after my first sentence my hand starts cramping.  Filling a page too hard.

Typing, this I can do!  Didn't feel comfortable writing to those  addresses, though.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Vulpy on September 18, 2012, 09:28:43 PM
I sent my message to the new, sanctioned, e-mail address. I feel much better about using this route of communication than about e-mailing a CEO directly.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Codewalker on September 18, 2012, 09:44:56 PM
Don't feel too bad about it, people have been writing directly to CEOs to air their grievances for as long as corporations have existed. Even before email they would send postal mail. I'd almost go as far to say that it's the American Way!

I'm sure that's part of why CEOs typically get paid so much. In a way, it's their job.

<philosophy101>After all, having someone to hold accountable for its actions is one of the few slivers of humanity that keeps big companies from fully becoming faceless, amoral entities.</philosophy101>
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: P51mus on September 19, 2012, 02:46:29 AM
Well, I've sent a mail to the new address myself.

More! Send more!  Even if they're trashing them they're probably keeping track of the count!
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: ObsidianPhoenix76 on September 19, 2012, 03:03:02 AM
I am hoping I can fit my letter for you all to read it.  Please let me know what you think:

Why City of Heroes still matters...

Dear NC Soft,

I would like to thank you for your time and understanding.  Let me begin by saying I have played many NC Soft published games over the years, such as Lineage 2, Aion, Tabula Rasa, and others.  I would like to thank you for your wide range of games your company has worked with.  Now here is what I would like to speak about...

I begin my story in May of 2004.  During the day Monday, it had been a bad day.  I had to say goodbye to my little girl when I dropped her off with her mother the day before.  I needed something to elevate my mood.  Work that day dragged on and on.  Fix this computer, fix that computer.

That evening I was poking around the internet looking for a decent comic book shop or resource.  I was reviewing the results when I saw one of them was advertizing a comic book super hero game.  It was called “City of Heroes”.  Suddenly, my apathetic mood turned around.  A game that I could play as a super hero, and interact with other super heroes.  Wow!  It seemed too good to be true.

The next day at lunch I bought a copy of City of Heroes.  Thus, it began. 

I installed it and was completely blown away at the choices I had for powers, costumes, etc.  I think the first night I took 3 hours to create my first character.  I finally got to bed at about 2 in the morning.  But the following night, I started it up and entered Paragon City.

The following months were much the same.  Playing as much as I could.  So much that my wife and sister teamed up and did an intervention, mainly because I was neglecting sleep.  Now mind you I was still going to work, eating, stretch breaks etc.  But my world had become dedicated to 3 things.  My Daughter, my new wife, and City of Heroes.  I finally came to a compromise. I would spend time with them first, then play until about 11pm, and go to bed for work the next day.  In August of 2004, I went to Wizard World Chicago.  It was there I met Jack Emmert, who had led the original design team for City of Heroes.  We chatted, I told him how much I enjoyed the game, and how I would play it until it would go offline, and they had to pry the keyboard from my hands, and only over my dead body.  He laughed and thanked me for my devotion to the game.

In October of 2004, I made a new friend at work.  He and I had talked a few times politely in the past, but we had never really connected as friends, until he asked me one day why I was looking so tired.  I grinned and said I was up late playing a new MMORPG.  His face lit up and he asked which one.  I said “City of Heroes”.  His demeanor became like a kid in a candy store and he asked every single question he could possibly ask.  I think he actually started drooling at the prospect of the game.  Less than 2 days later he proudly told me that he had purchased the game as well.  I asked if he wanted to team up, but he said that he needed a few days to get familiar with the game first.  By the third day after he bought the game, our small but faithful Supergroup was born.

That was my routine for almost the next year.  Then something happened.  My little angel of a sidekick, who would sit on my lap and help me play City of Heroes, drowned in a terrible accident.  I was devastated.  My world had come crashing down.  I did not know what to do next.  I sat in front of my computer screen staring at it, and looking down at my lap.  She would never sit there and cheer me on while I fought to protect Paragon City from the big bad bullies.  She would never help me with my next action to make the streets safe.  She had always said that she wanted to be a hero like that someday, and I would tell her she already was.  She was my hero.

So there I sat, looking at the screen.  The login screen for City of Heroes begging to be interacted with and for me to play.  I logged into my ventrilo channel and just sat there and listened to my friends happily saving the day.  They had noticed I had jumped into the channel, but they held off asking what was wrong since I usually would come in guns blazing with some witty remark about one of them, trying to get a laugh.

While they were saving the day, I was busy creating a new character.  The hero's name is Crystallum, the latin word for Crystal.  She has angelic wings, blond hair just like she did.  Her life story is typed into the description.  I logged her in and stood in Atlas Park.  Finally my friend from work and my best friend whom I had convinced to play noticed I had logged in, but had not said anything.

The asked me what was wrong, as I had not said anything.  I instantly broke down into tears.  I could not speak.  I vaguely remember somebody saying something to me in the chat window, asking if what was in the character's story was really true.  It took everything I had to type the word “yes”.  I instantly got a private message back expressing their sorrow for my loss.  Then another came in, and then others after that.  I finally composed myself enough to tell my friends what had happened.  They were horrified.  The character Crystallum became a pseudo mascot for the supergroup.

After a few days, I received a private message on the forums from Jack Emmert himself.  He told me he remembered the adorable little girl that was with me the day we met at Chicago, and he was sorry for my loss.  What kind of game has developers that would care enough to go out of their way to contact a person directly, whether to express condolences, or wish another person joy for getting married?  I can tell you the only one I know of, City of Heroes.  Because that is what the development team of Paragon Studios are to us.  Complete Heroes.

Time went on and I kept playing.  I would bring out Crystallum here and there, just to see the way I would like to remember her.  I kept playing for years after that.  The whole supergroup I am part of kept me going.  Every couple of days I still hear from my friends I have made in the game.  One of the people I met early on, she is now the godparent to one of my children.

This community means so much to me as well as everyone else in the game.

When the game was sold from Cryptic Studios to NCSoft, my supergroup and I were concerned.  We felt as though it was being cast off to die a miserable death.  But instead, you NCSoft, you brought with almost ALL of the original developers with when you bought the game.  We were glad that the team was part of the deal.  The next years of City of Heroes became better than we could have imagined.  So many events, so many upgrades, etc.  We were having more fun than ever playing City of Heroes.

Then on the way back from working on my old house in Minnesota on August 31, 2012, I got a request on Facebook from another friend from City of Heroes.  It was an invitation to the SaveCoH group on Facebook.  I was concerned, as it would mean it was closing down.  I read deeper into the news and I was saddened to see that it was true.  I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach.  My second home was being taken away from me and everyone else. 

This is not just a bunch of pixels that people spend their hard earned money to play, it is a family and a home to thousands of people.  This is a way for people to connect with their friends, celebrate happy occasions, and to unexpectedly find comfort from a stranger when a terrible loss has occurred.  It is a place when a bad day at work is suddenly made better by hanging with friends and comrades, even in many cases, family.  For some people, it is the only outlet the have to interact with others, whether it be because of a disability, or because of challenges such as autism.

I cannot imagine that the community we have built in the game will be gone at the end of November.  I am doing everything I can to prevent it from happening.  I do hope that your company sees the wisdom in letting it continue.  It may not fit into your company's publishing focus, but it is our ONLY focus.  Please do not take this from us.  Let it continue on with another publisher, I beg you.  Our second home is under attack, and we will defend it to our dying breath.  Please do not let it come to that.

Thank you for your time, and your consideration.

Respectfully,

Chad Mershon
A.K.A. Obsidian Phoneix, proudly calling the Guardian server home.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: ObsidianPhoenix76 on September 19, 2012, 03:04:14 AM
The above letter is what I will be sending to the address Tony provided.  As Tony said, they did not have to set up another email address just for this.  We are making a difference!
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Thirty-Seven on September 19, 2012, 04:19:56 AM
UPDATE (Tuesday, September 18)

Hey all, good news.  As I indicated in my update yesterday, I asked for an e-mail address that we could use to send messages to NCsoft without interfering with company operations.  Today, I received the following: "I asked about setting up a monitored email address for players to be able to communicate with NCsoft, and one has been created at: COHSunset@ncsoft.com."  (Emphasis mine.)

Now I know that some of you are thinking, "But that wont do any good!" but I'd like to point out that 1) you don't know that, and 2) they most certainly did not have to do this; I appreciate that not only did they, but they did it very quickly, which shows to me that they are listening.  I honestly believe that someone will be reading these messages.  Accordingly, please don't use it to grind your ax at NCsoft or e-mail bomb it.  If you do, that will most certainly assure that it gets redirected to a black hole never to be read again, which would be screwing over your fellow players, not NCsoft.
Okay... THAT is reassuring!
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Electric-Knight on September 19, 2012, 04:44:41 AM
Okay... THAT is reassuring!

*hugs*
I don't think we've ever played together, but I'll fight by your side without pause.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Hydrith on September 19, 2012, 08:44:09 AM
Just a lurker having spotted an email address, so I typed out my own letter to NCSoft.  I'd join y'all in game, but between work and school, I have no free time to do so  :(

Anyhow, here's the letter:

To whom it may concern,

I am a concerned gamer.  For the last 7-8 years, I have invested over a thousand dollars (and many hours) into playing City of Heroes, since the Beta of City of Heroes, through the City of Villains release (and Beta).  After this time frame, I became an infrequent subscriber, jumping from game to game, but oft times returning to City of Heroes 3-4 times per year.  I bought all of the costume packs that came out, many of the powersets that were released, and even after the game went Free to Play, I still came back as a paying subscriber on many an occasion.

I have created hundreds of characters, and have never maxed one out, as the process of making characters is by far one of the most innovative in the industry (of Massively Multiplayer Online Games).  My highest level character only made it to 37, had I focused on him, he might have made fifty 10 times over, with all the time invested in designing characters.  This alone, in my opinion, makes the game one of the best available on the market.

Beyond that, the next best thing about City of Heroes (over other games on the market) is it's community.  You've met them.  They've sent written letters to your executives.  They've rallied from across the world, through the internet, to show their displeasure in regards to your decision.  I stand with them, hoping that you will make a decision here in the near future, that allows this community to continue onward.  At the very least, consider releasing the Intellectual Property to the developers who have continued to advance the game to it's current point, to take it somewhere where it will continue to be appreciated.

Your company's realignment should not be cause to end one of your strongest games to date in Western Countries. Many players here (in the US, I've found) find the grinding action games of Lineage and Aion to be boring and incapable of soothing their MMO itch.  With the combination of a strong community, dedicated developers, free-from gameplay, and ground-breaking character development system, it remains probably one of the most innovative games of it's time, and puts to shame many other games on the market.  Most certainly, all games within the same genre.

I ask very plainly:  please, do not end what has become one of my most favorite games ever.  Even if you choose to do so, please release the game to it's developers, so that they might try to let it live on.  Your actions here in the next few months will have a staggering effect on the gaming market, as many prospective players will watch with either joy or horror as the game they have come to love comes to a bitter end, or a happy ending.  I cannot guess what would happen to the embittered, but know that the grateful are a far kinder audience than those with a bone to pick.

Many thanks for your time,

Kevin Fee
a.K.a Ironcyte, Virtue Server
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: CapaDevans on September 19, 2012, 11:38:39 AM
Resent my emails to that address.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Rae on September 19, 2012, 11:56:27 AM
Resent my emails to that address.

^ Me too.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Thirty-Seven on September 19, 2012, 01:40:36 PM
*hugs*
I don't think we've ever played together, but I'll fight by your side without pause.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Pssst... think you quoted the wrong person, but I will take your hug sincerely!  :)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Horror-Frost on September 19, 2012, 03:29:45 PM
To whom it shall concern,

My name is Thomas E. Delfi and I had been a customer of NC Soft and a player of City of Heroes for 8 years. I was there at launch, took my breaks to deal with real life, but always came back. Since your announcement of closure on August 31st, I have sent two emails, one to you Human Resources and one to your CEO. I, and many others, have yet to receive a proper responce to our questions regarding the closure of City of Heroes and in that regard I'd like to express a few points. Rather than expressing my love for the game, I'd like to offer my observations.

-First, I would like to thank you for providing this contact email and refunds to players. We, as a community, greatly appreciate this gesture, but feel there is more that can be done. As a more or less loyaly customer base of 8 years, we feel that an explanation for the closure of City of Heroes is not an unreasonable request of your offices. I do realize that it has been only two weeks since the game has been closed and it may be too soon for such a disclosure to be made, but even the promise that some time before November an explanation will be given would be acceptable.

-Secondly, I speak as no economist, but I can atest from basic analysis that the closure of City of Heroes is a huge mistake. While I understand that the Korean import did not take off, the game clearly has a huge following in the United States and Western World, so much so that games like champions online and DCUO pale in comparison. This is in part to the resources that your company and Paragon Studios put into the game, but due to the genere itself and how beautifully it was excecuted and embraced by the community. Look at COH Titan, Virtueverse, or any of the super/villain group websites. Look at the protest videos, Atlas Park 33. There exists a strong loyalty to the game.

My point, short and sweet, is that your actions have not been well received by the community and will not be contained to this game. As I hear, your company intends to introduce a Korean import game, Blade & Soul, to the Western market, meaning you are still interested in doing buisiness here as a part of your company's restructuring. Let me assure you, the 19,000 minimum petitioners for saving City of Heroes (number retrieved from one petition alone) will not be your customers if COH is shut down. We will not move on to Aion, Guild Wars 1 or 2, or Blade & Soul. We will spread word in our markets and undoubtedly it will concern those interested in playing Blade & Soul and will prevent many from buying in. This is NOT a threat, it is a Theory, and a highly probable one at that.

The Western market will not forgive NC Soft.

However...

-There are solutions or there are atleast resources for solutions. Ideas like selling the game or turning it over to the players themselves have been put on the table. Personally, I would prefer the idea of you or a corporate entity owning Paragon Studios (I'm a free market fellow myself). I would also think that if you're already attempting to introduce a new game into the Western Market, you're not derth of resources. I assure you though, simply ignoring this issue will not bode well for your relations with the Western gaming market, even the common man can see that.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you for the time and attention you have given to this issue, but urge you to press on. We certainly will. Because the absolute closure of City of Heroes on November 30th, 2012, will not be a scenario which will bode well for either of us.

With all due respect,

Thomas E. Delfi
@Ol-Blue/Horror-Frost
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: AlaikaBalta on September 20, 2012, 01:52:27 AM
I need COMMENTS, FEEDBACK, GRAMMAR NAZIS, CRITICISM and SUGGESTIONS as to what you all think about this letter before I fire it off to the provided email address.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I'm here to write about the planned closure of City of Heroes by NCSoft and how dissatisfied I am by how this action is handled and announced to the existing playerbase. I am one of those players, but I'm not from USA. I'm just a girl from Indonesia, a superhero lover from the East. I grew up both playing with Barbie dolls and watching Superman and Batman on television. Come high school and I started getting hooked to Marvel heroes such as Spiderman, X-Men and the Hulk. My favorite movies up to now is the Avengers.

I've been subscribed to City of Heroes since September 2011 without fail, admittedly after the game went free-to-play due to the fact that I was still underage prior to that. Despite the old graphics, I love the freedom the game provided me, be it from all the powersets I could try out to the myriads of costumes and themes I could think of (keeping in mind any existing copyrights, of course). This game didn't require me to buy a new computer just so I can play the game at minimum performance and I love the welcoming and friendly community in the game, something I rarely found in most MMOs, even the ones published by NCSoft. I made new friends, I learned new things and I was able to fulfill a childhood dreams of being able to fly (without having to jump off the tree in the neighbor park or getting scolded for trying anyway...).

I understand that all things must come to an end someday and MMOs are no exception. I only ask that NCSoft and the head executives and board members consider letting City of Heroes live as a private server for us players who still love this game. If this game no longer suit NCSoft's long-term goals, it's alright. I understand that view-point as a university student currently majoring in Marketing and Economics and I understand how NCSoft might view private servers as competition to the existing MMOs it carries. However, I will be frank from this point on. Knowing NCSoft's bad raport with the number of MMOs it had shut down, its battle with Mr Garriott and, now, how this game's sunsetting is handled from NCSoft's side, I have to say that I, as a customer and a consumer, isn't satisfied with how our problem is handled. The refund is a welcome change to NCSoft's rumored policy of exchanging unused fee with time for other games (I have no stake on this because I have only added a one-month sub fee prior to the closing announcement and I'm willing to let that fee slide), but I wish to see NCSoft do more and work together with the dedicated fanbase. Surely showing that you care for the players would give you a good publicity, wouldn't it?

I will end this electronic letter with a brief summary. I ask that NCSoft show willingness to work together with City of Heroes players who wish to keep this game alive and are shown to be willing to go above and beyond to do so. For the time being, my current dissatisfaction with NCSoft means that I wouldn't spend any of my saved money for anything NCSoft publish. I have faith that you can change my perception of this company.

Yours truly,

Geovani Natalie
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: dwturducken on September 20, 2012, 05:20:17 AM
I'm really not the type to do this, but everyone else is, so here goes:

Good afternoon.  I hope that this email is not seen as an intrusion, and that you and those you hold dear weather the coming typhoon without incident.
The news of 31 August that Paragon Studios was being shut down and City of Heroes put on a schedule for decommission has sent a shockwave through a community.
I do not choose that word lightly. We are a community. We are friends, spouses, parents, children. We have come to know each other in a way that would not have been possible without this medium.  Old friends reunite across great distances to relive gaming experiences from their youth. Mothers and fathers log on with their children to connect in a way that is relatable to all ages. Spouses can look back to when one proposed to the other within the game.
The initial anger and resentment was not the cry of rage one would expect from an addict being denied his “fix.” No, it was the confused call for answers from a community. The decision, handed down with no explanation, appeared capricious in the face of previously steady support. This place that has become so close to our hearts was being taken from us and the friends who had built it for us cast onto the street, discarded.
Unlike other games, this one was a world like what we saw out our windows, but, unlike the world outside, in this world we could fight injustice, make a difference. It was well crafted, and it worked. Other games have come along, trying to capitalize on the success of City of Heroes, and others have not even made it to testing because they could not measure up. Those that are out have been derided by reviewer after reviewer as inferior to City of Heroes.
Efforts are currently underway to negotiate with your representatives, to try to reach some understanding that will allow this amazing creation to continue. Starting is half the task. I implore you, on behalf of all those who I know who draw enjoyment from this game, reconsider the decision to close the studio and the game.  You will not regret it, and you will secure the good will of more than just the community of this game, but of so many more throughout the game industry who are watching so very closely as this unfolds.

Humbly,
[redacted]
[minor metropolis], [Midwest]

This is what I sent to the original addresses.  I will be editing it for the new address and sending it along.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Justaris on September 21, 2012, 01:03:48 AM
Resent my email to the new address.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: ThorsAssassin on September 21, 2012, 03:54:17 AM
Resent mine email to that one.

Sorry for making people cry though :(
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Flying Code Monkey on September 21, 2012, 06:50:44 AM
Ahh ... email.  So comfortable compared to hand-written letters.

Changed mine slightly for a different audience, and sent.  It's remarkably positive and respectful, all things considered. :)

That's just how I am,
FCM
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Mindscythe on September 21, 2012, 02:16:36 PM
Resent my emails to that address.

As did I.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: LT. Couper on September 22, 2012, 06:42:50 PM
Regardless of wheather it helps or not, I've decided to create and send 1,000 origami cranes to NCSoft, with just the simple message we're trying to send them; Save City of Heroes
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Segev on September 22, 2012, 08:49:26 PM
I think that's more a Japanese than Korean tradition, but it should get the message across. Research into finding out if there's a similar Korean tradition might be effective, as well.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: LT. Couper on September 22, 2012, 09:18:03 PM
I think that's more a Japanese than Korean tradition, but it should get the message across. Research into finding out if there's a similar Korean tradition might be effective, as well.

Honestly I wasnt even thinking about any sort of ethnic connection to the cranes. I was just thinking about how i could put my origami skills to use in our dire situation.  ;D

But I like your idea of finding a similar korean tradition, I'll definately look into it. :D
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Rae on September 25, 2012, 08:47:02 AM
Has anyone had a reply after sending emails to that address? I only ask because I haven't...
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: rookery. on September 25, 2012, 01:04:33 PM
Email has been sent.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: LT. Couper on September 28, 2012, 07:34:45 PM
Regardless of wheather it helps or not, I've decided to create and send 1,000 origami cranes to NCSoft, with just the simple message we're trying to send them; Save City of Heroes

Following up on this; After about six days, I'm at only about 150ish cranes, but I've recruited some of my friends to help so that should speed things up. In the meantime, I'd like to finalize the details of this plan.

-What adress should I send the cranes? (Since I dont plan on doing this more than once, I want to make sure it goes to the right place.)


-What do you think about writing a Toon's name on each crane?



Other than that, I'll keep up the crane folding.  ;D
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: DrakeGrimm on September 28, 2012, 07:37:38 PM
I humbly supply "Hawthorne Grimm," "Front Lines," and "Grimrose" if you're going to stick names on them. I don't have an address for you, I'm sure someone around here has it...
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Segev on September 28, 2012, 07:38:16 PM
Lt. Couper, would you be willing to disclose the city in which you live? Perhaps you have fellow-forumites who would be willing to get together with you to fold cranes faster. Shipping them to you first from further afield might be a bit much, so I don't suggest a unified effort in quite that way, but getting more people involved can't hurt.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: SithRose on September 28, 2012, 08:00:58 PM
Email sent.

I revised my original letter slightly from what I posted in the Testimonials thread.

The City of Heroes game is a unique game in many ways. It has a very strong, positive community. It is an easy game to engage in, and friendly to the casual player. It is also friendly to the physically handicapped because of the ease of play. The players are generally extremely supportive and friendly. Because of that community, this game has shown clear and repeatable benefits in use for communication and social therapy in autistic children. This is not something which I have been able to find in any other game, ever.

I'm going to tell you a story now. It is the story of my eldest son, and how City of Heroes, both the game and the community, helped him rediscover his voice. I am telling this story in many places, in an effort to convince NCSoft to change their plans to cancel the game, or to release the game for further development by the former Paragon Studios staff. This is not only for the sake of my eldest son. It is for my second son, who is moderately autistic, and for the sake of many other autistic children like them.

In late 2004, a friend introduced me to a new game called City of Heroes. He was having a blast with it, playing a Fire/Fire Blaster, in a supergroup with some of my other close friends. My husband started playing about a month before I did. It took experimenting with the costume creator after watching him play, and then I was hooked. This was May of 2005.

We had a toddler at that time. As first-time parents, we were slow to recognize that he wasn't speaking quite the way he should be. His few words were complex ones, and he couldn't say them properly. When he was about 18 months old, he told us that he couldn't say the words right. And then he stopped speaking. Faced with an uncooperative early intervention program in the state we lived in, we were unable to get speech therapy for him that was covered by our insurance. About six months later, we were still struggling with a nearly non-verbal two year old and a new baby.

He was, however, absolutely fascinated by watching Mommy and Daddy play superheroes. The little boy who wouldn't sit still to be read to, and who wouldn't talk, who sometimes wouldn't meet our eyes and acted like he didn't hear us, would happily sit and watch City of Heroes. He even insisted on "helping" to play by pushing movement buttons and moving the mouse. He pointed at things on the screen, and showed a deep interest in the character creator. We started having him sit on our laps while we talked to him about what our characters were doing and the areas they were flying through.

Slowly, the words started to come. "Tree" "Rock" "House" "Door" "Book". He started counting groups of Skulls and Hellions. I let him take my Scrapper and run around through the city and he started telling us what he saw. My husband and I started DJing on The Cape Radio, and our son was fascinated by hearing us speak to other people through the computer. He said "hello" to people he had never met, who responded with encouragement and praise. He saw them on the screen as brightly colored heroes, and they gave him more reasons to speak. He could talk to real heroes and they talked back to him!

In 2007, he was finally able to count aloud from 1 to 10, with a notable exception. When he counted to ten, he said "One, two, three, four, five, six, Superman, eight, nine, ten." He laughed when he said it, and met our eyes with gleeful happiness. We recorded him counting so he could hear what he sounded like, and he was thrilled. We played it on the Cape, and he heard himself speaking to heroes. A door opened for him. For his heroes, the words came. "Mommy, play Heroes!" "Mommy, play Heroes with me."

He was four years old. Two years later, he was diagnosed with severe ADHD and a speech/language processing disorder. A year after that, he was diagnosed with autism. He will turn nine the month City of Heroes goes dark. He still plays his heroes, with Mommy and Daddy, but less frequently. He's in school now, progressing with his class, at the appropriate grade for his age. He now qualifies for speech therapy, after we moved to a new state.

Without his heroes, he would not have had a reason to start talking again. Without the community City of Heroes has, he would not have been able to hear his own voice speaking to the heroes on the screen, and heard those heroes answering him back. In the City of Heroes, the heroes and the players, helped find a little boy's voice. He has never lost his love for his heroes. In recent months, as City of Heroes went free to play, he had started playing again, infrequently. We were encouraging him to play, and to talk with the wonderful community we know there. He can read now, and he can make himself understood when speaking...which he could not do when he started sitting on my lap to play. 

I've had to tell him that it will all be gone on November 30th. He heard this news with tears and cries of "Why? Why are they taking the heroes away? Are they villains? Do they hate heroes? Mommy, tell them they can't do it!" Understand, these are the questions of an autistic, ADHD 8 year old. He knows nothing about corporate needs and goals. He does not understand that refocusing of corporate interests sometimes requires change. All he can understand is that his heroes will be gone, perhaps forever.

I hope, with NCSoft's support and understanding, that an avenue will be found to allow City of Heroes will remain open to players past November 30th. I ask that NCSoft hear a little boy's voice and find it a reason to keep City of Heroes an active game. I ask that if they cannot do that, that they make the game available to the community in some form, that we may ourselves find means to keep the City of Heroes an active, functioning game and community.

Please, don't silence my son's heroes. They helped him learn to tell his mother that he loves her. They gave him back his voice. There are thousands of parents whose autistic children might benefit from this game and this community. Please give those children a chance to hear their heroes speak, and to speak back to them. I can not find the words to express my feelings, and my tears, the first time my son asked me to "Play Heroes, Mommy!". The first time he found something that he wanted to do WITH us. Please, help other parents hear those words too. I believe that NCSoft can find a compromise that will fit their new corporate direction, and will still allow other autistic children to benefit from everything that the City of Heroes has to offer.

For me, this is not just a game. It's the portal that opened to the door to my son's voice. It's the game that gave him the courage and desire to finally say "Mommy, I love you." I want other parents to feel that way about it, and I want to be able to tell them that NCSoft enabled this game to continue despite a change in corporate direction. I want to be able to tell them that I support NCSoft, because they found a compromise, because it is a corporation that supports the hopes of parents, the autistic community, the elderly community, and the disabled community.

Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Knightslayer on October 03, 2012, 01:00:54 PM
There we go.

Quote
Greetings,

My story with Ncsoft began around the year 2000, when some online friends directed me to a game called Lineage, a game which had hundreds of players online at the same time, an MMORPG.
Like many first time MMO gamers I immediately got hooked on it, but as time went by I wandered off to play many other MMOs – with the occasional trip back to Lineage.
A few years (and a credit card) later I bought City of Heroes, the game I had been wanting to try for a while now – it had Super Heroes and was made by a reputable publisher I had previous, positive experiences with.

From the moment I first made it into game I knew this was something unique, something special.
After taking my time with the amazing and (still) unrivaled character creator, I started to explore the City of Heroes – every step revealing more and more amazing things that no other MMO had done before (“Whoa, that NPC citizen over there just talked about ME!”).
I went on to revive some childhood idols that had gotten buried when we all eventually grow up, and enjoyed taking them through new adventures, much like the successful remake of an old favorite tv show.

Over the years I tried many other MMO's, including all of Ncsoft's titles, but City of Heroes, and by extension Ncsoft, was always my home, the place I always kept returning to.
Ncsoft has always been a bold company, daring to go where no others had before, bringing innovation to the MMO industry.
I speak of features such as CoH's (Super) Sidekicking system, the leveling pacts, and even letting players design their own content through Mission Architect, in the turbulent seas of an MMO environment!
Recently Ncsoft and ArenaNet took it even one step further with Guild Wars 2, a game that is rightfully being praised as the next-gen of MMORPGs.

Sadly for me and many others, this newfound joy was overshadowed by the announcement of City of Heroes' closure, and it is this subject that prompted me to write this email.
Much like myself, many in the CoH community have been loyal customers of Ncsoft for many years, supporting this great company throughout the years that MMO's were still a little known thing in the West, the people who put their faith in Ncsoft and its games and took pride in seeing the company grow, knowing they had a small part in that.

While I fully respect the decision that CoH no longer fits into Ncsoft's longterm vision, I still want to implore you to show the people, who have been with you for so many years, the kindness of not destroying the game that has become something so special to them over the years, and to continue working towards other solutions that are beneficial to both parties, restoring the faith that so many of us have in you.


Sincerely,

(name)
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Valjean on October 03, 2012, 10:56:21 PM
I'm willing to be money that any email that gets sent to that cohsunset email address goes into someone's trashbin.

The only ones that were working were the ones that were posted earlier.
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Rae on October 11, 2012, 11:12:00 AM
Anyone speak Korean?

https://twitter.com/taekjinkim
Title: Re: Call to Action: Contact NCsoft Directly
Post by: Kheprera on October 11, 2012, 01:24:07 PM
No, but can assume that one of those was a respectful "R.I.P. Steve Jobs"

He doesn't tweet much, but it's known he speaks English IIRC.