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Black Sunday response from ZOS

The following is an article translated to English from MeinMMO, the original can be found here:

The MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online saw a bug on the mega-servers on the PC in Europe that was related to the reset of the guild traders. This should have come into circulation several million gold. Players are excited and demanded a rollback. We talked to Zenimax about the incident.

We at MeinMMO have written an interview with the German community manager of The Elder Scrolls Online, Kai Schober. The topic of the interview is the bug at the guild dealer reset on Sunday, August 18th, on the European mega server for the PC. This bug was baptized by the ESO community "Black Sunday".

MeinMMO: To understand the situation first. The bug appeared on Sunday at the time the guild traders are reset: what exactly happens there?

Guild Dealers in ESO are NPCs who can be hired by guilds in the game for one week at a time to offer their members' wares in one place in the game. To hire one, you have to bid in gold in the week (in advance).

On Sunday, the bids are compared and the highest bidder receives the bid, unsuccessful bidders get their gold back into the guild cash.

Depending on the location, these NPCs are more or less in demand. A dealer in Rimmen (the capital of Elsweyr), for example, is much in demand as one at a road junction in stone falls.

Why is it important for players to play ESO at exactly the time and participate in this guild dealer reset?

In principle, players do not have to play exactly at this time. It used to make sense for guild leaders to be logged in at the time of the change, so that if their guild was outbid, they could quickly search for alternative merchants who might not have been hired. But this did not happen with the Multibidding introduced in Update 23 (Scalebreaker).

Unfortunately, the time of the change was (on both PC servers - the console servers get U23 until next week) at the same time as the European primetime. Players were online for other reasons.

What went wrong this Sunday?

The server did not handle the increased requests during a time when it was already heavily loaded, and had a hiccup.

The forums read that guilds got "billions of gold" refunded. Is that correct or exaggerated?

This is greatly exaggerated. The most expensive traders are offered low double-digit millions. These were partially refunded twice or three times. Without knowing the exact numbers personally (because of gamescom), I'm expecting a three-digit million amount of gold that was pumped into the game. To put that in perspective, it is important to know that long-established players often have personal assets of 10 million gold and upwards.

No collapse of the economic system

How serious is the problem from your point of view?

See above. Relative to the volume of gold already in circulation, the subsidy was rather small, by no means inflationary and much less a collapse of the economic system.

Players called for a rollback of the servers - was this considered at some point?

The progress of the players in gained experience, completed quests, found loot, and so on is more important than some extra gold.

What measures are planned to prevent the problem from occurring in the future?

We keep an eye on the utilization of our servers. At the moment, we've disabled addon features, such as passing the guild history, because they add weight to the guild system, and thus the associated merchant system. This is a fast but not a permanent solution.

We are also considering moving the time of the dealer change to another time because multi-bidding means there is no longer any compulsion that guild leaders may need to get up in the middle of the night to check the success of their bid.

Further possibilities are discussed.

Some players complain that the basic problems at ESO are deeper in the performance issues. Zenimax has already announced a comprehensive package on how to solve these problems in the long term . It seems to be a constant source of conflict, for which one then has to serve as a community manager as a lightning rod. Are you saying: I'll make 3 crosses when that's all over?

It's often just a small but still very loud part of the community that makes it a conflict. So again with the guild traders.

It is always difficult to convey that such fundamental corrections as performance improvements are not something you can fix overnight with another line of code. We have been working behind the scenes for quite some time on the improvements and we were finally able to inform the QuakeCon team . Of course, deeds are always better than words and we look forward to the moment when we can complete this chapter and restore the rightly cracked community trust.

Thank you for the interview.

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