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Character copy woes

Hey there,
since things have calmed down a bit now, I thought this might be the time to address this issue - character copy. I didn't mind it until now, but with the Homestead patch, and the achievement requirements for many things, it has been quite the pain in the bottom.

I remember filing a number of bug reports because of visibility issues with items I didn't meet the achievement requirements for. Instead of providing you with correct and helpful feedback ("There are visibility issues with the items"), I filed "I'm a stupid user"-kind of bug reports ("HALP! I can't find..."). That is not what I'm on PTS for - I want to find bugs for your devs to solve, not create tickets to make people facepalm. The EU players couldn't test all the Master Writs because we didn't have access to Eyvea.
Another thing that I have frequently reported on live, but never found on PTS, are item art bugs with armor and/or costumes. Those new robes that I crafted on PTS are clipping with my Kagouti? Too bad, will never find out, because while I've been checking out the robes, I didn't have my Kagouti.

Long story short - we can't properly test things with the template characters, because of their limitations. What you actually want, and what we want to provide you with, is data outside of lab conditions. That's why we all need our characters on PTS, at any given point.

I am aware of this matter not being trivial, or else you would have implemented it already. However, since everybody knows that you aren't actively coding between PTS cycles and are only sitting around watching youtube livestreams of kittens, I wanted to suggest something productive that you can kill your time with. (I'm kidding. I know you're crazy busy, but I'd appreciate it if you could make this work anyway).

My suggestion (without knowing your infrastructure at all) would be as follows:
Import any given server first. Then, run another import on top of that for the other. Only overwrite account entry if the total number of character levels or the amount of achievement points is higher.
You're probably using character names as unique keys at some point, given how they are case sensitive and there cannot be duplicates. However, the fact that character renaming exists proves that these aren't immutable. To avoid any issues with duplicate names I suggest adding EU or US to the names of any characters that are being imported in the second loop. We can buy renaming tokens for one Crown anyway (and it would be interesting to see who of us has a doppelganger on the other server... o:))

If this cannot be done I suggest that you expand the lab conditions as follows:
  • Give any account on PTS any collectible that has been for sale on the live server up to the current point and that will be for sale until the next character transfer (I found myself without my hairstyle of choice)
  • Give the maximum CP template all achievements, including the completion of the main quest. That will enable us to better test otherwise inaccessible content.
  • Give the maximum CP template all wayshrines.

In addition to that it would be awesome if the character template boxes could be banked. I would have liked to add the new recipes to my crafter character, to have it all in one place, but I wasn't able to. I'd like to create a template character on my account, store all the boxes and then continue as if I was on live. I think that would also produce better test data for you folks.

I hope you can do this, it would be awesome.
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  • AdamBourke
    It's weird, I was thinking about this about 30 seconds before finding this thread.

    I came to the conclusion that appending EU/NA won't work. While I'm sure the character name needs to be unique across platforms, it is unlikely to be the primary key. It's much more efficient to use numbers or hash keys. So each character will have a number, which will be used again and again throughout the Database.

    It would be a huge effort to update all those id's to be unique, everywhere they are used - and to make sure the mechanism continues to work with every update.

    Currently they presumably just backup the live database, restore it on the PTS and apply the latest upgrade script to it. They dont need to worry about any processes to keep it in sync, As it's just a complete overwrite.
    PS4 - EU

    Please put the Eyevea/EarthForge wayshrines back on the map?
  • Taleof2Cities

    I'm having trouble seeing why you feel you're being limited in your testing.

    The current setup of (two week) PTS cycles between NA and EU character copy seem to be working fine for me and my testing.

    Therefore, I've listed some bullet points for PTS testing items/ideas that you may have missed or not been aware of.

    My hope is (after reading these below) you have a better testing experience when Morrowind drops on PTS ... without any changes needed to the current system:
    • Character Templates - You can make a template character at any time during PTS testing ... including the two weeks that your EU character copies are loaded in PTS. New character slots cost only one (1) crown on PTS. Your new template can simply fill one of those slots. ZOS has confirmed the addition of two (2) more character slots for Morrowind. Therefore, you won't run into the issue of having to delete a character to make way for a new template (Morrowind PTS testing).
    • Crowns - Your PTS crown balance is 5,500 crowns. That amount gets replenished daily (every 24 hours) ... so that you're always topped off with crowns. Therefore, for example, if you run out of crowns purchasing and testing housing decorations, you will be replenished (up to a 5,500 crown balance) the next day.
    • Character Template Boxes - You are correct in that the template boxes are not bankable. However, the contents within the template boxes are totally bankable. Simply take Donolon's Recipe Book out of the container, bank it, and withdraw it via your master crafting character. At that point you can consume it and learn the recipes the master crafter character is missing.
    • Access to Eyevea - My principal master crafter had no issues accessing Eyevea during PTS. I went there to create an Eyes of Mara woodworking station in my PTS testing of the attunable crafting stations. Sure, templates don't have access because they haven't completed the mages guild questline. But, there's nothing wrong with banking a master writ ... for your master crafter character to complete later in Eyevea. Be sure to do it when you master crafter is active on PTS (PTS banked items get erased during the character copy).
    • Armor/Costume Clipping - Same as above ... if you wait until EU character copy to craft the items (on a character template or master crafter), they can be banked and moved to the desired character that you want to test with the Kagouti mount.
    • Achievements - Players are different, but I personally liked not having the housing achievements unlocked so that I could test getting those achievements in the regular flow of the game. Achievements earned before Homestead aren't really in the scope of the current PTS testing. We're here to test new content before it goes live ... not old content that already is on Live. That said, your copied EU characters are going to have a lot of achievements cleared anyway.
    • ESO+ and Crafting Bag - Even if you don't have ESO+ on Live, you'll want to turn on this feature in PTS. ESO+ costs only one (1) crown on PTS ... and it's nice to store the individual mat stacks in the crafting bag (from the materials crates) for ease of crafting testing.
    • Hairstyles - Hairstyles are available for purchase in the Crown Store for (you guessed it) one crown. If an old hairstyle isn't in the crown store, then it shouldn't be too much of a burden to wait and test until the EU character copy is complete.

    Edited by Taleof2Cities on February 25, 2017 11:05PM
    "May you walk on warm sands."
    "First, I would ask that you look to the poor and the suffering around Cyrodiil. Look into their hearts, and then look into your own."
    "May Auri-El's light guide you in your darkest hours."

    North American (NA) PC Megaserver (click to view):
    Vilerihala - Magicka Templar (Altmer ~ Dedicated Healer) ~ Màisalihna - Stamina Dragonknight (Bosmer) ~ Áhliaselia - Stamina Templar (Bosmer) ~ Thraccenia Vendicci - Stamina Sorcerer (Imperial) ~ daa'Vaaliánia - Magicka Warden (Dunmer) ~ Wenayastare - Magicka Dragonknight (Altmer) ~ Aráliavina - Stamina Nightblade (Bosmer) ~ Ysyna Rielle - Magicka Warden (Breton) ~ Dro-r'Aahni Bright-Paws - Magicka Necromancer (Khajiit) ~ Rhusannah - Stamina Nightblade (Redguard) ~ Eirellonye - Magicka Nightblade (Altmer) ~ Lae'Suuriávia - Stamina Warden (Bosmer) ~ Dralora Savani - Magicka Sorcerer (Dunmer) ~ Billows-With-Incense - Magicka Warden (Argonian ~ Dedicated Healer) ~ Anísa'Vardaia - Health Dragonknight (Imperial) ~ Azhnakha gra-Shugarz - Stamina Necromancer (Orc) ~ Vilinalara - Magicka Sorcerer (Altmer ~ Grand Master Crafter)
  • manavortex
    But, there's nothing wrong with banking a master writ ... for you're master crafter character to complete later in Eyevea. Be sure to do it when you master crafter is active on PTS (PTS banked items get erased during the character copy).

    How am I supposed to do that when the US characters are up, I don't have a master crafter or anyone with Eyvea unlocked available until the characters are swapped, and I can't buy half of the items from furnishing vendors over Tamriel because I miss the achievements?
    Wait two weeks, until my characters from Europe are copied, and file three or four incorrect bug reports a day because some of the items are hidden instead of marked as inaccessible (like the books from a mystic without the collection)?
    Or just wait with testing until I'm not excited anymore?

    I'm creating faulty or too little test data because there's not a full template. That is unnecessary.
    Stop Zanil Theran's sinister plot to exterminate bank space! Give ESO+ subscribers a virtual Furniture Bag!
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