Well, I have to admit this. None of us was expecting this to happen.
Yes folks, after 2 and half years, we have a patch. Here is what Thanatos announced on the forums and the launcher.
"This patch is not a content patch, but a technical patch to increase the security of Neocron's network traffic. These changes will break all known cheat programs.
Neocron now also requires newer Visual C++ runtimes. Odds are that another game or program has already installed these on your PC, but if Neocron does not start after applying the patch, you will need to go to Microsoft and download and install the vcredist_x86.exe at the bottom of the page."
So hopefully the cheaters will be gone, but it's not clear if this patch addresses the current stability (Such as mini-rollbacks etc) issues with Neocron.
Update: 23:41 - By Brammers: It looks like there is an issue with the patch.
"Unfortunately we haven't been able to resolve the issues with crashing on zoning yet. We'll keep working on it but right now it looks unlikely we'll be able to fix it tonight."
I've have tried to connect, but it fails to connect to the server. I am assuming Reakktor have stop the server to stop anyone patching or playing until they fix the problem. News of patch 170 and 171 will be posted here as soon as I hear about it.
Update: 16:33 9th July - By Brammers.
Another hotfix (172), and all the servers are back online.
Update: 11:10 12th July - By Brammers.
Looks like the problem wasn't fixed, and I have mis-reported that the servers are back online. My apologies for this.
This is the latest news:-
"Hey Community, I'm not happy to tell you that we've decided to keep the server downtime during this weekend. We've tried fix the problems but we don't have any progress on that right now. We want to be fair so now you have to choose the second best choice for this weekend.
To be honest: This patch was tested without any problems on our local machines. This behaviour was a big surprise to us. So please excuse these unexpected changes.
We will not stop digging - if we have new information we will give it to you."
Another hotfix (173) has appeared on the FTP server, however no NC for us to play. This was the last update posted by Thanatos
"Unfortunately we haven't been able to get rid of the world crashes yet so we'll need to keep the servers down until at least tomorrow. "
Update: 21:14 13th July - Brammers.
An update from Thanatos. Sadly, it's still a no-go.
"Unfortunately we'll still have to continue our work tomorrow, so the servers will have to stay down for another day."
Update: 08:00 15th July - By Brammers.
No more news has been released since the last update,
Update: 23:53 16th July - By Brammers
The servers are online, however they do appear to be very unstable. My recommendation (And I mean mine personally, not the THN) is to be very careful. However, if you do have any comments or bugs reports, please contribute then here.
Update 12:57 17th July - By You know who.
Servers are down again until at least Monday, while the devs work on the issues.
Update 12.14 20th July- By the man with the Golden Zsusun
Servers are up, and it's seems to be looking better, however play with care! If you get any crashes or issues, please report them in this thread .
However this morning I was able to access the forums, and Nidhogg has just posted this update.
"There was a major DNS switcharound and it can take a couple of days to filter the changes around all the servers. Had we been informed in advance that this was going to happen we'd have posted a warning, but sadly we weren't. :/
The DNS problems should be resolved now but it's possible there are geographies where people are still unable to see us.
Sorry about that, all. "
So if you can't connect now, my advice would be to try a little later. If you can't still connect, feel free to leave a message on the THN forums.
After the server downtime for a major hardware upgrade, that overran by about 12 days, the Neocron servers are back!
However if you use Mars, please note this important piece of information .
"Mars is currently online as a four character slot server, for the time being please do not use these additional slots while we obtain an official confirmation that the server won’t be returning to a one slot server. Should the server be reduced back to one slot no compensation will be given for characters made after the downtime and then lost from these new slots."
What I gather from the forum posts by various KK people is the Neocron servers are running on brand new hardware. I wouldn't be suprised if the old NC servers have been virtualised.
This little announcement has appeared on the forums, by Snowcrash.
"All servers will be shut down for a major hardware exchange on Thursday, 25th at about 03:00 PM GMT. Due to technical circumstances the downtime will be about two days, means that we expect to have the servers back online on Saturday, 27th at around 01:00 PM GMT."
Yes folks, the hamsters are getting "exchanged!" (I'm joking to anyone who is taking my last comment serriously!)
Update: 30 Mar 12:44 BST - Sorry for the lack of updates here, I had not realise the servers were not back. As things stand, the servers are not back. I'm not able to find any ETA anywhere. However Hoder did give this very amusing update .
Update: 30 Mar 17:18 BST - An update from Nidhogg "There was a pretty serious network infrastructure issue yesterday that we're still waiting to be resolved. Damn pipes. Sorry, all!"
It has been report that the game launcher page is up, but the game servers are not available
Update: 31 Mar 16:45 BST - No further updates have been released by KK
Update: 1st April 15:30 BST - No updates, but we do have uncomfirmed reports that the Hamsters are at the ESA to be shot to the moon in an old Sojus space capsule...
Update: 1st April 16:23 BST - Opps, I've been pulled over by the copbots and told there was an update. This was posted by Snowcrash here.
"Unfortunately we have to inform you that the Neocron servers are not yet operational. During the hardware exchange technical issues arised that were not predictable. As if this would not be enough, we are experiencing issues with the internet connection of the servers. We strive to bring the servers back online as soon as possible but still cannot give you an ETA.
And no, this unfortunately no April’s fool."
Update 6th April 10:26 BST - As expected more news, but there was a little update yesterday to say nothing has changed from Trivaldi.
"Today (5th April 2010) is Easter Monday in Germany which is a national holiday, due to this the earliest likely update would probably be some time tomorrow. However, please appreciate this is not a guarantee of an update.
Once we know the latest, you guys will be first to know.
Your continued patience is appreciated."
Update 8th April 11:02 BST- By Brammers - No change in status, except this small update from Nidhogg in this post yesterday.
"P.S. The Easter break put a crimp in our plans. Hopefully not too long to go now... "
So it's now been 14 days since the servers went down, and 11 days since they was expected to be back online. The THN will do it's best to keep NC fans up to date.
Update 9th April 11:52 BST - Good news from Trivaldi.
"Some servers may currently appear online however if you do get logged in please be aware they may drop out again, stay tuned for further information.
Once we know the game is good to go, an official announcement will be made."
So steady as she goes...
Update 9th April 13:58 BST - Looks like there is a minor issue with the server names being the wrong way around. Looks like Mars and Terra are the wrong way around.
Update 9th April 15:05 BST - This update in from Trivaldi and the official announcement has been updated.
"An issue has occurred during the re-configuration of the servers which has resulted in a mix-up of database data.
This has happened as the servers have been completely re-installed which has not happened for quite some time. Our IT department is currently working hard to bring the servers back online in their correct state.
Please appreciate this will take some time and we cannot guarantee the servers will be back online today."
So it's SNAFU and a bit more downtime is needed to swap the DB's around.
Update 9th April 16:38 BST - Another updates, servers back online and in the right places.
"The issue relating to mismatched character data has now been resolved; characters should now be available on the correct servers in the state they were in previous to the downtime. We apologise for the extended nature of the downtime but the servers are now back up and running for your enjoyment.
Mars is currently online as a four character slot server, for the time being please do not use these additional slots while we obtain an official confirmation that the server won’t be returning to a one slot server. Should the server be reduced back to one slot no compensation will be given for characters made after the downtime and then lost from these new slots."
So don't use those extra slots on Mars! If Mars does become a four slot server, we will let you know.
Many of you will know Christian "Snowcrash" Schuett, as the Neocron Community Manager at Reakktor. Today, he announced he was moving to work at Gamigo to work on Black Prophecy as the Assistant Product Manager. He say's he will still continue as Community Manager for Neocron, but on a voluntary basis.
"As some of you might have already heard from the Black Prophecy forums, I have left Reakktor Media and joined gamigo in Hamburg, Germany as Assistant Product Manager for Black Prophecy. However, I will not completely cancel my work for Neocron and still be available on voluntary basis as Community Manager to be at your service and to lead the other voluntary helpers.
I’ve been with the game and the community for over 8 years now and I simply could not just leave and close the door behind me. We've gone through good times and bad, but this game and its community is still unique and definitely worth spending some leisure time on to keep things running. "
Myself, and everyone else would like to thank Snowcrash for all the support and help he has given to not only the community, but also to the Techhaven Network over the last years. Also we wish him the best of luck in his new role!
So, with the buzz created by Reakktor's return to a fully operational state the community have been a little busier with some speculation and chatter of late - so we're back behind the wheel of our Forum Watch feature!
The same day as our fearless leaders in Hannover return to business proper we got some fantastic eye-candy from the ever graphically talented runner, Michael Corvin with some very sexy Neocron themed Forza Motorsport 3 skins.
Slightly more relevant the speculation begins proper with the usual 'patch wish list' headed up by runner Torg with a little twist as he wants wants to know your 3 Wishes for Neocron.
The speculation and ponderment continues from the runner Seltec next who has started quite an interesting discussion regarding Neocron's potential future on a new graphics engine, this one is true speculation and wishful thinking at the moment but where would you like Neocron 2.X/3's Graphical Future to go?
Runner zii has been having a bit of think on some content he'd like to see from the patch and has come up with a plan for the Crahn Church in the Dome of York and their Black Dragon allies.
November has seen the social side of the community reignited from the buzz of169 and a few meetings are being organised - runner aKe'cj would like to see you lot in Germany, while runner Eddie Murphy wants to get the party started a little close to home.
Another few threads cover some other areas, such as speculation over the future of in game GM-held Events and an interesting view on every post apocalyptic socialites favorite supject. Neocron's shopping scene.
To finish we really need to mention this thread as for months now a truly dedicated bunch of runners have been hard at work atanother Neocron experience in the form of a Source DeathMatch Modification and so far their work looks out-standing!
Be sure to check out official forums as they are still alive and kicking and throw up some awesome conversation - so be part of it and show ReaKKtor this game has a dedicated community worth working for!
Following on from the general statement of operations given to the Black Prophecy community yesterday, some more news has arrived relating to Neocron.
Kirk, ReaKKtor CEO, has once again personally dropped by the Neocron Community Forums, with some fantastic news. Now that KK are operating under their own steam again, this has granted them more freedom in their development choices - meaning none other than a Neocron Patch.
Patch 169 is finally on the cards.
A particularly exciting ectracts reads as follows:
"To enable a long-term future for Neocron, but also to lay foundation for a possible Neocron 3, we consider these measures as necessary. We assume to be able to provide the reactivation of the payment options and the deployment of said patches within the next three months."
I'm sure you will agree this is utterly fantastic news and personally this has me grinning like an idiot. Hit up this link to read Kirk's full community address.
Yesterday we broke the news of a report on several German gaming websites declaring the end of ReaKKtor's insolvency crisis. This information has been officially confirmed today in the new issue of the Stella Vox Community Bulletin by Community Manager, Chris 'Snowcrash' Schuett.
"Some weeks have gone by since the last Stellarvox Community Bulletin and it is time again to provide you with some fresh information about Black Prophecy.
This time we have quite pleasant news for you. The responsible District Court in Hannover has abrogated the current insolvency proceeding of Reakktor Media GmbH’s assets. This means that we are finally out of the insolvency and again fully operational. With this huge obstacle out of the way, we are now in a far better situation for the negotiations with potential publishers. Having the insolvency sitting in our neck made things far more difficult and we are convinced that we’ll be able to provide you with more good news within the next weeks."
I'm sure you will all agree this is fantastic news, it's been a rough 16 Months for ReaKKtor and everyone here at the Tech Have Network is thrilled to finally hear that the developer behind our favourite MMORPG is back on track.
Those who've been following this for a long while may remember that Reakktor's previous ownder, 10Tacle Studios AG declared insolvency. KK quickly explained that they hoped to survivie this while all the other stuios owned by 10Tacle were closed down. Today, several german gaming sites are reporting having recieved a press release from Reakktor stating that the insolvency is offically over. You can read some (very good) google translations here and here. They also state that Black Prophecy will be released in 2010 - a 2009 release having been looking less and less likley as the months go on of course. We'll be poking Reakktor for more information tomorrow. One has to wonder if this means free Neocron will be coming to an end any time soon.