We wanted to take the time to address some important things that have come up in the past two days.
A small portion of players have reported their items have gone missing.
There is unfortunately no recourse for recovering the lost data. We know many affected players have screenshots, videos or other proof of missing assets and would request for us to recreate them. After much deliberation, we’ve decided that the only course of action we take is to do what is fair for everyone affected. Due to our inability to verify anything, we cannot offer coin or item reimbursement at this time.
No amount of apologies or reassurances will make the upset of losing your homes or items disappear, but please know that you have our sincerest apologies for this and our assurance that we will absolutely never let this happen on our watch.
Since relaunching YoWorld on Tuesday, we’ve had over 3,000 people get in touch with us via email alone, and countless more via Facebook and other channels. It may take us a little while to get caught up, but please know that we’re working hard to make sure everyone gets a response.
As we gain experience and resolve issues, we expect response time to decrease considerably.
We know there are some bad apples causing trouble on the Community Group. Please report posts as you come across them so we can remove troublemakers. In future, we intend for forum and game accounts to be tied together, and abusing either one will result in a ban in both.
We still want to do our live chat, however timing issues have meant we’ve had to delay it for now. Rather than waiting to answer your questions, we’re going to answer as many as we can here, and then we will try to arrange another event at a later date which is more interactive.
Will I be banned for having free gift items?
Definitely not. Cheating is wrong and we will be putting an end to it, but while many people were very aware of the nature of the free gift items, quite a few were not, and it wouldn’t be fair to them.
See our recent post for more info: http://yoworld.com/?p=52
Will there still be a kids/adult server split?
We found the system that was in place for this to create more problems than it solved, both for players and for us. However, we do recognize the desire for some to be able to get shield themselves from younger players, and we’ll be working on ways to do this.
Why did I get banned?
If you were banned prior to our takeover of the game, it’s not something we were involved with or have details on. After the takeover, if you get banned, we will A) make sure it’s for a good reason, B) tell you what that reason is and C) give you a clear answer as to whether or not the ban can or will be lifted, and how.
Will you unban players who were previously banned?
A second chance will be given to those who were not obviously hacking. We’ve heard from so many players who were seemingly banned with little cause, we feel this is the right thing to do. However, we do intend to monitor abuse reports regarding those accounts more closely to make sure we haven’t made a mistake.
Can you recover my account from the Myspace migration several years ago?
Our agreement enabled us to obtain the last 2 years worth of player data. As the Myspace migration predates this timeframe, unfortunately we won’t be able to recover your old account.
My items went missing, can you get them back?
In order to replace any items, we need to verify what happened to them. We don’t have the ability to determine this prior to the migration, so unfortunately any items lost prior to May 13th would not be recoverable. However, going forward, YoWorld will have full item tracking any future issues like this can be looked into for you. Thanks for your understanding.
Will you change the pricing of YoCash/YoCash items/give away more YoCash?
We will evaluate this as time goes on, and the new items we create will have a variety of pricing, some free, some high, some low. The game should feel rewarding, but also must be balanced with the need to keep the game running. We’ll do our very best to strike a good balance.
Will you be adding more levels?
We would very much like to give players more levels to achieve. This is likely to be something that would happen later as part of a bigger update.
Will the old YoVille.com be coming back?
We received a portion of the old YoVille.com code in the transfer to us. It needs to be evaluated by our team to see if we can fill in the gaps and get it back online. We’re not sure why it was taken offline, it may very well have been due to security flaws, which will pose an additional challenge. Rest assured though, we know you guys loved it so we’ll look into it and let you know.
Will you make a YoWorld app for smartphones?
We think this would be very cool. It’s unlikely we would be able to make a native app that has all of the same functions and features as YoWorld due the technical challenges involved with the Flash platform, but we remain open to the idea of a companion app later down the road if it makes sense to do it.
Will people still be able to cheat?
We want to make YoWorld a place with no cheating. This won’t happen overnight, and we’ll need your help to make it a reality. A variety of detections will be added on the servers, and giving players more ability to report cheating to us is on our list too.
Will you support linking accounts together?
Playing on multiple accounts is against Facebook’s terms of service, so we would not be adding any features like this. You should only play on one account, we can’t do anything about Facebook account bans!
Can you add a feature to remove unused houses?
We’d like to. This is on our list of things look at.
Will you reinstate VIP membership?
We’ll be looking into the particulars of this. It would likely be similar, but not exactly the same. It has to be valuable for players and sustainable for us. We don’t want to let you down!
What will you do about scamming?
We aim to put more steps in place to protect people from being misled by other players. There are many cases where a trade goes ahead and both players get what they asked for, but later regret can occur. For this reason we have a policy of not reversing trades.
Will there be a new trading system implemented to make transactions more secure?
There are plans for a new trade window which should lower the incidence of scamming. It is extremely difficult to protect people from doing things like giving their things away for free for the promise of coin or item doubling for example, without extremely limiting all players’ ability to trade freely. We believe that 2 step confirmation, warnings, player education and social shaming for untrustworthy players will go a long way to putting a stop to it.
Will you put YoWorld on back on other social media sites?
We only have plans for Facebook at the moment.
Will you let new players join again?
Absolutely. Letting new players in again is already in place. A world isn’t any fun without people.
Can I become a ninja/viking?
Later down the line, once we become well established with the game, we will consider offering players the ability to help us. We do believe that allowing player vikings could potentially hurt our ability to provide a consistent player experience, so we’d want to find a good solution for this first.
What made you want to buy YoVille?
There are a lot of reasons why we decided to do this.
• Your campaigning touched us. We, as gamers, have had our favorite games closed down over the years and we always wished someone would be able to save the day.
• We knew that we could do it, and do it well. We’ve successfully run several games over the years with many happy players, and to have the chance to do it again with such a well-established game was a hugely exciting idea.
• Our mission statement is to make fans, and there’s no better way to make fans than doing something awesome for someone. Or hundreds of thousands of someones.
What is your vision for YoWorld in a year?
This is a dangerous question! It’s early days yet and we don’t want to disappoint anyone. That being said, in a year’s time we’d LOVE to see YoWorld’s community thrive, with a healthy, happy community of excited players. We want the game itself to be as solid as a rock and free of bugs. Safe and secure from hackers and abusive players. Full of new ideas, iterated upon by our team and our community. We want YoWorld to be an awesome place to be, somewhere you’re proud to call home. We want you to be able to say “Big Viking Games is the best thing that ever happened to YoWorld.”
Does your team at BVG have the capabilities to provide new items and new features?
You bet! Putting lots of new items in the game, however, isn’t necessarily a good strategy. That itself needs to be finely balanced, in terms of what should be YoCash and what should be YoCoins. It’s not an easy task. Moreover, game content must also be finely balanced with the amount of new features that we create. Rest assured, we’re focused on giving you a good mix, and with your feedback, will work hard to get it right.
What are some ideas that you have regarding features?
The great thing about having a new team on YoWorld is that there are many pairs of fresh eyes, filled with the excitement and possibility that YoWorld can hold.
It’s early days to be providing a concise list, but in the immediate future they all center heavily around our YoValues:
Safe and Secure – fixing hacking, giving players tools to have a good game experience.
Community Engagement – making sure players can talk to us, and we can listen.
User Generated Experiences – doing things that let players make fun for each other, rather than us trying to do it directly.
Do you expect YoWorld to reach the popularity that YoVille did in 2009?
We’d love for that to happen, but it’s unlikely. There are a few reasons for this, namely:
• It’s exceedingly rare for a game to peak, decline and then exceed its initial peak again without spending a huge amount of money on advertising. Money that could be better spent on making the game awesome.
• Facebook is a very different platform than it was in 2009. The ways in which games can gain new players, communicate with existing ones, and do interesting things with walls, feeds etc have all been severely restricted.
• Our focus is on making fans and improving the game. We’d have to switch focuses to make that happen, and we don’t want to do that!
Previously I purchased YoCash with the previous owners game cards, how will this work once BVG takes over?
You can buy Facebook gift cards at many retailers which we accept in-game. You will soon be able to redeem gift cards and also find stores to buy them at by clicking a “Gift Card” tab on the Add YoCash screen. For right now you can redeem them at http://www.facebook/giftcard and use the balance to buy YoCash/coins on our screen. We don’t have the ability to accept the old game cards, unfortunately. We could if we would!
Will the themes and categories currently available in the stores continue to be available after the transfer or will they be discontinued?
We have no immediate plans to change the store line-up, but we may remove some of the unavailable items as we think it’s a pain to scroll through things you can’t buy.
Will you be adding a way to sort our inventory items?
This is a great feature suggestion and we’ve made a note of it for future improvements in this area! In short: probably!
Will we be able to buy/sell houses between YoVillians?
This is a neat concept, we’ll evaluate it and see if we can do that. We think it’d be cool, at least!
I play YoVille and my children/spouse cannot do certain things together because of our conflicting IP address. Will this change to make it so we can all play at once?
This limitation is no longer active. We understand why this would have been put in place (to prevent cheating), but it’s so easy to circumvent there’s really no reason to have it anymore.