Reworked the Paragraph
Reworked the Paragraph below from the forum post into the timeline, essentially removing the stroked out passage:
"There have been various reports from Chinese players that the DDO China servers are offline, and have been for some time, but unfortunately the information has been spotty at best. Today, I learned why. On top of the language barriers that exist it appears that the Chinese players are being blocked from not only the US gamer servers, but also from the US forums.
The reasons for this are unclear as China’s government does have a habit of blocking sites, although usually that is due to “inappropriate content,” be it pornographic, violent, or political. They rarely block sites like the DDO forums. The more likely reason is that the DDO players in China are being blocked by Turbine, and in response to the gold farmers from China, or due to contractual or legal concerns. I hear that there are some players that are able to access the US servers, but they are the exception to the rule. Chinese internet users are generally well versed in using proxy software to access blocked sites, but it seems that most of the major proxy servers are being blocked as well.
For more on this, here is a report by Kane Gao, who first posted about this on the DDO forums. (Note that it has been edited by me to fit this format better.) I attempted to independently verify the facts contained within this report, but so far Turbine will not comment on this matter in any way."
Reasoning is that who blocked the IP - while sound - is speculation and as like personal opinion has no place on the wiki page. The original forum link with this statement is still provided and could be discussed there.
Additional Timeline info
Additional information collected regarding the Chinese DDO history from the DDO forum, PacificEpoch and other places (if possible with links an sources), that still has to be integrated into the main page
- April 21, 2005 Shanda Licenses D&D From Turbine
- Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) held a press conference in Shanghai on April 21 to announce that it has licensed Turbine's much anticipated massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO). The game is expected to be released in China in the second half of 2005. Turbine president and CEO Jeffrey Anderson and Shanda president Tang Jun signed the agreement. Shanda stocks soared after the news was released, closing 10.24 percent higher at US$33.60.
- March 28, 2006 Shanda Begins Releasing DDO Close Beta Accounts
- Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) began releasing limited closed beta testing accounts for its licensed massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) through a contest on March 27, reports 17173. Shanda said that it will give away one DDO closed beta account every Monday to Thursday from March 27 to April 27. The winners will be chosen from among players that correctly answer a question in an online forum about DDO. DDO was developed by US game company Turbine.
- April 19th, 2006 DDO To Begin CB In May
- Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) will begin closed beta testing for its licensed massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) on May 20. The game was developed by Turbine.
- June 1st, 2006 DDO Updated Official Website
- Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) on May 31 announced that it has updated the official website for its licensed online game Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO). The new website includes details on events and promotions that are giving away closed beta accounts and will be have a daily section to provide gamers with sneak peaks of the game. Closed beta for DDO is scheduled for June 28.
- June 23rd, 2006 Shanda Launches Customer Service Hotline For DDO
- Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) will start closed beta testing of its new game Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) on June 28, reports Sina. Shanda launched a customer service hotline and mail on June 23 for users in case of any problems.
- June 28th, 2006
- DDO hits the market in China. It’s just an alpha test, and restricted to invited players only. Anyone could apply for an invitation on the official Chinese site, only some of them would actually get it. DDO became an instant success, and all servers (three in all) were populated with merry players.
- August 8th, 2006
- Alpha test ends; however, what followed was "the second alpha test" according to the operator (a company called Sanda). Some players abandoned the game because all characters in each account were deleted by the system at the end of "the first alpha test."
- August 28th, 2006
- After a short period of 20 days, the so called "second alpha test" also came to an end. Once again Characters were deleted, and a few more players left. Open Beta test began. More servers came online. All 20 servers were divided into three groups.
- November 6th, 2006 Shanda Offers Cash Reward To DDO Guilds
- Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) will award up to 1,000 Yuan in cash to guilds in its licensed MMORPG Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) from November 13 to November 30, reports 17173. DDO guilds that can complete all missions in a set period of time before November 6 will receive the award.
- November 15th, 2006 Shanda To Release New Expansion Pack For DDO
- Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) will release the third expansion pack Sha Qiu Mo Bao of its licensed massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) on November 20, reports Sina. New maps will be added in the expansion pack. DDO was developed by Turbine, Inc.
- December 18th, 2006 Shanda Celebrates Christmas With DDO Gingerbread
- Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) will launch a Christmas activity for its licensed massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) on December 22, reports 17173. Players can receive virtual Christmas presents and DDO gingerbread (real, not virtual) by completing game missions.
- December 19th, 2006 Shanda To Give Virtual Coins To DDO Guilds
- Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) will give millions of virtual coins to guilds in its licensed massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) on December 23 and December 29. DDO guilds that have over 200 players online during those two days will receive two million virtual coins.
- January 11th, 2007 Shanda To Merge DDO Server Groups
- Shanda (Nasdaq SNDA) plans to merge three server groups in the first server farm for its licensed 3D MMORPG Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) on January 12. Shanda will merge four more server groups in the first server farm on January 15. The game began open beta testing in August, 2006.
- February 7th to 11th, 2007
- Server merge. Players had long been complaining about the decline of online population on almost all of the servers. Some servers are nearly abandoned. Original 20 servers were merged into only five.
- Server upgrade to Module 4.1. The upgrade encountered a serious problem, and caused a half month delay. Servers had been offline until the problem was finally solved. Lots of players were angry about this half month of boredom. DDOC official forum was flooded with complaints. More players left the game.
- January 1st, 2008
- End of beta test. Sanda finally began to collect a monthly fee from DDO players. Until that day, Sanda hadn't made a single cent from the game. The monthly fee is 30 Yuan (around 5 USD), which is totally acceptable. Most players became subscribers by paying the fee. However, population on each server had already dropped to a dangerous level.
- Around March, 2008
- "The Great Migration". Due to the problem of online population, subscribers began to migrate to servers with higher populations. Some servers were nearly completely abandoned. By "migrate" I mean creating a new account, paying another monthly fee, and losing all characters in original account. Sanda didn't offer any help such as migrating subscribers’ original accounts.
- April 24th, 2008
- The beginning of the end. Sanda began an upgrade to Module 6.0. Once again the development team faced a major problem. There was an official notification saying that DDO servers would be online again as soon as the problem was solved. The fact is that they were never online again. The contract between Turbine and Sanda should expire in late June or early July. Since Sanda had made DDO a notorious failure in Chinese market, there’s no reason to expect another company to adopt it. Thus dies DDO in China.
- July 2nd, 2008 -
- July 5th, 2008 -