The current situation of Molten WoW

(Post is still a work in progress)

Molten is the most popular western, english speaking private server. However there are a few flaws that come with the server that need to be outlined to the players on this server. I’m writing this as the server will be down for a few days due to unknown circumstances. It may be something to do with database compromise, server host misconfiguration, data loss, bad SQL query to do with clustered load balancing, I don’t know. I would however like players to know the server that they’re playing on and some of my past experiences with Molten.

About me:

I have played on Molten since late 2010 and am a very patient and understanding person. Not a ex-staff member and never have gotten banned on Molten’s servers, so I’m trying very hard to not make a hissy fit on their servers. These will just be observations found by me and other players on the past few years on Molten. Criticisms given by me will be with the highest sincerity to the people that run the servers. My identity will remain private as I do not feel confident with giving my character name here as Molten staff will likely terminate my account. I know some of these stories may cause me to be recognized by some players, but I urge Molten staff to take this with a grain of salt and take in some of my observations.

I will try my best to be honest and blunt about the server and it’s situation. This is not a blog post aimed at ‘exposing’ the server for what it is.

The multiple expansion issue

Ever since the release of the Cataclysm realms Greymane and Deepholm, Molten’s Wrath of The Lich King servers have gone neglected. Wrath of the Lich King players had since never seen anything done on the servers for nearly that whole year, until the Gunship battle had released.

I saw that this was even more evident when many events stopped working properly as opposed to the previous year when they had no other expansions. For example, the Brewfest dungeon finder reward hasn’t worked the past two years however it worked seamlessly when Molten only had WoTLK realms. You’re still able to get the Brewfest mounts… except now it’s only available on the vote shop.

When Isle of Conquest was released, The airship at Hangar had it’s three airship cannons working perfectly, however when the Gunship had arrived months later, the airship cannons ceased to work and has not been working ever since. That was four years ago. I personally was very disappointed when my post regarding this in the Gunship feedback thread was deleted due to not being related to the Gunship battle event. Oh well. More the reason to yell ‘OMFG GO DOCKS NOOOOB’ in Isle of Conquest. Classic Molten tactics.

Developers

Some efforts to increase productivity on their multiple expansions have been to hire new developers. If you have noticed recently, there have been recruitment posts under the latest news to hire new developers.

You’re able to see all staff members here

Some of the staff members that have since left are the following:

BeepBeep (Website designer from New Zealand) From memory, and reading the Molten Wiki, he got banned and removed from staff for trying to start up another private server. BeepBeep was responsible for creating the original website designs on Molten. Apparently he worked almost nonstop. This transferred to be a job for Edifice if I am correct.

Mammen – I believe he was the developer named Spp that had released Dungeon Finder for TrinityCore, an open source wow private server core. Why I believe this is because Kaer (the server owner) was talking on Ragnaros Alliance global chat one day and also said something along the lines of “One of our developers released dungeon finder to Trinitycore”, I asked if it was Spp and he replied back to me with “yes”. His forum profile on Molten lists his country of origin as Spain which is the same as Spp’s github profile, along with his inactivity from Trinitycore and Molten. One of Edifice’s posts described his work as “Big functionality, instance systems, random dungeon finder, big core addons that are unique to Molten”. According to Edifice, he was “not a full-time developer here, aquired his skill set for the odd thing.”.

Mef – One of the administrators that was around for a long time since the beginning. I have no idea who he really was though.

Misc – other developer roles that are still here. This was posted by Edifice.

Ramires: Core reworks, infrastructure, optimizations, heavy CLB work, formulas, arena, correcting the non-standard c++ abomination of a core trinity spawned, class work, excellent c++ coder.
Greendev: instances, writing them from scratch, all entirely his work, goes as far as watching a video to get a general outline how an encounter works.
KosmoKoz: Same as green, heavy heavy instance work, some item related work and quests, all his own work.
Nepenthe: Heavy database work, 10 man workforce in 1 person, fixing 90% of quests.
Raufen: Massive class work, balancing, formulas, quest scripting, extraordinary amount of work produced by this guy.
Shortbuckle: Angry dev
Edifice: Any and everything web and database related.

Some community members have noticed that Kaer will be coming back as the project manager/team leader of Molten. As I am writing this, Molten’s servers are down, every other part besides their main website is down, however I can confirm that Kaer was active on his forum account a few days ago, he was placed as project leader on the bugtracker. Edifice subtly confirmed this by replying to the thread with “Who knows?”. I see the next forum announcement being from Kaer to announce his return to the server and other major announcements to the server.

Ulduar Releasing on Wrath of the Lich King realms

In late 2011, there was an Ulduar feedback thread started by one of the developers. I do not have the post available as it was deleted and is no longer indexed by Google anymore. No fixes were done and we then never had follow-ups from the developers regarding Ulduar until late 2014. This is most likely due to the multiple expansion issues that Molten is facing.

Administration

Some time in 2011, a staff member posted a few images on their main website, along with a message warning these people to stop. I forgot the entirety of the message, but I did manage to save the images. Furthermore, I found out the person’s identity by obtaining their facebook ID from the filename, and posted his information on a forum thread. After that, the thread and the website post was quickly removed. I will not be releasing his identity here, but I’ll give you what image was posted on Molten’s main website: http://i.imgur.com/DSJi0aD.jpg

Website Features

Some thoughts on the website features

Edifice promised in earlier 2013 that there would be some new account features that never saw the light of day.

Armory 2.0 will be released soon has become a big joke

The forum 2.0 is useless and is missing features. Molten should remove it and revert back to 1.0 as default for everyone. Even moderators confess they use the 1.0 forum. Even I use it for taking a lot of my screenshots here.

Molten’s wiki was removed even though it brought some SEO value for Google. Maybe the spam was too much for the huge moderator team.

Changelogs

“Changelog will be posted within 24 hours”

The beginning of cataclysm was undoubtedly Molten’s most productive time in it’s history……..

Promises

The Forward into 2014 thread is probably the best example of how optimistic Molten Staff are, however with

Some of their promises include

Infrastructure improvements
This includes, but is not limited to improving server-side response times, latency, optimizations and etc.

A lot of us Molten players are left in the dark when it comes to infrastructure improvements, however we do get to know from time to time about updates on their proposed Clustered Load Balancing, the server feature that was announced later in 2012, in late 2013, Clustered Load Balancing have been ‘kicked off’, and now we’re in 2015 with no news.

New armory
The long-awaited “Armory 2.0” will include many new features which will include more statistics and information on characters, graphical overhaul and an overall more clean and easy-to-use system.

I believe most players have lost hope on the Armory 2.0, being something that was supposed to give the armory a facelift two years ago. They have also since removed “Armory 2.0 will be coming soon” from their armory page since the refixup of the current armory. I personally am contempt using the current armory as it is however.

Wintergrasp

Yep, Wintergrasp was scheduled for release on Warsong early 2010 but due to unforseen circumstances, it never saw the light of day. Molten staff now infamously use the “thousands of players in one area will cause huge instability – wait for clustered load balancing and it may happen” scapegoat, which I kind of understand, but since there are servers like Gamer District that net in about 1200 players at peaks with a working Wintergrasp, I don’t see why Molten can’t either given their resources. Whether it’s a never releasing clustered load balancing or a fake population, I don’t know.

Mistakes

Molten has made some mistakes in the past, some of these have personally affected me, however the way they have covered their mistakes was appalling.

1. Molten Tournament

Molten’s arena tournaments were to an extent successful, but they had made some major flaws that ultimately led to the demise of the tournament.

Deathwing originally had unofficial 3vs3 tournaments that players had partaked in, where the winners would win molten coins from the hosters. This was set up in a 5vs5 scenario with two players getting killed, and a modified Pitbull unit frames addon for the user interface.

Following the success of these tournaments, Molten staff decided to host their own tournaments, starting with the WoW streamer Bajheera. When Molten started these tournaments, Arena Tournament, a very renown private server for it’s PvP had posted Molten’s tournament stream on their main website.

In response to this, Edifice made a thread after the first (or second) tournament to invite players from Arena Tournament (and other servers) to their tournaments. Everyone from Molten’s community seemed ecstatic about Molten partnering up with Arena Tournament until about 20 minutes later where he closed the thread, stating that the staff didn’t want that to happen. Later the thread was completely deleted.

Malaco, Arena Tournament’s owner had lost respect for Molten due to this move.

2. Database cleanup on Frostwolf, Neltharion, Sargeras and Warsong – Posted on April 27, 2012

Like a lot of people, I had a bank character. Even more so, I had an account of bank characters. I had multiple guilds for various purposes and ran hundreds of auctions. I had millions of gold on me. I was very much a happy camper until Molten decided that they needed a spring clean of accounts, guilds and characters. The forums are currently down so I looked at the cache of the page.

2015-01-24 21_06_34-Database cleanup on Frostwolf, Neltharion, Sargeras and Warsong - Molten Forum

Of course premium accounts were exempt from that, but not us regular account holders. When I read this post, it had originally read “Characters below level 18 will be deleted”. I can even prove this by pointing out this post that quoted this specific phrase.

2015-01-16 14_47_15-Database cleanup on Frostwolf, Neltharion, Sargeras and Warsong - Molten Forum -

A moderator even confirmed this by posting the following:

2015-01-16 14_51_42-Database cleanup on Frostwolf, Neltharion, Sargeras and Warsong - Page 10 - Molt

Anyways I decided to run my alts through Ragefire Chasm until they all hit level 18 and made my guilds have at least 5 members in them. Much to my dismay, I find out after the clean-up that all my bank characters (besides one that accidentally hit level 19) were deleted. All my guilds removed as well as they deleted the characters before checking the 5 character guild limit.

The mistake that Molten Staff had actually done here was that they had deleted all characters below level 19, not below level 18. I don’t know if you can do maths, but ‘below level 18’ means to exclude level 18 characters. Anyways I couldn’t do anything about it and from then I was on the brink of quitting Molten. Later I got even more angry by seeing the post being edited to “level 18 and below”. Proof to this can be showed on this post.

2015-01-16 14_46_04-Database cleanup on Frostwolf, Neltharion, Sargeras and Warsong - Page 11 - Molt

And here’s a deluded Molten player with poor maths skills responding awfully to someone’s misfortune. Luckily his post saved the censored forum post from oblivion.

2015-01-16 14_42_40-Database cleanup on Frostwolf, Neltharion, Sargeras and Warsong - Page 12 - Molt

Some other posts

2015-01-16 14_44_36-Database cleanup on Frostwolf, Neltharion, Sargeras and Warsong - Page 12 - Molt

I was even more disgusted that they took additional measures cover up their tracks; even after editing ‘below level 18’ to ‘level 18 and below’, they had went further to remove any references of deleting low level characters from the main post, and player’s misfortunes. Moderators however still forgot about editing out the quotes from the players. No apologies, just downright refusing that it even happened seems to be the answer for Molten’s administration. Boy, I wonder how many people’s posts got removed from this disaster.

Censorship

Let me start off with saying that I completely understand that staff do not want harsh opinions about their server on their forums. Opinions that may be offensive to the point of disrespecting the server. However I urge the moderator staff to be a little bit more open minded. There are some completely legitimate concerns for the server being voiced on the forums and some of them have resulted in the players being punished.

Many private servers are very much open to critique and Molten should be no exception. However with the current situation, staff seem to prefer censoring user thoughts on server direction. I believe this is due to the very unnecessarily large moderator team Molten has.

Closing threads is another concern of mine. Moderator staff seem to like getting the last word in before closing a thread. This was particularly effective in this post

2015-01-16 13_33_48-Community feedback - Molten Forum

Dodgykebaab also highlights this post in his Mists of Pandaria video and voiced his opinions.

Dodgykebaab is a Youtuber that recently started WoW private server reviews. He started reviewing Molten’s Wrath of The Lich King realms, and his video was taken very positively. His post on the forum can be found here.

Sapphire’s response to the video was the following:

“Nice cool calm and appealing sounding commentary. Truthful on all aspects covered. Made me chuckle a few times. Here’s my upvote.”

It all went wrong when he posted his Cataclysm review video to the forums. Staff had decided to censor it, even though he was just being honest, outlining the server’s bugs and flaws at that time. Dodgykebaab decided ask why he was being ‘silenced’ and he got handed with a permanent ban from the forums as well as an IP ban. I do however believe that his Mists of Pandaria server review was made more in a negative manner as a reason to bash on Molten staff. I do however agree with him arguing that it’s state of release is awful though. Although as someone who keeps track of wow server cores, I would like people to understand that reverse engineering the game client to find suitable opcodes for the game client is a mission. Molten staff were also solely looking for a reverse engineer in one of their staff recruitment threads. Open source MoP private server cores are inactive as well. Trinitycore and cmangos just do not have a MoP branch for private servers like Molten to work off from.

1795349_680397628695187_5646439443648493227_o

Anyways, I was optimistic that Molten would have taken in the criticisms about the server in a more positive light instead of decide to censor it completely. In my opinion, I found it downright disrespectful on their end to treat us players as if we were living in sheer ignorance.

Community

Staff

I believe that this is undoubtedly the most touchy subject for Molten, however I don’t see how staff justify permanently banning players for staff disrespect and wintrading, yet give 10-30 days for first time hacking offenses that harm the community very much more.

Community Engagement

Edifice promises in this post[citation needed due to forums offline] that they would engage the community more and involve us in a lot of their decision making. Disregarding Sapphire’s post, it sounds pretty cool and I really hope this happens for Molten.

Molten promised a long time ago that they would engage the community more through event masters, by having active events all the time. They kind of did that with Molten TV, which was actually pretty cool, but it was short lived. I’m sad that Borrean as MMORPGRussia hasn’t done any more events throughout the year.

Population

Let me start off by stating that the website counter for the population is a lie. Before you raise your pitchforks, give me a chance to explain why.

The fiasco about faking the online population started from the video on YouTube titled Molten-WoW doubles players online uploaded on September 4, 2012, gaining 8,000 views as of now. Many forum members have posted this video and have been getting removed from the forum as a result.

A few times, Molten has had to hide the server population due to ‘security reasons’.

I had personally archived the thread, posted on September 29, 2012 which was later deleted.

The post was made by user drekavac95 (now not a banned account, but also a removed account)

Title: Population statistics removed?

Security reasons my ***….parsing XML is a srs bsns.
Yeah, blame others server for it. OMMMMG THEY SEE US BOTTING THEY DDOSING, ups, I mean have ****load of players online.

Get real, no one is going to DDoS molten because they all know we have fake population statistics, you removed it because pretty much everyone knows about faking it.

And if you’re so scared of DDoSing, show the real population info. I’m pretty much sure no one will even think on DDoSing you anymore.

’nuff said

Shortbuckle (Developer) response to the accusations of faking the online population was the following:

Damn man, you finally busted us *gulp*
Thanks for doing us a favor, hurry make another account and reply about your genius conspiracy discoveries, bachelor

Kaer’s (Server owner/Team leader) response to the accusations of faking the online population was the following:

It’s got to do with those new conspiracy videos of imbeciles doing mass “/who” commands querying a maximum of 50 players per zone and excluding idle accounts in character selection screen. It’s the 1% percent, illuminati, masons, zionists Molten staff working lying to players in every corner. Everyone knows that we’re popular only because of advertisements, because we pay xtremetop100 to put others down, because our changelogs are fake and there are no players in-game to verify it in the first place, worst server in existence, basically “EA Games” of the private server world.Should’ve just announced the news that “Highest populated server is likely to attract unwanted attention, be it from Blizzard or from random blackmailing botnets”.

Let’s state some facts about polling server population and in relation to the website’s population:

  • After the “doubling online population” video, Molten later had limited /who requests to reduce server lag which in turn conveniently broken census polling addons.
  • /who requests have a limit of 49 people, so it is more useful to refine your /who results
  • Molten’s website updates it’s population not in real time, but in timed intervals of about 10 minutes if I’m correct.
  • Molten’s website also counts players on the on the character selection screen, as cited in Kaer’s quote: “excluding idle accounts in character selection screen

I decided to poll Lordearon’s total population on both Alliance and Horde ingame, not just after a crash, but while the server was still online.

How I went about doing this was doing /who requests for specific level ranges and then doing /who requests for specific classes at level 80. I did not spam these requests through the use of addons, but I went manually and typed these in and waited for the server to respond. Not once I found that the who list went over 49 so there is no margin of error.

My findings were that the total online population of Lordearon was somewhere around 607 players online, which is only 37.1% of the total proposed online which was 1637. I highly doubt that 63% of online players are on the character selection screen. Polling the alliance population just after polling of horde population showed that the player count did not increase at all, which is evidence that there were no recent server crashes.

The video showing my polling of Lordearon’s population is here

About half a year ago, I saw a forum post titled “Molten players, you have been charted“. The community player parsed the HTML on the main website page. Later I found he was banned, so I checked out his website and found the following:

The counts of players displayed in the home page for WotLK realms are fake. I subtract 1000 players from each realm.
I am not sure of what they are doing exactly, but the result of subtracting 1000 is very reasonable.
In over one and a half million samples, there have never been less than 1000 players online.

This definitely makes sense that I found 607 players instead of 1637.

I also decided to take a poll of Warsong’s population as well. My findings were that the total online population was 319 players, instead of the proposed 565 players. Doing the math in the video, it showed that 319 players were only 56.5% of the 565 players. This means that 246 people (or 43.5%) of the proposed players were supposedly on the character selection screen.

Final Thoughts

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