This is one of those topics where I have so much to say, and not enough time to type it before suffering from carpal tunnel.
However, I did try to raise this topic before directly with Heimdallr. My experience is that I watched a 56 person guild drop to under 30 people within a month. Heimdallr stated "time of year".
I've been a guildleader for a long time, I'm aware of the "time of year" effect. This wasn't it at all.
The problem isn't with the game. RO itself is not a bad game. Client issues aside and overlooking some endearing "features", RO is a pretty good game. It has a great ability to get people playing through social interaction. This all sounds very complicated, but it's not.
People like people.
Be that "competition" or just playing with friends, people like to interact.
Classic has, overall, done it's best to limit that as much as possible.
Account binding gear for example. In an ideal world, this account binding gear means each player works for their own gear/characters. They won't lose it when they come back, since they can't have their accounts stripped by their friends and have to re-earn everything. They quit... all their stuff is still there... they play again.
What we actually ended up with, was people "making accounts" for other players to play for WoE, happy to invest into equipment that couldn't be taken.
This meant those players did not have to invest any time into the game or play, stripping a great deal of the social aspect of Ragnarok Online straight out of the server.Leveling your character is part of the game!
If you compound this with poor choices such as Dragonlabs, you get a disaster. Let me tell you about dragonlabs. Before they put in the abyss lake 3 turn in, we were running guild parties down there almost daily. Everyone was motivated and leveling their chars. It was pretty awesome.
And then... they put in the turn in. Suddenly this became a huge fest of "ZOMG MUST LEVEL TO KEEP UP" and very quickly, most people 99ed their things (at the hands of 2 or 3 people in the group might I add) and suddenly, we had no need for parties anymore. Interest in logging in outside of WoE dropped faster than Wile. E. Coyote strapped to an anvil. New players / players who missed the event couldn't get parties and everyone nodded and went their own ways, either to other games or to a knight with a kafra shop combat knife.How many games require meta gear from open world bosses, with a terrible loot system, really?
I have stated this a million and ten times, but obviously, the account binding of equipment is a large turn off. How many times must we explain as players of the game that this is not World of Borecraft and that the account binding just hurts not only the market but player interaction too? Stifle-ing the upgrade section of the market was a terrible thing to do. People buy upgrades because they don't have the guts to do it themselves. Now that there's no "hand-me-downs", the eunuchs of the upgrade world are simply waiting for the MVP campers to gather an excess and drop their prices. If I went to camp valk, I think I'd be hard pressed to find a market to sell the loot to, hence why I don't do it. And this makes sense. Think about it. 2ez camped it pretty hard to begin with and probably have their needs met. Once Nostalgic have bought them up, who could a guild comping the current valk campers (sentinel) even sell to? The WoE guilds are pretty small, that I would estimate the Valk gear market to become saturated in less than 3 months.
Hence.... there's no point putting in the effort.
Unbind them, let people break them. More will leave the database in this way than any other.Time equals money equals buying direct power in game
Well, what about the kafra shop?
Lets ignore for a second the rental gears. They're not overly horrible anyway. They're kinda crappy, very useful and it's not like there was a huge market for rudra bows anyway! I have an objection to the rental earring as that does something that in game gear cannot. (surely not many people thought of that!)
the issue I take with the kafra shop is the precedence being set by gears such as the skull cap. A -renewal- gear that has somehow jumped servers. It was implemented at a terrible time! save that crap for later when we have all the pre-re gear already. And when reinventing renewal gear to pre-re gear, try to remember that adding flat matk turns into matk % on pre-re. We don't need 100% more matk being added by weapons. I'd recommend keeping renewal gear OUT until such a date that it's additional content that is needed.The problem starts at the top
Little "oopsies" have a big impact on a game that is treading water. I have heard often enough things such as "Yeah, I'm busy with school work and I could log on and I could play RO and level my char for an hour, but ________ problem with it makes me want to play a game that is run by competent staff".
This is a cruel statement. To say that Oda/Heim/Campitor don't work hard to run this game is very much untrue. But how much awareness do they actually have when it comes to the impact of a "dun goofed" maint? WoE isn't enjoyable when you can't memo the map. Levelling isn't fun when you've just invested 460million zeny into equips to level in a place people have been decrying as the problem with the server for months. How many dungeons have been put in that we've been able to fly wing / teleport in first time? Nothing is consistent and that makes the game a lot less fun.Friday night is clubbing night
I do wonder how aware the staff are of the current situations. Lets look at WoE 2 as a perfect example of the server's state of health. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the time (as am I, but that isn't actually relevant to what I'm going to be covering here.) - but we've had no real comment from the staff as to anybody's feedback about WoE 2. I'm going to break this down.
For the past few weeks, there have been approximately 3 guilds of any real size taking part in WoE 2.
2ez - an amalgamation of Show no Love and Trying Too Hard ~40
Valhalla - has recently been taking in Aura to merge.~35
Classic - Do they take mergers? I do not know.
Valkyrie has been pretty tiny, even on their own admission, if someone from Valkyrie reads this, please give me a figure, I'm estimating 9-12?
Last week nostalgic appeared, they had at least 2 guilds merged into them, I do not know if this is something that will be maintained.
If you account for all of those guilds, you get a total of 5. This is not healthy.
For WoE 1, you can add Sentinel. Perhaps sharks and maybe jologs (they seem to be an upcoming thing!), for an extra 15 castles, we gain maybe 3 guilds! Some good fights can happen, but there's no motivation really for these fights.
The answer isn't to close castles. No. That may sounds like the obvious thing to do, but overall it would be more harmful. This isn't about the size of the fighting area at all or handing out free loot to guilds, this is actually more a problem of asking yourself "why are guilds not motivated to compete?" I can tell you, but that does not belong anywhere near this forum.How much is a player worth?
I was recently given the impression that if a player is ruining the game for a group, via ill-manner, that the group who are turned off from playing as much as they normally would are seen as less valuable because they are seen as players who will not stick with the game. The philosophy of "if we deal with problematic players, then we lose that player" may sound ideal from a business sense, but for every one player that causes five to quit, is that really worth it? How many players has classic lost due to GM inaction or incompetence? I understand that often enough players actually request inaction because they don't trust the producer when it comes to new content, but that shouldn't apply to governing the game.If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Finally, speaking of deviating from the game, there are things that people found most enjoyable in the past that have been struck from the record with no future word. For what it's worth, renewal punished high risk leveling, whereas classic rewarded it. If you spent the time to earn the equipments or had the skill, you could reap the reward (I'm not talking about configuring 18 bots to thunderstorm mobs in magma here, tho that is a skill in its own right) - I'm talking about our dearest Kathyrine who defends the stairs from the evil adventurers. Even "fixing" that ain't so bad, but when you screw up the rest of the map in the process? That's when the staff should sit on their hands. Biolabs now has the ability to respawn everything in the head, instead of evenly across the map. This makes PARTIES suck.
Also, why are there jokers in CTUG?I am a master of TaeKwon Do
TKMs aren't uberpowerful. They're a good zeny sink. People aren't partying now, they're just leeching their stuff off PRIESTS using TU. So who cares if they leech off a TKM instead? I mean does it matter WHAT they leech off?
Oh well would you look at that, without even delving into battlegrounds and cheaters, I've been typing this post for waaaaaaaaaay too long. Have fun with my essay and if you like what I had to say, please subscribe to my newsletter.
RO veteran for more than a decade.
Edited by Xellie, 17 May 2013 - 08:00 AM.