To start off, I was hesitant to make this thread because WoE threads seem to never bring about changes. The CMs and Producers may glance over, but has there been any action taken, ever? Not really. The previous thread was locked up, with Oda saying something about "Looking into making changes", but nothing was ever brought up afterwards. This might as well be another waste of time, but my philosophy has always been if all seems lost, might as well try anyway, since there's only one way: up.
Some of the things I will mention here are issues that have been present in over 3 years, some may be more recent.
What has been a recent trend is, people are quitting due to they find WoE dull, boring, unrewarding, goal-less. Each of these have an underlying game-mechanics cause that can be addressed by the CMs and producers to at least fix a section of the problem. The other problem is player mindset, and that can't really be fixed anyway. People quit RO due to many things, but what I will be mainly discussing is purely WoE, and in the past, a giant population of players on RO really only plays the game for WoE and PvP. I am one of those players that WoE is the main activity I play for, but this does not mean I only play WoE, I level, I do dungeons, instances, I make videos, I stream. And lastly, I run a healthy WoE guild of around 80 WoE members (Yes, 80, this does not mean all show up for WOE every WoE. About 50-60% do though), and another 20 or so Non-WoE members, and then a whooping 200 inactive members (People that have joined guild and quit the game).
I'm not here to say WoE is boring for me, nor am I saying my guild is dying and I need help. I'm here to address the WoE scene as a whole and to propose and discuss changes that WILL BE MADE to revitalize the WoE scene. Otherwise, if WOE dies, Chaos might as well die too, because over 200 relevant, money spending (WPE and zeny), knowledgeable people will quit the game, and I'm sure no one wants that to happen.
So now, I will give some background details to those clueless non-WoErs.
The WoE Scene right now:
1 guild with about 40-50 members on per WoE
4 guilds with about 15-25 members on per WoE
5 guilds with about 10 members or less on per WoE
The WoE Scene 6 months ago:
4 guilds with about 35-50 members on per WoE
2 guilds with about 20 members on per WoE
4 guilds with about 10 members or less on per WoE
The WoE Scene 2-3 years ago:
6 guilds with about 35-50 members on per WoE
5 guilds with about 20-30 members on per WoE
4 guilds with about 10 members or less on per WoE
A few things to notice: There has been no increase in WoE guilds, the number of WoErs have been decreasing, and guild size average is getting smaller. When Chaos started, there was a whooping 15-18 guilds for WoE. If you don't count the less than 10 members as a guild - it really is just a party. The number of guilds have been cut in half. Why?
Back when there were the 15 guilds on, there was insane lag in WoE, and the CMs and Producers were too late to address it, so many quit. WoE was impossible to play in. It was like playing chess. It was impossible to pot and move at the same time - why? Who knows. It could have been illegit things, or it could have just been due to the server not being able to handle the numbers. But why? Valkyrie server had these numbers of people per castle and there was barely any lag - why was there such horrific lag on Chaos? So here, we see this was something that the CMs could have addressed but took too long and thus guilds quit.
Then, the last "Current State of WoE" thread, there were requests to limit castle numbers, alliance numbers and guild numbers, because there was not enough guilds to have a healthy full alliance versus full alliance fight, and if that happened, there would again be massive amounts of lag, making WoE unbearably unfun. Nothing was done to change this.
Guild treasures have been horrendous since the 2012 castle change. This is actually one of the biggest reasons to why there is no new guilds forming. First of all, for those that don't know, castle treasures was changed in 2012 so that WoE 1.0 god pieces were randomized into a "God Piece Box", and the drop rate of God pieces went from .89 to who knows what (.1?).
The other things that drop from castle loot are: Jewelry Box (super low drop rate), Old Card Albums (low drop rate), Old Blue Boxes (normal drop rate), WoE White/Violet/Blue Box (One or less per box), Yggdrasil Berries, Yggdrasil Seeds, Dead Branches, Union of Tribe, Random Weapons (WoE 2.0 Only), WoE Weapon Box (super low drop rate), Elunium, Oridecon, WoE Point Supply Token(low drop rate). None of these are dropped high enough to sustain a guild of even 5 people without the leader dishing out x10 or more the zeny they gain from treasures just to have ONE SINGLE WOE.
It should be that the game wants people to participate in its most unique feature - WoE. No other game has it done like this. But instead, it turns people away from WoE. Leaders do not want to take the responsibility and basically dedicate their entire RO experience from PvM for the guild. I have done this for 4 years, I can understand why other leaders do not want to.
In the past, whenever I had amounted 15-20 billion zeny through massive amounts of PvM and saving up, I would hesitate to spend it on a big ticket item because it would eliminate all of my funds for WoE. You may ask, why don't you earn more zeny so you have more left over? Well, I have other obligations than just dedicate my time to a game, and I get burnt out. You all will get burnt out if you did 5-6 hours of malangdo every weekend, 5-6 hours of ET every weekend, and then random TIs to farm EMBs for the MVP Summoner (Valk/Kiel/Tao MVPs). I didn't get my own tao until this year, in 2015. LR has been a guild since 2011. I believe many guild leaders can relate to this. I've always put the guild first before anything. I've hardly bought any big ticket item for myself because I do not want to struggle to scrape up supplies in the future if I get too busy to play.
This is an issue. I'm not complaining about how horrible it is for me. I'm trying to tell the CMs that this should not be the case because it discourages people from taking up the responsibility as a guild leader. Not only do they have to: make up WoE plans, teach members how to play and their roles, reinforce rules, make sure members are using the right WoE gears, learn basically how to play every class, PvM so that members are still interested in the game outside of WoE and to gain money, but they also have to buy hundreds of millions in supplies a week, distribute it (takes about 1.5-2 hours for me to supply my guild).
What do we gain from it?
Virtually nothing. The last time I got a WoE 1.0 God ItemPiece Box was in September? And before that, maybe July? My guild was from a small server that did not have that many god items, so I worked my ass off to get our only meg - and that was made after the servers merged. After the 2012 WoE changes, it's virtually impossible for a guild to create a god item from treasure boxes and trades without buying God pieces from before the change happened. Since I made the meg back in 2012, if I kept all of the WoE 1.0 god pieces I've gotten from treasures and then traded it for equivalent value so that they can all fall into one 1.0 God item, I would maybe have 1/4rd of a Meg? Maybe half a bris, or perhaps 1/3rd a Mjolnir. This is after 3 years of actively WoEing as a guild of 30-50 or so members, taking the average 2-3 castles a WoE. What is the guild leader's incentive then? I have my personal reasons, my guild is a family, I play for them, without them I am just another player and I would have no reason to play. But for other leaders - it can be too stressful, too tough, and they might just not have time to do this rewardless thing over and over and over again for months.
Thus, this creates a very high entry barrier for a guild to WoE. Not only does he have to be knowledgeable and a skillful player, but he must also have time and money to put into recruiting, educating and supplying the members. The bigger the guild gets, the more expensive it becomes with the same reward as having a small guild. Taking 2 end castles is virtually the same as taking 1, when all you're getting is berries, ori, elu, old blue boxes. So what is the point in getting 20 members to WoE versus 5? - The only reason for this is the ability to fight bigger guilds, that have been established for a very long time. Fighting for the sale of fighting is fun, at long as the fights are fun, but it will become draining as a guild leader after a while. Some people feel it later, some people will feel it sooner. The harder it is to sustain your guild (in terms of members and supplies), the less fun WoE will be.
No Competition and no goal
The 2012 changes also killed competition. Because the God Piece dropped at random with a horrendously low drop rate, there was no reason to take a castle and defend it. Taking one castle and keeping it at 100 econ is the same as taking 5 castles. Before the changes, guilds would hold one castle, and prevent other guilds from getting that single god piece, or monopolize that single god piece. But this was a good thing - it was incentive to fight in that particular castle, or take a particular castle because they needed something from there. It made WoE purposeful. God Items were the point in WoE - to strengthen your members via God items and to enriched yourself and fund the fun.
Nowadays if I wanted a certain god piece, regardless of how many econs, or how many castles I take, and whether I get a God Piece box, it is completely random. I have no purpose of taking one castle over the other nor fighting a guild that is trying to hold a castle. Guilds hold castles just to have defense advantage to fight nowadays and just defend for the purpose of defending. Guild attack, just for the action. But there is really only so much of this before it becomes goalless, dull and again, money draining.
Fighting for the sake of fighting without any sort of incentive is self defeating. Unfortunately that's all we can do to treasure the little fun we have in WoE nowadays.
I had to write all of this to explain what I see as the big reasons for guilds quitting, yes there's guild drama, leadership issues, etc but these are the overarching topics and reason that cover the WoE scene - not the guild scene, although they are very tightly knitted with each other.
NonWoErs seem to have a misunderstanding that WoE is filled with cheats, and cheaters run rampant with all these automated bots, and whatever. It's not the case. It's generally one person ruining it for everyone. Many people are accused of using cheats due to others not understanding how to do what they do - chasers, suras and RKs are often three of the most misunderstood classes. People believe they use autothis, autothat, nodelay, whatever. This puts off people who are interested in WoE. But here's to all those people that have made it so far in this post, WoE is NOT full of unmoderated rampant cheating. But certain things do go on with these classes to make things look fishy such as getting three masqs thrown onto you at the same time, whether it's via a 3rd party program or not, it is very over powered.
But for those that are caught cheating - the GMs need to have a unwaivering rule for this. Rule changes, people getting unbanned, people getting perma banned all makes us question whether the GMs know what they're doing. The fact that this is questionable will make some people more prone to cheating due to GMs not seemingly to be as competent and that they hope they'll slip through the cracks.
Common things such as Autopot, Nodelay, are easily detectable when you use packetsniffers. Less common things would need a more GM presence in WoE to monitor all the packets being sent.
As to client modding, with the most recent thread coming out, it brings many edits from the NO WAY area to the GRAY area. Not a good thing. I'm all for a vanilla client - with the addition of ROHook, but that is it. But if the team believes this is the way to go, might as well take advantage of it.
To address lag - currently, lag is not a big issue, but that's mainly due to the WoE scene being less than half of what it used to be. This is actually not a fix. I would love to be able to experience a fight where there are 200 people in a castle, and there is no lag. I think every guild would love that. But even now if there are all the major guilds in one castle in Nid, it still lags. I also noticed that the Nidhoggur zone is in the same zone as Valkyrie Realms (people are in Valk realms during WoE to turn in their investment tickets). I really don't know how else to combat server lag issues, but I'm sure the development team has ideas.
To capitalize on individualizing zone servers, I propose you guys to have one zone only for Nidhoggur Realm.
Increase incentives - It would be great to have:
1. WoE Point Supply Boxes drop at a fixed rate; 1 WPS Token Box per Treasure Box.
2. 5-10 WoE White/Violet/Blue Boxes per Treasure Box.
3. Remove Ori, Elu Old Blue Boxes, and replace it with x3 Battle Manuals, HE Gums, WoE Gear (WoE Suit, Plate, Robe, Mant, Muffler, Shoes, Boots, Greaves).
4. Increase God Piece Drop Rate.
Increase competition -
1. Revert the WOE system to pre-2012, but with still 4 castles. Have one castle in the realm drop two types of God Pieces instead. This will give guilds castle goals again.
2. Then give monthly RENTAL rewards for things like longest hold and most end forts. The rewards can be something like; special treasure spawn access (5-10 extra boxes per week), or a 30 day god item - perhaps the Upgraded WoE TE Gods (Hervor Altir/Jormungand).
3. Restrict alliances to 1, and decrease guild cap to 40 so that there can be more guilds formed with the current number of WoEr. NAPs will always happen and cannot be avoided, but this re-distributes the players in the WoE scene.
1. Create a standardized strike system that is unwaivering, yet slightly forgiving - 2 week ban for 1st time cheating, 1 month for 2nd time cheating, permaban for 3rd time cheating. Also, by cheating I do not mean botting. I mean WoE related cheating only. And all forms of cheating would fall into the same category. No form of cheating is "less bad" than the next would make the punishment system a lot more clear and fair.
2. More GM monitoring WoE and having the producers/CMs be more educated on what is going on.
3. Shadow Chasers are one of the classes most accused of having "automasq" You can achieve this by using macros that bind multiple masqs together, or you can do it through cheating. Whether it is manual or not, to completely shut down 5 people in seconds is still pretty overpowered. S3ndo proposed giving the masqs a small delay so that it's not spammable. I think this would be a good thing to combat this.
I would like to hear more suggestions, but they would have to be realistic and reasonable. I have given reason for each thing I have listed with my extremely tl'dr post, but I hope you guys do read it and agree with me so that we can have a conversation with the Producers and CM/GM team so that changes can be put forth to revitalize and revive the WOE scene. If your post is not constructive, not on topic, or incites drama, I will have it deleted.
Also, if you do agree that WoE needs change, please upvote this post so that the CM/Producers see that this is what the community wants.
edit: Will be editing on and off for grammatical errors and new ideas
Edited by KamiKali, 12 November 2015 - 08:11 AM.