Feedback from someone who... occasionally comes to iRO to check on my accounts and seeing the state of the game. To be honest I mostly play in private servers (not sure if I'm allowed to say so, I guess ban me if not, don't really care).
#1 Would I be willing to pay a subscription to play on iRO?
Absolutely. Under a few fair conditions, but yes.
#2 As a private server player, why don't I play on iRO?
- This server is heavily outdated, around 4-6 years behind kRO.
- Private servers are closer to kRO in terms of content.
- Cash Shop is honestly NOT that big of an issue to me. I do prefer a subscription based game, but I would put up with your "free subscription" via monthly cash shop VIP method, if the game was actually up-to-date.
- Botting issue in this server is kind of pretty high. The biggest damage is to the economy. It hurts the game, but people would still play it if it were properly maintained.
- iRO does not have a big community. The obvious suspects are the region block and the lack of updates. Ragnarok Online IS a community-driven game. It is what makes RO shine most. If you maintain your region block, and if you continue to create servers but doing nothing to improve this situation, you will continue to dilute the population further, and successfully killing RO in the process.
It is a shame because I am one of those type of people who feel joy in playing the official version. To me there is a sort of unspoken "value" to that, something that private servers can never attain. And in order for me to give that up, you have to mess up really REALLY badly, over a LONG period of time.
You have successfully failed for over 10 years to provide your players with good, up-to-date content. That's 90% of what they really want. There are A LOT of people who would overlook 90% of the bull-_- you do if you only manage to deliver this one thing. Equally important, people want to make friends. Your region block was a huge blow to you and to the game... I am sure you must know this. Everyone does, so I can't possibly imagine that you are oblivious to it. I don't know what sort of law/contract you had to sign to give this up, but you should try winning it back. I don't know why you would choose to essentially "give up on the community". They are the ones who would pay you, who would keep the game alive.
I don't know how else to say this, but you are the official server. You have something that private servers never will. You SHOULD make use of that advantage. RO is an old game, you need to change your business strategy in order to keep it successful.
# A bit off-topic
I work as a full stack developer for a big company (as in a global company). I have also launched my own company, and I have had a lot of experience dealing with marketing. From my experience, I truly cannot understand the way you handle business. It's illogical.
Maybe it's the marketing team, or maybe it's the IT team, or maybe it's just someone from Gravity HQ who stops you. But you seriously need to get your act together and stop operating in this manner. I actually even went to your careers page https://www.warpport...om/careers.aspx because I wanted to see if you actually were hiring for those positions (to give me an indication that you were trying?) and all I see is a "Coming soon!" message.
Really? A company of this size? I can only imagine how you operate internally. This isn't the sign of a healthy company.
Well, whatever... I'll just type here in big bold letters what I think the problem is. But I personally think that this company as a whole just needs new direction. It is a shame because I truly see potential. And there is nothing worse than wasted potential.
THE PROBLEM WITH YOUR GAME ISN'T THE CASH SHOP, IT IS THE FACT THAT YOU ARE OVER 4 YEARS BEHIND IN CONTENT, AND THE FACT THAT YOU BLOCKED OUT A WHOLE CONTINENT OF PLAYERS.
POPULATIONS ARE VITAL TO THE ECOSYSTEM OF A GAME.
If you repeat the same mistakes, if you don't update your game, if you don't lift the region block. Then congratulations, you will milk the players for a few more months on a new server, and watch it die. When in fact you DO have the opportunity to create something truly good, and milk them for years on end. I know it because I would pay for it.
You insist in damaging your brand with these short-sighted, poorly made business choices. I find it illogical because brand is the holy grail of growing a business, it is what you should care for the most. Your marketing/IT team must be awful for having mismanaged things this badly for so long (and this isn't me hating on you, I can prove it if I take a look at your company stocks and community feedback, so check yourself.)
Otherwise please one day do us all a favor and let some other company handle this game already. Or if you need an actual good dev/marketer; hey hit me up as a consultant and I can put together a plan for you and show you how it's really done (I'm serious). It's not that freaking difficult.
Edited by Shrimpi, 20 May 2022 - 12:58 PM.