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Kiwi

Where do we go from here?

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Hi Friends, 

I want to bring something to a discussion that has been plaguing me over the past few weeks. I'm saddened and heartbroken by the state of the server. When we started back up in March everything was AMAZING. But mainly that was because all of the old eRO players came out from the woodwork to play the game again. Everyone was so excited for a sense of nostalgia and comfort in such a volatile time.   

If you haven't noticed, we're bleeding players. The excitement that once was, has become no more, and new players that join feel overwhelmed by all of our changes that they play for a moment and disappear forever.  I'm proposing to you a few options that were previously discussed with the hopes that we can all have a civil conversation and understand that this conversation is to preserve the best of eRO and make it last for years to come.

With that said, I would like to lay some ground rules and disclaimers. Firstly, keep the conversation civil, we're here to generate ideas and hopefully find the best solution for the server as a whole and not you individually. Secondly, keep an open mind here, what we're suggesting could easily become very drastic changes and all big changes come with a risk. 

These are the key points that have been plaguing my sleep on a daily basis:
1. Our population is stagnant, or decreasing day by day.  
2. We attract Mid-Rate Players all the time, but cannot retain them because we behave more like a High Rate in terms of progression and customs.
3. We don't attract High Rate players because, well, we're not a high rate.
4. Mid Rate servers in general are a dying breed, and truly lack the demand

So with these points, there's a few options we can do. As we know it, eRO won't stand the test of the time if we do nothing. Hell, it won't last another two months at the rate we're losing players. So I'm going to outline a few options below, and I would like the community to discuss, give feedback, and hopefully we can all come to an agreement that is best for the server as a whole. I have spent too many hours, and made too many friends to see it disappear like all of the other servers out there, so now I'm asking you all for help. 

1. "Our Population is stagnant, or decreasing day by day".  
This is true, and will be true until we figure out a plan, and start making moves to better the server for the long-term. eRO was great 10-12 years ago when RO was really in it's prime. But for a 20 year old game, customs and "unique" skill mechanics haven't been in demand for a long, long time. The main feedback we get from players leaving for other servers is that, "We can't get used to the custom mechanics", "I don't want to learn a new game", " The MVP's are too hard".

2. "We attract Mid-Rate Players all the time, but cannot retain them because we behave more like a High Rate in terms of progression and customs". 
This is 100% True. We've noticed that when mid-rates close and their players search for a new home, they come to us because we're at the top of RMS. However, our progression and EXP tables are too high for Mid-Rates. Our feel is more of a 300x server, and our drop rates are really high compared to other servers. We initially did this with the mindset that, "Who in the world wants to grind in 2020 -- So let's let them get their cards and gear and put restrictions on everything to balance it out". Clearly, it was a poor judgement choice there for trying to fit in the Mid-Rate box. 

3. "We don't attract High Rate players because, well, we're not a high rate".
We're not, and we don't advertise that way because we can't. Our customs and progression would fit a lot better in a HR atmosphere, but because we initially wanted to stay true to eRO's standards, we remained a Mid Rate. 

4. "Mid Rate servers in general are a dying breed, and truly lack the demand"
Look around at how many successful mid-rate servers there are in general. Hear the crickets yet? As I mentioned earlier, RO is a 20 year old game that hasn't really done much to their benefit of preserving it. So players that play RO are falling into one of two categories. 1. The Fanatic (More LR players who want to play the game as it should be played) and 2. The Nosalgic (More HR players that don't want to deal with grinding levels, and getting back to the 'gloriy days' where RO was fun, fast, and exciting). We are the number one mid-rate server on ratemyserver, yet our population is lackluster compared to the top high rates of low rates.

Whew- that was a lot.  Okay, but what CAN we do about it? 
In order to be relevant today in RO, we need to put ourselves in a column. We need to either be a Lowish Mid-Rate or become a High Rate. Having a max level of 170 just isn't cutting it anymore and we need to decide now what we can/should do.  One thing is for sure, we can't keep going the way we're going and expect it to get better. 

Our Options as of Right Now:

1. Move to be a strict Mid-Rate (least amount of risk, but would require sacrifice - Partial Wipe)
If we did this, we would have to revert a lot of changes to skills/functionality. With the exception of a few Quality of Life changes, all skills would be reverted to their default mechanic. Levels and Max Stat points would need to be re-evaluated. EXP and Drop Rates would have to change. Our EXP progression would need to be more consistent with a MR, thus making it harder to level than it currently is. Drop rates would have to be lowered some as well. Non custom, pre-re MVPs would return to their unbuffed, default stats and drops. PvP would be disabled on known leveling maps such as Thors 3 or Abbey 3. Custom Poring mob exp would be nerfed down to comparable exp of monsters their level and difficulty.

2. Move to be a Low-Rate (High-Risk - Complete Server Wipe)
Low Rates are a huge draw for a lot of people. But with this, we would have to disable all effects from custom items (No wings, no valk helms, etc). They will be retained as cosmetic costumes only. We would  need to roll everything back to 99/70, default skill behavior, and MVPs. Mostly vanilla server with aesthetic and QoL features. (Read; Hats :D

3. Move to be a High-Rate (Least amount of sacrifice from the Players, but still High-Risk)
With this we could boost the levels to 255, increase the rates for both EXP & Drops and begin to advertise to High Rate Players.  


As it stands, even if we fix the features that have been broken for a little bit (BG), it won't help us retain players. So now I'm asking you, the community, what do you personally think is our best course of action? I am willing to do anything that will preserve the eRO name, and keep us running for years to come. If it were up to me, I would personally love to become "The Midrate". Or rather, the standard for mid rate servers everywhere. But what I want, and what's best for all of us may not be one in the same. 

As I said earlier, please keep your comments civil and on-point. What do you suggest? If you see an option that isn't here, and believe it's a viable solution to our current population retention crisis, please let us know. 

❤️ you all!
-Kiwi & The eRO Staff

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Guest LucySan

I won't say much, I will say my opinion but I ask for respect in advance from the ones who disagree. Again, it is only my opinion. With this being said.

I will vote for the option "Move to be a Low-Rate (High-Risk - Complete Server Wipe)" and I will start thinking on adding 3rd class jobs. That will require MVPS to be harder to kill as they are now because we will need to balance the game in order to avoid this situation to happen again. We are a group of approximately 10 people who stopped playing as it became predictable, we had everything we wanted and then we got into a "now what?" phase. I think adding 3rd classes will give it a refresh and also a motive for more people to join us. I think that will be fun and also interesting. Again, Its only my opinion, please don't be rude. Thanks.

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you already have a 99/70 project no?

 

if you want a 2nd project, maybe close essence and reopen as a high rate in the future so long as it's more asia-friendly and you can convince the local guild leaders to play it

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7 minutes ago, valk said:

you already have a 99/70 project no?

 

if you want a 2nd project, maybe close essence and reopen as a high rate in the future so long as it's more asia-friendly and you can convince the local guild leaders to play it

As I said in discord, I would rather not have 2 projects.   If it's in the best interest of the server and everyone agrees that a 99/70 is the way to go, it's definitely a benefit on my time and sanity to only have one project. 

I refuse to close eRO, that's the point of this entire thread.  We're an amazing community and I would hate to see all of the friendships, time and fun we've had together to go to waste.  But morphing into something more relevant is absolutely something I'm willing to do.

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Guest Zatara

Hi, i just started playing on the server (1week old) i don't see anything wrong with the server or its features, dont know how good the population was when it first opened but isn't whats happening just normal for a 20 year old game?

i mean old players like  me come back once in a while play till they are bored and go aback to their AAA games, making changes to the server would be a bummer for people just starting like me and new players to come, and reverting to low rates or changing to HR meh..not the features i was looking for.

 

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Personally, i think the best option would be to scale it down to a less-grindy-mid-rateish 99/70 server, while retaining most of the flavor and core values of eRO.
 

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Guest Zatara

Should i be looking for a new server?

 

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17 minutes ago, Guest Zatara said:

Should i be looking for a new server?

 

I'm going to go ahead and say no?  We aren't making any decisions, we're looking for input. 

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option 1, thanks :)

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Personally speaking, I don't see how people could have so much trouble getting used to the skill changes. Took me just a couple minutes to read up on it on the wiki, and then a couple minutes in-game to get used to it for any given class. Nothing difficult for someone who actually wants to play.

I also enjoy the current rates and higher level caps, and if there needs to be changes I would honestly prefer we go higher rather than lower. I personally don't enjoy low rates as much.

As a sidenote, are mid rates really a dying breed? I never saw any indications of that, although that's possibly because when I'm looking for a server I almost exclusively check mid rates.

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If we want to retain what eRO is, we have to go with higher rates. If we go lower then everything what eRO is would have to change. Adding 3rd jobs would be good too cause if the 4th jobs are ever released that would be a way to attract more people.

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I would prefer moving to a higher rates but the 225 base levels sounds kinda tricky for me. the last time I  played an low-rate server before was when I first get introduce to RO like 15 years ago and it was so lame personally I don't think I would play a low rate in 2020. Theres two things that has to be done yes or yes if u guys want new players /guilds  and its removing the custom things and map cards. 

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Guest Kudin
4 hours ago, Guest Zatara said:

Hi, i just started playing on the server (1week old) i don't see anything wrong with the server or its features, dont know how good the population was when it first opened but isn't whats happening just normal for a 20 year old game?

i mean old players like  me come back once in a while play till they are bored and go aback to their AAA games, making changes to the server would be a bummer for people just starting like me and new players to come, and reverting to low rates or changing to HR meh..not the features i was looking for.

 

Seconded. I also just rejoined 3-4 weeks ago with some friends and thought things have been great so far. Still trying to recruit more. I've had a blast and while some of the changes since 2008 were jarring at first, I like them a lot now (like the Marketplace). We specifically chose a town that didn't have many players to make our "home base", so most players probably don't even know we are here most days, as we are still gearing up to be able to WoE. I do think constant skill changes need to stop though because of a verbal minority asking for them.

I just haven't been on this week much because I'm trying to finish TLOU2 and my work has kept me busy; but that doesn't mean I was done here or didn't intend to play more frequently next week. A lot of these returning players are in their late 20s and early 30s now, so we have other responsibilities that make us play in spurts or waves. It's a 20 year game and it will never truly be as active as the old days. That's okay.

eRO already feels like the last bastion of the mid rate. I'm someone who played pre-WoE 2.0, so MR is all I really know. But still. 

If essence changes to a HR or LR, in my opinion it will be dead just with that decision. I just don't have time for a LR and with a HR, I've always felt like...what's the point? That's where you get 1-week players. It's just instant gratification and quick nostalgia fixes there more than anywhere else. Then they jump to the next HR and do it again -- complaining about each server and the population the entire time. It's stupid. Do whatever needs to be done in the best interest of the server, but I think high rates just kill the "essence" of RO (haha, get it?).

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6 minutes ago, Guest Kudin said:

If essence changes to a HR or LR, in my opinion it will be dead just with that decision. I just don't have time for a LR and with a HR, I've always felt like...what's the point? That's where you get 1-week players. It's just instant gratification and quick nostalgia fixes there more than anywhere else. Then they jump to the next HR and do it again -- complaining about each server and the population the entire time. It's stupid. Do whatever needs to be done in the best interest of the server, but I think high rates just kill the "essence" of RO (haha, get it?)

seconded, especially the bit about HR servers having high player turnover. I personally enjoy the balance of grind here, i really think midrates are the best servers for people looking for nostalgia who want a level of gratification with their grind. Maybe it's best to see what customs can be reduced/altered to see what fits with the general midrate crowd? 

I think 3rd jobs would also help in keeping people playing longer, and might introduce a new element in pvp to keep it fresh (though I'm stricly pve so i'm also talking out of my ass). IDK how much midrates overlap with people who want a single campaign experience, but you could also consider like...custom quests? that aren't fetch quests, along the lines of the bradium accessories and ring of the wise king. 

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Posted (edited)

I miss the 3rd classes, as well. That was a big part of eRO's fun back in its heyday, and all the other oldies I've spoken to miss them, too. If you were to work in implementing/balancing 3rd jobs again (and increase the max level to 190), that might renew a lot of interest in the server. Also, wasn't the old aspd max 195? Is that considered too broken now, or is that the norm for renewal? There's also stuff like Bio 4, Dolomedes, Scaraba dungeon, and other such maps/mobs that should be considered for re-implementation. I liked seeing that a lot of the customs on the server still existed, but the current eRO feels somewhat empty because of all the missing pieces. I was disappointed to see that classes I used to main for MVPing were no longer viable, even with the best equips.

As for the move you should make, I don't think disabling a lot of eRO's customs is a good idea, as many of us enjoy them. I like midrates because low rates are too slow for my tastes, and high rates' breakneck progression/ease of equipment access doesn't feel right to me, either. So, I'd like for the server's rates to remain the same, but for the MVP and BG shops to be a lot less rewarding. I really enjoyed eRO as a midrate about a decade ago before Paradox ran things into the ground, and that's the experience I was looking forward to having once again. I still plan on playing eRO for as long as it's around, and I wish y'all the best with improving the server.

Edited by AfroThunder

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38 minutes ago, AfroThunder said:

I miss the 3rd classes, as well. That was a big part of eRO's fun back in its heyday, and all the other oldies I've spoken to miss them, too. If you were to work in implementing/balancing 3rd jobs again (and increase the max level to 190), that might renew a lot of interest in the server. Also, wasn't the old aspd max 195? Is that considered too broken now, or is that the norm for renewal? There's also stuff like Bio 4, Dolomedes, Scaraba dungeon, and other such maps/mobs that should be considered for re-implementation. I liked seeing that a lot of the customs on the server still existed, but the current eRO feels somewhat empty because of all the missing pieces. I was disappointed to see that classes I used to main for MVPing were no longer viable, even with the best equips.

As for the move you should make, I don't think disabling a lot of eRO's customs is a good idea, as many of us enjoy them. I like midrates because low rates are too slow for my tastes, and high rates' breakneck progression/ease of equipment access doesn't feel right to me, either. So, I'd like for the server's rates to remain the same, but for the MVP and BG shops to be a lot less rewarding. I really enjoyed eRO as a midrate about a decade ago before Paradox ran things into the ground, and that's the experience I was looking forward to having once again. I still plan on playing eRO for as long as it's around, and I wish y'all the best with improving the server.

❤️  The reason we haven't really introduced 3rd classes is because I really don't understand them (I'm too old).   As I said in my original post, we aren't having an issue keeping old returning players because they know what to expect, the problem is retaining the players that have never played on, or have ever heard of eRO.  

So far, as for changing mechanics, the consensus seems to be leaning towards staying mid-rate, but making the levels, experience and MVP's a bit more "normal" while maintaining the eRO customs that we all have come to know and love.  

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I think the levels are fine for a midrate.  The part where things veered off into questionable territory was when you started making things easier, like the BG shops letting people get MVP gear and the exp table being so damn easy.  You're right that the original mindset of no one wanting to grind in 2020 was incorrect because everyone rushed and got their stuff and hardly logged in.

I don't really know what the fix to this is, but I think we should keep the old eRO stuff as far as being custom and midrate.  Even the levels are fine because it's something that was unique to eRO.  Something like eRO doesn't shoot off immediately, no?  Getting tons of recurring players may come with time and player recommendations.  Once eRO gets into a really good spot where it's not buggy and not too easy then there will be a reason for people to keep playing.

We can stay 170/90, but lower the EXP tables back to old eRO so there is actually a grind.  When you max super easy it's pointless.  I recall back in the day not having everything maxed and I'd join leveling parties.  Remember the old abbey_03 leveling parties?  That was a social thing.  Lots of people got together for this, most hiding in that one safe corner while priests ME bombed the map.  Of course this change feels odd when you think about most current players having everything maxed already.   I don't have the solution to this.  When everyone could max solo in hours no one got together to level together.  It was like a one player game.  Anyone could level solo but there was no REASON to make friends and have fun leveling together when you could just max at saplings in a couple hours.

This might require a partial wipe.  This might make some people unhappy, but it might be what's best in the long run to keep people engaged with the game. 

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That's a good point about the leveling parties. I remember the old broadcast system always had ppl looking for parties, which was usually a great way to start making connections/find out info about the game from others who were more experienced. Yeah, the lack of a grind is another thing I miss, surprisingly. Abbey03, gef_dun, and ice_dun parties were pretty fun to be a part of.

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1 hour ago, DeltaUnion said:

I think the levels are fine for a midrate.  The part where things veered off into questionable territory was when you started making things easier, like the BG shops letting people get MVP gear and the exp table being so damn easy.  You're right that the original mindset of no one wanting to grind in 2020 was incorrect because everyone rushed and got their stuff and hardly logged in.

I don't really know what the fix to this is, but I think we should keep the old eRO stuff as far as being custom and midrate.  Even the levels are fine because it's something that was unique to eRO.  Something like eRO doesn't shoot off immediately, no?  Getting tons of recurring players may come with time and player recommendations.  Once eRO gets into a really good spot where it's not buggy and not too easy then there will be a reason for people to keep playing.

We can stay 170/90, but lower the EXP tables back to old eRO so there is actually a grind.  When you max super easy it's pointless.  I recall back in the day not having everything maxed and I'd join leveling parties.  Remember the old abbey_03 leveling parties?  That was a social thing.  Lots of people got together for this, most hiding in that one safe corner while priests ME bombed the map.  Of course this change feels odd when you think about most current players having everything maxed already.   I don't have the solution to this.  When everyone could max solo in hours no one got together to level together.  It was like a one player game.  Anyone could level solo but there was no REASON to make friends and have fun leveling together when you could just max at saplings in a couple hours.

This might require a partial wipe.  This might make some people unhappy, but it might be what's best in the long run to keep people engaged with the game. 

Failing to retain new players is a combination of these four things:
-Max Levels being too High (Moreso Max Stat being 150)
-MVP's being way too hard and really unexpected for a "normal" server
-Gear/cards being too easily obtained.
- Crazy skill mechanics that aren't expected

If we stay a Mid-rate (which would be the best option imo) we need to address the issues I just mentioned.  Perhaps we would have to lower the max stat to 130 as opposed to 150.  Make Tier 1, 2, and even 3 MVP's act closer to their default lower the mvp and miniboss drop rate and definitely would require a wipe in some capacity.  On top of that, we would likely have to weed out some unnecessary skill changes (revert bowling bash to default among other things we can discuss at a later time if this is the path we do decide on). 

If we can acquire new players with our 170 max level, we need to retain them with more basic mechanics and features.  Bonus QoL changes to skills and cards etc. 

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I mean, the levels aren't the biggest thing.  If you think about it everyone aside from the new players are all maxed and have all the stuff they need so they have no reason to play.  This is because leveling was too easy like WAY too easy and stuff was too easy to get.  Now that they don't have a reason to log in the server feels empty and part of why people would leave is because there is no community in a sense.  We have discord and all, but isn't what makes RO feel better the people in game?  The higher level cap meant that it took longer to max so there was always something to do.  I always had some character that needed levels.

I think the biggest thing overlooked is the thing that glues us all together to begin with.  We also have to take into consideration we're all adults now and no longer have the time we used to.  It just feels like reverting to 99/70 may also take away another huge part of what made eRO what it was.  It's a huge change and we can't flip flop between huge changes.  A lot of the balances and eRO changes we came to know were in place because of all this, right?  Wouldn't reverting back require reverting a lot more than just levels?  Then at that point it wouldn't feel like eRO anymore.

I agree that drops and stuff should be adjusted, EXP tables and all that jazz to bring it down to the mid rate level of grind.  Didn't you eventually want to someday add more content like renewal instances and such set into a pre-re environment to keep the game new and interesting at some much later stage?  That could be incorporated into the leveling process as well so some stuff can't be done until you hit certain levels.  I feel like if you stick to 99/70 then you're going to heavily limit the stuff you will be able to do later.

I dunno how anyone else feels on this, but I think we should be very careful on how to approach this.  You can't keep every player that joins.  It won't be everyone's cup of tea, no server can be that perfect and there is no solution to magically gain a ton of players overnight.  Changes need to happen, but let's see how the community feels on this and not just how new players are going to feel.  If new players are the only concern then this might as well not be eRO at all.

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Okay.  I was asked to give my opinion here, so here goes.

 

Personally, I'm more in the Move to be a 99/70 server category.    Here's why, along with some other things to consider involving game state towards that choice (feel free to skip to the end for a TL;DR summary if you don't want to read it all): 

-Mid-rates are hard to maintain, even under ideal circumstances.  The leveling/gearing curve is too quick and there's not really an endgame outside of waiting for the next event (WoE, BG, etc etc).  One can only farm so many mvps before they get bored with the game and leave for the next new thing.  And that's the state current Essence is in.  Most people at this point are geared and farming for MVP cards, which are much more easily obtained than they were in the past.  Also adding in that we added MCAs (I don't know who's idea that was, but no.  You never add Mystical Card Albums to a server without heavily modifying them specifically for the influx of -ring miniboss cards it adds), MVPing at this point is more a chore than anything else.

-On that point, our MVPs all got some weird gimmick pass for some reasonSomeone (I don't know who made that call, hence why I'm not putting a name) thought it would be a good idea to make it so every MVP in the game is now a minigame in order to encourage cooperation and teamwork!  Only...it didn't.  It made them impossibly difficult for new players and still mostly solo tier for existing players.  New players don't want to have to completely relearn how a boss works based on previous experience with said boss.  Imagine if you were playing Zelda and suddenly Ganon could now blow you up the second you move when he's never done that the 500 times you've played the game before.  That's how some new players feel the first time they encounter an eRO MVP.  They die and aren't even sure why they did.

-The server has progressed in a way that punishes new players.  Players who were here at the beginning got the speed pass to victory.  Leveling was easier (mostly thanks to the negative attack stat on the best exp monsters), gearing was significantly easier (MVP shop where you could trade badges for MVP tokens into direct MVP gear, a fair chunk of which was endgame level), and the game wasn't nearly as in a bugged out state as it is now (BG has now, officially, hit a point where it has been broken/down/unstable longer than it has been playable since launch).  MVPs were significantly easier, too.  Right now, it REALLY sucks to be a new player to the game.  You're being punished for being late to the show, basically.

-The server doesn't know what it's overall goal is.  EssenceRO has always, jokingly and lovingly, been nicknamed "HatRO" because of all the fun hats and such we have.  But old Essence had a competitive side too.  It knew how to balance things in a way that made the PvP/GvG aspect enjoyable while still allowing those who didn't enjoy that to have fun and do PvE based goals.  This incarnation does neither end very well.  PvP/GvG is a nightmare most of the time (one need only be on main chat or discord after a heated WoE to see how quick xyz thing gets blamed, complained about, flamed, etc).  MVPing is offputting to new players and at most tedious to current players.  Neither community really has much fun because the other half seems to ruin it.  If we make changes to benefit PvE, it seemingly superpowers something in GvG.  If we nerf something in GvG, it can make a class unplayable in PvE.  Are we a WoE server?  A Hat Collection server?  A chill out and fuck around server?  No one knows.  And that's a big problem regardless of the outcome of things in this thread.

-Feedback is seen as an attack.  Sometimes we don't word our feed back in the kindest way.  I get that.  People are passionate about things.  This statement is not meant to be a personal attack on anyone, but it's a big deal.  Having someone flagged as the "Lead Developer" of a server muting people and actively proclaiming they get no say in server direction is a bad look.  Going into a conversation with little or no logic to back up changes and then muting people and claiming to be attacked is a bad look.  People are providing the feedback YOU ASKED FOR and when it doesn't support your goals you can't go stick your head in the sand and ignore them.  It only makes the situation worse.  Discussions can get heated when changes are made that can heavily modifying game state.  If you see large amounts of vocal backlash, you're going the wrong direction.  Pull the change, listen to the feedback, and consider an alternative.  Players should not be punished for pointing out critical flaws with changes.  But they are.  Feedback on a topic, by nature, is designed to help prevent issues before they occur.  Ignoring it, putting the change in, then going OH NOES THAT WAS A BAD CHANGE is a bad look.  Again, and I cannot emphasize this enough, THIS IS NOT A PERSONAL ATTACK ON SAID INDIVIDUAL.  IT IS A STATEMENT OF AN ISSUE MORE THAN ONE PERSON HAS SEEN AND MENTIONED.  

 

TL;DR:  I don't really see Option 3 of switching to a high rate fixing a lot of the issues we presently have.  It makes a lot of the changes make more sense, but outside of that it still doesn't accomplish helping the server identify itself.  If we go with Option 1 of doing a reversion, at this point really the only fair (and you're welcome to disagree on this point, as I'm sure some will) way to do it is a full wipe.  Basically relaunch EssenceRO from scratch like we did months ago.  Removing items and zeny only hurts new players more because everyone else would have a maxed character (or characters, depending on your play time) and they'd possibly feel discouraged going forward.  At that point, if we're doing a full wipe, we might as well just with Option 2  become a lowrate 99/70.  With this option, it's much easier to balance, we can pick an identity to work with (not saying this point can't be done for a mid or high rate, but that it'd be difficult to do either with an existing server), and you can still have all the hats you can dream of.

 

If you made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read.  I love all of you and hope for a better future for eRO.

-Kira

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I don’t have a solution, but I’ll provide some feedback from a new player. I joined about 2 weeks back, quite excited by Some of the features. From the discord activity, the game seemed lively at first. However I quickly found out that didn’t seem to be the case. Towns seemed empty with no atmosphere, I even had to ask where the popular hangout spots were as it didn’t seem to add up with the activity on discord. I traveled to these popular locations and yet still saw no liveliness. This feeling of emptiness further continues into the progression aspect of RO; leveling. Sure it’s easy, sure I can go to one map and max out, but that defeats the purpose of many player’s desire to play RO. The social aspect is crucial to the survivability of RO imo. I don’t think I noticed a single person looking for leveling parties. Aside from the social aspect being absent, it definitely didn’t help being over whelmed by large amounts of MVP cards being sold. It seemed like there was an abundance (even if that isn’t the case). The illusion is there, especially with a 0.5% drop rate. The question remains when I played and when I tried to invite people to play with me. How will we compete for MVPs that are difficult and with PVP enabled? We assumed that quite a bit of people are loaded with mvp cards which will substantially boost their advantage, making it a huge turnoff for us. I was willing to look past this to some extent, but my friends didn’t even entertain the idea. The last thing I can remember which is more of a nit picky thing I guess, is the thought that the developers of this server are lazy or incompetent. Though I know this isn’t the case at all, it lingered in my mind. As I visited the towns, i noticed floating signs above nonexistent npcs. Ok no big deal, it’s just a small detail left out. I notified the team, who promptly checked it out. The response was basically if there isn’t enough complaints it’ll be left there. I was kind of confused, ngl. Why are these obvious bugs still in the game? They make it look poorly developed. These small problems may seem small, but to me they are red flags, which will eventually add up. Now I understand this may be too small of an issue so you can definitely disregard this. This is to purely inform you of what I found problematic with the server. 
 

 

Hope all goes well, I definitely enjoyed essenceRO in the past but I was never a hardcore player. I wanted to be now, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

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i personally voted option 1 simply because it's the good old days that i have played since 10 years ago till date and its a balance mid rate IMO

i feel that we can never fulfill every1's wishes by claiming that  it's hard..just look at low rate server..that's like the worst grind that we can go through as compared to mid rate server like ERO..and to mentioned the old days..it's like 0.1% mvp card drop rate

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I think when people read low rate, they think the server rate would be lower than it is now. In this context, the "low rate" actually means turning the server to a 99/70, while the rates itself can vary. 

I'm all for a 99/70, I think the biggest issue that EssenceRO faces is that, people aren't interested in playing on a server whose rates are foreign to them. With a 99/70, new players would be inclined to join because its something that they are used to. We can go back to numerous amount of servers that opened up as a 99/70 and almost always attract a large crowd. And in order for a server to stay relevant, it must attract new players, guilds, etc.

I say lets do it, it will not only benefit the server, but it will ensure that the Essence brand continues on and stand the test of time.

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If you want to fit Essence into a box, why is the preferred option to get rid of everything that makes Essence, Essence? 99/70 community is almost entirely purists so no more skill changes, no mvp cards, no custom headgears, no custom anything really. That sounds like a ton of servers that already exist and what would Essence have over those that are already established? Seems to me the better choice would be to embrace being a highrate (don't look too hard at rates - this server has basically already been a highrate since it opened), up the levels to 255 so you fit neatly into that market of servers and keep most of what is already here.

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