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Offline l2ue

Server Owner Survey
« on: Oct 22, 2009, 11:21 PM »
Just a little side topic from everything else. I notice that there is a good popluation of server owners here and well, maybe we can discuss alittle about the management of RO. And maybe our player base population on RMS can get a little insight on how things are happening behind the scenes of private RO. I don't have a good idea as to how to summarize my thoughts and let you respond to it, but lets do a short survey instead ;O.

What motivate you to start a RO server? - Being an administrator, you can practically get any item in-game and implemenet whatever god-item you wish. And assuming that you have no time to grind on your own server, there is no way that your "legit" is legit. Once you start your own server, you can't play it yourself so, why?

How do you hire your GMs? - Apparently, most servers like to start a GM application thread and/or scout for GMs in-game. Given that players that apply and the ones you choose have no incentive to do a good job for you, how do you find reliable GMs, Developers, and whatever useless position you made up.

Whenever you decided to work on your server, what do you spend most of your time on? Scripting? Coding? Website? - I know alot of new server owners who doesn't know a thing about xRay Clients, Scripting, Hexing and what not. And I been on too many servers, while hosting one myself, to know that time goes to waste. When multitasking, events, scripting quests, implementing new customs, and so on.

What are your views on donations? - This is a sensitive topic, but I am sure our players would like to know more about it.

Code: [Select]
Survey
What motivate you to start a RO server?
How do you hire your GMs?
Whenever you decided to work on your server, what do you spend most of your time on? Scripting? Coding? Website?
What are your views on donations?





“The school of the undefeated East!”
“The winds of the king!”
“Look! The East is burning red!”

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asdfqwerty123

  • Guest
Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #1 on: Oct 22, 2009, 11:57 PM »
Why isn't this in Game Master Talk?
http://www.ratemyserver.net/forum/index.php/board,39.0.html
----------

I ran ScytheRO for two years, and co-founded PoisonRO. Both servers are still running today.
What motivated you to start a RO server? - Being an administrator, you can practically get any item in-game and implemenet whatever god-item you wish. And assuming that you have no time to grind on your own server, there is no way that your "legit" is legit. Once you start your own server, you can't play it yourself so, why?
I played like 70 other servers with friends before I started my own server, I didn't miss playing legits when I became an administrator. I liked the creative side of making things in a server for others to play rather than playing it myself. I started getting into eAthena as a hobby, I had already been creating my own games with Game Maker for a long time and I was playing RO private servers with friends, but hated the SHR ones that existed that were always donation dominated. By donation dominated, I mean in BakaRO one person with one donation item could wipe out 30 fully geared skilled players in less than a minute during WoE, or even go AFK in PVP and auto-instant-cast high deadly damage skills (that weren't even class/job appropriate, ie Sniper w/ Soul Breaker auto-counter) to counter any physical attacks, killing all non-donation players almost instantly, that kind of insanity. I liked scripting, it was fun, it was a hobby, I never expected it to get big, and I expected to lose money on it. After a month of it being online, it was averaging 100 players. It was crazy. In summary, I liked making a game server people enjoy, and that I enjoyed making.

How do you hire your GMs? - Apparently, most servers like to start a GM application thread and/or scout for GMs in-game. Given that players that apply and the ones you choose have no incentive to do a good job for you, how do you find reliable GMs, Developers, and whatever useless position you made up.
Typically you don't want to hire anyone under the age of 16, the maturity just isn't there (as a rule) and it's not worth the effort to teach public relations lessons. I used an application form for Internships, no powers, you have to prove you can handle players and help. I also made my interns do what we called "Homework". They have to record the hours they were online their staff account (they're not allowed legits at all), and they have to detail what they did during that time (a sentence or two max, homework due every Friday/Saturday). A minimum of 20 hours a week was required for all staff and interns.  You will get a ton of applications, the point is to weed out 80% of them, then weed out another 60% or more in the internship process. After weeding out about 20 other people you might get 4 interns, and only 1 or 2 to pass the internship process to become staff. This is how I have had high standards for staff. I tried to keep position ranks general, getting too much into hierarchy makes people focus on getting a title rather than doing their job well. In my opinion, this is the best structure: Intern, Staff, Administrator. You can still have higher GM lvl staff, "Game Masters", but I like to eliminate the high and mighty titles because it creates jealousy and prompts stupid arguments over silly little titles. Don't give powers to a staff member unless it's justified for what they NEED to do their job, period. Don't promote people just for the hell of it, either they need those powers or not. Don't micro-manage or baby your staff (delegate responsibilities to them and allow them walk on their own feet).  Don't let your staff run loose either, let them know their limits, create rules, but also a list of unenforced suggested guidelines for staff on less strict issues and situations. Don't allow drama with your staff, it's a waste of time and energy to put up with stupid petty drama, and also strains staff relations. Don't hire a new staff member without the approval of all existing members if you can, this keeps all staff to be involved and build better relationships with each other.  Congratulate and thank your staff and players when they do well or the server accomplishes a goal.

Whenever you decided to work on your server, what do you spend most of your time on? Scripting? Coding? Website? - I know a lot of new server owners who don't know a thing about xRay Clients, Scripting, Hexing and what not. And I have been on too many servers, while hosting one myself, to know that time goes to waste. When multitasking, events, scripting quests, implementing new customs, and so on.
The first step is to organize and prioritize.
What needs done, and in what order, what is the most critical?
This sounds more like an organizational issue or a knowledge issue.
If you don't know how to do something, take time to look for guides on how.
Are players having fun? If not, find the problem, create a solution.
If they are having fun, keep improving on what you have.

What are your views on donations? - This is a sensitive topic, but I am sure our players would like to know more about it.
Servers need donations to stay online, my only problem is when donations are given attributes that put players at a disadvantage when playing competitively like in PvP or WoE. I created ScytheRO because I wanted to create a SHR where donation players didn't dominate all other players competitively. I have no problem with a cool appearance headgear or wings item, I don't even mind that they have stats, my problem is when a free player can't get the same item within reasonable in-game cost and time.

Just another note on staff, your goal in staff structure should be to create a system where they can stand on their own two feet without constant supervision and micro-management. Put someone in charge of "staff homework", put someone in charge of events, put someone in charge of leading staff without your direct involvement on a daily basis, put someone in charge of reviewing applications and setting up internship interviews (and have them post the chat log in the staff forums), put someone in charge of teaching interns the ropes, delegate responsibilities.  You are the administrator, but that doesn't mean you can manage everything by yourself when your population grows. I was a dictator, I held all the power and used it with or without the democratic approval of everyone else, but that doesn't mean I did everything myself. Lead your staff, but rely on your staff. You hired them for a reason.
« Last Edit: Oct 23, 2009, 12:54 AM by Zairik »

Offline Speedwagon

Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #2 on: Oct 23, 2009, 04:48 PM »
The first step is to organize and prioritize.
What needs done, and in what order, what is the most critical?
This sounds more like an organizational issue or a knowledge issue.
If you don't know how to do something, take time to look for guides on how.
Are players having fun? If not, find the problem, create a solution.
If they are having fun, keep improving on what you have.

Finally, when the server's donations slow down, sell it for $5000.

Descent

  • Guest
Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #3 on: Oct 23, 2009, 05:32 PM »
This moment is so delicious, I want to make a sandwich out of it.

Offline Xarale

Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #4 on: Oct 23, 2009, 07:19 PM »
Mmm, I like sandwiches.

Anyway, moving this to the GameMaster Talk section.

asdfqwerty123

  • Guest
Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #5 on: Oct 24, 2009, 03:00 AM »
The first step is to organize and prioritize.
What needs done, and in what order, what is the most critical?
This sounds more like an organizational issue or a knowledge issue.
If you don't know how to do something, take time to look for guides on how.
Are players having fun? If not, find the problem, create a solution.
If they are having fun, keep improving on what you have.

Finally, when the server's donations slow down, sell it for $5000.

- I didn't see a dime of the auction money. Period. So are you still implying I did it for money?

- I didn't sell it for money, I auctioned off my own custom server scripts and server I put in a lot of time and effort to build, to the players because I had ran it for two years and realized I needed to put more focus on my own real life and full time job which takes priority over an online game.  I waited specifically for the two year anniversary, it wasn't a snap decision caused by population/donation, it was planned. Did you expect me to run the server forever? If no, then did you expect me to kill it simply because I couldn't manage it anymore? Which is worse, auctioning it to the players or killing it or letting it die of neglect and disappear?

- Did you read the context of my comment, replying to the question of "Whenever you decided to work on your server, what do you spend most of your time on? Scripting? Coding? Website?" The answer is I did everything all the time, client side, server side, website, and all. I had no scripters, no web designers, no people writing code, no one debugging or making new additons and updates and fixes. I did it all solo, and I had to organize and set a priority for what was most critical because I had a limited time each day to do it.

- What successful servers have you ever ran? What's that? None?

I doubt you even bothered to play ScytheRO. And anyway, even if I did see money from the auction (which I didn't, as I've said many times), is it not mine (as the Owner and Admin) to auction? And if not, then who?
« Last Edit: Oct 24, 2009, 03:21 AM by Zairik »

Offline Phori

Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #6 on: Oct 24, 2009, 06:27 AM »
What motivate you to start a RO server?
"When you want something done right, do it yourself." I got really tired of going from one server to the next, always disliking at least some aspect of it. Either they had unfair/corrupt GMs, or inactive GMs, or overpowered donations, or bad gameplay-- it all came down to... other people not getting RO the way I want it to be. Being head of a server isn't really that great, you don't get as much glory as others think you get.

How do you hire your GMs?
Personally, I don't believe in "Event-GM"s. Any GM can host an event. It's ones that have skills that can benefit the server that are actually worth anything. This includes graphic designers, developers, spriters, mappers, etc. They have to have one of those to contribute, and they must be qualified. They'll never get above a lvl 20-30 GM unless they can show they have maturity/can act professionally as well as the ability to act and think as a team. This includes taking logical and reasonable insults with stride without deleting the forum post/thread in which they originated from. So basically, you start off with someone who has a skill to offer-- and give them minimum power-- then they work their way up the power ladder by proving themselves. Just like corporations.

Whenever you decided to work on your server, what do you spend most of your time on? Scripting? Coding? Website?
Scripting. Hands down, scripting.

What are your views on donations?
Donations are great, but I don't believe in having anything that will give players a certain edge. Donations should be meant to give a player individuality such as changing the sprite of a headgear that they like/name change/ sex change/ guild leader change and whatnot. Not... "+100 Str Wings for $100!!!"

Descent

  • Guest
Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #7 on: Oct 24, 2009, 10:13 AM »
- I didn't see a dime of the auction money. Period. So are you still implying I did it for money?

Right, you didn't see a dime of the auction money. That's because it didn't sell for the lofty "Buy it now!" price of $5000 USD. If I'm not mistaken, it went for $610.

Quote from: Zairik
to go to Scryed to pay the server costs

Don't run a fucking server if you can't fund it yourself. Christ, you know everything but can't get that fact down?

Quote
- I didn't sell it for money, I auctioned off my own custom server scripts and server I put in a lot of time and effort to build, to the players because I had ran it for two years and realized I needed to put more focus on my own real life and full time job which takes priority over an online game.  I waited specifically for the two year anniversary, it wasn't a snap decision caused by population/donation, it was planned. Did you expect me to run the server forever? If no, then did you expect me to kill it simply because I couldn't manage it anymore? Which is worse, auctioning it to the players or killing it or letting it die of neglect and disappear?

If you didn't sell it for the money, then pray tell why you attempted to sell it for five thousand dollars. What a crock of bollocks, "oh, I spent so much time on my server, pay me compensation for my work that I spent on a free to play server", fuck yourself. "ScytheRO source code"? Fuck yourself. Gifted scripter or not, unless you scripted and re-coded the ENTIRE eAthena SVN ON YOUR OWN, it's still an eAthena SVN with some ScytheRO injected in(which, interestingly enough, is like every other private server...take an SVN, add your own crap, PROFIT). Again, fuck yourself.

Quote
- Did you read the context of my comment, replying to the question of "Whenever you decided to work on your server, what do you spend most of your time on? Scripting? Coding? Website?" The answer is I did everything all the time, client side, server side, website, and all. I had no scripters, no web designers, no people writing code, no one debugging or making new additons and updates and fixes. I did it all solo, and I had to organize and set a priority for what was most critical because I had a limited time each day to do it.

Ohhhh, you worked soooo harrrrrd. Only yourself to blame, you even said yourself you had to put all of the weight on your own shoulders. Nobody's fault but your own, don't attempt to play victim now.

Quote
- What successful servers have you ever ran? What's that? None?

I doubt you even bothered to play ScytheRO. And anyway, even if I did see money from the auction (which I didn't, as I've said many times), is it not mine (as the Owner and Admin) to auction? And if not, then who?

Scythe? Successful? Here's a piece of news for you:

Outside of your happy little community, many RO players considered ScytheRO to be an insult to Ragnarok Online. What made it worse was the fact that you were an arrogant, egotistical, self-important little plonker who had to pat yourself on the back at every turn, up to and including making a thread here on RMS about "ScytheRO - The Best Super High Rate Server"? Are you kidding me?

In case you forgot, it is here: http://www.ratemyserver.net/forum/index.php/topic,2433.0.html

Sound familiar? You know, the one where people gave you input and you pretty much mocked the lot of them over not liking it or not finding your precious SHR "special"?

tl;dr: You have always shown up here, patting yourself on the back and putting yourself on some sort of pedestal for running a server JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE DOES.

GET OFF OF YOUR GODDAMNED HIGH-HORSE AND START WALKING AROUND DOWN HERE WITH THE REST OF US, YOU IGNORANT LITTLE PLONKER. THE ONLY PLACE YOU SEEM TO BE SPECIAL, IS IN YOUR OWN LITTLE WORLD.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: Oct 24, 2009, 11:32 AM by Descent »

Offline Speedwagon

Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #8 on: Oct 24, 2009, 11:14 AM »
Anger

UH OH, LOOKS LIKE I STRUCK AN NERVE

Offline Hutchy

Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #9 on: Oct 24, 2009, 11:30 AM »
I really wish people would give up on this s*** "You aren't a server owner so you can't criticize my server!" argument.

I also wish this thread would go back on topic, because I feel sort of bad about derailing, but whatevs. Back to work.
It's rare that I come to RMS anymore. I won't see any messages you leave me here.

Offline l2ue

Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #10 on: Oct 24, 2009, 04:41 PM »
Both of them are right. If you expect no returns, you get no returns. However, work should be worth something. I don't see the problem in that. Most server owners do it for the money so we shouldn't be surpise. However if the server dies in the process then thats unfair and corrupt. If the server stays up everything should be fine. =\

And for the record, donations was supposely a way for servers to self finance themselves, so it's a good thing. Non-donation server don't last more than what the owner's pocket can afford + the labor he/she is willing to put into it.

This topic wasn't meant for us to root out the "evil donation admins," but instead, to seperate the rumors from the facts. And the fact is, most new servers don't make money off donations. Most can't even make it pass there 1 year mark. The rumor tha pserver owners are making money from donations is now a myth, only big server get money, and they will still die off in a few years.

I am just curious to know what pserver owners are up too, but lets disregard the donation myth. And maybe some of you are curious too.
« Last Edit: Oct 24, 2009, 04:47 PM by l2ue »

“The school of the undefeated East!”
“The winds of the king!”
“Look! The East is burning red!”

Offline Source

Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #11 on: Nov 06, 2009, 09:11 PM »
Most server owners do it for the money so we shouldn't be surpise.

Some of the less reputable server owners are most certainly after the money, but it is quite easy to segregate them and tell the direction the Admin/GM Team are taking in this reguard by simply reading a servers donation page, and viewing some topics on their forum. In my case, breaking even would leave me more than happy, as I am not in it for the money.

What motivate you to start a RO server? -
The idea behind starting a Ragnarok server is not one that should be compared to actually playing the game, as they are two very different things. I prefer to think of the building and running of a server as more of a project, in that you spend your time building something that you can feel pleased with, similar to constructing a piece of art.

How do you hire your GMs?
Currently, my team consists of individuals I personally have known for many years in real life. When hiring outside of that, generally you can make a good judgement on the ability and character of someone based upon viewing their actions and opinions over the course of time, generally on such things as forum posts.

Whenever you decided to work on your server, what do you spend most of your time on?
It is important to know your strengths, and to utilize your time to achieve the most efficient outcome. If you are going to take 2 days to do something that another member of your team can do in 2 hours, then I suggest you focus on doing something different. This of course does not apply when dealing with more urgent matters.

What are your views on donations?
As I stated above, donations should be used as a means to cover the costs associated with running the service, nothing more. If the player base is content with the donations on offer and the means through which they can be obtained, then there is no problem.
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Offline Belldandy

Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #12 on: Nov 10, 2009, 05:35 AM »
I don't have a server yet, but I'm'a make one in the coming months ^^ Based on your criteria, I'd hafta say:

What motivated you to start an RO Server?

Basically, I noticed how difficult it was to find a server with the same specs as what I myself was personally searching for; I thought others who shared my desires in a server had no luck as well, thus I figured "If no one else is making it, why not I?". Thus starts my quest to making the ultimate server.

How do you hire GMs?

Actually, I probably won't have GMs, or the GMs that I will have will be friends I've known 2+ years. That pretty much narrows it down to myself on English/French Support, my fiancé on English/Arab/French Support, and my friend Lucas on English/Spanish Support. The only other support available might be moderators or people who don't have any commands at all and are deemed but "Helpers" in the community.

Whenever you decided to work on your server, what did you spend most of your time on?

Balance is key. That is my priority and my only priority. Whether players whine about wanting something or not, if it affects balance somehow, screw it.

What are your views on donations?

I don't want'em but I might need'em later. I'm thinking of even putting a bar on the site that measures donations, and when we hit our target, donations are cut off for the month. That way, we don't take in more money than we need and look like money-grubbing idiots like 80% of the server owners at present.

That's all :P Can't wait to open in a couple months.

Offline Final

Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #13 on: Nov 10, 2009, 05:18 PM »
I have to admit...He's kinda right there.  Friends who share power tend to abuse it more than normal people do.

Ah, fun times on RMS~ http://www.paste-it.net/private/u6c168b/   (Added more~)
-- Signature too big again.  You were notified previously on the same issue.

- So? Stop b****.

Offline Belldandy

Re: Server Owner Survey
« Reply #14 on: Nov 10, 2009, 06:12 PM »
Well, I'd rather one friend who can't ban / spawn / @item than a random guy who could seem nice but has the worst personality in existence ^^ Rather take my chances with a friend.