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Offline Abversen

What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« on: Apr 24, 2010, 08:42 PM »
This might be the wrong section for this kind of topic, but I am personally curious. I've went from midrate to midrate recently ("midrate" according to RMS's definition, for reference) and many had very strange ideas floating around them. I played one that had 3rd jobs, I played one that had mining, I played one that had wings, I've played one that had 99/70 and one that had 255/70, it all varies so much but at the end of the day RO is RO and there isn't much that seperates the servers bottom-line.

What would you look for in a midrate? I've seen people try to incorporate heavy storyline questing in their server but it seems like people that play RO are not interested in text dribble from NPC's, they want to "kick donkey" and "take names". Fair enough, but with that in mind, how far could customs really be pushed?

What would you say about a midrate that went back to RO's roots and tried to change what was useless, to try and make them useful? For example. When you think of maps to visit on a midrate in RO, you most likely immediately think... the maps with the cards you need, the maps for good leveling according to your class, the maps for quests, and the maps of towns and PVP/WoE related things. Thinking on it, this leaves a lot of maps in the RO world that are simply untouched. Instead people go ahead and add in custom maps with the new BrowEdit which don't get me wrong, is more often than not impressive, still leaves me wondering why nobody thinks to try and spice up older, deader maps that already exist.

Then I thought even deeper than that. The card setups for RO are pretty much always the same, what if someone took the time and the effort, went through the card database, and changed each and every card that is pretty much terrible and tried to give them some kind of edge? Wouldn't this open up a whole new world as far as builds are concerned, and.. if people are so hellbent on MVP/PVP/WoE, end up having a more enjoyable time? I realize people will just crack open the .GRF and see all the changes for themself, I'm actually not phased about that, because there'd be so many changes they'd be overwhelmed anyway. I think this would be an interesting twist.

Then I thought about hats. Some hats are pretty cool (Hot-Blooded Headband, anyone?) but very limited as far as how useful they are. I went on and on and at the end of the day I wished such a server existed. I realize that's deemed to be outrageously custom heavy, but would it be custom in a bad way, or a new, cool kind of way?

What do you think?

And yes, I'm not so bold as to think that every single hat and card in RO could ever possibly be universally used, but there could sure be a bigger improvement to what's already there.

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Offline Kiyoshiro

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #1 on: Apr 24, 2010, 08:45 PM »
What would you say about a midrate that went back to RO's roots and tried to change what was useless, to try and make them useful? For example. When you think of maps to visit on a midrate in RO, you most likely immediately think... the maps with the cards you need, the maps for good leveling according to your class, the maps for quests, and the maps of towns and PVP/WoE related things. Thinking on it, this leaves a lot of maps in the RO world that are simply untouched. Instead people go ahead and add in custom maps with the new BrowEdit which don't get me wrong, is more often than not impressive, still leaves me wondering why nobody thinks to try and spice up older, deader maps that already exist.

Then I thought even deeper than that. The card setups for RO are pretty much always the same, what if someone took the time and the effort, went through the card database, and changed each and every card that is pretty much terrible and tried to give them some kind of edge? Wouldn't this open up a whole new world as far as builds are concerned, and.. if people are so hellbent on MVP/PVP/WoE, end up having a more enjoyable time? I realize people will just crack open the .GRF and see all the changes for themself, I'm actually not phased about that, because there'd be so many changes they'd be overwhelmed anyway. I think this would be an interesting twist.

Then I thought about hats. Some hats are pretty cool (Hot-Blooded Headband, anyone?) but very limited as far as how useful they are. I went on and on and at the end of the day I wished such a server existed. I realize that's deemed to be outrageously custom heavy, but would it be custom in a bad way, or a new, cool kind of way?

What do you think?

And yes, I'm not so bold as to think that every single hat and card in RO could ever possibly be universally used, but there could sure be a bigger improvement to what's already there.
The only thing I have to say is...That's a very interesting idea.
« Last Edit: Apr 24, 2010, 08:46 PM by Kiyoshiro »

Offline skytotoro

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #2 on: Apr 24, 2010, 09:03 PM »
It would be great if it is carefully planned out.

If you don't spend enough time customizing the items and all, players would again realize what's good and what's not at that level.

They will then target those newly customized cards instead of the previously good cards and a new cycle appears.

It would take a lot of planning to do it.  But also understand that if you customize it too much, it might lose the RO feel.  Maybe it's not what players are looking for.  (They just want the cards to kick donkey in WoE and PvP). =P

What would be your approach?

Offline Abversen

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #3 on: Apr 24, 2010, 09:12 PM »
Well, truth is. A long time ago I actually did something like this (as far as the cards go) back on a 255/70 server called ValkyrieRO (shut down, so to any current ValkyrieRO's, no offense or anything, not trying to refer to you), but it was entirely too difficult because of the level. 99/70 would likely be a lot easier to manage, and back then I pulled the stunt of customizing all the cards in a single all-nighter taking a whopping 8 hours non-stop, I was pretty crazy. As time went by, indeed people did start to get a hold of the better stuff, there was most certainly more cards in the "typical circulation" than other RO servers, but not nearly as much as I was hoping. People will always find that niche of "the best of the best, all things considered." But I was thinking if I took more time, didn't rush myself, I could plan this a lot better. Not to mention there're new command syntaxes out now to use.

People that played loved it, some were confused and thrown off, but the general notion was that it was pretty awesome. I can't help but wonder why no other server has tried this, perhaps it's too risky? I know what you're saying about it not being RO much anymore, but that's where you put your limits. You only change items, basically. If you start changing up skills and though I'll be honest, a combo champ being useful would be pretty cool, it then stops being RO and people start to question what you're trying to do exactly.

But if you just tweak the cards and the nice little hats to be better, I think it would prove to have more upsides than downsides. I'm not saying to change armors in general, like I think it'd be retarded to try and make stuff like Mink Coat have bonus stats. The only reason I say hats is because let's face it, RO has tons of hats. It truly does. It's absolutely ridiculous, yet they are left to being cutesy nonsense hats you wear for the lols. I don't know, maybe I'm just tired of RO being so huge and 75% of it going to waste. I'm not trying to rant, I'm highly interested in feedback to the basic idea, so don't get me wrong. I won't lie either, the whole point of this topic is to try and inspire someone or see if me starting up this kind of project is even a worthwhile idea.

Offline GorthexTiger

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #4 on: Apr 25, 2010, 02:21 AM »
People are used to RO: they want to play 'RO' and not some heavily customized server. My server is generating custom content every update, and I think my players love it. For instance, you mentioned the hats thing: I went through and made most of the "asthetic hats" have a slot because it's a good idea: give a usefulness to things that aren't being used.

I wish I could point to Chosen and say "we're your server!" because we aren't....yet.

My problem is that I generate a lot of ideas and my problem is pinning them down with words or actual script in order to keep the current idea alive long enough before I move on to my "next greatest idea".

I think the idea of heavily customized servers will, 95% of the time, will turn them off. Players are usually, for the most part lazy. RO is a 10 year old game, and people have been playing it for a long time: no one wants to go back to the days of when they FIRST started playing with NO knowledge of the game: why? It's scary. Change up the game enough with crazy custom s*** (MouRO is a GREAT example of this: server owned by Skotlex, great person, heavily customized: been up for 5 years (ish) or so and still has a low population count.) and people get scared and don't want to play it.

At the end of it all, it's a hard balance: creating "custom" content that your server has that makes you stand out from the other thousands of servers that are out there, but still keeping RO the same enough to where players identify with it.

That's my 2 cents anyways.
« Last Edit: Apr 25, 2010, 02:23 AM by GorthexTiger »
Read about the "Great Dramas" Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3


Offline Abversen

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #5 on: Apr 25, 2010, 09:00 AM »
From what I've seen, players tend to dislike the concept of "wings" on lowrates and certain midrate servers, they stand out like a sore thumb and look silly compared to the original environment of RO, they also don't like donation items that make or break gameplay and customs that render the original stuff too obsolete, that's what I think anyway.

When it comes to midrates, the question would always be what the boundaries are between fresh, fun customization and heavy gamechanging customization. Hm, I don't know. It certainly bothers me that there ARE midrates "like" all this out there (like your ChosenRO), but I've never heard of them because they average a population of so low to the point that if I tried to find it on RMS, it'd be so far down the list that it'd be discouraging to play to begin with.

Hm, I guess my idea is less about direct customization than it is indirect. You play the game like you always do. Just my luck, I kill a random Megolodon and get a card when I'm hunting for Thara Frog. What's this? I do not recall this card giving this effect, very interesting...

Nothing about it would scream "heavy customization" outright as much as it would encourage players to take a look around and see what they might be missing. At the same time I would have to let players know about such a massive change before they join the server and this could be where the discouragement starts early.

I can see it's a mixed bag, a risky move of sorts and that I won't know until I try. The feedback is enlightening, though.

Offline Sarin

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #6 on: Apr 25, 2010, 09:09 AM »
Well, there is at least one server (Heavenly Maiden RO) already trying to make useless things useful and generally messing around with balance and stuff, and so far it does look quite good.

Offline Abversen

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #7 on: Apr 25, 2010, 09:17 AM »
Well, there is at least one server (Heavenly Maiden RO) already trying to make useless things useful and generally messing around with balance and stuff, and so far it does look quite good.

This was actually a very good find. Looking into it, it is pretty much exactly what I had in mind, but like I had discovered before... These kinds of servers are pretty much dead (I consider 100 avg. and below to fall under that category).

Very sad to see, if a server like this tried all of this and didn't reach considerable popularity then I see no reason to try the concept myself for I will surely fall under the same category.

So, from speculation, people do not mind customs in moderation, as long as you don't change what's already there and simply add things instead. Seems like such a waste, really.

Offline DarkDevine

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #8 on: Apr 25, 2010, 09:37 AM »
This might be the wrong section for this kind of topic, but I am personally curious. I've went from midrate to midrate recently ("midrate" according to RMS's definition, for reference) and many had very strange ideas floating around them. I played one that had 3rd jobs, I played one that had mining, I played one that had wings, I've played one that had 99/70 and one that had 255/70, it all varies so much but at the end of the day RO is RO and there isn't much that seperates the servers bottom-line.

What would you look for in a midrate? I've seen people try to incorporate heavy storyline questing in their server but it seems like people that play RO are not interested in text dribble from NPC's, they want to "kick donkey" and "take names". Fair enough, but with that in mind, how far could customs really be pushed?

What would you say about a midrate that went back to RO's roots and tried to change what was useless, to try and make them useful? For example. When you think of maps to visit on a midrate in RO, you most likely immediately think... the maps with the cards you need, the maps for good leveling according to your class, the maps for quests, and the maps of towns and PVP/WoE related things. Thinking on it, this leaves a lot of maps in the RO world that are simply untouched. Instead people go ahead and add in custom maps with the new BrowEdit which don't get me wrong, is more often than not impressive, still leaves me wondering why nobody thinks to try and spice up older, deader maps that already exist.

Then I thought even deeper than that. The card setups for RO are pretty much always the same, what if someone took the time and the effort, went through the card database, and changed each and every card that is pretty much terrible and tried to give them some kind of edge? Wouldn't this open up a whole new world as far as builds are concerned, and.. if people are so hellbent on MVP/PVP/WoE, end up having a more enjoyable time? I realize people will just crack open the .GRF and see all the changes for themself, I'm actually not phased about that, because there'd be so many changes they'd be overwhelmed anyway. I think this would be an interesting twist.

Then I thought about hats. Some hats are pretty cool (Hot-Blooded Headband, anyone?) but very limited as far as how useful they are. I went on and on and at the end of the day I wished such a server existed. I realize that's deemed to be outrageously custom heavy, but would it be custom in a bad way, or a new, cool kind of way?

What do you think?

And yes, I'm not so bold as to think that every single hat and card in RO could ever possibly be universally used, but there could sure be a bigger improvement to what's already there.

Play kRO RE once, there you'll find exactly what you are mentioning here.
There RE System doesn't only implement Third Classes, they changed monster stats and levels as well as spawn locations and drops completely, you're now actually required to use up nearly all fields, dungeons and towns in RO that were never even touched once before.
I've never seen me training like actually working through the fields, you can't just go to Geos and everything's fine because of the level limitation, where monsters give lower EXP when you are too low, you really need to search for monsters on your level.
They implemented new quests and had quite a  bunch of item changes, e.g. the MATK changes with staff, which finally makes every single staff useful somehow, since every staff is better than it's previous one, not just either 15% MATK or 20% MATK.
The def changes require you to take up completely different equipment builds, I believe there've been some card changes as well, because of the new max stat cap.

The only mid-/lowrate I would actually join and being active on it now, would be a server implementing the RE system.
TotalRO - 10x/10x

Offline Omi

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #9 on: Apr 25, 2010, 11:07 AM »
Personally, the only reason I (and many other people out there) would play mid rates is too WoE but have some sense of accomplishment when things get done.  Chronos RO (a high rate), for example, many big guilds were there and competition was great for a while, but every other aspect of the server was too easy; gearing up, leveling, farming materials - no effort was required for the most part.

A midrate to me would need to have customs that either cater to WoE (speed vender, pirate dag/gang/alice/robo, major battleground modifications) so that I know if I'm going to woe on there it will be worth investing time into gears.  Most midrates / highrates out there that say they cater for WoE but have no modifications that actually benefit WoE, besides donations, are simply a money-grabbing server (see: vast, kiss,nameless other 1month servers out there).

Offline Skotlex

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #10 on: Apr 26, 2010, 07:49 AM »
There's a very simple issue when it comes to customizing a server. Once you digress from "the official RO game" (which, like it or hate it, at least every player "accepts" as official and won't complain about how broken it can be), everyone will have their own idea of "what is best." Thus people get turned off in part because "hey, I really like this change. But I am totally in disagreement with that other change."

One thing to notice is that in the end you cannot get rid of "optimizers," people who strive for the best build, the fastest levelling, damned be aesthetics or fun. You can try to change cards and headgears and maps and all that to add variety to the game, but the optimisers won't care, they may just adapt, and in the end they may be slightly affected by the changes, or not at all.

The non-optimisers? Well, there's a chance they do as they wish, or they will feel pressured to play catch up with the 'elite.' Or they will simply go their way, so your proposed changes aren't going to do much. Bridging the gap between the "elite-optimisers" and "lazy-casual" is all you can really try to do.

ANYWAY, I went offtopic a while ago anyway. I guess the point is, what you mentioned has been done to a certain extent here and there, and the results speak for themselves : the majority of the RO playing population is stuck in the "old" way and don't really want something different.

(RMS reviews)

Offline Abversen

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #11 on: Apr 27, 2010, 06:56 PM »
Kind of shifting the topic a little here but, I once played a highrate server where they attempted to "balance" things in a sense of what was once useless, became useful again. In example, because of the state of the server (it being a highrate), things such as Double Strafe stopped being really good. In response to this, the GM Team changed the skill to Quadruple Strafe, where it would instead hit 4 times. They also modified the aspect of spirit and combo builds of Champion's heavily, it was not uncommon to see combo Champ's smashing through people in PVP and WoE, yet a balance was formed because spirit builds and Asura Strike builds were still around. This went on for practically everything you could think of within a reasonable bound, even the Bard/Dancer skill "Dissonance" got a taste of power. It was....retarded, yet something about it was very enjoyable.

It saddens me that you do not see things like that anymore. For high rates especially, trying to create a balance is seemingly frowned upon. As well, nowadays all the rage is about the 3rd jobs which are hilariously broken in their current state.

It almost makes me want to start work on a highrate server instead, change a lot of things up and see what the reaction is. I'd imagine not very well received, but if it's fun, who cares? Could be a little project of mine more than anything. Hm, well it interests me at least.

Maybe I'm just rambling now, though.

Offline Abversen

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #12 on: Apr 28, 2010, 06:14 PM »
FeelRO as it was last summer. It was so good that you didn't care that the owner had been essentially MIA (save for cosmetic changes) from near day one.

I've heard about FeelRO! But never actually played. Could you explain what that server was like? Was it the kind of customized midrate I was speaking of, or?

Offline bulbasteve

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #13 on: Apr 28, 2010, 07:14 PM »
I hope no one mines if I got into specifics on this, cause I think it's really interesting to compare with some of things tried, specifically on Mou since it's the only super customized I can think of (or at least that I have played). And honestly compared to your ideas it's actually surprisingly conservative.

And do you think this is something that is unique to being a mid-rate? As in low rates should be about traditional RO grinding, high-rates just for WoE and mid-rates for something different? Cause MouRO advertises as a low rate (although it really isn't).

What would you say about a midrate that went back to RO's roots and tried to change what was useless, to try and make them useful? For example. When you think of maps to visit on a midrate in RO, you most likely immediately think... the maps with the cards you need, the maps for good leveling according to your class, the maps for quests, and the maps of towns and PVP/WoE related things. Thinking on it, this leaves a lot of maps in the RO world that are simply untouched. Instead people go ahead and add in custom maps with the new BrowEdit which don't get me wrong, is more often than not impressive, still leaves me wondering why nobody thinks to try and spice up older, deader maps that already exist.

Like Skot touched on earlier I think there is always the problem of the over-optimizer. In this case it is people trying to figure out what the average exp per minute on a map is or where just the right things drop. In Mou there is this damn snazy difficulty system that lets low level monster level up and a random item drop system where anything could drop good items, in effect you could go outside of Prontera and fight some pretty nasty high level Fabres and do some decent leveling at max level. But that isn't going to stop the over optimizer from still going to Thor Volcano because of mob density vs how much exp per monster you kill. You can put the neatest twists on boring old maps but people will always go for whatever route they think is the absolute best for their goal.

Quote
Then I thought even deeper than that. The card setups for RO are pretty much always the same, what if someone took the time and the effort, went through the card database, and changed each and every card that is pretty much terrible and tried to give them some kind of edge? Wouldn't this open up a whole new world as far as builds are concerned, and.. if people are so hellbent on MVP/PVP/WoE, end up having a more enjoyable time? I realize people will just crack open the .GRF and see all the changes for themself, I'm actually not phased about that, because there'd be so many changes they'd be overwhelmed anyway. I think this would be an interesting twist.

There is a huuuge amount of cards though. There are so many variates of +1 stat cards and other plain garbage. If any card was slightly better than another similar card would you have to totally change that one with a a slightly less good effect?

I once thought it would be neat if junk cards could be consumable...but I'm not sure how that would work. But especially in a mid-rate where you are not stuck as a 1st class for lone who would really ever put a poring card on?

Quote
Then I thought about hats. Some hats are pretty cool (Hot-Blooded Headband, anyone?) but very limited as far as how useful they are. I went on and on and at the end of the day I wished such a server existed. I realize that's deemed to be outrageously custom heavy, but would it be custom in a bad way, or a new, cool kind of way?

The "solution" on Mou was just to have you be able to disguise your headgears, that way you could wear the generic best stat hat but have it look like the + 1 def decorative hat. (also has the positive of letting you do impossible combination, like a top hat on a top-middle-lower hat).

Not a real solution to the issue, but I wonder if stuff like cards and hats there are just too damn many to be able to perfectly balance them all. It's not like skills where in a perfect world every skill should be useful and it actually takes away from the gameplay if no one in their right mind would use a particular skill. Whereas you only having 10 choices instead of 50 for a headgear for your level is probably not something that would effect you.
« Last Edit: Apr 28, 2010, 07:18 PM by bulbasteve »

Offline Abversen

Re: What are you looking for in a midrate? What about...
« Reply #14 on: Apr 28, 2010, 11:06 PM »
Like Skot touched on earlier I think there is always the problem of the over-optimizer. In this case it is people trying to figure out what the average exp per minute on a map is or where just the right things drop. In Mou there is this damn snazy difficulty system that lets low level monster level up and a random item drop system where anything could drop good items, in effect you could go outside of Prontera and fight some pretty nasty high level Fabres and do some decent leveling at max level. But that isn't going to stop the over optimizer from still going to Thor Volcano because of mob density vs how much exp per monster you kill. You can put the neatest twists on boring old maps but people will always go for whatever route they think is the absolute best for their goal.

Yeah I know what you're saying here. It'd be a futile attempt to try and make empty maps useable because at the end of the day there are several, several maps that fall under this category. I think it would probably actually be more annoying than anything if I touched up on the map issue because -- like you pretty much said -- it doesn't really matter what I do because there'll always be the "better" map that everyone will flock to and I'd be right back to square one where maps were not being used.

There is a huuuge amount of cards though. There are so many variates of +1 stat cards and other plain garbage. If any card was slightly better than another similar card would you have to totally change that one with a a slightly less good effect?

There's a lot you can do with cards. Not all of them have to be modified to be good for WoE/PVP specifically, but cards that're good for things like MVPing or situational occurances would have their uses, it's just very difficult to plan because for every monster in RO there's a card, there's an assload of monsters and thusly... I imagine the first 100-200 cards being pretty good and everything after that being extremely difficult to come to terms with. After-all, why hunt a pesky card like Thanatos Odium if a Poring Card is among the top tier with the rest of them? It would definitely take time and certainly, at the end of it all some cards would be better than others. The point I'm trying to make though is that a lot more cards could be good than what there is right now.

The "solution" on Mou was just to have you be able to disguise your headgears, that way you could wear the generic best stat hat but have it look like the + 1 def decorative hat. (also has the positive of letting you do impossible combination, like a top hat on a top-middle-lower hat).

I actually thought about this. It's easily to the point where I would be better off just making the 2-3 most popular headgears disguisable, such as Feather Beret. That pretty much ends with the same results, people still wear the headgears they always do, but this time it looks more ideal to them.

Not a real solution to the issue, but I wonder if stuff like cards and hats there are just too damn many to be able to perfectly balance them all. It's not like skills where in a perfect world every skill should be useful and it actually takes away from the gameplay if no one in their right mind would use a particular skill. Whereas you only having 10 choices instead of 50 for a headgear for your level is probably not something that would effect you.

Yeah. Like I said, I actually pulled an all-nighter and gave all the cards a once over before, I specifically remember hitting several brick walls. It was almost more trouble than it was worth. Skills really bug me though, some people think RO's PVP and WoE can be pretty intense. I'd imagine it'd be much more interesting if people were using skills that were previously total nonsense. There's a lot of skills too though, can't say one could effectively "balance" them all, but again. More than what there is now is highly possible. Hm, not as good on a 99/70 server though, I think that's more of a 255/70 server type-thing.