What makes a server truly a good server?

Started by Meepy, Apr 03, 2009, 11:51 PM

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I am an admin for a server and I have been having problems recently with my server population.
Here's a brief overview of the server's history.

It started as a Super High Rate server with really bad uptimes (A few restarts every day, sometimes server shuts down for the whole day). However players seem to maintain at an average of 30-40 users online. I decided to stop hosting on my system and move to a paid host. The host is great, uptimes increased significantly with only 1-3 resets in each month (mostly because of server maintenance). Server became High Rate and server was rebuilt. However, we are averaging about 10-20 players nowadays.

I truly believe that the quality of the server is reflected upon the average number of players online. Now what I really wanted to know is what makes a server a good server? Does it have to be challenging? Does it have to be easy? Honestly, my Super High Rate server was very easy, it would take you about 2-5 hours to start participating in PvPs. My High Rate however is another story. I thought about a lot of different factors and tried fixing each one of them, however server population is just not increasing. What do you guys look for when you join a server? What do you successful admins do to make your server worth playing? I really want to improve the quality of gaming for my players.



For me, it usually falls down to these categories:

1. The Rates - not to small, not too easy to level. Gives a player a chance to go through the whole "character birth and growth" kind of thing, but in an accelerated pace.

2. Difficulty - you make the character building and equip gathering too easy and you'll lose out on economic values. You make it too difficult and you'll lose out on player status balance. It shouldn't be too hard to gather things for your character, but not so hard as to make you give up on playing.

3. Administration - A fair administration is always a must. Too corrupt and it all falls apart. Too uptight and players revolt. The admins must have a care not only for their server, but also for their players. They must not in any way use their powers to oppress the players that play and support their server. They must be dedicated and professional, and know how to handle their players. In my opinion, the admins represent their players.

"Tell me how you run your server and I will tell you what kind of players you have."

4. Donation - not player exclusive. Can also be obtained in game for balance. Also, no ridiculously overpowering stats.

5. Community - the last deciding factor in this. Without a community that appreciates, there will be no server. You'll know its a good server if you see the following:

a. English speaking people (applicable to global servers. Local servers like country based isn't encouraged to have a full English community unless they also welcome foreign players).

b. An active forums - self-explanatory. However, the forums is a place for discussions, not s*** and drama.

c. Players and not carebears. The popular KOS or "Kill on Sight" probably came from private RO servers. If you see a community of kill-hungry players who does nothing but to kick and bully new people around, then something is definitely wrong.


A good server owner is what makes a good server
What is a good server owner? Someone who actually listens to the players in their servers, they decide things based on the community, not because "Server Owner is the owner so he is always right" or "One donator said yes and ten non-donators said no, but the donator DONATED, so yes!" or "All players but my friend said no but my friend said yes, so yes it is"

Someone who gives his time to the server doing balances, creating custom stuff, fixing bugs and etc.

The owner is pretty much the server's mind, if the owner is bad, server will be bad, but if the owner is good, server will be good


just for me, its less of the amount of people and more of the type of people

10 respectable, nice, humane players beats 10 000 idiotic, egotistical, jerks


The community makes the server good. If members of the community are bunch of lowlifes then don't expect a good server.


I'll be perfectly honest. I think our economy and rates are kind of a problem. However our community is one of the standing out factors of our server.
Our community is small that's why everyone is knows each other and have a tight bond. However there are players that quit due to the lack of players in PvP.

I would say, my problem is opposite the problems of big servers. I'm trying to get a perfect balance of population and PvP and gameplay.

Maybe we lack things that players can do instead of just hang around. I have already exhausted my ideas. We have daily events and automated events. =/


Want to gain more people? Have something that sets your server apart from the others, like having less bulky and ugly wings, better rates of drops, medium difficulty quests for items, and a promise of an outstanding administration. Of course, you'd have to do that all. Try getting less complaints as possible and you'll get enough people.

Btw, whats the name of your server? I'd like to try it out.


Quote from: Hrist on Apr 05, 2009, 08:40 AM
Want to gain more people? Have something that sets your server apart from the others, like having less bulky and ugly wings, better rates of drops, medium difficulty quests for items, and a promise of an outstanding administration. Of course, you'd have to do that all. Try getting less complaints as possible and you'll get enough people.

Btw, whats the name of your server? I'd like to try it out.

I've played a kRO-like server and it got a very low population, i'd like to point some flaws of that server (Not naming it) so you won't commit the same:

1) No customizations: Nowadays alot of people are in customizations, so i don't thnik it was a deciding factor.
2) Exaggerated Freedom: Anyone could call someone else any kind of racist slur without spamming and the admins won't do anything, because the admin's morals are "Everyone should have the right to express themselfs in a pacific way" so it could have scared some players away... not saying for it to be extreme like saying noob grants an IP ban, but just make sure you set limits.
3) Organized Riots: Another reason, the leader of the most powerful guild (Contained about 40% of the server's pop) was abusing a bug and got banned, the leader reassembled the guild and they started spamming the forums demanding the admin to release his account, the admin neglected it, the strong guild started mass-advertising in the server and were doing DDoS attacks on the server, just make sure you won't get intimidated by a player

Also becareful of apple polishers and suck ups, they are most likely trying to become a corrupt GM that way


WoE - I think the timing and initiating of WoE is extremely important. Too soon and it isn't competitive enough. Also one guild might have the majority of players and start dominating the whole server. Once that happens there is no coming back from it. If you start it too late then chances are a lot of players have left already due to no WoE. WoE is the main reason a lot of people play RO.

Events - If you don't have WoE or WoE loving people then you should have another type of event. On my server I designed invasions, custom dungeon quests, and a 5vs5 party event. Of course I implemented these events far too late and barely have any players to participate in them at all.

Anticipation- Before a server opens I think it is important to build anticipation. If you have everything done then wait 3 weeks to a month, maybe even longer, before opening it. It is something about starting fresh on everyone's level that attracts people.


Quote from: Hrist on Apr 05, 2009, 08:40 AM
Want to gain more people? Have something that sets your server apart from the others, like having less bulky and ugly wings, better rates of drops, medium difficulty quests for items, and a promise of an outstanding administration. Of course, you'd have to do that all. Try getting less complaints as possible and you'll get enough people.

Btw, whats the name of your server? I'd like to try it out.

I PM'd you the server name aiming not to advertise on the forums.

Cookie kinda pointed out a problem on my server. I started automated events and official WoE too late. Was about 1-2 months after the initial release that WoE started and about 5 months automated events start. I couldn't possibly close my server now to build anticipation. It's just not right. I guess it's too late, however I'm hoping that population will rise somehow after various changes.

I'm slowly changing things one by one. I am already starting with the main quests that would let newbies follow through the entire game. Aiming to give at least 20-40 hours of quest time. I guess that could also attract players.


Some points have been mentioned already, but I'll mention them again anyway!

1) Community - If you got a good community, then you're off to a good start! WOO!  A good community is what I and many other potential players look for first when looking for a new RO server. (or any game for that matter)

2) Rates - I'm a Mid-Rate player myself, so I like my rates to be around 50-100x with a drop rate that's consistent with the exp rate. (25-75x)  If you have unusual base xp & job rates that don't go well together, this may put players off from joining.

3) Max Level - This goes hand in hand with the rates.  Personally as a Mid-Rate player, I like my max level to be 99/70.  Depending on how high your rates are, you'll want a max level that's easily attained without too much effort, since most players play HRs for the easy/fast levelling.

4) Donations - Any server that heavily favours donators will often put players off from joining.  If you intend to have a donation system, make them fair & not overpowered.

5) End-game - By this, I mean does your server have something to do when players reach max level? (aside the usual pvp/mvp)  Any unique max level quests?  Any custom features?  Any scripted events that occur every hour or so?  Things like this may attract more players.

6) Decent GM team - Another important one, make sure your GM team is mature enough to handle their roles.  No one wants to join a server where GMs sit in towns spamming commands to gain attention.  I joined a server last month where the GM was randomly killing people in town cause he was bored.  I uninstalled 2 minutes later.  ;)

7) NPCs - Being the more casual/lazy player that I am, I like to have several custom NPCs handy, such as a warper, healer, job changer.. etc.  On a high rate, a lack of these type of NPCs would probably put players off from joining.

8) WoE - Try to spread out WoE times if possible, so various players around the world can participate.  This may be something to consider as your server grows more.  Also, it's a good idea to have a limited number of castles open relative to your server's population.  If your current population is around 20, then it'd be best to just have 1 castle open for now.

9) Limited customs - Custom features/items are always nice to have, but don't overdo it.  Don't add/change so much that it becomes a completely different game, otherwise you may struggle to increase your population. (not saying that it's a bad idea, but I've seen many heavily customised servers struggle to gain a high population)

These are just general points that myself and others often consider when looking for a server.

Good luck.


Woo, semi-old thread. Now where's my shovel...

1) Nothing.

2) Nothing.

3) Nothing.

4) Nothing.

I honestly think that no matter what you do, your server, anyone's server, will be a terrible, horrible mistake. If one half of the server loves it, the other half hates it. If the whole server loves the server, everyone else who knows about the server hates the server. The same content is recycled over and over, most of the same sprites are used over and over, most of the same "tactics" revolving around "class balance" has been used over and over. The same stereotypical people populate servers.

Same old WoE.
Same old classes.
Same old people.
Same old customizations.

I say, the best server, is a default server.
I say, the best server, is any server.
Because in the end, people hate it, and people love it.

P.S - Don't try to do anything far too customized/complex or different (as impossible as that seems to me). Many people will avoid your server like the plague (first hand experience).


The best server is the one you yourself fancy.


A server that never runs out of challenges. PvP, quests, events, etc. If you run out of things to do (but just sit&chatting), I don't know why you would even stay on  thatserver.

Variety too, change it up a bit.
No one likes doing the same thing over and over and over again for 1~10 hours straight. Some variety would defintely make a server more interesting. Although owning people over and over for hours isn't that bad  :P

Edan the Man

Quote from: SilverStream~ on Apr 15, 2009, 04:17 PM
The best server is the one you yourself fancy.
This is what's most important.

As for what I personally enjoy in servers, to me the community is the most important part. A server can have the best custom features and the most balanced gameplay ever with the fairest GMs in existence, but if I don't like any of the people playing I won't be hanging around there too long.


Rates don't matter to me - if I like the environment in which I play, I'll get by somehow.
Unless it's iRO. Screw you, iRO.

I'm a community kind of woman, personally. I don't like to have to bust out the curbstomp when people irritate me, I like to shower people with giggly gumdrop love affection happytimes, sit in town and carry on amusing/interesting conversations. You will *never* find a server entirely devoid of arseholes, but I do look for something where I can comfortably speak without being assaulted with memes and such. Loitering is the only thing I do ingame, so if I can't loiter in peace, I don't want any part of it.

Everyone will like their own things, though; someone somewhere is bound to like a particularly 4channy server where everyone is constantly yelling about buttsecks. Not my thing.

Trying to think of what else made a difference to me... hmm...

Corruption? It's annoying when it's right in my face, so keep that on the lowdown, have the presence of mind to cover your tracks. Be a diabolical, biased bastard if you like, but don't just sit in town nuking people. That gets boring.

Small population. This goes hand in hand with community, though. Teeny tiny server, so I can feel like I'm part of something and actually matter ashueshueshue. No but seriously, I like servers on which you feel like you are part of something, as opposed to just another number.

I can't think of anything else... I mostly just like to spam insert.


How much importance that the people give to the server, and I'm talking about the community and the GMs, because if a community is a bunch of **** who don't care about the server and just dupe and bot every place in the server, there is no way the server can ever be good, and if the GM doesn't care about the server, it will probably die because nothing would keep the players there.

I agree with the people who said the community is also a important part of the server, but the thing that really KEEP me in the server is the amount of interesting things to do, while some servers keep the same ol' grind from 1-99 mentality, I find  amazing that they still have population. This leveling slooooooooooooooooow thing is more fitting for the company, who needs money and needs to keep their players playing, no matter how retarded hard it is, if the players are still there to level, they are still getting money. But that's the company who made it mentality, that's because it was the only provider of the game, people need to do their way. But if a private server does that, I won't even try it.

I prefer servers with enough features to keep me in for a moment, where I can feel that I am trying something new, the same old things are nice, but everytime I try something new I keep trying it till I feel it is old. While I do prefer the community that is friendly, I have nothing against @$$holes, people aren't totally bad or totally good.

Weird to say, I prefer bad people, most @$$holes I met on my old days of RO are the ones who I can consider good friends.


Hmmm, to me the most important aspect of a server is the community. If there are at least a few nice, helpful, understanding people on a server, what can go wrong? Happy people = happy experiece = fun (what its all about) xD

I don't ask for much =D
DoNt WorRy,Be HaPpY ;D


I have played on your server. I can already tell you what your problems are...

1) Your system REALLY needs a tweak. Why is ASPD locked down with the Max Stat so HIGH? I've spent some time in your PVP room. All I've seen thus far have been the same things; Soul Breaker spamming Sin Xs. No wonder nobody spends time in your PVP room.

Want to fix it? Enforce delays. Make people think. Higher Rates don't necessarily have to be EASY. Right now, the server's setup with a 255/120 max LV says "Don't bother thinking about your build, just throw whatever you feel like and go in there and kill". You might piss off some, but you may also attract more than will leave. Other than that, kudos for having a rather good-looking set of customs, it's hard to find an HR that doesn't just go "OMG +20 2 ALL STATS U WILL BE A GOD1!11!11!eleven!"

2) Your Auto-events are quite nice, I've taken part in the "Mr. Dice" event a couple times and I have to say it's pretty good. You need some more stuff like it. You also have Poring Ball enabled, yet nobody goes in there...give them incentive. Make a League of sorts, with a Top Prize. Get your players to do more than just Max Out and go to PVP, and give them a reason to do so. This is the "High Rate Complex", where people just assume that HR = hit max level, go kill everybody. You need to give them reasons to do other things as well, things that don't involve players spamming skills upon each other. The other server that I play has tonnes of extra side-quests(not just making hats and the like) and things that keep their players involved on a daily basis. Learn from servers like this.

3) Advertise, advertise, advertise. This of course, comes after #'s 1 and 2.

Of course, if this is another Meep, just disregard that, but I think I have a good idea what your server is. Look in your char database for a "Kisarah Westfield", if it's there, then you know I've got the right place.


Everyone has their own taste in server qualities. Some players wish to obtain a large quantity of wealth and power in a matter of days, while others simply wish to obtain the same goal in a longer period of time.

But a decent server worthy of actually downloading the content onto your computer would be a server with a Mature, well educated, and friendly staff.

My favorite type of server would be a unique and custom server, not by the head gears alone, but rather most of the content of the game. Custom maps, Custom class, Custom Monsters, Custom Events.. etc. Ragnarok Online is not really a popular game anymore since the game revolves around a 2-D sprite. So it's rather hard to find players that are new to RO. Which is why you should try entertaining the players who have already played RO with something new and exciting that they never experienced before.
Oh look! Something to occupy myself while I leave you alone to your own stupidity!


Population isn't everything that matters, the way the players threat you also counts.
I'd like to say that my servercount is rather low (15-20), but the players who play are wonderfull people.

Believe me, there are a few servers out there (which names shall not be announced) who have a good playercount, but their forums are full of spam, flame, hate, and harassment.
It's better to avoid those kind of servers and stick with your own small, knit and peacefull community.  ;)



I personally like the ones that emulate the real servers with additional benefits. Healers and warpers, for example. Those are always nice. No level above 99/70, no Naruto headbands, donation items are at best, either mediocre in terms of usefulness, used for showing off, or are consumables which doesn't upset the game.

However, when you get down to the bottom of it, the point of RO is that there's WoE, which is an integral piece that ties the game together. This is why, ideally, you want a constant influx of new players - so that the warring population, for example, are kept in constant check by each other. There is a constant demand for low-tiered gears (mocking mufflers, cranials, elemental lances for leveling, that kind of thing), and also to buffer out the bad feelings that eventually crop up all over the place.

Population and negativity go hand-in-hand. Generally speaking, it's only a matter of time before the nastier sorts end up on any server. EternityRO, for example, has one of the largest populations of any server - I daresay it's got more people than iRO Chaos and Loki at the moment. But the population there is insanely cliqued (which is bound to happen to any game when there isn't a constant influx of newer players, causing the old players to band together in a sort of better-than-you mindset.)

What makes a server great is just that - renewal, whether in population or guild politics or just about everything else. No matter how bad a server is, as long as there are people, the people themselves will try to make it better. I've been on both spectrum, to be honest. On LegendRO I've seen people come and go; guilds rise and fall. At one time, I was even a part of that - someone who tried to make the community a little bit friendlier. That community has now turned to ash. A shadow of its former glory.

But I digress. As stated elsewhere, RO is a dying game - and ultimately, the lack of new players is what's going to kill any server.

I used the examples above because I have no other experiences otherwise. These are only my opinions.


I think it goes down to the very basic things. Not those super programming stuff and whatever you call it. A good server has good admin. By this I mean:

1. They are receptive to player suggestions and are professional in their conduct.
2. They value integrity in whatever they do thats connected with server affairs.
3. They go online most of the time.
4. They have enough money to pay for the server expenses
5. They have an in-depth knowledge of RO mechanics, player psychology, and programming.

Because you see, specific features like a change of monster descriptions, kinds of quests available, rates and what not, can easily follow if the admin team has all of those 5.


Most players look for server with a good list of custom's anymore. So blah...I say a good community as in nice people.

I wouldnt want to play with as.sholes


i think to me...is that the server has a good aand fun community...like...people need to be talking to eachother and stuff...getting to know eachother..i love chatting...and like..if the server is just a dud wid ppl just lvling...noone talking inda main towns...like frdlyness and all..i wudnt wanna play ina server like that =\

all the rest of the things can be fixed...but i once played ona server...which had a decent population...it just started of wid like 30-40...
but eventually died out because no1 talked in town =\
it was so dead....so got really boring =[


Old topic, but just wanted to say a few quick things!

I think, what makes a good server are the following points:
•Small GM Team (Less Drama)
•Limited Powers/Access to GMs, less chance of corruption
•Professional-like staff.
•Active and friendly staff, mainly logging in everyday, throwing an event or two.

So, basically what it comes down to, is how the GM Team is, what kind of players you get and what sort stay, all reflects on the staff, especially server owner. If you can get maybe an event every so days, players will feel "content" knowing there is a GM around. Just being around is enough for most players. Now, no one wants to respect a GM, and especially not a server admin who talks "lyke diz" again it'll only attract those type of players, and not many people take fond of those types.

Having a history of NEVER wiping, or "restarting" is also a big bonus, because players will feel that their work is safe and not worry about having to start over. That is too common now adays, and is a turn-off for players.

Anyhow, its 5:12am so I'm sleepy! Off I go =)


Its all just a matter of opinions...

My meat could be your poison for all we know. :P
QuoteWhatever floats your boat.

Jaded Honor

A truly good server is one that players will enjoy. However, that concept differs widely between people. Some people want to skip the grind and go for Super-high-rate (AKA 1B/1B/1B rates, Giant donation wings) others prefer lowrates, grind's annoying, but there happy with the people that they meet along the way.

But above all, in my experience, RO is a social game at heart. Shure, you want to become powerful, but can anyone deny that the've not logged on to chat in Payon, or on Vent, with there guildies,friends, or even random people, and have a good time about it. This is why the official servers fail,(aside from the bots). You can't charge someone to socialize in an MMO, because sooner or later they'll realize, "OMG I have X time left, better start killing things!" It's also why people cant just pick up and leave a bad server, they don't want to abandon all the awesome people that they've met.


Short and simple.

  • Capable Staff
  • No customs, if customs they are nothing more than looks
  • More than 1 Active staff member
  • GM staff keeping control of their server, Stopping drama before it grows out of hand
  • Actually Punish Rule breakers

Outside of that Rates/levels and all dont matter much. Being both a player/developer/GM/Owner of some servers its the list I use to decide if I stay at the server or not.
Quote from: CuTeBoi on Sep 04, 2009, 02:24 PM
  Will the donors complain? maybe, but they aren't what run my network, I run it, and so does my blood and sweat.


Quote from: devilsnevercry on Aug 20, 2009, 03:08 PM

  • Capable Staff
  • No customs, if customs they are nothing more than looks
  • More than 1 Active staff member
  • GM staff keeping control of their server, Stopping drama before it grows out of hand
  • Actually Punish Rule breakers

Agree!  :)
but im not agree with the second one
Customs is important for a server too,sometimes without the custom the server will be bored
and for me the one of the important thing is the GM/Staff of the RO,

I have seen a RO that let the GM do anything he wanted,the founder doesn't control the GM and never seen online
so the GM do anything he want and its not supported at all


A server is a truly good server if it maintains and/or grows despite its faults (which every server has IMO).




I think that the good server is about the people, mostly those who are in staff.


I think that to have a good server you must truly be into it. You must look at it from the perspective a player does, look at what they need to not be frustrated, to know the game as if this is the first time playing, as if no other server exists and yours is the first they played. The ease of play, access to information and abundance of information/things to do is that attracts me to a server.

Stability, Economy, Ability to seek help and the knowledge of other players, active, helpful and dedicated staff.. and of course the kicker being things unique to that server that will keep me there.

Unintelligent players who can't speak a lick of english that I can not converse with deturr me from a server if there are an abundance of them.. If they are in small quantities I don't entirely care.