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.