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Offline Deja

New Classic Pre-Renewal Server Project
« on: Dec 18, 2020, 04:29 pm »
Hello everybody!

As ratemyserver is one of the main forums, where RO-Enthusiasts can discuss what is and what should be and interchange ideas and wishes, we would like to present our project and encourage you to make suggestions on how to improve it.

At this moment, we are in the process of creating a new classic pre-Renewal RO server, which will emulate the original RO experience as best as we can. We will start in Episode 5, follow the original release schedule with episodic release and episodic monster stats and spawn. Renewal and 3rd Jobs will never be implemented. There will also be no donation system whatsoever, no cash shop and no game-changing / breaking custom NPCs or @commands, which means absolutely no pay2win.
The server will be mainly based on the official European server, because our development group played there, but there will be some influence from the international server. All MVP cards are active and usable in PvM, PvP and WoE. God Items will be available through the original quest system, as it was on the official servers to provide an incentive to play competitive WoE and also hold castles, instead of just taking them and playing GvG.
WoE will be disabled until the player base is big enough to support a competitive WoE for at least 1 castle. First there will only be one castle active, we will increase this number as the player base grows. The castles will be active in a rotating system, so even with only one active castle at a time, there will be the possibility to create God Items.

As of now, the server runs smoothly on Episode 5, with episodic monster stats and spawn and the preparations are almost at their end.
The website and the control panel are still under construction. The internal alpha will start within the next two weeks and the closed beta with experienced RO veterans will start within the next four weeks.

The most important key data of our server are as follows:

We have the official server rates (1x/1x/1x).

Server Platform:
Our server platform is Hercules. We chose this emulator for its stability, flexibility and outstanding performance. The server is based in the EU.

Experience:
The original tap bonus is active. Meaning that each tap will increase the experience gain from a monster by 25%. There will be no party experience bonus, as there was none on the official server.

We know that in 2020 players expect more in the aspects of Quality of Life contents than they did 16 years ago, which is why there will be some, if very limited, Quality of Life content:
•   @-Commands: @autotrade, @noks, @time, @blockenemy
•   The new Battle Mode, where you can drop down your hotkeys and see all your assigned skills and items.
•   Every monster which spawns naturally also drops its card
•   fair Item Even Share setting in party

Restrictions:
•   Maximum number of active clients: 2 (not counting an active autotrader)
•   Maximum number of game accounts: 3
•   the reasoning here is that there was no multiclient ban on the European official server. There was only a ban on account sharing, which means you could open as many clients as you wished.
•   The number of accounts was limited by how much you were willing to pay. As our service will be completely free, we limited the maximum number of clients and accounts to achieve two main goals besides trying to emulate the original server experience:
•   We don’t want a player to be able to buff his character with an infinitive number of chars far beyond anything the game developers intended
•   We don’t want there to be the possibility to create an infinite number of autotraders per player.

Please share your thoughts, insights and criticism on our project. We strife to give everybody the best genuine classic experience while providing a contemporary gaming experience and revive old memories.

Greetings

Deja

Staff Edit: Unhide topic, removed advertisement links, locked topic.
« Last Edit: Jun 19, 2021, 06:06 pm by yC »

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Offline distilled1

Re: New Classic Pre-Renewal Server Project
« Reply #1 on: Dec 18, 2020, 10:16 pm »
I have much respect to anyone making a vanilla-type server for players who prefer that experience. It can be difficult to find a vanilla experience among all the wildly-customized servers out there these days.
Even more respect for standing against pay-to-win elements which also plague many servers out there. It shows dedication to providing fans a good gaming experience instead of a sleazy attempt at making profit.
This sounds like a good project to me with ideal qualities.

The only criticisms I could possibly make would be to the allowance of god items and multi-clienting.
God items can be seen as game-breaking, concentrating too much power into a few ruling guilds, while on the other hand, they give players something exciting to fight and compete for.
Multi-clienting I am personally less accepting of. I feel it discourages group-play even with 2 clients maximum. The result would likely be players leveling their own two characters, one support, and one fighter, every time, instead of joining up and leveling with others, thus creating a server with non-existent social interactions until higher levels.

One more thought or advice I'd like to give this and any project would be to enable 44khz audio for your clients instead of the default 22khz. It makes a big difference in audio quality for anyone with decent headphones. This can increase immersion for many people, especially the audiophile types.

Anyways good luck. Sounds like a well-thought out project, and I hope you're very successful with it!
DOWN WITH MULTI-CLIENTING!

Offline Eiponpon

Re: New Classic Pre-Renewal Server Project
« Reply #2 on: Dec 19, 2020, 07:36 am »
multi-clienting, overpowered gods, and yet another hercules server. dont see this going anywhere, especially with better options already available

Offline Playtester

Re: New Classic Pre-Renewal Server Project
« Reply #3 on: Dec 19, 2020, 09:30 am »
I see that a lot of people are trying to make an episode 5 server these days, but so far I couldn't find the right one among them.

Of course that's a pretty personal thing for me but I'd like to see a server that's rAthena-based as that emulator contains all the fixes to pre-re I implemented in 2014-2016 and it just frustrated me to play on a server where none of my fixes are included. It was already the reason I didn't join OriginsRO (but apart from that their monsters stats were also far from accurate).

It's interesting you claim you have accurate monster stats and spawns but of course it would be great to see this on the website. No longer trusting anyone claiming his server is 100% official.

I don't really have an opinion on MVP cards and God items, though I do know some need to be fixed before implemented (e.g. fixing Golden Thief Bug to not grant full immunity to status changes). For PVP I generally don't really have a good solution. If you give the winning guild rewards that makes the winning guild stronger then it often ends up with one guild dominating and all others leaving. Main reason server lifetime is usually just 3-6 months. On the other hand, if there was no reward, would anybody do it? Probably, because if we look at instant WoE servers where you have everything by default, they are working too. But I'm not too much into that topic to tell.

For PVM both MVP cards and god items would be kind of interesting.

Even for someone like me who always looks for close-to-official servers (like 1x rates are great for me at max 3x, no job changer, no healer, no card remover, no warp anywhere, etc. I love all that) all the time, close-to-official is still kind of a compromise. Because everyone can agree on this and there can't be unlimited discussions, because either it's official or it's not.

The moment you allow some discussion on customization you always open pandora's box. Because each customization will have people that love it and people that hate it so much they won't even join the server when they read about it. So it's quite hard to find the right formula. I think it would actually require good explanations on the website for the majority to be more accepting to these things (in fact even for anything "official" it would be really great to see on the website what this means, not only mob, item and spawn database, but for example also an explanation how each skill works in episode 5 compared to more recent episodes).

Some more @ commands should be added however. Like monster, item and drop info.

Offline Deja

Re: New Classic Pre-Renewal Server Project
« Reply #4 on: Dec 19, 2020, 05:41 pm »
First of all, thank you for the detailed, honest and helpful feedback.

44khz audio
This is already implemented in our client.

@commands
We discussed this among ourselfs and thought, that we don’t need commands like @mi @whereis, because our control panel provides this information. But we will discuss it again, and take your opinion into account.

We are aware that certain criteria determine whether a player plays or avoids our server. However, from many years of experience on various low rate classic servers, we have incorporated some suggestions and problems into our decisions. In many points there is always a pro and a contra.

WoE / God Items
Let's take as an example the topic WoE. In our eyes, WoE would never have become what it was in the end on the official European server, if there had been no incentive to achieve goals.
Exciting moments when you build up a defense or, on the other hand, try to break it in the last seconds of the WoE. The ability to act as a unit and develop strategies over and over again and adjust them to the opponent and his own guild. One always new which guild had God Items and adapted the strategies accordingly.
Of course, on the other side of the coin, there are always the drawbacks that rewards like treasure boxes and God Items bring. Whether it's the dominance of a strong, well-rehearsed guild or the advantage in PvE through God Items or better items from the treasures.
In the end we decided to go for the target group that plays WoE to get exciting fights with fair rewards in the end. WoE and the mixing of God Items is always strongly dependent on the population on a server, we will keep this aspect constantly in mind and adjust our balances to the number of players. For example, limiting the maximum number of God Items per WoE or guild, or lowering the number of treasure boxes. The restriction to 1 castle for the start makes the creation of God Items much more difficult than on official servers. We are also aware that at that time not everything was perfect and it needs balancing in some places.
In this area we will go into more detail as soon as the website is ready and will explain every single setting we adjusted.

Multi-Clienting (2 Clients)
In our opinion allowing 2 clients is a compromise. It enables solo RO players, who prefer playing solo to playing with a party, to buff their chars in a reasonable way. But in a party with more classes available, the buffs will be much more potent und enemies will be easier to slay. We think, players who want to party, can party and have an advantage. But players who prefer solo-gaming, or only have short time slots to play can still play RO without too much of a disadvantage.

Hercules
We already adjusted the Hercules bugs we know, most prominent being the soft def damage reduction. But we would welcome any suggestions in this area @playertester. If you don’t want to discuss this here, you could send me a pm.


Information / Skills
We will have a complete list of changes on our website, as well as a list what is different in episode 5, compared to newer episodes. Listing this here would go beyond the scope of this discussion.
We already adjusted Endure (cancels only after time, not after hit) and Improve dodge (grants +30 or +40 flee at max lv) to Episode 5. If you guys have any information which other skills have to be adjusted, please inform us.

Greetz Deja

Offline Playtester

Re: New Classic Pre-Renewal Server Project
« Reply #5 on: Dec 20, 2020, 03:24 am »
Quote
@commands
We discussed this among ourselfs and thought, that we don’t need commands like @mi @whereis, because our control panel provides this information. But we will discuss it again, and take your opinion into account.
It's more comfortable to search right within the game than having to go to the control panel (which may even require you to login again if your cookie expired). And it doesn't give any advantage ingame, so nobody should have a problem with it.

Quote
We already adjusted the Hercules bugs we know, most prominent being the soft def damage reduction. But we would welcome any suggestions in this area @playertester. If you don’t want to discuss this here, you could send me a pm.
You could browse through my commits here and see if these are all on Herc yet (of course you can ignore those where I mentioned they are for renewal): https://github.com/rathena/rathena/search?p=1&q=author%3APlaytester&type=commits

Offline Bullet

Re: New Classic Pre-Renewal Server Project
« Reply #6 on: Jan 16, 2021, 02:23 am »
Good Day Deja!.

Some thoughts on your specs:
We will start in Episode 5, follow the original release schedule with episodic release and episodic monster stats and spawn. Renewal and 3rd Jobs will never be implemented. Will there be homunculus, when? and how?
A timeline for the periodic episodic content release would be helpful. A what episode will be the final content at which point of time. What other content possibly considered to be implemented after final episode release and long period of stagnant.

There will also be no donation system whatsoever, no cash shop and no game-changing / breaking custom NPCs or @commands, which means absolutely no pay2win.
Respect this, but a transparency of donation received for minor/ limited value benefit would be ideal. like weekly limited bubble gum/ manuals/ for working folks. At least to fund for charity causes. see my comment on "quality of life"

i dont mind small donations for gums/ manuals to cope with my time constraint.
with good $ received and charity expenditure accounting transparency over decent donation items. i believe you can support time limited people like me and yet avoid being P2W or perspective of possible corruption.

All MVP cards are active and usable in PvM, PvP and WoE.
at 0.01%, if GTB is assumed killed every 80 minutes. thats 6,570 dead per year. Thats overestimation of 65% gamble success for once a year game balance breaking possibilities. I'm staying out of this due to wide range of conflicting community opinion on this. Although thats not how statistics actually work, but personally, I don't mind on a x1 rate server.

God Items will be available through the original quest system, as it was on the official servers to provide an incentive to play competitive WoE and also hold castles, instead of just taking them and playing GvG.
WoE will be disabled until the player base is big enough to support a competitive WoE for at least 1 castle. First there will only be one castle active, we will increase this number as the player base grows. The castles will be active in a rotating system, so even with only one active castle at a time, there will be the possibility to create God Items.
Classic WoE setting, within the context of Malaysian official server and other low rate private server personal experience, is a recipe for power balancing & community politicking disaster.
1. the portals leading to emp room often bottlenecked with pre-casts, the few seconds portal change immunity does little help to counter this issues. the bigger guilds exploits this advantage due to this specific feature(issue).
2. strong guilds do not break the emp to win a castle immediately, theyre often kept in "hostage" to avoid economy value lost and taken only if the defence is severely breached or its close to the end of WoE session. the continuous battle for emp and castle switching hands within a war loses its purpose especially the disparity of the bigger and smaller guild is wider.
3. God items/ treasure rewards is indeed a very effective strategy to garner interest for playing. But the reward imo has high potential to snowball an already strong guild to be stronger and causing wider disparity of power between guild. it will instead in near future will only cause toxic and disinteresting game to considere.

Suggestion:
1. implement a separate, custom GvG weekly event similar to WoE SE portal-less.
2. a 5v6 or 8v9, etc, only GvG. Guilds to register their available roster of player to participate. if a smaller guild registered 5 players and a bigger guild registered 10 players. it will be a 5vs6 within that specific map. the map and GvG should be similar to MOBA system. Each has a base(emperium) to protect, each with their set of attacker and defending. Number of times enemy emp is broken within the time limit awards certain points with tournament bracket style. it can change to a weekly round robin with monthly winner if the number of participating guild grows too big.
3. reward should be valuable to solicit effort and interest, but should not be permanent. perhaps a god tiered equipment with rental style good for 10+ days? Also separate rewards for each participating members with individual zeny economy contribution?

Restrictions:
•   Maximum number of active clients: 2 (not counting an active autotrader)
•   Maximum number of game accounts: 3
•   the reasoning here is that there was no multiclient ban on the European official server. There was only a ban on account sharing, which means you could open as many clients as you wished.
•   The number of accounts was limited by how much you were willing to pay. As our service will be completely free, we limited the maximum number of clients and accounts to achieve two main goals besides trying to emulate the original server experience:
•   We don’t want a player to be able to buff his character with an infinitive number of chars far beyond anything the game developers intended
•   We don’t want there to be the possibility to create an infinite number of autotraders per player.
A complete, clear and concise rule is very important. I lost access (banned?) to a recent server I played due to vague rules and poor decisive enforcement. How do you identify 3 game accounts to a single person? only one email address/ phone number should be used by one individual person for registration which limits to a max of 3 accounts? If there is 2 clients each with 2 PC running over a same network, how do you identify if 2 individuals playing or one individual "multi-computing" circumventing your rule. Can you identify 2 different computers? or will you only see 4 clients for 1 network? will you assume 1 individual with 2 PC or how do you go about it? sorry for too many questions on this. had a bad experience and dont want to waste time again.

Personally, multi-clienting will break alot of balance. A pure forger will rely on his alt TU priest solo grinding. instead of a battle smith with a mix of solo and party effort. Low (forging chance) supply encouraging healthy economy. I totally understand being solo hurts alot especially with little time to play (to find party) but uncontrolled multi-client is going to break (alot).

We know that in 2020 players expect more in the aspects of Quality of Life contents than they did 16 years ago, which is why there will be some, if very limited, Quality of Life content:
•   @-Commands: @autotrade, @noks, @time, @blockenemy
•   The new Battle Mode, where you can drop down your hotkeys and see all your assigned skills and items.
•   Every monster which spawns naturally also drops its card
•   fair Item Even Share setting in party

We have the official server rates (1x/1x/1x).
i've been active recently in forum simply due to looking/ waiting for another classic server.
the reason im not joining(or still playing) any other server because im specifically looking for less than a year inception. reason: im working adult with life balance looking to play casually yet competitively (GvG in mind). I dont see x1 server an issue because everyone is going to face the same growth, growth is journey, where the fun is- not the destination. 1 year+ old servers has too many established players and gives me little room to compete with available time. The problem with new servers, for people with work-life-game balance is that, there is always over-active players growing and establishing too fast with huge gap with less active or newcomers. I think a regressive experience/ item gain% can help address this. A 2~3 hours per day gameplay (or 14 hours per week) quota per account could be balancing? if player played more than the quota hours, exp/item rate will regress to perhaps x0.5/ x0.1 etc depending on the over hours spent? in the spirit of keeping the game competitive to busy players yet accustoming to players with alot of free time to allow them to continue playing or encouraging life outside.

even if its possible or youre considering to implement this, im not sure how segregate the active hours in town for socializing/ vending/ vs dungeon grinding. This was not an issue official servers back then, because almost everyone (me to) botted and the growth rate was very constant. Those manual grinders take on difficult to bot areas/ boss hunting for value for their time. Might as well make your project x0.1 rate with account limited bots  /heh.

I'm supposed to quit and spent time with my new hobby but here again, another temptation!
will register an account and have fun with OBT. looking forward to your clarification on game account/ multiple client/ same network query above before deciding to settling down.

other suggestions:
classic RO, in its originality has its shortcomings/ bugs. To avoid/ minimize customization will only amplify it.

1.somewhere within this forum i saw a discussion of how classic RO grinding was majorly focused in specific places like depending on episodes,
e.g.
spore>yoyo>muka>hode>wolf>mystcase>increase soil>stal golems>anubis(solo multi-client leech s***)
customizing flat exp per HP across all monster with "premium exp" bonus for difficult/ low spawn rate monster can help spread the option. Sometimes I'm bored to hit the same wolf till ages but no decent value for exp monster worth exploring the maps in the world. Exps should be for high risk high return and encourage map exploration and adventure.

2.on a recent x1 server i played, i saw an interesting brief case of explanation of how much a hunter would typically lose economically killing abyss knight on the damage/ arrow cost vs benefit. I realized how much x1 rate can bring to economic/ class game balance and support sticking to it.

3.Old payon all the way please. I've seen supposedly classic server starting with the new remodelled ugly payon /wah

4. @autotrade 12/24 hour expiry. to keep the market clean, fresh and active.

Offline Deja

Re: New Classic Pre-Renewal Server Project - Open Beta NOW!
« Reply #7 on: Jan 17, 2021, 04:25 pm »
Good evening everyone,

first of all a big thank to you Bullet for taking the time to reply in such detail and depth.

Our server is now in the Open Beta Test phase and our website is available: https://retro-online.eu/?module=news

I would like to respond to your raised points in order:


1) The schedule for each episode update is not fixed in advance. As a guideline, we will release a new episode every 3-6 months. However, we reserve the right to change this schedule if it makes sense.

2) Regarding donations for small benefits, we unfortunately have to turn you down. We absolutely don't want pay2win on our server, not even in a weakened version.

3) Regarding the God Items, I would like to say that we are aware of these problems. WoE and the mixing of God Items is always strongly dependent of the population on a server and we will keep this aspect constantly in mind and adjust our balances to the number of players. For example, limiting the maximum number of God Items per WoE or guild, or lowering the number of treasure boxes. The restriction to one castle makes the creation of God Items much more difficult than on official servers. We are also aware that at that time not everything was perfect on official servers and it needs balancing in some places.
Regarding your suggestions, we will discuss them in the development team.

4) A distinction must be made with regard to client and account restrictions. First, we use Gepard client side security, which prevents more than 2 clients from being opened on an end device.
Regarding accounts, we use a master-account system. Each player is allowed to create and use only one master-account. On this master-account only 3 game accounts can be created. This makes it much easier to prevent the circumventions you mentioned. We have tools in place to warn us when multiple master accounts are created or used by a player, regardless of which device they are using. There is a whitelisting procedure for multiple players from one household.

Of course, we know that some players prefer single-client. We are currently testing the following restrictions in the Open Beta Test phase:
a) Autofollow will be disabled. This means that it will no longer be possible to autofollow the "main character" with priests or other characters.
b) Idle characters will not get experience after 5 minutes.

5. I understand your intention. I myself also work full time, just like my entire development team. But there will always be players who can play more than others and we don't want to punish them for that. We will not introduce such a system.

6) Since we have the episodically correct monster stats and spawns, the classic order you listed will not work for us. Spores, Wolfes and stala golems give much less experience in this episode. Increase Soil and Anubis are not implemented episodically yet.

7. We have the Old payon in-game and all quests matching it.

8. Regarding the autotrade restriction, we will discuss this in the development team, agree on a time and then implement it.

If you have any more questions, we will be happy to answer them here or on our Discord server:
https://discord.gg/g7adDwbVzt


Greetings

Deja

Offline distilled1

Re: New Classic Pre-Renewal Server Project - Open Beta NOW!
« Reply #8 on: Jan 17, 2021, 05:01 pm »
a) Autofollow will be disabled.
b) Idle characters will not get experience after 5 minutes.

That is a nice touch! I wish more servers straight up disabled auto-follow since, realistically, we all know what that is used for more often than not.
DOWN WITH MULTI-CLIENTING!

Offline yC

Re: New Classic Pre-Renewal Server Project - Open Beta NOW!
« Reply #9 on: Jan 17, 2021, 10:01 pm »
You just turned your topic into an advertisement, thus it isn't a server discussion topic any more. 

We cannot allow this because it would be unfair to other server when you can outright advertise your server in this section with feedback and all that unlimited bumping.  If you haven't done so, you can create a topic in the advertisement section and follow the rules there (no repost in 120 days).