Rant: How to make me play on your server

Started by Anti-Static Foam Cleaner, May 19, 2007, 06:51 AM

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Anti-Static Foam Cleaner

Ok, first things first: I know the title makes me sound like pompous jackass, but I can't really write from anyone else's perspective but my own, as I do have several quirks others probably don't - so I wanted to avoid putting myself in the place of the "all people". Since I was checking a lot of servers lately trying to find what I want, I grew pretty frustrated with the mundus operati of the typical private RO server. In no means I consider myself an RO expert or anything, I am writing this stuff simply from "customer's perspective".

1) Looking for a server

A) The commentary field might be badly written: This is your showcase people, sacrifice the 10 minutes to write it properly. That means no "u" "r" "were"(we're) etc. If you feel your english is lacking(Fair enough, not everyone is booorn in the US-A~) find someone to write it for you. Yes it really is that important. You write it badly, I think "Lazy bastard can't even advertise his server right" and it will probably even be true. Even if I join, you can probably forget about (regular)voting.
B) Avoid using unspecified timing(i.e. "Newly opened", "A year ago" etc.): Time goes on, in a year that will be "Two years ago", and I doubt you will update the description. Just use concrete dates - 2001/9/11 for example, to keep with ISO format(Not that anyone ever does).
C) ratemyserver has list of "tick boxes", but they can't always cover everything. If you do have some kind of wicked customs please list them, or at least mention their existence. This is more importat to me what specs your server has(We all know anyway that only the dedicated host is stable and lagless durrr hurrr).
D) Please, please, PLEASE avoid being too enthusiastic in your advertising. No "best server"(You can't know this), no "friendly community"(You can't screen everyone who joins), no "Rapidly growing"(See B), no "No lag ever"(Impossible), no "Will last forever"(Yeah, especially after you die), etc. It's good to list your strong points, it's bad to flood me with propaganda(To not say s***). Too much sugar is as bad too.

2) Getting on the site/CP

A) Ok, first thing first. If your site is ugly, that's one more chance for me to close the browser window and never visit your server again. I'm not aestethically inbred, and ugliness does not hurt me. It just says you're lazy/don't care. It's not hard to see if the site is ugly, you just have to actually *look at it*. Too many admins/mods make the site and then completely forget about it, never visiting it again. It could get hacked to redirect people to zooaction.com and you'd only known if some lost player told you. So, look at your site and ask yourself honestly: Does this look good? No excuses such as "I never made a site before", too. It doesn't need to be in 100% flash or be full of .png graphics, that's as retarded as having a site on angelfire or something. Pure HTML grey letters on black background? Why not, if you apply the right font, it will look ok, and won't be heavy on the server too. Whatever works.
B) LIST ALL POSSIBLE INFORMATION YOU CAN THINK OF ABOUT THE SERVER ON THE SITE. This is a very, very important thing. ratemyserver's comment box is small so it's impossible to write everything there. PUT IT ON THE SITE. Rates(Base, Job, Drops, cards, MVP drops). Server specs(If applicable). ALL customs you have(Not "We have custom helmets!" That doesn't tell me ANYTHING). Donation system and how it works(Donation items? Nothing at all? Other?). Hell, list whether the skill names are iRO's or kRO's too. Every damn thing you can think of.
C) Read your own goddamn server rules. It seems there is one list of server rules on the internet, and everyone just copy it, putting their server name in there. If you don't care about swearing, don't tell me not to swear. If you don't care about people spamming skills in Prontera, don't forbid it. Seriously, there's nothing worse than me knowing the rules better than GMs. It's just dumb. Speaking of which, why would anybody want to forbid swearing is beyond me. But whatever.
D) Registration. Please take the two minutes and make the password requirement more humane. This is RO, not my bank account. I don't really need at least six letters AND numbers, FFS. It only makes it a b**** to write it every time I login for nonexistant security improvement. Four letters is really enough. People who want more will write more. People who will make password the same as their account name deserve to be "hacked" anyway. Don't force them to be smart when they're not.
E) Please make the site easy to navigate. This fortunately doesn't happen often, but I mention this because once I was kicked in the balls by the site's client download system. I won't remember the name of the server now, but it went like this: I want to get the client. I follow the links. I click "Get Client". It redirects me to the server forums. What's wrong with that, you ask? Well, nothing. Having the link to the client in a thread I can understand; it makes editing changes a bit easier. But the funny part is, the forum admin in his paranoia disabled the ability for the guests to view topics. ALL topics. So - yes - I had to register on the goddamn forums just to view the thread, just to get the client. Brilliant move.

3) The client

A) Make the client an installer with uninstall ability. If I happen to not like your server(Get banned, whatever), and it's just a .rar with data and few files, I will probably have to delete both RO and Sakray and install them again which is annoying. Even more annoying is if I already deleted RO and Sakray installers and have to download them again. Making it an istaller is not really hard, and there are many free installers around to use.
B) You don't really need to .rar the installer. Seriously. It's already compressed. Don't compress it again to save 0,1MB.
C) Check the links from time to time. They might be dead. Someone deleted something and didn't tell you. Or it just expired. Nothing lasts forever. If you're not serving the client from your own server, try to have few places where it's available. There are tons of free hosting services, use several. If I can't get the client, I can't play.

4) The forums

A) I would love to see the day where your forum account is same as your game account to save me trouble, but I guess that will never happen. At least skip the mail verification process. You already have CAPTCHA. That's enough protection for something so unimportant.
B) Go here. And look around. There are three Announcement threads: "Forum rules". Ok. A "List of Class-Related Guides in RO Empire Forums (please read!)". Very good. And something called "READ BEFORE POSTING!!". Scrolling down, there's also "READ THIS BEFORE POSTING!!!", and "Read Me Before Posting.". A typical admin/mod lameness. First of all, if you have oh-so-important stuff to tell the users, do it in ONE GODDAMN THREAD NOT IN THREE OR MORE. Second thing, if you tell the users "Not to use vague/incomprehensible topic names like 'help'" in the rules, APPLY THIS TO YOURSELF too. I don't know if "READ BEFORE POSTING!!" is some silly rules repeated or "Server closing next friday, gg".
C)Not that anyone'll listen, but trim the sizes and dimensions of avatars/sigs a bit. I know that when everyone have 1MB broadband at least it's easy to forget about the bandwidth, but remember: "Servers don't run on rainbows and porn", as the saying goes. "There's ALWAYS a limit." is another. But nevermind about that, it's a digression.

5) IRC channel

A) DO have IRC channel. Forums are slow and unpractical for when something's happening fast. Forums might be on same machine as your server, if it gets down, I'm left in the dark. IRC channel guarantees that there's always a place I can go to see what's going on. Of course, a channel's useless unless you're actually visiting it from time to time. Keep it open as often as possible. No one expects the admin/mods to be on all the time. But when you check it out for a sec every hour, that's really enough to keep in touch.

6)Keeping stuff rolling.

A to Z) KEEP STUFF UPDATED AND US INFORMED. People often have links to RO/Sak and client downloads on the site, in channel topic, and on the boards. Usually only one gets updated, ever. Remember to update them all. If there's some problems with sprites etc. and you have released a new data to fix it, do tell everyone, not make a sticky in some forgotten corner of the boards. If the server will be going down, tell me. If the server will be changing hosts, tell me. The only more frustrating thing than server going down is when it goes down and no one knows why. You might also not know why; tell me about it too. If the server disconnects every day at 4PM, you can see that. Don't wait for the users to make f*** U GUYZ I LOST MY ARCANGELING CARD ROLLBACK FAGS f*** YOU", YOU post info about it first. Tell people to disconnect before that, be a honest dude, and tell us what you know, always. I can't stress this enough. If something got changed, make a news about it. Hell, make a news if a new guild gets made, or someone gets married. Do not assume everyone know, because they don't. Ever.

7) tl;dr


Long to read but this is actually a really good guide for servers.I don't agree with everything, of course, but yeah. Nice.


So the reasons you play on any particular server has nothing to do with the actual server itself?

"Man this server sucks donkey, but the website is REALLY well designed"  ;D


its called a first impression steve. if they have a suck donkey website then whats the actual server like, BECAUSE the website/forums are the first thing a person sees when they decide to play a private server.


Well first impressions are one thing, but the "don't judge a book by it's cover" comes to mind. Maybe their site really is ugly, perhaps because they are new html or even that they are so busy trying to make the server great, there's no time to really "pretty it up". When I hosted a server, I'll say honestly my site was ugly. Really that was because I was so busy updating the server, and making sure everything was running smooth etc. Personally I don't see a need for a website AND forums. Just forums would sufice for me.
-- Ragna-Retired --


Thanks for the insight, was fun to read actually. I agree with you on first impression. If a server have a crappy website, this kinda shows they didn't put the effort and it's not hard to assume they might not have put effort on their server either, of course you can't be 100% sure of this, but with the multitudes of servers out there, people browse fast.

I know what I'm lacking mainly for my server (svn update and a patcher/installer), I didn't need this post to tell me that, but it's a nice reminder, I just have to get to it.
[color=darkblue]heRO is a great friendly, pre-renweal, unique and fun server with a great community, give it a try![/color]

[color=darkblue]Click here to find out more about heRO![/color]


Irc isnt really a good measure of server wellness. Most people I know have never even heard of it. I'm fine with MSN/ aim.

The client being a rar shouldnt matter. Unless your completely retarded. You shouldnt have to reinstall kRO and SAK after installing a rar private server.

I dont think half the things you listed are neccisary in having a good server. Actually almost all of them.

Maybe you should be less judgmental, and view a server for its content, and not its webpage.
-- Ragna-Retired --


QuotePlease, please, PLEASE avoid being too enthusiastic in your advertising. No "best server"(You can't know this), no "friendly community"(You can't screen everyone who joins), no "Rapidly growing"(See B), no "No lag ever"(Impossible), no "Will last forever"(Yeah, especially after you die), etc. It's good to list your strong points, it's bad to flood me with propaganda(To not say s***). Too much sugar is as bad too.

Reminds me of someone who advertises here.


I know who you're talking about, but they are a good server.
S>Rock lol

Play on the Excalibur Network servers.



Quote from: Anti-Static Foam Cleaner on May 19, 2007, 06:51 AM

(Fair enough, not everyone is booorn in the US-A~)
there are other people in the world that speak english >.> you... pompous jack donkey.

xD jks, but honestly, you make a good point. whore it around a few different forums. who knows? maybe you'll start something
I am Aui, Naga, or Nagasaki
Or syd.. /swt


I would like to subscribe to your newsletter, if you have one, ASFC.


I'd like *do bad things to you* for your pompus, arrogant, jackass-ness.
-- Ragna-Retired --


Glenn. Fail.

90% of that is true.
If the server's description/site doesn't make a good first impression, it doesn't really matter how ridiculously amazing the actual server is, most people will leave the site before they download the client. Fewer new members leads to bored current members or worse, FEWER DONATIONS. (=_=) Most servers are kept alive by donations, not the founders military pension. They need new members in order to stay alive.

Poor Website + Great Server = Dead Server
Great Website + Poor Server = Dead Server
Poor Website + Poor Server = Duh.
Great Website + Great Server = Living Server. =D

Live by it.

The IRC isn't required, but it's so easy to get there's no point in not doing so.
I've opened my own server named FauxRO. It's a high rate PK server run as professionally as possible. Check it out.

Previous Servers:


Actually the players make the server, not the website. If people see the server getting magnificent reviews, and/or inviting everyone in the town. People aren't gonna give a damn about what the site looks like.

Also I only play servers with no donations, so your theory is way off on that subject.

Personally I don't care about your opinion, new person, Mennez.
-- Ragna-Retired --


That would be your right, considering it's an opinion. Also, non donation servers are almost non-existent. There are many more servers that do donations properly, with no in-game reward. But alas, that's only my opinion.

And yes, word-of-mouth is a great advertising tool. but it only works once you get members. Surprisingly, (not really) most larger servers are proliferated through word of mouth.
I've opened my own server named FauxRO. It's a high rate PK server run as professionally as possible. Check it out.

Previous Servers: