Box of reviews[animaRO, eternalRO, cakeRO, greenRO]

Started by Yulia, Oct 09, 2006, 03:22 PM

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Hello everyone~ Lately a friend of mine who is beginning to play RO again asked me to write some detailed reviews about the servers I've played to help him better decide which he will begin on. So I proceeded to write reviews for the servers that I have played within the last year(excluding those that I have played on for less than a month), and figured as long as I've written them, I might as well contribute my little part to the RMS community of reviews.

Since my reviews are somewhat detailed and lengthy, I'm going to post them each en masse in a different post in this thread. I figured it would be better than creating a seperate topic for each, so please forgive the multiple posts after one another. If this is not permitted, then I will edit the posts and put the reviews in their own thread respectively.

So here are my reviews, in alphebetical order from the most recently played to the last.

Server: AnimaRO
Rates: 5/5/3

Length of time played: approx 7 months


Server updates: Currently running on Aegis, exact episode unknown. Until very recently(the last month or so), the server was incredibly outdated. The latest upgrade the server now contains Hugel, Odin temple and the expanded classes.

Special/other features: A large number of custom items. Kaho horns can also be customized with a different sprite, so long as the player is willing to pay for the customization. A large number of cards have also been customized to give entirely different effects i.e. gargoyle card no longer gives a chance of receiving Box of Thunder, but rather it gives +4 dex. MVP cards have also been edited to be more powerful i.e. berzebub card reduces cast time by 33% rather than 30%. Support requiring direct assitance from a GM is done through the unique support ticket system. Certain maps are also legal KS maps, while other maps are edited to increase spawn rates or spawn monsters which do not naturally occur there.

Stability: Very unstable. There is not a moment that passes without large lag. In addition, players also often disconnect from the server at random whenever moving between maps, and there are occasional large server crashes.

Uptime: aside from the occational crash causing downtime, uptime is constant.

Donation system: there are two types of donation systems on this server, but both offer donation credits as rewards which can be exchanged for donation items. The first system is direct donation with money. The second is what is known as "ad donation" where a player either visits advertisement pages of sponsors and fills out forms, or engage in trials of sponsored products to recieve donation credits. For the most part in general, the ad donation system awards donation credits to players without players having to directly donate any money to the server. There is another method of obtaining donation credits, and that is by voting for the Anima server on RO and other gaming rank lists. For some lists, players are permitted to vote multiple times a day, and as such can accumulate a little bit of donation credit for each vote.

Donation rewards range from MVP cards, to headgears and items, to buffed up kaho horns(giving +20 to str/int/dex as well as other effects), to special services i.e. rolling back the job class of your character to a different job class while keeping your levels, stats, and skills intact.

The vast majority of ad donation advertisement offers are only availible to players residing within the US, and about half of them never verify, therefore leaving a player without credit. In my humble opinion, I believe that the donation rewards as well as the donation system(particularly the ad donation system) in general causes huge numbers of problems and issues in the server and are a problem in themselves, which will be explained below in their respective categories.


Class/power balance: Incredibly unbalanced. A lot of the imbalance is due to the donation system. Many players who are able to complete and recieve credits for ad donations most often request to recieve Kaho horns and MVP cards, giving them huge advantages over other players who are unable to obtain donation items because of lack of ability to either donate, or complete ad offers. In addition, a large number of edited cards often give stats which could be used in favor of certain classes over others. For instance, there are many cards edited to give dex bonuses, but very little at give luk or other stats. This causes a large unbalance in job classes, causing more players to create characters which could take advantage of these edits such as instant cast wizards, snipers, etc.

In addition to this, because of the ad donation system allowing players to obtain MVP cards as well as other powerful equipment without having to pay any real money, MVP cards have become common. Not common in the sense that they cost 10 zeny, but common in the sense that they are practically ubiquitous; it seems like everyone either has one, or is able to borrow them from friends or guildmates. Equipment containing not one, but multiple MVP cards is not a rare sight on this server and unfortunately it causes a huge unbalance of power against those players who are unable to obtain them for whatever reasons.

As much as I hate to say it, but this is a server in which WoE and PvP is dominated by elitists using donation gear. It is extremely difficult for ordinary players to go up against anyone using MVP equipment and Kahos unless they are extremely skilled and experienced. Most often, it is the player with the best and most donation gear that wins.

Economy: Very active and thriving. The streets of prontera are littered with vendors. Literally. Imagine vendors in iRO. It is not difficult to find a shop selling items for your needs, but in general items and equipment are quite expensive on the server. In addition, because of the ad donation system allowing MVP cards to become easily obtainable, they can also be generally found in vends as well and for much less than one would generally imagine for a lowrate server. However they are still expensive in relation to the rate any player can actually earn zeny, and comparitively to other normal equipments.

Community: Honestly one of the worst communities I've seen. There are a number of points which I feel I must make on this subject, so I shall break them apart into seperate paragraphs.

I will first begin with overall friendliness, which I have found severely lacking. That is not to say that everyone is a meanie, oh no of course not. To be just I must say that there are indeed a number of very nice, friendly people on this server. I have met my own share of good friends on this server, but for the most part I have found the majority of the community to have been either very rude, disrespectful, or just plain mean and unfriendly. My main character on all servers is always a priestess, and as such I am used to hearing "buff pls/res pls/warp pls" and the like. However my experiences as a priestess was taken to a whole different level while on Anima. I have in the past as well as many people, not only been spammed with other mutilated forms of requests for buffs, heals, and other services(half the time without even so much as "pls" or "thx"), but I have also been harrassed and insulted for it on numerous occasions which is uncalled for.

In addition I have not found the community to be any friendlier on the server forums. There are large numbers of flames shooting about inside threads as well as insults, both of which appear to be quite rampant in the ranter's section, but much milder in other sections. While this is not to apply to literally everyone in the community, but I have found in general that respect for fellow players is seriously lacking. I have also found that in general, many players on this server cannot handle any criticisms made about it, and very often respond negatively either by insulting the user who made said criticisms, or throwing accusations that the user is "flaming" or "advertising" other servers, etc. This can often be found in the feedback section of the server forums, despite the fact that many criticisms are given constructively and in a calm, mature manner and are meant to help develop the server.

On a more objective level, I have also noticed that surprisingly, a large number of the player population are either not very knowledgeable about RO at all, or are completely new to RO with Anima as their first server. From deductive reasoning, I partially blame the lack of knowledge about RO on the ad donation system making MVP and other high level equipments ubiquitous. Since it is so easy to obtain them or borrow them, a large number of players can level very easily and much faster than any ordinary player could on a server of these rates. With MVP and other high level gears doing most of the hardest part of the work, it takes very little effort or knowledge to level up. In addition to this, a large number of maps on the Anima server have been edited. Certain maps such as the Glast Heim prisons and Skellington have been edited to allow far larger spawns of monsters and at an incredibly fast respawn rate. Other maps such as Glast Heim Churchyard are edited to spawn monsters that do not belong there to serve as leveling areas. From my own experiences, I would estimate that there are at least a few hundred monsters set to spawn on the edited maps, and no exaggeration is made.

But to be just, do keep in mind that not everyone is the community is all bad. There are actually a number of very mature, and very kindly people playing on this server as well, it just takes time to look for them. Although a number of the more experienced and veteran RO players on this server seem to have left, there are a number of players remaining that are still very proactive in attempting to make the server a better place. There have been petitions set up about various issues and problems in the server(such as the economy) advocating a better or more authentic RO experience. Although in general I do not enjoy the community, I must say it is quite diverse; I've never actually seen any group of players on any server actually get together and protest/petition against issues and other going-ons in the server itself.


GM Availibility: very rarely have I seen any GMs in game at all, or on the forums except to post announcements. It seems that in order to contact any GM, one would need to use the support tickets. Support tickets are exellent in a way since you are gauranteed to eventually recieve some GM support, however they are also very flawed from the fact that you must wait, and backlogs may happen so there is a possibility of an extended wait.

GM Friendliness: I have a neutral stance on this, since there is very little GM presence both in game and on the server forums. I'm sure they are all probably very nice people in real life, but I see little of it in game or on the forums.

GM professionalism: To be honest, professionalism seems to be severely lacking on a team level. With the exception of a few individuals such as the head GM and the newest bot hunter, I must say that I honestly believe that the majority of GMs are either very unprofessional, or entirely unsuited to be GMs. For politeness sake, I will not directly name any GMs in this critique unless specifically asked; I could write a full critique of each GM but doing so would span this review to be far too long. I must say though, that the majority of the following critiques do not apply to head GM Debbie, Delphine, or Talon. To be fair, I have witnessed them doing some very hard work, and they should be recognized for it.

There are a number of reasons for my low scoring in this category. With the current population, this server is heavily understaffed and many problems as well as other issues seem to run rampant. Kill stealing and looting is a common everyday occurance throughout the entire server. While users are able to report such incidents on the spot to a GM if they are online at the time, most often they are not which generally allows the offenders to slide through. Reports of such incidents are permitted to be made in the forums, however large numbers of them go unaddressed, and seemingly unnoticed by the GM team, even when the reporter provides sufficient screenshots and other evidence. Currently on the anima forums there are over 3 pages of reports in killstealing and other categories which are completely unaddressed by any GM. GMs do appear to be proactive in catching and punishing scammers and hackers, however since all reports and announcements of such are never backed with any proofs or evidence, I have to question whether or not it is true or a fabricated report.

In addition to this, many players as aforementioned in above categories, have often voiced opinions and concerns regarding various issues and problems about the server from the economy, to lag, etc. Some of them may be light, while others have been serious and heavily contemplated, but in both cases GMs appear to ignore the voice of the community in this respect, and suggestion threads are untouched by any GM comments.

Lastly, I have seen a number of behaviors from certain GMs which I believe to be completely unprofessional and uncalled for from a person of authority. Some of these behaviors for example, included responding to suggestions of implementing expanded classes by insulting them. Generally saying they suck, despite the fact that said GM had never played any expanded characters(and admitted to this), nor provided any reasoning for the comment. For a person in an authoritative position and a role model to the community, I found that such comments to be very unprofessional as well as biased, potentially turning players off of even trying out new job classes. This was prior to update when expanded classes were implemented. Other GM behaviors which I have found to be very unprofessional were behaviors depicting a huge lack of good judgement. For instance, in the past month or so there have been many events involving the spawning of numerous MVPs in a concentrated area. The server already lags enough as it is, but with such huge MVP spawn events I have felt the dramatic effects in the increased lag despite the fact that I was nowhere near the spawn area. Other things which have surprised and saddened me more were seeing a GM which will remain unnamed creating an entire thread dedicated to posting photos of herself, and was broadcasted over the server. At the time the server was undergoing huge problems with lag, KSing, looters, etc. and a "post a pic of yourself" thread already existed in the forums. I was surprised and shocked to find that a GM would have the time to upload and post numerous pictures of herself, yet did not appear to have enough time to at least respond to any of the problems or issues voiced by the players. I found this not only to be very unprofessional behavior on a GM's part, but also narcissist.

Overall rating: honestly one of the worst servers I've played. I still continue to play on this server because I have multiple friends there who refuse to move, so I stay for their sakes. This server actually used to be alright back in the days when the population was only about 200-300; had I written a review then, it would have been much better. However things seem to have gotten worse as the population increased. I may not enjoy this server, but I do believe the server does still have potential, but it would take a huge effort on both the GM team and the community to turn it around. In many ways, I feel like I'm back in iRO when I play here.


Second review

Server: EternalRO (not to be confused with Eternal RO Anime)
Rates: 10/10/10

Length of time played: approx 6 months


Server updates: Always runs on eA Stable. Currently it is not the latest SVN, but it is quite updated with some of kRO's newest hats(i.e. twin ribbons and helm of darkness)

Special/other features: A very unique Mission Point system in which players are awarded points for participating in events(both in game and on the forums) in which they can exchange for certain special services, headgears, or custom pet related items. Forum events also creatively range from screenshots of the week, to poetry contests. Eternal also has a very unique custom quest system, in which a player is permitted to request a custom quest for custom pets, or equipments. Some items such as misc type items, cards, valkyrie equips and items already having an in game quest are not permitted, but virtually any other item existing in the current database can be quested.

Stability: Very stable. I experience no lag whatsoever while playing on this server.

Uptime: constant uptime excluding minor downtimes resulting from maintenance or upgrades. The server also recently experienced problems with the character server crashing, but it is currently being resolved and at this time, the server has returned to its constant uptime.

Donation system: the donation system of this server rewards donators with mission points and @ commands for a certain period of time. None of the awarded @ commands are godly in any way, but helpful and informative to the player such as @whodrop etc.


Class/power balance: A very well balanced server. Maintaining balance is one of the highest priorities of the GM team and as such I have found this server to be quite diverse in different job classes.

Economy: A very active, balanced and thriving economy. While there are generally very few vendors in town, the activity of the economy can be seen on the server forums. Due to the custom forum quests, even misc items such as clovers and flowers have value.

Community: A small community, but one of the best I've seen. In general very friendly, welcoming and mature. There are small circles of friends which hang about, but if one is open enough and introduces themselves they can be sure to meet new friends.


GM Availibility: While GMs are not constantly online, there is always at least one online for a few hours everyday, and always open and willing to help. GMs can also be contacted on the forums and via @request in case of emergencies in game.

GM Friendliness: Very friendly and open as well as sociable.  Also very mature and down to earth.

GM professionalism: No doubt the best I've seen in this area. Always open and responsive to player suggestions, concerns, ideas, and opinions. They are also highly dedicated, and treat all players equally. Even in times of difficulty, I have seen them pull through and come out with results even better than expected. GMs are also proactive in catching as well as punishing abusive players such as botters, cheats, etc and proofs for such can be viewed if one is doubtful. Overall, excellent and very hardworking.

Overall rating: undoubtedly one of the best servers I've ever played on. To this day I still continue to enjoy playing it, and I do encourage people who are interested in a lowrate server to give this one a try. I'm certain you will not be disappointed.


Third review: *please note, that I have not played servers in the third and fourth reviews for approx 3 or more months, so please keep in mind they may not be accurate to the current status of the servers.

Server: CakeRO
Rates: 2k/2k/1k

Length of time played: approx 2-3 months


Server updates: Always runs on the latest Trunk released by eAthena and thus, always has the latest updates in maps, items, and equipment. I enjoy the fact that the server runs on the latest SVN, allowing me to explore new towns as well as other dungeons and maps. It also gives you a chance to see what new drops and items are through exploration and new monsters. The major downside however, is that with the new updates, many new headgears and other items can only be obtained through donations to the server. i.e. twin ribbons.

Special/other features: uses many custom wings, and other custom headgears/items

Donation system: Cake uses a donation system in which rewards are custom wings, the other custom items/headgears, and some kRO hats can only be obtained via donations. While donations undoubtedly keep the sever bills paid, donation items and gears have proven to be incredibly powerful to the point of omnipotence.

Stability: fairly stable as far as I could see. Minimal lag except in towns of high traffic, such as prontera. Constant uptime, and minimal downtime, however they do not appear to do any regular maintenace.


Class/power balance:Sadly, this server has incredible imbalance issues. Due to the majority of donation items being incredibly powerful with stats as well as other effects and benefits, donation players become omnipotent. WoE is often dominated by omnipotent donator players, allowing very little to no chance for any ordinary players who cannot afford donations to stand up against them. The server is one in which PvP and WoE is dominated by the rich elitist, using godly equipment from donations rather than real skill to win in a player versus player situation. This also seems to have resulted in a domino effect in which a majority of the players are sins, or other effective offensive PvP and WoE type characters.

Community: Opinions of this community are a bit jaded. In my experience I found that many players are not particularly friendly, and arrogant due to the power they recieve from donar items. I have also found that with donar items, many players do know how to play classes properly, since the items do not require the player to use any skill in order to defeat an enemy. While not the entire communnity is unfriendly, I personally found the majority to be.

Economy: despite the streets being plentiful in vendors and shops, there seems to be very little in terms of the actual economy unless one is searching for high level equipment and other rare items(possibly donation items as well).


GM availibility: I personally hardly ever saw any GMs in game except to broadcast announcements telling players to vote for the server. GMs could be contacted on the forums but as far as I can see very little is given to players in terms of assistance or questions. Most often I found that assistance and questions were answered by other players.

GM friendliness: Alright as far as I could see. I never had any contact with any of them and I did not see them around very often anywhere except on broadcast so my opinions in this respect are neutral.

GM professionalism: On a technical level GMs are quite professional. Always on top of the newest Trunk releases from eA and quick to implement them as well as other customs. However I find that professionalism is lacking in other respects. There have been multiple reviews and comments voicing concerns about the imbalance that exists on the server, yet I have found that many GMs either denied this, or ignored the players' concerns. I have also noticed that most support seems to go towards donar players, while non-donating players often seem to be ignored or pushed aside when asking for help or other support. While I understand that perhaps donars may be entitled to be first in line for support because they pay cold hard cash, I do believe that all players should be treated equally. I have also noticed that the majority of responses to reviews on the RMS site contained some form of personal attack against the reviewer(such as stating that he/she was possibly a banned/jailed player, a child, etc) rather than a direct response to the actual criticisms or issues brought up in the review. I find this type of response to be a reflection of unprofessional behavior from a GM or other authoritative figure on any server.

Overall rating: An okay server. I do not like it, but I do not dislike it too much either. This server would be ideal for those who enjoy just being independant and wandering around Midgard without much social interaction. It is also a good place to explore new dungeons, maps, towns, and experience new items released in the latest eA Trunks. However in other respects, if you are a player who prefers to socialize more, or participate in WoE/PvP, you would probably want to look elsewhere unless you can afford donation items.


Last review:

Server: GreenRO
Rates: 10/10/10

Length of time played: 2-3 months


Server updates:
It was fairly updated at the time I played, and using the current SVN at the time as far as I could tell. On this server almost all monsters were tamable, and if in the case they were not, one could request that they be made tamable(except MVPs). Overall I enjoyed being able to see and experience the newest updates availible while on this server, and the multiple shop npcs also allowed me to experience new items and equipment as released by kRO.

Special/other features: multiple custom shop npcs for all possible equipment including accesories, etc.

Stability: Very stable as far as I could see. I hardly had any lag at all, and when I did it was the result of my own connection dying at my end. Maintenance was held regularly, but overall uptime was excellent.

Uptime: constant uptime during the time I had played it, with the exception of minor downtimes resulting from maintenance and an occasional map crash, but overall excellent.

Donation system: none


Class/power balance: The class and power balance was quite excellent as far as I could see. There were no items that gave any overwhelming advantages to any particular class or group of players over another.

Economy: unfortunately the economy was rather nonexistant since any and all items(excluding misc item drops) could be purchased from NPCs.

Community: It was an incredibly small community at the time I played, but from my experiences the majority were quite friendly and mature. I experienced very little difficulties, if any at all in this community and drama as they say were nearly non-existant. A very familiar and comfortable atmosphere in general.


GM Availibility: I very rarely saw GMs in game, but all GMs could be reached via the server forums, and were highly active in the forums, often responding to player posts within 24 hours.

GM Friendliness: Very friendly and socialble as far as I saw. Mature, yet were also not too serious. I often found them to have quite the laid back sense of humor.

GM professionalism: some of the best I have seen in this area. GMs when presented with a question, were always quick to respond. Even in cases where answers were unknown, GMs answered truthfully, yet in a mature and optimistic manner. i.e. if a bug was found and cause was unknown, at the very least a player would recieve full assurance that the bug was being investigated and worked on. GMs were also active in adding new features and tamable pets, and willing to help. Overall they were mature, and held themselves with an air of professionalism that all GMs should have.

Overall rating: Overall a great server, or at least it was when I played. I am unaware of how it is currently, I had left the server long ago due to the very small population, and because my close friends were playing on other servers so I wished to join them. However, still a great server in my eyes and if it is still being run by the same people as when I had played months ago, then it is most definatly worth a shot.

I would now like to formally apologize for the length of my reviews and for having to quadrouple post in this thread. :x And to anyone who actually reads my long reviews all the way through in one sitting, kudos to you~ xD


i did :D good reviews cake ro is huh like you said (that s why i got pwned like no tomorrow CAUSE OF DONATION HAX ITEMS  >:( >:( >:( >:(  )


Quote from: Yulia on Oct 09, 2006, 03:30 PM

Server: CakeRO

very well said, i must add a few things regarding cakero.

1st: i have spent quite a bit of time in cake's irc, before and after donating. and before i donating gm's would just ignore you, but after i donated i instantly started getting responses from gm's.

2nd: now the community as a whole is decently friendly as long as you do not attempt to talk or interact with any donors. they tend to be snobish and divided in thier small groups.

3rd: now staying updated is mostly a plus, but it does cause numerous errors each time they enstate one, because it takes them a fair ammount of time to get patches released.

4th: occassionally you see one of the gm's in game(mainly in pvp on his non gm account) but lynn and marshman are only seen when they are tellin you to vote or accepting pm's about donor items. once every month or so they do have general questions, but if at any other time you pm a gm you will get jailed or banned(depends on if you are a donor or not)

5th: now about donor items or as i would call them god items. they have wings with +10 all stats, they have removed some benefits of cards that could be found in game and now you can ONLY get them by donating, any good headgear must be donated for, and there are numerous other cards that they created that are entirely too powerful.

6th: economy, yeah it mostly sucks, but it is easy to purchase +10 refined weapons, and semi rare items(nothing is rare on a high rate server). but with being such a high rate server zeny is easily made by farming gold or treasure boxes.

7tth: now they have made a 55 second delay before you can use items like yggs, or even normal potions, so now there is no hope of ever beating a donor.

now i am probably missing some things, but i can always edit this post later, but i think you can tell i dislike cakero. I only go on cake to chat with friends, and i gave my donor items away to a good friend.

p.s. remember i am a donor on that site, and i still think donors are overpowered.


:O u said it /no1


Your review of AnimaRo, Yulia, shakes me to the core...

Immediately, memories of the server a year ago, came flooding back, where the community and GM's used to bond and work together~

Your words mirror mine, in that, we stay for our friends... though I barely linger, watching everyone smile as I slip away~

You seem to have spent as much time on the server as I.. do you frequent aRo often still?

I am known the same here, as there~ Maybe we will meet up sometime ne?

Great reviews ne~


Hikaru Yui

Reply to Eternal RO review:

If you don't recognize my name already, this is a GM from eRO :P I just like to express my thanks for the awesomely supportive review. It's given my collegues and I a huge morale boost.

Hopefully that review and opinion isn't too outdated as I read this topic. But thank you anyways :D


CakeRO... Let me tell you something. They lie. They say their donations are not for profit, but if you were there in the beginning of CakeRO... Marshmellow would always ask for gift cards in trade for donation items so that he can get stuff from BestBuy.

Also, if you annoy Marshmellow, he jails you. THEN he has the nerve to set up a "release from jail" system on Fridays and play it off like it's the player's fault. PM Marshmellow = Ban? What kind of GM is that? Seriously.


Sorry for the insanely late reply, especially to anyone who send me a PM during my absence; I've been on hiatus due to illness and university. o.o

Oh, and I have just discovered that greenRO has closed, so please just ignore that review.

@Blandastig: wow; I never liked cakeRO to begin with, and always believed they were about donation cash, but I didn't know donar favoritism had gone to such a deep rooted extent. I can only imagine how it must be like now with the wipe. *listens to friends' complaints* o.o

@ElvenAngel: yes I believe I've seen you before on anima, and on the forums too I think. I used to play there as Phoenixsong on the forums, and Evelina in game; you might have seen me perhaps, I was guildmistress of Asterisk before my retirement. I have now retired from that server, but my guild is still active and I assist them from the side. I might log on from time to time to have some ingame chats and visit some friends.

@Hikaru: lol yes Hikkie, everyone knows you. xD Though it is a little outdated now, I'm glad my review was able to help, even if it was only in a small way. I am returning to playing RO now that I'm off hiatus and feeling better, although on Eternal I'm registered as Phoenixsong on the forums, and my character is Evelina in game.

Hikaru Yui

Ahh so that's who this is ;o
Well I'll be glad to see you back. A bunch of us want to hug you :P
See you ingame sometime in the future.