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Let's talk: About private server economy and ecosystem

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by krylios, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. krylios
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    krylios Mano

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    So this is my first patch for Legends and I'm glad it is because I hate playing in a small 800x600 window, guess it's me being a privileged boomer gamer now that I'm all grown up and use to my wide screen HD qualities and 144 fps smooth as butter frame rates. So thank you legends team/staff for improving my 12 year return to the game by solving the GFX garbage in bosses and modernizing the game a bit more.

    I'm sure it took a lot of work but since I am not a programmer I'll instead start an interesting discussion that I initially had in my stream with some viewers who had never experienced legends before and were asking for my thoughts and feelings regarding my experience with the private server and how I generally feel about private servers from the perspective of someone who has studied and has a career in business, economy, trading, and market analysis. The discussion itself was so interesting in fact that I decided to share it with all of you so we can have a bit of inquisitive thought and discussion while I am waiting to snipe an FM door spot in ch1.

    So lets preface this with some very important background information about me.

    1. I am literally 4-5 weeks?-ish old to the private server scene, and I will not claim to know the complete history or inception of the private servers discussed including Legends itself, I actually initially tried to look up some history regarding the inception of Legends and how it grew to what it was but I honestly gave up after a few forum clicks ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
    2. I will mostly be talking about my impressions and opinions based on my knowledge from what I have studied from business school, as well as my own experiences working as a director of operations in an energy company.
    3. I just like having discussions about these types of games in video games so just have some fun and talk about it :).
    In my experience sometimes these things turn into full on debates about right/wrong, morals ethics, and blah blah etc. I am going to preface this even more that opinions are cool share, but don't personally attack others for having their own opinions and perspectives as to how private servers are run, especially do not attack the staff or community of other private servers, it reflects badly on your character, it shows immaturity as to how the working world works, and if you so choose to associate yourself personally with the Maple Legends community, it reflects badly on to them as well.

    With the civilities out of the way the last thing I will say is that I will be referring to examples that I make by titles such as "private server A" and "private server B" out of my own sense of professionalism, except of course Legends itself because well, we're all here because we play on this server after all. But this is because this discussion is on the official Legends forums itself that I would prefer to not refer to other private servers by name and I ask those responding to this to do so as well.

    BUT WITH THAT SAID I DON'T MODERATE THE FORUMS NOR DO I THINK I CAN REMOVE YOUR POSTS SO ITS UP TO YOU :).


    So. Let's begin

    The private server ecosystem and as it exists currently from my perspective is controlled by a government if you were to put it in analogous terms. That government is as you probably guessed gtop100. This website is the cornerstone of many private servers and their player bases.
    Going more in depth, it is the only thing other than the al mighty google search engine itself that will give any private server based on Maplestory, (as for other games I do not know) any sort of reasonable exposure. While there are other sites, gtop100 is obviously by far and above the most relevant and important source of new players that most private servers have access too. As shown by observation that private servers showcased on gtop100 do not have alternative sites to vote too. Whether this is some sort of exclusivity agreement with the private server administrators and the website themselves, that is currently out of my knowledge but that is what I have currently observed.


    So why is this an important topic of discussion Kry?

    It is important because while a lot of power is in the hands of the voters(the players) of these private servers. At the end of the day if gtop100 were to disappear tomorrow, a lot of private servers currently would lose a lot of traffic, as a result, they would lose their primary source of new players. This means they have a pseudo monopoly on the current private server economy and ecosystem. It is akin to the streaming monopoly twitch use to have with no competitor like mixer existing back in the day. Back then it meant that with a snap of a finger many people could or would lose their jobs. Obviously why would Twitch do something that would hurt their business right? The very same can be said of gtop100, they would not do something such as removing legends as an example, out of the blue, because that would mean their website would get way less traffic with the 2nd most populated server removed. Which would mean less ad revenue.

    With that said, while private servers are not illegal by any means they do technically infringe on the originally work and are under jurisdiction to be removed due to copyright laws, if Neckson were to act on it. They own the IP they can decide who can use it and who can't at the end of the day. If Neckson decided to hire a team of lawyers to shut all of the private servers down, nothing would or could stop them and it is within their right to do so, understand that, first and foremost. So in reality the real governing body is Neckson, Gtop100 is being loaned a monopoly over the private server ecosystem, and Legends is a top end competitor selling a product to consumers. if we were use terms I am familiar with.

    So why does Neckson not taking down every private server? Doesn't it hurt their business to have players directing traffic away from their live servers?

    The answer is, that while it is indeed harmful for Neckson to have private servers taking away a player base from their live servers. It is far more costly for them to hunt down private servers and shut them down, because lawyers cost money, simple as that, and whales currently sustain the already dying game of current live maplestory. In short: Neckson has already given up on the live servers of maplestory and are currently cutting their losses and milking the game as much as possible. This means:
    • Spending as little resources as possible developing new content
    • Prolonging the current life cycle of the live servers using as little resources as possible to sustain it
    • Unless a private server directs more than 30%(honestly at this point I'd say its more close to 50) of the player base away from the live servers, meaning if there were 10000 players on the live servers currently and for example legends had 3000-5000. Neckson will most likely not act on closing private servers because of the inherent losses they would sustain compared to their profits of leaving things as is.
    The only things they would be willing to do currently are small things such as shutting down streams of private servers because these costs are comparatively smaller than building a legal case, (however easy it may be) to shut down a website and private server. Hiring lawyers generally isn't cheap. On the topic of shutting down of private server streams themselves, these most likely are not conducted by an actual lawyer but a PR representative / employee. The process is extremely easy to do and requires no cost compared to hiring an actual lawyer, these platforms generally have a policy of guilty till proven innocent, where they will remove the content without confirmation through their automated systems as long as a claim has been made properly. They do this because it simply looks unprofessional to allow such things to be shown in public and reflects poorly on their IP to have people stream unofficial servers of their game.

    Now that the hierarchy and their decisions are more clearly laid out lets talk about gtop100 and it's relationship with private servers.

    Currently gtop100 is responsible for one of the most important resources for sustaining private servers, exposure, and new players. An MMO's 2 most important aspects are
    • Community
    • Content
    Both have a very intricate relationship with one another and gtop100s monopoly of how private servers establish and stabilize their communities ultimately dictate how private servers provide their content, whether they are aware of it or not which is something to keep in mind. Even if you do not think it effects how servers run and provide their content it ultimately does because the easiest way to understand if a player base is retaining interest and is happy with the decisions of the staff / developers is numbers. If people are sticking around it is a clear indication that they are happy or at the very least satisfied with the changes and unique things provided to them by the server and due to those reasons they are a satisfied player and are willing to stay. This of course does not apply to all cases.

    And this is what I was ultimately building up to. Voting.
    The current private server ecosystem is suppose to be simple, player likes Pserver A and plays it, maybe they stick around and then they decide "I wish to support this Pserver!" so they find out about this thing called voting, it's free you just enter a captcha and you help with Pserver A's exposure. This in turn either helps stabilize their player base OR helps grow their player base. Resulting in a stable community that can foster and grow naturally and some friends are made along the way ;w; (my shounen heart almost sheds a tear). I imagine that was what was initially envisioned at least...

    And maybe what happened was:

    Private server A back in the day wanted to reward their players for helping support their growth so they established a way to make voting rewards a reality, this however proved insanely effective as humans are just evolved forms of prehistoric chimps driven by the feel good effect dopamine has on our brains. We flocked to this type of low effort reward system. In turn other private servers took notice and started ramping up their reward systems and copying what private server A did first but with more bounty and higher demands. Eventually we evolved chimps started finding ways to circumvent gtop100s systems by voting through phones, and different IP's using different internet connections. Thus leading us to the present day of the voting economy of Maplestory private servers / private servers in general and the voting system as it exists currently.

    Now private servers themselves are obligated to obviously discourage multiple ip voting for obvious reasons but, at the end of the day they are not incentivized to stop this type of voting unless gtop100 specifically asks them to start investigating into the issue. The reason being is the same reason Neckson does not decide to take down every single private server. It simple costs too much resources and time. For what is a essentially a team of volunteers it is much more realistic to let multi voters do what they do because they will find a way to do it anyways and redirect your time elsewhere more productive(like making an HD client ^_^).

    This is compounded by the fact that multi ip voters don't actually harm the servers. In fact they actually help them gain more exposure thus stabilizing and growing their communities even more so. Does it inflate numbers? Yes. But it attracts new players and people are more likely to stay playing on a server that has a thriving community and economy. But it is also a system that does not feel malicious nor does it intend to be malicious so therefore the majority of players are ok with voting rewards. It also doesn't cost the player much other than a maybe 1 or 2 minutes of their time every day.

    So how does this relate to content in Private servers.
    Communities and content in MMO's are intertwined very tightly. MMO's live and die by their community, when 1 friend leaves it leads to another leaving which may lead to 2 more people leaving and this trend continues until the MMO reaches a new stable population that is ultimately lower than before. This takes awhile but MMO's do not die out over night, it is a slow process.

    Content on the other hand is intertwined because people will not stay around playing a game if there is well... nothing to do when playing. If the only thing you have to do when logging on is sitting around and chatting it might not be that much better than discord(I guess you can have a cute looking character? lol.). But otherwise Maplestory is, despite it's age, an extremely fun game, grindy yes but it works because of its simplicity. It also has systems that are exciting, feel good, and feel rewarding. After all these years it really reminds me how much of a golden goose Neckson found(but then ultimately choked to death trying to harvest it's golden eggs too aggressively).

    Because of this though, voting has an inherent power in which the rewards have (in many cases of private servers), a powerful effect on the content of the servers and ultimately the game itself. Examples of these are things such as the HP washing economy of Pserver A with its tradeable AP Resets and daily voting. This system prints currency for players and creates this skinner box trap that cause players to seek an advantage by making multiple accounts and doing multi IP voting, else they wish to play with an inherent disadvantage compared to other players not doing the same thing. This does not mean bossing or accessing end game content exclusively but simply the trading of AP resets for mesos or in otherwords the trading of "vote currency" can be considered an extreme advantage if a Pserver wishes to take that type of direction with how they run their server.

    HP washing is an entirely different topic all together that is way more complicated with its place in the private server ecosystem than I'd like to delve into now.

    In my opinion I think the voting rewards system that is widely adopted by most if not all private servers at this point is fine for what it is and obviously can have improvements that are out of realistic reaches at this current juncture. I honestly commend the Legends team for having their own vision for what they wish their private server to be like in terms of community and ideal for the games' balance. Generally when it comes to these sorts of grey line types of abuse in systems, I find companies that I use to work with generally tread the line thinly and resort to the same methods as their competitors in order to gain results.

    Many of the Legends balance changes and game play changes reflect that, from the removal of CPQ, and the removal of gachapon tickets being bought with NX. This combined with the extensive community support the Legends team provides, as well as the insights of their development in the server and their communication with the public community on forums and discord.

    I am honestly surprised as to how far Legends has made it with the large player base and community that has been attracted, with out resorting to the methods of exploiting the vote system that gtop100 has, as mentioned above. This is more a testament to how much interest there is the Maplestory Pserver audience has as a whole for fair, non-exploitative systems on the players themselves, as well as their perception of them early on. Whether they consciously are aware of it or not.

    What I mean by this is when a consumer doesn't feel good when making a purchase they don't necessarily need to have all the insights as to why it is a good or bad deal for them in business. All that matters is their perception. This is key in business, sales, and trade/ negotiation. As long as both parties perceive they are not being exploited, they see no problems with a deal whether 1 party is being exploited or not.

    There is a very famous example that business schools use, called the JC Penney problem. JC Penney, a clothing distribution store made a drastic marketing and sales decision over night as to how they would handle their sales vowing to prioritize company honesty towards the consumer utmost.

    The idea was that all clothing distribution stores market up their prices to extreme levels and then use sales as a means of marketing to attract customers and make them feel as if they were getting a great deal, when in reality they are still getting ripped off. What I mean by this is let's say a pair of jeans is 100$ for the sake of consistency we'll use USD, The actual cost to make those jeans from manufacture, design, and transportation, generally lands around in the ballpark range of 1-15 dollars at most. If a pair of jeans go on sale for lets say 60% off, and only costs 40 dollars. That company is still making over 200% profit. Not to mention for the fact that when people see a sale like that they will attract more customers through word of mouth which attracts more sales and the great cycle continues!

    JC Penney said, no more. We'll be honest and fair and whatever the jeans cost was will be sold for what they were + a reasonable amount for the companies sake of making a profit. Prioritizing the consumer utmost was their new policy. So all their clothing was only priced with the intention of not exploiting their consumers and, you probably guess what happens next. The plan failed miserably, sales were at an all time low and people just didn't care. Even if the exact same jeans that costed 7 dollars at JC Penney's made in the exact same place and manufacturer were 40 dollars at a competitor. People flocked to their competitors, now you must think man people are stupid. Well yes we are, generally humans are very easily manipulated and that's sort of how sales and marketing is, which is the exploitation of human psychology. The point was that, the consumers themselves didn't feel good when purchasing JC Penney's Jeans, even though they were being treated better by the company in almost every aspect. This is because buying 7 dollar jeans is meh, while if you buy a pair of 100 dollar jeans but they were only 40 dollars, that feels amazing. It comes back to perception and feeling.

    Now you probably get an idea of where this is going, the voting system of gtop100 was not made to be exploitative of the players, it was meant to be a simple way of players showing which servers they liked the most. What became exploitative itself was when private servers started abusing its system and creating powerful voting rewards that make use of the same power of perception and feeling we in the field of marketing and sales use. Here's some examples:
    • When you own multiple door spots and shops in an FM because of multi voting, it feels great. Your shops feel like they are getting more exposure and you are overall selling more items all the time and all you have to do is vote twice maybe 3 times from your school or phone.
    • If Pserver A has an economy where they have tradeable ap resets or buyable gacha tickets using vote currency, it feels great that you can get started so easily by voting for a few days and essentially making static income with little to no effort.
    • If Pserver B has custom balance changes, and these changes improve the QoL of the class, the usability of certain useless skills of the class and overall make the class feel better or more competitive/ useful to the more popular classes, this will overall increase the reception of players who enjoy that archetype of those classes. Whether the changes themselves are actually significant damage buffs or not is irrelevant. Again what matters first is how it feels when it plays and the player perception.
    • Pserver B has custom commands that improve the quality of life of the player during their game play whether it be fixing bugs, or useful in game calculators that records the amount of experience accumulated / hour
    These are just some examples but you start to get the idea.

    Now while saying that some of these things feel good for a large majority players, they also will not be perceived well by a separate large majority as well. What do I mean by that? I will give you an example.

    Pserver A has tradeable vote cash and while most players who play on the server are ok and feel as if it is a normal thing other private servers have. Others who try the server are turned off by the idea and prefer to have their efforts into actually grinding the game rewarded more and not get by with just voting on multiple accounts. Just like in business and marketing you can't please them all. It also comes back to communism and capitalism, whether you equalize the playing field so everyone can have an opportunity or you reward those who put in more effort. The timeless debate always resurfaces.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    So why is this an important discussion?

    Because whether we like it or not the voting system is here to stay and despite intentions of the legends team they must design the server while keeping it in mind at all times. If they wish to make a competitive product that will satisfy the players.

    Buh y tho Kry?

    Because if a private server ignores these facts or discussions it will ultimately lead to the death of the server whether it's slow or not, I've mentioned this before but MMO's live and die by their community. What this means is an influx of new players and old players sticking around. Stability within a community is the most important thing. This concept is one and the same in business and companies as well. If you can achieve stability growth will happen on its own, to achieve explosive growth is unrealistic, every economy has cycles of low times and high times, but the most important factor is being able to brace through the low times and take advantage of the opportunity during the high times. To that end from what I am observing the legends team and other private servers have already achieved decent levels of stability thus far already. But stability does not mean stagnation even lower end companies are always searching to take advantage of opportunities that come up and looking for ways to improve their products as well as attract a new audience to their market.

    To that end I think legends has thus far been doing wonderfully, because every company must have a vision as to what they wish for their product to be, and I can clearly see the vision the team has for Legends. To be fair and deliver an old school MS experience that is improved upon whilst delivering the same sense of community the live servers of MS use to have but at the same time prioritizing the players utmost and rewarding their efforts as to actually sticking with and playing the game with no strings attached.

    At the same time whilst this is commendable vision it is very prone to fall into the JC Penney entrapment of not feeling good for the players although being fair for them. Which could ultimately lead to its downfall, I'm not here to be a doomsayer and I'm not suggesting that Legends is making decisions that could hurt them in the future currently, I am simply addressing my own concerns as to some traps I've seen, from some companies I've consulted for and worked with in the past, fall into despite having great intentions for their consumers.

    I have confidence in the team and the potential of this private server though, and I have been enjoying my time a lot thus far and the unique systems and changes the server itself has made thus far have actually addressed the current private server ecosystem perfectly whether it was intentional or not.

    Here's my favorite example of a unique change I don't see in other private servers that Legends has, droppable gachapon tickets. Why is this change so interesting to me? Because it solves many issues at the same time that are inherent with the current vote culture and systems put in place by gtop100.

    Let's say for example Private server B made gacha tickets purchasable with mesos or downright removed gacha tickets all together in an attempt to be more fair for the players and reward their efforts first and foremost. The one thing I can see from this type of change is that it would be absolutely abysmal. Why? Because people like the random lottery style of gachapon, getting that sweet sweet chaos scroll or white scroll feels amazing. So despite the intentions of Private server B's Team of putting the player first. They don't keep this in mind and would ultimately lose players due to a lack of interest or acceptance of this type of change. While making vote currency extremely powerful with gacha tickets is exploitative, players generally like gacha. Why? Because it feels good, it feels as if you are getting something free for little effort and time spent and this only feels like a gain to you. You aren't spending your hard earned mesos you grinded yourself trying to purchase a chance at something big. Instead it feels like a bonus with no cost tied to it other than your time and is only seen as a gain. So how is making droppable gacha tickets solve this type of issue, well think about when you play legends how good it feels when a gacha ticket drops. There's a rush of excitement then it dies down and you pick it up and continue grinding on the way hoping to get another one while accumulating that sweet sweet exp for leveling up. Not to mention those rare gacha tickets (I'm salivating already...). It feels good to summarize, yet keeps in tact the philosophy of putting the players first and rewarding the effort and time they spend engaged with the game. The rates of the drops are also balanced well so that it doesn't feel like a trivial thing when a gacha ticket drops, preserving the game's economy and the feeling of gacha tickets being unique and interesting drops.

    There is so much genius packed into this decision my inner entrepreneurial enterprising mind is fanboying so much that I have to reign it in or else this thread will literally be 12 more paragraphs long, and its already pretty long...

    This on top of things such as fixing the GFX issues prevalent in other private servers and releasing an HD client, mac compatibility, THE LIST GOES ON. AS I CONTINUE TO SALIVATE.

    I love seeing this type of potential in products and I love seeing them grow and improve themselves, sorry it's interesting to me, its why I have a career in enterprising and markets after all.

    Either way I'd like to say good job to the Legends staff and team for the unique decisions despite the weird ecosystem of private servers currently existing. I've had fun playing and I hope they continue with their vision for the game and continue to improve the server using the same philosophies they've been doing thus far, because I'm having a lot more fun with the server than I would've ever imagined to have been. I use to never entertain the idea of private servers because I was and still am in the camp of,

    "There's no point of entertaining the idea of private servers simply because at the end of the day they don't own the product. They will never be able to fully support it and offer it the type of updates to content that is required in the current ecosystem of live service games to stay relevant."

    Although I am still skeptical and still adhere to this line of thinking, I do sense the passion and support of the game you all use to love and the desire to improve upon it and I'm having a great time thus far as a result.

    On that note I'd like to open up the discussion as to:

    How you feel about my observations of the private server ecosystem?
    Do you agree or disagree with some points I made?
    What other issues can you think of that private servers would run into in the future?
    What unique changes could Legends provide that would attract more players and increase the size of it's community? Would you want that at all or do you think the community size is fine as is?
    How do you feel about the current private server ecosystem and economy? What kind of changes do you think would be good things to see in order to shake things up?

    and any other comments are welcome or you can even pick apart my current understanding of the private server ecosystem, its community, and state. and shit all over it if you wish too. I don't mind, it gives me something to read and I have a good time reading and seeing these types of discussions occur. On that note this post is already long enough so I'll see you when patch hits.

    Pea soup.
     
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  2. Precel
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    Precel Zakum Retired Staff

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  3. OP
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    krylios
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    krylios Mano

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    Thanks although it is not comprehensive it gives me a better idea of the management structure of the legends team and the feelings of the owner themselves. which is very important and I might use this new information to revise the post a bit or add certain things later on.
     
  4. Midnight
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    Midnight Skelegon

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    Can you please run for president? Thanks. I'll contribute something useful here when I'm done digesting.
     
  5. luca
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    congrats on ur book release bro
     
  6. Annolis
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    Annolis Skelegon

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    I'm not sure if this is on topic or off topic, but I think sharing my experiences might(?) help with your perceptions on the server.

    When I began playing on private servers, I started with MapleDestiny, but they had a host of bugs in their quest strings and the x8 exp rate caused me to level too fast that I couldn't enjoy things like KPQ, LPQ, and OPQ. People leveled so fast that PQs were seen as completely unnecessary. Around 3rd Job, I just got bored and quit. Months later, I felt like playing again, but I figured I'd try a server that had a lower exp rate, and so I tried MapleRoyals. While it was a little more enjoyable because I wasn't leveling at an insane rate, they had so many issues with their quests that I felt like half of the game was inaccessible. By the time I hit 3rd Job, I had once again grown bored and quit. I felt like I was just asking for disappointment when I felt the call to play again and saw this upstart server called MapleLegends that had x2 exp, normal drop/meso rates, but "...WAIT...WHAT!!! X3 EXP FOR QUESTS!!" It was at this point where I made a very clear cut decision. Either this server is run by someone who KNOWS what the old MapleStory should have been, or I need to take a hint and stop trying to play private servers.

    MapleLegends was only 2 months old when I logged in for the first time, and my routine is always the same when testing a new server - do all the quests work? Just like MapleDestiny and MapleRoyals, I had a the game running on one computer, and a Microsoft Word Document open on another to log all the bugs. Destiny & Royals had 2 to 3 pages full of bugs within a week of playing. With Legends - I was struggling to get half a page after a month of playing!!! I also noticed that I hadn't hit 3rd Job in a month of playing either - in fact, I hadn't hit 2nd Job yet! And so I began my Story exactly how I had always wanted to...

    I created multiple accounts, I got 12 characters in the game (one for each job type) and began my quest:
    1. Have all 12 characters get to 4th Job at the same time
    2. Have all 12 characters have as close to 100% quest completion as possible
    3. Have all 12 characters achieve this without the use of leeching.

    When I got all 12 characters to 3rd Job at the same time, I was quite pleased. But now it was time to push forward to 4th Job. I began with my WK, as always, but around Level 76, I became bored...just like the other servers when I hit 3rd Job. I started to panic a bit because I had put all this work in, and now there's very few quests to do and I hate mindlessly grinding. And then, KimberlyKimberly did something AMAZING! She introduced the Monster Book and the Tier Rings. "I HAVE SOMETHING TO DO!!!" Immediately, I noticed that I was collecting a lot of etc drops that I know were good for quests. "Do you think people would buy this stuff?" I mean, I was going to grind on all the mobs 12 times over now! And I've already completed the vast majority of quests on each of my characters, so it seemed a bit of a waste to just NPC it all. And thus began my decision to open The Junk Yard in CH7 FM1 (now in CH6 FM1). After a couple SMEGAS, people started spreading the word. It felt great hearing back from so many players that were glad to buy this stuff and gave much appreciation for my work and dedication. I asked people if there were things they'd like to see, and someone recommended NLC pots. I figured, "Sure, why not?" Little did I know this would create turf wars on Channel 6 of all places!! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    [Historical side note, I initially opened it in CH7 FM1 when we were still at 9 channels because I didn't want to get into a turf war if I'm going to have so many stores open. Plus, I intended to have a set of specialty stores where word of mouth should be the main advertisement to keep them going. After the channels were reduced to 6, I moved to CH6 FM2 because even CH6 FM1 was a turf war. After a few players began a turf war with me in FM2, I moved everything to FM1 on CH6 after noticing..."Huh...no one is in here! Okay...I'll move!"]

    What I soon realized is that there were quests aligned with Magatia Party Quest when MPQ hadn't been released yet. So I stopped my WK at level 85, refusing to level him further until MPQ came out. I even got my I/L to 85 and began working on my Hermit when MPQ was finally released. I chose to bring every character to 85 and this is where I am currently (click the Information Tab). I have 5 more characters to bring to 85 before I begin the push for each one to get to 120. Obviously, once my 12th character gets their Tier 5 Ring, The Junk Yard will have to change because I won't be getting these drops everyone has been accustomed to seeing, but I'll deal with that problem when I cross it.

    As far as the Voting goes, I really use most of it to buy slots. I have a ton of mules because I try to collect 200 of every etc drop (100 where applicable), and I've accumulated lots of scrolls. I also stock up on the different types of pots that we get during events with the full intention of using them when my characters are high enough. I think I have over 5000 Elixirs from all the quest rewards and drops from mobs. I never wanted to bother with HP Washing as I believe it to be anathema to the true nature that Wizet had envisioned (yes, I'm assuming a lot here).

    The new areas with more quests, the customization of character abilities, the vision that Kimberly has in making this server what MapleStory should have been are all reasons why I chose to stay here. There is a genuine love for the game the staff here embodies and I can't thank them enough for all of their creativity, devotion, and their exercising of wisdom at every step. I know they have not made a correct decision every time, but they do learn from their mistakes. God Bless Kimberly, and God bless the United States.

    (Speaking of the United States: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it is part of copyright law that if you do not make an effort to fight for your copyrights and trademarks, you lose your right over them and they become part of the public domain.)
     
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  7. Liszt
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    Liszt Slime

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    6:12 PM
    franzLiszt
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    op, whatever you are on, i would like some as well ty
     
  8. 2147Code
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    2147Code Slime

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    3:12 AM
    A slight error in this thread that I would like to point out just to clarify things is that GTOP100 is far far away from being a government. Unless you are a poorly lead private server and your entire marketing comes from GTOP100. An example would be where (currently dead) MapleGlobal had over 70% of their players through Facebook ads and mouth to mouth. Only 15% came through GTOP100. It's typically a pseudo idea that GTOP100 is the to-go place for running a private server. Some private servers actually considered to leave GTOP100 all together. This was something I argued about with the MG / ToV staff a lot, but the numbers don't lie. GTOP100 looks like a Ferrari but is running on a Peugeot engine. Not bad, just not great.

    So do not get me wrong, I am not saying that GTOP100 should be avoided all together, I am saying that with the right marketing team, any good server could replace them at any time of the day.
     
  9. Annolis
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    Annolis Skelegon

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    Marchilles/Annolis/ Atlan/Katroz/ Chokal/Corvack/Tisif/ Quallo/Crisilixin/Forg/ Nannosh/Tylius
    Crusader, White Knight, Dragon Knight, F/P Mage, I/L Mage, Priest, Ranger, Sniper, Hermit, Chief Bandit, Marauder, Outlaw
    120
    Hood/Agape
    Can you address the OP's point about how GTOP100 is the only go to place for private servers? If you could name a few other website whose primary focus is the advertisement of private servers, I think that would bolster your argument.
     
  10. 2147Code
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    2147Code Slime

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    3:12 AM
    First, this is not ''my argument''. This is the argument of other popular private servers. I think you missed the point. Like I already mentioned. There were private servers around where over 70% of their players did not come from GTOP100. Meaning that with this being the case, good marketing (through social media ads) could completly diminish the use of GTOP100. I am not saying there's a magical unicorn website also advertising specifically private servers just like GTOP100 is doing. I'm saying that other popular private servers do not necessarily get most of their players through GTOP100. I know it sounds unbelievable. I didn't believe it either until I saw the numbers myself.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  11. OP
    OP
    krylios
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    krylios Mano

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    7:12 PM
    Krylias
    F/P Wizard
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    WeenieHutJrs
    I find that very interesting because the idea of social media ads and such for a private server never occurred to me and almost seems unfathomable to me because of the unofficial nature of private servers as a whole. I would've only imagined private servers being able to advertise their servers on other websites that are similar to gtop100(iirc gtop100 has a section to advertise your private server for 3 dollars a month or something?). But other complications could arise from advertising a private server from official social media websites such as facebook, things such as garnering unwanted attention from the original owner of the IP(in this case Neckson) is a huge risk with that type of method and would cause them to act much more swiftly.

    For example if they were to see Facebook ads of an alternative means to their product making a public and direct attempt at competing with them. Comparing that to a few individuals streaming their game is not even a point of contention.

    This information was very insightful and sparked an interest in me to research a bit about the MapleGlobal team and their marketing team and how they got around issues like those. But while I do agree there are other means of securing publicity for a product, things are not so straightforward with unofficial private servers due to the reasons above. Acting to advertise a server in some sort of official capacity on popular social media is guaranteed to garner the unwanted attention from big daddy Neckson and would probably result in the swift and aggressive shutdown of the server itself.

    The reason why this is different from them shutting down streamers and or outright hunting down private servers on the gtop100 website itself with a simple google search is because. Currently private servers don't actually compete in any official capacity with Neckson's audience. If that ever changes they would be forced to act, else they risk losing their rights to their own IP.

    What I mean by this is the audience of people playing private servers aren't likely to start playing the live servers if they were to shut them all down, if you think about it yourself, it's not like you'll flock to the GMS live servers if Neckson decided to shut down every private server in existence over 1 night. What you would most likely do is just quit Maplestory all together and find a new game to play. People who are playing on private servers already, probably were not playing the live servers of Maplestory at all or have long since quit.

    This changes however if a server garners enough of an audience and attention that they would be able to market themselves on popular platforms that Neckson itself also uses to market their game. They would not be able to ignore it if they started seeing legends ads on Facebook, it would reflect too poorly on their IP and if they were to hire a team research and find out that Legends themselves has a very active and thriving player base this would give them even more incentive to shut the servers down swiftly.

    This is akin to a situation blizzard had with the WoWClassic private server a few years back, the server itself was huge, around 30k concurrent players around the time, and was garnering social media attention and attention from very popular, and I mean very popular and influential streamers, such as Asmongold and Sodapoppin. Once the attention was garnered Blizzard themselves were forced to shut down the server to protect their IP because it had started to step onto their domain and directly compete in their market.
     
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  12. OP
    OP
    krylios
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    krylios Mano

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    7:12 PM
    Krylias
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    WeenieHutJrs
    Although off topic, sharing your story about why you love this server and why you stick with it provides insight and reaffirms my preconceptions as to why the Legends community thrives, despite not taking advantage of the gtop100 voting system and designing the server around such a system so that it can garner more votes.

    Vision is a very important thing in creation, whether it be a product for sale or a hobby, and there is a timeless argument that has been made overtime about whether a creators vision should be compromised due to the critiques of the masses or whether a creator should stick true to their original intentions meant for the work. The fact that you mention it as a reason why you stick with this server is actually a very interesting topic of discussion that would be fun to explore... in another thread : P. (reading it over after getting home from work this thread really was way too long lmfao...)
     
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  13. Boxy
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    Boxy Chronos

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    The perks the players gets from voting feels more like a "loyalty reward program" used by companies IRL. Other servers mentioned seems to give players more benefits/power compared to other servers. Does the server have to stay competitive in terms of voting rewards, I would say no as the core reason the people play is mainly due to the main game itself rather than using the voting rewards to advance in game. Perks from voting is like an additional benefit, a "Thank you gift" for supporting the server. It does not empower the players, but it is neither game breaking.

    All issues that a normal business would face (staffing,low demand, upkeep, obsolete of private server due to a new game release (Competition) etc). No idea/concept rules forever, my friend :)
     

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