Discussion: The Decline of Era

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phil
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Discussion: The Decline of Era

Post by phil » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:06 am

Hey all,

Most of you who have been around awhile have seen the ebbs and flows of how private servers are, and Era is no different in the fact that it has times when it gets less populated, then more. But in the past 2 months there's been a very sharp decline in the playerbase and most of it can be tracked to the timeframe in which the goblin mafia rewards and experience gain were heavily nerfed. Seemingly less and less players are joining and staying and less players who have been around for a little while are logging in. For those of us who are at the edge of content in FFXI, its hasn't been worth doing anything in game but amassing money through crafting or helping out the random new LS member here and there.

I think the time has come for the admins and the playerbase to have a discussion about how we can try and restore some of the players to the server, or at least work on ways to retain incoming players. I've been logging in and talking with players who are new to the server over the past month and the complaint is always the same. People are basically forced to dual/triple/etc-box and items on the AH are far to expensive for them to afford. I feel like the decision to remove the Goblin Mafia bonus gil was done with very little forethought, especially to how it affects the servers economy. Sure there are people on this server with multiple characters with capped gil due to the old gobbie bonus, but those people aren't affected by inflation or depression, new players are. People are basically resigned to ladybug wing farming as the most reliable way to make gil now. They can try crafting but they constantly get undercut by people trying to move product who are already loaded. We are in a state right now where the rich get richer and the poor stay poor on Era, with very little in between. As a leader of 50/50 we typically only recruit players who are ready for endgame, but we have recently been onboarding new to the server players just to try and give us all something to work for, but in the last week alone 2 of them have just left the server with the complaints I've already mentioned.

Right now, aside from some of the unique content that Era has, there's no reason to play here over any other private server. The Goblin Mafia prize structure is no longer viable, as you can easily get asked for a ridiculously difficult item to obtain and the reward is just.. some points. At least before you got some points and a nice stack of gil. And while I agree that the items that are offered are generally highly sought after and should be difficult to obtain, there's literally ZERO benefit to doing the goblin turn in about half of the time. Spending tens, if not hundreds of millions of gil (in crafting or purchasing items) for an X's Knife (or whatever other item), with absolutely no other return is just no longer worth any effort. And now that the EXP bonus is no longer available, there's very little reason for people to try and level more than the necessary jobs needed for endgame. Leveling has never been the rewarding part of Era's content, if people wanted to enjoy leveling they wouldn't play on Era, they'd play on Nasomi.

In fact, over the past 6 or so months there hasn't been a single change made that has actually benefited players or made things more interesting here. Every change has punished/taken away from players. At this point, maybe its worth reconsidering the direction Era is being taken before you're hosting/moderating yet another one of the dozens of ghost town servers that exist.

Regards,



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SpoonMan
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Re: Discussion: The Decline of Era

Post by SpoonMan » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:03 am

This is hardly the lowest of lows I've seen the server population. In fact it's still ultimately up from years past. Even at the dead hours we still have about 40-50 actual people (aka "unique connections" or what have you).

As for EXP it hasn't been nerfed at all, it just takes a little more effort to get the bonus. It is easy to buy & maintain multiple EXP Bonus Rings, and they're all rechargeable for a little bit of Curor.
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oban
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Re: Discussion: The Decline of Era

Post by oban » Wed May 01, 2019 5:12 pm

As of this reply there are total of 38 characters online, 3 of which are mine and 6 more are one other player. I made a post some time ago titled "Why". I suggest checking back.

"Lowest of the Lows" is not a great standard to try and hold up to. About 60% of our linkshell hardly logs on anymore. We are approaching the Summer months which always create a bit of a lul. However it began some time ago. I urged caution a while back. It was ignored and even met with contempt. I didn't want to be right. I have seen more than enough failed servers that could have been great. Right now we are headed that direction though.

All that being said. I hope potential new players don't skip over us and decide not to play here. I would love to see more folks come over. But they truly need to give their feedback on what they like as well as what they would like to see changed. There are many things here that make this game more enjoyable than retail of 2008. But a server needs a community. Without one it dies. This one right now is hemorrhaging players.

Bigsby
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Re: Discussion: The Decline of Era

Post by Bigsby » Sat May 04, 2019 3:18 am

AS of right now, Friday night prime time... 57 total playuers online, 30 unique IP's... when I joined this server in june of 2018 it would be pushing 200 total players online (im assuming over 100 unique IP's )

Something needs to be done. The changes clearly have not helped, they have just hurt the server. Bring back Grumblix, bring back the xp, and I can assure you the server will improve.

Knowone
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Re: Discussion: The Decline of Era

Post by Knowone » Mon May 06, 2019 12:11 am

Ive yet to see anything saying what you would do in the 4 posts besides i think you want grumblix to start printing gil again and maybe you want us to be a permenant 8x server instaed of a 4x with xp rings to use?

Many people mis-think that a broken mechanic in a system is a feature for our server but in reality we are playing an ever changing alpha stage game that the direction is a retailisk 2010 vanadiel with some perks ---- that are mentioned on the home page.

features are listed and the rest if its not working properly is bound to be fixed 1 day and when the time comes may be changed to go a different flow to fit Era.

game is far from complete and dsp makes changes daily. This is just about a full time job keeping up and making new code at same time.

as far as AH thats on you guys they players if you want better prices list lower prices. and i can start sending your items back

vyrusz
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Re: Discussion: The Decline of Era

Post by vyrusz » Mon May 06, 2019 5:26 am

I have been here a couple of weeks and am enjoying it, however there are some flaws that are difficult to get past. As mentioned, the AH prices are daunting when first joining and it seems as though there is no way to make decent gil prior to ladybugs. IMO the largest flaw when attracting new people is "marketing and appearance". I would have never heard of this server if it were not for a friend while other servers are very active on social media etc. and have clean installers/website (Nasomi). A common theme I see when inviting friends to join is the complaint that the website is very disorganized and the install guide seems daunting at first. For the first thing to experience after getting past all of that, is a 10k Onion Sword is... unfortunate. I know I'm not necessarily offering a solution but I wish to include my personal experiences.

Knowone
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Re: Discussion: The Decline of Era

Post by Knowone » Mon May 06, 2019 1:37 pm

Dont gear yourself from the auction house until level 70+. Beginner gear in shops is very very cheap. Dunes drops sets of gear for that lvl promies drop gear for its lvl, then get rse free from a nm kill, af is free, then relic is free. After that. Shop ah or kill nms for what you want.

My plan for ah is to reduce listing times for 1 year and then its sent back. And ive added a tax. Hoping tje tax will reduce people from listing something unless they actually planning on selling stuff. And not juat list everything they gather everyday for stupid prices. Right now its set at 3 years and im about to change it to the 2 year mark to slowly let people empty thier d boxes

So if you get stuff back becuase it hasnt sold in 2 to 3 years. Ask your self did i list it too high. Maybe you should lower the price. Or maybe its something noone cares about and just npc it

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Jayku
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Re: Discussion: The Decline of Era

Post by Jayku » Mon May 06, 2019 2:26 pm

A couple of suggestions:

For new players trying to make some gil, get sanction, farm and sell crystals, buy from NPC shops instead of AH.

Also, do black tiger fang quest. It's a substantial turn-in similar to lady bugs that can be done much earlier. https://ffxiclopedia.fandom.com/wiki/Tiger%27s_Teeth

I did Carpenter's Landing near where Tempest Tigon (Tiger NM) spawns. Undead can also spawn in the general area. I did this camp around level 30 dual-box. It may be safer to camp tigers elsewhere, like Batallia. But, this worked for me.

I know this has been mentioned many times but a couple of things to remember is you will get a free Garrison set in dunes, free RSE, and then work on AF. You probably don't need as much gear as you may be imagining on your first job to 75. Subsequently gearing other jobs after first to 75 is relatively easier.

The prices are daunting to newer players, but ask around in the discord or TehSocial, people are very likely to offer helpful advice.

I have not been crazy about some of the changes as they are inconvenient for me. However, I try to remain optimistic as I am enjoying my time in Era overall and the Admins do a hell of a lot of work to keep it running.

Sonata
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Re: Discussion: The Decline of Era

Post by Sonata » Mon May 06, 2019 4:43 pm

Wasn't there a guide for how to make money on this server floating around somewhere for new players? Did it get lost in the process of the forums getting wiped multiple times? It probably wouldn't even matter though since barely anyone reads these forums nowadays anyways.

But on the off chance anyone actually reads this, you legitimately shouldn't be worrying about gil for anything other than upgrading your weapon for your first job. There are plenty of custom drops to help you along the way.

Dunes drops low level garrison gear > Promys for level 30 gear > AF Gear > Relic gear from dynamis.


But since this is meant to give solutions and this thread is basically only used for complaining, here are some suggestions

For newer players: Look in to increasing the rewards given from rank 4, 5 and 6 missions by a substantial amount. While they already give more money than retail, i think that it would be reasonable to increase the rewards from these missions enough for someone to be able to comfortably buy all the spells/gear/weapons they need to level 2-3 jobs to 75.

To balance the amount of money needed, it would probably be best to make custom NPCs for each job that have the necessary gear/weapons/spells available on them to get to 75. Let's be completely honest, the current NPCs selling gear are completely useless past like level 20 because the prices become ridiculous, and the custom npcs selling things are all over the place. It might be time for a revamp of those as well. I don't know how you'd go about doing this, maybe trade a colored chip or something to open a custom shop menu at different shop locations that will give you all the necessities for a specific job. e.g.trade a green chip to the person that sells equipment in kazham to get ranger gear.

Finally, the install process not being idiot proof seems like a big issue. I don't know how you would go about simplifying/fixing it but when the server was more active it seemed like there were people that somehow managed to screw it up asking for help every day. Even updating the game is a pain in the ass, and is one of the biggest reasons why I usually end up taking a break.

As for veteran players:

More/Better limited events.

Since people seem to hate the fact the mog buff is gone so much make it a limited time thing more frequently to get people online.

Having the summerfest with actual worthwhile rewards would be cool, but I don't even know what would go into actually turning that on and tweaking it. Maybe doing tiered rewards that give high tier consumables like BCNM/KSNM orbs and a 1 time rare/ex version of a D egg or something could possibly get people to play. People will probably complain about multiboxers reaping too many benefits from this, but if you can learn from the mistakes with Asag when he was repeatable every 15 minutes then I think you can mitigate that a bit. A daily quest you have to do with better rewards on each completion over the course of the event would probably help mitigate this. If there are 20 rewards over the course of a 30 day event then that would mean you'd have to log in to do it a considerable amount to get the highest tier reward. If you keep them rare/ex then there isn't going to be any hoarding on one character.

A daily quest system with worthwhile rewards in general would be nice. Maybe it's time to rethink the way grumblix works and instead of making him into a gil sink have him actual give out daily quests for grumblix points with reworked gear for end game players that we do not currently and will never have based on community suggestions.

A better system for getting/setting vanity gear would also be nice. Currently we have 1 npc that sells a bunch of vanity gear for outrageous prices. The Setskin command is pretty cool, but it's incredibly convoluted to use and you have to know the ID of the skins you want to set out of the thousand or so possibilities. It would be nice to have more vanity gear sellers.


At the end of the day though, I don't know crap about what goes into doing any of this, and it would obviously take up development time which the admins are doing for free. If I knew where to get started and the admins were ok with any of these changes I would gladly try to pick up the mantle and help implement them though.

Knowone
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Re: Discussion: The Decline of Era

Post by Knowone » Mon May 06, 2019 5:16 pm

We have the new nm hunt that is avail every 3 days. I can see grumblix points going towards this as well for rewards

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