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Xenoith 07-13-2016 12:22 PM

Zodiac - Save or Shut Down?
So Zodiac has been an ongoing server for many years, but the player count has been dwindling vastly. From 5 to 10 people daily. The server has fallen into atrophy and any means to communicate with Ketsomaru, Fowlplay4 or Raven613 have been since abolished. However Ketsomaru I will give the benefit of the doubt as he's "trying" but he's only one person. I believe the server is in need of new scriptwriters/gani artist and an overall team. There's been a staffing change and the rules haven't been updated in I wanna say almost years now?

The server as a whole has the potential to be great, but the problem with that is the development is still in 2001's phase. Where the constant need to grind for an item exist. Now I am not saying that's not the case, but in most modern MMO's from 2013 to now in 2016 have improved their farming systems to alleviate it for newer players.

Zodiac has a dashed history of not having the friendliest playerbase which is a given in any game. There will always be bad eggs, but the problem lies with the disconnection of Staff to Player communication. We have no way to contact them directly, and any attempt to make a communication with the staff is met with something along the lines of, "They don't want X to have their info." or "Haven't seen him/her log on in x days." "Where is the manager." That sort of thing. I had previously brought up this topic on Zodiac before and in my honest opinion I think the server "should" be shut down and have management reassigned else where and have it worked on like N-Pulse currently is.

Delteria being a clear example of a good rework. Zodiac could learn something from that servers example as it's kept a steady playerbase since it's relaunch and the good reviews for it from friends and the actual visual updates on the GraalOnline login hub makes it stand out from it's other servers. Another server that Zodiac could learn from is Era, who has been pumping out updates almost every week. I think their last update was actually the 6th of this month. Zodiac sparingly see's updates unless the community literally is flaming the staff to the point of where they will fix the problem, if it means the hate comments will stop.

Here's an example of Era's update log. Compared to Zodiac. These are the last 5 updates.

Tuesday, June 28th 2016 (1 Update)
Monday, June 27 2016 (2 Updates)
Saturday, June 25th 2016 (1 Update)
Friday, June 24th 2016 (1 Update)
Friday, June 17th 2016 (1 Update)

Days between Updates
17-24 = 7
24-25 = 0
25-27 = 1
27-28 = 0
Total: 8 Days

July 12th, 2016
June 29th, 2016
June 27th, 2016
June 23rd, 2016
June 21st, 2016

21-23 = 2
23-27 = 4
27-29 = 2
29-12 = 13
Total: 21 Days

Now I am not saying devs should be pumping content. Most of the updates are just balance/QoL/PvE changes. However what I am pointing out is the inconsistent times between updates. We don't know when they're coming even as nothing is even hinted on the forums about it and we have no feedback from the admins on why these changes happen. They just happen.

If we had a more consistent staff team I think Zodiac could pull itself out of the rut it's in now. But from the looks of it, 2016 is looking rather bleak for the classic RPG server.

I'd like to hear your feedback on this MysticalDragon as well as some of the other staff from Era too. Thanks.

Crono 07-13-2016 12:26 PM

whats the point in shutting down?

Xenoith 07-13-2016 12:30 PM


Originally Posted by Crono (Post 1739227)
whats the point in shutting down?

Redo the server like they did Delteria.

kia345 07-13-2016 04:09 PM

So make a completely different server with the same name?

Crono 07-13-2016 05:53 PM


Originally Posted by Xenoith (Post 1739228)
Redo the server like they did Delteria.

why the heck would we want that

Xenoith 07-13-2016 06:41 PM


Originally Posted by Crono (Post 1739231)
why the heck would we want that

Why not? What is the point of keeping around a dying server? It's like keeping someone on life support. I think it's time we just pull the plug on Zodiac. The server is in short in a ruinous state in terms of admins, with no real foundation other than the handful of people who play it. Which isn't even that any more. I don't see why we need to keep a server around that has no management. Unless you can prove me wrong and tell me that fowlplay4 has been on in the recent week or so I've been looking at Zodiac. I can't see RC at all so I can't tell if he uses that either.

There is 0 response from him on our own server, let alone the OFM. We've lost scriptwriters due to feuds between the devs.

Smirt is gone.
Jiroxy is gone.
Scarz is gone.

They were some of our top developers. Jiroxy being a prime candidate, since he made an entire class and roughly 300+ skills that he made animations for all on his own, plus he made two events. But since he got into a fight, he stepped down and left. Scarz "retired" from his position but some how kept his commands and thought it would be funny to abuse them, so he was shamefully stripped. Smirt left due to getting into an altercation with some of the other devs and stepped down. So unless new devs are appointed Zodiac isn't going to change.

We've had promises of "new classes" for over two years now. The only new class we got was locked by Scarz and the key was thrown away. That class Freelance, was made none other by Jiroxy himself, the man who poured his entire soul into the class and then all his work got shut down. Not to mention he also made his own race. The guy was a godsend to Zodiac, and due to ego's clashing, he left.

Only 2 people are trying to manage the server, ketsomaru and tiu359 along with an ex-staff member Symmasolan who was a double re-hire. I log onto a game like Era and there's a full staff. We don't even have events any more. I take that back, the player Fireenn is both GP and is ETA. FAQ got long since abandoned and honestly Nikwal is the only one capable of actually handling that job.

The game is in a state of atrophy and in my opinion, it needs a serious overhaul like Delteria got or just sweep it under the rug like UN and Zone.

PlanetOscar 07-13-2016 06:56 PM

Whenever I look, it seems to have a substantial amount of players online!

ffcmike 07-13-2016 07:06 PM


Originally Posted by Xenoith (Post 1739232)
It's like keeping someone on life support.

I can't speak on behalf of Zodiac but I feel you're barking up the wrong tree here, as the whole of PC Graal is essentially being kept on life support in a comatose state.

Delteria is also not a great example to justify these arguments as it's only over the last week or so that its playercount has bettered Zodiac's, the total being a far cry away from what was considered a "reasonable" playercount a few years ago. Even then if you look at the accounts that are logged on to Delteria minus staff accounts and remote controls, ~90% of them are guest accounts, reason largely being that it has the advantage of being accessible via Facebook/Web.

I'm sure that if Zodiac or indeed any listed server had this same level of accessibility that it would be reasonable to expect their playercounts to be quadrupled. Though this is now looking extremely unlikely to become a reality.

Xenoith 07-13-2016 08:34 PM

Well yeah, PC Graal as a whole is dying. If people actually went full steam in developing their own servers, then we'd be fine. But the big bucks right now are in mobile gaming. So Graal hopped aboard. I mean if PC Graal shuts down, that's fine by me. It's just another game to cross off my bucket list. But N-Pulse is coming back, so that right there is enough to keep me playing. I don't like Zodiac much, if at all due to how it was developed over the years. Everything getting harder. The 0.001% drop rates on rare items. The dev claims to have made the game easier by throwing in loot crates/chest you can earn from CTF. But I'm talking about regular farming, it gives players no reason to run dungeons if all the best loot in the game is in CTF caches.

And it just trickles downhill from there. There is bias in terms of hiring for GP's/Events and anything staff related. If they don't like you, screw your application you're not being hired.

It's why I mostly moved on to FFXIV. Great game, active dev who responds to the community. What more could you want? I mean Graal isn't a Triple A title of a winning franchise I get that, but even Indie Developers on Steam are getting a lot more praise for their commitment to a game then anything else. If Portha had put Graal on Steam when Steam first came out, we wouldn't have this issue like we are now.

PlanetOscar 07-13-2016 08:57 PM

isn't it still possible to put it on steam? wouldn't that be something? :)

ffcmike 07-14-2016 03:02 AM


Originally Posted by PlanetOscar (Post 1739236)
isn't it still possible to put it on steam? wouldn't that be something? :)

Although I cannot gauge how seriously I'm certain there has been some discussion on this in the past, but ultimately there has been no technological advances besides a botched client update in the ~2 years since Stefan left. Throughout this time period there has been echos of attempted replacement developers falling short and new offers being made, albeit that's speculation.

Cubes 07-14-2016 09:36 AM

i heard they are shutting down graal in august for big client upgrade and rebranding. it was something like this

'GRaalda Online-2016k1: The final shutdown'

Crono 07-14-2016 09:51 AM


Originally Posted by Xenoith (Post 1739232)
Why not?

because idelt is ****?

Kuzative 07-14-2016 10:57 AM

I doubt you'll find anyone motivated to rebirth Zodiac just to reach a playercount of 60 again...

Xenoith 07-14-2016 11:13 AM


Originally Posted by Kuzative (Post 1739241)
I doubt you'll find anyone motivated to rebirth Zodiac just to reach a playercount of 60 again...

Go read the story of Final Fantasy 14. Then come back and respond.

Zodiac is down to 7 players at the moment, usually with a peak of 10-15 when people get home from work/school. Not much is going on there. I would advise Carlito to take another look into Zodiac and give it a good combing through. He's ill advised against resetting a server, but shutting one down for a rehaul doesn't sound bad though. I mean like it was said, PC Graal as a whole is dying, so why not just pull the plugs on servers that aren't going to make it? Advertisement for this game is little to none and we have no real trailers or anything. This game was good back around 2001, but the new modern 2016 gamer won't touch this game, due to wanting everything done quickly.

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