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Old 07-26-2009, 04:52 AM
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this needs to be discussed

i'm going to try and write this thread as devoid of any comments considered "bashing CJ" because those threads always get deleted, and thus we get nowhere on this problem. at the same time i'm going to try and write in a manner that addresses the problems faced by a lack of support and the new road graal is being forced to take. you know that i'm talking about the lack of new content, the lack of user-supported updates, and the population decline

first and foremost, as seen in the "make V5 more like V2" thread, it's more than apparent that the updates over the past few years have had little to no user support behind them. they were sprung upon us instead of introduced and talked about. for a game that survives almost chiefly upon community, and the developers inside the community, it seems impractical that us users have no say into the updates before they happen, and it's lead to huge disappointments

secondly is the problem of what exactly graal is. is it a video game? a development platform? a glorified instant messenger? a internet card gaming lounge that also happens to be a development platform that also is zelda: a link to the past online? the definition of what graal is throws off a lot of new players, because there really isn't a specific answer to it. the answer given to us is that it's a development platform for developers to create servers for users to play, but that doesn't really help out new player; it doesn't give them any direction into the game. graal is very open-ended on letting players choose how they wish to play, but it is also very poorly advertised as such, and it's current portrayal doesn't serve it justice. there is no starting ground for new players - you have to already know what to do to really get into this game: the learning curve is huge, especially in development. once players realize this, 80 percent of them won't try it again. you can add another 10 percent once player's see that it's a development platform, because they are not developers. people originally played graal because it was a online video game, not because it is a development platform

thirdly is the population decline. graal is slowly dying off and it's hard to say that it isn't. the game (or platform?) hasn't seen a rise in players in a long while, and if it weren't for graal's rich history spanning over 10 years, i doubt it would still be in business. i mean to say that in the most sincere and worried way i can. what can we point out to new players that would get them interested in playing graal? i can think of only a few:

1) it's zelda: a link to the past, except online
2) it's highly customizable
3) it has a solid community

this isn't enough to draw in new players, especially the younger players that graal is being directed at. most of them don't play a link to the past, most don't care about customization (read development), but more towards game play. the solid community is the only thing appealing, and even that is very elitist and unfriendly towards newer players depending on which server you go to. it forces people onto servers where you can do mostly everything alone (which can account for the decline in classic player worlds and the increase in RPG/modern ones, zone being the embodiment of this fact)

and forth is the problem of leadership among developers. it's obvious as to who the leader should be, but it doesn't seem to be working out as well as it should on both sides of the spectrum. developers are spread thin across a variety of different projects, instead of combined into one or two solid teams to produce solid content. since graal lets you make whatever you want, why should you follow the ideas of someone else? you can say, "screw this project, i'm going to make my own!" and then nothing gets done. the lack of a solid leading project for developers and users to both get behind and support (in whatever way they can) leads to the problem of cloned servers, stealing other people's work, and zero fun, new, and refreshing content. let this be a problem for a number of years, as it has been, and now we begin to see a lack of motivation from developers to create new things. now the problem becomes zero content, and zero original creations or innovations

i'm not sure how to solve these problems, but they need to be addressed. if this thread is deleted, for whatever reason it get's deleted, then i feel that graal has lost it's way and is slowly destroying itself from within. if we can't talk about it, we can't do anything about it
  #2  
Old 07-26-2009, 05:24 AM
fowlplay4 fowlplay4 is offline
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tl;dr but making a thread about it has been done before, now it's just beating a dead horse.. We just have to hope that the people upstairs decide to take action, well good/proper action anyway.
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:46 AM
Draenin Draenin is offline
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Because of projects Stefan and others have taken up, I now think it's part of the community's obligation to create their own fun and take responsibility for making the community grow again.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Draenin View Post
Because of projects Stefan and others have taken up, I now think it's part of the community's obligation to create their own fun and take responsibility for making the community grow again.
How?

Community grow = ADs,

ADs = Money you earn with your project (here Graal)

Money you earn = in Unixmad's hands
  #5  
Old 07-26-2009, 02:19 PM
Darklux Darklux is offline
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Originally Posted by Draenin View Post
Because of projects Stefan and others have taken up, I now think it's part of the community's obligation to create their own fun and take responsibility for making the community grow again.
This is total nonsense. We have neither the possibilities to develop the engines now can we influence the way how CJ does marketing for graal

If they think this way, release the sourcecode of a version without torque (v3 or v4 I assume) and let the people do their thing.
It's just too expensive for a game without development support, with 40€ or a year of gold or 80€ for a year of server renting.

We already had those prices when they still paid attention to the game, so I see no possible reason at the current situation to still pay the same prices with hardly any development support at all.
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Darklux View Post
This is total nonsense. We have neither the possibilities to develop the engines now can we influence the way how CJ does marketing for graal

If they think this way, release the sourcecode of a version without torque (v3 or v4 I assume) and let the people do their thing.
It's just too expensive for a game without development support, with 40€ or a year of gold or 80€ for a year of server renting.

We already had those prices when they still paid attention to the game, so I see no possible reason at the current situation to still pay the same prices with hardly any development support at all.
It didn't cost that much before. a player could get lifetime classic and gold for a year for $20. Now it's around $51. They raise the price and then don't give any updates.
  #7  
Old 07-26-2009, 02:39 PM
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I really doubt any playerworld project is going to be so professional and well made that new people will start playing graal, only perhaps if the few good devs that we have left worked together on something.

And CJ needs to try harder with their gold servers, Zone and GK are very boring games that I think would need a lot of gameplay changes to really work.
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  #8  
Old 07-26-2009, 03:42 PM
Darklux Darklux is offline
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Originally Posted by Galdor View Post
I really doubt any playerworld project is going to be so professional and well made that new people will start playing graal, only perhaps if the few good devs that we have left worked together on something.

And CJ needs to try harder with their gold servers, Zone and GK are very boring games that I think would need a lot of gameplay changes to really work.
Exactly. Playerworlds are playerworlds. We have some talented people here, but they will always be amateur made.
There needs to be a price drop or significant more activity by CJ - or this game is just and easy doomed.
  #9  
Old 07-26-2009, 04:14 PM
Hiro Hiro is offline
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Originally Posted by Galdor View Post
I really doubt any playerworld project is going to be so professional and well made that new people will start playing graal, only perhaps if the few good devs that we have left worked together on something.
well, as a developer, you could take the step forward and try to assemble those few individuals into creating a player world. sure it's not going to be as professional as a server created by CJ, but it could still be good enough that we could draw in more players with it, especially if you get the right people for the job

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Originally Posted by Darklux View Post
This is total nonsense. We have neither the possibilities to develop the engines now can we influence the way how CJ does marketing for graal

If they think this way, release the sourcecode of a version without torque (v3 or v4 I assume) and let the people do their thing.
It's just too expensive for a game without development support, with 40€ or a year of gold or 80€ for a year of server renting.

We already had those prices when they still paid attention to the game, so I see no possible reason at the current situation to still pay the same prices with hardly any development support at all.
i agree, but i don't think the sourcecode being released likely to happen. this is one of the reasons for the anti-graal people, and is also a reason for the lack of motivation on the communities part. we don't want to work hard for nothing, while the owners make profit. it's very unfair. however, they already accepted the 3rd party graal servers (i don't remember the name of the project, but the one ran by agret, graal reborn or something) but no one plays there because it isn't advertised, nothing new is presented, and the actual graal servers are (OH MY GOD WHAT) better. it seems paradoxical, but most people don't seem willing to play a 3rd party graal server

besides, if they stopped making graal P2P, then how would they pay to keep the servers up? they certainly don't make enough money off gold and iphone purchases to do so (this is a big assumption since the other option would probably be considered as bashing)

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Originally Posted by fowlplay4 View Post
tl;dr but making a thread about it has been done before, now it's just beating a dead horse.. We just have to hope that the people upstairs decide to take action, well good/proper action anyway.
this isn't beating a dead horse - it's getting through the communities thick egos and pessimistic view on the game as of late. we know we are on our own, we have been for awhile. it's just time we actually did something about it instead of waiting for said people upstairs to come and save us. sure it should be their job, but they aren't doing it, so as draenin said, it's up to us
  #10  
Old 07-26-2009, 04:51 PM
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I sent a business proposal to Stefan about a week ago, never got a response, not even a "I have received your message, and no."

I can only conclude that they are not interested in making money in this area of their business any more, and thus I have had to build my own game engine and hire my own graphics artists.

Although in this way we are now keeping all the advertising revenue, rather than sharing it with anyone else.
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:38 PM
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They don't care for your (our) opinions no matter how right we are, thought you'd learn that by now Hiro.
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:46 PM
Hiro Hiro is offline
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They don't care for your (our) opinions no matter how right we are, thought you'd learn that by now Hiro.
oh i know it, i just like to point out the obvious. heaven forbid that someone important read this thread and ACTUALLY RESPONDS TO IT
  #13  
Old 07-26-2009, 05:52 PM
fowlplay4 fowlplay4 is offline
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So who should the leader be.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fowlplay4 View Post
So who should the leader be.
well that really depends on who wants to help out. we have no clear direction at the moment, and no clear list of developers who would be willing to work on a graal revival-type project. it's going to work better if a competent, well known developer would lead the project, because then other developers would feel more comfortable and confident about the project, rather than just some person starting a project and then begging developers to join it (which is what typically happens)

there is also the problem of the current servers being worked on. not many people are going to be willing to leave their projects to start another one, even if it has the intention of bringing graal back - it wastes all the work they already worked on, and just taking their work with them means screwing over the other developers. i honestly think it should be someone from the PWA leading the project, or someone from some global group. they have better resources, a wider range of abilities (we hope, since they are apart of the global team), and they can't, by nature of their job, really be working on a specific server job. in addition, they are well known in the community which makes the project seem more legit

for instance, if i heard that tig was starting a project, and people like galdor, aeko, draenin, zero hour, crono, skyld, or any other well known developer were helping out, we could all feel more secure about the project actually reaching fruition, especially if it were an open-ended idea with the ability to make comments on, and input into the project (at least it would make me happier)
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:30 PM
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Well does Graal really need a direction? It's kind of obvious the people upstairs need to release some updates for the client and such but I am pretty sure..

Zone, GK, UN, Era, Zodiac, N-Pulse, Delteria, and many other UC servers are planning for the future whether it be an entire server revision (like my Zodiac V2 project), or updates that will actually improve gameplay, or aesthetics.

However considering most of us just do this for a hobby and that it takes time to complete updates properly, it appears we're doing nothing when it's obvious to ourselves that is not true. But I personally have been providing updates to the community almost every 3 days now for the last few weeks. So maybe we just need to hear more from them..
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