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Old 07-13-2016, 12:22 PM
Xenoith Xenoith is offline
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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.

Era
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

Zodiac
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.
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2016, 12:26 PM
Crono Crono is offline
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whats the point in shutting down?
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  #3  
Old 07-13-2016, 12:30 PM
Xenoith Xenoith is offline
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Originally Posted by Crono View Post
whats the point in shutting down?
Redo the server like they did Delteria.
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  #4  
Old 07-13-2016, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Xenoith View Post
Redo the server like they did Delteria.
why the heck would we want that
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:41 PM
Xenoith Xenoith is offline
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Originally Posted by Crono View Post
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.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:06 PM
ffcmike ffcmike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenoith View Post
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.
  #7  
Old 07-14-2016, 09:51 AM
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Why not?
because idelt is ****?
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenoith View Post
Redo the server like they did Delteria.
Are you insane? Do you have any idea how incredibly low the success rate of completing a "Reboot" for a server is on Graal?
  #9  
Old 07-13-2016, 04:09 PM
kia345 kia345 is offline
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So make a completely different server with the same name?
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:56 PM
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Whenever I look, it seems to have a substantial amount of players online!
  #11  
Old 07-13-2016, 08:34 PM
Xenoith Xenoith is offline
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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.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:57 PM
PlanetOscar PlanetOscar is offline
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isn't it still possible to put it on steam? wouldn't that be something?
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:02 AM
ffcmike ffcmike is offline
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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.
  #14  
Old 07-14-2016, 12:50 PM
Skyld Skyld is offline
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isn't it still possible to put it on steam? wouldn't that be something?
There is nowhere near enough support for Steam. The client isn't being upgraded, there's no formal support teams, the subscription model is outdated and doesn't entice players to join the game. Even if all of those points were not issues, there's still a lack of new content because ultimately the only people maintaining these worlds are doing so on a voluntary basis and sporadically at that. No game is sustainable under those conditions.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Skyld View Post
There is nowhere near enough support for Steam. The client isn't being upgraded, there's no formal support teams, the subscription model is outdated and doesn't entice players to join the game. Even if all of those points were not issues, there's still a lack of new content because ultimately the only people maintaining these worlds are doing so on a voluntary basis and sporadically at that. No game is sustainable under those conditions.
Technically the game is free now. There was a Facebook post in December 2013 proclaiming that trial restrictions will be removed "over the holidays", and to much initial confusion this was never reverted. However the old subscription policy is still reflected on the Graal website and unless one can contact a global staff member to do them a favour then Gold is required to obtain a community name.

While the other points are valid unless something drastic such as the promise of Steam access does occur, there never will be much of an incentive for anyone worth their salt to maintain these worlds.
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