Do Private Servers Hurt the Big MMO’s

December 21, 2017 by  Filed under: Computer 

One would think that if a game is FREE. There really would be no reason to play on a private server, right? WRONG! Find out why many players,regardless if they are paying or not, still seek out the private server community.

Copyright (c) 2008 Richard Scorpio

As long as MMO(short for MMORPG or Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) have been around, their counter-parts, the private server have not been far behind. But more peculiar than that, there are even PS (private servers) for online games that do not charge a fee either for the game OR their monthly service. Why would players choose the PS version over the professionally run one? And what hope can a GM(game master) have of operating these servers, that are far from perfect, when a player can playo on one that works fine?

Being a heavy MMO player myself, there are a few reasons that come to mind. First and foremost, no spamming and or crowded playing field. One of the major setbacks FREE MMO’s suffer and monster behemoths, such as World of Warcraft, are the constant overcrowding. Monster MMO’s like WoW(World of Warcraft) seem to have most of this under control with their some 200+ servers, other MMO’s especially the free ones, have a bad issue with this. When you go to the towns or on a quest, there are so many players that the quest items cannot spawn fast enough, or you cant even click on a NPC to even GET a quest. However, As we all know, with over population, comes spam. Like a disease or a cancer they spread out. The spammers log on and make their level one characters and set about with their creative ways of getting you to listen to them spam about their gold (or other monetary sources given the game that you play) making oportunites, or leveling services. The spam these guys are capable of are worse than email spam. They can target you easier with the tools the are provided by the game itself. While blizzard (makers of WoW) have put a dampener on some of them, they now do group invites, and when you accept thinking someone needs a hand, its spam time. It would seem as fast as you rid one character about 5 more take their place.

Another popular reason for playing on a PS, is that the gaming experience is completely different. For one, depending on the GM settings of the world, you level faster, can get on demand better gear, move faster (in some PS WOW engines, you can actually teleport from city to city. So the need for flying is mute. And speaking of flying, some GM’s have made it possible that you can fly your mount through Azeroth, something you cannot do in the real server.). Its quieter as well. You can actually move about with your buddy exploring things you could not before, and maybe a different levels access area’s that would have taken months before, just to get a look at what all the hype is about. You can actually cover all aspects of the gaming experience in one day, without having to level. Something that is impossible to do on ANY game server.’

After awhile, these gamers become more proficient at making this game work on their own and thus is born the GAME MASTER. As the GM in the PS world s/he is in charge of making a functional world (which Is not possible ‘ see my other articles), maintaining the database as well as running a semi- ok website to accept new users and to monitor the forums. It no longer becomes a game to him/her. But a very addicting hobby. There is constantly something that needs to be done, they find themselves busily every day, changing this, and changing that. At some point, most of the GM’s no longer play, but find their enjoyment of watching other play in their world that they created. I don’t believe that there is any other hobby out there that is more demanding than running and maintaining the upkeep of a game server. However, when players take this route, or GM’s create their version of the game for players to play on, can this be construed as a variation of piracy? Its a never ending heated debate. While the players them selves have purchased their game from a local retail store plays on a private server (of course oblivious to the terms of agreement and other countless fine print that pours over their screen that they, in a fit of excitement to get to the game, scroll down and hit agree) they are in fact not breaking any law. Except that if they would have read the agreement which stats that they cannot use their software to access any other software that is not owned and operated by blizzard. So I supposed ethically maybe. But we are not RENTING the game, we bought it. Private servers are for free. If I pay $15/month for blizzard, and I STILL play on a PS, how are they out anything financially? There are many players that play on both. After all Tuesday is not a short day, so many will hop over to a PS and play around while the “patch day” completes.

Ironically, the FREE MMO’s are the ones I believe get stung. Because the reason that the FREE MMO’s like FLYFF and SCIONS OF FATE for example, are free, is because they limit players on what “special items” they can obtain. If you want them, you have to use REAL money to get them.While you can easily play the game quite comfortably with the free version, the only time you need the heavy artillery if you will is if you are a heavy gamer. Ahhh, now its gets really corny. Now I believe these guys are the ones that pay. Because when you run a PS from one of these games, you really do take from the MMO company. Because on a private server, you can now get those things for free instead of paying for them. Now it would appear that the behemoth MMO’s such as WoW, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars..aren’t hurting so bad after all. If they loose clients its because of their inability to keep them satisfied. Not because some PS came along and said “ with me. My server doesn’t work all the great but I’m your friend”. If the FREE MMO’s loose money its because of a private server offering free specials that normally the players would have to pay for on the real server (almost sounds like, why buy music from best buy, since I can listen to it there if I like, except if I want to have it, I have to pay for it, but why, if I can download it for free).

Private servers are here to stay. They will never go away. No matter how many they try to shut down, just as many will spring back up. However, if there was a way to shut them down, it would be to watch your own server and see what it takes to keep me there as a player. Your team of professionals need to find what it will take to keep me as a player. What can your system offer that a 80%+ functional system cannot? Think about it.

Article Tags: Private Servers, Private Server, Free Mmo’s, Would Have

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