SoD advertising

Chiifin666

Dalayan Elder
Can we please start a gofundme to raise funds for advertising the server with the goal of gaining new players in the community. Last night was the first time in months that I saw someone in /ooc saying there was an EXP grp looking for more. That and/or to raise funds to beef up the server/ISP so we can 3 box
 

ek05

Dalayan Beginner
I will donate to this. Seeing the user base of Project 99, I think SoD can do much better.
 

Rarok

Dalayan Elder
You know, the limit for two boxing was never about limiting bandwidth usage. It was about encouraging group play.
 

lemonhead

Dalayan Adventurer
So, 3 box better not happen. 2 box is ok, but I spent A LOT of time trying to convince a group of friends to come here from p99. In the end, they wouldn't because it's 2 box. I know we're all used to it here, but it is pretty sweet when you simply can not. I know, you don't have to, blah, blah. But when you can, you pretty much have to. I know it's impossible to ram the poo log down the shower drain with your foot, but I promise more would play here if it was 1 box.

Do you mean like ...Google ads? Can we do that? This is an unsanctioned emulator. Law blah blah, but probably shouldn't poke the bear, even if it appears dead and rotting.
 

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
i'd quit this game immediately if boxing wasn't allowed. leveling and doing adepts would be absolutely hell for new players. can't imagine im the only one in this boat
 

Masuriya

Dalayan Elder
I don't box much anymore but removing boxing would be absolutely fucking annoying just from a porting standpoint, not to mention doing quests for alts or other odds and ends.

That's not even going into how unreasonable it'd be for most new people to level. You would have to have a massive increase in population to even consider it, something that's utterly unreasonable for a server like this.
 

defixio

Dalayan Elder
i hate boxing but most seem to like it. I'd wayrather have something like a mercenary to use as a crutch when no one else is around.
 

lemonhead

Dalayan Adventurer
I wouldn't want to play this game as is without boxing either. But if there was no boxing from the beginning and the game was developed as such, there is a chance this would have been the p99 or a counterpart. That is a big reason why people play 99. Not that is should be done but It would be interesting to restart this game with no boxing and see if the eqer's would come. It would be really fun (with a decent population).
 

Treyekh

Dalayan Beginner
The best of both worlds is going to net you the best results. As a brand new player, and one that has been around the eqemulator block a few dozen times these last 6 years, I believe strongly the only reason our population isn't larger than it is, is due to a lack of understanding about what the server offers. This server is incredibly unique. Fundamental changes to some classes, and some concepts that are simply great, are not understood what so ever (or even introduced) unless a person clicks on the wiki and spends a great deal of time reading through everything. The snapshot description on the eqemulator page does not do this project justice.

I have played on all of the legends and preferred servers, many for quite some time. I've boxed full groups, done the single box thing, and everything in between. I've seen all of the various incarnations of the 'hub zone lobby' using guild lobby, and the various attempts to go about it. I've seen ones that are very classic like, with a two box twist, and ones that are so different it's mind boggling (classless project).

1) The no box limit servers outside of PEQ will always remain quiet. Zero group interaction, very little community chat, and no real benefit from seeing other players. Their numbers are bloated on the stats page and there's no real conversation.
2) The 6 box limit servers suffer heavily and REQUIRE that you use MQ2 meaning you spend more time configuring than you do playing. Again, a very specific breed of player and it doesn't do much to encourage group play.
3) The 2 and 3 box servers begin slowing things down quite a bit, and some players here still only play 1 toon as it's not necessary to box. Usually the automation software begins to get banned on these servers and honestly, it's a great thing not having it as an option. Forces much more involved play.
4) The true box servers are catering to a VERY specific niche. Even amongst all of us, those that have uninterrupted play time (no kids, no responsibilities, and are able to form a group and exp for a meaningful amount of time as an adult) are rare. Sure, maybe 100 or 200 of us can band together but it's suffering for new players who don't have that kind of playstyle/time and you're making a very strong statement when you become true box.

* Note that when choosing option (3) or (4) above, both are fine, you just need to understand that as soon as you do, you immediately lose a very fixed, very active percent of the eqem community no matter which way you go.

In my honest and humble opinion, trying to strike a balance of about 50/50 box/group play, is likely best. Give people a reason to group (same exp from 2-6 players, for example is huge), adepts is another one. But also give people the option to create something that they can use to be self-sufficient if they don't have the kind of time to group. There is a sheer ton of content on this server and you can say whatever you like, whenever you like, but the fact remains that unless people are capable of getting in there (with appropriate difficulty) it will remain unused. Tiers of content that were created will go unused, etc. No amount of arguing about boxing or not, is going to change that. You can provide a means for people to experience this content, or you can watch it sit there, quiet.

This problem is the same as the adept problem. Adepts are a great mechanic, but because there's simply no one around to do them, they go untouched.

... My version of a potential solution ...

This is my personal experience and one that I face any time I join a new server. Let me try and capture it best I can. When I log in, I do a quick "What's in store for me here" check.

1) Is the rate of progression fast enough that in an hour, I can do something meaningful so I don't feel like I just ran around or coordinated. If I want that, I'll go to p99.

2) Is the community/ooc/auc active? Is there an economy? Does it feel alive when I log in?

3) How much of the content on this server will I be able to experience on my own, given I have small children and my play time is spotty, and sometimes interrupted without notice? For me again, I'm looking for servers that will (in some way, even if it means a lot of work, farming, time etc) allow me to experience 80% of the content on the server, on my own. I should be able to hit end game and work through some sort of progression along the way, and once there, to increase the power of my characters, without REQUIRING help. Again, this is the important piece. Maybe it takes me more time, it's slower, harder, more thoughtful, but it should be POSSIBLE. And that's the gut check for me usually.

So... if I log in and I know for certain that most of the end game content is completely off limits to me as a single player, I'm likely going to stop my journey right there. The allure, or magic, of what's to come, is gone if I know this particular road has no meaningful destination.

So... if I had a magic wand, here's what I would do.

1) Create a beautifully articulated video outlining why this server is great. The fundamental class changes, the adepts, the unique and rewritten loot tables for everything, the season concept, the completely rewritten world. Capture this somehow in a 3 minute preview video (or a completely rewritten introduction page) and get it on to the eqem page or link it.

2) Ensure you're catering properly to solo and box play. I'm not going to pretent specifically how, but capture both audiences and don't alienate either. Population is too limited here. Create a meaningful, attractive experience for people from both groups.

With the work that's gone into this server, I don't see why a constant population in the low several hundreds isn't possible.
 

Binsin

Dalayan Elder
1) Create a beautifully articulated video outlining why this server is great. The fundamental class changes, the adepts, the unique and rewritten loot tables for everything, the season concept, the completely rewritten world. Capture this somehow in a 3 minute preview video (or a completely rewritten introduction page) and get it on to the eqem page or link it.
This was one of 3 videos submitted 3 years ago to help with server promotion on the basis that there would be an account drive and an attempt to bring in new players by the staff, in which no word has been heard since.
 

donfolstar3

Dalayan Master
In general, I like the cut of your jib @Treyekh . Lots of realistic looks at the way a server is and how that locks in a certain audience. Though, this statement has some problems:
In my honest and humble opinion, trying to strike a balance of about 50/50 box/group play, is likely best. Give people a reason to group (same exp from 2-6 players, for example is huge)
Striking a balance is not feasible without remaking huge chunks of the game. When you're boxing in EQ/SoD, ceteris paribus, you are going to be more powerful. Not even all things equal, you could be much worse at the game and you would still be much more powerful. That makes not boxing, even if that is what you prefer, a bitter bill to swallow.

The required difference in skill for the non-boxer to be equally effective isn't even translatable into the EQ game engine 99% of the time. Sports analogy: It'd be like if The Chiefs had brought along the Jaguars to the Super Bowl to play at the same time. Tom Brady is good, but not better than other players enough to win if he has to throw into triple coverage and an 8 man blitz on every play. That game just isn't designed for skill to overcome the body advantage.

Even if you're bad at boxing there are several, ahem, low effort options for boxes. For example a Wizard box that has literally one button to press mid fight. It isn't even a contest who is going to clear faster, die less, not have to run through the stupid MoP. And that pales in comparison to a poorly boxed druid, let alone a well played one. Though that just reinforces the "might as well box even if you don't really want to" position which isn't a very sexy server selling point.

Also, same exp from 2-6 players has historically not been a strong incentive for grouping. You have your box and you're killing getting xp and lootz. Want to invite other nerds? Well that'll increase your xp some but your lootz are getting cut in half or worse which is a real kick in the pants when you want to buy two charms for 16 gagillion plat. I understand this has improved some from the bad old days, but unless the group is going to really boost gains group xp is not a huge selling point or even a selling point at all necessarily.

If I had a dollar for every time someone on SoD (and other boxing servers) brushed off a group invite or just ignored it because they were playing with themselves, I could probably fund that beautifully articulated video idea you suggested. Boxing is a server crutch that becomes a dependency.
 
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