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Experience with private servers?

private server wow everquest mmorpg ragnarok

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#1 Roger

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:13 PM

Anyone here have experience with either running or playing on a MMORPG private server? I am doing some research on this topic and am looking for someone who can give me some info on the following:

 

  1. What is the most popular mmorpg with the private server crowd?
  2. What country are you playing from?
  3. Why do people run private servers?
  4. What's the business model? How do they make money?
  5. Is it legal to run these servers? Are there legal ways to run it?

These are all the questions I have so far. I'm sure I'll have more if I can get some feedback!

 

Thanks.


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#2 tavichh

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:02 PM

1. The most popular crowd is preety much PvP, though RP has taken a advancement over the years.

 

2. Most private servers are ran in USA, UK or DE. I play from USA and most players on private servers are UK or DE. Just depends on the server, there are alot of USA servers.

 

3. Private servers are a way to edit the server files that wouldn't be editable with an official server. An example of this, is WoW. Private servers allow the host to change everything from XP to the news on the login page. However, WoW is not the only example of this, EVE, APB and RIFT are also good examples of these private servers.

 

4. The business model is actually very smart, but could be somewhat unfair. Most private servers charge a $x.xx amount of money to lets say....get modified weapons/armor/vehicles/mounts etc. or change their account name or upgrade their character etc.

They make alot of money by doing this, even since its so easy to setup, theres litterly 1000's of "store" scripts for websites for just WoW.

 

5.Legal....somewhat no, but yes.

It really all depends on what game, WoW claims for it to be illegal but they aren't exactly enforcing that anymore. So no legal action. Runescape is taken no action either, EVE has no clue about their private servers, and APB dev's are just to stuck up to notice.

I believe, ( I could be wrong ) as long as your not offering any commerical out of your game, you should be good.

But most game devs don't like it when someone steals their players.

 

Were you interested in private servers overall? or for a specific game.

 

EDIT::

I should also add that creating a private server without any core or emulator, requires some serious hacking and reverse engineering.

However!

Most cores or Emulators for all MMORPG's are written in C, C++ or C#.

And saying that you know C, modifying a core/emu should be easy...Not really sure why you would want to though unless your trying to get a stable version.

Speaking of which, I should also add that MOST private server cores and emus are not 100%. Each core is for different things ( PVP, RP, PVE, RPE, FB, DEV) so you should pay attention to what exactly you want out of the private server.

But back to you trying to get a stable version, you will need a working account for the mmo and a knowledge of "database ripping" - don't know what its called.


Edited by Thryckz, 24 April 2013 - 07:12 PM.

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#3 Roger

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 08:05 PM

Woah, that's great information, Thryckz!

 

I'm actually not trying to start a server since I don't really play games, but someone came to me to try to work together on a "toplist" type of site (kind of like: http://www.gamesites100.net/ranonline (not actual site)). I'm just doing my due diligence to see if the market is big enough for me to participate. If the field is not 100% legal, I am just curious of the advertising value of the site over time.

 

Also, the site currently doesn't have a forum attached, so I was thinking if it'd be weird to have the forum for that site here on codecall under a subforum. Would it be weird to mix the mmorpg players and programmers??

 

For simplicity (for me), it's easier just to run one forum for everything, but I think the traffic from that site will overwhelm the programming threads here, since gamers write much more on forums in general. I'm still considering my options.

 

Any more tips/info on private servers and mmorpg? If you have more experience, please give me a brain dump of everything you know about the genre. I am open to learn about everything before I take the plunge!


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#4 SdyessDev

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:57 PM

Hey there! I'm actually a fairly well known name in WoW emulation.

 

1.) This is a bit tricky, and it's very spread. however some of the more popular include World of Warcraft, Aion, and Lineage 2. You check out one of the largest topsites (http://xtremetop100.com)

2.) USA

3.) Back when I first got into it (2007), a lot of people ran WoW private servers just to show fof their creativity and have fun. Now, most of them run a business model and are in it for the money.

4.) Generally they follow a donation model. Donate X money to the server and get this as a gift. Completely legal because they aren't selling any of the game's content. 

5.) Legal and Illegal at the same time, and it's really a very tricky subject to follow. In the history of WoW emulation, there has only been one lawsuit. http://www.rfcexpres...-et-al/summary/

 

Wowscape was the largest and closest thing to the actual game at the time. However, the owner decided to go and buy a treadmill, a new house, and a boat or something, can't recalla ll of it. This is a good example of how to get into a lawsuit. A lot of the larger servers actually pay taxes for the donations they receive every year. But for the most part, Blizzard doesn't bother with trying to shut any of them down. This is so far the only case of any lawsuit.

 

 

 

Creating your own topsite can really be a great way to make money, just through the advertising itself. You get a ton of hits and most topsites feature an option to pay for featured spots, or their own banner etc. Really interesting. But no, just hosting links to a private server should be completely safe!


Edited by SdyessDev, 24 April 2013 - 10:00 PM.

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#5 Roger

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 10:18 AM

Thanks, SdyessDev, for insights! What does it mean to be well known in this field? Are you an authority on certain aspects?

 

Need to look into Aion.. I've heard about Wow/Lineage. Interestingly, the site traffic I'm looking at only has ~20% US traffic. A lot more from countries like Phillippines. I'm not sure why.

 

I'll take a look at the legal doc, but as you have said, a link directory probably is different from running the actual servers. Now you've got me REALLY interested.

 

So, from your experience, what are the top / best top100 sites for this genre? (who are my competitors?)

 

What features do you like or not like about certain sites? (how can I differentiate and dominate this field?)

 

As a gamer, what would be the best setup (flow-wise) for a top100 site? (I want to make this the best, most user friendly, site out there!)


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#6 tavichh

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:13 AM

Repacks - A published edit of the game(s) core.
Core - A stock or skeleton of the game...also like a base build.


Your competition is anyone on the top100 website xD!
Now about what should be on the site, this all can be done from BASIC sql knowledge so don't freak. Saying you know PHP I am assuming you know SQL a little bit at least.
A good repack site / private server site should contain a usercp which allows the user to see things such as:
    1) Where they are on the current map.
    2) Their character stats.
    3) And basic account changing information.
However, most players now are looking for a online store / auction house.
The store should contain a mixture of the following:
    1) Level Upgrade
    2) Buy armor/weapons
    3) Buy Currency In-Game
    4) Reset character (Normally free)
    5) Race change
    6) Faction change
    7) Class change
    8) Name change
    etc etc.
    
The best setup in my honest opinon, is the second you start a server...RUSH EVERYTHING.
    1) Advertise the ** out of your site.
    2) Make epic upgrades to your site and your repack.
    3) Give players a reason to play.
    4) Establish a fully-functional moderating team. New private servers usually hold "training" sessions.
    5) BUG TRACKER.

Do what's above, I gurantee a community.
ALSO! Most repacks are windows-based. So if you decide to dedicate a server, do windows :)


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#7 Roger

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:15 PM

Thanks for the details. I'm mainly looking at how to run the actual top100 site and not the underlying private servers.

Would it be weird to have a subform here on cc that just focuses on mmorpg?
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#8 tavichh

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:03 PM

I wouldn't mind, but others might. Keep in mind most people are here for programming :)

Most "starting" private servers run on sub-domains...Just for easy access until they get somewhat an community.

 

Like, rogersprivateserver.bot.nu

 

You can register a subdomain from the registry here:

http://freedns.afraid.org/


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#9 Roger

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 07:46 PM

True, I'm leaning towards a separate site for the forum, if I do it at all.

 

As for domain/subdomain, the site I'm interested in already has a domain, so should be all set. Looks like we have a few mmorpg guys here on cc for me to ask questions to, which is great! :)


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#10 tavichh

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 08:22 PM

Glad I could help!


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#11 Rakso

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:05 PM

GameCall.net

Maybe a catchy name :)

I think personally having a subforum for gamers inside a forum for programmers will over time collide in some way.


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#12 Roger

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:43 PM

The site I'm getting already has a domain, but gamecall.net does sound good! Maybe that can be the forum domain! :P


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