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