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A proposal to fix Ultima's longevity problem


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As far as MMOs go, PSO has comparable short lifespan. This is commonly cited as by veteran players as the reason they no longer play, or no longer play as frequently as they once did. And while there are some that suggest that "time-attack is the real endgame,"  for many, if not most, speedruning PSO is just not appealing. 

 

So what can we do to keep players playing after they've checked all the boxes of a couple dark weapons, cent/battles, and lvl 200 characters? 

 

The problem is not just the lack of things to hunt for veterans, but also the massive investment required to model, test, and implement new items for the community. 

 

So here's what I propose:

Every other MMO that I've played has an endgame currency that is used to purchase/craft/build best-in-slot equips. These usually require massive time investments, but in exchange you are granted very exclusive weapons or armor that make you an overpowered freak. Ultima would immensely benefit from a similar system, and would require very little effort to implement. 

 

The system would be to add a drop called "Ultima Photon" which would ONLY drop between events, not during. This is to address the ghost town the server becomes between events, and to also keep event drops the main focus of events. After every event the item would be added to the drop table *under a random enemy and section IDs*, different after each event. The purpose of it being random is to promote community cooperation and coordinating. Very simply, it would bring the community together in a way that the events have less and less recently since the drops are mostly unchanged year over year. This would be a very difficult drop, something around the rate of an STA. These Ultima Drops would be the currency uses to to exchange for those god-tier I detailed above. 

 

There are weapons already designed and implemented in the game that the community has no access to. I'm referring to the weapons made a decade ago given to specific members of the community that donated in a time of need a very long time ago.

 

Here's how it would work: once players acquire a certain amount of Ultima Photons, they can exchange them either through Gallons shop (if it can be implemented) or through a GM, and can acquire one of the following items based on how many Ultima Photons they have. The prices listed are a rough suggestion

 

 

  • Adding charge to an S-rank weapon - 1 Photon
  • Rainbow Petrik - 5 Photons
  • Frosty icicle shooter - 5 Photons
  • Den's hand cannon - 8 Photons
  • Combat Cannon - 10 Photons
  • S.T.A.R.S. spread - 12 Photons
  • Dark meteor storm - 15 Photons

 

The weapon would be redeemed with the same stats as any weapon purchased with DTs, no hit and 50% enemy% to be placed wherever the player wants. 

 

Now to address some concerns: 

 

1. This would be unfair to the players that donated all those years ago to get these exclusive weapons 

 

- The majority of the players with these weapons are no longer here, and they haven't been for years. I think a decade+ of exclusivity is reasonable, and to continue to prohibit current players, who currently support and maintain the server and community, from any means of acquiring these items makes no sense. And actively hurts the community. 

 

2. These weapons would break the game and make it too easy 

 

- These weapons would take an extremely long time and investment to acquire, so much so that to the people that are acquiring these weapons, PSO would already have lost any challenge whatsoever. So allow them to enjoy all the the server has to offer 

 

3. This would require even more work and redeems from the GMs 

 

- The system is intentionally designed to make it very difficult to acquire these weapons. Redeems for these weapons would be rare, by intention, and hopefully they can be done through the gallons shop systems so GMs would have no added work 

 

4. There are players that would get 10 of these Ultima Photons in a week and it would ruin the economy. 

 

- There are several things that would prevent this. What drops these Photons would be a secret until the community discovered it on their own, this could take a significant amount of time depending on RNG as well as the mob, and the quests the community is running between events. Secondly, the break between events is not very long. The longest period between events is before and after summer event, and not surprisingly, it's also the lowest population point for the server throughout the year. Players would have a very short period to farm these drops. And lastly, the drops would be somewhere around 1/300 on bosses or 1/2000 on mini-bosses. I'm giving rough estimates of course but the point is that this is a process that will take veteran players years to finish. 

 

5. New players would get discouraged seeing these items and then finding out how difficult they are to acquire

 

- the emotional overreaction of new players should not dictate how the server operates, and the increased number of active players and community cooperation would be a net positive that would keep way more players around. People hang around Ultima because of the people, and if we can increase the number of people that new players interact with, they are more likely to stick around.

 

6. If these weapons were added they would invalidate other weapons 

 

- Shut up nerd.

 

 

One final addition that I think would really make these weapons special is if once the weapon is acquired, the name of the owner can be added to the wiki for said item. Kind of like a hall of Fame.

 

 

If we are serious about maintaining Ultima for another 11 years, and fixing the population drought, we need to actually give players a reason to stick around. I know for me personally, this would keep me playing for years.

Edited by jdhenry124
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51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

As far as MMOs go, PSO has comparable short lifespan. This is commonly cited as by veteran players as the reason they no longer play, or no longer play as frequently as they once did. And while there are some that suggest that "time-attack is the real endgame,"  for many, if not most, speedruning PSO is just not appealing. 

I think the "short lifespan" is directly related to how Ultima operates in regards to DTs, Nakas Cards, and set PDs / quest reward PDs. I will go more into this later in the post. 

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

So what can we do to keep players playing after they've checked all the boxes of a couple dark weapons, cent/battles, and lvl 200 characters? 

Every user is different, not everyone can be PSO lifer like myself or some others. That's the way of the game. Hardly anyone plays years on end the way Shiida, myself, or a few others around here do. 

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

The problem is not just the lack of things to hunt for veterans, but also the massive investment required to model, test, and implement new items for the community. 

The quantity of huntable items is NOT the problem with Ultima, or PSO in general. The most populous places haven't added new items yet they keep their user engaged / active while also attracting new players.

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

So here's what I propose:

Every other MMO that I've played has an endgame currency that is used to purchase/craft/build best-in-slot equips. These usually require massive time investments, but in exchange you are granted very exclusive weapons or armor that make you an overpowered freak. Ultima would immensely benefit from a similar system, and would require very little effort to implement. 

I think this directly reflects the issue with DTs specifically and as the life time PSO player that you are you should know this. Photon Drops are the end game currency you speak of. Think about playing JUST RAcast on regular PSO:BB. You have to sphere a set of at the minimum: Baranz Launcher, Charge Arms, Charge Vulcan, Heaven Striker, M&A60 Vise, Excalibur (4 separate ones), Daylight Scar, and Cannon Rouge. Imagine doing that legit. If all your weapons started with 0 attributes and like 35 hit (which ANY user would be grateful for in REGULAR BB, besides photon weapons and Baranz Launcher which get 50h in a different method) you'd be looking at 5120 PDs (of course you could be lucky and lower this by finding with attributes). Then consider S-Rank weapons that require specials to be added. As a RAcast you're looking at Arrest Needle, Berserk Needle, Hell Needle, Zalure Rifle, Hell Scythe, Hell Shot, and maybe even some others I am forgetting, but I'll only calculate these. That's an additional 300 PDs. You're looking at a grand total of 5420 PDs right there. No set boxes, no WoI, no RoCT reward, none of that. That's more than most of us have found even with these things. DTs mitigate ALL of this. That's just one class. It obviously gets more expensive the more classes you decide to play.

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

The system would be to add a drop called "Ultima Photon" which would ONLY drop between events, not during. This is to address the ghost town the server becomes between events, and to also keep event drops the main focus of events. After every event the item would be added to the drop table *under a random enemy and section IDs*, different after each event. The purpose of it being random is to promote community cooperation and coordinating. Very simply, it would bring the community together in a way that the events have less and less recently since the drops are mostly unchanged year over year. This would be a very difficult drop, something around the rate of an STA. These Ultima Drops would be the currency uses to to exchange for those god-teir I detailed above. 

I agree something should be done to address the way the population fluctuates based around events, but I don't think this is the solution. More items will never be the answer. We'll wind right back up where we are in like 2 years.

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

There are weapons already designed and implemented in the game that the community has no access to. I'm referring to the weapons made a decade ago given to specific members of the community that donated in a time of need a very long time ago.

These weapons should stay that way and for good reason. They're all very boring to use and take a lot of fun out of the game (more so than the Dark Meteor already does). Imagine everyone rolling around on HUcast with Dark Meteor... Would be stupid.

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

Here's how it would work: once players acquire a certain amount of Ultima Photons, they can exchange them either through Gallons shop (if it can be implemented) or through a GM, and can acquire one of the following items based on how many Ultima Photons they have. The prices listed are a rough suggestion

 

 

- adding charge to an S-rank weapon - 1 Photon

- Rainbow Petrik - 5 Photons

- Frosty icicle shooter - 5 Photons

- Den's hand cannon - 8 Photons

- Combat Cannon - 10 Photons

- S.T.A.R.S. spread - 12 Photons

- Dark meteor storm - 15 Photons

 

This is probably the literal darkest path Ultima could go. I am not sure how much you've seen any of these weapons in action... It's really not as cool as you think.

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

1. This would be unfair to the players that donated all those years ago to get these exclusive weapons 

 

- The majority of the players with these weapons are no longer here, and they haven't been for years. I think a decade+ of exclusivity is reasonable, and to continue to prohibit current players, who currently support and maintain the server and community, from any means of acquiring these items makes no sense. And actively hurts the community. 

 

It's literally not hurting anyone that these items aren't in the server. If anything it's better that less and less people know about them as time passes. No one should've had them in the first place really. Again I can't stress it enough that these items are not as "cool" as you think they are. They nearly quite literally game breaking. Especially DM Storm.

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

2. These weapons would break the game and make it too easy 

 

- these weapons would take an extremely long time and investment to acquire, so much so that to the people that are acquiring these weapons, PSO would already have lost any challenge whatsoever. So allow them to enjoy all the the server has to offer 

Some people get lucky, last year one fella found 6 or 7 STAs. In the past a handful of people found double digit PGFs. This type of things may "extend" the lifetime of PSO by a year or 2. After that it literally ruins the playability of the game because again these weapons are a lot stronger / dumber than you think they are.

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

3. This would require even more work and redeems from the GMs 

 

- the system is intentionally designed to make it very difficult to acquire these weapons. Redeems for these weapons would be rare, by intention, and hopefully they can be done through the gallons shop systems so GMs would have no added work 

 

4. There are players that would get 10 of these Ultima Photons in a week and it would ruin the economy. 

 

- there are several things that would prevent this. What drops these Photons would be a secret until the community discovered it on their own, this could take a significant amount of time depending on RNG as well as the mob, and the quests the community is running between events. Secondly, the break between events is not very long. The longest period between events is before and after summer event, and not surprisingly, it's also the lowest population point for the server throughout the year. Players would have a very short period to farm these drops. And lastly, the drops would be somewhere around 1/300 on bosses or 1/2000 on mini-bosses. I'm giving rough estimates of course but the point is that this is a process that will take veteran players years to finish. 

I am going to talk about both of these in the same because the reply is sorta the same, and honestly sort of the same as above. People are lucky, these things get found quickly and from there it's over with. 

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

5. New players would get discouraged seeing these items and then finding out how difficult they are to acquire

 

- the emotional overreaction of new players should not dictate how the server operates, and the increased number of active players and community cooperation would be a net positive that would keep way more players around. People hang around Ultima because of the people, and if we can increase the number of people that new players interact with, they are more likely to stick around.

I agree that newer players thoughts / feelings should have lesser impact than the more tenured fellas, but this idea you have is not the way to go.

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

6. If these weapons were added they would invalidate other weapons 

 

- shut up nerd.

Not just whole weapons would be invalidated, entire classes would be deemed worthless.

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

One final addition that I think would really make these weapons special is if once the weapon is acquired, the name of the owner can be added to the wiki for said item. Kind of like a hall of Fame.

Leaderboards would be great, and they've been talked about for years. We've just never got them, but you can check out https://psostats.com/ and https://ephinea.pioneer2.net/leaderboards/ to see all the possible things (there's more than this as well) that could be tracked beyond who has some items. 

 

51 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

If we are serious about maintaining Ultima for another 11 years, and fixing the population drought, we need to actually give players a reason to stick around. I know for me personally, this would keep me playing for years.

Ultima has been around at this point longer than any other Blue Burst private server, and will continue to be. Currently the most played versions of PSO are the ones most similar to the release and GameCube which has only really had custom quests added. Taking a page from their book would likely be more beneficial than trying to reinvent the wheel. 

 

Ultimately the Ephinea HBR system seems to be the most engaging and longest lasting way to keep players involved. There's definitely a way to make the system more unique to Ultima that more or less incorporates the main idea of said system. New items are clearly not the way to go as other servers have proved that. Ultima in general is certainly in need of some minor QoL fixes, there's no doubt. In order for "longevity" to be added to the game DTs need to be limited / removed and the game would pretty much take of the rest. 

Edited by Saber +7
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18 minutes ago, Saber +7 said:

The quantity of huntable items is NOT the problem with Ultima, or PSO in general. The most populous places haven't added new items yet they keep their user engaged / active while also attracting new players.

I think anytime someone makes a suggestion for the server your response and analysis suffers from an inability to comprehend that people play this game for different reasons than you. People play on Ultima for different reasons than they play on ephinea or GameCube, and rather than purging the server of everything that makes it unique and alienate the people that enjoy playing here in an attempt to be like other servers, maybe we should actually build on those reason and the community that's already here.

 

25 minutes ago, Saber +7 said:

The quantity of huntable items is NOT the problem with Ultima, or PSO in general. The most populous places haven't added new items yet they keep their user engaged / active while also attracting new players.

The most populated place right now can't compare with the numbers Ultima was putting up a couple years ago. So why is it that you are being so selective with your evidence? I have no motivation to play right now because I have everything in the game that I could possibly need, and hundreds of DTs on top of that. Other players have stated the exact same reason for not being as active. I would love to have a reason to play, but I don't.

 

31 minutes ago, Saber +7 said:

think this directly reflects the issue with DTs specifically and as the life time PSO player that you are you should know this. Photon Drops are the end game currency you speak of. Think about playing JUST RAcast on regular PSO:BB. You have to sphere a set of at the minimum: Baranz Launcher, Charge Arms, Charge Vulcan, Heaven Striker, M&A60 Vise, Excalibur (4 separate ones), Daylight Scar, and Cannon Rouge. Imagine doing that legit. If all your weapons started with 0 attributes and like 35 hit (which ANY user would be grateful for in REGULAR BB, besides photon weapons and Baranz Launcher which get 50h in a different method) you'd be looking at 5120 PDs (of course you could be lucky and lower this by finding with attributes). Then consider S-Rank weapons that require specials to be added. As a RAcast you're looking at Arrest Needle, Berserk Needle, Hell Needle, Zalure Rifle, Hell Scythe, Hell Shot, and maybe even some others I am forgetting, but I'll only calculate these. That's an additional 300 PDs. You're looking at a grand total of 5420 PDs right there. No set boxes, no WoI, no RoCT reward, none of that. That's more than most of us have found even with these things. DTs mitigate ALL of this. That's just one class.

I think you underestimate how much grinding players are willing to do. I grinded an average of 4 spheres a week for more than 6 months. That's not counting the amount of PDs I gained from trading item drops with other players. I wouldn't even bother with all of those items, but if I did that grand total doesn't phase me. 

 

The argument that DTs "mitigate ALL" pds is so silly. Who the hell donates that much that they never need PDs? By your own calculation, someone would need to donate around 700 dollars to completely avoid PDs. And even if someone did that, who the hell cares? Those players are not going to stick to any game they play regardless, so let them have their fun.

 

PDs are not the same thing as what I'm suggesting, and your misinterpreting my use of the word "currency" because there is no other word for what I'm suggesting. It's similar to hunting crafting materials in other RPGs, but since I'm trying to simplify it as much as possible, let's just call it this.

 

45 minutes ago, Saber +7 said:

We'll wind right back up where we are in like 2 years

You're suggesting that we shouldn't add anything new because after several years players will have completed that too? You're flippantly dismissing an added 2 years of lifespan to players who want to hunt things

 

48 minutes ago, Saber +7 said:

They're all very boring to use and take a lot of fun out of the game (more so than the Dark Meteor already does). Imagine everyone rolling around on HUcast with Dark Meteor

 

49 minutes ago, Saber +7 said:

It's literally not hurting anyone that these items aren't in the server. If anything it's better that less and less people know about them as time passes. No one should've had them in the first place really. Again I can't stress it enough that these items are not as "cool" as you think they are. They nearly quite literally game breaking. Especially DM Storm.

 

50 minutes ago, Saber +7 said:

Some people get lucky, last year one fella found 6 or 7 STAs. In the past a handful of people found double digit PGFs.

These are things I already addressed in the original post. There's a reason I suggested this system instead of just adding the weapons as a drop. And I must AGAIN point out to you that "fun" is subjective. And insistence that every single player adhere to your definition of fun is childish. You simultaneously argue that DMs take the fun out of the game because it's so game breaking, while also arguing that SS and DF are much better weapons. The only real problem with these weapons being implemented is it affects TA, something that is more or less dead on this server, and which is mostly done on the test server, where these weapons already exist.

 

56 minutes ago, Saber +7 said:

Not just whole weapons would be invalidated, entire classes would be deemed worthless.

Just going to point out that you already think entire classes are worthless when compared to HUcast. Your brain immediately thinks about using DMS on HUcast, while I think about using it on a FO, or any of the other weapons on classes that don't normally have access to those types of weapons. Your brain is so hardwired to TA that you are only thinking about what's optimal, when most people just play the game to dick around and have fun 

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

Leaderboards would be great, and they've been talked about for years. We've just never got them, but you can check out https://psostats.com/ and https://ephinea.pioneer2.net/leaderboards/ to see all the possible things (there's more than this as well) that could be tracked beyond who has some items. 

This is cool, and a great idea that we should implement, but it's not what my post is about.

 

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

Taking a page from their book would likely be more beneficial than trying to reinvent the wheel. 

My post is the exact opposite of "reinventing the wheel." Its using the wheels we have lying around and aren't using. You're suggesting that we reinvent Ultima to be more like a server that already exists and that we can all play on anytime we want. Why would I be playing here instead of Ephinea if I wanted Ultima to be like Ephinea?

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

New items are clearly not the way to go as other servers have proved that

If anything the history of private PSO servers proves the exact opposite. Ephinea will never have the numbers that Schthack and Ultima had in their prime, you are operating by a recency bias and selective evidence. 

 

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

DTs need to be limited / removed and the game would pretty much take of the rest. 

Even if this were the solution, it's never going to happen, so to suggest this as an alternative to proposals to improve the server is defeatist and pointless.

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25 minutes ago, jdhenry124 said:

Who the hell donates that much that they never need PDs?

Lil' Willy's rich parents used their golf resort money to give him 7k of DTs, so there's at least one. 

 

tenor.gif?itemid=3519852

Edited by RocketTots
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I'll be happy if ultima server keep adding new content to the game, like quest, armors, weps, units, shields, mags, events, and more game master ^^ and what about level 300 chars? that would be fun ^^

Sent from my Moto G (5) using Tapatalk

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8 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

I think anytime someone makes a suggestion for the server your response and analysis suffers from an inability to comprehend that people play this game for different reasons than you. People play on Ultima for different reasons than they play on ephinea or GameCube, and rather than purging the server of everything that makes it unique and alienate the people that enjoy playing here in an attempt to be like other servers, maybe we should actually build on those reason and the community that's already here.

Refuting to add new items especially the ones you want isn't purging the server of everything that makes it unique. Just because something exists elsewhere doesn't mean that it can't be used in another place. HBR is quite literally a Sega concept. Check out GBR from Phantasy Star Universe. It's not a "unique" idea to Ephinea.

 

8 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

The most populated place right now can't compare with the numbers Ultima was putting up a couple years ago. So why is it that you are being so selective with your evidence? I have no motivation to play right now because I have everything in the game that I could possibly need, and hundreds of DTs on top of that. Other players have stated the exact same reason for not being as active. I would love to have a reason to play, but I don't.

I think that Ultima peak (few years ago) and Ephinea peak (currently) are roughly the same. They've certainly matched Ultimas past peaks. There was literally one week where some famous streamer was playing Ultima and our counts went sky high. That doesn't really count. I think not a single player riding that wave is still around.

 

8 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

I think you underestimate how much grinding players are willing to do. I grinded an average of 4 spheres a week for more than 6 months. That's not counting the amount of PDs I gained from trading item drops with other players. I wouldn't even bother with all of those items, but if I did that grand total doesn't phase me. 

You "grinded" all those through custom missions that more or less break the balance of the in game mechanisms used to spend them. It's not the same. Of course when WoI has guaranteed PD you've found a lot. Even if you're some how claiming to NEVER have gotten a PD as a quest reward, set PD, or from WoI area clear... where do you think the majority of the PDs that you traded come from? All those PDs are "illegitimate". It doesn't phase you here, but you should how other players else where play ALL DAY for that kinda stuff since they don't have DTs to literally item maker their gear or broken PD markets to sphere any item they touch. 

 

8 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

 

The argument that DTs "mitigate ALL" pds is so silly. Who the hell donates that much that they never need PDs? By your own calculation, someone would need to donate around 700 dollars to completely avoid PDs. And even if someone did that, who the hell cares? Those players are not going to stick to any game they play regardless, so let them have their fun.

 You don't ever have to donate to get DTs. I haven't personally donated for anything other than a mag or section ID change in the past like 5 years yet I've spent probably nearly a 1000 DTs.

 

8 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

PDs are not the same thing as what I'm suggesting, and your misinterpreting my use of the word "currency" because there is no other word for what I'm suggesting. It's similar to hunting crafting materials in other RPGs, but since I'm trying to simplify it as much as possible, let's just call it this.

 It is literally what you're suggesting. This game doesn't have some wild in depth crafting system like PSO2 or some other. Adding attributes is the "simple"

crafting system (animal parts and Photon Crystals as well) and what do you figure the currency for that is?

 

8 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

You're suggesting that we shouldn't add anything new because after several years players will have completed that too? You're flippantly dismissing an added 2 years of lifespan to players who want to hunt things

I am certainly not suggesting that we add ANY of the unique weapons that's correct. There's surely items to add that can in some way be impactful without power creeping too much or making entire classes more ass cheeks than they already are. Regardless, new items aren't really the fix anyway. You say you have everything YOU want, but I am sure if I had scanned your bank I could come up with 10+ items without thinking too hard that you're missing or that you need to work on. This is ultimately a YOU problem. 

 

8 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

These are things I already addressed in the original post. There's a reason I suggested this system instead of just adding the weapons as a drop. And I must AGAIN point out to you that "fun" is subjective. And insistence that every single player adhere to your definition of fun is childish. You simultaneously argue that DMs take the fun out of the game because it's so game breaking, while also arguing that SS and DF are much better weapons. The only real problem with these weapons being implemented is it affects TA, something that is more or less dead on this server, and which is mostly done on the test server, where these weapons already exist.

I guess the same goes for you... "insistence that every single player adhere to your definition of fun is childish". SS and DF certainly have the higher ceiling compared to DF (particularly in party play). Something that also makes DM "worse" is that you have to play a RA to use it and give up all the things that HU offers. That doesn't mean pretty much any player can't just grab a DM and clear whatever they want (albeit slowly) without thinking. Most of this server is already DM spam because it's fairly strong on RAcast. Now imagine how much DM you'd see when you combine it with HUcast ATP + Serene Swan + Dark Flow + all the other things that already make HUcast > RAcast. It wouldn't be fun, you'd clear every wave in one combo even more than it's already done. I never once mentioned TA. I probably just wouldn't use those weapons in TA and would keep them banned as they always have been. I'd also like to point out that most TA on Ultima is actually done on the real server.

 

8 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

Just going to point out that you already think entire classes are worthless when compared to HUcast. Your brain immediately thinks about using DMS on HUcast, while I think about using it on a FO, or any of the other weapons on classes that don't normally have access to those types of weapons. Your brain is so hardwired to TA that you are only thinking about what's optimal, when most people just play the game to dick around and have fun 

I do think that, but a lot of players don't and that is thanks to Dark Meteor. It's where it would quite literally be the strongest due to his ATP so I think it's only natural to shift there. Sure you can fuck around and play it on classes that it's going to be weak on. I think most people after realizing that they can do the same style of play but take off a few attacks from every enemy just by switching class we'd see a big time shift. Why do you think RAcast is the most popular class to use Dark Meteor on? Because that's where it's strongest currently. 

 

9 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

My post is the exact opposite of "reinventing the wheel." Its using the wheels we have lying around and aren't using. You're suggesting that we reinvent Ultima to be more like a server that already exists and that we can all play on anytime we want. Why would I be playing here instead of Ephinea if I wanted Ultima to be like Ephinea?

I am not suggesting to "reinvent" Ultima. There's certainly a way to use the GBR Sega style of system that in some was is unique to Ultima. The quests could pop up and rotate during down time between events that earn you boosts that activate only during the events. This wouldn't change anything regarding weapon / class meta, but would offer incentives to play without an event up while also promoting possibly lesser played quests and rewarding the player for it down the line when it matters most.  http://re-psupedia.info/GUARDIANS_Boost_Road#Point_system you can read about the system as Sega designed it here.

 

9 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

If anything the history of private PSO servers proves the exact opposite. Ephinea will never have the numbers that Schthack and Ultima had in their prime, you are operating by a recency bias and selective evidence. 

Ephinea already has had prime Ultima numbers. Schthack obviously had the highest peak, but something you're not acknowledging is that it was before they were anything more than a rough recreation of official servers without any crazy boosted weapons, items, or tech boosts. Not to mention times have changed, there's more servers now. Back then that was the only place to play BB "privately". 

 

9 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

Even if this were the solution, it's never going to happen, so to suggest this as an alternative to proposals to improve the server is defeatist and pointless.

That's because players like yourself refuse to open up to the idea even though it's the entire core of the issue you bring up.

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11 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

Here's how it would work: once players acquire a certain amount of Ultima Photons, they can exchange them either through Gallons shop (if it can be implemented) or through a GM, and can acquire one of the following items based on how many Ultima Photons they have. The prices listed are a rough suggestion

 

 

  • Adding charge to an S-rank weapon - 1 Photon
  • Rainbow Petrik - 5 Photons
  • Frosty icicle shooter - 5 Photons
  • Den's hand cannon - 8 Photons
  • Combat Cannon - 10 Photons
  • S.T.A.R.S. spread - 12 Photons
  • Dark meteor storm - 15 Photons

 

 

the problemn with this is the reason those exist is because the people who had them made got to have them made for a special reason and not even gms had a chance to get a special item like that and can only use them on gm accounts to help others hunt and they keep track of who has the real ones

as much as i might be for the idea there is no way they would give those out at all especially when people who actually have the rights to those weapons still play once in a while

 

a better idea would be to make new super op weapons/gear that are not those weapons since if it was those ones it would undermine what they mean to the players who earned them since even if some of them dont play anymore they still had the ability to give them to friends

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1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

Refuting to add new items especially the ones you want isn't purging the server of everything that makes it unique. Just because something exists elsewhere doesn't mean that it can't be used in another place. HBR is quite literally a Sega concept. Check out GBR from Phantasy Star Universe. It's not a "unique" idea to Ephinea.

I feel like there's some real cognitive dissonance going on here. You selectively interpret my criticizism of your reply to ONLY being about your opposition to my proposed system, and then spend the rest of the post shitting on numerous things that make Ultima unique, such as the quests, the DT System, the unlocked DM stats. In other posts you've bashed the chatbox, the casual playstyle of others, the quests people choose to run, etc. And you've attributed all of these things to the "fall of Ultima." 

 

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

I think that Ultima peak (few years ago) and Ephinea peak (currently) are roughly the same. They've certainly matched Ultimas past peaks.

And the only time of the year when Ultimas numbers are comparable to Ephinea is during anniversary and Christmas Event, when the two most OP drops are available, both of which break the game. The system I'm suggesting would require much more effort and investment (something equivalent to 15 PGFs) to acquire. But youre reaction to this is that it will lead to everyone having them, that they'll be everywhere, and ruin gameplay.

 

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

You "grinded" all those through custom missions that more or less break the balance of the in game mechanisms used to spend them.

This is irrelevant. Even without those quests I've made more than the "grand total" number of PDs you posted above in raising and selling mags, grinding and selling mats, items, and event drops. If anything the PD quests are less time efficient than many other methods of making money..the PD quests are just something you can do when you are burnt out of, or can't do the other options.

 

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

 You don't ever have to donate to get DTs. I haven't personally donated for anything other than a mag or section ID change in the past like 5 years yet I've spent probably nearly a 1000 DTs

In the past 5 years because you have had all you needed in the game for that long. The only reason you're still here is because you like TAing. Many of us don't, so maybe let's do something to help those peoy stick around.

 

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

You say you have everything YOU want, but I am sure if I had scanned your bank I could come up with 10+ items without thinking too hard that you're missing or that you need to work on

And if I'm missing a max items I can make it or buy it in a couple minutes because I have an assload of PDs and DTs. Like a lot of people I'm finished with the game, and there's nothing for me to do apart from the arbitrary goals I set for myself that won't lead to any send of progression.

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

That doesn't mean pretty much any player can't just grab a DM and clear whatever they want (albeit slowly) without thinking. Most of this server is already DM spam because it's fairly strong on RAcast. Now imagine how much DM you'd see when you combine it with HUcast ATP + Serene Swan + Dark Flow + all the other things that already make HUcast > RAcast. It wouldn't be fun,

The fun part is the hunt to get the weapon. Same as everything about PSO. The reason I'm suggesting this is to add to the longevity of the game, not because I want the game to be easier than it already is. In my opinion, there are already many weapons that break the game and make it too easy, but that's part of the charm of PSO. It let's you break the game and become an unstoppable killing machine. There's no content that is too difficult for a RAcast with a DM that a HUcast with a DM would make easy. It's just a way to reward the player for the massive commitment they made to the game.

 

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

Why do you think RAcast is the most popular class to use Dark Meteor on?

Honestly I think there's more variety in class choices than you're presenting here. I find that most people play as the class they like the aesthetic of the most. I have the most hours logged on FOmar by far, and that class is in no way the most efficient, isn't just the one I enjoy using.

 

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

There's certainly a way to use the GBR Sega style of system that in some was is unique to Ultima. The quests could pop up and rotate during down time between events that earn you boosts that activate only during the events

I'm not against this, I think it's a good idea and we should do it. But it's not what my post is about.

 

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

but something you're not acknowledging is that it was before they were anything more than a rough recreation of official servers without any crazy boosted weapons, items, or tech boosts.

How long has Ultima had combo unlocked dark weapons? How long has it had custom weapons? The periods when Ultima actually has respectable numbers is when the stupid OP items are available, even those once players get them they render much of the content of the game a pushover. Because people enjoy the hunt.

 

1 hour ago, Saber +7 said:

That's because players like yourself refuse to open up to the idea even though it's the entire core of the issue you bring up

That's not the reason DTs aren't going away. You and I both know this.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, griffeni said:

the problemn with this is the reason those exist is because the people who had them made got to have them made for a special reason and not even gms had a chance to get a special item like that and can only use them on gm accounts to help others hunt and they keep track of who has the real ones

as much as i might be for the idea there is no way they would give those out at all especially when people who actually have the rights to those weapons still play once in a while

I already addressed why I chose these weapons specifically and why this should not be a concern in the original post.

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(This is Matt from Ephinea, by the way)

 

I totally understand where you're coming from with this, but Ultima's current low population count comes from a few factors. New items and hunts can pad the game out and increase the longevity of the game to a degree, but it won't fix all the problems with the game at all, plus your proposal also causes some other issues which may even hurt the population or turn people away in the long run.

 

During Ephinea's early days, we also had issues with low player count outside of events; in fact, we used to also hit single digit numbers on some days too, and playing outside of events was just something you didn't do. Low population begets low population, it's a bit of a catch-22 unfortunately, and getting out of that rut is hard. Many players will leave a server for another that may not quite be their cup of tea because "it has people".

 

To fix this, we didn't do unique things between events, or added new items or anything like that, we did what you may think is unthinkable: We nerfed events hard so they stopped being powerful, and there is no exclusive or major advantage to playing them, it's just a fun time with some extra boosts.

 

Naturally, this had some negative reactions at first, but as you can probably see, it has paid off.

 

See, when events or boost periods (such as Happy Hours) are powerful, they are detrimental to a game's long life and population, because what they do is make the regular game not feel like it is worth playing. Why would somebody get online to hunt a Frozen Shooter now, when they can wait for Happy Hours or a Rare Enemy boost and get it in a fraction of the time?

 

In context for Ultima, there are two issues related to this:

  1. Happy Hours / Weekend Boosts
  2. Exclusive Event Items

In regards to Happy Hours, they essentially make the game not worth playing for hunts, because why get online when you can just do something else and hop on for Happy Hours, and get your item 3x faster? Because of this particular feature, it lowers the population during normal times, and as mentioned before, a lowered population creates an even lower population, because what's the fun of a multiplayer game if it's a ghost town? If normal times are unpopulated, many people will also just forget about the game too, so Happy Hours will not actually bring everyone back (like, you can see this in action in the most recent Phantasy Star title, New Genesis, they make it so you can't make progress except at certain times, and lots of people are just logging off and forgetting about it).

 

Secondly, Ultima has a lot of extra items that are stronger than the standard official set of items, and these items are what I will call "gameplay critical". A "gameplay critical" item is one that is considered a staple, or adds some sort of extra tool or power to your arsenal.

 

Because of this, players also feel that it is not worth playing except during events. Why bother hunting something like a 50H Baranz Launcher when it will just be replaced by Dark Meteor? You might as well just not play and wait for Christmas instead, and this also applies to so many of the custom items here, as they are just straight up better than all the items you can get during normal times. Nobody wants to invest time into something that they know will just be outclassed by something they can get later. Like, does anyone actually hunt Hard/Very Hard rares? No, they jush rush to Ultimate and skip to the final thing to not waste their time.

 

In Ephinea, the only items that are exclusive to events are those that are cosmetic in nature. There are no "gameplay critical" items obtainable through events (except maybe Drill Launcher, I forgot about that, maybe I should do something about that). Things like Mag Cells and joke weapons are the only things that you can get exclusively, although they're not the only items of course.

 

So, what's my point?

 

While there is a sort of "issue" with DTs and whatnot allowing you to get perfect items, depending on how you look at it anyway, I think the biggest issue is actually that Ultima is not a very good server for pick up and play, with many boosts and items being timegated. This just keeps people away in regular times and if you're not actively playing, you are very likely to just not play again, because the game doesn't actually respect your own schedule, it expects you to play when the game says so if you want to maximise your time.

 

In regards to your proposal, it actually fixes nothing, and actually causes more issues than it resolves.

 

As mentioned prior, people just want to hunt for the things that are the best, so what will happen here is that everyone will just focus all their time and effort on hunting the "Ultima Photon" and its related items. Other items will just fall by the wayside, and the only content that will be ran are the ones that give you the best rate of Ultima Photon. What your proposal does is not actually increase the longevity of the game, it just changes what you are doing instead. It will only add something new for those who have played already, and those who are new will just have the same experience as before in terms of play time, because now they just skip over many other things that are staples today, and beeline for these items instead.

 

Secondly, it is yet another timegated piece of content. This is something that is only obtainable through non-events. Since these items are so much stronger than the others, what this actually means is that events are now practically worthless, and what you'll have is good population throughout non-events, and lowered population during events (so actually the Ultima Photon is kind of the event now?). All you're doing is flipping the script (although of course there's more non-event time than event time, but still).

 

Also while it's a scavenger hunt at first, most people do not participate in that, and just wait for everything to be found. (sauce: We run an event like this on Ephinea and it's extremely common lol)

 

Lastly, new things are not actually new content in a sense, not with how people actually play and approach games. For a piece of content to actually be an addition, you must be careful that the new content does not replace other content in some way. This is very hard to do.

 

To be quite blunt: If Dark Meteor Storm exists, what incentive do people have to hunt the regular Dark Meteor? All you're doing here is shifting the content that is considered "worthwhile" or "playable", while not actually adding anything interesting.

 

I'm very careful about this on Ephinea, we add custom quests all the time, but before any of them get through, I vet them to make sure that they do not replace current quests. If a quest with 20 Girtablulus was to be added, nobody would have any incentive to play the other quests with them, such as NMU5 or WoL4 or MA4C, so what is actually happening here is that content is *replaced*, not *added* so to speak. For example I completely nuked Path to Salvation, because it was the only Ruins quest that people were playing, since obviously it's like the best for every hunt, so the game became a lot more boring after a while.

 

If you want to add new content in the way you're proposing, it must be done constantly, which means that everything is kind of subject to planned obsolescence, because what people want is power. This is a successful model, but it requires a lot of work and also the right audience as well, and I would kind of garner that anyone playing PSO kind of does it mostly casually and wouldn't appreciate their gear being outclassed when they take a break, but I may be wrong here.

 

So, if I had to give any advice for Ultima's player population, I would suggest the following:

  • All "gameplay critical" items must be obtainable at all times. By putting these things behind events, it only discourages people from playing at regular times. This covers absolutely everything from tools to weapons to frames to any powerful mags or anything you can think of that changes gameplay. You can make the items obtainable in whatever way you like (quests, combinations, drops, whatever).
  • Happy Hours and Green Name boosts are bad for the game and really should be done away with (people have asked me for this on Ephinea and I have shut it down every single time over the past 6 years without question). Obviously this will get some bad reaction at first, maybe you'd want to consider buffing all rates across the board permanently, but once you do this you cannot go back to regular rates. If people are only getting on for 3x rates, why bother having Happy Hours at all? Just buff everything or cut its throat because it's clearly not helping.
  • A lot of people are really turned away by the concept of Donation Tickets on a game like PSO. That should probably be reworked in my opinion as it comes across pretty Pay2Win when there are unique things you can do with them. While you can trade with them, it just kinda means whoever has money can inject currency into the game (and their wallet).

I've noticed on Ultima that you try to keep people around with lots of events or mini-events, but from watching my own players over the years, I don't think this is a good strategy if what you want is people playing at all hours and days. All lots of events/mini-events do is make people stop playing unless something is going on, and I expect that you don't really want to be doing things all the time. Plus, too many events can lead to event burnout as well from people feeling like they must play because something is happening.

tl;dr: Exclusive Event Items, Happy Hours, Green Name Boosts and other related timegated content/boosts make Ultima a bad server for pick up and play, which just makes people stay away as they forget about the game or end up playing somewhere else that respects their time. While other servers may have 1x EXP rates, their time is respected as the progress they make will never be devalued by broken events or time periods.

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Does anyone know what the other servers do that is more attractive?

It sounds like Ephinea is the most popular server, so why?

Someone from Ephinea dropped by the other day just to try out Ultima, and when they saw how few people were logged in compared to Eph, they said "this sucks" and left.

How does above server attract so many people?

Do you need to mitigate DMC problems a lot more? 

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21 minutes ago, Zynetic said:

All "gameplay critical" items must be obtainable at all times. By putting these things behind events, it only discourages people from playing at regular times. This covers absolutely everything from tools to weapons to frames to any powerful mags or anything you can think of that changes gameplay. You can make the items obtainable in whatever way you like (quests, combinations, drops, whatever).

I've been saying this exact thing for years now. Having one of the most important Ultima items only be available a month out of year, with that month being the busiest month of the year, is just a bad idea. It's a large reason why I made the switch to Ephinea myself.

 

Being able to pay directly for hit/end game items probably killed the game as well. It was always slightly annoying to see somehow who joined 2 weeks ago decked out as much as someone who'd been playing for 2 years. PGF/Dark Weapon prices got so ridiculous around mid 2016 and stayed that way, to the point where if you weren't rich, you'd have to spend many, many hours just to get 1. Then assuming you didn't get all the Dark Weapons you wanted, you'd have to wait another year just to spend a lot more hours doing the same hunt during the busiest time of the year. Same thing applies to STA, which has about the same time sink required. I think everyone can kinda guess that DTs won't go away, since without donations this server would've probably died out a long time ago, but it totally needs a rework.

 

PSO in general has a retention problem, probably do to the fact that the end game is just doing the same areas you've been doing but harder for gear. There's definitely things that can be done to increase the longevity of the player, though.

 

12 hours ago, Saber +7 said:

Not just whole weapons would be invalidated, entire classes would be deemed worthless.

 

I do have to agree with this. Hucast having access to something like STARs Needle or DM Storm would be absolutely game breaking, Why play ranger when you can sit in the corner on hucast and 1 combo mobs with DM spam, while also having access still to DF.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Zynetic said:

In regards to Happy Hours, they essentially make the game not worth playing for hunts, because why get online when you can just do something else and hop on for Happy Hours, and get your item 3x faster?

If only this were accurately true :onion-head19:

 

1 hour ago, Zynetic said:

Because of this, players also feel that it is not worth playing except during events. Why bother hunting something like a 50H Baranz Launcher when it will just be replaced by Dark Meteor? You might as well just not play and wait for Christmas instead, and this also applies to so many of the custom items here, as they are just straight up better than all the items you can get during normal times. Nobody wants to invest time into something that they know will just be outclassed by something they can get later. Like, does anyone actually hunt Hard/Very Hard rares? No, they jush rush to Ultimate and skip to the final thing to not waste their time.

Well, you can't just go to war without any preparations :onion101:
[Also who doesn't go VHard to farm Crush Bullet and Bloody Arts with hit, here? :D ] (And maybe Branch of Paku Paku with hit ;]

 

 

1 hour ago, Zynetic said:

Happy Hours and Green Name boosts are bad for the game and really should be done away with (people have asked me for this on Ephinea and I have shut it down every single time over the past 6 years without question).

Idk about green names, though. The rare monsters spawn rate Is just waaaay too ridiculous :onion-head27:

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14 hours ago, jdhenry124 said:

Your brain immediately thinks about using DMS on HUcast, while I think about using it on a FO, or any of the other weapons on classes that don't normally have access to those types of weapons. Your brain is so hardwired to TA that you are only thinking about what's optimal

9FB40DE2-843E-417C-90B3-32E25BBEAE90.jpeg.d54791441b58c5d4ae2674c2432f3556.jpeg

Imagine writing admitting that you didn’t even bother to check to know what’s up with these weapons. Obviously never tested them in game either. 
literal clown show 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Edited by Saber +7
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2 hours ago, Saber +7 said:

9FB40DE2-843E-417C-90B3-32E25BBEAE90.jpeg.d54791441b58c5d4ae2674c2432f3556.jpeg

Imagine writing admitting that you didn’t even bother to check to know what’s up with these weapons. Obviously never tested them in game either. 
literal clown show 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Thank God for June 15th.

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6 hours ago, Saber +7 said:

9FB40DE2-843E-417C-90B3-32E25BBEAE90.jpeg.d54791441b58c5d4ae2674c2432f3556.jpeg

Imagine writing admitting that you didn’t even bother to check to know what’s up with these weapons. Obviously never tested them in game either. 
literal clown show 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Owned 😂😂😂

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