AO in the light of vanilla WoW

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Matammyr
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AO in the light of vanilla WoW

Post by Matammyr » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:16 pm

This is something that I have been thinking about for years, and relates to the well-established discourse surrounding MMORPGs in general (they're all terrible now), and how a large segment of the market is being ignored by the big companies. The reaction to this was private servers, and then Blizzard saw the potential and is now going with official vanilla WoW.

Compared to AO, even vanilla WoW was a very sanitized and newbie friendly game.

Now, FC is never going to give us vanilla AO.

What I'm proposing is...why not a vanilla AO private server? I know there is the CellAO project, but in the last nearly 15 years that I have been aware of it, it has gone nowhere and done nothing.

I've been away from the game for years now, but from what I hear it is terrible. FC has given up caring, credit and item duping is rampant, and so on.

If anyone has any ideas or can bring something to the table or knows someone in a position to do anything, put them in contact with me. I'm not a programmer, and know nothing of how to really get this started from a tech standpoint, but I'm willing to take the time (and money!) out of my life to make this happen. I can't code, but I can do QA, bug testing, management, whatever. I love this game, and think it's the best MMORPG ever made, and it's not being handled properly by FC and never will be, seemingly.

In short,

Let's get a private vanilla AO sever up. My treat.

PS - when I say "vanilla," I mean patch 14.9, so that includes Notum Wars.

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Saavick
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Re: AO in the light of vanilla WoW

Post by Saavick » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:21 am

Funcom announced just last week that they are going to open up a new, additional, server soon in which everyone will start out without expansions and with an additional lower-than-200 level cap. Over time, they plan to increase the level cap and eventually they will also re-release expansions on it. The timing will be based on community feedback.
The game state will be the current patch, with a number of tweaks. We know that new characters will start in the old arrival hall and then go to a backyard. Daily missions will be disabled from the start. New content such as Miy's armour, Escaped Prisoners, Crypt of Home and such will presumably be available.

A major disclaimer I have to add, is that this new server will require a subscription, i.e. it's not for froobs.

There's still a lot we don't know, but some interesting links:

The video of last week's live stream by our community manager AndyB, in which he talks about the new server and answers questions.

A forum thread on the official forum, listing all known information we have so far, and various opinions from players on it.

Another forum thread on the official forum, in which players comment on the idea of not releasing shadowlands at all on the new server. This would be getting kind of close to your proposal I feel.

If you've been away for a while, you might also consider joining the new AO discord. Especially the past few days, it's been constant chatter about the new server. :) From time to time, AndyB and other FC people also join in.
Saavick 200 doctor Lokuta 200 soldier Violentmeany 200 enforcer Angrymeany 200 engineer
Vladja 200 agent Meany 200 fixer Littlemeany 200 adventurer Skathi 200 soldier
Nuclearmeany 190 nano-technician Sunilda 182 meta-physicist Boesemueny 179 trader
Luettl 170 bureaucrat Haadriah 163 martial artist Mueny 136 meta-physicist
Ryahna 131 adventurer Whaaaaaa 122 bureaucrat Wildmeany 100 adventurer
Svanhvita 100 engineer Kvada 80 enforcer Babysaav 66 doctor Vladdy 64 trader
Achilla 60 soldier Angrymueny 60 fixer Ealhswith 56 agent
Enragedmeany 25 enforcer Yngvildr 15 soldier

Matammyr
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Re: AO in the light of vanilla WoW

Post by Matammyr » Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:05 am

Hm, interesting. I guess my timing was terrible. In any case, the fact they are doing this is further proof of it being a good idea. Even a company as small as FC is willing to risk it on the "I liked it when MMORPGs weren't just a marketing network to sell things to you for real money" playerbase.

That's sort of the overall picture here anyway. I wouldn't do this to appeal to AO nostalgists, I want to do this to appeal to MMORPG nostalgists. Plenty of people who never played vanilla WoW or DAoK or Everquest play on private servers because they want the "actual MMORPG" experience you can't get anymore from any official server. I expect a lot of people who never played AO to check out a vanilla AO private server for the very same reason.

I'll keep on eye on this, and it certainly looks promising, but I'd still at least want to gather people and resources to make my 14.9 server idea a possibility in case this backfires or takes years and years to come out (Did the new engine ever get fully released?).

I'll mull over the discord thing. Thanks for all the links!

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Re: AO in the light of vanilla WoW

Post by Matammyr » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:25 pm

Alright, after reading everything and watching the video, it is pretty clear that (and I'll be charitable here) me and FC are after two completely different segments of the MMORPG playerbase, so I'm going on with this project full steam.

A partial list of things my server idea will implement (I'll revisit this list and change things as needed, feel free to make suggestions in line with the concept):

-Hardcapped at patch 14.9, absolutely no further progression, balance, itemization, and so on, from there
-no social tab (I am militant on this issue)
-no "quality of life" changes, i.e. mail, auction houses, and so on
-old school pvp rules: instant suppression gas, you can loot corpses, XP pinkies, item reclaim, and obviously the old title system


About the only changes I'd be willing to make are those that are deliberate grinds to keep you playing (and paying). Since this will be free, I have no incentive to make your life miserable by wasting your time, so 9 hour spawn timers instead of the period-correct 18 hour ones, as well as changes to how event-spawned raids happen. For example, getting the NPC to spawn for mercs was needlessly time consuming and often resulted in no raid at all happening, so I'm thinking that it should be a 100% chance to spawn after killing the placeholder, and a 20% chance to auto respawn, and if not, spawns the placeholder again and once he is killed again, the cycle repeats over again. Make sense? I feel this is a good compromise between "haha, look how much time we got you to waste and collect your monthly fees" inherited from the official game and "giving everyone what they want because you're a bunch of babies" logic of current MMORPGs.

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Re: AO in the light of vanilla WoW

Post by Trappin » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:35 pm

@Matammyr. There is a AO clone in production as we speak. They're actively coding the game and are on Twitter all the time. I'm not at home and am blanking on the name of the game - Grid Games? fake edit - lemme check. here.

Image

and

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Here's my take on progression servers. I played on the first EQ progression server back in 2010. It was a blast mainly because finding groups in zones I liked to play in was easy. The one big drawback were the nitpick hardcore EQ gamers. They really are a tedious, boorish sort.

The jerk multiboxers were around, but they didn't dare monopolize important spawn camps because they'd get trained. I played with a few 2-boxers and if our team had an open spot they'd add them in - and they'd logout the spare box if someone wanted in. So, generally multiboxing worked well to round teams out. By the by. If someone in TOTW is being a multiboxing jerk I'll first ask them to find a new GS, after that they get trained.

If people want to play old vanilla games the servers are waiting for you! Earth and Beyond is a fun space game with some interesting features - I very much enjoyed that casual game. Star Wars Galaxies if you groove on crafting. Project 99 (EQ) and no multiboxing allowed.

EQ Live is launching two progression servers this week!

Original AO + the NW booster is a pretty cool game. I would consider it if Funcom police their servers.

earth and beyond; https://www.net-7.org/

Matammyr
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Re: AO in the light of vanilla WoW

Post by Matammyr » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:17 pm

Trappin wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:35 pm
@Matammyr. There is a AO clone in production as we speak. They're actively coding the game and are on Twitter all the time. I'm not at home and am blanking on the name of the game - Grid Games? fake edit - lemme check. here.

Image

and

Image
I found this guy a few months ago, that very link too. I love what he's doing and it's great, but it seems to be a totally new game inspired by AO, rather than vanilla AO. I don't have twitter, so assuming you do, would you mind linking him to this thread? If he's at all interested in something like a vanilla AO project, I'd love to talk to him.
Trappin wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:35 pm
The jerk multiboxers were around, but they didn't dare monopolize important spawn camps because they'd get trained. I played with a few 2-boxers and if our team had an open spot they'd add them in - and they'd logout the spare box if someone wanted in. So, generally multiboxing worked well to round teams out. By the by. If someone in TOTW is being a multiboxing jerk I'll first ask them to find a new GS, after that they get trained.
Since this is really going to be a passion/hands-on project for me, my "give a s***" factor is quite high. I will ban anyone botting, duping, exploiting, whatever. I'm not selling a product, I'm preserving a culture.
Trappin wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:35 pm
Original AO + the NW booster is a pretty cool game. I would consider it if Funcom police their servers.
I agree, it would be a pretty cool game. :wink:

Matammyr
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Re: AO in the light of vanilla WoW

Post by Matammyr » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:59 am

I came across https://www.reddit.com/r/anarchyonline/ ... o/dttcts5/. Does anyone have any idea who this is? He sounds like someone I need to get in touch with for the benefit of this project.

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Re: AO in the light of vanilla WoW

Post by Matammyr » Sun May 19, 2019 2:59 pm

So, my initial efforts have not yielded much. I've contacted a lot of people so far, mainly third party AO tools devs and private server community leaders of other MMORPGs, but nothing to show for it yet. There's some others that I'm still trying to find contact info for, including the mysterious pre-CellAO emulation project that I can find tantalizing bits of info here and there about but nothing concrete. Rome (or Omni Ent for that matter) wasn't built in a day, and I am nowhere near close to giving up.

In the news recently, there has been a story that has given me hope. Apparently, there was a super-secret private City of Heroes server. By itself, not that big of a deal, but apparently it was made with code leaked from a source working for the original developer. This is huge and opens up a door I didn't think would ever be opened. As crazy as it sounds, I'm starting to think contacting Ragnar Tørnquist, Gaute Godager, or really anyone from FC who might have a sympathetic view of my goals.

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