Friday, April 09, 2010

Where were we?

Oh, yeah... Private servers and Wow and shit.

Gotcha.

Let's start with the whole private server thing. Pretty much since I started the blog, people have been sending me e-mails about the dreaded private servers.

Well, that and asking for nude pics of Susan.

Also, spam for male enhancement and watches.

My inbox is a comedy cavalcade, people.

I never really put a lot of time into the whole private server thing. It's just one of those things that we all know about, but nobody really cares about.

The basic premise is that you get to play a game for free on a server run by a private individual. This system has certain pros:

a) it's free

b) it doesn't cost anything

c) what else do you need, you cheap bastard?

d) did I mention it's free?

e) oh, they might make the game easier or give you free armor or something

That's about it. Seems really great, right?

Right?

Not so much.

I mean, I was totally on board with the whole playing a game that costs money for free thing. I like free. I enjoy free. It really seemed like a great idea.

Unfortunately, private servers are an idea that seem great in theory.

Like communism.

Or women's rights.

Oh, I'm going to get some e-mails for that one. My inbox is going to be even funnier than usual.

See, private servers are run by an individual with no vested interest in providing you a service. They are doing it simply for the joy of helping others.

... You can imagine how well that might work.

Let me explain this to you. I would not want to live in a town with a volunteer fire department. I would not want to be trapped inside my house, flames engulfing everything I own, with a bunch of people outside who aren't getting paid.

Fireman1>> Okay, guys. We're going in!
Fireman2>> Umm... Really?
Fireman2>> We're going in there?
Fireman1>> Of course we are.
Fireman2>> Are you crazy?
Fireman2>> That place is on fire!
Fireman1>> People are trapped in there.
Fireman2>> Yeah... See, I thought we could stay out here.
Fireman2>> Kind of see how the situation unfolds.
Fireman1>> How it unfolds?!
Fireman1>> It's going to unfold with that family burning to death.
Fireman2>> True... True.
Fireman2>> That could happen.
Fireman2>> Or... OR it could go out on its own.
Fireman1>> It's not going to go out on its own!
Fireman1>> We need to help them!
Fireman2>> Yeah...
Fireman2>> I've kind of got this Softball game tomorrow...
Fireman1>> What the hell is the matter with you?
Fireman3>> Hey, guys.
Fireman3>> What's going on?
Fireman1>> We have to get in there!
Fireman3>> Are you crazy?
Fireman3>> That place is on fire!

I'm sure they're nice guys. I'm sure they WANT to help. But when I'm minutes away from burning to death, I want to know that the people in charge of saving my ass are being well paid.

With a private server, those same people in charge of saving your ass have the very real option of not giving a shit.

That's bad.

As much as I talk about terrorizing the general populace of Vana'diel, I do occasionally help people. And the people all around me every day, freaking love helping players. They earn their paycheck.

Paycheck.

If we weren't getting paid, I really don't think we'd all get together every day and just help people out of the goodness of our hearts.

Now, don't get me wrong. Most of the guys running private servers are cool. They're providing a great service to people who don't actually want to pay for the official service.

But this is a server they are running as a hobby. Running someone else's game as a hobby.

Shit is bound to go wrong.

Here's your average experience on a private server:

Log in.
Select character.
Wait...
Wait...
Wait...
Okay, you're in the world.
Talk to an NPC.
Half of the NPCs don't work.
Lag.
Umm... Start a quest.
Most of the quests are bugged.
Lag.
Join a party/raid/whatever.
There are three tanks on the whole server and they're all busy.
Crap.
Wait...
Wait...
Oh, we got a tank. Now, we just...
Shit, the healer had to go.
Only two of those on the server.
Wait...
Alright. Got a healer.
Lag.
Start your event/dungeon/instance/whatever.
LAG.
Bosses aren't properly scripted.
Find a boss that isn't bugged and kill it.
Get great drop.
Server crashes.
Rollback.
Oops, your item is gone.
Throw computer out window.

I'm not kidding. This happens multiple times a day on private servers.

This may or may not sound like fun to you. Then again, some people like having people beat the crap out of them.

Whatever floats your boat.

My personal boat enjoys a server where shit like that is INCREDIBLY rare. And, assuming something like that ever did happen, someone would go out of their way to help you.

Or you might get me. That would be less than optimal.

I get that private servers are free. Trust me when I tell you that I get that part. I am quite possibly the cheapest man on the planet.

If Susan needed a special medicine to survive, I'd probably ask if it came in a generic brand.

Oh c'mon. Love is priceless, but saving three dollars is a big deal.

I also get the whole 10x rate, high drop rate, armor vendor thing. They're making the game easier and, in turn, more fun.

More fun assuming you enjoy less challenge.

Will the WoW fans please stop nodding?

Jesus.

While I understand these things, I still don't get why someone would choose an amateur service over the official one. You are choosing a substandard product with substandard service just to save a little money.

This isn't medicine. This is a video game.

Where are your freaking priorities?

20 Comments:

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Soren said...

Private servers were fun for me and my roommate for about a month. Just something to kill time with. Plus he's a leveling whore, and having 5 characters at level 70 pretty much guarantees that neither of us will have the urge to pay for it.

Which we don't.

So... mission accomplished?

Good luck with Susan, Dave :)

 
At 7:55 PM, Blogger Sparf said...

Private servers have always seemed like they'd be exactly what you describe. Which is why when I get the Mumorpuger bug, I usually plod around for a month or two and then leave, having paid for my service, etc. At least crap works and there are more people around to piss me off.

By the way, a large proportion of fire departments in the US are volunteer.
Volunteer firefighters are not 'amateur' firefighters. I speak as a former such person and I was and am NFPA certified and quite well trained. :)

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger Kisho said...

It really depends on the game as to whether or not the private servers are any good. I have played on a few private servers for various Korean MMOs and it was rather stable and balanced. You just have to be picky about where you play. I have also tried some WoW private servers, they are just bad. And thats on a good day.

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger Beniki said...

I have some fond memories of private servers for Ragnarok online. In a grindy game like that it was nice to cut out a big chunk of the time sink, and the guys running the server were pretty good about keeping everything running.

On the other hand, I played on a WoW private server once. For five minutes. You'd be shocked how many things can go horribly wrong in just 5 minutes.

 
At 11:20 PM, Blogger EvilTeacher said...

This is true--70 percent of stations are staffed by volunteers. A lot of brave men and women risk their lives... for free. They don't stand around roasting marshmallows while a fire is going on... they leap into Jormy's mouth.

I know it sucks when there's someone being a buzz-kill, but it did need to be corrected.

 
At 3:01 AM, Blogger Fredrik said...

Nag, nag, nag... womens rights... nag, nag, nag.

Nag, nag, nag... private servers kicks arse... nag, nag, nag.

:-D

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger Rwn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger Rwn said...

you really just have to find the right server. there are some pretty damn good ones out there with thousands of users and constant updates and next to no lag

oh yes and not sure if i should congratulate you or... well apologize for your misfortune on the child XD i'm pretty sure it is congratulate you are married after all

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger fugiman477 said...

As somebody who has RUN a ragnarok online server, I can reliably tell you that if the people running the server aren't making money, then don't play that server. Most good reliable private servers enact some donation scheme and have advertisements that cover most if not all the cost of hosting the server, and sometimes allows the hosts to pocket some cash as well. That isn't to say they are making a buisness out of it, it is still a hobby, but they should be self-sufficent.

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger Marcelo said...

I really can't see why play on a private server if the real game costs 14 bucks per month.
Not like officials doesnt have trials so you can check it out.

Side Note: FFXI sucks ball! go go grind!

 
At 6:19 PM, Blogger Salt said...

I have also tried some WoW private servers, they are just bad. And thats on a good day.

Well given Blizzard the company that made it can't get it to run decently...
(I mean serious 8 hour weekly maintenance? Sometimes it extends to 12 hours)

@dave
Oh, grats and good luck on new kid. :)

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger Music-chan said...

@Salt: There are some games I WISH would do an 8 hour weekly maitenence. More games could use this policy if it helps the overall health of the game.

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger Nite_Lite said...

I never thought about private servers this way...makes sense though. I'd rather have the awesome service and a challenge than an easy, broken game.


on a side note: I turned 18 on Friday!

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Saifer said...

Btw, most of that private server experience applies to most games, including FF and WoW. Also, the 8H maintenance is not bad considering WoW is a pretty stable game, unlike a game I know and play that has a prety long daily world recoveries. Also the time WoW uses for maintenance is a timeframe most ppl are either in school or working, only those who had the chance of having a free day on Tuesdays got hurt by the maintenance.

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger Kiwi said...

You forgot to mention most of the sites that run the 'private' servers have keyloggers and whatnot on them. So not only do you get a crap version of the game that doesn't work right, you get a virus, which potentially exposes your personal information to joe-shmoe-private-server-operator and they're also against the WoW ToS. >.>

 
At 8:21 AM, Blogger Master said...

Most volunteer firefighters get paid. In Chicago they get 35k a year. Even in small towns where they don't get an official salary they get tax credits and such.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Eris said...

Speaking as a volunteer firefighter (and a woman) - this post was freaking funny.

Except you got it backward - the conversation goes more like:

FF1: So where's the fire?
FF2: There's something on fire?!
FF3: OOH LET'S GO!
FF4: That might be smoke! We should go check!
FF5: Guys, I burnt the pizza. Calm down.

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger disturbed said...

if you wanted to do a more official review of WoW, can't some of us donators just send you game cards?

i've run a WoW server before (nothing big really... but at least it worked for the time being...) it was something private to me and some friends. i had more fun playing around with the gm powers. it was fun to be god... at least for 15 minutes it was. after that, the game was just boring. there was a new appreciation for NOT being god when i played on a real server lol.

still, getting the private server to work on my own pc like that was actually a hell of a lot easier than i thought it would be. might wanna look into it dave. it only takes a quick google search to figure it out (or even better, youtube it. those people have made in-depth video tutorials on how to do it...)

 
At 9:20 PM, Blogger Mil'bereth said...

"Log in.
Select character.
Wait...
Wait...
Wait...
Okay, you're in the world.
Talk to an NPC.
Lag.
Umm... Start a quest.
Lag.
Join a party/raid/whatever.
There are three tanks on the whole server and they're all busy.
Crap.
Wait...
Wait...
Oh, we got a tank. Now, we just...
Shit, the healer had to go.
Only two of those on the server.
Wait...
Alright. Got a healer.
Lag.
Start your event/dungeon/instance/whatever.
LAG.
Find a boss that isn't bugged and kill it.
Get great drop.
Server crashes.
Rollback.
Oops, your item is gone.
Throw computer out window."

How does sound much different from FFXI on dedicated company servers?

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger Woww said...

FUN WOTLK

 

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