State of private servers AGAIN and why its bad for community and game population growth

Im not even talking about official pvp servers at this point - without active admins and ingame report system it will never be fine.

We all know that game losing population each day and only spikes for a brief moment when update hits.
All most populated servers sell cash shop items for an advantage (like we dont have predatory enough monetization), give some option for raid protection etc
Seems newbie friendly? Huh but where do You think most experienced players play?

Believe or not most experienced and sweaty players playing on that servers too cause there’s no good alternative (atleast the people that still play game)
They are all mixed with people who don’t even know how to assign attributes or how even basic mechanic works.

Why its so bad? It will lead to a lot of frustration and with time population will shrink instead of grow.
Raid protection and some gear for cash wont solve that issue but they are blindly lead to conclusion it does.

And im now even trying to be dramatic - that’s the truth.

Why my server does not seem fix issue? Why i can’t gather people to run vanilla server without cash shop?
Who knows, maybe people rather play vs unexperienced newbies or some of them enjoy fact that they can buy instead of farm or maybe its just because people don’t trust me.
All i know its really bad for community and game population.

Why its so bad for community? Obviously game will not grow in population and die out in few years.
Population will keep dropping, with time there will be even less players and less servers even with cash shop, raid protections etc
Obviously there’s still gonna be groups of PVE and RP players but that won’t be great number.

This is not the first thread I have seen this claim in and honestly, I have no idea what the heck you are talking about. I have played on many private servers, some with custom settings, some that were vanilla settings. Some with mods, some without mods. But never have any of them had any sort of cash shop, unless you are talking about pippi coins but that’s not real money… and anyone can get them just as easily an anyone else. And even then, those have only been on RP servers and the items people were selling to one another would by no means break the game in any way. Just normal items you could obtain yourself if you wanted to.

So this leads me to my question. If there are actually servers where the people RUNNING the servers are SELLING in game items for ACTUAL money, why the hell would anyone play on them at all? And are they all exclusively PvP (honest question because I do not know)? If so, what does that tell you about the mentality of the people who actually DO play on those servers?

I am quite sure you can find plenty of private servers out there that do not actually charge people real life money for in game items if you really took the time to look. :woman_shrugging:

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Not sure if You played most populated pvp servers - all of them have cash shop in discords.

Yeah i think its pvp exclusive cause the point is to have an advantage - not sure tho as i didn’t play any pve servers but i guess its not the case.

Cash shop is not point of topic tho.

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I generally do not play pure pvp servers no. RP-PvP servers sure, but I’ve never seen any type of cash shop in any of them. And I am sorry that my post was not about the main point of your topic, it was just something that I have seen more than once and just did not understand so thank you for responding. :grin:

My guess, you are not known to the community or known for the wrong reasons where the trust part comes into play. All the admin abuse, I don’t want to be admined by a random person I don’t know part.

People say they want to play vanilla but do they? Long raid windows, no day off, offline raiding, low rates, long established alphas cos no wipes. The majority of the rules are made so that the game can be played by less sweaty PvPers or to avoid abusing broken mechanics.

Most of the popular PvP servers offer regular wipes to keep it fresh, boosted rates, starter protection, limited raid hours, existing community while yours is yet to be built, experienced admins, better server performance.

They do have donations and I can’t speak for all servers but most of them are not p2w and even offer custom trades for those who don’t want to pay. You get free dyes, maybe a set of tools which you lose once you get killed :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:some thralls which are not difficult to get on Exiled Lands + Funcom is on a mission to make them useless and all that for 20 ish EUR (2-3 EUR per clan member once per wipe). Donations are needed though since not many are ready to pay 150-200 EUR per month for others to enjoy for free on the long run. This is how these servers became popular, they are created by people known to the community and their servers being there for years.

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I’ve played on a decent number of private PvP servers and never seen a cash shop either.

But I’m not a part of the core Conan PvP crowd either. I recognize the names from the forums and the videos but I’ve only come across them in game a vanishingly small number of times.

I think op is getting pulled into a network effect he’s not aware of.

That being said, his original point does stand. It’s really difficult to run a PvP server that doesn’t require a ton of extra admin work. Servers constantly need to be “managed” in a bunch of different ways and the base game simply doesn’t provide the tools to do that.

I don’t think there’s a solution here though. The amount of development time FC would need to allocate to build said tools to the necessary level of feature richness and robustness isn’t justified by how small the actual PvP player base is at this point.

There’s mods, of course, but it seems like most of the remaining PvP players refuse to play on servers with mods. And of course, that does nothing for consoles.

His original point is that he created a vanilla server but he can’t populate it because people are playing elsewhere (servers or games).

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Ah. I interpreted his op differently.

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No, that’s not my main point - now you just reaching.

The point is that most populated pvp servers (with cash shop and so on) are hurting comunity and growth of game population in long run.

I just added that i can’t fix issues just launching server so people won’t keep saying again “make server then” and its gonna be all dandy. But you should not take it as ‘my point’ - its cherry picking.

Im not sure about that - literally all most populated pvp servers run cash shop (eu/na) - just check highest populated pvp servers - its all in discords of such servers.

Not sure what servers You are reffering to but obviously not populated ones - servers with 10-20 players as whole wont reflect real situation lets be honest there.

On what grounds? These are by your words the MOST populated servers but they’re bad for the community? How? People don’t tend to waste a lot of time on servers they don’t like or disagree with how they are run. It would appear these servers are actually better equipped to build a community if they are indeed so heavily populated.

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I do not know this.

The game not only gains players, but bears are made of cotton candy.

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To the OP, all I can say is I feel your pain. But the only advice I can offer is this:
Get use to it.
People who run some popular private servers can and will be total dicks.

Seems a long time ago I had rented a server naming it “LEVIATHAN’S CHILDREN” (much as I do now) and wondered why nobody ever seemed to show up. Yeah, it was an open PVP server with an RP element to it. Long before the new stuff and first expansion came out (North and Jungle Biomes).
So I came to post my lament … I don’t remember now if it was here or it was on the Steam Forums before the official forums cranked up.
What I got was condescending attitudes and insults. Worst part, was someone in particular who runs a popular server wanted me to drop my server (which I paid for in advance for a full year) and come play on their server.
Talk about insult. I don’t think I’ve ever been that insulted by someone like that with such a stinking, condescending, self serving, self ingratiating attitude in my entire life.
If you’re reading this, You know who I’m talking about and I hope you … rot … in … hell.

YES. I carry a grudge.

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Yeah. I tend to avoid hyper populated PvP servers and instead try to go for the ones that have middling populations. The hyper populated ones seem to attract the sweaty, try hard poopsockers.

So maybe that’s the difference. If you just wanna PvP butbut you’re not super super competitive, the idea of paying extra money just to get a couple of suits of armor, some weapons and some tools seems really really silly.

Case in point, I own exactly one account. I would never purchase another account or another copy of the game unless I absolutely had to for some reason.

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@Wielder is correct though, there is a trend happening right now with cash shops. Tiered packages, etc.,…

These do tend to be the most populated PVP NA servers.

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Okay, before we go any further, here’s a really short video to watch:

Go on, it’s less than 3 minutes. Anyone who’s hanging around these forums, discussing stuff like this, can spare that much time.

Alright, done? Good.

Now, knowing certain people around here, that little bit of common sense is far from enough to change minds, so let’s set it aside and treat this latest Doomsday Prophecy with seriousness it does not deserve.

And yet, that has worked pretty well in terms of population numbers. Yeah, sure, they release something, the population spikes up temporarily, then it goes down again. Guess what? If you look at the chart, you can notice a slow, but steady increase in the long run.

People have been crying for years about how the game is losing players and is surely dying, and yet this long-prophesied death rattle is always in some indeterminate future that never seems to arrive.

Ah, yes, the most populated servers will lose their population because of this, just like the game will die because it’s always losing population.

Forgive me if I’m not exactly inspired to trust your word here.

There’s a reason those servers are most populated. I’m guessing it’s because people actually have fun there. Which brings me to:

This is the crux of the matter here, and everything else is just trying to disguise this complaint: why, oh why, isn’t my server popular?

I know, it must be because you’re not offering a cash shop. Other servers’ admins are grifters, and players who don’t choose your server are dumb and naive.

Right?

Here’s an idea: try to approach the situation with less hubris. Your post reeks of it: hubris in thinking you’re the only one who can tell what makes this game’s population grow or shrink, hubris in thinking you know better than those who succeeded where you failed, hubris in thinking that the game will die because the only players left will be PVE and RP players.

Who knows, maybe your server’s population would improve if you spent more effort on trying to find out how to attract players and less on trying to get Funcom to get rid of your competition for you.

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I said this in the other thread Wielder made about the topic of P2W servers.

I don’t agree with the practices, but at the end of the day the players who play there can spend their money as stupidly as they want. Its like people buying NFTs, there wouldn’t be a market for it if people didn’t buy it and if they’re that foolish let them waste the money.

I’ve played on a few servers and have seen a few start off ‘legit’ and then slowly start with simple donation tiers. Stuff like discord titles and whatnot. Then little things in games, usually the pippi stuff like wallpapers and flaggis. Then you get little starter bundles to build bases easier after a wipe and whatever.

In every case, it wasn’t the owners that initiated it. It was someone in the community asking to donate and making a suggestion and many agreeing. Don’t get me wrong, the owners will exploit it. But the players themselves start it and keep it going. It is a two-way street.

Not saying its right, just that it happens. Current server I play on allows donations but gives nothing for it. Its not even done through a paypal account, its done through a feature offered by the server provider so the money goes directly to them, not the server renter themselves.

Running a Conan Server can otherwise generate a ton of revenue for an owner. One server that I saw have some stuff to it (and I won’t name it here), was generating something like $2400 a month. That’s not a bad bit of cash since a 70/70 server can be rented for like around $24 (according to Host Havoc, not sure of the quality there, $45-60 is from providers I know like Server Blend and GTX Gaming).

Renting a dedicated box can be anywhere from $300-800, so even still… the revenue generated from donation packages can be quite lucrative. So there is a big incentive to do it. Especially when the community is duped into thinking the costs are more than they are. Usually with stuff like, “we buy the best processors, and keep everything top of the line so we don’t have lag…” and all that.

By the way, its not just PVP servers that do this. In my experience PVE do it just as much.

@Wielder Don’t take this as a criticism of your opinion or stance. But what you have been describing has been apart of Conan Exiles since 2017. Its always been tough to grow a new server. And apparently successful servers have always had ‘cash shop’ like mechanisms. Not all Conan servers do this. But its always been present and has been as popular as it seems from the get go.

Its not going to harm the game (though I would say it doesn’t help it, and it definitely irks modders who’s work is sold). Nor affect its population. The population has been pretty stable over the years, with far more than we had on average in 2018.

While I wish it would go away. I’m just going to say that a fool and their money are soon parted. And this is more or less an individuals choice.

Now for you growing your server. People are going to go on about trust and this and that. Whatever. Of course they are going to say that. They’re happily on a server, they aren’t going to move, and they’re going to give some rationale.

That all goes out the window when the server they are on disappears or some other issue crops up.

The real way of generating a population is timing. Is your server up, available, and catching peoples attention when they are looking for a server? This happened one time when I was helping admin a server. Without advertising, the population just grew on its own. It wasn’t a God damned thing that I did, I’ll tell you that. And the owner during the population spike was in the hospital during the time frame. Just numbers bred numbers.

Essentially luck. But it doesn’t appear to be like a far fetched luck, you just have to keep at it. But it does help if you have a core membership since especially with PVP, no one likes to play on empty servers. If you can maintain around 10-15 during primetime for your server’s region, then it will grow.

If its just you by yourself, well I don’t know what to tell you. Need to get down and have a dialogue with peeps to get them to play there. But once you have the numbers, more will come.

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Yeah. I tend to avoid hyper populated PvP servers and instead try to go for the ones that have middling populations. The hyper populated ones seem to attract the sweaty, try hard poopsockers.

That means playing on 10-20 max all players DOES NOT reflect actual situation.

So maybe that’s the difference. If you just wanna PvP butbut you’re not super super competitive, the idea of paying extra money just to get a couple of suits of armor, some weapons and some tools seems really really silly.

That’s just another cherry picking and reaching - its not about me being not super competetive and i worry about being placed vs best - i do enjoy fighting with best and i don’t worry about loses - i actually love challenges. That’s not the point of thread - read it again if you missed point.

Yep, in agreement with you there. The term ‘clickbait’ leaps to mind, though not sure where that benefit would be.

I’ve also never seen cash shop private servers. I do know of a couple of private servers that are collaborative, roleplay servers where all the players got together to pay for the setup/hosting, but that’s about that. I have also heard (heresay) that some mods out there offer cash-for-rewards, but I have found that players always vote with their feet: if they don’t like, they move on to other less capital-driven servers.

I also know of a Lot of private/modded/unmodded/roleplay/build servers that are 100% free. Some that allow all players access to everything, have/haven’t quests, different maps, etc.

This raises another opportunity to say a Huge thanks to all Modders, Testlive testers and the Design, Dev, and general staff at Funcom for keeping the game going, the mods, updates, etc all going. Thank you!

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Yeah i did watch it - what’s the point? Why some random youtuber should be something i should take confirmation to and not to mention he rambles for 3 minutes without going to point straight away - i love such videos btw.

Game may not be dead now or in year but it does not mean it does will grow - its not really growing now. Im not sure at what statistics are You looking now. NUMBERS Dont lie - as i said game spikes in popularity for updates and drops back to gutter straight away. And no, im not saying game is dead right now.

Not sure what long run increase we are talking about - back then it was around 15k 24hour peak while nowadays its 12k~ check ALL time graph on steam charts.

This is the crux of the matter here, and everything else is just trying to disguise this complaint: why, oh why, isn’t my server popular?

Ouch yeah again - cherry picking i love that.
No thats not point of post.