I’m here to discuss an idea that I believe would help out my fellow private server owners. Before I get too deep into this subject, I’d like to congratulate Funcom/Tencent on the work they put into conan exiles. They’ve made extreme levels of improvement over the last 3 years of me playing the game & I hope that you all continue to go in this direction!!!
Now, on to the point, anyone who has had a private server should know that the 3 most difficult things about server hosting is
- Player Retention
& 3. Keeping the server running smoothly
I want to discuss the issues surrounding #1. I have advertised my server plenty of times within my community. I’ve gotten very creative in the ways I managed to reach out to people without disrespecting or treading on other private server owner’s hard work.
Through many attempts, it has become apparent that getting people to play on a custom server is a hard sell.
Most players would rather play officials or “the vanilla game”. Some take the extra step & say “customs servers are for pu****s”. I totally respect their opinions & are in turn not worried about those people. The people that I’d like to focus on are the one’s who’d be open to the idea of playing on a private server but would rather not take the risk of having their time wasted by a person with poor administrative skills.
Now, do we threaten to E.M.P their house just because they don’t wanna play on our servers? Of course not! I’ve decided to take a deeper dive into why EXACTLY do they believe that their time might be wasted. Here are the top 5 reasons:
Admin abuse- This, by far, is the number one fear people have with trying a private server. We all know what admin abuse is so let’s move forward.
Already dedicated to an official server- this is understandable. I don’t know how true this is but I hear talk of Funcom/Tencent potentially adding an official way to transfer loot between servers. I already do this myself but its a drag to look at screen shots & spawn in
Every item in exact amounts.
Server Shutting Down- Now this is a fear that people have where they don’t support a server hosted in fear of he/she shutting down the server & the players loses all of his/her progress. In my experience, everything has a chance of Shutting down but the chances are lower when the owner of the operation sees the numbers. If there’s 30-70 people that consistently play on my server, I promise you I’m never Shutting it down,lol.
People want to play with other people- a common question I’ve been asked constantly is " how many people are on the server?" Well, I don’t want to lie to him but I’m very well tempted to do so. I told him (at the time) that I have 5 people who log on & play consistently everyday. He said " no thanks, I’ll join when you have more people". Funny, because I have like 13+ other people who told me that today. 5 can’t get to 7 without 6. If he would’ve joined & played, I could boast 6 players which would be convincing to the next populated server hunter out there then I’ll have 7 & so on.
What’s the point of custom servers?- I’m my opinion, the point of custom servers is to overall improve a player’s experience & fun with the game. At least I’d hope so. For example, on consoles, the player limit on official servers is 40. A custom server can expand that capacity by an additional 30 for a total of 70 players of one server. Imagine. Not to mention the events.
Honorable mention- advertisement sounds to good to be true- for some reason, people don’t believe that custom servers can out do official ones. With a little ingenuity & dedication, you can come up with with some cool tactics and ideas.
Example: On console, I had a server called Isles of Siptah Early Access. How can one get early access to something that’s not even released on consoles yet to people playing on console? Simple. Before the new map dropped, a major update was released about a month prior that added tons of new content from Siptah for free to anyone hosting a private server. I decided to market that to the community & it was still a hard sell even to get them to leave their server for 2 minutes for me to spawn it in. Can’t do the screen shots cuz “oH DaTZ oN pC”. Not to mention some other marketing tactics that I’ve tried for years.
Solution: Can custom servers be given a 5 star rating system with comments enabled under a “details” tab? This should give players more confidence in putting their trust in servers if they have good reviews, make server hosts not feel like they’ve wasted their money renting out servers that can’t get populated due to just bad reputation for custom servers as a whole & supporting the game in general. It just feels like we’re paying for a job at times. Oh, and make it to where they have to have a certain amount of time played on the server before they can leave a review to keep the trolls down.
*Now that I’ve said my peace, I hope that I can get some good feedback from the community & if it’s a good enough idea, it’d be implemented in a future patch. If I’m not understanding something or I’ve made a mistake somewhere, please let me know & Thank you all for reading to this point if you did!
*edit: Some grammatical errors fixed.