Making And Maintaining A Good OT

I closed my OT a while ago. The experience of running and creating it provided many insights into the art of creating an OTS. While this information may seem irrelevant to the old-timers out there I am sure that this tutorial will allow the younger players to avoid pitfalls and locate opportunities in the creation of their OT. Use this OT if you're a person who's wondering why your OT can't get players to join, can't seem to kick off, can't seem to grow and become great.

My tutorial is divided into four sections, all of which are in something resembling checklist format. The "checklist" is sorted chronologically.
The four sections are OTSERV General, Mapping, Idea-Creation, and QuestMaking respectively.

OTSERV General

As a builder of an OT, all you should be caring about is: how to get players in, and how to increase retention (amount of players that stay and play many hours a day).
There are X number of emotions that your players don't like, and Y number of emotions that your players like. Your job is to get rid of all the Xs, and discover all the Ys. Here's how to.

The common and most powerful Xs are:

* Frustration
* Aimlessness and Boredom (Long-Term)

Frustrated anger is the worst out of that list of three. Frustration comes out when one is:

* Too slow
* Impatient
* Needs something a LOT, used to getting it a LOT, but doesn't have it

To cure FRUSTRATION ......

* NEVER set exhaust rate to 0 UNLESS EVERYONE ON YOUR SERVER uses a hackbot and no one will think that it's unfair to them. Make sure there is added exhaust rate if they puff, so that the bastards using TibiaAuto get screwed. (Not that I'm against TibiaAuto, I use it myself).
* Allow your players to create runes in 100x, or price your runes VERY cheaply. Remember youself venturing into that server, where the runes were priced sky-high? The best you could do was Adori Gran Flam Dec and get a 10x rune, which ran out just as you were fighting a team of minotaurs. After dying, you get so frustrated and unhappy that you quit the server and promptly proceed to defame the server owner.
* Letting MP and HP regen a little faster (for my server is was just 50x, fast enough for most spells) and increasing how much cap you gain per level.
* Make sure frustrating stuff is covered over, e.g. You know that your new vocation, Ninjas, has no mass-crowd-nuking attack except for GFBs. You know this will piss them off when they take huge amounts of time to kill things. So give them a good spell -.- Same goes for Paladins, maybe.
* "LAAAAAAG". Optimize your server speed. A well-known method is Control-Alt-Delete, go to the Processes Tab, and set your server's process priority to 'High'. Another one would be not logging on to the server or downloading stuff while your server is running.
* Recompense your players when they got screwed because of your error, but never give them too much recompensation.
* Be there for player demands and bug-reports.
* Don't let your players get pked over and over again. Make it so that younger players cannot get pked too much, for example, level limit for pking.
* Increase attack speed! Please! Especially if your server is laggy. There's nothing worse than watching your bolts fly sooooo slowly and your exp bar's not moving...... Make it 0.8 seconds or anything else that gives players the impression of smoothness, flowing speed, and their own 1337ness.

Boredom and aimlessness is like a poison- it doesn't make them logout immediately, but they will do so before long. It comes when...

* There is no goal / aim
* A person is sulking

To solve BOREDOM...

* Never. Ever. Allow a player become the best player on the server easily. Once he becomes really powerful, he has no more goals. He is reduced to crap. If a player is racing with another player for levels, even if he's level 9462462 he won't logoff. If a player is level 13513 and he's all alone on the high-scores board... He's going to become a philosopher (unless he's Brazilian- Brazilians never give up) and start wondering about the meaning of playing Tibia (and in essence there's no meaning in playing Tibia.) and you will lose a player. Once a high-level leaves, more will follow. So never allow a player to level up easily.
* Make friends with your players, and encourage your players to make friends with each other. Friendship == Retention ++.
* Make your spells unique. Unique spells that beat the shit out of a server without unique spells, so be sure to have them. Make sure that all your vocations are equal after you have completed the spells. Make sure that they cannot be abused either.
* Environment. I'm not sure if this goes into mapping or not, but who cares. Players feel better if they first log in into bright sunlight (I have no idea how you do it) and pictures, if you take any, should take place in well-mapped and brightly-lit areas, with suitably cool or exciting events taking place.

The most major Y is Satisfaction. It pwnzors. Anyone who feels satisfied will not quit in the near future.

To bring SATISFACTION......

* Flatter your players. Face it, everyone's special in a way. You just have to tell them the truth, and since they know you aren't just sucking up to them, they'll like you and associate this pleasant feeling with your server. Retention ++.
* Let players do things themselves and feel satisfied. Don't let players push you around. You're the fking GM, you can do anything you want. Don't hesitate to ban people if they think you're a retard who they have tricked into giving them fri itens. Mind you, letting your players know they're special is a different thing.
* According to my observations, truly successful servers are either very hard (1x), very moderate (55x), or very slackoffed. (987657654...x)
* Keep your server online all the time. Or players get pissed off, lowering your retention rate.
* Build up your playerbase! Get your players to get more players to join, and let no player know that you're asking everyone to do it, not just him. He feels part of a team, thus retention ++.
* Elect trustworthy players into higher positions (like Tutor). It makes your server page look good and the elected players feel really goood.
* Bump your threads as often as you can. If people flame you, never be defensive. And always rep people who thank and like your server. Then let them know you've repped them.

OTSERV Mapping

* Get started well. Take time over your maps, don't be hasty or stupid in your decisions. Mappers with a deadline are mappers who map for mapping, and don't map for players. They won't have time to gain inspiration- most mapping inspiration comes WHILE you're mapping, unless you have PLANNED your map which 50% mappers do not do on a constant basis.
* Make sure that your players have a clear indicator of how to go the trainers or other important places, like depots. Readables are not enough. Try making a path out from your temple that players will see the trainers from.
* Watch out for dislocation (feeling lost). This is something even the best OTs screw up with. Many a time players enter sewers, explore deep, and go up a ladder. They find themselves in a town that looks different from when they first went down the sewers. Teleports are also a common cause of this. I made my teleporters only travel less than a screen, so players knew exactly where they were, and how to get back even if they had to walk. Fargum the Boatman (YurOTs?) is a classic example of dislocation by the way.
* Remember the monster stereotypes of players. Players instinctively seek rotworms, trolls and wolves for their first levels. Make these in large numbers and in areas that they can bomb easily.
* The pathways for new players should be fairly linear, so they don't feel lost.
* Monsters spawns should never spawn too hard, or be too easy or too anti-powerlevel.
* Oh, and choose the right trees for areas. Don't scatter them everywhere- make clusters, bushes etc, nice spots of clearing that will make players feel good.

OTSERV Idea-Creation.
There are certain points to take note of. Be creative most of all, target problems that can be solved instead of solutions that you can apply problems to in your attempt to look clever. Copy the crap out of truly good ideas, and give credit to the idea makers. However, given the general stupidity of OTmakers in general, few ideas will be that good.
Watch out for abusable ideas. If you can't find out which are abusable, use good players to test your ideas for you.

Here are some ideas and how I got them.

How To Make Druids Important In Terms of RuneSelling and yet not Piss Off Anyone:
I first thought of increasing level requirement for UH creation. However, that is screwed up (as the recent CIPsoft update showed) because everyone will get pissed off, including druids. Then obviously, all you have to do is create another rune type that people are not currently dependent on, and let that type be more treasured. Then let druids sell that type. What I did in one of my servs was to create a slightly stronger SD rune that all the truly powerful sorcs needed, so the druids ended up important again, evening up the vocations. See how easy it is when you are systematic.

How to Fix Problem of Manarunes Being Too Expensive

Charge em cheap, or make them infinite. Won't they be abused? Easy, make exhaust rate.
Now wasn't that simple.

OTSERV QuestMaking

This requires the most intelligence. There are certain techniques you can "abuse" to create quests.

Techique #1: Persistence. Make quests that need players to do trial-and-error.

Technique #2: Research. Make them have to check hidden libraries, talk to NPCs, or seek pieces of long-lost parchment that contain the solutions.

Technique #3: Riddling. Make the riddler coherent also. Not "1337 leet pwnzors? aheha?". Make it simple, and flash- "IGOTITEUREKA!" type, not grind grind grind, exasperated, frustrated, etc. etc.

Technique #4: For monster quests, remember these: monsters can be shoot at with the player being out of range (GFB or your new custom spell if the monster is fireimmune), monsters can be ganked, monsters can be up-downed with ladders.
Example: In the famous Grail Knight quest on my most recent server, I created a room in which knights could use Regenerate, use the summoned Grail Wizards to block, and arrange the attackers in a position in which they would be able to attack without target switch. And omg a bunch of levels 100+ get to destroy a guy who does more than 35135135 damage =O

Technique #5: Avoidable spells to increase difficulty without making it impossible.

And the rest, which you, smart as you are, can use your creativity to think of =) <tired> Use your ingenuity- reading my tutorial won't give you the best OT, but it'll help you to utilize your own talents to build the best OT you can.

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