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Lation

Tell us, what would YOU do?

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Ely has been going strong for close to 5 years now. We've seen our fair share of ups & downs. We've been from 50+ players to 0 players and then back again to 50+, then back to 0 and back up again. We've spent tens of thousands of dollars on advertisements across all different sites from RSPS toplists, to Google, to Youtube. We've ran some awesome tournaments, competitions and the like. We've pushed out on average 1 solid update per month for over 4 years consistently. We've build an awesome community, whom we reach out to via email, forums & discord. Yet after all these years, we seem to hover around the same number of players on average.

With all that said, I've looked at other servers online today. Many of them sit in a near identical state. It's a rare sight to find servers with over 100 players. Login to Ikov, you'll find if your lucky maybe 30 players. What was once pulling nearly 2000 players daily, is now down over 98% in terms of active players. The story repeats with many others, such as their other server Zaro's. Was pulling over 3000+ players, is now "reporting" just over 100-200 players today, over a 90% decrease in activity. The list goes on and on. Our competitors (in the 718 space), Hydrix - is now offline. Onyx, during its peak over 200+ players, is now 0. Dead. 

Now, what I find most interesting - and was very intentional - is the survival of Ely despite all this. We've been online since 2018 and I've seen literally countless of servers launch, and die. Launch, and die. Launch, and die. Onyx in a long shot hope of revitalizing their server before it's impending death did a full reset and launched Onyx 2.0 - the server is now completely dead. 0 players. Yet Ely lives on. We've far surpassed 95% of servers that were already online, launched, etc. We're still here, and that's awesome. I always vowed Ely would be around as long as I can afford to keep it online - and that promise will always stand.

In all this time, the past 4-5 years - OSRS has seemed to grow in popularity. Then they took away the Duel Arena, which people believed was going to be great for RSPS. That was not the case. So much has happened, so much has changed, servers have come and gone. Yet Ely lives on, and continues to improve month over month, year over year. So let's get to my pressing questions.

As mentioned in the beginning, we've done just about everything one can do to try to bolster attention and players. Tens of thousands in advertising, tournaments, competitions, giveaways, updates, etc. While sometimes they prove successful in the moment, they don't always stick. Ely has done what many others cannot do: stay online, and maintain an active community/base of players. We're extremely proud of that. We've done all that, with 0 resets to accounts, economy, etc. It's impressive, it really is. It was all intentional, we've planned to do it this way from day 1.

If you were the head of the Ely ship, what would you do? You want to see it grow, but despite everything, it seems to always settle back in the same place. We've had many months with player counts over 100+ daily, but that was due to COVID when it first happened, so an anomaly by definition. Despite that outlier, we've had highs and we've had lows. If you wanted to see a consistent growth, a consistent push forward, an increase in activity, players - what would you do? What nontraditional ideas might you try? Considering you've already tried everything else. If you wanted to throw a hail-mary, what might that look like? What would you do?

Figured who better to ask, than the players themselves.

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encourage content creation, run video competitions to get people watching ely content and seeing what we have to offer. as well as competitions you could also have a content creator rank that players can work towards and achieve after obtaining a certain amount of views on ely videos.

 

also improving rewards for referrals would be a good thing

Edited by easy mate
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On 8/28/2022 at 11:53 AM, easy mate said:

encourage content creation, run video competitions to get people watching ely content and seeing what we have to offer


I do like this idea, it's proven to be somewhat successful in the past. Most notably, @Kaotic - he used to constantly do livestreams, youtube videos, etc. Daily we'd have new players login and say they found Ely by his videos. So maybe some sort of incentive can be enacted to encourage this. But it would have to be entertaining, fun and generally good production. Not the typical youtuber video of "OMG LOOK WHAT I GOT IN ALL THESE BOXES" yakno? Good idea though. I'm gonna think more on this.

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I think a big problem with rsps's is that pking is just dead. It is on osrs, it is on rs3, and quite frankly it is on rsps too. Ely has never been a pk server, but I think that has to be accounted for in the overall decline of the rsps community. The other thing is, I think a lot of private servers thrived because of kids that couldn't afford membership and/or didn't want to put the time in. Both osrs and rs3 have gotten so much easier in the past couple years making the appeal go down a little. In addition, the biggest audience is now in that 20-30 range- which means the age with enough income to pay the membership and buy gold every other month if they want. So they "might as well just play real rs". Now that doesn't really answer your question of what I would do. For me, I think updates are the most important things. People get on and play- but see that there's nothing new coming and just don't have a drive to continue. Not all the fault can go on you and Matt or anything, 5 years is a long time to do ANYTHING super consistent. Bringing sat and xen and iso in to try and get the littler things has been a huge boost to morale I think.

 

Again, that is not really the hail mary that you asked about. My hail mary would be to offer something like leagues, 2 maybe 3 times a year. Servers that everyone know is temporary but at the same time have stupid strong buffs (even for rsps standards lol). Leagues has revived a lot of peoples love for osrs, but at the end of them- they don't want to go back to regular xp. I think that is where we could potentially capitalize on that. 

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On 8/28/2022 at 10:55 AM, Lation said:


I do like this idea, it's proven to be somewhat successful in the past. Most notably, @Kaotic - he used to constantly do livestreams, youtube videos, etc. Daily we'd have new players login and say they found Ely by his videos. So maybe some sort of incentive can be enacted to encourage this. But it would have to be entertaining, fun and generally good production. Not the typical youtuber video of "OMG LOOK WHAT I GOT IN ALL THESE BOXES" yakno? Good idea though. I'm gonna think more on this.

I think it would have to be someone like Kaotic. Getting the rsps youtubers has seemed to always be more trouble than it was worth lol. But encouraging it for server members would be cool

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On 8/28/2022 at 12:02 PM, Boats said:

I think it would have to be someone like Kaotic. Getting the rsps youtubers has seemed to always be more trouble than it was worth lol. But encouraging it for server members would be cool


Yeah I mean encouraging it within the already existing players of Ely, not some outside garbage. They charge $500 for a full-on acting scene of them hooting and hollering about nothing, its actually the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

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content creations - ie: grae trifecta, hardmode bosses (higher risk with potentially more rewards or tiered gear improvements), implemented daily actvities for ALL players with rewarding outcome (group activiity and effort with group reward - good skilling supplies, coffers/keys, well voucher etc) 

minigames with better rewards, i know everything is set how it is but somehow improving the rewards or increasing potential to buy certain things like mystic boxes etc or osmething that could make it worthwhile.

skilling qol - goes hand in hand with content creation- adding skilling minigames like motherlode, wintertodt w/e the case, give skilling options

improvements to mystery box table lineup, mystery boxes-supers, cosmetic boxes

also worthwile rewards for cl, achievements, comp cape? 

daily shop rewards rework?

Edited by nelly
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On 8/28/2022 at 5:04 PM, Lation said:


Yeah I mean encouraging it within the already existing players of Ely, not some outside garbage. They charge $500 for a full-on acting scene of them hooting and hollering about nothing, its actually the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

oh my god goiys, we got a fire cape. thats absolutely insane boisssss. we're going to be giving away a box of rune ore to celebrate, just like comment and subscribe!!!

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On 8/28/2022 at 12:08 PM, nelly said:

content creations - ie: grae trifecta, hardmode bosses (higher risk with potentially more rewards or tiered gear improvements), implemented daily actvities for ALL players with rewarding outcome (group activiity and effort with group reward - good skilling supplies, coffers/keys, well voucher etc) 

minigames with better rewards, i know everything is set how it is but somehow improving the rewards or increasing potential to buy certain things like mystic boxes etc or osmething that could make it worthwhile.

skilling qol - goes hand in hand with content creation- adding skilling minigames like motherlode, wintertodt w/e the case, give skilling options

improvements to mystery box table lineup, mystery boxes-supers, cosmetic boxes

 


Good suggestions, but don't feel they really answer the questions I proposed - and here's why: let's take Onyx again as an example since they were our closest competitor. Onyx was actually crapping on us in terms of pure content, and the quantity of content. They had it all. When you compare us vs them in terms of quantity of content, they won for sure. However, they are currently dead. 0 players. So in-game content isn't really the answer. Despite all they had, they still lost. Therefore, we can have it all - and still lose too. So the question is a bit deeper/bigger than just that. The question is more, where do we find players? How do we attract them? If typical advertising on toplists don't produce results, what will? Where are they? What methods should we be trying to reach them? Etc etc.

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On 8/28/2022 at 12:00 PM, Boats said:

I think a big problem with rsps's is that pking is just dead. It is on osrs, it is on rs3, and quite frankly it is on rsps too. Ely has never been a pk server, but I think that has to be accounted for in the overall decline of the rsps community. The other thing is, I think a lot of private servers thrived because of kids that couldn't afford membership and/or didn't want to put the time in. Both osrs and rs3 have gotten so much easier in the past couple years making the appeal go down a little. In addition, the biggest audience is now in that 20-30 range- which means the age with enough income to pay the membership and buy gold every other month if they want. So they "might as well just play real rs". Now that doesn't really answer your question of what I would do. For me, I think updates are the most important things. People get on and play- but see that there's nothing new coming and just don't have a drive to continue. Not all the fault can go on you and Matt or anything, 5 years is a long time to do ANYTHING super consistent. Bringing sat and xen and iso in to try and get the littler things has been a huge boost to morale I think.

 

Again, that is not really the hail mary that you asked about. My hail mary would be to offer something like leagues, 2 maybe 3 times a year. Servers that everyone know is temporary but at the same time have stupid strong buffs (even for rsps standards lol). Leagues has revived a lot of peoples love for osrs, but at the end of them- they don't want to go back to regular xp. I think that is where we could potentially capitalize on that. 

if there was say wildy slayer or added worthwile wilderness content that that came with risk but great reward for players trying to achieve such, combined with an improvement to the quality of pvp, this could potentially improve player counts and pking in general. adding a risk for players that dont pk to go into wilderness with a reward backed by it is enticing for some, also brings out the pkers 

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On 8/28/2022 at 12:13 PM, nelly said:

if there was say wildy slayer or added worthwile wilderness content that that came with risk but great reward for players trying to achieve such, combined with an improvement to the quality of pvp, this could potentially improve player counts and pking in general. adding a risk for players that dont pk to go into wilderness with a reward backed by it is enticing for some, also brings out the pkers 


This is currently already in the works - won't spill all the beans on it here, but wilderness activity will certainly be increased soon.

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On 8/28/2022 at 12:13 PM, Lation said:


Good suggestions, but don't feel they really answer the questions I proposed - and here's why: let's take Onyx again as an example since they were our closest competitor. Onyx was actually crapping on us in terms of pure content, and the quantity of content. They had it all. When you compare us vs them in terms of quantity of content, they won for sure. However, they are currently dead. 0 players. So in-game content isn't really the answer. Despite all they had, they still lost. Therefore, we can have it all - and still lose too. So the question is a bit deeper/bigger than just that. The question is more, where do we find players? How do we attract them? If typical advertising on toplists don't produce results, what will? Where are they? What methods should we be trying to reach them? Etc etc.

i dont know thats the thing. i feel like it comes down to the activity in general in rsps. all the people who made rsps active and lively are getting older and it seems like the interest in rsps is just dying in general no matter what you do to try to get people to stay

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On 8/28/2022 at 5:04 PM, Lation said:


Yeah I mean encouraging it within the already existing players of Ely, not some outside garbage. They charge $500 for a full-on acting scene of them hooting and hollering about nothing, its actually the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

 

agreed the transparent bullshit you get with most rsps videos is enough to put someone off a server, but something like a cool montage of bossing content with drops and different custom gear. something that shows the content of the server rather than just opening 1000 smbs.

as boats says the difference between rsps and actual Runescape has narrowed for the reasons boats has already said. one thing that we do have is amazing customs made by splash, something that can't be done on actual Runescape, so that is a USP that needs to be shown off

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On 8/28/2022 at 5:13 PM, nelly said:

if there was say wildy slayer or added worthwile wilderness content that that came with risk but great reward for players trying to achieve such, combined with an improvement to the quality of pvp, this could potentially improve player counts and pking in general. adding a risk for players that dont pk to go into wilderness with a reward backed by it is enticing for some, also brings out the pkers 

Wildy slayer could be a huge game changer for ely. very excited for what's to come regarding this

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I think there's 2 big issues to solve, keep the existing playerbase happy and active and bring in new players.

 

To keep our existing players happy we need 4 things

  • Content in the form of long term goals that appeal to a variety of players (Trim Comp, Achievement Rewards, Quests, 120 skills?)
  • Some kind of content roadmap with things for players to look forward to
  • Consistent small qol, bugfixes, like the rs "ninja" updates
  • Better communication on getting player input for suggestions/fixes and creating active dialogue + enacting on it regularly

For new players I think we can do a few things

  • Sure up the early -> mid and mid -> late game transitions with content
  • Fix up existing minigames to make them fun and enjoyable
  • Find a way to get community created content going, that will drive more traffic and create a stronger sense of community
  • Maybe create a more enhanced tutorial
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In my opinion, Content & community is what drives people to join (and more importantly stay).

You've added CoX, what about ToB/Tombs of Amascut/The Gauntlet/The Nightmare of Ashihama, there's lots of content that's not available.

I understand 718's are different to work with, but you've done a brilliant job with CoX.

 

 

 

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Mate, boats, Nelly, Xenith & opoxi have pretty much said all the things I’d have suggested.
Possibly add like a pvp tournament like the where you get a specific preset that switches types of pk styles, tribrid, hybrid, pure nh, msb pure, zerker, zerk Brid, f2p, and all sorts of goodies! Maybe add even add some rs3 elite dung’s ed1-3 would be another way of making a skill that not many people are fond of turning it into something fun like a raid but that’s not! You guys have done an amazing job thanks for your consistent care about the server and continual support, care and love for the server & community! 

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Everything I wanted to mention has already been mentionned but I will tell you somes I spoke to Xen about ;

Could add imbued God capes (New req for comp cape)

Inferno cape (I know there's no Inferno in Ely but you guys could make a reward when you complete it in under X minutes or "Hard mode" aka more npcs, higher damage and such(Another comp req) 

Could add 10-20 CoX done for comp req

Could add ranged and magic version of Kiln, you would need to obtain them to wear comp (another req)

*** The addition of the reqs for Comp isn't to make it longer but to make it harder, Comp cape should be when you're in the endgame and your knownledge be on top 

Maybe add us POS(Player Owned Shop) so we could buy/sell items that are 2B+ 

Maybe add Divination? I know it be a boring skill but would have another 99/200m to refresh the inactive higscore with 5b's 

Also could add Quests that could be interesting for Irons + would have to complete them all for Comp 

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Hi all,

since I recently joined, I thought it would be helpful to describe my experience so far and see if we can extrapolate from it.

I played 07 scape just until after eoc and have been hopping around on-off rsps since then. 

edit: The post ended up being a lot longer than I anticipated....sorry!

 

My backstory:


tldr; impatient newbie, that enjoyed the quick satisfaction of an ez mode account. But is now hooked to play Legend to unlock the remaining content of the server.

I started off 10ish days ago on the server with an easy account and maxed it over the weekend (3 days total). This was great to keep me engaged as I saw the fruits of my success very fast. I was never big on pvm and would like to get into it. Playing on ez mode hasnt unlocked as much as I thought it would (rune pouch, void gear etc. just to name the basic ones) which meant there was still somewhat of a barrier (I then did p2w and bought nex gear). So now I have a legend account which I enjoy grinding on especially now that I know how most things work around the server (Id  say at most 50%, but very thankful for the supportive community). Since I'm new to pvm I want to try to get all the advantage that I can. Considering the time it hast taken me to max on the ez account, it sohuld take me 50x longer to max the legend, so if I really do pull through I will be around at least another year (cant play all day everyday :P). 

 

Here are some Ideas (and some further explanation): Some are better than others, but they may inspire you so I worte them down anyway.

Create an afk activity - tizenx used to have damage dummy/penguin, where you earned tokens for afk hitting it. Other servers had an afk area where you literally just leave your account and earned points, not a fan of that one (This can artifically increase the online player count, good for marketing on the rsps websites)

Offer non-tradeable & degredable starter packages on account creation - This makes the barrier to entry very low (most rsps players are just impatient af) and will incentivise new players to stick around a little longer to explore more of the server and hopefully find something they will enjoy doing - clue hunting - pvming - pking - skilling - gambeling (not sure how you would do that, I leave the balancing up to you) baisically disect why people join a rsps in the first place and create a custom package that will meet exactely that. Forum input to this would be extremly appreciated!
 

Group oriented activities - the perk of playing on a rsps is that it tends to create closer social bonds imo, as there are only that many people you can interact with anyway. Great example for this is Dung. 3 people is amazing with the current player count. You can almost always find a group on fridays. I imagine its harder to find enough people for Pest control for example. So managing the size of the activity will be the important aspect.


Original Content - I recently watched a video on Sir puggers channel called "I added horses to Runescape, and it was weird" which has some pretty cool ideas for original content. I know that these concepts are extremly hard to actually convert and implement into the Game... Game concepts of other games or popculture references (jumping onto the hype train & in combination with social media exposure let the algorithim do its work). Eg. Hunger games/battle royale is like our LMS, so we can look at other things such as; fall guys as an agility minigame (would for sure make the skill more enjoyable), Custom houses for construction like in Sims, cookie clicker/idle game- any gathering skill (might be too op), Squid games, pico park,  Creating a USP for the server could be worth it, but requires a huge amount of input with no real way to predict the results, but if youre looking for a hail marry, I think this is the shape that I would look for in it.

Edit: This last part (Original Content) is probably more in the direction of answers youre looking for, so its a mix of popculture and social media (mainly youtube) and letting the algorithm take over, or baisically reverse engineer it. 

only saw this now in one of your replies "where do we find players? How do we attract them? If typical advertising on toplists don't produce results, what will? Where are they? What methods should we be trying to reach them? Etc etc."

What I understand from this is, how do we find/attract new players and retain them.

Market of players that could be interested:

people playing other rsps

people that used to play 07 scpae and have since "grown out" of it due to lack of time or other irl commitments

(and I know this one sounds horrible) botters - the lazy ones, not the money hungry ones.

There is probably a few more small categories but imo these are the main ones, and only 1 of them is realistic to reach (worth it in terms of effort/result). Going to other servers to advertise ours is not gonna do it, probably makes it worse. We have to make them believe they find us,  so #1 easiest thing to do is update the server descriptions on the rsps list pages (look into boolean search (LinkedIn explains the concept pretty well with candidate search) = using the right keywords). Topg - already looks fantastic but there is always something that can be adjusted....didnt check the others
#2 As many people here mentioned it and I have hinted, a social media pressence is almost critical. And then again understand the algorithm and become part of it

Edited by Rev3Rse
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This is such a complicated topic to try and discuss due to the fact that everyone is so different!

 

Times change, regardless of if you want them  to or not, both for good and bad. This ultimately directly impacts the way in which certain games either succeed or not. As lation perfectly stated above we are an RSPS who have been through thick and thin multiple times… not to mention that RSPS’s as a whole are under threat from OSRS which is itself rapidly hemorrhaging players. Runescape in essence is a game with a very unique and diverse player base.

 

That being said there are definitely things RSPSs can do to try retain/increase it’s players. Most ideas above are great! Consistent updates, new content, better transitions between game stages, new skills, extensions of old skills, afk zones. Sadly I feel like I’ve heard all of these before! And whilst they’ll drastically help in retaining players I highly doubt they’ll encourage new players.

 

The huge difference with Ely is that our owner @Lationand his staff team arent here doing all this as a cash grab, they’re here because they also share the same love for the game that we do. Hence we have been around for so long.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, we definitely should create a list utilising all the ideas from above and start really trying to implement them to a point where they feel right. Not as just a one off activity. Someone above stated a group activity which would be worthwhile, what could this look like? We have an amazingly talented modeller @Splashwho I can say with confidence will definitely be able to whip up a mean looking boss / mini game but only if the community can input ideas!


As for @Lationdefinitely keep ripping in, you’re doing a great job. Just need Matt to try keep on top of bug fixes and trying to tie it all this new content together with thing like Collection logs, Achievements etc. (Chambers of Xeric dosent have either of these yet).

 

Other than topics that have been stated above; Ely is one of a kind, with a player base extending back over 10 years! Now that in-itself is incredible however for it to fit in with this current day and age it needs drastic changes to its social media - YouTube, Instagram, Facebook. (Just get it out everywhere!) Make a goddamn MySpace account or TikTok if you have to 🤣

PS.

Look forward to seeing all you rascals ingame!

Edited by Jake
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On 8/28/2022 at 8:51 PM, Jake said:

 

Other than topics that have been stated above; Ely is one of a kind, with a player base extending back over 10 years! Now that in-itself is incredible however for it to fit in with this current day and age it needs drastic changes to its social media - YouTube, Instagram, Facebook. (Just get it out everywhere!) Make a goddamn MySpace account or TikTok if you have to 🤣

 

Honestly... Tik tok might not be the worst idea..... Shitty videos get 100's of thousands of views for no reason. That is a lot of eyes on

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Just dove back into this topic to see if there was any new input & happy with what I saw. Some really nontraditional ideas and thats exactly what I was looking for. @Rev3Rse - thank you for such a thorough input from a relatively new player, I appreciate the time you spent to write that up, and thanks for your support. @Jake threw a curve ball out there regarding social media, even mentioning TikTok, and as I read that I LOL'd but  @Rev3Rse also mentioned it too - and buffing up a social media presence is certainly not a bad idea. It can't harm anything - so I'll try to actually think of how to implement this. More Youtube, I never even downloaded TikTok but @Boats is right, the dumbest things get views there and could potentially benefit. Would be a very low conversion rate though since TikTok is like 100% mobile-focused so it's likely about like 80%+ of people that would see our clips on TikTok don't even have a PC they could hop on to download the game. We are working on a mobile client that even works on iOS, so maybe we should continue spearheading that project first, then work on TikTok that way a player see's it, could hit the link at the bottom, and literally play right then and there on their phone. But yeah, again, appreciate all the input, good thoughts here.

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On 9/16/2022 at 12:38 AM, Lation said:

We are working on a mobile client that even works on iOS, so maybe we should continue spearheading that project first, then work on TikTok that way a player see's it, could hit the link at the bottom, and literally play right then and there on their phone. But yeah, again, appreciate all the input, good thoughts here.

BEST THING IVE HEARD!!!

This means I can play at work when I'm sitting in the ambulance doing SFA

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