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A comprehensive look at Desteria's problem areas (effort post)

Glaced

Peasant
Essential Information
  • Minecraft Username: Glaced
  • Realm or Service: Desteria (all)
Suggestion Information
  • Thread Title:
    A comprehensive look at Desteria's problem areas (effort post)

  • Description:
    Dear Desteria community and staff team,

    Introduction:
    Before diving into this effort post, I should note that these are suggestions coming from a professional in the fields of business and consulting with experience in not only turnaround restructuring (fancy term for saving companies that are being run into the ground) but also Desteria's operations. I've met some of my best online friends in my, admittedly relatively brief, time on Desteria, and, since a questionable IP ban for supposed ban evasion cut my time here short, I've had a number of suggestions as to how to improve the server.

    @Daerex's thread "Why is this server so crispy dead", specifically @Baelee's post, was my main inspiration in creating this post. I'll have a link to their post below but it can largely be summarized with four succinct points: 1) player counts spike and subsequently plummet when new players realize how "glitchy" the server is, 2) the staff team is highly undertrained, 3) bugs and glitches plaguing the server can be addressed with an incentived beta-tester program, and 4) the player base is able to be revitalized without the use of a mass unban.

    Great points all around, but one thing to keep in mind is the limited resources Desteria is working with (or the impression of a supposedly limited resource pool). In this case, a list of precedence and priorities would be helpful with a gant chart-esque implementation schedule. I'll be structuring this post first by reviewing Desteria's challenges before delving into individualized solutions, with challenges listed in no particular order and solutions according to an implementation timeline determined via priorities.

    Challenges:
    Problem 1: Inconsistent playerbase
    Paraphrased from Daerex and Baelee's comments, Desteria sees highly volatile player counts. Looking towards the server's arguably most popular realm Auren as a case study, upwards of 400 players are connected during peak times in the week after reset before plummeting to a fraction of that in the following weeks.

    Problem 2: Bugs and glitches
    Examples range from inherent minecraft flaws such as combat through doors to Desteria-specific defects including two dupes found in the past month alone and /heal cooldown being suddenly removed before being "patched" two weeks later.

    Problem 3: Inter and intra-staff communication
    In my appeal process, I was stonewalled by a staff member and waited almost a week before going over their head and privately messaging a higher ranking administrator. This alone is a problem in and of itself, but the fact that I was given contradicting opinions and banned/unbanned several times in the following week is unacceptable for a professional server. This back and forth also led to the escalation of a 30-day ban for a rule I didn't break to a permanent ban, despite my best efforts to communicate with the administrative team.

    Staff members are rarely seen online. When /seen'ing the list of staff and helpers on all three realms, there were times when not a single member of the Desteria administrative team had logged on for 5+ days. I understand /vanish exists but consistent and frequent in-game communication between the Desteria staff team and the community it serves is imperative to running a successful Minecraft server.

    Solutions:
    Suggestion 1: Staff-community relations through player engagement
    I understand it would be unrealistic to hold Desteria staff to playtime and community interaction requirements when considering non-online obligations, but some loose guidelines should be enforced among the team, as their current engagement is abhorrent.

    In the case of expanding staff team, I would actually push for a more quality-focused approach rather than allowing anyone with 10 minutes to fill out the application onto the team, something Desteria looks like they have covered. This, along with a formalized training process with up-to-date staff-exclusive resources, such as a staff handbook, will greatly increase the staff team's sense of authority. The main benefit from this is providing assistance and helping out new players by having trusted community members answer the "how do i go to the wilderness" and "how do i make money" questions from newly joined players, especially given Desteria's low player retention rates.

    Suggestion 2: New member resources
    This goes hand in hand with staff communication in terms of retention. Having accessible guides past a factions command walkthrough would be highly beneficial for new players. Something along the lines of a general progression guide (mining -> farming -> spawners) would give new players goals to aim for, cementing their membership on Desteria. Another tentative idea that helps new players would be hourly/daily/weekly quests that teach unfamiliar players the general progression tiers of factions on Desteria while also rewarding them (i.e. collect 5 dragon drops for 32 diamonds, harvest 5,000 sugarcane for your first spawners, etc.). Dragon drops was a step towards the right direction, even though it was heavily nerfed in the past.

    Suggestions 3/4: Technical fixes and marketing campaigns
    Following new member retention, the next step for the server would be to then prioritize fixing bugs and glitches. I understand the timeframe for this is much longer than community engagement, which is why during this stage, I recommend a two-prong approach. While attempting to fix bugs and glitches, further marketing campaigns can be started, as this has a similar timeline before reaching tangible results. I'm not too familiar in the field of Minecraft server marketing but paid ad campaigns on server lists or paid endorsements via Youtube influencers would be good places to start.

    Suggestion 5: Content prioritization
    My only gripe with the server's current list of priorities is their incessant need to push out more end-game content. Scheduled resets are imperative to Desteria's life cycle, but in terms of rolling out new events and content targeted at longstanding players, I believe Desteria should choose to invest resources into avenues that prioritize stabilizing their already shaky playerbase, particularly through the integration of suggestions 1 and 2.

    From a new player's viewpoint, they could care less about Cerberus or the six other new boss fights. Rather than pumping out content that targets only the mid or end-game player segment, creating playability value aimed towards keeping new players on the server and helping them get started, such as my second suggestion would be much more beneficial towards establishing a stable player base.

    Conclusion and closing statement:
    Browsing through the forum here, I realize a common trend is commenting on a player's reputation on the server, such as toxicity, and, more relevant in my case, ban history. I'll make my defense statement short, but essentially, I was wrongfully IP banned for sharing an IP address with a previous ban evader, an unsurprising detail when considering I connected through several public IPs throughout New York City (libraries, coffee shops, etc.) when on the go as well as a mandatory work VPN with revolving IP addresses when at home. For those who would rather attack my credibility than address Desteria's underlying problem areas, I have linked a screenshot of my full ban appeal below. If you still have a problem with me as a player, feel free to reach out over PM or Glaced#4096 to keep this thread history easy to follow and constructive.

    As always, I'm open to comments and suggestions regarding my recommendations. I'm fully aware the staff team may not follow these suggestions in the slightest, but all I ask is that they respect the three hours I put into writing this, the hundreds of dollars I've spent buying perks and ranks for me and my friends, and countless hours I've spent on Desteria and at least read this post in full. After all, I dedicated the better half of some days to this server to cultivate lasting relationships with a number of the players here and I would hate to see the server become "crispy dead" despite my ban.

    References:
    Baelee's comment on Daerex' "Why is this server so crispy dead" thread: https://desteria.com/community/threads/why-is-this-server-so-crispy-dead.102136/post-1268099
    My ban appeal (exhibits excluded for privacy reasons):
    Best,
    Glaced

  • What would your suggestion improve?:
    Player base revitalization

  • Image/Video (Link):
 
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MemeInChina

Backpacker
Lowkey Glaced for manager considering he's new to desteria and already knows everything wrong with it.

Thank you for saving Cansky's braincells +1
 

uwotm8jeezusr

Backpacker
Agree with the bit about targetting content towards newer players as well as more experienced ones. Quests were supposed to be added I think but idk where they went.

Farming crops needs to be buffed which would help new players. Atm sugarcane makes **** all while on servers like Ostia, Vanity and Archon it is integral to SOTW.

Also agree with better marketing. A popular YouTuber can resurrect a server.
 

Glaced

Peasant
Lowkey Glaced for manager considering he's new to desteria and already knows everything wrong with it.

Thank you for saving Cansky's braincells +1
Thanks! I've always wanted to make helper on Desteria, it's just a shame some numbskull named "CARBOSS5000" came along a month before I did and saw to it that I wouldn't.

Agree with the bit about targetting content towards newer players as well as more experienced ones. Quests were supposed to be added I think but idk where they went.

Farming crops needs to be buffed which would help new players. Atm sugarcane makes **** all while on servers like Ostia, Vanity and Archon it is integral to SOTW.

Also agree with better marketing. A popular YouTuber can resurrect a server.
Yeah, it's really difficult to get established as a new player. It's a bummer Desteria wasn't able to follow through with their promise of quests back then. Hopefully the next reset's economy being "rebuilt from the ground up" will reflect higher crop prices. We may even see the return of cactus farms!!
 

uwotm8jeezusr

Backpacker
Thanks! I've always wanted to make helper on Desteria, it's just a shame some numbskull named "CARBOSS5000" came along a month before I did and saw to it that I wouldn't.



Yeah, it's really difficult to get established as a new player. It's a bummer Desteria wasn't able to follow through with their promise of quests back then. Hopefully the next reset's economy being "rebuilt from the ground up" will reflect higher crop prices. We may even see the return of cactus farms!!
Cactus ego is quite hard to balance especially over a long map, but sugarcane can definetly be buffed. On Archon sugarcane is $22 to sell in shop so double Desterias sell price, and you can upgrade your harvester hoe to get more drops etc
 

Lucy

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Event Team
Content Team
Problem 3: Inter and intra-staff communication
In my appeal process, I was stonewalled by a staff member and waited almost a week before going over their head and privately messaging a higher ranking administrator. This alone is a problem in and of itself, but the fact that I was given contradicting opinions and banned/unbanned several times in the following week is unacceptable for a professional server. This back and forth also led to the escalation of a 30-day ban for a rule I didn't break to a permanent ban, despite my best efforts to communicate with the administrative team.
Yes you appealed a ban on a ban evasion that I had looked into for you and informed you that your ip matched with a banned player upon which you claimed to not be/know that player - despite your ip matching SEVERAL times. Therefore I denied your appeal and that's why you are still banned.
You tried to evade this by going to our new manager who had only just joined and didn't know the way around the server so he mistakenly unbanned you. I noticed that, informed him and he resumed the ban.
It's not a permanent ban as we don't permanently ban for ban evasion of illegal client use. Snw was simply on his first day and didn't know how we handled those cases.
I've set your ban back to the remaining 63 days, thanks for letting us know.
 

ClosedMercury

Backpacker
Yes you appealed a ban on a ban evasion that I had looked into for you and informed you that your ip matched with a banned player upon which you claimed to not be/know that player - despite your ip matching SEVERAL times. Therefore I denied your appeal and that's why you are still banned.
You tried to evade this by going to our new manager who had only just joined and didn't know the way around the server so he mistakenly unbanned you. I noticed that, informed him and he resumed the ban.
It's not a permanent ban as we don't permanently ban for ban evasion of illegal client use. Snw was simply on his first day and didn't know how we handled those cases.
I've set your ban back to the remaining 63 days, thanks for letting us know.
free him already :(
 

Glaced

Peasant
Yes you appealed a ban on a ban evasion that I had looked into for you and informed you that your ip matched with a banned player upon which you claimed to not be/know that player - despite your ip matching SEVERAL times. Therefore I denied your appeal and that's why you are still banned.
You tried to evade this by going to our new manager who had only just joined and didn't know the way around the server so he mistakenly unbanned you. I noticed that, informed him and he resumed the ban.
It's not a permanent ban as we don't permanently ban for ban evasion of illegal client use. Snw was simply on his first day and didn't know how we handled those cases.
I've set your ban back to the remaining 63 days, thanks for letting us know.
Thank you for getting back to me, Lucy. I appreciate your communication and would like to thank you for your closure on my appeal, despite the medium being such a public space. Is there a way we could talk more about my ban in private? I've sent you a discord request almost a month ago when I submitted my appeal. In case you missed it, my Discord is Glaced#4096.

In regards to the forum post and topic of this thread, I would love to hear the thoughts of the staff team and, more specifically, your opinions, given your extensive experience with Desteria. Just to reiterate, this thread was not meant to be any kind of hostile threat or attack towards the server, just a constructive writeup on a few challenges I experienced during my time with Desteria.

free him already :(
Thanks for the support man. Can't wait to get back on with you guys, whenever that may be!
 

Cansky

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Content Team
Thank you for getting back to me, Lucy. I appreciate your communication and would like to thank you for your closure on my appeal, despite the medium being such a public space. Is there a way we could talk more about my ban in private? I've sent you a discord request almost a month ago when I submitted my appeal. In case you missed it, my Discord is Glaced#4096.

In regards to the forum post and topic of this thread, I would love to hear the thoughts of the staff team and, more specifically, your opinions, given your extensive experience with Desteria. Just to reiterate, this thread was not meant to be any kind of hostile threat or attack towards the server, just a constructive writeup on a few challenges I experienced during my time with Desteria.



Thanks for the support man. Can't wait to get back on with you guys, whenever that may be!
Wanted to also note- we may not notice or necessarily see friend requests and we don't necessarily add back every single request we get to wait if it's about something related to Desteria, but if you join our discord (or joined using /discord ingame before the ban aswell) you can message any of the staff members without needing to be friends with them.

Regarding seeing staff online, we do not have many members at the moment which naturally means that the few hours that we can be online ingame can easily not be times that you are coincidentally on aswell. I've been a little inactive in the past couple of days because of travel and packing, but I try to come online from time to time to talk to players and they can ask/tell me anything. I try to get feedback on what's wrong, what's unbalanced etc.

For guides/attracting new players who have little to no experience in factions, imo it's easy to say, hard to do. There are a lot of things that are general knowledge in this game, and the best way to present them to a new player would probably be with youtube videos rather than any textbook application. It'd be safe to assume that not many people are willing to read a lot, considering how people say our rules are like a dictionary. That is a lot more suitable for introduction type of presentations for new players, when written guides can help with specific plugins and how to use them; which doesn't necessarily have to be for the new players.
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Cactus ego is quite hard to balance especially over a long map, but sugarcane can definetly be buffed. On Archon sugarcane is $22 to sell in shop so double Desterias sell price, and you can upgrade your harvester hoe to get more drops etc
Fair enough, will see if we can make a price change. Last time we gave sugarcane eco a lot of attention people came and macro/botted sugarcane and got ftop- I had to ban so many alts. Maybe not as drastic as a 2x increase, but I agree that you should be able to make some money without needing any spawners to get up to that point, maybe even as a viable enough passive income (cactus)
 
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Glaced

Peasant
Hi Cansky,

Thank you for responding as well as reading my write-up, I understand it is quite lengthy and greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts and feedback.

Wanted to also note- we may not notice or necessarily see friend requests and we don't necessarily add back every single request we get to wait if it's about something related to Desteria, but if you join our discord (or joined using /discord ingame before the ban aswell) you can message any of the staff members without needing to be friends with them.
That's understandable, I can't expect the staff team to individually respond and address each player who messaged them. I've actually been a part of the server Discord since the beginning of my time on Desteria, that's how I got in touch with snw. Regarding my request to Lucy, I felt it would be more appropriate to communicate via my ban appeal thread rather than unsolicited messages to her Discord. Since her reply above, I've reached out through PM and am awaiting a response.

Regarding seeing staff online, we do not have many members at the moment which naturally means that the few hours that we can be online ingame can easily not be times that you are coincidentally on aswell. I've been a little inactive in the past couple of days because of travel and packing, but I try to come online from time to time to talk to players and they can ask/tell me anything. I try to get feedback on what's wrong, what's unbalanced etc.
Again, a valid point from you. Strengthening staff-community relations is going to take some time, and it's unfair to expect that in the near future. Hopefully, Desteria will be able to build upon their staff team with the inevitable influx of players following Auren's reset later today.

For guides/attracting new players who have little to no experience in factions, imo it's easy to say, hard to do. There are a lot of things that are general knowledge in this game, and the best way to present them to a new player would probably be with youtube videos rather than any textbook application. It'd be safe to assume that not many people are willing to read a lot, considering how people say our rules are like a dictionary. That is a lot more suitable for introduction type of presentations for new players, when written guides can help with specific plugins and how to use them; which doesn't necessarily have to be for the new players.
This is where I would have to respectfully dissent to a degree. The idea I had for this was more bare-bones and focused on the essentials. Sure, quests would be an incredible addition for the new member player base. However, simple graphics detailing the Desteria's general progression would be almost as effective and work as a quick and efficient band-aid for the problem today. I threw together a basic rough draft of what I had in mind on MS Paint in a few minutes (imgur hyperlinked). I'm not, of course, saying it will be as easy for you guys, but with the right graphic design team (I would recommend Fiverr if Desteria doesn't already have one), a presentable prototype should be ready within a week.

This could be built further upon with more mechanically intensive guides, an example being @Logic's The Complete Desterian Beginner’s Guide to Factions Gameplay and Raiding found in the "Help Guides" subforum. While I do agree with dictionary-like and text-heavy resources losing its impact on Minecraft's target audience, revamping these guides with visual aids and in-game accessibility such as a link in /help or adding it to the beginner's book everyone spawns with would do wonders for new players, especially considering how 2/3 of the world's population are visual learners.

Fair enough, will see if we can make a price change. Last time we gave sugarcane eco a lot of attention people came and macro/botted sugarcane and got ftop- I had to ban so many alts. Maybe not as drastic as a 2x increase, but I agree that you should be able to make some money without needing any spawners to get up to that point, maybe even as a viable enough passive income (cactus)
This is an excellent point you brought up, it never occurred to me how easily exploitable a farming-based economy could become. In terms of sugarcane, I remember a Captcha popping up after 30-45 seconds of farming. Once solved, however, it would not reappear for at least 30 minutes, in my experience at least. Implementing a refresh timer on the Captcha (5-10 mins) would render bots and macros near ineffective while promoting minimal interference to the average player's quality of life.

In regards to cactus, I can only imagine how difficult it would be to balance an economy with passive income with minimal initial investment costs. But, with spawners being essentially the same thing but one step further (just set it up and sell every X hours), there should be a happy medium price point between useless and overpowered. However, it could prove very difficult to determine, even with mid-reset adjustments to the economy. One solution could include blacklisting automatic cactus farm supplies from the printer menu. That way, passive cactus farms would be a resource-heavy investment requiring hours of painstakingly boring building, all the while being an unrecoverable and high risk/high reward asset in the case of raids (as opposed to mining/tnt'ing spawners).

All in all, I believe the bulk of Desteria's challenge areas stem from a wildly volatile player base, a problem that could be addressed with systems that boost new member retention rates (bare-bones help guides) and various marketing campaigns (server lists advertisements and, as @uwotm8jeezusr noted, YouTube influencers).

Thanks again for your time and response,
Glaced
 

Cansky

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Content Team
This is where I would have to respectfully dissent to a degree. The idea I had for this was more bare-bones and focused on the essentials. Sure, quests would be an incredible addition for the new member player base. However, simple graphics detailing the Desteria's general progression would be almost as effective and work as a quick and efficient band-aid for the problem today. I threw together a basic rough draft of what I had in mind on MS Paint in a few minutes (imgur hyperlinked). I'm not, of course, saying it will be as easy for you guys, but with the right graphic design team (I would recommend Fiverr if Desteria doesn't already have one), a presentable prototype should be ready within a week.

This could be built further upon with more mechanically intensive guides, an example being @Logic's The Complete Desterian Beginner’s Guide to Factions Gameplay and Raiding found in the "Help Guides" subforum. While I do agree with dictionary-like and text-heavy resources losing its impact on Minecraft's target audience, revamping these guides with visual aids and in-game accessibility such as a link in /help or adding it to the beginner's book everyone spawns with would do wonders for new players, especially considering how 2/3 of the world's population are visual learners.
Great idea, and would definitely help very very new players on how to progress within a map. And would definitely help them stay on the server too very importantly. I've forwarded this part and the thread as a whole to Lemon to ask about it.

This is an excellent point you brought up, it never occurred to me how easily exploitable a farming-based economy could become. In terms of sugarcane, I remember a Captcha popping up after 30-45 seconds of farming. Once solved, however, it would not reappear for at least 30 minutes, in my experience at least. Implementing a refresh timer on the Captcha (5-10 mins) would render bots and macros near ineffective while promoting minimal interference to the average player's quality of life.

In regards to cactus, I can only imagine how difficult it would be to balance an economy with passive income with minimal initial investment costs. But, with spawners being essentially the same thing but one step further (just set it up and sell every X hours), there should be a happy medium price point between useless and overpowered. However, it could prove very difficult to determine, even with mid-reset adjustments to the economy. One solution could include blacklisting automatic cactus farm supplies from the printer menu. That way, passive cactus farms would be a resource-heavy investment requiring hours of painstakingly boring building, all the while being an unrecoverable and high risk/high reward asset in the case of raids (as opposed to mining/tnt'ing spawners).

All in all, I believe the bulk of Desteria's challenge areas stem from a wildly volatile player base, a problem that could be addressed with systems that boost new member retention rates (bare-bones help guides) and various marketing campaigns (server lists advertisements and, as @uwotm8jeezusr noted, YouTube influencers).

Thanks again for your time and response,
Glaced
Agreed with most if not all things said here - although we will see most likely see how this new eco goes this upcoming map before any changes. Thanks for your time and response aswell.
 

uwotm8jeezusr

Backpacker
Wanted to also note- we may not notice or necessarily see friend requests and we don't necessarily add back every single request we get to wait if it's about something related to Desteria, but if you join our discord (or joined using /discord ingame before the ban aswell) you can message any of the staff members without needing to be friends with them.

Regarding seeing staff online, we do not have many members at the moment which naturally means that the few hours that we can be online ingame can easily not be times that you are coincidentally on aswell. I've been a little inactive in the past couple of days because of travel and packing, but I try to come online from time to time to talk to players and they can ask/tell me anything. I try to get feedback on what's wrong, what's unbalanced etc.

For guides/attracting new players who have little to no experience in factions, imo it's easy to say, hard to do. There are a lot of things that are general knowledge in this game, and the best way to present them to a new player would probably be with youtube videos rather than any textbook application. It'd be safe to assume that not many people are willing to read a lot, considering how people say our rules are like a dictionary. That is a lot more suitable for introduction type of presentations for new players, when written guides can help with specific plugins and how to use them; which doesn't necessarily have to be for the new players.
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Fair enough, will see if we can make a price change. Last time we gave sugarcane eco a lot of attention people came and macro/botted sugarcane and got ftop- I had to ban so many alts. Maybe not as drastic as a 2x increase, but I agree that you should be able to make some money without needing any spawners to get up to that point, maybe even as a viable enough passive income (cactus)
Thanks for response. There are plugins that can stop macroing sugarcane. If you start hitting cane on Archon and Vanity a captcha pops up which you have to answer before you can continue.
 

Cansky

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Content Team
Thanks for response. There are plugins that can stop macroing sugarcane. If you start hitting cane on Archon and Vanity a captcha pops up which you have to answer before you can continue.
We have the same, but that didn't stop them since their macros were timed. Will keep it in mind though.
 
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