- Minecraft Username: Glaced
- Realm or Service: Desteria (all)
- Thread Title:
A comprehensive look at Desteria's problem areas (effort post)
Dear Desteria community and staff team,
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.
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.
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.
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):
- What would your suggestion improve?:
Player base revitalization
- Image/Video (Link):