[KOR] New Premium Character—Kiss (키스). See [YouTube] Skill Motions.

Aria - Granado Espada Private Server

Aria Granado Espada (private server) has officially launched. The base rates are set to x10 for EXP, Stance EXP, and Drops. Their current game client is built from IAHGames (Singapore) client. Some basic information...

Game Version: 8.5
Language: English
No. of Servers: 1 - AriaGaming (Baron-Enabled)
Server Time Zone: GMT+1
X-Trap Version: None
Initial Barrack Slots: 4
No. of Channels: 1
Combat/Stance EXP: x10
Drop Rate: x10

The server was in beta for the past weeks. I didn't want to review it then, since beta is supposed to be somewhat buggy and problematic. Now, it has officially launched, let's take a look at it while awesome G1 is having power outage and maintenance. Here are some issues I noticed.

Different Password: The client uses different password for encrypting the game files. [Source] This means that you cannot easily replace files, such as sound effects (voice pack) file, from other servers. So you cannot just change the character voices to Japanese or Korean by replacing files. I have no idea why they bother to mess with the password. Don't try to fix what is not broken.

Inefficient Patcher: Apparently, the patcher needs to replace entire .ipf files instead of just adding the new files to them. [Source] Maybe they cannot use the official patcher because they changed the password encryption?

Default Window Positions: By default, the client from the installer will have windows set too far out of the commonly used resolutions. You simply cannot see the inventory even when it is opened. They should have fixed useruiposition.xml file before packing the live installer, instead of making every single player fix it with every installation. You can just copy the file from your other game client (e.g. sGE) over instead.

English Please: Compared to beta client, there are less non-English texts and less grammatical errors. But there are still some left over.

IES Tip Error: Whenever you move close to a help-related NPC, there will be a string of IES errors regarding Tip data-table.

Cash Shop: The cash shop system is not finalized. It seems that you may eventually be able to get Gold for voting or donation. Also, no premium character (e.g. Asoka) at the moment.

Mission Room Error: Currently, there is an error when trying to create mission rooms, including quest missions.

Scarlet Underground Access: You do not need to complete Bahama quest scenario to move into Reboldeaux Scarlet Underground. Good for Arsene Circus starters (tip: use Invisible Stalker for low-level characters) or Secret Guarding in Errac.

Active Players - To Migrate Or Not To Migrate?
Is there any reason for existing players of other servers to switch over to Aria? Most active players would have sets of AR/DR 32-33 equipment with family level 50+. Even with x10 rates, it will still take a long time to rebuild the family back up to level 50+ from scratch. Also, note that most official servers had instant-master events, such as Rise of the Masters!. Not to mention the frustrating process of upgrading, enchanting, and socketing their sets of racial weapons, armors, and accessories.

IAHGames servers are currently at v9.5, and will update to v10 soon. So why play a buggy, lower version on a less stable server with a more restrictive client (see note on password above) just to rebuild your family and equipment from scratch with only x10 rates? Maybe it will help for new players, but it probably won't attract players with established families in other servers at this point.

A private server has to offer things that are difficult or costly to acquire in the official servers, otherwise what's the point of playing in a private server? Frustrations with official servers usually concern the following:
  1. Cash Shop-Related Randomness, e.g. gambling boxes/web games, upgrading, enchanting, opening sockets.
  2. Crap Raid Loot, e.g. why pay 5m vis in Joaquin Underground Prison mission for bonus roulette to get 1 Portable Ancient Star Orb Box?
  3. Ridiculously Hard-To-Get Items, e.g. 200 Devil's Dreams per weapon... For v8.5, that is nonsense.
  4. Non-Tradable Items, e.g. some character cards, Mercenaries Warrants...
If Aria really wants to encourage server migration of active players, these are things that they need to look into, i.e. elevating players' frustrations with the official servers.

You may discuss this further in their forum topic - Is this server worth playing?.


banbha said…
Who is this really aimed at lets face it ge without competition would be boring. Or are they hoping for high numbers migrating
IDestinyI said…
I rather stick to the offical server. I've spent at least 3years there and have already spent real money to get in-game cash. It also took me this long to get to this level.
pirate said…
Yeah I don't really know why they didn't use the original patcher (it does work with the new password too, I tested it).
But when I asked rndbit about it, he told me that if they change some file later on, the whole ipf files won't be downloaded.

I repacked a se.ipf from jGE and gave him some checksums so he could make the launcher accept it, he told me it was more than simply that... then I don't really know what he's up to with that launcher.

I think he wants to have total control over the integrity of the client.
banbha said…
tbh looking through its forum it looks like its already hitting the same issues as normal servers how to balance pay to play with free to play
Ashardalon said…
The private server website has moved. See http://roguege.com instead.