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Zenith - A new type of Oldschool

Crevasse

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I’m happy to announce plans to release a new server as a way of giving back to the community and creating a platform that appeals to Oldschool players.

About Me (and my team)

I started playing RL Tibia in early 2005. I played seriously until 2013 when I finally retired due to a lack of interest in the numerous changes implemented by CipSoft that, in my opinion, made the game less fun. I’ve been lurking around OTLand since 2008, reading much but saying little. I have a particular interest in/passion for mapping and have worked on several projects with the Collapser Zulu development team. My team consists of family and close friends who are also fellow Oldschool RL Tibia players.

At a Glance

This server is a modified version of TFS 1.2 running Tibia 7.70, and is a mid to low rate server. It’s hosted on a dedicated Linux box behind an enterprise-grade firewall with a gig fiber uplink. It has standard OT features like experience sharing and emoted spells. The map and vocations are custom and will be discussed at length below.

Another Oldschool Server?

I’ve been around this community for a long time. I’ve read the posts and followed the drama from month to month, year to year as different servers have come and gone. My team and I have played on a wide variety of servers seriously and casually, including big names like RealOTS, Mastercores and DarkOT. Over and over the same issues are brought up, discussed, but ultimately never resolved. Sorcerers are still OP, knights are completely underwhelming, druids only exist to be healbots, and paladins can do their own thing for the most part. People argued about the cost of runes and whether or not the addition of wands and rods “broke the game” but in our opinion, none of the reasons brought up by the community are the reasons Oldschool servers fail. After seeing so many unsuccessful attempts at balance and keeping an Oldschool server alive, we have decided to take an entirely different approach.

The Issue With Oldschool

From our experience, there is a deeper, underlying issue as to why Oldschool servers struggle and people can’t seem to pinpoint (or maybe they refuse to acknowledge?) it. I have broken it down as follows:

The “Original Experience” and Nostalgia

The feelings associated with memories, the friendships formed in active guilds, and the rush of trying something new. These are things that players of any MMORPG yearn for and Tibia is no exception. Players want to go back to a time that is considered by a collective majority to be the “golden age,” the time they associate with their feelings of nostalgia toward the game. Experience has shown however that time and time again these 7.4/7.6 servers start, spike, then die off. If people really love Oldschool so much then why can’t they retain an audience?

The reason, we’ve come to discover, is that players aren’t simply missing old sprites and graphics. If that were true, these Oldschool servers wouldn’t rise and fall like they typically do. Players are missing the feelings that came from discovering, living and playing through Oldschool Tibia for the first time. The journey from noob to high level was part of the experience that everyone enjoyed! Fighting your way through the dwarven axe quest room for the first time or accidentally running into a giant spider on your way to the Dark Cathedral; finally opening a dragon lord and seeing a dragon scale mail or winning a major guild war--these were things that came with playing through the game and they made it memorable.

Log in to an Oldschool server now and the journey itself is ignored completely; people just want to get to the endgame as fast as possible. Everyone races through Rookgaard so they can begin the tried and true sequence of rotworms -> minotaurs -> cyclopses -> dragons/dragon lords -> hydras. Before long, the power abusers have risen to the top and the server is on a sharp decline. Most of us have been a part of this cycle multiple times. Some servers implement PoI monsters or king of the hill-style events but that merely delays the inevitable for a couple weeks at best.

The Solution

Let me present our answer to these previously unsolvable problems in the form of our server, Zenith. I can’t cover everything in this post but I will go over the highlights and elaborate on how they address the problems that Oldschool has faced historically. And before you succumb to the urge that so many of you have to jump into the comments and post a reply, please read all the way through, especially the FAQ section at the end.

A New Land

Part of the magic of learning to play Tibia was not knowing the map by heart. Exploring new caves and new areas, discovering quests and secrets truly rounded out the RPG aspect of the game. This magic is completely lost in Oldschool servers; everyone already knows the game map like the back of their hand. Our server has a custom map, and when I say custom, I don’t mean the RL map with that copy-and-paste island for premium users slapped down north of Edron. I don’t mean an altered version of YurOTs, Spider, or some other famous server. I mean a map that has never been played before. And I can say that with confidence because we have spent the last 5 years designing and testing it. I pulled a blank shape off an old thread that Peonso posted years ago as a starting point, and from there I began making it my own (I doubt even he’d recognize it if he logged in and started playing). This creates an even playing field for all players; no one will have the advantage of knowing the secrets that our map holds, the locations of the best spawns, how to solve quests, etc. This will bring back that RPG feel that people crave. The map is complete with custom functional NPCs, boats and carpets; each town has shops, temples, banks and depots. The map even has additional “lore” NPCs that you have to talk to if you want to start the more advanced quests!
Zenith_ground.png

Vocations - Less is More

I’ve mentioned balance already in this post. My team and I really wrestled with the issue of balance during the development stages of the server, exploring several different possibilities. Ultimately, we decided to do something that, at the time, had never been done before (although I have seen similar ideas posted on OTLand since development began). Instead of trying to tweak an inherently broken class system designed by CipSoft, we scrapped it all. There is only one vocation to choose from in Zenith: Human. We drew our inspiration for this style from games like Albion, Terraria or The Elder Scrolls: the player can become whatever he or she wants. All players have the same base regen, health gain, mana gain, cap gain, etc. The variety comes in the form of items. Unequipped, a Human is not completely useless in combat, but nowhere near their full potential.

Dress for Success -- Equipment Matters

Equipment and weapons have a drastic effect on your character’s health, mana, regeneration, and skills. For example: Knight Armor grants the wearer additional maximum HP and reduces maximum mana. Amazon Armor grants additional maximum mana and distance fighting, and a Blue Robe grants extra maximum mana and reduces maximum health while providing a significant magic level bonus. (I won’t post the numbers here because people will start arguing about balance before they have even played the game). In addition to being unique and empowering, this single vocation item-heavy playstyle solves several problems at once:

  • Balance: since everyone is the same base “vocation,” it is impossible to make the argument that one character is inherently better than another. You control how powerful your character is by how much you are willing to train your skills (no, there are no offline skill trainers) and how diligent you are at collecting powerful items. It is much easier to balance the game by tweaking the buffs on a piece of armor or a weapon than it is to rebalance an entire vocation.

  • Power Abuse: Let me preface this next portion by saying that we acknowledge that PvP, warring and even PKing are essential parts of the MMORPG experience. We want to give players the tools to engage in balanced, exciting PvP combat. What we don’t want is easy power abuse. Sorcerers were already strong in regular Tibia, but when you factor in the accelerated skill rates that are often present in OTs, power abuse is too easy. It really doesn’t make sense that playing the most powerful vocation in the game doesn’t require the player to obtain any gear to be effective. PAs are well aware of this and you see them create characters (sorcerers, not knights) purely for the purposes of getting tons of easy unjustified kills without consequences. They don't need to do quests or participate in raids and events; they don’t even need gear, just SD runes and manafluids! There are other servers out there for that, they are called war servers. If you want to be able to PvP/PK or survive getting PKed in Zenith, you are going to need items and you are going to need to skill train.

  • RPG: The value of items and their ability to shape the game creates additional motivation for players to explore the map, fight different types of monsters and solve quests. Every single item, even things like the Blessed Shield and Horned Helmet, are obtainable in-game.

Magic Damage Diversity

A series of source code changes have been made by myself to further balance and enhance the magic system in the server. In Oldschool Tibia, poison was basically useless; everything was immune to it. Fire was good for a little while, but that too eventually became useless as a player leveled up and encountered tougher monsters. In the end, players were left with physical or energy as the only viable damage sources. In some cases, physical damage was the only option as the hardest monsters were immune to everything else (e.g. Behemoths).

CipSoft was on the right track by adding additional elements to the game in 8.1; however they did not balance them correctly. For example, ice was suddenly the most desired ability as it allowed players to more effectively hunt the best monsters in the game, and ultimate explosion was changed to fire damage making it far less useful. Instead of repeating CipSoft’s mistakes, we opted to take a simple but unique approach:

  1. Lifedrain damage, which has been a part of the game for a long time, has been adapted for use by players. It is analogous to “death damage” in RL Tibia, and the color of the damage indicator has been changed to reflect that (dark red).

  1. Drown damage, which was added in 8.0, has been implemented, and can manifest itself as either water or ice graphics.

  2. Finally, the holy element has been implemented as a counterpart to lifedrain.

All of these elements (Physical, Fire, Drown, Poison, Energy, Holy, Lifedrain) are usable in the form of spells by players and monsters. Players will also encounter monsters that are immune, resistant or strong to these elements.

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Spells: True Oldschool

When it came to spells, we took a page out of CipSoft’s book. Spells are not learned by talking to an NPC, but by using scrolls which can be looted from monsters or obtained in quests. This is yet another element intended to encourage hunting and exploration while discouraging easy power abuse. Again, I won’t discuss the details here, but we tried to make it as logical as possible: Looking for fire spells? You should probably hit up dragons or fire devils. Want to try out drown spells? Find a helmet of the deep and head underwater! Does the monster heal itself? Then it probably drops the scroll to learn “exura” or maybe even “exura gran.” All players by default can already use the light spell, so you can start training your magic level immediately.

More Quests Than RL

Not a ton to say here. We have dozens and dozens of quests, big and small. Simple ones like the crusader helmet quest in RL; make it to the end of a cave, get a reward. There are advanced ones like the Pits of Inferno or Deeper Banuta, requiring the player to travel back and forth between multiple continents collecting items, talking to NPCs, and fighting hard monsters. There are also quests for all of the outfits through version 8.0. These quests have all been tested and played through on non-gamemaster players so we know they are working! There are also custom starter quests that allow players to learn about the different playstyles (magic, ranged or melee), try each style out and even get some basic equipment.

Monsters Galore

Let’s be honest; there isn’t really very much monster variety in Oldschool Tibia, even as late as version 8.6. There was and still is a pretty clear standard of which monsters were profitable to hunt and which ones were terrible, either by virtue of poor loot, small spawns or a bad hp/exp ratio. We have made slight, tasteful alterations to certain monsters in an effort to increase the variety of options for players. We don’t want everyone to be forced to follow the same boring path of Rotworms -> Minotaurs -> Cyclopses -> Dragons/Dragon Lords. Instead, players can choose to hunt Tortoises, Banshees, Nomads, Yetis, Pirates, Samurai, Midnight Panthers, Draptors, Greater Amazons, Barbarians and Titans (to name a few), which have been implemented and are competitive options for players to hunt. This has the opposite of the funnel effect that we see in real Tibia where everyone is trying to hunt the best spawns and everywhere else is empty. Also, monsters in Zenith behave like true Oldschool monsters; they do not have a forced cast cooldown and are capable of spamming.

Endgame and Updates

We are firm believers in the concept of starting small and growing slowly. We aren’t releasing a giant, overwhelming map that will just make players lost and confused. As the player base grows and the need arises, we will steadily introduce more content in the form of continents, cities, quests, monsters and items. Some are already in the works. Raids and events with special rewards are also ways to keep players engaged. We are also open to suggestions! This server is here for the community, and the future of the server is in your hands just as much as ours. We look forward to hearing your voices and will rely heavily on players’ feedback for future implementations.

The Best Antibot

I won’t make any claims that we have some “super unbeatable anti-bot technology” because we don’t. We’ve taken some basic precautions to make botting more difficult than the regular 7.70 client, but cheaters will inevitably find a way to cheat. What we do have, however, is in some ways better than anti-bot technology: Gamemasters. We have 5 full-time, active GMs who are eager to investigate and punish cheaters if they are caught, so if you see something, report it. As the community grows, we look forward to identifying and bringing on additional staff members as they prove their dedication to the community.

The Catch…

Alright, the part everyone is waiting for. Some of you are probably thinking this sounds too good to be true. Well, here it goes: there is no catch. There are no addon dolls for sale, no golden account or premmy roses, no red skull tokens, no “donation island,” no pay-to-unban, no 10% exp boost, no permanent light, no crystal coins for sale, nothing. The server is 100% free. No pay to win. No one can pay real money to get an advantage over other players on this server.

Why would we do this? Well the short answer is "because we can". Most of us have flexible, full-time careers. I work in the IT industry which gives me unique access to the skills and resources necessary to host a reliable server. We want to prove to the community that we aren’t here to set up a cash grab scam and then disappear like so many others have done. We are here to build a server that is around for the long haul. We love the game and want to share our creation with others; it’s that simple.

TL;DR:
We are making a super cool, completely free, custom Oldschool server. Check the last FAQ for beta access instructions and stay tuned for the official open date.

If your question was not answered above, feel free to ask below and I will answer. We really are excited to finally bring this project to the public and give back to the community. We love Oldschool and want to help it live on by removing the bad and improving the good.
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For Your Information & FAQ

I realize that what we are proposing here is not typical and understand that it will naturally be met with skepticism, questions and even criticism. I have put together a FAQ to answer what we anticipate will be the most important questions. Specifics will not be discussed; as much as you think it’s possible, you can’t debate the attack stats of a weapon or health bonus of an armor until you’ve actually played the game. If your question isn’t answered in this post or subsequent posts, maybe you should just play and find out for yourself!

Q: Why version 7.70? My favorite version is [insert version here] because [insert opinion here].
A: While we appreciate your input, we have our reasons for choosing this version of the game and we are going to stick with it. No one is making you play, but we encourage you to actually login and play before telling us how much better a different version would be.

Q: What do you mean by “modified TFS 1.2”?
A: This distribution is based off of TFS 1.2, but many changes have been made to the source code by me. I already mentioned the addition of additional damage elements, but I have also gone through and eliminated dozens and dozens of bugs that were present in the original downgrade to 7.70.

Q: What are the rates like?
A: Experience is staged. The rate starts at 25x but begins to drop off pretty sharply. By level 200 the rate is down to RL (1x). Everyone has played through the noob levels dozens of times and we didn’t want to make it a chore to get to the mid-level phase of the game. We still think the noob levels are important, however, as it gives players a chance to experiment with different fighting styles so they can decide what type of fighter they want their character to become.

Skill rates are somewhat irrelevant since everyone is the same vocation. Suffice it to say that the skill rate is such that players will feel like they are making progress.


Q: Oldschool servers with custom maps were never as popular as RL maps. What makes you think this one will be any different?
A: A valid question. Historically, most custom maps didn’t perform well because players would get lost as little attention was given to the finer details like NPCs, street/shop signs, or the map was too big. Our map is big enough for players to hunt comfortably without being overwhelming, and as I said above, we have NPCs and documentation like RL Tibia to help players become familiar with the map.

Q: This single vocation thing sounds boring--won’t everyone eventually just figure out the most OP setup and choose that?
A: First off, even if they did, isn’t that what already happens in Oldschool servers today? Everyone already knows sorcerers are OP and 60%+ of players choose that in any given oldschool server. And to answer the question, no, they won’t. This server is 5 years in the making. We didn’t just come up with this idea overnight. We have tested and fine-tuned all of the different combinations that players could find themselves in: 1 vs. 1 PvP, 2+ vs. 1 PvP, ganking, wars, solo hunting, team hunting, you name it. There are so many more options for equipment and weapons than RL 7.70 that allow us to have more flexibility in balancing the playstyles.

Q: How is the equipment divided up? How do I know which items to look for?
A: Players who want to follow the path of a melee fighter/tank have the most options for items since that’s their primary focus. There are fewer helmets, armors and legs for mages but a huge selection of offensive spells, wands, and spellbooks. Players can choose to primarily collect spells of a certain element or have a mix of all elements, ranged players can choose between long range two-handed bows and crossbows and mid range one handed spears, stars and knives. Shift + clicking on items as you discover them or talking with NPCs will be enough to get players pointed in the right direction. It’s an RPG; explore!
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Q: Elaborate more on spells. How do these scrolls work again? What are the formulas like? Are there custom spells? How are they balanced?
A: The method for obtaining spells is almost identical to early Tibia and it’s simple. Let’s say that ghouls, for example, drop the scroll for “exura.” Once you loot one (or buy one), simply use the scroll. You will receive a message telling you that you have learned the spell. Scrolls are generally classified as a “rare” item but obviously the scroll for “exura” is going to be significantly more common than the scroll for “exevo gran mas vis”. Like any other rare item, duplicates can be sold to players or NPCs. Formulas for damage are similar to RL Tibia, but not identical. Again, we’ve tested this for several years, finding the right balance between skills and damage. As far as custom spells go, there are many spells that were not in RL 7.70. I won’t list them out here but I can say with confidence that they have been tested for balance.

Q: You mentioned monsters, items and outfits from newer versions of the game. I don’t like new Tibia, that's why I quit and only play OTs! Why put that stuff in here?
A: Old Tibia, as much as we love it, was flawed. In order to accomplish our goal we needed more monsters, items and graphics than those present in standard 7.70. Think about it; how are you going to support any sort of endgame play when all you have for endgame monsters are dragon lords, hydras, behemoths and demons? That’s so boring! And equipment? This version of RL Tibia literally only had 11 different legs, three of which (dragon scale, demon and dwarven) weren’t obtainable, and everything weaker than plate is useless, leaving players with very limited options (knight, plate, crown, or golden). What kind of MMORPG only gives players 4 options for a leg piece, and the only difference is +/- 3 armor? We urge you to come and play for yourself and see how we have tastefully integrated newer graphics into the game in such a way that it feels natural.

Q: How DO you plan on supporting endgame play?
A: Variety keeps players interested, as does gaining advantages. A combination of events, unique bosses, raids and quests are just some of the things we have planned to keep people’s interest alive when grinding and leveling get boring. Bosses in Zenith will be particularly critical to the endgame; as players get higher and higher, their experience rate approaches that of RL Tibia. At this point, they should begin to work together with friends to fight some of the many custom bosses that, while difficult to kill, reward the players with large sums of experience. This changes the dynamic of hunting greatly.
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Dawg

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I have played just about every OT under the sun over the past 7 years. I can say with complete confidence that alpha testing this server has been the most fun I've ever had playing an OT server, period. I can't wait for the next beta phase. Count me in.
 
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Crevasse

Crevasse

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~FAQ CONTD, 25,000 char limit~

Q: Other servers have creature tasks/bounties, reforging systems, dual wielding, skill trees, mining & crafting, and other bonus features. I don’t see anything about that here.

A: That’s because we don’t have them, and there are currently no plans to implement them. It’s not that we think those systems are bad, but rather we want to preserve the Oldschool style as much as possible. Our server is a “custom” server but our overall aim is still to preserve that original “Oldschool Tibia” feeling as best we can. And besides, several “famous” Oldshcool servers have advertised creature tasks as a way to keep players interested but it clearly didn’t work. We didn’t want to invest our time building systems that ultimately wouldn’t be critical to keeping the server alive. If, in the future, it becomes apparent that the overwhelming majority of players want some of these custom features implemented, we will cross that bridge at that time. This is particularly true of monster tasks; while the concept of tasks isn’t bad, it creates a situation that forces players into doing the task if they want to be as effective as possible. Why hunt monster B when there is a task that gives bonus exp and bonus loot for monster A? Ultimately, tasks desincentivize exploration and growth. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the whole theme of this server is leaving everything as wide open to the player as possible.

Q: You keep saying that “everything has been tested” any time balance is questioned. You really think that everything is perfect?
A: Absolutely not. We are not only open to suggestions on balance, but we expect them. It isn't possible to have a perfectly balanced game, but you can continually strive for it. We look forward to hearing players’ input as the game goes into the next stage before release. What I’m not interested in, however, is self-proclaimed experts jumping in on the forum and claiming that something is “imbalanced” or “won’t work” when they have yet to see it in action.

Q: I still don’t believe that this is all free. If you really put in as much work as you say you have, surely you’re going to have some form of paywall?
A: No. In my line of work I have access to a lot of different resources and a flexible schedule. This, combined with my technical knowledge and Tibia experience creates the optimal scenario for being able to design, build and host a server without the need to extract monetary compensation. This includes future updates with content release (which are already in the works). No surprises.

Q: What if I want to donate/spend money? You said there’s no pay to win, what about aesthetics/cosmetics?
A: For anyone who wishes to contribute to the project, there will be a way to do so. Right now, we’re offering a few different things that people can spend their money on if they want to:

Houses: While houses are a great thing to have, owning one is not necessary for a player to level up or advance in the game. Houses in Zenith can be rented with real dollars. The bigger and fancier the houses get, the higher the rent will be.

House customizations: if a player owns a house and wishes to modify it (within reason), they may pay to do so. Examples could include things like a single depot chest or 2nd exit. Teleport rooms to spawns or the temple, personal islands are examples of things that would not be added as they fall under the “pay to win” category.

Outfits: there are no shortcuts for the “standard” quest outfits (i.e. you can’t just pay cash and get full assassin on your level 1 character). However, as a reward to those who wish to donate, players can purchase a unique outfit that lets others know you’re a donor.

Competitions: While there will be plenty of raids and events that everyone can access, we have designed fun and unique events that require participants to submit an entry fee. Once entered in the event, players will compete with each other for decorative prizes that are desirable, but not game-breaking (i.e. winning a paid-entry event doesn’t give you access to an exclusive “donation” weapon or piece of armor).

None of these current options offer any material advantage over other players in the game. Outfits do not offer attack speed or regen bonuses, etc. Houses, while a nice bonus, do not offer any significant advantage to players on their journey to level up and become stronger. And finally, prizes won from a paid-entry event will be items that are purely cosmetic.


Q: I love the “pay to win” model! Dropping $10-$20 for millions of gold and full gear so I can steamroll my way to the top is what I always do, why are you denying me that chance?
A: If you like “pay to win,” then unfortunately this might not be the server for you (although I still recommend you try it out anyway). Money can’t save you here, only skill can. If you have money to blow on OT server micro transactions then hey, good for you, but most people don’t. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen an old school server launch or advertised on Otservlist, only to go to their website and see that they have the same copy-and-paste menu of +10% exp, permanent light, 100 crystal coins, blessings, etc. It means that a handful of bored guys with money to spare will buy infinite supplies and gear, making it totally unrealistic for the “free” players to ever compete with them. It might be fun for the 1%, but not for the 99%.

Q: Alright I’m interested. You say it’s gonna be great and it’s gonna be free, but is it actually going to happen or is this all talk?
A: This isn’t just an idea, or proposal, this is a finished product, ready for release. This project has been in the works for 5 years, and everything is done. Pre-alpha testing is complete, a private alpha test is currently underway and in a few weeks, a limited beta will begin. After several weeks of the limited beta, we will review the feedback received during that time and apply final adjustments/bugfixes as needed. We anticipate this will take a week or two at most. Then, we will post a countdown for the official opening.

Q: I’m sold. How do I participate in this “limited beta”?
A: The limited Beta starts on Sunday August 1st, and signups are open as of this post (now). Send an email to [email protected] and the first 50 slots will be given access to the limited beta. The beta will still open on August 1st regardless of how many slots are left.
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Kresh170

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Looks intresting. A server only survieves if it has players. How will you advertise it? :)
 

Ramirow

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Sounds really good, congratulations to everyone in the team and I wish you guys the best of luck!

A question:
I have been an Albion player with quite heavy pvp experience (ZvZs, Ganking, Dungeon Diving, etc) and I have some doubts about your equipment system.
Let's say someone comes to pk me, like it happens in Albion, what is stopping me from changing equipment on the fly to be more tanky for example?
In Albion the "be what you wear" system works because once you're engaged in combat (Be it PvM or PvP) you can't remove any piece of equipment, and even if you anticipate the attack and change your gear you have a fairly modest cooldown before you can use any ability. How will it work on the server?
 

Silba

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Sounds really good, congratulations to everyone in the team and I wish you guys the best of luck!

A question:
I have been an Albion player with quite heavy pvp experience (ZvZs, Ganking, Dungeon Diving, etc) and I have some doubts about your equipment system.
Let's say someone comes to pk me, like it happens in Albion, what is stopping me from changing equipment on the fly to be more tanky for example?
In Albion this situations work because once you're engaged in combat (Be it PvM or PvP) you can't remove any piece of equipment, and even if you anticipate the attack and change your gear you have a fairly modest cooldown before you can use any ability. How will it work on the server?
And even still, switching in competitive situations such as hellgates/crystals was the meta. Even some ZvZ switching was done in the big fights. If switching is possible i think it's quite a hard issue to tackle if the characters are able to build stats like they are in Albion where multiple completely different sets is viable at all.
 

Ramirow

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And even still, switching in competitive situations such as hellgates/crystals was the meta. Even some ZvZ switching was done in the big fights. If switching is possible i think it's quite a hard issue to tackle if the characters are able to build stats like they are in Albion where multiple completely different sets is viable at all.
True, never really participated in hellgates so I am unsure of the meta there but it's a good point. It will become really hard to balance out if they are able to just switch in the middle of fights..Oh Albion, I miss it now :(

PvP was amazing, I loved to dive/get dived and the adrenaline rush It gave me, It was something I haven't experienced in ages in an mmo
 
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Crevasse

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Great questions so far:

Looks intresting. A server only survieves if it has players. How will you advertise it? :)
We plan on advertising via the typical channels: OTLand and other forums, OTServlist, and word of mouth. Unfortunately OTs aren't something you can run Facebook ads for, but based on the reactions from our alpha test team we're hopeful the good news will spread and continue to spread as players join for the beta.

Sounds really good, congratulations to everyone in the team and I wish you guys the best of luck!

A question:
I have been an Albion player with quite heavy pvp experience (ZvZs, Ganking, Dungeon Diving, etc) and I have some doubts about your equipment system.
Let's say someone comes to pk me, like it happens in Albion, what is stopping me from changing equipment on the fly to be more tanky for example?
In Albion the "be what you wear" system works because once you're engaged in combat (Be it PvM or PvP) you can't remove any piece of equipment, and even if you anticipate the attack and change your gear you have a fairly modest cooldown before you can use any ability. How will it work on the server?
This is a very valid question that I expected so I'm glad you asked. I actually had this exact scenario in my original FAQ that I intended to post, but the FAQ was getting too long and explaining how the equipment works in a post doesn't quite do it justice. First and foremost I would say I encourage you to login and test it out yourself ;) can't hurt anything. However to answer your actual question, the gist of it is this:

Yes, if all the sudden you got jumped on your way back from a hunt, you technically could swap out all your gear (i.e. there's no cooldowns or anything that would prevent you from doing that) but there are several things to consider:

1. This is Oldschool Tibia. No hotkeys, everything manual. If you can dodge spells, heal, use runes, attack, run AND swap out all your gear at the same time? Bravo, you're a prodigy and you deserve to survive the attack.

2. Let's say, for example, that your character has base HP of 1,000. This means with no gear on, completely stripped, your HP bar is 1,000/1,000. If you put on Knight Armor, let's say for example it gives +50% max HP. That means your life bar will now read 1,000/1,500. It increases your max life, it does not heal you to full. You would need to spam potions in order to get your HP up to the max capacity that your armor allows. The same goes for mana, and we'll use the same scenario: You were hunting as a "mage" with tons of mana, you get ganked and somehow manage to swap your ring, helmet, shield, weapon, boots, armor, AND legs while healing, running and dodging attacks, you'll have a higher HP ceiling but a significantly lower amount of max mana.

3. Just because you've got melee or tank gear, have you been training as a tank? If you've only been focusing on your ML then the tank gear might not do you much good. Also keep in mind gear doesn't only affect HP and Mana, but other skills as well.

Trust me, we've been testing this for months and it's not as easy as you're imagining. I urge you to join us and put it to the test! Maybe you'll find something that's unbalanced that we can improve upon, but it's really hard to theorycraft over the forums with hypothetical scenarios.
 
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dami1310

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Unfortunately OTs aren't something you can run Facebook ads for
Facebook is actually great to advertise an ots. There are many groups made with the intention of promoting new ot servers. I've seen some ads too.
 

zbizu

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I think that rewarding should be prioritized over punishing. Feels bad to equip -200 hp +200 mana item, but when you lower health gains per level and add more hp to knight items, it'll stay roughly the same. As you wrote - when something goes wrong, you can always patch the items rather than vocations.
 

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1. This is Oldschool Tibia. No hotkeys, everything manual. If you can dodge spells, heal, use runes, attack, run AND swap out all your gear at the same time? Bravo, you're a prodigy and you deserve to survive the attack.

2. Let's say, for example, that your character has base HP of 1,000. This means with no gear on, completely stripped, your HP bar is 1,000/1,000. If you put on Knight Armor, let's say for example it gives +50% max HP. That means your life bar will now read 1,000/1,500. It increases your max life, it does not heal you to full. You would need to spam potions in order to get your HP up to the max capacity that your armor allows. The same goes for mana, and we'll use the same scenario: You were hunting as a "mage" with tons of mana, you get ganked and somehow manage to swap your ring, helmet, shield, weapon, boots, armor, AND legs while healing, running and dodging attacks, you'll have a higher HP ceiling but a significantly lower amount of max mana.

3. Just because you've got melee or tank gear, have you been training as a tank? If you've only been focusing on your ML then the tank gear might not do you much good. Also keep in mind gear doesn't only affect HP and Mana, but other skills as well.
Some words from my experience in runescape and albion where switching is an issue. Just a note first, in runescape they don't try much at all to limit switching, its quite toxic but in albion the devs have tried for years to 'fix' it and 'ignored' it for nearly 2 years straight because they couldn't figure it out. Last time i played about a year ago it was still a huge issue.

1. This encourage the use of macros/bots for switching as seen rampantly in runescape and to a lesser extent in albion because in albion it's easier to swap manually than runescape.

2. This can create the same style of pvp we see in albion where players on either side will bring 'stalling' builds while their friends switch to counter their opponent and if their opponent didn't bring a switch then they lose by default, if they did bring a switch then there will be a lot of back and forth and this quickly creates the switch meta that is definitely not desirable, most people in the runescape community and albion don't like how important switching is, it's tedious, very annoying and encourages macros/bots.

3. Maybe the way you balance this will make switching less important and fix these issues, the main reason it's so meta in runescape and albion is because the player character can be extremely strong in everything with no compromise and switching sets doesn't limit you in any way other than making you a more valuable kill. Good luck with this one, its tricky.
 

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Great questions so far:


We plan on advertising via the typical channels: OTLand and other forums, OTServlist, and word of mouth. Unfortunately OTs aren't something you can run Facebook ads for, but based on the reactions from our alpha test team we're hopeful the good news will spread and continue to spread as players join for the beta.


This is a very valid question that I expected so I'm glad you asked. I actually had this exact scenario in my original FAQ that I intended to post, but the FAQ was getting too long and explaining how the equipment works in a post doesn't quite do it justice. First and foremost I would say I encourage you to login and test it out yourself ;) can't hurt anything. However to answer your actual question, the gist of it is this:

Yes, if all the sudden you got jumped on your way back from a hunt, you technically could swap out all your gear (i.e. there's no cooldowns or anything that would prevent you from doing that) but there are several things to consider:

1. This is Oldschool Tibia. No hotkeys, everything manual. If you can dodge spells, heal, use runes, attack, run AND swap out all your gear at the same time? Bravo, you're a prodigy and you deserve to survive the attack.

2. Let's say, for example, that your character has base HP of 1,000. This means with no gear on, completely stripped, your HP bar is 1,000/1,000. If you put on Knight Armor, let's say for example it gives +50% max HP. That means your life bar will now read 1,000/1,500. It increases your max life, it does not heal you to full. You would need to spam potions in order to get your HP up to the max capacity that your armor allows. The same goes for mana, and we'll use the same scenario: You were hunting as a "mage" with tons of mana, you get ganked and somehow manage to swap your ring, helmet, shield, weapon, boots, armor, AND legs while healing, running and dodging attacks, you'll have a higher HP ceiling but a significantly lower amount of max mana.

3. Just because you've got melee or tank gear, have you been training as a tank? If you've only been focusing on your ML then the tank gear might not do you much good. Also keep in mind gear doesn't only affect HP and Mana, but other skills as well.

Trust me, we've been testing this for months and it's not as easy as you're imagining. I urge you to join us and put it to the test! Maybe you'll find something that's unbalanced that we can improve upon, but it's really hard to theorycraft over the forums with hypothetical scenarios.
I appreciate that you took your time to answer with so many details and I will gladly accept the invitation too, even though I have never played an old school server and the last experiencie I have of old tibia was, well, playing old tibia 15 years ago. Will take me some time to get used to it but it will be a nice journey :)
Will send an email for one spot for the beta, hope to explore and test as many aspects of the game I can!
 
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As you wrote - when something goes wrong, you can always patch the items rather than vocations.
Exactly. That's the beauty of it. And believe me when I say there was a ton of broken, OP stuff when I first tried this system out lol. It has taken many stages of testing and revision to get it to the point where we felt it was starting to approach some level of balanced.
Maybe the way you balance this will make switching less important and fix these issues, the main reason it's so meta in runescape and albion is because the player character can be extremely strong in everything with no compromise and switching sets doesn't limit you in any way other than making you a more valuable kill. Good luck with this one, its tricky.
This too. Remember as well that items aren't the only source of a player's power--skill training is still relevant as well. I agree it is very tricky, part of the reason I've been working on this for so long. So, while discussion here on the thread is great, one doesn't have to wonder about the balance, you can actually login and experience it.
When start?
Very end of my 2nd post, the beta test starts Sunday, August 1st. Send an email to [email protected] for a spot, there's still plenty left!
 

Silba

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This too. Remember as well that items aren't the only source of a player's power--skill training is still relevant as well. I agree it is very tricky, part of the reason I've been working on this for so long. So, while discussion here on the thread is great, one doesn't have to wonder about the balance, you can actually login and experience it.
Honestly a quite refreshing attitude, skills are also an interesting dynamic for sure. Can't wait to try it out on the 1st hopefully :D
 

zbizu

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I meant the user experience rather than the balance itself. It's more exciting to see your character growing in power in specific direction (one item giving +x, another giving +y, be it base stats or effects) rather than bargaining and making tradeoffs (item gives x, but takes away y).

Making mixing different class items inefficient is a good direction, but the player shouldn't feel punished for choosing to play a mage. A better alternative could be scaling from the stats (eg. knight spells scaling from skills/hp, knight spells being short range and costing %max mana, mage spells having huge base mana cost, ranged characters scaling with dist and dist items giving glass cannon stats, etc).
 
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