Greetings. I’ve gone by Nelm and Lourne during my tenure on Graal. Like many of you, I’m a fan of the game or what the game was, I should say. I’ve followed Graal Reborn off and on for years and once managed the short-lived, but popular Harmonia server before Cadavre and I merged it with the Official Graal Reborn server and lost interest. I frequently check back to see if there is any headway on a new client, which has pretty much been the so-called savior for Graal Reborn.
Lately, it seems the paradigm of the discussion here has returned to reviving the community here, so I thought I’d give my unsolicited opinions. Take these as what they are: from a relative outsider to this community, but also as someone who has thoroughly enjoyed playing in and developing on Graal for more than half my life. I don’t mean to ruffle any feathers or upset anyone, just give honest opinions on the state of GR.
Reviving Graal Reborn
Accept (for now) that the client GR has is the client GR hahas and work within its limitations -Yes, the client is limiting. Yes, it keeps GR from going further in terms of capabilities. However, the focus on creating a new client has really stagnated the community. It’s a tall task to rebuild the client and multiple people have attempted many different times to build one from scratch and it ends the same way. Having a new client would be wonderful, but realistically, it’s just not happening anytime soon - or possibly ever. So, working with what is available is the only option. Probably not what anyone wants to hear, but in terms of (re)building the community, perhaps focus should shift from down the road to what’s right in front of GR.
Playing, not developing -PC Graal has a serious issue. That issue is that it is now more of a development platform than it is a game. GR also has this problem. This is another thing that no one is going to want to hear, but GR needs to have a single playable server that has content that can hold a player base. As it sits now, there are more servers than there are players. Everyone wants to develop their own server, of course. But to really build a community of players, there needs to be only one server available to the public. Once the player base has grown and can support multiple server, open it up for more servers to become available. Have a PWA team that can adequately judge upcoming servers and don’t make them available until they are actually worth playing.
Yes, part of the draw to Graal is that it is essentially a development platform. It’s one of my favorite things about the game and what has held me for so long, but for the purpose of building a community, the focus should be on creating an inviting game environment, which I believe that not having a single dedicated server for the community as it sits is inhibiting.
People won’t play unless people are playing. If everyone is developing and no one is playing, no one is ever going to play.
Improve the website/forums/functionality - GR needs a legitimate homepage that can navigated with ease and has everything that a new player needs. I understand the need of tying game accounts to forum accounts, but many people who play games have little interest in forums. Reliance upon the forums for news, downloads, etc, is cumbersome for the general player.
Speaking of the forums, they need to be cleaned up and organized. There are many stickies that aren’t relevant or contain outdated information or broken links, etc. It should be relatively easy for a new user to find navigate and find what they need. I have never felt like this is the case with GR. The order of the forums and subcategories are somewhat confusing. The main focus of the forums should be Graal, yet General discussions have higher placement then Graal-related material. Maybe this is nitpicking, but I just feel like the forums could be much more sensible.
Advertising - I am not sure if there are limitations to what can happen here because of the use of Graal’s software, but it would be nice to see GR out there on gaming websites like indiedb.com or similar. Of course, this is only effective if there is a reason to stay once they come here, which hits back to the point of maintaining a single, official server. I saw the trailer that was made recently and things like that are a good start.
I thought I had a few other points, but I?m drawing a blank. If they come to, I will update this. Like I said, take this from somewhat of an outsider to this particular community. I definitely haven’t been here for the many years that some of you have, but nonetheless, I would very much like to see this community succeed.