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All Ts

ZE Community Meeting, General State of Affairs?

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I cannot contribute much to this server in terms of ideas (I don't like to impede where I don't have a lot of playtime), but it feels like this would require very little to at least be >1000 on Gametracker again which would help the community quite a bit in the long run. It is sad personally to see this server which was the forefront of the community, which had a lot of time put into it completely die off even despite all of the drama it has been apart of over the years.

 

From my perspective it seems like the community felt alienated at multiple points where at other times regulars of the server would fly off the rails resulting in perm bans handed out like cotton candy. I think in part ZE has always felt like a 3rd party community because of how niche it can feel which might be why that feeling ends up being created whereas JB & TTT always had a little bit of a bridge in both being pseudo-RP gamemodes backed by in-game mechanics. Whenever I got on to assist in events or help the server populate the regulars were always friendly to me, although there was definitely a level of elitism that I can see could turned away others.

 

A ZE Community Meeting as well as pulling up quality management when available could help the server be revitalized even if it's a slow roll at first. I'm not sure how many ZE players would even attend such a meeting, or who would run it. I considered not posting this because I know some people think the server is a lost cause, would rather be the noob who spoke out then watch one of the oldest servers continue to get beaten by Bhop and Surf. If a quality alternative is provided, people will play the server. Apathy breeds apathy and a Community Meeting is a way to break that feedback loop. 

 

CS:GO is near the most popular it has ever been, there is 1 competitor in the US- in this space and a partially if not fully functional server just sitting there. There has to be a way forward.

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I greatly miss coming off of school and being able to log into ZE to find a bunch of familiar names and friendly voices. I'm all for having a talk about the server and trying to bring it back up, hopefully with old and new faces in.

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I would attend but not use mic :) Ze was a great Server in my opinion and it can do well like mg as well, the most server I think we can revive is either ZE or Mg

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I never used to play ZE often if at all, but it was a big part of the community with some great regs and admins, I'd love to see a comeback and maybe get a lil more involved if it does.

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I really didn't want to respond to this thread nor did any other BD but I'll bite. We have exhausted our efforts with ZE. We have tried absolutely everything and talks of shutting the server down come up frequently but are eventually shot down by us because we think we can make something out of the server. You talk about bringing up quality management but the last team we had was absolutely stellar. Paralyzed, Maniac, and Takuto did everything they possibly could. They dedicated hundreds of hours (no joke, actually hundreds) to no avail. You couldn't ask for a better team. Para came out of retirement, Takuto is an extremely determined individual, and Maniac is absolutely charismatic. Mix that with help from BoTo and Cept and it is an amazing combo. Throw that team onto any other server and it would be #1. Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that if these guys couldn't do it with the amount of time they sacrificed, who could? We don't have many staff members interested in managing ZE because they know what that would bring on. When the whole fiasco with those kind individuals who threatened Maniac and I went down, we originally thought of shutting the server down but no. We wanted to give it one more go. Almost a year later and hundreds of hours of work, here we are. Again, a month or two ago shutting down the server was brought up but it wouldn't hurt if we kept it up. Maniac and the team have held meetings in the past but they're mainly only attended by staff. We had Kuri who tried his darndest to get the server popping as well. We have had SO MANY CAs that were also interested in the cause.

 

Anyways, this thread and my response or any response from any BD, LSM, or SM on the server is the same as it ever was. It's the same cycle over and over again and it's well documented in a lot of places.

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24 minutes ago, John said:

I really didn't want to respond to this thread nor did any other BD but I'll bite. We have exhausted our efforts with ZE. We have tried absolutely everything and talks of shutting the server down come up frequently but are eventually shot down by us because we think we can make something out of the server. You talk about bringing up quality management but the last team we had was absolutely stellar. Paralyzed, Maniac, and Takuto did everything they possibly could. They dedicated hundreds of hours (no joke, actually hundreds) to no avail. You couldn't ask for a better team. Para came out of retirement, Takuto is an extremely determined individual, and Maniac is absolutely charismatic. Mix that with help from BoTo and Cept and it is an amazing combo. Throw that team onto any other server and it would be #1. Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that if these guys couldn't do it with the amount of time they sacrificed, who could? We don't have many staff members interested in managing ZE because they know what that would bring on. When the whole fiasco with those kind individuals who threatened Maniac and I went down, we originally thought of shutting the server down but no. We wanted to give it one more go. Almost a year later and hundreds of hours of work, here we are. Again, a month or two ago shutting down the server was brought up but it wouldn't hurt if we kept it up. Maniac and the team have held meetings in the past but they're mainly only attended by staff. We had Kuri who tried his darndest to get the server popping as well. We have had SO MANY CAs that were also interested in the cause.

 

Anyways, this thread and my response or any response from any BD, LSM, or SM on the server is the same as it ever was. It's the same cycle over and over again and it's well documented in a lot of places.

 

I hope people with more experience than me respond to this, having read the room the past 2 days maybe that's just not going to happen. I'm personally a bit mentally exhausted having heard from all different manners of ZE that this server falling apart is all just a matter of these recurrent dramatic episodes. I have a hard time believing that is the main cause despite fully believing these situations are real. I wrote this thread as an old player who knows what the server meant to SG in the past, and because I've seen it do well. It has obviously morphed since then, maybe even too much for it to be shocked back to life. I don't believe it's too far gone when GFL servers chart looks like ours inverted and at the very least think that a random >1000 is achievable in less than a few weeks. That's not to say "wow GFL is so much better than SG", it's merely a gauge of interest among a demographic. 

 

For the record saying that it would need new help in terms of management wasn't to say it hasn't had it in the past whatsoever at all. I hope you don't think I'm trying to take a side in whatever went on. I have immense respect for people who try to help whether they succeed or fail. Sometimes all of the effort in the world in the right place can be undermined by entropy. I love the personalities that emerge from these servers, the friendships created, the fun that is had and everything in between. People like Black Rain, Takuto, Cept, Wesker, Greggy, Charizard and many more made me appreciate this server more. That is where this post comes from. I have little to no knowledge nor any interest in exploring drama involving the server and no opinion on people's bans. I do not support anyone being harrassed, I do not support people griefing the community without punishment. If whatever happened has to some extent turned former or current higher ups away from ZE but the server remains in a state of limbo then somehow it'll have to make do. That is what this thread is for and your post might be a good starting point for that, garner more attention- so I appreciate a response. 

 

Taking something from my side of the world, JB didn't die when our community imploded on itself a few years ago despite losing it's footing in relation to 3 other large communities. It's currently building itself back up quite nicely with the support of several newcomers & oldcomers a like. I'm confident with ZZL's management and as he develops that he will lead the server back to its former glory with the communities full-backing. TTT is on the same exact path with Gentoo and I'm actually really optimistic personally seeing CA's who might neatly fit into the AT role soon enough. As you stated, you guys haven't given up completely or the server would be gone, I made this thread to open a dialogue because I think ZE has infinitely more potential than JB & TTT ever could. 

 

I don't personally feel like it's by sheer bad luck that all of our servers bottomed out to historic lows whilst CS:GO itself is doing extremely well, that doesn't mean I'm putting blame on any one specific entity but pointing out that I think there's something that can currently be done. As I said above, the other servers seem to be making that rebound but ZE has yet to buck the trend. With the broad momentum and support of the community it could actually help a transition back to something resembling normal.  I'm going to do some more research, play the server, and see what if anything can be done. 

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Really wasn't looking to air out the dirty laundry that was ZE drama and inevitable implosion all over again, but you seem pretty insistent. There are a lot of apples and oranges comparisons happening so hopefully this will clear some stuff up. /sigh

 

8 hours ago, All Ts said:

I hope people with more experience than me respond to this, having read the room the past 2 days maybe that's just not going to happen. I'm personally a bit mentally exhausted having heard from all different manners of ZE that this server falling apart is all just a matter of these recurrent dramatic episodes. I have a hard time believing that is the main cause despite fully believing these situations are real. I wrote this thread as an old player who knows what the server meant to SG in the past, and because I've seen it do well. It has obviously morphed since then, maybe even too much for it to be shocked back to life.

Was it entirely just the drama that caused ZE to be where it was now? no...but it was definitely all tied into the drama and individuals/groups related to that drama. While it may seem exhausting to hear that over and over again, it's sort of exhausting reading how quickly you're looking to dismiss something big that really undid a part of the community even after our best efforts to stop that from happening. Please read up on it if you haven't.

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I don't believe it's too far gone when GFL servers chart looks like ours inverted and at the very least think that a random >1000 is achievable in less than a few weeks.

Yeah no. Just straight no. A few months and insane amounts of effort and natural population we don't have currently, sure. As it is ZE is a beast that we just don't have the right staff and resources to tame right now, on top of being absolutely alienated/burned from the rest of the ZE community due to all that drama. It is not just a "okay guys lets get this server going" and then you sit with a group of people and get it populated. The whole game mode relies on people already knowledgeable and experienced and is in essence it's own RPG gamemode within CSGO that is not really comparable to any of our other servers. As it is we'd need strong staff and managers for it, sourcepawn based techs, and a slew of experienced regs to even form that initial 15-20 player base to build on. I promise we've looked at this from all the angles and it just isn't at all feasible right now to the point we really aren't allocating resources to it currently.

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For the record saying that it would need new help in terms of management wasn't to say it hasn't had it in the past whatsoever at all. I hope you don't think I'm trying to take a side in whatever went on. I have immense respect for people who try to help whether they succeed or fail. Sometimes all of the effort in the world in the right place can be undermined by entropy. I love the personalities that emerge from these servers, the friendships created, the fun that is had and everything in between. People like Black Rain, Takuto, Cept, Wesker, Greggy, Charizard and many more made me appreciate this server more. That is where this post comes from.

 

I respect this, but unfortunately due to some poor decisions on the server managers over the course of late 2019 and most of 2020, great players(i.e. potential future staff)  like this were not cultivated from the server and instead left completely detached from the rest of SG.

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I have little to no knowledge nor any interest in exploring drama involving the server and no opinion on people's bans. I do not support anyone being harrassed, I do not support people griefing the community without punishment. If whatever happened has to some extent turned former or current higher ups away from ZE but the server remains in a state of limbo then somehow it'll have to make do. That is what this thread is for and your post might be a good starting point for that, garner more attention- so I appreciate a response. 

Yeah it is 100% in a state of limbo currently, however we are sort of hopeful that in time there might be a new growth of regs that can create that natural population that is needed to really start building anything useful on. Maybe this is the start of that, who knows. As I stated previously, while I recognize not wanting to have to go digging through drama it unfortunately leaves me sitting here telling you that you're missing half the story without it. Drama and poor staff decisions / overall lack of communication with us(BDs & IAs) starting all the way back at the Pikajew ban and ending ~August-September 2020 are the reasons for the current state of the server. I'm more than willing to explain more of it privately...I just don't feel like opening up that box again in what should be some sort of positive or at least informative thread...rather than a drama gossip train.

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Taking something from my side of the world, JB didn't die when our community imploded on itself a few years ago despite losing it's footing in relation to 3 other large communities. It's currently building itself back up quite nicely with the support of several newcomers & oldcomers a like. I'm confident with ZZL's management and as he develops that he will lead the server back to its former glory with the communities full-backing. TTT is on the same exact path with Gentoo and I'm actually really optimistic personally seeing CA's who might neatly fit into the AT role soon enough. As you stated, you guys haven't given up completely or the server would be gone, I made this thread to open a dialogue because I think ZE has infinitely more potential than JB & TTT ever could. 

ZE really is in a league of its own in terms of style and pure necessity for certain types of players and staff to make it run properly, which is to say I disagree with its potential vs JB & TTT. The best comparison I can give is JB with zero decent guards, but we've experienced that before and the situation of ZE is even worse than that...so it starts to fall into the apples and oranges realm again. Similarly, JB had and has always had a huge tie in with the community as a whole and players who get involved with JB tend to integrate themselves heavily within the community which is drastically different than what was happening with the ZE playerbase over the course of 2020 and even prior. ZE has for the last few years always been that kind of odd child of the community when it came to really having the player base relate and integrate with the community...but it got quite bad during last year. ZZL is a great manager yes.

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I don't personally feel like it's by sheer bad luck that all of our servers bottomed out to historic lows whilst CS:GO itself is doing extremely well, that doesn't mean I'm putting blame on any one specific entity but pointing out that I think there's something that can currently be done. As I said above, the other servers seem to be making that rebound but ZE has yet to buck the trend. With the broad momentum and support of the community it could actually help a transition back to something resembling normal.  I'm going to do some more research, play the server, and see what if anything can be done. 

Very similar to other things said throughout, this just seems to come down to a lack of having all the information, which is understandable considering you've been away for some time. I hope that this is a case of lack of information and not being misinformed, again feel free to communicate about any knowledge gaps I'm attempting to fill in here. In short: our servers bottoming out resulted in an oversight when deciding to switch to servers in Canada sometime in ~2019. This meant that anybody living below roughly Virginia or in Central and Western US time zones as well as other areas you can extrapolate from that got absolutely shafted on ping. CSGO/Valve being the geniuses that they are and sorting the server browser by lowest ping on default meant that we no longer gained new players from most of the country and elsewhere for the better part of a year. This was recognized as a problem in roughly August of 2020 and Remedied Oct->Nov 2020 which then led into new games Nov/Dec and Christmas, holidays, etc....leaving us to only recently begin seeing the results of our efforts. As I stated above, the ZE stuff happened around a similar time, so while all servers fell at the same time, there are different reasons for some of them rising and others remaining stagnant.

 

We will always continue to applaud any efforts to revitalize any server or simply bolster an already thriving server and even though John brought it up a few times, we do not intend to shut down ZE at this time. Unfortunately, this one server in particular requires an intense amount of personnel resources that we simply cannot afford to put up at the moment when we have other plans and projects that have more potential for growth.

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Really wasn't looking to air out the dirty laundry that was ZE drama and inevitable implosion all over again, but you seem pretty insistent. There is a lot of apples and oranges comparisons happening so hopefully this will clear some stuff up. /sigh

@BoM

 

Stated this in my reply to John but I'm not at all interested in the drama and I'm definitely not trying to create apples to oranges arguments so don't worry about airing any of it out to me. GFL hasn't went under 20 players in god knows how long, it's been the #1 CS:GO server for years, that is an extreme enough metric for me to believe that there is potential for someone to take their chain & compete with them. That's not to say they haven't worked for it, or don't have the resources cause I hold Roy & his team in extremely high regard. If you don't think there's a good enough chance to give it attention, that's fine- but I do. To make a comparison, we have MG which has had no success almost ever never and not a single CS:GO MG server has ever truly reached a proper apex. They (Valve) ruined MG from what it was in CS:S with their stupidity and this game could be x2 if they even slightly shift their attention to the community servers. It's pretty much been a server where new AT's are thrown onto to fuck around. If that's what ZE as a community looked like I probably wouldn't even make the thread or waste my time with it given it's dire situation. Would be way too much to go up against.

 

The italicized portion, think this is mischaracterizing what I said ever so slightly but I can level with you anyway. After rereading what I said in the OP and learning more about what happened over the last few days I can kind of understand why it was read that way and I should have just left my dumbed down version of what happened out of the post. If those were my intentions I would of asked around, flat out given examples and named names. I had some people explain some it to me last night but given I wasn't here I honestly don't trust anyone enough to believe what they're saying because 90% of the time when I am here at SG I don't see eye to eye with any single person like that. I am not the kind of person who makes passive aggressive posts or baits people into long-form arguments. If I have something to say I'm more than comfortable coming out and just saying it. I understood there was some drama that had contributed as mentioned in the OP but didn't understand that this was essentially a rerun of what occured 2-3 years ago. I haven't and am not taking a position or sides on it. Publicly or privately for that matter, it's not significant to the future of the server. I'm not demanding any BD or higher-up to give this post or the server attention and honestly don't want to make a single more long-form post on this thread again unless it's about tangible things that will help the server. Takes too much damn time lol. There's people who know more than me who aren't posting and I wish they would give their perspective so there was more to start with but I can't force them to put effort into something they don't believe in.

 

I more or less walked into a shit show by making this thread, which is alright. That's the risk anyone runs trying to venture into things sometimes (I only have a day or so on the server) and I fully admitted that it's definitely not my forte. I just want to be clear in stating I want this post to be more about the up and up then dwelling on the past. I believe people will come around, get past all the bs and I think I can help make a good case for it. 

 

I just spent 45 minutes on the server with Takuto screwing around, came up with a few things worth looking at as well as some potential ideas. Some of the stuff is fairly easy to implement and wouldn't require being a SP mastermind or ZE whiz. It wouldn't take too long for me to understand the gamemode on a deep enough level so I can figure out some stuff and be able bounce ideas off the ZE refugees or simply go ask the server owners/people I know who still play it. I'm a believer in the tried and true method of just giving a shit, having a bit of passion, throwing some ideas out and engaging in good faith discussions. I think some of that mixed with the type of bruteforce server populating you're talking about can make a huge difference to putting the server back to being semi-autopilot once a community has again emerged.

 

 I'll keep continuing to accumulate & play with these ideas and drop a more cohesive post that can be worked with. That way there's no reason for drama to come up, it'll just be fully drawn out concepts for people to consider. We still have a solid TA team, there are still people who like ZE at the community enough to jumpstart it. The people who have backed away might still be a bit apathetic if not sour. If people see someone trying, they tend to come around. I think where the different servers are in terms of potential or the chance that bruteforcing ZE back to success won't work is something we'll have to agree to disagree (although I don't know about projects going on in the backend), which is fine. ZE is capable of being a community that isn't going to be a recurring headache, think everyone just needs to take a step back a bit. 

 

 

Edited by All Ts
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I spent almost 10 hours a day for 3 months doing nothing but artificially inflating ZE’s player numbers getting old regs and admins to pop in and keep the server up so ZE regs from different communities would come try us out again. I’m not throwing anyone under the bus or saying we didn’t do enough, when I say we all tried our best during that 3-4 month period in early 2021 I mean we literally lived ZE. I love ZE as a gamemode and it sucks that I truly don’t believe it can come back and survive anymore. Honestly as one of the people who literally spent 10 hour shifts in the server trying to make it successful I’m disappointed that we couldn’t make it work. 

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Not going to read all of the stuff above because its ode however, I've been fortunate to be apart of the ZE community here at SG for a really long time since source and was able to work with the ZE team during my time as a CA and AT. One thing that has struck out and is extremely obvious is the change in player base. The player base always changes due to various reasons that are out of your control. Some people are busy with life, others just lose the passion for ZE, which is what I stressed during my final community meeting. You have to be dynamic and be ready to welcome any new players, as new players come and feel welcomed, they tell others and soon you will have a community within ZE. During my time as an AT and ET, I was fortunate enough to have a live player base. We would pull in constant 40+ during events and even have 20 when we didn't. Things were looking promising, we were even able to get ZE from 2,000+ all the way down to 300+ in the span of a few months. There's always going to be new players who will come and soon they will look to become something higher such as AT's, there's always new people out there searching and it takes time. When I was an AT managing the server with Wesker to be brutally honest it was a yin yang relationship. Wesker was working more on the server side (configs, plugins, balance changes, etc) and I was working more on the community side (Meetings, Events, Maps, Feedback, etc.). It worked out and we had a server with constant pop going for a decent while. People who have been here for a while will most likely know what happened, and people who view this thread will care about ZE so I won't comment more about what happened, however I assume that this thread is asking for advice on how we can get ZE back up again. I will give a shoutout to the 3 AT's who came after me and Wesker left since I know what they had to do in order to get the server back up again. However, you will never gain a new player base in my opinion without advertising. This was something that I wanted to do when I was AT, whilst working with the Marketing team to possibly get some outreach and get new players into the server. There is honestly not much you can do from the server side to get the server back up and alive. Everything revolves around the community, if there's no interest, you get a dead server. One thing I kept saying when I was a staff here was that we needed to appeal to new members and looking at the situation, that's all the help I can give you. BoM mentioned somewhere above about having the right kind of community as well as staff to run the server and that is true for any server, however for ZE its a lot more true. You have the largest player cap for the server as well as some of the largest maps, and not to mention you have to memorize the map gameplay as well as items/boss so that you can enjoy the game mode. One of the biggest turnoffs for new players who are trying to experience the game is being yelled at for misusing an item or getting infected really quickly because they don't know where to go. As for the staff portion, it takes a certain level of dedication and passion for ZE to be able to manage it. I always had the thought behind my mind to come back one day to help out again, but I find myself, losing the free time that I used to have to pour my hours into the server. You'll find your right staff with due time and when you find a new player base, you better hope you don't let them out of your grasp. 

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16 hours ago, kuri said:

I spent almost 10 hours a day for 3 months doing nothing but artificially inflating ZE’s player numbers getting old regs and admins to pop in and keep the server up so ZE regs from different communities would come try us out again. I’m not throwing anyone under the bus or saying we didn’t do enough, when I say we all tried our best during that 3-4 month period in early 2021 I mean we literally lived ZE. I love ZE as a gamemode and it sucks that I truly don’t believe it can come back and survive anymore. Honestly as one of the people who literally spent 10 hour shifts in the server trying to make it successful I’m disappointed that we couldn’t make it work. 

The burnout from this time period not only effected our staff team but some of the regs who also tried in the task of seeding and retaining pop. I personally spent more time playing ZE during those 4 months than sleeping, but would I say it didn't work... yes and no. Did we get pop and bring new players in and old heads back. Absolutely. Where we able to get these players to take initiative and integrate with the rest of ZE. No, I can only name a handful. But to say it can't come back anymore just isn't true. Correct me if I'm wrong but this isn't the worst the server has seen. ZE has and will always bounce back, unfortunately for us our last attempt just didn't stick aswell as we all would have hoped it would. With the correct individuals SG ZE can easily flourish. It will just take time for these people to hopefully stepup to the plate.

 

Sorry if this is just a bunch of mispelled grammatically incorrect hoop-la I wrote this after a 20 hour shift. I guess what I'm trying to say is don’t give up hope yet

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Hey all o/ Reading through these comments have made me eager to jump in the conversation. Most of you may not know who I am, but I’ve been a part of the ZE community for over 5 years on different servers. 3 years were spent on SGZE and over 2 years as an admin. I have experience with everything happening to the different ZE servers over the past 5 years. Some servers have been completely destroyed while others have been very consistent with their player count. Like what some of you have said, SGZE has definitely been through challenges. Low server population and unexperienced teams. But at the same time, we were able to tackle those challenges and rebuild our beloved community. It’s truly depressing to see how things have turned, but I’m with Fanservice on this. There’s still hope. Although I don’t play much ZE anymore, I still hop on GFL ZE once in a while. Every month, along with some old regulars on the server, there are many players that I’ve never seen before. Every week, I find a new player leading maps and teaching other players. At one point, ZE in general was dying. GFL, Mapeadores, Zeddys, and other servers outside the US were losing players. They weren’t hitting their high numbers consistently and some had lost all their players. But now it’s different. I return to CSGO after months and find different servers fully populated. New players have taken over. My thought that new players would never play nor enjoy ZE was proven wrong. There are new players. In fact, a lot of them. Attracting these new players require a group of regulars and staff members that have years and years of experience. We had great staff members trying to revive the server a few months ago. They did a great job getting players and playing different maps. It was awesome to hear players chatting and talking on the server once again. New players were joining, and it looked like they favored playing ZM the most. It’s nice to play casual maps to chill and chat with other players, but I felt that at least some sort of competition was necessary. I was not able to find enough players willing to try and beat the harder maps. We had new players with different mindsets or different purposes to play, compared to the new players we had years ago. Most of the new players we had a few months ago consisted of players who preferred playing casual maps and chatting with other players. Don’t get me wrong. These players definitely help with the process of server population. I’ve seen it. But when the number of these type of players become excessive, it hurts the community and player count. It hurts the regulars who want to beat maps and take on hard maps the most. The most annoying thing for us regulars with years of experience is to hear new players complaining or talking over the leader. Then we have the other new players who want to try the hard maps. These new players mostly play on other servers such as GFL, which is part of the reason to why it makes them so successful. I still remember the time when SGZE hit #5 on gametracker. We had clan groups and “tryhards” who wanted to complete maps to join those clan groups. New players were influenced by these players, and this cycle continued. Eventually, the server consistently hit its max player count. I know everything sounds repetitive, but I just wanted to add on to what Fanservice had said. Hope is still there. There are plenty of new players looking for a new server to play on. The most important step is how we control and teach these new players joining the server to meet the needs/wants for our regulars.

 

 

 

Edited by MidNight_Ace
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A few of us decided to join and play ZE last night and managed to get it somewhat populated. As a new player, the first map we played wasn't very easy to understand. With nobody talking, it was difficult to find out what exactly we were supposed to be doing but eventually we managed to get the hang of it. We never ended up beating the map, but it was fun anyways. Around this point, we were able to get around 15 players on. One of the admins eventually made a vote for a pirate map and we decided to switch. Takuto lead the map, instructing players where to go and what to do. It was much easier to follow what was going on in this map, especially with someone leading and we were actually able to win a few times. The pop ended up somewhere in the 20s and it seemed like most people were having fun, despite many of the players being new to the gamemode/server. As the map came to an end we voted for a new map. Most people didn't recognize any of the maps (being new) and we ended up playing ze_turtles or something along those lines. In this map, there was 2 different paths to take and the zombie was not respawned at the start, instead often spawning with or in front of the other players. This made it difficult to understand what was going on and often left players confused and frustrated with how to beat the map. Most rounds ended fairly quickly and the server lost a little bit of pop. At this point I decided to leave as the clusterfuck was getting a bit stale.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the gamemode and it really didn't take very many of us to get populated. The issue seemed to be with so little experienced players on or talking, it seemed very easy for the gamemode to become confusing to new players as gameplay varies drastically between maps. I think there's a number of things that could be done to make the server more digestible for newer players without making the gamemode itself easier per se. With a committed staff, I don't think it would be challenging to keep the server populated if it were modified in a way that was welcoming to new players.

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The fact that ZE requires a long time in front of the keyboard knowledgeable players is definitely a barrier to entry. It's not like JB or MG or Surf or whathaveyou where people can pop in and out, you have to actually have a good number of people present for long stretches of uninterrupted time to really keep things going, but that isn't really what killed it. The real problem started a long time ago when ZE switched from a gamemode with intrinsic motivation to one with extrinsic motivation.

 

Back when ZE was the core of the SG server ecosystem, going all the way back to when the community was even called "Zombie Murder", all of the fun and motivation for the gamemode was intrinsic. The map was just the setting, the point was exactly what the name says: Escaping from Zombies. Today Zombie Escape isn't about zombies or escaping. It's about playing through complicated scripted minigames-esque maps and beating map-object bosses.

 

This is why there's a constant cyclical recurrence of bad decisions skewing the game towards easily killed zombies and point inflation for humans, it's why people don't want to be zombies, and it's why it's hard to build players long term. The entire reason for being is missing. It's just minigames with a superfluous zombie mechanic added on, you could completely remove the zombies and just make the maps kill players who fall too far behind and there really wouldn't be any difference in the end.

 

ZE's death has been a long time coming unfortunately. Going back to long before CSGO was released.


 

Edited by Shadowex3
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On 4/26/2021 at 4:37 PM, Gentoo said:

 With a committed staff, I don't think it would be challenging to keep the server populated if it were modified in a way that was welcoming to new players.

Trust me, there where staffs on the ZE team that would fry their brains trying to come up with ways to improve retention and populate servers at the same time. It's not impossible to  create another robust player base for this server, but its pretty much equivalent to catching lighting in bottle for the second time. Trust me when I say ZE has the potential to return to it's "glory" days, but modifying it any more than it already has will not change anything.  Changes already pushed the OG's from the prehistoric era away once we became more ZE than ZM. Anymore changes and I'm pretty sure the CSGO OG's wouldn't want to touch the servers ever again as well. 

Edited by thuxys
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@All Tsif you’re still here in this plane of existence, I’m letting you and everyone else who are regs of ZE know that there will a ZE community meeting coming very soon . With the return of this godforsaken server, I think it’s time to go over our next move . 

Edited by thuxys
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