Vote2Win In Maplestory Private Servers

Vote2Win In Maplestory Private Servers

Vote2Win GTOP Bot detection

If you play any Vote2Win Maplestory Private Servers I am sure that you are well acquainted with the following scene:

A little bit of background info

Currently, the way that Maplestory Private Servers are ranked is based on how many people “vote” for the server on GTOP.  The more people that vote for your server, the higher the server is ranked. In order to encourage people to vote, Maplestory Private Servers often give players in game rewards for voting.  Typically players can vote 1 time per unique IP address per day (as per GTOP rules).

The definition of Vote2Win

Vote2Win is what people call a server when the rewards for voting are extremely high.  Basically, you can win by just voting and not actually playing the server, since you make so many mesos by just voting.

Why Vote2Win becomes problematic

Inherently there isn’t anything wrong with voting and getting free nexon cash (unless you think it is uncompetitive to gain anything outside of in game actions).  However, the problem with Vote2Win is the incentives it creates.

As a player, you are incentivized to vote as many times as possible to get as much nexon cash as possible.  Some people try to abuse the voting system by voting on multiple different accounts and abuse VPN to get a unique IP address for each vote.  This becomes problematic because the vote abusers get an unfair advantage over other players who do not vote abuse. Essentially, we get the same problem that Pay2Win inherently creates.

A player who just abuses the vote system and does not play would end up with a far superior character than someone who doesn’t abuse the vote system but instead works hard training their character by playing the game.

The Ad Hoc Solution

To counter vote abusers, most Vote2Win servers make the act of commiting vote abuse (which is voting on more than 1 account per 24 hours) a bannable offense.  Which means that if you get caught vote abusing, these maplestory private servers will attempt to stop you from playing on their server.

Unfortunately this solution doesn’t work out too well in practice because people can employ sneaky tactics to hide their vote abuse and reap the enormous benefits.  Furthermore, permanently banning players isn’t a viable solution because players can once again employ sneaky tactics to hide their identity.

Essentially, the Vote2Win system that most servers use is extremely abusable and makes gameplay less competitive and fair.

The Vote2Win Trap

Unfortunately, a lot of maplestory private servers are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to addressing Vote2Win.  It is in the servers best interest to reward players for voting because when players vote, the server’s rank increases (which attracts more players, and thus more money for the server).

If a maplestory private server does not properly reward voting, players will vote less, making the servers rank drop.  As a result, most of the Vote2Win servers are forced to use the sub-optimal solution of trying to ban vote abusers while letting the sneaky players who don’t get caught make the server less competitive.

A better way to address Vote2Win

The ideal solution to Vote2Win is to prevent the system from being abused in the first place.  The main reason that the Vote2Win system is abusable is that players can profit from voting on many different accounts.

So the best way to fix the system is to make it so that people cannot profit from vote abusing.  There are multiple ways to achieve this – from removing items from cash shop all the way to making everything that you can obtain from voting untradable.  Of the two solutions I think the best one is to simply make everything untradable because then players are still incentivized to vote for their server.

Even if the rewards from voting are untradable, the rewards can still be a strong enough incentive for players to vote on their main account and keep there servers rank intact.

If this is done, then you can simply let players vote abuse all they want and not have to worry about rules that are difficult to enforce.  If players cannot profit from vote abusing, then doing so doesn’t make the server less fair or competitive.

In Conclusion

The Vote2Win system is too easily abused and makes Vote2Win servers significantly less fair and competitive.  Vote2Win servers can fix this by making it so that vote abuse isn’t profitable.

Pay2Win Vs Play2Win

Pay2Win Vs Play2Win In Maplestory Private Servers

Infographic contrasting play2win and pay2win

Imagine that you’ve spent months playing on a maplestory private server.  You’ve grinded for hours to earn millions – or even billions of mesos to fund your overpowered attack gear, perfect weapon, and yellow scrolled equips.  Then, some random person comes along, spends a few hundred – maybe even a thousand dollars on the server and purchases gear that’s even BETTER than yours.  How would that make you feel?  In this post, I’m going to dive into pay2win, the phenomenon that plagues most free2play MMOS and explain how it applies to maplestory private servers.

Defining Play2Win

Before we go further its very important that we have a clear definition on the terms Play2win and Pay2win.  Play2Win means that in order to “win” you must play. By win, I mean obtain significant advantages over other players, for example winning can be having more expensive gear, being higher level, or just doing more damage.

Basically, a maplestory private server is only play2win if playing said server is the only way to gain significant advantages.  A server can only be play2win in the absence of Pay2Win.

Defining Pay2Win

Pay2Win is the polar opposite of Play2Win.  Instead of playing, the way that you gain an advantage over other people is by spending real life money to purchase items in game.  For example, take a server like MapleMS where you can donate real life money and sell donor credits for mesos. This means that if you want to purchase an expensive item in game for mesos, you can just “buy” the mesos with real life money and then instantly purchase the item without having to had work for it at all in game.

The Problems With Pay2Win

A new player angry at pay2win

The main issue with Pay2Win is that it severely undermines the accomplishments of people who Play2Win.  If their months of hard work can be matched with a few hundred dollars, what’s the point of even working hard to make a strong character in the first place?  Overall, it makes the maplestory private server less “competitive”, as all the top ranking people are not necessarily earning their rank via gameplay.

The problem with Play2Win

Money, a problem that pay2win does not have.

There isn’t any problem with play2win in itself – but there is a problem that it doesn’t solve that pay2win inherently does.  Maplestory Private Servers are not free to run – they cost money each month in the form of hosting. When a server is Pay2Win, they have easier access to funds from their user base than a server that is Play2Win.

Of course you could always just take normal donations without giving tangible in-game benefits on a Play2Win server – but I would imagine that the revenue from this would end up being sporadic, and may or may not be able to 100% cover all the hosting costs.

Although Play2Win is probably the ideal philosophy for Maplestory Private Servers to abide by, sometimes it is just not practically feasible.  For a Maplestory Private Server to be sustainable in the long term, it needs to be capable of producing enough income to sustain itself (unless the owner is just willing to let the server leech on his/her pockets for eternity).  That being said, I do think there are some solutions to this problem.

A New Idea – Pay4Advantage

Pay4Advantage is basically a compromise between Play2Win and Pay2Win.  A server needs to generate revenue to feed its existence, so the server can offer people who donate specific advantages while keeping the server competitive (whether or not you donate shouldn’t impact core gameplay or ranking).

Example of Pay4Advantage

A example of Pay4Advantage being implemented happened in the private server Croosade.  In Croosade, players who donate could purchase a cash item called “auto buff”. Auto buff would basically automatically cast certain skills before they would expire so that the players who had this item could spend an extra second or so attacking instead of rebuffing – effectively increasing their DPS.

However, the increase is so miniscule – for most classes this would result in less than a 0.5% DPS increase.  The advantage gained from donating to the server is real, but it is small enough such that it does not affect competitive gameplay.

Other ways to implement Pay4Advantage would be to introduce special quality of life items that can only be obtained by donating to the server.

Essentially, Pay4Advantage, when executed properly would provide real, tangible incentives for players to donate to their server, while keeping the server competitive for all players.

Concluding thoughts on pay2win

Pay2Win hurts the competitive aspect of Maplestory Private Servers and severely alienates players who do not want to or cannot donate.  Play2Win keeps Maplestory Private Servers competitive and fair but doesn’t allow for a direct way for a server to generate revenue.

Ideally, we would prefer it if a Maplestory Private Server could be Play2Win while being able to support itself purely from donations from the community.