I have been deleting my promotional material regarding the Eden server. I love this server, and for ~2 years it has been exactly what I wanted out of FFXI. A long term, slow paced social cooperative MMO, whose rewards are earned – not given.
What made the Eden server special was the dedication the staff and players had towards combating cheating as well as providing regular updates of tested content.
At some point, that changed.
It pains me to have to say all of this. A lot of times when we really enjoy or even love something it becomes easy to ignore all the flaws. There's no MMO emulator or private MMO server out there without flaws and issues of course. Chasing "perfection" is just a dream that will inevitably result in a nightmare. Eden however, was, and still is, the best FFXI private server to play on. I'm not writing any of this to tell anyone not to play there. Unless you are looking for a more casual playstyle, it's definitely the best FFXI experience on the internet.
But when I advertised for Eden, I made two things very clear: 1, that cheating was abhorrently unwelcome – that the staff and the players wanted a fair play environment for everyone, and 2, that content was tested by staff and players before being released. In case you're unfamiliar with the FFXI private server scene, these are two of the biggest issues, and are two huge reasons why Eden went from the 100 online when I first started advertising for the server back in December, to the 700 online it's hitting today. Legacy FFXI players have been dying for a place to play where these two issues were a priority. Cheating has always been a massive issue on FFXI even on retail. And the FFXI emulator (DarkStar Project) has so many problems I won’t even get into that (much of which revolves around content simply not existing). So Eden has been a boon to many of us.
First, regarding cheating. Eden has(had?) a channel on their Discord called the Walk-of-Shame, where the names of players' characters whom were banned or suspended were listed. This list was updated frequently, and it let the player base know that cheaters were being taken care of on the regular. It’s worked great so far, but around a month ago, the Walk-of-Shame stopped being updated, yet I knew for a fact that cheaters were still being banned. Why weren't their names being made public? Fast forward a bit to a recent event, in which certain players were using an exploit to gain incredibly fast EXP. The server owner had a meeting to tell the player base that he would not be releasing the list of players who participated in the exploit, and that their punishment – which had also been public thus far – would remain undisclosed as well. Obviously, players in the community find this concerning. Everything had been public this entire time, what warrants this unexpected change in policy now?
Second, regarding content testing. It used to be that the developers would bring players in on a local test server to test content before releasing it. All too often content would get released on the DarkStar Project that was either way too easy, or way overtuned. I'm not sure when or why this changed, but it no longer seems to be the case. Not only has the quantity of content seen a decrease, but the quality of the content has as well. We are talking about NMs that have been broken for up to 6 months, while others remain released for months with abilities and characteristics they shouldn't have. The Eden community is very prevailing when it comes to reporting bugs – they are reported swiftly. Why has Eden's content quantity and quality declined? I can only imagine the staff is getting burnt out. They've worked very hard on Eden without breaks, on what is certainly a never-ending process. Fixing one bug can create another, not to mention the baffling number of issues the DarkStar emulator has. New developers were recruited recently, to what is seemingly no avail.
This is not an "I quit" post or meant to discredit or bash on Eden, its staff nor its players, and I feel like I’ve done my best in not doing so. I am still gladly playing on Eden despite all of this. But in all of the promotional posts I made for this server, I said things that are no longer true or have changed, and wanted to get that information out there. I believe in the truth and it is very important to me. I got a lot of people to play on Eden, and I couldn't stand it if people were coming to the server expecting a different type of experience than what I advertised to them. That's not fair.
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