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2/25/12 UPDATE: Further information has been given from all sides, but I will no longer be adding to this post with every development. There is a useful timeline here that will be updated as the issue continues to unfold.

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2/23/12 UPDATE: Here is the most recent Ask the Admin thread. Now, I know it's hard for the staff who attend to read and answer every post in the limited time frame they have, especially if said posts are longer than a few sentences, but the response to the zOMG issue was clearly precomposed with the main goal of placating us. This in itself isn't so bad, but apparently it's incompatible with actually telling us the truth, as detailed here* by a particularly courageous developer. Gaia, you can't just avoid the consequences of your actions. Positive or negative, there will always be users with something to say, and hiding from that is a very bad move. We could all tell that there were inconsistencies in the story you tried to give us. We are not stupid. Lying to us will always make things worse.

*As of 12:15 AM PST 2/24/12, the thread has been taken down, purportedly of swarf's own volition. Screenshots of his posts are available upon request from the OP of the timeline thread, linked at the top.

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Tonight, a large number of Gaians received a very unfortunate piece of news: all development on zOMG is being halted indefinitely.

This is troubling information, but nonetheless corroborates with previous treatment on the subject. We may not be the majority, but it has been acknowledged before that zOMG players have been steadfast, die-hard supporters of our game. For years, we have been in a continuous rally for the administration to focus more attention and resources on zOMG. We have spread our feedback to this very forum, taken our efforts to your wallets by consciously supporting zOMG cash items, and been persistent in Ask the Admin sessions despite receiving the same answer, again and again, which is basically that in order for something to happen, more support must be shown. What have we not done? How have the efforts of millions failed to re-spark the interest in what was once its pet project?

Gaia had been talking about "the battle system" since its very beginnings, in 2003. Today being the ninth anniversary of Gaia Online, one can also assume it has been approximately nine years since the concept was dreamed up. On its own anniversary, we receive the news that it is being boxed up and shoved into a closet, to return "maybe sometime in the future" under unspecified circumstances. We aren't that naive, Gaia. We understand that our efforts have been brushed off, ignored, and deferred, and that unless we manage to get through to you guys, this project will never again be picked back up.

For a website that generally does a remarkably good job of listening to its consumers' feedback and requests, this is the only subject I can recall that has received so much indifference in return. When users complained that there wouldn't be an Easter event one year, you put one together in record time, even managing to please almost everybody with the long-awaited return of the 2004 zombie skin. Items, events, even plot has been influenced by those in charge paying attention to what we, the members, want from them, even if it means a little bit of improvisation from time to time. This disregard for zOMG, and for those who have not been shy about voicing our support for it, is no less than out of character.

There are countless members on Gaia right now who would not have joined if not for zOMG. There are just as many others who would have left long ago. People have formed a community around this game. We have made lifelong friendships. We have spent hours and hours playing, exploring the world, slowly but surely increasing our strength and skill, and getting plenty of enjoyment out of zOMG and all it has to offer.

We understand that recently, new projects have surfaced, pushing zOMG out of the spotlight. However, we do not consider this to be an adequate reason. No other game on Gaia is as thought-out, in-depth, or unique as zOMG is. From the very beginnings in the sewers of Barton to storming the undersea laboratory and battling a living mecha at the very end, zOMG has proved to be an engaging and innovative experience that nothing thus far has managed to hold a candle to. The gameplay is like no other, firing solar blasts or sword-slicing using nothing but mystical rings. The story fit together like a flawlessly-designed jigsaw puzzle to tie up not only the entire game, but four years' worth of questions from all the action on the rest of the site. And what other MMO runs on the concept of inanimate objects rising up against us? zOMG is one of a kind, and we will not be sated by telling us there are and will be new games to play.

It has not gone unnoticed that up until recently, we have been caught in a vicious cycle. We were told that the reason zOMG was not the focus of development is because a dwindling minority of users played it. As we made sure to clarify, the reason people had stopped playing is because there had been no new content in ages, due to the lack of support from administration. Months ago, against all odds, the game was updated; not with a full-fledged Chapter 2, but with a whole new area, new enemies, new NPCs, even a new type of orb and a higher level cap -- and it looked like it had made a difference. The old players, bored from having done everything so many times over, came back to tackle the new content. New players had their interests sparked. And some of us thought that, if a ragtag team of two or three could put that together, there was hope beyond our wildest expectations.

We were let down. As of today, we now know that what was once Gaia's greatest dream has been officially shelved. I presume there are deeper issues behind this decision, ones we do not fully understand. But if you would simply be more straightforward with us, and try and help us to understand, who knows? Compromises can be made. Solutions can be discussed. And, most importantly, trust can be gained, because we will feel like you are treating us with respect as a legitimate support base and collective client, rather than giving us vague deferrals and hoping we'll stop asking. We do not aim to make things difficult; we do not want to be demanding. We just want our game back. We just want zOMG to have the chance to become the great and powerful dream it once was.

We have been fighting for zOMG for so long, and we will not stop now. When the already tiny team was torn apart by retirements and reassignments, we kept protesting. When we were constantly rebuffed with the same vague answers over and over, we kept pushing. And whether or not you intend for zOMG to die, we will not let that happen. There may only be a few million of us, but we love this game. And we urge you to take a closer look at your priorities, and at our conviction as the zOMG community. We urge you to remember that we have a voice, that Gaia was once about the users and what they wanted to see more than anything else. We urge you to reconsider.
Mage The Red's avatar

Winged Mage

20,400 Points
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  • Alchemy Level 10 100
  • Battle: Level 10 250
If I could tip you any harder, money would fly out of the screen.

Honestly, zOMG hasn't received much love recently, and this is how we're being paid off? We've spent countless dollars on Power-ups, Amulets, Gems, and to work at a shot for new things in DMS and the rest of zOMG, and this is how we get thanked? Shelved for a NEW GAME? No.

I refuse to accept that answer. I refuse to let the game that brought me back for a new area just simply die because the administration got bored with their old toy.

Edit: A lot of people have resigned that the game was doomed from the beginning anyway. We've suffered from so many issues that were never fixed. That still remain broken. But why must we be placed onto the chopping block, because they refused to give us a straight answer?
Angeloni87's avatar

Heroic Hunter

14,350 Points
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That in all honestly, is very heart breaking. I was hoping that this year...this year would be a great one. To brush off the s**t that gaia has done last year in 011 with a fresh new start here in 012. But with this news, of our beloved zOMG being shelved as if it were nothing? That hope is now dashed. I can only but sense many things bad coming along the way. Shelving zOMG being the beginning...
Kinny Fear's avatar

Big Member

User Image

...what. stare

That's ridiculous. I would like to register my disappointment, okay?


(but don't quote me, please)awwww the event's over anyway

Cress Sybellos's avatar

Nimble Explorer

This is pretty upsetting. I don't play as much as I used to because I don't have the time, money, or interest for DMS...but I've been waiting for so long to be able to explore Isle de Gambino, Aekea, and Durem that I'd still pop into the game every so often...

It's really saddening to hear this. Guess those hopes are dashed.
Memory Haunts You's avatar

Rainbow Hunter

Thank you for writing this.
Nyadriel's avatar

Dangerous Fairy

Well this is news I do not like to hear. I hope they rethink this.

And why the hell do we need another new game?

As I had said before on occasion, zOMG is an integral part of the Gaia story-line and Gaia's World. There was supposed to be more integration in it too.
Herr Mannelig's avatar

Eloquent Dabbler

11,450 Points
  • Sausage Fest 200
  • Clambake 200
I am displeased.

I don't play the game as often as I would like to, I know. But that doesn't mean that I automatically want a facebook game, Gaia. It means I don't have ******** time to play the game. I supported the effort when I could financially, I bought summon creatures and I bought a ticket to the boardwalk thingy despite not being close to a 10cl at all and not really being able to use it in order to support.


Facebook games in general piss me off, and the fact that Gaia is directing funds and devs toward them annoys me immensely.
Owlie's avatar

Moonlight Phantom

17,450 Points
  • Alchemy Level 10 100
  • Risky Lifestyle 100
  • Elocutionist 200
I'm actually startled.

5000 amulets at 399 = $19,950.00

? Gemstones sold at 799 = ?

Countless powerups. I know I've started using them far more now with DMS.

(if anyone knows the number of gemstones that have been sold, please quote me.)

I thought this considerable amount of money would be enough to keep one person on, full time.

I wanted to say more, but, you know what? It's all already been said, millions of times, in the first post, in the countless letters to Gaia from the oldest, most dedicated community there is here.

Stop trying to ******** us, Gaia. We're already bleeding.

Oh, and it would be nice if the content we paid for was put back into development to be fixed. I can't start Alastor's quest because there's a glitch. The content I paid for is still broken.
Environmental Unity's avatar

Cold Treater

19,700 Points
  • Frozen Solid 200
  • Generous 100
  • Caroling Champ 100
Thank you for writing this.

Shelved for a game with the same mechanics as zOMG,too. Just,low blow gaia.
We spent so much GC on powerups and everything,I've been here since the very beginning of zOMG, from when people were so excited for the new game, to opening day.

Instead of fueling your "NEW NEW NEW" drive with a game EXACTLY LIKE ZOMG, why not just fix zOMG?It's a perfectly good game.
Berryfarmer's avatar

Caring Abomination

22,250 Points
  • Tested Practitioner 250
  • Battle Hardened 150
  • Alchemy Level 6 100
zOMG! is what has kept me coming back to Gaia. Whether it's writing fanfic, staring down vampires with friends, or badge hunting to boredom. zOMG! is the reason I am on Gaia. It is how I have met many of the people I count among my closest friends.
Gaia staff please for once listen to the zOMG! Community and explain this to us without the run around you have seemed so very fond of giving us in the past.
Shilshadu's avatar

Devoted Lover

10,700 Points
  • Generous 100
  • V-Day 2011 Event 100
  • Friendly 100
This...I think my heart is broken.
I was asked to come on to gaia just to play zomg. I fell in love with the game. for a good long time, it was my sole reason for being on gaia. not gold, not items, playing the game.
why tease us with the notion that if we put more support into it that it will be fixed, updated, given more than a tiny corner to occupy;
by shelving the game, you've lost one more reason, why people would come to,explore, or stay on gaia.

so many of my friends come from zomg, so many good times, laughs, so many nights spent in happiness because i could play with my friends.... how can you tell people that they can't have that anymore?
This is disappointing. zOMG is the best feature on Gaia. emotion_facepalm

Gaia seems to be suffering from a serious case of the derp.
Pinque Von Fluffendorken's avatar

Sweetheart

15,500 Points
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  • Pet Trainer 150
  • Perfect Attendance 400
This is so disappointing. ZOMG is one of the main things that keeps me coming to the site. I know that they have long considered it a waste of resources, but one of the main problems is lack of regular updates. If you invested more time and effort into the game it might be more successful instead of shelving it. It could be a money maker with more updates and a new CS ring every 3-6 months. I keep hoping you will re-release the sweetheart ring. Reconsider this please. You have a user base that loves ZOMG.
.~.Lady_Aji.~.'s avatar

Super Fairy

16,200 Points
  • Tooth Fairy 100
  • Battle: Mage 100
  • Partygoer 500
This is total bullshit. Instead of creating a new game that's similar to zOMG! on facebook, work on the MMO that you already ******** have on this site. Your ADD with your features is really starting to piss me off. What the hell happened to you, Gaia? You use to be about being original and standing out from other sites. Now, it seems like you're all about kissing facebook's a** and trying to be like the so-called "cool kids." Wake the hell up and get back to making Gaia awesome.

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