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Wouldn't you help zOMG! if you could?

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Kalon Ordona II's avatar

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Dear Gaia Staff,

I realize zOMG! by itself has not brought in enough revenue to cover its original development costs.

However, you have said before that that is not the way Gaia Online works.
All the money that is earned goes into the general pool of funds, which is then distributed to different areas.

Gaia is an organism made up of parts that work together, and zOMG! is a major part of what Gaia is.

Gaia Online has to its credit one of the best free-to-play browser MMORPG's in existence.
Aside from the artwork,
Aside from the animation,
Aside from the gameplay,
Aside from the writing,
Aside from the music,
Aside from the charm,
Aside from the players,
zOMG! has two things that put it ahead of the pack, in ways that no other game could match.

1. Customization.
2. Community.


Every time a new MMORPG comes out, what is the first thing people look for? What is the first thing on YouTube, what do people care about? Character Creation. Slider bars, presets, items, races, classes... The longer the list, the more people applaud it.

What does Gaia Online have that nobody can match?
An unprecedented amount of items. Of all ranges, colors, styles... and the list is ever expanding.
And where do the items go? The Avatar.
And what do you play as? The Avatar.

Just why is it that people are so concerned about character creation in a game?
Because they want to play as themselves, or as a persona they wish they could be.
And they want it to be as close to their vision as possible.

Gaia can fulfill this desire to a degree beyond anything else out there, because it has been making items constantly for many years!

Now, here's the great thing.
You know what brings in money on Gaia? You know what people spend Gaia Cash on?
Items!

Items!

For the Avatar!

So you see zOMG! can't bring in revenue on its own. Not really. Not on what matters, only on extras and peripherals. It's an unrealistic expectation, and an un-Gaia-like one at that.
zOMG! contributes to Gaia. zOMG! is part of Gaia.

Gaians spend money on items, not content.

Why items? To look awesome. To have what they want, either to look how they want, or to look as awesome as possible, or inevitably, both.

Why? Why look awesome?
Because other people see it. Because the user sees it.
It's the same reason people wear nice clothes.
They want to be seen wearing nice clothes.

zOMG! is a place for people to display their avatars, AND have fun, WITH other people, in real time. Everything that is great about Gaia, multiplied in zOMG!

People want to be in zOMG!
People want to look awesome in zOMG!
People buy items to look awesome while they are in zOMG!

zOMG! does not bring money for itself. zOMG! brings in money for Gaia.
Gaia should spend money on zOMG!

zOMG! is more than a game. It is part of a community. Other MMO's have communities. In Gaia, the community has the MMO. What other MMO can say that?
What other game can say that?

This is bigger than Gaia. zOMG! is amazing for more than just Gaians.

zOMG! should be known to the internet at large.

It was a terrible mistake and injustice that zOMG! was never advertised on a large scale.

Think about it!
People come in. They play zOMG! They have just starter outfits.
They visit Gaia.
They look at the shops.
They buy stuff.
They play zOMG!
They make friends.
They join the community, the forums, the guilds.
They become true Gaians.

zOMG! has that level of potential.
zOMG! is amazingly unique, intriguing, and fun.
zOMG! is worth it.


Now, obviously nothing in life is free.
Even if zOMG! is seen as a part of Gaia, Gaia can't continue on nothing. Staff needs preservation. Nobody should have to work for free.
Resources are always limited.

So we'll help!

Gaia, please call on us!
There are so many Gaians who are willing to help, if there was a way.
And not by buying things, because the money goes to Gaia in general.
We want to help zOMG! specifically.

But we have a problem.
The only other way right now that we can help is through word of mouth, telling other people to play.
The problem is, we can't tell them they should play, because we're having trouble wanting to play, because of the bugs and the lack of attention.

Yes, the bugs are being worked on, slowly.
Yes, we got a recycled easter event, which is something.
Baby steps. I understand.
But we need the next few steps. Fixing bugs only gets us back where we started.

After the bugs are fixed, development is not the main thing we need yet.
We need advertising.
We need people playing it.

Fix the bugs.
Advertise.


We will help, AND we'll help develop while you're advertising.
If only we could.

To advertise, you need selling points.
Your main selling points should be:

1. Browser based.
2. Not text based. An actual MMORPG.
3. Free-to-Play.
4. NO PREMIUM CONTENT (revenue comes through Gaia at large: the Avatars, and extras like orbs and power-ups)
5. Amazing Community (Gaia Online)
6. Extensive character customization.

Worded differently, of course, for maximum effect.

We can't pay companies to put the ads up. Only you can do that.
But we CAN advertise in other ways.
We can create art, banners, things like that.
We can create YouTube trailers, documentaries, channels, series.
We can help reviewers and websites make sure to list zOMG! as a great game.

And we can help come up with content to add to the game while you concentrate on putting up the actual ads in places people will see them.

Please let us help you come up with a way for us to help you help zOMG!

You could come up with a dedicated flash space. Maybe some contests.
A special forum or subforum that staff regularly participates in, to delegate or orchestrate efforts.
There could be items or achievements to people who help advertise or do art for or donate to zOMG!

I don't know. I don't have all the answers.
We have to work together.
We can brain-storm. We can meet with staff. Staff can meet with us.
Everybody is trying to voice solutions anyway. Think what ideas would flow if there was a dedicated place, certain of regular attention, where real results could be seen and real progress could be made?

Random posts, topics and proposals are too sporadic to get much done.
We need a place, a method, an access point, a to-do list, something that all this energy can be poured into, so that zOMG! can grow.

We can do it!
Gaia, let us help zOMG!
Owlie's avatar

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You said it better than I could have. heart
Starshine's avatar

Magical Gatekeeper

Kalon Ordona II

Gaians spend money on items, not content.

What I've been saying all along. Just because they can't strictly calculate the revenue gained through avatar customization in zomg, they call it a hidden cost and don't take it into account. x_x
Mortok's avatar

Tipsy Exhibitionist

Kalon Ordona II
zOMG! has two things that put it ahead of the pack, in ways that no other game could match.

1. Customization.
2. Community.

False. Every MMO has these, and every avatar forum has these. If zOmg never existed, Gaia would still have these.

Quote:
Gaians spend money on items, not content.

False. Gaian's would pay for content if they cared about zOmg, which they don't.

Quote:
zOMG! should be known to the internet at large.

It was a terrible mistake and injustice that zOMG! was never advertised on a large scale.

"You didn't dig the hole deep enough! More debt! MORE DEBT!"

Quote:
Think about it!
People come in. They play zOMG! They have just starter outfits.
They visit Gaia.
They look at the shops.
They buy stuff.
They play zOMG!

And then they get bored when they run out of content, because Gaia still can't afford to make anymore.

Quote:
Your main selling points should be:

1. Browser based.
2. Not text based. An actual MMORPG.
3. Free-to-Play.
4. NO PREMIUM CONTENT (revenue comes through Gaia at large: the Avatars, and extras like orbs and power-ups)
5. Amazing Community (Gaia Online)
6. Extensive character customization.

These are the main selling points of every single browser MMO ever, except number four, which is not a point in Gaia's favour, and also isn't true. Dead Man's Shadow is a textbook example of premium content.

Browser MMOs are going the way of the Dodo, anyway. Casual games like Zynga have been running the show for several years now, and zOmg was always pretty rubbish to begin with. It's "uniqueness" spelled its doom from day one. There is a reason that other MMOs succeeded where zOmg failed, and that is because the common formula is the one that actually works. zOmg is not a marketable game.
Darth Acheron's avatar

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Quote:
We can't pay companies to put the ads up. Only you can do that.
But we CAN advertise in other ways.
We can create art, banners, things like that.
We can create YouTube trailers, documentaries, channels, series.
We can help reviewers and websites make sure to list zOMG! as a great game.
Agreed. Certainly the users could help build hype about zOMG and maybe even get more users who are on the site already interested in it.
Crimson Velvet's avatar

Romantic Shapeshifter

I don't want to get into a debate with a previous poster, so I will just comment to say that zomg does have a strong community of fans who would hate to see the game go. When you spend literally hours with people trying to level up or finally see kamila, all the little random conversations and funny moments you share create strong friendships.

Also, the point "Gaians spend money on items, not content" is completely accurate. People constantly comment on each other's avatars, and it's pretty much the best thing ever to crew up with your friends in themed oufits to impress the admiring masses. For me personally, zomg is the main reason why I always want to get new items- it feels much more rewarding to watch my newly outfitted avatar killing vampires than sitting stagnantly in the forums or towns.

TL;DR: Zomg may not be the best MMO ever created, but it offers a unique place for gaians to strengthen their ties to the community and show off their avatars.
Mortok's avatar

Tipsy Exhibitionist

Darth Acheron
Quote:
We can't pay companies to put the ads up. Only you can do that.
But we CAN advertise in other ways.
We can create art, banners, things like that.
We can create YouTube trailers, documentaries, channels, series.
We can help reviewers and websites make sure to list zOMG! as a great game.
Agreed. Certainly the users could help build hype about zOMG and maybe even get more users who are on the site already interested in it.

Then do it right now. There is literally nothing stopping you from spreading word if you really want to.
Kalon Ordona II's avatar

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Mortok
Darth Acheron
Quote:
We can't pay companies to put the ads up. Only you can do that.
But we CAN advertise in other ways.
We can create art, banners, things like that.
We can create YouTube trailers, documentaries, channels, series.
We can help reviewers and websites make sure to list zOMG! as a great game.
Agreed. Certainly the users could help build hype about zOMG and maybe even get more users who are on the site already interested in it.

Then do it right now. There is literally nothing stopping you from spreading word if you really want to.


Yes there is. We can't tell people to join zOMG! if Gaia itself doesn't support it enough.

It's like the Firefly effect. People don't want to get involved if they think it won't do any good, which turns out to be the very thing that kills support. But if there was a central hub that could direct and process visible results, people wouldn't be as afraid of their efforts being wasted.

DMS is open to everyone currently. I consider it an experiment in premium content for zOMG!, and I hope, a failed one.

zOMG! doesn't have to be marketable. That's my whole point.
Gaia is marketable.

zOMG! isn't an MMO; it's a full MMORPG. That's another thing. It's an MMORPG experience that is free-to-play and browser-based, with a level of customization that, True, exceeds others out there. Other avatar sites don't have as much as Gaia, and they don't have MMORPG's to put them in. Other MMO's don't have nearly this level of customization. And other MMORPG's with a high level of customization are not free.

Name another free-to-play MMORPG with the kind of community that Gaia is (or was).


Anyway, besides all that, my point was that if Gaia's resources aren't sufficient to support zOMG!'s growth, there are lots of Gaians willing to lend a hand, if there was an avenue for them to do so.
Mortok's avatar

Tipsy Exhibitionist

Kalon Ordona II
Yes there is. We can't tell people to join zOMG! if Gaia itself doesn't support it enough.

Yes you can. I'll do it right now.

Play zOmg.

Holy crap, that was easy.

Quote:
It's like the Firefly effect. People don't want to get involved if they think it won't do any good, which turns out to be the very thing that kills support. But if there was a central hub that could direct and process visible results, people wouldn't be as afraid of their efforts being wasted.

A central hub like... what, excatly? What is this supposed to be made of? You're literally just spouting nonsense words here.

Quote:
DMS is open to everyone currently. I consider it an experiment in premium content for zOMG!, and I hope, a failed one.

Premium content is a good thing.

Quote:
zOMG! doesn't have to be marketable. That's my whole point.

Yes it does, if you want people to actually play it.

Quote:
Gaia is marketable.

Actually, not so much. And even if it is, that's not relevant to zOmg. You think people will want to go into zOmg to show off their avatars. Well, guess what? They can do that anywhere else on the site, without having to play a terrible flash game that takes forever to load anyway.

Quote:
zOMG! isn't an MMO; it's a full MMORPG. That's another thing.

Whatever? You're just splitting hairs. It's an online game. It doesn't matter if it's an RPG or a team shooter or what.

Quote:
It's an MMORPG experience that is free-to-play and browser-based, with a level of customization that, True, exceeds others out there. Other avatar sites don't have as much as Gaia, and they don't have MMORPG's to put them in. Other MMO's don't have nearly this level of customization. And other MMORPG's with a high level of customization are not free.

ZOmg doesn't have that level of customization. Gaia does. And people won't play zOmg just to do something that they can already do in every other area of the site.

People who play MMOs, particularly MMORPGs, which are usually heavily stat-based, do not want equipment that does nothing except look nice. They want equipment that actually affects the gaming experience in some fashion. zOmg doesn't have that, it doesn't even have a reliable way of acquiring rings.

Quote:
Name another free-to-play MMORPG with the kind of community that Gaia is (or was).

I don't know what kind of community you think Gaia was. Even if I come up with an example, you'll probably just say I'm wrong.

Quote:
Anyway, besides all that, my point was that if Gaia's resources aren't sufficient to support zOMG!'s growth, there are lots of Gaians willing to lend a hand, if there was an avenue for them to do so.

Obviously not that many. Gaia released a number of premium items for zOmg at the request of the people who played it, and it turned out not to be good enough in the long run. That was your opportunity to support the game. What more do you need?

Where was all the word-of-mouth advertising when zOmg was just getting started? If it's so flingin'-flangin' fantastic, how come you're only just now expressing a willingness to tell people about it (and even then only if Gaia spends more money on it first, as if it hasn't poured enough down that drain already)? If the lack of a marketing campaign was such a heinous crime, how come users didn't do what you're suggesting years ago?
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Kalon Ordona II's avatar

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Mortok

I really don't understand what all the energy is about here. Why all the hostility?

How about instead of focusing on all the problems with my argument, let's focus on the solutions instead?

Unless you're saying there is no solution, and we should all give up.
If that's the case, why are you even posting in here? Shouldn't you have given up by now?

It could also be that you don't like zOMG in the first place.
In which case, again, why are you even posting in here?

I feel like you're just arguing for argument's sake.

Could you tone it down and instead just explain to me the bottom line?
In succinct terms, what are you trying to say or get me to understand?
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Mortok
Where was all the word-of-mouth advertising when zOmg was just getting started? If it's so flingin'-flangin' fantastic, how come you're only just now expressing a willingness to tell people about it (and even then only if Gaia spends more money on it first, as if it hasn't poured enough down that drain already)? If the lack of a marketing campaign was such a heinous crime, how come users didn't do what you're suggesting years ago?


I agree with you on few points - zOMG!'s biggest fault, and also downfall is that it has very little to do with REAL MMORPGs out there. I play a few of them, trying to play more and more and yes, exactly the fact that it's so... different, so special (lack of classes, etc.) is what kills the game.

As I look back at the game, at the way I once played it with, and defended it, I see some faults in the game itself, which is, unfortunately true. zOMG! can catch player's eye for a moment, but it's not long enough to support it in long run.

But then again, I believe the people have certain right to demand better advertisement, especially now - after the bloodstone amulets deal. They were sold within a week instead of a month as Gaia expected and the money was supposed to go into the game - which it didn't. So I understand the stance of people.
Mortok's avatar

Tipsy Exhibitionist

Kalon Ordona II
Mortok

I really don't understand what all the energy is about here. Why all the hostility?

How about instead of focusing on all the problems with my argument, let's focus on the solutions instead?

Unless you're saying there is no solution, and we should all give up.
If that's the case, why are you even posting in here? Shouldn't you have given up by now?

It could also be that you don't like zOMG in the first place.
In which case, again, why are you even posting in here?

I feel like you're just arguing for argument's sake.

Could you tone it down and instead just explain to me the bottom line?
In succinct terms, what are you trying to say or get me to understand?

I'm not being hostile, this is how I talk.

What I'm telling you is that your devotion, while admirable, is misplaced. zOmg will not succeed, it's missed its chance. MMORPGs were already waning in poplarity when it got started, and a lot of the game mechanics are just bad ideas. It doesn't really offer anything special. There are multiple issues standing in the way of it becoming a success,and most of them were there from day one.

But if you really believe it has a shot, then you have to be the one to take action first. Gaia doesn't have to let you help, you already have that power. You say you won't do anything until Gaia gives zOmg more attention, and that's your choice. But Gaia has made it pretty clear that they've given up on zOmg. They poured literally millions of dollars in it and those losses were never recouped. On what basis should they believe you when you say that more spending will get them results?
Kalon Ordona II's avatar

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Mortok

I'm not going to tell some newbie "Come join this game even though it's buggy, because if you do, maybe they'll fix it."

Granted, it does look like the bugs are finally being taken care of, but as I said before, that just gets us to square one.

Yes, we could do stuff on our own, but how much more effective might our efforts be if Gaia was orchestrating it? My assumption and my hope is that we would see better results sooner.

Why not try?
Sure, if this falls on deaf ears, we could make a website or a guild or something and put some organized effort into this, but it would be less inspired, because we'd feel like we still have to win the home team's attention. If Gaia makes us go behind its back to promote zOMG!, won't that discourage a lot of the people who would otherwise help?

So this thread is about putting the question to the Gaia staff: if resources are too limited to work on zOMG! yourselves, can you make a way for Gaians themselves to get involved in the process and help organize their efforts? Create a channel through which all this energy about zOMG! can be directed toward real results.

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