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Narumi's Adventures
The Adventures of Narumi Misuhara
zOMG! Status Update
There seems to be quite a bit of confusion going around about what is going on with zOMG! Such questions have been covered in various places for the past few months many times over so all can gather by the confusion still occurring is that the information is just too difficult to find. So I'm going to try to cover as much as I can all in one entry so that future seekers of knowledge can hopefully more easily find/reference the information.

zOMG! is currently in maintenance mode. What does that mean?
It means we are not actively doing any development for it.

Why aren't we actively developing for it?
Simple, the game did not accomplish the goals the managers at the time were hoping it would accomplish.

What were those goals?
*shrug* I wasn't managing at the time, I honestly couldn't tell you.

Why do we continue to keep it maintenance mode?
The game does not bring in enough income to justify hiring someone full time/part time to keep up with it.

If it's not bringing in enough money, why not completely get rid of it?
Plenty of people still play it, and something is better than nothing.

Is it possible the games status could be upgraded from maintenance mode?
Unlikely, but possible. It would require a significant and consistent income increase with the existing zOMG! items that are selling. (i.e. would have to stably make more money without us adding or doing anything new to the game.)

A question I've seen asked a few times around the forums is the "Why do you still charge for orbs etc. when the money doesn't go just to zOMG!?"
The answer to this is also simple, though apparently made complicated by things said in the past by....?
All income generated by all our products currently go to Gaia Interactive. That's how most businesses work, the money doesn't just go to one department or product. The money brought in by each product is tracked so we know how it's doing but the money goes to the business not whatever product generated it. The complication apparently comes from someone saying the money zOMG! generated would go straight back into zOMG!? I don't know who made that claim assuming anyone did at all, anytime I've asked for where this was stated no one seems to be able to provide a quotable source. The fact is that's simply not how it works so if that was promised somewhere, well then I'm sorry, that is simply a promise we can't keep.

Some Gaians are under the impression that doing anything for zOMG! is a matter of us simply wanting to prioritize it. I want to dispell that rumor here and now. The reality is there is no one on the Gaia Online team that knows how to do anything with zOMG! short of restarting the servers. The last two devs internally that used to work on the game now work for our social department. What does that mean exactly? It means we on the Gaia Online side have no say in getting them to work on anything related to zOMG! or Gaia Online. Any such work they do must be done on their free time. Luckily they are amazing and care a great deal for the zOMG! community, this has led to many instances in the past where they happily helped out. Recently however they have been very busy with their work on the social side of the house. In addition, a lot of smaller things we've wanted to do has required us to contact a dev who no longer even works for Gaia Interactive. Getting help like that is extremely difficult because it requires not only convincing them to help out but working outside of whatever job schedule they have at another company.

Something I mentioned in earlier journal entries is that I would really love to have someone on the Gaia Online side trained to work on zOMG!. So far however this has only been met with frustration as the person best suited for this no longer works at Gaia Interactive and has been too busy with other things to be able to come in and help us out.

So with all that we come to the "Will you recycle events for zOMG!"
Due to the situation mentioned above, no, I can't promise any events, recycled or otherwise for zOMG! in the foreseeable future.

Now don't despair, despite our inability to do much with the internals of zOMG! for the time being, we do have achievements lined up which we can add without needing to mess with the zOMG! code. In addition I'm told there are some recipes we may be able to add, pending some of that free time from the devs on the other side of the house. smilies/icon_smile.gif

Hopefully that covers most of the major points. If I missed anything really major I'll edit them in later.

...Until next time!
Narumi Misuhara
Sr. Engineering Manager






User Comments: [30] [add]
Sagebomb
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commentCommented on: Tue Mar 05, 2013 @ 09:41am
Thanks for this. Although it seems people should understand this by now, there are a lot who seem not to (or just refuse to accept it). This will be useful to link back to.

Thanks again ^_^


commentCommented on: Tue Mar 05, 2013 @ 07:57pm
Thank you for this post. It helped clarify a lot of questions that get asked so often...



ashleywa
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nanieru
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commentCommented on: Tue Mar 05, 2013 @ 08:08pm
Thank you for clarifying all this and also for the good news.

smilies/icon_redface.gif Phesst! Narumi, go change you are fading away.


commentCommented on: Tue Mar 05, 2013 @ 09:19pm
Thankyou, that'll be mighty useful.

Btw, that Gaia Online and Gaia Social, or wtv it's called, are pretty much two different (sub)companies with their own goals, their own management, their own resources and such seems to be unknown/misunderstood by the "average Gaian", wtv that is, and that's hurting.

I mean, if the Social dep releases a new game, someone who places that under the Gaia Online banner will say you're "making new things and flirting with FB" again instead of working on Gaia and we all know what that led to.

Anyway, maybe I'm needlessly worried and most people actually know/understand that. Just throwing it out there :U



gataka
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Existential Existence
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commentCommented on: Wed Mar 06, 2013 @ 12:33am
i think with zOMG most people just want new goals. If you release a zOMG recipe on the main website and only through the main website (like what was done with Bunny Brigade, when a recipe was released through a cash shop bundle) but just let people know that nothing about the recipe will be updated within zOMG, i think people would be fine with that. making a zOMG recipe is done on the main website anyway. Or if that's a bit difficult you could even do it through *dun dun dunnn* alchemy.

like, for easter, you can release a zOMG recipe through an X-days only grant link, that requires like 1000 Jewel Eyes or 1,000 Pearls to make, and people will be all up on that quest trying to make the item. all you'd need is a little note that says 'this recipe will not show up in the zOMG game so check your GaiaOnline inventory' thing. voilĂ . people satisfied.

you could do this monthly....i think it would keep a lot of people content throughout the year. each month, release a freebie recipe on the main website that people can work towards gathering the stuff for in zOMG. the downside is that zOMG gets more activity and with more activity, people will start asking for new areas even more lol.

i think the only costs is artists' time and + time coding the item as a recipe that needs XYZ zOMG items to make. but i'm thinking that it doesn't require a dev knowledgeable in zOMG coding to make that kinda of thing.


commentCommented on: Wed Mar 06, 2013 @ 12:34am
narumi, is there a way you can add a link to this entry to pan's zomg sticky thread?

thread linky

basically a few years back, zomgaians thought it would be good to try and fight for zomg. to keep it alive and were told if to keep supporting the game, then it will still be around. even as though anything that was purchased may help too. (limited amulet sales) you are correct on what you said, just things from years back is what users are still recalling. kinda like what pan points out in that thread.

either way, this update you have is something that users need to read and realize. thank you for this entry because, it still gives promise that things can happen with zomg. at least the new items included though i still kinda wish i could see that "dunk-a-dev" booth or even enter the dance hall on buccaneer boardwalk full. smilies/icon_sweatdrop.gif



scullylam
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Red Kutai
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commentCommented on: Wed Mar 06, 2013 @ 12:57am

The quest for quotable sources on the subject of zOMG! is pretty rough, because for years most important information has been shared through in-game dev meets, and dev meets aren't quotable. If something was said often enough there's a chance you can find it in old transcript threads, but for many things they were simply mentioned once and passed through the grapevine from there - and we all know how good the grapevine is at perserving accuracy and intent. smilies/icon_sweatdrop.gif

The concept of 'zOMG!'s money' arises, I believe, from a very old misconception; dating back to what I call the "January Ultimatum", in late-2010/early-2011 (I think?). At that point we were told that zOMG! needed to generate a certain amount of revenue by the end of January in order to retain its developers (and avoid the current 'maintenance mode' scenario), which introduced the concept of money that 'counted for' zOMG!. I don't believe it was ever stated that that money would be put directly back into funding zOMG! (in any sense other than that it was already making less money overall than it cost to maintain), but players made that connection nonetheless, especially after the original meaning was no longer relevant.

Another contributing factor to this - which, admittedly, is not entirely within Gaia's control - is the fact that many players view the purchase of powerups more a contribution to zOMG! (like a charity) rather than a purchase of goods from a business (like it is) - when those players find out their 'donations' aren't going to the cause they intended to support, they naturally feel misled. The concept of the 'zOMG! charity' is strong enough that suggestions of officially establishing a charity model for the game are not uncommon, and may have been re-inforced by the way in which the zOMG! devs have approached monetisation in the past. That said, I know the reason for that was simply that it was a cause they cared deeply about, and their honest communication with users simply reflected that fact; it certainly wasn't intended to mislead anyone into that sort of thinking, but I do believe there's a chance that it helped to reinforce that paradigm...


commentCommented on: Wed Mar 06, 2013 @ 03:47am
Thank you so much for all those clear ups. You are wicked awesome for taking time out of your schedule to clear up allthe confusion from all the word of mouth rumors that have overcome a lot of the zOMG! community minds. Now a lot of us can rest eay and hopefully calm down. smilies/icon_biggrin.gif smilies/icon_heart.gif



Platonic Purple Panda
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Lei_Trigar
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commentCommented on: Thu Mar 07, 2013 @ 08:05am
Good to hear about Achievements being added!

I really hope you used what many of us wanted; Kill Badges as Achievements.

Cause if you do look at it it should be really easy to implement!
The badges are already linked to main site.
They each have their own Image/Icon.
They each have their own unique Titles.

Its all there! Only have to convert it to Achievement form. XP

Also I guess adding other ones should be easy too, like killing EB/Kam/BL etc.

Hope it all goes well! And thank you for it!


commentCommented on: Thu Mar 07, 2013 @ 03:19pm
Shame about the zOMG! events. smilies/icon_stare.gif

achievement badges sounds great though smilies/icon_3nodding.gif



Coniglietto
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Mayakashi Minshuu
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commentCommented on: Thu Mar 07, 2013 @ 08:14pm
Shame
It's a damn shame.


commentCommented on: Fri Mar 08, 2013 @ 03:36am
good. some work, no matter how small, would be great! smilies/icon_heart.gif also if they could add badges to ss/eb and dms that would be awesome.. JS. smilies/icon_cool.gif anyways, as always, thank you for allowing this game to be up and running. smilies/icon_3nodding.gif i finally finish eb and going to start on dms this year i hope. smilies/icon_xd.gif



ll cutie patootie pie ll
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jellykans
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commentCommented on: Fri Mar 08, 2013 @ 08:11pm
*Cuddles Narumi for boldly telling the honest truth.*


commentCommented on: Tue Mar 12, 2013 @ 02:41pm
I pretty new at Zomg and I'm finding hard to get a crew or join a crew. I really hope they don't get rid of Zomg, I kind of like it! I don't have the time to play the way I want to, maybe that's why find a crew is so hard.

I just like to say, thank you for doing all you can for the game. Have a great day and don't let the Zomg issues get you down OK? bye



AriannaDutchess
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Shadey Kitty
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commentCommented on: Tue Mar 12, 2013 @ 05:51pm
Screenshot :
Edit: Appears to have been resized so it's too small to read. Maybe I can break it down.


commentCommented on: Tue Mar 12, 2013 @ 05:57pm



Shadey Kitty
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Shadey Kitty
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commentCommented on: Tue Mar 12, 2013 @ 06:00pm
part 2:



commentCommented on: Tue Mar 12, 2013 @ 06:03pm
part 3:




Shadey Kitty
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Shadey Kitty
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commentCommented on: Wed Mar 13, 2013 @ 05:48pm
The linked thread shows zOMG's popularity (at that time).
The screenshot also shows that zOMG had more monthly users than any other flash space except Rally.

The screen shot shows that zOMG was never given full marketing.

The screenshot shows that the amount of $ spent on 3 months of test campaigning for zOMG was less than a single day's worth of $ spent on marketing Monster Galaxy.

The screenshot shows that engineers were only given a total of 4 months time between 2010 - 2011 to work on zOMG but even so, the first real revenue attempt in 2010 resulted in nearly one quarter of a million dollars from zOMG alone. According to what was stated then, this "greatly exceeds the costs of supporting the engineers, artists and servers."

The screenshot shows that neither millions of users or millions of $ is required to support an MMO.

The screenshot shows (at that time) that even with no new features, zOMG has "always made more money than the server costs".

The screenshot shows that even with the very limited amount of time that the 2 devs were allowed to work on zOMG, it brought in more revenue than what it costed and it is sustainable.

Here is a thread that showed a little bit of zOMG's popularity:

From 2010:

Exactly How Popular is zOMG? [guide]

Quote:
Before school started for most people, the max number of players I would see was about 2.5k players across all the servers, during prime time. It was always pretty evenly distributed (~600 players per server). The highest I've seen on one server is 1,970, but that was right after the latest update, when all servers crashed except one.

(bold emphasis mine)


commentCommented on: Wed Mar 13, 2013 @ 06:29pm
I'm glad to see a more informative post about this, rather than "omg, maintenance mode. sry gais".

Please keep up updated on anything we can actually do (straight forward) to get zOMG back on Gaias radar.



Nymph of Spring
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Silk Kanishk
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commentCommented on: Wed Mar 13, 2013 @ 06:54pm
Narumi!!! Hire me for the CCS position going around and I'll take the trouble to learn how to "at the very least" activate events for the game in my spare time.


commentCommented on: Wed Mar 20, 2013 @ 06:06am
I would like to be trained for that in order to help improve and developing new items, quests and so much more. I would really enjoy it and would like to know how I can do this. If you ever check this comment please contact me through pm. I'm an IT student soon to graduate from ITT Technical Institute, in either June or July, this is my last quarter of college and I would love to have a job at least. I am serious but would like to know what sort of requirements must I obtain in order for you guys to accept me. I am not sure if it is even professionally correct for me to even ask through comments but I'm taking a shot at it anyway. If I need to do anything about this as in order to show proof then let me know and I will do my best to meet whatever you guys need.



Draco_Alvain
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Poyudi Hytori
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commentCommented on: Thu May 02, 2013 @ 05:49pm
I wanted to ay that the idea that money zOMG earned went towards zOMG came from something JK said before. I don't remember word for word, but I believe it went something like "zOMG doesn't make enough money to support itself, so we've had to take money from other site features to put into the development of DMS." This was back around when DMS first came out, I don't remember if it was before or after, but I remember it from around that time.

While it wasn't out right said "zOMG's Money goes towards zOMG." The Community was given this impression by how things were said/worded. Even the official Sticky posted by Panagrammic seems to hint at the idea that zOMG's Money goes towards zOMG.

Honestly, Gaiaonline's Admin and Devs have this habit of not watching what they say, or how they say it. It has brought about many misunderstandings between the userbase and the Devs. That and quite a few broken promises, leads the userbase to not trusting the Admins or the Devs.

I hope that helps? At least a little bit anyway.

(Honestly if I could, I'd learn how to code, and get a job at Gaiaonline just to work on zOMG. It has a lot of potential for an MMO. Though I personally feel like Gaiaonline/Gaiainteractive have been making the wrong moves to make use of that potential. *Shurgs* Not that it matters much with how things are right now.


commentCommented on: Mon Aug 05, 2013 @ 01:32am
There's a few things missing, since the rumor is that gaia plans to eventually take it down. Will you say that it will never be taken away like some of gaia's past features have?

Has work on the glitch fixes been halted? This was made several months ago and we need to know how layoffs has affected fixing glitches.

Also some zomg servers are showing their age. When the time comes that the servers are too old, is gaia committed to replacing them?



Sweet Angel Mary
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V6a6m6pyro
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commentCommented on: Thu Sep 12, 2013 @ 06:26am
I would gladly work on zOMG! full-time without pay. As long as someone could teach me what I need to know to do so, I could do it. Maybe I could be an unpaid intern for Gaia Interactive?


commentCommented on: Sun Sep 29, 2013 @ 08:37pm
See this just goes to show that the new gaia staff really doesn't care about Gaians as much as the original staff did, you are money oriented... which I understand a business is about money... and you need money to make the site "Better". But your not making it better, I've been on since 03 and us as users waited for the battle system for years.... you finally give it to us then abandon it before it could even become what people expected. Just the fact that you stated that it needs to bring in significant money without you guys doing anything to is arrogance at its finest. I'm sick of this site, and its NOT what it used to be. Its not even what it was after what it used to be, you've made it boring and unbearable. I hope you money hungry brats enjoy the legacy you destroyed.



P.s. Same argument, but reapply it to back wings. You new admins suck.



Inorganic Angel Rose
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Sailor Amadeus
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commentCommented on: Sun Oct 27, 2013 @ 08:00am
emotion_smilies/icon_donotwant.png I really miss playing zOMG out of maintenance mode.


commentCommented on: Sat Jan 25, 2014 @ 03:19am
[quote:dc3c7277bc="Narumi Misuhara"]The reality is there is no one on the Gaia Online team that knows how to do anything with zOMG! short of restarting the servers.


((Newb alert)) For those of us who are a little technologically-challenged, what does this mean? What is the process of restarting servers, and why isn't it a feasible option? Is it because it would prevent Gaians from logging on or interacting for the time that it occurs? Is it possible to safely move data from one location to another with minimal interference to Gaians? If the servers were restarted, would that clear up any issues involved with zOMG?

I'm just asking so I can understand better. Thanks.


TS Sailor Cronus
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RafiCat
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commentCommented on: Wed Mar 26, 2014 @ 01:12am
Thank you for the update.

It's good to know zomg isn't completely forgotten!

Achievements would probably increase the popularity, so I hope we will see those this year!


commentCommented on: Tue Apr 15, 2014 @ 08:00pm
If everyone who plays zOMG! starts buying power-ups from the Cash Shop, would that help?



Inivar
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