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For testing and developmental purposes only!

In local offline video games, you use ‘cheat codes’ to advance quickly through the game without going through many hardships. In the online gaming world, people create and develop ‘private servers’ to serve some people who are actively playing on that certain online game.

In this topic, I am going to discuss about of what an online game private server is about.

Online Game Private Servers… Why?

Online game private servers are created and published by a group of individuals who were also actively playing that certain online game. They were often came in many variations. First, that certain online game private server has some modifications, like increased experience points, item drop rate, and more related. Second, there is one that has seasonal events, like collaboration, seasonal championships, and more. And the other has the same as in the first statement, but that online game private server has some unbalanced elements, mostly having more bugs and glitches. I know that these were made just for fun, but some of them were made to match up with the actual on-going online game now.

Why there are online game private servers created? In my view and opinion, they were created to allow the player to experience something that he or she had never experienced in the actual online game server that he or she is playing. My another view and opinion is that they are created for developmental purposes, such as testing a certain element in the game. Also, this can allow a player to be prepared on what he or she is going to unleash in the actual online game server he or she is playing when the time comes.

Another reason why these online game private servers existed is that the online game server that players used to play in the past was already dead, or meaning it is offline or officially closed. Normally, actual online game servers do close down if they have no more income or revenue received (via player’s in-game purchases). What could be the tendency is that people will create their own private server to ‘revive’ that online game from the dead. That ‘dead’ online game shall be revived, but now it exists as an online game private server, which is managed by a group of people who were used to be the pioneer players of that said online game server.

The Start of Revolution: Unsatisfied Player

How did this revolution of having online game private servers around the world? I believe, but not really the origin, that the start of this revolution is the king of massive multiplayer online role-playing-games, Ragnarok Online.

Ragnarok Online first existed in year 2002, and as of now, it has been serving a lot of players around the globe, thus crowning it almost as the ‘king of MMORPGs’ of all time.

Going back to the topic, I believe, in my view and opinion, that the origin of the online game private server development is in the ‘B-Side’ of the Ragnarok Online game itself, the Sakray server. The Sakray server is the test or development side of the Ragnarok Online game itself, thus allowing players to test some elements before they can actually use them in the actual online game server. The Sakray server can wipe out all of the players’ characters and items once the duration of testing is already over or expired. Actually, players can create new characters again to test, but then it was only allowed on certain times or duration.

This is where the revolution has started. Since players of different ages, from novice to veterans, had become unsatisfied with the management of that online game server, they decided to go in the shadows, thus they tried creating their own private server to serve some noob players.

How are these online game private servers created? It is simple. They simply hack or data-mine some elements from the actual online game server (The closest thing they do is that they literally rip off the entire software or server-side game server!). Once they were programmed and created, they will publish it online, thus they either promote it, or even they don’t at all (Promotion is shared to some group of people).

Supreme RO Screenshot
Screenshot of a certain online game private server.
What Are the Online Game Private Servers There?

There are so many of them, from many to infinity. They range from different online games, from various games, genre, and platforms (PC or mobile). All I can say that they were infinite in numbers (not just Ragnarok Online). There are other online games in which they have private servers counterpart. To enumerate some, these are World of Warcraft, Flyff, Grand Chase, and the MU Online. I know there are so many, but can you enumerate them all by means of using the Google Search?

There are other online games, not just for PC, that has private servers. Also, there are some online games for mobile that has some, too.

Are These Online Game Private Servers Illegal?

If you are going to ask me with that question, my answer, for me, is yes. Creating and operating these online game private servers are illegal. It is because it is considered as breaching the copyright laws, as well as compromising the user data. Also, the creators of these said private servers for these online games has violated the legal and terms of service of that online game (i.e. reverse engineering of the software, server and client side).

Meanwhile, owners and companies of the online games they operate has the right to send some cease and desist order to some groups or individuals who operate the said online game private server. This is done when an individual or group has spotted an illegal operation of online game private server somewhere online, and they communicate them via e-mail.

However, there are also online games that can be replicated and can turn into an online game private server. Example of this is MineCraft. But only, its terms of use and its end-user license agreement (EULA) can let you do this or not.

Are You Going to Play There or Not?

Playing on an online game private server of the game of your choice is at your discretion.

So what are the pros and cons when playing on an online game private server of a game of your choice?

So here are the pros:

  • It allows you to test out some certain characters, items, skills, or other elements so that you can have an idea on when to use them in the actual game.
  • It can be your training regimen (Not really).
  • It helps you to simulate some elements in the game (i.e. boss fights).

The cons are:

  • If you are a noob and you don’t know what to do, you just simply abuse the commands (i.e. respawning, cooldown reset, ‘God Mode’). Likewise, you are just using a cheat code in a video game.
  • If you are strong and not struggling while playing in the online game private server, you are weak in the actual online game server counterpart!
  • Your hype in playing in the online game private server grows weaker and weaker when you progress. In short, you become lazy as time goes by.

I know that there are still many pros and cons. Maybe you can share some with me?

Hype and Lifespan

The lifespan of an online game private server can go further long for years, or even for a short time. It shall depend on the number of clients or players that are playing online, or if they are still active playing. Eventually, a private server of that online game will shut down if they didn’t meet with the quota. Or even, they were shut down because of copyright law violation (violation with the EULA, or the game company owning that online game give them a cease and desist order). It will also shutdown if there are no more active players playing.

Opinions and Summary

Why are there online game private servers existing elsewhere? They were meant to be created because not only they were fed-up with the mechanics of the actual online game that they are playing (i.e. low-appearance rate in Gacha), but they wanted to experience what it feels like when they get to handle of what they can’t handle in the actual online game server that they are playing.

Playing and/or operating these online game private servers are illegal. Somehow, it can be a breach of copyright and it can compromise a player’s actual user data.

There are pros and cons when playing on an online game private server. It shall all depend on the player who will play on it. It can be good or bad, and again, it depends on the person/player who will play on it.

Remember that playing on these are just a simulation of the original. Therefore, it should not be a replacement or substitute to the actual online game that you are actively playing.

Inori Donz

Inori Donz is a blogger, video gamer, Anime enthusiast, bicycle rider, and Anime figure photographer. His favorite area of concentration is 'LoveLive! Series', where he plays its featured smartphone video games, as well as watching its Anime series counterparts. "I like Anime, toys and figures, and mostly, I like playing free-to-play video games. Definitely not your usual commoner you see everyday in the streets." He started his blogging journey since December 2013, with a free WordPress blog, named 'IemDonz Blog'. That free blog contains most of his Anime figure photography works, as well as some of his opinions and experiences in the Anime world.