After a long road of testing, we've introduced fishing. It starts at level 1, skill's up, mobs and items can be fished, and quests involving fishing, namely PLD AF gear, works as it should. It's currently capped at 10 while I evaluate skillup rates to make sure they're in line with the goal, and iron out some bugs with fish that shouldn't be hooking the line as well as a few mobs that crash zones when fished up.
Also we completely blew that 1000 player count out of the water and now have 1135 distinct ip's logging in over a 7 day period. This past Sunday I observed the highest online count I've seen to date, at 305 players online. The economy is much better off now that countless gil leaks and exploits have been fixed, which makes starting out not such an uphill battle now that massive inflation is starting to level out after the gil reduction.
Again, we're not perfect, and it's impossible to please all the people all the time. Some hard decisions have to be made from time to time. Everything I've done has been for the general success of the server and to make it enjoyable for most. There will be people on occasion who don't agree with decisions, and that's going to be the case with anything. However, taking the server's success into consideration, I'd like to think that the decisions I've made up until this point have been generally for the best.
From a developmental standpoint, there's still a lot to be done. There are two menacing crash conditions that occur in the core which are not player related at all, and I would really like to get them sorted out. Unfortunately, since they're not player related, they're impossible to recreate and I have to deal with the debug information that I get when they do occur. Every single crash generates a complete dump but anyone with a programming background will understand, those are not always very useful.
Next big thing on the list is to try and sort out an easier install process. That seems to be a big hurdle for most players, and is the most frequent issue people come to me with looking for help. A consolidated one shot installer would be ideal, but generating it to work with every version of windows at one time has proved challenging. Even players who follow the instructions exactly have still run into issues just based on slight variances in windows.