TW interviewed

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Roel
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TW interviewed

#1 » Post by Roel » 21 Nov 2014 16:25

Someone who is working on a community website for private servers interviewed me and wrote an article around it. I am posting it here so you can read it if you're interested in our history and how I see this server. He also published it at his website:
http://junglecove.net/articles/news/int ... of-truewow
http://junglecove.net/index.php/servers ... lk/truewow


Interview: Roel of TrueWoW


Hey fellas,

So I’m sitting here with Roel, the owner of a private server called TrueWoW. TrueWoW is a Wrath of the Lich King realm and considered one of the best WotLK private servers to date. It’s totally blizzlike with 1x rates and all and still averages around 350 people online with peaks around 600 people.

I’m honored to have the chance of interviewing you Roel, but I feel that both me and the community doesn’t know you very well. Can you introduce yourself to the readers?

I am a relatively young computer enthusiast and love to learn how new technologies allow us to do things that were impossible before. One such thing that has become a hobby for many of us is gaming.

I am being interviewed here because I am the founder of TrueWoW and still I take care of the bills and other important matters that keep the server running.


Alright, nice to have you! And TrueWoW then, would you mind telling me the story? How did it all begin?

I started playing WoW on other private servers that existed at that time. It was in 2009 when I created my own guild while I was working my way to level 80 for the first time. Though I soon discovered how painful it was to level past 70 because of all the bugs on private servers, WotLK was still a new expansion at the time.

I became curious how private servers work and what's causing all the bugs. I discovered the projects that allow private servers to exist and I started playing around by setting up servers on my own computer. It was early 2010 and I was only 16 so I didn't have a lot of experience yet, but everything has to start somewhere and this was very educational for me.

Things became more serious when I allowed others to join the server and linked a website for account registration. From the beginning the approach was to be as blizzlike as possible with as few bugs as possible which is why I called the server TrueWoW, then I invited some of my guild members to try it out. TrueWoW was officially founded on 1 March 2010.


In that case I got to ask you why you chose to create/make/host a WotLK server?

This was the newest expansion at the time and the one that was actively worked on by other contributors. The reason we didn't move to a newer expansion later is because it would result in too many bugs that we worked so hard on to fix. Our players also became to prefer WotLK just like some players would rather play TBC or Vanilla.

I feel you. I’ve played on quite a few private servers myself and I know what you come from when talking about all the bugs out there so I’m glad you stick with what you’ve got in that sense, but that also brings up some other questions. I guess you could never have imagined the magnitude off what was about to happen later on when you created a private server for the first time. When you started TrueWoW, could you ever imagine how big of a project it was going to become?

From the beginning I was very ambitious and optimistic. We started from nothing so it was very hard to get players and make sure they came back for more. I kept telling them that I wanted this to become a big server and I wouldn't shut it down. To be honest, it grew a lot faster then I expected in the first year. Population really sky-rocketed and I had to work hard to make sure everyone could have an enjoyable playing experience. Seeing the hardships we had to go through, I would say it's almost a wonder that we're still alive today with so many players. All thanks to the players who didn't leave during these hardships!

So that means you’ve held your promise about not shutting down to date. I know several other servers have merged with TrueWoW. How come it's always TrueWoW that survives and not the other servers? You seem to have something special!

Being the man in charge of a server isn't easy. In the beginning you can be very enthusiastic but this will fade over time especially after you quit playing the game yourself. But such people generally have a kind hearth and don't want to shut down the server when there are still people who want to play, and other staff members often don't want to receive such responsibility.

The servers that merged with us already managed to survive much longer than most other servers but population was declining for everyone and other problems could prevent a server from running optimally. TrueWoW still had an active staff and a bit of a population advantage but it was also declining and we could use more players.

I saw some good opportunities for the merges and became very enthusiastic during these periods because it was important for our survival; this was the deciding factor why TrueWoW survived. The other server owners agreed to my conditions, they were happy that they could finally hand the responsibility to somebody else and trusted that the players would find a good home here.

However I believe those other servers have also survived because of the merges, they live on within TrueWoW with all the players and staff members that joined us. It was a crucial process to make sure that a blizzlike WotLK server could keep existing for those who enjoy this expansion.


So with that responsibility you mentioned I guess plenty of work has been invested. How much time are you and the rest of your team spending working on this server?

Since everyone is volunteering, this is hard to tell as we don't keep track of the hours. I probably don't even want to know how much time I have spent on this project over the years, it would be in the thousands of hours. Luckily we still have an active team and I can easily see that multiple hours of work are being done daily.

Is it worth it for you? What do you get out of it?

This is a question that many volunteers ask themselves at some point and the reason why many of them quit. When you're still playing the game yourself it's definitely worth it to make sure you can keep having fun with your friends. However when you get bored of the game or have limited time available, you need to find other reasons to continue.

One such reason is that I want to learn, there are so many complex things involved in running a server. It can also be fun to struggle with a problem and finally find a solution. The best part is when players appreciate an improvement you have worked on which makes sure they can keep enjoying the game. General reasons of what causes people to volunteer, also apply here.

But to be honest I don't always feel like I want to spend time on this project or I am just too busy with other things. The good thing is that the team can handle things without me for a while.

What also keeps me going is the idea that I started all of this, it makes me proud. I want to keep running this server until absolutely nobody wants to play here any more. It's like when you get a dog or other pet, you want to keep it until it dies.


Haha, I know exactly what you mean. Jungle Cove has been a thought of mine for quite some time now and nothing has really happened until lately but the vision never died simply because I couldn’t give up on my dreams in a way.

So over all these years, I just have to ask out of personal interest. What's the weirdest, most odd thing that has happened on this server project, either on development side or gameplay-wise?

Maybe the day that someone managed to get access to my account and spawned bosses in every city. It caused many players to wonder what on earth was happening. I can't really remember any other weird things as they are all a long time ago; the server has been quite stable in the last years.

And so, what's your best memory so far of TrueWoW?

I have some good memories from playing on the server in the early days. Leveling to 80 while barely anyone was playing on the server and playing with any new players to keep them interested. Then trying to do dungeons on normal mode with 3 players because we didn't have more players online. And so it slowly built up, creating a guild, heroics, arena, BG’s, raids. If we weren't able to have fun with so few players online, the server wouldn't have been able to grow like this.

I honestly don't know which of these memories is the best one, all of them are good.


I know what you mean. My first few steps on private servers were on pretty dead servers with low population however it was me and my guild against the content and we had plenty of fun anyway. I’m yet again amazed at your determination to keep the server alive to the extent that you kept playing with new players just to keep it interesting for them.

And so we’ve made it almost to the end of the interview and I still haven’t asked some really weird questions I could’ve asked so let’s go for something here. If you could have either Hitler or Jesus play on your server, who would you pick and why?

Are you serious? I would obviously pick Jesus as we don't allow racism on TrueWoW. The only problem would be that the entire world wants to come to TrueWoW if we have Jesus. It will be a real challenge to make sure that everyone can keep playing without lag.

Haha I bet it would, but still I think with that determination of yours you’d have found a way to make it work!

So going back to business, up until now we’ve mostly covered the history of TrueWoW and now I’m curious about your dreams of the future for your server? Where do you want to see this project in two years from now?

It's likely that we will stick to WotLK and keep working to fix any remaining bugs. A dream should be almost impossible to achieve so we dream of a perfectly bugless and blizzlike WotLK server with enough players to enjoy the content together. Obviously I want the population to be even higher than it is now but I don't really believe that will be possible for such an old expansion.

It’s a good dream and I think you should keep working to achieve it. I know that many people consider WotLK to be one of the best expansions ever in WoW history so I think there will always be an interest for a good Lich King experience. Personally I like Wrath of the Lich King a lot, but I’m currently trying out Warlords of Draenor on retail servers and so far it’s all good. However I’m still new to it as well so we will see how it works over time. That reminds me though, how is your interest for gaming in general? Did you try Warlords of Draenor yet? Do you play some other games?

I am a gamer but didn't play a lot of games since I quit WoW a few years ago. I was busy with college and just didn't have much time, also because of my responsibilities to the server.

However lately I started to realise that life is not all about working and it's important to also relax and have fun. I am honestly not really interested in an RPG for now as it requires too much time investment and thinking (I want to do everything perfectly), I will save my brains for work. To be honest, the only game I really bothered to play in the last months is Battlefield 4.


Yes man, what is life without the goodies there is to it? We all need to keep doing what’s fun in between the serious stuff otherwise I think we’ll all go crazy sooner or later. I’m a bit of a sucker for FPS games too I must say, however, good old will always be in my heart!

Alright, last question, what would you like to say to anyone that reads this interview?

Thanks for reading! My answers were quite long and not many will bother to read all of them so respect if you did. Hope to see you on TrueWoW!

Alright, thank you a lot Roel for your time. I really hope TrueWoW the best and that you manage to reach your dream of a bugless blizzlike WotLK experience. Good luck with anything you take on for yourself!

And to the readers of this article, I hope you found it interesting and that know gotten some insight into what it means to run a WoW private server. More interviews will be coming up so keep checking the website.
Thanks for reading!

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Nyeriah

Re: TW interviewed

#2 » Post by Nyeriah » 21 Nov 2014 19:01

Cheers :)

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Re: TW interviewed

#3 » Post by Justicelight » 21 Nov 2014 19:12

Proud of our server owner <3 :D
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Re: TW interviewed

#4 » Post by Arraj » 21 Nov 2014 19:35

My answers were quite long and not many will bother to read all of them
Read from first to last letter :)

Wotlk isn't my fav expansion but this is my fav staff team and server owner for sure :) I think I'll grow old on this server :)
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Re: TW interviewed

#5 » Post by Blacklustersoldier » 21 Nov 2014 19:42

You should've told them we have lots of beautiful girls on the server.
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Sagiri
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Re: TW interviewed

#6 » Post by Sagiri » 22 Nov 2014 09:11

Roel wrote:It was early 2010 and I was only 16
So now you are 20-21? :shock:
Damn, now I feel like I`ve wasted my life, achieved nothing, mean less than dust on the keyboard... :|

Great interview though, makes me sad about not being able to be on TW from the start to see it all with my own eyes.
And long answers are the best!
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Roel
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Re: TW interviewed

#7 » Post by Roel » 22 Nov 2014 12:02

Sagiri wrote:
Roel wrote:It was early 2010 and I was only 16
So now you are 20-21? :shock:
Damn, now I feel like I`ve wasted my life, achieved nothing, mean less than dust on the keyboard... :|
Yes I am 21, people were more shocked when I told them my age a few years ago. When I was 17 my parents had to help me to receive donations and pay the host as the law didn't allow me to do that (the server was hosted at home the first 4 months). Though it's not really like I have achieved a lot in life because of TW. Sure I have learned a couple of things but I still need to apply them to make a proper living for myself.

Don't feel bad about yourself as that's the only road to failure, if you're happy with your life then you have achieved everything (almost seems like I quoted that from somewhere). To be honest I had to drop out of college to come to my senses and prevent a burnout, it's hard to tell that to people. I don't really need a degree as I want to be self-employed but it leaves me with fewer options as I still haven't achieved that.

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Re: TW interviewed

#8 » Post by Archon » 22 Nov 2014 12:38

"as we don't allow racism on TrueWoW"

This is so NOT true.

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Re: TW interviewed

#9 » Post by Ancestor » 22 Nov 2014 12:40

Roel wrote: Don't feel bad about yourself as that's the only road to failure, if you're happy with your life then you have achieved everything (almost seems like I quoted that from somewhere). To be honest I had to drop out of college to come to my senses and prevent a burnout, it's hard to tell that to people. I don't really need a degree as I want to be self-employed but it leaves me with fewer options as I still haven't achieved that.
!

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Roel
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Re: TW interviewed

#10 » Post by Roel » 22 Nov 2014 12:44

Archon wrote:"as we don't allow racism on TrueWoW"

This is so NOT true.
5. While a certain amount of swearing, verbal assaults, racism or disrespectful comments towards another player or religion are expected, they should not get out of control. GMs will decide on a punishment proper to the volume of the violation.
Maybe I should have phrased it differently but with his volume of racism, Hitler would definitely get banned here :)

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Re: TW interviewed

#11 » Post by scoobydobedo » 22 Nov 2014 13:05

Roel wrote:
Archon wrote:"as we don't allow racism on TrueWoW"

This is so NOT true.
5. While a certain amount of swearing, verbal assaults, racism or disrespectful comments towards another player or religion are expected, they should not get out of control. GMs will decide on a punishment proper to the volume of the violation.
Maybe I should have phrased it differently but with his volume of racism, Hitler would definitely get banned here :)
with all respect roel , i know more than 5 people left server cause of heavy religion,racism attacks against them.the attackers never got punished.

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Re: TW interviewed

#12 » Post by Teraan » 22 Nov 2014 13:14

scoobydobedo wrote:
Roel wrote:
Archon wrote:"as we don't allow racism on TrueWoW"

This is so NOT true.
5. While a certain amount of swearing, verbal assaults, racism or disrespectful comments towards another player or religion are expected, they should not get out of control. GMs will decide on a punishment proper to the volume of the violation.
Maybe I should have phrased it differently but with his volume of racism, Hitler would definitely get banned here :)
with all respect roel , i know more than 5 people left server cause of heavy religion,racism attacks against them.the attackers never got punished.

Oh the tragedy, let's keep a moment of silence in their memory.

Speaking on topic, nice interview.
"The only problem would be that the entire world wants to come to TrueWoW if we have Jesus. It will be a real challenge to make sure that everyone can keep playing without lag." lol'ed, Jesus is a bad guy.
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Re: TW interviewed

#13 » Post by Hansrutger » 22 Nov 2014 13:27

Omg Battlefield 4!!!!! I've been wanting to get some players together and just play but no one in Inquisition is playing it :/ nice interview btw!
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I'd say that trying is the best one can do in order to higher themselves from the people crying and only complaining. Whilst you try, it doesn't mean it is always going to be the most successful result but I'd like to think that it is still a better choice than standing idle.

TrueWoW main: Palamaster

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Roel
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Re: TW interviewed

#14 » Post by Roel » 22 Nov 2014 14:20

Teraan wrote:lol'ed, Jesus is a bad guy.
That's just your opinion so let's not get into that discussion here. It was a ridiculous question anyway with a semi-serious answer. I am atheist if you want to know, what's more important is respecting other people's believes as people have feelings. It's hardly human to believe that this planet is a meaningless little pea in the Universe and that it doesn't really matter whether we all live or die. On the other hand, we have such an easy life here, we actually have oxygen to breath!

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Re: TW interviewed

#15 » Post by Teraan » 22 Nov 2014 15:03

Roel wrote:
Teraan wrote:lol'ed, Jesus is a bad guy.
That's just your opinion so let's not get into that discussion here. It was a ridiculous question anyway with a semi-serious answer. I am atheist if you want to know, what's more important is respecting other people's believes as people have feelings. It's hardly human to believe that this planet is a meaningless little pea in the Universe and that it doesn't really matter whether we all live or die. On the other hand, we have such an easy life here, we actually have oxygen to breath!
We're sharing the same opinion 'bout the question. Yes! You're right, we live in this small world, in a huge universe, yet we're able to form this big community we call TrueWoW.
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Mahkarn - Survival PvE

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