This is meant more of a general discussion and feedback, than a solid suggestion. As of this moment, we only have one available channel. I don't know what to expect of the growth of this server, in community, server wise, or actual game itself. I'm looking for actual discussion, so i ended up with a lengthy post. I'll break it into sections, feel free to focus solely on a section that interests you, and don't feel the need to comment on anything else if you don't want.
Should the community grow and the game or channels not grow to match, i'd like to mention the concern of anything related to field or replenishing resources/mobs, as in outside of instanced areas, may result in players fighting over some of the resources. Base herbs, for example, take time to replenish. If you suddenly have say, just 5 people all needing base herbs at roughly the same time, they're taking time and getting frustrated. Metallurgy spots work differently, but having 4-5 people on the beach definitely gets frustrating. Similar for hunting field mobs. I can recall trying to hunt lions way back when, and getting frustrated as 2 others would want to be there as well, and rather than stick to one spot and clear it, they'd want to run back and forth. Resulted in lions in one spot, usually where you're at at any given moment, being scarce, and then the majority all spawning away from the player. Then of course, due to the density everyone will rush that spot, to have the process repeat.
There may be other scenarios to consider, but i think that's sufficient enough to get the point across. Just want to see some thoughts on possibly counteracting this.
Herbs and metallurgy spots would be easy. Adjust the respawn timer/regrowth rate for example. Not much of a negative to that that i can think of. Mobs however, would be a bit more tricky imo.
At the moment, mobs' corpse will despawn faster than the live server. This is great for keeping the screen clear, but this is also bad for a few major and minor reasons. Faster fading means less time to finish. So if a party member kills something, say a boss, and you get the finish but you're way off in the corner dead by some multi-aggroing lesser mobs, then that boss is going to vanish before you get revived, possibly even if you nao. So, say bye bye to both boss xp and boss drops.
Similar issues pertain to skill training with party finish to any, for kills. Mobs' bodies despawn faster, leaving you less time to finish them, making some of the skills more difficult to train. Think windmill, where you have to hit large numbers of mobs with so much cp above yours. Now imagine training it if you hit lv 300+, and you hadn't started wm yet, ie rank F... You're going to fight tougher mobs to do this, so you can expect to take longer to kill. Grouping up corpses for a finish becomes less and less feasible. Windmill is a prime example, but i'm unsure if other skills will be as big an issue.
More about finishers, people who want to spam ice spear will use it, to help propagate. Reduced finish time can disrupt the effectiveness of that. Also, on live servers the decay time of the body is roughly the time it takes for their drops on the ground, to be claimable by anyone. Ie, mob drops 1k gold on death and it's not your kill, if you wait till the body despawns you can pick up the gold. You know when you can pick up the gold, by watching the corpse most of the time. Some exception exist to this, such as Battle For Tail where the mobs despawn when all of their group is killed.
FIELD MOB TWEAKS
Reason for covering finishers, is one of the issues with if we were to say, increase density of mobs in an area. Not only would you have to worry about aggro, misclicking, and possibly splash if more people are in the area; you'd have the concern of corpses and essentially decay rate. You'd have to find the perfect medium without screwing up other possible aspects. Aside from finishers, you'd have to consider the drop rates of field mobs. Anything that might earn profit, from gold, to fomor scrolls, to pots, to even possibly equips or manuals. All of them would have to be brought under scrutiny.
I'm pointing out there's no reason to keep mobs' stats as they are atm. If an aspect of them is tweaked, whether it's spawn rate, drop rates, exp earned, or something else all together, there is no reason the stats couldn't be adjusted to follow suit. A sense of balance is important to many of us, that's why we're here and not on mabi live. If a field mob were to be increased in density, could slightly lower exp earned, item drop rates, but also the stats to follow suit. Keep in mind what mob and its location as you're tweaking. Does it multi-aggro? How's the splash? What skillset does it use? How does the terrain near the spawn point of the mob, affect the players' combat and the mobs' movement? You don't want 20 balrogs in their spawn point, at their current strength. It's a bridge, decent sized but still a bridge. They have a bolt, stomp, and large splash. Other players will get you killed quick, and if they spawn 5 near each other then you're in for a very tough fight if you don't bait. Then as you're killing, you run the risk, of the respawning and aggroing you again, in the immediate area while you fight. Worst case scenario, you get pinned and unable to escape without teleporting to resurrection point. So there's various factors to look at in determining a mob's stats, as well as things to keep in mind when deciding how to tweak things.
On that note, field boss' are another area to investigate. At one time alexina had 4 channels, currently all of NA is 7 channels per server. This is important for sketching and earning drops. Should their spawn times be tweaked? Drop rates adjusted? What about the bosses used in giant/elf transformations? If someone decides to hunt one of those, anyone who may have a friend camping in iria to let them know when it spawns, may risk missing the boss, on top of having to actually be around irl when the boss spawns. This may not be a major issue atm, but if the community does increase, is this something worth addressing?
minor edit, added how corpse decay time is used to measure when you can pick up someone else's items at the end of the finishers section, and slightly cleaned that section.