The Return of zOMG!

The first MMO I ever played was a game called zOMG! which was available on Gaia Online. It was a game made in Flash, back in the days when it had just been taken over by Adobe. Those days, Flash was the big new thing and everyone loved it, you could do so much with it, until people realised that Flash and its media players were full of bugs and exploits, mostly thanks to its coding language, Actionscript.

One such exploit was why zOMG! was originally shut down. Unceremoniously. Until it came back.

The zOMG! server screen. Logging in was done via Gaia Online itself.
The zOMG! server screen. Logging in was done via Gaia Online itself.

You see, zOMG! was actually pretty popular. Your character was whatever your avatar looked like on Gaia Online. You had a bunch of rings you could use and mix and match. There were no classes or anything like that and the game was pretty simple. It was also one of the earlier ways to make Gaia Gold efficiently, since you didn’t need to level yourself up too far to access the popular farming areas.

But then Gaia went downhill, mostly from a change of administration. A new CEO and shareholders started nickle-and-diming pretty much everything on the site, while cutting corners to save even more money. This meant that zOMG! no longer got updates, and the release of gold generators – items bought with real money that granted Gaia Gold in huge amounts – caused runaway inflation. Constant bugs, problems, glitches and being unable to compete with gold generators for the average player to make gold ended up driving people away.

Sometimes enemies just wouldn't drop the required loot.
Sometimes enemies just wouldn’t drop the required loot.

Until someone said they’d look into zOMG! and try and fix it. zOMG! was taken offline. A few weeks later, claims were made that a gigantic hole had been discovered that could have given bad people the ability to access administrator information, and zOMG! was taken down for good. How this had gone unnoticed for the good five or so years the game had been up, no one knew. Many people thought it was very sketchy, and that someone may have been lying or making things worse than they seemed, so they could shut zOMG! down and save money.

In the mean time, Gaia released Lake Kindred, which was probably the stupidest, simplest version of Pokemon ever released. It was good for making Gaia Gold, and the critters were cute, but it just wasn’t the same as zOMG!, which actually had the ability to interact with other players. Lake Kindred was a boring, lonely grind which was only made possible if you bought potions, if only to level up your ‘kin’ past level 10. Pay to win, but being single player, no one really cared.

There were also random Daily Rewards in zOMG!, one in each of the main locations.
There were also random Daily Rewards in zOMG!, one in each of the main locations.

But no matter what, people wanted zOMG! back. In the Site Feedback section, every few days there would be a Bring Back zOMG! thread. But the staff said the same thing. “No,we can’t, that’s impossible now.”

Turns out, that was a load of bullshit.

You see, earlier this year, the original administrator of Gaia Online, a guy called Lancer, came back from the dead. From the sounds of it, the force-real-money-puchases-down-our-throats old people had given up, and Lancer had come back to save Gaia from itself. Also from the sounds of it, the old CEO had pretty much looted everything and left Gaia with no money in its bank accounts. Lancer got straight to work on making changes – lowering the amount of announcement spam, lowering the constant release of gold generators, fixing bugs across the site… Really, it’s impressive what he’s done in such a short amount of time.

Then Lancer said he’d look into bringing zOMG! back.

And he brought it back. Actually rather quickly. In like, a month. I mean, all the bugs and glitches are still there, but the whole “no that’s impossible” thing was completely thrown out the window. You can go and play zOMG! right now.

Now I can go back and have everyone tell me I'm too good for all of this stuff.
Now I can go back and have everyone tell me I’m too good for all of this stuff.

Although you might ask yourself why. zOMG! is a very, very simple MMO. As basic as basic can be. You find rings, which work as your abilities. You use rings to kill enemies, which drop loot, orbs and potentially other rings. You follow a very basic story across the regions of Gaia. Your level depends on your rings, and you can lower your power to match specific areas. There are bosses and fetch quests and all sorts. It’s stupidly simple. But I guess that’s why people liked it, because it was a simple game that made a change from the boring single player puzzle games on the rest of Gaia.

It’s like Flash games like Adventure Quest and all that, but less pay to win. To the point that a moron like me managed to get every single ring to CL10.0, which for a while was the highest level you could reach. There was later a level 10-12 area, but it was so tedious, I never bothered.

Now it’s back, maybe I will bother. Even if the level 10-12 area is instanced and needs a team of 5 to do…


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 45% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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