So here's the deal, choose one of 3 periods:
- vm 1;
- vm2, before innerwears and reaper release;
- lvl 65 patch.
Personal favourite is vm2 b4 reaper, cause I started playing there but I'm pretty sure vm1 was even better if I had a chance to play it.
No need for eq bgs, gear wassn't really that easy to get but still pretty doable.
Leaderboard alredy existed back then, aside from the reward they gave alredy (murderous intent) you can make it so if you are in the top spots there, you get some rewards on main server: give a reason to keep playing.
Talking pve, I'm not the best person to talk about this, but I think MCHM and KN20 were pretty fun dungeons for the mlg pve players, also CoF with leaderboard, remember that? (sadly it was bugged and rng anyway but still..).
Also after a while if people get bored you can adapt the new dungeon to the old gear, kind like your "extreme" modes but in the opposite direction.
Now, how do you make the €€€ ?
First of all if you profited enough from Manahan to justify the effort of maintaining a server up and making new bg rules and stuff, I'm sure you could profit from wiping off the dust from an old tera build and making minor tweaks, maybe try it for a couple of months like manahan.
There are a couple things you can do to make the money and still keeping it f2p (cause p2p won't work):
- server transfer: I don't think many people would trnsfer from an oldschool server to a new one.. but still there are some cool things you could bring with you, examples are: ghost knight elm, alliance masks, old equipment you can't get anymore (I personally want double damage reflect gear for memes);
- untradable costumes, I'm sorry f2p erp-ers, you'll need to get out your wallet this time... just make costumes untradable, not many people are willing to play without any costume, I didn't spend a dime on this game but I can't live without cape, sooooo
- mild p2w: even tho I despise p2w, it would be needed... it's really the only reason this game is still alive, here's how it would work: LoT (main farming spot back then, kinda like ghilliglade) would have its mwa drop decreased (halved I guess), there would be enchanting boxes on the store which either drop mwa, spellbind or mes, in varying quantities cause gambling is scientifically proven to be addictive :^)
- Tera club (could be included in the p2w part), on top of mount (non flying cause they didn't exist back then) double instance entrances and the rest, you get a box which containes 2 mes, the number of mwa needed for one enchant (don't remember how many, it also varies by period) and the same number of spellbinds (used to lock 1 roll), all of those ofc UNTRADABLE, tc is also untradable.
Finally: the server doesn't work? close it... it doesn't take much effort to set it up.. the tweaks require a bit of effort tho I guess.
What if people want a general feel of progression and it starts to feel stale? every 6 months reset every account, meaning you delete any gold or item with merchant value so people only keep their level, their costumes and achievements. Make achievements or something for people who got certain milestons in every "season".
Yes I'm bored ._.