Monday 21 October 2013

Beyond January

Ok so quite a few players have contacted me about ways to try and keep the server going next year, I was actually surprised just how many!

So, don't give up just yet, maybe something we can all be happy with will be worked out by January.

I can also confirm that there would have been 2 VIP spaces left for this quarter, I'm not going to post the donation links but as two players renewed even after knowing the servers future was uncertain and after receiving a couple of requests I'm willing to email a paypal link to anyone who would still like to be a VIP until the fees are due in January. 

The limit of 12 will be staying so it's first come first served I'm afraid, sorry if you see this message too late! 

You would also be doing me a personal favour as I've ended up covering over £40 of the fees myself (me and Diggin usually contribute £15 each, with the VIP donations covering the remainder). 

As a forewarning if the server does carry on beyond January it's likely that we'll switch to annual billing as this would give us a 20% discount (we currently get 10%) saving about an extra £45 a year, factoring in everything else this would mean that VIP would probably cost £25 for the year, £1 a year more than now but by also increasing the number of VIPs to 16 it would cover the entire years fees. Alternatively I have been looking at trying to reduce memory overhead to reduce the servers requirements from 4GB to 3GB without too many big changes, this would lower costs by a significant amount and would mean that the number of VIPs could remain at 12 (billed annually) and still cover costs. 

Another idea that has been suggested cost wise is that we have simple donations open all year with rewards given, then the remaining costs are divided by 12 near the end of the billing cycle and VIPs pay the difference, i.e. the VIP donation would be £25 a year if no-one made small donations through the year but could be significantly less if a lot of small donations are received, essentially making the VIP system a 'safety buffer' to make sure costs are covered.

One thing that would have to go in order to lower memory use is Marble End (and multiple inventories), it's not the world it's the plugin overheads and maintenance involved, however the minigame plugin we have now is capable of much more than we are using, for example Team Deathmatches & automated Parkour (jumping puzzles), so Marble End could be replaced with a world specifically for games, with certain commands disabled to prevent cheating (/sethome, /heal etc) and containing multiple arenas using various weapons etc as well as spleef. I've got quite a few options to weigh up and test when it comes to optimising and automating maintenance, including testing a new, more lightweight, multiple world plugin which would allow us to keep The Vault & VIP Island for emergencies with considerably less overhead, it does however mean that portals would have to be replaced by a warp type system.

As for the actual running of the server I don't want to say too much at this time, I'm still considering options that have been suggested and offers to take the world over but if it does keep going there will have to be some changes to make it more self-managed as at the moment the maintenance required is a lot for anybody to take on, this is something I've been working on anyway and will continue to do so for the time being.

I know that was long winded but I wanted to put my thoughts out there and give everyone some kind of update, well done if you managed to read the whole thing and please do give any constructive feedback you might have on the situation!

EDIT: 12:15 - The two VIP places are now taken, thanks again!