Sadness Coming?

Discussion in 'Server News & Announcements' started by Thyestefles, May 11, 2016.

  1. Thyestefles

    Thyestefles Admin Staff Member

    I am currently still waiting on the host to get to my ticket and resolve all of the problems causing the downtime. Yea, the downtime has been bad and is quite frustrating. Unfortunately, it gets worse...

    It has come to my attention that Mojang has begun creating and enforcing a blacklist which restricts servers from connecting to their session servers if they are not completely EULA compliant. Myself, and many other servers, have been hoping that Mojang/Microsoft would see our side of the story and perhaps relax the EULA in some way that would allow us to continue to operate while being compliant. I'm sure there is a way to reign in the massive P2W servers, some make millions in profit, while allowing the rest of us to simply stay open. It seems they are going with full blown enforcement, seeing the effects, then possibly making alterations. Maybe they already have their own plans for when servers close down, idk. Either way, it's pretty bad.

    As soon as I get access to bring the server back up, I will have to begin work on re-implementing the donation tier system we had in place previously. Sure, that sounds great, we have a system in place and it managed to work before right? Sort of. I currently have around a $550 balance on my PayPal account from when we implemented the donation tiers. We just didn't have enough to pay the bills and I figured we would be able to get things going once people became used to the tiers. That didn't really happen, what we saw was a decrease in donations after the first month of switching. It's understandable, personally I would rather be able to donate and support a server and be guaranteed a perk in return. The idea of donating and possibly getting perks if enough people donate just never appealed to me.

    There seems to be no point in speculation or what-ifs at this point. We have had our issues and managed to keep operating and our current downtime definitely is not helping. A lot of the discussions you see about the EULA subject are filled with comments from people who know nothing about it. People seem to think a server simply costs something little like $10/month or that people really want to buy cosmetic items on a small or medium sized server.

    I'm sure there are plenty of players that still have the thought that I get to bank the money the server receives and go have fun with it, if only that was true, I could totally use extra income for my personal bills o_O

    To break it all down and give you some insight into what we actually pay every month...

    Server - $100, which is less than the $160 we were paying before with a custom config and a $30 discount from the host. I didn't want to put us on cheaper hardware but, it had to be done. There are hosts that are just as cheap if not cheaper, however, good performing hardware/networks cost more. The most reliable servers running are paying $200-$300 easily just for the server. They aren't getting ripped off, they aren't running on budget hardware and networks.

    Buycraft - about $7.28 depending on whether or not GBP to dollar exchange rates fluctuate.

    Website - $4

    TS - was about $3, currently being provided by Bailey

    PayPal credit - $25-30, payments fluctuate and may go up due to their financing services. They provided 6 months of no payments each time I used it and as each month comes, it will be calculating in more of the balance for payments.

    Let's just round that off to roughly $140/month. With the shop the way it is now, we've been managing to sustain that and quite possibly had the possibility of growing and creating a sort of buffer in the PayPal account to make sure we could continue operating even in months with low donations. Would I like to make extra income from running VW? Of course, I live paycheck to paycheck and barely get by some months. That's hard to do with downtime like this and having little time to plan, design, create, and implement new content. I bring that up simply because I can definitely no longer afford to support the server financially, I have more than enough personal financial burdens.

    TL;DR We are in a pretty bad spot and in real danger of having to simply close down and cut losses due to the EULA blacklist coming into effect. We will be forced to try donation tiers again. New ideas, community involvement, possibly a white-list, will be needed in order for us to continue. I have looked into the possibility of using an online merchant to sell physical VW merchandise but, I have not found a provider that I found feasible. I'd like to have a nice VW t-shirt myself, just something I could fully customize and have sourced from a third party instead of having to order a stock of generic items with a small logo. My wife and I have considered starting some kind of Youtube series to possibly generate income and market the server. She isn't too interested in Minecraft so server videos would primarily be me showcasing builds, touring the server, adding community videos etc. Some large servers have already had to downsize dramatically and lost massive players due to becoming EULA compliant. It's a pretty sad turn of events but, perhaps we will be able to pull together and keep VW up and running instead of being forced to close down like many servers already have.
  2. Ontvlambaar

    Ontvlambaar Pizza addict Staff Member

    Wouldn't it be possible to raise the effect of the perks for players who donate, while still granting everyone else the perks? This way, everyone has the same perks followed by donating, yet the supporters gain a bit more.

    For example:
    -Player A donates $125, enough to unlock perk tier 1
    -The entire server receives the tier bonus, let's say 2 waypoints
    -The players who donated receive 3 bonus waypoints and a blue/red name (depending on the amount they donated)

    This way we can continue to generate income and cover the server costs, resulting in us being compliant to the Mojang EULA and keeping the people who donate happy with the perks they paid for. The waypoints were just a example, this can be done with anything.
    Cool_Coder likes this.
  3. Ontvlambaar

    Ontvlambaar Pizza addict Staff Member

    They probably mean that we cannot offer any in-game stuff, however that is not explicitly written down. In my opinion we can still offer stuff in our shop, as long as it is acquirable in the game too. What about making spawn eggs acquirable through a minigame, but hide them so good that they remain rare.
  4. Xeriana

    Xeriana Moderator Staff Member

    Well.... crap.
    Unfortunately Ont, just about any kind of purchase that's money-for-non-cosmetic-item isn't allowed by the EULA, regardless of whether or not the item is available ingame. That being the case, the only cosmetic items that might comply are things like nametags and zombie/creeper/skeleton(white) heads.

    After seeing this thread, Xeri searched around Google for any additional ideas, alternative ideas, and workarounds that would could try alongside our donation tier system, but none have been practical.

    Side note to Thy, though... would it be possible to have the donation tiers on a sliding window rather than resetting at the beginning of every month? Players were understandably less inclined to donate after the month was more than halfway through, but if their donation would remain in the pot for the next 30 days the same way the colored names work, then there wouldn't be less incentive to only donate early on in the month.
    TheDamonky and Ontvlambaar like this.
  5. Partago

    Partago Active Member

    It has begun...

    Let's collaborate and create a Minecraft-replica, just for us. No rules, no nothing. Just us. Should be rather easy if we change the textures, code in C++ instead of Java and use our own sound effects to avoid copyright infringement.
    Hephaestas and Cool_Coder like this.
  6. Ontvlambaar

    Ontvlambaar Pizza addict Staff Member

    Just sent Mojang a heated email, looking forward to their reply! I was polite enough to list a amount of servers that have more than 1k users throughout the day that are not in compliance with the Mojang EULA. Maybe something that will change their minds ;)
    Cool_Coder likes this.
  7. Thyestefles

    Thyestefles Admin Staff Member

    Buycraft doesn't have a feature to allow something like that easily. They never added in the ability to run a command once a goal is met either, so I have to manually activate the tiers still.

    This sounds good but, it would get confusing. I'd have to manually calculate totals constantly and players could easily be confused when they make a donation and the total would go down due to other donations falling outside of the 30 days. We will definitely have to restructure how it works. I could look into possibly adding code and another database to SQL and get something like that working and automated. That might be a bit tricky but, probably possible.

    Might have to look into coding in various boosts like other servers have done, like exp boosts, maybe the /warps be unlocked the same way. Maybe have all the perks as purchasable packages, lets say, $10 each. Make them last a week for everyone. Idk, we'll have to figure something out, not sure if that kind of setup would be enough to sustain us even.
  8. rwsender

    rwsender Well-Known Member

    As the person who discovered vanilla world on the list, I just want to make clear that this list is not a blacklist. This is merely a list of servers that mojang has received reports about. I do not wish to post it here as frankly it contains like 1000 odd IP's.

    I have seen emails between mojang enforcement and huge server owners, they set you a deadline, if you don't comply, your blacklisted. They will offer you direction and advice on how to become EULA compliment.

    I wouldn't induce the panic and switchover yet, but in the case vanilla world needed to switch over and was struggling I would happily donate $50 a month than see it go.

    As for your interesting content thy I'm sure we can get you covered for that, I'm re-working the maze now and have one level done. I'm sure the minigames server will be great once you get some free time.

    RW's tip of the day: buycraft free plan now has unlimited packages and category's, as long as we don't make $200+ a month, which VW likely does. (Just in case)

    In my opionon we should ride it out for now, unless contacted by the enforcement team first we will not be blacklisted. as you have the solution ready from before, it will be a simple enough conversion.

    VW is in a bad place now, but we have had worse, I and the community are behind you and the server thy.
  9. Thyestefles

    Thyestefles Admin Staff Member

    Well, taking a look around, I finally happened to find a place that works just like I wanted for merchandise. So yea, expect to be able to get your very own VW coffee mugs and whatnot eventually. Ideas, images, artwork, etc. are all welcome to help design some things. I haven't looked into how much the server would get for a sale but, I'll look at that when I get the time. If it's feasible, I'll work on that as well.
    LogicaLotus likes this.
  10. kemmeo

    kemmeo New Member

    When I played on VW it was back in 1.4. Daffy was still running the show back then and I can't believe how far you guys have come since! I'm really troubled seeing how you are struggling to keep this great community alive and I would like to offer some advice. I don't claim to have a definitive answer to your complicated situation, but if you would hear me out I'd be thankful.

    My advice is this, Downscale. When I first started playing we only had the survival world. No UHC or Skyblock, and that was part of why I, among many others liked it so much. VanillaWorld should keep to its core, delivering an as-near-to-vanilla experience as possible, which it does perfectly through the Survival world. Adding more gamemodes didn't serve the core player-base, why pay extra to keep it?
  11. Thyestefles

    Thyestefles Admin Staff Member

    I'm a realist and an overthinker. Something like this comes up, and it looks like it is quite likely to hit us at some point, I have to think and overthink and prepare. We can't get caught with no plan and be forced to shutdown or scramble to piece something together. I'd rather not wait until I start getting e-mails. I know they are beginning to implement it and take action, at least that's what the massive buzz on all the forums is about.

    For all I know, it's just rumors and scare tactics to get people complying. The large servers will obviously be the first in line to either be punished or comply so yes, we probably do have a little time anyway. It seems to be legit that they are going to actually start doing this though so, in case that is true, we need to be prepared. At this moment, any given month without receiving enough donations to keep VW running pretty much means we won't be able to pay the bills for that month.

    Man, I miss those good days before the DDoS problems and the EULA changes. We had a large playerbase and I always had plenty in the PayPal to cover any kinds of costs that might come up or cover low donation periods.
    Cool_Coder likes this.
  12. rwsender

    rwsender Well-Known Member

    All of the servers are hosted on the one dedicated server, as few people play them they don't have a large amount of ram assigned. The costs would near enough be the same.
  13. Thyestefles

    Thyestefles Admin Staff Member

    We had skyblocks, hardcore, and survival back then. They were all on the same server, just in different worlds. You had to do /start skyblocks or /start survival, etc. You still only had one homeset so, most people had a /home in survival and had a friend hold their survival spot while they did /start skyblocks and placed a bed. That way, they could goto skyblocks by dying but, keep their survival /home.

    I know, I was here then too :p We had a player cap of what? 30?

    Yes, I very likely will have to do yet another server migration and downscale to shared hosting...

    That would at least keep us alive and running and buy us time to possibly grow again. It's been frustrating having to have downtime to do migrations so much recently but, if it comes down to it, we'll have to do that again and lose quite a bit of power over the server. I would no longer be in control of a lot of aspects of the server.
  14. kemmeo

    kemmeo New Member

    I disagree, also you do NOT need a dedicated box to run a decent server. speaking from experience, when you are dealing with server with a low to mid level population, the advantages of having a dedicated box, as opposed to something like a VPS or even a shared hosting plan, aren't too apparent.
  15. kemmeo

    kemmeo New Member

    That's funny, all I remember from back than is the Survival world with a ravine spawn, the good old days :)
    Well to be honest Daffy was working on a flatworld with stuff like a skyscraper parkour map and Colosseum arena (Which I built with him btw ;) ).

    Shared hosting isn't too bad when you are not running bungee or multiverse. I know you lose a lot of control, but its not really needed if you run a tight setup. Maybe give Paper a shot when it updates to 1.9.4? :)
  16. FoxInFlame

    FoxInFlame Member

    I really miss the server now that it's down... :(
    I mean, that was like the only server I was on in Minecraft....

    Since I'm one of those shut-in nerds, I have almost no one to socialize with... :( (keyword: almost)
    Partago and Cool_Coder like this.
  17. Thyestefles

    Thyestefles Admin Staff Member

    Alright well, I've set up an online shop for purchasing merchandise finally. I'll have to get some things designed and put on there. At least that way, you can still donate to the server, we wont get as much of the purchase cost but, players will be able to get cool physical items and support at the same time.
    antony_cathles, Kirays and rwsender like this.
  18. rwsender

    rwsender Well-Known Member

    Definitly prepare, definitly think but scaremongering is common.

    I 100% support preparing, then if they do email your response can be "hello I have now switched to be eula complement, good day"

    Mid to low level population, each loading different chunks, entities and handling things like terrain generation. Its dedicated server or broke basically, from lots of experience using both shared + dedicated servers.
  19. ShoeBeverage

    ShoeBeverage New Member

    I'm afraid I'm still new to minecraft and I have no idea what most of this is about. other then a comments everywhere i am sadly informed. but if i can help keep the server up i will help anyway i can.
  20. kemmeo

    kemmeo New Member

    Hmm, true.. A lot of Unique chunks will have to be loaded. Did you guys give any thought to using PlotSquared? That way you can give each player their own survival claim of a set size in a "relatively" small amount of space.

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