Some of you noticed that the annual website bill was due today when the site decided to show us a renewal notice instead of the site we'd normally expect. We always expect to put our own money into keeping the servers and the site running, but all the donation cash goes straight to these kinds of expenses.
The sad part about this is that there was only about $20 in donations over the last handful of months, so Plawerth went to bat and pretty much forked out a bit under $300 of his own cash to put the website back online for another year. That's peanuts compared to the server hosting bill every year, which is about $1,000 (and that's dirt cheap for this kind of hosting).
Don't let this be us crying to our players about how we absolutely need everyone to fork out a pile of cash. That'd be amazing, but we don't really expect it. Instead, Plawerth (and a bunch of us, really) really wants the community to keep going. The problem is that we haven't been getting a lot of new people coming through and our more senior players have been doing other things off and on, which makes attracting new people that much more difficult since people don't tend to vote unless they're actively playing. It's a vicious spiral on the vote sites, really.
So, what can you do ... asidefromdonatingtonsofcash? Vote. Seriously, go to the vote sites every couple days and build up a bunch of vote points for when you come back from time to time. It only takes a few minutes and all the new people wandering in will keep the community going like we'd prefer.
That said, Minecraft is an aging platform. We're looking into expanding the games we're hosting, and, once again, Plawerth has exercised his professional attitude and rebuilt the server's core functions (it was a pain in the ass just to hear the details of what he did) so it can host alternate game servers. Our first option we're investigating is Space Engineers. We'll see how it goes. We're open to other ideas, but just remember we can't entertain a whole lot of them at any given time.
Let us know what you think can be done, or what you can do, to keep the community going.