VaultF4 finance situation and ideas

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LavaRed, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. LavaRed

    LavaRed Community Manager VF4-S (Server Operator) Staff Member

    I've been pondering for a few days now on how to go about this thread. Quite simply, our finances aren't looking so hot right now, and I personally just don't have the extra income to cover the deficit, or I totally would.

    Our donations aren't much, really, and heaven knows if I could pay for the Vault out of my own pocket, I would float the community until the day I quit gaming(which will inevitably be the day I die). I am going to ask for help here, guys. Unfortunately this is going to become a recurring event monthly, and I know that everyone is in a consistent bind. If you can't quite give a $4 monthly donation, just talk to me and we can always work something out. :)

    I love what this community has become, and we have some GREAT ideas about to be implemented as suggested by our wonderful members! GMod Theater is smoothly in operation now, 24/7 Arena Minecraft is almost finished(sorry, I'm hand-designing arenas :p ), and TTT is in the works.

    The Vault has donation subscriptions, which everyone is aware of, as well as the perks for donating. Are there any other perks, server-side or forum-side, that you would donate in order to receive?

    Please, consider donating, or any other way you can contribute to keeping the Vault family together!

    Love Always,
    LavaRed a.k.a. MommaLava
  2. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester TF2L developer

    A few more things to add to the situation above, for those of you wondering.

    Our operating expenses of $250/month comes from the two physical dedicated servers we have, one which hosts the website and minecraft servers, the other which hosts all of the source-based servers, voice chats.

    This means we are stuck in an all-or-nothing deal. We can't simply cut a few TF2 servers and cancel them, as we still have to pay for the physical box even if parts of it are going unused. Right now, the source server dedicated box is essentially at capacity. There's no room for more stuff on there. Our webserver box has enough additional resources for the minecraft servers, and that's about it.

    Simply put, if we don't make the 250/month goal, we'll need to cancel one of those two boxes... which means we are going to have to can some servers. On top of that, it's not even simple either; we've thought about removing a few of the TF2 servers to make room for the minecraft ones... but it doesn't work out in terms of resources. a single minecraft server can use as much memory as 2-3 TF2 servers (and FTB is a major exception to that, using as much as 7 of them)... which means we'd have resources which are already tight not being used as efficiently as possible.

    Now, you're probably thinking "sure, just cancel one box, and get it back when you have the funds again". Alas, it's not that easy. Both of those machines we have are at an INSANE price for the specs. If we cancel it, we can't guarantee getting it back at that price. I've looked, similar specced dedicated servers are generally 2-3x the price we pay - so we don't want to cancel unless we absolutely have to.

    Oh, and just so everyone knows, our bills are paid until the end of this month, so we do have some breathing room and time to work things out. :thumbsup

    I hate to be the bearer of this bad news as well, but there's no other way to put it. A heartfelt thanks to those of you that already subscribe to help keep us going. :)
  3. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    How about a VF4 calender where we feature a member each month striking poses, possibly in the nude?

    For reals though, I say addons in Gmod Theater. I want to throw popcorn! And a cool server I was visiting regularly had 2x voting power to skip videos for donors.
  4. RD1981

    RD1981 Well-Known Member

    Implement the !store system on your servers this is really popular and a lot of servers are doing it not just mine. Basically players earn credits for playing that allows them to buy things on the server so it gives none donatos a chance to help just by playing. I am sure Vintage can figure this out you have different modules you can install also its upto you. This a start as hopefully it will help bring more players in.
  5. RD1981

    RD1981 Well-Known Member

  6. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester TF2L developer

    I would have to look into this. We used to have the types of perks that they offered (custom colours, trails, glows, skins) until that plugin broke, and we didn't bother to bring it back because folks found it distracting.

    Not ruling it out as a no, but just saying I'll need to think about it for a bit.
  7. LavaRed

    LavaRed Community Manager VF4-S (Server Operator) Staff Member

    Run this by me, It's unclear to me how this would help with donations....then again, it IS stupid early on my day off and I've barely slept.
  8. Reechard

    Reechard Server Admin VF4-S (Server Operator) Minecraft Operator Staff Member Minecraft Admin

    This is actually something I was hoping to get Vintage's help with. I'll be buggin you later, baby. The *ORIGINAL* gmod theater server that was a private, custom server mod and was my original inspiration for ours, has/had a point system. Every minute of video you watch gets you a point. If a video is skipped, it gives you like... half points. You can buy perks in the server with those points, like popcorn skins, sodas, lightsabers, and it locked you to a skin when you joined, and you could purchase others. You also had to *buy* the private theaters with points. I'm pretty sure the cost of the private theaters are like... 1 point per minute, so you have to spend 3 hours in a public theater to get to have 3 hours in a private. I don't know how feasible *that* is, but we can hopefully implement this and give donators double or triple points, and double skip power or something. My first goal with our Cinema server was to make sure it would *work* and wasn't a gigantic resource hog. Now that it's up and we have a decent user/admin/donor management plugin, we need to A: get it completely integrated with sourcebans so it's synced properly, and B: work on getting some other plugins installed and configured to make it more fun and involved.
  9. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester TF2L developer

    Goddamit you only call me when you need something... never in the morning. :roflmao

    don't worry, we'll get it sorted at some point now that lava's busy building spleef arenas... we finally get some alone time ;)
  10. Inflikted

    Inflikted Achievement Hunter

    have you thought about giving pinion a try? They recently revamped their advertising again to offer impressions based in views, not view time. So it is pretty easy money if you have people joining your servers.

    I'm not sure of your current server specs, but another option would be to go with a virtual server that is upgradable/downgradable. There are a lot of places that offer pretty competitive prices, I've used one of them in the past. They are upgradable all the way to 12 HT Core Dual Intel Xeon E5-2690, 128gig RAM, SSD's in RAID-10
    One other option is to consolidate tf2 servers onto one server and purchase a SSD harddrive hotlinking all the tf2 servers to the same tf2 folder, just using different configs. Obviously can't do that with custom mod servers, but it probably would help a bit on vanilla servers. It would fail if potentially all the servers are filled because ssd's won't help on the cpu front. But it will help maintain stability when map changes are occurring, which requires a lot of read process from the hard drive. Or go with 2 ssd's and setup your own RAID-10

  11. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester TF2L developer

    All the TF2 servers are already on a single physical box and set up quite similar to what you describe (though no SSD).

    As for VPS... I've done some pricing and have yet to find a better deal than the dedicated box we currently have. Generally the problem is that once you get into the range of something that can handle more than 1 or 2 servers, you're paying the big bucks for memory and CPUs because it's now almost a "specialty" market and not targeted at any joe schmoe running a website with an SQL database and maybe one gameserver.

    As for pinion... it's something I would _really_ like to avoid, and I'm pretty sure Reechard feels the same. Just the sheer amount of disdain for it from players, bullshit they pulled a while back where they changed the pricing models/payout rates... they're not a company I want to deal with.
  12. Statboy

    Statboy Resident Cueball

    I agree Vintage about pinion, i run a pinion blocker on my TF2. Are their other less intrusive advertising software/companies?
  13. RD1981

    RD1981 Well-Known Member

    I was gently suggesting that you need more players first before you can get donations and as I know it quickplay players dont actually ever donate unless their a regular of that server.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. RD1981

    RD1981 Well-Known Member

    I also didnt suggest ads because I know you guys are against it but motdgd is a new one that im liking so far players can click continue but the ads still play until their done and the donator and admin immunity actually works on it but with quickplay servers it will only show the first time they enter and never again im not sure it would be worth as it would take a while to generate money.
  15. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester TF2L developer

    Not so much that we're against ads, but we're against obtrusive in-your face stuff that gets shoved down people's throats whether they like it or not.

    We respect our members too much to do that to you guys.
  16. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    For what it's worth, if I join servers and they have annoying ads in the MOTD I insta black list them. You should want people to donate instead.
  17. Geoff

    Geoff Sir "Let's Play"

    You should want people to donate instead.

    Well, I'm pretty sure that's what we WANT, but we obviously aren't getting people right now to donate. I hate to say it, but all the stuff that the staff members usually say they don't want at all is probably stuff we may need soon if we don't get people donating.
  18. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    Take a % of monthly donations (like 10%) and buy something on Steam. Raffle it away to 1 person who donated that month.
    Give donors the option to start vote_kicks in game
    Get custom hats
  19. LavaRed

    LavaRed Community Manager VF4-S (Server Operator) Staff Member

    Gotta have enough in donations to pay our bills before we can do that methinks :p

    Something to think about

    How do?
  20. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    The whole point in doing the raffle is to try to get more people to donate. If you donate $4 for the community with the added benefit of maybe getting a $10 or $20 game back then it might entice more to donate.

    There are plugins that let you get custom hats. Don't know what they are, but I've seen severs using them. Some are just any hat with any unusual effect, while some are new hats.
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