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Lolindir
06-03-2023, 06:06 PM
SWGEmu Finance Update June 2023


June 2023
SWGEmu Team


The team has finally recovered some from our infrastructure move in January, and we decided it was time to review our finances in light of the new expenses related to our move.

As previously mentioned (https://www.swgemu.com/forums/showthread.php?t=252716), we had a very nice deal from packet.net (about 60% off list price), which expired in November, and we were forced to find a new hosting provider. Our primary focus was to keep the project online and move to a provider with flexibility and high stability. We've managed to migrate successfully, and our systems are starting to stabilize.

Now as we look back, we are focusing on the survival of the project under these new circumstances. We ran a 12-month analysis of our costs (see below) and realized we have been running in the red too long. At this rate, the project would run out of funds by July!

In response to that, lordkator wrote a system for in-game pop-ups to remind active players about donations. This had a very positive impact, we received $3,080.00 in donations in May (200% over April).

However, since our move in December, lordkator has also carried some costs directly on his own personal account (TC-Prime, Sauron, Nova, Jenkins), so in reality, we're still a bit under water.

With this in mind, we decided to reduce the size of the server Finalizer runs on by 1/2 (ram and cpu), we made that change on May 3rd and while we're still waiting for all of May's costs to clear, we estimate we saved about $1,400.00 of cost.

Our estimates are if we can get our donations to about $2,500.00 we can move the rest of our services into the primary account. If we could hit $3,200.00 per month, we could move Finalizer back to a bigger server to help with lag and uptime.

The most striking result of our analysis is that in April, we had 2,352 active accounts playing on Finalizer. However, only 30 of them actually donated, and overall we averaged $0.43 (43 cents) per active account in donations.

We also launched an in-game survey for people who don't donate. The current results as of this post are as follows:

Count % Response
499 42% - I can't afford to donate.
187 15% - I'm just visiting.
180 15% - Don't know how to donate.
170 14% - I don't use paypal.
137 11% - Yes, but I don't want to donate.
1,173 100% - TOTAL

These are distinct accounts, also, the survey updates automatically here (https://www.swgemu.com/stats/surveys/in-game-survey-not-donated.html) each hour. Detailed analysis of the survey is available in Use the data Luke... Donation Survey Analysis - June 2023 (https://www.swgemu.com/forums/showthread.php?t=255349).

And last but saddest of all, our trailing 12-month financial analysis:

https://www.swgemu.com/images/finances/emu-finances-t12m-2023-04-sm.png (https://www.swgemu.com/images/finances/emu-finances-t12m-2023-04.png)

We are still whittling away at some costs, but the bulk of our costs are not fungible, and thus without community support, we will have to make more hard decisions, including shutting down some or all of our services.

Thank You,
~SWGEmu Staff

jonasthekill
06-03-2023, 11:15 PM
I appreciate the transparent communication!

Been bouncing in and out every few months as I love watching the development and seeing things progress, but this really sucks to see. I know it's not much, but added a $15/month donation in hopes it can help! Figure this is essentially the same as a monthly sub but it is going to a good cause for a dedicated and passionate team instead of a **** billion dollar corporation that provides mediocre support.

Cliffy
06-04-2023, 12:05 AM
So in the beginning with the $15k balance aside that has quickly dwindled....how was it so high? Were the cost increases over the last year that much more substantial or has the donations dropped that much? Whats the cash flow look like for the previous few years? This is what i do for a living... what did it look like at the last couple years on Bas?

$15k was a huge buffer to have so just wondering how it got to that point and now draining so quickly.

I'll be honest the transparency and lack of community input is a HUGE problem with this project. I spoke to LK on the side about this a while back and told him I'd like to see them do some sort of senate where there is a rep from every part of the game ie a crafting reps, pvp reps, pve reps, newbie reps, etc. This along with a community mamager that listen to the community input.

These things have been ignored over the years. I love you guys for the work you put in the project but....if you want us to be invested too especially those of us who have no computer knowledge, it needs to feel like OUR project too. It doesn't.

nazoreen
06-04-2023, 12:16 AM
Sorry, but I think you must choose europeans services, it is less expensive than US services. And about Slack, well there is free opensource solution. About domain, you could pay 8$ for a dot com with other provider, not 12$ with Google. I think you must rethink all services and choose open source solutions. About cloud hosting, really, check europeans services, you could win about 20-30% less for different services. About GIT, for 70$/year with O2switch, you could have an hosting for the website, forum and GIT server.

makednoce
06-04-2023, 12:57 AM
In game survey is awesome. It reminds how much we love the game. Once every two weeks i would expect to show up. Sadly it is hard year for both players and dev team. Stay in good health. It"s only money.

shilo
06-04-2023, 02:03 AM
So in the beginning with the $15k balance aside that has quickly dwindled....how was it so high? Were the cost increases over the last year that much more substantial or has the donations dropped that much? Whats the cash flow look like for the previous few years? This is what i do for a living... what did it look like at the last couple years on Bas?

$15k was a huge buffer to have so just wondering how it got to that point and now draining so quickly.

I'll be honest the transparency and lack of community input is a HUGE problem with this project. I spoke to LK on the side about this a while back and told him I'd like to see them do some sort of senate where there is a rep from every part of the game ie a crafting reps, pvp reps, pve reps, newbie reps, etc. This along with a community mamager that listen to the community input.

These things have been ignored over the years. I love you guys for the work you put in the project but....if you want us to be invested too especially those of us who have no computer knowledge, it needs to feel like OUR project too. It doesn't.

There is another server "that shall not be named", who does communication extremely well. They have a well oiled organization, discord is used as a conduit for information between developers and players. They also have a player senate, they vote on changes and game direction. Senators are community members who are voted in or out of the senate. The senate is based in Theed, and this allows for communication between the player base and the developers.

Jay Forerunner
06-04-2023, 09:47 AM
What makes this suck is that I felt like I was on a good start to joining staff, and now the thread is talking as if outright shutdown may now be in the cards.

I won't blame you if you feel a mandatory subscription is required, though with my absolute zero income, that's not something I myself would be able to sustain on my end.

If there's anything I have to add, for some form of "better than nothing" option, there should be one of the dev's local builds available as some kind of museum, with god mode powers and all, for players to go through in single-player isolation. And it'd need to be packaged in such a way that even a noob like myself can run it on his Windows OS (none of the Linux nuts-and-bolts). It wouldn't be the definitive experience, but at least it'd be preserved in some form, and keeping a multi-gig sized package file on some cloud like Google Drive is a lot more cost effective than overhead for humongous and complex servers for the full MMO experience. If this pitch doesn't fly, again, I don't blame you, I'm only trying to help.

Semper Bellum!


There is another server "that shall not be named", who does communication extremely well. They have a well oiled organization, discord is used as a conduit for information between developers and players. They also have a player senate, they vote on changes and game direction. Senators are community members who are voted in or out of the senate. The senate is based in Theed, and this allows for communication between the player base and the developers.

P.S. this place does have a Discord server, and I'm vastly more active there than I am on these forums. I even get to talk to some of the staff there once in a while. I understand you may presume we don't, but the invite is somewhere in this forum...you just need to know where to look (or how to search for it)...

chebyo
06-04-2023, 10:01 AM
So you are saying that unless people start coughing up donations the game will shut down?

If we had more community involvement in the direction of the game (as mentioned above) then I think people would be more invested and likely to donate.

The work you've done on getting this far is really impressive and it would be a shame to shut this down when you've not exhausted all possible options. You've got to see community involvement as a positive thing going forward because the people playing are what will keep this going. Also one of the biggest things putting people off is the constant threat of a server wipe, it does not convince people to stick around and that will definitely be affecting their willingness to donate.

Mozzer
06-04-2023, 11:47 AM
Sorry, but I think you must choose europeans services, it is less expensive than US services. And about Slack, well there is free opensource solution. About domain, you could pay 8$ for a dot com with other provider, not 12$ with Google. I think you must rethink all services and choose open source solutions. About cloud hosting, really, check europeans services, you could win about 20-30% less for different services. About GIT, for 70$/year with O2switch, you could have an hosting for the website, forum and GIT server.


with out sounding like a D@@K you have a great point if they are renting a server the eu server base is as low at 47.3% less than the cheapest us server that is able to keep up with the demands of the server, that being said i do not see them changing over to eu/uk based server as most of the player base and staff are based in the Us and i do not see 80% of the server playing on 100-150 ping just to save some money.

but have you guys also though about buying a server ? there are accouple on the market that will easy be able to keep up with all 3 server's that you are hosting and the player base for around 3k with discounts 2.7k. then all you would need to do is host the server at someone's house and install a business line to there house. in the uk you are looking around 120-250 for the electric and 110 for the business line..


also would you be able to post the new server setup/spec's from when you changed to amazon services ??? as you went from 20$ to $2k would love to see the upgrade that you got from that ?

Jeremai
06-04-2023, 12:12 PM
I like the game as it is. Involving community for sure is a good thing but if i see some of the future server ideas and all this discussions about other server are better cause tis or that, i personal fear server going that direction will drive me out the game.

lordkator
06-04-2023, 12:47 PM
I've had some people contact me and try to make the case it's this feature or that feature etc.

First, the project, in general, still moves towards a pre-CU server. This is the 1.0 milestone for the project.

Second, yes, we test other ideas on Finalizer, but the pure pre-CU code is still in our repo and is being worked on regularly.

Third, we had an influx of players when Finalizer launched (new server smell). At the time, I predicted it would fall off in 90 days, and sadly it did. We didn't do anything in those 90 days; the new server smell wore off. The reality is this game died because there is no end-game, and shock, surprise, we experienced it again with the launch of Finalizer. About 10% of the population sticks around, and the rest go back to Wow or Minecraft.

Here is a broader horizon of contributions if this helps, we've been in the red for a long time just the bump we got in 2021 helped us navigate that:

+---------+-----------------+-------+-----------+----------+--------------+----------+--------------+
| YYYY-MM | Total Donations | #Subs | #One Time | Amt Subs | Amt One Time | Avg Subs | Avg One Time |
+---------+-----------------+-------+-----------+----------+--------------+----------+--------------+
| 2021-01 | 1640.00 | 58 | 34 | 845.00 | 795.00 | 14.57 | 23.38 |
| 2021-02 | 1731.00 | 59 | 28 | 880.00 | 851.00 | 14.92 | 30.39 |
| 2021-03 | 1741.00 | 62 | 30 | 875.00 | 866.00 | 14.11 | 28.87 |
| 2021-04 | 2845.00 | 62 | 24 | 915.00 | 1930.00 | 14.76 | 80.42 |
| 2021-05 | 1535.00 | 65 | 13 | 1075.00 | 460.00 | 16.54 | 35.38 |
| 2021-06 | 1150.00 | 61 | 16 | 865.00 | 285.00 | 14.18 | 17.81 |
| 2021-07 | 1710.00 | 60 | 22 | 840.00 | 870.00 | 14.00 | 39.55 |
| 2021-08 | 1055.00 | 58 | 13 | 835.00 | 220.00 | 14.40 | 16.92 |
| 2021-09 | 1352.40 | 63 | 18 | 930.00 | 422.40 | 14.76 | 23.47 |
| 2021-10 | 1270.00 | 58 | 14 | 880.00 | 390.00 | 15.17 | 27.86 |
| 2021-11 | 1130.00 | 59 | 13 | 885.00 | 245.00 | 15.00 | 18.85 |
| 2021-12 | 3275.00 | 67 | 50 | 1005.00 | 2270.00 | 15.00 | 45.40 |
| 2022-01 | 3531.00 | 71 | 48 | 1015.00 | 2516.00 | 14.30 | 52.42 |
| 2022-02 | 2980.00 | 78 | 60 | 1130.00 | 1850.00 | 14.49 | 30.83 |
| 2022-03 | 2376.00 | 80 | 34 | 1155.00 | 1221.00 | 14.44 | 35.91 |
| 2022-04 | 2355.00 | 72 | 29 | 1055.00 | 1300.00 | 14.65 | 44.83 |
| 2022-05 | 1770.00 | 68 | 24 | 1110.00 | 660.00 | 16.32 | 27.50 |
| 2022-06 | 1480.00 | 65 | 19 | 970.00 | 510.00 | 14.92 | 26.84 |
| 2022-07 | 2185.00 | 56 | 19 | 825.00 | 1360.00 | 14.73 | 71.58 |
| 2022-08 | 1485.00 | 54 | 19 | 805.00 | 680.00 | 14.91 | 35.79 |
| 2022-09 | 1340.00 | 51 | 15 | 730.00 | 610.00 | 14.31 | 40.67 |
| 2022-10 | 1200.00 | 49 | 18 | 700.00 | 500.00 | 14.29 | 27.78 |
| 2022-11 | 1660.00 | 49 | 24 | 735.00 | 925.00 | 15.00 | 38.54 |
| 2022-12 | 1620.00 | 50 | 11 | 755.00 | 865.00 | 15.10 | 78.64 |
| 2023-01 | 1260.00 | 48 | 16 | 745.00 | 515.00 | 15.52 | 32.19 |
| 2023-02 | 1129.50 | 46 | 12 | 720.00 | 409.50 | 15.65 | 34.13 |
| 2023-03 | 1320.00 | 51 | 14 | 795.00 | 525.00 | 15.59 | 37.50 |
| 2023-04 | 1055.00 | 49 | 9 | 775.00 | 280.00 | 15.82 | 31.11 |
| 2023-05 | 3015.00 | 53 | 65 | 945.00 | 2070.00 | 17.83 | 31.85 |
| 2023-06 | 1365.00 | 22 | 36 | 350.00 | 1015.00 | 15.91 | 28.19 | * Partial
+---------+-----------------+-------+-----------+----------+--------------+----------+--------------+

vasilij
06-04-2023, 01:29 PM
I know it most likely aint many of us - but is it possible with a payment option that dosnt involve Paypal?
The only donation options requires it to go through paypal, with or without an account.

lordkator
06-04-2023, 01:35 PM
I know it most likely aint many of us - but is it possible with a payment option that dosnt involve Paypal?
The only donation options requires it to go through paypal, with or without an account.

We use Paypal as our primary system of record, we've thought about other things like Patreon etc but then it gets messy reconciling across multiple services etc.

Is there a specific reason you won't use Paypal even without an account?

vasilij
06-04-2023, 01:45 PM
We use Paypal as our primary system of record, we've thought about other things like Patreon etc but then it gets messy reconciling across multiple services etc.

Is there a specific reason you won't use Paypal even without an account?

I understand the difficulties and administration it requires to run multiple services, so the choice of going with a single solution does make sense.
Obviously i can only speak on my own behalf, but I have several times clicked the donate button just to check if there were other/new options to help everything on tracks.
If you keep the survey pop up running, try adding a question if people would donate if there were another payment option - just to get a rough idea if it would be worthwhile.

As with all choices there is ofc. a reason behind - but that is personal and nothing that concerns the public :)

Ebak Zarr
06-04-2023, 01:51 PM
We use Paypal as our primary system of record, we've thought about other things like Patreon etc but then it gets messy reconciling across multiple services etc.

Is there a specific reason you won't use Paypal even without an account?

I despise PayPal because Iíve had my card and bank information stolen through them. Large amounts of money were transferred from my accounts during my house purchasing process. Big pain in the ***. Would never have used them again, but the donation here was PayPal only. I felt dirty afterwards. Now Iím watching my account like a hawk for who knows how long.

Lolindir
06-04-2023, 01:52 PM
Other services also take relative large fees of every $ donated. Paypal is our bank and they have reasonable fees, just like an actual bank, but on the contrary of a bank, especially when you get money from multinational sources, Paypal is by far easier for both us and the donators. Paypal can also, as LK has said, be used without and account.

I personally like Paypal. I don't get my credit card info all over, all subscribsons are gathered in one place, so that it makes it easier for me to actually cancel them. All I need to do is log into Paypal and to the sub page and cancel the ones I don't wish to continue. I don't need to go to each page and do it there. Some have made it really difficult to cancel the sub also. Then Paypal makes it easy for me. Paypal also makes it easy to show me how much I have used total on each sub.


I despise PayPal because Iíve had my card and bank information stolen through them. Large amounts of money were transferred from my accounts during my house purchasing process. Big pain in the ***. Would never have used them again, but the donation here was PayPal only. I felt dirty afterwards. Now Iím watching my account like a hawk for who knows how long.Sorry to hear that. The solution would be to donate outside of an account or to have the donation not been recurring and then have to do it manually each time you wish to donate.

vasilij
06-04-2023, 02:02 PM
Im sure theres plenty of personal stories, good and bad, but this wasn't intended to be a platform for that, or a pro/against Paypal.
Just poking possibilities for some more donations and looking into ways that could gauge if it was worthwhile with some alternative payment service/option.

Bazari
06-04-2023, 02:08 PM
Could development of new updated be voted on by donations. Let the the amount donated toward an improvement choose which update gets done? It would give people a chance to feel more involved in the direction of the game.

Lolindir
06-04-2023, 02:15 PM
Could development of new updated be voted on by donations. Let the the amount donated toward an improvement choose which update gets done? It would give people a chance to feel more involved in the direction of the game.That is something we could take into consideration.

tazman1701
06-04-2023, 04:17 PM
I've had some people contact me and try to make the case it's this feature or that feature etc.

First, the project, in general, still moves towards a pre-CU server. This is the 1.0 milestone for the project.

Second, yes, we test other ideas on Finalizer, but the pure pre-CU code is still in our repo and is being worked on regularly.

Third, we had an influx of players when Finalizer launched (new server smell). At the time, I predicted it would fall off in 90 days, and sadly it did. We didn't do anything in those 90 days; the new server smell wore off. The reality is this game died because there is no end-game, and shock, surprise, we experienced it again with the launch of Finalizer. About 10% of the population sticks around, and the rest go back to Wow or Minecraft.


If that is the case there may be a solution. The quest system from when SOE revamped the game. If only the questline thing was brought in I think it would of been fine it was everything else they added.
I know its an unpopular opinion and I am not saying revamp the entire game like they did but maybe add Mustafar and Kashyyyk and the storyline those planets had when you landed on them.

I know its alot of work but if we are talking about people leaving because the game is too open world maybe adding a few more linear elements to certain areas might be the solution.

Bostwain
06-04-2023, 04:24 PM
Could development of new updated be voted on by donations. Let the the amount donated toward an improvement choose which update gets done? It would give people a chance to feel more involved in the direction of the game.

This seems exploitable.

What if someone donates to win the poll, then contests the charges and takes back the donation after the changes are made?

Lolindir
06-04-2023, 04:27 PM
If that is the case there may be a solution. The quest system from when SOE revamped the game. If only the questline thing was brought in I think it would of been fine it was everything else they added.
I know its an unpopular opinion and I am not saying revamp the entire game like they did but maybe add Mustafar and Kashyyyk and the storyline those planets had when you landed on them.

I know its alot of work but if we are talking about people leaving because the game is too open world maybe adding a few more linear elements to certain areas might be the solution.We truly have to keep to our goal, or it will never be reached. Let us first meet the 1.0 milestone then we can look into what comes after.

Ebak Zarr
06-04-2023, 05:17 PM
Someone on either this thread or a related thread mentioned purchasing a server rather than renting. I donít know the whole cost related to running/maintaining a server that we purchase, but is that a possibility? Have the numbers been run? I would be more interested in supporting a higher upfront cost if the long term costs are drastically reduced.

Lolindir
06-04-2023, 05:40 PM
Problem is that we have hardwear that fail all the time. a disk that crash or ram that fail. Upgrades needed to be done. When rented, we don't notice that much. If we own, we have to deal with that and one of us has to have the server physically in reach at any time. It will have to be more than one. We are spread all over the world. The project can't expect one person to be here 24/7, 365 days out of the year. It's just not possible. No one would even want that. Our lives is more than SWGEmu.

Rippster
06-04-2023, 07:02 PM
We truly have to keep to our goal, or it will never be reached. Let us first meet the 1.0 milestone then we can look into what comes after.

Is there an actual ETA date for 1.0 release? I've been here for around 15 years now and my main issue is that I don't see any conclusion to this project. The project status hasn't been updated in over a year and so I've long been leery about this project ever coming to a conclusion. I see the updates and it seems to be advancing but I haven't seen any kind of finish line presented. I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way but perhaps I've missed the ETA thread and someone can point me there.

I'm also in the no PayPal group so alternatives might help.

/shrug

nazoreen
06-04-2023, 07:09 PM
About this table, could you tell us specificaly why you use services for ?
For example, Google LLC or Wasabi, you are using these services for what exactly ?
1password, you could use Keepass or Bitwarden instead.
If you could find inexpensive alternative for every line, we could reduce costs. Yesterday, I told about europeans servers, but you could see in Quebec Canada (PlanetHoster or OVH for example). Google Cloud is more expensive than Google or Microsoft cloud, may be it could be interesting to calculate costs.
I think we will find less expensive solutions if web work all together.
https://www.swgemu.com/images/finances/emu-finances-t12m-2023-04-sm.png

nazoreen
06-04-2023, 07:11 PM
What do you think about a subscription of 6$ per year for every users ?

Misk Brebran
06-04-2023, 07:38 PM
Just an idea, but would it be possible to create a sub-forum in the ďProject UpdatesĒ forum and move all the annual finance updates there so the past info is easier for people to find if they have questions about them?

Bostwain
06-04-2023, 07:41 PM
What do you think about a subscription of 6$ per year for every users ?

Walt and Mickey would not like that

shilo
06-04-2023, 08:14 PM
P.S. this place does have a Discord server, and I'm vastly more active there than I am on these forums. I even get to talk to some of the staff there once in a while. I understand you may presume we don't, but the invite is somewhere in this forum...you just need to know where to look (or how to search for it)...

Thank you, yes I have joined the emu discord. The discord I am referring to is much more engaging.

Jay Forerunner
06-04-2023, 11:00 PM
Walt and Mickey would not like that

Would be nice to Jedi Mind Trick the rat, but I doubt that's a task anyone is equipped to actually accomplish.

Twieker
06-05-2023, 12:13 AM
That is something we could take into consideration.

How much does an unban cost?

jonasthekill
06-05-2023, 12:20 AM
That is something we could take into consideration.

Wallet warriors, UNITE! For real though, this could be a good way to generate some donations but might turn off a lot of those who play and canít win the auction against others 😂

Celthon
06-05-2023, 12:55 AM
Wallet warriors, UNITE! For real though, this could be a good way to generate some donations but might turn off a lot of those who play and canít win the auction against others 

You'll have cries of 'Pay to Win' then.

tuahad
06-05-2023, 05:21 PM
The main reason is I can't afford to the reason why I play a free to play game is because I can't play anything else I can't buy a computer smart enough to play anything other than this game that's 20 years old my rent is $1,200 a month and I barely make $250 a week maybe 300 sometimes my girlfriend my wife makes about that too maybe 300 if we're lucky so we're scraping man

JiHaD
06-05-2023, 08:14 PM
Thank you for the transparency. Hopefully more people consider donating to the project.

Lolindir
06-05-2023, 09:19 PM
The main reason is I can't afford to the reason why I play a free to play game is because I can't play anything else I can't buy a computer smart enough to play anything other than this game that's 20 years old my rent is $1,200 a month and I barely make $250 a week maybe 300 sometimes my girlfriend my wife makes about that too maybe 300 if we're lucky so we're scraping manDon't feel like you have to defend anything. We are not here to out people who have financial challenges.

Its a reminder. Some can't afford, others don't want to and others again actually just forget, as we can see with this reminder. It did help us

makednoce
06-06-2023, 01:28 AM
Whatever it changes, it will be bad, both for the project and the game.

Adding a reminder once per week will help the project.

You are doing an awesome changes for the game and the future server ideas forum is active.

The best people to make balance between players and the game is the dev team.

Personally, don't like adding changes if players suggest via donation or voting or any other system. It will ruin you all and your project.

As lordkator said, "the server will shut down", and it will be for the better if players refuse to donate.

Jay Forerunner
06-06-2023, 12:17 PM
The main reason is I can't afford to the reason why I play a free to play game is because I can't play anything else I can't buy a computer smart enough to play anything other than this game that's 20 years old my rent is $1,200 a month and I barely make $250 a week maybe 300 sometimes my girlfriend my wife makes about that too maybe 300 if we're lucky so we're scraping man
Another victim of the non-sustainable modern society...my heart goes out to you, yet I fear this will become increasingly normal as the years go by...

Praxi34
06-07-2023, 03:48 PM
Thanks for the transparency. I have been watching the donations bar rarely hit 100% so i thought this was coming. I do a monthly direct debit.

It is possible we could do a fundraiser? Such as go fund me, project etc (no nothing on legality here so excuse my ignorance). It could be goal orientated (such as ensuring 1.0 goes onto a stable server for x amount of years) etc.

The end game content can come once 1.0 is complete and we shouldn't deviate from that 1.0. We all know (and from other servers) that content can be added and have a more immersive end game. But with TEST servers, we know things will be wiped so people pop in and out and do not want to dedicate too much time to it.

Im going to increase my direct debit and try and give what i can extra. I know its tough for everyone currently :(

As well as the percentage on the donation bar could we put the total amount needed per month as 0/$3200 (for example) so we can quickly see what we need to meet? We could also click the bar and see a breakdown of current costs per month.

Also another idea, could we go back to quarterly or monthly finance updates? Could give the community confidence if we are heading in the right direction, and if not try and donate before its too late.

Just a few ideas.

We are soo close...lets get over the finish line!!!

Big up the team x

quasi
06-08-2023, 03:26 AM
Thanks for the update.

For me personally, and I am sure others feel the same way. Ive been following this for a LONG time and very much intend to donate when actively playing.
I just don't have any desire to play yet until 1.0, when I know the time I put in doesn't get server wiped. Its hard for me to pay for something when I am not playing it yet.
Anyways I hope things continue to progress for you all, Ive been looking forward to playing for a very long time just like everyone else.

Thanks for all that you do here everybody! It is appreciated.

Jay Forerunner
06-08-2023, 07:45 PM
Plus, on top of the people not getting too invested with the whole "no telling when everything would get wiped" idea, now it's doubly compounded by the uncertainty for whether or not the entire game outright would get shut down, temporarily or permanently. Because the cruel reality is that passion and enthusiasm will not magically spawn resources, especially given the fact we are not yet existing in a post-scarcity chapter of existence. Post-scarcity, y'all would have until the literal end of time and the Theoretical Heat Death of the Universe (or even the shorter-term Theoretical Heat Death of the Earth) to make this project complete. That's not the reality we must adapt to.

And of course, if I didn't already say this, there is no shortage of ways to pass the time, so I don't blame people for losing interest in a game that's decades old and is little more than a curiosity or a brief glimpse into what life was like from a time long ago. Which is why I suggested some kind of "museum mode". Because as far as community goes, it's extremely niche (even though it's passionate). To visualize this duality, we actually have some data: each person's forum profile will count "x hours within the past 30 days" of being online (I presume that's only for Finalizer, and does not count my time in Nova for example). You'll notice a huge fraction say "inactive" (meaning, 0 activity in-game at all), while the other fraction would clock in hundreds and hundreds of hours. Even with the forum as a microcosm, this is the best sample data an outsider like myself can access in terms of how many people care, and how many people *seriously* care. The other data point is in the launcher, unlike most MMOs that give a vague "light" or "heavy" traffic, here we see some hard numbers, consistently in the range of about 300. (As of me writing this now, it's at 260, which is around the back half of weekday office hours among the USA, which I presume is the primary geographical region of the demographic - the secondary would be around Europe, which is about prime time for them. Weekend numbers would illustrate a "best-case" projection.) The question is that how many of those are bots or alts, and how many are actual human players. (This same question is projected to the forum numbers as well: how many of them are just doing AFK macro tasks, and how many are actively engaging with the game? Because both count towards that data metric.)

I'm not going to sugarcoat it, money in the traditional capitalistic sense could very likely be a no-win situation. Because without befriending the rat, your only option is donation from volunteers (or the staff paying out of pocket, and I don't know if those elite handful can both sustain their real-world bills and the cost of a whole niche MMO), but if you do befriend the rat, chances are you'd have to sell your souls in the process (or, they could, regardless, perform the loathed "cease and desist"). There was a group that was all about preservation and display of games new and old, and that group got itself legally registered as a charity. Has anyone thought about that angle before?

At least Jamie's house in-game has close to a year's worth of maintenance on it, just in case I do find myself enjoying a very long break.

lordkator
06-08-2023, 11:57 PM
FYI hours online includes all our servers so someone playing exclusively on Nova would get time also.

alexriddle89
06-09-2023, 12:55 AM
Not sure what the solution would be If I'm honest, but I could get behind a subscription model. I'm sure player counts would drastically dip, but if the fee was low and nominal enough (below the original SOE monthly sub) I'm sure many would step up to the plate to support the people/services that keep this game alive. I of course would PREFER it to stay free/donation based, but unless more people step up to contribute I don't see how it can.

For the record, I don't even spend a lot of time in-game and my monthly donations are rooted in wanting to reward the time and effort gone into keeping this game up and running. Not trying to guilt anyone as I know some genuinely can't afford to contribute, but if you CAN afford to, I hope you consider it.

Celthon
06-09-2023, 04:35 AM
An idea for people who ask if a subscription model would be an option to raise funds -- pretend there is a subscription already...whatever amount you feel comfortable with, set it up as a 'recurring/monthly donation'. Then just tell yourself you're paying a monthly subscription -- but as far as there actually being a subscription I am pretty sure that cannot happen as explained in other parts of the forums...legal stuff dealing with the use of the code, etc. I don't pretend to know much about all of that, but it's what I have seen posted in several threads on the forum.

alexriddle89
06-09-2023, 04:49 AM
An idea for people who ask if a subscription model would be an option to raise funds -- pretend there is a subscription already...whatever amount you feel comfortable with, set it up as a 'recurring/monthly donation'. Then just tell yourself you're paying a monthly subscription -- but as far as there actually being a subscription I am pretty sure that cannot happen as explained in other parts of the forums...legal stuff dealing with the use of the code, etc. I don't pretend to know much about all of that, but it's what I have seen posted in several threads on the forum.

Agreed, didn't think of the legal implications. Perhaps a perk based donation reward for in-game item(s) that have no basis on combat? Not sure how else to motivate people to contribute.

n310mf
06-09-2023, 05:25 AM
Thanks for the update. Try to donate what I can

oMek
06-09-2023, 09:18 AM
Staff needs to admit some fault in this situation. Lack of communication, unjust heavy-handed bans, unpopular changes that drove people away... ie LD buffing nerf, Solo mission nerf, Promised group XP etc...

Trim the fat. This is not a paid environment. Axe live chat and maybe set up a discord style support like you had on IRC. Trim everything you can to save a few bucks. Asking people to donate for unjust and under utilized "wants" is wrong.

Unban everyone and restart with a clean slate. Remove the forums/discord/game bans being tied together.

Spend more time advertising. People that are coming back to relive a pastime are much more willing to donate. Put feelers out to tech sites that cover games about doing a review, maybe do an interview.

Finally... Launch 1.0 as it sits. Fix/adjust what's left after. Send a mass email letting people know 1.0 launched and everyone is unbanned. Make the point no more wipes will happen. I would bet there are 1000s of people that refuse to play due to wipes.

n310mf
06-09-2023, 07:58 PM
Finally... Launch 1.0 as it sits. Fix/adjust what's left after. Send a mass email letting people know 1.0 launched and everyone is unbanned. Make the point no more wipes will happen. I would bet there are 1000s of people that refuse to play due to wipes.

Interesting idea...I like it. If 1.0 were to launch today I would def start playing regularly and setup a donation subscription to match my play. I personally have been waiting for 1.0 to start playing again / get back into this game. If the financial situation is one such that this project may actually end, I think this is the best chance of keeping it alive. I'd rather have an incomplete / buggy 1.0 that's alive than no SWGEMU at all.

Praxi34
06-10-2023, 03:16 PM
Interesting idea...I like it. If 1.0 were to launch today I would def start playing regularly and setup a donation subscription to match my play. I personally have been waiting for 1.0 to start playing again / get back into this game. If the financial situation is one such that this project may actually end, I think this is the best chance of keeping it alive. I'd rather have an incomplete / buggy 1.0 that's alive than no SWGEMU at all.

I have been thinking about this as well around launching 1.0 and then launching chapters to add any further content, similarly to how SOE did it in the early stages. Although we would have to put up with more bugs, certain things not operational as they should be. Ultimately, it is up to the dev team when they feel a stable/complete and wipe free (as possible) 1.0 is ready to launch but it might be good to put out a poll and see the community interest in how we transition into a 1.0 server.

Its amazing we can have these conversations, really shows how far we have come in the past 17 years or so!

Rippster
06-11-2023, 01:58 AM
Finally... Launch 1.0 as it sits. Fix/adjust what's left after. Send a mass email letting people know 1.0 launched and everyone is unbanned. Make the point no more wipes will happen. I would bet there are 1000s of people that refuse to play due to wipes.

I like that idea and I'd come back the second it launched.

KezJona89
06-11-2023, 10:50 AM
Staff needs to admit some fault in this situation. Lack of communication, unjust heavy-handed bans, unpopular changes that drove people away... ie LD buffing nerf, Solo mission nerf, Promised group XP etc...

Trim the fat. This is not a paid environment. Axe live chat and maybe set up a discord style support like you had on IRC. Trim everything you can to save a few bucks. Asking people to donate for unjust and under utilized "wants" is wrong.

Unban everyone and restart with a clean slate. Remove the forums/discord/game bans being tied together.

Spend more time advertising. People that are coming back to relive a pastime are much more willing to donate. Put feelers out to tech sites that cover games about doing a review, maybe do an interview.

Finally... Launch 1.0 as it sits. Fix/adjust what's left after. Send a mass email letting people know 1.0 launched and everyone is unbanned. Make the point no more wipes will happen. I would bet there are 1000s of people that refuse to play due to wipes.

Great response, support just launching 1.0 and start making positive changes and content. Relight the spark for the game.

chayn
06-11-2023, 04:55 PM
Staff needs to admit some fault in this situation. Lack of communication, unjust heavy-handed bans, unpopular changes that drove people away... ie LD buffing nerf, Solo mission nerf, Promised group XP etc...

Trim the fat. This is not a paid environment. Axe live chat and maybe set up a discord style support like you had on IRC. Trim everything you can to save a few bucks. Asking people to donate for unjust and under utilized "wants" is wrong.

Unban everyone and restart with a clean slate. Remove the forums/discord/game bans being tied together.

Spend more time advertising. People that are coming back to relive a pastime are much more willing to donate. Put feelers out to tech sites that cover games about doing a review, maybe do an interview.

Finally... Launch 1.0 as it sits. Fix/adjust what's left after. Send a mass email letting people know 1.0 launched and everyone is unbanned. Make the point no more wipes will happen. I would bet there are 1000s of people that refuse to play due to wipes.


Bring back all the same ole' ppl dominating all the same ole' uber spawns with their same ole' legendary weapons for ever and ever????? No thanks....

Wipe all items, get rid of ADKs.... let us keep the rest.... i'd be good with that...

waynea
06-12-2023, 12:12 AM
There is 100's of reasons for ppl not donating and quitting for they're own reasons But ill only go into my reasons. To began with this is more CU than pre cu which i can deal with . IN PRE CU Creatures etc could not go through walls . Put back in dizzy tapes. Put back in ADK'S and make these things bio linked . I have always thought that the game should be harder but not in the way its headed atm. Let the players get leet but over time as thats the personal goal of every player, the hidden resorses changes is the only thing thats done right use that as an example. I would add an ADK TO every 6 months to rewards or so or every 180 days of log in. You will wind up in the end with leet players and donateing players to play if these kind of things happen, and if not you are going to wind up with a failed server. just my $.02

Jay Forerunner
06-12-2023, 01:46 AM
All I know is, if the devs and other core members of the staff could single-handedly foot the bill, I'd presume they wouldn't even ask for donations at all, and the entirety of SWGEmu would be free forever. Unless my logic is flawed, the fact that there is a donation feature implies such is false, and therefore, the long-term and ongoing trends of failing to meet such costs would have worrying implications.

Those implications result in less people playing, which results in less people paying, and it can create a death spiral.

Given realistic-ish confines and the rules of how modern society is forced to operate, there are 2 theoretical fixes to triage such a situation: gain more money or spend less money.

Gain more money means more people donating, and that does not seem realistic...especially while staying true to the vision of the game (see also: my discussion about "the rat"). It's doubly true when rules specifically prevent new people from joining in. "Oh, you don't have this ancient CD which might as well be an archeological find more fitting for a literal museum? Well that's too flaming bad, you are forbidden from joining our community!" The technological capability of sharing the game files is not hard...it's the legality that's stifling any hope for community growth, particularly because there will be no new "legally authorized CDs" manufactured, and that puts a hard-cap onto potential new member numbers (one that shrinks as more discs are broken, lost, or forgotten). Even if it's not a "legal" issue and that's a bunch of bonk, the staff rules clearly disapprove and disavow of someone copy-pasting the SWG game contents to any friends or family members...again, capping just how many new people can potentially join. This is important because it's safe to presume we're getting the most out of our current community as-is, which is estimated to be an average of approximately $0.50 per person (literally $0.43...Source - https://www.swgemu.com/forums/showthread.php?t=255347 ). That is hardly a notch away from my own personal standard operating procedures designed specifically around the $0 budget. Yet even the "DIY" approach of fully hand-building your own infrastructure (even assuming the skills, sweat, and tears were viable) still costs a notable lump cost up front for raw resources, so I can not advise that for a strict $0 budget (you need Super Hobo levels of skill and permission to go into a scrapyard, haul loads of junk for raw resources, and transform that into actually working parts and pieces). The maintaining of this game is apparently a hobby, not a job, so it's time to start treating it like a hobby.

The other path, spend less money...I'm looking at a couple ideas for that. First, the game right now is said to be able to handle 3,000 people online at a time (source: SWGEmu launcher), yet as of this writing, at about 8:40 PM on a Sunday (specifically U.S. Eastern Time, so 5:40 PM Pacific Time at the USA's west coast), it's at 254 "currently online". Unless the staff know something I don't, it might be possible to shrink the cap from 3,000 people down to 1,000 which will mean less resources and thus less costs to maintain and upkeep SWGEmu. Second, "museum mode" for single-player...there are cloud storage systems out there which permit gigabytes for free costing you $0 just to drop a big packet out there and forget about it, and it'd let people play SWGEmu forever (just with the one giant asterisk that it's no MMO). I spoke to a couple staff people about that, with letting people get local builds, and they seem only willing to share that for people who are able and willing to contribute to the code of SWGEmu, so...y'know, if instead of sharing that with Linux experts only, have just about anyone access it, that could also drive numbers to a healthier direction. If the money situation is as desperate as it would be for me, I'm just saying, it's hard to beat $0 (because I have experience, albeit limited experience, creating on $0 budgets), especially if the goal of preserving the game is more important than any other concerns as far as this community can extrapolate. I would drool to see something like a "SteamDB" site for SWGemu, with the full metrics of player counts (such as all-time high, the peak of the past 24 hours, past 7 days, and so forth) because my pure gut feeling will say you are consistently looking at around 10% of server capacity (even with bots and alts) and the rest of that free space is just unneeded bloat. I'm not just talking "Finalizer" here, this goes SQUARED for Nova! Nova's numbers are normally single digit at a time, MAYBE double digit. (And we don't see much presence from staff in-game because they do all "the real work" on local builds far removed from the community's eyes, plus one of their God powers includes invisibility - or at least I believe that's one of the God powers.) All that to say, Nova in particular can (or maybe even should) have a smaller hard-cap for allowed players online simultaneously, for if that has the same 3,000 deal as Finalizer, that's a larger amount of waste. Going from Equinix to Amazon hurt on a 4-digit order of magnitude (Personally, with having barely been INSIDE Amazon, I swear they're Czerka Corporation: Real Life Edition), but at this point, that's only going from bad to worse (more specifically, just looking at the trends of "grand total", it's still bleeding out on the old provider, but it's the difference between "years" or "months" until reserves are bled dry), yet without researching such providers, there may or may not be a more cost-effective infrastructure solution. Lastly, a small thing I noticed, WHY THE KRA'TA do you pay for Slack?! I could've sworn that was a FREE program! Isn't Discord good enough for team coordination? You don't even need to pay for Discord; all that does is give you larger file uploads and more universal use of cute emotes. For in following the second option, "Trimming the Fat" is the name of the game.

Finally, there's ALWAYS a "third option", and this is the one that people can not help but default to: change nothing. We have the data for what that looks like, and it's quite thoroughly "in the red" across the board. Just project that trend to the near future (and long-term future as well), so that'll tell you how "the third option" will play out. Only question then is, how long can status-quo be upheld until the staff decide it's no longer sustainable? Or is all the "in the red" just smoke-and-mirrors and it's *always* going to be sustainable through sheer magic and cheat codes? And that chart with all the "in the red" and the nearly literal "bottom line" marked "Grand Total"...below even that, we see "PayPal Balance" which is at about $5,000 but the trends project a roughly -$1,000 monthly cost (I'm approximating for simplicity of Math, plus recent month numbers indicate I'm using conservative best-case estimates), implying we have a rough mathematical answer to the question I just asked. ETA is about 6 months (one half-year of Real Time) before this mess gets serious. Even with Jamie taking a year long break, I'll see how you're doing in December. (1 update to my calculation, because this detail matters...the final month of the chart was posted in April, yet with discussions going on as of June, that means there's at least 1 additional month of that negative trend, arguably 2 depending on when SWGEmu gets billed in the month. Assuming my predictions through the power of MATH are "close enough" accurate, the ETA is actually October, 4 months from me writing this!)

The original post says May has set Finalizer to 1/2 RAM and CPU, which is not reflected in the data. That by itself would mostly set about a net-zero against the Amazon change, so we're back to bleeding down through years instead of months. Meaning the situation is bad, but not alarmingly dire.

In short, just like I've said before, I won't sugarcoat it, this could very well be a no-win situation. However, with that said, there are still ways to mitigate the overall situation...unless, again, the staff know something I do not.

waynea
06-12-2023, 04:30 PM
The way things are going on this server i feel that its being headed in the direction to make it a cash game (pay to win game ) We were promised pre cu. What happened ? if u want my donations give me pre CU. I am and was an AS in pre cu and i see the debunk headed in the said direction

Reiver
06-15-2023, 11:32 PM
Many games have a subscription and provide something of in game worth for that sub. GTA5 just did it. for $10 I get 500k. I pay $10 for my elder Scrolls and get some Crowns to buy cosmetics. This game came out before micro transactions so there wasn't a lot of extra fluff added. I think if there was some sort of credit sink, and it has to be cosmetic, like a Barc speeder or a jetpack. You could have those for sale and charge say 50 million. With a credit sink you can introduce a 500k per month for a $5 donation. Sell a starter pack. Newb armor, basic weapon and 150k for $5. Thats not going to make anyone win but sure as hell will add some quality of life for me. Its not 2003 and I'm in my 40's with a baby. I don't have time to no life this shiz anymore.

There are some paintings, some items that people collect to decorate houses with that could all become store stuff.

Hoghi
06-27-2023, 10:37 PM
There are some paintings, some items that people collect to decorate houses with that could all become store stuff.

This would be illegal.

Hakry
06-28-2023, 08:02 PM
Staff needs to admit some fault in this situation. Lack of communication, unjust heavy-handed bans, unpopular changes that drove people away... ie LD buffing nerf, Solo mission nerf, Promised group XP etc...

Trim the fat. This is not a paid environment. Axe live chat and maybe set up a discord style support like you had on IRC. Trim everything you can to save a few bucks. Asking people to donate for unjust and under utilized "wants" is wrong.

Unban everyone and restart with a clean slate. Remove the forums/discord/game bans being tied together.

Spend more time advertising. People that are coming back to relive a pastime are much more willing to donate. Put feelers out to tech sites that cover games about doing a review, maybe do an interview.

Finally... Launch 1.0 as it sits. Fix/adjust what's left after. Send a mass email letting people know 1.0 launched and everyone is unbanned. Make the point no more wipes will happen. I would bet there are 1000s of people that refuse to play due to wipes.

I took the approach for months and months of communicating openly with the community on the forums and on Discord. Usually just ended with threads so toxic they were locked. We discussed changes and future server ideas with community members many times, you can say "just do x, y and z" but not fully realizing just how time consuming that is alone, also how dealing with some folks can straight up kill the staffs determination to do this voluntarily. Also, we did implement group xp. The full list of changes on Finalizer can be found here: https://www.swgemu.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254610

I can spend a free few hours heads down and crank out fixes or implementations but make it 2 hours of trying to communicate and deflect the banter and 1hr on actual development, nothing gets done. Now I know immediately folks will say "Community Manager", thats not really the answer when no one has gone through the steps to just leap into a PR position that could sink the whole ship if not handled properly. Even just recently I took the time to writeup multiple posts about the accuracy changes and "put myself in the shoes" of those complaining and guess what, the thread just continued to go on about how the game is hard and people want to do it how they want to do it and almost all replies just completely ignore multiple staff replies.

The systems that are in place now for Support and LiveChat are the most effective with the time folks have to give. Handing stuff through Discord would not work when account or issue tracking.

Unban everyone and start fresh did not work out well for Finalizer. Crying, angry posts, staff allegations etc. Guess what, a ton of clean slate folks reoffended, as expected. The rules are the rules, folks fail to follow or want to just ride the line to troll and create a bad community enviroment just have to face the fact that actions have consequences.

Now onto the 1.0 chatter, in the larger picture we are there with some bugs here and there. Mantis needs a clean up and then there is deciding and getting in place what comes next or else you end up in the same position. Community expecting content and such, without proper workflow in place to effectively create and release said content. We are always still progressing, JTL has made definite progress but still has a lot to go.

This also walks us into advertising, if you draw everyone on and don't have the content prepared to release to keep them interested, history just repeats itself.


In the end we need folks to be patient and understand we are at the point where changes will happen, its just not a snap your fingers and it happens sort of thing.

Hakry
06-28-2023, 09:47 PM
The way things are going on this server i feel that its being headed in the direction to make it a cash game (pay to win game ) We were promised pre cu. What happened ? if u want my donations give me pre CU. I am and was an AS in pre cu and i see the debunk headed in the said direction

We have never ever offered any bonuses or items for donations. They keep the project alive and allow the project to continue forward.


We did promise pre-cu at 14.1 available publicly https://github.com/swgemu/Core3 and we have delivered on that promise. The Core3 repository is available at vanilla 14.1 pre-cu.

Praxi34
06-29-2023, 06:49 PM
I took the approach for months and months of communicating openly with the community on the forums and on Discord. Usually just ended with threads so toxic they were locked. We discussed changes and future server ideas with community members many times, you can say "just do x, y and z" but not fully realizing just how time consuming that is alone, also how dealing with some folks can straight up kill the staffs determination to do this voluntarily. Also, we did implement group xp. The full list of changes on Finalizer can be found here: https://www.swgemu.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254610

I can spend a free few hours heads down and crank out fixes or implementations but make it 2 hours of trying to communicate and deflect the banter and 1hr on actual development, nothing gets done. Now I know immediately folks will say "Community Manager", thats not really the answer when no one has gone through the steps to just leap into a PR position that could sink the whole ship if not handled properly. Even just recently I took the time to writeup multiple posts about the accuracy changes and "put myself in the shoes" of those complaining and guess what, the thread just continued to go on about how the game is hard and people want to do it how they want to do it and almost all replies just completely ignore multiple staff replies.

The systems that are in place now for Support and LiveChat are the most effective with the time folks have to give. Handing stuff through Discord would not work when account or issue tracking.

Unban everyone and start fresh did not work out well for Finalizer. Crying, angry posts, staff allegations etc. Guess what, a ton of clean slate folks reoffended, as expected. The rules are the rules, folks fail to follow or want to just ride the line to troll and create a bad community enviroment just have to face the fact that actions have consequences.

Now onto the 1.0 chatter, in the larger picture we are there with some bugs here and there. Mantis needs a clean up and then there is deciding and getting in place what comes next or else you end up in the same position. Community expecting content and such, without proper workflow in place to effectively create and release said content. We are always still progressing, JTL has made definite progress but still has a lot to go.

This also walks us into advertising, if you draw everyone on and don't have the content prepared to release to keep them interested, history just repeats itself.


In the end we need folks to be patient and understand we are at the point where changes will happen, its just not a snap your fingers and it happens sort of thing.


Appreciate your time to write this up Hakry. A really good response IMO and agree with your points, like many others do. Workflow will be important and system planning to for content. Creating timeline content will be fun and cool to watch this game grow from 14.1 but the foundation needs to be rock solid for this to happen (more about process than the current state of the game, it feels more whole than ever when i jump on and play when i can).

Lobreeze
07-15-2023, 07:44 AM
Can we get a line item breakdown of why roughly ~2300 dollars USD isnt enough to support at most 200 people online? Based on current goal 2300 is 65%???

Last total I saw (maybe last month) was $5550 USD... ???

It feels like this is for-profit

This should be run for pennies on the dollar relative to current costs.

Bostwain
07-15-2023, 07:46 AM
Where is July's? You're 12 days behind schedule if you decided to do monthly releases.

Lobreeze
07-15-2023, 07:48 AM
Scrooge McEmu couldn't afford after yacht payments.

enyce
07-15-2023, 06:50 PM
Seems we are in a net positive now, and perhaps will see the donations spillover into the following months and possible upgrades. Looking good

jj8926
07-17-2023, 09:01 PM
I would say if allowing donators to vote on the update direction, open it up where everyone gets a vote and have donators and those that have higher playtimes have their vote count as 2. That way the community still gets a chance to participate, and those that have dedicated their time or money to the game get a bit more say, but you also won't have the issue of someone coming in and tanking the vote against what the community wants as a whole.