Controversial change to Community Servers

This is gonna be a very controversial topic for Supporters, and I already know that.

Currently, Township is in a bit of an issue in regards to Server populations. Any Supporter can create a Server with minimal effort, set it up and post it in Community Servers. This creates a massive amount of server supply, which is far too much for the player population demand. This has caused the issue of spreading the player population over too many servers, leading to many of the Community servers being underpopulated because the general playerbase is too spread out.

Now, there is a very simple but overwhelmingly controversial way of fixing this issue, and that is revoking the “become a Supporter and get your own Server feature”. I’m sure you can imagine what kind of uproar this would cause within the Community for all the players who Supported mainly for a Server. Thus, I am not proposing this fix, but instead somewhere in between.

The Idea
I propose that player run servers should be split into two categories: Limited and Full.

Limited would be the out-of-the-gate Server every Supporter gets. This Server cannot be set to public access, and can only allow 5-10 (not decided on a final player limit) players on at a time, and would also not allow the admin to access Flycam when that feature is released to admins. This would allow those who get Servers to play with their friends in private to continue doing this, but not allowing them to flood the Server population or access Flycam to breeze through the new content (e.g. The Forest).

Full servers would need to be voted for by the Community to be “promoted” through the Feedback forum or in the Launcher. Full servers should only be put forward for promotion or voting when the population demands it. Full servers would simply be what every Supporter has right now.

I hope that this idea manages to strike a middle ground between benefiting the wider population of Township, and appeasing those who Support for a Server

I completely agree with this and I think it’s something that has to happen sooner rather than later. Its a huge issue that essentially makes trying to find a server with more than 2 players on it impossible.

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Yeah this sounds good, I was thinking some kind of thing where you need like four supporters to come together if they want to make a full server on their own, but then that gets weird with how you only need to pay once to host servers, so some people might make three alts with one month each, or ask people that have supported that aren’t interested in the server stuff to fill in one of the four slots.

I think also on top of maintaining a few full servers that are voted for, there should be like a month to month random full server test for people interested, so like each month a new server would get a chance to do their own thing as their own full server to see if people like it, if people do they can vote for it to stay, though that might require starting very low on how many full servers there are and/or eventually booting out full servers that are on the bottom of the popularity/activity (most likely having the new server need to be more popular than the worst preforming one.)

But overall I think this idea is the best course of action.

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A very interesting idea to fix that very long dead list of underpopulated servers.

The devs and the community just need to come up with a clear and fair system on how a full server gets declared and if you maybe could lose this status? Or is it perm?
Some servers are like shooting stars and get burned after their first good running weeks.

I know this is as controversial tho the “once a supporter, you keep your server” policy but what about degrading a server from full to limited if none of the owners/mods have an active support subscription for more than a month?
That would erase the the one time supporter alts.
just a thought :thinking:

Maybe a clear checklist could help server owners to see what is needed to be (and stay) a full server. If you don’t macht that criteria - then your server concept just might not work for the broader player base.

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I’d say if they do have it so only active supporters have full servers than it would be best to start with that step and see what comes of it, see if it causes things to stabilize since too many steps and you can’t really tell which step took you where or even if all of them lead back to the same spot.

On the topic of how one time supporters get servers, I feel like there should be more distinction for supporters that aren’t currently supporting, nothing like the in game name icon or seeing stuff before it gets updated, just something, feels weird that you could support for two years or a month (or even bought a ton of talems) but while you’re not supporting you aren’t any kind of supporter.

I don’t know, just seems weird.

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Yeah you’re right.
It really feels strange and somewhat unfair to Alta (who needs the money) and other long time supporters who are actually paying for their server.
I can understand that the Alta crew doesn’t want to punish good players for being in a situation where they can’t effort the support fee.
Maybe some sort of 1-2 extra months full server could help before the server gets ranked down on what ever meaning.

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I mean, I’m not sure how you’d handle that, would that mean a player could support every other month and keep a full server, or every third month if you get two free months?

Maybe just a system where other supporters can so support a server where both being a supporter means the server builds up a month of extra time, only one supporting only sustains it and none supporting drains a month of extra time. Maybe put a limit on how many extra months you can add up and definitely state that having extra time doesn’t grantee the server will stay up if the devs change how servers are managed.

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That’s a pretty good idea!
Players could help their server by supporting themself !

I’d like that. Means not only the server owner is in need to have the support on his own.
And every player feels good in knowing he pays to help his beloved server <3

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I agree that there is an issue regarding server populations, however I do not agree the way to fix that is to diversify who gets what server based upon an arbitrary vote.

I believe the way to fix this solution is to create a new list of servers in the menu, ones that meet a criteria of being a “small or not often played” that will automatically be put into the community server list if it has enough players.

To draw a parallel to Minecraft, some servers are always full, and some servers are dead, but you have free choice to what server you want to play on.

As an american, let them vote with their wallets, or in this case, whatever server they want to spend time on.

So… Zero changes? I don’t really understand what you mean.

Letting players have choices is important, I do agree, but sometimes giving players too much choice has bad consequences. For example, what we are witnessing now is a smallish number of Community Servers which are barely populated (1 - 5) players. Giving players such a large amount of choice has spread the community too thin, and when the community is spread too thin, the server dies. Having a small number of players on a server leads to players not wanting to play on that server thanks to the low population, killing the server from its own low population.

How do you prevent this issue? Remove most of the choices. There needs to be enough population to be spread over all the servers semi-equally (or enough to keep them alive long term like the legacy servers), and the only way to do that right now is removing choices.

There is far too much server supply and not enough demand, and it seems that the figurative “market” is not able to reach equilibrium without state intervention…

What I meant was to create a new organizational method with lists including the titles of something among the lines of ‘highly recommended servers’ and ‘inactive servers’. The servers that are given the title of being inactive will still be there, but just not recommended to be played on.
Not only would using terms such as ‘recommended’ and ‘inactive’ help guide new players into a specific path, but when the Township does inevitably grow, not much change would have to be made from this method that suits not only a small player base, but also a large player base.

Furthermore, some of the other methods could also be tacked onto this idea. Other methods such as to restrict non supporter owned supporter servers.

It would be like the government setting floors and ceilings on the market, or more like the government having a specific list of authorized vendors for specific products

As much as I wish this concept would work, I simply don’t believe it is forceful enough. Any Supporter can still open a Public Server, get 1-5 players on and would instantly be put on the recommended servers tab. Building up hype for a Server is the easy part, maintaining a population is difficult, and if any server can easily get onto that recommended servers tab, then it will instantly get popular, live for a short period and then die because another, “greater”, server comes along.

The issue of having too many Servers, and it being too easy to make a public server, still remains.

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Just make the criteria harder to be put on the recommend list

Like what? They have to hit a high player count? That still happens an awful lot (Luna Server being a big example) and this server still died due to there being too many new Servers. Community Servers are treated as disposable because they’re too prevalent, unlike Legacy Servers.

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You could also make servers be active for a certain amount of time before being recommended, like at least 10 people have to play 25/30 days to be recommended
It would make it harder to be a recommended server, but most people will be focused on recommended servers

Now we’re putting the matter of a Server’s life to its players, which historically doesn’t work out. The Community Servers system shouldn’t need the Players to forcefully put effort into keeping a Server alive, the Server should naturally be active just like the Legacy Servers.

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Servers that make their way to the recommended list could stay up their until it stays inactive longer than for what it was active for. This system finds active servers, and tries to keep them active. This is more of a “servers with potential for growth and stability list” rather than only promoting a “servers that are currently popular” list.
Here is my logic:
Server that makes its way to the recommended board will - have established playerbase, be advertised on the main server screen for new players to keep it alive or for returning players, and since it is a supporter server could be altered to have a specific quirk or play style for it

Servers that don’t actively recruit new players will not draw much attention and therefore not take much away from the already established servers

Putting a timer on when a server can become recommended is just making the system more convoluted. Time in the server’s existence should not even be taken into account. What if a new server that the community likes comes on the scene and has to wait for months to actually have a chance. It should be that when the community thinks a server owner has a good vision, they can vote for it to become full, there shouldn’t be so many conditions strapped onto it.

The system could have two features to it, one automatic and one manual
I feel like a month is appropriate to have a server be recommended, OR some number of votes or the devs themselves can be the manual side

The importance of time is relevant, because it helps discriminate between servers people will come back to rather than just servers people just check out and leave.
That server now takes up the diversity of servers on recommended.

Think of it like the YouTube flagging system … It just helps YouTube flag stuff, but can always be modified manually

I think the end goal of what people want is clear
A small group of populated servers that people enjoy to play on, that is reliable and flexible for growth to what people want

1 Like