For the past few years, I’ve been running a minecraft server, minecraftsquare.com; and as of January 2013, I’ve decided to shut it down. It’s been a great fun and at the same time, a great headache.
First week that I played minecraft, I tried creating a server and ever since then it’s taken on a life of its own. Simple fact that players showed up somehow created a need – a purpose, a responsibility to take care of. I’ve done my best to accommodate players over the years, but in retrospect, I’ve simply lost my passion for the game in the past year: I’ve been worn down by upkeep.
Since day one, I’ve tried to integrate the game with a website — through active player profiles, forums, and more. Looking at Google Analytics, you can tell just about when I gave up: January 2012.
Stats are interesting during this time – 1,294,408 pageviews, 88,092 unique visitors. Not bad for a game that doesn’t even use the web.
Lesson learned: I do NOT want to manage a community. Building it up is a pleasure, dealing with it is a pain.
Mojang: please acknowledge your limits – you guys are currently incapable or unwilling to meet demands of the greater multiplayer community. So, instead of trying to cover all your bases, enable the greater community instead: stop breaking bukkit and other remote server mods at each upgrade; at the very least, you can make different versions of server/player interoperable. Better yet, actually synchronize bukkit releases with minecraft releases. If I had to pick one reason as to why I gave up on thousands of players, it’s the frustrations and pressure over upgrade incompatibilities and its associated downtime. Managing a large player community with your tools is currently untenable.
Edit, 11/17/2013: Mojang updated their client launcher to where it can support multiple versions. While this isn’t ideal (IMO should be automatically sniffed), it’s a step in the right direction — to my surprise!