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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Charura wrote:
I don't mean to knock any walls down, however, there are shards out there that ask for nothing... How is this possible? Again, I have absolutely no idea how this works...

Those shards are running at a much lower capacity than MO:ULa. I doubt they would be able to handle such populated events as AGMs, though I'm not entirely sure. MO:ULa costs are much higher because of the higher volume of traffic. IIRC, if less explorers log in to MO:ULa, there will be less demand, and the costs for the Amazon EC2 instances will go down - effectively saving money. I'm not sure if the variations would be significant, though.

Oh, and the estimates are not mine, by the way (see earlier in this thread). 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:01 pm 
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CaptainQuery wrote:
As of 9/5, RAWA's stats show we had 1,436 unique users during the month of August. Unfortunately, this number has been slowly dropping. Lyrositor guesses the server is costing $900/month with additional costs for updates. If that cost is in the ballpark, the cost per month for each unique user is under $1.


I have said this many times, if every player could just donate $1 per week, then we would have no CavCon problem.
And I am sure $1 per week, is not beyond the budget of the majority of players and is very cheap for playing an MMO compared to some of the other MMO's out there.

EDIT : Yes I just donated $1 ( I am on a low income)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:30 pm 
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Charura wrote:
I don't mean to knock any walls down, however, there are shards out there that ask for nothing... How is this possible? Again, I have absolutely no idea how this works...

Basically, "someone" (or some small group) is paying for the running costsof those shards out of their own pockets, for the benefit of the fans at large, and doing so with no fanfare or request for recognition. Quite often the servers used for shards will also be used for other things, so the "owners" can partly justify the expense against those others things. In addition, the labor for running and maintaining a shard is given free, while Cyan needs to pay its staff for the time they spend on MOULa.

As Lyrositor suggests, Cyan's costs for the EC2 servers will drop as usage drops but it won't be entirely pro-rata: There will be a fixed base cost for the basic configuration then a usage charge on top. The usage charge will vary pretty much linearly, but the base cost will stay static. At some point the usage could drop (or increase) to level where the configuration needs to change and at that point you'll get a step-change in the base cost.

Anyway, I threw some extra donation money in this month to try to help a bit. Looking at the trend and trying to follow the numbers (I keep it all in a spreadsheet out of curiosity) I seriously worry that CAVCON 1 in on the cards, possibly as soon as next month. To quote RAWA's OP, "This would be A Bad Thing (tm)." :(

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:09 pm 
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I believe Adam Jonson admitted that he is paying for The Gehn Shard out of his own pocket. I don't know who pays for the other shards. I also don't know how much this costs


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:41 am 
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What we need is an estimated Time To Empty (TTE) for the MOULa fund. Assuming we don't have any sudden shifts or unexpected expenses, how long with the current fund size will we have before everything dries up? Cavcon 2 is bad, but with the time in cavcon4 will we have enough reserves to handle if it takes a bit to go back up to 3 or better? Or is this panic point already and we're looking at being tapped out as soon as next month as some have suggested?


How much are we looking at to run a server anyways? I never could get my head around the idea of a professional server cluster... are we looking at figuring a way to do a fan-hosted decentralized shard system like was originally proposed, or will it be enough for now to keep going?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:17 pm 
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Gondar wrote:
Cavcon 2 is bad, but with the time in cavcon4 will we have enough reserves to handle if it takes a bit to go back up to 3 or better? Or is this panic point already and we're looking at being tapped out as soon as next month as some have suggested?

Well truth is that we've spent very little time at CAVCON 4 - Due to "an accounting error" we were actually at CAVCON 2 for a large part of time we thought we were at CAVCON 4:
[Reveal] Spoiler: CAVCON Chart
Image


As for server running costs, that will vary from shard to shard depending on a whole lot of factors, but if you look back through this thread you'll see "guesstimates" that Cyan's costs are maybe in the region of $900 per month.

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Last edited by Mac_Fife on Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:31 pm 
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I would be interested in seeing a count of how many individuals donate per month. I believe it would confirm that only a small fraction of our core 1,400+ users donate. Alien, thank you for that dollar! When we hit Cavcon 2 for August, I was shocked at the lack of reaction in the forums. People have been more vocal in previous Cavcon 2 months. I pray we haven't hit the critical mass for apathy as a community. Perhaps the talk in Open Uru of adding a user nexus with user created ages will stir us up again as we continue to wait for all the legal stuff to sort out. Of course if we hit Cavcon 1 we won't be able to pay Cyan to implement those changes in game. Sooo, lets all buy one LESS bag/bottle of comfort food per month and donate to the game. Problem solved.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:36 pm 
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an automated subscription of some sort would be nice- it is often much easier for people to commit to a monthly expense when they don't have to think about it.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:32 pm 
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That sounds like a really good idea. A monthly contribution of, say, $5 would actually be preferable, I think, to donating $60 once a year because it would make the financing more reliable and less erratic.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:52 pm 
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But then $10 a month didn't work for GameTap..so apples and apples or apples and oranges? Need new stuff or old thingies?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:03 pm 
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CaptainQuery wrote:
I would be interested in seeing a count of how many individuals donate per month. I believe it would confirm that only a small fraction of our core 1,400+ users donate. Alien, thank you for that dollar!

I think we're unlikely to get that kind of information. I believe Cyan always wanted to work to the principle that people should only donate what they could comfortably afford each month that there should be no stigma attached to being unable to donate. Although I know you're asking for "an anonymous summary" that wouldn't reveal who donates and who doesn't, I still think it's more detail that Cyan would like to share. Perhaps more importantly, it'd maybe take time to pull out the detail which would in turn hit CAVCON - and once you ask for detailed data one month then you'll need it again the following month for comparison.

But you're almost certainly right that only a fraction of people donate on a regular basis; it's certainly my feeling. But there are no doubt some people who will make a substantial donation once in a while, perhaps even once a year, and you can't say that's wrong, but it is probably more awkward in terms of managing cashflow through the donation fund. We should be wary that 1400 unique accounts doesn't mean 1400 different user, since many people have more than one account. But say that means 1000 users: In that case $1 per month, like Alien has done, from each would probably exceed what's going into the fund right now.

On Eleri's point about regular donations, I'm sure that'd help for some people, but I have a vague recollection that this was discussed before and there was some comment came up about possible legal or taxation difficulties if something started to look like a "subscription" rather than a spontaneous donation?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:05 am 
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possible legal or taxation difficulties if something started to look like a "subscription" rather than a spontaneous donation


I'm not a lawyer, but wouldn't that distinction only matter if the donation were tax-deductible for users, or non-taxable income for Cyan? I think it's neither...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:36 am 
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Just made a new donation. Now I feel all warm inside. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:23 am 
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sideshow118 wrote:
Just made a new donation.
Ditto.

I know this will probably (surely ?) never happen, but I'd very like, as other peoples here, to have regular feedback about donations amount and maintenance costs for the servers (CACON is still too fuzzy to me…)

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:43 pm 
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area51 wrote:
sideshow118 wrote:
Just made a new donation.
...I'd very like, as other peoples here, to have regular feedback about donations amount and maintenance costs for the servers (CAVCON is still too fuzzy to me…)

I agree, 51. It just isn't informative enough to tell us where MO:ULa stands in funding...for example, whether the cavern is perilously close to closing on one hand, or on the other hand whether a CAVCON 4 state could be pushed into CAVCON 5 with some extra effort.

Last November, I made a post and a chart stating that since CAVCON 3 is an unknown quantity, it is essentially meaningless.
And it bears repeating that there is no CAVCON 1: it's "lights-off" time, the cavern would be closed.
In that post I advocated a chart system, but I agree with others that a simple, single decimal point (like "CAVCON 4.7") would help in cheerleading MO:ULa fundraising efforts.

I know even this level of increased resolution would cause RAWA some extra effort. We saw a CAVCON 2.5 state once last May, which gave me hope.
But - especially as the cavern approaches some unknown level of threat in a CAVCON 2 state - that decimal number would be a real motivator, to know more precisely where we stand.


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