2020 Half-Year Update

Keith

Chief Executive Officer
Staff member
Executive
Developer
Player Support Department
Applications Department
Appeals & Disputes Division
Reports Division

Jul 1, 2017
147
241
44
Australia
keithos.me
Hi everyone,

It's been a hell of a ride these few months and certainly for me and I'm sure for many of you as well that it is hard to believe that already half a year has passed and we are well into 2020. It has also been a few months of great changes here at NetherGames and the server has grown in ways that none of us on the Executive Team could have imagined at the start of the year.

A big part of NetherGames is certainly the large community that we have and I think that it is very important that we are transparent with the considerations & decisions and the work that we are doing to improve the server for all players. This post will address a couple of topics.

First off, I want to talk about server growth and our network infrastructure. At the start of the year when we were averaging around 300 players, we were running only two nodes - 1 in Germany mainly catering to players in the EU and 1 in the US mainly catering to players in the Americas. Initially towards the end of 2019 we made the decision to scrap the 1st region implementation which basically split the network into two servers. EU players couldn't play with US players without connecting to the US proxy and vice-versa. We didn't like the splitting and how this implementation basically made the 2 regions completely separate, so it was decided to only have 1 proxy hosted in the US instead. Earlier this year the 2nd region implementation came along - the 2 proxies were back, but this time instead of only connecting to servers in their respective regions, they would also connect to servers in the other region too, allowing players from both regions to mix. This implementation worked out much better in our opinion and has since continued.

In around March & April when the coronavirus pandemic started to really take off around the world, we saw a huge increase in the number of concurrent players across the network. To put this into perspective - April 11th, we saw 1000 concurrent players for the first time. Only 8 months earlier on August 10th 2019 did we celebrate 500 concurrent players, and NetherGames first launched in January 2016. Earlier this month on June 5th, it hit 1500, and then 6 days later, it hit 1922, which remains the current record. We definitely did not expect this large jump and the number of nodes that we now operate in total has increased from 2 at the start of the year to now 14. Spending on server nodes has more than tripled over the past 3 months due to extra nodes in both the EU and US and a new AP region.

We know that some players have reported performance issues while playing across the network, so we are continually optimising server performance as well as upgrading server specs. Only a few days ago, we bought 2 new nodes, 1 in the EU and the other in the US, that are roughly (and this is an estimate) 2.5x more powerful than our existing nodes. These 2 new nodes now host the region proxies and lobbies, and players connecting to these regions should definitely see improvements in terms of server performance.

The AP region is something new that we have trialled for just around 1 and a half months now. We have seen a large majority of players in the region have benefited from this new service. However, due to the less powerful hardware available to servers in this region, the server performance in AP is degraded as compared to the performance we are seeing in the EU and US regions. We are continually looking for options to improve gameplay in this new region however there are a number of issues that are important to keep in mind - the fact that many providers are still developing their offerings in the Asia-Pacific, meaning that the hardware we see so widely available in the EU and US is not as widely available in the AP, the fact that bandwidth is significantly more expensive in this region, as well as being mindful of the investment that we are putting into this region. Currently, we are spending a significant amount of our budget into this region without seeing the same performance than if the same amount of money were invested in the other 2 regions. We're also not seeing the same sort of financial return from players in the region that makes the region financially sustainable, which is discouraging further investment. As such, it is safe to say that expansion in the AP is fairly unlikely in the near future unless we see changes in the environment outside of our operations.

Moving on from infrastructure, the server development team has also grown. We started the year off with 7 developers which has grown to 18 over the past 6 months. Our developers are working on a number of different projects that we are excited to share with you very soon. We know that the "Coming Soon" game mode in the lobby has attracted a lot of attention recently - an announcement will be made when we have more information for the community, so make sure you stay up to date with network announcements!

Also briefly touching on some other topics and answering some frequently asked questions:
  • Staff members are not your personal servants. They are volunteers who like to help the server a better place for all players and it is important that you treat them with the same respect that you expect from others. We will not tolerate abuse or disrespect directed towards staff and penalties will apply for such behaviour.
  • With the increase in players over the past few months, there has also been a steady increase in the number of players who think that they are above the regulations and choose to cheat in games. The development team is constantly working on improving the anti cheat and staff members are issuing warnings & punishments towards these offenders on a daily basis. Players are highly encouraged to collect evidence if they see such activity in their games and report it to us via the forums reporting form at ngmc.co/r or #report on our Discord server (ngmc.co/d)
  • There is a growing number of questions relating to the use of payment methods other than PayPal for purchases through our store. We are currently working on supporting different methods of payment for purchases and it is expected that support for Apple Pay, Google Pay and standard credit & debit cards without the use of PayPal will be rolling out in the next few months.
  • Many players have also asked about the availability of the Titan rank. We are expecting an imminent release that coincides with the store update that supports the new payment methods. For the perks list, please read this forums post.
  • Chest UI on Bedwars is disabled due to 1.16 client issues relating to the inventory. Our developers are currently working on temporary solutions to fix this. Repeatedly making suggestions regarding this will not speed up the process.
  • The #support channel on Discord is not to be used for player reports, only for genuine questions. Please use the /report command in-game or collect evidence and send it through the forums reporting form or #report. Non-staff members are now prohibited from answering questions in the #support channel due to the increase in the spread of misinformation
  • Factions season ends today! When a new season starts, everything is reset - builds, money, claims, faction, inventory, etc. - except your rank.
  • Game-specific statistics (BW Solo beds broken, BW Squads final kills) has only been tracked since earlier this month, therefore there will be discrepancies between the sum of BW Solo, Doubles and Squads wins and the total amount of Bedwars wins as displayed. This will also apply to other game modes.
  • If you're interested in becoming a translator for NetherGames to help translate some server messages into other languages, please contact @AzizVenzor who manages the translation program via Discord DMs - Venzor#5490
  • If you change your Xbox Live username, you will lose your rank and associated account data like statistics, cosmetics. In order to have account data transferred to your new username, you will need to purchase a rank and stats transfer token from our store
  • YouTube rank applications are processed within 48 hours. If you do not receive the rank you applied for within 48 hours, your application has been denied and you will need to wait 1 week from your application date before reapplying. We do not reply to applicants individually about the status of their application. Applicants who have suspicious channel statistics will be blacklisted from applying.
  • Credits gained to rank up to the next tier are not permanent. Tiers resets every 12 months with the next reset planned at the end of this year - this date may change pending future updates

Hopefully this post has addressed some hot topics recently and shed some light on the technical operations of the network over the past few months.
We're always looking for new recruits to join our team, so if this post has sparked some interest in you to work with a highly motivated team and a great team environment, you can learn more about current vacancies on our Vacancies help article.

Thanks for reading and enjoy playing on NetherGames!
 

INGAMEHERO

New Member
Aug 30, 2019
1
0
1
17
is there any specific time that factions is gonna reset?
 

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NetherGames is a community-based Minecraft server network that operates a large amount of in-game servers and online websites for our users. The majority of our staff members are dedicated volunteers who put their valuable time and effort into the server everyday for free. We rely on displaying advertisements, donations and earnings from purchases to keep our services running.

If you want to keep driving & supporting our team and the network forward, please buy a rank or donate now.

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