Aah, Minecraft, pretty much everyone’s most loved game. As a Minecraft player I have played on a few servers (a Swedish one, an American one, a whitelisted and a greylisted one), and having said that, I feel pretty comfortable having found “The Right Minecraft Server*” (for me, and in more ways than one…) And I love playing on that server. I love playing on it so much that I don’t do SSP any more, also, I will not update my client until I am 100% sure that the server has been updated also.
Now, having said that, I will touch on what is a bit of a tender subject. Server Donations. You see, really, there is only two kinds of Minecraft servers.
Hosted, and Self-hosted.
Hosted is where the server owner pays money to a 3rd party company that lets the Server Owner Rent file storage space, Bandwidth, CPU, etc… More or less a machine of some sort to run the server. If it is a real machine or a virtual one, we don’t know, but that is a side point. Thing is, these servers cost money. I know of a server owner that spends roughly $80 USD EVERY MONTH for the ability to have a server, 10GB ram, 64 slots available etc…
Self-Hosted is where some lucky person has the great fortune of having the needed bandwidth and an extra machine of actually, well, hosting the server on that machine that they own. There is a cost to this, but it is much more likely to cost less than a Hosted Server.
So now we get down to Why Server Players Should Donate. Long story short, the server owners are paying out of pocket for many others to play and have fun. If each person was to donate at least $5 USD a month, if the server had enough players, then it could half the cost of the out-of-pocket cost every month.
Also, as how I personally have donated many times, it gives you an even better feeling of “Hey, this really IS my server”.
Some server owners offer a “benefits” package for those that donate, say, if you meet a minimum donation (lets say the aforementioned $5 USD) then those donating players may get special privileges, say, such as a special colored text name for those that donated, Magic Carpet, or even get an increase in econ, if the server uses that very popular mod.
The only real drawback to asking for donations is that a majority of Minecraft’s players are simply to young to have access to ways to donate. Remember, you need to be a legal adult in at least America to have a Paypal account(as how Paypal is linked to an active bank account), and as how we have discovered with over-seas players (that is, not in North America) sometimes PayPal simply is just not an option. The latter can be fixed with a ChipIn account, that works well, but it still leaves us with the “To Young To Donate” set of peoples. You see, the parents of most of these players believe that all servers, if they even know about the servers, are all free, that they come with those $25 USD cost of the account (biased off of the new Minecraft prepaid card). And we should all know by now, that is just not true.
So, how do we fix this? Well, one option is for them to express to the parents how much they love playing on that Minecraft server, possibly even having them read this article, and hope that the parents make a donation to the server. Even a One-Time Donation of $20 USD (for those lacking math skills, that’s four months of $5USD donations!) goes a long way.
The end result is this, if you can possibly donate to a server, then please do so. the server owners are paying for your online gaming sessions, and some play for hours on end, every single day, never thinking “gee, I do love this server, the community is great and helpful, i wish I could do something to help out…
Seriously, a $5 USD donation by PayPal, or ChipIn does wonders. Please try to help out those that enable you to have fun online with others that you build with.
[*] To visit the server I am talking about, add “minecraft.therightguy.info” to your Minecraft server list. We are Greylisted (so you have to register on the forums to apply for whitelisting, but you can walk and talk with out having to be whitelisted), but we also have a super-friendly group of players, mods and even an Admin or two that like to help out others.