So... I thought I'd write a little about NetGamers, and how it all feels now.
Since leaving Planetarion, things have been strange. So where do I start...?
Well, as is often the case with chat networks, various factions had arisen. Senior opers and senior CSC were on poor terms, many personal arguments continued to disrupt the network, and there was resentment of the control that Planetarion had over the network - despite the network being called Planetarion IRC!. I struggled to hold it all together, with many long chats (irc, email, telephone) with lots of people - trying to reach a compromise. Sadly, people were only prepared to try so hard, and we didn't quite reach that illusive middle point, that was acceptable to the majority. Things got so bad that P was taken down by the coders/hosters, and servers delinked in protest.
Unknown to me, several of the senior staff held meetings with Spinner about the network - and the idea of NetGamers was born. So after some hurried planning we put into action a plan. One evening in June, we 'flicked the switch', we changed the dns, delinked several servers, and removed the access of a number of staff.
What we did was not easy. We didn't enjoy it, but... it had to be done. You can read more about peoples thoughts in this thread by Thalira (a respected (loved?) PA veteran). It's not a pretty thread, but it sums up what happened, and the emotion involved.
Here and Now
Well, we've seen user numbers plummet. At points last year we had several thousand users, now we average around 3000. We wonder why?! Possibly because PA is no longer as popular as it was (it used to be free) and possibly because it's summer? Also we're nearing the end of the current PA round, and historically numbers are lowest at this time. So we're asking ourselves; 'Has the split lost users, or is it just coincidence?'
We have an excellent set of stable servers now, and we're looking to complete the network with a non-EU server. We have the excellent P channel services bot, with it's vast array of features, and we have a very nice IRCd indeed - thanks to the hardwork of the original ircu coders, and own team - primarily Jeekay and his band of happy hackers! We've recently introduced some much needed modes, and more will follow soon. In short; we've got the basis for an excellent network. Especially because our crew is excellent. Gone are the days of partisan opering (if it ever existed?), when a small number of irc staff used their privileges to gain advantage in the PA game. We have a great CSC team, and excellent help facilities - #feds is staffed 24/7 and we offer email support also.
NetGamers is a great network :-)
So, where to?
We're hoping to attract a wider gaming user base. Already we're being used by various smaller game as their official base, and groups/alliances from renowned games such as Eve-Online and Never Winter Nights are active on our network. PA is going better than expected, and they're even launching a completely new game later this year - I can't say anymore!
Basically, we think we're going to see sustained growth - eventually we might even hit our previous peak of 8000 users. But of course, this relies on people seeing us as a viable alternative to other networks, and we'd also like to see the big alliances come back; because we now offer the stability and security that they want, and in fact deserve.
Thanks for reading, spread the word!
- Paul 'Mong' Madley.
Just another gamer.