Thoughts on Athios

Onett

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166
It's been more than a year since this server has launched and in light of that, I think it'd be a good time to give my incredibly important and 100% true opinions on what has been going on with the server.

Overall I've noticed there hasn't been much discussion about this type of stuff (server management/future) among the community and I hope others can pitch in and give their thoughts about the server as well.

Server Version:

1.17


tl;dr SnD is a pvp game and running on 1.17 leads to losing many potential players, even with custom coded 1.8 pvp

Honestly, I feel like it would make much more sense if the server had been run on 1.8 rather than 1.17, the benefits of this really seem to outweigh the negatives. I understand with all of the new maps and kits, all of which had tons of hard work and effort put into them, that use 1.17 features it'd be a sizable loss in time and resources to revamp all of these kits to allow for 1.8 compatibility. I don't expect that type of change to be made.

While running 1.17 doesn't harm Disasters' performance at all, Disasters can't retain players and overall isn't good for growth

SnD remains as the only other option, and with its emphasis on PvP, running on 1.17 is just going to drive away the majority of potential players, even if you have custom coded 1.8 pvp. The benefits provided by 1.17 really doesn't help with marketing towards a PvP playerbase. You get prettier maps and flashier kits at the cost of losing a huge potential source of players.

"What if we advertise the custom coded 1.8 pvp?"​
Considering the lack of success JustDash had on the server, who primarily plays 1.8 pvp, I don't feel like advertising it would really change much. Perhaps that could just be attributed to JustDash's individual ability to advertise, but even still I just feel that the average PvP player would just instantly give up on the server upon seeing it is running on 1.17. They need a good reason to spend their time playing on this server rather than huge pvp servers like hypixel.​

Considering how this decision greatly hurts SnD's potential, I think it's important to look for a better gamemode to bring forth server growth.

SnD:

Honestly, I don't have faith in this gamemode in terms of growth.

tl;dr it needs many people to be fun, we dont have many people

Looking back, the gamemode that we were initially drawn to is very different from how it is currently being advertised. Back then, we saw videos by huge youtubers, on a huge server with ~100 players, and I think the large player count, the opportunity to play with our fave youtubers and chaotic gameplay (a result of high player count) is really what attracted most of us.

With that aspect of the game gone, there's not much going for the game to hook people in. Yea, there's 20+ kits and different playstyles but that really isn't substantial enough to get people to try the game, no less play regularly. As well as this, the points I brought up in the "1.17" section, also show that SnD really isn't built to succeed at all.

The future

Honestly, I just feel that the current gamemodes aren't going to bring much success for the server at all unless there are significant changes made to them, to the point where they'd basically be reworked into completely different games.

Thus, I don't see much reason to continue updating them, if growth really is our goal rn, and I don't think pausing updates for the current gamemodes for a bit isn't much of a sacrifice either.

As much as we all love these gamemodes, I think if we were honest with ourselves and compare them to the current trends in MC, they just aren't compatible. They don't provide a good server model for growth either.

Really, the best option I see is making a whole new gamemode, built to perform well in the current market, and not be held back by the constraints of the past and nostalgia. I'd much rather try something new, rather than try to hold onto SnD and Disasters until the server inevitably dies.
 

Onett

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Since most of what I've written above is based on facts and logic (epic), with few concrete examples, I figured I'd include an example to help prove the points I make above

The recent player peaks
As many of you probably remember, we've had two major spikes in player count, largely thanks to two sources of advertisement, Blaine, and TikTok. However, I won't be going into detail of the circumstances and events that happened during our peaks, and will instead be looking at the aftermath of this huge influx of players. Which is clear to all of us, especially when we commonly refer to these events as "peaks" in activity.

They didn't last. Very few of these new players stuck around.

What is the takeaway?
While this inability to retain players can be attributed to a multitude of factors, I believe that above all else, they reflect the lack of appeal these gamemodes have, mostly as a result of the factors I listed above in the main post.

One could argue that if community-driven systems such as Ember Hours had been implemented sooner, more people would've stuck around, however I still doubt this, since very few people from these peaks made any attempts to involve themselves in the community or at least ask when they could play next. At the end of the day, if people found the game fun, they'd put in at least some effort to try and play more, which was clearly just not there.

Also factoring in the diversity and size of the audience reached with these platforms (more specifically TikTok), it simply seems that nothing but the gamemodes themselves are at fault for being unable to retain these new players.
 

Sephiths

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It's been over 7 years since Minecraft 1.8 came out. I heavily disagree with anyone saying the server should have stayed on that version. As that in general makes the Java Minecraft ecosystem worse. And are deluded in thinking it's going to be the factor that let's you win-out where the rest have failed. It just sets yourself up to be left behind. It's been time to move on for awhile now. Although there are some unfortunate valid performance reasons to stay on it. Both server side and on individuals choosing what to play.


I think a large part of the issue is the Java server ecosystem as a whole. Everything is centered around one server. While there are far too many low quality servers. That all good smaller servers with potential struggle to grow and get drowned out. Unless they have great advertising. With a lot of the ones that are successful just being clones of each-other that don't offer anything new.

According to BStats. There are currently 166449 with a record of 190424 servers running. As for players, 91947 current with 221849 peak. Over time there has been a general larger growth of servers running than players playing. Anyways. 91947 players to play on 166449 servers hosted and connected to BStats. That's 0.5524 players per server. Granted. It's practically 2am Eastern US at the time of writing (I know this was posted hours later, I took a large break don't worry).

Hypixel currently has 36257 players online. Assuming they use BStats. That's nearly 40% of the entire Bstats player base. If they don't use Bstats. They are the largest server that wouldn't be opted in. If you take away Hypixel and it's players. That's 55690 players for 166448 servers running. 0.3345 per server.

Keep in mind that BStats in a plugin statistics tool run on most Paper/Spigot/(misc Bukkit forks) servers. Aka non-vanilla servers allowing you to use plugins to make gameplay just a tad easier or more interesting, what most people choose to use.
https://bstats.org/global/bukkit


Even back in the day when there were competing major server networks. Such as the Hive (rip), Mineplex, etc. Which are all practically gone now. They mostly developed the same game-mode spinoffs. People were choosing between slightly different versions of game modes. Nowadays. It's even worse, with those servers eventually dying off. With the next casual large Minecraft servers existing having all the same cookie cutter styles and game modes. Factions, Prison, Skyblock, etc. It's all the same and there is very little innovation, often times it's all the same plugins. So if you want to play a minigame, why not just play in the one place that has the most people? Not have to wait for a queue, likely have a friend or two online, not have to switch servers when you get bored but still want to play something else, etc.

I don't think the issue revolves around which Minecraft version we use. 54.5% of servers run 1.17, 24.6% run 1.16, 8.1% run 1.12, 8% run 1.8. Most of those servers running older versions that are active were likely already running before the next Minecraft update came out, then it simply got left in the dust in terms of plugin compatibility and started relying on ViaVersion. Although yes there are significant PVP concerns, nothing plugins can't easily work out. It's always more accurately been due to performance and laziness. It saves servers like Hypixel a lot of time and money to not go through the process of updating all their plugins every update. And with stuff like ViaVersion they don't have to worry about completely losing players who do move on.

Rather I think it's the overwhelming amount of smaller servers competing for anyone new to play. While one server has successfully become the sole place to play without major competition.

So how does we approach growing in the current market? We can still innovate our way into a position that other's don't put in the effort to achieve. It's really not easy though. After a certain point advertising is the single most important factor. Success is far from guaranteed. But even with advertising you need a place people will naturally come back to. To do that.

I believe it's about maintaining a balance to keep users engaged in a community.
People need to be able to see the server in their player list. And not have a reason to *not* log on. That reason is usually player counts for smaller servers.
But it can also be.

* Lack of settlement into the community, likely not having any friends to engage with while there. With servers sometimes lacking reasons to hunt down a companion to play with, or robust social systems to make playing with friends easier.

* Lack of progression system/mental worth assigned to any projects within the server. You want something players will want to come back to the next day after school or work to finish. Sink hours of gameplay into during a day, making some friends along the way. (technically stuff like Survival, Skyblock, Prison, Creative, etc fit the basics of this description).

* No sentimental value from grindy repetitive gameplay from fans, Ex Having gamemodes feature progression rewards for playing/returning, so that time spent doesn't have nothing to show for it (purchasing kits, gaining score, obtaining badges, etc).

* Lack of new players/growth incentives. Such as vote rewards, referrals, youtuber ranks, map/meme/video/etc content creation incentive that benefits the server population.

* Lack of balance between gamemodes where you don't have an active enough player count to play offered game modes smoothly. You can't be afraid to momentarily retire gamemodes when you seemly don't have the population to support them. You can even make events out of the return of gamemodes.

* Maybe not have any gamemodes with remotely similar styles a user is in the mood for. (Normal minigame session or longer? Competitive or Casual? Collection of rapid arcade style games vs Something with a goal/mission? Survive as long as you can?(survival games, tnt run, spleef, tower defence, etc). You need to having enough gamemodes for players not to get bored of only ever playing the same one. But you need to do this in as few game-modes as possible, while also clearly having your netowrk's signature style/originality. Typically needing a number of gamemodes in common trendy styles. But using "trendy" very loosely, not direct rip offs, it shouldn't have a very direct competitor comparison, or would have to have significant twists that makes it worth playing over something so similar elsewhere).

* Something people can become nostalgic for. And wish to revisit months, or years later. Even after having moved on.

Alright rant done for now. I don't care that it's not pretty. Tldr: Staff should try to understand the situation of the entire Java community. Taking note of how servers that do grow now, are growing. What's the main varieties of gameplay/players. How to best get a sustainable system that can handle natural growth. And apply that grown with it.

Although I don't think SND should dissapear. I think it'll always have it's niche. And agree that that niche might not be for new players entering with their current gameplay expectations and attention spans. If it needs to be sidelined for awhile to promote something new, I wouldn't be against it.
 

bvyans

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(Can't quote because of character limit but responding to the reply above)

Alright, here's my personal opinion as well:

In short, I disagree with a good portion of your reply. It's true that other servers have dominated the entire Java server ecosystem, but that in it of itself isn't an excuse as to why Athios almost never has players online barring a few instances. I can personally attest at the very least, that it is more than possible to maintain a stable playerbase in this current ecosystem, but the issue is, as you mentioned, the inability to retain players because of the (quite frankly) lackluster gameplay the server offers.

Furthermore, I fundamentally disagree with your statement about the Minecraft version Athios is being run on being a non-issue. Going back to other servers, if you look at Hypixel's stats, you'll see that the large majority of the playerbase plays on 1.8 versions, not because of Hypixel sticking with the version, but simply because it's better suited for them. If we go back to the launch day, there were old members of the server that also lamented the lack of 1.8 compatibility. I agree that it's not the primary reason as to why Athios isn't succeeding as of now, but one of the large issues Athios has is target demographic - what kind of playerbase are you trying to appeal to with your gamemodes? This lack of target demographic was basically why certain marketing strategies just failed, because the way Athios had been advertised made it seem like they wanted to appeal to the PvP demographic (like how they hired JustDash), but then proceeds to continue using custom PvP that mimics 1.8 PvP without actually just using 1.8 PvP.

As for some of the reasons / suggestions you listed:
-Lack of progression: This doesn't make sense for SnD, because the main issue with this gamemode isn't having something that keeps them engaged based on progression, but the core primary gameplay loop itself. Progression systems aren't used in games like Skywars and Bedwars (apart from maybe a ranked system) because the nature of the game relies on the core gameplay loop itself. Having an arbitrary progression system in SnD doesn't help with the game itself, and in some cases, actively frustrates the average player (like not being able to access certain kits they want to try) and causes them to just quit instead of staying to "progress" far enough.

- No sentimental value: This comes back down to the primary gameplay loop being quite simply, not fun for the average player that logs on. Again, no one's going to grind a game they don't like, and SnD just doesn't fit it for a lot of new players. This basically does nothing but kick the can down the corner, since the issue isn't players not logging on because they're not attached to it from not having progression, but simply because the game isn't fun to play.

- Lack of new players: Yes, this is the primary issue so far Athios has. To put it quite frankly, the only thing Athios has succeeded in is drawing back the old RWF/EoE community - the actual number of players new to Athios and SnD is glaringly low. The issue Athios has of now is getting those new players to stay, which just isn't happening because Athios doesn't appeal properly to new players.

- Something people can become nostalgic for: ???????? SnD is literally what is being described. The issue is that Athios has basically been riding on this nostalgia for years now, and has barely developed past that. Again, this is part of the reason why Athios is struggling, because it's failing to appeal to newer audiences. Newer audiences don't care about the nostalgia of SnD, they care about the gameplay being offered, and the gameplay being offered just isn't working for them.

Put simply, SnD has its niche, yes, but there's also a reason why new players who log onto Athios don't ever come back to it, and it's just simply because the server is both boring and dead. Ember hours was an attempt to instill some life onto the server, but it was too little too late, and at this point is just sucking on the dregs of the community.
yes this reply came off as a bit rude sorry about that.
 

toomuchzelda

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I agree with what's been said about search and destroy being bad for growth and un-appealing to new players. Although this post mostly regards search and destroy, rather than the server as a whole.

The biggest issue immediately, I think is the expensive kits and how they expire in a month. I've said this a few times but there is no way this would be appealing to any new player. if one of the key selling features of snd is kit variety, isn't arbitrarily locking them away counter-intuitive to attracting new players? There are plenty of other games on other servers that they can hop into and enjoy to the fullest instantly. I strongly agree with bvyans' point about progression, that snd focus should be on gameplay and not on a stupid "grind". Just imagine, for a moment, if 70% of the Overwatch characters were locked, and you had to re-unlock them every single month by playing a bunch. It's stupid. For the life of me, I have no idea why anyone thought this was a good idea. If they were unlocked permanently, then you might be able to make a point. But I think they would have to be real cheap because those new players are probably gonna lose their interest if they can't get them fast enough.

As for search and destroy gameplay; it's quite dated. I think there is interest in keeping the pvp 1.8 style. I imagine a large portion of the 1.9 - Latest version players on Hypixel also play their pvp games, and are content with still using the old system on their newer client. So, I think there is an audience SnD can cater to, but it will need some adjustments, particularly being more noob friendly.

The biggest issue (regarding gameplay) that immediately comes to mind is that it's too hard to learn. While the general rules of the game are easy to understand, it's all the different kits and their abilities that make it confusing. A new player might die to a landmine they didn't see and wonder wtf, or question their sanity when they think they're being attacked out of nowhere, when they actually just stood too close to a barricade. I don't believe there is any easy way to remedy this. A tutorial focused on each kit would be too long to go through, and it's not an option to go through it at your own pace / cut it up into parts because that player might encounter every kit ability in their first match. The punishment for not knowing a kit's particular ability is often death, and that means sitting out for a few minutes until the next game starts which is boring. Other games on other servers don't make you do this.

Frankly, if Search and Destroy is to be made appealing to newcomers then it needs to be revamped to the point it's not exactly Search and Destroy anymore, or it needs to be put to the side, and a new, more appealing game should take it's place.
 
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Onett

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I'm happy to see some discussion going on about this, it really felt like this topic was avoided for way too long despite it being one of the most important things to talk about

Overall, it seems like we can all agree that SnD can't be used for advertising unless big changes are made to it. I think there was more debate about whether the version we ran on mattered much but again, changing versions almost a year after the server has already been made is drastic and a ton of work to implement, to say the least.

With that said, it might be good to move the conversation towards discussing what type of gamemode would help the server grow.

Here's a few ideas that I remember were brought up recently (for lack of a better word), that I'll post here:


Minecraft Manhunt - The person who made this is super smart and cool probably. imo this type of thing has potential but looking back the specific way I designed it might not be as fun as I thought. Still think using the popularity of manhunt would be a good idea. I think success lies in appealing to current trends without sacrificing the quality/uniqueness of gameplay. You need to appeal to what the people want, but you don't want to end up being a clone.

Different SnD Gamemodes - I really liked this idea, although idk if it can really "save" SnD. Off the top of my head, it might be cool if we have new gamemodes that borrow from currently trending games. Maybe a more strategic/competitive mode akin to Valorant/CS:GO? It would require changing SnD a lot tho.

Survival - Probably the best option imo, especially with the recent resurgence of SMP (Dream SMP, EarthSMP, etc). A lot of people probably watch those SMP series and want to be part of something similar. Additionally, it can definitely help us build a more constant playerbase, as it naturally demands more average playtime than other games.

Keep in mind I am not an expert on MC servers, I'm just tryna start some conversation. If I find the time to perform extensive Minecraft research then maybe I'll make a more detailed reply.
 
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bvyans

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I'm happy to see some discussion going on about this, it really felt like this topic was avoided for way too long despite it being one of the most important things to talk about

Overall, it seems like we can all agree that SnD can't be used for advertising unless big changes are made to it. I think there was more debate about whether the version we ran on mattered much but again, changing versions almost a year after the server has already been made is drastic and a ton of work to implement, to say the least.

With that said, it might be good to move the conversation towards discussing what type of gamemode would help the server grow.

Here's a few ideas that I remember were brought up recently (for lack of a better word), that I'll post here:


Minecraft Manhunt - The person who made this is super smart and cool probably. imo this type of thing has potential but looking back the specific way I designed it might not be as fun as I thought. Still think using the popularity of manhunt would be a good idea. I think success lies in appealing to current trends without sacrificing the quality/uniqueness of gameplay. You need to appeal to what the people want, but you don't want to end up being a clone.

Different SnD Gamemodes - I really liked this idea, although idk if it can really "save" SnD. Off the top of my head, it might be cool if we have new gamemodes that borrow from currently trending games. Maybe a more strategic/competitive mode akin to Valorant/CS:GO? It would require changing SnD a lot tho.

Survival - Probably the best option imo, especially with the recent resurgence of SMP (Dream SMP, EarthSMP, etc). A lot of people probably watch those SMP series and want to be part of something similar. Additionally, it can definitely help us build a more constant playerbase, as it naturally demands more average playtime than other games.

Keep in mind I am not an expert on MC servers, I'm just tryna start some conversation. If I find the time to perform extensive Minecraft research then maybe I'll make a more detailed reply.
Sabotage
 

Waves

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I think if we're going for a new gamemode we should leave SnD as it is and focus on something new entirely.

Manhunt would be fun, but given the original creators depiction of it it seems pretty intense for a wider player base.

I also think something like survival is the best especially since its not complicated but plain survival gets boring after a point. It can still work but there would need to be an overall goal and have an encouraging community. It's also kind of hard to join as someone new when everyone else has full netherite but that might just be unavoidable. I don't know a lot about other variations of survival that are less vanilla (like economies) but those would also be worth considering.

I think Sephiths' response is great (read it if you haven't) for determining what type of gamemode would work best but my takeaway in simple terms is that it should be something grindy and rewarding that keeps players coming back.

Side note: If there ever is another gamemode added I think Ember hours should be strictly for SnD to encourage people to try it out and also that credits should stay universal between the gamemodes so anytime someone uses a booster in one gamemode they're more willing to play it so they can have more credits in another gamemode.
 

Onett

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Keep in mind I am not an expert on MC servers, I'm just tryna start some conversation. If I find the time to perform extensive Minecraft research then maybe I'll make a more detailed reply.
Epic Minecraft Research below:

I mentioned that survival was probably the best option and after looking around a bit, a lot of the information I've found seems to support that decision. I decided upon 3 categories that are important for a gamemode's advertising potential
  1. Demand
  2. Audience
  3. Niche
After I break each section down, I'll explain how I think the gamemode should be designed/managed to ensure its success. (Proposed Gamemode section)
One important aspect for a good gamemode, I believe, is a "demand" for it among the Minecraft community. One issue with SnD and Disasters is people have never played games like them, and thus, it is unlikely that they would take the time to try the game out. Just imagine if you saw a random gamemode from some tiny server in a YouTube ad or on TikTok.

Especially when we're starting out, I believe it'd be beneficial to appeal to these trends. We don't have the resources or a large enough platform to build an advertising campaign that can hook people into a gamemode they know nothing about.


Why should we try and convince people that they should want something, when its much easier to just give them what they want?

I used trends.google.com, and found that among searches of "minecraft" and "minecraft server", survival/smp had a prominent presence.


nvm, lets ditch survival and make among us
Beyond just google searches, it's clear that Survival Multiplayer is super popular on other platforms like YouTube and Twitch.

Nowadays, Minecraft SMPs are more popular than ever, especially with huge youtubers of all genres (DreamSMP, SMPEarth, OfflineTV SMP) all creating SMP series. There's probably tons of people who'd want to be part of that type of server, and luckily for us, that game format works especially well within a smaller community, which is what we have.

I think it isn't hard to understand the marketing potential Survival has. Like I said, it has been really popular recently on Youtube and Twitch. Beyond this, if you think about it logically, literally everyone who has played Minecraft ever, has played survival, and thus, it's very accessible to any Minecraft player.

While one may say that there'd be way too much competition for a survival gamemode, as its popularity in search results is probably indicative of a large number of survival servers existing as well. There's definitely tons of survival servers out there, but I believe there's still hope.

With platforms such as TikTok, there's no need to fight the biggest servers like on youtube or google search for top spots. Since we've accumulated a decent following on there too, I think it'd be pretty easy to get a lot of viewers to come play.

While Survival is familiar to everyone, it is likely the gamemode that most people are bored of or will get bored of quickly. For most veteran players, playing on a survival server isn't going to be fun, unless you are playing with just your friends on a private server.

To differentiate our gamemode from others, I think its important to borrow a lot of the popular elements from recent SMPs, such as lore, thematic builds and maybe even challenges. I will elaborate more on this in the "Proposed Gamemode" section.

^tl:dr if we’re gonna make a new game, we should make sure it appeals to current trends in addition to providing unique and fun gameplay.

My take on how to run a survival server. Most of it is off the top of my head and very rough, but hopefully it can at least get some conversations going.

There's only so much time I can waste complaining about Minecraft so this section is gonna be less detailed

As I've said before, we gotta add cool features to our Survival game if we want people to actually play. I think by implementing additional gameplay incentives/objectives, custom features and perhaps some RPG elements, we can ensure our gamemode's success.

Here are some ideas that I think are fun, but nowhere near refined. To keep things interesting, I think it might be a cool idea to cycle through different themes periodically, so it provides a refreshing gameplay experience for returning players. There could also be a record of all of the different "SMP Cycles" so the progress isn't completely lost:

1.) War Theme
When you join the server, you are assigned to a team (could be 2,3,4 teams). After a certain time period, this SMP cycle is concluded by a final battle. Everyone is teleported to a huge arena, where all the teams battle. Whoever wins this battle gets a lot of credits, and their team's victory is listed in a record of all of the different SMP cycles.

There'd be a faction element to it, allowing for each team to claim territory and create their base. The leader of each team could perhaps be determined by vote. With the large team of staff, I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to moderate each clan to make sure the leaders aren't griefing their team.

In addition to these things, there could also be custom items/weapons to make the final battle more fun.

2.) Earth SMP
Not an original idea but it could be popular

basically regular SMP but the map is in the shape of earth. Custom items, towny and other things could potentially spice things up.

3.) ATLA SMP (or other popular media)
SMP but with thematic builds and custom coded stuff based on a certain popular media.

If it was an Avatar SMP, the map would look like Avatar and there'd be Airbending and firebending etc.

4.) RPG-centric
This would take more work to create but it'd basically a gamemode similar to Wynncraft/Hypixel Skyblock, with the temporary nature of the SMP cycles in mind. Things would be much less grindy.

Maybe the final objective of this cycle could be an endless dungeon type of thing, and whoever gets furthest in the dungeon is recorded as the winner of this SMP cycle.

---------​

Again, these ideas are pretty rough, but hopefully they help give a general idea of the direction I would take a survival gamemode if it was implemented.
 

YockaPockaPazzi

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Hello Im piggybacking off this thread because it was suggested to me to do so,

I made some suggestions in the discord and are going to repeat and expand on those here.

I'm not a developer and I don't know anything about what happens behind the curtains at Athios, but have worked on servers before and understand developer time costs money and can be precious when time is limited. With that in mind I would really like to see the current version of the server refined with quality of life changes that can be implemented fairly quickly before resources are spent towards unveiling something completely new, which might not gain traction either. Below are my ideas/suggestions. I've tried to keep them as realistically accomplishable as possible, apologies in advanced if I've strayed too far from that.

-Please increase voting rewards or the incentive to vote. The top voters for the month are public and at a glance it doesn't look like many people try to go out of their way to vote. Not overly sure what the impact of these ranking website are now, but back in the day it made a difference. Incentives might would be more credits, maybe a special rank that you get to have for the month like [TopVoter] that comes with a permanent special cosmetic trail. Some free boosters, idk, anything would be an improvement.

-Please consider modifying how kit ownership works. I don't play often and it is kind of a downer saving up for a kit and then I immediately sell it at the end of the day because I know I will not get my credits worth out of it before time runs out. Not sure if others feel this way but a system that instead relies on kit uses instead of time might would be beneficial, maybe even being able to opt in for the option, since some people might want to have their kits stay time based. I am not sure what a balanced number of uses would be, but even if it was 25-30+ Id feel better about my choice when I buy a kit.

-Please consider giving new players some or all kits temporarily for the sake of learning. As a new player learning the kits might be slightly overwhelming, and I personally do not think the 1 free trial is enough. It also probably comes off as incredibly frustrating to fight against a class you've never played before because you've already used your daily trial learning something else and can't afford to buy it. With this in mind maybe giving new players the ability to play all classes for a limited time, maybe a week? Or if use based, 3 uses of each kit would get them hooked and allow them to decide the kits they would want to buy. The exception would be the invisibility kits, hackers would probably abuse that.

-Kit of the day. Just an idea. I personally would like to see a kit become free to play during the day with it changing out over time like MOBAS do with their champions for the week. Gives people the opportunity to play around with a kit they might not have even considered spending credits or a free trial on.

-Ember Hours In-Game Countdown. Please consider adding something to the lobby to indicate ember hours, maybe a countdown timer as a boss bar that players can readily see anytime during the week. If I was a brand new player and saw there was no one online I would at least take the time to look at the lobby before leaving before possibly logging off indefinitely, never bothering to join the forums or discord thinking the server was dead. However if I saw an in-game timer for an event, it would peak my interest and I would come back to see what it was, or at least join the forums to learn more. Nothing peaks peoples interest more than FOMO. I played with a new player earlier that I was able to invite to ember hours because they did not actively follow the discord or forums.

-Level/Progression system At the heart of Minecraft is a game about progressing. Whether it is starting up a new world or joining a new server you start with nothing. Once you start playing you begin getting that feeling that you are almost always advancing. With the current server I achieve that dopamine hit of accomplishing a new milestone through fishing (._.) Maybe killstreaks and cosmetics accomplish that feeling to an extent, *pardon my rant*, but what really gets me sad and serves as the antithesis of this feeling is saving up for a kit and then watching it slowly fade knowing I can do nothing to save it, only being able cut my loss and sell it. It is kind of a gut punch logging onto a server and immediately having to acknowledge your players net worth has regressed. Back to my point, I feel like a global leveling system, if practical to create one, could serve as something to work for, and remedy that feeling, with each few levels offering different incentives. These incentives being things like extra days or uses every time you buy a kit, maybe the ability to have a permanent slot for a kit of your choice? Cosmetics, etc. The possibilities are endless and at the end of the day you are able to get that feeling you've progressed and can come back with that feeling every time you play.

Thank you to those that took the time to read this.
 
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