Paronity

Elementum - A Summary and Future Plans

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So, here we are not more than a few months into the creation of the community and so many things have already happened that have shown that we don't always have the answers and aren't planning for everything. I would like to make a post that explains the plans going forward, as well as touches on some of the whoas that have been brought forth time and time again. To start, let's address the things that WE (as staff and founders) have done or neglected to do that could have helped. 

==Our Shortcomings==

1.) Lack of updates and communication: While we strived to keep people in tune with the status and updates of the community as we built them, it did not always go according to plan. Life got in the way several times, and we allowed that to make it so that the community has zero idea what was going on from week to week. This is not OK and we are taking active steps to prevent that from being an issue in the future. We have these ranks and titles in place for a reason, and we will be sure to start leaning on them heavier to make sure that they are not useless titles. 

2.) Lack of clear direction and guidance: This was a big one and has caused MANY opinions and beliefs to occur (some of them justified, and some of them not so much). This one is a huge one for the entire community. Many people have been saying things like "community is dead" and stuff like that. This is so untrue, that it's almost funny. The community is still new and hasn't been pushed in any way and thus, it can't be dead. This is where the direction would have been helpful. We need to make it clear that our intention was NEVER to be an Altis Life community, but rather a community that can exist DESPITE it. That hasn't been easy to convey simply because we bit off more than we could chew. 

3.) Lack of transparency: When things were brought up in regard to finances, they were quickly explained and since they were brought up, we should have taken even more time (outside of Altis) to make sure everyone understands the things that were said. Several people have formed opinions about the statements that have been made that are a little stilted. What I mean by this and what was actually meant by my comments previously, was that this community is built on an LLC. This allows us to manage the funds in a way that will allow us to pay people down the road. We set it up this way JUST IN CASE we get enough traction on anything to be able to pay the countless hours that go into it from development and staff. At this time, 100% of all donations have been used for expenses and in fact, we are in the red and working on coming out of it still. NO ONE has made a penny off of any of the donations or transactions that have been made to the community. (Details about finances will be in the post in a spoiler if you want to see them all)

4.) Giving into hype and not following through: This was a HUGE one, especially for me. We posted a poll to see when the server should be released and people said they wanted to wait. Then we started to get excited by the hype that was surrounding it and we gave into the peer pressure and launched it WAY before we should have. None of the core custom features are even in the code base yet and many things still aren't working because we are running on the latest Altis Life branch that isn't officially released yet. We should have waited to release until we were satisfied with it, even if it meant upsetting a few people. At least then we could know that we were proud of our release, rather than ashamed of it. 

==Our Future==

Some of the things that we want to do and offer going fowrad to help fix some of these issues are outlined here. It's just the start and many more things will be coming, but these are the most critical points that I can think of at this time. 

1.) More ACTIVE servers: One of the things we want to focus on at this juncture is to have other active servers for people to play on. It's hard to have a community without them. The next things we are going to be doing are an Exile server, and pushing more efforts to our FiveM GTA V server. Both of these servers have the ability to be awesome with the right amount of work and dedication, so we will be working on that. 

2.) Dev Team Order: We will be formatting the dev team a little more efficiently. Right now the few devs that we have are trying to do just about everything and we need to make sure that progress is made on everything without hurting the other projects. That means that we will have dev team members that are JUST for altis, JUST for web, and JUST for FiveM and Exile. 

3.) Consistent Community Enagagement: This one will be addressed by two things. The first is to make sure that all updated for a specific issue/platform/or project will be handled by the same people, all the time. This will prevent the miscommunications that have occurred from multiple people addressing concerns from the public around Altis Life. The second is to make sure that we give steady updates CONTINUOUSLY. We would rather be told that we are telling you guys too much, rather than the other way around. 

4.) Open Feedback: People LOVE to give feedback and we love to hear it. We NEED it to be able to succeed. Without the feedback, we can't correct our actions and learn from the mistakes. We will work on making sure that all feedback is handled professionally and all feedback will be siphoned through the proper channels to prevent the flaming that has occurred recently. 

We ALWAYS put the community first and will continue to do so. I hope this helps ease any thoughts or frustrations you guys might have. As always, I welcome any and all feedback on anything. If you want to PM me instead of using the forums, that is fine too. I will never ignore any feedback.

(Finances Below)

 

==Our Finances==

For those that want a closer look at things that we have collected, and spent, here are a few screenshots for you. 

We pay about $185 per month for the nfo box, as seen here: 

ca22764e35.png

You can see that we have paid for 3 months of it thus far, bringing that amount to $555. 

Next, we bought the KOTH server for two months at $42 each:

d0ac1913c9.png

Next up, you can take a look at ALL TRANSACTIONS on the forums. This includes the subscriptions that we offered, as well as the open donations that were offered. 

79e187ab09.png907fe9f587.png

4498b17a31.png

You can see from those 3 months, we have collected around $1,038.66

Now, when you take that and add up the expenses that we have acquired thus far.

design templates: (~$65-70)

logos (~$55)

purchased tools/scripts (~$95)

IPBoard Software ($400): 

35935b324d.png

That doesn't include the small transactions such as plugins for the forums here and there. Plugins for Minecraft, licenses to games that we have purchased to give away to the community, and stuff like that. With just these numbers here, you can see that we are still under our operating expenses and in the red by about $215 bucks. 

Am I mad or upset about that? No, not at all. We knew there was risk going into this, and despite popular belief, this was NEVER intended to be a cash grab. or a get rich quick scheme. We wanted to build an awesome community around awesome people, playing on awesome servers. We have no problem footing the bills for a while so that we can get stuff off the ground.

 

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Posted (edited)

This post does truly show me that you are standing behind your community and pushing forward to make it the best it can be. I respect that and wish you the best of luck as you guys push forward with your future plans. I hope to see these promises take place for better communication and keeping the people updated. I am not a member anymore but I will always be here to support you guys anyway I can just like I try and do for all the other communities that I am apart of. The effort that was made on this post shows me you do care and I can't wait to see what's in store! 

Edited by John Falcon
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I do see you care about the community. I do to, I am worried if we do not get those servers populated EGN is going to die out. That happen to the last community I was in named Anarky life. I am very glad see that you have not given up and went N/A and are still putting all your effort into this group of lads.

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In the end having top ranked servers does not define a community by no means. "Community" should be the main focus here.. yes having a server to call our own that people want to play on is nice.. but it should by no means define this place.

I joined EGN because all my friends I have made over the past 8 years now are here and that is the most important thing to me. I just want a place to chill and game with chill people and friends.

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I agree with @Nimbus. I just enjoy working with the people here on custom tooling and playing games with members of the community. Regardless of the games that we decide to host as a community, I enjoy the company of my friends here. I'm not going to let any game stand in the way of that. The community isn't "dead," it's very alive and thriving.

There have been accusations that the developers (myself included) have been receiving payment, which Paronity addressed himself above, but I'd like to mention something too. I have not received any form of payment from EGN for the development work I have done. I am a software developer by trade. I write web applications and custom tooling because I love doing it. I have a passion for web development and take every opportunity I can get my hands on to kindle that fire that drives my motivation and commitment to building great things. When I joined the dev team, I had no intention of receiving payment, nor did I know it was even a thought. I knew in my head I'd be willing to build things entirely on my own because I enjoy writing code. It is insulting for people to think that I'm in this for the money. I make more than enough for me to be happy from my full-time software developer career. I develop the things I do because I want the community I have such a passion for and commitment to to be enabled to do the things they need to do to thrive as they grow. I develop the things I do because I take great pride in software that I build that is successful in any regard. Even if it's used by one person, that's success in my mind.

 


 

With that out of the way, I'd like to help in the transparency aspect. I've revealed the contents of the #nerd-commits channel in Discord which contains messages posted by webhooks any time a developer pushes updates to the repositories that are connected to the code we own, including the code for the Altis Life server, Elementum Manager (our custom admin UI), ARMACon (Paronity's custom ARMA RCON client), and FiveM. If you have any questions about any of the development going on behind the scenes, please feel free to reach out to me. I'd be happy to discuss any aspect I'm knowledgeable about. I personally am primarily responsible for Elementum Manager and the integrations between the various servers and services we administrate and use to power the forums, but I am aware of the other pieces too.

 

 

Thanks @Paronity for the detailed response, and I'm glad to be a part of the commitment to moving forward. If anyone has any concerns about anything in this post (or anything for that matter) that you don't want to voice publicly, feel free to reach out to me and I'd be happy to discuss them with you.

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Its been a pleasure to forge stronger friendships, rekindle old friendships and find new friendships over the past few months. That is something we want to continue to do. Servers and playing together is apart of that, but each person, each piece plays a role in making the elements of Elementum. 

 

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Well written Post @Paronity.

 

On a side note, as I mentioned before we should expand into more games. Arma 3 Altis is good and will be for a few months BUT, the Tanks DLC was the last thing on the roadmap and Another game has already been rumored to be in the works. With E3 coming up maybe they'll announce something or later when they are ready. Depending on how Identity goes that might be something we could get into also. We really need to bring more members into the community from different parts of gaming. 

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3/4 of your community came over from RGN to EGN to play Altis Life, and not have that donated money be funded for other servers that STILL have zero population. Focus on one server, then branch out to other servers. 

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1 hour ago, Erik Fishmen said:

3/4 of your community came over from RGN to EGN to play Altis Life, and not have that donated money be funded for other servers that STILL have zero population. Focus on one server, then branch out to other servers. 

As Paronity said (and I mentioned in another thread here) :

13 hours ago, Paronity said:

We need to make it clear that our intention was NEVER to be an Altis Life community, but rather a community that can exist DESPITE it

We know the influx of people in the beginning came from the announcement that we would be starting an Altis Life server. Even still, this is not an Altis Life community. Those people that came to be among us because they wanted to play Altis Life joined on their own accord, and we gave plenty of warning that the server would not immediately be in a state comparable to those that have existed in the past. Also mentioned above was the fact that we caved to the hype, and released an unfinished product. 

Considering the above facts, we are still developing the Altis Life server. We're developing it at a pace that we can maintain. That doesn't mean we're not going to venture forth into other opportunities. Never once has it been advertised that we are going to hold off on anything else before our Altis Life server gets ramped up. If there was something said that implied otherwise, I am not aware of it.

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1 hour ago, Erik Fishmen said:

3/4 of your community came over from RGN to EGN to play Altis Life, and not have that donated money be funded for other servers that STILL have zero population. Focus on one server, then branch out to other servers. 

To add to @Mdude™, aside from the KOTH server, the only server we have does house the ever virgening Altis server. It’s the only server that has been under constant development for the life of the community.

But to assume for a moment your assumption is correct (I.e. all donations were intend for Altis only) -even though this is not at all correct- this shows that nearly all of it has gone to expenses that are directly or indirectly related to Altis thus far. 

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I'm just here for a good time. All the donations we have received go to the servers (server box, renting servers, applications, IPB renewals every 6 months, giveaways, etc) and we are making sure to utilize the resources (people, devs, equipment) we have for projects as well. Its for sure time to reorganize and prioritize our efforts into creating a sustainable, fun, active, and engaging community. I think we need to refocus on community outreach and events more but still keep polishing an Altis server in the background. Its no where near the level of servers that have been around for _yeaaars_ but unless we copy their code (do not recommend) its going to take some time catching up. I can see that there are many people frustrated with something here or there and I really wish everything could be perfect. But if you have an issue with someone, transparency of EGN, or the direction we're heading feel free to reach out to me and I'll talk about it through my perspective and hopefully find some solace in doing so. Until then, until things are perfect we all should work towards it.

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 So your telling me that the community is not solely focused on Altis Life, yet when I look at how many servers you guys have on the forums you have nine servers listed under game discussions . . . 

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1 minute ago, Erik Fishmen said:

 So your telling me that the community is not solely focused on Altis Life, yet when I look at how many servers you guys have on the forums you have nine servers listed under game discussions . . . 

I would like you direct you to this article made at the birth of this community. But in case you cannot take the time to read the article I will post a screenshot below with a summary.

1f16b0a17a.png

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Primarily Altis Life . . . FOCUS on Altis Life before going onto other servers. It's like a business. You start off with one and expand with popularity.

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From the perspective of a non-dev/staff member, I can really appreciate the transparency following all the drama and chaos. I think shedding some light on the situation and allowing us to see behind the curtain will put a lot of people at ease.  I feel like when you get a group of people together, no matter what, people are going to find reasons to bicker. What it really boils do to is fostering a community of mature members that know how to be civil and are willing to disagree sometimes. And so long as the staff maintains transparency, I am perfectly happy. 

That being said, people aren't exactly incorrect for pointing out that the servers have effectively died. Even discord remains mostly empty now. I would like to hear more from the staff on ideas for continuing to engage and grow the community, especially for people like myself who are not here for Altis Life. I'm not sure if this means changing up the weekly events or what, but I'd love to hear the staff's thoughts. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say we still very much wish to be involved in this community, but don't necessarily have the means/know an approach to generating traffic. 

 TL;DR I just wanna play some dang games y'all.

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1 hour ago, Erik Fishmen said:

Primarily Altis Life . . . FOCUS on Altis Life before going onto other servers. It's like a business. You start off with one and expand with popularity.

You may want us to be primary for Altis Life but that will not be successful for us or anyone of this community. Not sure why its still being misunderstood. We are not an Altis life Community, We are a community with an Altis Life server and many more. Why would we pay 200 dollars a month for a dedicated box to just run Altis life on it? The worth in that is not there.

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54 minutes ago, aka_ned said:

From the perspective of a non-dev/staff member, I can really appreciate the transparency following all the drama and chaos. I think shedding some light on the situation and allowing us to see behind the curtain will put a lot of people at ease.  I feel like when you get a group of people together, no matter what, people are going to find reasons to bicker. What it really boils do to is fostering a community of mature members that know how to be civil and are willing to disagree sometimes. And so long as the staff maintains transparency, I am perfectly happy. 

That being said, people aren't exactly incorrect for pointing out that the servers have effectively died. Even discord remains mostly empty now. I would like to hear more from the staff on ideas for continuing to engage and grow the community, especially for people like myself who are not here for Altis Life. I'm not sure if this means changing up the weekly events or what, but I'd love to hear the staff's thoughts. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say we still very much wish to be involved in this community, but don't necessarily have the means/know an approach to generating traffic. 

 TL;DR I just wanna play some dang games y'all.

Once we get a lot of our servers operational, I am going to start posting our server to different server postings to try and gain traction so we can gain a population on the servers. If there is a popular game you would like to try and make it a server for us know, we are open for suggestions.

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1 minute ago, DasPookieBear said:

OH shiiiiit dude. My dick got fucking ROCK HARD when you mentioned an Exile server!

 

I know right, That is all I will play (with a some amount of other games)

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I agree with @Mdude™. I work as a full-time software engineer during the day and come home at night to work on servers and tools for this community in my free time. But besides the fun of developing, I find that this community gives me an opportunity to hang out with old friends I made back in GSN and RGN. As well, I have met plenty of new people, that I wouldn’t have met without this community. 

In short, as everyone else above me has stated, this community is more than just an Altis Life community with plenty of potential to grow, and we have only been around for two months. Give us a chance here... instead of jumping down our throats over any mistakes we may make along the way. This is a learning process for everyone, and we need to work together to build this community and make it a place where everyone can have fun doing what we do best, playing games.

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1 hour ago, Darkcobra said:

You may want us to be primary for Altis Life but that will not be successful for us or anyone of this community. Not sure why its still being misunderstood. We are not an Altis life Community, We are a community with an Altis Life server and many more. Why would we pay 200 dollars a month for a dedicated box to just run Altis life on it? The worth in that is not there.

 

You're not getting what I'm saying . . . Start with one server and branch out. Not hard to understand. You guys expanded too fast, which is what happens to most small businesses. 

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Just to add more to what@Erik Fishmensaid, don't have 9 servers if you don't have the people to populate them.  While maybe 1-4 members may want a server that doesn't mean you should make it.  Especially these ones with "Admins: seeking."  That just tells me these servers aren't even supported by the community.

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell” a great quote to explain how trying to grow and provide servers for ever members demand will ultimately kill you by spreading your focus too thin.  You're not focusing on making one server great, but trying to please every member who wants a server.  Just cause you have a server up doesn't mean anyone is going to play on it.  There are only 228 total members on the server.  That's not nearly enough to support population for 9 servers.

I'm not sure I need to reiterate the point any further, but I noticed you guys doing the same issue with your Dads Rule Gaming community.  You launched that community with multiple servers and no focus.  Everyone knows now days that you cannot create the next Facebook over night.  That takes years to achieve.  The majority of your community population came over from RGN to play Altis Life.  RGN offers/offered all the same types of servers you have up.  If anyone wanted to play those we could have done it there.  However, no one on GSN, RGN, or EGN want to play Minecraft, Rust, ECO (what even is that?), Space Engineers, etc.

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2 hours ago, Dominic said:

Just to add more to what@Erik Fishmensaid, don't have 9 servers if you don't have the people to populate them.  While maybe 1-4 members may want a server that doesn't mean you should make it.  Especially these ones with "Admins: seeking."  That just tells me these servers aren't even supported by the community.

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell” a great quote to explain how trying to grow and provide servers for ever members demand will ultimately kill you by spreading your focus too thin.  You're not focusing on making one server great, but trying to please every member who wants a server.  Just cause you have a server up doesn't mean anyone is going to play on it.  There are only 228 total members on the server.  That's not nearly enough to support population for 9 servers.

I'm not sure I need to reiterate the point any further, but I noticed you guys doing the same issue with your Dads Rule Gaming community.  You launched that community with multiple servers and no focus.  Everyone knows now days that you cannot create the next Facebook over night.  That takes years to achieve.  The majority of your community population came over from RGN to play Altis Life.  RGN offers/offered all the same types of servers you have up.  If anyone wanted to play those we could have done it there.  However, no one on GSN, RGN, or EGN want to play Minecraft, Rust, ECO (what even is that?), Space Engineers, etc.

Assuming no one whats to play minecraft etc is actually funny. We play on multiple of our servers hints why we have them. I think  you guys are misunderstanding how stuff works here at EGN. We have a dedicated box that we can house many servers on it and everything function fine so why Not? Also we have ranks in place to take care of these servers like the managers and admins. Its not like Staff and founders are running around like chickens with their head cut off looking at each and every server on a daily basis(But can if they see the need). They pass it down to the Managers to manage the server. Founders and Staff are they to help but Server Managers is a rank for a reason. *Please refer to the Ranks Page on the About Us tab.*

 

Having multiple servers doeant mean we are spread thin. We have a variety of servers which is what this community is based on. The amount of servers we have has no effect on server updates and releases.

 

We know where some of the people came from but they also came over thinking the Altis Life server was plug and play which we were not going  to do. We are EGN and wanted the server built how we wanted it built not any other communities server.

 

*End rant*

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9 hours ago, Darkcobra said:

Assuming no one whats to play minecraft etc is actually funny. We play on multiple of our servers hints why we have them. I think  you guys are misunderstanding how stuff works here at EGN. We have a dedicated box that we can house many servers on it and everything function fine so why Not? Also we have ranks in place to take care of these servers like the managers and admins. Its not like Staff and founders are running around like chickens with their head cut off looking at each and every server on a daily basis(But can if they see the need). They pass it down to the Managers to manage the server. Founders and Staff are they to help but Server Managers is a rank for a reason. *Please refer to the Ranks Page on the About Us tab.*

 

Having multiple servers doeant mean we are spread thin. We have a variety of servers which is what this community is based on. The amount of servers we have has no effect on server updates and releases.

 

We know where some of the people came from but they also came over thinking the Altis Life server was plug and play which we were not going  to do. We are EGN and wanted the server built how we wanted it built not any other communities server.

 

*End rant*

*Face slap* Darkcobra . . . . when was the last time you played Space Engineers, Rust, ECO, Minecraft, and GTA RP? I haven't even touched them because the foundation of this community was meant to be built upon Altis. Once Altis was fantastically populated then you can branch off into other servers to better the community as a whole.

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