When I write things like this, I try and do so as unbiased as possible. I will freely admit that is difficult as feelings are still raw. I don’t have the option of waiting for the dust to settle on this issue; as our clan members need to hear this as soon as possible, so they know what is going on.
We were given “affordable” servers over on FibreServers. This included 2 Arma Servers, a Starbound Server, and a Minecraft server. We decided to forego a Teamspeak, as we merged with their Teamspeak. You can read all about that HERE.
Despite the best of intentions, this alliance was fraught with a great many technical difficulties. For a time we looked the other way as we understood that FibreServers is a relatively young company, and still in the process of learning their how to do these sorts of things on a large scale.
I can go back and list a litany of amateurish technical problems that we have had. Towards the end, little technical difficulties that we might have looked the other way on became big deals as they began to compound with greater frequency. Our Arma servers didn’t work for a long time, and then when they did they were up for just a couple days before Bohemia put out an update that perplexed the FibreServers. Our Minecraft server never ran right, as it would not accept our map migration, and refused to run on the proper amount of ram allotted to it via the command line.
Keep in mind, we always chose to hedge our bets and not put our eggs in one basket. As such we never fully pulled out of CreeperHost or ViLayer. While we still pay more to be aligned with them, their customer service has always been top notch, and we have never had any downtime on ViLayer. I know Luke over at CreeperHost counts us among his most cherished customers.
A couple days ago, on Teamspeak, we got to talking about Minecraft Mods. Figuring they would fix the command-line problem eventually I started looking into what it would take to get mods running on our FibreServer. We noticed we had no access to our JAR file, and I found this to be a bit odd. Keep in mind we have had Minecraft servers with HostedGameServers and still do with CreeperHost. So it was a bit odd that FibreServers would choose to do things differently.
When I asked about this I was told they would have to inspect each JAR personally to make sure it was virus free. Now, that may be how they choose to do things, but having had experience with other companies I knew this was not the way they had to operate. Also, I understand the need for security, but I began to question how it is that these other companies shield themselves, while letting their customers have free reign of the server-space they have been given.
In MeatSpace I own my own business: it is focused around brand creation and marketing. So I made the suggestion that Fibreserver at least look into how/why their competition does certain things and they try to learn from that. I normally wouldn’t say anything of the sort, but you have to remember we had an alliance, and it was my agenda to see FibreServers be the best damn company they could be.
In the middle of playing Minecraft. Our services were cut off, all servers deleted, and our account closed. It was fortuitous that we had backed up the day before, but still lost a ton of work. Moments later I was contacted by the owner (LazyBrit) via Text on Teamspeak. I found this most troubling, as text does not convey tone of voice or intent; which is also how he let his own demons convince him that my support tickets were an attack against him; when I really was inquiring as to WHY they have made the poor choice as to do things they way they have. When presented with the option to have an actual, adult, conversation with us (seeing that he could have pulled me aside and we could have talked with our voices) he instead chose to hide behind text and work himself up into a rage.
Below is the log of support tickets starting with me, and alternating to him (the owner, LazyBrit).
The File Manager does not seems to allow us access to our own JAR file. As such we cannot install any mods or even Bukkit.
You will need to give me (LazyBrit) the file to check and upload, jar files can contain viruses and can take our servers down in minutes so you will have to request for one to be uploaded by us.
It saddens me to hear that. I am not sure how our other provider (CreeperHost) allowed us to have full reign of our files, but they do, we can run from the JAR, pack it with whatever mods we like, and even have the options we send from the command line actually be run by the server.
We’re backing up our files now. We’ll move them over to Creeper Host.
Thank you for looking into the issue. I just wish your setup allowed you to have at least the same, if not better, flexibility than your competition.
Ok thanks, i will remove your free servers.
Reading this, I can sort of understand how he felt accosted. But the truth is, he chose to escalate things to deleting ALL our services without notice. It would have been one thing if he had removed our Minecraft server (since I had said our Minecraft was going to remain over at CreeperHost), but he chose to run us out. In less that 15 min we lost everything we had, and were back to our old TeamSpeak, re-installing it and clearing out the cobwebs: Here is the log of our final Teamspeak conversation.
The log speaks for itself. Feeling as though I had attacked him personally, LazyBrit took it upon himself to dissolve our relationship; hiding behind numbers. I don’t know if he has 2000 customers, and he has no way to prove if they are indeed happy. I do know that while the value of the services we were offered was nowhere near $100 (now that we are paying for these services on other hosts we don’t pay much more than $40), and the cost to his infrastructure was mere “pennies” a day. It would have been no sweat of our backs to let this issue lie, and let cooler head prevail. But he chose to, in a manner of moments, dissolve our arrangement.
This hotheadedness is indicative of a larger megalomania. If there is a silver lining it is that this issue presented itself in a tumultuous time when we were questioning the solidarity of the alliance anyway. In this way he forced our hand, and I can feel better knowing we did all we could to hold onto the alliance that Doc graciously forged for us. It was preferable to learn their leader has these tendencies now, rather than later: perhaps in a time when things were running smoothly.
As in the world of Entrepreneurs, I understand the benefit of strategic alliance; true also is the adage that we tend to ally with people that we “Know, Like, and Trust”. Where I was once willing to recruit for FibreServers and send customers their way. I will now be going out of my way to let the Arma, Starbound, and Minecraft communities, know of how we were treated and to stay away from this place. There are many more, quality, server companies to choose from. CreeperHost for Starbound and Minecraft. ViLayer for many more gaming endeavors.
At the end of the day, we have learned a valuable lessons from this. It was also wise of us to have not canceled our other services.
With the release of a mega patch for StarBound imminent, and LampPost’s rediscovery of StarForge, we are not going to be short on GamePlay in the coming weeks.
As for the mansion we were working on, I am going to try and get a local server running Bukkit going so we can make up for the progress we lost.
Thanks for taking the time to read this,