Dear Imperial Alliance Minecraft Community Members,
Do you know when we first started minecraft? It was November 17th, 2010. At
around 12:14am PST. I posted on the minecraftforum.net to find someone to
help me test a preliminary setup. A player named BLank3t responded, and
joined the server. BLank3t didn't stick around past just helping me get
setup. I think my first true staff member was Sabin6120.
In those days, the main place to advertise servers was on
mineccraftforum.net. That holds most of the archive of our history.
Around December 20th 2010 Minecraftforum.net, I think it was with the
release of beta Minecraft, reset their server boards. I still have archived
the Alpha post.

So, why am I telling you all this? I want you to see how far, and how
long, we've come (lol). Upon writing this, it is 4/11/2013. That means its
been 2 years, 4 months, 25 days. That's 21,024 hours. How many minutes you
ask? 1,261,440 Seconds? Well, that's just silly. About 75,686,400. .

So, how much did all this cost? If we're talking hosting costs. Holding
the constant of JUST our current provider @ $70/mo that's $2,030. Looks
tiny right? Well, the cost we have now is only $70/mo because we are much
smaller right now than we have been. I also have a 'relationship' with our
provider. I was one of his first Minecraft customers. I left his hosting
service, and eventually returned. He offered me a good rate because I
require very little support. I do most of the Sys-admin stuff myself, and
his system is very well automated for the rest.

How much did it really cost? For about a year, we were on a dedicated
machine which cost $210/mo. Now, the normal retail price for such a
machine, on such a network, is around $350. Once again, a relationship with
the provider did us well. For that provider, I ran their social media
presence, and forums. Cost for total run time? $6,090

Somewhere between the two numbers, would give an idea for our run
costs, JUST on hosting. There are other costs, premium plugins,
advertising just to name two. We haven't even broken into 'man hour costs'
what it would cost to employ someone with the required knowledge to
administrate such a server.
Lets just say, it has been a labor of love on my part. Thus I work for
free.

I provided this data so that our donors would have some sort of idea on
how much they have helped us keep going for so long. God knows my pockets
could never have handled the burden alone, though a great chunk of the
costs came out of my own pockets. You could say I pay to work here! I must
have loved it right?

I could never have 'worked here' alone though either. To all the people
who have helped me along the way, I can't thank you enough. I'm not going
to name any specific names, because I don't want any of my helpers to feel
under valued. I would like to say, thank you for giving our community part
of your life.

Well, ladies and gentlemen as this comes to a close. A quote comes to
mind:
There is no real ending. Itís just the place where you stop the story.
-Frank Herbert

Another, which I hope you all consider us friends. Because our entire
relationship is based upon playing together!
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far
the best ending for one.
- Oscar Wilde

On the note of Laughter, I request your input. How shall we stop this
story? Some sort of amazing explosion? A serene bridge crossing? An epic
battle?
Please be as concise as possible, I will be reading through each and
every response. Then the top 'endings' will be voted on.
http://goo.gl/Aycip
The submissions will be open until 4/18/13. Following their close, I
will send out another e-mail for voting to begin.

Warmest Regards,
Stragis

P.S. I will release our final map, in two forms, before, and after
whatever our 'ending' seems to be.
Also, I know a great graphic designer who is looking for work. So, if
you know somone hiring, or have some work needing to be done yourself,
please let me know via e-mail.