I created "Friends Through Online Gaming" back in 2008 when a lot of the people that I used to play with in WoW started quitting, and I wanted to have a place where we could stay in touch throughout the years no matter what games we all ended up playing. Over the years, people I met in many other games joined and the community grew slowly bigger. In 2012 the community stagnated and wasn't used for much more than a few core members to stay in touch. The FTOG website and community was then reborn in 2014 when a few people that met through Minecraft, as well as YouTube, needed a place to get together to plan servers and recordings. Forward to today, we have almost 1,200 members on the website, 447 members on Discord, and 360 people whitelisted on our latest Minecraft server. This is quite a large gaming community, and I am very proud of how large we have grown in the past two years, and I am happy to have every one of you be part of it. So, now that I've given you a bit of our past, it is time to start talking about the future of FTOG. Glitch has taken the first step with his post to get information from everyone, and after reading all the replies and talking with many of you in Discord, we've come up with some changes and ideas on how we can become better, more organized, and also more efficient in terms of administration. FTOG Servers and Whitelists The main problem we keep running into with our whitelisted modded Minecraft servers is that after an average of about two months we are starting to lag a lot due to chunkloading, automations, and just normal symptoms that happen on all modded servers with a high population. We want to keep a few servers publicly available, or new players don't really have a chance to play with the community and get to know us, and us them. We also need to have other servers available for active members that have been around a long time, have proven that they can read and abide with the server rules, interact with other members regularly, and we know them well. For this latter group, we put up other servers for which you need to earn the right to play on, by being involved in the community. So there will be two separate whitelists in the FTOG community. The first will be our "public" whitelist that anyone can apply to, just like we have now. Applying to this group is easy and is mostly in place to make sure we can check out these new players for past bans and if they read the rules. The second will be our "closed" whitelist. The application process for this group is more involved since it is for those who are involved with the FTOG community over time. It is also possible to be whitelisted on the closed servers via an invite, somewhat like a sponsor. To give you an example of what this could look like: Public whitelist servers Modern Skyblock 2 Vanilla #secretproject Public Empyrion Closed whitelist servers All The Mods 3 Age of Engineering The other difference between the two brackets of servers will be the way they are administrated. If there are issues on the public whitelist servers, like a ticking tile entity that causes a server crash loop, we will restore the region (or possibly the entire world file if needed) from a backup, while on the closed whitelist servers I will - if needed - use MCEdit or other methods to fix a problem to avoid having to rollback the server. This new way of fixing issues will allow us to setup scripts so moderators of the public whitelist servers may restore a region quickly instead of waiting on administrators to get involved. Discord There are always people asking questions about problems they are having with their PC, Minecraft, or other games and devices, and we think it would be good to re-organize our Discord and setup a few new channels to keep everything a bit cleaner. Our #you-must-read channel on Discord will go away. All rules and important information will be posted on the forums. It is your responsibility to stay current by regularly reading updates posted in them. You can select to "watch" these posts and even have the website send you an email if anything new was posted in them. I wanted to also talk about an issue with Discord. When people, especially administrators, are on Discord in a voice channel, it doesn't mean that we are there so you can report your in-game problems. We are on voice to play games and hang out with peeps, not to be informed about issues. Please always post server / game issues in the text channels first. We are often already working on an issue, or in the middle of a heated boss battle, or maybe we had a hard day at work and don't want to be bombarded by people's game problems in voice. Post you issues, then come join us in a voice channel to just talk. Website / Forums Over the next couple of days, I will update our forum hierarchy a bit to get ready for more servers, as well as to start porting a lot of important information over from the #must-read-channel in to sticky threads. I will keep you all updated when I am finished with this so you can then take some time and familiarize yourself with the changes. Events Many of you replied to Glitch's post about wanting more community events. I have loved all the events we've had in the past and always had a really good time. The problem with having more regular events is actually come up with ideas for them. This is where you all come in! Send us your ideas! If you find a cool mini-game map, a free-to-play game everyone could download easily, or anything else you think off that we can play as a group for some event, send it to me with a link to it, post it on the forums, or post it in the #event-suggestions channel on discord. We are often quite busy, but the more people giving us ideas, the better! Once we have an idea, we are pretty good setting up and scheduling some event.