Take this for what you will, as I represent the "competition"
I am more interested in keeping the overall ET community strong for years to come. Obviously you don't all play on my server, perhaps it doesn't appeal to you. No worries - but it is clear that you all love Bunker and want to keep your servers and community strong. I hope the best for you in this endeavor. There were certainly several "lean" years at <IoW> too, and we've had these very same conversations. One thing I am extremely grateful for is the strong band of dedicated members that I have that keep the lights on and keep things going. Without them, there is no <IoW>.
Here is my advice:
1. Get rid of spawn killing rules. Honestly, we have no rules on SK, and it is NEVER a problem. Yes, every once-in-a-while I get backraged by some defender coming out of spawn. But 98% of the time there is no abuse of the areas around the spawn. OF course, the term "abuse" is subjective, but in my opinion having no rules on SK has very rarely led to a team getting completely camped and unable to make any progress. It just might remove the fear from people that they're going to bring down the wrath of the administrators if they do happen to kill someone around spawn. In all honesty, if I came to your server I would be constantly afraid of breaking some sort of rule and getting yelled at. At <IoW>, we have rules too, but the only people we yell at are hackers and people who completely ignore team-based play (e.g. medics need to heal dammit!). Of course abuse of spawns may be more prevalent when you have 12v12 and a big messy war going on. But ask yourself this: when it is 4v4: all Bunker members and a public, do harsh SK rules really matter 90% of the time? But I know this is a long debated and sensitive issue around here. My advice: get rid of SK rules.
1.a. Create a spirit of teamwork and objective play. Perhaps you already have this, but without teamwork and a willingness to work for objectives, then you're going to have those rambos who push the spawn just to rack up big numbers and feel good about themselves.
2. Without people who actually want to play, you are doomed. We have people in our clan who are long time members who play this game every single night. Luckily, we have three or four of these type of people who can almost always be counted on to get things rolling and hopefully draw in some regulars or even publics.
3. Someone suggested this earlier. I totally agree: Pick a night -- Make it Saturday or Sunday or whatever. Make that your community night. <IoW> has been doing this for Friday since our beginnings in 2005. In the early days, Friday was password protected, clan practice for TWL. It morphed into just more of a weekly event open to all. I have my wife trained to know that I play ET with my friends on Friday night. No other plans! That is what I do, that is what a lot of our members do and we make it the highlight of the week. Friday is the night, everything is about preparing for Friday, and Friday is usually when we have a full server.
4. Focus on nurturing and catering to your existing community. It's 2015! The game is 12 years old! Don't expect a bunch of new people to show up, they are few and far between. Don't run your server and make rules as if it is 2004. Does that make sense? I can't really explain what that means honestly...but I "know" what it means. The game has matured, and so should our attitude about it.
5. How many servers does Bunker have? Why? It seems like you're trying to fill up 4 or 5 servers when you could probably be focusing on 1. I realize Bunker is global and people have ping issues etc...I think you've also got some camps of people who like this mod over that mod and classic maps verses custom maps or rotations verses voting. These are all tough issues to reconcile. I know whatever decision you make may end up alienating one camp or another. I only have one server to configure, and it makes life much easier. Maybe you need to do a roll call? A reset? Any Bunker members who still care, we're going to make one server that has "X" Mod with "Y" Maps, but still has the Bunker feel and rules. Either play or don't, but no more nurturing of 4 different servers for a dozen active people. Maybe I'm out of line? But this is what I see an as complete outside observer.
Anyway - I really do hope the best for Bunker. You have all always been great people, and I think we all share a similar philosophy for how ET should be played. It would be shame to see yet another great ET community die out.
Edited by <IoW> BECK, 07 May 2015 - 03:37 PM.