As some have noticed (including me), the server has been quite empty as of late. That said, there’s a fairly good explanation for this. The vast majority of people on the server take full-time classes (as do I with my college courses) and it leaves them with little time left to spend on games.
Now that winter’s coming, power’s going to get pretty darn expensive (and in Calgary, it gets COLD, and as one would expect, power prices go up). The server uses about 2-3 kilowatt-hours of energy per day (amounting to about $20 per month, not including Internet service costs, hours put into maintenance and such) and with power prices going up, it’s going to cost quite a bit more to operate.
I’m still living at home (which is why I have the infrastructure to run such a server) and probably will for a couple years, at least while I’m still taking post-secondary education. For now, I’m going to keep the server running as long as there’s some demand for it. But after my post-secondary education, I honestly don’t know how things are going to go on the server. But anyway, I’m still maintaining the server and trying to keep uptime as high as possible, but the extreme workload that college presents means that I’ll be on the server much less frequently. I still read my emails frequently, so if you email ngminecraft [at] gmail [dot] com, I’ll read it within the same day as long as you don’t email me at 2 in the morning :).
The cost of the server, factoring in the cost of my Internet service and also the hours put into server maintenance drives up the server’s monthly operating costs well past $120 per month. Donations are always welcome, so if you can spare a nickel I’d greatly appreciate your contributions. 😀
And if the previous statements worried you about the server going belly-up, don’t worry. I’m going to keep this server up under my own infrastructure as long as possible, and as long as you guys play on my server and show that it’s still worth my time and upkeep, I’ll gladly punch in the hours to keep it going smoothly.