We have had several inquiries regarding the current server hosting arrangements.
Ours is a professionally hosted server in a data center with redundant power and Internet connection. Any hardware issues with the server are resolved by the host company (promptly in our experience - we've seen failing hard drives swapped out in under an hour's time from report of trouble to new drive installation). Having that kind of reliability has been attractive to me, especially as my own funds to replace computer parts "on demand" is anything but reliable (my desktop system is now running, but was basically dead for the last three years as I could not find money for the parts).
The server also has a number of "internet protections" in-built, both installed by the host company and those created by Eriniel. I credit these precautions with the stability that the server has had over the last 13 years - the server has never been compromised, and uptime has been better than 99.999%.
Quality service like that costs a few dollars. Back when I started the server. this service cost me a bit more than $100 per month. Since those days, I've negotiated the pricing down to just $58.00 per month.
When I originally envisioned this server project, I had hoped to build a base large enough that maybe 20 users could split the costs among them. This _almost_ happened, but we lost our web hosting, and our ability to reach potential players and DMs cratered with that event. The server languished largely unused, sadly. Honestly, without the web site, I do not know how we can build a sustaining player base as it is not a case that "if you build it they will come" (I have since the start emphasized the fact that gamers are not psychic and they need to be told the server exists in order to find it). We specifically do not host web pages on the same machine that runs NWN because hosting web pages presents a whole set of security issues.
Although I have a few (currently non-functional) computers here that could handle NWN and web hosting (given a few repair parts), I am at loathe to consider hosting from my home for reasons including:
1) my inability to cover the cost of replacement parts should the server have a hardware failure (frankly it is a load off my mind to not worry about hardware),
2) my internet connection would at times be laggy as I watch streaming video using that connection,
3) my identity/location would be exposed to miscreants (and the internet has a few miscreants).
So there it is, at present we must cover a cost of $58.00 per month just to keep the NWN server operating. We see few players and have few prospects of attracting more players as things currently stand.
I will remain available for dialog via private messages on this topic.
If any of you nice people are interested in donating please tickle the donate button you find on these forum pages.
The above post is supplemental to the recent newsletter reproduced below for your convenience.
First, in this the "Age of Coronavirus" Eriniel and I both would like to wish you all well. We sincerely hope you are all, and all your friends and family, safe and healthy.
Our server, "Argentum Regio - the City of Dohral" has been operating throughout this pandemic as it has for well over a decade (since 2007), currently it is offered in EE and NWN v1.69 versions. Initially I covered the server expenses out of my own pocket, until my disability brought my cash flow to zero around 2012. Since that time, our expenses have been covered exclusively by donations from our userbase. Donations are irregular things, and at times the coffers dwindle to a very very low level. This is such a time. The funds remaining do not allow for payment of the server fees this month in full. As I've always said, if such a condition came about, I would make up the difference from my meager personal funds to cover the payment, and declare that that would be the last month for our server to operate. This is that time. If anyone is interested in helping the server stay open, now would be a good time to consider a modest donation. I do understand that these are chaotic times and I do understand if the server must close (all things have a beginning a middle and an end). This message is your 'heads up' alert that the server may not be available online after October 17th 2020 (unless sufficient donations manifest to cover costs beyond that date). Anyone who wants a copy of their old characters should login and make copies now to assure they will have them, once the server goes offline, all that will likewise be gone.
Thanks for all the role play fun.
Best wishes to you all. Stay safe, stay smart.
Be well. Game ON!