After a few recent heated discussions with different players / community members, I would like to remind everyone of the following:
Danny and I have already spent over 1,600 hours working on the DarkRP gamemode to provide you with a fun, free game for your enjoyment. I have personally spent at least 10,000 hours playing, administrating and developing the GMod DayZ server since 2013, and I estimate 1/4 of that time was spent on development alone.
Donations are and always will be purely optional.
DarkRP Premium membership is $10/month. Sure, that may seem like a hefty amount, but you don't need premium membership to play and enjoy the server. Premium membership does not unlock anything game-changing nor does it make your character better than someone else who has not donated. The reason behind the recurring payment scheme is the same motivation that powers Patreon and other platforms of the like. We have tried the single-time donation scheme for DayZ and found that many people wanted to donate again, but had nothing to receive from their donations aside from gratitude. This, again, is purely optional and if you want to make a one-time donation, you are more than welcome to do so by purchasing credits or making a direct donation.
XP Boosts does not only benefit the person who purchased it, but the entirety of the population online for the duration of the experience boost. This is the only game-affecting feature as a result of donations, as the rest are purely cosmetic. I, however, disagree with the current boost rates (3.5x) and will lower the effectiveness of XP boosts once the level-requirement<->experience-reward ratios are addressed. (e.g gaining more experience for performing a higher level-requirement action)
If you feel the gamemode is "pay-to-win", I strongly disagree with you. If you truly think that, please voice yourself publicly. I urge you to go play on any other server (or make your own, and see for yourself!).
If you are unhappy, either tell us and tell us why or leave. Don't stick around acting all passive aggressive or just to start drama and waste our time. We have had many people complain or state a "problem" but nobody has been able to state either what they're complaining about or fail to come up with any alternatives or ideas.
We read and appreciate every suggestion we receive and are grateful for every single one of them. However, things take time to implement. We have to plan for the future, how things will interact with existing features and whether it fits the style we're going for.
We also appreciate constructive negative feedback. But like I've stated above in the monetization rant, if you're going to raise a problem, you should also raise a potential solution. For example, whining "scrap metal sucks" once is fine. Saying "scrap metal sucks" every time you join the server is annoying. Instead, try to come up with a potential solution and introduce it to the developers as a question such as "What if we were able to steal cars and dismantle them for scrap metal?" This kind of suggestion is probably one of the best.
Sometimes, a suggestion will be taken by the developers and expanded upon, sometimes even brought to a completely different direction.
Don't be afraid to suggest something because you think we don't listen; we really do unless you're being rude.
I like to think of myself as a sane developer. I make games the way I would want to play them. With that being said, I have heard your concerns about the experience rates and how much time needs to be invested into the server before getting to a stable point. These are all things I want to address, but I have been focusing all of my time working on the server's backend & infrastructure that I've let that side slide. The server is heavily inspired by RuneScape, a game that truly molded my childhood and perspective of games so yes, some parts will be grindy. But grind isn't always a bad thing. I don't want to turn people off by the thought of it. Once I'm done working on all of the things that you guys don't really get to see, I will focus on making the game fun.
In other news, I currently do not have any stable source of income aside from the Amazon Flex program and some game development freelancing and I'm struggling to make ends meet. For that reason, I have slowed down DarkRP development to focus on obtaining an AWS certification to become a full-time software developer.
Thank you for listening to me rant.