Even though Mineplex didn't hold a candle to H******'s player count before, they were still in the top 10 most popular servers, so complaining about Mineplex "dying" maybe two years ago was arguably correct if you compared it to 2015 numbers, but not incredibly accurate when comparing it to other 2018/19 servers, discounting the incredible popularity fluke that is H******. But now Mineplex is barely in the top 30 of servers and falling. While Minecraft is still one of the most popular games of all time, Mineplex is down on player count and it's continuing to fall. During active hours, breaking 1k concurrent players is not guaranteed anymore. Even with the already cut-down list of games to play (after the mixed arcade was compressed into a single NPC and multiple games were straight up removed like Gem Hunters and Heroes of Gwen), many will not start (take The Bridges for example), and after 5-10 minutes of waiting in lobby, you're pulled into a game filled with Tryhards that you can't dodge because you have no other lobbies to flee to. I'm not here to argue if Mineplex is declining in popularity. Despite whatever you say, the average player count proves that Mineplex is, in fact, "dying". This article accepts this as fact and will accept no opinions otherwise. The largest issue is almost certainly the high concentration of tryhards (I'll admit it, it's not fun to consistently play against people significantly better than you)... but you can't ban tryhards. So the only other solution is to bring in more average players. But average players don't play because of the tryhards so... catch 22. So what do you do? Here's a list that Mineplex admins can do TODAY to boost player count, solve the main issue (above) and increase popularity exponentially as newer users come back into the server. 1) Giveaways While, as a consumer, I hate immortal because it's an intangible item that I don't even get to keep, it's actually a fantastic financial model for Minecraft servers. And Mineplex doesn't use it to its full potential. Immortal costs nothing for the server to give out. Immortal grants it's purchaser no goods that have any real cost to the server, besides development cost on the cosmetics, but even most cosmetics aren't given to immortals once they purchase the rank - it's earned through immortal points. One thing people love is to get things for "free". People will spend hours competing for a product they could earn in half the time by working a minimum wage job just to have it for "free". So the first thing Mineplex should focus on is Immortal giveaways. Make it a mix of both effort and random chance. Like "Win a game of cake wars to get a ticket in the raffle" or "kill hunters in Block Hunt to get a ticket in the raffle". This way, users will still spend time earning their chance, but won't feel excluded if they don't have the skills or time to participate as much as other players (people are famously terrible at realizing gambling odds). Do it as often as possible, so users keep coming back (think bi-weekly, or even daily. Depends on the user traffic. When user count scales up, give away more immortal - just enough to make it seem realistic to win) Give every user that joins one ticket in the raffle. That way you can put it in the MOTD ("Raffle for free rank drawn in xx:xx:xx") and everyone can earn their place by simply joining the server. By putting it in the MOTD, all users see the text when they select the multiplayer option from their Minecraft client. Current Mineplex MOTD is "CLASSIC MINI-GAMES". Who cares. If that message attracted even a single player, I would be absolutely dumbfounded and eat my hat. But you might need some help getting the word out. 2) Allow profanity - as an option One of the most frustrating things that ABSOLUTELY drives users away is being muted for two months because you said something your 3rd grade teacher wouldn't even bat an eye at. Here's something that instantly kills a multiplayer experience: NOT BEING ABLE TO INTERACT WITH OTHER PLAYERS. Create an option for allowing profanity, turn it to the most strict mode by default so nothing changes for the average user. This solves a parallel problem: users won't need to bypass if their messages aren't censored. Allow "strict", "medium", and "none" options for your personal filter. I can't overstate how much of an improvement this would be. There you go. Average users are even safer (less bypassing = less exposure for those who genuinely shouldn't be learning new vocabulary), and mature users aren't buying alts or going to different servers just to talk. 3) Sponsorships There are thousands of Minecraft YouTubers and Twitch streamers out there, and with Immortal revenue (don't get me started on the Immortal rank income math. It's a ton, at least; go to Lobby-1), you can afford at least some of them. Don't even tell me this isn't an option. You need your name and IP/domain in front of as many eyes as you can get. This the perfect way to get it there. Why do you think successful corporations spend so much of their budget on advertising? It's not because they like to waste money. Even Apple advertises their new iPhones... the most popular phone of all time... 4) Horsepower in the dev department One front-end dev isn't enough. Two isn't enough. Your unmaintained, "classic" games aren't a selling point. They're a nostalgia hack at best, and a poor experience for new players at worst. You need to produce games people want to play, while also respectfully maintaining classics. Devs need to outnumber Admins. I really feel like Mineplex Admins have forgotten they are in the video game market. You make games. Act accordingly for God's sake. Large portions of the Mineplex budget should be spent on development. 4.5/5) Utilize that horsepower effectively Don't pull a Skywars and fundamentally change one of your most popular games. If you want to experiment, do one of two things: - Make a new game entirely OR - Make a new variety of a classic game without changing the original; Think: H****** "lab" gamemodes, like lucky Skywars. They didn't replace Skywars with lucky Skywars. They didn't add lucky blocks to their base gamemode. They created a new gamemode alongside the classic, in the same category, and offered it as an option. Users can still play the game they like, and have a refreshing experience which keeps them logging in week after week. You used to do polls from Carl the Creeper. What happened to that? Why not poll your users on what developmental feature you should focus on. You need broad community insight, not just the few people that care enough to join game insights or whatever else teams you think represent players at large. 6) Dedicate more time to GWEN Hacking has always been an issue. Play Skywars for 10 minutes and you'll understand why this made my list. I don't feel like I need to elaborate. 7) Improve the experience past level 100 Your most dedicated players reach level 100. Once they are completed, there's no progression left for them besides a bare-bones leaderboard system with no real rewards for being the very best. I have a couple million treasure shards I can't even spend because you haven't added anything to spend them on in years. If you want to please the demographic that is most likely to spend money on your products, this is it. Make something like a prestige system, where you can trade in your level 100 (be reset to level 1) and get a star for your "prestige level". Combine it with my earlier suggestion and award one month of immortal for each time you reach level 100. If you want player retention, that's how you get it. Maybe even every 10 levels (over level 50) receive immortal. Or even better, every x amount of XP. Immortal giveaway is seriously the way to go. Do something with it. For every purchase you lose by giving it away, you'll make 10x the amount of money from the increased customer base. Side note: cosmetics (at least the way you do them) are unmaintainable and cause burnout of your devs while simultaneously taking precious development time away from users that just want to play games. I'd bet my entire bank account that everyone involved in making new particles, morphs, taunts, etc. sees the job as a mindless chore to crunch through because the server needs revenue. Make a useful treasure shard shop. If you made an XP booster 150k shards, I guarantee you players would be grinding games like crazy. Whole forums dedicated to the math of "best treasure shard output / minute" (especially if coupled with point #7) 8) Keep your branding Back in what, 2018?... you removed the sky-island style hub. Even though the sky-island hubs have changed over the years, they have always carried the branding of Mineplex, and gave it the special sauce that distinguishes this server from others. I think this is probably one of the most obviously wrong decisions Mineplex has ever made, and while it isn't an issue now, I'm afraid that if Mineplex undergoes major changes soon to salvage the Java community, you'll make the same mistake again. Don't remove the sky islands. Don't remove Carl the Creeper or Sam the Slime. Don't re-do the colors on ranks. Don't make ranked users first on the tab listing in lobbies but last in the tab listing in games (sigh). Don't remove the little stone-brick landing area with the stairs everyone runs along in when you spawn into a game waiting lobby. Keep on brand, don't abandon the identity you have. Honorable Mention) Remove gem booster for Immortal Didn't you guys almost get EULA'd by Mojang for making Mineplex pay-to-win years ago for the exact same reason? I know kits barely even matter but I hate pay to win models. Just a personal pet peeve. ------------------------------------------------------- inb4 not a single admin ever reads this and the Java server is offline next year.