Good golly, this one's a doozy. I'm trying to find quantitative data on what the most popular Java and Bedrock servers are in 2020. No luck. Every search result consists of people's opinions I don't care about. (At least some of them favor Mineplex!) Why can't I just find a list of which servers have the largest active player count? The reason I'm asking is that, as a surprise to no one, Mineplex has taken quite a beating over the past few years. They used to be able to call themselves the largest Minecraft server in the world. Now, according to minecraftservers.org, it is "one of the largest Minecraft Server (10/10 grammar) in the world", "we offer (or offered) 40+ games on Mineplex." I'm not trying to bash Mineplex by any means, in fact, I'm here for just the opposite. I have a love and undying loyalty for Mineplex and Mineplex alone (in terms of MC servers anyways). Over the past 4.5 years, I've reached level 64, spent nearly 1,000 hours in the game (several hours a day, off and on with a few several month-long hiatuses, not the most impressive, but you get it, I even got banned once for committing the most appalling offense known to man; flying out of bounds to kill chickens that can drop Eternal Rank, thanks a lot Gwen, more on you later), and voted for it daily on the aforementioned site over 1,000 times, 390 days in a row on one occasion (and that's just counting the days Carl the Creeper counted, it glitched and lost track after 390, so over 400 in that streak), not to mention my 1,000+ daily votes on other sites and the fact I refuse to play on any other minigame server. Talk about some stupid dedication. (This is all on the Java server, I don't play Bedrock.) I've seen the server hit its zenith (or close to it) then gradually plummet until it hit rock bottom. Just look up at the top of the screen and you'll see what I'm talking about. I'd love to know more about the reasoning behind this, from what I understand it's a combination of removing popular games, namely Wizards, UHC, Castle Siege, Gem Hunters, Castle Assault, Type Wars, HOG, and the arcade games becoming virtually unplayable due to a lack of players by themselves, (long tangent incoming, just skip the stuff in parens if you want) (I loved Sheep Quest, 400-500 wins and 1500 matches, now I can't even do a game unless I sit through a bunch of other arcade games I don't care about. Mineplex removed the NPCs/individual selection for each arcade game for a while, and when they brought them back no one played them anymore except for Death Tag and the ones that were deemed "casual", so it's their fault and ours, if anything. Ugh, what did they have to gain by removing games, WHAT DID THEY HAVE TO GAIN?! I don't know, maybe save server space, maybe save money by maintaining a smaller server, I'm just spitballing here. Sorry about the tangent, back to my theories:) and the community growing more toxic and not being regulated effectively enough. (hackers+people in chat) I'm not exactly expecting everyone to behave like saints, I mean, a large portion of players are in the 8-10 age range, or have an I.Q. in the same ballpark. Then there's GWEN, this thing runs rampant and bans thousands of people a week, don't worry, it won't let you forget that if you go on the server. I know from experience that it works, in addition to me bearing witness to several people's banning at her hands, or death rays, a day, it even got me once, which I mentioned above. My question is whether it's too good, constantly banning thousands, or it's not good enough, as I still see my fair share of hackers. Are its bans accurate? Is it good enough? Is it properly updated? I don't know much about Watchdog but how does it compare to that? What I do know is that before I fell prey to it, I got away with way more than I should of. Don't worry, I've changed my ways, I haven't been a hacking scumbag for 3 years. But even when I was I used it modestly, only pulling it out as an occasional crutch or better yet, to combat other, more "nefarious" hackers and keep them in check. Still not my finest hour, but at least it's a thing of the past unless I ever go to apply for staff one day, it could come back to bite me. Point is GWEN didn't exist for my whole hacking career, but when it did in its early stages, it could not detect anything but my flight. Kill Aura, Anti KB, and Regen all slipped under the radar. I know Mineplex has had issues with being understaffed, and some people complain about the existing and retired staff's effectiveness (I'm personally quite happy with them). They've lost many powerful allies who once supported them, mostly on YouTube. Their own channel has been dormant for over a year and their largest backer and I believe former co-owner Captain Sparklez gave up on them, or at least that's what I surmise. (Not like his channel's having a party) The other featured channels on Mineplex YTs featured channels page are all inactive or have abandoned the server altogether. (Sigils, Sally, etc.) I think one of the other co-owners even left, as on the other site there were three listed owners and now there are only two. A lot of this data isn't set in stone but rather based on trends I've noticed that I think to paint a picture of Mineplex's hapless history. Even Minecraft itself took a massive dive, only to come back a bit more recently. So many Mineplex players either went to Hypi- can I even say that?!, or Fortnite. The Voldemort of servers is thriving, but only on Java as it doesn't have a PE version. I don't know much about other large servers in the past or present as I didn't play on them and still don't. Again, if someone could just look at their list of servers and give me the numbers for how many players they have at any point, and how many players Mineplex has simultaneously (_/_) I'd be happy. Oh, and when Hytale comes out that's just the final nail in the coffin. Could Mineplex really sink any lower?! OUCH! I don't like this, I didn't want this, and if I could have prevented Mineplex from losing its thrown I would have done it. But at this point, it would take a miracle just to get the server back on its feet. I'm sorry but Mineplex has taken a beating of unfathomable proportions and I don't think it deserved it in the slightest. If I could get more clarification on my points and questions, I'd be satisfied. I'm juggling a lot here, boredom, back to school, Covid bs, pop culture research, managing my Scratch account, HTML edits, community service, graduating early, staying in touch with friends, Pokemon games, Pokemon research, learning nearly 2,000 words and their definitions, and so much more and I just threw Minecraft and Mineplex into the mix again. Yikes. I don't know if I do or will have too much time on my hands or not enough and this is the result of me spewing everything on my mind (Minecraft related) out. Thanks for putting up with me if you've read this far. But I won't allow this to end on a low note, I wanna give just a bit of feedback, that I think, if implemented (which isn't gonna happen), would do the server I love so much some justice. Restore the old games. Beef up the staff and security. Rebuild the site's social media presence, not just Discord (which is okay as is, I think), but also Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Win over some relevant content creators, get them to play on the server, and just with that, you'd see some gains. Fix GWEN, whatever's wrong with it, if anything. At the very least take a hint from the Bedrock version (I'd love to see statistics for that too), clearly, they're doing something right over there as they have over 3 times as my players on their right now as they do on PC. Minecraft showed it wasn't beyond repair and still had some life left in it, why can't Mineplex do the same?