Now that the year is almost over it is time for my annual retrospective. This year has been by far the best in Renegades history. And I say that without any exaggeration.
Our chat room on WinMX has never been more full. We have been sustaining 110 to 140 concurrently logged in users all year. The level of activity and involvement by the community has just continued to astound us. About a year and a half ago reaching 130 concurrently logged in users would have been a one time record. Now it has become a daily occurrence.
The most amazing part of this for me is although the room has grown in size the culture hasn’t changed. It still feels like a family, people still talk openly and casually. We have not changed our moderation style or let the success of the room go to our heads in a negative way. I’m proud to say that we still hold those small room values that made Renegades what it was when I first joined some six years ago.
Of course a staple of the Renegades community has always been our advanced software and services, these trends have continued through 2012 too. Around the 2nd quarter of the year we launched two new dedicated servers known as RENBOX’s. These enabled us to offer faster downloads to our users again and for the first time outside of WinMX through our website directly. I’d like to personally thank Hollow for setting up both of these servers and writing the software that enables the RENBOX websites to function. Without his input the new RENBOX servers simply wouldn’t exist.
In more recent months we have focused a lot more on our web presence It has become abundantly clear that WinMX as a network is in a very poor state and although we have no plans to depart the network we are preparing an infrastructure for the inevitable day when WinMX ceases to be available. But this is not the only reason we have been investing in the web, we also believe that we can offer services that go far beyond the WinMX Client.
To that end we launched the new site menubar which links all our different sites together (RENBOX, Webchat, Watchlist, Accounts etc) and then on Christmas day just 5 days ago we launched the brand new RENBOX website which allows you to not only download content but also to browse content, view plots, ratings & screenshots. I’d like to thank Josh for writing the new RENBOX website and similarly to Hollows involvement with the RENBOX servers without Josh the new RENBOX portal would not exist. The level of cooperation among our community is very high and that is reflected no better than in the RENBOX Servers & Portal.
Looking away from WinMX, I’ve personally had a wonderful year with my daughter Poppy being born in March which has kept me and my wife quite busy but very happy.
One other community we offer of course is Minecraft and I’d just like to touch on that. It started off as a hobby in late 2010 just something tacked on to our community but over the past year it has become another leg of the chair, I have invested a lot of my personal time setting up multiple game servers and in my usual way I have invested more than just time in to those but my software expertise also. Our servers now have some of the best software from a management perspective of any Minecraft server that exists and it has made our Minecraft staff of 20 unpaid volunteers very happy.
The success of our Minecraft servers really cannot be overstated, We saw some 40,000 unique players during just the past 6 months. Being a game community brings with it different challenges to running our WinMX community as the audience is much younger and thus harder to manage. Indeed we have had a lot of problems this year with rule enforcement & consistency which has resulted in a number of underperforming staff members being let go, however we continue to persevere and I do believe the staff in place at this time are the best we’ve ever had. One administrator in particular Ricksterm deserves special note here for his level of dedication & professionalism throughout his tenure as an Administrator. I feel 2013 will be our best year yet for our young Minecraft community.
And so ends this years retrospective and 2012 with it. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and have a happy New Year.