Development Blog

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End of a (server) era.

Published: 2015-03-15

Author: Teddi

It was 2009 when we all threw some change in to a cap, to actually buy parts for our own server. Back then we were renting a dedicated box for $212 a month, for fairly eh specs, in New York City. This was after Ben had left [BB] and we were wondering how to keep moving forwards. We had quickly learned that $212 per month was unsustainable - we were pretty much being choked every month to try and keep the server going and we (at the time) introduced RP08 perks. Not a bad system as a whole, but they only interested a small group of people who were keen to be on top no matter what.

Thus the idea was born - we could get our own server for roughly $700 and co-locate it in a data centre for around $60 - $100 a month. At worst, we would only gain a 50% advantage, but the pay off in such a case would be ~4-5 months (not accounting continual fees). At this point, we had paid $212 per month, for roughly 6 months which as mentioned was killing us. Within approximately a week, the  [BB] community at the time came together to throw in what spare change they had and boom, we had the parts ordered and shipped to Cpf’s house.

The specs for those wondering was a 32-bit OS (Win Server 2008), Quad Core Q9550 (2.83GHz), 4GB of RAM (3.25 useable) and a 500GB HDD. Already for the time, the server wasn’t great quality, but it was ours, and that’s what mattered. Within about 3 days we had secured a contract with a data centre and were in the process of shipping it.


Life got easier.

No longer was I constantly  having to think of new ways to pay for the $212 per month bill. We didn’t need to be on a constant begging spree. We were free! Free to do with the hardware what we wanted, how we wanted to in whatever way we saw fit, and away we went! We had a fairly successful Deathrun, some seriously good times with TTT (our population was a constant wave with that), Surf went through various iterations and so on. Couple with BBServers, no longer did we even rely on donations! We traded server space for cash and it allowed us to stay afloat.

Many years later, the landscape has changed. VPSes are so shockingly cheap anyone and their grandmother can have one.Valve have introduced Geo-IP location for their servers, hardware getting older. All in all, Montreal (or Monty as it’s also called) has served us well. With reduced profitability in the server hosting landscape, it’s no longer in any of our interests to keep both Marruuk and Montreal going. Marruuk is Montreal’s younger brother, but he’s that brother that is somehow better than his older sibling in every way. Dual quadcores, 24GB of RAM, 2x 1TB HDDs running in RAID 1 (you have no idea how many times this has saved our arse). The only downside to Marruuk is he’s based over in Texas, making pings (slightly) less ideal for EU players.

But the main factor (aside from some recent changes at iWeb) is this. Montreal for the longest time (1~ year) has not been viewable to a (smaller) chunk of the USA and all of Europe. What potential playerbase we had has been reduced to 1/4 of it’s potential. I cannot fix this. Garry cannot fix this. This is Valve’s doing and they’re not going to change it, no matter how many emails I, Garry, or anyone else at FP send in. Therefore, Montreal has served it’s purpose and I’ll be damned if it hasn’t done it well. Marruuk (due to Geo-IP design) is not so affected by this change and thus is now our base of operations.

As we speak, all [BB] game servers are being transferred to Marruuk to be set up on new IP’s. All data remains as is, including maps and the like. Due to the scope and way things are going, the server hosting side of it will also be quietly shutting down. This is a good thing for the community because it means things like Space / Medieval Engineers  / Minecraft is now an option with the excess resources.


So in all, I’d like to thank those especially who made it possible back then.Without you, [BB] would not be (quietly) alive today. But also to our little battered server. You’ve withstood many a DDoS attack, various attempts with people trying to compromise you and ultimately, the various loads you took when we really were those popular guys.

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