After the Senior Staff meeting on Thursday (21/07/2016), there have been a few changes that I would like to make you all aware of.
Not everything that was discussed will be covered here, so you can see the meeting minutes here - http://earthelite.co.uk/mms/management/meetings/meeting.php?id=5
First off, I'm going to start by talking about a change that came before the meeting, now this was a point for discussion for the meeting, but a vote was called early for this. A new member perk is now available, just for being a member, you can get your very own TS3 Channel. This channel will be password protected, standard codec quality. Donators will get an upgraded version of this channel, highest quality available, password protected, file browser access, up to 3 sub channels, etc. If you wish to claim this perk, please PM or contact an online admin.
The Earth's Elite LaunchPad. This was a feature that I was extremely excited about when we first thought it up. It was a way for us to have members come to the site regularly and be able to see what's going on, see who's playing what, links very nicely with the Looking To Play feature. The LaunchPad allows you to open your games through the EE site, our site will then display that you are playing a game. For this to work, we have a little program that will launch the game on your PC as though you had opened it the usual way, and check that you're still playing it, if you're not, it updates the website. The program that runs in the background whilst you are playing shouldn't affect your performance at all, as it simply waits for 30 seconds, then checks for a running process, if it finds it, it waits for another 30 seconds, if it doesn't, it updates the EE site. The program doesn't hook into your game or anything.
For me, the LaunchPad is great, I have games that are on Steam, Origin, UPlay, not on any of those, etc, etc. I also don't like shortcuts on my desktop for games, so being able to have all my games in one place is great. If I'm not sure what to play, I go to my LaunchPad as it has all my games there. It is quicker and easier for me to use the EE LaunchPad. As the EE Community Director, I keep the EE site open 90% of the time I'm online, this allows me to keep up to date on whats going on and if necessary, fix any errors, problems, or take action on anything that requires me. Basically, as a member of staff, whenever I'm online, I'm here ready to help members (it's my job), but that means I nearly always have the site open, so to open a game, I just click 'LaunchPad' and open the game, no need to open Steam, Orgin, & UPlay to find what game I want to play.
Granted, not everyone uses the EE Site as I do, so maybe having to open your browser, got to EE, go the LaunchPad would take longer, but I feel this small downside is nothing compared to the benefits. You feel like playing some GTA:V today? You go to the EE site, find out there's a GTA:V Event in an hour and a half, but Canio, Shoot, & Myself are currently playing GTA:V, you know there are other Community members playing, hop on TS to do a few heists with us, races, etc. Whereas, without, you open the EE Site, so you don't see that there's an event, you don't see that others are playing, and you end up playing by yourself for a few hours (okay, maybe you're already in TS, have us on Steam, or are playing with others, just an example of one or two benefits that could occur).
The reason I'm not willing to add the ability for shortcuts to launch games via the EE LaunchPad is because it would remove most of the benefits that coming to the site first adds.
On top of that, you can also get awards for using the LaunchPad based on the number of hours you've spent in game.
Now, we've had the LaunchPad running for just over 2 months, I use it for every game I play (Unless the game simply doesn't work with the LaunchPad, so far, only 2 games I've come across don't work), Shoot uses it every so often and that's about it. Due to this reason, the EE LaunchPad development has been halted. No other features will be added. Bugs will be fixed, and the LaunchPad will be kept running, but until it's used, we're not going to dedicate time to working on it anymore. This may be revised if the LaunchPad is used more. But currently, I can't even persuade the Community Sub-Director to continue using it, so at this stage, I feel development will not be resumed for a very long time, even though it is a feature I use and will continue to use, everyday.
US Amazon Adverts, these will be returning to EE over the coming days, I will post up a new announcement once our reference link is all setup again.
Newsletter. Earth's Elite will be starting up a monthly Newsletter, it will contain news from the community, article written for the community, by the community. There will be announcements from Senior Staff, etc, etc. BUT, we require an Editor-In-Chief. If you think you have what it takes, and if you have a strong understanding of the English Language, Grammar, etc, then please contact us here http://earthelite.co.uk/mailer.php?emid=21
, let us know why you think you would be good for the job, along with a 500 word article reporting on the last major event you attended at EE.
24 Hour Events dashboard. Now, this is something I'm personaly excited about, this dashboard will only get used a few times a year, as it will be dedicated to 24 hour events. It will give you full information on the next 24 hour event (when a 24 hour event is not currently on), but during a 24 hour event, it will show a live feed of my live stream, along with access to the stream chat, the current game we're playing, the upcoming game, a snippet of the next 4 hours of gaming according to the schedule, live quotes, the ability to submit quotes, and much much more.
Lastly, for this topic, I'd like to briefly talk about changes to the EE servers. As you are no doubt already aware, we've migrated the ENTERPRISE server to a new host, this host is cheaper and located within the United Kingdom (for those who weren't aware, Earth's Elite is a UK based gaming community, but operates internationally, meaning anyone can join). For price reasons, EE had all of it's servers hosted in the US, but it has now become possible for our servers to be hosted closer to home, this actually means better performance for all. The Europe will get a better ping to the servers, us Britainlanders will get better connections to the servers, those from the US will see their pings increase slightly, but not by much. But this will allow for a better gaming experience all round.
ENTERPRISE has been split up and migrated to two new servers, the majority going to the new ENTERPRISE server, the rest going to EE's brand new server, BOWIE. VOYAGER is next to be migrated, we purchased the server about an hour ago, and hopefully migration will being either today or tomorrow, there's currently an error with the new server, our hosts automated setup didn't go so well, so we've just got wait whilst they fix that, but the migration shouldn't take too long for the TS3 server.
Originally EE was going to leave the TS3 server hosted on the US based server, but after thinking it through some more, we have decided to go with the better service that will give us DDoS protection, whereas our current host does not. This is something, for our TS3 server at least, we will unfortunately use, as we have been DDoS'd twice in the past.
Upcoming changes that are still likely to happen is for the EE website to be migrated to a server of it's own, with the host we're now with, we still have over a year of hosting paid for with our current host, so this wont be changing just yet, but is something that will likely be happening in about a years time, but this will mean that EE will have a lot more control over what we can and cannot do with our website, this is something I'm very much looking forward to doing.
Any questions, please do post below.
Thanks for reading,