Players claiming land/renting servers

Do Player Rented Zones Interest you for Em-8ER?

  • Yes

    Votes: 37 42.0%
  • No

    Votes: 31 35.2%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 20 22.7%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


Ember Dev
Jul 25, 2016
Today on Discord, I approached the community with a new idea for Em8ER.

Em-8ER is made up of a serious of zones in terraforming bubbles. You travel zone to zone with your personal dropship. The world isn't seamless, but rather a serious of interconnected servers. This is background info.

The idea came from a lot of people talking about game longevity and the popularity of private servers and mod servers in other games. For a long time I knew that as an online game with a controlled economy, it would be difficult to offer such standalone servers.

Still, the idea is popular, with many people renting ARK or Conan servers for around a dollar a player slot. For example, a 32 player ARK server is $31.85. Example:

However Ark servers and Conan servers aren't connected. Players aren't allowed to travel freely between servers in most cases for one simple reason...non standard gameplay.

One server could have a rapid rate of XP or loot, while another might be an austerity model. Players coming from loot rich servers would tank the economy of the other server.

But what if we found a way to let players run their own server for an 8km x 8km zone, but to prevent cheating the company would host the servers, and the ruleset would be standardized.

What players would get is the abiltity to customize the zone biome, name it, and host their own base on it. Perhaps the cost could even be split between a guild?

While servers could be marked private, there would be great incentives to make them open to others. Other players would be able to contribute to a player-run servers' bases and tech up their bases to gain the same acceleration of research and resource scanning as company run zones. Owners of zones might even be able to create their own missions for players, offering rewards from guild resources or from an xp/resource drip that is part of the ruleset and carefully constrained.

I discussed this at length at the chief chat and suggested I would put it to a poll. We don't have to have this feature, but it was one way we thought we could offer player run servers in a way that didn't fragment players or create custom servers that are too inconsistent with the core game rules or rewards.

During the discussion, I will admit the idea did not seem to garner a lot of interest and instead created worry. This was a big feature, so it made sense to bring it to the community to judge reaction and get input. This is your chance to explain why and vote yes or no on interest.

This isn't something we've decided to do. It was an early idea we wanted to share with the community. If it's not desired, we won't be implementing it.

Thanks for you time and let us know your thoughts!
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Sep 24, 2018
I think the biggest benefit of these player rented zones is having the fidelity of controlling the civic planning for the zones. Developing layouts that makes sense for you and your guests. I think this allows players still the creative freedom to build in the world while giving an option for people to have control over an area that benefits the community.
Likes: Pandagnome


Well-Known Member
Ark Liege
Jul 26, 2016
I think what a lot of people didn't seem to catch on to was the fact that what it sounds like you are suggesting is, in essence, allowing players to defray the server costs while providing them with some cosmetic bling.

Here is my biggest issue, the original pitch of the game was that players would have to slowly push outward from a central point and slowly terraform a larger and larger world, with the tsi-hu pushing back and destroying the facilities intended for that terriforming. This on paper seemed like it would make a good balance for the player community, as a larger world will dilute the population density down to the point where the Tsi-hu can push back. Thus at any time there should be a good balance.

What this idea essentially does is say, "For real life money, the world can be as big as you want." How do you plan to balance the slow world building with being able to simply plonk down some cash and grow the available world by yet another zone. If 50 people all buy zones at once without the required population to support it then your going to end up with unhappy people who's new zones get obliterated when the Tsi-hu attack.
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Jul 26, 2016
Arizona, U.S.A.
One of the main things I saw in the Chief Chat was people thinking that there was going to be game files on player computers, that they could get into, and mess around with. I drew up a very technical schematic to show what I think you really meant about Player Rented Servers. How2Server.png

I drew some handy arrows to show how people could fly into the different zones. No arrow means it's private, and not everyone can travel there.

I think the worry about slow world growing could be controlled by lighter attacks on the smaller servers. There'd also be incentives to have public servers, and to do larger raids in the over all open world.

There were also concerns about having someone fail to pay their monthly fee, and someone immediately snapping up that server. Freezing a server after a failed payment could stop that, at least for a set amount of time.


Jul 26, 2016
In my thoughts on this matter is, If as long as you guys are hosting it and everyone can have access to it and jump freely in or out from the main server to other servers then yes this idea is great. It took me 10 times reading this post to understand it a little and i don't think it sounds bad. In fact i do think it does expand the games longevity. This is also a good idea to prepare massive influx of players coming in the game looking for a spot to play or the closest region to their server region and enjoy the gameplay with no lag assuming there will be a lot if not some players hosting at different time zones. My only concern for this method is hopefully our tech-tree or loots obtainable in other server can somehow progress our characters and not boosting other server's economy. To me this sounds like a potential feature for em8er later instead of early-launch when you get a lot of players in the community and then you will open it up. Maybe make it as a certain holiday for players to be able to rent a server? and then everyone has to wait for like...winter's holiday christmas to see the rentable server on the website for a limited time? well thats just my take on this.
Jul 26, 2016
Anarchy Online (Yeah, ppl still play it) has player cities that offer trading etc, as well as alerts to defend against the AI Alien threat.

But in having a network of server nodes, what if you stay on that server and it goes offline, there would need to be a 'you've been returned to an adjoining server' as well as the accumulated resources you had acquired.

In parallel, Warframe does this by providing a local host from 1 of 4 players and decentralizes the network capacity as as result as opposed to having a server which marries back to the accounts server.

I like Fooni's idea of seasonable server availability.

Here's a map/clan idea, it uses the Whom-pah gate idea.


Connections can be made between groups, big and small or empty.

It also allows for wayfinding across the surface so you can go from one zone to another.
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Mar 6, 2019
I've got a lot of thoughts on this...

So is there PvP between player buildings?
--What are the limits on zoning/minimum distance between clan buildings? Can one clan build a bunch of cheap buildings all over an area to lock that land from use?
--What if the server is public and some rando finds a super neat spot and starts building before the clan paying for the server finds that spot and decides to claim it? Can the server host be ultra petty and move servers, reset the landscape, or ban the rando?
--What if a rando shows up, leaves, and just never comes back? Do we have to wait on something to come knock down his stuff? What happens to the rando's materials?
--We know that big honkin' enemies can come through and obliterate your clubhouse, but can some random dick come around and break your stuff because he likes your build spot or doesn't like your clan? Are the rules the same for the server tenants and randos?

How are servers going to be paid for?
--The Chief Chat mentioned that in-game currency won't be accepted, but what about real money equivalent/premium currency? I know I have clanmates who never spend money in games and earn their premium currency through trading, etc. Would these players be able to put premium currency toward their share of the server costs as the currency would then be removed from the economy and someone would have to purchase more? Would it be better to just kick him from the clan for his inability to pay?
--If you don't know your clanmates in real life, how is this money to be collected? Does the clan master just slap down his stack of cash and hope players paypal/otherwise compensate him later? Is there some sort of system to donate money to the clan for the purpose of paying server dues and track who payed what, when? Do all the clan members just donate whatever they feel like during the month and the clan master get the bill for the remainder at the end of the month? What happens if someone pays 90% of the server cost for a clan and gets ejected the day after his payment clears?
--Won't this create funding based power dynamics in clans? Would clans be screening prospective candidates to weed out the poor players? Would players who can't meet their monthly payments to the clan get kicked? If one player donates more than others, wouldn't this give them sway to be more of a jackass because the clan needs their funding to support the ongoing server costs?

What happens if someone stops paying for their server or doesn't meet the full cost for the month?
--Is the server still there but their claim on the land goes away so another clan can claim it? Does the seed remain or does a new tenant get to reroll the seed?
--What happens to all the resources the tenant clan sunk into building their clubhouse, assuming it wasn't destroyed?
--What happens to all the resources the players sunk into building on someone else's server that's no longer being payed for? Does all their stuff just disappear because someone else stopped paying?

What's your take on player-run servers on player-run hardware in addition to/instead of player-rented servers?
--Disconnect player-run servers from public so that they have no influence on the market
--Allows players to run servers on personal hardware, reducing the need and therefore costs for the public servers
--If the official servers eventually need to be sunset, players can still run private servers at personal cost
(Even if the server code isn't released until after the official servers are sunset, please consider it to let dedicated players keep playing)

Kavas Masta pointed out that 8km x 8km is about the size of a Planetside 2 continent
--That's HUUUGE
--Not really a problem, just awesome


Omni Ace
Base Commander
Jul 26, 2016
Planet Earth, USA, East Coast
A word about PvP from the FAQ:

18 - Q : Will Em-8ER have PVP?

A: No. Em-8ER is a PVE (Player-versus-Environment) only game for the foreseeable future. We must keep a laser-like focus on this in order to deliver an amazing experience with our small development team. All of our time and resources are spent creating the best PVE experience possible. However, we haven't ruled out a simple "Duel" function, where players can challenge each other to a one-on-one duel.

Let it be known that we DO love PVP here at Crixa Labs. So if Em-8ER is successful, we can look more into PVP options down the road. Any future PVP mode will most likely have a vastly different set-up in terms of character options, to ensure it is appropriately balanced.

Mar 11, 2017
I vote against simply because at the time it seems like this is a major undertaking that needs a lot of planning and forethought so that it doesn't offset the game dynamics and I agree it would help with server load and overall ability to play the game but something that was awesome in Firefall (also for reference I mean firefall while it was in beta) was that there always seemed to be a large group of people on running around trying to push back the enemy and working together to do as much work as possible. I notice and would like to point out that if everything is split between servers and across the whole planet, this planet were trying to save and keep a hold of is going to have major regression periods when the player load drops of during the times of day that fewer people are playing. I don't know all the timing is currently being set up for events invasions and incursions or raids of the enemy but if a major event happens and a server has 5 people on it because of a base time zone or something when its normally a server with 45 players on it that server is gonna get wrecked during that event. Because this game seems to be running more towards real time warfare tactics every battle and invasion wont be announced because an enemy wouldn't be that blatant in tactics or they would be easily over run. I feel like having so many servers will take away from the over all theme being described for Em8er to my current understanding but this is just my opinion.
Mar 4, 2019
My thoughts on this;

The only way i see this not entirely breaking up the player base is if the main action and most important goals of the game still takes place in the main servers.

My ideal solution would be that player owned servers would be like companies where they could "hire" random players only for a specific sets of tasks. Players would still need to prioritize the main game, private servers could work fine as side activitities.

Take the Sargasso and AA shards in Firefall, people went there thump but once the invasions happened, they mostly all left to the main server.


Feb 13, 2017
Not voting on either as this needs far more elaboration for a proper commitment to me.

@zot171 covered most of the stuff that was on my mind, we kind of bounced thoughts about this last night. Thanks and cheers to him for this. (to-his-post)

On to stuff on my mind that wasn't covered yet:

Could we consider alternative methods of reducing costs, as with what DE (Digital Extremes) did with Warframe? They have a centralized server structure and the instances are hosted by players (Albeit on a lot smaller scale yes).
This would be for private servers specifically though.

To me this seems like a bad idea. The pitch of the game is to have everyone working to a common goal, and the rest of the game idea so far has supported that.
However with this pitch, the human mentality will shift, where people will defend their private bases and handle it on their terms, while mostly ignoring the rest of the public, if they can afford it.
This alone to me is a strong enough negative impact to the original pitch of the game of working together, that I am heavily leaning against it. Sorry.

This will go offtopic slightly on this bit.
I thought the original pitch was gonna have us moving through a big open world similar to Firefall. Is this changed? Are we literally gonna be hoping instances all the time?

What kind of control will the private server owners have?
Could they flip the private/public switch whenever they want? If yes, what happens to people not part of their group in that case?

However you try to push this kind of idea, I believe it impacts economy.
You mentioned they could run their servers in private, push their own missions and more. This means they could also thump in there. Without having others around.
Making it a sneaky way of paying real money to gather resources and experience (if any) easier, faster.
Also if anyone would find a way to cheat, it would take a long time to get spotted if they're doing so on a private server. While due to being connected to the main server, they could impact everyone by flooding the Currency Exchange and advancing the Global tier, crashing/tanking the rest of the economy for others.

What if whoever bought a zone, loses it to the next attack wave.
He decides to pick up and move, stop funding that server, and buying another plot somewhere else, leaving the previous one Tsi-hu controller and inaccessible for us to weed out.
Could also be a problem if it's a strategical point for the AI to constantly attack near bases because we actually cannot win against them there.

What happens to the vanity cosmetics and other stuff spent on buildings, after they are destroyed due to an attack?
Would customization be part of a menu, and you have skins you can purchase once and apply whenever?
Do you pay for customization per building placement?

Could you please elaborate on the full idea you had please. I am certain you wouldn't try pitching this if it didn't have an honest core good thought behind it.
I honestly see way too many things that could go wrong with it, and either slowly or abruptly ruin the game for others temporarily or permanently. Sorry for the negativity possibly found there :(

Thank you for reading!
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Nov 25, 2018
Umm,no. If the company is hosting the "server" node, then you are actually selling player owned land with GM level authority. Why would a player want it? What would be the interaction between them? What advantages would there be to this plot or that plot? "renting servers" would be an entirely separate question.

These and more are all secondary issues that need to build off the core game loop which doesn't exist yet. That needs to be built first before anyone decides how to carve up the playable area and domesticate it. Heck, you may not what to do that at first to make the space seem more untamed. The "buy a terraformer, support the game, customize the world" interpretation of this is attractive but again, this wouldn't really be "buying a server." This would be revenue that could be spend on the cluster which may or may not directly support "your" space.
Way too many different ideas being conflated here before we have a core game to ground their implications and dynamics.
If we are talking about different nodes with different network performance governing different areas (non abstracted mesh) then thats a no sale. Players will get segregated by region in the game world because of what I see as an solvable technical issue. If there is an encounter that I want to do in an AUS sector and I'm US , I'll have to fight the game and not the encounter.

I don't even know what the service infrastructure will be for this game and I'm already complaining about it.... No. Whatever this is should be integrated into the game world once it has some miles on it and monetized properly. Do not constrain your network engineers.
Jul 1, 2017
Voted No.

I'll echo the point Quadrana made above - this looks to be a complex feature and could very well split the player-base - especially if mega-guilds get formed.
If I owned, or was part of a guild that owned, such a private space I would be much more invested in "my" part of the world rather than the public shard - which I guess would in turn limit development of that public server due to fewer people getting involved in the public events.

On a similar note - even if this idea picks up, I think this should go on a "nice-to-have" list rather than bogging down development for the "first stage" of the main game.

Extra features are always nice, but I think everyone would benefit from a laser-focused core game experience.
Likes: Pandagnome


Max Kahuna
Max Kahina
Jul 26, 2016
Does anyone have an audio recording from the chat? It's impossible to comment based on the OP as it lacks any detail.

EDIT: I do think it's a good idea in principle, in that it offers Em-8ER a revenue stream to help offset server costs. But it really comes down to what people are getting for their money (ie ... is it just bling), and just as importantly, what it takes away from the wider community that the game needs to build (ie ... does it segregate). Risk vs reward.
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Jul 5, 2017
Owners of zones might even be able to create their own missions for players, offering rewards from guild resources or from an xp/resource drip that is part of the ruleset and carefully constrained.
What players would get is the abiltity to customize the zone biome, name it, and host their own base on it
Can you expand on these? Like could i change the biomes enviroment to something i'd prefer more like instead of of lava and snow i could have a mix forest enviroment biome with rivers and lakes or a rainforest? Then with the missions could i make racing mission where people race with their omniframes or fun silly stuff like that?
Likes: Pandagnome