Transparancy! Upcoming TS3 Server Renewal

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Corran Horn
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Transparancy! Upcoming TS3 Server Renewal

Postby Corran Horn » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:41 pm

Hello Pilots,

I just want to let everyone know that the RSQ TeamSpeak Server license expires in one week. I can look into other hosting options or I can renew our current license. I'm pleased to say that I see more and more people online in the server in these last few months, between playing the AC updates and playing other games (ARK has been popular lately!), so in the interest of not changing things up too much I'm leaning towards renewing the current license. However, I'm open to other options if enough members vocalize an interest in using another VOIP provider.

Also, on the topic of transparency, I recently renewed our sc-rogues.com domain at a cost of $55. I'd like to extend a renewed thank you to Elfwyn for his continued generosity in hosting our little corner of correspondence!

The TS3 server license renewal will cost $189 for a 24-month renewal (50 Users) - this is at a 65% discount. The TS3 server might go down for a couple of days between paychecks, but I can cover the expenditure if needed.

Please comment below and let me know your opinions, be it staying with the current / established TS3 or exploring another option. As before, if anyone wishes to contribute towards license renewal, please send me a PM first. Thanks!

Happy gaming!
Last edited by Corran Horn on Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Got a much better discount rate and saved us $90 on the renewal.
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Re: Transparancy! Upcoming TS3 Server Renewal

Postby briguy » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:06 pm

I'd be happy to float some money your way for the renewal but if others are opposed to teamspeak, I know Discord is another platform that is highly used in gaming and specifically the SC community.
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Re: Transparancy! Upcoming TS3 Server Renewal

Postby RS_Wraith » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:57 pm

Personally, I would rather stick with TS3. I am cool with throwing some in on it. I will PM to get info.
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Re: Transparancy! Upcoming TS3 Server Renewal

Postby Viking » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:33 am

As an Ambassador I'm totally neutral in this question of course. I just want to know where and how I can contribute with some dollars to show support for the choice you make eventually. :)
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Re: Transparancy! Upcoming TS3 Server Renewal

Postby Archer » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:05 am

I also support the Discord platform. TeamSpeak has given me a fair bit of trouble over the years and doesn't seem to be getting any better. Discord was basically designed to replace it (and eventually Skype).
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Re: Transparancy! Upcoming TS3 Server Renewal

Postby Elfwyn » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:08 pm

I'll go with the flow, but I would like to contribute on whatever is decided.
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Re: Transparancy! Upcoming TS3 Server Renewal

Postby Corran Horn » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:05 pm

Updating - I told you guys I'd do a little bit of reading up on Discord and I have. It has its benefits and drawbacks when you compare it to Teamspeak 3.

The big plus is that it's free and they maintain it with frequent updates. It's basically trying to become the Facebook of VOIP & Chat clients for gaming. It looks sharp, has decent voice quality (uses a similar codec that TS3 does, both are good), and lets you maintain multiple chat channels regardless of your current voice channel. You can download and install the chat client or just connect through your web browser, and channel administrators can set up rules just like you can in Teamspeak servers. It's one big centralized service that lets you stay in touch regardless of game, with little or no overhead after you set it up. Also, their Director of Marketing, Will Boyer, looks a lot like a young Pierce Brosnan. SERIOUSLY. Look him up on their site. It's uncanny.

The downsides, IMO, are that it's all cloud. The Discord service is run on a VOIP cluster managed by a company called Hammer & Chisel, a game dev studio and the minds behind Discord. Your channel (or our channel) would be one of many running on this cluster with hundreds (if not thousands) of others. That's part of why it's so easy to flip around between (and even hold chats between) any number of different Discord users and channels at the same time - you're all on the same big server. We wouldn't be managing our own server, have user to user FTP, and we'd be under the Discord security/policy agreement. Their privacy policy is what bothers me most, really. Voice is fine in Discord, but any text entry/links/images uploaded in chat can be collected for advertising data.

TS3 has them beat on support with live chat (vs helpdesk ticket wait/response) and better security / fail-over reliability. The TS3 privacy policy through InstantTeamSpeak is also good - our TS3 server runs on a box with other TS3 servers, but is hosted from it's own private disk partition and we own the content outside of the actual TS3 application files. Anything you type, upload, or FTP transfer to other users stays your/our property.

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IMO, Discord looks nicer, is much more user friendly, and lets you take part in chats in multiple "server channels" at the same time, which TS3 doesn't do. But at this early stage, it's really lacking in reliability, support, and privacy.

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Update on TS3 - while bugging TS3 support for technical specs for this info-hunt, they also offered us a massive discount on our 2 year license renewal as existing customers with good standing and no trouble tickets raised against us. They probably sensed the possibility of switching hosting providers and threw us an incentive, which I strangely enough have NO problems with... :) $270 ---> $189. Nifty!
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Re: Transparancy! Upcoming TS3 Server Renewal

Postby Viking » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:36 pm

Have you checked out http://tserverhq.com/? I have a TS3 server there for 15 people for $54.78 per year, which also includes 6 GB file transfer (added service. Standard is 600 MB per month). Not sure what it'd be with 50 people but ... it's possible to start low and scale/upgrade as needed. They also have a 40% discount for yearly subscriptions.
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Re: Transparancy! Upcoming TS3 Server Renewal

Postby briguy » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:25 pm

If one of the major cons for Discord is their "any text entry/links/images uploaded in chat can be collected for advertising data" policy, I have to ask: do we really care about that (as in are we going to be posting pictures of our family and other personal stuff through these services) because I was under the impression that with Org 2.0 our org will get it's own forums; don't we still retain the rights of the content and we only give permission to Discord to use that content?

I'm not championing Discord here and I'll go with the majority too, but free and working it on all major platforms is worth the one privacy con, IMHO
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Constellation: Dawn’s Shadow; F7C-M: Victory’s Bane; Sabre: Ombra Serena; Gladius: ; Cutlass Red: ; 350r: ; M50: ; Retaliator: ; Gladiator: ; Herald: ; Redeemer: ; Carrack: Ombreggiato Lembos; Khartu-al: ; Freelancer DUR: ; BMM: ; 890 Jump: ; Starfarer-G: ; Vanguard: ; Endeavor: ; Crucible: ; Reclaimer: ; Idirs-P: ;


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Corran Horn
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Re: Transparancy! Upcoming TS3 Server Renewal

Postby Corran Horn » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:59 am

The TS3 Server will be going offline tomorrow afternoon for a few days as the subscription will expire. It's a good excuse to test out the Discord server for the week. Read the message below. If you try Discord and decide you want to go back to TS3, say as much on the poll and I'll re-activate it this next weekend. If we do that, I'll provide a link for anyone who wants to contribute to the renewal fees.

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OKAY, I went through the process of creating a Discord server for us. Check it out here if you want to take a look - discord is a very nice looking chat app and boasts the same voice quality as TS3 (they both use OPUS codec). I recommend downloading the app and creating a registered account (free, takes 1 minute) then connecting to our new server here:

https://discord.gg/0qFGdisVZvvTDRhA
(permanent invite link that won't expire)

Took me about half an hour to set it up and outline some basic voice channels, configure some of the base options, and set up moderator and admin roles. That's more or less it, was pretty straightforward and simple. I like the approach Discord has with user-friendliness. Noticed one downside I'm not very fond of, though.

No password protection anywhere. Sure, you will need to create a Discord account to take part in any of the text chat channels, but voice channels are open to all. Discord has a way around this with a Roles system (I can set it up so that only our member groups have Talk/Listen privileges in the non-lobby channels), but a moderator/admin will need to assign a role to everyone who logs in who is a member of RSQ when they log in. So you have to log in when a mod/admin is online to get your role/permission set assigned (one time thing). Not too bad, but it can be painful for international players and time zone differences. Since there is no password protection on the server itself, anyone and everyone can join and hop online into the voice chat channels. A lot of users on the discord forums complain about bots/crawlers hopping into servers often.

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That being said, it looks nice and voice quality is great. I'll keep it online and we can see if people want to transition to it. If there is enough interest, we'll go ahead and switch over full scale - a free good quality VOIP service is nothing to scoff at :) Assigning permission and roles for people will take some time as we try and catch them online, but that's OK and we'll catch up as it moves along.
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