Hello EPG community.
We have some big news to share with you, and we would appreciate your understanding and patience regarding the matters discussed below. This is going to be quite a long & detailed explanation post, but we as a community would like to be fully transparent with everything that goes on, so grab some snacks and get comfortable.
What's happening with the server?
First and foremost - we are not going anywhere. You may have noticed the server going down multiple times over the past couple of weeks, and we understand how this can be frustrating when you're in the middle of your rounds and PVPs! However, the root cause of this is much more important than virtual cash or an extra point on your DM wins.
Let's take you back to the beginning of 2017, when I initially started hosting the server & website and became EPG leader. Not long before this, TiM3 (one of our old developers), had left the clan; which left Puma in charge of the gamemode and the majority of scripting. However, as you're aware, Puma left shortly after this time.
This left me with everything to take care of (the website, server, gamemode) - although I had one small problem, the gamemode was compiled and for some reason TiM3 did not trust me with the source code. If you're not aware what compiled code is, in basic terms this means that the code is not able to be directly edited, we can pretty much only run what we already have, so the majority of features in the gamemode can not be tweaked (whether it be to fix bugs, or integrate new features that sync up with already existing components of the gamemode).
Note that at this point, TiM3 had not told us that he wanted us to stop using the gamemode. Infact it was only a few months ago that we got in contact with him and he happily tweaked the gamemode so that we could link the login up to our new website (to me that sounds like he consents to us using "his" gamemode)
As you can imagine, this left me with quite the conundrum. Do we continue using a gamemode that we can not edit ourselves, and hope that nothing breaks - or do I code an entire gamemode by myself, alongside other commitments such as work which already take up a lot of my time?
Obviously, we chose to stick with the current gamemode as there was not an immediate threat of closure - and for the most part of last year we didn't really think about a new gamemode, we just tried to maintain the current one as best as we could.
Back to the present - TiM3 insisted that we stop using the gamemode. I'm fairly certain he initially started these issues because we were not prepared to give him full FTP / gamemode access, as we did not believe his intentions were to help us or update the gamemode (especially due to some of the antics he pulled, before asking for the access, noted below this paragraph). After a lengthy discussion, with no mutual agreements, he decided to start using his "backdoors" to run code on the server. A backdoor is something which programmers put into code that allows them access to their code remotely, and can allow them (in terms of MTA) to run raw code, which in turn means they can do anything (banning/kicking players, stopping the server, disabling connections). This attack allowed him to kick players with the message "License Expired" and multiple other things. His latest trick was to try and delete the database, along with all the gamemode files (who doesn't keep backups in 2018?)
It should be noted that he's also used these backdoors in the past to give himself back admin rights as well as other non-admins, so that they can come onto the server and troll (things such as renaming toptimes, and just generally messing with players).
Cutting a long story short, I am able to keep blocking things that he's doing to the server - infact last night I managed to block what he'd done, and if I wanted to right now I could turn the server on and everyone could enjoy themselves up until the next time TiM3 gets bored. But this isn't how I want to spend my time, reviving some old, buggy gamemode, that I honestly don't care about. I would rather keep the server offline for now, instead of having a really inconsistent uptime, due to the constant patches that need making in the aftermath of "attacks"
This leads us nicely onto the important announcement.
What's coming for EPG?
We've been working hard over the past few months, and due to these recent events we think now is the best time to reveal what we've been doing.
EPG is getting a brand new gamemode!
That's right, not long and you'll be playing on our modernized MTA server, packed with all those small features and ideas you've been talking about on the forum. We're currently still developing the gamemode, and as such our "QA" testing all comes from within the clan. However we will possibly hold a closed BETA before full release, eligible for the members of our community who are heavily invested with MTA itself, along with developers and designers.
Get ready for a new era, we're really looking forward to working with the community to create a server that YOU want.
One thing that we do ask, is that you are patient with us during this time. Currently I am the only one with enough knowledge about the inner workings of MTA/GTA and Lua to create the more complex modules of the gamemode. This gamemode is a hobby for me, I am not being paid for this, and I certainly am not putting this above my commitments in real life such as my job - however that doesn't mean I won't be putting all my effort into it, it simply means that I don't want you to expect me to work on the gamemode 24/7 and rush it out so that you can get back to your PVP flips.
Here's a quick sneak peek for you.
Shoutout to Jekorgi ;)
(stuff shown here may change)
We aren't going to give an exact timescale of when this will be completed, but we are hoping that we can get something out within the next month or so, possibly two if things don't go exactly as planned.
More information will come closer to the time of release, we will also keep you entertained with more sneak peeks over the coming weeks.
Stick with us people, this is something you don't want to miss :)