We were not happy about taking Metaverse down. We invested a lot of time, money and love in our virtual city. But we decided it had to be suspended for a while, because:
(1) The MOO was not checkpointing reliably - which means it was not being reliably backed up. This was annoying, because it was running on an expensive machine, specifically bought for it, that was supposed to be just right.
(2) It wasn't very busy in its last few months; there were rarely as many as a half-dozen people on. Even the "tourist" feature drew little interest. This makes us suspect that our approach was basically flawed in some way.
(3) It takes a lot of engineering time to keep the MOO running as well as it did. And right now our engineering time is best devoted to vital features like news and mail.
The system has been backed up completely. If we find someone else who has a machine, a good connection, and the time and inclination, maybe Metaverse will just move sites for a while. (We've looked at a couple of offers, but nothing has worked out yet.)
We are looking at alternatives, too. We are looking at putting one or more MUDs on IO, to see if that style of environment better fits our users' wants. We may study other alternatives - a different M* system? Different hardware again? A different promotional approach? An entirely different paradigm, maybe Web-based? We'll see. We hope it will be sooner rather than later. We are working with a couple of different programmer teams who have promising ideas.
The io.metaverse newsgroup will remain available as a place to discuss these issues!
Correspondence on this should come to: