Updated! Please read this important news article before asking any questions. The old post can be found after the break.
I've always been afraid of causing false hope due to personal reasons that I won't go into detail with, but it's safe to say that I want to be very certain about something before turning it into an announcement or official statement. Please read the original post (below the page break) first if you haven't seen it before.
In August this year I was 100% certain that I've had enough time to debate what I wanted to do with R-FS in the future... The decision that I wanted to close down the server was certain and thought out. I did everything I felt that was necessary to make sure I wouldn't make up my mind and regret it. Things like the fact that nobody seemed to notice when the server was down for months is a great example. Another one is that I've made sure to discuss the issue with Miracoli multiple times.
Originally it was pretty clear that there would be some replies to this announcement related to people wanting to keep the forums online, or reacting in a personal and heart touching way. This was not a surprise at all... But I never expected so many people to respond to what I thought were the dead remains of a once great community. Of course it wasn't easy to make this decision and it didn't help one bit how bad I felt after reading the many comments on the forums.
Now, I did mention how I wouldn't get rid of any website or game server files simply because the amount of time spent on it is in no way replacable, and it is part of the history of R-FS. Everything must be archived, but people clearly wanted to have access to it. I refuse paying for expensive hosting (okay, it's not that expensive, but with so little activity it isn't worth it...), so I silently transfered the website over to my local server. A fair amount of setting up and configuring things lead me to a case where I'll be able to amortise the hosting account all together. Everything I need is a 13 euro/year domain name (www.samp-funserver.org, because I don't want to lose that or change it risking more people to leave). The website itself is within my hands now, and the domain name is currently renewed for one year and vailid until September the 12th of 2016!
I want to thank gtasarules14 a million times for giving me the motivation and the required money to renew the domain name so that the website can stay up for another year. We've had daily conversations for a week or so, and it really helped a lot. Seeing how much people want the site to be up was something I can't ignore. But it doesn't stop there... You may notice that a lot of things are working again that were broken since forever, including the webstats stuff and the loading speeds. This is also made possible because of extremely long sessions where I've worked on the problems and asked some help from a great collegue who wanted to spend some private time looking at it with me.
The reminder of people still caring for the server, how much gtasarules14 and the forum posts by a large chunk of the regular members shared their interest in R-FS and the ability to have people help me with problems I never thought were solvable without dedicating months of work towards it are what made me active again. I really have no idea about the future of the server, and since I mentioned the part about false hope at the beginning of the post for a good reason I won't go into much detail right now... but this story definitely has a next chapter.
I'll be doing stuff when I can and hopefully I can get it clear to myself this time. Please spead the word to everybody who played here or posts/posted on the forums recently! They must know that the source of R-FS will remain publically accessible and updated when nececarry.
Thanks for reading this!
Ricardo signing off.