Considering enough has been said and done here, I’ve gone ahead and closed the topic (which was long overdue). I will leave this with a few notes though.
Jake, you mention understandable concerns in your original post. We are still great advocates of sharing and open source. None of the recent updates make any change to that. What I do agree with is the way I’ve portrayed the features in the announcements was wrong: they are too optimistic and pushing in contrast with what our ideals are. I have edited the escrow announcement accordingly and will shed some light on our broader vision down this post. About the burst upvotes however:
This is a bit of a preliminary conclusion. You yourself expressed that upvotes have helped promote your community. What we saw happening is that normal upvotes were being resold by third parties, something which is very much not allowed and banks on the edge of fraud (not to mention the amount of times people just outright exit-scammed on their users). At the same time, this has shown us there was a demand for shorter term upvotes with higher boost power and as such developed that very feature. Maybe it’s not for you, and that’s okay. You are perhaps not the target audience.
Before I move on to comment on some other points made in this topic, I want to reiterate a few key points. We’ve seen many different forms of abusive behavior over the years. As I have discussed with a few other community members as well, it’s our job to provide a safe platform to our community. The intention is not to incentivize closed-source projects, rather to provide an officially recognized tool that we can monitor and control, unlike the alternatives. The feature is not meant to be used by everyone; it merely acts as a tool to combat abuse. If you absolutely must use encryption, use this, not something potentially malicious.
In an ideal world all of that that shouldn’t be necessary. Unfortunately the alternative isn’t any better. At the same time I want to point out that this isn’t DRM. Take MTA for example, they’ve had a proprietary Lua compiler for quite a few years with a nearly identical ambition: prevent problematic attempts to protect source code and provide a proven, official solution instead. What we do is not much different.
Furthermore, this platform is not free to run. With a player base the size of ours you can imagine how high our operational costs are. We aren’t out for a moneygrab. Never were, never will, that’s not in our core values. What we do value is the ability to maintain, grow and improve the platform. We have a stellar team behind us that make that possible, who also need food on the table at the end of the day. Let’s not forget that FiveM is entirely free to play, and that will never change.
I’m curious to hear about your ideas here, and will shoot you a message to discuss them. Communication has improved drastically over the past year, you are referring to a group that wasn’t very used to begin with. There are few communities where you can speak to developers as directly as here; Discord, Matrix, etc. You’re right that every server owner deserves their voice to be heard. Happy to hear your solutions to that.
As Smallo pointed out, this is an unfair metric. Everyone deserves to be heard, not just whoever got the most players or other form of reputation points. Good ideas need to be heard whether you’re big or small.
Going back to the original concern:
Our vision is not to simply launch an escrow feature and allow everyone to close down all of their projects. What we want is a platform that promotes open source, but at the same time provides the right tools for those that seek a different path. We envision a proper community hub: a place to upload your resources, share them with others, and install resources with a single click of a button from within FxDK. Think of a Steam workshop-like environment as an improvement from the current forums releases. Good content will stand out, anything not open-source will require users to go extra lengths to go a different path, only serving as a tool to combat the shadier alternatives.
To further summarize our vision and goals (including next year’s targets) I will write an in-depth post to be published early December which will hopefully take some concerns away. I encourage everyone who comes across this topic to also read that announcement once it’s up. I will edit this post with the link once available.