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Nebula X EarthPol: What went wrong?

On paper, the partnership between NebulaMC and EarthPol should’ve gone perfectly, but why did it fail and what are my thoughts?

Well, to begin I have to give a little history lesson about the backstory of all this and why Nebula even accepted the partnership in the first place. For any readers who might not know anything about this, here’s a back story:

NebulaMC was my last Minecraft server founded in 2019 with my good friend and partner Spectrobyte. I worked on this server extensively through the end of 2021 until I eventually resigned in October to focus on new things beyond Minecraft (more on that here). The server was always Skyblock during my time working on it. Skyblock went through two versions: v1 and v2. The first version collapsed with its over-inflated economy and the second and final version of NebulaMC Skyblock had crippling technical issues. It operated with over 100 plugins on the latest Minecraft version. That alone is a recipe for disaster, so the server was pushed to its absolute limits and could not withstand anything higher than 10 players without extreme server performance and lag issues. With the state of Skyblock v2, Nebula didn’t really have much to lose. So we took a chance and accepted a partnership with 0xBit (owner of EarthPol) to merge servers under a new IP: Nebula Network. In theory, this was perfect. The EarthPol team said they could fix v2’s technical issues and boasted the possibility of sharding the server. Not only could our servers’ fundamental issues be solved, but the server would be exposed to EarthPol’s massive community. It was really set out to be a win-win.

So what went wrong? Here’s what we didn’t know going into this partnership:

  1. EarthPol was collapsing and its community was completely torn apart. Most players either hated 0xBit and felt like they could never trust him again due to bad community management skills or just completely lost faith in the server to deliver on what it did in its prime time. This was due to a massive issue with duping and staff abuse in EarthPol just months prior to our partnership.

  2. Rebranding EarthPol to Nebula was a massive change the EarthPol community was not ready for: Leading to the EarthPol community feeling very disgruntled and uncomfortable about the merge, some even called the decision impulsive and unnecessary.

But again, Spectromeda and I didn’t have much to lose, so we took a blind leap of faith and just went for it. But despite all the issues, the server’s launch actually went very well and there were hundreds of players online to check out the new Nebula. But that was very, very, short-lived. Within the servers’ first week, EarthPol’s kz-n and DeltaDeveloper (EarthPol’s secondary developers) both quit or went MIA. This was a big deal. I could no longer just focus on Skyblock, I had to step up and help with EarthPol’s side of development. So I did, and despite having no prior experience working with EarthPol’s community, I made it work. I went out of my way to help restore stability to EarthPol’s community.

But while I did a good job working on EarthPol, it wasn’t enough. I could not handle the stress of managing a network by myself and my efforts on EarthPol couldn’t last forever. Skyblock already suffered drastic damages due to my shift in priorities. It was at that point where I decided to resign from Minecraft server development once and for all, in which I gave 0xBit the okay to rebrand Nebula Network back to EarthPol and sequentially, 2 weeks later, I made my resignation public with this document. After resigning, I completely left EarthPol behind and moved on with my life.

I’m not going to be that guy and just pin Nebula’s failure on one thing, because, in reality, it’s a super complex issue stemming from a multitude of smaller issues. But if we fast forward to now, 8 months later, I can confidently say I have no regrets. While yes, Nebula’s partnership with EarthPol did fail, I learned a multitude of new things and I truly met hundreds of incredibly talented and well-spirited players along the way.

If there’s any takeaway from Nebula x EarthPol, it’s that every failure is a lesson in disguise.