Ideas for Official Server Funding
I think official dedicated survival servers are CRUCIAL for the long term servival of SE multiplayer, as it allows for a controlled and stable experience for all players, but especially new players. I do think 32 player servers are a must to make sure servers have plenty of "life" in them. 64 would be nice but I think that's best reserved for experimental servers, as it's amazing enough just to run 32.
Ideas for paying for these servers:
1) Voluntary monthly payments by players. These would be recurring monthly donations ($5-10) that allow players who are willing and able to contribute to the cost of running and staffing servers. Assuming enough people donate (and I think they would), this would get rid of any payment barrier for playing on premium, stable servers. Allowing dedicated players to support the game for everyone on a voluntary basis would create a very positive multiplayer community with passionate players helping out new players. I don't think any "perk" needs to be offered, but it would be nice to do something like giving exclusive skins to people who support the official servers. Absolutely no in game advantage should be acquired as a result of supporting the official servers with a monthly donation.
2) NOT THE PREFERRED OPTION. Make payment mandatory for play on official servers and whitelist players who have paid. This would work, but it would leave a very bad taste in the mouths of players, and it would likely tank the game's review score on Steam, etc.
Option 1 is obviously what I personally prefer, but I do realize it's a bit optimistic. In any case, I say at least TRY the voluntary donation method, and if it doesn't work, go to a mandatory model. In any case, requiring payment is still a better option than no official servers at all.
Please, leave feedback of your own here and let's get some ideas flowing to help KSH maintain these servers for the long haul!