So I've played on a few PvP and PvE servers, and I really love how Minecraft can be multiplayer in that sense.
What I DON'T like is that all the servers are ran by 3rd parties and generally you have to pay to get any kind of fun out of it. I'd like to play with other people just to do whatever, but not have to pay to get certain items... I mean I already spent 26$ for the game now the people running the servers (and I know it does cost to run the servers, and that's why they use a freemium style service, but still) want even more, I like Minecraft, but jeeze not that much.
The above paragraph was more of a rant, now this paragraph will be about questions concerning multiplayer. If I wanted to play with someone else, but they weren't in my Local Area Network, how I could I play with them? Also, are there smaller type servers out there? I'd like to join one if there was. One that isn't on a freemium style service either, or at least if it was have the ability or chance to get your own items on your own instead of the only way to get them is through real money payments.
You donate for bonuses as minecraft is coded terrible - beyond terrible. In fact it's a joke - the resource usage is unreasonable. Instead of fixing infrastructure and redesigning data flow to be more efficient they continue to add more features onto a terrible code base. It has come to the point where I no longer treat Minecraft multiplayer as a game - having to pay out for this sort of hardware for small servers is unreasonable. Believe me, I would love to run it for free and fund it through adsense, but that is just not feasible when you have a game that runs as poorly as this. And it is only getting worse each patch - 1.3 pretty much doubled CPU usage.
This is coming from the owner of a minecraft server with ~50-100 online average.