The title says it all: the server was closed. Don't know the real reason why it was closed nor do I know someone who does but thanks to Gorim you can get a pretty good idea why. Below you have a small essay made by him describing the events which most probably led to this. So go ahead... thank him!
Alright, time to make this plain to all SMU players both current and past. It is time to tell the story from my perspective. Many would know this story as I collected these accounts from many old players and from my own speculations and observations of the peoples' behaviours and actions. People are more than welcome to add in their own perspective to give a more accurate account so all may know.
As many of you know, this server was founded because Zhen AKA GooDiee, donald cheung, ZhenYu Cheung, etc, had a falling out with the management of Alliance MU (now closed). When he setted up this server he some of his friends from Alliance MU became the players and eventually staff members on his server. The name sunshineMU was derived from the player sunshine, His then love interest who begun this server with him. He then had his core admins of Twinkle and Sunshine. Dubbed the two sisters as twinkle and sunshine are related by blood.
SunshineMU began as a small community much like any other servers. The players who stayed mentioned that the small community fitted them and they loved developing friendships with both the players and staff of the server. As the server grew in player base the roles of each of the admins then were set: Zhen was the owner and admin in chief, responsible for the server's physical well being and keeping it up-to-date. Sunshine was the head of the GM team, who was responsible for taking care of the GM staff team and cover all their needs and reporting problems from GMs to zhen. And Twinkle was the head of community support who was responsible for the players' well being and their problems on forums and occasionally in game.
Things were going well for the server overall then. The player base kept expanding, server was becoming more stable and lagging less. More players meant taking on more GMs, and the system of GM recruitment became formalised with the TGM system. The roles of GMs as you all know are the players' first point of contact for problems in game. Truth to tell the GM teams was fairly tight knit with only a few problems back then. And all was well.
The first major impact on the server itself was admin twinkle leaving. This had a whole of consequences as she was pretty much the core of the server management. With her gone the management balance shifted, however the first sign of the impact started to show when zhen did not replace twinkle with a person as able bodied as twinkle but instead appointed sunshine with both her task and twinkle's task. Sunshine did cope for a while but eventually sunshineMU politics forced her to retire.
If I could of wind back time, I would immediately asked why twinkle left immediately and would of convinced her to come back. But back then I didn't know how badly the politics went. But the question I would ask now was why did zhen added more responsibilies to sunshine when he actually needed at new admin at that time to preserve the balance and also balancing each admin's committment? I speculate now that this situation occured but zhen did not respond and sunshine volunteered to add the twinkle's responsibility as her own and told the staff that it was zhen's idea based upon my own current evaluation of behaviours of sunshine and zhen. We as GMs never had much contact with zhen which is pretty strange. We always had to work through eithier sunshine or twinkle or afroula (then GM) who had a reliable communication link with zhen. This was the start.
With the leaving of twinkle and sunshine. Zhen had no choice but to appoint a new batch of admins to replace his lost ones so the server can continue operations as normal. From the GM pool he selected TormenT, Afroula, and Valego. TormenT was the person who helped him on various matters on the server itself. Afroula took sunshine's and part of twinkle's tasks and valego purely focussed on in game matters due to his time constraints. Things resumed to some normalcy BUT out of the three admins, he only contacted afroula with regularity and TormenT to a lesser scale. I speculate now tha he never personally trusted TormenT or Valego but he had to trust them on advice from afroula out of reluctence.
As time past, TormenT quit after realising zhen repeating ignored the problems he reported. Valego removed due to an issue with zhen and Matt aka WhirlWind. So zhen appointed matt and gotty as an admin and pressured enforcer into becomig admin to hopefully run things as usual. But unfortunately Gotty quit due to real life committments. After a period of time after gotty's inactivity matt and enforcer realised zhen's neglect of the server and resolved to quitting. Firmly taking a finally defeated afroula with them.
So, now you know a part of the story and history of this server and to some respect the admins that came and went. Due to time constraints and me sparing many of you to read through this tedious essay more longer than it should as if I told in full it would cover at least 200 or so pages. I omitted a lot of details regarding the full story and if other players can fill some gaps I wouldn't mind (although this may get deleted soon).
Just to hammer home the information I was alluding to. Zhen in all never personally cared about this server or it's players. A lot of the staff were largely ignored and the centralisation of all power to zhen created this frustration of unresolved problems. I have my own personal speculations about zhen himself but I would not air them here. If anyone wishes to contact me regarding further details about a part of the history. They may contact me through here as I will regularly log in to these forums until it closes.
Lastly, I am Gorim, who was an ex-GM who quitted this travesty of a server after realising twinkle was in fact the glue that kept it all together. Have came to the conclusion that this server should of been closed long ago. Now the conclusion has finally come true. I shall stay to watch it till it finally closes for good with much satisfaction.
Oh, and to all faithful sunshineMU players that haven't pissed me off. A word of advice: This is a private server with ridiculous rates and concepts which MU never had at the inception of this game. Playing private servers by itself is a risk of not knowing when the server will unexpectly close. If you think this was bad, go on google and search for Lineage 2 Extreme closure. It was a huge and popular private server for lineage which unexpectly closed. There were lots of speculations but no one knew the answer.