As someone with no experience in running a server or being mod or admin anywhere, I decided to throw this out to the community here before committing to it. I didn't want to tell anyone before doing it so as to not have my idea stolen, but I figured, if it were even a viable idea, it would have already been done by now.
*PvP Hardcore. You die, you get banned, that's that. If you die in the real world you don't respawn, so why should you in-game? (maybe a small donation of a couple of dollars would bring you back, I dunno)
Spawn itself is a 150x150 safe zone, has starting sets of gear for new people, etc.
300x300 block Towns identical in appearance are scattered across the map at multiple places at intervals of 700 to 1000 blocks all the way out to say 30 or 40K, in a symetrical pattern. Towns are protected from damage/editing (though defenses can be built around them). For a donation to the server costs you can live at one/use it as a base/get perms to edit it or something.
Chat is disabled. You want to talk, coordinate with friends on other programs.
The "owner" of the village (paid for by high donations for server costs) rules over it as a fiefdom --- what they say goes within its limits (they'd have to outline their rules on signs, of course, what with chat disabled). If people don't wish to hang out in the towns they're free to explore and establish bases, or I'd teleport them far from the furthest town and let them fend for themselves.
Once a month (on the 15th), the protection on the towns goes down, and it's a free for all. Each town or city has a single Chiseled Stone Brick (since it can't be crafted normally AFAIK) that, if removed and brought back to spawn, will cause that city to be razed to the ground and the lord will either abandon it or have to rebuild into something bigger and better. If the lord dies (and is thus banned), anyone bringing back the brick becomes the new lord. Or maybe it can be bought via big donation.
If someone brings back the Chiseled Stone Brick and causes a town to be razed during those 24 hours, that town's inhabitants each receive an equal portion of the "spoils of war" (paypal; whatever's left in the "pot" after server costs are met for the month, or maybe a set amount based on the amount of resources brought in and stored, like a dollar per block of iron, or something, I dunno). Naturally, since the further from spawn a city is the more valuable it is, since it takes longer to bring the Chiseled Stone Brick back. (and is therefore more expensive in "donations" to live in or rule at...)
That's just a general outline... what do you think? Am I a complete idiot, or is something like this actually do-able or has been done, or is it illegal because of the use of actual money changing hands due to the spoils of war concept? I'm ignorant, enlighten me.
- Let's see if I regret posting this.