I had a thought that I imagine has reasons against it but I can't articulate them, so I thought I'd share.
What if Seasonal became the mining map? The only downside I can see is that it would probably have to be Normal mode, but do that many people here play Hard mode for fighting difficult mobs anyway? (I don't know.) The increased difficulty of Seasonal/Mining could come from the fact that it has fewer/no perks. And if people do still want the challenge of starting from scratch, they could chuck all their stuff into a chest on Permanent and start running around Seasonal/Mining bare-ass naked.
Thank you to everyone for all your comments and input. It is very obvious to me how much HangOut means to everyone. Also, thank you for your patience. Wanted to let you know that things are still being figured out, but hopefully will be able to tell you more within the next week or so.
I'm a bit late to the party and have been inactive for quite a while (other than the occasional forum lurk) so my opinion probably isn't worth much. With that out of the way, I support the changes.
This can't have been an easy decision for staff to make, but if donations aren't covering costs, there's a point where it becomes a necessary one. I'm just grateful HangOut will still be here when life eases up enough to let me play regularly again.