I may have mentioned this before, but if not, this might be a good time for the remaining active ONS[Plus] server communities (and admins) to reach out n' get into talks about potentially launching a joint Open/Community [UT|ONS]stats domain & site so that all their servers might be pointed to it, store online match stats there and so continue offering a valuable trove of information for remaining map editors, modders in general, and server staff looking for more insight to help with content management decisions.
Epic's latest attempt at planned obsolescence by snuffing out a practically cost-less, but nonetheless still useful, legacy online UT support service could prove a deciding moment regarding whether UT2004 is granted a renewed lease on life with no expiration date under community control or, instead, if the game will be left to wither n' die out due to the remaining oldschoolers getting disaffected in the face of the seemingly inevitable and leaving in search for something else.
The thing to keep in mind here is, a developer pulling online support for an old game of theirs doesn't necessarily constitute a foregone conclusion in terms of said game's life. You only need to take a look at what happened when a determined modder and a diehard online community banded together to save the online "life" of older C&C RTS games as EA was shutting down one server after another, long after leaving the ranked ladders in complete disrepair and open to hackers - and these were not even games with private server support. Custom software and IP redirecting allowed for a community server to supplement the official ones, while a bunch of trusted players became the de facto community managers, ladder maintainers and adjudicators of fair play. To this day, all these games can still be played online by any nostalgic oldschoolder or any other player who just happened to discover these great games later on, all because XWIS exists as a project to fill the void the publisher's departure created.
Even though assurances are still offered about their supposed survival (for now), to me it's likely the Master Servers will also follow UTstats' ill fate at some point in the future. Still, Epic shutting down this game's online services does NOT need to mean UT2004's life has to end altogether. Beloved old games can survive their creators' termination plans and continue thriving, or even get updated/uprezzed, on different terms; it's happened before and it can happen again. But it won't happen on its own. Concerned people in all positions will need to get together across servers, try to form some kind of viable plan and do so quickly if they mean to save the game they love and have invested so much time into from oblivion.
As I've done before in a previous "gaming life", I'll be around to help such a rescue attempt however I can, if the remaining UT community is up for it. Here's hoping for another bright chapter lying ahead in UT's long history instead of its last one.
Eyes in the skies.