A while back I made this thread about how Shores of Hazeron closed.
However, now it's back. There are some differences, though. First, and probably the biggest, is the $10 a month subscription fee. This is up in the air at the moment - it was implemented by request of the fans of the game, as the reason SoH was shut down was that the owner/creator could no longer afford/justify hosting the game. Previously, he had invested close to a million dollars of his own money to have professional servers, and at times even had a full staff of employees working on the game.
So, he implemented a subscription fee to pay for server hosting costs. He also put in a donation button to allow those who want to spend more to invest into the game.
Now, the version of the game that is available is "reverted" a bit. As far as I know, the new ship designing system is out the door. The "circular" building designs have been rolled back to the "lego" square designs. I also think he may have limited the potential size of the galaxy. Before, it was unlimited - literally every new empire created equated to a new solar system in the galaxy. There were multiple galaxies, plus a ton of randomly/auto/pre-generated solar systems. I believe I read that there was close to 80,000 (or it may have 800,000) solar systems in the game. That takes a lot of processing power when you think that each planet has its own gravity, suns have gravity, all planets had an "Atmosphere" which played into things. Then there was the thousands upon thousands of unique species randomly generated for each liveable planet. It just got expensive to host, so he (I believe) may have limited it to a certain number this time around.
Also, he wont be actively developing SoH for a few weeks at a minimum, potentially longer. Has has been working on (and releasing) some "smaller" games based on the work he has done on SoH. Such as Gravity Well 6.