I have been working for about a day or so to create a program in Java that pretends to be a Minecraft server and provides a MOTD to clients, but does not support full server functionality. The base purpose: Display a message as well as a reason for a minecraft server being down without actually running the server. What you do is shut of the minecraft server, and turn this mini-server on. The mini-server accepts ping requests and sends back the MOTD. If a client attempts to connect, the mini-server kicks them and displays a reason. It is 100% compatable with vanilla clients. Example uses: Telling people the server has moved, telling people the server is being updated, or telling people the server is just closed. It looks way nicer then: "Can't reach server". It even supports color. I don't have a gui, and it has tons of bugs still, so I don't think I will release it yet. Below is a screenshot of it running in the eclipse command line. If there are enough positive reaction (or if I just decide to) I will release it. Thank you!
Actually, I abandoned this project for two reasons. First of all, as pointed out, there was allready another utility that did this same function (see http://forums.bukkit.org/threads/admin-mcsignondoor-1-9-so-your-server-can-say-gone-fishin-back-in-five.8814/). Second, my computer crashed and I lost everything. (Nearly complete file corruption). Third, the minecraft protocol changes so much, it would be hard to push updates to keep up with the most recent minecraft versions. If enough people actually request this tool, I will resume development on it. So how about it, who wants me to resume development on this tool or a tool of this sort? If I get more than 30 responses, I will resume development. If you want me to resume, and have a suggestion, please include that as well. Note, I don't think that MCSignOnDor works anymore due to protocol changes.