With all the chaos that is 1.8, I see the game changing drastically; There are now pre-generated structures, people no longer need to build their homes, there are new mobs implemented and new ones in development, and there are new game-changing mechanics (hunger and health regen). If that wasn't bad enough, there's no guarantee that all of this will be persistent when 1.9 comes around...
I've been looking around to see what other server owners are doing and it's given me more problems than what I started with.
So, I've got some choices to make. To name a couple:
Yes, I'm considering format change again. It seems that my previous approaches just didn't fit well with the way people are playing. One thing that I know will be removed is the economy. No one really uses it. People mostly just trade or give things away. They figure they can just mine more later and they are right to think so.
One of the things that prompts me to think about such things is the contrast in community behavior in vanilla and Bukkit: When we're running vanilla, everyone seems more community oriented due to the hardcore survival environment; They like to experience the thrill with each other.
With Bukkit, everyone is more relaxed and is generally content with their own space; It's a better build environment.
This brings up another question: What kind of environment do we want the server to adopt?
The way I see it, we have a few choices:
- PvP: Players go against players in a self-governing server and try to survive in factions with common law among individual groups lest anarchy and terror ensue. (Not ideal)
- Hardcore Survival: Players face the elements and the environment with nothing to protect them except for their weapons and their shelter.
- Freebuild Survival: Players build what they like while surviving in a somewhat protected world.
- Freebuild: Players build whatever they like, but they must build with their own materials. Invincibility or reduced damage is a common factor. Monsters are usually turned off.
- Creative: Players are given unlimited materials and various abilities related to construction, like instant-mine, so they can freely build all over the world in a completely safe environment. Creative worlds are generally a mess. (Not ideal)
- RPG: A hybrid with any game format, RPG environments are elaborate, heavily community oriented, and VERY popular among the Minecraft community. They usually consist of an economy system, cities/towns, skills, classes, and other features to make the world seem more realistic. Most RPG servers are either PvP/RPG or Freebuild Survival/PvP. None of these traits really "make" an RPG server, but most servers containing enough of these are considered RPG.
With the latest additions to Minecraft, I think a Freebuild Survival/RPG hybrid (sans classes) is a possibility for us because of the skills, though I am very much open to suggestions at this point. (Really, I always have been.)
Please, share your opinions. I need them or I may do something no one likes.
My second problem is old worlds: We cannot keep using them any longer. Why? Well, as you may know, Minecraft 1.8 got a new world generator. This new world generator doesn't create seamless terrain when mixed with old worlds. Instead of nice flat land, you get ugly looking chunk splits like this:
and regenerating the world doesn't fix the problem. This is what our current world looks like when regenerated in 1.8:
As you can see, there is a forest where Tom's hill should be.
Some of you may not see this as a problem, but allow me to point out another contributing factor to my claim:
(From the last backup that took place on 9-15-2011)
Notice the folder size: 791 MB
It's quite large. It takes me about 5-10 minutes to download it each backup on a 15mbps connection. (If you do the math, it's roughly 7 minutes)
If I let everyone keep generating that world, I can expect it to become twice as large with everyone wanting to play in 1.8 world, not to mention the quest for the strongholds.
This leaves me with 2 options:
- Make our pre-1.8 world secondary, disable terrain generation for it, and create a way for players to teleport to it.
- Package the pre-1.8 world into a compressed archive, put it up for download, and remove it from the server.
I know of servers that are putting their old worlds up as a sort of museum so people could see their previous artwork and the admins wouldn't have to worry about monitoring more than one world. I think this is ideal as it would please mostly everyone. (You can't please everyone.)
As you can see, there's quite a bit to be done here.
PLEASE post your opinions below, even if you don't care. I would very much like to know that you are at least paying attention.
If I fail to please the players, I fail as a server admin, so feedback is important.
Also, thanks for playing.