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The State of the Server

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    Alright, I’m gonna lay some very hard-to-deal-with facts right out on the line. The server’s kinda sorta not doing so hot nowadays. There are two major points that I’m going to cover: Spawn, and the server in general.

    One: Spawn is a freakin’ mess and is rapidly becoming unplayable for anyone without a rather powerful computer. My computer chugs along at 10-25 FPS in the heart of spawn, and I have an nVidia GTX560 in this thing. It’s not a hyper-advanced video card, but it’s no slouch either. If I, as a computer enthusiast that upgrades my computer with higher end parts to stay even IN the curve cannot survive Spawn well, what chance do casual users with creaky old machines have? How is this fair to anyone? We abandoned Old Spawn for the new spawn when it was at barely a tenth the developmental level of New Spawn. We have definitely reached the point where a move at the very least should be a no-brainer.

    Two: This is the more radical plan. Maybe it’s time for a new map. 1.5, in my opinion, is a perfect, or near-perfect time. New resources to find, that we sorta can’t because we’d have to generate a whole bunch more Nether to do so. Say someone chooses to go out thousands of meters into the nether in search for quartz. Then they build a portal to the real world? Well hell, there’s now more generated map to deal with.

    The server’s of course unmappable. It’s at a point that I’d have to beg to rent time at a local University’s supercomputer if we wanted to map this. From the get-go, we’ve mismanaged space horrifically. On the first SoA, it started and stayed compact. Most of the server’s construction was clustered within one kilometer of spawn. As concerns of griefing grew, it then ballooned, and finally became a burden. Well, this server is that, times ten.

    From the word “go” many people immediately made a mad rush for a place to build many kilometers away from spawn. The server is now, I estimate, roughly 25,000 by 20,000 meters. I will say this bluntly: that is retarded. I feel like we’re using “I don’t want griefers to find me” like the USA uses “I don’t want terrorists to find me” to justify going to extremes. Well, we’ve sorta murdered all sense of community here hardcore. Regular server population consists of roughly 6-10 grizzled grognards from the olden days, and a smattering of newer people that somehow managed to stick with it and become part of the community. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m rather ambivalent about how I feel about this. However, I digress.

    A new server can work. We can do it right now. Will people be sad to see their hard work go? Perhaps, but we started anew once, and we can do it again. Each and every last member probably knows, deep in his or her heart, that a day like this would come. However, a new server would have to be done right, to be even better than ever. My humble recommendations are below:

    1. Install Borderguard. Use it to lock the server size to a radius of 5000, and the nether to a radius of 625, both from the server’s [0, 0, 0] origin. That is enough space. Seriously. if you don’t believe me, know this: The server as it stands now has a LOT of structures, and yet is still roughly 90% open space with no human intervention visible.
    2. (Re)Install Residence. Allow Prospectors and above the privilege of using it to designate their lands as untouchable by griefers. Teach them how to use the plugin to get what they want. Residence is powerful, and can allow great control of what guests can and cannot do within the bounds you set.
    3. Use Essentials Protect to stop creeper explosions on the surface from causing damage. You could set it so that anything below layer 50 or so is fair game. This will help us avoid the “Ypres during WWI” thing that Old Spawn had going on.
    4. Restrict the area of spawn a bit. Don’t let people like me get carried away and build a big ol’ sprawling multilevel city right on top of spawn. This is a Bad Idea ™ and is the reason I’m here now explaining why we need a new server.
    5. Effective transportation options from the get-go. When a new person logs on, I want the entrance to a rail to be one of the first things they see, so they can take it and find some empty land of their own. I’ve seen this effect spring up thanks to my Solar System rail. In fact, “take the Solar System rail” is usually one of the first bits of advice we give new people.

    Anyway, I think now’s the time for serious discussion on this. It’s time to make tough decisions, but remember: a new server is not the end of the world. Rather, it’s the beginning of another. I would particularly like to hear Jon weigh in with his feelings, as the decision ultimately rests with him. However, I am requesting a poll to be taken on the site, regarding people’s preferences: do nothing, move spawn, or make a new map.

    I would prefer a totally new map, but if that’s not an option, moving spawn is a close second. I implore people to listen to me on this this time. This is me imploring. This is my imploring posting. It’s like my regular posting, but I use the word “implore.” See how this works?

    Also, apologies if some of this seems rather over-direct and blunt. It’s quarter to two AM at the time of posting.

    Despite what my username says, I am certifiably flawless.
    Please echo "all complaints and suggestions" > /dev/null.


    I am… tentatively for this at this time. Although I’d argue for everyone getting one World Edit import on a structure of their choosing. However considering the scale of what some of us do (not even counting Kahalis-scale), even this is considerably restrictive considering much more than 100m^3 is a server-crashing nightmare, from what I hear.

    Still, I largely agree – and if it is found to not be feasible at this time, I think it will become even more necessary with each passing major update to Minecraft. The first server lasted, what? a little over a year before we restarted the map to coincide with Minecraft exiting beta? And it’s been over a year since then…

    RE recommendation 1; I could even see starting as small as a 3000m radius, and increase this by… 500m? with each passing update.

    RE recommendation 5; The subway is a little out of sight, out of mind, and by the time the above-ground rails at old spawn got built, many already had their own private lines, the subway was (somewhat) established, and before too long spawn was moved and that line got abandoned. What we probably need is a center hub around 0,0 and bored creative-moders to take the tracks to the map limits in the cardinal directions. Additional benefits of above-ground, no tunneling (and people taking the tracks to find new lands to build in get to see the area before-hand).


    The strain Spawnville places on your computer might not be graphics card related. My GTX 460 handles it without a hitch. Besides, a sizable city near Spawn where one could easily settle and find resources such as tools and food before forging ahead further into the wilderness of the server is exactly what we wanted when we started construction. We then made sure it was also suitably byzantine and garish to properly awe newcomers. Despite it’s labyrinthine scope, I can assure you it is in fact pretty constrained and remains fully functional in what it does. The farms and shops are all easily accessible, which is what’s important. We… might have been a bit overboard trying to turn the place into Minecraft Coruscant, but our heart was in the right place.


    I for one believe a map reset would be a great idea. It would allow for accessible placement of resources that didn’t exist at the current map’s inception, such as jungles and quartz veins. It would also allow for, maybe, a better planned transportation infrastructure from the get go. It would also reinstate the sense of adventure, exploration and discovery that comes with a brand new map. In that last regard, I would even suggest making total map reset into a yearly event.

    I also agree that should such a reset take place, instituting Borderguard to an adequate radius is paramount to proactively safeguard mapping capabilities. There is no reason in hell for any construction to take place 10,000 units from spawn, nor is there any sane reason safe hubris and a total lack in sense of scale to feel justified in isolating oneself so far away “because my mega projects will need all the space, all of it”. Making sure surface Creeper explosions are not an issue would also be a wise decision to preserve both aesthetics and the integrity of surface monuments.

    Yes, a reset entails most of our current creations disappearing. And I would be sad, of course, to see my estate and my sprites disappear. But their memory remains. And a reset means I also get the opportunity to rebuild a new, better castle and brand new stuff in a pristine brand new world. And I’m all for it.

    All the fun parts of life are optional.


    First of all, as Flawed should already know I sort of already talked to Cap about this about 2 months ago. Needless to say, I agree that the server should be reset.

    In terms of other stuff address here. Well…

    Map Size Limit: I *definitely* agree that putting a hard limit on expansion is a good idea. Not only would doing help keep the server at a reasonable size, but it would also let us guarantee that new chunks are *relatively* close at hand by simply increasing the limit slightly whenever it becomes necessary to do so. And as a personal benefit to myself, I would not need to put (literal) hours into vainly trying to get people to move out half-way reasonable distances instead of breaking the map. I mean, I literally could not count the number of times I’ve told people they should NEVER be further away from spawn than 10km as an ABSOLUTE maximum. I think other numbers included 5 (when the server was new), 20 (when someone ALREADY went to around 15) and OH GOD WHY! (When *certain people* decided to build a multi-km large fort 25km from spawn)

    (Re)Install Residence: This is a good idea that should seriously be considered. I would go so far as to say that if you want a city like Spawnville to actually be functional (long term that is), you need something like this.

    Essentials Protect: Creepers are basically THE reason that so many large-scale projects are covered in aesthetically unpleasing lighting solutions. I don’t do it so much because I’m ballsy about it and also in creative mode. I’m also just about the only person on the server willing to leave a large, flat section of a project unlit. By doing this you would still have monsters and creepers could even still do damage, but it would be such that they no longer pose a threat to us builders which would, I think, be very liberating.

    Restrict the area of spawn a bit: As an addendum to this, restrict does not mean stop people from building there. It means tell people to respect the space of the buildings around them (which they should do anyway) and tell big builders like myself to stay at a minimum distance for our big stuff. Really it boils down to an honour thing, but if you threw a few warnings and reminders here and there it would likely stop the problems from reasserting itself.

    Effective transportation options: First of all, I honestly think that a per-requisite to being an Architect should be to build some fracking roads. This is a bit of a tangent here but I have a GRAND total of 2 structures that are not connected *directly* to a transit system. One of them is a dungeon that is supposed to be hard to find, while the other is my current project and so incomplete that I haven’t gotten around to building the road yet. Most people don’t do this. But building those roads does a lot of things. It provides an explicit path for reaching my structures that were built to be seen. It gives me a place to extend the experience of those structures when I decorate those roads with lore and provide a beautiful view on the way to them. It gets people walking into new areas, seeing new sights and maybe finding a good place to build their own thing, which then has a nearby road for easy reach.

    So yes, we should have a transit system, with at least a rudimentary one put in quickly, and it should be above ground because with a subway you lose half the benefits of such a system.

    Addendum: I have 2 further things to add to the above that I think would be very good ideas, whether on the current server or its next iteration.

    First, we should be a LOT more frugal with warp points. These are the biggest excuse for people to fall back on when they decide building 20km from spawn is a good idea. “Well, it’s only 1 warp away!” We do not want this to be the case. What’s more, in having an excess of warp points, it strongly discourages proper exploration. Why would you walk anywhere when you can just warp after all! This is not to say that they have no place. Maybe whoever sets up the transit system can set certain Warp Point Alters, or perhaps you can assign 1 (and *only* one) point to each person with a high-level trade. There are multiple solutions to this problem, but it IS a problem and I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to that.

    Second of all, and this has less to do with Flawed’s stuff specifically and more to do with general quality of life: We should have more OP’d users. Currently we have 5 or 6 OP’d users, most of which have not logged in this year. Even the most active one, Ark, is rarely on for long and when he is he’s often AFK. The server would generally run more smoothly normally if we had 2 or at most 3 relatively active OP’d players. (And that becomes a necessity when Minecraft updates and bukkit goes down.) I understand why you’re not on; you’re busy, life happens, I get it. I even get your reasons for not wanting to OP anyone. But it is a simple fact that we need a little more active administration then we are currently getting and you’re pretty much going to need to accept that that means trusting one or two veteran users with OP powers.

    Also, just to make sure I’m being absolutely clear here, I am NOT saying that I should be OP’d. Frankly, with my current schedule I’m not sure I’d make all that good a choice, and my Minecraft use trends heavily towards a 3 weeks on, 3 weeks off model. But all the same I want you to VERY seriously consider adding some people to the OP parade. Because it’s been pretty empty for a while now.

    Guess who, it's Kaosubaloo!


    I am not nearly as active of a user as the others but I will support a server reset. While I love many of the structures on here(Kaopolis is still one of my favorites) the server is fairly scattered and as someone who spends most of his time near old spawn, a bit messy. I strongly support the Flawedspirits suggestions for the mods. They would serve to prevent a lot of issues.

    I very strongly support the creation of travel infrastructure. When I started playing one of the things I tried to build was a nether travel network, and soon discovered that a lot of players don’t bother to, or don’t know they should sync of nether portals. As a result, there was often a lot of odd or akward portals which would interfere with each other. In addition to a real world rail system a nether network would be awesome. Designating a specific build height for network portals and having someone who’s job it is to link people up might help there.

    Related to the above is server exploration. When I first joined the server and before I was even interested in building things I wanted to explore. All the iterations of the Server of Awesome is full of amazing and cool structures. The spread out nature of the current iteration, and combined with the inability of a new player of using warp points means that a lot of the really cool stuff is extremely difficult to explore. A good travel network will help with that a lot. if warp points are available to new players they will be able to explore notable locations for quick efficient touring of the masterworks.

    Is there any way we could either designate a section of the new map, or perhaps have a special map where some of the cooler works are preserved? I don’t mind losing my stuff, but some of the things players have made are just beautiful and amazing, and it would be cool if they could be conveniently shown off. Saving the old map is nice, but it doesn’t solve any of the exploration issues. I would love to be able to visit some sort of SoA museum. Maybe with sections dedicated to the build-a-thons.

    Personally I love the chaos which is new spawn. you start out in the cool spawn castle, and then you walk into a riot of creativity.

    Steam: Garayur


    I wouldn’t mind starting fresh. I think that a central rail system that goes out to peoples builds is also a good Idea. I also agree that if we do start fresh it would be a great time to look at how the server is administered and see where improvements can be made. As of right now we do have a huge problem with each update completely destroying any sense of order we have on the server since we have little to no recourse against griefers or natural disasters.


    @Garayur RE: Nether Portals

    I agree entirely! And I have personally synched many portals that were out of synch… but it gets real annoying, real fast… so many people make so many bad portals and travel back and forth through unsynched portals making MORE unsynched portals (because why disable ones that lead to the wrong place?!) At some point you don’t know what portals are who’s, despite your best efforts… and then some are too close together… oy.

    Honestly I wish Minecraft would do a better job in the first place – find the correct coords in the nether, create gate within a bubble of netherrack if necessary, and let people figure out how to deal with that rather than ‘try’ to find an ideal nearby location. Because I’d wager only 15% (and I’m being generous) of people who create the gates understand how they work, and are given massive headaches by the other 85%.

    While I’m on this rant… any way to restrict nether portal creation? Would anyone else be onboard with potentially having to answer the calls of those without the privilege of nether portals to create and then synch one for them? Or is this me overreacting?


    Fuck no, seriously. When it comes down to it new stuff can be brought in with World Edit. Biomes can be changed and toolkits can spawn this new stuff. Nothing stops people from asking the Lawmen for items. Nothing stops us from creating a store that one of can refill with the new items. As for the size of the map. Slso another big fuck no. Everyone sits there and goes it’s unmappable. So what. It’s going to become rather congested when we start doing build-a–thons. My build takes up 200 blocks, Sage’s unfinished build takes up almost 1000 blocks in itself. If Spawnville is to much of a pain move spawn, guess what World Edit can do that to. Quit fucking panicking every time there is an update. Hell people called for a restart when jungles where added. You know as far as thinking the server is empty, it’s really not.

    He touched my balls alot.


    That may be you overreacting just a tiny bit. The name of the game here is education. Minecraft has a wonderful wiki, but many seem to forget (or never realize) that it exists. We just need to stress that people trying something new for the first time RTFM.

    I understand your concerns, but relying on WorldEdit to fix this mess isn’t going to work this time. It’s never really worked in the past, come to think of it. And yes I am sure someone could just set up “Crazy Jim’s Quartz Mart” but where’s the fun in that? People should have the right to go find it themselves without expending an inordinate amount of effort. And as for people building structures that can be seen from space were they to be built in real life: to put it bluntly, that is not my fault or problem in any way. People can choose to build at whatever scale they want. I hope they choose a scale that works for everyone, including themselves. And finally, yes, the server is empty. I have a map that, while incomplete, is still a very good representation of the server’s density as a whole to prove my point. And yes, most of it is empty wasteland. As a corollary to that last point: no! I will never stop panicking after an update. Not till I stop having reason to panic.

    Despite what my username says, I am certifiably flawless.
    Please echo "all complaints and suggestions" > /dev/null.


    I understand your map has this perception of empty. But you map doesn’t map underground structures. Also I would rather it be empty then have it get congested. PLus the server being as it is is a perfect example of how the Nerdy Show Community is. look at these forums, no post anymore. It’s very common to see a topic go 2 to 3 days before someone says something. Every now and then we get one that blow up pretty quickly. That’s how the server is. Empty with some builds in some places that get added onto every now and then. Then BAM and major build comes out that takes up hundreds if not a thousand blocks. It’s amazing to look at. When i said rather congested during build-a-thons I meant on a Server with limited build space.

    He touched my balls alot.


    Alright then, my final question, then. What do you think is the point that we could use a new map, then? If it isn’t now, then I cannot possibly fathom when that point is. The server can certainly be marked as “overdue for a reset” by every single metric we’ve based our last server reset on, and that’s the abject, but also objective reality of the situation. And for once, a majority of the server’s active population actually seems to agree with me on this, so never say never.

    Despite what my username says, I am certifiably flawless.
    Please echo "all complaints and suggestions" > /dev/null.


    I for one, am for an eventual reset for the map, I don’t really care if it is right now or sometime in the near future. What I do feel very strongly about is the severe need for a stronger admin presence. The times where we go almost a month without having an admin get on are, quite frankly, unacceptable.
    As for mods like Borderguard, I think it is a good idea, but I feel like it is very restrictive on nether space. If we limit the overworld to 5000 and the nether to 625, there will be almost no space for building in the nether, and the eventual strip mining for quartz and netherrack are not going to make it any better.

    @twothums Honestly, I think a server restart would really help to bolster the community into life. The server restart is what first brought me and several other people to the server and thus the community.


    Do what the fuck you want. We reset the last server because Minecraft was officially released. It went from 0.x to 1.x. If I would ever agree to a server reset it would be when Minecraft is at 2.x. Or a major new realm is added and not a boss fight realm. And don’t give me this boo-hoo this is the only time people agree with me sob story, that’s almost as bad as Kaos having to bring attention to everything he does.

    He touched my balls alot.


    Alright, I have to ask: why are you so upset about this? You’re angry regarding this to the point of being extremely rude and belligerent, in fact. These things happen, and if the community agrees that they have to happen, then they will. The only thing we can do is learn from any mistakes we made, log into a brave new world, and dust off the designs we have floating around for better builds.

    Despite what my username says, I am certifiably flawless.
    Please echo "all complaints and suggestions" > /dev/null.


    @twothums I think we all might appreciate it if you were a little less hostile about all this and talked about it in a calm fashion. And for the record, as you can see in this thread, a lot of people do agree with Flawed.

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