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Phasing out the Ticket system

We are using a ticket system that is combined between a 3rd party system for wordpress (the website) and a backend for the in-game system that I wrote. The issue is that the website part gets updated often, and each time I can only hope that nothing vital was changed that requires me to re-write the in-game part.

Since I finished the in-game mail system now and since it also has a web-front-end, I will be disabling the ticket system, since it’s essentially the same functionality. I will keep the web functionality for some time to make sure old tickets are being worked on, but the in-game part will be retired first.

Delay in shop re-opening

I was working in the shop finalization for another needed upgrade from item numbers to item names. Unfortunately I am right now over the weekend unexpectedly with other matters so it might take some more time until the shop will get reopened. Sorry for that, I will try to find time ASAP.

Shop & Shop manager status

I have been working again more on the shop & the shop manager. One thing to be done is to convert the shop & the deposit overall from numeric item IDs to item names. The next thing is to finalize the shop manager.

For the transformation to item names, I have just now finished the deposit box. The shop still has to be done and is therefore currently offline. This should not take too long I hope.

Since the shop manager is currently only displaying information (I hope it will be possible to buy & sell stuff there sooner or later), I change things there on-the-go and this means that for some of the items you might get an empty screen or some errors. In that case, just ignore it and wait for it to be fixed, it’s all a part of the process.

Shop re-opened!

The Shop is open again, sorry for the long(-ish) downtime. I hope everything works. If you can help me and test the various functions with small transactions, it would be good.

I have removed various commands such as trends and so on since those will be in the near future on the Shop Manager page.

New Mail Front-end & E-mail Alerts!

I got stuck in the Shop update and needed to do something different for a moment. It’s quite complicated and stretches through the whole code so I had to take a break.

So I upgraded the mail function to UUID and finished the web frontend to get my mind on something else.you can now see all your mails on the website and write new ones, delete, reply etc.

The biggest new function however is that you can now have alerts sent to your email address. If you have those switched on, every new in-game mail will be sent to your email address. You cannot reply through email of course since we do no disclose other user’s emails. But you can click on a link in the notification to see the email on the website and reply there. I wanted to finish that since quite a while and now finally it’s done!

Expect the shop to be finished within tomorrow.

So spigot & bukkit was just shut down…

Bukkit is a server project that converts the vanilla minecraft server into something that can use plugins. It’s the main base for many minecraft serves and for all the plugins we are using. Spigot is a derivative of Bukkit built for higher performance. We used to run Bukkit for a long time and switched to Spigot some months ago since it’s better for lag prevention.

While Bukkit was taken over by Mojang quite some time ago, Spigot was not. Both projects distribute the server code with it. Since Spigot does not have the right to do so, they are violating Minecraft copyright. The worst part of it is that BOTH are distributed as an open source project. And there Minecraft defintely never gave the license to do so. I also assume that since the website Bukkit and it’s plugins are hosted on is a part of the Curse network is another issue, since Curse is making money with ads on the Bukkit pages and therefore essentially profiting from this copyright violation, too.

IANAL (I am not a lawyer) but my take is the following: Bukkit belongs to Mojang. They bought it back in the day when they hired the Bukkit developers. The people who have been distributing Bukkit over the last months however do not work for Mojang. Spigot has been taking that work and distributed it again. With the fact that Mojang included the new EULA since the last version already, and now will start do develop the Bukkit code themselves, they want to stop any further other outside parties to infringe on their rights. They are making a clear cut with version 1.8 and want to take the server software from this version under their own control, and they very much have the right to do so.

The Spigot admins said they want to get a lawyer, but the only thing the lawer will tell them is to shut down their site and be happy they do not get sued for damages.

Personally, I fully support Mojang in this, in the hope that the release of Bukkit for 1.8 – which they said they would make – does not take ages to release.

Why do I support them?

The main reason we have issues to attract users is that other server which charge 160 USD for people to get a userlevel on the server pump that money into marketing, and server lists auction off the top spots on their lists for thousands of USD. It’s money for nothing and an economy built on copyright violations that thrives from teenagers stealign their mom’s credit card in order to boost their egos on servers that host 2000 people – all built on copyright and license violations.

And this is also the main reason why we are behind in donations. Because many people who would be able and willing to give money, rather give it to servers where they can buy themselves whatever their equivalent for Elder level is.

We can continue running 1.7.10 until Bukkit will be released for 1.8. Depending on how long that takes, we can make intermediate decisions. However, there is still a HUGE amount of work to be done from my side to make the server ready for 1.8. For example, the whole lot management still does not run on UUIDs since the Worldguard version that would support this is not released yet.

Settler application limit introduced

There is now a limit of 20 repeats on the quiz-section of the Settler application. After 10 tries the page will notify the user that they will get banned if they try too often, without saying when the ban will actually take place. They are then barred from taking the test again and from entering the server.

I had now a counter running for some time to see how often people fail a certain section of the application process and we had now 100 people start the quiz. 23 of the 100 needed more than the limit and 5 did more than 50 tries. Around 10 tries is the average number of tries people do, but heavily outweighed by the people who do so many tries.

So I think to ban someone after 20 tries is justified, since they obviously did not read the website but just try to click random stuff and brute-force themselves through the application.

Minecraft 1.8 upgrade notice [Update]

Please be aware that we will not be upgrading to minecraft 1.8 until we are ready to do so. You will be only able to connect to our server with MC version 1.7.10. If you upgraded, here is an instruction on how to downgrade. Further questions on the upgrade of our server are answered here.

[Update]I have tested 1.8 now and can confirm that the land generation system in 1.8 is identical to 1.7 (as announced). So there will be no benefit in regenerating the Darklands, and we will keep it as-is.[/Update]

Hunger Games status

Ok, so here is the current situation with the hunger games:

We are now using the same world over and over, but place the game area randomly. The system checks before starting the game where older games were and makes sure not to use the same area twice. We have an area of 360’0000 square kilometers (360’000’000 blocks) and since a game for 2 players only takes 70×70 blocks, it should take a while until we exhausted the space. There is an issue of course were the game might start in an ocean, but you can just stop and start a new one of you don’t like that.

What works and what does not work?

  • User rights: There was an issue where people were not allowed to use the /warp or not being able to build. I could not really identify where this comes from, but I am trying to prevent this from happening. If this still happens to you, please report that (here or in a ticket) along with the number of the game.
  • Being removed from the game: I have seen one occurance where someone has been removed from the game by being bounced back from the game border. Please try this out. I think I can fix that if it is an issue.
  • Trophies: Since we are still testing to make sure it works 100%, there are no trophies or game stats as of now. I will make those available once all the issues are fixed.

So please continue to try it out and report here if anything goes wrong!

Mail deletion fixed!

I discovered that it was impossible to delete mails. Nobody reported that, so it went unnoticed. I just fixed that. Also, I disabled people sending in-game mails to me since I read them to rarely. People should rather send me tickets. I will work on the mail system in the future so people can get notification via email when they get an in-game mail and so that emails can me managed on the website, but until this is the case, it will stay as it is.

New rule on Elder Level

Since being Elder is not only a privilege but also comes with some obligations, I will now start enforcing these obligations.

The issue is that we have people who are proposed for Elder level, and 100% of all active Elders have to vote on them for the vote to be successful. We even send an email to all active Elders to remind them whenever there is a user proposed for Elder status. Unfortunately, some Elders do not want to stop by and Vote. They only show up every two months or so to keep their lots active.

In the future, whenever an Elder fails to vote for a proposed Master within the 2 months of the voting, we will simply reset the lots of the Elder. I will send out a note to the Elders in question to make sure they are aware of this.