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Building Contest!

Hey guys, HadSkills is organizing a building contest!

Theme: Freestyle

Who: Individuals or teams

When: September 20th – October 20th 2017

Where: Your Lot, Any Survival World with lots
(NOT in the Nether, The End, Flatlands, or Draftlands!)


  1. 20k unc & 2 shulker boxes,
  2. 10K unc & 32 Diamond Blocks,
  3. 5k unc & a full suit Thorns III Diamond Armor

You will have 1 month to complete a build of your choice. If you sign up as a team, you will have to settle how to split the prices yourselves.

To sign up, comment below before the 20th of September. If a team signs up, There needs to be one post with the whole team listed, and all team members posting as replies that they agree to be part of that team.

Server moved, what’s next?

The server move is done, everything seems to move fine and the performance improvements are really significant. In the past, the minecraft server was using 100% of the available processor resources even with nobody online, now it does not even use 3%.

So that’s done! What’s next? We have several things I could focus on next:

  • Life insurance: We could have a 1-time insurance where you run a command and it would remember what you were carrying around with you and charges you a fee. When you die, you can use a second command and get back what you lost. Very practical if you die in the End or Aether. The mechanic here is just an example, how it would actually work, when you pay and how much would have to be figured out.
  • Buy lots anywhere: Lots in the empire and all other worlds would be up for sale with incremental prices like for buying homes. Empire lots would be more expensive, flatland lots cheaper for example.
  • Making a concentrated effort to get more players on the server
  • Anything in this list here.
  • Anything else?

Please tell me what has the biggest priority for you personally.

Welcome to the new server! (1st Update)

I have migrated the server to new hardware! The main difference is much higher speed due to a faster processor. But we also upgraded the version of some key backend software packages such as PHP & Java.

So far, the only thing I had issues migrating is Teamspeak. I hope I will be able to fix this soon. If something on the website does not work, please make sure you clear your browser cache and restart your browser. If something still does not work, please let me know ASAP.


Update 1: Teamspeak is back up, the only thing not working right now is the widget on the website showing the channels.

Stop AFK fishing, please!

I am aware that there are 2 users on the server that do some AFK fishing, one a bit and the other one a lot. I am writing this here to let you know that you are doing it, and that I want you to stop it and dump the fish that you got.

The issue is that I “can” prevent it but it would have quite bad consequences for much more people on the server. I can rig the AFK detection to kill on detection, but it does not differentiate between different AFK reasons. So people who travel a lot with boats trigger the AFK detection as well, but I don’t want to kill them for that.

So in other words, I don’t want to see any more fishing AFK alerts anymore. Next time I detect this, the user will be banned.

Damage check please!

Yesterday we had some issue with the server protection. The effect was that the fire spread was enabled and apparently some things got damaged.

I would like everyone to comment if they have major damage and if they want to have their lots reset. It’s easier to do everyone at once instead of following up 1 by 1 over the coming days. There is a risk that your lot was damaged if someone was online near your lot during the following time:

  • yesterday afternoon Hong Kong time
  • yesterday early morning US time (4am-11am)
  • yesterday morning EU time (9am onwards)

Please kindly go and check your lot and leave a comment here if you need a reset to the status before that time.

1.12 is live!

I just upgraded the server to 1.12 and all seems to work fine. I think I added all new blocks to the system so deposit and trading should work fine with the new terracotta and concrete blocks. I also adjusted the system so that blocks that my system cannot handle yet will not be lost anymore, you will get an error but keep them until I added them.

While it sends me reports when an invalid block is found, please also let me know if you find that something does not work as expected.

Happy crafting!

1.12 status

I did some more testing for 1.12 over the weekend and updated a good dozen plugins to the latest version on a test server. It seems that we are able to switch to 1.12 without any issues and all functionalities being ported over without issues. I found one small plugin that we use on the /home command has a small but critical issue and we are working on a new version there as well.

Once we have that, we should be ready to upgrade anytime. So please be a bit more patient.


1.12, first test

I did a preliminary test of spigot 1.12 and found the following plugins broken:

  • Dynmap (our nice 3D map). This is fairly widely used and was last updated this February, I would assume a fix will be available soon.
  • Modifyworld which makes sure that Guests cannot break anything, prevents certain blocks in certain worlds and is a part of the whole Permissions setup on the server. This one is really critical. This one has not been updated since September 2013. There is a fork that has been updated recently, but only the source code. I need the Jar file for that.

1.12 released!

So 1.12 Minecraft and the new version of spigot was released a few hours ago.
That means everything is here to do upgrade testing.TThe actual upgrade might be happening sometime this weekend. I have a very packed day tomorrow and my daughter’s 3rd birthday on Saturday, but is I’ll do my best to find some time to do the upgrade over the weekend – if I don’t run into technical problems. So please be patient!

Forum issues

There is a bug in the forum that caused extremely long loading times. I put a temp fix to this now, so the forum should be working again. I am working with the developer to get a permanent fix.

New Minecraft! New Server! Soon!

New Minecraft:

As you might know, the next version of Minecraft is around the corner and should be released sometime today. I am hoping that we will be able to upgrade ASAP, meaning earliest tomorrow. If there are some crucial plugins failing, we might have to postpone. If some non-crucial plugins fail, we will disable those until they are updated for the latest Minecraft version. The plugin issues we had over the last upgrades were only with the really old plugins we still head, but there should not be many of them still around. So I am quite positive that we will be able to upgrade over the weekend.

New Server:

I went and checked if we can get a better server hardware for the same money, and it turns out that we can get a server that is much faster, has much more HD space (space is always a bit of an issue due to the frequent backups we are making) and a newer operating system – for much less money. The only thing that we are not upgrading is the RAM, but we are not using it 100% anyhow right now. The issue with the current server is that the operating system is basically not upgrade-able. We want to upgrade mainly the Python and most importantly PHP to version 7. PHP 7 is by dimensions faster than the current version and should improve our in-game commands and the website. However, PHP 7 has deprecated some functions and it’s a bit risky to upgrade on the same machine only to see that something broke. Python 2.6 which we are using has reached end-of-life but some core OS features rely on 2.6 until we install a new OS overall. While there are some messy ways to run 2 versions of Python parallel, but if we can do it clean with a new OS it’s a good added benefit with the hardware and PHP upgrade.

So I am taking the opportunity to first get a new server, set that one up and then move all the systems 1 by 1 over from the old one and check if they work well. Like this we don’t have any risks or downtime. The one month overlap in which we run (and pay) 2 servers is not an issue since this type of move will give me much less of a headache to fix things immediately. Further, since the new server is cheaper, there is a good return on investment in doing that upgrade. This server move will not influence the timeline of the above Minecraft upgrade.

I ordered the server already, it should be setup as and ready within the next 24 hours and then I will start to install systems etc. See you on the other side!

Help wanted: Items disappearing after death

Dear all, I have gotten multiple reports now over the last couple of weeks about items disappearing too quickly after someone dies. E.g. someone dies, quickly runs back to the location or even teleports with /home but everything that should be dropped on the floor is gone, even if it took them only seconds. I have done some tests and could not replicate the issue. So I need to have a reliable scenario in which this happens, and it has to be reproducible. There are several factors that can contribute to the issue:

  • Different worlds
  • Close to the spawn or not
  • other people being in the same world or not
  • other people being in the vicinity or not

The most likely scenario for this to happen would be when you are alone in a world like the darklands (not in the empire) and some distance from the darklands spawn.

I need reports from people this happens to and what was your location, was anyone around or not etc. No need to tell me when you actually find your stuff. Please test this with random items such as gravel, no need to use your enchanted diamond pick for this.

Good news everyone! (just some tech background)

Do you remember this post where I asked you to help me?

Thanks a lot for all who helped! I made some big process now in the code and we can now see how this system works. I found it quite interesting how one can interface different systems so I thought I’d share:

So we have this image file in the minecraft wiki. It’s used to create all the icons in the wiki, instead of using individual files. In order to use it. the website needs to know which item is displayed where. So I created a copy of the image where I outlined the coordinates of each item. Then I created an Excel sheet where the same coordinates are listed and I asked all of you to help me fill in the item names. Then I made a second tab in the excel sheet called “output” where I just translated the 2-dimensional table into a 1-dimensional list of items and had it copy all the numbers of the rows & lines next to it.

Next, I found a function for PHP that allows me to download Google sheets to the webserver via the Google API and parse the data. Then I wrote a function to write the data to a file as a PHP array. The file includes the x/y coordinates in the matrix as well as the line in the second tab of the excel sheet, just in case we need to fix something there.

Then there is a new function that translates the 0-40 coordinates to the pixel-coordinates in the actual image and then another one that creates the CSS code for the website to display.

Sounds complicated, right? Well it is, but only once now when I created it. the advantage that we have now is that once there is a new block (1.12 anyone?) we just need to download the latest image from the wiki (which I do automatically daily now), and edit the excel sheet and put in the item name there. The rest is then also fully automated. So I do not have to maintain clunky lists of items that have now grown to almost 4000 lines. Instead we can crowd-source data in an excel sheet!

You can now already see the results. In the website’s shop manager all the blocks are already there. There are some with question mark blocks that are not working yet (but now I can find them easily), but most of them work perfectly.

There are still some things to do such as having the software write a central CSS file instead of creating the CSS on the fly for every item, properly displaying damaged items and stuff like fireworks etc, but that’s now just some legwork since all the technical hurdles are gone. Yay!