So here are some update on stuff I have been working on:

  1. Nether Portals work again! You should be able as before now to warp to the darklands through portals built in the nether. Yay!
  2. The Aether: I have now removed all lot occupancy from the aether and removed the world. I have however also started to test alternative world generators. I could find only one so far which creates relatively boring floaty islands, on top of that all with “End” biome so only endermen spawn. This is not really what I envisioned so I am looking for alternatives. There are a couple of them out there, mostly still under development. I will let you know once I find something suitable. If we open this world again, I want it to be something really special.

A word about the aether world

So as I reported in the past, I was worried that the aether world is corrupted beyond repair. When I tried to update it with Spigot (the server software we used to run) to 1.16.2, this was confirmed. When I then switched to Paper (another more advanced version of Spigot), it suddenly worked. Now that we have upgraded however, it shows that this was not true. Paper simply ignored some of the errors and other programs (such as the 2D map) still show them.

So I came to the conclusion hat it’s easiest to scrap the aether as announced and look for a replacement as soon as possible.

So, sorry for back-and-forth. I will remove the world in the coming days and then we will see how we can create something new that isn’t broken.

1.16.2 ToDo-list

Here’s the ToDo list of what’s still left to do over the coming days:

  • Fix the minecraft assets so that they support the new blocks in the website shop. Done, except for some images that are also missing from the wiki. Change request to the wiki is submitted, Also done.
  • Fix the discord server plugin from throwing errors. Seems to have fixed itself?
  • We migrated to paper (from spigot) so we need a new mechanism to download the latest versions automatically.
  • I need to merge the EssentialsX config file with the default config of the latest version. Done!
  • Something on the website is very slow, need to investigate where this comes from. Maybe the playerlist in the sidebar. Seems to have fixed itself?
  • Need to fix the 2D map for the empire and city Done!
  • Fix the mouse-over of unenchanted items when depositing/withdrawing done!
  • Fix nether-portals to teleport from the nether to the darklands: This is a confirmed bug so we need to wait until this is fixed. Otherwise I could make a custom warp command that would act like a portal where you would pay for warping from the nether to the darklands at the right location. This should be a last resort however. There is a chance that this might not be fixed in the near future, so let me know in the comments how urgent this issue is.
  • Migrate our permissions plugin from PermissionsEX to LuckPerms.
  • Fix “Not a String” error on the console. Checked with the paper support chat, this seems to be hard to find out where it comes from. So far no reproducible event found. Seems to come from invalid chunks
  • There seems to be an issue with withdrawing items from the inventory, there is a console error “[RemoveItem] Invalid Inventory Slot!”
  • Minecarts do not work in the Flatlands. Done!
  • /who where stopped working Fixed!

1.16.2 upgrade live

I have upgraded the server and on the surface everything is fine. Please try and login and let me know if anything is broken.

There is still a list of things I have to do in the background which should not impact gameplay.

Step 2 of the upgrade: more worlds

I have upgraded the darklands now (took more than 8 hours on my PC at home….) and now I am doing the next “side-worlds”: Aether (yes! I might be able to fix it after all) draftlands, skyblock & the End

So those are now disabled. Feel free to use the server remaining worlds.

Uploading will take a couple of hours, the another couple of hours upgrading and then copying back. I assume to finish it this afternoon (in 6-8 hours ca.).

Stay tuned!

Update preparation started with Darklands

I disconnected the darklands now in order to upgrade it. The transfer to my home PC will take 5-7 hours, then we see how long it will take to upgrade it to 1.16 – and then copy it back to the server, which I think will be a bit faster.

So the darklands won’t be accessible anymore on 1.15. Once it’s updated, I will try to get the server under 1.16 up and running ASAP.

So please stay tuned.

[Update] Transfer finished, upgrading darklands now. Took 25 minutes only to count the chunks (17GB). I hope the upgrade will be done by tomorrow … [/Update]

Update coming soon!

I have now done one full round of testing and everything seems to work fine. So the next steps are:

  • I am now upgrading all the “mint” worlds that we use to reset lots. This will take most of today.
  • I will then stop the server (watch for a blog post) and backup all worlds to my PC at home nad upgrade them as well to 1.16.2. Copying all worlds (including the huge darklands) to my PC and then upgrading it there and copying it back is faster then doing it on the server directly.
  • Along with this process, I will do a check that all our plugins are up to the latest version.
  • Then I will copy all the worlds back to the server and we will try to launch the server with 1.16.2

One option that we have is to instead of shutting the server down for a longer time (likely a whole day or more) is to upgrade world-by-world. This would mean that the server is online most of the time but only with the worlds that are already upgraded. I would start with the server having city, empire and nether online, the rest would then come in as they are upgraded. I prefer this solution as it would take some of the pressure away to get everything done as soon as possible. Specially the huge darklands would take a long time and if we don’t have to wait for this it would be better for everyone.

If the server is online without some worlds it would mean that users who logged off in those worlds would revert to the city spawn. Portals and warps to those worlds would simply fail. There should be no risk of stuff getting lost.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Further 1.16.2 progress

As mentioned earlier, 1.16.2 requires all the save files for worlds to be updated. Given that we have some quite big worlds, this takes a lot of time. It also can fail when small parts of the map become corrupted. Such corruption is the reason we are abandoning the aether.

I am currently doing the following:

  • I am taking a recent backups and make an attempt to upgrade it on my PC at home to 1.16.2 and see where errors pop up. The upgrade console tells me which chunks have unrecoverable errors in them. Normally I have to do this several times since something might not work on the first round but strangely later works fine. This normally takes about a full day.
  • I then go through the logfile and identify where the issue chunks are on the map and if the lot at that location is occupied or not. If it’s empty, I reset the lot on the server and hope this resolves it. I need then to go back to the step above and re-do the whole exercise. If the lot is occupied, I need to check what I can do. So far I did not have this case luckily.
  • If the step above does not resolve the issue, I will need to go back and also re-generate the “mint” world that we use to reset lots and use that to fix this.

So far, I have gone through the process once a couple of days ago. I am right now going through it again. I hope that the problems will all be resolved ASAP. Once this is done we can basically update the server to 1.16.2 since all the plugins seem to be working fine.

1.16.2 progress

I have just now updated our custom plugins to 1.16.2 and also tested all the other plugins that we are currently using and the good news is that they all seem to work with 1.16.2 – at least they start properly without errors.


More news to come.

1.16 upgrade status

Since Mojang is working on a 1.16.2 release (release candidate 2 just dropped yesterday), I have paused any work into the update so we do not want to do the upgrade twice. I would assume that the final release should be out in the coming days (latest in a week) and then observe how the spigot updates come along and make further decisions on the upgrade then.

I hope we can do it before September.

Small 1.16 status update

There are the first beta-versions for 1.16 of plugins out. Given that these plugins do not release a final version yet, I conclude that the 1.16 minecraft version is giving more headaches to developers than previous versions. Previously the jump to final versions happened faster.

Further, looking at the support chat for the incoming spigot version and the issues reported there, I do not think it’s a good idea to update to 1.16 yet. I’ll continue to monitor the progress and try to find the best time to update to 1.6 according to that.

I want to avoid that we either have a massively unstable situation or even worse, have people buildin in 1.16 for a while and then having to reset this progress later.

Thanks for your patience!

1.16.1 upgrade status

Dear all,

as 1.16.x is out now since a couple of days, I just wanted to let you where we are with the upgrade. The primary software that needs to be updated is Spigot. They have released 1.16.1 versions, but I have no idea how stable/reliable those are. They do not really release final products but rather daily updates. The best sign that their current 1.16.x version is stable is when they make it the default version in their updating mechanism. Until then, updating spigot will give you 1.15.2 unless you manually specify otherwise. This is not the case yet.

Next issue is that the way how a world is stored has changed. This means that our 2D and 3D maps will stop working until the people maintaining those software will release 1.16. compatible versions. There might be other plugins that break with 1.16.2, but I am not aware about any issues at the moment.

The change of world storage also means that we need to go through a lengthy upgrading process since all worlds need to be processed for the new format. I will try to do that on my PC at home since it’s faster, but that also means I will have to transfer a couple of Gigabytes of data back and forth, and the server will be down during that time.

So in summary: I do not think we are ready to upgrade just yet. I probably will wait until early next week and then check which plugins released 1.16.x versions and check that everything works before we dive into the actual upgrade. So please be patient and stick to 1.15.2 until we are ready.


Chat software upgrade

I have upgraded several parts of our chat infrastructure today. There is one remaining bug outstanding, which is that when a user chats in the game, the world is not properly displayed to discord users. Right now there is still the placeholder %world% in the chat. I have posted a question with the devs to resolve this and we have to see how and how fast this gets resolved.

[Update] This issue is now resolved [/Update]

This was more of a maintenance update, no special new features are available now.

1.16… coming soon?

Last week Mojang released 2 pre-release versions of 1.16. I would think that we can expect the final version within the next 1-2 weeks and then us upgrading within another week or so… hold on tight, a massive nether update is coming!!!