Alright, before I write this I want you guys to know a little about me. I was a moderator on my previous server for well over a year, a server that I enjoyed and cared about quite a bit. It had a great community, great balance of vanilla/mods, and a great map. The server was run just like ours, with a combination of moderators and 3 admins who owned the server. Problem was that all decisions were made by consensus or majority vote. Why is this a problem you might ask? Well, because over time a clique of moderators was formed that no longer supported ideas that would have been for the greater good of the server, instead wanting to have the server be their own private playground and forming their own circlejerk group which would just back each other up regardless of whether they were good ideas or not. This group ended up getting the majority stake on the server vote-wise, meaning their proposals always came through while vetoing good ideas from anyone else. Me and another moderator became the only guys who were honest-to-goodness trying to keep the server alive (out of the moderator team) as our population steadily declined. For example, it took us 4 months to convince the admins that no one should be allowed to use creative-mode. These guys were so furious that anyone would upset their monopoly on their private playground that for 6 months they systematically tried everything to get both myself and the other moderator banned. As much as I liked the owners, they were pretty bad managers and ended up being pressured into first removing us from our staff positions, and 1 week later we were banned. I ended up taking my friends with me to Arcane (circa 15 people), and the server was left with its clique. Three months later that server is now dead because not even the owner enjoys playing with them so he stopped paying for it. That ordeal left a bad taste in my mouth especially since I had an amazing mayan city project going on a perfect extreme savannah hills biome. I decided in the future I would be as little involved as possible with MC servers I joined. It’s why I never applied for staff here, but I like the server a lot and would like to keep it going. However, I give suggestions based on my experience but will not be too invested in them. If they get rejected, then it’s all good.
So why did I just say all this? Because I believe that a democratic approach to running a server can cause these kinds of problems, so ultimately AgentRed and Jugglingman, I think you guys should 100% make the decisions regarding this server, and only use us for advice and feedback. I trust your judgment fully since you’ve so far run an amazing server.
HOWEVER, you need to balance authoritarian rule with the needs and likes of your established community, as you may risk losing them. Especially in a server which hasn’t been around that long. How much you balance the two is
only for you two to decide.
Now, on to the topic at hand, establishing a new spawn out in the new parts of the world is, in my opinion, a poor idea and ultimately unnecessary. What first attracted me to the server was the spawn area (which seriously, we need to come up with a name for it), and how organic and natural it felt. It really gives one the sense of a real survival community as it clearly hasn’t been built in creative, and some very talented builders have worked on it.
Your main argument is that people don’t like coming into established servers. Well tough shit for them, because we are an established server and shouldn’t pretend that we aren’t. We have a great community and some great builders, and it is this that should be our selling point. On my old server, I was by far the best builder, and no one even came close to being on my level. On this server however, I’m just one of many and it’s one of the reasons I love the server. Great builders (or people who want to improve) and great people is what we should be attracting to our server, and they will be more impressed with what we have now than trying to pretend we are a fresh server. Quality over Quantity should be our goal.
We have spent a lot of time building up our current spawn, and that trend should continue. A new spawn out in the wilderness is not only unnecessary, but will make the current spawn town obsolete and be a slap in the face to all the people who tirelessly worked on the nether highway. The nether highway is absolutely fantastic, and should be advertised more. The spawn town should be a living entity which evolves and grows overtime as more people come in. Changing spawn kills that
I still believe that to improve our server, our goal should be to improve the current spawn building (or straight up replace it) and then cleaning up our spawn town (seriously, we need a name!).
I like the simple idea behind our current spawn, but unfortunately it has some serious flaws for our ADD generation. Currently, the signs are diagonal to the player when he/she comes in, which are rather easy to miss. The signs that are there don’t have all the relevant information (mostly because it doesn’t fit), such as the nether highway, our dynmap, and our forum.
My idea is we should replace the current building and built a tall medieval-themed structure. A castle, a palace, a tower, doesn’t matter (we can have a separate thread with ideas). The point is when players first join; they will be in a room with all the relevant info right in their face. The sign walls should include:
• The fact we are 100% vanilla and even the building they are in is also vanilla built
• Basic Rules
• Explanation about the nether highway system, how to get there and where to find the nether map (we should link it on our front page)
• Links to the forum and dynmap.
• Explanation of the greylist system
The building will then allow them to spiral down with maybe some bonus info on the way down (little history of arcane, running contests, whatever else we can think of) and then they will arrive at the bottom. I think we should keep the open plaza theme we have now, just integrate it with the building above. The nether portal that’s right to the left of the plaza should stay in my opinion so people can access the nether highway faster.
If there is a possibility of enabling two spawn points, we should use it, but not how agent says. First spawn point should be when players join for the first time in the info room, and the second should be the default spawn point when people type /spawn, in the current plaza since people use it as a meeting point. Having the meeting point in the initial info area would make trades rather cumbersome.
I also think that players should spawn the first time with some food on them since the nether highway is quite taxing on the hunger bar
As DClem kindly pointed out, our problem is that while our server looks packed and overwhelming when people first join, it really isn’t. Spawn is littered with half-finished buildings and finished ones that are rather ugly and long-abandoned. We need the staff to mark out these buildings and allow all of us to destroy them. Buildings that are abandoned but are well-done builds should be allowed to remain as it gives the town an organic feel (plus they are nice to look at). The cleared areas should be re-assigned to community buildings or have trees replanted in them. People will then be allowed to build their new structures in these areas and use the trees for initial resources. Also claimed plots that have nothing built on them for more than a week should be nullified.
I think we should mark out an area for an “Embassy District”. Basically, it will be an area close to the center of town that will be reserved for the embassies of towns in Arcane. There are quite a few people that have started up open towns in Arcane, myself included. Problem is that besides the forum we have no way of advertising them, and after time they get buried as more topics are started. The embassy district would allow us town-founders to build a building in the theme of our town with some relevant info inside and instructions in how to join and get to our towns. I think it’s a nice way for people to get a feel for the server and easy way for them to find a community to join. I know many players who enjoy building with others and this will be a good tool to bring people together.
In the other thread, Agent mentioned the implementation of the plot and economy system. While I think a proper plot system that’s very subtle should be tried out before we all jump to conclusions, I’m really put off by the idea of an economy with credits. I understand we need a way to buy plots, but an economy without shops is really pointless. Since no one wants the shop mod, then why bother? What we should do instead is be able to buy plots with vanilla resources: Diamonds, Gold, and Iron, with a relevant conversion rate between the three.
If it can be done, we can build an “Arcane Central Bank” where people can go in and buy plots using up natural resources. I think that this might be the best way to include plots as a vanilla-oriented plugin. An economy is just pointless with our current practice. It also allows us to build a cool community bank together
BONUS: More signs around town to navigate it better since it can be pretty overwhelming for a new player. Maybe have a map of the town hanging at random points in the city using the ingame maps and frames (similar to the huge map Theraz has of his place) so people can know where they are at all times.
What we as non-staffers can do to help the community
Recently I did a world tour of the arcane world, and while I saw some amazing biomes and builds, I have to say it left a bad taste in my mouth. I came across two worrying realities during my journey (I promise I’ll post the journey as soon as I can as I have quite a few screenshots to go through).
First, the amount of half finished or abandoned builds (I considered abandoned builds where players had not logged in for more than 6 weeks) I found scattered across the map. I’m not exaggerating when saying it was between 7 or 8 out of 10 builds were like this. Some were taking up some prime real estate which other active people might use more actively. I think we need to discuss the possibility of expanding or spawn clearing policy to the rest of the map. Cool builds should be allowed to persist, but half finished things long abandoned or simple huts should be removed. As a new player, if you enjoy being alone for many miles around there might not be much space available by looking at the map. How does a new player know all his potential neighbors are long gone?
Second, the amount builds and the space they take up that are simply grind farms. I know we are vanilla and people can do what they want, but I was excited to start my journey and see all the builds that dotted the map. Imagine my disappointment to find out that most of the big builds were actually mob grinders or iron farms. I understand that everyone is free to do as they wish, and I’m in no way saying we should ban these kinds of farms. But seriously, we have community farms for this reason, do we honestly all need to spend our time building grinders?
If we want to help arcane keep going and want to contribute as non-staffers, then we should strive to build cool buildings and great towns that are actually aesthetically pleasing. Then we show off those buildings on reddit or the MC forums to advertise arcane and grow our community. Remember you can’t actually post the IP on reddit, but people will PM you asking the IP info. Do you guys remember that 8-ravine system I posted during the summer on reddit? That shit made the front page and we got 20 new hits that day from people wanting to see the server. A few of them stuck around for a while (NYbeast is the first one that comes to mind) after that. Imagine what kind of traction we can get if we show off some of the builds we have from our talented community. Theraz and USMC Blockhead have a really cool compound down south that they work on every day, Khuz & co. have a great castle area being built in the south east, and DClem has made his Taiga Biome a place worth visiting. As a community, if we really want to help, these types of builds is what we should be focusing on, not 27 iron farms around the map.
Addressing Points from Others
Lag Issue: I think one of the main sources of this is the amount of underground farms below spawn. Seeing as most of the people who built them have either moved farther out in the map or are no longer active, we should think about getting rid of them and only keep the community ones. If the amount of open caves in a chunk also contributes to this fact then we should also think about not only getting rid of the farms but also filling them out with dirt/stone
Finding Land: If people are too impatient to use a highway to get to the farther parts of the map then I go back to my original motto: Quality over Quantity.
Events: I agree with DClem, we should be more active with events. I mean, we haven’t even finished the PvP tourney
Staff: Besides the admins we only have about 3 active moderators (Khuz, Simon, and Smith). We need old staffers to come back more or be demoted, while also trying to recruit some new reliable moderators
Teleport: I think if we advertise our nether highway properly there is no need for random teleportation. Another thing that attracted me to this server was the lack of teleportation. Adding random warps will deprive new players from actually knowing the map (which is what makes us love arcane in the first place)
Whitelist: The current greylist system works, although players should spawn with food or else they will starve to death and become frustrated and leave. At least with food they can take a look around while waiting to be greylisted. Whitelist is for servers that have a core community that plays regardless of there being 30 people or no people on. They are private and like it that way, we are an open community so whitelist doesn’t make sense for us
Holy fuck is this long. Sorry about that but I like this server and wanted to give my input