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Surf’s thoughts on the homes debate

So, just some thoughts. I've heard the discussions, but I think there's some global consequences to think about.

It seems to me that the more/less homes discussion is a consequence of a different discussion...what's really going on here is people want to do more of a local-community-vanilla style build, whereas homes, tp, and excessive use of creative turn the game into a "go off on your own and build creatively" situation. The arguments I've heard for cutting homes down basically boil down to this...

...and that's ok, but I have a concern about that. We never had that as a rule, and to now be like "hey people way out with your own builds, now you can't bounce back to them easily because other people want to play like this" that sucks. Part of the unspoken promise of this server is if you do insane long-term builds, we'll do what we can do to protect them. Playing on a server for 2 months and then having it disappear sucks...we are a 2.5 year old server and that's an implicit promise in our model.

/home is just a way to bounce to a far away location without having to walk...in a way it's no different than /tpa or /tpahere...or /mv_tp or /spawn for that reason. I don't feel that cutting out /home would solve the problems/complaints, and at the same time it would dramatically change the game for people who are just doing their thing. Also, to cut homes out, to actually accomplish anything other than annoy people with a bunch of homes, we have to cut out other commands as well.

There's a compromise in here somewhere though. I understand the need for a more-vanilla, command-less experience. Lots of ideas have been bounced around...second server, with some hack to tie in the chats and stuff? That's 2x the maintenance, 2x the bandwidth, 2x the cost, it's easier to upgrade a vanilla server than a plugin-based server, member changes have to be made 2x...it just sucks. It's a crappy solution, and it'd be a hard fork in the community.

There's been an idea I've floated for a while...I think it's the best compromise, but it's a big ass technical hurdle. How about a vanilla world. While in this world...no commands will work other than /msg and such. You can't /spawn, /home, /tpa, /tpahere, etc. You can't /mv_tp in/out. The only way in or out would be a command block in main world spawn...that would enforce a /clearinventory before sending you, and the only way out without dying would be a command block in vanilla world spawn. There's some shortcomings here...there'd be no working nether/end portals (as is the case with any multiverse world). Also...we'd knock out any Admin commands in this world...just owners for maximum control of grief-fixing and such. (though I don't think we can do a by-world /deop...) I need to do some research, but at the minimum I would like to demo this idea...expect me to build a "vanilla world hub" somewhere in spawn soon to test the command block setup.

There was another idea I had recently and hadn't even talked to Mike about yet...but I haven't thought it all the way through yet. We make a new class of /Member, maybe called /Member_Vanilla, with the reduced permissions set...then members can request to be in one or the other. Basically, you could elect to be in a group of people with more restricted gameplay modes...which kind of locks you to the type of gameplay people are requesting. This then also doesn't bother people (like pwn) that build far and are just keeping to themselves.

Thoughs? Nothing is decided yet.

Homes DIscussion

There has been a discussion about changing the homes system.

I’ve added the poll below so that you may cast your vote about this.

PS, The result of the poll, is up to the owners to decide to implement, or not 😉

[poll id=”21″]

Network Migration COMPLETE

So, after my POST SKYRIM COMA, I finally got around to finishing my network migration. The old setup, if you remember, and the proposed new setup, were documented here. Now, the new state is done and executed HERE:


The important thing is that all cables were custom cut to be optimal length, meaning no link from the server to the gateway is more than 3 feet. Also, EVERY link between the server and the world is gigabit. LAN transfers of backups went from 10MB/s to 20MB/s.

What will this mean? Not much. Maybe if 100 people were on, lag would be cut. This is more just an interest story :D

New Internet

from 10-12 PST on today, 11/28/12, the server will likely be down as my internet is upgraded to business class. Check here for updates; spread the word.

UPDATE: the dude is still working now at about 2PM pst...my ssh connection just died, so I assume we're down?

UPDATE 2: it'll take a bit for the dns to propogate...try the following as the server address:

  • surfrock66.yourhda.com:25565
  • mc.teh3l3m3nts.com:25565

Update 3: Well there's sort of a sucky deal...the new business class device isn't just a modem, it's a modem and a router, a router with an overly simplistic configuration. Allow me to explain via whiteboard pictures:



NEWSFLASH! We got a development build of Bukkit 1.4.2, so if you updated, log into the new server!

Ok! The new server is up and running! We are NOT go-live yet, we need more testing. EVERYTHING ON THE OLD SERVER STAYS THE SAME UNTIL GO-LIVE! I need to know if the new server lags, when it lags, how much tnt blowing up it can survive, etc. I need as many ppl on doing as much as they can at many times. TEMPORARY SERVER ADDRESS: surfrock66.yourhda.com

For that end...it's a backup of our world and you can abuse it however you want. Please though, keep 2 things in mind from me:

  1. This is a test, and the 2 servers will be merged likely next weekend, so don't spend a ton of time getting used to different worlds, we're not splitting the community or anything
  2. I will likely upgrade the test server to 1.4.2 and use a dev bukkit, as a test.
  3. Be careful which server you log in to! Don't log into the real server and blow things up thinking it's this one!
  4. When we go live...I'll update the MOTD with a "NO TNT!" order.

So, few other things/known bugs!

  • There is no dynmap right now, but when I get it set up, the temporary address will be "surfrock66.yourhda.com:50723"
  • The web irc client won't work right now with the new server, but you can connect with another client at address "surfrock66.yourhda.com" at port 50730 to channel #minecraft
  • Stats and blocklogging are dead. We may have an issue...I can't connect to my db but that may be a result of a few things, I'll work on that.

Please report any problems here, I need to know so I can fix before we go live! It's useful info to say "we had an issue with it lagging with 5 people on at XXXYYY time on XXXYYY date!


  1. Repeated and ongoing stress testing of server and network.
  2. DONE: Implement a test upgrade to 1.4.2 on the new server, with a development build of bukkit - On target for Thursday/Friday
  3. 12/12 DONE: Implement a test upgrade of all of our plugins - On target for Thursday/Friday
  4. DONE: Test MySQL connection for BlockLog and BeardStats, which involves taking the old server down temporarily (as we believe it has a lock on writes to the DB). On track for potentially early Saturday morning
  5. DONE: Re-implement changes to the permissions nodes that I have been super delinquent on updating...ideally after all plugins are updated. On track for Friday or Saturday.
  6. DONE: Update Noob World by copying the dome to fresh chunks and implementing spawn protect - On track for anytime after the 1.4.2 dev build and worldedit are ready to go. WHEN TESTING WAS COMPLETE, I ALSO SUCCESSFULLY TESTED THE AUTO-RESET NOOB-WORLD SCRIPT.
  7. ROLLOUT! This involves STOPPING the old server, performing a full backup, restarting the old server (which at this point is griefable), transferring the backups to the new hardware (likely 10GB) which will take hours, then unzipping old files and initiating the new server with a DON'T GRIEF HERE message. Once it's live and connectable, initiate the DNS move so "mc.teh3l3m3nts.com" points to the new server, then wait 24 hours and discontinue the old server. ON TRACK FOR LATE SUNDAY!

TESTING UPDATE 1! As much as it's fun, blowing everything up isn't very scientific. For example...at legion base on the test server, there's a loop of sponge-water-lava-tnt that is just causing death. If someone is at legion base, the world crashes. I'm restoring a backup now. HOWEVER it did inspire me to construct a more controlled test which MadBrains saw...I used worldedit at the cheatarena2 to set off a sphere of tnt at every radius 1-15, and both servers performed about the same in-game. Here's the logs from the tests to see rough timecodes.

Old Server Logs Of The Test:

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New Server Logs Of The Test:

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TESTING UPDATE 2! Plugin testing is underway, and I was tracking it in a comment, but that was dumb. Here's the actual plugin status:

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TESTING UPDATE 3! Major progress tonight. Worked out details of worldguard/worldedit/factions discussion and put it to administrators. Set up the new noob world, created its backup, reconfigured all the multiverse crap. Tested auto-restore script for noob world...works great. Also restored the super-old unused worlds for old times sake. Also sent a message to my host to hopefully work out the mysql problems with blocklog and beardstat. I tested the incremental backup plugins on the new server...working great. Finally, I actually had a real downtime that I was able to test the monitoring scripts I wrote...work like a charm. I would say we are completely ahead of schedule.