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About buzzie71

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  1. Staff Inactivity Notices

    Likely going to be off the servers from around December 14 onwards; I'm moving and I am not sure when I will have sufficient internet to come back, other than it will be within a month and a half (if I'm lucky I'll be back on the servers within days). I will still have access to Discord and Slack in the meantime.
  2. Unity: The Spleef Diamond Cup - a story serial

    Part 2 is queued for release on http://unityspleef.tumblr.com/. The first segment was posted yesterday at midnight Eastern time, and segments will continue to be posted every other day until December 24. Things get a little more interesting after the League's first win...
  3. Omen

    ... "When the admins are hunted for fungal cows, when the Lever is enshrined and worshiped somehow," ...
  4. Hello again, and welcome to a new story serial! As much as it was fun to explore the history of the Unity universe in Origins and Ancients, a lot hasn't been said about the day-to-day happenings of the world itself. Not everyone is out ushering in a new era of peace, after all, or dealing with the arrival of aliens that threaten to destroy civilization and the world. What does a more typical denizen of this map do during peacetime? What do cities and places look like? What things are there to do on the map? The story of the Spleef Diamond Cup hopefully begins to shed some light on those questions and more, through a story that is more light-hearted than the previous two story serials. Set after the Akro-Megatown War ends at the conclusion of Origins, the story follows a lone builder near the political and geographical heart of the map as he joins a friend and seven others to compete in a spleef tournament, the first to be held in the post-war era. As newbies to the venerated sport, they have a lot to catch up on as well as a lot of obstacles to contend with, not all of them solely from the team they play against. But they are determined to play their hardest, for they are in it to win. You can follow the story on Tumblr at https://unityspleef.tumblr.com/. The first segment of Part 1 of 3, available now, was posted yesterday on October 21; new segments of Part 1 will be posted every other day at midnight EDT until November 16. Additional posts will be made when the other two parts are released. A note to readers, especially newcomers to the universe: the story is set in a Minecraft environment whose mechanics parallel that available in rev 10/11 of PvE (around Minecraft version 1.6) - the days when iron grinders were built with pods of villagers, minecarts didn't stick to each other, horses were bred for their stats, and wings and Mending books and shulker boxes were still largely unknown or undiscovered. It is an old time, admittedly, but hopefully not one that is too alien compared to the present day. Once again, any resemblances to existing Minecraft/PvE counterparts are largely coincidental, though there are a few deliberate nods strewn about. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the ride!
  5. Events on Event

    I'd be interested to see new things happen on the Event server - would just like to bring up that if these are running alongside P and C, they will necessarily compete for players - a low turnout for an event may not be because the event sucks as much as it is because more players find the usual servers more compelling. For some other possibly more preparation-intensive ideas: Huge mazes have been run before - might be fun to try those again? Adventure maps? Something that can support multiple players on it, not all at the same stage in the journey. (Building one ourselves might be fun but preparation is going to be extremely immense and probably slow-going.) For something quicker, perhaps: A playground map like the carnival from the fundraiser? Have it up for a few days, maybe during server downtime? It really does feel like a lively place with a lot of players running around and games happening there. Chaos-type maps like in the ancient days (more so when servers are down rather than when servers are up)? It's heavily PvE-focused but is a cool way to bring the players together I think - possible to visit old maps with it as well.
  6. Old ban appeals and ban appeal publicity

    I would like to echo everything that has been said so far. There is utility in having them in public, not just in gauging the character of banned players (among other considerations already mentioned by other players above), but also additionally serving as a check against unfairness for staff. While I would disagree with the practice of reading appeals for entertainment, I respect the choice to do it, and so long as people in the community are not using appeals to shame players, I am not sure we should consider deriving entertainment from reading appeals to be illegal. In that vein, I'd like to draw attention to a few points, most of which I feel are truisms but could maybe use some repeating: Everyone makes mistakes. There should be no shame in landing in the ban appeals forum. (Denying the accusation without proof or with refuted proof may raise red flags for readers though - more on that below.) Not everyone who is banned for a rule infraction is (IMO) out to intentionally ruin the experience for other players. Trying to make them out to be that way when that is clearly not their driving goal is unproductive for the community. How players deal with bans in their appeal will say as much about them, if not more, than what they did to get there. Personally, I have more respect for players who are willing to admit they did something against the rules than for those who try to hide it. The ban appeal is a window to both the banned player and the banning moderator. Public appeals provide the opportunity to observe the character of both. One will say something about the player in question, and the other will say something about nerd.nu staff and how it operates.
  7. New Plugin Testing on pve-dev

    I've not been significantly invested in rail laying; the last time I laid rail was in rev 19. Some of my testing has been done on my own server rather than on P-dev (more just so I can push carts around; I think in modmode that's disabled). I've tended to be wary of anything not vanilla being introduced to P - but regardless of what features are allowed in the end, one thing I like about the plugin is that it preserves the underlying vanilla minecraft mechanics and expands upon it, instead of rewriting it. Players who are used to the old minecart mechanics (and the speed boost from HyperCarts) will find it (largely) familiar, and then can explore the newer features at their leisure. Certainly everything allows for new possibilities of rail building, and it would be fun to see what players come up with after adding new tools to their disposal. (Sort of wish they were better documented though; it feels like either some of the information is missing or unclear or I'm having to search for it across multiple sources - it might be worth putting together a more consolidated version for players to peruse.) There are some first thoughts I want to point out: I'm worried about 'w' not being able to push a cart - if dismounting a cart on a skyrail is as deadly as mentioned in previous comments, I feel they would quickly become (unreasonable?) player traps if a cart stops in the middle of a skyrail and players can't move the cart while inside. There are ways to encourage prevention of this situation (eg. encourage best-practice building of wider skyrails so they are not just one-wide for the rail), but the advice will be a bit too late if players actually do find themselves stuck on it. Certainly, circulating news that relogging will fix the issue will help allay that, but that is more an administration task than technical - an actual fix I think would be preferable if it can be done. I haven't been able to put mobs in carts - on my test server I couldn't put a villager in a cart (the cart just shoved the villager aside); on P-dev I went to the mobtest area to try to put a sheep in a cart and also failed, even with sheep trapped on the rail and launching a cart at it. I'm not sure how much of an obstacle this would be for players - arguably, for livestock, leads or food are both sufficient for leading mobs. It would be more of a negative impact for players moving villagers, since they won't have another way of doing so (probably would make maintaining a villager market more difficult). Could that be altered? I haven't tried my hand at signs yet other than check out documentation. I'd like to check those out later if I have time, but until then I'll defer to the judgment of others (especially other staff or non-staff who have laid rail before). Personally, I think the vertical carts on ladders is a stretch in terms of Minecraft realism - in my mind it would take a lot of realism bending to have carts roll vertically up ladders for most applications (though admittedly it could make a drop down to bedrock much less lethal if someone tries to drop down without a cart). One place where I think those vertical carts would be really useful without being too realism-breaking would be roller coasters - at the very least, if we ever attempt a fundraiser-style carnival world again, we could have it there. I'm curious to see how NCP reacts to the faster top speed and hilly(?) rails on P - personally, part of the reason I've been less willing to lay rails in 19 was because I found the cart to move somewhat unpredictably whenever it is moving fast and switching between flat and sloped rails (eg. with the launch ramp I built, but also with one half of the rail I laid to Haven - there was a dip in the rail where the cart would bounce back and forth for a bit). Judicious placing of powered rails was able to solve the issue (so the cart is not moving too fast) and artificially lowering the cart's max speed would also prevent the unpredictable cart movements, but both of those in my mind defeat the purpose of raising the maximum cart speed if it is impossible to attain it with the hilly-ish rails I went for. Does the same thing happen with TrainCarts? (Most rails seem to be of the flat variety and I presume the issue doesn't come up for those kinds of rails, so I figure my background is probably not representative of most rail layers.) I really like how the cart still moves forward quite a bit after flying off a precipice. Does the plugin use NMS coding? Part of the reason I ask is to wonder if we might be likely to wait a while for the plugin to update to the next version, which would slow version updating (would it?). The other reason is more out of personal curiosity.
  8. Planned Inactivity

    Most likely away August 18-22. Strange dragons with weird appetites are apparently rare and all the rage these days.
  9. 2017 Fundraiser Feedback

    There are some things that I miss about the old CTF style of fundraiser. Enemies are unpredictable, making strategizing and maneuvering important. There was a clearer quantification of victory. Tech progression was more deterministic and familiar, and smoother. Barrier to entry (of the game type) was not (conceptually) very high, though performance was dependent on opponent preparation as well as their own preparation. The zombie apocalypse gametype replaced some of these gameplay features with its own versions: instead of smart enemies, they are now significantly more numerous. Victory is a more nebulous concept. Tech progression is different. Psychologically the barrier to entry was higher, but performance was more heavily dependent on player preparation and thus almost entirely within player control. One thing I feel hasn't changed is the thrill of playing with and cooperating with others, and in that sense the new game delivers quite well. As well as the delivery of a new challenge in which to surmount. Looking at all the different base designs in the other thread, it was fun to see what other solutions players came up with when faced with the same survival threats. The challenge was mostly what kept me trying again even after stepping out for a break partway through - and in that sense I wish the event went a bit longer so I could flesh out a more effective defense. The carnival is something else - all throughout the fundraiser it felt like the life of the party. Lots happened there, with various events and minigames and things to do, and often times generated a lot of conversation in general chat. It served as a very fun respite to the city world and kept my interest in the fundraiser even when running into difficulty in the city. The world itself was very well built, and really evokes the light-heartedness and liveliness of a real carnival or theme park, (intentionally or not) in stark contrast with the bleak city world. It was a lot of fun just standing in the heart of the carnival with other players and conversation happening all around. I'd probably still prefer CTF, but overall this fundraiser was well put together and I found it to be enjoyable. There are some things about the carnival that I feel could have been better, some of which I'm listing here: Weapon balancing in general. In the early game, even a stone/iron unenchanted sword didn't feel like a great weapon to use. The offensive advantage afforded by guns (pistol/huntsman in particular, OHKO for most zombies with headshot) felt like a huge jump compared to commonly available melee weapons (which took 4-5-ish hits with a stone sword - not too bad in a 1v1, but results in always giving up ground vs. a horde) - the progression of tech didn't feel too smooth. I felt also that rifle bullets were vastly easier to find compared to shotguns and pistols - an over-reliance on guns early on meant that (at least for me) shotgun and pistol bullets were the first to be depleted, and it's hard to put out a lot of damage with a huntsman. (Maybe game progression is meant to be narrower and less like a sandbox?) One thing I do appreciate about swords is that even with guns, they weren't completely useless - I worked out that failing to kill zombies with multiple huntsman headshots meant that using a sword would more expediently dispatch them (probably because of Projectile Protection?). It's nice to have that variety in the zombies. General balancing. In particular, it felt difficult to get a start as a solo player, though this could also be because of higher mob counts and more fragile blocks at the start. (The game is always going to be easier in a team, but I don't feel it should be nearly impossible for solo play unless the goal of gameplay is to force players together.) It also felt odd to have riding on donkeys feel more advantageous compared to being on foot - not only do they eliminate loss of hunger due to movement, they also allow the player to stay mobile even when scoped in with a huntsman rifle, which is not possible on foot, and they are never attacked by zombies - in a sense, donkeys felt somewhat OP compared to being on foot. (Again, this falls more under the shaping of game progression - makes sense if it is meant to be narrowly and clearly defined; not so much for a sandbox.) Mid-game balancing. I think the changes really made the city map more easily survivable (especially the 15-minute break times which opened up more possibilities for good base design), and I think it was a good decision to make. There were a few reasons I disagreed on principle with it, one of which (as ttsci mentioned earlier) is that the game should feel more stable rather than too dynamic. As a player, I'm not too comfortable with the realization that game conditions are always changing, especially unpredictably - it becomes more difficult to establish an optimal defense or a solution to a challenge. It also adds to the claim that the game should have been better set up before the event started, though I figure there are some issues that can't really be identified until there are 60+ players on the server all trying to play the game, so I'm sure some tweaking was unavoidable. The role of the carnival in relation to the main game. In particular, the smite 5 sword afforded by ten completed mazes felt like a pretty huge leg up in terms of melee weapons, since two hits would typically be enough to kill a zombie - which, along with guns, is far easier to manage a horde with than a stone sword. But this requires solving ten mazes in the carnival for an advantageous weapon. (This could also be because I had a donkey and a passable base defense set up by the time I acquired one, and I had a Mending book stored away earlier.) Overall, the combination of the new challenges in the city world and the things to do in the carnival made this fundraiser a fun event to play through. (I would probably still take CTF any day though :P)
  10. Planned Inactivity

    Two to three weeks from now I will be moving - during that time I'm expecting not to be on the servers frequently if at all, though I expect to maintain a presence on, say, Discord.
  11. Rev 20 Mid-Rev Feedback!

    @Barlimore I'd be hard-pressed to find a more practical vanilla-style distribution of portals - the current system I think is fair enough. The reason I brought up the maps in mapworld spawn was that I saw iron frames and thought they were for placing maps like in previous revs - I didn't know that that had changed due to previous grief. It's not a huge issue in my mind (I kept copies of my maps elsewhere); just thought it was odd. I think the community focus in the blog posts as it has been so far is generally pretty spot-on - there's a good mixture of builds, as well as community things auxiliary to but outside the game (eg. guides). I think there could be a stronger focus on the latter category if possible, though that partly depends on if players create that content - but things like that I think help make the community feel more alive.
  12. Rev 20 Mid-Rev Feedback!

    Iron Grinders: If approximation of vanilla is a concern, I'm admittedly not hugely in favor of the direction that iron grinders are going in - after all, iron grinders don't become that much cheaper to build in vanilla as time goes on. A lot of the cost structure feels purely like an exercise in rebalancing the game and an attempt to restrict rate of game progression, instead of an approximation of vanilla, so in those terms it feels more artificial than natural. That aside, it was a neat personal challenge and it did seem to succeed in restricting iron grinder output supply early on in the rev. I gave it a try but gave up after two T1 spawners though O.o felt I was spending too much time mining and less of it building. Nether Portals: There are more Nether portals than usual around, but I think it's a good number given how big the map is, in terms of extending access to the Nether to the entire map. in my gameplay it feels like a good alternative to elytra in terms of speed of travel, though this rev I've also been based close to portals. I still wish for the day when portals are handled closer to the vanilla style (ie. everyone can request and get their own portal), but there are a lot of compelling arguments to how impractical that could be. For now, though, the current system feels fair. The Nether: One thing I am beginning to appreciate is that it is much harder to build a good zombie pigman farm platform in the vanilla Nether, even with access to the rooftop, than it was in the custom Nether. Other than constructing the platform and killing pigmen, I spent a little time collecting quartz ore - it was refreshing to negotiate across a chasm that opened to lava. Map Generation: Relative to old PvE maps, this map was gigantic. Even flights between adjacent portal towns felt like long-distance flying due to the time it took to glide from one to the other. Travel felt more expensive. Exotic terrain and strange ruins are always a welcome sight, even if the map shows imperfections in other ways. It was fun to see them on the map; they looked new and different without seeming too alien to the Minecraft landscape. Ore distributions: This rev I didn't lay rails or maintain a horse, and I switched off to leather and wood equipment from gold the previous rev, so the relative shortage of gold didn't feel that limiting for me actually (plus getting some gold from killing pigmen). The wider spread in ore distribution makes it possible to see ores in caves or abandoned mine shafts far away from 0-11, which is fun to come across too. That said, it felt annoying to search for diamond from branch mining (mainly for the iron grinder), and harder still for emerald - but given the randomness of branch mining, maybe that is the wrong attitude to approach it. MapWorld: The main feedback I'd offer for the mapworld this rev is the ability to place maps in the item frames in the scale model at spawn. Other than that, I quite liked the setup of the mapworld spawn this time around. Miscellaneous: I like the way the blog posts are structured now - the emphasis on updating the community as well as showcasing it fosters a stronger community feel and adds that additional layer of experience to playing on the server. There isn't much I'd change about them. Spawn: Main thing for spawn this rev is that it lags my client a bit when it first renders ._. but otherwise I do like it. Events: I like the Adventurer's Guild - it's good to have quests available whenever players are ready, as well as a central launch point for them. I think it's also good that those are offered along with events that happen at a predetermined time. Also, in terms of seasonal events - I don't think they necessarily need to coincide with or be themed around real world holidays, as long as they are short and announced ahead of time. Closing Thoughts: I don't have much else I want to build for the second half - when I planned for this rev I intentionally went small, thinking I wouldn't spend that much time playing on P this rev. Then I finish my tower in a month, building in my area has more or less ceased, and I find that I have a lot of time on my hands. Probably a good thing, actually. Amazing work on the map this time around; it's been a fun map to explore.
  13. A question about one of the approved mods.

    The impression I got is that Watson was allowed/useful for non-staff primarily for its highlighting - in one of my old spleef videos I explicitly had the word "ready" highlighted from when I was reffing a game. I don't know if the auto-query-region-info-on-identification-with-wood-sword also worked for non-staff (it did for me when I was staff). That being said, I haven't used Watson since the days when only third party versions were available, so I'm not too sure what the state of the mod is now.
  14. Planned Inactivity

    Going to be out of town from the 18th to the 21st. Expecting to still be on the subreddit and forums and maybe discord, but not in-game.
  15. 32ndFlava Notes Appeal

    I would like to point out that I am neither great nor high (in any sense of the second word). But it's a fair request - I've removed mine.