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buzzie71

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  1. Staff Inactivity Notices

    Regular visits to the servers have recommenced.
  2. Unity: The Spleef Diamond Cup - a story serial

    Bit late, but the last part, Part 3, is now queued for release on http://unityspleef.tumblr.com/ . The first segment will go out tonight at midnight (I think PST), and segments will be posted every other day at midnight PST(?) (see below) until February 24. Come see the end of the Diamond Cup tournament! Though things don't entirely go as planned... NOTE: I did move a few time zones to the west since I posted the last part, so new segments may go up a few hours later than usual.
  3. Revision 21: Mid-Revision Feedback Topic

    @Sir_Didymus The main confusion I had with the Nether was at first when looking for portals on foot (going to the right spot but finding out the portal was on the other layer). Once the infrastructure was built, that became less worrying since getting to portals became a matter of following the road or riding the rail. If it came down to picking one over the other, I would probably suggest something along the lines of vanilla. One thing I do like about the vanilla Nether that custom doesn’t offer much of is its terrain - it is inherently different from the mostly flat and predictable overworld terrain and in some sense acts as its foil. The custom Nethers seen so far largely mimic overworld terrain (flat), which I think makes the Nether feel a bit more like the overworld rather than a unique dimension. Along those lines, what might also be interesting to see is a custom nether that uses similar treacherous terrain but populates it with more structures and different vegetation, sort of like the current custom Nether. === A pre-built rail station at spawn would be great for travel from spawn - I confess the likelihood I will attempt to connect to it is not high unless I end up building near spawn (I don’t generally invest in laying many hundreds of blocks of rail even if there is a destination that will receive my connection), and its utility to me would be more for travel. That said, moving the rail station at spawn inside the spawn build itself might make it more visible (if it is not already?) Same for the Nether rail station, though as a portal maintainer I found that distance straightforward to lay rail to. === For iron grinders, probably something easier that lowers the barrier to getting a spawner, even if it is a Tier 1 spawner. In retrospect, it makes sense that the spawner costs are so high this rev since they start out at Tier 3 - but I feel that the cost alone is an overestimation of the amount of effort required in vanilla mechanics to build at least an automatic grinder. (This is not counting a simpler manual design of putting villagers near doors and manually dropping lava on the golems that appear.) I like the idea of high-tier iron grinders being obtainable (feasibly) only by a few parties or settlements - it allows them to specialize in one part of the game and be known in the community as iron suppliers for the map, encouraging players to visit certain areas for faster iron acquisition. In that sense, I do like that the cost is not cheap - but I don’t feel that it should be too high that it takes too much effort to obtain alone. (The randomness is not something I really favor either, but making distribution of golem souls completely deterministic probably runs afoul of its own potential problems, eg. it is too easy to farm. Perhaps tweaking the probability at which it drops to reduce the spread of number of ores before one appears? I haven’t thought too much about the probability mechanics at this point.) That being said, I’ve only gotten one golem soul this rev and I hardly consider it surplus - so I don’t have much to offer on alternate uses. Similar drops would be fun to see, but I don’t have much to offer about similar uses there either for similar reasons.
  4. Revision 21: Mid-Revision Feedback Topic

    (note that I’ve been absent from the map for about a month, and I've removed questions that I did not provide an answer to) Expectations I do kind of like it. The rev length is far in the future that knowing the rev ends in six months is not as dissuading as I had thought, and it does give a better sense of time in terms of when to expect the end of the map. (As a former Padmin, this was the kind of thing I had worried about as something that would discourage players from logging in, but I’m happy to see the fear appears so far to be overly exaggerated.) Map Size Living close to a portal evidently makes the 9kx9k map feel small. There isn’t a place I couldn’t reach by using the portal network, perhaps taking rails, and then flying the rest of the way. My viewpoint here is probably going to be biased. It would be interesting to see the effect of a smaller map size - I do not have a strong preference either way (my building footprint isn’t large enough that I expand into contact with others often), but certainly the distance to bridge by rail would decrease if settlements and points of interest were all closer together. Nether I enjoyed the dichotomy that the two-layer Nether presented, though I am not sure if I spent a lot of time in both: most of the time if I’m not on the rails, I’ve been in the upper Nether more than the lower. 2b. I like the Nether spawn rail station. As a portal maintainer, it is a much closer target to lay rail to; as a traveler it really helps to have the station there (though mostly because it is effectively a rail hub now, which makes portal-to-portal travel more or less straightforward). End 2. Could a harder fight be added as an additional possibility rather than an overwrite of the existing End dragon fight? Though a non-vanilla dragon fight sounds like fun, I am not sure the need for it in place of the vanilla fight is great, given that I feel some players still regard the vanilla dragon as too difficult to fight. Mapworld It is useful to me to have mapworld plots retained. Building new mapworld plots felt a bit time-consuming to do, so having plots whose images I want to reuse this rev (or didn’t realize I wanted to until later) are already complete has been really helpful. WorldEdit to me is most useful for quickly changing the background color of a plot. For simpler map art, I think that ability would be useful. (It would naturally be less useful for very detailed pixel art, where use of WorldEdit would probably not be so advantageous.) Spawn 1a. I am moderately surprised that the portal is the source of lag, but if the goal is to move it away, I would also suggest bringing the rail station with it: a highly convenient arrangement in the past was having the spawn portal and rail station next to each other. 4. The distance between my camp and the spawn rail station was prohibitive enough that I didn’t consider laying rail to it (part of this is because I live near a portal and it feels like a faster route to spawn). That being said, in the absence of portals or to avoid traveling out of my way to reach one, it is convenient, though sometimes I forget it is there because it is located east of spawn (could it be moved into the spawn build itself?). Otherwise, I’m impressed with how many connections the station is able to accommodate as well as that it presents a solution to the issues we (again as an ex-Padmin) had of having a rail station at spawn. Features Iron Golem Spawners 1a. Maybe this is just me and being a lazy miner, but as an individual, it felt like an unreasonable time sink to obtain enough golem souls for a grinder (I believe my stats were 1 golem soul from 400 iron mined so far - too few for a spawner, let alone a surplus to use elsewhere). The obvious remedy of course is to keep mining, but given the rarity of golem souls, I projected that I would be spending too much time mining for iron for golem souls for a grinder - it feels like too much of a grind that the ability to make a grinder for myself is effectively out of my reach. (I respect the idea that it should take significant effort to set up a grinder, not everyone who wants a grinder should be able to get one, etc., but it feels a bit disconcerting to come up against a steep wall like this compared to last rev.) Otherwise, the possibility of a soul dropping does make mining for iron more fun and less mundane than previously. Additional Thoughts: One thing that I find odd is that, while there is a push for more rails to be laid and used as an alternative to elytra, there is simultaneously a push to make (AFK) iron harder to obtain. I don’t think the two goals mix very well: if iron takes too much effort to obtain in quantities needed for a well-connected rail network, I would think that would translate into less rail laid; if rail laying is encouraged, it makes sense that iron for rails should be made readily available. The (admittedly somewhat elegant) solution this rev seems to be alts sitting at iron grinders, which I am grateful for (along with Djentle gifting a lot of iron for my own rail laying) - but in their absence, I am hard-pressed to see how both goals could be achieved at the same time, barring the presence of players who enjoy devoting their time completely to mining or laying rails. Custom Spawners 4. I’m not in favor, mostly because I am moderately wary about the turn this will take (similar to how iron golems have been treated since they were made spawner-only mobs), though I haven’t thought about this too deeply myself. Spawners would make spawning deterministic, which would indeed solve the issue of grinder outputs being at the mercy of mob distribution around the map. But I’m more worried about whether the mechanics brought in to replace it will in fact truly approximate vanilla difficulty. On top of that, I’m not entirely impressed with the rationale with which these concerns have arisen. Plugins TrainCarts It is a great plugin - not only in terms of the speed boost (and one that seems robust to a high frequency of twists and turns and dips), but railing with other players as a train makes group travel more entertaining. My experience has been a little rough around the edges - there was one arrangement of carts where I felt like I was going too slowly (maybe chest cart attached to empty cart on powered rails? I think when I added a furnace cart, the train sped up to the usual high speed), and I’ve noticed some of my rails changing orientation sometimes unintentionally, but it has been a good plugin otherwise. Yes.
  5. 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. EDIT: It's looking like I'll be back on the servers in early February.
  6. 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...
  7. Omen

    ... "When the admins are hunted for fungal cows, when the Lever is enshrined and worshiped somehow," ...
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Planned Inactivity

    Most likely away August 18-22. Strange dragons with weird appetites are apparently rare and all the rage these days.
  13. 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)
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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