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dnynumberone

Bring back the Rev18 iron grinder system

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How about we permit people to set their own boundaries. Don't want iron to be easy? Avoid the iron grinder output chest. After reducing lag and rule breaking behaviour we should do what Minecraft is known for - a wide choice of options. 

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Just want to say that we're not ignoring this thread, we've been discussing it.

 

A lot of the changes we've made this rev, such as the horse leveling and the limited iron spawners, are us experimenting with ways to "lengthen the tech tree" and add a bit more challenge and interest to the server. We're doing these things in response to the feedback we got many times last rev, on the forums and in the meetings, that the game was too easy on P; we didn't just change things up for shits and giggles. 

 

We'll be gathering feedback throughout the rev and can always revert the changes later on, or next rev. 

 

As for "altering vanilla mechanics", for a few changes we've made in recent revs, we didn't have a choice because vanilla mechanics were causing major problems for the servers. The main example of this is iron grinders. The majority of tick/block lag on the servers is caused by entities. Vanilla iron grinders were resulting in LITERALLY THOUSANDS of villagers in grinders and breeders just sitting there doing nothing 24/7. Even worse, many of them were constantly loaded by alt accounts to keep the iron flowing. So we changed those grinders into custom iron golem spawners, which reduced the lag problem considerably. 

 

Another example is elytras. We had to find an alternate way to introduce elytras into the server because the vanilla way alone would not have worked. There would only be 6 elytras on the entire map, so adding in a custom recipe with fairly difficult requirements was a good step, and the vast majority of people I've talked to have said they like it.

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Disclaimer: I'm not an avid miner.  In recent revs I've mainly gone mining to look for diamonds or dirt or gravel or whatever else I need that is down there.  Iron is not usually on my need-to-mine list; I've preferred grinders partly because of the speed and partly because AFK-ing presents an opportunity to do other things in parallel to acquiring iron.

 

To try to respond to the OP and stick to the topic of iron spawners only - what sticks out to me about the iron golem spawners is more philosophical (ie. I disagree with the game philosophy that it represents).  

 

In vanilla mechanics, given time and resources (alternatively, if resources are assumed to be abundant, patience), anyone can build an iron grinder almost anywhere (eg. not underground or underwater unless sunlight were allowed to filter in) and at any rate (subject to render distance as a practical cap on the number of pods that can be built, and thus the rate the grinder can output iron).  This was approximated in the following two revs when golem production by villagers was disabled, replacing the effort in constructing pods and moving/breeding villagers to populate them with effort in amassing other resources to trade for (similar) local automatic iron production.  This rev, automatic iron production only takes place in certain areas of the map at a certain fixed rate - arguably, under vanilla or previous rev mechanics, with enough time and resources it is possible to build a grinder somewhere else that is more efficient (maybe not extremely quickly, but quickly enough).  

 

To me, this represents a spirit contrary to "if you want a grinder that is closer/efficient/yours/other metric of 'better', just build it," which was the (implied?) spirit in all previous revs ever since iron grinders were possible to make - my guess is that most players who frequent grinders for one reason or another are most sensitive to this change.  As someone who frequented grinders myself, this felt like a step backwards from previous spirit in a sense (I would argue even from vanilla, which in my opinion is the choice to build a grinder for iron if desired, not just to only go mining).

 

In that sense I would prefer a return to trading effort for local auto iron generation (there's a pretty clear tech reason for not allowing vanilla iron grinders).  The cost of the replacement system might be problematic (too easy?) - but this is also a server where a wide range of player skills and coordination are represented in the playerbase.  I wouldn't be surprised if some found the cost to be too easy, but I don't think the cost shouldn't be too out of reach of a free agent, even if they are not capable of acquiring the same efficiency of grinder as larger groups.

 

I disagree that this is a flawed system because it favors the towns or well-established, at least more so than usual.  Towns will always have an edge over free agents when it comes to locating things in unexplored territory in the early rev, owing to the greater numbers and thus a greater area searched per unit time (assuming equally effective loadouts, which I am guessing is not too unreasonable in the first few days).  Once iron golem spawners are located, though, since they have identical spawn rates, an independent maintaining/using a grinder can easily leverage it to their own benefit as well as any town with one (possibly better than, on the assumption that town demand for iron is higher than the independent's).  In the sense of using the grinder, at least in this point of the rev, I think the playing field is actually pretty flat among grinder maintainers (I agree that, depending on how the output is allocated, the playing field for grinder maintainers and visitors can be skewed in favor of the former, though I have yet to see an example of this on P).  Certainly it can be argued that the town advantage of numbers will be present in the server events that reward a spawner, though I would submit that the size of this advantage depends on the kind of event, who in town is interested in it, etc.  Experience with Minecraft mechanics and a good resource support base I think present a greater advantage than town status.

 

Note also that I'm mainly discussing this only in the context of automatic iron production and gameplay philosophy, and doesn't take into account the iron that can be found from mining or the practical consequences of finite spawners.  From personal experience I've felt like I hit iron at a faster rate underground in the short stretch between my place and Haven (~600 blocks).  If iron ore is plumped, then it might be possible to still acquire as much iron as previously, except more will need to be sourced from mining; it's simply too early to tell what (quantifiable) effect that might have on gameplay beyond the obvious additional effort required to acquire the iron and initial reactions of reduced grinding capability.  

 

Depending on the number of additional spawners distributed through events and the demand for them, there might be a point on P where everyone who wants one has one (or at the very least is located close enough to one), which would mostly lay to rest the worries of auto iron generation concentrated in the hands of a few - again, too early to tell.

 

Sorry if some of this didn't make sense - spent a while writing this and it ended up being a brain dump more than coherent.

Edited by buzzie71
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Hi all - good discussion here, and a great topic to look at in greater depth. My thoughts, if I may share, but first some definitions:

 

1. Iron Golem Spawner = IGS. This is just the spawner block.

2. Iron Golem Grinder = IGG. This is an apparatus that manipulates either a game mechanic or a server plugin to generate iron independent of direct player interaction.

 

 

Ok that said...

 

Obviously we all know that IGGs can be built in vanilla Minecraft by manipulating how villagers and villages work. This has been a part of the game for long enough that it is an accepted and indeed expected feature. We as a community have decided, some tacitly and some intentionally, that IGGs are something that will exist on this server, whether any given player likes it or not. That should not be something that is discussed. Arguments based on the premise that iron can be acquired just as well by mining are not relevant; mining does not replace what IGGs do, nor do IGGs replace mining. While one may argue that mining is a significant portion of the game and more so than IGGs, neither option should be removed from play. So let's not inflame this discussion with comparisons of mining efficiency, effort vs reward, and e-peen competitions.

 

Then the technical factor comes in and wrecks what would be a naturally self-limiting issue, determined simply by in-game mechanics. Enter the IGS.

 

On the surface, an IGS is a great solution to the technical realities our server faces. The thousands of entities necessary for typical server-wide IGGs in previous revisions were eliminated, the carto map was uncluttered of the myriad cobblestone towers and water pools that floated above beautiful builds below, and an astounding amount of unique and efficient contraptions for manipulating IGSs to create IGGs appeared in both towns and individual builds. There are distinct server benefits from IGSs regardless of your opinion on iron generation. But the question became, what should the requirements for obtaining an IGS be, and how can it be balanced to approximate vanilla conditions?

 

The first attempt at IGS implementation was based on resource gathering, including blocks and mobs. An attempt to replicate the dimensional properties of vanilla IGGs was present as well, as the IGS blocks had to be placed certain distances apart, roughly equivalent to the shapes created by vanilla breeding pods. Lastly, a tier system was incorporated to both provide more playable "content" by granting increasingly powerful IGSs in exchange for extra resources, and to give a sense of gameplay balance as IGGs built by individual and smaller towns were never as productive as the monstrous contraptions built by larger towns and cities. However, players had a few issues with the first generation of IGSs. Some of the resources required were exceedingly rare (emerald ore blocks) and the entire system received mixed reviews from the player base.

 

The second IGS implementation removed the spatial requirement and changed the rate at which IGSs produced golems. Combined with a less robust rail infrastructure than previous revisions due to the advent of the elytra, and the exceeding prevalence of IGGs with the new IGSs, iron was extremely plentiful with the revised second IGS system. So much so that players stopped considering it a scarce resource and started treating it like wood in that it was easily replaceable, renewable, and disposable. Accordingly, another change would be required to reinforce the balance of iron generation that exists in vanilla Minecraft.

 

The third IGS incarnation that we have this revision is an attempt to limit both iron production and IGG creation with the intent of returning scarcity to iron as a resource. To simulate the appreciable effort, planning, and materials required to build a vanilla IGG, it was determined to limit the total number of IGSs available on the map, and to place them distant to each other. Lastly, the acquisition of an IGS relied solely on claiming the block and negotiating territories.

 

 

I think we can all agree that what I've typed above is in general, fact. Sorry about the wall of text, I just felt that a good handful of the comments in this thread were made out of context. Now, my thoughts on this IGSs:

 

 

1. The admins have done a great job attempting to create and manage an unwanted necessity of survival multiplayer Minecraft, including taking under consideration the opinions and experiences of so many differing players and play styles. Sorry, I have to brown nose a bit.

2. The objectives of server administrations should be player satisfaction, player retention/attraction, and fostering the community - not abject alignment with an ideal game state (ie, vanilla). That said, I believe the abilities to create and utilize an IGG are an integral part of this server. ANY decision that the admins make regarding iron generation is going to be met with opposition from some population of the server; not everybody is going to like the changes. This should be obvious, but I think it's always worth stating. Secondly, there's a lot of talk about sticking to, or not sticking to, vanilla Minecraft. While I understand the sentiment of being a vanilla server, the fact is that Nerd.nu is NOT a vanilla server. Putting on the blinders and chanting "vanilla or bust!" is not reasonable nor effective method of determining server policy. Instead, the focus should be goals mentioned above.

3. Current IGS availability does not reward player or community efforts - finding one of the IGS blocks has nothing to do with the resources a player or town gathers, the facilities they build, or the overall level of effort put into gameplay. This has undoubtedly and understandably frustrated many players. And while an argument can be made that big towns had the advantage in that they had more people on the map that could find one of the IGS and claim it, running across the map on day one hardly counts as effort warranting a "free" IGS in my book. This method of IGS creation was ill-considered and poorly executed.

4. Current IGS availability and iron generation have not created new positive gameplay experiences on the server, and have actually been a net negative to creativity and community interaction. There are presumably four IGGs on the map; personally I've only seen one. We lost all of the great IGG designs and unique functions that developed over the previous two revisions. And while I cannot substantiate this claim with any data other than my own experience, it feels like the iron shortage has curtailed the building of rail infrastructure, reducing the interaction between towns and players.

5. Limiting IGS distribution to prizes from events and competitions is unfair to certain groups of players, and discourages projects. Certainly there will be players that can't attend all or even some of the events and competitions that have been alluded to as the source of future IGSs. Either due to time zones, work, personal engagements, or technical difficulties, there are going to be folks that just can't make it online for a shot at getting an IGS. Sure, that might  be alright if the player is part of a larger town or building group, but what about the folks that are out building by themselves that may want an IGS? As far as competitions go, are only players that are good at PvP, Spleef, treasure hunts, and decorating going to be eligible for IGS? I think this plan for distributing new IGSs is distinctly beneficial for frequent and influential players but can easily marginalize new, inexperienced, and busy player.

6. There is an IGS system in place, it can be changed, and we should not be afraid to change it. Sure it might frustrate players that have planned and built with assumptions made because of the IGS system we have right now, but change is an option. Of course, I don't think it should be something that is done lightly or hastily.

7. A change needs to be implemented that allows either resource exchange for an IGS, or allows IGS to be crafted by players, at any reasonable time.

 

 

 

So, that's my conclusion. Sorry for word vomit, it just happened. Again, I'd like to say that our admin team does a great job coming up with novel solutions to the challenges our server faces and I'm exceedingly grateful for what they do. This particular change though, feels very backwards to me, and goes against our stated goals.

 

TL;DR: Current spawner availability is luck based, doesn't reward players/towns for hard work, limits certain types of builds and systems due to artificial iron scarcity, has the potential to marginalize groups of players, discourages community involvement, and lastly - can be and should be changed.

 

 

Love y'all, have a nice day!

~Tooflass

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I hate iron grinders so very much. People say it's a PvE thing to "conquer the environment". It takes less than a day to "conquer the environment" on P, given minecraft's shitty tech tree. With a couple players you can have a 8-12 pod grinder up in a week or two and never have to worry about it again. If you want to never have to worry about resources play creative mode.

 

Do you want to know what people did before iron grinders, villagers, and OP enchantments? They went out and traded for stuff, or asked for help. You know, actually collaborating with people and not pretending it's singleplayer? Some of my fondest memories from my early days of P were carefully monitoring chat, setting up trade deals, and walking half way across the map to see some town I previously had no incentive to go to. With the ever increasing self sufficiency of the average P player, I see it less and less every rev, and towns have become these isolated bubbles that barely talk to each other(which is a huge problem). I was really happy to hear Rose and a few other towns had an iron problem this rev, because there was actually scarcity to overcome, and there was actual discussion of trading which I haven't seen in a long time bar some bulk cobble/dirt trades.
 

The iron golem spawner idea was terrible btw. Classic rich get richer which is even worse than just having normal grinders or the tiered ones of r18. It's a repeat of end of rev r10 Wellspring where they had that ridiculous amount of custom spawners.

 

Seriously, can we just try a rev without iron grinders? We'd be so much better off. I don't care about what's "vanilla" anymore, since clearly we don't actually bother with that these days. Vanilla mechanics can be just as much a detriment to the community as it can be to the server performance. I barely considered iron grinders a vanilla mechanic anyways, since they've always been based on an exploit and the only reason they weren't removed is because /r/minecraft got in a hissy fit over having their easy mode iron removed.

Edited by TheRandomnatrix
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So I'd like to clarify one thing which I think would address parts of buzzie, toothless, and random's arguments - when I am arguing vanilla, I am not arguing for a pure unadulterated vanilla; this obviously wouldn't work for the server.  And, for further clarification, my desire for "vanilla-ish" isn't a desire simply for vanilla's sake, but because I believe it makes the noob-entrance-requirements to the server higher each time a change is made.

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Do you want to know what people did before iron grinders, villagers, and OP enchantments? They went out and traded for stuff, or asked for help. You know, actually collaborating with people and not pretending it's singleplayer?

 

This is an interesting throught, Random.

 

I know I wrote the massive post up above but the more I think about this issue, the more conflicted I am. I think my biggest beef with the current setup was the fact that there are a limited number that you can claim, rather than doing any work. That's just plain lame.

 

 

A rev without any iron grinders could be interesting.

Do you want to know what people did before iron grinders, villagers, and OP enchantments? They went out and traded for stuff, or asked for help. You know, actually collaborating with people and not pretending it's singleplayer?

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"A rev without any iron grinders could be interesting."

 

For certain people, sure.  Certain people.  The broadest range of people?  Questionable.

 

And seriously Random, you're going to resort to "If you want to never have to worry about resources play creative mode"?  You know that's a BS argument, c'mon man...

Edited by dnynumberone

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Do you want to know what people did before iron grinders, villagers, and OP enchantments? They went out and traded for stuff, or asked for help. You know, actually collaborating with people and not pretending it's singleplayer? Some of my fondest memories from my early days of P were carefully monitoring chat, setting up trade deals, and walking half way across the map to see some town I previously had no incentive to go to. With the ever increasing self sufficiency of the average P player, I see it less and less every rev, and towns have become these isolated bubbles that barely talk to each other(which is a huge problem). I was really happy to hear Rose and a few other towns had an iron problem this rev, because there was actually scarcity to overcome, and there was actual discussion of trading which I haven't seen in a long time bar some bulk cobble/dirt trades.

 

The iron golem spawner idea was terrible btw. Classic rich get richer which is even worse than just having normal grinders or the tiered ones of r18. It's a repeat of end of rev r10 Wellspring where they had that ridiculous amount of custom spawners.

 

Seriously, can we just try a rev without iron grinders? We'd be so much better off. I don't care about what's "vanilla" anymore, since clearly we don't actually bother with that these days. Vanilla mechanics can be just as much a detriment to the community as it can be to the server performance. I barely considered iron grinders a vanilla mechanic anyways, since they've always been based on an exploit and the only reason they weren't removed is because /r/minecraft got in a hissy fit over having their easy mode iron removed.

 

The trading I remember was for good diamond tools. Back when an enchantment took up all 30 levels and you had no idea of even one of the enchantments you'd get. That ended with those two things changing, plus most of all villager trading. I think villager trading affected player trading more than the other things put together. I don't know if villagers are OP but I want to be very wary of changing them. Personally I don't use them, I prefer the risk of enchanting picks and books, fishing up books and combining. I don't feel like the game is damaged by other people's vocal choice to go to villagers for their tools. Even people in my town have access to the trades, I've passed by the villagers and not felt tempted or disrupted in the way I want to play.

 

Wellspring had an iron golem spawner that no-one AFKd at, a witch spawner that wasn't even made into a grinder for half the rev and a creeper spawner claimed by a local village of friends. We didn't have excess iron after the usual sorts of projects of the time like CART point to point rails.

 

How many golem spawners were there by the end of last rev? Adjusting for tier levels is it roughly 100x the 4 tier 3 spawners we have now? We might be trying a rev now with 99% less spawners and its not going well. The last 1% sounds to me like a identical experience for all practical purposes, what else matters?

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And now we're diverging even further into the topic of the IGS themselves -

 

So um, to help clarify arguments from this point forth maybe someone could make 3 new threads, or some easy way to tag replies - 

 

1) [TRS] This rev Specific - I still think iron golem spawners should be added immediately (to the same # as ~~elder~~ guardian temples at very least)

 

2) [RIG] Rev In General - some debate is going about that.

 

3) [iGS] Iron Golem Spawners - specifically?

 

Herding cats, I tells ya...

 

So 

 

TRS - still want more spawners added, tho probly too late now. Mighta been neat for new players to find.  Too late for that.  I guess more will come eventually, but by then, the only people who will win/receive them will be the same old same old.  

 

RIG - I could write for days.  I'll pass for now other than reiterating - the more specialized we are, the less open to new players we are.  And perhaps the past few revs have been too heavily focused on community feedback, which by its very nature precludes new users from participating in.  So maybe "new user perspective" could be given more attention.

 

IGS - I think a combination of last rev and this rev could maybe be okay, even when not vanilla?  Give them the same frequency/distribution pattern as guardian temples, and roughly the resources to develop.  Guardian temples are huge pains in the asses to make vanilla forms of, just like iron grinders before.  The TRS version of spawners being found could possibly work in future revs.

Edited by dnynumberone

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While I affiliate with towns (this rev Pico and Whiteoak), I've primarily been a solo/small group builder so I speak from that perspective.

 

[TRS] While I agree that the tech tree needs to be expanded and lengthened, I hate the limited iron spawners. I study full time plus I am a parent and while I do spend a lot of time in game, I feel as if I have to stay and play longer to resource-gather to be able to progress evenly with the rest of the community. 

 

[RIG] There are plenty of alternate techniques to iron in builds already (ice/water flows, glass elevators etc) and ways to get around (ice/boats compared to rails) but one thing that cannot be combated is latency of international players. It's a thing, it will always be a thing. 

 

While I love jetting around on my boat on ice, ~100 blocks I start lagging and my screen starts spazzing out. My horse can't be above a certain speed or I travel faster than the chunks can load and my screen starts spazzing out. Rails have always proven efficient for me, but since the plugin updates that increase the speed of rails either the builder doesn't account for players setting the speed slower, or I don't adjust my speed and, you got it, my screen spazzes out.

 

And while I know this isn't an issue for the wider community, it sometimes crosses my mind that when implementing these changes the staff sometimes overlook the fact that we have international players on potatoes that need to be taken into account as well.

 

I actually miss the trade plugins from Survival and I think something similar should be implemented for P. I'm picturing something like an auction house where Players A, B and C put up items they want to sell and Players D, E and F have the option of searching for that item and what the selling players are willing to trade for it. The option for a quick sell is still there in global or the trade clanchat, but this option is there for players who don't mind waiting for the sale or players who play when the larger community isn't on due to timezones who want the opportunity for trade.

 

I HATE the prizes for timed events. Things like padmin hunts, parkour, resource gathering etc are stacked heavily towards players who are on constantly. Others have addressed it more succinctly so I won't elaborate, just adding in my agreement. Adventurer's Guild is a good idea. ToS was fun to work with others to figure things out. 

 

Showerthought: Implementing personal levelling to unlock the tech tree. Can't craft iron items until level 5, gold level 10, enchant table level 15, diamond level 20 etc. Obviously for this to be considered it needs to be thoroughly thought out, written, balanced and tested before it goes live. The numbers I have stated are quick examples.

 

[iGS] I actually suggested the spawners a few revs ago during a community meeting when entity lag was brought up. I'm 100% for them as an alternative to vanilla iron golem spawners but they have to be balanced correctly. What we had last rev was good, but needed to be worked on. The larger cities could tier theirs up as a group while solo/small builders could still have one at their base and travel elsewhere for bigger amounts. The system that was in place should have stayed the same, what needed to change was the higher-level tiers being nerfed or even limit the amount of spawners in a chunk radius.

 

[Other random thoughts] I agree on what dny said about the community's voice being too big of an influence on server direction. There is nothing wrong with hearing the pulse of the community, what ruins it is when the community is the one directing the flow. That happened on Survival towards the end which resulted in no vision for the direction of the server or community. Instead of floundering around and asking the community, "well what would *you* do then?" the padmin and head admins need to sit down and knut out a short, medium and long-term goal and vision for the servers. PvE is nerd's flagship server, it's generally what people first see and join in on when they find us. The impression given at the moment is far away from the impression I first got when I joined rev 12.

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[TRS] Just to say, i'm all here for the idea behind getting folks to stay on the server longer and not quit as soon as they're done with their initial build. I'm not a fan of the limited spawners though. I'm not personally affected by them one way or another (I rather enjoy mining), but I don't think they add very much to the revision when there's only four of them. However, I do think that if there are to be more of them, then the way you obtain them should be a bit more diverse. I do think it's a nice idea that additional spawners are won via events, it's tricky to find a fair way of doling them out, but all of the PvE admins are American. I don't think there's anything wrong with this, and i'd never ask any of them to carry out events outwith their timezone because that would be absolutely daft (and pretty selfish!) - but it does mean that a good chunk of people are going to miss out on that chance to get one.

 

I'm presuming the end goal isn't to have very many iron golem spawners on the server anyway, as the only event i've seen so far where you can win an iron golem spawner is the Holiday Hullaboo one coming up (which is fab, because you can carry it out in your own time!), but the winner isn't going to be decided until the new year (two months after the rev start).

 

[iGS] Thought last rev's setup was fab, didn't interact with them much myself so if people think they needed nerfing i'd happily go along with that.

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Guest Former Staff

Quotes:

[iGS] What we had last rev was good, but needed to be worked on. The larger cities could tier theirs up as a group while solo/small builders could still have one at their base and travel elsewhere for bigger amounts. The system that was in place should have stayed the same, what needed to change was the higher-level tiers being nerfed or even limit the amount of spawners in a chunk radius.

 

 

[iGS] Thought last rev's setup was fab, didn't interact with them much myself so if people think they needed nerfing i'd happily go along with that.

 

 

IGS - I think a combination of last rev and this rev could maybe be okay, even when not vanilla?  Give them the same frequency/distribution pattern as guardian temples, and roughly the resources to develop.  Guardian temples are huge pains in the asses to make vanilla forms of, just like iron grinders before.  The TRS version of spawners being found could possibly work in future revs.

 

 

TL;DR: Current spawner availability is luck based, doesn't reward players/towns for hard work, limits certain types of builds and systems due to artificial iron scarcity, has the potential to marginalize groups of players, discourages community involvement, and lastly - can be and should be changed.

 

 

Disclaimer: I'm not an avid miner.  In recent revs I've mainly gone mining to look for diamonds or dirt or gravel or whatever else I need that is down there.  Iron is not usually on my need-to-mine list; I've preferred grinders partly because of the speed and partly because AFK-ing presents an opportunity to do other things in parallel to acquiring iron.

 

In that sense I would prefer a return to trading effort for local auto iron generation (there's a pretty clear tech reason for not allowing vanilla iron grinders).  The cost of the replacement system might be problematic (too easy?) - but this is also a server where a wide range of player skills and coordination are represented in the playerbase.  I wouldn't be surprised if some found the cost to be too easy, but I don't think the cost shouldn't be too out of reach of a free agent, even if they are not capable of acquiring the same efficiency of grinder as larger groups.

 

 

A lot of the changes we've made this rev, such as the horse leveling and the limited iron spawners, are us experimenting with ways to "lengthen the tech tree" and add a bit more challenge and interest to the server. We're doing these things in response to the feedback we got many times last rev, on the forums and in the meetings, that the game was too easy on P; we didn't just change things up for shits and giggles.

 

 

I don't think we should be pointing to "go mining" and using that as the shining example of a vanilla experience - I recently started a vanilla server for my son and the first thing we did after finding a vanilla village was build an old school vanilla iron grinder.. it's not huge, just one pod - but was doable for the two of us .. if we want to get rid of the custom spawners, then great, half the time they seem to be discovered by people who don't want to share anyway, but then we need to bring back some sort of method to enable the vanilla creation of iron grinders for those who want to automate things and concentrate on creating and not just spend all the time we have mining ..

 

 

I didn't like how we handled iron golem spawners last rev; it was too easy. This rev there has been an understandable step back, and it is in essence more vanilla, but I still prefer the grandiose vanilla method of spawning iron golems. We got rid of them then due to hundreds of idle villagers, and I think we could have probably done a better job with the "replacement".

 

 

 

They just replace some more interesting part of the game with standing around AFK for free stuff. To the extent that we make some part of the game easy to beat, we make it boring.

 

Examples of spawners that suck:

  • Iron spawners replace mining and exploration, to the detriment of the game. Iron should not be so absurdly cheap to get that people make huge ugly buildings out of it.

 

 

The new golem spawner thing is a good idea, but flawed. Right now, for the most part, they're just kinda helping the rich get richer, instead of being a community resource.

 

This rev has had a lot of experiments performed on it.  And I am loving a lot of things about that.  But I believe this golem spawner thing requires some tweaking, much like the horses required some as well.

 


 

I have cherry picked a lot of comments here to get a wide spectrum of opinions and interesting perspectives, some of which appear to be in agreement with one another.

 

First and foremost, I am glad to see the changes being attempted this revision with iron spawners. It may not be working perfectly and there may still need to be details ironed out (pardon the pun) but I am glad that P admins have been proactive in trying to address the problem that we did face last revision where iron was far too plentiful.

 

My personal opinion is that I would be happy to not see custom spawners, I do think iron is plentiful enough underground and this is a game called Minecraft.That said, it's clear from people on the server who raise opinions or even those who have gone into more depth here that my personal opinion doesn't represent everyone.

 

One suggestion that has come back a few times in the quotes above has been to return to the revision 18 premise where iron golem spawners can be obtained by anyone who puts in the effort but to increase the cost of the spawners somewhat. For future revisions I think this could be considered as this would mean that both towns and individuals who put the effort in can acquire an iron golem spawner.

 

To address the issue of iron being devalued and becoming too plentiful, I would suggest two changes:

  1. Prevent everyone from obtaining iron golem spawners for a set duration at the start of the revision, say 1 month (throwing an example out there, it could be a shorter or longer timeframe). During this timeframe, people could gather iron the old-fashioned way but also start collecting the resources needed to /modreq for iron golem spawners so that when the month or so is over, then people can start using them. This would delay mass amounts of iron becoming available.
  2. Changing the resource requirements for the tiers of golem spawner would be needed. I feel that this is important in the spirit of allowing anyone who wants an iron spawner to obtain one provided they put in the effort, regardless of whether they have the manpower of a town or not. The balance I propose would be to allow people to obtain tier one spawners with a reasonable effort but that further tier levels would scale far higher than on the previous revision.
    1. The previous system looked like this. How about an upgrade tier that looks a little like this instead?
      1. My thought process on the proposal would be to have a scaling difficulty increase where the green tiers are more accessible for people without a town but only the towns may reach the red tiers. It would help to address the issue of diamonds becoming redundant once mending is applied to the perfect equipment.

My ideas could probably do with more balancing and tweaking. While this is a proposed consideration for the P admins and community to debate over, I do think this could be implemented this revision too assuming all parties are happy with a final version of the idea. Regardless of whether it is used or not, maybe someone will come up with something better. :-)

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Having been playing on P since Rev 1, I like randoms point of people trading and bartering and asking for help with gathering materials and getting jobs done. That being said, I also understand that almost 20 revs since, players have become very efficient and right off the gate, after all the portals have been found in a day and a preliminary map posted a few days before the livemap is posted, means that perhaps the bartering is gone.

 

However, I stand by not allowing any iron grinders. Now with the server with as complex infrastructure as it has now, I do not believe that's possible to execute. The only alternative that I think makes sense is to go back to last rev and allow anyone to have access to a grinder. Maybe not allow them to be upgraded to insane outputs, but everyone deserves a chance. I also agree that prizes from events are a terrible idea.

Edited by nolanater5711
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Barliamore is right with the price increases, however that will cause too much dependence on wither skeleton farms, either frustration from the people competing to use the farm or from observers seeing that it was made too easy. 

 

Here's the best list of non-renewable items I could find, take off netherbrick, podzol and packed ice. http://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/260084/what-resources-are-technically-finite-in-minecraft Wither skeleton and dragon heads are some of the most difficult to get but access to them doesn't scale well. Either its farmed or cramped.

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The impression given at the moment is far away from the impression I first got when I joined rev 12.

 

You put this in a way I couldn't, but yeah I think that's how I feel.  I am curious, joining this server now, at the level of knowledge that I had when I first joined way back when?  I'm pretty sure I would have found this current rev a bit overwhelming (especially when turkey blazes are thrown in...)

Edited by dnynumberone
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To address the issue of iron being devalued and becoming too plentiful, I would suggest two changes:

  1. Prevent ...
  2. Changing..

 

(Overall) - as a vanilla-ish advocate, I do think last rev was a good balance. In a way, last rev's IGSes were keeping with the vanilla concept and were almost like carbon/carts/etc, in that even a lone person could do it on their own, even if resource-intensive. 

 

1. (Prevent etc.) - I could see a timed duration being a good thing to start, as un-vanilla as it is.  Encourages initial cooperation amongst town members and solo people can still collect plenty on their own.  Off-hand, for the idea.

 

2. (Changing etc.) - I still think this and other mechanics (horses, villagers) could be dealt with better by just being more strict with vanilla mechanics/enforcement. If vanilla iron golem spawners were limited to 4 spawn pads per town, and horses were limited to 20 per person (no +addowner'ing to give a breeder more), maybe a max of 50 villagers in a 100 block radius...?  Seems we could go back to a lot of vanilla stuff.  I'm not privy to server specs but the last few launches have gone admirably, so couldn't a lot of this stuff just be limited and not completely changed?  (Stricter vanilla creates a lot of difficulties with a lot of these projects, and people seem to prefer things be more difficult.)

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Do you want to know what people did before iron grinders, villagers, and OP enchantments? They went out and traded for stuff, or asked for help. You know, actually collaborating with people and not pretending it's singleplayer? Some of my fondest memories from my early days of P were carefully monitoring chat, setting up trade deals, and walking half way across the map to see some town I previously had no incentive to go to. With the ever increasing self sufficiency of the average P player, I see it less and less every rev, and towns have become these isolated bubbles that barely talk to each other(which is a huge problem). I was really happy to hear Rose and a few other towns had an iron problem this rev, because there was actually scarcity to overcome, and there was actual discussion of trading which I haven't seen in a long time bar some bulk cobble/dirt trades.

 

I expressed these exact sentiments in the other thread on smelting armour. And I also expressed the opinion that we should do what makes a good game and not care so much about what Mojang tolerates in the game. As you point out:

 

the only reason they weren't removed is because /r/minecraft got in a hissy fit over having their easy mode iron removed.

 

Compare my remarks here, as well as those of jeb_ and Dinnerbone.

 

In that linked comment I also provided some stats on how we're doing with iron production, mostly by mining. I assumed that the iron spawners are producing negligible amounts of iron in my analysis. Here are the highlights, copied from the other thread:

  • There have been 902 unique logins to PvE so far this rev (determined by checking the playerdata directory). The rest of the figures I list were determined through LogBlock queries.
  • In my figures below, I have had to guesstimate how much iron armour and tools people use. We don't currently have the tools to traul through all those inventories. If all 902 unique logins have created 2 suits of armour, 2 picks, one axe, one shovel, one sword and one pair of shears, they would have used 62 iron each just on tools and armour, or 55924 ingots. That's probably a gross over-estimation. Probably half didn't stay long enough to play. And a lot of them moved on to diamond armour before needing a second suit of iron.
  • I considered total iron ore mined, nett iron blocks placed, total anvils placed (all anvils were assumed to be destroyed by use, rather than picked up and moved), nett rails, nett iron bars, nett hoppers, nett iron trapdoors, nett cauldrons and nett iron doors.
  • I considered LogBlock totals from all three worlds.
  • In total, PvE has mined 308288 iron ore this rev.
  • PvE has placed iron blocks, anvils, rails, bars hoppers, doors, trapdoors, and cauldrons amounting to 133770 ingots.
  • PVE players are estimated to have consumed 55924 ingots of iron in tools and armour.
  • That leaves 118594 iron ingots in chests or inventories. That is the equivalent of:
    • 13177 iron blocks
    • 80 beacon bases
    • 23718 hoppers.... half that number would absolutely cripple the tick rate.
    • 316250 rails, or 13 times around the map border

We are about 5 weeks into the rev or 25%. If we continue to acquire iron at this rate, all of these numbers quadruple by the end of the rev without changing anything.

Of course, production will trail off as player numbers fall, but the falling numbers are part of the problem we're trying to address.

There is already more than enough iron to go around. There are 13,000 iron blocks mouldering in personal chests. Why aren't they being traded? Would a trade plugin help or would someone have a meltdown and ragequit if it were added? (And then delete all the incriminating forum comments?)

 

The other linked discussions include some ideas about game balance which are applicable to automation. One thing I want to particularly highlight (and this is Dinnerbone's stance on XP too) is that there should be no obvious single solution - no clear winner, because that reduces everyones options to just that. The way that you do that is by tuning the grinder output so that it is not too much faster than what you could do by the other ways (i.e. mining). In addition to that, building automation should not be an instant payoff. The material cost should put you behind the plodders who are mining the old fashioned way, and then after a well tuned period of grinding you should first break even and then you can start to gain iron at a faster rate than mining alone.

 

So to implement a well tuned automation mechanic for iron we need to:

  • Establish a performance baseline for iron production by regular mining. e.g. 4 stacks per hour or whatever it is.
  • Determine how much faster we want the iron grinder to be, e.g. 10%. Not double, not ten times. Not triple digit percentages.
  • One thing to consider: should it even be faster? The grinder frees up your time to do other things. Perhaps low tier iron grinders should be tuned to perform at some fraction of the rate of a competent miner. There are plenty of alt accounts. Keeping a grinder constantly producing 24 hours a day is not difficult. But actively playing the game 24 hours a day as a human being is impossible. So imagine a player who plays 3 hours a day, but grinds with his alt 24 hours a day. If that grinder produces the same amount of iron as one hour of mining, that player has improved his efficiency by 33%. That's pretty good. An extra hour of "free" play time per day when you can do something other than going mining.
  • Adjust the rate of the production of the spawners to match. That needs to take L3 into account. It's not hard to tape down the left mouse button on that AFK alt. Alternatively, disable L3 on iron golems by plugin.
  • Determine how long it would take to pay off a grinder that produced iron at that rate, e.g. a few weeks, because afk'ing in the grinder isn't a challenge at all.
  • And here's the special sauce: set the material cost of the iron grinder to be that many weeks worth of iron ore at the grinder's rate.

So in order to replace mining, you need X weeks of mining output at the grinder's rate. Your grinder won't break even on its initial material setup cost (measured in iron ore or iron ingots) until that many weeks of constant use have elapsed.

 

EDIT: Someone pointed out to me that favouring players with alts is discriminatory, and I agree (although wherever Minecraft allows AFKing that is always a possibility). If we're trying to replace a laggy vanilla mechanism that is AFK capable then we need to calculate output on the assumption that the mechanism will be active 24 hours a day, because people will do it, however, if we can come up with a mechanism that that doesn't require alts but just produces items at a set rate per day, that is non-discriminatory. Hey, here's your daily chest of free stuff because you're awesome! #purevanilla

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/r/IDidTheMonsterMath

 

And I suspect that people would not like the answer if they really bothered to do the math. It would show up how absurdly unbalanced iron grinders are. The ones we currently have on PvE reputedly output 1.5 stacks of ingots in 2 hours, or 18 stacks per day.

 

The balance proposal above is for if you really, absolutely have to keep iron grinders. But I still agree with TheRandomnatrix and, hey... Mojang, that AFKing for stuff breaks game balance. My counter proposal would be that we allow players to create a better smelter, like FactoryMod, where smelting iron ore gives you more than one iron ingot per ore. And that it would be tuned with a setup cost as per my proposal above (something that plugin already does). And that it could be upgraded (again, something that plugin already does). But I fully expect that the reply will be along the lines of "but we must be vanilla at all costs".

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It might be that one hour I want 1.5 stacks of iron. Next hour someone else might want that. An hour I've built 256m of an overground rail line and I need more iron. I like the answer of exactly how much iron they make.

 

edit: Well obviously I'm hogging the output here in this example. I don't build 256m of overground rail line every hour forever.

Edited by tobylane

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It might be that one hour I want 1.5 stacks of iron. Next hour someone else might want that. An hour I've built 256m of an overground rail line and I need more iron. I like the answer of exactly how much iron they make.

 

That's all well and good if you're the only one going to the grinder and wanting that 1.5 stacks of iron, but what if 10 other people are journeying there at the same cycle? 

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As of Rev19, we can no longer create iron farms at all. I was ambivalent towards this change at first, since I normally don't place a huge emphasis on iron grinder use, but I'm now convinced that having only 4, very slow spawners on the map is a terrible idea. The nice thing about iron farms is that, because anyone can make one, you'll find them just about everywhere. This means that UMC will likely have a grinder, and, thus, provide a useful source of iron at spawn. This comes in handy for anyone who needs a minecart, or some cheap gear, or anything else iron is used for. Now, we've got four of these bullshit little grinders that don't seem to be upgradeable, and are located at the worst spots for use by anyone at or near the center of the map. One thing that I like about this server is that it tries to preserve the wealth of options that vanilla MC gives players for gathering resources. If I start up a survival world, am I limited to a few iron golem spawners? No! I can make a golem farm myself. On the server, I've got no problem with replacing villager-based farms with actual spawners, to decrease lag, because spawners allow players to gather iron in a way that appeals to them. Now, players are limited to mining, or AFKing for hours at one of the four -remade spawners, which are so slow as to be useless.

 

This change regarding spawners has had several deleterious effects. Rails have become less important as a method of travel, IMO partially because of the reduction in iron availability, and the new rail-related plugin has gone largely to waste since we've regressed to a pre-CARBON level of centralization. Now that Elytra are seemingly harder to get, we're running around on roads that, this rev, aren't too prolific. Emeralds are the new standard for creating beacon towers, which means more time-wasting villager trading. If someone prefers to trade and not AFK at a grinder, that's great, but why should taking hours out of one's day for a single beacon tower be the only option unless you want to wait for literal days at a grinder, and get in everyone else's way? I don't see why allowing people to have and use their own iron grinders is in any way harmful to the server. Yes, spawners make players grind less. However, if you're telling me that the best way to keep new players is to make them mine some iron instead of AFKing, you're joking. I've mined for an hour and grabbed enough iron to make an anvil or three, and enough picks to find a half-stack of diamonds. If I want a really substantial amount of iron, though, I have to dump a bunch of time into mining that I could, with a decent spawner system like last rev's, spend building public goods like rails and beacons. As such, I think it's wise to consider bringing back the Rev18 iron system for next revision. 

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 As such, I think it's wise to consider bringing back the Rev18 iron system for next revision. 

 

I agree with everything except this. I think they should be brought back now.

 

Keep the four spawners and make them a community effort to upgrade and allow players to craft personal ones that can't be upgraded and limit how many per chunk radius. Current output on spawners is ~1.5 stacks per 2 hours, which is plenty for a township who are keeping chunks loaded due to building and being on while if you want bulk amounts you go to the bigger spawners. 

 

Also side note; taking players who afk alts at spawners into account when balancing the game mechanics is a stupid idea due to the economy taking a major hit when those idlebots aren't in game anymore

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