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MiniGames & You! A discussion...

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Update: We will be closing this in two weeks on April 13th.

 

Hello All,

As most of you know, our Minigames Server at this point gets little to no action on an ongoing basis.

Right now, we'd like to know what you'd be interested in.  While we know that moving forward with anything specific would absolutely require further discussion (Tech/Admin heavy maps/etc) and might not be feasible, we still want to hear from you!

To get the discussion started, here are some ideas -

  • Limited time adventure maps
  • Minigames that rotate
  • Month Long PvP
  • Ultra-Hardcore plugin

Thank you!!

  • Upvote 3

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This has been discussed throughout chat for a while and I believe that the minigames server should close down. It's a great server but people are more interested in PvE and Creative. The RAM used on the server (Let's assume it's 8gb like the other servers) could be put towards P and C to help deal with lag. Though, I would enjoy a server that we can play on between rev switches as a group like past rev switches where 20+ players got on M and started playing games together. M gets very repetitive and I feel and I think that's the reason why FFS Friday slowly died out. Plus, this is just my opinion, players will go to bigger minigame-focused servers for minigames. Players don't usually go to a server focused on SMP/Creative to battle it out. I would enjoy it back if it was a more popular server. Playing CTF is not that enjoyable with 2 people.

Edited by PPGOME
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1 hour ago, PPGOME said:

This has been discussed throughout chat for a while and I believe that the minigames server should close down. It's a great server but people are more interested in PvE and Creative. The RAM used on the server (Let's assume it's 8gb like the other servers) could be put towards P and C to help deal with lag. Though, I would enjoy a server that we can play on between rev switches as a group like past rev switches where 20+ players got on M and started playing games together. M gets very repetitive and I feel and I think that's the reason why FFS Friday slowly died out. Plus, this is just my opinion, players will go to bigger minigame-focused servers for minigames. Players don't usually go to a server focused on SMP/Creative to battle it out. I would enjoy it back if it was a more popular server. Playing CTF is not that enjoyable with 2 people.

What are your thoughts on a server that swapped out once a month? Minigames for a month, then a month of maybe testing out a new Minecraft update? Do you think that would help with the repetitiveness?

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1 minute ago, defiex said:

What are your thoughts on a server that swapped out once a month? Minigames for a month, then a month of maybe testing out a new Minecraft update? Do you think that would help with the repetitiveness?

I do believe that would help. This is where I would recommend the RAM for M go to P and C and then this goes to E because E isn't being used (unless you don't pay for E the entire year).

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A few ideas for you:

  1. Run a super low-effort old-school vanilla s.nerd.nu server. No need for any fancy plugins or complicated designs, just put together a spawn and some //stacked roads in an afternoon with a few people, throw it up, and see if it does any better than minigames. You might want to start with quite a limited world border initially, and reset the map a few times a year. I say this because there are vanilla PVP minecraft servers out there doing well, and I recognise the names of quite a few PvErs who started out on survival and might be tempted to split their time.
  2. Run a rolling snapshot server. Not sure if spigot provides snapshot builds nowadays but I'd suggest running it in chaos mode all the same. Reset 1/4 or 1/2 the map if the terrain generation changes
  3. (my personal favourite because a) i worked on it and b) it's a unique mechanic and you don't see many of those in minecraft!) run a 1.7 beta server. Users can connect with the original beta 1.7 client or a modern 1.13 client if you run some custom proxy software I wrote! I chose beta 1.7 because it predates a lot of the minecraft mechanics we take for granted, such as hunger, sprinting and enchantments. There's a certain amount of nostalgia in the minecraft community for the game as Notch wrote it, and given nerd's claim to fame is being the oldest running server, perhaps running a genuine beta 1.7 server for modern clients might be popular, or at the very least a noble experiment :)

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i love the idea of a communal adventure map. the problem is a lot aren't designed for massive groups, so im just not sure something like that could work. one idea i thought of is maybe putting up a complete the monument map, since it plays closely to regular minecraft compared to something more structured. such maps wont really break if someone new joins midway, they can take a decent amount of time to complete (good for a nice weekend event  for example), can easily host lots of people at a time (some items might get scarce but it would balance out with the theoretical amount of infrastructure that would be established by players for basic needs), and play to many strengths of varying players (combat, building, creativity). it would have something for everyone that plays on nerd, and you could easily open it to say 20 or 30 slots no problem without crowding the map (obviously some ctm maps are smaller than others, but generally speaking). the only real downside is it could be a bit on the easy side with so many people, but thats only if everyone decides to work towards the same objective at once.

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41 minutes ago, marioman63 said:

i love the idea of a communal adventure map. the problem is a lot aren't designed for massive groups, so im just not sure something like that could work. one idea i thought of is maybe putting up a complete the monument map, since it plays closely to regular minecraft compared to something more structured. such maps wont really break if someone new joins midway, they can take a decent amount of time to complete (good for a nice weekend event  for example), can easily host lots of people at a time (some items might get scarce but it would balance out with the theoretical amount of infrastructure that would be established by players for basic needs), and play to many strengths of varying players (combat, building, creativity). it would have something for everyone that plays on nerd, and you could easily open it to say 20 or 30 slots no problem without crowding the map (obviously some ctm maps are smaller than others, but generally speaking). the only real downside is it could be a bit on the easy side with so many people, but thats only if everyone decides to work towards the same objective at once.

I thought adventures map would be cool too, but without being 'first' to join, you would be at either an extreme disadvantage, or it would be too easy. Disadvantageous due to chests and loot being pillaged right away, and advantageous because traps or spawners along the way would be disabled.

It would need a weekly reset/rotation, or it would need a way to give a player their own personal adventure map they could invite others to join them. Both sound like a ton of work, so I wouldn't be sure of the options here.

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16 hours ago, Trooprm32 said:

I thought adventures map would be cool too, but without being 'first' to join, you would be at either an extreme disadvantage, or it would be too easy. Disadvantageous due to chests and loot being pillaged right away, and advantageous because traps or spawners along the way would be disabled.

It would need a weekly reset/rotation, or it would need a way to give a player their own personal adventure map they could invite others to join them. Both sound like a ton of work, so I wouldn't be sure of the options here.

We have some great builders and other maps online which could be for servers. Maybe we could hold a thing on C to build a map and it could be one of the adventure maps? Command blocks and such can reset a section of a map quite easily. The only issue with this, however, would be admins having to discuss with every player who participates and do commands for every single command block.

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3 minutes ago, PPGOME said:

We have some great builders and other maps online which could be for servers. Maybe we could hold a thing on C to build a map and it could be one of the adventure maps? Command blocks and such can reset a section of a map quite easily. The only issue with this, however, would be admins having to discuss with every player who participates and do commands for every single command block.

Some background, we did try this for the current minigames server - with the current setup however its quite tedious and complicated to set up.
It would be amazing to see player built things. I think some guidelines would need to be set based on the game that is chosen so that there is less confusion and less risk of the builds being left to languish.

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I think we should make it an archive server. Set it up with multiworlds that host previous P and C revs in creative mode (edits clear on disconnect). Rose already does this with their server, but it'd be nice to have it in house.

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I think we should have the minigames server run custom modes that can be found online, such as hunger games. I'm hesitant to support any plan that involves sourcing the majority of content from within the community because what I believe will happen if they're community made, as it always seems to happen, is that there will be great enthusiasm from the people with the time, skill and creativity to make their ideas happen, for a while. Then those people will get bored and no more content will ever be released, leaving the server to slowly die when players inevitably get bored of the content already in place.

 

If we sourced modes and such outside the community, it'd greatly minimise the effort involved in getting new content on the server, which in turn would make it easier to keep the server active. And if we offer modes that are popular and well known to the minecraft community at large, we could potentially draw in more new players.

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Here are my quick 2 cents:

  1. The minigames server currently has 2 gb of memory allocated. About a week ago I took the server offline entirely in order to (hopefully) give a boost to the lobby, which has been having some issues lately. I have not noticed a major difference. Also, keep in mind that despite (for example) PvE having 6 gb of allocated memory, on average we're only using ~14% of that even at peak times. Memory is not the bottleneck many people seem to think it is. The largest memory spikes occur when the server restarts and when new chunks are generated.
  2. I love the idea of rotating adventure maps and/or complete the monument maps. CTM maps are basically how I first got into Minecraft, so there's a bit of a nostalgic factor for me. There are kinks we'd need to work out, e.g. the difficulties Troop pointed out (looted chests, disabled spawners, etc.).
  3. NerdUHC will need a small coat of paint to update it to 1.13 but otherwise I'd be down for UHCs to be thrown into the rotation.
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6 hours ago, bermudalocket said:

NerdUHC will need a small coat of paint to update it to 1.13 but otherwise I'd be down for UHCs to be thrown into the rotation.

I'd love to see UHC happen, it looks amazing ❤️ pls do the thing.
My only concern with something like this is who will run it. Currently our active tech resources are a bit tied up fixing server bugs and getting c ready for the update  - projects like this have to be actively maintained and run or they will go the same route minigames went. Once you have a 'replacement' for minigames what is your plan to keep it running long-term?

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How about using it for a skyblock server?

Plugins for skyblock usually allow for solo or group experience. They have challenges like a carrot. You can sometimes have plugins that give a "level" of your island and so you can have resets more often and then have a leaderboard from previous resets on the webpage. People enjoy this kind of recognition for community bragging rights and it is a fun competition.

Skyblock mixed with economy plugins can be fun. Limited blocks/resources creates an economy on rare/hard to get blocks. Fine tuning of the system and adding nerd.nu flavor plugins and such allows for a fun server to go play on when you need a break from P or C. 

You could call it S for skyblock.  You will fool ex-S players to play on it.

The hub/spawn you can put a custom block market with an economy. Say you turn in grown items and gain some currency. Use currency to get some blocks. Have a pvp arena.

Instead of Skyblock revs. You have skyblocks seasons. Pick an interval like 2 months. You have 6 seasons a year. 

You allow flow in the islands. Mod requirements would be low. Just need tech/admin babysitting it.

 

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If the goal is to keep a third server called minigames open, I think whatever replaces what's on it now should be more long-term than what is usually run on the event server (so something that is intended to run for at least a few weeks), though the more popular and longer running, the better in that instance - otherwise some of the uses proposed I think would just make it effectively a second event server when we have one that is recently only used for the annual fundraiser (which is not necessarily a bad thing either, but may be a bit awkward unless the server drops the minigames name too).

To hold player attention, or at least try to decouple player interest from the effect of declining player count, I think ideally the server would run something that does not rely exclusively on the presence of other players to enjoy it (KOTH/CTF was fun, but it requires other players present to even kick off a game - once players start dropping out it's harder to find players to play with).  An adventure map that is built to handle multiple parties moving through it would fit here, bonus points if it has features that make it worthwhile to replay (eg. branching paths).  The downside as some others have alluded to is that most adventure maps available outside of nerd are not built for multiple parties moving through at once.  I think it would be possible to create one on nerd that can support multiple parties, but it would be potentially heavy on time and effort to develop.

On the flipside, something that does bring players together for a game and require other players to enjoy (sort of like the current minigames) would be great too - we are a community after all, and I feel game types that force players to play together have become few and far between these days (eg. the old CTF fundraisers), though having a dependence on other players for enjoyment may cause player interest to drop faster and may require more maintenance on the administration side to keep things fresh enough to attract players back.  Here, other minigames might be great too if they can be set up, bonus points if it can simply be downloaded from an external source and run on nerd - perhaps in addition to having rotating minigames, having random map ordering on server startup?  Being able to call a vote for map switch is useful, but it might also help to randomize the map ordering so the first map played is different?

Generally I'm a bit wary of a PvP map along the lines of old S being run, even if it is a shorter duration (eg. 3 weeks to a month) - imo if any PvP kind of server/gameplay comes back, it should go through enough planning and scrutiny with confidence that it will retain players.  For a short run with no expectations of recurring though, it might be worth it as a one-off though?  There's also the moderation issue there though; this would require a lot of moderation effort based on history.

If we are sticking with the current minigames for a while - how much effort would it take to randomize the map ordering on server startup?  I'm wondering if that, plus running regular minigame nights, might help, or perhaps an organized tournament across multiple maps - though admittedly P players having to downgrade their client to reach the server might make it less easy to access for them.

 

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On 2/24/2019 at 4:57 PM, barneygale said:

A few ideas for you:

  1. (my personal favourite because a) i worked on it and b) it's a unique mechanic and you don't see many of those in minecraft!) run a 1.7 beta server. Users can connect with the original beta 1.7 client or a modern 1.13 client if you run some custom proxy software I wrote! I chose beta 1.7 because it predates a lot of the minecraft mechanics we take for granted, such as hunger, sprinting and enchantments. There's a certain amount of nostalgia in the minecraft community for the game as Notch wrote it, and given nerd's claim to fame is being the oldest running server, perhaps running a genuine beta 1.7 server for modern clients might be popular, or at the very least a noble experiment 🙂

So much this. I spent the last day or so playing on a 1.7 client in single player, and it's really fun to take the game back to basics and play it as though its still 2011.

If the techs used this method to allow 1.13 clients to connect to a 1.7 server, that would be super cool and I would absolutely use that kind of server since it's kind of cool and quirky to go retro and play super old versions of the game. 

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12 hours ago, JadedEconomist said:

So much this. I spent the last day or so playing on a 1.7 client in single player, and it's really fun to take the game back to basics and play it as though its still 2011.

If the techs used this method to allow 1.13 clients to connect to a 1.7 server, that would be super cool and I would absolutely use that kind of server since it's kind of cool and quirky to go retro and play super old versions of the game. 

The plugin used to allow people to connect with different client versions created a lot of problems in the past. And looking at its website, it only supports 1.8 and up. 😞

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FWIW, I wrote some custom software to make the 1.13 --> beta 1.7 proxy work. The source code is currently private but I'm happy to share with any nerd admins. It's a totally different project to the spigot plugin.

As proof this is a real project, here's a spreadsheet showing how I'm doing the translation between the old and new protocols: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bEhQIA7TKq6qtQvSb6lh1KdO3Pf92YvENWxjuNyEuOQ/edit#gid=0

I'll try to get a demonstration server up at the weekend (someone poke me if I forget)

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And I'm obviously aware that the nerd admins don't trust me any further than they can throw me, so I'm not expecting any sort of day-to-day involvement if people want to pursue this idea. I can share the code, the tech admins could fork it and maintain it, and if people wanted me involved to fix bugs and whatnot I'd be happy to help (but would understand and expect that people wouldn't want me involved beyond supplying the initial version for careful code review!)

 

edit: it was easier than I thought! Try connecting to 2b2t.space from a 1.13.2 client. Disclaimer: this is still very buggy and it's running on an underpowered VPS. Shout if it goes down. All sorts of things will crash your client or possibly the server, but walking around the world seems to work OK for me, so check out the beta 1.7 terrain gen at least!

Edited by barneygale

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^ this is the whole problem with opening these discussions to the community - everyone here already has a server to play on. You see it as a 3rd server, but many people who prefer PVP minecraft won't play much or at all on PVE or creative servers. They're not represented in this discussion.

 

nerd.nu pvp isn't going anywhere unless and until a staff member with a love of pvp minecraft makes it their passion project to start a great pvp server under the nerd.nu banner. Whoever that staff member ends up being, I hope the head and tech admins provide them with the support they need to make it a success. But let's not kid ourselves - a server reworked or restarted from some half-arsed forum thread will fail.

 

If you want my view: vanilla PVP survival minecraft isn't dead. Another server I play on has a several hour-long queue just to get in. Minigames or the extinct "PVP" server aren't in nerd.nu's genetics. s.nerd.nu died largely from poor management (including my own), not because of some fatal flaw in vanilla survival gameplay.

 

If minigames is taking up RAM with no-one playing on it then I suggest you take it offline, but I hope the head and tech admins are listening closely to the wider staff; if a mod has a good idea and the motivation to see it through to completion, please let's all rally behind it.

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I usually used to play on the versions 1.8 and 1.7 and loved playing Ultra Hardcode Mode (UHC). I'd personally like to see this come to the minigames server. One of my favorite gamemodes, although some people may not agree with me on that. Are there any plans for the future that will bring UHC to the minigame server? I'm going to go visit it for the first time today. I've been hearing a lot about it recently.

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I'd be sad to see minigames go, because I know that redwall poured a lot of love into that. But unfortunately, it does not hold lasting appeal for our current player base. You need to get a few people together who all want to play those games for them to work. Those people either need to be here amongst the current player base, or we need to advertise and bring them in (our constant dilemma).

I'd be supportive of us adding one or possibly both of the following servers:

  1. Vanilla snapshot, survival mode. I was originally thinking creative mode for this, but i think it would be less hassle to support survival and add a little datapack for shulkers of rare items, with limits on those to avert a lava/TNT apocalypse. I can name at least 8 players who have played on private snapshot servers. It makes sense that we bring those people back into the fold and host them ourselves. Some of them, at least, paid for our current hardware. Mojang's current snapshots are quite flaky, and as such, we should offer no guarantees of stability or continuity of the snapshot world. The expectation should be that the world will reset once a week, if necessary, and no download will be offered. I don't think that any concerns about "stealing players" from PvE, such as those expressed here are valid because chaos is a different beast (e.g. no protections), and because they're still our players, and we serve them, not the other way around. But, explicitly managing expectations around stability and world continuity go towards allaying some fears of an exodus from PvE. Judging by the daily discussions on PvE regarding new 1.14 mechanics, I would say there is a demand for this kind of server from time to time, with spikes in activity every time Mojang releases a new snapshot.
  2. I would like to try a UHC server. It may fall by the wayside like minigames, because it's somewhat the same idea. That depends on our player base. They will decide its ultimate fate. The top Google result for "minecraft 1.13 UHC plugin" is UHC-Core, which has apparently been around forever and appears to be a turnkey solution for 1.13. I'm generally opposed to writing our own plugin for anything that already exists, unless it fails some critical requirement. Non-techs also generally have no idea how much effort it is to make things run smoothly. It's always best when someone else does that.

I say two servers. We have the RAM. We have 8 virtual cores, taken up by PvE, C, 3x PvE carto processes (because the 1.13 carto software is a dog), and 1x C carto, for a notional load of about 6 cores. The PvE carto threads are "nice"d, meaning that if there is something more important to do (like running a Minecraft server) in a particular moment, then that thing takes precedence over the carto. So in principle, we can run those two virtual cores at full tilt without impacting PvE or C. The carto might slow up a little, but I expect that the snapshot and UHC servers (if we get them) would not be occupied 24/7, unlike PvE. I think we have to give up on the idea of updating cartos very frequently in any case. We currently can't update P's carto more than once a week. Actually playing the game is obviously more important than looking at pictures of someone else's builds. Once C updates to 1.13, I expect that carto will take even longer than PvE (because the map is massive).

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It may be far too much work for the techs and staff, but I'd love a Tekkit-esque server. Not sure what builds are used a lot at the moment, plus from what I have witnessed tekkit is quite unstable and resource-heavy.

If not, perhaps a snapshot survival server with minimal moderation and no plugins?

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On 2/26/2019 at 12:16 AM, Sapphric said:

I think we should make it an archive server. Set it up with multiworlds that host previous P and C revs in creative mode (edits clear on disconnect). Rose already does this with their server, but it'd be nice to have it in house.

I agree with this, but

On 2/26/2019 at 1:16 PM, bermudalocket said:

Here are my quick 2 cents:

  1. The minigames server currently has 2 gb of memory allocated. About a week ago I took the server offline entirely in order to (hopefully) give a boost to the lobby, which has been having some issues lately. I have not noticed a major difference. Also, keep in mind that despite (for example) PvE having 6 gb of allocated memory, on average we're only using ~14% of that even at peak times. Memory is not the bottleneck many people seem to think it is. The largest memory spikes occur when the server restarts and when new chunks are generated.

 

On 3/20/2019 at 6:40 AM, totemo said:

I'd be supportive of us adding one or possibly both of the following servers:

  1. Vanilla snapshot, survival mode. I was originally thinking creative mode for this, but i think it would be less hassle to support survival and add a little datapack for shulkers of rare items, with limits on those to avert a lava/TNT apocalypse. I can name at least 8 players who have played on private snapshot servers. It makes sense that we bring those people back into the fold and host them ourselves. Some of them, at least, paid for our current hardware. Mojang's current snapshots are quite flaky, and as such, we should offer no guarantees of stability or continuity of the snapshot world. The expectation should be that the world will reset once a week, if necessary, and no download will be offered. I don't think that any concerns about "stealing players" from PvE, such as those expressed here are valid because chaos is a different beast (e.g. no protections), and because they're still our players, and we serve them, not the other way around. But, explicitly managing expectations around stability and world continuity go towards allaying some fears of an exodus from PvE. Judging by the daily discussions on PvE regarding new 1.14 mechanics, I would say there is a demand for this kind of server from time to time, with spikes in activity every time Mojang releases a new snapshot.
  2. I would like to try a UHC server. It may fall by the wayside like minigames, because it's somewhat the same idea. That depends on our player base. They will decide its ultimate fate. The top Google result for "minecraft 1.13 UHC plugin" is UHC-Core, which has apparently been around forever and appears to be a turnkey solution for 1.13. I'm generally opposed to writing our own plugin for anything that already exists, unless it fails some critical requirement. Non-techs also generally have no idea how much effort it is to make things run smoothly. It's always best when someone else does that.

I say two servers. We have the RAM. We have 8 virtual cores, taken up by PvE, C, 3x PvE carto processes (because the 1.13 carto software is a dog), and 1x C carto, for a notional load of about 6 cores. The PvE carto threads are "nice"d, meaning that if there is something more important to do (like running a Minecraft server) in a particular moment, then that thing takes precedence over the carto. So in principle, we can run those two virtual cores at full tilt without impacting PvE or C. The carto might slow up a little, but I expect that the snapshot and UHC servers (if we get them) would not be occupied 24/7, unlike PvE. I think we have to give up on the idea of updating cartos very frequently in any case. We currently can't update P's carto more than once a week. Actually playing the game is obviously more important than looking at pictures of someone else's builds. Once C updates to 1.13, I expect that carto will take even longer than PvE (because the map is massive).

I also think that a snapshot server would be useful, although I am hesitant to say that it should alternate with other things. I would not like to see the snapshot server, while acting as a snapshot server, be in complete chaos mode, as I think some valuable things can be learned by having it in creative and giving players the option to /(game)mode into and out of survival, because it allows people to explore new mechanics easier, such as determining the best new-version villager breeder and villager market layouts. Since we have two-or-more cores, then I don't see why we could not do both an archive server and a snapshot server.

Also, if somebody discovers a reasonable way, then having the archive server such that a 1.13 client could connect to each world, but each world would, in fact, be running the version of Minecraft that it ran on back in the day, then that would be a nice bonus.

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