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  • 1

    posted a message on How long do Minecraft servers survive?

    Servers live as long as the owner decides to keep putting money into it. They can last forever if the owner bought a computer to host it on as they avoid having to pay every month to a server hosting company.

    Posted in: Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Freedomna's Guide to Server Success!

    A question I often see on these forums is "How do I make a server?". The responses to that question though are usually a link to bukkit/spigot, and a walkthrough tutorial on how to set it up. I do not feel as if that adequately answers the question. A server is more than just opening your game to the world, it is about community. You can have spigot setup but if no one plays on your server, is it really a server? I have been playing Minecraft since the turn of the decade and I have played on hundreds of servers. I have seen what works and I have seen what fails. Throughout this thread I will give you the knowledge you need to make a server a server.


    Tip1: Ask yourself

    This is one of the most crucial steps of making your server, even more important than portforwarding. Are you looking for an easy buck? If so, server hosting is not for you since most servers will never see profit. Are you looking to go mad with power? Then you will spend hours building a server no one will play on. Server hosting is a selfless act. You will be investing a good deal of time and effort into something that the community will reap. Being a server owner is not an easy job as this guide will point out. Think very carefully about your "why" before committing to server hosting.


    tip2: is your idea unique?

    If you go on the server listing page, odds are you will will find at least three instances of the following on the front page:

    -Minigame Hub Server

    -Kit PvP server

    -Faction server

    Now there is no such thing as a truly original idea. Over one hundred billion people have ever lived, so odds are someone has thought of and attempted your idea before. When I worked at a consulting company my boss told me something I will never forget: "Freedomna, we (my partner and I) are the most uncreative people around. What we are good at though, and how we make money, is by taking the best of other people's ideas and combining them to make our own."


    So for example. Take a prebuilt Hyrule Minecraft Map, set the server texture pack to be one of the many Zelda texture packs, use Citizen 2 for NPCs, and create a Minecraft Legend of Zelda experience. (You can use that one on me). What you want is something to seperate yourself from pack and this relates back to Tip #1: why are you making a server? Does your idea present something different for the Minecraft community to engage in? If you just want a plain factions server, then why are you hosting one instead of joining one that already exists?


    tip3: do not go broad

    First time restaurant owners often make a simple mistake: trying to please everyone. They start out with a simple premise, like Italian food. Then they want the business of the Mexican restaurant across the street so they add in tacos, then they decide to maybe add some Greek food because of the whole Greek yogurt buzz going around, then they add in hamburgers and chicken tenders to appeal to the kids and those with bland taste buds. Soon you get a menu six pages long with almost a hundred different foods.You can tell the quality of a restaurant within ten seconds of looking at their menu since there is no way the chef knows how to make a large variety of food from all over the world as well as a chef who specialises in Italian can make Italian food or a chef who specialises in french cuisine can cook some pot-au-feu. The chef can either be a jack of all trades or a master of one.

    Now, you all are wondering why I am rambling about food and the culinary business. It is because the same thing applies to a server. When I see a hub server with a dozen minigames, and two dozen worlds I am going to treat that server like I would the diner by my place that has food from eight different regions. Good when you're drunk, but I would rather eat anywhere else. It is the age old debate about quality vs quantity. The more stuff you have on the server, the less time you have to refine it. If I am a guy looking for a factions server, why would I play on your server that has that and a dozen other minigames when I can go on a specialised factions server.

    The specialised server will have:
    -More people on the minigame. If you have 30 people on and you have 10 minigames, that is 3 people per minigame on average. If the specialised server has 10 people on, then that minigame has 7 more people than you. More people is more fun.
    -More uniqueness. If the server is focusing on one thing, then odds are they put more time into it then the person who divides out his/her time.


    tip4: Get your buddies to sign up.


    The worst thing a new player can see when entering your server is no one there, if they see no one there then they will leave and find one with players on. So before you launch your server go talk to some buddies from; school, a server you use to play on, Starbucks, doesn't matter. Just get about seven people who are willing to commit about two or three hours a day on the server until you get your community established. Few people will play on your server if few people are on day in and day out, even less so if your server idea requires a lot of people (roleplay servers, faction servers, minigame hubs, pvp servers... anything but basic vanilla really).


    It is paradoxical, yes, but just like you need money to make money you need a community to build a community.


    tip5: limit your staff


    It is important that those seven or so people you recruited in the previous tip to be the normal rank. If seeing an empty server is the worst thing for a new player, then seeing a server filled solely with admins/mods/builders is the second worst. I for one get two impressions from a server when I see more ranked players on that normal players:

    1. This server sucks so much that the only way the server owner can get people to stay is by bribing them with powers.
    2. The server owner has no idea how to setup a chain of command.

    When you are just starting out you do not need head admins or a team of moderators You need players. If 90% of your staff is command rank then who are they suppose to be managing, each-other? Below is a list of potential ranks, what they are used for, and the Player Count Per Each Rank that you should stick by so you do not overcrowd your server with ranks (so if the PCPER is set at 10, then for each 10 unranked players, you can (but don't have to) add in another of the rank)

    Co Owner: This is an optional rank for someone who shares the ownership rank with you. This person should be able to match the hours you put into the server and the cost as well. (PCPER: N/A)
    Administrator: Too many people use this as an upgraded moderator rank. It is not. Administrators handle the behind the scenes work: Rules, recruitment, what plugins to use, who should be what rank, what server events should be held, and potentially a website. (PCPER: 25)
    Head Administrator: Leads your administrators, and is your second in command. Only really needed if you have a giant server and/or no co-owner. More than likely you will end up with just one or two administrators unless you become the next mineplex so you don't need someone else to manage them when you can do so fine on your own.
    Moderator: These are your community managers. They keep the peace, run community events like drop parties, and some recruitment. (PCPER: 10)
    Head Moderator: Leads your moderators. When you have about five moderators you can pick out a head moderator.

    Another important note is to make sure your staff is qualified to do the job you assigned them. Sounds like a no-brainer but I see it all the time on the forums: "Help me do such-and-such and you can be an admin on my server." They might need help for anything from setting permissions to massive building projects, but the promised reward is an official position. The problem with that is that the skillset for being a server admin is nothing like the skillset for being, say, a builder.

    When you choose admins for their building skills, you get the same kind of problems, just in different ways, that you would get if you picked builders for their admin skills. You wouldn't want your server to have nothing but 7x7x4 cobblestone buildings and a lopsided castle, right? People would laugh at you. The same thing is true of the way all too many people choose their server staff. They get people who play favorites, people who abuse their power, or people who simply aren't really capable of, or interested in, the behind-the-scenes work of managing users. They may be very skilled in their specialty, but it's the wrong specialty for that job.

    If you want to run a good server, then choose people for official positions because they are skilled at doing what those positions require. Don't pick people for that because they're good at something totally unrelated. Having power over other people isn't a reward; it's a responsibility. It's not a prize, it's a job.

    tip6: budget money for server
    It will take about a few months for your community to grow the beard and come into its own. During that time the odds you getting a donation are about zero. Few people want to take the risk donating on a server that might not be there tomorrow so during the initial startup of your server have the money set aside to fund it for at least three months. I would take it a step further and prepare to not break even 90% of the months even with an established community. Donating is a rare occurrence on servers. Most Minecraft players are young and don't have money of their own to donate; especially when they will not get something out of it.

    Think of your server host subscription as a World of Warcraft subscription. You do not pay the $15/mo to Blizzard thinking you will make it back, you pay that $15/mo because you enjoy what it gives you. The same I say holds true to Minecraft server hosting.

    If this is not an option for you, you can try hosting off a computer. I would not recommend hosting a server off a computer that is actively being used as Minecraft can be quite the cpu hog when you have an active server, however if you have a spare computer or willing to buy a used computer then it can be a great alternative. With a dedicated computer, you could possible recoup some money by renting it out to your neighbours as well to make some money back depending on how powerful it is.

    tip7: follow eula
    The absolute most important step. If you do not follow the EULA then you cannot advertise your server on these forums (which cuts down your potential player base severely) and you open yourself up to Microsoft's legal arm. It is not worth it. If you are to take anything from this thread, follow the EULA. It is tempting to break, especially when your doors have been open for six months and you only received $20 in that time, but best case scenario Microsoft sends a cease and desist shutting you down and all that work you did for half a year was for naught. It also turns your game into a Pay2Win that few people besides whales (though with the funds to over power themselves) enjoy.


    tip8: thread design

    The thread will be most people's first introduction to your server so you want to make it eye catching. Make sure you describe your server and it's purpose in sufficient detail and what separates you from the pack-- Why should I, Steve Minecrafter, pick your server over all the others? Consider putting in a status indicator as well so that your thread won't become clogged with posts stating it's not online (While you should try for 24/7 uptime, sometimes server maintenance is required and sometimes acts of God causes problems). A few images can help to draw in players; not only are they bright and colourful, but it makes it seem like you put a lot more effort into your forum post. If a player sees you put effort into the thread, then they assume that you put effort in the server as well.


    tip9: be active owner

    Being active on your server accomplishes many tasks. It allows you to help new players out with any questions they have, provides an extra person online so that people do not play alone, and finally it shows people you care about the server. After all: If the server is not fun for you to play on, then why are you asking us to play on it?


    _________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Now I can not guarantee you success. You are at a disadvantage as a server owner since there are more servers than there are people who are looking for new servers. It is a fact of life that the world runs on supply and demand. Right now, supply is higher than the demand so the players can be as picky as they want to be when it comes to choosing a server. I can say though, if you follow these steps then you will have the best chance of becoming successful.


    Thank you for reading the thread and I wish you the best of luck when it comes to your future server. Be sure to post in the thread if you like what I wrote as posting keeps the thread on the first page where others can read it too.

    Posted in: Discussion
  • 3

    posted a message on Texture Artists' Union
    Quote from Bluberrypie478»

    Hey all, it's been a long while since I last posted here, and I hope to be able to get back into texturing soon. I've decided to continue working on this, which I'd started during the Simple Pack Showdown 3, but then stopped because of real life things.


    Anyways, here are a couple things that I created recently/a while ago, but never actually shared:



    Just a large mish-mash really (from upper left to bottom right): cobblestone, oak plank, jungle plank, mossy cobblestone, spruce plank, and jungle log. Thinking of naming it either Nautilus or Cinnamon Roll when (if) I'm done, but leaning towards Cinnamon Roll.


    I like the idea of Cinnamon Roll too. Conjures images of warm, soft, and sweet which is the vibe I get when I see these textures.
    Posted in: Resource Pack Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Server player gain

    Wrote a thread a few years ago on how to maintain and grow a playerbase, going to post it here since it is relevant to the question. This is more tailored to someone who has no players already but the advice can be used on any server big or small. It is a bit of a read so if you just want a tl;dr it is this: Server market is saturated so you need to do something to stand out.


    For your case specifically I recommend reading points: 1, 2, 3, 8, and 10.

    ==============================================


    1. Ask yourself why you want to make a server.
    This is one of the most crucial steps of making your server, even more important than spigot. If you are just out for donation money or power then your server -will- fail. Running a server is a selfless act (very few servers make money and those designed to make money will scare off players before they have a chance to get comfortable). You are doing something for the community and more than likely you will rarely see any donations never mind any profit and if you start banning people at will then your community will die before the end of the week. Lets say though you don't want to be a rich dictator, but you just have an idea for a server you think is cool...
    ======
    2. Is your idea original?
    If I go on the server listing right now I will guarantee you on the first page I will find at least three of the following:

    -Minigame Hub Server

    -Kit PvP server

    -Faction server

    Now there is no such thing as a truly original idea. Over one hundred billion people have ever lived, so odds are someone has thought of and attempted your idea before. What you have to do though is add a twist. Maybe a faction server where everyone must be in a penguin skin and fight each other with snowballs? Or if you have the coding skills, or know someone who does, create your own custom plugin. No one will join your generic hub server if they can join a generic hub server with a community already setup.
    ======
    3. Specialise.
    First time restaurant owners often make a simple mistake: trying to please everyone. They start out with a simple premise, like Italian food. Then they want the business of the Mexican restaurant across the street so they add in tacos, then they decide to maybe add some Greek food because of the whole Greek yogurt buzz going around, then they add in hamburgers and chicken tenders to appeal to the kids and those with bland taste buds. Soon you get a menu six pages long with almost a hundred different foods.

    I can tell you the quality of a restaurant within ten seconds of looking at their menu since there is no way the chef knows how to make a large variety of food from all over the world as well as a chef who specalises in Italian can make Italian food or a chef who specialises in french cuisine can cook some pot-au-feu. The chef can either be a jack of all trades or a master of one.

    Now, you all are wondering why I am rambling about food and the culinary business. It is because the same thing applies to a server. When I see a hub server with a dozen minigames, and two dozen worlds I am going to treat that server like I would the diner by my place that has food from eight different regions. It is the age old debate about quality vs quanity.

    The more stuff you have on the server, the less time I know you have to refine it. If I am a guy looking for a hunger games server, why would I play on your server that has that and a dozen other minigames when I can go on a specalised hunger game server.

    The specalised server will have:
    -More people on the minigame. If you have 30 people on and you have 10 minigames, that is 3 people per minigame on average. If the specalised server has 10 people on, then that minigame has 7 more people than you.
    -More uniqueness. If the server is focusing on one thing, then odds are they put more time into it then the person who divides out his/her time.

    ======
    4. Get your buddies to sign up.
    This is the next crucial step of running a server, having a community in place for launch day. The worst thing a new player can see when entering your server is no one there. So before you launch your server go talk to some buddies from; school, a server you use to play on, Starbucks, doesn't matter. Just get about seven people who are willing to commit about three-four hours a day minimum on the server for the next month or so until you get your community established. Few people will play on your server if few people are on day in and day out, even less so if your server idea requires a lot of people (roleplay servers, faction servers, minigame hubs, pvp servers... anything but basic vanilla). Ironically, since no one goes on servers with few people on it they never build up a community. This leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy I call the Minecraft paradox: You need players to start a community and you need a community to have players.
    ======
    5. Do not give ranks away like candy.
    It is important that those seven or so people you recruited in step #3 be the normal rank. If seeing an empty server is the worst thing for a new player, then seeing a server filled solely with admins/mods/builders is the second worst. I get two impressions from a server when I see more ranked players on that normal players:

    1. This server sucks so much that the only way the server owner can get people to stay is by bribing them with powers.
    2. The server owner has no idea how to setup a chain of command.
    When you are just starting out you do not need "head admins" or three mods. You need players. If 90% of your staff is command rank then who are they suppose to be managing, each-other? Below is a list of ranks, what they are used for, and the Player Count Per Each Rank that you should stick by so you do not overcrowd your server with ranks (so if the PCPER is set at 10, then for each 10 unranked players, you can (but don't have to) add in another of the rank)
    Co Owner: Only have this rank if he or she is willing to put in the same amount of time, and even money, as you. (PCPER: N/A)
    Administrator: Too many people use this as an upgraded moderator rank. It is not. Administrators handle the behind the scenes work: Rules, recruitment, what plugins to use, who should be what rank, what server events should be held. (PCPER: 25)
    Head Administrator: Leads your administrators, and is your second in command. Only really needed if you have a giant server and/or no co-owner. More than likely you will end up with just one or two administrators unless you become the next mineplex so you don't need someone else to manage them when you can do so fine on your own.
    Moderator: These are your community managers. They keep the peace, run community events like drop parties, and some recruitment. (PCPER: 10)
    Head Moderator: Leads your moderators. When you have about five moderators you can pick out a head moderator.
    ======
    6. Make sure your staff is qualified.
    Mod Akynth went into great detail on this thread already about this subject. I recommend the read.
    ======
    7. Have enough money to run the server for three months.
    It will take about three months for your community to grow the beard. During that time it is unlikely you will get any donations, so you must be ready to pay for the server out of your own pocket. I would really recommend being able to pay out of your own pocket for the rest of the server's existence, but it is likely that someone will give you at least a dollar during your server's lifespan if you have a some what large player base.
    ======
    8. Be EULA compliant
    The absolute most important step. If you do not follow the EULA then you cannot advertise your server on these forums (which cuts down your potential player base severely) and you open yourself up to Microsoft's legal arm. It is not worth it. If you are to take anything from this thread, follow the EULA.
    ======
    9. Make an interesting thread.
    This is advertisement 1101. You need to catch people's attention. Add a banner, some coloured text (nothing too eye straining), some images. Doesn't have to be too fancy, look at the thread for the server I hang out on currently. Your goal is to grab someone's attention long enough for them to read what you are all about and hopefully sign up. Do not make a thread that looks boring (like this one) and expect people to join.
    ======
    10. Get the word out there.
    Besides making a thread, you need to take the offensive.If you know a Minecraft club at your school or university, invite them. If you have the money, get an advertisement banner or hire a famous youtuber to name drop your server. The possibilities are endless, but if just take a passive approach to recruiting you hamper your possibility of success.
    ======
    11. Be active yourself.
    Self-evident and explanatory. If the owner doesn't care about the server enough to be on everyday, why should I? As the owner you want to clock the most online time out of all your members.
    ----------------------------
    Posted in: Discussion
  • 0

    posted a message on Deeper caves: caves going more than 2 kilometers underground! Less lag! [400+ Supporters]
    Quote from TeamErmia»


    You are right, computing power does improve over time. But Mojang's task is to guarantee access to the current market, not force people to buy computers from companies that Microsoft has no financial interest in.There should be no reason to expand further on something so obvious.



    I do not understand your position.

    "But mojang's task is to guarentee access to the current market" - This sounds like you agree with me. After all, I support Mojang keeping up with the current market. That current market changes though every year.

    "Not buy computers from companies that Microsoft has no financial interest in" - Logistics on how it does not benefit Microsoft if people do not buy computers aside, this sounds like a disagreement as you do not want anyone with Minecraft to have their system be unable to play the latest version.

    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 0

    posted a message on Deeper caves: caves going more than 2 kilometers underground! Less lag! [400+ Supporters]
    Quote from TeamErmia»

    .... and even if the code was re-engineered, how many computers could handle the load? Beyond technical considerations, 'accessibility' is a key feature of Minecraft.


    At the same time the definition of accessible changes every year. We do not expect computers built in 1995 to be able to run Minecraft in order to call it accessible but we would if it was 2003. Same applies here. As computers get more and more advanced, we shouldn't fear phasing out people who have highly obsolete devices. If someone who bought the game in 2009 on their then 4 year old computer has refused to upgrade, then it sucks for them but it is no longer reasonable for a game in 2017 to bend over backwards to support a computer built at the inception of Bush's 2nd term in the name of accessibility.

    Accessibility is good, but as technology marches on so do the requirements of what a reasonable baseline computer is. I say if you support the average computer of 7 years ago, you are going above and beyond in terms of being accessible. If someone on an old clunker wants to play MC, they can play an earlier version.

    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 0

    posted a message on Ban the user above you #2
    Quote from TheRocketCat»

    Banned for having a Minecraft skin render as your avatar

    It looks like it was made with Novaskin.


    Banned for the stereotypical hoodie avatar.
    Posted in: Forum Games
  • 0

    posted a message on Ban the user above you #2
    Quote from Pandolen»

    Banned for hitting on people you ban.


    Banned for not becoming a Big Mac yet.
    Posted in: Forum Games
  • 0

    posted a message on Would you use the above avatar as a pillow?
    Quote from Nanobytes717»

    No



    Yes

    Posted in: Forum Games
  • 2

    posted a message on [28/03/2016] Realistico 07 - 512x + Advanced Mapping
    Quote from Guard_Alex»

    incase you werent told already, it is against the EULA to sell resource packs



    That is only for ingame items. Since OP drew the art himself, he is legally allowed to sell it as it is his property.

    Posted in: Resource Packs
  • 1

    posted a message on Would you use the above avatar as a pillow?
    Quote from Pandolen»

    Only if I can use your soft belly, your other scales seem a little hard to me.


    I think using you as a pillow would be udderly enjoyable.
    Posted in: Forum Games
  • 0

    posted a message on Would you use the above avatar as a pillow?
    Quote from altikat2»

    Im pretty sure sackpeople would be great as pillows!


    So as long as you dont bite sure.



    Don't bite, but we do slap

    Quote from Muro»

    Nope.



    I could fancy cuddling up to a dragon on moonlit night.

    Posted in: Forum Games
  • 0

    posted a message on Would you use the above avatar as a pillow?
    Quote from Tanpire»

    Sure.


    Definitely.
    Posted in: Forum Games
  • 0

    posted a message on Would you use the above avatar as a pillow?
    Quote from Muro»

    I don't think I would.





    Don't like a comfy sackboy?

    Much better to lay your head on than scales like your dragon avatar has. As well drawn as it looks, that would just feel uncomfortable.

    Posted in: Forum Games
  • 0

    posted a message on Would you use the above avatar as a pillow?
    Quote from monomo»

    I would try to until he conjures a pillow for me to use.



    Maybe your sweater but wouldn't use you as a pillow.


    Posted in: Forum Games
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