It started back in 2010, and I joined it in 2011. I only stayed dedicated for a month because death was powerful. Unless you had a bed, of course. The spawn is entirely just gone. Lava and cheap cobble and stone structures blanket the world for hundreds of blocks, and the devastation can be very much seen for thousands of blocks. I haven't been on the server in a long time, but it's still up and going on. I'm not familiar of the factions, but what I'll describe in this post is what I experienced back when I joined. Results now, 2 years late, will obviously vary.
I spawned in. The first thing I noticed was people punching each other and lava everywhere. The higher ups had made the spawn an object of entertainment. With new people streaming into the server, they decided to make a massive stone mountain at the spawn block, and flood it with lava. There was only 1 path off the mountain that you could survive. I attempted heading down the seemingly insignificant 3 wide stairs with lava around it, but it proved a problem as 15 people were constantly trying the same thing. It's funny how just spawning was difficult! People were fighting and pushing others into lava with the hope of only themselves making it off. Of course, once you got off you had no reward. There was no person waiting there to feed you, supply you, and send you on your merry way. Nope, quite the opposite. Most of the lava was around the spawn only. There were random bits of lava, but yeah, the majority was at the mountain. So outside of spawn was a pretty dark place. Strip mines were everywhere, and bridges over chasms were unsafe. I died a lot, outside of the spawn zone. Skeletons shot me off constantly until I either died of starvation or falling. Which was the issue. I tried to not punch as much, as punching depletes hunger. So I would normally get off the mountain with only a bar and a half missing, of hunger.
That was what spawn was like. On the most successful run out of spawn, I met up with a faction of 10 people, fully equipped with diamond armour. They greeted me, and I got scared and kinda skirted around them. They threw down some melons and wooden planks, and walked back to their base. I approached the items with caution, and once I got them I bolted. Once I was safe, I gave them my grattitude and continued. This is all in the presence of just stone and cobblestone floors. Dirt was gone from site, except the small veins that broke the surface. Grass was nonexistent for me. Not once had I seen a single grass block, in thousands of blocks of journey. Then, out of pure and subsequent luck, I found a lonely tree next to a small dirt hut. Being the good samaritan, I took the logs and replanted. I got a hefty profit of 3 saplings, and continued my way. About 6 thousand blocks out, I started seeing grass. This was great! But thing is, all of this happens after the 1.8 update that added hunger, and of course, the new mob spawning behaviors. All the mobs were gone from the landscape, and I couldn't find a single tall grass block or passive mob. I dared to tango with a skeleton and waste time trying to get bones, but I was running low on melons. I made a rudimentary farm next to a water source and began farming a bit. I did die from hunger before I could get bread though, and I had to take a grueling journey from spawn, back to my place of death. Of course, by then, I'd have died numerous more times. It was very hard to get there before I died of hunger again, but I managed to make it just before I died again. After that I just waited for some wheat to grow. After I got a hefty amount of bread I continued on.
Travel was bland and didn't have much in store. So from here I'll talk about the milestones. Here's a list of what I encountered in order:
- Barren, hard to escape spawn of death and lava.
- Barren stone wastes, went on for hundreds of blocks
- Dirt huts left behind by previous adventures to wait out the night.
- After a few thousand blocks, grass.
- A loooong time of that and I found trees. Forests, to be exact.
- Tall grass made it's appearence.
- Passive mobs.
- Griefed player fortresses.
- Intact bases.
- Untouched, normal landscape minus the odd player house. This was around 40,000 blocks out.
I arrived at 50,000 blocks out, and still felt insecure of my survival. There was a story of this guy who walked to 100,000 blocks out and still found a player, who killed him. It was scary, even in the safety of the huge block distance. The server has no rules, so I raided my share of bases that I came across. After that, I got... irritant. I decided to download xray and zombe's fly mod and have my fun in hacking. I flew around and mined all the diamonds I could get. I raided hidden chests, and got to my glorious 2 stacks of diamonds. I then got a little bored of the useless travel and headed back to around spawn to meet someone. He died along the way whilst I made it. I grew tired of the death and racial slurrs, and decided to cut it at that point. I dug myself in and holed up, and logged off the server.
It's now been 2 years. I logged back on just now and found to be in the same position that I left 2 years ago. I think I'll play some more, maybe hit 100,000 blocks this time. There is far less people on now then there used to be, and there seems to be little to no verbal abuse in the chat. Though, everyone still seems disrespectful and arrogant. It will be fun, and... heh, just like old times.