State of the server (PVP and Towns) Here's my input, what's yours?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Favith, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Favith

    Favith New Member

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    So, I’ve been watching the server for the last few days. Checking out chat, seeing who talks to whom, what’s being said and who the “cliques” are.



    From what I can tell there are only a couple of towns so far and they seem to be populated by people who know each other either IRL or from time together on other servers.



    Such groups are inevitable in any online world, from Minecraft servers all the way to the latest mainstream MMO (*cough* CarebearScrolls Online *cough*). The attitudes of these groups range from completely clique-centric (ie, if we didn’t know you before we don’t want you now) to full open recruitment (ie, we want the biggest group on the server—we take anyone!).



    Unfortunately, we only seem to have the clique-centric folks owning towns at the moment. People ask every day if there are towns they can join and the answer is “no”—usually repeated multiple times by anyone and everyone actually belonging to one of the towns. Clearly, the players who currently own towns have worked hard to get the money needed to create their protected zones (even the ones who made their money in agriculture, as unfair as the rest of the server labor force may see it). These cash-laden Barons have the right to be as selective as they wish when it comes to who gets citizenship and who doesn’t. If they only want their personal friends or former server mates in their towns then so be it, nobody can begrudge their decision.



    Yet, amongst all the talk I’ve observed in the last few days there is another prominent theme. Aside from cries of “Where’s a town I can join?!” there is the softer question, perhaps even a lament of “where’s the pvp?” We all came here knowing it was a pvp server, right? We all want a chance to have epic battles, even city vs city raids, don’t we? We all want to see what groups can effectively use the gifts of their chosen classes with the most cohesion, coordination and all around pvp “L33t”-ness (I know nobody uses “L33t” anymore—give an old, nostalgic gamer a break, will ya?)



    Obviously, some folks aren’t active in pvp yet because they’re doing the all-important rank grind. Some of those early perks, I’ll admit, are far too much of a priority to get to even think of anything other than earning the money for them. I’m guilty of this myself—we all probably are to various degrees. But another thing that’s keeping people from pvp, and thus dampening the pvp vibe we all hoped would be here, is the lack of groups to join and fight with/against. The cliques-centric towns aren’t opening their doors to others—and nobody wants to fight on a pseudo-faction server as a soloist (it’s a) boring and b} suicide).



    So what’s the answer? How do we jump start pvp here (we all want—come on—you know YOU do too!)?



    Well, I suppose we can all just wait it out. More people will EVENTUALLY make Baron and start towns. Those folks might not be as clique-centric as the current handful we have. These new towns will form PVP groups (hopefully) and decide to challenge the current towns (and the other new towns). We hope, anyway. How long do you suppose this will take? Personally, I just made Knight. Do you know how far away $10k looks from my currently balance of $595? What about the other Knights out there—how close are you? More importantly, how many of the current Knights aren’t already part of one of the few towns we have? How many will actually want the headache of managing your own town once you do finally earn the coin for Baron? See all the variables? We may have 4 new towns tomorrow-----or none in the next two weeks.



    The other option, which is INFINITELY easier and almost certain to bring about more pvp sooner rather than later, is for the handful of current towns to start telling the rest of us what it will take to join them. Get more people in your town=more shared resources=more people to help your town out financially and with supplies. Get more people in your town also means more people to party up with you to help you go kick the snot out of the other towns!



    Aside from the handful of folks playing Assassin, nobody really wants to pvp solo. I personally would rather be playing a cleric—healing my teammates as they crush the skulls of our enemies. It’s far more challenging (and satisfying) to win as an effective team than it is to win 1 v 1. The 3 v 3, 5 v 5, town vs town battles are where the fun is going to happen—let’s all start guiding us (as a community) in that direction!
  2. phrstbrn

    phrstbrn Administrator Owner Administrator

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    Currently, there are no huge advantages for allowing new players to join your town - you get a few bonus chunks after every 5 people, and potentially a few more players to tax to increase the town coffers (subsidizing more chunks). New players introduce more risk to established towns, while providing little to no benfit to the town. It's one more person to potentially grief you, and likely for established players, the amount of tax income gained from a new player is going to be less than the risk incurred. Established players pose less risk than new players, which is why towns tend to be made of mostly veterans, and new players are not allowed to join.

    Until the risk for new players is less than the reward for recruiting them, I don't see this changing. Unfortunately, I don't have any good ideas for this, but I'm all ears, as I agree, fixing this would be benefitial to new player experience.
  3. xhair

    xhair Member Moderator

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    A town devoted solely to new players could be good, possibly run by one of the admins just for the sake of having ownership of it and playing no further part. This could be a temporary town for players as they get on their feet. All new players could join this town just to have a sense of unity with others. They could possibly be required to leave the town after a certain amount of time or at a certain rank.
  4. Favith

    Favith New Member

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    Other servers take the risk out of adding new members to your town by making it illegal for town members to grief their own towns. I'm not sure if you're running the plugins to check block breaking/placing history and such but it's really not that hard to /inspect if you have plugins for it.

    The only real risk, as far as I can tell, is that new players might steal from your chests since there's not mass chest protection available. I'd imagine the most valuable assets (diamonds, gold, some food, etc) would not be placed in a community chest but rather in a town owner/leader's personal LWC. What exactly is a new person going to run off with? All your cobble? Some food that you can replace via your massive farms?

    It could be this easy:

    Once you see a theft has happened you ask staff to /inspect the chest. If the person who took it was a raider--oh well, your loss. If the person who took it was a town member they get kicked and you commence to ruining their reputation on the server. It's not like we have 500 players and a town griefer can expect to be forgotten about in a day or two. I imagine anyone who joins a town and griefs/steal while in it will be able to pull that off exactly ONE time before they're blacklisted from every other town on the server. Even better--since griefing or stealing from your own town would be made against the server rules--if you are proven to have done such a thing you should just get banned. It's easy to provide incentive to be respectful of your town and the people who live in it with you.

    I'm sorry but I'm just not seeing the major drawbacks to growing your citizen list. This notion that new players are a potential risk is just an excuse that could be easily rendered an outright lie by a few simple rule changes.

    Again in chat today: More complaints about lack of Pvp. More complaints that server is "BYOF" (Bring Your Own Friends). More complaints that people are unfriendly here.

    How much of that do you think we can keep seeing in chat before new people coming to try us out start to believe it and give up on investing their time here?
  5. phrstbrn

    phrstbrn Administrator Owner Administrator

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    As per policy, we don't publicise server logs. This includes chest access, block changes, chat logs. I have seen multiple cases in other communities where releasing server logs causes more drama than it solves, and greatly decreases our ability to police rule violators. So I don't see changing this policy soon, if ever.

    Griefing is already against the rules. It doesn't mean it's not a pain. Keep in mind that griefing is also subjective. Say somebody in your town makes some change to one of your structures. You as a mayor don't like it. Is this griefing? As an admin, probably not, I would have to give the builder the benefit of the doubt that the changes are in good faith. Yet the mayor still feels he is griefed. EVEN IF the admins publicised the server logs, this wouldn't solve the problem for the mayor. So, the easiest solution for the mayor would be to avoid this situation entirely, and not let other people build in his town. Towny DOES have the ability to restrict building and has plot-based protection for mayors, but I don't think anybody uses it. If somebody sets up plot based protection in their town, and then uses it, what are the upsides? It's just more administrative overhead for the mayor.

    So again, I see a lot of risk for mayors, no solutions to any of these problems, and no real benefits.
  6. Bloodhound645

    Bloodhound645 Active Member

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    For the PVP related issue in this thread I can offer a few thoughts:

    1. There is PvP, but a lot of people like you said are building towns and don't want to be hassled with it at the moment.
    2. The Arena needs to be made into a PvP area so we can all have a spot to gather when we want to fight, whether it be 1v1s, 2v2s, or full town fights.

    I think everything else will fall into place eventually. But the main thing is town building and no arena atm.
  7. auctioneer

    auctioneer Member

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    I like Xhair's idea. As somebody who was involved in Everglen on the original ChUn, I definitely think it helped bring a few new players into the idea of factions and things. I would be prepared to help with it, but not to join it.

    @ Favith. The problems you describe are indubitably holding back the potential growth of the server's population, but at the same time, I think that they would be reduced if there were lots of new players coming in. A lot of the people who I see online most of the time are people who played on papow's servers since chaotic uniformity, several years ago.

    As a member of one of the 'clique' towns you describe (Majestic), I agree that they are made up from people who played the server before, not just because people know which veterans can be trusted with their chests and blocks, but because these people had the dedication to grind out money for baron and chunks quickly. Personally I don't like being part of too big a pvp group, because this becomes boring.

    Aside from direct organisation of the creation of new towns by the admins for new players (which I believe is what xhair is suggesting), something that I personally wouldn't mind seeing would be objectives to complete as a town that require large numbers of players, perhaps in the form of a single large pvp objective, roaming giant zombies that require a big group to kill, or a dungeon that required, say, 5 players, that gave a world wide notification when a group attempted it so that others could come kill them.

    Some more direct possible motives for a mayor to recruit new players could be: tying in the chunk allocation more directly to town size (which would fit with the village, town, etc naming system), a larger base tax that is reduced by a flat percentage for each town member down to a minimum amount, town alliances (not directly encouraging town growth but allowing for larger groups to be controlled), or some way for towns to compete via town events, war, or perhaps a pvp arena that opened every hour for an unlimited number of players on each side, with the side left standing getting cash moneys.

    Either way, more players would solve everything.......
  8. Favith

    Favith New Member

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    Then unfortunately your server is doomed to fail. I'll go ahead and call it now. I hate it, too, because I like what you're trying to do here.

    I'm 37 years old. I've been playing MC since about 1.2. I've been staff on some of the largest, most popular pvp/towny/factions server out there (to include what I would say is this server's main competition--Herocraft). I'm not some 13 year old kid who wants to whine and criticize because this server isn't the way I personally want it to be. I'm telling you what I've observed because I like playing with the Supernaturals plugin over the Heroes plugin and you're the only server out there that I've found using it. You have such a HUGE thing going for you with this plugin but damn near EVERYTHING else you're doing here is hellbent on torpedoing the server.

    Don't take my word for it. Don't even count the relatively small number of people who actually use these forums and have posted things here. I play at all hours of the day (off and on). I know you're a busy guy with RL thing to deal with--Life ALWAYS comes first. But do yourself a favor and log in to the server once in awhile and just watch chat. I won't even tell you what people say---see for yourself.

    The problem with this server is that it can't keep new players. You could dump thousands of dollars into professional advertising for this server and it wouldn't help. If 100 new players joined a day, 90 of them would leave at the end of their 3rd or 4th login. The other 10 would probably stick it out for 7 or 8 play sessions before they too saw the writing on the wall.

    It's not a new player friendly server. Period. If you don't come here with your own group of friends you've lost before you even start. You have your rules in place and I get that you have them the way they are based on past experiences. I'm here to tell you: Your past experiences are not the same experiences that experienced owners/admins/staff on other, MUCH more populated servers have had. You've gotten burned as an owner/staff before when you revealed logs--I get it. Other servers have great success exposing players who need to have their actions exposed. You don't want griefers on your server---why protect their identity? You don't want town owners fearing that they can't trust new people---but the rules you have in place pretty much create that atmosphere. You give very little incentive for town owners to invite new players into their towns and tell us that there just isn't much of a reason for town owners to do such a thing. You're the owner, man, you can MAKE IT DIFFERENT. You can create incentive. You can give them reasons to add new people. You can give them tools to help them trust new people. But you don't and it baffles me.

    On other towny servers a new person logs in and 10 different town owners are FIGHTING to recruit them. Why? They have reasons to want them! Does that new player feel welcomed? Yes! Do they feel like they'd have some support on this server if they joined a town? Yes! You've got NONE of that here and it will ultimately be what kills this project of yours off.
  9. phrstbrn

    phrstbrn Administrator Owner Administrator

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    I'm not disagreeing with you. I agreed with the premise from the start, thisis an identified problem. There should be some sort of creative solution to the problem that does not involve the Admins having to police things.

    What sort of system would properly incentive a mayor to want more players? A financial system?

    Off the top of my head, some low hanging fruit:

    1% of money from Jobs goes into the town bank. This is in addition to the normal payouts.

    Anything else might work?

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