Let's talk about our Minecraft servers (and future)

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So now that we've had our first public server since the restart of FTOG and have gotten a lot of feedback from the community, I wanted to spend a few paragraphs about the future of our Minecraft servers and give you an opportunity to chime in and let me hear your thoughts about it all.

The Good Things:

I am really happy to say that the majority of feedback I have received from the community - either privately or publicly in Discord - especially when there was downtime, or we had to make changes, add rules, or ban items, was always well received and most of you expressed your understanding. It is always nice to see when you all are patience when we are trying to fix an issue on the live server and sometimes have to restart a few times in a row or turn on the whitelist so we can investigate without constant logins and logouts.

I am also happy to see that many questions people have, even if asked for staff, is often answered by the community. Same for when someone steps out of line, I like that you guys let that people know that you don't appreciate them messing with - of affecting - your gameplay and time.

The Bad Things:

Players that like to complain, play way to excessive or break other rules even after reminded multiple times. I think all of them joined FTOG only to play on the StoneBlock server and didn't care about the community.

And of course, all the administrative headaches that the modpack, as well as Minecraft servers in general, bring with it.

Why did we do the changes we did last week to the StoneBlock server?

Let me explain the difference between the three main modded Minecraft servers that are commonly used.
1) A plain Forge server without any restriction. We've had many of these servers in the past, but you can only play on a server like this with a whitelist of players you really trust. There is no grief prevention on these servers and usually no restrictions at all. On these servers with a small player base and it is very easy to tell everyone when not to use something because it might cause crashes or lag.
2) Forge server with Forge addon to limit certain items, chunk loading, and to have basic grief prevention. These servers allow for basic administrative tasks, but you are limited by the modpack. Example: If you want to have a multiverse style server (many custom worlds), you need to have a dimension mod installed on the server as well as on the client. So if you play a popular modpack that doesn't have a mod like that, then you would have your players install additional mods in order to play on your server.
3) SpongeForge server. This is the powerhouse of public servers and what we recently switched to during last weeks change to the StoneBlock server. Sponge allows you to run a variety of plugins on your server without the need for the clients to have those installed. These plugins allow you to drill down on commands and permissions, setup economies, have extensive grief prevention and logging tools, and tons of other options through plugins than you can have with just Forge.

While we might have occasional servers with a whitelist (option 1), the norm for our Minecraft servers will be either option 2) or 3)
In a perfect world, option 3 would be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, we recently learned that while there are many pros to using Sponge, there are also negative side effects that are starting to outweigh the pros.

Sponge changes a lot of the basic functionality of Minecraft (to name a few):
- The way mob spawning works
- Lighting
- Redstone
- Chunk loading and unloading

While many of you may have not noticed some or all of them, they are very apparent when you notice them. Redstone is totally different and often takes 10 times as long to register. Mod farms either don't turn off or on depending on the lighting even thou you either see the light or don't. Since we installed Sponge, there are other issues as well, as all of Extra Utilities flat transfer nodes disappeared or not working anymore, and Woot Fortune or Bosses not working.

Those are only the issues we've been able to discover over the past week so there might be many more down the line. So taking all of this into account, it only makes sense to bench Sponge and go back to the way we had the server setup initially.

I hope that this explains a lot of questions you might've had, and if you didn't, it might help you understand a lot of the things that are coming up.

Where are we going from here?

Well, there are a few things I want to explain about my outlook for FTOG first before I explain our Minecraft servers future.

I care a lot about many players in the FTOG community, and for those players, I will keep up maintaining our servers. I also want there to be an option for new players to join us and get to know the community and become part of it.

I don't care about players that just come to play on a free server. They just want something to play on and mostly just play for themselves, don't interact with the community, complain about rules, or play excessively, and usually end up either leaving or being removed. None of the Admins work for those people, we do what we do because we like FTOG and want its members to have a place to play together.

But we need your help as well!

What I mean by that are your understanding and healthy discussions. What I mean by that is that when we make a rule or require you to add a mod to your modpack, that you know we are doing that for a reason, and that reason is to keep our server(s) stable and clean. So when we are doing the update to our StoneBlock server tomorrow, we will require you to add an Item Blacklist mod (which will become a standard for all our servers) which allows us to ban items. This, for example, will allow us to do things like allowing you to place the RFTools builder in one dimension, but not in another, or overall banning items that we know can bypass FTBUtilities grief prevention.

There will be more posts over the next few weeks about future servers, a new modpack that we are working on for FTOG, as well as other things. So let's start checking the forums a few times a week at least so you stay on top of things. And for people that are not up-to-date on the forums or the various Discord announcement (present and future) channels, I can't help them if they can't be bothered reading a few lines of text every (other) day to know what is going on in the community.

I want to hear your feedback on all of this, so get to replying :)
 

Comments

Oct 13, 2018
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Netherlands
www.youtube.com
#2
I don't know much about the Sponge or griefer protection other than claiming chunks - I've played on the Squad server and even tho they only allow higher tier patrons, they have to deal with griefers. The extra mod seems like a good idea as long as you can enforce clients to have the mod and block those without it.

I like that FTOG has made a public server - I haven't joined because I'm too involved in that other *Block pack right now 😊 You say you don't care about players who join without care for the community. To prevent those, you could still setup a whitelisting system but allow anyone to be added after they have introduced themselves in e.g. Discord. This would also give admins an idea about what type of person they are dealing with and/or if they should expect to pay more attention to them.
 
Oct 13, 2018
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In stealth right behind you
#3
Running servers is always a lot of work, even if it is for a small closed community, and here you do it for the public, so massive kudos.
That said, I already pressed the like button because I like what you are doing and what you plan to do.
I stand behind you 100% on any changes, testing, etc, that needs to be done to make the experience for all of us better.
 

Medina

New member
Oct 15, 2018
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#6
Sounds good. Those that care about the community and are trying to become a part of it are easily seen and for the most part people on the server have been helpful and once aware of what causes issues on a server are quick to comply and spread the word. Its really nice to see. I agree sponge is a pain and switching back is a good call. FTOG onwards and upwards! Admin/Mod Team, Everyone, Keep up the good work!
 

Bethod

New member
Oct 14, 2018
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#7
I wanted to use the "And my AXE!" reference. But Grok was faster :cry: Anyways. I really appreciate all the hard work you and all the admins do for all of us. I was, I do and I will always support any of your decisions. I'm really happy to be part of such an awesome community.
 
Oct 13, 2018
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#8
I've been enjoying Stoneblock. (Not enjoying recording it, but that's nothing to do with the server or anyone on it.)

I fully appreciate everything the admins have done to get it running and keep it running as smoothly as possible. (There is no "But" here)

It's a shame that there have been a few (and I do think it's a few) people that have caused issues. I'm pleased that many have cleaned up their act when the selfishness of their actions has been pointed out, disappointed when they others have shown to be trolls.

The issue with whitelisting is that it adds another level of admin to the whole process and vetting applicants is a pain. I've been a member of Discords where a certain level of participation opens up different levels. Maybe that might make things more streamlined. On the other hand, talking in a text channel is not the best yardstick for how they might behave on a server with others.

Maybe there are Bots that can automate something wherein a new member is limited to a single channel that gives the rules, the are directed to the forums and have to fill in a multiple choice questionnaire on server etiquette. Something like:
What is an acceptable number of Pulverisers?
1. One
B. 10
Ω . Millionty eleven
四 . Whatever the admins say.

Passing that test then opens up the rest of Discord and whitelisting. I fully realise that is likely a LOT of extra work and is no guarantee of a quiet life for the admins after that even.
 
Likes: davidhyde29
Oct 12, 2018
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#9
i will support you 100 percent to. whatever it takes. i also like the idea for a test. i also appresate what you your admin and your mods do for the ftog servers. i tried going to other servers and was board i am glad its back. nothing compares to this community and the servers you guys make. this includes groks and middleclaws server was good to and thats because they are from ftog just needed to make that clear
 
Last edited:

asteranx

New member
Oct 25, 2018
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#11
I'll go with whatever comes from this - the community is great, and well worth some manual steps to get everything working on my end. My main concern, which I'm sure you share, would be the additional barrier to entry installing extra mods into the pack would represent, particularly when I've played on servers that manage to put restrictions like the ones you suggest in place entirely server side. Of course, you could also view that as a filter rather than a barrier depending on how open you intend the server to be.

All this really just makes me super curious about the issues with sponge and why they don't seem to be issues on other public servers I've played on. It's possible of course that those other servers aren't using sponge (though it does seem to be a major server platform, so I kind of assume it's popular for running big servers), or maybe there are answers for them in the configuration files (though I also assume you've tried various configuration changes to fix the issues you're seeing). I think the closest I've seen is on Sky Factory 3 servers, there tends to be a lighting glitch where sunlight seemed to get through some kinds of blocks on the server, notably those with connected textures.
 

TenPaces

New member
Oct 27, 2018
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#12
Thanks Thor and the other admins for keeping the server running. I'm happy to be able to play with everyone. Thanks for the explanation of what's happening.
 
Oct 16, 2018
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#13
Agreed, the community (with a few minor exceptions, which have cleaned up their acts some) here is great.

I'm not opposed to a minimal entry barrier to play on the server.... just requiring that they make an account and post here to eliminate the laziest trolls/griefers will help. And, the block blacklist and expanded griefer protection will help with server health in the long run I think.

Having done network support/server hosting in the early days of the interwebs, I truly appreciate the hair-pulling frustration running a server sometimes causes, thanks for taking that Atlas-like burden on your shoulders :)
 

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