This blog post may come off as more of a criticism, but I'll do my best to make my argument clear and convincing rather than personal or something.
So ever since I logged onto JRCraft this year, I noticed something strange. I think I logged on around two months ago, a little after I re-started posting things on the forum and people started to come back. The first thing I noticed, as I entered the server, is that there were two distinct survival servers. I was quite confused, (mostly because of the super-disorganised spawn at the time), and managed my way to one of them. I started playing on the Survival server, where I made the cute house, obelisk and bulk shop. Later, as Jamie updated the hub and the servers became clearer, I realised that the Survival server was where more people were playing, so I started building there. That's the server where I built my rich-person house and where I own the one and only dragon egg that will totally make me rich. Now, Jamie has added a third survival server, called "Survive". I liked his idea, when he first proposed it, but I feel like we've strayed from our intentions.
I ask myself: What's the point of having multiple servers that all server the same purpose? If we're not trying to distribute some large amount of players, then I find it quite inconvenient. All I really want to do while playing is to hang out with friends, which is loads of fun! Much nicer than surviving on one's own. But if 3 friends are on Survive, and I'm trying to build my house in Survival, it gets bothersome. The solution around this is to make, or stick to, a server's purpose.
Jamie originally proposed the "Survive" server as a hardcore, thrilling and difficult server, where players could fight it out like true anarchists. When he first gave this idea, I imagined that there would be little-to-no build protection, stealing/looting would be allowed, no god mode or flying whatsoever, etc. I was expecting it to be a true struggle to stay alive.
Therefore, with these expectations, I was quite unhappy with the result. Obviously, things like stealing, looting and griefing would have to have strong regulations on what is allowed, and what isn't (I think a good idea would be protection allowed on regions against griefing, but not on doors or chests, so people would have to barricade their houses accordingly). Such regulations could simply be discussed based on what we want and what we can do. I'm also aware that the server isn't completely built yet, but I would request that godmode and flying be turned off as soon as possible, so that people start surviving in a truly hardcore way.
Making Distinct Servers
You might think that these conditions would make survival on the server way too hard. Worry not! The whole point of the Survive server would be for hardcore players who are ready to go all in, surviving with their clans, building locked-down, threatening castles with traps, or hidden underground bases to avoid looters and rivals. If you're not up for that, then the Survival or Classic server would be perfect for you. One of these, at least, should have keep-inventory, flying, godmode, and plenty of other goodies that people go on plugin servers to play with, rather than vanilla. I have little ideas, though, on how to make a stronger distinction between the Classic and Survival server (I think we should start by changing either "Survival" or "Survive" to something more different). Jamie proposed a skylands world, and I think making a skylands linked to Survival, for example, could be a good way to go, but there's some steps of discussions that all the staff and the community should go through before.
What's the point of the Survival and Classic servers? I know the Classic is meant to bring back a map that was many players' favourites, but is that really the best thing to do with a whole server? If the server is only there for reminiscing purposes, then I think there are better ways to go about it (like downloading the map or something through internet). "Survival", to me, seems like the type of place people go to build communities, farms, shops, and have social interactions in friendly ways. It might be better to either turn off pvp or turn on keepinventory, because both combined make for some sketchy ethical restrictions that nobody is sure of.
The Creative and Minigames are perfect examples of extremely dedicated servers. The Creative Server is one where you are in creative mode, so you can build what you want. For this reason, we don't need two creative servers. The Minigames Server has a similar logic; there is no current need for two servers with the same purpose.
I'd truly appreciate it if, as a staff team and community, we could discuss the purpose of the three survival servers, and make them as dedicated to their purpose as possible. Having too similar servers will confuse guests as they try to pick somewhere to invest in, hoping that they won't need to change servers because they actually would have been happier building on another. As an example, we could make the servers:
- "Survival" (shops, no pvp, flying, protection on anything, mob-arena (I have an idea for a 'survival server mob arena'), communities, love and cuddles)
- "Lawless" (Clans and clan wars, raids, looting, traps, pvp, no godmode, hard difficulty, area protection),
- "Creative" (you know)
- "Minigames" (money-making games, classic mob-arena, team and pvp games, spleef, cool command-block original minigames by me)
I'm all ears to arguments towards keeping the classic server or against other ideas I've stated. If something is unclear, let me know and I'll elaborate.