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My Views on Super-Popular Servers

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Middlecraft avatar Middlecraft
Level 29 : Expert Dragonborn


This article will be all about how I feel about big, super-popular servers. Note that all that I say is made up of my opinions only, and that you are entitled to think whatever you want about it. I may not make up the majority of people, but I'm sure that some people feel the same way that I do about big servers. That said, let's jump right into it.
The Initial Feel
For me, the feeling I get when I first start playing on a big server is...wrong. It's hard to describe, and it's like a gut feeling that I won't be staying for long. And after completing a ten-minute long tutorial through the rules and plugins, I'm almost certain that the server will never become my permanent home.
That's usually the thing with large servers. They have to have a bunch of rules and you have to know a bunch of things to succeed, but no one wants to start off on a server by reading a series of paragraphs. Log onto my server, and there will be a few essentials tips to start you off, and that's it. Read the rules if you like, because you're getting punished for disobeying them whether you read them or not. And I know that that sounds harsh, but personally I would prefer that over having to go through hallways full of signs right when I log on.
There's also a feeling that you can't get anywhere on the server. This feeling is really hard to put into words, but I'd say that whenever I log onto a very big, official server, I get this feeling that I won't be going far. I think the root of this is the notion that there are many established groups on the server already that could crush you in an instant. This notion is even more pronounced on PvP servers.
So as far as the initial feel goes, I dislike big servers. But that doesn't mean that I outright hate big servers. Let's keep on going!
The Content
The content of the server is where things get a bit muddled. There are usually tons of great ideas and epic creations and amazing plugins and incredible plans, but introducing those awesome things to the player is where these servers (to me, at least) fall short.
Half the time when I play on these mega-servers, I have no idea what features they have. I personally think that they should make the servers more intuitive and less tutorial-driven. Because let's assume that you skip most of the tutorial (and face it, you usually do). You're basically screwed, because you don't know half of the great things that the server has to offer. And this ties right in with the thought that no one wants to read a bunch of rules immediately after logging in.
Also, much of the content is so hogged by more established players that newbies feel that they aren't entitled/able to participate. For example, say the server has an auction plugin. Established players would be selling and bidding huge amounts of money on enchanted diamond armor, whereas newbies would be hanging on to their planks and cobblestone, left out of the fray. I mean, the established players are totally entitled to their dominance, but this is by no means an encouraging factor to newbies.
The Spawn Zone
The spawn... The first impression of the server that you get. Is it a good one? A bad one? Usually it's very confusing, but I think that we covered the confusion factor of large servers already. But confusion aside, the spawn is usually really well-done. For big servers it's usually enormous, so big that you have to wonder how on earth the admins made it. And there's usually also a huge emphasis on detail, which is always nice.
However, on PvP servers, usually the spawn is infested with at least a few players with diamond armor who are waiting for newbies to step out into a PvP zone. This bugs me...a lot. PvP camping should not exist. It's never fun for new players to be camped in the first 5 minutes of their playing. And although PvP timers work really well in the first adventure beyond the spawn, once the timer expires, the player is back to square one. Anytime they go back to the spawn it's a mad dash for freedom. On my own server, there is no PvP timer. However, the spawn is a small town surrounded by a lot of safe zone, so that it's virtually impossible to spawn camp. No camper can camp all sides of a vast area at once.
Going back to the topic of the spawn itself and its proportions... Sometimes the spawn is too big. And although this may be all fine and dandy and epic for existing players who know the area, new players will be baffled. There is no "if" in the equation. When newbies are dropped into a vast city of confusing buildings, they will be confused, and very much unwilling to learn the layout of the city, since it seems like too much work. On my own server, in the spawn there are four meaningful buildings, all within a close proximity of each other. The buildings have the same theme, but they are easy to identify. I really feel like big servers need to dumb things down for newbies. It sounds like I'm insulting new players, but no Minecrafter plays on servers just so they can learn 500 things about the spawn in a relatively short amount of time.
Now comes the part where I judge the admins. Keep in mind that these are all my personal opinions, and that I may not feel the same way as you.
Personally, I believe that the admins don't care about individuals as much when they are on bigger servers. But this is a completely rational and practical result of having so many players. If I was an admin watching over hundreds of players, I wouldn't be catering either. But I feel that the admins make decisions based on 1) vocal people and 2) donators. But what if you're a player that doesn't express opinions on a regular basis? What then? Your needs are overlooked.
And although the decisions part is true for most servers, managing so many players causes there to be confusion, and often frustration. If I helped administrate a larger server, I would have a much shorter temper due to the demands of the hundreds of players. I would be less inclined to listen to them, and would also be very, very annoyed with many of them.
And then there's the matter of disputes and hacking. I'm sure that admins get tired of arguments fairly quickly, and when the arguments can happen between any two out of hundreds of people, admins get annoyed.
And the hacking... There's simply not enough individual emphasis to root out all of the hackers. Admins may get NoCheatPlus, but that's not a perfect system. In the end it all comes down to admin judgment, and if there's little individual attention, then hacking will be widespread.
The community is yet another thing. With so many players, unless you dedicate time to specifically bonding with a certain person, there's not much opportunity to form friendships. You may PvP someone once or twice, but when you are part of a vast community, chances are that after that day, you will not see them very often at all.
To Be Expanded On Later
This article is not finished, so please check back later and leave feedback on the existing content. If you would like to see more blogs from me in the future, please diamond the article. Thanks!

10 Update Logs

Update #10 : by Middlecraft 12/06/2012 7:56:36 pmDec 6th, 2012


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03/07/2013 10:58 am
Level 1 : New Miner
susie8111 avatar
I think you should try out pwing.net before dissing all of the big ones :)
11/27/2012 8:51 pm
Level 61 : High Grandmaster Hero
GarretSidzaka avatar
you should come on my server and see how a server is supposed to be run
11/23/2012 8:27 pm
Level 55 : Grandmaster Mage
dingousa avatar
Definitely agree. I hate getting on large servers that seem cool, only to be greeted with walls of text. You should be able to jump in and play.
11/23/2012 8:26 pm
Level 19 : Journeyman Cake
Awesomeman2002 avatar
I totally agree. There will be nothing, nothing like my favorite small servers. I do not like servers like meep craft. I mean like 700 people on at one time!
11/06/2012 10:07 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
Nwb712 avatar
I totally agree with this. Everything you describe here is exactly how I feel on big servers. Usually I just host a private server with a few friends from school.
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