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= The Dilemma of Survival Servers =

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dingousa's Avatar dingousa
Level 55 : Grandmaster Mage



You join a survival server. 'Woah, nice spawn!' you think. You explore the spawn a bit (a good spawn is essential to a server). Maybe you started with some money, so you buy a few items. Then you decide to venture out into the world.

Stepping out of spawn, you are greeted with ugliness, stretching into the vast unknown. Random dirt blocks placed around as cheap houses, random holes everywhere, people fighting (ok, maybe that's more on PvP servers), and a general mess.

You venture further and see half-cut trees, mined-out chasms, treacherous 1x1 bedrock-deep holes (and their counterparts: the 1x1 dirt towers), and little huts of dirt and cobble. Seeing a jungle, you think your journey's over. But then you get closer and see that the tops of the trees are covered in horrid wood houses and have dirt snaking up their sides. How far should you have to go to find a place to call your own?

This is the dilemma of a survival server, or any that let people free in the world to do what they wish. What should you do about it? Read on for some possible ideas.



These solutions may not be completely fool-proof, and may cause general confusion on your server if you switch to them, but they may work out for you in the long run.

- Switch to a Creative Server: Ok, giving up is not the best option, but if you're on your last legs, do it. Set up a nice neat plot world, assign players plots, and forget about cleaning up half-cut trees in front of your server spawn.

Downside: Players who like survival will hate you and may leave the server...


Goodness, so orderly!

- Set up server towns and player towns: If you're up for it, make your spawn a server town, and let players set up their own towns (after they get enough people backing them). Sell plots to players in the town, and let them build their own houses with materials bought from a server store. Have them earn money with a job plugin, or set up 'quests' that earn them money upon completion.

Downside: Possibly unattractive houses in your spawn (could be solved by setting down building rules for your town).

- Have a separate server world for survival: This is an idea that can definitely work. Let players do whatever they want in a 'survival' world you set up, and then have a prim and proper 'spawn' world where they can sell items accumulated from the survival world and possibly live in.

Downside: Another world takes up more server memory, and it might be a bit expensive to upgrade to a larger-capacity server.

- Have your server be invite-only/whitelisted: This way you can set up an application that players must fill out to be whitelisted. Or, if it's invite-only, then only your friends and possibly their friends can join. This method might keep out wrong-doers and immature people. (idea from Aelous)

Downside: Your server might not be as popular or have as many people on it as you might like. Unless, of course, your server is already really popular, and people are willing to fill out an application to join (i.e. FyreUK, CraftedMovie server, Gazamo)

- Hire staff who will moderate buildings: If you have staff on your server who are willing to go around and check out people's builds for quality, this will really help keep your server looking nice. You could even have them give tips to players who are building, so that they can build better and more interesting buildings. (idea from Candlebor)

- Start a prison/controlled server: Uhm, well, I wouldn't exactly advise this unless you are just starting a new server. Your old players, accustomed to the freedom of survival, will not enjoy being shoved in a small area with little freedom.


The grimness of prison...on Minecraft? Yep. ;)



There are some plugins out there that can help you immensely with managing your survival server effectively, and reducing the ugliness outside of your spawn.

~ Population Density: This plugin searches for areas that are resource-rich and spawns new players in them. Every time a region fills up with builds and empties of resources, the plugin finds a new area and spawns new players in that area. If you have a central spawn, just tell players to do /HomeRegion to reach their spawn region.

Downside: Eventually, the new regions will make your map extremely large (file-size wise), and very hard to download and save (if you don't host your own server).

~ Grief Prevention: A plugin that goes along with Population Density, this plugin protects small areas for new players to build in. A new player simply places a chest in an area, and it protects a small area for them. Over time on the server, they earn more blocks that are protected, and can even buy blocks adjacent to their old blocks.

~ Towny | Factions: I am sure most people know what Towny and Factions are. These plugins let players create their own protected towns/factions which they can invite new players to and expand their land.

~ Simple Region Market: Setting up a server town? Sell plots in it with this plugin. With WorldGuard, set up regions in plots you create (could even be an apartment building or shopping mall!) that players can buy. This might go along with the idea to build a server town, or have separate maps for your server spawn and survival world.



...do what you think is best for your players and your server. This blog is just meant to possibly give you a few ideas about what you could do. If you want to keep your server the way it is, that is perfectly fine. :)

You can take some of these ideas if you like them and mold them into your own. That is what PMC is all about: sharing ideas and creativity. If you have your own, feel free to post them below. ;)

(I will be adding pictures into the blog soon.)

I leave you with this graphic:



Thanks for

pop. reel
guys! ;D





2 Update Logs

Update #2 : by dingousa 07/02/2014 12:22:37 pmJul 2nd, 2014

- Added solution: hire staff who will check on players' builds

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07/03/2014 3:41 pm
Level 33 : Artisan Engineer
Bilbao's Avatar
You're back! :D
12/26/2012 9:29 am
Level 11 : Journeyman Skinner
Withah_Killah's Avatar
10/28/2012 5:56 pm
Level 7 : Apprentice Ninja
Xcano's Avatar
For some reason ( I don't know why) I like the ruined-y look of survival/pvp servers to me it gives me a sense of "I am in a place intense with violence and bloodshed I need to find others resources to survive" also it helps me to take shelter throughout my deadly trek to non-destroyed areas.
10/09/2012 2:03 pm
Level 52 : Grandmaster Technomancer
Frostgeneral2k's Avatar
Great mod!
10/09/2012 11:10 pm
Level 13 : Journeyman Skinner
storn42's Avatar
10/09/2012 1:56 pm
Level 41 : Master Nerd
LlamaDuck3000's Avatar
Hey aren't you a mod on Battle for conwy? :3
10/09/2012 2:48 pm
Level 55 : Grandmaster Mage
dingousa's Avatar
Yes. :3
10/09/2012 12:03 pm
Level 42 : Master Necromancer
candle_'s Avatar
Wow. I heard about you from Greytopher... and this... this.... this is amazing.
10/09/2012 12:10 pm
Level 42 : Master Necromancer
candle_'s Avatar
I once built an amazing (Not trying to be arrogant) area on a server. I had a tower of frost, fire, life, and earth. Then some guy came and built a one block dirt... thing and he said it was the tower of water. I politely asked "Where's the water? It may be cooler if there was some." Then he poured water all over it instead of getting rid of it as I intended. I asked a moderator if he could remove it saying "It just dosen't match in with the rest of the towers too much. After all there are four elements. Well, not on the periodic table but you know" He tped there and was just awesome "Uhmmmm... This looks like crap" *Deletes dirt tower* :D

On that server they had building mods who asked people to improve and gave them tips on how to build, and if they didn't comply, deleted the building. They also deleted abandoned and random ugliness. Another idea for preventing that ugly stuff.
10/09/2012 2:48 pm
Level 55 : Grandmaster Mage
dingousa's Avatar
Yes! Having responsive staff who clean up the server is definitely a plus. ;)
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