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Egyptian world and "Ruins" feedback

Oct 27, 2018
To begin with, I'm pleased with how the players are responding to the general direction of the new server. Although there seems to be some genuine dislike for how some of the feature are implemented. I'll break down my observations into three areas to try and avoid this becoming a wall of text.

With an all new approach to Minecraft, there needs to be a better introduction to how new players are expected to progress. The tutorial at the moment is a complicated mess of fancy cut scenes that don't really explain what is happening and break when more than one person tries to use them at the same time. The spawn areas looks nicely detailed, but is utterly unsuitable for making the progression system transparent. Let's put aside by dislike of floating islands with flat bottoms that look like someone just did a copy/paste and focus on the purpose of the /spawn area. First of all, it needs to inform players of the progression system. This does not have to be done with cut scenes. Let me show you.

When someone arrives in /spawn, don't allow them to walk around randomly. The current spawn area is nice but assume that people are idiots and will not instantly walk straight towards the signs ahead. New people will look around, get lost for a moment and then some will start to wonder where the tutorial is. Or they'll not think one exists because it wasn't made apparent when they arrived at spawn. A corridor like this is ideal because there is only 2 ways to leave, the tutorial or the exit. Clearly marked with signs.

Question 1; How do I make money?
Simple. Fight in the arena. No /shop. No item based currency. This is very clear and illustrated with armorstands. No misunderstandings here.

Question 2; Why can't I craft an Iron Pick axe?
Simple again. Crafting recipes are unlocked. Or you can explain here that gathering tools are purchased from the /market once unlocked. Or if you decide to have just the enhanced tools available from the /market and allow people to craft the basic stuff then this is the time to explain it.

Question 3; How do I level up faster?
Trade with others. Work together as teams in the Ruins. You know that new players will want to progress as fast as they can so cover it during the tutorial.

At the end of the day, cut scene are cumbersome and needlessly buggy. Signs and mannequins are more than suitable to explain a few points. And if the rules are too complicated to explain in short signs then the rules need to change. K.I.S.S.

The fact that certain craftables are not available until certain tiers is also a problem. I've literally seen people confused for a while and when they finally get an answer, they quit. These new systems need to steer players into a new way of playing, not grab them by the throat and shake compliance out of them. When me and Harry discussed matters there were two options, either lock out gathering tools entirely and sell them via a /shop to create a natural money sink. Or to allow people to craft these items but allow them to purchase superior gathering tools based upon their rank. Things like a Fortune 6 Pickaxes, Efficiency 10 Axes and so on. Tools that have enchantments that are impossible for players to create themselves and would make the gathering process significantly easier and less tedious. Tools people would genuinely want to use and therefore these tools would become a legitimate money sink and stabilize the economy at the resource level. But, players could still make the normal minecraft tools and therefore wouldn't be left confused and frustrated by any restrictions.

On a related note, the ranks should not offer superior weapons and armor. Why? Well, its all about creating a player-run economy. If the /market is offering better than player-made then people will consider it a waste of money to purchase sub-standard armor and weapons. There is already a vast difference in performance between stone to diamond grade weapons or armor and the enchanting system increases that gulf even further. That causes issues for trying to balance the difficulty of the Ruins to adding super-enchanted gear on top of that is going to be insane.

I love the idea of creating adventure zones for players. But the approach you've taken here is all wrong on multiple levels. First of all, the Ruins1 is separate from the /spawn. Why is this an issue? Well, new players will want to see what they are getting into. Dropping them right into the middle with hordes running around is a difficulty spike that will instantly put new players in a bad mood. There needs to be observation rooms around Ruins1 for new players to see what is happening and a way to enter the Ruins1 from the spawn using a portal. New players are not instantly aware of using /commands and therefore they need many things automated for them at first.

Next, the mobs in the Ruins are all wrong. The sheer quantity of them is causing server lag and there is absolutely no need for it. You either have a small number of tough mobs or a large number of weak mobs. Given that the point of the Ruins was to reduce the strain on the server, the best option is to have a small number of Elite mobs. The mobs in the Ruins also need to be a mixture of melee and ranged. This in itself will prevent folks from camping or trying to find a weakness in the AIs pathfinding. But that being said, a well designed and thoroughly tested map will not have anywhere that the AI struggles to navigate. The current map was not thoroughly tested, that is apparent. But rather than just slamming its poor design, allow me to be constructive and offer an example of something that would work.

This is a simple temple area I made today for this topic. The underlying principle of the Ruins at the moment is 'smash everything' but that becomes a grind very quickly and does not encourage people to work together. The sad fact is that people are not inclined to work as a team unless they face a common goal and the Ruins have no common goal - so you have to give them the same objective. What I suggest is capture points. Areas around the Ruins which award coins for players who are within the capture area. These spots are not easy to defend and therefore a player needs to fight to hold their ground against mobs who will relentlessly push inwards and force players off of the capture point if they want to survive.


This example temple is a simple 3-tier design with the capture point in the centre at the top. It can be approached from all 4 sides and the tiers allow someone to easily jump down but they have to use the stairs to go up. That means that whoever has the high-ground has the advantage of mobility while anyone trying to ascend has more restrictions. On the 2nd tier you may notice a ledge, this is to prevent anyone from exploiting the mob AI since players will bait them into wall that causes the AI to stand below and just out of reach.


The top area is where most of the action will happen and while testing I found a number of tweaks were needed to allow the AI pathfinding to get around without being snagged on corners and such. The area has plenty of cover to allow for ranged attack and defense. I did put two mob spawners into the basement area under the temple and I have to say that it was very difficult to remain on the 'capture point' for any length of time. This would certainly require at least 3 people to successfully defend for any length of time and that was just with 6-8 mobs assaulting it at any one time.

I genuinely feel that this 'king of the hill' approach to the Ruins is the way to go since it promotes team-work and doesn't feel grindy. All you would need to do is place a command block under the capture areas and have it award cash periodically to anyone within range of it. For the sake of variety, it would even be possible to create moving capture points or have multiple points with only one active to award coins at any one time which would force players to move around the map.
Oct 27, 2018
I've thrown together a 'proof of concept' for this king of the hill alternative to how the ruins work. I know that Harry has said that he does most of the work for the server himself and that is time is limited so I felt it was only fair to invest some time to show him how this concept would work rather than leave him to try it himself.

Dragon's Breath Shrine is a simple prototype for a King of the Hill-style Ruin. It gets its name from the fact that anyone standing on the 'capture point' has a bottle of Dragon's Breath placed into their inventory every 6s or so. This item is ideal for a server's currency since it stacks to 64, cannot be obtained by any farming or villager trades, serves only one purpose and is only available from the Enderdragon. The item itself is only used to make lingering potions which are not especially powerful and would actually be quite handy in a PvP server anyway if they were more readily available. All you'd have to do is allow players to 'cash-in' their bottles of Dragon's Breath at an NPC shop/chest rather than awarding coins directly as the Ruins currently do. To create these capture points you only need a hopper-clock and 2 command-blocks as you will see from the map I'm providing.

For the sake of testing, this prototype allows you to reset everything. This will set you into creative mode, clear dropped items, spawns an armor stand with the gear you can use for your next attempt and sets everything to peaceful to clear any mobs. When you're ready you press the other button and you'll be teleported into the Dragon's Breath Shrine in adventure mode with the difficulty set to Easy. All you have to do is collect as much Dragon's Breath as possible and deposit it into the Enderchest nearby. So far my best total is 8 lol I'm pretty bad at this one but you'll find that it's a good example of how difficult it can be just to stand on the point when the sky is filled with Phantoms and mobs have wandered down from the forested edge. I did turn off the mob griefing but you may need to do that yourself since I don't know if that change of setting is saved with the map files.

Anyway, here's the map. Zip the file and copy the contents into your saves folder and see if you can beat my best score of 8 Dragon's Breath stored in the chest before you die. :) Then imagine the potential for having maps using this King of the Hill concept on the server and trying to hold off the horde with your friends!