Regarding the server upgrade.

Discussion in 'Player Grievances' started by Xander_Fury, May 13, 2020.

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  1. Xander_Fury

    Xander_Fury Pig Jockey Lifetime V.I.P.

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    I wanted to take some time before I posted this, to think over what's happening and process my feelings about it. The current state of Nerdcrafteria makes me very sad and I feel it's necessary to talk about why.

    I have a few points to cover here.

    The first and for me the harshest, is that the world we've worked on for so much time, in my case a month and a half of my life, is going away with almost no warning and as far as I can determine for no real reason. The process of upgrading a plugin heavy bungiecord server from 1.13 to 1.15 might be difficult, but from my understanding of the mechanics of Minecraft code and discussion with some extremely knowledgeable people it should be far from impossible. It seems from my perspective that the server is resetting mostly because that's how the people in charge want it to be, despite the dismay/displeasure of what I have to assume includes most of the player base.

    I might be wrong. I admit, I don't know the specifics. This may be some corner case where for complex reasons the world save is corrupted beyond use or rendered incompatible. In that scenario however, I would have hoped the particulars would be made very clear. What we've been presented with is simply "because".

    Secondly, I'm disappointed to find that not only are we continuing to embrace the lackluster and barely functional "economy server" concept, we are in fact doubling down and sacrificing even more Minecraft content on the altar of "protecting the economy". At this point a large portion of the core gameplay mechanics will be either non-existent or a pale imitation of what they could be, and to what end? So that we can have fancifully named currency? For the convenience of a market that's been nearly barren for months? I personally would much rather play unvarnished vanilla Minecraft with the Nerdfighters I've come to know and admire than this pale, frustrating, grindy simulacrum, lacking so much functionality, and I believe alienating players new and old.

    Once again, I might be wrong. The Majority of players might enjoy the concept of an economy server and approve of the continuing and increasing divergence from essential Minecraft that goes with it, though from my own discussion with other members of the community I have my doubts. But that leads me to my final point of dissatisfaction, how would we know?

    Public input into the changes being executed here has been essentially nil. Barring one small and as it turned out almost irrelevant poll, players have had no voice in the direction the server takes going forward. If the point of this endeavor ISN'T to give the majority of players an experience they will find enjoyable and fulfilling, then I'd really like to know what exactly the point IS. The changes that are about to happen are going to cost the server some devoted players and reinforce in others that Nerdcrafteria isn't really their's in a meaningful way. It's just a place to visit.

    Most of the problems I see here feel like the result of inertia and tradition. Because "this is how it's always been done". I would argue that tradition alone is an inadequate justification to do anything at all. Nerdcrafteria has been one way for a long time, but why shouldn't it be another? I suggest it might be time for a change.

    With all that disapprobation and displeasure being read, I also have say something positive. I've been a member of this server for the better part of a decade. Despite all, I probably will be for the forseeable future, in some fashion at least. The current administration is, by far, the best that we've ever had. I've had extraordinarily positive interactions with everyone I've dealt with, and the fact that I feel secure even airing these grievances publicly without fear of retaliation speaks volumes. I love Nerdcrafteria. I love the ethos and the friendliness and the genuine good-will I see expressed on a daily basis. This place is GOOD. I just believe that it can be better.

    Xander
     
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  2. PerfectFlaw

    PerfectFlaw Space Llama Staff Member Head Administrator Lifetime V.I.P.

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    Hey Xander,

    I appreciate you taking the time to think through your feelings with regards to the upgrade, and share them with the community. I know that isn’t an easy thing to do, but the feedback is genuinely appreciated.

    I will address the lack of movement of asteroids first. It’s clear to me now I wasn’t nearly explicit/clear enough about why this change is occurring during the town hall. This is happening for two reasons. First, because the plugin we had been using to run our asteroids did not upgrade to 1.15 – there was no way to simply load the asteroid world back in on 1.15 and have it function as it had. Therefore, staff would have had to individually paste, region, and set permissions for each asteroid into a void world. This was going to be far too lengthy, difficult, and unpredictable a process (with a LOT of strain on the server) to be feasible as an option. Second, because we had heard a lot of requests to bring back Skyblock as a play-style. In order to do that, we’d need whatever Skyblock plugin we chose to function as that, rather than an asteroid world for the Economy server. I really do hope that makes sense, and I understand that I should have made this reasoning more clear in the Town Hall.

    On the saving of asteroid schems – listening to the recording (which will be posted shortly) I realize that I made this sound like a “maybe not” rather than the “we’re going to try everything we can to do that” that was actually happening. We had already had a form drafted and in the wings, we were just working out some kinks in our process and instructions before we launched it to everyone. I should have been more explicit about that, and I am sorry I wasn’t. We know that your asteroid builds are important to you guys, and we wanted to do our best to help you save them to have and/or continue working on, even if that couldn’t be on the server for the reasons explained above.

    On the economy bit: I am sure you know a lot of what I am about to say because you’ve been around a long while, but bear with me while I explain some stuff, and then I will circle back to the points you’ve made here because they prompted this discussion.

    Most people know that this map/iteration of the server was a bit of an experiment, but few really know why, or how it ended up as it did. Essentially, this map was an emergency solution to a problem we didn’t see coming, combined with a side-project some players threw together in the hopes of keeping the community alive. That work was essential to the survival of this server and this community – we genuinely would not be here without it, and I will be quite honest that I was only a very small part of it. However, due to the circumstances, we were under a very tight time constraint to get a new server up and running in the old one’s place. I mean that quite literally – everything physically and digitally about the server changed, as we simply used a large part of the work that had been done for the server that would have been NewCrafteria. Unfortunately, NewCrafteria/NerdCrafteria also had limitations, largely as a result of it being player funded and then being on a time limit. We had to run fewer worlds, and we used a lot of the work that had already been done which meant much of the “feel” of NerdCrafteria went poof.

    NerdCrafteria didn’t used to be (and hopefully won’t be again) just an Economy Server. I alluded to this on Discord, but in the past NerdCrafteria had MANY worlds, each with its own gamerules and restrictions/freedoms on play. Players could choose between what styles suited them best, while still remaining involved in the community. Many players enjoyed the plots, shops, and fancy town builds that the Economy server supported. Others enjoyed the challenge of Skyblock, or the complete freedom of Creative. Still others played season after season of Survival, never stepping foot in the other worlds. We would like to get back to this diversity of experiences, because at the end of the day our goal is for everyone to have a thing they enjoy doing on the server. We’ve heard loud and clear that vanilla Survival with greater freedom/no economy is something the playerbase is very interested in, and we are happy to make that a reality. It may come shortly after the reset, but if that’s what folks want as another world, we’ll make it happen. That way, those that don’t enjoy the Economy aspects, and the restrictions that come with it, still have a home on the server where they can play in a way that they find enjoyable.

    As for the player input/feedback points, I’m going to kind of address that in two parts: the poll, and feedback overall.

    I think we put more stock in the poll/the responses to it than many people realize, so I’d like to break down what we learned from it in the hopes that some of our logic will make sense. First, we saw that 75% of the playerbase wanted a reset in some form or fashion. Only 10% of the responses did not want to upgrade at all. That was sort of our “step one” – does the playerbase want to upgrade, and are they open to some form of reset? The answer to that was a resounding yes. We also heard in the comments of that post, and discussions with some players both publicly and privately, that an upgrade to 1.15 would feel far more “worth it”, which we agreed with. Finally, it gave us a better understanding of how important asteroids were to you guys, which is why we started working on solutions for that. When we realized the plugin upgrade/switch wouldn’t work in our favor we, like I said above, got to work figuring out how we could have them for you.

    Outside of the poll, I think we actually took in more feedback than people realize. When this map happened, we heard a LOT about how folks felt like the server didn’t reflect Nerdfighteria anymore, and how they missed plots/traditional towns. On the staffside, we were inclined to agree, largely because moderating a free-build town turned out to be a bit of a disaster (who could’ve predicted it? Certainly not the approximately 30 current and former staff who told me it would be… lol). We lost a huge portion of our playerbase not because of a loss of nostalgia, but purely because a big chunk of the stuff they came to the server for was no longer a part of the server. Those different worlds I mentioned were gone, towns as they knew them were gone, and the nerdy references were all-but-gone. That, to us, is important feedback as well, and something we took to heart when designing this reset. While unfortunately many of those conversations didn’t happen publicly, either for fear of upsetting the status-quo or simply being more comfortable sharing opinions in private, please don’t think that the poll was (or is) the only feedback or input we considered with these changes. I hope that’s even further illustrated by our willingness to add a survival world at the request of the playerbase – we want you guys to have places to have fun and call home, while respecting that everyone enjoys different styles of play.

    Finally, a brief response to the positive note at the end. I appreciate it. I really really do. While I can’t speak for the rest of staff because they spend a lot of time making up for my shortcomings, I know I am less than perfect, but we’re all trying our best to give you guys the best experience possible. We as a staff are working on a lot internally right now to process what we’ve learned in the last few years about leadership and being a part of this community. It’s a work in progress, but it’s good to know we’re on the right track. On a personal note, I know you and I don’t always see eye-to-eye, but I have tremendous respect for you as a community member and a person, and I am thankful to hear you’ll be sticking around.

    I hope this addresses your concerns – I think I caught all of them as well as a few others expressed by the community, but please let me know if I didn’t and I will address them as well.

    Thank you,

    Flaw
     
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  3. Xander_Fury

    Xander_Fury Pig Jockey Lifetime V.I.P.

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    Thank you Flaw. This response is about the best I could possibly have hoped for. I knew going in there would be information I didn't have and while I tried to cover my bases it appears that a majority of my concerns were, if not groundless, at least out of proportion. I feel more than a little abashed about the attitude and tone of my grievance post. I'd like to ascribe that to my personal history with elements of previous server administration, but honestly, I probably should have known better by now. Once bitten, twice shy I guess. It seems I too have inertia to overcome. I'm happy to learn that we should be able to keep our asteroids. That alone was the cause of most of my personal grief. I appreciate the time and effort you've taken with your answer to me and I look forward to what's next.

    Xander
     
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