For the last couple of weeks, our new team has been working day and night to solve bugs, improve behavior and make the server become a better place for everyone. The server was since taken over by me and the gamster team. We've been mostly quiet about what we've been doing, so I think it's only fair for us to finally come and be transparent about the changes.
CraftMc was a project initially started by me, Will (Cobwebster), IDeactivateMC and Peppzzii. We were looking to create a family-friendly server for everybody to enjoy. The plan was to build up a new community and slowly release the server until we managed to get things going. We've managed to finish Survival first, and while there were some issues with it, most of them were easy to fix and so weren't too much trouble. The largest bunch of issues happened when we had to decide what we do about payments. Being EULA friendly, we had to give everybody 1 key for a package that was designed to be only given to one person. This flooded the economy with magic keys, devaluing their price and causing long-term issues: Lag (a large number of custom spawners from magic keys and money meant people were overloading a plugin that focused on cosmetics instead of functionality), A spiraling down economy (the extremely large sum of money in circulation and the fact that each in-game item was obtainable via money meant that the server quickly became boring, as people had nothing to do because there was nothing more to progress to and no achievement that money couldn't buy). Most people didn't voice concern for these issues, but many have silently left. They played for a bit, had fun and decided the server had nothing more to offer.
This is the situation we had gotten ourselves into:
- Unsustainable economy: too many items creating from thin air. This meant the server was getting boring since people had 1 day of extended farming followed by hours of afk-ing to finally reach the bal-top and have no more reason to play.
- Lag: Caused by the large number of spawners that weren't supposed to exist in such numbers but got created due to us being forced to be EULA friendly
- Background Differences: I had a view set too different from the one that players and staff were used to. The craftmc community was used to more transparency which I hadn't been used to since I was usually working behind the curtains, and with people from different cultures and with different viewpoints. This has proven to cause many issues and got people scared.
- Too Family Friendly: Many people from the management team were extremely restrictive when it came to the family-friendliness aspect. For example, when I've suggested implementing a gun pvp game (similar to Hypixel's cops & crims in terms of graphics): no blood, blocky guns, no gore; an entire argument started about how it was too graphic and not family-friendly. We ultimately had to ditch a game that would have been unique and could have provided users a way to earn cubits while having fun).
- The walls that were created were tearing the server apart, and we didn't have too much leeway to build a better server on. Since they couldn't be broken, we had to come to a decision. The entire management team had several calls in relation to what we were going to do with the project ahead. One solution was me entirely leaving the team (but that wouldn't have solved any of the underlying issues and would have broken the initial agreement me, will, peppzzii and IDMC had). Another was me restricting myself to development work (as it would solve the internal staff tension issues and allow stuff to slowly get better in PR terms). The last choice and the one that was chosen was to pass over the server to me. It meant more time focusing on the server and the ability to break some of the walls that were in place, with a few restrictions I had to follow (new server domain, art, discord server)
Since then, I've been working with the Gamster team to slowly rejuvenate the server and try to give it a more long-term future. I have been mostly stuck in my work and haven't really spoken with the community, which in itself caused some issues I'm going to talk about in the next paragraph.
Because of the fact that we were stuck trying to find solutions to get out of the mess that we had laid out in front of us, transparency was lacking. This meant that the following critical changes didn't go explained (which I'm doing right now) which scared many OG people away:
- Management & many staff members left: The lack of transparency I have shown and the way different staffing systems I'm used to causing several conflicts in the management team. While I've tried explaining the decisions I took in the calls we had, many of the staff members were not willing to stay as long as I was in charge. Since I was happy with the way the staff acted, I have invited many of them to come back as part of the team. While the management left, most staff decided to stay. (until the Lodada ban explained below)
- Uncertainty due to the rebrand: The rebrand left many people in shock, as the future seemed to be completely different from CraftMC.
- Extensive Server-side changes: the change of the spawner system (which was necessary to fix the ping issues from getting worse and for keeping the server afloat) along with the implementation of the dungeons came out of nowhere and changed the entire game style. While it did solve the issues that were previously existent (and hopefully will prevent them from ever resurfacing), it scared many people away. The compensation system wasn't compensating unplaced spawners and was only compensating 2 dungeon keys for each deluxe spawner. While the first issue was fixed in a later update, the second problem was intentional and was necessary to solve the underlying issue: lag & economy getting destroyed). The dungeon became the new /spawnershop and allowed people to fight their way through hordes of enemies to earn spawners and cubits.
The entire issue got exacerbated when Lodada was banned on the discord server and Minecraft server for spamming @everyone in the new discord and trying to crash creative, which caused an entire panic around the situation, causing at least half of the OG players and staff members to leave.
The situation seems to have gotten better now, with me trying to be more transparent (like I'm trying now) and solving many issues that caused people to leave.
Going Forward - Our Plans
While our player base doesn't yet allow for it, we are waiting to be able to expand to more minigames such as:
- Urban Blocksters: A PvP game based on guns, explosives, sniper rifles and more. With a "stealth or skill" based approach to combat, we think it would be a nice addition to spice up the game.
- Adventure Skyblock: A skyblock server based on fighting mobs, exploring and beating bosses.
- WizBrawl: A project that is now inactive but was meant to be a simple yet entertaining FFA server with abilities and 1.8 combat.
We are still waiting to see how the server evolves and what YOU want, and we'll try to adapt going forward.