My Patreon campaign launched a year ago today, and I thought now would be a good time for an update along with a refresher for those who don't know about it!
Basically, I'm running a Patreon campaign to help cover the ongoing costs of my online gaming community projects and raise funds to go even further. The most visible and most time-consuming aspects of this are the multiple Minecraft servers, of course, but this goes beyond that: it also applies to things like the Starbound server, the Interordi.com forums, and more. In exchange for a monthly payment of your choosing, depending of the amount, you get rewards like an orange star in Minecraft, shiny trails that follow you, postcards, and so on!
I've prepared a new video to explain what this is about. If you've seen the previous one, it's the same content, but now with a much better audio quality thanks to a new microphone!
You'll find more details on the Patreon page itself.
There is also a new perk being prepared for patrons. What is it? You'll see once it's ready! ... Note that current patrons can already learn about it in my latest post over there. ;-) Thanks for reading, and especially to everyone who's already on board!
I'm happy to launch tonight a new version of the chat bridge that links the various Minecraft servers along with our IRC channel! This is a major upgrade on several fronts; the most obvious change from the get-go is that there will be a single bot in the IRC channel, CreeperBot, relaying all the messages. You'll notice that the text output in IRC is now a bit different as it includes the location of each chatter. Things in-game mostly look the same.
Most notably, this revision allows me to add something that some of you have asked for: Discord integration! Much like the current integration with IRC, you can jump in our new Discord server to chat with the players that are there, in-game or on IRC all the same time! If you're already familiar with that, here's the channel invitation link: https://discord.gg/RAHmKyF
For those of you not familiar with Discord, it's a chat client growing in popularity in several gaming communities. Much like IRC, you can connect to various servers, chat in global rooms, private message people, and more. On top of that, you can also voice chat with others, making it a simple-to-use option for those looking to talk out loud. You can download the computer client, mobile apps, or simply learn more on the Discord website. Once you have it installed, hit the big + button at the left to add a server, select join, and enter the following address: https://discord.gg/RAHmKyF
Since Discord makes it easier for players to chat to each other, either by typing or by talking, I'll be retiring the Mumble server. It wasn't as intuitive to use for some people, and I believe this new option is the better one.
This revision to the chat system is only the first step: this new core will allow me to pull off some new tricks that were impossible before, including a few features that were requested previously. Stay tuned for more updates!
Ever since gates were introduced for the Nether rail network, the former Nether hub, Nether Central Station, is receiving a lot less traffic. This made the post office far less convenient to reach, since you'd need to backtrack through the Nether only to check your mail. To improve on this, we've decided to move the post office to the natural trading location of many players: Point Zero, in Rodinia, right next to the spawn point.
For those not familiar with the post office, it's a building full of mailboxes taking the shape of chests. Each player is allowed to claim a single chest by placing a sign with their name on it, and using the /cdonation command on the chest itself. That way, you get a mailbox that anyone can drop items in, but that only you can take anything out. Perfect for sharing items with other players, and they don't even need to be online at the time!
To make players easier to find in the new structure, players have been split in four groups based on the first character of their username: names starting with a number, an underscore or the letters A to D go at the bottom left, E to K to the bottom right, L to Q at the top left, and R to Z at the top right.
Anyone who currently has a mailbox, please clear the one in Laurasia's Nether and claim one in the new Rodinia location. The old post office will eventually be closed off.
Thanks to Sora for the new building!
The boat building contest has been running for quite some time now and is about to draw to a close. It definitely seems like everyone had a lot of fun with this one, and I'm pleased with the turnout!
Though the closing was scheduled for tonight (March 31st) at midnight, given that we're coming up on the weekend, we've decided to extend the contest to cover Saturday and Sunday. The building phase will now end and the boats will be open for our judging at 11:59:59PM EST April 2nd 2017.
This minor extension is being provided for the contestants who work or are otherwise involved during the weekdays to have that last bit of time to finish up on detail work or cleanup, so use the time wisely! Good luck to all the contestants!
Thanks to Sphenicus, we have a new version of the standard resource pack!
This time, for your entertainment, we have changes to some music tracks, updated paintings and new sounds! As usual, the block textures themselves are preserved, so you're able to keep Minecraft's standard look or mix-and-match with your favorite pack.
You can read the details on the pack along with the possible add-ons on the resource pack page. If you just want to download and install it, here's a direct link. Enjoy!
A few updates ago, Minecraft received the Combat Update, rebalancing the game's attacks and defense, creating a whole new style of play. Some have embraced the change, others have disliked it, but many haven't really done any PvP since then. How about changing that? :-)
I'm inviting everyone to show up this Saturday, at 10pm Eastern time, during Events Night for a small PvP tournament! Contestants will be put in brackets, fighting 1 vs 1, until only one is left standing!
To showcase the best fighters, two brackets will be done: one for unarmored players equipped only with stone swords, and the other allowing everyone to show up with the best weapons and armors. Players can participate in both, of course. That way, everyone will get a chance to fight on equal grounds while also offering the possibility of those with solid equipment to use them!
Not skilled in PvP? It doesn't matter, we're in this to have fun anyway! Prizes will be handed out if enough show up, so pass the word around!
The latest UHC round is now available and awaiting your blood successes! The land looks simple enough at first glance, but as it happens, there's an extra layer or two hiding...
As a reminder, there are now four specific targets to reach, each one being worth 5 Merit Points:
- Crafting a bookshelf
- Crafting an enchantment table
- Access the Nether
- Pick up a blaze rod
Several players made it to the Nether last time, but only one hit all four targets! The appropriate Merit Points have been awarded; you can view the current rankings on the forums. How will you do this time around?
On an extra note, I'd like to get some feedback on how you're enjoying the way that UHC currently works on the sLab!
* Take the survey! *
I'd appreciate it if you took a minute to answer the survey even if you've never participated in UHC and aren't interested in it. Thank you!
Multiple attractions and mini-games have been built by our players over the years! Some are neat places to visit, several are PvP arenas with different quirks, while others are full blown mini-games built within Minecraft.
To give yourself an idea of what's available, you can check the Attractions page at any time! The list includes a mention on how many players are required to enjoy each option. The page has just been updated to include the additions of the past several months.
These are easily reached during any Events Night, of course (starting at 9pm Eastern time every Saturday), but many also have Nether or overworld connections. Ask around how to get there, and another fellow player is sure to help!
And not of the rich man variety.
Many of you are aware that I've been working on a redesign of Grand Central Station for a while. Part of that was to create a better looking building, with an improved layout for travellers to find their way around. This also had an extra goal, which I'm ready to unveil today!
Many of us have wanted for the longest time the ability to ride rails through Nether portals, so you could easily travel from point A to point B without going through the tedious steps of stopping on a rail, breaking and picking up your cart, going through a portal, placing the cart, and resuming your trip. Going straight through is now possible thanks to a new plugin! Here's how this looks in action:
Gates look identical to Nether portal, but work with a few key differences:
- Entities can ride through, including players in minecarts.
- They don't interact with portals at all; they're independent.
- They don't pair up with one another; positions can be shifted as needed.
- Only ops can create and manage them.
The new Grand Central Station has gates setup for Laurasia's four main Nether lines, so you can start your journey straight from the overworld while still benefitting from the Nether's faster travel speed! The new starting points are located on the upper floor of the station, next to the matching overworld line. The rails are now also facing the wall of the main destination; that is, the Southern Expressway is on the South wall, the Transoceanic (heading East) is on the East wall, and so on.
Some of the main rail endpoints will be updated in the coming days and weeks to use gates instead of stopping in the Nether. Port Townshend, as illustrated in the video clip above, was already taken care of. A new visual signature, seen below, will also be included at several key locations to indicate the proximity of the main Nether and overworld lines. If you currently have a private line that ends at a Nether portal, and you'd rather have a gate so that your rail goes straight to your overworld base, please contact an op and we'll do the change for you.
Nether Central Station will remain available as a back-up option as well as to include the post office and the network map. I hope you enjoy this new addition!
On a side note, I updated the servers earlier today, and the annoying bug where you couldn't right-click on iron doors and some trapdoors has been fixed through a plugin update!
Carrying on from my previous announcement, the build phase for the Boats Contest has now begun.
To reach the build site
From Nether Central, take the Eastern Mainline to Super Shroom (the 3rd stop), and from there to the Hub of Divine Transportation. From there head down 2 flights of stairs and across the room in the northeast corner to the Scythe Islands line. On the other side of the portal you'll find yourself a button press away from the build site. There are currently 10 plots available, though more can be added as needed.
As a quick recap
The contest will run until 11:59:59PM EST March 31st 2017. All entrants are supplied with a 100x45 dry dock on which to build any seaworthy vessel they choose, of any style or origin, to be judged on their creativity, use of materials, and general design. Plots are designed with a black and yellow border outside the building area for easier measuring.
Once building has closed, any unfinished entries will be scuttled, and sunken to the bottom of the vast ocean surrounding the islands. Keep this in mind, as all materials will be forfeited in this case!
A full rundown of details can be found through the previous news post, or here on the forums.
And now for prizes
The first place winner will be awarded 30 Merit Points and a copy of the armor I've been using to tame the wilds of the Scythe Islands. This includes a Pumpkin enchanted with Aqua Affinity/Depth Strider III/Protection IV, a Diamond Chestplate, Leggings, and Boots enchanted with Protection IV/Unbreaking III/Mending, plus Feather Falling IV on the boots.
Second place will receive 20 Merit Points and a weapon designed for Shulker hunting; a bow enchanted with Looting III/Unbreaking III/Infinity/Mending.
And finally third place will receive 10 Merit Points along with a tool that's been a staple for many; a Diamond Pick enchanted with Efficiency V/Unbreaking III/Mending, plus Fortune III and Silk Touch books.
As a special bonus, all prizes will be awarded in Shulker Boxes, to make carrying it home that much easier.
Good luck to everyone, and happy building!
As we roll around another month, a new UHC challenge is awaiting you. This time: GLASSCORE. Good luck!
At the request of many players, and to make things more interesting, specific targets to reach have been added. These will be the same every month (excluding future tweaks) and give you something to fight for outside of merely surviving. Reaching each of these targets will grant you 5 Merit Points each:
- Crafting a bookshelf
- Crafting an enchantment table
- Access the Nether
- Pick up a blaze rod
I've put into place a custom system to make the tracking of these objectives more reliable. No more relying on vanilla achievements! Please note that not all goals will be reachable every month due to some of the unique challenges provided. Which ones are possible will be left for you to discover!
Some suggested granting points for kills, but I had to exclude that as some players could simply use alt accounts to score some free points.
Feel free to let me know what you think of this new formula!
It's coming up on 4 years since my first day here on Creeper's Lab, and just over 3 since I first became an Op. I've enjoyed every minute of my stay and I'm sure a lot of others would say the same!
I've seen my fair share of contests; judged a few and taken part in a handful. Everything from houses to castles, from gardens to trains, and even pixel artworks have been featured so far. Something is missing though...Something we have yet to see...
Starting today, I'll be looking for a few creative individuals to help me fill the vast area of water amidst my island chain in the eastern seas. Here's a bit of info, and the rules to get you started:
This contest will run from 12:00:00AM EST February 1st until 11:59:59PM EST March 31st 2017. That's right; a full 2 months. You may start building no sooner than February 12th, and information on how to reach the contest area will be posted at that time. I would like everyone to really stretch their creative legs, so this small grace period is to be used for your design process and nothing else.
The designated plot size is 100x45, however, please bear in mind that it is by no means required that you fill this space. The size is simply a rounded estimate in hopes of giving everyone enough room should they choose to dream big. Plots will be situated at water level with solid bottoms; this means no getting your feet wet just to place blocks.
You're free to build whatever you see fit. Anything from sailboats to trawlers to battleships, medieval to modern to fantasy; the choice is yours. My project for the islands surrounding the contest site is to include a wide variety of architectual styles and timeframes, and after the contest the boats will be moved throughout the chain to more appropriate, natural locations.
Entries will be judged on their creativity, use of materials, and general design. Boats with empty hulls (IE: cargo ships with no cargo, crew quarters with no bunks, etc...) will thusly score lower than those with full establishment. As a special stipulation, any entries left unfinished when the contest closes will be sunken at the center of the island chain and their building materials forfeited to the depths. Be sure your project is fully seaworthy before then!
Prizes will include Merit Points, as well as in-game items. The full list will be announced when the build phase opens. Good luck to everyone in planning!
Thank you all for participating in the event and building contest. There are some beautiful results that may appear again next holiday season!
The results are in:
The Ice Keep by Lacar (29)
Beautiful design with nearly all Ice and snow. The secret takes you on a journey through the whole design inside and out. What an amazing hidden room, and really distinct secret... although perhaps -1 for trolling... (JK)
"Crack the secret code and get rick-rolled."
What an amazing castle with spectacular lighting. flawless use of ice in the design. The secret garden is beautiful.
Simple and well designed exterior in the style we have grown to expect from him. Perfect symmetry, and wow, what a mind blowing idea, recreating the entire thing, in reflection, right to the exterior of the entire castle. Just wish that was better lit.
Ice Castle on the Mountain by MountainB0Y (26)
A wonderful tower design. Love the lighting, and the dramatically different interior design. The secret was a bit of a scare "i was almost unable to find the button that lets you out", but what an amazing series of rooms.
Castle to the Corner by Axe-Y (23)
Great use of material, all ice and snow throughout, and so much height. A great chandelier and throne... I love Mr Neighbor, But I don't get the secret cake room. In fact, wouldn't have known to look underneath if I hadn't seen him there at one point working.
Globe Castle by Dr.Cossack (21)
Great idea! A Snow globe, simple, small and great use of material, although a lot of glass in that exterior... Unfortunately the secret looked mostly like an after thought.
Not Castle by Coneva (20)
so simple and small, and not at all castle like, but the idea presented in the secret book begins a great tale. Too bad the secret wasn't really hidden.
DED by Sora (18)
Nice trick of the ice in building, made it a challenge to navigate the rather dark interior.
... and ...
Top three winners will receive merit points: 30, 20 and 10 and a custom crafted replica of their MC mini as either a paperweight, keychain or note holder.
Model details will be handled through PM, and glamour shots will be taken when next we are on together.
Thanks again and awesome job!
Congratulations everyone, and thanks to Ginge for the original contest idea and running it! It's been fun to see what the contestants have come up with! You can view a screenshot of each entry on the contest results page.
Some of you noticed that the Creeper's Lab website and its parent Interordi.com were down for several hours in the past day, along with a worrying warning about security settings. This turned out to be a server bug within my host's systems, and nothing more dramatic. Everything is now back to normal!
Now that we've had a few days to bid farewell to 2016, here's a quick reminder of how the raffle went and who was lucky enough to win!
In total 29 names made it into the drawing, leaving everyone a decent 1-in-3 chance of walking away a winner. All of the contestants were randomly shuffled and the top 10 names were gifted an assortment of items including (but not nearly limited to) diamond blocks, enchanted books, weapons, and tools.
The lucky winners were: AnomalousSparrow, Anonymous_SoFar, Craftmen0, Coneva, Diamond_Girl, Kagato, MediaKlepto (No, I didn't hack it.), Primagen, Silvermask21, and SorathePumpking
To all the winners, congratulations; and to all those who weren't lucky enough to snag a prize, good luck to you on the next drawing since you never know when it could be!