Today's the Winter Solstice, which means that it's the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Who says short days says long nights, and sometimes you wish you could sleep it all away. While doing so in real life might not be practical, what if we could at least do it in-game?
I'm introducing today a new functionality to the survival servers: sleep through the night by majority instead of unanimity! What this means is that we no longer need to get all players to sleep at the same time to skip the night, only a majority will be required from now on. Additionally, the common idlers, including most alt accounts, have been flagged to be excluded from the sleep check entirely.
How this works is simple. At night time, head onto a bed as usual. There will be a line in the chat displaying how many people are currently in bed along with how many are required to sleep the night away. Once a 50% threshold is reached, the sun will rise. Simple!
I hope this added convenience will make it easier for you to continue your various projects!
The December seasonal event, the Grindatron, has been going since the beginning of the month and many people seem to be enjoying it so far. Based on the feedback gathered from the community, I've done the following balance changes:
- The Weakness effect applied when you run out of energy is now lower, giving you a chance of breaking boats and minecarts.
- The energy spent travelling using vehicles (minecarts, boats, horses) has been halved.
- Building now has an energy cost, set to a third of digging.
- Bonus: the current target will be more visible when you join the server.
If you haven't been there yet, now's the time! Remember that there are new targets every 4 hours until the end of the month, giving you plenty of opportunities to score points.
I've already posted about this last month, but it's possible that some of you missed it as it was bundled with some other announcements, so here's a reminder!
We're considering launching an e-mail newsletter, likely on a monthly basis, to keep current and past players updated on what's new, what's going on and what's coming up. This would include coverage of ongoing events and contests, a recap on recent happenings, exclusive content, giveaways and more. It could be the best way to avoid missing on some fun!
Interested? Please submit your e-mail address today so you won't miss out of the first communication when it happens!
Many of you have already asked, and it's now time: the Christmas cards are back!!
For those new to this, every year I send out a holidays card in the mail directly to you, featuring a scene from the server, and its free! All you need to do is submit your physical mailing address, wait, and you'll get one around the holidays!
You have two ways to claim yours: in Laurasia, visit the Seasonal Park (in Central, North, using the Residential Line) and find the giant mailbox represented above. Get a book, write your name and address, submit it, and you're done! Alternatively, if you don't want to go in-game, you can use this special page tied to the forums.
I clear the list of submitted addresses every year, so if you want one, please submit your address anew - I didn't keep it! I also have limited quantities of the cards from 2014 to 2016 still available. If you want one because you don't have it or lost your copy, don't hesitate to specify a year when you put your address in.
It's time for December's seasonal event! This time, your persistence, your might, your will to conquer will be tested to their limits in...
The Grindatron offers you a brand new world, where specific targets must be reached. These consist of a specific block or item that must be found or acquired somehow, and brought back to the enderchest standing at the middle of the world, at coordinates 0,0. One or multiple copies of the same item might be required, this'll be displayed when you login as well as the beginning of each time period. If you need a reminder of the current target, you can enter /target at any time.
When you're ready, drop the item(s) that are part of the current target in the enderchest, in a single stack. If you're correct, the items will disappear and you'll get a confirmation. Be careful: any and all objects placed in the enderchest at that time will be removed, including those that are not related to the current target!
Here's a look at what your average screen will look like:
Top: energy remaining and progression of the current cycle
Right: score of all connected players
Middle bottom: the current target
Each day is separated in blocks of four hours; each of these blocks of time is a cycle. A different target will be made available by cycle, that is every four hours.
To give you a challenge and balance out the play time of each player, an energy concept is introduced. Always visible at the top of your screen, the energy level will decrease as you make actions. Moving and mining will be two especially draining activities, while any death carries a heavy penalty. Once you're out of energy, your overall power will decrease: you will no longer be able to break most blocks, your movements will be slow, and your attacks will be weaker. Don't get caught by surprise, and keep an eye on that gauge! Your energy gets fully refilled at the end of every cycle, so that you can be ready for the next challenge.
You can earn a connection bonus item for each consecutive day that you visit the Grindatron. Visiting multiple days in a row will give you better bonuses! For the sake of this game mode, a "day" is defined as a 24 hours period according to Eastern Time. For example, you could connect at 23:55 on a given day, disconnect, come back 10 minutes later at 00:05, and that would could as two consecutive daily visits. Likewise, these two times are on different cycles as they're based on midnight.
A new world with a separate inventory has been generated for this. You'll find this new place right in the lobby, where UHC would usually sit, as it'll replace the UHC world for the month of December. Enderchests are disabled as these are used to validate the targets; the rest of the gameplay matches what you're used to in the survival worlds.
Each successfully completed target over the duration of the month will give you a Merit Point! The score that you can see get to your name in-game corresponds to what you've earned so far, so come back often to score more!
This begins NOW and will run until the end of December at least; it might get extended by a few days up to the end of the holidays, depending of the interest.
Note that, since this is a very new concept for us, there will likely be adjustments over the month. Keep an eye on this space for any further information!