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May 2020

Reminder: Stickers for Patreon backers!

Posted by Doctacosa on 26 May 2020 at 22:03 [Link]

Almost three weeks ago, I celebrated my fourth anniversary on Patreon. As part of this, I announced that everyone who got on board for $5 a month or more before May 29th would be getting a nice Creeper's Lab beaker sticker. If you've been thinking about it, time is running out: you have about 72 hours left to back me on Patreon to be eligible! Besides the sticker, you get access to custom titles, particle trails and yearly postcards, plus you help fund the expansion of the servers. Thank you for your consideration!

Related, the current monthly poll expands on the stickers idea: What merchandise with Creeper's Lab imagery would you like to see being made available to everyone?. Please take a minute to answer, your input is valuable!

List of building sites

Posted by Doctacosa on 24 May 2020 at 22:35 [Link]

Ever wanted to build in an existing location, following a theme, but you didn't know the local rules or who to ask?

Wonder no more! I've compiled a list of all the public building sites that I'm aware of, along with their themes and local building rules. If you want to make a skyscraper, look up Minetropolis; for a fancy house, Oak Hills awaits you; trains, we have that too! Many of these are former contest sites, this new page centralizes their information for quick searches. If something isn't clear still, the person in charge of each site is also listed in each entry.

If you think of a location that's missing, or something seems unclear, get in touch with me!

Fourth Patreon anniversary, feat. stickers!

Posted by Doctacosa on 8 May 2020 at 20:01 [Link]

Today marks the fourth year of me being on Patreon! I'd like to once again take a moment to publicly thank all of my patrons, past and present, for believing in what I do.

Quite a few things happened in the past year, most notably the first serious attempts at spending money on advertising. You've seen some player surges (and quite a few bans!), proving it to be an effective way to energize the community. Here's a chart on the number of active players for the last full 12 months, excluding visitors and people who join only to vanish after a few days.

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There's a clear upward trend, a good share of which can be explained through the advertising. That's a costly endeavour, but thanks to my patrons, we've been able to make it happen. More players make for a more dynamic and healthy community!

Now, I'm looking at the next steps. Advertising is costly, better server hardware might be needed eventually, and a far reaching goal of mine is to be able to do this full time! As such, I'm looking to expand on the number of supporters I have in order to reach the next level. Maybe you will be the next person to back me? :-) I put a lot of time into the Creeper's Lab every week, and I appreciate any amount of support, as low as $1 a month. In exchange, various rewards are available, including custom titles, particle trails, and monthly or yearly postcards in the mail!

To sweeten the deal, I've got something for you:

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That's right, stickers with the logo of the Creeper's Lab! Anyone who chooses to back me on Patreon at $5 a month or more will be getting one of these shipped to them in early June. Additionally, should you continue for longer, that tier makes you eligible for the yearly postcard that'd be sent out at the beginning of July! Of course, anyone who's already supporting me at $5 and above and entered their address on Patreon will get one too, without having to do anything extra. :-) This is my first time making any type of physical product, and I'm excited to introduce it to you!

No, it may not be the ideal time for me to do this. At the same time, I tend to wait too long for perfect circumstances, the anniversary is today and the stability of my current work isn't guaranteed past this year, so I choose to move forward in every way I can! I understand that, given the current situation, some of you who might have wanted to support me but can't at the moment will pass. That's fine too!

You have three weeks to support me at $5 a month or more to earn that sticker plus all other usual rewards. Are you interested in getting aboard for the ride?

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Challenge: The Grindatron returns!

Posted by Doctacosa on 3 May 2020 at 14:12 [Link]

The popular Grindatron challenge will be your target for this month! Go to the lobby, enter the challenge section and start gathering items! Returning players, please read on as some balancing changes have been done.

What's the Grindatron?

The Grindatron is this month's challenge, accessible from the lobby. It takes place in its own world, with a fully separate inventory. Every few hours, a new goal happens in the form of a block or item that needs to be provided at the spawn point. Provide the item in time, you get points! However, each action you perform (moving, digging, placing blocks) drains your energy, which is limited!

How it works

Every four hours, a new target is given. For example, "2 x bread", "64 x dirt", or "1 x gold pickaxe". Your goal is to obtain this item and place it in the enderchest that's located at the spawn point, near coordinates 0, 0. If you do it right, you'll get a confirmation and can either continue freely playing to gather more supplies, or wait until the next target appears. You can get a confirmation of the current target at any time by entering /target.

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!

You only have a limited amount of energy available, which refills at the end of each cycle. The following actions will cause an energy drain:

  • Moving around (riding a vehicle cuts the drain by half)
  • Breaking blocks
  • Placing blocks
  • Dying (large penalty)
  • Fishing

Once you run out of energy, you'll move way slower, won't be able to break some blocks, and all around will be exhausted. Don't get caught in the open when that happens, or deep in a cave! Drinking milk buckets is not possible when exhausted, so you can't clear the effects temporarily, and fishing will no longer return items.

The interface

Here's a look at what your gameplay screen will look like:

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Top: energy remaining and progression of the current cycle Right: score of all connected players Middle bottom: the current target

Daily connection bonus For each day that you connect to Kenorland this month, you'll get a bonus item to help you out. Every consecutive daily connection improves the bonus item, up to a diamond.

If you break your streak, the bonus will restart from day one. Staying online doesn't count, as well as accessing other worlds: you need to leave and rejoin the Grindatron for your presence to be counted.

The targets The targets are generated automatically on the fly and pool from almost every Minecraft block and item available, along with a random quantity that must be provided. Each item has been assigned a rarity value to ensure that things like "64 x Nether star" never happen. "64 x stone" is definitely an option, though!

If you believe that one of the targets generated is impossible (for example, "64 x snow balls" since you can only stack these up to 16), please let me know and I'll make the necessary adjustments!

Balancing improvements

Some balancing has been done to this game mode since the last time:

  • The difficulty gradually ramps up in the first few days, so the game won't do things like ask you to find an elytra on day one.
  • The energy penalty on death has been lowered, as it wrongly considered your distance from your respawn location when that happened.
  • The odds of being asked for colored blocks (wool, concrete, glass, ...) or wood items has been reduced by 70% to ensure a larger variety of targets.

Prizes

Each successfully completed target will net you one Merit Point, giving you a chance to increase your score very quickly! Remember that we've got plenty of uses for the points, too!

Duration

This new challenge will last for the entirety of the month. Have fun!


For the brave fighters who plan to make a stop at the Hunter's Lodge in the coming weeks, the raid boss you'll be facing is a Rancor. Look for it in its natural swamp environment!

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