ZipMC 1.7

pure survival

07/10 - Ender Dragon fight!

Wednesday 9 October, 7 pm GMT we'll go and kill the Ender Dragon.

- oooh noes =( I cant come!!
It's really not possible to pick a date everyone can join the fight. We tried this, it's almost impossible. The reason why we want to do the Ender Dragon fight this week, is because people really need a good XP farm to complete their builds. 

- What to bring
Ender Dragon is easy bossfight, you can equip normal iron armor, or something better if you want to. Bring a pumpkin to place on your head if you're afraid of Endermen. Snowballs are useful for the healing beacons, and a bow and arrows is also very useful.

- What happens after the fight?
I want to immediately start building the Enderfarm so everyone has a good source of XP. This will take a lot of pistons, tripwire hooks, string and cobblestone. So if you're willing to donate something, or help me build the farm: you're welcome :)

Hope to see most of you!

27/09 - Official server restart this weekend

Hello everyone!

I wanted to let you all know most of you already are whitelisted on the server, and are allowed to play. You're free to do whatever you want, I'm pretty sure most of us will need to gather some base materials first, and this might take a few hours of gameplay. So gear up, look for a nice spot for your base, but wait!

This weekend, we'll be doing a meeting on the server, to celebrate the restart, and discuss spawn plans. The idea is to meet sunday, 7pm GMT. (that's 20:00 in Belgium, not sure which time in USA). You're all welcome on teamspeak if you have a microphone, or you can just listen if you don't.

Hope to see you soon!

25/09 - 1.6 world download

For all the older members, here is the download link for the 1.6 world.

25/09 - Server restart

Hello people! 
I've been blown away by the application response. Many good applicants applied, and it's difficult for me to choose. Some of them are already denied though, so if you haven't received a deny-email yet, you're still in the running!

What to do when you're allowed?
I really believe the forums are the way to go to communicate with the community. I won't force you into registering, so I might as well give a brief descripton over here:
if you're allowed on the server, you'll spawn in a new world (few hours old at this point :) ). You're free to explore, grab some start materials from the chest I made, find yourself a spot. It's important not to set permanent base near spawn! Spawn will be a community project build as soon as we're all settled. No one is required to help, but everyone is welcome to contribute in any way he or she wants. Keep an eye on your mailbox (possibly spam folder =( )

Hope to see you soon!

24/09 - Website live, countdown to the restart

So here we are! The new website is live and we're close to our server map reset! The reason why we're waiting is because we need to be sure no major biome changes will be added anymore. As soon as we're sure of that, we'll probably go with the snapshots.

So what does this mean for active members?
You will have to re-apply for the server via the new application form. Reason why is because I really don't want any inactive members still being on the whitelist.

What with new applicants?
Everyone is still allowed to apply, don't expect massive acceptations though. You really have to convince us you're a valuable addition to the server. Be sure to read the server policy before applying!  

24/09 - Applications are open!

Everyone is free to use the application form now. Be sure to read the server policy first, and rememeber old whitelisted members should also re-apply. You'll receive a confirmation mail once your application is sumbitted (might appear in your spam folder), I'll start accepting applications as soon as the server is running 1.7. This also means you'll receive an acceptance mail (again, check your spam folder, or ask on the forums).

See you soon!

23/09 - About community management

A big topic lately on Reddit are servers with donators, kicking people to make place for others who payed to play on a server. I'm not going into it directly, because there is a lot more to it than you might think at first. I'd like to divide the SMP communities in three different groups: 
- big servers, with or without applications, 50 or more active players 
- small community-based servers, with at max 20-30 active players 
- content-specific servers: based on plugins, like survival games, dwarves vs. zombies, nail,.. I'm only going to talk about the first 2, because this is where the discussion is mostly about, content-specific servers just do their thing, and are most of the time hosted by a well organized group of people.

Let's talk about the big servers first: people who want to start a server mostly start with the idea “I want to get the biggest community as fast as I can”, spamming all kinds of advertisement sites, encouraging people to vote by rewarding them ingame and so on. When I join a survival server and notice 48 people online, I'm scared that my stuff will be griefed, or that I have to pay real money to protect my stuff. Some servers allow you to claim pieces of land without any need of paying, but it feels like I'm locked into a small singleplayer world, within a multiplayer enviroment. I'm well aware that people might like this, for example mass creative servers are really fun to join from time to time, and just fly around, taking a look at other people plots. A well known example is the voxelbox; you get a piece of land where you can do whatever you want, and besides that, you work on different community projects. However, when talking about survival, I don't really like being locked away. When I saw reactions about “donators” getting more advantages, I thought it was a pretty obvious thing to do: those people want to play on a specific server, and want to pay for it. What is wrong with giving those people more advantages like non-donors being kicked to make place for someone who really wants to play a specific server?

If you don't work with a donor system or protection plugins because you think it's too “artificial”, you most likely want to have some kind of application where you can decide which players you allow on your server, and which not. This will automatically reduce the amount of player actually joining your server, because they have to do more than copy/paste the IP into their client. Again; like donors; you have to do something more than you'd like. This way you'll be more sure that only people who really want to play on your server will actually join.

So what is the thing about “wanting the biggest community of all Minecraft servers”. I'm 18 now, and started hosting my first server when I was 16. It was all about the fame. Random people talking about you as “their” admin. That was the thing for me, I can imagine others doing it for the money: the more players, the more donations. Well.. To be honest, there are better ways on the internet to earn money than hosting a MC server. If you take in account the monthly costs you have for hosting a decent server, you'll need a lot of donations. I don't say it's impossible, but it's very rare that you'll be able to make a living by hosting MC servers, or game servers in general.

So if you don't do it for the money, hosting a big server seems a bit pointless to me: you need a lot of infrastructure, not only to host the server, but also to manage the community, some custom plugins to help you with it and so on. It's not that easy to do, and you don't really get a lot in return except that you “host a big server”.

So what did I do 6 months ago? I started thinking about how I could manage my community. Not by forcing anyone to do anything, but by doing more myself. I wrote a little plugin which replaced my whitelist and banlist with a database backend, and linked it to an online application form. This way, I was able to manage new players online, and contact them if necessary. I made a rule not not accept more than 2 new players a month, just so I was able to get to know each new player in person. This setup is what I want to call the small community-based servers. You cannot argue about it working or not, there is a lot of video proof on Youtube (Mindcrack, Hermitcraft). Not that I want to host a server like those, they rely on the Youtube Content and interaction with the subscribers. I do this because I feel good in my small community (around 20 players). And have fun playing in an open world without having to worry about my stuff getting griefed, my server being the most popular one around, too many players so you're not even able to have a chat conversation, and so on. The last year I wondered why there are not so many servers doing it this way. There probably are, and they probably don't bother advertising, that's why you don't notice them, and that's why it is a lot more fun to play on the small community-based servers.

27/08 - New website!

As you can see, I'm working on the new website. More focussed on the server tour, a better (fixed and renewed) application form, and a redesign. All feedback is welcome as soon as the website goes live. At the moment, not all features are implemented, but I'll be sure to work as fast as possible, and hope to finish the website completely before the server map reset.