Observation about people on public servers

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quick.dudley
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Observation about people on public servers

by quick.dudley » Thu Apr 18, 2013 05:05

I've been running a part-time public server for a week (the computer it's running on isn't up 24/7 and even then my ISP is weird about incoming connections) or so and I've noticed something: the vast majority of people who log on just dig stuff. Unless there are more structures that I haven't found then only 3 out of the 57 who've logged on have actually built anything. And one of those built part of a house out of cobblestones he'd mined from my house, which I'm not sure what to make of.
I was just wondering whether that's what usually happens or whether other servers tend to have more building.
 

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Menche
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by Menche » Thu Apr 18, 2013 06:01

There's over 1000 players who have logged on to my server at least once, and I know not all of them have built stuff. There are several buildings that appear to have been just started then abandoned, and a lot of players seem to just mine random blocks off of the landscape leaving ugly marks. It's not uncommon for players to mine rare or interesting blocks off other people's buildings.

I think there should be a mod that measures the number of active players on a server. Perhaps the number of players who are on at least twice a week or so.
Last edited by Menche on Thu Apr 18, 2013 06:08, edited 1 time in total.
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LazyJ
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by LazyJ » Thu Apr 18, 2013 16:00

The following are impressions I get from reading each day's server log (grep is an admin's friend) and from interacting with players in-game.

At last count (early March 2013) our http://www.wazuclan.com, port 30000, Minetest 0.4.4 server, "Wazuland" (shameless advertising, I know), had 965 players who have logged in at least once. Of those, only a small handful are on at any given time. We have a lot of players with IPs from all over the world so radically different timezones are a big factor. Weekends, school "snow days", and winter seem to be our peak times.


Menche wrote:
There are several buildings that appear to have been just started then abandoned, and a lot of players seem to just mine random blocks off of the landscape leaving ugly marks.


quick.dudley wrote:
... I've noticed something: the vast majority of people who log on just dig stuff.


We have had a lot of players log in and only dig a few test blocks (dirt, dirt_with_grass, or tree blocks) and then log off. All new Wazuland players start with interact (build), shout, and fast privs. I always carry, in my inventory, a superstack of dirt_with_grass too fill in potholes and a stack each of trees, leaves, and saplings to repair the wooded areas.

I've spent a lot of time refilling areas that were strip mined for sand (glass) and clay (brick). WorldEdit is a real time saver for this sort of "caretaker" work.


Menche wrote:
It's not uncommon for players to mine rare or interesting blocks off other people's buildings.


quick.dudley wrote:
And one of those built part of a house out of cobblestones he'd mined from my house, which I'm not sure what to make of.


We have had our share of "plunder-griefers"; players who grief other's builds for materials that they later use in their own builds. The top server admin, Orby, is a C++ programer (among his many other computer skills). Besides a few tweaks to the source code, Orby wrote a permablocks mod that allows players to craft protected blocks of most of the (pre-minetest v0.4.5) default blocks.

The crafted permablock aren't protector nodes; those created too much lag.

To protect other, fancier, block types (like moreblocks), Orby later wrote the permafy mod which allows the Wazuland admins to protect builds after construction. This isn't the same as area protection. The concern with area protection is players wanting massive land grabs. The permafy mod is a more "surgical" approach.

We are using the same Wazuland "world" that has been around since August 2012. In that time most of the players that have built something have only built around, above and below the spawn area. The result is a lot of crowded, cobble structures in Wazutown (spawn) and an intricate maze of mines below.

We have had several players who prefer mining and spelunking caverns instead of building.

We have had a few players who are creative builders. They generaly seek out areas away from Wazutown (spawn) that haven't been built in as much or open areas that haven't been built in at all yet.

We have had a few players who seem to enjoy building roads and paths the most. A big "Thank you!" to them from the rest of us Wazulanders. \0/

There are trends of player nationalities. For a while we had a lot of players coming from Italy, then it was Germany, Brazil, Spain, and the latest trend is from Mexico.

Most our players seem to be young children. The youngest I'm aware of is a 4 year old from Croatia who logs on to play with his dad. There seems to only be a small handful of adults who are Wazulanders.

I've wondered if most of the players who only log in a for a few hours to build a cobble shack and dig a shallow mine are used to hopping from server to server where the worlds are regularly wiped.

We have had quite a few players log in as pairs, and all they do is punch each other for a few moments and then log off.

I've observed that there seems to be a lack of civility and manners on the Internet as a whole. This seems so out-of-place in games like Minetest where communities and towns are built.

I've also observed players who are their neighbor's keeper. They watch over their neighbor's builds/areas and the favor is returned in kind. A characteristic trait of good players.

I've encountered players who create builds to rent, let, or lease to other players. This seems odd to me considering that, of the 30,000 x 30,000 x 30,000 area of the world, only a tiny fraction of that space has been utilized. Perhaps a more extensive road system or admin-placed teleport pads would encourage players to spread out more. (Granting players teleport privs could cause more problems than it would solve.)

There are players who prefer to be left alone, but will occasionally chat socially, so they hike out into the boondocks to build.

Then there are those players who can't seem to do anything without someone else there to play with them. Of this player type there are two sub-types. One sub-type are usually very young children who need someone to give them guidance, direction, and encouragement. The other sub-type are the players who want someone to "help" them, meaning the other player does all the work while they sit back and watch (future supervisors, managers and politicians).

More rare are the tourists. These are players who log into servers just to wander around, exploring the builds and landscaped areas. Come to think of it, I haven't done any server touring in a long time. It's high time I did.


quick.dudley wrote:
I was just wondering whether that's what usually happens or whether other servers tend to have more building.


I suppose to encourage "more building" would depend on what mods are installed.

Mesecons, Technic, Pipeworks, etc. for those who like to build contraptions.

Moreblocks, HomeDecor, 3D Furniture, etc. for those who prefer to build structures.

Players may be more reluctant to build time consuming projects if there is no protection for those builds.

One of the things I'd be interested in participating in is a discussion with other Minetest admins about what their experiences have been, how they've handled situations, to get new ideas, to commiserate, and in general to have another source of information to draw upon.
 

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by quick.dudley » Mon Apr 22, 2013 02:42

Menche wrote: and a lot of players seem to just mine random blocks off of the landscape leaving ugly marks

Fortunately on my server there isn't much in the way of ugly marks. That might be helped by the fact I've left randomized spawning on, so most people would be randomly mining in slightly different areas.
LazyJ wrote:We have had a few players who are creative builders. They generaly seek out areas away from Wazutown (spawn) that haven't been built in as much or open areas that haven't been built in at all yet.

LazyJ wrote:More rare are the tourists. These are players who log into servers just to wander around, exploring the builds and landscaped areas. Come to think of it, I haven't done any server touring in a long time. It's high time I did.

My natural inclination when I'm on someone else's server is to tour for a while and then find an open area and build. I'm also quite fond of spelunking but I usually just do that on my own server.
LazyJ wrote:I suppose to encourage "more building" would depend on what mods are installed.

That's one of the reasons I installed VanessaE's coloredwood mod and its dependencies (along with wanting to make something more colourful myself). I also like the idea of your protected blocks mods.
 


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