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About Danny

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    Willie McDougal
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  1. Danny

    No Freebuild

    For clarity, free-build was on the table because it is the only way for the server to thrive. Declining player numbers and the increasing negative feedback over the previous years can attest to that. Controlled free-build, as that encouraged in my post that you quote, (one of only many put forward by players and ex-staff I should note) is the only system that provides the experience LotC exists for. It is true I am a long departed staff member and player. But do you not wonder why? Why have I, along with thousands of other members of the community, left and given up on this place, despite countless hours put into it? Why has LotC gone from being in the top ten Minecraft servers to a small niche community barely even visible to the outside and with shocking player retention rates? I can tell you exactly why. Previous systems (e.g. plot free-build, no free-build, land claim) have all failed the community. They fail to give the playerbase what LotC exists to offer. Of course, a system of full, unrestrained free-build presents numerous problems of its own also. That's exactly why only a fringe few advocate such a system. The rest of us promote a system that provides players with what they seek but does so in a way that protects the roleplay environment and ensures roleplay does not grow dispersed across the map. We're not working on some nostalgic, out-of-touch dream of a new Aegis: we're recognising the problems of Aegis, realising the failures of every single map since, and providing the only solution. It seems almost counter-intuitive that free-build does provide centralisation but that that's exactly what it does do. Never has roleplay been as centralised as it was during free-build periods and we can improve on this by ensuring that free-build is implemented via a system that consciously ensures that living in the wilds isn't as simple as just building your smp hut, but rather is rife with risk and danger. And who the hell is saying that dirt-huts are gonna be acceptable? Nobody. The staff team exists for a reason and so do the rules -- both protect against this. Suggesting free-build causes people to "wander off in the wilds, build a shack, play for a week and then delete LotC from their server list" as @Salvo says is simply disingenuous, an argument based off ignorance of what is being called for. Nobody is suggesting that the free-build should allow this. The entire point in a controlled free-build system is that someone who goes and builds a hut in the wilds does so facing serious threats and dangers, to the extent that on balance they'd rather go to the city and roleplay there. It's a complex system that needs to be worked out but one that once implemented ensures a basic principle is in place: that the freedom to play Minecraft still lies in the player's hands. Now, I do hate to break it to you hardcore-roleplay lunatics, but your idea of LotC is not what the server is. LotC is not a hardcore roleplay server. It's not a roleplay game and it never has been. It's roleplay within Minecraft. Must we really go back to basics and see what the server's original mission was? It's the divergence from that which has caused such disillusion within the community and seen the player count dive. It's why I left. The impossibility of progressing further towards what the server needed to be due to the resistance within the staff team was simply beyond frustrating (as well as real-life needing to become the priority). The server exists to provide a platform for roleplaying to be done within Minecraft, which means elements of both must be possible. That's why roleplaying in the vanilla Minecraft environment, with the ability to build freely (to a certain extent) and without Nexus (hallelujah, praise be to God, FINALLY), gives 6.0 the potential to be LotC's redemption. A failure to provide free-build is destining 6.0 to be the same crap failure as every other map. It's a rejection of all of the evidence, of seven years of player feedback, of countless thread after thread and it's to simply ignore the elephant in the room that's been standing making a mess of the place since Asulon. If you want to destine the server to that decline, be my guest, but you're not going to see the server get better and you're not going to see the playerbase return like what a well implemented map could provide. Thank god that the staff team see things otherwise. Nice work on free-build and Nexus. 6.0 looks like it's finally hitting the right spot. Viva la free-build, down with Nexus, viva la 501.
  2. Danny

    6.0 and Nexus

    All restrictions imposed by Nexus need removed -- as soon as you introduce restricted abilities based on level you turn it into a grindfest. Any skills / professions system on the server needs to be one that players can use dynamically as a side-thing for off-peak times which enables them to gain buffs from mining, cutting down trees, whatever. Combat-related skills, frankly, should be removed in their entirety -- you shouldn't have to grind your character up in order for them to match a player in PVP. Crafting needs to be reverted to vanilla rather than the disgusting system in place just now, again with the total removal of any restrictions. These kind of systems are amazing for an RPG server but for a roleplay server they do not benefit roleplay, they simply hinder it. Your ability to craft should be able to be decided by yourself in a roleplay way, not by how much time you've spent doing x. It's simple and it's been an issue since its introduction. How the **** it's still not been removed after this amount of time is simply embarrassing: stop working on new ***** plugins and sort the most serious issue the server currently has and the one reason why so many people continuously express their dissatisfaction with the server. Nexus is pretty clearly a killer, so why has it still not been sorted? Frankly, I don't consider "it's being changed in 6.0" an answer. How many times has that line been repeated and the 'changes' either minute or even worse. The simplest solution is complete removal and replacement with a new system from the ground-up, not continuous fidling with something that has never provided any benefit to the server. The concerns and issues have never been answered in any update prior, why would the community believe they will be now when there's such little to no communication coming? RE: Concerns with vanilla crafting's impact on the economy are well-founded and right enough. It would result in a serious shift in the server's economy, but that doesn't make it a bad thing. At the end of the day, the server has always had a functioning economy in some shape (albeit very different shapes) regardless of the crafting system in place. I would be hesitant to be quite so blasé to suggest that current economy is necessarily the best - the older, dynamic and un-controlled economy left people in the perfect situation to enjoy what LotC itself is. It enabled people to enjoy a real Minecraft roleplay server and not a PRG roleplay server, and that is extremely important. Part of LotC's initial appeal and immersion was exactly that vanilla feel with the inclusion of a roleplay environment; a vanilla-crafting-based economy without any restrictive bull**** professions plugin enables that and allows us to focus more on the actual roleplay we're here for rather than the grinding and RPg we're not.
  3. Danny

    Slashing nations in 6.0

    Late to the party. I'm pretty sure it's fairly obvious by this stage that the server will just continue down ****creek if there isn't some form of OOC crackdown on this, as unpopular as it will be and as pissy as it'll make people. The server simply can't sustain everyone and their uncle having a regioned fortress of their own -- it's basic logic. The issues with roleplay concentration stem from both the regioned nature of our previous maps and also the extent of settlement on them. A system of controlled freebuild, which I've advocated and argued for in previous threads on this matter, combined with the shrinking of 'official' (aka regioned) nations to one per main race and small villages for Halflings and Kha. Each nation should be granted one region from the outset and then allowed a couple more for their other settlements as it is proved that they have the population to sustain them without it being to the detriment of others. Other nations need to be left in the wilderness until as successful map then improves player retention and consequently player numbers when we can then consider allowing them to have a substandard system of regioning. For clarity, this isn't via any system of land charters (boke) or some form of application on the forums like we endured in Asulon (or Anthos, whichever it was). Rather, an informal process which is dealt with via the staff team and dealt with via cold hard player numbers instead of the pleas of the residents. This removes the sense of entitlement for regions which we've been cursed with since and enables us to ensure that regions are done in a way which improves the majority experience and doesn't act in a detrimental way to the wider server. We can't have nice things if we don't have a playerbase to have those nice things. The culling of nations and regioned settlements is the only way to ensure the coming map provides concentrated roleplay which can then dynamically evolve as we have an increased playerbase, but not until that occurs. I know the staff have already granted land to nations, hopefully within reasonable distance and in line with what the server actually requires, and I'm fairly certain (and I pray to god) that number of nations does not number any more than 4. As unpopular as things like this may be, it's simply tough crap -- the server's success and growth must come before anyone's ego and roleplay will just have to adapt to that. A shrinking, dwindling playerbase can not be sustained; a thriving, growing one can. Sometimes OOC action must be justified by the needs of the server rather than the sense of the roleplay, especially when it's as serious an issue as this.
  4. Preach it. Plus, implement it correctly and not like its been done in the past and the amount of 'ass'-builds are minimal. Practicality and roleplay value > aesthetically perfect world. Roleplay is enhanced by a dynamic environment, not by a white-glove, no-touch one. No news yet on what the 6.0 'region team' has invented for the coming map but unless it recognises the necessity of a free-build world (done with reasonable and constructive measures) we can already kiss the map, and a chunk of the playerbase (incoming and current), goodbye.
  5. What's wrong? Continuous and repetitive mistakes and failure to recognise these mistakes (or recognition of them with a subsequent failure to act in any meaningful way) - see freebuild, Nexus crafting, professions for key examples. Failure to implement a good map change for the past five years, continuing to attempt to put in place systems we know will fail i.e. limited freebuild, partial regioning, wholly regioned. Hopefully 6.0 will see an end to this and a system of freebuild which actually works. The fact Nexus remains on the server in any shape whatsoever when it's conceded fairly widely that its contribution to roleplay is massively outweighed by its harm to roleplay, get rid of it. The fact we continue to restrict roleplay via professions and crafting plugins, effectively forcing people to grind and to focus on these systems rather than roleplay - introduce a system based on benefits which has no restrictions and revert to vanilla crafting rather than the ridiculously crap system in place right now. The playerbase right now is about 40% made up of meme'ing dicks. Sort it out, start actually encouraging (and making) people act in a manner which does LotC proud rather than embarrasses it. You come in the forum and see constant trolling, ofc you're not gonna apply. PS. Playerbase, you're chasing players away, get a grip and start acting like a community. The complete decentralisation of roleplay as a result of a thousand cities and nations and a map the size of America. Take drastic action to reduce nation sizes down to one official per nation and ensure 6.0 is small enough and nations are centralised enough that travel between them takes 10-15mins max. People won't like it but if you don't have the playerbase to sustain your sprawling cities (with five active players) then OOC action is required for server success. Skype being used as an IC tool must be dealt with via metagaming rules and not allowed in any shape whatsoever. Our external penetration to the wider Minecraft community is currently non-existent. The server has a reputation for being full of trolls and for not providing the roleplay experience it promises. Re-invigorate our marketing strategies and bring them in line with what the server will provide when it finally gets a grip. What's right? We have a dedicated staff team spending hours on the server, from admins down. They get a lot of grief, and frankly there have been many shocking decisions, but the screams of staff bias are complete bs. These teams are a credit to the server, they spend hours (unpaid) on the community seeking to improve it, and they simply need to work out a plan of action to fix the server. We have many good, active and committed players who want to see LotC succeed (some of those even being you meme'ing idiots) and this is the only reason LotC hasn't fallen in on itself yet. This is the community which needs to become more vocal and act as a welcoming party for new players and set examples of the behaviour required by the server. tl;dr: see the numerous threads written a month ago which have again (unsurprisingly) been ignored.
  6. Danny

    Your View: Regions 2.0

    I didn't see this post until now but yes, yes, yes. That's exactly the kind of centralisation the server requires with the current size of the playerbase - a clear guidance for new and current players to capital hubs where roleplay is concentrated rather than the cluster**** of places with little rp right now. Keep the capitals regioned and safe havens and make the wilderness a bad place to be with a crazy-ass antagonist doing its job correctly. Wullah - a dynamic and interactive world that actively encourages areas of high roleplay densities whilst still allowing for, yet discouraging, those who seek to play outwith. And then we have a recognition of past errors but also past successes. An acceptance that neither freebuild areas or full regioning have any benefit to the server or are systems that bear any merit at all but also a realisation that just lumping freebuild on the server fails too. Rather, freebuild with regioned capitals, spawn and roads implemented in unison with a series of mechanics and processes to protect our world and to ensure roleplay does not stagnate is the solution that LOTC requires urgently. Let's not screw it up again, viva la freebuild. Would it be possible to have the system of 'controlled freebuild' that I and others are suggesting included in said poll, whereby measures are put into place to centralise roleplay and make wilderness areas difficult to survive in, benefits are granted to central capitals yet freebuild exists in almost all areas? I'm unsure as to what system you intend on proposing but I don't expect it to be that.
  7. Danny

    Lotc Show Yourself Thread II

    The Devil's Staircase is sick. I still remember it coming into sight when doing the West Highland Way and my heart breaking as my legs were already falling off.
  8. Danny

    Your View: Regions 2.0

    @Malimom Might I suggest a further poll following this, unless there is a shift in numbers, to ascertain what players understand / suggest by "partial freebuild"? Whether that means a system of freebuild with capitals, etc regioned; freebuild as above with high population settlements regioned as they develop; or particular areas freebuild with the rest regioned. I can't help but feel the response is slightly tinged by the ambiguity between the two freebuild options with the first maybe being understood as solely freebuild also? Worth a thought.
  9. Danny

    Your View: Regions 2.0

    Currently the poll is suggesting the highest number of votes goes to 'partial freebuild'. To those voting for this option on the idea of particular freebuild regions, please remember this has failed in the past and to repeat it is to ignore the lessons we need to learn. Total freebuild, with minimal regions on capitals, spawn and the road, implemented correctly eliminates these issues and make an for a system that works best for the community as a whole. The notion of one nation per race is an ideal that, if could be achieved, would be the best solution for the server as a whole despite the damage it may well do to particular player's egos. It may well not be possible to achieve in a way that truly works and is undamaging to roleplay and if the that's so, one staff-sponsored nation needs to be picked and be the only one entitled to regioning initially. As difficult as this may be for some to accept, it's the only solution to enable a consolidation of a very widely dispersed playerbase. If the other nations prove themselves capable of sustaining an active playerbase without being to the detriment of the rest of the server's figures and are located within the central belt of the map, then regioning should be permitted for the them. This should not be done via a charter system because this actively encourages a dispersion of players to these wilderness areas but rather via discussion with the staff team. This enables us to ensure we have a constantly active set of capital cities that act as rp hubs but that we also enable organic and dynamic settlement growth for the playerbase.
  10. Danny

    Your View: Regions 2.0

    Allow me to elaborate on how a minimal-nation and freebuild map would function for those concerned. Freebuild would be in place across the entire map with the exceptions of the regioned spawn, capital cities and main roads. This (along with the other mechanics I mentioned in other posts) ensures roleplay is consolidated into these key areas but still enables the freedom for people to engage with a dynamic roleplay world. Roleplay is centralised into cities via push and pull factors implemented by the mechanics I mentioned in my last reply to this thread. Thereby we have a situation where players can still enjoy the familiarity of Minecraft but can do it in a way that ensures roleplay is not dispersed and we can protect against ****builders. An active and effective GM team and our whitelist then ensure there is no ****builds or land-scarring, along with the improved new player support I mentioned in my first post. We also need to ensure the only staff-supported nations (and thereby the only regioned ones) are one for each nation. Having more, currently, stifles roleplay because it ensures that there is constantly an insufficient concentration of players in a single area and fails to encourage players to travel to capitals for their benefits. If we introduce what I proposed in my last post we then have nation capitals familiar to the playerbase with guaranteed roleplay and effective benefits to draw people in. You've also still got the ability for towns to organically grow in the freebuild world we inhabit and for nations to take these under their wing, if they wish too. As a successful 6.0 and successful marketing campaign to new and old players increases our playerbase we are then able to look at allowing nations to gain region status but still at a lesser level and rank than the capitals. You need to have a system that enables organic growth based on playercount rather one that is based on people wanting to be kings and lords and the consequential thinning of the playerbase. It may well be an unpopular stance but sadly you must accept reality and learn from the server's mistakes.
  11. Danny

    Your View: Regions 2.0

    I point you back to my original post. A systems introduced whereby the further you delve out of the central area the higher spawning and stronger mobs get, the more relaxed villainy and theft rules get and the higher chance of antagonist attack is. Make it almost unbearable to live on the outer areas of the map, but still possible. The outcome of this is a centralisation of players in the areas where they are safer and in less danger, the capital cities. Also increase some form of benefit in the centre of the map, based on the blessing of the monks, along the lines of a health buff, idk. Make the most appealing place to be the capitals via providing them with exclusive benefits for their status and ensuring particular mechanics are only available there e.g. shops etc. What this means is that the most appealing place to be is in the capital cities but that players are still provided with the familiarity and freedom of Minecraft itself. Affordable housing and nation-based roleplay in the capitals with guards, traders and bullders etc enables roleplay there to be the most active and through exclusively providing nation status to these capitals there is no wide spread across the map until there's a community large enough to sustain that.
  12. Danny

    Your View: Regions 2.0

    Resistance to server-sponsored nations is inevitable but frankly it's the only feasible way to consolidate a dwindling player-base into nations sizable enough to enable them to thrive. Once player-count increases thanks to a successful 6.0 you can then begin to spread to other nations but only when the players exist to sustain that. Having multiple nations per race rn is one of the most moronic things I've ever heard. Yes it might be nice for rp politics, etc but for current and new players alike all it does is ensure rp is too widely dispersed to be successful. Learn from our mistakes and realise we can't handle a thousand bloody nations. Pls. Again I repeat, learn from our mistakes. Those opposing freebuild fail to realise that it is of course going to fail when implemented in isolation but rather that it needs to be implemented in unison with mechanisms that discourages external roleplay and centralies the playerbase.
  13. Danny

    Your View: Regions 2.0

    Capital cities must be regioned, without a doubt. Also so should the main road and a radius around it, ideally 10 blocks or so. The main nations should have the option, once a short while into 6.0, to introduce regions to one or two of their other towns / settlements when the playerbase exists to sustain that, such places must be smaller than capitals and lack to appeal. Other than that, unless a player group has a very high headcount and is distinct enough to justify it, no regions should be granted to anyone else. That's the only way to secure centralised roleplay and sustain a functional approach to freebuild.
  14. Danny

    Your View: Regions 2.0

    Agree on nation numbers - multiple per nation is just ridiculous when we have the playerbase we do. Freebuild wouldn't have the issues you mention if we actually did it correctly. It's not about wholly freebuild with no measures in place but rather having system that makes fringe areas of the map almost impossible to live in and provides blessings for being in central areas means that people don't end up in outer areas of the map. We enable freedom for the familiarity and Minecraft-esque experience it provides but we do it in a way that still encourages roleplay to be constantly centralised. Likewise, the issue with people randomly destroying people's work is the reason we have a whitelist in place and is protected against on the basis only players interested enough to roleplay get through, we can fully expect the majority of those players to be trustworthy and we do have staff in place if they aren't.