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Winter Updates & Architect

Winter Updates & Architect

Woah, where does the time go? We’re almost half-way through February and it’s been awhile since an update post. Well, let’s fix that!

Not much is happening in FTB these past few weeks. About two months ago, we “temporarily” prevented new Twilight Forest portals from being created as a method of preventing so much TWF land generation. The result was really amazing: since then, the server has only crashed 3 times; 2 of which were WorldEdit-related crashes. This means two things: A) Twilight Forest was responsible for the near-daily crashes we experienced in FTB, primarily due to a bug in land generation. and, B) It means that Twilight Forest exploration has also dropped drastically. While we introduced the temporary ban as a stopgap measure, we did not expect that a solution would take this long. It’s a significant problem that we’re aware of, and actively trying to solve. We hope that in the next two weeks, we’ve have a permanent solution so that player can continue to use Twilight Forest as normal.

Vanilla 1.12’s new Glazed Terracotta blocks

In other news, Mojang has released 1.12 snapshots for public use, which (hopefully) means the 1.12 release is right around the corner. This update brings new, vibrant terracotta blocks, and a redesigned color palette for clay and wool blocks. We’ll keep you all updated as the release of 1.12 gets closer.

And, lastly, Architect. It’s one of our most OP ranks, reserved specifically for creative players who enjoy building. The rank grants the typical item spawning and flying, but unrestricted WorldEdit, Voxel, and WorldGuard use as well. There’s no time requirement for this rank, to boot. If you love to build, but hate the item gathering process of Minecraft, this rank is great for you. Which is why we’re opening two Architect slots. Doesn’t matter if you love playing in FTB or Main, the rank applies to both servers (not the survival server, since that’s purposefully a vanilla-only server). Think you got what it takes? Head on over to our Apply for Architect page and submit your builds! We’ll announce the two winners on a rolling basis.

Scheduled Maintenance & Staff Position Opening

Scheduled Maintenance & Staff Position Opening

Hey all! Hope the holiday mad craze hasn’t got you down yet. This is just a brief notice to let everyone know that on Saturday, December 17th at 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time, the server will go offline for approximately 30 minutes to an hour for routine server hardware diagnostics and upgrades. During this time, all regular servers will be inaccessible. Instead, there will be a fallback server setup with GM1, and players are free to be as degenerate as they wish. No changes to the map will be saved during that 30-60 minute interval.

I also want to announce that Drew, Termites, and I are officially opening up a fourth staff position, and we’re accepting applications. If you’re interested, send us an email at staffapps@ipwnage.com with a paragraph or two about you, and why you wish to become staff. Any prior experience with server administration or leadership positions should be mentioned. Brag about yourself! The application window will close Saturday, December 17th at 11:59PM EST (the same time the server goes down for maintenance), so if you’re interested, don’t hesitate!

‘Tis The Season!

‘Tis The Season!

It’s December, which means we can say “Happy Holidays!” and you’re not allowed to get mad. So, Happy Holidays! 🎄

 

We’ve got some updates and changes to the servers that are worth mentioning, so we’ll go over those first. On the FTB server, we’ve introduced Mineworld, a dimension specifically crafted for quarry usage. Players are encouraged to move their quarries over to the new world, but there are no rules as to where quarries are put. If you still want to quarry in the Overworld, that’s still okay! This new dimension is a super-flat, plains biome with normal ore generation. /rtp is enabled to quickly find a spot to quarry, and we ask that players keep their spots to under 500×500. To get there, use “/warp mine”, or “/warp mineworld”.

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Mineworld: The most awesome, boring world you can imagine!

Thanks to some new players, we’ve discovered some bugs within FTB mods, and we’ve updated the Known Bugs page accordingly. Unfortunately, all of the new bugs found don’t have an official fix, so our solutions are mostly workarounds (such as dropping an item and picking it back up again 😉 )

Continuing with FTB news, we’ve enabled the ability to teleport to coordinates for all players Trusted or above. This allows the built-in FTB Waypoint system to teleport to set Waypoints. Pretty neato! For both the Main and FTB servers, we’ve reduced the rank requirement for private warps to Commoner. Now, any player Commoner or above can use /warp pcreate to create unlimited personal, private warps.

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The Tinker Table, in its craftable glory

We’ve also fixed MachineMuse recipes, so all Power Suit Armor and related components are completely craftable. We’re using the Thermal Expansion recipes, in case you were wondering. In other meta-server news, we’ve begun work on separating the Twilight Forest map from the server and placing it on a standalone server. That way, if Twilight Forest crashes, it only crashes the players within the Twilight Forest! We’re not sure if it’ll work as well as we want to, and so this functionality may never be implemented in the real FTB server. But for now, we’re working away in our development software trying to find a solution to this very unstable mod.

Ronin_Jedi and Peebs are also offering a giveaway of their current base! If you’re interested in joining, all you need to do is comment below in this post! The winner will be drawn on January 1st, 2017! Here’s a brief overlook of their current base.

We’ll be in a great holiday mood, so keep a look out for random events and gift drops as we get closer to “the most wonderful time of the year”. As for most holidays, Spark will be offering some gifts to all on Christmas Day, so after you unwrap your gifts, stop by iPwnAge for an in-game gift, as well 🙂

 

Server Resources & World Anchors

Server Resources & World Anchors

Well, I guess this is a classic case of RTFM: when Drew and I launched the FTB server, we allowed Railcraft World Anchors because we believed it required the player to remain logged into the server in order for the chunks to remain loaded. It took us five months, but boy have we learned our lesson. World Anchors keep chunks loaded indefinitely for as long as there are ender pearls, but as server resources become more scarce, we must re-evaluate World Anchors.

To keep things short: from here on out, World Anchors are banned. We’ve removed the recipe from the server and now prevent the placement of new WAs. But we’re not leaving you high-and-dry; instead, we’re going to be giving out Personal or Passive anchors to any players who previously had World Anchors implemented in their base. For every WA you give us, you’ll receive a Personal or Passive anchor and 32 Ender Pearls per anchor. We’ve also buffed the Personal Anchor to provide 16 hours of runtime, rather than the original 12.

In the meantime, we’re not removing World Anchors from the world, and instead are relying on players to come to us to have their’s swapped out. We’ll occasionally be scanning the map for any World Anchors and will remind players who own them to change ASAP. The official deadline to have yours swapped is December 10th, 2016. After the 10th, we’ll be forcibly removing all WA’s from the map (we’ll still give any MIA players their PA, but if you’re on the server and ignore our warnings–you’re out of luck).

We apologize to have to ban an item that’s often used and a great convenience tool, but the server cannot handle the nearly 1,000 constantly loaded chunks in memory for players that aren’t even online. The outcome of this exchange program is a more stable server for all.

 

Introducing Donor Status

Introducing Donor Status

Happy Thanksgiving to all of those living in the United States!

When Drew and I made iPwnAge, our point was simple: this is a hobby, not a job. We love running servers and building communities, and we hope that shows. In following this point, we have made sure that pay2win policies would never set foot in our rule book, ranks, or staff members. Whether you’re a millionaire, or someone who can’t do without $10, we want to make sure everyone has the same opportunities. But running a server is expensive, and Drew and I could use all the help we can get sometimes. Which is why we’re introducing an absolutely non-required, not-overpowered Donor Status on the server. Players still progress through ranks, but they earn some perks earlier than a non-donor would, such as flying, item spawning, or personal dimensions. But in continuing with our main point: even Donor Status doesn’t require money. Let’s break it down.

To earn Donor Status, there are two ways:

  1. Donate $10USD or more, and earn permanent, lifetime Donor Status
  2. Purchase 30 days of Donor Status for 1200 Protos (about 8 days of voting, [minimum 4 days, maximum 12 days])

 

You might have seen some players with a [D] tag in front of their rank, and this was from earlier donor sessions.  Drew and I closed donations around a week or two after the server rebooted, so we could instead focus on more important things, like squashing bugs or adding new features. But the server has grown since then, and we’re getting dangerously close to our server’s RAM limit (32GB). Adding to that the monthly power and internet bills, and the debt quickly adds up. But we’re okay with that! Like I said earlier, this is a hobby, not a job. And hobbies cost money!

Donor Status includes additional perks per-rank, and nothing is exclusive to those with Donor Status. Here’s a breakdown of what you earn if you have Donor Status:

  • If you’re Normal, you’ll receive:
    • An automatic rank-up to Commoner!
  • If you’re Commoner, you’ll receive:
    • /fly on Main and FTB
    • /mc (MagicCarpet) on Main and FTB
    • RFTools and Mystcraft world generation on FTB
    • /tp (teleporting) on Main and FTB
  • If you’re Trusted, you’ll receive:
    • /hdb on Main
      • HeadsDatabase is a plugin with access to around ~1200 custom heads for decoration
    • /trails on Main and FTB
      • Trails are customizable cosmetics for your player
    • /playertime on Main and FTB
      • This changes what time it is for the player only. The server will continue it’s normal time, but the player can change what it looks like to them (e.g. you always want it to look day for you)
  • If you’re Veteran, you’ll receive:
    • /i (item spawning) on Main and FTB
    • /god (god mode) on Main and FTB
      • Please note, some FTB mods go through god-mode! We can’t do anything about that.
    • /time  (change server time) on Main and FTB
      • This is a privilege and not a right, please don’t abuse this command. If a player raises concerns about the time, please do not continue to use it for that session.
    • /weather (change server weather) on Main and FTB
      • Same thing as time, don’t abuse this command. You’ll lose it if you do.
  • If you’re Senior, you’ll receive:
    • Limited WorldEdit commands on Main
      • Such as //hcyl, //walls, //pyramid, and //set

We’re always working on adding more features to the ranks and Donor Status, so this is not a complete list. Also, since the Elder and Legend ranks are not completed yet, Donor Status features haven’t been fleshed out for them. As we add more content to the servers, we’ll let you know both in-game and on the website of the new commands and functionalities you can use, but here’s a good list to start.

If you want to help us out by donating $10USD or more, visit Donate to iPwnAge to get started. Or, to use your Protos, run the ‘/donor buy’ command on the Main server. Looking for how you can earn Protos? Run /vote on the server and earn up to 300 Protos a day just by voting!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Drew and I would love to answer any questions you might have before diving into a financial outlay.

Direwolf 1.10, And Why We’re Not Updating

Direwolf 1.10, And Why We’re Not Updating

When it rains, it pours! This week has been full of Minecraft updates, and FTB also sees some love. Direwolf has released an update for his modpack, built on Minecraft 1.10. While the modpack brings updated versions of many of our favorite mods, some have been removed from the pack, namely Twilight Forest, Bibliocraft, Ender Zoo, among others. But that’s not the reason why we aren’t updating, the main reason is rather…complex.

To put it simply, when Drew and I built the server network, we built it on top of the very popular, very well-supported CraftBukkit API. This API is used by nearly every Minecraft server in existence, and is what runs all of our plugins. And while it’s still in active development for vanilla Minecraft, support for modded Minecraft (our FTB server) has been dropped since 1.7.10. Sponge, a new API, does support 1.10 modded Minecraft, but it lacks virtually every plugin we use, and some mods don’t even work with it (we’re glaring at you, AppliedEnergistics2).

But going back to what I said earlier: Drew and I built this server on the CraftBukkit API. The ability to chat with players in the Survival server while you’re in the FTB server, or have the same rank everywhere requires homogeneity. All servers need to be using the CraftBukkit API for things to “just work”. And by changing the FTB server to use Sponge (when all the bugs are fixed) means a lot of that “just work” functionality will be broken. And so, with all these reasons, (and many more that Drew and I have labored over but aren’t worth going into detail), the FTB server will remain on Direwolf 1.7.10 for the foreseeable future. We’ll continually re-evaluate the situation, hoping for the best and trying new things out. But in the meantime, there’s no need to worry about losing your creations.

As always, we’ll continue to add new features and more ways to enjoy Minecraft. We’re working very hard on getting 1.11 live on the Main and Survival servers, and we’ll be introducing new cosmetic features for players soon, including trails and custom heads. We welcome player feedback, and we look forward to the holiday season as we begin to decorate the map with seasonal joy 🙂

Llamas, Storage, Evokers! 1.11 is Here!

Llamas, Storage, Evokers! 1.11 is Here!

Good news, everyone! As expected, Mojang released 1.11 today, available to download for all using the launcher. There’s plenty of changes, but here’s a brief overview

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A Shulker Box

Shulker Boxes have been added to the game as a means of portable storage. If you’ve played FTB before, think of these as a Bag of Holding, except that you need to place the block in order to access its’ contents. Combined with sticky pistons and some redstone knowledge, some have created automatic storage banks, like this YouTuber.

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Llamas

 

Llamas  have also been added, in four different colors and customization options through colored wool. Their mechanics are similar to horses: continually right clicking on the llama will tame it, and you can equip llamas with chests. Combined with herding mechanics that let you lead an entire pack, llamas look like a great mob to help you move your base, should you ever want to.

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Woodland Mansion, filled with Illagers, Vindicators, Evokers, and Vexes

A new randomly generated structure has been added to the forest biome, filled with four new mobs, one of which being a new end-game boss called an Evoker. They’re all based off  human features, with Illagers and Evokers actually being reskinned villagers. Killing the Evoker will drop a Totem of Undying, an item that will prevent a player from dying if they hold the totem in their main or off-hand.

There’s plenty more to get excited about, although you may not like this news: the iPwnAge Network hasn’t upgrade to 1.11 yet. Many of our plugins and software systems do not support 1.11 yet. However, we’ve already implemented support for 1.11 clients to join the server and play like normal. We’ll have to wait until at least this weekend before 1.11 actually arrives on the server, while external developer groups, as well as Drew and I, work around the clock to update our software for 1.11.

Here’s the current roadmap for full 1.11 support:

  1. Network-level 1.11 support for backwards compatibility to 1.10 DONE!
  2. Spigot Team drafts a 1.11 API (ETA: Tuesday, November 15th) DONE!
  3. Apply all Rei patches to Spigot 1.11 (ETA: Thursday, November 17th) DONE!
    1. We run our own server software here, which is a combination of public works and our own changes to make iPA unique
  4. Test server for 1.11 goes live (ETA: Thursday, November 17th) DONE!
  5. Iterate over community plugins and catalog all changes/upgrades necessary (ETA: Friday, November 18th) DONE!
  6. Test server for 1.11 goes live, again (ETA: Friday, November 18th) DONE!
  7. Official iPwnAge Network release for 1.11 (ETA: Saturday, November 19th) DONE!

We’re happy to report that as of Sunday, November 20th, the Survival and Main server are fully 1.11. Continuing with previous MC updates, players can still join the Network with any version client, from 1.5 onward (though we really recommend using the latest version for the newest features, and more compatibility)

Personal Dimensions Update

Personal Dimensions Update

Starting today, all players ranked Trusted or above can now use RF Tools and Mystcraft for custom world generation! To ease server load, and to ensure we don’t place too much strain on the server, each player is being limited to a max of 2 RF Tools dimensions. At a later point in this week, Drew and I will evaluate server performance, and if we believe the server can handle more, we will allow more dimensions per player. This way, we keep our promise of allowing custom worlds, while also keeping the server stable.

If a player wishes to delete a world they’ve generated, ask a staff member. We planned to allow players to self-delete their own worlds, but enabling this option could allow potential griefers to delete your world without your consent. We plan to automate dimension deleting through Antee in the near future.

That’s all for now! We’ve kept this update short so you can dive right into RF Tools. Have fun!

Documentation + November = Docuvember?

Documentation + November = Docuvember?

Happy November everyone! Hope everyone had a fun Halloween.

One of the main gripes players have is the lack of information about server plugins, ranks, and commands. We agree: both Drew and I have been pretty lacking in documenting commands, ranks, and other important server features. So this month, we’ll be primarily focusing on getting as much information about the server written on the website. This includes tutorials, exactly what commands are earned at each rank, and “cheat sheets” for various plugins, like WorldGuard and CraftBook.

While many of the plugins we use have encylopedia-level documentation, most of it is aimed towards advanced users and make many assumptions about a player’s technological skill level. That’s why we’re going to be adapting a lot of the plugin documentation into easy-to-understand forms, without losing any of the critical bits necessary to showcase how flexible some plugins are (WorldGuard really comes to mind, here: their documentation spans 10-20 pages and contains 6,000+ words. I love it, but many players can get lost easily)

You can help us out by requesting documentation for plugins or other server-related features that don’t currently have a page listed here. Hopefully, by the end of this month, we’ll have a solid database of tutorials and information that makes getting started even easier.

Also, October was supposed to be “Fixtober”:

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The Fixtober that never happened

The reason why it never happened was Drew and I found ourselves too busy at the beginning of the month to dedicate enough time to following up on all of the potential bug reports. Secondly, the image shown above was slightly off-tilt and I refused to publish the post without fixing the image, which never happened. So instead, we simply ask that if you notice a bug, or “something that shouldn’t be like this”, let us know! We’ll see if we can fix it outright, or provide a solution. As always, you can check the Known FTB Bugs page if something isn’t going quite right on the FTB server.

P.S. Did you know that Halloween is an astronomical holiday? It’s considered a cross-quarter day, a perfect half between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. It originated as a pagan holiday called Samhain that marked the end of harvest season. Over time, through merging with various religions and cultures, it became Halloween around the 19th century. Groundhog Day, for us US Citizens, is another cross-quarter day. 😎