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Who else plays Minecraft?

I like to putter around on Minecraft now and then, and I’ve been using a free (well, they do ask for small donations once a year) public server called Sitosis. Did you see me write free right there? That’s what makes it shocking that it is woefully underpopulated right now, so they’re open to new applications. There’s a gigantic world there waiting to be played with, and we’ve only developed a tiny bit. Here’s the island a couple of us have been tinkering with lately.

craggyisland

One other reason that it might be less than packed with people is that it really is a totally vanilla server in survival mode — no hacks or mods. They also expect players to be mature and respectful of one another, so no griefing or screwing around with others’ enjoyment of the game. They also occasionally reboot everything and start fresh, but that’s only done by vote of the users.

There might be a few other Minecraft tinkerers here, so signing up a few more might get the place hopping again.

Comments

  1. says

    That boring and slightly garish tower up front is mine — there are no community standards enforced on your esthetic judgment. I can’t take credit for the lovely castle built into the east flank of the island.

  2. says

    Note that if you enjoy a Minecraft server, you should donate – Minecraft is pretty resource-intensive and expensive to run a public server for lots of people.

    (My 7yo is mad on Minecraft, has a cuddly creeper toy and all. We donated to her favourite server, Pokeballers – Pokemon in Minecraft!)

  3. says

    It’s been awhile since I’ve played vanilla Minecraft. I’ve been alternating between the Tekkit and Feed the Beast mod packs, but I may pop over and see what sort of controlled chaos I can get into.

  4. says

    Apparently the cost of the server is a few hundred bucks per year. If we have more players, it also makes passing the hat around easier.

  5. trollofreason says

    Having trouble applying. It seems that I can’t give a humanly general answer to a humanly ambiguous question. “Who made MineCraft?” Mojagn doesn’t work, neither does Notch. Can I run out of tries? I’m scared to keep going.

  6. trollofreason says

    Welp, it would appear that I shall not be playing with any of my fellow Pharygulites, nor the Grand Phooba himself as I cannot even begin to apply for whitelisting. I can not prove my humanity. “Who made Minecraft?” I am asked, but the answers Markus Persson, Notch, Markus “Notch” Persson, Notch Persson, Mojang, Mojang Studios, Mojang Games, and Mojang AB don’t work. Though disappointed, I will try to not despair.

  7. Zeckenschwarm says

    I do play minecraft, but I’ve only ever played it in peaceful mode, because I didn’t want my buildings to be destroyed by creepers/endermen. To be honest, I’m a bit scared of the idea of playing in suvival mode. ^^
    What’s your experience with the enemies? Are they troublesome?

  8. trollofreason says

    Enemies are no real problem, Zeck, when you get your light sources under control. A torch every 6 blocks (torch-five blocks-torch) will see you safe at night in your area. Granted, it won’t stop anything popping in beyond the radius, but you can always extend it. As for me? I prefer to build on or over the water. Partially for the engineering challenges, but also because enemies can’t spawn on the water.

  9. says

    Part of the fun (for me — not saying you will find it enjoyable) is learning how to build with enemies in mind. Don’t look friendermen in the eyes (they want to be your friend :D). Have a bow and arrow ready to take out creepers, etc etc.

    Big dirt walls with lots of torches inside can enable you to build an enemy free compound, letting you farm and mine until you have the resources to take on zombies and creepers and such.

  10. says

    I’d ask on the forums for help with your problems, but I seem to have crashed the forum server. Oops.

    Everyone hates creepers, but that just means that you put down good defenses: lots of light, since they only spawn in darkness, and I tend to build walls to set up a safe place to build. They’re a minor nuisance once you’ve worked out strategies for coping.

  11. trollofreason says

    I’m starting to despair. I haven’t built a farming “temple” in so long. I put “temple” in quotes, because it’s the title given to the structures I normally tend to make in MP servers by other people. I have a slight aversion to mining, but I love building and farming, so I tend to make large sources of food that are open to everyone. Which I then trade out to everyone in exchange for stone and dirt so I can make more farms. Since, as written previously, I also tend to build on the water, the farmland I build is almost always confined to modular trays suspended from the sea. These symetrical, eye-pleasing sources of food for everyone tend to be impressive to look at, no bragging intended, so people in turn tend to imbue them with an expanded sense of community ownership and specialness. Hence, I am an unwitting temple-builder, who is in truth just someone who doesn’t like to dig his own stone.

    It all started on a MP server years ago that was under the sway of a Dwarf Fortress meta-RP, but that’s a story for another time.

  12. says

    I don’t play it, but my 9 year old autistic son is addicted to Minecraft. He’s tried to show me how to play but I get lost after a few minutes. I didn’t know you could connect to servers with other players.

  13. Ben says

    Hi everyone.
    To all who have problems passing the botcheck: the solution is “mojang” (lower case).

    Happy building!

  14. says

    I play Minecraft and I’m a teacher whose students are middle school boys in Korea. They got me into it. All they want to do is play video games and watch movies.
    A few months in, the idea hit me to combine what I teach with video games. While there are plenty of “English teachers” on Youtube (I use that term lightly. They have no idea what they are doing IMO.), watching teachers with whiteboards behind them is boring as all hell! My students already get that over 10 hours a day!
    So, I started making easy slow English videos, complete with webcam and English subtitles, while I play Minecraft – Singleplayer, Multiplayer, minigames, the works. My videos are on youtube under the name “Cacille”.
    It might be interesting to do a more science-themed easy English video somehow. PZ, perhaps we can do a collaboration video! All you need is Skype and be up for the challenge of changing your speech pattern for 30 minutes or so. Send me a message through Youtube if you’re up for it.

  15. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Oh dear, this is very tempting. I haven’t played Minecraft in some time but I really miss the atmosphere of playing on an active server with mature people. What to do, what to do…

  16. says

    #20: not too active right now, but maturity is a requirement. The mods are right quick about booting griefers and rolling back their shenanigans.

  17. MarkM1427 says

    Delurking just to post that I’m also an unrepentant minecraft addict and I’d also love to play on a server with a more mature community. Unfortunately after playing with Biomes O’ Plenty and a lot of aesthetic and tech mods increasing the content of the game by several orders of magnitude, vanilla just doesn’t do much for me anymore.

    Any other MC players have recommendations for a good RR or FTB server?

  18. Ben says

    #21: seems like it is. String comparison is usually case sensitive by default, so it’s easy to miss this during implementation (assuming it wasn’t left case sensitive on purpose).

    Now all that is left to do is wait for the application to be processed.

  19. trollofreason says

    Thank you, kindly Ben.

    Now! That Dwarf Fortress meta-RP.

    Like all meta-RPs it began quite organically. The guy hosting the server was hosting it as part of a stream he was running, opening it up to his viewers with no password or anything. Most of his web presence had to do with DF at the time, that and zombie games. Spawn for the server was on an open field, a stream leading out to an eastern ocean, and a huuuuge, singular mountain overlooking a naturally formed depression and a mighty forest to the north. Basically, through no trying on his part, the game had given him the perfect Dwarf Fortress starting location.
    This was all before I decided to join in, so I watched as he and a user base of about 30 people, ranging from 10-33 years old dug out a great hall, or started erecting a ramshackle town within the valley looking out to the sea. Starvation quickly set in as only a few people thought to start farms and they were all in the great hall and very, VERY small. Also, the lack of any real defined borders, and absolutely no perimeter walls made the town outside of the fortress-like great hall sunk into the mountain a bit of a death trap. People were dying in their plank homes, or trying to escape to find food only to be shot by skellies or hugging Creepers. I thought it was all very entertaining, especially when it turned out that EVERYONE in the town was also digging down out of the basements of their homes, and were very sloppy with their lighting. So… houses could, and often times DID have monsters climbing up into them.
    Y’know, typical Dwarf Fortress fun.
    Enter me. It was night time, and I knew how godawful dangerous it was no matter where I went upon the mainland. So I headed east, and found a well lit quay leading to what appeared to be a well managed quarry beneath the town, but it turned out to be just one guy. He had chests and chests of cobble, so I asked him if I could have a couple of stacks. He said yes. So a quick jaunt to the northern forest to get some wood and I tried to figure out where I would build. Would I build within the mountain? Mnyeh, I don’t like digging, plus everyone was there arleady. I couldn’t be creative, or ensure that some jerk wouldn’t ruin my stuff when I wasn’t looking. Would I build in the town? The echoing report of a distant Creeper explosion put the kibosh on that plan. So, for the first time in my MineCraft career, I made the fateful choice to build upon the waters of the rising sun.
    Everyone was starving, even the guy hosting the stream, and reading constant begging for non-existant pork chops and scarce bread was annoying. So one day I braved the monster-infested crapshacks, and dashed into the great hall. There I found that my earlier estimates on the “settlement’s” agricultural output were… overestimated. So, I sighed and picked all the mature wheat I could, made myself a loaf of bread, stored the rest, replanted what I took, and went back to my building site, then just a raised cobblestone frame, with the excess seeds in my inventory. I asked the guy who was alone in his massive hole to the center of the earth for some dirt, stole a bucket from an abandoned house, and I made the settlement’s first full-sized farm upon the water.
    When people saw it, and I told them that I’d give out the food for free, the fun ended and the FUN started.
    Suddenly people were working a lot more smoothly, old housing was torn down, walls were put up and a concerted effort to seal off the undermined ground beneath the town had begun. Beneath the fortress hall in the mountain, a grand crevasse was discovered which gave easy access to metals and ores of all types. With traveling provisions provided by my expanding complex, a second settlement was founded in a nearby desert and an architectural renaissance exploded as more complicated and varied building materials became available. Upon the mountain’s summit, a sealed portal to the Nether had been established, and with the bountiful supplies of netherakk, I started making marker towers and halfway houses between the settlements. Someone made a stone brick road from the main fortress out to the desert. Someone else, a crazy but nice German fellow, actually made a pyramid to glorify me which was amusing to say the least. An anonymous guy set up a donation box outside of my ‘temple’ and inside was a diamond hoe. People started asking me if I needed things like iron bars or redstone. I politely told them the truth, but suggested that if they didn’t need ‘em to just put ‘em in the donation box, and that if someone else DOES need ‘em, they could ask me. I became the de facto bank of the server.
    It was a golden age caused by me being too lazy to want to dig, and it lasted until the server’s dissolution.

    As you can tell, it was an amazing experience, and it’s kind of marked me and my MineCraft habits ever since.

  20. trollofreason says

    #19, Shelly

    What you’re doing is, technically, a “let’s play,” or more accurately a “let’s drown out.” Which is actually quite popular amongst younger people. That you’re attempting to combine relevant forms of media consumption with education is to be commended.

  21. carlie says

    I’d love to get my 14 year old into this server to try it out, but he won’t be on the Minecraft-enabled computer for another week or so. Will try then !

  22. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Heh, I haven’t played Minecraft in a while. I’d join the server if I wasn’t so hopelessly into Space Engineers right now. Its Minecraft, in SPACE!

  23. slatham says

    I have no idea how you have enough time. I barely have enough time to read what you write on your blog!

  24. whheydt says

    Short side point particularly those with younger kids that are or might be interested in Minecraft.

    Mojang did a port, and released it for free, for the Raspberry Pi single board computer. I don’t know what the limitations of the RPi version are (I’ve never tried Minecraft), but it would be a *very* inexpensive start since an RPi Model B (or the new B+) is only $35 and one can find monitors in thrift shops if you do have a spare. Likewise keyboards and mice.

  25. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    PZ @ 22

    By “active” I mean something more like “a handful of people who play a fair bit,” not “lots of people all the time.” This really sounds right up my alley but…Factorio and Civ 5 and Sims 4 in a month or so and…*flail*

  26. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Dang, just thinking about it is making my inner builder twitch. I was another of the ones who started out building over the water for safety reasons. I made sprawling floating greenhouses, so food was never an issue. Then I started building under water. I’m getting the itch to join up and start recreating my underwater glass city.

  27. carlie says

    Damn you, whheydt, I now a) know that Raspberry Pi exists and b) want the whole kit and kaboodle.

  28. Mobius says

    OK…I know very little about Minecraft, but will give it a try. That’s all I need, another time waster. Site bookmarked.

  29. marcmagus says

    My videos are on youtube under the name “Cacille”.

    Cacille! I thought I recognized you from the beginning of your story.

    Small world moment for me. Don’t expect you to recognize my name; I’m a regular viewer of lorgon111 and mostly lurker here.

  30. Moggie says

    Mobius:

    OK…I know very little about Minecraft, but will give it a try. That’s all I need, another time waster. Site bookmarked.

    Beware: Minecraft is crack. You’ll think “I’ll just dip in for half an hour”, and next thing you know it’ll be 3 a.m.

  31. says

    Beware: Minecraft is crack. You’ll think “I’ll just dip in for half an hour”, and next thing you know it’ll be 3 a.m.

    I started mining underground around ten one night. Didn’t realize what time it was until I realized I was late for my 9am class.

  32. Johannes Ney says

    I also applied. This is (assuming I will be accepted) the first time for me trying multiplayer MC or a multiplayer game with persons I do not know in general because of my social anxiety. But havin atleast some people from here and PZ on it meks me feel brave. I am very much looking forward to this.

    If anyone needs assistance, I am pretty experienced with well over 300h playtime (mostly modded because I love engineering). I also really like brainless building jobs, since I listen to podcasts while playing. So if you need a hand with a big build: my username is eruvalar

  33. Johannes Ney says

    I nearly did. I bet they are lenient if you quickly follow up with one.

    I never did one before and therefore plagiarized the wikipedia one:

    MINE CRAFT
    a player logs on
    a creeper’s sound

  34. zibble says

    Wow, you play Minecraft, PZ? Now I’m *really* crushing on you <3

    Not to be condescending, but so many people of your generation never had the patience to give video games a try, and they miss out on the amazing creative experiences that only games like Minecraft can give.

  35. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Couple o’ questions PZ: Do we say you referred us (and do you use a nom de plume ingame that we should drop)? And will you fire off an email to the admin on our behalf to confirm the referral? Assuming the username isn’t taken, I’ll be applying as Korleonis. And darn you for dragging me back in!

    Grrr, haiku’s are hard. How many syllables in diamond, 2 or 3?

  36. says

    You can mention me, but I won’t be personally vetting anyone — I’m just a random guy on the server. I go by “pzmyers” like I do everywhere.

    If you do get on, take a look at the map (link on the forum site), turn on markers, and you’ll see where I’m located, north of the spawn site. There is a terminal and an underground railway that you can take to get to Craggy Island. Once you’re there, we have a trading post — take whatever you need to get started, like food and wool. Or if you’re a purist, don’t: lots of unexplored map to play on.

  37. blf says

    What is this “Mindcraft” thingy? This is a serious question…

    Ye Pffft! of All Knowledge says it “is a sandbox indie game originally created by Swedish programmer Markus ‘Notch’ Persson and later developed and published by Mojang” and gets more confusing after that. WTF is a “sandbox indie game”? Sounds like something from which bad bands throw toys and think it’s fun(ny)…

  38. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    All I need to start is my fist and a convenient tree, I can build the rest from there (I’ll even replant the tree).

    blf, depending on who you ask, Minecraft is either the most pointless game ever created, or the gateway to endless creativity. It is a world, in which you can do whatever you want, build whatever you desire. There is no specific goal or objective beyond what you set for yourself. Although I do recommend you start with walls and torches, or the zombies and skellingtons might hinder your plans significantly.

  39. Parrowing says

    Shelley Protte @19:

    I recently watched your collaboration with lorgon111 on his Bingo map- I can’t believe you comment here! I’m a native English speaker but I ended up finding the style of speech you used in the video very comforting. I really love your idea!

  40. Moggie says

    blf, picture this:

    You’re in a picturesque rural landscape (randomly generated). There’s rolling grassland, trees, just over here a calm sea, just over there perhaps some mountainous terrain. It’s very inviting and pastoral, and you want to explore: go and say hello to those sheep, perhaps, and there’s something a bit odd about that cliff over there which invites a closer look. But don’t waste too much time, because when night falls, various nasties come out, and things get dangerous. You’ll need to build some shelter before then, even if it’s just a crude dirt hut. Find a tree and gather wood from it: you can then fashion some crude wooden tools. If you use these to dig up stone, you can progress to more effective and durable stone tools (later, you’ll graduate to smelting iron ore and making iron axes, picks and so on, but don’t get too ambitious on your first day!)

    As the sun sinks in the west, you’re putting the finishing touches on your new home. It’s not much to look at, but it’s got light (you found a seam of coal, so with wood and coal you’ve made torches) and a wooden door you made. You shut yourself in and listen nervously as the first nocturnal zombies start shambling around outside…

    From these humble beginnings, you’ll craft ever more impressive structures. Maybe you like hilltop fortresses, linked by soaring bridges. Maybe you want a Moria of your own. Maybe you hanker after a crystal palace under the sea. The possibilities are endless, given time and imagination.

  41. says

    Looks like 27 people signed up; one time I peeked in and there were about 10 people cowering in holes and darting out at dawn to start building fortresses.

  42. Zeckenschwarm says

    I got accepted too, looks like my first ever haiku was good enough. :)
    I think I’ll start playing tomorrow, I should really get to bed.

  43. Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally says

    Seven of Mine @33,

    If you like both Minecraft and Civilization, you might be interested in a Minecraft mod my husband created called CivCraft* (http://civcraft.net/). It is basically a mod that allows you to start a join a civilization and work cooperatively against other civs to build wonders, create technology, and war with opposing teams. He used to run his own servers at Shotbow’s network, but has sense made the game open-source and now people host their own servers. I don’t know what any of the servers are like, but I know when Husband ran things, there were strict rules against misogyny, racism, homophobia, and game-breaking behavior (cheating, griefing, etc). I’ve heard that some of the servers kept his rules in place, but you’d have to join and see.

    Anyway–anyone interested can go to the website and play for themselves. :)

    ——————
    *There are currently 2 games called Civcraft. The Minecraft/Civilization fusion is the one I’m talking about.

  44. gog says

    I love Minecraft! I’m a vanilla survival player, too, but I’ve never found a server that I cared for. I shall apply!

  45. says

    Count me as one of those hiding in a hole, only it’s on purpose. I’m building my underground kingdom.

    drksky1056

  46. says

    I applied, too. I hope I can get in. I play pretty much exclusively non-multiplayer anything anymore. Too many asshats online. But this post has encouraged me to try it again. Hope to see ya’ll on there sometime soon.

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