Preparing For 1.8

With Your Host, Serverus Snape…

With 1.8 just around the corner now, we’re all anxiously awaiting the next snapshot from Mojang to let us in on what’s going to be included in this massive update.

We’ll talk more about how this is going to affect the server but first here’s a video on how this changes gameplay:

There’s actually been some more changes since this video but I’m not going to go into deep detail about bug fixes and small stuff.

Some of you are probably wondering what our plans are for moving forward with 1.8, since the Main server is on Bukkit and it may be some time before we have a stable enough build to migrate over. For comparison’s sake, it took Bukkit 6 months to fully catch up with 1.7.

The good news is that this update does not include nearly the same level of world generation differences as 1.7 did. The bad news is that it includes a huge administration syntax update that plugins will eventually have to conform to in order to be compatible.

The good news is that Mojang has already started to include the necessary code required for this administration change in patches to 1.7 and Bukkit has already started working on it. The bad news is that we can’t tell if all the developers for the plugins we use are on the same schedule.

There’s about a dozen other good news/bad news scenarios that I won’t go into, but it’s a mixed bag for sure. I’m guessing late July, maybe early August, to be around where we will actually move the main server over, provided that 1.8 is launched in May.

HOWEVER…that does not mean we won’t be able to take advantage of 1.8 right off the bat when it launches. I’m going to get to that in a bit, but first let’s talk about what we’re doing to prepare for the update.

The UUID Shuffle

Since Mojang has decided (against all better judgement IMO) to allow name changes for accounts, the system for recognizing a specific account has been changed to an ID system. For example, whereas before I could easily recognize my own account in a plugin setup by seeing YTCrackerz there, now I will be looking for 9ae6fb61-8a69-4b2e-8489-9920904d0655 which, as you can guess, is doubtful that I will memorize it.

My original title for this article was “Mojang and the terrible, horrible, no good very bad decision” but since 1.8 is way more than just the stuff that is going to make me pull my hair out (what little of it I have left) I figured it wasn’t relevant enough to all the awesome new features and epic plans we have for expansion. You guys will love all that I’m sure. In any case though, the UUID thing is not only a big pain for me, but also for the plugin developers, so while we may not be moving the main server over soon, in the background there will be a lot of activity testing this. The possible implications to account security are noteworthy, so I’m not going to implement it until I’m quite sure it’s ready.

For now, I am pulling all your UUIDs with an API tool so you don’t have to worry about providing them to me.

What this DOES mean for you though, is that you will have to have connected to the server at least once 30 days prior to the update in order to remain on the whitelist once the switch is made OR we will also ask in the group and if you respond, you’ll be OK that way too. We’re doing this because, if you are no longer active, and you change your name to something else, that frees up your previous name to be taken by others. While the UUIDs are supposed to prevent name changes from registering an OK with updated, protected servers, we can’t take any chances that there won’t be workarounds to this in the initial launch. A griefer could theoretically take your old name if you change it and, with a mod or exploit, get into servers where the whitelist would have previously kept them out. It’s my job as server admin to prevent all chance of that happening.

Plus if you’ve been off for that long, chances are you’re just clogging up the whitelist anyway at that point. If that’s the case and you’re erased from it, you are of course welcome to request reinclusion through the typical server rules format. No big deal.

Loading New Chunks

This may come as a shock to some of you newer folks, but suffice it to say that our world clocks in at over 10 gigabytes in file size. What does this mean? Well in relation to the amount of chunks already loaded, it means that there is A LOT of previously discovered land on the server that no one has built on.

Why is this relevant? Because new features in 1.8 will not load in chunks that have already been loaded before. We would like to minimize how far out we have to go to get to the new blocks, items and updated biomes in 1.8. For this reason, we are asking people not to explore outside of any direction that goes past the 10,000 coord range. This is a VERY liberal number and should not be hard to refrain from hitting.

Mesas will finally have caves, as will deserts.

Mesas will finally have caves, as will deserts.

 

If you already have a location out past 10,000 (which should be only a few of you) then we ask that you stick to the area close by and not venture out too far from it while you’re out there. Most people stick relatively close to the command tower, and community builds are typically coordinated so as to be closer in, so the likelihood that someone “accidentally” goes outside that range is low. We will be looking for this in-game, so please be mindful of it.

World Border

We will NOT be imposing a world border. Honestly I wish we had that functionality NOW but it will be helpful going forward I guess. The need for a world border will be mitigated by our choice to go with…

The Alt Server

This is where the article starts getting good. Have you made it this far? If so, good for you, you’ve survived my long-winded rambling.

The alt server, which we typically use for game nights, will be converted to our “1.8 Vanilla Map”. It will not be a Rush Map. It will have a higher mob difficulty, and also a higher frequency of ores (thanks to the new “world sliders” in the update). It will NOT have keepInventory on and it will be considered an expansion of the main server. There are already plans in place to link the two servers via command block in the future, but it won’t be available until both servers can be updated to the 1.8 version of Bukkit.

In a nutshell, once linked, you’ll be able to carry everything over from one server to another. So basically, store up as much as you can on the alt server while the two servers are not linked, and by the time they are connected, you’ll be leagues ahead of the people who didn’t bother.

Upgraded Hosting Plan

With the update, we will be upgrading the alt server to match the specs of the main server. If any of you can recall being on during other major updates, you’ll know that moving back to Vanilla means more lag and more crashes, and the only way we can really mitigate that is to move from the 2GB to the 4GB plan.

No, it does not mean we are taking donations now (and yes I’m still planning on writing that article too at some point). I’m basically letting you know so you’re confident that your time on either server, once Bukkit is on both, will be a similar experience, and therefore worth it to expand onto.

Brave New World

Overall, this is a very exciting time in the history of Some Awesome Minecraft. We look forward to the leap in gameplay that many of you will make. Some of you will embrace the wild new lands that promise riches and danger. For the rest of you who are content with how it is already, you’ll be able to continue enjoying that too.

And for me and the admins, we’ll be a little frazzled for a while with the whole transition, so just keep that in mind 😉

Thanks,
-Serverus

 

 





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