Who Are We?

What are you doing here?
We have a real site as of 3-3-2012!
Trust us, it looks and feels better there!
MCDen @ Mine-Craft-Den.com

Other than just another random creative and survival server, we aim to do things differently than other servers dare: Allow and Do more than those pesky instructions say.

Join us on our server either by the game itself, or in Dynmap. We are running MineCraft 1.4.7 with Craftbukkit/Spigot and Spout. Spout Craft is Optional, But Preferred.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Updating to MC 1.3.2!

Thanks to Spout to releasing a Development Build for SpoutCraft to the public, we will begin updating our server to MC 1.3.2
Once we have updated, you can join us with your Vanilla MC with 1.3.2, or with Spoutcraft with the build selection set to Latest.

I'll update this post when the server is updated and running smoothly. See you there!
Also, server in WhiteList Mode until update and all bugs are cleared.
If you have setup yourself on Dynmap, you may chat to use through that when it is online.

Server running MC 1.3.2, but some spout aspects are not fully working. Might be due to no SpoutPlugin for CB 1.3.2 yet.
No textures for spout items, which means most spout functions will not work either.
Something is doing a worldsave every 45-50 seconds, at which anyone moving at that time brings up a Moved Too Quickly message and is teleported back a block or two.

SpoutPlugin is offline until I find a solution to some of it's issues.
Whitelist Removed for the time being.
 Please report any bugs. If anything major comes up, I will revert to the backup I made before the update. You have been warned!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Joined > Testing > Passed > TempFullMember?

Idea: You know how new members, PASSED, must be accepted by staff to be a full member. PASSED and Full Member differences are lack of Creative World access and Towny join/claim. How about a way if a player earns enough money, they can by a rank with all the perms as a full member. We would keep the agecheck feature in place to help enforce rule 4. The new rank would be TempMember, or different colored [m] than the current Full Member. Thoughts, suggestions? Might interest players to stay.

Basically put, if they want to stay, but don't want to wait for staff to make them a full member, they can earn it by going out and doing their mcJob, aimlessly killing mobs, gain materials and selling them to the stores, or even a combination of the three.

In other news, if you didn't notice the "(new)" at the top, we now have player tracking to see what's popular, how well you are doing compared to others, etc.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dynmap Loading Issues

I've noticed dynmap isn't wanting to load. I'll be looking into this either later today or tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Apparently Moving and Updating Billing Address is more of a pain than one thought.

Just went to pay for our server, for a full year, just over $200 for the 16 slots and + 400MB ram.
Paypal: Rejected. Way more than enough to pay thanks to donations. Why? No details mentioned.
Direct Credit/Debit Card: Declined. No detailed mentioned either.

I'm suspecting it's because my billing address hasn't been updated everywhere. For now, I payed with what referral credits we had for the next 3 months. I've now restarted the server with the new 16 slot and + 400 MB ram, this also includes the ram boost we get just for upping from 10 to 16 slots.

We are now running at 1800MB ram, costing $32 Per month. Note: If we pay 3, 6, or 12 months time, we get a discount. Plus 5% discount added since we have been with HGS for a year.

Once we start getting more donation money and credits than it costs to run the server, I'll increase the slots and ram. If everyone wants to keep the server small, let's say no more than 16 or 20, I can still keep the server at such a number while upping the slots. At least then we can still get the increase in memory without the worry of overloading the server with players.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Enjoying the last of Summer + Some Updates

While trying to enjoy the last of my summer before classes start the 20th, I've been coming up a few ideas. Due to my laziness in the last couple weeks or so, I doubt many will be done.

One thing I have been wanting to do is now complete. Everyone can now seen the screeenshots taken from ingame at any time. The link to this is listed on the side-panel.

We will upping the server RAM and Slots in 5 days.

I've been trying to work on a good layout and look for the saucer above MCDen. I'm not a good designer of such. I'm more into function than looks. So here's a competition for those who really want to help. Winner will get Tier 5 Donation rank, second place will get Tier 4, and third will get Tier 3. Please note, as I know many people like to find loop holes, there must be at least 5 contestants that have put forth real effort in their designs.

What does the saucer need?
  1. Good first-time spawn room.
  2. Portal Room to other worlds: To Ground Below, Creative, The_End, and a return portal
  3. Floor for those of Tier 5 for their own personal worlds. Portal per world tier 5 world.
  4. Area for each guest test room. At least 5 Rooms, one per question, and at least 1 room for entry, explaining how to take the test.
  5. Decorative lounge area (just for looks and BS around in)
That's about it off the top of my head. Be creative. Creating these saucers for the contest can be done in Creative World. If a plot doesn't seem big enough for you guys, I'll setup the old creative plots world and people can claim as large of an area they need with WorldGuard. (Prevent grieffing.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Server update delayed again

There is yet another delay in updating our server to MC 1.3.x. There seems to be a 1.3.2 in the works. Spout has stopped work on making spoutcraft for 1.3.1 and will continue when 1.3.2 comes out.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Our usual Expenses

Core part of our server:

As stated from HGS for our 16 slot with about 1.7GB ram:
For 16 slots and 400MB is 31.90/month * 6 = 191.40.
The semiannual discount is 10%. Then the 5% added. [15% off would be 28.71]
The total would be 191.40-28.71[...]=$162.69 for 6 months.

SpoutCraft Ingame Server List:
$20-$25 per month to stay in the top 10

We need about $28-50 per month to cover our expenses.
If we don't have enough to cover our expenses, they will have to come out of my pocket. The less I have to spend, the more open on features I am for the server.
  • Current requests for the server that might be added if donations are enough per month regularly: 
    • Per Tier5 Player worlds
    • Ships and cannons mod

Donation thoughts:
We need suggestion on items players can buy via donations.
Tier donations are more of a one-time donation. Buying items are more likely be bought more often per player.
Current idea when we finally update to MC 1.3.x: Only able to buy Emeralds via the store. Otherwise trading with players or mining them in offworld. $5 for 3 Emerald Blocks? Thoughts?

Updates at a standstill

We are staying with Hosted Game Servers as our host. I've done some number crunching, and asked HGS what their formula is for the following details.

We plan to up our slots to 16. At $2 a slot, that is $32 per month. With this, our ram will be upped to about 1.3GB.
I plan to order a boost of 400MB ram. At an extra $5 a month.
That comes to $37 a month for 16 slots at about 1.7GB ram.

I've asked what our average income is from the Referral link I posted a few times on the net. In the last or week, I've noted we made about $5-6. Using that as a rough guess on income of Referrals, that's about, let's say $12 a month. That takes us down to $20 a month.

If we pay at 3 or 6 month times, which I plan to do it 6 months, we will get, I think, I sent an e-mail asking, 10% discount. I can be way off on this, I honestly do not recall. I assume they will do that discount before the referral credits. We will get $3.70 deducted from out total.

As I was talking to them in our last e-mail, since we have been with them for over a year, and plan to be with them longer, we MIGHT get a 5% discount as well. Assuming again, this 5% deduction will be taken before referral credits. But if this is added to the pay period choice, such as 10%+5% means we get a 15% deduction, or it's 5% deduction after the 10% deduction is unknown. I've asked this too. For now, I'm going with the 15%. That means we will get  $5.55 off instead of the $3.70 of our total.

I'm liking these differences.

To go with what was going on above. $37 per month, times 6 months is $222 total.

Minus $5.55 in 15% deductions putting us at 216.45. Then lastly the average of $12 a month from referrals, times 6, giving $72 in our last deduction. Leaving us at $144.50 to pay per 6 months.

The only thing I didn't count in is the donations. These, in the last couple months, spiked much more than what I'm used to seeing. I'm not going to bother averaging them because I have no clue how often we will keep getting donations. We received about $125 in donations during June and July. I'd go look to be certain on this, but as I'm typing this in notepad; internet at my apartment keeps going out. If, by some means, we get Donations of $25 or more per month, no money needs to come out of my pocket. Leaving me space to keep my bills payed up and less hours at work, especially since college classes for me are starting this 20th.

Right now, money isn't really that tight. But I did have to dip into my savings to get the apartment I'm in right now when it came open before someone else took it. For those who do not know. Finding a home or apartment that isn't quickly taken by workers in the Oil Boom where I live is hard, finding one worth the money, is much harder. I got damn lucky finding one that someone was just moving out at $400 a month and was more than twice the size of my dorm room. As far as I can guess, it's about twice the size of my suit in my dorm. I've got a roommate to pay half the rent and half the utilities. Utilities are about $100-180 a month for electric, heating (gas), and internet. Internet here is $48 a month, so the rest varies on use. So now you see what all I'm working with and why some of the donations seems high.

On the donations, why some don't seem to "worthy", and I keep explaining, I'm trying not to get people powers or permissions that give far too much of an upper hand in playing on the server, just because they have the money to throw out the window while others are not so lucky.

The next couple projects I will be working on, after we get our slot and ram boost, is setting up the server shops for donators in the hidden store, and setting up worlds for players who have donated $50.

The Player worlds, as I will be calling them for players who donated $50; I have a concern on how they are done, permissions wise. I don't know if I want to set them up where only the owner can access them, that's the lazy way. Or set up a complex system where the owner can edit, but anyone he accepts in, can't do much than walk and talk. I am on the prowl for a plugin that can do this better, but the only one I've seen is still greatly in a WIP. I might have to make some requests, or even pay someone to make a plugin to allow this, or just give them a free Tier 5 donator spot for doing this for us.

Update: ----=====----
E-mail from HGS of what they do for the discounts and such:
For 16 slots and 400MB is 31.90/month * 6 = 191.40.
The semiannual discount is 10%. Then the 5% added. [15% off would be 28.71]
The total would be 191.40-28.71[...]=$162.69 for 6 months.

So our total per month would be 27.11 per month. As long as we get about 25-30 in donations per month, we should be doing great. I'm currently adding donation selections for items and such. Check the donations page, I've updated some stuff and tweaked a couple things. I also do not allow paying to be unbanned anymore. The unjailing you can still pay for. Will be useful for when people are banned for the theme rules when they begin to be enforced.  Once we update to MC 1.3.x (possible 1.3.2 coming out soon, so CB and Spout has delayed any and all updates), I'll setup a donation for 3 blocks of Emeralds for $5. You will not be buying the emeralds from the bank, you can sell them for McDough, I might even setup a storage/banking system for the emeralds. This I'm still debating on.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Moving came to a screeching halt...

Server Whitelist Disabled! Everyone may enter and play. Whitelisting will be used again if I find a good host that I can at least upload everything and run smoothly in the first get-go.

So moving to our new host was a joke. Staying with HGS for now.
We WERE going to move to Redstonehost.com, but their lack in responses to my tickets, such as why has McMyAdmin stopped working, why can't I get it to start up, and their advertisements of 40GB harddrive space is a joke. I can upload my main world in .zip (around 750MB) and while unzipping it, I suddenly run our of harddrive space. That's just one world.

I have sent in many tickets with no responses, except the one I sent before buying asking for the server location. Their live chat has been "OFFLINE" for more than 36 hours, I never even seen it ONLINE when visiting before.

The servers I'm looking for must have this:
2GB ram (Burst optional, but would be nice)
Allow up to 20-25 slots
100Mbs Upload
SSH and FTP access. Even permissions to at least wget our files and unzip them
20GB harddrive space or more.
Quick ticket response, real live chat support.
Up to $28 a month, good discounts on quarterly, semi-annual, annually - Though may seem like a rip off, but I've seen many other hosts charge with nearly the same specs above, but lacking key features.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Last File Upload and soon MC Update

While I wait for our last file, the main world itself, uploads for the next couple hours, I noticed news about the Newest RB of CraftBukkit as been released for MC 1.3.1. One step closer to updating our server to MC 1.3.1. We are right now waiting on Spout and SpoutCraft to catch up then I'll begin our updates.

I'll see you all tonight if things go as planned!

Edit: Forgot to mention: While I've been doing these uploads today, I'd like to mention that I can't do much of anything on the internet. No youtube, not netflix, no games. I am able to use pandora and surf most sites with little trouble.

Moving Update

Our move is at a hault at this time. While I spent a few hours downloading our worlds from the old server, our Control Panel System, McMyAdmin, went offline on our new host and I have been unable to start it back up.

To make things worse, I have been havning trouble accessing our SSH and FTP to finish uploading and setting up the new server.

Nothing is lost, I've made backups of all the worlds and plugins. The only thing lost is game time. Eh, we all play games too much. Try watching tv or visit some friends. I may not know where you live, but that's what I'm pretty much doing as it too dang hot where I am. 100 degrees, give or take 5 each day.

Moving Has Begun

As of right now, the server is running in whitelist mode until the server is moved. Once moved, I'll update the URL to the server to the new IP. No Port Will Be Needed. I'll set the old server to stay on whitelist mode and notify any user joining of the move and change in accessing the new server.

Steps in moving:
Back Up Worlds and Plugins - Plugins with Backups will not have their backups copied. Their backups will stay on our old server until it's subscription runs out in a month.
Download backups and move them to the new server, then uncompress them where they are needed.
Start server and hope as heck everything works fine on the first run.

If everything goes well, the server should be running just fine by morning. I'll re-add our server to Spout's Ingame list with a new subtext stating Server Move Complete.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Towny Taxes and Server Move

Towny Taxes will be re-enabled shortly. I'm giving everyone one week to get money into their towns.
Any towns without enough money in their bank, 30 per Real Life Day, will loose their protections within a couple days.
Why enable taxes? To keep inactive towns out and leaving room for new active towns.
I have also increased the price of claiming plots to help prevent mass plot buying from the start.
Buying new bonus plots cost 150 ea, 75 for new normal plots, and the plots per resident has been decreased to 7 per resident.

A reminder to everyone. Late Monday Night and most of Tuesday, the server will be moved to a new host. I plan to have everything moved Monday night, but real testing can be done when we have a load of players active on the server Tuesday.
The URL to the server will stay. The port number on the other hand will not be needed. I will keep the server properties set to keep 25566, but it's no longer required. Dynmap will also stay on the same IP:port, but it is preferred everyone uses the url:8122.

Once I see the server being stable for a few days to a week, I'll readd all the plugins I had to remove to keep the server running smoothly until now. I've got a lot of work to make sure all the plugins run smoothly together, along with a few new additions. RIky and Nevec have been busy working on a system feature for the server. Ships. I'll be adding a ships and cannon mod soon.

Reminder on Spout and CraftBukkit.
Though CraftBukkit has Dev builds, spout and spoutcraft have not been updated enough to be used. Once spoutcraft and spout have working builds, I'll try to update the server to MC 1.3.1.

And yes, we do have guns+, but right now, they are only accessible in Creative world. I'm still debating on setting up a gun store where players can buy them, or set up some kind of crafting. Do Note: Only Tier 1 Donators and UP can use the guns in survival, but everyone (members and up) can use them in creative, same as capes.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Where'd He Go?

So it's nearly 2am friday morning, I'm tired, and been quite busy the last few days. So I'll make this short.

Just got moved into a new apartment, got the internet fully set up.
No desk for computer, yet. Currently have the computer rigged up to work with the tv. 41" tv btw. Looks great for games, not so much when it comes to typing and reading.
All parts for the new server are in, but I want to run a MC server test with at least 8 or more people connected at once to test latency. For this, I'll make a temp CB server on another computer, with 20 max slots. I'll then being testing when I'm able to get more than 5 people and see how things lag for most players. If it laggs too much, the project is scrubbed. I'll return the parts and use the money to go to a new host. I've already been looking around, a few good ones, one really good one, but based in Paris, France.

I plan to set up a whitelist, keep reading, that when someone is set as Full Member, they are added to it. This white list will be used when I need to lock down the server and do not wish to mess with new players joining and have to mess with most of the issues a lot like to bring. Again, this list will have all Full Members added and a macro set for when a staff member sets a player as Full Member, they are also added to the white list. The only question I have, and haven't tested, is adding players to the white list while the whitelist feature is disabled.

Until I am more comfortable living in my new apartment and more financially stable, I'll be more active on the server. I'll try to help with any requests, all server staff have my number. I have been talking to the staff on a possible new addition or two to the Den Patrol. We may also be removing one or two Den Patrol. Still haven't decided yet.

School and College is about to start. Most of the server staff will be more active on the server here soon. Some will be more active, such as ibmoodysniper. His excuse for not being active on the server is lack of real internet at home. Gotta love data caps. As more staff will be active, we also will be busy with friends, life, and school work. Hence the reason I'm trying to get at least one or two more admins that understand how most of the features on the server works. RIky has come a long way, and I thank him greatly for trying to keep the server stable while I've been away. He just needs to learn what to update me on and what not to. Apparently rTriggers stopped working for over a day and only recently told me, while I've been at work. At least he's trying. Can't say he's not doing too well, I'm still learning new things to do with the server every day. Which brings me to a couple other possible additions to the server.

As I've been trying to add the proper permissions to the Tiered 3, 4, and 5, in ways they can't easily exploit, I have found a plugin that would help with the big feature for Tier 5 players. Individual Worlds. The plugin I found is new and still in beta. Currently, the worlds cannot be bigger than 400x400. I'd like to have a setting for 1024x1024. Some of you may know why I chose such a number.
I have found a recently updated piston chest plugin. (YAY!), so automated cobblestone and stone systems can being working as soon as I add the plugin in. Simply put, a piston can push MOST blocks into a chest's inventory. Some items/blocks cannot, such as fire/water/lava.

I promise you, the donations have not gone to waste. They all have gone toward paying for the new server. If I have to send the parts back due to bad upload speeds at the possible new location, the money will go towards renting from a new host.

Lastly, even though I said I was keeping this short, but lack of sleep and ADD is bringing a lot of random thoughts of interest.
What do you guys think of a contest? I know some of you all like the server, but can't really donate, or don't see much of a need to pay X amount for some not so useful permission abilities and/or items. Some of you may not even have the money. How about some of you help come up with some stuff for the server? I'm still thinking about the details, though right now isn't a good time to be thinking. We're in need to setting up image/banners for our listings on most of our server listings listed in the Vote area. Some of the sites permit custom banners, which would help out server be shown better. These, are far as I know most allow, can either stills or animated. I ask for nothing extremely flashy and annoying. By this I mean, if you were to be reading an article, such as this, and you had an image on the side of the screen that was just being as flashy and attention grabby as it could be, wouldn't you get a bit annoyed?
Other than banner art, I'm also looking for great screen shot art to add to our listings on Spout and planet mine craft. Not much is listed for us on spout, but planetminecraft has a few good shots that I've taken.
I'm also looking for other good creations for new players to look at. So far, the only real attractions on the server that new players are liking is the town, and seeing a few other player's towns. I'm looking for something not town based. You can claim a few plots together as OutPosts through Towny, you and your friends can work on something really nice, and if the end result is great, and we'd like to add it to the "tourist attractions", we'll put up a custom World Guard around it, you can take down your outpost plots, and we can set you as the main editors of the structure/ride/etc to help maintain it. I'm awaiting the sight of a good roller coaster. These can be done in either creative or survival. We Will Not Move Structures From Creative To Survival. We may vise-versa in the future if we are wanting to preserve stuff. Like if you want to do an overhaul or such.

Rewards can be of selected perms, to tier levels, or dedicated plots in MCDen for your own use, as long as it isn't disgraceful or diminishing.

Sleep is taking over. Night All!

It has been determined we will use a different host. Though we won't get the specs I was really hoping for, we can get 2-3x more at nearly the same price we are paying now. We will keep the server cap at 20-25 for now, though we have an unlimited slot choice.