By MonMarty on Oct 12, 2017 at 8:42 AM
  1. MonMarty

    MonMarty Thotdodger Staff Member Server Owner

    Jun 30, 2012
    Likes Received:

    A bit more of a blog-style oriented News post this time, and more specifically talking about Factions as a whole, it's place on Massive, and what (from our perspective) has gone wrong over the years, while perhaps giving some insights that a lot of players aren't aware of. The point of this blog is perhaps to inspire a sense that some of us are finally taking Factions problems seriously, and why it has taken so long to make that step.

    To give some context, let me first fully explain how Staff works on MassiveCraft. We have our departments, Game, Lore, World, PR, Quest, Tech, and the meta department: Direction. Each department controls its own respective sphere: Game deals with law enforcement, Lore deals with Regalia and the Wiki, World deals with construction of Regalia and other server builds, PR deals with external marketing, Quest deals with Quest worlds and Festivals, and finally Tech deals with the plugin side of management, while Direction is supposed to hold everything together. Now this already proposes an issue as readers might figure out: Where is the Survival Department. The short answer is, that there is none.

    When I started on Massive some odd 5 and some years ago, we didn't have departments. Everyone was either Trusted, Moderator or Admin, and you did a bit of everything, though obviously in its infancy state. There was no Regalia, no Quests, no external PR. Staff members just built whatever they felt like regardless of the quality. Service provision was shit. I recall having to battle with the long seated admins for weeks on end to get anything done, while they continued to do absolutely nothing. Department implementations made sense, specialization made sense, it was all necessary. At first, it all worked out great. The specialized lore department quickly set up quite honestly the most amazingly set up and most popular role play experience on Minecraft, no other server (to my knowledge) is able to get sustained popularity numbers in one centralized area like we do in Regalia, and that's all thanks to the specialization of staff efforts, using skills of staff members where they benefit the server most.

    The eventual problem this created however, was that the only department doctoring the game play experience of Factions, was Tech, which is primarily filled with coders who don't actually play on the server, or know the running and woes of factions since they've hardly ever ran one. Another problem piled on top: Game staff leadership chose not to (or could not) innovate. While Lore maintained a self restructuring drive (lore rewrites, Regalia reconstruction, noble system restructures, etc.), that constant flux of change was not present in most other departments. Game focused solely on maintaining the system and applying band aid solutions to a fracturing game play experience: Events, KOTH, Kit-PVP, etc. Don't get me wrong, Game leadership at the time did amazing work for years on end, and some of it we still all get to benefit from today, and the server would have broken down ages ago without their vigilant rule enforcement. But in terms of acting like the first barrier to hearing Survival's woes, and then solving them, it didn't work.

    In the same vein, Lore staff also "failed" the survival community, or more specifically I did. As a Director, I bear responsibility for the whole server, but my go-to response when anyone tried to get me to do something for survival was "It's not my problem, I run Regalia", and all Lore staff members quickly followed suit with that same sentiment. Another issue that arose as time went by, was that most department members of all departments became role players. As the survival world shrank, we still needed to maintain a healthy staff population, so we recruited more and more from the Regalia community. While these people are all talented and great individuals, they lack the single purpose dedication drive, or the ambition to see Faction Survival flourish, simply because they don’t participate in it. This created the perfect storm of issues that resulted in the eventual withering of the Survival worlds to the state it is in today.

    • Tech doesn't know how to positively affect game play experience (and in present day, cannot, due to lack of manpower)
    • Game Staff (and other departments) did not innovate or take any responsibility for the Faction Survival worlds.
    • Direction (me specifically) constantly rejected responsibility for a part of the community for selfish reasons, which resulted in our respective departments doing the same.
    • Staff became more and more dominated by Role players who lacked dedication and ambition towards Faction Survival.
    Factions became a hornets nest that nobody wanted to touch, and the only real engagement that there was, was rule enforcement. With that perfect storm of problems in place, Faction Survival could not cope with the change that most affected us all: The Eula Enforcement and worst of all: The loss of Minecraft popularity among the global gaming community. The Eula change saw our income suffer, but also changed a lot about the game play mechanic of MassiveCraft. In the past you could buy “OP” status and simply enjoy yourself shitting on those who didn’t have it. Suddenly with the EULA, that experience became a lot more stale. Then secondly, the loss of popularity of Minecraft as a whole has saw a decrease in players. I believe Cayorion looked up the google analytics at some point and said that in the US alone, Minecraft was losing about 20% traction per year (though in Russia and China, numbers were on the rise), and that the pocket edition of Minecraft was taking over. What this meant for us, is that competition becomes all that more severe.

    We offered a game play experience 5 years back that found roots. The kind of medio-Roleplay Faction-Survival where you could build and not have to worry about your build being destroyed, but still maintain a competitive aspect. This game play was possible back then because it appealed to a small population of the Minecraft community as a whole, though the Minecraft community is shrinking to the point where we are simply losing to the competition. The feeling of achievement in building a great city does not appeal to many, and the fact paced instant satisfaction of competition by PVP and power is far more appealing to the larger population. As such, the game play experience we provided has gone beyond its zenith, Faction Survival as we know it on Massive has not evolved with the times at all, and that is largely what has been hurting it, and our ability to retain players.

    Another problem that has caused us to be unable to retain players, is our stubborn adherence to perpetuity, the fact that we never reset. In the time our server has been around, it has never truly faced an economy wipe. I am still walking around with the silvers-become-Regals that I earned years ago, and in many situations, this exacerbated the problems. Other servers are healthy and fine, their experience is constant, while Massive is on a down-low. Many economic arguments have been had about this matter on the forum, and while the response was always the same, we have been aware of the issue, but were caught between appeasing new players, and ruining our relation with players who have been with us for many years, hoping that time would eventually make them believe that their own finances were hurting the server.

    What can we conclude from all the above?

    • Have we (more specifically, I) been deflecting issues? Most certainly.
    • Have we (more specifically, I) been falsely deflecting responsibility for the faction survival worlds? Yes.
    • Do all Staff from all various segments of leadership bear responsibility? Yes certainly.
    • Is this the death of Faction Survival on Massive and are just giving up? Absolutely not!
    To that end, I am extending my personal apologies to everyone who plays Factions Survival, not because (as many claim) my work on Regalia and the Roleplay community has ruined the experience of Factions Survival, but because of my lack of interest and my (and in lesser part other Directors both present and past) rejecting responsibility for Factions Survival has resulted in it being neglected in a slow steady decline. In many ways, the leaders of Massive have failed both the player base and the staff members who worked in Factions Survival, by allowing the slow creep of devaluation to take hold on Factions as a whole, and constantly barraging the players with excuses to allow us more time to work on the stuff we personally feel more passionate about. That devalued Factions, it disrespected the players who had been loyally with us for years, and ruined something Massive became great with/for, being Factions, and I'm sorry for having let it come to that.

    As such, I will make it expressly clear, even though previous accusations of "MonMarty ruined Factions because of XYZ" were dumb and unfounded, a valid accusation that I've come to realize is "MonMarty ruined Factions by not caring".

    The whole point of this post was to make clear that through the work of Sevak, Tokuu, Sephite and other Game staff members who are equally dedicated to the community, as well as reasoned voices within the Community we (more specifically I, as lead Director) have decided to go all on-board with taking responsibility for our failure and attempting to make the necessary changes that will save Factions Survival and hopefully give it potential to grow again. Here are our immediate plans:

    • I intend to cease my work for the Lore community practically immediately. Many functions within those systems work as are, and I can get replacements for the ones that do not. There will be some quality loss suffered by the role players, but I believe they can show solidarity with the members who are also part of Massive as a whole, and deal with a lower service standard to allow me more free time to work with Factions Survival.
    • The Tech department is dead, but the Coding community on Spigot is very alive. Many coders provide custom coding solutions for reasonable fees, and we intend to potentially hire coders from there on a freelance basis to make plugins for us, the first one such on the list would be our own in-house Cannon plugin, though this is all pending on quality checks from Cayorion, after all, we don't want laggy junk to be put on the server from inexperienced coders. This wont result in a sudden revival of "Empires", but should give us additional functionality.
    • By the project work of notably Sephite, Tokuu and Darkwatch (forgive me if I forgot someone), we have initiated competitive research on healthy Factions servers to see what they do different, and what we can apply to Massive to not completely lose our old identity, but to make the server more appealing to the player base we want to attract and keep for once.
    • We will slowly start transitioning to less concentrated worlds, if not just a single one, though nothing has been decided on this yet. Either way: We want to limit the amount of worlds available to pull the community together, which will also limit our need for hardware, and thus cut costs for Massive as a whole.
    • I've tentatively started talking to Cayorion about enabling the survival world(s) to be hosted on 1.8 instead of 1.12.2, before the disastrous combat update. The reality is that the player base we want to appeal to does not play on 1.12.2 at all, in fact all our major competitors are all stuck in 1.8. If this means that we'll have survival worlds running on 1.8 and on 1.12.2, this is a distinct possibility. There are some hurdles to get over, and it may not work at all since there are considerable Tech problems, but it's a realistic possibility.
    For all the above, if you feel very strongly against one or more bullet points, don't panic just yet. The whole idea is to "save" Factions by making it more appealing to outsiders who are not years loyal on Massive meanwhile also /not/ pissing off our loyal playerbase. Much like how Massive's roleplay community became more hybrid after a large influx of players from a different server, we aim not to lose our identity that we set out many years ago, but to make the necessary changes that brings Factions Survival up to speed with how it should be in this day and era, instead of trying to cling to a game play experience that died years ago. Additionally, while some may be excited by the language used in this post, don't get immediate hopes up for immediate changes. While I (we) are dedicated to making the necessary changes, both Omnomivore and myself are in the middle of wedding stage planning, both of us are getting married within the near future, and as such, our private lives demand a decent amount of our attention. That being said, where-as in the past we were only the middle men between change and things not happening, now we hope to /be/ the change that positively breathes new life into the Survival Experience on MassiveCraft.
    • Winner x 36
    • Thank You! x 8
    • Informative x 4
    • Constructive x 3
    • Like x 2
    • Immersive x 2
    • Useful x 2
    • Cuddles! x 1
    • Friendly x 1
    • Optimistic x 1
    • Creative x 1


Discussion in 'Server News and Announcements' started by MonMarty, Oct 12, 2017.

    1. 4tv
      Great post Marty.
    2. Reaganism
      I played World of Warcraft for almost 12 years straight and it endured two awkward drops in the player count during patches 5.4 and 6.3 where no content was released for a year, similar to Minecraft. I returned to the latter to find that the only major thing that changed in the Minecraft gameplay since my time in the Beta was some awkward auto-jump and every other swing of the sword cleaving the mobs. If you can take Mojang's place in providing content, then you may as well repeat Legion's success of resurrecting a dying MMO of 1.4 million to a thriving one of 10+. Though careful not to make the same mistake they did and lose part of the Roleplay community during the process to neglect and bad decisions.
    3. Posidem
    4. FubeTheMangler
      Good post, wish would've been sooner, overall great post.
    5. Satisarah
      Firstly, congratulations so much, Marty and Omnom! I wish you tonnes of happiness in your soon-to-be marriages.

      And secondly, what a relieving post. I'm sure the changes you speak of will do the server well and point it in a healthier direction. Personally, this made me REALLY HAPPY!
    6. Jalapeno690
      A fantastic step taken by monmarty! You have gained respect from me today on this change of stance, well done my man!
    7. Maytee
      cool beans AF
    8. kniferharm
      Monmarty, I have a lot of respect for you making this post, thank you for finally admitting their were serious problems with factions. Congratulations on your future marriage as well as Omnoms (I assume you are getting married to different people, though if not still congratulations.) :D. And I hope that Massive progresses now that these steps can be taken.
      Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    9. Linguinis
      So... Marty and Ommnivore are getting married?! As in.. to each other or?!

      And I do believe a reset would be great, Economy and mcMMO wise, as both are hurt by changes both past and present due to gameplay mechanic changes and staff shops alike back then. Kudos!
    10. Omnomivore
      No, we are not getting married to each other haha. Separate engagements.
    11. AtticCat
      This is a great post! I just had one question, but this did you mean that you are just merging all the faction worlds or all the worlds, including Regalia. Either way, I'm fine, but I'm just curious.
    12. Conflee
      Some thought on this as a roleplayer: Yes.

      I considered ending the post there for lols but I have more constructive (maybe, I have half asleep so maybe not) stuff to add.

      For the world number question, I would suggest keeping the lore tie-ins to the maps. Having them be real locations opens a lot of opportunity to meld the Factions and RP worlds. For example, we could have Daenshore, Daenrock, Hyarocc, etc that continent all as one survival map, then another continent as another, etc. So instead of focusing on smaller chunks of the world, huge continents that are massive maps. Obviously not a 1-to-1 scale but as close as we can feasibly manage. This also allows for staff to nestle lore locations inside factions worlds, such as capitals, battle camps, cities, etc. These might not be majorly useful, but they might be fun places for Quest staff to plop Survival/RP quests, and for Lore staff to host events. Similarly to how we have 'sets' made for wars- camps and such. We could do the same but have them be simi-permanent fixtures in the worlds. It would be a huge ordeal and require a lot of manpower to worldpainter everything, and file size limits might exist that hinder that further. I think the ideal number for Continents is 3.

      IF its even possible, which I HIGHLY doubt it is, I think the best thing to happen would be everything in one ENORMOUS map. Plop Regalia in the middle, and scatter the continents around it separated by oceans with barrier walls to prevent manual travel, just have boats set up on docks to teleport around. Maybe add 'transitions' with boats in the ocean to RP on. This would be a huge strain and if one needed to go down for maintenance then everything is down so it might be less practical than a few divided worlds.

      The emphasis is blending the lines as much as possible. If we could get quests, and RP, and survival to be happening in all the worlds, instead of segmented, I think things will improve in the community a lot.

      As for the economy wipe idea: Roleplayers will not want to lose their items. Some people have lore dating back to the EARLY days. I saw a light green lore item from years ago a few months back and was blown away. Losing that would be a huge blow to moral of all sides. I think a system to scrap all the god armor in the game, and nerf Gift4All would be a better solution.

      One of the big money sinks in the past, and still, for Roleplayers were Town and Country Estates, and Sewer Bases that used to be 5k a month for god knows what reason. I think adding a system /like/ this in place for survival would be a boon. At the moment, the Kings thing is making everyone horde money, which is good but bad. Competition is good, a lot of money sitting around is bad. Its not in use though so I guess it works. Having some sink though, maybe buying castles and such in RP cities or, should I even say, Mob Spawners, for stupid high prices might be a way to drain that coin. People buy a spawner, grind XP so they can get god-tier gear again, and it takes money from the economy. Expanding the Market would be cool too. Maybe making a trade city with a ton of shops idk.

      Then the final thing being 1.8. In my opinion I would want everything to be the newest version. I understand PVP works better with 1.8, even compared to 1.9+ servers that have the 1.8 combat plugins, high delay is a thing. But really its like someone complaining because they cant play Halo 2 on Halo Reach. Like. Its old, its changed, get used to it, deal with it. If you make Haste pots your good, relying on a 2+ old version of the game is a bit.... stupid. Its not supported anymore, its buggy with the server, and you cant see any new blocks or mobs that have been added in the last few YEARS. Which has been a lot.

      Personally I would remove 1.8 compatibility to make people get with the times. Might be a bit of a dickish thing to say, but really XD
    13. BornAsEpic
      Nice thing Marty *waiting zihammer to rate this immersive*
    14. bobbimichelle36
      My concern is Salemslot, badbill089 has put a huge amount of time and effort into his faction. It is a non pvp faction. How will the future server plains effect non pvp factions? Also his shop is the biggest and most successful, what will happen to his shop? Will he have to start over? I'm afraid if it comes to that, you will loose a huge advocate to the server. As well as me.
    15. BornAsEpic
      there was no non pvp factions back then, nor is it now. You either sat inside the home while you were getting raided or you went out and fight, nothing has changed from back then. So don't concern yourself. And if we have to start over, it'd be a great thing, since you can get everything for a low amount of money, and it is not that fun anymore.
      I wouldn't mind starting over and I've been around here for over 5 years, almost 6
    16. kniferharm
      A reset is necessary imo. I have tons of gear and equipment but we need the grind again. Everyone is infinitely rich now and new players are turned off because of it.
    17. bobbimichelle36
      Your not concerned about faction shops?
    18. aprader1
      Great post, however...
      Switching the server to all 1.8 is a poor decision (factions I mean). Using plug ins that we already use such as via version, you can set what versions can log in. If you want to switch specifically for the pvp reason, there are plug ins that fix the awful pvp system. But going to 1.8 and not allowing versions after just hurts the server image more than you may think.

      Second, hiring coders is not the worst idea, but have you thought of hiring people from Massive itself? Hiring people would not make them staff, it is based purely on coding ability. They could be unfit for staff but if they do their job correctly it shouldn’t matter. There are a lot of smart people on Massive, I personally know a few. There is a difference between staffing and helping out with code (from what I’ve seen).

      That is all I have for now, and I’m happy about the new changes to survival. The points I mentioned above need to be addressed, either with consideration, or the crushing hammer of facts and how stupid my points may be. Regardless, they should be addressed for the sake of all the player base.
    19. ZiHAMMER
      can't rate replys here:::::::::rekt
    20. ezalB
    21. Jalapeno690
      Levers lost his shop in ellador when it was wiped but continued to trade on, obviously not to the same level but still got enough to get by. As has been stated by Marty in other posts builds can be copy and pasted and I'm sure his can too, like all things we will have to adapt
    22. Omnomivore
      General note regarding the reset topic - This is not definitely going to happen but we are certainly discussing it as an option at this point. We are also considering the option of letting players set aside a few chests of items if we decide to go that course (So you can keep your old rare lore items, that favorite axe with 1000 kills, some valuable blocks, etc). But again, we are only entering into the very beginning of discussion for change and improvement and nothing is certain. We will of course do what we can for the best of the server, including minimalizing the lashback you all may feel from large changes.
    23. ezalB
      I had been on another server for a while (I know I know, cheating on Massive) a few years ago when I took a break from Massive, and they had just reset. Apparently, from what I had heard they lost nearly half of their playerbase due to the full-reset, and the remaining few were fairly inactive. I'll always think a 100% full reset is bad, but a reset where you can save a couple important to you items? I'd live. I'll be sad, but i'll live.
    24. Blanclour
      Coming from someone that first joined the MassiveCraft community back in august of 2012, I am very happy to hear that the factions worlds are finally going to get some attention. I have seen it all, the entire evolution of this server, and have noticed the slow decline of the factions element over that period of time. The original release of regalia caused the survival and roleplay aspect of the factions worlds to get split into two different universes. Honestly that's when I lost my appeal to play on factions and can now only be found in regalia. I commend you Marty for dedicating time to fixing the survival experience on the server that created the factions plugin, which started a trend that influenced hundreds if not thousands of minecraft servers.
    25. BornAsEpic
      Some servers reset their map every month or so. There is nothing bad in the new start, actually I'd love if it would happen. Just imagine what you can get for 300 regals today. I sell stack of diamond blocks for that amount of money. and 300 regals is something you can do just by voting, I don't want to mention grinding in the darkroom, you'd get that by 30 minutes or so. There is no point getting that much of stuff for so small amount of money. I mean ofc there will be some loss of the people on the server, but the income, i hope, will result in good old days. This is also a good time to remove plugin MCMMO and add own custom plugin that they wanted to implement for so long, which would be so much easier to balance and work with.
    26. ezalB
      Oh no, I know they do, this particular server was a Roleplay/Survival server too, but the sudden reset ended up killing it entirely. There weren't regular resets, and it was the first time it had ever reset. And, i'm not sure I personally would enjoy knowing that in a month or three i'd just have everything I worked hard for removed from me. MCMMO thing is fine with me though, i'd like a new plugin instead of it. I used to grind in the darkroom too, but it's simply inefficient now due to the repair costs (As a good portion of people are too lazy to level up repair). I'm fine with a god items, a material reset, it's simply most of my lore and books that I would be very upset if I were to lose, like @Conflee said. I won't get off topic though.
    27. BornAsEpic
      I wouldn't mind you roleplayers" keeping all of your stuff(lore items), they're are mostly not worth to a guy like me
    28. aprader1
      Like maybe open the backpack to allow for more backpacks for this purpose? Like /bp 5. Thag should be more than enough space. And of course this number can be edited.
    29. GoodDreamer
      Omnomnivore and Monmarty, congratulations! Best of wishes for you and your spouses (Spousi? Speece?) !
    30. Gumee
      I respect and appreciate your honesty. I can't stress enough how badly I've wanted to see a post like this. The points you have outlined are valid and are certainly steps in the right direction. I'm very excited to see the direction that factions will move into.

      However, a forums post and literal change are too different things. I'm a little skeptical and hesitant, because we've been promised a lot before, and as a community, we've been let down. I'm really hoping that this ends up being as revolutionary for factions survival as it sounds.

      We'l just have to wait and see, I guess.

      (Also congratulations you two!!!)
    31. Kellock93
      As I stated in other threads already, can we please start again from scratch and reevaluate factions from the core?

      Instead of adding random plugins that players supposedly want, how about coming with a proper development plan to outline different areas to work on?

      And at the same time also come up with goals that we want to achive with these changes. We already have a couple plugins that have enormous potential, it's just not used.

      I would also request staff to be quite transparent with their plans, that a lot of us survival players are still around from the old days should proove that weat least love this server. And as such hearing our opinions could provide valuable feedback, although it might become quite straining for you guys.

      Well then, the silence is broken, it's time to walk the talk.
    32. spectec
      I was writing a long reply to this relating to my experience as staff. Instead, I'll just confirm what you've said. To be honest, all that ever needed to be done was this post specifically from you. Hate to put the burden on you, but you are the leader of MassiveCraft, and you're damn good at whatever you're focused on. Everyone knows this. When survival players felt that you no longer had their interests in mind... that's when things started to dwindle. They felt ostracized from the other half of the server you created through RP. The beginning of this issue is what made me do the undead campaign with all of the PvP players. We didn't join into one faction to harass people and be jerks. We did it to send a message to the other half of the server; which was "let's find a way to merge our communities." It's in my posts from back then. I made it as clear as possible in game. Our community was dying because half of the player base was no longer a part of factions.

      If this is genuinely your focus, then the problem is about to finally be solved. I'll definitely be playing again, and I have complete faith in you and the staff. There isn't much more to say about your post, aside from good job and thank you. As always, I'm willing to help contribute to the progress of the server in any way I can.

      p.s. Walking around in MassiveCraft with the HTC Vive is indescribably awesome.
    33. MonMarty
      Day one of implementation thrift: Attempting to implement key4all crates to replace gift4all weapons and armor that are ruining the god gear economy.

      Accidentally wiped my inventory, backpack and enderchest, deleting some irreplaceable power tools, lore items from years ago and memorabilia. And the damn command still doesn't work because the plugin uses a convoluted key generation.
    34. Mojavens
      Should I take a break from building in survival worlds if a new world is going to come out bring us together, while there is a chance a full reset will go out?
    35. Mojavens
      Also with
      • "I've tentatively started talking to Cayorion about enabling the survival world(s) to be hosted on 1.8 instead of 1.12.2, before the disastrous combat update. The reality is that the player base we want to appeal to does not play on 1.12.2 at all, in fact all our major competitors are all stuck in 1.8. If this means that we'll have survival worlds running on 1.8 and on 1.12.2, this is a distinct possibility. There are some hurdles to get over, and it may not work at all since there are considerable Tech problems, but it's a realistic possibility." -marty
      If we go back to 1.8 a lot of us builders who like using the new 1.8+ blocks will hate being implemented.
    36. Viscar
      Hey that's pretty neat
    37. Starryy
      You can DO that with the Vivecraft mod on??? I thought it was only singleplayer or small modded connections! Oh boy. I truly do need to get mine set up again..

      Er. Good on Marty, it seems like the community was waiting for this for a while. I joined in the last few months so I cannot say I have the same feeling of relief as some others, nor do I have much to add, but I'll be here rooting for this endeavor to be fruitful. Maybe soon I'll have an actual crack at factions for once!
    38. spectec
      It definitely works. I didn't think it'd work after reading what vivecraft's site said, but it does. Worth it!
    39. Tokuu
      If I might add to this: Regalia would stay at a 1.12 system. The new world system would ideally implement a 1.7/1.8 style system, limiting everything back to how it was during those periods. This is because EVERY other successful factions server is limited to those versions to minimize the lag and bugs when dealing with backward compatibility. The newest world needs to be as lag free as possible, and also the PvP system needs to be as seamless as possible, and therefore the best solution would be to limit the game versions to either 1.7 or 1.8 clients.

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