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Voting Stats

Season Two is here, and pretty much everyone has been voting regularly. We keep a database of information about player’s votes for three reasons. The first is so that we can make sure players have the right number of packages and streak level. The second is to balance the rewards to make sure they’re all appealing. The third, of course, is a bit more selfish:

Stats are fucking cool, okay?

Periodically I find myself looking at the voting stats just to see how they’ve changed. It’s interesting to watch it evolve over time, and some of the charts can be quite pretty.

A breakdown of average voter reward choices, including data from both Season One and the beginning of Season Two

The chart above shows the way that players choose their payout for their voting reward packages, on average. It’s been interesting to watch it evolve; last season the Material section was a lot larger. We diluted the material reward pool so that it wasn’t just diamonds and ancient debris, and since then much more people have been choosing monetary or experience instead. Ultimately though, the way that someone chooses to open their voting package is a personal choice — so how do each of our players choose their voter payouts?

A histogram showing how frequently each player chooses each of the voting reward categories. See if you can figure out which player you are.

Of course, voting serves another purpose besides getting in-game rewards for players. Every vote makes us slightly higher on Minecraft server listing sites, and increases the chance that new people can find our small server. We’re currently rank 84 on best-minecraft-servers.co, rank 987 on minecraft-mp.com, and rank 180 on minecraft-server-list.com’s land claim section.

Every vote helps! Thank you for helping us find new players.

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New Custom Item, Phantom Event Changes & Fixes

Wand of Regeneration

  • 25 coins.
  • Only looks like a stone hoe.
  • Takes 1 seed from harvested crops and uses it to replant the crop.
  • Works on wheat, beetroot, carrots, potatoes, melon/pumpkin stems, and netherwart.
  • If you right-click one of the above blocks with it, it will use bonemeal from your inventory to grow it faster. Works on all except netherwart.
  • Unbreakable.

Get yours from Winter at the Phantom Arena now!

Phantom event Changes

  • The code that drops you in front of the arena when you die actually works now.
  • This code has been expanded–when you die during a phantom event, you keep all your levels and you do not drop your items. A Phantom event is now no risk, 100% reward.
  • We no longer need to set the entire server to night time or shut off the weather for an event. Phantom Event darkness is entirely local to the Arena.
  • Events automatically terminate after twenty-five minutes (events usually take fifteen minutes).
  • Because events can auto-terminate, we feel comfortable automatically scheduling events for people on the other side of the world, even if we can’t be around to supervise. We’re going to start automatically scheduling Wednesday/Saturday events and see how it goes.

Also

Fixed a bug with the blacksmith’s instructions text going off the screen.

As Always

Thanks to Solly for ferociously maintaining our custom code base, tracking down bugs and nuking them from orbit.

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How to be a Chat Master

Change Your Channel

Once you set your channel, you will stay there until you change it again. You change your channel with the /ch <channelname> command.

By default you are in channel local. It’s the chat that everyone on the server can see, and probably where you want to talk most of the time.

You may be familiar with the channel global from large public servers. Chat in global will show up on every server. As VoidTree has only two servers, survival and lobby, and people don’t hang out in the lobby much, global is not very useful. Maybe some day we’ll be so big that we need multiple servers.

If you ever get stuck in a chat channel where you don’t want to be, change to local with /ch local or /ch l for short.

Start the Party

Any player can start a party chat. Party chat is handy if you want to talk to just a couple of people while you work on something together but keep the messages out of local chat, which can get crowded some times.

You can see the full list of party commands by typing /party help. Here are a few to get you started.

  • /party host. Start the party! If you type it again, you are no longer hosting.
  • /party join <player name>. Join an existing party.
  • /party chat. Toggles party chat on. Typing it again toggles party chat off.
  • /party <message>. Types one line to party chat.
  • /party kick and /party ban. If someone joins your party and you don’t want them there, you can kick or ban them. Note: it’s not ideal that people can just join rather than be invited. I would have done it differently. We live with imperfection.

Town Chat

Towny provides a town chat facility.

  • /ch town. Toggle to town chat.
  • /ch nation. Just like town chat, only for a nation, if you have one.

Whispers

Typing /w <username> will send a message to one person, and will chime for them.

You can reply to a whisper with /reply. If you are whispering with multiple people, it’s very easy to reply to the wrong person. That’s why I talk on Discord if I have anything lengthy to say to one person.

Best Chat Manners

Here are some useful rules for keeping chat friendly.

  • Remember that swearing is allowed, but swearing at people is not. When in doubt, tone it down in public chat. You can always say anything you’d like in a private chat on Discord.
  • VoidTree has a chat filter, but it only filters a few things that we find unacceptable. Please don’t test it or say anything that will cause a staff member to have to clear the chat.
  • Try to reply to someone in the same channel in which they address you. If they talk in local, reply in local. If they talk in party, reply in party.
  • If someone messes up and wrong-chats, be gentle with them. We all make mistakes.

Minecraft is Not Private!

Like it says in the /rules, chats on VoidTree are not private. Everything that happens gets written to the log, and we read the logs to make sure everything is working properly and to trouble-shoot user problems.

If you want to say something privately to someone, do so outside of Minecraft.

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VoidTree Season 2 Is Here!

Stuff that’s different in Minecraft 1.18

  • This is the Caves and Cliffs update. That means, well, caves and cliffs. And sinkholes. Really, really big sinkholes. Sometimes sinkholes appear under a thin layer of dirt, waiting to suck you in when you dig. That includes under Newtown. Watch your step.
  • Many of us have come to rely on the mod Voxelmap, which hasn’t been updated for 1.18. We’ve been using Xaero’s Minimap and Xaero’s Worldmap. They take a bit of getting used to, but I have come to like them better than Voxelmap. Hit Y for settings.

Stuff that we changed in VoidTree

  • We have more different material voting rewards. We added a bunch of items that are useful for game startup. Voting rewards will change appropriately as the season progresses.
  • You can get another new player kit from the Rules Hall. You can go to the rules hall by typing /warp rules-hall.
  • Achievements are reset.
  • Phantom events will have slightly reduced difficulty for a while. They were tuned to assume that everyone is wearing full netherite. Since that won’t be the case yet, we changed the difficulty. We can change the difficulty because Sollybird is an awesome coder.
  • There are some evolutionary changes to Phantom Events and the Arena for balance and fun. Most notably the phantom targeting is changed so that phantoms that hit the edge of the arena are sent to the center, so we don’t have to have barrier blocks.
  • Our Season 2 overworld has been pre-generated. Pregeneration guarantees us better performance when multiple people are traversing the world. The trade-off is that our world is now bounded; you can’t travel forever. The overworld is 30k by 30k blocks, though spawn is not in the dead center. When you hit the edge, you’ll see a striped barrier.
  • The flight potion duration has been changed to ten minutes.
  • The Altar system continues to evolve, and is ready when you want new goals for play.

Special Acknowledgement

Bringing VoidTree forward to Minecraft 1.18 involved a lot of work behind the scenes. Much of that work was done by MindfulProtons. Most of the time Proton’s job is like light. You need it for everything else to exist, and you don’t notice it until it fails. When you run into Proton, be excellent to him.

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Season Wrap-Up

As promised, we’re updating you on our progress towards ending this season and starting a new one. December 21 is the date we plan to have the new VoidTree available. The old server will go down for good on December 17 so we can finalize the world. There is no current plan to celebrate the season end in-game. If you want to and have some ideas, please talk to us in Discord.

VoidTree is 1.18 Ready

If you connect to the current server using your brand new 1.18 client, it will just work.

Last Regularly Scheduled Phantom Event

The last regularly scheduled Phantom event will be this Saturday, December 11, at 3pm Eastern US time.

Downloading Your Stuff

If you want to download a copy of your builds, let us know in #help and we’ll sort out which mod you need to get your very own save file that you can load up privately.

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Announcing Season 2

When?

We currently have the cut-over scheduled on or about December 21 (it was going to be Dec 20 but I have a D&D game that evening). That means that VoidTree will be down on that day while we move a lovingly-prepped new world into place and make sure that it works.

This date is subject to change because real world.

How Big?

There are some things we didn’t know when we brought up VoidTree Season 1. One of those things is the importance of pre-generating the world to keep the performance snappy as people move around and cause previously ungenerated chunks to load. This season we are pregenerating the world, which means setting a fixed size and doing all the generation work ahead of time. That means that once the world is up you won’t be able to move infinitely in all directions. It’s one of those tradeoffs we have to live with. A typical public Minecraft server is 10,000 blocks in all direction. VoidTree 2 will probably be bigger than that, but we’re still calculating the time required to pregen a world and the disk space that the resulting files will consume.

Voting Rewards

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been saving my voting packages until Season 2. We’ve had a lively discussion about the effects of having a bunch of diamonds and ancient debris appearing from nothing right away. We’ve decided to balance voting rewards by adding more things to the material rewards category that will be at the beginning of the season. This is an easy change for Solly to code, and we can make it fun.

Iron will be useful, and so are various food items. We are interested in your ideas and will be asking for feedback on Discord.

Downloading your stuff

If you want copies of your stuff, there are mods you can install in your Minecraft client that allow you to walk through your build and create a save file that you can load up any time for nostalgia purposes. If there is an interest in this, we’ll sort out which version of what plugin you need and give you some clues to make it go smoothly.

Support Reminder

Running VoidTree costs money. You can make one-time or recurring donations to support the endeavor.

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New Custom Content Drop: Altars

We’re been coding, testing and documenting behind the scene since August, and we have just now pushed the first version of VoidTree Altars to the main server so that you can take it for a spin over the upcoming holidays.

Build an altar in your town, activate it, and start gathering materials for sacrifices.

The full documentation for Altars is right here.

While I came up with the initial idea for Altars (I borrowed it from some other game actually), Sollybird did all the heavy lifting, cranking out over 3000 lines of Java code while dealing with real life. MindfulProtons helped out with database configuration, advice and testing, and, as always, deserves special mention for his work behind the scenes supporting the playground for our toys.

Solly and I will be standing by to take your bug reports. We anticipate expanding to more altar types and more boons once the first version is stable.

This is the last custom content drop you will see this “season.” Our next trick will be transitioning to Minecraft version 1.18.

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We Have Cows!

The latest poll resulted in a three-way tie between cow, sheep and skeleton spawn eggs. Solly did an RNG and we now have cow spawn eggs available for 50 VoidCoins in the Phantom Vendor shop.

Moo!

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Minecraft 1.18 Announced. What’s next?

The official announcement of Caves & Cliffs Part 2 is out, and it’s expected to drop on November 30.

So when does the season end? When is VoidTree updating to 1.18? What does it mean?!?!?!

Based on past experience, it will take at least a couple of weeks for the plugins we rely on to release versions that work with 1.18. Only then can our hard-working Sollybird update our custom code to play nice with 1.18.

I started up a fresh pre-release 1.18 world last week and realized that without all of my familiar tools, I was pretty much limited to thinking, “Gosh, that’s pretty” before logging out and doing something else.

Feel free to share your first impressions in Discord. We’ll keep you posted about our plans.

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VoidTree Non-Easter Non-Egg Hunt

Egg Hunt Sign
Egg Hunt Sign

There are thirty signs that look more or less like this hidden around spawn. Right click a sign and though the magic of Essentials kits you will get a prize delivered to your inventory.

Things to know

  • Empty your inventory first. If you don’t have inventory space, stuff will get dropped on the ground.
  • You collect an “egg” by right-clicking on a sign. You can right-click any sign exactly once.
  • You don’t need an elytra or other special equipment to get to any sign.
  • Signs are frequently obscured, but not hidden behind anything opaque.
  • Signs hidden in dark places have a light source near them, but the entire path to them might not be lit.
  • Yes, you’re allowed to cooperate and share information. If you post locations on discord, put them behind spoilers.
  • As always, report bugs in #bug-reports.