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Friday, 31 January 2014

VIP Renewal Emails Sent & Donator Package Disabled

VIP Renewal emails have now been sent to all existing VIP players, please remember that the email is sent to the address used for your PayPal payment (unless an alternative was provided), if you need it resent or sent to an alternative email address then just let us know.

I know they were supposed to be sent out tomorrow but it's looking like I'm going to have a crazy day so I thought I'd send it now just in case!

Not an existing VIP but want to be?

A new free package will appear in our BuyCraft store from February 7th allowing players who have already bought Donator rank to reserve any VIP slots that we know are not being renewed. Once a slot is confirmed an email will be sent to you with a GroupPay link as with renewing VIP's.

Note: The BuyCraft Donator package has been temporarily disabled so that this is not used to 'queue jump' and will be re-enabled on 14th February when any remaining VIP slots will be made generally available.

Thanks again for all your donations to date!

VIP places remaining as of 17:00 on 6th February:  9 of 12

Fun Statistics

Here's a few statistics for server activity in December, just for fun...

Average blocks placed or broken in 24 hours - 327,314

Total unique players* - 987

Total players on for more than 7 unique days* - 691

Average unique players in 24 hours* - 104

*Only counts if players were online for more than 15 minutes.

Top 20 players by playtime:

#1 tylong234
#2 poppadom587
#3 jabbawokkey
#4 mreyno
#5 niki2008
#6 thedudewhocrafts
#7 tatankore
#8 freaksdesign
#9 diggityduck
#10 xx_boy1997
#11 diggywig
#12 fam_mou
#13 sam_the_chicken
#14 xphantomy2kx
#15 xxman123x
#16 lincoln1313
#17 diggybrine
#18 imtehq
#19 pantheria19
#20 drophar

Total new money added to economy (slots, rewards etc) - $6,675,830

Total money removed from economy (slots, admin shop purchases etc) - $4,671,234

Because we had 3 players win 1 million on the slots we ended up with the amount of money in the economy jumping up but that should hopefully balance out over time :)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Down For Backup/Clone

I've taken the server down for a full backup/clone, it will be back up in about 30 minutes.

Update: The server is now back up!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

VIP Renewals

Just a quick reminder that renewal donations for existing VIP players open next Saturday, see this post for more details...

http://diggyminecraft.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/vip-renewal.html

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

WildWarps For New Players

WildWarp 5 & 6 have been moved and the warp signs at spawn set to allow only NewBuilder rank players, this will help ensure that new players have a relatively unpopulated area to explore when they first join.

Two of the other four WildWarp destinations will also be relocated soon, but the signs kept as 'everyone' allowed.

Enjoy!

A Basic Guide To Lag

A few players have reported that they experience lag at spawn and after both myself and Tatankore spending some time testing and getting player feedback it appears that this affects less than 1 in 30 players. Looking over the modreq history etc we also found that players reporting lag at spawn were far more likely to have experienced severe lag in the past, often when others found the same area to be fine or just 'a little' laggy.

I have put together the following basic lag guide to help anyone who does experience issues to try and diagnose them:

Firstly there are 4 kinds of lag you can experience playing on a Minecraft server...

Server lag: 

This will affect everyone on the server and is caused, for example, when someone world edits a large chunk of landscape and the server processor spikes to 100% or when server memory peaks to 100%, with Tekkit Classic this usually only occurs when certain items are placed in extreme excess.

Network lag:

This will usually affect everyone on the server but may be limited to players in a certain geographic location, for example if the hosting company experiences a problem with the data routing between the UK and USA then only players in the USA will generally experience the lag.

Block lag:

This is where a broken block almost instantly reappears or there is a noticeable delay in seeing it break, it can also be noticeable when using levers, doors, chests, etc. This is simply because of the way Minecraft events are handled, it's improved in later versions of Minecraft but with Tekkit Classic being based on Minecraft 1.2.5, just 30-35 players is really considered the maximum to have online at once before this becomes an issue. This can be confused with client lag, however server related block lag will always affect everyone on the server, never just individuals or groups of players.

Client lag: 

This is lag caused by insufficient resources at the client (player) end. This is why you often see someone say "I'm lagging" and then someone else reply "I'm not", it is by far the most common type of lag. Client side lag can be caused by many different factors, but mostly these 'big six':

  1. Internet connection: Having a good connection speed can be a major factor in how smoothly your client runs, most people seem to recommend a bare minimum of 8 MB download and 1MB upload to get a smooth and reliable player experience. Bear in mind that, for example, every time red alloy wire switches state it will send around 0.5 MB both ways between your client and the server, if your upload speed is only 1 MB that's potentially 50% of your bandwidth temporarily taken up by  a single in game action which combined with other in game actions can of course make you lag. Playing over wireless, especially with a weak signal or many connected devices, can also have a very detrimental effect on performance.
  2. Java: Minecraft is based on Java, which version you have installed can have a massive impact on client performance, if it's older than a few months then you should probably update it or if you started noticing lag after an update then uninstall it and re-download the previous version.
  3. Graphics card: Minecraft doesn't need a top end graphics card but it does need something reasonably powerful to run smoothly, this is most important on a laptop as basic integrated graphics chips rarely give good performance, really a basic Nvidia card is a minimum for smooth play.
  4. Background services: Other programs running on your computer at the same time can leave Minecraft with limited resources or create issues, for example McAfee anti-virus has been known to cause major issues with Minecraft clients, especially older versions such as that used by Tekkit Classic, if you have client lag close programs and disable background services you don't need (lots of help available on Google) and think carefully about what software you are running. If you use McAfee then consider switching to a better alternative such as Avast, the free version is fine for general home use and far more efficient than most paid for antivirus programs so switching doesn't need to cost you anything at all. Make sure you try temporarily disabling any malware/spyware scanners too, they can potentially have a massive performance impact when playing games.
  5. Out of date software: Got outstanding system or driver updates? Updating software, especially drivers, can make a very dramatic difference in some circumstances. Like Java though if lag starts only after installing an update it's time to switch back to the older version for a while.
  6. In game settings: Tekkit Classic includes optifine which offers various visual enhancements to the game in addition to Minecrafts own settings, the default settings are rarely the most suitable so take a good look through and tweak them as you feel appropriate, below is a list of some graphics settings that can have a big impact.
You can find the following under 'Options', 'Video Settings':

Graphics: Changing this to 'fast' will optimise the game to reduce lag.
Smooth Lighting: Turning this off can make a huge difference for slower graphics chips.
3D Anaglyph: The benefits of turning this off vary wildly but for some players it helps a lot.
Particles: Turning this off can make a noticeable difference for slower graphics chips.
Render Distance: The lower this is the better your graphics performance.
Performance: Selecting 'max fps' will prioritise reducing lag over pretty effects etc if needed.
View Bobbing: Turning this off only really makes a difference for old/slow computers.
Clouds: Turning this off only really makes a difference for old/slow computers.
Advanced OpenGL: This one is complicated, it may or may not make a massive difference for you depending on your computers hardware, the only way to know for sure is to try it and see!

I hope this guide will help players understand lag a little more and help those players experiencing client lag to pin down and hopefully resolve the cause/s!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

New Helper

The votes are in and we have a new Helper... jabbawokkey!

Congratulations!

Downtime

It appears our hosting company took the server down last night to fix a serious issue and for some reason it didn't automatically start back up as it usually does, so I decided to start the maintenance early!
  1. Full backup / clone - Done.
  2. Apply updated patch to EE mod - Done.
  3. Replace votifier, listeners & config with fresh copies - Done.
  4. Test changes - Done.
The main reason for the updated patch is to hopefully fix all transmutation tablet issues.

Downtime (UK time):
Started: 08:00 am
Finished: 9:30 am

The server is now back up!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Scheduled Downtime Tomorrow

Sorry for the short notice but there will be a scheduled maintenance tomorrow morning as follows:
  1. Full backup / clone.
  2. Apply updated patch to EE mod.
  3. Replace votifier, listeners & config with fresh copies.
  4. Test changes.
The main reason for the updated patch is to hopefully fix all transmutation tablet issues.

Downtime (UK time):
Estimated Start: 09:00 am
Estimated Finish: 10:30 am

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Moderator Changes

As some of you already know one of our Moderators, xPhantomY2Kx, is stepping down for a while due to personal reasons, hopefully he will be back with us within a few months.

After looking at current staffing I decided niki2008 would be the best choice to 'fill his boots' and have promoted her to Moderator, if things work out she may also remain as an additional Moderator when xPhantomY2kx returns!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

VIP Renewals

VIP donations will open to existing VIPs on Saturday 1st February, two weeks ahead of any remaining places being made available to other players on Saturday 14th February. 

The minimum VIP donation for this year is £20 and as usual their are 12 places available in total.

Please remember that your renewal e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address associated with the PayPal account used for your previous donation.

Unlike previous donations VIP donations will be paid direct to FragNet via GroupPay, effectively meaning that they cover the PayPal charges rather than us so that 100% of your donations go towards hosting costs! The email will tell explain everything you need to know.

A new free package will also appear in our BuyCraft store from February 7th allowing players who have already bought Donator rank to reserve any VIP slots that we know are not being renewed. Once a slot is confirmed an email will be sent to you as above.

Thanks again for all your donations to date!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Scheduled Maintenance

The server is down for scheduled maintenance as explained here:

http://diggyminecraft.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/datacentre-upgrades-170114.html

I'll post here as soon as it is back up and running, a full backup has been taken this morning so everything is safe!

Update: The server is now back up and running!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

RageMaze

Well the RageMaze would seem to be a success, it's definitely causing rage but most players that are persisting with it are completing it an average time of  about 90-120 minutes! 

I've had a few screenshots of people completing it, but so far all from staff, I know non-staff have been completing it too so will you be the first non-staff player to submit a screenshot of yourself completing the maze and claim the prize?



Freaksdesign, second staff member to complete the maze! 

(the first was niki2008)

Leathernuke, facing a problem many have faced before him and possibly the biggest mystery in the maze..  how to get to that ladder!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Datacentre Upgrades - 17/01/14

I just recieved this from our hosting company...

Dear Clients,

A maintenance in our London, UK datacenter is going to be carried out during the below time frame.
This maintenance will further increase resilience to our hardware.

Work has been done to ensure that this is handled as seamlessly as possible and has minimal effect on all affected clients. The machines will keep all their files and configuration, you don't have to worry about losing any configuration/data.

All access to your services will be unavailable during this outage.

START DATE/TIME: 15/01/2014 08:00AM GMT+1
END DATE/TIME: 15/01/2014 12:00AM GMT+1


If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Sincerely,
Fragnet Networks AB

So basically the server will be unavailable from 8am to midday (UK time) on Friday due to datacenter maintenance, I will take a full backup beforehand just in case.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

New Minigames: RageMaze & RageMazeVS

Two new minigames are now enabled in GameWorld, both based in the new maze:

RageMaze - Single player, get to the end (top of the flag).

RageMazeVS - 2-8 player, first player to the end (top of the flag) wins.

Both games can run simultaneously in the maze and as PvP is on all players can interact regardless of whether they are playing in the single or multiplayer version!

The first player to submit a screenshot of themselves climbing the flagpole at the end will receive a special prize!

Can you get to the end without raging?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Votifier Issue

Apologies for the restarts earlier we had an issue with Votifier, I have put a workaround in place to stop it happening again until I can get a permanent fix in place.

Offline voting will not be possible for now, you must be online to receive the rewards.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Item Limits - Important

As some of you have noticed the item limiter has not been functioning for a while, please remember however that the limits still apply even if they are not automatically enforced!

The bug is being worked on but in the mean time I would ask that players do not intentionally go over the limits, which can be found here if you need a reminder...


Many of you probably remember the issues we had before the limiter and my worry is that at the present rate of issues occurring because of too many items (particularly EE blocks) the current world will not last more than a few months even if the limiter is working again soon so until the plugin dev can fix the issue limits will be enforced manually to minimise damage. 
What this means is that if a region is found to have an excessive number of limited items placed all of that block type will be cleared from the region and will not be returned to the player, if the items in question contain other items then those will also be lost, warnings will also be given in most cases.

If you know you are over one or more of these limits then please remove the excess items asap, if you have a confirmed 'lag-spot' near or in your region as a result of placing too many items such as MK3 Collectors this is likely to be unfixable and there is a chance that the chunk will regenerate during a future maintenance.

If you know of a player / area that should be looked into in this regard then please open a modreq, send a /mail to a member of staff or e-mail me so we can try and limit the long-term damage, thanks.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Testing Over The Weekend

Some testing is being carried out between now and Monday which might result in some unscheduled downtime / restarts, we'll try to keep it minimal!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Forcefield Ban

Just to confirm that forcefields are now blocked at mod (MFFS) level.

This basically means that if you try to craft an item that is only usable with forcefields (MF Device, MFFS Card Etc) it will be handled like a banned item, this is just to make sure that players (especially new ones) don't waste materials on unusable items because they didn't realise that forcefields were banned.

Monday, 6 January 2014

New Minigame: Castles

A new game for 2-6 players has been added to GameWorld, Castles!

The rules are simple, try and knock everyone else into the lava whilst trying not fall in yourself, pvp is on but no weapons or armour are given, last player standing wins.

The game was built by Tatankore based on a suggestion from niki2008.

Enjoy!

Image by Mossie2000
<<<<

Image by Tylong234
>>>>

Definition of 'family friendly' Etc

In light of a couple of recent disagreements between players I would like to clarify what we mean by a 'family friendly' server, but first a couple of points:

  1. The server has never been run according to ANY religious beliefs, it is no more christian than it is muslim or buddhist.
  2. The server may be based in the UK but is open to ANYONE, whatever your native language may be you are welcome here and staff will do their best to get past the language barrier should you encounter any problems!
  3. The family friendly chat and no-grief rules have not changed since the server opened.

I would also like to point out that the NOH8 logo was added to our website quite early last year to show our support for equality, age, gender, skin tone, sexuality, religious beliefs etc should not matter when it comes to playing on the server. 


If you do not agree with this principle, or cannot at least agree to abide by it whilst on the server, no offence but you should probably find somewhere else to play.

What is meant by the 'keep chat family friendly' rule?

For the vast majority of players this is a case of common sense but to clarify:

We are talking about what a typical person would consider serious swearing or inappropriateness, if you are not sure then think this way, would I hear that in a family movie? If not then you probably shouldn't be using it on the server.

What some people would consider 'cursing' or 'lesser swearing' (for example hell, damn), which tends to be mostly based on religion or local culture, is generally considered acceptable in family entertainment and NOT recognised as swearing, it would only be considered unsuitable for chat under very limited circumstances and if used in very specific ways (i.e. intentionally and maliciously used to offend).

What is and isn't offensive to an individual is a very grey area and if, for example, I was to ban words that christians might find offensive I would open the floodgates for what words other religions or groups find offensive and that would be a long long list (we are literally talking thousands of words). When it comes to what people find offensive you cannot please everyone, or least you can't please everyone AND keep things sensible!

I would also like to point out that when it comes to the server rules staff have final say, if you disagree with a decision or action then you can discuss it with them in private messages or make a complaint by e-mail so that it can be looked into by a higher ranked member of staff. 

The Owner/Admin decision regarding a dispute or complaint is final and failing to adhere to any warnings given may result in further formal warnings, demotion or even a ban. It's not often that things go this far (twice so far this year) but I wanted to be clear on these rules and that I stand by my staff and will not tolerate abuse being aimed at them for any reason.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Scheduled Maintenance

Today's scheduled maintenance has started early due to the server being quiet and consists of the following:
  1. Perform full backup/clone - Done.
  2. Apply updated EE mod patch (includes two possible fixes) - Done (EE chests fixed!).
  3. Check config & test - Done.
  4. Make a couple of basic maintenance schedule changes - Done.
Downtime:
Started: 09:20 am
Finished: 10:25 am

I'm pleased to say that all issues relating to EE chests (Condensers & Alchemical Chests) now seem to be completely fixed!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Banned Item Messages

I have added custom messages for all banned items, which give the reason the item is banned when it is confiscated or crafting is blocked.

Custom messages have not yet been added for items that are restricted by rank, but they will be in the near future!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Scheduled Maintenance On Sunday

There will be a short downtime on Sunday morning (UK time) to do the following:
  1. Perform full backup/clone.
  2. Apply updated EE mod patch (includes two possible fixes).
  3. Check config & test.
  4. Make a couple of basic maintenance schedule changes.
Scheduled Downtime:
Date Time: 05/01/13
Est Start: 09:30 to 09:45 am
Est End: 10:15 to 10:30 am

Thursday, 2 January 2014

BuyCraft Donations Goal

Some players might have noticed that the percentage of the donations goal raised on our Buycraft store has suddenly dropped, I just thought I'd confirm why this is the case!

Basically I set it up as an 'annual' donation goal and assumed the year would start from when I added the goal, instead it reset on 1st January and is no longer taking donations before that date into account, so what I have done is lowered the donations goal and paid the amount raised so far to FragNet as an advance payment towards the annual bill in February (we've actually raised around 25% of the total so far).

Thanks again to everyone who has donated so far!