[Guide] Shell's Utopia review

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ShelLuser, May 21, 2016.

  1. Hi gang!

    So today AyanamiKun and me enjoyed a good mining session on Utopia, something which almost couldn't happen because initially Aya intended to go Iron instead of Gold (which means you can't access the Utopian Wilderness). But thanks to Krysyy that got all sorted out for the better and yeah. A-mining we went :)

    And that gave me an idea. Sure; if you want to know more about Utopia then its wiki page is but a click away. But I wanted to go a little bit deeper than is suitable for the wiki, so I figured I'd write a small review. Also because I hope that this review might give you guys a better feel and understanding what Utopia is all about. And who knows; it may even persuade you to check it out for yourself.

    Now, I know that most of you will probably already know about the things I'm writing here, but with reviews such as these I also try to keep new(er) players in mind who may not be aware of all these things yet.

    Utopia - The supporter server

    Utopia, accessible using the /utopia command in-game (or by connecting to utopia.emc.gs as server name) is a server which, as its name already suggests, is "somewhat different" from the regular servers which we're used to (smp1 to smp9, also referred to as "SMPs").

    For starters the staff is really happy to see new players and they'll even reward you for visiting!

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    A freebie chest at the Utopia spawn area, what could it give you?

    ... of course the question is "reward me with what?"; they don't call Simon B4dman for no reason ;)

    But just to be sure: even though Utopia is usually referred to as a 'supporter server' this does not mean that you can't visit if you're not a supporter yourself. In fact, you should. Utopia also has shops and common builds which you'd also find on an SMP server. The main difference is that things are usually a "little" bit bigger.

    Huge residences!

    When you join the Empire and don't immediately run off into the Frontier then you'll get your own 60 x 60 residence. Fully protected, fully grief-proof by default and all yours to do with as you please. Now, obviously I am not aware of every other server out there, but in general I think 60 x 60 is a pretty large area to own.

    Utopia however is "a little bit" bigger. The residences there are four times the size of a regular one. So instead of 60 x 60 you now get 120 x 120! Of course there is a fail save put into play: every player can only own 1 Utopia residence. This is to prevent it from filling up too quickly.

    So what to do with all that space? That is a good question. My 2 cents (but please realize that I am obviously a little bit biased): if you like building and you'd like a large protected area to build on then Utopia can definitely be an option for you.

    The best part: if your supporter status runs out then you do not lose your Utopia residence. For more info on that please see this guide: What happens if your supporter voucher expires?

    Just to give you guys a bit of an impression, here are some examples I've come across with:

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    This is my immediate neighbor who made a nice water structure.

    As you can see my game didn't even load in the whole residence. Things are really that large sometimes.

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    The Utopia mall on 5555, made by Mr_Poof_.

    I asked Aya, who joined earlier, to stand on the dome so that you guys got a better impression of the actual size of this building. This is honestly a huge undertaking.

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    The residence of our own ElfinPineapple, the really cool part is located below ground though ;)

    Bonus points for those who recognize the residence in the background ;)

    Day / night cycle?

    Do you notice anything strange up there? I didn't snap those pictures quickly after another, plenty of time passed because I've been busy chatting, looking at residences, had to tend to a new horse (more on that in another post!) and so on... Yet in every picture up there it's daylight :eek:

    Coincidence?

    I think not dear reader ;) It's not a bug, its a feature! :D

    The sun never sets on any world in Utopia (except for the Nether & End, those don't have day/night cycles to begin with). So its always daylight. This means that when you're working on your residence you'll never have to worry about adding extra lighting so that you can see what you're doing when night falls. Simply because night doesn't fall, ever!

    But there's more...

    Do you know when the monsters come out? As with every good fairytale those monsters always come out at night. Or, more technically, monsters ("hostile mobs") can spawn in areas which have a light level of 7 or lower. Yet on Utopia the sun doesn't set, anywhere. Not even in the wastelands. Which means... Yups, you might have guessed it: no hostile mobs on the surface!

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    Aya and me having some fun in the Utopian wastelands; we discovered a railroad, really close to spawn too!

    Of course you do need to be aware of thunderstorms. When that happens the light levels also drop, meaning that you suddenly will come across nasties from time to time ;) Also keep in mind that mini-bosses such as Marlix & Momentus spawn despite any light levels. That can only be controlled using your player settings, see the /ps command for that.

    Less griefing?

    Now, this is not an official Utopia feature, but it is something which I noticed several times. And the above picture is yet another fine example of this experience. The Utopian wastelands can only be accessed by supporters, you'll need to be gold or diamond to go there.

    Yet this also means that you'll only come across players who actually support the Empire. Now, that is obviously no guarantee that they will never do bad things, but I do think its fair to say that generally speaking (warning: major bias follows!) you have less chances to come across a scammer, cheater or griefer when dealing with a supporter.

    Please note that I'm not claiming that all non-supporters are potential cheaters. Nonsense. Nor am I claiming that no supporter would break the rules. But it is my opinion / impression that things such as griefing are less of a problem on Utopia than on other servers.

    But on that note: same applies to the End by the way... Did you know that every server has an End world? There is one major issue though: you can't teleport there like with the Frontier & Wastelands. Only the overworld & nether can be accessed this way. To reach the End you'll actually have to find yourself an End portal and use it. And surprise, surprise... Although griefing does happen from time to time it doesn't happen as often as on other (more easily accessible) areas.

    Maybe food for thought?

    Down we go!

    Ever came across a nice chasm or cliff and noticed all sorts of cool blocks below? The only problem: how to get there safely? And if it can be helped: without wasting too much tools so that you have something left to use for mining (voter tools help!).

    Well, that's another cool feature: no fall damage.

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    Of course, the trick is not to try this on other SMP's after a long Utopia session ;)

    Just jump in and off you go, no worries about dying here. Of course, this also presents a major disadvantage: you won't be able to do much head farming on Utopia :rolleyes:

    About that mining?

    That is actually a story in itself...

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    As you probably know we're really close to a wasteland reset at the time of writing. Meaning that every server gets a new wasteland with fresh ores for us to get. See the picture above? That is a fully undiscovered cave, Aya and me (we went separate ways) collected at least 2 stacks of iron, 2 stacks of coal blocks and approx. 20 diamonds (also from some enraged mobs). We sat pretty close to an outpost and yet this cave (accessible from above, we jumped right in thanks to the lack of fall damage!) was completely untouched.

    We were no more than 200 blocks away from the outpost!

    And that too is an advantage of Utopia IMO. I once dug out nearly a sc full of bricks (the red/white pattern ones) and all thanks to Utopia.
  2. Part II :rolleyes:

    So how to get here?

    Warning: this is the "spammy" section ;)

    Anyone can access Utopia; just use /utopia in-game. If you got access (flags) on someone's residence you'll even be able to build and do stuff there. So no supporter status needed for that. However, claiming a residence for your own will require supporter status (gold and up).

    The wastelands and frontier is also a different matter. In order to reach those you'll need supporter status as well (also gold and up). This is something to consider if you're planning on using the Utopia Frontier: if your supporter status runs out then you obviously won't be able to reach your stuff anymore.

    For more info on all that please see the supporter upgrade page.

    Also be aware that you don't necessarily have to buy 'supportership' this way. You can also sometimes get those vouchers in-game. Plenty of players sell them from time to time and you also often get a shot at them in the auction section.

    Is it a little bit commercial? Perhaps it is. But being an active supporter myself (not on a subscription basis, but I buy a fair share of vouchers, even have several in storage at the time of writing) I can honestly say that I don't think us supporters get any unfair advantages.

    Heck, if anything I think voters get more OP stuff than supporters do (honest opinion!).

    And it is that reason alone, my opinion that this is all totally honest & sincere, which made me write all of this up. For the record: If we'd lose our utopia residence (or other 'advantages' like named locations) when our supporter status ran out then I wouldn't have gone this far.

    I'm not trying to persuade you, dear reader, to become a supporter. But I am trying to tell you that if you do you most likely won't regret it either.

    Where is Endertopia?!

    Devoted Utopians will probably have realized by now that I didn't include Endertopia in this review. It is another official feature, but it doesn't quite work as well as it did before. But there's more: Endertopia, an XP farm accessible for supporters by using /v endertopia (on Utopia obviously), is more than a mere XP farm. You can even buy your own room or apartment there.

    Thing is: Even though I am roughly 1.5 years on EMC I don't think I know enough about Endertopia yet to fully describe it. And that's why I decided not to include it here, but keep the option open for a future post.

    Endertopians?

    Yeah well... Sometimes I do think that Endertopia often forms a band of players in itself. Note:players, I don't necessarily mean supporters. Its a special server for "special" players :D

    And there you have it ;)
  3. Utopia is great, and in now way is there bias. I trust my base on utopia 100x more then on a normal smp. I could leave a chest full of goodies unlocked with only a sign saying "please dont take" and its likely nobody would.

    Utopia is probably the only reason I support and Im not ashamed to admit it, its my favorite server because of the large plots, daytime, and many other things. Also... you get to fly in town.

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    Thats my towers for my melon and pumpkin farms (I think I've added on since this was taken). I have made so much revenue from these towers and they are a pain in the butt to make w/o having flight. So much more you can do with flight.
    ShelLuser likes this.
  4. utopia is great
    just that its empty sometimes
    but the reses
    the fly ability
    sunlight
    just makes it great ya know:)
  5. Your posts are just...
    When I read your posts, I have too read them like a snobby teenage girl (its just the way you post so vaguely and with no punctuation or capitalization... your grammar/English teacher should be fired... and thrown in prison).

    Not that I dont agree with your statement here though.
  6. lol
    its the way i type
    english is not my first language
    infact its my 4th
    ShelLuser likes this.
  7. I've seen you type perfectly normally before. I don't know why you feel the need to periodically
    type things
    on different lines
    for no good reason
    with no punctuation
    or capitalisation
  8. so do you wish for me to type like this.

    edit::eek: hey wasent this a thread about utopia

  9. Ayy, you found my Thanksgiving afk rail! :)
  10. NTS_Bacon Scared me so badly. He just jumped off into a 64 block hole. Then i found out about the no fall damage XD.
  11. Utopia has also grown as a community. It used to be a ghost town. Nobody talked in chat at all. Now, I see conversations between players all the time!
    ShelLuser and EpicSubtastic like this.
  12. Even when its full it can be a ghost town sometimes with so much AFK... But today I was conversing in town chat about my burger I cooked on the grill and the fact that it tasted like lighter fluid and how I could become a dragon (Mercenary advised against the idea as did pineapple). I then stated I needed to go get something to wash it down.. one of the mods (I believe mercenary) told me not to use fire.

    Good times, Utopia is smp8 and everything else all in one.
  13. Thanks for this guide! After a year in emc, I haven't gotten the chance to see/access utopia. Honestly, I didn't know most of the facts. :)
    ShelLuser likes this.
  14. I'm famous! Nice guide, as always, shell!
    ShelLuser likes this.
  15. This post is like a Haiku, it is poetic but not rhyming.
    EpicSubtastic likes this.
  16. Yes, that's perfect.
  17. I know this is an old thread, but Utopia deserves a bit of extra love :)

    Yesterday Krysyy activated my gold voucher and because I was way too tired after work I figured I'd only do some minor mining. So now that I was gold I figured that I could easily move over to Utopia, the end result being this:

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    It reminded me once again how relaxing mining on Utopia is which made me think back about this thread. So if you're new and haven't checked out Utopia yet: you should. I think you might really enjoy it :)
    FacepalmRhy and TomvanWijnen like this.
  18. I see some problems with the concept of "Utopia":
    • selling in-game advantages over their playmates to supporters
    • making the game easier (instead of adding challenges) makes the game (sooner) boring
    • things like "Endertopia" makes the concept of in-game privileges blatantly obvious
    • exclusive access further divides community into classes - supporter often say "commoners" referring to non-supporters - probably mostly out of wish to belong to an exclusive group, to have higher social rank (by buying it, not earning it) etc.
    • if someone builds in Utopia frontier and if they can't keep the supporter status they lose access to their own builds
    All of this does not have the negative effects in amount and magnitude as one could expect - for several reasons - the same reasons why Utopia was rather a failure (mostly a dead place) in the past. One of them is that most of the people who used to buy supporter rank were not the industrious ones who would then put effort to exploit the advantages of mining and collecting on Utopia and transport and deliver goods to other SMPs. Another one is that buying a social rank and exclusive access, mining and building on Utopia is of little "value" if there are only very few "commoners" around who could see it and perhaps appreciate it.

    Back in 2012 having a supporter status was a big thing because of in-game privileges and resulting in-game economic advantages. 40k per month was quite a big thing. Since then, the inflation, the easy (cheap) access to top gear / tools for everyone and changes in rules on EMC have changed the meaning of supporter status. Different kind of people buy supporter status now than what was the case back then.

    Back in 2012, supporter status was wanted mostly by younger members who wished to have in-game advantages over their playmates, to get stuff easily, if possible without effort. So griefing from a supporter was not an exception. (The worst griefings on my bases were done by supporters, including blowing up with TNT (once blowing up a spawner to destroy a grinder) - which was supporter-only privilege back then.)

    Fortunately, things are somewhat different (and much better!) now, but the underlying concept remained as it was.
    A supporter server with additional challenges - and additional rewards would be a different concept, I think a better one.
    ShelLuser likes this.