The Empire from a beginners perspective

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ShelLuser, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. Hi gang!

    (warning: this is gonna be a long read ;))

    I need to vent a little so figured I could just as well write up some of my experiences and impressions regarding the Empire. At the very least this could be fun, but I also hope the feedback as a whole may have some value. And no worries, I know: "When in doubt about the forum, pick Misc."

    Just in case:
    First and foremost: ask yourself this: is it really that obvious? I think the only obvious part is that I'm enjoying my stay, this post alone proves as much, because trust me: I don't spend lots of time on things I do not enjoy (at least if I can help it).

    Another thing: do you remember the time when you were new? I've said it a couple of times; I like helping people out. I still need to find my way around the server (it'll come) but if I can help I will. In a previous situation it lasted 2 months before I actually wondered: "what did I do when I was new?" when helping out some people (slightly offtopic, only mentioned for context). Its easy to forget.

    And to add up: the way something is perceived doesn't actually have to match the way it was intended. In which case feedback can be valuable.

    And so... moving right along...

    My impressions....

    I think the Empire is the experience you need to realize that even though adding lots of extra enhancements to the game of Minecraft can be (and usually is) lots of fun; it also often intrudes on your gameplay. Sometimes more (or less) than others, of course, but still.. More than often the plugins will require other game aspects to be shut down or controlled because it would otherwise heavily influence gameplay (to such extends where it could unbalance things).

    But lets start with the beginning...

    When I walked through the tutorial (I took my time) I even paused at some point and logged off. Because I was convinced that the player before me, waiting until I came up to him, was probably an admin just waiting for me to finish the next part. Well, thank you kind sir or madam, I shall do that on my own time ;) (no offense intended; but in all honesty that went through my mind back then). So I logged off, went along my business and 10 or so minutes later I logged on again and finished the rest of the tutorial. In private, yes ;)

    Guess I caught the admins off guard back then :D

    Now, this may sound pretty weird but lets just say that I've also been around places where the majority of the server is actually filled out with bots, merely to increase the player amounts. So seeing the amount of people who were around on the Empire really didn't impress me much at that time. Which led to my (pretty cynical, for sure!) ideas.

    Speaking of the tutorial. It was an interesting and impressive experience. The main thing which impressed me was that the amount of presented information was perfect. Enough to give me a head start into the game, but also small enough to ensure that I didn't get bored halfway.

    It may sound so easy (it always does) but that is just the thing which most gaming tutorials can't get right.

    Auto reclaims? Cool!

    I ended up on a plot, didn't know what to do with it and at the same time also talked to some of my in-game friends (other "environment"). And for the record: my friends only, only those I often played and chatted with. Not in a context of: "you need to try the Empire, its awesome!" but: "I lost motivation and retreated to another place with lots of features, if you want to know more you can contact me on IRC.". Why IRC (outside the game)? You don't invite players to another gaming environment within another. Simple as that.

    Apparently some of my friends liked what I told 'm about the Empire because pretty soon familiar names started to pop up.

    "Can we have a plot next to yours, we should play together?" was what my friends asked me... And that is where it began..

    We looked around smp2, we opened up the map (yes; /res open is easier, but if you want to be together then the map works too!). Eventually we discovered that there was one available plot and one which was "derelict" (whatever that meant).

    A quick search on the wiki taught us: We could actually "reclaim" (force claim / take over his plot/res.) the player. Sure it costs us some rupees (that's what you get for taking your time and taking in the full experience, watch us not care! ;)) but it was awesome! And before you know we were neighbors!

    More people started joining and although some of them were placed on other servers we soon got a nice group going on smp2.

    And I love groupchat. Ok, sometimes we would like it to be persistent but then again, inviting your friends when they come online is a small effort and then you can chat all you want without bothering anyone.

    Don't know what I am talking about?

    Groups are usually meant for mining expeditions. You share XP, you can easily chat with one another and so on. But its also a perfect way to stay in contact with your friends outside public channels. Trust me: if you just came from another server (and actually respect the rules) then you want nothing less. Because even though you want to move on it is still a big part of your history and as such it will get talked about. Even jestingly.

    In those cases group chat is awesome. We're all busy on our own plots (or sometimes even the wild) and won't disturb anyone else while still being able to chat about anything we want amongst ourselves. Awesomeness

    Mining horrors

    Nah, it wasn't all that bad but lets just say we had to adjust. We were used to "go to mining world, mine, tp back home". That obviously works a "little" different around here. But its all good, in my opinion it only adds more value to mining. Not only do you manage to gather up lots of stuff; you also need to being it back home.

    And just when you think you can do it all on your own... only to get swarmed by mobs and you suddenly ask in group chat (see above) if anyone would be so kind to look up your location so that you know in which direction to fight.


    And what an awesome experience it is to head there, see the white quartz ladder in the distance including the sight of one of your friends who is busy helping you by "persuading" some mobs to grant you safe passage.

    Mining takes getting used to, but once you do it'll be a very rewarding experience.

    The Empire strikes back...

    "It would be cool if we had some clay", we shared. "I got 3 stacks from digging up the river south-west of the wasteland (smp2)"; was my response. Even so, we knew we didn't got access to the clay quantities which we actually wanted to have.

    "If only we had a mesa...", we thought. But nah; wishfull thinking. Even if there was a mesa they ("the powers that be") would remove it anyway at the risk for it destabilizing the economy, right?


    This weekend it suddenly hit me: "Wait a second, we have more than one server here!". What if they had a nice wasteland, separate from ours (smp2) as well?

    What do you know; they did! Better yet: nice mesa biome west of smp1's wasteland center at the time of writing too!

    Which is another pro: stuff doesn't get enforced on us in order to play. Meaning? "No mesa for you guys because it would affect the economy!".

    Instead the whole approach seems to be: "This is minecraft, this is what you can do, if you can make money from this be our guest!". Dunno about you dear reader, but to me this looks a lot more honest than what you can get out there sometimes...


    I am going to bend some rules a bit. Hitting the post size limit but I know I'm not spouting off nonsense. SO... 2 part post.

    If this isn't appreciated then I'd hope the mods will tell me; we'll work it out....
  2. Part II

    Less means More

    No economical aspects means more freedom for us. At the time of writing I own a pickaxe (dia of course) which has: Efficiency V, Unbreaking III and Fortune III. (With many thanks to Claremuss' shop, you can find her own impressions surrounding it right here (I know its a bit of a loaded thread, but I couldn't find anything else)).

    On other servers those specs. would have been sheer impossible. Just saying....

    And boy did it feel good! (remember mesa biome mentioning above? this pick sure did some damage ;)).

    Sure; we don't have the extra enhancements of some plugins, mcmmo comes to mind (no worries: I read the thread). But at the same time we also don't have some of the limitations applied which are often used to make the plugin(s) work.

    Read the specs above on my pick for an example. I'm also proud to share that I own a Unb. III & Silk touch pickaxe. Awesomeness indeed. And that's not mentioning fishing rods!

    Going with the flow...

    It takes getting used to traveling back to the outpost (in the wild or nether), but at the same time it also adds up to the game. With a different background you need to get used to it, but once you did...

    If you come from other places then you may need to adjust, simple as that. But once you do, oh; once you get the hang of things....

    I suppose I could continue with the way our plots work, the flags and permissions and all such. But I think I'll postpone all that until next week. If not too many people hate this post we'll just make it a continuance ;)

    All good?

    As much as I love the Empire there's one thing which I do miss out on... If only my pet Ocelot could follow me around into the /park (smp2), that would be so cool...

    Don't take this the wrong way: the failsaves which are in place right now also mean a lot to me. Meaning: try to tame your ocelot; watch it run off your plot & despawn, and just before you curse the lost egg you'll find your mob sitting in your plot; ready for eggification.

    THAT too counts for something.

    Even so....

    Alas; off to mining I go, I'll continue the story next week 8)
  3. Thats great mate. Love to see more people online. You should come visit on smp4 sometime, 9272 FREE SUGAR CANE. =P
    On a side note you can choose which server you join when you type in the ip of the server. You used when you joined but did you know that if you put ""it will spawn you on smp6. So if you send a link to your friends you can send them to the smp on which you are.
  4. I like this. You've earned my attention towards you for the future.*boop*
    Equinox_Boss and ShelLuser like this.
  5. I really enjoyed reading your post and welcome. The ocelot thing sounds cool. Have you tried putting it on a leash and bringing it with you? Not sure if this would work but it is worth a try.
    Equinox_Boss and ShelLuser like this.
  6. We're one week further, and I promised a continuance. First of all: thanks you guys for your comments up there and in-game, really appreciated!

    And also thanks to the unknown moderator who actually moved my thread from "Misc" into an official EMC forum! That's pretty cool too! (for me that's proof that mods. over here don't only look out for bad stuff but will also help you to improve on something by placing it into a more appropriate place (if applicable)).

    So: Its (still) weekend, venting time, time for....

    Part II
    (which is technically part III, but if Lucas can change part IV into part I then surely I'm good here too? ;))

    Though this is also going to be the last part; there are only so much beginner impressions to share...

    Residences / (p)lots

    If you come from a place where 25x25 (in-town) plots are common then you can probably imagine that 60x60 is pretty impressive and overwhelming. What's also noteworthy is that this actually does go from bedrock right up into the sky, I noticed that this puzzled some other new players too. Right now I'm looking at my underground storage at Y10 without any issues.

    What I especially liked were the sane default security settings on your residence. Perhaps apart from the enderpearl flag which is allowed by default (enderpearls can be abused to go through locked doors). But the whole grief prevention approach is an impressive one! I was quite surprised to learn that the protection even included the animals on your plot, now that is impressive.

    And I'm not talking about eggify here, I'm talking about killing them ('animaldamage'). The sneakiest way to grief since no one will see you coming. Not over here... To my knowledge not even the WorldGuard plugin can stop this (mod-damage flag involves the players, not the mobs), so that is an impressive feat. In my opinion of course...

    Claim your plot, place your stuff and know that without any special commands it'll all be safe no matter what. That is family friendly. But what about "geek friendly"? So what if you want to tweak stuff and basically customize everything there is?

    Well, that is covered too. From access signs to regulate access on a per-item and per-player basis, flags which you can set either globally or on a per-player basis (I love how you can not only provide build access (placing and removing blocks) but also allow (or deny) placing or removing only) and if you like hidden or underground areas like me then you'll love the residence teleportation system too! (there's a good reason why I spent a lot of time checking out the wiki when I started).

    And sure; I can also come up with some limitations to the current system. Like, for example, allowing only 5 people to access a certain button. But honestly; in my opinion? If you need that amount of fine-grained control then surely you'll also have what it takes to work around (or with) the current system, right?

    Now, not necessarily a beginners impression but still something I need to mention: I was so impressed when I discovered that you can even prevent liquids from flowing... Talk about customization options, eh?

    But... back to the beginner impressions :)

    Finding your way around the server

    The town design is in one word brilliant. When you're new then there's a ton of new commands and impressions coming at you (don't believe me? ;)), and it can be hard to quickly recall that which you just picked up. Heck; I even got confused with Frontier vs. Wasteland.

    So having a town hub / spawn area which provides portals to all the other worlds (Frontier Wild / Nether and Wasteland Wild / Nether) is just slick! All we need to do is remember the /town command and you'll get access to lots of public services. Like the portals, but also the enderchests, which are really helpful when you're just starting out (those keep your items absolutely safe no matter what).

    And once again: sure, there are also glitches to find. Like stepping through the Wasteland portal together only to end up with 2 people in the center outpost and one in the north. Yeah, well... That's when you'll quickly learn the teleportation commands such as /waste w and /waste se.


    You know what the best kind of staff members are? Those who don't get in your way of gameplay when there's no need. In my very humble opinion of course, and don't take this the wrong of course. But even so.. This is exactly what I've seen happening on the Empire, which impressed me as well. I dealt with staff members without even knowing that they were staff, it eventually hit me when I send a PM to one of them to ask them something about their shop (of course it also helped that I had no clue what a green color meant and that I didn't recall the /staff command at that time).

    Now, this is a bit of a delicate subject because I can well imagine that there will be plenty of people who may experience this differently, so I'm not going to elaborate on it.

    But I will say this: I think the devotion of the staff towards the server and the player-base is clearly showing. Helpful, there when you need them but all without overdoing it. Each to his own, but that impressed me.

    Actually working economy

    Last item but most certainly not the least...

    I've been on several economy servers and in many cases I noticed that the economy part was actually fictional. Meaning? Using events or server settings to create a certain demand for items. Which people would then obviously try to collect and sell through their stores in order to make an income.

    Now, nothing negative about that approach. But what about the new players? What about the basis necessities for Minecraft? Shouldn't the economy also be there to make some part of our gameplay easier (or extend on it)? After all, that is the fundamental aspect of economy... Providing a way to easily trade whatever it is you want to trade where the currency represents a certain value.

    It may become boring to read but once again: the Empire does manage to provide a realistic economy. When I started (and registered on the forums, bagged me even more starting money) it didn't take long before I had my own enchantment table, enderchest and brewing stand. Even though I hadn't even been in the Nether yet, let alone visited a Nether fortress.

    What I did manage to do was find the right shop which would sell me these items. So before I knew I could make just about anything I wanted or needed. And as you all know: being able to brew your own potions can be a very rewarding and helpful thing.

    The secret?

    I found out ;)

    Basically everyone can start their own shop if they want to. It's easy! And without any artificial, or generated, need for items you can basically concentrate on what you want to. Do you want to target newbies by selling certain starting items? Or perhaps you're looking to target "high rollers" by providing options to buy stuff in larger quantities. Heck; perhaps you merely want to be the underdog and take on all the other shops by constantly evaluating your prices...

    Best of all: maybe you don't even care about rupees at all and merely want to have a good time. You'll buy items when you need 'm (or when it's easier), but that's about the extend of how you'll use the economy. That'll work just fine as well.

    Summing up...

    That also basically sums up my beginner impressions. The Empire provides a ton of very interesting and special features, but in the end they can influence your gameplay as much or as little as you want them to. Nothing is enforced on you and you can fully set your own goals (like mine right now: getting to a point where I'll have a single chest full of redstone blocks) which is basically just like the Minecraft game works.

    And for those who want more?

    Well, there's plenty of events happening and once again: there's nothing stopping you from setting up one of your own, either an official or unofficial one.

    And that wraps it up. I've been on the server for approx. 14 days at the time of writing and I'm convinced that I'll still be here in a year or two. This is awesome :)
  7. I saw a few points about you saying "They wouldn't do this, it would ruin the economy."
    Well, you can ask anyone; Aikar's famous for ruining the economy.
    Don't believe me?
    This happened exactly 363 days ago.
    ShelLuser likes this.
  8. As of February, I will have been here for three years. I can guarantee that if you want to be here for that long, you will :p (there have been many points where I thought my EMC journey was over for good, by the way. There have also been many points where it should have ended, but didn't.)
    ShelLuser likes this.
  9. The big question here is of course: did it really ruin the economy? :)

    I'm not too sure I agree that it did. It may certainly have had its impact on the items being dropped, that could have devaluated some stuff, but other than that the economy as a whole keeps on working. This wouldn't affect the price of beacons for example. And well, one way or the other; even those kinds of events are part of the economy process.

    I think the only way where you can actually destroy an economy is if the whole thing is fictional by design. So emphasizing on one or a set of items which then basically carry the whole gameplay. Most players will likely target those because that's basically the main area where money can be made, and once you get a player which undermines that area (by extremely low prices or a huge stock for example) then you'll quickly run into something which could definitely spoil the entire game.

    But I don't see that happening here. Especially not with 'specialty items'.
    shiyvah likes this.