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Version 1.7.9 Update Plans
sp_BlogLink Read the original blog post
Topic Rating: +1 (5 votes) 
April 20, 2014
11:14 am
frelling
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Some of you may have been wondering about the slew of upgrades with the latest being 1.7.9 and when VC will be updating. In short, we held of because we knew that 1.7.9 was around the corner and had the potential of turning our world upside down.

While it was released by Mojang 10 days ago (4/9), Bukkit hadn’t released a Development Release until recently (4/17). Since then there have been a steady stream of DRs updates for 1.7.9 so far totaling 14. Fortunately, most of them were all in the first few days and for now have settled down. As you should know, part of Veterancraft’s stability is that we don’t upgrade blindly without verifying that all our plugins works. Some of our more impatient – gotta have it now – members may find this displeasing and if Mojang didn’t have the ability to easily select between different versions, I would be equally so.

However, it’s a damn if you do and damn of you don’t. If we don’t wait for a stable Bukkit release and do not perform basic quality checks there is a high risk of worse things happening – data loss, items disappearing, crashes, severe lag, and the list goes on. If it comes to a choice of picking between unhappy members because they can’t run the latest and greatest version versus having potentially all members grumbling about slews of server mishaps, I will always pick the former. Being prudent and cautious allows us to ameliorate risk and hedge our chances that transitions will be as smooth and painless as possible.

I understand that some of our younger members may not recognize the benefit of this. While I hate to see anyone leave because of such update “lags” maybe it is for the better as they will have an opportunity to compare how well they had it at Veterancraft. I’m not saying that Veterancraft is the best of the best, but we ARE in the top 10%. There is still room for significant improvements which we continuously strive for when not dealing with regular operational issues.

That said, 1.7.9 bring along the ability for players to change names, which has been a long desired featured by all. I myself could recommend a few past players to consider a name change Kiss. Unfortunately, because of that ability, Minecraft, Bukkit, and plugins can no longer rely on the uniqueness of names. Instead, Mojang now associates a UUID (Universally Unique Identifier) with each player making it possible for administrative functions to track players regardless of their name. For example, it would currently be possible for a banned player to change their name and return to Veterancraft without us being none the wiser. Obviously that is not a good thing. On the flip side, if a member in good standing changed their name, all possessions – shops, money, skills, XP points, etc. – would no longer be available, because they are all tied to their old name. I think you get the idea of the problems this could cause.

Countless of plugins, including our own, have always relied on the uniqueness of the IGN to be the primary key that identifies a player. Fortunately, most plugins take a well structured approach making changes to use UUID instead of names relatively straightforward. Bukkit even provides some convenience functions. Unfortunately, not all plugins are as robust as Essentials, mcMMO, or our own plugins. Furthermore, there is still the issue of initial conversion of data files to reflect UUIDs instead of IGNs. The point is that while this new ability may seem relatively straightforward to users, they have some potential serious impacts on the underlying system.

Now before, you think this is all doom and gloom, we started looking at the conversion issue with the first DR release and are getting extremely familiar with the changes within Bukkit to determine how to adapt best to this new identifier. We have already identified a few potential gotchas are implementing some workarounds. But this is still in the “getting to know you” phase. We are hoping that the process will be less painful than anticipated and that the above is just a consideration of a worst case scenario.

We are uncertain as to how long this will take. RL time for both Mud and me is still at a premium though more available than before. Now that Bukkit has made an official release, we can push forward as hard as we can to get an update out.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
April 21, 2014
2:13 pm
meatbawllz
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I absolutely hate the idea of name changes. Stupid concept that has way more cons than pros. Whats wrong just buying a new ign acct if you dont like yours? Nightmare.

Founder and owner of VeteranCraft. "He who says he can, and he who says he can't, are both usually right." -Confucious
April 21, 2014
2:45 pm
Trip6s6i6x
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I remember having Xbox Live before you could change your name. Calling their tech support about it, you got a canned response saying something to the tune of "our system isn't built to support name changes". Then, someone at M$ picked up their ears and realized it was something people would pay money to do. Suddenly, ta daa - you can change your name now... for 800 MS points, of course. Yeah, it's funny how quickly their system suddenly got built out to support it...

As for Minecraft, who knows. You're basically paying money to change your name already (in the form of a full new account). One thing's for sure though, I can't see them offering the ability to change your name in-game without monetizing it somehow - M$ already led as a good example of what people will throw money at. Wink

 

As for updates, the regulars know what's up. We'll crack open a beer and wait for it (and save a beer for you too). Cool

Don't Panic -Douglas Adams
April 21, 2014
6:20 pm
SlocumFamily2
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I got the impression the name changes was more about supporting nick-names under the same account I.D.

 

And Meat...some of us want to be able to change our names without losing everything..cause...ya know...we chose stupid names.

April 21, 2014
8:55 pm
SlocumFamily2
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Oh, but I did want to say I agree with your decision 100%.

It would be very frustrating to have things vanish or corrupted, and never have any idea from day to day if your area was going to be stable.

 

The people that fuss the most (it seems to me) also have other servers they go to.  And perhaps they are able to update faster.  But, I am also willing to bet those servers are run by teens or 20-somethings that don't have busy jobs and families.  One reason we all love this server is the maturity factor (well...at least we try for it).   I haven't tried the other ones, but based on the players that show up, and get instantly banned, I don't want to.

I'd rather wait a bit longer and know that I am getting a quality experience all around.

That said, if there is something we can do to help you out (I dunno...research?... who knows...) let us know.  It can't be easy to try to please so many.  And since most of us have no idea what it involves, it is probably a pretty thankless job at times.

Thanks for everything you do.

Cool

April 22, 2014
8:49 am
frelling
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+1

SlocumFamily2 said

That said, if there is something we can do to help you out (I dunno...research?... who knows...) let us know.  

I appreciate the offer and I will keep it in mind.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
May 2, 2014
2:58 pm
WallyBean
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frelling said

I understand that some of our younger members may not recognize the benefit of this. While I hate to see anyone leave because of such update “lags” maybe it is for the better as they will have an opportunity to compare how well they had it at Veterancraft. I’m not saying that Veterancraft is the best of the best, but we ARE in the top 10%. There is still room for significant improvements which we continuously strive for when not dealing with regular operational issues.  

 

How about older players that have been waiting over a year for the features that were lost, told would be returned and then never did?  Frankly your lack of updating or fixing issues is pretty legendary.  Its kinda like having a server with no tech team or support what so ever.  From the 6 months to update to a current patch or the "work in progress" of a recipe plugin that would allow people to craft resources the game did not have a recipe for like circle stone.  Obviously you got that partially done or a SM (lightwarrior) would not of been able to craft and then sell it in his shop for a kings ransom before having you kabosh it. 

 

What features has the server gained in roughly the last 2 years?  Well it got xp vault which is pretty nice.  Unfortunately it lost mob bounty, being able to see residences on the live map (kinda hard for people to know where to claim land if you have to go around checking the ground every few feet eh?), and a slew of hinted at, vaguely promised improvements.  Minecraft has an amazing diversity of plugins that work and have been created by people with the time to create them.  I realize you must enjoy building you own and you have listed many times the perks of reinventing the wheel yourself as opposed to using third party plugins.  That is totally cool and fine, assuming you actually have the time and interest to do the actual work.  True the server is usually up, but so is a single player game.  I am assuming that is where you get your top 10% claim, uptime.  As for features, tech support, updates and lets call it say charisma, you are far, far from the top 90%.  If not for one extremely dedicated volunteer staff member carrying the load for long stretches solo and a co-owner that is good at putting out customer service wild fires you create, this server would of been entirely dead long before now.  As is I see 5 people on at most "peak hours" week day or weekend.  The server has had some great staff and great times, sad to see if finally dying to the massive apathy of its "tech team" but posts like this trying to justify the glacial pace show how delusional you truly are. 

 

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." -unknown
May 2, 2014
5:27 pm
LightWarriorK
Aelfheim, Arda
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WallyBean said
Obviously you got that partially done or a SM (lightwarrior) would not of been able to craft and then sell it in his shop for a kings ransom before having you kabosh it.

This was a mistake that was long ago set right.  Of what I made, only about 50 were sold before the "kabosh" was placed since it wasn't fully ready.  All funds I made from the sales were given up, and what I had in the shop was removed from sale.

"Awake, oh man, and be wise." -Thoth
May 2, 2014
6:24 pm
frelling
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Filtering out the noise of Wally's post: Residence Maps - every update to Residence Maps continues to be a CPU hog and there is no chance of it appearing again only until toothpick1 completes his rewrite and releases Residence 3.0. Mob drop type plugins have waxed and waned over the years. Frankly, the absence of such has dramatically curtailed the abuse of spawner farms.

That said, if you don't have the wherewithal to know where you are when setting up a residence and find it impossible to generate Shillings through other means, well ... what can I say?

I will be the first to admit that the death of my brother in Oct, dealing with its aftermath and the work-related injury I suffered toward the end of the year, did impact update releases between mid-Oct to mid-Jan. But then again Bukkit didn't release a Beta Build until Dec 27, or so. Even without those life-altering events, we'd still would have lingered along; well, the injury would have still impacted it since I wasn't fully recovered until mid-Jan. I won't even bother describing the amount of effort we underwent during the recent DDOS attack, other than that it sucked up almost 2-weeks of our time through all hours of the day.

Now Mojang has thrown some fundamental changes in which users are identified and the MC 1.7 branch is changing the manner in which blocks and items are represented. The changes are all good, but they are at the foundation of the API and hence a lot of plugins. Many plugins have thrown in some quick fixes and deferred further work to the future.

A lot of our plugins are in-house. In the past, this has been a benefit since we only had to wait for a few updates of critical 3rd party plugins in order to push out updates. Many times, we'd patch them ourselves until a release came out. Unfortunately, this time around, we actual have work to do on our own plugins. We're not going to put in quick fixes, ours will last until Mojang throws us another curve ball. Even so, we are still awaiting critical updates on some 3rd party plugins. We've patched them temporarily to eliminate the wait, but testing does take its time.

If any one was deluded to think that Veterancraft was going to continue adding features upon features or every new whiz-bang, neato plugin that comes along as time went on, then they should go revisit our Plugins page; the relevant part is quoted below.

However, Veterancraft believes that SMP Minecraft should be about Minecraft, not plugins. That doesn’t mean that we don’t use them. We use them to empower server admins with tools such as logging, anti-griefing, and player management. We also use them to give players additional capabilities such as grief protection, MMO-style abilities, commerce and more, as long as they don’t detract from a Notch-style gameplay.

That is not to say we won't entertain new plugin suggestions, but they have to add a significant benefit and fit within our overall plan. Beyond that the basic features of grief protection, economy, commerce, and mcMMO are all that is ever going to be available, short of some other bells and whistles that we may find interesting.

I guess another benefit of this server is that we let "older" members drop venomous tirades on us without booting them in a heartbeat. Rather we look to extract any valid points and try to answer them as best as we can. But clearly, a bug has clawed up a dark place and all we can hope is that it will find its way to the light sooner or later. But if it persists, there are other servers to pick from.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
May 2, 2014
6:28 pm
frelling
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So, now that I spent 30-minutes addressing the above, on to the real reason for posting. We will be shutting the server down sometime between 11PM and 2AM EST for about 30 minutes in order to clone a copy of the server for our test environment. Unfortunately, I can't give a more exacting time because of other issues detracting us at the moment. I will make sure that there is at least a 15-minute warning before we begin the backup.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
May 2, 2014
7:01 pm
Trip6s6i6x
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Edited: Nevermind... late to the party (and no longer relevant), sorry.. Confused

Don't Panic -Douglas Adams
May 2, 2014
8:46 pm
SlocumFamily2
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Just to add 2 cents:

Frelling:  I don't think you have to justify anything here.  If someone is not happy they can go elsewhere.  That simple.  And, as long as you allow the ability to play for free, you don't owe them updates on their timeline.  Yes, I like the new stuff as much as everyone else.  And I am itching for new OR.  But life first, games second...ya know?

May 2, 2014
8:50 pm
SlocumFamily2
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Wait...it is going down tonight?

But I am planning on having insomnia tonight....

Don't make me start browsing the internet instead.  That never leads anywhere good.

May 2, 2014
9:17 pm
frelling
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Looks like the backup shutdown will be closer to 1AM. Both of us are still stuck at work.

 

@Slocum. Don't worry it will only be about 30 mins unless that is enough time for the Ambien or Xanax to kick in. Those two work for me most of the time when I'm wandering the halls at 4AM Kiss

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
May 2, 2014
9:20 pm
frelling
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SlocumFamily2 said
Just to add 2 cents:

Frelling:  I don't think you have to justify anything here.  If someone is not happy they can go elsewhere.  That simple.  And, as long as you allow the ability to play for free, you don't owe them updates on their timeline.  Yes, I like the new stuff as much as everyone else.  And I am itching for new OR.  But life first, games second...ya know?

Don't worry. He made a few points with a lot of fluff. I answered them. Job done. In a perverted sense he is keeping me on my toes and letting me know when more information needs to be disseminated or repeated.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
May 4, 2014
11:26 pm
WallyBean
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Speaking of fluff.... You ought to compile your excuses for things into a book.

 

I did not suggest new plugins or features, you can't handle the meager few you offer, why would anyone be foolish enough to believe your ego or lack of time would allow for more?  I had 435k shillings when I realized any further time put in here would be a waste and had purchased land with a further 178kish, so suggesting I could not figure out how to make shillings was a lame attempt at an insult.  Of course I didn't make my money by abusing mcmmo salvaging and trading with villagers like alot of people did, til that loophole finally got closed by the govt shop no longer buying diamonds.  No I made my money by legit mining and farming of resources, no traps, no gimmicks, no nether portal gold farms, or duplicating on portal ships that an admin is to blind to browse thru before copying it over.  I know you martyr yourself over doing the world edit for the portal ships but lets be honest, it takes less then 5 mins to set the coordinates you want to copy, go the the new location and paste. 

 

Every other server I have played on or continue play on seem to be able to handle residence showing on their livemap without issue so this seems to be a case of user error on your part.  Or incredibly weak hardware.  How about the spleef arena which last I checked still stood at spawn, that's been gone over a year, that one of those gee golly whiz bang features that you couldn't handle yet you did have it going for awhile.  Anyone has stuck around realized they need to set their standards low and then be dissappointed when they lost the meager features and service that were provided here.  I learned it when I made my first post on these forums and you sent me a rude message telling me to leave.  I had dared to ask you questions, a little peasant like myself.  You did say you would bring in some things you were working on, so I waited, patiently, for months, little hints and teases of promises.  Never happened though, to be fair minecraft is the game of a million unfinished projects. 

 

You did make me smile saying how magnanimous you are to let a "older" member (subtle) make a venomous diatribe though.  In all honesty I expected you to delete my post like you have others, at your age suddenly being able to become mature or handle feedback seems unlikely and your reply proved its not miraculously happened.  That's why the forums are dead though and always have been, you bite the head off any one foolish enough to attempt participation or make a suggestion on here.  Meat is a good guy with legitimate reasons for being busy and lacks the tech knowledge or time to give the server what it needs, I still hope to maybe grab a beer with him sometime should Tony ever make it out to Colorado.  You on the other hand Frell....  I just pity the people you work with, whatever they are paid, its not enough.

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." -unknown
May 5, 2014
11:38 am
frelling
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Again, discarding all the fluff, angst, frustrations, and whatever else riddles you. In regards to Spleef, see this post. In regards to deleting posts, in 2 ½ years of operations, it’s been a rare occasion, but sometimes necessary. In most cases they get moved to another forum rather than deleted.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
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