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Saturday, October 19 2019 @ 06:31 AM -08

Minecraft server re-launch

The JDRGaming Minecraft server is back online after about a week of downtime for upgrades and enhancements.

The main reason for these changes is the amount of griefing I've observed in recent weeks. Simply banning griefers (most of whom are, sadly, children from unhappy homes), isn't enough. More protection and admin tools became necessary.

If you're one of the griefers I've been dealing with, or someone who idiotically insists that griefing is 'part of the game', please ask your parents to get you help for your mental health issues. You're almost certainly a budding sociopath.

What's new

  • It's no longer a 'vanilla' server. Vanilla servers just don't have enough tools for dealing with griefing. Instead, the server now runs Spigot, which is a set of tools that enhance vanilla Minecraft. It's the same world, with (mostly) the same rules.
  • You can (and really should) 'claim' locations in which you intend to build. You can also claim areas in which you've already built. Once you've claimed an area, nobody else can change anything there unless you explicity give them access. The server will notice when you start building and offer useful hints about claims. Use the new command /getclaimtools to get a pair of items that help with claim management. This list of GriefPrevention commands should help.
  • Several other grief prevention measure have been enabled; for example, to limit the spread and effect of fire and explosions.
  • New commands: /sethome and /home. The former allows to you remember your current location as your home location, while the latter will teleport you there.

If your constructions on the server have been damaged by griefers, I apologize. I did try to restore a version of the world pre-griefing, but wasn't able to find one that undid all the damage without also undoing legitimate building. Hopefully the new anti-griefing measures will limit griefer activity in the future.

Comments? Concerns? Suggestions? Click About/contact in the top menu to find ways to reach me.

Nintendo continues its fan-hostile ways; takes down hundreds of fan videos

Any organization, given enough time, will eventually become corrupt, or at least lose touch with the ideas of its founders. Once a company is being run by lawyers and MBAs, there's a good chance that they'll try to wring every last dollar out of their customers, in any way possible, regardless of the potential for damage.

Such is the case with Nintendo, where the desire to drain customers and treat them like criminals knows no bounds.

The latest atrocity committed by Nintendo, in a long, sad list of similar behaviour, was their recent takedown of hundreds of videos on Youtube, on a YouTube channel called GilvaSunner. The reason provided by Nintendo was unauthorized use of music from Nintendo games. This is a clear case of fair use, and if GilvaSunner had unlimited resources to spend on lawyers, they might be able to win in a legal fight against Nintento. But that's not the case, and the videos are not likely to see the light of day ever again.

What a huge win for Nintendo, right? I mean, think of all the terrible things that would happen if Nintendo allowed its fans to show their appreciation. Like... um... nope, can't think of a single one. In fact, it's been clearly demonstrated that companies that support and encourage fan endeavours always benefit. The problem is that these benefits are difficult to quantify, and in business school, one learns that intangibles are best ignored. So on the off chance that a single penny will be saved, we get this kind of hostility.

Screw you, Nintendo.

TPU stats are back

Making the old stats software compatible with PHP 7 turns out to be a non-trivial task. So I've shelved that project and switched to BFStats for TPU stats.

BFStats has a slightly smaller feature set than its predecessor, select(bf). But it has all the basics. One big difference is that each of your player names has a separate set of stats. That's either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

The stats will update at 3am every day, just like before, but I may increase the frequency to hourly. I had to remove the gold, silver, and bronze stars from the stats, because they were causing browser issues. And I have no idea how the 'score' column is calculated.

I'll roll the stats over in January as before. If there's interest, I'll post all previous years' stats as well.

You can find the TPU stats at the same address as before: tpu.jdrgaming.com.

Minecraft 1.14.4: lots of bug fixes

Minecraft 1.14.4 was released earlier today. The new version includes a lot of bug fixes, as outlined in the release announcement on minecraft.net.

As of about 7am July 19, the JDRGaming Minecraft server is running version 1.14.4. So far, it looks like the performance issues with earlier 1.14.x versions are mostly gone. Yay!

If you notice any new problems or performance issues with the JDRGaming Minecraft server, please let me know.

Game server outage and TPU stats

You may have noticed that all the JDRGaming game servers, as well as this web site, were offline yesterday (July 3) for a while.

The server hosting the game servers was due for a Linux upgrade, which was completed yesterday by 9am. The individual game servers came back online gradually thorughout the day as I performed various tests and fixed the inevitable issues.

There's just one major issue left to resolve: the TPU stats. Stats for rounds completed on TPU are still being recorded, but the web page that shows the stats is not working. I have to dig into the (rather old) PHP code and retrofit it for the version of PHP now running on the server. That could take a while.

Please let me know if you notice anything unusual with any of the game servers, or with this web site. Click the About/contact item in the menu above.

Minecraft 1.14.3

Another new version of Minecraft was released yesterday. Version 1.14.3 fixes a ton of bugs and reverts some features (such as enchanting) to pre-1.14 behaviour.

Unfortunately, it looks like Minecraft 1.14.3 is causing problems for a lot of players. In particular, the new launcher is not always working as expected. If you're having problems with Minecraft 1.14.3, you probably won't have to wait long for a fix, because 1.14.4 is apparently on its way.

The full list of fixed bugs and reverted behaviours can be found on the release notes page for Minecraft 1.14.3.

The JDRGaming Minecraft server is running version 1.14.3. I've tested it with my own 1.14.3 client, and found no problems. Your mileage may vary. Please let me know if you do run into any new problems.

I learned about Minecraft 1.14.3 via the official Minecraft Discord server, which I configured in my Discord client so that only posts to the game-announcements channel show alerts (otherwise there's a constant flood of alerts as people post to the other channels).

It's also worth noting that the folks who took on management of the Minecraft forum published a post about the new version, and seem likely to continue doing that in the future. The forum does have an RSS feed.

Minecraft 1.14.2

Another Minecraft update got past me without my noticing. The RSS feed on minecraft.net stopped working a while ago. Presumably they just want people to visit the web site daily, or hourly, or just keep a tab open to that page all the time, hitting the refresh button every few minutes. Or maybe wade through hundreds of irrelevant Tweets or Discord posts every day. Or something. Who has time for that?

Anyway, Minecraft 1.14.2 was released on May 27. The new version is mostly about bug fixes.

The JDRGaming Minecraft server is running version 1.14.2 as of June 7.

Minecraft 1.14.1 released

Minecraft 1.14.1 is a minor update that addresses a few bugs and makes some performance improvements.

Many of the bugs fixed in the new version are related to changes made in the previous version and affect villages and villagers.

The JDRGaming Minecraft server is now running version 1.14.1.

Minecraft 1.14 released

Minecraft 1.14 was released on April 22. The JDRGaming Minecraft server is now running version 1.14.

Minecraft 1.14 is also referred to as the 'Village & Pillage' update, because many of the changes (and there are a ton of them) involve villages and villagers. There's a long list of changes on the release announcement post.

Yet another reminder that Nintendo hates its biggest fans

What is it about Nintendo that makes them want to destroy the work of their biggest fans? It seems like the more love and effort you pour into a game port or remake of a game (all without any kind of compensation, aside from glory), the more likely it is that Nintendo will shut you down. Usually that happens when all your work is done and you finally publish. Sometimes Nintendo even approves your work in advance, only to shut you down anyway later on.

The latest move from Nintendo's "crack" legal team is to shut down a Commodore 64 port of Super Mario Brothers. Seven years in the making, there's no conceivable way that this work would ever hurt Nintendo's bottom line, or set some kind of legal or copyright precedent if it was allowed to live. But bullies be bullies, and Nintendo is one of the all-time worst. Seriously, screw Nintendo, and screw their idiot laywers.

The good news is that anyone involved with the emulator and ROM scenes is probably going to have no trouble finding the game. It just won't be available on any site that's easy for the legal geniuses at Nintendo to find.