ShadeCrest Vision discussion

Discussion in 'Minecraft Discussions' started by CyberVic, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. CyberVic

    CyberVic Well-Known Member VIP

    undoFor those who missed the first part of this discussion, specifically on the core values, it can be found here:
    http://shadecrest.com/site/threads/6020/


    In that thread we discussed ShadeCrest's core values. Since I started on my mission to add a more... professional feeling to ShadeCrest I've been slowly working on a vision for ShadeCrest to guide it's future. Below is what I've come up with so far.

    Note that a good vision should be timeless. It should be describing the ideal, endstate for ShadeCrest. Not where we are today, but where we want to be. Our dream vision of a perfect Minecraft ... or possibly Sandbox gaming community. It needs to inspire people. It needs to get people excited about changes coming around the bend. It needs to motivate the staff to want to work every day to get us there. It needs to get the players excited that they chose the right server community to join because THAT is what they want ShadeCrest to become. It should be bold, but also attainable. I think you get the point.

    Please let me know whether you in general agree with this vision and can support it. Based on community feedback to this vision, it WILL be a guiding force on how we make decisions. That's the key value in a good vision, you can say, "will this decision, this change we are making, does it align with our vision of what we want ShadeCrest to be?". After we've agreed on what we want ShadeCrest to be, the next step will be the complete rules overhaul I've mentioned in the master document. For those living under a rock who have still not seen it, you can find it here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qm_rTug_dcbLVyuu7DXkLaz-wqVv85wqkJ4hI58fNOo/

    As always, you can chat this over with me in TeamSpeak, I'm in there almost 24/7.



    Core Values
    community
    fun
    competition
    creativity
    variety

    The Community
    • People genuinely respect one another

    • People love the culture and consider it a healthy community

    • People help each other out, with understanding the server / the game

    • People work together forming small teams, towns, and organized PVP

    • People talk often on the forums. Sharing stories, builds, experiences and off topic discussion

    • People frequent Teamspeak

    • People are proud of Shade Crest

    • People are competitive, but have good sportsmanship
    The Servers
    • 5 servers running niche versions of Minecraft and other Sandbox games

    • There are enough players that the server feels active, but not overwhelming to players new or old. Some servers would have a significantly lower or higher number than others given the game/gamemode of that server. Each server should convey a feeling of community with players actively experiencing the game together, but not too many players that it adversely affects server performance or creates undue chaos.

    • Servers have healthy economies where the average person doesn’t feel poor but feels they always have something worth while to spend their money on and feel there is a point to trading with other players.

    • PVE is challenging and has a unique balance of non-vanilla mechanics that attracts people to the server because it offers a unique combination of plugins available nowhere else

    • PVP is competitive, fair, and balanced where there aren’t a lot of restrictions or rules, but rather a good set of plugins and custom settings which creates a balances PVP gameplay. PVP is long and drawnout with interesting paper/rock/scissor balancing.
    • The core servers should be balanced to attract a wide, younger, and more casual audience

    • The non-core servers attract an older, more mature, technical, and hardcore audience.
    The Brand
    • ShadeCrest is seen as a household name that most Minecraft players have heard of

    • ShadeCrest is not one of the highest population servers, but one of highest quality servers

    • ShadeCrest attracts and fosters players who livesteam, make videos, etc

    • ShadeCrest hardware is seen as a high performance with a stable connection

    • ShadeCrest staff is viewed as professional and very active

    • ShadeCrest players are seen as friendly and welcoming
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  2. Navarog

    Navarog Well-Known Member

    Criticism from another post!
    • Why 5 servers, when was this decided? What other Sandbox games? What...?
      • If we are going to be running something with 200+ players as a normal thing (i.e. nothing like our current two main servers) then disregard my next statement
      • 100-1000 players is many, many times the amount we currently have. How are we going to get that many? The most we ever had on Creative was 80 and it was awful. Chat was unusable because it was so filled with nonsense and arguments about politics/religion/music. That many players on servers anything like our current two is ridiculous and nothing like what Shadecrest currently is. I've played on servers with that many people and it was awful and not nearly as close-knit or fun as Shadecrest currently is. Trying to attract that many players will certainly alienate our current playerbase and anyone who has been around for any length of time (myself included).
    • I am not experienced with Minecraft PvP but I was under the impression that unless it's in a tournament where everyone is given items then PvP in Minecraft is entirely based on your items. Minecraft is not known for it's fair PvP and makes no claims of being a balanced PvP game.
    • The largest Minecraft servers in the world are not household names and no videogame server has ever been a household name. Shadecrest is realistically not going to break this mold.
    • In the same vein, Minecraft will not become a household name if it is not by far the most popular server of any game in the world. Given past data also, the highest quality servers (both in maturity and skill of playerbase) are not the highest population. Larger than 1000 servers are usually nothing like Shadecrest.
     
  3. CyberVic

    CyberVic Well-Known Member VIP

    First of all, calm yourself. This is a discussion, there have been no decisions. Second of all, this stuff has existed in the ShadeCrest master document for about a month, slowly being added to as I've had discussions with staff and players in TeamSpeak. Nothing written here should be too shocking to anyone.

    - Today we have 5 servers. Survival, Creative, Vanilla, Hardmode, and Feed the Beast. This is a vision of the future and in terms of other sandbox games, Space Engineers is likely one of those. Maybe Starbound might be one of those too for the 2D crowd, that is assuming that they work out some of the persistent world issues with that game and trends show it to be a popular server. Likely we will drop vanilla and hardmode since no one plays them, but that's not for this discussion. I just think that 5 actual servers people play is a good healthy number to give the player base the *variety* we claim to value. It's important that we look out for the future of ShadeCrest and it continues to be a sustainable community. Variety in servers allows the community to sustain itself even as other games lose their popularity.

    - Assuming we are well marketed and have 5 servers, those kinds of numbers *across all servers* is very likely. On some servers like creative, maybe we only have 50 or so on, but other servers which are more popular or can sustain a higher population will likely have a higher population. Also these are intial visionary figures, the numbers can be adjusted based on the feedback of the community on how big we want to be.

    - Creating balance is doable. We've been working hard at attaining balance through plugins and custom code like the potion balance. You can balance it. Just giving up and not trying to rather defeatist. Balancing a game is certainly better than just making one stupid rule on top of another on top of another till the end of time till PvP isn't fun... oh wait that's where ShadeCrest is now.

    - If you re-read what I wrote, I said a household name among Minecraft players. In other words, people who play Minecraft, there are certain servers people think of in their mind as "the big names". There's nothing wrong with wanting to be one of the best. Would you instead make the goal be "mediocre for life"?

    - Your comparison of ShadeCrest today and larger servers is a worthy one, what is different between those servers and ShadeCrest? Are there things that are inherently bad about big communities? Yes there is the issue of mo' people mo' problems, but if you have good staff and a good people coordinating staff, servers can be scaled in a sustainable way. It's all about good management and organization. Also you continue to be a bit confused between the difference between the size of the community vs notoriety and the size of a single server within the server community vs the count of active players across all servers. Some of the most notable groups in the gaming world as smaller groups. Size doesn't necessarily equal notoriety. But it doesn't necessarily negate notoriety. These are two different issues. So the question I ask again is that FEELS like the right size of active players within the community as a whole. Let's shoot for that. The notoriety, that's just something to shoot for. You're right we might never retain it. But there's value in dreaming isn't there?

    Overall you seem very negative. I don't see why. If you don't like the vision, maybe propose a different vision that will inspire people. Right now your negative comments aren't motivating anyone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
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  4. Navarog

    Navarog Well-Known Member

    I copied this criticism of the Vision directly from my criticism of the document as a whole, where I stated that I agree with everything that I did not comment on. I'm being negative because I feel that it would be a waste to just say what I agree with because I agree with the vast majority of your ideas and fully support more organization and anything I did not comment on. My lack of a statement about this in my reply to this thread was an error on my part.

    My basis for my statement about the discussion of the Vision was based upon discussion on the forum thread. I then went to the document and saw that the vision there was much more expansive than the Vision on the forum discussion, and for this reason I made a statement about not seeing anyone discussing the Vision.

    - The balance statement is not one I am knowledgeable enough about to really argue, so I will not do so.

    - Larger servers seem to be minigame ones or arena servers, not really anything like our current Creative or Survival servers.

    - "A household name; that most Minecraft players have heard of" is what I interpreted your statement as, and is very different from "a household name only among Minecraft players".

    - No one is furthered by everyone agreeing on things, if we don't talk about something I would think it wouldn't be changed. This was my viewpoint when making this criticism. Sorry if I came across as negative though, my intention was not to tell you that everything you did was wrong, it was to point out what I thought could be improved upon.
     
  5. CyberVic

    CyberVic Well-Known Member VIP

    If you want to criticize and not come across as negative, might I suggest you suggest alternative wordings for the vision statement. Maybe suggest alternative peak hour numbers, then we can have a discussion. Criticisms without constructive suggestions are just negativity. This is a discussion, but just shooting down my proposed numbers is not constructive. Suggest alternatives please.
     
  6. ezeiger92

    ezeiger92 Well-Known Member Survival Admin

    It helps if ... you know ... there isn't a paragraph full of caps

    CyberVic I think those player counts may be a bit high. If we have five servers and are targeting 500-1000 players during the events, that would be 100-200 per server. Some of our current events can't be scaled to deal with that. Also, the events are currently only on survival, so there would need to be something pulling people onto creative over the weekend as well, preferably not over the same time slot.

    Possible shift in number of players
    • 100-150 all day (20-30 per server)
    • 200-400 peak US hours (40-80 per server)
    • 150-300 peak UK hours (30-60 per server)
    • 400-600 weekend events (80-120 per server)

    --Edit: Fixed stupid. Sorry about that.--
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
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  7. Random0ne

    Random0ne Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify on nava's post, it was copied from another thread on the admin board. In the original post, he organized it by bolding the most important points. The part detailing the formatting was left out of the repost.
     
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  8. CyberVic

    CyberVic Well-Known Member VIP

    Still sounds like a bold goal, but more reasonable yes. As I said in the original post, it does need to be a bold pie in the sky but also reasonable / attainable. It's supposed to motivate people, not demotivate them because it's too bold of an idea. Plus as some have stated, there's value in the server not being too big, there's a "right size" that feels right regardless of how popular the server becomes. In fact if you hit that right size, you can then be more chosey about who is allowed in / who you boot / who you keep in the community and your community begins to increase in quality once you've hit your quantity goals.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  9. CyberVic

    CyberVic Well-Known Member VIP

    Anyone else have any good constructive criticisms of the vision or things you feel should be part of the vision? Things this server should aspire to achieve? Do you disagree with parts of the vision, if so what would you replace those parts of the vision with?
     
  10. I_am_dropbear

    I_am_dropbear Active Member

    I think to have a "good" server you must have a lot of members, HOWEVER i am not one who like to play on popular servers. but of course if shadecrest had 10 people on creative at all times i would be happy :p
     
  11. ndvenckus1

    ndvenckus1 Well-Known Member VIP

    I would agree that, after a certain number of online players, ShadeCrest loses the very things that we've come to know and love about it. 50-65 players on survival at a time seems to be a good range. The chat isn't so messy and players aren't causing so much trouble as to create complete chaos. Of course during events and during peak hours on weekends, this number might go up to 80 or more, and that's fine. Having lots of players on for events and raids is a very good thing. But you lose the key sense of community that we all share if it's like that all the time. Once our population does begin to approach this number, I think we should make our entry criteria significantly stricter (maybe shift back to an online application). We could be widely known as a close community with a mature player base that only accepts players of a certain caliber (instead of being known as another mega-server). Once this is the case, we will begin to attract players who are seeking this kind of community.

    Of course, once this level of popularity is attained, maybe we can step back into the mini-game realm that we failed at previously and actually gain enough active players to retain and steadily increase our population. The problem we had before is the oldest in the book: no one wants to play because the server's not popular enough, and the server's not popular because no one is playing on it. Our fix for this will be increasing our popularity through other servers (survival and creative), and then eventually using this popularity to instantly gain sufficient players on our "mega-server(s)".

    Survival and creative just aren't the right place for numbers like these. Even if we have the potential to develop such a huge amount of players, I don't think our close community can be retained at that level.
     
  12. CyberVic

    CyberVic Well-Known Member VIP

    I think people continue to get confused when I say 100-200 players across all servers.

    That means 50-65 survival, 20-40 or so creative, 10-20 on ftb, 40-60 on space engineers, then if there is plan to have an active 5th server that's easily 100-200 players across all the servers. In fact if we care to expand ShadeCrest to other sandbox games, we can very quickly increase the community and much of the people who play sandbox games don't just play one, they dable in many. In other words, bringing in space engineers might also attract some of them to play FTB sometimes or creative players. Bringing in let's say maybe Terraria players might bring in more survival players. Either way if the community has around 100 players actively playing in the community across all the servers, it will be a lively community that it doesn't feel like a ghost town, there's always people to play with, and on a given server it's not overwhelming.

    I mean technically if you want 50-65 people on survival as a healthy number, I would have to increase the 100-200 number to something closer to 150-300.

    As I've stated before. If you want to criticize, might I suggest you propose alternate numbers such as Erik proposed? Do you think it should be even smaller? I mean the numbers as they currently stand is no more than about double what we have now on survival, people actually playing FTB because it would be advertised, creative back up to a healthy number, space engineers at a healthy number, then of course there would be a 5th server as well that I'd expect people to be playing. I mean, it's not really asking a lot for there to be 100 players, by my math it's closer to 150 connected across 5 servers.

    You guys act like that's chaos or something. I've run a guild that in a single guild, there's been 100 players on every night in the same /gu chat. Most of the time they take most communication to party chat, we would just expect players to do the same. Again that's on one server, I'm not even proposing that, I'm proposing that across ALL servers.

    I mean I could put in the vision target goals specifically for survival, creative, this server that server. But the idea about the vision is to be more general about how active do we want the community to be. 5 servers with around 100 - 200 people playing on them. That's not really a lot to expect. That's 20-40 players per server on average.

    I have not updated the original post, but this is the last agreed good numbers within the thread. Someone else is welcome to propose numbers:
    *waits for the oooooooooooooooooooooohhhhs as people do the math*

    I find it kind of silly that of the vision, people protest math more so than the rest of the content. In spirit that either means people like the vision or people are just to afraid of the server being successful because they think it might be overwhelming. Also people some how make the quantity doesn't mean quality argument which is kind of b.s. You can get quality players and still have a healthy quantity. In fact there is a certain quality of player who won't join a community if it appears not lively enough, especially the reasonable quantity I'm proposing. Nothing more than the quantity ShadeCrest has had in the past when it's been in a much healthier place factoring in as well we'll have several servers all at a healthy number.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
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  13. ndvenckus1

    ndvenckus1 Well-Known Member VIP

    I think it is a good idea to have a goal in mind for each individual server rather than a span across all servers, because each server's optimal amount of players online is different. I read Erik's post when he made it (and yes, I can do math :p), but I wanted to give my own input regardless. I only included numbers for survival because it's where I spend the vast majority of my time. Creative's optimal range would be almost identical, and FTB would probably be around 20-25.
     
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  14. Navarog

    Navarog Well-Known Member

    Every single person after me has given an alternative amount of players to what you hypothesized for, Cyber. .-. Just not all play on all servers or know how all the servers are structured or run and so don't feel they can comment on those servers. Also about chat, guild servers are different from our Survival server and especially different from our Creative server. We've had 80 on Creative and chat was nearly unusable any time anyone mentioned a chat topic that a few people were mildly interested in.

    I, for one, would be fine with a max player count of roughly 30 and a min player count of roughly 15 on Creative. I don't know anything about Survival and FTB and so won't comment on that.

    Sorry to add little to nothing about overall server sizes but I, like many other admins and mods, only really play seriously on one server.
     
  15. CyberVic

    CyberVic Well-Known Member VIP

    Hmmm well clearly I just need to reword the entire section I think and go server by server... or well, no that's equally silly. The problem with server by server is assuming that 5 years from now we'd even have a "survival" server or "FTB" server. FTB didn't even exist, previously it was Tekkit. The point of having a general ballpark round number across all servers was that regardless of what those 5 servers was, it gave a rough idea a... vision of how large we want the community to be as a whole.

    Maybe I need to take out numbers all together and describe the feeling of what a healthy server is about without definitions around exact player counts. For example, for a creative server we want peace, civility, not too much chaos in chat. We want people to collaborate on large projects, but not for there to be chaos of 80 people online all just chattering up the place. We don't need to put a number on it, just define and describe the feelings we want from the server as part of the vision.

    Furthermore as part of the survival vision you care more about, the server needs to have enough people that there's always someone to fight in pvp, or something to do with others, focus more on the outcomes the way we want the server to feel, regardless of a specific number. One thing that a lot of people don't think about is there is a magical (can't put an exact number on it but it exists) amount of people where if it's too small griefers barely bother with your server, but there's also a big enough number where there's enough strong cohesive community that griefers don't bother or if they do you have enough scalable staff members to deal with it swiftly and you're not afraid to execute proper justice on griefers or even implement a white listing process because you have enough active players that you can be choosy about who even enters your community.

    Might I suggest we just get away from this numbers debate because I think the outcome of what we want from the community is what matters most. Does that sounds reasonable?
     
  16. Navarog

    Navarog Well-Known Member

    That sounds like a lovely idea to me. P:
     
  17. CyberVic

    CyberVic Well-Known Member VIP

    Added this to the original post
    EDIT:
    Cleaned up the wording to this...
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  18. epic_poke8

    epic_poke8 Active Member VIP

    I could not find another place to say this, but the combination of wording and grammar of the ShadeCrest Master Document is a bit unprofessional and borderlining on plain immature. Do we have another version to this, or may it be updated? Also, the word "dick" is mentioned a few times, and we may want to change that. We've always been a family-friendly server, and everyone who logs on is not exactly over the age of 11. Moving on to the next problem, which was already mentioned, but only vaguely: updating information. We have a Vanilla server now, along with a few new rules. The document is unfinished, and we need a document to show people if they want to know a detailed overview of our server. A couple of rules stated are near impossible. Survival's "Do not deface land around mining warps" rule? You mean you expect a world where guests can log on and build to NOT be griefed around spawns? FTB's "Caution with mods" rule, specifying both mystcraft and thaumcraft. One makes worlds, and the other has destructive magicks, you can't expect every player to hold back with that kind of power. I could go on, but I think you see my point. If there is a newer document, ignore this, send me a message, and delete this post if necessary.
     
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  19. CyberVic

    CyberVic Well-Known Member VIP

    This is indeed the latest version of the document, I keep it up to date as things change, but not much traction has been made on it because feedback stopped happening. All the admins also have access to the document and are encouraged to help keep it up to date, but thusfar it's mostly been me and a couple of others here and there.

    Thank you for providing more feedback, it motivates me to continue to push getting acceptance on all this stuff. This master document is not supposed to be a replacement for the wiki, it's supposed to be a place for me to help guide decisions, get agreement on vision, then we would update things. It's also kind of a to-do list for me on the various big projects that need to happen to polish the server. Eventually the master document will just have vision, marketing materials, staff info, structure, etc and would beocme less of a bucket list.

    First of all, it's mentioned once, not a few times, so don't exaggerate. We need to be more consistent about what kind of environment we official support within this community. We can't be not ok about saying "Don't be a dick" because supposedly we have people age 11 or under, but then we're totally ok with people putting things in their signatures or in the shoutbox which are bordering on Rated-R content. That is why I suggest that we tailor to the 13+ crowd and go by content standards established as PG-13. Saying "don't be a dick" according to PG-13 is ok. Saying "I want you to S__ my D__" is not ok. It's all about context. "Don't be a dick" is an internet slogan which recommends a general philosophy on how to behave when interacting with others on the internet. Yes it's blunt, but it gets the point across. No one has suggested an alternate wording for this rule, so until that time it'll stick. No one has recommended that we make our communication guidelines rated PG. So for now, we'll stick with PG-13. If you would like we can go by some other standard like ESRB, but even with ESRB, either way I would recommend that young teen acceptable communication should be the standard for the community.

    If you read the rest of the document, one of the things I'm recommending is we expand the min distance away from warps or spawns that you can mine. Other than that, there is and has been a general rule about not to deface the land of a non-mining world. The overall point of the "do not deface" part of it is that we don't want people to purposefully right outside the boundary of a warp to make a giant pit which kills people or looks terrible. We know what we're talking about here. No reason to beat around the bush. Yes when it comes to a mining world, eventually yes over time the world will look worse and worse, but purposefully defacing it to make the spawns or warps look horrible should not be allowed.

    Again you need to take all the rules into consideration when looking at a single rule under a microscrope. The rule is written as
    1. Respect others when building and shaping the land

      1. Do not deface the land outside your property

      2. Do not deface the land within 250 blocks of spawn / world warps

      3. Keep mining / mass resource harvesting to the mining / quarry world

      4. Give towns / homes at least 100 blocks of space to grow

    For those who play feed the beast, they understand what this means.
    Both these mods can destroy servers. As to specific rules or guidelines, those are hard to write without basically telling them to make sure to read and understand the wikis for those mods very carefully. Basically we don't want newbs creating ages using mystcraft or newbs making taint near someone else's house because they don't understand thaumcraft.
     
  20. epic_poke8

    epic_poke8 Active Member VIP

    Aha, so it's on the INTERNET! It must be alright. My point is, you are making a document, not selling a product. Be professional at least in the document, the community can apparently say what they want. There are a multitude of alternatives. "Be empathetic", "be courteous" or even "don't be a jerk" would be better suited for this.

    Yes, I do play FTB, but in singleplayer. I have played multiplayer, and know very well the dangers. Instead of "be cautious", maybe "stay away from other people when working with these". I personally hate looking things up, and this stuff requires trial and error, otherwise. Being cautious is quite difficult when you try to learn yourself.

    Overall, it's just a wording problem.
     
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