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Plans for 1.12

As some of you know, Minecraft 1.12 should be coming out soon. There's a few plans for Arcator, most of which will mirror what we had for 1.11.

Basically, we're going to aim for a very rapid update of Arcator within moments of the spigot jar going public so that Arcator fills in a niche for minecraft servers. I'd like to ask all of you to take a few minutes to vote for Arcator, as things have slowed down a bit recently, and now is the best time to get people on here.

One thing that we've learned with the 1.11 update, is that MC1 will likely lag behind other servers due to the MultiInv plugin which often breaks with updates. Chances are 1.12 clients can access all servers but MC1, and 1.11.2 clients can access solely MC1, but both clients can connect with arcator.co.uk. All servers but MC6 and MC7 are on 1.12 now.

Here are the 3 voting links for Arcator, they should only take 5 minutes. Thank you. It's appreciated. Smile

---------->1<---------- ---------->2<---------- ---------->3<----------
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Just a small reminder

If you're a staff member, you're expected to wish to be staff because you desire to help other people and make the community a special place.

Therefore, if you go on other servers, regardless of whether they are Arcator or non-Arcator servers, you are expected to follow their respective community rules. We're not going to enforce bans or demotions on actions that took place elsewhere, but just use your common sense and realize that if you're here to be staff to help others on Arcator, you should have no reason to cause issues in other people's communities. Follow rules if they make sense, just act in a way that doesn't cost others.

This is merely a guideline and recommendation, but if you ever find yourself griefing on some server where it's not allowed, or trolling some user at their expense, you honestly shouldn't be a staff member here. We're not going to demote you over it, but it would be appreciated if you resigned.

For any looking to apply for staff, if you agree without doubt that you will merely try to give back to a community more than you've received, we'd be happy to have you. There's a reason there's no staff limit, no demotions based on inactivity, and that's because good-will doesn't degrade with time, or lose its luster among the presence of others.

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With Regards To Some Data Loss

As some of you may know, Arcator had a fairly severe issue this Monday. One of the staff ran commands which caused great harm to about 15 maps across multiple servers. It was a blow, and will require a lot of effort to recover from. However, while many would advocate that we now further restrict staff ranks, I would like to argue in favour of the current system. A system which requires a certain (and obviously not measurable level of) trust, maturity, and competence.

I think it would be best to address the obvious response first. That to have one person destroy so much, should serve as a sign for greater restrictions on staff. I fully understand this view, but believe that the current requirements are sufficient and actually proven necessary by this event.

Although it would seem and perhaps is so, that reducing the number of staff would reduce the chance of problems like these, we must never forget the hidden cost of blocking out the multitude of good and genuine users who wish to help out and would be unable to be staff with increased restrictions set in place.

While I understand that this event hurts, especially if you lost builds which you may have spent days if not weeks working on. I believe that the best action is to recognize that the costs of blocking out viable staff with increased restrictions outweighs the risk. Arcator has only had one major blow from a staff member since we revived in 2014. That we were able as a community, to avoid having trusted staff hurt the server and the community as a whole, is a sign of the immense trust and interconnectedness of our community.

Let’s go back to a similar event, similarly catastrophic nearly 5 years ago. In early 2012, one of the Arcator owners deleted MC1 and attempted to delete the site. One of the most trusted users, the foundations of our community, seemed to have turned on us. It hurt. It still hurts now, that we can not explore the buildings and dreams of our past selves who roamed in 2011. Restrictions were made, in an attempt to avoid a repeat incident.

No one mourns the actions of people which never came to fruition. No one thinks or can ever know the what-if behind a decision. When we restrict staff, we restrict people from helping us. To have run with nearly 100 staff positions on the 10 servers that make up the network shows the extremely low risk of having every capable, every trusted, and every altruistic person act as a staff member. Perhaps the multitude of staff is the reason raw probability caused our loss. But perhaps the incalculable good of countless staff who were able to administrate over the course of more than two full years is a sign that the good to be gained outweighs the inevitable risk. Inevitable risk as we are all ultimately human.

We all yearn for a perfect world. We all know it isn’t possible. As humans, no amount of restrictions will be able to guarantee the lack of risk in trusting someone with staff. More care will be taken with staff promotions, but sometimes we have to accept risks, not just in Arcator, not just with friends, but for life in general.

We’ve all been wronged by someone before, shedding tears at least once in our lives. But would any of us decide to avoid interacting with people, just because we were wronged? If we continue to take the risk of interacting with others, because people add value to life in general, despite sometimes harming us. Then why can’t we trust?

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Plans for 1.11

As you probably know, 1.11 has come out today (Nov 16). After some looking around, it appears that a spigot jar should go up on Saturday. I will try to update all Arcator servers to 1.11 during the weekend provided most plugins work (which they normally do).

However, I'd like to ask if you could consider voting for Arcator at least for the next few days. I admittingly haven't voted that much in the past few months, however now is currently the best time to vote.

The reason is that the 1.11 update offers one of those rare moments for us to occupy a niche when advertising. There's going to be a lot of 1.10 servers during the weekend, and if we could bump up the server on listings, we could easily appeal to users who prefer 1.11. The weekend is basically the best time to advertise, and we could use your help voting for Arcator in the days leading up to, and following this weekend.

The voting page has recently been overhauled and only the 3 most important links with the greatest impact are visible. However, if you're short on time, here's the most important place to vote.

Thank you for your support.

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2 Years of Arcator Chat

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New Separate Peaceful Map

Why?
There's been a lot of discussion over the past few days over ideas for MC1's peaceful map. I've avoided implementing some ideas such as purchasable hostile mob drops given how it'd affect the peaceful economy. (The map is 2 years old and the brief 2 month period where monsters have spawned led to an interesting situation where rotten flesh, bones, and gunpowder are all technically obtainable but finite and worth about the same as diamonds.)

However, I've realized that based on the way the config files are organized, we could really easily add a new peaceful map to MC1 and have it copy all the settings (such as no fall damage) from the current map. Given the ease of implementing, it's completely possible to make a new peaceful map and then implement ideas such as currency, item shops, etc. As an added bonus, we could generate this peaceful map when 1.11 comes out so users don't have to walk a considerable distance to leave the 1.5 chunks near Oldspawn or the 1.7 chunks near the current spawn. Really, any idea is possible for this new map so comment with suggestions.

Won't this (3 new worlds) slow the server down?
No. Few resources are used if a chunk isn't loaded. Adding 3 worlds and having people spread out across a few more worlds would be about the same as having people spread out across the existing peaceful map. Adding a new peaceful map will literally only offer more options for people to play.

When?
Right now, we're going to wait for an update to 1.11. I'm keen on updating the (12) server(s) rather quickly (within 3 - 7 days) and then advertising at the same time to fill a niche for users who would prefer 1.11 servers over 1.10. Once we update to 1.11, we can generate the map.

Need help?
We could use help for the new spawn. If you're interested in helping make the spawn, comment below. I'm giving full creative license to make any type of spawn, just note that there's only one spawn that needs to be made and there may be others interested in helping as well. You may want to use this forum post to find those who are interested and come to an agreement on the new spawn design.

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User Activity Visualization

I recommend that the first time you watch this, you find a 15 minute block of time to watch the video without pausing or skipping through (try not to skip early 2014 either).


Every name in green marks the first time a user logged in.
Every red name marks when they left for the last time...
The size of each name represents how long they stayed, before moving on.

Here, you can see thousands of souls pass by in instants. Countless people that they also met, interacted with, and played. Every friendship and every fight, all the result of passing names.

The numbers on the bottom show the number of new users, the net change, and the number of users who left each day.

Everyone, and the network itself are destined to end eventually. But every once a while, people get together to try sailing against the sea of time...

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Some PEX Changes

A change has been made to all 1.10 servers to simplify PEX. Since there are close to 100 duplicate permission nodes on each server such as for things like essentials.help or essentials.warp, two new PEX groups have been made. These are called DefaultBase and ModBase and they store all the basic permissions that are needed and the exact same on all Arcator servers.

There are a few advantages to making BaseGroups. The first of which is that all the basic permissions are now outside the rank groups (Default, Mod). When looking at these ranks, the only permissions will be for things which are important to the local server such as askyblock.admin in MC4 or essentials.sell in MC6. Staff simply won't have to look through 100 permission nodes that should be present like essentials.ban and can instead quickly find permission nodes pertaining to the server's gamemode.

In addition, rather than trying to add a new command to a rank by manually typing /pex group add, the new system will simply have the new permission added to a BaseGroup (such as DefaultBase or ModBase). Then, every month or so, we can go around and update the BaseGroups inside a server's permissions.yml, thereby adding the change.

The new system effectively removes 1100 permission nodes from Arcator (12 servers adds some complexity Tongue ).


A few changes were made to other servers while this was implemented.
essentials.mail.send was removed from MC2, MC6, and MC7's Default rank as mail is handled by a Bungee plugin.
essentials.spawn was added to MC4's Default.
MC6's default has bypass nodes for the cooldown of /heal and /feed.
Removed essentials.nick permissions and made essentials.nick and essentials.nick.color available to Defaults on all servers.
essentials.chat.ignoreexempt was moved from Admin to Mod on all servers.
essentials.kit.adminkit, essentials.tpo, essentials.vanish.effect was added to Mod on all servers.

Added the following to all Defaults on all servers.

  • essentials.customtext
  • essentials.info
  • essentials.ignore
  • essentials.gc
  • permissions.manage.groups.list
  • permissions.manage.worlds
  • permissions.manage
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The Architect Rank

Some people have been talking about restricting Architect and I’d like to explain why Architect is currently being given out as frequently as it is. To those who don’t know, the Architect rank possesses all the permissions given to Builder along with a restricted form of WorldEdit.

Over the past few months we’ve dealt with a few Architect incidents. Skillzzz_ attempted to grief large parts of creative with mob spawners and Qw_Gaming crashed the server by accidentally spawning large amounts of falling gravel.

What we have to realize is that these mistakes (and griefs) are inevitable and simply restricting Architect to a smaller and smaller portion of users is simply not going to prevent the server crashes and griefs that result from misuse.

Yes, Skillzzz_ griefed with Architect in a way no Builder could have but we can look back on the past few years. The number of griefs by Builders and up is really small and the act of griefing by some of our most trusted ranks is inevitable. Rewt64 was Admin when he griefed and we all remember when Kieraan deleted the server in 2012 as Owner.

As for Qw_Gaming, remember when seandelacourt accidentally crashed our server in late 2014’s revival, hurting our uptime? Or way back in 2011 when Banana937 used //thaw 10000000. Yes, the server crashed but human error is going to happen.

We simply can’t get complete security while giving people WorldEdit. But I believe that we should accept this and continue to run the server without so heavily restricting the Architect rank.

A griefing incident with WorldEdit has only happened once in the full year Architect has been running. The cost of which is just a few hours on behalf of an Owner and some staff. Yes, taking a few hours out of your day is a lot, but it’s perfectly reasonable when you realize that the cost of only a few hours every few months is what makes the creativity of all the other Architects thrive.

To give WorldEdit is to remove one of the largest constraints to building which affects all of us, the need to place many blocks. Lava4538 for example, used to take weeks building a small part of his stadium, with WorldEdit he finished the other 90% in a few hours. I believe that when we look at the countless people whose creativity can run unhindered with WorldEdit, the price of a few hours on behalf of staff every few months is worthwhile. I believe that as staff we should be willing to take on a small burden so that so many other people can get WorldEdit and build with no constraints but their own creativity.

Remember when you were a default, trusted, or builder? When you had to fill in hundreds and then thousands of blocks while your mind raced with ideas? All of this busywork adds up to many hours and providing WorldEdit is one way that we can reach an ideal. An ideal where people can build anything they imagine without being constrained by the speed they can fill in shapes. In the months we’ve run with Architect, I’ve seen people build cities, fortresses, and even detailed planets. None of this could’ve been even remotely possible without Architect.

Risk is inevitable. But as staff we must be willing to sacrifice a little so that the masses of people, the countless builders on our creative map, are able to pursue their creativity and their dreams.

Thank you for reading this.

A fortress by Sarah_C_Polk
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The plot, soccer field, and nearly everything in the background were built more quickly with SirToxicz's access to WorldEdit.
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10% of lava4538's stadium took a couple of weeks, 90% took only a few hours.
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Some Delegating

I'll be offline for the next 3 weeks and won't be moderating the server. My current plan being to not even check the discord or site in order to see if there's something to gain from trying out not being on Arcator at all during that time. I've broken up some roles and delegated them to various people. To avoid cluttering the front page the details are here.
See you in August. Wink

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