[Aftermath] Changelog from beta until now

Hello fellow survivors,

I’ve been a bit lazy with my changelog postings recently but I want to catch up on that now. The following changelog includes most of the changes (I’ve probably forgot a few along the way) from the beta until now. Some are super old, others fairly new. But all of them have been live for a while now. So there is nothing super new to see here.

I am however going to do some changes after this and post a new and fresh changelog soon.

Also check out the ” Tickets Need More Info” section. Maybe you’re able to help to close some of those tickets.

For any issues, feedback or suggestions please use our issue tracker at http://www.vaast.org/issues . If you think your base has been X-Rayed, you want to report a cheater or you have other problems that involve personal information (as example donation issues) please use http://www.vaast.org/tickets.

Here is the changelog:

12 Jan. 2015

Mobs:
  • Special mobs now drop a bit more XP.
  • Draugr don’t drop arrows anymore.
  • Slightly decreased the max. mob count per player.
  • Tried a fix for despawning animals. (Not sure if working)
Survival:
  • Further tweaked farming. Now less chance for dead crops but also longer growth time.
  • Disabled initial 10 minutes bed timer. Beds now only have a cooldown of 1 minute after first death to prevent infinite respawn killing.
  • Bed plugin got improved quite a bit. No double messages and glitches with different bed “sides”.
  • Slightly decreased the rate at which melons and pumpkins “die”.
  • Slightly decreased the infection chance from eating raw meat.
  • Decreased overall chance to get infected.
Loot & Drops:
  • Loot chests finally give XP as intended.
  • Shears now work properly on leaves.
  • Changed the item for “Hell Raiser” due to a bug where it was possible to spawn mobs infinitely. Now a throwable bottle which spawns mobs on hit.
  • Fixed a bug where all special items with durability were repairable. All newly found special items should now say “Too expensive” when trying to repair.
  • Special Item “Chicken Nugget” removed from the game. The plugin that the item was dependent on doesn’t work anymore.
  • Made lapis and lapis blocks a lot more rare to prepare for a possible 1.8 switch.
  • Increased the chance for iron ingots in chests.
  • Increased the chance for Antibiotics & Appetite Suppressant and decreased the chance for all other narcotics in loot chests.
  • Decreased the chance for legendary, rare and uncommon items in loot chests.
  • Decreased the chance for high tier enchanted tools, armor and weapons.
  • Added a lot more books to the loot chests.
  • Fixed a bug that caused more good loot than it should be.
  • Resolved an glitch which made it possible to get infinite XP from chests.
World & Generator:
  • Increased both day and night durations. (Dusk and dawn still the same)
  • Storms and rain should be less common now.
  • Increased all ores underground to make mining more useful again. (Still not at vanilla values)
Miscellaneous:
  • Decreased the Tickrate at which hoppers operate. They should be quicker now but could be potential for more lag. We want to test it.
Issues Resolved:

Here are all relevant issues that have been resolved. Most of those contain a short comment from me describing what changed.

Issues Need More Info:

Following tickets couldn’t be fully resolved and need more testing and intel from the playerbase. (Also read the comments, might be written what info is needed.)

What happened to Aftermath and what is next?

Here are the answers… or at least some of them.

What happened?

Its kinda hard to recall all the events that led to such a big delay in our progress …again. But let me try:

So Minecraft versions played a role in the whole thing. As some of you know 1.7 had a lot of issues, which meant a lot of minor releases. With every release some features broke, plugins needed updates and we had to spend time fixing it. At the same time we had to wait for bukkit/spigot and other plugin developers to do the same. Not to mention the whole transition from IGN to UUIDs gave a lot of troubles to quite some plugins.

At the same time our custom world generator broke fatally during development (just inches from the finish line), spaceribs’ private life called for his full attention, and it couldn’t be fixed for a long time. After a while we managed to get a working generator by going a few steps back and sacrificing a few features. The plan was to manually create custom nether and end worlds instead of generated ones, since we made the promise to the community to deliver custom nether and end.

Things were looking promising and I used the moment to retire from the development team. I was pretty burned out, was about to start a second job and wanted also to dive into other projects of mine. Some new, some even older than aftermath which i had to put on ice. I didn’t mean to “just” leave and let everyone hanging and offered help with any problems someone would have picking up my work. And then…

…the bukkit DMCA debacle happened. This was probably the biggest setback for the whole team. Suddenly everything was in question. Aftermath in its current state relies HEAVILY on bukkit/spigot and plugins. Even the generator needs bukkit to be functional. So the whole teams motivation dropped massively. Some left, others waited for something to happen, others discussed other ways to bring VAAST.org further, minigame servers, commandblock based servers were discussed. The Anti-Cheat team went inactive, which lead to roaming x-rayers.

And here is the biggest problem with projects like VAAST — 98% of it is driven by volunteer effort. Nobody here makes any money with it. In fact, without people like nullspot and Athmos who run the servers out of their own pocket (nullspot ran the US server for a long time, continues to develop the website and manage our assets, and Athmos is donating the EU server) we wouldn’t even have a server anymore. The money from donations just doesn’t cover the costs, as we refuse to adopt a financial model that squeezes our players for money. So we can’t force anyone to do “their job”. If the motivation falls drastically the whole project slows down. Nobody’s commitment here is tied to money.

TLDR; we are very sorry for how the whole thing went. We do what we can to keep VAAST and Aftermath alive. Which leads me to the next question:

What now?

Although I retired I still wanted to see Aftermath and VAAST grow, and play Aftermath every now and then of course. So I was in a clinch with myself. On one side I wanted to do my other stuff but on the other side I wanted to do something about it. So yeah, I’ve put my other projects on the backburner and here I am. I don’t know for how long… but its a start. I made an attempt at bringing back motivation by 1. coming back and showing that we are still kicking, and 2. contacting spaceribs and talk to him about the near and distant future of the generator. Then we presented our plans to the staff and it seems people are recovering some motivation, as there’s hope that spigot 1.8 will actually be released, and spaceribs has come out of retirement to patch up the generator.

Here is the short-term plan:

We are now actively working on a stable and playable season 8 (with a fresh map) based on Minecraft 1.7. The procedure is strict: What works…works. Whats easily fixable will be fixed. What needs a lot of effort to fix will be chopped out. This means that we put a release this month as highest priority. Everything that gets in the way of that is getting removed. So it could happen that we will not deliver promised features like custom Nether & End or even take out features that you were used to before. If it doesn’t work, it has to go.

The goal is to wake the community from its slumber and advertise the server to get to old glory and beyond. This means that we are now in a feature-stop for at least the next 6-8 months. Seasons will be restarted every few 3-4 months without adding new features besides maybe new builds.

Why Minecraft 1.7? The reason is simple: Bukkit DMCA. Without a working bukkit/spigot for 1.8 there can’t be a 1.8 Aftermath. Spigot is working on a 1.8 version, but nobody knows how many plugins will break and how many will be updated (given the uncertain future). So we MAY be able to update to 1.8 at some point or MAY stay on 1.7 for a looooong time. Time will tell.

We will also start up a US server again. It will, however, be paid by the existing money we have from donations… which isn’t a lot. As it looks now, it maybe enough for a few months, if at all. We don’t know yet how to keep it running after that. If you really want to help, go make a sizeable donation right now and help ensure we have the ability to keep the server up.

What’s next?

To be honest: We don’t know ourselves. We only know that we want to keep Aftermath alive. With the death of bukkit and the purchase of Mojang by Microsoft anything can happen. The whole model of “Modded Servers” is not certain. Nobody knows if Microsoft will put a stop to the development of the Mojang API or how they will deal with other APIs like spigot or the newly arising “Sponge API”. So for now we have to wait on what happens next outside of what we can affect. Certain is only that we will have to adjust. But nobody can tell how yet. If we find a way to go forward, we will. If we are doomed to stay on 1.7 forever then we will push the Aftermath wagon as far as our feet allow it or until nobody wants to see it anymore.

So yeah, this is where we stand right now. We will notify you of what’s next whenever we know it ourselves. 😛

Short list:

  • Season 9 release planned for release before December
  • Season 9 will start on Minecraft 1.7 and may stay on it for a while.
  • US & EU Servers will either start at the same time or the US server will be started up very shortly after the EU.
  • You might miss a few features in season 9.
  • Get hyped.

Season 8 beta now officially opened to the public

Hello folks, I am glad to announce that we reached the point where we can open the beta of AFTERMATH to anyone and everyone. The last severe issues have been resolved and the rest will follow in the future. We will also setup a EU beta server in the near future to allow more slots and give our european players a better experience. You can connect to the server under the following address on Minecraft versions 1.7.2 – 1.7.5:

us1.vaast.org

eu1.vaast.org

You can read about the major changes to Season 8 of Aftermath, and here’s the latest changelog:

5/5/2014

Survival:
  • Changed how agriculture works due to a severe exploit. Crops now have vanilla drops but grow longer and have a higher chance to die overall.
  • Bed timer plugin was completely rewritten and now seems very stable. No issues discovered yet.
  • Looting now works on crops like vanilla.
  • Silk touch now works on book shelfs as intended.
Loot:
  • Further decreased bone drops from skeletons.
  • Fixed a severe exploit with loot chests. For the time being, players are not able to place a normal chest next to a loot chest.
  • Slightly increased the chance for armor in loot chests.
  • Decreased the number of enchanted swords in loot chests.
  • Added “Cell Tower Base” Item to loot under “uncommon”(blue).
  • Added “Radio Transmitter” Item to loot under “uncommon”(blue).
  • Adjusted some special item descriptions. (Be advised: New items won’t stack with the old ones.)
  • Changed item type of “The Reaper” from “uncommon” to “rare”. Which basically means its a lot more rare now.
  • “The Reaper” now has a simple looting 5 enchantment instead of a hidden value for drops.
  • Decreased the looting level on gold hoes found in loot chests from 3 to 1.
Miscellaneous:
  • Fixed a bug where players couldn’t break blocks while combat tagged (again).
  • Mobs are no longer able to pickup gear from the ground. The whole mechanic was not very reliable as zombies didn’t drop picked up gear after death or just despawned with it.
  • Minor spelling fixes.
  • Updated the ingame /help. Still not perfect, but useable for now.
  • Some better colorcoding for server side messages to better distinguish between other messages or general chat.
  • Introduced cell towers. To call other players, both players now need to be in range of a celltower. Type “/help cell tower” in-game to learn more.
  • Increased the minimum ironbars count for radio and cell towers from 5 to 6.
  • Decreased the maximum ironbars count for radio and cell towers from 40 to 32.
  • Decreased the maximum transmitter range for radio towers from 4000 blocks to 3000 blocks.

Update On Open Beta

Dear Survivors,

while we managed to implement permissions, two somewhat gamebreaking glitches were discovered while playtesting and we decided to keep the beta closed until they are fixed. We are working non-stop on resolving them. Sorry for the further delay.

In the meantime, the newest changelog:

04/22/2014

Survival:
  • Fixed bed timers (again)
  • Tweaked all farming related drops and growth rates.
Loot:
  • Increased gunpowder dropchance from creepers.
  • Decreased arrow dropchance from skeletons.
  • Decreased bone dropchance from skeletons.
  • Draugers have now a small chance to drop a iron axe with knockback 1.
  • “The Homerun Bat” now has a chance to break when hitting a player or mob as intended.
  • Updated a lot of special item descriptions.
Miscellaneous:
  • Fixed ranged chat & cellphones (again)
  • Some cosmetic changes to chat formatting.
  • Fixed a lot of typos.
  • Implemented permissions. Should fix most permission issues.
  • Other minor tweaks and fixes.

Open Beta Launch

…with a little “BUT”.

We got pretty much everything done except for permissions. So we can’t open for the public just yet. We will however launch the “Open” Beta in a “Closed” fashion for staff and donators only and then open the gates for everyone as soon as we got the permissions done (which will take about a day of work).

You will find the server under the following ip on Minecraft version 1.7.2 – 1.7.5: us1.vaast.org

 

Short and crisp the changelogs from closed beta and the newest changes:

 

04/19/2014 (Open Beta Launch)

Mobs:
  • Fixed mobs spawning in fully lit areas of a base (please note that zombies spawning in light while clearing builds from mobs is intended, however they shouldn’t spawn very close to a player).
  • Decreased number of Atomic Creepers.
  • Decreased number of Invisible Spiders.
  • Decreased number of Baby Zombies.
  • Mobs spawn in slower cycles now, means the mob limit per player is reached slower now.
  • Rewritten how damage & health buffs on mobs work. Instead of a plain addition to the mob, it’s now handled through mob gear(where possible) As example: Where before some zombies had a damage multiplier they now have a sword instead.
  • Made mob difficulty more progressive. This should help with respawning and dying over and over again until one is lucky enough to gear up quickly. However this also means that difficulty rises above the already known in certain situations.
  • Baby zombies do less damage.
  • New special mob: Draugr. A skeleton with a knockback axe.
  • New special mob: Fallen Hero. A fully diamond geared zombie with the head of a staffmember (Very rare).
  • Special mob Bloater removed as he isn’t working as intended.
  • Mobs don’t spawn in packs anymore.
  • Mobs that spawned during daytime now hit harder and die slower to compensate the “easy-mode” of daytime clearing compared to nighttime a little bit.

– Fixed mobs beeing able to spawn on slab and & stair blocks where they shouldn’t.

Survival:
  • Decreased the chance to get infected by zombie hits.
  • Decreased the chance to get infected from eating raw meat.
  • Decreased the chance to get infected from eating zombie flesh.
  • After some minecraft update the hunger saturation of a player upon respawn is very low. As a countermeasure every player respawns with one piece of meat now.
  • Introduced massive farming nerfs. Crops & animals in general give less food now and grow slower. Farm effectiveness is affected by the location you farm in.
  • Antibiotics & Appetite Suppressant are not craftable anymore. Milk is still farmable though.
Loot:
  • All special items(legendary,rare,narcotics,uncommon) work as described in the item info now.
  • Increased the amount of coal in loot chests.
  • Increased the amount of torches in loot chests.
  • Increased the amount of iron ingots in loot chests.
  • Slightly decreased the chance for a legendary(orange) item in loot chests.
  • Slightly decreased the chance for a rare(purple) item in loot chests.
  • Slightly decreased the chance for a uncommon(blue) item in loot chests.
  • Slightly increased the chance for a narcotics(green) item in loot chests.
  • Slightly increased the chance for a lore(teal) item in loot chests.
  • Other minor adjustments such as possible stacksizes for certain items in loot chests.
World & Generator:
  • Fixed world border.
  • Countless adjustments to building placement were made. Generator does a really good job on picking which build to place where now.
  • Building decay slightly changed. Now has chances to spawn grass patches with trees or flowers.
  • Even more builds were added.
Miscellaneous:
  • Fixed ranged chat & cellphones
  • Fixed Bed setting errors
  • Tuned a lot of antiCheat checks (players mostly notice it through rubberbanding or not beeing able to hit something or other weird glitches.)
  • Disabled proximity block hider from Orebfuscator as it is unreliable for the time beeing and causes to many glitches.
  • Players, zombies, spiders, endermen, creeper & all animals spill blood now when hit by a sword, axe or pickaxe.
  • Fixed a bug where players couldn’t break blocks while combat tagged.
  • Fixed all issues with deathmessages.
  • Deathmessages caused by PvP now include the name of the weapon that was used in the kill.
  • Plugin for checking the ping was taken out since minecraft isn’t able to ever show the correct ping to a server.
  • Plugin that breaks all leaves of a tree when all log blocks are gone was taken out since it has false dropchances for leaves and is outdated.
  • Firespread enabled for the time beeing. We want to see if disabling it is really neccessary.

Febuary 2014 (closed beta launch):

World
  • Map size will be 4000×4000 blocks.
  • Generator now does cityplaning instead of randomly placing buildings everywhere. (industrial, residential, highrise, etc. zones are a thing now.)
  • 200+ new schematics from our badass architect team. Massive variety, skyscrapers down to city parks and everything in-between. Huge amount of unique interiors to explore. (And we don’t plan to stop building yet.)
  • Nether and End worlds are disabled for closed beta because they aren’t done yet.
  • Improved sewers below the streets.
  • Basic subway system below highways.
  • About 80% of wooden doors in buildings are initially open now. A lot less door banging.
  • Massively improved building decay.
  • Due to the nature and state of the new Generator, there will be NO oceans on the whole world.
Difficulty
  • Increased mob difficulty beyond the vanilla “hard” setting.
  • A completely new & complex hostile mob spawning system to ensure better performance. We don’t rely on spawners anymore.
  • Added a lot of mob variations. (such as slow zombies that explode and poison everything in a certain radius upon death)
  • Reworked the infection feature. Now less annoying but still deadly in certain situations. Also harder to cure.
  • Food is harder to get. Overall aim is to make food the most valueable goods in the game.
  • Agriculture nerfed. Farming needs good conditions to yield a good amount of food.
  • You can now run out of seeds. Even with good conditions.
  • XP Grinders nerfed. A lot less mob spawners and not as clustered.
  • Mobs give less XP.
  • Opening loot chests reward you with XP.
  • Oredestribution nerfed. A lot less ores now.
  • Difficulty/reward scaling. The harder the build/area the better are your chances for good loot.
Loot
  • Completely reworked loot chests. There is a complex system behind the loot tables now.
  • Nearly everything can be found in loot chests now. Even “god gear”.
  • Added special items in four categories: Uncommon, Rare, Legendary, Narcotics. All with uniqe stats/functions.
  • Certain types of buildings have better chances for certain kinds of loot. (IE: A factory building has better chances to provide redstone related items, hospitals have better chances for narcotics etc.)
  • Weapons, Tools and Armor can spawn in any condition.
Misc
  • Withers can’t be made by players anymore.
  • Withers will be part of events or special locations.
  • Fire Spread disabled. Still possible to burn items or single blocks, but fire won’t spread over to other blocks.
  • TNT & Gunpowder will be a lot harder to obtain.
Playerhider

Players are automatically shown as sneaking after a certain distance or when they are behind something, so now you’ll never see a nametag through stuff anymore. No more going around finding underground bases but no more sneaking in your own base, too.

Realistic Chat and Cellphones

Chat is limited by range, you can whisper by adding parantheses, yell by adding these !!!! (try different amounts) or just talk normally. If you are lucky you might even find a phone. Using a phone is easy, just say the name of the person you want to talk to (while holding the phone) and if they have a phone it will ring. You can even have conference calls with up to 10 people (only the caller can add additional people). Also the issue with interrupting calls is fixed.

Radios

Another item you will encounter are radios. Radios can pick up on radio broadcasts sent out by radio towers. If they’re strong enough you can even hone in on them.

Radio Towers

You’re probably wondering how to build a radio tower so you can spam the aether. Well, just put a redstone torch on the side an obsidian block, slap a sign with a message on another side and pile iron bars on top of it until you reach your desired signal strength (there is a minimum of 5 ironbars above the obsidian block). Turning off the torch turns off the signal(as example with a lever).

Documentation/Help

Since the server dynamics get more and more complex we decided that we need some kind of way to introduce new players to the server. We decided that a lobby, how most servers do it, doesn’t fit ours. So we came up with something we think will work great and not overload new players with informations. Most features will be explained as you play on. lets say you are new to the server and find a cellphone in a building. The lore of the item itself will contain informations about what exactly it is and how to use it (EXAMPLE). Of course we will still maintain the /help function for further information.

 

Crafting the Lore

We all know what type of world we log into and we know how to survive its harsh living conditions. Have you ever found yourself wondering about the calamity that ravenged this world while staring at small wheat farm growing in your hole underground? Zombies are easy to explain to yourself, we all saw the movies. What mad science holds old bones together and gives it the lethal skills to utilize a bow though? Why does it hate their fleshy cousins and whose bones are those anyway? What mutation led to the giant spiders we fear during the dark of the night? Just what in the world are those explosive green creatures!? What events have led to the downfall of an entire civilization? A zombie virus alone is not enough to explain the entire world to you. You piece together what you can from the items and people around you but the puzzle is never completed. You have the corner pieces, the frame is there, but there is a large hole in the middle of the puzzle. You checked the box and the floor around you but those missing pieces seemingly have vanished into thin air. Eventually you realize the solution to the riddle. Those pieces don’t exist yet! It is my responsibly as a Scribe to create these missing pieces for the puzzle. I can choose how the pieces are cut, how many pieces there are, how they link together, and exactly what is inside each piece. There are couple paths that I see to complete this task.

I can choose the static path and the dynamic path to create the lore for the server. The static path means I create a backstory and set it in stone. I look at the lore that exists within the schematics, items, and gameplay elements and use only that to create the story. The players merely exist in this world and things don’t change from their actions. What I say is absolute and you all merely turn the pages to see what happens next. The lore would be like a book you read when you wish to learn more. This path is honestly the easier way to go about things but less fun to do. For example, I can say there was a weaponized virus invented by X Company for military purposes. Due to corporate espionage there was a leak into the public. A sample of the supply fell into the city’s water supply. The volatile virus adapted itself which each organism it came across and mutated it. This would explain how spiders and humans got affected by the same affliction. I can continue with this train of thought until we get a complete picture that tells you how the world ended up the way it did. I feel that this path goes against the main appeal of the server and doesn’t fit well with the puzzle. Eventually we conquer the zombie menace and start towns but the biggest threat is, and always will be, the other players. You never know who will attack, how powerful they will be, or how many allies they have? The community is split between helping others and destroying everything that remains. I am afraid of every player but I wish to help anyone I can because that is my play style. I love exploring the world, helping others, and just being a part of the happenings of the community.

Continue reading Crafting the Lore

Metropolis Dev

Have you ever asked yourself how these huge maps are generated?

I’ll try to provide some behind the scenes information.

First, some information about the architecture of a Minecraft generator. In vanilla Minecraft exists a ChunkGenerator and ChunkPopulators. A Generator has the job to build some basic landscape, this happens on a chunk by chunk order. It is very important that such a Generator can generate chunks that have seamless transitions, no matter when or in which order they get generated. If it had to depend on the neighboring chunk, your generator would end up with a Stack Overflow Exception.  In the case of Metropolis, this only places stone from zero to the height where buildings are placed (i. e. around 65).

Populators, on the other hand, decorate your landscape. Metropolis has around four or five of them. One distributes ores, another makes sure there is bedrock, one builds caves and the most important one places buildings and streets.

But how does one place buildings without any gaps forming?

First we divide the map into smaller parts which are independent, I call those Grids. They are 64 by 64 chunks wide and completely surrounded by highways. Highways are streets that are 2 chunks wide. That’s why the highways go straight from one end of the map to the other.  The next step is separating the grid into two approximately same-sized areas with a road between them. Then each of those two gets divided again into two approximately same-sized areas, again with roads in-between. This is repeated until the areas are smaller than some constant which is usually around 15 chunks wide. We call such an area District.

Each district gets subdivided again into smaller parts, but without any roads in-between. If a building fits into such an area, it may now get placed. However, this depends on a random number, sometimes a building is placed, sometimes the area gets split into two smaller areas.  If such an area is as big as one chunk by one chunk, something gets placed for sure. This splitting in two parts recursively is also called Binary Space Partitioning.

There is much more logic behind this, one has to decay the buildings, another decides which areas are industrial or residential or another context. Also, have you noticed that there are never exactly the same buildings next to each other? I’ll tell you more about Metropolis (or Maria as I like to call her) another time.