Following our recent player survey, it's time we talk about the direction that we will be heading with the network. As well as feeding back about some of your suggestions.
Firstly, to everyone who filled out our player survey, thank you. Your feedback is really appreciated - and we do take a lot of it into account when making decisions.
If you ever have more suggestions, comments or anything else you want to bring to our attention please post it on our forums!
This is a long post, theres a TL;DR at the bottom if you don't fancy reading it all 😛
We're a server network. We should act like a server network.
ClownerCraft has been around for over 4 and a half years now. And we have grown a lot since we started, going from a 30 slot survival server to a server network with a whole host of servers within that.
However, when we expanded into a network, some of the choices that I made may not have been the best ideas. One of which being the whole separate branding for mini games - which has now changed. (LogistiCraft is gone...) But along with this, we've always had the survival server as a main server, and I feel this may have confused a fair number of people. So we're trying to make the network work well with itself, making it easier to get around.
We're working on building a new hub server, which will better match the ClownerCraft branding. This new hub will not only give access to all servers, but will include plenty to explore in itself.
When we launch the new hub, we will be changing the way the network handles players joining. This will change so that new players will go to the hub server when they first login, and then after that you will login to the server you were last on. This should mean that if you mainly play creative or PureSurvival theres no need to join survival every time and then switch server.
As well as this we'll add more forced hosts, so that if you want to join a specific server every time, you can. (for example joining with the IP survival.clownercraft.net would always take you to survival).
Among the changes to how you join and navigate the network theres several small things we're trying to make work on all servers. This is to accompany Tokens, Modreq (/report), Bans & Punishments, The announcer and other features which already work globally across the network. One of the big changes in this is to the server rules.
While we aren't changing what you can/can't do on our network - we're rewording and reformatting the rules to work better. On every server you will be expected to follow a global set of rules, which will show up with /rules. There will then be additional rules relating to just that server, where appropriate. The updated global rules are below:
ClownerCraft Network Rules
This is a family friendly network. Keep the chat, your skin, your username and your builds PG. Racism, Sexism or any other discrimination is not tolerated.
Do not try to irritate or harass other players.
Do not advertise other servers in public/private chat.
Do not grief, steal or raid from other players!
Do not spam the server chat.
No cheating/hacking/exploiting. This includes using anti-idle machines.
Only cosmetic mods (eg Optifine, minimaps (which don't show player locations), etc) are allowed.
This updated set of rules will become active within the next couple of weeks.
A huge focus of this work on the network as a whole is to try and make things better for new players. We want to remove as much confusion as possible, and make it easier to understand what our network is about, and how to do things on it.
Despite this work though, we will ensure we don't lose sight of the Building-Based history to ClownerCraft. We're about creativity - and we want to encourage that as much as we can. That's why we love games like SniperTown, which are exclusive to us because they were created by our community! We'd not be here without our community - so we'll be looking into more ways to get more of you involved in the minigames and extra game modes we add in the future.
Changes to how we moderate the network
I wont go into too much detail in this, but we have recently looked over how we moderate our network - and made a fair number of changes to how we expect punishments to be handled. One of the things which was noticed by a few players already was that we tend to use the recorded warnings without anything said in chat anymore - and this is a deliberate choice. It means every warning we give to a player is recorded, and so we can identify those who are constantly pushing the boundaries much quicker.
We've also introduced new ways for us to deal with server issues, which should mean problems get fixed quicker and wont be forgotten about.
Among this we've also restructured how punishments should progress.
This, naturally, doesn't really affect you as a player if you actually follow the server rules.
Yes. We're finally going to give in and setup an official discord. It may take some time though since, as you can see above, we already have a fair amount of things we're working on.
We will still run our TS3 server as well as Discord for now.
So, as said above a big focus of ours is to tidy up the network. We really want everything to really feel like it fits together. Because of this (as well as a lack of people playing them) we have closed CTF and will be closing our Survival Games server.
We've kinda realised we're better off having a small number of really decent servers than a lot of 'meh'. This is also why we've rebuilt Snipertown in SniperTown 3 - and we'll be doing the same with SpherePVP.
Most people come to ClownerCraft because of our building-based servers, which is fair since that's how we started. So we want to keep creativity at the heart of what we do. We are really interested in what ideas our community can come up with, for minigames, other gamemodes or just builds.
We had 67 responses to our autumn survey (as of 14th Dec 2017) - and we feel it's important we actually respond to the suggestions you all left. I will note though, that we can't take every single one into account, since often they might contradict each other and some may be less popular amongst the whole community.
I will also say that suggestions like "fix the minigames" or other vague statements don't help us much. If theres issues on the server, please report them either on the forums (forums are preferred) or to a Mod/Admin (with /report). When doing so please give as much detail as possible as this helps us to resolve the issue much faster. We don't usually have time to go through the entire network looking for issues - so if you spot them the only way we can fix it is if we're told about it!
Please be aware that a lot of the changes proposed will take time. Please be patient as we work towards implementing them.
As theres a lot of suggestions, I've grouped them into a few categories, please click on the category to see the individual suggestions, some of which have been split up and some are not included as they're covered by responses to others:
"Rather than trying to get more new players, introduce features that will capture the players' attention. It's a great community, just a sharp "playing" curve to the point where you can really get into the game."
We've started to realise this now. As we said above, we're trying to improve the ease of understanding the network for new players.
"A new hub could be nice to see."
In the works!
"don't change the names at all! player, ranks and chat! please!"
We chose to change the chat in order to tidy it up. The rank names haven't changed, just the abbreviations in chat. Personally, and I believe most of the staff team agree, I prefer the look of the new chat.
"I also think the server could use some overall overhauling. For example, I think /warps could be organized and updated."
Again, as said above - theres lots of those kinda little things we're slowly working through.
"Maybe add a bigger range of contest types, like pvp contests, resource contests, UHC, redstone contests, etc."
Well, we have run Scavenger Hunts, UHC and Economy Contests before. They just haven't been getting many people playing them when we've done them most recently. These kinds of contest take a lot more setup than normal, and so it's quite disappointing when we put a lot of effort into it and then only a few players actually take part.
"Mostly, I don't like how whenever someone gets on, they have to build, build, build. Whenever the whole server is building, the chat is fully quiet, and theres nothing else to do other than build, which gets boring after a while. After that there is no choice other than to disconnect."
First off, we're a building based network. It's mostly about creativity. Theres not much we can change about that. We do have other things you can do - like gladiator, snipertown etc. Or theres plenty you can do within survival that isn't building. We'd welcome more suggestions of what we could add on our forums.
"A modded survival server would be cool with mods that add extra building items and perhaps new biomes and places to explore. one of the reasons why I love this server is because I like exploring and mining by myself or with others and adding a modded server would add new places to explore, and more interesting builds."
I'd love to run a modded server. I've wanted to do so for a long time - but it's a lot of extra effort to setup and manage on top of the existing server network. I'd also worry we could split our community onto two servers, which I'd rather not do.
"Hide the "Parkour This server uses Parkour 4.3" message. Please (console command will do it if i remember correctly) Also hide the total unique players thing and the You have no mail thing because we never have mail. Basically reducing spam. And on final thing that i think is a bit of a debate. Is it necessary to push the /rules, ts server and website to players that are not new? Like perhaps have it tied to rank diamond and above can toggle it or just no longer see it.
As said, this is another one of those small things we're trying to improve on each server. As for the announcer, we might review what it has in there and try to remove things which aren't as important for players that have been around longer.
"I think that you should let some younger kids help with decisions, mini games especially."
Anyone is always welcome to make suggestions about new minigames or anything on our forums. We prefer to keep the actual decision making to Myself (Clowner) and the Admin and Mods team.
"I don't like how PG everything is I think that even if small childs play on the network that older people shouldn't have to worry about not cussing because they're gonna hear it anyway, but if someone is getting harassed or someone is being offensive or controversial there should be a line drawn"
Not all small children will "hear it anyway." There are good reasons why we have filters on the chat and have the family friendly rule, and that's to ensure all players feel comfortable and safe in the chat - and hopefully parents feel comfortable about having their kids play on here.
"I believe that a moderator shouldn't have to be active on a talking media to become moderator. Yes, this opinion is fueled by the fact that I have been turned down a few times for Moderator, and although I understand the need for it. I have so much love and appreciation for the server and have been a long lasting member and I just wish I would have at least been given a chance..."
Using TS and Skype is a requirement for a few reasons. Firstly our staff teams communicate over skype and TS. We hold our meetings on TS. Secondly, part of the role is to moderate our teamspeak server.
"I believe that there should be a way to moderate TS better. It seems to be a way for other players to get bullied. That is why I am always on there. I try to make everyone feel welcome and try to get the negativity out. The older players always talk about the good old days but don't help with the new days."
Yes. We're still trying to work out that better way. Hopefully we're managing to moderate it a bit better now.
"Just maybe add more staff because there are not always staff on when people need them."
Mod applications are open on the forums. We just want to make sure we get mods that are a good fit for our team, and will do a great job for the server. Either way, theres systems in the network that allow us to deal with situations after they happen, or while the player is offline - meaning we can still deal with things without staff online 24/7. Also, while you may only see a few staff regularly, that doesn't mean the rest of us are inactive - we're spread all around the world in different time zones, so often you'll see the same few mods who are in your timezone a lot more than the rest.
"helper rank would be nice :P"
I prefer not to have a helper rank. I don't like the idea of having someone below a mod, that can only deal with some things. We try to make sure that almost all day-to-day things can be handled without the need of an admin, or calling in any other staff. (aside from rankups)
"I think the moderator system thing could be improved. I notice a lot of moderators handle problems by giving their own input and describing why they think something is wrong, without much reference to the actual rules of the server. I also think the rule "do not argue with the mods" should be removed. It can give moderators a sense of superiority of opinion and assumes that the moderator is right in every case, even though the large majority of moderators are not professionally trained and subject to flaws such as what I'd described."
We've made changes to our policy in order to try and ensure all our staff treat situations the same way. Also, with the rewrite of the rules the "do not argue" is not longer it's own thing - and is now covered under Don't try to irritate players - which includes staff.
There were other suggestions similar to the last one above, mostly around the 'Staff Crash of '17' a lot of which our previous responses hopefully cover what we're trying to do about it. Please read: This response to the drama and look through our Server Updates section.
"Fixing the economy. $ isn't being used enough for a certain purpose except for ressources. It should lead towards something bigger and way more expensive. Such as Trophies or something. Which would be the main goal of the game. In return, the server wouldn't have as much $"
The server's main goal is the building-based rankup system. We're not adding something else. We may consider trophy items or adding more special things, but the economy isn't supposed to be the main feature of the server.
"I have one main concern for the Survival server, and I have voiced this before. The economy is awful. The servers own shop doesnt have much to buy or sell, and it relies way too much on player shops. I simply think the server shop should be looked at and updated with more items and take a second look at prices in both buy and sell shops. I do agree with player shops being important, I just think the server shop should be a bit more."
We will be trying to improve the main server shop, but we do want to encourage players to have their own shops. When we do this we'll also try and improve the shop pricing.
"Some sort of banking system would be nice. earning money is just a constant grind, having a bank and accruing interest would mean there a little bit of joy instead of endless mining"
Not sure that this really fits in with the server.
"Increasing the world limit in the Survival world (including the Nether and End) would be great because it can feel a bit cramped and people have destroyed much of the land already and looted it. Also, resetting the Explore world more often will be useful."
Not sure about expanding the main overworld, it's still got a fair amount of free space in it - if you go looking. The nether and end, like explore, are reset every so often - so I don't see a benefit to a larger border.
"maybe a few more plugins for survival such as, Backpacks, Custom enchants & silk spawners."
I'm not a fan of adding backpacks or custom enchants, as I don't think they fit with the server as it is now. Silk spawners has been considered before - and I'm still on the fence about whether it works for us or not.
"I think /fly should be reenabled in /warp explore for dia+, because I think players should be encouraged to find resources in /warp explore so they do not affect the terrain of the building world."
Fly was removed to allow all players a fair chance at the resources in Explore, and a fairer chance at finding the structures in the world. I don't see a benefit to adding it back.
"Adding unique advancements would make the Survival Server it better in my opinion. A custom world would be nice too, but I can understand that the change from the current to the new map wouldn't be good for the main player base."
I'd love to have custom terrain, but we don't want to reset the main survival world. We did originally plan to have custom terrain, along with a load of custom structures for Explore - making it fun to actually explore... but we never actually got that far.
"I think if there is //copy and //paste for world edit in Creative. //Copy Otherwise, the world edit commands are fine."
//Copy and //paste are given in creative, although they're behind one of the ranks. We're planning to go through the creative perks and try to make some of the worldedit perks available earlier in the rank up chain.
"I feel the server could use a better ranking system because I see lot's of people ranking people's builds unfairly."
"make the ranks so u dont have to build for the ones that like making farms and redstone. so make them time based"
We are always working to try and ensure there's no bias between our staff about ranking up builds - however we don't want to change the core ranking system from being based on building. It's one of the things that separates us as a server, and from everyone's feedback, it's a big reason why many of our players joined and stick around.
"Maybe make it just a bit easier to rank up."
Our ranks don't really have any value unless there are standards to them. We don't want to lower our standards because then it won't be as good when you actually achieve the rank.
"Simply, the idea of building guilds. Individuals can make pretty cool things in Minecraft, but groups can build wonders! A single person didn't make the whole MineZ map in Shotbow, it took several players. Building guilds can work on builds together, and rankup just like individuals. It will be a good addition for old players, and a great start for new players. Just an idea. Building with friends must be SO much more fun than building by yourself."
This sounds interesting, but it sounds like a complicated way to do joint rank ups - which is something we already allow on the server. We're definitely open to trying to make ranking up together more appealing - because very few people do it at the moment.
"There's nothing to do in endgame (Max rank) which means that older players often get bored when they reach higher ranks, and it isn't appealing to everyone to reset their rank."
This has been an issue for a while, and theres very few people that get to this point. However, I'm not really sure what we could do to add to the endgame - other than just adding more ranks. However, the Future rank was originally intended to be for players that just kept on building no matter what - and so we can't easily define another step above that... For anyone who does get to future, I will say that you are more than welcome to join our build team and then work on things alongside the server staff - and we're now introducing an added perk to Future, where basically you're guaranteed a place on the build team, if you want to take it.
We wont be addressing suggestions for specific minigames in this post, but more general suggestions about what we should add to the network. Although a fair number of people suggested we should add more existing minigames - we will be focusing more on making new games, and hopefully (as stated at the start of this post) anything we add should work better with the rest of our existing network. One reason for this is that we don't want to just do what other servers do - competing with larger established servers is not something we are able to effectively do, so we want to ensure anything we have sets us apart from other servers. We want to stay different.
Please note that developing new minigames takes a lot of time - it's likely we wont have much to show for quite some time.
"I think the server should have more dimensionality. This is probably pretty subjective, 'cos right now it's already pretty unique but I want there to be more focus on making the network much more connected and everything. The minigames seem like they're just an afterthought or could be a completely different server."
Well... we did start out planning the minigames to be a completely seperate server (That's where the LogistiCraft name came from) - but we decided it was better to combine the two so we don't split our audience. As said, we are trying to ensure we make everything actually fit into the network properly - we'll be bringing more uses for tokens for example.
"I feel like we are wasting space on the CTF server, hunger games, ext. we could be using those for other things and sorta keep the network in a constant theme. Mini games should be a part of the network... but not a majority... the server was meant to be a building based rank up server and I feel that if we go to into other things we might lose our footing. A split between players"
We have closed CTF and Survival Games now - as people don't play them. As said before - we want to ensure we keep our focus on being building based.
"I wouldn't necessarily add mini-games but I would add different survival types. Like, a while ago a contest was held on the server for gaining money and it used the slimefun plugin which was very different and fun to play with friends since it didn't require to download any mods. Also I would love to see adventure maps like actually detailed maps that our own server creates from the build-team and play it for fun with friends and have a great time with."
We'd love to add more things like this! (there are a few things in the works that stray away from just being a generic minigame) However, in an old survey we had suggested adding an economy based server, and not many people were interested in playing it. This may have changed now - so that may become a thing soon (soon being a fair way off - as said before, a lot to do)...
In terms of the build team making adventure maps, this was one of the things we want to do - however we could do with a few more people on the build team. If you want to help us out and build things, please do apply for the build team on the forums!
- "I'd say for the forums, leave a message after staff applications so people aren't left hanging."
As we've said before, we're not keen on doing this as we fear it may cause upset for some players, and we'd rather not have to explain to people why they weren't accepted.
"Make them easier to get to, and using something else for forum software with a nicer design would make it more attractive to use."
"Better forum software would be a great improvement"
I don't see much of an issue with our current software - it does what we want it to. We may look into this in the future though, but this wouldn't be a high priority.
"Maybe improving the forums to be more modern and simplistic"
"changing the colour scheme to more refined colours that reflect the server more"
The existing design and colour scheme is meant to match our server branding, as with the main website. It's also already quite simplistic. Saying that, the blue on the forums doesn't really fit so we will try to change that when we find the time.
This was put as an answer to the forums question.... not sure what minigames we can really put on the forums though... Any specific suggestions please share them on the forums?
" from what I can see in the Forums, the site is a bit cluttered, small text on some key info like the description and username and some very poor contrast between the title of the posts and some of the usernames (light grey text on a lighter grey background). My personal intake on the forums is to enlarge some key texts by a small margin and to possibly change the colour of the names and titles to a more vibrant colour as to stand out and be visible."
Our forums are getting cluttered, we will be working to tidy them up again soon.
"I think gifs etc. on the sides of the screen would make people like the sites more"
... I'm inclined to disagree, I don't think that's going to help.
"I recommend making it stay logged in your account so it doesn't sign you out because it signs out everytime you refresh the page"
It's meant to let you stay logged in - not sure why that isn't working.
"[The forums] could be more active and maybe more user friendly as I get confused sometimes with how it works"
"I don't use the forums regularly, but when I do I get confused. I feel like everything is just put there and not organized enough for some people to use it well. I would like it if it was easier to get places in it and organized better."
As said earlier, we'll be trying to tidy the forums up again soon, and keep it organised better.
"Maybe unpin the old post from Clowner in General as they are not relevant and i just am forced to scroll down past the pinned ones to see the one i want to see."
I have unpinned a lot of old posts from the forums, which were no longer relevant.
"Perks for using the Forum maybe? Information or Events connected with the Forum."
Sounds like an interesting idea, we want to know if people, generally, would be interested in this?
"I think the perks of voting are a bit too overpowered."
Unfortunately, we fear even fewer people would vote if the perks weren't as good.
"I don't like how the server wants us to vote just so we could get tokens."
We don't want you to vote just to get tokens. We want people to vote to try and help the server's position on server lists. It helps us to gain more players and all that. We give tokens as a way to encourage people to vote.
We've taken on board a lot of suggestions, and plan to keep our focus on being a building based server network. We're working on a new hub, as well as other projects.
A big focus for us is to make sure new players continue to play our network - and so we'll be making changes to how you join, and the information given in the hub/server spawns.
We're wanting to get a lot more people involved in the build team, as this will help us complete some of our projects sooner - so please apply on the forums if you are interested!
Any other suggestions, please post them in the "Suggestions/Issues" sub forum!
Most of these changes will take time to implement, as theres a fair amount, please keep an eye on the Server Updates section of our website to keep tabs on what we're doing.
Click Here to go to the discussion thread for this post on the forums!