Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Holiday Season 2016

The holidays are upon us yet again! While they can be stressful at times, they are also full of joy and celebration. On Superstes Noctis, we celebrate Christmas; there's a Mega Spruce tree that has been there since the beginning of the server right at spawn, and every December we decorate it and leave gifts in the large presents scattered around it. This is the first year we've had five presents instead of three, so it may be more crowded than ever before but it is also more festive and fun!

As a reminder to all members of the server, you can leave gifts for the other members of the server in their respective presents around the tree. Flip down the trapdoor and place your gifts in the chest; they are trapped chests, so your items will remain in the chest until you close it and then drain into the collection chest below it connected via a hopper. Please do not dismantle any presents until the group gathers around the 25th to open them together! Your gifts can be anonymous or not, it's all up to you.

On behalf of the Superstes Noctis crew, I'd like to extend wishes for a joyous and unforgettable holiday season regardless of what you celebrate. Just don't forget to listen for zombies, skeletons, creepers, and spiders... they don't know what time of year it is, and will continue to hinder your efforts to survive the night.

The Superstes Noctis Spawn Christmas Spruce Tree

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Now Running 1.11

I found myself really excited when I heard Mojang was releasing Minecraft 1.11... until I played it and realized that there is only one new feature I'm ever actually going to use, being the new Shulker Boxes. The Observer Blocks are useful too, but I won't use them as much... and I certainly have no use for a poorly-built Woodland Mansion or Llamas that are inferior to Donkeys in pretty much every way. (Especially compared to well-bred high-stat Mules)

Nevertheless, Superstes Noctis is now running Minecraft 1.11, which is sure to [barely] change the way we survive the night.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Wrapping up Year Three

It's hard to believe the third year of Superstes Noctis is coming to a close already, with the start of the fourth year in just a couple days! The server hasn't been all that active the past few months, but we're making some changes which should hopefully renew interest for the members of the server.

Double memory. We've doubled the memory on our server, which should allow us all to play simultaneously without generating lag in most situations and allow the server's render distance to be increased for better immersion and sightseeing. Since some of the server members are geographically somewhat far from the server -- which is hosted in Phoenix, Arizona by MCPro Hosting -- they create more strain on the server and more memory is needed to keep things smooth for them. (Especially when multiple people are online simultaneously, not always in the same chunks) The new plan should power up to 18 players, and since we only have 5 at the moment it should handle itself just fine.

Discussions on map changes. In the entirety of the running time of Superstes Noctis, we've been using the same map. This is awesome because it feels familiar and homely around spawn, as well as allowing extensive building with plenty of supplies to pull things off; however, it also means we have to explore quite far to see new terrain or the features of new world generation in updated versions of the game. Some players are content staying around spawn and building there, while others would rather explore and discover new things... which has prompted the discussion of whether or not we should make a new map. The trouble is that in order to keep our spawn area, we'd have to use MCEdit to plop it down in a new map with a different seed; this would leave choppy borders around spawn that would be difficult to clean up as well as some possible issues with copied entities and such.

We have yet to make final decisions on anything but the memory increase, but we don't need to rush to any decisions. One thing is for certain: the extra memory on the server will certainly make it more enjoyable as we continue to survive the night!

Friday, November 11, 2016

SN Resource Pack Version 2.0

A new version of the Superstes Noctis Resource Pack is available now! Version 2.0.1 can be downloaded from the "Resource Pack" page on our blog, or by clicking here. Version 2.0 is for Minecraft 1.11, which is set for release on November 15th, 2016! The pack should work just fine for 1.9 and 1.10 versions as well, but the game will say the pack is incompatible ("made for a newer version of Minecraft") and has not been tested fully with those versions. Version 1.0.1 is still available on the download page for 1.9-1.10.2 users.

If you try out the Resource Pack, let us know what you think of it! We encourage your constructive feedback on the pack to make it better in the future. Switch to the Superstes Noctis Resource Pack and let it aide you in your continuing efforts to, of course, survive the night!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The EDEN Seed Vault

For those of you who have been following my videos of the server, you may recall a build of mine called The EDEN Project. (If not, check out my video tour of it here) This build is the result of inspiration for me to create an underground shelter (which I may or may not have thought of while playing Fallout 4) which is located on the main floor of my Mountain Base near Acaciaville, North of Spawn and Noctis Manor. The original build included both flora and fauna sections; a farm with all the crops (minus Beetroot, which nobody on the server has been able to find still) and some animal enclosures across the main corridor.

The newest addition to the Project is a "Seed Vault" which is used to store seeds and other valuable natural resources in case of disaster that could wipe out the crops and such above ground. Such vaults exist in real life, and are valuable safeguards in case something goes wrong with crops somehow. Although that is not a threat in Vanilla Minecraft, the idea is still one that interested me and it seemed to fit the theme of the EDEN vault I had created previously.

While the Seed Vault was not stocked with anything after construction, there are tons of chest slots available to store such materials... and therefore I have sent a message to the members of the server, to help gather surplus resources from our own production and donate them to The EDEN Project. Books were written and distributed to the main mailboxes in front of each server member's house, and donation chests were placed in key areas around spawn: in front of Noctis Manor, in Noctis Imports, in front of the Mountain Base, and at my front door on my spawn estate. (Which is my major project right now... completely overhauling that spawn property and enhancing it to better use the space and create a more beautiful estate. That's a topic for another time, but it may or may not have been inspired by the vineyard "Corvo Bianco" in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's newest expansion two Blood and Wine which is a beautiful estate full of color and intrigue)

So to all members of the Superstes Noctis server, please read the book in your mailbox and donate whatever you can to these donation chests! Your help is greatly appreciated. To them and everyone else, look for more videos on The EDEN Project (and my estate renovation) coming soon to my YouTube Channel. In the meantime, consider the importance of preserving important natural resources as they are vital to your efforts of continuing to survive the night.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Now Running 1.10.2

Seemingly out of nowhere, Mojang has released bug fix update 1.10.2 for Minecraft. (They seem to like skipping .1 updates, don't they?) I honestly haven't looked at the changelog, as I know these minor updates are just fixes to the game.

So that's all that needs to be said here… Superstes Noctis is now running 1.10.2, for fewer bugs hindering our efforts to continue surviving the night.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Now Running 1.10

After the release of Minecraft 1.9, the game's community was very vocal about how they want more frequent updates rather than occasional, feature-packed updates. For better or for worse, Mojang listened: Minecraft 1.10 is here already, with few snapshots needed as there aren't many changes.

Honestly, 1.10 lacks that "wow" factor we've gotten from recent updates to the game. But since Superstes Noctis is a vanilla server, we're updating anyway; the server is now running the official release of Minecraft 1.10, even though we still haven't found Beetroot in new 1.9 chunks from that update yet! (The search for that continues)

Not only has 1.10 been finished so quickly, but supposedly 1.11 snapshots are right around the corner. If 1.10's lackluster changelog is any indication, we may not see any huge updates to the game anytime soon... and while personally I find that a shame, more frequent updates may turn out to be a nice thing after all. Whatever your personal opinion may be on this new strategy for Mojang's update releases, we continue to wish you the best of luck surviving the night.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Now Running 1.9.4

After a server backup, Superstes Noctis has been updated to Minecraft 1.9.4 on Friday, May 20, 2016! While this update is mainly bug fixes for the game, it also includes minor changes to the game as well. I was out of town when the update dropped, so I wasn't able to back up the server for the update until today... better late than never though, right?

Mojang has also released the first snapshot for Minecraft 1.10, but keeping to our current policies regarding development versions of the game we will not be updating to the snapshot versions of the game. We plan to update to 1.10 once it is finished and released, as long as it has proven stable for use on the server. But until then, we'll be sticking with 1.9 as we continue surviving the night.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Map Updates

For those of you who may not be aware, there is a 3D interactive map of Superstes Noctis available on the MinecraftWorldMap website. This awesome map lets you move around the server as you would in Google Maps (in fact, the viewer is powered by Google) and explore all the land the server has generated from players moving around while online. This map even includes a night view, cave view, and Nether view!

Originally, the map for the server was created just to have one available. It remained outdated until early April 2016, when I decided it desperately needed an update. I hope to update it more frequently now, especially as large builds change the landscape, so members of the server and fans following my YouTube videos of it can view the map and all the builds the server members have worked so hard on.

In addition to a link to the 3D interactive map of the server, our "World Map" page on this blog also includes a static image of the spawn area of Superstes Noctis. This is more tricky for me to update than the interactive map, because I cannot actually remember how I made the one on the page in the first place! I hope to get an updated static map on that page soon, but I'll need to figure out how to do so first. If possible, I'd greatly prefer to embed the interactive map... trouble is, I don't know how or even if the Terms of Use for that site allow me to. (The issue is the lack of an "embed this map" option on the page; I know the basics of HTML and could figure it out if I had the embed code) If anyone knows how to embed a MinecraftWorldMap render, please let me know!

I first found out about MinecraftWorldMap when I was searching for a way to publicly display a map of the Noctis MC server, which the three founding members of Superstes Noctis have been working on for quite awhile now; I decided it would also be cool to make a map of this server, and I for one really enjoy checking out the map from the aerial view it provides. It's really easy to use too, since I just have to upload a world backup of the server and give it around 24 hours to render. Our map is currently 647 MB, so understandably it is not a quick process but thankfully the old map remains visible until the new one is rendered and ready for viewing. If you have your own server or know someone who does, I'd definitely recommend checking out the site! (No, we are not sponsored by MinecraftWorldMap) The interactive 3D map is a nice way to enhance our experience on the server and aid us in our continuing efforts of surviving the night!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Now Running 1.9.2

Our update to Minecraft 1.9 was a huge success and breathed new life into the server that we've been waiting for quite awhile to find! If you've followed this blog or any of my other works for awhile now, it won't surprise you that I forgot to update the blog when that update took place... but I assure you it was awesome for the Superstes Noctis crew.

The 1.9.2 update is a bug fix update to 1.9, and as such there's not much to report about regarding it. But since I missed the upgrade post for 1.9 itself, I wanted to make sure you all know the move went well and has done so much for the server and its members. We've been playing a lot more since the update, and having a lot more fun while doing so.

The downside is the Ender Ender. We're not sure exactly what happened, but Endermen are no longer spawning in the Ender Ender and therefore it is effectively useless at this point aside from the surviving storage of Ender Pearls there. It's likely the issue involves the spawning mechanics for certain "non-solid" blocks, namely the Stone Pressure Plates that line the floors where the Endermen spawn in the Ender Ender; adapting the system to detect mobs with string and tripwire hooks may make it work again, but in the meantime it can no longer be used for XP grinding or Ender Pearl farming.

The crew of the server enjoyed fighting the Enderdragon again, since you can now craft End Crystals and summon in the Dragon whenever you want. The fight is different now, and it was fun to experience the new mechanics as a team. We collected some of the new "Dragon's Breath" for crafting Lingering Potions, ventured to the new End City, started growing Chorus Fruit back in the overworld behind Noctis Manor, and even found our server's first pair of Elytra!

Overall, the 1.9 update is an extremely positive change for Superstes Noctis. We've done alright adapting to the new combat system for the most part, and are enjoying the new blocks added. We've adapted as necessary to continue surviving the night.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Welcoming Our Two Newest Members

For the first time in Superstes Noctis history, the population of our server has increased! Two new members - XHANRIC and IosefKoranison - joined Superstes Noctis in April 2016 by Angie's invitation, with a unanimous vote in support of them joining.

We are very excited to see Superstes Noctis growing for the first time ever, and look forward to the builds made by the new members as well as the collaboration between the larger-than-ever Superstes Noctis crew. Already there are some cool builds going up from our newest two members, who have officially joined in our efforts to survive the night.

IosefKoranison (left) and XHANRIC (right)