Home of The Tech Fortress Servers

Monday, January 13, 2020

Updating to 1.15.1

Aside from bees, it sounds like 1.15 was a relatively minor update. If all goes according to plan, the server will be updated to 1.15.1 this weekend.

Happy New Year!

By the way, we do have a dumcord if you don't like IRC for some reason, if you're wondering.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Nether portal linking for new portals

The Nether Hub is a unique site on Tech Fortress, an ever-growing system not found on many other servers. Founded by ibbo2000, the hub is used to travel long distances quickly. Most players often build a nether hub not too long after establishing a home to quickly meet up with other players on the server.

Due to Minecraft's singleplayer design, a common problem for new players is that their new portal would link to somebody else's portal in the nether. Going back through this linked portal causes the new player to end up in somebody else's house, which is likely hundreds of blocks away from their home! The only way to resolve this issue was by manually creating a new portal in the nether, which often had to be done by ibbo2000. As one might expect, if ibbo isn't online, the player would have to wait until he comes online and has time to fix the issue.

After a few years of proposing different ideas to resolve this issue, Tech Fortress now has a solution to mitigate the need for manual intervention:

Newly-created portals in the overworld will attempt to avoid linking up with existing nether portals. In other words, new portals created in the overworld will more likely also create a new portal in the nether.

This should reduce the issues of new portals being linked to existing portals in the nether, allowing new players to venture into the nether, and if they survive, to return back to their home via the new nether portal.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Alert: Potential world corruption

From January 9, 2019 to January 11, 2019, some data loss and possible corruption occurred on the Tech Fortress server. If you find any corrupted chunks or similar, please /report these areas immediately and avoid making any modifications in this area. If a region is corrupted, the entire region may need to be rolled back.
Update: Some statistics and advancements for players were lost and were rolled back manually. PlayerData and chunk regions seemed to have avoided corruption, likely due to the server being smarter (not just blindly overwriting) with these files.
During the aforementioned period, the server's disk was full. I was in the middle of changing the backup strategy, and while I was transitioning to the new one, I still had the old one going. So when it attempted to make a backup this time around, it filled the disk, leaving no free space for any new saves. I am currently unaware of any tools that can scan the world and find corrupted regions that have been updated to the 1.13 format. If you know of any, please let me know here in the comments or on the server.

A full, relatively recent and working backup of the server exists to restore any corrupted areas.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Updating to 1.13.2, new claim expiration policy

Happy Advent!

Tech Fortress has been updated to 1.13.2 for the past couple of months, but I was so busy I didn't have time to post an announcement.

Claim Expiration Policy

Claims will be automatically expired if the owner of a claim has been inactive for over a year and a half. If you happen to come across an unclaimed area as part of expanding your property, your modifications must be minimal and non-malicious. If you know of any friends who are inactive and would like to obtain ownership of their claims, please make a /report detailing this ASAP. This policy will be implemented soon.

Vanishing entity bug fixed

It was discovered earlier today that all entities were vanishing in any loaded chunks. This was an issue with the server mod software, which has been updated to apply their fix. No backups were needed, as the entities did exist in the world files, but were simply not being added into the world when the chunk was loaded.

Experimenting with a forum, again

At the moment, there really isn't a good way for players on Tech Fortress to share any tips or post any pictures of stuff they've done on the server. I doubt anybody would want to post random stuff in the blog comments, nor is that a good place to find pictures of builds and stuff anyways. I'll be looking into setting up a forum again.

Server funding and upgrades

At the moment the server is running on an okay machine, which does the job for most cases. However, it doesn't leave a lot of room to grow or handle more intense tasks at times. I'd like to upgrade the machine, but the price would be currently double what I pay. Most of the funding right now has been out-of-pocket, with a little bit of help from my recent patrons on Patreon. I'm curious if you guys have any suggestions on ways to fund the server?
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The status on updating to 1.13

1.13, the big update that changes a lot of internal things as well as adding those new biomes and other things, has been out since over nearly two months ago. Yet there are still a lot of game-breaking bugs, much more so than any other update in the (public) history of Tech Fortress.

The primary bugs involve world conversion. 1.12.2 worlds need to be converted to the new 1.13 block types, since the way blocks and block states are represented in the server has changed in 1.13. Amongst the most severe are those involving chest blocks losing part of their inventory.

Due to these bugs, along with the general performance regarding chunk loading and generation, is why Tech Fortress has not updated to 1.13. The current expectation is that 1.13 will be stable a few weeks after Mojang releases 1.13.2 and there are no severe world conversion bugs.

In the meantime, we are also testing 1.13 on the test server, named Test Fortress. You can help test bugs to keep track of as the Test Fortress server is updated. The current checklist for 1.13-readiness for the server is as follows:
  1. Server boots up and can be joined.
  2. Nothing is lost in the world; 1.13 world conversion has no bugs. (bugs exist)
  3. GriefPrevention claims plugin function as expected - claims protect blocks and entities, particularly new blocks and entities, etc. (a 1.13 version is currently installed)
  4. The rest of the plugins function as intended such as /report
Test Fortress can be joined via this IP: tf.robomwm.com:25500
Sunday, April 8, 2018

No More Spawn Posts

Happy Easter! Today's Divine Mercy Sunday (or at least at the time of this post!)

A significant change is taking place on Tech Fortress - and no, 1.13 still isn't out yet. (Though to be honest, I quite like the slower update cadence.)

The first of these is the removal of spawn posts.

In short, everybody (without having a bed spawn) will spawn at the global world spawn point.

The decision to drop spawn posts was made to favor the global server community over the ease of traveling to uninhabited lands. That, and the fact that a global spawn point is in fact a vanilla multiplayer functionality. Spawn posts make more sense if Tech Fortress were to emulate a vanilla singleplayer experience. But what would be the point of a multiplayer server if all it were intended to be is just singleplayer with a chatbox?

Spawn posts

Spawn posts were implemented a couple years ago to deal with the issue of new players having to travel far and great lengths in search of fresh resources to get started. This is probably the most significant contrast between a vanilla singleplayer game vs. a vanilla multiplayer game; the older a multiplayer world becomes, the further new players must go to visit new and unexplored terrain, which is often the source of fresh resources to get started.

Tech Fortress' history of solving this problem has changed many times. When Tech Fortress was publicly released, new players would be randomly teleported to a location, so they can get started right away. Subsequent respawns would occur at the world's main spawn point, so the player would always have a consistent path to return to their settlement in case their bed spawn failed. The primary issue with this solution was that the plugin employed did not always work, nor did players generally survive to make a bed before they died. This also was a very singleplayer-focused solution - friends who would join the server would be separated several hundreds or thousands of blocks apart.

As such, a new solution was put in place. Roughly a few months later, the random teleportation plugin was removed, and the "water transportation" system was built, allowing players to traverse roughly 600 blocks in the cardinal direction of their choosing via a boat in a river-like tunnel, with speeds comparable to traveling via minecart. However, this system was broken when the 1.9 boats arrived. The remains of this system can still be seen today, although it is now permanently closed due to the aforementioned boat changes.

Shortly before the 1.9 changes arrived, spawn posts were implemented. Instead of a global, unchanging spawn point, players would spawn at a spawn post. The posts were very minimal, and automatically generated with signs. As new players claimed near a spawn post and consumed resources such as trees, ores, and unclaimed areas, a new spawn post would be designated as the place where new players spawned at. This provided a solution such that players have access to fresh resources, while any friends that also join spawn next to them.

So why was this scrapped? In nearly all survival servers, there are two types of players - those who stay long-term for years, and those who effectively quit after a few months.

In nearly all cases, new players who join will encounter the long-term players in chat. If they wish to meet these long-term players, they will often be far away from them, due to the nature of spawn posts always attempting to spawn players next to fresh resources and in uninhabited areas; these places are generally away from where long-term players live. Therefore, having spawn posts is in fact worse than having a global, unchanging spawn point, if one wishes to meet the existing community of players!

Thus, the decision to drop spawn posts was made to favor the global server community over the ease of traveling to uninhabited lands. That, and the fact that a global spawn point is in fact a vanilla multiplayer functionality. Spawn posts make more sense if Tech Fortress were to emulate a vanilla singleplayer experience. But what would be the point of a multiplayer server if all it were intended to be is just singleplayer with a chatbox?
Monday, January 15, 2018

IP change!

So I'm not sure what happened to the old domain, but please change your IP for all servers (Team Fortress 2 servers should remain unaffected since the IP address is saved instead of the domain).

Tech Fortress: tf.robomwm.com
MLG Fortress: mlg.robomwm.com

Team Fortress 2:
MvM Fortress: tf.robomwm.com:27015

Update: the old domain apparently has been re-instated just as silently as it died. Either way, I have a new domain now and going to use that from now on.