Stuff and Things and My Gods That Build is Huge and double servers and Hi everyone!

Screenshot from Minecraft, showing a large gray stone tower complex.

yeah, we’ll just ignore the fact that it’s been like… six months since I posted last in here. 2018 has been made of fail and large life crises.

I do have much to catch up on, such as the construction of The Behemoth in the picture, some additions to the V4 server and What Else I’ve Been Doing all this time, but I want to make an announcement, namely that I now have the classic creative map (ARBTServer V1) running on Bedrock Dedicated Server as well as the regular game in Minecraft proper. Same address ( but port 19137 instead of 19132.

Apologies to console players, since you have to enter it as a server rather than joining a friend’s pre-existing game, you will not be able to access this. I have been known to switch stuff around on occasion, so definitely pay attention to the Discord for news on that front.

I hope to have more catch-up type news in the near future. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving in the meantime.

Brave New World Order

Screenshot from the game Minecraft, depicting a mostly empty landscape with a few buildings here and there.

I’ve been playing quite a bit since server reboot. Happily, I’ve had a few guests and a couple of brand new folks pop on and carve themselves a little piece of the server as well, which makes me happy. I’ve missed my server babies. <3

The server is mostly survival. I say mostly because I’ve been happily tooling about in creative mode building stuff. It is still surreal flying around the map and thinking to myself “ah yes, here is about where the Crystal Palace is” or “this is where the Four Guardians would be” and so on and so forth as I traverse the bare ground. Ghosts of Minecraft builds past. But I’m excited for what sort of structures may appear in Minecraftverse 2.0.

Screenshot from the game Minecraft showing a forested mountainous landscape with the top of a build visible in the distance.
View of a lake to the west of Center. In the distance the top of a build is visible. This is about where the Crystal Palace would be on the other map.

Spawn House and World Center

Obligatory first builds being obligatory, I built a nice little public house near spawn with some starter crops growing by the door and supplies in chests nearby. Due west of this at 0,0 is the first Tower. I like marking the center of my maps for some reason. Plus it’s a good landmark for folks to navigate by, depending on how far their render distance is. (Mine is cranked out to 64 chunks for the pictures, though I tend to play at maybe a quarter of that.)

Screenshot from the game Minecraft, depticing a large tower with a door at the bottom.
The eastern side of the Tower, viewed from ground level.
a view of the West Side of the Tower.

Subway 2.0

Because of COURSE I’m going to have one. Not really much to say about this, as it’s built in the same style as the old one, though between fill commands, setblock commands and a little typing/repeating help from autohotkey scripts, building them out takes a fraction of the time it used to. So far there’s only one length of track completed stretching from 0,0 to -1024,0) with a station at the midway point; hopefully soon I will have a bisected square of subway line built with a corresponding express track in the Nether.

Screenshot from the game Minecraft, depicting an unbuilt subway station space
An unfinished station shell at -1024, 0.
Screenshot of the game Minecraft, depicting a train station at track leve.
Station at -512, 0 at track level
Screenshot from the game Minecraft, showing the interior of a stone structure. at left, a staircase descends.
Station at ~ -512,0 at entrance level, interior
Screenshot from the game Minecraft, showing a stone structure with a doorway.
Station at ~ -512,0 at entrance level

There isn’t a station built out at -1024,0 yet because I haven’t quite worked out how it’s gonna work with the build I’ve started directly above it.

Huge Unnamed Build #1

So last week poking around Tumblr I ran across the below image. Further poking on the internet led me to more illustrations from a 1929 architecture book called The Metropolis of Tomorrow and an artist named Hugh Ferriss and oh my, talk about jabbing me directly in the Art Deco totalitarian dystopia feels.

a dark black and white drawing depicting an art Deco style towering edifice moodily lit from below
A drawing from Hugh Ferriss’ The Metropolis of Tomorrow

I feel like it would be hard to grow up in New York with an interest in architecture without loving some Art Deco style; goodness knows I did. Anyway I kept circling back to this particular image and thinking “I’m gonna Minecraft that building.” Started to do that yesterday.

Screenshot from the game Minecraft showing the top floors of a new building floating far above the ground.
A view of the floating top floors of Ferris tower from about -512, 0
Screenshot from the game Minecraft showing the beginnings of a building floating far above the ground.
The top four stories and the roof of Ferriss Tower take shape.

It made sense to me to start from the top and build it out from there, after a couple of hours with graph paper planning out the number of stories between building transitions. I’m excited as it’s going to be my first build that will cap out at the 255 block building limit, even if I’m vastly annoyed that Mojang still hasn’t raised the cloud level accordingly. I’ve tentatively named it Ferriss Tower after the artist, we’ll see if that name sticks.

Nether House

Not too much to say about this, as it’s just a tiny house in the Nether at the 0,0 mark. Mostly built it as a safe haven from the passing mobs and so that the nether portal in the Center Tower had a safe destination.

Screenshot from the game Minecraft showing the front of a small brick house.
Front of the Nether House at Nether 0,0. Pretty much a standard ARBT house in red brick
Screenshot from the game MInecraft showing the same brick house on an island in the middle of a lake of lava. Two bridges lead to it.
An aerial shot of Nether House, with the two bridges leading to it from two of the netherrack masses around it.

It feels good to be playing and building again, even if I’m neglecting some necessary life things to do so. >.> Hell, maybe I’ll start streaming myself again, considering this build is gonna take me a while to finish.

A map! Finally!

Hey ARBiTors!

The blog’s been kinda neglected lately, I apologize. Too many irons in the fire lately, and too intimidating of a backlog of server pictures and posts to do. A quick update before I get to the big news.

We’ve been 24 hours for a little less than a month! Well, I say 24 hours, lol. I will admit the time has certainly had its share of wonkyness between my internet doing its best impression of a yo-yo and the occasional crash. For the most part though, the happy little tablet has played happy host to the world and seems to be working out well aside from a few hiccups.

I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t get mods really working on it, as apparently blocklauncher doesn’t work on Intel tablets at all, so right now we’re strictly vanilla MCPE. I’m kinda of dimply amused that right now the best tool I’d found for running the game like a server was Plug for PE (once they’d bug fixed it anyway – and you still can’t TP grrr) for iThing, which considering the Android mod and customizability hype was a little disappointing, but live and learn.

We also have another world! (ohh, gotta add it to the world page…) well, sorta. I started Survival Sunday, where I rebooted the server from seed and build in survival move with no mode switch cheating. That seems to be working quite well also, and certainly gave me a chance to dig out another one of my famously labyrinthine underground bases. Pictures sometime! (Maybe…)

So the big news today:

Map of ARBTServer

This is a composite of three overhead views generated by MCPE Viz. I strongly suggest checking this out if you want a visualization tool for your world, it is pretty freaking awesome.

MCPE Viz also generates a browser visualization tool, and I may upload that to the site at some point (it also maps the Nether!) but first I have to go through and crop/rotate all the generated images because… um, they are huge. Like 18208px x 16208px, 10MB a pop huge. Yeah, you thought that map above was huge, yeah that’s the center section, lol. I apparently did a lot of flying around and exposing the map.

GTG, off to finally find me some strongholds. I’ll probably post a few more map shots and talk about them in the coming week. And yeah, I’m going to try to post more often.

General server news

So things have been a little slow around ARBTland, mostly because I haven’t been online much in the past few weeks. (Stupid real life.) That said, over the past couple of weeks there have been a few changes of note.

First of all we got another visitor from WSE – Rudie! Always glad for the cross pollination between the two servers.

In terms of build news, the monument behind spawn keeps on expanding as new people come in. Rate we’re going that things going to extend into the sea. In addition to adding Rudie, FatalDeath and Billybob decided to silly up their statues by giving them tongues.

FatalDeath has been working on a wizard tower, and Rudie has also been building a very fairy-appropriate home in a large artificially created stump.

I’ve been busy too. Started working on a new skyscraper not far from Wacker Tower, loosely based on a building from SimCity BuildIt, which I’ve been also playing some on the side.

Lastly 5 has been working on a secret project under the Rainbow Balloon. Did I post pictures of that since I refinished it?

One thing I’ve been irked by since a few game updates ago – when they changed all the lighting, the ocean lost its translucency. It’s now REALLY hard to see underwater, which is a pain if you’re building something really deep under, and impossible if you’re trying to take pictures of said something, so the best I can do is sorta present a vague blob under the water taken from the surface.

In server improvement news, I’ve been waffling on transferring the game to an external server for a bit, weighing pros and cons of each platform. I’ve all but decided that I want to move the game to Pocketmine, as I have some experience with running it and it offers the most flexibility and customizability right now. But on the downside, it’s lagtastic, and mobs don’t work yet, which is a bummer; I like having random creatures roaming the world. It gives what can often be a lonely game a little bit of life. I supppose I could treat the missing mobs as a temporary problem, as the goal of PM will be to eventually replicate the full experience of the game, and its main programmer now works for Minecraft proper. The other major problem is that transferring/ MCPE worlds to PM is still an ordeal thanks to the leveldb storage format being a pain in the butt to work with/translate. I and others have put so much time and love and work into this world, so its pretty important that we continue to be able to play with it.

“And that’s Numberwang.”

The Back-From-Hiatus Runs

OMG y’all I am SO behind on posting LOL. So a quick recap on what is New, Improved and Different on the ARBTserver:

  • We had a new face from WSE visit on Monday: welcome Kyster!

  • There is now a road extension from the Pyramid, through the huge desert biome and ending at the village Hachi discovered a few runs back.

  • The ARBTServer monument has been extended, with two more spaces added for statues. May shove it out two more spaces just so ARBT lines up in the middle evenly again, haven’t decided.

  • I’ve finished reskinning the hot air balloon. It is now a riotous rainbow. And the inside jungle has been growing nicely.

  • While scouting coastline for a Mystery Build, I stumbled across Village #4 southwest of spawn. More roadbuilding in my future, no doubt.

  • I have also started a Mystery Build a ways from Spawn. Lets just say last weeks’ trip to Martha’s Vineyard left me rather… inspired.

Speaking of which, the downside of the Nether coming in the next update is no more nether reactor. 🙁 I’m going to have to find a few spots for random netherrack spires just for the hell of it before it disappears entirely.

Server news, and the Eating of Us by Hai.

I ran back to back Sunday and Monday this week, though each run had its own problems to contend with – Sundays was entirely beset by external factors (a movie mid afternoon, a cable service disruption) while Manday’s (what few they were) were entirely game related. But more on that later.

Over the two runs, 576875 continued working on Troll Village improvements, namely working on adding a tavern to it in the same style. Henry10030 added an good exchange tent over his underground base near spawn. Double Positive experimented with his DATS roads. We were visited intermittently by Batman3054, Hachi and Umbrella_Hermit. Swarmhut, as far as I could tell, first mainly flitted around assisting people before leading the remaining players in some rousing sign-language Disney karaoke.

And then there was the fire, lol.

Batman swears it was an accident, and I believe him, having had several fire/lava mishaps myself in the past. I think he was trying to clear a bit of land away and the fire got through the wall he put up to block it and ravaged about in the forest next to Spawn. between the fire spreading and the water needed to contain it lag was a major problem both for the players and for the firefighting, so I made an executive decision and booted everyone out so I could take the fire down quicker. It did indeed get handled after a frantic ten or so minutes and came within catching distance of the log cabin in my last post, but ultimately once the mess was cleaned up no builds were lost and not much was destroyed other than tree cover, which can be easily re-seeded. I don’t think I’ll build a memorial tower to this fire, especially as Bat felt bad enough about it as it was, but i note it here for server news posterity.

Lastly I mentioned this on Reddit, but have yet to here: ARBTserver is on official hiatus until August 3rd due to impending vacation with the family. There is some good news aside from that – my desktop was been partially resurrected tonight and I hope to get it mostly recovered and running before I leave. I probably won’t have time to get any kind of hosty situation going, but it does mean that I’ll be able to work on it immediately on my return, so wooooo for that!

ARBT out.

Server time!

Monday night your intrepid heroine and host of the server came home with a horrid stomachache, so I canceled server time for that night. To make up for it I ran Wednesday night instead.

It was a  fairly low key evening with a bit less lag and voidspawning than usual and people mostly worked on their own stuff. DoublePositive, anticipating 0.12, built a nether portal behind spawn and finished up stuff in Spawner Land.

Opening who knows when?
Opening who knows when?

Also in the spirit of preparing for 0.12, 576875  went out to the Troll village and started shoring it up against Things to Come. Hachi finished his water temple and made it super creepy by filling the fort part of it with spiders.

Fort and water temple
Fort and water temple
Looking through the water and doors
Looking through the water and doors

Dyaaagh Minecraft spiders will never not creep me out. And I like spiders in real life! Anyway I hope Hachi posts about it at some point, there was a whole backstory and mythology that went with this build. Maybe when he finishes the companion structures he’s planning.

We were also joined by Batman3054 from Worst Server Ever, who set up shop near DoublePositive’s. And Swarmhut did something adorable besides flit around dressed in a bee suit.


There was also a fair bit of players getting bored with stuff between building and trying to reel each other in with fishing lines. I don’t know why hooking other players works (bug? feature?) but it does mean that if you go AFK (which I did a fair bit last night owing to some real life things demanding my attention) you could come back to find yourself sowmwhere completely different, or, what happened most often to me, up a tree with weird structures built around me, lol. Not so sure I like being fished as it always seems to happen when I’m in the chat window and can’t really see whats going on, but it’s a thing, and the gang is trying to brainstorm possible games to make up around it.

At the end of the evening Hachi took off due east from spawn and stumbled into a huge desert waste bordered by jungle and savannah, and across the sandstone village pictured above seated at the edge of it. (We looked. No stronghold, but hey, mineshaft!) Guess I know where I’m running some road this week. Interestingly enough this was a part of the map that I had explored briefly before when I first started playing in it a year ago. Well, “explored” is a generous word, got completely lost is more like it. This was in the very beginning when the world was still Survival, I didn’t know the cobblestone trick yet and hadn’t put together a compass. So I started marking my trail with torches on blocks and swam when I came to the edge. I got lucky and ended up very close to spawn on the other side. I’d meant to go back sometime, but never got around to it until last week when I blundered into the jungle biome on the desert’s other side.

Hachi continued flying far out past where I explored and the new terrain generating made for interesting errors on the rest of our parts – namely have terrain disappear out from under out feet. Note to self, the game does not like it when players get too separated.

Meanwhile in other news, I’m in the middle of three build posts (sigh) and I really must make some posts about my adventures on Worst Server Ever and musings about possible hosting solutions for the game. I’m also working on an out of game but still Minecraft related project for the Wee Beast’s birthday. There are not enough hours in my day, I swear.

ARBT out!

Won’t you take me to… MURDERTOOOOOOOWN!

Just putting this here for Reasons. Sing the title along to it, okay? 😀

I was telling Wee Beastie about the time I backed up the server and then said all server rules were off the table and how the area around spawn devolved into mess and murder. He of course thought this sounded like fun and asked if we could do that before he goes back to his mom’s. Sure, why not, right?

Turns out Sunday afternoon isn’t the best time for an open run, as aside from a brief appearance from Swarmhut at the very beginning, only 576875 showed up and stayed for the entirety of what very quickly became known as “MURDERTOWN.” Which mostly devolved into Beastie and I “murdering each other IN THE FACE” and 5 sniping the winner to death from afar. 5 was not privy to 8 year old side commentary such as “COME AT ME BRO, I’VE GOT A HOE!” which may have resulted in me dying in-game a couple of times because I was dying laughing IRL.

Wee Beastie then found a lava pool just to the north of spawn and, well, he did what he does best:

No more bridge or rule board.
No more bridge or rule board.
Burn baby burn... spawnhouse inferno
Burn baby burn… spawnhouse inferno
Goodbye Spawn.
Goodbye Spawn.

Yeah about that – here’s the thing about lava-bombing your spawn point – if you get murdered afterward? YOU SPAWN IN FIRE. OW.

So yeah another day where I’m very very glad I can restore from backup because while it’s fun to destroy things? *twitch*

Mad props to 5 for being patient with the small one and his need to murder everything. In the face. XD

Back to your murder free scheduled programming tomorrow!

Open server, 6/29/2015

Note: Written before update 1.1.0 when the direction of the sunrise/set was fixed. North here is now west.

A fairly low key evening was had tonight, with a concentration on finishing up builds people had started earlier.

5 and Swarm finished the minigame arena they’ve been working on.

you'll pay full price for your seat BUT YOU'LL ONLY NEED THE EEEEEEEEEEDGE!
you’ll pay full price for your seat BUT YOU’LL ONLY NEED THE EEEEEEEEEEDGE!
Step right up and take a shot.
Step right up and take a shot.

There is spleef, archery, King of the hill, fishing and parkour to compete in. May the best person win!

One of these things is not like the others...
One of these things is not like the others…

Henry10030 meanwhile finished up his base and topped it off with a giant statue of themselves. Obviously so we don’t forget what they look like, lol.

Hachi’s (question mark?)

Hachi has been working on… well, I still haven’t figured out what this is supposed to be. I just know that it is awesome.

and it looks like a clock from the top!
and it looks like a clock from the top!

To the south, Double Positive worked on several mob grinders of various sizes/mobs farms. Hence “SPAWNER LAND” written large friendly quartz letters.

A day view of Spawaner Land.
A day view of Spawaner Land.

We are still plagued with connection issues around 7:30 pm evey server run. I’ve tried prioritizing udp requests, periodically dumping the phone cache , closing all background app, etc and nothing really seems to help. Fortunately it seems to only be a thing in the earlier parts of the evening. More incentive to make this a Proper Server, though I did have a conversation with Hachi today weighing the pros an cons of running an Android mobile emulator (more stable, working mobs, not glitchy gameplay / max 5 players, lag) vs pocketmine (more people on at once, better computer resource management, no lag, php programmable / mobs and game behavior glitchy as all get out). All of that are problems for Future ARBT to tackle at some later point; Present ARBT needs to log off and get some sleep!

Not one, not two, not four, but THREE evening runs!

It has been a busy few days on the server between Saturday night and the usual Monday run. After a long busy Saturday I decided after I came home that I was going to put my feet up and play MCPE and I might as well do it with extra company, so I put the call out on the subreddit and even put a little announcement in /r/MCPE since it was a special irregular run. Had so many folk show up and hang and start building things that I decided I’d run Sunday night too. And of course, Monday night, because Monday Night. All three nights were great, despite periodic connection problems and spontaneous game crashes… people had a good time tho.

We have two new players late of Worst Sever Ever – Hachi and FatalDeath (or VitalLife depending on their level of humorous nihilism) We’ve also seen quite a bit of Henry10030 and DoublePositive, and of course 576875 and Swarm. At one point during Monday’s Survival/anything goes run (between game crashes) I managed to get the group pic in the last post. You know what I’m going to post it again because it was awesome.


We hit a server milestone on Monday! A good portion of that night’s game was at full five player + host capacity. That was certainly a thing! Never had that many on at once before.

the server... is full...
the server… is full… [/strongbad]
The 4 Guardians accidentally acquired names in an offhand comment to Hachi. They are now Icky, Stinky, Yucky and Clyde. As to which one is which… does it really matter? lol.

New Things built:
Swarmhut added an advertisement board during Monday’s run, having a forgotten I was intending to wipe and restore after the game. (Oops.) I liked the idea so much I put it back in after I restored the game, and also started to revamp the Pillar of Rules at spawn. I think it’s going to be more of a Fence of Rules eventually.

but was Kilroy here?
but was Kilroy here?

Hachi built an awesome house near Mt. Severmore!

Remains awesome despite me forgetting to turn off the GUI.
Remains awesome despite me forgetting to turn off the GUI.

I love the white umbrella/canopy above it – reminds me of something out of the Super Mario Mushroom Kingdom.

Meanwhile FatalDeath is working on a colossus standing across the road near spawn. So far they’ve gotten the skeleton completed but that by itself looks cool:

Fatal's Colossal Skeleton.
Fatal’s Colossal Skeleton.


Meanwhile, Swarmhut and 576875 are working on a minigame tournament space. Parkour! Fishing! Spleef! Chills! Thrills! You’ll pay for a whole seat but you’ll only need the edge! 

um, picture when they get further along.

Some of us wanted to go down to the basement of 5’s fishing house after the group picture to clobber zombies. There was a disorganized effort to reset spawns by sleeping, during which I tossed a bed out on one of the patios to sleep outside.

It's really hard to sleep with a creepy dog staring at you.
It’s really hard to sleep with a creepy dog staring at you.

After zombie clobbering fun was had, the last two hours of Monday’s game we decided it was all rules off. The free-for-all that resulted was epic, and the area around spawn just became this mess of creeper craters and forts:




Thank goodness for backups and restores. 😉 Even my PvP-disliking self got in on the fun in the last 45 minutes, which is where I found out that I’m a much better long range shot than short range shot. Which is to say both are terrible but I hit things/people more often at ridiculously long distances.

Things are certainly livening up on my little server, that’s for sure. There’s something a little humbling about reading a “hey, anyone know any good servers?” and seeing my name come up in recommendations immediately after Worst Server Ever. That’s a certainly a compliment! Couldn’t do this without my gang – there’s still some debate on whether they’re the ARBFans or the ARBiTors of Justice – They’re really the reason my little one-woman world has become such an awesome place to hang out and play.

Thanks, y’all. 🙂