CivWiki Monday Newsletter

A semi-weekly newsletter for Civ servers supported by the CivWiki

An Outsiders perspective on CivMC

• D_loaded

DonFuer’s Refugee Hospital.

Please note this article was written without prior knowledge to the currently ongoing war.

The way people think is the same, no matter what kind of server you play on. CivMC is one of the most unique and interesting servers I have ever seen, but it’s in danger of slipping into stagnation, because it has some very high barriers to entry for new players. My name is D_loaded, I joined CivMC for the first time in December 2022, and these are my thoughts about the server, and genera as a whole from an outsider’s perspective.

First, let me explain why you should care. I’ve been playing Minecraft a very long time. I run one of the oldest and longest running building groups in Minecraft community; DonFuer. We have branches on 8 different Minecraft servers, hundreds of members, and a history going back to 2013. I personally have thousands of hours on 2b2t, the worlds largest anarchy server, I brought DonFuer there and turned it into the most well known and respected group on that server. I’ve played Stoneworks since 2021, and before that I played factions for years. My projects and that of my group have received millions of views being featured on various channels. And I like to think that after all this time I might have a unique perspective to bring to the table.

My story on CivMC began when I heard several members in the DonFuer Stoneworks branch, talk about popular alternative servers people were leaving too. I went to investigate CivMC myself, and was initially shocked by the amazing builds on the server, the large world map and extensive history. Cities like Pavia, and Icenia defiantly rival some of 2b2t’s, or Stoneworks best bases. Icenia itself is actually very similar to DonFuer 25. I felt there was a real opportunity here to join the server, and maybe bring some DonFuer members with me.

Early on we were helped out by a nation called Kallos who generously offered us some land in a frozen northern area of the map. I accepted the land, and brought about 5 members from our 2b2t branch with me to start our journey. Unfortunately, the land we inherited was badly griefed by obsidian blocks, which to our astonishment we had to break 50 times to actually remove. We also discovered very complicated “factory mechanics” and that due to the biome we lived in, we wouldn’t be able to farm most crops. Really learning this and getting set up would take months, and unfortunately the friends I had brought abandoned this project pretty quickly.

These were not even your average MC players either, these were hardened 2b2t players. Then things got even worse, I logged in to discover that Kallos, our only allies, had been totally destroyed in some war I knew nothing about. They were all trapped in ender pearls, and would have to quit the server. 2 months in I was considering leaving, and taking DonFuer with me. But then I met someone named “Nuts”, a local player who wanted to join DonFuer. He knew a lot of the server community and understood the game mechanics. With his help and a fresh injection of players DonFuer CivMC was finally stabilized and slowly growing.

DonFuer’s Dark Mirror Project, on 2b2t.

So what are my thoughts about CivMC, how do I rate my experience here? How does it compare to other Geo-pol type servers? Firstly, CivMC has some very unique and interesting plugins that I’ve never seen before on other servers. This gives it huge potential, the factory mechanics are very interesting and I think adds a lot of uniqueness to the experience, same thing with block protection, crop farms etc…

However there really needs to be a better tutorial for this stuff, without Kallos and then later Nuts to guide, we would have been totally lost for weeks. If it takes me, a very experienced player, with hundreds of DonFuer members to call on in an emergency, 3 months to really get set up on this server, imagine how hard it would be for a less experienced person to get started. The reality is they probably wouldn’t. I suspect this server’s retention rate for new players is downright awful. The administration, or maybe just the players themselves need to make a bigger effort to explain some of these mechanics for newcomers.

Furthermore, even if you get past this hurdle, and actually get established on the server, the political landscape can be a minefield. Let’s compare war on CivMC to war on a server like Stoneworks. On Stoneworks, war is fought frequently and usually over one town / piece of territory at a time. If your nation loses a war, there are plenty of options to settle for peace that don’t result in you losing everything, you can give up some border lands, you can pay massive reparations, you can offer to become their vassal state. Even if worst comes to worst, you can usually remain in the city you built as long as you swear allegiance to the new overlords. On Stoneworks wars can be fun, and are a huge source of activity and roleplay for the player base.

On CivMC wars are less frequent, and have extreme consequences. If you fight and lose, you are effectively banned from the server. Trapped in an ender pearl for years, or until your captor decides to let you play in the overworld again. On CivMC wars are not only not fun, the stakes are so high you should be downright terrified.

It’s a huge drain on the player base. Kallos was one of the more active Civs on the server, they had a pretty large capital, and a decent amount of land. I don’t know the details about why they went to war, but I do know that’s 30~ experienced players who are now pearled forever and never coming back. Same thing with the Gang Shi war. I don’t know what they did to deserve it, but those are players who are never coming back. Ask yourself if you, a complete outsider, was pearled for 8+ months for something you thought was right, are you staying on Civ, or are gonna find another server?

I really love CivMC. There are some amazing people and amazing builds here. But there needs to be some tweaks and changes to make the server more accessible to new players. Better tutorial mechanics for player retention, and pearling needs to be way less harsh. These measures would help keep the server alive and growing into the future. Thank you for hearing my thoughts.

D_Loaded is currently the leader of DonFuer on CivMC, a building-focused faction nation.

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