Player’s Letter: July 2017

Each month a post like this will shares server cost information, in game updates, and
how donations and my time are spent.

Server Costs:

Offering Liberty Minecraft costs me $17.37/month. This includes server and web hosting. Our Liberty Minecraft server for 1 full year costs $161.09 or $13.43/month. LibertyMinecraft.com’s entire cost for 1 year is $47.28 or $3.94/month. The BlueHost invoice also includes 2 additional years of web hosting for which we received a considerable discount.


This Month In Focus:

Decentralization was a big theme throughout July. Late last month the arbitrary warps to mob farms and shop areas were removed and replaced by CreativeGates, a free market solution to portal creation. More than $500,000 has been invested by you, the players to create dozens of portals. Remarkably, even areas that had warps are developing faster with portals instead.

Our website content is now available on more platforms, with our best evergreen content being reposted on Liberty.me. Links to Liberty Minecraft are available on Reddit along with Twitter and Facebook. Non-promotional images from within our world have been viewed over 18,000 times by reddit and imgur users (here and here).

The Bazaar was expanded in July to facilitate our growing economy. New areas outside the bazaar are also cropping up to facilitate trade, a promising sign indeed! Shops have begun to form east of The Library and around a new town, colloquially named Alien’s Landing.

Iron Farms have also been created by more players through July. The price of iron declined a further 944% from $85 to $9. A free market update captured the early stages.

The trend I see advancing through July is a move toward a larger number of players capturing market share for production, land acquisition, development, and trade. Historically, there was little competition in these areas. July feels subjectively like an inflection point as more players come to dominate wider areas of the market. It’s been a very interesting month.


Behind the Scenes!

Starting in late June and through July I began to seek a strategic partner for Liberty Minecraft to satisfy four objectives:

  • First, I want someone who can be the image for Liberty Minecraft. Someone that people like and want to support. Someone or something with name value.
  • Second, I want someone who’s great at dealing with customer service problems.
  • Third, I want someone who can grow the player base through an existing platform
  • Fourth, I want someone who knows how to run a business. Someone willing to leverage their experience on an asset that’s positioned for growth in the right hands.

I think that becoming a strong competitor in these areas makes Liberty Minecraft very likely to continue to succeed in the years ahead. My objective is to make a decision by September’s end, but given our financial position there is no cause for haste. Given our current finances, I must implement a strong growth strategy by the end of our fiscal 2019, which is February 2020. I will continue to work hard to develop a strategic partnership that makes Liberty Minecraft fierce competition in those four areas listed above.

In July I made a mistake. I had been struggling to deal with RadioactiveLee. After spending dozens of hours in June to deal with lag and improve donor tags I felt he continued to be a challenge for me to interact with. I went online and searched for tips on how to deal with difficult customers. I asked my family. My goal was to find a good way to deal with a difficult problem and I failed. Instead, I dealt with it badly. I basically told him off, expressed my feelings about a wide range of subjects, and left it at that.

The result was somewhat negative. RadioactiveLee informed me that the previous month’s donation was an error; I refunded his June donation immediately. He has not been on the server much since then, and I believe this is my fault. I will continue to work hard to improve as time goes on. Part of the way I will solve this problem is by bringing in some outside help as described above. Partly I will learn from others who have far more challenging jobs in this area – they’re the experts. I know I can succeed in this endeavor.


Liberty in Action:

Every day our players are learning liberty by playing it. Here are just a few examples:

  • dust_eater claims the world! Through July, dust_eater has expanded his land ownership by more than 40%. He now owns large sections of land around Spawn and I can’t wait to see how players negotiate with him in cases where they’d like to build on that land. Early indications suggest that peaceful negotiation is a great challenge, and a fantastic opportunity for learning.
  • RodericDragonbow surrounds The Bazaar! The Bazaar is a trading platform built by NullCase (thats me) in early 2016. But the area had a plan: reduce lag of all kinds in an area players load often. How? Create pre-sized plots within a simple grid and keep it small. Build the platform in “The End” (a place) where there’s nothing else around. Build a moat around The Bazaar to prevent expansion by other players. This means if someone wanted to compete they’ll have to build their own platform or find a way to breach my moat. However, the interests of people do not always align perfectly.
    This month RodericDragonbow found a gap! In an act of true dedication, he bought multiple shop plots at the perimeter, built down under the platform for hundreds of blocks and found that he could build across, beneath The Bazaar land claims. He then encircled The Bazaar completely with claims of his own. Quite an effort and I’m thrilled to see it happen. What does it mean? Was it worth it? What will happen next? Only RodericDragonbow can answer these questions. In time I will indirectly learn the answer to these questions by seeing what he does. It’s only because he’s free to do what he wants that I can learn these answers.
  • Alienslayer8 builds a free market exchange! Using chest shops and hoppers, alienslayer8 has created a new way to automatically re-price items based on supply and demand. As supplies diminish, only the bottom/highest-priced chest will have goods for sale. As supplies increase, the lower priced chests begin to have items for sale. This innovation will provide an automatic means of finding prices in our economy – vastly superior (in my opinion) to the way I’ve done it: manually moving price to try and ‘guess’ the market clearing price.
  • KnightMetal8 creates a new venture, selling banners at a brand new shop. Near the portal to Alien’s Landing, players may find a new shop owned by KniteMetal8. By investing in wool and dyes he’s creating banners of various types to be sold at a profit. But! The challenge is to design something that people want through trial and error. Having spent a diamond or two myself, I’d say he’s finding some success!
  • Snowflower77 has created a home business. On one side of the house, a business for basic materials and experience has been added. Snowflower77 wanted a business and made it – no permission necessary, and is selling several items at competitive prices to earn some extra money while reducing the time it takes to restock. It’s just next door, after all. This strategy of reducing the costs of restocking materials may allow Snowflower77 to out-compete other shops.

There’s so much more happening at Liberty Minecraft!
Don’t miss out!


Operations and Updates:

A game-breaking Minecraft bug was discovered around July 22nd, 2017 that enabled Minecraft players to duplicate items. Our server was immediately updated. I’m not aware that anyone successfully exploited this bug. However, I continue to investigate this issue. Any player found to hack in this way will be banned permanently. One player attempted to exploit this bug after it had been patched, did not mention that they were aware of the bug, and then left when they failed to reproduce this exploit. It’s a difficult problem to deal with players like this. The potential for problems is a daily risk that I have to deal with in order to keep our economy functioning. One day I will fail, and when that happens I will revert the world to our most recent backup after patching the bug. This will be difficult. However, this month I was fortunate to have applied a patch on time.

Beyond this very sensitive incident, our server was updated 14 times to fix small bugs and improve performance. Our ChestShop system was updated so that Written Books can be traded more easily. Also, LibertyMinecraft.com was optimized for faster load times. Occasionally I will optimize the site in this way as new tools become available and as the website grows. Two full backups were performed this month to protect the hard work that you invest in Liberty Minecraft. I care very much about this world and my goal is to survive problems that will inevitably occur. One day our whole server may be lost to hackers or to hardware failures. On that day I intend to have a backup ready to be deployed so that we can continue our work.


Monthly Donations Goal $25 – 40% achieved!

  • Top Donor! $5 – Something_Sweg, I can’t wait to see you back! You’ve consistently supported me across projects, and it’s really inspiring. You help me to believe in myself.
  • Top Donor! $5 – Alienslayer8, I love what you’re doing at Alien’s Landing. It’s so cool. Thank you for deciding to make something special here, and for your support.

Because of you I am able to offer Liberty Minecraft,
free of charge to anyone who wishes to learn liberty through experience.

This month I failed to reach my donation goal for the first time. I will continue to improve as time goes on, and I want to thank you for voting with your money to show me when my decisions are not good enough.

Every month I want to earn your donation by proving that this service is valuable to you. I will do this by continuing to develop Liberty Minecraft and our website LibertyMinecraft.com. I will do this by sharing my progress through posts like this. I will do this by treating all players with respect, especially when it is challenging. Thank you for showing me how important this is to you.

Every month I want to earn your donation by being transparent about how money is spent. You can find very clear details about how donations will be spent on the Donations Page. Here you can find our Invoices for this and the many months ahead. For my privacy I have removed personal and location information.

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