Player’s Letter: October 2017

Each month a post like this will share 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.

In October I funded the development of new features for Liberty Referrals at a cash cost of $5.00. You may review the invoice here.


This Month In Focus:

October was busy! Months like this one are challenging, because a lot of work goes on and from the player’s perspective it’s like nothing is happening. I intend not to have months like this occur often, but this hard work will pay dividends later on. It’s been a big learning experience.

However, this month I released the latest version of Liberty Referrals which was developed with your feedback. Also, I’ve learned that facebook really loves seeing pictures of our world. Intrepidca’s huge pixel art of Murray Rothbard has been very popular online!

Also, CBar’s new Wither Farm has now reached commercial production. All drops from mobs in The Nether are now readily available and cheap! To learn more about the Wither Factory, check out this month’s Free Market Update.


Behind the Scenes!

Throughout October processor lag on the server continued to be a major focus. And for the last two weeks, things have finally been running great. I’m very happy with the work that has gone on behind the scenes. Here’s the details.

Early this month I was able to identify WorldGaurd as a major contributor to our processor lag. This is a plugin we use to create build limits across Liberty.  As a temporary measure, WorldGaurd was removed, but this decision could have had an impact on our ability to fund and protect the server.

These build limits insure that players who do not support the server will be unable to build tall structures like dirt towers that blot out the sun. Donor levels unlock new build limits, so it’s a major feature which helps to reward players who donate.

With some difficulty, I worked with the current developer of WorldGuard. He quickly introduced a patch that is now operating on our server. This helped to mitigate some of the problem. He also provided us with useful feedback when he identified a problem in Spigot, the backbone of most Minecraft Servers.

So, I followed up. I contacted Spigot. They checked their code. Sure enough, there was indeed a problem in their timings reports that was causing some lag. It turns out even Mojang suffered a similar problem some months before that. Spigot’s developers have introduced new code to solve this problem. The updated version of spigot is already running on our server.

I have also been working hard to provide new updates for Liberty Referrals. Apik007, the developer of Liberty Referrals has begun working on new features but he anticipates this may take much longer. He’s currently in school, and earlier this month there was a problem on another of his projects. A back door in his Bank plugin may have lead to unauthorized access on someone else’s server.

He’s taken some heat over it, and deservedly so. It’s his code, and he knew the vulnerability was there. But I like this guy. Apik007 didn’t just step up and take full responsibility. He’s finding a way forward, too. I think it can be a strong learning experience. So, I look forward to working with him more in the future and am happy to continue working with him through a tough time!

This month I also started learning more about BitQuest, a rival Minecraft server which claims to use Bitcoin as its server currency. Of course, there are many risks against which I must be cautious, but I think it’s awesome! If such a money system were possible in a Minecraft server, I will surely be interested to provide it.

This may take many months. Providing you with the freedom to use your in game wealth in new ways is an incredible opportunity. Selling it for money you can spend outside the game might always breach the terms of commercial use for Minecraft, but it is a question I would like to answer.

I have also been working very hard on a writing project for Liberty Minecraft. Late this month I experienced a setback on this project, and after submitting a nearly finished draft I will be starting over. I am confident this new blog can really challenge me to think more carefully about what’s happening on our server, and I am seeing this setback as an opportunity.


Liberty in Action:

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

  • Alienslayer8 tests ideas. To create a new shop for Diamond Blocks, Alien broke 1000 diamond ore with Fortune III in a creative world. Then, he recorded the total number of diamonds obtained and used that to create prices on a brand new shop.
  • Alien’s new shop? Diamond ore blocks are now available for trade at Aliens Landing, in the middle of Landing Market. This shop offers players an option to specialize how they mine. If you only use silk touch pickaxes, now you can sell diamond ore directly for cash. This shop offers players an option to reduce volatility. If you don’t mine diamonds often and have ore, well now you can be paid an amount closer to the average value of a diamond ore mined with Fortune III, and without taking a risk.
  • CBar_ improves quality of life worldwide by reducing beacon prices by over 90%. Players can now enjoy fast healing and other bonuses just for visiting Landing Market. Prices of many other basic materials are falling all because of CBar’s new Wither Factory, accessible from NullCase’s portal network.
  • Japanimator and Haksndot start an initiative for protecting the environment called TARP. So far, they’ve created a visitors center with reminders to replant trees. They have also started to discuss very carefully how to protect our world. Can we protect the land without making everything private property? Inquiring minds want to know.
  • Sunsetmorpho buys a horse, but RodericDragonbow’s shop failed and no horse was provided to Sunsetmorpho. However, the problem was quickly solved when Haksndot offered horses and saddles to Sunsetmorpho.
  • RodericDragonbow has not proven himself by making reparations after his shop failed. So, NullCase created Restitution park outside his shop to remember this grievance.
  • Bulwark Palace, a permanent settlement has been established on Mooshroom Island. RodericDragonbow calls this island home. More than 90% of the island is now privately owned by NullCase. An automatic repair station has been built near Roderic’s property.
  • Transaction Logs are public. intrepidca quickly processed the data in truly impressive fashion. As just one small example of his hard work, this chart tracks the price and trade volume of iron over the last eight months.

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


Operations and Updates:

In Mid October I spent several days learning more about the services which protect our server. Host Havoc does not provide automated backups. Instead they do have a mirror of our server, saved to hard disk on site. So, if the solid state drive which runs our server were to fail, they would simply replace the SSD and copy our server from the secondary disk.

This is far from perfect. First, when our server is hacked the whole thing can be wiped. Second, all of the hardware is stored in the same location. Third, if the problem corrupts our files, then the secondary drive will have this problem also. For all of these reasons I will continue to perform regular backups. Starting this month I will perform at least one backup per week.

I have also created an offline backup of Liberty Minecraft. This backup will not be created frequently, but it may one day serve as a last resort to keep our world secure and available. With all of these efforts considered, the probability that we lose more than one week of work on Liberty Minecraft is less than 0.1%. This additional work is not without additional cost, but I know how important backups are for you. You’ve voiced your opinion on the matter and I will find a better solution in time.

In the last week I have started working with Joshua F., the developer of Anti-Bow. He’s currently working on a new plugin to replace PVPToggle, the plugin that we formerly used to make pvp optional. His goal is to solve all of the problems that we have had with PVPToggle, and I will be purchasing an early version of it when it is stable. I’m thrilled to be working with Joshua F. on this effort.

Finally, in addition to all of the above Liberty Minecraft has been updated dozens of times in March to provide you with the latest and best versions of available content.


Monthly Donations Goal $25 – 120% achieved!

  • Top Donor! $5 – Something_Sweg  Lawrence, New version of PVPToggle coming soon. Rematch?
  • Top Donor! $5 – Alienslayer8 Thanks as always for your hard work and support! We’re just getting started I think!
  • Top Donor! $5 – Flying_Nostril I hope you’ve enjoyed a performance boost near your huge map of the world!
  • Top Donor! $5 – Gametista Welcome to Liberty Minecraft! Thanks so much for joining and supporting our server.
  • Top Donor! $5 – Bobthehalfdead Always great to have a server operator as a player. I’m so fortunate to have your support. Thanks Bob!
  • Top Donor! $5 – PizzaJon Thanks for helping me with your villager trouble, and for being so helpful all month. Helping at Intrepidca’s to property light up the area and helping Gametista and Bobthehalfdead start their home. It’s really nice to see how much you care. Thanks PizzaJon.

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

We did it! Wohoo! These monthly goals are so important to me. Thank you for helping me to achieve them. I’m so impressed with you guys and appreciate all of your hard work.

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 working hard to understand what you want and improving with your feedback.

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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