Daily Archives: August 20, 2015

Major Minecraft Setback with NetherByte

I was in the office this morning and got a note from Xyd about the Minecraft server having problems.  I was able to log into the admin console from the office and saw all sorts of errors of this sort:

[Server] WARN net.minecraft.server.v1_8_R2.ExceptionWorldConflict: Failed to check session lock for world located at ./world, aborting. Stop the server and delete the session.lock in this world to prevent further issues.

That is never a good sign.  The server had shut itself down, so I left it like that, opened a ticket for NetherByte about the problem, included a long stream of the error output, and went back to work.

NBopenticketWhen I got home from work I went in to the server admin page again to run a backup, just in case, then went in with WinSCP to copy it down to my local machine only to find the backup was just 1Kb in size.

My server directory was down to the bare minimum of files, what you get when you first start a Minecraft server.  No world to be seen, no nothing, just the logs and jars directories and the eula.txt file.  And I literally had to go set that to “true” again, one of the first steps of a server setup.

Meanwhile I had not seen a peep back in response from NetherByte, so I started looking around for server outage or other notifications from them.  My work on that front left me with the belief that NetherByte hasn’t updated anything since around March of this year.

So I am not sure if they are really a viable, ongoing concern at this point.

Needless to say, I am in the market for another hosting service unless I hear something substantial back from them, like why they wiped my directory.  Suggestions are welcome.

But things must move forward.  I happened to have copied the Monday night backup of the server to my local system.  I do that about once a week, and a good thing too as all the daily backups were missing from the server along with everything else.  So I set about restoring that.

I also went back to the default Minecraft server jar file.  We’ll stay away from mods for the time being I think, until things settle down.

So that went well enough.  Everything was set back to Monday night, but that wasn’t too far back.

And then I went to the nether and found everything gone.  All that paving of the nether I mentioned, it is no more.  A giant mass of cobblestone has gone missing.  All that was there was the original portal, right on top of that burning spot that set me on fire the first time I arrived there.

So all of that work was undone, highways of cobblestone going too and fro, all gone.  My little outpost in the desert, will I be able to find it again?  And I have no idea why the backup of the world-nether directory wasn’t in sync with the main world directory.  They both get backed up into the same .zip archive.

On the bright side, Skronk and Enaldi, who joined the server this past weekend have been away all week… and have never been to the nether… so at least this won’t impact them.

Addendum: Finally got a response from NetherByte, the sum total of which was, “Have you installed any malicious plugins recently?”

No response, on two tries, in asking why they wiped all my data.

As always, you get what you pay for.


Minecraft and Dungeon Making

The other day on our Minecraft server I mentioned to Xyd that one of the things the game really needs is the ability to carry a lit torch to provide light.  That ability would really allow one to get a real dungeon-like feel.

And yes, I know that there are a number of Bukkit compatible mods (which means they will work with the Spigot server I am running on our hosted world), but I am a little down on the mod idea after playing with one over the weekend and ending up having some problems afterwards.  Also, which one to choose?  But that is beside the point right now.

The torch idea came up because I had discovered my first actual dungeon in Minecraft, pretty much underneath where I had started my new base.  It was a pretty cool find for me.  I moved through the corridors searching for whatever treasures the place might hold.

In a dungeon... torches added by me

In a dungeon… torches added by me

I did find a chest, though there was not much of interest inside of it.  Of more interest was the mob spawner and the end portal that lay behind it.

This is the end... or the way to get to the end...

This is the end… or the way to get to the end…

I had to call my daughter over to identify what I had found, and she was suitably impressed.  The end portal, once activated with enderman eyes, will send you to The End where you fight the Ender Dragon.   My daughter described this as the end game for Minecraft, and not just because of the over use of the word “end” in conjunction with the whole thing.

She actually described slaying the Ender Dragon as “game over,” though she clarified that was more a metaphorical than literal statement.  I was worried that the game, and the associated world, might shut down or otherwise be done.  But it is more the ultimate PvE combat achievement in the game, and she went on about how I we would have to equip ourselves in order to face the challenge of the Ender Dragon.

That challenge is out in the future currently.  I am not prepared… yet.

However, the whole dungeon thing was interesting in and of itself.  It suffered from the defects one often associates with procedurally generated, with oddly placed doors, holes in the floors, and other awkward aspects.

Not sure this room came together quite right...

Not sure this room came together quite right…

And then there was the whole library in the air part I found, which I was later told was an indicator that an end portal was nearby.

Tough place to store books

Tough place to store books

Of course I found the portal first and the library much later on, because that is how these things tend to go with me.

But it was still pretty neat and got me thinking about dungeons in general, and table top dungeons laid out on graph paper from the days of my youth in particular.

Minecraft, being all blocks, seems perfect for the translation of graph paper dungeons into something of a 3D rendered video reality.  So I started wondering what I could use as a model.  In digging around my office, the first thing I came across was my well beyond 30 year old maps from the original WizardryThey look something like this, just not quite as neat:

The first level

Wizardry: Proving Ground of the Mad Overlord – Level 1

So on my list of projects for the game is to see how practical it would be to dig out a map of the game so I could walk through it.  There is a question of scale.  Since doors are one block wide, it looks like I might need to make corridors three blocks across, with walls a single block wide.  There will definitely be a bit of conversion work to get the scale of the game to translate, but since everything is on a grid, it seems like I could manage that.

Maybe if I get that work I can find my copy of The Howling Tower and try converting that.

Which makes me wonder again about mods.  In addition to the torch mod, has anybody done a server mod that lets you take a map… made up in creative mode for ease of generation… that can be used to then play Dungeons & Dragons or some other role playing game?

Meanwhile, I should look into a torch mod… once our server is running again.  A note from Xyd seems to indicate that something has gone wrong at NetherByte.  We were both on fine last night, this morning he reports that things are not working.