Minecraft multiplayer is going in the wrong direction
This post is about the recent changes to Minecraft that Microsoft have made, such as chat reporting and and the current rise of pay to win servers. This post contains a bit of opinion, but I will try to make sure I also include the facts.
If you think that any information is incorrect, you would like me to add a small section or even a whole post about something please let me know by contacting me on my discord server or directly adding me using my tag fizz#4096.
Pay to win servers
Throughout the past few years, the amount pay to win (often abbreviated as p2w) servers has been growing, especially during the pandemic when everyone happened to have a lot more time, especially school children. Pay to win servers target children, as they are very susceptible to marketing tricks by these servers. The average amount of time a child spent on TikTok during the pandemic was increased dramatically, sessions averaging hours. This lead to many Minecraft servers taking advantage of this, by uploading their own staged "I found this player at [insert location] who has nothing! Every like/share this video gets, I'll give them a diamond! You can find a diamond block at [insert coords]" and something just completely spamming that content.
I interviewed the YouTuber TheMisterEpic, who runs a successful Minecraft network called OG-Network, with no pay to win items on the store at all. The server sells only cosmetics, to help further development of the server. (Raw screenshots)
I asked the following questions and got these responses.
What motivated your to start OG network?
I always wanted to start my own server, not only to bring back gamemodes I enjoyed playing years ago, but because its always something I've wanted to do. Many of my earliest videos we're about Minecraft servers, so I was always interested in them!
Do you support dupers that destroy the eco on p2w servers?
I do think dupers crashing/destroying server economies are good, but in order to actually fix the p2w issue, a solution at the structural level needs to be implemented. So, instead of just taking down p2w servers temporarily, we need to set up better non-pay2win alternatives as well.
How do you think mojang/ms is currently responding to this and how should they respond?
I dont think microsoft/mojang cares at all, they haven't said anything about pay2win servers and their EULA in a long time.
Big thanks to TheMisterEpic for taking the time out of his day to answer these questions. I suggest you check out OG Network, as it is one of the best non-p2w servers that still exist today.
I asked YahBoyTugg, the owner of the upcoming server DemonicAether, who responded with these answers.
What are your thoughts on p2w servers?
My opinion is that it's exploitation. These servers are purposely designed and marketed around only obtaining as much profit as possible with minimal server design.
How do you think mojang/ms should enforce the eula?
They attempted the blacklist feature once but it got worked around by modified versions of the game aka "clients". There is a reason why the EULA's exist and they should fully enforce it!
Should players stop playing on these servers?
People have attempted to disrupt P2W servers by duping, exploiting and causing issues but at the end of the day everything gets rolled back and there is no permanent damage. When it comes to stopping P2W servers by either EULA or other means, it should be a permanent change.
In the future I am going to interview a p2w server admin, so make sure you're subscribed to this blog to know when that post comes out! (I'll be really soon if I can actually interview him, only a couple of days)
My experience with p2w servers
I have previously been a moderator on BumbleCraft, a Minecraft network at the time running a fun Slimefun server and accepting donations on their website. At the time I was strongly biased, as I was working for them, but now that I've quit the server I realised what went wrong behind the scenes.
Since the store has changed a lot, I'm going to be using the Wayback Machine to check what the store was like during my time as staff. As of now, the store is much worse than before, charging up to £192 ($232) for p2w items such as kits and keys.
During my time as staff, they charged up to £300 for a rank that gave kits, full disguise permissions and sold crate keys that would give lots of endgame items. The only thing worse than how it is now, is the pricing of each rank.
The owners of BumbleCraft have acquired a server recently called AppleMC, which I have a bit of information about, however I will not be revealing any here to respect a friend's privacy (who works for them), and that servers seems to be a massively p2w one, selling perks such as invsee. If these servers chose to change their perks to remove anything p2w about it, I will censor their names in this post. Once again, I do not support harassment of any entities/people mentioned.
What you can do
If you are a player, to help stop pay to win servers from succeeding, there are a couple of options to choose from. You can either directly ask the owner(s) (Don't harass them though), make a suggestion on their discord server or simply don't play.
If you are a server owner or admin, please review every package on your store and make sure you don't have anything giving a player an advantage. Trust me, selling cosmetics perks is a billion times better and looks a billion times better for the server, and usually doesn't lose you much money (In fact it may save you money as you won't have to buy protection against anti-p2w dupers and lag machine builders)
Minecraft's new updates
Minecraft has recently been updated to 1.19.1, which adds some new features that many players oppose; Chat reporting and Multiplayer bans. These new features are taking away freedom from server owners, realm owners and players. It's a lose lose situation for everyone.
But what's the main problem with this? It's just preventing malicious trolls and offensive content?
It is blocking trolls and offensive content, well at least for the majority it is. There are always ways to bypass chat filters, and use jokes that require context to cause problems. Minecraft's moderators don't have context, only some messages from the previous conversation the players have had on the server.
On the other side of that, a player can provide Minecraft with text that is being taken completely out of context, giving a player a false ban. This is a huge problem, as players should be able to say whatever they want with only receiving moderation from the server they said it on; I'm sure many people would be fine if servers could have the option to enable "Mature mode", making chat reporting and global bans not effect them, but that doesn't exist and I don't think it will for a long time.
In the previous interview I had with YahBoyTugg, I also asked him this question which is linked to chat reporting and global bans.
How do you feel about chat reporting and multiplayer bans?
Terrible addition to the game. The Bedrock Edition already faces issues with false bans through reporting and now because it has been added to the Java Edition issues have already popped up like previously stated false bans.
Thank you for reading this post, you just read 1.4k words! It took me a while to write this and prepare interviews, so I'd like to thank you, the reader, TheMisterEpic and YahBoyTugg. Expect more posts like this in the future; An upcoming one will be me attempting to interview the admin of a p2w server, so if you want to see that, subscribe to get email notifications, I promise we won't spam you or share your email with advertisers.
I don't support nor condone harassment of anyone mentioned in this post, any article on this website or on a subdomain of fizz.red; No copyright infringement is intended, allowance is made for Fair Use for such purposes as education and research, scholarship, criticism, news reporting, comment, and teaching.