Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thoughts on Multiplayer

I was so excited when I first got onto a multiplayer server. Finally being able to interact with others! People would see my work, and possibly contribute - or destroy! Either way, it would be fun to collaborate or restart when I was griefed or robbed.

The odd thing I've found since then is that multiplayer isn't all I thought it would be. In some ways I've really found it to be more of a hassle than anything else. It's fun to meet friends and look at others' creations first hand, but there are a few problems I have noticed along the way.

One of the biggest nuisances for me is the lack of control over the day/night cycle. I don't like building at night. This is probably because I don't generally light up areas when I settle in them. So every night when I'm playing on a server, I need to try and round up people to get in beds. And this frequently is not possible. Therefore I end up spending 10 minutes waiting for the sun to rise. It's really quite annoying.

The other is how I don't have control over what version of the game they're using. There are a set of mods that I use for my singleplayer world which don't get updated at the same time as Minecraft. Indeed, between versions 1.6.2 and 1.7 there were enormous changes to the code. So much that needed things like the Minecraft Coder Pack still has not been updated. As a result, many mods are still stuck at 1.6.4 at the latest. Since my laptop practically demands Optifine, that means my single player stuff can't go beyond 1.6. Servers are typically in the 1.7 range. That means no mods, getting lost easily, and it's a general inconvenience to me.

Plus, servers are more unreliable than personal maps. A server can go up or down at any time without your knowledge or approval. Due to damage or game updates the map might get reset, thereby deleting all of your works right out of existence. Seems kind of pointless to me to build stuff, only for it to later be destroyed like that. Luckily there are some sites and servers which provide map downloads, so you can finish your projects. But even then I don't think it's quite the same.

On the other hang, SSP offers you a lot more control. The sun goes up or down at your will. You delete it only if you so desire - or if it's utterly unplayable due to game updates. My pride and joy creations have always been on singleplayer maps.