Minecraft is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, indie games of the year, and the Multiplayer function is something that tens of thousands use everyday. Let’s take a look at one of the biggest multiplayer servers out there, Super Earth.
Being one of the biggest multiplayer servers, Super Earth provides fellow Minecrafters the ability to join/start a town/nation, take use of the coveted “Void” (a 250×250 area that resets every 24 hours), and develop amazing connections with other users through its tight knit community. After a short interview session with the Owner, who goes by Vetyver, as well as the Server Admin, Darwin, and a few other integral pieces to the server’s operation, it became clear just why this server is the number one server out there.
The server’s origins are quite a story, as Vetyver originally thought Minecraft was a terrible game, only playing for a handful of minutes the first time he ever logged on. After some exploring and research though, he became more dedicated to building, and eventually started a simple LAN server with his girlfriend, Co-Owner NitaVictory. This server was run off of NitaVictory’s desktop, as Vetyver only had a not-so-powerful laptop, but on this LAN, they would simply build using a lot of dedication, as they were not aware of plugins or any other mods out there to help with their building process. Vetyver, who is currently a Junior in College, works as a help desk technician, and eventually expanded the server to be used by his close group of “geeky and nerdy friends,” as he put it. Now, there are very few of those original friends who still play on the server as it is now, as Super Earth has grown to levels that they never thought possible.
One of the original buildings was the creating of Old Pandora, a creation that still stands to this day on the server. Above, you can see a memorial to one of the original builders for the server, Jkrivjansky. The memorial was built in order to honor the life of the original SuperMod (one of the tiers of moderators on the server) who was also the first donator on the server, who passed away this past January. The memorial stands to show that even to the day of his untimely death, he worked to further promote and better Super Earth. This memorial doesn’t even scratch the surface of creations on the server, as there are countless amazing buildings on this server, and one must keep in mind that all of the materials for these creations had to be harvested by hand as well.
I moved on in the interview to ask Vetyver what his proudest moment on the server was. He began to explain to me how Super Earth has had outstanding success and brought success to his business’ success, Gamer North Gaming Network, as well. When I talked to the server’s Admin, Darwin, he said that his proudest moment was, obviously, becoming a Moderator, and ultimately the Admin, but also seeing the success of the Gamer North Network, ultimately leading to Super Earth being #1 on the list of top multiplayer servers via Minestatus.net.
The burning question in my mind was what the guys running this server love and hate about their server. Every single one of them said that beyond everything else, the community was amazing. Vetyver told me that:
We are not power hungry admins, and the town system that we have in place let’s people do whatever they want within their towns with little to no admin interference. This led to a huge comunity of supporters who have helped with policy integration, as well as dealing with hackers and people who are bent on causing trouble.
AzulCaballero (a very active Super Mod) told me that his favorite part was also the sense of community, but also seeing the town system rise to where it is right now. He says,
When I was king of the nation, I was the king of the only active nation, there were no other nations to compete against, so there wasn’t really a strong community. When more towns started appearing, the community seemed to become more and more strong. This eventually led to the huge towns and nations we have now. An example town would be Divinity Coast (seen below) which has around 140 people, all coordinating to work on the same projects. That’s amazing to me.
After this, it seemed like a single vote that the most annoying thing about the server is how people become “friends” with the mods and admin with the sole intent of starting their own server that they hope will rival Super Earth. This leads to drama, and this is the most hated thing for the admins. For Vetyver though, he would like “Mojang’s support of the multiplayer community to be a lot better. Currently updates are pushed with no release canadiates or API, making hosting, developing, and administrating MC Multiplayer communites very difficult.” Maybe Notch should take notice of the disappointment from some of his biggest fans?
Surprisingly, this team of developers, admins, and moderators do not actually get to play a whole lot. The admin, Darwin, says that in the past 6 weeks, he has spent 65 hours, on average, doing work for the server, with a peak at 75 hours, while actually playing Minecraft or other video games only had about 10 hours per week. I’m not sure why, but this surprised me. At the same time though, it doesn’t come as a surprise, as the amount of time put into this server really shows in the play quality. The moderators, admins, and developers are incredibly devoted to maintaining this server, putting countless hours into making Super Earth function 24/7, even when trying to implement new changes or plugins to the server.
In the future, Vetyver hopes to continue to support Super Earth as it has been in the past, continuing to make it a massive role-playing experience with at least 500 players. He notes that while this is a very large goal, it could certainly be done depending on the final build of Minecraft, due out on November 11th, 2011. Building off of that, he hopes to continue to expand the Gamer North Network and create a network of servers dedicated to Minecraft and the Minecraft community. After talking to one of their developers, LJJokay, I was also informed of another innovation for Super Earth and the Gamer North Network that they call Super Panal, which is a server manager that takes it’s roots from MCAdmin, one of the top server administration tools out there. Below is a preliminary image of the software which is still in development.
Super Earth is an amazing multiplayer server, and it’s buildings and creations are absolute marvels. I encourage all of you to check out their website, Super-earth.net, and also check out their multiplayer server at mc.super-earth.net. Super Earth provides an amazing experience with an awesome community of people that all interested in Minecraft need to check out. Log onto their server and take a look around!