General Thread About Map Questions

Blaezon

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Admin
Jul 16, 2015
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Hey Spleef League, I am writing this post six days into our 3.0 beta phase for the benefit of those who have questions surrounding the state of the world-map. I am going to be covering a lot of content within this post so if you are looking for a specific answer and do not wish to read all of it, I will try to appropriately partition the topics. This post is intended for both new and old players of Spleef League in order to provide the most context possible behind some of the decisions we have made and what our plans are for the future.

Q1 - Why does a minigame server have such a large emphasis on open-world exploration?

Since its first realized iteration in 2012, Spleef League has historically featured a world where players could explore pathways and regions where minigame maps have been placed. Many older players recall spending several hours of their time outside of playing spleef and super jump finding easter eggs, hidden items and forbidden places outside of the established map. For many, this feeling of exploration was just as integral to the server experience as the minigames were. It allowed players to hang out with each other and invest time into finding new secrets and sharing them. In 2015, when the second iteration of Spleef League was rekindled by both the old and new admin teams collaborating, our team utilized this shared vision to revisit this tradition. The current version of the map was made with the same intentions of exploration, albeit in a way that reflected the first edition of Spleef League (henceforth shortened to SL) more so than the current Beta of the third phase. With SL 3.0 Beta, we have further built upon this foundation of tradition and have striven to give players more to do outside of games as downtime.

Q2 - Why do some assets of the world map clash with each other like references and joke-signs?

This is by far the biggest shortcoming of the current iteration of the map when considering player immersion into our world map. Going back to SL1.0, the old staff team did not care about communicating a story through their maps or having regions make geographical sense. For them, it was about making a server that reflected their style of humor and having interesting locations for maps. This was a concept that the new staff team took into 2.0 and inspired a great deal of the current map selections we provide, as many of them are redesigned with the original 2012 creations in mind. With the current 3.0 beta, we have stepped away from this design philosophy and striven to make completely original fantasy locations.

Many players, however, may recognize somewhat jarring references to outside-world fiction (Going Merry in Pirate Cove, The Legend of Zelda references, Metroid series inspiration, etc.) These inclusions were, at the time of being built, inspired by the admin team’s love for these franchises and nothing more. Their presence is not meant to be some sort of strange fan-fiction inclusion into the SL world, yet for now these references are not actively being removed unless they are grossly distracting from what we would like to create in the future. Furthermore, although these references are relatively small compared to the original content of the map, further exploration of external material will no longer be produced.

Ultimately, without taking ourselves too seriously, the goals of the SL map will be moving further away from “fourth-wall breaks” and towards content which allows the player to interact with the world in a meaningful way. SL is not meant to be a fully-fledged RPG experience in the way that other impressively scaled servers have achieved as per the current design philosophy. This does not mean however, that RPG elements and story tidbits will not be included as the world region develops. There is a certain charm to having jokes across the map that poke fun of the player or the design elements of the map. For a while at least, many of these existing “fourth-wall breaks” will remain.

TL;DR - Many references were based in the old mindset of SL and will no longer be produced. In the future they may be pruned out of the map for the sake of consistency.

Q3 - Why do some areas of the map feel emptier than others?

Speaking truthfully, many of these locations were intended for mini-game modes that did not make the cut for Beta. In a few months, this question may be seen as outdated, but for now this is the current answer. Some areas were intended as nothing more than minigame arenas, but have now developed into more exploring friendly set pieces. In the future, we will look to keep adding new and interesting areas with tangible prizes.

Q4 - Why has it taken so long to make a small-medium sized world map so far?

SL has been up until recently, very much a passion project for all members involved. All of us are unpaid, work long hours and rely on volunteer work to make our server come alive. Building is no exception to this rule and is one of the most time-consuming activities that go into making SL possible along with development and art. Several times, build members, such as myself, were unsure of the future of SL’s development as a server and took hiatuses which lasted for months at a time to either take a break or outright stop working on the project temporarily. Building a world takes considerable effort, even if the quality of the builds are not the peak.

Our build team consists of around four regular members, with a few supplementary individuals who depending on their demanding schedules allows us some of their time. Even among the four main builders, time commitment is a varying factor which affects the output significantly. Moreover, the SL build team over the years has constantly raised the bar for quality and detailed work which has retroactively made some older builds on the server look worse by comparison. Many of these builds have had to be revisited and renovated to fit our personal standards, while some stay in their old state, acting as an eyesore for some of us. It takes a lot of time to redo maps, let alone make new ones. Amber Sails, for instance, used to be named “Zeppelin” and consisted of a poorly made airship and six or so islands with nothing on them to explore. It took around one month of dedicated building from start to finish to draft, build and polish the majority of the new Amber Sails area. This was just one map renovation out of the dozens we have performed on the current version of the server.

These explanations also do not cover fatigue or burn-out for dedicating large periods of time to making maps, as well as not considering the jobs builders have outside of minecraft and the real-world dedications we make as people. We hope eventually that the server is successful enough to facilitate more time to dedicate towards creating new content, but until that is the case, we are only able to commit as much time as we comfortably can while prioritizing our other affairs.

Building a world takes time, but those who are interested in helping and feel they have the qualifications can learn more here: https://spleefleague.com/forums/forums/buildapply/

TL;DR - It has been a learning experience and ultimately we are people who do not have the time to dedicate solely to building.

Q5 - What can I do with my different ores and where do I find artisans?

Ores range from common, rare, epic, and legendary, all of which have a small chance of dropping after completing a minigame or exploring the world (redeeming monuments, certain gadgets, etc.) Three ores of a specified type can be forged by a corresponding artisan into a cosmetic item corresponding to its ore rarity. These four artisans are in four different locations on the map within their forges. To find them, one may read the ore descriptions for a hint as to what region they are in.

Q6 - How do I find spades, hats and other cosmetics on the map?

Some cosmetic items are not included in crate drops and are exclusive to the world map, meaning you must find them or complete challenges in order to unlock them. Most of these hidden cosmetics will have their models planted into a block with a corresponding redstone activator which will then indicate to the player that they have permanently unlocked the item.

Q7 - What are keys and how do I use them?

Some areas will yield “keys” which can be used to unlock other areas of the map. If a key is obtained, it will be stored under the Cosmetics -> Keys section, where a player must equip a key and hold it in order for a “lock” to be undone. Some keys and their corresponding locks are far away from another, so some locks may require thought by the player — which is our goal.

Q8 - What are “Golden Gatherings” and why are they on the map?

Golden Gatherings (colloquially referred to gold, coins or fragments) are collectibles which are divided by region and correspond with each region’s monument. Each monument is hidden in that region and features a mascot of sorts who will transform and reward a player 's efforts of collecting and returning their gatherings.

As a gameplay mechanic, they exist for two main reasons. For one, they are a great way for players to see the detail the builders have put into the map and to guide them to locations where they may have not initially seen by way of loose paths. Additionally, they give players a goal to reach while exploring the different areas for rewards and hidden secrets.
 
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Blaezon

Blaezon

Administrator
Admin
Jul 16, 2015
4
23
33
22
Q9 - Will more Golden Gatherings be added in already established areas?

Despite the fact SL is currently in Beta as of writing this post, we have no plans to add more golden gatherings to a specific region that already has them placed. We feel it is not fair for newer players to find a larger amount of gatherings due to placing more after the fact. The only exception to this understanding will be “repairing” locations that should have gatherings but for some unforeseen reason were removed or subject to a bug.

Q10- Will more Golden Gatherings be added at all?

We have plans to add golden gatherings to the islands surrounding the main island once the ocean islands are established for this continental region (more on that later). There will be an oceanic monument which will be built and placed along with the island gatherings.

Furthermore, other continental regions will contain their own monuments and gatherings.

Q11- Will more content be added to places I’ve already explored?

At the time of writing this, many areas of the world are completed and will stay as they are as the server progresses. We do feel, however, that many parts of the map could be enhanced with further secrets or landmarks in the future. When these additions are made, patch notes will detail what major region received changes to keep players informed, but not specific enough as to exactly where in order to not give away the pleasure of exploring for yourself.

Q12 - What is a continental region?

Currently, all the players have been exposed to is the main island where they spawn and the surrounding environment which stretches to the ocean-world borders. Instead of adding island chains outwardly forever, new masses of land called continents will be added in major map updates that boast their own regions and surrounding islands. Building these will be a massive undertaking so do not expect continental regions to come out often.

Q13 - I have some keys and items that don’t seem to work right now… why?

As a part of our plans to keep the server fresh and interesting outside of minigames, we are currently working on an “adventure update” of sorts which will introduce the player to quests and event instances on the map. Completing these will yield rewards similar to those that can be obtained through ordinary exploration. Some items on the map have been placed with this update in mind and will not be relevant to a player’s use until this update is released. Unfortunately, our audience will have to be patient for us to finish and polish these large updates.

Q14 - How long will map updates take to come out?

With the current build team we have, maps take a long time to come to fruition. As explained previously, we strive for quality content which is interesting and detailed. Many of these planned areas need time for conceptual design, execution and polish. The more members of our team that we have, the faster we can comfortably release these patches. If you are interested in helping us further develop our world and feel as though you meet our qualifications, please visit this link here:
https://spleefleague.com/forums/forums/buildapply/