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Level 18. Journeyman Explorer
Posted 4/14/12 3:07 pm
Hello, first off i'd like to thank you for clicking on my post :)
The main focus of this article is to give tips on how to make your server popular, successful, and the best quality that it can be. This is essentially a compilation of what to do, or not to do, if you run a server. I've come up with these tips by running my own server in the past, playing both good and bad servers, and by contemplating on what i personally like to see in a server.
Without further ado (I hope I spelled that right e_e), here we go!
1) Be fair . Possibly the most important, hence why it's number one. No one likes an abusive admin, and most of us have experienced one at some time or another. Admin abuse will lead to the overall downfall of your server. As an admin people trust you. Trust you with what you may ask? Time. People trust you with something irreplaceable. The reason someone joins your server, and soon after spends their time on it is because the don't expect their progress to be erased. They expect that their time, aka whatever they build/create, will be safe while their gone. No one likes their progress reset. When I played silver/gold pokemon versions as a kid (still do), and the battery died causing my save file to be corrupt, i nearly died inside. It's a terrible feeling to loose what you've invested your time into.
2) Choose your mods wisely . Choosing the wrong person to be moderator can also cause a server to fall. I personally only choose people that I know in real life, and even then there's only two people who I'd trust. My brother who was an admin on my former server, and one of my closest friends who i've known for the longest time. If you don't have anyone who would make good mods/admins in real life, find someone you've known for awhile and that you can truly trust. Don't ruin your server over giving moderator status to a power hungry 14 year old who asks for it. Usually, the person who doesn't ask for it is the best option.
3) The banhammer is not your friend . It's a tool used to deal with hackers/x-rayers/serious offenders as a last resort. Simply because someone doesn't share the same values with you, or doesn't agree with you, noes not mean you get to ban them. Banhappy admins are not
4) Consistent rules . This is more or less an attachment to tip 3. Have a consistent set of rules displayed on signs at spawn. A successful approach many servers are currently doing is creating a sort of a quiz to go through before you access the "real server". An example would be a quiz maze. Question: Is xraying allowed? Left path = no (progress further in the maze) Right path = yes (dead end)
5) Proper grammar . Yes, grammar is actually a key factor. You don't exactly have to talk like a 16th century noble, but spelling correctly helps. When I'm searching for a server, I'm more apt to join a server with a description that's properly spelled rather than one with "join us we r a good server ul b happy n have a lot of fun if ur not dumb and chooz us".
6) Good layout . This one branches from tip 5. A good layout page for a server can do a lot of good for it. It displays that you care enough about your server to spend an additional 30 minutes making the page look appealing. A quick image for your server created in gimp or photoshop helps as well.
7) Donations . Donations can lead to downfall as well. A quote used by RuneScape back in its former glory was "We dono t want players to be able to buy their way to success in RuneScape. If we let players start doing this, it devalues RuneScape for others. We feel your status in real-life shouldno t affect your ability to be successful in RuneScape". I feel the same approach should be taken to a server. Yes, DO allow the option to donate, but DON'T give ridiculous perks such as flying, bedrock, or loads of diamonds to someone who donates. Maybe a colored name tag varying in colors displaying how much they donated would suffice. Donating is to show appreciation to a server, to support it. Not to buy perks.
8) Communication . Letting your players know what's going on with the server is a must. I suggest creating a simple website, or even a blog here on Planet Minecraft to inform your players as to when your server may be down, or if you plan on Scheduling an event. This can help avoid confusion, which can lead to players quitting. If the server is going to be down for a week, and the players don't know about it, they may find a different server that is up and running. If they are informed of the time your server will be back up, they will be more likely to wait until it is back up, and continue where they left off.
(more to come later)
Thanks for reading, and most importantly, good luck on managing, running, and owning a successful proud server :D