A change to server credit in 1.7


#1

Hi everyone

I’m making great progress on 1.7, and we’re only a few weeks away from the first beta.

There are many great new things coming that you will love, but I thought it was time I let you know of a change that is coming that some of you might not like. I wanted to make sure you have plenty of warning.

A few years ago, back before we had the cloud, you either had to host multiplayer games on your own Mac, or pay to use the BlockServer service. This meant there were very few servers available to join. If you created a server, lots of people would come and play on it, and we had far fewer worlds to choose from, but on average they were busier and higher quality.

These days, around 5,000-10,000 cloud worlds are loaded up on any given day, with the vast majority of those only having one player (the creator) in them. 500 to 1000 new cloud worlds are created every single day! It’s hard to find anyone to come and join your world, because it’s too easy to create worlds, and there are far too many to choose from.

When I introduced the cloud, I made it so you could use time crystals to pay for servers. I did this to make it as accessible as possible, so anyone could create a world and invite players. However it ended up being way too easy, and I didn’t expect anywhere near this many worlds to be created. There really isn’t much point creating an online world if there is no one looking for worlds to join. I want to encourage more people to play in fewer servers because the game will be more fun that way.

I also have to consider the costs of running the cloud (which is thousands of dollars a month), and given the large amount of time crystal piracy and dwindling revenue from video ads and IAPs, something really needs to change.

So I have decided that in 1.7, The Blockheads will require In App Purchase for creating and topping up all cloud-hosted worlds. This change will happen on the day that 1.7 is released.

The pricing isn’t final, but I expect it will be very close to (in USD) 99c for 7 days and $2.99 for 30 days.

In case there is any concern, I’m also working on a number of things to help address issues with more players in more advanced worlds. For example there will be new ways to get flint and clay and other base resources when they have been stripped. And I’ve done a lot of work to fix issues with hackers, and with server rollback problems for large worlds in 1.7.

I’m sorry if this change inconveniences or upsets anyone, but I feel it is the right thing to do for the future of The Blockheads.

EDIT - A few more clarifications:

  • You can still use TCs for all the other things they are used for
  • You can still watch videos to get TCs
  • You can still join worlds for free, play single player worlds for free, and host worlds on a Mac for free
  • Any existing world credit that has already been paid for using TCs before 1.7 goes live will remain valid
  • Anyone can still buy world credit for any world, even if they didn’t create or don’t own the world
  • There are no plans to expire old worlds at the moment. If worlds run out of credit, they can still be restored by adding credit for at least a year from when they run out, probably longer

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#2

Finally, now less empty worlds that you can’t actually exit the portal’s area because some [redacted] dug a hole around the amethyst portal.


#3

YES!! I already love it. this will teach those pirates a lesson indeed! :smile:

I hated having tons of worlds being opened every single day.


#4

Please don’t circumvent our word filtering system. This is your one warning about this.


#5

Oh, no… This is a sad day for us F2P players, but I suppose it’s for the best…

I just hope that it would be a bit less expensive, considering that I get most of my money to spend on TBH from Swagbucks gift cards, which take a long time to gather.

edit: also, will there be a larger player cap on servers now?


#6

Will there still be a tc cost too? Or just an in-app purchase?


#7

I guess it’s for the best :frowning:

But I can’t wait until I see the new features added to the game…


#8

Only IAP, the TC cost is being replaced fully with IAP.


#9

Will anyone be able to add credit to a server as we have now, or just the owner?


#10

Would only server owners be able to top up their worlds or can other players contribute via IAP?

Edit: @Ingeniare beat me to it :wink:


#11

That will remain unchanged, as long as Apple doesn’t have a problem with it in App Review . They shouldn’t, but the rules are a little unclear as to whether this may be classed as IAP gifting. So I’m not absolutely certain, but my intent is for it to remain the way it is, where you can add credit to any world.


#12

Hi Dave,

Will this also affect the Mac server side of things? I haven’t been using my Mac server (since the iMac, like my iPad is slowly dying) but when 1.7 comes out, I may start my server up again. As you’ve explained the costs are due to the cloud rental and maintenance, so my assumption is that if you’re running the server on your own Mac, it doesn’t necessarily end up costing Majic Jungle anything, right?

Please correct me if my assumptions are wrong.

Thanks,

-S


#13

It won’t affect the Mac servers in any way, it will remain free to host your own worlds on your own Mac.


#14

:scream: You know what I just realized??
Piraters will quit, flock to the forums to complain, quit, and we can cleanse the community of TC pirates. Hackers are still a nuisance though…


#15

For server owners who are unable to provide funding for their server(s) after the update, will they be able to revive the world after it’s run out of credit like we can do currently? And will these worlds still show up when searching for servers?


#16

I’ll beg for a iTunes card when 1.7 comes out


#17

Thanks for the clarification. I guess you won’t forget to update the Mac App store this time, right? :wink:

-S


#18

Sorry if I missed this, but what will happen to existing credit on servers?


#19

That will also remain unchanged, at least for now. The number of dead worlds just keeps growing, so at some point I may make it so that worlds which haven’t been active for a year or more are permanently deleted, but I don’t plan on doing that just yet.


Avery Falls
#20

I just want to say THANK YOU! Dave. I have posted and posted about these issues in the past. I don’t want to sound like a jerk and say “I told you so”, but its obvious I was right about the given issues. I know you had good intentions making it very easy for anyone to make their own server and without having to pay for IAP for a free app, but i am sure you know by now good intentions don’t pay the bills. I actually quit playing the blockheads on a regular basis quite a while ago because of all the issues stated in your post but with these new changes I can see myself coming back and starting up my old servers I had. The Blockheads has became a really fun game and great way to meet new people around the world, and I think The Blockheads has an even brighter future waiting for it but we all have to work together as a community to keep The Blockheads great and free of those who’s intentions are malicious. I look forward to the new server billing system.

Keep up the great work Dave and Milla