The Power of Plugins
At Veterancraft, we use CraftBukkit – a server mod that greatly extends the potential of a vanilla Minecraft server. CraftBukkit brings many capabilities to the table, a pinnacle asset is its plugin mechanism that allows others to create modules for improving functionality, changing game behavior, or adding features that Notch has not yet envisioned.
There are hundreds of plugins to choose from (see Bukkit Plugin List) providing features ranging from something as simple as changing chat text colors to adding complex game behaviors for emulating other popular MMO-type games.
However, Veterancraft believes that SMP Minecraft should be about Minecraft, not plugins. That doesn’t mean that we don’t use them. We use them to empower server admins with tools such as logging, anti-griefing, and player management. We also use them to give players additional capabilities such as grief protection, MMO-style abilities, commerce and more, as long as they don’t detract from a Notch-style gameplay.
The Bane of Plugins
The reality is that most plugin developers are weekend coders. They are an enthusiastic bunch with great ideas, but don’t necessarily have the design and programming skills for developing code that can be used reliably in a multi-user, production quality environment. Take a look at a couple of plugin descriptions and chances are that you'll see introductions such as
- I’m new to Java, but I made this plugin… This is my first plugin… This works great on my private server…
Needless to say, we take on a lot of risk when adding plugins. Unless you don't mind inventories getting wiped, lag spikes, or corrupted/missing chunks happening regularly, we take a very guarded approach to using plugins. We have enough work with the aforementioned problems during major releases when many players are ranting "gotta have it now or the world will end;" but yet, are the first to state dissatisfaction when problems happen. Obviously, we don't mean Veterancraft players, but instead refer to the rest that are out there. While Veterancraft is provided as an "as is" service, we try hard to ameliorate regular problems that afflict every server, every so often.
But, to be fair, there are also some excellent developers that put out high quality plugins - far and few between at times, but they are there. Any plugin developed by one of the Bukkit team members or their affiliates can be considered production quality, as they have in-depth knowledge of CraftBukkit. There are also many professional software engineers and programmers with tons of real life experience that produce great plugins and provide continued support and direction to their users.
Below is a list of our current plugins intended for players or general enhancements.
- Dynmap - Live world map.
- DynMap Residence - Enables a residence layer on DynMap to show their locations and owners.
- ecoCreature - rewards for mob kills.
- Essentials - Providing some of the essential commands that everyone needs.
- HeroicDeath - Custom death messages.
- iConomy 6 - Enables our economy.
- JCAlchemist - A few utility recipes. Donor-only perk.
- JCChat- Colorized chat with titles and other adornments.
- JCDiver - Underwater breathing.
- JCShops - Enables shops.
- JCRIP - Managed grave digging for all those banned players.
- JCSuperPickaxe - The axe you never want to give back.
- JCVaultListener - Cash rewards for voting.
- JCXPVault - Personal bank for experience points. Donor-only perk.
- LogBlock - Logs changes on each block.
- mcMMO - Enables skills.
- MultiVerse - Enables more than one world.
- Residence - Enables players to own and grief protect land.
- SimpleSpleef - automated Spleef match management. However, this plugin is currently non-functional.
- Votifier - Allows players to get paid when they vote.
- WorldBorder - Limits the size of the maps.
- WorldEdit - /jumpto and other navigation commands for donors and staff, among other things.
We are open to new plugin recommendations from our players. If you know of, or come across, a plugin that you think would enhance gameplay without detracting from Notch's vision, we are open to suggestions. But, remember this! This is our server; you chose to come here. We will not tailor it to suit your preferences from another server.
Recommendations must be submitted to the Suggestion Box. If you are recommending multiple plugins, please submit a request for each one separately (better traceability and limits thread to one topic of discussion). The following shall be included in each post:
- Name of the plugin
- A link to the plugin's BukkitDev page.
- A description of the plugin and its capabilities and how you think it will benefit Veterancraft. This is important: If you cannot describe the plugin and give a compelling reason why Veterancraft should consider it, we will not spend the time wading through its source code and forum discussions to evaluate its applicability, stability and supportability.
These are the minimum requirements that plugins must have to even be up for consideration.
- The plugin must be current. That is, it must be advertized as being compliant with the most recent CraftBukkit Recommended or Beta Build.
- The plugin must have a stable release. Beta or alpha versions will generally not be accepted.
- The plugin must have a reasonable user base. If no one is using it, why should we?
- Source code must be available. We have source code for 95% of our plugins and require it for three reasons: 1) to evaluate the maturity of its design and the abilities of the developer; 2) to make any necessary changes/patches to work within our environment, if needed; and, 3) to continue development should the original developer disappear.