Hi, I'm fairly new here compared to most of the folks here.
People join vanilla servers for different reasons so I can only speak for my experience in the server thus far.
What I loved about the server were:
1) Friendly people
Absolutely the main reason I decided to say. As soon as I joined, I was fortunate enough to be warmly welcomed by multiple people. Since the main reason I play on multiplayer instead of single player is to feel a sense of community, it was great. The people seem close to one another and the server chat doesn't seem "dead".
2) Well established train system
I actually prefer this method of travel over teleport. It is more time consuming but it gives a sense of vanilla, which I find it very unique to this server. I love it.
There are many other good qualities but if I were to pick the best two, those two would be it.
When I first joined, the following were the confusing parts. Now, They will be trivial to players who've played on the server long, they did not come as natural to me.
I am a very newbie to multiplayer (or MC in fact) so some might be trivial knowledge to average MC players.
1) Which maps to join?
There are many maps, it was difficult to choose which map most people played on without looking at the map. I've actually started on Rodinia and spent 20 minutes travelling only to realize most of the players were on Laurasia.
I know there is a "Survival Guide" book in the Lobby that describes the server but the title seemed not very descriptive where I actually skipped reading it. Although I understood the map was generated in 1.8 and still playable in 1.19.2, it was dubious whether new ores would be available or new items would be available in the map or whether the new height limit has been implemented.
From the "veterans'" perspectives, we share the inventory across multiple servers so it doesn't really matter. But if the new players didn't read (which I've learned from working, most of them don't) or joined on the server on their own, they may believe the maps are not up-to-date from the floating description in the lobby. I don't want to sound pedantic but while two worlds describe when it was first generated, the other three worlds do not describe when it was first generated. And many questions arise still.
- Do I still play in the latest snapshot when I join that map? i.e. combat system, mobs, etc.?
- If there are so many maps, which one is the best fit for me?
- How often do these maps get reset so if I get bored with MC and come back after 6 months, will my build be still around?
- Which worlds are generated with the latest snapshot?
- I registered and don't want to play with visitors who may have ill intentions but I want to play in the latest world generation. Where should I play?
These are all very trivial to veteran players but the fact that older versions were mentioned worried me that I won't play with the latest snapshot. I'm sure everytime there is a huge MC update, people are looking for the latest and the greatest but mention of older versions might be off putting to some.
My suggestion is to rename the book, remove the versions it was first generated (but rather mention the year it was generated) and explicitly state which ores/generation is present in it.
As for the lobby floating descriptions, remove the versions it was first generated and have more personalized description like Lauarasia for each map.
Lasttly, in the case of Laurasia, there are many chunks generated in different versions, we will need to point them to a wiki or a map that outlines which areas are generated in which versions.
Very difficult to do for the already generated ones but the veterans seem to know which parts of the map are new and old
2) Presence of Moosemart
Until other players told me after 1 to 2 hours on the server, I didn't know about the existence of Moosemart.
I originally thought the economy ran on player exchange until I was shown the Moosemart.
My suggestion is to streamline the spawn area (use floating description if we have to) to show which systems are in use.
3) Railway system
Railways are daunting at first, especially if the entire server uses it!
It should be explicitly stated that nether traveling is 8x faster and that railways are connected by hubs and hubs lead to trusted members' portals, where you can walk to a remote wild location.
Also, the central train station was hard to navigate at first (whether to go to basement or second floor, which direction I must go to the "wild")
Keep in mind this is only the very start of the server so if there wasn't anyone around who knew, it would have been quite confusing.
Also, I didn't know about the /minecart command.
Maps should be introduced with educating the railways.
When I first opened the map, I was presented with beautiful live map of the world but the default view was 90 degrees rotated and also, a player had to show me how to view the portal locations for my first trip to the wild.
My suggestion is to make the default view aligned with NSEW and to include markers for portals (possibly make the portal icons smaller).
It's unclear how to earn the title "Trusted" to use lava buckets for building farm.
It seemed worrying that as a casual gamer myself and sleep schedule really messed up, I may not be able to interact with the players as often as I want.
It is also not clear whether I can build nether portals in the middle of nowhere (where the closest portal is ~1500 blocks away). So, if I want to mine quartz, I need to mine around somebody else's portal which usually has a separate build. I don't want to look like I'm griefing so I'm having to walk additional 300 blocks away to start mining for quartz.
Even 300 hours or 500 hours on the server to become trusted is fine, I wish it was more clearer.
I don't want to sink many hours potentially without unable to use lava, crucial to building large cobblestone structures, mob traps, trash can, obsidian, and cool lighting.
Also, to have somebody trusted place one for me (which thankfully Groovy did), I would need to wait awhile for them to travel all the way.
I had to really think to come up with these 5 minor points.
I am of the opinion if the learning curve is too high, the new players may lose interest quickly so I focused on what was confusing to me as a newbie when I first joined 1 week ago.
Sorry for the long read, didn't expect it to be so long.