I know I'm kinda late to the thread(s) here but just thought I'd post what I'd noted down when the first update post came around, as well as the recent 'update-update' post. I'm a wordy-person so I tend to ramble and go into detail a lot; you've now been warned. XD I would also like to mention that I basically know (at least in my perspective) very little of the actual commands that either come with the rank or server, so please be aware that I am playing in a basic 'vanilla' mode. I do not fly and I cannot make a Thanksgiving Turkey. I will also probably diverge a lot. So here goes..... 1) Sponges This being the thing I have the most experience and 'knowledge' of, I subsequently have the most to comment about. The evidence parts are displaying some things one may find useful that I have experienced on the server. Solutions are self explanatory and pertain directly to the evidence preceding them. The points are a standing on a certain article of sponge-ownership that I have found that is neither a problem nor a solution. (These are things that I am just flinging out into space in the hopes that someone has a better idea to them than I.) Evidence: Interestingly enough, more often than finding whole swathes of land unoccupied at all (or at least from what I could see on the surface), I find houses---sometimes entire bases---left completely unprotected. The main object is, is that there is a great number of people or bases out there that are just not protected. I don't know if this is because they'd rather buy other things with their coins, the actual sponge they are trying for is too expensive, or they just don't know the mechanics of that part of the server-experience. I have also had the occurrence where I come across random chests, dogs, and sometimes even doors dotting the landscape that are being protected because someone placed them there. Perhaps a house once surrounded those things and was looted because the place wasn't protected. I am also one of those people that doesn't cover every square inch of my zone with buildings. I like landscapes, long---scenic approaches---I admit, but does that make me a 'land squatter'? Solution: Maybe one of the first notices a new player can get when first joining the server is to be either told via chat or physically dropped into a sponge tutorial. If the server is planning on having a token + coin + physical hours spent on the server this is going to be even more important as that's a whole lot more variables for them to calculate when ordering up a sponge. I also understand that people may be gone for many months and only return after the Purge. I've had empty cubes neighboring my 'town' before and learned to carefully place my sponge-zone so it left them room. Despite these being something of an eyesore, I think it's important to let the placement of protection zones be pretty much permanent. This way, people don't feel like they might be gone for a month and their house is suddenly gone the next when they are able to return. Should the same go for great swathes of land? I have no apparent answer to this question of "how much time can it be vacant". In the end I would much rather have a protected shack next to me than raiders pillaging the place and leaving all these doors eerily hovering in the air around whimpering dogs. Point: While I will survive having to wait 4 hours or so to buy a 100 sponge/any sponge, I think some kind of deduction is needed regarding coins. Yes, perhaps it takes 4 + 1 token + 'x' coins to buy a sponge but perhaps instead of 4000 or so coins for the current 100-zone, maybe only 1000. I say this because with the elimination of large amounts of coins from grinders and increase in shop prices, we will be seeing people once more forgoing protecting their areas in favor of saving up for easy diamonds. Evidence: I tend to buy sponges almost as soon as I have a plot of land I want to build in. That being said, waiting frantically for 4+ hours to pass in order just to protect this land is not worth it to me. I would not even begin building, not many supplies would be gathered due to inventory space, and the land might be claimed by the time I return simply due to how infrequently I can be on the server. It's not a bad idea to include time on the server as a variable for purchasing protection zones, I just foresee a really decline in people who, like me, might work 6 days a week some weeks and end up making smaller builds. I can honestly say every single time I've joined the server I've pooled coins with friends to fund our protection zone because to us, that is the most important part of the build. Solution: Allow players of all ranks to acquire any sponge size they need when first joining the server. This includes people coming back from the previous server's purge and what not. This allows people to quickly protect their areas with an initial sponge and then build up time, tokens, and coins for the next one. Sure, I don't mind paying some coins for the initial sponge---that's what the voting page is for too. Point: This may sound really weird and crazy but I tend to buy a sponge and then re-sell it to the server for larger or smaller ones. I do this to literally see how much this covers. I've never actually done calculations or counted out the area I wanted to protect but once. My question is: Would this be possible with the new sponge-requirements? Would I have to wait 4+ hours to resell a sponge I no longer wanted/needed just to buy a differently sized one? In short: I don't dislike the changes, but I think some clarification about the exact variables of purchasing sponges is appreciated. I would also like for there to be some kind of easily accessible, clear direction of how to use the sponges and their utmost purpose and importance. Again, I cannot stress enough how the simple feature of giving people a means to protect their lands encourages a more peaceable server by removing any and all option for people to set upon vacant, unprotected homes and effectively gut them. Seeing glimpses of such things in chat or during exploring reminds me of the squalid fear and desperation of existence on a 'raid/pvp/grief' server. 2) Shops As @Lucrata states, I am not particularly knowledgeable about what goes into shop keeping. As I have said elsewhere, I typically only buy rare things not usually found, even in the mineworld (such as prismarine, wither skulls, quartz....). However, I rarely use the shops for buying things: I am one of those people that prefers to collect what I can myself. I can attest to the convenience of the grinders for xp and especially the ability to sell surplus things to the shops (when they allow for selling). Also, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I approve of the design changes to the shop portal room. I feel this will make it more inclusive and useful. 3) Tokens (and Minigames) I really like the ideas to incorporate tokens and minigames rewards into the different servers. I've only just discovered the Minigames this year and absolutely love the teamwork exhibited in the 'mob arena'. I also like how I can play individually where most of the other games require other players. Perhaps there should be more such minigames that can be played solo rather than persuading people to join you there. Capture the flag or gathering type games could also work well. As mentioned in @Lucrata 's postings on this topic, the new token ideas is a great opportunity to expand on current /buytemp options. I am thinking of adding more of my notes/ideas to @Lucrata's post on this subject as they come to me. 4) Towns I have never really invested in any towns. While I can see the appeal of people wanting to live close together and in a tight knit, if not cohesive, group, I also understand the concerns about people begging others to join a town so it doesn't 'go out of business' and such. I agree with the server-admins' choice to make towns easier to create and use, and less demanding on the creators. Even if it means that the server technically creates and owns the town. I do know some people are extremely upset about this topic though so perhaps a separate post detailing exactly how a server town would work would be helpful to them. 5) Dungeons, Shards, Custom Enchants Again, I have nothing but praise for this line of improvement. I would like to add that while I love the idea of quest and dungeons spawning in the mineworld, like the End Dragon and Nether fortresses, I foresee these getting plundered pretty quickly. Does that add challenge? Yes. I have heard many people being frustrated over the End Dragon being constantly killed within the first few minutes of the mineworld reset. As I don't pretend to know your exact plans or parameters for this I would just like to add that this brings a whole new level or intrigue to exploration. Where once people would comment that they were 'bored', now they can purposefully explore. Wow, thanks to all who dutifully read through this whole spcheel. I'm sorry if I rambled on and on, it was a long, busy day at work today and I wanted to get my notes down quickly and with clarity. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments I welcome all and any. I will also probably realize I've forgotten an important point and come back and add to it. Thanks and have a great night!