PirateCraft updated 6 Minecraft versions to 1.18.1 🎉

January 15, 2022 12:00 pm Published by in . 1 Comment

PirateCraft is now running 1.18.1.

Upgraded from 1.12.2 to 1.18.1, nothing was lost, you can just log in and continue where you left off, for those of you that don’t want to read the details!

This is the biggest single update and the longest downtime in our 9 years history! So lets start by explaining the prolonged maintenance and sudden “drop everything” approach.

(Optional Read, no longer a threat)
The reason I took us offline and updated; Log4j (CVE-2021-44228)

I had planned to update to the latest Minecraft, but I wanted to keep the 1.12.2 server up while I slowly chipped away at it to not have downtime, what I didn’t expect was Log4j to come surprise me from behind.

What is log4j? Log4j is a Java-based logging utility, a library used by millions of Java based applications, including Minecraft clients & servers. It’s now patched in Minecraft 1.18.1.

Log4j is classed as a 10/10 RCE (Remote Code Execution), Official name CVE-2021-44228 and is the biggest threat the world has seen in years in terms of security because of how easily this vulnerability was to attack, leading to control over a system. To get a scale of how scary this bug is, here’s the British government’s report.

From this you can hopefully understand the scale of the threat; this wasn’t just a Minecraft related issue, this was worldwide, across all industries–it just happened to be found by the Minecraft community before everyone else because it seems that’s where hackers start when they find a new vulnerability (Minecraft servers). Luckily I’m so deep into the Minecraft community as I found out about this within hours.

As I caught this early and was proactive shutting down PirateCraft server, we were not compromised but we were vulnerable. After checking logs I noticed the server was pinged by a security company who was scanning the entire internet for vulnerable machines hours after the exploit was found, so as a team we decided the best course of action was to fully nuke the operating system and restore from backups just to be certain no foul play had happened from third parties.

I knew this would take time to re-build the server from backups, and there was no patches for 1.12.2 to protect us and nobody wanted to support it, so I made the decision to upgrade the Minecraft server over Christmas. What I didn’t expect was the 160+ hours I put in over my Christmas holiday, I’m exhausted.

This was my initial forum thread after making the decision on how to move forward.

PirateCraft world Expansion to 15,000 Blocks

What’s changed in the upgrade?

Additions

  • New Overworld Expansion to 15,000 blocks to generate all new terrain from 1.13 to 1.18 to explore and live in.
    • Higher build limit and new underground caves! 1.18 updated the entire worlds chunks, generating new ores/caves under all existing chunks in the world! Instant replenishment of Diamond!
  • New freshly generated nether world /warp newnether, or go through the portal at /warp cove
    • Spawn forces you to use a random teleport portal so the nether is not just people mining around spawn for loot, should help spreading people out around the new nether too.
  • New ranking system
    • All Contributors and Staff will now be able to rank-up solving an ancient flaw with the previous ranking system.
    • Required EXP to rank up was drastically dropped, but is now a payment!
    • Voting replaced the nerfed EXP requirements.
    • Contributors & Staff you will receive a 1 time migration message when you log in, I custom made this to set your starting rank for /rankup, it looks like this:
  • New chat system
    • /ignore now works again.
    • You can leave global chat via /ch or /channel, you will automatically be re-entered into it again when you log out and in-again or you can just select it again in /ch.
    • Replaces the [item] plugin which is now working without issues.
    • The entire chat filter was re-designed, we are much more lenient with what is being classified as a swear now, I created a spreadsheet with all swear words and ordered them by priority with how often they have been used in the chat history over time. We have words being filtered that had only been used a handful of times! This was precious wasted resources checking every message!
    • New /motd, drastically simplified .
    • All staff have the ability to delete messages from chat live, which will refresh everyone’s chat in-game to reflect the deletion.
    • Helpop is now a full on chat channel for staff.
  • New /stats
    • /stats Some of you may have already tested this with /newstats when we had it!
    • Moving to this new stats I was able to get rid of 4 plugins and reliance on a MySQL database! +1 on performance!
    • Use /playtime to get just playtime, Firstmate+ can use /playtime <username> and Firstmate+ gained /playtimetop which lists all players in order of most playtime (6800 pages!).
    • Admins can now update/change statistics to fix stats for players!
  • New Auto Claim removal
    • One of the updates to GriefPrevention finally fixed auto-removing claims. The issue was the design logic, incrementally checking claims from 0 on-wards each time the server booted, our issue was we have so many claims it didn’t get past the first few hundred each day! So no claims were ever removed for the entire time we have had claims!
    • Claims will randomly be picked and checked if they are inactive and automatically removed, its been doing this for the last few weeks so there will be a ton of old claims that were removed for you to loot now!
  • New Blocks added to ships
    • All ships have had a lot of the new blocks added!
  • New Winter Treasure chest is already up!
    • This was made ready before the upgrade, its had its 5 star items updated to match some new things!
  • New Compass now shows a boss-bar NESW in the direction you are facing.
ScriptX & IndexOutOfMJ zen-garden with new blocks!

Server differences from Vanilla

  • Disabled curing Zombie Villagers due to how overpowered villagers are from the 1.14 update.
  • Disabled treasure maps/dolphins looking for treasure as these have a massive performance impact constantly looking. for treasure even outside the worldborder, and these treasure chests will be looted once!
  • You can ride on Dolphins and control them for fun.
  • Phantoms have a much higher timer on how often they attack players that have not slept as they are super annoying.
  • Mob spawns will be based per player and not whole server.
  • New redstone algorithm, replaces our old faster redstone plugin.
  • Netherite Knockback Resistance is disabled (Voted for by PvP players).
  • Evokers will not drop Totem of Undying
  • Villagers brains have been nerfed, they think too much! Brain-ticks is set to 8.
  • Some farm animal AI may disable itself, freezing animal farm just just bumping around aimlessly.

Changes

The process of testing, migrating and replacing plugins has changed how a few things work.

  • You can now only connect with 1.18.1 client.
  • Removed 34 plugins and replaced most of our required plugins, the majority of our maintenance was fixing/converting data/replacing plugins.
  • 50 Slot server cap, I have halved the server population cap specifically to focus on performance in the next few weeks.
    • I would classify the server as “Bare bones” at present with the most needed plugins to minimize impact when diagnosing poor performance from 1.13-1.18 that was introduced.
  • We changed server platforms from Paper to Purpur.
  • New Mob farm management plugin, the old one has TPS drops, the new one works a little differently classing groups of mobs near each other as farms, as opposed to the old chunk-based one.
    • Caveat 1, there is no prevention of placing mobs in an already “full” group, so it will allow you to place mobs and they will be culled, which will be confusing for users “Why did XYZ vanish/die” I’ve requested this feature from the dev already.
    • Caveat 2, there is no staff notification of what was removed.
  • End Crystals are back with a reduced damage when exploding for PvP
  • Closed /warp event and moved NPC’s to the /warp cove so you can still trade from the “Save Port Nassau” Event before Christmas.
  • Fixed turrets on ships, they were disabled because people were using them as flying machines
    • Turrets are now required to be on a craft to be used.
  • Doubled Mob spawns
    • I will most likely need to revert this once we get busy and TPS drops.
  • Expanded render distance from 4 to 7, we now have simulated render distance for mobs which is at 3.
  • Item cooldowns apply to a few more items now, including Chorus fruit and Golden apples.
  • Changed Random teleport plugin.
    • You can now randomly teleport in the new nether by using /warp newnether and walking into the portal.
  • New X-ray protection.
  • New performance/Mob spawning settings have been configured as so much has changed since 1.12.2, if you wish to request changes, please read this detailed optimization guide which I have loosely followed that explains only a fraction of the settings available that will help you explain what you want to change properly instead of “Make X mob spawn more“.
  • Staff gained the ability to use the entire hex color spectrum in their chat messages.
  • Chairs are a different plugin and require double right clicking on any step
    • As there is no requirement for chair arms, this gives you greater creativity with your chair designs now!
  • PvP tagging glows players now instead of changing their overhead text to red.

Lost features

We are looking for developers to help fix some legacy plugins and re-introduce them for us on 1.18.1.

Do not fear most of these will come back in the near future! They were just low on the priority list for release or past my ability to update/repair and require developer help.

I had to remove all our legacy plugins in the upgrade process, so some features will be lost for a bit until we can get some help to get them re-made.

  • /siege for claims lost all our custom additions made for PirateCraft as our 1.12.2 siege was a forked version of GriefPrevention by by Creeper who is no longer active on PirateCraft.
    • Time left bossbar.
    • Breaking blocks in the cooldown winning period.
    • Attacker/Defender cooldown.
    • General defender cooldown.
    • Defeated messages.
    • All titles.
    • End message that a siege ended.
  • Brewing
    • It does work, but has a bug at boot/shutdown that hangs the server for 10 mins.
      I’m waiting on the developer to fix it.
  • We lost the Legacy Bridges and Gate plugins.
    • Looking for a developer to update/fix them as these are abandoned.
  • Lost the lottery plugin.
    • Will be replaced.
  • Lost bounty plugin
    • Will be replaced.
  • Ship in a bottle plugin
    • Waiting on the developer, if not we will find a replacement.
  • Auctions, another completely custom made plugin made for PirateCraft by Creeper.
    • Either be updated by Creeper or replaced with another auction plugin.
  • Automatic inventory for contributors
    • Will be replaced.
  • Better banners
    • Will be replaced (If people want them still).
  • Auto-refilling chests for looting
    • Will be replaced.
  • The resource pack
    • Will be re-made entirely from scratch utilizing the new 1.14 features.
  • Grappling Hook
    • I have future plans for something better to replace this.
  • /wiki in-game
    • Rarely used, will not come back.
  • Pirate Crew Scores
    • Most likely will not come back, alternatively use /crew leaderboard.
Zoooooooom

Considerations

Legacy Nether World

  • The old nether is still accessible for you to remove your loot from, this will only be accessible for 6 months and then it will be unloaded from the server.
  • If you have an elaborate build you would like moved to the new nether this will be possible. Restores will be made from a backup of the Legacy nether the day the server shut down.
    Follow these steps to request a restore in the new nether:
    1. Claim the exact position in the new nether where your old build is in the Legacy nether, both worlds share the same seed so some terrain should align.
    2. Remove all your loot from your old base, but do not remove the Legacy claim/build.
    3. Place down Pink wool on 2 opposite corners of your New Nether claim, so that admins can easily select the area you would like restored and so staff do not have to figure out where your old building was.
    4. Request moving of the build on the discord channel by posting the //getpos positions of your 2 selection points you made with pink wool and be patient for an admin to restore the build.
    5. Once your build is restored the admin will replace all containers in the build and any expensive blocks on the build to prevent duplication of items from previous looting.
    6. You can then delete your old claim from the Legacy nether if the admin didn’t do it!
    7. Thank the admin.

Attributes on Items are not converted!

They will! You have to interact with them. I accidentally figured out the resolve for this bug out of frustration, you have to put the item in your inventory and spam click it. I have no idea why this works or why this is the process to update item attributes from 1.12.2 to 1.18.1 but somehow it works!

Regenerating old terrain to new 1.13+ terrain

All chunks across the entire world have automatically been updated to 1.18 generating brand new caves in under the entire world, but anything above ground will need to be regenerated to make use of the 1.13 generation!

I wasn’t able to source a working automated regenerator plugin, if you are a developer hit me up as I have one that needs to be updated!

For now, regen will be done in the same way as before, via request and admins will slowly manually select parts of the world and regen.

A regen team will be put together who will be joining admins in regenerating parts of the world from time to time.

On top of that I am currently writing my own custom script to allow you, yourself to pick what to regen, but this is nowhere even close to working! I would benefit greatly from someone willing to help build these tools!

Ship Features and Blocks

We’re running an alpha build of the ships plugin that currently doesn’t have all the features included for ships for 1.18, a key feature missing is the smooth movement system, do expect this to come back in future update.

FAQ

  • My contributor rank rank out while the server was in maintenance, what now?
    • I will process all contributor ranks again 3 weeks before I put the server into maintenance.
  • What about my shop rent?
    • I edited every shop region to be rented until 14th February 2022. Go extend your rent now.
  • Can you unban old players?
    • No.
  • Claiming & looting the expanded world and getting hard to get items.
    • It’s first come first serve, but please do not worry about 1 time only items in chests, we have many, many plans for releasing hard to get loot items in the near future through new loot systems, new dungeons, treasure chests. Please just be patient.
  • 1.18.1 is laggy!
    • Yes, its terribly made by Mojang, all versions of Minecraft past 1.12 are significantly more resource intensive on both client and server and hardly any optimizations have been made over the years by Mojang. Please read my guide on Minecraft lag to help resolve some issues.
  • Will the creative come back? and when?
    • Yes. After the main survival is stable performance and I get time to update it.
  • Will the play server come back?
    • Most likely not, I think I want to instead create a second hardcore survival experience with no teleport and lots of more hardcore gameplay features that resets so players can not get infinitely powerful, there is no ETA on this and its not even on the roadmap!
  • How do I get XYZ!? I want this thing now!
    • Be patient all new mobs/items may not be available day 1 of playing, we will introduce ways to obtain hard to get items in the near future.

There will be bugs & performance issues to iron out

The PirateCraft team have been playing and finding bugs along the way, but we have not been able the test the performance of 1.18 at scale with lots of players doing different things at once.

Please do expect there to be some issues from upgrading 6 versions of Minecraft in one go, Make sure you are reporting bugs to the discord channel or on the forums and not just posting in-game chat, nothing will be done is you just post to in-game chat.

Any major bugs like duplication glitches please contact staff directly in a ticket, you will be rewarded for these reports.

This does mean you should expect more regular reboots and maybe whitelist maintenance to get things pushed out and fixed faster.

Thank you

There is no way I could have conquered the problems I faced alone, I have been in constant communication with a whole team of amazing people, so in no particular order and hopefully not missing anyone out.

  • Encode42 this man has been there since panic day one when Log4j was announced, helping me overcome multiple battles.
  • Confuser The developer from BanManager our punishment system for writing me custom SQL to convert our databases to upgrade them for newer iterations of the plugin.
  • Andrew Wong for updating the market region plugin for PirateCraft to 1.18.1.
  • pop4959 For teaching & helping with world conversion and fixing bugs in our new chunk loading & border plugins.
  • The entire PirateCraft Team for keeping my sanity over the last weeks, at the start I nearly gave up entirely with just thinking about the amount of work this would take to get up upgraded. Thanks for helping make decisions, testing and managing the community worries while I could focus on just technical.
    Without the team I would not have tackled this task as I would have got sucked into managing discord chat and answering questions.

Roadmap going forward

Unless Mojang do an update as major as moving from 1.12 to 1.13 again we shouldn’t have much trouble updating to later Minecraft versions in the future.

  1. Performance and balancing for 1.18. The entire focus for the following months will be on performance and balancing for running 1.18 at scale, we have only been able to test with the staff team online.
  2. Get Creative back up. I will have to update Creative to 1.18, and go through the same process as I did with survival.
  3. Updating plugins/documentation/guides. With plugins changing dramatically and a lot of plugins lost, we will have to update all the documentation and guides throughout PirateCraft to match the changes, we cant have legacy guides on how to do things that no longer exist.
  4. Re-invent the color pallet. I will need to re-do my Treasure guidelines for Items because I want to use RGB/Gradients in item names now we have the option, I also would like to re-brand the entire chat color system across all plugins to be consistent and clean.
  5. Start a new resource pack. The sheer amount of gameplay additions we can inherit from 1.14 update will give us plentiful of options to build a resource pack from the ground up with custom items for PirateCraft. This will be an ongoing process over years that everyone will be able to help build.
  6. Start building Events/Looting systems. For new items/blocks that are hard to get.

Written by GodsDead

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Written by GodsDead

The founder of PirateCraft, Administrator, Systems Operator, Peace keeper.

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Posted on January 15, 2022

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