The WolfCraft community has had many pivotal and important events in its past that have shaped the server to be what it is today.
In the beginning...
Once upon a time...
Four nations lived in harmony...
None of these beginnings seem accurate with WolfCraft and its legendary prowess. Nethertheless, let's delve into the beginning.
I guess we should start with who I am and how the idea formed to make a server. I'm 24, I live in Oklahoma, United States and I'm a mechanical engineer working in the oilfield industry. I first started playing Minecraft as a freshman in college since my roommate would watch Ssundee and Crainer do a Sky Factory series and it looked completely stupid and boring....Then I bought the game...Then I got addicted.
A few years pass and I'm now married to @BubblyBekah and we join an SMP together....it looked good from the AD on the mc discord...but it was run by a 12 y/o who didn't know enough about servers/plugins etc and the mods/staff he had all abused permissions. We got very frustrated after the server went down for 3 days....because he couldn't pay for it. I decided to start my own server, the Wolf Pack and invited everyone from that discord with the promise that it would be a far better experience. A good 10-12 players came with me and Season 1 of the Wolf Pack was born.
Now...this was the first time I had ever run a server before. I had no experience with coding, no experience with plugins or servers. We started out on plain vanilla in 1.13.2. We had a small playerbase and we had a great community feel. Pretty quickly we learned that we needed protection, so after some research we started using PaperMC and CoreProtect among other things.
We had a Shopping District just outside of the spawn area (a very little raised platform with 4 arches made of quartz on each side) and it was made with plots. For the Ender Dragon fight, (a week after server-start) we had the most players we'd ever had on at once (16) and I thought wow...
We did it...
We made a mc server and people like it! :D
After about 2-3 weeks we started to decline rapidly in player activity with the most players being online averaging to 5 or so. We decided to start doing server-wide events and created a boat building competition. We had a decent number of applicants for our server, I think we had 9 boats created?
Soon after this, 1.14 came out and were faced with a decision. Do we reset the world and start it anew with 1.14 update with the new villages, pillagers, blocks, etc? Or do we stay in 1.13? To solve this, we decided to do a bit of red pill/blue pill magic.
We decided to do both.
We would reset the world to a new 1.14 world while still maintaining the 1.13 world that a lot of people had barely done anything with. Overnight, myself and Vastidious made an area where you could choose your destiny. It was a room overgrown and there was 2 paths. A red path and a blue path. You could go to the red warp pad
(a pressure plate on top of a string of command blocks that would wipe your inventory, wipe your ender chest, wipe your achievements and then teleport you 100k blocks away into a 1.14 spawn area) or you could go to the blue warp pad (a pressure plate returning you to the 1.13 spawn).
Almost everyone was excited for the new 1.14 adventure and immediately went to the "new world". There was a few stragglers that eventually followed suit, but this was the beginning of Season 2 of the Wolf Pack server.
1.14 was...extremely laggy and difficult to play on. Until 1.14.2 came out, it was almost unplayable, but we suffered through it to get to the new blocks and structures. We had a beautiful natural spawn made out of four arches of leaves with these beautiful, simple dark oak bridges extruding out from the small, wooden, spawn platform. All of the wood was dark oak and we used redstone lamps to light spawn up. There was flowers, one or two trees, lilypads, and other natural decorations. I'll be honest this was my favorite spawn we've had up until Season 6.
We had some truly, truly spectacular builds this season since we didn't reset for several months and I had learned a great deal of what to do and what not to do while running the server in Season 1. We had a few different events and we introduced "factions" to the Wolf Pack. We had "The Boys", "Desert Kingdom", "Asgard", "Permafrost", "Chernobyl", and one or two other ones I can't recall. Now when I say factions...I mean build-groups. I had and still have not had, any experience with anarchy/faction servers whatsoever. These groups were either building a frat party base, a Desert Kingdom, recreating Asgard, making an ice-biome livable, or recreating an IRL nuclear disaster. Haha they were not "factions" like on a faction server. When I tried to recreate this idea in Season 5 it was met with a lot of misunderstanding since I don't play on faction servers... :grin:
I think we had the best "mega-bases" this season with several build groups being pretty active and focused on building, rather than farming. I hope we can go back to this mindset of builds over farms sometime soon so we can get some epic looking builds this season.
In any case, we had more events this season including 2 large-scale PvP events, 1 being a tournament, 1v1, and the other an all-for-all Gladiator style. Both arenas were beautiful and filled with detail. the 1v1 arena was much smaller and had a lot of slabs, stairs and other things to slow people down in the floor and there was an overhang for onlookers to watch the carnage. We had something similar for the Gladiator event. It was a much larger arena that had 4 "biomes" and was made by several members of the community coming together. It was on a floating island in the sky with clouds around its base and a quartz barrier surrounding it. The four biomes were ice, jungle, nether, and End. There was also a red dragon looking over the arena from above. Both of these events were very successful.
We also did a building competition and a redstone competition among other things. We grew quite a bit this season and had several players come through and have a great time and this was the "golden days" of the Wolf Pack server. Performance improved with every Paper update up till the end of 1.14.4.
We also during this season created a beautiful underground mall completely in survival and dug it all out by hand with 10 people or so working together to make it happen. This shopping mall was probably one of my favorites. It was clean, organized and if we needed to expand, there was always more stone that could be mined. We did the base floor (it had 3 floors) on diamond level and we did a wooden/glass floor with lanterns all around (as they were new blocks we used them like crazy :smile: ) I did a dye shop that I meant to expand into concrete as well....I didn't make a lot of diamonds this season..let's just say that :laughing: There was a large, quad-nether portal in the center and this was our "spawn" portal that the Nether hub connected to. After a few months and a few events...people started to get burnt out as they seem to always do. From my previous experience going from season 1 to 2 and seeing how successful that was I figured a reset was the only way out to maintain a playerbase...I asked the group and it was an overwhelming majority who wanted to reset. So...we reset and began the Dark Age of WolfCraft....Season 3.
Season 2 was by far one of the better seasons in my opinion, topped only by Season 5. Yes, the seasons 1-4 were all relatively short since we were still learning how to run a server, maintain a playerbase and encourage activity. It's very difficult to keep players interested in a game like Minecraft when there's endless possibilities....you just end up not even knowing where to start most of the time. It's also a very grindy game, and most people can only do that for so long before they burn out. Season 5 I think is where we finally figured it all out.
Anyways... Season 3...This is where we got our biggest yet.. we were fast approaching 400+ players in the discord (I didn't do any purging back then...) and we had a good playerbase of active players getting on most every day. The voice chats were always busy and thriving with activity, laughter, and just good times.. We had only a few weeks of season 3 before it ended abruptly. We were able to go to the End, have a small build competition and start on the shopping district....but sadly everything good only lasts so long and as all things must... the Wolf Pack became infected with a deadly virus from within.
A staff member I trusted immensely and a group of other players decided to take down our friendly, loving, and accepting community while I slept. The reason he could do this, is because I didn't implement very good permission restraints in-game or on Discord...I trusted pretty much everyone and I was too trusting too fast. This staff member had been with us since the previous season and seemed such a great guy.. I honestly really liked him, and thought he was a great guy. I had spent hours and hours talking to each and every member in calls getting to know them. Even back then I felt like the Wolf Pack was a family. I knew this guy's real name, I had encouraged him, I had counseled him with his battle with depression. I had, "been there when no one else was"...and yet that wasnt enough.
Through the middle of the night, he promoted everyone in his group to his rank both in-game and on discord and proceeded to ban everyone they could from the discord, delete all the channels, wipe the whitelist, ban everyone from the in-game server...all while I was asleep. I lost everything. The community that I had striven to build from a mere 10 players or so to a few hundred, was simply, utterly...gone. All in one night. I had lost my family that I had grown and spent so so much time with. I had developed fantastic friendships with players from all over the world. The Wolf Pack...was now just a story, a memory, an idea. An idea to create a safe-haven online through a game as simple as Minecraft, where everyone was accepted, there was no judgement, and the community could come together, grow together, and build something truly amazing, together. This idea, had died. And with it, my will to maintain the server.
The server was deleted, the discord was deleted, and I was alone except for @BubblyBekah. She was my strength and helped me get through this. She encouraged me when I felt like a failure, she lifted me up with her joy and positivity through this dark time and we got through it, together. Several months pass, and Bekah and I try a few other SMPs, but none truly felt cohesive and whole like the Wolf Pack and we started realizing how truly great it was. We delved deep into League of Legends and got on a "semi-pro" team (was just a bunch of gold players playing in tournaments for money) with two Challenger coaches, Jeremy and Brandon and we had a fantastic time. Then something unexpected happened..
After 6-7 months of no contact with anyone from the Wolf Pack, @Aeris messages me on discord. You see, after everything happened, I deleted my old discord account as well to get away from all the memories and the past, and to move on. Aeris found me on the minecraft discord and messaged me this:
Please tell me you're not stun's alt account
He and I talked about the good old times, we talked pufferfishes, what living in China was like, and he asked if there was any chance I would start Wolf Pack again... I said let me think about it and talk with Bekah. I don't want to go through what happened at the end of last time all over again..Bekah and I agreed that if Aeris could get 10 players together, I'd start the server again. He got 12 players from the old Wolf Pack within 30 minutes.. This marked the beginning of Season 4, and the start of WolfCraft as it is now known today.
Season 4 was...very difficult to say the least. There were several times I thought we should just give up on trying to get back to our previous strength. We couldn't retain players and when there was only 5-6 of us that were really active, if we weren't all online, the server seemed very small and pathetic. It just wasn't good enough for people to want to stay. So I took a break from working on the server and did more league again for a couple weeks to a month and the server was all but dead. I came back with some fresh, new ideas and got to work. Most of the other staff were burnt out already from trying to play with 4-6 other people for the last two months, but with a limited playerbase, it starts getting not-so fun pretty quickly. So I had to be very inventive to get them back into wanting to play as well as new players.
We already had dynmap and the discord in-game bridge, but I added building districts and implemented them to work with dynmap. I reworked the entire discord and streamlined it to be more professional by adding Gunther, adding an application process, setting an age-limit, restricting and making permissions and in-game tags much more noticeable and defined. We added the Watch Wolf role and everything was ready for a re-boot. Now we just needed players. I and some of the other staff went on an advertising frenzy inviting and accepting basically anyone that was even remotely close to meeting requirements. At the peak, i think I was inviting 30-40 players per day to the discord, but only 2 or 3 of those probably ever became long-term members. It was hard. It was incredibly tough, but we were able to keep the season going and slowly add to our playerbase.
Season 4 was our comeback story, and damn was it a good one! We got almost back to our previous strength within a few weeks of hard, hard work. But now, after a solid 5 months...it was time to have a fresh start with this new playerbase, and with that, Season 4 came to a close..
Date: 20th July, 2020