How to setup a Bukkit server

Lava Bucket; Bukkit logo
A bucket of lava resembles Bukkit logo

Bukkit is a tool that helps your shape and run your Minecraft server per your needs.

There are many types of Minecraft servers; the most popular ones are Vanilla(pure Minecraft), Bukkit and Tekkit.

The reason why I like Bukkit over others is it can be customized exactly as you wish and it doesn’t require players to have the same mods/plugins installed on their machines, as Vanilla does. Here is how to setup your own Minecraft Bukkit server:

Step 1. Go to CraftBukkit website and choose the version you want your server to run. I use this one, 1.7.2 Beta R0.3. Currently, Minecraft 1.6.4 is very old and has low plugin support. Development builds are very fresh and full of errors and unstable functions. Beta builds are your best bet.

Craft Bukkit site
Craft Bukkit download page

Step 2. Find the downloaded file and copy-paste it into a new folder on desktop called Bukkit Server.

Step 3. Now you have 2 options: to do it the hard way. or to use BukkitGUI.

1) The hard way

Open the folder where you copied Bukkit jar file. Rename it to craftbukkit.jar, then make a startserver.txt file and rename it to startserver.bat. Click yes if it asks you for file extension, then open the file and put this code in it:

java -Xmx1024M -jar craftbukkit.jar -o true
PAUSE
Bukkit server loading
Bukkit server loading

Where 1024M is the RAM memory you want to dedicate to your server. Feel free to change it.

Bukkit server loaded
Bukkit server loaded

Close the editor and run the file. First time it will be slow and it will create a bunch of folders and files. When it finishes, type in “stop” and press Enter. If you see a “Java is not recognized” error, go to this post to solve the problem.

2) Via Bukkit GUI

This is a very useful tool for server owners. If you choose to use it, you do not need to download Bukkit manually; it will do this job for you! I’ll cover this later on.

First, you need to download it from here, and copy-paste it to a folder, then run it. Wait for it to load. When it loads, click Super Start tab and select Bukkit in server type drop down. On the right you have a bucket with lava. In the Download # text box enter the build number (I recommend #3020 – latest beta version of 1.7.2) and click download. When it finishes, select your Java version from the drop down. Change the minimum and maximum RAM slider value, if you want.¬†Remember that you need to double click a plugin that you want to install, then select the 1.7.2 R0.3 version(or the one you use). Click Launch server button and you’re good to go!

Port forwarding: part 1

Unless you already have a static IP address, you will need to configure it to be so. To do that the easiest way, install Port Forward Setup Static IP address program and open it.

Portforward default image
Portforward Setup Static IP Address; main screen

From the drop down choose you Wireless network if you are on Wireless or choose LAN if you are on LAN. If you expect to use both, do the following steps twice.

Step 1. Select your LAN/Wireless connection from the drop down and click Make it static button.

Portforward IP Settings
Portforward IP Settings

Step 2. Press OK button if you are satisfied with the current settings.

Step 3. A new window will appear. Wait for it to close.

Portforward Changing IP
Changing IP – this little windows will disappear quickly

Step 4. If the button reads Make it dynamic, then congratulations! It is finished!

Portforward - IP Changing finished
Portforward – IP Changing finished

Now, we need to know what is your IP address. To do this, just go here and Google will show you your current public IP address. People will connect to your Minecraft server via this IP.

Port forwarding: part 2

Now we have to make our router know for our server and allow it to communicate with other computers. Go to your router’s admin page (most likely to be 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1) and enter the login credentials.

Forwarding - router settings
Forwarding – router settings

These settings are for a TP-LINK router, however, the options may be similarly named in your router.

Go here for help if you cannot find port forwarding settings.

Click the Forwarding link in the menu on the left and if it isn’t already selected, click Virtual Servers.

TP-LINK Router - Forwarding settings
TP-LINK Router – Forwarding settings

As we can see, our list of virtual servers is empty. Click Add New… button.

TP-LINK Router - Add New Screen
TP-LINK Router – Add New Screen

In the Service Port field enter your desired port (must be the same as the one configured in server.properties).

In IP address text box, enter your static IP address and click the Save button.

Our current forwarding list
Our current port forwarding list

If you see this, that means that you have successfully configured port forwarding!

Conclusion

If you followed all the steps and everything went fine, this is all you have to do! Now you can start your server, enter Minecraft, go to multiplayer and add a new server. Remember, server IP is <yourcurrentpublicip>:<port>.

Always make regular daily backups! These are crucial if your server shuts down unexpectedly.

Your current server is portable; you can copy-paste it to your USB drive and carry it around, but the network you are in must have configured port forwarding and static IP address.

Sponges in Minecraft

Sponge
Sponge; image from Minecraft Wiki

Sponge general info

Sponges are decoration blocks that have no other uses. In the upcoming 1.8 update, they are given ability to absorb water in 5x5x5 area and a new variant, wet sponge.

Currently they are obtainable in creative mode or via /give <name> 19 command.

Sponge uses

Before 1.8 sponges are used only for decoration.

Upcoming info about sponges

Starting from version 1.8(14w25a) sponges have 2 variants: dry sponge and wet sponge and a new ability to absorb water in 5x5x5 area. Their texture has also changed and they are again obtainable in survival mode.

Dry sponges turns to wet sponges after drying an area. Wet sponges are darker, full of water and unable to soak up more water. They can be dried in a furnace with any fuel. If you put a fuel so it starts burning, then replace the fuel with an empty bucket, after the process you will get a dry sponge and a bucket full of water. The most efficient way to use sponge is to start at the top and go down; sponges placed at the bottom will just result in water flooding the cleared area.

Sponges cannot be crafted and they spawn only in Ocean Monuments.

Cauldrons in Minecraft

Cauldron
Cauldron image; from Minecraft Wiki

General cauldron info

Cauldrons are blocks that hold water. They are crafted from 7 iron ingots and they always spawn empty in a witch hut. To fill a cauldron with water, right-click on the cauldron with a water bucket. A cauldron also has a chance to fill up with water when rained upon.

Cauldron uses and mechanics

Cauldron cannot be used to fill an empty bucket, and water bottles cannot be used to refill a cauldron, but a water bucket can fill a cauldron to it’s fullest. A cauldron can be filled from a water bucket in the Nether. You can fill up to 3 water buckets from a full cauldron.

A cauldron can act as a power source for a redstone comparator. With a cauldron behind it (possibly separated by an unpowered solid block), a comparator will output a signal strength proportional to how full the cauldron is: 0 for empty, 1 for one-third full, 2 for two-thirds full, and 3 for completely full.

When a cauldron is destroyed (dropping itself as an item), any water inside it will be lost, so it’s better to first pickup the water and then destroy the cauldron.

My opinion on cauldrons

They are very useful blocks. This way you can bring and store water in The Nether. Cauldrons are often used for secret passages, because if you are pushed by a piston while standing in the front of a cauldron, you will fall through it if there is a free space under the cauldron.

Dispensers in Minecraft

Dispensers

Dispenser image
Dispenser image, from Minecraft wiki

General info

Dispensers are special blocks powered by redstone. If right clicked, a menu with 9 slots will popup. That is were you can put items that it will shoot/drop. Each time when it gets activated by redstone circuitry or trapped chest, it drops a random item from it’s inventory. Dispensers resemble furnaces and droppers, but all three blocks have different uses and crafting recipes. Furnaces cook food and ores, but droppers only drop things. They have no exceptions, like dispensers do.

Dispenser’s blast resistance equals 17.5, and hardness is 3.5. It is renewable and stackable(64) and can be mined with a wooden pickaxe or better. Dispensers first appeared in 1.2 Beta. It’s decimal ID number is 23. They can dispense liquids and suck them in only if an empty bucket is placed in their inventory.

What do they do

The exact action of a dispenser depends on the items contained in it. It’s default action is to eject items 3 by 3 blocks away if on level ground. There are some exceptions.

Exception 1. Heads and pumpkins will be placed in the front of the dispenser, rendering them unable to drop more items.

Exception 2. Command blocks will be placed with commands entered in them.

Exception 3.

a) Arrows, Fire Charges, Chicken Eggs, Snowballs, Splash Potions, Bottles o’ Enchanting, and Firework Rockets are fired out like the right-click action of the items carried by a player.

b) Arrows fire from block height 2 and above will be fired 10 to 21 blocks away from the dispenser.

c) Chicken eggs and snowballs break with most of the usual effects. If they hit a mob they will only inflict damage but not knock the mob back; it is unclear is it a bug or not.

d) Fire Charges will become fireballs of the same type as Blaze fireballs and will continue in a straight line (though the line may be at an angle from the dispenser). Upon being dispensed, the fire charge will make the same sound as Blazes and Ghasts when they launch their projectile. However if used by the player, it makes the same sound as Flint and Steel.

e) Spawn Eggs will result in the corresponding mob being created with its feet in the block directly in front of the dispenser, with no initial velocity.

f) Minecarts and Boats will be placed (as their entity form), but only if the dispenser is placed above water (for boats) or on a rail (for minecarts).

g) Water and lava buckets will place water and lava source blocks. Water and lava source blocks will also be taken if there is an empty bucket inside. Water won’t be placed if the dispenser is in Nether.

h) TNT will be placed and ignited with no obvious forward velocity. However, when they are dispensed, they may be moving at a very small rate in a random direction before falling straight down. Thus, if you try to drop TNT using a dispenser above a one block by one block hole, the TNT will have a good chance of narrowly missing the hole. Because of this, extra caution must be used in delicate machines requiring TNT and dispensers nad player should try to make 2×2 hole.

i) Flint and Steel will ignite fire in front of the dispenser consuming one durability.

j) Bone Meal will be used on the crops it is pointing at.

k) Armor will be equipped on a player from 1 block away.

How they dispense/shoot items

All dispensed items drop in random direction. When a dispenser drops an item it emits a clicking sound. If it’s inventory is empty and is triggered, it emits the same sound at a higher pitch.

They work underwater, but are activated only by placing a redstone torch next to them. A mob killed by a dispenser won’t drop any XP. Dispenser is also triggered by placing and opening a trapped chest next to it. They naturally spawn only in jungle temples with bunch of arrows in them.

My opinion

My opinion on dispensers: I use them mostly for creating effective traps and for shooting arrows or fireballs from a hidden place. They can be well used for securing a hidden base, for instance. Someone enters your base and gets shot by a bunch of arrows, fireballs and eggs.

How to install Extended Visualizations Mod(XVM) in WOT

What is XVM?

XVM – extended visualization mod is a battle interface modification for WOT. It is completely free and licensed under the GPLv3 license. You can install it either manually or automatically.

1. Automatically

This way XVM is installed by an automatic installer that detects WOT’s install directory. In this tutorial I’ll use the one provided by LaCourgette.

XVM Updater
XVM Updater – main screen

Step 1. Download XVM Updater from the link above and run it.

If you don’t want to change any options, jump to step 3. If you want to change some of them, proceed to the next step.

Step 2. XVM Updater will automatically detect where WOT is installed, so you can safely ignore that. Enable player stats display will, if checked, tell XVM to show players WN8, their battle and other stats. Show win chance in the game is something I would check because it shows chance to win in percent for the highest tier. Keep old XVM configuration file is used only if you have XVM already and you have changed xvm.xc file. If you have not, leave it unchecked. Choose the desired version and in the Configuration drop down choose a predefined configuration or just choose default.

Step 3. Click Install / Update button and that’s it! You have successfully installed XVM.

2. Manually

Decided not to use the automatic installer and do it the dirty way? If so, let’s start!

Step 1. Go here and download the latest stable version.

Step 2. Unzip the file to your WOT’s installation directory.

For advanced configuration, open the readme-XX.txt file in your language.

Premium tanks in WOT: Advantages and disadvantages

In World of Tanks, there are 2 types of tanks: regular/non-premium and premium. So, what is the difference? Regular tanks must be unlocked by using XP and must be bought using credits. Premium tanks don’t need to be unlocked by using XP, simply because they are not in any tech tree line. They stand aside in the tech trees, glowing yellow. They also don’t exist in all tiers, but do exist in all 5 classes in all nations(light, medium and heavy tanks, tank destroyers and SPGs).

Sexton II
Example British tier III premium SPG in the tech tree

Premium tanks have nothing to research, and logically, they start at the ‘Elite’ status. They are also commonly used as crew trainers, because there is no penalty for changing crews of the same vehicle class, but there is for changing nations and classes. In other words, you can put Hetzer‘s crew into E-25 for increased training, but not, for instance, T-15‘s. They make about 20% more credits than regular tanks, making them quite useful for credit grinding. Best tier for money grinding is tier 6+. Their performance is better than a stock tank of the same tier and class, but not as good as the fully upgraded one.

An owned premium tank show in tech tree
An owned premium tank shown in tech tree

There are 61 premium tanks (26 are gift tanks or are not available in the game store) out of 291 total. Premium tank with the lowest gold price(5 gold) is T-44-122, a Soviet tier 7 medium tank. However, it is very hard to play it, because of it’s reload time(16 seconds, 3.75 RoF). It’s currently not available in the game store. Tank with lowest gold price that is available in the game store is American tier II T2 Light. It has the worst rear armor in the game, but amazing top speed(72 km/h).