Dark Lands: A Tale of Lag

Firstly – a huge apology for the build up of lag over the past month.

It didn’t follow any mod updates or other changes, so wasn’t the easiest thing to diagnose, but after some testing and digging (and after poking the server with a variety of sticks until we found the point that made it yelp), we were able to work out what the problem was.

The auth file was big and Minetest checks it far too often.

A lot of servers clear the auth file of players who didn’t sign in for a year, but Dark Lands hasn’t (quite!!) existed for a year yet. The very fact that we had this issue is evidence of just how busy, (and dare I say successful), the server has been. Of course, this only meant fixing it was even more important.

So our team went to work:

  • sniper set up a test server for us to use in our efforts.
  • TommyTreasure tested and tested and tested some more for every change we made.
  • shivajiva dived in like the hero he is with a whole new replacement auth system, then tweaked and edited and perfected it until the lag just went away.
  • Shara probably did something (or maybe just wants her name here to make it look like she did).

To all the players who stuck with us: you are awesome. Thank you for being so understanding. The messages we had, showing us that you felt the server was worth being patient for and in recognition of our work really made this easier. Thanks for sticking with us.

Now please get back to taming those dragons again. 🙂

Dark Lands: The Time for Dragons

This is the update a lot of you have been waiting for. Dragons now spawn in the wild!

They can be tamed and ridden, though it’s exceptionally difficult to do so, and the admin team won’t tell you how! Finding them alone might prove a challenge.

Here’s the only clues you’re getting:

  • They spawn in a certain biome.
  • At a certain height.
  • At a certain time.
  • They are rare and might not appear right away.

The rest is for you to figure out.

Happy hunting!

August Bugfixes and Updates Part 2

On Red Cat Creative:

Made projection lights respect protection
Made sliding doors respect protection
Fixed missing inventory texture for white abriglass
Redid cage glass texture


On Dark Lands Survival:

Restored /killme command
Made caverealms moss/lichen/algae spread over time
Fixed an issue where mobs could crash the server (thanks to tenplus1)
Restored crystal armour fire protection

August Bugfixes and Updates

Updates for the month to date. More will probably follow.


On Red Cat Creative:

Fixed overly light glass / incorrect colours present in abriglass since 0.4.16
Fixed homedecor plasma lamp texture
Prevented prefab concrete saw nodes giving unknown items when dug
Fixed a bug in seacoral which could crash the server (Thanks to Mr_Pardison for reporting)
Restored correct grass and junglegrass textures
Removed seed drops from all grass types to minimise inventory clutter


On Dark Lands Survival:

Updated mobs_redo, mobs_animal, mobs_monster, simple_skins and 3d_armor
Started work on custom armor updates (not yet finished)


July Bugfixes and Updates

A number of small but important mod fixes have been made over the last month:


On Red Cat Creative:

Added riventest glass, prefab concrete and ice brick to the saw
Made nodes using alpha work correctly in the saw
Added four new coloured curtains
Fixed the spawn bug – no more 0, 0, 0 prison!
Fixed issues with the default water and swamp water textures
Fixed a bug in projection_lights – they now work correctly above water
Aliased unknown ore nodes from skylands mod to their default versions
Fixed a bug where chalk gave an unknown item when dug
Removed noairblocks mod (it no longer works as of 0.4.15)
Removed tnt and give_initial_stuff mods (MTG mods the server never used)
Removed additional crafting recipes from MTG


On Dark Lands Survival:

Switched to DarkLands fork of bewarethedark
Added command for server assistants to not take darkness damage while admining
Updated under_sky so clouds will not appear underground


I know it’s more exciting when we announce new content, but fixing things is very important to maintain the server long term. We’ll probably be in fixing mode for a while to come, because there are still more issues. Hopefully this makes the servers run smoother for everyone.


Both Red Cat Creative and Dark Lands Survival have now been updated to 0.4.16.

Everything seems stable on both servers so far, but please comment here to report any issues.

Dark Lands: PvP and Other Updates

In fitting with the Dark Lands server’s theme, it’s now only possible to attack other players in protected areas during the night. It’s the darkness that’s meant to be dangerous after all, not the day time.

To those who love running round killing other players – sorry for this, but some balance was needed.

To everyone else – You can now relax a bit more when the sun is out. Just pay attention to where you are and be sure to hide away before sundown if you want to be safe.

Other minor updates for the Dark Lands server include:

  • The whereis command for the IRC bot has been removed. It was being abused to locate other players’ hidden bases. (This is why we can’t have nice things! Shame on you!)
  • Server has switched to using the RedCat fork of xban2 because of reasons.
  • Code has been added to enable old sneak movement (won’t be active until the server itself is updated – so I suggest using an older client until then).
  • First time players can now be temporarily prevented from joining. This is a defence against spammers who switch IP addresses to evade bans. If you try to join Dark Lands for the first time and can’t connect, please try at a later time, or contact us on IRC and ask us to open the borders.

Video: The Rhythm of Red Cat

This was made by Benrob0329. His other Minetest videos are all worth a look as well, so please check them out and offer him some support and encouragement. Minetest needs more people doing things like this.

We’ve still got it!

I was getting worried about our servers being a little quiet lately… Then I saw this.

RC and DL both in the top five. We’ve had a flood of new players lately, so this is great to see.

Thank you all!

Mod Update: carpets

So I managed to break carpet beds on Red Cat long long ago, and was rather useless about fixing them.

Good news: They are now working and can be placed again.

Bad news: All old ones will now be unknowns. There wasn’t really a good way to avoid this, but given how long it’s been since they were working, this shouldn’t upset many current players.

If you do come across unknowns that were once beds, please fix them.

Sorry it took so long to get this done.