Using LogBlock  

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Alastos
(@alastos)
Leveling Up

Did you know that all members on the MineCraft server have full access to LogBlock’s lookup features? Most people know that they can use the block of bedrock and wooden pickaxe to get information of what activities happened in any given single block space. Almost no one however, knows that they can run the LogBlock lookup commands to get information from as small as a 1x1 space, all the way up to the entire world you’re in. Pretty cool right? For members, these features are there for you to be able to know what happened in your areas and let you keep track of the activity of anyone you’ve allowed to play in your area. For the staff, this lets us know with 100% certainty, who is at fault when issues occur, such as griefing or theft as well as letting us undo nearly all the damage done.

If you, as a member, find evidence of griefing or theft through the use of any of LogBlock’s features we’d like to remind you that retaliation is NEVER allowed and will be met with appropriate consequences for those people that decide to take the law into their own hands. Instead, notify one of the staff members and we’ll investigate the incident on your behalf. If there are no staff members online at the moment, send one of us an in game mail message containing the name(s) of the offender(s) and the coordinates of where the incident took place and we’ll be happy to look into it the next time we log in.

With that being said, I’ll run down how to use the various elements of LogBlock you have access to.

Starting with the most basic use of LogBlock, you can use a block of bedrock or the wooden pickaxe to obtain information from a 1x1 space each time you use one of those tools. To obtain these tools if you don’t have them already you can run these commands:

/lb tool or /lb t - Will give you a wooden pickaxe
/lb toolblock or /lb tb - Will give you a single block of bedrock

Make sure you have space in your inventory for these tools to go, otherwise you won’t get them!

When using these tools, your chat will be filled with the 15 most recent changes made in the 1x1 space you used the tool. If you don’t see all 15 results, open up your chat by pressing “T” and the rest of the ones should show. Alternatively, if there hasn’t been at least 15 changes in that space, it will only report back as many changes have been made, or no changes at all. I’ll detail how each of these tools work so you can get the most out of each one.

Wooden Pickaxe:
Right Click on block: Displays up to the last 15 changes in the selected space, what player made those changes, and the time and date those changes were made.
Right Click on chest: Displays up to the last 15 items put in, or taken out, of the selected chest, what player made those changes, and the date and time those changes were made. Will also work on furnaces, jukeboxes, hoppers, dispensers, and droppers.
Left Click: Tool acts like a regular wooden pickaxe.

Block of Bedrock:
Right Click (Placing it as you would a normal block): Displays up to the last 15 changes in the selected space, what player made those changes, and the time and date those changes were made. Note: The bedrock block will appear to be placed for a moment and then disappear.
Left Click on block: Displays up to the last 15 changes in the selected space, what player made those changes, and the time and date those changes were made. Will not display chest activity.

To sum that up: The wooden pickaxe will display chest activity while the bedrock doesn’t and the bedrock will display changes in spaces filled with air that are otherwise not selectable with the pickaxe. Those are the major differences between the two tools.

I hear you asking at this point “But Alastos, I want to be able to see more than just the last 15 changes that happened!” And my answer for that is to read the next section very carefully as I will explain how to use the LogBlock lookup commands and explain the various parameters you can use to refine your LogBlock searches.

When running the LogBlock lookup commands you’ll need to include some parameters to tell LogBlock what you want to search for. There are a lot of parameters to choose from, and the more you use when you run the command the more exact your search results will be and the fewer pages of results you’ll have to search through to find the information you’re looking for. Using the various parameters available to you can be quite confusing, even to those that have been using LogBlock for awhile. To make things easier I’ll be coloring the various inputs you need differently to better differentiate between what is a parameter, and what you need to tell that parameter to look for. Words in blue are the parameter you specify, and words in are what you are telling the parameter to look for.

A typical LogBlock command will look something like:
/lb parameter parameter
A more exact example, like if you wanted to see my activity in the last three hours, the command would look like:
/lb player “alastos” since3h

So in the above command, the first parameter is “player,” then I told that parameter to look for only the player named “Alastos.” (I’ll explain the use of the quotes when I explain each parameter.) Then I took the “since” parameter and told it to look back at everything Alastos did in the last three hours. LogBlock block would then search for every change I made, except for taking or putting things in chests, and give us back a list of results. If you get back more than 15 results LogBlock will let you know by showing “Page 1/xxx” To look at the next page of results you can run /lb next, and to go back to the page before you can type /lb prev. If you want to jump to a page and not run /lb next a hundred times you can type /lb page .
For best results I recommend picking one parameter that specifies an area, a second parameter to specify a timespec, and one or more additional parameters that specify exactly what you’re looking for.

With that basic explanation of how the parameters work I’ll explain each of the parameters in detail for you.

Parameters that limit the search results to a confined area that you specify:

--Use only one of the following parameters, if you don’t include one of these parameters it will search the entire world you’re currently in, which will take your results a long time to populate on your screen.--

Area
- Limits the results to an area around you that you specify. When using this parameter the area it looks at is centered on your current location and extends out in all directions as a sphere.

Selection or Sel
- Limits the results to the WorldEdit selection you currently have selected. Very handy when you want to select just your house in griefing incidents. Using the “area” parameter will often times give you results from normal underground mining activity, this parameter solves that problem. (Currently only the staff members are capable of making WorldEdit selections, I will be changing this when I have the time.)

Parameters that limit the search results by time specifications:

--These are often used by themselves, but you can pair them together for more specific results.--

About
- There are multiple options available to you for inputting the time values for these parameters. You can tell it to go back so many minutes, give it a specific time, or a specific date, or even a time and a date together. When inputting these values you’ll want to follow these structures:

To go back a certain amount of time, enter the number of minutes/hours/days you want to go back as a number value and then immediately following that number input what unit of time you want that number to be. Minutes = m, hours = h, days = d. So for 30 minutes your timespec would be 30m, 6 hours would be 6h, 3 days would be 3d. You can combine these values as well, if you want to go back 5 days, 4 hours and 3 minutes, you can input your timespec as 5d4h3m. This method is not able to be combined with the fixed time timespecs explained next

To go enter a fixed time at your timespec you’ll enter things a little differently. To enter a time of day, use a 24 hour clock format. You can specify down to the second, but generally doing it down the the minute is more than enough. The format looks like this “HH:mm:ss”. Input the hour first, then the minute, and finally, if you feel like you really, really need it, input the seconds last. So 32 seconds after 10:17 in the morning would look like 10:17:32, and because it’s a 24 hour format, if you need to input anything in the PM, like 55 seconds past 6:42 in the evening it would look like 18:42:55. Note that if you need to input something between midnight and 1:00 AM, the first two numbers in the format are 00, with exact midnight being 00:00:00.

To input a specific date, the format looks like “day.month.year” Notice that you separate these values with a period and not a dash, that is very important as inputting a dash will result in an error. If you wanted to look at Christmas day, the timespec would look like 25.12.2012. You will almost never need to actually enter the year, but if you’re trying to look back farther than one year, you’ll need it. I can’t imagine anyone ever actually needing to go back that far... but you can if you want.

You can combined the date and time timespecs to give you a very specific fixed point in the past to use as your reference point. When doing this, put the date first, and the time second. So early Christmas morning at 2:13 would look like 25.12 02:13. Notice that there is a space between the “12” and the “02” If you miss putting a space between the date and time, it’ll cause you all sorts of headaches! If you input a time without inputting a date, it will use whatever the current day is. If you input a date without inputting a time, it will use 00:00:00 (midnight) as the time for the date you specified.

With the timespec explanation out of the way, lets get to the parameters that actually use timespecs.

Since
- Will limit your results to activity from the timespec you specify and NEWER.

Before
- Will limit your result to activity from the timespec you specify and OLDER.

When you combined these two parameters you’re essentially telling LogBlock to look between two points in time. When doing this your “since” parameter needs to be further back in the past than your “before” parameter. The figure before should help you visualize this a little better if you’re having problems grasping the concept here.


Note: Generally, using the “since” parameter and telling it to go back a certain amount of time as explained in the first timespec explanation is all you’ll ever need.

Other Parameters:

Player
- Will limit the results to show only the activity of the player or players specified. You’ll need to type in the player’s FULL NAME for this to work. To search for more than one player just separate each player’s name with a space. You can also use this to show fire, lava flow and other environmental occurrences that are the indirect cause of a player’s actions. Occasionally you’ll run into issues with this if the player’s name contains an environmental occurrence, most notibly, fire. If a player has the word fire anywhere in their name and LogBlock gives you results for fire damage or any other environmental occurrences when you wanted it to just show you results from the player, put that player’s name in quotes. So instead of running /lb player firedog12 you’d run /lb player “firedog12” . Likewise, if you want to search only for fire damage and you’re getting player actions in your results as well you can put fire in quotes so it looks like /lb player “fire”

-Pairs very well with Area/Selection, Since/Before, Block, Created/Destroyed, Chestaccess, Coords.

Block
- Will limit your results to show only the block or blocks specified by the id number(s) you specify. To search for more than one type of block or item, separate the id numbers with a space. For a good list of id numbers you can check here.

-Pairs very well with Area/Selection, Since/Before, Created/Destroyed, Chestaccess, Coords.

Created
-Will limit your results to show only blocks that have been created (placed).

-Pairs very well with Area/Selection, Since/Before, Block, Chestaccess, Coords.
Not compatible with Destroyed.

Destoyed
-Will limit your results to show only blocks that have been destroyed. Very handy when looking up griefing.

-Pairs very well with Area/Selection, Since/Before, Block, Chestaccess, Coords.
Not compatible with Created.

Chestaccess
-Will limit your results to show only the activity that occurred in chests or other blocks you can store items in. Awesome for finding out who stole things from you.

-Pairs very well with Area/Selection, Since/Before, Block, Created/Destroyed, Coords.

Coords
-Will display the exact coordinates for each result you get back in an X:Y:Z format. Handy when you find theft or griefing but need to know the exact point so you can tell a staff member where it happened. You can also press F3 and try walking to the location yourself if you feel the need to look at the damage.

-Pairs very well with Since/Before, Created/Destroyed, Chestaccess.



Do your eyes hurt from all this reading yet? Hopefully not, cause there’s more!

What if you log on one day and find that your home has been griefed? Sure sure, you could run a lookup command with a bunch of parameters and get what you’re looking for. Even by inputting precise parameters you still might end up with 100+ pages of results. What a nightmare, right? Well, there’s this pretty cool parameter you can use that will give you a summary of activity in your area that looks like the picture below.


Cool yeah? It shows you the activity that people did, best of all you can pair it with the area or selection parameters, as well as give it a timespec. This really gives you a head start when using the other parameters for more in depth searches as it gives you the names of all the players that have been active in your area within the parameters you specify. From the results you get from here, just look at the list of players and anyone you didn’t give permission to be there do a more specific search for to using the player parameter. I suggest tying this command to a powertool for quick and easy access whenever you want.

/lb sum players area since

I wouldn’t advise going with an area bigger than 50, or using a timespec greater than 2 or 3 days. Doing anything larger than that will take LogBlock forever to kick back results for you.

That covers the parameters. There are other parameters that you can use, but they either aren’t helpful enough to warrant explaining them or we don’t have LogBlock setup to actually use those parameters at all, and so they wouldn’t give you any results anyways.

Hopefully you found this tutorial helpful. Thanks for reading!

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Posted : 20/10/2013 2:54 pm
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