What to build using Creative Mode? Here's your chance to have a say in the matter!
In an effort to make sarge's building contest as fair as possible, and to give players access to a wide range of building materials sarge and myself have been discussing ways to allow players to have creative mode turned on automatically when entering the building contest area, and then removed upon leaving. We both though this would be a great idea and have been researching and testing ways to make that happen without it being able to be abused by any of the players. After a good month and a half of trying all sorts of different combinations with World Guard flags and various command block setups we've reached the conclusion that, we can't.
So, where does this put us in trying to make this happen? Well, after exhausting all our options we've come up with a plan that we feel is suitable, but we want to get your input to see what you think. So here is the current plan.
Players entering the building contest area will be notified that when entering the building site they will be given access to Creative Mode, and upon leaving they will be killed via command block (this is the only way to ensure people aren't stealing armor or enchantments from Creative Mode when leaving.) They will be notified that if they with to proceed all their current XP will be forfeit upon leaving and will not, under any circumstances, be replaced. Players will have the option to leave before being given access to Creative Mode as to avoid any unwanted loss to XP.
Through using World Guard flags we will be able to prevent anyone from leaving the area using any warp commands, or other means of teleporting out of the building contest area. /tpa /tp /spawn ect.
All that we're perfectly fine with, and if it were that easy we would have it set up just like that right now. We were able to solve a large variety of potential methods of abusing this system, but one particular method has left us stumped and this is where we are particularly interested in getting your input. Players would be able to place Ender Chests, fill them with goodies, leave the area and collect said goodies later, which would further destroy our already broken economy.
To combat this, sarge and I have come up with the following solution. Prohibiting anyone from placing Ender Chests in the building contest area. Players that do decide to break this rule will be immediately banned, no discussion or "First warning" or anything of the sort. Strait to using the ban hammer. This is something we can very easily track using Log Block, it will tell us who placed what and when, and we can use it to track Ender Chest placement specifically in the building contest zone. It will be abundantly clear who, specifically, placed an Ender Chest and they will be banned immediately upon discovery. We don't care what excuse the offender has, We don't care if their brother did it, or if it was an "accident." Immediate and permanent ban from the server.
We want to know what you think of this. Whether or not you think this will be beneficial enough to the building contest to make it worth while. sarge's and my argument is that we don't want to play with people that are willing to break the rules and attempt to illegitimately gain items through loopholes we can't fully control and we wouldn't miss any player lost for this reason. The warnings and punishment for breaking this rule would be clearly posted prior to being given entry into the building contest area, so "I didn't know" isn't going to be an acceptable excuse. Immediate ban, regardless of rank or time spent on the server. This rule would apply to the moderating staff as well.
So, let us know what you think. Yes? No? Concerns?
And before you come at us with alternative ways of accomplishing what we're trying to do I'll fill you in on some things we are not going to do. We will not baby sit people in the building area to make sure they don't abuse this loop hole. That would require only letting people compete in the contests when an admin is online, and that is not an acceptable solution for us, or for the players that regularly only get on during times when admins are not around.
Second, I can see someone asking already "Why don't you just warn them and get rid of the items they took? And maybe prevent them from using the building contest area in the future." Well, we can accomplish only one of those things, and that's preventing them from having access to the building contest. Again, that falls under the "Needing an admin online" thing from above to implement We'd have to add each person wanting to be part of the building contests to the region's member list. We want it open to everyone all the time, so just for that reason that option doesn't work either.
To address the other statement of getting rid of the items they took, well, Ender Chests are real pests and refuse to allow us to use LogBlock to track chest access like we can with regular chests, so we have no real way of knowing exactly what people took.
The World Guard flag "chest-access" also doesn't work with Ender Chests, if it did all our problems would be solved and I wouldn't be writing this post.
The last option, which actually is possible, is to setup a gigantic store using command blocks to use the /give command to give players the building blocks they wish to use on their creations. This is not only a very very time consuming project for us, but very inconvenient for anyone participating in the building contests, as they would have to constantly run back and forth between the store and their project to grab the blocks they want to use. The only up side to this method, aside from fixing the Ender Chest loop hole, is that players would not need to be killed when leaving the area and would be able to retain all of their XP. sarge and I are not fans of this option at all, as the store would be massive and take a long time to collect all the blocks you want to use for your project. A huge inconvenience for both parties. We'd rather give you creative and let your imagination run wild without having to have a shopping list and multiple trips to the "store" to get your stuff.
If you have any other ideas that I haven't posted here, then please, let us know.