OP Life: What it’s like to administrate a Minecraft server

I have been a part of Vanilla Craft for almost three years and becoming an operator was the next step up and a chance to give back to nacho_duck and the other ops that came before me.

I’ve been in the post for a year now and I love it. To be an Op on a medium sized server is a very fun and rewarding job but there are also sides that you, as the player, do not see. This blog post is meant as an incite into what its like to be an Op.


The Good

When everything is going well it’s great; we can get on and play as a normal player: digging for diamonds, building bases that defy the laws of physics and collaborating with players to build stupidly efficient mob farms that take six months to finish (or is that just Gale and I?!).

A view of Vanilla Craft spawn area as the sun rises

Spawn at Dawn

This is when we can kick back and maybe even build some fun new community builds for the players to use or run a spur of the moment contest or mini game, fun for everyone! To be honest this is what it is like for 90% of the time and it’s super!

(Of course we still check up on things and make sure there is no funny business going on!! ;) )


The not-so-good

Then there are times when you have the odd mishap and you have to employ your super Op powers and tell someone off for swearing/cursing in chat or tell someone that they are mining up a storm under someone else’s base or ask a player to move their build because it’s breaking the ‘Do not build with-in normal render(8 chunks) distance of others’ rule. It does upset people sometimes, but it’s generally ok and it makes the server fair and fun for everyone.


The darn-right unpleasant

It is a fact of server life that sometimes people are going to cheat the game or be disrespectful of others and/or the rules. When this happens those people must be removed from the server. Our job, as ops, is to confront players who are suspected of rule breaks or anti-social behaviour and get to the bottom of what the situation is.

I personally do not enjoy this part of the job, especially if it is a long-term player causing issues, but it keeps the server in order and a nice place to play, so it’s worth withstanding the rare occasion when we have to remove or discipline people.


Ops have rules too!

This is a vanilla survival server and we all joined to have a vanilla survival experience too so we don’t build our personal projects in Creative mode.

Of course, there is also the old adage ‘with great power comes great responsibility'; cheesy but true!! We can’t just go flying around with hacked in armour, riding ender dragons! We also can’t give players stacks of diamonds for no reason or build their farms for them in creative mode.

At the end of the day, if you can’t do it in survival then we won’t be doing it for you in creative ;)

Here are some examples of things we have been asked to do in the past that we simply will not be doing for any player!

  • ‘Can you enchant (insert item name here) with (insert enchant here) for me?’
  • ‘Can you repair my broken (insert tool name here) for me?’
  • ‘I accidently blew up part of my build with TNT, can you roll it back?’
  • ‘Can you give me my stuff back, I can’t find where I died?’
  • ‘Can you tp me back to where I died?’
  • ‘Can you tp me to (insert offline player name here’s) base?’
  • ‘Can you make it so that I can use the /back,/time or some other command?’


Food For Thought

An image of all the ops

VC Ops: past and present

All of us ops are volunteers and we manage the server in our own spare time because we want to create a nice, safe, enjoyable place to play. At points, we don’t get to play as much as a normal player because of all the stuff in this post and more.

Please keep in mind that we give up our time to make Vanilla Craft as fun and as fair as possible across the vast time zones that make up our player base and everything we do is for your benefit.


Joining Vanilla Craft

If you are reading this and aren’t already a player on VC then I invite you to have a read of the rules and fill out an application. We would love to see you in-game.

You can also follow us on Twitter, that would be lovely :)