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Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Minecraft

Last month just before our 3 year anniversary we launched one of our biggest features ever; Cards. So I wanted to take this opportunity just to explain in more depth what cards are, why we made them and what our future goals for this feature are.

Above is an image showing three cards from my personal card deck. There are currently 66 cards available in the system with more being added every few days. It is my intention to add more cards in to the system indefinitely and extend the kinds of cards you can receive beyond just short lived abilities and items.

Today the kinds of cards you can find include Staff Heads, Items, Personalised Armor Sets, Mob Disguises, Time Controls, Abilities such as Flying and Healing, Repair cards and even Mob Spawners. There are also special cards, ones for Donors, Server Events and special occasions like Birthdays and Christmas. And of course the artwork for all our cards is just stunningly beautiful, don’t you just want to lick the screen?!

This feature was born out of the idea that our eastereggs around spawn were too easy to exploit. So I thought long and hard about a better reward system something that wouldn’t be easy to exploit but would also be a lot more fun, engaging and long lasting. The cooldown period on cards safeguards the system against exploitation and it also gives players ownership over their rewards so they needn’t re-run eastereggs after gaining a card they need or want.

The software we’ve designed to bring this feature to our players has also enabled a new chapter in the life of our server. We are now able to write very detailed scripted events which do not require players to enter commands in to the chat. Simply being somewhere, activating something or completing a scripted task can execute a whole string of further events. This means we can make engaging stories, adventures and more in-depth eastereggs.

One such easteregg is the new Panda King easteregg located at Spawn. If you fail in this easteregg, falling to your doom in a pit, you will be saved at the last moment by the generous Panda King and teleported back to the start. But complete the Panda King easteregg and you will receive customised panda armor with your name scribed in the lore section of your armor information. We cannot wait to build more interactive story driven adventures like this with an even larger scope to delight our players.

I really feel that the card system is the best thing we’ve ever made and the user engagement has been nothing short of incredible. Even I’m surprised by how many players have completed our eastereggs and how many cards have been discovered, as of this post 135 users have uncovered at-least one card each and in total 1,259 cards have been found. Truly these are massive numbers for a feature that is so new, clearly we are on to something big here. I’d like to express my gratitude to Adrian one of our Moderators for coding the server-side plugins necessary to make this enormous feature a reality.

One last thing I’d like to mention is I have created a little spawn map to show you where all the eastereggs at spawn are located. They are denoted by the orange blips. Have fun playing them all, each easteregg has a different chance to award you a card based on how difficult or time consuming that easteregg is to complete and make sure you do the new Panda King easteregg to get your personally forged Panda armor set!