Prison gamemode servers are a few of the most popular sports manners in Minecraft: daily, thousands of individuals wade through anarchy, murder, and tons of grinding. It's a dystopian experience unlike anything I've ever experienced in a video game.
Unlike many Minecraft servers, where you could jump into the action straight away, prison servers start you out at the bottom rank with nothing more than a pick and perhaps some starting gear. You are able to make money and rate up by mining stone, ore, or gems from mines, which are open and usually PvP safe zones.
When you've grinded your way through a few dozen layers of stone, you may sell your earnings and-- even if you have worked hard and saved all your gold bars--rate up. Ranking up gets you access to some perks, depending upon the host, though until you get to the very highest ranks all it means is that you have access to a different mine with more rewarding ores. If you can make it to the very top, you'll wind up getting a distinctive title, chat thoughts, rewarding sources, and a spot on the leaderboards. It's a long way up.
The ranks, it is well worth mentioning, are grueling. The first few are designed to go by quickly, sometimes in only a few minutes or seconds, but as soon as you get to the middle ranks, it may take hours or even days of nonstop grinding to make enough in-game money to progress. The grinding itself isn't terribly persuasive, because the'mines' all seem to be designed with the same template: a big cube of stone and ore surrounded by unbreakable cubes that resets every few minutes.
Most servers throw in a mix of useless blocks like clay or sand to blend it up, and I even encountered one which had spider webs strewn throughout the mine, just in case you were beginning to get in the rhythm of things. I have not done the math with any great accuracy, but the progress on most servers appears to be exponential, and also the more lucrative blocks which you find in more advanced mines don't do a whole lot to mitigate the fast advancing cost of rank up.
There is 1 way to reverse the drudgery of ranking up just like a common plebeian into something a lot more enjoyable: donating. Prison servers provide benefits to players that shell out real-world money for advancement. Some of the advantages are as minor as better things and use of exclusive mines, but more considerable contributions garner benefits like flight, picks that can mine a complete section of blocks at a time, along avatar flair.
These perks start out relatively inexpensively: five bucks may supply you with access 'donator' privileges like better picks, storage, and renewable kits. Buying your way to the best position, however, can cost hundreds of dollars.
From the moment you log into, each input you get is targeted toward pushing you to donate. Flashing messages appear reminding one of the donator perks, upcoming sales, auctions, sweepstakes, or giveaways that are going on right now. These messages are nearly overwhelming at times. They make prison servers feel less like being more like seeing a casino.
When you've created your fortune in the mines, you can spend your hard-earned cash buying equipment to compete at the PvP arenas. Until I learned to understand the areas that I shouldn't go, I managed to repeatedly wander into those PvP zones, where I had been summarily executed by flying gamers who appeared to be shooting nuclear warhead-tipped arrows.
There's not any equity of any sort here, no attempt to level the playing field for new players--the wealthiest and most recognized players dominate these distances, wielding god-like power to lay waste to their enemies (if they may be bothered to compete). Besides equality and bragging rights, residing in the stadium can get you free loot from fallen foes, particular titles, unique tools (at least one server offers bounties on participant heads), and an opportunity to progress on the leaderboards. Competition for the best things and advantages is fierce, with the wealthiest players aggressively bidding (with in-game money ) on overpowered gear.
If PvP isn't your speed, some servers also offer plots which you may build on and decorate, once you've saved up enough from mining. You can even set up stores and market your extra gear and items to other players, or simply show off your wealth by building statues from diamond blocks or something equally ostentatious.
In this sense, prison servers are not so much providing you with a"prison" experience as, well, a sort of savagely objectivist one. Prison servers present a world where the wealthiest wield basically unlimited power and everyone else strives to combine their ranks. This is reinforced not only by the literary mechanics of the mines, but also by the donator arrangement that makes it essentially impossible to advance and compete without even opening your wallet.
Prison servers remind me a lot of the heady early days of Ultima Online or Runescape, where you could expect someone more powerful to come along and take your things --but it's intriguing that prison hosts have stripped away all of the trappings of the genre and reduced the formulation to its constituent parts. I mean, sure, all you're doing in many aggressive MMOs is grinding followed by combat, but the abstract and visual gloss that we put over those actions are what keeps us playing. Prison servers have done away with all that pretense.