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Event Hosting Guidebook for Minecraft servers with Cavetale

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For the past eight years, Cavetale has fostered a dedicated community of Minecraft players. With hundreds of people from all around the world having joined us in that time, we’ve seen our fair share of diverse interests and playstyles. Although we always love seeing new faces and making new friends, catering to each type of player and convincing them to stay can be a challenge. Especially these days, it can be difficult to differentiate your server and draw in players just by its features. One advantage that Cavetale has is its rich history, and community-based approach which has built lasting friendships that span far beyond Minecraft.

One way in which we accomplish this is by hosting regular weekend events. At 19:00 GMT on Saturdays and Sundays, we post an announcement on our Discord server introducing the day’s activity. An hour later, things get underway. Events last 1-2 hours, and end just in time to leave players wanting more. This blog post will be your guide to how it all works.

Game Day

Game King of the Ladder Cavetale

King of the Ladder

Saturdays are for new features, fast-paced games, and individualized competitions. PvP, pig racing, and parkour are just a few examples of the Saturday events we host. Between beloved classics like Spleef and games that we’ve invented on our own, we have over 20 events in our current rotation. With a repertoire of that size, we ensure that every Saturday feels fresh and doesn’t lead to burnout. Frequently switching games also helps to level the playing field for newcomers, so that nobody can gain a large advantage from obsessive practice. At the end of Saturday’s event time, we like to hear feedback from our players in order to improve the game for the next time we play. Feedback is also useful to determine players’ favorite games, so that they may appear in the event rotation more frequently.

Build Contest Cavetale

Build Contest entry - "Bazaar"

Sundays are when the community comes together and collaborates, usually in the form of building. Most commonly we participate in the Minecraft subreddit’s ‘Bi-Weekly Build Challenge’, in which we are the the #1 build team on the all-time leaderboards. However, our build team doesn’t only consist of staff members and designated designers. Instead, every player on our server is encouraged to contribute to our entry, from administrators to veterans to brand new friends.

When we aren’t participating in a subreddit challenge, we will sometimes host build events of our own. Frequently we will take this opportunity to have our players build Saturday’s game arenas for us, which is beneficial in two ways. First and most obviously, it saves the staff a lot of time and energy. Depending on the size and availability of your staff, this can be a gamechanger unto itself. Secondly, players are always excited when their builds receive recognition. On our server, some maps are so recognizable that players can tell you exactly who built them at a glance. When your builds are that influential on a server, you know you’ve done something special.

The best thing about our build events is that players’ creations can sometimes become permanent fixtures on the server, not just during events, but in survival as well. Their dungeons may be added to our Custom Dungeon plugin’s database and be procedurally generated into the resource world, or their large build contest structure may be pasted into the build world as a “Landmark”, where unique admin-created items may be traded for. In fact, the aforementioned dungeons sometimes contain the special currency used at Landmarks, linking player structures together.

Rewards

Although the main draw of each weekend event is supposed to be the fun of the game itself, we also provide rewards to players after the fact.Winners get extra special titles and items, but everyone who participates will receive a goodie bag as a token of our appreciation for joining us These gifts are specifically designed with the theme of the event in mind, and will provide participants with some materials to enhance their survival experience The more exclusive your reward items are, the more incentive players will have to participate.

Holiday Events

Cavetale Easer 2020

Cavetale Easter 2020

In addition to weekend events, we also host holiday-themed festivals each year. These include a completely redecorated spawn, new player titles, and some type of unique activity which only lasts for the duration of the festival; usually one or two weeks. For Valentine’s Day players might exchange cakes, cookies, and pies as they compete for a high score, while on Halloween one can be sure that a dangerous adventure will await them.

While many servers celebrate the holidays by means of decoration, going the extra mile to implement new and unique features will bring on a certain sense of urgency, and encourage players to make the most of the festival while it lasts. Holiday festivals require much more planning and preparation by the staff when compared to weekend events, but in the end we agree it’s always worth it.

Lasting impressions

Cavetale Extreme Grass Growing

Extreme Grass Growing

Over the course of the week following Sunday’s event, it’s not unusual to see new friendships form. Through competition and collaboration over the weekend, players get a chance to meet new people that they might not have otherwise. Be it through a similarity in build styles or the learning of a new technique, one will often find that there’s always something new to discover about those around them.

This process is especially beneficial for new players looking to become part of the community, but who might be too shy to reach out on their own. Coming into an established community as a complete stranger may be a bit daunting, but the best way to get past any initial hesitation is to dive right into the action. Fighting and building alongside other server members accomplishes just that.

Although our server features, members, and even name have changed over the years, one thing that remains from the founding of our server until today is the spirit of community. Few places will you find players who joined in 2012, 2016, and today all regularly playing together, but Cavetale’s event arenas are some of them.

Perhaps your server’s could be too!