I like to play a bit of Pixelmon. Pixelmon is a mod for Minecraft that basically combines Minecraft and Pokemon. The best experience to do this is on a multiplayer server. There are lots out there, but I play on one in particular. Unfortunately, this server just seems to be turning into a place to gamble. To the point that, well, I really wouldn’t recommend playing on the RC-Gamers Pixelmon servers at all.
Now, I understand that servers need to make money, but…
I’m going to get this out of the way first. Yes, servers need donations to keep on going. I understand that. But there’s a very fine line between getting donations, monetizing a server and reducing everything to the point that real money is the best option.
This server though does take it to the extreme. Anything that’s on the server can be bought for real money.
This also includes gifts, special server items. Such as male and female converters which change the gender of a Pokemon, Pokemon size randomizers and items that increase the IVs of your Pokemon. In fact, there are gifts for pretty much everything, from spawning Pixelmon bosses, to spawning groups of random Pokemon, to giving TMs, to breeding Pokemon, to forcibly making them shiny. There were even random legendary gifts, that would give you a random legendary.
Most of the important gifts were very hard to obtain, or had bad chances on getting them. Shiny Converters exist, but they have a 1 in 5 chance to succeed. They were rare in the first place, so having one fail (which they did most of the time) sucked. But, if you played enough, you could slowly accumulate these gifts through natural gameplay and events.
Mostly, the server was fine.
It sucked that most Legendary Bird shrines were already taken, and it sucked more that a lot of stuff simply didn’t spawn. There was never a way to get most Legendaries outside of getting them as random gifts. Random legendary wild spawns would happen completely at random and at any time and required you to be in a specific biome. You could also force a legendary spawn by voting for the server, with one spawning at 120 votes.
VIP players did get a LOT of huge benefits for donating. Access to Fly and God Mode are pretty handy in any server. And for a long time, VIP players got a free legendary Pokemon every month, but this was later changed. Still, vastly more homes and better loot is always handy. However these benefits are available to normal players via rare gifts (temporarily) or by grinding huge amounts of money and buying a very expensive rank.
Most of this was rather self-contained though. You could theoretically get a complete Pokedex, with an extraordinary amount of patience and luck. Or you could just buy everything from the shop. With real money.
The release of Generation 8 made the server worse.
I noticed that things were getting worse when generation 8 came out in Pixelmon.
Then the new legendary birds were added. Well, Articuno was. The Galarian form of Articuno was available… only if you bought it with real money. Or won it in a gambling crate. You could theoretically earn these crates, but you’d have to spend hours mining with server-specific tools just for a chance to get a crate. And most of these crates contained, well, crap.
A server wipe and reset has brought gambling to its peak.
Now, server wipes aren’t too bad. You do need them occasionally, to generate new structures in Minecraft. Much older Minecraft servers end up with massive chunk walls, from where Minecraft generation has changed between updates. This wasn’t why RC Pixelmon servers were wiped though. The idea was to bring a fresh start to the servers. But also consolidate everything into one place and revamp all their menus and stuff. There’s now a very nice new spawn area and fresh lands to explore. And new homes and farms to build.
But in the process, well, a lot has been taken away. It’s not just people losing their builds- especially since you can save builds, since Schematica is usable on the server. No, it’s everything else that’s gone. Everyone’s in-game gifts, the ones rewarded from crates and in-game activities, are all gone now, having been sold for pitiful amounts of RCoins, a secondary currency that was introduced to try and ‘balance’ the main dollar currency.
A lot of Quality of Life stuff has come and gone, and a lot of the old servers’ features are still not present on the new server. Because there’s no old gifts, there’s no way to quickly obtain items or hatch Pokemon or anything like that. A 10% tax has been added to all auctions. You need 150 votes instead of 120 votes for a legendary to spawn (which isn’t made up for by having less servers because less players are online now). Legendaries are harder to obtain now (especially with no wild Legendary Bird shrines). And a lot of features on the server have been nerfed in one way or another.
Money making nerfs.
Probably the biggest turn off for me is all the changes to Nature’s Gift and Crate Catcher, two server-based enchantments that give money occasionally for mining/fishing. Instead of getting random gifts containing items, you now just get one item or so at a time, which clutters up inventory, and other gifts are rarer. But, more importantly, you can no longer use Mending on these items. If your axe is close to breaking, if you’re soon to lose your fishing rod, you either pay money to repair your item or you have your item break.
Considering how slow making any progress with Nature’s Gift/Crate Catcher are, having to constantly pay to fix your tools and flat out removing Mending (an original Minecraft feature) as an option is a little bit too far.
Events and Community are kinda weird too.
My final criticism of this server is that, well, the events are always so… predatory. You’ll get one ‘free’ chance to win whatever big shiny prize is dangling in front of you. Normally it involves battling bosses or delivering huge amounts of items to an NPC. You’ll get a consolation prize and the only way to try again will either be time-gated (only being able to fight a boss once a day) or luck-based (hoping Nature’s Gift or Crate Catcher give you a new chance to play).
But on the flip side, you have the no-life players and the paying players complaining about things being “too common”. The last event on the servers before everything was wiped lasted for a while actually had vaguely decent chances (at least compared to other events). But players were bitching that the legendaries would have no value. Which actually goes to show how most of the community is. Sure, it’s friendly enough, but it’s incredibly capitalistic. It’s all about making as much money as possible without obviously ripping each other off.
The final nail.
What finally drove me away though was the latest “event”. It was literally “buy these Pokemon from the store and maybe we’ll do something”. Basically guilt-tripping real-money-spending users into buying items so maybe they’ll get some additional benefit later. This mini-event seemed particularly sleazy and was honestly a sign to me that, well, it’s all just gambling and spending real money now.
Unless you’re willing to spend money or play Minecraft like a second job, the same way you’d play WoW or Runecraft, I’d avoid this server for now. It all just feels like a massive advert for their online, real money shop.