Minecraft multiplayer servers in survival mode came into being in 2010, allowing for a whole new way to play the popular sandbox game. It wasn’t long before private whitelist servers were created that were exclusive to Minecraft YouTubers, who would upload weekly videos showing pranks, mini-games, builds and Redstone inventions. These videos gained popularity fast, increasing the number of followers for the participating YouTubers. This is due to viewers watching the different players collaborate and discovering new channels.
Even in 2020, when the initial hype around Minecraft has died down, channels that participate in YouTuber multiplayer servers are still going strong. Currently, SciCraft, and Hermit Craft are two of the most successful servers.
SciCraft focuses on insane technical builds that most other YouTubers tend to model their own creations after. One prevalent member is ilmango, a Minecrafter whose creations are legendary.
SciCraft is the most advanced server to date, but the laser focus on the technical side of Minecraft has led to another server overtaking it in terms of popularity: HermitCraft. HermitCraft is a mature but child-appropriate server that has a mix of Redstoners and builders. There is usually a “shopping district,” mini-games and a storyline each season.
These servers provide entertaining content while boosting each channel’s popularity. However, these servers are not without their problems. Common issues with multiplayer servers for YouTubers include abuses of power, commercialism, lack of community engagement and cruel comments or spam posted by viewers.
Although SciCraft and HermitCraft are both dealing with these issues properly, similar servers have not, like Mineplex and Mindcrack. YouTuber “TheMisterEpic” explains the downfall of these particular servers here and here, describing the staff’s abuse of power and over-commercialization.
The case of HermitCraft is instructive. At one time, one of its predecessors, MindCrack, was huge, but with time, the players evolved and moved on. Some players, like Etho, left the server because they disagreed with the direction the server was going in. In April 2015, Etho left due to disillusionment with the commercial side of the server. He later joined HermitCraft, which grew to be the new Mindcrack. The server hit its stride in the sixth season, and in 2020, Season 7 is immensely popular.
Unlike SciCraft, HermitCraft has a more diverse range of players. For example, Grian has a childlike personality and often pranks other Hermits. He joined at the beginning of Season 6 and currently has 6,120,000 subscribers. Apart from his mischievous reputation, Grian is also an expert builder.
On the other side of the spectrum, there is MumboJumbo. Although he previously asked to join HermitCraft and was turned down, he was later invited and is now the most successful member, with 6,820,000 subscribers. Mumbo is known for his Redstone inventions, developing his building skills with time, and his Season 7 megabase is quite beautiful.
All of this sounds great, but the main issue with HermitCraft isn’t HermitCraft at all. It’s the viewers.
HermitCraft seasons often follow a storyline. Season 7, which is ongoing, has been particularly eventful. A mayoral race began when Grian started petitioning for “Mumbo for Mayor.” This led to very entertaining content, mostly because Mumbo was unaware of the election campaign for a significant amount of time.
However, even though all the Hermits get along as friends, some viewers took this too seriously. Abuse was posted in rival candidates’ comments sections, and people spammed both the comments section and the Hermits’ social media accounts. Arguments between fans of rival Hermits became increasingly common.
OK – this has gone far enough. I wasn't planning on saying anything. But it's at the point where i'm seeing more nasty comments from people 'sticking up' for me than anything else. For goodness sake, just be nice to each other, k? ?
— falsesymmetry (@falsesymmetry) May 19, 2020
This led to each member making an announcement that this is all just a game and the Hermits are friends; they ordered people to be kind and stop posting abuse. This seemed to have no effect.
Once the mayoral race was over, the comments subsided. Soon after this, Grian again began a Turf War of Mycelium versus Grass; this created more excellent content that gets all the Hermits collaborating. But unsurprisingly, the hateful comments reemerged. Despite the two sides of the war mentioning in their videos that this is all in good fun, the audience doesn’t seem to be paying attention. It’s a shame that a few viewers are causing so much drama, mainly because people often forget that there are actual people behind the Minecraft Skin, and they have feelings.
Many Minecraft multiplayer servers fall apart when the players fall out. This is why HermitCraft is so exclusive, with every Hermit having to agree on new members before they’re admitted. New players are considered for their skill set, but also for their ability to cooperate with other Minecrafters, so every member has to show that they can happily collaborate with others before they qualify. So far, this system seems to work, since the Hermit collaborations are entertaining, and it’s obvious that they are genuine friends, having fun and are not being fake for the viewers.
Despite the rigorous requirements as an invite-only server, the viewers still cause problems, constantly spamming streams, comment sections and social media accounts, petitioning for this or that YouTuber to be admitted to HermitCraft. Pixlriffs is a Minecraft YouTuber who had to address a multitude of comments about this, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped the comments.
Joining Hermitcraft is not up to me. I can't just choose to join. Hermitcraft is an invite-only server: the Hermits decide who to invite. Right now they have enough players for the community to feel tight-knit and manageable, and they don't seem interested in adding anybody new.
— Pixlriffs ? (@Pixlriffs) February 26, 2020
Minecraft multiplayer servers are fun, especially when a group of specialized YouTubers collaborate. However, in the past, servers have died because of a lack of community engagement or the members not liking each other. HermitCraft is a server suitable for all types of Minecraft players. The admission process is very selective, but the amount of consideration pays off; the Hermits are all good friends and create a cohesive whole. It’s solid entertainment for everybody — as long as the viewers stop harassing the Hermits.