pYrO1v1aniac here, James requested I write something up as one of the oldest active players on the server. I'm not sure exactly the date I first joined (most of this is from memory, and so details could well be wrong), but the server was only about 2 weeks old. So young, so full of hope, so full of shitposts. Back then it seemed like every week, there were amazing stories of people building incredible structures in Minecraft. Pretty sure we didn't have redstone at the time, so not as many of the complex mechanisms we'd be more familiar with nowadays, but there was still a lot of hype about the game. YouTube "let's play" videos and stuff caught the attention of a much younger audience than the game had initially attracted. The resulting explosion of player growth was being matched by the emergence of tons of survival multiplayer servers, most of which were absolute shit. They were run by kids, who moderated like fascist dictators on crack, or by adults who simply installed every single plugin, and sucked all the chaotic fun out of the game. When SMP first came out, I was pretty excited about it. I set up maps with buddies for a few hours at a time, at LAN parties and whatever, but despite my disappointment with most Minecraft servers, I didn't have the patience or time to set up anything more permanent. So now and then, I'd dip into a server that'd claim to be different, and even chaos anarchy servers seemed to have plugins that altered gameplay, or mods who'd gift unbelievable items to their pals, and the maps were all size limited. All I wanted was to play minecraft as it was meant to be, a world shaped freely by all the players in it, a manifestation of will and commitment, be that for good or evil.
One day, while browsing /b/, I came across a thread advertising a Minecraft server that claimed to be vanilla, survival, chaos, anarchy. "I've heard that before", I thought. But given I still wanted to find that experience, I gave it a shot. The first impression of 2b2t is a well told tale by now, and it's funny how even in those early days, 2b2t's spawn was already impressive. I knew I'd found my new home. The landscape in the immediate spawn area was already largely treeless, likely having been consumed for resources, or burned in the incredible forest fires that could happen (on purpose or by accident) in early minecraft versions. There were already huge craters and pits, as well as a large number of 1x1 stacks to the sky limit (lower back then I think). There was also still quite a lot of grass, dirt, original terrain around the spawn area (heavily pockmarked by TNT). Many of the features we're familiar with today were there too (but much less elaborate), the lavacasts didn't yet enclose the entire spawn area, but they were around. Also, there were various crude swastika's made from netherrack. It was also already well established what the community culture was, the chat was full of the most offensive things people could come up with, aimlessly spamming NIGGER, or DESU. It was very much a product of where it was advertised, looking like any typical chat room when /b/ was raiding. I think some of the well known players were already around, x0XP, popbob and the original chrisleighton (or they joined soon afterward). Spawn was a busier place back then too, lots of hunters with enchanted gear, and tons of newfags trying helplessly to escape.
After a couple of hours I escaped, and in the immediate periphery of spawn, cobbled together basic survival resources (no hunger back then luckily) from the ruins of the bases within 1K. It was already the most interesting minecraft experience I'd had, with interesting ruins around in every direction. Eventually, I traveled out to around 2.5K and decided to settle, knowing (hoping) to see my efforts destroyed, and curious what would happen. I built a small, but aesthetically quite nice house out of smoothstone and wood, with a garden, fenced up, and built up a nice cache of resources and gear (the best of which I kept on me at all times of course). I called this place Farpoint, a pun on it's nearness to spawn, intending to provide a safe haven for a few newfags, maybe make some friends, etc. A few passed through, and were grateful for the help. I enjoyed operating my little waystation, and the little thrill before logging in to see whether it had been griefed yet. Surprisingly, it went more than a week before anybody touched it at all. 9 days in, somebody emptied out the chests and took the wheat, but the place was still intact and quickly recovered. Finally after 2 weeks, the place was TNT'd and fully razed. I shrugged, accepting the inevitable had finally happened, and messaged some folks who I'd helped out at the start, passie05 had a little group going, and we decided to base together. Just outside of 1K, there was a decent body of water (no actual biomes back then I think), and we excavated a huge cavern underground, with several side-caverns, and a large mob grinder. The only way in or out was a 1x1 shaft connected to the ocean floor. This ant's-nest base lasted more than 2 months before it was xrayed and destroyed. Several stacks of duped diamond blocks were lost, but I managed to carry 3 I had on me, and went back to wandering.
The spawn environs were a lot more desolate by now, pretty much no trees within 1K, and many more ruins scattered around. I decided to strike out for terra nova, as a few map generation updates had occurred in the meantime (redstone I think). I went out + - and decided at around 20K that I was reasonably far enough out to justify settling, and still had the fun of other players passing by occasionally, and the giddy risk of being discovered. Farpoint Mk2 was born, larger, more elaborate, more developed than before. This time, a castle design (the other was more like a villa). I settled happily here for some months, never troubled by other players, occasionally hopping away to join parties, but always returning. Eventually, in my wanderings, I discovered a settlement within 700 blocks of my home, a fairly elaborate, but obviously new construction. 3 unfamiliar players were working on it, clearly alarmed by my appearance (fully geared as I was). I offered peace, but they didn't respond, instead giving chase. They were only on the periphery of my vision when I spotted them, so after some frantic running, I managed to lose them. I had the foresight to not run towards my home base, instead heading for a Nether portal I'd found within 1k, and using that to return home. I figured my base would be found soon, as these guys would hunt it out. I secured up my valuable items, transplanted some to safer storage 2K away, and played on. Within 3 days, I logged in and found my place had been surrounded by a full lavacast wall, with the contents and construction left perfectly intact. I decided to abandon it as it was, dug my way out, and cast out for someone friendly to base with.
Branillon responded, excited that he'd found an amazing spot to base up with loads of spawners, around 133K. I hopped up to the nether roof, and traveled out to join him. By now, the biomes update had landed, and committed 2b2ters made use of a glitch in one of the point versions that generated only ocean outside of 30K. They created a huge ocean, more or less turning spawn into an island, a hole in a great donut of water. This divide marks the gap between the "old" non-biome generated terrain, and the "new" biome terrain. My trek out to Bran's spot was my first foray into the new terrain, and I was looking forward to checking out some jungles, mooshroom islands, deserts, etc. Bran, myself and one or two others (can't recall names), began to develop a base there, beside a jungle biome and near a desert. After a few months, the problems with this particular spot became apparent. Maybe it was the sheer number of spawners, but I observed a pattern, that whenever one of us was at the base, the server TPS would plummet, even when all the mobs had been cleared. Obviously, something was just plain wrong here. With heavy hearts, and for the good of the server, we abandoned (though I still have the coords somewhere I think).
At this point, I went through a period of being less active, logging on every few months or so. The server had settled into a period there being less people around, just a few regulars, the chat became more civilised, and people began forming closer bonds and groupings. I was happy enough to be apart from all this, and just observe and occasionally venture out. I found a nice spot in -- around 150K, and based up, this time, deciding to go all out, and use more advanced building techniques, fully wired redstone lighting, larger size, connecting to a spawner cluster via powered railroad link. Farpoint MK3 was built over a period of a year or more, and fully fortified against the deluges of mobs we used to get back then (I miss that, there are hardly any mobs around these days!). Easily the base I've spent the most time in, this one is still intact and untouched. I'd built up enough stock of decent items that I'd occasionally take trips out, even as far as 2M once (when nether roof travel was viable and before hunger) and /kill ing back home again after depositing in a nether chest.
Eventually, I decided I'd done all I could do in that base, and abandoned it, to go out and build something grander elsewhere. I traveled about 40K away, still in the same quadrant, and established my current base (still a work in progress). Farpoint MK4 is a huge project, vast in scale, with elegant curves in the design, and stained glass, lava, and water features decorating it. For now, it remains under construction. I still live in hope someone will show up and destroy it in a creative way, but I feel like our most committed griefing days are behind us. Most of the original folks who gave the place it's reputation are long gone, and those still around have settled into little enclaves and communities. Seems like none of the newfags have the talent or vigor for the job either, which is disappointing, but at the same time, shows the development of the server from an entity of pure chaos, into something resembling a real, evolved community, with it's own organically emergent personality, softened a little by age. Over the years, I've met, based with, chatted with, and spawnfagged with many players, seen many go from being edgy teenagers or drug addicted wasters to functional adults with careers and families. 2b2t has been there for nearly 5 years now, and for me, it's still one of the most interesting places on the internet, filled with secrets, and a long history of triumphs and betrayals. The sheer scale of the map means it would take a lifetime to fully explore, and yet, almost no matter how far out you travel, if you explore, you'll find signs of life, long abandoned bases, holes people have sought refuge in for a dangerous night, all out there waiting to be discovered.
Farpoint 3 base - http://imgur.com/a/iQFEw
Farpoint 4 base (WIP) - http://imgur.com/a/9s63I