This page contains just the documentation, tips, and spoilers related to the non-standard† things that can happen on Must Test. For obvious reasons this page is never complete. You can check this page from month-to-month to see what has been added.
(† The standard here is assumed to be Minetest Game.)
/status: Shows the server’s status information, which includes a link to this website. This is what is shown to new players who join the server. Returning players are shown a welcome-back message instead.
/players: Shows the number of players currently on the server and a list of names. If you are in a group PM channel (see /channel & /x) then you’ll also see the list of players currently in that channel.
/spawn: Lets new players get out of traps and pits near the spawn area. This only works in close proximity to wherever the current spawn area is (the spawn location changes). Obviously this will not work if the player is in jail, or if they are already too close to the current spawn location. If the player is in the nether then the player will respawn in the City of Fire instead of the Ice Colony.
/recall: This is basically the same as above.
/time: Get the current time of day, in 24-hour format.
/days: Get the number of days and the current calendar date. Note that the server’s concept of dates is different from realtime; in particular, the server’s “year” is longer than the real year.
/mapfix: Updates liquid and lighting in an area. Use this if for some reason there is a lighting issue on the map, or if water/lava is refusing to flow normally.
/shout: Say something very loudly (chat will show up in red). You can also shout by prepending your chat with !, like this: !I want itooms. Give me itooms!
/whoami: Have the server tell you your login name. (Your login name can potentially be different from your display name that is shown in chat and other places.)
/channel: Set which group PM channel you wish to be on. Pass a single argument, the name of the channel (must contain only alphanumeric characters or underscores). Pass no argument to remove yourself from the channel.
/x: Send chat to everyone currently on the same group PM channel as you.
/r: send a reply (via PM) to the person who last sent you a PM. Useful if you do not want to bother typing the recipient’s name.
Common commands that behave the same as in other servers are generally not listed here.
Key of Citizenship
These examples of strange technology were discovered inside various underground caches by colonists shortly after their arrival on the surface of the ice world. Early on, the objects were named “Proof of Citizenship” because the colonial government treated possession of such a device as evidence that a miner or farmer had the minimum skills required to survive in this harsh world. Eventually, posession came to be viewed as a privilege, and the acronym PoC became its common name among old-time colonists.
As time went on, the devices were shown to be concealing arcane abilities. Most of their currently-known functions, including a transportation and communication system, were discovered through the effort and crude experimentation of early pioneers. These people worked under the assumption that the device had to have some unique purpose other than being a highly reflective, strangely-humming paper-weight. As a result of their archaeological work, most of the devices’ functions have been decrypted and are now accessible to their possessors.
Since then, the technology has been successfully duplicated by engineers. Its construction blueprint is known, though the means of operation are not wholly understood.
Excess player accounts on this server are purged weekly, every Sunday at 06:00:00 UTC, when the server restarts (the server’s maps are also generated at this time). This purge is necessary to prevent the database(s) from becoming bloated with information from players who join and then leave. When accounts are purged, players who do not have a Proof of Citizenship or Key of Citizenship in their main inventory will lose their data; including inventory, name, password, and location in the world.
New players should craft this item as quickly as possible, if they plan to play for long. However, if you cannot craft one, you can save your items in a chest in the world, as that will not be deleted. Be warned though: if your account is removed, anyone can log on using the name you chose and steal your materials/claim your work.
Once you have obtained the PoC, you must be sure to always keep it in your inventory. Later when you have obtained more advanced materials, you can upgrade the PoC to a Key of Citizenship (as described in italics above). The KoC has additional functionality, so it does not take up inventory space pointlessly. Access its interface by wielding it and ‘punching’.
As long as you have a Proof of Citizenship or Key of Citizenship in your main inventory, your account is considered to be registered. If you decide you no longer want to play on the server, you can unregister by removing the PoC (or KoC) from your inventory and waiting until 06:00:00 UTC of next Sunday. Be warned however, that this action is permanent; if you change your mind and want to come back, you will have to start over. There are no account restorations.
The ore generation algorithm has been significantly changed from what players are probably used to on most servers. Instead of being generated uniformly and at predictable depths, each ore is generated using a pattern of a 3D “map” (like Swiss Cheese) which determines where it spawns. Depth is still important (dig below -1024 to find mese blocks), but each ore now generates regionally.
Thus you can find, for example, iron in one mine but no copper, and in another mine, copper can be found but no iron. This method of ore generation is used to avoid the problem of “rainbow caves”, in which players commonly find most ore types just by exploring a single cave. The high number of ore types spotting the walls are what give mines a rainbow appearance.
There are several ore types added on top of the default ores. On average each cave in this world will have only 2 or 3 ore types at once, though it is possible to get lucky and find a good mine with as many as 7 ores available at once. Alternately, you may be very unlucky and find a region with no ores at all!
You will need to mine in several caves at once in order to get a decent variety of ore types. TNT-mining is expected and encouraged. Some ores cannot be found near the city at all, necessitating distant exploration in order to find regions where they spawn. It’s best to plan your exploration to take place during the Season of Stone, when travel is easy and ores can be spotted quickly due to not being hidden beneath the snow.
Stairs Plus & Circular Saw
You can craft stairs and slabs in your inventory’s craft-grid, and using additional equipment (and mese fragments) you can saw and cut full blocks into slopes and microblocks.
Here’s the recipe pattern you use to craft stairs of any type. Some people are used to a flipped recipe, but that won’t work here.
Here’s a pictoral list of all the available microblocks. Note that the circular saw uses mese fragments to power it. You get the best power-to-cutting ratio when you take 10 or some multiple of 10 items from the saw’s output at once. (For example, taking 9 items will use 1 fragment and 11 items will use 2 fragments, a loss in terms of mese. Taking 10 items will use 1 fragment, and 20 items will take 2 fragments; no loss.)
The fastest way into the Nether.
The Flameportal can be built with 12 or 16 Obsidian (the corners are strictly optional and not needed). You must build it 5 meters long and 5 meters wide, with a 3x3 hole in the middle containing only air.
To activate, stand clear of the portal and strike it with a flint & steel. Once the portal is activated you may stand on any part of the Void and strike the portal again with the flint & steel to be teleported into the Nether. Each Flameportal can link to up to 5 random locations in the Nether. The precise location to which you’ll be teleported depends on where on the Void you stand.
You must be sure to bring enough materials with you to build another Flameportal in the Nether, otherwise you will be trapped! When you use a Flameportal the server builds a landing platform for you (to prevent players from landing in the Brimstone Ocean), but it does not build a return portal.
A return portal is built exactly the same way you build a Flameportal outside the Nether, except that its location in the Nether causes it to ‘return’ you to the last Flameportal you used that was outside the Nether, instead of teleporting you to a new location in the Nether. This means that any Flameportal you find in the Nether, built by anyone, is always a return portal.
The recommended practice after entering the Nether is to immediately build a bunker around your portal and protect it. Dungeon Masters will plague you mercilessly until you are fortified with walls. If you are slain in the Nether and have not used a Bed, you’ll respawn in the City of Fire instead of on the surface. There is a Full Spectrum Teleport in the City of Fire that you can use to get back to the surface.
You cannot build a Flameportal out of Dead Obsidian.
The flames that appear on top of a Flameportal are part of the portal, and removing them will deactivate your portal. It is possible to build a Flameportal that does not spawn flames on the obsidian surface by covering the top of the obsidian with another material prior to activating the portal. After the portal is activated you can freely remove the covering material.
This is the most complex type of teleport you can build. Here is a visual introduction to the construction of this machine.
Please pay attention to the following WARNING before building one of these devices! Whenever someone transports from another location onto one of these teleports, the machine destroys anything in the 3x3x3 area directly above it, including locked chests and irrespective of protection! Sometimes destroyed materials turn into fire; you can use any material you don’t care about to test and find the precise region that is affected. This goes for players, too. Anyone unlucky enough to be standing on (or next to) a teleport when someone else transports in will be slain! Player’s bones are the only thing that will not be destroyed.
When using a chain of teleports with a buddy, the recommended practice is to communicate your status to your friend before and after using the teleport. Some people have adopted the system of saying ‘Clear!’ in chat to indicate to someone else that it is safe for them to use a teleport, and ‘Clear?’ to ask if someone else is away from danger. A good rule of thumb is to step away from the teleport immediately after using it. You are safe as long as you are not standing on the 3x3 teleport pad.
A device similar to the Cursed World Gates on the just test server. There are important differences however. Every gate has an owner to which it is bound the first time someone uses a gate. If the wrong person uses a gate, the person will be transported and the gate will be griefed with fire or lava (it will not, however, be destroyed). The proper owner of a gate can take others through with him or her; to transport others they must stand close to the person who activates the gate.
You can prevent others from using (and thereby griefing) your gates by placing an obstruction (like a torch) inside the gateway. This prevents the gate from being activated. Obviously your gate must be protected, otherwise the person trying to use your gate can simply remove the obstruction.
Note that underground gasses count as an obstruction.
The best use of these gates is for mining and underground exploration. A gate will transport its user to a random location that is no farther than 5,000 meters from the user’s original position and no closer than 500 meters. You can chain multiple gates together and thus travel great distances, but never in a controled direction.
How to construct: you need 12 blocks of Obsidian or Dead Obsidian, and 2 Cursed Stones. The gateway itself shall be 4 meters wide and 5 meters high, with a doorway in the center 2 meters wide and 3 meters high. This doorway must contain nothing but air! You can put the Cursed Stones anywhere in the construction but there must always be exactly two. Note that the gate may be part of any larger obsidian structure, including another gate, as long as the structure described here can be found when you attempt to activate the portal.
How to activate: stand inside the gate and strike the obsidian or one of the cursed stones with a flint & steel. The first time you use a gate it may take a while because the server is locating and building a return gate which you can use to return to the first gate you built. Once you are through, do not allow your return gate to be destroyed. If it is destroyed you will not be able to rebuild it, and you will likely be trapped.
Protection & Protectors
This server uses protection blocks, not areas, to define protected zones. You can craft these blocks in two basic tiers. The first tier protects a 7x7x7 area per block, and the second will protect an 11x11x11 area per block. The crafting recipes were carefully designed to have the roughly same cost in mese when protecting some amount of land, regardless of the tier you use.
That being said, there are advantages to each tier. 7x7x7 protectors are advantaged when protecting roads or long strips, as it will cost less mese per protection-block to protect the road. When protecting large cubic areas, however, 11x11x11 protectors are advantaged, costing slightly less mese per node protected than if you had used first-tier protectors. They are also advantaged in that they interfere less with structure design, since fewer of them are needed.
Players are strongly advised to protect all their structures. Except for snow as noted below, much effort has gone into the game code to ensure that no known ways to bypass protection exist. Fire, for instance, burns things, but will not burn things in protected areas. If you do find a way to bypass someone’s protection aside from snow, please send me a message in-game so that I can fix it, and thank you!
As far as protection goes on Must Test, snow can be dug and placed everywhere, regardless of protection. Nodes which have this property (like snow) can be said to have protection bypass. Some very few nodes can be placed in others’ protected areas, but not dug, such as memorandum that you make with paper. In addition, nodes which have fallen universally cannot be protected; that is, anyone can dig a fallen node, even if it has landed in someone else’s protected area. This is a very useful feature for roads, etc., because it effectively prevents the griefing of roads such that other players cannot pass. Also, protectors defend nodes which are normally breakable by falling nodes (sometimes called dirt-bombing). On some survival servers it is common to see surface-level gardens covered by glass shielding. That level of defense is not needed here. It is still needed underground, where there is the threat of lava. For performance reasons lava does not respect protection. However, lava is not permitted to exist on the snowy land surface.
While standard protection blocks are sufficient to defend builds against griefing, etc., you might also consider placing city blocks in your build for extra defense. City blocks suppress PvP near them and send offenders to jail. They forbid the use of TNT anywhere nearby, and they block ore leeching operations anywhere within a whopping 100 meters cubic-radius. They’re also needed if you want to kick someone out of your house for trespassing.
This server uses a custom version of the Technic mod that is found on other servers. While the custom version used on this server is similar in many ways to the original Technic mod, it also has some very important differences that will surprise and perhaps disappoint players who are used to (and expect) the original Technic. This documentation is designed to highlight the major differences; it is expected that players who play with the machines on this server probably already have experience with the official Technic mod on other servers. Therefore, there will not be much explanation about things that are generally the same.
The first and most obvious difference that veteran Technic users will notice is that machines on this server do NOT run when you are away from where the machine is located. In the original Technic, it was possible to set up your power-network so that it would run even when you were not near the machines. While this is certainly a desirable feature, the realities of server hardware require a different paradigm. Over time, a server with the Technic mod will begin to lag, as players build power-networks of ever-increasing size and complexity. Eventually, if nothing is done to halt this network-building, the server will become nearly unplayable.
This server solves the problem by not permitting it to exist in the first place. You can still build huge, sprawling power networks, but machines will not run if you are not near them; this means your network is effectively “sharded”; if a network is too big for every part to be active at once, then only the part near a player will consume any server resources.
Another, subtle difference that ought not go unmentioned is that all machines and cable boxes are owned by the player who placed them. (This ownership fact is not revealed in any obvious way in-game.) Networks built by different players will not automatically connect to one other, thus retarding the rate at which players can build and join networks together. A special machine is provided for connecting networks that were built by different players. While not obvious from a user’s perspective, this deliberate design choice forces networks to be still further sharded, resulting in less CPU being required to process them.
Cabling also works differently. Here, cables cannot turn corners. In order to turn a corner, a cable box is provided, which you should place at the corner where you want the cable to change direction. This rule reduces the amount of resources required to traverse the network, since the server can now rely on cables going in fixed directions, with change in direction permitted only at cable boxes. There are three cable box tiers to match the three tiers of cable. Also, cables do NOT connect directly to machines, only to cable boxes. This is an odd restriction, admittedly, but it helps reduce the complexity of network traversal.
Here’s something that won’t work, rather unintuitively.
The next major difference is EU buffering. It is implemented purely as a performance optimization, and you can generally ignore it (although the little energy balls in the machine formspecs do look pretty). Buffering simply means that power does not flow through the network in a “continuous” circuit-like fashion (as the original Technic tries to simulate). Instead, machines (both generators and tools) buffer the energy they use/produce, and send that energy over the power-network to other machines only when the buffer capacity is exceeded. This greatly reduces the number of network traversals the server has to do.
Here is the formspec of an operating MV extractor. You can see here that it is not strictly necessary to have your machine connected to a network. Most machines have a built-in fuel-fired furnace, which allows them to produce energy from fuel placed directly in the machine. It is less efficient than a dedicated fuel-fired generator, though, and the only fuel a built-in generator can burn is mese.
Notice the buffered EUs in the slot to the left. If the machine was connected to a network, it would consume the energy there before looking on the network for more energy.
The last major difference is “machine stand-by mode”. This is the default behavior of every machine, and every machine tries to re-enter this mode after it is disturbed and forced into an active state. Once a machine has entered stand-by mode, it can take serveral minutes for it to wake up again, or notice any change in the environment or the power-network. When a machine is in stand-by mode, it requires very little server resources, hence the reason for using this implementation.
The behavior is particularly noticeable with machines that you would normally think of as continuously operating, like windcatchers or geothermal generators. Stand-by mode can be quite frustrating and somewhat mystifying if you are not aware of why it happens.
If you are not sure whether a machine should be in stand-by mode, or if you are impatient and want to wake the sluggard up in a hurry, you can punch the machine to wake it up immediately. If it doesn’t wake up, there is probably a good reason for that. Your power-network may be misconfigured, or perhaps there is nothing for the machine to do.
A generator, for instance, will enter stand-by mode once all the batteries on a network are full; this is because any additional energy it would produce would be wasted (it would also be a waste of server resources to run the machine). (If there are no batteries on the network, or the generator is not connected to a network at all, then the generator will enter stand-by mode once its own internal buffer is full.) If the batteries on that network are then drained, it will take the generator some time to notice and begin producing energy again. The amount of time it takes the generator to wake up may be several minutes. Punching the generator will wake it up immediately.
A tool machine has similar behavior. A furnace, for example, will halt if it needs to get more energy from the power-network for smelting, but the network has no available energy. In that case the furnace will enter stand-by mode. In the meantime you may have a generator on the network producing energy. The furnace will not detect that more energy is available until it wakes up again, several minutes later.
The canonical solution to the problem of stand-by mode is to ensure that your power-network has enough battery boxes, that when using tools, your batteries do not drain completely before the generators on your network wake up and begin generating more energy.
Some effort has gone into ensuring that it is not possible to build a self-activating power-network. Without player intervention, every machine will eventually halt, thus freeing server resources.
There are quite a lot of differences between MustTest machines and the original Technic, far too many for me to document them all. If you have a question about something I missed in this writeup, don’t hesitate to send me an in-game email!
A Simple Machine Network
Here you can see an example of a simple machine network, nearly the simplest that you can build. A simpler version would use only one cable box and discard the black MV cable. You generate energy (sometimes referred to as EUs) by putting coal or mese into the fuel-fired generator, which burns it. Energy produced is sent to the battery box for storage.
You may notice that there is no switching station in this network. Unlike in the original Technic mod, you do not need them. Power-networks are completely decentralized.
Here is an example of the absolute simplest machine network you can build. One generator, one cable box, and one tool. Note the lack of any battery box. The generator itself actually acts as a low-capacity battery, and the tool (the extractor) can draw energy from it directly as long as the generator has energy in its EU buffer.
While a simple network like this is useful in a pinch, you should be aware that there will be quite a bit of wasted energy if you are not careful. In particular, since there is no battery box, any energy the generator produces beyond its buffer capacity will be wasted. The purpose of battery boxes in any network is to store excess energy produced by generators; without one, your power-network will suffer from the implementation’s idea of surges (excess energy wasted) and brownouts (no power available for tools).
Tidal EU Generator
This machine generates EUs (energy) from the tides in large bodies of water. Not surprisingly, this means that this machine will not work in any small pool. It is designed to be placed under the ice that covers the oceans near the city, where there are currents.
The machine needs to find at least 500 water nodes near it in order to function. In addition, the 4 sides of the machine must also be next to water. Please note that it is quite difficult to “trick” the machine into operating in a man-made pool, though it can be done.
This machine produces 50 EU per second, and will buffer up to 1000 EU before sending power to batteries.
The craft guide is part of your inventory formspec. To access it, open your inventory and click the life-ring button that is in the top-left corner. Once it is open, you can see the recipes for all items in the game that can be crafted. You won’t see items in the craft guide that are in the game, but which cannot be crafted. There are many such items.
The craft guide includes a search field at the bottom right. Click the ‘?’ button to initiate a search, and click the ‘X’ button to clear your search and go back to the main item listing. You can search multiple things at once by separating your searches with commas. For example, in the picture below, the craft guide is showing recipes for both LV and MV machines at once. When you search for something, both item names and item descriptions are all checked. A match in either of these will cause the matched item to appear in the search results.
Search terms are case-insensitive. “Tree” and “tree” return the same results.
You can only search items that are already in the craft guide and have recipes. Items in the game which have no craft recipes are not searchable.
There are multiple recipe types. The type of recipe is shown to the right of the 3x3 craft recipe table, underneath the arrow. The name of the recipe type is shown underneath the history buttons to the left. Many items have recipes that require machines to make them. Often an item has several recipes. You can see the different recipes by clicking the up and down buttons which are to the right of the recipe grid.
The next and previous page buttons will wrap around. If you are on the first page of an item listing and you press the back button, you’ll go to the last page. Likewise, if you are on the last page and you press the forward button, you’ll go to the first page.
Performing a search with the search field does not change your current page in the main item listing. Once you clear the search by pressing the ‘X’ button, you’ll go back to the page you were originally on.
Click ‘back’ to return to your inventory.
The practice of growing grass and flowers on Must Test’s frozen landscape has several subtleties. The first thing every flora farmer should do before starting a farm is remove all sources of cold. Ice is sure to be a non-starter if it is anywhere near your plant roots. Once you have removed nearby ice and put down a layer of dirt or sod, you are good to go. Still, there are a few things you can do to improve things.
Lush grass can support a slightly higher flora density than other kinds of grass. Even if you haven’t been able to grow any lush grass, you can still make sure the plants have water. Temperatures are never great on the land surface, so a nearby torch is helpful to drive off frost. Minerals offer an extra boost.
With the right gardening skills, it is possible to double the density of flora on the same plot of land. Make sure to thin the plot every so often in order to permit new growth, since plants will stop growing once they reach their maximum density. The truly efficient farmer will wish to use no more dirt than is actually necessary in a single plot.
By comparison, mushroom farming is much simpler. Remember that mushrooms do not like light! You can grow them on dirt, decaying tree, or even dauth sand. They’ll grow best in the Nether, where there is no sun. There are not many crops that can grow there, so mushrooms will be valuable if you plan to stay long.
The cultivation of “waterlilies” is similar to that of land plants, with the obvious difference that they only grow in water. Though the “waterlily” is the only plant originally native to this frozen world, it does not thrive in cold water. Despite this, the microscopic seeds of this plant are present nearly everywhere. Placing a heat source such as a torch near a quiet pool will cause the plant to grow to full, visible size, seemingly from nothing. This has caused many scientists to mistakenly believe the plant arises from spontaneous generation.
Growing Trees In Caverns
You can grow overworld trees underground in deep caverns, but it takes some effort. You might or might not find it useful. :-)
Here is how: find an open area underground (huge caverns are probably best), that is not close to the surface and has a high ceiling. Get glowing minerals and use them to make a ‘soil’ bed. Put a sapling on top. You’ll need to have lava nearby for light and heat to help the sapling to grow. Then wait, or use bonemeal if you’re impatient. When the tree grows, it drains all the glowing minerals out of its immediate environment and incorporates them into itself. These minerals continue to provide light to the leaves, so the tree can survive without need of the sun.
The more minerals you provide for soil, the bigger the tree will grow.