The Flooding of Spawn

From Simply Vanilla

The Flooding

On November 23rd 2019, players Loot_Wizard/Ave_Cthonos and Grimalackt would flood the spawn of Simply Vanilla, and in doing so, remove all possible spawn points barring a single one. Loot and Grimalackt had grown angry at the server's owner, Beautifulz, for leaving illegals from previous instances of admin abuse in place, as well as leaving major server issues such as the presence of invisible, unkillable mobs unfixed for weeks. Feeling that their time invested in the server was wasted, the two decided to try to flood the server's spawn to drown new players and mess with Beautifulz. Prior to the flooding, the two had built a ceiling at Y 256 above spawn with the aim of blocking out sunlight to spawn. This ceiling was used to place water that flowed down from the height limit to spawn below. After, kelp was placed on the sides of this water, turning it into source blocks and allowing it to spread further to it's sides. This was repeated to allow water to spread and flood the entire area that players could spawn in. Loot and Grimalackt were able to accomplish this within just a single day with the help of some other players, including cyborg900, who made a video of the process.

The flooding as viewed from Grimalackt's end ship build.

The flooding also had another effect past drowning players attempting to leave spawn. Players could not, at the time, spawn in water blocks, nor on the ceiling above height limit. And since the entire spawn radius for players was covered in water, this meant that the amount of possible spawn points became increasingly limited, until eventually there was only a single spot that anyone could spawn in- the inside of an obsidian box built at 0,0. The result of this became clear to the server when Global, a player notable for killing new players at spawn, decided to suicide there only to be killed immediately by Grimalackt, and then killed again, and then a dozen more times until he disconnected. The singular spawn point had in effect bedtrapped all players both returning to spawn or entering the server for the first time. Following this a few attempts were made to kill Grimalackt and free those trapped in the obsidian box, but they failed due to Grimalackt's skill at pvp. Players continued to be spawnkilled until December 4th, when Beautifulz would finally get around to increasing the spawn radius to an area of 500x500 blocks, allowing players to spawn outside of the spawn ocean. This larger area would again be flooded, this time using mostly ocean maker machines, but the spawn radius would be increased yet again to around 1000x1000 blocks. In the end this flooding only made spawn easier to escape, as new players would, instead of spawning into the destroyed and lavacasted terrain of 0,0, instead find themselves in farther out areas filled with trees upon joining.

Cleanup Efforts

Following the flood, attempts began to try and remove the water from spawn. It would not be as simple as removing the water blocks at the top of spawn to allow the rest to drain- the placing of kelp had made almost all the water into source blocks, and they would all have to be individually removed. As flying machines could not be used to drain the area due to the lavacasts in the way, draining would only be possible using sand/gravel or sponges to manually remove the water. One such attempt was made by a group called the Kingsmen to clear a relatively small area at y 62 where the highways connected at 0,0 by placing and then mining sand, dirt, and gravel. This attempt was successful, but like most other attempts to drain spawn, it was re-flooded within a day. This was because Loot_Wizard and Grimalackt continued to maintain and expand the spawn ocean, and before long it became clear that the water couldn't be removed, as it was simply easier to flood than it was to drain. The ocean would remain intact until the server's spawn was(much to the dismay of the flooders) rolled back in September 2020 to it's state in September 2019 due to server file loss. However while it no longer exists on the server itself, the spawn ocean's presence remains in Simply Vanilla's server icon, which references the flooded spawn.

The Kingsmen's failed draining project.