On April 1st, 2016 I started building in the middle of nowhere. Why would anyone do this? We’ll come to that later. First I had to get there.

In Minecraft, nowhere is all over in a place called The End. In The End players may fight “The Dragon.” After that, they may look for distant End Cities, but there’s hardly anything besides. Just imagine a floating island surrounded by complete darkness for a thousand meters. After that, imagine more floating islands and darkness, basically forever – The End.

To reach The End one must find and use an End Portal. In Liberty there might only be two of these. Ordinarily, an End Portal will generate as part of an underground labyrinth of hallways and stairways with libraries full of cobwebs and loot. It’s all very impressive, but not in my case. My End Portal is more a shipwreck on the ocean floor. I still don’t know why, but I digress.

When one first arrives in The End they’ll be on an island which is home to a dragon. This dragon can phase through blocks and shoot fireballs. If you get too close it may knock you straight off the island and into The Void. The Void exists beneath each of Minecraft’s three dimensions. In The End a player may easily fall into The Void by stepping off any island. This kills the player.

Having dealt with the dragon, I was free to build above The Void in that first thousand meters of empty space. Now, I can understand you thinking this was some kind of fools errand, but my goal was very specific. By building in empty space I could optimize to reduce load times and latency. I wanted to create a place that people would visit often; an area for player shops called The Bazaar.

The Bazaar started life as a flat platform with twenty five simple plots arranged in a grid. Each plot was available for purchase. I hoped to create a shop district by selling these plots to other players. Ordinarily, being in the middle of nowhere would be a problem, but this is Liberty Minecraft and we can think with Portals. So, I created a link to Spawn. In the first month, seven players bought plots. I figured I could expand if space became a problem, and when I had finished expanding I planned to build a nice wall that covered up the endless nothing beyond.

The Bazaar cleared most trades in Liberty Minecraft over the next year. During this time the original plots were enough to handle the churn of shop formation, failure, resale, and new shop creation. However, shortly after our official launch in March of 2017 The Bazaar’s plots were completely sold. Players demanded much more space and competition among trade centers was growing. Alienslayer8 was building Landing Market and dust_eater would soon open Hayexplosive! I was also asked to expand The Bazaar.

On July 1st I doubled the number of shop plots, but it wasn’t enough. Our players had big ideas and my plots were deemed by some to be too small. One player decided to stop me from expanding the bazaar another inch. Maybe he wanted to make a point following a disagreement with another player about land disputes. Maybe he wanted to improve his stake in Landing Market. Maybe I’ll never know. What I know is this: the original design for The Bazaar had a flaw. It could be surrounded.

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