On April 1st, 2018 2b2t replaced their temporary world. As you may recall, 2b2t is a Minecraft server with no rules. It’s one of the oldest and most popular in the world. Quite recently it’s player base has been subject to scarcity.

For April Fools Day, the server operators doubled down. This replacement world is 99% smaller. At 256 m³ 2b2t’s players were boxed in, confined to an area marginally larger than the world’s largest building, the Everett Factory where Boeing assembles some of the world’s largest aircraft. This tiny world was modified in at least three other ways.

First, the worlds terrain was amplified such that mountains reach way beyond 200 meters into the sky. Compared to a normal Minecraft terrain, this is a bit like a three layer cake rather than one layer.

in the image below you can see three of the world border’s sides. At the time this image was taken the world was 29 hours old.

Second, the world resources were modified to have far more Diamonds at much higher elevations. Diamond ore bodies are normally rare and cannot be found above an elevation of 20 meters, but in this temporary and tiny world they were at least as common as coal.

Finally, It appeared that players were unable to reach The Nether. This means that players could not make Ender Chests which can securely store inventory. To create an Ender Chest a player must use blaze powder, an item that’s available in The Nether. Effectively, players had no safe place to store their items except on their person and only so long as they lived.

Of no importance whatsoever, all game texts were apparently translated into Old English.

In other ways, this world was exactly like 2b2t. Players were permitted to use mods and hacks of any kind. There are no rules which constrain player behavior. Players have no private property rights. Disputes of every kind are resolved with or without violence. Given the conditions above mentioned, here are the results:

Dominant Social Order #1

At the bottom of the world a group of roughly six players created this lava structure with a single entrance that was guarded most of the time. Guards would attack anyone nearby with powerful diamond weapons. For future reference, let’s call them Grounders.

Image produced using an x-ray texture pack. When moving closer I was spotted by another xrayer who quickly dug toward me and killed me shortly afterward.

Grounders were a powerful group of players, willing to violently attack anyone to guard nothing more than a small wheat field, some mellons, enough iron to create an anvil and buckets (to create lava walls), and some torches.

For these few valued goods they were willing to attack and slaughter anyone who approached their front gate. The Grounders left the world on three occasions. In the end they moved to occupy a new corner of the world. It wasn’t clear to me why they moved.

The Grounders observed four rules. They traveled in groups armed to the teeth. Grounders refused to let down their guard and attacked and killed anyone who approached them. The Grounders created barriers of lava. Grounders used mods to have an informational advantage and attack anyone who attempted to burrow under them and into the base. Grounders defended their land from a guarded front gate.

Above, you can see a Grounder coming to kill me. Below you can see Grounders traveling in bands to escort a single cow. I returned 3 minutes later and it appeared the cow had died in transit.

In the middle of this image is a cow in a boat with one player guarding the driver.

The boat became stuck in a hole slowing their progress. I was killed when trying to get a better image.

By 4am UTC on April 3rd the dominant group had abandoned their camp once again. They would not return before the world reset. Within this second base they were able to plant trees, wheat crops and watermelons. A fenced off area underground appeared well suited for farm animals but I don’t think they were able to breed animals.

Dominant Social Order #2

A second group built far into the sky, in the opposite corner of the world. They also had diamond armor, planted trees and gained access to watermelons and potatoes though trade. This group was generally more accepting of outsiders and even provided diamond armor to recruit new allies.

Facing player has just been given a diamond chestplate. Diamond legs are on the ground.

This group was mainly peaceful. Their tree farm was accessible to almost anyone, but they grew no crops. It appeared that they did not yet have access to a water bucket to hydrate their soil.

Players were only attacked defensively and they did not attack players for damaging property, but their standard for evaluating entrants was weak. The player below in yellow had attacked and killed a peasant just before entering the groups platform. here you can see him breaking a recently placed cobblestone wall. He was not reprimanded.

To communicate reliably, the ‘advanced’ players left signs. This solved two problems. On the one hand the signs were not translated into Old English. On the other hand, they could be left until they were removed instead of vanishing quickly as other messages were left in the game chat. Two minutes after Yellow started causing problems in the base, Spacers left an ominous message. They were ready to run.

An invading force arrived 15 seconds later, dropping down onto the platform after pillaring across. Everyone who failed to log out was killed. It was the Grounders. At least one of the diamond clad Spacers decided to put up a fight before logging out. I was killed by a Grounder moments after taking this image.

The Spacers engaged in trade, providing iron armor for crops and providing diamond armor to recruit allies. This trait may well have been the difference to secure their success had they not made several grave errors.

The Spacers did not make iron buckets to construct lava walls to protect their land. Having no buckets in which to transport water, they did not plant crops to maintain themselves well. They selected poor allies. These errors they may have survived had they not committed a third. They did not construct a front gate and one cannot guard that which does not exist. In this way their adversaries easily gained entry and attacked.

The World Falling Apart

After 19 Hours:

After 26 hours: (taken from second layer above the coordinate 0, 0).

30 Hours: (taken near the top of the world) I believe the dragon was spawned in by Server Operators.

After 44 Hours: Standing on the Grounders first base, facing toward the middle where a triangular wall of water could have been observed much earlier (in an image above).

At 44 hours: First image is Grounders abandoned base. Most of the lava walls had fallen. By this time they had created a second base.

After 44 Hours from top layer of the world.

After 48 hours: I am located near the build limit. Players had by this time created a web of platforms enabling players to traverse the world.

After 51 hours. The crosswise catwalk had recently been constructed as a player fled from the tiny character pictured here in black. The fleeing character must have run out of blocks.

At 6:11AM UTC on April 3rd the server went offline. It was replaced minutes after by another, much larger temporary world. This image of the Grounders second base was taken one minute before the world shut down.