Mine, All Mine: MineCraft Free Weekend

By Quintin Smith on September 18th, 2010 at 11:08 pm.

AUUUUUUGH

Like the sound of MineCraft? Still too stingy to part with €10? Waiting on a paycheck?

As of an hour ago MineCraft’s account verification servers collapsed under the weight of a sea of new customers. You can’t currently buy the game or log in to MineCraft’s account verification servers. Proving his status as an amazing human being, MineCraft developer Notch has since turned off said account verification, so for as long as it takes him to get some new servers up and running (a few days, by the sounds of things) anybody can download and play the latest version of MineCraft for no money.

Gentlemen? Go and enjoy yourselves.

EDIT: OK, so it looks like the MineCraft auto-update servers are currently being flattened by everybody in the world. It might take you several/many tries to successfully load the game client.

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125 Comments »

  1. Snuffy (the Evil) says:

    I just wish the RPS server was up. I can’t connect to it. :(

  2. DMJ says:

    Notch for President.

  3. Inverness says:

    Highly recommend that RPS shut down its multiplayer server while this issue is being fixed. You can login as anyone else until it is fixed.

    • Rich says:

      Agreed. Lots of free-players may well mean we get some griefers.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      I never understood why some in the gaming development community call them “griefers”. Are they oblivious to the word “troll”?
      No, they are not different. They are exactly the same, based on the exact same motivation, and have the exact same effect.
      I wonder if you people also call “crackers” “hackers”…

    • Harlander says:

      English language in “more than one word available to refer to a single discrete concept” shocker!

    • tomeoftom says:

      Barefoot:

      The most likely derivation of the word troll can be found in the phrase “trolling for newbies”, popularized in the early 1990s in the Usenet group, alt.folklore.urban (AFU). Commonly, what is meant is a relatively gentle inside joke by veteran users, presenting questions or topics that had been so overdone that only a new user would respond to them earnestly. [Wikipedia]

      Trolling/trawling, as in the fishing method. You say something stupid in the hope of luring people into responding such that they expose their own idiocy.

      Griefing, on the other hand, is simply causing someone grief – something potentially far more evil. In Minecraft, griefing usually takes the form of vandalism.

      So, the words serve different purposes.

    • dadioflex says:

      “I never understood why some in the gaming development community call them “griefers”. Are they oblivious to the word “troll”?”

      Trolling is a passive activity, in general, while griefing is far more active. i suspect you don’t understand what trolling is and have an uninformed opinion of griefing, which is virtually selfless bug-finding in most MMOs.

      No offence, I realise English probably isn’t your mother tongue, and I hope my correction has been helpful.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      @tomeoftom: Yeah well, it’s not the 1980s anymore. The definition has changed. Because trolling has. And you can make up your own definition as much as you want… you don’t seem to get trolling at all. The sole purpose of trolling nowadays, is to cause disruption up to a point where normal usage is impossible. And it’s BAReFOOt, as in FOO and BAR, the dummy variables. Not barefoot.

      @dadioflex: LOL. Trolling not active? Do you even know 4chan?? They don’t just send a message and wait. Trolling from 4chan in MineCraft would result in total destruction, flying penises and everyone being at war with everyone. While they, on 4chan laugh their asses off, because they got no life and that’s the only achievement they can manage.

      Oh, and: No, English is not my native language. But “trolling” also isn’t defined by British or US people anymore. Look at trolls. They are from all over the world. And they define it, whether you like it or not.

      Conclusion: You both can make up definitions as much as you want. You still don’t know what trolling is. I recommend reading up a bit on how 4chan for example actively shuts down whole online communities. (“Pool’s closed!”) It’s basically just anarchy they are doing. “…for the LULZ” as they say. Look that one up too. (Encyclopedia Dramatica is a good place to start. But: Avoid the page “offended” at all cost! You have been warned. :)

  4. Dominic White says:

    Between Penny Arcade and RPS, you’ve gone and killed Minecraft so hard that it immediately bounced back from the dead as some kind of freakish junk-code phoenix to bring light and joy to the whole world. For free!

  5. SuperNashwan says:

    I actually had just gone to the site to purchase it, and it being free for now has only cemented my desire to do so. Classy stuff.

  6. Butterbumps says:

    Best time to do it. What with all the extra attention from Penny Arcade (and RPS, of course) more people are interested than ever. May as well give them a few free days to get them hooked.

    If this hadn’t happened by accident, he should have done it on purpose.

    • Butterbumps says:

      Er, also, Quinns, that screenshot…. were you trying to set the spider on fire?

    • somedude says:

      I think that’s just the modified spider texture from the custom texture pack he’s using for that screenshot.

    • Butterbumps says:

      Oh yeah, I know about the textures, I was referring to the fact that he’s holding a flint and steel, rather than you know, a weapon. And you can’t set mobs on fire.

      Or so I thought until just now, when I conducted some experiments in-game. It turns out you can set them on fire, just not by using the flint and steel on them directly. You have to set fire to a patch of ground, and then have them walk over it. I’ve just burned a few cows and pigs to death, I assume it works with hostile mobs too.

      Man, I love this game, every time I think I have it figured out, I keep learning new stuff.

    • somedude says:

      Ah – I guess I missed that when I first looked at the screenshot (and that texture does make the spider look a bit like a burn victim, at least to me).

      I can confirm that setting the ground on fire does work on hostile mobs as well, to occasionally horrifying effect – seeing a spider come charging at me, not caring in the slightest that it was on fire, was one of the more panicked moments I’ve had in the game so far.

      I definitely have to agree with you about the game – I’ve already spent a fair bit of time in it, but I’m regularly learning new things, and given that it’s still in alpha, I can’t even imagine what you’ll be able to do by the time it’s fully released.

  7. mordac says:

    coupled with the recent abuse of the PAX2010 code on D2D…its gonna be a fun weekend!

  8. Supertonic says:

    Notch has been wonderfully professional in the face of internet wankerism. I salute thee notch.

  9. Supertonic says:

    Btw some people are being real arseholes.

  10. MadTinkerer says:

    You bastards! Curse you all! I tried to resist as best I could! If Penny Arcade is to be believed, I will never have free time again! CURSE YOU ALL!

    (Captcha: “WHYY” How appropriate.)

  11. Colant says:

    Thanks

  12. Toby says:

    I somehow feel like it’s thanks to RPS that the servers have died. Well done though, the game is super popular. I’ve had it since July or something. Wonderful game!

  13. Heliocentric says:

    This will make him another $100,000

  14. Navagon says:

    Let’s hope that with his new found riches Notch will be able to afford a less computarded server. It’s just completely dead at the moment. Oh well.

    • Butterbumps says:

      According to his blog, he’s already ordered a better one. And is going to hire someone to write a better website. So that’ll be nice.

    • Navagon says:

      Good news. But in the meantime it makes me wonder if this free weekend will have a positive effect or not. It seems to me like it will only increase the number of people unable to play the game.

    • Rich says:

      At least this way everyone suffers a bit, instead of only those who’ve actually paid being left in the cold.

    • Dominic White says:

      The issue was with his authentication server. The free weekend bypasses that, so there should be no problems once you grab the new-version EXE from minecraft.net. I can start up the game fine.

      His file servers aren’t at risk – apparently he has an Amazon cloud-server setup, so effectively has infinite bandwidth. Anyway, the game is only a couple of MB.

  15. Andy_Panthro says:

    I have to say, I was sceptical about Minecraft.

    But playing today on the RPS server was absolutely fantastic, and the single-player is solid too.

    Anyone who hasn’t played this yet, should do so as soon as possible!

    Also they should buy it as soon as they can. I mean, it’s a lot of entertainment for less than a tenner.

  16. LionsPhil says:

    @Heliocentric: By the time PayPal and European taxes have been at it, he might even have enough left to buy a pint!

  17. Sigma Draconis says:

    Ah, that explains the weirdness hours ago. This will definitely sell some more copies.

    • Dominic White says:

      Beautiful irony – selling too many copies caused things to explode in such a way that will likely sell many more copies.

  18. Kali says:

    Please don’t play the free weekend, then buy the game and think you’re entitled to regular, bug-free updates.

    This game is in ALPHA, that’s when features get added. Beta they squash the bugs. Release is when you get what you paid for.

    You are buying early access to the game. If you think you deserve anything else, then fuck off. Seriously. Reading the comments on Notch’s blog makes me want to stab people in the face for being dicks. Don’t make me want to stab you.

    • Rich says:

      I think most people hear get that. Even if they don’t seem to get it on Notch’s blog.

    • MWoody says:

      Wait, aren’t comments off at his blog?

      *looks closer*

      Holy crap, it turns out if noScript stops “disqus.com,” it looks like there are just no comments, without an error.

      And reading said comments… I may be doing you all a disservice mentioning this fix. Jeeesus.

  19. xaphoo says:

    Is there a list of public servers somewhere, now that the main website is down? I’ve tried both the official RPS server (can’t connect), and the unofficial (often full), but know of no others.

  20. Tei says:

    the problem is.. this can be abused by griefers to attack servers (i will not give details) and destroy some delicate game-eco-systems.

    arguabily, the game is just alpha, so we have to expect it to burn in flames every weekend, but anyway, the game feel soo fun and complete, than we are not ready for things like this.

  21. Dominic White says:

    Here’s something that isn’t the free weekend that is also pretty great.

    http://skylands.goonygoon.com/

    Want something different for your Minecraft? Try Skylands. Rather than being a randomly generated, infinite world, it’s a hand-crafted, finite world of floating islands, dungeons and treasures. Be careful you don’t dig too deep – it’s a looooong way down.

  22. Witek says:

    I hate you Quintin, simply hate you. Got the game after a series of your articles and have spent waaay too many hours on it over the past few days. Should be studying human rights and classical sociological theory. Thanks ;)

  23. Gulag says:

    Notch, you magnificent mother-humper! I’ve been pimping this to my mates for the last few days, and now they can find out for themselves. Legend move. Keep up the good work. Never let the meetings break you.

  24. Xytal says:

    I was so excited when I saw this (been waiting to buy it once my money shows up… stupid banks being closed on the weekend)…. but, I ran into a small problem.. I haven’t made an account yet….

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    • Dominic White says:

      That shouldn’t be an issue. The authentication servers are bypassed entirely right now – no matter what you enter as your username/password, it’ll just wave you right on through.

    • Xytal says:

      Holy crap I didn’t even think about that. You sir, are a life saver and I shall give you an intarwebz high five.

      /highfive

  25. Tacroy says:

    God damn it Notch, I’d manged to avoid buying the game so far through sheer willpower. Now you go and do something like this? I’ll have no way to resist once the purchase servers come back online.

  26. Fillem says:

    Tei’s house burning down was a youtube video of EPIC, Michael BAY proportions. Made all the more funny by his comments :).
    Oh crap…uh oh….[laughs]…crap, this was not supposed to happen.

  27. MWoody says:

    So what’s up with the official server, exactly? I was on it earlier – for enough time to build an underground home and start strip mining for mats – but got booted off during a crash. Since then, I can’t get back on at all, getting the error “Failed to connect to the server / Connection failed: connect”. Is this a sign that it’s full, that’s it’s crashed, or something else? Others’ comments seem to indicate it’s up.

  28. DiamondDog says:

    Alright I’ll add another voice to the cacophony.

    Late to the party. Read Quinn’s articles. Now hopelessly, utterly addicted.

  29. Fwiffo says:

    One hour of play from me and kerching! – Another sale for Mr. Notch.

  30. jeremypeel says:

    This could not be better timed for me.

    Quinns, does it not scare you that you personally (to some extent) can mould the world in this way? GREAT POWER GREAT RESPONSIBILITY YIKES

  31. PureUncut says:

    According to the forums there are some naughty things people can do on servers since some services were taken down, It’s probably best the RPS server stays offline for a few days (or at least gets a backup) lest it gets hijacked.

    This sucks because I’m craving more multiplayer right now.

  32. Pani says:

    Thats crazy timing, I’ve been trying to buy this now for a couple of days but have been waiting for paypal to transfer some money from my bank account with an eta of the 22nd. Now I can play until the money goes through and I can properly buy it!

    Yah!

  33. Dozer says:

    Sodding Creeper blew me up when I was about to complete my spawn-to-house booster-driven railway line. Now I can’t find the forty track pieces I’d painstakingly amassed to finish the job. I suppose that means I Have Arrived as a Minecraft player!

  34. Shodan says:

    Oh for fucks sake. I bought this LAST NIGHT. Ah well. he deserves the money because I haven’t been able to stop playing since. This is amazing.

  35. Mattressi says:

    It’s all Quinns’ fault! You and your series on Minecraft forced me to buy Minecraft so I could enjoy its awesomeness too. And now look what you’ve done! I hope you’re happy!

  36. rmlrmb says:

    A little help please i cant seem to get it ! . :(
    can anyone help me ??

  37. Tycho says:

    This is great – all it needs are NPC humans (hostile or not or both).

    And, someone PLEASE make an Ultima Underworld total conversion (because I don’t have the time, skill, or dedication)!

  38. sebmojo says:

    The Fire
    The polypoids were burning in the wood
    A stone caught fire
    The castle caught fire
    The forest caught fire
    The men caught fire
    The women caught fire
    The birds caught fire
    The fish caught fire
    The water caught fire
    The sky caught fire
    The ashes caught fire
    The smoke caught fire
    The fire caught fire
    Everything caught fire

  39. Midnight says:

    The sound isn’t working for me at all (OSX) so I’ve been playing with movie soundtracks playing in the background.
    I strayed too far, got lost, and the Sun started setting. I spotted a beacon tower I had built over my house, but it was miles away. Clambering over rough mountainous terrain as the Sun finally said goodbye, I began to panic, and then this song came on:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtbOXargBRY

    Jesus Christ.

  40. Matthew Miles-Watson says:

    Honestly, i don’t get it :/ All i seem to be bale to do is run around and pick up sticks and flowers. Whilst this is nice, I can pretty mcuh do it IRL :p

    After looking at some videos on Youtube, I tried punching stuff to break it, but it remained unbroken :/

    Can anyone help?

    Cheers,
    Matthew

  41. Falcon says:

    Yeah, just had something similar happen. Had dug to the center of the earth and back up. Collected a stack and a half of red dust, half a stack of gold, stack of iron, etc. Coffers were full, tunneled up, hit the air ready to go to Sky Castle(tm) and BAM I come up under a creeper. Sadness, all loot lost. Note to self, build chest and LEAVE LOOT THERe before surfacing

  42. sacred_flame101 says:

    @Matthew Miles-Watson

    in order to dig you need to hold down the left mouse button

  43. FernandoDante says:

    Ehhhh no audio in this game =(

  44. Matzerath says:

    With this game’s great success combined with the general populace’s lack of understanding that it’s still in Alpha, I fear the day that Notch must do a save-breaking update.

    • Vinraith says:

      Yeah, people will go completely apeshit.

      Still, I’m kind of looking forward to that. Being forced to start over has a certain appeal in a game like this…

    • Tei says:

      yea, I think most stable servers will stablise a cycle where a new map replace the old one, and the old one put on a special download folder.

      lets see. in a way Minecraft is the MUD community, the origin of the MMORPG genre, so maybe Minecraft has reinvented the MUD and the MMORPG from his core: small communities living “editable” worlds. user made areas was the endgame in some muds, and now is the game in minecraft. I wonder what we will see in the future, and how the “adventure” mode will shape. Guys, this is BIG.

  45. Lipwig says:

    good points, well argued

  46. tomeoftom says:

    I think by this stage Minecraft has become the most universally loved game ever. The percentage of people who have tried it that completely fall for it is almost bizarrely anomalous. I swear, if there was ever a game analogous to Citizen Kane insofar as demonstrating the artistic potential of a medium, this is it. Thousands of people constantly having their breath stolen from them by the works of other players – Minecraft has basically perfected art-through-interaction.

    • Dominic White says:

      I think it’s less ‘Citizen Kane’ (which isn’t a universally loved film), and more ‘Lego’. Notch has inadvertently stumbled upon the magic formula for designing a toy for all ages. It tickles that primal ‘put stuff together to make better stuff’ instinct that all us curious little monkeys seem to be born with.

    • tomeoftom says:

      “insofar as demonstrating the artistic potential of a medium”

      As in, games are basically a system that contains both a set of rules and a means of using those rules. What makes games unique is interaction – it’s all they’ve got going for them. All games – as games, not necessarily spaces or stories, (and that’s not to degrade the power videogames have at communicating those things) – are nothing without a player, but Minecraft makes that fact more obvious and beautiful than basically anything else out there. And it’s multiplayer, too! (Lego multiplayer is shit until we all become capable of telekinesis.)

  47. Gamerdude says:

    Do we still get more tales from the life of Iron Quinn?
    Enjoying them immensely so far and bought minecraft on the back of them, which I’m obviously enjoying :D

  48. Danny says:

    RPS server down, by any chance?

  49. nakul says:

    do you still gets more tales from the life of iron Quinn?

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