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I'm hosting a Minecraft server with 14 friends of mine playing on it. We peacefully build houses and structures, hold events, go kill the enderdragon, stuff like that. All is peaceful. Until one day, another friend of mine (let's call him "A") joined the server. Then our houses got griefed and burned. Our stuff is all gone. We (me, another owner, and 2 mods) took a month to investigate and finally found that "A" was griefing. We talked to him and told him not to grief again or else we'll kick him. And eventually we kicked him.

And now the problem begins. A moderator wrote to me saying that I should give "A" another chance, and that he apologized. So I thought, why not? Then, after I added him back -- on the very same day -- my best friend's house got filled with water. Checking the records, I found out that it was "A" again. I wanted to kick him, but it would hurt our friendship. I mean, we meet each other at school every day. He would be so mad at me. But if I don't kick him, 3 other players will leave the server.

What should I do to solve this mess?

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    Is A really a friend? You've already talked to him once, he made an insincere apology, and then repeated the behavior. That's not what friends do. – Kathy Nov 25 '14 at 19:58
  • I suspect he's jealous of my server. He once spammed our contact mailbox (We got 1842 mail saying "COME JOIN MAH SERVER") and he also spammed the chat pane. – 54D Nov 26 '14 at 8:59
  • And we know each other really well since primary 2. We are form 2. (That's Grade 2 and Grade 8 respectively) – 54D Nov 26 '14 at 9:02
  • What about creating regular backups e.g. every evening - and if something like this happens, just load up a backup from last evening and everything is undone - this will take all the fun of destroying things away from him, because you can revert it with just a click ? – Falco Nov 26 '14 at 14:26
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    If you have a permissions plugin like PEX and EssentialsProtect, why not just temporarily remove his build/destroy rights? He'll still be on the server but he won't be able to build or destroy. Also, if you don't have it, CoreProtect will be very handy. It will allow you to see who did what, and roll it back at one command. – Kaz Wolfe Nov 26 '14 at 17:56
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It's always a bit tricky when you have a situation where real life and online life cross. Fundamentally, you have to decide which matters more, the real life situation or preventing the problems online.

If it is a friendship that you both value, then it may be worth having a chat with him offline about the behavior. Make sure he understands why it is a problem, that people, including you, don't like it and explain what the consequences will be. Get him to agree that he understands.

If he continues to do the behavior, follow through. You talked to him in real life and explained what would happen. He agreed to it and did it anyway. He doesn't have any right to be mad at that point. If he's willing to lie to your face, grief people, and then get upset about being removed, then he isn't really that good of a friend to begin with and probably isn't a big loss.

You could also consider allowing him back in eventually, but I'd suggest using increasing amounts of time that you don't let him back for, so he knows it will get more and more serious until hopefully his desire to spend time with you will offset his desire to cause trouble.

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    To be honest, this is anything but tricky. You kick him of the server. He has already had more than his fair share of chances. The only way to stop bullies is to show them some consequence. In game and out in the real world. – Thorst Nov 27 '14 at 11:09
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    Yes, but he may not understand the impact of his actions. Sure you can exclude a bully but that doesn't mean you helped them. Just that you successfully ignored the underlying problem. It doesn't sound like he's a bully in real life if they are friends with him and he is OK in person. Moderating between online and offline behavior is hard. – AJ Henderson Nov 27 '14 at 15:55
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In an ideal case, he should have to be obey all the same rules as any other member of the server, even if you did not know him in real life.

There are two ways to achieve this, the first is by excluding people who break the rules, the second is by making the rules impossible to break.

As an aside, you say, "He would be mad at me", but I'm not sure how that is more important than you being mad at him, let alone whether he is even actually justified in being angry. Consider that you are putting his wants above your own and your other friends.


  1. Explain to him that he will be kicked if he does it again, that these are the rules on the server and any case of griefing is dealt with in the same way. Then follow through.

  1. If you would rather enforce your rules by modifying the game itself, then there are some protective things you can do for you and your friends.

    • Mods which restrict certain people to a "starter area" are common in most public minecraft servers
    • Possibly other mods (I'm not aware of what all is out there), which restrict harmful behavior in some way
    • Frequent and automatic backups of the server, just reload a backup when he goes on a destruction spree.
    • A second server occasionally duplicated from the first one that he can run around in.
  • Yes, I think backups are really important to palliate this kind of issues. – Sky Nov 25 '14 at 20:15
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I think it is rather simple. You like this game, you enjoy playing it with other people. Tell him that, if he values you as a friend, he will stop his behavior, if not just kick him.

People sometimes misses the real meaning of what is going on because they think is only an "online" event. But what if you were building real stuff, and he came and destroy it, would you accept that? What if you were writing a story on your computer, that is "virtual", would you like if he came and deleted it all?

You invest time in that game, is something you enjoy, the game is online, it may not be important, but your time and feelings are, if he can not accept/understand/respect that, do you think he will be able to understand in other contexts?

Value your time and feelings, and have friends that value them also.

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Create a second server where you can play and have fun and leave him a copy where he can destroy if that is his prefered way of playing.

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    Oh, can you do that with Minecraft servers? That is, can you drop a runnable dump from one server onto another? And is it obvious that he's alone on the server? (I know nothing about Minecraft, in case you hadn't worked that out by now. :-) ) – Monica Cellio Nov 25 '14 at 19:38
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    How do you handle the scenario where he begins to wonder why his own server is empty, and begins to ask people (such as the asker) what's with that? – doppelgreener Nov 25 '14 at 22:18
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    Your solution is called single-player, you don't need a server for that. – Mast Nov 26 '14 at 10:22

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