I’d heard about it on the quiet: a Minecraft server with no rules, no resets, no hope. A place that people can use however they choose. 2b2t does exist, and it is a place of hostile users who drop the N and F words in chat, and build landscape-dominating swastikas. Yet, in spite of the callousness there are other people out there, turning the cracked landscape over and welcoming weary travellers. I set out to find them.
I have some co-ordinates that I’m not allowed to talk about. This is where safety lies. But this is theSpawnand at first glance it’s terrifying. An old castle utterly broken by the users. The number one reason for dying on the server is people starving to death being unable to get out. This isn’t the first time I’ve loaded the game up: I’ve been spawn killed, drowned, fell, and died in a fire before finally discovering a route away.
But there is life here. Trees have recently sprung up, vines growing. There’s nothing to stop me or anyone else from ripping them apart, though. I’m not here to pick at the flora, though.
There’s a network of Nether Gates that you can use to move far away from spawn, but I don’t know the routes down there. Note the player beside it: the one rule of the game is “trust no-one”. PvP is enabled and the server is set to hard, so if I had something he wanted I’d have to defend it. I run. This is the only person I’d see on this journey.
While it’s hostile, it is easy to use the broken world to help you navigate. The sights are astonishing: “go right of the fire mountain” I was told, and it leads to a frozen, broken lake surrounded by builds.
I’m constantly using up food, which will eventually kill me, so I have to avoid venturing into most bases. The crucifixes on this one were added by trolls, a sign says: “Your base was filled with the evil presence of Satan. We have done you the favour of covering it with holy water”.
I move on. The horizon is littered with the skeletons of broken builds, the players doing the job that time does in the real world. The form is there, but the character is gone. I wonder what I’ll find at the safe haven I’m heading to?
Uh oh. Monsters mostly come out at night. Mostly. I don’t even have torches to ward them off, so I log out and wait for day to break.
The further out I go, the prettier the place becomes. The devastation is less and less dense, allowing for havens like this. I don’t stop, as the odd shape on the horizon draws me near.
What is that?
The smaller building appears to be a Mosque. The building it’s attached to is part of the “Nether Highway”, the fastest way to get away from the server users and into building space.
The highway opening is at the top of the building, and it affords an amazing view – it’s so high it goes through two cloud layers. I avoid the highway again, as I realise I’m getting perilously close to starving. There’s no food here, or anywhere it seems. It takes me ages to get down.
I have to get moving. There are signs of life in this direction, but everything that looks promising is a dead end. I won’t make it to the haven without dumb luck.
The place is looking increasingly barren. Buildings that could be something turn out empty and gutted. I’m balancing movement with hunger, standing on high ground and scanning the horizon. I hit on a thought and start looking for torches. For some reason, my assumption is that with the constant turnover of the place, torches will signal stability.
A door. I have one food bar left, before I curl up and die. There are people talking on the chat channel at being 100’000k on each axis; I’ve barely made it past 1 and need to eat. It’s my only chance.
People have been here, and they’ve talked about how the food saved them. I almost cried with relief.
Melons. Oh JesusAllahBuddhaZeus! An underground farm built for desperate travellers to eat their fill. Self-sustaining, so whatever I take will be replaced. I haven’t even reached the base yet, but this will make the journey a lot easier. I hope I can find it again. I eat watermelon, as the chat channel people are liberally dropping the ‘N Bomb’, and spend the night.
Morning. I head back to the surface. Why’s it still dark? Really? I find food and you throw a thunderstorm at me? I aim for the co-ords and walk.
It’s really not all that far from the spawnand later ventures out in other directions uncover more dramatic, destroyed, swastika strewn builds. But in this direction, the world feels untouched.
Well, save for this compound complete with this dramatically lit broken tower.
Inside the stairs are gone. Who made this? Who wrecked it? Is there anywhere on this server that hasn’t suffered? And do you like my Doctor Who skin? Cool, huh? I can’t wait for the next season.
I carry on exploring the compound: I find an empty farm and a broken side building, and head on out into the world. I’d love to look deeper, but I’m close now.
My first sign of NPC life: a drowning zombie. I wouldn’t survive an encounter: I have no weapons and the server’s setting are hardcore, so I’d die in an encounter anyway. I’m so close now, it feels like the place is threatening me.
Across here is where I need to go. What if it’s gone? What if it never existed? I just have to get to the top of that hill and see for myself.
I made it.
As did others.
The base is empty, though. It’s sprawling, with a wrecked hall above ground and self-sustaining farms below. I join the others, and leave a plaque thanking the people for making a haven for the lost and tired like me. Time to move on and find out just what sights lurk on 2b2t.