thonk.io is a secondary school NZ Minecraft server, known better as the preceding server to bunker.kiwi. It is owned by slicklibro, and was moderated extensively by MageTrash, with early moderation from Caidora.
Factions and Bases
thonk.io had a plethora of different player bases that existed throughout the server's lifespan, and ranged from small isolated bases to large structures with many facilities. Some of them have been reformed in bunker.kiwi, while others have broken off or been abandoned from a lack of interest in the server. Some of these include:
<Add a list of old thonk.io bases!>
The server initially began as a closed off pebblehost server, with a close-knit group of 10-15 players. The majority were from Saint Kentigern (Fusion - see xjono, Hamlet, Lythoo, MikkyV etc.), and a few from King's College (POTG - with slicklibro, Caidora). Due to extreme lag from barebones server specification (after a few days), slicklibro who was playing on the server at the time decided to port the server from the shared pebblehost instance to an AWS EC2 instance (with MikkyV's grant), greatly increasing the running capacity of the server.
However, after a month or two of playing, the server stagnated. As a result slicklibro decided to open the server to the public - marking it as a secondary school server for the whole of New Zealand, thus creating thonk.io. It can be said with certainty that slicklibro created thonk.io, with MikkyV founding the server's seed.
Players were mainly obtained through a close King's College friend, TheShortCyclist, who provided an opportunity to post the server to Auckland Secondary School Confessions. Along with increased marketing & aggressive server reforms, the server's popularity quickly skyrocketed (soon leading to a second server upgrade to an OVH-GAME32 instance). During peak periods, over 30 players would be online and active at once, stabilizing to 20 active players during evenings. Across a period of months, a multitude of server optimization techniques & different plugins would be refined and tested, with hours upon hours spent on each specific one. The server survived dozens of vandalism attempts, with the extensive help of MageTrash & Caidora. MageTrash also played a crucial role in ensuring server integrity during the October-November CIE exam period. Sadly, as time progressed, this count would begin to decline, meeting a near-fatal end during the 2019 School Holidays, jumping down to possibly 1 person on daily and typically none, potentially explainable by the natural saturation of the server economy & increasing lack of in-game goals.
<put things related to the thonk.io community/building/and the server itself - include good events, good memories, & creative moments, that was what thonk was about after all>
The server ran on donations from players that were given perks from their donation, such as local spectator mode, a portal gun, and an elusive green name. Donation reasons ranged from simple thankfulness to optimism. Donations were termed 'stonks', varying from a minimum of $5USD to generous $100USD. Total donations paid for 3 months of 123aud/mo OVH server uptime, with a total OVH server uptime of 8 months.
Spawn and Public Facilities
The landscape of thonk.io has seen many changes. Spawn has always been quite a controversial region, especially in regards to admin/moderator influence.
At first, the world spawn was quite untouched as players explored to gather resources and begin constructing their bases. A natural small forest existed, surrounded by a plains to the North and a desert to its back. Like any new server, strip mines and scattered dirt huts were prominent, with a floating base directly above the Spawn's Nether portal.
As time progressed, stwez and MageTrash would go onto pioneer the first shops in the spawn plains. More shops and services would emerge, having discovered the socioeconomic potential behind building shops for desirable items and materials. Groups such as Gordax and Spruce Valley became prominent leads in shop services, while the market complexified and became more competitive as more fresh faces joined the shop economy.
MageTrash, an emergent control freak, would attempt to cultivate a sense of order in Spawn, to provide sufficient plots for shops and prevent the slow limitation of pathways to open lands. Large structures such as the Christmas Tree and Inca Temple were builts, alongside many questionably grand shops such as the "Mart", "Beacon" and "Hourglass" in these plots. This brought its own issues, with many people complaining that several shops were being abandoned, and builds like the "Mart" were useless and restricting potential plots for other shops in its place. Clearly, change and regulation was necessary.
On the other hand, regions such as the Nether Hub would experience their own makeovers, with several players collaborating to clean up the spaces and establish clear highways to player bases. The Black Market was also being experimented on, which were a small network of sewers built under Spawn as a region for entertainment and exclusive items/services. They were initially designed by darklazerzap and others, with slicklibro quickly taking its reigns to repurpose the space for economic utility.
"Spawn Reno" might have been the most controversial change to spawn by far, taking over a week to accomplish. A crew of hand-selected builders would go onto completely redesign spawn, with direct access to creative mode and slicklibro's use of WorldEdit. Several failed attempts would go on in their revisualisation of an "amazing" spawn, constantly wiping the slate clean in the name of optimised beauty. They collectively landed on the idea of a biome-diverse spawn, terraforming 4 general sectors divided by a web of rivers and a unique central micro-island to the Nether Hub, alongside building a slightly redesigned sewer system with 4 tunnels rather than 1. Pathways and a few notable landmarks were around this region, but overall, the space was now truly built for the construction of shops. A few shops would emerge, with the revival of services from Gordax and Spruce Valley, alongside HKHT and a few smaller shops. Some members speculate the renovation was unnecessary and lost it's survival aesthetic, while others happily welcomed this change as they found the new spawn to be visually stimulating.
The first ever tournament on thonk.io was a King of the Hill event held early on in thonk.io's public status. Players were teleported to an isolated island with a large cliff, granted scaffolds and powerful knockback sticks, and were given 10 minutes to scale and fight at the top of the cliff. During this period, the playerbase was in its infancy, thus participants were low.
A large gap existed since then, but this desire would be met with a one-off Capture the Flag tournament. Each enrolled group was granted flags based on their player size (roughly 1 flag per 3 members) and granted a region to keep their flag within. If the flag is grounded and kept within the region for a set amount of time, the flags could spew forth materials to aide in combat/survival. Ultimately strategy, strength in numbers, and good combat skills were paramount for victory. During this period, several groups were formed and many players had participated in the competition. Outside of the round's limitations, there were practically no rules, as the server was running on a copy of itself and anarchy was permitted.
Round 1 was viewed as a failure, due to an uneven balance staff members of the server didn't account for. Players were provided base flags and given roughly a day to prepare fortifications with their own gathered materials. Zenchants and contras were permitted, while elytra boosting, TNT and keepInv was partially disabled (upon death, a random 50% of inventory would be lost).
In the first round, the most successful team won $50, which was won by Mt Gordax.
Round 2 initiated directly afterwards with the disabling of zenchants/contras, elytra boosting, potions and portalguns, while keepInv and TNT were enabled, forming a much fairer basis via vanilla combat. All players were provided an equal supply of obsidian and 30 mins to hide/protect their flags and prepare for combat. With the increased equality in combat ability and slicklibro's generous provision of materials throughout the round, players had a much more fun time with the match. This was a much more cut-throat match, seeing many unexpected groups rising in power as opposed to the previous round.
The most successful team to capture and contain the most flags till the end won shulker boxes filled with items of their choosing, excluding some OP (Over-Powered) items. This round was won by 'wizard ppl' which consisted of Macleans College and Pakuranga College, with participants being: duckshuwu, louisaaaa, BlitzTroopa, _xxcreedmanxx_, weebforjesus (now zojuo) and MVP AwesomeCrasher.
Since then, a few players have desired more events like this, but aside from very minor player-managed events or exclusive bidding events, there have been one.
It is important to note here the controversey in ownership of thonk.io - specifically between slicklibro and MikkyV. MikkyV had initially contacted slicklibro initially requesting him to "fix the server's lag". MikkyV proceeded with providing the server's world, with slicklibro effectively recreating the server on a separate paid AWS node, with multiple hours spent on optimization & tweaking. Howerver, after a few weeks of playing, the server thawed - leaving little to no active players. slicklibro saw a revival opportunity in opening the server to NZ's secondary school community, and thus created thonk.io. MikkyV did provide the initial world - however, due to slicklibro's philosophy of net productivity & input deciding ownership credit, MikkyV was ultimately deemed insignificant relative to the development of the server, leading to his negligibility in the ownership of the server. slicklibro still recognises MikkyV as a core founder being the provider of the initial base world, as long as it is placed in the context that "any server or world would have worked". In the end, without slicklibro porting the server, thonk.io would have never existed - with the existing 10-15 player pebblehost server likely being abandoned due to extensive lag. thonk.io's world now is a result of countless creative hours, slowly built upon layer by layer, all by its amazing community.
The primary driver of the in-game economy were diamonds. This was the most widely accepted currency, due to its general usefulness and relative rarity. However, as inflation of diamonds rose (from excessive strip mining, creating many shulkers full of diamonds) and the value of items decreased (from large competitive farms), an economic sink was necessary. Several participants experimented with currencies such as "Bluballs" and "Goldballs", finally settling on 'bezos'.
Bezos were renamed Heart of the Seas that were given as prizes or bid on during certain occasions, and were intended to be used in the Black Market. They were unobtainable due to players' inability to duplicate HotSs and rename them with recoloured lettering, thus only slicklibro could obtain and distribute this currency. However, due to the declining active player population and a lack of utility for bezos from no use of entertainment/services, they were seen as a novelty rather than a genuine currency.
Plugins & Architecture
The server ran on a variety of plugins that were exclusively modified for optimization and adaptability. There were actually 50 individual different plugins (30 of them being custom developed) that ran on thonk.io. Each plugin was carefully tailored to smooth out gameplay, in order to provide an optimal vanilla-esque experience.
Perhaps the most controversial was Zenchantments, however several other quality of life plugins such as CoreProtect, custom optimized Portal Guns fork and custom music discs provided essential admin tools and fun add-ons to spice up vanilla gameplay.
Zenchants was seen as quite controversial due to its highly exploitative and "overpowered" nature, and while they made life substantially easier and more enjoyable, aspects of the server like PvP and economic inflation were ruined. Contrabands, lovingly named "contras", were quickly established as tools/weapons with zenchants that were once obtainable but could no longer be recreated by normal means of enchanting, with slicklibro constantly adding zenchants to the list. Enchants such as ((add some op contra enchs here lol)) were contraband or incredibly rare to obtain, and often tipped the scale unfavorably for whoever owned that blade or that tool. To further issues, players with contras were able to be killed simply for their contraband, outside of the typical "no PvP against randoms". Naturally those with contras had the strength to kill others with contras, creating a cat-and-mouse system of contraband hoarding and a lack of proper utility. Users exploited the link between the server and the online Dynmap to create automated bots that assisted in tracking players in possession of contras.
Due to the nature of Minecraft 1.14 being extremely unoptimized, slicklibro spent hours upon hours forking and configuring existing plugins from spigot to run smoothly on thonk.io. Many forks of Paper & Concrete were also made, with experimental optimizations in each (such as configurable per-player view distance & non-ticking view distance). This eventually coalesced into a refined 1.15.2 build, which bunker.kiwi is currently built on.
<ADD MORE IMAGES, INCLUDING OLD THONK PHOTOS>
Main Photographer, AwesomeCrasher
stwez's Sakura tree & thonk.io face