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Voting Troubleshooting

by Syntaxvgm on Jan 31, 2023

A few missed votes don't matter

If you don't really care that you're missing a vote or two for a day, then don't bother. We avoid contests based on vote count and give no special rewards for getting all 5. We know it can be at times frustrating getting voting to work and we don't want a million support tickets for every missed vote. We just want to generall encourage it because it helps us, not punish you for not being a religious voter. Hell, I only vote when I play, and then not even every time. The fact that you're voting at all helps and it doesn't matter if you miss a few there and there.

If for whatever reason the minecraft server is offline we won't receive the votes you cast.

That said, if you want to figure out what is happening and you crave them rewards, here's a primer on how voting works and how you can learn to troubleshoot it. It's extremely verbose, but knowing the things outlined in here will probably solve 9/10 of your future voting issues.

A lore dump about voting

Most of the time when your votes do not come through, the issue is not on our end and there's nothing we can do. However, with some troubleshooting steps, you can usually resolve the issue yourself.

A brief description of how it works

The voting site uses a variety of factors- your IP, browser session, and more to determine that you have not voted yet today. The vote site might challenge you with a captcha based on the captcha provider's criteria. Upon successfully voting, the vote site will shout that the exact username you entered voted whether or not we're available to hear it. There is no validation that you typed your name correctly.

Figuring out problems

The voting site shoving who voted whether or not we hear it may sound like it would get lost a lot, but it doesn't. If we're up and you're playing minecraft the server is listening. It was likely that it never made it to us if there's an issue. The easiest way to verify if we've received a vote it to check the vote GUI using /vote. The color of the blocks (and time) denote when we last received a vote. It is not likely for the server to receive a vote but not take action on it. The listener is separate from the voting plugin, and the voting plugin itself has proven to be pretty reliable.

If you vote on 5 sites, but see you only had 3 come through using /vote, it means we definitely only got 3. The first sign that it's not on our end is that you or anyone else is receiving votes at all- after all they all come in same address same port. You can also rule out it being an outage or issue with the voting site if you see others are getting all 5 rewards and you are not. If there's a major issue with the site you typically see it hit everyone.

So it's on your end, what do?

The first thing to understand is how the voting sites determine that you have not voted in the last day. Some sites do it based on 24 hours since you last voted exactly. Others rollover a day at midnight their local time. That means for some sites it's possible to vote right before and right after the rollover, minutes apart, and others you truly have to wait 24 hours. The rollover ones are important because sometimes you vote too early and get the rewards on rollover sites but not 214 hour ones. Or someone could have voted for you when you were afk. People are trolls sometimes.

If you are sure it has been 24 hours since you last voted on a site, the first thing to try is a new session. The way browser sessions are defined is different depending on where you look, but in this context think of it as the user data, cache, and history as well as other factors that either uniquely identify you or provide continuity. Let's take youtube as an example- even if you are not logged in you'll notice your experience is tailored to you specifically. If you watch even a single video of a giraffe, you will get suggestions about those long neck motherfuckers for the next several months.

Woah, hold on! This doesn't mean delete your browser data! Some of these experiences are good, and help uniquely identify you to things like recaptcha and help prove that you are a human.

This is where you make use of private browsing/incognito.
In private browsing, it's like running a second copy of your browser in a sort of sandbox and while data is kept while you browse, once every private browsing window you have open is closed that data is wiped. I browse with private browsing by default! My youtube recommendations and BS like that is nuked whenever I close everything, which is quite nice to see certain sites as a "default user" often. So when I often will tell people "make a fresh session", I'm telling them either open private browsing, close all private browsing windows if you've already been using it then start fresh, or use private browsing on a different browser. Remember, if you already are browsing in private browsing, opening another private browsing window is not a new session.

All that to say the first step you should always try when troubleshooting voting is to try a fresh session. That solves the problem a lot of the time- these sites use your session to help prevent too many votes, but it can get screwy and not like you. So become a new you!

The next thing to try is a different IP. You might be thinking "woah, I don't want to buy a VPN to vote!"
You don't have to. Most people have access to a second IP right in their pocket!

That's right, just turn off wifi on your phone, open a private browsing/incognito window, and try to vote from there. Chances are if there's an issue with your first IP thinking it voted too soon but NOT your username, it's the site's session data screwing you again. It knows your username didn't vote in the past 24 hours, but something with that session made it flag you, which flags your IP too sometimes it seems. You need to do this less often than simply using a new session, but hey it often helps. 9/10 times when someone complains about their votes not coming through and I don't have the patience to explain to them that it's not on our end no matter how much they insist it is, I'll just open my phone and vote for them.

If you've tried a new session and new IP, it doesn't like your username. The only thing you can do here is wait. If in another 24+ hours it still doesn't like your name, there's a real issue. I've seen names get stuck before, but not for more than a day cycle or so. Best advice I can give you is don't retry voting, and make sure you wait more than a day from your last try (not successful vote!) to make sure to reset its anger about you.

How much does all this actually help the server?

The answer is a lot. We wouldn't offer collectibles if it didn't. The truth is making a compelling reason to vote without detracting from the game is very important, and this is a method over years we've found to both work and be far better than just lol get diamonds or whatever.

The discoverability we have is almost entirely achieved through voting sites. While we could try to rank SEO-wise from this website, or we could try a more social media centric approach, this isn't a sales funnel. We're not looking for people that happen into us. The people that we need are people that are looking for a server like ours, and the first thing those people do is look for a website to sort a list of servers by tags.

We don't have to rank at the top to get a decent amount of eyes. Even ranking high in a niche category, like whitelist, helps a lot. The people that find us are often scrolling through tons of servers looking for a specific thing that we have and others don't. Whitelist is niche, and while there's not a ton of players specifically looking for it, there's not a ton of competition either. So just having our name at the top in these categories, or within a few pages on others, gets our server in front of a lot of people, even if they don't pick it they didn't pick it because we're not the type of place they want to play while others think "whitelist? No protection? I've never considered that, that sounds neat!"

The majority of our new players come from either friends of current players or voting sites. While I will say that much more of the 'riff-raff' comes from voting sites, a server cannot survive on just friends of friends alone, and a lot of our best players either came to this server blind from a voting site or came to meet the people that got them to play here by finding another server on a voting site. Even if we don't get them the first time, just knowing there was another in the category they liked helps. If they're fed up with their current home, they know "there's that one place, and they sound like they have blackjack and hookers!"

I myself first met this community on a different server via a voting site.


If you were a block, I'd put you on my shelf and cherish you like I cherish all of our blocks.