Even though the official modding API hasn’t been introduced (at the time of writing) many people have produced mods for Minecraft. There are mods for the single player game and mods for the multiplayer game, this article will discuss some multiplayer mods.
The server plugin architecture I have used is Bukkit but there are a few others. I’m sure the others have similar plugins to the ones I have tried out. The reasoning behind trying each of these plugins was to add something to the game without making it silly, ie I disregarded “Everyone is Invincible and can fly and do what they like” types.
The first, iConomy, is important because it has links with other mods.
iConomy adds currency into the game. It keeps tabs of how much currency people have which is then used by other mods to allow payment. Linked with this was a mod I forget the name of which takes money from you when you die – you can set it up so it doesn’t drop you below a certain value, takes a percentage, takes a fixed value, etc. There are other similar ones but this is the one I used.
This mod enables you to configure simple jobs which reward people with gold for doing them. An example would be to create a Lumberjack and give money each time they cut down a tree. People can gain levels in a job as well as money and you can limit the number of people on the server allowed a specific job (eg Make a Sheriff job and give money for killing things but only allow one person to have it). People can either have a number of jobs or be limited in the amount of jobs they have.
Lots of mods which do this which is to basically allow functionality of mods to specific people, so you could have someone joining the server not able to do anything (including destroying and placing blocks), you could allow an admin position and everyone with that rank would be able to do the various slash Job commands like give someone a rank (if you weren’t doing it automatically) and an op position which would allow all commands.
A ‘silly’ little fun plugin which displays a message to all on the server when someone dies about the method of their death.
This is similar to the jobs plugin but with a couple of differences. Firstly, you’re not defined by job, it just rewards you with exp and levels for doing things like mining, fishing, killing, etc. So far, Jobs is a better mod. However, what this does is to allow ‘supermoves’ based on your levels. By holding a tool and right clicking you activate the jobs power so with an axe you chop things instantly not just the block you’re hitting but others around it. With mining you can mine things faster and based on your level you have a chance of getting double materials from it.
This is more of an admin mod which gives lots of slash commands like allowing teleportation to players, setting warps places you can then go to at any point, etc. To be honest the main thing I liked about the mod (and things I’ve now found other mods do, rendering this one a bit useless) is the things it does with signs. You can place commands on signs to allow people to right click them and trigger various effects. One is to allow people who right click it to gain an item, the sign acting like a chest but one which is never emptied. When linked with the iConomy mod though you can have places where players sell blocks to earn money and places where players can spend money to get items which would otherwise take a lot of faffing about (eg Diamonds).
Silly fun addon which makes zombies drop cookies instead of feathers
A mod which allows the creation of portals which are linked to each other instead of linking to the nether. Portals can be linked just with each other or to a number of different ones (you choose destination by clicking on a portal sign). Again this can be linked with the iConomy mod to require a fee before use.
There were a few of other mods I’ve seen which I’ve not tried but look interesting, it’s quite overwhelming really. There is a temptation to try everything but I think that could ruin things.
For more information and to look at the other mods which are available, please visit http://forums.bukkit.org/forums/plugin-releases.17/ or http://dev.bukkit.org.