Minecraft is one of my favorite games in the past year. It is a sandbox video game developed by Mojang. Markus “Notch” Persson created the game in the Java programming language. Following several early test versions, it was released as a paid public alpha for personal computers in 2009 before releasing in November 2011, with Jens Bergensten taking over development. Minecraft has since been ported to several other platforms and is the best-selling video game of all time, with 200 million copies sold and 126 million monthly active users as of 2020. I love building in this game. I might not be one of the best, but I still have fun. Well, a group of 20 excellent builders decided to open a Minecraft server based entirely on Avatar: The Last Airbender. Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel series The Legend of Korra are now on Netflix for everyone to enjoy. But a select group of players has taken the fantasy universe a step further — 150 years into the future, to be exact. These players run a custom Minecraft server called Four Nations Minecraft, which replicates Avatar’s world in stunning detail. The server has been up and running since 2012. Four Nations is a close-knit community of 20 players creating an Avatar map, which would serve as an arena for role-playing. Players can join one of the four regions, fight in wars between the kingdoms, and make their home in the world. The server slowly grew, and thanks to a TikTok video exploded in popularity after a landscape shot went viral.
The Southern Air Temple! Such an amazing view come experience it yourself on our avatar server! #fyp #airbenders #avatar #alta
“When you first join the server, you can choose an element, role-play as your character, and experience the whole Avatar world in Minecraft!” says Nick Sack, one of the server administrators.
Players run all four of the nations, and the server leaders set up various storylines. Some examples of previous storylines that have played out in the server include a Fire Nation cult, a civil war in one of the nations, or a terrorist attack in the heart of Ba Sing Se. During peaceful times, the nation’s negotiate trade deals, compete in a bending arena, or train to become a master. Over the years, the server has been running storylines that progress over time. In 2020, the server has gone to 150 years past The Legend of Korra. Prominent players who participate in the server rise and fall along with the storyline. Players run the nations in the position of Earth Queen or Fire Lord. Even the Avatar, master of all four elements, is chosen from the player base.
“When the staff chooses an Avatar, we always do it in a context where we can provide a great story for the players, such as a Civil War, a new villain, or something similar,” writes Sack. When there is not a big, worldwide event, the players participate in smaller events, like a pro-bending tournament or a trade dispute. There is a whole unique canon. Any player who registers can eventually make a mark and put their name in the history books.”
The team currently running the server do not run a Patreon or charge fees; it is a community-run venture with a dozen dedicated builders, a social media team, and tons of ambition. The builders are working on Republic City from The Legend of Korra and the Spirit World. Of course, the shows do not highlight all the information needed to recreate Avatar’s world, so the building team had to pore through art books and comics. Even that canon does not cover every corner and cranny of the world and its vast, sprawling civilizations. Also, this version must house role-players and work as a playable space. There are times when the source material is unclear with specific areas, such as the full expanse of the Air Nomad temples, or when the server’s height limit forces the builders to adapt. According to the server’s lead builder, Div, each project — like a temple, a city, or a Water Tribe Capital — takes at least a full month or two of work, with the larger projects like the industrialized Republic City taking much longer. With Avatar currently back in the spotlight due to its Netflix run, the Four Nations community can grow and expand to new fans. Even humble forts and small settlements exist on the server, allowing players to travel anywhere they have spotted on the small screen and set up their own home. And who knows — maybe they will even get to become a legend of their own as the Avatar of Minecraft.
For more information, check out their official website: https://www.fournationsmc.com/