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Me and my friends are playing on a multiplayer server. We have a nether wart farm in the Nether, but it only grows if there is a player in the Nether. We are mainly building a castle so we are not in the Nether very much.

We would like to have some kind of dummy player in the Nether that just does nothing but standing there. Is this possible (without a computer running multiple instances of the Minecraft client, we can't handle that)?

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Just leave your character there when you're taking a break from playing. – Byte56 Jan 2 '12 at 19:08
It's really not that hard to find dummies in SMP ;) – SaintWacko Jan 3 '12 at 17:13
Get some soul sand and build a nether wart farm inside your house. Netherwart grows in the overworld as well as the nether! – IrishPersonality Jan 11 '12 at 13:26
it does grows in the over world, tested! – IrishPersonality Jan 12 '12 at 7:31
I can confirm that Netherwart DOES grow in the Overworld, but I believe it may be somewhat slower than in the nether. – Poben Apr 1 '14 at 19:55

Yes it is. First, you'll need a Bukkit server. If you dont have one already, the setup is well documented and relativally straight forward. I'll also link you to their website.

Then, you'll need to install this plugin:

I won't be able to help you as well as their own wiki in game, so I suggest you stick to that, but as far as I know, that is the best way to spawn NPC's.

Hopefully this helps. Have fun.

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I wouldn't imagine that the NPCs count as a player for this scenario. The game only simulates environment surrounding a player, this almost certainly includes NPCs. – Byte56 Jan 2 '12 at 19:06
@Byte56 has a point. Does the server consider these NPCs as players or not? If not, then this won't help the OP. – John the Green Jan 2 '12 at 19:27

You can install the Buildcraft mod (client and server) and then the Additional Pipes add-on. The second one contains a block called ChunkLoader, the recipe for it is just four iron, shapeless.

You can place it in any part of the world, and the chunk it's located in and all four neighboring to it will be loaded all the time, even when there is no one playing on the server. Make sure that the farm is fully covered by pressing F9 and observing blue squares hanging in the air - they indicate chunks, which are forced to load.

However, be careful, don't use too much of them, these limitations there are for a reason.

P.S. ChunkLoader recipe may work without Buildcraft, but I don't know for sure. Try without it first (but you do need to install ModLoader, ModLoaderMP and MCForge, which are mentioned in the Buildcraft installation guides).

P.P.S. Alternatively, you could use the ForeverALoad, a mod for the Bukkit.

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From the ForeverALoad mod page: Crops wont grow in loaded chunks. This could be the same issue with the ChunkLoader. Someone would have to test it. – Byte56 Jan 3 '12 at 23:34
Yes, fail, doesn't work. – Olegs Jeremejevs Jan 4 '12 at 0:36

Is it possible to have a dummy player in SMP?

You need a client. But it doesn't have to be a fully fledged client, you can use the console client instead, it consumes very, very little resources.

A typical setup would be running the console client on the server machine and making it connect to localhost.

The console client has the ability to automatically reconnect if the connection is lost. It can even send commands at startup or run a scheduled script.

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The environment only gets simulated around players, otherwise it's stored to disk. You'll have to have a player in the area you want simulated. That means having a client connected and standing in the area you want.

The simplest way to achieve this is just to leave your character standing there when you're taking a break from playing. For example, leave them standing there while after you go to sleep. Things should be nice a grown up when you wake up.

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We have had luck with this, but it requires modifying your server config and turning off authentication (where your server calls minecraft servers to see if the login is legit).

You can start up a second instance of minecraft, cancel the login screen and play multiplayer. You will connect as "Player" and you can use that 'dummy' account to sit in your grinder or netherwart farm.

There are additional things you can do with this (a friend wrote a perl proxy to modify the "player" string to change the playername to your computer's hostname).

As of note, if you were using whitelisting, it just went out the window. This worked for us because we had our server on a VPN and it was not publicly accessible.

You may have better luck just idling in the nether.

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You don't specify whether you are playing Vanilla or Bukkit, and you don't say whether you have access to the server console (and thus can install plugins), but I can tell you there is no way to do this on regular Minecraft other than keeping a player logged in at the desired location.

However, if you are able to install plugins, you could use this plugin (which is one of a probable many) to keep certain chunks loaded. This is guaranteed to keep your chunk loaded, and does not require any mods (such as Buildcraft, as Olegs Jeremejevs suggested).

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