Personal Servers were a type of place on Roblox in which players could build and have the place automatically save progress periodically. Unlike regular places, they were allowed to only have one server running. The default building tools given to builders were the stamper tool and its associated complements. Personal Servers were discontinued according to Roblox on June 8, 2016, and were later removed. They were then converted to regular places.
Players were able to join and help build with the owner of the game. Restrictions could be made by the owner such such as who can visit, who can build, and who is banned. Personal servers usually relied on legacy terrain.
Users must have had a Builders Club membership to be able to make a Personal Server. However, any player could join a Personal Server without Builders Club. When the place owner's Builders Club membership expired the server was still kept, but another server could not be made. Also, if the place was changed into a regular type, it could not be made into a Personal Server until the place owner owned a Builders Club membership again.
Initially, Personal Servers had their own tab besides regular places on the front page. Because Personal Servers had a player limit of 50, this helped to allow them to have exposure. Roblox later removed this tab sometime in 2013 greatly reducing the flow of new players to Personal Servers.
On May 26, 2016, it was discontinued to be replaced with Team Create. Without a concrete reason, Personal Servers were discontinued on June 8, 2016, according to a message from Roblox and on the forums.
On October 27, 2016 Build Mode was also removed, disallowing the creators from continuing their builds personally.
Roblox describes a Personal Server as "a game that never closes." Unlike a regular game place that has its server close when all players leave, a Personal Server never closed. Therefore, the Personal Server never reverted to the way it was before users started playing it; this created the opportunity for Personal Servers to be used as collaborative building projects. Personal Servers could be changed back to a game place and vice versa.
The following is a chart explaining the differences between a Personal server and a game place:
|Personal Server||Game Place|
|Public by Default|
|Private by Default|
|Tickets Awarded for Visitors Before Removal|
|Builders Club to Create|
|Free to Play|
- The owner and administrators could assign access levels to specific users via clicking the player's name on the leaderboard. These access levels dictated what permissions that player had, i.e., what the player could and could not do within the Personal Server.
The following is a chart explaining the certain permissions various access levels had within a Personal Server:
|Ability to play game|
|Ability to use build tools|
|Ability to promote/demote other users*|
|Ability to add and remove administrators|
*Except promotion/demotion of administrators
It was advised to be cautious when promoting players. Any changes they made to the server, whether constructive or destructive, would be automatically saved. Fortunately, the place could be quickly restored to a previous save file before an unwanted change to reverse it.
Personal Servers within Groups
Personal Servers could be associated with particular groups. A feature of Personal Servers allowed building rights and admin to be automatically granted to group members based on ranks of the creator's choosing. Like associating a place with a group, associating a Personal Server with a group made that Personal Server appear on the group's page.
The Personal Server Culture
Large communities formed in many Personal Servers. They sometimes created a Roblox group to further assign and divide the permissions of players.
There were a multitude of popular genres. Building servers were common. There were two distinct types of building servers. Free-builds were servers that allowed everyone to build anything they wanted. It was a way to allow players without Builder's Club to experience unrestricted Personal Server-style building. There were also servers that had specific objectives in their builds be it a city or a building. Games in which visitors did not build were also popular. Examples would be roleplays such as town, school, and others, businesses such as airlines, hotels, and theme parks, obbies, tournaments such as races or sword fights, minigames such as musical chairs, and many others.
External tools were often inserted into Personal Servers. Scripted admin was commonly added. F3X and other custom building tools were also frequently added as alternatives to the traditional stamper tool.
Even though many builds utilized custom building tools, stamper tool purists were also present. They built exclusively or almost exclusively using the stamper tool, embracing its simple functioning and aesthetic. Some employed wiring to create contraptions that ran on inputs and outputs. Many machines used float pads to power devices ranging from simple rockets and catapults to more complex mechanisms such as multi-floor elevators and mechanical claws. Seeing as wiring was an often overlooked feature and its wider capabilities even more so, this type of building was not nearly as common as static buildings.
Long-lasting Personal Servers could develop into vibrant hubs. A thriving Personal Server often contained frequenters (e.g., active inhabitants in city servers), and was able to continuously develop, such as PBS nations.
Criticism and issues
An issue with Personal Servers was griefing. This often occurred in Personal Servers in which building rights were handed out too freely. Griefers would sabotage a place through means such as flooding the map with water or blowing it up using C4 or explosive gear. However, this was easily remedied. All that was needed was to simply remove the building rights of the known griefer to prevent further damage from the individual and revert to an earlier version before the griefing to completely restore the map to its previous form.
Personal Servers were often claimed to be a useless feature. Those with that opinion often say that many types of games on Personal Servers could be done in normal places (games such as, quiz games, RP games, and minigame places). While they could also be created in a regular place, Personal Servers provided a simple and easy and easy way for a host to manually operate the game. In contrast, regular game places generally automated the processes using scripts. This argument ignores the fact that the host interaction is often what set Personal Servers apart. Another argument was that Personal Servers were a poor collaborative development tool. This ignores the fact that the majority of Personal Servers were games in and of themselves.
The stamper tools that came with Personal Servers were also prone to develop bugs overtime. Examples would be: cloning a brick connected to a larger structure would cause the structure to erratically shift and deform, moving a brick connected to a larger structure using the 4x4 movement option would do something similar to the aforementioned clone tool problem, structures built using the basic building blocks would start to develop strange cracks and slowly shift as more was added to the structure, and the wiring tool and configure tool were prone to randomly breaking in servers with a high brick count forcing a reversion to an earlier version to be able to use the tools again. These issues were completely ignored by Roblox who most likely wanted to deemphasize the Personal Server feature and emphasize normal places in accordance with their goal to shift the game in a different direction.
Team Create is similar to Personal Servers in that it allows collaborative building, but players are restricted to building in Roblox Studio instead of being able to do so in-game along with their avatars. Also, players need to invite others to build with them. Team Create was first announced in a blog post on April 13, 2016, while it was in Beta. Here are several images of Team Create:
Differences between Personal Servers and Team Create
- On Personal Servers, players had access to the stamper tool and whichever other tool inside their inventory because their avatar was present, while on team create players do not have access to their avatar.
- Personal Servers had access levels restricted to different players, but team create does not.
- Personal Servers allowed the users to build in-game with their avatar instead of in studio like Team Create.
- Personal Servers had an extra megaphone-like tool that would create thumbnails, like a camera, but this feature isn't available on Team Create.
- While every player can join a Personal Server (except players who are banned from the server), players must be invited to a Team Create.
- Around 2010–2012, there would be Personal Servers with a blue wall saying, "This personal build server has not been configured.", positioned to be the thumbnail. This was a type of starter place that utilized a configurable terrain generator.
- If you joined a game with that thumbnail, you would spawn in a clear box with just sky around you and a message saying, "Welcome to your new personal server! Please configure your terrain below...".
- Roblox Blog, Your Own Personal Server, Version 1.0, http://blog.roblox.com/2011/11/your-own-personal-server-version-1-0/
- Roblox, What is a Personal Server?, https://en.help.roblox.com/hc/en-us/articles/203314010-What-is-a-Personal-Server-