Survival is one of MinecraftOnline's Principles.
"Think of it like single player with friends. The creepers don't kill you with hugs but the banhammer can make short work of your grief ridden face." - Acsidol
MinecraftOnline is a Minecraft Survival multiplayer server. The term "survival" is frequently used to distinguish servers of this style from "creative" or "roleplaying" servers.
Defining features of a survival server
"If Lame was a country, Creative Mode would be its President."- shypixel
- Possibility of death, and subsequent loss of items
- Presence of hostile mobs
- Day/night cycle
- Elemental danger remains effective (i.e. falls from a height, lava)
- Requirement to craft all tools and materials (no free "kits" or item and block spawning)
- No game-altering client mods allowed (i.e. fly mods or automatic and remote building)
All these choices follow the natural single-player experience. In contrast, a creative server may focus on building rather than playing minecraft as a challenging game, allowing for easier construction of impressive structures. We have chosen not to follow this path, as epic structures are still possible - and are far more impressive when the viewer is aware that everything is mined and built by hand.
Other aspects of survival
Many servers do also abide by the above, but do not permit PVP and free building, instead using plugins such as cuboid to protect players' work. However, at MinecraftOnline, we believe that PVP is an important aspect of survival, and the ability to build anywhere allows a level of collaborative creativity which would be stifled by the use of a protection system. We would rather have a server with players we can trust to respect each others' work, than force players to protect their work in neat partitioned boxes to avoid grief. Therefore we choose to invest in building up an amazing community and highly reliable moderator team, rather than using such artificially restrictive mods.