The terrain generation changed from beta 1.7.3 to beta 1.8, and it was so dramatic that I chose to turn off terrain generation on Alpha. Thus was born the “EDGE OF THE WORLD”. During this time, Delta was born, full of wildernesses. Later, we even got Gamma. And just recently I expanded Gamma for more wildernessesesess-es. But ya, we can’t have it be infinite. The reasons are simple: large world backups, vast empty spaces, terrain generation impacts server performance. We literally had people head out in straight lines for several miles for no good reason, only to die and respawn at world spawn, leaving a vast swathe of never-to-be-used land taking up space.
I restored the important bits of your stuff, but I try not to make it a habit.
Some people have taken advantage of the coolness of the edge and built floating fortresses in space. 🙂