Everything written below until the red line was written yesterday, so keep that in mind when you read words like "today" for example, as I won't go thru it all and change the grammar to reflect it being yesterday
Hello everyone, it's me. I'll try to answer to everything you guys have brought up, I will try to keep it in somewhat of a chronological order, but a few different points may come up twice and then I'll try to get both my points across in one instead of repeating myself further down the line.
First and foremost, yes, I am the Network manager.
Yes, this should've been looked into ages ago.
However, I did message Bruny on Tuesday asking if he knew anything about this, and if I could go in and tweak a few things to see if I could get it working. Since Craftersland has a lot of custom made plugins we also have a lot of custom patches on plugins. A good example of this is like the market plugin has a bug in it where you can specify max listings with permissions, we have a patch in place for that, and if I were to update the plugin then that patch would get removed - unless of course the plugin creator fixed the issue.
Anyways, he got back to me on Wednesday and I today spent a few hours trying to fix the issue. It's actually quite problematic, you see, skyblock relies on three key plugins - Worldedit, Worldguard and uSkyblock. for those unaware, worldedit deals with the whole deletion of your island as well as pasting the schematic in for your island. Worldguard handles protection so you dont' get griefed, and uSkyblock handles everything else, like the /is commands.
Problem was that uSkyblock got stuck in a loop whenever someone would create a new island, or remove his old, or restart her island. This is because the version of worldedit we are running doesn't work very well, so what happens is worldedit fails to paste the schematic or remove your island. and since uSkyblock is waiting for that to happen, it gets stuck in a loop.
Ok, what can I do about that? I could update the plugin- Which I did, and it shouldn't come as a surprise for someone what happened,... Worldguard broke instead. Meaning that protection on the server stopped working. Since Worldguard in turn relies on Worldedit to work, brilliant, right?
And with me having tested all available versions of worldedit, as well as for uskyblock and worldguard, they all have one of these bugs.
So why is this?
The problem is that we are running on a 1.13.2 spigot version since the 1.14.4 doesn't work on SB. - but we use a protocol hack to get around this so that 1.14.4 clients can still join. Hello! It's me from the future, I already tried the version of spigots that we have available. But I also spoke a bit more to Bruny today and he said he would attempt to update to TRUE 1.14.4 and see if he can fix this in the coming days.
And this causes a lot of complications with plugins, it gets really confused about if 1.14.4 blocks should exist or not.. for instance.
But I cannot do anything to fix that bug at the before worldedit/spigot fixes theirs.
The server is still up in the meantime, so that anyone that has an island already can still play.
Do you guys wanna see more minigames? We have some great buildings and cities left over from the Drop Zone project that I imagine we could perhaps make something with.
But I want you guys all to understand that publishing a new server alongside the ones we have will take a lot of development time, especially more so if it's something that would require a lot of Bruny's attention. Such as...
CTW maps, Since each game is a server, so you'd have to first create a server from scratch, set up all the objectives with a great plugin bruny once made, but that lacks any documentation, and then once that's done have it tie together with the existing system that also is poorly documented. Honestly? I wouldn't even know where to start there and that's something Bruny would have to do almost on his own.
But creating something from scratch is different. It will still take a lot of time
Alright, I will.
They are open now, whether you believe it or not, I had every intention of putting those apps up after this one had concluded. It ran a bit longer than I would've hoped. But I saw this topic and I read it, I never responded as I expected I would be putting the apps up within such a short time anyways- better to show than tell, right? Guess this time i should've done both.
We released ACv2, which could be argued to be just a new version. But we also worked on Drop Zone, and also published that little minigame.
Yeah, it's not much, but it's very far from "nothing".
It was nothing against you and I know you had good intentions, but it reminded me that we shouldn't have a bunch of ex-managers running around with permissions they no longer should have. And it's much harder to blame someone who isn't manager anymore if something goes horribly wrong I'd much rather take the blame myself if I mess something up.
Then tell us... It's not like you were intentionally not given the rank on the forum, that was an honest mistake.
I will say I have also done a fair few giveaways in the past, and staff arranged that pvp tournament a good while ago now. Not to say that I could take any credit of that. But sure, I'd be open to doing more events, I'm not overly creative bu feel free to put suggestions forward and maybe we'll just do that https://forum.craftersland.net/forum/154-suggestions/
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- red line --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I definitely agree that we should be more open about what is happening or anything that is up and coming. But I also think that certain things should remain behind the scenes - not for all eternity, but until the time is right.
Let's take a real life example:
Game Developers generally never announce a project before they are far along into it that they with almost certainty can say that it will see the light of day. And that is important, because otherwise you would disappoint your community. A community that waited on something to happen, anticipated it.. and then it never did.
Let's take a craftersland example:
DropZone. We did not announce this project because of the same reasons, we only did announce it when we had decided to cancel the project and make a small minigame out of the work that a handful of dedicated staff and ex-staff had put into it. And first then tell the story. That project lived on for more than 6 months, imagine if I would've announced that on the first week? We would have people asking about it, asking about when it would be released. Asking why it is taking so long. These are all things that we can't anticipate beforehand, and that is why an ETA is so hard to give when a project isn't further along. And I don't want to disappoint people in announcing projects that may or may not be cancelled. Things do get cancelled and that's not a bad thing.
Regardless of this, I feel we should still be more vocal about things that is going on. I think we should include you guys more about the changes that we make on the server and when we make them, even if they are small or larger.
We used to have a monthly newsletter, I can't say that I agree on having something like that be a monthly thing- Because some months it just felt really forced. We didn't have much of an update because behind the scenes servers were having issues and we didn't make any advancements in any projects we had. I think it's better to say something when you have something to say.
For the record, I became manager on February 2018, so yes, I was around parts of this "era". But that's only when I received AdminCP on the forum, it was an additional few months until I'd call myself a manager.
But I don't think it's very fair to assume just because the events of me becoming a manager, and the decline of the players happened at the same time that it is the reason behind it. Correlation does not imply causation. I actually did a lot of work for network around this time and I did what I could do prevent it. But let's take a stroll down memory lane to go over this a bit further...
Ironically, when Craftersland Network was open to all versions between 1.7.4 and 1.12 we had a lot of bugs and issues that were simply not possible to fix. Since we used a lot of protocol hacks to make it possible to join with all these different versions- Just look at Skyblock and the reason why that is currently having a bit of an issue atm? It makes every issue a million times harder, because one version of a plugin needs to work on all these versions. And they rarely do. So we were a bit stuck here, 1.13.2 version came out and the spigot developers expressed that they had to drop quite a bit of backwards compatibility with bukkit and previous spigot versions due to how huge 1.13 was. This would completely break the whole protocol hack thing.
So we had to make a choice, to move forward or keep the entire network at 1.12, obviously we chose the latter, since having servers like puresurvival not be the latest version? What would be the point in that.
So, we had to do a lot of work on network to get this ready, we had to completely re-do Acv1 using a bunch of custom made plugins to mirror the original game mode as much as possible. Since bruny did not want to make many changes to it. But finally we were ready to change the version of all of network to 1.13!...
But it flopped.
I don't exactly know why, I know we had a pretty crappy re-release, as we had gotten quite a few more issues with the whole 1.13 update. Since spigot was still in a test version and wasn't even recommended to run on a server
But I feel like maybe people left because of that, or that people were just using their old updates, and when they saw that they no longer could connect to it they just jumped to the next server instead of getting a different version. I am not exactly sure.
But this was a move that we were forced to make, and sadly it didn't go very well.
The decline started to happen, I launched my Drop Zone project in June of 2018, hoping that a new and very unique game mode could bring some light back to Craftersland. But we know how that went
So again, I don't want to say that I sat idle and let this all happen. Could've I have done more? Probably. Could it have been saved or prevented? I don't actually think so, not without Bruny. We needed him to be more ontop of these bugs, and perhaps we should even have split the network into one that ran 1.7.4-1.12 and one that ran 1.13.2+. But that would've been a lot more servers, a lot more work to get it working, not to mention it would split the community in two, sort of making the point of a network obsolete.
I'm not sure how these graphs work fully, comparing the network one to the modded one, I could only assume that it takes the highest playercount of each day of the month, and then averages those values. Because that is what makes the most sense on the modded side... But I honestly don't remember a time where network peaked at 200-400 players daily, but maybe my mind is just mistaken.
Which for modded doesn't make a lot of sense either, we had many months were we didn't break 100 players per day, according to the graph we do...
Actually, looking at a few other figures, like daily rewards - which I can't share for GDPR reasons - it's actually an increase overall, so I'm not sure how accurate the graphs you are showing are. Regardless, it is a horrible decrease of players on network.
You and I have spoken about this on discord already, but to give a bit of a recap for those who can't read our PMs 😉 - This was a bit of a misunderstanding on both our parts, I thought flame was talking about building something for a brand new server or minigame. And I did briefly explain with the example that is CTW, that it would be very difficult for me to implement a new map like this. However, I can more than easily add something to ACv2, but that never really came up in our PMs, or at least that's not how I interpreted it.
If you guys want to make maps, then by all means. And if we don't use it today then perhaps we will further down the line, I already have a few plans of utilizing the cities from Drop Zone for something.
Right, okay. But it's about a bit of pick and choose too, though? Would you guys like to see an addition of a single new map on CTW.. Which would take longer to do than make a new game mode from scratch? I don't feel like that would add anything to a gamemode which no one really plays at the moment, and people would be more eager to test a new game mode than a new map. Because, looking back at it, Yusixs did add a "new" map to CTW and that didn't really change anything.
But I will add a poll to this topic
That if you guys want to see updated maps for your favorite servers, or if you would prefer we would focus our work on something fresh, something new. And depending on where that result goes, we could open a new topic discussing more in detail what you guys are looking for.
I don't think there's much more to say about Flame's response, it was more of a well structured summary with what everyone else had said and a few new bits and pieces that I feel I've responded to above. But before I finish off this topic, I want to say that in the coming weeks I will be working on updating and fixing old and new issues, but also maybe even start thinking about a potential new server and planning that out. I also want to completely finish the drop zone minigame we have now, as on Friday me and Exief spent a handful of hours remaking parts of the plugins and server to work for 1.14.4. And as of right now there is a new little army dude in the lobby which you can use to access the server. It is not much at the moment and I am looking to make it more accessible even for those without the difficult-to-download texture pack.