Fair warning: this is a rather lengthy post. I'm looking for feedback from the community about the possible update to MC 1.8, including what options are available to us, and I believe that some background information is required first. This isn't a vote, it's a request for feedback and ideas: any decision I take down the line will be for what I think is the best for the community.
- The current situation
Minecraft 1.8 was released over a week ago. We're currently running 1.7.10. Major updates in the past have taken anywhere from two weeks to two months to be implemented. Some of you have heard of legal troubles with the Bukkit project, which means that the standard upgrade path might not work.
As things stand right now, I have no idea if the server software we use will even be updated to Minecraft 1.8. Maybe Mojang will make a move in the coming days, and all will be fine. Perhaps not. A replacement is underway by a new team, but that will take time. Instead of simply waiting, I decided to start thinking.
- Explanation of Bukkit troubles
The goal of this explanation is to keep things simple. I might take a few shortcuts along the way, but you should be able to understand what's the current situation and how we got here.
The server is running Spigot, which is a derivative of Bukkit. Bukkit itself is a remake of sorts of Minecraft's official server, allowing the installation of plugins and giving server admins a lot more control over various settings. The large majority of servers out there run Bukkit or Spigot. Both projects are run independently from Mojang and without their assistance.
On August 21, the Bukkit team announced that they were closing the project, due to various legal grey areas and lack of support from Mojang. The same day, Mojang revealed that they actually owned Bukkit, had been for over two years, and that they would keep it active. Dinnerbone was quick to say that he'd personally prepare the 1.8 update.
On September 3, both Bukkit and Spigot's downloads were hit by a DMCA takedown by a former Bukkit developer. This person claims that Mojang tried to take ownership of his code, which the license wouldn't allow to happen, and thus that he no longer wants his work to be used. Even if he were to back down for any reason, any other developer could then make the same claim.
The end result, right now, is a possible legal battle from Mojang to fight this claim or the complete abandon of Bukkit. An alternative will obviously come up, either from Mojang itself or another group. In either case, it's going to take time. Like, several months at least to obtain something stable.
- What we lose by going 100% vanilla
We have a nearly vanilla server, with few modifications to the standard gameplay. Nonetheless, going full vanilla involves a LOT of losses. Some of these are more important than others, but it's a lot to consider:
- Chest & doors protections
- Anti-griefing protections
- Multiple worlds
- Chatroom integration
- Automated whitelist system
- Automated End reset
- PvP arenas
- Quick tree felling
Due to all these, especially the anti-grief protections and logs, I feel that switching to a straight vanilla server is not an option.
- Our options
The way I see it, we have two possible paths for the time being:
- Wait it out, even if it means possibly skipping 1.8 entirely
- Launch a separate, 1.8 server to tide people over
Here are the pros and cons as I see them.
- Option 1: Wait it out
I'm very patient when it comes to games. 1.7.10 is stable. I like this game version. We have a good community, with fun events and ideas. I could continue like this without losing interest for a long time. Several of you have said before that server stability is paramount, so that everything you do can survive for a long time. That, however, doesn't apply to everyone.
While many of us are happy with the current state of things, some don't want to stay behind while other players are having fun with all the new blocks and options. That will only grow over time, with some players moving on to 1.8 or getting tired of the game entirely, with few new faces to replace them. This might lead to a slow decline of the community if it drags on for too long. That can be somewhat supplemented by running more events and contests.
- Option 2: Launch a 1.8 server
The alternative is to launch a separate, vanilla 1.8 server, with a new world, still under the Creeper's Lab umbrella. That'd give some people a chance to play the new game version as well as possibly attracting new players. While I still expect the majority of people to remain on the main server due to all their supplies and builds being there, some might appreciate the new outlet to try something else.
Eventually, when the main server is ready to be updated to whatever, the vanilla server's map would be added as an extra world, reachable through the TransHub much like Gondwana and Avalonia. To keep that world interesting and different, and to line up with some requests I've received, I'm considering setting it to hard mode with mob griefing enabled. This is a change from Gondwana as the latter uses the crazy amplified world type and no mob damage.
A major downside, from my point of view, is that this would create a rift in the community. With no way for people on 1.8 to chat with those outside of the game, we end up with two groups of people who can only meet up in the chatroom or the forums. Many don't mind visiting the chatroom nowadays, which might alleviate things a bit. On the other hand, having more players in total, even if split up across two versions, might be better in the long run.
Of course, all of the above points could be moot if this somehow gets resolved in the coming days or weeks. Maybe Mojang will make a move. Maybe the Spigot team will take over and release a full 1.8 server. The more days passes, however, the less positive I am about a nice, clean, quick resolve. That's why I've started considering alternatives.
Note that what the rumors say about Microsoft and Mojang won't change any of my plans for the time being.
The admin formerly known as Dr. Cossack.
I post musings, images and nonsense on Tumblr! I play games on Steam! Add me on either/both, and don't hesitate to ask if you want to play something with me!
"There are only three things certain in life: Death, taxes, and Teej's obsessions." ~ RisingDragon (still true in 2019!)