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1 pointHey, everyone! Our MC server has just been updated to 1.17! Surprisingly, it didn't take too long compared to past updates - only a couple weeks from the initial release. For the most part, the server is unchanged from 1.16 - however, there are a few key changes to go over. Website Updates This is a fairly minor bit, but still worth mentioning. A couple days ago we quietly updated our forums theme. Not much within the theme itself has changed, however we've done some adjustments to the logo design (for the first time since 2016). Compare these two icons - the left one being our previous Discord icon, and the right being its updated replacement. One thing we wanted to do was make a more cleaned-up version of the HD logo. You see, this specific recreation of the logo came all the way back from 2016, when I was only just learning how to do graphic design. It wasn't bad per se, but it wasn't fully faithful to the original logo either. It had a little more curvature than made sense and if you looked closely, you'd be able to see some imperfections. Since 2016, I've gotten a fair bit better at graphic design, and so I wanted to go back in and make a more faithful recreation of the logo - and at the same time, make it look just a little more fresh and line up with the current visual design by turning what used to be 2 flat colors into subtle gradients based off of those original colors. Top it all off with a drop shadow, and you've got an update that - in my opinion - manages to be both a more faithful recreation of the original logo, while still feeling fresh enough to not feel like some kind of crufty carryover. For those who might be unaware of this original logo, the only remaining image of that logo is this: If you can't tell, it's almost laughably low-resolution, and was pulled from the old CU forums in 2013. From 2014 to 2016, this is as good as we had to work with. It wasn't until 2016 - where I was finally able to both recreate the icon as a vector graphic and track down the original font used - that I was able to finally utilize a higher resolution version of that logo. There almost certainly was a higher resolution out there - but the only person likely to have it is the original designer - MikeStardust. He's not around anymore, but hey - he made that original logo all the way back then, and we're still more or less using it now - so he ought to get some credit. SkyBlock Reset Now, first up in regards to the server itself, we've ended up having to make a fairly significant change to SkyBlock. Our original plan was to keep all the worlds left unchanged until 1.18, and then perform all the fresh resets at the same time as the big world overhauls. Unfortunately, our old SkyBlock plugin, uSkyBlock, has no update to 1.17 as of yet - along with that, there's been several issues that have been persistent with that SkyBlock plugin for a while - most immediately the issue with Nether Portals not taking players to the right locations. So, we've decided to switch to a brand new SkyBlock plugin - one that seems to have a lot more active development, and which is already updated for 1.17. There's no way to migrate data from the old plugin to the new one, so this will require a world reset. The silver lining is that we won't need to reset SkyBlock come 1.18 - this new world will be retained through that update. We hope that this new plugin won't be too difficult to adjust to. Please bear with us as we all explore and learn this new SkyBlock plugin - there might be some issues here or there that crop up. If there are any, feel free to report them on our Bug Tracker. Cracked Support We have to talk about cracked support going forward. Despite my own personal belief that people really should have bought Minecraft at some point during the 10 years that CU has been around, I've made it a point to maintain CU's cracked support on the MC server - primarily because, well, we've always been cracked. Chaotic United's MC server began life as a cracked server, and that support persisted even through Nuclear District. We haven't advertised it as a feature, and premium players (people who own a copy of MC) don't have to /login or /register, but it's been left in for the few cracked users we may still have from time to time. This is something that could potentially change going forward. Early on, cracked support wasn't really too difficult to maintain. It never got in the way. AutoIn helped ensure that skins were forwarded and that premium users never had to mess around with login commands. However, over time, things have somewhat degraded a bit and cracked support isn't nearly as seamless as we'd like. In terms of minor surface-level bugs, there will sometimes be cases where the "Please /login with /login <password>" message is shown after the automatic login confirmation - which has resulted in some confusion for existing and new users, causing them to think they had to log in. Not a big deal really, but still a source of confusion. There are, however, more serious bugs which sometimes show up (and sometimes don't). There have been several cases where username changes have resulted in someone being unable to play - as FastLogin will treat them as a cracked player. Now, this issue has seemingly been nonexistent since 1.16 - but still, it's an indicator that sometimes these kinds of critical issues can crop up. Along with that, cracked severs generally get treated less than favorably by both the Minecraft community as well as server lists. This is why we haven't advertised CU as a cracked server in many years. These issues alone aren't enough for me to drop cracked support, however. Most of these issues are minor, uncommon, and when major issues crop up, they often get fixed. However, those issues combine with something else that make me willing to consider it. There's been a thought floating around within the staff team for a while now that this cracked support may be holding us back further than we realize. It's possible that players join, realize we're cracked, and then dip as a result. It's also possible that server lists are able to identify us as cracked due to AuthMe and FastLogin and are quietly burying us in the deepest pages of the list. And, of course, it's also possible that neither of these are happening and that cracked support has nothing to do with our lack of player retention. So, starting sometime soon, cracked support will be temporarily dropped. The current plan is to start this with 1.17.1, though it may be sooner or later depending on how things go. We had originally planned to include this as part of the 1.17 update, but for a number of reasons we've opted to postpone it for just a bit longer. We aren't ready to commit to ditching cracked support permanently just yet, but we want to experiment and see if dropping this support happens to fix some of these issues - most likely, this will remain the case until the end of the year. The good news is that in early testing, AuthMe and FastLogin both work without issue on 1.17 - so there won't be any technical barrier to keeping cracked support. The bad news for you cracked folk out there is that if dropping this cracked support happens to turn around our population problems, then this will likely be a permanent change. Only time will tell. The Future To wrap things up, something I plan to do starting with 1.17 is properly get back into Minecraft server stuff again. I've been doing some reflection a bit to try and figure out why it is I haven't felt the desire to do anything on CU outside of the bare minimum maintenance here and there - and I think I've figured out why. The answer is in that very question - I haven't wanted to do much CU stuff for a while because for a while, it's largely just been maintenance and bugfixing and reimplementing old features again. I haven't been getting on and working on cool things because I want to make something cool, it's because there's some big problem that I have to solve in order to maintain a baseline. What I want to do starting with 1.17 is knock the two big looming clouds out of the way. Cross-server /tp and /warp functionality. I've been putting these off for a long time - and I think the time has come to finally fix this. Once that's done, I've got a comically long list of possible features that I want to work on - and I think that's the key. I need to make new things - even if those new things are small. I need to stop sitting around and working on features that already exist and fixing bugs - I need to get in and start doing what I used to do with the server - creating new things. I've devoted a long period of time lately towards Elaztek Studios and the Blamite Game Engine - it's been over a year since I last did a hard focus on Chaotic United. And while I don't plan to spend the entirety of the next year focused solely on Chaotic United, I think it's time for the pendulum to swing in the other direction for a bit. Stay tuned.
1 pointwhat if great white sharks dont know how great they are