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Man. Crazy to think we've been going nine years. Nine years is a long time. Typically, the past anniversary posts have been worded along the lines of "yea we're pretty quiet now but we'll get somewhere soon i promise!". Last year, I wanted the 8th anniversary announcement to be the final one following that format: Well, we aren't quite there yet unfortunately. That being said, we are undeniably closer to that target than we have been in a very long time - possibly closer than we ever have been. Which, hey - I'll take it. Any progress is good at this point. So, let's take a look back and reflect on the past year. Reflecting on Year 8 We started the 8th year off with, once more, a promise of hope for the future. We were hard at work on updating to 1.14 - though it still took much longer than any of us would've liked. It saw the departure of several staff members and the introduction of new ones. While year 8 wasn't as groundbreaking as we all obviously would've hoped - it was still a new beginning nonetheless. It marked the point where we fixed a number of the deeply-rooted management issues with CU. Not server issues per se, but issues with how I managed the people. I'd had a pretty serious issue with holding on to staff members for far too long. People were on the staff team for no other reason than I was used to seeing their name in Blue or Green. The vast majority of those people didn't even need to be demoted - when I laid out the new expectations going forward, they simply stepped down to avoid that uncomfortable situation. With those folk out of the team, room was available for new users to fill that role. The most notable addition is, of course, @Z0mbieslayer2013. You know him, you love him - and believe it or not, this is his first time as a Moderator. While there are certainly times where this is clear, he's done something that really doesn't happen as often as it probably should - he asks questions. Not just questions on "how do I do x", or "what do I do if Y happens?" - no, no. He stands up straight and asks questions about why things are they way they are. Questioning things that have been the case for years and pointing out things that should be obvious improvements. And while not all of his ideas and suggestions have been implemented - the fact that he still proposes changes and enhancements at all is important. When you as a leader surround yourself with people who just agree with you all the time, you're living in an echo chamber. And if nothing else, Zombie is ensuring that I'm not sitting in one. The second half of year 8 saw us hit some of the biggest population spikes we've seen in years. As unremarkable as reaching 10 or more users on the server at once seems, it's a step in the right direction - and a step we've not seen happen in years. The last time we saw numbers that high was in early 2017, roughly 3 years ago. And while those heights tend to happen at random with much of the activity still hanging much lower, activity as a whole has improved. 0 people on isn't the norm during the whole day - you'll typically only see it at a couple specific parts of the day (typically very early/late). And of course, we've been slowly working on migrating everything over to BungeeCord - in an effort to remove technical issues. And this will be our primary focus for Chaotic United's 9th year. The Plan for Year 9 Our plan for this year is similar to what we did in Year 8. Where Year 8 was the year of fixing management-related issues, Year 9 is the year of fixing all the technical problems that have been building up since 2014. Fixing long-time issues, and making future issues easier to nail down and resolve. However, due to the sheer volume of issues that are scattered about, there's no way for us to have a single, coherent memory of each and every issue. This is where you come in. If you find any bug - or anything that so much as looks like a bug - report it on our Bug Tracker. Our goal is to start the decade off with a solid technological foundation - and to enter the second decade of Chaotic United as a strong, stable, secure, and reliable server. A server that doesn't have a series of ridiculous roadblocks keeping people who would otherwise enjoy the server from having fun. And most importantly, and I cannot stress this enough - do NOT just tell me about a bug. My memory is NOT reliable and I guarantee you I'll forget about the issue entirely within 24 hours - if not sooner. This is the reason we have the bug tracker, so that issues aren't just "forgotten" and so that their status can be tracked. If you've told me about an issue before, report it. Anything that you'd consider strange or "probably not intentional" is something that should be reported. I want to know any and all issues you guys might have, severe or not. Even if it's a completely harmless bug, report it. I want to get each and every bug on that bug tracker fixed - I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I'm sick and tired of having a buggy server - and I'm sick of making you guys constantly put up with a buggy server. Speaking of Server Stuff... Something sort of huge has been developing here lately - and you might've already heard me mention it. But if you haven't - in the coming months, we'll be doing a bit of server consolidation. Most of this is outside of Chaotic United entirely, but one change that will affect CU (slightly) is that the Elaztek Gitlab will be hosted on the same machine as the MC server. For a while (and still at the time of writing), it runs on its own machine with a couple of things that aren't CU or Elaztek related. I know what you're thinking: "I don't give a damn about server consolidation - that's not exciting". And you're absolutely right. However, the next part (at least for me) is. As part of this consolidation, I will be taking over the payment of the CU/Elaztek servers moving forward. The only things I won't be paying for are the relays - as those are so cheap that Michael will continue paying for them. That being said, a couple of the unused ones are being dropped. If you're worried - don't be. If you use a relay, the one you use will be kept online. Several that we have are just not used whatsoever - and as such, they're being dropped. For those of you who have been around for a while, you'll know that Michael has been fairly crucial to paying the bills for most of the time of the CU revival. He hosted the server out of his house from late 2014 through to mid-2015 when we merged with ND. From there, we moved to a VPS which I paid for. A while later (2017 if I'm not mistaken but don't quote me on it), Michael stepped back in to pay for the dedicated server that we've been using until today. After finally getting a stable job that shows no signs of going anywhere, I'm finally in a position where I can actually cover these bills. And with this transition, I think it's all the more important that we all thank and honor Michael for what he's done for CU since 2014. It's no exaggeration that, if he never came along, we absolutely would not be here today. I'd have likely given up on it after my old laptop died and I'd probably be on a whole different path - never getting a chance to know any of you guys. The legacy of Chaotic United would've ended in mid-2016, possibly even sooner - when ND shut down. That would've been it and the book would've closed. But thanks to Michael - we persevered. As small as we are, we've held strong and steady and managed to hold this thing together all this time. We've made sure that, if nothing else, Chaotic United's story didn't end several years ago - to ensure it lives to see a new year, a new decade, and a new generation. And while there are numerous people who have contributed to that (see the credits page (which im aware needs some updating)), Michael is easily the biggest contributor by far. So - on behalf of all of us, thank you Michael for all that you've done thus far, and will hopefully continue to do. Oh yeah - sidenote, Michael won't be leaving the community. I know the way I wrote all that makes it sound like he is, but in reality he's still gonna be a big part of the backend management of CU - it's just that he won't be putting his own money into it anymore. When we start moving things to the new server, we'll be sure to announce it both on Forums and Discord - as there will be a little bit of downtime during the migration. Wrapping Up - For Now... Well, I think that about wraps it up for now. Some of you may think that this is yet another "hope for the future" post. And I suppose in a sense, it is. But this one is a bit different. I'm not proclaiming that we're starting a new beginning today. We already did that last year. I'm saying that right now, we're a little behind schedule - but still on track. This isn't the start of a new age of CU, but rather the next building block of that new beginning. I can't say how soon it'll be, but our goal is to be running smooth and stable and with either minimal or no bugs by December. Will we achieve that goal? Only time will tell - so stay tuned.
Hey folks! Minecraft turns 10 today! So, obviously one must ask - what are we doing to celebrate Minecraft's 10th birthday? Two things: 1. Everything on https://donate.chaoticunited.net is 50% off for the next week! If you've been eyeing one of those shiny rank upgrades, now's a fine chance to grab it for cheap! 2. The 10 year celebration map that Mojang put up is up on a server for you to explore! Fire up 1.14.1 and connect to 10years.chaoticunited.net to check it out! There is one other little thing that we'll be doing as part of this, but it won't come into effect until a fair bit later once we update to 1.14 - so stay tuned for that! If you haven't already, go ahead and check out the page on Minecraft.net in regards to its 10th anniversary. Nothing much else this time around - let's all celebrate 10 years of Minecraft!