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CU Updates #47 - Experience Storer, Why Things Have Been Quiet, and Future Plans

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Hey, everyone - we've just made a small update to our MC Server! And this time, it's in the form of new content in Survival!


It's a small addition - and technically not even a brand new one - but it's an upgrade to an item you might already be familiar with: The XP Storer. For those unaware, you can shift-right click on an Emerald Block in Survival and it'll "store" your XP into Bottles of Enchanting. However, that system had a few flaws - which all have been remedied with its shiny new replacement.


The Experience Storer

The Experience Storer behaves largely the same as the previous one - but with a bit more polish, and some custom models and UI to go along with it:

2024-02-12_18.52.43.png  2024-02-12_18.52.49.png


2024-02-12_18.52.56.png  2024-02-12_18.53.18.png

Upon opening the Experience Storer, you'll be presented with a few slots and buttons, and a number selector. First and foremost, you've got an empty slot with an empty bottle placeholder - which is where you'd place any empty bottle. The other slot is the output slot, which is where you'll get the resulting Bottle of Experience.


The number selector allows you to select a number of (approximate) levels to store inside a bottle. The "Store" button will then let you store the XP for those levels inside the bottle. Alternatively, the other small button with the XP Orbs on it can be used - which will simply store all of your XP inside the bottle right away.


To find out how to craft it, use /recipes in Survival and choose the Blocks category. Then, you can click on the Experience Storer - and it'll show you the recipe.


What does this Fix?

As mentioned before, this fixes a few key flaws with the CraftBook XP Storer:


  • Storing Precise XP Amounts - The old XP Storer stored experience using XP Bottles (or more formally, Bottles of Enchanting). This works, but the issue is that XP Bottles don't give precise amounts of XP - it's slightly randomized each time. As such, you'd end up losing some XP upon storing it.
  • Avoiding Lag - When trying to store XP with the old XP Storer, if you had a large number of levels, you'd end up creating huge amounts of XP Bottles - which could create both clientside lag on your end, and server lag as well as it tries to spawn countless stacks of XP Bottles
  • Better Polish - This one is a bit subjective admittedly, but surely you can see how having a custom block with its own GUI and everything just feels a bit nicer and cleaner than clicking on an Emerald Block - right?


The other addition that comes with the Experience Storer is the Bottle of Experience (not to be confused with the Bottle o' Enchanting). This item has a bit of a different appearance, and contains the XP you've stored away. To get the XP back, you simply hold it and right-click. However, if you don't want all of it right away, you can get a single level out of the bottle by left-clicking instead.


The Silence

Some of you have likely noticed that things have been a bit quiet around here as of late. Not so much in terms of people on Discord or anything like that - but in terms of updates and progress on the Minecraft server. Last year we had talked about plans for investing in advertising, as well as continuing forward with content updates and improvements.

Then things seemingly stopped, with only maintenance-related updates and critical bugfixes coming down the pipeline. The reasons for this are fairly complicated - and I won't be going into all of them here, at least not today. However, a big part of it was a combination of two, fairly familiar problems.


Elaztek Studios

I've spent a good chunk of time as of late focusing on Elaztek Studios, especially on its new project, Sandbox - a 2D top-down sandbox game that doesn't have an official title yet. It's a fun project to work on, and part of the goal of it is to help bring in revenue into Elaztek Studios - and by extension, myself and Chaotic United. However, the reason I've been so heavily focused on this project and ignoring almost everything else comes from the other big issue:


The Job Hunt

While the extended vacation was nice, the time came for me to finally find a job again. This was difficult for a few reasons, most of which I will readily admit are "me" problems:


  • Adjusting to a 40-hour workweek - After being unemployed for a year and a half, it was (and still kind of is) rough to re-adjust to just working. I'd become comfortable and accustomed to just getting up and going to bed whenever I felt like - and so going from that to suddenly having a big chunk of time chewed up by a job hasn't been the easiest thing to adjust to.
  • Adjusting to a normal sleep schedule - As stated above, I'd become accustomed to just not having a sleep schedule. I'd go to bed when I felt tired, and got up when I no longer felt tired. In my case, this ended up with me staying up for ~16 hours, and sleeping for 10-12 hours. You might notice that those numbers add up to more than 24 hours. I'm still in the process of adjusting to getting less sleep - a process which has largely been slowed due to the third piece of the job puzzle.
  • The nature of the jobs - Most of the jobs I've had thus far, including the ones I've had recently, are all somewhat labor-intensive and more akin to blue-collar work, rather than some sort of office job. I'd love to have an office job - but at least in my area, it's exceedingly difficult to get into those jobs without having had experience in something similar before. You know, the classic catch-22 of "you need job experience to get the job". Similarly, I've not been able to find any sort of IT or software development job either - in part due to the lack of these types of jobs in my area, and my unwillingness to move out of my home town.





There's a bit more to the story, but those are the big things that have made things tough. To put it simply, the end result of all of these just comes down to reduced free time for me to work on things. As a result, I've been more heavily focused on things like Sandbox - as the idea has been that, the sooner I complete it, the sooner I can either use it as a portfolio item to help me land a better job, or perhaps even the sooner it can get released on Steam and potentially bring in some revenue. Who knows, maybe it could even take off and let me retire early (though I don't exactly expect that, to be clear :lmao:).


Coming Back to CU

So, then - you might wonder, what changed? Why suddenly emerge and start working on Chaotic United again if all of this stuff is still true?


Well, nothing changed - all of that stuff is still true. However, after some thought, I came to realize that I'd been a bit too neglectful of CU lately - which isn't fair to the community that we do have here, however small it may be. You folks have stuck with this community through all these years - you've put up with drama, you've seen us merge and unmerge with numerous communities, you've tolerated battles between us and those other communities, and stuck through even when I've done pretty ridiculous and stupid stuff. You've stuck through as I've made countless failed promises of future growth, and even helped me in some my times of greatest need.


I can't sit idly by and just let this place rot and wither away with each passing year. However, I'm also not going to lie to you and make false promises, either - there will come a point again where I shift my focus back to Elaztek and Sandbox - for all the reasons I outlined above. For now, though - I'm gonna spend some quality time working on CU again - and I'm going to try to be more consistent about it going forward, attempting to avoid such long stretches of silence. Whether or not I'll succeed is yet to be seen, but I can at least say that I'll give it my best shot.


The Roadmap

And on the topic of working on CU again, we've got a roadmap for the short-term future, leading up to Minecraft 1.21. All of these items are in order to set the stage properly for the next update.


The addition of the new XP Storer was the first item on the list - as it will be included within the next Survival spawn. Also to be added in the next Survival spawn are vendors - the new implementation of a server-run shop. Rather than having a giant building like we did back in 1.12, though, we'll have a series of NPCs that will act as vendors - and will also have a bit of fun dialogue, too. This will require some custom work for the shops themselves, but nothing too crazy.


Once that's done, the next step will be implementing a "perks toggle" feature. This will allow for the various abilities of each of the donation ranks to be disabled and enabled at-will, and will also come with some additional measures to better isolate legitimate gameplay and items from "perk-enabled" gameplay. There will be some other adjustments done with this as well that we won't go into today - but what I will say is that, if you were one of the folks upset or frustrated with the nerfs done to some of the perks when we updated to MC 1.18, you'll probably be pretty pleased with those aforementioned adjustments. 😉


The last big thing that we'll be preparing internally is the addition of multiple vote crates, along with finally introducing CUPoints. The current idea is that CUPoints will be given as a vote reward instead of specific vote keys - and those points can then be spent on one of those crates. The idea is to allow for some degree of choice when opening a crate - the new crates will have more specific selections of items compared to the variety of the current Vote Crate. Don't worry, though - the classic Vote Crate as it exists right now will be sticking around as an option, too.


From there... well, we'll just have to see. We've got a few ideas of where to head next - but in order to avoid overpromising (and because it's still hard to say how long everything listed above will actually take to implement), we'll save those for another time.


For now, though - that's all we've got. If things go to plan, we should have some news to share relatively soon. No (tm) this time - actually soon. Until then, be sure to keep an eye on our Discord and MC server.

Oh, and - one last thing. Thanks for sticking around. I mean it. I hope that I can make the seemingly endless wait you've had to deal with worth it in the end.

- haloman30

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