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  1. Hey, everyone! We've been hard at work for a while now, working on the replacement for Autorank - the plugin used for time-based ranking. As of today, that development is, essentially, complete. Why? Some of you may be wondering, why did we feel the need to replace Autorank? Well, there were a few key issues that we needed to remedy: First and foremost, it hasn't lived up to its name ever since we migrated to BungeeCord. Even after updating to newer versions, it simply failed to issue rewards properly. Second, it has no real easy system to allow for combining playtime and rank purchases. Since ranks can be both bought and earned, you'll have cases where players may, for example, work to earn Donator rank - and then decide to get VIP. Rather than requiring that you pay the full 10$, we allow users to use those 5 days of playtime as a sort of credit, and so you'd be able to upgrade to VIP for 5$. The issue is that this is an entirely manual process - you have to donate the specific amount, and then a Moderator has to manually promote you from there. Additionally, automatic rankups no longer work afterwards - and once again, a staff member must manually promote you once one of you notice that you've reached the playtime required. Lastly, it's had a number of weird quirks and issues that we just wanted to iron out or leave behind - and that's what we set out to do. Whats New So, let's get into the changes, then! What's new about this Autorank replacement? Enhanced Playtime Tracking - The plugin now stores two types of total playtime values - referred to as "Earned Playtime" and "Valued Playtime". Earned playtime refers to how much time you've actually played. It can't be modified by commands, and this is what gets displayed in the total time leaderboards. Valued playtime, however, can be modified with commands - and as such, can be modified by things such as rank purchases and such. This is the value that gets checked against for playtime rewards, but is not displayed in various toplists - since it isn't representative of a user's playtime. In-Game Reward Progress Tracking - Rather than just having to guess or do math to figure out when you can earn your next rank, you can check your progress of all rewards using /ar rewards. It will display the total times required for all rewards, and will also display how much time you have before you unlock it (or, if you've already unlocked it, it'll say that instead). Improved Leaderboards - Previously, /ar top would only show the top 5 users - and if any of those top 5 were hidden, the list would just be shorter by one item. Now, the toplist has been increased to show the top 8 players, and rather than having missing entries, excluded users are simply skipped - and the next person after them takes their spot. Support for Repeatable Rewards - This is something that isn't in just yet, but will be in the near future. We want to soon be able to have more things you can earn from playtime besides just the ranks. Primarily, this will be used for Tokens - the new name of CUPoints/NDPoints. These will serve as a new global currency and will be obtainable via a few methods - and will have a variety of uses. You can find a little bit of additional information on this topic. Bugfixes - In addition to the new features, most of the bugs that the original Autorank plugin had before have been resolved. Ranks should now properly be rewarded when you've reached the right amount of playtime - finally living up to the name "Autorank" once again. For the full list of changes, you can read the full changelog here: Next on the Horizon Next up, our focus will be on additional bugfixes, as well as some of the new features described in CU Updates #46. While we can't commit to any timelines, you can reasonably expect these improvements to be sooner rather than later. For now, however, that's all we've got. If you happen to notice any issues (with the new Autorank or otherwise), be sure to let us know by submitting a bug report! Otherwise, just keep your eyes peeled for what's next on the horizon.
  2. Hey, everyone! After hearing me talk about it for months at this point - and after over a year since the BungeeCord migration was considered "complete", cross-server warps and teleportation is now in the server. Using the new Warps System The new warps system consolidates the old CUWarps and Essentials warps systems into one, unified system. You may previously recall that you had both the /pwarp and /warp commands. Now, everything is under /warp - no need for /pwarp anymore. Warp management has been redone and can be managed using /mywarps. This will allow you to purchase warps, warp aliases, and manage your existing ones. What are warp aliases, you might ask? Warp aliases are a new addition to allow for easier management of, well, aliases. For those times where you might want multiple warps pointing to the same spot, you can now purchase aliases for warps - and manage all of them as a single warp. At this time, aliases do not show in /warp list - though this may be changed at a later date. You might also notice some blue warps in the /warp list. These are "Official" warps. Any warps that go to server-specific locations (such as spawns, /warp help, and other such locations) are classified as official warps. Other than being displayed differently in the warp list, there's nothing different about these. Restricted Servers Something you may notice when trying to manage warps or teleport, you'll find in some cases that you are unable to. The new plugin has a configurable list of servers where the players within cannot be teleported to. This currently includes Minigames, Vanilla, and Factions. You also won't be able to manage warps here, either. You are able to teleport out of these servers, but not back in - after all, it'd be pretty rough if you were able to teleport to someone's faction or vanilla base, or to a minigame arena in progress, right? That's cool and all... but why the wait? Ah yes. The question I'm sure many of you are wondering - why exactly did this seemingly simple feature take over a year to make a reality? Well, there's a few different reasons - let's go through them all individually. Bungee-Bukkit Communication For starters, it's important to recognize that BungeeCord and Bukkit (in other words, any of the individual gamemodes - like survival, skyblock, creative, etc) have virtually no way to talk to each other. BungeeCord only knows what server a player is connected to, and can connect them to another server if needed. BungeeCord has no knowledge of what world a player is in, nor their coordinates or anything like that. Additionally, the only default method of communicating between the two involves using the player as a vehicle to carry that data. In other words, if no player is on to switch between those servers, data cannot be transmitted. So, the plugin we made requires that we build our own communication method - which thankfully, isn't as hard as it sounds. We used something called Redis - which both BungeeCord and Bukkit can listen to and monitor - and it allows for the two to communicate almost instantly. And as a result of this... Code Complexity and Motivation ... the code for what would normally be a simple Bukkit plugin became three separate Eclipse projects: CUBungee - The BungeeCord plugin that we've been using for a number of general-purpose features, and would house most of the warp and teleport functionality. CUBungeeBukkitBridge - A plugin which sits on each Bukkit server (each gamemode) and responds to messages from BungeeCord. CUBungeeCommon - A library shared by both CUBungee and CUBungeeBukkitBridge, containing a number of common classes used by both projects. Additionally, it took a very long time to find a system of communication that was maintainable. The root issue with most of the previous approaches was that the old setup required bouncing around to different parts of code. All of the business of /setwarp wasn't in a class or file named Setwarp, like you'd expect - but instead, everything after the first message sent from BungeeCord was done in a completely different part of code. For comparison - setting a warp in Bukkit involves the following steps: Get the current location of the player Construct a new warp with player's current location (and provided inputs for name and such) Register new warp That's it. Now - with BungeeCord - what does that look like? Find out what server the player is in Ask that server where the player's location is Wait for the reply Check the reply to see if the response was valid If valid, construct a new warp with the player's location (and once again, provided inputs for name and privacy) Register new warp And for fun - what about teleporting to a warp in BungeeCord? Get the warp the player wants to teleport to Find out what server the warp points to Ask that server if the world the warp has exists Wait for reply Check reply to see if world exists If so, instruct server to teleport the player to the warp's location upon login Connect the player to the warp's server Whew - that's quite the process. What about in Bukkit, though? Get the warp the player wants to teleport to Check if the world exists If so, teleport player to warp location As you can likely tell - the BungeeCord procedures for all of this are significantly more complex than if it was all done within a single Bukkit server. This complexity is unavoidable - however as described before, I was writing the code in a way that made this entire procedure a lot more painful than it had to be. Eventually, I came up with the idea of transforming the original message into the reply - allowing me to simply wait for the reply within the same part of code. As such, everything needed for the /setwarp command could all be done within the same file. This simple re-contextualization is all that was needed to make the codebase more maintanable. I also have to credit @GuitarXpress here as well - as he helped point out one critical issue which was causing me a major headache where I was observing what I could only describe as quantum mechanics in Minecraft. I had a point where the reply messages would ALWAYS time out waiting for a reply. Which was bad - because if I couldn't get a reply, then the entire idea was going to be scrapped. However, as soon as I started printing this one value to console, it ALWAYS replied in time. Remove the log event? Stops working. The act of trying to monitor a certain variable was changing the result - literal quantum mechanics. But no - turns out, I simply needed to add the volatile keyword to that variable - as the problem was that the part of code checking it was just not seeing the new value. That final breakthrough was the big thing that allowed everything to finally fall into place. Now - you might be wondering, when did this great breakthrough happen? Just under 2 weeks ago - July 5th to be exact. Yep - after solving the code complexity issues, cross-server teleportation and cross-server warps were able to be completed within a couple weeks. But... Can't you just use a plugin that someone else already made? This is another question I got a few times. Why is it that in a world where tons of plugins are readily available, that seemingly nobody has bothered to make a plugin for cross-server warps and teleports in a BungeeCord network? Well, for starters - the way we use warps are actually a bit different than most warps, since we allow players to directly purchase warps with ingame currency. Most warp plugins don't allow for this. We actually did find a cross-server warp plugin, but it didn't allow for private or unlisted warps, nor did it allow for user-purchasable warps. But the bigger reason why this kind of feature is seemingly so rare is that, in almost every scenario, servers with BungeeCord networks are much larger in scale and scope (and player count). They actually isolate their gamemodes on purpose. They don't want chat or teleports or warps to be interleaved together across everything - because if you have hundreds or thousands of players, this can actually be a huge detriment. However, we moved to BungeeCord purely out of technical reasons - having all of our features and gamemodes within a single Bukkit server resulted in poor performance, lots of lag, and made debugging an absolute nightmare. Rather than having 8 servers with a handful of plugins each, we had one server with over 120 plugins. Of course, I didn't want to start cutting gamemodes - as while we're small, every gamemode gets some attention. And rather than removing choices for people and potentially causing them to leave, we opted to migrate to BungeeCord. But all the while, I still wanted everything to feel connected - to maintain the illusion of everything still being within a single server. This is the complete antithesis of what most BungeeCord servers aim to achieve - and so there simply isn't demand for something like this. That's why I had to build it myself - because nobody else needed to. Wrapping Up But thankfully - it's finally in. There are still a couple minor fixes I need to do here and there, but overall - it's all ready to go. As per usual with any new feature, let me know if you run into any issues. This plugin is hot off the presses, so it's entirely likely that there's a bug that we didn't catch during testing. Other than that - be on the lookout for additional improvements coming sooner rather than later. The need to get this feature done has been a dark cloud hanging over my motivation to work on server plugins - so finally having it behind me I suspect will have positive effects on my drive to work on the more exciting stuff.
  3. Hey, everyone! A fair bit of stuff has happened since the last update! Valheim First and foremost - we've introduced a Valheim server! This is the first real non-MC server we've had in quite some time, the last one being our ElDewrito servers. You can grab Valheim on Steam for a cozy 20 bucks - and trust me, it's worth it. The majority of those active on our Discord have been playing it a fair bit since release. It's a survival/RPG type of game, and just like Minecraft, you can build all kinds of cool stuff. Make no mistake, however - this game isn't a cakewalk like Minecraft. Enemies are tougher, and you won't get the best-of-the-best gear in just a few hours. Fear not, however - it isn't quite as punishing as something like Ark for instance - it manages to strike a comfortable and enjoyable balance. Tl;dr - it's fun, go play it and join the server! You can connect to the server with the following IP: In order to join, however, you'll need a password. Since there's nothing similar to Bukkit for Valheim as of yet, there's no real grief protection. In order to limit any potential for grief, the password can be found only by joining the Discord and checking the pinned messages in #valheim. BungeeCord Migration Not too long ago, we started migrating our gamemodes away from a single-server setup and into separated servers, linked together with BungeeCord. As of today, that migration is, essentially, complete. Survival and Skyblock inventories and ender chest contents were lost as we moved off from Multiverse-Inventories - something we also detailed in the last announcement and on Disord. Going forward, this will have a few nifty perks over the old setup: Bugs will be easier to track down and fix Lag should be reduced across the board Adding new features (and new gamemodes) will be easier and more possible World archives that are released after resets will be more complete, as inventories will be saved as part of the world Of course, we aren't done as of yet. We've still got a lot of work to do, and there's liable to be some bugs that pop up here and there. If you find them, let us know by submitting a bug report. Old World Archives We've recently released a whole bunch of old world archives that were previously just laying around on my PC. Something one of our members, @LKComputes said one night during a Discord call really stuck with me and kind of prompted this whole thing - "a private archive isn't really much of an archive". So, let's run through what's new on the download center! First and foremost, several old downloads were replaced with shiny new ones. Unlike the original uploads, these have a series of screenshots available on the download page - all taken with a lovely shader pack for maximum beauty. Additionally, something we used to do in the past was remove spawns from the Survival worlds prior to upload. We stopped doing that from 1.12 onwards, but the old worlds were still left fragmented. Well, that's no longer the case - all old worlds that had spawns removed have been restored and have their spawns fully intact. This includes both Nuclear District's 2015 survival world, as well as our own Survival worlds prior to 1.12. The only exception to this at the moment are the older worlds from Brink of Chaos - as it turns out my PC is horrendously disorganized. Once everything is gathered back up again, those will be released and restored as well. If you for whatever reason wish to download the original, spawn-less worlds, you can find them under a new "Legacy" category. In addition to restoring old worlds, we actually found a handful of new worlds that weren't released. This includes all previous Factions worlds, as well as the very first survival world we had from when we first started the new Chaotic United. These have all now been released and added to the collection for your enjoyment. During the hunt for old worlds, we also ran across some old worlds from a server you probably haven't heard of - KaizerCraft. In the early days of the Chaotic United revival, we (very briefly) merged with a server called KaizerCraft - also known as CyberCraft in the past. That server was affiliated with United AlyCraft, and we merged briefly in order to have the server run on something better than just my laptop - for context, this happened before Michael was in the picture and hosting our server. The merge didn't last long, however, due to a variety of communication issues - and we fairly quickly got out. Turns out, however, that when I was downloading my own stuff back to host it myself again, I'd also grabbed a bunch of worlds and server files from KaizerCraft's own server. And while that merge was brief, we've actually worked to collect a bit of its history too. The original IPs they used (,, and all point to our MC server. And hey, if I've got them, why not release them instead of sitting on them? The worlds were all taken on November 1st, 2014. Any changes made to the worlds after the fact won't be present, of course - and likely are long gone at this point, since most people don't obsessively hoard data like I do Lastly, and certainly not least, we've released all 4 worlds from Nuclear District's first MC server, taken as of May 14th, 2014. This is currently the only known backup of those worlds - and any changes made to them after that date won't be present. This doesn't include any of the post-reset worlds - these are the first public and official worlds from ND's server. Baxter sent me these worlds back in 2015, and of course I held them close since then. Last year we hosted the server briefly and did a livestream showing everything off - even Falkerz and Alex showed up to the party. Now, you can download them and play them at your leisure. Wrapping Up Whew! Quite a bit of stuff that's been going on - and plenty more to come. As always, stay tuned - and we'll see you in the next one.
  4. Important Update - 2/12/2021 On our Discord server, a poll was hosted to determine how we approach SkyBlock and Survival inventories. The original plan (as reflected in the topic) was to postpone migrating either of those gammeodes until 1.17 - at which point both would be reset. The community poll voted instead for a 14-day grace period to allow players to store their inventories in chests in order for their contents to be safe. We'll be going forward with this approach with the 14 day clock starting now. On February 26th (or the most recent time after that date where I have time to perform the migration), Survival and SkyBlock inventories will be reset, with the worlds remaining unaltered. Survival is still most likely going to reset with 1.17 due to worldgen changes, but SkyBlock will NOT be reset with 1.17. The gamemodes will be broken away into their own self-contained servers, much like how Creative and Minigames work as of today - at which the main server as it is currently known will act primarily as the default hub. The following data will be PERMANENTLY LOST after the reset: Inventory and Armor contents XP Levels (take a screenshot of your XP at the moment and we'll restore it manually afterwards) Ender Chest contents Hey, everyone! Got some updates for you folks regarding BungeeCord! As of today, Minigames and Creative have been broken off into their own separate servers. The original plan was to get CUWarps rewritten (and working inter-server), as well as getting cross-server /tp and /tpa working before doing this. However, in the interest of bringing optimizations and improvements sooner rather than later, we've gone ahead and done this early. What does this mean? Let's start with the good news. Any potential lag should be much less noticeable and less frequent. Anytime someone is doing a big WorldEdit (which can sometimes briefly freeze the server), the effects of that will only be felt within the server it was done in. So, if someone does a big WorldEdit in Creative, people in other gamemodes won't be affected whatsoever. And the major one - bugs should both be less common, and be easier to diagnose/fix. However, a few things are still in the works that leave things in a sort of limbo state at the moment. The most immediate one being warps. As of right now, warps for Minigames and Creative will only work if you are already in the appropriate server. This will only be a temporary issue, as the end goal is to rewrite CUWarps entirely and fully replace Essentials' warp system in favor of something based around MySQL instead of a bunch of .yml files - and in doing so, make warps work between servers. Additionally, mail is also not yet available between servers. This, too, will be fixed in due time. It isn't a super high priority as it seems as if mail isn't used that often, but y'know - just in case. Lastly, you'll notice that the Play menu (compass) and Donation Store items that you previously had within the Hub are now replaced with 'Unavailable' items. The donation store item referred to the old CraftingStore shop - which isn't in active use anymore, and the Play menu won't work with any BungeeCord commands. We'll be getting that entire plugin replaced with something a bit better, though regrettably it's quite likely that the menus won't have the same level of depth as before. However, there is one major part of this migration that has yet to be completed - and one that depends on your immediate action. Survival & SkyBlock Previously, we've relied on Multiverse to allow for multiple gamemodes within a single server. This generally worked fine, however as time has gone on, things have degraded enough to where it's begun to negatively impact the player experience. The two main issues are with Nether Portals within Survival and SkyBlock, and a rare (but yet still has happened twice since 1.13) issue that would wipe a single player's inventory contents. The Nether Portal issue has been the most extreme in SkyBlock, where players for whatever reason just would not spawn in the right portal. They would often spawn either on the wrong island, or on a random portal attached to the Nether roof. This may come as a shock, but this isn't intentional at all (/s). Wind tried to fix the issue with a custom plugin called CUNetherPortalPatch, and while it seemed to help in Survival, it hasn't worked so well in SkyBlock. But like before, this has both a good side and a bad side. The good news is that, since these gamemodes now live within their own, isolated servers, Multiverse is no longer required for those gamemodes. Which means that once it is removed, the issues above should be virtually nonexistent (excluding any other plugin or MC bugs). The bad news is that there is no way to migrate existing inventory data out of Multiverse. This means that, in order to leave Multiverse behind, an inventory reset will be required. As such, SkyBlock and Survival still use Multiverse and continue to live within the Main MC server - and will continue doing so until 1.17. This does mean that that the above issues will persist until the next world reset - and that both worlds will in fact reset with 1.17. The original plan was to avoid resetting SkyBlock, but this move has more or less mandated it. Don't worry, as with all past resets the old worlds will be preserved and made available for download - and we'll try to not reset SkyBlock for a while after this. See notice at top of topic for information. Closing Thoughts It's been an interesting process to finally migrate things over to BungeeCord - and we aren't fully done yet. But this marks a significant step forward in making sure the server will be more reliable, stable and just overall better in the future. As with any major change - if you find any bugs, let us know by submitting a bug report. Don't just tell me - I've always got at least 47 things going on, and if you expect me to remember a bug you happen to toss my way casually, chances are I'll forget about it entirely after 20 minutes. So, please - use the bug tracker. It makes life easier for both of us, and helps ensure that the bugs can actually be tracked - and thus actually get fixed. It may seem like a bit of extra and unnecessary work on your part, but having proper bug reports make it much easier for me to diagnose and fix issues - as well as not have to rely on my seemingly shoddy memory to remember each and every one. Oh, and if you happen to recall any old bugs that you want to submit - try and reproduce it again now that we've migrated. Some of the older issues just might be fixed as a result of all this. If they still happen, then by all means - submit it! That's all we've got for now, folks! Stay tuned for additional updates as some of the kinks get ironed out and we work through the growing pains.
  5. Hey, everyone! Just within the past day, we've taken the first step on migrating CU's server to a BungeeCord setup. There's a lot of technical talk about that in here, what it will entail, and how our plan has changed from the original goal. Additionally, we've got some details on my break as well as the current status of my job. If any of that interests you, keep on reading. My Break As most of you also know, I took a fairly long break from working on CU stuff due to some drama and other nonsense that transpired towards the end of summer. Those events, combined with me already growing stressed and tired due to the seemingly insurmountable pile of bugs, as well as a desire to go back to working on Blamite, led me to finally retreat into Elaztek. Unfortunately, it seems that while I was gone, player counts have begun to drop back down again. They haven't plummeted to 0, but they've gotten uncomfortably close. Granted, I don't think this is entirely my fault, but there's no doubt that my departure contributed to this. Now, for those of you who have been around for years, you likely have seen me do similar things before - and me taking a few months off here and there tends to be somewhat ordinary at this point. However, there's a lot of new faces around this year - and to them, the thought of me taking multiple months off seems absurd. I want to try and explain my thought process on this. Let me start by saying that yes, I am well aware that these breaks are not ideal. Ideally, I'd have things set up in such a way that, when I feel the need to take these breaks, the server doesn't have to come to a grinding halt. I know this - but I don't know of any way to solve it in the immediate future. My primary reason for taking these breaks is to avoid the same trap that the staff of old CU and ND fell into. People like Alex, Nik, Kendev, ntx2, and many more all devoted everything to CU for a few years. Whether they loved it or hated it, they gave it their all pretty much nonstop for years. But after those few years, they were done - and they never came back. The only significant figure of old CU/ND staff who's really still around is Nuke (aka, Atomicbeast101) - but even he isn't exactly considered active. He's still largely moved on with his life - only coming in when he feels the urge to do so, or if his advice in particular is being sought after. But everyone else? They're pretty much gone. The most I've seen from the others is a single drop-in after a few years, followed by departure. I don't mean to say it's a bad thing per se. People move on with their lives - that's a given. But me? I genuinely don't see myself ever truly wanting to leave. Maybe I'll change my mind someday, but I easily see myself still doing something here in another 10 years. What I fear is going too hard too fast and burning myself out - to such a point where I too want to wash my hands of CU and move on with my life. I don't want to do that. I never want to do that. While I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would love to keep CU going, and even people who may do it better than I did - I don't know of anyone who would be willing to commit to it this long term. I've been doing this more or less consistently since 2014. I've taken breaks during that time, yes - but I'm still here. I still do my best to ensure the continued growth and survival of Chaotic United. I may not be the best when it comes to carrying this torch, but I sure as hell won't ever let go of it. I don't know if anyone else out there would be willing to do something for 6 years - all while seeing such limited success. I'd imagine most people would call it quits a year in if their server only brought in 4-5 people. But even if someone else out there could and would do what I do - I love this community. As small as it may be, Chaotic United has been a part of my life for nearly half of it. I first joined in January 2012, and almost 9 years later I'm still here, still playing on CU. I don't want to let it go, and I don't want to burn myself out to such a degree where I can't bring myself to even touch it again. And this isn't just me either - the advice "remember, this isn't a job" has been given to me pretty regularly since I began, often from those same people who have since moved on from it. And it's that approach that leads to these extended breaks. I haven't, and likely never will treat CU as a job. When it begins to feel like one, I know that means it's time to step away for a little while. Ideally, I'd have things in place so that when those times come, it doesn't inevitably lead to the server suffering. This is a problem that likely won't go away anytime soon - but one that I eventually hope to nail down and resolve. But it's something that can only happen with time. If you're upset at that fact, I'm sorry. I understand if some of you are irritated that I don't commit 150% into CU like those who came before me - but I try to look at it from the broader scheme of things. Is it better if I burn myself out and end up deciding to close CU after a year or two of that? Or is it better if, while I may take long breaks here and there, I am able to stick around and keep pushing forward for potentially another decade, if not more? I lean towards the latter, but hey - that's just me. The good news is that this topic also marks the formal conclusion to my previous break. I am officially back to working on CU stuff again. I've got a lot of stuff planned (as always), and for those who read my previous announcement, this may come as quite a surprise. What happened to that job where I was working 60 hours a week? Well... My New Job 2.0 If you're active on Discord, you likely have heard the news. I quit USPS after just a week. Yeah, I know. It's kind of pathetic, but not without justification. The job at USPS was not only physically demanding, but also mentally taxing as well. In addition to effectively lifting weights for 8 hours a day (at least), you also had to keep your mind on about 8 things at once. That detail, combined with something I should've known from the very beginning, led to me taking a rapid exit before things got too crazy. What was that other thing I should've known? The fact that I am not willing to work 48-60+ hours a week. I imagine that for many people out there who don't have a ton of other stuff going on in their lives, they can afford to devote hours upon hours to work. But me? I've got enough on my plate to stay busy without any job at all - so in retrospect, accepting a job that would demand more than 40 hours a week was a fairly dumb decision on my part. So, if I knew that going in, why did I go through with it? Why accept it only to quit after a week? Two reasons: One, I had the idea that as a PSE, aka a Mail Processing Clerk, that the job would be largely non-physical. Maybe it's just me, but when I think of the term "clerk", I think of an office clerk or something similar to that. I don't imagine lifting these heavy things nonstop for 8-12 hours a day. I expected that I'd be doing occasional lifting, with the bulk of the job being standing or sitting somewhere, sorting letters into slots. What's worse is that I didn't have anything to go against that until my 4th day at the job. The first two days were orientation, the third was supposed to be training but we ended up being shoved into doing work for a whole different position, and the 4th day was the first day doing our actual training. The second reason was largely more to do with it - the pay. I would be making $18.15/hr, and that detail alone had me distracted and justifying anything else to myself and to those around me. I was so fixated on that hourly rate that I forgot my own personal beliefs and values. I've always been of the mindset that time is infinitely more valuable than money. I'd rather make enough to get by and be able to enjoy my time out of work, rather than dedicate 20-30 years of my life to work and do little else. I want to enjoy my youth as best as I can, I don't want to wait until my body is falling apart after decades of abuse to finally enjoy myself. But fear not - for I've already landed a new job: I'll be a cart attendant at Walmart. Yes, I'm going back to Walmart ladies and gentlemen. And yes, this will still be a very physical job - but the difference is that it will only be physical. Mentally, I can essentially tune out aside from ensuring I don't get run over or shove a bunch of carts into a vehicle. Along with that, you're largely left alone as long as you're doing your job well. It doesn't pay as great as USPS, but it starts at $11/hr, which is fairly decent all things considered - and assuming my hours are decent, will still leave me doing pretty okay once things stabilize. Not only that, but I'll have a much better work/life balance that I wouldn't have had at USPS. Most of all, however, the job itself is something that I not only have experience with, but is something that I could honestly see myself growing to enjoy. I did it for an hour at a time twice a day back at Schnucks, and out of everything I did there - I enjoyed pushing carts the most. I liked the freedom and peace you had when you were out there just left alone. And that was during the winter, too - the weather I enjoy being out in the least. For those unaware, I'm a bit weird in the sense that I really like being in hot weather. I've routinely gone on walks in over 100 degree heat, and while I finish those hour long walks drenched in sweat, I always felt good during and after them. I don't know why, but for me - sweating genuinely feels good. Maybe it's just the feeling of accomplishment from having done something to make me sweat rather than the sweat itself - who knows. I enjoy the heat, sun, and rain - and I can tolerate cold and snow. All of that combined makes me think that, after the initial adjustment phase of getting used to being on my feet that many hours a day, I'll actually like the job. I find myself honestly looking forward to that first day pushing carts in the heat - as weird as that sounds. The point of all of this is that I've switched jobs, and with this job, I'll still have time to dedicate to CU and/or Elaztek. In other words, everything in that previous topic about me not being around to do stuff? Forget about it - that's all null and void as of now. But enough job talk - let's get technical and talk about this renewed plan for BungeeCord! BungeeCord In the past, I've been both gung-ho and also extremely hesitant to start jumping ship to BungeeCord. I always knew in the back of my head that it'd become a requirement for continued feature and player growth, but for a while I figured we'd be fine up to 60 or more players. However, there were a couple brief times earlier this year where we hit 15 players - and the TPS dropped from 20 to 17. TPS, aka Ticks Per Second, is used to measure how fast or slow the server is running. Minecraft natively runs at 20 ticks per second, so 19-20 TPS is considered perfect. 17 is playable, but lag is noticeable. 15 and below starts to become very frustrating, and anything below 10 is usually considered unplayable by most. You may recall some of the issues with BungeeCord - namely that things begin to feel more sparse and separated. Things that people take for granted just don't work between servers, so for me that was a deal-breaker. Not only that, but getting those features introduced would take months... so why is BungeeCord already here? Well, upon reflection, I've decided to adjust how these changes will come into the server. The original plan was to get everything accounted for, then split off all the gamemodes at once and shove the entire transformed server out at once. I think that grouping everything into this umbrella made me feel more hesitant to start to tackle it, due to just how much work was attached to this - which in turn sapped my motivation to even do it. This is what led me to shelf it repeatedly. The new plan is to, instead, introduce these changes gradually over time. As of today - Chat, Ranks, Announcements, WorldEdit schematics, and the tab menu are cross-server. As time goes on, things like Mail, Player-to-Player Teleportation, Warps, and CUEmotes will become cross-server as well. These will be developed and rolled out as time goes on. Once these core features are made to work between servers, gamemodes will be broken away from the main server, until eventually every gamemode has been sectioned off into its own server. Make no mistake - this will all take a while still. However, doing it as a gradual rollout means that you'll see these changes gradually come into effect, and it means that new gamemodes (like Semi-Vanilla) will be available sooner, rather than having them held back until the surrounding components are ready. As of now, there are three servers available, currently accessible using /server: Hub/Waiting Room (hub) This server will act as a fallback in the event that one of the other servers is restarted or crashes. At the moment, restarts will unfortunately still kick users outright, but at some point we plan to get this solved. Here, you'll find a modified version of the hub that we used when we were merged with Nuclear District, and they still had their own server. It's kind of been a tradition that every time we've had BungeeCord setup that we end up bringing this old hub back - so why should this be any different? Semi-Vanilla (sv) Once everything is ready, this is where you'll go to play Semi-Vanilla. Much like when we had it before, it's server name is simply sv. It will be largely comparable to the original Semi-Vanilla server - no advantageous perks for donating, no crazy custom items, just a vanilla survival experience with economy and grief protection. You know - the basics. The only significant change is that unlike before, you'll still have your same rank on this server - as ranks are synchronized between servers. You'll have the basic cosmetic perks (like /me, chat colors, etc), but all of the real perks will remain locked to Survival. As of right now, you won't be able to do anything here. We've still got some work to do before Semi-Vanilla is ready. When that day comes, expect an announcement all about that. Main Server (cu) This is the main server, and it's largely unchanged from before. As of right now, all the gamemodes are currently within this server. Over time, however, gamemodes will be broken off into their own separate servers - at which point this server will likely act as a true hub server, and might contain some of the other miscellaneous stuff (such as builder world for instance). Also in keeping with tradition, the server name was kept as cu - since back when we were merged with Nuclear District, this was the name that our server got. This is one of those other things that has largely remained unchanged every time we've messed with BungeeCord before. Other Changes A few other smaller changes have been made that are notable, but don't really warrant a full section of their own. So, let's go through them here. Branding First off, you'll likely notice that some branding has been updated within MC. Since 2013, CU has rocked a Cyan and White color scheme within in-game messages. Outside of this, however, we've mostly stuck to a regular blue color. As of 1.16, Minecraft now supports hexadecimal color codes. What this means is that we are no longer limited to the 16 colors available, but that we can now use any color we could possibly want - including the exact shade of Blue that we use on CU's forums. After holding a poll, the overwhelming majority of the community voted to use this Blue color instead of Cyan - so you'll start seeing more and more Blue instead of Cyan. This won't be a universal change starting out, as some plugins don't yet support these color codes. Along with that, all of our custom plugins have the CU branding hard-coded in, and many of them will keep their existing Cyan branding for the time being. As time goes on (most likely when each of these plugins receives an unrelated update), the branding will be changed to the new Blue color scheme. Dynmap Since dynmap doesn't have any native support for BungeeCord either, we have to have separate dynmap instances for each server which uses it. In order to ensure the livemap continues to be easy to use, you'll now see a navigation bar when viewing the map on Desktop, which lets you switch between the different dynmap pages for each server, as well as return to the Forums or Homepage. Right now, the only options are the Main server and Semi-Vanilla, but this will expand as gamemodes get broken off into separate servers. Announcement Plugin Port Since 2014, we've been using the same Announcement plugin that I found on BukkitDev one day. It hasn't been maintained past 1.8, so I've been keeping it updated myself since then. Since it's such a simple plugin, I tried to see if it was possible to port the entire plugin to BungeeCord - that way, announcements would display cross-server (and that way the same message would be broadcast). Turns out, yes! With the only major changes being how configuration files are written/read, the old plugin never did anything that depended on Bukkit APIs that didn't also have an equivalent in BungeeCord (since it was just chat). This doesn't mean a whole lot to you guys, but I thought it was neat that this old Bukkit plugin was able to be completely ported to an entirely different API. Redesigned Tab Menu Since our old tab menu plugin lacked BungeeCord support, we needed to find a new plugin. And boy, did we find one. This new tab menu is everything I wanted the tab menu to be back in the day. Have a look for yourself: Old Menu New Menu The old animations were easy to migrate over, it has support for the new hex colors, and you can do a lot more with it than you could with the old plugin. Not only does it group players depending on what server they're in, but a few useful stats will always show at the top and bottom of the list. Additionally, you'll notice that usernames display differently as well. Each username will display in a different color depending on what rank they are - a feature that has been absent since Nuclear District's original MC server in 2014. Along with that, staff members will have a gold star (yes i know it looks like a snowflake, its an 8-spoke star) next to their name, and AFK users will have a gray hourglass next to their name. They're small additions, but ones that I think are pretty neat. Contextual Information in Chat Try hovering over a player's rank prefix or username in chat - you'll find something new! If you hover over someone's username, you'll see a few stats (as of their message) and you can click their name to start sending a message. If you hover over their rank prefix, you can get some information about that rank - be it what they do, or how to earn it. User Tooltip Rank Tooltip Wrapping Up Whew - another nice and lengthy announcement update in the bag! A few other minor changes were made here and there, but if you're interested in those you'll need to check the full changelog. Otherwise, that's all we've got for now. Hopefully, we'll have another one of these coming sooner rather than later.