Status Update

Hello everyone, I know it's been nearly a month since my last update and I apologize for that. Things have taken more time than I thought they would, and additionally some of the plans I had in place changed. If you read the last update, you know that as a team we are planning to relaunch the server this month (January 2019). To me, this seemed like an easy goal to accomplish, however when dealing with technology you always have to plan for the eventuality that some or most things will either go wrong or change. At the start of this year, I was making good progress on the Elder Realms and we had the plans in place for the shopping district. However, as I said, plans do change and thus I ran into an issue that I wasn't expecting. For the Elder Realms, I was relying solely on a plugin called Epic World Generator. It's a real-time generator that produces worlds that look like they've been made in a program like World Painter. However, because that plugin had a major version bump (v7 to v8) and a Minecraft version bump of 1.12.2 to 1.13.2 and all the changes that went along with that, some bugs arose that made the project impossible to move forward with.

One day while I was working on protection systems for the new spawn in the Elder Realms, I came across a bug that I hadn't seen before, and it was a big one. The way that Minecraft saves worlds is chunk based. This is a big reason that Towny uses chunks (16x16 areas) to claim land. When a new chunk is generated, it automatically saves it. So, Minecraft told EWG v8 that a new chunk was being made, so Minecraft did what it was supposed to do and saved it. However, when it tried to do that, EWG didn't actually tell it what was in the chunk, so it errored out and crashed the entire server. The problem here is that new chunk was not very far from where the spawn for the Elder Realms was supposed to be, and chunks next to it were also causing issues. That error ended up forcing me to scrap the idea for now until the plugin gets updated or is in a more stable state. This is hugely disappointing for many reasons, the biggest of which are that Atari worked on the shopping district extensively and was excited to launch it, and also because I've been waiting for the plugin to get updated for months now and it's still having issues. It's not exclusively the plugins fault, however, the Minecraft/Spigot code has some stuff to work out to get it working properly as well, but it's still disappointing.

So, with the major planned feature for the January launch now being pushed back, what am I working on for the new update? Several things, really. I've been working hard on getting some plugins working that have been loads of fun in the past and have been used on TownyKingdoms such as the Brewery and Custom Enchantments plugins. They are in right now and working. I've also been working on our documentation over on the wiki for things like the Breweries. Eventually, it will include information about Slime Fun, but as the orange text on the homepage says it's a work in progress. Along with writing new content on that wiki, I've been working on updating some old information from the last time TK was live (late 2017). We are also considering removing the shop at spawn and replacing it with a visual in-game tutorial on how Slime Fun works, and I'd love some feedback on whether or not you'd like that to happen or if you'd like us to build out a separate area for the Slime Fun tutorials to live.

And, while new features are always fantastic, there is some general housekeeping stuff I've been working on as well. This includes things like updating our donator ranks, polishing up permissions for everyone and adding a few quality of life improvements to the server. In terms of the donation shop, I've been working on a new rank called King that will see some pretty awesome perks go along with it. For Quality of Life features, I've added in a death compass so that you can find your death chests since keep inventory is officially turned off. For donators, you can still use /back to return to your death location, but for people who don't choose to donate, we felt there should be an option, albeit not as easy of an option.

There's a lot more planned in my head, and of course, I'll update you when I can. For now, I'm looking forward to the relaunching the server at the end of this month. I'll see all of you on the server!

-Zack
 

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