Here are the answers… or at least some of them.
Its kinda hard to recall all the events that led to such a big delay in our progress …again. But let me try:
So Minecraft versions played a role in the whole thing. As some of you know 1.7 had a lot of issues, which meant a lot of minor releases. With every release some features broke, plugins needed updates and we had to spend time fixing it. At the same time we had to wait for bukkit/spigot and other plugin developers to do the same. Not to mention the whole transition from IGN to UUIDs gave a lot of troubles to quite some plugins.
At the same time our custom world generator broke fatally during development (just inches from the finish line), spaceribs’ private life called for his full attention, and it couldn’t be fixed for a long time. After a while we managed to get a working generator by going a few steps back and sacrificing a few features. The plan was to manually create custom nether and end worlds instead of generated ones, since we made the promise to the community to deliver custom nether and end.
Things were looking promising and I used the moment to retire from the development team. I was pretty burned out, was about to start a second job and wanted also to dive into other projects of mine. Some new, some even older than aftermath which i had to put on ice. I didn’t mean to “just” leave and let everyone hanging and offered help with any problems someone would have picking up my work. And then…
…the bukkit DMCA debacle happened. This was probably the biggest setback for the whole team. Suddenly everything was in question. Aftermath in its current state relies HEAVILY on bukkit/spigot and plugins. Even the generator needs bukkit to be functional. So the whole teams motivation dropped massively. Some left, others waited for something to happen, others discussed other ways to bring VAAST.org further, minigame servers, commandblock based servers were discussed. The Anti-Cheat team went inactive, which lead to roaming x-rayers.
And here is the biggest problem with projects like VAAST — 98% of it is driven by volunteer effort. Nobody here makes any money with it. In fact, without people like nullspot and Athmos who run the servers out of their own pocket (nullspot ran the US server for a long time, continues to develop the website and manage our assets, and Athmos is donating the EU server) we wouldn’t even have a server anymore. The money from donations just doesn’t cover the costs, as we refuse to adopt a financial model that squeezes our players for money. So we can’t force anyone to do “their job”. If the motivation falls drastically the whole project slows down. Nobody’s commitment here is tied to money.
TLDR; we are very sorry for how the whole thing went. We do what we can to keep VAAST and Aftermath alive. Which leads me to the next question:
Although I retired I still wanted to see Aftermath and VAAST grow, and play Aftermath every now and then of course. So I was in a clinch with myself. On one side I wanted to do my other stuff but on the other side I wanted to do something about it. So yeah, I’ve put my other projects on the backburner and here I am. I don’t know for how long… but its a start. I made an attempt at bringing back motivation by 1. coming back and showing that we are still kicking, and 2. contacting spaceribs and talk to him about the near and distant future of the generator. Then we presented our plans to the staff and it seems people are recovering some motivation, as there’s hope that spigot 1.8 will actually be released, and spaceribs has come out of retirement to patch up the generator.
Here is the short-term plan:
We are now actively working on a stable and playable season 8 (with a fresh map) based on Minecraft 1.7. The procedure is strict: What works…works. Whats easily fixable will be fixed. What needs a lot of effort to fix will be chopped out. This means that we put a release this month as highest priority. Everything that gets in the way of that is getting removed. So it could happen that we will not deliver promised features like custom Nether & End or even take out features that you were used to before. If it doesn’t work, it has to go.
The goal is to wake the community from its slumber and advertise the server to get to old glory and beyond. This means that we are now in a feature-stop for at least the next 6-8 months. Seasons will be restarted every few 3-4 months without adding new features besides maybe new builds.
Why Minecraft 1.7? The reason is simple: Bukkit DMCA. Without a working bukkit/spigot for 1.8 there can’t be a 1.8 Aftermath. Spigot is working on a 1.8 version, but nobody knows how many plugins will break and how many will be updated (given the uncertain future). So we MAY be able to update to 1.8 at some point or MAY stay on 1.7 for a looooong time. Time will tell.
We will also start up a US server again. It will, however, be paid by the existing money we have from donations… which isn’t a lot. As it looks now, it maybe enough for a few months, if at all. We don’t know yet how to keep it running after that. If you really want to help, go make a sizeable donation right now and help ensure we have the ability to keep the server up.
To be honest: We don’t know ourselves. We only know that we want to keep Aftermath alive. With the death of bukkit and the purchase of Mojang by Microsoft anything can happen. The whole model of “Modded Servers” is not certain. Nobody knows if Microsoft will put a stop to the development of the Mojang API or how they will deal with other APIs like spigot or the newly arising “Sponge API”. So for now we have to wait on what happens next outside of what we can affect. Certain is only that we will have to adjust. But nobody can tell how yet. If we find a way to go forward, we will. If we are doomed to stay on 1.7 forever then we will push the Aftermath wagon as far as our feet allow it or until nobody wants to see it anymore.
So yeah, this is where we stand right now. We will notify you of what’s next whenever we know it ourselves. 😛
- Season 9 release planned for release before December
- Season 9 will start on Minecraft 1.7 and may stay on it for a while.
- US & EU Servers will either start at the same time or the US server will be started up very shortly after the EU.
- You might miss a few features in season 9.
- Get hyped.