As first announced in our podcast episode earlier this week, I'm now in the planning stages to launch a 1.8 server. This'll be the place for those who don't want to wait until the main server itself is updated to 1.8. Below are a bunch of details about that upcoming server, including when you can expect to access it!
The short version: the current server is staying at 1.7.10 for a while; a new one based on 1.8 will be launched in parallel soon.
- Current Bukkit/Spigot/Sponge status
It feels like I've written several "State of the Server"-type messages lately, and there's a good reason for that: there's been quite a few major changes to the Minecraft community lately! The following block is a repost of what I wrote in the forums two weeks ago when looking for feedback.
The goal of this explanation is to keep things simple. I might take a few shortcuts along the way, but you should be able to understand what's the current situation and how we got here.
The server is running Spigot, which is a derivative of Bukkit. Bukkit itself is a remake of sorts of Minecraft's official server, allowing the installation of plugins and giving server admins a lot more control over various settings. The large majority of servers out there run Bukkit or Spigot. Both projects are run independently from Mojang and without their assistance.
On August 21, the Bukkit team announced that they were closing the project, due to various legal grey areas and lack of support from Mojang. The same day, Mojang revealed that they actually owned Bukkit, had been for over two years, and that they would keep it active. Dinnerbone was quick to say that he'd personally prepare the 1.8 update.
On September 3, both Bukkit and Spigot's downloads were hit by a DMCA takedown by a former Bukkit developer. This person claims that Mojang tried to take ownership of his code, which the license wouldn't allow to happen, and thus that he no longer wants his work to be used. Even if he were to back down for any reason, any other developer could then make the same claim.
The end result, right now, is a possible legal battle from Mojang to fight this claim or the complete abandon of Bukkit. An alternative will obviously come up, either from Mojang itself or another group. In either case, it's going to take time. Like, several months at least to obtain something stable.
- "When are we getting 1.8?"
The ever-popular question has no obvious answer. Bukkit is dead in the water; Spigot still has updates but no formally announced plans for full support; the upcoming alternative Sponge won't be playable for a while. Since one of my primary goals is to keep the server stable and free from data corruption, I won't jump over to the first option available. Software obviously takes some time to mature.
Considering how things are currently going, and this is subject to change depending of the situation, I wouldn't be surprised if we were only able to upgrade to 1.8 early next year. Yes, that'd be 2015.
- Why a 1.8 server?
Part of the answer is above. Mojang released 1.8 on September 2, but the main server won't be ready to upgrade for some time. I know that most of our core players will stick around no matter which version is in use, and I thank you for your patience and understanding. At the same time, some want to try the new things, even if it means losing their comfort blanket. Likewise, it's hard to attract new players when all you can advertise is the old flavor. Having that new server will help bring new blood in, without sacrificing anything that has been currently built.
I expect most of our current player base to stay on the 1.7.10 Survival server, and many among the staff have already confirmed that this is what they'll do. Likewise, most of my own playtime will be on 1.7.10, and that place will stay my main focus for admin duties as well. The current server and community are the core of the Creeper's Lab, the 1.8 option is only an addition.
- How will the new server run?
The 1.8 server will run straight vanilla Minecraft, with no modifications whatsoever. The difference from what is available on the Creeper's Lab isn't that different, but you should be prepared for the loss of a few conveniences.
Work is already underway for this world, and I have started building a secured spawn point to ensure that new players are welcomed properly... and safely away from the monsters!
I want to have this new playing option available as soon as possible. As such, you can expect to have it available within a week or two. Keep an eye on this space for information on the formal launch!
- What about that second, modded server?
That is unfortunately getting delayed, due to the time required to launch the 1.8 server itself and the current, many unknowns related to the future of Minecraft servers. This is still among my plans for the future, of course. I'll post more once some progress has been made!
Oh, and if anyone was wondering about the logo for the new place...