They've been coming for a long time, but here they are at least!
First things first, my apologies for the time this took to happen. Right as the contest ended, Mojang released Minecraft 1.9, which required a lot of preparation time to upgrade the servers over. That led us right into April's event, which also needed to be focused on. Finally, a judge unfortunately dropped on me, so I eventually decided to have two instead of three.
Putting that behind us, both Toad_ and myself have gone entry to entry, judging your building skills and design sense. Many of you have made fiendishly difficult parkour tracks, and we can expect several players to go crazy trying to make it to the end! Without further wait, the winners!
First place - MountainB0Y
Second place - Coneva
Third place - xray275
Congratulations to all three, and to everyone else who entered! Once again, the top three winners have earned 50, 30 and 15 Merit Points respectively, while everyone else who at least began an entry earned 1 point. You can view the current rankings on the forums, while the entries along with judges comments are available on their own page. Note that I only listed entries that looked complete or close to be.
The next seasonal event will wrap up this initial run and will launch next week! Keep an eye on this space for more information!
On a related note, judging of the parkour courses has been done on MC 1.8.9 as they were designed for it. However, many of the challenges are no longer doable on 1.9: items like glass panes and iron fences, when placed unattached, will create a small pillar instead of the previous + shape. As such, several jumps are now impossible.
I'm asking all parkour designers to please check their challenges over and make the modifications necessary. The working copies are available from Central's TransHub, in the Game Dev portal. Those who never completed their entries are welcomed to continue their works, while newcomers are invited as well - there's room for everyone! In due time, the best tracks will be added to the "Games" section of the lobby, allowing anyone (even visitors!) to challenge them!
We've moved over to the latest Minecraft version, 1.9.4, which is no longer compatible with 1.9 to 1.9.2. Be sure to switch your version number before trying to join! This bug fix release is expected to improve on a lot of the server slowdowns that people have experienced lately.
I've used this opportunity to increase the protection options to cover most of 1.9's additions. Most notably, it's now impossible to teleport using chorus fruits in teleportation-blocked areas (which already denied enderpearls), and the Frost Walker enchantment will no longer create ice blocks within any protected regions. As a reminder, any region of your choosing, including houses and structures, can be protected against changes from anyone but yourself and a list of players that you explicitely allow. To take care of this, please get in touch with any op in-game.
Last but not least, I changed the spawn rate of Skeleton Horse traps some days ago to make them much less numerous. They now have a 3.3% chance of spawning for every lightning strike on Gondwana (hard mode), and 2.5% everywhere else (normal mode), which is 1/10 of the previous value. This effectively stopped the slowly growing and never stopping army of the undead that plagued several locations!
Minecraft 1.9.3 1.9.4 was finally released this morning by Mojang after a long-ish development cycle. Unfortunately, it's not compatible with Minecraft 1.9 to 1.9.2; additionally, some plugins will require an update before we can jump over. As such, please make sure to stay with an earlier version to continue playing with us!
I've updated the Help & Contribute page with some key changes. As a starting point, all mentions of "donations", "donate" and similar have been replaced with "contributions", "contribute" and so on. This is done to avoid business and legal issues with Paypal, considering that neither I nor the Creeper's Lab are registered charities anywhere. As many of you already know, any donations monetary contributions sent my way are used by myself to help cover servers costs and fund future developments. This is only a name change, and doesn't affect anything else.
Launch of a Patreon campaign!
I'd like to take a moment to talk about the Patreon campaign that I just launched!
For those who don't know, Patreon is a crowdfunding platform used to give money to content creators to support them in their ongoing projects. Unlike other platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, however, Patreon works on a monthly or by-release basis, engaging people for longer periods of time.
In this case, I chose to launch a Patreon campaign with a monthly target as the server costs are also monthly: this gives a opportunity for interested people to help on a regular basis, in a simple and centralized way. Note that this isn't strictly for Minecraft: the campaign is for all of my ongoing projects, of which Minecraft takes the largest share of time.
You can register for something as little as $1, $5, $10, or any amount you choose, every month. It's not a lot for you, but it can add up quickly on my end! You're also free to change the amount you give at any time, or even outright cancel straight from the website, as there's no minimum period.
To thank anyone who decides to jump in, I'm adding a few in-game rewards. The most notable one is the option to have a fancy particle trail following you whenever you go on the Minecraft servers! Dazzle others as they stare at your majestic show! For the full list, please see the campaign page.
As always, everyone will be considered equally, contributors and non-contributors alike. We're not going anywhere if nobody jumps in, although we could be going to new places if people get involved!
I invite you to check the page for the full details, and thank you for reading!