Wednesday 2 November 2016

Server Closed & The Future

Well the server has been down for a month now, so I figured I'd better post that more detailed update I mentioned in my last post! Thanks for all your messages of support, I've replied to most of them now but I know people still have questions, hopefully I can answer most of them here...

What happened?

Basically the physical server that DiggyVerse was hosted on was moved from one location to another and things went badly wrong. Here's what actually went wrong...

  • I didn't receive any notification and so wasn't able to back everything up before the move.  
  • After the move the server was brought back up automatically, with default settings.
  • The settings caused the server to launch using the wrong Minecraft version (and IP), which overwrote most of my custom server files and caused irreversible damage to the world files.
  • Seemingly I was also able to save files outside of "my area" on the hosted server, which meant I lost all my notes, some custom patches and various other bits and pieces. Because of their location they hadn't been included in the backups either, and unfortunately I hadn't noticed.
So is it fixable?

In theory yes, but it's not realistic. I've spent a few weeks trying to put things back together and recreate my patches, but made relatively little progress. It took me a few months to put the server together originally, it would take me a similar amount of time to get it back up and running bug free, probably longer.

Why would it take so long?

The server software for 1.7.10 (Spigot/Cauldron) hasn't been properly maintained for a long time now, the "fork" we were using was a custom off-shoot which I helped a few other guys maintain and develop. 

Unfortunately the other guys involved have moved on to other things, the code we shared has been taken down, and although I wouldn't be starting from scratch (I didn't loose all the changes/patches) the amount of coding required is beyond what I can manage in a reasonable time-frame.

So is this the end of DiggyVerse?

As it was, yes, sadly. That said, you can still continue to play the modpack in single player.

What about the future?

Well, I've hosted one server or another for over 5 years now, and I still enjoy playing the game, but it's changing rapidly. For example...
  • The range of plugins available and their reliability rapidly dropped after the CraftBukkit legal disputes. Things are still a mess, getting a modded server to run both mods and server plugins reliably for 1.7+ is, for the most part, a pretty painful task. That makes it unlikely that DiggyVerse would have had 1.8.x or 1.9.x updates. 
  • The games code changed a lot in 1.8+, many modders have given up in frustration, are taking over a year to adapt code for new releases, or have skipped versions for which they just can't get things working.
  • The community has been split between multiple editions (console editions, Windows 10 edition etc), and the vast array of modpacks now available. As a result player numbers are down for most servers, funding by donation is much more difficult, and many small-medium sized servers which have been running for years are closing.
  • The new Add-Ons feature will gradually add more control and ultimately make a lot of plugins / mods unnecessary. If the plan for them to "unify" the platforms works, making all the editions be able to play together on the same server, and Add-Ons multi-platform then things will change drastically almost overnight.

So what now?

Well, firstly I'll probably release an update for the modpack soon enabling features that were only disabled to make it "server friendly" and making some other tweaks to make it more single player focused.

I'm also seriously considering going back to basics, and opening a minimal plugin vanilla server that can easily be kept up to date as new versions are released. The idea being that more customisation would be made as the Add-Ons feature is expanded. I could also spend more time playing myself as I wouldn't have a huge amount of code to maintain. I'm looking at options for this, and it could be up and running fairly soon so be sure to check back!