Happy New Years, Survivors! Off the heels of the MineZ Wonderland event and the end of the crazy year that 2020 was, let's take a few moments to reflect on where we started this year and where we are now. After that we can jump into what's coming with this update! 2020 In Review 2020 proved to be one of the most influential years for MineZ as a whole. After the slump we found ourselves in getting MineZ updated to a 1.12.2 code base and finally releasing the long-awaited MineZ: Origins update, we promised everyone we could continue releasing routine updates to MineZ. Below is a list of every major update thread we released throughout 2020: MineZ's 1.12.2 PTR Release MineZ: Our Story MineZ: Origins - Official Trailer MineZ: Origins - Changelog & Release Thread MineZ Map & Zerbia Challenge MineZ: Books, Dungeons and Towns, Oh My! MineZ: Loot Rebalance PTR MineZ: Loot Overhaul Update MineZ: Future Sight MineZ: The Adventurer's Update MineZ: First Steps MineZ: Spookfest 2020 MineZ: Scratching The Surface MineZ: Wonderland 2020 MineZ: Military Loot Overhaul PTR Fifteen major update threads! It's easy to see that this was the biggest year for content in MineZ. Obviously we won't go into great detail on what each release included, you're welcome to explore the past threads at your leisure. We feel it's important for everyone to reflect and see that the only way for MineZ is forward. Development Changes The latter half of 2020 saw DocCodeSharp leave the team. In his leave, several new developers stepped up to the plate and began to work on MineZ. After the Adventurer's Update we had to make some changes and learn the backend of MineZ. Moving forward was not going to be an easy task, but with a team of five developers it started to become easier, and the team learned how to work together. halowars91, ShadowLAX, InstantLightning, JACOBSMILE, and Marine_PvP. All of them stepped up to the challenge and continued developing new features, fixing bugs, and bringing a fresh view into the core of MineZ. Learning to Innovate MineZ is both a blessing and a curse for the same reason. Simply put, MineZ is an old game. When you look at a lot of older Minecraft gamemodes, not a lot can say that they've been around for 8 years and still see active development to this day. We worked tirelessly on the MineZ Origins release and wanted to continue building on that foundation. However, as a team we stepped back and determined that a lack of innovation would cause MineZ to stagnate. With this in mind we pivoted in a different direction. Our goal was simple in concept yet difficult in execution: to bring MineZ into the present day. Back when MineZ was released in 2012 it fit a niche that had not yet been filled in Minecraft. Back when Minecraft was simpler the thought of stitching servers together and effectively playing with hundreds of players at a time was unheard of. Now in this day and age we had to face the facts that MineZ was not that same game anymore - yet that's not necessarily a bad thing. It left a lot of room for us to grow and bring some much needed features into the spotlight. We always look at the addition of bags in MineZ as a prime example of this innovation: the ability to expand your inventory sounded simple on paper, yet it opened up a whole new avenue of possibilities for MineZ - And it's only going to get better from here. Changes for 2021 Internally we have been working to solidify our development and streamline MineZ's workflow. One of our biggest change was to direct the focus of everyone on the team towards a theme for each month. While we will continue regular patches throughout each month, we want to ask ourselves what we want to see out of a larger content update for each month. Our plan is simple: We'll meet regularly and discuss current and future plans for MineZ's development and game design. You may have already noticed this thread is being written under a new forum account specifically for the MineZ Team. This is for a good reason. MineZ is a now more than ever a team effort. Everyone has a place on this team whether they're a builder, admin, or developer. Our plan is to leave no stone unturned when producing content for the game. If it's not fun or possibly damages the vision of MineZ going forward, there are plans in place to discuss and deliberate - both internally and externally - on these ideas and goals. There's been a lot of reminiscing and foundational talks so far in this thread, and you're probably ready to see what we've got in store for this update! This New Year marks a fresh start on new and revised content in MineZ, and this update is the first of many more to come. Legendary Reworks Every month, our plan is to rework a few legendary items and gradually update every single one to be not only more effective, but also more fun to use. Our goal is to gradually move away from "random chance" items in favor of a style more catered to using their effects when the time is right through triggered and passive abilities. With this in mind we also want to introduce more utility legendary items; this update includes an example of a utility legendary rework alongside a combat-oriented legendary. This update includes reworks to the Phantom Blade and Gamble. (View the MineZ Changelog for specifics regarding these reworks) You can expect these kind of reworks for different legendary items every month! While some may retain their original theme or style you can also look forward to more unique changes that offer new gameplay experiences to all players. Military Loot Overhaul We've run a Military Loot PTR that tested some proposed changes to MineZ's military loot. The community voiced their concerns on where gearing up felt underwhelming or unfun, we've taken a careful note of this and have worked to tune military loot to feel more rewarding. Generally speaking, gearing up should be a little faster than before and you should be able to find late-game gear in more locations. We understand that this is an ongoing battle as it will continue to be something the team refines and adjusts, so feel free to share your feedback! What's Old is New Again The banner image of this thread depicts an overgrown forest - possibly a jungle? And there's some sort of Shelter in the Trees... Yes, that's right! We've brought back a location that has been missing since the Origins release - Treetop Shelter! Fully reimaged and built by EnderMCx, this location is a beautiful stop on your way to Agni Ignis; we're certain this will be an attractive stop during your trek through the jungle. "Where's Waddles?" Wrap-up Our favorite penguin Waddles has left us once again, but on his way out he left gifts for those who found all of his hiding spots! The Wonderland 2020 thread promised to give rewards for this event just after December 25th, though we ran into a couple snags that delayed that slightly. Thankfully these have been resolved, and the winners will be receiving their prizes soon! wmn will be reaching out to the winners with details on how to claim your special prizes. Thanks to everyone who participated! Ongoing Projects Bank Progress As a follow-up to bags in MineZ we've been working on a banking system in the background to help store all of your favorite goodies in MineZ. We still can't share an exact timeline for release, but rest assured, it's getting close. We suggest keeping an eye on the Shotbow Discord and right here on the forums for when more information is released. It may come sooner than you expect... Instance Upgrades Another goal is to branch dungeon instances off of the main game servers. This carries many benefits, but the main one is for better overall performance. Minecraft has a hard time running multiple worlds with lots of entities and redstone at a given time. In our current framework, dungeon worlds all load on the original requesting MineZ server, and as a result performance takes a hit. Spreading this load out gives us immediate performance benefits in addition to lots of future flexibility. We've been running a PTR for this upgrade project and are beginning to feel more and more confident on the new system each day. Stay tuned for more information! Cleaning House There's been a lot on our backlog of projects for a while now. With that in mind we are going to be spending the remainder of January working to gradually churn out quality of life improvements, bug fixes, and requested features that have been collecting dust for too long. Conclusion 2020 was a crazy year. We don't like to bring down these update threads, but we hope everyone stayed healthy during the global pandemic. It's been tough for some, but we hope that everything slowly turns for the better. As for MineZ, we are continuing work as always, and we have a lot of exciting things to look forward to! Once again, Happy New Year, and we'll see you in our next update thread. Thanks for flying Shotbow!