Türkçe, Español Letter from the Lead - Mistri Wow. That's all I can say when I think about 2020, this rollercoaster of a year. While the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the globe, we have all been stuck in-doors trying to live some semblance of a normal life. This year has been anything but normal, and I speak for all of us on the Shotbow staff team when I say: our thoughts are with everyone who has had hardship and troubles throughout these trying times. That being said, this year has been a year unlike any other for Shotbow. So many incredibly large changes have taken place, many of which are paving the road to a brighter future for you. Let's take a look at a few areas of growth last year, and how we'll continue on that trend in 2021. The Network Here are some very concise bullet points that summarize some very large and significant updates: Shotbow upgraded to a base 1.12.2 version lazertester rejoined the team as Lead Developer We hit a player peak of 805, the largest playercount we've seen in years We recruited 12 new Jr. Developers We started new Marketing efforts, and recruited a new Marketing team to oversee it We transitioned the entire Shotbow infrastructure to Kubernetes Rank upgrades are now automated The friends and parties system is back! If that isn't enough for you, here are some things we have planned for 2021: Continued work on a new website An overhaul of Shotbow XP, which will allow us to return to our old ways of selling XP, voting for XP, and per-person multipliers Continued efforts from the Marketing team to collaborate with Content Creators for promotion of Shotbow Release of new games, and continued updates of existing ones Increased transparency and player-staff interactions Annihilation This year saw Annihilation move from a 1.9 base to a 1.12 base as part of our server-wide version upgrade. This not only allowed for current version joining, but also prepared Annihilation for faster and cleaner updates. We just released our 9th Annihilation Update for the year, making 2020 the year with the most Annihilation Updates ever! A new "Phase 3 Premium Joining Privilege" was added as part of our latest update, Fresh Lithium. Active-premium members are now able to join games for an extra phase. This includes Subscribers! We recently did a full rework of our Combat System and Knockback is now much improved as a result of these changes. Thanks to JTGangsterLP6 and DJ_Pedro, we've hosted a total of 36 Clan Wars since the end of March 2020, most of which were live streamed! Look out for the Premieres of the outstanding matches soon. If you don't want to miss out on any of the action, you should consider subscribing to the official Shotbow YouTube. Some things that we're planning for 2021 include: A new Class Progression System whereby classes are unlocked through achievements instead of XP. New leaderboards with monthly achievements displayed in the Annihilation Lobby. A new base code re-write, which will allow for ease of implementation of more creative & fun future content. A new Annihilation events environment that allows for customizable games. This will facilitate Event Tokens and potentially an Annihilation League. An interactive tutorial that will give new players a jump-start into the world of Annihilation and its unique game mechanics. More content and class updates potentially utilizing some of the new 1.12 features. While this list is subject to change, we have a lot planned for 2021 that we believe you'll all really enjoy. Keep on the lookout for more info coming soon. MineZ This past year, MineZ has seen a substantial amount of changes, updates, and brand new content. It introduced the long-awaited Origins update, which rebuilt countless locations on the map, introduced new and revised lore, and so much more! However, it was also a year of learning for us on the MineZ Team. While we strive to put out content on a regular basis, we also had to sit down on multiple occasions and reevaluate our priorities in the game. We understood flaws in MineZ's lack of innovation, as well as old archaic design choices that have persisted since MineZ's initial inception in 2012. Furthermore, we also had to learn to work as a restructured development team, now with five active developers. It would be a lie to say we were able to do it gracefully and without much notice to the community as a whole. We are continuing to learn how to work as a team moving into 2021, we think 2021 can shape up to be even better than 2020 for MineZ. While we may not have as massive as an update like Origins in our scope, MineZ benefits from not needing constant large-scale updates to persist. We believe it can see growth again in the face of innovation and new ideas. We have a lot of room to innovate once we get the ball rolling once more. The holiday events were memorable and engaging, but we want to pivot back into new things for the core game now. Thank you, everyone, for your continued support through this tough year. Look out for MineZ's New Year thread, where we'll go into a bit more detail on what we've learned through 2020, and where we plan to go for 2021. SMASH This year for SMASH has seen amazing growth, notably in recent weeks the playercount has been hitting 40-50 on the weekends consistently, and 20-30 during normal weekdays. This year we also tried a few new things with the community, the biggest of them being the SMASH Tournament. While scheduling was very difficult as many players come from different parts of the globe, we received a lot of great feedback from participants and spectators on how we could improve for future tournaments! 2020 has been slow in terms of content for SMASH, thankfully lazertester picked up the game for a bit, and gave us a much needed tuneup to 1.12 base, with some new items and features while he was at it. The team mode, quick menu, and 3 new items all got introduced in the Left Field Update. With the not-so-recent re-addition of Red_Epicness to the team in September, we have been planning and making updates to the gamemode behind the scenes, and are hoping 2021 can bring lots of new things to the game. Here's what everyone can expect in the coming year: an updated Arena system, that will allow us to easily add more maps. With this, we will add in the winners of the map contest. The new Arena System will also mean a few map tweaks, so item spawns and may layout may slightly differ. We've got a slew of new cosmetics planned, including, but not limited to; more KO sounds + particles, KO messages in chat, and "Battle Music" which will use the same Radio system we currently use in the festive lobby. We are also planning for a new gamemode within the lobby that will basically be a free-for-all game that never ends. The SMASH Team is really grateful to everyone who's been showing their love and support for the gamemode, and love hearing your feedback on new things we try out. We hope that all these back end fixes and changes will allow us to do some really fun things in the future. Here's to 2021! Miner Problems Being our first official game release in years, Miner Problems is incredibly fun and entertaining, and super unique in the realm of Minecraft Murder Mystery gamemodes. We hope to continue to collaborate with content creators to get the word out about Shotbow and Miner Problems as a whole. If you haven't already tried it out, grab some friends and hop on! When in Rogue Throughout 2020, we hosted a few Alpha Preview Weekends for When in Rogue. Although work was stalled for a little while, 2021 will bring new mobs, better dungeons, new dungeon types, boss battles, and much more. We hope to release When in Rogue once the game is ready and incredibly polished. For now, it remains in an Alpha stage. You'll be seeing more Alpha Preview Weekends in the near future, so be sure to keep on the lookout for those on the forums. Warband Warband had its first public Alpha in December of 2020, and the team cannot thank players enough for getting involved in this new endeavor and providing many valuable suggestions, bug reports, and reviews. Coming into 2021, we will be kicking into high-gear with Talents, a skill-tree system and Feats, an achievement system along with custom-generated points of interest placed throughout the domain. Warband's official release is expected within the first quarter of 2021, and we can't wait to see how you all will contribute to making the game reach its full potential. Mine Theft Auto Mine Theft Auto was temporarily closed for maintenance, and the team is working hard to bring it back. While we have no promises for a release date yet, we're hoping it'll be back in 2021. We've also onboarded a few new Jr. Developers to help out with the game, so new developments are picking up pace. Closing Words As you can see, it has been quite the year. Many of the changes we made have paved the path to faster, more efficient, and more effective updates in 2021. We hope you are enjoying Shotbow, and as always, we are open to feedback and suggestions if you have any. Happy NEWYEAR21 - thanks for flying Shotbow! Updates Network Updates We introduced 3 new tunnels, which should slightly improve routing to our US servers. Use these new IPs to connect to the following regions: Europe: eu.shotbow.net Japan: jp.shotbow.net Australia: au.shotbow.net Annihilation Updates Annihilation introduced a new update, Fresh Lithium, which includes some awesome new changes, including Phase 3 joining for premiums, tons of class changes, new knockback adjustments, bug fixes, and much more! MineZ Updates MineZ underwent a large millitary loot overhaul, along with a PTR. You can read all about it here. Miner Problems Updates Miner Problems, our brand-new Mineraft Murder Mystery gamemode was released. You can watch the trailer here. In addition, check out JOKO playing the game here. Statistics SMASH Rankings The winter season has just ended, and the results are in! 1st - BigGiantKing - 75,000 XP 2nd - Cometcat13 - 50,000 XP 3rd (tie) - Acstes - 25,000 XP 3rd (tie) - flexing74 - 25,000 XP Network in General Staff updates: Ktrompfl joined the development team as a Jr. Developer for MTA M4bi joined the Ban Appeal Counselor team pigplayer joined the Annihilation Mini Admin team Agypagy, Xhat, and _SealClubber joined the MineZ Mini Admin team Other statistics: A total of 85,377,133 XP was earned by players this month There were 2,071 players banned in the last month This month we achieved a peak playercount of 343 on December 30 111 ban appeals were resolved in the last month Closing Words Thanks for tuning in this month. As always, I'm your host, Mistri - catch you next month, and thanks for flying Shotbow!