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It's been a while since I've posted on here, and I felt like giving everyone an update on what's been happening. I've not got much free time at the moment, nor will I over the next year due to a lot of revision for exams, so I'm currently trying to work out the best way to update the most things without using too much time.
The first update: We're trialling in game adverts. I understand these can be annoying in certain ways, however I believe that our method may be fairly nice. To start with, we have introduced billboard style adverts at the server spawn - that's on the hub server, and on creative. These ads will only work for US residents, however anyone else just sees a server image. If you are in the US, I'd appreciate it if you view an advert by going to spawn - it can make a difference to our funding.
As well as billboard adverts, we also have video adverts. These are available in most countries. Every 20 minutes or so, a message will be displayed in chat to remind players this feature is available. You are then able to run the command /ad . This will give you a link, in which you watch a video advert online. If you watch it, you will be awarded a reward. At the moment, this is vote tokens - there are different probablilities of different awards, so you can currently get between 1 and 10 for watching an advert. However, in future when other gamemodes are released, there may be small probabilities of getting other rewards, such as a sword in survival. The current cooldown between watching ads is every 10 minutes, so watch as many as you like! Note: if no advert is available, you won't get a reward. Sorry.
Advertising aside, the main thing I'm working on at the moment is survival. If you haven't already, please complete our survey at https://surveynuts.com/surveys/take?id=101568&c=726008081NDHL - what certain things are based on is entirely dependant on what the majority of players want, so you still have a change to try and get things to be exactly how you want them.
You may have noticed over the past day the server has either been offline, or not working correctly. We have come to the conclusion our database server is having issues, which shouldn't be happening. We are in contact with our database host about the issues which we believe caused our service to un necesarrily to be put offline temporarily.
The server will be back in function at the latest of tomorrow, however I am pushing our host to resolve the issue now.
Text below this point will be updated to show progress (if any)
I'ts been a while since my last post, and also since we have released something significant, so I have come to the decision to make a post to hopefully get your views on some future updates.
Over the next few weeks we have the intention to release our survival game mode. However, we'd like to hear some feedback from you in order to find out the sorts of things our players would like to see survival have. If you have any ideas, please feel free to reply to this thread and tell us, or tell a staff member in game to tell me (the owner) of the ideas - we will take all reasonable ideas into consideration.
We already have a few thoughts of what we are going to have, and to make it easier to get the views of players, I've created a form that you aren't required to login to access, in which you can express your views on things we are considering, as well as there being some space for you to enter your ideas.
As you may be aware, earlier today Mojang released Minecraft 1.10 support. Over the past 30 minutes or so I've been working hard on all our servers, and am now pleased to announce that 1.10 clients are now able to connect to the server.
As there is no official 1.10 server file yet, we are supporting both 1.9 and 1.10 clients. This however means that new features won't be available on the server yet, however we intend to keep it this way for the time being until a majority of server plugins and client mods have been updated, as I'm aware this can be annoying.
I believe that this is a feature that quite a few people have been requesting for a while now, and we have finally introduced it - we now allow links to be sent in chat.
Our current system is a whitelist of sites allowed - a whitelist is where only certain site URLs can be posted, and all other sites that aren't defined by us can't be posted. Sites such as YouTube and all links to anything we host (such as our website, donation store, and now link shortener) are allowed in chat by default, as we know these are trustworthy sites, and there is extremely little risk of visiting these sites.
Up until now, you've only been able to post links to those 2 sites, which I understand can be quite limiting. In order to make the allowed links on server chat less restricting, whilst I understand the current method isn't the most ideal, we've introduced a link shortener, https://link.theburrow.net, or https://l.mjk.ovh . Links on these domains are allowed to be sent in chat. In order to create a link, visit one of the links above, and then enter the URL you want to be able to send, and click the submit button. If you filled out the information correctly, a link will have been created, and you will be taken to a page containing the short link to the URL you entered, such as https://link.theburrow.net/1 or https://mjk.ovh/1 . Whilst the URL containing the server name may seem more trustworthy, the other link (my personal domain) is a lot shorter, so it should mean you can have a longer message rather than a long link.
When another member clicks on the link, they will be taken to a page which shows them a preview icon of the site, as well as showing them the URL that the link will redirect them to. This is there once again as a safety measure, to ensure that users get the chance to see what they are about to visit, for example so they can see that the page looks like what it should, and isn't a download page.
Whilst we can't ensure that all links shortened on our platform are 100% safe, we feel that this system is a lot more safe than allowing any link to be posted in the server chat, as it at least gives you a chance to see where you are going, as allowing any link in chat could allow masked links.
We are also working on blacklisting sites (stopping use of them) from our link shortener that we deem unsafe or age inapropriate. We will be expanding our collection of safe site links to other video sharing sites such as Vimeo, Twitch, and Beam, as well as other sites such as Imgur.