What to expect in 2018 If you have not read it first, click here to read our post on our roundup of what has happened in 2017. So, onto what the main things we are currently planning for 2018 are. This year we have plans for a huge revamp of the entire server. This is including the long-awaited Epic Survival world as well as a whole new exclusive minigame! We shall go into this in more detail later in this post. Behind the scenes Throughout last year since I became a part of the team, I have been working on ways to expand the network of servers and features we have, while keeping things optimised and easy to use for the end users. For the most part, I have been able to do this, however over time, many new systems and features have been added on top of previous systems before my time which has made management and optimisation more and more challenging. This year, myself and MagicSec are working behind the scenes to improve performance and login times dramatically on the Hub, as well as all the other servers. For example, a new plugin to log play time has been developed so no longer should we see errors in the time you have played or any more issues with players randomly getting de-ranked. Tools to help assist moderators with their jobs are also being improved meaning any player issues can be resolved in a quick and timely fashion. There are quite a few more boring things like methods to further increase security, however, all in all, these changes will allow a much easy service to manage as well as one that is easy to run for the end user who wishes to play on it. We as a community also know that replayability is key to a successful server. It also needs to have its unique selling point which separates us from others. With the introduction of the "Better Together" update between Windows 10, mobile and consoles, no more than ever do we wish to entice new and old members of the community to come play and stay with us. This is where we want to let you know what we want to do this year. Epic Survival Let's talk about something fun! Something a lot of people are still waiting for patiently. We've teased it for a long time now, and while we have been working on things for it behind the scenes, the main drawback as to why it hasn't been released yet is due to issues with the world generation plugin we wish to use. We were experiencing issues with certain monuments not spawning or being cut off at the edge of chunks, land, biomes being cut off rough, and a major issue where a 'vain of ores' spawned infinitely across the map at diamond level. In short, it wasn't pretty, and definitely not up to the level of standard of quality that so many of you have come to expect from The Divine. The next major release of the plugin is meant to fix all of this and is hopefully going to be released 'very soon'. We have lots of other features we wish to integrate into it that are almost ready to go. Server Features This year we want to focus on EpicSurvival (once available) and Minigames. With that being said, we want to introduce and refine some features that we already have and feel have been lacking what we actually wanted from them. Hopefully, this can give you an idea of some of the things we want to introduce. The economy system is to be reworked to be one unified system instead of having coins and galleons separated. In doing this we want the currency to be usable on all available servers. This will allow us to finally bring a much-wanted feature of being able to use our currency for something useful and bring in new features to help with player progression, replayability and create new challenges. For the most part, these new features we wish to introduce onto EpicSurvival exclusively. We want to keep the current Survival world as it is (Classic Survival) and once Epic is available, make this the default survival world. This includes player shops, ability to sell your fish, daily quests and challenges, as well as modifications to the vanilla mechanics to make things more challenging and hopefully less of a grind. We are going to be re-evaluating the current systems where coins can be gained and spent to make current server features more enticing to use. We would love some feedback on this on how else people could use their economy. We are currently going through some other ideas (for example player bounties) and evaluating the pros and cons of finding a plugin/system that already exists or developing one from the ground up (which of course would take time). We also have plans to include custom mobs and bosses into the Epic world, however, this system is still early days and we can give you more updates and teasers on this in the future as we experiment and refine things further. As mentioned though, we will want to keep the current Survival world basically as it is at the moment for players that are happy with the current experience and wish to continue playing on there as it is. Minigames We have been testing a new Skywars plugin for our minigames server which includes new kits and game features! Our Diviner build team has also been working super hard on 5 brand new maps! Spoiler We have also been testing our own minigames plugin for Bedwars! Again our awesome Diviner build team have created 3 maps so far for the game and have been testing it for the last few months and making tweaks to make it how we feel is balanced. Spoiler Now as for that exclusive minigame, it is currently still in early testing and still needs a fair bit of work to iron out the current bugs and to allow it to integrate into our current systems however it is an exciting game mode that I will go into further detail in the future. We already have 2 maps created for it. This is something that once we feel it has gotten to a stage of development we feel is adequate we will open up beta testing to certain members of the community. Service costs Now we need to get to the boring, but a very important part. Let's talk about money. Currently, as it stands we are barely bringing in enough donations each month to run all our services without putting our own money in to keep the lights on. Obviously going forward this needs to change. We are going to be changing the way we accept donations and the current ranks we give out for the Teamspeak, Minecraft server and any other services that we may use in the future. Please note nothing has been truly finalized yet and is still subject to change. We are going to be moving the server ranks over to only be available on a monthly subscription basis and remove the option to buy the rank permanently, this includes the fast track to Wizard or Mage. Please note, this will not affect historical purchases and these will remain active where applicable (for example, if you have purchased Archmage, you will still stay as Archmage rank but you can still purchase the subscription if you wish to take advantage of any extra perks that may also be added and come available for the rank in the future). We also want to introduce the feature to purchase loot crates onto the applicable servers where a player can buy a tier crate of varying in-game value of items that are then given to them and all the online players of these applicable servers. We are still experimenting with some other ideas however we would love to have some feedback and suggestions on how you think we can help improve our income to keep the servers funded. Ultimately we love this community, the people that stay and chat with us, and ultimately provide us all with fun times and memories and I'm sure I can speak for many of us when I say The Divine now holds a special place in our hearts from these experiences we've had together and the friends we've made. To round up For the most part, the majority of what has been discussed here will be introduced in one big update, a Divine MC 2.0 launch so to speak. Currently however, until the plugin we wish to use to generate the Epic terrain gets properly fixed we cannot give a solid ETA on when it will be released. Once this does happen and we are happy with the progress we are making on what we want to introduce for Epic we can begin to start teasing its release. There will also be certain features that help with systems behind the scenes that I will want to integrate into the server overtime that ultimately does not affect the gameplay experience but will be the building blocks that gets the big releases ready to go. When these are integrated I will likely be asking for the community's feedback to report any bugs so that they can be patched as soon as possible. Well! That was a big post! Tell us below what you are excited about seeing and of course please provide us with any other feedback or suggestions, good or bad, for The Divine. Ultimately we want to provide an experience that everyone can enjoy and is a part of!