Hello! I’ve been working hard the past few weeks on new things, and I’m extremely excited to share it all with you! I understand that the past month has been rough, but I assure that everything is moving forward smoothly behind the scenes. We have been keeping everything quiet to avoid false promises, but now we’re ready to announce everything new Stratus will offer.
As you may know, a lot has happened the past few weeks. I want to clarify everything that has happened and what decisions were made.
About two weeks ago, our 1.12 PGM setup was crashing all the time. Only a handful of us could deal with it, and due to our busy schedules, the server was down a lot. Not only that, but we were paying the same amount as full uptime, which meant were essentially throwing money away. We tested the 1.8 server as a standalone, and it performed much better. Everything seemed to be going good, right?
Well, not exactly. While a standalone PGM was saving us money, we focused on that issue too much. We downgraded the box to the point where memory errors were crashing the server constantly. As a result, I’ve recently upgraded the box. I will try my hardest to keep the uptime higher than it ever has been moving forward.
In that process, we turned the old API off as it was far too expensive for what little use it provided. This included shutting down the website, which was the only main use for the API. We have moved to a static one as a temporary placeholder to keep costs down significantly. We took a backup before shutting it down, but nothing is currently using it. As we move forward, I’ll be importing that old data into our new systems.
Another big problem was that the server itself has been lacking a lot of features. Bans were temporary and reset every restart. There were no ranks, so everyone but OPs were equal and all donator perks were worthless. I’ve brought a basic form of ranks and punishments back with the new API. That being said, PGM still has a lot more work to do, and I’ll be ensuring more gets completed in the future.
For all of the trouble that’s been happening, I’m truly sorry. I’ve had to silently fix the issues on this so as to not make any false promises, but I want to show we will be stronger moving forward with many new things to show for it.
Remember my post a few weeks ago where I promised Duels would be our next gamemode?
We’re happy to announce that it has secretly been developed,
and the Season 0 server is live NOW!
Climb the rankings today on
duels.stratus.network using any version 1.7+.
Read on for an explanation of the gamemode.
Fight iron against iron with this classic kit. Build structures to gain an advantage in combat!
After a long game of UHC, use your obtained gear to win the game! Be careful, health doesn’t regenerate in this ladder!
NoDebuff (COMING SOON)
Take advantage of all the health potions you have to gain the long term advantage over your opponent!
Skybridge Sumo (COMING SOON)
Knock your opponent off of the skybridge using any cheap tactic you can come up with!
And more! (...Did I just hear an explosion?)
At Stratus, we take competitive seriously. To keep true to our values, I wanted to build a unique system that is fun to play and competitive at the same time. That is why I came up with the Ranking System. Everybody starts at the minimum Rating of 0 and progresses forward through the ranks as they play and get better.
In the Rating System, you win more Rating for beating people who have a higher Rating than you, and less Rating for beating people who have a lower Rating than you. The opposite applies to losing, where the underdog gets more Rating for winning. The formulas we run are heavily based on ELO. In our system, if you win against a person who is the same Rating as you, you gain about 30 Rating. That amount increases up to 2x as much depending on how much higher their Rating is compared to yours.
Your Global Rank is a separate unit of measurement that showcases those who can master all ladders. It is calculated by taking the average of your Ratings across all ladders, so push everything to increase your Global Rank!
Everybody will have unlimited ranked matches! You can also queue up for ranked matches as soon as you join the server. Since the Rating gap between high and low ranked players is larger here, lower ranked players will have little effect on high. More information on that is explained below.
One system we have incorporated into our Rating formulas is a Fair Start algorithm. Everybody starts at 0 Rating, and cannot drop below that number. This system also implements what I call a Rating Threshold. You don’t lose as much Rating until you reach this Threshold, which is currently at the Redstone Rank (1000). The amount you lose gradually increases until you reach this Threshold. The Fair Start formulas are designed to benefit both new players and old players trying out new ladders, while still keeping the competitive aspect at the top. Once you climb into the higher ranks, the effects from the Fair Start system will not affect you at all. This also makes it hard to farm Rating off of lower accounts as the gap between the best and the worst will be larger thanks to this system.
For our hardcore players, the ultimate goal will be our Prestige Ranks. Once you reach Obsidian Rank (2000), you can earn Prestige Levels for every 100 extra Rating you earn. For example, you start with Obsidian I at 2000, Obsidian II unlocks at 2100, Obsidian III unlocks at 2200, and so on. How far can you push the limits?
Matchmaking is an important part of any competitive game where you queue, so I want to be completely open about our system. When you queue up, there is a range of Ratings that you can play against. The longer you wait, the larger this range gets. Once somebody gets in your range, you will fight. Since this is our first season, the ranges are very large such that nobody will wait long if somebody else is in the queue. I will see how well it does this season and will adjust it accordingly.
To have fun things for you to unlock, we will be adding more cosmetics as time goes on. At launch, the Stratus Rank Colored Leggings will be unlockable. This cosmic is applied automatically when you play matches with the Stratus kit. It is a dyed armor piece that reflects your current Stratus Ladder Rank. While it may look weak, it is actually as strong as iron and has no effect on gameplay. The plan is to add more cosmetics in the future, and I want to make some hard to unlock. Hint: Pay attention to the leaderboards! ;)
Duel other players by using
/duel <player> <ladder>.
View leaderboards for any ladder using
You can also view Global Rank leaderboards by using
View both your status and your opponent’s status after a match with post-match inventories. They are clickable in chat after each ranked match.
While a lot has changed with Duels, PGM has not been forgotten. The API I have been developing for Duels was also designed with PGM in mind. We now have working punishments and ranks back on the server. I’ve imported most premium purchases, but I still need to import recent ones — they will be taken care of soon. New donations will also be manual for the time being, so bear with us as we move to this new system. The server itself has been experiencing a lot of problems recently, but I’ve wrote another section further down to explain more about our past situation and current status.
Now that PGM 1.8 is open source https://github.com/Electroid/PGM, there’s no better time to start contributing than right now. I’ve been hard at work getting Duels ready, but once it’s stable we will be putting more work into PGM again.
We all miss the old website, but it was unreasonably expensive and tied very closely to the old plugin. So today I'm excited to announce the release of a new website!
Since we wanted to replace the static website as quickly as possible, this website is still missing a ton of features, but we’ll be working on gradually re-adding them.
If you have any ideas, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to message Half#6583 on discord.
Thankfully the server is now more stable. There is still a lot to be done, but now we have something to show to move forward.
While PGM may run fine now, it still needs a lot of improvement to catch up to its old state. Rotations are a huge priority at the moment, as the maps are too random now. Many ranks are incomplete at this time, but their features will get added back one by one. Private servers are a high priority, but will take some time until they’re back. Everyone who had one during the downtime will be compensated when this new system is in place. Punishments are also on a new data set, and I will bring back the old data once I get it converted to the new format. I also want to keep expanding PGM as a plugin, and will continue to do so once we get it back to its former glory.
Now that Duels is out of the pipework, we will be gathering input on how to improve it for future seasons. New ladders will come soon, and are almost ready. They will likely be available as unranked ladders later in the current season. I want to come up with innovative ladders to keep everything fresh for future seasons. I’ll be constantly developing new features for the current season, so stay tuned for more.
Thank you for sticking with us the past few weeks. I hope to keep everything strong going forward, and will try my hardest to do so. I hope you enjoy everything in the upcoming weeks!