I'm really excited to announce the official Stratus Network mission statement and a sneak preview of what we’re working on over the next couple of months.
It’s no question that we lead the field when it comes to team-based Minecraft. Our maps, gamemodes, and tournaments are unlike the offerings of any other network. It’s also amazing that we’ve achieved all this and haven’t even explicitly stated why Stratus Network exists. We came together as the remainder of a prior community, but today we define ourselves not by "remains" of an old network, rather by clearly proclaiming what we stand for:
We believe healthy competition builds teamwork among online gamers.
So what does this mean for the future of Stratus Network? Well, change starts by making a quantum leap. That’s why today, we’re announcing our goals so the community can understand the purpose of our mission statement.
It's official, we’re narrowing our sights on competitive Minecraft! All of our decisions going forward are going to point back to this goal. Our core community has always had a competitive spirit, and we want to fully celebrate it. In this post, you’ll learn exactly what we mean by competitive and how you can expect us to get it done!
We want our games to offer the best competitive edge, which is why we are currently moving our plugins to a Minecraft
1.8 server base. We will continue to backwards support to
1.7 and forwards support to
1.13+. We have already made significant progress on this project with our new server fork, SportPaper, which will be open sourced soon!
This is our most requested feature, and we’re finally working on it. We want teams to be able to practice and scrimmage whenever they want. Tournaments every couple of months are great, but we want to make them more frequent and an integral part of our community. We’ll also be reaching out to a group of tournament veterans to help us create the structure for a seasonal league. Obviously, this is a giant project that will require significant development, that’s why we’re starting sooner, rather than later.
What is not measured cannot be improved. We’re completely changing the way we look at statistics. We want to create a leaderboard, that’s actually a leader board of who are the best leaders and teammates. This involves dramatically increasing the number of statistics we calculate in-game so we can create a more detailed summary of your personal match contributions. Both on defense and offense, you’ll be able to see how much you contributed to your team’s victory and how much your global leaderboard ranking changed at the end of every match.
We’re going to be adding more direct integration with Discord and Minecraft. You’ll be able to see what match your friends are playing on Discord and join their team with a simple button. Send a notification to your teammates when you need one more person for a scrimmage. Automatically join a voice channel for public and private matches to collaborate with your fellow teammates. You’ll even be able to login to the website with just your Discord account!
Our legacy website holds great nostalgic value, but we need to redesign it and align it with our new competitive focus. We’re cutting out the stuff we almost never use and emphasizing leaderboards, social profiles, and a whole new play page. For our more technical players, we’re also going to release an API so you can build awesome mods and extensions! Our developer team is already working on this project and this is likely one of the first big changes you’ll get to see!
What got us here, won’t get us there. So we have to do some things differently. In the past, staff members were siloed into their own private Discord channels. Effective immediately, those silos have been broken down and all staff members have been given access a wide variety of channels to promote collaboration. For example, we have opened up our
#devs channel for all staff members to see daily updates in achieving our goals. Moreover, non-developers are now encouraged to use the channel to contribute ideas to our development roadmap.
Until now most staff positions were offered on an informal consensus model, in other words, almost 100% of the staff had to agree. This sets a very high bar for new staff members and staff promotions. As a result, we inadvertently pass up on great talent who hasn’t been given a chance. In the future, we are no longer requiring "absolute consensus" for hiring or promotions. Instead, we will institute a 30-day "check-in" where we consult on their fit in the new position and whether they should continue in that role. This means more opportunities for community members and current staff! For example, when hiring new Junior Moderators, the staff will discuss the candidate on the forums, then conduct a blind-vote to see if they should get a trial. At the same time, we will also review inactive staff members and invite them to step down so more positions become available for community members.
We’re going to be trying a lot of new things, and it’s okay to fail. We’ll look at our outcomes: if the ideas worked, we’ll keep them; if they didn’t work, we’ll fix them or remove them. Either way, we’ll keep moving forward towards our goals. If you’re a community member or staff member who wants to contribute outside their current capacity, just say so! We’re moving fast, so don’t wait.
Every two weeks we plan to give a public update of what we've accomplished so far and what’s next in the pipeline. We’ll also be setting goals for when to finish certain tasks that are internal to the staff. We’re all really excited on the staff team to work on these projects and set our focus on competitive. If you’re at all interested in contributing to the development or business of Stratus, feel free to reach out to me and we’ll chat about it. I look forward to our first status update coming very soon!
Today, we're sad to see Tazz and BrettOgden retire as Administrators. They have been a great part of the staff and we wish them well in their future endeavors. Later this week, we will also be announcing some new Administrators that will be leading new projects within Stratus. So stay tuned for an exciting week of announcements!