As you may or may not be aware, quite a few things have been happening with Stratus behind the scenes over the past few weeks. Due to these events, there are a number of topics we’d like to discuss regarding the future of the network. Please read through the entire post before making any assumptions as these changes could be seen as controversial.
Recently, the staff team held a meeting concerning the plugins that our developers have been working on for the past year, which you may know as the Operation Ares plugins. We have made the decision that we’ll no longer be working on these plugins, and have revised our plan/roadmap in order to improve the server’s current state. This was not an easy decision to make, and an incredibly long discussion with the whole staff team during a meeting has only confirmed that fact.
Instead of going forward with Operation Ares, we have decided that we will adapt an older version of 1.8 PGM to suit our needs. The current PGM version has the same issues it had a year ago when we started this project (you can read these issues here). The version of PGM we’ll adapt doesn’t have these issues, is mostly functional, and is much less complex than current PGM (since it doesn’t use Guice).
We’re sure a lot of you have the same question on your minds right now: why are we making the change now? Well, the issue is actually the same one that had enticed us to move away from PGM in the first place. The plan for the Operation Ares plugin was to replicate PGM’s features in a more simple and accessible fashion. However, we recreated one of the main issues that we tried to resolve - developers were struggling with the plugin’s complexity. On top of that, our two main developers who lead and developed the plugin both recently stepped down, leaving no one who had enough knowledge of the codebase to lead the rest of the team.
A common misconception is that Operation Ares solely the plugin itself - it’s not. Operation Ares is the plan on how to improve Stratus as a whole, and the plugin was the means to an end, not an end to the means. Because of the current circumstances, the plugin in its present state doesn’t reflect the initial goals we set out to accomplish. Having said that, we will still be using the ideas we developed in parallel with the plugin and will implement them into PGM 1.8.
Why did it take so long to make this post?
In the first place, we had to re-think our leadership for the development department. In the end, I've decided that I’ll be coming back as head developer so we can release the update as soon as possible.
Secondly, as some may have heard, we considered the option of switching to CardinalPGM. However, just as we were finalizing those plans, Electroid brought up the 1.8 PGM option after we had previously shut it down. This heavily delayed this announcement as we later realised it was a much better choice. PGM 1.8 has all the benefits of Cardinal (simple, cheap) but without the drawbacks of potentially needing a lot of bug fixes and improvements.
Before moving forward, we want to get out of the way that most of what was promised so far will still come either in the PGM 1.8 update or soon after. This includes:
Conquest overtime and domination timer
Full UHC 2.0 release
A better system for chat infractions
New features (Did someone say custom hotbars?)
There are still plenty of other planned features to come, so be on the lookout for further announcements.
We recently announced plans for the next Mini Event which was going to take place on the Operation Ares plugins in order to make the transition easier. We were initially planning for it to be late November, however, this may change depending on the development progress. The DTC/M tournament is still planned to occur in January and the ECs/tournament advisors will be working hard to improve the meta.
We also want to announce that our next gamemode will be Duels, and we plan on getting it out before the new year. Development has been started on it and testing will begin shortly after we deploy PGM 1.8. Things like Ranked/Unranked matchmaking and what ladders will come with it will be announced later.
Stratus is always looking for new developers to help around the network. Whether you just code for fun, are in school learning about computer science, or are a professional developer looking for some work to do on the side, we’d love for you to join our team! If you are interested in applying, you can do so on our application page.
Lastly, we want to thank everyone who’s stuck with us this past year. I know that it’s been slow the past year, but I have full confidence in this new direction. We’ve made great strides behind the scenes in the past week alone, and the pace hasn’t slowed down. I truly believe this will lead into something great once this is completed!