I usually make these announcements in discord, but we've just made a large series of updates to the website. So, I figured why not try out an official forum announcement. BTW, thank you, Funiverse, for helping me with the back-end and forums (we just spent like 6 Hours doing this). If you haven't already noticed, the website has tons of new updates and features. We will probably do more yet, but for now, we've reached a good checkpoint. For those who don't know, you can now make an account on the website. It will allow more professional management of tickets and suggestions through the forums.
Minecraft has officially made it to 1.17, and we are making our way to it. First, we are switching our server host to Java 16 (currently on 11), which both Paper and Microsoft require. Spigot has released their 1.17 candidate, and Paper will soon have launched theirs. We are still waiting for a few more plugin updates, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
To help better our community outreach, we are also expanding to Guilded. It is a Discord-like application that gives that give expanded features. An example of this would be to-do lists, calendars, file drives, primarily used by staff. However, players will see/hear better filters, greetings, and upgraded voice quality. Feel free to check out this sweet update here https://www.guilded.gg/BAIT
Finally, the time has come to re-evaluate the needs of the server. While I was hoping to have a big relaunch for 1.17, the development needs of each gamemode have outpaced our volunteer staff, with Briguy out for the summer and Funiverse's willingness to step away from SMP for now. We have decided this is an opportunity for us to condense down to Towny, Creative, and Skyblock. Since both Factions & SMP are similar to Towny anyway, we don't think it will be too big of an issue for now. It will help combine our player base especially as we start to advertise. And yes, Dynmap and Worldmap are coming to Towny. We just wanted to give you our best work, not something "half-baked," so we are refocusing our efforts elsewhere for the time being. I will spin them down in the coming days.
I hope you've enjoyed my extended update and look forward to the roadmap ahead.