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Updates

Happy New Year - 2024

Happy New Year and welcome to 2024!


What a year 2023 was for us! We rewrote (most) of our network, created Vote To Donate to allow players to convert their Vote Points to a real-life charity donation, updated our referrals system to make it easier for others to refer players, made Colour Shuffle better and more accessible for Bedrock players, redesigned our website and refreshed our branding approach, unveiled Party Games, gave Parkour a mega update, gave players a new and faster way to play Punch, made “ZAP” better for mobile players while giving it a new way to play, updated SkyWars and TheBridge to simplify our modes, completely revamped our Duels game and so much more!!


Over 2023, we’ve also welcomed so many new players and we’re extremely grateful to everyone who continues to stick around and help us grow. We always strive to be a one-of-a-kind community server, packed with an ever-growing library of mini-games for everyone, all in a safe, friendly and welcoming environment.


I would like to take a moment to thank everyone on the staff team who does an incredible job of keeping the server as rule-breaker-free as possible. I would also like to thank everyone who votes, records, streams, purchases anything from our stores or even continues to share our server with others - we’re more than thankful and can’t express it enough in words.


Let’s talk about 2024, shall we? 👀


Making and Keeping the Community Safe

Over 2023, we’ve developed so many extra filters and systems to monitor and block unwanted messages, skins and names to significantly reduce the amount of human moderation, human intervention and player reports. The results of those developments have been a HIT! We blocked thousands of messages containing inappropriate language, swearing, toxic communications and advertising last year through these systems, which has greatly reduced the number of punishments. The vast majority of new players who receive a “Message Blocked” notice never break another chat-related rule, which is a win for us and a win for them.


Throughout 2024, these systems will develop even further to keep SkyBlade the safe, friendly and welcoming place that you all come back to.



Phasing out “Legacy Games” and Creating “Hibernated Games”

After our 1.19 rewrite, we created a separate menu for games that we didn’t get around to updating. We left these as they were mostly unpopular or took up too many resources. However, we didn’t want to remove those games completely, so we built a way for players to still find and play them.


Here’s the thing, we love mini-games. But the more mini-games you have, the more resources they start to eat up. When resources get tight, things start to underperform, crash, break - you name it!


In the background, we’ve been slowly working on “hibernation” technology, which simply means that servers will be closed until a player requests to play them. This isn’t bad by any means, it actually allows us to bring you many new games and experiments with far little impact on our resource limits.


Games under this system will be referred to as a “Hibernated Game”. They will continue to get full support from us (new maps and content) but the only difference will be that they’ll take a few seconds longer to connect to.



Leaderboards

We’ve had feedback over the years that Leaderboards shouldn’t be reset as often. With this in mind, we’re trialling the leaderboards as long-term, and not reset them monthly. We already don’t reset our Duels leaderboards, so now we’re going to make the change to our main Leaderboards as well.


We hope this brings some extra competition for the whole community as you can now compete to be in the overall charts of your favourite game long-term.



Vote to Donate

Last year we introduced Vote to Donate, which allowed players to donate their Vote Points to the currently-supported charity. Throughout 2023, we raised and donated a total of £30.10 across the charities CARE, Cancer Research UK, Stonewall and Mind. We wanted to create a way where players could support us and contribute to a real-life cause at the same time. A win-win, if you ask me.


Vote to Donate continues this year and will support another four charities in 2024. First up, between January 1st and March 31st, we’re raising Vote Point donations for the RSPCA. Their mission is to ensure animals have a good life by rescuing and caring for those in need, advocating on behalf of all animals and inspiring everyone to treat them with compassion and respect.



Parkour

Our Parkour gamemode is a place to play some unique and custom courses, built entirely by our community. From today, we’ve lifted the vote requirement to join Parkour, allowing it to be more accessible. Only the Course Creator will be restricted to Voters and SkyBlade+ members, but anyone will be able to pick and play a course, and even create a 1v1 Race.



New Games??

Yes! 2024 will, of course, have new games! In fact, the first one of the year arrives next week! It’s a game we originally tested back in 2022 and it saw a great deal of interest, so we’ve polished it up and are releasing it as a full-time game. More details will follow shortly, including all the ins and outs of what we’ve done to make this game better.


2024 will see other games as well, but it’s a little early to say anything about those just yet.


 

That is all for the moment!

Thank you once again to everyone who supports us.
Happy New Year to you all and let’s make 2024 a good one! 🎉

Ryan


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