We’re currently fixing the code to be fully compatible with 1.8, like Luke explained perfectly the main change between 1.7 and 1.8 is the UUID system which allows name changes. This has a major impact on our custom code but also used plugins. Our server network is using Bungeecord which currently only allows 1.7 and 1.8 server to be added, if we want to add 1.9 servers we wouldn’t be able to add them to the existing network. This means we would have to update all the servers to 1.9 at once.
Minecraft server aren’t going down in popularity, player just move to bigger networks instead of smaller community servers. The main reason for this is the DMCA take-down of the Bukkit project which ruined a large part of the server community. Spigot a partial replacement for this community has an awesome amount of developers, but a large part of this group of developers decided to make their plugins/services premium. Large server networks who ask their players for money are the ones that profit from this situation. They make a crap ton of money which they use to pay these premium developers. Smaller server which fund everything themselves have to come up with way to pay bills, keep their community from dying, develop/update plugins. This gets to another reason why larger networks are growing and smaller ones die, which is the EULA enforcement. Letsbuild used to have a service where people could buy their own mini-server which would be part of the world server, this server currently isn’t available, it’s currently unknown if this will be continued due to the EULA enforcement. Other ideas for some way to make money to sustain the server are currently in consideration but are likely to be added after we have the new framework.
I would like to point out there is a larger Letsbuild community than minecraft, we have a teamspeak server with 16 people online while I’m writing this.
To respond to @chickenbuttsalad: Welcome back! I’ll gladly add a tutorial to downgrade your Minecraft version (I will do so in the next few days), although this has never been so easy as it is today. A few years ago people had to backup their Minecraft folder to switch between version instead of using the current launcher, back then we had 20+ who had no problem doing that. Usually we add protocol support to new version so their clients can still join the server without downgrading, 1.9 however has so many changes to the way players interact with the server, that adding protocol support for 1.7-1.9 is really hard.
Once we’re fully 1.8 compatible, I’ll personally look into protocol support for 1.8 and 1.9 till we update to 1.9! As for Letsbuild getting less popular, I’m currently working on some unique features and doing a rework of the games server. As people, who play on the games server regularly, might have notices there is a massive sign asking for YOUR suggestions. As expected a lot of these suggestions are games you find on large server networks, these games are not public plugins which makes it impossible to add them, we can however find or code similar games which make our server a little more unique 🙂 . I’m not stopping players from telling their friends about our server, I would actually encourage them to do so (Please don’t post our servers on free-op websites as this happened in the past). We are not advertising on other websites and our community currently relies on face-to-face advertisement by our current players. If we “bump” our server on PlanetMinecraft at least 3 staff members have to be online for at least 2 days to mute/kick/ban players who spam, advertise or break other rules, people searching on these website seem to be looking for easy targets for their tricks (which Letsbuild isn’t 😉 ), that’s why we postpone “bumps” on PlanetMinecraft till after the server maintenance.
Current server status 06/08/2016:
Bungeecord with protocol support for 1.7.2 - 1.8.9
Games 1.7.10 (Update to 1.8 in progress)
Towny 1.7.10 (Update planned - After PvP maintenance)
Plot 1.7.10 (Will be decommissioned)
PvP 1.8 (Closed for maintenance)
Kaj 1.8 (Private build server)
Hub 1.7.10 (Fallback server - Will be the last server to update to 1.8)
World 1.7.10 (Semi-public server - Plans unknown)
I would like to end this massive post by pointing out that our server is active and will remain so till the Letsbuild Minecraft server is no longer being used. Copying our systems (chat, ranks, custom code, plugins, …) and worlds/maps is not allowed unless given permission by the owner Luke (can be revoked at any time), people ignoring this will be dealt with accordingly.