Hello all you wonderful Sandlotians! I would like to wish each of you a happy 2019 full of friendships, family, and Minecraft fun! This past year has been a very difficult one for me on a personal level, and I have not been able to give The Sandlot all the love and support that it needs. It doesn't help that Minecraft itself has changed dramatically and the server software and plugins we use have been met with lots of turmoil and uncertainty. (That's a fancy way of saying that a lot of the stuff we use has been abandoned or is taking forever to update.) While we do have several new whitelist requests every week, I am also not blind to the fact that our server population is a lot smaller than it has been in the past. I am of the opinion that having fewer servers with more people is better for the community than lots of servers with few or no people in them. To be able to give you a fun experience on The Sandlot, I am therefore going to be making a few changes that are difficult but necessary, not only to make our community stronger, but also to make administration easier for me and to provide better experiences on the servers that we do have. Our plans and goals for 2019 are as follows. Major Updates Our website will be revamped with a newer version of our forum software. The version we are using now is no longer maintained and only receiving security patches. Everything should be relatively unchanged with the update, but a few of the plugins we use have been abandoned and do not work with the newest forum software version. I will provide more details at a later date and do not have a date in mind yet for the switch over (it's a monumental task!). BuildBattle will be removed on February 2, 2019. Dirtblock will be removed on February 2, 2019 since it is very similar to Skyblock. I will make a copy of the map available for download so you can continue your island in single player if you wish. Make sure you write down the coordinates of your island so you can find it again in single player! Easy will be completely reset. We do not have an exact date when this will happen, but you will be given 30 days notice before we reset. There will be a farewell party and then a grand re-opening at a later date. HungerGames 2 (HG2) will be removed on February 2, 2019, and HG1 will be our new singular HG server. The HG entrance portal in Arenas will be moved to where BuildBattle is now. Semi-Vanilla Survival will be renamed to simply "Normal". Ultra Hardcore will be renamed to "Hard". Minecraft 1.13 and/or 1.14 The last major update to Minecraft, version 1.13, was an enormous update. Not only were a bunch of new blocks, mobs, and mechanics added, but Mojang also overhauled a lot of underlying game code that controls how Minecraft works. For this reason, many of the plugins we use are still either not updated, or have updated but contain many bugs and issues. I definitely want to update to 1.13 as soon as possible on all servers, but it's been 6 months and I'm still waiting on many plugins to update before I'm able to do so. I have a feeling it will still be several months before I'm able to update any of our servers. This is pure speculation, but I'm guessing the update to 1.14 will be far easier than 1.13, so once we're on 1.13 it will be a simple upgrade. This is my hope anyway! Budget I am happy to report that your continued support of our server is holding strong despite our lower overall player counts this year. I have enough funds to keep the server and website operational for another 2 years, and if our current VIPs continue their subscriptions, we should have no trouble remaining online for as long as there are players willing to stick around and play Minecraft with us! Thank You I would like to extend my sincere thanks to each and every one of you that make our family-friendly community a warm and welcoming place for all Minecraft players old and new. I hope you continue to play here and make friendships in this beautiful and fun game we all love together. The Sandlot would not be what or where it is without you!