The Death Of SpigotMC
Edit: See below for our reply to SpigotMC’s recent statement.
All across the world we see one trend. Governments want to ruin hobbyists and small entrepreneurs, forcing them to go out of business by imposing restrictions and lockdowns.
SpigotMC has recently seemingly joined the team.
I woke up yesterday, and trying to login into Spigot, I found that my account has been banned. The stated reason was “advertising”.
SpigotMC used to be one of the most popular forums for Minecraft server owners and people passionate about the game. I’ve opened my account in 2013 and was a happy user for many years. It used to be a great and a friendly community.
Since around 2017, I’ve registered an increasing number of complaints regarding their internal policies and politics. People came up to me and asked for help, and it was not just coding help that was asked for.
A Turning Point
We have now come to the second historical turning point in the development of Minecraft.
The first happened back in 2014, when Mojang was acquired by Microsoft. Mojang then revealed that they had secretly owned the Bukkit for some time. That meant a shock to many of its long-term developers. Many have left, and one developer sent a legal complaint that meant the end of the free distribution of Bukkit. That’s why you have to use the hard-to-use BuildTools today (or get Paper).
Bukkit was effectively dead, and people moved over to Spigot.
Six years later, we face another turning point.
More and more developers and hobbyist are being turned away by their experience on SpigotMC. I’d like to point out the things that’s been discussed many times over and are leading to an unavoidable turning point where people will move on from what once used to be one of the most popular forums for Minecraft server owners.
I don’t want this article to mean an attack on SpigotMC and its community.
I respect the work of md_5 and other collaborators. We’re simply frustrated with the long-term state of how things are and the lack of transparency and communication, so I decided to talk about them in public. It is purely meant to be learned from, just like I learned from the criticism of MineAcademy. Please don’t go into witch-hunting the individual members.
Envy Is Poison
“The spirit of envy can destroy; it can never build.” -Margaret Thatcher
Here’s the hidden reason why developers are getting banned and why SpigotMC and their staff acts so hostile towards people who want to have their plugin on their platform:
I don’t think that further explanation is needed. The main premise they bring up is that little donations have been raised and they’ve been serving us for free, so we shouldn’t be entitled for anything.
The truth is, there’s little actual incentives to donate to the forums (as always, I may be wrong but that’s my opinion). When I have to deal with their obtrusive rules, lacking customer service and arrogance on a weekly basis, I feel turned off to donate. Edited: I removed the part about Xenforo, I understand it’s not just Xenforo forums, but a whole community to run, just like here. Not want to go into personal bias and attacks.
In 8 years of running they’ve failed to setup a proper donation system with incentives that actually motivate and reward people for donation. No, they blame us instead. And now, the envy has built up and their resentment has grown to every place of the forums.
We can’t make this argument publicly on SpigotMC. People are afraid of getting their account shut, many of which already did.
“You’re All Idiots”
SpigotMC’s support team and the head of Spigot, Michael (md_5), has proven incompetent to run such a platform as SpigotMC is trying to be.
Their attitudes have alienated and humiliated many, whom few were able to raise their voices in fear of getting their accounts banned and unable to continue with their passions.
This behavior is inappropriate to say the least. Considering there are minors on their platform, they refuse to take responsibility to the fact that thousands of people face their attitudes and have to deal with their close-mindedness on a daily basis. I had inappropriate moderators myself, and within 3 months we took action. They’ve been running for 8 years now. Let’s prove this.
Since 2013 Md_5 have had a long-term habit of calling people idiots. Maybe he should take a look into the mirror sometimes.
Your Efforts Are Irrelevant
Here’s their response to rejecting your plugin after spending 12 months working on it, rewriting it from the ground up:
“Your efforts are irrelevant. Even if you’ve put 10,000 hours into the program, f…. off and we’re entitled to control the platform as we wish.”
And here’s a personal message from md_5 to all of you and all the other developers who have their plugins on Spigot. It goes along the lines of “I’m a superior and you’re a peasant, I’m not going to deal with your garbage.”
This is a public insult to the entire Minecraft community and the thousands of developers spending hundreds of thousands of hours coding their plugins. Please re-read this and make up your own opinion.
Hostile Rules And Special Treatment
I firmly believe that their lack of proper customer support has resulted in developers PayPals accounts getting banned, and could have prevented many scams on the platform.
Their stance is clear — they are doing you a “favor” by simply existing. You are not entitled to anything, and “there is nothing” they can do.
There are multiple issues with the rules and support as we see it:
- Supporting software piracy indirectly — they will not ban users who leaked your plugin, claiming arrogantly they’re “not the internet police” (unless a very strict set of criteria is met). Rules also prohibit license systems and DRM to protect your hard work, or at least defer pirates.
- Price limit for resources — the maximum price you can sell for is 20 USD even if your software is worth more, and you can’t even remove buyers (such as in cases when they proven to be the leakers) from your list unless you refund them, but that system is flawed since you can just refund them $0.01 and they will get removed, leading to fraud/scams.
- Grandfathering / special treatment — “some” resources can apparently violate rules and others can’t, such as EpicWorldGenerator which is sold for almost twice the allowed amount because it apparently has been “grandfathered”. Hundreds of people advertise shady $2/mo hosting companies or off-site services. Their definition of advertising is disputed.
- Their resource approval process is confusing and treated differently by each staff member / double morale — One can reject your resource, the second can approve it. You have no idea what’s going on behind the closed doors.
- Fake reviews allowed — they removed the Report button from reviews and won’t remove fake reviews. No no, literally anyone can come down and say BS about your plugin, and they don’t care. Anarchy. Unbelievable!
Source: Official forum rules
We Have Premium Resource But Actually Hate It
This is hilarious. SpigotMC contains a “Premium Resource” section where authors are entitled to sell digital software, however the entire stance of SpigotMC is against this.
You will get no support, and will have to deal with broken stuff on your own.
In 2020, the USD value has plummeted, and numerous authors making a significant income from SpigotMC simply asked to have the price cap increased. Denied. Numerous authors submitted their plugins they’ve spent 1,000s of hours on, only to find these were rejected for a ridiculous reason. Envy?
Which brings me to the question — why on Earth did they continue to have the Premium Resources section if they’ve clearly seen it is not developing in the direction they wanted it (which was unrealistic anyways)?
They offer you the option of selling your plugins, but behind closed doors, they actually resent it.
Why I Discontinued Some Of My Plugins
I did not want to stop publishing plugins, I was disgusted by what’s going on on the biggest Minecraft community space so I decided to put my efforts elsewhere. I was blown away by the number of people who’ve reached out personally to give support and help.
Right now, we won’t discontinue and remove ANY plugins. Our plugins got moved into InactiveResource due to the account being suspended, not because they were actually removed.
We simply open sourced a lot of them and will put some plugins on maintenance-only mode (so they will still get updates) because of the extra work I have to do. So you can still continue to use them on MC 1.17 and further and receive important bug fixes.
More information including links on how to get your plugins will follow shortly.
SpigotMC has become a rotten apple. With corrupted staff, an arrogant and a stubborn founder and mishandling of its long-term members, it has proven itself no longer to be a safe place to hang on.
So Here’s What I’m Going To Do
This is not a promotional post for MineAcademy. I’m not going to say “MineAcademy will save you all — sign up here for a 25% OFF”. I wrote this blog post to raise awareness of the rapidly worsening situation on one of the most popular SpigotMC forums.
We are however, prepared to build a better ecosystem for everyone wishing to have a great community during these times. That’s everything I want to share about this right now. Stay tuned.
We developers and everyone who enjoys Minecraft during these difficult times, need a new home.
A place that’s without ads, political drivel or non-sensational rules. A place where you can hire a developer without risking your money and getting scammed.
A place where you can sell your plugins without getting your PayPal banned.
A place where fake and defamatory reviews are removed and all authors treated equally.
A new home with an actual customer support that doesn’t “hate you” and cares about and appreciates your efforts.
PS: Support this idea by showing your interest here. If enough people do, we’ll start developing it shortly. THERE IS NOTHING TO SELL — I HAVE NOTHING TO SELL HERE I AM JUST ASKING if you are interested in this idea or not.
Notice: Comments are now enabled. I encourage free speech and an open, constructive dialog. Thousands of people will be reading this article so make sure you let them know your thoughts below!
Edit: People requested adding things, you can add me as a friend on Discord: kangarko#4233 or email matej at mineacademy.org. I also changed the featured image, previously we had a joke fake ban reason, and even thought it was mentioned in the text, some people missed it.
Edit: Reaction To Their Official Statement
Just wanted to clarify some of the things that came up in the official response to this blog post.
It is mentioned that the thumbnail with the fake joke reason was fabricated and this was never mentioned in the post. The first is true – I jokingly misspelled their name and copied their replies and pasted it to the reason as a satire. This was mentioned in the post, however people can’t read longer texts these days it seems. The second claim is completely false. Had I wished to have used archive.org when first publishing to prevent this. Thanks to my friend I realized people would take this out of context so I changed the thumbnail minutes later. No more spicy thumbnails next time.
Notice how the attention is withdrawn from the context of this article itself but pointed out to a potentially disputed thumbnail in an attempt to discredit it.
Also there’s mentioned that I made alternative accounts on this site. That is true, md_5 explicitly allowed me to create a “kangarkodemo” account back in 2019 for testing purposes (“as long as it stays for that purpose” he said, with an arrogant tone as always). You can have a look when the account was made yourself. There’s no other account created as I have no desire continuing working on SpigotMC. Claim that I made new accounts post-ban is false.
At least they’ve finally addressed one email that I’ve sent to them. Hey, why not address the other dozens of emails I, and many others, sent since 2013 that were left in the trash?
“It is deeply saddening for us.” they’ve mentioned. No it isn’t. You ban people right before Christmas and go on rejecting resources for months on end and not even bother fact-checking before writing an emotionally driven article. You call other peoples’ work “irrelevant” (proof above) and then vehemently argue with your own work’s importance when it’s relevant for you.
Instead of censoring information (like Spigot does and announced in the blog post they will continue do), we’re leaving doors open and using a third party comments system for people to express themselves. We’re also considering opening our Discord for public and creating our own forums.
In the last 8 years, SpigotMC has failed to provide a tutorial on using their own software that’s complete, simple, up-to-date, structured and with personal customer support. Instead, they’d call people idiots and wonder why little donations have been raised. We built our classes out of the need to help people understand their software. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win,” said Mahatma Gandhi and after we’ve been blocked on their site, we’ve entered the last and the forth stage.
PS: If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that there’s zero actual response to the context of this blog post.
tl;dr: I have no desire investing more energy into drama and high game politics. Lessons learned, next time make better thumbnails and ask a few people to read the article before it’s published to remove things they can take against us.