Today is the day. 10 years ago, on the 17th of May, 2009, a person named Markus Persson released the first version of a game called Minecraft. I don't think that any of us, including Markus himself, would imagine that his silly idea of a 3D blocky game would still be here 10 years later. I wanted to write this thread as a praise, a thank you to everyone who has either developed the game or has been part of the community (which includes all of you who are reading this). Below a little story of how my 7 and a half years of Minecraft has looked. I personally started playing Minecraft since the 1.0.0 release, which (according to the Wiki) was somewhere around November 2011. That means that I've been playing this game for a whopping 7 and a half years by now, and I have to say; it's been one hell of a ride. Back in the first release, I was still playing the game normally. I remember I played survival for a few patch releases. After that, I got a cracked launcher (because I was a cheap kid) and started playing on this cracked Towny server. I kept this going til about version 1.2.5, after the server unfortunately shut down. During this period though, I had a fantastic time playing Towny with all of the users on that server. I was always amazed by the creativity of the users and what kind of things people were able to built either with blocks or redstone. As tiny and basic as 1.0.0 looks compared to 1.14.1, it still amazed me every day back then and I spent countless hours playing. Unfortunately after 1.2.5 (with the 1.3.0 launch), the server was shut down and I was forced to look for a new one. I found this other survival server which looks quite similar to the one that I had to leave, but it was Factions instead of Towny (though Factions was more used as grief prevention alone). I started playing on this server til about version 1.7.0 or so (can't remember the exact date). Since I was still playing the game tremendously active back then, I got this special little rank from the administrators as a token of their appreciation and dedication towards the server (it was a small, slightly unprofessional server, so they did those kind of things). At some point, things quickly escalated from there. I went from this little appreciation rank to helper; to junior mod; to moderator; to head mod; to admin; to head admin; co owner and eventually I was called owner (along with one other). I had been given tasks to maintain the servers (such as managing users), improve things, come up with new ideas, etc etc. I at some point was even given FTP and console access to install plugins, configure them, etc. I gained a lot of experience here, but unfortunately that story also had to end, which leaves us at the next step I had to take; my own server. Somewhere around 1.7.0, I started to build my own server. Still mostly a rookie and unexperienced enough, I released (yes, I was able to release servers back then, before anyone makes that joke) a simple survival (Towny) server called Flint Network. All in all it was pretty bad, not gonna lie. I struggled for about a year, maybe a bit more, trying to build up a proper player count. I had some very dedicated players and the community was beyond hearth warming, but something was wrong. I never (with the Towny gamemode) got more than 5 - 15 players. I struggled for a long time coming up with new ideas, tried different mechanisms of advertising, even made more and different gamemodes. I added Factions after a while and that was able to bump up the player count to around 30 (with 25 of those on Factions), but in the end that also dropped back to zero. I had been struggling for far too long and at some point I released I was doing something completely wrong; uniqueness was missing. As a last effort to hopefully get more attention, I tried to invest a bit more into creating a professional website and build a reputation outside of the game. I renamed Flint Network to Dyescape, god knows how I even came up with that name. We bought ourselves a domain, made an Enjin website with a proper theme and acceptable logo. However, things still didn't improve. At some point, my level of stress trying to keep the server alive wasn't good for my sanity. I realised drastic steps had to be taken; I had to do the one thing I was most afraid of doing; close the server, make something completely different (new gamemodes) and potentially lose everything I had build up till then (though it wasn't much in terms of numbers, it meant a lot to me back then). I closed the server with a simple promise stating that we'll be back to one day conquer the blocky game. And that's where we are today, still trying to keep that promise with hopefully a server that I can release in the upcoming few months. It's been one hell of a ride, but I learned so much along the way. I learned about community management, moderation, got some creativity and even got into a bit of plugin development along the way. I for one, and undoubtedly everyone reading this, has had its personal ups and downs. I hope everyone realises that Minecraft is no different. We humans (especially we Dutchies) are very good at focussing only on the negative things. I think the Dutch culture is known for being quite picky and negative in general. There's even a Dutch saying which goes "iedereen moet z'n plasje erover doen", which translates to "everyone needs to take a piss on your idea". If your ideas still stand after a tsunami of critisim, then we have a winner. Today however, I want to set negativity aside and praise Minecraft for what it really is; a fantastic, world-wide, community driven sandbox game with one of the most creative and best people I've ever met. We've had good and bad updates. We've had stable and unstable releases, we've had Microsoft buying the game; which not everyone was a fan of. Minecraft has had it's ups and downs, just like all of us. Let's not forget how fantastic Minecraft in the end really is. No game has lasted this long while remaining this popular. It's truly a fantastic achievement we should not forget. Minecraft truly has been part of my life for quite a long time right now, and I hope that this passion and motivation can keep on living as long as the game exists. I also want to give a big thank you to this community. This community, SpigotMC, has been my go-to place for anything Minecraft (or even tech) related. Whether I need help, want to discuss topics with someone, need plugins, or simply need someone to talk to. Also here on this forums we see our ups and downs. I've helped lots of people, but I've also upset plenty. I hope that everyone realises that all intensions of mine are good, and are towards building the future of this game that I fell in love with. With Hytale on the way, I hope that both games will be able to run alongside each other in peace. Instead of looking at Hytale as competition, let's value Hytale as a partner, and let's not forget where Hytale came from. A special thanks to a few people who've been an important part of my recent time: @Aekalix my man, my partner in crime. How did we even find each other? Let's hope faith brought us together to achieve our goal. @MiniDigger you're the person I looked up to all the time on this forums, even today. I upmost respect you in every way; your objective view on things, your development skills, and even today your contributions to Dyescape and having faith in my crazy ideas. @md_5 without SpigotMC, where would we all be; where would Minecraft be. You and all other developers who contributed to building a modding API while Mojang hasn't made one (even obfuscated the original code) have my sincerest respect. Minecraft, SpigotMC; thank you for the wonderful 7 and a half years. Let's hope I can write another praise for a 10 year anniversary!