Hello everyone. If you frequent playing the bridges, you have probably seen my face once or twice. But if you have not, Hi, I'm Oafmeal. But for the sake of this post, that is not important. As the titular remark would lead you to believe, this is going to be a comprehensive view (with a few personal opinions here and there but they are kept to a minimum) of why The Bridges went from being one of the most frequented game modes on the entire server back in the day, to where it is now: a dilapidated husk of its former glory which seems to have been forgotten by the Mineplex playerbase, and its staff. Setting the Stage: For those of you who have never played the bridges this is a simple synopsis in which I will attempt to explain what the bridges are. The Bridges is a game in which 4 teams attempt to gather resources on their islands for 10 minutes. These ten minutes resemble a period of grace in which other teams can solely interact with their teammates to exchange resources and prepare for what is to come. After the 10 minutes are done, bridges will fall and connect all the team’s islands together in which case anything is game. The teams will all fight until there is only one left standing. Reason 1: Mineplex’s general decline in player base. I will not harp on about this topic for too long since it is self-explanatory. Mineplex’s player base has declined over the years. Whether this be due to sheer fate, bad luck, competition from other servers, or the lack of care for their players true needs; I would not be able to tell you. But, nevertheless, it is evidently a contributing factor to the decline in players on the bridges. Reason 2: Lack of diversity in The Bridges maps. The lack of diversity in maps on the bridges is quite apparent. For those of you who do not play bridges and may be happening to read this: let me break it down for you. There are 2 main types of maps: void maps and water maps. (While I would consider water maps to have subcategories, for both brevity’s and simplicity’s sake, we will not be talking about those subcategories here). Basically, all you need to know is that water maps are very forgiving in the sense that if you fall from the bridges, you will fall into water and still have a chance of escaping from it in most scenarios. Void maps on the other hand, will tend to be less forgiving in the sense that if you fall into the void, you are essentially a goner. To the uninformed, void maps would sound a bit harsh and tough, but you would be wrong. The addition of void maps diversifies the bridges landscape, as they give leeway for kits such as The Archer and The Destructor to shine, whom would normally be close to useless on water maps. You would think there would be an equal amount of water maps and void maps, correct? So, I will give you a ratio of the water to void maps right now. The ratio is 35 water maps (31 shallow water maps, 4 deep water maps) to 5 void maps. That means approximately 87 percent of the maps are water maps and only a measly 13 percent of the maps are void maps. This means that most of the time, if you are entering a lobby trying to find a void map, you probably will not find one, and if you do find one It will be one from the grand pool of five maps. As someone with a personal bias for void maps, I would be fine with the fact that most of the maps are water maps if they did things differently such as Canyons, which had a unique layout (and was removed for some reason) or Submerged, which also has a unique layout for its bridges. But they do not. Most of the newer maps are just the same regurgitated map layout with a new coat of paint. I cannot even keep track with most of them at this point. You may be asking yourself, why they make so many water maps then and it is quite simple. Water maps appeal to the berserker kit. The berserker kit is the most overcentralizing kit in the meta currently as it has movement capabilities other kits could only dream of having. This means that most players will pick this kit since it is objectively the best one. Combine this with the fact that the majority of Game Insights are more seasoned players that generally like playing in a very traditional manner, and there you have your 35 to 5 map ratio. But not all hope is lost since this problem is easily fixable. Just add maps! Do not be scared to diversify them. The most fun I have had with one of the newer bridges maps was the April Fool’s map that was added. This is since, it added things that you would not typically be able to get such as string and lava into a void map, and the map did not take itself too seriously. At the end of the day, the game is about having fun, and having these different challenges and layouts presented to you and learning how to adapt to them as you play the maps is part of the fun. If it is a bit iffy on the balance, that is okay. If you do not like tea, there’s always coffee. Some players will enjoy a more casual playstyle while others will enjoy a more hardcore, traditional playstyle and appealing to one more than the other should not be the way the game works both from a marketing standpoint and just from the perspective of having fun. Reason 3: The Berserker Kit For those uninformed, the berserker kit is a kit that allows you to propel yourself in whichever direction you are looking at. Quite simple in concept, but a quick analysis of the berserker kit in comparison to the other kits will lead you to know that it is unequivocally the best kit in the game. The simple concept that the berserker kit can move several blocks forward and that none of the other kits can do anything about it is broken as they can restart whenever they are in a disadvantageous situation by simply just running away and regening (especially easy with stews). Not to mention, not only can you run away, but you can also cancel fall damage by using the berserker kit when you are just about to fall to the ground. It is as simple as leaping around 2-3 blocks before you hit the ground and all your fall damage is cancelled. This means that berserker kits will typically tend to camp a top a high ground and wait for other kits to come towards it, if the other kits make a single mistake as they are climbing up, they are probably dead from fall damage. If they somehow miraculously outplay the berserker kit while climbing up towards it, guess what is going to happen, you guessed it. The berserker kit is going to leap downwards and cancel it is fall damage and run away and do this all over again until you inevitably lose one of the scenarios as a good berserker can do this infinitely. But you are probably telling yourself, “but doesn’t berserker only get 8 leaps now, they’re very limited”, but again this “nerf” did not really affect the berserker kits game plan as their leaps with 3 hits. This includes arrow shots. So typically, what you will see from an optimal berserker player is that they will get their gear and their stews before the bridges fall, leap towards mid grab all the stews, arrows, and good gear. This mean that they now have all the arrows and bows from mid, all the stews, and they took the best gear from mid. Even if you do manage to out gear and beat them in pvp every time, they can now just run away and regenerate their leaps with the tons of arrows they got from mid and probably stall you out for the 50 minutes left of the game if they don’t beat you out in a single pvp scenario by then (which is all it takes since you don’t have an insane movement option to escape). So essentially, the best kit in the game encourages a very lame and campy playstyle that is clearly the best in the game and that no one has fun playing against. What could be done to fix this problem? Nerf berserker kit. I think a fair set of nerfs would be either limiting the leaps so that they do not regen maybe something like 10 leaps after bridges fell would be fair and removing the cancelling vertical fall damage. That is clearly broken as I stated above since it puts the berserker in an incredibly advantageous position with no risk from doing so. I do not really know what the best way to go around nerfing the kit would be, but what I can tell you is that this kit really needs some nerfs. And maybe buff some of the other kits while you are at it. Reason 4: Hackers Whether it is the level 2 alt that starts cussing you out or the countless level 100’s that you ask yourself how the heck they have skated by not getting banned yet, bridges is infamous for hackers. I will leave this one short and easy but essentially, everyone hacks on the bridges now a days. You will see clients to increase Berserker’s leap distance, knockback modifiers, reach, fast place, auto clickers, etc. The solution for this is simple and it is just, have more staff since most staff are not present in bridges games, and have a better anti-cheat. I know Gwen got an update recently, but she still needs more work. This is not only a problem in the bridges but in every game, I would say fixing the anticheat is not only vital for the survival of the bridges but for the survival of the server. Reason 5: Parties Finally, I would say this is the last major issues that the bridges have. It has tried hard parties in every other lobby. While I would say that it is not inherently an issue that there are good players in parties, I would even say it is more than welcome and it makes the game more fun, the issue is when most of these parties are all playing berserker and the majority of the players are using closet hacks as well. As a seasoned player this is already unfair and not fun to deal with. Now imagine you are a new player, level 1 little Timmy joining for his first time and you must deal with this. It makes the game unapproachable for a new player and therefore the player base has not been growing at all and has instead slowly dwindled. The game is very unapproachable. I think this has to do with the fact that mineplex has again, prioritized it’s tryhard fanbase and left the casuals (the more important community) on the side, thus the tryhards and closeters have slowly but surely been pushing out the casual player base due to most map updates and decisions being catered to them. Conclusion: This is not a hate post to mineplex at all, at the end of the day, time is valuable, and I would not have waste my time writing 2000+ word post just because I don’t like the server. On the other hand, it is a criticism that I hope will spark some conversation on what is happening to the server and how it can be fixed. I truly do not think it’s too late, but action must be taken soon if you guys want to fix your server. Fix your anticheats, appeal more to casuals while still listening to that hardcore playerbase, don’t be scared to diversify your maps a little more. If anyone has anything to add to this post I will be open to have a conversation as long as it remains open and respectful. If you read all of this, I genuinely thank you so much and hope you have a nice day!