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The Future of Mercury 2

22 June 2024

Before Mercury 2, was Mercury 1.

Created in 2020, it was based on the Project Polygon source code which was happily provided by pizzaboxer. Even though it was quite short lived, it managed to give players a decently enjoyable experience before going defunct in 2021 for private reasons.

Mercury : Old Roblox Revival (Revival doesn't exist no more)
Mercury: A Revival Review
(Youtube videos showcasing Mercury 1)

As the months went on, it was decided by developers that revamping Mercury 1 would be the best course of action. The development of Mercury 2 began in late 2022 and the revamping process gave us, as developers, valuable experience in the areas of web development and client reverse-engineering. Not only was it fun to work on the new revamped revival but it was fun to interact with the growing community of beta testers who were always on hand to assist with development.

However, there was a glaring issue which came with managing the revival. It was much simpler than a "toxic community" or "insecure client". It was the absolute truth that we humans must get older with time. As time progressed, us developers gained many commitments which we could not avoid or prolong, such as exams or a job. Developing Mercury 2 went from becoming consistent to sporadic in a matter of months. The size of the development team also significantly decreased.

Unfortunately, there is no longer any incentive to work on an old Roblox revival:

We developers realised that we would not have enough time to work on Mercury 2 due to our commitments in real life. The simpler areas to develop, such as the site, continued to receive updates, but blockades in client progress left Mercury 2 in a perpetual "development hell". As listed above, there are too many downsides for running a revival in the state of this community, and we did not wish to impede on our commitments.

To resolve this urgent matter, we developers decided upon many solutions to this problem. Many other revival developers have come upon the same conclusion – they burn out and realise that maintaining their revival isn't worth it, so they cease development and shut down the revival. If the internal systems are ever made available, it's either in a source code leak, as an unmaintained .zip file, or (best of all) as an empty git repository with no associated information or history.

The obvious solution would be to shut down Mercury 2 completely. However, through the lessons learned from previous projects, it's clear that this would be detrimental and only enforce the vicious downward spiral of the community due to lack of publicly available resources. We decided on something else instead.

Our plan is to create an open-source web platform specifically for upcoming revivals to use. We decided that one of the biggest roadblocks towards the creation of revivals is the web component and so this platform will provide a secure and stable backend alongside a customisable or replaceable frontend. This will reduce development time on the website significantly and will allow upcoming revival developers to focus on their client and ensure that it meets their standards.

We feel that going this direction will give us developers breathing room to add features whenever we can. As the client part of the project is now removed, it allows us to focus more on the platform instead of trying to debug an 11 year old client.
To facilitate this change aesthetically, this project will no longer be referred to as 'Mercury 2' and will instead be referred to as 'Mercury Core'.

Going forward, here is what will happen to Mercury 2 in the coming months:

  1. The Mercury 2 website, mercury2.com, will be taken down. This memorandum will be in its place
  2. Parts of the Mercury 2 codebase, specifically those for interacting with RCCService, launcher, and the 2013 client and studio, will be separated from the main repository and made available as separate projects
  3. Other areas of the codebase will be heavily refactored and simplified, as the current state of many non-standard dependencies makes the system difficult to work with for less experienced developers
  4. The source code and setup process will be more heavily documented, increasing the ease of creating a derivative or clone based on the Mercury server or source code. The existing Discord server will be overhauled and repurposed as a support area for those willing to set up their own instance
  5. The 'core' of the project will be made open source as a separate repository, and with any luck, the over 2000 commits of git history will be scrubbed clean and made available as well.

There are still many features we want to integrate into the Mercury project – we're not out of steam yet. Development on Mercury Core will continue as an open-source project.

The process of setting up Mercury Core will be further elaborated, but for now think of it similar to WordPress. It can be set up and customised with configuration by those with little programming experience, though is also able to be overhauled completely through source code by more experienced developers.
In terms of licensing, this isn't something we want to waste any mental effort on. The entire project will simply be made public domain.

We thank you sincerely for following us on this journey. To the many beta testers of Mercury 2, we are in your debt as you all have managed to locate multiple bugs and have given us invaluable experience for future development.

For any questions, please message any of the administrators. We will be happy to answer your questions!

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