So i run a vanilla survival server, and i want to start adding a couple plugins, paper or sponge?


#1

also generally does paper change vanilla gameplay


#2

Asking on A sponge forum … Your most likely going to get a one sided argument. Ill try to be as in detail as possible while being neutral. Please note I use both Sponge and Bukkit and develop for both. However I prefer Sponge.

The first thing to note is the obvious. Plugins. The bukkit api (what paper runs on) has been around 4 years longer then sponge, so as you can imagine there are a lot more plugins to go around on the paper side of things. Not only that but the bukkit platform is more popular for vanilla so more plugins again.

More does not always mean better though as the bukkit api is very limited in what it can do, so plugin developers would typically use NMS code, that is the code of minecraft itself. Modifing this can make the server unstable and even corrupt worlds to a point of no recovery. You will also see a lot of plugins that do the same thing, so essentially duplicates. Sponge on the other hand has an api that is very good at mitigating the need for NMS.

With that in mind there are more options such as a craft based plugin like Ships or MoveCraft (shameless plug for my own plugin there :wink: ) that are not available or no longer available on Sponge.

So a point to both sponge and paper there.

Next section would be goals of the platform for plugins.
This is something most people overlook, but shouldn’t be as you wouldnt get a Lamborghini for transporting the rest of your family around and thats because the business doesnt see family as a goal.

Spigots goal is to keep backwards compatibility with older plugins designed for older spigot versions compatible, no matter what. This includes making all plugins suffer and in the case of original 1.13 plugins, become unstable.

Sponge on the other hand, as mentioned before, wish to remove the need for NMS, providing plugins every aspect of what is available for vanilla minecraft. The other main focus of Sponge is to provide a good API for developers. This means developers can cut there time in half by using code provided by sponge for common tasks, sometimes the code provided added functionality that should have been added by the plugin developer but most don’t see the real benefit to it. Such as Sponges command argument interface, that cuts down on time for development, but also automatically puts in command arguments in. Looking at Spigot for 1.12.2, you would be lucky to find one that had tab complete.
Providing such a API comes at the cost that backwards compatibility isnt always possible, plugins do state what they are compatible with though as explained later.

Next up: Configuration.
When it comes to out of the box configuration options, both sponge and paper come with almost the same extra configuration, with some extra on the sponge end. Personally I haven’t really dabbed too much into this, but nice to know its there.

Lastly: Download centers
Having the ability to run plugins is great, as long as you have the ability to get plugins. Both Sponge and paper have there own download centers.

Dev.bukkit:
When it comes to OG plugin download centers, this is the place to go. To this day its my preferred platform for bukkit plugins as all plugins on the site are looked over for malicious software making security less of a hassle. However they do not check for Stats or anything like that, so you still need to be weary of what the plugin developers have hidden away.

All plugins on the site are free and the site is owned by Curse now (who are most known for there forge mod download centers). While you dont need an account to download, if you do wish to register, you need to link your twitch account … Something im not happy about.

Spigot forums.
When it comes to the sketchy side of things, look no further then the spigot forums for your plugin downloads. As stated by the name, its a forums … Not a download centre, meaning that searching for plugins is a chor, when you do finally find the plugins page and not some random thread asking for help with it, you will be happy to know that the plugins have not been checked at all meaning a plugin you download from there could be killing your pc. And hey, you can pay for it too with real money … Yes you can pay for plugins on the site. I know i said im trying to be neutral but the spigot forums is just a pain…

Paper download center:
I know they have one for paper only plugins, but never looked at it or used it. So no comment.

Ore:
Finally we are onto sponge. Ore has more then a few requirements that must be met before the plugin is approved on the site. I wont go through all of them but here are some

  • must provide all permissions and command on the plugins page
  • must not contain any malicious software within the plugin
  • stats must be disable-able

This makes downloading a plugin very safe (if approved) and you gain all information about the plugin that is needed.

The account you use is the same as your sponge forums account, so as you have already posted here, you wont have any issues.

However, you can download none approved plugins if you wish, this is to jump the queue of waiting for the approval process, but it does mean running the plugin at your own risk.

Overall, unless your in dire need for minecraft 1.13+ now, i would use Sponge. If i remember even the paper team recommend using Sponge over paper for a new server.


#3

That really depends on a number of factors - what plugins you want, whether you want quick Minecraft updates…

Sponge is a far superior API than Bukkit is, it is clear, coherent, and doesn’t suffer legacy problems* as Bukkit does (though in a way Sponge suffers the reverse issue).

There is a huge backlog of Bukkit plugins to use, and developers still develop for the platform - so there is a vast array of public plugins to use. Sponge is a different story - there isn’t a large backlog (not that it’d matter, API updates would break legacy plugins anyway), and there are just fewer plugins.

Anecdotally, I know that many servers (Sponge is largely used by modded servers) run custom-built, and therefore private, plugins.


So called legacy problems: Bukkit was always developed, similar to CanaryMod, under the notion is avoiding breaking API compatibility at all costs - the benefit of this, is that you maximise the number of plugins that can be used across Minecraft versions (though in practise many plugins end up needing to circumvent the API anyhow…).

Sponge, on the other hand, doesn’t suffer from this problem - breaking the API at will, and therefore plugins too (not all plugins are broken by every release, but some will). To put this into perspective, there have been more API (7) releases than Minecraft versions (5) Sponge has supported.


In short, if you’re going to write plugins, or use mods - go with Sponge; if you want the latest Minecraft release, or care about a vast number of public plugins - go with Paper.

With that said, do give the above comment a read :slight_smile: