On August 12th, Discord announced some changes to verified bots that has taken the bot landscape by storm, and rightfully so. The changes are incredibly tone-deaf to the way bots have always operated, and the way that they should operate. These changes are so controversial that it’s resulted in the discord.py project shutting its doors, spelling death for the innumerable bots that rely on it.
The changes, while trivial to the end-user, come at a great cost for bot developers, library developers, and maintainers of large bots – including ourselves. Discord has demanded that developers switch to the Slash Commands functionality for any bot interactions, putting message contents behind a wall that can only be climbed through manual approval. Libraries and bots have, up until now, relied on message contents for commands and functionality. Utilizing message contents has been the core mechanic of any bot, whether on Discord, Telegram, or even Reddit.
This price this comes at for us bot developers is that it requires a massive restructuring of our work, as we are forced to embed ourselves deeper into Discord-specific logic and find new ways to achieve the same functionality. Suffice to say, Discord has been apathetic to our concerns, with their attitudes turning bots into a privilege rather than a gift to the community. Since December 2016, we have given back to Christians on Discord out of charity, but now it’s becoming a luxury to develop bots on the platform.
As much as all of us here are rightfully irritated by Discord’s actions and attitude, it’s the community we serve first – not the company. We have no plans of shutting our doors or ending the project, nor would we make another social platform our home. We’ve always ran this service as a labor of love, we have no intentions of changing that.
There are some critical changes that will be coming to BibleBot over the next 8 months as a result.
- Commands will inevitably be migrated over to the slash commands functionality, meaning that the era of traditional command usage will end.
- A rewrite into another language may be regrettably necessary, as our current ecosystem is not keeping reasonable pace with Discord’s changes.
- The way that you reference verses might become a command or different interaction. In other words, verse references may not be able to be automatically picked up by the bot. We will be initiating talks with Discord to allow us to use message contents solely for verse referencing, but there is no assurance of anything at this point.
Additionally, all servers running the bot will need to reauthorize the bot with a new scope, for you to be able to even interact with the bot. If you do not do this, you will lack the ability to use the bot in your server at some point – it is not our choice. You can invite the bot with the updated authorizations at https://biblebot.xyz/invite.
We apologize for the inconveniences that are bound to occur, but our hands are tied.
Seraphim R.P., Executive Director
Peter Voss, Community Director
Cedric Wiesel, Support Director
We’ll be hosting a thread on our official Discord server for Q&As and comments about this announcement.