DEVELOPMENT MANIFESTO: AURA REMOVAL
Auras have been a troublesome issue in balancing since they were first released back in update 2.0.0. As a close-range magic weapon that had no charge limit, players were able to consistently do damage while using the weapon type's ease of access in order to position themselves better. The main focal point of balance back then was that auras, despite their incredibly high attack speeds, were not superior to melee attacks due to their low base damage.
Fast forward to 2.2.0 and the updates that followed--adding damage to attacks has become commonplace, allowing players to stack incredibly high amounts of damage on any weapon type, whether melee, magic, or ranged. However, the biggest issue comes from the way Crackshot implements region-based damage: it is considered melee damage and not ranged/magic damage.
This is due to the way Minecraft calculates damage, as any custom-coded damage that does not originate from a projectile is considered, by default, melee damage. Thus, there was no way to recode the plugin to consider region-based damage a form of projectile damage due to how it cannot spawn enough projectiles to cover the area of damage in general.
Thus, auras allowed players to stack melee damage on top of an already ridiculous 5 attacks per second and quickly outclassed all melee weapons. Due to the sheer amount of damage most melee accessories and armors gave, auras were quickly set to dominate the endgame meta. This would have been fine if the damage had not been absurdly overpowered--allowing players to melt Rift bosses within mere seconds.
In the end, we were given a choice: nerf melee damage or remove auras.
Nerfing items that added melee damage in order to accommodate the fast-attacking class of aura spells proved to be much more detrimental to the server than simply removing Auras, as this would worsen the problem of auras outclassing melee weapons, thus limiting future content updates severely and destroying any incentive to use a melee weapon at all.
Hence, our final decision was to remove all Auras from the server, with the sole exception of the Orb of Chaos, which was kept due to its innate ability to remove resistance on the caster thus balancing its extremely high damage potential.