So in the latest Discord blog update, they mentioned all the new features in their API that Discord bots could now interact with.
They also mentioned that all Discord bots must switch to their new method of interaction called "slash commands" by September 1st, 2022.
What does this mean for a regular Discord user? How will it affect the bot developers? This is how Discord bots are changing drastically over the next few months.
No More Prefix Commands
Prefix commands are certain symbols typed in text that the bot would respond to, if a command has been said with the 'prefix' being a specific symbol.
Over the wonderful years of the Discord Robot Revolution, Discord bots have been bound to prefix commands. Which, of course, worked in theory but it also arose many -many- problems.
Start by not knowing the prefix of the bot. You would have to manually ask someone, or visit the bot's website, or read it's status. Some developers had went ahead a few steps and implemented a ping respond. If you mention the bot in a message it will reply to you with some minor but useful to get started with details.
Another issue is there being too many bots. Each bot had to have its own different prefix or else running commands would be interfered by other bots. Some bots even had 'change prefix' as a premium feature which was a pain for many servers.
The most popular prefixes were
Secondary Issue: Privacy
Bots reacting directly to your messages means the bots can read them. Whether you are meaning it for the bot or not. And Discord did not like that. The way prefix commands worked is by this: you send a message. The bot checks it. If it starts with
prefix it will read further and proceed with the command. If it does not, it will ignore that.
It is worth mentioning that storing user data is a very very very rare case. The chances are astronomically small.
The Solution: Slash Commands
Slash commands are the perfect solution to prefixes. Many
discord.js developers have been seen complaining about the update saying Slash commands are a little too unnecessarily difficult to set up.
However, thousands of bots have already transitioned to using slash commands primarily. This is what a slash command looks like:
/help vs prefix command:
Discord bots now have access to some great features. Features like buttons, select menu, context menu, ephemeral messages, and more! And with the new community features, bots can now have commands disabled in certain channels. Improving servers' bot management.
You can learn about everything new to Discord apps in this article by Discord:
Adding to this, a new badge has been added to Discord. For the first time ever, a Discord bot gets to have a profile badge. It indicates that the bot in question supports slash commands and there is at least one global slash command present in the bot's code.