Is there a way to load in new / refreshed plugins with Sponge without stopping and restarting the server?
Yup, you can do /sponge plugins reload
/sponge plugins reload
There is also a great “search” function on the top right corner of the forum
However, if you add or remove a plugin, you have to restart the whole thing.
LOL, I wish searching always yielded things. Trick is knowing KEY WORDS! You may not believe it, but I spent some minutes hunting for this before asking…
Keep in mind: /sponge plugins reload sends a reload event to the event manager; the plugins themselves determine what to do, if anything. There is no forced full reload such as Bukkit had, since Sponge plugins can frequently need to make pre-server initialization (e.g. data manipulators and recipes must be registered in pre-initialization).