Fall Cleaning and Spooky Season Staff Meetings

Hey all! As the fall and spooky season sets in and folks bury their heads in coursework, we’ll be taking care of some maintenance and staff meetings over the next few weeks. These are all listed in the events calendar, so please take note of the following:

  • The next GSM has been scheduled for Saturday, November 3 at 7pm UTC. If you have something you’d like us to discuss at the meeting, send it our way by 7pm UTC on November 1.
  • An Administrative Staff Meeting (ASM) has been scheduled for Saturday, October 27 at 7pm UTC. ASM agendas are not released to the public.
  • The wiki will be down for major upgrades on Wednesday, October 17 from approximately 4pm UTC until approximately 10pm UTC. During this time we will be upgrading the core software version to 1.31.1, along with several extension updates and new extensions. All other services are expected to remain online during this time. Update: this upgrade is now finished! You can see the full list of changes here.
  • The next New World dynmap render will begin after the server restart at 4am UTC on Monday, November 5. Full-world renders take two to three days to run, so we expect this render to be done sometime on Wednesday, November 7. Regardless, please note that WorldEdit requests will not be permitted during this time, and the regularly scheduled renders of the Space and Old Worlds will be cancelled that week.

There are also two member-organized events coming up in SpookOctober:

  • The thirteenth installment of the TacoBurritoAThon occurs this Saturday, October 13 from 5pm to 7pm UTC. Contact Skelezomperman for registration or sponsorship information.
  • The MRT Fall Olympics will occur on Sunday, October 21, from 5pm to 7pm UTC. Contact Olympics Chairman airplane320 for registration or sponsorship information.

Thanks all!

Chief


September 2018 GSM Results

Hey everyone! Here’s what happened at today’s GSM. The public portion recording can be viewed here.

Reviews of internal policies

We reviewed the City Rank Promotion updates and PVP arena approval processes and have elected to make some minor tweaks to both.

For City Rank Promotions: the request form is temporarily offline while we make some behind-the-scenes upgrades. Once that’s done, staff will be voting on cities using six scoring criteria (Internal Builds, External Builds, Planning & Infrastructure, Terraforming & Landscaping, Ambiance, and Scale). There is no minimum score threshold that a city needs to achieve to receive a “For” vote from an individual staff member, though you can expect that if you receive a 0, 1, 2, or 3 out of 10 in any category that the city will be voted down by that staff member.

For PVP Arenas: we’ll be tidying up the voting process a little, but otherwise this is working well. Remember that any member can create an arena and submit it for consideration! Just look at the August GSM notes for the guidelines.

Multi-person ventures are advised to formalize agreements

If you’re a part of a company which has multiple owners, or any other multi-person venture, we strongly encourage you to put your arrangement in writing, and make that arrangement publicly visible. This is not a requirement, but it will help you formalize your venture’s structure and will help you avoid sticky situations down the road.

In particular, multi-owner companies should put their governance structure and bylaws on their wiki pages. While companies are free to include any information in these documents, we would strongly encourage companies to include:

  • Asset allocation tables: a detailed list of exactly who owns what within the company.
  • Voluntary owner exit procedures: what happens if an owner decides, of their own free will, to leave the company.
  • Involuntary owner exit procedures: what happens if an owner becomes inactive or banned (can their ownership be reallocated? how long do they need to be inactive before this happens?), and if owners can be forcibly removed by other owners, the procedures to do so.
  • How changes to the governance document will be approved.
  • Acknowledgement from all owners of their approval of the governance document (the best way to do this is for one person to put the contents of the governance document on the page, and then for each other owner to edit the page, make a small change, and put “I approve of the governance document” as the change message)

Companies will be responsible for enforcing their own procedures, but please don’t hesitate to contact staff for assistance.

If a dispute arises within a company and staff need to mediate, we will look first for a pre-existing governance document to assist us in resolving the dispute. If (and only if) no pre-existing governance agreement is found, we will assume that all owners involved have an equal stake in all company assets, that governance changes require unanimous consent, that active owners cannot have an involuntary exit, and that voluntary exits and inactive owners’ involuntary exits are handled by distributing their assets equally among all remaining owners.

Other community issues

  • Access to the staff world is now restricted to staff only and staff should not be bringing non-staff there for any reason.
  • Boats cannot be built around the edge of the world.
  • A proposal to allow Premiers to have unlimited NPCs has been rejected for performance reasons and due to low demand. We may consider increasing NPC spawn limits for ranks (but keep them finite) if there’s demand, so if this is something that would help you, please contact your nearest staff member.
  • Godzilltrain will be inspecting, and potentially removing, incomplete builds in Central City that have not been worked on in a long time. If you own incomplete builds in Central City, expect to be contacted in the near future.
  • The project channels will be linked between Minecraft and Discord. As a reminder, political discussions should occur in a project channel (usually P1) rather than global chat.
  • We had a conversation about the reflection letter system in use for re-promoting players who have received a double warning or two single warnings. While we won’t be making any changes for now, this will be discussed in greater detail at the next ASM.

Roads

  • The B13, proposed by CodyHM, was pulled from consideration due to permissions being revoked.
  • The B88, proposed by Needn_NL and CaptainObi to run between Carnoustie and Kaloro City, has been approved.
  • The B846, proposed by Purrcat2010 to run between Cattington and Larkspur, has been approved(As a reminder, please send road proposals to staff@ and don’t send dynmap screenshots from your phone!)
  • We will also be reminding AlikSong and _InDev_, builders of the B751, that the road needs pillars in several sections. If pillars are not present at the next GSM, the road may be adjusted to ground level or removed entirely.

Projects and funding proposals

  • A request by Frosty_Creeper10 to build a FrostyRail line near the inactive town at NE3 has been approved.
  • A mini-golf tournament by SkyjumperTalon, which will occur around October 7, has been funded in full.
  • An event known as the World Cup of Golf, also proposed by SkyjumperTalon, has been denied funding as we have concerns about fairness of qualification to the final rounds. Talon has since proposed an alternative format of this tournament, which staff will be considering via email.
  • The Parkour House Competition, an event organized by Cortesi, has been denied funding as the request for funding was submitted after the event took place and we do not fund events retroactively. Additionally, the amount requested was not in line with the scale of the event (as a reminder, while the maximum grant is $10,000, that amount is intended for large server-wide events such as The Amazing Race).
  • The MRT Fall Olympics, organized by airplane320, has been funded in full.
  • XIII TacoBurritoAThon, organized by Skelezomperman, has been funded in full.

Miscellaneous

  • London150’s request to take over ownership of NE4 Station has been approved.
  • Earack’s city of Lanark was reviewed for Premier and was not promoted. (While all present staff voted No, the consensus was that it was very close!)
  • We considered several moderator nominations but did not promote any.
  • Frumple will be performing some server upgrades soon, notably upgrading the wiki to the latest MediaWiki release. (Be on the lookout for announcements as upgrades approach.) Other updates in the pipeline include a new Spigot build (we need your help testing this on the beta server!) and an update to our Java version. Minecraft 1.13 is still a ways away; we are guessing it won’t be installed on the MRT until 2019.
  • Through supporter contributions and recurring payments, we have offset over half of this year’s operating costs. If you’re able to chip in and help pay for server expenses, you can read about your options here.
  • The next New World dynmap render will occur in late October or early November. Details will be announced as the render approaches.

The date for the next GSM has not been set yet, but we are guessing it will be sometime in November.

Thanks everyone!
Chief


August 2018 GSM Results

Hi all,

The August 2018 General Staff Meeting has concluded and here are the results. As always, you can watch the public portion of the GSM on my YouTube channel.

“Belligerent Dissent” is now a warnable offense

Please read the publicly available version of this proposal here.

When a member of the server disagrees with a staff member, or disagrees about the rules or how the server is run, they may do so as long as they do it in a respectful manner. However over the past several months, we have had to deal with several members who take their disagreements too far and have engaged in what we have termed as “Belligerent Dissent”. This type of dissent includes:

  • Complaining publicly in a disrespectful manner about staff, the rules, or the how the server is run.
  • Arguing in a disrespectful manner with staff, about the rules, or how the server is run.
  • Complaining about warnings or bans issued to them, either in an aggressive or passive-aggressive manner.
  • Not accepting staff decisions that have already been deliberated and decided upon for quite some time.

Players who engage in belligerent dissent may initially be given a verbal warning from staff, who will instruct them to give their feedback in a more civil manner and/or direct them to forward their complaints privately to an administrator.

Players who do not heed the verbal warning from staff or repeatedly engage in belligerent dissent may be given formal warnings or bans.

These rules will be enforced effective immediately, and are now stated on the official Rules page. If you have any questions about this policy, feel free to ask any staff member.

Procedure for adding new PVP arenas

Effective immediately, we will now be accepting proposals from members to build new PVP arenas. If you are interested in building an arena, please read the new PVP Arena Regulations and ask one of the staff volunteers listed in that document for assistance.

Road Proposals

  • A proposal from shadowboarder to rename the A89 and A9 roads has been denied, on the basis that it would be too much work to redo all signage and labelling for these highways, and that the ward region boundaries may be changed in the future with the Epsilon expansion of new world.
  • A proposal from CodyHM to build a new A13 road to connect Seoland to Lalatown in the northern portions of the new world has been denied, on the basis that it is too close and parallel to the existing A1 road, and that the A13 proposal cuts straight through a mountain biome. We suggest that a B-road connecting Seoland to the A1 would be more appropriate.
  • A proposal from SkyjumperTalon and Cortesi to build a new A54 road from Grisville to Cactus River has been partially approved, only the portion from Grisville to Murrville will be approved for now. Future phases may be proposed at later GSMs once this first portion is complete. Also, this road will need to connect to the existing interchange east of Grisville instead of connecting to the town directly.
  • A proposal from CodyHM to update the A8 to the new Road Building Guidelines (specifically the removal of carpets) has been approved and completed.

Projects & Funding Proposals

  • A proposal from shadowboarder to construct the short Eden Canal to connect Grayzen to Lake Achowalogen Tachaksin has been approved.
  • A proposal from SkyjumperTalon to make a modification on how the MGA Season 2 Golf Tournament is funded has been approved.
  • A proposal from hvt2011 to construct a BluRail tunnel under the inactive town at C93 has been approved.

Property Auctions

  • A request from sesese9 to gain ownership of the town at P22 formerly owned by malbert911 has been approved.

MRT Line Proposals

  • The MRT Savannah Line proposed by _HeavenAngel_ has been approved. It will be located in the southwestern desert area of the map where it will connect with future extensions of the Western, Mesa, and Desert lines. Stations on this line will be prefixed with the letter “H”.
  • The MRT Valley/Island Line Extensions proposed by godzilltrain have been approved. Both lines will converge in Fort Yaxier and share the same alignment southward into the tundra biome, where they will eventually split off  and terminate at the Southern Line at two different locations. The routing for these lines can be viewed here.

Please note that building on the routes of these lines is now prohibited. Once the lines are finished, all stations will be auctioned off at a GSM

Premier City Reviews

  • The feedback for Premier City Reviews during this meeting can be viewed here.

Away From The Server

As a final note, a few staff members and myself will be away from the server from Tuesday, August 21st to Thursday, August 30th to attend an MRT meetup in the United Kingdom. While I am away, the remaining admins and staff members will be available to answer any questions and deal with any situations should they arise.

That’s all for now.

Thanks,
Frumple


Summer 2018 ASM Announcements

Hey all! Surprise — we had an Administrative Staff Meeting (ASM) this afternoon! We had all five admins and Frumple in attendance, and we’ve made some decisions we’d like to announce.

(ASMs are only called a few times a year to discuss a focused set of topics. As these are fairly uncommon and the topics are usually sensitive, ASM agendas are not released to the public.)

Staffing changes

We are pleased to announce the promotion of not one, but two new administrators! Please give a warm welcome and congratulations to AP_Red and MinecraftYoshi26! We’re excited to see how these players can continue their countless contributions to the community now that they are a part of the administration team.

We are also pleased to announce that _Kastle has passed his probationary period following a warning being issued in May. That warning has now been cleared and _Kastle has been reinstated as a full moderator.

Finally, thomasfyfe has once again stepped down from the administrator role and will be staying on as a moderator while he focuses on IRL obligations. We are thankful to Thomas for his work on the Citizens plugin, Halua Island, and other endeavors during his 10 months as an admin, and look forward to continuing to work with him as a mod going forward.

New guidelines on ban appeals

Admins have also approved new guidelines for ban appeals. Notably:

  • Players who are indefinitely banned can submit a ban appeal six months (180 days) after their ban takes effect. Ban appeals submitted before this timeline will be automatically rejected.
  • Players are only permitted to submit one ban appeal. (This has been our standard operating procedure since the server began, so we are now formalizing this.)
  • One-week temporary bans issued as a result of accumulating three warnings cannot be appealed (they expire automatically).

We will be updating our Warning and Ban Policy to reflect this in the coming days.

At the ASM we also caught up our backlog of ban appeals. If you’ve submitted a ban appeal, you’ll be hearing from us soon if you haven’t already.

GSM item: Policy against “belligerent dissent” under consideration

At the GSM on August 11, we will be considering a policy against “belligerent dissent” — this is players who disagree with the server and voice their disagreement in a belligerent or disruptive manner.

To be clear, we welcome constructive feedback and suggestions on how to improve the server; we just ask that these discussions be held in a constructive, civil, and respective manner.

A link to the proposal has been posted in Discord; if you have any feedback, please email the admins.

The end!

Thanks all, we’ll see you on Saturday for the GSM! (If you have things you’d like us to consider, please send them in by 7pm UTC on Thursday, August 9.)

<3,
Chief


July 2018 GSM Results

Hey all! The July 2018 GSM has concluded! You can watch the public portion here on Frumple’s YouTube channel. The results are as follows.

For those planning ahead, our next GSM is Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm UTC. Topics must be submitted by 7pm UTC on Thursday, August 9.

New staff titles

At the June GSM we announced that some staff will be receiving additional titles to recognize them for the additional responsibilities they’ve chosen to take on, in addition to — or in replacement of — standard staff duties. These players might not be as available to assist with WorldEdits and day-to-day activities due to their extra projects, but they are still staff members nonetheless. Titled staff are not senior to staff without titles, and only full moderators and admins are eligible for titles.

We have awarded titles to two staff members:

  • MinecraftYoshi26 is now Moderator and Events Coordinator.
  • godzilltrain is now Administrator and City Ranks Coordinator.

Congratulations to both of these staff members, and thank you for all that you do!

Changes coming to Senator and Governor promotions

We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from players about the City Rank Promotion Batch system — most notably, that it takes quite a while to hear back on whether a promotion is successful. We’ve also noticed that many staff have not participated in the voting process.

We hear you loud and clear, so we’re making changes to the Senator and Governor promotion process, effective September 1.

While we’re still working on some details and getting our back-end set up, here are the parts that have been decided so far:

  • Senator and Governor cities will move from monthly batches to a two-week rolling review system. This means staff have 14 days — starting from the date you submit your promotion request — to review your city.
  • Once you have received feedback, you must wait 14 days (two weeks) before you can request another review.
  • Staff will vote with a more structured template and scoring system, which is still in development. Additional comments outside of the most common issues will also be addressed.
  • Batch 28, which is currently accepting submissions, will be the last batch to use the old system. We will move to two-week rolling beginning Saturday, September 1.
  • Premier reviews will continue to be handled at the GSM.

We hope to have more details available at the August GSM.

United Cities and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)

There was a discussion on the recent events involving the United Cities and how to handle similar planning organizations going forward. Given that recent events have been rather emotionally trying on a lot of players and staff, we want to make a few statements known:

  • We the MRT administrators will not be dissolving the United Cities. However, Frumple is officially denouncing the United Cities as an organization going forward for directly and indirectly creating unnecessary conflicts amongst members over the past year.
  • The United Cities should and will not be considered as the “de facto” MPO of the MRT Server, effective immediately. The UC may continue to exist, but we are strongly encouraging players to leave the UC and join an existing MPO or form their own MPOs.

To help ensure this transition, all MPOs including the United Cities will be subject to the following new rules:

  • Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are entities created by multiple players to facilitate project development and planning between their cities.
  • MPOs may be regional (defining geographic membership criteria) or at-large (accepting members from anywhere on the server).
  • Players do NOT need staff approval to form an MPO.
  • Any MPOs that wish to merge together must receive approval from staff to do so at a GSM.
  • All MPOs are subject to the MRT server rules. These rules cover any behaviour performed on any Discord servers and other means of communication that hosts the MPOs members.
  • MRT staff will not actively monitor each and every MPO, as that is an unrealistic use of staff’s time. However, we strongly encourage members of MPOs to report any rule infractions to the MRT staff immediately. Players will not be punished for making a report in good faith, especially if it turns out to be a non-issue after staff have completed their investigation.
  • If an MPO is found to be suppressing players from reporting rule infractions, or has been actively covering up unacceptable behavior, MPO leadership and involved players will be severely punished. In extreme cases, the MRT administrators may take actions to forcibly dissolve the MPO.

Old World changes

The Old World is primarily a historical archive of our first two years of operations, however we do realize that some changes and maintenance are necessary to keep things working.

We want to preserve this, so going forward, Old World buildings cannot be blatantly destroyed or have large-scale remodeling. Minor changes, such as re-allocating aircraft at an airport, fixing signage, or updating the branding of a check-in area, are permitted, however you can’t tear down a building on the Old World.

We’ll be having discussions at a future GSM to handle airport renovations and similar projects, as well as how to handle incomplete projects. We have not made a final decision on these just yet.

Player-created PVP arenas coming soon

The 12 PVP arenas at Wishington on the old world will soon get some new friends — and you could help make that happen! We’ll be forming a staff committee to take charge of this project and ensure that new arenas meet common guidelines and are configured properly.

New arenas will be built on the Games world and will be set up with the PA plugin, though the details are yet to be determined. Look for an update in August.

Betting organizations are not permitted

A proposal was submitted to allow betting organizations and standards, to allow players to use in-game money to place wagers on events. This proposal has been denied due to several concerns brought up by staff, including:

  • There is a potential for exposing minors to much less structured forms of gambling than a simple lottery.
  • This could provide incentives for players to collude on the outcome of events, rather than participating to the best of their own ability.
  • We’d rather not have betting turn into a popularity contest (for instance, if one player had significantly more bets in their favor, those without as much support would likely feel left out).

This moratorium is in effect for all member-organized gambling related to MRT events.

An update on the Minecraft update

Minecraft 1.13 has hit your launchers, and early reports suggest that this will be one of the most difficult updates to perform. There are a lot of breaking changes behind the scenes, so we expect this to take a while.

There is a Spigot build available for 1.13, but it has severe bugs that can cause irreparable damage to a server world. We certainly don’t want that to happen, so we’ll be waiting for PaperSpigot — and our plugins — to stabilize. We will provide information as soon as we can, but we don’t expect to update until 2019.

We are instating a moratorium on new plugins until we update to 1.13 (whenever that is), so FastAsyncWorldedit will not be carried over to the main server for the foreseeable future. There was a proposal to add the EasyCarts plugin, however this has been shelved until further notice.

Projects and funding proposals

  • BernCow submitted a project, then asked us to pull it at the last second. As a reminder, if you need to withdraw something from the agenda, please email all staff as soon as possible so that we don’t miss it!
  • Major League Spleef and Sumotori League, two sports leagues organized by jphgolf4321, were funded in full.
  • The second season of the MRT Golf Association, organized by SkyjumperTalon, has been approved and will be funded per event. SkyjumperTalon will need to request funding for each event.
  • The United Cities World’s Expo, proposed by Skelezomperman to occur in Central City, has been denied for now. We have some clarifying questions for Skele and would prefer this to be unaffiliated with the UC, or to use an existing convention center rather than starting from scratch. We are happy to reconsider this at a later date once additional information is provided.

Property auctions

  • The InterContinental Hotel Group, previously owned by kiwirainbow, CaptainChimpy, and camelfantasy, has been transferred to time2makemymove, with the caveat that existing hotels should not be renovated without the approval of their town mayors.
  • Phoenix Valley, located between Whiteley and Venceslo, has been transferred to time2makemymove.
  • M19 Pellham has been transferred to tarheelscouse, pending an OK from MishkaMan.
  • V21 has been (finally!) transferred to Aldranster50.

Premier City Reviews

We reviewed four cities for Premier and are proud to announce that Laclede, by jphgolf4321, has been promoted! jph was present at the meeting and gave the following speech:

I just wanted to say, thank you for all of those staff and my friends who have been there to support me in the four years since Laclede started as just a little stub of road by T13, on the first couple of days of Gamma. It’s come a long way, and I couldn’t have done it without you guys, so thank you so much.

Feedback from this set is available here.

The end!

Upcoming events are:

  • The ShadowCorp Match Play Championship – the first event of the MRT Golf Association, Season 2 – is Thursday, July 26 at 5pm UTC. Players can register here.
  • The Amazing Race 9, Session 4, is Saturday, July 28 at 7pm UTC.
  • The next GSM is Saturday, August 11 at 7pm UTC.

Thanks all!
Chief