November 2018 GSM & Fall ASM Results

Hello everyone! Here’s the results of the November 2018 GSM and the ASM that preceded it. As always, you can watch the public portion of the meeting here.

No changes to reflection letter policy

At the ASM we discussed the reflection letter policy and how it has been working out so far. We decided to keep the system as it is for the time being. This means that any player who has been demoted to the Member rank due to warnings (either one double warning or two single warnings) will need to send a reflection statement to the admins (not all staff), in addition to waiting the required time, before re-promotion can be considered.

You can find a set of guidelines for reflection letters on the Rules page (under “Warning and Ban Policy”). Please ask an admin if you have any questions.

New World Dynmap render November 5-7

We will begin our Fall 2018 dynmap render of the New World just after 5:00 a.m. UTC on Monday, November 5. The render is expected to last about two to three days due to the size of the New World. During this time, expect significantly more lag than usual, and note that WorldEdit requests are not allowed until the render finishes. We will also be temporarily suspending renders of other worlds while the New World is rendered.

Recent sexist and disrespectful comments towards women

We’d like to take a moment to remind you of Most Important Rule One: “Be kind and respectful to other players.”

Over the last couple of weeks we have observed a few instances where members have made comments that are sexist or otherwise disrespectful towards women. These are not tolerated on the MRT.

We are proud of the fact that community members have called out disrespectful comments in the past, and we encourage you to continue to do so. If you’re uncomfortable calling out something you see in conversation, you can also report the incident to a staff member. We want to create an open and inclusive community, and racist, sexist, or otherwise disrespectful comments are the exact opposite.

We recognize that a lot of players are on the autism spectrum and can have difficulty interacting with others, and we know a lot of you like to use the MRT as a source of entertainment (after all, that is Most Important Rule Four). These are not excuses for any kind of racist, sexist, or other disrespectful comments. Regardless of your intention or circumstances, these kinds of comments can and do often have a negative effect on others. You’re responsible for the impact of your actions, so please consider how others will interpret something you’re saying before you say it.

Upcoming rules revamp

We are in the process of reviewing the rules and combining the Rules page and multitude of GSM announcements into one single manifest of rules and special cases. We discussed some of it at the GSM, and while most changes won’t go into effect for at least another month (and likely not until 2019), there is one change we are making now.

  • Governor-ranked cities wishing to build an airport must include existing airfields in their proposed airport land allocation. Under the old rules, airfields built at the Senator rank were not counted as a part of airport land allocation, meaning a city 100,000 blocks in size could have a 50,000-block airport in addition to a 7,500-block airfield. Under the new rules, the 100,000-block city with a 7,500-block airfield can now only build an airport that is 42,500 blocks or smaller.

Existing cities with airports built before November 3 are grandfathered in and do not need to be modified, however cities will need to be within the limits in order to expand an airport.

Old World: Minor edits to your stuff only

There has been some interest in construction on the Old World, so we’d like to remind you of the Old World construction policy. You are permitted to make changes to assets on the Old World if you meet BOTH of the following requirements:

  • You are the owner of the asset being modified (or have received permission from the asset owner), AND
  • Your changes are minor in nature.

As a reminder, Old World towns and buildings are not eligible for auctions.

We’ll be giving a more precise definition of “minor changes” in the upcoming rules update; for now the determination of whether something is “minor” or not is up to staff. Generally we will classify changes as “minor” if they can’t be quickly discerned by looking at the build in question, or are done for routine maintenance purposes. “Minor” changes include, but are not limited to updating signage, rearranging furniture, updating branding, or changing the tenant of a gate or check-in desk. Airports are explicitly allowed to reassign gates, check-in areas, and lounges, and update aircraft as needed for business purposes. “Major” changes, which are not allowed, include removing, replacing, or completing large renovations to a building.

Please ask a staff member if you are unsure of whether or not a project is considered “major” on the Old World.

Miscellaneous community issues

Some smaller issues that were discussed at the GSM and last week’s ASM:

  • Airport owners are responsible for distributing their own gates. We received a proposal to impose a “fairness” requirement to airport gate distribution. We understand where this is coming from, however it would cause a lot more workload on staff, and everyone has their own definition of “fair”. As such, we will be leaving gate distribution as it is.
  • Towns that are extremely close to each other (including towns that completely surround other towns) need to have clear borders. Ambiguous borders could cause town promotions to be delayed or denied. Your best bet is to use something wide, such as a river or major road, though any marked border will suffice. (This, for instance, is fine.)
  • Seasonal ranks will be a thing in December. We’re working on it and should have them launched soon. Please let admins know if you have any ideas, though note that Frumple will veto them if they include the word “sock”.
  • Frumple is experimenting with Discord bots. Most staff didn’t have a strong opinion on this, so we’ll see what happens.
  • Admins will soon be adding /wiki and other useful commands to Essentials, much like /dynmap and /apply.
  • We’ve created the #information channel in Discord to store quick-reference links. You can look there for links to most MRT resources. Let us know if anything is missing.
  • The public portion of the GSM will continue to be held in a variety of locations, chosen “off the cuff”, though we do appreciate the venues players have created! Let us know if you have one in your town, and we might pay you a visit. Candidate sites need to have sufficient space for Nothing to be built behind a podium. Large, open spaces work better than theaters.

Roads!

Roads are Frumple’s favorite thing besides socks, so we talked about three of them.

  • An extension of the A54, proposed by SkyjumperTalon to run from Murrville to Cactus River, has been approved.
  • An unnumbered B-road, proposed by Gran_Cacto to run from Murrville to Sunshine Coast, has been approved. Gran_Cacto will need to let us know of the road number before construction begins (just so that we can ensure it’s a unique number).
  • An extension of the A51, proposed by LithiumMirnuX to run from Schillerton to Seloho, has been denied because Lithium still has an outstanding road (the A746 between Janghwa and Kolpino) that needs to be finished first, and we have concerns about the quality of roads Lithium has built in the past. However, we do hope that a road is built out to the southern arctic biome, so other players wishing to build in this corridor can submit a proposal for an A51 or A507 extension at the next GSM.

Special projects and funding requests

  • SkyjumperTalon has proposed more mini-golf tournaments, including a “Tournament of Champions” invite-only tournament for those who have won prior MGA events. All of these have been approved and fully funded. Note that we approved the Tournament of Champions because it is an infrequent event, and invitations are sent out based on performance in prior public events, so it is possible for anyone to qualify for it.
  • MIKE24DUDE requested permission to build a rail tunnel underground between F16 and F20. This has been approved.
  • autobus22 requested permission to build a rail bridge across a bay in the Autumnal Sea, connecting Aquamarine Bay and Moton. This has been conditionally approved: the bridge can’t block boats, so it will either need to be built with enough clearance, or have a portion that can be lifted open.
  • hvt2011 requested permission to build a BluRail tunnel under XW21. This has been approved.
  • AyyLion requested a grant to fund the first season of the “Survivor” game show. This has been approved and funded in full. Best of luck to the participants!

Property auctions

  • The MRT station S0 (which will also be the final terminus of the Zephyr South Line) was awarded to Conric005.
  • The town of Genesis was requested by airplane320, but has been denied due to the town’s proximity to Zaquar.

THE END

The next GSM has not yet been scheduled, but will likely occur in December or early January. Stay tuned, but if you have something in the meantime that you’d like us to discuss or know about, send it our way!

Thanks all!

Chief


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