Hello everyone, and happy solstice (almost)! The June 2020 GSM has come and gone, and we’ve got some news to share.
Head Administrator appointed
Last July, Frumple announced that a Head Administrator would be selected, who would have full server access and would serve as a backup to Frumple in most circumstances. I am honored to announce that I accepted that role just before today’s GSM.
What this means going forward is:
- In terms of day-to-day operations, not much will change other than some cosmetics, and the list of things I have access to.
- Frumple remains the ultimate authority on the server and will retain full control and veto power over all decisions. I can step in and handle most technical aspects of the server in an extreme emergency.
- I will be able to assist with more technical maintenance, including software upgrades on the server itself. Frumple will be doing most of these maintenance periods, but I may step in to do a few here and there.
- I am now technically an intermediate layer between the admins as a whole and Frumple. This means if you have concerns about another admin, you can bring them to me directly.
- I will continue to coordinate staff meetings as I have done since September.
Serving the community in an administrator role has been an honor, both now and before my 2015-2017 hiatus, and I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to do that as your head administrator. Thank you to everyone (and especially Frumple) for putting your trust in me, and I hope I can continue to be an effective resource and staff member for this community.
Premiers and Moderators
We reviewed three cities, and did not vote to promote any. They were:
- Marblegate by Just_robinho
- Fort Yaxier by camelfantasy
- Kanto by camelfantasy
All three are eligible for reconsideration in July, and we look forward to the chance to review them again in the future.
Additionally, we did not extend any Trial Moderator position offers this time around. If you nominated someone you think is exceptionally qualified, please send in a fresh nomination for us to consider in July. As a reminder, moderator nominations don’t roll over.
Targeted jokes and political/satirical builds
Both of these items fall under Most Important Rule One (Be kind and respectful to other players), but in slightly different contexts.
First, we are asking players to be mindful of the subjects of any jokes they are making. There are several running gags and memes within the server that are about specific people (Blame Chief, Fake Vulp, and Nuke Hendon are some of the biggest ones), and we have received complaints from some people who are targeted by these jokes that they have gotten out of hand and are no longer funny. So, going forward:
- References to “Nuke Hendon” and “Fake Vulp” are not allowed and may result in warnings under Most Important Rule One. London150 and Vulpine_Master have expressed frustration that they no longer find these jokes funny, yet they keep being made.
- References to “Blame Chief” are okay, because I find that joke funny. That may change in the future if the joke gets out of hand, but in its current form, I’m okay with it.
- For any other jokes about MRT members or their towns, please be considerate of the person you’re joking about. If the subject would be offended or annoyed if they heard the joke, then you should not be saying it.
- Please listen to community members when they ask you to stop saying a joke that’s about them or something they own.
If you find yourself as the subject of community jokes or memes that you’re not comfortable with, and people are not stopping when you ask, please approach staff and let us know.
Second, we’ve noticed a number of players and towns using more controversial symbology and political roleplaying as a part of their towns, or as a satirical commentary on something happening in the real world. We want to ensure that the community is inclusive, while minimizing the harm that these kinds of buildings and roleplaying could facilitate, by banning specific hate symbols at a future GSM.
We want to establish a baseline on what sorts of things would be considered hate symbols, and would therefore be explicitly banned. (Some of these are already implicitly banned, e.g. swastikas outside of a Buddhist context, but we don’t want to come to a more concrete decision without first taking more broad community input into account.) Some examples of symbols that could be considered hate symbols include:
- Concentration, labor, or “re-education” camps
- Swastikas, except in the context of Buddhism
- Confederate flag or Confederate battle flag (here’s the difference)
- Hammer and Sickle
We’ll be holding a more in-depth, public discussion on this topic at the July GSM. Members are encouraged to send in any thoughts on this topic, particularly on what sorts of symbols and roleplaying items should and should not be considered hate symbols, and especially if there are different contexts that we need to consider.
This will be a continuous, fluid discussion as things evolve. Some tenets of this discussion will be:
- We strive to create an open and inclusive community.
- Anything that’s discriminatory in nature is already not allowed, and never will be. This also goes for any kind of racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic commentary or buildings.
- Generally speaking, using these kinds of symbols for educational purposes (for example, building an educational museum about the US Civil War) is okay.
Political conversations should be contained to project channels
Lots of places around the world (including the US) have elections this year, and there are a number of ongoing real-world events that are highly political, such as the varying responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent surge of protests in response to the horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis a few weeks ago.
We are making one formal rule change and one informal guideline change, effective immediately:
- Political conversations must move to project channel 4 (“P4”) upon request. If you’re talking about politicians, policy proposals, elections, or any other political topics, you must move the conversation to P4 if anyone asks you to do so. The following topics also count as politics under this rule:
- COVID-19 responses – essentially anything your local or national government is doing to respond to the ongoing pandemic
- Black Lives Matter, police/criminal justice reform, and protests surrounding the murders of George Floyd and countless other people of color by the police – to be clear, we firmly believe that Black lives matter and we want to allow members to discuss their ideas and experiences, but because true reform will predominantly come from policy changes by local governments, these conversations can get political quickly.
- If you’re starting a conversation that could get political, please start it in P4 to begin with. This will alleviate any need to move the conversation should someone ask you to move it later.
- No retaliation if you’re asked to move a conversation.
If you would like to unsubscribe from the channel, you may do so with the command
/ch leave p4 while in Minecraft. You can also mute the #project-4 channel in Discord. The #politics channel will remain in Discord for those who prefer to have a more rich communication channel (i.e. with inline images and link previews).
Clarification on deputy mayors on town transfers
Whenever a town changes via a voluntary transfer, the IAT procedure, or if a deputy mayor inherits a town, a new deputy mayor must be established before the transfer is complete.
For all new town transfers:
- If you’re requesting a town through IAT, or because you’re the deputy mayor and the town mayor has been inactive, you must specify the new deputy mayor when you notify staff or request the transfer. GSM and ISM items will be rejected if they don’t include this.
- If you transfer a town to someone else, you will become the deputy mayor until the new mayor decides to change it.
- If you acquire a town from a banned mayor, you must appoint a deputy mayor as soon as possible.
- These guidelines will apply to ALL towns which go through an ownership transfer, even if they have not yet reached the Mayor rank.
For existing towns which are at or above Mayor, yet do not have a Deputy Mayor listed in our records:
- If the town mayor is active, we will reach out to them to determine who the Deputy Mayor of the town is.
- If the town mayor is inactive, we will assume that the last known mayor of the town is the deputy mayor.
- Our primary source of truth will be the town hall in game.
Other community issues
- In commemoration of our 8th anniversary on July 13, we’ve added a #nostalgia channel for discussion of all sorts of older MRT things. We may remove it if the channel becomes inactive or causes issues.
- Password requests for Mumble, OpenTTD, the file server, and wiki account creation will now be handled by TacoBot in the #password-requests Discord channel. The command to request a password is
=password get [openttd|mumble|files|wiki](this is also listed in the pinned message in #password-requests). Members who are not in our Discord server can ask staff for these passwords in game, or can ask for a one-time Discord invite while in game.
- Mayors with MRT stations in their towns are asked not to block emergency exits when redecorating. Staff will do a pass over the system to make sure exits are accessible.
- The #meeting-discussion Discord channel will be linked to Minecraft before the upcoming ISM. We’re still working out the technical details on appearance, prefix command, etc., and we’ll let you know what the setup will look like once it’s all finalized.
- Adjacent towns may not combine helipad allocations (this is mostly because helipads can serve multiple purposes, and it’s hard to tell what purpose a helipad serves when looking at it directly). Towns wishing to build joint heliports must make it clear at the building that it’s not owned by a single town. We will interpret a heliport built in the middle of a single town as being owned by that town. To avoid confusion, we would strongly discourage any joint heliports.
- The Northern West 1, Mesa 3, and Plains 4 extensions have been opened! All requested stations were awarded to those who requested them, and all remaining stations not in existing towns are now available for claiming.
- We have approved construction of the Expo West Extension 2 and the Jungle North Extension 1. Routings look as follows:
As always, please do not build any new towns in the corridors of the new lines until they open. We’re excited to see the Secunda Spiral get built!
Roads and Rails
- The B287, proposed by VickiTori_, has been approved. (Thank you to Vicki for including a “context” map on the dynmap screenshot!)
- The B140, proposed by mooseman0725, has been denied because it goes over Echohue’s dam, and Echohue has denied permission. It also may be misnumbered according to the ward system.
- A railway tunnel between Dand and Lilygrove, proposed by i____7d, has been begrudgingly approved. Vulpicula has been reminded that 4K rule waivers (as this project was) do not need GSM/ISM approval.
- BluRail (owned by hvt2011) has been granted permission to pass under the town of Sanford at A4 Station.
- An extension to the A78, to be built by ArizTrad, has been approved, except that the portion that goes near the town of Retroville needs approval from the town mayor. ArizTrad can either wait to secure permission, or build the bypass – either is fine with us.
- The sequel to the Segav Sal hotel building competition, now named the Uacam Hotel Competition, has been approved. (We approved the funding at the May ISM pending some rules changes, and we’re happy with all of the revisions.)
- An MGA tournament, proposed by SkyjumperTalon, has been funded in full.
- An anniversary spleef event, proposed by notshort925, has been funded in full.
For those wishing to host events for Anniversary Weekend and receive server funding, your last chance to get it is the ISM on June 27, with items due at 19:00 UTC on June 25. We will prioritize event funding requests at this ISM if necessary. As a reminder, all event grants must be approved before the event starts.
We only had one IAT request this time around, for the station of WN26 and it was denied due to the distance between it and SubmergedSubway’s town. However, the station does not have significant development, so Subway or anyone else can claim the station. (Please be nice about this.)
That’s all for now – stay safe, wash your hands, and we’ll see you around!
Head Administrator, Minecart Rapid Transit