Monthly archives: July 2020


July 2020 GSM Results

The MRT is now 8 years old! Every year we comment how it’s hard to believe how long we’ve been around, but it’s true. Thank you to everyone for continuing to visit and make the MRT such an awesome place!

We had our July GSM a few days ago, and here’s what happened!

Staff updates

We are excited to welcome daltdisneyland to the staff team! Dalt will be serving as a trial moderator and learning the ropes for the next few months. Please give him a warm welcome aboard as you see him around!

With Dalt’s promotion and going forward, we want to provide a little more information on why we made the offer and some of the nomination statistics. Our policy will be that, for candidates with at least two nominations, we will release the rank statistics for the nominators (meaning staff versus non-staff). If a candidate is promoted, then the names of any staff who nominated that candidate will be released. So, for this meeting:

  • Two candidates each received three nominations from members.
  • One candidate received one nomination from a member and one nomination from staff.
  • Dalt received one nomination from a member, and was nominated by chiefbozx from staff.

Furthermore, we want to give a bit more information about any new offers we make. We generally ground our decisions in the qualities of a moderator listed on the ranks page. In Dalt’s case, two things stood out to us:

  • Conflict resolution: in a recent flare-up between the Republic of Epsilon and the Federated States of the New World, Dalt proved to be quite useful in easing tensions and helping resolve the conflict before staff stepped in.
  • Leadership and communication: Dalt has been incredibly successful in running the Survivor event series, as well as the Pride Month float building contest. Both of these events have a lot of logistics and require quick thinking, good communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution. While staff have been helpful in running these events, they have largely taken a supportive role while Dalt has been acting as the primary host.

We also discussed two internal procedures: one concerning the 1:1s that we mentioned at the ASM, and one concerning the town and player endorsement process for Citizen, Councillor, and Mayor. While staff may continue to write books for endorsements, they will be asked to place a sign (and, optionally, their head) somewhere in the town hall to confirm endorsement. Town mayors are therefore asked to ensure space is available for endorsement markers to be placed by staff.

Finally, town mayors who annex and absorb other towns are asked to notify staff so that our records can be updated. The same goes for splits, though town splits are incredibly rare.

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations for the moderator team – as always, these conversations were valuable and productive to have. As a reminder, nominations don’t carry forward, so members are asked to submit new nominations if the candidate they wanted to see promoted did not get an offer this time around.

MPO Liaison position created

To help alleviate the chances of future drama or major incidents arising from MPOs, AP_Red has accepted a role of MPO Liaison. AP will be an observer in MPOs, with the purpose of monitoring for any kind of large conflict or drama and helping resolve the situation within the MPO before it spills into other channels.

Generally AP will ask to join any MPO which has ten or more members, but he will have discretion of which MPOs need to be monitored (for example, inactive MPOs will likely be ignored).

As always, MPO leadership teams are reminded that it is their responsibility to notify staff if any conduct breaks the MRT rules, and that any attempt to cover up such rule-breaking could result in administrative action, including formal server sanctions (warnings or bans) or dissolution of the MPO.

Copyright reminder

In response to a question submitted by a member, all players are reminded of the copyright agreement posted on the wiki editor and uploader. It is a violation of copyright law to redistribute copyrighted material through any medium, especially through the wiki where files can be easily uploaded and downloaded.

While there are a lot of nuances with intellectual property law, especially because we’re an international and fully digital community, we do want to point out a few things:

  • Anyone who has knowingly uploaded something to the wiki (images, PDFs, edits to pages, etc) that is protected by copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property law is asked to remove such content immediately.
  • The safest option when creating a company, event, or other entity is to create something that is either original, or use material that has been placed in the public domain.
  • If we receive a takedown request under the Canadian Copyright Act or similar legislation, we may be required to take a number of actions, including but not limited to removing the infringing content and issuing formal sanctions against the person(s) who uploaded it.

As always, members may contact an admin with questions about this policy.

Other community issues

  • We have published some updates to the Rules page, as well as a new Policies & Procedures page, to make them easier to read. Information on the Policies & Procedures page is not checked on the membership application, but we think it will be quite useful for members.
  • The #serious channel in Discord no longer has an NSFW flag on it, so all members can once again use it. Members are, however, cautioned that the #serious channel contains very personal conversations, as well as potentially triggering content including suicides, mental illness, and assault. The channel is meant to be a support resource, with the understanding that conversations that happen within the channel stay there.
  • We have made a couple adjustments to the definitions of the GSM and ISM calendar, and have published the dates of GSMs and ISMs to the master events calendar for all meetings through October.

Transport projects

  • The MRT Lakeshore Line and Expo West Extension 2 have now been opened, and all stations that were not reserved in advance are now available for claiming.
  • The Western Line South was approved, with a possible modification near WS4.
  • A canal between Lakes 46 and 47 has been approved.
  • Extensions of the A510 (renumbered to A405), A54, and A6 roads have been approved.
  • Construction of the A45, B432, and B987 roads have been approved in full.
  • Construction of the B22 road has been partially approved. The jump from the mainland to the first island in the route proposal was a bit too much for our liking, so we’re okay with building the road out to the peninsula and then connecting to the islands with a ferry. If the town on the islands develops significantly enough, we may reconsider allowing a bridge or tunnel at a later time.
  • BluRail has been granted permission to bypass SW3.
  • FooteChicken has been granted permission to build a rail line near the Jungle Line South and bypass a number of inactive towns, with the caveat that the line should go underground through the jungle biome.

Events and IATs

  • We have approved full funding for Survivor 4, TAR 11, and the third MGA season.
  • Sonamu and Nutella House have both been transferred to MIKE24DUDE.
  • SW18 has been transferred to ModernArt.
  • PtldKnight has been granted permission to annex A25 for Waterville.
  • The town of Meritt Lakes was requested by frogggggg, but was denied due to the submission being low-effort and lacking a good reason. We can reconsider this item if it is proposed with more thought put into it.

The next meeting will be a General Staff Meeting on August 9, 2020. Until then, please check out the Events Calendar for all of the latest happenings. We’ll see you around!

<3, Chief


Additional Admin Updates

Happy anniversary everyone! We’d like to announce two changes to the administration team that have taken place since the ASM last week.

Firstly, Tom_Pairs has stepped down from the administrator rank after serving as an admin for well over six years. Tom will continue to serve the staff as a moderator. Thank you to Tom for everything you’ve done for the community while serving as an admin!

Second, godzilltrain has re-assumed the title of City Ranks Coordinator. Godz and Mega have been working on getting everything transitioned over the last week or so, and Godz will once again serve as the primary point of contact for any inquiries related to the promotion process for Senator, Governor, or Premier.

Thanks all!

<3, Chief


July 2020 ASM Results

Surprise!!! The admins held an Administrative Staff Meeting (ASM) today, and we have some news to share!

(Background for new members: Administrative Staff Meetings are called about twice or three times a year to address specific issues, people, and big-picture and technical decisions for the server as a whole. ASMs are always private, only attended by administrators, and announced days in advance, if at all.)

Staff changes

We made two changes to staff member positions at this meeting, and discussed a few other aspects of the staff team as a whole. Starting off with staff positions:

  • godzilltrain has been re-promoted to the rank of Administrator. megascatterbomb will be holding on to the City Ranks Coordinator title for the time being, but that title may switch back to Godz at a later date. If that happens, Mega and Godz will make an announcement with the details.
  • Narnia17 has been demoted from Moderator to the rank of Premier due to inactivity. Narnia was promoted up on November 26, 2016 and has served the community well over the past few years. Thank you to Narnia for everything you’ve done during your service!
  • Separately from the ASM, _HeavenAngel_ stepped down from the moderator role a few weeks ago on June 24, after serving for over two years. Thank you to Heaven for all that you’ve done for the community!

In terms of future inactivity demotions, we’ve defined three objectives that all staff are expected to follow, and breaching any will automatically trigger an inactivity process that could result in demotion. These objectives are:

  • Be active in Minecraft,
  • Vote on all assigned cities for the Senator and Governor ranks, and
  • When in Minecraft, help the community out.

Each of these objectives will need to be met on a rolling three-month basis in order to retain active status.

Staff are also highly encouraged to attend as many General and Infrastructure Staff Meetings as possible. These decision-making events are important to the smooth operation of the community. While we won’t mandate or track attendance (primarily because of scheduling and the like), we will be making it easier for staff to vote absentee, with absentee ballots for each meeting being released at the same time that the agenda closes.

1:1s

Starting later this year, all staff will be required to have a semi-annual one-on-one meeting with someone in the rank above them. In other words, every six months, each moderator will meet with an admin, and each admin will meet with me or Frumple. Frumple and I will meet slightly more frequently due to the extra responsibilities of the Head Admin position. All 1:1s will be conducted using voice calls. More details will be determined through a private portion topic at the July GSM.

We’re implementing this to give all staff members a dedicated space to have a two-way feedback and check-in session with someone of a higher rank. This is very common in office jobs with a management structure, and now that several staff have professional work experience (damn, we’re old), we’ve found it to be a really useful tool for both sides of the conversation. 1:1s are not punitive or formal review sessions. They are a chance for everyone to make sure that their ideas, concerns, questions, and experiences are being heard. While they are being formally defined and scheduled, they are intended to be informal conversations that shouldn’t take too long.

We likely won’t make much more of a public mention about the 1:1 process, though we do want to let everyone know in case staff mention them. Staff are always welcome to initiate a private conversation with someone at any time. Members are also welcome to bring concerns to our attention privately, either individually or to the all-staff or all-admin email addresses.

Hate symbols and roleplaying discussion

To start this topic, we’ve been happy to see a lot of conversation and discourse happening in Discord and in-game surrounding this topic. These are some hard questions, especially when the diverse backgrounds of MRT members are taken into account.

One of the key components of this conversation will be our stance on, and banning of, specific things that are used as symbols of hate towards identity-based groups. The admins as a whole are issuing the following statement (which carries the weight of the rules, as it was approved at an ASM):

Symbology and other content that is racist and anti-Semitic is explicitly banned. Effective immediately, any use of the Confederate flag, Nazi swastikas, and recreations of the Holocaust are not allowed. Staff reserve the right to make a final determination on whether something crosses the line, and other items can be added to this list if the community deems them unacceptable.

Members who believe that a specific use of these symbols may be acceptable should contact us. We will not approve exemptions if they can be construed to support any kind of hateful message, group, or action.

This will be an ongoing conversation as the community evolves. As always, feedback can be submitted to staff at any time.

Smaller announcements

While not directly related to the ASM, we do want to call everyone’s attention to a few things:

  • There are several events going on throughout July! Please check the events calendar to learn about them. Event hosts should contact admins if any events or details are missing from the calendar.
  • Please submit GSM items – including moderator nominations – to staff by 7:00 pm UTC on Thursday, July 16. There are two fewer moderators now than there were a few hours ago, so we’d like to bolster the rank a bit with people who would serve the community well. As always, nominations don’t roll over, so members are asked to submit new nominations if their candidates haven’t been promoted.
  • We are still on Minecraft 1.15, so please don’t update your client yet.
  • There is still a pandemic going on, so please wash your hands and wear a mask when you’re out and about.

Thanks everyone – and especially thanks to our media crews for going live at a moment’s notice!

<3, Chief


MRT 8th Anniversary Events

The MRT will celebrate its eighth anniversary on Monday, July 13, 2020, and the calendar is chock full of events – both official and member-organized. Please join us to celebrate eight years of creativity, cities, connections, and community over the coming weeks!

This list may be updated by administrators if additional events are announced. Event funding grants are no longer available for anniversary events, but members wishing to organize a self-funded event can contact an admin to get it added to this list. All times below are in UTC.

Dates and TimesEvent NameOrganizer
Wednesday, July 1Uacam Beach Hotel Building Competition (Building phase begins)time2makemymove
Friday, July 3 and Sunday, July 5, both 7:00 pmAssassinswipeout111
Saturday, July 11MGA Around the World Tournament EndsSkyjumperTalon
Saturday, July 11DesertSun Expo Openscrimsonf0x
Saturday, July 11, 7:00 pmXVIII TacoBurritoAThonSkelezomperman
Sunday, July 12Mafia Session 2SansNotLuigi
Sunday, July 12, 5:00 pmAnniversary Spleef Invitationalnotshort925
Monday, July 13MRT 8th AnniversaryMRT Community
Saturday, July 18, 7:00 pmJuly 2020 General Staff MeetingAll Staff
Sunday, July 19The Amazing Glitch 2 Session 1CodyHM
Wednesday, July 22DesertSun Expo Closescrimsonf0x
Saturday, July 25Survivor 4 Session 1daltdisneyland

Thank you to everyone who has put tremendous effort into organizing these events!

<3, Chief


June 2020 ISM Results

The June 2020 Infrastructure Staff Meeting has come and gone, and with it we have some exciting news to share!

The Lakeshore Line exists

godzilltrain has received approval to begin construction of the Lakeshore Line! While I will admit to once using this name on the Marina Shuttle, the name will now be used for a fully-fledged line running west from Chalxior.

ZN35 through ZN46 have been re-numbered to Lakeshore stations L3-L14 (stations L1 and L2 are built as separate transfer platforms to ZN33 and ZN34). The numbers will be reused in several months with a Zephyr Line extension that proceeds directly north from its current location.

In future ISMs, MRT lines will continue to be discussed, but as the last item on the agenda due to the complex nature of the items. All future ISMs will run in section order 7-8-9-10-6, just like the June ISM did.

The map of the Lakeshore Line is below. As always, starting a new town along this route isn’t allowed until the line opens.

The Lakeshore Line’s route as approved at the June 2020 ISM.

Other transport projects

  • The B1903 has been re-numbered to B7903.
  • 0x10 has been granted permission to build uwurail tunnels near inactive towns at SW18 and SW24, as well as the town of Stormhold.
  • The B22, proposed to run from Titsensaki to Ottia Islands via Heaven City and Craftsville, has been denied. frogggggg and Oshawott_12 can re-propose this road at the July GSM by requesting an inactive town bypass at the closest island along the way.

Events

All of the events submitted to this ISM were funded in full:

  • Survivor 4, by daltdisneyland
  • The Amazing Glitch 2, by CodyHM
  • Assassins, by wipeout111

We’ll be posting these to the events calendar and in Discord, and would love to see you there!

IAT and Other

We only had one IAT to review, and one other topic to review.

  • The IAT for ZN36 (now L4) has been denied, as Amber_Pine is still reachable via Discord. KyleFrb should attempt to make contact with Amber_Pine before resubmitting.
  • godzilltrain has been granted permission to add emergency exits to MRT stations in inactive towns.

Thanks all!

<3, Chief