chiefbozx


September GSM Results

With the first session of TAR 11 behind us, the September GSM has come and gone. Thanks to Frumple and MBS for live-streaming the public portion!

We have no new moderators to announce, and the public portion was fairly short. Here’s what we discussed.

Ban appeal policy updates

We are making some changes to our Warning and Ban Policy to make the procedures surrounding bans clearer and better aligned with how we handle bans in practice. The changes can be summarized as:

  • We are officially distinguishing between “indefinite” and “permanent” bans, with most bans being issued as “indefinite”. Indefinite bans carry appeal privileges while permanent bans do not. Generally speaking, permanent bans will be reserved for those players who have committed particularly heinous offenses against the community as a whole (and will be extremely rare).
  • Indefinitely banned players can now appeal once every six months. This removes the previous limitation of only one appeal. This adjustment is retroactive to previously banned players: those who have submitted their last ban appeal more than six months ago may now make another attempt by following the same process. Players who abuse this system may have their bans made permanent. Low-effort appeal attempts do count against this rule, so any player wishing to submit a ban appeal should carefully read the instructions on the rules page and take time writing an appeal out.
  • Bans issued due to unauthorized VPN usage (and the resulting appeals) do not count against you.

These changes are effective immediately. Please contact the admins with questions.

4K rule process updates

We have made a fairly major change to “pure” 4K rail waivers (that is, requests to build a rail line with tracks over 4km long between consecutive stations, without needing any other requests such as IATs to be approved alongside it): while they will continue to be handled by email, staff now have 48 hours to veto them, otherwise they will be considered approved.

DO NOT begin building the rail line until you receive an approval email. Just like Trustee nominations, this is a manual process that staff will need to check on our end. If you submitted a 4K waiver request before the GSM, we should have responded to our backlog by now; if we haven’t, please respond to your original email.

Staff will be rejecting waiver requests if they are missing information. We need to know, from the original email:

  • Where the proposed line is (with either coordinates, MRT stations, Premier cities, or labels on the map), and
  • For ALL towns that are within 300/500 blocks of the rail line, whether or not permission to build the line has been given.

If you are proposing a rail line that does include items such as IATs, don’t worry: we’ll put it onto the appropriate meeting agenda for you, and we’ll bundle the requests together.

Smaller community issues

  • Hovercraft (explainer Tom Scott video, for those unfamiliar) are treated as boats within the rules. Hovercraft docking stations are permitted to be inland, but should be fairly close to the water.
  • The 300 and 500 block rules have been expanded: all new construction within 300 and 500 blocks (chessboard distance) of a town need permission or communication before starting. We did discuss at length what constitutes a “town” for these rules, and that’s a hard distinction to make because everyone’s town is different. We hope that everyone will be able to judge whether something counts or not based on examples around the server. If in doubt, get permission or talk to the town’s mayor. Staff are happy to mediate or arbitrate if necessary.

Events

We approved all five events requesting funding at this meeting:

  • MGA Champion’s League: Full funding
  • MRT Video Contest 2020: Full funding
  • London’s Pub Quiz: Reduced funding (prize amounts for places 1-4 halved, top prize now $500; participation prize $25; rule change requested to allow participants to DM answers)
  • 2020 MRT Sumotori Championship: Full funding
  • Millville S.P.L.E.E.F. Tournament: Full funding

That’s all!

Keep an eye on #events and the Events Calendar to see when the next TAR session is, as well as other things happening in the community! Our next meeting will be an Infrastructure meeting (sections 6-10 only), at 7pm UTC on Sunday, September 27.

<3, Chief


CoreProtect Purge Complete, August ISM, New Admin, and September Events Update

Welcome to September! We’ve got a bunch of announcements to share to start the month off, so we’ll just jump into it without any additional prelude.

New Admin

We are pleased to announce that sesese9 has been promoted to the rank of Administrator! Sese has served the community as a moderator since June 2018, and we’ve been really impressed by his leadership and ability to handle a variety of situations since he joined the staff team. We’re excited to welcome him aboard as an admin!

The decision to shortlist Sese was made at the July ASM, the same one where we announced Narnia17’s demotion and godzilltrain’s re-promotion. However, we chose to wait for a few things to settle before taking the final vote and offering the position.

CoreProtect purge done

All CoreProtect logs have been dumped as the time-specific purge was proving to be a little less than cooperative. The server is now back open to the public, though rollbacks to anything before September 1 are no longer possible.

This does mean that we won’t be easily able to verify active building status or perform rollbacks for a couple weeks. However, we now have another 100 GB of disk space to start filling up with more log data.

As always, thank you for your patience during our purge attempts. Hopefully we shouldn’t have to do this more than twice a year.

August ISM results

We held a relatively smooth ISM on August 30, and here are the results!

  • A road proposed by PaintedBlue in ward 9 was approved under the condition that it is downgraded to a B road and numbered B920.
  • The B65 between Savannah and New Southport has been approved.
  • A road in the Nansei-Gunto region has been partially approved and upgraded to an A road (numbered A63). The segment west of Wenyanga to Shahai has been approved, and the eastern segment has been denied for now. We are also reminding players to label your maps and choose a road number when submitting.
  • The “Building on Cypress” event, proposed by Avaneesh2008, was denied for now due to unclear rules and concerns about attendance statistics. Avaneesh may re-propose this event by submitting a clear and concise proposal, with a copy of the rules, and details about judging procedures.
  • The town of West Vermilion (XW16) has been IAT’d to chiefbozx.
  • The town of Birch Forest City (C114) was not IAT’d to Avaneesh2008 due to concerns over reasoning; neighboring cities would have priority in the transfer process, and Avaneesh’s town is quite far away from C114.
  • An IAT for the town at XW36 Station was requested by __Darth_Vader___, however it was denied as this player has just returned from a long period of inactivity and there wasn’t a convincing reason why this town should be transferred.
  • The Expo East Extension 2 to East Mesa has been approved.
  • The Arctic Line Extension 1 has been approved.

September GSM dates changed

To accommodate TAR 11, we have pushed the September GSM dates to Sundays. The events calendar is already up to date:

  • The September GSM is Sunday, September 13.
  • The September ISM is Sunday, September 27.

As usual, these meetings are at 7pm UTC, and agenda items are due 48 hours prior to the start of each meeting.

We’ll see you around!

<3, Chief


August 2020 GSM Results

It’s that time again! Because of the July scheduling oddities surrounding the anniversary, we didn’t have an Infrastructure Staff Meeting at the end of July, which brings us to today’s General Staff Meeting. Surprisingly there was no private portion this time around, so it felt about the same regardless. Here’s what happened!

Role-playing and long conversations should exit #media

The #media Discord channel is intended for players and companies to post announcements and advertisements related to their in-game activities. Recently there have been a few instances where these messages have been drowned out, either by a series of lengthy role-playing statements (often made on behalf of various towns’ government divisions), or by long conversations that have drifted from the original post.

We are now asking players to please help restore the #media channel to its original purpose, and to take other conversations elsewhere. Some examples of conversations and messages that should NOT be happening in #media include:

  • Responding to a franchise announcement or advertisement by asking for a franchise to be built in your town.
  • Role-playing beyond the scope of an announcement or advertisement. For example, if a town announces that a train station is being closed, it’s probably not appropriate to post a lengthy statement condemning the closure in #media, especially if you don’t manage a rail company that would be affected by the closure.
  • Excessive bandwagoning. You are free to react to messages in #media as much as you want.
  • Discussing something that’s not related to an ad or announcement.

Messages that aren’t appropriate for #media should be posted in a project channel or in another Discord server entirely. As with most channels, we hope most players will get a feel for what seems appropriate.

Lab world improvement initiatives beginning

We will be making three changes to the lab world effective immediately:

  • We will be creating warps every 1,000 blocks on the coordinate grid to help players quickly navigate the world. While in the lab world, you can use /mv spawn to teleport back to the spawn point. Warps will be placed at the lab world spawn.
  • We will be reminding players to remove old and unused items from the lab world as soon as they’re no longer needed. Please use the #lab-world-cleanup Discord channel to request something if staff aren’t online. The lab world should not be used as permanent storage: while we do have a lot of disk space, it does have a limit, and we want to ensure that lab world space is available for everyone. Staff can also help you make use of your vertical space by stacking assets on top of each other for easier access. If disk or world space becomes an issue, we may need to start removing abandoned assets.
  • Maps should be moved to the map world or deleted as soon as possible. These take up a significant footprint and so should be removed from the lab world.

As a courtesy to other lab world users, please also mark off a border to your lab area, and stay within it as much as you can. While we won’t be enforcing this as strictly, it will help immensely in terms of organizing the lab world.

To be clear, purging the world as a whole or forcibly removing old assets are last-resort actions that we don’t want to take. We recognize the large number of assets and asset templates that everyone has built in the lab world. We also want to balance this availability with accessibility, by ensuring there is world and disk space available for anyone who wants it. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Speaking of disk space:

CoreProtect purge incoming

Once Minecraft 1.16.2 is released, we will announce the timeline for our next CoreProtect purge.

We purged the CoreProtect logs when we upgraded to 1.15 and Zeta, and because of our immensely high traffic levels since Zeta opened (who’da thunk a pandemic would strike right when we switched servers?), we’ve filled up our logs again to the point where we’ll need to purge some in order to not run out of space.

We will announce the details of the purge when it happens, but players should be aware that it will involve at least a half-day of server downtime, and likely much longer. Please note that this will not bring us to Minecraft 1.16 as we are still waiting on some plugins, but rather this is a maintenance operation that will need to happen soon. We will likely leave about a month or two of logs to assist with rollbacks and other items.

Other community issues

  • The Trial Moderator rank has been retired (bringing daltdisneyland up to a “Full” Moderator). We will still retain the concept of a probation period, as well as moderator warnings for serious misconduct, though these won’t be as visible.
  • A proposal to allow community builds to progress through ranks did not pass. Community builds wishing to build airports or use other rank-restricted perks can request them as a Section 10 item at a GSM or ISM.
  • The MRT line construction moratorium to the Zeta region has been lifted. Staff wishing to build lines in Zeta (coordinates beyond 18,000) should ensure that the lines serve existing towns as a part of the proposal.

Transport projects and MRT lines

  • A proposed extension of the Southern Line West was denied per our new guidelines of Zeta lines.
  • A 4K rule waiver (added to the agenda for timing reasons, not out of necessity) was denied due to station information missing and confusing alignment and elevation details. Pretzel may re-propose this via email by providing station locations, elevation information, and whether or not the line will run using tracks that FooteChicken has been approved to build parallel to the Jungle Line.
  • A bus terminal in Central City, proposed by EliteNeon, has been approved provided that the Merchant Radio building is not moved, and provided that no single bus company has a majority of bus gates (a 50-50 split is okay).
  • autobus22 has been granted retroactive permission to bypass the inactive town of Pyeongmun.
  • The following roads have been approved:
    • A1/B1 North Extension (provided that the B1 section within Oparia is upgraded to A-road standards and signed as such)
    • A230 from Merritt Lakes to New Bakersville
    • B58 from the A54 to Dand
  • A canal from Elecna Bay to Lake 18 has been approved.

Events and IATs

All of our events and IATs this time around were approved. They are:

  • Funding for Assassins, season 2
  • An IAT for Merritt Lakes
  • An IAT for the town at F14 Station

Upcoming events

  • The MRTvision Screenshot Contest 7 finals will be occurring on Saturday, August 15, at 7:00 pm UTC. The top 10 screenshots will be featured on the website.
  • Voting is still open for the DesertSun Expo.
  • Vulpicula will be presenting a dramatic recitation of the Bee Movie script on Sunday, August 16 at 9:00 pm UTC. (Please stop bothering him about this. He knows. He needs to prepare.)
  • The next staff meeting will be an Infrastructure meeting on Saturday, August 30, with a General meeting on Saturday, September 14.

That’s all for now folks, we’ll see you around!

<3, Chief


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