Minecraft 1.16 is set to hit launchers within the next 24 hours. While a lot of us are certainly excited to get the new features onto the MRT – especially the new blocks, redstone changes, and performance improvements – it will likely be a while before we update our primary server.
For those of you who are new, we typically update to new major Minecraft versions about three months after their initial release, if at all (we skipped 1.14 completely, for example). This timeline varies considerably based on the complexity of the update process on our plugins and core software. As such, we won’t be able to give an estimate on our update timeline until we get closer to being ready to update.
Please do not pester staff with questions about the update timeline. Frumple and I will provide announcements here, via Discord, and as Section 4D statements at GSMs as new information becomes available.
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:
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!
<3, chiefbozx Head Administrator, Minecart Rapid Transit
And now for something completely different just like most of our other website posts, but hopefully shorter! We held our first Infrastructure Staff Meeting on May 31, and here’s what came out of it.
Roads and rails
0x10 has been granted permission to expand the Central City Heliport.
Pretzel33 has been granted permission to build the B33 (great name choice), so long as the landscape along the route is respected.
FredTheTimeLord has been granted permission to start construction on the Peacopolis Canal – this was discussed at the May GSM, but it lacked permissions at the GSM. Now that everyone’s on board, we’re happy to let construction begin.
hvt2011 has been granted permission to build a BluRail tunnel that bypasses two inactive towns near Thunderbird.
CodyHM has been granted permission to extend the Southern Warp Rail line to New Dublinium, except that Ramona will need to approve the section between Arcadia and Kanto. A reminder to all: 4K rule waivers can be handled via email and don’t need GSM/ISM approval in and of themselves.
A hotel building competition (which will be a sequel to the Segav Sal competition) has been mostly approved. The event begins on July 1. We have approved reduced prizes, pending a few logistical details:
time2makemymove may begin preparing the competition venue.
The rules need to be rewritten, ideally in a tone similar to how the server rules are presented (meaning capital letters and mentions of disqualification should be limited as much as possible)
The voting system may need to be redesigned, as we believe there is a high chance that the proposed voting system could be used to manipulate the results.
The first place prize has been reduced to $4,000. All other prizes will be awarded as proposed.
All participants must be permitted to copy their hotels to their towns.
A series of small sporting events in Pretzel33’s town of Prismarine on June 20 have been funded in full.
Prizes for the MLS Shoveler’s Cup have been funded in full.
Prizes for the 16th, 17th, and 18th TacoBurritoAThon events have been funded in full. These will take place on June 6, June 21 (02:00 UTC; June 20 in US time zones), and July 11.
A bridge building contest, organized by Conductor_, has been funded in full. This contest begins at noon UTC on June 1.
The DesertSun Expo, proposed by Vulpine_Master, has been funded in full. Exhibitor construction begins on June 19.
Inactive Asset Transfers
The town of Siletz has been transferred to time2makemymove.
The town of Heampstead has been transferred to ManuF_moj, provided the border of Gemstride is clearly established.
That’s all for the ISM – it seems like it’s gone well, so we’ll be continuing these in the coming months! The next regularly scheduled staff gathering will be on Sunday, June 14 for a full GSM.
To those in the US or in cities abroad where protests are abundant, stay safe. If you know anyone who lives in Minneapolis/Saint Paul or any other city where particularly large protests are happening, please check in on them. Otherwise, we’ll see you around!
As we announced at the May 2020 GSM, we will be trying out a change to the monthly General Staff Meeting cycle that we hope will shorten the monthly GSMs and provide for quicker turnaround of most projects and events. Specifically, we will hold short staff meetings in between the monthly GSMs. These shorter meetings have been colloquially called “mini-GSMs” in the past, but their official name is the Infrastructure Staff Meeting or ISM.
ISMs work just like GSMs in most aspects, but they have some special considerations:
ISMs only consist of GSM sections 7, 8, 9, and 10. These sections are the non-MRT transport projects, event funding, inactive asset transfer, and other project sections, respectively. MRT lines, “Section 5” community issues, and private topics (Premier city reviews and moderator nominations) are not discussed at ISMs.
ISMs have a hard time limit of 1 hour. Anything that isn’t decided within the hour will be forwarded to the following GSM. Of course, if we can handle everything within the hour and adjourn sooner, that’s even better. Event hosts wishing to have an event on the same day as an ISM can safely have the event begin at 8:00 PM UTC without a conflict.
ISMs have full decision-making authority, and a decision made at an ISM carries just as much weight as a decision at a GSM.
ISMs are generally scheduled 14 days prior to a GSM. There are exceptions, usually for the July, December, and January GSMs (June, November, and December ISMs) due to holidays. We will announce any modifications to the schedule well in advance.
We generally will handle all items in the usual order (transport projects, then events, then IATs, then other items). We may change this order if necessary; for instance, the June ISM may prioritize events due to the anniversary. Final decisions will be made when the ISM agenda closes.
ISMs will be public, and WorldEdits will not be permitted during the meetings. GSM Town construction will be permitted during an ISM.
The first two ISMs will be Sunday, May 31 and Saturday, June 27, both from 7:00 to 8:00 pm UTC. Please note that the July GSM is on July 18, not the 11th.
As a reminder, agenda items are due 48 hours prior to the start of the meeting. This means that any ISM-eligible items that are submitted by 7:00 pm UTC on Friday, May 29 will be considered at the ISM. Don’t worry if you’re unsure about when your proposals will be considered – once they are added to an agenda, you’ll be told which one.
We hope this process allows for much more efficient GSMs, and that projects and events can get started quicker. We certainly don’t expect the first two to go perfectly, and we’re open to suggestions for improvement. If you have any, or any questions about the process, please let us know.
It’s May, which means it’s time for some more GSM results! Special thanks to both MBS and MBN for streaming this month’s meeting. You can find stream archives of the meeting here (MBS) and here (MBN).
Or, to be more accurate, lack thereof. This time around we decided not to extend any offers for a Trial Moderator position, even though we discussed several candidates. Two candidates will be automatically reconsidered at GSMs in the near future.
We went into a lot of detail at the GSM about why we made this decision (it’s at about the 1 hour, 5 minute mark – right at the beginning of item 4B). In short:
We recognize that there are some concerns about staff presence in the Asia/Pacific time zones. Our priority is to find and offer moderator positions to quality candidates, regardless of where in the world they live. Time zones occasionally factor in if we’re promoting multiple people, or in the case of admin promotions where G Suite seats are limited, but they are not a primary factor in our consideration process for moderators.
We list the qualities we’re looking for (and not looking for) in potential moderators on the Ranks page. The overwhelming majority of our decision-making process is tied to these qualities. If a candidate has served on the staff team in the past, their previous service is taken into consideration as a part of our process.
If a candidate is not recommended for promotion and offered a position, that doesn’t mean they are a bad person, or that they are forever banned from receiving the position. It does mean that we don’t think the position is a good fit for them at that moment in time.
We believe that one candidate was explicitly asking community members to submit nominations. This goes against the spirit of General Rule 4 (“Do not ask to become a staff member”). Our policy going forward is that candidates who request nominations will be automatically denied promotion at the GSM involved, and repeat offenders will receive formal warnings under General Rule 4. Candidates should earn their nominations through their actions in the community.
Additionally, we want to make some clarifications regarding the nomination process itself:
Moderator nominations do not roll over to subsequent GSMs. If you submit a nomination but your candidate does not become a trial moderator, you can send in a new nomination if you think the candidate is still qualified for the position and want us to reconsider them. You need to send in a brand-new nomination, you can’t just resend your old one. This also applies to deferred candidates: because we won’t release candidate names, if you want us to be sure to reconsider someone, please send in a new nomination.
We expect nominations to be of high quality and to provide enough information for us to understand your viewpoint on why you are nominating a candidate for the position, along with how they have demonstrated their maturity and leadership. Nominations that lack specific examples, are overly broad and generalized, or are too short will be rejected and will not count towards the two-nomination requirement. (Nominations will generally be rejected if they’re less than a paragraph long.) All staff members are empowered to reject low-quality submissions, and if in doubt any staff member can use our existing communication channels to consult with other staff, or can escalate to an admin.
Above all, we want to encourage everyone to continue looking out for worthy candidates and sending them our way. We really appreciate all of the nominations that came in this time, and we had some really productive and thoughtful conversations about each candidate on our list. Thank you to everyone who sent in nominations.
To clarify some of the things that nominators and candidates can and can’t do related to this process (which has been in place since 2012):
If you nominate someone, you can choose to privately tell them that you have submitted a nomination. We would discourage you from sharing your nomination publicly.
If you want to nominate someone, you can privately consult with other players or staff about your thoughts. Nominations, however, must be sent from only one person; we don’t allow joint nominations.
If a candidate receives an offer but chooses to decline it, they can choose to come forward and identify themselves publicly if they wish.
Candidates may not ask community members for nominations, or for information about a pending nomination.
If we announce that a candidate has declined an offer, we ask that community members refrain from trying to identify the candidate. The candidate has the choice of if they wish to identify themselves or not.
Staff will not confirm the authenticity or accuracy of any information regarding nominations, candidates under consideration, or candidates who decline an offer, except for non-identifying counts (for example, we can confirm how many nominations have been submitted overall, or how many candidates declined an offer, but we will not confirm how many nominations a specific candidate has).
Other private topics
We reviewed the cities of Chan Bay (by ManuF_moj) and Titsensaki (by frogggggg) for Premier. Neither passed the 80% majority vote required for promotion. Feedback is in the usual folder, http://bit.ly/AllBatches.
Yoshi has been working on some cosmetic updates to the Rules page, as well as a new “Policies” page that outlines some of the non-rule policies that we have in place. These should be going live soon.
We discussed the potential for having a “Mini GSM” in between “Full” GSMs to clear some of the road, event, and other proposals that are less involved and easier to process. More information will be forthcoming on how this will work and when the first one is.
Road ownership and proposal threshold changes
Effective at this GSM:
All A-roads, including existing A-roads, are publicly owned.
All B-roads, including existing B-roads, are publicly owned, except within the borders of a town where they are owned by that town’s mayor. Ownership of the appropriate road segment transfers with the town in the event of an IAT.
B-roads are exempt from GSM approval requirements if they are less than 500 blocks long (an increase from 300). Road builders are still encouraged to contact staff to reserve the road number and get it added to the master road spreadsheet.
Our intention with these changes is to make it easier for players to build roads and connect towns together. We view these as being fundamentally different from rails, for reasons including the fact that roads are almost always built at ground level (as opposed to rails, which are frequently built underground). If you have questions about what kinds of changes you can make to a particular road segment, please ask your nearest friendly staff member.
Other community issues
The uCars plugin is being removed at 05:00 UTC Monday, May 11. While the plugin has been beloved throughout its period of installation, it has become increasingly incompatible with minecart-based rail systems, especially trams and anything that uses a uCar-drivable block (think quartz) as its track base. Additionally, the plugin hasn’t been updated in a long time, and it’s unlikely it will be in the near future. We are looking into options to issue refunds for any purchased uFuel. As of right now this is a permanent removal, though if the plugin or a fork of it comes back, we could reconsider it at a later date.
We are considering implementing a ticketing system for requesting staff assistance during busy times. This stems from a (valid!) complaint that staff tend to forget or ignore some requests when it’s busy. While we’re still working out the details, please use /helpop to request something when it’s busy. You might not see its message, but staff certainly do, and it’s a bright red and orange message that’s much harder to miss than a typical chat message.
We are leaving /skull as a supporter perk. There was a proposal to allow all players to use it, however we believe it is still a valuable perk for anyone who supports us financially. Players who are not supporters can always access custom skulls either by collaborating with a supporter, by importing them from the Minecraft saved hotbar feature, or by importing them through a schematic file.
The July GSM is being rescheduled to Saturday, July 18 at 19:00 UTC. This means if you want to receive a funding grant for an anniversary weekend event, you need to get your request in for the June GSM.
Helicopters with active warps only count against a town’s limit if the warps go outside of the town. This means that once a town reaches Councillor, there is no limit to the number of helicopters that can be used for local (single-town) transit.
MinecraftYoshi26 will assume the majority of the responsibility of managing PVP arenas. The existing arenas (1-18 and Laclede) will be updated to use names, rather than numbers or abbreviations, and Yoshi will be the primary point of contact for building and setting up new arenas.
We have clarified some rules on building canals. All canals outside of a town need staff approval, and all canals within a town do not. Staff will determine on a case-by-case basis if a canal needs GSM approval or if it can be handled over email. Generally, short and simple canals will be more likely to receive approval over email, while longer canal systems will be more likely to require a GSM discussion.
Lake 46 from this map has been renamed Lake Gunto.
ModernArt sent something in about the ownership structure of NW26-T50 Stations. This didn’t ask a question, so we weren’t sure what to do with it. It’s technically eligible for an IAT if anyone wants it.
With that out of the way, here’s the whirlwind of stamps we handed out on everyone’s other projects!
Four MRT line extensions were approved. As per usual, please don’t build new towns along these lines until they open.
The Plains Line Extension 4 runs from Richville to Hannibal.
The Mesa Line Extension 3 runs from Heampstead to Tembok.
The Taiga Line Extension 2 runs due north from its current terminus, stopping short of the Zeta border.
The Northern West Extension runs from its current terminus to Carnoustie.
Maps of all four routes (PLX4, MLX3, TLX2, and NWX1) are all below.
The following roads were approved:
The A62 from Deadbush to Savannah, by Yellowitcher
The B243 from Litore to Metamesa, by Foote_Chicken
The B365 from Richville to the A4, by _Kastle
The B808 Extension / B809 by autobus22
Y’all really seem to like boats, so here are some canal projects:
We have held approval on a pair of canals between Gray Cloud Lake and Lake Gunto (Lakes 14 and 46), pending some details from i____7d.
We have denied a project from FredTheTimeLord to build a series of narrow canals in the southwest, primarily due to permission issues.
We have approved a canal between the Estival Sea and Lake 49, though “49connect” really is a bit of a missed opportunity, given that the Estival Sea is lake 20.
Other transport projects
We have approved a series of inactive town bypasses by IntraRail in the northwest corner of the map.
We have approved an inactive town bypass for BluRail in Chestwick (A18).
The tunnel project proposed by i____7d to run between Harton Bay and Forest Bay has been held, because the proposal didn’t include information on whether this tunnel connects to a larger network, and whether it’s a road or rail tunnel. (Yes, this is important.)
The canal from Eden to Lake Takachsin proposed by shadowboarder is approved in full.
We approved two inactive asset transfers:
The town of Amberville, to ManuF_moj
The Phoenix Tail Hotel franchise, to EliteNeon
The town of Hathnes was pulled by its owner before the meeting, and so was not transferred.
We’ve got some exciting events coming up:
The Summer Olympics, organized by airplane320, were approved with reduced funding.
Big Brother 5, organized by MinecraftYoshi26, was approved with full funding.
The MGA New Amsterdam Tournament, organized by Red_Ray and London150, was approved with split funding (as agreed, we’ll fund the first $500, with any extras coming from sponsorships).
The Pride Month Float Building Contest, organized by daltdisneyland to occur in Central City, has been approved with full funding. Look for signups and location information soon!
That should be everything. Wash your hands and stay home, everyone – and let us know if you have questions or if we missed something.