History of the MRT Server

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The Minecart Rapid Transit Server was opened on July 13, 2012. The server has five main eras, each marked by an expansion of server resources (all of which were expansions of land, with the exception of Omega which was a major upgrade of server resources).

Zeta: February 19, 2020 - Present

Modgate and Its Effects

Initial Announcements

At 21:50 UTC on October 4, 2020, Frumple published a statement in the #announcements channel of the MRT Discord Server that outlined his opinion on the status of the MRT server and vaguely announced changes to elements of the MRT community, including the announcement of "very serious complaints towards certain staff members," emerging after a server-wide focus study conducted by Vulpicula and endorsed by the overall staff team. His statement said, "one of these problems that we are already aware of is the notion of the "Mumble crowd", where others feel that those who frequent Mumble get special treatment in moderator selection and staff requests, and they feel excluded from that social circle in general," and, "the social group within Mumble... will be greatly affected by these changes, and hopefully for the better."

The first announcement out of a series of announcements coming as a result of the investigation conducted by Vulpicula.

At 22:01 UTC, _Kastle sent a message into the #general channel of the MRT Discord Server, pinging @everyone and saying "this is my final message. goodbye," with a link to a statement from him, outlining his perspective on his imminent punishment and stating that he would be leaving the server community. Two minutes later, at 22:03 UTC, Frumple announced the immediate demotion and double-warning of _Kastle. The reasons for this action were listed as, "At least aware and complicit in the finding and sharing of an MRT member without their consent, including phone numbers and personal photos, using that information to mock, slander, and disrespect the MRT member behind their back, and consistent complaints from numerous MRT members citing unfriendly, unhelpful, and disrespectful behaviour from _Kastle when interacting with him on Mumble or in-game." It was clarified that _Kastle would never have the opportunity return to the staff team. _Kastle's response statement to his punishment stated that he blamed Vulpicula for conducting a biased study, which he described as a "witchhunt," and, "To those for whom my demotion and departure is a celebration, I really do hope that this will bring you peace, as I assure you it brings me none."

At 22:15 UTC, it was announced that _Mossie would be demoted from the moderator position due to "unauthorized sharing of sensitive details and discussion from the September 2020 GSM private portion to a non-staff MRT member, specifically the discussion on moderator candidates." It was clarified that he would be eligible for renomination to the staff team three months after the demotion.

At 22:39 UTC, it was announced that woorich999 would be double-warned for "finding and sharing personal information about an MRT member without their consent, as well as harassment and disrespectful behaviour on Mumble."

At 23:03 UTC, it was announced that Echohue would be demoted from the moderator position due to "Discord DM evidence that shows him directly soliciting other members to nominate him for moderator back in July/August 2019." It was clarified that he would be eligible for renomination to the staff team three months after the demotion. This was the final forced demotion of moderators, yet the fallout after was yet to come.

At 23:05 UTC, as a part of the same set of announcements but not as a punishment for wrongdoing, it was announced that daltdisneyland had voluntarily resigned from the moderator position due to "negative feedback rang[ing] from questioning the accuracy and scope of dalt's assistance in moderating MPOs, to negative personal interactions with dalt himself."

For the final announcement, at 23:15 UTC, the new Open Moderator Nomination Process was announced as an agenda item on the October GSM and to be implemented for the November GSM onwards. The announcement came with a statement that provided more information on the process.

There were a wide variety of reactions to these announcements, from very positive to very negative and everywhere in between. While some people called for the end of the Mumble server, Frumple clarified in his original announcement that the Mumble server, at least for the time, would not be shut down. Due to the immense amount of reactions in the duration of the announcements, "Slowmode" was enabled on some channels of the MRT Discord Server. Staff in the #general channel continually asked members to stop speculating on what would happen in future announcements.

Many questions arose from the aftermath. Proposals of recording others in the Mumble server to catch rule breakers arose. Frumple and other staff instructed members not to record others, and rather to write down what happens and get verification from others in a situation if a member sees rulebreaking or harassment in Mumble. Another solution staff instructed people to utilize was to ask for a staff member to enter the channel.

At 05:28 UTC on October 5, 2020, hvt2011 announced in the #general channel that he would be resigning from the moderator position and he would be leaving the MRT community, with a link to a statement. This statement cited, "the demotions that occurred... have been quite taxing on my mental health due to many of them being some of my close friends," and that "to me, [friends from the server are] like my second family. To see many of them get demoted today, really disheartens me. I really thought I belonged on this server. Now I no longer feel welcome here," as reasons he was leaving the community. Many staff members that were not demoted/didn't voluntarily resign said goodbyes to hvt2011, for example, sesese9 responded in the #general channel by saying, "It's hard to put into words how sad I am to see you leave, hvt. When I came back from a long hiatus (2 year break) to a wacky mumble, you were quick to accept and befriend me."

After hvt2011's departure, chiefbozx recognized the struggles to come for the server by saying, "the next couple months are going to be a bit rough for several reasons... hopefully with the new nomination process we'll be able to bring on more people in November and onwards. We've had small staff teams like this before."

At 17:15 UTC, Valkorion314 (formerly known as jphgolf4321) announced in the #general channel that he would be resigning from the moderator position and spending less time with the MRT community, with a link to a statement. In his statement, he said, "If not for the friends I met through Mumble, I don’t know if I would even be alive to write this letter... Initially, I was debating whether or not I should resign, but the response of the community in the past several hours has been, frankly, appalling. It has left a sour taste in my mouth which has led me to this point." He also called the evidence used against the demoted staff members into question, saying, "I vehemently disagree with every single demotion which occurred yesterday, in part because I firmly believe the “evidence” which the investigation found that resulted in the demotions was nothing more than conjecture and hearsay." Addressing those who he believes were working against him and his friend group, he said, "You won, but at a heavy cost. You’ve both eliminated the so-called “Mumble crowd” and driven several of the most critical anchors of this community away in one fell swoop. I wish you the best of luck in picking up the pieces from this. You’re going to need it."

After Valkorion314's departure, at 17:24 UTC, VickiTori_ stated why she was not going to leave the server or the staff team, saying, "The server will definitely be rendered hardly recognizable. It's one of the reasons I'm very passionate about staying on the mod team. Enough have left already. Though most of the mods have left, there needs to be someone to keep that worldedit niche filled."

Being greatly affected by the departures, Conric005 announced a month-long hiatus and a link to a statement, saying, "I no longer feel welcome on this server. Now that all of my friend group is gone, I need to take a month to let things blow over. I honestly don’t know how my future here is going to go." KyleFrb also commented on the situation and the feeling of being unwelcome by saying, "the tone of some messages from select people after the announcements made me and others feel unwelcome. It got to the point for some staff [and people] that they left."

At 20:15 UTC, Vulpicula released a statement in the #announcements channel addressing the concerns others had about the investigation method and announcing the questions used. The questions in the study were as follows:

  • Do you know of anyone who might have left or is playing less due to the actions of staff, or other issues with how the server is run?
  • Does your perspective of the ‘Mumble Crowd’ affect how much you play on the server, or how you feel about the server?
  • Do you know anyone who I could possibly talk to, to try and get information and opinions?
  • If you could change anything on the server to fix the issues you feel it has, what would it be, how would you change it, and why?
  • Are there any staff members you have issues with, and why?

As a way of showing that the study was not a targeted attack on those who frequent Mumble, Vulpicula said, "I assure you that none of the actions taken on Sunday were a result of [the question about Mumble]. [That question] was largely to gather information and assess possible reforms and ways forward." He also stated, "I understand that for many I’m the last person they want to hear from right now, and I can understand that. While I didn’t wish for this chaos, it was merely the result of what I had found. Don’t shoot the messenger, and all that. This whole investigation consisted of me asking questions and sending those answers to the admin team, or trying to link incidents together to get a more complete picture of what we were hearing." As a way of addressing whether he did this survey for his own gain, Vulpicula stated, "Some have accused me of doing this only to further my own position on the server, and to that I again, deny. This investigation was done out of a moral sense of trying to make things better. I love this community, and want to improve it for everyone. Hearing that folks are being driven off, harassed, or generally feel unwelcome for one reason or another is something I wished to rectify." Frumple also stated in relation to this accusation that, "I've heard some rumours that people think Vulp was doing this just to further his own position in staff. I will say clearly that I'll probably never promote Vulp to admin."

Before and During The October GSM

On October 9, daltdisneyland posted a statement to the #announcements channel showing his perspective. dalt mentioned that he wanted more open conversation to bridge the gap between Mumble frequenters and non-Mumble frequenters. "He said, I’ve run in social circles both “in the group” and out of it, and I can say from experience that neither side has all of the information", noting a time when someone thought frequenting Mumble was "a direct pipeline to [being] staff", as well as comparing the reaction to _Mossie's demotion with ones on the resignations of hvt and Valkorion.

Two days later, woorich999 and _Kastle had posted another statement to #announcements. This served as an apology and farewell message for the two of them, as well as more evidence being put forward. Kastle clarified Frumple's original statement about their demotion, stating that the doxxing event they were allegedly involved in happened in a Discord chat he wasn't in, which was a chat including camelfantasy, Frosty_Creeper10, SoSo123, time2makemymove, and woorich999, which served as a chatroom intended for the splitting of FliHigh Airlines and FlyCreeper, and the foundation of SkyNation Alliance. This statement contained various instances of doxxing by camel, Frosty, and woorich, and a link to the logs of the full Discord conversation, with relevant information redacted out for the victims' safety.

On October 13, 2020, the staff made a website post updating the allegations made against _Kastle following the woorich and _Kastle releasing the document, resulting in the withdrawal of Kastle's double warning, time2makemymove receiving a double warning, and the banning of woorich999, camelfantasy, and Frosty_Creeper10.

This evidence, combined with what we have, is now being reclassified as "inconclusive" in determining who was responsible for the 2018 doxxing incident, specifically in the initial finding of information. Because of this, we are rescinding _Kastle’s double warning and retracting our original charges and an apology has been issued to _Kastle for our earlier decision based on weak evidence. We are keeping _Kastle’s termination in place however, so he won’t be able to return to the staff.

Three members will be receiving indefinite bans because of explicit and egregious harassment: woorich999, camelfantasy, and Frosty_Creeper10.

time2makemymove will be receiving a double warning for making highly disrespectful comments towards certain members, and for standing by the more egregious harassment from the other three.

October 13, 2020

Frumple later wrote a statement that explained his personal opinions in the events that occured in the days prior, including woorich and Kastle's statement. This included explanations to this actions that led to both Kastle's initial demotion to Trial Mod on 2018, and their later demotion on October 4. He said that Kastle, Frosty, and Cookie46910 had attended a raid to another server named UltraCraft, whose head admin, a former MRT member, reported to Frumple. This, as well as other concerns, most notably the contacting of a banned member's school without the direct permission of Frumple, had initially led him to be demoted from Staff. However, he changed his mind and re-promoted Kastle to Trial Mod after several Staff members protested. This statement also considered the statement of woorich and Kastle mentioned above, and considered the possibility of retracting the double warning that was initially given in light of new evidence.

That same day, time2makemymove had posted a third statement, showing their perspective in the doxxing that happened in the SkyNation founders' chat. They said that while their was the least active person in the chat, not noticing most of the events that happened without their knowledge, their apologized for the hurtful messages sent by them and their friends.

The final major statement that day was from Frosty_Creeper10 and camelfantasy, the last two founders of SkyNation who hadn't published a statement yet (excluding SoSo123, who was already banned on 2018). They both apologized for their actions in the chat, and answered a few questions and clarifications for the events in the chat. They denied that they were actively tracking down the information of other members, mentioned that Frosty reported their own doxxing to Vulpicula during the investigation, and said that the SkyNation founders' chat and the main SkyNation Discord were different, and that other members of the airline alliance were not involved in this situation.

Later that day, various members expressed their feelings, opinions, and information regarding the new discoveries. Worrski of aero left SkyNation due to the events, and time also mentioned wanting to leave SkyNation. SoaPuffball, another member of SkyNation, confirmed that the discussion indeed only happened in the founders' chat, as "nothing of note happens in the [SkyNation] main discord". Various other members, including Sasha9076 and MIKE24DUDE, had posted statements about their feelings from the first wave of demotions on the 4th until this point.

A Recovering Community: The MRT after Modgate

Post-Modgate Reforms

A new Moderator Nomination system was approved in light of Modgate, this allowed players to nominate candidates for Moderator provided that they have two nominations. Furthermore, all candidates had to be approved by two-thirds of staff as well as Frumple who could veto it. KyleFrb, daltdisneyland, and Echohue were promoted to Moderator through this system. However, the discussion channels on the discord server, which were introduced as a part of the new system, were controversial with members often getting into immature arguments and discussions, oftentimes deviating from the original purpose. This contributed to Frumple seriously considering shutting down the server and not renewing it in January. Tensions and worries were at an all time high and some were making preparations should the server not be renewed for 2021.

On January 1st 2021, Frumple announced he had renewed the server albeit with several caveats and conditions. He went into more detail in a statement at the January GSM just a couple of days later.

On January 28, 2021, SimonScholar resigned from the administrator due to real-life responsibilities. This also led to the removal of the role of Staff Meeting Coordinator.

At the February GSM, megascatterbomb introduced a new 7-level warning system to replace the old one. With the old system, staff faced multiple discussions of what punishment was appropriate and therefore impacting response time to the actual issue. The new system included features like offline reflections as well as the ability to "stack" punishments for more severe incidents. This system was later updated so that nominations needed at least one piece of evidence, with new guidelines on how a candidate could ask about a potential veto.

Approximately a month later, megascatterbomb resigned due to real-life responsibilities and the fallout of Modgate.

Resignations and Nominations: The Fallout of Modgate

With the exception of Echohue who was repromoted in January, no new moderators were promoted from January to May of 2021. From February to March, 5 candidates were considered but none were promoted. No candidates were considered for the next 2 months, and the lack of staff members were worsened by the resignation or demotions of MinecraftYoshi26, Vickiposa and Unjinz in May to June.

At the June GSM, 2 members: Missa_Solemnis and Needn_NL were promoted to moderator being the first new moderators in 6 months.

However, just a few days later, Kyyl would resign from Mod, departing from the civil tone of other resignation letters, with a very blunt letter stressing his frustrations with the server's maturity and claiming that it was going downhill. This caused considerable discourse in the community with some members making statements describing their thoughts on the situation and others leaving. A few Staff members, like Skelezomperman, would also publish statements.

Following Kyyl, daltdisneyland would resign a few weeks later due to issues with the community as well.

A New Start: New Mods and New Change

The events of mid-July would lead to renewed hope in the community specifically in regards to the staff shortage. 7 Candidates would be nominated at the August GSM though not without criticism from some members in regards to the quality of the nominations and the rationality behind them.

At the GSM, 6 out of the 7 candidates: DintyB, hvt2011, ondist, MC_Protocol, Narnia17 and MPolo455 were promoted, breaking the record for most candidates promoted in a single meeting. There were also several changes during this period such as modifications to the Plagiarism rule, the enforcement of 300-500 block rules to only apply to registered towns and a new "Miranda Rights" rule, something proposed and approved in light of the events in Mid July by autobus22. Other more reforms included the increase to how many Seaplanes a town could have and the deregulation of Spaceports.

The October SSM

The Meeting

At the October GSM, chiefbozx called for a Special Staff Meeting for October 17th. Nothing was mentioned about the meeting other than the fact that the meeting agenda would be private until the meeting started. Chief encouraged members to be at the meeting if possible.

A few days later, Chief announced that the meeting would concern Frumple’s return to the server as Owner. The meeting was also rescheduled to October 24th due to clashes with the schedules of select Staff members.

On the day of the meeting, Frumple announced that the server, while it would still be renewed for 2022, it would most likely be the final renewal meaning that the server would most likely shut down in January 2023. While there had been threats by Frumple to shut down the server in the past, most prominently during the initial fallout of Modgate, this was more serious and seemed less than a threat or a hypothetical.

Frumple cited that he was “done” with the community and that he was tired of managing it. He mentioned that all admins, including chiefbozx, were not in a position to take over the server and that any change of ownership would be international meaning more trouble.

The meeting also bought up concerns with Frumple with individual members, bought up by autobus22 in a statement he made after Vulpicula's resignation. Frumple dismissed these concerns as invalid and said that auto's comments directly contributed to him deciding to close the server.

Aftermath & Fallout

Many members expressed sadness and disappointment that the server would be closing, some would take a step back from the server while a minority would leave the server entirely. Coincidentally, two moderators: ondist and Echohue resigned, the latter having mentioned that he would resign at the end of the summer back in June. Both mods did not cite community issues as factors in their resignation.

Frumple would then propose a Moratorium on future Section 5 topics in GSMs, in the #forum channel, to be considered at the December GSM. However, it did not happen, as the shutdown cancellation was announced.

The Bans of November 4th

On November 4th 2021, Frumple decided to indefinitely ban crimsonf0x, who had been issued a L5 Warning at the October GSM for uncivil behavior, citing that he was not someone that could be reasoned with any capacity. Following this, autobus22, a well known critic of Frumple as well as the wider staff team , criticized Frumple for the warning calling it problematic and saying that the community was fractured and broken. Shortly after, Frumple would ban auto for sustained belligerent dissent.

This sparked outrage in the community with many criticizing Frumple for this seemingly authoritarian measure. Frumple would then threaten to shut down the server early but would then back off. A couple of hours later, Narnia17 would resign calling Frumple out for his dismissal of criticism, accusing him of gaslighting and abusing the community and compared Frumple's actions to something out of George Orwell's 1984. He would then transfer all of his assets and leave the server.

Shortly after, Frumple would make a statement apologizing for his rash comments to certain members as well as defending his position for banning autobus22. The whole ordeal would lead to several members leaving the server, either temporarily or permanently.

2022 and 2023

Shutdown Cancelled

At the December 2021 GSM, Frumple announced that the server would not be shut down anytime soon. This brought a general feeling of relief to the community as a whole - not because the server wouldn't be going away, but because Frumple seemed eager to keep the server going for as long as he could.

June 2023 ASM

On June 6, 2023, Frumple announced there would be an Administrative Staff Meeting on June 10, 2023, which would be the first ASM since 2021. Additionally, Frumple clarified that the ASM would not involve any involuntary staff or conductor demotions, and later clarified that the server would not be shutting down in response to some concern amongst members. In the announcement, Frumple stated that the primary theme for this ASM would be the "future direction of the server."

At the ASM, it was announced that chiefbozx would be stepping down from his position as Head Admin after the August 2022 GSM, with SimonScholar assuming the Head Admin position from this point onwards. There were no new promotions to Admin at this meeting. Additionally, a new server, Delta, was announced, with SimonScholar saying that the server lease for Delta has been pre-paid for 24 months by Frumple. The transition date to Delta was to take place in September 2023, along with the Discord Server being opened to guests. While guests wouldn't have full access to the MRT Discord server, they would be able to view and read many of the most important channels, and send messages in a few others. Additionally, the Mumble server would be discounted due to very low use.