Newsletter #5 for May 2nd, 2022

Howdy, y’all!

Joe Hills here, writing as I always do from Nashville, Tennessee, with help from Community Liaison ThatTommyBoii. Let’s jump right in!

Two special streams this week!

Not every heading requires an exclamation point, but Tommy and I are so excited about these:

Thursday: NJ’s birthday charity stream!

This Thursday, I’ll be wrapping up my evening HermitCraft stream after the first hour to raid and join NJ on voice to play games together during her birthday charity stream.

The stream will be benefitting the American Cancer Society. You can learn more about them and their mission in advance at

Friday: Total Nuclear Annihilation! Pinball with its creator, Scott Danesi!

This Friday at 8:30pm US Central, I’m excited to have Scott Danesi, creator of Total Nuclear Annihilation joining me as a call-in guest to discuss this game as well as other creative endeavors. It’ll be a great time, and I hope y’all can join us live, or at least check out the VOD later!

In case you missed it, here’s the VOD for the April 29th session with Pujol:

Minecraft server updates

Deep Slate Nine

This week, I added two new trading villager spawning command block buttons to fulfill my petitions promise to allow players to trade for elytra and hearts of the sea.

You can find the Heart of the Sea trader spawning button in the Donut Cave location of my HermitCraft 9 axolotl shop.

The Elytra trader spawning button can be found on the edge of my pinball sea, at the location of my HermitCraft 9 chest nest.

Everstorm Server Mark II

The Everstorm server is in its second of three weeks this session.

Week 2 Obituaries

  • Maahes0 was not a good enough dancer to appease the skeleton.
  • NJ and ChefNutmeg died gloriously for charity.
  • Second turned the wrong way around a birch and found a skeleton.

Experimental Server

Per petitions promises, I’ve expanded the world border, and also installed the Blazes and Caves achievement pack and the Decorative Blocks mod on the Experimental server.

Connecting to the experimental server will now require players install the Decorative Blocks mod, which can be downloaded at Players already using Fabric for the Voice Chat mod will want to download the Fabric version, and ensure they have the latest Fabric API installed.

Community meetings and petitions minutes

Quarterly Meeting

  1. Joe establishes goals of quarterly meetings
    1. Have time set aside to discuss things that are important for long term sustainability for the discord server.
    2. Let folks weigh in on things
    3. Be more helpful and constructive, without creating a false sense of urgency
  2. Meep suggests content accessibility
    1. Joe creates #feedback-accessibility channel to keep all info regarding accessibility in one place.
    2. Captions for screenshots
      1. Joe suggests a bot that removes all images that do not contain alt text, and will post a message reminding the poster to add alt text.
        1. Kindalas suggests that Joe/Staff be required to have alt text, but community members should just endeavor to have alt text.
        2. Meep agrees and mentions that entities such as Facebook do not require all user images to have alt text, but for official posts/images to have alt text.
      2. All staff messages shall contain alt text descriptions.
    3. Audio descriptions for videos 
      1. Joe is looking into incorporating audio descriptions for his videos.
      2. Holding workshops with experts, such as an audio descriptionist, as a discord event for the community to learn.
        1. Meep agrees it is a good idea, and offers the contact information of a freelance audio descriptionist.
      3. In the meantime Joe is trying to be more aware of descriptions in his monologues.
    4. Transcriptions of meetings
      1. Maahes says the newsletter helps get the gist of meetings out there.
      2. Meep says a process in which we can go back to review notes after the meeting
        1. Joe asks if minutes would be sufficient for the meetings
          1. Meep clarifies that minutes are sufficient.
        2. Kindalas asks if the recordings of the meetings would also be sufficient
          1. Meep says that so long as the recordings are posted to the discord it will be sufficient.
            1. Tommy clarifies that he will upload the recording to youtube and link that via discord
            2. Maahes suggests linking the recording in the newspaper as well.
              1. Joe states that was the intention.
  3. In proxy for Netcropolis, how volunteer roles in other communities can be covered in ours.
    1. Joe asks for clarification on what roles folks had in mind specifically
      1. Tommy mentions that since we plan on adding a server operator role to the discord that need will be met.
        1. Joe gives breakdown of plans for hiring server operator
          1. Start with one operator, with plans to have three.
            1. Each operator is a lead on their own project, but will provide support coverage for the other operator’s servers.
          2. Graehart asks if server operators enter the realm of demiurge
            1. Joe clarifies yes, the server operator would handle petitions and gamerules for their projects
          3. Joe says the operators would also take a turn managing the Everstorm server
          4. Mid to late May is the scope for hiring the first operator.
    2. Kindalas mentions the value in Joe paying his staff.
      1. Joe appreciates the feedback and states he will continue to operate this way.
  4. Mr. Hardluck suggests more community game nights.
    1. Joe’s short answer is Yes.
      1. The long answer is that game nights had stopped due to the hiatus between hermitcraft seasons. Now things are in an upswing, and game nights will be encouraged again.
    2. Joe says community members are encouraged to hold their own game nights as well
      1. Mr. hardluck asks if that would be a context for folks to be encouraged to create their own server
        1. Joe says yes, and this is one of the intended uses of the spam-servers-you-operate channel and community-leadership channel
        2. Graehart asks for where the line between community and personal events is drawn
          1. Joe clarifies it’s a community event if the whole community is invited, it’s a personal event if you invite only a few people
          2.  Mr. Hardluck further clarifies that a community event is an open invitation whereas a personal event is a few exclusive invites
          3. Joe mentions that the servers spammed do not have to be applicable to everyone in the discord.
            1. Joe also mentions that community spaces for people of a specific identity should be run by people who identify that way.
        3. Graehart asks if community members holding events would require a moderator
          1. Joe clarifies no, folks can hold their own events that don’t have staff present.
          2. Folks can still propose staffed event ideas to Joe
      2. Grayswandir suggests a channel to spam open events in
        1. Joe suggests a pickup game channel
          1. Joe clarifies it would be intended for folks to post when they’re about to play a game for others to join
        2. Joe changes the channel to be #players-wanted, to allow not only immediate game invites but also upcoming ones. 
          1. #feedback-players-wanted is created as well.
        3. Seanard suggests a voice activated voice channel to go with it.
          1. Joe says he is not entirely comfortable with voice activated channels and suggests two push to talk channels.
          2. Joe asks if folks would prefer a voice activated channel knowing it may be removed in the future.
            1. Mr. Hardluck says to give it a chance.
            2. Kindalas suggests having it as a second open-gaming voice channel.
          3. Joe creates open-gaming-voice-activated to go with open-gaming-push-to-talk

Broad Server Meeting

  1. Aviva suggests we discuss why we are in the community and what makes it good.
    1. Aviva says there had been miscommunication on what players had wanted and what Joe had wanted for the vanilla server.
      1. Tommy says the changes coming will help distinguish unique server aspects from community comfort ones.
    2. Maahes says the level of trust the community has built here is more enjoyable.
      1. Joe says he trusts the community to work together to not have problems.
    3. Kindalas says the types of fans Joe cultivates is what makes the people here exceptional.
    4. Isaac says he went through servers that claimed to be LGBTQ+ friendly and accepting, but would also accept people into the community that would exclude him.
    5. Meep says that the lack of hand holding was beneficial, and that mods that helped with accessibility being allowed helped.
    6. Mantuamaker says folks helping one another here made things easier.
      1. Alice agrees that being allowed mods helps.
      2. Beyr agrees
    7. Aviva was concerned first about splitting the community between the different servers
    8. Em says she joined for Joe and stuck around for the community
    9. Toxxic says the balance between players and server ops is good, we aren’t anarchy but also aren’t hand held.
    10. Giljaxon felt very welcomed by everyone here, and appreciated the meetings existing for folks to join in on.
    11. PinkDistortion says the community is amazing.
    12. Maahes appreciates the open forum and transparency.
    13. Mallorca enjoys the hermitcraft-like experience where folks can be trusted to be courteous. The chaos and whimsy brought by petitions are enjoyed as well.
    14. Casewalker appreciates what Joe creates, and the community makes it more wonderful. When issues were raised on the server having a server operator helped.
    15. Gaea joined for Joe as well but the lack of hand holding made the experience refreshing. 
  2. Netcropolis and Surfrock suggest hiring server operators and administrators.
    1. Joe says having Yirggy as a trial server operator was successful.
      1. Joe plans on having the first lead server operator hired in May to launch the Vanillish server.
      2. Additional server ops will be hired to lead their own servers and as support roles for other server ops.
    2. Server administrators are scoped further out into the year.
  3. Em suggests better feedback mechanisms
    1. Emoji polls, petitions, and meetings are all places for feedback to be submitted.
      1. Maahes and Mallora agree these are good methods.
  4. Misterlantz and Em suggest clearer communication about server aspects for community feedback.
    1. Feedback channels and planning channels are in place for folks to discuss aspects.
      1. Tommy says the channels are underutilized
        1. Joe says server operators would encourage feedback
      2. Maahes says the experimental server was on hiatus but intends on coming back after assessing how the first changes go.
        1. Joe asks the experimental players how they want to handle server resets with upcoming game updates.
          1. Maahes and Seanard wish to wait before resets.
          2. Mantuamaker says servers being on the same game version are more accessible.
            1. Joe says the experimental server will be the slowest to update as it is modded.
    2. Misterlantz says having a pinned message that explains the intent of the server would be helpful.
      1. Joe agrees having a scope definition would be good.
      2. Maahes says pinned messages throughout may not be the most helpful, and suggests one dedicated channel for this.
        1. Joe says his first instinct is to have a page on his website with server descriptions.
          1. Aviva says there are already too many channels, and that server descriptions/pinned messages are better.
          2. Joe says having a url to send people to a site would be most beneficial. 
            1. Joe puts this into his queue.
    3. Misterlantz suggests having a website page about the patreon may help to educate and encourage more folks to join
      1. Joe says he doesn’t wish to promote the patreon until he’s more confident in the discord.
    4. Graehart says having clear definitions and scopes of the servers would be helpful.
  5. Sami suggests better communication around Community Leadership Encouragement
    1. Joe acknowledges that he’s struggled with this.
      1. Em says it occurred when there was already tension, creating issues.
      2. Joe uses the term satisficing to explain that decisions made may not be the most financially optimal, but allows the owner to prioritize personal  satisfaction over profit.

Experimental Petitions

  1. Maahes suggests the decorative blocks mod
    1. No concerns/questions
    2. Joe queues
  2. Maahes requests Joe die to a skeleton to complete bases on the server
    1. Joe is slain
  3. Seanard requests the world border be corrected
    1. Joe queues
  4. Seanard suggests the blaze and cave advancement pack
    1. Joe queues

Deep Slate Nine Petitions

  1. Kindalas requests the sleep percentage be lowered to 30%
    1. Night players have requested 25%
    2. Joe changes gamerule to have sleep set to 25%
  2. Kindalas requests an elytra villager.
    1. Joe raises concern about an elytra villager and heart of the sea trade, and suggests expanding the world border instead,
      1. Kindalas says the border cannot be expanded enough to accommodate the number of players.
    2. Joe will decide on a trade, and queues adding the villager
  3. Centipede proxies for Darth’s items lost in server lag
    1. Joe gives an elytra and 4 netherite ingots to Cen
  4. Meep requests a mooshroom spawn egg and Mycelium
    1. Joe gives all players present 4 mycelium and 1 mooshroom spawn egg
  5. Mallora requests a cat spawn egg
    1. Players offer locations of cats to tame instead
  6. Heart of the sea villager still needed
    1. Joe queues
  7. Giljaxon requests replacement for lost shulker of gold
    1. Alice suggests in place of gold to be given gilded blackstone
    2. Joe grants 64 gilded blackstone to Giljaxon

Have a great week!

Thanks so much to Tommy for writing up the meeting and petitions minutes and for all his other help with the newsletter!

Until next time y’all, this is Joe Hills from Nashville, TN.

Keep adventuring!