Newsletter #8 for May 23rd, 2022

Howdy, y’all!

Joe Hills here, writing as I always do in Nashville, TN!

Staff updates

I don’t know about y’all, but I need a break this summer. I’ve got family and friends I haven’t seen in far too long, and I want to make the most of the opportunities I have to see them.

In order to ensure I’ve got the time and energy to focus on video production between those visits, and that I can truly unplug during them, I’ve made several staff changes in the last months:

  • ThatTommyBoii promoted to Community Liaison
  • Yirrgzmb promoted to Server Operator
  • QueenDarkLady hired as a moderator

I’m excited to finally be able to make two more announcements today that should finalize our staff roster for the near future:

ToxxicGlitter promoted to server operator

Ensuring proper coverage of our SMP servers is important for my peace of mind as I travel, so I’m quite pleased to announce that this summer ToxxicGlitter will take on a supporting server operator role on our existing servers.

Next month, Toxxic will serve as creative lead on Everstorm #4, so keep an eye out for that mid-June! If you’re playing on the Everstorm server now and have any feedback you think we should see, make sure to post it in Joe Hills Meta > #feedback-everstorm.

This fall he’ll be creative lead on a new and distinct long-term SMP, which will allow folks who join our community late this summer a chance to be there on the ground floor of a new server launch. Planning discussion for that project will occur in the newly created #tbd-fall-next channel.

SamiHiggins returning to moderation team June 1st

I’m excited that SamiHiggins has accepted an offer to return to the moderation staff starting June 1st!

Sami was a member of our first cohort of moderators hired back in November of 2020, bringing her experience moderating large communities at scale. I’m glad to have her back aboard!

Crafts with Cleo streams

This week, Cleo and I needed to move our usual Wednesday crafting stream to Tuesday the 24th.

My project for this week will be upgrading my desktop computer’s power supply and moving its other components into a new case that isn’t too bent to screw PCI cards into. Thanks to y’all’s support, I could buy the components I wanted that I think will be best for my build instead of having to waste time with potential sponsorship deals. I appreciate it!

Upcoming craft stream schedule

Here’s the plan for the next month, all streams start at 8:30am US Central:

  • Tuesday, May 24th:  desktop PC transplant
  • Wednesday, June 1st: color pencil pinball designs
  • Week of June 5th: no craft streams this week due to scheduling conflicts
  • Wednesday, June 15th: with guest and co-streamer Janey Laney, founder of BlackMinecraft!

Upcoming Quarterly Meetings

Our next quarterly meeting will be held on June 18th at noon,  preceding the 1pm server petitions session and 2pm HermitCraft mini-game field day.

Current agenda items:

  1. Patreon reward tier review

If you have something you’d like to propose for the agenda, please post it in Joe Hills Meta > #next-quarter-new-business-requests. Thanks!

Community game nights

While we call these “game nights,” most of them are scheduled mid-day for me here in Tennessee to accommodate the morning crowd in California and the evening crowd in Europe.

HermitCraft mini-game field day

We’ll be visiting some old HermitCraft mini games on June 18th immediately following petitions June, with an estimated start time of around 2pm US Central.

Please RSVP in the Activity-Sign-Ups > #june-18-field-day if you plan to attend so we can prepare games properly sized for the crowd. Thanks!

Hot D&D 5e & Pathfinder 2e Summer

Tabletop gamers, new and experienced, rejoice!

This summer myself and at least one guest Dungeon Master (DM) will be hosting one-shot tabletop role-playing games for the community.

Most of the games will be for first-level characters, which are easiest to generate and play. If you need general help spinning up your first character, please ask in Gaming > #d20systems.

If you have specific questions about creating a character concept that’s a good fit for the game you’ve signed up for, please ask in that game’s specific channel.

Available Games

More details about each game can be found in its Discord channel. All games have four seats, but will be screen-shared via discord so other community members can watch. None of the games Joe is dungeon mastering will be streamed, though guest DMs reserve that option.

PathFinder Bounty #1: The Whitefang Wyrm
  • Sunday, June 12th from 1pm–3pm US Central
  • System: Pathfinder 2e
  • DM: Joe Hills
  • Character level: 1
D&D 5E on the high seas
  • Saturday, June 25th from 1pm–4pm US Central
  • System: D&D 5e
  • DM: Saucefire from Mercy Road
  • Character level: 6, no home-brew, but anything published is fine

We are very fortunate that SauceFire has agreed to host this game for us as a way of thanking our community for supporting the last Mercy Road charity event.

Please only mark this game as your [first-choice] if you contributed during the event, thanks!

Pathfinder Bounty #2: Blood of the beautiful
  • Sunday, June 26th from 1pm–3pm US Central
  • System: Pathfinder 2e
  • DM: Joe Hills
  • Character level: 1
PathFinder Bounty #3: Shadows and scarecrows
  • Tuesday, July 26th from 2pm–4pm US Central
  • System: Pathfinder 2e
  • DM: Joe Hills
  • Character level: 1
PathFinder Bounty #4: Cat’s Cradle
  • Saturday, July 30th from 3pm–5pm US Central
  • System: Pathfinder 2e
  • DM: Joe Hills
  • Character level: 1
PathFinder Bounty #5: Witch’s winter holiday
  • Tuesday, August 16th from 2pm–4pm US Central
  • System: Pathfinder 2e
  • DM: Joe Hills
  • Character level: 1

How to sign up

To ensure everyone gets a chance to play at least once, but also that we don’t have any empty seats, we’ll be accepting sign-ups for each game with a mixed-priority system:

  • Each community member has one [first-choice] sign-up for a game, which will will be respected first-come, first-served. If you mark more than one game as [first-choice] simultaneously, you will invalidate all of your [first-choice] requests—so if you become unavailable for your original [first-choice] date, be sure to remove that request before placing a new [first-choice] elsewhere.
  • Each community member may also use an [alternate] sign-up for additional games, and any seats not filled by first-choice applicants will be randomly assigned to alternates, weighted toward selecting folks who have not been previously selected as an alternate.

Community Minecraft servers

Vanillish Planning Meeting

Creative lead on the upcoming 1.19 Vanillish SMP server, Yirggzmb, will be hosting a call today, Monday May 23rd, at 5pm US Central time in the Discord.

Please stop by if you’re interested in playing on an SMP that’s a bit less chaotic than Experimental but would still like access to data packs for armor stands and more!

Everstorm obituaries

  • MisterLantz died to a Skeleton while on an expedition for redstone.
  • ZedrikCayne rests in peace after digging all the way down to the void at y=4 in search of a lush cave. Having found the biome….he slipped off the edge of the platform he was building and died from suffocation in the void.
  • Dez passed at 5pm ET on 5/19 from digging 2 netherrack in the nether to prove he had been there, unfortunately finding lava.
  • Madelinessocks died. No further comment.
  • NJ went to the nether to venture, but the piglins wouldn’t dare let her, despite warning signs, she still went out and died. She’s now spectating from up in hog heaven.

Deep Slate Nine: B’hala build contest

A bit of background…

Once 1.19 drops, the WorldBorder will expand to include the ancient city of B’hala a few thousand blocks South of WorldSpawn. B’hala may hold many treasures, but its site is temporally unstable. Its chunks may reset at seemingly random intervals, though some scholars hypothesize that a pattern may emerge if funding for further observation and analysis is approved…

Early reports of the cultural significance and treasures of B’hala have exceeded expectations set by similar excavations in the past, bolstered by evidence that the each reset pulse of the anomaly doesn’t always yield identical treasures. Is this instability as dangerous as it may be valuable?

Many factions are expected to converge on the site and construct outposts along the edges of the temporal anomaly. Preliminary geological and biological reports show the land ringing the anomaly’s field is unremarkable at the surface level, but bedrock reaches higher in its vicinity than has been previously recorded. There are some indications the bedrock level may be rising still at a nearly imperceptible rate. Until lengthy observation is possible, construction efforts should be concentrated on the surface.

Each expeditionary group must agree to construct a wall segment along the chunks that divide their outpost and the anomaly. They must agree to work with their neighbors to to design fittings that will connect their walls at the ends of their segments. Each outpost’s wall segment should have one secure gateway at its center to allow expeditionary teams access to the anomaly.

In the interest of commerce and emergency vehicle access, each outpost must include a road 18 meters wide that runs parallel to the wall at a distance of 80 meters from the wall. As with the wall, outposts must cooperate with their neighbors to ensure continuity.

Outposts will need to register with the information below between Saturday, May 21st and the release of Minecraft 1.19.


Sometime in late August or early September, a panel of judges will convene for a livestreamed presentation of each outpost by a member of its expeditionary team.

By that time, some may be heavily fortified frontier outposts, others may be small towns or aspiring cities.

Outposts will be judged based on the following criteria:

  1. Quality of wall and road linkage with neighboring outpost territories
  2. Follow-through on aesthetic intention
  3. Overall impressiveness (weighted based on number of team members)

The teams will be ranked and rewarded with priority for their request of holiday for hosting the upcoming season 9 parade float build contest.

Seven expedition teams registered already

Thanks so much to the folks organizing the seven teams already announced! With no clue how soon 1.19 will be released, I’m glad to see folks taking initiative. Any teams added after this is published will be announced next week!

  • Blackwater: a western town inspired by Red Dead Redemption 2, registered by DahliaM77
  • Deztiny: a resort themed outpost, registered by Dezuwufire14
  • Earth Kingdom: an Avatar: the Last Airbender-themed city inspired by Ba Sing Se, registered by 5th Awice
  • Lotus: a Cambodian-architecture temple inspired by Angkor Wat, registered by MeepedCubed
  • NotKansas: a Wizard of Oz inspired outpost, registered by Seanard
  • Redstone: a slime and honey block adorned outpost, registered by Kindalas
  • Shiny: a space-western outpost inspired by Firefly, resisted by Em ✿w✿


Due to audio problems with my petitions recordings, they’re unpublishable without spending significant post-processing time. I’ve learned from that mistake, and plan to return to streaming petitions in the future to ensure we always have a clean back-up VOD.

I can still recover enough to write minutes, which I will do later this week in time for Newsletter #9.

One thing I noticed as I started that process was that I was clearly too exhausted to perform an entertaining session. These events are planned a month in advance, and I need to structure my rest such that I can be as energetic and entertaining as y’all deserve in the future. I apologize for not bringing my A-game this month, and for being too tired to catch my audio recording error.

If anyone has a clean recording of the petitions, please let me know and I will append it to this newsletter when I can. Thanks!

Upcoming Experimental and Deep Slate Nine petitions sessions:

  • June 18th, 1pm US Central
  • July 30th, 1pm US Central
  • August 28th, 1pm US Central

Episode 14 released! Eleven days in the making!

Upcoming travel & conventions

Come hang out at any of the following events!

Keep Adventuring!

We can’t close out a newsletter without thanking Community Liaison ThatTommyBoii for all his help with this newsletter!

Until next time y’all, this is Joe Hills from Nashville, TN. You know the rest.