Hiya! Resident server pony checking in with another super tardy blog update for y’all! In this episode of “Derpy talks about stuff” we take a look back at the life and times of the server, the community, the staff, the joys and tears, the hardships and the friends along the way, each and every update installed and database issue resolved… Nah, I’m pulling your leg. We did an Ask-Me-Anything! BronyTales was opened to the public on April 15th 2019, so we figured we’d throw a little party to celebrate its birthday this Saturday. World’s fair event over the Everfree complete with clever inventions and a magic show act by Trixie’s understudy with special guest appearance of Sombra and Yes Bug Daring. Iota recorded the latter end of the show for anyone who wasn’t there, like Derpy, who fell asleep on a cloud outside the gate while waiting for the event to start:
Unique to this event, though, was an Ask-Me-Anything event after Trixie’s show where we got to try out a new Discord feature: Stage channels! We were originally going to have a normal channel with only a few people with talking permissions, but Discord released this new channel type just before the event and it was too cool to not use! Unfortunately you can’t stream or show webcams in stage channels currently, but that’s a feature I’m hoping for in the future. That could drastically change how online conventions are organized! Would be so exciting!
Anyway, the purpose of this blog was to review the AMA, not beg Discord to add stuff to their platform Discord devs if you’re reading this I would greatly appreciate a message edit permission. So without much more ado I’ll start the transcript!
(skipping a bit of shenanigans at the start of the call, and will also be cleaning up / skipping to parts in the interest of making this record coherent. Feel free to listen to the whole thing for the full experience)
Cast of characters:
Data / Derpy / Server owner
Daring / DaringShepard / Server admin
Timely / DoctorWhooves / Moderator
Scorch / Celestia / Moderator
Schlorgadorb / TwilightSparkle / Moderator
MoonlightRift / Luna / Helper-Builder
Chris / Chris / Helper
Maksiu / ShadowTwinkle / Helper
DreamingPandas / SweetieBelle / Helper
Scorch: So, just a bit of history for you guys, the two-year anniversary was a few days ago but two years ago this server got started because of a few individuals, two of them are in this call, Derpy and Dr Whooves. A lot of teams would do this at conventions or maybe a Reddit AMA but it was decided we could do this on our Discord. So for the past month we’ve been taking any question as long as it was appropriate by any of you whether it be in the chest set up at the tree or the Google form. And for the next hour, we’ll try to get through all of those questions.
Derpy: It might be possible. Depends on how much tomfoolery.
Scorch: First question on this list: Who is the best pony?
Scorch: Well, obviously it’s me! (Celestia)
Schlorgadorb: Obviously it’s Celestia.
Timely: Whooves is best pony for me, but that’s mostly because he’s a comfort character. I’ve had this cannon for like three years, if not longer.
Scorch: All joking aside, my favorite character from the show is Fluttershy.
Moonlight: Cozy Glow.
Timely: If it had to be anyone but Whooves, Applejack.
Data: For me, my favorite would have to be Scootaloo, simply because they remind me of a 5-year old that I babysat at a camp I worked at. I was their counselor. I was basically their private jungle gym, and they were so much fun.
Moonlight: That’s wholesome.
Scorch: I have a mental image of Derpy taking care of Scootaloo now.
Moonlight: Yo, somebody get on that fanfic.
Data: I wonder if that exists, because there’s so many Scootaloo orphan fics out there.
Timely: “Favorite episode or season of MLP?”
Timely: Probably second or third season. Bear in mind I’ve only watched up to season five or six.
Scorch: I’m going to say season three is my favorite, favorite episode is Heartswarming Tale.
Daring: Controversial opinion: Season nine is good.
Moonlight: That is a hot take.
Timely: You could fry an egg with that take.
Daring: Other than that, aside from season nine, the finale of season two.
Pandas: I’m not saying just because I’m Sweetie Belle, but the Crusaders of the Lost Mark was my favorite one.
Schlorgadorb: Season five was my favorite. It just has so many episodes that are very out there, they tried a lot of different things that I like. I could not pick a favorite episode, though.
Luna: I don’t think I could pick a favorite episode, but a favorite season I’ve got to say season four.
Chris: I’d have to rewatch the show to choose a favorite season, but favorite episodes Crusaders of the Lost Mark and The Perfect Pair, those got me emotionally.
Maksiu: Which is it where Twilight became an alicorn? Yes so, my favorite would be season three and those two episodes.
Data: So I have been bad pony.. For me, the best episode was Crusaders of the Lost Mark - so good that I pretty much stopped watching the show after that. You can’t top that for me - they’re growing up! It made me so happy.
Pandas: “Any In-real-life hobbies?”
Pandas: Playing Pokemon Sword.
Scorch: Does helping BronyTales count as a hobby?
Moonlight: This server literally consumes my life, I don’t do anything else.
Chris: I like the outdoors and camping and stuff. I also like tanks.
Schlorgadorb: I’ve been into gaming for the past twenty-seven years. In 1996 when I started playing Magic. I play card games, miniature games, board games, and I’m into the ridiculously long ones. So if anyone wants to play Twilight Imperium sometime, let me know.
Data: Twilight has told me about this game! It basically takes six hours, minimum.
Schlorgadorb: Not minimum, but -ish.
Timely: DnD and Art. I don’t post much of my art on this server, I probably should. The current community banner that pops up on the Discord when we have enough Nitro boosts, I made that. I also made the server icon made and the Novel Tale sign in the race temples.
Maksiu: I spend most of my life in front of my computer..
Data: Unfortunately my hobby is collecting hobbies. My most recent hobby is drones because work was getting rid of a bunch of drones, and I was like “Hey, I’ll take them home!” So I’ve been flying drones everywhere. I set up an obstacle course in my backyard, set up some FPV cameras on some of them, been flying them around. As far as other hobbies, I’ve got like four sewing machines, I’ve got a wood lathe, I’ve got welding equipment… I’ve got so many weird hobbies I’ve had for like three months and then dropped.
Pandas: I have a question: So if Derpy is a canon role and they’re the owner, does that mean that the canon inactivity limit does not apply to them?
Data: I assure you I am active on the server even when you don’t see me on the server.
Scorch: “Favorite BronyTales race?”
Pandas: Good Question Yes! My favorite race is yes!
Luna: I have to say changeling looks really fun.
Pandas: Actually, I’d have to say unicorn.
Data: I do have to say I really love the changelings, I had so much fun with that one.
Daring: Yeah, it was really well-done.
Timely: I might be biased because I coded them, but I really like umbrum.
Schlorgadorb: I’m a fan of unicorn and hope to do some work on them.
Maksiu: For me it would be bat pony or unicorn.
Chris: Changeling is both fun and functional, I like it.
Schlorgadorb: I’d like to point out that nobody said earth pony even though earth ponies get a ridiculous amount of buffs.
Timely: Oh, yeah. Earth pony by max level you are a walking haste two beacon. It is great.
Data: Earth ponies had to be nerfed four times when it was released. (and it’s still very good)
Schlorgadorb: It’s like if you just want to play normal Minecraft you play earth pony and you get all kinds of benefits.
Scorch: Next question: “Is Scootaloo really a chicken?”
Pandas: I’m her friend, I can confirm.
Scorch: The Scootaloo inside me is complaining right now.
(then three people talk at once…)
Scorch: “Favorite games other than Minecraft?”
Scorch: Well lately me and Luna have been playing a game called Storm Chasers and I’ve really been enjoying that.
Pandas: Pokemon Sword, I got the DLC like yesterday.
Data: There are other games than Minecraft?
Timely: Anything from the Zelda series, puzzle games, but lately I’ve been absolutely obsessed with Dark Souls.
Chris: Terraria, Celeste, Warthunder.
Luna: I’d say my favorite game, but I’m a coward.
Data: My favorite game outside of Minecraft would either be Factorio or Chess.
Timely: Shining bought you 5-dimensional chess the other day.
Data: Yes! And it is fantastic! I’m still looking for someone brave enough to play me in it.
Chris: I forgot to say Hollow Knight.
Timely: Hollow Knight is wonderful.
Schlorgadorb: I have too many favorite games.
Daring: Mine as you could probably guess is Mass Effect. Other than that, I play a lot of Warframe.
Timely: You did not tell me you did that, I need to drag you in to farming at some point, Daring.
Schlorgadorb: For the moment, right now is probably Twilight Imperium, but if you asked me two weeks ago it would have been War Machine, if you asked me two weeks before that it would have been Magic. It rotates every couple of weeks to whatever the next game I’m going to be playing is.
Schlorgadorb: Yes, two weeks before that would have been Diplomacy.
Maksiu: 40k Warhammer, Sea of Thieves, or Phasmophobia.
Scorch: “Any fandoms you’re really into?”
Chris: I was in the furry fandom for a little bit before joining the MLP fandom.
Moonlight: I don’t do anything besides this server. I was in another fandom but it drove me so mad it destroyed my mental health so I left.
Pandas: Honestly, ever since the game came out I’ve been obsessed with Little Nightmares.
Timely: Dr Who, Full Metal Alchemist, Supernatural. I tend to watch a lot of cult-based shenanigans because they’re fun. A lot of different ones although I’m not really a community person, more of a “I like to watch show” person. I find that I don’t get involved with fandoms much unless I’m especially really interested in something.
Scorch: The two really big fandoms I’m involved with outside of MLP are Power Rangers and Yu-gi-oh.
Schlorgadorb: It’s a hard question for me to answer. I think this is the only fandom I’m really into. I would say I’m into board games and DnD but that’s really just to play it - this is really the only one I’ve gotten into the expanded universe, as it were.
Daring: As for me, this is the only thing I do, ever.
Data: As far as fandoms, I’ve heard of this new one, for a kid’s show.. My Little Pony…
Data: That aside, I’d have to say Dr Who kinda, never really deep into that one, just kinda enjoy it, and I’ve been to a few furry meetups, but that’s about it.
Data: Going on this list, I like #11 here. “Is Derpy OP at chess?”, and I don’t believe I’m overpowered.
Moonlight: Yes he is, he is lying, he is blatantly lying to your face.
Timely: Derpy, you only nearly lost to Sombra because you got distracted by Luna who you were playing another game against at the same time!
Scorch: So to everyone listening, if Derpy ever asks you to play chess,
Daring: Do it!
Scorch: Run! Run for your life!
Schlorgadorb: I mean, run, but also do it anyway.
Timely: If you have a choice between Weeping Angels and playing Derpy in chess, take the Angels!
Scorch: From Pigbine, “are cobblestone generators allowed?”
Data: Yeah. Cobblestone generators are almost a core functionality of Minecraft. There’s no reason to ban cobblestone generators. If we wanted to ban cobblestone generators we’d just disable the feature.
Schlorgadorb: Cobblestone lines, where you drop some lava and then let it turn into cobblestone all the way down, that’s a different story, because that gets into the griefing territory. But as long as you’re not griefing with it, yeah.
Data: Lava casting almost never works the way you want it to work, so I would recommend not doing it, because it is a pain to clean up.
Scorch: From Applebloom, Princess Applebloom when?
Scorch: Well, because you asked, never.
Timely: Little backstory, I was brought on because I’m the person who started off doing the roleplay system and that’s what I continue to do so this question is mostly with that. “Would it be possible to post a sort of insight as to what criteria you all seek out in staff applicants and applications?”
Timely: I’m just going to lump canon applications in there too because we get questions with those. We are planning on overhauling our application examples and adding some examples to the site, however it is just going to take us a little bit so please be patient as we do find applications that are worthy of being put as examples and start getting that set up. Generally speaking for staff applications, explain why you want to be staff and some experience you’ve had staffing other servers if you have any, stuff like that. For builders, builds that are builds that you’ve done that are really good, preferably a variety of builds. Don’t just send us a bunch of modern houses, we’re likely to reject you even if they are good houses, you can only build one style.. Send us a variety of things, not just multiple screenshots of the same thing.
Data: Something to add onto that, for builders specifically, a variety of topics. Don’t show us five different ways you can build a house. Look for something else in there, some variety.
Timely: Oh yeah, we need terraformers, guys. If you know terraforming, go for it. We need terraformers, we always need people who know how to do environments and custom biomes, stuff like that.
Scorch: The next question, from Sweetkitty, “I rented something. What is it?”
Daring: No clue. You tell us!
Schlorgadorb: You’re talking about the renting system. When you rent a room, it basically allows you to access and alter that room. You can build stuff in there. They’re frequently used for shops, though not necessarily.
Scorch: Next question is for Ocellus. “Scary or Spooky?”
Scorch: Next question, “Are there any plans for roleplay centric events? Would there be a time where canons have to play their achieved canon character in an event?”
Data: Well, I believe that was what the events channel is for, so people can organize those sorts of things.
Timely: Also, as you saw, we did have Trixie perform today, although it was a temporarily assigned Trixie because our actual Trixie could not make it, their computer sadly is having issues. We do use Celesia, Luna, the Mane 6 for events, sometimes we’ll use more minor characters, it just depends on who we work into the event, so hey, you guys interested in applying for some villains, show your stuff and maybe you’ll get to help!
Moonlight: We need more villains.
Timely: Yes, please more villains.
Scorch: Although, please don’t apply just for the sake of an event being made after you, it’s not what we’re looking for.
Scorch: “If BronyTales were to shut down in the future, would the world be available to download to the community?”
Data: My heart sinks at the question. BronyTales should not be shut down! Noooo!
Moonlight: This is so sad.
Daring: It’s a bit of a grim question, but it’s also a fair one. I would say more than likely, yes, it would be available for download.
Data: Entirely depends on a number of factors, but we could do a Dropbox or something. It’s a thought. No, the map and its seed are not currently available to hand out, to answer the unasked question.
(Side note, the current main map is 18GB, before planned expansion for 1.17. Any public download of the map will likely cost money to host, hence the uncertainty here)
Nebbie / WildappleJoker via live chat: “Maybe it's just me, but with Sombra taken, it's hard to think of a villain that'd be fun to apply for. Maybe Cozy Glow, but the others...it'd be hard to be in-character within the rules and while having fun regularly. Doesn't help that G4 reformed a fair amount of villains.”
Timely: That’s just because you’re not playing the character right. You can have fun with a character in any situation. I play literally The Doctor in Equestria and have fun with it. If that’s achievable then all else falls. If someone is not having fun with their villain while staying within the rules, then they’re not good at their role or they’re not thinking outside of the box enough.
Daring: Sombra does a very good job.
Chris: You don’t have to play the reformed version of a villain. From what I remember, didn’t old Starlight play the unreformed one?
Timely: Yes, Mr Some1 played unreformed Starlight the entire time they were here and had an absolute blast while doing it.
Daring: There’s possibilities, yes. They just have to be realized by the person in that role.
Scorch: “If you could have a giant farm of any kind of fruit. What color would the fruit be?”
Scorch: Polka Dot
Data: I am very confused. What?
Timely: This reads like that one question, if a train is going on the track at 99 miles per hour then what is the terminal air velocity of an unladen swallow?
Data: African or European?
Scorch: “If you could take any BronyTales Equestria build and put it in a pocket dimension accessible by a shed in your backyard, what would it be?”
Chris: Twilight’s Castle
Timely: My tardis. I spent way too much of my life into building that.
Data: Any build as a pocket dimensional… ooooh! That would be fun! That’s a fun question!
Moonlight: I’m just going to say Twilight’s Castle.
Data: I think I would enjoy the Twilight Castle in person, that would be fun to explore.
Moonlight: Just imagine all of those stairs, though.
Data: I know, it’s awesome! Now do we get to bring elytra with us?
Timely: That’s the real question!
Scorch: Are there any new races coming up? If so, can we have a small hint?
Data: So, my answer to this is, why in fact there’s an entire new volcano coming up, you should check it out!
Daring: It may or may not be out right now, who knows!
Timely: Who knows indeed.
Luna: Might be fun to go look for that.
Scorch: Remember, we could all be full of it for all we know.
Timely: Instead of just beating around the bush, can we just spill it?
Daring: I mean, it’s a volcano. With lava. It’s only so much to the imagination.
Timely: So a part of this event is we are finally releasing dragon, Igny has not cursed the server.
Schlorgadorb: We, he only cursed the server for ice dragons.
Timely: He’s only cursed it for ice dragon, yeah Expect that within the next.. according to this watch, two hundred years.
Scorch: To just give you a little backstory about the dragon thing, this is one of the first things I worked on when the server was made, it’s been sitting there for two years!
Timely: That it has. This was probably one of the first temples ever built and it never got put into the map because we never finished dragon.
Data: I actually had that portion of the map saved for that reason for two years also. Some poor guy tried to build a bridge over where that volcano is at, because it’s a really nice location, and suddenly they couldn’t build the bridge anymore because I’d reserved the location.
Timely: Next on the docket for races on by account are zebras, hippogriff, and seaponies. Those are the only three we have to do left, so we’ll see if we finally learn how to use those old alchemy textbooks, find the secret to flight and changing your species on a whim, or learn how to shoo-be-doo next.
Scorch: So next question, oh, user asked to skip these.
Data: Barbeque at my house, everyone’s invited.
Scorch: “What are the staff's OC's, and how did you decide on the names, backstories, and cutie marks?”
Chris: I do not have an OC… I want to make one, it’s just I have a lot of trouble making creative stuff.
Moonlight: Alright, listen, he’s called Moonlight Rift, you’re not getting any more information than that. If you know, you know. If you don’t know, suffer.
Maksiu: My OC is pretty much a copy of me. His cutie mark is a northern star cause I like astronomy. And north.
Pandas: I’m not the one to make OCs normally.
Timely: On my end, I have my DnD character for Nocturne’s Lament, which is a game that’s in this server. Silver Shade. He is my umbrum teacher, and his whole thing is he be chillin in the Crystal Empire but Cadance wants to enforce social distancing because she doesn’t like umbrum. His backstory is completely dependent on the DnD campaign itself and has no fitting within the show whatsoever, but he is a history teacher.
Scorch: I have a unicorn OC who goes by the name of Scorch Firefly. He doesn’t have a backstory because I could not think of one to save the life of me. No idea how he got his cutie mark. For his name, I went by Scorch for a long time in various fandoms, but when I got to the Brony fandom I figured he needs a last name, what’s something that sounds like it could be the last name of a pony, I went with Firefly.
Schlorgadorb: I play DnD, so I have a lot of OCs, but most recently I’ve been playing two pony DnD characters - one of them is Red Haze who is a specialist fire sorcerer, the other one is probably more interesting, but it’s only interesting if you like DnD, so nevermind..
Daring: As for me, there’s not really much of a backstory for the character, but the name does originally come from when I had the name of Daring Do on a server. I found a skin someone made for the pony mod with N-7 armor, so I had a friend put it on the Daring Do skin.
Data: So I would say as more of a ponysona - me as a pony? - DataByte. The name actually originates from that camp that I worked at that I mentioned before. I was Data at that camp, and I figured it needed a last name, so DataByte. The cutiemark is a SQL database symbol because data.
Timely: See, now I’m just thinking of like you at a camp, but then one of the kids ends up being one of the kids of a couple of trekkies, and they just start addressing you as like Data from Star Trek.
Data: So I was Data at that camp, nobody knew me by any other name, I was Data. It kinda evolved into Data from Star Trek. I don’t even remember what the original Data was, I don’t even remember why it was “Data” - it was just easier to explain to people as “Yep! Data from StarTrek!”
Scorch: “Are there any players you wish would apply for build/helper staff, but they haven't?”
Data: That would be if someone catches my interest explicitly, I will ask them in private. I don’t want to call anybody out. I have asked a few people, but again I don’t spend most of my time on the server itself, most of my time is on the backend, so I don’t end up seeing most people in the capacity I would appreciate people [abilities] with, sorry about that. I don’t do talent scouting, if you want to help out, ask.
Scorch: Now, can we get this guy, Daring Shepard to apply?
Luna: Yeah, I think he’d be pretty good at it.
Pandas: Yeah, he’s kinda good for the role.
Data: I mean, he’s ok with the role, but I don’t know about his cult..
Daring: It’s not mine, it just follows me everywhere!
Daring: Not anyone off the top of my head, if you’re interested you’re more than welcome to apply.
Scorch: We’re not going to bite, people, the worst we’ll say is “no”
Schlorgadorb: And usually there’s some sort of explanation that goes with that.
Scorch: “What's the Pinkie Patty secret formula?”
Scorch: I have no clue.
Luna: It’s confetti
Data: I think this is a better question for Pinkie Pie themselves.If you would like to answer that, I’ll leave that to you. I don’t want to put you on the spot if you don’t want to answer.
Scorch: “Who's this Novel I hear of?”
Data: So Novel kinda originated from the fact that I do have a bit of a background regarding management in pony conventions. I’ve never managed one per se, but I’ve been exposed to enough of the management. But one thing that MLP conventions typically have is a mascot, and we did not have a mascot, so I was trying to figure out some sort of a mascot. So once we got the name narrowed down, nailed down, what we were going to have for our name, I figured we need to spin off on that and figure out an OC that would go with that name. I completely forgot that there was a Novel Tale already in existence, so if you search for Novel Tale, there is another Novel Tales out there, oops. That one’s a changeling.
Timely: This one’s an earth pony.
Data: Yep, this one’s an earth pony. An earth pony who enjoys Minecraft.
Timely: I think Abella / KiriStar was the original one who designed the character.
Data: Yep, they are!
Scorch: “What is Concordia and why did it go down?”
Timely: Alright, so, Concordia was a old Minecraft server that used to compete with SquareHorse once upon a time that Derpy, Tantabus, and I were a part of along with a couple of other people, Igny as well. We all eventually left due to various reasons, mine was because the staff team had bias against a couple of friends and bias against me and I was just getting tired of it. Derpy for his own reasons if I recall is because he got banned and the staff team started witch hunting him, same with Tantabus, because they tryharded the server and made them actually do something as a staff team for once.
Data: Yes, they were pretty annoyed that they had to reset the mines all of the time because I would clear it out in a day.
Timely: Actually if you go to Derpsale, the Dirtsdale build is a one-to-one replica of the mines from that server.
Data: The mines as they existed when I decided that the mines were cleared out and I decided to build something.
Timely: I will say this, that staff team did their best, but there was innumerous reasons that why it went down. I myself was not there at the end of the server. I do not know exactly what happened, I know why we left, but as far as the actual fall, and what happened, I believe the rift between the staff and the player base just got really large and over time the server just became hard to manage for the owner.
Data: The owner noticed what was going on and it was more than they wanted to deal with so they shut it down. BronyTales kinda originated from Concordia in that it was the inspiration for it, but what actually got us to start making BronyTales was the first time SquareHorse shut down. They were going to shut down and I was thinking “Oh, yeah, you know what, we could build a server to give the people at SquareHorse someplace to build” and then SquareHorse started up again, and ok, so not as big a deal, I can take my time at this, and then Concordia shut down and suddenly fifty people wanted a place to play. “Oh! I guess we’re releasing!”
Timely: So basically we had gotten the server up for a while and then all of a sudden I got a couple message like “Hey, I heard you’re making a server, I want to help!” and I’m like “where are five people in my DMs who have not messaged me in a year or two come from? I didn't know I still had you friended, holy cow!” But people came out of the woodwork and the thus the server began.
Scorch: Next question: “Derpy, why did you pick Derpy for your canon?” Answer, he didn’t! We forced them!
Timely: We forced them to have it because we thought it’d be funny that Derpy was doing the coding.
Data: So in the beginning when I was working on trying to prototype and release this server as quick as possible, because I had just been working on getting server assets built, like the trains when you join the server, that was built before Concordia went down. I was just working on getting resources built, we were going to start working on building a Ponyville, we were going to start working on building a map, so suddenly I had to do all of this backend development in order to get the server running as fast as possible, and you know, stuff breaks when you’re doing stuff live. And people would tease, “Oh you broke it again!” and “Yep, sorry, I’m trying to figure out what went wrong” and they’re like “oh, they don’t know what went wrong - that means they’re Derpy!” One day I accidentally left myself logged in overnight, and what staff would normally do is they would discover me sitting somewhere out on the build world AFK, and they’d build me a seat so I’m sitting on a seat. Well this time they put me inside a can or something and named me Derpy. I find the fact that everyone decided I was Derpy a little bit ironic, though, because ever since 2014 I’ve been going to conventions and wearing a Derpy bathrobe all around the convention. People recognise me for the Derpy bathrobe. I’ve been Derpy for a long time, and It’s never clicked with me until like a year into BronyTales, and I’m like “wait a minute, I’ve already got Derpy everywhere, I guess I am Derpy!”
Scorch: “How did you come up with the name Bronytales?”
Data: That was by polling, actually. We just kinda sat around in a circle spouting out names and writing down whatever came to mind and then I’d open up a strawpoll “hey what do you guys think sounds the best?” and after a few rounds BronyTales won out.
Timely: Think back at the time we did this poll the server was still called EquisOnline
Data: Yep! That was the working title, was EquisOnline. All my folders on my computer for BronyTales are in a folder called EquisOnline, I just never renamed it.
(side note, forgot to mention, for the final round I made sure that all of the options were available as .com domains - having a .com is half the battle sometimes)
Scorch: “What was with the jar full of money that used to be where this tree is? And why is this tree there now?”
Data: So that one was actually started as a voice chat joke. So there was this portion of Ponyville was empty and we needed something there, and I thought it would be kinda amusing if we had a swear jar because one of the jokes of the voice chat at the time, because it’s supposed to be more moderated and people are somewhat usually more loose in voice chat, we’d just have a reminder, “hey, by the way, this is general chat.. Swear Jar!” At one point it became a joke that “hey, that there in Ponyville is the swear jar, everytime you swear you gotta put a bit in the jar!” We didn’t actually have anything to put bits in the jar, though. It kinda got out of hand, though, so we replaced it with a tree.
Scorch: From WildappleJoker, “Will the race temple hints be updated soon to be less obtuse, or even be multi-step?”
Data: That is an issue that we have been trying to address for quite some time - I’d say about a year now. There are plans to replace it, but when they are completed I cannot give you an estimate. We have no idea when they’ll be done.
Scorch: “How will you handle it if G5 regularly contained content forbidden by the server rules?”
Data: I honestly have no expectations for Hasbro changing a kids show to have topics that could not be permitted in PG.
Daring: Pretty much that.
Timely: Server should more than likely remain as it is even if it does. We have set ourselves up as a PG server and we intend to keep it that way.
Scorch: Didn’t they change the artwork of some of the ponies to avoid that?
Scorch: “How do you plan to migrate things to 1.17 currently?”
Data: We will figure that out when 1.17 releases. I don’t want to get a release plan in place and then find out that something changed.
Scorch: It possibly got easier, because they’re putting out in two updates instead of one.
Daring: Generally speaking, since the second update is going to be the one that changes worlds and stuff, that one is going to be the hard update for us. But the first part should be an easy update. Again, we can’t say for certain right now but considering it’s just blocks and stuff it shouldn’t be too difficult to update once the first part hits. The second is a completely different story, though.
Data: I will also give you a bit of a backdoor [back window view?] into what happens for an upgrade. BronyTales is fully backed up every six hours. So what we’re doing whenever I’m making sure that any large update or any large update for that matter for example for going from 1.16.4 to 1.16.5 is I download one of those backups. Takes about an hour to download it. Then I set it up on my computer as a full one-to-one replica of the BronyTales as it exists now minus Discord because there’s no reason to have two BronyTales advertising to Discord. I’d imagine a lot of people would get really confused if in the middle of the day it pops up with “Server has started!” So I set up full server, complete with Bungee and everything, same software and everything, and I run through a number of tests to make sure that all of the hundred-some plugins and software on the server will run with this new version. It’s a constant battle to make sure that everything is up to date because Spigot keeps changing backend code and they don’t give you any notice that that thing that they changed is breaking. One of those things, for example, was the economy. For instance, whenever you kill a creeper and a bit drops on the ground and you go to pick it up and it adds balance to your economy. The economy plugin, all that does, is it keeps track of how many bits you have - that’s its only job. Spigot, between  1.14.4 and 1.14.4 [/edit] - I’m not joking, it was in the same version! - randomly changed one of the event handlers to check to see if the event was called from the main thread or from an async thread. And if it was called from one and the event specified that it was to be the other, it would crash and nothing would happen.
Scorch: From Midnight Blaze, “How have we not been taken over by bugs yet? We do have a big bug butt as an admin, after all.”
Data: I think we’ve already been taken over. I see bug butt everywhere.
Luna: Scared. Could be any one of us.
Daring: Could be you, it could be me, it could (disconnect)
Luna: He’s gone!
Data: I get that reference.
Scorch: From Yarrow Crest, “Can you please reenable thunderstorms?” Done!
Data: Actually, yeah, I was looking into that while going into the 1.16.5 code and I figured out why they had been broken, so they should be working now.
Scorch: “Can you remove the tornadoes?”
Scorch: What do you have against tornadoes?
Timely: I would honestly hate to see them removed, as much as some people tend protest them, I do enjoy purposefully jumping into them when I see them.
Schlorgadorb: If you have a bunch of mobs in a fence somewhere and then a tornado shows up, all of those mobs will fly into the air and then fall to the ground and then just die.
Data: Actually, I think we fixed that.
Schlorgadorb: Oh, nevermind, then.
Scorch: From Raven Underhill, “What is your favorite baked treat IRL?”
Data: So, my go-to is a muffin.
Scorch: Really, tell me more.
Data: No, really! Like, I just had a muffin just now while we were getting ready.
Scorch: Do we need any more proof that this man is Derpy?
Data: It was a blueberry muffin, with sugar sprinkles on top, it was good.
Scorch: For me what I like to do, I like to take a pizza pan, spread out cookie dough on top of that, bake it, make a cookie pizza, then put chocolate icing on top of that.
TImely: See, I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but when I do get the chance I have a pretty good Jammy Dodger recipe that I like to make now and again.
Schlorgadorb: I am a fan of homemade cookies and store bought cakes
Data: homemade cookies are always better - even if they’re halfway burnt they’re always better than store bought
Schlorgadorb: I can’t make cakes worth anything so I have to get those from the store.
Moonlight: I like cookies.
Daring: I do make cakes very rarely which are definitely better than the stuff that you get in the stores.
Schlorgadorb: Last time I tried to make a cake, it actually rose a negative quantity
Data: Did you follow the recipe? Did you miss something?
Schlorgadorb: I actually like experimenting with that kind of thing, and by experimenting I mean put in approximately what seems right.
Data: The only thing I can think of for why a cake would do that is if you were not so gentle with the oven door while checking it.
Schlorgadorb: Well, so I had a recipe, I was following it, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients that we needed, so I used a lot of substitutions, and I may have used a few too many substitutions. It still tasted good.
Timely: The thing with the difference between baking and cooking, cooking experimentation is fine, baking follow the recipe because if you don’t it’s going to cause problems.
Maksiu: With my friends, if you don’t follow the recipe, cake will just hate you and simply won’t work. Believe me. If you don’t follow the recipe it will fail.
Data: I suppose I’m a little bit living on the edge on that one, because I have invented my own recipe once or twice.. One of which I have actually posted to the blog, if ever anyone’s wanting to try a Derpy recipe. It is a very long-time to prepare, like 1½ to 2 hours prep time to make it. It is an apple pie with caramelized apple sugar.
Daring: As for the next one, something in chat that should be brought up: When is the next blog update?
Data: Very, very, very many apologies for missing that one. I have started trying to put one down for this month, it’s probably mostly going to mostly involve a transcript of this Q&A right here. At work, I went from working remote to working in person, and I also went from working as a technician to a management for other technicians, so I have been through so much stress, I get home and I am exhausted. So I have kinda missed making blogs because that little free time that I have that I’m not exhausted has been constantly dedicated to fixing stuff on the server. So I’ve kinda fallen behind on getting the blog updates. That said, I’m trying to catch up again, so we’ll see about getting one out here soon.
Chris: For the baked thing, apple fritters.
Data: Apple fritters, actual apple fritters, not the stuff you buy at stores, those are good. The stuff you get at stores are.. Apparitions of apple fritters. They taste of sadness. Find a real apple fritter.
Chris: I live in a pretty small place, lots of small local stuff.
Maksiu: I don’t have an answer. I just eat what I can.
Scorch: “Regarding the pixel map art and transfering over to the server here, is there a limit to the size of art we can build?”
Data: I suppose, if it becomes troublesome and we get too large for pixelart, we can expand that map. We added those boundaries mostly because if we don’t add boundaries somebody is going to get the bright idea and walk south for two hours. If we need to expand that map, we can expand it.
Scorch: From Silverfields, he had a series of questions, we’ll answer two of them for the sake of time. “To all of us, what is your favorite aspect of being a staff member for the BronyTales community?”
Chris: I just like that when I see an issue I can actually take care of it or know that it’s being taken care of. Because that’s frustrating to not know. Also it’s an excuse to be more involved in the community.
Luna: Honestly, I just like hanging out, it’s fun. Y’all are fun.
Maksiu: Helping players, that’s the main reason I joined the staff, to help out the community of players with their problems.
Timely: I like having challenging projects to work on. I’ve learned quite a few things on this staff team, whether social understanding of stuff that’s actually helped quite a bit with my own mental issues, ironically. You’d think staff would stress you out, which it does, but it at the same time also helps you learn quite a few socialization skills if you’re lacking them, at least on the advanced end of socialization skills, at least. But also challenging problems to solve. And events, events are fun to plan.
Scorch: One of my favorite things to do as a moderator and just being on the staff, when somebody applies for a character and I can see they really want it and they get approved, I want to go tell them they got the good news just so I can see their reaction. The genuine happiness they have.
Schlorgadorb: I’m just going to say yes to everything above, because pretty much everyone has already said all of the things.
Daring: Yeah, pretty much. I live by making other people’s lives easier. That is how I make myself happy, and I can do that here.
Data: For me, being a member of staff is more of a choice than everyone else here and also more of an obligation. For me, having this server around - the biggest reason I have this server around - is because of the people that play it. You guys are amazing, and that includes staff. Staff are players, too. I know I’ve gushed about this a little bit in a blog before, but I am super happy that people enjoy playing on this server and I love watching everyone play around whenever I get a chance to be on the server. This is an awesome community.
Scorch: Next question from Silverfields, for you Derpy, “If you had to change one core aspect of BronyTales, what would it be?”
Data: That’s a tough one. So there’s two ways I can take the question, and it kinda revolves around the words core aspect. I were to change one aspect of BronyTales, it would be I would actually enjoy being able to work on BronyTales full-time, if I could. That said, it’s not a core aspect of BronyTales, because making BronyTales to where it would be able to be sustaining enough that I could do it full time would change BronyTales to the point where it would no longer be BronyTales but it would be something else named BronyTales, and that’s not something I’d want to do.
Daring: Maybe like gameplay stuff?
Data: If I were to go back in time and change one core aspect of BronyTales it would be I would have started working on it sooner, so I would have more of the base gameplay map completed when we were ready to release. I thought we had like five months left before this would become relevant, I was not expecting to have to release it in a week. A lot of the original ideas for BronyTales were thrown out the door in favor of getting it done. One of those ideas was having an Equestria map that people could go out into the wilderness, like I want to go out to Appleloosa, and go into the desert and I’m going to claim this area of desert and I’m going to build here. That was one of the original plans was to make some sort of roleplay map where it was gameplay oriented rather than Minecraft oriented with a little roleplay on the side. I was going to make an entire game mode out of BronyTales. Honestly, though, I think with the people that we have that play this server, people would have enjoyed it either way. People are here to play minecraft and hang out with each other, we don’t need a cool game to do that.
Scorch: From CyberBrony, for you again Derpy, “When you first thought of the idea of starting an MLP Minecraft server, how many people did you think would start playing on the server?”
Data: Well, I already knew about fifty of them! As far as the people whether they were going to hang out or whatnot, I never expected more than five non-staff members to be on at one time. I actually started taking screenshots of the tablist all the time because I couldn’t believe so many people were on all the time and it is amazing. The fact that we have more than five people on at a time. The fact that basically every single time I’ve logged into the server there’s been at least five people online. I still can’t fathom that.
(seriously, you all are amazing!)
Scorch: “Who has been the longest staff member?”
Scorch: Do we count Derpy in this one?
Data: I say we don’t count Derpy in this one..
Timely: Hi! That’d be me! Hello!
Data: Dr Whooves here.. I brought Whooves on because they were most interested in the roleplay aspects and I have little to no experience with roleplay outside of DnD, and I don’t do roleplay DnD, either, so I have like no experience with roleplay. So I needed a little bit of outside perspective on how roleplay is done in those communities, and Dr Whooves has been in a number of roleplay communities. They like helping out with the roleplay stuff, and they never left, so there’s Whooves!
Timely: Yep. I still help with the roleplay stuff and make constant changes to it. I’m always looking for ways to improve the way we do the canon systems and the way we do events to make them more server lore friendly and stuff like that, although that’s like semantic stuff.
Scorch: “Who were the first canon characters?”
Timely: I looked up in the logs, and look up the people that got accepted. The first three applications were Stamp2, OkiePinkie, and TimelyAlchemist. The first three to be accepted. Stamp held the role of Fluttershy and OkiePinkie was Trixie for a while before they changed to Pinkie then back to Trixie and disappeared. I, being TimelyAlchemist, have held the role of Whooves to this day. This is after playing the role on Concordia for about a year.
Data: I think it would have been a week or two weeks after those applications were submitted that I woke up one day, walked over to the server, and my name was Derpy.
Scorch: “Who was a big contributor to the server who is no longer staff?”
Scorch: I’d say Tantabus.
Timely: Yeah, probably Tantabus / Silverfields. Secondary nomination for that would be Igny / CaliChroma. There’s a few other people I could mention over the years, very few people have stayed.
Scorch: What ever happened to Derpy?
Timely: Yeah, sometimes it’s like we can still hear his voice.
Scorch: There it is again!
Scorch: From Sunburst: “Are the Crystal Empire and Canterlot builds advancing well?”
Data: Well, one of those.
Scorch: Well, one of them is just going just great, let me day, it’s been nothing but fun and joy!
(various sobbing sounds)
Timely: So, big, big cities are what are considered mega projects and I will direct you towards a MInecraft youtuber by the name of grian who has recently done a series on building mega builds, which is pretty insightful into how long this takes. I talk about my Tardis taking me - I started it like a year ago and it is still going. These cities take almost just as long depending upon what we’re doing, although WorldEdit does help. Canterlot is furthest along, you can probably expect Canterlot by the end of this year. Probably sooner, who knows, that’s up to the build team. As far as any other project, next we’re looking at potentially something smaller, Canterlot has been a huge, very stressful project. Best guestimate as far as what we’ll work on next, probably Cloudsdale, but that is a ways off as after Canterlot I’m fairly certain everyone is going to want to work on smaller stuff, and we also have a few projects that Derpy has been spearheading and wanting to get us to have done. As well as spit and polish around Ponyville, there’s still some minor cleaning up that needs to be done there, too.
Data: By the way, minor callout to the builders, thank you for get Everfree. We finally have Everfree trees, I am so happy.
Daring: Yes, good job.
Scorch: Just something for all for you to mind, whatever you do, don’t ask us for an exact date for when something is coming out, even we don’t know yet.
Scorch: “Will there ever be a chance for us ponies to ever become an alicorn?”
Data: Tentatively, yes. So the system for becoming an alicorn will involve the leveling system which has still not been completed. The leveling system that we currently have for the pony races was more of a stopgap - it was to create a system that we can implement very easily and quickly. So my plans for the pony race plugin will actually make it rather ambitious by the time I’m done with it assuming I can find time to work on it. There are plans, just I cannot give you a date.
Timely: I will say regarding our current version of the plugin, Tantabus and I stayed up all night working on ponyville at one point, Derpy had gone to bed maybe 12 hours ago, and they pop back on the server and the server restarts and we’re like “Derpy what did you just do?” “Oh, the pony plugin is done!” “Derpy, why!”
Data: That was also the day after.. Easter, I want to say? Because I spent the whole car ride over to a relative’s house was spent on trying to work on the framework for the thing.
Timely: So they finished it in a little over 24 hours, if that makes any sense.
Scorch: Second to last question, “When is buzzwow being added? Asking for a friend.”
Data: So, we are down to like six emoji remaining for the server. I’ve been really slow to add emoji because I knew I wanted to be able to add new emoji occasionally. So we have like six left that we can add and I want to make them all MLP-related. We might be adding one of those, because it is still kinda MLP-related?
Moonlight: It’s just a really cursed Chrysalis. It’s one of the most cursed things I’ve ever seen.
Data: It’s amazing, I know, I love it. That said, I probably will be taking a look this weekend or next weekend at some more emojis and get our last six thrown in there.
Scorch: Last question is from Sombra, “What is your favorite minecraft mod?”
Moonlight: You can have Thermal Expansion when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.
Maksiu: There’s one mod that adds magic to the game, but I really forget the name of it. It had wands and there were like mage towers where there were mages and you could find spells there and you could learn them and there were different types of wands allowing you to get better and better spells.
Timely: It might have been Witchery? It could also be Thaumcraft.
Maksiu: Yes, I believe it was Wizardry.
Scorch: With me, it’s a tie between two things, and technically one of them is not a mod, it’s a plugin, I’m a really big fan of the Slimefun plugin, and the tornado mod.
Timely: Thaumcraft, Botanea, or Witchery. Any of those three. I usually play with all three of them if I can. Lightfall best modpack.
Schlorgadorb: Well of course it’s going to Mine Little Pony. Second to that, I’m a big fan of Tinker’s Construct. The idea of multiblock structures that become functional and useful in ways that you can modify based on the size and shape that you make them is really cool and there’s not a lot of other mods that I’ve seen that do that. I enjoy Immersive Engineering for the wires. That’s all I like that mod for but that’s kindof a lot. I’m also a really big fan of the pony plugin.
Daring: So mine is probably Create. The amount of things that you can do with that is absolutely insane.
Moonlight: That mod terrifies me.
Daring: Yeah, it’s crazy. I wish that was vanilla.
Data: I don’t play modded a whole lot. One of my favorite mods is actually a serverside / clientside mod WorldEdit CUI, because that’s how vanilla I get.. Mine Little Pony, when augmented by Presence Footsteps. I love that so much. The first time I discovered that, I was a giggling mess, that was amazing.
Daring: We could take questions from the audience now.
Daring: Since Midnight pinged me, (@DaringShepard question, Modded server when?), Modded server work will resume soonish. There’s still a bunch of stuff to do on the vanilla one and that kind of takes priority. All I can say is soon-tm. You’ve been waiting two years, you can wait a little longer.
Timely: “Is a hundred plugins an exaggeration, Derpy?”
Data: It is not! Hold on, I’m in the server right now, I just added dragon to Discord stuff, so hold on.. From top to bottom, it is one hundred and twenty one plugins. Checking my list of plugins.. I want to think thirty of those are me?
Daring: We could potentially condense some of those into one plugin.
Data: Yeah, Daring has been championing removing a lot of them to add in a premium all-in-one plugin. I’m am not a fan of all-in-one plugins because if something breaks in the all-in-one plugin and you need to disable it, it means it disables everything else it handles.
(Note, Premium obfuscated plugins are also near impossible to manually fix, and I’ve fixed quite a few of the ones on BT)
Daring: Which is absolutely fair, but it does cut back on the load the slightest bit. Well, at the very least it cuts down on the number of plugins you have to see in the plugins folder.
Data: So.. (doing a text search in my plugin list notes), that is fifty-one plugins that I have done custom.
Timely: From Iota, “What is someone that you have banned that has become a legend?”
Timely: So for us there would be two of them, BigHun and TechnicalRarity.
Data: So the TechnicalRarity speal has been blogged, you can look that up in the blog, the BigHun one is coming soon, tm. Just once I get some time to sit down and finish that one.
Timely: That one is one that has haunted at least three My Little Pony servers.
Daring: Yep, both of those people have.
Timely: In fact, if I recall, on Concordia, it was SquareHorse’s staff that warned us about Technical originally. I was the person who received the warning. It just took a couple of years for him to do something significant. Well, at least significant to me. I honestly thought he was a nice guy when I first met him, so I just kinda.. I played along with his shenanigans. Like I figured “ah, he’s just a socially confused nice guy, I’ll talk to him, fine.”
Data: Yeah, Looking back at his history and some of the things that he’s done, it makes me cringe.
Daring: The thing is, he’s nice sometimes, but it always seems to for a motive. Like he made us a server intro. I was like, ok, this is out of nowhere, but ok.
Data: Bit of fun trivia about BigHun, which I find personally very interesting, is that he has more or less declared war against me personally and against BronyTales. He.. what was that, a few months ago, just messaged Daring out of the blue to say that Daring was no longer his enemy. I never got that message. It was just to Daring. And he used an alt account to message Daring about this.
Timely: Technical kinda needs to send an apology to the staff team as a whole, but personally after BigHun essentially did a big big no that’s bigger than any no that I’m not really allowed to talk about because it’s like police case worthy, I just.. Any contact with that guy is just not recommended by anybody on here, if he contacts you, message us. Derpy, I do believe you did legitimately put him on an FBI watchlist if I am not mistaken.
Data: I don’t know if he’s been on a watchlist, I can’t confirm that.
Timely: But I know you at least reported him.
Daring: I literally went to an FBI office over it.
Timely: To put it into SCP foundation terms, Technical is an euclid class, BigHun is XK class end of world scenario.
Data: I don’t say he’s end of world, he’s just a nuisance. Actually, I should amend that. He’s a nuisance who has violated several child protection US laws, but I’m not going to get into that one because that is a rabbit hole unto itself.
Daring: And I think we should leave it there.
Daring: “Silk touchable spawners?”
Daring: No. Lag machines.
Data: Yeah, silk touch and spawners is ok for an OP server, we are not an OP server.
Daring: Or a server with a couple of people on it. We have thirty three people on the server right now, and Minecraft server [code is pretty poorly optimised]
Timely: Midnight, (We are an OP server! we have so many diamonds!), we only have so many diamonds due to an error made by Derpy when setting up the first two thousand chunks.
Data: I’m sorry! Ok, so I was talking about rapidly prototyping the server, and one of those things was I wanted to increase the diamond spawn rate, by just a little, because you know, diamonds are supposed to be more prevalent in Equestria. While testing the spawn generation, I was trying to get a result and I kept cranking the value up until I could verify that it worked. Cool, it works! Cool! And I forgot to turn the value back down..
Scorch: So when are we going to get loot boxes on the server?
Timely: We already have loot boxes. Sombra’s made loot boxes.
Data: There are some ideas for having login rewards loot boxes, but there is a bunch of backend stuff that needs to get completed if we are going to do that.
Scorch: Remember, they’re not gambling, they’re surprise mechanics!
Daring: We did have an idea that was brought up once or twice, actually making a Sombra casino.
Moonlight: Let’s not feed people’s gambling addiction, on a kid-friendly server.
Data: Midnight’s question, I like that! “Will bronytales ever have any other games it will incorporate under its name? Like other PG mutiplayer games that have servers?” - I have set up and might actually release as a URL that people can connect to, a Factorio server!
Timely: Also, we also have a new Guild role, we do actually have couple ongoing DnD games going on in the server, so if you would like to start one up, do let us know, we are looking actively for DMs. We have maybe two DMs in two ongoing games.
Data: In special ranks, you can give yourself the role to get to the Guild. Also, the games are free to join in and listen, too, if you want to jump in and listen to a game.
Timely: Midnight’s Lament would usually happen on every other Saturday, that is the game that Shining Armor runs, and then opposite to that game I believe we have, what is their name?
Data: They are currently The Silent. So yes, so that’s basically every Saturday at about the same time there is a game currently running in the BronyTales Guild. (in an obnoxious accent) Umar is in both of them!
Timely: (in a posh british accent) And of course I play Silver Shade in one and I don’t play in the other.
Daring: And also to add onto the games thing real quick. I am personally always looking for games that could be potentially made into longer lasting servers. As I’m sure people are aware, Minecraft is kind of stale for some people. So if we could expand our servers a little more, that’d be cool, but there are only so many games you can do that for. Minecraft is unique in the way in that it allows you to be creative. You can basically make your own content. Other games don’t quite allow that.
Data: Other games it’s variations of the same content whereas Minecraft is variations of the same mechanics.
(this part of the discussion starts to break down into general conversation for a bit)
Data: We could also grab a random question that was not asked from that earlier list, because I know we skipped a few
Timely: “Favorite shows besides MLP?” from a user that would like to remain anonymous.
Chris: I don’t watch many shows.
Moonlight: I don’t watch TV, I just play BronyTales.
Timely: Dr Who, Full Metal, I’m an anime nerd. I also like a lot of British dramas.
Schlorgadorb: Fred Dwarf
Daring: Aside from the obvious, I really liked the Clone Wars.
Data: As for me, as far as other shows, Firefly.
(Wow, that took forever to go through. Automatic transcription wouldn’t work for me and so this was all by hoof. Derp)
[edit 2021-04-23, fixed Chris's hobby response from paint -> tanks]