Mineplex is a massive Minecraft server that hosts a community on plug.dj. They have a dedicated player base of approximately 30,000 players per day with hundreds of staff working round the clock to ensure everything runs smoothly. Thank you to Dctr and Byron for taking the time out of their busy schedules to answer these questions. In addition, thank you to Sr. Mod Mix for helping with organizing this interview. Interview conducted by Asi.
How did you first get started in gaming? In Minecraft?
Byron: Well, it first started when I was about 7 I’d say. I played a game called VMK or Virtual Magic Kingdom up until I was 9 years old, I’d say that started my gaming career, as it was when I first got attached to video games. I started Minecraft at about 14 years old, back in beta 1.7; when I noticed one of the youtubers I followed, opened up a server and I really wanted to meet them. So I hopped on and saw the amazing world of multiplayer bukkit servers. That’s when I knew I’d be spending tons of time with Minecraft.
Dctr: Gaming wise I must have started way back when I was quite young and my parents bought me and my brother a gamecube. We both loved it and we played it all the time, Donkey Kong was definitely one of our favorites. From there it evolved to gameboys, then an Xbox, and finally me and my brother moved over to PC gaming which is where I think we’re going to stay. As for Minecraft I believe I started in beta 1.2 which was January 2011 so I’ve been playing for quite a few years. In the beginning I simply enjoyed playing singleplayer then it evolved into multiplayer, factions, PvP, and Mini Games, which is what I’m mainly into today.
How did you get involved with Mineplex?
Byron: Well, a friend and I were extremely bored and he recommended we go play Mineplex and gave me the IP address. So we decided, Hey why not? After playing a bit, I got off and didn’t return to the server for a week or two. When I did return, I saw a helper and became interested in how one achieves the helper rank, so I asked him and he explained what being a helper entails. Soon after I applied for staff on Mineplex and after a few rejections (I’m bad), I was accepted! Thus, my road on Mineplex began.
Dctr: I actually saw a youtube video back in August of 2013 of an old Mineplex game called Minekart. It was a Minecraft version of Super Mario Kart and I thought it was really cool so I hopped on to try it out. From there I had a ton of fun playing Minekart and began trying out the rest of the minigames on Mineplex. I came to realize I really enjoyed them as well and I found a server that I finally felt at home with. After this I decided to purchase a rank on the server and apply for staff. A few short months later I found myself filling out an admin application, and doing an interview before finally being accepted.
What do you do as an admin?
Byron: As an admin, I oversee Helper Management, a team that manages all the newer staff of Mineplex called “Helpers”. Our main task in Helper Management is to improve the Helpers’ quality as staff members during their 2 month trial. We also make sure Helpers stay organized and kept track of so we can approach them if there are any issues and vice versa.
Dctr: Admins in general manage different portions of the staff team but I specifically manage the Forums as well as our Plug.dj. I work with a team of amazing staff members who actively push for a clean and positive environment throughout the forums and our plug community.
As someone who communicates with a lot of people every day, what would you recommend to the admins of smaller communities (in terms of how to get more people, how to effectively balance a schedule, etc.)
Byron: Well for starters, as your community grows, if you really want to keep your followers and community, happy, never change yourself. Be who you want to be, don’t let your role influence how you act, its honestly great to interact with others while just being yourself and not sitting behind a computer being a “Robot” and having no personality. For schedule balancing I recommend using something as simple as your phone or even a note to remind you of what you have planned for the day, I also recommend a daily routine in which you have written down so you can actively perform your duties in an order that is effective and it will also help you remember what you have to do throughout the day.
Dctr: I would advise putting a focus on communication, keep up to date with your work, and go out of your way to meet people and converse with them. A simple conversation from an admin to a player can really change their day. Doing this frequently causes a more positive community and improves morale. Time management is something that’s also really important. Something I do personally, is write a to-do each night for the next day. That way I know exactly what I need to do and won’t forget it.
Mineplex is easily one of the biggest servers around on Minecraft. In your respective positions, how do you make sure that everything runs smoothly (within your team how do you make sure everything runs smoothly)?
Byron: Well, this is a very tough question to answer as there are many things that go into making sure things run smoothly. Some key things are checking up with your team, gathering feedback, and keeping things organized. We also use many different things to bring these components together that also help; Teamspeak, Google Docs, Skype, etc.
Dctr: I really think communication is key. Actively checking up on team members, receiving opinions on current projects, and making sure team members are feeling comfortable in the position they’re in. These are all things I think are very important to the success of a team.
How do you think you’ve managed to help and support such a huge community with what you do as an administrator, team wise?
Byron: Well, through shaping helpers and the future staff members of Mineplex I believe I’ve helped the community substantially. We take people who are okay to, or mediocre at staffing, and by the end of their trial, make them a great staff member. Good staff members keep the community happy and healthy through moderation, something very essential in every community.
Dctr: We’ve really got an amazing and dedicated staff team at Mineplex especially within the administrative team. We all collaborate on a daily basis to ensure our staff and players are having an enjoyable experience. Whether that be reading through forum feedback or simply interacting with the community in game or through teamspeak. This is something vital to community and growth and I think that’s one of the reasons we’re such a large community.
What is your Minecraft username and how did you think of it? Are you ever going to change your name/have you changed it?
Byron: I recently changed my name from “xByron” to “Byron”. I’m really boring, so the thought came to me to make that my name because well, it is my name in real life after all.
Dctr: My current minecraft username is Dctr_. It actually came from a previous username of mine, DctrOctogonapus which I made in 2011. I chose this username based off of a character from the lazer collection which was a short youtube series. I might end up changing my name but if so it will probably only be to drop the underscore.
Any favorite music genres/recommendations of what to listen to?
Byron: I love EDM and I recommend you listen to a song I really like that I actually heard on the Mineplex plug community earlier, Chet Faker – Gold. I also listen to alternative rock and rap pretty often, mostly when I’m driving. My favorite rap artist is Logic and he’s also someone I recommend you listen to.
Dctr: I really enjoy EDM as a whole and generally I’m not too picky with it but I do really enjoy house as well as trap. Trap being my favorite genre. I usually listen to a lot of the stuff Trap City puts up.
What do you enjoy to do during your free time?
Byron: I spend most of my free time just chilling at home and playing Mineplex. When I’m not on Mineplex I’m usually hanging out with some friends, going to the beach, or skating.
Dctr: Outside of my work for Mineplex I really enjoy snowboarding and I play the guitar and bass as well.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers of this blog?
Byron: Hey, if you guys have some freetime you should come check out the Mineplex plug.dj community, it’s really awesome and we would love your company!
Dctr: Thank you to all those who have supported myself, and the Mineplex community as a whole, we truly appreciate it! <3