Hi, everyone! This is Hematite
I just wanted to give a small update on my role in the mod going forward. This is something we agreed on some time ago, but we were waiting to announce it until the same time that the review post went up.
Since the last time you heard from me in the thread, I have asked the council if I could step down from the position of leading the mod
and mostly step down from the council entirely,
and after discussing the implications of that and making sure everyone else was in a position to take over, we have confirmed we are going through with it!
I will still be contributing in the form of coding and spreadsheet maintenance as always, but that's about it - the other members of the council have kindly agreed to take over when it comes to other things I usually do, starting with this entire review post (!!!) which they have done a fantastic
job taking on without me, and I will no longer be actively involved in leading the mod.
For a little bit of context, the change in structure to a rotating/seasonal format was made knowing I would need to step down at some point soon (this is the direction the rest of the council supported for the mod for after I left! it wasn't just me making big changes by myself and then leaving everyone else to deal with it I promise P:)
, but we had initially intended for me to stick around for this first season; I was planning to step down at the end of it rather than the beginning.
That said, I've been struggling to maintain a healthy relationship to the mod and have been pretty overwhelmed trying to manage that for a long time, and although we hoped that I could press on just a bit longer to help spearhead the new season, the council was supportive of my decision to step down sooner and has already stepped up and put in a ton of work to make it possible - I am so grateful to have you guys as friends ;-;
Um, I'm kind of bad at this and I don't really know how to put all of my feelings into words right now,
but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate some of the coolest and kindest people I have ever met and give a shoutout to the specific people taking over for me
was the first friend I made through M4A specifically, and she's definitely the person whose encouragement gave me the most confidence to contribute early on, not just in submitting but also as a council member trying to make improvements in the earliest stages of the mod.
She was always the most level-headed member of the original council, but I was amazed at how quickly she pushed my impression of her from one of unapproachable coolness to someone who could make me feel heard and valued, then to someone who was actually a total dork (we are all total dorks)
and a fantastic friend - someone I trust deeply and love hanging out with even outside of this community.
We've always been able to see eye to eye, and she is unbelievably respectful and mature as a mediator even when the people around her are stressed or having trouble reaching an agreement or finding common ground,
but also she brings this amazing creative spark and sense of fun to everything she touches, from her unbelievably innovative submissions (plenty of which have always been among my favorites in the mod! they strike this crazy balance of "I never would have thought of that!!" with "this was meant to be and simply feels correct")
to her vibrant and captivating artistic talent - I still vividly remember how much fun we had collaborating on designs and sprites alllll the way back in v6 and I'm so happy we've gotten to interact more since!!
is solidly one of the most down-to-earth and mature people I have ever known, and there were so many times when he was the rock this server needed to stay stable and organized when I wasn't around.
He is constantly
coolheaded and responsible and has stepped up so many times when he was needed most, and he has also put himself on the line to address users who negatively affected the community or needed to be dealt with when not many people would have been comfortable getting involved.
He's also given me some much-needed and well-communicated wisdom at times when I really needed a firm hand, to talk me down from getting emotional over stressful conversations and to remind me to step back and be willing to apologize when I messed up, and he has always been incredibly constructive about this and never failed to make me want to be more like him - and he consistently acts on that wisdom himself and has always been unbelievably fair-minded and selfless.
He is also often hilarious and has a great energy and a positive presence
is literally the most wholesome and patient person on this planet and the most unfalteringly calming presences I have ever seen and I have no
idea how he does it--
He is always there to share words of kindness and reassurance when they're needed most (even sometimes when I don't know I need to hear them), and it's just incredible how much energy he puts into helping other people work through their feelings, stay positive and remember to take care of themselves;;
He has also been unbelievably productive when it comes to the metagame itself - there is no one
I would trust more to lead a discussion on balance changes, and he has always made sure everyone's voices are heard and reminded everyone that their thoughts matter even if they're not a top-level competitive player; he has also made pretty much every poll on balance changes this year and put great care into making sure everyone can understand the reasons behind the changes even when there is a ton
He basically singlehandedly maintains our entire VGC format (side note this is probably my personal favorite part of M4A)
, puts constant effort into metagame resources, sample teams, tournament management and tour reports, and gives excellent
advice and shares (extremely high-quality and fun!!)
teams of his own to help new players break into their first VGC tours. He does so much
to make this the most accessible, beginner-friendly and... well... friendly
part of the M4A community even though most Pet Mods players don't have background in VGC and he is kind of my hero
is one of the most incredible people here and I am so
happy he was willing to join the council!
His constant support has been especially invaluable for what has turned out to be a period of big changes to the mod and leadership alike, and he has been, like, hard-carrying
the team lately. He is absolutely insane at staying motivated, motivating everyone else, and just taking initiative and getting things done, and I feel a lot more comfortable stepping down from the mod after seeing how well he has adjusted to leading the charge :pray:
We like to joke about his comically high winrate since showing up, but he has earned that reputation
with the creativity, passion and intensity he puts into them all, and he gives everything his 110% and adjusts brilliantly to feedback when it's needed. He also takes a great deal of ownership over his feelings and has my undying respect for how responsibly he handles disagreements, whether he realizes how good he is about it or not - he has never been willing to let his friends be targeted in the crossfire over his opinions even when people around him are trying to create petty drama, and he has always been able to debate with people comfortably and always knows how to take the right things away from it rather than being stuck in his beliefs.
He is a credit to this community and brings out the best in the people here, and I think he deserves recognition for that!!
ALSO HE MADE THE SANDBOX
which is like. the single most important resource for developing the mod and testing and balancing submissions and buffs/nerfs alike? and also one of the most useful features of DH for other people's use as well?? This guy is overpowered
I need to say words about inkbug
and I don't. uh. I don't know how I'm sorry--
so uh!!! ink has been my friend for more than ten years now and I love him more than any other human being on this planet
and he came to M4A in the first place because we were talking about it before he had even joined Smogon,
and I am going to go out on a limb and say this would have had absolutely no chance of becoming what it is without him and I am so happy we could share in this for so long ;-;
This man has been handling an insane
workload and running half of the mod from behind the scenes since he showed up here, between counting votes every slate (including spearheading a resilient instant runoff system, which helps to manage the insane number of votes we get here, gives every voter much more of a say than in other mods and prevents deceptive voting or voting abuse, and constantly making the process as transparent as possible to help people who don't understand it)
, running the M4A wiki, logging replays and making them as accessible as possible, running roomtours all the time and moderating DH, helping to push for necessary internal reforms, making the placeholder icons we use for every Mega without designs, and making the most F A N T A S T I C designs and sprites and bringing life to our mod's creations
He is the backbone and the soul of all of M4A and I cannot imagine doing any of this without him
but more importantly, he is also my closest friend and has been for more than half of my life now o.o'
and has constantly supported me emotionally and mentally whenever I was having a hard time, made me take care of myself when I wouldn't do it on my own, and taken this from a responsibility I was roped into half-blindly to a genuine passion project for as long as I could manage it and helped to create safe spaces whenever I couldn't.
I care about all of you so much
and I hope you know that
I would not be the same person without any of you, and this mod would not be what it is if any of you weren't here
It has been a really cool two years, and I'm very happy that I could be a part of this!
I hope the community is in a better place overall for having had me despite my increasingly frequent absences but I'm really sorry if anyone feels otherwise - I know I haven't been the best or most consistent leader :')
, and I'm really proud of you guys and how far everyone has come, as well as grateful for the patience of everyone who has stayed with us for so long and for all of the friends I've made through this.
You guys are the best!!!