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Inactivity as of late - Feedbacks!
I know, but I figured I would still post. Most of what you post I have seen first hand.
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[-] The following 1 user Likes Cressy's post:
  • Kage
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On the note of rifts between staff members and players...it's something that arises because of difficulties coming from both sides.

If you're on the staff (GM or FH), you're a player who volunteers his or her time to keep things running smoothly on the server, and there are a lot of balancing acts that need to be performed in the process: taking time to do...staff things and while trying to take the time to enjoy some RP, finding ways to say no to a concept or character without creating a rift between himself/herself and the player (which has a high rate of failure, unfortunately), and then what we all have to deal with, which is having enough time to be involved on the server while having to deal with real-life issues as well.

That's not to say the balancing acts are a bad thing: if both sides put forth the effort to understand each other, then things might not fall apart like they often do.

Although I'm only a forum helper, ever since I've gotten promoted I've seen the people I frequently RP'd with in the past become distant, and part of it is my fault, because I have to sacrifice not only my real-life free time to read and work on profiles, but I have to sacrifice the time I have for roleplaying as well. If I want to remain a player, I realize that I also have to put forth the effort to RP with people that aren't seeing as much RP from me due to the sacrificed time.
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[-] The following 1 user Likes Geoni's post:
  • JVNemesis
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I have to ask what it is that the staff does that makes them so distant. If there is to ever be an understanding between both sides then some walls need to come down. One such wall is all the secrecy. What is it that the staff tries to hard to keep the non staff members of the community from knowing? I mean, do you have the Da Vinci Code locked up in there somewhere?

That's not to say "Tell us all your secrets and all will be well!" I'm sure they are secrets for a reason. But I can't possibly think of something that the staff would be in charge of that would be so secretive as to cause a rift between them and the rest of the playerbase.

And what is it that the staff are always so busy doing. So far it's been made out to sound like they are nonstop working. In my mind, I picture the staff sitting in cubicals constantly tapping on a typewriter or scribbling across a document. But I doubt it's anything like that in reality.

So far it's been written off as things like "Staff stuff" without much detail. I'm not even sure what it is the staff does besides enforce the rules and work on profiles. As for taking so much out of free time to work on profiles...

You go to the profile section right now and there are 4 profiles in there. Only one of those profiles would take me personally more than maybe 10 minutes max to read through. Give me an hour and I could probably have those four profiles spell-checked and be close to, if not finished with checking that they match up with lore and server policy.

I'm not saying the staff is bad at it and I'm better. What I am saying is, profiles can't take up that much time. Not to mention that the profiles section is marked for Forum Helpers and Trial GMs, not GMs. GMs still post in there which is something that would be entirely voluntary right?

I'm not making accusations or saying the staff doesn't work as hard as they say they do. I am saying that if you want to work on breaking down the barrier between the staff and the rest of the community, things should be shared. And what exactly it is that the staff does is a good start I think. What is it that takes so much time that they don't hardly have any time to themselves, and causes them to be distanced from the community and in many cases even lose friends because of it.
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[-] The following 1 user Likes Aadora's post:
  • Kage
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First off, let me say that we aren't exactly working like bees all the time. The activity spreadsheet detailing the activity levels of the GM team at present (located here) gives a pretty good idea of how much time the GMs have to spend on the server right now. The spreadsheet is updated at the start of every month as part of our monthly activity reviews.

Most of our work isn't really in profiles, though it's a part of it. We mostly deal with the profiles that pass through Private Discussion (that is, Special Profiles). Otherwise, it's discussions surrounding server development, enforcement of rules and, currently, discussions around the replies we get in this thread. A lot of what we do is talk to eachother, and a few are active in-game to help people run events and another few spend their time building. Some spend several hours a day just working on whatever they want to work with, others spend a number of hours per week, and some don't spend all that much time for one reason or another (be it that they're busy, unable to come online, or otherwise can't sacrifice too much of their online time due to temporary circumstances).

The things we keep to ourselves are many. Be it additions, revisions, track records or just ideas; it doesn't have to be anything super-serious to be considered a secret, but they nevertheless need to be kept between the staff for the time being. For one, the ideas may not be completely ironed out yet; they just aren't presentable before we finish discussing and exploring the possibilities available to us. It could also be that, especially for bigger and more important discussions... we don't want to bring people's hopes up in case it doesn't lead anywhere for whatever reason. People are seldom impressed by empty promises and people are just going to be disappointed, no matter what. A big part of the work we do is risk assessment, hehe.

The reason why many of these things are secret is... Well. Pretty much every time the staff entrusts confidential information to one or a few players they believe in, that information gets out. That player trusts some of their friends with this information and then those friends pass that information along until it's not a secret anymore and, bam, we've got ourselves a rumour mill that will twist, distort and magnify the information in all the wrong ways until we suddenly have a lot to answer for and a very disappointed and falsely hopeful community. It's not to say that we don't trust the players we play with, but there'll always be bad eggs. Rather than put the weight on a select few trustees, it's better that we keep these discussions to ourselves until we have something solid we can present to the rest of the community. ... Unless it's something the community brings up in public that can be discussed in the open. This thread, for example. Even if this one happens to be of Kretol's making. ;)

But yeah. Most of it is backstage management. The Forum Helpers keep the profiles and Introductions under control for us (thank you, so much!) but we do peek in there now and again to help out when special cases crop up or if we have time (and mood) to sit down and sift through them.
[-] The following 2 users Like Loxmardin's post:
  • Cressy, Jonoth
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There's always one thing that's bothered me and I'm sure a couple people already know it. But really, why keep it secret? We're not preschoolers who have to be protected. The reason it seems for secrets is because you don't want to disappoint us. But.. Who's to say we'll be disappointed? We're all writers who come up with our own ideas and we could all help with what ever it is you're doing, whether big or small. As I was told once, the GM team would formulated an idea they think will work they post it and the public gets to say something, but only after it was approved by the gm team. What about the ideas that don't seem as good to the GM team? They could end up being something the players love but we'll never know because it's a secret. I understand that secrets are important, but are they really necessary? On a server made from writers?

Just try it sometime. A half fleshed out idea and see what the server can do. We might be able to make the idea that didn't seem like it was going to work well.. Work. Give us a shot.
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We do, on occasion. Like I said, though, a big part of the job is risk assessment. Sometimes an idea won't work because it either doesn't coexist with the vision of the server as set by the administration, or it's not mechanically possible. It's also possible that the idea simply requires too many changes, or it's decided by the staff that, at present, the suggested idea simply has no place in the current state of things.

In these cases, it's better to let it die quietly. If the playerbase have ideas they would like to discuss or singular GMs feel they want to discuss their ideas with the community, they will. They post them up publicly and discussions happen. Most of the time when the discussions are private, it's because the one who came up with the idea would prefer to run it by the team first. ... And, sometimes, it never makes it past that stage. Either that, or it's simply too sensitive an issue to start discussing in public until we know that there's a realistic possibility we could even make it happen in the first place.
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(10-22-2013, 11:10 AM)Aadora Wrote: You go to the profile section right now and there are 4 profiles in there. Only one of those profiles would take me personally more than maybe 10 minutes max to read through. Give me an hour and I could probably have those four profiles spell-checked and be close to, if not finished with checking that they match up with lore and server policy.

I'm not saying the staff is bad at it and I'm better. What I am saying is, profiles can't take up that much time. Not to mention that the profiles section is marked for Forum Helpers and Trial GMs, not GMs. GMs still post in there which is something that would be entirely voluntary right?

Okay, hear me out on this, just a suggestion.

We could have normal members (grunts, not peons) be able to approve a profile with 5 approvals, perhaps? It means that we have people reading through the profiles, maybe wanting to get to know the character, improve the character in some ways.

Just an idea.
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That would easily be abused with just having five friends.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Reigen's post:
  • Jonoth
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(10-22-2013, 02:00 PM)Reigen Wrote: That would easily be abused with just having five friends.

Friends? What are those?

True... maybe have a Forum Helper / GM come in and ratify the votes once they're done?
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That's just pretty much the same as if they approved them on their own, if they have to look the profile over anyway :P
[-] The following 2 users Like Reigen's post:
  • FlyingSquirrel, JVNemesis
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There's nothing stopping grunts from giving input on profiles and helping the authors get up to par as far as lore and spelling/grammar goes. Although the profiler isn't obliged to make edits suggested by grunts, I'm sure many people would find it helpful and it would save everyone a bit of time.

Sorry if it seems I'm shooting down a lot of these suggestions. It's as though we've got a table full of carrots in front of us, and folks are suggesting that we tie some to sticks to give us the motivation to pull CotH's cart along. We could easily eat those carrots as and when we like and help the server out, y'know?
[-] The following 1 user Likes Delta's post:
  • Geoni
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The problem has never been secrets. I've been on both sides of the fence, and multiple times people have made mountains out of molehills when it comes to the private forums. Fear of the unknown is bound to happen, but those fearing it MUST UNDERSTAND it's not as bad as you think. It's not like they have secret posts about why they dislike you. Sometimes, yes, there are warning threads that contain x breaking y rule, or GM's saying things they observe, but that's private for goooooood reason. Reason number uno being that while people -say- they don't act like children...

When they are accused of something openly they always complain or try to negate their actions. It's a normal response to said matters. To curb that, it's private.

However, the problem isn't the "underlying" folds of CoTH, it's what's right up front. Sometimes, rulings are handed down hastily and without much merit. Sometimes, it can be perceived that things are "cliquey" with the GM's.

Loxxy, you're a good person. I'm sorry you don't get much RP, but saying there isn't cliques among the GM team is -very- very oblivioius, it's been that way for years. I know part of the reason is as a GM people can be very mistrustful of you, and as per CoTH gossip is just a thing that happens. It happens to -everyone- here at one point, because sometimes we all act like old wives spinnin' our tales about eachother.

Margo really needs to stop using fake apples in her pies. It just tastes off.




But in all seriousness, before we start to detract from any issues at hand---we need to quit looking for some deep dark secret burried away in those mean ol' GM vaults we can't see, and tackle the real problems we can see--- strictness, stagnation, and the general un-approachableness of CoTH right at the moment.
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I don't think that new methods need to be enacted or anything. I just think that the wrong things are being enforced and that they aren't being enforced evenly.

The idea that person X who has a tendency of going a little too far before backing off vs. person Y who has cursed at people over not wanting to hear about a fandom, insulted people's sexuality multiple times, and directly insulted other player's ideas and desires.

Yet person X gets temporarily banned and person Y becomes a staff member.

Yes, that's a real example.

Another issue is when people try to defend themselves it gets a "Not knowing when to quit" label on it and they get in trouble. That important things can't be said because you get banned for 'taking it too far'.

These are just a couple examples of problems I have seen with rule enforcement in the past, as well as my example about making my druid where a staff member enforced their opinion on me which ended up restricting my ability to have fun, and completely killed my desire to play a character.

Things like the first example just push that idea that the staff forms little groups, or at the very least plays favorites, whether it's true or not.

I've seen it before and it always gets a sort of "No they don't you're being disrespectful for saying that" type of response.
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(10-22-2013, 03:28 PM)Aadora Wrote: The idea that person X who has a tendency of going a little too far before backing off vs. person Y who has cursed at people over not wanting to hear about a fandom, insulted people's sexuality multiple times, and directly insulted other player's ideas and desires.

Yet person X gets temporarily banned and person Y becomes a staff member.

Yes, that's a real example.

Being that I have no idea on who is being referred to there, the only thing I could say is that we don't receive enough information on infractions on the part of GMs. If people are afraid a GM will abuse them, send the message along to Kretol or Grakor directly and skip the middle man. We have had GMs who have acted inappropriately before, and we have reacted to that behaviour.


Regarding these secrets the GM team is keeping, I really don't know what this is referring to. Yes, there are some brainstorming threads we keep secret. Much in the same way that someone who hasn't finished an idea will keep it secret or at least not strut around showing it off until he's confident enough to put it into public view. I have builds that no one's heard about, because showing them early wouldn't really have much point. Unless you just have a thing for incomplete walls and stuff. There are discussions on policies that won't be brought forward until the GM team can agree on something among themselves. It's all pretty standard stuff, and calling these things an issue with transparency is a bit silly to me.

It's just projects that aren't complete.


If this is referring to the warning system of keeping a note of infractions, I'll just point out that I'm certain most organized communities keep some sort of tab on who's done what for purposes of administration. Heck, actual companies do it.

And that's about all I can think of in terms of 'secrets'. They're probably not that interesting and some of them may never even come to any fruition.
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Beating a dead horse here, but meh.

Maybe we need more custom lore. Like, a lot more.

I'm not sure if it was here or some other WoW private server (Tides of the Maelstrom I think?) but people had custom towns. Something we haven't had ever, or in a long time.

With the lore at the moment, everything has stagnated. Lich King is dead, things are being invaded. I'm not saying people aren't imaginative, but it takes a LOT to be able to do something now. Before, you could have the thrill of doing something in Outland or Northrend, now it's just kind of... "well, the barrens is screwed up. let's go there."

We should have more... THINGS in general happen. Towns, or even capitols should be captured. There's no PvP, so no true battles happen (although if that were the case we'd have a lot of people with developed storylines dead.)

Sieges on some place like Stormwind, post OOC announcements that besides taking the Deeprun Tram, you're locked out. Hell, at least it'd cause SOME things to happen with those NPCs that seem to be locked in to place.

Let players make custom towns in generally dead areas like Swamp of Sorrows, or even Nagrand or somewhere like that. It'd introduce a lot more interactivity with the world, maybe even cause some people to actually make factions - which, although I'm shooting extremely high here, would be HUGE. imo, anyways.

Custom lore, guys.

It's the bomb.

Or Kretol can change the server to SWToR and we can all be light-sided Sith / Dark Jedi.
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