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The Disciplinary Process
#46
I'm a strong supporter of any sort of reform or rehaul of current systems. I stand by my statement at whichever meet and greet it was that:

GMs claimed to have better themselves but don't allow us to better the rules of CotH.

Or something like that.
And I think election of GMs would be pretty nifty to keep their opinions diverse. I doubt I'll be listened to on that end. But hey, if you want my ideas, poke me on Skype or something.
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[4:16:27 PM] Cristovao di Silvio ( @CappnRob): theres the bar. then theres the bottom of the barrel, then theres you sachi
#47
I'll note that as far as the GM team solidly agreeing on solutions all the time... that's certainly not the case.

At least from what I've seen, we've probably got one of the most assorted crews of GMs right now-- and actually, its partially to our detriment. We have people who wish to be strict with rules, we have those that wish to be lax or give light punishments. We have those who prefer to adhere strictly to lore, and those who enjoy the idea of branching out-- sometimes rather broadly.

To be honest this has actually led us to be rather inefficient at times, rather than making it as you've stated; where deliberation on something can take much longer than is needed, or processing a new idea within the team can be cumbersome. At this point, funny enough, not even everyone within the team is on chummy terms with one another, to put it bluntly.


As for 'deciding things for the players'-- that is, unfortunately, the nature of the server. It's meant to adhere to Grakor and Kretol's general idea, and we're supposed to shape things within that mold. So as far as ideas go there... it's sorta 'you get what you signed up for'. We don't try to bill ourselves as branching wildly away, and we don't have interest in doing such because of that-- thus, the way we make stuff can be a bit more focused on what the GM team (and more importantly, the admins) decides.

Regarding this--

Quote:I mean, that's cool, but I do not consider snippets, altered phrases or summaries from a friend as evidence. It peaks my inquiry, you know, I'll ask all about it and take it with a grain of salt and if possible I'd look at logs, but I've been around a lot of players who have dissent for the GM's and I've seen that the things they've done aren't as bad as they make them out to be. So this isn't based off of gossip or some smack talk, but I get what you're saying.

It's important that when a player DOES have dissent to the GM team it is evidence that the GM team did SOMETHING to incite that dissent. That's the evidence that lies in gossip; the fact that it exists.

Now, first off, I don't find it true that dissent necessarily means that there's truth and a good purpose behind that dissent. I imagine there's dissent from -everyone- who was permabanned, be they banned for comparatively light stuff or banned for the more disturbing or easily notable sorts of behavior. I very much doubt you'll find anyone who says 'yeah, I was banned. S'fine, I get it'. It very much adheres to 'everyone is the hero of their own story'-- no one actively acts in a way that they would consider bad. Most find themselves justified in some manner or another.

That being said, there is indeed the chance that a ban is mishandled every now and then, but I personally would call it rare-- and I personally can't think of an instance of it in recent memory. I do know there were unfounded bans which the server practiced some time ago, in the form of 'cleaning up' members that the staff didn't think were good for the server-- but, we no longer practice that sort of behavior.
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#48
Quote:GM's are so similar in their opinions

Urgh! Naughty of me to pick out a scant few words to reply to, but...

Very untrue! I wouldn't know where to begin to convey how untrue, in fact.
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#49
(03-22-2013, 06:38 PM)Delta Wrote:
Quote:GM's are so similar in their opinions

Urgh! Naughty of me to pick out a scant few words to reply to, but...

Very untrue! I wouldn't know where to begin to convey how untrue, in fact.

GM's keep the disagreements very private, because let's be honest---that's not something that's always forward moving and constructive, but eventually comes to conclusions.
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#50
(03-22-2013, 06:34 PM)SachikoMaeda Wrote: I doubt I'll be listened to on that end. But hey, if you want my ideas, poke me on Skype or something.

I want to point this out, though I don't want to respond in full after making yet another text wall back there--

I find this sort of attitude harmful. Just because we do not readily accept an idea does not mean it is not heard, or considered, or even supported within parts of the team. It means we did not agree to put it forth, or that the admins did not agree with it. It does not mean it was disregarded, it means it was listened to, considered, and then decided against.

To say that it wasn't listened to would imply we take it very frivolously and without much care, and that's just not true.


EDIT: I don't mean to put it this way, but I feel like the GMs are going to be echoing a lot of the statements made, as far as affirmation goes. I don't want to seem rude, but it may be best to allow us a response before chipping in an agreement.
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#51
(03-22-2013, 06:42 PM)Rigley Wrote:
(03-22-2013, 06:34 PM)SachikoMaeda Wrote: I doubt I'll be listened to on that end. But hey, if you want my ideas, poke me on Skype or something.

I want to point this out, though I don't want to respond in full after making yet another text wall back there--

I find this sort of attitude harmful. Just because we do not readily accept an idea does not mean it is not heard, or considered, or even supported within parts of the team. It means we did not agree to put it forth, or that the admins did not agree with it. It does not mean it was disregarded, it means it was listened to, considered, and then decided against.

To say that it wasn't listened to would imply we take it very frivolously and without much care, and that's just not true.

I've spent the last few months on the server generally feeling ignored, so sorry if I'm not sunshine and rainbows. Let me rephrase:

I don't wish to make a long post that will probably be skimmed over and prefer conversation over IM so I can have direct input then and there rather than clutter up this discussion and go off topic.
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[4:16:27 PM] Cristovao di Silvio ( @CappnRob): theres the bar. then theres the bottom of the barrel, then theres you sachi
#52
... Well, it's easy to imagine how the "unified GM front" is perceived. GMs have to get behind a single decision, which means even those who don't initially agree have to get behind it somehow or scrap the idea entirely. But if no decisions ever go through, no progress is ever made. A lot of GMs have had to stand up for a decision they didn't initially want to pass through at all, but that doesn't mean they all share the same opinion. Just that the team as a whole has reached a majority decision, or the admins helped decide (since they call the shots when the GMs can't / shouldn't decide on certain matters).

As for changing the rules? I know this has been discussed many times. If people have suggestions for how the rules can be improved, I doubt Grakor/Kretol/the GM team would say no to a well-formulated draft. It doesn't mean they would change it, but I can assure you that they'll read and consider it. I've sent in multiple long letters of things I believe should be changed in the past (many really fundamental changes) and while not all of them have gone through, a couple have. And, change is change. If it works well, it works.

Change has to be planned and done tactfully, though. You can't just look at the current ruleset and revamp it without everything turning on its head. Look at the rules that we have now and bring out well thought-out suggestions for how the rules can be improved and, most importantly, what is actually wrong with them. The GM team / the admins might consider that "There's no need to fix what's not broken", but if you can show very clearly that it is broken and give a good alternative, it'll at least be evaluated and given due consideration. Then again, it's difficult to take all different factors into account when looking at rulesets, but it's definitely worth a shot.

I think people severely underestimate the power and efficiency in a well-formulated word-document shared between just you and the admins. Gives opportunity to work things out and bounce ideas to determine what can be improved and how, or even suggest alternative solutions. Then you get input from elsewhere. Start soft, set the groundwork on the smaller playfield and proceed from there.

In a public room where everyone's shouting their opinions at eachother, someone's always going to get lost in the noise. That's why the face-to-face game is so much more efficient when discussing those kinds of proposals in their draft-stage.

Edit: You guys post fast. T_T
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#53
(03-22-2013, 06:47 PM)SachikoMaeda Wrote: I've spent the last few months on the server generally feeling ignored, so sorry if I'm not sunshine and rainbows. Let me rephrase:

I don't wish to make a long post that will probably be skimmed over and prefer conversation over IM so I can have direct input then and there rather than clutter up this discussion and go off topic.

I wasn't trying to say 'you should be happy', but I do feel that people call their opinion ignored when it is indeed seen; they just take disagreement for casual evasion.

And I don't skim posts, and I don't believe many GMs do. If you do want to have a chat, I've offered that before and I'll be fine with one.
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#54
Quote: And I think election of GMs would be pretty nifty to keep their opinions diverse.

I'm going to echo Rensin and say that I feel this would just become a popularity contest. Just because someone is popular does not mean they would make a good GM. The GMs that are picked need to fit in with the vision Kretol has for the server. It is, in the end, his server. If he wants X, Y and Z enforced, he needs to trust that the people chosen as a GM are going to enforce X, Y and Z without complaint.

Do I agree with everything on the server that may or may not be allowed? No, I don't, but I'm still going to enforce it even if I feel differently about it. That is my job as a GM. In my opinion, personal opinions really have no place beyond when it comes to something you're not 100% sure of. If I don't know about Y, I can offer an opinion, but it wouldn't be anything firm, which is why when I say something is of my opinion, it means I'm opening it up for me to be proven wrong. Opinions =/= facts.

Quote:GMs claimed to have better themselves but don't allow us to better the rules of CotH.

We look at, reword and edit our rules more than most people think. We do question our own policies a lot to see if it fits with what would be best with the server of it it should be changed to allow more leg-room/less leg-room in some areas. To say we're not bending our rules and policies is very frustrating to me.

Things we can do now that we couldn't when I first joined:
Freely roll DHs, Dragonsworn and Felsworn via special profiles.
Have access to prestige classes as normal profiles.
Play guards.
Play non-standard races. [CMCs]
Build custom areas with the patch.
Vouches are gone as are all tokens beyond Bronze, and those may disappear come cata!

Yet all thats ever demanded is more, more more! Everything that has been changed gets ignored because something new and shiny comes into light and once again the GMs are being told that we're being too strict and not bending our policies enough for the players.

Keep in mind that this mostly goes behind closed curtains. If we are discussing something, chances are you wont hear about it until we know for certain we want to go ahead and do that. No sense in getting hopes up if we can't follow though with it.

Quote:GM's are so similar in their opinions

I'm going to take a moment to not be serious: *deep breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA- no.

It gets really frustrating as it is now because so many of us have so many different ideas for the server that we butt heads more times than I care to admit. As said, some of us are strict and some of us are looser. I will admit that I am not as forgiving as some other GMs on the team, which puts me at odds with a few of them. I'm always willing to compromise, however, unless I 100% think that something does not fit with the lore.

No matter the outcome in the end, something will always be a 'Team Decision' even if not the whole team agrees with it, which as loxie says, paints as as wholly unified. We do always try to come out with something that everyone can at least be happy with. I can safely say that every idea is debated before its publicly presented. We don't all just look at something, go 'I agree' and call it a day. There's always someone going "Wait a minute...".

EDIT: It seems we all agree that we don't all agree, however. :|
EDIT 2: ARRRGGGGH. So many typos. Wouldn't be a Reigen post without a few dozen. T_T
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#55
(03-22-2013, 06:32 PM)Delta Wrote: Ban in the context of 'warning, suspension, ban' means a permanent ban, aye. Suspensions were meant to be sharp shocks to the system, a wake-up call, but I was not a GM in '09 so I can't speak of the policies during that period with any certainty. Indeed, I was not even a member of CotH in '09!

Grakor is right, though. Many of us have come a long way in those four years.

Pretty much, yeah.

(03-22-2013, 06:32 PM)Delta Wrote: I'm not sure you could call that bit about truth a technique, really. Perhaps I have a natural inclination to scepticism when it comes to this specific subject, and perhaps there is a great deal of evidence backing up my niggling suspicion.

While this is really short and before your explanaton, I just don't want there to be any misunderstanding that I was saying "truth" was the problem. I was inferring that the implied consent (when it is clearly not) or implying that someone is saying something when they're not is the problem. Stylized lying, straw man stuff. But regardless:

(03-22-2013, 06:32 PM)Delta Wrote: To explain...

When one's conduct elicits an overt warning, and the warning is not heeded, is it not a foregone conclusion that action will be taken?

Yes.

(03-22-2013, 06:32 PM)Delta Wrote: It's hard to imagine that people can't feel the edge of a blade underneath their feet as they dance upon it, and I think it audacious to claim that a ban could take anyone completely by surprise. The timing might feel cumbersome or sudden, the reasoning might feel unjust, but who among the banned and formerly-banned could say in all honesty that they never imagined for a moment that it might happen?

Back in 2009, and even if we're not there and we're here, we got to a point where we started making racist jokes. We were obviously not racist and they weren't particularly violent (something about fried chicken. . .) but they were breaking a rule. I'm not trying to justify and stand up for that, I think it was the right thing to do for me to us to be punished, but to address your point, no, I didn't think I was going to be banned. I don't think anyone did until it happened. Even Touchseed was surprised.

But if you're talking about permenant bans, yes, I agree with you.

(03-22-2013, 06:32 PM)Delta Wrote: If you glance over CotH's rules, most of them are pretty hard to break by accident. Profanity might slip out, tempers might flare, but the rules have a general theme of 'be nice to CotH and CotH will be nice to you'.

I agree that reasonable attempts at negotiation should be made, and that rule-breaking actions should be answered with a clear consequence that is announced to the relevant party in no uncertain terms. These codes should always be observed in a way relevant to the case in question, and no one's always right all of the time, of course. We all occasionally misunderstand, misconstrue, and are subject to human flaws. That's where the GM body in full comes into it. One person's analysis of a situation might fall prey to bias, but three, four, five, and more people analysing a problem have a very good chance of drawing the right conclusion. Especially if they have all of the facts, or a fair portion of the relevant information.

At the end of the day, people are going to believe what they will believe, but I'll put what I said earlier another way: Without self-deprecating, realising your own shortcomings is the only way to start working to improve yourself.

Of course, that's a pretty good summation of it all.

(03-22-2013, 06:33 PM)Rensin Wrote: I could see your reasoning here if GM's were somehow outsourced, but every GM was a player. Sorry to say it, but if they were elected by players it'd be a popularity contest that wouldn't always favor in the way of what's best for the server.

I meant to add at the end there that even if they were elected it wouldn't change anything. So yeah, not only are you right for the reasons stated but for a variety of other reasons unmentioned! My bad on that, haha.

(03-22-2013, 06:33 PM)Rensin Wrote: But going as far as saying they can't represent player's opinions is kind of... well.

Loxxy comes to mind. As does Caravan. And Rigley. And many, many, many other GM's that take suggestions and ideas not only for rules but for other things on the server -very- seriously. Honestly, I can see where some confusion comes from, but respect and such isn't as "broad" of a statement as you'd think. I mean, you could claim that people don't know what actions could be interpreted as being a jerk to someone, but let's be honest, that's pretty much common sense. Not to mention, if someone reports the actions of another with sufficient screenshots or other proof---well, then, it's hard to say "Well, the rule doesn't quite cover this...".

For those situations I'm not really fighting for. Lets be real here; you break a rule, you break a rule. I'm talking about when those rules are bent to sort of mean that you kind of broke a rule-ish and a player is taking offense and the GM's all agree with that player and the player who didn't actually break a rule can't even seriously defend himself. I'm trying to keep it pretty universal, too; this extends to policies for profiles being approved or denied or the validity of events or guilds, etc. . .

(03-22-2013, 06:33 PM)Rensin Wrote: Edit: Also, GM's don't always see eye to eye. That's why bans have to be discussed, because sometimes people don't agree with things. Sometimes, from what I remember, it could even be over-talked. Everyone thinks that the GM's are this unified power-ranger task force, but, they are all different people with different goals and motivations.

EDIT: Totally, but I'm not buying the whole "they're not power rangers", nice try.

(03-22-2013, 06:34 PM)SachikoMaeda Wrote: I'm a strong supporter of any sort of reform or rehaul of current systems. I stand by my statement at whichever meet and greet it was that:

GMs claimed to have better themselves but don't allow us to better the rules of CotH.

Or something like that.
And I think election of GMs would be pretty nifty to keep their opinions diverse. I doubt I'll be listened to on that end. But hey, if you want my ideas, poke me on Skype or something.

The best way to change the server or rehaul anything is to do it without ostracizing anyone, including the GM's. So I'll poke you on skype (sometime tonight) but you've gotta realize that we're on the GM's side. They're like, our allies, not our enemies. Never say they wont listen to you, because when they don't, that's when you call them out. It's an immunodeficiency problem;most of what I'm talking about is in regards to the GM's doing something to help players without realizing it is hurting them.

They're going to listen to me, to some extent, because I'm not trying to attack them. . .I'm trying to help them. I don't expect them to take everything I say and implement it (that would be most dangerous!) but we can expect that they're aware that certain things exist, and little by little things change for the better.

Alright, now lets address the issue of unity:

(03-22-2013, 06:38 PM)Delta Wrote:
Quote:GM's are so similar in their opinions

Urgh! Naughty of me to pick out a scant few words to reply to, but...

Very untrue! I wouldn't know where to begin to convey how untrue, in fact.

I'll take your word for it.

(03-22-2013, 06:50 PM)Loxmardin Wrote: ... Well, it's easy to imagine how the "unified GM front" is perceived. GMs have to get behind a single decision, which means even those who don't initially agree have to get behind it somehow or scrap the idea entirely. But if no decisions ever go through, no progress is ever made. A lot of GMs have had to stand up for a decision they didn't initially want to pass through at all, but that doesn't mean they all share the same opinion. Just that the team as a whole has reached a majority decision, or the admins helped decide (since they call the shots when the GMs can't / shouldn't decide on certain matters).

Decisions made for the players should be in the interests of the players. That means all players; I get a strong feeling that the GM team levitates towards a certain group and backs them up instead of acting as a mediator to a dispute. If what you're saying is true (and it most certainly is) then I've misconceived "GM's are selected" with an oblique decision making process that excludes the players and-- correct me if I'm wrong-- ends up making their decisions for them.

Now that's probably not true. The GM's talk with players a lot, maybe they inquire on their opinion to make sure that the decision is rounded and well made. But that kind of seems. . .unlikely. Maybe it isn't, I don't know.

(03-22-2013, 06:34 PM)Rigley Wrote: I'll note that as far as the GM team solidly agreeing on solutions all the time... that's certainly not the case.

At least from what I've seen, we've probably got one of the most assorted crews of GMs right now-- and actually, its partially to our detriment. We have people who wish to be strict with rules, we have those that wish to be lax or give light punishments. We have those who prefer to adhere strictly to lore, and those who enjoy the idea of branching out-- sometimes rather broadly.

To be honest this has actually led us to be rather inefficient at times, rather than making it as you've stated; where deliberation on something can take much longer than is needed, or processing a new idea within the team can be cumbersome. At this point, funny enough, not even everyone within the team is on chummy terms with one another, to put it bluntly.

Some of those GM's scare me with their broad lore stretching, just a note.

That's an internal issue that you guys need to solve. I think you guys need to identify where you stand and perceive those interpretations as strengths that could benefit players. If an event has some sketchy lore behind it, instead of the lore master shooting it down he should help patch up those holes and make the thing legitimate. You guys should expect the opposition and welcome it, inquire on their viewpoints and establish a consensus based off of what will benefit the players most.

So in light of Reigens post, which I can't include because I must sleep for Academic Team competition tommorow, I think we can safely say that the problem isn't "because the GM's all have similar opinions".

(03-22-2013, 06:50 PM)Loxmardin Wrote: As for changing the rules? I know this has been discussed many times. If people have suggestions for how the rules can be improved, I doubt Grakor/Kretol/the GM team would say no to a well-formulated draft. It doesn't mean they would change it, but I can assure you that they'll read and consider it. I've sent in multiple long letters of things I believe should be changed in the past (many really fundamental changes) and while not all of them have gone through, a couple have. And, change is change. If it works well, it works.

Change has to be planned and done tactfully, though. You can't just look at the current ruleset and revamp it without everything turning on its head. Look at the rules that we have now and bring out well thought-out suggestions for how the rules can be improved and, most importantly, what is actually wrong with them. The GM team / the admins might consider that "There's no need to fix what's not broken", but if you can show very clearly that it is broken and give a good alternative, it'll at least be evaluated and given due consideration. Then again, it's difficult to take all different factors into account when looking at rulesets, but it's definitely worth a shot.

I'm not sure who you're talking to, but yes. I've read the rules by now so often I claim myself a rule lawyer. I was, at one point, literally going to represent a player in a dispute as their 'lawyer' to defend against the GM's because I felt like their 'case' was misrepresented. . .thankfully I wont have to do that.

I'm not looking for a revamp, I actually suggested to Kretol a long time ago that I did not approve of his "don't be a dick" picture in rule #1, and if we look now. . .it's not there. Maybe it was me, maybe it wasn't. Thanks though, Loxxy.

(03-22-2013, 06:50 PM)Loxmardin Wrote: I think people severely underestimate the power and efficiency in a well-formulated word-document shared between just you and the admins. Gives opportunity to work things out and bounce ideas to determine what can be improved and how, or even suggest alternative solutions. Then you get input from elsewhere. Start soft, set the groundwork on the smaller playfield and proceed from there.

In a public room where everyone's shouting their opinions at eachother, someone's always going to get lost in the noise. That's why the face-to-face game is so much more efficient when discussing those kinds of proposals in their draft-stage.

That's why I'll send the draft to you guys instead of just posting it publicly. I'm not really opposed to that as much as making a decision to do something without consulting the public about it.

I'm going to continue conjumbling this, sorry. . .!

(03-22-2013, 06:34 PM)Rigley Wrote: As for 'deciding things for the players'-- that is, unfortunately, the nature of the server. It's meant to adhere to Grakor and Kretol's general idea, and we're supposed to shape things within that mold. So as far as ideas go there... it's sorta 'you get what you signed up for'. We don't try to bill ourselves as branching wildly away, and we don't have interest in doing such because of that-- thus, the way we make stuff can be a bit more focused on what the GM team (and more importantly, the admins) decides.

The nature of the server is to serve the GM's rather than the players. . .See now, the statement I just made isn't necessarily true, right? But lets be real here; the rules are MADE for the benefit of the players. So why not give the players a say in it? . . .Well, they do (obviously, for instance right now) but not always. Not when they matter, in the countless examples we're all talking about or vaguely mentioning. I don't want to be far fetched and say they have nothing to do with it, but I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that what the community wants isn't considered enough.

(03-22-2013, 06:34 PM)Rigley Wrote: Now, first off, I don't find it true that dissent necessarily means that there's truth and a good purpose behind that dissent.

Good, me neither.

(03-22-2013, 06:34 PM)Rigley Wrote: I imagine there's dissent from -everyone- who was permabanned, be they banned for comparatively light stuff or banned for the more disturbing or easily notable sorts of behavior. I very much doubt you'll find anyone who says 'yeah, I was banned. S'fine, I get it'. It very much adheres to 'everyone is the hero of their own story'-- no one actively acts in a way that they would consider bad. Most find themselves justified in some manner or another.

That being said, there is indeed the chance that a ban is mishandled every now and then, but I personally would call it rare-- and I personally can't think of an instance of it in recent memory. I do know there were unfounded bans which the server practiced some time ago, in the form of 'cleaning up' members that the staff didn't think were good for the server-- but, we no longer practice that sort of behavior.

Bolshe once told me an elaborate series of events that included CotH GM's creating alternative accounts that would deliberately get players in trouble just so they can ban them. He also had a bunch of other bull crap. I'd just like you guys to know, when I heard it back in 2010, I believed it. I don't now, but what's important is that I did. Crazy, huh?

Gotta be careful of the illusions we make.

I can't post until tommorow; I need to wake up early tommorow. If anyone wants to reach me on Skype, I'm Quandry31 but I wont be super available tommorow.

Good work, team. I'll actually read Reigens post tommorow and respond to it then.

Keep up the questions and the inquiry, we're getting somewhere.
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#56
Quote:I'll actually read Reigens post tommorow and respond to it then.

Oh, I see how it is. I'm not important enough. Go on, Sour, break my heart! I'll just wait, staring wistfully into the distance.

In the meantime, I'm going to take advantage of this and do some shameless advertisement:

A lot of these concerns and questions would be great to bring up at the AMA after the Meet and Greet thats coming up. We'll be able to answer everyone in live time as well as address the concerns and answer follow-up questions much faster than on the forums. Something to consider, at least!
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#57
Quote:Bolshe once told me an elaborate series of events that included CotH GM's creating alternative accounts that would deliberately get players in trouble just so they can ban them. He also had a bunch of other bull crap. I'd just like you guys to know, when I heard it back in 2010, I believed it. I don't now, but what's important is that I did. Crazy, huh?


That was me he was talking about. I had an alternate account so that I could RP without getting item request every five minutes and also actually get some RP since people avoided me like the plague. I also had found some stuff happening and probably handed some screenshots to our warning threads---but I'm going to be honest.

Bolshe was also crazy. I could go in to all the things he did wrong from memory, because that's a name that -really- sticks in my head to this day when it comes to some of the weirder and more awful things that have happened on CoTH.
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#58
GM decisions are largely built upon compromises, bashing heads, and discussion. Seriously, they're not as unified as you think. They just can come to a conclusion about what they want. If they can't, you don't hear about it. Sure, sometimes the decisions were easy to make. But... yeah. Yeah sometimes it's pretty hard and we unintentionally hurt eachother's feelings in there (sorry chaps), building animosity and what not. I left the GM team to get away from it for a while.

People aren't promoted based on 'hue hue hue who will we add to our little club now hue hue hue'. We add people based on 'will this person be a boon to the team/server'. Have we made mistakes? Yeah, totally. I mean hell, you can look to that whole grand exit a few years back that resulted in a GM being banned. The team just tries to do what's good for the server, and I do think things have significantly improved over time.
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#59
(03-22-2013, 07:35 PM)Sourpuddle Wrote: The nature of the server is to serve the GM's rather than the players. . .See now, the statement I just made isn't necessarily true, right? But lets be real here; the rules are MADE for the benefit of the players. So why not give the players a say in it? . . .Well, they do (obviously, for instance right now) but not always. Not when they matter, in the countless examples we're all talking about or vaguely mentioning. I don't want to be far fetched and say they have nothing to do with it, but I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that what the community wants isn't considered enough.

I'm unsure of that. Because we do consider the wants of the playerbase, and attempt to give what we can. I actually was discussing this with another GM not long ago [and I apologize if this is mistakenly taking this in a different direction--


(03-22-2013, 07:35 PM)Sourpuddle Wrote: Some of those GM's scare me with their broad lore stretching, just a note.

Right, sure. But I can wholeheartedly assure you that some people find them the best GMs on the entire team. And that's really half and half, or at least it is presented as such to the GM team. It's a matter of push and tug, because there is more likely than not no ruling on CotH that has had 100% player support or 100% player dissent. It's effectively a split between high fantasy and low fantasy at times.

We will never, -ever- make both of those camps happy. Ever! The best we can do is strive to attempt and take a middle-ground in what we can. Because of this, both sides might feel unhappy. But its better than fully disregarding one camp for the other.

I do think we try to accommodate what people desire; but honestly, at times it seems as if we don't get many suggestions. At least I don't, so I can't speak on that behalf entirely.


(03-22-2013, 07:35 PM)Sourpuddle Wrote: Bolshe once told me an elaborate series of events that included CotH GM's creating alternative accounts that would deliberately get players in trouble just so they can ban them. He also had a bunch of other bull crap. I'd just like you guys to know, when I heard it back in 2010, I believed it. I don't now, but what's important is that I did. Crazy, huh?

Somewhat bluntly, I'm not sure if I understand. As I said, people will misconstrue and refit words and actions to what helps them, at times. In this vein of thought, I don't find it problematic for the GM team that people would hold such a low opinion of them, but (and I don't mean to say this derisively-- its many years back now, either way) those who believe these sorts of ideas. I think when people begin to see the GM team as a large conspiracy, there's really only so much we can say and do before it's kinda a lost effort.

We try to be open, but when someone wishes to spread a corrosive image of the team I'm not sure what more we can do. Other than saying 'that's not true', but simply denying something doesn't typically remove the notion.
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#60
(03-22-2013, 06:50 PM)Loxmardin Wrote: ... Well, it's easy to imagine how the "unified GM front" is perceived. GMs have to get behind a single decision, which means even those who don't initially agree have to get behind it somehow or scrap the idea entirely.

Not to go off topic and reply to just this bit - actually I'm doing exactly that - but why? If you don't support the consensus, why pretend to? I don't understand at all why it's not acceptable to say "Kretol/Grakor/The rest of the staff have decided X, and I think X is a bad idea and here is why." It gives community relations a bothersome, Orwellian vibe, if you will; I don't mean to imply actual conspiracy, of course. I've had GMs speak to me in private about exactly this sort of thing. "This is being done, I don't like it, but hush, nobody can know I feel this way."

The perception of a "unified GM front," as Loxy put it, is a bad thing. It's fuel for the paranoia; just another reason for players to be afraid of the staff - and many of those who are won't publicly say so, for reasons that require no explanation.

Anyway, back on topic:

No matter how many threads are made ensuring us of transparency, it doesn't change that sometimes people get "disappeared." From the perspectives of most witnesses and friends, there is no preamble, and despite the allegations to the contrary I do find it difficult to believe that these players are always appropriately warned. It's true that we're generally biased in favor of our friends, but it stretches disbelief that every single one of the stories about the staff not communicating or a staff member abusing their authority or acting on personal feelings are false, particularly when there are logs to that effect.

As much as we're assured that the secrecy isn't sinister - and as an aside, I don't particularly believe it is sinister - it's not going to change the fact that in the subconscious minds of humanity at large, secrecy is sinister. It's often frightening, and even when it's not it certainly doesn't foster trust or comfort. Neither does speaking ill of one staff member to another, however politely-worded your complaint: The bias towards friends extends to the staff, as well.

That CotH's system of due process, if you will, has rules that can be bent or ignored if deemed appropriate, as well as the proverbial elephant in the room that is noticing that people who don't get on well with the staff tend to end up banned doesn't help in the least. Is this conspiracy? It's unlikely.

GMs are human, and like all humans they're going to have moments of pettiness and shades of bias that color their views and mar decisions. Not liking people who don't like you is natural. That this will be acted upon is an unfortunate eventuality of most authority figures. It's unfair to expect them to always be above this, but it's equally unfair to assume that anyone will treat them like they are.
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