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Old 09-21-2008, 10:32 PM
cbk1994 cbk1994 is offline
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Managing Players

I've been working on servers for a while now, and I believe I've found a system to effectively deal with players, while letting developers do work.

First, I propose removing all different "departments". All development becomes "Staff". All management (manager, administrator) becomes "Admin". This is for public; it is okay to maintain a structure within a server. However, it should be limited. It is important that you still have a basic hierarchy.

The number represents how many of this staff there should be.

Manager [1] [Admin] - should be someone who is available to staff members. The job of the manager is not to develop, but to make sure everything runs smoothly. The manager needs to make sure staff get along, and that they have everything they need.

Administrator [1; 2 for large servers] [Admin] - should be someone trustworthy. They should have rights to hire/fire, in case of an emergency, but should not use these rights unless it is urgent (e.g. someone is going to delete things). The administrator keeps an eye on things, making sure players' needs are met.

Development Chief [Staff] - only needs the rights needed to do their job. This person is not in charge of a department (e.g. NAT Admin), but is a normal developer, who can be trusted to make sure everything runs smoothly in "their" department, and make sure quality standards are met. This person is also trusted with the task of hiring. This does not mean they get the rights to do it themselves; they are trusted with deciding who will be best for the job.

Development [Staff] - these people have differing rights. They have only the rights needed to do their job. Why does a graphic maker need to be able to warp? Development chiefs also fall under this category; they don't receive any extra rights just for being the chief, unless they need rights to check on how other people are doing. This is why it's very important that there is an active manager. The manager has to make sure the developers have the rights they need.


That's the end of development staff. What about non-developmental staff? They fall under "Player Relations". There is only one type of player relations staff. There is no reason for a chief of any kind; the manager can handle the hiring of these people. There should always be at least one player relations staff member on! This means that you may need fifteen player relations, if you have a large server. Additionally, when the manager or server administrator is not busy, they can put on a player relations tag and help. Player relation staff members should all have the same rights, so that no one feels like they are not important. I recommend the following rights:
  • Warp to players
  • Summon players
  • Disconnect players
  • Jail players
Some of these rights are not possible without RC being given. I propose making your own staff tool for these people; there is never an excuse for a non-developmental staff having RC unless it is absolutely necessary. These staff should have an easy way to contact the manager or a server administrator. Email, is nice. You could also set up a Twitter account, and these staff can send messages to the manager in an emergency.

PR staff should deal with players needs only, and contact a staff or administrator when they are unable to help someone with something (a glitch in a script, can't log on, "I swear it was my brother who was hacking", etc).

Many staff like to wear tags as they work. For example, level makers will wear their "LAT" tag while they are creating a level. First of all, following this system, there is no such thing as a "level maker" or a "LAT", only a developer staff. Staff should never wear their tag unless it is essential to the task. There is no need to wear your tag while scripting, unless it is necessary. Player Relations, on the other hand, should always wear their tag while they are helping so that they can be recognized. Administrators should wear their tag as well, when they are not overwhelmed with work. However, it should be clear to players that they need to go to Administrators, and eventually Staff, as a very last resort (e.g. no PRs are on, or the PRs are unable to assist the player).

I believe this system is able to keep players happy, while also keeping staff happy and efficient.

Comments?
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2008, 01:16 AM
LoneAngelIbesu LoneAngelIbesu is offline
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The general consensus is that development staff wear their corresponding tags (LAT, GAT, NAT, etc), so that people know who to contact. What good is contacting a GAT, when there's something wrong with your inventory? Personally, I think PR staff are pointless. If the staff member doesn't get an RC, then the position they're in is otiose. All PR staff ever do is forward a message to the corresponding department (got a problem with a player?: forwarded to GPs; inventory screwed up?: forwarded to NATs; level not loading correctly?: forwarded to LATs; somebody stole your personal body?: forwarded to GATs). Essentially, all that's left for them to do is answer questions regarding the use of the server, which wouldn't be needed at all if you provide a decent tutorial.

Departmentalizing (meaning, you have heads of departments that run the show) is essential to most servers, especially large servers. The manager deals with the huge issues and schedules, and the department heads deal with all the technical stuff. On Valikorlia, a department head as always been the person to hire staff; the manager just gets the final say-so. Consequently, department heads also do the firing.

You can run your server like this, but I'll run mine how I like to (not that I run a server, but still). But, I definitely think that it's important that development staff have their tags on all the time, and that PR are useless.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:25 AM
Darlene159 Darlene159 is offline
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Originally Posted by LoneAngelIbesu View Post
But, I definitely think that it's important that development staff have their tags on all the time, and that PR are useless.
I agree. the biggest problem that I have found is that a lot of NATs, LATs, and GATs do not want to be bothered with questions, and a lot of people feel that those staff members shouldnt have to answer players.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:36 AM
Nataxo Nataxo is offline
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nice system, and PR are not pointless in my opinion.


although its true you need 2 know who to contact for a developer problem...
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:12 AM
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I don't really like it.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:27 AM
cbk1994 cbk1994 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneAngelIbesu View Post
The general consensus is that development staff wear their corresponding tags (LAT, GAT, NAT, etc), so that people know who to contact.
Perhaps another way to deal with this would be to create a system for reporting bugs. Most of the time, development staff are on tag and won't respond to you. What's the point in that?
Quote:
If the staff member doesn't get an RC, then the position they're in is otiose. All PR staff ever do is forward a message to the corresponding department [...] Essentially, all that's left for them to do is answer questions regarding the use of the server, which wouldn't be needed at all if you provide a decent tutorial.
The problem is that players still have questions. A lot of players don't go through tutorials, also. And, you can't answer all questions someone might have in a tutorial. I think it's quite efficient to have someone manage who the reports are going to. These people prevent staff from dealing with crazy PMs that don't relate to them or that they can't do anything about. It's like a secretary. PR staff could also deal with uploading and such, but they'd have to be given RC. It really depends on how your server works.
Quote:
Departmentalizing (meaning, you have heads of departments that run the show) is essential to most servers, especially large servers. The manager deals with the huge issues and schedules, and the department heads deal with all the technical stuff. On Valikorlia, a department head as always been the person to hire staff; the manager just gets the final say-so. Consequently, department heads also do the firing.
Perhaps it could be the chiefs job to manage who is doing what task, in addition to what I've already said. However, there is no reason someone needs to be the "Scripting Admin" or whatever. They still should only get the rights needed to perform their job.
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You can run your server like this, but I'll run mine how I like to (not that I run a server, but still).
All servers are set up differently, what works for one server may not work for all.
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But, I definitely think that it's important that development staff have their tags on all the time, and that PR are useless.
What about when the development staff don't want to be bothered? I find it better to have the staff only be bothered with what they need to do, rather than random players asking them questions (how much does a _______ cost?, etc)
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Originally Posted by Darlene159 View Post
I agree. the biggest problem that I have found is that a lot of NATs, LATs, and GATs do not want to be bothered with questions, and a lot of people feel that those staff members shouldnt have to answer players.
There is no reason that staff should be bothered with questions when a PR could easily answer the questions. This allows staff to be more productive, and only be disrupted by what is important to their job.
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I don't really like it.
Why not?
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:38 AM
Darlene159 Darlene159 is offline
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Originally Posted by cbk1994 View Post
There is no reason that staff should be bothered with questions when a PR could easily answer the questions. This allows staff to be more productive, and only be disrupted by what is important to their job.
That would be fine if you had PR staff that could answer questions in scripting, gfx, and levels. I get "I dont script", "I dont do graphics", or "I dont make levels". Seems it would be hard to have staff that can answer questions in every area
I quit asking questions because either staff dont answer or are rude when they do (a lot of the time, not all)
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:41 AM
cbk1994 cbk1994 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darlene159 View Post
That would be fine if you had PR staff that could answer questions in scripting, gfx, and levels. I get "I dont script", "I dont do graphics", or "I dont make levels". Seems it would be hard to have staff that can answer questions in every area
I quit asking questions because either staff dont answer or are rude when they do (a lot of the time, not all)
The idea would be that PR staff are able to make notes which other staff can read.

For example, they could leave a note for scripters "There's a glitch in the inventory where you can't scroll".

This way, staff aren't bothered with questions that they can't answer, wasting their development time. PRs could answer questions about the game immediately, and leave notes for others.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbk1994 View Post
The idea would be that PR staff are able to make notes which other staff can read.

For example, they could leave a note for scripters "There's a glitch in the inventory where you can't scroll".

This way, staff aren't bothered with questions that they can't answer, wasting their development time. PRs could answer questions about the game immediately, and leave notes for others.
Cba quoting your larger post.
I think its a good, logical, setup.
And PR is useful, look at GMs in WoW? You dont need one for every department though, just one or two online at any time period.

I never bothered myself by giving ranks to people though, in a server you shouldn't need that much staff that no one knows every "employee".

Just make sure that everyone knows their place, and your good.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:06 AM
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I know I was really blunt in my reply, just trying to think of a way to explain it.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:35 AM
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I think all staff should have RC, builds community. Why don't you want non-development staff having RC? Segregation went out a long time ago.

Also, I am NPC Admin on Valikorlia, making me head of NAT and the one with the final say (besides the Manager(s)) on everything scripted related. So you're saying I don't need to be scripting admin or have all rights? I also do stuff beyond my job, like banning, jailing, and banning.

Also, if a player has questions that were answered in the tutorial that he or she didn't do then its their own stupid fault.

I also put my NPC Admin tag on when I'm working so people know who to come to if there are bugs and stuff.

I suppose I could script a support ticket system sometime in the future, that could be used for bug reporting and other things.

I wish Stefan would release external scripted windows so I could integrate jail system into RC.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:45 AM
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I also do stuff beyond my job, like banning, jailing, and banning.

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Old 09-22-2008, 03:49 AM
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I said that twice on purpose, if that's what you're pointing out. Extra emphasis on the banning.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:54 AM
cbk1994 cbk1994 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverness View Post
Also, I am NPC Admin on Valikorlia, making me head of NAT and the one with the final say (besides the Manager(s)) on everything scripted related. So you're saying I don't need to be scripting admin or have all rights? I also do stuff beyond my job, like banning, jailing, and banning.
Exactly! If there were managers or administrators available, there would be no need for you to waste time banning/jailing/banning players. There is no need for you to be scripting "admin". There's no reason for you to have rights to ban, jail, hire, fire, and such. You would focus instead on scripting, and making sure quality standards are followed. It's up to the manager to deal with how things should happen, but the chief could decide how it will be scripted.
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Also, if a player has questions that were answered in the tutorial that he or she didn't do then its their own stupid fault.
Yes, but they can still be helped. There are also questions which won't be answered in a tutorial.
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I also put my NPC Admin tag on when I'm working so people know who to come to if there are bugs and stuff.
Do you ever receive PMs from people asking you for things that waste your time?
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I suppose I could script a support ticket system sometime in the future, that could be used for bug reporting and other things.
Or use one from the code gallery. I've found these systems to work well, when players know that it exists, and use it.
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I wish Stefan would release external scripted windows so I could integrate jail system into RC.
I agree.
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:12 AM
Nataxo Nataxo is offline
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I said that twice on purpose, if that's what you're pointing out. Extra emphasis on the banning.
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