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Author Topic: Advice handling inter-game melodrama  (Read 6705 times)
Mr. Three
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« on: October 13, 2011, 08:33:20 PM »

At Berea College, KY, there are two different Administrations that run games independently of each other. Administration Group 2, which I am part of, operated their first week duration game about two weeks ago. We're a bunch of veteran players who wanted to run a game of our own and we succeeded in running a game for 106 players with few incidents.

We've been open with Administration Group 1, offering to share notes and coordinate dates so as not to step on each other's toes. When we were doing the orientation meetings for our game, we also made sure to advertise their game and date. One of their Admins and one of their Mods actually played in our game.

We've heard through the grapevine all kinds of negativity directed towards us from them, but we never responded to it because:
1.) heard it through the grapevine
2.) so what? has no bearing on anything anyway.
3.) we're trying to keep it clean and would like a good relationship with the whole community and frankly players don't give a shit nor should they, concerning mod drama.

So today a moderator for Admin Group 1 told myself and a fellow Admin in Group 2 that we were suspended from the upcoming game being operated by Group 1. She could not herself explain why, because the decision had been made above her chain of command by a senior moderator.

I asked the Admin of Group 1 about it, and he promptly told me that he didn't know why but he backed up his moderator's decision and explained that finding out about it was a low priority for him. So, we're going to have to confront this senior moderator, if we can find him, to get any real answers. As far as I can tell, there is no precedent for an administration suspending a nonplayer [who was nonplaying due to administrating a separate game] for any real actionable offense. As a nonplayer, there is literally no player-behavior I could have been responsible for that would warrant judicial action within the context of the game.

My staff is aware of the situation [the rest of my squad is not]; I've told them to pretend it hasn't happened and not to say anything until we get to the bottom of this. I'm just dumbstruck at the moment and hoped that the wellspring of advice here might offer solutions.
I've been playing this game since Spring of '08; I have a good reputation as a fair-minded player and have committed no serious offenses during gameplay. We don't deserve this, I am sure. I am just not 100% willing to attribute this decision to pettiness.
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Berea College, KY
Proud member of Z Squad
Quote from: Dyslexda
Water on darts? Certainly would be banned
But now I'm mad that I got trolled so I'm going to ban you anyway.
Catastrophe
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 10:09:00 PM »

Why did you guys break off and run a separate game? Besides the "we wanted to run a game of our own". I guess I can understand just wanting to do that, but usually a second group is created to fix something that the original group is doing wrong (or someone wants to break off because they don't like the way the group is running the game, etc).

Otherwise, you've taken very appropriate actions. The only thing left is to have a cool, collected conversation with the moderator that decided you shouldn't be allowed to participate in their game.
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Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO
Game Administrator Spring '12 - Spring '13
Game Moderator Fall '13 - Fall '14 (semi-retired)
Mr. Three
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 10:43:57 PM »

Player populations were falling, veteran players were not returning, and we were concerned about the future of the game. So yes, we did start our game to 'fix problems'. We also conversed with Administration Group 1's Admin and one of their moderators before we even began advertising our game to make sure that we would not be making waves or overstepping our bounds. A few players thought we were violating the natural order but we generally had a positive response going into this. Our goal has been, the entire time, making the community larger and more resilient while also connecting Berea to other colleges that play.

EDIT: yes, it was naivety to think that this wouldn't be divisive. We are extremely guilty of naivety.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 10:51:15 PM by Mr. Three » Logged

Berea College, KY
Proud member of Z Squad
Quote from: Dyslexda
Water on darts? Certainly would be banned
But now I'm mad that I got trolled so I'm going to ban you anyway.
USF_Rattler

SEMPER PARATUS

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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 02:28:05 AM »

Not sure if I followed you right, but let me see if I got this straight.

You are not playing in the game run by the other group, but their admins/mods have banned you from participating without giving you a reason?
And it's only you, or have others from your organizing group been banned also?
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University of South Florida
ECHO Squad

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Primary: Raider "Canebrake"
Secondary: Alpha Trooper "Cottonmouth"
Mr. Three
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2011, 02:47:24 AM »

Sorry if I worded it weirdly, it's kind of difficult to explain the first time.

I intended to play in their game, but I was suspended yesterday, apparently.

No one on their staff has been able to tell me why.

One of my two other Admins [who is a core member of Z Squad also] was suspended under the same nebulous terms.
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Berea College, KY
Proud member of Z Squad
Quote from: Dyslexda
Water on darts? Certainly would be banned
But now I'm mad that I got trolled so I'm going to ban you anyway.
broken

Accuracy Through Volume

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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2011, 09:39:13 AM »

What I want to know is instead of splitting off and forming your own game and potentially splintering you already small player base, why didn't you guys just approach the admins of the original game and offer to help with whatever ideas you guys had to make the game better and bring in more players?
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Purdue HvZ
Fall '09, Spring'11 - Extracted | Spring '10, Fall '10, Fall'11 - Turned at extraction | Spring '12 - Moderator | Fall '12 - IT Committee Head | Spring '13 - Turned at extraction | Fall '13 - Turned at extraction

Primaries: Rapidstrike, Blowgun
Secondaries: Stormfire, Socks
yukari.vampslayer
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2011, 09:51:01 AM »

What I want to know is instead of splitting off and forming your own game and potentially splintering you already small player base, why didn't you guys just approach the admins of the original game and offer to help with whatever ideas you guys had to make the game better and bring in more players?
I know that as a former admin, this wold have been so helpful. The only feedback I got was Q.Q on fb, and complaints about missions. Things that I had no control over in missions too i.e "make this group play the way we want!" It felt like metagaming, and I hated doing it. Myself and another officer were also approached by two player (during a closed officer meeting, we were game planning) and told that we never listened to people, and our election methods were dumb. Then they handed us a new way to do elections, and wouldn't leave until we agreed to use it. Later that year I found out that instead of just talking to me, without Q.Qing, they just decided to go behind closed doors, and have private meetings of planning.
Admin's aren't mind readers. It's also very difficult to hear that everything bad is your fault constantly, so folks stop paying attention to people on fb and such. It all just comes off as whining/bitching.
I'm with Admin group 1, you broke off, and apparently couldn't even tell them why. or give suggestions to fix the game. That makes you an agitator, who could cause serious problems in game and potentially pose a danger to other players.
Write up your game changes and have the two administrations sit down, and talk. I know that if I had been afforded that courtesy, Things would have gone better at my school.
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I don't believe in Signatures!
Mr. Three
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2011, 12:49:59 PM »

Let me put it this way: we tried that for years to no effect. All of our criticisms were perceived as personal attacks and their staff were consistently "on the verge of a nervous breakdown" and thus emotionally unavailable and reactive rather than proactive in responding to players. Nothing was getting through, from the playerbase to the staff. I and several friends applied to work on their staff. We offered to help with anything we could. We were politely turned down.

Positive change was not coming. Several veteran players had opted out of future games and the game was known for well, the kind of melodrama I just posed here [ironic, I know]. As the game shrunk we were faced with either the death of the game or 'agitation' as you put it. What would you have done?

If you had the ability to run a successful game, and the one you were playing in was dying with little hope of recovery, you wouldn't have tried to run a game?

And it does raise tough questions, this whole issue, like:

-Who has the 'right' to run a game and what endows them with that sovereignty? Merely being there first?
-if the players [who have legitimate concerns] are not being listened to, what options are left them? The game is about the players, after all.

And as for effect: our game was quite successful and there was no reason to assume that with the revitalized player base that theirs wouldn't be. We accomplished the mission regardless of this situation here which only concerns about 8 people in total.

Also, I don't know how this could be 'dangerous to players'?
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Berea College, KY
Proud member of Z Squad
Quote from: Dyslexda
Water on darts? Certainly would be banned
But now I'm mad that I got trolled so I'm going to ban you anyway.
owyn_merrilin


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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2011, 01:13:53 PM »

Not sure if I followed you right, but let me see if I got this straight.

You are not playing in the game run by the other group, but their admins/mods have banned you from participating without giving you a reason?
And it's only you, or have others from your organizing group been banned also?

Considering that we've got similar problems at our school, though nowhere near this advanced (yet), that was an awfully restrained response, USF_Rattler. I don't know about you, but I'm taking this thread as a warning about what is in our future if we don't get this crap nipped in the bud.
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broken

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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2011, 01:39:11 PM »

Let me put it this way: we tried that for years to no effect. All of our criticisms were perceived as personal attacks and their staff were consistently "on the verge of a nervous breakdown" and thus emotionally unavailable and reactive rather than proactive in responding to players. Nothing was getting through, from the playerbase to the staff. I and several friends applied to work on their staff. We offered to help with anything we could. We were politely turned down.

Positive change was not coming. Several veteran players had opted out of future games and the game was known for well, the kind of melodrama I just posed here [ironic, I know]. As the game shrunk we were faced with either the death of the game or 'agitation' as you put it. What would you have done?

If you had the ability to run a successful game, and the one you were playing in was dying with little hope of recovery, you wouldn't have tried to run a game?

And it does raise tough questions, this whole issue, like:

-Who has the 'right' to run a game and what endows them with that sovereignty? Merely being there first?
-if the players [who have legitimate concerns] are not being listened to, what options are left them? The game is about the players, after all.

And as for effect: our game was quite successful and there was no reason to assume that with the revitalized player base that theirs wouldn't be. We accomplished the mission regardless of this situation here which only concerns about 8 people in total.

Also, I don't know how this could be 'dangerous to players'?

Now the thing is were you approaching them with criticisms and ideas to fix the game during their game of HvZ or after? Knowing a few mods and admins here at Purdue, I can tell you that they get little sleep and are somewhat stressed the week that the game is going on. Now if you approached them sometime a bit after the game and they still fed you the fact that they were stress then ya I would call bullshit on that.
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Purdue HvZ
Fall '09, Spring'11 - Extracted | Spring '10, Fall '10, Fall'11 - Turned at extraction | Spring '12 - Moderator | Fall '12 - IT Committee Head | Spring '13 - Turned at extraction | Fall '13 - Turned at extraction

Primaries: Rapidstrike, Blowgun
Secondaries: Stormfire, Socks
Mr. Three
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2011, 01:54:26 PM »

We've tried a variety of approaches over the years. We learned to be as 'kid-gloves' as possible during the game and try to chat theory after it was all said and done. Heat of the moment debates over game construction could never be productive. That said, we weren't really listened to after the games were over because the Staff were 'tired of HvZ consuming their lives' and so weren't very open to discussions outside the game's running context. Admins used to refer to themselves as "Admini-gods" if that clues you into the driving Staff philosophy.

After running a game I do understand the stress involved but it has done little to explain the relationship the players have had with Admin Group 1. We did everything we could to invite constructive criticism [we opened up forums, are having a post-game meeting tonight, talked to players, etc.] and often responded to it during the game itself when doing so was feasible.
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Berea College, KY
Proud member of Z Squad
Quote from: Dyslexda
Water on darts? Certainly would be banned
But now I'm mad that I got trolled so I'm going to ban you anyway.
broken

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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2011, 02:25:53 PM »

We've tried a variety of approaches over the years. We learned to be as 'kid-gloves' as possible during the game and try to chat theory after it was all said and done. Heat of the moment debates over game construction could never be productive. That said, we weren't really listened to after the games were over because the Staff were 'tired of HvZ consuming their lives' and so weren't very open to discussions outside the game's running context. Admins used to refer to themselves as "Admini-gods" if that clues you into the driving Staff philosophy.

After running a game I do understand the stress involved but it has done little to explain the relationship the players have had with Admin Group 1. We did everything we could to invite constructive criticism [we opened up forums, are having a post-game meeting tonight, talked to players, etc.] and often responded to it during the game itself when doing so was feasible.

Well I would bring up to them that if they are tired of HvZ consuming their lives, why don't they pass of leadership to someone new?
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Purdue HvZ
Fall '09, Spring'11 - Extracted | Spring '10, Fall '10, Fall'11 - Turned at extraction | Spring '12 - Moderator | Fall '12 - IT Committee Head | Spring '13 - Turned at extraction | Fall '13 - Turned at extraction

Primaries: Rapidstrike, Blowgun
Secondaries: Stormfire, Socks
Mr. Three
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2011, 02:41:19 PM »

There is a line of descent, a series of begots, in Admin Group 1.

Connor and Simon
begot 
Niklos and Tricia
begot
Addison and Sammy [with Jimmy and Nathan as mods who are set to 'inherit' the game next]


Across the years these "shifts" in administrative personnel have done little to change the overall attitude players have been dealing with.

Post Merge: October 14, 2011, 04:24:03 PM
Also, in the spirit of not generating more melodrama, I will be nuking this thread sometime in the next few days and from that point I can be PM'ed for more information on the situation.

We will be talking to Admin Group 1 soon and will hopefully resolve not just this specific situation but also the long-standing issues that have been neglected. Our goal is to be one big happy kumbayah HvZ family by the end of this meeting with a plan in place to either cooperate, coexist, or reorganize. I'll keep you all posted as things develop and we try to make this whole thing water under the bridge.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 04:24:03 PM by Mr. Three » Logged

Berea College, KY
Proud member of Z Squad
Quote from: Dyslexda
Water on darts? Certainly would be banned
But now I'm mad that I got trolled so I'm going to ban you anyway.
Mr. Three
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2011, 07:50:17 PM »

They rescinded the suspension on one condition. I'll quote the email:

"Cameron,

We have agreed to remove the suspension on the grounds that you and Shawn produce 40 new players that are not currently on our list of players by Friday's security meeting. We are doing this because we would rather have the two hundred dollars of donations.

-[senior moderator's name redacted for privacy reasons]"

So yeah, obviously whatever we were suspended for [I still haven't been told] was not a significant danger to the game or the community, therefore we should not have been suspended initially. Not only that, but they're attempting to use us to buff their player count [which we were going to do anyway since we were going to play in their game before they arbitrarily suspended us].

As a result, I am going to miss my first game of HvZ ever, because I don't like being dissed and used. Looks like the happy ending is being stretched to a further date... >_<


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Berea College, KY
Proud member of Z Squad
Quote from: Dyslexda
Water on darts? Certainly would be banned
But now I'm mad that I got trolled so I'm going to ban you anyway.
USF_Rattler

SEMPER PARATUS

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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2011, 09:58:17 PM »

They rescinded the suspension on one condition. I'll quote the email:

"Cameron,

We have agreed to remove the suspension on the grounds that you and Shawn produce 40 new players that are not currently on our list of players by Friday's security meeting. We are doing this because we would rather have the two hundred dollars of donations.

-[senior moderator's name redacted for privacy reasons]"

So yeah, obviously whatever we were suspended for [I still haven't been told] was not a significant danger to the game or the community, therefore we should not have been suspended initially. Not only that, but they're attempting to use us to buff their player count [which we were going to do anyway since we were going to play in their game before they arbitrarily suspended us].

As a result, I am going to miss my first game of HvZ ever, because I don't like being dissed and used. Looks like the happy ending is being stretched to a further date... >_<




Not sure your school's policies and how your game is set up and run, but at least here at USF any organization which receives funding is not allowed to charge students to participate or place restrictions on participation. So depending on your level of desire to play/stir the pot, you could look to go above their heads (kinda dbad move to combat their dbad move).
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University of South Florida
ECHO Squad

Class: Scout
Primary: Raider "Canebrake"
Secondary: Alpha Trooper "Cottonmouth"
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