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Caleb956

The Awakening

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What is below this paragraph states how I personally feel about the state of the servers and the TF2 division as a whole right now.  No other person had any part in this, so if anyone is to be questioned then that person is me. I don’t mean this thread to attack anyone, but its important it gets out there one way or another.  I may be being completely irrational with this post, but this is several years worth of frustrations summed up into a single thread, so I apologize in advance.

 

If you are new here, I'm a previous Division Leader, I've been staff several times, and am currently an admin of the Team Fortress 2 servers.

 

Take this thread as you will.

 

Drama

 

Between several servers, different discords, groups, there has been on common theme between all of them.  That theme, is the absolute inability of people to get along with other people that have opposing views, creating drama.  There are times that a simple discussion turns into an absolute shitfest for no reason at all, and fuel must be added to the fire no matter what in order to fit each person's own narrative.  There are also times when people are constantly mocked on the servers for one reason or another, and when they ask the person who is doing it to the stop the response is usually “get over it” or “just local mute them”.  How is that a solution we should be enforcing at all? If people are mocking someone just to annoy them, or get a reaction, or whatever other reason, it is harassment, and should be handled as such.  When things are agreed upon and finished, it doesn’t come lightly, it comes when one person steps in and says let's get this done with, almost as if the two opposing parties are unable to even communicate without being at each others throats, let alone negotiate, unless a third party steps in.  It’s time to brighten up and get along with each other.


 

You may be asking, “why is this a problem?” Or you may be rolling your eyes at this point, well I'm directing this at everyone.  With the rate of how things are going, these servers we love to play on could very well be dead sooner than any of us think if something doesn’t change.  If that doesn’t concern you can you really call yourself a community member? It's all of our jobs to not only maintain the servers, and not only to play on the servers, but the most important job of all of us, is to have fun playing on the servers, not only for ourselves but for others.  We all represent xG, even if you aren’t a part of the clan, when you are playing on the servers, talking on the forums, or in the discord, you are representing xG and who we are as a clan.  Do we really want drama to be the thing that defines us when people look at the clan? Do we really want people to walk away because of it? I know I don't, and I sure hope you don’t either.  It doesn’t matter if “it's just online”, everyone here is a real person, with feelings of their own, we aren't built the same, and we weren't built to handle emotions the same as the next person.  If someone has a problem with how you act towards them, or how you treat them, then it's time to lighten up and be considerate for other people's feelings. As is such with the Castroy situation, he is repeatedly mocked with a phrase that is very well known to hurt him, but it is continued anyways because those doing it like seeing the reaction, or seeing that it annoys him.

This can be solved with one word.

Respect.


 

Another issue I'd like to bring up, is how things are handled in the division.  On several occasions I've seen people say “well not many people are complaining about it so it's not that big of a problem”.  I firmly believe that having that kind of mindset will drag the division down, we should not be waiting for people to complain to get things fixed, or removed, or added, etc.  Our priority should be looking at the issue that is at hand, even if it was mentioned by a single person, and seeing what we can do about it. Fix the issue before it becomes a problem, don't wait until the boat has already sank. On the surf server, there is a well known issue with the checkpoint saver plugin, where it resets your saved position with no warning.  I tried several times as a DL to get it fixed to no avail. That being said, I saw someone say that their checkpoint got reset, I didn’t see their name but a few times beforehand but I could see they were genuinely disappointed.  The only solution that was offered was to “jiggle your mouse around a bit and test before you walk away”, which is all fine and dandy, except for the fact that simply, they shouldn't HAVE to. We do things to make the experience more enjoyable for all players, if a new player joined and saw that their progress was reset for no reason they'd probably think otherwise and not feel too good about the server at that point.  After I saw that, I took it upon myself to finally sit down and fix the plugin once and for all, I didn't do it for myself, or for the higher ups, I did it for HIM, the one who brought it up. That's where the issue of “waiting until it becomes a problem” comes into play. Nobody else thought it was a problem, even the higherup I sent it to( @SegFault ) so he could add it to the server, but when it's affecting our players, at that point it IS A PROBLEM, whether it is widespread or not.  I believe this can be attributed to one word:

 

Motivation.

 

Something I feel several of our higher ups are lacking, or at least a good portion of the time, especially when it comes to working on the servers.  As a DL your job is the same as everyone else, but you have the responsibility to actually add to the servers and fix what's wrong. I'm not saying @mrnutty12 and @SegFault don’t do anything, but it feels like when they can't figure something out they just give up and wait until someone else( @Lithium ) figures it out.  In my eyes this shows a complete and utter lack of motivation, and unwillingness to work. You don't have to be working on the servers at all times, but if you are unwilling to dedicate time to it then why are you in such a position? An example of this is with @mrnutty12. I won’t lie and say I don't get frustrated with you when it comes to server work, because I do.  And I won't lie and say I'm always nice when I bring it up to you, because I'm not. But when you threaten to step down everytime I DO bring it up to you what does that say? It shows me personally you're unwilling to take criticism for your actions. You have told me yourself that people think you're lazy, and you think you're useless, but you don't try to change. How can you sit there and guilt yourself when there's no attempt being made. I don’t do it to try and hurt you, or push you away, I tell you how it is because it should be a red flag that clearly something is wrong, and that it should change. Another example: Population events quickly went from several times a week to sometimes not even happening once a week, whether that be from lack of players, or those who set them up just not wanting to do them.  This issue is not only directed at the higher ups, it could be directed at the division as a whole. To me it feels like many people just don't care what happens anymore, as long as x server has players on then they’re happy, those servers normally being surf or tgh. It's almost as if some people would rather see the server they like completely filled and the other server completely dead, that doesn't sound like a healthy community or playerbase if you ask me.

 

Management

 

Management wise, I don't think anyone could ask for a better staff team, but like all teams, we have our faults.

  • Disagreements on rule matter

    • Many times I have seen staff enforce a rule in wildly different ways than the next staff, which if it gets the job done is fine, but not when its creating a false idea of what they can and can not do.  There have also been times that I've seen rules enforced that I've never even seen or heard of. Obviously we will never all enforce things exactly the same, but there should be more efforts to try. This comes down to one thing, consistency.

  • Arguing in the servers, or discord

    • Disagreeing with each other is a given, it's not that big of a deal, but how it is handled is absolutely a problem.  A good example of this would be of what I saw last night. I won't give any names in order to provide anonymity but basically, there were two sides.  One side said he or she did this on the server and then put the blame on someone else because of x reason, and the other side disagreed and said the person that was blamed was the one who actually stated the issue on the server.  Keep in mind, there were witnesses on both sides that had different stories, and there was no solid evidence of either stories. Both sides were at each others neck for over half an hour, over something that couldn’t lead anywhere, and then it was attributed to them “trolling” or being “passive aggressive”.  These weren't just people that had just joined the server either, these were including staff members, higher ups as well. Quite frankly it's sad to see it happening.

  • Rules

    • It's no secret many people think we are too strict on rules.  While I think rules are important to have, at a certain point it needs to come down to staff discretion.  In order to do that though we'd need something I mentioned earlier, consistency.  As it is right now, I think all of our rules are fair, and they make sense, BUT the matter is, is that we have too many.  I understand the want for rules to be specific, and I also understand the rules to be generalize, it should be somewhere in between.  Have some trust in our staff and give the players some freedom. We can still enforce the rules, but we don't need to have a 2 page long list of rules, either.




 

Conclusion

I won’t sit here and put the blame for what's happening on one person, because what's happening is all of our faults, and that means the only way things will change is if everyone works together.  We are all told that the servers losing players can be attributed to “the game dying”, that’s not a good reason. If anything, that tells me we need to push harder than before to get our servers back to where they should be. There are rumors that are thrown around on the daily of “they said this” or “they did that”, and there are constant disagreements within our own staff team, and times when staff are at each other's throats while on the servers. There are times when the entire server is riled up because of situations like this. How many people have to leave before something changes? I didn't plan on coming back so soon originally even considering the irl information I learned, but I also didn’t plan on never coming back. I came back because I saw what was happening, and I care for this clan more than damn near anything, and I'm not willing to let this continue without at least trying to get it fixed, it's time for people to take off this mask as if everything is fine in the community and buckle up and get this figured out.  If you disagree with me, then feel free, if you agree with me then feel free; but no matter who you are, it's time for things to change around here. We are supposed to be a community, a community traditionally is a group of people who share common interests, and goals. What kind of community are we when we aren’t acting like one.

 






Edit: How the bulletpoints are SUPPOSED to look.. image.thumb.png.2d336efe342ae27ba4af0b74d8f8f42b.png

Edited by Caleb956 (see edit history)

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Agreed wholeheartedly but I would just like to clarify one quick thing

6 minutes ago, Caleb956 said:

Another example: Population events quickly went from several times a week to sometimes not even happening once a week, whether that be from lack of players, or those who set them up just not wanting to do them.  This issue is not only directed at the higher ups, it could be directed at the division as a whole.

 







 

We had to stop doing them twice a week because we were very busy with real life stuff such as me constantly with my boyfriend or people being away as a regular thing on a Saturday so we decided to still do them as a Tuesday thing. They've been going since I think August at this point so I think we've actually done quite well with them

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"Just mute the person clientside if they're annoying you!" is something you would say in a casual game where there is no one to moderate what players say or do. But that's not the situation, here in xG, we have our own community servers with our own staff with the power to enforce rules. Yet, even though we have these powers and could stop the harassment ourselves, some people are content to just give the same 'just mute them clientside!' response. Personally I think this is a lazy solution to a bigger problem. The person who is being harassed is probably going to think the staff are lazy too, and grow bitter towards them, while the person who was harassing them gets away with it. Even if what they're saying isn't against the rules, they are doing it because they know it will irritate someone and get a reaction out of them, and that is harassment

I'll give you an example. I have a stupid bind I use 'for the memes lul' that goes something like "I'm daddy's little fidget spinner! He puts me on his dick, and I spin! Whishhh!". When I use that bind, I mean no ill intent by it, I'm just using it to be funny and dumb. However, I have realized that a lot of people actually don't find this funny at all. They find it more disgusting or annoying, and they've asked me to stop using it. While again, I by no means wanted to harass anyone with it, people were still annoyed by it, so I'm going to stop using it. This goes with anything else I say on the servers. If anyone ever tells me it's getting on their nerves and ask me to stop, I stop. Because again, if I just keep saying it, knowing it will irritate them, that would be harassment.

Some people think it's a matter of people getting too easily offended, but I don't think so. In schools, if a student is doing something that they know is irritating another person, the school faculty will usually step in and separate them, right? Yet on our servers, where our staff serve mostly the same purpose and have the power to defuse a situation, it's okay to just take the easy way out and essentially tell them 'deal with it yourself'? If you don't step in to stop harassment, it gives a green light for the harasser to keep going. And in my eyes, that is incredibly lazy and corrupt.

If you disagree with me about this, hey, that's fine. We don't have to see eye to eye on everything. But you cannot convince me that telling people to clientside mute is a better solution than actually dealing with the situation yourself. By doing so, you fail the person who asks for your help, and you fail in your duties as a staff member.

Great post by the way Caleb.

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Honestly though I'm mega sick of all the drama that's happening constantly with different friendship groups, and I'm talking multiple different groups. We've all been sorted into our little houses and whenever anything happens we blame each other and start being shitheads. I'm in xG to have fun, plays games and try my hardest to be the fairest higherup possible but sometimes it just gets so hard with everyone breathing down each others necks. I want change to happen where we aren't constantly shitting on each other, trolling each other or trying to irritate each other in a fucking gaming community. It's really pathetic how bad it's gotten now and in the past with constant drama.

I just wanna play video games

 

Edited by Kypari (see edit history)

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imo you can't make everyone happy, something has to change for the better or the worse, whether its banning whoever, removing whatever, refusal to change leads to a stagnant and boring experience, and thus the servers will start to die because of that.

I think we currently have a pretty good understanding of whats going on, so I wont go into much detail, but I will say that the staff we have now are doing an amazing job keeping the servers welcoming and as friendly as they can be, no one is perfect and slip ups are gonna happen, its how we handle things that determine everything, if we ignore the problem it will just get worse over time, but if we overreact things will be blown out of proportion and that's where the drama comes from, how we react as individuals is key to how we can control or limit the needless drama.

Just my two cents, since I believe in a EQUAL experience for everyone.

 

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The drama never came to a surprise to me, and there’s no nice way to say this but this is just what happens when you make a server which mostly consists of furries and huge ego tf2 vets 

 

and I agree that staff should actually try and resolve issues rather than just muting but I feel like some people are just vindictive and reaction-hungry by nature, so I just do my best to ignore them 

 

and, the thing about rules is that if you make them too free then trolls will thrive and chase people away, but if they’re too strict then it curbs the fun of people who aren’t really doing anything wrong 

 

I would say a rework of the server would be the ticket to success here but that would be a tremendous amount of effort, so I really don’t know 

 

and now that kypari is gone, who I would say was one of the best conflict resolvers and community thinkers, things are looking grim indeed 

 

I hope the staff discussing these kind of issues because if like Caleb said, if nothing changes soon it’s just not gonna last 🤷‍♂️

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Finally got around to reading this and you're spot on.

I'm glad you brought up rule consistency because, if you know one thing about me, it's that I hate rule/rule enforcement inconstancy.

I've literally asked for inconsistencies in the rule book to be changed at least 3 times on the forums and by DMs to higher ups over the course of almost 2 years and some of those inconsistencies are still there.

And what you said about motivation is interesting because ha ha we had the exact same problem with the MC division. @Arthman does a good job though. 👍

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24 minutes ago, james8470 said:

Finally got around to reading this and you're spot on.

I'm glad you brought up rule consistency because, if you know one thing about me, it's that I hate rule/rule enforcement inconstancy.

I've literally asked for inconsistencies in the rule book to be changed at least 3 times on the forums and by DMs to higher ups over the course of almost 2 years and some of those inconsistencies are still there.

And what you said about motivation is interesting because ha ha we had the exact same problem with the MC division. @Arthman does a good job though. 👍

true gamer spends countless hours doing volunteer work making a minecraft server for people to enjoy

people play on the server for two months and then it dies

server is reset

feelsbadman

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1 hour ago, Tatost said:

true gamer spends countless hours doing volunteer work making a minecraft server for people to enjoy

people play on the server for two months and then it dies

server is reset

feelsbadman

I wasn't talking about me

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