Author Topic: Feedback on Changes You Want to See  (Read 4228 times)


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Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« on: March 01, 2023, 07:30:03 PM »
On behalf of the Armageddon Team, we want to assure our community that the administrative staff are aware of the loss of trust by the player community, and we are actively discussing the issues at hand.  The Producer Team has come up with a short-term plan, that will lead to a long-term plan.  We acknowledge that change is required at this point in the game's life.

The short-term plan is:

1) All staff have been invited to compile a list of changes they feel are needed for the game to continue.  How staffing works, how we handle issues, how we interact with the community, how we conduct ourselves.  Everything is on the table.  (in progress)
2) Discord channel for players to provide their feedback.    (done)

3) GDB thread for the same purpose.  (this thread).


Here are the rules for this discussion.  Please Read!

a)  Nothing is off the table:  how staffing works, how we handle issues, how players should be expected to treat each other, how staff are expected to treat players.  However, this will be constructive feedback.
b)  Name-calling, bashing individuals, trolling, all of that is not allowed. Normal forum rules apply, see here:,51856.0.html
c)  Do not single out individuals.  Whether pro or against.
d)  We are interested in the opinions of players who want to see the game succeed, and who are willing to help us make it a better community for everyone.  If you have no intention of playing this game again, we do not want to hear from you.  We want the feedback from active, or soon-to-be-active-again players, or players deciding if they want to come back.
e)  Each player is only allowed one post.  Additional posts by the same player will be removed.  Why this way?  So that it helps dissuade people from picking each other's ideas apart, and from bickering.  Hopefully, this allows people to feel they can state their ideas more freely.  So think about your post before making it!

We will remove people from this discussion as we see fit for bad-faith behavior and breaking the rules.  This statement is the only warning that will be given.

Understand that suggesting it doesn't mean we will automatically implement it.  But you have my word that we will read it, and consider it.

EDIT:  Had a couple of folks ask.  THIS is the thread for the feedback, so replying to this one is the intention.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 08:01:32 PM by Halaster »


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2023, 08:19:15 PM »
Having staff play characters that are not only in leader positions but involved in plots with the same degree as a PC would really rubs me the wrong way. Not only for the possibility of abuse of power and metagaming (which is very incredibly hard to avoid completely by simply KNOWING things even if you are a well disciplined individual), but because it also encourages favouritism. Not to mention it pulls the focus away from "Lets make the game better for the players" and more into "Lets make the world around my character better".

I gave the D&D example before and I'll give it again. Every single DM that plays a "DM-PC" is seen to be a mary-sue sort of character who steals the light away from the party and makes the game vastly less enjoyable by over-writing the story that the players are trying to tell, whilst NPCs with depth that help flesh out and populate the world as the DM's vision characterizes it are priceless additions to help with immersion.

Whilst very alike, RPI Muds don't align 1:1 with TTRPGs, but this point remains.

a) It feels like a waste of a role to have a Staff PC in a leadership position when that could be given to a player.
b) It leads to blatant favouritism (which I do think is bad, because the moment staff gets personally involved with a player or another, it is nearly impossible not to neglect the rest to some degree)
c) Completely eclipses player effort and roleplay (or atleast has the potential to) either directly or by highly heroic plots that read more like a personal fan fiction rather than something cool to include the playerbase  in.

And of course, staff are also people who love the game. That's why they became staff in the first place right? Because they love the game so much that they are willing to put up with the horde of deranged lunatics that we all are for playing this lovely setting. So asking them to have no PCs is also not my point.

But there is a huge chance missed of rolling "no ones", aka grunts and low to medium profile characters and hirelings whose goal is to breathe more life into the world. Set the example of what X role and Y race would feel like under Z scenario. Create animations around you for the low folk instead of the cracked up death machines confined to a magical cubicle in the canyon of Megadeath. Be that one-eyed cripple who's homicidally psychotic at the sight and mention of northerners and acts alike, creating fun scenarios and encounters along the way.

Now, I have no idea what this Resource PC thing is about, I have no idea if this is something staff does when low on manpower, but I think even then if there's no one else to take the role, /let it be/.  The fear of lower player numbers is valid, but trust me when I say that if you shift focus from [IMPORTANT LEADERSHIP ROLE HERE] and breathe more life into the commoner and criminal world alike with the same slot, the numbers will almost certainly increase instead.

TL;DR: Staff PC in leadership roles bad, use grunt PCs to enhance the world and tell the stories you wish to tell, without eclipsing players.


EDIT: The moderation of Val's feedback felt like it was in extremely bad taste, as from what I had read she had posted everything rather politely and with the best intentions in mind, and it was rather constructive. Its removal comes across very bitter, and feels PART OF THE ISSUE
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 03:53:35 PM by Jarvis »
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2023, 08:20:25 PM »
Mansa's thoughts:   (I wrote this in the Discord, but I wanted to post it again for people who do not use it)

1) Some Definitions:
The staff position is authoritative in nature.  Staff members have the ability to remove players from the game, adjust the player character's pfile, and they are aware of which player is playing which character.  ArmageddonMUD as an entity is also are entrusted with Personal Identifiable Information (PII) data, which is used in the Account system.

2) There is an accusation of harassment from a staff member towards a player.
  a) Can this accusation explicitly be denied because it is absolutely against staff policy?
  b) If it isn't against staff policy, it needs to be, and needs to be defined in a way that both the staff and the players can agree upon.

3) Erotic Roleplay is limited in the consent rules, but there is an imbalance in authority when a staff's character can engage with erotic roleplay with a character played by a player.  The staff member knows who the player is behind the player's character, and the player's character does not know who the player is behind the character they are roleplaying with.
  a) This imbalance is extremely unhealthy to the community, and should be explicitly removed from a roleplaying avenue when a staff member's character is involved.

4) Staff members who have broken any of the staff policies they agreed to should have their staff avatar removed, their character stored, their karma set to 0, and be banned from the community and the game for (at least) 24 months.

5) A player should be able to request that a specific staff member never interact with them.  This will mean that players will have a delayed response and should be expected to have a delayed response in interactions with the staff, because of their special request.  This also means that there needs to be backups for staff members to step in and cover situations such as this - and policy for staff / player interactions need to be updated by this.

6) A player council should be formed to be called upon step into situations where a player and a staff member disagree.  This should allow the player to have another player's viewpoint on the situation.  This player council should be include when players have been silenced and/or banned from the community and request to rejoin.

7) Moderation of the Discord and the GDB should be expanded to select players, as a moderation team.  The staff shouldn't be stuck moderating the GDB / Discord AND answering the Request Tool AND watching players in game.

8 - Players should have the opportunity to fix and clarify and remove account notes that are older than 24 months on their account.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 11:38:52 PM by mansa »
New Players Guide:,33512.0.html

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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2023, 08:32:57 PM »
So I thought I'd throw in my thoughts. I've only been playing Armageddon for about over a month now and I know that some people may discredit my opinion due to a lack of experience, but I do think I have some sort of value in my opinions based on being  someone who's not just new to Arm, but new to MUDs in general and what the new player experience is.

(if this reply is unrelated and this thread is specifically for the more recent events, feel free to delete this, I couldn't gauge if it was just for staff feedback or for also in-game, mechanical feedback)

Staff Stuff

When it comes to staff and staff interactions, overall my experience has been mostly good. I won't name names and I'll try to keep vague but sometimes it is purely 'a few bad apples spoil the bunch'. I'm not going to speak for the intentions of staff because I like to try and stay good-faith on everything I do. I understand that talking to a new player who has certain expectations based on unrelated experiences in games and that what I say might go against the grain, but sometimes I've had staff be rather rude to me in a way that I don't understand. I think in general if there was a bit of a nicer tone it could go a long way. I understand that tone translates badly in text but I also know that I'm not the only one that feels that certain staff members can come across as rather callous or even antagonistic just in the way they put things. It's not the end of the world but it also goes a long way.

The second thing I would like to touch on is being told if I'm doing something that bothers staff or not. Maybe this is something I shouldn't mention but I also think it's worth expressing. Recently I had been told that a certain request was rejected 'on the basis of my interactions with staff'. I won't go into details because I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be something that should be shared but I had no idea that staff were upset with me, now I kinda find myself on eggshells trying to make sure I don't mess up. I really enjoy arm, I have a lot of respect for the game and I've even gone so far as ask friends to try out the game, which some have and even stayed on to keep playing, I don't have any ill-will towards staff and I actually like a fair few of them on a personality basis, the idea of something like karma or other requests being rejected because I had done something that I was unaware had given a bad impression to staff of me actually upset me to the point where I considered stopping playing, as trying to play something like Arm while under the impression that staff does not like you is a little distressing.

Game Stuff

Now I've tried a few other games since playing Arm, and honestly I think mechanically I prefer Arm the most. The main issue I have with Arm and what changes I would want to see is purely in clarity. I understand that some things should be secret and there are a lot of things that 100% should be Foic. But some things, especially for a new player are bewildering and frustrating, especially when Vets already know these things.

Things like passive offense/defense/, how to raise them, what damage what weapon does (I don't think you should be able to see specific numbers but at least a way to get a vague comparison like "You feel like you could swing this weapon fast/slow/at an average speed" or "this weapon feels like it would have a strong/weak/medium impact" when you use the assess skill would be perfect alongside the weapon quality system. I know Arm has already taken a good few steps towards clarity with these things, like with weapon quality and the analyze command, which I grately appreciate. This doubly so goes for armor too, I have no clue what armor is good or bad, and because my own combat skills are constantly changing and you dont see specific hits or stats, I cannot guess what armor is good or if what armor i'm currently wearing is even doing anything except slow me down. Again, I don't want specific numbers, I just want a way to find out. There's also a bunch of other arcane systems that I know I cant even talk about or aknowledge they exist. I love stuff like magic being secret, I never want someone to tell me how magic works, I never want someone to tell me how good metal weapons are or even stumbling upon a creature that has no help file is an awesome discovery that I love, I love the game having secrets and I love finding them out, I just think it would be nice to have clarity on some more base systems.

The last thing I would like to see changed is slightly related to the above thing, and that's mostly creatures, danger and some other stuff. I think the game should be dangerous, It's a dangerous world and the savagery and how spooky some creatures is great. I think the main issue is when you find creatures stupidly far from their usualy spot because someone dragged them along. Creatures usually stick to their own habitat and don't stay where they chase creatures to, if creatures after x amount of time started wandering back to their 'habitat', it'd both be more immersive and kinder to the brand new baby scout who walked out of [redacted] only to be jumped on by twenty [redacted] that a veteran hunter dragged back to the gates.
Oh and also it'd be nice if some creatures gave you 'warning' emotes rather than just straight charging you and attacking you, creatures react instantly to your presence to an inhuman level which means a lot of creatures will run into your room before you even get a chance to use your look alias. I understand predatory creatures b-lining for you but some creatures that aren't even carnivores do it, I'm fine with some creatures getting the drop on you and being sneaky, but those things should be sneaking rather than just kinda getting the jump on you because of instant reactions and being in your blind-spots.

Final Word(s)

Overall, I love armageddon, despite the recent stuff, I wasn't really directly involved with any of it and yet I understand that it was incredibly hard, emotional and draining for both sides. I want to see this game succeed and I thoroughly enjoy playing it, I dread the idea of having to find another MUD to play when I enjoy this one so much. I made many friend since joining this community and I always enjoy interacting with new people and characters from it. I would love to see this game succeed and I'm happy to recommend this game to my friends and try and get more of them to play.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 09:15:39 PM by Kavrick »
I was told this game was full of twinks, all I found was power gamers.


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2023, 09:04:09 PM »
Sexual harassment - harassment in general - is 100% not okay. Full stop. There is no discussion to be had if that's in question, but I also do not think anyone is questioning that. It's a legal issue and a serious one at that. Please remember that talking about criminal matters, as the victim, aggressor, or witnesses, can and will change any pursuable legal outcome before it ever has a chance to be weighed on its own merit.

That being said, as a gaming community, we have to make certain there is no place for ongoing toxicity, violence, or negativity between members of the community. There's a whole lot that came out and I think we need to change Armageddon's culture immediately.

My solution is simple: Transparency. Staff and players.

All official communication outside the game goes through requests.

Post every decision and why: bannings, player complaints, anything official. It doesn't have to be super in depth, and people don't have to agree, but every player who plays this game will have the same information and make their own decision to keep playing - and follow the rules, be courteous, and cooperative with other players and staff - or leave. (edited: player complaints that result in action taken)

Openly post all staff/player rules. Follow them, and punish people who break them. Post these things publicly.

I'd heavily suggest adding a dice system for use when making staff decisions that could in any way permanently affect a PC. If not all the time. Make your lives easier and move any apparent bias or blame away from yourselves. (Edit: Along with this, keeping everything to requests and publicizing decisions means that you can just point to or copy/paste what's been posted - every time. It's way easier to do as staff and it's mostly consistent for players no matter who they're talking to.)

Keep doing what you're doing with code. Make it transparent. The best possible situation for a thriving online gaming community is one that treats the game like a tabletop run in staff's living room. Can you imagine playing a tabletop game and not even seeing the dice you roll? Add a spoilers channel/board, a game mechanics channel/board, and let people talk about the game they play. It's... really weird not to be able to. It's 2023 and Arm still has a 'you can't spend your own money making a character portrait and then show it to people ... for a RL YEAR.' The game is literally stifling free advertising as well as a sense of community.

And lastly... I would really suggest taking some time to just address, or listen to, player complaints from the past 20 years. Or 30, whatever. Let all these players who have grudges they've held 15 years get it off their chest. Then start fresh, leaving the past in the past. It'll probably be uncomfortable, it'll probably be upsetting, a ton of it will not even be relevant anymore, but just like removing karma regen... it'll taper off and there will be time to move on.

And then... Players.

Be transparent. Talk to each other. Have a spoiler channel. Enjoy the game. Post your PC photos.

Treat the game as if you're invited into staff's living room to play tabletop. Police each other. Make friends. Hold negative influences accountable.

Accept that this is a game, and there are rules, and follow the rules. If you don't want to play by the rules, then do not play. It's very easy.

Assume everyone else is playing the game and acting in good faith. This is a hard one. Take a step back if you need to from time to time. Although everyone is here for different reasons, everyone is just some nerd trying to collaborate and tell stories in the desert.

For a lot of long-term players, I imagine it'll be hard to give staff a chance. A requirement of shifting the culture is to put up or shut up, though. If you can't give staff a chance, leave until you can. It's not fair to you, or anyone else here, and it's incredibly unhealthy. This is true for basically anything in life, some niche online text roleplaying game is no different.

A positive community is an amazing thing to roleplay in. I've seen it, I've staffed it, and I've played in positive MU environments. A positive community is one that trusts one another to create stories. Trusts each other enough to fight and run off and make enemies. Trusts each other enough to stop in the desert and roleplay awhile. It's achievable, but it takes deciding to do it.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 03:55:14 AM by LindseyBalboa »
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2023, 09:06:14 PM »
7) Moderation of the Discord and the GDB should be expanded to select players, as a moderation team. 

I would like to see the Discord and GDB to be seen as separate entities entirely. The people performing moderation on either in any capacity should not have conflicting interests, nor should they be held accountable to or fear reprisal from the staff that run the game. They should be separate entities. The exception should be for clan specific channels.

Edit: Because they exist to keep staff accountable, players accountable, and exchange information between the two. Thus, moderation should be as neutral as possible to facilitate this.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 09:25:34 PM by Maziel »
I think the best way to develop a game world is by letting the players influence it as much as possible


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2023, 09:10:45 PM »
1.  No private Staff - Player communication outside of the request tool. This could mean a thread for impromptu/individual questions on the GDB with a post to Discord tagging a Staffer to please see urgent request in whatever GDB thread.

2.  Load distribution - Consider separating game staffing from Discord moderation.  Yes, I understand there will be some overlap, but maybe this will help with staff loads if their focus was in one area more than the other.

With the above, maybe someone only loads wanted items for merchant houses or only builds custom crafts and such, never really being an Imm with all the rights and privileges thereof (mainly figuring out player accounts).

3.  Consider less staff-generated/led plots.  Expecting Staff to also coordinate and generate robust plots contributes to staff load.  Instead, consider giving players a one-time re-roll if a mover/shaker dies.  Let them re-roll as their right hand person, or a sibling who was tracking the family business, whatever.

Also, the less robust plots we expect staff to generate, the less staff is required, the less risk we have for a breach of trust and appearances of favoritism.

4.  Instead of story tellers ALWAYS leading certain clans, consider lifting the glass ceiling on player advancement.
  No, I'm not asking for Byn Captains or Militia Captains.  But Lieutenants? (yes, i know)  Maybe someone makes tribal leader or at least to the council.  Maybe a Senior Agent/Merchant/Dealer, then that player represents the clan's direction instead of always being led by a staffer.  Yes, they'll still have to have staff support and some guidance.

5.  Don't allow ALL staff members to be able to discern which player is playing which character.  Implement levels of trust.

6.  No upper level staff playing nobles, templars, or senior folks of GMHs. Council member of the Sun Runners?  Sure.  Reaver of the Crimson Wind?  Sure.  If this means a role call goes vacant, it goes vacant, or we come up with a work around.

7.  No more lies. If a Staff member is asked a question, they should not lie about it.  EG: did Merchant Theo store?   The answer should be:  you should continue play as though said character was still just as active as they have been.  OR  that character has stepped down from public life.  That's just one example.  I can provide others.  Being told that there's no such unit as the Dusky Gortoks in the Byn, then I provide a link and copy the unit name exactly, then getting told, they're not open to players, then seeing said unit being open to someone else that month...

8.  Sexual harrassment claims should be investigated by a panel mixed with staff and a player representative, however, these claims should only be investigated within aspects of the game, the GDB, and Discord.  Outside platforms like Facebook Messenger (yes, I'm old), or whatever should not be the main evidence.  The other platforms have their own moderation teams to be appealed to.  There should be a player representative who has gone through appropriate sexual harassment assault response prevention (SHARP) training, and they will take up the cause for the one filing the complaint.  This will help alleviate staff from having to find time to validate every charge themselves.

9.  Tighter restrictions on when staff can log onto their player account.  No dual logging!  Period.  Maybe a 20-minute self-imposed lag switching either way.

10.  Less animations to correct perceived player's incorrect roleplay and more allowing PC leaders to handle their subordinates' misdeeds.  What?  A gemmed is walking around with magick on?  Inform the Templarate, maybe the militia.  What?  A Runner is leaving the gates, skipping out on training?  Inform the Sergeant.  What?  A Kadian crafter is sleeping with a gick?  Inform their Merchant.

11.  A player can request to not have a certain staff member handle their issues.
  The limit is three.  Beyond that, maybe they should consider playing somewhere else.  If none of the staff in their clan are allowed to deal with them due to this, the player either accepts zero staff support or moves to a different clan or stores.  We can all read the staffing assignments and see who is where.

12.  Lighten the strictness on retconing PC deaths.  If someone was afk or maybe a flock of aggros followed them into a city where reasonably, they should've received some assistance... let it go, especially if there were no PC witnesses.  Also, PC's who get griefed (situation dependent) should be allowed a retcon.  The rules are pretty strict right now, but they have been bent and broken more than a number of times to consider lightening them.

13.  A Monthly punishment report.  The military does this.  Every month, a report (purged of personal information) is put out.  This would look like:
Charge:  Misdeed
Finding:  Inconclusive
Result:  Character stored (voluntarily)  <---results in lesser penalty

That's all I have for now.  I understand that I cannot post more later.  Maybe I'll edit though!   ;)

P.S.  Please take ALL of my ideas for City Play improvement as well!!   8)
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2023, 09:11:43 PM »
We didn't actually need 4 pages of this, much's it might be cathartic to people. The answer is super super super simple and should have/could have been applied within 48 hours.

It's not too late.

1. unban everybody

doesn't matter what they did. doesn't matter if they were involved with the current situation. just delete that banlist and start over fresh-- those were decisions of a previous administration that was clearly not about it. don't make anybody beg for it through the request tool. just do it. bans are about pointless anyhow.


4. staff announcement stating: we fucked up and we're digging into some ideas and structures what for not fucking up no more.

5. proceed to not fuck up no more

Who is right and all the fingerpointing/back and forth he-said-she-said doesn't matter. The community matters. You can repair the community with extremely simple steps without over-complicating things.

Old grudges don't matter. Let it go. Let's move forward.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 06:58:32 PM by Windstorm »


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2023, 09:25:38 PM »
I'm listing my suggestions in what I perceive to be their order of impact on the game, from most radical to the least.

1) Abolishing the IC/OOC "firewall". We need know who is playing who, who is staffing, who is animating.  We are all adults playing a game. We need to trust each other and ourselves to police our behavior, and that is impossible without knowing who we are dealing with. Anonymity has depleted trust among the player base in Staff and in each other. Either we trust each other to play together in good faith, or we don't play together at all. Anonymity, especially the privileged anonymity of Staff, is inherently conducive to bad faith play. It always has been, and it always will be as long as it is a feature of this game. The IC/OOC Firewall has allowed misdeeds to flourish by enforcing a culture of silence, where only a privileged few are allowed an official narrative. Everyone in this game needs to be able to freely call out bad behavior, and everyone in this game needs to be able to judge it on the same evidence.

If we are worried about our personal reputations adversing affecting our gameplay experience, we should reflect on what we've done to earn that reputation.

2) Review of Staff PCs, staff "Resource" PCs and otherwise. No more Staff PCs in privileged positions. I would say no Staff PCs at all, except I have to acknowledge the value that actually playing this game gives when it comes to coding Quality of Life improvements. But for any Staffer who has the privilege of animating and reading other characters' reports, they cannot be allowed a PC. The potential for conflict of interest is too great. It is a malignant source of distrust that can only be removed by Staffers stepping back entirely in to the role of referee and storyteller. You cannot be a player and refree in the same game unless -everyone- has the ability to equally call foul.

3) Removal of Staff name tags. Players who become staff should not be able to escape their reputations and hide behind privileged anonymity.

4) Staff term limits. In the interest of making sure staffers stay in touch with the actual feel of the game, they need to stop staffing and join the rest of us in the trenches. This would really only be meaningful if points 1 and 2 are enacted (otherwise an ex-staffer generally remains an inherently favored player). They can always reapply.

5) Reducing the importance of Role Calls in favor of Opt-in Applications. Role calls put a lot of pressure on staff and players alike. The stakes and bureaucratic workload are artifically high, particularly for sponsored roles who are perceived as being "necessary" for the game to run. I would both challenge that assertion, and offer an alternative means of fulfilling those roles: let players apply to them like any other karma-restricted choice. Make "Borsail Noble" a class option. If no one wants to play a Borsail noble right then, leave it open until someone feels like it. Abolish the "fear of missing out" or "bad time" feeling that role calls give the playerbase.

ETA: This thread rule d) "we don't want to hear from people who aren't coming back" is a bad rule. At best it's going to encourage a sort of "survivor bias" in the feedback you do receive. At worst it serves as proof that Staff cannot take criticism of their sanctioned clique and that this whole thread is just an empty gesture.

Final suggestion before the lock: Rework Staff powers to follow a "principle of least privilege." There have been a lot of Staffers who have been straying "out of their lanes" when it comes to animations and reading reports of late. To help limit the potential for Staff cheating, Staff members should only be able to see the absolute minimum of what's necessary to do their "jobs." Storytellers and Admins should only be able to view reports tagged with their clan(s); they should only be able to animate PCs belonging to their clan(s). Staff should only interact with PCs not of their clans when they're either a) animating NPCs to fight off non-clan aggressor PCs or b) on their own PCs who are dealing with the same limited information as the rest of us.

Following on that, the Immortal channels and board should be compartmentalized and restricted to only be within their own clan(s). Any communication between teams should be highly regulated.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 12:53:09 AM by BadSkeelz »
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2023, 09:32:13 PM »
I know I'm not a player, but I'm going to respond anyway.

1> Loosening the perm death no retcon rule.  This should include all acts done to a pc and it should not matter if someone witnessed it or not because that seems like an abuseable loophole.  If a rule is broken in causing a player to be killed or harmed, the option to undo it should very much be on the table.  Otherwise abuse holds more power over following the rules and that sucks.

2> Major actions need to be slowed down where possible, this applies mostly to players in power positions, but there should be time and options to let the world react, the world that would react if people didn't have playtimes.  This severely takes power away from pc enforcers, but otherwise their power because of the WE NEVER RETCON RAR, is just too darn strong.

3> There needs to be an appeal process and it can't just be to staff because it feels like you can't win against staff as a player and they're typically not pleasant interactions. I think it makes people disinclined to disagree with staff because there is then also the perception that disagreeing with staff can harm your pc in game.  And who knows, maybe it did, heck considering where we are it -probably- did.  Players who are not on staff should be able to review and overrule or have a hand in that in some circumstances, perhaps these can be player elected roles.

4> Any rules against staff killing pcs or that dictate how staff kill pcs should be very strictly enforced with the added caveat that it's still a staff member killing a pc if they essentially ruin the pc (I didn't kill them I just cut off all their limbs, see? kosher), or the staff members facilitating pcs doing it.  This game should have conflict but it shouldn't be led by the hand by staff. 

Lastly.  This game shouldn't be all about being harsh.  Yes it's a big part of the game, but I feel long has it been done to the absolute detriment of the game itself.  New players arn't going to come back if they get screwed to death instantly.  Old players are going to get sick of rolling up a new character and starting from scratch.  Murder death and betrayal sounds metal, but thre is a too far and this game has long since crossed that line.


  • Posts: 1394
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2023, 09:45:21 PM »
I have posted before in Shabago's feedback thread regarding the game. I know the example that I've used is documentations, but like I have mentioned before (or maybe I haven't) this is a symptom of a bigger problem. I'm just going to reiterate this: That if the game - and I mean staff and players, but mostly staff, because unfortunately, staff do make up the backbone of Armageddon, since they facilitate play - don't take themselves seriously, then there's no reason for any of us to.

This not only includes documentations, but also rules that all of us have to uphold, including regulations - such as putting in requests and making official communications official for example. It is paramount that these things should be stricter, or it's just going to be a slippery slope from there.

I ruin immershunz.


  • Posts: 48
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2023, 10:22:28 PM »
Edit: Turns out I'm stupid and sensitive, nothing to see here.

7) Moderation of the Discord and the GDB should be expanded to select players, as a moderation team. 

I would like to see the Discord and GDB to be seen as separate entities entirely. The people performing moderation on either in any capacity should not have conflicting interests, nor should they be held accountable to or fear reprisal from the staff that run the game. They should be separate entities. The exception should be for clan specific channels.

Edit: Because they exist to keep staff accountable, players accountable, and exchange information between the two. Thus, moderation should be as neutral as possible to facilitate this.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 10:48:02 PM by Quittle »


  • Posts: 4578
    • Corpse Pose: B&W Film Photography
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2023, 10:31:14 PM »
I'm not sure many people care to engage with Staff and their rules, considering they have broken them time and again themselves.

A plethora of great players are now gone, and gone for good. You aren't going to see them again.

Like with dying relatives and pets, it's sometimes difficult to see the end coming until hindsight settles in.

It's time.

Thanks for the memories. Peace and love.
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done -- So therefore you may never know a life of peace."

~Jack Vance~


  • Producer
  • Posts: 3214
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2023, 10:38:35 PM »
More transparency and less arbitrary moderation. I would have edited it into my last post if that was possible.

I posted the following, and then arbitrarily got banned from being able to view this thread with no explanation. Is it ironic or tragic that this is a working example of why my advice is badly needed to attract players like myself back? I've been following the GDB and playing Arm on and off since 2010, and this is exactly the type of behavior that drove me away to begin with. I may be interested in coming back if you can fix really basic fundamental issues like this.

With neutral moderation, such and such wouldn't have gotten butthurt and arbitrarily banned me from accessing this thread for writing relevant and succinct feedback.

If all posters are being removed from being able to access and view this thread after providing feedback, that was not transparent.

7) Moderation of the Discord and the GDB should be expanded to select players, as a moderation team. 

I would like to see the Discord and GDB to be seen as separate entities entirely. The people performing moderation on either in any capacity should not have conflicting interests, nor should they be held accountable to or fear reprisal from the staff that run the game. They should be separate entities. The exception should be for clan specific channels.

Edit: Because they exist to keep staff accountable, players accountable, and exchange information between the two. Thus, moderation should be as neutral as possible to facilitate this.

Staff aren't really going to be responding here, but, I'm confused by this.  We do not ban people from this thread once they've posted in it.  If you saw that kind of behavior, then maybe we configured something wrong?  No one has been banned about this.  Feel free to PM me here, or DM me in Discord.  But neither account is banned.

EDIT:  Issue sorted.  They had accidentally set their timer for login expiration as 1 hour, and they had been logged out, didn't realize it.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 10:50:33 PM by Halaster »

Master Color

  • Posts: 47
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2023, 10:59:08 PM »
Reorganizing my post. Here are the surface problems that I see that need to be addressed at minimum. I'll leave solutions to better minds.

1. Extreme hostility from staff for minor infractions. Things like low playtimes or telling an unflattering story on the discord or leaving my pc afk for something I had to handle at home. All at some point been met with inexcusable levels of hostility from one or more staff members.

2. Inability to address abusive staff. If I have a bad interaction with a staff member, what do I do? Put in a complaint? Fuck no. I have literally been warned not to do that by current staff members in reports where they were abusing me. But if I do put in a complaint after the fact when invited? At best, nothing happens.

3. Inability to address or avoid abusive players Currently we are not allowed to talk about players who have abused their positions in the game world. Player complaints never result in any sort of action. In some cases these players remain in positions for years and serve only to make anyone playing around them miserable.

4. Roleplaying in a toxic enviroment I contend Armageddon is toxic just by it's nature. The monsters are way overtuned, the skill grinding required to overcome them takes bizarre investments of time, leaders have carte blanche to off you and your entire investment for basically no reason. Roleplaying in ANY negative fashion against another character can get you killed. Aligning yourself even mildly with or against an ingame group can get you killed. This has an overall chilling effect on roleplay and HUGE incentives to just skill grind.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 07:02:23 PM by Master Color »


  • Posts: 146
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2023, 11:00:56 PM »
Armageddon mud isn’t just the best MUD I have ever played, it is the best MMO. And that is entirely because of the roleplay focused community. I would really like to see this game thrive. I don’t get to play right now because I have toddler and a career. But I think about this game all the time 😊.

I feel like transparency would go a long way towards healing this community. “We have kept to a set of policies that were put into place long before a lot of us arrived on staff.  Some of us agree that some of those policies need to be changed, while others feel that the policies are currently fine the way they are.”

Would staff be willing to share what these policies are?

The book “Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic” has some really interesting insights in how to run a non-profit organization. It might sound strange to talk about a healthcare organization, but I think the way that there organization is setup would work for almost any non-profit organization. Mayo Clinic is one is one of the best (possibly even the very best) healthcare organization in the US by any metric. Their patients are way more likely to be satisfied, patients get treated faster, less mistakes are made, they treat a crazy number of patients every day, and their employees are happier.

Mayo has a committee for virtually everything. These committees research various aspects of healthcare with an eye on increasing quality for patients as much as possible. These committees make recommendations on policies based on consensus and bring these policies to the board of directors. Then the board of directors votes on whether the policies should be implemented. Everything at Mayo Clinic is done by consensus. Committee members are simply experienced doctors.

I think that this could be done with experienced players. This would have the benefit of helping players feel heard. It would also have the benefit of creating a vehicle for constant improvements to the game. Mayo Clinic also has term limits for all of its leadership positions. It varies by position, but it is usually a maximum of two four-year terms. I recognize that it would take a lot of work to implement something like this.

Things staff could do to improve player/staff relations:

1. Create clear, player-centric guidelines for what staff communication with players should look like. These guidelines should be readily available and crafted by both staff and players.

2. Demote staff who do not follow these guidelines.

3. Automate receiving the first couple points of karma after enough play time. This reduces the workload for staff, and it would be good for player retention.

3. Require players to be 18+

4. Create a karma granting system that has some kind of checks and balance system built into it. Anytime karma is granted at least two staff members should be involved. One staff member who thinks the karma is warranted and can give a short explanation for why. And a second staff member who approves or disapproves of the karma boost. Make this system transparent. This helps avoid situations where a player may feel pressured by a certain staff member to do things in order to get karma.

5. Separation of duties. In order to avoid corruption, staff duties should be as separate as possible. The person who can give karma should not be the same person who can moderate the forums and make code changes to the game. These should be separate duties.

6. Don't create plots that involve sex. Anything that involves sex should be player driven and only player driven.

7. The primary criteria for hiring staff should be having a reputation for polite communication, emotional maturity, and loving the game. These shouldn’t be the only criteria, but I think they should be the most important criteria.

8. Staff activity should be reviewed by some kind of staff board every so often. And the board should rate the staff member on a few metrics (examples: engagement, fairness, being polite to players). Some of the metrics, like being polite to players, should be outright requirements. Staff who are not behaving appropriately should be demoted. 


  • Posts: 2888
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2023, 11:06:55 PM »
EDIT: Removed because I do not plan on playing the game further.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 11:53:21 PM by creeper386 »
21sters Unite!


  • Storyteller
  • Posts: 148
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2023, 11:12:45 PM »
Just an informational post to let folks know that guests can now see this thread. If I notice it increases the lag on the GDB significantly in a way that will be detrimental to the flow of the discussion do to constant lags/hangups, I'll remove guest access again.


  • Posts: 2078
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2023, 11:17:01 PM »
 Staff Need to stay out of leadership positions. All of them. Their position gives them insider knowledge you can't reasonably expect them to completely ignore when it effects not just them, but everyone their character cares about. I'de even say that Storyteller type staff shouldn't even have an active PC. You have npc's and stories in the works. COI can easily come into play if you have a PC.

I saw a staffer lose their leader pc and their staff position, because a player dmed a staff on discord, and didn't want to use the request tool, "because they didn't trust other staff."

Yeah, that sorta thing should never be a thing.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 11:31:41 PM by Katima »
I remember recruiting this Half elf girl. And IMMEDIATELY taking her out on a contract. Right as we go into this gith hole I tell her "Remember your training, and you'll be fine." and she goes "I have no training." Then she died


  • Producer
  • Posts: 3214
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2023, 11:26:46 PM »
Quick reminder about
e)  Each player is only allowed one post.  Additional posts by the same player will be removed.  Why this way?  So that it helps dissuade people from picking each other's ideas apart, and from bickering.  Hopefully, this allows people to feel they can state their ideas more freely.  So think about your post before making it!

Deleted a 2nd post of someone.

I want to clarify, editing your post is fine if you wanna refine your idea, reword it, thought of something else, that sort of thing.  Don't abuse editing it to start having conversations and stuff, heh.  Let's stick to the spirit of this rule.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 11:31:32 PM by Halaster »


  • Posts: 473
    • imgur
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2023, 12:05:02 AM »
I would like to start off by saying that, my experience thus far in my two years of playing has been positive where staff is concerned. However this isn't a singleplayer game and I shouldn't be satisfied with my own satisfaction.

My suggestions have been enumerated below:

1) Staff should not be playing clan PCs and if they do, it should be very low level. Their PCs should be like Gandalf (in the books, not movies) wandering about from place to place and setting an example for RP. Otherwise they ought to be focussing on their clan's plots and not their own. If they have a respite from clan duties? Go and animate something somewhere that gives some more color to the world. There have been times I've sat alone in the Gaj thinking it would be nice if Vennant spoke or some drunk did something funny.

Another concern with staff PCs in clans is, if the Player leader comes to know of the identity of that staff PC, they may be concerned that if they are too harsh/not too lenient towards that staff PC, they might get in trouble, and the other PCs might also resent that their staff peer gets away with more (whether this is the reality, or merely the perception.)

2) Tours of duty: imo staff should only staff for a short while before returning to the regular population. This should vary: storytellers for X time, and Admin for 2x time and the 'changing of the guard' should be staggered so there's always someone who's been there awhile, to bring the newcomers up to speed.

3) I'd prefer a back and forth on discord for clan questions and quick reports from players to staff alongside the character reports over request tool. If you feel discord is non official and cannot be monitored, how difficult is it to make a chat box on the website? ----> it isn't meant to be a rhetorical question; I literally have no idea how hard or easy it is.

4) Flags on PCs to show if they're up fir certain kinds of RP or not.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 12:42:39 AM by LidlessEye »
'One fire drives out one fire,
One nail, one nail.
Rights by rights falter,
Strengths by strengths do fail.'
 -Tullus Aufidius, Coriolanus by William Shakespeare


  • Posts: 601
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2023, 02:16:29 AM »
Prevent staff alt PCs to engage in any murderous plots vs player PCs.

Staff alt PCs should never engage in any sexual attemp or encounter with player PCs. Even if player initiates the first attemp, staff pc will forfeit clearly.

remove subjectivity from game rules, make them sound objective simple rules. when there is subjectivity it always ends up in how people feel and how they are offended vs these experienced feelings

A higher order non executive audit mechanism to be established from 2 current or previous player or staff members as a key element of seperation of powers. These members should be elected initially by admins, and removal of them should not be in admins authority from the point of appointment. consider it like a high court or crown court. if they retire, they will elect others in their place. they will be acting as a high order appeal court for players who cannot have their voices heard to staffing team. since they cannot be removed from staff, they will be clear in their judgements.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 02:19:25 AM by najdorf »

Brytta Léofa

  • Posts: 1192
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2023, 03:16:14 AM »
(1) "Be nice to players"

As Eukelade has said somewhere: "be nice to players." No exceptions. Even when we're needy or aggressive or cheating.

Staff need to once and for all put a stake in all adversarial handling of players, both in public (rudeness, condescension, one-sided joking in requests and wishes) and in private (complaining about or belittling players in staff-side communications). It's been going on for years and years, it's self-perpetuating, it's a root of every kind of evil.

I applaud the efforts y'all have made in recent years towards improving staff/player relations. But it has not been taken seriously across the board. Multiple staff are still being rude to players in requests, and avoiding that should just be table-stakes.

(1b) "Punishments"

20 years ago I had an account on I did some stupid bullshit and the dread administrator dannye "cursed" me (removed some XP points). As I hope you would expect of 22-year-old Brytta, I edited the text out of all my posts ("nodes") and ragequit. They even had a term for doing this: "asamothing," after the first well-known user to do it.

A couple years later (I had a new account, heh heh) they switched to a carrot-only approach to user management.

I think Arm should move in that direction as well: granting and removing privileges based on trust (no way around this), but eschewing punishments per se. The distinction is that a punishment goes beyond the natural consequences of rulebreaking (reduced trust) for the purpose of making people afraid to break the rules. Unfortunately punishment just doesn't work very well (no one ever plans to get caught) and it creates an adversarial environment.

(Heh, I just imagined a world in which every historic Arm griefer and multiplayer is allowed to play--but only geofenced wildlife.)

(2) "Staff can't investigate staff"

My expectation is that most staff complaints are unfounded: a player got suspicious because they couldn't see everything that went on, right? I also believe that the staff organization is too self-protective to catch the real problems. This is not because staff suck; it's typical human behavior. It's why it is normal everywhere for whistleblowers to get screwed over.

I believe that we have had people staffing in the last year who _very clearly_ should not have been, and we have had players leave who _very clearly_ would have stayed if we weren't fucking up really bad.

I don't know how best to fix this but I think some kind of third-party involvement (a "player ombudsman," mansa's "player council," etc.) is important.

(2b) "Acknowledge bad actors"

I can't recall ever hearing of a staff member being demoted or removed due to a player complaint. Has this ever happened? I think it's really important that it be publicly acknowledged when staff are disciplined. How else can we have any confidence that staff complaints don't fall on deaf ears?

There should not be a privacy issue with acknowledging that a staff member broke game rules. We all hate doxing, this isn't a doxing issue; it's simple accountability.

This also gives staff the opportunity to hear complaints from people who may have felt that something was wrong but didn't want to rock the boat.

(3) "Review how we use secrecy"

I think we've come to confuse IC and OOC secrecy. Letting IC events be discovered IC is a vital part of the game. Keeping secret who plays what...actually isn't. I think that relaxing how we handle this will strengthen the community and provide a lot of trust benefits over time.

I think resource PCs should be clearly identified - no, not in game, but e.g. when anyone references them in a character report. If this is at odds with how resource PCs are being used, please take a serious look at why.

I think it should be okay any player to voluntarily identify their current character, with some caveats about not revealing PC deaths. Players who post on clan boards or post event announcements are already doing this. It's a change that will cause problems but not unmanagable ones.

I agree strongly with Lindsey's suggestion that you publically post decisions and reasons on bans, player complaints, and similar (I'd add staff complaints). I think we have veered too far in the direction of staff and player privacy when we actually needed more transparency.

(4) "ERP and consent checkup"

Hypothetical situation: 16-year-old PC stripped naked and scourged. No consent asked for. Is problem? IDK, I think a disinterested observer might say yes.

We're running a game in 2023 with, in some cases, 1990s levels of hornt. I have ERPed in my lifetime and I don't care what y'all do but I think we may need to rein in anything that smacks of nonconsent one more notch.

NPCs, resource PCs, and PC-PCs of current staff need to operate at the highest level of scrutiny here. This means that at a minimum you guys have to leave the young woman's shirt on. And tbh you should probably put a hold on the ERP while you are actively staffing.

(5) "Mix up the player/staff dynamic"

Normalize staff taking a break.
Normalize players staffing under their player name, if they want to.
Make 2+ karma players review character applications (no magick, no sponsored roles). (Yes, this leaks some background information. It's okay.)
Require staff members to go on hiatus for 6 months every 2-3 years. Don't let them use immchat during that time.

The church I grew up attending elected lay (non-clergy) leaders like this:
- A nominating committee (separate from the board) met to make a list of people who might be good leaders.
- People on the list who agreed were presented to the whole congregation for a yes/no vote. Typically a rubber stamp, but it gave a place to object or to propose other candidates.
- Elected leaders went through some training and then served on the board for 3 years, with a mandatory year off after.

That's just one example of a not-exactly-democratic way of selecting volunteer staff that provides just a little space between "current staff" and "new staff" and includes a level of direct accountability to the community.

mansa suggested expanding GDB/Discord moderation to players. Consider not only expanding moderation, but spinning it off entirely to players who aren't currently staffing. (This doesn't imply any change in the poasting rules.)

misc so it doesn't get lost

Whiskey Balboa (Today at 11:32 AM):
"staff names being attached to the notes they made pretty much puts account notes on the right level of transparency imo."
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 06:18:56 PM by Brytta Léofa »
<Maso> I thought you were like...a real sweet lady.


  • Posts: 22
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2023, 04:31:35 AM »
I think that staff need to take control of their IP and the game again.

There has been a lot happening that seems to also hinge on the opinions of the very focal
players of the forum /discord  who do not represent the opinions of the game as a whole. These players
are now speaking for everyone, even those who just play the game and are not part of ooc
community, and do not want to be.

Some people play the game because they enjoy the IC and the roleplay
and do not touch the community aspects at all, since it is not about the OOC.
But then log into the forum to see players being demeaning to staff, treating them
horribly, and subthread on subthread discussing every single thing .

-- How to fix  for all ---


I think that if staff really wants to get the opinions of the players and not just forum / discord
users... that a simple option should be attached to each account of the player under the menu login.

This option will take the player to an account poll where the player of the account can access a
staff question with options 1 -  or choose custom response and type it in. There will be a notice
on the login menu of a new poll, or unanswered one for each account.

It means each player account gets a voice, and players do not have to partake in the drama of the
forum / discord, where there are often aggressively verbal players / toxic situations. There should also
not be threads discussing each poll. Just let each person have their own, private opinion, personally
shared with the staff on their account.

This way, EACH PLAYER HAS A VOICE -- not just the ones who are willing to get their hands dirty facing
the 'ooc crowd' on the forums and discord.


Welcome back, H182

Press RETURN to continue.

                                _______                                ___
                              /\\_____//~-_                        _-~\\__
                             (~)       ~-_ ~-_                  _-~ _-~   
                            (~)           ~-_ ~-_            _-~ /-~     
Welcome to Armageddon!     (~)              `~-_ ~_======_--~~ __~       
                          (~)               _~_\__\____/__/_--\ ~`-_   
                           \           _-~~            _-~~~-_ \_  ~-_ 
You may:                    ~-       __--~`_    /   _-~         ~.     ~_
(C) Disconnect from character      -~        \     _~       ___,  \ ~-_  \
(L) List your characters         ,~ _-,       ~  _~         \   \  | , \ \ 
(V) Toggle ANSI/VT100 mode      / /~/      -~   /            ~  /  /  \~  \
(B) Toggle 'brief' menus        | | \     _~    |        __-~  / _/  \~  '\
(O) Show Race/Guild Options     \ ~-_~   -   |  _      ~-____-~ .~  \~    |
(P) Change account password     /`.  __~~   ~   `_          __-~   \~    \~
(D) Documentation menu          \_ ~~   .  |  .   ~-____--~~   \ \_~   _/~ 
(S) Stats of your character     /\___--~       ~--_      /   ____~ _/~~     
(E) Enter Zalanthas             \         /        ~~~___  /     _-\\~\     
(X) Exit Armageddon             /\       /                   _-\~\\~\\~\   
(?) Read menu options          / | \   \ | /    /         _-~ )\\~\\~\\~~\ 
(P) Vote in Poll                            { /\ \             /      _~ \  ~`~~\\~~\\~~\
Read the documentation        { |\     __ _           _-\   \  \\~~\\~~\\~~\
menu before creating your     | ||~_ /`    ~\  /    _/~  )   | |\\~~\\~~\\~~
character, please.            | ||  \|"""""""|_ __-~     ;   | |~\\~~\\~~\\~
                              \ \\  ({"""""""}\\        _~  /  /~~\\~~\\~~\\
Armageddon is OPEN.
You have an unanswered poll
Choose thy fate: P

This is a poll
Text comes here asking a question.
How can we change X class?

(B) Nerf (basic example)
(O) Nerf (basic example)
(P) Remove class
(D) Other (type in response)


With the above poll option EVERY player has
a right to the voice, and the staff is not getting bullied / pushed into things by what is possibly
a vocal minority.

I really do think staff should retake control of their IP and their game.
The ooc impact of the nastiness and demands of some players really feels
like it's getting out of control.

 Yes, some people will feel slighted, some people offended.

At the end of the day, we are players. Staff - experienced and familiar with the game - run it.
It is not our game, we are guests in their game and people seem to be forgetting that. We do
not play for the OOC. We should play, for the IC.



As with any game, it should never be the place of players to dictate policy. Staff decide policy.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 01:03:30 AM by H182 »


  • Posts: 86
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2023, 05:10:17 AM »
I am conflicted on whether I want to come back. I'll provide some feedback because I see some good feedback here and would like to chime in.

The premise of the "Recent Events" staff announcement, that Armageddon staff can only do anything about what happens within the community, and things that happen outside of that domain are beyond staff's control, is obviously true. But that doesn't mean staff can't react to things that happen outside of the domain of the community when such a reaction would obviously protect the community and improve its health and trust level. When players or staff misbehave outside of the community, it's a very good sign that they are conducting similar behavior within the community as well, or at the very least, have the potential to do so.

In order to follow this discussion's rules against singling out, the example I would like to use here is the case of Amy Cooper, who called 911 on a Black bird watcher in New York's Central Park for no reason (or rather, her own racist reasons), then proceeded to get fired from her job at an investment firm, Franklin Templeton. Obviously, Franklin Templeton does not control what happens in Central Park. It does not, as far as I know, hold a controlling interest in it or set the rules about the things people can do there. What it does control is its own reputation, what kinds of people it chooses to associate with, and what sort of image it wants to show to other people (probably its investors). It chose to fire Amy Cooper, an employee, to tell its investors that the company does not hold racist beliefs.

In a similar way, Armageddon's staff can - and should - choose to completely disassociate from and cut contact with its "employees" when they present a poor image of who is staffing the game, in order to show their "investors" that it is worth the time, effort, and emotional energy playing the game. Otherwise, there is effectively no way to know if or when staff approve or disapprove.

In general, the staff should be kind to players, the players should be kind to staff, the players should be kind to each other, and the staff should be kind to each other. A "Mr. Rogers rule" would greatly benefit everyone. It would increase player retention and return rates. If the distinction between staff and players is to remain, then staff need to use their authority lightly. Bashing players on the GDB or the Discord, tone policing, etc. should just not even be a consideration that ever comes to staff's mind. Similarly, players should not be allowed to create a toxic environment, making fun of former players or staff, passive-aggressively commenting on people's roleplaying skills, etc.

If we can't have a "Mr. Rogers rule" then we should at least have a "No Asshole Rule", based on the book by Robert Sutton. It's worth reading, or at least reading about. It reflects poorly on the community when we can join and see multiple players and staff backbiting against the same former staff member or banned player. Using these people as scapegoats is not going to move the community forward. The Discord should not be full of watercooler gossip, nor should the staff side of things feel like a toxic workplace.

And if staff are getting so angry that they cannot be kind, they should walk away either temporarily or permanently, as many staff before them have. And since many staff before them have done this...

...It's worth considering why staffing this game is so stressful. Because... it clearly is. And staff's mental health matters just as much as that of the players. I don't really have an answer to this. But hopefully staff can reflect and find their own here.

On a separate note, consider greater participation in the wider MUD community. I recommended this in a thread several months ago, but once Armageddon's house has been thoroughly cleaned, it would be a good time to open this conversation to people that are just no longer here. To show them how the game has changed.

Also, if staff engage in misconduct, it's worth considering a general amnesty for the vast majority of disciplined players, especially those disciplined during the time other inappropriate actions occurred. This isn't just a suggestion for right now, but for the future as well. Staff misconduct raises the possibility that bans were conducted on faulty premises as well as other disciplinary actions like karma losses. When staff leave the team, either of their own volition or otherwise, there should be a mechanism in place where staff review their past decisions and reverse them if they are poorly-documented or don't seem justified under the new circumstances.

Finally: the main reason why I don't feel safe playing Armageddon at this time is because ultimately, it's not really clear what staff have done or intend to do to prevent future instances of abuse. The language used in the announcement says action was taken, but we don't know what happened. We don't know if staff completely remove abusive people from the game or if they're simply knocked down a peg or two. I have recommended it in the past, but I strongly urge staff to be more consistently public with the moderation and punitive actions they choose to take. I think it would help as well if staff complaints and their resolutions were publicized somehow, so that players understood that something bad happened and accountability was taken. As much as I can appreciate a commitment to privacy, there is eventually a point where that commitment does more harm than good.

Edit on 3/2/23: To correct a typo.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 12:27:44 PM by CirclelessBard »


  • Posts: 12
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2023, 05:58:16 AM »
I hear all of this isn't new.  I hear the kind of behavior that blows up a game and community, isn't new here.  This isn't a first round (but at least we aren't as bad as who was it?  Nyr?).  Sounds like there's been lot's of the "good old boy" club just like in the military.  Circle the wagons, protect our own.  Until Staff start seeing, and treating the players like they are part of the community, and not a resource this seems like another abusive relationship that everyone tells us we should get out of.  The lying, gaslighting, the cyclical abuse.

Until there is player representation, or voice with some kind of authority or power to affect change, I feel like the cycle of be my friend and get ahead will continue.  Be my friend and I'll cover for your nasty ass, will continue.  Until Staff quits making posts of "what can we do" and then just picking the easy code changes instead of fixing any of the real problems.  It's 2023, how are we having to have a conversation about "Hey if I could take you to court you for doing this if I find out your name."  You shouldn't be doing it.  We shouldn't be tolerating it either.  I think that there needs to be some player representation involved in any non-staff punishment. 

The general sense I've gotten is a complete unwillingness to make any significant changes to the setting.  I've read about words having to be removed from play, and seen people throwing a fit about it on here.  Seen people grumbling about not being able to just rape freely.  If something no longer serves the game to it's benefit, perhaps it's time to let them go.  Just because WE change it doesn't make it not OUR game.  It's already different than it once was.  Be open to stepping the game forward as Humanity changes or be satisfied closing it.  "This doesn't fit the theme, or it's allowed because of the theme" seems like a convenient way to just, shelter poor behavior and never move forward.

BL: Staff to me have proven, to not be honest, and to have personal interests held above interests of the Community.  Until there is significant transparency between staff and players, I don't believe this situation is likely to improve.  Harboring predators shouldn't be tolerated either, ESPECIALLY on staff.  PERMA-STAFF BAN.  You want to know if we trust you, put up a pole, but its starting to feel like I'm being asked my opinion to make me feel heard, and calm me.  Not because anyone is actually listening, and that's a horrible way to feel about a way to invest free time.

If you're reading this, I'm still in an abusive relationship.

"I didn’t make the rule, but it is obviously not for building trust or improving the community or enhancing your player experience." -Brokkr Community Outreach 2023


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2023, 06:01:32 AM »
I do agree that change never happens and yet I hear "be the change". This is my BIGGEST piece of feedback. Understand that change can be good and it does require effort to change.
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2023, 06:57:59 AM »
1. Staff be nice and support the players, yes this is a harsh world game but we can be nicer on a oocly  No reason for the lets make it hard or kill off ideas or characters in a harsh ooc way.

2. GMH able to recruit and fill the clan with hunters and crafters like in the older days. This I think would help build up plots, characters and make the grind a lot of people want to bypass seem fast with rp and others to play off of more.

3. Open up all the tribes that can be and tone down storms so more active travel can be done. Not to cut out escorts but enough the players CAN venture to each play zones under their own risks. This isn't meaning cut out npc threats so much as making it a bit more game reasonable to travel knowing a bear maybe waiting but you can travel.

4. Staff could and should be able to play. Maybe in their own clans so other teams plans are not so well known?  Maybe not leader roles but in roles there to enjoy their clan and see from ground level what they need to add. Without taking the lead from players.

side remarks. the opening of tribes I know could and would thin areas for a small time. But death and active players always shifts our playzones.  Plus give us more icly reason to reach out to the Momo tribe who sells Momo things and have them shipped icly.

Also lets all tone down the sex stuff icly?  I am all for a private story love life and build of a character and or whatnot.  But it seems this openly causes a lot of drama and leads to very upset players and staff.  So lets as a team just remember some want a love life game and some of us want action, plots and not so much. Balance with your buddies we all play with what they are into and not.
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2023, 10:25:10 AM »
All of these relate to transparency:

1. IC/OOC Separation: Rule against and punish USE of of ooc information in-game, not the relaying of it.
 - I have a small group of friend (it use to me much larger back in the AIM days) that I discuss my characters with. It's fun, it's an outlet, and I trust the people I choose to interact with in this way not to misuse/abuse this information. Regulating things that can't be policed just leads to people doing stuff like this on the down-low and insults the intelligence of players and staff alike.  This rule is the primary reason why things like the shadowboard and sekrit chat groups exist.  This stuff is going to happen.  Grow up, and treat each other like adults.  If you are not capable of separating IC/OOC knowledge then don't play the game and/or don't communicate with other players/staff about IG details.

2.Transparency: It should never be against the rules to call out a staff member or player who are outright lying and causing grief.  Private messages, the request tool and game logs are -not- personal information and making them public is not doxxing.  Calling them such to defend bad behavior is gross.  If a player or staff member doesn't want things they do or say being brought out publicly, then you shouldn't be doing or saying them. "For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open."(Luke 8:17)  It's going to happen. It can either happen here in a healthy way and we try to rebuild, or it WILL happen elsewhere and fester until in causes the death of what is left of this community.

2b.  We need some form of "whistle-blower" caveat that allowed players and staff to break privacy rules in cases where "following the system" is ineffective.  Again, this goes both ways. Player and staff.  If a player is sending abusive wishes/requests/DMs to a staff member, they should be banned (probably temporarily), and the offending text posted here publicly and visa-versa.  No one should ever be punished for calling out bad behavior. 
Reasoning: From what I have seen, multiple community members brought forth accusations against a community member over a period of years that approached and/or stepped over the line of illegality. When evidence of this abuse was posted outside the realm of staff's control, the posting community member was punished here. That is gross and disgusting to the point that I am considering leaving permanently and having my wife change my passwords to something random.

3. This Rule: "2. Posters should be respectful of one another. Flaming, baiting, trolling or abusing other posters in any way is forbidden. This rule extends to criticism and baiting of staff, as well as responding to such behavior with the same behavior in kind."
I have always understood this rule to men that criticisms of staff shout be respectful.  If I am right, can we reword it to make it more clear?
If others' interpretations are right, and it against the rules to criticize staff at all, then we need to reevaluate the rule.  People who cannot handle/accept respectful criticism do not belong in positions of leadership in any realm of society.

Our extreme lack of transparency in many areas and our leadership structure makes us look very Cultish in every negative aspect of the word.

Edited to add (3/3/2023):
Staff Criticism, Moderation, and Banning:
Historically, it has seemed that staff are completely intolerance of criticism and being called out when players feel wronged.   When this happened, their posts are moderated, they loose their posting privileges and/or they get outright banned from the community and game.  This creates shadow communities both "that place" and in DMs and group chats. When other players try to call out or defend players, they are likewise struck down in a way not dissimilar to 1930's/40's USSR media tactics. The more this goes on, the farther apart and more adversarial the player and staff silos have grown.  Staff in Discord the last two days seem to have 180'd this, and I have seem more public back and forth productive conversations in those two days than I have in all the years I have been here.  "This is the way" to begin de-siloing players and staff and build/rebuild a more trusting community.  Hearing staff and players voice something that hurt them in game years ago, then the other party speaking up and telling what was going on from their PoV at the time is a healthy thing.  I hope it continues.

I've mentioned it elsewhere, but I feel like we need some sort of mediation path that harmed members from both "teams" can air things out so that negative feelings and rumors, true or false, no longer have a reason to fester in the darkness and people are allowed to hear both sides of a story, IC/OOC wall be damned when it is something that harms the community.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 02:14:58 PM by FantasyWriter »
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2023, 01:03:32 PM »
I have a few thoughts to share.  I did not read all of this thread so I might be repeating things.  If so consider them endorsements of the aforementioned.

   1. Better Process for Announcements to Players: as someone who does not heavily engage with the GDB or Discord, this whole event was a bit tough to follow from the sidelines.  It would have been nice for a more visible and accessible announcement  and explanation when the Discord and GDB were shut down instead of leaving people to try to search the answer out themselves.
      - It also felt like it forced every single player to participate in and experience the drama that was happening.  For all the players who just play the game and don't do OOC community engagement, they could have continued playing and reading their clan docs on the board instead of being dragged into the bigger storm.  It kinda seemed to guarantee more acrimony and drove people to the shadowboards for information.
      - Part in parcel with this, staff (and other players) should not assume that everyone is as engaged in the OOC channels as they are.  Far too much seems to happen on the whims of a vocal OOCly participatory minority.  I would rather see things put to the community in a way that gives everyone an opportunity for input, like maybe MOTD announcements in the game itself during login instead of relying on external platforms. edit: this has seemed to get worse in recent  years as sweeping changes get implemented due to (first) GDB conversations and then Discord.  It's as if people who just play the came can't influence it as much as people who split their time between playing and OOC lobbying.  I really dislike this because playing the game should be enough to be part of the community
   2. Outline and post the criteria for a PC plots to receive staff support:  It seems like some people get support for their plots and other people in comparable positions do not.  Even if there are good reasons for why some plots get support and others don't, if those reasons or criteria aren't transparent it absolutely looks like favoritism.
   3. Make sure staff avatars aren't treating actual PCS as Resource NPCS.  This is something that I've thought about over the last few days, reflecting on some of my experiences with staff -played characters in game.  I really do feel like my PCs (especially my current) have been used as resource NPCs to advance the plots of some of these staff avatars, when it absolutely should be the other way around.  This is the point I feel a little salty about after some reflection.
   4. Finally - a clear appeals or complaint process that encourages people to speak up early in a situation rather than feeling like they have to wait until it's become egregious before they can escalate it.  I'll leave others to hash out the logistics of who would handle such complaints, but I do think we could invite dialogues in a way that moves us past the gatekeeping atmosphere many perceive now.  If someone feels uneasy or uncomfortable, we should have a culture in place that motivates them to speak up.  Having some semblance of our own consistent and documented due process should help alleviate the concerns for abuse of this system.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 01:26:33 PM by slipshod »
“Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow.”

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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2023, 01:18:42 PM »
I'm going to lay this out because I think it's important for staff to think about and try to work out how we can do things better that won't leave people feeling awful later.

I previously quit the game over this, but after 4 months I decided to give it another chance, because a lot of things I liked and between all the messed up things and badness, there's still some genuine goodness in Armageddon as a game that I think is salveageable. Armageddon,  for all it's horrific setting, makes us think. It's a black mirror held up to humanity. But there are some things I didn't know at the time:

I had a staff NPC kill my character, while the staff member was:

- Playing a character who my character was told IC was "talking shit behind your back" by at least one character;

- And was told by several other player characters that this character has been aggressively trying to recruit members of her clan to join her one instead.
(they were reluctant, because my character was more popular and people rarely spoke well of theirs, and instead told my character what they were up to)

- I used the think command expressing distaste for their character.

I did not know that it was a staff member at the time, or I would have certainly made me raise some concerns about the appropriateness to be effectively bullying another character like that, while having all the advantages of staff access to IC information to shape what words to say to manipulate the other characters against my character. As they are still on staff I obviously can't say who without breaking the rules, but I'm not going to argue about that, as there's been so many changes that I hope things are going to get better, with some stronger leadership and oversight of other staff.

Later NPCs wayed a PC saying they witnessed something that would kill my character, and later on I was told in request that it was because they were in the same room. Thankfully I had my own logs which proved this was not true, and provided this in request. I try to be charitable and give people a lot of chances, but considering the extreme IC rivalry, how can I know this was a genuine mistake? The damage was already done at that point, and the staff member's PC benefited in both recruitment and advantages for other PCs that staff member's PC was friendly with.

It was only one mistake out of a few other irregularities as well:

When about to do this, the NPC said several lies while supporting their claim IC, so I made a wish to staff in case these were OOC mistakes, because:
- My character was accused of things that the NPCs would have witnessed to know are not true,
- And also said things that directly conflicted with facts stated in the clan docs.

I was told to take it up in request - before they then dealt the irreversible death blow in the game. It seemed a very spur of the moment thing and like there had not been much oversight between other staff before this happened, as I had put in a request explaining the situation and asking for an IC meeting (there were several player characters who needed help IC, so I was making an effort to not just randomly disappear), but it seemed like they hadn't noticed I had made the request until after killing my character.

After making so many mistakes - I'm trying to be open minded and not assume it was intentional - with not checking basic IC facts first before making serious accusations, and docs they should be familiar with and have easy access to?

Please put yourself in my situation there and imagine how anyone can know that the lies this NPC said, these OOC mistakes, were not influenced by the staff member player character's jealousy and rivalry with my character?

I know nobody's perfect, but this isn't a nice feeling, it feels like it taints the RP when there's OOC aspects like that around it.

Now it's important to say things IC should be kept IC, but I've watched before two other player characters have massive arguments IC with each other, and then use the quit command on several different occasions in a way that it's obviously OOC anger as well, I know (other) people get like this, and I don't blame, people definitely do let the OOC influence sometimes, and that's human nature I guess, to try balance that to make characters believable is all just method acting, and not everyone has the same mind and reacts to things the same way (people have choices, you can't put all the blame on people for everything) and that's fine.

It shouldn't be a competition OOC as well as IC, but I feel like some people definitely take it as one, and there's an obvious element of it being unavoidably a PK skill game of sorts when it comes to how clans compete for people. But I've staffed on other games and I don't see any fun in playing with "cheat mode" on, why not throw that bone to the players to fight over instead?

At the same time: I don't know much of the situations people have been talking about but I've seen staff characters used in good ways to keep plots moving between other characters, getting people involved, and giving stuff for people to do, and we shouldn't lose that. Yes, even romantic relationships, if there's consent, IC is IC.

So I don't think it's good to say no to staff playing characters, but maybe logs need to be more accessible and easy to view by staff, so there can be a sanity check before damage is done to the game and someone who isn't distracted by other tasks (and won't be afraid to mention it) can notice a situation developing and say, "Hold on, what, no, you realise how that's going to make the players feel, right?" I feel like if I was there, with my experience of these kind of situations, I would have talked to people and stopped a lot of this happening in a nice way that gets everyone refocused on instead animating the amazing virtual world (but I understand I haven't seen as many aspects of the game as the older players yet)

Other issues
• It's a bad idea to remove the rules about IC and OOC separation, there are many avenues of RP that do not have surprises and intrigue already, and it's one of the last interesting and unique things that Armageddon has to stand out, it makes a different, interesting experience, when people don't ruin it for everyone else anyway.

I think the laxness that makes people think it's acceptable to act this way is part of the problem, the rules need to be more strongly and equally, fairly, enforced. People need to know that if they cheat they will lose out on everything, no matter who they are friends with. Positions of trust and power over other players have been held by some players that have admitted openly to talking with their friends about IC situations. That's not fair to the people that don't engage in this. We need to see stronger enforcement and punishment of people who think the rules are thee but not for thou, this goes for players too.

And I think doing our best to separate from Discord with a new chat system on the website that doesn't allow DMs would be an amazing step forward to protecting people. When people say they want to see who is playing who, it's a nice idea on the surface but a terrible idea in practice, people absolutely will try to put pressure on people and manipulate OOC. We need to remove entirely that nasty aspect of Armageddon, not encourage it.

• At the same time as removing the toxic ability for players to slip into other player's DMs, make it so that requests are not a free-for-all and add an ability to report something more privately to an individual staff member, maybe a few people that are willing to take these kind of messages. This is not just a staff thing, in many cases people might be afraid of making a complaint against a well-connected player (or one that has used the ease of access to people on discord to manipulate people into getting personal information) who is breaking the rules repeatedly.

• I disagree strongly that bans should be posted publicly, some games do this and it just seems abusive really - it opens people up to harassment, it's like some nasty medieval treatment of people.

• Logs need to be easier for staff to browse on the website and not deleted, if chat can be caught up on as easy as requests, it would probably change things completely in a good way.


  • Posts: 125
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2023, 02:03:15 PM »
My own experience over the years has been overall positive with staff.  The only issues I've had (which are all cleared up now by the way) have been times where I was uncertain about whether communication through requests from staff was IC or OOC.  A hypothetical might help explain what I mean.

Let's say I'm playing the tribed city-elf Amos and I inform staff that Amos was sharing information with Aide Fancypants.  In the request response, staff might say, "Be careful how much information you're sharing with Aide Fancypants."  When I read that, I wonder if that comment is (A) staff telling me that I'm playing Amos incorrectly, or (B) staff making sure that I understand that what Amos is doing could get them in trouble.

I would rather hear back:
   OOC Feedback: "City-elves would normally not share that much information with someone outside his tribe.  Please make sure you have good IC reasons for Amos to be doing that."
   or IC Feedback: "Got it.  Just so you're aware, if Amos keeps doing this, there could be trouble for him from the tribe."

After writing this, I think the confusion comes if staff writes in a way that sounds like I (the player) am the one doing things that my PC is doing in the game.  For clarity in communication, please distinguish between the player and the character in the request responses.  I don't like feeling like I'm in trouble for making my PC do things I already know they should not have done.  However, if I'm having the PC do things that they would not have done (e.g. elf riding a mount), then I want to know so I can do better.


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2023, 02:09:33 PM »
I’ve thought a lot about whether to post a response in this thread, or whether I’m even invited to post a response. I don’t see myself wanting to return in the near future, but I also didn’t leave the game out of bitterness and can imagine a world in which it would be an enjoyable place for me to play again. So I hope that my suggestions will be taken in that spirit.

There are two things that would need to happen in order for me to feel comfortable playing Armageddon again, and neither of them would be easy.

1. Radical transparency

The veil behind which staff hold themselves has been demonstrated to be a process that fosters resentment in both directions and shelters abuse. That isn’t healthy to a game or community. We’re all players and members of this community.
The sort of authoritarian pyramid establishment that presently exists generally leads to the people in the castle circling up in the castle and looking down. We are the managers, you are just the employees, you don’t know what’s good for the corporation. We are the cops, you’re just the citizens, you don’t know what’s good for you. We’re the parents, you’re the children, you don’t know what’s good for you. The thing about this model is that nobody feels good – not the cops, not the citizens, not the parents, nobody.

This is not a good model for a community of collaborative storytelling. This is the way things were done in the 1990s, but it just doesn’t fit with modern systems.

I’m going to use Halaster’s post to discuss radical transparency, not because I want to pick on Halaster or think he’s some sort of bad actor, but to demonstrate what I mean by radical transparency.

[Things that happen outside the domain of our game are beyond our control.  The only portions that we, as a community and more specifically a staff body can do, is hold to account things that happen here and are covered under our rules and regulations.]

You cannot remove the game from its social context. It’s one thing to not want to try to mediate a divorce through the game, but it’s another to ignore social context, which is what in this instance has led to the harassment of another player. If the social context is unknown, if what transpired is unknown, no person is going to be able to judge whether the result was fair or unfair. People are always going to disagree about ‘fair’ and ‘unfair,’ but the information for them to make those decisions should be on the table.

[That said, various regulations were broken. Various rules were broken.]

What are the regulations? What are the rules? Which were broken? How? By whom?

[And, of course, trust was broken.]

This makes sense. Trust tends to die in societies with a lot of secrecy.

[We have taken action in these portions that we have oversight upon. This includes our own staffing body and we will continue to do so.]

What actions? By who? Against who? Why?

[Does this soothe or fix anything that has transpired?  Likely not. Nor should it. Anger over these types of topics and lived experience deserves anger.]

This recognition is good. I’ll address anger and discomfort later.

[It deserves accountability and it deserves closure.]

It does. I’m still in the dark about how accountability is even measured, and I don’t have an account of what has been done. I'd love to see accountability and closure.

[We have kept to a set of policies that were put into place long before a lot of us arrived on staff.]

What policies?

[Some of us agree that some of those policies need to be changed, while others feel that the policies are currently fine the way they are.]

What are the policies? What procedures arrived at the policies? Who decided them? What do they mean in practical terms? How are they enforced?

What policies need to be changed? What are the arguments for and against changing certain policies?

[We're a collective group of players from our community that do not always agree on everything - just as we don't expect all of you to agree with each other.]

I 100% agree that Arm is a collective group and a community. That doesn’t mean we will all agree.

This leads into my second thing.

2. Removal of overmoderation and tone policing

The very unclear and amorphous nature of the moderation rules do not promote an environment of consistency, transparency, honesty, openness, or discussion. Particularly “be respectful” and “no trolling” and “stay on topic,” which are often used as excuses to close and lock threads, alter posts, or move entire discussions into the moderation void.

Again, what do these rules even mean? Does it mean ‘no insults’ or does it mean ‘don’t disagree with me’? Fuzzy and subjective terms like “good faith” are also often used as weapons against people that just don’t agree with you or who use a tone you don’t like.

People who are angry are going to speak in an angry tone. People who are passionate about something are going to passionately disagree. People who get upset by an internet argument can walk away from their keyboards and touch some grass, as the kids say.

And who on the internet stays on topic anymore?

These rules should be scrapped and replaced with clearly delineated and less restrictive rules. ‘Do not use slurs based on race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, country of origin, etc.’ ‘Do not post the personally identifying information of other players, including name, location, phone number, or email address.’ You get the drift.

All of this would require a lot of people giving up their power and placing their cards on the table. Because people in power generally prefer to keep it and guard it jealously, it would require a real commitment to reform. I don't think real change is likely, but I'm always an optimist and would be happy to be wrong!

I hope that everyone who is dealing with this very difficult and stressful topic drinks some water and has a snack. Almost every one of you has my best wishes.
Former player as of 2/27/23, sending love.


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2023, 02:23:53 PM »
Okay, here's my two cents/ideas.

1. We need a solution that lets you file staff complaints without the staffer that the complaint is about immediately seeing it in the request tool
I don't care how this is implemented. One way would be to hide all staff complaints from anyone that's not a producer (they need to be the ones responding to them already, if I remember right). Offer an e-mail address where players can send their complaint a single producer of their choice if your complaint is against a producer.

Or maybe the web developer can come up with something better.

I'm aware that someone will have to the staffer eventually most of the time. I'd still like to see this. It provides some measure of anonymity (it's sometimes obvious from context who has submitted a complaint, but it's not always the case). The producers that will bring this up with the staffer that is accused of wrongdoing will have a more neutral view and are less likely to provoke some knee-jerk defensive reaction. The producers will also be able to check the logs and do some investigation before bringing it up with the staffer. The occasional complaint might be cleared up and settled just by reviewing some logs, without even bringing it up to the staffer.

2. Some protection against retaliation needs to be in place.
This came up on discord not so long ago (see here: ).
When trying to respond to that player, I couldn't even find a staff rule that explicitly forbids IC retaliation against complaints. There should be a rule.
Preventing staffers from seeing the complaint is another step. More protections could be in the form of mandatory contact restrictions (ICly or OOCly) after a complaint for a certain period (can be waived if both parties agree). Alternatively, this could be done at the player's request only.

3. Something unrelated that came up on discord
"Someone gave me a bad account note and I didn't even know for a long time" seems to be a reoccurring problem. Why are we even keeping these secret?
Make account notes available on the website at any time. They probably shouldn't be written in a way that requires staff to sanitize them.
Especially for bad account notes, having them immediately available lets players contest them immediately, while the memory and the logs are still fresh and staff will still remember what that player is talking about. If a player agrees that they might have done something bad, it's also better for them to know immediately so they can correct that behavior - not next year or whenever they happen to request account notes.
Positive account notes are like kudos and it would be motivating to get them more often. There's just not a lot of downsides to this.
A rusty brown kank explodes into little bits.

Someone says, out of character:
     "I had to fix something in this zone.. YOU WEREN'T HERE 2 minutes ago :)"


  • Storyteller
  • Posts: 148
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2023, 03:12:57 PM »
For transparency, a few posts have been moved from this topic to moderation, because they were posted by players who have stated they were never returning in some verifiable format, and the guidelines for submitting feedback are very clearly laid out in the OP.

Is Friday

  • Posts: 6641
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2023, 03:51:49 PM »
For transparency, a few posts have been moved from this topic to moderation, because they were posted by players who have stated they were never returning in some verifiable format, and the guidelines for submitting feedback are very clearly laid out in the OP.
This reads as: "We don't want to hear from people we hurt or abused because that would hold us accountable."

I'll edit this post with further feedback later in the week.
And then I sat there going "really? that was it? that's so stupid."

I still think the best closure you get in Armageddon is just moving on to the next character.


  • Posts: 4979
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2023, 03:55:46 PM »
For transparency, a few posts have been moved from this topic to moderation, because they were posted by players who have stated they were never returning in some verifiable format, and the guidelines for submitting feedback are very clearly laid out in the OP.
This reads as: "We don't want to hear from people we hurt or abused because that would hold us accountable."

I'll edit this post with further feedback later in the week.


I will likewise edit this post with further feedback later in the week, and I am planning to return depending on how things go regardless of whatever other "verifiable format" might say.


  • Producer
  • Posts: 3214
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2023, 04:23:56 PM »
I have restored the moderated posts and given staff clearer instructions.  I will record them here:

The thread rule states:

d)  We are interested in the opinions of players who want to see the game succeed, and who are willing to help us make it a better community for everyone.  If you have no intention of playing this game again, we do not want to hear from you. We want the feedback from active, or soon-to-be-active-again players, or players deciding if they want to come back.

Unless someone literally starts their post with "I have no intention of ever playing again" or something like that, let it stay.  We have no way of knowing the future or a player's true intentions, give them the benefit of the doubt.  If they're not playing today, but haven't explicitly told us they're not playing again, let it stay.  Assuming all the other rules of the forums are followed (no flaming, personal attacks, all that).


  • Posts: 971
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2023, 05:01:09 PM »
As an old-timer I have seen a lot of change over the years in how staff/player relationships are managed and in how the vision of the game has changed. Some changes have been amazing, some not so good. I don't have any idea if my comments today are worth much, but I thought I would share them, 'cause what the heck, someone handed me 1 post GDB soapbox and I'm a weak man.

1. I love the idea of staff never playing leadership characters or characters of any importance. In fact, having a enforced shortened life-span for immortal characters appeals to me for all the reasons others have expressed that staff PCs can be problematic.

That said, I have played with amazing staff run PCs that have killed my characters and hands-down do not regret anything about that. It was some of the best RP I have experienced in the game. In fact, I find myself wondering whenever I play with a really well-developed character (personality-wise) if it is actually a staffer. It's a bit of paranoia I suffer.

Yes, staff should be playing NPCs, leading plots, driving themes but these should be NPCs that are run for specific purposes. While I love to play Pen and Paper RPGs, when I run the game I do not play one of my PCs as well.

2. The OOC/IC separation never really worked well. Back in the day there was a bit of a iron-curtain but lets face it, people knew "stuff." Now it is even more porous. We would probably do well to just let that fantasy go. It blows my mind that how a class branches is actually available in the documentation. Crazy talk! I'm sure plenty of people are sharing information about poisons, spells, herbs, or whatever. I know that some have developed spreadsheets for crafting that they then share with others. I mean we can't keep state secrets secret. Do we think folks are not sharing in-game sensitive information? I think we should do away with that and trust that players will manage themselves. And the reward for proving themselves? Karma.

3. Without a doubt _all_ staff communication that isn't on the GDB for all to see should happen via the request tool. There isn't a reason that staff would need to DM me or email me or whatever.

All in all the game is great, the staff in all the years I've been playing has been pretty on point with only a few misses.  I've been on both ends, having a character resurrected a billion times back in the day because their friend player had an admin friend and I've annoyed the sh*t out of staffers and have been the recipient of the same. There are twink players and there are great folks really deep into the role-play.  There are bad staff and there are amazing staff and here the game is like 30 years later.

I have humble gratitude for you all, staff and players. The fact that this is even a discussion speaks volumes about this game and those of you so invested in it.   
What makes the desert beautiful is knowing that somewhere within hides an oasis.


  • Posts: 4
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2023, 05:14:36 PM »
Note: I am a returning player and I have not read all of the suggestions in the thread, so I may unintentionally repeat things already said.

So here are my thoughts and general suggestions:

I feel like the problem we are facing are a culmination of issues that have been at a slow boil for quite some time. And I think the two biggest issues are the reluctancy of some staffers to claim responsibility to their mistakes or criticism that they are presented with, no matter how valid or good-faith they may be, and the lack of transparency coupled with the individual agendas which may not and do not align with the player-base that some staff members have. Granted, I am very pleasantly surprised by the ownership of the mistakes made here by staff, but I am still very disappointed it took this long to get here, and that it took something of this magnitude.
 Sexual abuse, - and any kind of abuse really - is completely disgusting, indefensible, and erroneous. No buts. No ands. And I am not going to equate sexual harassment/abuse to general instances of abuses of power and ego trips associated that staff have failed to properly address. But here I want to draw an interesting relationship between the current allegations of sexual abuse and these past issues which have in some capacity been unresolved.

These allegations, particularly against the specific former staffer its about, are not particularly new. As these allegations have surfaced before only to be put down by staff as "shadow board trolls", swept under the rug and dismissed. Sexual abuse allegations aside, this is somewhat of a general trend from staff to dismiss and write off criticisms aimed at them, no matter how good faith and appropriate they may be, whilst failing to take ownership for their own mistakes.

"You can just quit if you don't like the game or don't agree with us."

Now, I am not saying all staffers are like this. There are some staff members which do take accountability and do genuinely put the interests of the players above their own. And I will always praise them to the high heavens for it, and they deserve so much more appreciation than they get. But, the staffers who do contribute to the problem(s) I described make things hard for everyone.

"What do we do to fix this?" Well, I am not sure.  But, I will leave my suggestions as I do still have a genuine passion for the game and its player-base.

My suggestions:

A) Make it a policy to not allow staff members to play clan leaders, sorcerers or mindworms. The ability for abuse of this role has happened before and the possibility is far too immense.

B) Create some sort of "freedom of criticism, unity of action" type system for both players and staff to allow a free (yet obviously good faith) criticism between players and staff in order to promote healthy and open dialogue in the community. And when an action is decided by the majority of players and staff, every staff member should adhere to the agreed upon decision.

C) Have some sort of a "punishment log" which scrubs all of the individual info of the staff members involved. I think this is good because it shows the pbase that staff are enforcing and upholding their own policies.

D) Make staff policies public so players know what is reportable and against protocol

E) Allow players to request that a certain staffer not be able to interact with them outside of the very basics.

F) Give general amnesty and allow people to return to the game (with a few obvious exceptions) as a performance of goodwill and to wipe the slate clean and allow grudges and old wounds to heal properly.

G) Ban staff avatars from being able to participate in sexual RP.

H) Allow protection to players reporting staff members.

I) Emphasize on player run plots with staff assistance, not vice versa.

J) Make clearer, more concise rules for the discord since I feel as if they are a bit broad and unspecific. (or just get rid of the discord all together)

Closing thoughts:

With my issues regarding staff in general aside. I want to address some community wide issues. Honestly, the biggest issue I think we as players have in the community is that there are a lot of grudges which are years old if not over a decade old which need to be let go. I understand particularly for older players that this might be a bit of a challenge, but, first and foremost ArmageddonMUD is a game. And we should first and foremost treat it like such. Something that we do for fun, to relax, and create experiences impossible to replicate outside of a game. And a lot of the grudges people hold get in the way of that. Some of these are valid and some are not. But I ask that for the sake of ourselves and each other to let go. Whats in the past is in the past. And we are here in the now. And now, we need to get our issues together so we can have fun again, and it is definitely possible to have fun again. Furthermore, Armageddon is a game that many of us spend hours of our days, days of our weeks, and weeks of our years contributing to. And it can be heavy on the mind, so I implore everyone to remember that if you are not having fun and are not enjoying yourself to just take a step back. Its okay. Theres nothing wrong with that.
But above all:
Let go.
Forgive each other.
Be kind to one another.
And enjoy what we are here for: A nerdy DnD esque desert game about elves and templars.

I hope to anyone who is reading this, regardless of their position has a great day!
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 05:17:47 PM by CoconutDoggy »


  • Posts: 9837
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #40 on: March 02, 2023, 06:00:15 PM »
I haven't played for around 4 years.  I didn't stop playing because I was mad about anything...I just found some different hobbies/time-wasters for a while.  So...whatever happened in the last 4 years, I have zero personal experience with.

To me, it all sounds like a very basic, universal problem:  What do you do when a bad actor gets into a position of power?  Unfortunately, despite being a very basic problem, the solution is not basic--and in fact likely has never been found.  That's why it's a universal problem.  Some people at a very basic level simply are not reasonable.  Frequently this unreasonableness demands that they have power to inflict their unreasonableness on others, and this prompts them to seek positions of authority where they can satisfy that basic urge.  And also frequently, they know what they are doing is wrong, and they become quite good at concealing who they really are and what they are really doing.

My assumptions are that: a) a bad actor (more?) got into a Staff role; b) covered their tracks well; c) ordinary  Staff members failed to detect it for whatever reason.

The fundamental problem with all of this is that investigations are difficult. Often, both victims and suspects will lie about things. Sometimes suspects are better at seeming sincere, and sometimes victims are bad at explaining their case. If anyone thinks they have some glib solution to this problem that will neatly fit into the context of a GDB post, you are sadly mistaken.  There are entire libraries full of texts on detecting deception, conducting investigations, managing human resources, organizational oversight, etc. etc.

You can break it down into component problems, but the solutions to the component problems are just as difficult.

1) How do you make sure that a bad actor doesn't get into a position of power?

2) You know a bad actor is eventually going to get inside your organization.  How do you make sure that you can detect them?

3) You know that you aren't going to detect a bad actor before they do something bad.  How do you limit the extent of that harm?

4) You know that people are going to be harmed by the bad actor's damage.  How do you make amends or offer restitution for that damage?

I'm not going to offer any solution about this, because I don't know the facts about how whatever happened actually happened.  The above is a framework to think about it, and there are particular facts and circumstances that flesh out what the specific problem was and what the specific solution should be.  A lot of the stuff already proposed by other people probably fits into those categories.

Also, a lot of people are throwing their pet peeves/projects into the salsa here.  I don't think this is the place for that.  This thread was a request to propose solutions for how to not have creepy weirdos doing their creepy weirdo stuff at the expense of folks just trying to play a fun game.
Quote from: WarriorPoet
I play this game to pretend to chop muthafuckaz up with bone swords.
Quote from: Smuz
I come to the GDB to roleplay being deep and wise.
Quote from: Vanth
Synthesis, you scare me a little bit.


  • Posts: 32
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2023, 06:26:00 PM »
I will post the same three short simple things I suggested in the discord before getting banned.

1. Make some professional guidelines for staff: a) no sponsored roles and b) no ERP with players
2. Unban [edited] anyone else who was banned for whistleblowing.
3. Ban [edited] sex pests.

Please respect the rules of this thread. All edits as of 6:39pm server time in this post by Hestia

c)  Do not single out individuals.  Whether pro or against.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 06:40:05 PM by Hestia »


  • Posts: 41
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #42 on: March 02, 2023, 07:00:36 PM »
After a reread, this touched rule C too closely, so, First note, we need someone for player advocacy that isn't burdened with the title of staff or the same responsibilities. Why? If the DM screen is going to remain, and staff's names are different than their legal or Screen Name, there needs to be someone in visibility who can peek behind the screen and give the thumbs up and say 'Yeah, everything's on the up and up, it's just perspective'.

Second note, for now, I implore you all to go the extra step of using qualifying language when talking about our communities individuals and groups. 'A staff member once...' and 'Staff once....' will make the larger group as a whole less defensive, (just an example). I make the mistake often of saying people in game, when I mean player characters, PCs, and sometimes I don't make clear divisions between players and their chars, such as.... 'Other players will chop wood or kill my PC' and with the barriers we have in place for suspense, very few of these statements are factually accurate and justified. 'A character in game killed my PC' is much better. Language that is unclear, of which I am very guilty and have learned from, can add many complications and hurt feelings (And thus, poorer reactions).

I may add more.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 07:46:13 PM by Jimpka_Moss »
“Dance until you shatter yourself.”


  • Posts: 1546
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #43 on: March 02, 2023, 07:32:12 PM »
This is really long and likely riddled with typos as I am writing from my phone. However I have a pretty extensive gaming background. I run a lot of long table tops but one of the first games I really got into was Vampire the masquerade at peak larp era when the Camarilla was still a thing. (If you know you know). One of the issues with the cam was fairly managing that many players with multiple ST’s and coordinators ect. There was concern about bias, some ST’s did occasionally play favorites to let significant others get a leg up when other people couldn’t ect. Staff ran NPC’s and also had their own PC’s. Sure it was a little more obvious when your ST was playing an NPC as this was a larp with 60ish people hanging out in a park at night without the computer screens to hide us but my local chapter had some good rules in place and it really helped a lot. Vampire the Masquerade is set on a similar premise as Arm it’s meant, as a larp, to be a game big enough for political intrigue, backstabbing, murder and betrayal. The Cam at one point had chapters all over the USA and you could literally go to any big city in SC or GA and walk in with your character and play. Honestly I think like Arm because it is so much like VtM.

Ultimately, let's be honest, everyone is a flawed human. Mistakes happen, they just do. In combat it’s hard running a game with dozens of players. My table top has eight atm and I feel overwhelmed and missed stuff sometimes too. I feel more inspired to write for the players that contribute the most and complain the least. I don’t want to make plots for the pc that’s likely going to complain even if I give them 80% of what they want because they didn’t get the other 10. Thats not favoritism, it's human nature.

Players here can be super toxic too. My worst experiences in this game with sexual harassment or bad actors has been with other PCs not staff. I had a player turn into a irl stalker before. I have had my pc killed because someone didn’t like me OOCly for something one of my previous characters did. I have had another player doctor DM’s in a chat to try to get me banned before. Abuse is not limited to staff.
 I have never been interested in being a staff member at Arm. As stated I run a lot of games Armageddon is the only game where I consistently get to play. I also don’t go to the shadow forum. I refuse to do. Why? Every time I talk to a player that’s all worked up over something they read over there their reasons are always seriously just wrong. One player's perspective is not accurate to the bigger picture. So I, as of right now, still have no clue what all was posted. I came here to play and have fun. That is the only reason any of us should be here.

I try to avoid talking to the vast majority of the player base as it is seriously destructive to the game. I also actively try to be a good player that contributes to the fun of everyone around me. That puts me in a lot of leadership positions. I have often over 20 years felted wronged in a moment only to learn 5, 6, 7 years later I never should felt that way because there was valid stuff with other people going on that I just wasn't privy too and it rippled into my pc's life for one reason or another.

1) Staff absolutely should be allowed to play the game. Staff absolutely should not be allowed to have a PC in higher ranks of any Clan. Sorry even if you are super careful and never blur the lines your players are never going to see it that way if they learn you are Staff.

2) Clear lines between what a PC is and what a NPC is.
This is a common pitfall in any rpg. You as a ST/GM/whatever can get very attached to NPC’s it makes them hard to let go of and you can get in murky water wanting them to endure. It can make you feel like you're playing against your PC’s and that is NOT your job. Your job is ultimately to bring the world beyond the PCs to life in a realistic manner, facilitate stories and provide challenges that PCs may or may not be able to overcome. Even the best intending ST can get ic/ooc information crossed. You're more likely to have your pc jump to conclusions if you already know what the answer to the problem is. No one is immune to this.

At the same time players don’t need to know Noble X is an NPC and sometimes Staff NEEDs someone to fill a void. The alternative is likely shuttering clans to condense the player base. No one wants that. That means sometimes staff need to have consistent NPCs  that don't get treated any differently from the player base.

I think staff side there should be NPC oversight. An NPC should have a formatted write up. I’ll post an example below. Their goals, drives, purpose ect should be clearly outlined. Strength and weaknesses as well. They need to have running history so anyone on staff can look and see what they have been up to. This doesn’t have to be super detailed. It just lets everyone know what this NPC has been up to. Why they are there and a general idea of what they are going to do in any given situation. There should be a conversation staff side about realistic reactions by that NPC if they are going to take action against a PC and PCs should be utilized where possible. So if noble X the npc ends up in direct conflict with a PC the staff animating that npc needs to go through either approval from other staff or have a lengthy conversation with the rest of staff before hiring PC assassins or ordering minions to do something against them. It doesn’t have to be complicated just a moment to have someone else check to make sure the “punishment is fair for the crime” . Role playing causes real emotions to come up sometimes. Having to step back, take a breath and talk through your reasoning is important. It slows down the chances of knee jerk reaction and that is hard to avoid sometimes. Now that said if you attack a Red Robe or kill a noble in the arboretum staff should not have to have a meeting to decide to animate a realistic response.
Example Template:
NPC Lord Fark of House Fancypants the IV
Alligentment: Neutral Evil there is nothing Lord Fancypants loves then to use the laws of the city to beat someone else over the head
Background: Write a short blip about the NPCs past and what motivates them.
Personality traits: Lord Fark is a lawyer at heart. While he is not well connected to anyone really in power he is a hanger on to the Senate. He attends any open sessions allowed and spends much of his time in the company of any of the lesser nobility serving as aides to the various members of the senate. He adores gossip and speculates about upcoming changes and recent senate announcements. He likes being more important than the people around him and will befriend freshly debuted nobles fairly easily. However he gets very jealous if they start becoming more successful then he is. Specifically if he thinks they benefited from his friendship to get where they are and they don't shower enough praise on him. 

Goals: Lord Fark wants to eventually usurp his mother as Senator.Plot hooks: (list active plots Lord Fark would be involved in or involved in starting)- Lord  Fark is not a mover and shaker but he does know who is. He could be bribed to share bits of court gossip or pointing a Noble, Templar or Merchant he favors in the right direction to get their own objectives accomplished. Purpose: He is here to provide light rivalry to notable experienced Nobles of other houses and also help new noble players learn to game the system and on up other nobles. I.E. is intended as a buffer to help new PC nobles get established while distracting more established Highborn by giving them some mild rivalry. He can also be used to deliver plot hooks involving highborn politics to the nobles and templars.

Recent interactions

5/26 Got into a drunken argument with Lord Lickspittle after hearing him brag about his many public successes. Fark was totally embarrassed publicly as a result of the argument. He will be looking for ways to toss broken glass in Lickspittles path if he can find another pc upset with them.

6/2 took a 20k bribe from (pc) Lady Fluffybottom to pass a rumor  around the jr senators circles that House Lickspittle is secretly planning to cancel the arranged marriage between their our and House Sparklyshoes in favor of a match with House Brandywine. -Lady Fluffybottom is mad at Lord Lickspittle for insulting her hat and she wants to make him suffer.

3) Plots and transparency
Plots should have a clear outline on the staff forums. There should be a listed cast of NPCs and a summary of the plot. Motivation for the plot and while players should have a real chance to influence this there should be a list of possible outcomes, how that could change the game ect.
There should be a timeline outlined for the proposed run length of the plot with dates or windows set for certain plot markers. Under the thread about a plot there should be notes on what PCs are engaging the plot and what actions they are taking. Again this doesn’t have to be super detailed.

Publish finished story arcs- At the 1 year mark after a plots conclusion it should be published. Any still  living PCs involved should be redacted so they don’t have their continuing stories screwed up. But man there are so many things that happen that only staff sees. Only staff gets to see the full story and we are such assholes about never sharing the plot lines when they are done the vast majority of the players have no chance to ever “find out in game”. It’s helpful and healing to know that my pc that I thought got murdered to be a notch on a bed post was actually killed because of their lovers enemies or that it was part of some bigger thing I was never aware of. It also takes away the shroud of “did staff secretly have it out for me” or why wasn’t player X that killed me never punished or exacted. Lastly, it's good for the game! Reading stories about all the awesome shit going on that I didn’t get to see in person inspires me. It makes me aware there is a lot going on and helps me learn how to get myself more involved by seeing how others did. It makes me a better rper in the room when I see someone else using amazing emotes I never thought to try. Seeing the stories after they are long over adds to the game's vibrancy.

4) Player reminders/warnings before big events:  I always do this in my games. When there is a strong possibility that death is going to occur in an RPT or event it is always a good idea to remind players if you participate in this event there is no guarantee your side is going to win or you are going to survive. Warn players every time,  let them know if they don’t want to risk their pc they need to not play during the event and maybe even work out an ic reason why they couldn’t. The Byn, AoD, ect should have very clear posts on all their boards that these roles may be called to combat from which their pc may not survive. That should go without saying in Arm but people get whirled up and the way our combat system works death can feel very unfair or jarring. Because we have lots of players shit sometimes goes down differently than even Staff expected. From the pcs perspective they may think they have a conflict in the bag but not be aware of another group acting against them.

 Players need to be reminded frequently that there are other players in the game that don’t always want the same things they do. Just throwing up a “disclaimer, participation in this event may result in death and nothing is guaranteed on whatever board posts discuss the time/date of the RPT.” Goes a long way to gently remind people their side isn’t necessarily gonna be on top in the end.  There are no “good guys” in arm, both city states are evil as fuck. All the merchant houses are corrupt. Even the best meaning most hippy dippy tribes have done things that are horrible to PCs that may have felt they were killed just so someone could get a notch on their belt. It is an illusion to feel you're the hero who is entitled to a victory. Players should be reminded about this often.
Make sure anyone apping for a Combat leadership role including all Templars know they may be put into situations where they have no choice but to participate and thats part of the role. You would think that goes without saying but it never hurts to gently remind someone the role they want comes with a lot of power but also has obligations that can result in abrupt deaths.

5) Rebrand the game-  Running “murder, Betray, and corruption” as our tagline in and of itself attracts a certain type of player. It also does not breed trust in staff. NPC leaders in your clan should support Players within reason. If a Player is doing a horrible job, that's one thing but I have literally had a merchant character die because a staff run npc who was my boss ordered my PC and another pc in my clan to kill each other to decide who was going to get a promotion. Nothing to do with who was doing the better job or who was running the clan more efficiently.  My character told the NPC you should promote whoever is doing the best job. I am not going to murder my cousin over it. I went on to say If that’s what it’s come to give the other PC the promotion it's not worth murdering someone too me. One day later I got ambushed and I’m leaving out details but they told me my pc relative “Says hello”. That event destroyed my trust in staff and I took a 4 year break after it. There is literally people that think fucking someone over for the sake of showing how “evil and corrupt” you are is good rp because “murder corruption Betrayal”

These are things that are fun to do sometimes but they are not fun for the victim. It perpetuates distrust and that bleeds OOC. There is no one that compartmentalize that well. We can still have murder death and Betrayal but it shouldn't be a tagline and staff shouldn't be driving it in their own Clans. Players should feel like their clan staff supports them and isn't out to trip them up and watch them burn.

If a noble is ruining their house, yes npcs Senior should step in. Oash didnt work that hard getting top tier to let Fuckwitious Oash single handedly ruin the families good name. If a Templar is abusing their role, or consorting with defilers, ect.. yes staff needs to step in. But staff does not need to stir up or force player vs player conflict in clan. You put enough pcs in the same areas together frequently and often enough they will figure out reasons to fight. I feel if more clans had better documentation like the Bashurit do it would be a lot easier to drum up realistic reasons for conflict as well.

6) Xenophobic clans hurt the game.
I will keep saying this until I am blue. It’s a good concept on paper. It works well in a novel but it doesn’t play well. When 1/3rd to 1/2 of your player base can not or will not go to places where they interact with other players because of their culture/race/subguild you are kneecapping the opportunity for meaningful and organic player driven conflict.

Proposal: one major hub in the game needs to be fucking legitimately neutral. Every major clan/race/city state should have at least 1 major item they are required to use trade to acquire. 
Change up the political landscape

 No one wants to be around nobles because they roam around like a bunch of mean girls more interested in bullying commoners than really engaging each other as political rivals. It can be fun to play the oppressor but no one wants to be the oppressed victim that can’t fight back.   Tell me this which is more likely to result in ongoing plots that involve lots of people. A city where humans are racist and the dominant race and if you talk down to, or respond in a way one of the leader humans doesn’t like you get killed. So you can ultimately either suck it up and rp being a punching bag with no chance of ever really getting anything done or you can try to fight the power and ultimately end up dead in the Arena. Or a city where other races are amongst the ranks of the Upper crust and are diametrically opposed to the other ruling factions/houses/whatever. Promote more situations where the big players are punching at each other and not down at the pc commoners.

7) More Player Staff collaboration projects- The more players are involved in the documentation and implementation of setting the better. Being on the Bashurit project is by far going to the thing I am most proud I got to do in Armageddon.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2023, 07:52:04 PM by Bast »
The sound of a thunderous explosion tears through the air and blasts waves of pressure ripple through the ground.

Looking northward, the rugged, stubble-bearded templar asks you, in sirihish:
     "Well... I think it worked...?"


  • Posts: 1923
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2023, 09:03:04 PM »
I just recently came back to the game and I was having fun so far. However, I am currently feeling turned off of the game for two or three major reasons. Even if I take another break I can come back later if things improve. I was and still am largely in the dark on what occurred. What I can piece together makes me reluctant to spend more time on this hobby.

1.Harassment IG should never get to the point where it is OOCly uncomfortable. What makes people Oocly uncomfortable varies so clear boundaries need to be set and then rigorously enforced. If someone presses the stop button OOC, we should consider accomplishing our IC goals in different fashions. If the only way you can undermine people is with sexual harassment and trying to OOCly psyche people out and hate playing, I think there is something wrong with that.
2. Staff in leadership positions of any sort is inherently problematic for a variety of reasons others have said. This is just plain unfair often because your fellow staffers will be less likely to make the world "react realistically" to your plots. You have a host of ways to gather IC secrets about who else may be plotting against your avatar. If you can't handle not being in a position of power and influence with a character, perhaps you shouldn't be trusted with the power and influence of being on staff. The knowledge that this might be going on sucked out 99% of my will to play over the last couple of days. It really feels like being an extra in someone else's movie. I like playing a useful minion to other players and helping them achieve their goals. I don't even like playing leaders and this turned me off.
3. I think neutral arbitration(ie people not on staff overseeing staff/player interaction in some fashion) is a good idea.
4. Calling out bad behavior should not result in bans. While I realize people can manufacture made up stories, this never looks good on those doing the banning. At best it lends credence to the claims by acknowledging them(whether true or false), at worst it convinces others to follow them out the door.Transparency helps restore trust. Banning and not addressing claims leaves the dialogue completely out of your hands. You gain nothing and risk a lot by doing this.
Alea iacta est


  • Posts: 3385
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #45 on: March 02, 2023, 09:55:55 PM »
I have a bad habit of waiting too long to jump into a discussion, only to see the thread get locked. So, let me chime in now.

I'm sure I don't have as clear an understanding of all that led up to this. That said, I understand enough to know it's given me pause about current game policies and whether or not I want to continue to play.

There have been a lot of good ideas shared here. Here are my suggestions.

1. Consider writing a staff mission statement, if one doesn't already exist. Or revising it if it does. Reflect on what the role of the staff is and should be.  Share the statement with players.
2. As others have said, be kind to players.  I'd add to that, be humble. Humility and kindness would go a long way to restore trust.
3. Transparency should guide your way as well.
4. Avoid heavy-handedness with moderation. It's simply not a good look. Whatever the intention is, it looks like an effort to squash criticism.
5. Be willing to make bold changes. This game is worth saving.

I might add more thoughts later.

March 14 edit:

I had one other suggestion to help improve player/staff communication.  I suspect most players have had requests that were closed without actually being resolved, whether because some key question was overlooked or a crucial point misunderstood. Perhaps it would be helpful if a closed request automatically gave the player an optional, brief survey to assess whether the staff response was satisfactory. This would give staff immediate feedback and also provide producers some insight into patterns that need attention.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 08:36:20 PM by flurry »
"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." - Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House


  • Posts: 1548
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #46 on: March 03, 2023, 09:13:47 AM »
I started to write a longer post but actually, I'm just going to keep this first part.  Until this gets addressed it doesn't matter what staff does to fix the magick/mundane divide, promote interactivity or whatever. If I can't trust that staff aren't abusing their positions then I will never have a reason to return.

By my understanding, every staff member knew a rule was being broken by allowing a staffer to play a sponsored role.  This staffer also had a history of reports for abuse that Producers at the very least were aware of.  I feel like I've seen this all before in staff of the past.  Why was this current person never held accountable?  Were they not monitored by other staff? How many times did people turn a blind eye to a complaint and why?  Was it because that person was also your OOC friend and you didn't want to tell them when they were in the wrong? Or that staff (particularly leadership) didn't think these issues were actually a problem?  What is it about staffing Arm that attracts the abuse of the position?

If you genuinely want to restore trust then staff leadership and staff as a whole need to hold yourselves accountable.  What else have other staffers been doing that might violate the rules?  Since I don't believe you'll be airing your dirty laundry out for all to see, what will you be doing internally to ensure this doesn't keep happening?  This isn't anything new, several people quit last year because of all these issues.  Why was this never handled then or before that, why was it allowed to fester?   And how will you create a system where staff are held accountable to the rules you set up to begin with?

Then you need to figure out how to prove to us all that you're serious about reform.  To be honest, some of the moderation I've seen since this whole thing blew up makes me feel like people are circling the wagons instead of looking inward. 


  • Posts: 7628
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #47 on: March 03, 2023, 10:26:32 AM »
A large portion of the playerbase does not and should not trust staff actions or accountability right now.

The rest has been mod-edited by Hestia because it violates the rule: c)  Do not single out individuals.  Whether pro or against.

You've got to be kidding me with this edit. This is exactly what I was talking about. If you're going to use the singling out individuals rule to protect staff from any criticism, you're not actually willing to accept feedback or change. This just looks like damage control.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 01:03:42 PM by Yam »


  • Posts: 1659
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #48 on: March 03, 2023, 01:25:42 PM »
Moderated by Haldol for violating the following rules:

b)  Name-calling, bashing individuals, trolling, all of that is not allowed.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 03:16:01 PM by Haldol »
Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.

--Immanuel Kant


  • Producer
  • Posts: 1568
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #49 on: March 03, 2023, 02:34:10 PM »
You were informed of the rules upfront.

You need to follow the rules, or frankly, your feedback is not welcomed at this time.

This thread is not about revisiting the past.  It is very targeted towards looking at future changes.

Thus, stringent rules to keep the feedback targeted, so that both players and Staff can stay on target towards this goal.

Which is why this thread will be moderated per the rules posted upfront.

We understand that you want to give broader feedback, or feedback on individuals.  This is simply is not the thread to do that in, nor is Staff ready to tackle that until we have tackled this.  This thread and the game is where our bandwidth is going right now.


  • Posts: 6
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #50 on: March 03, 2023, 03:15:44 PM »
This is what I understand from what was made public here:
An unspecified event happend recently. Abuse is not okay and is not condoned by staff. Regulations, rules and trust were broken. Two staff members stepped down, one permanently retired. A moderator who may or may not have ever heard of the Streisand effect decided to shut down the forums and discord. The discord was reopened. The forums remain partially closed.

My feedback:
Staff needs to learn how to communicate better. That may mean stating what events took place or naming specific individuals, uncomfortable as it may be. Asking for feedback on a matter that staff is unwilling to talk about and has taken measures to limit the conversation is absurd. This only tells me they need very serious work with being open when communicating.

If staff isn't willing to define the topic they wish to have feedback upon, that is the only response I feel they deserve to hear. Let us know when you're willing to talk about the issue.

edit: I'm glad to see that there's some effort being made since my initial posting: acknowledging what has happened. Apologizing effectively is a very important life skill that is sometimes very difficult to learn. While there's room to grow here (I'll link a resource that might be helpful), I felt it was a small but very important step forward that gave me hope for seeing earnest reform.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2023, 09:31:16 PM by Calamari »


  • Posts: 1921
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #51 on: March 03, 2023, 03:19:55 PM »
I think that karma — or rather, the way that it is sometimes arbitrarily removed or granted — has been an enormous problem. Far worse of a problem than people rolling up HGs for a lameass one-off PK. Just as we are discussing possible favoritism in relation to people using sex for benefits, so too does /disliking/ a player for personal reasons affect the “fairness” of the karma system.

I never had any problems with any staff until my 8, or 9 karma, was reduced to 4, for something I was never asked about, spoken to about, or anything at all. And in speaking of biases, the person who led the charge to have my karma removed… was someone with a grudge against me. Empirically, she did, and when she attacked me on social media, she did not even attempt to hide it.

Grudges are just as much of a problem as favoritism. 

So, what’s the solution?

Look, guys. It doesn’t make sense to karma wall people who have been playing this game for longer than some people have been alive over anything, much less what happened two decades ago.

Sure, if someone who has played the game 30 years keeps rolling up muls and wantonly killing fuckers, that’s a problem.

But with the favoritism and grudges that have abounded amongst staff, both those publicly bandied about and those not spoken of openly, it makes zero sense to forbid good players, like RogerDodger, Tuannom, and anyone else who has spoken publicly about playing this game for 20 years without getting max karma, from being able to play what they want, without asking permission of someone who’s newer.

Give all of the people who have played this game over ten years, or whatever number, max karma, and if they fuck it up, explain what they did wrong, temporarily remove the option, and move forward.

I have had some amazing players and people who have been around this game for decades confide that they only have two karma.  That’s… man… especially when favoritism is taken into account, it just doesn’t make sense. A lot of times, I am afraid that karma has been a popularity contest, as opposed to an actual measure of how much someone loves the game.

I just spent 22 days played as a 3 karma race, and I think I did a pretty damn good job.  When old grudges enter the equation, it doesn’t matter how good of a job you’ve done.

Favoritism and grudges are two sides of this coin we’re discussing.  You can’t discuss one without the other. You can’t talk about people getting hooked up for having nice parts without talking about someone getting snubbed because they dusted some lady’s character 15 years ago, cause like, some people don’t let shit go… and many will hurt others out of spite or because they can.

For some of the deeper rooted problems this game faces to have a chance of being repaired, EACH side of this grudge/favoritism spectrum must be thoroughly examined… and repaired.

Thanks for reading. OH,

And here is a video of me discussing grudges and why they’re a problem for the game:
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 04:07:27 PM by Kronibas »


  • Posts: 781
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #52 on: March 03, 2023, 03:49:59 PM »
Players are the foundation of this game…no players?  No need for staff.  And…the most primitive organizations have had a chief, a headman, a king, or some ruling person or body of people…a staff of sorts. 

I would like to know the event(s) that started this Armageddon epiphany.  I read ”guesses, maybes, my understanding of”…  I would like to hear the facts from some staff member(s) in the know.  A great first step into transparency.   Some sort of summary would work for me.   It is important to know exactly what the problem is before you can discuss or decide on a resolution to the problem.   Open up the curtains and let the players see what is going on.

Are we dealing with harassment, sexual assault, innuendo, consent or the lack of, cheating the game rules, insider information, what is going on?  Is this widespread?  Been happening over a period of years?  Answers please.

I am one of Kronibas’s unwashed that he talks about…I have played 20+ years and have 2 karma.    I have not been angrynor loud about it, neither here nor in requests.  I just typed out a summary of my last karma check but erased it.  This not about me.  I love this game.  Do what it takes to save it.
I'd rather be lucky than good.


  • Posts: 459
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #53 on: March 03, 2023, 04:01:15 PM »
The change I want to see is an end to the heavy-handed moderation and information control efforts, because it's the internet in 2023 and both are incredibly detrimental to the games image and the glaring issue of trust. The staffs obsessive need to assert control over the dwindling number of players with bureaucratic bullshit is one of the core things that needs to change.

Let people say what they want and need to say in your thread, Hal. The feedback you need to return the game to a healthy state isn't going to be found here, otherwise.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 04:14:14 PM by Vwest »
Someone says, out of character:
     "Sorry, was a wolf outside, had to warn someone."



  • Posts: 1465
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #54 on: March 03, 2023, 04:22:16 PM »
This is a place-holder.  I will edit-post possible suggestions for solutions later.

In the meantime, four comments that are only meant to provide perspective.

1)  The rule for this thread not to single out any individual, whether with positive or negative comment, is causing ArmageddonMUD moderation and image difficulties.  If a player wants to provide feedback and a solution about a specific action or occurrence that only one person might have been engaged in or involved with, even without mentioning the individual's name that post will likely be moderated out.  Unless moderators can gently adjust such posts to be less specific, the posted contribution ends up trashed and the other readers might feel that something is being concealed.  This is a problem.

2)  I believe my fellow players now more than staff and I don't even like most of my fellow players.  The straightforward reason:  When people that I respect have had severe conflict with ArmageddonMUD staff, the player's version of events has more than once proven accurate, verifiable and condemning. 

The staff's initial response in several incidents involved punitive muzzling of the player making the claim, in-game punishments for the player making the claim and lingering negative after-effects to other player who supported the player's claim.  These are statements made by people I believe to be ethical, backed with evidence reluctantly presented only after every other good-faith constructive avenue available to them was blocked.  This is a problem.

3)  I am furious that there are credible claims that staff have been caught cheating again.  The rules presented to the playerbase were pretty clear-cut: 

Staff may play PCs as any other player may but with a few special restrictions and one bonus:

  Bonus - Staff may have more than one active PC, but no more than one online at any moment.
  Staff will not play in clans they directly oversee. 
  Staff will not play Sorcerors, Mindworms, Nobles, Templars, GMH family members or Clan leaders as their own PCs. 
  Staff may animate a special-use Resource NPC in one of the above special positions, but only for a limited time and only for a specific defined purpose.  Resource NPCs may not be used to harm player characters.  Harm was defined not as just killing, but also included damage to reputation, wealth, status or opportunity. 

These rules were presented to the playerbase as a solution to previous staff abuse.  Staff have stated that previous violations of these rules had caused problems and trust issues, but that future staff adherence to these rules would prove a correction measure and rebuild trust.  If staff are violating those rules, this is a problem.

4)  ArmageddonMUD might conceivably have some liability for harm done to a player after having provably received numerous previous complaints about unethical or illegal behavior by members of its staff with no corrective action.  Ignoring liability, reputation depends on whether people expect you to do the right thing or the wrong thing.  Reputation is what determines life or death of a MUD. This is a problem for ArmageddonMUD.

Sitting in your comfort,
You don't believe I'm real,
But you cannot buy protection
from the way that I feel.


  • Posts: 336
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #55 on: March 03, 2023, 04:24:58 PM »
If we assume that people have mostly followed the system, then this is where the design gets us. The rules, set-up, structure of meta-Armageddon have failed everyone to some extent. Otherwise this type of lockdown and feedback stuff wouldn't need to happen.

Going into the future, let us single people out.
I don't want to play this game of one staff member represents the staff as a whole, they don't. We're just being forced to say they do even if we don't feel that way; because we will be moderated for it. You guys shouldn't want to take the blame for what someone else did either. At this point I guess what? I call out the whole staff as being sex pests? God I wish the entire staff didn't abuse their power to stalk certain players over and over again. This feels so silly to tip toe around, and I feel bad blaming random people for things they didn't do.

Staff avatars getting their items approved is like technically not cheating, but it's really borderline when those items are insane. 1 stone daggers that hit as hard as a voulge. A miscreant could 1 shot people with their backstab, no poisons required. Those were so dumb before the nerf. This connects to the greater staff avatar problem. So does the fact that staff befriend each other. So they want to play together. Then you get multiple avatars in the same clan. Now there's a whole team OOC and IC working together. It's just -so- ripe for abuse. And abuse has been had, over and over again. If we want to go on about not singling people out then the entire staff should lose this privilege due to a few bad apples.

Speaking of playing the game; heavy-handed OOC meddling by the entire staff team really sucks. It's honestly worse than having a staffer that you only know exists because they respond to reports like every 3 weeks. Being told by the entire staff that you need to be in constant conflict, can't be rich, and you need to fire the person you just hired is actual ass. It's fucking maddening to hire someone, then find them the next irl day, and pretend your PC has had a lobotomy so you can fire them. Another thing that sucks is being told it's possible to have some long term goal, and if you work at it it'll happen. You get it approved in a report. Then staff rotation happens, and the next staffer 180s everything, because they don't want to do it.

Adding on to staff rotations... why can it get fucked up? Why does it just not happen sometimes? Why do you get stuck with a staff member you don't want for an irl year? You can look forward to rotations, but not if they don't actually happen.
Paired with some of the previous stuff it makes you want to quit the game. This is the WORST for sponsored roles. You can't leave that clan, and if you love the PC? Too fucking bad. This is straight up a lose-lose. Players feel fucked over, and you guys make more work for yourself when you need to sponsor another role.

It should probably be an 18+ game. Social attitude is different today. You can be a rapist, you can be  slaver, you can mudsex 16 year olds, etc. It's uh, kinda mature.

Arm stuff should just be available for everyone to view, transparency. Game logs, messages, staff forums, and request tool stuff. Whatever else. Everytime some ass hat is like the whole staff is cheating (like me in this post) you guys should just slap them with logs. Problem solved in a healthy way. That level of transparency would just let you guys prove no funny stuff is happening, and then we'd KNOW we can trust you all. As is, players can allege anything, and you guys can't show anything that says otherwise. You can only put your foot down and go no, nuh-uh. You can't demonstrate that you all aren't sex pests. If you guys NEED to call us shit heads you can still just do that in DMs, emails, or private discord.

The GDB needs a like function. I want the upd00ts. Reaction emojis would be good too.

Announcements need to reach the player in every way possible. It's possible to never use the gdb or discord and play. There have been times when kosher things turned into bannable things, and you might not ever know. Like the N word being banned in game after being used for years.

Clans being put into the blender isn't super fun. No one wants ask for a day off to log in for an rpt, sit around for 3 hours for people to show up, and have most of the clan die in an event. I think the Byn has the biggest problem with this, at least historically. I like playing my PCs more than whatever fun the rpt could possibly be. This just makes me want to avoid every rpt.

In order to not have nightmare difficulty PR events happen again we probably should have some kind of votekick option on staffers. Paired with high level transparency, this wouldn't be abused. If we want to votekick a sex pest, then give them a chance to show that they aren't. Maybe it was just a fake news campaign against them by some haters. Right now, all any staff can say is nuh-uh. That's horrible, and we should let people stand up for themselves.

Again, this spot we all find ourselves in now is the result of the system in place.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 04:28:51 PM by Medivh »
Backstab is actually the only dialog option an assassin has.


  • Posts: 10807
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #56 on: March 03, 2023, 09:22:58 PM »
Perhaps another meeting is in order.

With a special panel of voted moderators?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 09:25:11 PM by MeTekillot »


  • Posts: 9402
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #57 on: March 04, 2023, 12:55:21 AM »
Hi Armageddon Mud Staff. I have been thinking about this thread for awhile. I was on the fence about even contributing. I am feeling very angry, sad and frustrated about what has been done about players who were punished for pointing out blatant staff errors. I really hate that some great writers and movers/shakers in this creative project have picked up and left because of carelessness and neglect. I don't agree with your choices in the most recent matter. I think you should unban the people you banned. Really.

Ok. So that said, I see some people still trying. I see some people still caring. I see that there seems to be a process in place that you are following. I know these things take time. I have had a long cooldown period. I have not so recently been hurt that I can't engage at all. I have so many complicated feelings and memories about this game. But just for the good ones, one last time, let me give this a shot.

Part I - Broad Strokes

I am not going to give you feedback on what specifically to do in this part of my post. I think a lot of more recently informed people are doing a great job with that in this thread. Instead I want to speak from my own experience to give you systemic, foundational advice that I hope you will be able to adapt to your purposes to build something cleaner, more ethical, and less stressful for everyone. Because I don't know where you want to go with this online game thing anymore, but (and I am saying this as kindly as I can) you seem to be doing a godawful job of getting there.

I am speaking broadly and in an outline format, because this is a forum post, and I have limited space. I am trying not to sound like an idealistic know-it-all or like you can wave your hand and easily accomplish any of this. I know it is backbreakingly hard work to accomplish a successful restructuring of any kind, and that's without a massive P.R. issue on the table. 

That said, at this point in my life I do feel confident that these principles work in small community volunteer run spaces because I've used all these principles in various small community volunteer run spaces (not this one obviously.) I am also a senior live ops game designer at a mobile games studio and do community management consulting on the side if that matters. If anyone wants to dig deeper into any of these suggestions at some point with me, I am available to chat more. Otherwise, take what you want from this and leave the rest, it is offered in good faith. I hope something in here will be useful to somebody somewhere.

Analysis: At a basic level, Armageddon is a loosely structured, volunteer run, hobbyist organization. The staffing team operates in what seems to be a vaguely democratic but mostly individualistic way, with personal interests driving most actions. As hobbyists, your time is limited, and your bandwidth for large projects is low. To succeed/grow this project, you must have a better way of sorting out your priorities and cooperating with your collaborators. Everything I am suggesting below is written with that in mind.

What are your core values? You have no CEO, central visionary, or final-say type leader for this organization. As a result, team cohesion becomes a major stressor, and your userbase suffers because of it. Projects get dropped when someone loses interest or quits, plots fall apart when clan administration changes. This breeds bitterness, confusion, uncertainty, and resentment. You lack a north star to follow that will keep your project pointed in the same basic direction, even as the usual attrition and project failures continue, because they will. This is nobody's fault, because staffing (and playing) this game is nobody's job. Everyone can leave whenever they want.

I would like you to collectively discover your core values for this game, and work them into your documentation and staffing curriculum. As far as I know, Armageddon has no core values other than Murder, Corruption, and Betrayal, and those may be excellent values for a thrilling tale, but they are terrible values for a game community.

Core values are not rules. They are the story you are telling yourselves and the foundation on which you build your project. When you discover what they are, all future volunteers should be selected based on their understanding of and agreement with your core values. They should be trained in how best to uphold your core values as a volunteer. Your core values have nothing to do with gameplay or in-character behavior. They are used to guide your design choices, your roadmap, your projects, your ethics, and your interactions with your userbase/each other. As an example, your core values could be something like...

1. Story First - We strive to prioritize the narrative.
2. Time is Precious - We cannot do everything. We are here voluntarily. We respect our own energy and spend it wisely.
3. Top-Down Empathy - We treat everyone with civility, respect, and kindness, especially if they hold less power or have less knowledge than we do.
4. Radical Transparency - We answer questions honestly and completely. We show our work.
5. This is For Fun - Collectively created entertainment is why we are here.

They could also be something completely different. The above is only an example of some possibilities. I have no idea what you might come up with. Your core values could be about community growth or plot frequency or engineering priorities or worldbuilding or any old thing you like. But you should agree on them, they should be concise and easy to remember, and everyone should know what they are. You could have one core value. You could have one hundred. I would suggest at least three. I think ten is approaching too many.

Put them on the website. Put them in your helpfiles. Put them in your community spaces like this discussion forum and the discord. And then (this is the hard part) adhere to them, and keep on doing so until you collectively decide they no longer serve you. I recommend a yearly checkin.

Build better boundaries. There are a lot of feelings in passion projects. This is great and very important for a hobby, especially a collective one - it is what allows it to keep going. And people who go on to want to administrate these projects tend to be even more passionate about them in some way.

But the more passionate people are, the more likely disagreements are to crop up, and the more frustrated people have the potential to be. I strongly suggest you sort out a systemic way for people to back off when they need to and then opt back in when they want to, and have that system be honored and respected.

I don't know what this looks like. You need to discuss it. It could be a flagging system - users and volunteers can flag/unflag what + who they want to engage with and not engage with. I've seen a detailed consent system proposed, that's a great idea. It could be a "pause button" that lets players retire and then unretire their characters for a pre-determined amount of time. It could be a collectively greater willingness to pivot or collaborate on gameplay, or a willingness to let players share sponsored roles the way staff shares npcs. It could be building much greater fluidity in to staff assignments. It could be no-staff-saturdays or community-maintenance-mondays. Who knows. So many options! Whatever it is, have some kind of system in place to encourage/support people in politely stepping back, with others available to pick up the slack, whether that is on the player side or the volunteer side. You want to avoid burnout and resentment on all sides of the equation. The only thing any of us can truly control is ourselves. Lean in to that.

Collaborate more. I will be honest. It doesn't matter what your public image is or what you do/do not do re: marketing/advertising/user aquisition. It is extremely unlikely you will achieve much more meaningful growth for this game in its current form. The pool of players you have is not going to get much bigger or change much, and that's even if you had the best, most amazing team in the world running things here. The market for what you are doing is vanishingly small, and getting smaller. You are all probably well aware of this already, but I'm not sure how much strategizing you've done to make this fact work for you.

Because the good news is, the staff:player ratio you have is VERY narrow compared to a larger game. It's even small compared to most muds. I don't know what it is, but it has to be tiny. 1:5? 1:10? At my current studio, our staff:player ratio is something like 1:50,000. We can offer almost no personalized support or development, even though we're all being paid. There's just way too many people on one side of that equation.

You do not have this problem. A small ratio is fantastic from a community standpoint. It means that it is much, much easier to talk to each other, get to know each other, keep an eye on each other, and work together. I invite you to think of volunteers + players not as two opposing forces on either side of a wide chasm, but a group of people sitting in a big circle. I'm sorry, I know that is a very woo thing to say and will annoy people, but I'm serious.

With that mental image in place, consider extending more collaboration opportunities to the rest of the group. That doesn't mean more GDB polls or sponsored roles. That means sharing the load of running this game with your users instead of doing everything for them. I think over the past years you have been starting to do this with the builder system and inviting players to write documentation, etc. All excellent.

But I think you should go further. Maybe that means more player moderators (val had some really good ideas for moderation strategies in their post which would dovetail nicely w/ this.) Maybe you give some players the power to answer some requests or approve applications. Maybe you engineer more storytelling opportunities/abilities into sponsored roles or even regular roles. Maybe karma also comes with the ability to do limited room edits or load items. Smudge that line between what a volunteer is and what a player is until you're not sure it's even there. Turn this place into a collective instead of a hierarchy. It will help the players feel more empowered and help the overloaded volunteers stop white-knuckle driving this thing into the ground while letting egregious, monstrous violations of the rules slip past them. The way you've set the system up means that losing even one hyper-engaged person staff side is inconvenient, even if they're being huge gross dorks who deserve the boot.

I know this is my most drastic suggestion. It is hard to frontload this stuff and screen for bad actors. But it is my honest opinion that you need to change things about how collaboration in this game works on a fundamental level, based on your current numbers alone.

Part II - Fire Your Stalkers

This is the part of the post where I give you very targeted feedback.

If you have predatory creeps on your team, just get rid of them. That's it. That's the whole thing. Don't give them fancy nobles and let them keep going. A lot of other people in this thread have given you great advice about the specifics of how this should look already, so I have nothing else to say on that matter.

If you made it all the way to the end of this post I'm impressed. Thanks for reading.
Child, child, if you come to this doomed house, what is to save you?

A voice whispers, "Read the tales upon the walls."


  • Posts: 1659
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #58 on: March 04, 2023, 01:35:50 AM »
If you want feedback, look no further than the post above this, absorb all of it, beseech LauraMars for further assistance, and invite her to help coordinate and collaborate with the transition of Staff to this new version.

In my personal opinion, the Leader of the game left a long time ago, and that was Sanvean. We have been operating with pseudo-leaders for quite a while, and the cohesive vision of ArmageddonMUD has not been apparent for many years.

My personal suggestion: all Staff should voluntarily step back and resign, with exception to the Producers, until such a time that a cohesive game vision is proposed, approved of by the players, and a transparent hiring process that does not involve nepotism is also approved of by the players.

This game literally cannot go on until foundational aspects of how it is run, and why it is run, are adjusted and brought into the present from its original inception in the 90's.

Nessalin's retirement (god bless him) is a good thing. It is a finality to the 'Old Guard' that ran the game. This is an opportunity to move into the future, to update, to process, and to collaborate.

Or, it is time to close the doors and lock up.

I have been thoroughly unimpressed with all of Staff's response to this, both individually and as a "Governing Body" and most importantly, as caretakers for this hobby that many of us called very important to our formative lives.

That 'Some Staff Find our Policies to be just fine', and that it was felt necessary to say that, is stunning. Your policies are not fine. They need to be rewritten. Now. Not later, not in a month, not in a year.

Before any of you do anything at all in 'The Game', you need to not only work on yourselves, not 'on' the community, but 'with' the community. You are not our superiors. You are our peers, and we feel a betrayal of both trust and judgement.

Meet us on the level, on the square, or not at all.
Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.

--Immanuel Kant


  • Posts: 2750
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #59 on: March 04, 2023, 02:20:37 AM »
I had something written and LauraMars did it better. I support her post fully. It's an excellent blueprint.
Armageddon is best when it's actually harsh and brutal, not when we're only pretending that it is.


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #60 on: March 04, 2023, 09:15:20 AM »
When the shit hit the fan on whatever recent drama unfolded which is not being detailed here, I wasn't checking the GDB, and I am not on Discord. That blinds me from the details of the atrocities that may have been committed, or not, and therefore I am not going to post on that.

There have been some posts here which clearly do contain behind them the knowledge of some detail of what has happened; some of those posts are now moderated, which is creating a good, healthy reaction from others here to point out the apparent lack of transparency and the issues that raises.

The themes of the excellent posts made by LauraMars, Valeria, Synthesis, and others who shared their own RL experience with handling leadership dilemmas such as the ones being faced by Armageddon are the best summaries possible for a reasonable action plan to handle these issues going forward. Some more minute issues such as how the game plays, game balance issues, and so on, are not the intended focus of this discussion but the value of our new players cannot be understated, so when new players perceive barriers in how the game works mechanically, or want to better understand the reasons behind out IC/OOC divide rules and where they need to change, were also invaluable since they are also a part of our future if this game has one.

My own opinion of the situation is that there are three main topics in this discussion and so I'll place my thoughts under those categories as much as I can:

1.) Bitterness from players who are either banned, about to be banned, have been banned and are back, and the silencing of them: and feel or dread the sting of those interactions. This bitterness can make players difficult to interact with, both for other players and for staff. Bitterness has so far been addressed by instituting long term bans primarily, but the partial ban state of allowing someone to play the game but not allowing them to post with XYZ account on the GDB or discord is also something that I know happens, but I am unsure I see the healthiness of that avenue. I also know that bans don't work in the modern era and that with VPNs and whatnot you cannot silence any voices. Not to mention even closing this forum down didn't silence voices and won't; silence is not a policy that is sustainable for this community and the silence as a theme being toxic and reducing the viability of this game overall is a very important theme that other players have better thought-out solutions to. This is why, like many prior posters above, I'll give the following ideas:
- I support a notion of mass unbanning and re-opening of the community discussion, but also have the below ideas to prevent unwanted windfall:

- Put a delay timer on all GDB posts before it is visible to other forum users who aren't moderating. Yeah, it'll slow down the conversations a lot, but giving the active/online moderator about 30-60 minutes to review anything quickly before posting to ensure it doesn't violate the rules will be a failsafe to allowing people to have a voice again. Alternative version: You might want to consider this timer only be put on "restricted access accounts," because to have a voice and the freedom to express yourself at all is better than an attempt to ban someone and only end up worsening the problem that way or not even preventing it effectively to begin with.
- I like the idea of limiting our total post count in this thread, actually, and think that the over-representation of certain voices who post a lot or know how to quickly riposte and retort in post after post unfairly dominates a lot of our conversations. Maybe all accounts should be limited to a few posts per subforum or something, because well thought out ideas are better than emotionally charged personal attacks, and knowing that your ammo is finite will help all of us to cool our heads and better express ourselves. "You've just posted within the past 30 minutes; we encourage you to review any prior posts and edit them, but you can next post a new reply or thread in X minutes" might be how this combines with the above idea.
- At the very least, consider all of the above limitations in a strict form (such as a delay timer before visibility) especially in any subforum which is focused on the game's code, the gameplay, strategies to play, details of magick, or ongoing plots. Allow us a chance to discuss something that we know might be sensitive, without us being afraid of being banned for posting something against the rules; instead, just keep those "IC discussion, may be deleted" content types separate but still therefore encourage the opportunity to bring up stuff that borders on more IC or code-sensitive discussion.

2.) Staff power and staff playability (for being a player as a staff member) conflicting with the nature of "fairness" in the game: There have been a lot of specific suggestions of ways to better handle this, and I assume this means that the inciting atrocity that led to all of this revolves around staff being players in some way. In this vein there have been great ideas of limiting staff ability to be a player while being staff, but as a passionate roleplayer myself I don't think I see the practicality of handcuffing staff enjoyment. I do see the practicality of keeping staff out of power roles, but I also believe there must be a reason that power roles are restricted in the ways they are to be held by staff or certain players (likely, past "bad experiences" from players with too much power and staff as well), so I can't say I have the "right answer" of balance here. What clearly might help is if there were more transparency about who got certain roles or not and if not, why and how they might get those roles they want in the future. Overall, I think the ideas from posters above me are better able to handle these concerns, but I don't have answers to whether or not a request-tool driven communication system is best or if more transparency is always best or not; I think I'll leave it to the folks whose real experience with the game and in real life have given them more skills in managing group decisions, transparency and player communication. Ideas such as a player council or player representatives mediating conflict were most interesting to me but clearly there will need to be some knowledge gap still and that means this isn't "equal" power and isn't an equal playing field, but it'd be a step in the right direction. The establishment of core values moving ahead and how to address these issues more fairly is at odds with a lot of the old-guard values of this game, but the community now seems more open to change than ever in this regard so I am pretty sure we have a nearly unanimous agreement that it's time to try some new things.

3.) I really urge all players to read into this last comment most: Ya'll are playing a game that is about dwarves and bones and sand, and yet you're applying a very rigorous, educated set of ideas and aspirations for this game which should be, in the end, just a hobby, for all of us. There are lofty ambitions in the tone of a lot of posts that I know won't pan out because we all have real life jobs and families to think about to some degree, or more basically, we all need to better care for ourselves. I am not singling out anyone in this part; there really have been too many instances to count of players who cannot treat this game like a game, probably because incredibly complex and compelling and immersive stories are often told here and appear to matter for more than they are, but I don't believe that seeing Armageddon that way has ever done the game good. We all really need to remember this game is a text based roleplaying adventure, not a microcosm of the real world. That doesn't mean that the game is a place where abuse is okay, or that acts that count as harassment or other crimes are allowed here, no. It just means that a suspension of your own expectations in favor of a casual, positive, and mutually respectful game environment needs to dominate, and not the other way around.

In every way, the above statements also apply to staff and how they interact with players, but the increasing seriousness of the rhetoric to include issues of lawsuits and so on, is, definitively, the wrong way to feel about the game's positive-looking future. If someone really did have a personal affront that borders on criminal action taken against them, consult with a lawyer and see what they say. However, most of us are just trying to restore something we have a nostalgic fondness for here.

In that mindset, no, I do not want this game to die. Anyone who states or feels that they "want" the game to die, should really not be here discussing anything or playing it. If that's how you feel, then it's time for you to quit the game and move on to other hobbies; you've got many good options out there. That's the one case, those individuals who are seeking the end of the game or want the game to suffer or fall apart, where I agree with a "hardlining" staff opinion that it doesn't belong here; however, I still feel like those people should be allowed to post and speak their minds for the sake of the future improvement of the game if they want, since silencing them will not succeed in stopping their efforts, and will in fact only encourage them to keep trying.

Edited to add: After reading the decision about taking Shaloonsh off staff and announcing it, I think that sounds like a very good call, and I greatly appreciate the decision being announced also. Accountability is a good thing. Seeing that gave me a lot of hope that oversight does exist to help balance  the power dynamic of staff and player interactions.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2023, 04:01:48 PM by Harmless »
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #61 on: March 04, 2023, 12:52:54 PM »
This is My Community:

I started playing in January of 2008. It's March of 2023. I've been playing for 15 years. In 2010-2011 I was a Storyteller. First overseeing Tuluk then overseeing Desert Elves for like two seconds. My husband's apparently been playing since like 2003 or maybe earlier. My descs formed all the soldiers in Tuluk at one point, and I believe the Sanctuary is still much as it was last time I put it in for a player.

I've played it on and off throughout these years and in 2017 had a hiatus for sexual related stuff with npcs as well. Honestly, I could care less about what happens organically IC with characters, but I should feel safe to know that no animations are going to take a sexual turn without my OOC pre consent. How can we minimize this? For the entire 15 years I have been playing, players have been asking for consent flags. Not to be impolite but instead of getting 5000 items rebalanced can we get consent flags? Please? Pretty please? After 15 years and public sex scandals? Something you can 'check lanky flags' 'oh shit they don't even want to get flirted with, and that's fine, some people have sexual trauma'. I don't think the answer is to take the option to participate in R+ rated content out of the game, I think the answer is to honor the feedback that the playerbase has been giving for a decade and a half on how to handle delicate content. This can even extend to stuff like having torture acted out if people wanted, I'd be into that, but definitely let's do consent flags.

This is Your Community:

It didn't go away during my hiatuses. It changed and went on without me, with the culture shifting and moving on. During the off periods, the first of which actually started with having <nonspecific staff> post a link mocking me on a feedback thread 11 years ago, 2 years after I had been on staff myself.

For almost ten years the game changed and went on with me as various random identities before I was invited to come back and assured that animations like the one that occured that led to me and my husband quitting for a while in 2017 couldn't happen anymore (that this was against the rules now), to hear the details of the way that a character billed as a resource pc was allowed to react without any sort of oversight toward someone they had real life history with, that the character was so deceptive conceptually and conceptually dishonest. That hurts. That hurts that this is what your community has come to. Worse still is the expectation that all of those on the top side knew everything. That's rarely how these things work. I imagine everyone in this situation feels gobsmacked and betrayed and like it's a little hard to breath and is trying to gather their thoughts. It's taken me days.

This is Our Community:

I've been on the Shadowboards when it was unpopular and here I am when it's unpopular. I have a habit of fighting for the little guy. And make no mistaking it, whatever the aim, the result of staff in this recent blowup scandal meeting it with a strict opaque line of silence and authoritarian 'letter rather than spirit' interpretation of things to silence discussion in official channels, unofficial channels will flourish.

Our community was deceived. Our community is hurting. Our community wants to reach out and has no idea how because they feel like they should have seen it if they can bring themselves to believe it. The whole community, guys. That's how this works. I had an uncle who I grew up in the house with. He turned out to be a criminally insane monster who tried to set his pregnant girlfriend on fire. MORE THAN ONCE it would turn out, some how. And I lived with him. I should have seen it coming, right? That's not how people like that work, man.

How Do We Make Things Better:

While logged in, be visible. Your avatars obviously aren't IC but there's legit no reason not to be visible if you want to be accountable. If you want it obvious when you're afk or busy, get chatgpt to help you write code to add the tag to the who list wherever that would go. 'Oh but if I'm in the room'. That's the 'at' command, yo.

Auto flag accounts at 6 months, 12 months, 18 months with karma. If someone proves to be breaking the game with an option you can take it away. No staff trust. I'm sorry. That's authoritarian as shit. That allows both favortism and grudges. Let's make this fair for everyone and take away the toys they abuse rather than refuse to give them toys. It's our community. It's everyone's sandbox, no?

Everyone's supposed to get the same amount of staff support, looking at staff numbers versus (now) player numbers, I think maybe let everyone have one 'story action' each month, as like, a measure of how far and much they can advance plots (leaders maybe get bonus ones), and I am using custom crafting as a measure here. Maybe you get a room changed, maybe you are getting an item made, maybe you are getting some custom ritual tattoo. Each of these is something that could be done relatively briefly but would make an amazing difference for players knowing they could pursue it.

Now, this is unorthodox but hear me out: Open up all the Allanaki Noble Houses. Open up Nenyuk. Open up House housing through Nenyuk for players again. It already exists. It's rad. It's a big special thing walled off from players. If they're going to control things, let them be something that the other players can work against or sway to their side. Make all GMH and Noble House special roles open, but by Role Application only. So you have to work out the details with staff beforehand. Get set up with pensions, clanning, jobs, board access and a bedroom. 5 items relevant to the role can be chosen during back and forth.

There is a strange light in the sky and it proves to be a stone. No one knows why but it makes elves 10+% (of their range) stronger (and half-elves 5%). The effect carries forward as an effect of the stone existing. Someone told me about an elf of theirs that could not hold a bottle. In a world that's so rough everything evolved psionics too, I imagine that evolution would beg for humanoids to at least be strong enough to hold a bottle as an adult. Because that would have to weigh less than a three to five year old child of their species. Which any able bodied adult ought to be able to hold.

You want to see players flood cities, let everyone play the noble and GMH pc at once that they've wanted to make. Hell. Give all their GMH family pcs a choice of one specific skill that can be branched. Literally give one player the ability to point at the room with the crap in it in Luir's and clean that up in a month. Same with the front of the bar. This isn't... I mean, players need to be empowered here. Also, don't cap clans in this or cap them at 10 or something HIGH. Because if you get, say, six Tor pcs, you could have them jockeying for rank teaching at the Academy, and, work between Borsail and Salarr.

Final Thoughts:

There's also an ugly double standard with the iron curtain about 'just players' culturally, that it's hard to actually perceive if you haven't been on the staff of another MU*. Just 100%. From the 'we are volunteers' culture, to the iron curtain, to the insistence that players not discuss IC information with one another but doing so freely staffside. Now, it's fine if the player doesn't wish to discuss things, but the expectation that players be held to a lesser standard than staff is not super duper duper cool. But getting rid of sponsored roles (not entirely, I'm sure there can be specific story pcs staff want) and allowing everyone to app in with caps would encourage city everything to flourish I feel. There is an expectation that players not talk about IC events where staff do, knowing full well that players do. And the Find Out IC culture has led to so much advantage for vets, just, generally. I love the analyze change for its work in leveling the playing field in one aspect. How can we extend this to others?


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #62 on: March 04, 2023, 02:39:09 PM »
A) Drop the iron curtain IC/OOC
 - I have plenty to add, perhaps later, but others have made points.
B) Player Union
 - This is a community.
C) Hire staff on 6 month contracts
 - Firing someone can be high stress and confrontational, but as a high volume event staffer I've only had to do it a few times due to the contract nature of the industry (experiential event marketing) I am typically able to just...not rehire people for the next contract. Obviously there are situations that can rise to immediate removal/firing, but when there is a set end to a contract, non renewal can be non confrontational, while retaining the staff's morale and inspiring them to improve. It can organically freshen up staff members and give them breaks before pulling them back into another contract. Staff roles could be role calls rather than permanent.
D) Hold authority (staff) to higher standards than those with less power (players)
 - To me this seems simple, but it is not the way things are done in our general society when anyone gets any ounce of power.
 - It would mean a lot to me to see additional effort here.
 - It's also incredibly challenging...especially for all of us folk who are so invested hyperfocused.
D) Remove Staff Anonymity
 - When "Someone" or "a staff member" sends you any communication staff become monolithic and indistinguishable.
E) More Transparency
E) Assign someone or helpers for optional Debriefs
 - After a pk, being pked, or losing a character, it could be helpful.
 - I'm still resentful about the way I was treated by both players and an ex staff member almost six months ago. It's all in reports and I didn't behave my best either (which is fuel for the resentment) and I still feel on can see it in the way I respond and write. It was awhile back and I've made some adjustments, and it would still be nice to talk about it, but it's less than a year....
 - This could be staff or a player. They don't have to do anything or give any resolution...just "yeah...I hear you...that sucks...yeah...well...I'm not going to do anything for you, but I heard you" can be huge.
F) Consider discouraging and softly banning ERP
 - It's not that sex, sexual language, or kinks are bad, but our society is so sexually charged and focused that it is a much bigger deal than any other forum of harassment.
 - Hearing about a player using stealth and other code to voyeur ERP scenes made me and other players feel dirty and uncomfortable enough to challenge it, despite neither of us being involved in said scenes.
 - I'd say "this doesn't affect me" because I don't erp, but I might be more inclined to allow my characters to develop a romantic relationship with another character if ERP was outside the norm instead of possibly expected.
 - This could even be done canonically if Zalanthians decide that sex is gross or are only procreated magicaklly (yes, now you need your local templars magick to have children)   or ... whatever other reasoning.
"It's like some of us want to watch Xena and invite our kids to play in this hobby, others want to watch Game of Thrones, and somehow someone took over and Caligula is everywhere blurring consent."

G) (code) Mudmail
 - Huge playability increase, more likely to rengage with rp and with other characters, less ooc to ic confusion about logged in vs logged out
 - Virtually everyone has psionics
 - Yeah I can't wayy my boss or my partner because um uh let me tell you an IC reason that means something OOC. My boss 'rests' a lot.
 - Offpeak players can engage more
 - - Rumor boards should be accessible offfline or though the mud system without logging into the room. I'm sure some bored drunk in Luirs is wayying his buddy in Red Storm...they're the ones repeating all the rumors anyways because they sit in the tavern all day long...they're an npc!
 - - Nearly rambling here but I just think that psiconics being so prevalent should have more effects on public information.
H) (code) Expanded death scenes beyond the BEEP
 - This has also been previously discussed and while is not as critical for the community relations it could soften the blow and allow for better endgame scenes. When the game BEEPs at you, and you don't know why as a player it's a very anticlimactic end to an invested story. Some adjustment of that may alleviate a lot of situations.
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  • Posts: 1712
Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #63 on: March 04, 2023, 07:25:26 PM »
I did not want to contribute to this thread since I prefer to avoid OOC chat and drama threads. I prefer to stick to chatting about code, balance and mechanics of the game.

I will say that the game's code changes have made me willing to make time to play this game again. Mostly because while I think the changes to some mechanics have been good, the balance is still off and wish to do some testing in order to provide better feedback.

As for this bit of drama in the last couple weeks, I would recommend the staff avoid making any sweeping changes to too many staff/game policies. I am sorry but the staff and the community are really bad at balancing and at times tend to swing hard from one direction to another which tends to have unintended consequences.  Do things with moderation.

Other than that, I will make four more points:

1. I have mention for a number of years now that I believe that the design and policies of the game should shift to provide players with more ingame information if its something their class or character would reasonable know or find out. Outside or historical lore or plots points, the need to work with staff to acquire information that your character/class should know or wants to learn is detrimental for the game because it breeds the potential for favoritism. Secret recipes, secret locations, even the names of plants, or information resources or poisons that have been are bad for the game because it gives certain people unfair opportunity in situations where they have a connection to a staff member that favors someone. This information could open up in the same way as mage players having access to a mage only helpfiles on spells they know. Every class should probably have their own unique knowledge/helpfiles that opens up to them if certain conditions are met(eg. such as they enter a room or they pick something up). While we have been moving in this direction, we need to continue to do more in order to avoid instances of favoritism in the game.

Additionally needs to be more rules, policies and scrutiny around how staff awards and grants a character spells, abilities or something else. This is so the process of why one character is getting something while another one isn't is more transparent and fair, and has no involvement in whatever relationship a player has with a specific staff member whether good or bad.

2. For staff I would recommend the following changes:
  • Staff anonymity when talking to people in game should go away. It has painted all staff with the same coat of paint for the bad behavior of a few people.
  • Staff should no longer animate NPC or play high ranking roles with any sort of sexual content. Everyone is okay with it, until they are not, but its staff who are often caught with their pants down, and it hasn't been a pretty sight. If a staff member wants to mud sex, roll a dusty grebber, grind and go wild, but high ranking roles you created for plot or with any sort of IC/OOC advantage should be free of sexual content, no matter how cool the players might with it when you chatted with them in private messages.   

3. For the staff and players in the community in general: Though there is no sexism or homophobia or racism based on skin color this isn't not a lighthearted liberal fantasy game world. There are many themes which are dark, gritty and may be offensive to some. That said, over the years the game has made many concessions and changes to make sure certain themes are more glossed over to make the gameplay a little more culturally appropriate and easier to play for some unfortunately people.  I don't disagree with any of those changes.

However, as players we are asked to leave our RL world biases at the door when we play. However, I feel that some people cannot really leave their RL trauma at the door nor can they separate themselves from the character. A world that glorifies the brutal butchering of a different sentient race than you in an arena is probably not great for their mental health.  The staff and community should be more vocal and honest that this game's themes is not suited for everyone, and at some point someone is better off leaving and trying something else rather than sticking around and becoming bitter or hostile.

4. Finally, the staff and community should not be involved in the toxic aftermath of a divorced couple. There have been some OOC allegations which I feel should probably be going to court either with charges or as a lawsuit. But regardless, we as a gaming community should have not been subjected to that negative damaging information. This is a separate issue to the misbehavior of a staff member which has already been appropriated dealt with by them no longer being in staff. There are some people who are clearly OOCly angry beyond this one issue and their posts ooze both hostility and negativity.  Their posts, rants and behavior really undermine and misrepresent the effort many people have put in this game to improve the overall experience. These people are also not good for the game in the short or long term and should also be permanently banned.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2023, 10:46:34 AM by Dresan »
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #64 on: March 04, 2023, 10:58:02 PM »
Alright having some time to marinate on what went down and all the info that was dumped on various folks and their misdeeds I finally feel comfortable posting in this thread.

So this may come off sorta wishywashy and I'm sorry but it's the best way I can describe how I feel about the situation as a whole.

So one side of the coin, I'm like I'm sure a lot of people, shocked that this extent of bullshit happened and nobody did anything till it got whistleblown on.  I truthfully have had trouble logging in over my feelings of it, and that's saying something because for the most part I'm a pretty, I don't give a fuck about anything, type of guy.  So if something gives me pause like this, it's normally a big deal to crack the armor a bit.

That said, on the other side of the coin, I've been reading some of what others are recommending and there is good shit in here, lots of good ideas and recommendations, but I'm also a realist and tend to be less optimistic than the next guy.  A lot of what is being recommended just lives in lands of "Hopes and Prayers" if you get my meaning, the type of people who think that well intention and rainbows will actually bind something to be what they want it to be.  All the talk of a player advocate and all that is just masturbatory even if staff makes it a thing because the only way that could work is if they have the power to remove people from staff, ban players and staff and all that.  Essentially the highest level staff position and that currently as I understand it lies on Halaster's shoulders because of Nessilin calling it quits. (I could be wrong, I never much understood the difference between a producer, administrator and all that bullshit.)

Now, what I feel could be helpful and increase transparency is to have staff complaints be public, on the forum, maybe not show WHO it was, make the poster anonymous from everyone else unless they choose to identify.  For Example:

(Fictitious Scenario)
Halaster has been PMing me on the boards asking for me to go out with him.  I've declined him twice because he's not my type (A man lol).  I finally decide to post a complaint.

In the staff complaints thread:

Halaster has been messaging me inappropriate things and asking me out despite me telling him three times I'm not interested, see screenshots of my PMs/instant messages etc etc.

(End scene)

Now, it's common knowledge that Halaster has been accused of being a creep, staff can still investigate and do what they do, but it can't be brushed under the rug like it just was for years.  It will force accountability because if a bunch of people start posting about it happening to them and providing proof of it like she did, it will demand action against pervy McPerv over there.

(Sorry Halaster, you're just the only staff that came to mind, he's never done anything inappropriate to me, well except deny my unbanning from discord but small thing.)

Now while the players still can't force an outcome or action in that scenario, at least it's WIDE OPEN that it allegedly happened and hopefully corrective action will be taken to avoid the shitfest like just happened here and with the shadowboard.

As others said too, there should be a whistleblower rule, that overrides the rest of them.  Say you share bit of IC info within a year to point out some wrong, you shouldn't be banned for breaking one rule while reporting someone for something, they should be allowed to provide their proof without fear of banning.  Like say a player of a Templar is constantly failing to obtain consent when he bumps uglies and I'm his soldier, I should feel fine complaining about it without fear I'm gonna get stored or banned for shining a light on Lord Templar Larry Laffer (Probably nobody is gonna get that reference).

I do agree that "Resource PCs" should never be a thing.  If you really want people to have ownership in the various clans and organizations that exist within the game, allow the players to take ownership of them.  The glass ceiling literally shouldn't be a thing.  If Amos the Bynner is alive and in the Byn for seven real life years, he shouldn't be stuck as a LT, he should be able to make game changing decisions, good or bad because he's earned it.  I don't like the idea that I could play some clan and have a random staffer jump into a role they aren't committed to and just do things.  There is a distinct difference of playing a character you're invested in and just putting on a roleplay costume for a day or two.

Find out IC being slapped in new player's faces... While I accept that it's a thing they should look into in character, there are better ways to say that, recommendations of what to do, who to ask where to look.  I started WAY back in the day when it was much more prevalent than it is now, and I remember asking a shitload of honest questions for things that frustrated me and getting Find out IC, Get good newb and all sorts of response that did nothing but sour me on reaching out for help.  That needs to change as well.  It's not what you say, it's how you say it.

There a lot more I'd love to say and easily could, but I don't want to take away from the focus, for years we have been striving to get the trust of staff, to gain whatever Karma or sponsored role we want.  But right now I think it's time for the staff to earn our trust and get some Karma from us, because if what just happened showed us anything, they have not earned it.  Either through favoritism, protection of their fellow staff or straight negligence, they've let this happen.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2023, 11:00:37 PM by Pariah »
"This is a game that has elves and magick, stop trying to make it realistic, you can't have them both in the same place."


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #65 on: March 05, 2023, 03:14:46 AM »
Hello staff and everyone. I have been away from Armageddon for quite some time. For those who don’t know me, I started playing in 2004 and have had two fun but brief-ish stints as a Storyteller around 2008-2009 and 2016-2018 or thereabouts. I bring this up just to put my feedback in context.

When I heard about this whole situation and saw this thread, I thought I might suggest some changes based on takeaways I had from my time here. Sadly, it seems like these kinds of community issues are almost as old as Armageddon itself. Since it has been a while since I played, I won’t try to offer many specific changes but I might recommend some broad strategic changes in the game itself. Some of the below are thoughts I have had for years which have prevented me from returning to invest more time in the game and others are brought on by the recent events.

First and foremost is this: what’s the vision here that the community should look to? Does Armageddon want to be a “game” based on character progression, or a community based around storytelling with RPG elements? Can it be both? It has always straddled the line and created community friction because, in my view, there has never been a clear direction around how conflicts are resolved between people who want to tell engaging stories around murder, corruption and betrayal, and people who want to “win” by killing the most and having the best stats. So many promising stories and characters are cut short in incredibly frustrating ways, and that breeds resentment and dissatisfaction among the player base. If you want to be a text based roguelike with RP elements, lean into that. If you want to be story focused, do more to shift the code into a supporting role. The current model seems to be a hard one to manage.

My own recommendation is to lean into the story elements. In 2023, there seems to be limited appeal to an action-driven text based game, but plenty of ways roleplaying and cooperative/competitive storytelling could still thrive in the medium. This might mean rethinking how stats, skills, and even character death work from the ground up. Perhaps a simple mantra might be to “make every death a ‘good’ death” and eliminate aspects of the game that get in the way of that.

Whatever the direction for evolution is, I think it’s important to set out a model for the game to evolve in to and be transparent about it. Your vision will shape the game community and the players you attract and retain. The mechanics at the core of the game drive how characters interact and how satisfying those interactions are to the players.

Secondly, shift the game community itself toward one that can harmonize rather than be inherently divisive. LauraMars had great things to say on this front and I endorse what she wrote entirely. The staff side, at least when I last experienced it, was very hierarchical, and there was a large, intentional divide between “staff” who have all the power to build and shape the world and be in the know, and “players”, who don’t. Try to flatten that hierarchy. The role of “staff” ought to be to keep the game stable, create the tools used to shape the world, define the guardrails on how those tools are used, organize administrative functions, and shepherd the community toward collaboration and fun. I would make the Storyteller role something just about any player can step in to and out of once they’ve got the hang of the game. I would also get rid of role calls and allow free applications for just about all the family roles. Get staff out of the business of determining what players are “allowed” to play as much as you can, and get them in the business of ensuring the players are having and creating fun when they play.

Thirdly, examine the role secrecy plays in the game and if it is worth the cost of policing and infighting it creates. The “wow moments” when you see a mage or psionicist do something cool for the first time can be exciting, but they can also be confusing and they’re only new once. The really cool potential in Armageddon comes from seeing HOW powers are used in creative ways by talented players, not WHAT the powers are. In my opinion, secrecy is better deployed around plot points that can be revealed (Templar Amos’ slave is really his daughter!) versus game mechanics like trying to hide how exactly Professor X can melt your brain or where to find crimson red dye in the wild. If you do this correctly there should be very little need for divisive “shadow board” elements in the community, which will help bring everyone back together.

So, to sum up: if you remove the strong staff hierarchy, you have reduced a major source of player/staff and staff/staff conflict and hopefully democratized storytelling. If you remove the overemphasis on game secrets, you have reduced the amount of player policing staff must do. And if you set a clearer vision for the role of game mechanics versus story, you have laid out the model for how players and staff should approach the game. What’s left to do is my final point:

Set out clear and incontrovertible rules for community conduct toward one another. Enforce them vigorously on everyone, players and staff included. Make it clear that harassment, belittling, baiting, bullying and any kind of creepy or stalky activity are not tolerated. The best people for the job of policing are often not the ones who have been around longest, nor are they typically coders, nor are they always the best roleplayers or builders. In the past, those roles are how people have landed on staff and then been saddled with moderation duties in addition to their strengths.

I would recommend determining which individuals in the community have a reputation for fairness and perhaps personal experience in community management, and putting those people in the roles of moderator with no other staff responsibilities. The  ability to muzzle or eject someone from the community is a great power and immensely important responsibility in its own right and should probably be separate from all other staffing functions. Those decisions should also be made as transparently as possible and in an auditable way.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk on improving Armageddon. I’d be happy to chat on Discord if anyone would like more elaboration after reading all this.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2023, 08:32:55 AM by Rahnevyn »
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #66 on: March 05, 2023, 09:07:48 AM »
I've been in and out of this community since 99 and I'm only posting this by request from a friend so I'll keep this short.

To me coming back to Arm would take one thing reconciliation. Something I have found that Arm staff have little to no desire to partake in from what I've seen.

I've felt over the years wronged in many ways (perhaps real or perceived who knows), and I've always shared that at Jcarters boards and in videos I've made. Out of all of the ideas here Veselka's resonates with me the most, completely redoing your staff team is what I feel would help Arm the most right now.

It's not a good look that you don't ever communicate outside of 3 places: gdb, discord, and request tool. This makes it seem like you just want control of what is said and perhaps that is not true but perception is important and there is plenty of evidence proving otherwise. Ignoring Jcarters boards for so long was a mistake and going over there would show solidarity and a desire to reconcile with a lot of players there. Regardless if you can "win" them back, that is irrelevant, closing old wounds can help people.

That's all, 've had so much fun at this game and I do hope it gets past this.


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #67 on: March 05, 2023, 12:56:35 PM »
Hey players, hey staff.

I've made my viewpoints and such especially clear in many places but here really. There's a few particular mentalities both on player-side and staffside that I feel need to change or be more self realized. It helps nobody in the community to ignore the various situations at hand and continue on as though nothing major has happened within your unaffected bubble, everyone who plays the game is at least affected by the diminishing player counts happening as a result of the drama.

From the staff-side perspective, I feel like the "rules are rules" mentality that exists whenever situations like these arise in a system that is honestly broken and rife with abuse throughout the years really has to go, just get rid of it. When people feel the need to go outside of the recommended or normal channels within the system to tell their story and out cheating or abuse within the game, they should not have to fear immediate retaliation in the form of karma docking, bans, victim-blaming or insults on the part of staff. They've done you a favor from their perspective, they've spoken out when the broken and abused system ultimately did not allow a proper reconciliation of events to occur. While action should take place, it should be investigatory in nature. You do not have to immediately ban someone from the game when they out a staff avatar, when they've done it for legitimate and justified reasons. There should be reaching out. Within this situation, has there been a singular staffer who reached out to the ones who allege the allegations and ask them to rescind/redact the more "personal" information that was "ban worthy" in the first place, to clip their posts and go through more official channels so the situation could be properly handled instead of being allowed to explode?

When situations like this happen, in public, there should be a process. Instead of being banned the player should face their account possibly being on "hold" while things are being investigated, when they've broken a rule worth a ban in the process of outting staff-side abuse/cheating, and if staff has been found of wrongdoing like they have been here, the people who had outted the cheating and abuse in the first place should face absolutely zero-or-minimal punishment or retaliation for doing so. In retaliating, all you do is further open the system up for someone to further be abusive, stifle voices that would otherwise report through the proper channels, and burn bridges with people who otherwise feel like they're doing what's necessary to stop a cycle of abuse that warranted coming out into the public eye in the first place. Rules aren't just rules when staff hide behind them to punish players and perpetuate abuse. In my opinion, these people should not have to go through an appeals process for their bans, they should be automatically lifted, or for more "egregious" breaks in the rules, should be a temporary ban.

After much of the initial outcry and outrage where people had been hopeful and looking to the situation with a more fresh perspective found their hopes dashed when overzealous moderation took place in the aftermath. Just don't do this. Don't overmoderate. Don't moderate just the people who have understandable outrage over situations like this while letting the toxicity of people who "bootlick" thrive. It undermines every action you take, and just further fuels outrage. Half of this outrage would not have even happened if staff were not overzealous in moderating people. I don't think as a suggestion this one is hard to follow, and if it is, reconsider letting certain staff members have access to moderation tools.

When the players are self moderating a bad faith actor and politely asking them to stop until they become frustrated, punish the bad faith actor for continuing to escalate. Even after being moderated some of these people keep escalating while arguing in bad faith about tangential topics, it's not helpful and is just a method to frustrate others; it should be moderated appropriately. Much of the toxicity I've seen in the discord and on the forum has been directed towards the victims and the original person who made the allegations, when more reasonable people have been trying to discuss things seriously or tiptoe around the conversation, and then said their bit with minimal moderation in the moment before other staffers step in while other staff are in the conversation refusing to moderate vitriolic accusations on their side. It makes the biases of certain staff pretty apparent, it's just lazy, or it's bad social awareness. It's not fair to the people trying to have serious conversations about the issues. Moderate fairly.

Many of my other points I would otherwise have were taken up by people who've said it alot better than me. Hold staffers who abuse their position accountable, the first time, and don't give them a graceful exit. Have better transparency.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2023, 01:03:25 PM by betweenford »


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #68 on: March 06, 2023, 12:21:06 AM »
My own feedback:

I think Staff are jumping through a series of hoops that will not ever end - and I implore them to stop.

I think there are people out there who want nothing more than to air their grievances - and yes, many of them are probably real grievances - over and over, and over, regardless of what is done or how many apologies are given.

I think that many of these people are the same ones who I have seen dozens of times say they no longer give a fuck, hate the staff, hate the players, hate the game but still pop in, over and over, to stir up shit and probably sit back and cackle when they succeed.

If someone in the game is violating the rules in the game - discipline them for violating the rules. If someone is being an utter jackass outside of the game - that isn't the game's problem, nor should staff be required to eat shit over it. I agree with a post made earlier in one of these threads - this isn't about transparency. It's about "woke culture" individuals trying to exert control over something that is frankly beyond their control.

I think that there will always be things in life that people don't like seeing, hearing, reading, tasting, smelling, etc.

In life, sometimes you just have to either remove yourself from the situation or deal with it. But it seems to me that here, in this game, people feel that instead of either a) doing something about it IC or b) simply not playing if it bothers you that much, they would rather see it moderated into the dirt.

I think Staff should realize that no matter what is done, someone is going to be unhappy. You have rules in place that have served the game, more or less, for a couple of decades. Enforce them, follow them yourselves, and forget about those who are always going to demand more. It is not your responsibility to provide a safe space for every damaged human being. Stop apologizing. Because every apology, no matter how heartfelt, is just going to make the same people demand more.

Finally, with regard to those demands that staff never play any sort of sponsored role - I disagree completely. Clearly, being a staff member is a lot of work and involves eating a lot of shit as has been proven. To suggest they should do all of this and be severely restricted on what they play as well? Ridiculous.

You want to play something that will add to the game overall? I support it 100%, provided players have the same level of opportunity and are not excluded because staff wants to play.

I am not part of the so-called "boys club" or really any Armageddon club at all - I have never met a single Armageddon player outside the game, and I could count on one hand how many I ever talk to OOC via Discord and still have fingers left over. I have not been, and probably never will be Staff (why on earth would I want to, with how horribly some of these players seem to treat volunteers).

And I have NEVER been punished without having screwed up first (and I've been punished plenty in over 15 years of playing this game). I have NEVER been declined an opportunity to play something that I applied for, provided I put enough energy and effort into it, there was a spot available, and I was seen as the best one for the job. And I have never been treated with disrespect save one instance that was a clear misunderstanding.

Why? Because I give respect. And I don't lurk about, waiting for something to be pissed off about.


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #69 on: March 06, 2023, 09:08:34 PM »
Hi I'm posting because I'm thinking of playing. I was belligerently banned by one of the staffers who has recently been disciplined. Feedback:
- the resignation / demotion recognizes some malfeasance on the part of these staffers, but I understand why those more egregiously hurt than me want a clear statement condemning the wrongdoing by these staffers.
- we should have mass ban amnesty, or amnesty for those banned by the disciplined staffers, or a clear process for contesting past bans.
- stop banning people for OOC communication on the forums/discord. Mute people instead, and do this sparingly and in a fair manner.
- while I am relieved that a staffer who gave me a whole lot of shit is gone, it's hard to feel good about playing this game again when Bebop was banned for speaking up. It doesn't indicate a cultural shift. I will avoid excessively politicized terms like "victim blaming," but this situation seems glaringly unfair when compared to how similar disputes are handled in workplaces and other organizations.

I've played this game on and off for years, I am not a woke SJW snowflake, nor am I a misanthropic anti-woke curmudgeon. I believe that respect goes both ways and there is still more staff can do to show respect to players. Players also need to show more respect to each other, but shouldn't be moderated as much, because for years the moderation has unfairly punished some players more than others.

Every time I've checked on Armageddon for the past decade, I immediately find players being nasty to each other, staff and players being nasty to each other, and a few people being thrown on the gibbet while other equally guilty people laugh at their execution. The recent drama is exactly the same. Is it any wonder our player-base has been shrinking.

TLDR: more freeness and fairness.


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #70 on: March 06, 2023, 11:35:16 PM »
I've also recently come back to the game after a significant absence, and many of my opinions have already been put forth in eloquent fashion and because of those things I was hesitant to post in this thread.  However, I refuse to have the above post be the last word from the playerbase on this matter. [EDIT: someone beat me to the punch while I was writing this hugely long post so this sentiment is not aimed at them, but my point still stands.]  This is because I want to believe that the views held in that post are not prevelant amongst the players of Armageddon.  They are precisely the views that would once again lead us to the exact situation the community faces now.  If I’m wrong, and those views are in fact common, then this is not the place I want to spend further time on, despite having spent a significant portion of my life here, since the very earliest days.

Being that I’m on the soapbox now, I will reiterate some things that have already been pointed out and proposed that I think are important, but will add some of my own thoughts, as well as some proposals that go further than what have been already suggested.

I’d like to start by saying that I don't recall having any particularly negative experiences with staff during the years I’ve played - they’ve been neutral or positive instead.  I say this with the caveat that while the vast majority of my time has been in clanned roles with some leadership roles, I also have often been an off-peak player, which may or may not have reduced my interactions with staff.  I suspect I often just didn't have the ability to be involved in ongoing plots or to create or drive new ones due to my playtimes, and maybe I just didn't encounter staff interacting with me as much as they would have with others because of that as well.  I've also purposefully avoided interacting with both players and staff outside the game, which may have insulated me further from Bad Things Happening.  Regardless, I've always had respect for the fully voluntary time and work that staff put in.

Before I came back to the game, I had I randomly decided to browse the GDB one day, and the reason why I decided to start playing again was seeing the recent thread by the staff specifically inviting players to provide their thoughts and input on the game (the, "what would get you to play in the cities again" thread), and a recent addition in reponse to a long standing player gripe and request (spec app boosted start characters, both skillwise to avoid grind, and clan positionwise to avoid tedium).  I saw these as evidence of positive developments in terms of staff culture and direction of the game as a whole.

Then there was the staffing changes post, and the whole GDB being shut down for a couple days - like another poster mentioned, I don't believe I've ever seen that happen before.  Reading through the replies in this thread and the other newer non-returning player one, it's obvious something very significant has happened, but I think like most everyone else, I can only guess as to what that is.  There have been very serious allegations mentioned, and if there is any truth to them, they are both horrifying and troubling.  This is all very alarming, and has put serious doubts in my mind about returning to the game and where I thought the culture of the game was.

So, that said - what changes would I personally like to see?


Players have always been separated from the staff by a veil of secrecy.  There were the periodic player-staff meetings, where players were invited to ask questions of staff in a town hall style conversation, there were always discussion threads on the GDB, and sometimes staff would chime in on things giving some insight as to their thoughts and the direction of the game, but generally staff and what they do has always been essentially a black box otherwise.  Unless you were staff or former staff yourself or one of them spilled the beans to a player, only those people knew what was really going on behind the scenes.  This applied to the direction, content and the day to day operation of the game world, player moderation, staff moderation, staff appointments, etc.  There's a ton of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that players aren't privvy to.  Traditionally, the argument for this purposeful obscuring of all of this was that if this information was open to everyone, it would be open to being abused and could ruin ongoing or future plots and the hard work the staff puts into fostering them, it might affect staff/player interactions and open people to being targetted unfairly, etc etc. 

It's always been my view however, that any group that is in a position requiring trust will have a difficult time earning and keeping that trust if there isn't sufficient transparency as to how they operate.  This applies very much to the current situation and overall for Arm in general.  Radical Transparency was put forth as a general idea by Valeria.  While I think the suggestions that have already been put out about this are good, I'd like to reiterate some because of how important I think transparency is, and provide some of my own thoughts on them:

1. Staff rules and policies should be open to all to see.  Appointments/demotions/dismissals/changes to the game and world and the reasons behind them should also similarly be publicly posted.  The players should be invited to comment and discuss all of this as well.

2. Everyone should know who is playing each PC, including, but especially if a staff member is playing a PC.  As has been mentioned, clanned players already have this transparency.  The 1 year talk rule could still be left in place that prohibits players from active collusion and potentially affecting ongoing storylines.  The classic argument against this is that it opens the door to easier player collusion or unfair targetting/abuse, revenge PK'ing, etc.  But I think we all know this already happens to some extent.  It's simply impossible to avoid.  I really wonder - for a long-lived PC that has pissed off a player, how often are there instances that the aggrieved player actually turns around and go after them with a revenge PC?  Those that partake in this sort of thing already aren't going to stop if everyone knows who's playing who, and those that don't, won't suddenly start.  Staff would continue, as they always have, to police things as best they can.  This would also prevent incorrect maligning - where someone assumes incorrectly that they know who the POF a PC is, and acts in an inappropriate manner towards a totally innocent player.  Importantly, it would also reveal who might be acting in an inappropriate manner toward you.  It might even help prevent problematic instances from occurring in the first place, since players have their reputation openly on the line if they try.

3. I would go further here and agree with Badskeelz that staff shouldn't be playing a PC at all while they are staff.  While I recognize that staff being former players obviously enjoy playing as well and that this might make it harder to find new staffing volunteers, I feel allowing this is too easily abusable and has real potential for conflict of interest.  Even if there is extra oversight on staff avatars to prevent Bad Things from Happening, it at minimum creates the perception in the playerbase that abuse could occur which breeds distrust and resentment.  As others have mentioned, TTRPG DM's don't generally play PC's in their own games for similar reasons, but that their joy comes from running the game as a whole, where they can shape and inhabit an infinite number of entities within it to direct and interact with their players in telling their stories.  To mitigate the potential problem re: staff recruitment, staff that have current PC's could be offered storage/unstorage options when they join or leave staff, and if their current PC has aged out, a similar replacement substitute could be provided to them when they leave.  A point was brought up about staff being able to play is valuable for game coding/design, but beyond the fact that presumably staff can already see everything players do (and can further invite direct feedback from them) there seems to already be a test server where things can be tested.

4. Punishment of any sort should be publicly posted but importantly also explained, whether it is imposed on a player or staff.  It was mentioned by Moonlit that this would lead to dogpiling - I disagree that would be the case, at least any more than already occurs.  I believe players (and staff) over the years have found plenty of reason to do that on their own without this kind of transparency already, but instead of doing that based on facts, they do so based on conjecture and assumption, which is much worse.

5. There needs to be a transparent complaint and appeals process available for both players and staff regarding both problematic situations and any punishments issued.  If preferable to a player (or staff!) there needs to be an avenue for someone to make a confidential complaint instead to some sort of trusted player representative, rather than a staff member (or staff as a whole), and then that representative will advocate on their behalf.  It’s crucial that whistleblowers not be antagonized, unless incontrivertible evidence is found that they have fabricated their claims.  Anyone that has been banned in the past should have access to this process as well.  In western societies, courts are typically public, and anyone can attend a hearing.  Court records are also public, and searchable by anyone.  There are very good reasons for this - both to ensure that people obtain a fair shake under the law, and to enable the institutions themselves to be held accountable.  I wonder if this was available for this current situation and whatever occurred historically that was associated with it, would we be here now?  The fact that we still don’t know what really happened, despite the entire community being affected is problematic, and I wonder if that in itself has turned away players and/or returnees.  This will lead into my next topic of discussion.

Oversight and Good Governance

Synthesis mentioned the problem of the bad actor coming into power.  It is certainly a difficult problem, but I do believe the problem can be potentially mitigated.  If putting in some measures might  help, I think it's worth the effort - modern day western societies have many such structural institutions in place which while certainly not foolproof, may help to keep the problem at bay.  As an example, there is great distrust and even outright antagonism of the police forces in many modern day societies.  The police are there to enforce the law.  But who polices the police?  When the police are left to investigate themselves without proper independent oversight, things can easily start to go wrong, but importantly the public lose trust in them as well.

So who polices staff?  As far as I can tell, it is the higher ranking staff that purportedly do so.  While this works so long as the oversight staff are being judicious, it fails when they aren't or are simply too overwhelmed to notice wrongdoing. 

6. The idea of the Player Council has already been suggested by Mansa.  I propose the members of the player council should be nominated and elected via the players.  If it’s not unfeasible, I suggest ranked choice voting or something similar.  Each council member should have a fixed term of one year, renewable for one year further if reelected.  After serving, the council member may not serve again until one year has passed.  A council member may voluntarily step down at any time.  The playerbase may vote to remove a council member and replace them with someone else during their term, on a 3/4+ vote to do so.  The council would serve as an open forum for hearing complaints/appeals and be a mediating and decision making body for player-staff disputes as Mansa suggested, and decisions would be made by it’s members by majority vote.

7. The idea of a player Ombud has also been suggested by a few, but should also further be nominated and elected via the players and/or the player council, but also have further oversight/investigatory powers.  Similar to the council members, the Ombud should also have term/reelection/conduct rules, etc.  The Ombud should beyond what others have suggested have oversight power over staff.  In order to do so, the Ombud should have the same access to staff communications/forums/game logs etc that the highest level staff have as necessary to conduct oversight and investigation into alleged staff misconduct.  The Ombud should be subject to both player rules as well as staff policies.  If staff are to be allowed to play PCs in whatever fashion, the Ombud should be able to as well, with whatever restrictions or oversight staff have.  In the context and with the benefit of having full access, the Ombud should further have the equivalent voice to a staff Producer in all game matters (even so far as the thematic direction of the game and it’s content itself) as the representative voice of the players with the exception of disputes and complaints, where it would have the power to refer such matters and any collected evidence to the player council for deliberation and decision upon completion of an investigation.  This leads me to my next topic.

Collaboration as a Whole

8.  Invite the players to participate and drive real storylines and change in the world.  There have been some positive developments that I’ve seen introduced over the years such as inviting players to become builders, putting out submission calls, or introducing structured custom crafting systems.  But overall, stories of players being stymied and restricted have been a constant refrain for most of the time that I’ve played, and this has been the same for years and years.  In the very olden days of yore, players used to be able to become real movers and shakers in the world.  They used to make real history of note.  It wasn’t necessarily always the staff and “resource PCs” (what are these even?) that took centre stage, but sometimes it really was the players who stepped up and drove central storylines and bade the world evolve alongside them.  I’m not necessarily advocating for the return of the days of Thrain Ironsword, where the Flint’s of old was a wild west free-for-all of metal wielding magickers, halflings and mantis.  But as others have suggested, the glass ceilings put in place upon the playerbase since those days have historically impaired the creativity of the players and their ability to create meaningful storylines.  It should be a collaborative storytelling process, rather than a experiential one - or at least that is always what the the staff has always suggested they’d like to see of the players, yet the artificial barriers erected seem to have often prevented that from happening in the first place.  The players should have a strong voice in moving the world forward.

9. Give players the tools, ability and trust to do so.  I understand that there can be a lot of work that comes with a changing game world.  But piggybacking on LauraMars'/Rahnevyn’s suggestions - this could be offloaded in part or even in whole to the players as well.  Some player plot happens where Luir’s is to be completely destroyed, and staff doesn’t have time to rewrite a bunch of NPC’s/room descs/items/scripts, etc?  Get players involved that want to help!  Need some “resource PCs” to step in somewhere to bring alive some great villian or drive some big change somewhere?  Get players involved that want to help!  There is already a trust system in place.  Karma.  Use it to trust players to get involved in these sorts of ways and more.  It would be a positive way to use this kind of system, rather than the historically negative way it’s been wielded over players.  Staff could still oversee the process, and provide general guidelines.  Maybe the player council could be involved somehow in choosing trusted players (or giving people a chance to become such), etc.  Remove that trust, if and when warranted.  Retcon things, if things really go badly.  But I think if the line between "player" and "staff" starts to blur a bit and we start to place some trust in the players, the same sort of trust we've been asked by the staff to place in them, good things could really happen.


Maybe this is all wishful thinking.  As we’ve seen in the recent threads, we the players don’t even necessarily all agree on how to move forward.  I’d imagine there will be other proposals, other ways of doing things but trying to achieve similar goals.  Even if some things are introduced in some fashion that have been proposed, it would be helpful just to show that hey, we’re really serious about making things better - that one of Mansa’s suggestions to shift moderation to players has already been put in is a first step forward (but again transparency - how were the moderators selected?  is there a process to replace/remove one or more if they’re not working out? etc).  It’s a lot of work.  A lot of self reflection which takes a heaping dollop of humility.  But I’d like to think there is a way forward for this community, for this very special and unique game where the game doesn’t rest on those laurels and turns its nose up against its own community members because it thinks it’s so special.  It can’t, because as a niche in a niche, doing so risks its very continuing existence.  Its reputation is already in tatters - before I came back, I looked through /r/mud.  Armageddon is at a crossroads.  It is up to those that steer it to look at what changes might benefit us all, and that this thread even exists at all is in itself, a glimmer of hope that things might be set in the right direction for the future.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2023, 12:28:44 AM by IntuitiveApathy »
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #71 on: March 07, 2023, 06:11:43 AM »
There's already a lot written, I'll keep it brief.

1. Asking for help from staff shouldn't result in a NPC animation causing a bizarre scene that escalates despite all common sense and ends up in a player PC death. Knowing what I do now about who animated it I'm not at all surprised it ended up that way but it has left a decidedly sour note when I used to have nothing but positive interactions with the staff previously.

2. Bad actors who sow strife in the community, be it cheating or harassment, player or staff, need to be investigated and banned with the same rules applied across the board. This also means that every rule that can be broken with every punishment should be clear up front (length of ban, storage, etc.). While I do think this needs to be implemented, I am on more wary on how to implement it. Can staff police itself and players fairly? Was the recent incident the result of one rotting, cancerous tumor that compromised the health of the entire body? I would like to think so. I certainly don't think the players would be any more trustworthy than the staff.

3. Resource characters need to go the way of the dodo. Staff should be allowed to play (or they won't want to be staff, I think this is pretty obvious) but cannot be logged into their staff account while on their PC avatar. Staff cannot play leadership roles - if they're not being filled there's obviously a reason why no one wants to play them. Find out why and adjust it to make it more enticing.

4. Make information more available - especially when it comes to spells for magick subclasses. It's not as exciting as you think it is to wade through fully branching something just to find out your last spell is world shaking like 'Create Bisquick'.

5.  Resist the call for too much change. The veil of secrecy - and more important, privacy - should remain unless information is voluntarily offered. Staff and their avatars should remain private unless they wish otherwise. People will certainly use this information with ill intent. This is the same for people who are subject to punishment unless they are a danger to the community. Otherwise the whole naming and shaming smacks of medieval moralistic punishment.

I am EXTREMELY SKEPTICAL that some player council would make things better as opposed to adding another level of bureaucracy and potential corruption by clique favorites being voted or otherwise chosen into a position where they can gather information on other players. It sounds like an invitation to systemic breakdown and anarchy at worse and extreme inefficiency at best. It would be far better for such players to just become staff instead where they can work on the inside instead of creating an unnecessary other layer. New staff should be drawn from the ranks of players who haven't previously been staff and ideally without any weird baggage or having a record of being too pro or anti staff.

6. If players want to get something lasting done in the world (something feasible and thought out and thematic) it really ought to be a priority for their staffer to help facilitate that happening as long as the player is willing to do what is necessary. It should be proportional to the goal, and only the scale and difficulty of the plan should affect how long it will take to get done. People really do want to leave their mark, they want to feel like they've accomplished something. When I DO hear about lasting accomplishments, they tend to be things done long ago. 
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #72 on: March 07, 2023, 06:19:40 PM »
I've removed a couple of posts that were
  • Written by people who posted in the thread already and
  • Replies to Halycon's deleted post.
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #73 on: March 10, 2023, 02:51:35 PM »
1) All staff accounts are set to 0 karma
- Staff play red shirts, expendables, grunts, and mundanes.
- If staff finds themself in a position to drive a plot by accident, they report it openly to their team/the other team and their pc is pulled out of the plot organically.
- If its a big enough a whoopsie to warrant it:  they report it publicaly as a mistake here and on discord.
- being the minion of a player involved in plots is a-ok, but they should globally announce to all other staff this is the case for observation, in an immutable form

2) All staff have an automatic discharge date
- a year?  Two?  You'd have to decide as I don't have the metrics
- Burn out is real, and those affected rarely see it in themsleves
- Can come back and apply again after a certain break period (6 months, a year?) if they were discharged on good terms.
- This reapply is when players can come chime in on what they thought of that staff's performance

3) All staff should have a panic button tied to them
- This is not a popularity poll or the like.  Those measures typically suppress the capable.
- This is for when a player believes themself to have a severe issue with a staff member, proof on it, or a very serious problem
- Abuse = removal for both players and staff

4) 60% of staff time should be spend animating, building plots and stories for, and improving the engagement and role playing of the 0 and 1 karma range players AND the 'area leader' roles, like Templars
- Some significant chunk of the remainder should be spent adding to, expanding, and reintroducing wonder and awe to the world
- Chunk up the remainder on requests or impetus for the 2+, especially those who haven't had plots or initiatives before
- The more karma you have, the less you should need from staff

5) Explode the top half of the NPC population and make this closer to a player driven world
- No teleporting volcanos
- No gatekeeping, story-crushing NPCs of ultimate doom
- Grow the map, add unclaimed country, ruthlessly kill players who try to settle it until someone actually manages it
- Make resources that are fought over, and consequences for loosing and winning those fights

6) Prune the redundant and Gary Stu/Mary Sue clans that remain
- We all hear stories of water slides and impunity from all repercussion and it kills the world's authenticity. 
- We don't need multiple raider clans, we don't need more than 3 delf tribes(1 north, 1 south 1 other?), we don't need more than 1 tribal tribes, we don't need more than 3 open noble roles in each city at a time, and they best not like each other
- Leadership roles are best if they have tangible objectives to chase after, especially Faction Leaders like templars and city roles like Nobles  (and stop their rivals from accomplishing theirs)
- If there's 2-3 clans filling the same role, 2 of them need to close
- Pick a clan, tweak that clan to be a newbie clan that gets people into the game, and the players that are in it to that task (this used to be the T'zai Byn)

« Last Edit: March 10, 2023, 05:58:06 PM by Kryos »


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #74 on: March 12, 2023, 10:31:38 AM »
This thread will close on March 15, please get your ideas in here.


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #75 on: March 13, 2023, 06:23:40 PM »
Hi folks.  I played a lot in 2008/09 time and then again in 2017/18. I didn't leave over any grievance, just being off-peak and changing circumstances. I will play this game again, maybe regularly someday.  I don't have many axes to grind because I only really played 0 karma, irrelevant roles.  I had very little interaction with staff.  If this is about bad apples, there isn't much I could contribute.  There seem to be sensible suggestions about transparency, or trying to bring more independence to the review of staff complaints, and having tighter limits on staff PCs.

If you want a more general observation on Arm culture changes, here is a rehash of my thoughts I dropped into the Discord thread.  ie "Arm has no chill".

I think Arm players are nuts. Maybe that's a pre-requisite to being a great online RP'er.  And with that as crucial context, I think some of the sacred cows of Arm rules create an unhealthy, highly subjective and abuseable power dynamic. It is far from clear to me having them is a benefit. 

It's difficult because while I agree with the spirit of some rules, I would not have them if they are un-enforceable, or commonly broken.

I'm specifically talking about

  • the one year rule.  I think this can be totally scrapped in favour of a general principle.  So many easy wins, for example my suggestion #79753 re:posting character portraits.  Staff shouldn't be responsible for some people not being able to be objective.  The community will come to an equilibrium.
  • OOC info enforcement. I would reserve staff intervention to a fairly senior level and severe cases of metagaming, and otherwise keep staff out of it.  I see this as the logical conclusion of the player moderation approach.
  • I'd significantly expand the available information, potentially behind spoiler warnings if appropriate.  For example, I would actively feel shame if I happen to ask somebody OOC specific details on how a poison works.  It's like the Arm thought police will come and arrest me.  And then after thinking about this for a minute, I wonder: "Is Arm really this insane? Are some people actually this far gone in a weird rabbit hole? It's some mud in 2023."  Worse still, the lack of information and notional secrecy around it creates in-groups and out-groups, which fosters resentment.  Game walkthroughs and wikis seem to exist without ruining the popularity and enjoyment of those games by many.
Take, for example, the pinned post from staff post about OOC communication. It's not that I disagree with the spirit of the example, but I think it would be mad to expect mud staff to enforce that, and it will inexorably lead to inconsistent application.  Or worse, it can be abused badly by a bad actor.

Perhaps a sore spot, but Apocalypse seems to have more realistic rules (I've not played so I have no idea how they get enforced, I just read the site).  I think this might feel to some like giving up, but I don't think so.  I think it is a natural progression towards community moderation, and gets staff out of the way of subjective, highly charged conflicts.  I would think that might come as a relief to some...


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #76 on: March 14, 2023, 05:50:36 PM »
There’s a lot I want to say, but this thread has been so long already with so many huge posts in it that I want to keep mine short, or at least much shorter than it could be. (It ended up being kinda long anyway). There’s also plenty I want to suggest regarding gameplay and development, but I feel like that’s not what we need to be talking about right now, clearly.

I’m also only going to be writing about things that are within staff’s power to change. I mention this because I know staff are probably getting sick of being told they’re doing everything wrong and that everything is their fault. I don’t want to add to that noise, but I can’t exactly request staff change the attitude or actions of some players, for example. There are so many other things that could change for the better that are completely out of their control, but I gather that this feedback thread is for staff, not for anyone else.

Staff need to focus on rebuilding the communities trust in them, I think that’s generally the consensus anyway. I think this can be done in a few ways.

Firstly, I think that the whole community needs to swallow its pride, and staff need to allow the players who have been hurt the most, and who have left, to air out their grievances if they choose to, and to listen to and fully address them. They don't need to do it publicly, but it needs to be done. Certain players need to be unbanned, even if they don’t intend to ever play again. Staff need to vocally show sympathy towards those who have been hurt the most in the past, and need to apologise to them directly. We need to stop pointing fingers, and calling people toxic, and blaming each other. I personally think staff, especially Halaster, have done incredibly well so far in apologising and trying to move forward with change, especially in a delicate, crazy, complicated situation like this that absolutely no one who's voluntarily staffing for a tiny MUD on the side while they still have to focus on and deal with their real, complex lives is at all equipped to deal with, and I do want to recognise that. Some people really do just want to see Arm burn, and I don’t think we’ll ever change their minds, but I know a lot of others are just hurt, and still want to see things become better, and I think there are still things we can do for them.

I think the most important change might even sound a little silly to some staff, but I think it’s vital, and I genuinely think it could truly change the most about the culture of this game and community, for the better. Staff need to be consistently nicer to all players, and more flexible and open to their requests. So many staff have been incredibly lovely to me, but I’ve also had some poor experiences too that still hurt me, and that’s while knowing I’ve had it much better than a lot of others. The vast majority of the time I don’t even think it’s intentional, but if we really want to retain people and foster a friendlier, safer community, I think that needs to be done by setting an example from the top down. Zalanthas is a harsh world, but we don’t need to be harsh people. Of course, this need to be nicer applies to players too, often even more so, and hopefully setting an example would change that as well, but again, I think this thread is for staff, not players.

Sometimes players are going to be shitty, sometimes they’re going to ask for too much, and they’ll clearly not understand the challenges of staffing and the work put in, sometimes they’re just going to be assholes, and much, much more often they’re just going to be emotional and upset. Armageddon is a unique game in those regards, I’ve never played anything ‘fake’ that made me feel real emotions as strongly as it can. Ultimately staff hold all the power, and the players hold absolutely none of it. Holding no power in situations where you feel that much can be incredibly frustrating, and it’s made a lot worse when the staffer on the other end doesn’t seem to care at all.

It doesn’t take much effort to watch how you word things, to be a little gentler, to try and be understanding of players feelings and to be a little more open when it comes to addressing their requests in situations like those, and to allow them a little more leeway, to make exceptions and do small things to help. To just be kind. It’s really not hard, and it can go so far. This applies to staff talking to each other about players too, not just when talking to the players themselves. There aren’t many of us, we’re just one tiny little community playing a tiny little niche game, and we need to be kind to each other. We need to fight any attitude that might grow of staff vs players, ultimately we all come from the same stock, and we’re all on the same side. We’re all similar people, we’re all weird, and we all love this silly game.

A while ago I had to store a relatively long lived, powerful character due to increasingly severe health problems IRL that made it steadily more difficult for me to consistently play Armageddon, and I still don’t get to play very much. I didn’t want to do it, but I had to. The unusual requests I made regarding my storage were honoured, and some staffers at the time that had staffed for me or just seen me around left comments about how they appreciated my play and my character and were sad to see me leave. I ended up losing all my Arm logs for about six years to a computer hardware failure too, so those comments (and my past requests) are essentially all I have left of that time now, which only makes them mean so much more. I’ll never forget that kindness, even though it must have felt like something very small to the staff actually commenting, and I’ll never stop being grateful for it. It meant so much to me, and it made things a lot easier. That’s the sort of thing that makes me never want to give up on this game. Staff can be amazing, and a little kindness can go really far.


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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #77 on: March 15, 2023, 10:05:38 AM »
I've sat on my post for a long while since - frankly - seeing the response to some other posters got me less than enthused. Still.. I'd rather speak than stay quiet.


'The rules say X' is a terrible justification

Much of what has went down lately has been done with the (weak) justification that the rules are on staff's side. I am, frankly, not impressed. The rules were nowhere when administrators went to play adventurer dragonthrall politicking noblemen, they were nowhere when staff banned sexual harassment victims, they were nowhere when they banned people for the crime of frustrating someone (hi Delirium), they still aren't anywhere when administrators can get bigass compounds for their own PClans, but point this out? Banned. Rules say so. The rules are never a shield for players, and ever a shield for staff. In the decade I've played, and I'm absolutely not alone in this, I've seen the rules conveniently forgotten about so often that everyone knows they aren't consistently applied. So, genuinely, stop hiding behind them. Everyone knows you can ignore them when you feel like it, because it keeps happening. Insisting your hands are tied is nothing short of pathetic.

Stop talking down to people, stop talking at people, start talking to people

Everyone loves Halaster. I do, too! And, frankly, he does one thing very few people on the staff team seem to ever do: he actually talks to people now and then. You can read his posts or chat away on Discord and actually get what kind of a person this is and what vision for the game exists here. Nobody else does this! Staff are extremely allergic to actually talking to people and I do not know why. Please. Tell me why you never talk to us. We had a producer who nominally wanted to be about community management, and he still thought it a great idea to be haughty and make a stupid bait-and-switch thread rather than actually talk to people. Have issues? Want a chat? Clarity? Anything? No conversation to you - try and scream into the void visit the request tool instead.

I can't overstate how inhuman this is. I've seen scores of issues that might be solved with a fifteen-minute conversation that instead had to go through Byzantine paperwork trails. I've seen people wonder for years why X and Y happened when that could be resolved just with a dumb chat and that never fucking happens. Players get directed to a request tool that is wholly illegible to us, instead, where we have no idea who will read our requests, what'll happen to them, how long it takes, anything at all. I hate it. Lots of people hate it. Please make the request tool a last resort's issue, and just talk to us anywhere else: in-game, Discord, freaking email chains if need be. It's hard to treat just-about anyone as a fellow human being when you don't get treated as one in the first place.

Be positive, here and everywhere

I remember, six years ago, some hubbub from when Starmourn launched. Our very own LauraMars/Eukelade was their head administrator, and I read an interview with her where she talked about stuff a bit. I remember one quote in particular - about her time on staff here, and how consistently her staffers were plain-old kind and malicious, how that was the very one thing she sought to avoid there. Staffers have come and gone in those six years, and those who have left have given no indication at all this has changed: grudges and gossip and presumed bad faith are common as it comes. It's disappointing. It's really really disappointing. I'll echo Mellifera above me in how important this is. I've had a year of a rather good time in Armageddon, myself, in large part because I've kept staff contact to an absolute minimum - the median interaction I've had is more tedious, annoying, or disappointing than it is nice. This is echoed in so many places by so many people that it should be more than clear this is a problem, and that it's one in need of solving.

Which.. Is the final point here

You cannot ban or ignore problems; you can only solve them

Time and time again, issues with the MUD see the same excuses come up. They'll be back! They're just bitter! It was just one guy! It's always been this way!

None of it checks out with me. For the past decade, we've only ever bled players, watching a dozen or so leave a year, never to return. Like clockwork, there have been flareups when someone's in a bad mood, cheats using their own privileges, talks down to people, and so on, and so forth: it isn't new. It hasn't stopped. And, frankly, it isn't ever just one guy. It is consistent and painful enough that no individual person is to blame for this. The game's own institutions are busted. Old rules and facets of staff culture are busted. We can't continue going on as we have. It hasn't worked in the past decade, not with today's playerbase being a third of what it was ten years ago. Anyone not an ostrich can see this. Things are broke, they need fixing, it requires change, openness, and rapprochement.

Or we can just go have fun @ Apocalypse rather than beat our heads into brick walls. That'd be nice, too.
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Re: Feedback on Changes You Want to See
« Reply #78 on: March 15, 2023, 11:28:43 AM »
Closing this thread now, it's been two weeks.