Author Topic: Questioning the "Recent Events" post  (Read 1267 times)

CirclelessBard

  • Posts: 102
Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« on: March 14, 2023, 04:41:12 AM »
While I appreciate that staff have been trying to explain the situation, I think there is a lot to be learned from them based on what has been said.

Frankly, it troubles me that the publicly-available PDF of the request concludes with a statement about how Bebop has "a history in this game of having experiences both IC and OOC that crossed sexual boundaries" and discusses all forms of harassment from the staff member, including sexual harassment...

... and yet the request is painted in the most recent "Recent Events" post as "not a straightforward sexual harassment complaint" and a "general complaint with several different components". From the publicly-available PDF posting of the request, it's clear Bebop was trying to express that Shalooonsh's sexual harassment of Bebop also included other forms of harassment, including sexual harassment, in-game. The sexual harassment component was the primary component of the complaint, not one of many components.

Additionally, that a serious matter of staff abuse wasn't formally discussed for 10 days, and yet the request was resolved within two days, with a message about how complaints about the described sexual harassment was irrelevant to the game. This is seriously troubling considering what has happened in the month since.

I am growing increasingly tired of the fact that some members of the player community and the staff consistently lean into blaming the victim - in this case, for not being clear enough about her complaint, although she was - although calls in the community saying Bebop should have gone to the police instead of to staff and negative sentiments about the "shadowboard" are included in my criticism. Bebop does not even have the opportunity to defend the way she worded things here.

I sincerely hope that all members of the community one day learn that listening is important.

Spiceoflife

  • Posts: 139
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2023, 06:59:57 AM »
We should just shut the game down nobody is ever content

CirclelessBard

  • Posts: 102
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2023, 07:43:19 AM »
I don't see why anyone would reasonably be content with misdirection and victim-blaming, and players' bashing of victims despite Rule 5 of the community rules posted just nine days ago. Unless the goal is to simply pretend nothing happened, I will continue to post feedback as we were all invited to.

Spiceoflife

  • Posts: 139
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2023, 08:05:32 AM »
Brokkr's post was very good and shows the original complaint was thought about and added onto.

CirclelessBard

  • Posts: 102
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2023, 08:15:44 AM »
The post downplays Bebop's ability to speak for herself by calling the second complaint a "somewhat more cohesive argument" while impugning the first request as "not a straightforward sexual harassment complaint" with "things that could be considered sexual harassment". The PDFs are available to read. I appreciate that staff is attempting to be forthright, but I'm not personally impressed with the wishy-washy language being used. Not a single staff member has yet to say that Shalooonsh engaged in sexual harassment - officially, he's off the team for being rude and for cheating. Not a single staff member has yet to say if Malifaxis has been banned from the game or could be re-accepted as a staff member in the future. Hopefully staff will be more forthcoming soon.

Jarvis

  • Posts: 566
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2023, 08:23:12 AM »
Some people really are never happy. As fucked as this situation is, the culture of simply running at the chance of believing a victim without investigating/vetting all sides is absurd.

You were heard. It took time. Steps are being taken in the right direction. These events sucked. Stop looking for things to get upset at, you are swinging at walls
The man puts his tongued, grotesque, translucent groin rig on over his eyes.

CirclelessBard

  • Posts: 102
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2023, 08:28:42 AM »
I don't appreciate the assignment of motive to my posts. I have done nothing but point out that the language staff uses matters. That goes doubly for sensitive situations like these. It is not hard to read a statement suggesting Bebop's request was "not a straightforward sexual harassment complaint" and draw conclusions upon reading the PDF print-out of the request which definitely details and concludes on sexual harassment matters. I am upset, but not because I am seeking out things to be upset at. But because it's upsetting that, nearly a month after everything, the game leadership is using terminology that can be read as an attempt to minimize the situation.

Yam

  • Posts: 7628
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2023, 08:31:30 AM »
While I appreciate that staff have been trying to explain the situation, I think there is a lot to be learned from them based on what has been said.

Frankly, it troubles me that the publicly-available PDF of the request concludes with a statement about how Bebop has "a history in this game of having experiences both IC and OOC that crossed sexual boundaries" and discusses all forms of harassment from the staff member, including sexual harassment...

... and yet the request is painted in the most recent "Recent Events" post as "not a straightforward sexual harassment complaint" and a "general complaint with several different components". From the publicly-available PDF posting of the request, it's clear Bebop was trying to express that Shalooonsh's sexual harassment of Bebop also included other forms of harassment, including sexual harassment, in-game. The sexual harassment component was the primary component of the complaint, not one of many components.

Additionally, that a serious matter of staff abuse wasn't formally discussed for 10 days, and yet the request was resolved within two days, with a message about how complaints about the described sexual harassment was irrelevant to the game. This is seriously troubling considering what has happened in the month since.

I am growing increasingly tired of the fact that some members of the player community and the staff consistently lean into blaming the victim - in this case, for not being clear enough about her complaint, although she was - although calls in the community saying Bebop should have gone to the police instead of to staff and negative sentiments about the "shadowboard" are included in my criticism. Bebop does not even have the opportunity to defend the way she worded things here.

I sincerely hope that all members of the community one day learn that listening is important.

I agree.

Jarvis

  • Posts: 566
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2023, 08:43:15 AM »
I don't appreciate the assignment of motive to my posts. I have done nothing but point out that the language staff uses matters. That goes doubly for sensitive situations like these. It is not hard to read a statement suggesting Bebop's request was "not a straightforward sexual harassment complaint" and draw conclusions upon reading the PDF print-out of the request which definitely details and concludes on sexual harassment matters. I am upset, but not because I am seeking out things to be upset at. But because it's upsetting that, nearly a month after everything, the game leadership is using terminology that can be read as an attempt to minimize the situation.

That's completely understandable, but what sort of other language is expected? Should the situation be escalated up instead of down? And I'm not convinced staff is quite done processing this either. Even if its been over a month.

I understand Bebop got seriously wronged here, I'm not trying to dismiss that. It just seems unreasonable to me to want so many results immediately from an extremely murky situation
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 08:45:54 AM by Jarvis »
The man puts his tongued, grotesque, translucent groin rig on over his eyes.

CirclelessBard

  • Posts: 102
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2023, 09:03:55 AM »
While I appreciate that staff have been trying to explain the situation, I think there is a lot to be learned from them based on what has been said.

Frankly, it troubles me that the publicly-available PDF of the request concludes with a statement about how Bebop has "a history in this game of having experiences both IC and OOC that crossed sexual boundaries" and discusses all forms of harassment from the staff member, including sexual harassment...

... and yet the request is painted in the most recent "Recent Events" post as "not a straightforward sexual harassment complaint" and a "general complaint with several different components". From the publicly-available PDF posting of the request, it's clear Bebop was trying to express that Shalooonsh's sexual harassment of Bebop also included other forms of harassment, including sexual harassment, in-game. The sexual harassment component was the primary component of the complaint, not one of many components.

Additionally, that a serious matter of staff abuse wasn't formally discussed for 10 days, and yet the request was resolved within two days, with a message about how complaints about the described sexual harassment was irrelevant to the game. This is seriously troubling considering what has happened in the month since.

I am growing increasingly tired of the fact that some members of the player community and the staff consistently lean into blaming the victim - in this case, for not being clear enough about her complaint, although she was - although calls in the community saying Bebop should have gone to the police instead of to staff and negative sentiments about the "shadowboard" are included in my criticism. Bebop does not even have the opportunity to defend the way she worded things here.

I sincerely hope that all members of the community one day learn that listening is important.

I agree.

Thank you. I appreciate knowing that.

I don't appreciate the assignment of motive to my posts. I have done nothing but point out that the language staff uses matters. That goes doubly for sensitive situations like these. It is not hard to read a statement suggesting Bebop's request was "not a straightforward sexual harassment complaint" and draw conclusions upon reading the PDF print-out of the request which definitely details and concludes on sexual harassment matters. I am upset, but not because I am seeking out things to be upset at. But because it's upsetting that, nearly a month after everything, the game leadership is using terminology that can be read as an attempt to minimize the situation.

That's completely understandable, but what sort of other language is expected? Should the situation be escalated up instead of down? And I'm not convinced staff is quite done processing this either. Even if its been over a month.

I understand Bebop got seriously wronged here, I'm not trying to dismiss that. It just seems unreasonable to me to want so many results immediately from an extremely murky situation

It's been a while since I worked in a position that involved public speaking. But, knowing what I know, this is a very short version of what I would have written if I was in a Producer's position:

"On February 14 we received a complaint from Bebop detailing behavior by Shalooonsh that violated the staff contract. There were details of in-game cheating as well as sexual and non-sexual harassment that occurred both in- and out-of-game. After investigating the complaint, we fired Shalooonsh from the staff team and banned his mortal account from the game. The staff take community safety seriously and we strive to hold ourselves to the highest possible standard in ensuring that Armageddon is a fun and safe place to roleplay.

In the process, we made several mistakes, including banning the complainant and others that spoke out to support her from the game. We explained our side of the story using language that could be read as deflecting blame to the victim when the blame lies squarely with staff. If we could go back in time, we would have taken complaints about Shalooonsh received over the years through the request tool and the grape vine more seriously. We would have noticed a pattern if we simply listened. We believe that it is not worth keeping a single player if that player's behavior has the ability to drive off multiple players from the game. It contradicted our mission as staff to allow Shalooonsh into a position where he could harass and abuse multiple players, when our goal is to grow the game rather than allow it to shrink.

Going forward, to prevent a situation like this from ever happening again, we will do [insert solution here]. We deeply apologize that it took so long to come to this conclusion and appreciate your patience."

This statement:
- puts blame where blame is due instead of blaming the victim for lack of clarity.
- acknowledges mistakes instead of trying to bury it in victim-blaming language.
- has space to put forth a solution and reconcile with members of the community that are unhappy.

This is what I mean by being fair and forthright. Other games have staff that speak openly about complicated issues and admit to mistakes. I wish Armageddon did too.

betweenford

  • Posts: 328
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2023, 09:28:38 AM »
Feeling like portions of Brokkr's post where he goes off and puts blame on the player for not being clear enough are unneeded and victim-blamey.

Dracul

  • Posts: 1202
    • FB
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2023, 09:43:17 AM »
I would feel much more comfortable with a community manager than a storyteller as an authority or mouthpiece.
Veteran Newbie

Jarvis

  • Posts: 566
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2023, 09:52:12 AM »
While I appreciate that staff have been trying to explain the situation, I think there is a lot to be learned from them based on what has been said.

Frankly, it troubles me that the publicly-available PDF of the request concludes with a statement about how Bebop has "a history in this game of having experiences both IC and OOC that crossed sexual boundaries" and discusses all forms of harassment from the staff member, including sexual harassment...

... and yet the request is painted in the most recent "Recent Events" post as "not a straightforward sexual harassment complaint" and a "general complaint with several different components". From the publicly-available PDF posting of the request, it's clear Bebop was trying to express that Shalooonsh's sexual harassment of Bebop also included other forms of harassment, including sexual harassment, in-game. The sexual harassment component was the primary component of the complaint, not one of many components.

Additionally, that a serious matter of staff abuse wasn't formally discussed for 10 days, and yet the request was resolved within two days, with a message about how complaints about the described sexual harassment was irrelevant to the game. This is seriously troubling considering what has happened in the month since.

I am growing increasingly tired of the fact that some members of the player community and the staff consistently lean into blaming the victim - in this case, for not being clear enough about her complaint, although she was - although calls in the community saying Bebop should have gone to the police instead of to staff and negative sentiments about the "shadowboard" are included in my criticism. Bebop does not even have the opportunity to defend the way she worded things here.

I sincerely hope that all members of the community one day learn that listening is important.

I agree.

Thank you. I appreciate knowing that.

I don't appreciate the assignment of motive to my posts. I have done nothing but point out that the language staff uses matters. That goes doubly for sensitive situations like these. It is not hard to read a statement suggesting Bebop's request was "not a straightforward sexual harassment complaint" and draw conclusions upon reading the PDF print-out of the request which definitely details and concludes on sexual harassment matters. I am upset, but not because I am seeking out things to be upset at. But because it's upsetting that, nearly a month after everything, the game leadership is using terminology that can be read as an attempt to minimize the situation.

That's completely understandable, but what sort of other language is expected? Should the situation be escalated up instead of down? And I'm not convinced staff is quite done processing this either. Even if its been over a month.

I understand Bebop got seriously wronged here, I'm not trying to dismiss that. It just seems unreasonable to me to want so many results immediately from an extremely murky situation

It's been a while since I worked in a position that involved public speaking. But, knowing what I know, this is a very short version of what I would have written if I was in a Producer's position:

"On February 14 we received a complaint from Bebop detailing behavior by Shalooonsh that violated the staff contract. There were details of in-game cheating as well as sexual and non-sexual harassment that occurred both in- and out-of-game. After investigating the complaint, we fired Shalooonsh from the staff team and banned his mortal account from the game. The staff take community safety seriously and we strive to hold ourselves to the highest possible standard in ensuring that Armageddon is a fun and safe place to roleplay.

In the process, we made several mistakes, including banning the complainant and others that spoke out to support her from the game. We explained our side of the story using language that could be read as deflecting blame to the victim when the blame lies squarely with staff. If we could go back in time, we would have taken complaints about Shalooonsh received over the years through the request tool and the grape vine more seriously. We would have noticed a pattern if we simply listened. We believe that it is not worth keeping a single player if that player's behavior has the ability to drive off multiple players from the game. It contradicted our mission as staff to allow Shalooonsh into a position where he could harass and abuse multiple players, when our goal is to grow the game rather than allow it to shrink.

Going forward, to prevent a situation like this from ever happening again, we will do [insert solution here]. We deeply apologize that it took so long to come to this conclusion and appreciate your patience."

This statement:
- puts blame where blame is due instead of blaming the victim for lack of clarity.
- acknowledges mistakes instead of trying to bury it in victim-blaming language.
- has space to put forth a solution and reconcile with members of the community that are unhappy.

This is what I mean by being fair and forthright. Other games have staff that speak openly about complicated issues and admit to mistakes. I wish Armageddon did too.

Alright I'll give it to you, that IS considerably better. Point taken
The man puts his tongued, grotesque, translucent groin rig on over his eyes.

CirclelessBard

  • Posts: 102
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2023, 11:00:18 AM »
Thank you, Jarvis. I always appreciate the chance to expound.

Windstorm

  • Posts: 74
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2023, 11:40:59 AM »
I felt Brokkr's post was written with the best of intentions, to show the staff took the complaint seriously and not with a dismissive attitude - not to deflect any blame onto Bebop. They had intended to take action against Shalooonsh already, but if anything, Brokkr's account told me that it took awhile to get there because they needed to talk about it amongst all the Producers. For the most part, we already knew that.

This has been an exhausting process and I don't think the top levels of staff are necessarily trained for or used to a PR crisis of this magnitude. It's a very serious subject matter with which there's a lot of sensitivity that's hard to account for and understand if one hasn't actually been through it themselves.

I don't feel comfortable with criticizing anyone or making another mess of something that didn't really read like a shot at anyone to me. I'm assuming the best of intentions and I think we all also should. Things are moving in the right direction with the given effort I feel the staff is genuinely putting in.

Don't let "perfect" be the enemy of "good" here.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 08:35:29 PM by Windstorm »
No one wants to fuck in a deposit box.

Spiceoflife

  • Posts: 139
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2023, 01:11:03 PM »
We aren't a triple A title the games survived everything but this..Might kill it, if we want to keep the game going I'd honestly shut down the GDB, put a ticket system on discord. And I'd run everything via discord and Request tool.. put up channels that are hidden for each clan and let the clan leaders be mods of the clan channels to sticky RPTs or have a sub section where you can post events like a clan announcements.

Veselka

  • Posts: 1660
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2023, 01:12:01 PM »
What I see/read:

-An apology from Halaster, who is exhausted and at wit's end and retiring.

-A pseudo apology from Brokkr, more of an explanation, and language that deflects and questions and doesn't fully acknowledge the breadth of the issue.

What I don't see/read:

-Any indication whether Malifaxis is allowed to continue to play the game and lurk in the community.
-Any outreach to players that were banned from the community and/or the game.
-Any long-term goals or solutions or roadmaps towards rebuilding trust within the community.
-A reason to continue to play the game where Staff was caught cheating and breaking their own rules.

The Result:

-Roughly 10 (perhaps more) players leaving the game, among which are many who have played leadership roles over the last decade or so.

Conclusion:

Staff may be exhausted by this, which is understandable. For Staff to even admit that they are out of their depth, that they need more time, and that they haven't had to deal with something like this before would be understandable. The tack, instead, of pretending to have things under control, that things are fine, to the point that Hestia can post a Kadius/Kurac role-call, is completely tone deaf and doesn't go unnoticed.

You have (more than ever) people in your community actively warning away old and new players. If someone asks them 'Hey, how's Armageddon? Do you still play?', instead of trying to entice old friends and players to try it again, they will warn them away from ever playing it again.

Staff (and the game they have been caretakers for) are entering a new timeline, wherein the end of the game is in sight due to low population, and active detractors who are rightfully warning people from playing or engaging with it and the community.

A game which is using Armageddon's cloned code (stolen? At this point, does it matter?) Apocalypse has more active players than Armageddon during peak hours. That is sad to me. This whole situation was not only avoidable, it was an opportunity for Staff to right the ship, send a clear message, revise its mission statement and embrace the community as collaborators.

Instead, it is more of the same, and it isn't enough for me, and likely for others. Brokkr claimed in General Discussion (which is still inaccessible, another sign of the game entering a new timeline),

Here:
https://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,58875.msg1087227.html#msg1087227

I wasn't able to make the Meeting, due to real life commitments, but I thought I would offer my answers on a few of the questions there were asked there, if I have something to offer beyond what other Staff have already stated:

Quote
najdorf:
Hey. What do you see in the future of the game, in 5, 10 years? What are your ambitions accordingly? Maintain as is, grow, shrink? Is there a consensus among you, and a shared ambition that still excite you, or a loss of motivation? It is natural as we all age. I appreciate your sincere thoughts

I feel like I dashed Halaster's hopes and dreams by not being there to answer, so here we go.  I am not particularly focused on numbers. They are nice to have, obviously. I have played the game in time periods where lots of time it was sub-10 players and we would be lucky to see 20 on.  And loved it.  Because there was a lot out there I hadn't seen, creating uncertainty and excitement in my play. A lot of us have been in a lot of clans, seen their documentation, explored the world and know what is where.  And that decreases the uncertainty and frankly the excitement.  We have had long period where content creation was not a priority.

Not focused on numbers. Fine with the game having a dedicated population of 10.

At this point -- That wish may indeed come true.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 01:50:33 PM by Veselka »
Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.

--Immanuel Kant

Veselka

  • Posts: 1660
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2023, 01:59:10 PM »
I felt Brokkr's post was written with the best of intentions, to show the staff took the complaint seriously and not with a dismissive attitude - not to deflect any blame onto Bebop. They had intended to take action against Shalooonsh already, but if anything, Brokkr's account told me that it took awhile to get there because they needed to talk about it amongst all the Producers. For the most part, we already knew that.

This has been an exhausting process and I don't think the top levels of staff are necessarily trained for or used to a PR crisis of this magnitude. It's a very serious subject matter with which there's a lot of sensitivity that's hard to account for and understand if one hasn't actually been through it themselves.

CirclelessBard definitely wrote it out well and of that tone would have been more exact in terms of what I believe was the intended impact, but the apology itself worked, mostly.

In the end though I don't feel comfortable criticizing anyone or making another mess of something that didn't really read like a shot at anyone to me. I'm assuming the best of intentions and I think we all also should. Things are moving in the right direction with the given effort I feel the staff is genuinely putting in.

Don't let "perfect" be the enemy of "good" here.

I'm sorry, I can't give Staff the benefit of the doubt in this scenario, when they have haven't even fully acknowledged that Shalooonsh actively cheated while playing a resource PC that wasn't even approved by Administration to be in game.

Staff is quick to call out 'Bad Faith Arguments' and 'Bad Faith Actors', which is honestly ironic given the current situation and fallout.

The goal here should be rebuilding trust with the community. Not explaining themselves or previous actions. If they are focused on the future, I have seen little evidence of it.
Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.

--Immanuel Kant

Nao

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2171
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2023, 04:58:55 PM »
I don't see why anyone would reasonably be content with misdirection and victim-blaming, and players' bashing of victims despite Rule 5 of the community rules posted just nine days ago. Unless the goal is to simply pretend nothing happened, I will continue to post feedback as we were all invited to.
If anyone is victim-bashing, bashing anyone else, or breaking another rule please report the offending post.
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 :)"

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8768
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2023, 05:03:02 PM »
I don't see why anyone would reasonably be content with misdirection and victim-blaming, and players' bashing of victims despite Rule 5 of the community rules posted just nine days ago. Unless the goal is to simply pretend nothing happened, I will continue to post feedback as we were all invited to.
If anyone is victim-bashing, bashing anyone else, or breaking another rule please report the offending post.

You can't report posts in Staff announcements to moderators.
"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

Seeker

  • Posts: 1475
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2023, 07:25:29 PM »
I want to say thank you for Halaster's and Brokkr's posts in the Recent Events post.  This is a big step forward from standard operating procedure. 

It is a tiny sliver of a peek into what the highest level of staff believe and how they perceive the game.  I do not think ArmageddonMUD has ever posted anything like this before.

I understand the responses below came before the long-standing underlying issues became known to many of the player-base, so this is certainly a kind of "before" snapshot of staff leadership stance.

I sincerely hope that Halaster and Brokkr see things a bit differently now and would answer the below expressed desires by the original player differently.

I am going to act as the players' advocate in my comments below.  Understand that I am grateful for the willingness to share and my position comes from a place of sincerely hoping to make things more clear and to provide context for my frustration when reading it.  Perhaps others agree.

Quote from: A player
What I want from this is for -


-Staff to seriously vet other staffers
-Staff to pursue transparency
-Actually allow players to occupy roles of power and support them instead of giving this to other staffers either directly or by proxy
-Be honest with the players
-Make the game 18 + since its all themes of sex, drugs and violence and protect underage people
-I don't need a big public debacle or Shalooonsh necessarily "canceled" or "retired" but I do feel this behavior needs to be checked and reigned in.  I (and I know many others) are tired of being subjected to it

Quote from: ArmaddonMUD Producer response
-Staff to seriously vet other staffers
While we do what we can to make sure we're bringing on the "right" people, we can only do so much.  We're not going to check into someone's personal life or background.  We judge them based on their time with us as a player, as that is really all we have.  Ultimately how we bring on new staff is up to us.
I read this as a request by the player for the Producers (the only ones who can resolve Complaints of this level I believe) to investigate all levels of staff to make sure this type of activity is not continuing by other active staff and to determine who knew what when and why it was allowed to occur. The player is asking ArmageddonMUD to please, please look to its own and to stop creeps and bad-actors.

This was a complete non-answer to what I believe was being asked of you.  The player did not say "new" staff or when onboarding staff.  Look up the definition of "vet" in the context of this request.  Read the definition again. The response to this point was a complete failure.  If this had been done, it might have headed off the explosion that occurred 3 and half weeks later.  Fail.
Quote from: ArmaddonMUD Producer response
-Staff to pursue transparency
We feel we are currently the "right amount" of transparent with the community.  I know you probably won't like that answer, but that's what it is.  We are much more transparent than previous staffing groups, but we're only able and willing to go so far with it.
This response came one month ago.  If you read the Feedback thread, I think a good sample of the best replies cite lack of transparency and therefore lack of accountability as one of the chief problems creating staff/player conflict and ultimately driving people away.  If ArmageddonMUD had listened to this advice then, we might be in a very different position now. I hope that staff might be able and willing to consider this topic in a new light with a less "that's what it is" attitude going forward.  This answer by ArmageddonMUD was a failure.

Quote from: ArmaddonMUD Producer response
-Actually allow players to occupy roles of power and support them instead of giving this to other staffers either directly or by proxy
Our policy today is that we do give these roles of power to players when they volunteer to fill them.  However, it's not unheard of for us to put out a rolecall and get no takers.  In these cases, when we want the role occupied but no players are interested, we'll let a staff (if they're interested) to play the role.  After some amount of time, we'll do another rolecall, and if a player steps up to volunteer, the staff must store in favor of the player.
My pet peeve.  ArmageddonMUD had previous issues with this matter and worked out a system to solve them. To protect the players from this problem, they set up very clear guidelines and publicly shared them with the players.  It is okay to change the rules.  Sometimes we get smarter or the situation changes.  But when you change the rules that you promised to obey, you NEED TO TELL THE PLAYERS and then stick to the changed rules.

Resource NPCs were created exactly for the reason stated:  need a temporary noble, no good applicants?  Resource NPC for a limited time with severely limited freedoms.  You can't kill or harm players, you can't prefer "your" plots to theirs.  Resource NPCs are the cardboard stand-ins.  Or the Villian of the Week.

If you are on staff and you played a Sorceror or Psi as your PC, you lied to us and you are a cheater.  If you are on staff and you played a noble or a templar as your PC, you lied to us and you are a cheater.

You can't be behind the impenetrable shroud and pick, choose and change what rules you will follow and when without expecting players to feel betrayed.  Especially after those rules were explicitly created to correct and solve previous breaches of trust as a solution to exactly these kinds of problems.  When staff acts indignant about being cheaters or yells at me in email that its none of my damn business, it sticks in the craw. Follow the rules, live in the smelly shame for being a cheater if you didn't, then post new rules if there are to be any and then don't cheat or lie about following those.

The second part of the request here - support players better.  Ignored in this response, but strongly noted in feedback from other players.  This response from AmageddonMUD is a failure.  And I hate cheaters, especially when they have all the power to begin with. 

Quote from: ArmaddonMUD Producer response
-Be honest with the players
I understand where you're coming from.  As much as we can be we are honest with players, but there are scenarios where we simply cannot let the community know something.
This one speaks for itself.  "We want to be honest as much as we can be.  But when we lie, we can never let you know that or the reasons why.  Ever."  This not a great response.  I think the player is asking for some kind of commitment from ArmageddonMUD not to deliberately deceive or gaslight her anymore.  Not asking for revelation of game secrets.  The player got nothing reassuring.  No promise of straight dealings at all.  This is also a failure.
Quote from: ArmaddonMUD Producer response
-Make the game 18 + since its all themes of sex, drugs and violence and protect underage people
We've discussed this and I believe our ultimate consensus was:  We have no ability to determine this, but we are going to put up an ESRB style notice, just like any other video game about the content.  That's on me for dropping the ball for forgetting to put that on our home page.  I'll get to that soon.
This one is fine.
Quote from: ArmaddonMUD Producer response
-I don't need a big public debacle or Shalooonsh necessarily "canceled" or "retired" but I do feel this behavior needs to be checked and reigned in.  I (and I know many others) are tired of being subjected to it
I will not comment on if and how we discipline staff, but I appreciate you bringing this up and letting me know.
This one shows character from the requester.  The response was also fine.  But things didn't work out like the player wanted after all.  See the answers to the first four of her points.  None of those answers helped the underlying situations at all.

To my understanding, this player is still banned for giving up in frustration at working with the approved channels shown above and by later telling her side of the story publicly, knowing it would cost her this game. 

(Edit below)
I know this might feel harsh to read for some, but it is not meant to hurt but to reflect only another point of view - to look at one conversation from another angle.  I want the best for ArmageddonMUD and offer this primarily as a small tool to maybe help us understand each other a little bit better.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 07:38:40 PM by Seeker »
Sitting in your comfort,
You don't believe I'm real,
But you cannot buy protection
from the way that I feel.

Brytta Léofa

  • Posts: 1205
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2023, 07:41:51 PM »
I want to say thank you for Halaster's and Brokkr's posts in the Recent Events post.  This is a big step forward from standard operating procedure.

+1000 to this and to all the critique following.
<Maso> I thought you were like...a real sweet lady.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 6587
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2023, 08:04:52 PM »
Just wanted to point out:

Victim blaming would be 'This happened to you because of blah blah that you did.'

This was 'We were acting, but we were slow because of blah blah, and this exploded before we acted because blah blah'.  One is pinning the fault on someone, one is explaining why they were in a place to be at fault.

Very different things.  That's not to attack this thread, that is to make sure we don't cross wires to short circuit good things.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

CirclelessBard

  • Posts: 102
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2023, 05:38:36 AM »
Seeker: Thanks for your post. I think that describes a lot of issues with the announcement more eloquently than I could.

I don't see why anyone would reasonably be content with misdirection and victim-blaming, and players' bashing of victims despite Rule 5 of the community rules posted just nine days ago. Unless the goal is to simply pretend nothing happened, I will continue to post feedback as we were all invited to.
If anyone is victim-bashing, bashing anyone else, or breaking another rule please report the offending post.

I'll be mindful of that. The one time it seemed a problem, it was on Discord (I tagged community mods). There was no response that I noticed or it was delayed. I understand there are some growing pains with this new system.

Just wanted to point out:

Victim blaming would be 'This happened to you because of blah blah that you did.'

This was 'We were acting, but we were slow because of blah blah, and this exploded before we acted because blah blah'.  One is pinning the fault on someone, one is explaining why they were in a place to be at fault.

Very different things.  That's not to attack this thread, that is to make sure we don't cross wires to short circuit good things.

That is a fair point. It would be more accurate to call the language "secondary victimization" perhaps. That is something that can (but does not always) include victim blaming, but definitely can include minimization of the issue and blaming the aftermath on how the issue was reported, which is what I was trying to point out. Thank you for this.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2023, 05:46:32 AM by CirclelessBard »

Seeker

  • Posts: 1475
Re: Questioning the "Recent Events" post
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2023, 05:24:14 PM »
I want to say thank you for Halaster's and Brokkr's posts in the Recent Events post.  This is a big step forward from standard operating procedure. 

<snip>

Quote from: ArmaddonMUD Producer response
-Actually allow players to occupy roles of power and support them instead of giving this to other staffers either directly or by proxy
Our policy today is that we do give these roles of power to players when they volunteer to fill them.  However, it's not unheard of for us to put out a rolecall and get no takers.  In these cases, when we want the role occupied but no players are interested, we'll let a staff (if they're interested) to play the role.  After some amount of time, we'll do another rolecall, and if a player steps up to volunteer, the staff must store in favor of the player.
My pet peeve.  ArmageddonMUD had previous issues with this matter and worked out a system to solve them. To protect the players from this problem, they set up very clear guidelines and publicly shared them with the players.  It is okay to change the rules.  Sometimes we get smarter or the situation changes.  But when you change the rules that you promised to obey, you NEED TO TELL THE PLAYERS and then stick to the changed rules.

I was quite wrong here.  I apologize.  There was a post in the Announcement Board November of 2021.  I read it but did not realize it was intended to replace all previous staff limitations and void all previous commitments and covenants with the players.

https://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,57424.msg1069385.html#msg1069385

It certainly can be interpreted to reverse all other previous promises and behavior standards not expressly included in it's text.  I failed to interpret it that way.

It has been pointed out on Discord that current staff policy is that they do not report or post changes to their own internal standards and rules that do not effect the players.  This statement has also been posted on the GDB.

https://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,57280.msg1067253.html#msg1067253

This points out the policy and Brokkr's making an exception to that policy to let players know that staff could now (after October 2021) have a single slot available to them to play Psis/Sorcerors.  This agreement might have been voided by the earlier link, but I incorrectly said that staff weren't allowed to play Sorcs or Psis.  They were after October, 2021.  In the last year and half, if you played one of those roles as a staff member, I wrongly called you a Cheater.  And I am sorry.

What they play, how they determine what powers are allowed to their avatars and how their personal PC's are permitted to impact players and the larger game world are interpreted to be of no concern to players and therefore not subject to daylight.

I obviously do not agree with the wisdom of either of those policies, for what I think are obvious reasons, but that is not what I said in the previous post.  I said that it hadn't been done and that staff playing a Psi or Sorc after Oct '21 was a cheater.  I was wrong.

I apologize again for my earlier mis-statements.

(edited to include the links provided to me and correct a missing word)
« Last Edit: March 15, 2023, 05:52:20 PM by Seeker »
Sitting in your comfort,
You don't believe I'm real,
But you cannot buy protection
from the way that I feel.