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IC and OOC Privlidges
What does that mean? Find out.

Hey Everyone. I'm going to address something that has been coming up increasingly often over xhelp and in e-mails from players.

Every player starts out just about equal in the eyes of the community. As each person spends more time on Sindome they get involved in the community in different ways.

Be in a number of different forms of IC RP or OOC-Chat, Game-Help, Player Notes, Writing Descriptions, Submitting Bugs, Notifying us of Typos, Helping Newbies, Re-writing help files, building the lore, writing for the wiki, writing for the website, scripting, actively contributing to the BGBB, voting for Sindome on other sites, reviewing us, raising awareness about the game, or any other of the players numerous contributions (thank you), you begin to build a foundation of trust not only with your fellow players but also with the admin.

The Admin try to treat all characters the same, and to not close any doors for anyone, even first time, fresh out of character gen newbies. However, there are realities that we have to face. If a fresh faced newbie with no knowledge of the game submits a history saying they've been living in Withmore their whole lives we have no choice but to deny it.

Is it implicitly stated in the rules that being from Withmore is not allowed for brand new players but is potentially allowed for older more experienced players? No. It is not.

It's impossible to articulate in easily digestible nuggets the nuanced factors involved a decision like allowing a player to be from Withmore or not. It's equally as difficult in the hundreds if not thousands of other decisions a GM has to make in regards to a characters development.

We've been accused of favoritism many, many times. Of allowing our alts or the players we 'like' special privileges. While I understand how it might look like that, this is one of those situations where 'you don't know what you don't know'.

There are things that we allow some trusted players to do (many of you know what I mean) that we do not allow all players to do. Why? Trust.

Some things are so open to abuse that we have to restrict their usage.

Some roles are so open to abuse that we have to restrict the support we offer a player in getting that position, as it could have game breaking consequences if they mishandle something.

The players we choose for these positions have proven themselves to the community and to the admin time and time again. We have a baseline for their reactions under stress. We know that they will stay IC and if things don't go their way we know they won't fly off the handle.

How do we know it? They've stuck around and contributed. They've kept an open dialogue with the admin and worked with us toward our mutual goal. Cooperative Competition.

Just like you are expected to work your ass off if you want to become an important ganger or power player in the corporate world, you have to work OOCly to prove yourself in the community.

I've seen first hand the damage that giving a player to much leeway ICly or OOCly can do when left unchecked. Several admin have. As such we are a coy lot and we don't trust immediately. The best way to prove yourself to us and to your fellow players is to work hard at your RP and try to create RP for others.

How do we prevent favoritism? It's not that hard actually. Every admin thinks for themselves and has an equal voice behind the curtain. Yes, we have a hierarchy that allows us to make decisions when not everyone is in agreement, but we also take our jobs of policing each other very seriously.

Johnny is even less involved in the day to day RP of the game then I am, so matters of ultimate objectivity are passed up the ladder to him.

Let's take the other admin out of this for a second and just focus on me. If you want to say that I play favorites then go ahead. But only if you define favorites as players that are:

- Exceptional in their conduct OOCly

- True to the genre and the role they've chosen in it ICly,

- Active contributors to the community

- Willing to give back to the game without asking anything in return

- Understanding of the fact that their own enjoyment of the game should not always be the only factor involved in their decision making process

- Always trying to empower other characters to create RP

- Hiring other characters

- Helping grow the game ICly or OOCly

- Able to take no for an answer without discussion when needed

- Willing to take admin feedback in stride

- Able to admit they've made a mistake

- Don't gloat (to much) when proven right

These are just some of the criteria I have when I consider my 'favorite' players. Those players I would be willing to go the extra mile for, further empower, or consider letting operate under special circumstances or with some special exception to a general rule.

I hope I've made clear that what some perceive as 'favorites' are in fact just the players that have been doing the most good for the game.

I am talking about the players that have taken it upon themselves to make YOUR enjoyment of the game a priority for them.

Yeah, those players that make it a point to maximize the enjoyment that those around them get out of the game, get special attention from me -- because empowering them means increasing the enjoyment of all the players around them.

I hope that clears it up. If anything is not clear then post a response with your question, or comment and let's get an open minded, constructive discussion going about this so that we can all move forward on the same page.

Love,

Slither

I'm going to have to back Slither up on this. In every roleplaying game there are leaders and followers. Being one or the other isn't important, but without leaders the game entirely falls into Admin hands to keep the ball rolling, which induces a lot of extra stress and burnout.

People that can lead and can promote the game to others in a healthy way, creating exciting RP left and right, are the type of people that should have a little bit of a reward as an incentive to keep doing it. What type of reward? Obviously they're not going to be given things on a silver platter. It's not like creating an IC event is gonna get you an infinity sword+1.

No, what these rewards usually consist of is just opportunity to get into rolls that help that player further do what they're already doing, which is creating RP.

Case in point. Player A starts the game as a peon like everyone else. They're on consistently, have regular play times, and they net a simple job. In that simple job, which just happens to be delivering pizza, they're creating advertisements. They're taking special requests. They're working their butt off in RP to get those tips.

So their boss notices and gives them a promotion. They're now the manager of the store. So while Player A might be able to continue to do exactly what they've been doing, they're now in the unique position to hire other players. So they offer jobs to Player B and Player C. They give these two new players direction and little goals to achieve, creating even more RP than they did before by teaching those players to become leaders themselves.

The admins take notice and go, "Hey, Player A is moving things along and didn't require our help at all. We have this new business that needs management." So they toss out the details, an executive meets with them personally. "Hey bro, I've seen how you run this dump, and its totally fly. Do you want to make some real money?"

So now they're running a larger business, employing several players, and they just keep doing what they do. They're admin without the coded powers, playing only one character. They're creating scenes, they're making impacts, players come to them for advice. They've become a little focal point of the game.

Did the admin hand them little prizes? Yes, little pushes into positions where they can do the things that they do better. Is favoritism good for the game? In this case, yes, it is. By offering a little treat to a player, they've made that player create the game world for you.

All the items and money in the game won't make a player make the game more interesting. Likewise, a player who makes the game more interesting doesn't need items or money to do it. When they have them, though, through their roles in the game, their influence is able to spread further and effect more players.

Think of an important PC in the game. Imagine what the game would be like without them. You can't just take any character and replace them, because the player behind the character is different.

/rant

Also, if you're a dick OOC'ly, you're not doing anyone any favors. That's the opposite of favoritism, and that has an effect on the game world as well.

I'll try to summarize this briefly...

Pragmatically it makes a lot of sense; you don't want to invest a significant amount of time into developing a character when that player is going to turn around and become disinterested with the game and leave, leaving a mess of on-going RP and wasting all of that time for for the GMs.

Privileges for people who prove themselves by furthering the game healthily through IC/OOC means make sense; they both prevent the above from happening and encourage players to work hard and RP hard to get to where they want, creating a richer environment for everybody.

In Sindome, working hard is playing hard.

It's a game, it's nobody's job - not Slither's, and not any player's.

In Simdome, playing hard is roleplaying hard.

It's a roleplaying game, not a dungeon crawl, and not a chatroom.

It's why every one of us is here. It should be, anyway.

And it's a fantastic one. RP on, first and foremost. Nothing can happen without that.

This is one of those "it's the journey, not the destination" things. Like much in life.

Earning money, scoring loot, or being given a certain job aren't the points of the game, roleplaying is. Assigning a bunch of saved-up UE so you can complete your mission for the day is not the point, and neither is logging in just so you can earn it and save it up for that time you're waiting for, when you can pwn someone or achieve the coded task you keep failing miserably at.

The kinds of players who WIN at Sindome are the ones who get the point of Sindome: Roleplaying.

I shouldn't have to say this but I keep seeing players RUN AWAY from roleplaying and then are unsatisfied with their characters, their IC relationships, their IC opportunities, and their OOC enjoyment of the game. If your expectations don't match how Sindome works, you might as well go ahead and sit on your hands in your cube. The players who are out there making shit happen with or without GM support won't miss you.

This is the best privilege of all, no matter what GM/admin support you get - the appreciation of other players for the thrills YOU bring them, whether your characters' IC relationships with each other are positive or negative.