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Cerberus and You
Interactions OOCly

In the interest of public relations I am going to make a deal with all the players.

I am going to return to being nice, and making long, thought out and polite responses to people's concerns over xhelp.

I used to do this and when I did, players would continually walk all over what I was saying because they didn't quite get the point. The message isn't delivered well when you try to be polite and understanding to people. Some people keep pushing and pushing and pushing until they're tired of saying the same thing over and over.

Thus I adopted a very blunt manner of responding to people's issues. I tell them what my thoughts are, what the rules are, what needs to happen and I end the conversation.

I will make an attempt to return to being polite and understanding, but I will do so with a zero tolerance rule.

If I hear you out, and respond, and you decide that you didn't like my response and resume arguing your point.

You will have earned a time out in the void for 30 minutes as per our current rules.

Respect is a two way street and I will respect you if you can respect the fact that I am putting an effort into being nice and polite and understanding to your concerns.

We will give this a try, if this doesn't work. I am quitting Sindome.

I think the problem here is that as far as GMs go, you're highly visible and you're active. You poke the hornets nest - as good GMs should - by stirring up conflict in the game.

Unfortunately, it appears that not everybody who is playing Sindome (a cyberpunk dystopian setting, which, by definition are driven by conflict) is interested in entertaining situations that aren't immediately beneficial to their character. They don't want to be taken out of their bubble and find themselves entwined in the throes of a plot.

In this situation, as you said, you're either presented with the option to be polite and thorough and listen to their complaints - tying up hours of GM time - or you can be terse and to the point. Either way, the offended players aren't going to be satisfied (usually) - the types of players who have repeat encounters of this sort with the staff, at any rate.

Because you're so active, a number of players have become to associate you with these cases. Perhaps instead of attempting to be polite and wasting a lot of your own breath, it would be simpler to pass the baton in these situations. If these people could see that all of the staff are on the same page and on-board with your actions - and that just because you may or may not puppet a situation your actions are not the be-all-and-end-all of Sindome and that there are no personal quarrels between specific staff and players - then they would realize that no fault lies with you.

Ultimately, I think these are people who are just going to be upset when things don't play out the way they want, regardless of staff attitude or which member of staff responds after the fact.

I, for one, am dismayed to hear that this OOC behavior is causing you to consider leaving. I hope it doesn't come to that. I realize I've probably fallen into the subset of players who 'push and push' before, but I hope that hasn't been misinterpreted as a personal grievance, it was more than that I had had so few staff interactions under my belt by then that when the opportunity arose I had a lot on my mind that I wanted to discuss (my fault) and I was heated at the time. So for that, I apologize.

I appreciate your response and your thoughts and thank you.

I do want to say that, we do pass the baton for most issues especially if the issue at hand is about a particular GM, another GM will handle it. However, for some players with re-occurring discipline issues not just with me but the staff in general, I simply handle the issue and try to make quick work of it because it's historically eaten up so much staff time that it takes a LOT for me to dig deep enough to forgive and forget to allow these people to continue playing the game. Which lately, I personally have done a lot of.

We vote on disciplinary action and there have been votes by other admin to permanently ban people, but I am not a supporter of this type of thing, I believe everyone deserves second chances, and maybe even third chances.

We have around 40 players online most of the day, it's fantastic. The issues people have with me, and the issues I have with people can be narrowed down to about four players in total. It's not a huge number, but I personally feel that number is important enough for me to address this issue for the entire community to see.

If these four people can compromise, work with me and stop taking their issues public as if Crusade against Cerberus is an appropriate thing for players to be doing then things will get better.

I can appreciate how difficult it is to not get your way sometimes when you're passionate about your play or your ideas, this is why I try to give people as many chances as I can mentally handle before I give up on them completely.

I don't want to see a minority of players ruining the staff interactions with other players as a whole, and that's what motivates me to improve things.

Just playing devils advocate.....

but why not simply drop these repeat offenders down the list of TODO...

By that i mean if they cannot learn to appreciate the work/actions/RP created by GMs.. then don't provide it for them until they learn to appreciate it.

ideally you could put them on a ignore xhelp list so it doesnt flash up or something but is it not possible just to leave them out of the GM generated RP.. they got issue then leave them to it.. saves Gms being burnt out and bitchin players can be left to their own devices.. There only interactions would be to be slapped down (rightly) if they broke a rule... and then its no argument you broke a rule accept the punishment...

or maybe im just being too simplistic in all this.. but i for one would like my GMs not to be burnt out and jaded nor spending all their time dealing with a vocal minority rather than enjoying the game themselves and or advancing things for the rest of us....

Actually, funny you should bring that up. Johnny actually coded something up as a solution for repeat xhelp abusers and we are making use of it.

It does work great, but there is ALWAYS the motivation to address a situation, because everyone strives for understanding. GMs want players to understand why they're doing something wrong, players want to be argue against their perceived injustices.

So, it's hard to ignore that nature to try to problem solve an issue to a good conclusion, which is why we needed a tool like this.

It allows us to continue focusing on other player's experiences without being distracted by all that red xhelp text.

That's how you know your idea was good, Johnny thought of it first. :-)

GMs want players to understand why they're doing something wrong, players want to be argue against their perceived injustices.

Do players ever seek to understand why GMs are doing something, and have GMs ever argued to defend an action they took that wasn't actually fair or reasonable in hindsight?

Fair and Reasonable to who? The player or the Admin? These are two different things. I think.

So GMs have not defended an action, ever, that wasn't cool by player or GM standards?

I don't understand the question.

You're phrasing things in an 'us vs. them' style, as if GMs are saints, and players are the only ones who ever do anything wrong. This is the same kind of mentality that has people angry at the police in many parts of the US. Yes most GMs are good and well intentioned, like most police are, but when you start talking like the players are the only ones causing any trouble or doing anything wrong, you're forcing that kind of reaction.

Both sides are human, both sides fuck up, both sides are infalliable. I will get Wile E Coyote to drop an anvil on your head with that message if that's what it takes.

in fact just continuing my thinking..

dealing with GMs from a player perspective should be like celebrities interacting with Journlists.. ( no offence intended).....

and by that i mean .. SD is a game where you as a player should be aiming for the least amount of GM involvement (obviously not GM Player characters.. but i mean GM puppets and GM work)...

The more you court the attention of the GMs the more you should expect bad and nasty shit to come your way..

so equally unless the GMs are enforcing a policy of stomping down successful / long lasting players.. then the more you leave the GMs alone (ie your sucessful and generate RP / wealth / biz/flash whatever your kink..) then they in turn dont need to worry about you and therefore dont go messing in your characters affairs because you are generating the RP / Conflict etc via your own mechanisms...... You as a player can measure your success in game by how little "direct" GM involvement you need...

i for am going to avoid the attentions of the GMs and will avoid all use of the dreaded xhelp functionality.. the more you use it.. the more you bring the attention of the Gods ( tongue in cheek).. and the more you will suffer for it..

I am not sure how to answer the question Xenode when you take the position that admin are abusive like police but I'll try.

You appear to be assuming that you're a citizen of Sindome with guaranteed rights like you are in the United States. Playing Sindome is a privilege and some people are still playing it despite disciplinary issues that might have otherwise had them permanently removed from the game solely from the kindness of the admin's hearts.

That is it.

I don't know if I answered your question but that's all I can really say.

You made several leaps of judgment I didn't say in my post. I said your *attitude* was like that of how police in the US act, not that GMs are like police, or that players are like citizens with rights.

This is my problem... you have a kind of detachment from what people actually say, and what you hear.

There isn't any issue with staff as a whole, or players as a whole, and neither are like the police or citizens. But you regularly phrase things and take a stance in the way that is similar to how US police act, in a 'we are the law, everyone is a threat, and anything we do is just' kinda way.

I honestly am begging of you to stop deflecting all criticism and actually take a good look at what you do. I'm sure you do mean well, but the way you talk is very antagonistic to players and suggests, perhaps wrongly so, a negative, hostile attitude towards any player concerns.

"but the way you talk is very antagonistic to players and suggests, perhaps wrongly so, a negative, hostile attitude towards any player concerns."

Are you unhappy that you've earned this type of demeanor from me? Would you prefer that I change my mind about allowing you to come back to the MOO?

I'm sorry if you don't like the way I treat you, but you've been arguing on xhelp with GMs since the day I've become a GM and I can't handle it anymore.

You talk the same way to almost everyone that I've seen, on OOC-chat or the boards. Again, stop deflecting criticism because you don't like it. You can't repeatedly invite us to speak our minds then just say we're wrong when you don't like what we say.

I would like to un-invite you to speak your mind if I can. I can't put you in the same boat with constructive for as long as you continue to make it personal on OOC-CHAT, as if you somehow didn't start this whole mess yourself.

If we're speaking about tonight, it all started when you started sending me messages over xhelp sharing meta information unprompted.

Anyway, I am still very much interested in starting fresh with OOC communications with the players and repairing any misconceptions that might exist between me and the other players.

This does not include Xenode or IsaacF. I am just trying to be open and honest when I say that these two players I can't improve my relationship with Admin-> Player, Player->Admin.

Thank you.

I can't post the message here, but when I was RPing and handling things fully IC, you messaged me with some very revealing IC info that ruined any chance of me trying to RP to find out about it.

And yet I'm beyond repair?

Another GM asked me to do you a solid and give you a heads up because the player you were RPing with was newted.

Sorry for not assuming you'd be told in complete detail the entire IC and OOC incident over OOC channels which apparently I need to remind you is against the rules.

Uhm... what are you even smoking? I had no knowledge of any of it over OOC channels, then you, yourself, messaged me the details.

You've even messaged me admitting you would break theme to punish my character if I didn't do certain things that were un-IC for my char, so you could work your plot a certain way. And I complied.

Please stop pretending like you're some beacon of purity for the rules.

Xenode, please be quiet and relax. We'll talk later about your situation when I have the time.

I'm only going to jump in for a moment here. Mostly to say, I happen to -like- Cerberus. In kind of the way you'd appreciate a hardened war veteran. He's a bit gruff but, if people actually take the time to respect another adult instead of acting like children, they might get a chance to see that the GMs aren't "against you." In fact, Cerberus is funny as fuck when he's being laid back. And, generally nice.

People don't like to receive blunt answers when they feel they have a serious issue. It may not be serious but, to them it's important. People don't want to hear no. People don't want the time put into their characters to be basically erased over RP. People don't want to be told to calm down.

Have I been annoyed at how RP turned out when it involved GMs? Yes.

Do I attack them over it? No.

This is only an attack Cerberus game because he doesn't coddle people. The GMs ain't your mom, they are not gonna kiss your boo-boos. In RP they might be bullies but, this is the world of cyberpunk. Half of everyone's characters has some super depressing harsh horrible backstory. You can take a few more lumps. You're all also supposed to be adults.

My two suggestions:

Each month a player can fill out a grievances card. GMs can review, learn, respond if needed. GMs should be allowed to do their own grievances cards (not singling out anyone.)

GMs shouldn't have to waste as much time nor reveal that they were in a plot that may not have been what the character wanted. (Minimizes personal GM attacks.)

Is it possible to delegate this to a small select group of "Character service volunteers." People that can possibly help diffuse a situation and mediate. GM resources aren't wasted unless needed.

Take your lumps, scars, fuck ups, take a walk, take a breath, it's a game. Move on.

This is only an attack Cerberus game because he doesn't coddle people.

And this is dismissing everything with a wave of the hand without acknowledging any of the specifics.

I certainly can agree my responses are at times subject to a degree of hyperbole, but just dismissing everything saying it's baseless attacks contributes nothing. If the claims are wrong, address them directly, don't just say the person saying it is only attacking because they didn't get their way.

With my current char even, I spent a long time arguing with staff to get a stat lowered. Yes, lowered. Below chargen level. Because some IC events happened that shouldn't have made sense with her physique compared to the other persons. I've even argued similarly to have many skills removed, with no refund of the UE, because my char hadn't used them in a long time and wouldn't be capable in them anymore.

I complain just as much about things beneficial to me as I do things not beneficial, so please don't think this is just about being coddled. I'm very passionate about the game, and though I don't see everything GMs do, that's something of a blessing, since I can see the game world more purely. I don't know why person X went and did Y, I don't know who is where at any given time. I just know what I can observe ICly at any given time. And I think that's a more honest view of the game world than someone who has access to everything. Yes the one who knows all knows *why* everything happened and what it would result in for plots, but the one who doesn't sees that the game world actually looks like to players.

Make any sense?

This is why I don't pay attention to Xenode anymore:

"This is my problem... you have a kind of detachment from what people actually say, and what you hear."

Pot, kettle.

"I certainly can agree my responses are at times subject to a degree of hyperbole"

And dishonesty.

Well, that wasn't really directed at anyone.

As far as asking for special things to be done for your character, you're asking GMs to go outside the coding for the game. Skill rust is not implemented and changing your skills specifically takes time away from other activities they could be doing. There isn't a limit on having skills. And, a reroll is possible on a case by case approval.

A decent idea could be an @holdback that can be directed at specified skills. But, that's something for the idea board.

I understand certain events can happen to cause problems (brain damage etc.) But, it's time consuming to do specialized character things. Especially if it needs to be done in code.

Just personally for me, I've found GMs to be helpful in the two cases when I've needed something. Due to OOC reasons though.

The less I feel the need to bug them, the better off I am and themselves as well.

That you Mythologique. This is exactly the kind of players addressing other players issues that I would like to see much more of.

If more players stepped up like this the GMs would have a lot less on their plate in terms of OOC discussions / issues to deal with and a lot more time to focus on the IC world.

"The less I feel the need to bug [admins/GMs]..."

Players should not be afraid to contact GMs for gameplay reasons. There are a lot of ways to do so, xhelp isn't the only one.

@rule 4.E shows the scope of what xhelp is for. @note is for less immediate communications. Every character is entitled to GM support, provided their RP has justified it (don't xhelp for 'Will you have contact me?' Don't even @note for that unless it's to let us know what your character has done ICly to earn a potential response).

I'm just putting this out there because everyone's entitled to GM attention. It's not about the volume or the existence of player engagement. It's about the soundness of it. If you need IC or OOC GM help for sound reasons and bring it to our attention in sound ways, hooray, bring it. We will.

My kingdom for a preview or edit button. Either one.

"Will you have <NPCx> contact me?"

Not addressing the bigger discussion. I do not know enough about the game and the player-GM interactions to be of any help.

But I am glad to read about Cerberu's original initiative. I do not mind his laconic style but maybe some other players do, and I'm thinking newbies at that.

So thumbs up, it takes guts to open up like that :D

I was more talking about just not dragging out the response and not abusing GM communication is all, Linekin.

I try to handle as much as I can ICly usually.

I was more talking about just not dragging out the response and not abusing GM communication is all, Linekin.

I try to handle as much as I can ICly usually.

I was more talking about just not dragging out the response and not abusing GM communication is all, Linekin.

I try to handle as much as I can ICly usually.

I was more talking about just not dragging out the response and not abusing GM communication is all, Linekin.

I try to handle as much as I can ICly usually.

Gawd. Sorry. That was....well, you get my point after reading it three times, right!? Sorry...my computer lagged.

I understand, Mythologique.

Just putting it out there. I do scan from time to time a player who communicates in some way that they're trying to stay out of our face and potentially missing out on some IC avenues because of their reluctance to help us help them find them.

@Euclid

Negative. My past character, REDACTED, got screwed from hell to back. He practically had to REDACTED. This was before Cerberus. And I had no problems with how screwed up his life went. I actually thrived in it to the point I got bored because REDACTED got up and became a powerful self serving a-hole. He started abusing his power with REDACTED. And punishing REDACTED while being corrupt and in league with REDACTED posing as a REDACTED.

And since I was vocal in defending Cerberus it has nothing to do with hate.

http://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/theme/fact--lol-is-a-word.-140/

My responses have zero hate in them.

That was also the last response you'll hear from this player. They are BANNED from posting on the BGBB for posting IC screenshots.

They are also newted and will not be present in the game for a long time, if ever again. Though, banning them from posting should not have been needed since they themselves said they were 'done for good'.

Returning to the OP: I'm happy to see this kind of flexibility and will try to help on my end by doing my level best to stay positive, humble and flexible in return.

Just in case it helps the understanding of our past conflicts, here's a thing about me I realized recently, or at least, which moved to the front of my mind. My style is a bit like how Slither described Johnny: my natural reaction to a good thing/idea or a person I have confidence in is to 'nitpick' it, examine it for inconsistencies, propose solutions for it to be and stay the best it can be (from my POV), etc. I like to think this amounts to constructive criticism from the loyal opposition, but I'm working on reacting more positively first anyway, just in case it comes across differently to my interlocutor.

It's no secret Cerb and I have had our miscommunications, but there have been positive aspects of our player-GM relationship. I like to think we've both demonstrated some flexible thinking and a spirit of accommodation/understanding as appropriate, and it might even be said now that these things have already become the major traits of our communications.

I also hope Cerb feels free to take a break if needed. I'm sure dealing with players' problems (real and imagined) day in and day out is stressful over time. I know there is entitled and/or abusive behavior from players sometimes, I've seen it. Some of it, anyway. I hope not to emulate that behavior, myself, and hope to get more confident about calling it out.

Well I am glad that you are making an effort to work on your bedside manner.

Clearly an issue, since other players and yourself are addressing it. Also I think with the tittle/hat of 'Head GM' it's very important to have a good public relationship with the players in general.

So go for it and kill them with kindness.

Quitting seems a bit extreme, I am not going to hold you hand and tell you to stay but maybe instead take a break from GMing.

I hope this new approach works out, good luck.

I actually took a break 2 weeks ago, for 7 days. As soon as I came back to Sindome, I had to deal with a player going nuts on xhelp and it was like I never went on vacation to begin with.

So, I shouldn't have to take breaks because of high maintenance players I will just proceed with my zero tolerance rule when it comes to player interactions. If you walk over me when I am being polite to you (and this happens, the bluntness is NOT the cause of player's disgruntled behavior) I will just remove you from play.

That's my compromise.

I just started yesterday so this is more about role-playing in general and the relationship between GM and player (from my own experience).

The thing is, the term "agree to disagree" is a huge one here. Most arguments are subjective and once you get to a point that neither side will go anywhere, the GM will move on with whatever decision he or she made. That's how the relationship works. Obviously, without players there is no game but if most players are having fun the majority of the time, the GMs are doing their job.

It is up to the disgruntled player to reconcile themselves to the fact that he or she and the GM(s) don't see eye to eye on many issues. Are you having fun anyway? Have your say, be polite, apologize if you blow up, and move on. No GM anywhere is obligated to listen to every nuance of an argument. They don't need to spend another hour listening to you. You are not going to convince them. Do you have fun the majority of the time? Stay. You don't? Leave.

No matter how sure someone is they are right, the other person they are arguing with usually has the same confidence they are also right. When you are GM, you get to break the tie in your favor because the adjudication has to be consistent with the sensibilities of the people providing the environment for the stories, and players have the freedom of choice as to what games they will play.

Sorry to restate things I am sure you have argued over for a long time, but just felt the need to pipe in without knowing the personalities involved.

I think that was very well said. Welcome to the community, roybatty.

And seeing that the last reply before me was three weeks ago, I apologize if I kicked a hornet's nest.

Thanks. I am totally overwhelmed with the commands and finding anything but I will endeavor to persevere. ;)

If you feel the need to do it for whatever reason, then by all means, more power to you. Politeness never hurts, but when that fails, I see no issue with a firm (if controlled) tone.

Personally, I think you work hard and you're bound to encounter people who you do not like and/or cannot interact well with. To be expected when you have a large, regular population, speaking from experience.