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Cerberus & You
Negative experiences with unacceptable communication habits.

The negative reviews of my behavior and Sindome have not gone unnoticed. After a lengthy discussion with other senior staff members I had decided to resign my position in the moo as an $agent level staff member as well as my position as a member of the Board of Directors for our nonprofit corporation that operates the MOO to try to remedy the public relations issues caused my by unfortunate and inappropriate behavior when dealing with players and situations regarding operation of the MOO.

However, due to what was personally a rather unexpected amount of support from the community at large and other staff members I have decided not to resign and instead take measures to reduce the risk of future incidents. I personally recognize that I conduct myself poorly and unacceptably in my communication during moments of high personal stress, or frustration and I accept responsibility for the circumstances that may trigger my offensive reactions.

I have opted to codedly remove myself from our help-net functionality for the near-future while I continue to work on this problem. Other staff members will instead be addressing issues and responding to questions on my behalf.

I am also declining to use our moo-wide OOC 'shout' feature to address the MOO as a means of communicating displeasure with player behavior.

Sindome is a wonderful MOO with one of the best communities I've ever experienced for an online game. The players are top shelf and the quality of roleplay they present is unmatched.

The game has been going for over twenty years now and it's currently played by more players than any point in it's long history.

I plan to make these personal changes to preserve that and continue to assist in growing Sindome and it's community as a staff member.

Thank you,

Cerberus

I don't know if this thread is open for discussion, but a thought crossed my mind. Are the majority of people who dislike your style of moderation new players or relatively older players (IE: Over half a year played). Feel free to answer or not, but I find this a little odd that now of all times is when negative feedback has become the most intense.

When I first joined this MOO maybe 4-5 months ago I read reviews, and most pointed towards very tough adminship. My first interaction with you during character creation showed that you were not one to mince words, and as much as it made me want to avoid having you as an admin respond to my XHELP's, I respected and understood why a presence like that was needed in a MOO where literally anyone with access to internet, an email account and a computer can play on.

I'm 100% not your biggest fan 100% of the time.

I'm 100% glad you're not resigning. I think your contributions to the MOO are incredibly valuable.

I think there's a lot to be said (to anyone) about playing to one's strengths. My personal weaknesses are very much in line with the ones you mention, so I can empathize. I think it's awesome that you're communicating it so openly.

Thanks, Cerb.

(for the sake of Brunsauce's curiosity, I'm a very old player).

Glad you're sticking around Cerebus, and working on yourself which is something we all have to do (myself very much included). I actually enjoy your my-way-or-the-highway approach to rules and such, it keeps the game solid. Admin staff that bend to every crying session of the players inevitably make the game itself easier and therefore, less satisfying.

Haters gonna hate, fuck 'em.

I'm also really glad you're staying. I agree with JMo that being stern is important, in fact I had an early experience with you where I was bitching on xhelp (as a very new player) and you responded very directly that my tone was inappropriate, in a way that made me chill out and remember that it's a game, and that behaving like an adult is part of the bargain.

That really made an impression on me, and I think it's valuable to set those precedents for new players. I'm glad you're working to address the manner of delivery, though. We're all human and we learn every day. I just don't want you to think that--based on a few negative experiences someone took the time to post--that the vast majority of players aren't grateful and appreciative of what you and all the other staff do for the game, or what you specifically contribute in terms of RP, building and everything else you do.

I think taking the commentary in stride and trying to improve is absolutely the right move, we're all trying to improve as players (and probably as people) every day, and I'm sure GMs try to improve as GMs every day, and this is just a part of that.

Thank you for your search for self improvement, Cerb. I know I should do the same.

And thanks for your hard work. Keep the empanadas coming.

The things I've learned about you (which aren't much, but at least the things I have), remind me of myself. It makes me understand the path you take and the frustration you experience.

Years ago, I was a GM for a French MMO (Dofus). It started with hosting events, and then turned into the English servers needing more than one gamemaster to run things because of the expanding population. There were a myriad of problems--an influx of gold farmers, top-tier players who were known for harassment and bad behavior, forum trolls who didn't like being sanctioned, previous GMs who abused their power and made it harder for the team they passed their responsibilities on, and players who macro'd and thought we didn't see it. Everything needed documenting. Ankama Games watched our actions closely and openly distrusted us. We weren't paid, but a small group of us manned an IRC channel and slept in shifts anyway.

All because we loved our game.

The feedback forums were filled with specific GM names and what we did "wrong" (times we edited, deleted a forum post that violated ToS, times we banned people). You could actually go by who was the most productive by the stacks of complaint threads and who was up for a rant that day. If we failed to document Ankama Games' protocol and a player had a grievance, it made the entire team look bad. And then Ankama distrusted us even more.

One day, two French GMs visited our servers and spawned a monster for the first player to reach level 100. Ankama heard about it and grilled the English team first, even when we said who it was that did it. They had the records, but we were lectured at for a week anyway. It was what it was when we had that much power.

After a while I didn't enjoy the game anymore because it felt like everyone hated me. But you know... people still keep in touch, after the heat died down. They still thought about me. Even years later, ten years later I get the random person finding me on Facebook or Linkedin to say hello. When I popped back in the unofficial game forums, they're happy to see me. I think this is true for you too.

A gamemaster's job is thankless, especially if you're known as the enforcer. And then there's the anger and resentment that built up for even me over time, I didn't want to resent my community for doing what I did and sticking by the rules. I did my job because I knew I was good at it and nobody was going to do it better than me. When I left (over an unrelated issue, someone passing away), I was missed.

I think this is true for you too.

You are a good GM. Please keep doing your job, I think this community would be different without you.

Thank you for reading.