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.