I want to float an idea out there that may be familiar to anyone who has ever LARPed. Player Reportcards. Player report cards at LARPs are done as post-game things. They ask questions and opinions about the theme, the RP, the NPCs, and give a constructive outlet for bringing up IC/OOC issues as well as offering praise and other feedback.
This would be something we did between 1-4 times a year.
Some examples questions:
1. How would you rate (1-5) the theme of the game.
2. How would you rate (1-5) the NPC realism
3. How would you rate (1-5) staff helpfulness.
4. Please write a 1-2 paragraph feedback on your general opinion of what could be improved ICly.
5. Please write a 1-2 paragraph feedback on your general opinion of what could be improved OOCly.
6. Is there a staff member that is a stand out in terms of RP excellence?
7. Is there a fellow player that is a stand out in terms of RP excellence?
8. Are you a new player? If so please give us some feedback on the newbie experience and what you feel could be improved?
9. Best RP memory since the last report card?
10. Most frustrating RP memory since last report card?
11. Any issues / gripes you were told to bring up on the next report card?
These are just examples. The real report card would possibly be more refined and include more questions. Report cards would be optional. It's possible we incentivize report cards.
That leads me to the next idea.
Generally, we leave notes with 'Gold Star' in the subject for players that have done something ICly or OOCly great that we want other admin to be able to see at a glance.
We also track generally negative interactions but not in any pre-defined way.
I would like to propose giving admin the ability to @goldstar / @blackmark a player based on interactions. These would be visible at a glance and help admin generally acknowledge excellence in RP and OOC interactions and also log the other side of it, the negative interactions. Perhaps each goldstar / blackmark would be accompanied by a short description of what happened.
'spent an hour helping a new player learn the city'
'helped write a ton of descriptions and asked for nothing in return'
'was argumentative on xhelp'
'@quit in the middle of combat'.
This would be quantifying in a straight forward way, something we already do with notes.
For those that wanted it, we could make your goldstar/blackmarks for the season / quarter / semester / whatever visible, after you have filled out the player reportcard / feedback form.
This would be a NON-FLAME way to get a general idea of where you stand with the admin, the game, RP, etc. It would be against the rules / not in the spirit of what it's used for, to xhelp like "WTF WHY BLACKMARKS."
Hence why it would be optional and not something we force on players. Same with the report card. Not everyone will have to or will want to be involved.
However, it would be 100% acceptable to xhelp and say, "Hey, I didn't realize I'd gotten blackmarks and I would like feedback on what I can do to both become a better RPer and a bigger part of the RP community without causing issues for anyone, especially admin."
I've discussed these ideas with admin and with a couple players. I would like to hear some feedback about it. I recognize that the Player Reportcards are probably going to be #1 a popular idea and #2 definitely something we are going to do. The real discussion should focus around how we implement it, what questions we ask, how we keep it positive and constructive, etc.
Goldstar / Blackmarks are an OPT-IN thing. We may, as admins, track this stuff but it would be for admin and YOU. No one else would have access to that information and you would only get access to it #1 after filling out a report card and #2 if you -want- it.
In general, the report card + mark feedback would create a circle of feedback that occurs on a semi-regular basis and allows everyone in the community to grow, both admin, gms, players, and even NPCs.
It can also be a great way for players to offer constructive feedback. I believe it would decrease angry xhelps because players will know that they have a real way of expressing any gripes they have on a regular basis. A lot of angry xhelps happen because players feel like they aren't going to be heard. If you knew you would have a chance to offer feedback about a specific plot or RP-- it may be easier to not xhelp right away. Plus, the bonus of this method is that usually an hour or day or week later you recognize that what you were upset about was not as big a deal, so it would reduce the FLAME + Apology cycle that we sometimes see.
Anyway-- let the discussion begin!