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Why Staff Don't Announce Everything
People joining, leaving, suspensions, bans, etc.

So, there was a bit of a blow up on OOC-Chat today. And a common criticism about how the staff keep certain knowledge among the staff came up. I'm going to outline our reasoning.

Why do you keep who on staff plays what character secret

Because that person deserves to be able to play the game without all the characters they interact with either sucking up to them because they think it will benefit them because that person is a staff alt, or accusing them of favoritism if something doesn't go their way.

How can we know that they aren't being shown favoritism?

Trust. That's really it. Nothing I say or do is going to convince you that we abide by our own rules, if you don't wanna believe it. But ask yourself why you play this game. Do you play it because you want an easy game where you can win all the time, or do you play it because you like a challenge? I'm guessing the later. It's no different for admin alt characters.

Why does Staff Alts sometimes seem more successful then?

We don't tap people to become admin if they aren't already good at the game, great RPers, and well versed in the theme. The same thing that makes someone successful as a player, makes them successful as a GM.

We don't show favoritism. In fact, admin alts are less likely to get plots or positive puppets than than any other characters, because the shoe cobblers shoes are cobbled last.

Why don't you say when someone joins the staff?

Because that would make it easy to determine who their alt is. Someone goes from playing all the time to being around a lot less or a lot more distracted on the PC, and oh Slither just announced a new SGM... guess it's them.

Why don't you say when someone leaves the staff?

When people decide to leave the staff of their own volition, they may announce it. Most choose not to. For much the same reason, I assume, as we don't announce who joined. 'So and so just left staff and now JoeThePC is SUPER ACTIVE. Probably their alt.'

Why don't you announce player suspensions?

We believe in second chances. If we suspend someone, it's to send a message that a rule break or behavior will not be tolerated and must stop. If we announce Joe was suspended for meta gaming or Bob was suspended for talking about the game OOCly with other players, and then that player is allowed back into the game there is the very real possibility that people will treat their character differently. That's not fair to the returning player and it's not fair to the player's who now have their opinion of the previously suspended player changed.

If we announced just that someone was suspended and didn't say why, the rumor mill would churn out plenty of incorrect reasons and result in us needing to correct the false claims while not denying the correct ones, resulting in essentially the same thing as if we just announced it all publicly.

Maybe you should announce it all publicly anyway and be transparent

That is a solution, but it would require context. In many situations the context involves IC events, other players, or staff members, and not a single event but a pattern of behavior. We aren't prepared to present all that information publicly, or interested in spending hours or days redacting information so that it is fit for community consumption. There isn't enough time in the day and we have more important things to do, like your puppet requests.

And then there is still the issue of this forever tainting peoples opinion of that person, in a way that would have IC impacts. That isn't fair, or helpful to them or the community.

Why don't you announce staff suspensions / bans?

Except in very rare cases, where a staff member has cheated to a degree that has affected the community (revealing stats [Navi], stealing from players [Dekkard]) we don't directly say someone has been removed from staff for the same reasons we don't talk about player suspensions. It's not fair to the person.

On top of those reasons, there is also the inability for the person who is suspended (player or admin) to respond. If I post a BGBB thread about how we banned JoeBakaTheGM for X and Y reason, that's me making a very explicit statement about that person. A statement that they are not able to defend against, unless they take it outside the community (MOO, BGBB) and start communicating with players, or go post a rant on Reddit or something (which /r/MUD hates) or a negative review of us on MudConnector or whatever.

None of that is helpful. Most of the time player or admin suspensions happen, the suspension is a break from the game to reinforce a behavior needs to stop. And a lot of that is about giving people on both sides time away to get past any bleed/anger/bitterness/whatever so they can process, and come back with a clear head, and an acceptance of what is expected of them.

If we start posting our side of every interpersonal or rules issue, and naming names, it's just going to further fan the flames of the situation.

But that's what happened anyway with Mirage

Yeah, sure seems like it. But that didn't happen because Sindome Staff came out and bad mouthed Mirage, or told our side of the story without giving her a chance to tell hers.

I expect a level of maturity and trust from the community (staff and players). And a willingness to take anything you hear from other players or people who used to play Sindome or used to be on Staff, with a grain of salt and a realization that it is one side of the story, and possibly a side not even coming from the person the issue is about. There are multiple sides to every story, and us presenting JUST OUR SIDE would not be fair to the others involved.

A former member of staff that was removed, whoever they may be, is entitled to their opinion. And they can believe whatever they like about the situation that led to them being removed from staff. And the people still staffing the game, that had to review the logs/evidence/patterns of behavior/everything else, and vote on that person being removed from staff are entitled to their opinions.

As players in the community, you won't ever get full transparency, because to give you that would be to fully pull back the curtain on the game. It would mean providing the context for the arguments that happened. The background on the puppets, the plots, the IC and OOC interactions that took place between players ICly and OOCly. It would mean revealing a ton of IC information, who plays who, the history behind features or plots, and much more. That's against our rules for a reason.

Pulling back the curtain should not be something done lightly. I know from experience, it has a negative impact on the enjoyment a player will get from the game.

We do it when we bring on admin, and they are warned, and it's done for a purpose: bettering the game.

Re-litigating every choice the staff have to make in a public setting is not productive, it's not what you are here for, it's not what the staff are here for, and it's not good for the community.

Hopefully this has provided some insight into why we operate how we do. You don't have to agree, but I do hope you understand.

-- S

Thank you for being up front on the not on frontness.
Here is some transparency for some of you who have questions or concerns.

RE: My alt

Yes, I did play Koko. Koko is dead and going forward, I will not be playing.

RE: Mirage

Mirage and I butted heads sometimes but I respected her and we got along more often than not. She contributed a helluva lot to the game and I will miss her. What she did was not cool. That's it.

RE: Who watches the watchmen

When I type in @paged-notes for Coral's alt, and I CTRL+F for 'Kronos', Kronos has made two notes about Coral's alt out of 236 total. These two notes came on back-to-back days in January of this year. Adding to this, Kronos has taken a step back from GM'ing for months now.

He did not make a decision affecting Coral's alt in the first note. The second note did involve a decision that needed to be made about Coral's alt, and he wrote 'I'm heavy COI on taking a decision on that, so I told them I'd take a decision and get back to them tonight or tomorrow'. The final decision was not made by Kronos.

When I type in @paged-notes for Kronos' alt, and I CTRL+F for 'Coral', Coral has made eleven notes about Kronos' alt out of 281 in total.

One was an OOC note regarding a conversation had with a player about their meta behavior towards Kronos' alt. Coral's talking points to this player were built from consensus directly from a staff meeting. Coral did not make a final decision about that player.

Two notes were for a plot I was running that Kronos' alt attended. Coral was helping me with one of the NPC puppets and wrote up what happened. Coral did not make any decisions relating to Kronos' alt.

Two notes were for player-driven actions that NPC's reacted to and Kronos' alt happened to be there. Coral did not make any decisions relating to Kronos' alt.

Two notes were for two of Coral's plots engaging non-Kronos PC's. Coral did not make any decisions relating to Kronos' alt.

Three notes were for logging and flagging gridmails that another PC had sent about Kronos' alt. Coral did not make any decisions relating to Kronos' alt, nor did she reply.

One note was for logging and flagging a gridmail that Kronos' alt had sent. Coral did not make any decisions relating to Kronos' alt, nor did she reply.

This idea that Coral and Kronos are constantly puppeting for each other and cheating is flat out ridiculous, and this type of accusation is really par for the course for this person.

Coral only has eleven notes for Kronos' alt because she's taken on a huge workload, and she did all of it without complaining. Not once.

The xhelp with that player should've been something I would've handled, if I was around more. Those two notes about my plot were notes I should've written, if I'd had time. Those four gridmails she flagged were because SGM's have been few and far between.

Not once did she make a decision on anything that affected Kronos' alt, let alone favor him at all.

Kronos and Coral have put in far too much of their free time contributing to the game for some weirdo who hates the game yet cannot stay away to shit all over them with lies. And let's be clear, what was said about Coral and Kronos on OOC chat today were lies. Flat out.

RE: Somebody posting lies about me on Discord that I as the head GM "ERP constantly and if my ERP partner ERP's elsewhere and I'm online, I will send out game wide shouts reminding people to read help chastity. I will also do this, after I ERP if the person I ERP with has to leave or something."

So three things here.

I do not hold the position of head GM, haven't since like a year and a half ago. I noticed the admin guide still lists me as that. It is outdated. I occupy a position on senior staff because I'm the longest tenured GM, but that's about it as I've taken a backseat. Other GM's make decisions mostly by consensus and I help out when I can.

Any admin can attest to the fact that I do not ERP constantly.

Any admin who have been around at the time of any 'help chastity' shouts I sent out can attest that I ONLY sent those out when people were saying OTT shit on phones or private SIC.

It happened so much that it became a running joke with staff and other admin picked up on doing it.

Those admin would know that this specific person lying about me like this is super ironic because many of those shouts were triggered by something this person's characters were involved in.

It is also a bit sad because the person that wrote these lies about me also wrote the lies above about Coral and Kronos.

And no, this is not a case of 'hit dog hollers'. There's a lot of criticism about us out there. Some of it is valid. Some of it is not. I've held my tongue regardless, until now. See ya.

It's frustrating to be reminding players that the game doesn't have to close ranks to protect itself against valid criticism on one side, and as well that positive change can and does happen on the other; only for the same habitual accelerationists to come in from outside and fling shit everywhere with no regard whatsoever.

It is not productive for any community, or meant to bring about healthy change, or help serve to address any real wrong or disclosure or complaint. It sabotages the process of progress so many of us have worked at, and falsely claims it as Us-versus-Them; when the agents provocateur are neither, and serve the interests of nothing.

I would encourage players with grievances to air them with staff rather than burying them under resentment until they erupt or fester, to work towards the changes they want to see, and to support those in the community who share their goals. I have always done these things and to date I have always seen the positive impact of it over time.

I was shocked to see the list of characters, but it really doesn't change my perspective of these characters. People are saying these GM alts were given unfair advantages to get to the positions they have now. And I think some people are missing the bigger picture there. You might only be seeing these people in power now, and paid their characters no mind when they were immigrants bumbling their way through the city. Without going too IC. I've watched at least one GM alt (one I never knew was an alt till all this drama bs started.) over the course of many of my characters and have seen their character work from the bottom to their position now. You mean to tell me while they were working some low paying wage job down in the mix that they were getting special treatment? More likely these people playing these characters are just good at the game, and good at roleplay. Of the characters that I recognized on that list, I had considered them all characters that I hope to interact with because they bring RP, excitement, and most of all plots to the characters their character interacts with. I think some people forget Sindome at it's core is about the story we tell as players/characters. It's not about getting a special item, dominating in pvp with your build, or holding the position of some nigh unattainable job. It's about the story and effort you put to get there. The players reached these feats because they breath life into the game, via plots and story. I've seen plenty of these characters down in the mud and in shit positions. They're not in "Carebear mode." They can lose these jobs, items, and things people believe they were supposedly given.

TLDR GM alts were shit immigrants too, they've just been on these characters so long that I think some people never saw it or forgot. But it's rude to say that GM's who've put just as much effort into their characters as any of us have are getting some sort of unfair treatment. Maybe look at these characters and see how they're RPing differently from you.


Is there a suitable place to air our grievances over this matter in long form without putting it on the forum for all to see?

After hearing the feedback on here, and on game, we have made the following update to our admin policy to improve transparency:

Admin will keep updated a BGBB thread where we post the results of suspensions and bans without IDing anyone, we will say what the infraction was, and what the punishment was. This will increase transparency, and let us reiterate our rules when needed. We will continue to call these out in the town hall every 6 months.