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.