Hello everyone, I'm writing this to explain how things are going and what's been going on recently. I'd like to do these more but it really depends on how useful people find it. The Staff Vs Players Thing First of all, I wish to dispel a certain perception that me and other staff members don't give a shit about what the players think. It's true that we can sometimes make decisions that go against the wishes of the players, but when we do these things we do not do so lightly (in the case of LOOC, the rampant toxicity was untennable and we do not have non-excessive measures of keeping it clean and clear of abuse, for example). If myself and others did not care about your concerns and feedback, we wouldn't spend many hours of our free time listening to them and discussing them internally as well as with you. We also wouldn't continually be trying to gather information on your thoughts on various things via the use of polls and discussion topics. Sometimes we will make decisions and do things that players do not agree with. Sometimes we might feel it needs to happen. Sometimes it'll be an accident. Sometimes we'll decide we were wrong and change course. Sometimes it'll be put to a staff-only discussion because no one can seem to agree. But again, it doesn't mean we don't care about your thoughts on it. A criticism I've recieved and I whole heartedly agree with is that the senior staff are honestly pretty terrible at explaining things and communicating, and it contributes heavily to this perception. I'm especially bad at it. It's true! There's not a lot I can say about this other than I'll try to improve. The LOOC Mute LOOC was muted a while back because of rampant misuse and outright toxicity. Sabira posted some numbers people may find interesting, but a vast majority of LOOCs use was for insulting and being overly salty towards other players as well as IC in OOC. Currently we have two means of dealing with these players - a round-long mute, or a ban from the server. A ban from the server entirely feels far too harsh for misusing a single channel, and a round-long mute simply isn't enough to keep people from misusing LOOC. LOOC will currently remain muted until an LOOC ban system is in place, so we can ensure that repeat offenders can be dealt with appropriately. Once a system for banning from LOOC is in place, LOOC will be temporarily re-enabled on a round-by-round basis. This is so staff can moderate it more strictly and see that it's being used appropriately. After a couple of weeks of staff re-enabling it round-to-round, LOOC will be re-enabled permanently, with stricter staff orders in place to ensure it's heavily moderated. We currently do not have an ETA on this being done. The Setting Change After several months of gathering feedback, doing polls, and holding discussions, I announced a very vague idea of a settings change we thought would be appealing and hopefully allow us to give us a solid idea of where we want to go as we move forward. The initial announcement was vague, and I jumped the gun as I had been told that the announcement was fine as-is by other senior staff members. Obviously it wasn't and we were wrong. From the feedback we've recieved both on and off-server, it seems we were horribly wrong and the data we did have was not accurate. I can't apologize enough for that, and I've decided to kill the idea of a settings change. It seems most people are happy with what we have now and would like to see things refined further and expanded upon, rather than a drastic shift. It's a common misconception that we wished to try to bring back long-gone players with the change. Whilst that would have been great and obviously desirable, we had several other goals in mind with the settings change. Lower barrier to entry Most new players seem to find the whole military/civilian split a daunting thing, and the frankly rediculous amount of regulations, procedures, etc needed to not get shat on IC (and to an extent, OOC) is a big contributor to this. This has gotten better in recent times, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. Less IC excuses for kill-happy behavior. Something that's actually justified to an extent because of our setting. More character flexibility - lets people customize more. I'm hoping we'll be able to achieve all of those things without compromising what everyone likes about what we currently have, but I'll discuss that more when there's more to say about it. I think that covers everything recent, so that's it for now.