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Staff review - 10th of November 2019

Discussion in 'Public Staff Forum' started by Virgil, Nov 10, 2019.

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  1. Virgil

    Virgil Senior Administrator Game Administrator

    Today I tasked the senior staff with a spot review of the last week's worth of ban and PM logs to investigate where we're at in terms of rule enforcement, roleplay encouragement, and issuing appropriate punishments for offenses. I've mostly relied on day-to-day observations, and the day-to-day observations make things seem a lot better than they are compared to when looked at over a longer period of time.

    Our findings
    • Our newest moderators tend to be very proactive in their duties (pats on the back for those!).
    • Admins and older mods do little to no proactive enforcement, instead purely reacting to adminhelps. This is unacceptable. Staff should be regularly watching players and ensuring they are roleplaying properly according to our roleplay standards, and ensure rules are not being broken to begin with.
    • A vast majority of admins either warn a player, or jump straight to a ban until appeal with no middle ground. This is unacceptable. The punishment should fit the crime, and temporary bans should be issued first before jumping to more permanent solutions, except in the case of grief or extremely serious offences.
    • Newer mods tend to try to enforce some roleplay standards. Older admins rarely (if ever) do so. This is not acceptable either.
    Almost all of our findings are very negative, which is extremely disappointing. The senior staff have identified numerous other issues that're either contributing to, or causing some of these issues, and we're looking at means of addressing those.

    For instance
    • Our rules are long and complex, so enforcement is not actually a simple task
    • Admins are not given adequate guidence on ban length times, and many of the current methods of adminning are built up as habits. This can be a difficult cycle to break.
    • Once you've been staff for a while, it's extremely easy to become complacent, jaded and purely reactive.
    Those are just a couple of examples and they do seem fairly simple on the surface, but they're not as simple to resolve as they might first seem. Some of these issues are buried under years and years of inadequate training and guidence, with newer admins learning from the old. A complete purge simply isn't viable either as it'd leave us entirely without staff.

    What are we doing to fix this?
    It's not going to be an overnight fix. The senior staff will be doing more spot checks at random by reviewing the logs to see where our staff are lacking and taking appropriate action. These reviews will look at logs over the course of 1-2 weeks entirely at random. Our findings could result in anything from a verbal warning and guidence on improvement, to demotion, or even straight removal depending on repeat occurences and severity.

    That said, here's some immediate actions we'll be taking to start improving things:
    • Two admins (we won't be naming and shaming) in particular are recieving appropriate disiplinary action for inappropriate ban length times (ban until appeals, rather than temporary bans).
    • One admin in particular has recieved commendations for doing a lot of good work in terms of enforcement with appropriate punishments issued. Another has recieved commendations for being fairly proactive in their work.
    • This post will serve as a blanket verbal warning to all staff members to not be complacent and both proactively and reactively do their assigned jobs. They signed up to enforce the rules, and are expected to do so proactively as well as reactively. The fact that a majority of staff aren't being proactive is why a blanket warning is being given rather than individual warnings.
    • We're going to be looking at (again) simplifying our rule set without sacrificing functionality, to make it easier for staff to adequately do their jobs.
    • I will be more vigilant on what our senior staff is doing, and being a bit less "hands off". Senior staff are far more responsible than the "lower level" admins are when it comes to these issues, as it's our duty to ensure the admins are actually doing what they're supposed to. The fact that our findings are as bad as they are is a big indicator that we simply aren't doing good enough in this aspect.
    I'll be writing another one of these when the next review is done, to outline our improvements so far and how things are going in comparison to the first.
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