[Accepted] Serious Staff Rework Suggestions

RedTillDead

Member
I know that there is a lot of things happening with the staff team right now, and I will not pretend to know even half of the things being talked about. However, I do know this is a hot topic right now, and this is in no way meant to be a flamewar or to roast any particular staff member. I do believe, as many of my fellow Civ players would agree, that the staff team in its current form is highly unmoderated, bloated, and in desperate need of reworking. These are some suggestions to help with the staff team issues. Please read through these and comment on what you like and what you don't like. I would like some staff input too so we can all gain something out of this, and bridge the highly divided gap between staff member and player. We should work together for a united community, not against each other for a divided one. As such, I will keep personal bias and not name any names or insinuate anything in this post as we all have the same goal - a fun server with a high playerbase and good staff team.


- Set a minimum playtime per week for members of the moderation team.
The idea behind this is simple. There are many, many chat mods, and some of them are really active and some are not so active. To help encourage staff members to be online more, a system where they have to clock a certain number of hours every week (I say week because no one can be on everyday) would help to meet this goal. If a staff member couldn't log on that week, they could send a message in the staff-channel with a ping to the Management or Admins with a simple note as to why they are absent that week. For example "@MGMT, can't be active this week, going on 4th of July trip with family". Something like that. In any case, a quota for hours would do wonders for the staff activity of the less-than-active staff members.

- Expand Rule 2.G. and Define Harassment
We all have seen at least someone get warned or muted for harassment, but it is vaguely defined in the rules. It is said twice in the server rules, as one can not harass a staff member over a made staff decision, and one cannot drive away players with harassment. I think that harassment can be defined pretty broadly, and as such staff members may interpret it as any number of things, while players might not consider what they're doing harassment. An edit to the rules to include what is not allowed and what is allowed in regards to "harassment" would help staff members define where the line is, and help players to not cross it. Along with defining harassment would be setting specific guidelines for punishing people for harassment. I will talk about this more later.

- Anti-Slander Rule
There are many people who have been slandered on the server, both staff member and not staff member. I suggested this before but I do not think it was taken seriously. A rule to prevent players from insulting the personal character, whether the accusations or remarks be true or false, in a public chat. Any genuine concerns about the personal actions of a player should be brought to staff privately, not to the entire server in public chats as this can drive away new players or just scare regular players off in general. For example, I have had people leave my nation because they were told while I was offline that I am a "unstable racist Nazi". If we want our playerbase to be united, then we have to draw this line, and since I know I am at the forefront of some of the things that are going on right now, I want to be the one to help draw this line and admit that I have been in the wrong and going forward will deal with things in the appropriate manner. However, this should not just be a one-time thing, or a polite suggestion. I sincerely believe with all my heart that an anti-slander rule would be beneficial to the server and playerbase as a whole, and bring us one step closer to a united community without toxicity that can infest our beloved hobby.

- Private Place to Report High-Ranking Staff
If you want to report a moderator, you make a ticket. But what do you do if, God forbid, you need to report an administrator? Administrators can see tickets, so that's a no-go. You could DM MGMT, but that hardly seems official, and most definitely would not get the same attention. Reporting someone on the forums is public. I think there should be a private place to report an administrator or developer to the Management team without having fear of the administrator seeing it, or the entire playerbase. I think this one is pretty straightforward.

- Set Punishments for Rule-Breaking
I know this was a thing when I was staff way back when, and I would like to believe it still is however I am not under that impression. For example, I have seen certain people muted for one thing for 24 hours, then another person muted for 2 weeks, then another person muted for a month, all for the same rule violation. This causes discontent and the feeling that the staff team is not united or is following their own agenda, which no community likes to believe and I don't believe it either. I do know that it drives a wedge between player and staff member though. Not only should there be set guidelines for punishing a rule-breaker, but I believe that the general playerbase should have permission to see them. Like I said, at the end of the day we all want the same thing. I think transparency is a big part of us achieving what we all want. It is a lot easier for the playerbase to trust that there's no bias if they know that all the staff are following the same rulebook, and not making it up to their own discretion.


One last thing, I would like to say that the CivWars team is doing a great job, and I think that we're in a better place with staff than we have been in a long time. Keep in mind I come from a time on Civ where the only staff member was talltitanicc... I only want the community to be united and I know that recent actions of mine and some of my compatriots might not reflect this, but we were acting out of frustration. That frustration is what led me to write these suggestions, so hopefully we can mend the social divide between the staff team and the player, together. I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this, staff member and non-staff member alike.
Thank you.
- Red
 

Dr_Chocolate

Sr. Admin
Staff member
Senior Admin
My thoughts, keeping it brief since I wanna go to bed.

1. I'm unsure about setting a hard playtime count. Similar to the reason I'm against high playtime rewards, people can just AFK for periods of time, and it's sometimes difficult to verify active playing time from AFK time. But there will be some changes, especially in the mod team due to inactivity. Also maybe we can do upper staff performance reviews sooner rather than later, think those would help?

2. I like this.

3. I like this too.

4. DMs are taken seriously unless people (not naming names lol) are just waahing that they got correctly punished for breaking a rule. I'm not sure how we could set up another avenue for this, but I don't think MGMT DMs are bad as of now.

5. There is a set punishment guideline pinned in staff channels. I will emphasize sticking to it. However, I would like to mention discretion is allowed, to an extent, and a player's (recent) history also matters.
 

RedTillDead

Member
My thoughts, keeping it brief since I wanna go to bed.

1. I'm unsure about setting a hard playtime count. Similar to the reason I'm against high playtime rewards, people can just AFK for periods of time, and it's sometimes difficult to verify active playing time from AFK time. But there will be some changes, especially in the mod team due to inactivity. Also maybe we can do upper staff performance reviews sooner rather than later, think those would help?

2. I like this.

3. I like this too.

4. DMs are taken seriously unless people (not naming names lol) are just waahing that they got correctly punished for breaking a rule. I'm not sure how we could set up another avenue for this, but I don't think MGMT DMs are bad as of now.

5. There is a set punishment guideline pinned in staff channels. I will emphasize sticking to it. However, I would like to mention discretion is allowed, to an extent, and a player's (recent) history also matters.
Good night sleep well!!!

- Performance reviews are very good, I think we are all interested in seeing more of those. I am excited to hear you say that there will be changes in the mod team as well, because I think that there are some prospective eager people who could fill the ranks of those who might not be as active. As for no playtime count, I would rather have staff AFK on the server than staff not on the server at all, but I can see where you're coming from.

- Smooooth criminal. The problem is some of MGMT's opinions differ from other MGMT. I know I find myself going to a certain member of MGMT when I want something to swing in my favor, and I think that this creates hostility and tension between the MGMT members, which should be avoided in the spirit of unity.

- I have some issues about "recent history" as I'm sure you know as I have wahhed in your DMs, but I do think that at least the main playerbase having access to seeing the set punishment guideline would help. Maybe a big disclaimer in bold red letters that says "TO BE APPLIED BY STAFF AT THEIR DISCRETION - PUNISHMENTS MAY CHANGE DEPENDING ON CIRCUMSTANCE" to ensure players don't consider the guidelines the Gospel truth, just a basis so they know if they're getting a month long mute for something they should get a warning for that that's not right, and vice versa.
 

chubd

New member
I know that there is a lot of things happening with the staff team right now, and I will not pretend to know even half of the things being talked about. However, I do know this is a hot topic right now, and this is in no way meant to be a flamewar or to roast any particular staff member. I do believe, as many of my fellow Civ players would agree, that the staff team in its current form is highly unmoderated, bloated, and in desperate need of reworking. These are some suggestions to help with the staff team issues. Please read through these and comment on what you like and what you don't like. I would like some staff input too so we can all gain something out of this, and bridge the highly divided gap between staff member and player. We should work together for a united community, not against each other for a divided one. As such, I will keep personal bias and not name any names or insinuate anything in this post as we all have the same goal - a fun server with a high playerbase and good staff team.


- Set a minimum playtime per week for members of the moderation team.
The idea behind this is simple. There are many, many chat mods, and some of them are really active and some are not so active. To help encourage staff members to be online more, a system where they have to clock a certain number of hours every week (I say week because no one can be on everyday) would help to meet this goal. If a staff member couldn't log on that week, they could send a message in the staff-channel with a ping to the Management or Admins with a simple note as to why they are absent that week. For example "@MGMT, can't be active this week, going on 4th of July trip with family". Something like that. In any case, a quota for hours would do wonders for the staff activity of the less-than-active staff members.

- Expand Rule 2.G. and Define Harassment
We all have seen at least someone get warned or muted for harassment, but it is vaguely defined in the rules. It is said twice in the server rules, as one can not harass a staff member over a made staff decision, and one cannot drive away players with harassment. I think that harassment can be defined pretty broadly, and as such staff members may interpret it as any number of things, while players might not consider what they're doing harassment. An edit to the rules to include what is not allowed and what is allowed in regards to "harassment" would help staff members define where the line is, and help players to not cross it. Along with defining harassment would be setting specific guidelines for punishing people for harassment. I will talk about this more later.

- Anti-Slander Rule
There are many people who have been slandered on the server, both staff member and not staff member. I suggested this before but I do not think it was taken seriously. A rule to prevent players from insulting the personal character, whether the accusations or remarks be true or false, in a public chat. Any genuine concerns about the personal actions of a player should be brought to staff privately, not to the entire server in public chats as this can drive away new players or just scare regular players off in general. For example, I have had people leave my nation because they were told while I was offline that I am a "unstable racist Nazi". If we want our playerbase to be united, then we have to draw this line, and since I know I am at the forefront of some of the things that are going on right now, I want to be the one to help draw this line and admit that I have been in the wrong and going forward will deal with things in the appropriate manner. However, this should not just be a one-time thing, or a polite suggestion. I sincerely believe with all my heart that an anti-slander rule would be beneficial to the server and playerbase as a whole, and bring us one step closer to a united community without toxicity that can infest our beloved hobby.

- Private Place to Report High-Ranking Staff
If you want to report a moderator, you make a ticket. But what do you do if, God forbid, you need to report an administrator? Administrators can see tickets, so that's a no-go. You could DM MGMT, but that hardly seems official, and most definitely would not get the same attention. Reporting someone on the forums is public. I think there should be a private place to report an administrator or developer to the Management team without having fear of the administrator seeing it, or the entire playerbase. I think this one is pretty straightforward.

- Set Punishments for Rule-Breaking
I know this was a thing when I was staff way back when, and I would like to believe it still is however I am not under that impression. For example, I have seen certain people muted for one thing for 24 hours, then another person muted for 2 weeks, then another person muted for a month, all for the same rule violation. This causes discontent and the feeling that the staff team is not united or is following their own agenda, which no community likes to believe and I don't believe it either. I do know that it drives a wedge between player and staff member though. Not only should there be set guidelines for punishing a rule-breaker, but I believe that the general playerbase should have permission to see them. Like I said, at the end of the day we all want the same thing. I think transparency is a big part of us achieving what we all want. It is a lot easier for the playerbase to trust that there's no bias if they know that all the staff are following the same rulebook, and not making it up to their own discretion.


One last thing, I would like to say that the CivWars team is doing a great job, and I think that we're in a better place with staff than we have been in a long time. Keep in mind I come from a time on Civ where the only staff member was talltitanicc... I only want the community to be united and I know that recent actions of mine and some of my compatriots might not reflect this, but we were acting out of frustration. That frustration is what led me to write these suggestions, so hopefully we can mend the social divide between the staff team and the player, together. I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this, staff member and non-staff member alike.
Thank you.
- Red
+1 for reasons I don't want to explain, because (like you asserted) this is a public forum.
 

Dreadmore

Community Manager
Staff member
Hey,

I do like all of these suggestions, This rework is asking for more accountability within staff player time and actions. I am all for this.

For reporting an Admin, you are more than welcome to PM me or another member of management. If one of us did a bad thing let Derp know. We could add a google form though that only management has access to if you think that would be good?

Okay, more specific. The harassment rule. It is difficult to fully describe what would be listed as "Harassment" as it takes plenty of forms. We could try to be more specific with it, definitely. I will look into rewording it.

For anti-slander. I do agree with this but it could be difficult to enforce. Trying to pick out whether or not something crosses a line from shit talking to slander is sometimes difficult and leaves a lot of gray areas. I will write something up tomorrow and put it up for a poll.

For set punishments. Like choco mentioned, we do have a punishment guideline and a warning system to help keep track of how many times you have been warned for something or muted, etc. It is being loosely followed as I can tell. I don't necessarily mind when a punishment handed out by a Moderator or Admin or anyone is more lenient (unless for an extremely serious or often repeated offense) or when a chance is given out. I thoroughly believe in talking to someone about something they did before warning officially or handing out punishment. The guidelines were just updated to be a little more lenient on some things but I will remind the staff to start following it a little more.


For the most part, our staff team has done a decent job punishing people correctly and I am pretty happy with most of their decisions. If I feel it is not right, I always change it (If I hear about it). If you feel you have been unjustly punished or for an unjust amount of time, open a ticket or a thread on here and just let me know to look at it and I will do my best for yah. I want everyone on civ to have a good time and that's it. That's the only reason I am still around is that I like people to have fun with something we made.

Thank you for the thread, I will do my best to see most of these things done


Good Night,
Dreadmore

Unstable nazi
 

AlexShez

New member
drop some of the staff members, I've seen few do this but multiple times people have said things in chat which are not appropriate and they don't get muted including things I have even said lol.
 

RedTillDead

Member
One more thing I thought of when I woke up this morning - edit the rules to specifically include suicide encouragement/self harm encouragement as against the rules. I know I'm not the only one who has gotten in trouble for this one!

For reporting an Admin, you are more than welcome to PM me or another member of management. If one of us did a bad thing let Derp know. We could add a google form though that only management has access to if you think that would be good?
I love the idea of a Google form. Like I said above, I know that often players will message a specific member of staff because they know how that staff member will react as opposed to a different member of management, which is no bueno and should be avoided. Also, Derp has it set so that we can't DM him, and he doesn't accept friend requests. This isn't a dig, I completely understand why he does this, but it furthers my point for a need for a way to contact management.

Okay, more specific. The harassment rule. It is difficult to fully describe what would be listed as "Harassment" as it takes plenty of forms. We could try to be more specific with it, definitely. I will look into rewording it.
First, unlawful harassing conduct must be unwelcome and based on the victim’s status.
Second, the conduct must be:
  1. - subjectively abusive to the person affected; and
  2. - objectively severe and pervasive enough to create an environment that a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive.

  3. For anti-slander. I do agree with this but it could be difficult to enforce. Trying to pick out whether or not something crosses a line from shit talking to slander is sometimes difficult and leaves a lot of gray areas. I will write something up tomorrow and put it up for a poll.
    Defamation of a person by unprivileged communication made to a third party is against the rules. This includes unsolicited true or false statements made on the personal character of an individual with the purpose of violating their public standing. Any serious concerns about a member's conduct should be brought privately to staff.
  4. If you feel you have been unjustly punished or for an unjust amount of time, open a ticket or a thread on here and just let me know to look at it and I will do my best for yah.
    unmoot in discorrd has been almos a month DDD:
 

FTen

Member
One more thing I thought of when I woke up this morning - edit the rules to specifically include suicide encouragement/self harm encouragement as against the rules. I know I'm not the only one who has gotten in trouble for this one!


I love the idea of a Google form. Like I said above, I know that often players will message a specific member of staff because they know how that staff member will react as opposed to a different member of management, which is no bueno and should be avoided. Also, Derp has it set so that we can't DM him, and he doesn't accept friend requests. This isn't a dig, I completely understand why he does this, but it furthers my point for a need for a way to contact management.


First, unlawful harassing conduct must be unwelcome and based on the victim’s status.
Second, the conduct must be:
  1. - subjectively abusive to the person affected; and
  2. - objectively severe and pervasive enough to create an environment that a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive.


  3. Defamation of a person by unprivileged communication made to a third party is against the rules. This includes unsolicited true or false statements made on the personal character of an individual with the purpose of violating their public standing. Any serious concerns about a member's conduct should be brought privately to staff.

  4. unmoot in discorrd has been almos a month DDD:
+1!
 

Vali

New member
+1 I think these suggestions are reasonable. Like Dreadmore said, there is already a punishment guideline, but perhaps it could be written somewhere on the forum so players can see it. As for the set minimum amount of time, this was a rule back when I was on the staff team and seemed to work well for the most part. Also, I think Red would make a good staff member.
 

Mad MMTM

New member
Donator
+1 I think these suggestions are reasonable. Like Dreadmore said, there is already a punishment guideline, but perhaps it could be written somewhere on the forum so players can see it. As for the set minimum amount of time, this was a rule back when I was on the staff team and seemed to work well for the most part. Also, I think Red would make a good staff member.
just to piggy back, in the server rules section on the forum, there is a link that leads to the spreadsheet provided that lists all the punishment guidelines, It just seems not many people see the link
 

chubd

New member
just to piggy back, in the server rules section on the forum, there is a link that leads to the spreadsheet provided that lists all the punishment guidelines, It just seems not many people see the link
are rules really rules if nobody knows them and/or follows them?
 

RedTillDead

Member
are rules really rules if nobody knows them and/or follows them?
Yes. Right is right, even if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong.
The rules are in an easy place to find, they are easy to read, and most things in them are common sense.
 

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