Well I’ve come up with something that could be of advise to DarkRP server owners.
I’ve told this advise to many DarkRP owners in the past and thankfully lots of servers already do this, however it seems like the vast majority don’t.
This advise can also be taken into servers of other gamemodes however I’ve applied the DarkRP context here.
When I create a DarkRP server or any server when I get friends to help out being admins or regular players of the community. I try to iterate these values.
Response based adminstration
This first point basiaccly means that staff shouldn’t be patrolling around on duty all the time. Instead they act upon complaints from the players said in chat or voice, The reason behind this is it creates an unfriendly and hostile atmosphere between the players and the administrators if you see them flying around looking for trouble all the time. It even creates a more divide when they try to cloak themselves but you can still see their physgun or peek inside bases all the time. You could argue that pre-emptive adminstration is a good thing, For example if a Mass-RDMer was causing havok, an admin on the scene already could easily physgun them and freeze them, this would be slower with my solution. However I believe the benefits outweigh the cons as a friendly atmosphere for the players to be on where admin response may be 10-20 seconds longer than a server with admins flying around acting hostile.
Also the style of having many admins on patrol makes players not want to RP, lets say if only 10 people on the server 3 are admins who are on duty or at a rooftop messing around then that only leaves 7 people RP’ing, The admins could have ONE on standby in case of a situation or evne better have all the admins RP’ing and they can just act upon situations in OOC accordingly. Some servers don’t like admins using commands off duty but in these sorts of servres that wouldn’t be a problem. In fact referring to the previous scenario about mass RDM it could be a lot faster, Let’s say one of the admins were in the main street area of downtown RP’ing as a gangster and the gun dealer (mass rdmer) was going on a rampage, the admin can easily just pick them up and deal with them - Just as fast as if they were to be flying around.
This style of administration also brings the players closer to the admins as they are more likely to roleplay with one and other, instead of them being off in their own little clan flying around or in the admin area, they are RP’ing normally just as players. You could argue they are the same as players, just have commands to help with the server out.
Admins are here to Help!
I’ve seen the phrase “admins are here to help!” on many servers, However perhaps many people don’t understand the statement very well.
My interpiration is that admins MAIN priority is to help the players, This isn’t just finding and punishing rule breakers, I’ve seen SO many servers where all the admins do will ban/jail/slay rule breakers and that’s all they do. I think the main job of the admins is to help players with the all the issues they have on the server. For example helping a new player understand how to buy guns or showing how to use Fading doors, Teaching in my opinion is one of the responsibilies that make a good admin. Yes admins will be there to ban the RDM’ers and such, but I really don’t like making people admins who I feel are just there to look for trouble and get some sort of “satisfaction” from warning/banning/punishing people, Although it’s safe to assume that this tactic makes for a rule-breaker free server, It does not present a friendly or nice atmosphere to play in. Knowing that the admins are just there to look for the slightest mishap and punish, It’s much nicer when admins are just there to help the players in any way and as a SIDE duty, punishing the rule breakers and dealing with situations.
Another thing that baffles me is new players getting punished for stuff they don’t understand. For example I was in an RP server and there was an obvious new player, Didn’t even know how to chat . He was at spawn and spawned a barrel, he wasn’t hurting people he was just playing with the barrel and balloon tool. Didn’t seem much of a threat. An admin was immediately “on the case”, noclipped towards him picked him up and was warning him for breaking the rules, this was because the player gave no response apart from pointing his physgun beam at the admin, obviously didn’t know what he was getting into. Then when the admin let him go he decided to go to another area and broke another rule (I think FailRP because he left a mugging) and got warned again I said in OOC “He didn’t know the rules of the game why were you punishing him?”, and he said “He should know the rules its DarkRP”. I then went to the player and showed him how to use the text chat and other features and explained it was a DarkRP server and you are supposed to roleplay, poor guy couldn’t even see anything since he didn’t have C:SS. Here’s how this situation could have been handled better by the admin.
The admin could have easily shown him how to use text chat after its obvious hes new.
Explained what DarkRP is about and the aim of the game.
Explained why everything was pink and black squares and you need C:SS.
Not much isn’t it? Took me 2 minutes at most to do that as a Unranked player. It oustounds me how many Admins are “ban happy” and get some sort of weird satisfaction or “points” from banning/punishing people. Very strange and I don’t agree with this behaviour at all. You should only ban and punish when it’s needed.
Incidents where no ones gameplay was affected.
Another more controversial issue is when Rules are broken but it’s obviously not hurting anyone. Rules of the server are there to keep everything in order and a good playing environment. If someone is breaking the rules and isn’t affecting anyone then why should tehy be punished? Many of the admins will reply “because its against the rules”. That isn’t a very good point. For example my friend was punished for “self supply” once. There were NO other gun dealers on the server at the time, Only me and a friend and an admin who was “spectating” us from the admin area. (He was paranoid of us). We were building a base ready for when more people would join and try to raid us, My friend became gun dealer and was instantly warned.
I said to the admin “What was he supposed to do there were no other gun dealers?”
Admin replies “It’s against the rules”
I then said “So should we follow the rules even if they are illogical/not harming anyone?”
He replied “Yes”…
Now I’m not talking about rules that can really affect the gameplay of other peoples, I’m not saying lets allow mass RDM, but things like the above situation can be dealt with by having a more lenient interpretation on the rules, and instead of using them as a strict “set”, have them as a guideline for Admins to enforce them when NEEDED.
I hope you enjoyed this advise. Please discuss more things you feel is needed for having a good staff team, Doesn’t have to be DarkRP - All gamemodes are welcome.