Steve wrote:Where is Charraj when you need him?!?
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I never wanted you to come back to Gotham. I always knew there was nothing here for you except pain and tragedy. And I wanted something more for you than that.
I still do."
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I haven't actually expressed an opinion on your specific proposal in this thread. I think the only opinion I have expressed is that DM ethics go beyond rules, as in my experience whatever the rules, people can abuse them with either secrecy or power.Steve wrote:@kleomenes: considering your background and your country, as you explain it, it makes sense that you would disagree with me. That's fine with me, to disagree in opinion over the matter.
As per past issues with DM Teams, mine or yours or the future ones, I'm surprised that you would take a stance to not make clearer and cleaner separations between DMs and their PCs (and the extent to which bad practice can occur).
I suppose my only comment therefore is that this thread began as pretty simplistic, and thus when I read the OP and its inherent assumptions, it came across more like grinding some axe rather than a serious suggestion. The rehearsal of an actual argument only came later, so my feedback would be to put that in the OP to have a more fruitful discussion.
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If you have actual concerns about staff abusing their position you should take it up with the Admin team. Maecius has on more occasions then i can count stated he is available for such concerns. Posts like this only make people disinclined to spend their free time on you.
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I will say that the separation of "DM" and "player" is something we keep a very close eye on.
I will also say that it's worth remembering that all of the DMs are players. They're not paid staffers doing what they do to pay the bills and support their families. They're held to professional standards, same as a volunteer EMT or firefighter would be, but they're not doing the job because it nets them anything of real value. They're usually doing the job out of love for the server, and out of enjoyment in seeing players excited and happy about a campaign they've crafted. Even though there is some emotional reward in having people excited about your work and having fun because of you (which is, really, the same reason DMs DM in "real life"), it is also accurate to call it a "job," as there are a lot of elements to DMing that do feel like "work." Most people don't "burn out" doing things they love, after all; but DM burnout is a real problem -- and when DMs are actively involved in the game as players (that is, when they're still having fun playing, and not just working on, the server), that burnout does seem to occur less quickly and less frequently.
As indicated above, a few weeks ago I did bring up the subject of prohibiting DMs from running guilds, first with the HDMs and then with the DM Team in full. Right now, the rule is that only ADMs are prohibited from running guilds, while full DMs can run guilds -- the theory being that after you've been promoted to a full DMship, you've put in the time and effort to prove that you are able to put the server's/other players's interests above your personal interests. On the suggestion of extending the prohibition to full DMs, though, I found that the current DMs and ADMs were against the idea (for a wide variety of reasons). This isn't the first time the idea's been brought up of course (it was even brought up and shot down during your tenure on the DM Team, Steve, though to your credit your position back in 2014 was still that DMs should not lead guilds), but it does not typically find support among the DMs, who want to be able to still play the game they love to play without whole mountains of restrictions in place when they are on their PCs.
And, since I personally believe that we would rather have happy and active DMs than no DMs, the existing rule will remain in place, and watchdog measures and player reporting*** will remain the best avenue for managing and correcting DMs who blur the line between "playing" and "DMing." Right now, I'm not having volunteers knock down the doors asking to DM for the server, despite frequent advertising (remember, last day to sign up! I'm not sure this thread serves as the best advertisement for why it's fun to be a DM though ...), so I don't want to take additional steps to make DMing more of a burden than a privilege, or we'll have to live with very few DMs (those rare DMs who dedicate their whole selves to DMing -- though usually burn out fast, unfortunately), instead of having several excellent ones who also play the game on the side.
Thank you for the suggestion, and for all the thoughts, though, to those who participated in this dialogue.
***On watchdog measures and player reporting, several others have already stated it, but we do rely on players to report suspicious or inappropriate behavior when they see it. We will always investigate it, and no staff member, no matter how high up (certainly up to and including myself) is above investigation if there are concerns that their behavior is damaging the server or bringing harm to its players.