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  • Proactivity.

    Ok Ladies and Gentlemen, here it is.

    Tempus has asked us to stop our whining and come up with solutions. So let's do that. In this post, I will do my best to outline what we currently have going, along with the more reasonable and pertinent solutions to the problems we face.

    So lets take it from the top.
    The problems we face are widespread and not individualized to any one server. Similar problems happen to all sorts of servers in all sorts of games. Bunnyhopping, dolphin diving, basecamps, intentional TKing, exploiting, foul language, disrespectful activity, not following orders, and a general disregard or ignorance for the rules and SOPs. So whats the answer?

    Well, here is a list of things that we currently have in place to help alleviate the problems:
    ∙A strong admin team who enforce the rules and standards to the best of their abilities.
    ∙An extremely large playerbase of regulars and TG members who are aware of the rules and do everything they can to make sure that new players follow them.
    ∙A system of making chat reports for infractions, as well as the ability to utilize assets like BFR and the forums to make retroactive reports.

    However, after the last discussion on this, it's abundantly clear that a large majority feel that this needs to improve. Now, for certain titles, this is easier than others. PR lacks the mechanics by design to allow us to simply "turn on" player names to make reporting easier, so thats out of the question. The pause feature is reported as being extremely buggy, so the admin staff is forced to limit its use. Also, some of the larger issues seem to be popping up on password nights.

    This will be my first point: password nights.
    Password Nights are a great idea. IHS as well as many other people see PW nights as a specific opportunity to squad up with other TG members or members of their squad and have a good time, but it's apparently got out of hand. A big part of this is the ready availability of the password and the fact that we havent changed it in 3 weeks. We have had some solutions offered up, so lets take a look at those:
    ∙Compile a list of trustworthy players and distribute the password to those people, allowing them to invite one person in addition to themselves.
    ∙Give out the password over teamspeak.
    ∙Reduce the server size to 32 to make it more controllable.

    Now, these are all great ideas, some requiring more work than others, but certainly all doable. I'd like to see people posting constructive pros and cons to these ideas. I will be doing my own bit of that at the end of this post.

    However, these solutions only address some of the problems we have during password nights by controlling the population. But what about every day play? We need to solve this problem as well.

    Well folks, we have to be proactive, and though it might sound harsh, this applies to everyone, even the admin staff. This isnt meant to dig at anyone, but simply lay out the facts. We get nowhere by whining. We get nowhere by saying things need to be done. We only get somewhere by DOING.
    ∙Everyone, from the newest member to the most senior admin needs to have their eyes open for things going wrong, making reports and doing something about it.
    ∙USE BFR. If you get angry and quit because the server is a mess, get the BFR file, scout people doing things wrong, take screenshots and PM the admin staff, then get on teamspeak and make sure they know they've been PMed. This way, the reports are filed and we can get rid of the problem players as fast as possible.
    ∙Follow up on the reports. Dont bug the admins about them, but check back to make sure the problem has been taken care of. People do forget or get busy doing other things. Always cover your bases.

    Now, we also have some suggestions as far as to what we can do to improve the current situation other than the points I just laid out:
    ∙Have "temp admins", or admins with lower priveleges who expand the current staff's ability to deal with problems.
    ∙Permanently reduce the server size.
    ∙Increase the total admin staff.

    Again, these things are all doable, but I'd like to see the pros and cons.
    In closing, I'd like to keep this CONSTRUCTIVE. If you have a good, well formulated opinion on the SOLUTIONS or have something beneficial to add, please do. Otherwise, I'd like to request that the moderators keep a close eye on this thread and simply delete any posts which dont belong. I'd like to keep this thread clear of trolling and useless banter. Stay focused and on topic guys, and we can come up with reasonable solutions and get them into action.

    __________________________________________________ ____
    Now, for my personal feelings on the matter.
    As far as the solutions to password night problems go, heres my 2 cents:
    I think the best idea is to give out the password over teamspeak. This ensures that we have actual communication with the people getting on the server and they have to, in essence, look us in the face before getting in. I also think that the admin staff should be the only ones authorized to give out the password and should document the player names of the people who they gave it to. That way, if some smacktard just shows up on the server and his name isnt on the guest list, he can be removed instantly before any problems start (in addition to the fact that he didnt follow proceedure).

    The other two ideas have merit, but I think that the list of password-worthy people is going to be hurtful and extremely hard to control. You cant really tell if someone only invited one person, and if they did and the person acts out, how do you react? As far as reducing the server size, it's way too much work to shuffle around a rotation of 32 player maps for whats normally a 64 player rotation and then change it back.

    Now, as far as the present solutions, again, reducing the server size just makes it that much more exclusive and the server will go downhill because there will be times that even TG members cant get on because the server is full up with SMs.

    The temp admin thing has a lot of merit, but I dont know if the game allows it or even allows for different levels of admin access a la CS:S/NatSel. If it's possible, i think that this is a very good way to aid in policing the server.

    However, as I said in one of my previous posts, I feel that the best option is to divide and conquer. My previous statement on the matter said that our numbers have grown large and its becoming an issue. I'm not exactly sure how many players we have with each game marked as active in their profile, but I'll be asking Apophis if he can hand me that info so I can post it here. Sufficed to say, its a LOT. We have 4 full time servers, 2 running BF2 mods and 2 running 2142. All 4 of these servers stay full a lot of the time, and it's a huge deal for the admin staff to keep up with. I believe that the original idea of having one staff to govern both titles and their mods was a great one in its inception, but with the amount of growth that we have seen and are currently dealing with, it needs an overhaul.

    One of the things I specifically noticed is that, by no fault of their own, but simply because they each have their own individual preference for gaming, some of the admins are not familiar with the mechanics of the titles. For example: a BFx admin who primarily plays 2142 who doesnt know how to set up PR, or vice versa. Like I said, it's not a dig, but something that is expected to happen.

    So my proposed overhaul is this:
    (and yes, i'm sure there are going to be people out there who feel like I'm stepping on toes, but it's time to face reality here)
    We need to separate the titles.
    The community has become large enough on all sides that we need an individual Game Officer for 2142 as well as BF2, possibly one for PR and one for PoE2, but we can deal with that later. At that point, we can divide the current admin staff into dealing with the game of their highest preference and augment each staff with a few new admins. This will benefit us in several ways:
    ∙We now have a game officer dedicated and well versed in the intricacies of their own title and not having to know everything about 3 different games and their individual policies.
    ∙We now have a specialized admin staff who knows the exactitudes of the rules for the one specific game they police, no more confusion about sending reports to the wrong people and whatnot.
    ∙We give the games a much needed boost in visible admin presence by bringing in people who play at different times of the day.
    ∙Each admin staff and their GO only deals with the problems facing their server(s) and doesnt have to cross-platform to take care of problems.

    My secondary reason for this change is to benefit the admin staff. I know you guys like to play just as much as anyone else and it's tough being an admin. You're the ones expected to be the cops and youre scrutinized for every decision you make. But with the current state, I know how much it must irk you guys to have to jump off PR to go take care of smacktards on 2142 or vice versa. Dividing and specializing the staff is not only something that is necessary because of the sheer population that we have, but also something that will benefit you all greatly.

    Like I said, some people might feel like i'm stepping on toes or trying to take away power by suggesting this change, but I assure you that the motives behind it are neither and have very strong justification.

    Also, another thing I just thought of is to add messages to the standard HQ fare that announces, say once per 5 minutes, who the admins on duty are. This will give people the ability to direct their problems accordingly and will let the smacktards know that there are eyes on the server.

  • #2
    Re: Proactivity.

    Great post and I agree with most of your ideas, I know surprising. I think that each title should have its own dedicated admin staff to deal with these issues. You guys do a great job so don't take that as a knock on your abilities. I don't see anything wrong with specializing, maybe you can test it out to see how it works.

    PW nights: I think the best way to fix the problem is to police the server. If you have rules governing the password then some deserving folks may not get it. The teamspeak idea I think may overwhelm the admins. They should not be considered 411 operators handing out the password, as they have more important things to do. (Sorry Ferris) I think the current system works, just rotate the password more frequently. Not that this would cut down on the infractions but it might to some extent.

    Internal Scrims: Maybe having more of these would alleviate the need for a password night all together. I know that this puts the non SM's at a disadvantage as most of these include the IHS. If we got more of these going on Thurs and Sunday this could fix the issues. I don't want this to sound like eliteism as this is not my intention. There are many non-SM's who follow the rules and preach the "TG" way. Think back to the reason PW night was invented and ask yourselves is it being utilized as it was intended? The difference in PW night and reg server should be minimal. We should all have more patience during the reg server than on pw nights. Maybe installing "time outs" for those memeber on PW night that break the rules.

    "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." Gen. George Patton


    • #3
      Re: Proactivity.

      A teamspeak channel on the server named after the password perhaps? Just an idea.
      "It's nothing to do with Stalker, really"


      • #4
        Re: Proactivity.

        I agree with you regarding seperate admin teams and GO's. For whatever reason, the current sitation is not working out, and there have been no hints from our current GO about any possible solutions or even of any action being taken. All we hear is "the admin team is aware there is a problem" So ... ? And ... ? I'll try and keep my ranting on topic as I didn't get the chance to poke my head into the previous thread.

        Password nights need both the player base and admin coverage before they can be a success again. The players need to lead by example and not spend their time whining to their own squads about that crackjumper that they got killed by; go report it instead. The password itself needs to be changed more frequently and possibly handed out only to a whitelist of players. There is little point of handing the password out the current way because the server ends up in the same state of disrepair, password or not. Hand it to the group of players who can achieve a high level of play, then expand slowly from there and identify problem players as we reveal the password over a few nights. This will result in a smaller server size to start off, but I would sacrifice size for a greater level of play any day.


        • #5
          Re: Proactivity.

          Good post Ferris. I saw two infractions just now on EJOD Desert and I downloaded the BFR files and got a screenshot of the first one, but the second one I could not because the BFR was incomplete. Have we not concluded here that using AT against a single infantry is completely unacceptable? Because that's what the first infraction was. And you know what's worse, he's a supporting member and part of an in house squad. So yeah, I'm going to be part of the solution and screen shot anything I see from now on. This is just getting ridiculous.


          • #6
            Re: Proactivity.

            Can we get a list of appropriate admins to whom we may PM such infractions?


            • #7
              Re: Proactivity.

              Any BF2 admin can be written to with an infraction. Some of the most active PR ones though include:


              3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine.


              • #8
                Re: Proactivity.

                Thank you.


                • #9
                  Re: Proactivity.

                  Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                  As far as the solutions to password night problems go, heres my 2 cents:
                  I think the best idea is to give out the password over teamspeak.
                  I personally can't use teamspeak often times because I play shooter games after my wife goes to bed, and pretty much any noise I make over tapping on the keyboard (even that if I'm not careful) bounces through the entire house. I could hop on teamspeak I suppose and wait for someone else to ask and just listen in, but then my name wouldn't be on a list of requesters.

                  Do we assume on password nights that any supporting member is legit? If we could make a page only accessible to supporting members that ALSO listed the password that would be given out on teamspeak it would take care of this issue at least for me.

                  I don't claim to think that any special exceptions must be made for just me, but I would think there are some other people in the same boat as me.


                  • #10
                    Re: Proactivity.

                    Thats why I suggested merely having a sub channel created, the name of which is the password. That means no one has to say anything, but they still need to log into TS, which takes a bit more effort than the current system and at least opens people up to the existence of the wider community than just clicking on a link they have bookmarked. Some might even stay.
                    "It's nothing to do with Stalker, really"


                    • #11
                      Re: Proactivity.

                      Your idea is not a bad one regarding the teamspeak subchannel, but I'm worried that we will just make it more and more confusing for legitimate people to find the right password. We may eventually be like the Simpson's episode where Bart hides Lisa's science project and she has to follow a series of difficult clues to find the project. How long before the teamspeak subchannel is known to the people we don't want on our server and we have to switch to another mechanism?


                      • #12
                        Re: Proactivity.

                        I think chernobyl has a great idea. In addition to this, the control method is simple: dont post on the forums anywhere that the password can be found on TS. People have to let other people they trust know where to find it, and it still requires them to have a forum account and logon to TS to get it.


                        • #13
                          Re: Proactivity.

                          Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                          dont post on the forums anywhere that the password can be found on TS.
                          In that case, you've broken your own rule :)

                          If the idea is out, what good would it be implementing it?


                          • #14
                            Re: Proactivity.

                            I honestly think most of this issue can be solved by having a few more active admins who aren't always in locked squads and some better team balancing. Very few maps on PW nights end up being close matches, most turn into stomping's which leads to frustration.

                            I understand the desire to be in a squad with all compitient players, but it's tough to get a feel for what the random pubber does and show him the "TG way" when you never squad with him, or if you do leave the moment a spot opens up in a locked squad. I've had some wonderful rounds with the random player's, and witnessed them exihibit as much teamwork as anyone could possibly ask for from a scratch squad.

                            It all comes back to admin presence, there is no change needed beyond bolstering the current presence of admins and trusting their judgement.


                            • #15
                              Re: Proactivity.

                              Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                              dont post on the forums anywhere that the password can be found on TS. People have to let other people they trust know where to find it, and it still requires them to have a forum account and logon to TS to get it.
                              This is essentially security by obscurity, so I'm going to disagree with your method of control. Perhaps the "people letting other people they trust know where to find it" could be modified to "the password being PMed to a whitelist".

                              As for the problem of creating a whitelist, I'm not sure what to do. In general, I trust supporting members, and definitely members of in-house squads, but there are quite a few others who I know are great TG players. Of course, the obvious solution would be to have the supporting members distribute the password to the trusted non-supporting members, but then we have the same problem as before. I suppose I have no solution, then.

                              The one real bonus about using Teamspeak is that Apophis's new system requires that someone read the required reading. You just have to trust that accounts won't be shared among smacktards. There it is again: trust. I guess it can't be avoided.
                              The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
                              I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
                              Feel free to quote me. ~




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