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Public Comments: 2023 Rules Feedback


Chief_Engineer

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  • Project Manager

The Wizard's Den admin team is requesting feedback on the current rules.

This feedback will be useful as the team considers potentially major changes to the rules over the coming weeks. Feedback can consist of anything ranging from thoughts on current rules, suggested changes to them, or requested new rules. Please remember that this thread mixes feedback on LRP and MRP rules, so it can be helpful to indicate which your feedback is specific to.

You don't have to read this entire post before leaving feedback, but please read the bolded titles. Some things in this post might save you or people reading your response time and effort.

This is not a public vote

Anyone is free to leave comments regardless of if they play on Wizard's Den servers or not, but individual members of the admin team are not required to consider any feedback given here. Succinct, well thought out, and informed comments and suggestions will be the most helpful. You are highly encouraged to use reactions to indicate posts that you support rather than making posts like "I agree", which add no new information. Posts which add no new information may be deleted. This post will not automatically lock, but it will be manually locked, likely at some point after a week has passed.

The current rules are available at:

Currently, the "long version" of the rules available on the wiki is typically treated as the actual rules, while the in-game rules are treated as a summary that new players are more likely to read, with the hope that it will be good enough in most cases.

In addition to rules, rule clarifications are available at the "Rule Clarifications" forum section. These are intended to be more detailed explanations to close grey areas in the rules that players or admins have questions about. Rule clarifications are discussed and voted on by the admin team, so they represent a consensus and can be cited in ahelps or ban appeals. Due to the volume and detail of them, unlike with rules, players and admins are not expected to read or know about every rule clarification.

Please be civil

Rules can be an extremely divisive topic due to the wide range of opinions about them. Please remember to remain civil and understand that terms like LRP and MRP are highly subjective. An unfortunate reality with the rules is that it's very likely that everyone will have at least one thing they'd want changed regardless of what the rules end up being.

Feel free to ask questions, but this thread is not for rule clarifications

Feel free to ask questions about why certain rules are the way they are. I did not write most of the current rules, but I was there when they were written and I will try to answer them based on my understanding of why they are the way they are. Other admins may also answer questions, but please keep in mind that everyone's answers, including mine, are based on their experiences and not necessarily accurate or representative of the admin team as a whole. Official interpretations of current rules aren't within the scope of this thread. This is more about what the rules should be than what they are.

Here are some common rule issues to try to keep in mind:

  • The longer rules are, the less likely players are to read them, but shorter rules means they are either less clear or there are less rules. Everyone seems to want shorter rules, but not everyone is ok with reducing the amount of rules, or the detail of them.
  • There is a potential difference between the actual rules and the written rules. A rule might say "use a realistic name", but if that's all it says, then the actual rule definitely has much more details, and depends on what admins consider a "realistic name".
  • There are very few rules that have no grey areas, but not having a rule is not necessarily better than not having the grey area it would create. Generally, every rule added increases the number of grey areas. Each grey area in the written rules creates the potential to significantly lengthen the actual rules. Each actual grey area creates the potential for inconsistencies in adminning. This is a difficult problem to deal with, and likely one that is impossible to solve completely or "correctly".
  • There is a difference between freedom/flexibility and grey areas when it comes to the rules. I have seen people say "grey areas in the rules are good", and that can be true if by "grey areas" they mean freedom or flexibility. Current silicon rules intentionally allow some flexibility in how players interpret "harm", as long as they're consistent as the individual for the round. An actual grey area is when it's possible for two different people to have two different interpretations of the same rule. I think this is bad because it means one admin could think something is fine, while another could think it breaks a rule, and neither is clearly wrong so whether or not you're breaking a rule depends on who is adminning.
  • MRP rules should build on top of LRP rules to avoid players having to remember two completely different versions of rules.
  • Whether or not something is enforced mechanically is typically not within control of the admin team. We can try to control it with rules or we can leave it alone, but we can't force someone to code something and the areas of "code" we have control over are relatively small, mostly just the configs.

Here are already planned, though not necessarily set in stone intended future changes:

  • Someone is working on merging the wiki rules and in-game rules into a single version, available on the wiki and in-game through the guidebook.
  • It is likely that the rules will be rewritten to try to put details into collapsible or marked sections, so that the parts outside of those sections are the short version, comparable to current in-game rules, and the parts inside those sections add on the details needed to make the long version, comparable to current wiki rules.
  • Rule clarifications will likely be better linked to from the rules. They may become subpages of guidebook entries in-game and will likely be marked using footnotes on the wiki. At a minimum, the rules should make players aware of the existence of the rule clarifications forum section.
  • There is an interest in making game mode (Secret/Sandbox/Deathmatch) specific rules, but it's unclear if or how this will be done. Ideally, there would be some integration with the game, but the most likely method right now is for the guidebook to have a "core" set of rules, with additional rules for each game mode that needs more than that, so the typical rules would be "core rules + traditional game mode rules" or something.
  • An admin has been working on LRP space law. There haven't been any votes, and there hasn't been significant admin team discussion around this, so LRP space law is not guaranteed to be introduced, but I do think it's likely that it will be to reduce the current grey areas security players experience on LRP.
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I feel that our zero-tolerance English rule is a tiny bit overkill. A lot of players LOVE the official wizden servers but have a different primary language is more comfortable to use.
Maybe it would be best to allow short sentences and requests in different languages in LRP (because random conversations in another language with specific people is obviously metacomms in MRP), and then translate them post-round for security's sake.
 

"Git infuriates me bro just let me commit the changes you freaking guy" -Obama, maybe

DOMAIN EXPANSION; TEXT WALL: YAPANESE!!

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The main issue with other languages isn't really metacomms imo, its more that the moderation teams cant understand what you're saying at all most of the time. Pretty much any time we have to translate something its just people using other languages to yell slurs.

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39 minutes ago, Warentan said:

I feel that our zero-tolerance English rule is a tiny bit overkill. A lot of players LOVE the official wizden servers but have a different primary language is more comfortable to use.
Maybe it would be best to allow short sentences and requests in different languages in LRP (because random conversations in another language with specific people is obviously metacomms in MRP), and then translate them post-round for security's sake.
 

Part of the issue is that players in the round would be unable to understand what is being said. It might be work rewording this to be less of a zero tolerance thing and more of something that should only be done when it makes sense in RP. (IE: if your character is a Polish engineer and swears in polish when something breaks). Something we have thought about is the possibility of adding a clientside translator to allow people who have difficulty with english to translate their messages before they send them. Idk, but I agree with you. We should try to accommodate people who have a different primarily language more.

 

Edit: Got ninja'd by an admin :P, also yeah admins need to be able to understand what you are saying in the moment because people like to use different languages to try and get away with yelling slurs and such. Having a built in translator thingy could help but it would be a bit of work to implement and it's kind of a "When You Code it" feature

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I’ve grown to the feeling recently that the rules are mostly fine, but there’s a player culture that lends itself to violations. I mainly think this from my recent experiences on salamander. A few months ago it’d be in a fairly well regulated server but now I’ve seen multiple cases of behavior that is disheartening. I’ve seen a nonantag in speed shoes run around on meth with the soul objective of messing with people, I’ve also seen a pair of security officers blink and shrug seeing a person state they have murder chemicals in front of them (Nothing ever happened to that man to my knowledge, despite multiple attempts in game, and an Ahelp)
this isn’t intended to paint the administration as lazy, nor inattentive. I’m fully aware it’s volunteer based, and I’m fully aware that they already exert themselves, and that they don’t have an unlimited pool of time to moderate with. I just feel that laying down the rules is going to have less of an effect without a simultaneous effort to foster a culture that ensures the rules are held up. Regular reminders about them and informative measures go a long way.

hope the feedback is actually worth something instead of just being yapping

TLDR I like the current rules I just think they aren’t followed enough with measures to ensure people actually stick to them

tldr:tldr MRP player angry about mander falling into stinky evil LRP, he is malding aggressively (joke)

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My suggestion is specifically for MRP and is regarding revolutionaries and mindshields. Note: In my mind all three suggestions rely on each other, I would not recommend implementing any one of them without the other two.

1. The sound of a flash being used, or a civilian caught with a flash in their inventory should not be sufficient evidence to believe revs are on board. This would be a definitive rule so that anyone who hears a flash and starts calling revs can be ahelped and dealt with.

2. Space law should be updated to allow Sec to mindshield anyone who has committed a tier 3 crime or higher.
The current rules state: "Shields can be administered to any inmate who has been clearly mind controlled, lost control of themselves, or a suspect charged with unlawful control." The problem is that there is no IC way to tell when someone has been "clearly mind controlled" unless you give them a mindshield, which you're not allowed to do unless you can already tell they're being controlled. This change would give a clear and easy to understand standard to follow, and a natural way for security to discover the presence of brainwashing without magically figuring it out at the sight of a flash. And if security doesn't follow this rule, it can either be dealt with IC by a lawyer for not following space law, or OOC by an admin for not following the server rules.

3. Command, or more specifically the Quartermaster, should be allowed to buy mindshields at their own discretion. 
Buying anything as a precaution should be a cost-benefit analysis. Are we rich? Maybe let's buy some mindshields. Are we poor? Let's spend our money on the basic necessities. In the same way, the headrevs should be doing the same analysis. Do you play slow and cautious and risk cargo getting rich and buying everything they could ever want? Or do you play fast and aggressive and risk getting caught in the act? This is a much more interesting dynamic then command pretending mindshields don't exist for fear of getting role banned.

Ideally these changes would also come with gameplay tweaks such as flashes being locked in the Secfab or being removed from borg recipes altogether so that one rev scientist can't completely eliminate the need for revs to take any risks to get more flashes.

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abolish rule clarifications as they are. if neither admins or players are expected to know about or read them what purpose do they serve besides someone digging them up to say "erm akshually". current rule clarifications need to be collapsed in as footnotes into the rules when they are significant, not shuffled into a forum where they're easily forgotten and impossible to navigate. rule clarifications sit idle because no admins want to formulate response to them because they have to go through a voting process and the issues they bring up are typically edge-case-grey-area of little consequence. if something is a significant "clarification" it probably needs to be mentioned somewhere in the actual rules, otherwise it is of sufficiently little importance that apparently nobody needs to read it unless you're hunting for an excuse that your ban wasn't valid

the rules pages themselves need organization more than anything, not really a comprehensive re-writing. the current problem is readability, not scope except for cases involving metagaming new game modes (which even then should have mechanical shields in place where possible). I don't blame current players on LRP for hearing flashes in maint and getting the idea that revolutionaries are running around, there's literally no other way to tell until half the heads die to what looks like a mob of tiders

rules and expectations for things like security/command/silicons can use their own tabs in the rules page. Admins in general should be able to apply discretion to large majority of rules in the determination of how much the behavior is disrupting the game for other players (ex: players who don't do anything productive but run around and pick fights/steal from people/be annoying/be the center of attention should have more leeway to be dealt with administratively, even on LRP, or even more leeway to be dealt with IC). That's not to say admins need to intervene in every theft case, but players who are obviously escalating at every turn or merely trying to be a persistent annoyance for no reason should be deal with administratively. similarly this should apply to people willfully antagonizing security for no reason and screaming shitsec when they get arrested, they aren't adding anything to the game.

 

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11 hours ago, lonesoldier55 said:

abolish rule clarifications as they are. if neither admins or players are expected to know about or read them what purpose do they serve besides someone digging them up to say "erm akshually". current rule clarifications need to be collapsed in as footnotes into the rules when they are significant, not shuffled into a forum where they're easily forgotten and impossible to navigate.

Rule clarifications are necessary with the current ruleset because parts of the rules are so vague and poorly defined that some game admins don't know what the rules mean, while others think that they do and hold interpretations that, often unknown to them, are different from other game admins who also think that they know what the rule means. Rule clarifications give admins a reference for our consensus on how to interpret the details of rules instead of either requiring admins to be aware of and memorize every past rule discussion we've ever had or telling them to not put much effort into trying to be consistent with how players are treated. They also give players a place to ask questions so that they can later rely on those answers and know they aren't going to get banned for doing something because they know they can cite the clarification to an admin, even if they admin wasn't aware of it, instead of requiring players to test the rules and risk a bwoink/ban when they're unclear on something.

11 hours ago, lonesoldier55 said:

rule clarifications sit idle because no admins want to formulate response to them because they have to go through a voting process and the issues they bring up are typically edge-case-grey-area of little consequence.

Everything from the rp whitelist to ban appeals get backlogged because admins are generally more interested in adminning the game than dealing with any of the other admin tasks. The rule clarifications backlog isn't any different than any of the many other backlogs this project has, and to a degree these backlogs are to be expected with an entirely volunteer project. Having no published rule clarifications wouldn't remove the need for discussions about how to interpret rules unless the alternative is to just let any admin decide whatever they want.

11 hours ago, lonesoldier55 said:

Admins in general should be able to apply discretion to large majority of rules in the determination of how much the behavior is disrupting the game for other players (ex: players who don't do anything productive but run around and pick fights/steal from people/be annoying/be the center of attention should have more leeway to be dealt with administratively, even on LRP, or even more leeway to be dealt with IC).

They already can and do. In some cases, I've even seen admins give warnings for what would typically be an immediate appeal ban with the justification that other players hadn't been significantly impacted due to the circumstances. Outside of that, significant rule grey areas, particularly in the areas of self antagging, escalation, and metagaming, are largely just defined by individual admins, which unfortunately means their definition depends on who is adminning. One round might have an admin who doesn't care if tiders spend the entire round slipping security, even if it makes it impossible for them to do their job, while the next might have an admin who warns a clown for only slipping security a few times, and it's hard to say which is right. There are plenty of situations with less separation between the extremes, and every time admins are forced to use their discretion.

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In regards to space law on LRP, I hope that equal outcomes get equal treatment, regardless of what was used to achieve said outcome.

A bar of soap applies an instant stun, long enough to apply cuffs, same as attacking someone with a stun baton. Yet one of those stuns is a "harmless" prank done with an item that's not even considered a weapon, and the other is assault with a weapon. Lube foam makes a large area unusable until it is repaired, just like an explosion without victims.

Yes, I want soap to be considered a stun weapon as that's the intended use for the item and I don't want to pretend on LRP how that is not the case.

What I'm getting at is that Instead of addressing individual items or categories like contraband/explosives or traditional crimes, LRP law could address behavior from a game mechanic point of view: applying stuns, obstructing movement, accumulating gear/access, wasting a job slot, role overreach (salvage doing most jobs)

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rule clarifications are only nessecary insofar as rules occasionally need to be refined or a common situation needs to be addressed. As they are, they don’t function. They are neither accessible nor approachable. They are backlogged due to being deemed unimportant and time consuming for little gain. Admins are going to have different interpretations of situations which is not avoidable, and forcing admins to try and interpret situations in a particular way (by getting “consensus votes”) is both time consuming and not very productive, doubly so if admins arent expected to know about it anyways. If admins are going to be expected to take them into account when dealing with those situations, then it would seem to me they are expected to know about them. 

Backlogs can be mitigated and the amount of commitment to something needed to do it can be reduced to make it more approachable to your volunteers so backlogs are less likely. Having backlogs isn’t something that should just be accepted if there’s something that can be done about it. The false “alternative” of “radical adkin anarchy no rules!!” is just disingenous. Admins are still held to standards and answer to a head administrator, and still enforce rules to the best of their ability.

Admins may have discretion but maybe what I mean is the culture needs to shift to dealing with players being a bad influence. There has been a nasty habit of “not having enough” to deal with someone exhibiting boundary-pushing behavior until finally someone has to decide to do something which usually retroactive includes everything up until that point. To the player they arent aware anything is wrong until they get punish for causing consistent issues despite never being talked to.

 

The talk of “admins need rule clarifications or else they can do whatever they want” directly next to the paragraph of “admins have plenty of discretion to do what’s needed” look very strangely when placed right next to one another. Are admins trusted to interpert situations in a fair and impartial matter most of the time or do they need clarifications to illustrate exact boundaries? Which is it? Is it somewhere in the middle? Regardless of the answer clarifications themselves do not work as they are.

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4 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

They are backlogged due to being deemed unimportant and time consuming for little gain.

They are backlogged for the same reason everything else is backlogged. There's no reason to think that of all the backlogs in literally every aspect of adminning, the rule clarifications backlog is special. Ban appeals, the whitelist, and admin messages all regularly get backlogged. There are ban appeals that can be processed in seconds to minutes because the player either evaded a ban or the ban expired and yet even those get backlogged because people just forget about the forums or aren't interested in them. Admin messages are almost always just ahelps for past rounds, often with a replay with timestamps attached, and still it gets backlogged. Tasks that could not be simpler get backlogged and the issue of backlogs extends to every aspect of the project. There is always and likely will always be work that needs to be done, that also doesn't have enough people interested in doing it for it to get done as fast as everyone would like.

12 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

The false “alternative” of “radical adkin anarchy no rules!!” is just disingenous. Admins are still held to standards and answer to a head administrator, and still enforce rules to the best of their ability.

You've suggested no alternative to the issues that rule clarifications attempt to address. Working all of them into the rules doesn't remove rule clarifications or the process needed for them, it just renames them and moves them to a place where everyone is now expected to remember them.

Head admins can only do something about situations when they're made aware of them. The admin team does too much work for everything to be audited so people reporting things is relied on, but unfortunately, even when a player has a valid complaint, they often don't make a staff complaint or DM anyone about it who gets it to me to address so very little ends up being addressable.

20 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

There has been a nasty habit of “not having enough” to deal with someone exhibiting boundary-pushing behavior until finally someone has to decide to do something which usually retroactive includes everything up until that point. To the player they arent aware anything is wrong until they get punish for causing consistent issues despite never being talked to.

At times, we've been excessively lenient with both players and staff. I've been focused primarily on staff issues recently, but I'm not entirely sure how to fix either. Our current rules explicitly say that players who rule skirt, rule lawyer, or are an overall negative impact on the community will be removed, but still situations where this happens are rare, arguably rarer than they should be.

18 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

The talk of “admins need rule clarifications or else they can do whatever they want” directly next to the paragraph of “admins have plenty of discretion to do what’s needed” look very strangely when placed right next to one another. Are admins trusted to interpert situations in a fair and impartial matter most of the time or do they need clarifications to illustrate exact boundaries? Which is it? Is it somewhere in the middle? Regardless of the answer clarifications themselves do not work as they are.

Rule clarifications give players a way to figure out if they're allowed to do something without having to worry some admin will decide to ban them for it. Rule clarifications also help admins stay consistent. Rules also help admins stay consistent. One of the examples I gave earlier was admins using their discretion to deviate on what is often black and white rule enforcement:

47 minutes ago, Chief_Engineer said:

I've even seen admins give warnings for what would typically be an immediate appeal ban with the justification that other players hadn't been significantly impacted due to the circumstances.

Admins do have discretion, they are often trusted to interpret situations fairly and impartially. If they weren't, they wouldn't be able to warn someone for violating a rule that typically results in an immediate ban. Giving admins clarity on rules and wanting more consistency between admins doesn't mean you don't trust admins, it means the rules on their own are so unclear that there are cases where two competent admins, both with good intentions won't necessarily interpret them the same.

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The clarification process itself should just be distilled down to roundtable discussion and the results of clarifications need to be added in a concise manner somewhere in the rules page. Forums are not a good place to keep them for accessibility nor visibility. If your hope is to keep staff consistent and keep players informed, then I don’t know why they are being kept on the expectation that nobody reads them. When the general discussion of the rule comes to a close a shot-caller should be making a choice on if/how to append it to the rules page, either as a footnote, on another precedents page/tab, or in some other way. Writing a lot about something is easy, evaluating it and cutting it down so it is clear, concise, and complete takes significantly longer. Rules and their add-ons need to be the latter. Clarifications are currently the former.

From experience each backlog has differing reasons as to why your staff don’t want to engage with it. Minimizing the difficulties or workload involved in something while balancing its need to be thorough is something that should be sought after. If rule clarifications were merely a roundtable discussion instead of having to propose an answer with a vote, discuss it, get deadlocked on technicailities and scope, then propose a new answer, vote on it, post it, and never see it again, I think it would be more approachable. This would likely be something doable on discord in a forum or thread format that involves players so as long as they are only started by staff. This provides the needed area for players to draw concerns about the scope of whatever is being talked about as well as admins to discuss it and provide feedback. If admins want to discuss it privately (from experience) there are plenty of channels for that. I’ve already left a massive disertation on why I think appeals are backlogged and thats out of scope anyways.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

The clarification process itself should just be distilled down to roundtable discussion and the results of clarifications need to be added in a concise manner somewhere in the rules page. Forums are not a good place to keep them for accessibility nor visibility

This seems like something that'd be addressed by this

19 hours ago, Chief_Engineer said:

Rule clarifications will likely be better linked to from the rules. They may become subpages of guidebook entries in-game and will likely be marked using footnotes on the wiki. At a minimum, the rules should make players aware of the existence of the rule clarifications forum section.

 

3 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

If your hope is to keep staff consistent and keep players informed, then I don’t know why they are being kept on the expectation that nobody reads them.

The expectation isn't that no one reads them, it's that no one is expected to read them meaning "not everyone is expected to know every rule clarification" as opposed to the expectations with rules which is "all admins and players are expected to know all the rules, at least relevant to whatever they're playing". Players especially can just look up rule clarifications relevant to them and remember them. Admins can look them up or cite them for other admins as needed. Space Station 14 and 13 both have so many unwritten expectations and interpretations of rules that it's not possible for anyone to know and remember all of them, trying to write them down helps keep things consistent.

11 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

If rule clarifications were merely a roundtable discussion instead of having to propose an answer with a vote, discuss it, get deadlocked on technicailities and scope, then propose a new answer, vote on it, post it, and never see it again, I think it would be more approachable.

At some point, someone has to come up with something to write down and publish. Currently, any admin is able to fill that role, the alternative is that a single person, or group of people, be designated to do so without a vote. I don't see how limiting the number of people who can come up with the published result would do anything other than raise the barrier for getting the work done. Removing the vote, which is just throwing a few reactions onto the thing you have to write out anyway and then setting a reminder for 24+ hours doesn't seem like it'd do much if anything to offset the barrier created by limiting the number of people who can do it.

17 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

This would likely be something doable on discord in a forum or thread format that involves players so as long as they are only started by staff. This provides the needed area for players to draw concerns about the scope of whatever is being talked about as well as admins to discuss it and provide feedback. If admins want to discuss it privately (from experience) there are plenty of channels for that.

This is essentially what happens now minus the player part. As far as I'm aware, the current majority view of the admin team is still that they'd rather discuss the details of rule clarifications privately, at least while the results are still not determined.

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Not expecting people to know about them but having some expectation that they are known about is flatly contradictory. You having to explain that nobody being expected to read them meaning something entirely different does not clarify things (ironically). 

Its not limiting who comes up with the result its putting culpability on a group of people on how/where/if to use proposed results. 

I can’t tell if you are looking for feedback on this thread or if you are just looking for things you can shoot down or dismiss as not viable. Feels more like target practice then discussion that makes headway.

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Just now, lonesoldier55 said:

Not expecting people to know about them but having some expectation that they are known about is flatly contradictory. You having to explain that nobody being expected to read them meaning something entirely different does not clarify things (ironically). 

No one is expected to read all of the wiki, but people can and do still read the wiki and benefit from it. No one is expected to read all of our development docs, but people can and do still read them and benefit from it.

1 minute ago, lonesoldier55 said:

Its not limiting who comes up with the result its putting culpability on a group of people on how/where/if to use proposed results. 

I think you're aware that our volunteer staff in general are currently pretty strongly against any form of requiring volunteers to do things, and I assume that would include us blaming or holding responsible volunteers for something that they didn't want to do not being done.

4 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

I can’t tell if you are looking for feedback on this thread or if you are just looking for things you can shoot down or dismiss as not viable. Feels more like target practice then discussion that makes headway.

No one is forcing you to participate, and no one can stop you from drawing any conclusions you want. When you were a member of staff, there were many times were you expressed the same sentiment, usually in a way I'd consider inappropriate for staff. You'd do this just about any time I'd disagree with you, and you'd do this despite all the instances where I'd agree with you or other staff members about other things, and despite all the instances where a short discussion convinced me to change my opinion. Me disagreeing with you in this instance doesn't mean I'm not interested in hearing any opinions, or even that I'm not interested in hearing yours. What am not interested in is your constant accusations that come up every time I don't agree with you.

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Reading the wiki (an optional source of additional information) is different from reading rule clarifications (what is being illustrared as an optional source of information which actually isnt optional because admins are expected to know about them but not read them somehow).

Someone on the volunteer staff needs to take the helm on things. You have differing ranks of management for a reason, some people can take the helm and make choices on behalf of others. Head admins would be one of those people who would be expected to take control and decide how to proceed. Other admins with significant experience would also probably be one group of people you would expect to be able to take the helm and proceed. I wouldn’t call it “forcing staff to do things” so much as “increasing the number of people capable of getting the things done to completion”. You essentially did this for me with ban appeals because the typical process was too much work and probably still is.

I don’t know what it is. It feels dismissive, like it isn’t an issue. Like the un-clarity of rule clarifications isn’t an issue because you’ve nudged the expectations of what should be known about them around. Like it isn’t viable to attempt to make rules or internal processes more approachable. I don’t feel any ground given. It doesn’t feel like it is possible to convince you it should be changed if the initial discussion doesn’t result in a turnaround. And if you’ve ever had some kind of problem with my presentation, this would be the first time I have heard of it (a communication issue between staff which I have a suspicion is not uncommon).

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I think that the rules need to be more visible, ie a lot of times people don't even know that the SOP exists in MRP, I also think that the in game rules need to have SOP and MRP clarifications in the game as a quick reference I believe that this would help in a bit of self moderation. I understand that people don't have to read the wiki, but I think that reading the SOP should be the same as agreeing to the rules when you first join the server. Therefore its is emphasized the same as it plays a critical role in MRP. To summarize, the rule clarifications need to be "clarified" in the sense that they need to be more visible and or readable, I think they would benefit in their own section of the wiki that is searchable. If its the front end side of a website that is needed to support that I would be all for making one.

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Battle for engineering, colorized 2023

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6 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

Reading the wiki (an optional source of additional information) is different from reading rule clarifications (what is being illustrared as an optional source of information which actually isnt optional because admins are expected to know about them but not read them somehow).

Admins are expected to follow rule clarifications that they're aware of. Players can make admins aware of rule clarifications if the player is relying on one that they're aware of but that, for whatever reason, the admin isn't aware of it.

9 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

Someone on the volunteer staff needs to take the helm on things. You have differing ranks of management for a reason, some people can take the helm and make choices on behalf of others. Head admins would be one of those people who would be expected to take control and decide how to proceed. Other admins with significant experience would also probably be one group of people you would expect to be able to take the helm and proceed. I wouldn’t call it “forcing staff to do things” so much as “increasing the number of people capable of getting the things done to completion”.

We don't have enough staff. None of our staff are spending their time volunteering being idle, and it's hard to say if it's better to let an admin admin a few rounds, something they want to do, or tell them that they need to go do something like process some of the rp whitelist because it's backlogged, even though they don't want to. The number of people capable of completing rule clarifications is the maximum right now, any propermin. Even trialmins can start the discussions, they just can't post the actual clarification because of forum perms. The only barriers are having to come up with the wording, which cannot be avoided, and having to run a vote, which is pretty trivial.

18 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

Like it isn’t viable to attempt to make rules or internal processes more approachable.

I made the changes to appeals that were introduced with the ban policy changes in response to you specifically complaining that having to discuss every appeal was too cumbersome. Throughout the entire process I was writing them, I continuously updated and asked for feedback from the admin team, and the policy change passed unanimously. This seems to contradict the idea that it isn't viable to attempt to make rule or process changes to make things more approachable.

25 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

I don’t feel any ground given. It doesn’t feel like it is possible to convince you it should be changed if the initial discussion doesn’t result in a turnaround.

You aren't always going to be able to convince everyone of everything. At some point, continuing to try to convince someone isn't going to feel productive because, for whatever reason, they're just don't agree with you.

29 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

And if you’ve ever had some kind of problem with my presentation, this would be the first time I have heard of it (a communication issue between staff which I have a suspicion is not uncommon).

I remember pretty explicitly telling you that responding to a question in a rule clarification discussion with a meme saying "I'm sorry to say that you may just not be so bright" isn't appropriate.

34 minutes ago, geekyhobo said:

I think that the rules need to be more visible, ie a lot of times people don't even know that the SOP exists in MRP, I also think that the in game rules need to have SOP and MRP clarifications in the game as a quick reference I believe that this would help in a bit of self moderation.

I don't know if there's anything that can, or needs to be done on the wiki end for this, but all the supplementary pages for MRP should make their way into the guidebook when the rules move there, assuming the guidebook gets table support.

36 minutes ago, geekyhobo said:

To summarize, the rule clarifications need to be "clarified" in the sense that they need to be more visible and or readable, I think they would benefit in their own section of the wiki that is searchable. If its the front end side of a website that is needed to support that I would be all for making one.

For visibility, linking to them from the wiki and including them in-game should help. I don't know if the wiki has a good way to be able to search a specific group of pages or not. The forums currently let you do this by going to the section you want to search and just using the search box, but this isn't super intuitive. I don't know what we'd be able to do in terms of a separate site/page specifically for rule clarifications, but if you have some plan and think wizards could be convinced, definitely feel free to bring it up, I'm just worried that they won't want to host another service. If a plugin or extension of an existing service is an option, that might be preferable.

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By that logic I can just say I didn’t know about the clarification. I don’t see how that’s a viable strategy.

Nobody wants to commit to clarifications because the end result is of little value. Combining the end result in a way that’s more visible to everyone and more expected to be utilized (as well as limiting them to being started by admins as the result of discussion) would probably make them more attractive to undertake as a responsibility.

As for approchability im more talking about prior posts seeming to imply that because its volunteer work backlogs cannot be avoided so therefore doing anything to mitigate them isn’t a viable solution is frustrating; that’s what it sounds like is being said and it seems to imply the solution isn’t really negotiable. You seem to prefer to say how things can’t work without saying how it could plausibly work.

At that point you can just say I don’t agree.

At that point there had been multiple discussions that became an endless stalemate. You’re right it was mentioned at that time. However that aside I know communication was an issue previously between not only players and admins but admins and admins. 

Staff is probably burnt out. I was/am burnt out. Making things easier to approach and do reduces burnout. Trying to minimize the work while maintaining quality of it helps introduce new staff and maintain existing staff. 

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5 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

By that logic I can just say I didn’t know about the clarification. I don’t see how that’s a viable strategy.

An admin can't respond to a player saying "the rule clarification titled 'Bribes and Incentives' says I can do X" by saying I don't know about that clarification, I'm banning you. An admin reviewing a ban appeal that cites a rule clarification also certainly cannot just pretend the citation doesn't exist. This is all true even if you assume that admins only learn of clarifications through players, which is not the case. Admins regularly cite clarifications when trialmins, players, or even less active admins ask questions, demonstrating that they don't immediately forget the clarifications or something.

12 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

As for approchability im more talking about prior posts seeming to imply that because its volunteer work backlogs cannot be avoided so therefore doing anything to mitigate them isn’t a viable solution is frustrating; that’s what it sounds like is being said and it seems to imply the solution isn’t really negotiable. You seem to prefer to say how things can’t work without saying how it could plausibly work.

I don't think backlogs can be avoided in a project this big, run entirely by volunteers, and with so few volunteers. The only exception I think there is to that right now is entirely removing things, there will obviously be no appeals backlog if we don't allow appeals, but that obviously has it's own downsides. Backlogs can be mitigated, but I don't think your suggestion of reducing the number of people who can work on rule clarifications while getting rid of the vote part would mitigate it, I think it would do the opposite. I don't think your other suggestion of directly integrating the clarifications into the rules would have any impact on the backlog.

17 minutes ago, lonesoldier55 said:

Staff is probably burnt out. I was/am burnt out. Making things easier to approach and do reduces burnout. Trying to minimize the work while maintaining quality of it helps introduce new staff and maintain existing staff. 

There were and probably still are burnt out staff members. There are also staff members that aren't burnt out, including many new ones. I am very sure that the contribution that having to add a few reactions to some text someone has to write anyway has to burnout in the admin team in miniscule compared to the other causes. I understand that you think it's a bigger issue than I do, and I've tried to explain to you why I don't think your suggested changes would be improvements instead of simply dismissing them. Other admins who read this will form their own opinion. If a majority end up agreeing with you then your suggestions are almost definitely what will end up happening, but at this point I can't imagine that you're going to convince me that the issues I brought up with your suggestions aren't issues.

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Admins are going to go forward making decisions based on their operative knowledge until someone dredges up an obscure clarification. You are assuming everyone has the “book of clarifications” ready to go. If neither party is expected to read them it is perfectly viable for both parties to continue acting ignorant of them and for both parties to not agree with them in some capacity, especially as they get very old, outdated, and unmanaged.

You arent going to entirely eliminate backlogs but again you should mitigate the work involved where possible to make the tasks less daunting to do and make backlogs more manageable for longer. I think clarifications need less formality; people get too deadlocked in a handful of people disagreeing or a vote stalemates and nobody wants to go forward. Thats where a person needs to step up and say “this is what we are doing”. Requiring votes to pass everything in a project this large makes deadlocks.

The issues are workable. To try and compact it down:

  1. The rules need better readability more than anything. They are mostly in need for organization. Significant “areas” of rules (ex: security, silicon) need their own tabs or areas to help reduce the bombardment of info. I think this is generally agreed upon.
  2. Rule clarifications at the very minimum need to be intergrated in a concise, readable format nearby the rules they effect. If they need explanation a link to another page or section containing explanation will suffice. I think this is already agreed upon.
  3. The process and expectations of rule clarifications need to be critically looked at. The way they are is not conductive to managing them, they are not very visible to majority of the users, and the expectations means they are not typically seriously entertained regularly. This is where most of my post comes from. The visibility + the process. Rule discussions and scopes are going to come into play all the time but typically from players and typically they dont want long form forum discussion about it. Our clarifications lacked any real discussion until someone drafted a response and current format also allows any player to try and post a clarification which I think has resulted in a bit of a mess. Our discussions also tended to omit players from the equation, which can or cannot be a good thing depending on who you ask. Seeing things from a player’s POV is sometimes beneficial. I think these issues are workable, not non-existent.
  4. Appeals and backlogs in general are an entire other subject thats adjacent to but out of scope of this thread. Its not appropriate for me to keep discussing it.
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On 12/5/2023 at 7:41 PM, Chief_Engineer said:

There is an interest in making game mode (Secret/Sandbox/Deathmatch) specific rules, but it's unclear if or how this will be done. Ideally, there would be some integration with the game, but the most likely method right now is for the guidebook to have a "core" set of rules, with additional rules for each game mode that needs more than that, so the typical rules would be "core rules + traditional game mode rules" or something.

One easy lazy way of doing this is simply having traditional game mode rules, as we do right now, with an addendum: "Some of these rules may not apply in sandbox or deathmatch mode. Use common sense." I mean, what other rules do sandbox and deathmatch need?

On 12/5/2023 at 7:41 PM, Chief_Engineer said:

An admin has been working on LRP space law. There haven't been any votes, and there hasn't been significant admin team discussion around this, so LRP space law is not guaranteed to be introduced, but I do think it's likely that it will be to reduce the current grey areas security players experience on LRP.

A lot of people who play sec on LRP yearn for Space Law, so that'll be a good thing for them, I suppose.

I enjoy playing security, but it's never my first choice. And I don't play sec at all on MRP because I don't wanna bother with procedures and reference tables.

So if the new LRP space law is simple, it'll be beneficial. If it's not that simple, then it's a mixed bag. People who play sec will love it, but others might be less likely to take sec as a second choice.

On 12/5/2023 at 8:04 PM, Warentan said:

Maybe it would be best to allow short sentences and requests in different languages in LRP (because random conversations in another language with specific people is obviously metacomms in MRP), and then translate them post-round for security's sake.

How would the game even detect that someone is using a different language?

On 12/6/2023 at 1:11 AM, lonesoldier55 said:

the rules pages themselves need organization more than anything, not really a comprehensive re-writing. the current problem is readability

Without going back to re-read the rules (but having read them many times in the past), I have some times felt they seem patchy, like a Wikipedia page. After a certain point, it might be easier/more effective to rewrite the whole thing (while keeping the same ideas), than to keep cutting and grafting. But that's just a thought. The person that's doing the job will decide what's best.

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1 hour ago, Del said:

How would the game even detect that someone is using a different language?

I mean the admins, manually, by remembering to.

"Git infuriates me bro just let me commit the changes you freaking guy" -Obama, maybe

DOMAIN EXPANSION; TEXT WALL: YAPANESE!!

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On 12/6/2023 at 5:11 AM, lonesoldier55 said:

"erm akshually"

The biggest grey area I've encounter when playing is what is and isn't considered contraband, confiscation of items and brig times. As far as I'm aware the contraband lists from the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) do not apply to LRP because Space Law is only considered to be a guideline (rule 21.10) there, but Security should still have a good reason for confiscating an item (rule 21.5).

Factors that I've seen being considered when confiscating include:

  • Static spawns (e.g. shift start tool storage free-for-all, web vest in Marathon maints)
  • Possible maint loot (e.g. chest rig from a maintenance closet)
  • Situational uses (e.g. magboots for artifact research)
  • Mistakable for the real deal (e.g. toy sword and tacticool clothing)


An item being restricted would be considered a good reason for confiscating, but we're not following SOP. A contentious item would be insulated gloves, with Security and Command being inconsistent when dealing with these. I've seen them confiscated on green alert from passengers who's committed no crimes, justifying it by saying a passenger has no need for insulated gloves. I would argue a passenger could still has as much of a licit reason to carry insulates as a wrench for example, yet one of these is confiscated way more often. I've also seen items be confiscated for uncorrelated crimes, e.g. confiscating insulated gloves when someone assaulted a bartender with a crowbar.

I would suggest a way to show players more information about items (see below) and I'm hoping for more thorough contraband lists that become part of LRP server rules. I think it's less important what's considered contraband and that it's more important that everyone has the same understanding of what is considered contraband. Maybe I'm too optimistic in thinking it'll help Security (Cadets) feel more justified and less of a buzzkill when confiscating and make searched crew/detainees feel less 1984'd.

What I'm suggesting is adding an icon of the affiliation of the item (Nanotrasen, Syndicate or Freelancer) and what the item is restricted to or is considered contraband. Images provided are what the finalised UI should look like, any adjustment or improvement will force me to sue the Wizards:
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These ratings could also be used when considering when someone is a confirmed Syndicate (balloon and mosin aren't "high" because you can find them in maint).

TL;DR:
GET THOSE BLACK SYNTHETIC FIBER COVERED CLAWS OFF OF MY INSULATES, SHITSEC

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1 hour ago, Del said:

One easy lazy way of doing this is simply having traditional game mode rules, as we do right now, with an addendum: "Some of these rules may not apply in sandbox or deathmatch mode. Use common sense." I mean, what other rules do sandbox and deathmatch need?

I can't think of any rules that would only appear in sandbox/deathmatch, so it will probably just be that certain rules don't apply in sandbox/deathmatch and it'd just be a matter of deciding which rules those are. I know one thing people ask a lot is if they can metacomm on sandbox to teach people, and I think people have also asked if they can be in a VC with others in deathmatch.

1 hour ago, Del said:

A lot of people who play sec on LRP yearn for Space Law, so that'll be a good thing for them, I suppose.

I enjoy playing security, but it's never my first choice. And I don't play sec at all on MRP because I don't wanna bother with procedures and reference tables.

So if the new LRP space law is simple, it'll be beneficial. If it's not that simple, then it's a mixed bag. People who play sec will love it, but others might be less likely to take sec as a second choice.

The goal with LRP space law would definitely be to make it simple. I'm not super familiar with exactly what's being planned right now, but I'd hope it wouldn't be nearly as long as MRP's.

Reworking some of MRP space law might happen too so that MRP space law builds off of LRP space law. That might be able to make it more enjoyable for people who aren't security mains.

If LRP were to have a space law, could you give any more details of what it'd have to be like for you to still be interested in playing it, or where the line would be in terms of complexity before you thought it was too much?

9 minutes ago, Bundle said:

I would suggest a way to show players more information about items (see below) and I'm hoping for more thorough contraband lists that become part of LRP server rules. I think it's less important what's considered contraband and that it's more important that everyone has the same understanding of what is considered contraband.

I definitely agree that this is currently a big issue for security. I'd really like to see the game clearly communicate what is and isn't contraband in item descriptions, and until that happens I think we need to try to define it better in the rules. We won't ever get an all inclusive list of what can be confiscated, because the reality is if someone finds a way to cause big enough issues with anything, you'd want security to be able to confiscate it. The rules lagging behind development a bit  also needs to be accounted for, you wouldn't want security to not be able to confiscate something clearly dangerous that's been added recently just because the rules haven't been updated to call it contraband yet.

14 minutes ago, Bundle said:

What I'm suggesting is adding an icon of the affiliation of the item (Nanotrasen, Syndicate or Freelancer) and what the item is restricted to or is considered contraband. Images provided are what the finalised UI should look like, any adjustment or improvement will force me to sue the Wizards:

I think low/medium/high would need to use different terms to try to make it clearer what exactly they mean to someone seeing it for the first time, but thank you this is a really good mockup. I don't know exactly how maintainers would feel about something like this, but I personally would like it. There was a discussion a while ago about it, and I think it concluded saying that the descriptions should make it clear what is contraband, but that the way it's presented to players shouldn't be too gamey. Unfortunately, I don't know where the line for too gamey would be drawn.

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