The status of Buildcraftia

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JeremyC, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. yvagary

    yvagary Well-Known Member Penguin Retired Staff

    are you trying to not get yelled at or something because its not working
  2. IPROXGio

    IPROXGio Well-Known Member Retired Staff

    3 matty is retired staff now
    NapkinDabber and LordN826 lick this.
  3. NapkinDabber

    NapkinDabber Well-Known Member Retired Staff

    Jessie, Bins, Dusty and 6 others lick this.
  4. LordN826

    LordN826 Well-Known Member

    Was listening to heavy metal for some reason
  5. JeremyC

    JeremyC Well-Known Member Retired Staff

    he looks good for his age
  6. MrIvy

    MrIvy Well-Known Member Retired Staff

    With that logic let's make all active people owners

    We should also go back to mod apps tbh noms are too biased or have mods nominate people. The community is too biased. Well, never mind because when I was staff the staff members couldn't vote as a group for shit.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2015
  7. JeremyC

    JeremyC Well-Known Member Retired Staff

    Honestly no system will work because the staff are bias and the community is bias. Its about finding the best of the worst options
  8. yvagary

    yvagary Well-Known Member Penguin Retired Staff

    can we take a moment to accept that this is a true fact
  9. NapkinDabber

    NapkinDabber Well-Known Member Retired Staff

    Apps: Staff will have a degree of favoritism.
    Noms: Players will have a degree of favoritism.


    My love for you is a true fact.
  10. LordN826

    LordN826 Well-Known Member

    Maybe we can do what Quick said once which is we have apps and then the people they think are fit are put into a nomination
    yvagary and NapkinDabber lick this.
  11. yvagary

    yvagary Well-Known Member Penguin Retired Staff

    1) Why don't we meet somewhere in the middle where people can apply and then everyone votes on them? Wouldn't that be easier?
    2) love you too dad
  12. Wordguy

    Wordguy The Flash Staff Member Moderator Penguin

    I had my idea:

    Everyone can apply via forums, staff then chooses the top 5 (or 2 more then however many staff they want). Then players can vote on someone out of them. The top people get picked. That way, we both get what we want, and a say in the noms! :D
  13. yvagary

    yvagary Well-Known Member Penguin Retired Staff

    But that means that excludes people when we want everyone to have a fair vote, not just by staff.
  14. Wordguy

    Wordguy The Flash Staff Member Moderator Penguin

    Well, what if we did it reverse? Players pick top 5 (or so), and mods+ choose the mods accepted?
    yvagary licks this.
  15. yvagary

    yvagary Well-Known Member Penguin Retired Staff

    that could still be extremely biased though but who knows
  16. Wordguy

    Wordguy The Flash Staff Member Moderator Penguin

    Maybe we can try a beta where we only add 1 mod or so, to test it?
  17. PhoenixStudios

    PhoenixStudios Community Manager Penguin

    *beep beep boop Phoenix Rant Time beep beep*

    Firstly, I want to politely inform some of us here that some staff members have been here for a very long time. I've been staff here altogether for the best part of 2/3+years, and was an active user for quite a while before then. Very few staff members share this position; namely, Temp & Ken, who've been here even longer than me. Additionally, other users (such as MattyC) have made undeniable contributions to the server that we cannot ignore. The point I'm getting to is written below:

    This isn't me trying to suppress anyone's voice, because any person who tries to silence another individual's opinion should not be allowed to take part in a debate like this. All I'm saying is: when accusations are made over staff members who you claim don't deserve their position, please remember the continued contributions those members have made over many years; respect them for having stayed with the server for this amount of time, and take that into account when making your judgement.

    I'm not saying these users are exempt. I'm not trying to defend anyone. What I am trying to do is remind everyone that numerous people work behind-the-scenes and around-the-clock to keep this server going. Criticism is welcomed, 100%. But keep in mind the sacrifices that users, such as those named, have made. That goes for some staff members as well.

    I may say things here that some users don't like. People have comments and opinions flying all over the place and it's difficult to keep track. So, having only been shown this thread today by one of our MVPs, I'll try to make sense of it all. I'm not gonna leave a rhetoric to comments people have made, because you're entitled to voice your opinions. But I feel as if we need an authoritative and professional voice to make sense of this whole thread.
    Feedback is welcome!

    Everyone knows I'm pretty vocal when it comes to stuff like this, so here goes. :p

    I've thoroughly read each person's comment thus far; here are the topics I've picked up on. I've categorised these topics into 3 sections:

    The Staff:

    • Staff Activity
    • Staff Efficiency
    • Staff Behaviour
    • Staff Appointments & Staff Nominations
    • Retired Staff
    The Network:
    • API
    • Growth of the Network (i.e. more servers)
    The Community:
    • Growth of the Community
    • Relationship between Staff and Players
    • Drama... ;)
    The Future:
    • Long-Term Plan for BuildCraftia
    Most people have points regarding the staff, so that'll probably be the biggest section. The others may seem small in comparison. :p

    I'll tackle each of the sections individually, point by point. Time to get your reading glasses out! :cool:


    The Staff:

    Staff Activity:
    There's been a lot of name-shaming and people slamming each other over this topic. This is an unfortunate time really for a debate like this to be going on, because - obviously - it's the middle of the summer & people have plans. I, just like all of our staff, do try to get on from time to time. However, I acknowledge that some staff may not dedicate the time necessary to fulfill the staff member role. Let's establish what I think this role is:

    "A BuildCraftia Staff Member is a member of the community who has shown friendliness, charisma & a desire to help
    the server. Staff Members will be loyal, hard-working, able to solve problems independently & in a group, offer
    advice to users who need it, connect with our community, come online regularly, act in a mature manner when necessary,
    but also enjoy having laughs and good times to help create the positive atmosphere that BuildCraftia naturally radiates.
    Staff Members are versatile, and should be able to fill any role that the community and staff body deem necessary."
    That would be my sort-of 'mission statement' for aspiring / current staff members. One of the requirements obviously would be to come online regularly. It's not as if each staff member's time online can be tracked constantly (because believe me, that happened in Arcadia: it didn't work one iota). Additionally, one must take into consideration that BuildCraftia has users from across the globe. Some staff members may be in different time zones, which may be why you see them less often. I do not argue against the idea that some staff don't come on much, but I think it's much less of a problem than it used to be, and it also ties in with the size of the staff body (which I'll get onto later).
    I won't comment on the activity of owners, because in my honest opinion: if it's their server, they can do what they want with it. The server may be getting nowhere (as an example), but it's no-one's job to shout at an owner apart from the owner's conscience. Although, I agree that re-establishing the sense of a goal is fundamental.

    Conclusion: We acknowledge that some staff appear not to meet the requirements in-terms of online time, much to the concern of some users. But with a small staff body in the middle of the summer holidays, it's bound to happen. Activity is something we cannot 100% control, but it's something that should be looked at over a long period of time rather than a short one.

    Staff Efficiency:
    In particular, I'm going to focus here on the forums-side of things. Points have been made about the lengthy process at which it takes staff to get through ban appeals / reports / warp requests etc. The truth is, this is one of the major problems I have with the staff body. Only the admins can handle these problems (and believe me, I have much to say on the matter of admins), whereas beforehand, any staff member could handle them. This means that only a tiny number of our already small staff body can handle these requests. And there are a lot of them to get through, too. Moderators have been stripped of the /unban command (which I personally see as a mishap which should be rectified), meaning they can't take charge of them. There's only so much one person can do, remember. As much as we love the forums, dealing with requests like these is a lengthy process.

    But Phoenix, what could we possibly do-

    I want to make it clear here that I'm not acting as if I'm an owner, or have any authority. The reason we have this lack of movement & this half-arse attitude is because of a lack of leadership (which I'll get to in turn) & a lack of any sense of goal to be achieved.

    Conclusion: The lack of staff efficiency is not always due to the staff themselves, but due to the stop-and-start leadership. Users experience long waiting times when it comes to dealing with requests, something which we cannot deny. While we try to keep forum thread requests up to date, it is an area for improvement for sure.

    Staff Behaviour:
    People have expressed concern at the behaviour of some staff members. To be perfectly honest, I see this as jokes being taken out-of-hand; of people misinterpreting messages. I like to think that the staff, while maintaining the ability to be mature when necessary, are fun-loving & nice people to be around. We shouldn't take ourselves as seriously as we do. That being said, some people have reported problems that they feel aren't acceptable. All-in-all, I like the mixture of professionalism and fun we have, and I sincerely hope that never changes. Personally, I find behaviours such as banning attitudes problematic, where the rules were taken a bit too far and very out-of-context (such as people getting banned for 'mentioning other server names.' ...I'm sorry, what?).

    Conclusion: If some people feel that staff have acted inappropriately, please do disclose it privately to a different staff member. Please remember though not to be too serious on things. Everyone is allowed to have fun and joke around, whether they be staff or not.

    Staff Appointments & Staff Nominations:
    This probably has the longest history, which I remember vividly. I'll deal with Appointments first, and Nominations second.

    Historically, BuildCraftia doesn't have a great record when it comes to appointments. In the past, there was huge bias when it came to who was appointed as a staff member (kudos to you if you were here when April rigged the mod nomination for Candy xD ). I'm glad to say that that bias no longer exists, as we now use nominations to determine appointments. But things like bias will always hang in the balance. Either-way, it's important to learn from the past.

    The aim is that everyone decides who should be staff. ModNoms tended to be more of a popularity contest, rather than anyone nominating someone who would actually be able to do the job. I believe the staff is in a stable position, but there is definitely room for 2-3 more moderators, I'd say. But, this should coincide with server growth: a point I shall get onto later. Don't misinterpret me as advocating more moderators.

    I'll be treading on thin ice here, but the matter of admins concerns me. This concerns past admin choices especially. I will not name-shame any of our active users, but personally, I don't agree with all the admin choices. Back in the day, the Admin Rank was given to moderators who showed great skill with their job; who naturally earned great respect, and then some. I do not feel that that's reflected today. It's a long path to earn Moderator, and it's an even longer path to earn Admin. It feels like some people took shortcuts on that road. I think it's wrong to name-shame, but the recognition that some moderators deserve (such as a former admin and former owner themselves) is never given to them. I don't feel this way about every admin, as some have shown great generosity, friendliness and forgiveness. But this was a personal point of mine that I felt I needed to make. Especially when Admins overstep their boundaries and think that they're in-line to talk to other people with little respect.

    Going back to the point before, nominations tended to be more of a popularity contest. I do not agree with past staff decisions (and nor do I agree with all of the staff appointments today) but our job is to fulfill our role as staff, and that should be the goal of anyone who wishes to be staff. It's not an easy road, but think about it: somebody has to get picked sooner or later ;)

    Conclusion: The staff body may benefit from further growth, but only if the server grows in the same way. The days when we regularly had 100+ users on at any given time warranted a large staff body, but the case is very different today. The thing that keeps this server together is the dedicated community who keep logging on because they enjoy the server, and we'll never be able to do that dedication justice in a simple forum post. It's incredible. :p

    Retired Staff:
    It feels appropriate that I should comment on this, as I have been in this position myself :p

    Similar to the opening statement, Retired Staff deserve a great deal of respect as well. For one reason or another, these former staff members have served the community with great dedication, but have felt the need to move on to greater things, or have needed to place their focus on more important issues - education, family life, careers, etc. I do not feel as if the entire staff entirely respects the entire retired staff group.
    (Like that use of repetition? xP )

    I treat everyone's opinion with equal value and worth. But some users (including staff) have developed stereotypes that stigmatise Retired Staff, and do not treat their comments with equal value and worth. Finding a middle ground is difficult, but what I honestly think - and I know it sounds cheesy - is that we should set aside our differences and our past, and all engage together while treating each other's opinion as valuable as anyone else's.

    Conclusion: Retired Staff are an important part of the community, and deserve the same amount of respect that is given to a staff member today. Everyone has a valid opinion. Everyone.


    The Network:
    The talk of the long-awaited New API dates back to the month of April and further back still. As you all know, we only have one developer. A developer who has an adult life outside of our small minecraft server. While I agree that the wait is reminiscent of Arcadia times (like when the server was down for a whole month.. but we won't start on the Arcadia topic again) in terms of deadlines, these things will happen in due course. Quicksteve knows the number of people avidly waiting for this to come out, so there's no point pressuring it any more than some people are already doing. Whatever we say either-way, it won't make the API happen any quicker. Even so, the API holds up a lot of other jobs that have to happen. But I still retain that we should just let whatever happens, happen.

    Conclusion: "Slow and steady wins the race."

    Growth of the Network:
    If we were to truly consider ourselves a Network rather than a Server, there would be much more than 2 or 3 gamemodes. Again, this matter is difficult to tackle before the API is released. The playerbase is not large enough to fulfill the interests that a huge network requires (heck, half the time someone has to call up a staff member to force-start DTC because there are never enough players).

    Growing the community and maintaining a community is how servers get off the ground. I think we can safely say that we have maintained a steady player base of around 20-30 players. Now is that time when that same community has to be watered and nourished in order for it to grow (crappy metaphor, I know. In fact, I'm cringing at it as I type this).

    Conclusion: The Growth of the Network will be beneficial to no-one without expanding the community first. I'll get onto that point in the appropriate section.


    The Community:
    Growth of the Community:
    This is perhaps the largest hurdle to jump, as growing a community takes an incredibly long time. It requires strong leadership, smart financial decisions and the dedication of the community as a whole.

    The BuildCraftia community used to be absolutely huge back in the day. I use the term 'absolutely huge' because having 100+ (becoming 120+ at its peak) users on a standalone creative server was a pretty tough feat. If a community is to grow, then you need to give those users a reason to keep coming back. Create that sense of dedication and enjoyment that we all feel on BuildCraftia. Why else would we keep coming back?

    Advertisement goes some way in achieving this but laying the foundations for network growth comes into it too. I know I said before that network growth is pointless without community growth, but adding just a small number of features (such as a couple minigames) helps to establish us as a Network with a fantastic community (that's you guys ;) ).

    Conclusion: We can go around saying the server is not getting anywhere as much as we want. But with such a clear path in-front of us to change that, it's up to us to create that change.

    daaayuuumm it's like I'm some 'follow your dreams' preacher type guy :rolleyes:

    Relationship between Staff and Players:
    If I were to describe the relationship between staff and players right now, I'd describe it as uneasy at best. Former days saw players building with, joking with, PvP-ing with & having fun with staff members regularly. Nowadays, most people appear to be tedious of how quiet the scene is regarding new games and features. Additionally, a lot of people feel frustrated with how staff handle matters nowadays.

    It's not my job to tell you what to think; it's your job to tell us what you think. And we can tell from this thread that you've certainly done that :p. Staff are due a certain amount of respect; they're not staff members for nothing. Not every user will adhere to that rule. But to be honest, they have reasons for not doing so. I think an apology over the API delay would not go amiss, on the grounds that it is established that we'd rather do a good job than a bad one (as MattyC said), and that the API will bring huge benefits that we wouldn't have otherwise.

    Conclusion: Both staff and players could do with easing off a little bit. The frustration of being told things that aren't happening is understandable, and I'm sure everyone would hold their hands up and accept the consequences of saying such things. But it need not dampen the relationship between staff and players. This links back to all the points made in the first section, so I won't go over each one. But we should all group together and enjoy each other's company, rather than be split into groups arguing at each other.

    I seem to be the only person who finds the drama highly entertaining xP . This drama seems to have increased no-end in recent months.

    But still, I would advise everyone to not take the Drama too seriously. Just like my reaction to the Drama, in the great words of Alan Partridge:



    The Future:

    So, what do we do now? Well, I've spent a couple hours writing this so I'm probably starting to lose the plot. I would like to emphasise that I'm not trying to act like an owner, but:
    1. This thread was messy and confusing, and
    2. There was little clarification on what could be done to sort these problems.
    I make these suggestions and ideas out of a mind that has no business experience and little leadership experience. But given the chance, I put forth these proposals:
    • Re-ignite the passion that made people want to be staff: to have fun, to help others, and to have a cool bold name! :p
    • Build up the staff body with an experienced leadership team that has the server's best interests at heart, and an active moderating and administrative team that handles the server fairly and effectively day-to-day.
    • Establish a system of Staff Application that favours no-one and supports everyone. Remove the bias when selecting candidates, but ensure that they prove their ability to sustain the roles required of a staff member.
    • Consolidate a firm, strong leadership that has a set of ideals in mind for the server, and work with the staff and the community in order to build popularity.
    • Ensure that rules apply to everyone, not just the few.
    • Work on the API and make it fit for release as soon as possible, but keeping good quality in mind. Possibly release it in beta if needs be.
    • Keep attitudes unbiased. Remain open to new ideas.
    • Improve the relationship between the player and the staff member by being open, engaging in activities (such as minigames) and keeping the sever clean and enjoyable so that everyone can have a memorable experience.
    • Work on releasing new features to maintain server interest, and use donation money responsibly for the good of the server and its growth.
    • Devolve further powers to moderators so that they may serve the community better and increase efficiency.
    • Keep minigames interesting; encourage users to build maps for these minigames, connect them with the server and give them a reason to come back.
    • Keep the community informed upon what the server is doing and what the server plans to do. Actively advise discussion over topics that users are curious about. But importantly:
    • Treat everyone with respect, and treat everyone's opinion with equal worth.
    Now, to me this feels like some kind of optimistic, uncompromised view of the server in a scenario where everything works perfectly without flaw. In reality, we know that is never going to happen. I'm not saying that everything on this list should / will happen, but it helps create a plan so that we can 'hit the ground running' so-to speak.

    I believe that BuildCraftia has the community, the resources and the untapped potential to create, run and maintain a Network.

    It's just a case of getting things moving, rather than waiting for those things to move themselves. It won't move without a group effort.

    (Inspirational speech done. I've been working on and tweaking this for the best part of 4 hours. Time to go to bed).
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
    yvagary, MattyC, Olocool17 and 8 others lick this.
  18. FatherFan

    FatherFan Priest Mod combo Staff Member Moderator Penguin

    Wordguy licks this.
  19. Kaiziieee

    Kaiziieee Well-Known Member Retired Staff

    Wow matty looks awesome!

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2015
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  20. JeremyC

    JeremyC Well-Known Member Retired Staff

    Holy fuck that was long but I guess i'l try to make sense of it. This is by far the best response and much better than mine. Mine was more of a personal opinion but this represents the entire server. Very very nice phoenix :D
    yvagary licks this.

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