Top Mud Sites Forum Return to TopMudSites.com
Go Back   Top Mud Sites Forum > Mud Development and Administration > MUD Administration
Click here to Register

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-09-2002, 12:27 AM   #1
Klered
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Boston USA
Posts: 39
Klered is on a distinguished road
Thumbs up

Like any good implementor, I frequently try to recruite staffers from area websites and message boards. This raises an important question!

Is there anything more you can do?

Well let me elaborate on a similiar situation some of you may or may not be experiencing. Recently, our site has had many modifications. Throughout the last 2.5 years, I have spent much more time at the console administrating, and running the world similiar to how one would manage any large detail oriented project. We pay attention to the large tasks, and prioritizing our time,(my time) and I expel lots of energy trying to impress the builders and players. Why?

Well philosophically speaking, a gamer spends time at the game. Since this admininstrator has always been a gamer at heart, I find it very easy to sit at the console, for endless hours, staring at a text page constantly typing, 'who' and 'score' and 'last player' between tasking. I love this game.

I digress. I am waiting for the exponential player base growth a good game deserves, and expecting for that, I have been on the hunt for a good staff. I have had my potentials (read as newly hired, not yet desired) and my one night stands, as well as the few and far between qualified personel that make it a month or two.

So let me repose my question! How do you keep a talented staff active, and an active staff happy!

Now I throw this out to you, the reader, for your insights into what I will coin as the 'Mudhole Mystery'!

KL
Klered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2002, 07:58 PM   #2
Astin
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 46
Astin is on a distinguished road
Send a message via ICQ to Astin Send a message via AIM to Astin Send a message via Yahoo to Astin
This theory doesn’t work as well for developmental muds however, once establish I’ve found that it works well chose staff from your playerbase. Granted there are ups and downs to this approach but since the player has obviously spent a good deal of time playing for him to be noticed enough to be offered this position. You have seen the players in action and know his record. The downs being the friendship factor, they will have mortal friends but any good staff member can keep it fair. They will know how the mud works and the rules of the game. Who better to know the theme for areas, the game to assist newbies, or the rules to enforce them? Anyway on to “how to keep talented staff active and active staff happy.” My philosophy on that you can keep talented staff active by allowing them creative freedoms. As for keeping active staff happy the same I assume. If it’s something they want then they will be content doing it. Just my seven cents

-- Astin
Astin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2002, 10:34 PM   #3
Klered
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Boston USA
Posts: 39
Klered is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Astin @ Oct. 10 2002,6:58 pm)
This theory doesn’t work as well for developmental muds however, once establish I’ve found that it works well chose staff from your playerbase.


Good point you have Astin.

I typically 'fish' from my own waters as well.
Klered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2002, 12:45 PM   #4
Klered
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Boston USA
Posts: 39
Klered is on a distinguished road
I am also convinced that the best way to treat an immortal staff member that doesn't work on the mud is to keep them forever confined to the builder server with their immortal player. That means no questing, and no rp'ing and no learning the secrets of the 'live' game. To some, that is quite a severe punishment.

It doesn't answer the question of how to keep a staff member happy, but it does shed some light on how to punish them. Is it wrong to punish a staff member? I don't wish to do anything in that sort, but for conversation, if I hire you to build, I would expect that you do that. If you are a helpful addition to the mud, you are rewarded with an immortal on the the live game. If not, instead of 'firing' you, confinement to the build server takes the stress off of everyone.

What do you think about this?

KL
Klered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2002, 01:19 PM   #5
Jazuela
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New England
Posts: 843
Jazuela will become famous soon enoughJazuela will become famous soon enough
Assuming the game has a dev shell, it sounds like a reasonable way to keep unproductive staffers from causing trouble in the live game.

My only experience as a full-time staff member was in a game that had no dev shell. Everything was done live. We were required to live up to some very strict standards, for which I am eternally grateful. Some of the staffers slacked off...and that caused resentment for those of us who worked like dogs day in and day out. But eventually the Admin wisened up (after a couple of YEARS..) and told the slackers to either put out or get out. Since the game I staffed for was a pay-for-play, and staff members got free PC accounts, it gave the slackers an incentive to work. No work meant you'd have to start paying for your PC account.
Jazuela is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2002, 02:21 PM   #6
Brianna
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Bel Air, MD USA
Posts: 81
Brianna is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Brianna Send a message via MSN to Brianna Send a message via Yahoo to Brianna
I think by letting people know up front what you expect, even down to the littlest detail, helps weed out those that want to "powertrip" as an immortal.  On the two games I am head builder on, all building takes place live but staffers are given guidelines on what is expected before they are hired and I ask if these rules are acceptable to them and if they are willing to follow them. The development shells on both these games are primarily used by the coders to test new code they are working to prevent disruption on the main port.  

As far as keeping the staff happy, its a tricky balance of blending a variety of personalities.  There are those that are always on and working and others that work and kid around and some "slackers" who require a good kick in the tail at times to keep them going.  Getting to know the staff helps with this blending.  I have seen players brought on staff and never complete their zones or feel they have to have the most powerful eq in the game in their zone. I have seen staff members play favorites with their friends and lose what they claim they had wanted by abusing the privileges granted them.

One thing I stress is that becoming a staff member (immortal) is a privilege and carries with it responsibility (just like getting a drivers license). If a person does not feel they can live up to those responsibilities and says as much to begin with a lot less trouble arises. I realize that people have lives outside of cyberspace but when you make a commitment and expect to have respect, I expect them to treat the rest of the staff with the same respect they want in return. There will always be some that will slip through but no one is by any means perfect, myself included. Essentially when hiring staff from outside the mud (which is the case with most developmental stage muds) Its difficult at best but laying out what is expected usually works for the most part.
Brianna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2002, 01:20 AM   #7
Klered
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Boston USA
Posts: 39
Klered is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Jazuela @ Oct. 19 2002,12:19 pm)
Assuming the game has a dev shell, it sounds like a reasonable way to keep unproductive staffers from causing trouble in the live game.
Quite often this is too true. Reasonably speaking, as an administrator, I give all the new staffers a fair chance to help out with the mud. Did you ever notice that when some people join the mud for the first time, and they end up speaking very excitedly about "helping out" and making all "cool things"? Only to build for a few weeks maybe (if that even) they suddenly disappear? I often wondered, hrm maybe the mud isn't as fun as I think it is? {Enter Self-doubt and Self_insert_cliche_here issues. } Maybe we should set laws amongst the mud community, and start black listing! j/k

What is up with those types? Don't they know hiring is a very emotional process =) ? *Klered snickers at the lava lamp*

I am sure of one thing. Being an coordinator for all this stuff sure isn't easy! Anyone want a job *wink*
Klered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2002, 01:23 AM   #8
Klered
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Boston USA
Posts: 39
Klered is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Brianna @ Oct. 19 2002,1:21 pm)
One thing I stress is that becoming a staff member (immortal) is a privilege and carries with it responsibility ...
Sing It Sister!
Klered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2002, 01:12 PM   #9
Rum
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 1
Rum is on a distinguished road
Exclamation

Ooh, my first post.

My MUD's early days involved a team of developers fresh off an even older mud called Mizar that closed down at the end of the 80's. This was a large and spirited group that put together a fairly decent MUD pretty quickly. Since then we've maintained a smaller but fairly steady equilibrium of development effort. The MUD developed under the wing of another established mud, Sweden's Genesis. I think this goes some way to explaining our longevity, and to some degree our philosophy.

Our "immortals" are not permitted to play (although that is often discussed and may someday change); they're subject to a lot of restrictions on their interactions with mortals, there is a set of "mythos" documents that cannot be contradicted (without a sensible reason why) and initially they're given limited access to see how things work. But we do not impose deadlines. We're still a bit rules-heavy, in comparison with other MUDs.

Our immortals are all ex-players. Right now, with the abundance of youngsters who play, this is not proving to be the ideal source for new immortals. When you're young you (quite rightly) want to do lots of different things, and assembling a nice place that fits into the world takes quite a bit of concentrated effort.

But we regularly (a couple of times each year - and for a decade now) find people whose love of the place far exceeds any need for rules. Most of them are pretty slow-moving, when it comes to making new things; a few generate great flurries of productivity. The characteristic of a "good" immortal is simply that they love the game. Poor grammar is not fatal. People who feel they lack imagination can find it again in a group environment. Overambition can often be managed (to avoid burnout), and underambition leads to the most wonderful little touches that add a new depth to someone else's area. Some people just like to test new areas and provide suggestions, which always leads to higher quality.

It is important to foster the immortal's love of the game. When that someone new comes on board we'd want them to have a mentor (we have many more successes among those who did than those who didn't) and others will also help out whenever asked. Often a new immortal is even more enthusiastic when they get to team with other recently immortalized friends. Enthusiasm comes and goes, that's fine, we just let that happen - the trick is letting the new immortals know that's okay, and we're just glad of anything they choose to contribute beyond their first creation. The MUD is always there for them. It never hurts to have one more friend.

We've a small playerbase but a wide, consistent and detailed world. That suits us. However friendship isn't a formula for exponential growth unless you could find a way to be messianic about it. I'd suggest that any friendly relations you have with the administration of other similar muds might be one way to advance both of your mudlibs quickly.
Rum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2002, 04:21 AM   #10
Iluvatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mississippi USA
Posts: 142
Iluvatar is on a distinguished road
Almost all of our Immortals are from our player base and I have to tell you that saves a tremendous amount of explaining about how to build contextual zones and quibbling over rules and policy. The one caveat to that I enforce is they will choose a new name and divorce themselves from any and all baggage their mortal has. They must build on-line and be published before they even get to sniff the mortal interaction or "Player's port." I'm not going to watch over their shoulder that they keep all their old friends in ignorance but 9 out of 10 times they will tell others then beg for another name change because the morts bug their mortals incessantly. Yes, I do believe playing a mort keeps an Imm in tune with how the world is developing and perceived from mortal eyes and a valuable tool.

Punishing an Immortal, hmm, tough thing to punish a volunteer, isn't it? They conform to building policy or they don't get published. They conform to behavioral policy on the mortal interaction port or either they don't get promoted or get demoted if you use that kind of system. Too many strikes, they get axed and only you are to blame if you haven't explained the rules or guided them sufficiently. Volunteers are all we have and it behooves us to console, cajole, pump, prod and promote based on services rendered. If we don't, we cut our own throats with work we have to do all by ourselves, or be relegated to surfing for unknowns out in the mudworld.

Keeping them active and happy... Advancement or potential for it works as power is always enticing, challenges work better though and being someone who is actively sought after to be part of the conceptual team works too. Enabling some sort of interactive role for them with the mortal community has it's good points if there is strict guidance as to just how much allowed to interact. Volunteers with Mu*s are in it for fun, either the fun of writing or the fun of interacting and sometimes both. It's not an easy task for the senior managers to enable this environment but IMHO well worth our effort to promote it.
Iluvatar is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Staffing? The Choices we make! - Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
So, I'm going to make a MUD... Drealoth Advanced MUD Concepts 1 01-23-2006 09:33 PM
can you make weapon web ppl? UnKnOwN1205 MUD Coding 3 07-07-2004 12:54 AM
The clothes make the mob? Adelai MUD Builders and Areas 21 09-22-2003 10:33 AM
How do you make new help files? Danlor MUD Coding 9 09-05-2002 07:40 AM
New Article: Choices and Burdens Synozeer MUD Announcements 0 08-28-2002 01:08 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Style based on a design by Essilor
Copyright Top Mud Sites.com 2014