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Admin Game Playing Rules
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Should Admins be allowed to play as we do?
Yes, completely.
55%
 55%  [ 26 ]
No, not in factions.
25%
 25%  [ 12 ]
Yes in factions, but limited factions.
6%
 6%  [ 3 ]
Admins shouldn't play at all.
6%
 6%  [ 3 ]
Other. Explain in comments.
6%
 6%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 47

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Quixotic
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pancakes wrote:
What about preventing admins from performing on other faction members? Should that be allowed? What if both admins are in the same faction, who would monitor that if monitoring admins is something people seem to want.

Even though they should be ideally able to play the game as normal players, given the low number of admins we have I think it's preferable for them to be in different factions, if anything just to avoid bad blood about one specific faction "holding all the admins!".
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daeriel
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pancakes wrote:
What about preventing admins from performing on other faction members? Should that be allowed?


With the very small, incestuous playerbase we have a pretty small handful of factions, that might get to be a pain..."A member of X faction needs smiting because they're stuck on void...anyone NOT a member of X faction?"

I'd be satisfied with separate player/admin accounts and disallowing admin actions on their own characters. If an admin's player account character needs an admin action done to them, they'll need to ask another admin to do it for them (just like the rest of us).

Anything else pretty much requires more than one person involved in the cheating, which I think makes it less tempting and easier for the rest of us to detect anyway (although again, nothing's perfect, it's better than nothing).
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Skritz
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as they play by the rules and do not use admin powers "cheat" the game in any way I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to.
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Ongewitter
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

daeriel wrote:
pancakes wrote:
What about preventing admins from performing on other faction members? Should that be allowed?


With the very small, incestuous playerbase we have a pretty small handful of factions, that might get to be a pain..."A member of X faction needs smiting because they're stuck on void...anyone NOT a member of X faction?"

Seconded

daeriel wrote:
I'd be satisfied with separate player/admin accounts and disallowing admin actions on their own characters. If an admin's player account character needs an admin action done to them, they'll need to ask another admin to do it for them (just like the rest of us).

This would disallow admins from testing stuff on live, which is why they're admins, no? Also no more of that Chaos dude thingy we've got going on, unless you enjoy waiting half a day until the other admin pops into IRC or whatever and admins your character for you.

Skritz wrote:
As long as they play by the rules and do not use admin powers "cheat" the game in any way I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to.

I support this. But people will accuse others of abuse and Bob would have to check each and every accusation. We'd also have whining threads pop up and accusations accumulate and half-assed or doctored logs posted and counter-posted.

As much as I'd love to live in an ideal world where factioned play by admin characters is possible, I really don't believe it is, in order to pre-emptively avoid many headaches.
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corky
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ongewitter wrote:
daeriel wrote:

I'd be satisfied with separate player/admin accounts and disallowing admin actions on their own characters. If an admin's player account character needs an admin action done to them, they'll need to ask another admin to do it for them (just like the rest of us).

This would disallow admins from testing stuff on live, which is why they're admins, no? Also no more of that Chaos dude thingy we've got going on, unless you enjoy waiting half a day until the other admin pops into IRC or whatever and admins your character for you.


Simple, have the testing / event characters on the admin account and personal characters on the other account, since testing and event characters are meant to be different from other characters so long as they aren't interfering for personal reasons then I don't see it as a problem.
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EstimatedProphet
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

daeriel wrote:
EstimatedProphet wrote:
People will make a fuss if they think they see bias, and it'll be addressed.


I don't think this is true. In a perfect world, sure, but in a world where the admins are a vital part of Bob's staff and he doesn't have a lot of help or time, etc., I think all manner of indiscretions can be overlooked and/or denied and/or forgotten.


I feel like these would probably be minor infractions. In my experience administrating on boards and such, the admins often played around with things like warning levels, user titles, or even innocuous post editing when it was clearly inoffensive and minor, even though it was technically inappropriate- but when anyone's feathers got ruffled, questionable administrative actions got a lot of attention.

Yes, there will probably be some low-level administrative tomfoolery. People in a faction with an admin character might find that the aforementioned character has a preternatural propensity for producing booze from hammer-space when they want to RP a toast. But that won't break the game.

If anyone sees potentially destructive administrative bias- say, producing potions from hammer-space before a raid, or resetting wards, or smiting foes- then they should recognize that that's wrong and game-breaking, and blow the whistle, even (perhaps especially) if the bias favors them. As a community, we should ask for admins that cross that line to be demoted, and wag our fingers at the beneficiaries of their behavior. What we shouldn't do is take the position that admins aren't to be trusted, and force them to navigate a dense thicket of rules and regulations in order to volunteer their time to the community (which, I should note, is not daeriel's suggestion- just the vibe I get from the idea that admins should be subject to special restrictions).

If anyone doubts that general ethical standards are better for a gaming community than elaborate and cumbersome rules structures and enforcement mechanisms, go learn the rules of the UD wiki (this can be challenging because, as The Rules note, The Rules are not a policy document- and the rules rules are "elsewhere").
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daeriel
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ongewitter wrote:

daeriel wrote:
I'd be satisfied with separate player/admin accounts and disallowing admin actions on their own characters. If an admin's player account character needs an admin action done to them, they'll need to ask another admin to do it for them (just like the rest of us).

This would disallow admins from testing stuff on live, which is why they're admins, no? Also no more of that Chaos dude thingy we've got going on, unless you enjoy waiting half a day until the other admin pops into IRC or whatever and admins your character for you.


In the case of special characters like the collector, let them be in the admin account, and apply current can't-be-in-a-faction gameplay restrictions to them. The collector of chaos doesn't really exist to play the game normally like we do anyway, he exists to orchestrate events.

EDITED: Whoops, ninja'ed by corky. As usual. *glares*
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daeriel
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EstimatedProphet wrote:
daeriel wrote:
EstimatedProphet wrote:
People will make a fuss if they think they see bias, and it'll be addressed.


I don't think this is true. In a perfect world, sure, but in a world where the admins are a vital part of Bob's staff and he doesn't have a lot of help or time, etc., I think all manner of indiscretions can be overlooked and/or denied and/or forgotten.


I feel like these would probably be minor infractions. In my experience administrating on boards and such, the admins often played around with things like warning levels, user titles, or even innocuous post editing when it was clearly inoffensive and minor, even though it was technically inappropriate- but when anyone's feathers got ruffled, questionable administrative actions got a lot of attention.

Yes, there will probably be some low-level administrative tomfoolery. People in a faction with an admin character might find that the aforementioned character has a preternatural propensity for producing booze from hammer-space when they want to RP a toast. But that won't break the game.

If anyone sees potentially destructive administrative bias- say, producing potions from hammer-space before a raid, or resetting wards, or smiting foes- then they should recognize that that's wrong and game-breaking, and blow the whistle, even (perhaps especially) if the bias favors them. As a community, we should ask for admins that cross that line to be demoted, and wag our fingers at the beneficiaries of their behavior. What we shouldn't do is take the position that admins aren't to be trusted, and force them to navigate a dense thicket of rules and regulations in order to volunteer their time to the community (which, I should note, is not daeriel's suggestion- just the vibe I get from the idea that admins should be subject to special restrictions).


I agree overall with what you are saying. If we don't trust them, they shouldn't be admins. In a larger group of people with more willing volunteers, that's a great strategy.

But frankly with our community as small as it is, someone doing something wrong can be overlooked because their input is seen as indispensable or because they are friends with too many high up people, etc. I do not feel that we really treated such behavior last breath the way that you say it should be treated...and therein lies my desire to be a little tiny bit preventive.

All my suggestions (and thanks for not mischaracterizing them!) have tended toward finding a way to make the community comfortable with removing the unfactioned restriction, because I really do think it's better if we let them play like we get to.
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saulres
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Separate admin-player accounts won't stop cheating. It would actually make it easier to do.

Step 1: Admin Character gives itself <some cool item>
Step 2: Admin Character goes to same square as Player Character
Step 3: ????
Step 4: PROFIT!

Unless you're suggesting that the admin characters be on the same account as the player characters, with a flag that only Bob can set? Is Bob available enough for that?
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Ongewitter
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

corky wrote:
Ongewitter wrote:
daeriel wrote:

I'd be satisfied with separate player/admin accounts and disallowing admin actions on their own characters. If an admin's player account character needs an admin action done to them, they'll need to ask another admin to do it for them (just like the rest of us).

This would disallow admins from testing stuff on live, which is why they're admins, no? Also no more of that Chaos dude thingy we've got going on, unless you enjoy waiting half a day until the other admin pops into IRC or whatever and admins your character for you.


Simple, have the testing / event characters on the admin account and personal characters on the other account, since testing and event characters are meant to be different from other characters so long as they aren't interfering for personal reasons then I don't see it as a problem.

I see two options in which this could occur. Either we have one shared admin account for multiple admins or we have two accounts for each admin.
If we have just the one account, it's going to be annoying to find out who logged in when and 'granted' a 'certain' character some suspicious things. Again, Bob would have to check IP logs 'n such. Though I'm not sure if you can bump the message log far enough upwards, but that could be another problem.
If we have two accounts per admin, accusations of 'admin favor' towards certain other characters (of the same player) will run rampant.

The problem isn't that there's an obvious admin character in a faction, it's that an admin can be directly linked to a faction that's going to cause much-o drama-o.
With the current system of admins being in no factions, you can accuse them all you want, but it's obvious there's no real reason for them to favor any faction over another.
Apart from personal grudges which is something I'm happy we've mostly avoided thus far.

One thing I will say: I can make up any amount of reasons why we shouldn't do this, but if the playerbase agrees on allowing it, I am going to hop on the bandwagon so fast it'll be funny.
But afterwards, if (or when) the whine lands, that playerbase should stand by the admin(s) unless there's word from Bob or whatever that proves them guilty, and be vocal about it. You know, innocent until proven otherwise.
Sorry if that sounded demeaning, but I can't think of another way to say it

And it would make testing (=breaking the game) so much easier.
I'm also enjoying the support of this idea, though it may seem otherwise. It's just that I wouldn't wish the sheer amount of annoyance that comes with an abuse accusation on anyone.
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daeriel
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

saulres wrote:
Separate admin-player accounts won't stop cheating. It would actually make it easier to do.

Step 1: Admin Character gives itself <some cool item>
Step 2: Admin Character goes to same square as Player Character
Step 3: ????
Step 4: PROFIT!

Unless you're suggesting that the admin characters be on the same account as the player characters, with a flag that only Bob can set? Is Bob available enough for that?


I don't know how the zerg code is written but surely there would be some way to link admin accounts with player accounts so that their admin characters on the same square as their player characters are treated just like if a normal player has two characters on the same square.

I am admittedly coming from a standpoint of "this is what I would like to see, even though I am not sure if it can be implemented" but I don't think it's an unreasonable approach to take, particularly since I hear rumors of Bob redoing the whole codebase for the next breath. If he wanted to make changes he could design them into the whole thing.
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pinecones
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point of keeping an admin account separate is to remove temptation to cheat. Honestly, a determined admin will be able to cheat no matter what safeguards are put into place. The only thing Bob can do is to remove possible temptations for cheating, and keeping admin accounts separate and more transparency around admin actions both work toward that goal.

Awfully easy to grant your player-character a few AP when the same character has admin powers. More hoops to jump through to do it with a different admin account and thus more culpability and more time to realize "holy shit I'm being a massive dickhead asshole right now."
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corky
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ongewitter wrote:

I see two options in which this could occur. Either we have one shared admin account for multiple admins or we have two accounts for each admin.
If we have just the one account, it's going to be annoying to find out who logged in when and 'granted' a 'certain' character some suspicious things. Again, Bob would have to check IP logs 'n such. Though I'm not sure if you can bump the message log far enough upwards, but that could be another problem.
If we have two accounts per admin, accusations of 'admin favor' towards certain other characters (of the same player) will run rampant.


The idea was to have two accounts for admins, their personal account for their normal characters without any additional powers and a separate account for their admin characters (such as the collector of chaos and testing characters) / admin powers which are limited in that they cannot affect any characters on the personal account.

In addition there would be a formal procedure for investigating any accusations of abuse, with the log of admin actions from one account being made available to at least the dev team and if necessary a public verdict.

EDIT: plus what pinecones said about hoop jumping, two accounts means more visible separation of the two roles, so more chances for questioning should I be doing this and more effort needed to actually do it as well.
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etherealsol
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kinda outside the game, but would admins stick to the IRC channels of their factions + clash only, or would they be in channels they weren't factioned in?
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pancakes
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

etherealsol wrote:
Kinda outside the game, but would admins stick to the IRC channels of their factions + clash only, or would they be in channels they weren't factioned in?


I think this would depend on the channel owners. Shadok is always welcomed in #heroes as long as he wants to be there for example even if he isn't in the faction.
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