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Wolf Druid Ouity

A Solution to Lazy ET

14 posts in this topic

Hi, I'm Ouity. I used to be the GM that ran the ET back in 4.0, and I've observed that the ET has been having some trouble for some time now. A couple of restructures have been attempted, and the ET seems to have a different governing style every time I check back in with LOTC. In my opinion, the people responsible for the ET have, across various leads, attempted to solve the problem of lazy and inactive ET the wrong way.

 

In my opinion, an ET director can be amazing and lazy/inactive ET will still slip through the cracks. The ET often has over a score of players to manage, and to say that any one person, even a team of people, can effectively monitor so many people over a long period of time is borderline insanity. I think any past lead can attest, it's one of the most stressful jobs on the server. You're constantly observing, delegating on skype, helping people with logistics, doing your own events (if you're lucky and caught up on work) or doing your modreqs. The bottom line is that it is mostly up to the team itself to pull its own weight. Even if the ET director worked 8 hours a day just for the ET, they'd miss the people in the wrong timezones, and it's unreasonable to expect that much effort for a volunteer position anyway. When I was running the team, my character's RP family made an NPC of my character because I had so little time to roleplay. They called it Ouity.exe

 

The solution then, starts with the team. By my own observations, an ET actor usually runs out of good ideas within the first two months or so. It's not that they don't want to do events or whatever, it's that most people do not have the level of creativity required to be constantly pushing fantastic and truly engaging events. That is, not day by day, week by week, month by month. Even the best authors or storytellers would be hard pressed to keep up a constant stream like that. The smart ETs make event lines that can cycle over and over and run off those for awhile, but those are exceptional members who understand their own limitations and the limitations of the ET. Those that remain are often seen as "inactive," though of course the majority are interested in running events. They're just out of ideas. They're left with pex though, and that's where the abuse comes in. Give a player godmode and they'll use it to avoid eating, or warp to avoid traveling. They did it before my tenure, during my tenure, and after my tenure. It's just how people are. I think that these people are sometimes unfairly portrayed as "just being on the team for pex," and I think that draws attention away from the real problem, which is burnout or lack of new ideas.

 

 

Understanding these things, here are the solutions I would recommend:

 

-Managers should be members with long-running event arcs that require other players. Normal ET can be delegated to manager projects, and in this way ET members without inspiration can still RP for the team. Other attributes that make a good manager will probably be present in an organizational thinker and delegator, so how well their event ideas will work in the long term should probably be one of the top considerations.

 

-The distinction between lead and manager duties should be much more clear. That is to say, the lead and managers should NOT be responsible for the same things. Creating an overlap makes it much easier for people to slip through the cracks one way or another, and clear communication between the lead and all its managers is often difficult. Ideally, manager duties also do not overlap. It gives each staff member a clear idea of what they need to be doing. In most settings, things like memos and meetings would mitigate these problems, but again this is a volunteer thing, and solutions unique to the position must be devised. This was one of the failings of my tenure that I saw clearly in retrospect.

 

But more importantly:

-ET members should not be on the team indefinitely unless they are proven to be exceptional. A 3 month stay, then remove pex? The member could always return to normal player status gracefully, or reapply and rejoin at the discretion of the team lead. This would be a good way to hold burntout ET accountable without the lead being seen as overtly strict. "Take a break and reapply later when you have some more ideas." This also keeps the ET lead from having to CONSTANTLY monitor the status of all the individual members of the ET. Rather than keeping track of logs and quotas (impossible), the ET lead can review the work of a member when they reapply. It takes a lot of the burden off the lead because it effectively filters burnt out, abusive, or inactive members, all with little to no effort on the part of the managers. When they don't have to deal with activity checks and quotas, it frees up a LOT of time to do other things that are more worthwhile. I wish I had thought of this when I lead the ET, plain and simple.

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It feels kind of awkward. Just kicking people out after 3 months? Why not, say, make ETs participate in events as actors so they aren't just sitting around?

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47 minutes ago, SuperDuckyGamer said:

It feels kind of awkward. Just kicking people out after 3 months? Why not, say, make ETs participate in events as actors so they aren't just sitting around?

 

Staff is a volunteer position. Perhaps this should be a temporary position that you have to re-apply to overtime as the creator of the thread stated. This way it’s similar to renewing a contract of sorts every once and a while. I like it, as after the three months, the ET can personally contemplate whether or not they actually have the stuff to pull this off. Perhaps there should be a special application for new applicants where they have to create various scenarios. That way they already have fresh ideas, as well as proof their not going just for PEX. 

 

Personally, I don’t see how this is awkward. This may actually help, especially when the ET get used to it. It keeps it healthy and thorough. 

 

Well thought out and written idea, Ouity.

 

 

And to recognize your idea, Ducky, this can work, but eventually who’s going to be around to create the events themself if individuals are losing creativity? I can name 5 events right now that I’d like to do but have already been thought of and done. It’s hard! But if your getting new people with different mindsets, it works. Every 3 months should be a reset of the team, except for the director and maybe except for management. 

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34 minutes ago, Gargled said:

Staff is a volunteer position. Perhaps this should be a temporary position that you have to re-apply to overtime as the creator of the thread stated. This way it’s similar to renewing a contract of sorts every once and a while. I like it, as after the three months, the ET can personally contemplate whether or not they actually have the stuff to pull this off. Perhaps there should be a special application for new applicants where they have to create various scenarios. That way they already have fresh ideas, as well as proof their not going just for PEX. 

 

Personally, I don’t see how this is awkward. This may actually help, especially when the ET get used to it. It keeps it healthy and thorough. 

 

Well thought out and written idea, Ouity.

 

 

And to recognize your idea, Ducky, this can work, but eventually who’s going to be around to create the events themself if individuals are losing creativity? I can name 5 events right now that I’d like to do but have already been thought of and done. It’s hard! But if your getting new people with different mindsets, it works. Every 3 months should be a reset of the team, except for the director and maybe except for management. 

 

 

What you're suggesting can backfire horribly if there's active people who haven't run out of ideas in the team by the end of that six months.

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41 minutes ago, drfate786 said:

 

What you're suggesting can backfire horribly if there's active people who haven't run out of ideas in the team by the end of that six months.

 

But if their not out of ideas, they just quickly use the special re-apply format and list those ideas. They’ll be accepted back. How does that backfire? They can not reapply, but that shows laziness or lack of time, which just further proves how the system can be useful. 

 

And did I say 6 months? I meant 3, if I said 6.

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45 minutes ago, Gargled said:

But if their not out of ideas, they just quickly use the special re-apply format and list those ideas. They’ll be accepted back. How does that backfire? They can not reapply, but that shows laziness or lack of time, which just further proves how the system can be useful. 

 

And did I say 6 months? I meant 3, if I said 6.

 

 

No that was my bad, the issue with that is that we'd be without ET for a week while the applications are being reviewed. It would deprive everyone of events for a week or so until they were re-accepted or replaced. A better system is to keep the ET that need to re-apply in the ET while they're re-applying so that the active ET aren't screwed over by this.

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1 hour ago, drfate786 said:

 

No that was my bad, the issue with that is that we'd be without ET for a week while the applications are being reviewed. It would deprive everyone of events for a week or so until they were re-accepted or replaced. A better system is to keep the ET that need to re-apply in the ET while they're re-applying so that the active ET aren't screwed over by this.

 

Oh, I didn’t think about that. Great idea, man. Hopefully people take a look at this little tag back between us! 

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16 hours ago, Wolf Druid Ouity said:

Hi, I'm Ouity. I used to be the GM that ran the ET back in 4.0, and I've observed that the ET has been having some trouble for some time now. A couple of restructures have been attempted, and the ET seems to have a different governing style every time I check back in with LOTC. In my opinion, the people responsible for the ET have, across various leads, attempted to solve the problem of lazy and inactive ET the wrong way.

 

In my opinion, an ET director can be amazing and lazy/inactive ET will still slip through the cracks. The ET often has over a score of players to manage, and to say that any one person, even a team of people, can effectively monitor so many people over a long period of time is borderline insanity. I think any past lead can attest, it's one of the most stressful jobs on the server. You're constantly observing, delegating on skype, helping people with logistics, doing your own events (if you're lucky and caught up on work) or doing your modreqs. The bottom line is that it is mostly up to the team itself to pull its own weight. Even if the ET director worked 8 hours a day just for the ET, they'd miss the people in the wrong timezones, and it's unreasonable to expect that much effort for a volunteer position anyway. When I was running the team, my character's RP family made an NPC of my character because I had so little time to roleplay. They called it Ouity.exe

 

The solution then, starts with the team. By my own observations, an ET actor usually runs out of good ideas within the first two months or so. It's not that they don't want to do events or whatever, it's that most people do not have the level of creativity required to be constantly pushing fantastic and truly engaging events. That is, not day by day, week by week, month by month. Even the best authors or storytellers would be hard pressed to keep up a constant stream like that. The smart ETs make event lines that can cycle over and over and run off those for awhile, but those are exceptional members who understand their own limitations and the limitations of the ET. Those that remain are often seen as "inactive," though of course the majority are interested in running events. They're just out of ideas. They're left with pex though, and that's where the abuse comes in. Give a player godmode and they'll use it to avoid eating, or warp to avoid traveling. They did it before my tenure, during my tenure, and after my tenure. It's just how people are. I think that these people are sometimes unfairly portrayed as "just being on the team for pex," and I think that draws attention away from the real problem, which is burnout or lack of new ideas.

 

 

Understanding these things, here are the solutions I would recommend:

 

-Managers should be members with long-running event arcs that require other players. Normal ET can be delegated to manager projects, and in this way ET members without inspiration can still RP for the team. Other attributes that make a good manager will probably be present in an organizational thinker and delegator, so how well their event ideas will work in the long term should probably be one of the top considerations.

 

-The distinction between lead and manager duties should be much more clear. That is to say, the lead and managers should NOT be responsible for the same things. Creating an overlap makes it much easier for people to slip through the cracks one way or another, and clear communication between the lead and all its managers is often difficult. Ideally, manager duties also do not overlap. It gives each staff member a clear idea of what they need to be doing. In most settings, things like memos and meetings would mitigate these problems, but again this is a volunteer thing, and solutions unique to the position must be devised. This was one of the failings of my tenure that I saw clearly in retrospect.

 

But more importantly:

-ET members should not be on the team indefinitely unless they are proven to be exceptional. A 3 month stay, then remove pex? The member could always return to normal player status gracefully, or reapply and rejoin at the discretion of the team lead. This would be a good way to hold burntout ET accountable without the lead being seen as overtly strict. "Take a break and reapply later when you have some more ideas." This also keeps the ET lead from having to CONSTANTLY monitor the status of all the individual members of the ET. Rather than keeping track of logs and quotas (impossible), the ET lead can review the work of a member when they reapply. It takes a lot of the burden off the lead because it effectively filters burnt out, abusive, or inactive members, all with little to no effort on the part of the managers. When they don't have to deal with activity checks and quotas, it frees up a LOT of time to do other things that are more worthwhile. I wish I had thought of this when I lead the ET, plain and simple.

 

You should DM Squirtle and share your wisdom with her. She's already made pretty big mistakes.

+1

 

15 hours ago, Gargled said:

Staff is a volunteer position. Perhaps this should be a temporary position that you have to re-apply to overtime as the creator of the thread stated. This way it’s similar to renewing a contract of sorts every once and a while. I like it, as after the three months, the ET can personally contemplate whether or not they actually have the stuff to pull this off. Perhaps there should be a special application for new applicants where they have to create various scenarios. That way they already have fresh ideas, as well as proof their not going just for PEX. 

 

Personally, I don’t see how this is awkward. This may actually help, especially when the ET get used to it. It keeps it healthy and thorough. 

 

Well thought out and written idea, Ouity.

 

 

And to recognize your idea, Ducky, this can work, but eventually who’s going to be around to create the events themself if individuals are losing creativity? I can name 5 events right now that I’d like to do but have already been thought of and done. It’s hard! But if your getting new people with different mindsets, it works. Every 3 months should be a reset of the team, except for the director and maybe except for management. 

0
 

Or... you remove the inactive ones who've ran out of inspiration and motivation, and tell them to reapply once they're able to put more effort in for the team. Plus a lead and manager can always try to talk and inspire members. Good organizing and team construction is good administration, but to be a good leader you must be able to inspire and motivate and teach your team, and like Squirtgun's actions have proven, kicking everyone to "rebuild" the team probably isn't very inspiring or motivating especially when she also removed all the really talented ETs that have been doing a better job than she herself. I was planning on reapplying for builder for 6.0 but that's not happening as long as Squirt is the teamlead. 

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2 hours ago, Patu/SaintPaint said:

You should DM Squirtle and share your wisdom with her. She's already made pretty big mistakes.

+1

 

Or... you remove the inactive ones who've ran out of inspiration and motivation, and tell them to reapply once they're able to put more effort in for the team. Plus a lead and manager can always try to talk and inspire members. Good organizing and team construction is good administration, but to be a good leader you must be able to inspire and motivate and teach your team, and like Squirtgun's actions have proven, kicking everyone to "rebuild" the team probably isn't very inspiring or motivating especially when she also removed all the really talented ETs that have been doing a better job than she herself. I was planning on reapplying for builder for 6.0 but that's not happening as long as Squirt is the teamlead. 

 

The team was an absolute mess, actually. Squirt was out of options. She really did have to do this. I’ve honestly never seen such a.. clusterfrick?.. I would have done the same. From this point forward, yeah these ideas can work. But before the team wipe, ehhh. 

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On 11/9/2017 at 5:41 AM, Patu/SaintPaint said:

Or... you remove the inactive ones who've ran out of inspiration and motivation, and tell them to reapply once they're able to put more effort in for the team. Plus a lead and manager can always try to talk and inspire members. Good organizing and team construction is good administration, but to be a good leader you must be able to inspire and motivate and teach your team, and like Squirtgun's actions have proven, kicking everyone to "rebuild" the team probably isn't very inspiring or motivating especially when she also removed all the really talented ETs that have been doing a better job than she herself. I was planning on reapplying for builder for 6.0 but that's not happening as long as Squirt is the teamlead. 

 

Absolutely it would be great if lazy and inactive ET could be removed on a case-by-case basis, but honestly there just doesn't exist a great format to review that kind of activity in a timely or fair way. I was ET for probably ~2 years as an actor, manager, and GM. Through all of it, no lead ever really found the "perfect" way to keep a reign on activity. There's just too much information to sift through, and even when you delegate to your managers, people will always slip through.

 

The best job of it, in my perception, was Firespirit, who would actually give individual assignments to actors and in turn have them organize other ET. It was good because it gave actors direction, and they had a deadline they had to meet. The issue is, this was when the ET ran the antags AND the protagonists in 3.0. Unfortunately, a system like this really doesn't hold up very well in peacetime. I tried to have "manager projects" where 4 ET teams would work on their own big event arcs. Total waste of time. In any other ET format, it's essentially 20~ lone guns running around doing whatever. Long story short, it's very difficult to keep your finger on the pulse, especially given that you would like to RP sometimes. I've seen people complaining that they never see the ET lead roleplaying and the first time I did I actually chuckled.

 

idk who Squirtgun is or what the beef is, but restructuring the ET is pretty normal TBH. During the transition from 3.0 to 4.0, for example, all the ET got their pex taken so they'd just play the map for a month and get to know it. It can be good for grounding people, or just trashing a total mess. If this person just inherited the ET and didn't like what they saw, it's totally reasonable to just start fresh with a team you feel like you can depend on.

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Great Ideas, don't be fooled by the Salt thrown around with Squirt and the current situation of the purge, you guys have great ideas and  these should be implemented.

On 9.11.2017 at 11:41 AM, Patu/SaintPaint said:

Or... you remove the inactive ones who've ran out of inspiration and motivation, and tell them to reapply once they're able to put more effort in for the team. Plus a lead and manager can always try to talk and inspire members. Good organizing and team construction is good administration, but to be a good leader you must be able to inspire and motivate and teach your team...

1
 

 

Also interesting is the concept of cycling the Event Team, adding new players and removing ones who are to lazy, uninspired, unmotivated to come up with Ideas. I think this is what the much feared quota is good for. Reach a certain amount of Events (or a questline long enough),

then reapply with the events, you are running and the ET wouldn't have any stalling.

I wouldn't call this reapplying, rather reviewing or a ET-retrospective 

Also, since I'm already posting to a ET topic, we need more Norland Actors.


Edited by KefKong

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