I have already spoken to admins regarding this report, and while I readily admit having made previous mistakes, I have already acted on two of the reports that were brought to my attention a little over two weeks into my tenure as admin.
Telanir brought up the reports and we discussed them as a team, and especially my shortcomings. The discussion was hard, but following the two reports, we decided I would make changes to the way I lead.
Due to my grammar and spelling issues, I agreed to all public addresses being first checked over by the admins, edits being made as required. I will elaborate more on this below.
I realized that I was often too hasty in decision-making, and to combat that as described later in this post, I took action to consult my managers and we put in place an approval system.
Due to the Nectorist situation and Ioannis removal, to avoid another repeat of the removal of a moderator, a new system along with a new policy for moderation will be drafted, effective now all the team will be working on removing the red tape. The dissatisfaction of my team bothers me deeply and I would like to address it immediately.
Addressing the reports.
It’s known that I struggle with grammar and spelling, a fact I do not hide. How do I overcome the issue? I ask for help, including the managers, fellow admins and sometimes my friends. I'm not ashamed of this, because it's something that I work to improve. I do not feel this should have been an issue for a report on why I should be removed. In the spirit of teamwork, many of the posts I write pass by several pairs of eyes before being sent, not just to be proof-read, but to ensure it's supported by those people. I fail to see how poor grammar is categorically bad when it forces the post to pass through multiple people before it is greenlit.
During the voice call, I did get excited at times and talk out of turn while overseeing a warclaim, they are often chaotic and stressful. We sometimes take ourselves way too seriously, but despite that, I wasn't doing this for the sake of disengaging conversation from the matter at hand. I was informing others in the channel of my ‘AFK’ state. I was not leading moderation during this claim and was merely attending to help where I could, for example with the setup. The other managers were the ones primarily handling the moderation and decisions made during this event. Could I time my eating better? Yes. Should I have kept quiet about it? I would argue no. Given the frequent complaints about inaction and poor communication, it stands to reason that an explanation of why I would be away for a few minutes would be welcome or at least a notification that would be the case. In future I will just say be right back, to avoid distracting people from the task at hand.
On the topic of the war, I have apologized over its handling and events following since. I do not feel there is a need for a further explanation into this. Given the urgent complaints about inaction, I wanted to explain why I would be away for a few minutes. Since then, I have promised to stay clear of wars when I can and offer those responsibilities to more suitable and experienced staff. The new war system means the moderation team as a whole does not meddle or involve themselves unless the players ask. The new system is designed to have less staff involvement and less opportunity to mess them up.
In regards to rash decisions, I'll openly to admit sometimes jumping the gun. It’s something I have been working on recently, something I wouldn't expect others with the exception of the mod managers, techs and admins to know. We made a channel called manager-approval on the staff Discord, where the moderation managers vote on many decisions I plan to make. There is also another channel for meeting notes, where ideas or thoughts for the future of the team go, where topics of discussion may be posted for meetings. Not only do I discuss even the simple decisions I, as moderation admin, have the permission to make alone, but I discuss any action recently taken and place it to a managers vote. While some may consider this step insufficient in slowing decision-making to ensure its validity, it’s certainly preventing any further mistakes and is preferable to rushed decisions. I have and will continue to try to set more systems in place which encourage discussing and seeking approval from management.
On the Fenn gravel removal, Ioannis reached out to me because the gravel removal was causing lag, as would be expected with such a large amount of gravel; falling entities in Minecraft are never good on the server. That decision was made in regards to server stability. Unlike Haense and Helena, they were not at war. In their case, I was not willing to risk the server performance over something I could fix in a few moments, in a non-sensitive situation. Alternately, removing wood and cobble defences made by the two playerbases for a war on each city was not deemed necessary. It was agreed on by staff that such would not be removed for them, as the defenses posed no immediate threat to the server itself. There has been a clear stance on this.
Regarding the refunding of gear during wars to the winners, as many of you are aware, the war server right now wipes inventories when you leave. Instead of saying you won a war but the server took what you won, Tofuus and I decided during the Helena warclaim to refund half the gear taken in by the winning side, to the winning side. I continued that on warclaims following that, because it was only fair to continue to do so. Half of their numbers supplied with full sets of iron, a sword, a bow, arrows and a little food. The concern is regarding before Helena vs since Helena, but just because a historical precedent exists, that does not necessarily make it fair. A 50% refund was deemed acceptable recompense for a bug out of the players’ hands.
As for moderation admin, there are going to be choices made that my managers may not agree with, which do sometimes have to be made. A recent example was where the manager vote on Keldrith was split 3 for to 2 against. When the poll was given to the rest of the moderators, if we include the managers' votes too, he saw a 67% Yes vote, a 17% Maybe vote and a 17% No vote. Only Kaelan Deer voted no, yet Kaelan’s accusation levied against me is that I do not listen to my team. In this particular example, despite the opinions of two of my managers against it, the team at large was in favour of it.
My job is to listen and take advice but not only from my managers in moderation but often the other admins whose perspectives are invaluable. Some decisions will not be agreed upon by managers, but by admin advice and direction. Sometimes there will be removals from the team that others do not agree with. I am sorry for this but as team lead, I do have to make decisions I feel best. Most of these decisions aren’t snap ones made impromptu and on the spot, but discussed at great length, Ioannis’ position is an example of one. When the topic of nation leaders being moderators was raised within the management, discussions happened along with a manager vote. Kaelan was the exception to the consensus agreed on by the rest of the managers, in that being a moderator conflicts too heavily with being a nation leader.
Up until recently, I was working on policy and a handbook for moderation, something we have been needing sorely. When a manager felt overwhelmed by the project they had initially accepted, they were given the policy and handbook project, while their one I took on at first. They were given full control to write the policy and pick moderators to draft into their team.
I have been allowing managers more freedoms and trusting them with more autonomy. Change doesn't happen overnight though. The reports fail to accommodate the entire story behind the situations, fail to explain the positive steps made due to earlier mistakes, and paint a much bleaker picture than reality. I have been trying to accommodate what they want but certain requests or wants from them are incompatible with where the server is headed.
I have tried to resolve issues with Kaelan numerous times, leaving me constantly walking on eggshells. A voice chat even occurred with 501 initiating it, where Kaelan was directly asked to make known all his concerns, yet this is the first I heard of many of these problems, that existed before that call took place.
It is true that I considered leaving LotC; I wrote a post on a Google doc that I then deleted after not only talking with Kaelan, but with Flambo too, someone who made me realise it wouldn't help, and in fact, would only make things worse.
I will not be including screenshots from moderation chats within this reply as such is against the staff discord rules. A warning is given when you join moderation that leaking can result in removal.
The TLDR of this response is that the crux of the report comes down to impulsiveness, lack of communication on my part, and the state of the moderation team driving people away. As I have addressed, there have been checks added to combat my sometimes brash decision making, that is frequently utilized. An effect of these checks are that changes are discussed with the management team at length, and some of the decisions that led to moderators leaving the team were agreed on by the managers anyway. I can not be accused of not listening to my team and be responsible for moderators leaving the team because of decisions made by a team vote. The two are inconsolable. Additionally, as has been touched on by the comments in the original thread, these problems were left to fester instead of being brought to me; the ones that were brought to me, I acted on in a way I believed alleviated the issue. If they did not feel my actions were sufficient, I did not hear about it personally.
Thank you for hearing me out.
Kirsty aka Pun__