I'm pretty sure that this has been said before but I can't find the thread(s) it's been said in so here we go again. I want to make this post to ensure that everybody is on the same page regarding what we expect out of our moderators on the servers.
I cannot overstate the importance of everybody reading over this post and acting on what I say if you want Browntown TTT to keep moving forward. We've seen a steady decline in applicants on our servers over the past few years which has severely impacted our active moderator teams. There's now many times that servers will have no staff and no players. This needs to change and in order for it to do so we need to change the culture of our servers and how we handle things when moderating. I've added in a Mission Statement (courtesy of sunshoes) below and that is something we need to strive for. Every day.
Our Staff Mission Statement
To create a fun and welcoming environment for people to play their favorite Garry's Mod gamemodes
This I cannot stress enough. Too many of you are treating your moderator roles like we just handed you a badge & gun and the entire server is in your hands. This is not the case. You have your powers to keep the server fun for everybody (including yourselves) and acting like you're the president of Browntown is not only going to chase away the types of players we want to pull in, but also burn you out a lot quicker and lead to retirement. Not every situation you run into warrants the use of your intervention. In actuality, very few situations on the server require you to intervene.
You're not police officers who have to live with letting that RDM get away. You're not business executives with a pension riding on you gagging that guy having fun on the mic. You're moderators and your #1 priority is to have fun and keep the servers fun.
Engage with the community
Welcome new players
Has anybody ever gone to Moe's (Mexican subway sort of thing)? As soon as you walk in the door every employee is required to shout "Welcome to Moe's!" I want this to start happening. In the next few hours, I'll be releasing an update that alerts all online users when a user joins the community for the first time. I need you guys to welcome them to the community. Engage and interact with them to get them to stay around. Our current culture is to get a shit load of random players and hope some of them stick around. I'm seeing users connecting with other users more often than users connecting with staff and this needs to change. Penny, Pickle, Karmic & Myself are not the faces of this community. You guys are. You're the first people the players typically interact with. You're the deciding factor of whether or not someone will stick around.
Use your words - not your powers
Is someone being a bit loud while having fun with what's going on (ie: Screaming when getting killed)? Did someone just play music for five seconds? Are either of those two situations really hurting anybody? No, however, you would think that it was the most serious thing that can happen on TTT when all online moderators gag/mute someone at the same time for a petty issue.
Why not just warn them? Private message them asking them to stop. It's a much less aggressive way of getting someone to tone it down rather than gagging without warning. Players can be gagged and/or muted for a certain period of time, depending on the severity of reason.
How many times have you accidentally killed someone you thought you had DNA on or misinterpreted a situation? If you say never, you're lying. Point being, it happens to everyone and rather than instantly showing up the Pacific Ocean in salt content, use that forgive button more often. There's many times I see staff members not forgive a report when the player had made a genuine reason. Is slaying that person really going to get you your round back? Are you going to be automatically made a traitor again because you slayed a new player who's trying to learn the game? It's really not necessary. Now obviously if someone is just being an asshat and killing for no reason, fine take action but you guys play enough TTT to where being RDM'd accidentally should not be upsetting you that much.
This should be a last resort punishment, not a first action.
The three-English-characters rule was instated for two reasons. One being target-ability through ULX (being unable to type a username to target them) and being able to be easily read and called out in voice chat. If someone has a name like "DJ","Q", etc, yes it violates the rule but are you able to easily target them? Yes. Are you able to easily able to call them out in chat? Yes. Why make an issue out of it? Same thing with putting "csgolotto.com" or something in their username. Who cares? Our only exception to this case is rival communities (ie: Moat).
This term is being thrown around waaay too much and it's too broad. Disagreeing with you doesn't automatically make someone toxic. Toxicity is when someone joins the community and acts in a way that makes it very obvious he has no intention of having fun and is only here to ruin the experience for everyone else.
This is not, has never been and will never be a rule. Respect is earned and you don't just automatically have it when you get your blue name. That's not how it works in the real world and that's not how it works now. Players are not your subordinates and this isn't a workplace. I don't want to see any more bans for this reason. If you want people to respect you, start by giving them a reason to do so like treating a game like a game.
Staff Application Conduct
This is the last time I'm going to bring this up. Staff application feedback is reserved to those who have direct interaction with the player. If you don't know who the player is, don't even reply to the application. You think you're helping Management out by saying that the player is not active but when an application has almost no replies that tells us the same thing. This includes trying to correct mistakes on their application (ie: SO&SO is not active staff anymore). We can see these mistakes without you pointing them out.
The only exception to this rule is when a player lists you as a staff member that knows them and you don't know them. If this happens, you're free to reply stating that you don't know the applicant.
If you see a player who's demonstrating the traits I've listed above and wants to genuinely have fun with the game, encourage them to apply for staff and post positive feedback on it. There's plenty of active players that haven't applied for staff and are most likely looking for a push to do so. This is a task I'm actively pushing on the Managers and we need your help too. Additionally, with the current state of the community's lack of staffing, I'm giving Managers the go-ahead to promote players on the spot without applications on the condition that all three of them agree to do so. If we feel someone is right for the position, there's no point typing up an application and accepting it immediately. I encourage you (managers) to go out and pull in new staff members on the servers and don't just wait for them to come to you.
Everything I've listed above is going to be heavily pushed in your day-to-day interactions on the servers. I really don't want to keep the tradition going of having a staff nuke every August, but at the rate we're going it's looking like a real possibility and many of you who don't demonstrate these culture changes would not have a position if the nuke ended up happening. Let's turn around Browntown and not start over from scratch again.
Make sure every moderator and admin has read this thread upon acceptance to the staff team and start using your alt accounts to enforce these values and not stress-test the staff members. Watch for situation reactions. Don't cause them.
Enforce these values while on the servers. Be the leaders of the servers you were intended to be.
Mods and all other ranks
Have fun. Make that your goal and make that the goal of the server.