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 Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters

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Komaeda Nagito
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Server : IE
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PostSubject: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:18 pm

I want advice on how to run a server the best way possible. Any tips from People who are very experienced not people who just got there server up a couple weeks or days or private servers. Sorry but, Id want good advice from people who have solid experience. any advice at all would be nice.
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Catbird

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Game username : Catbird
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Join date : 2011-08-10
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PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:51 pm

Well, I don't personally run any server as the head honcho..whatever, but I have worked with a fair amount of staff, and found a lot of experience in groaning at update plans gone horribly wrong, or staff mutiny over easily avoided conflicts. I'm not sure exactly what kind of advice you're looking for, so let me proceed to spout off some common sense, and general stuff I've learned from experience in situations.

- Don't choose your staff from friends. Pls pls pls I've seen this done so many times and it's really getting annoying, because some of those staff do amazing work, or try to help out however they can, but others just ...don't. They'll step up when in danger of being fired, but then settle back into lazy heaven as soon as you turn your back, or simply enjoy the title of "mod" or "admin". It's alright to start a server with a friend, if you're both committed to putting in a lot of effort.

- If you say your update is gonna be out on a set day, it better well be. Set your deadlines, and work your butt off to meet them. Fuzzy update deadlines that keep getting put off make people angry.

- Bright and shiny = OW. Bright stuff (items/terrains/etc) is cool, but not in excess, and bad textures make your game icky.

- The little things make the game. Well-done textures, a nice GUI, little tweaks here and there make your game different, if it's done well.

- Always double check everything you change. Spelling errors or broken mat files/textures/etc make you look scattered and disorganized.

- Combine textures where possible, same with mat files. Makes a generally smaller download that keeps people happy.

- Auto updaters are your friends.

- Listen to your members and take what they say and use it. Polls, polls, suggestion comments, use of suggestions, use of good member made textures makes people proud to see their stuff in-game and enjoyed. Take their advice on staff behavior (but use your own judgement there too).

- Be friendly but firm. Everyone loves the fun staff that spawns items/prey/holds contests/gives prizes/solves problems, but make sure your members take you seriously, too. Don't be afraid to tell them firmly when they're doing something wrong, and don't let them off the hook if they beg and plead and cry.

- Have well written, thought out rules about everything. I've seen people nitpick over rules to find the slightest loophole, and proceed to bother staff about it as soon as they find it.

- Give previews of what to expect in new updates. Members like to see what's coming when.

- Be clear on who's staff where and what forum ranks transfer over to game staff. No one likes finding out so-and-so was a mod on the day they cussed them out for something and got banned.

- Always have a backup of your game somewhere on your drive that's up to date (especially if your client is the one being used for updates) in case something goes wrong.

- Have rules set up for what you do when banning/kicking someone, and make sure they're followed.

- Have your server up 24/7 if possible (if you're not renting server space or some alternative that insures it's up 24/7)

- Do activity checks with your staff if you think they aren't being active enough or doing their duties properly

- Quell rumors and keep drama to a minimum as best as possible

- Organize contests to include as many members as possible to encourage activity (doesn't always have to be an in-game contest)

- Keep your happy-face on. Even if you're having the worst day in the history of the world, if you're around members, be happy and polite. They'll be the first ones to run around yelling "so and so admin yelled at me!!111!!!!" if you snap at them. If you don't think you can keep a happy face, don't log in.

- Ask your staff how things can be improved, and listen to their concerns alongside members. Actually making changes quickly after they've voiced their concerns even better.

- Two staff teams = big no no. In-game and forum staff should be one team. Having both just makes everything difficult, and rallies for favoritism and jealousy among the whole group, which can lead to rebellions or general bickering.

...I lost my train of thought. Please tell me some of that was helpful sort of?
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Draak
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PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:27 pm

I'm no server master, but I've seen enough to know what's good and what's bad.

For the love of god and all that is holy.

Be more strict about choosing staff. No offense Nowe XD

Make sure you go through the process with everyone. Don't just randomly pick people out of no where or pick people out "becuz ther cool n ossum n frendz" without discussing it with staff beforehand. You never know who knows what about someone, and it could ultimately determine that person's role as staff. And just because someone thinks someone is "Awesomez!11" doesn't mean they'd make a good staff member/have good mod skills.
Setting up applications is fine/a good start but yeah, be more thorough when it comes to picking staff.

That's where I strongly think IE fell.

Although in the end there you did get better at choosing DT.
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Darica



Game username : Darcia
Server : Impressive Leone, Impressive Cats
Posts : 36
Join date : 2011-07-30
Location : Impressive Leone Admin

PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:45 pm

Nitpick. Ask the same question multiple times to /make sure you go it right/. Never have a doubt in your mind about what your staff will do, and when. If an update is going to get out by a certain time, harass your staff to get it done. Also, don't get lazy. Ask what needs to be done within your skill set and get it done. There is no such thing as 'overdoing it' when it comes to your forum, your members, and your overall happiness with your game. I've had to put on the most see-through smile I could possibly put on one day, and it worked, and the members were happy.


Also; if you do your job well, chances are you'll have a huge smile on your face for a good portion of the day.
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RedEye
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PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:49 pm

Now I dont exactly run a server here more than a dictatorship, but I can attest to that you should not hire friends as staff unless you agree on things or can let disagreements go by easily. Or if you dont care about having friends.

Be ready for members to discuss things in public or attack the problem head on with a discussion if the problem is hiding.

________________________________
Retired
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Slycan



Game username : Sly
Server : KITO
Female Posts : 1198
Join date : 2011-07-25
Age : 27

PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:47 am

Mah boi...


The best advice I can give you is to think of everything you've done with server creation in the past 2 years, write it all down on a list, read over the list out loud, then finally do the exact opposite.


With with all blunt jokes aside


Choosing Staff
Someone told me once that the best staff team would be having no staff team. I think he was right. I seriously don't know why people get their pants tight when a new server comes out and want to jump in showing how awesome they are for the community. Don't hire people that want to be "Staff", "Mods", and all the bull , hire people that can help game development. I'm no longer going to say "hire for the talent" because even the most talented people can bring game development to a halt just by constantly being morons in and out the game dev.

In short, you all should have the same vision in what type of game you want to run. If you want to make the game just to crack a whip over other peoples heads and have them make the whole damn thing for you, especially stuff they will not agree with, then yes you will have issues. If you hire people that have been known to have sissy-fits when they don't have it their way, then you deserve what you have coming at you. Make sure you let your staff team development team know what visions you have for the game and that they want the same.


How to be an Admin

Stay firm to what you want, but keep an open mind to new idea's. There's a difference from being a hard-headed asshole who thinks they are a boss now that they can run LionKing MMO looking ish ripoff suddenly, than an Admin that actually knows what they want and is aiming for members that want the same thing but can shed light for new things as well. Agree to disagree if you must, especially with development team discussions or when asking members for their opinion that is likely to cause debate. So long as you can be as respectful about it as they are being toward you.

Top 3 things that will piss off people start drama on your server
- Not keeping your promises-
aka making falsely high expectations of your server that you know you will NEVER have in order to have people join as members. Impressive Phoenix being a good sample

- Not keeping your members or staff updated
Simple, if you plan on leaving for a few days just the fricking sleep, tell them you're leaving for awhile. If you plan on making updates but it's going to take a few months, tell them what you are planning to do and show some progress. Don't yank people's chains like FH has been doing the last 2 years...

- Making spur of the moment discussions -
I and several others are guilty of this but it's need to be said that this is the one thing that will make a server shut down completely, this mostly goes for server makers however. Samples like banning entire groups of people from your server, or banning entire servers from using your public content hurhur, or even banning all Russian IP's from connecting to your server. Stuff like this makes people think you just jumped the coo-coo nest, and that it's time to leave. Avoid this.

Making a Server
If you want a server, then you should be doing most the work. That way when you have rage quitting devs you don't have to worry about too much content having to be removed. As the saying goes, if you want something done right do it yourself.


Last edited by Slycan on Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:55 am; edited 2 times in total
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Komaeda Nagito
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PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:52 am

Hmm I will be sure to copy paste all this in a notepad file to make sure I remember what to do and what not to do. I appreciate it guys thankies. I haven't ran a server on my own and I'm just kinda nervous XD. I honestly believe IE and others I worked for Fell due to bad staff choices and staff lacking in what they should have been doing. I wont say her name but one of them especially never got anything done on time and just caused shit when we yelled at her for it.
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lazyzim

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Server : Dragon's Den
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PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:50 am

Thank you Guys. This is awesome.

But you missed the most important thing........

If you don't want any drama's go play on someone elses server.
But with the dramas is also the joy of knowing you have made something you hope others will like.

I am going to hang a copy of this thread on my wall.

~Lazyzim~
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Darica



Game username : Darcia
Server : Impressive Leone, Impressive Cats
Posts : 36
Join date : 2011-07-30
Location : Impressive Leone Admin

PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:28 pm

lazyzim wrote:
Thank you Guys. This is awesome.

But you missed the most important thing........

If you don't want any drama's go play on someone elses server.
But with the dramas is also the joy of knowing you have made something you hope others will like.

I am going to hang a copy of this thread on my wall.

~Lazyzim~
What if you don't have any- Do you mean from a members perspective, or an admin's?
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lazyzim

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PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:22 pm

Quote :
What if you don't have any- Do you mean from a members perspective, or an admin's?

From and admins point of view.

If you have no issues then you are the luckiest Admin of them all.

I've had suicidal players.

Players come online to chat minutes after learning a family member or friend has died.

Players having a verbal fight ingame with another player and "crying" online.

You name it and it's happened on Dragons Den!

Since the server has only been up for the public for 4 weeks, it's been full on.
I am not kidding when I say I have had 3 people chatting about a lost family mamber to me plus 2 who had lost their beloved pet.

I have had a girl 12 "discover" she is a lesbian! At 12 I only just discovered Playstations are better the Xbox (ok will not get into an argument on that one).

I've been asked my opinion on drug use and binge drinking.

It scares me that players are asking me my opinion on these issues.
But bottom line being an admin and running my own public server is an awesome experience.

Again I thank you guys for this guide it is excellent.

~Lazyzim~
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Draak
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PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:26 pm

....jesus O_o that's crazy and only happened within 4 weeks?
When I was 12 I was crazy obsessed with Harry Potter, not suicide or drugs or worrying about sexualities.
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Darica



Game username : Darcia
Server : Impressive Leone, Impressive Cats
Posts : 36
Join date : 2011-07-30
Location : Impressive Leone Admin

PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:47 pm

^. o.0;

If someone asks that kind of insane stuff, just tell them to get professional help. That's not healthy at all.
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lazyzim

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PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:09 am

Thanks guys,

Tell me about it. I feel like that bartender that listens to every drunk's problem in those TV shows.

But seriously, if someone comes up ingame and want to chat about their problems then I think it's polite to listen.
If it's serious then go to a quiet spot and hear them out.

People do rash things without thinking and a few words of sympathy or encouragement could make all the difference.

Yes they need to talk to someone is real life but if you ignore their cry for help then it could become a disaster.

~Lazyzim~
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Draak
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PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:53 am

Yeah, listening would be the best thing. Although it's still crazy with kids...not teenagers...kids and their problems O_o

You should rename your IT Impressive Psychiatrist XD
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lazyzim

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PostSubject: Re: Advice from EXPERIENCED Server Masters   Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:03 am

Quote :
Yeah, listening would be the best thing. Although it's still crazy with kids...not teenagers...kids and their problems O_o

You should rename your IT Impressive Psychiatrist XD


Tell me about Drake. XD
I just must be a good listener.

~Lazyzim~

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