Comprehensive Staff Roster/Ranks

At the moment, staff ranks are vague and could use better language.

I believe that the staff ranks should contain the responsibilities and limits of each role that they’re allowed to perform for the sake of transparency.

At the moment, they don’t. And I believe they should so that players know who to turn to precisely for what they need when contacting staff. I also believe it’s beneficial to publicize this so that it’s a fair layer for everyone to look at.

For instance, what is the responsibility of a management advisor? There’s no definition anywhere, that’s available publicly. These were enacted by Soldier, who says they are just an advisory position - but then takes action and makes rulings on player reports, something which another advisor said only managers could do, and the Forest has said advisors are not managers.

I am not using this as a target, just as a specific recent example. The public isn’t really able to see into internal matters of staff - and for some portions, that’s okay and needed - but I feel the public should have access to a semi-comprehensive roster and their abilities.

Some of the few things that I’ve caught that people might not understand at a glance at the roster, alongside some stuff I personally would like cleared up (and others are free to reply to add or disagree with anything I’ve said thus far):

  • What are advisors?
  • Who is in charge of advisors?
  • What powers do advisors have?
  • Which ranks can perform events? What ranks can perform what kinds of events?
  • Who handles player reports/staff reports?
  • What is the difference between the maintainer team manager, and maintainer project lead?
  • What is the difference between discord staff/volunteers? What are the differences in their duties?
  • What are the different maintainer ranks, and what do they do?
  • What are the mentor overseer/coordinator ranks? What are their responsibilities? What is required for these positions?
  • What are the whitelist overseer/coordinator ranks? What are their responsibilities? What is required for these positions?

This isn’t a comprehensive list of things that should be clarified or cleared up or the only things that should be added, but I believe for the sake of transparency things should be listed according to responsibilities, or at least given a range instead of a generalized/vague description. The staff ranks page can always be edited - it isn’t permanent - so even if responsibilities shift or change, it can be altered. But I think this is a good way to go for player-staff transparency.

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I feel that the majority of the language is self-explanatory, especially when you click on someone’s profile on the Discord and see all of their assigned roles in context of eachother.

The only thing I think could do with clarification is Who’s Who, or perhaps a list of each member in each role.

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Discord Staff - those with the discord staff role in the discord.

Discord Volunteers - those with the discord volunteer role in the discord. They cannot pull logs, verify users, or view the staffcord.

Discord Certifiers - those with the discord certifier role in the discord. They cannot issue bans, warnings, timeouts, mutes or other punitive actions. They do have access to logs and the staffcord.

Discord Team - Anyone who assists the discord manager and has a discord staff/volunteer/certifier role.

Discord users - Anyone who is not within the discord or management team, including members of staff who are not heads or managers.

These are definitions we use in the discord team’s internal guidelines handbook. Those who are not apart of the discord team or above me do not handle discord moderation. Those who do are my superiors: previous hosts, head managers, vice host, host. Those who are authorized by the formerly stated to give (case-specific) punishments I have no say over. Otherwise, they should not be touching moderation in the discord and will be yelled at.

There is a marginal difference in what volunteers and discord staff can do. Volunteers on the discord must get permission to give bans on the discord. Only discord staff can manage channel slowdowns/lockdowns. Nobody on my team is allowed to give permanent bans unless I say so or it’s a ToS violation. My team follows specific duties, and those duties are our guidelines. Everyone in my team follows the same duties. The only major difference is that volunteers don’t need to actively moderate, only report; discord staff must moderate situations they see to be rulebreaks.

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Nominally and by the book:

The maintainer manager handles the maintainer team.

The maintainer project lead handles game direction.

In reality:

Both of us work closely together in deciding 99% of things that have to do with the team or codebase and we overlap quite a bit.

Additional areas we manage include the wiki maintainers and lore team.

As for maintainer ranks:
Head Maintainer oversees myself (as Project Lead) and Harry (as Maintainer Manager) and has final say on anything we manage.

Project Lead and Maintainer Manager are nominally the same “rank” as managers just under the Head Maintainer.

Maintainers are your standard codebase folks who have their primary duty to review pull requests. Maintainers are also generally expected to help with bugs and do/assist various projects undertaken by the team. They have admin-level event permissions and privileges.

The maintainers are split into three groups: coders, spriters, and mappers who have expertise over their areas. Maintainers are free to specialize or do all three as long as approved by management+.

Maintainers are in a “trial” phase for the first three months on the team and do not have event permissions or privileges associated.

Additional duties that a maintainer can undertake or be assigned to are:

System admin - While not required to be a maintainer to become a system admin, most sysadmins are also maintainers. This special tasking handles the box and delegated hosting tasks. They report directly to the host(s) for their duties.

Game architect - Game architects can approve balance changes as well as their approved specializations.

Lore maintainer - This maintainer manages the lore team. Currently there is no lore maintainer and the lore team is managed by a non-staff “lore coordinator”.

Cross trained/server staff/moderator - Maintainers are not required to handle ahelps but can assist with moderator duties on the server if properly trained. These maintainers hold both the moderator and maintainer roles and generally fall under the moderator manager when acting as a moderator.

All maintainers are also able to undertake any specific tasking that opens up. These are things like coordinator roles (whitelist or lore) or committee members or whitelist councilors/senators.

Hopefully this helps understand the team a bit more.

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Heya I’ll try to answer some of the stuff regarding events.

Regarding events:
There is some public information regarding events, event authorization, standards, etc. over on the old forums. (although it could probably do with getting migrated over to these new forums) Staff Ranks, Code of Conduct, and Protocols (old Forum)
I’m not going to type that all so I’d encourage anyone curious to take a look over there.

What ranks can actually run what events can also be found over there or on our new fancy Staff Ranks, Code of Conduct and Protocols its listed in the staff role that gets access to the ability and transfers up the chain to higher ranking roles. There is some wiggle room and if someone has a great idea for an event but for example would need certain tools that they don’t have to run it then they can enlist the help of a staff member that has those tools to help run it with/for them. The event still needs to get approved and stuff like that so it still goes through the normal steps. And the event rights aren’t transferable, so for example while an admin can self-authorize minor events they can’t authorize them for another staff member.

Like I said there is some wiggle room to allow for good events to take place and since events can be a pretty organic thing within a round. So do keep this part of the event guidelines in mind:

The guidelines are not exhaustive but are spirit and intent-based.

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With the new introduction of Forum Manager and Soldier taking it, will we be receiving an announcement and amendments to staff ranks about the newly created position?

Also, can all of these replies be amended into it as well?

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