Friday, July 31, 2009

Admin Overkill


Are you an admin on a TF2 server?
Do you sometimes long for the good
days when you could actually
play instead of resolving issues
with pubs???

Maybe you are suffering from
OAS...Over-Admin Syndrome....

OAS is a result of admins trying to
exert too much control. Just what is
much", anyway?

Let's examine the situation calmly
and without prejudice.

1. TF2 is a game. A friggin' game,
folks. It's just a bunch of pixels.

2. TF2 is a PG-13 rated game.
Have you ever really listened to
built-in soundbytes of the various
classes, especially the scout?

3. There's a LOT of violence in
TF2, and you will note that the demo

man wields a booze bottle, there's a
jar of pee you can throw on enemies

and more.

4. There's a voice comm channel
which can be either team talk or all-

talk. That means that anyone can at
any time let loose with a curse or
when they get frustrated, and
the game is meant to be frustrating
so it's fun
to play over and over

5. There's an unrestricted text
comm as well, both team and general,

and there are no "blockers" naturally
occurring in the game to defeat

attempts to write words not
considered okay by the admin group
on a

6. Most of the serious admin
problems are related strictly to
of the game, the server,
other players and/or the admins who
serve the
server and keep the game
honest. That means cheaters and
need to be kicked and
banned if they seriously disrupt
the game or actually
threaten the
server's ability to deliver services
to the public.

7. "Bad" language is very very
subjective. Nobody really knows which

words are "bad" on a server until they
are specifically defined, and no two

groups of people agree on which words
are not okay...that having been said,

there are two schools of thought here:

a. It's nicer to have a server
where foul and obscene discussions
not occurring and where female
players and kids can have some safety
obsenity and downright sexual

b. Have you ever served in the
Armed Forces? Well, I have, and one

thing I can tell you for sure is
that some words which are considered

offensive in public are peppered
very freely in conversation, and
in combat, where stress
relief is vital. When some people
play, they express
themselves with
"curse" words. Keep in mind that
those Anglo-Saxon words
were once
quite acceptable in public, while
words we consider today to be

very acceptable were considered
very gross and totally obscene,
such as
"plow" and "furrow". The
word "heck" is acceptable as a
substitute for "hell",
"heck" is short for "Hecate" the
goddess of the witches...So where

does that lead??? Keep in mind that
psychological warfare is a
art -- we are reprinting
Paul Linebarger's classic
"Psychological Warfare"
because it is an important aspect
of combat. Taunting is part of
and is built into the game, so why
not allow verbal taunting, to egg

someone on the opposite team to make
a mistake by using the Dark Side of

the Force -- ie; getting angry???
Are you torn on this issue? If so,
your feelings, Luke.

8. There are players with "issues"
that are not actually destructive to

the game, such as the inability to jump.
Jumping is a skill that is learned with

time and the repeated use of a mouse
button -- I go the extra mile and find

myself a 3-button mouse that can allow
me to jump more easily, but a "tab"

jump is just as easy WITH PRACTICE.
The net result is that on some

servers, engineers can no longer
place teles on the "ramp room" or

courtyard stairs to prevent scouts
and spies from zooming past their
guns...why??? You are not going
to believe this...because some players

can't jump over them. Suppress the
giggles for a moment and consider
their's solved simply
by having a school or a server which
offers jump
training, just as we used
to do with rocket jump training for
soldiers in TF1
and TFC. We have
schools for admins, so why not for
ordinary players?

9. There are a lot more issues
that an admin really does need to

resolve and act on...however, the
paperwork for admin actions increases
larger and less monitored a server
or clan grows. With unmonitored and

even with skilled and highly disciplined
admins, the potential for abuse
and we then have the need
to implement a huge amount
paperwork, screen shots, condumps
and more to justify each and every

action taken as an admin. Simple
TRUST is not possible when there
are too
many admins to monitor
successfully. If the goal of a clan
or server is to
foster unlimited GROWTH
at any cost, paperwork will be the
result, making the clan
or admin team something like a
government. If you
play TF2 to get
away from governing, as I do with
a huge staff and
thousands of clients,
you will appreciate the least amount
of paperwork

10. When you have to recruit
hundreds of admins, there must be
penalties for abuse, and heavy
restrictions on them.

11. Hundreds of admins who are
recruited at the rate of dozens per
with a totally unrestricted
growth rate means hundreds of not
highly disciplined people
with admin powers. Having seen a number
training classes for admins with
people running amok, killing each other
grabbing intels and flags while
teachers are trying their best to
explain the
duties and technical
skills of admin, I am convinced that
there's a lot of
tolerance built-in
to the system to allow for total asshats
to abuse players
until they get caught,
which might be never.

12. Hundreds of admins who are not
highly motivated except for the
they get as admins will mean that they
have to be kept "happy" as
Usually admins don't have to do
very much, unless the server directors

create "make-work" for them to keep
them active, alert and feeling useful.

This all-too-often encourages over-admin,
in much the same way that
officials like to exert their small
power over people who would

ordinarily not be under their
domination. This itself can eventually
lead to
some serious abuse and
absurdities over "control issues".
In my opinion,
some servers give their
admins a ridiculous number of control
issues to deal
with, simply to keep
them interested and feeling useful,
and in some cases,
encouraging that
domination syndrome from a small
amount of power over

13. My personal take on all this
is to run my server with this in mind:

unless there's a serious and profound
effect on the server, game and other

players, admins are not to interfere
with the gamers or gameplay. If

someone is disrupting the whole
server and is being a total griefer,
heck, yes, kick and/or ban the
player and let them find somewhere
else to
go. There are indeed some
players who thrive on being banned
and who
actually brag about being
banned on thousands of servers.
Very well, kick
and ban them, but
you're going to have to do a lot
of kicking and banning if

you manufacture offenses just to
give admins something to do.

14. One more issue -- we do not
allow "invasion" of our servers,
means people infiltrating from
other clans and servers in order to
members to fill their servers.
Everyone wants their servers fully
but fair's fair, and I
feel that infiltration is NOT a fair players
coming in to
"snipe" our server population or our
clan members are quickly
kicked, not warned, just banned,
period. I feel that sniping clan

members is MUCH more offensive than
any language or placement of

inconvenient teleports.

There, I've had my say. If I've
offended anyone with this rant on
practices, I wouldn't be
surprised...anytime anyone talks
honestly, they can't
help but offend
someone somewhere. I sincerely hope
that this little
dissertation helps
some folks who are overburdened by
Syndrome. It can only
happen when the policies of GROWTH
COST are applied...and those
are the same tactics and practices
that exist
on corporate levels. TF2
is my way of briefly escaping the
corporate world in
which we all
live. I surely do not want to bring
the world of used-car sales,
Recruiting, Ponzi Schemes and
Tupperware Parties into my gaming


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