Oswald Rant: In Control (Revisited)

Now, I usually do not revisit a rant topic as quickly as I have done this past Oswald rant titled, In Control. In this article I discussed my thoughts on being an admin. One of the points I touched on was the “power and control” aspect admins have over gamers in their servers. I concluded, “respectful of players, but keep control of what goes on…You do not foot the bill, we do.”

Recently, I have seen a few complaints in the form of e-mail addressed to me, since it is my server (Hottie’s 6th Floor Hideaway) asking questions about their presence being banned from our server. Now being banned is nothing uncommon for online gamers. Hacking or cheating is usually the quickest way to exit stage left off a server. This is but one reason a gamer could be kicked or banned from their favorite server.

Attempting to resolve a conflict that arises between an admin and a gamer over a ban can be a touchy subject. First, if brought into the public light, it can shed negative light on your server admins and their quick actions to pull the trigger and present a gamer with a ban. There are three sides to a story, yours, mine and the truth. Rarely does the truth ever get revealed, but two conflicting reports from the parties involved.

Are there certain unwritten rules or guidelines games should follow when playing online? I do believe in an online creed that gamers should follow. I can sum it up in two words, “be respectful.” This applies to admins or refs on the server and your fellow gamers. A good example would be an apology if you happen to shoot and kill your teammate. a Quick, “sorry” goes a long way in keeping the server atmosphere a friendly one. Connecting to a server with a high and mighty attitude will not get you any points, but will get you run out of town.

There are “gray areas” when it comes to the proverbial, “Do’s & Dont’s” while on a server. One of those unique features of online gaming is a player’s alias. We are all unique and wear our alias and clan tag (if applicable) with pride and like to be recognized. There are names that gamers will find offensive, but what’s in name? Should that gamer be frowned upon as an outcast, as the admin looks for any reason to kick them? Or should they be allowed to remain to game the server, as if they were just another gamer. This varies depending on who the admin is. Some gamers come in with a bad reputation, being repeatedly kicked from other servers. Admins do talk and share information. Why shouldn’t they? They need to protect their own in order to promote the fun.

Lastly, too many admins spoil the server. While it is more enjoyable to play on a server that is usually manned with an admin or ref, who has limited powers on the server. Games tend to flow a bit smoother and gamers are generally more well mannered. But in the case of conflicting admins opinions, problems can and do arise. This is a no win situation for everyone. Tempers tend to flair and span decisions are made, usually resulting in bans being unjustly handed out.

For any conflict, there is a resolution. As an admin, I just want to run a respectable server that is full 24/7 that gamers enjoy playing Urban Terror on. To date, I think we have been very successful in that regard. Hopefully those who play on The 6th Floor enjoy the server, but have respect for others and the admins when on the server. If you have problems, bring them to me. You can e-mail me at oswald@planetquake.com. Hopefully I do not need to play judge, jury and executioner in order to resolve conflict that should have been resolved before resulting in an e-mail being sent.