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Rewarding Staff Members

Ryo

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Should the people running events be rewarded for the work they put in?  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the people running events be rewarded for the work they put in?


Hello SAO-RPGians!

We recently had a discussion in the staff chat, and thought it would be appropriate to bring it to the community. The conversation ran along the lines of how much work goes into the events that take place around site. Keeping track of everyone's stats, keeping the events in context and engaging, and making sure that things stay on a reasonable timetable can really take a lot out of a person. Because of this, the idea was brought forth that perhaps it would be appropriate to reward the people who work on making events like this possible. A concern we had was how the community might feel about something like this, especially if we implemented it behind closed doors without talking to you all about it first. We don't want you guys to think that we're just trying to give ourselves an edge here, so we're asking for your input. Do you feel that the people working on these events should get rewarded for their efforts? Why, or why not? What sorts of rewards do you think would be appropriate if we were to move forward with this? Let us know in the comments!



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I too will say no to this. We are all doing this for the enjoyment of roleplaying and the settings we have put our own characters in. The reward to me has always been its story and the accomplishment of putting forth a roadblock that you and others overcome. Being reward SP for running events, whether that be staff or non-staff simply put irregardless if they are doing us a favor: is unfair. It is not fair that people write something that others would do and get free things, whether its SP or what have you to make their characters stronger.

And to put it forth, if people were compensated with rewards for writing posts then man, whoever wrote posts for the 24th boss is going to bypass calrex in a heartbeat.

I have never been for anything like this, even for donating to get items or what have you. I don't think this creates any form of balancing, only creates imbalance. Now, if we say give them special discord roles, special podcast stuff: I can get behind that as it is a means of rewarding them with acknowledgement. While it may not be much, the joy of being recognized can very well be worth its while.

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So, my take on the whole situation is that while it would be nice to receive something for our work, I don't think it's necessary or something I'd even want. I volunteered because I wanted to do something with site and didn't feel the desire to get compensated for it. This also gets into the issue of activity/inactivity for staff members and an inherent feeling of competition. Rewards typically are done so in a way that is done by quantity as opposed to quality as well.

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I can't find myself voting appropriately in the poll unless I know what the rewards are, but I do feel like they should be compensated in some way. It's hard to find myself saying yes for in-game rewards, though I know that managing the community takes up hours that can't be fed back into roleplaying for one's own sake. On the other hand, this could cause an imbalance, however to what effect this might be, I'm not capable of saying.

An external reward, on the other hand? I think I can support that even more. Commissions, a unique theme, a gift or favour, a custom quest? Podcast shout out? A promo? Any of those would be amicable. They're tangible still, but they don't complicate matters in the community economy.

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I mean, being a former staff member of multiple site or factions in these sites, I get why staff-members would like rewards for the work they do, really, I feel for you guys. But also, we always played under the same rules as everyone else. That meant no rewards that we would benefit us in the roleplay. We volunteered for the work we wanted to do in an effort to give back to the community, not the other way around, but that's just my two cents.

THAT BEING SAID: There is absolutely no indication as to what these 'rewards' might be. To me, this poll is pretty ineffective or misleading only because the different answers as to what the rewards would be would result in very very different answers from community, or at least, be less accurate in my opinion. If these 'rewards' are not directly related to roleplay outside of cosmetic or vanity items, then by all means, got nuts you guys. However if the rewards directly affect the roleplaying experience by augmenting stats or free gear, that is a big fat no from me.

I will be waiting for clarification as to what these rewards are before voting. Again, I get why staff would like recognition and recompense for the work they've done, but also, if it makes the game unfair, in no way can I support this.

Edited by Koga

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I'm casting my vote as yes, and I'll explain why.

The point of this poll was to gather community feedback not only on whether or not this should be done, but if it is, how it should be done.
From reading the comments posted here, it is abundantly clear that nobody wants staff to get in-game rewards for doing the work on these threads. This is neither here nor there for me - I see merits to giving tangible rewards for this sort of work, as well as obvious drawbacks. So if that's your opinion, I won't fight you on it.

The part of this that nobody seems to be considering, which is a little disappointing, is the fact that we can offer rewards that have no mechanical or tangible effect in-game. A role in the Discord server, a title on-site, a shout out in the podcast. Some sort of acknowledgement for the work they put in. Because a little bit of acknowledgement goes a long way, and from what I have seen of the condition on morale in staff as of late, it is necessary.

If you think it would be alright to offer these sorts of cosmetic rewards to the members of staff putting in hours of work and thousands of words into ensuring that the members of this community have engaging events to interact with and cool rewards or bonuses to show for it, I would implore you to vote positively on this poll and let that be known in the comments. Thanks for reading.

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From the amount of work and headache that goes into creating an event I would frankly love to be compensated for my work.

I'll go over how a Floor Boss is created.

First you get an idea in your head, as well as a few mechanics. Something to make the boss fun and enjoyable but not outright unkillable or a slog to get through. After that, you have to flesh out your ideas moreso. You add dice rolls, and numbers to its HP and other stats. You nab an image give the boss a name and slap it into staff section of SAO and wait for other members to get around to looking it over.

System Dev and Floor Dev members spend time looking over the creation and numbers side of things. Getting feedback from everyone in staff and those who are in charge of staff takes around a month and a half to get solid responses back from. After that you make changes to fix what was wrong. Nerf an attack here, add a neat ability there. After you've made the changes, you now have to get feedback back from everyone again. Sometimes this process is faster, sometimes its slower.

Once numbers are done, it's time for rewards. Under the current system, and age of players it's really hard to find anything that frontliners need or want that will go to a last hit person. We'll have to make at least three kinds of rewards that would be interesting to have. And since staff was slapped with a no more special rewards all of the creativity to boss rewards has been restricted to Demonic Weapons with unique enhancements. And therein lies another unfortunate balance. Keeping the reward thematic, and useful. Since players can just up and make demonic items, or the perfect weapon they want or need. Unless the weapon suits a person's build, it completely useless. No one is happy.

But now that rewards are agreed on, time to let the players post the boss prep thread with the blurb you've given them to give hints about what the boss will be. Which can be as obvious as you'd like, or as subtle. Doesn't matter either way. The same strategy is going to be used. Party up, use howl, and slap it until its dead. Which is a fault on our end for not having combat be any more 'exciting' than that.

Once that's done, the players then say that they want to fight the boss. The boss makes it's post and then the fun begins. Which is, waiting about two to three days for everyone to post. Last boss raid had about, 15 people in it. So, in top of the complicated boss stats and abilities to keep track of. The staff member running the boss also has to make sure that the 15 people in the fight are tracking their stuff correctly. Toss in a few DoT effects, a stun or two there. Boss makes an AoE attack. And that's a LOT to try and keep track of.

And that is one person.

After double checking everyone's stats to make sure everyone is on the up and up, then they make the boss post. Which is 150+ words and then try to make sure that everyone's post is recognised in that post. And then do all of that, for upwards of two to three months sometimes even longer.

And then try to balance real life whilst being barraged by players to post for the boss, or doing about 3 hours of work into a single post and then try to make a post for their character.

 

tl;dr
Creating a boss, and running a boss are two seperate things that take several months of time, effort, and energy and a more substantial reward should be given out.

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I'm gonna be very clear here at the beginning. I'm not trying to be an ass, or be rude, or anything like that. But I'm struggling to formulate a way to express this in a way that doesn't achieve that in the eyes of some party in some way shape or form.

I adminned and wrote events and bosses for roughly three years, and similarly adminned on another site for another one or two years. I understand where staff is coming from, don't mistake that. Its grueling, its draining, and it generates way more stress than it has any right to. I'm a full time student, and whatever free time I had pretty much got taken up by my responsibilities to one site or another. You all have real lives in addition to what's here, and it can stack up.

But in more than three years, I never asked nor expected rewards for the work I put into those sites. The reason for this is because I felt like I was giving back to the community, not that I was getting something out of it. Eventually when I got too busy, too tired, or just plain too sick of doing the job, I found someone who could do the job as good or better than me and left whatever position I'd held.

The issues with rewards that go beyond what Bahr has detailed (which, by the way, if that's what you guys are thinking, go crazy. I fully support acknowledging people who work hard) is that it breeds an environment of competition. Being staff isn't about doing a job to help the community or make the site better anymore, it eventually becomes about what rewards you get for doing your job, or maybe even just part of it.

And that kind of mentality destroys sites.

That is the last thing I wanna see happen here. I've been on this site for no more than maybe a month and a half, and I've really enjoyed it. For purely selfish reasons I wanna see this site continue on so I can subject you all to my terribly written characters some more. But without a clear idea of what you guys might consider appropriate rewards for being staff, I can't make a vote that I'd be comfortable with backing.

That being said, I would really like to see Staff take this back to the drawing board and have some unified outline of what you are all thinking of as rewards and then reopen a poll asking if giving those kinds of rewards would be acceptable to the community.

I really do think that the Staff deserve to be treated well and acknowledged for the kind of time and effort they pour into this place (which is a hell of a lot, so hats off to you guys, I really do appreciate all of you and the quality of what you've managed to create here) and would like to see the community support them more in the future. I'm not about to axe this yet, but for me personally, I need more clarification than what's been given.

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2 minutes ago, Koga said:

I'm gonna be very clear here at the beginning. I'm not trying to be an ass, or be rude, or anything like that. But I'm struggling to formulate a way to express this in a way that doesn't achieve that in the eyes of some party in some way shape or form.

I adminned and wrote events and bosses for roughly three years, and similarly adminned on another site for another one or two years. I understand where staff is coming from, don't mistake that. Its grueling, its draining, and it generates way more stress than it has any right to. I'm a full time student, and whatever free time I had pretty much got taken up by my responsibilities to one site or another. You all have real lives in addition to what's here, and it can stack up.

But in more than three years, I never asked nor expected rewards for the work I put into those sites. The reason for this is because I felt like I was giving back to the community, not that I was getting something out of it. Eventually when I got too busy, too tired, or just plain too sick of doing the job, I found someone who could do the job as good or better than me and left whatever position I'd held.

The issues with rewards that go beyond what Bahr has detailed (which, by the way, if that's what you guys are thinking, go crazy. I fully support acknowledging people who work hard) is that it breeds an environment of competition. Being staff isn't about doing a job to help the community or make the site better anymore, it eventually becomes about what rewards you get for doing your job, or maybe even just part of it.

And that kind of mentality destroys sites.

That is the last thing I wanna see happen here. I've been on this site for no more than maybe a month and a half, and I've really enjoyed it. For purely selfish reasons I wanna see this site continue on so I can subject you all to my terribly written characters some more. But without a clear idea of what you guys might consider appropriate rewards for being staff, I can't make a vote that I'd be comfortable with backing.

That being said, I would really like to see Staff take this back to the drawing board and have some unified outline of what you are all thinking of as rewards and then reopen a poll asking if giving those kinds of rewards would be acceptable to the community.

I really do think that the Staff deserve to be treated well and acknowledged for the kind of time and effort they pour into this place (which is a hell of a lot, so hats off to you guys, I really do appreciate all of you and the quality of what you've managed to create here) and would like to see the community support them more in the future. I'm not about to axe this yet, but for me personally, I need more clarification than what's been given.

Gonna second this for clarity.

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Again, to clarify, the reason that the types of rewards aren't stated in the poll is because we are opening the floor of that part of the discussion to the community.

If you are confused and do not know how to vote because you do not know what the rewards are, you are in the same boat as us. Suggest what rewards you think would be appropriate, if any.

I cannot stress enough that the entire point of this poll was to gather full community feedback on not only whether or not we should do it, but what those rewards would be if we did.

If you vote yes but explicitly state in your comment that it is only a yes if xyz, we will be taking that seriously. We will not take a simple yes vs no vote and extrapolate it into something the community did not agree to.

Thank you.

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Yes if and only if the rewards are limited to:

- Discord Roles
- Some sort of 'Wall of Acknowledgement" similar to the Memorial of Life...except not of dead players...
- A custom role on the site which could be displayed on the home page
- Similar rewards that have 0-effect on the game itself but acknowledge the work that has been put in

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1 hour ago, Gladiator said:

Now, if we say give them special discord roles, special podcast stuff: I can get behind that as it is a means of rewarding them with acknowledgement. While it may not be much, the joy of being recognized can very well be worth its while.

 

1 hour ago, NIGHT said:

An external reward, on the other hand? I think I can support that even more. Commissions, a unique theme, a gift or favour, a custom quest? Podcast shout out? A promo? Any of those would be amicable. They're tangible still, but they don't complicate matters in the community economy

 

56 minutes ago, Bahr said:

we can offer rewards that have no mechanical or tangible effect in-game. A role in the Discord server, a title on-site, a shout out in the podcast. Some sort of acknowledgement for the work they put in. Because a little bit of acknowledgement goes a long way, and from what I have seen of the condition on morale in staff as of late, it is necessary.

If you think it would be alright to offer these sorts of cosmetic rewards to the members of staff putting in hours of work and thousands of words into ensuring that the members of this community have engaging events to interact with and cool rewards or bonuses to show for it, I would implore you to vote positively on this poll and let that be known in the comments. Thanks for reading.

Just wanna put all this here and say I vote yes for this, but not for that which would impact the mechanics of the game. 

Also, NIGHT's idea of a custom quest sounds awesome.

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I suggest a player assist system.

Donating time to the site in which ever way shape or form would awarded players with "AP"(Assist Points) And those are spent on SP at a rate of something like, 10 AP to 1 SP.

These AP can be earned by staff and players alike.

 

Discord Roles (already have those as staff tags)
Wall of Acknowledgment and a custom roles displayed on the main page are already on there. As members of staff.

Quests are already custom, staff are the ones who make them. As a staff member who has made quests, a valid reward should not be 'make another'.

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I think everyone's said everything I can imagine and more already. Please forgive my lack of originality but I'm going to echo the thoughts of no character boosting rewards and keeping them purely visual on the discord server, or some kind of specific recognition wall, or possibly a custom title.

I would only insist on having no in game player benefits is because it would be potentially exploitable or would just get people to fight to become staff specifically for those rewards.

1 hour ago, NIGHT said:

An external reward, on the other hand? I think I can support that even more. Commissions, a unique theme, a gift or favour, a custom quest? Podcast shout out? A promo? Any of those would be amicable. They're tangible still, but they don't complicate matters in the community economy.

25 minutes ago, Koga said:

Yes if and only if the rewards are limited to:

- Discord Roles
- Some sort of 'Wall of Acknowledgement" similar to the Memorial of Life...except not of dead players...
- A custom role on the site which could be displayed on the home page
- Similar rewards that have 0-effect on the game itself but acknowledge the work that has been put in

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As someone who has written for bosses before on staff, and someone who personally understands how both mentally and physically taxing it can be, I am still wholeheartedly against any mechanical reward in any shape or form whatsoever. Period. 

If it's thanks or recognition you want - a mention in the podcast, a role on Discord as commemoration - I can get behind it. Special quests? Maybe? This idea for AP -> SP? Not a chance in hell. Writing for boss fights isn't meant to be rewarding. It's a volunteered service that you as a staff member give to the community as players. 

While I'm on the topic of writing for boss fights, a suggestion: instead of piling it on one another, help each other? Like, genuinely help. In the short time that I wrote for Star-Crossed Lovers, I had been under the impression that I was going to be writing for a round or two tops. I had offered because the people who were running it initially had disappeared/weren't able to make rotations as frequently. I wanted to fill in for them. Not write for the boss. But that's what ended up happening. 

And when I was on my last legs because of stress from school, tiredness from work, and the energy I used up on my rides to and from, I came out and gave up writing for the boss, because that's not what I signed up for. And what did we do? Dumped it on another single person. What happened? They stopped posting for it. The cycle repeats itself. And now we have an event from July active well into November. 

Split up the work. There are people in staff who are much too lazy to be in staff (even though it's getting better and I love you all for it uwu). There's too much unwillingness to work together. And that's a big part of the problem. Too much secrecy, toxic pride, and entitlement. Help each other, for god's sake. And don't expect a reward for doing it. 

Yes and only yes with the stipulation the rewards are vanity

Edited by Pinball

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Short answer. No.

Long answer. Hell no.

Longer answer.

I am wholeheartedly against any sort of reward to be provided to staff for doing their jobs properly. Keeping your word and doing the job you volunteered to do is its own reward - as well it should be. If it wasn't like pulling teeth to get staff mobilized to do anything or if we as a unit didn't have the attention span of a coked-out squirrel, maybe - maybe - I'd be on board. Without going too much into it, every member of staff knows that we have internal issues that need to be addressed. Issues that choke us up from finishing anything without weeks of waiting and constant, constant spam reminders about the subject.

So no, Staff doesn't need any extra rewards at all. Staff doesn't deserve any extra rewards at all. An incentive should not be necessary to get Staff to act with a modicum of integrity and do their jobs. In the immortal words of Ron Swanson:

"When you choose a thankless job, you can't be upset when no one thanks you."

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I just want to say. Im a staff member, and i say NO to this. Exactly what Oscar says. We don't need reasons or rewards to help, and honestly if thats all your trying to get out of staff is extra boons you shouldn't even be on the team. Sorry to be blunt like this, but its true. Staff and site already have enough mistrust and issues, we don't need more. 

I don't have much else to say. Oscar literally said everything i wanted to say. 

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I voted yes. 

At present, I don’t support any sort of in-game reward. I’d hate for someone to join staff only to receive those rewards, and I wouldn’t want anyone to receive an unfair advantage. However, I feel it’s worthwhile to state that this is NOT an uncommon practice. The three other roleplay sites I have staffed have offered gold and experience rewards. Not that it’s wrong or right, just that it’s not unheard of. This isn’t a greedy, power hungry move.

And truth be told, I’m disappointed that a staff member would be accused of that, just for wanting a bit more recognition. Did they volunteer for this? Absolutely. But there’s absolutely no harm in being given a “hey, good job.” Especially for people running the bosses. You don’t even know who it is controlling them. All of those hours spent away from families, without sleep,  to make the players’ experiences better. And they’re monsters for asking for some thanks? They’re greedy and abusing their position? They should suck it up because they asked for the job? That’s not fair at all.

What I’m taking away from all of this is that staffers feel isolated. Pin was correct in outlining how staff members can get saddled with too much work, and a sense of duty. I vividly remember staying up all night to work on a staff assignment, and when Kyle asked me why I wasn’t spending time with him (since we were long distance and I saw him very rarely), my response was “if I don’t do it, no one will.” It was true. I felt that I would let the site down if I didn’t finish it. Yes, that’s a mindset that I could “get over.” But I shouldn’t have to.

I was a teacher, one of the most thankless jobs there is. I didn’t go into the job for the perks (ha, as if there were any). And I didn’t expect praise. But you know what? It felt really, really good when I was given it. And it wasn’t a raise, or a tangible present. It was my students telling me they appreciated something I did. Or my coworkers telling me I did something well. It can be that small.

I like the suggestions that have been tossed around. Or even something like “this boss is being run by x, y, and z” somewhere in the fight thread. Because think about developers’ interactions with the community. PST is a grueling job, don’t get me wrong, but at least they get a thank you when they close a thread or approve a craft. People rolling out new content, or running floor bosses, do so largely anonymously. And most of the interactions from the community I’ve seen are concerns, or “when will you do this?”

Long story short, we could all be doing a bit more to make everyone feel appreciated. Just because we signed up for it doesn’t mean we have to shun all thanks, and look down on those who seek it. And of course, staff can absolutely restructure how events and floor bosses are handled. 

Disclaimer, this feels a little cheap now that I’m on staff again. But I’d have said the same thing if I weren’t. Also, today is Thanksgiving, and that’s sort of fitting. We wouldn’t have a site if it weren’t for half a decade of people giving us their time.

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Jesus Christ, let's just make a thankless job more thankless. The staff already volunteers to do all the work that goes into running the site, deals with drama, and doesn't get paid for any of it.

If all someone's asking for is a little recognition or something to sweeten the deal because they've been feeling drained or like they want to quit, isn't that better than losing one of the cogs in the machine?

It's not like they're breaking the game in any way, and at least they're not embezzling taxpayer dollars or using their power to screw over members who aren't staff.

It's Thanksgiving. If you're not American, I'll tell you what that means in a second, and if you are, I'm taking this opportunity to remind you:

It means to be Thankful for what you've got and not take anything for granted, because nothing is guaranteed to you.  

So even though I'm not active much anymore, I'd like to thank the staff for all they've done to keep this community alive and for all the work they continue to do. 

Warmest regards,

Alky

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I personally am against any in-game rewards for being a staff member. I joined the staff team to be able to help in a community I love, not rewards. I did like an idea I seen up there that mentioned like a wall of all Staff members, previous and so on just in case some day we arent here and allow others to remember that "Hey, they helped." But SP, Col, nah. Thats absolute crap in my opinion. I'm not voting in the poll, just getting my opinion across. 

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