Author Topic: The Community Council  (Read 8283 times)

Zarathustra217

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The Community Council
« on: January 18, 2010, 03:43:06 PM »
Introduction

Many people from many different places come to this internet node, to meet, interact, befriend and enrich eachothers life. Unfortunately, though, sometimes things don't quite turn out that way. This is to be expected in any large social sphere, and to a degree, accepted. The differences is what makes it interesting too.

However, to help prevent it all from escalating, we have here on POTM instituted the Community Council. The purpose of this council is not necessarily make everything timid, but that respect and honesty can be preserved in our community, and that the different parts of the community never become too disassociated.

The key purpose of the council is this; to ease and enhance communication through different parts of the community. The council is there to assure a neutral point of communication, to allow a certain point of transparency, to resolve conflicts and communicate concerns as well as reasonings.

Each part of the community choose a number of people to be part of the council. This is to largely assure that all have members of the council they feel they can entrust with their concerns - that they will be represented by someone who understands their view, and is not coloured by presumptions about them.

Effectively, it is combined of three DMs (one chosen by players), three Developers (one chosen by players) and six regular players (one chosen by DMs and one chosen by Developers).

Remember that the Community Council is your friend. It is in place for your benefit. It is strictly demanded that members of the council do not share outside the council information given to them if it can in any way be considered damaging to the individual providing it. But even if you are worried if sharing it within the council can cause any form of repercussions toward you, you can always ask the councillor you forward your concerns to, to preserve your anonymity, should you wish.

Secondly, the Council can also help you to get a better view of the on-goings in all parts of the server. This can be all from wondering what the developers are currently working at, how to interpret certain rules, to clarifying rumours you've heard. We do not want to endorse speculating in other peoples' concerns, but we'd much rather have clarification about it than misunderstandings resulting in discontent and slander.

In the end, we cannot prevent all disputes nor all drama. This is the internet after all. But we can, together, minimize the occurrence of it. The Community Council for doing just that - and you can help the entire community by using it.

Zarathustra217

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Re: The Community Council
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010, 03:46:30 PM »
Your Community Council

This is your current community council. Feel free to contact any of them with your concerns and worries and any other you feel may be relevant to have the community council be aware of.

Players:


Brimstonebane
Forum account: Brimstonebane
Game Login: Brimstone1414
Characters Played: Eberath Zeril, Tarius Gilthar, Boris Sergov

puckwolf

Forum account: puckwolf
Game login(s): Albopictus, Pyruvate, puckwolf, HyruleYou
Characters played: Zephyr Kontos, Adeline Laurent

TheGrinningHound
Forum Account: TheGrinningHound
Game Login: TheGrinningHound
Characters Played: Walter, Henri Janvier, Eric Morris

McNastea
Forum account: McNastea
Game login(s): McNastea, DietMcNasteaLiteZero, StringCheeze, STS9
Characters played: Dante Farblake, Skald Vatraska, Eilithar Cael'aera, Alister Sigethurn, Ludovic Equaar, Eowaril

Chaos
Forum account: Chaos
Game login(s): daxing, relievedsummary, Chaoshawk
Characters played: Voldymyr Brusilov, Piers Worsley, Matthias Piltz, Emilian Santanescu
(DM pick)

Legion XXI
Forum account: Legion XXI
Game login(s): Legion XXI, Apollyon, Revelation, Abaddon Rain, San Jacinto
(Dev pick)

DMs:

David/Bluebomber4evr
Forum account: Bluebomber4evr
(Head DM)

Bastellus
Forum account: Bastellus
(DM pick)

Stygian Witch
Forum account: DM Stygian Witch
(Player pick)

Developers:

Søren/Zarathustra217
Forum account: Zarathustra217
(Player pick)

Arawn
Forum account: Arawn
(Developer pick)

Vengeance
Forum account: Better Dread Than Dead/Vengeance
(Developer pick)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 02:30:25 AM by Bastellus »

Zarathustra217

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Re: The Community Council
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2010, 03:48:49 PM »
About the Community Council

A Brief History

The Community Council began as an experiment in democracy in which there was no precedent for in the realm of persistent NWN servers.  The hope and goal was that the Council would be composed of democratically elected representatives who would perform benevolently on behalf of the community.  The structure of the Council continues to reshape itself as the needs of the community change.  At the end of each term, Reps reflect and offer suggestions for improvement.  Three representative branches exist reflecting the three segments that compose the community; Players, Dungeon Masters, and Developers.  Each of the three parts of the community votes for those they trust to represent their interests.  For the first year, terms lasted for six months.  At the moment, terms will last for four months.  


Our Mission

Respectful communication, patience, and willingness to understand other points of view are the necessary elements to any healthy community.  Players’ Reps, Dms' Reps, and Developers’ Reps collaborate with one another.  While it is perhaps inevitable that each of us becomes imbedded in a point-of-view, that of either a player’s perspective, or a dm’s perspective, or a developers’, the Council is a place where perspectives are shared, broadened, and enriched, thus increasing the likelihood that important decisions that effect the community will be arrived at with some wisdom.    

While it is the Council's duty to respond to all conflicts, the Council does more than merely react to problems as they arise.  Depending on the philosophy of the Reps in any given term, the Council can be an engine of positive and constructive change that benefits the server, often taking on a pro-active position as opposed to merely a re-active one.  

How Does the System Work for Players' Reps?

Players' Representatives monitor relevant dm forum content, titled “Playerbase Concerns.”  In this thread, the Dm team handles rule infractions or any concern related to game play.  Players’ Reps monitor this thread to ensure that the players in questions are being fairly dealt with.  If a Players’ Rep perceives of a possible problem with how the Dm team is handling a case, then that Player Rep brings the issue to the Council, where all Reps work together towards a solution.  Player Reps are obligated to maintain confidentiality.  In other words, Player Reps will have access to information that if used unwisely can do great harm to the community.  When a player is voted into Council, it is imperative that they adhere to all rules of confidentiality.  

Players’ Reps also have access to the Development Team Boards.  The idea behind this is that Player Reps can better inform the player base of current development work and plans.  

The Council is also responsible for the handling of Prestige Class and Subrace applications.  

The Player Base, every single player, is encouraged to take advantage of the Council’s existence.  If a player feels they are being metagamed, either intentionally or not, bring the concern to the Council.  

If a player doesn’t agree with the outcome of a dm event, bring the issue to the Council.  

If a player is not happy with any of the current developed systems that govern game play, bring the issue to a representative.  

To sum it up, if a player has a problem, bringing the issue straight to the Council will be the most productive course.  It is far more productive and beneficial to the community to channel issues to the Council, as opposed to the spreading of gossip or the smearing of fellow players and dms.  All Player Reps are bound to confidentiality.  Players should be able to trust that the concerns they bring to the Council are in good hands, and that all knowledge pertaining to any player issues shall be limited to only necessary parties involved in the conflict.  The mission of the Council is to resolve conflict whenever possible, and never to be a source of.  

The Council also discusses and produces rules or guidelines.  Player Reps do not have the role of enforcing rules within game.  That responsibility is in the hands of the dm team.  Player Reps do however play a part in the development of rules.

While the Council cannot guarantee a players’ preferred outcome to every issue, concern, or conflict, the Council can guarantee that it will do it’s best to reach a fair and impartial solution that will benefit the entire community.

Zarathustra217

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Re: The Community Council
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2010, 03:50:37 PM »
Confidentiality & The Reasoning of


   From time to time, a Rep has been asked what they thought about a player’s pending application for a subrace or PrC. I’d like to explain the reasoning behind the rule of confidentiality, since when I’ve been asked to comment on an application, it is usually in game, and the forum is a preferable place to explain to players why I and other representatives shouldn’t comment on their applications.

   We’ve experienced problems in the past due to Council Representatives divulging information to players that they may have thought was harmless.  For example, say a player has applied for a PrC.  Lets say that in talking with a Rep or more, that those Reps tell him that they’re voting in favor of accepting the application.  What if that application is denied in the end?  What happens is that that Rep who divulged information that they should not have, has aligned himself with the applicant, while those Reps who denied the application, through a process of elimination, are more easily identifiable by the applicant, and are then perceived as the “bad guys.”

   In many applications, the voting is easy, because of the excellence of the application, and there is little debate.  However, we sometimes get “iffy” applications, in which the Council may be split, in the process of a debate towards reaching a final decision.  We’ve had a problem in the past when a Rep disregarded confidentiality by telling the applicant that some Reps were voting against their application.  Not only was the applicant told that certain Reps were against the application’s approval, but the Rep also divulged some of debating points and the reasons that some Reps gave for denying the application.  The reasons are always explicitly provided anytime an application is denied.  However, the reasons are fairly and accurately drafted into a letter format that the entire Council eventually approves of. 

   When the Council learns that someone is leaking information, violating mutual trust, it also has a negative impact on the community, because it breeds mistrust.  The Council is composed of people who are supposed to be representing players, Dms, and Developers.  The Council is intended to work together to increase the likelihood of fairness in decision processes.  Fortunately, the instances of Reps violating the rule of confidentiality, whether it be by mistake or intent, are few and in between. 

   So please don’t ask for Reps to comment on what they think of pending applications.  And certainly don’t take offence when that Rep refuses to comment.  A rep can comment as to whether we’ve received the application, or comment as to when the player should be able to expect the Council’s decision.  The Council Reps will also provide comments that may help an applicant before they submit their application.  But once the application is submitted, it is imperative for the well-being of the community that confidentiality be respected. 

Thank you for your time,
and Rock On,

Your Community Council