I guess that this is something that has always bothered me as an admin, and I've been meaning to do a journal about this for a while now, so here it goes. This isn't a growing trend that I've noticed or anything that may be considered terribly important, but I'm pretty sure that most admins in roleplay groups have had to deal with this before, so I guess I should probably cut to the chase...
This is a journal discussing how to properly discuss problems with an administrator and what to do if you have a user that is being terribly difficult to get through to. I'm certain most people have had this problem before. You have this brilliant idea that you want to share with an admin, or want to use your character for, or you're working on this huge project and once you actually submit it to the group, the admin tells you that you can't do that.
Now, I'd like to first state that the wrong
things to do are as follows:
- Immediately withdraw the art piece from your gallery or the group
- Yell at the admin that you can do what you want and start getting angry at them for infringing upon your creative abilities
- Get upset and write a journal that passive aggressively attacks the group that you submitted to
- Try to argue why your piece should be accepted
- Verbally assault the admin for being "too strict"
- Ignore what the admin said
Why are these things wrong? To put it simply, any of these reactions can upset or hurt an admin and speaking from an admin's point of view; it makes our job at least fifty times harder. Most admins are not
trying to cause you problems by infringing upon "your creative views". Actually, most admins in any roleplay group tell you that something cannot be done for the sake of your character's story.
Now, some of you may be wondering why what your character is doing really matters
to us admins.. and the reason is actually pretty simple! Admins normally will tell a member that they can't do something because it doesn't follow one of the following:
- The idea (whether it be a drawing, story, or idea) doesn't match something previously said about the character
- The idea doesn't follow the group's rules
- The idea doesn't match the time frame or setting of the group
Why do these things matter? Let's start from the top and work our way through each of the things discussed since each situation requires a different reason and explanation.
Let's start with the first one: The idea doesn't match something previously said about the character
An admin cares about your character's information matching up because if they
can't figure out which parts of your story are true, then that means other members can't either... which means that it's going to be harder for your character to roleplay with other members. For instance, let's say that within his back story, Artemus was trained to fight against humans, bears, and other non-feline creatures, but after a month or two in the group, I submitted a drawing with him fighting a feline character that used to be a bounty hunter to "spice up his background". Since that wasn't mentioned when I first joined, an admin might be confused as to why I was doing that. Artemus wasn't said to be a "feline" fighter. It seems as if I am adding in information that doesn't advance Artemus as a character besides give him reason to know bounty hunters... which doesn't do anything but give me an excuse to possibly "meta-game".
These things, and more, can automatically cause an admin to wave a red-flag and ask me to either change one of the two bits of information; Artemus's background or the information under the caption of the drawing (or just changing the drawing itself) most admins are willing to work with you on these decisions and explain why they are asking you to change what you are changing. It's not that they are trying to attack you for trying something new, they just want to see ends meet when your character is being drawn. The idea doesn't follow the group's rules
I'd say this one should be a no brainer... but sometimes people can miss small rules within the group because they are not posted up within the correct journals or because of miscommunication. There are also times when Rules may be in construction and although they are not posed up within the group they may be in effect. Now... when this happens I have seen a multitude of reactions... the issues is, most of those had not been the right way to react to it."Those rules weren't posted up and because I didn't know about them, I should be immune!"
Now, unfortunately, while your reasoning may be sound, ignorance isn't exactly the best way to go about this. Now, if you explain kindly
to an admin that you weren't aware of the rule but next time you'll make sure to be careful when submitting, that will at least ease some of the issue... but saying that you shouldn't be in trouble over a rule you didn't know about isn't wise. Let's look at a real life example:
If you get pulled over by a state trooper for breaking a law within a state that you didn't know about, explaining to the trooper that you didn't know about the law and was therefore immune to it, would only cause problems and would mostly cause the trooper to get very angry with you. A state trooper is more concerned about making sure the law is being followed over that of the law being known about.
That being said, if you explain to the admin that you didn't see where the rule was at and would at least like a link to the rule that is being mentioned, that is completely fine; as long as you are not being extremely lippy with them over what you are doing. You can also ask why they are only tell you the rule now instead of having it written within the journal (phrase it as follows: I'm sorry, I didn't know that this existed because it wasn't in the rules, can you please tell me why?) normally if you ask an admin, they'll explain. Sometimes they don't realize they didn't have it posted up, and other times they're waiting for something more.
When a rule isn't posted and you point it out, sometimes an admin will be understanding, but other times an admin will try to explain that even though the rule wasn't posted, it has to be followed. They are not
doing this because they can
. Normally an admin states something like that because in the group they have the final say
. It's not a power play, it's the fact that if an admin doesn't like what you're doing (within reason) they have the right to tell you to knock it off and you should probably
listen to them. Again, this is NOT
the admin merely acting as a power monger that wants to control everything that you do as the roleplayer... normally the reason behind it is very sound and can be justified. (I.E your character can't just die and then suddenly come back to life because that's not how it works in the world you are roleplaying in, the character's reactions with certain people's characters appear more malicious towards the roleplayer and not just your character's preferences, your character is causing too much drama within the group and needs to done it down... and so on)
If you really believe that you shouldn't be punished for whatever the admin is telling you, ask them for at least an explanation behind why the idea/action/submission in question is causing the rejection/warning/ban. If you are cooperative and do not get angry during the process, more than likely the admin is willing to explain themselves to you.
Now, when you get the final ruling from an admin that tells you that what you are doing is against the rules, be respectful and ask them if there is any way the two of you can work together to tweak it so that it does fit the rules. Keep in mind that not everything you do / submit to the group that is rejected can be tweaked. Some ideas just won't work (Like having a purple dog in a group that accepts only naturally colored dogs), but there isn't any harm in trying to at least meet some form of middle ground.
After all, there's no harm in trying.The idea doesn't match the time frame or setting of the group
This one happens a lot in EBC more often than not and since I'm not the major Roman history buff I tend to keep myself from mentioning major events in the Roman time period to ensure that my characters don't have issues within the group itself and that's how I avoid running into this kind of mess myself, but sometimes it's hard to avoid words / jobs / and ideas that weren't even created in that time frame. When an admin tells you that something needs to be fixed because of the time frame, please keep in mind that they are doing this for one reason and one reason only: the character has to fit into the world they are a part of.
This one is probably the hardest to explain from a non-admin perspective for me, but I can at least explain one thing that is important to us that some people just don't seem to notice... The reason why we tell members to fix applications that don't fit into our timeline is mostly because if a character starts talking about events that haven't occurred
in the Universe's timeline, it confuses other characters (and members) that are fit into the time frame you are given. The same goes for events that have occurred. If my character Scorpio started talking to a character named Atticus about his owner, Octavian, and the other character said something about how he and Marc Antony are working together to take Julius Caesar down, he'd flip out because that isn't what is going on
. It'd be like if you transported yourself and some expensive sports car back in time... people would flip out because they've never seen something like a sports car before. Another example would be if suddenly somebody that has magical super human powers shows up on your front doorstep and starts talking about the lives of people on distant planets... If you're not questioning your sanity as a person at that point, you might just be questioning theirs... which is what a roleplay character would do in a similar situation...
So in order to avoid that kind of mix up with anybody, an admin will mention what needs to be changed.
A thing that I know sometimes annoys admins is when a member refuses to fix something in their background because it is taking away your freedom as an artist... Unfortunately, when you join a group, you are expected to follow the rules of the group, which means that you make a contract of sorts with the admins saying "I understand that when I join this group, I will be subjected to fixing up errors I make that do not fit with the group itself; be it rules, settings, or other miscellaneous categories that don't fit in the aforementioned articles". Admins do not require much from you past that point. You just have to listen to them when they mention that something needs to be fixed up. Yes, you are required to follow the rules if they change and are also required to fix your character to match the changes that are made in the group's setting. If you don't like it, you have an option to break that contract by removing yourself from the group or the character in question from the group. You can then do what you want as an artist and be able to say that the character is that awesome super hero you always wanted them to be.
I hope this helps people~