An open letter to the executives and wider community

Luke

Member
24
I'm writing this thread because I've returned briefly. I returned after several DMs from Video telling me about various things that have happened, in particular;

- MarioKartWii was indefinitely banned due to posting a copypasta, where an executive unilaterally made a ban unappealable without proper reasoning. The ban was only rescinded when I rejoined.
- There was a massive debate regarding furries and stupid shit like that
- By the time I joined, there was a massive on going debate about NSFW and other shit in relation to this
- By the time I joined, there were two Discord staff and even then one had only been there a week. The server was created in August

Now I've been observing a fair few things, started off mainly out of interest until I realized just how fundamentally broken some shit on here is. Please keep in mind (apart from the sections where I directly say a name) I am not referring to one individual here, the failures I'm going to mention is not solely one persons fault. I would also like to mention from my observation that, at the very least, Taahanis, Fleek and Telesphoreo are not as much at fault here, from my experience they were the most responsive. Please also do not take anything I say personally, I mean no disrespect at an individual level

So to begin with, the server doesn't seem to have a general direction. The leadership is comprised of Taahanis, Video, Alco, Telesphoreo, Fleek and Steven. Taahanis is the "face", Telesphoreo is the "dev", Alco is in charge of bans, Fleek is more in a general position (i've seen him help on the dev side of things), and Steven from what I can see is (as he was before) in more of an advisory position. This is just what I observed, please correct me if I'm wrong. We then have Video. I have no idea what role Video serves, he's only done really minor things (i.e. reverse the ban on TOS violations??) but then complains about how things should be despite being an executive who can change it? Then the changes actually made are incredibly specific, he was telling me about the TOS violation change he made when, on the old TF, I can recall about 3 people who the ban actually affected, and their bans were justified given it could have got our entire server nuked>

So there's been various updates, which is pretty good considering the state of TFM when the old TF died, but again there is no seemingly general direction. There is so many changes that need to be done, there is so much discrepancies between the team that it's really difficult to tell what the old goal is, which makes me think that a big issue within the executive team is communication. There have been times where a change has been made and the executives, instead of internal discussion, decide to expose each other? The only screenshot I can find is the one I linked, but another example would be Alco inexplicably indefinitely banning somebody for posting the fucking Vaporeon copypasta, which is an incredibly fucking stupid decision, but what makes it worse is that when Video tried to communicate to find out what the fuck happened, from what I was told nobody responded nor commented and the entire situation was just left until I told Video "I'm going to unban them from the Discord", at which point the entire thing was reversed. Alco still has not given an apology nor made any indication as to why they'd lump someone who did a meme in with literal pedophiles.

It may not seem as a big issue but what we've got right now is a really weird dynamic - under Ryan the executives basically had the power of the owner, therefore Ryan left them to take accountability for their own department, i.e. Erin was accountable for the admin team and was responsible for handling anything related to that, any failures went on Erin and she had all the power that Ryan did. I'm not going to say this system was better or worse, that isn't the point I'm making here. The point I'm making here is that the system right now is a weird blend, the admins have little to no direction on what to do but they do not have the power to use their own discretion because that power lies solely with the executives, leading to a confused mess where issues surrounding things like NSFW is incredibly vague, what is acceptable to one admin is not acceptable to another, a good example being when Alco removed furry map art.

The team (admins and executives) need to be united. The rules desperately need reform, and something needs to be done. My rules on Discord are still quite vague, but the difference between my rules and the current ones is that my rules make really clear the admin has the final say and that their discretion is what is used.

Overall something needs doing. No new players are joining, the current playerbase are becoming really frustrated and alienated, and ultimately something needs doing to ensure the shit that killed the old TF will never happen again. If this continues the server is just going to die a really slow death, until eventually there's no point in keeping it up.

Executives, it's up to y'all to discuss this, please make sure I'm not wasting my time by saying this.
 
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Can we also talk about how Alco didn't agree with the furry mapart at spawn, called it garbage and proceeded to remove it, but also built a phallus onto a statue of lyicx at spawn, with minors present. Not trying to talk shit, I just don't understand the precedent that's trying to be set when you have conflictions between executives, executives doing effectively nothing and executives that are borderline breaking the rules 🤔

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I'm going to preface what I'm about to say that my inactivity and lethargy as executive was solely my problem and I'm not blaming anyone else for the fact I did nothing.

However, my two cents are that I think, to help with direction, we need to go back to the own system, with each executive having a clearly defined role, and it's obvious what each person is directly responsible for doing. The current system of "executive soup" felt confusing and has put the server in a position where it feels like it has 6 owners - half a dozen individuals just doing whatever they want.

There were a few conversations about how we could generally keep doing what we were doing beforehand on tf, but nothing that specifically or clearly said that we had our own departments and should stay there. As far as I knew, anyone could step in and perform the duties of an EAO because we were all general executives. I could've also stepped in and approved or denied a ban request because, again, as far as I could tell, we were all general executives.

Now I'm not saying that's inherently a bad thing - it can work, especially the EAO part, but that's stuff that should be worked out when yous sit down and clearly work out what everyone's job is. Obviously there could be collaboration and discussion over things people need help with, I'm not saying don't work together, but in the end of the day it's a particular person's job to do that thing, and they shouldn't step on anyone else's toes. I don't think there has been any toe stepping, but it's technically possible with how I felt the system was.

If I was mistaken I apologise, but a tldr, I feel like every executive having a defined and specific role will give the servers management more direction.
 
I'm going to preface what I'm about to say that my inactivity and lethargy as executive was solely my problem and I'm not blaming anyone else for the fact I did nothing.

However, my two cents are that I think, to help with direction, we need to go back to the own system, with each executive having a clearly defined role, and it's obvious what each person is directly responsible for doing. The current system of "executive soup" felt confusing and has put the server in a position where it feels like it has 6 owners - half a dozen individuals just doing whatever they want.

There were a few conversations about how we could generally keep doing what we were doing beforehand on tf, but nothing that specifically or clearly said that we had our own departments and should stay there. As far as I knew, anyone could step in and perform the duties of an EAO because we were all general executives. I could've also stepped in and approved or denied a ban request because, again, as far as I could tell, we were all general executives.

Now I'm not saying that's inherently a bad thing - it can work, especially the EAO part, but that's stuff that should be worked out when yous sit down and clearly work out what everyone's job is. Obviously there could be collaboration and discussion over things people need help with, I'm not saying don't work together, but in the end of the day it's a particular person's job to do that thing, and they shouldn't step on anyone else's toes. I don't think there has been any toe stepping, but it's technically possible with how I felt the system was.

If I was mistaken I apologise, but a tldr, I feel like every executive having a defined and specific role will give the servers management more direction.
I wholeheartedly agree with your first two paragraphs. It's something I mentioned briefly in my Quality of Life thread I started a while back; and something i've repeatedly stated in VC to video himself. From what I've gathered and personally observed, the executive team lacks clear objectives or specific goals within the community, which differs from previous iterations of TF. The only opposing evidence I have to that is Fleek's declaration of his standing as EAO.

When staff members aren't assigned a specific area to deal with, many tend to become complacent or pass tasks onto others. They refuse to complete a task purely on the basis that someone else will complete it for them; this is often referred to as the bystander effect. Having defined roles prevents this as individuals are accountable for their respective areas, leaving no room for equivocacy.

I personally don't like that some executives are taking the reigns and actually doing shit, and others are there purely as figureheads. If any meaningful change is to be made to this new iteration of TF, sorting out the executive team should be top priority.
 
I'll focus on the following points, I may add or clarify something as the discussion goes on.
My ideas are more like what I've observed or I'd do if I happened to be in a position of management, I don't expect my vision to be the only valid one.
a big issue within the executive team is communication
Communication is key in any team. You don't go anywhere without effective communication, you only end up with a bunch of tired and grumpy people who potentially wasted a lot of time.

Effective communication leads to shared goals. Shared goals lead to shared strategies. And so on. At some point you'll have to put clear and structured policies for how to run things.
This place lacks clear policies on some fundamental things, like how the executive board works and run the necessary things. This is something I've briefly discussed with Video in admin chat yesterday.
Also having regular meetings with a set agenda each time greatly improves coordination. It doesn't have to be, like, weekly or something. If there are things that need attention (and we have a bunch right now), make an agenda, and when its content is agreed on schedule a meeting and put down what comes out of it.

All this leads to the next points:

the server doesn't seem to have a general direction
While I'm pretty sure about the purpose of the server (mostly a freebuild sandbox server with creative mode and free plugins) I agree it isn't clear if there are planned goals or milestones, be them target stats like average playercount, new features and so on.

If the executives can't agree on what to prioritise they should feel free to inquiry the community and/or some skilled third parties for ideas or advice.

in the end of the day it's a particular person's job to do that thing
This executive board was born to have balanced powers and different people contributing with their own POV. This could work if, instead of the current "soup", things go like:
  • all members have equal powers and privileges for balance and in case someone needs to intervene in place of another
  • the board defines specific roles with specific purposes (like old TF had)
  • one or more roles are assigned to each executive, depending on how many
  • each executive is responsible for their assigned role(s)
  • there's a clear policy about what types of decisions must be discussed and agreed by the team as a whole, be it with an unanimous decision or a majority vote. Like for things that affect the community as a whole, aren't in a specific scope or involve serious stuff (e.g. unappealable permanent bans).
 
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can i also ask why alco was able to unfairly unappealable ban someone and build a literal dick on lyicx right at spawn & nothing happened as a consequence?

alco has said absolutely nothing about this nor has he even openly acknowledged what happened

@Alco_Rs11
 
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can i also ask why alco was able to unfairly unappealable ban someone and build a literal dick on lyicx right at spawn & nothing happened as a consequence?

alco has said absolutely nothing about this nor has he even openly acknowledged what happened

@Alco_Rs11
The penis was intended to be a joke directed at @videogamesm12 and was to be removed immediately but I left and forgot it was there and completely forgot about its existence, thus it was left for an extended period when I should have removed it immediately after I was done. I told video about the penis and how it was left and he removed it.

The unfair unappealable ban issue stemmed from poor decision-making while involved in a mob of angry players on discord, lack of communication with other executives and a lack of regulation on unappealable bans was addressed with the creation of a policy regulating them and requiring additional executive input in the decision-making process as none existed at the time of the incident and in theory, they could be handed out without much thought.

In general, the issues were noted in your letter and worked to be addressed by me and the other executives as well.
 
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The unfair unappealable ban issue stemmed from a lack of communication with other executives and a lack of regulation on unappealable bans was addressed with the creation of a policy regulating them and requiring additional executive input in the decision-making process as none existed at the time of the incident and in theory, they could be handed out without much thought.
personal accountability?