Jabr's Thoughts on Community, Time, and the Evening of an Empire

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by JabrZer0, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Let me first say that this is thread is not the place to attack any person, to be overly negative, or to say "The Empire is awful! I hate it!" No, it is rather a request from one of the oldest and most experienced members of this community, who has had a hand in shaping Empire Minecraft from almost the very beginning:

    I'm disappointed. I have seen the Empire at the height of its glory, growing steadily, and with good reason. I've seen it, too, as it has stagnated, as it has become more and more disconnected from the players and less and less welcoming to new players. I remember times where there was usually a moderator on most servers - not just afking, but actively playing with everyone. I remember when a few players and a few moderators banded together to build a hidden city, and made it great by working together on it consistently. I remember when the admin actually played alongside players, sometimes as equals, and sometimes giving the average player a taste of the admin life, spreading tnt, bedrock, and other things.

    This is not a nostalgia post though. That would be pointless. Rather, here is my request: Bring back community. I made a post a few weeks ago, at the height of a conflict that involved many members of the Empire, that detailed some of what I thought we could do as members of the community to bring back the best of what we used to have. I thought about including a message to the staff as well, but ended up not doing so because I thought it could be viewed as inflammatory and cause the rest of my post to be ignored.

    Now though, I've had enough. The community has changed beyond recognition. It's time for a change. Not another add-on coded expertly by Aikar, or another rule, or another addition of any sort. No, rather, I call on all moderators to become leaders once again. I'd like to see groups of players that include moderators out on adventures more often. I'd like to see moderators online constantly rather than just kicking and banning through online tools. You've become disconnected from the community you are a part of. I'd like to see the admin take some responsibility for educating new players not just on what the Empire has to offer, but on how to be a good member of the Empire community. The old tutorial for example, for all its faults, weeded out the players who were not here to be part of a community. I'm not saying we should bring it back, just that when we changed to the new one we lost a very important gate protecting the community. It is things like this that really change how a community operates.

    So, a final word: Staff, moderators, senior staff, admins, I ask you for help. I have been a part of the Empire for almost 3 years, in my time being supported by Justin to run the Empire MineCast, starting one of the first contests in the Empire, and taking part in many of the early changes that made the Empire into what it was at its height. I would like to see it rise again, ever higher. Staff: Take the lead. Be the example. Be visible, be hands-on, be present, be a PART of the community you moderate and build. Please.

    If you disagree with me, please say so. I want to hear your opinion, and the community needs it as well. But be reasoned, think, and write clearly what you have to say. Like I said, this is not the place to attack anyone, but rather to fix what is broken and to heal what is no longer a healthy community.

    The sun is setting on the Empire. I'd like to see it rise again.

    tl;dr Read it.

  2. I think we can all admit that a few months ago player counts on servers were way down, some servers were bearly breaking 10-15 players. With Aikar's promotional campaigns on voting sites, reddit, and other internet domains we have seen great numbers as of late, the other day we had over 260 players online which was amazing to see.

    On EMC most people tend to AFK at certain times, maybe they have to run out and didn't want to turn off their computer or maybe they just are at some afk farm. Moderators/staff seem to be noticed way more than the regular players because they are always in demand. You can't really blame the staff for being afk, because most of the time they are very active taking part in chats in town or will drop whatever they are doing to help you.

    Staff take part in the community all the time. Now maybe they don't go out with a bunch of players to make wild bases but they are willing to have some fun with you once in a while. bloodra1n, Rainbowchin, ninjaboy5656, krysyyjane9191, b4dman5imon(when he isn't off somewhere :p) are all great examples of a few staff that get very involved with the community to hold events and are active with fellow members.

    A lot of the times when Aikar isn't swamped with working on code and other EMC things he is on the server welcoming new players and helping them, so I don't really think this is a problem.

    My final few words would be that if you log onto a dedicated server and welcome new players, thanks to you. I try to welcome new players whenever they join the server I am on wether I am fully engaged in a project or just hopping around town spawn. Now maybe I don't have any place saying these things but this is just my experience with the problems you've stated.

    Jabr- I am in no way attacking you in anyway, I consider you a friend of mine and sad that I haven't seen you online much of late. :(
    JabrZer0, Olaf_C, QuarterStop and 3 others like this.
  3. As someone who is a (almost) three year player on EMC, I agree with this, but my gripes are more with the current state of the Wild, as that is where I spend most of my time.
    pat2011 likes this.
  4. First of all, I'd like to make a simple preface clear: I wouldn't call anyone's opinions, thoughts or voice "wrong" on this thread, and my own will merely be my own personal opinion, not of the Staff's body. I don't believe that in a thread about the community, to improve the community and grow the community, anyone's own opinion can be simply viewed as wrong because it's not, it exists, and unless the basis of an argument is under profound negative information, a thought can't be "wrong" but instead disagreed with.

    A community is a body - a group of persons interacting around a common trait or entity to be specific - of people. This makes us, the player's, the community. What I mean to say is that you cannot tell individual players or staff to "Bring back community." A community is a body, and therefore it is up to all players, not the "leaders' (staff) to bring back a community that you believe has dispersed.

    I've been a part of this community since December 2011. I've seen changes and history that new player's wouldn't even fathom and I like to think that I've been part of the Empire for that entire time and one thing I've noticed is that you do not need to be a staff member to engage a community.

    It's up to everyone to be a community, and responding to a feature of your post; it's all good and well to have staff organise it, but a large proportion of the reason behind it not happening is a lack of interest.

    If you want something, trigger it. If you want to see something, create it. If you want change, be it. In doing so, others will too.

    Ask your peers, your friends, anyone you know and play with and staff. Everyonecan be the example for everyone else. It is not limited to staff, which links to my next point.

    Staff can't always be active in-game. Just this week I've spent devoting myself to something for the Empire. My friends and myself moderate the game and the site, which may sometimes leave a gap on the server's ranking level of activity. But what if I told you that you don't need to be a staff member to lead a group of people into the wild? Or have a discussion about the Empire?

    I call on you, reading this, to welcome those new players when your server is the default; Respond to questions; Be friendly; Be engaged. Keep it up and the Empire's community will continue to grow.
  5. Went straight for the tl;dr. Was disappointed.
    PandasEatRamen likes this.
  6. Tl;dr : YOU need to be the change
    JabrZer0 likes this.
  7. Does anybody remember Empire Minecraft's first birthday?
    Empire Minecraft Birthday.png
  8. YES YES YES a million times yes. I think that this is an INCREDIBLY popular opinion, but not too many people like speaking out about it. I remember joining at a low point in the EMC player-count. Even then, I noticed a stronger community. Now I see a domino effect of players leaving and a crumbling community. Something has to be done. I know Aikar has to still get new players and make updates, but he is not focusing on what made EMC so big in the past, the community.

    I feel like a few things have been hurting the community lately. One is new players. New players help the empire and help give a little back to the community, but they hurt more than help. Right now too many players come in at one time. When aikar spends a lot of money advertising, we are FLOODED with new players. I am probably harsh on noobs (http://empireminecraft.com/threads/mr-nice-now-has-his-rant.35654/), but having a ton of noobs come on at once is living hell for many players. Spamming with questions, rule breaking, it is terrible. I see so much caps in town chat lately, spam, and I can honestly say I am reporting constantly. I think we still need to handle noobs better. I know aikar has some sort of new help system coming, but they do not meet up to par.

    I also think the staff should re-think events. Events like bigdavie's pyramid thing, IcC's creature capture, and Aikar's drop parties. People love these things, because they are original. Mob arenas are fun, but they occasionally get boring. I support them and I love them, but we need more events than just mob arena.

    I think the community is rotting away, and we need to find some way to rebuild. I hate seeing people go, and I am afraid I will once again try to leave, this time without failing.
    PandasEatRamen likes this.
  9. While this is true, I feel like they're playing much less as equals and more as managers. Also, sorry I haven't been online as much, I'm working a 6am-9pm job this summer :p

    Well said! This is what community is about. Everyone pitching in, and the moderators setting a good example.

    yes. fondly :)

    I just want to say, I'm very happy with the responses this is getting. Everyone has had valid points, and we've all managed to have a reasonable discussion about it so far. Please let's keep it that way :)
    samsimx and Olaf_C like this.
  10. As odd as it seems, I remember some of the best times were when you just got acquainted with you neighbor, I think that /v open should try to place you next to an active player. The community back then was just so *sniffle* good.
    JabrZer0 likes this.
  11. Lol yeh, that's me in the front with my old Startrek skin :p
  12. *clears throat* Clearly you haven't seen the Empire Games....
  13. Personally, my old account was on smp8, I had a nice res there with a mini shop. I CONSTANTLY went with friends to the wild to gather materials and usually got my own diamonds. But the only person I can still remember that I talked with back then is seffychan. But, when I got perm banned, it took me over half a YEAR to get back on EMC, the server that I loved, the server that I played on the most, because I barely knew any other ones. But then getting Appealed brought me to forums, and then I learned more commands, and I began voting. I learned to do things by jumping through servers, but THATS one if the problems; everything is spread out over 10 servers. This is why I think we need ways of getting more players together again, and MORE players who will stay as well. I welcomed a new player with 3 other players and after I gave him 50 r he just left. We need a stronger community, a better server, a better NETWORK, but in order to do that we have to keep trying, but I don't think its up to the staff to be leaders, why not let them just deal with the bad people and in their spare time, help new players and set an example. One of the qualities of EMC is its community, if someone joins and only 2 people say "WELCOME" out of 25 people onlin they will think that this server lacks what it says. +1 to this post, and staff, try not to take extra pressure from this thread.