Not enough information about reporting to Staff on the Forums

Discussion in 'Empire Help & Support' started by KatydidBuild, May 14, 2019.

  1. Recently, I tried to contact staff about an issue late at night (EMC time)
    There was no staff on, according to the "/staff" command, so I followed the instructions given (or so I thought).

    Clearly, from the reaction that I got from my post, this was made public and I didn't understand that. There are no clear instructions for how to contact staff - using just the forums.

    Could this be made a subject or bold print somewhere? The forums are massive and there is bound to be more players than just myself confused on how to do this. There has been a change in staff members recently and so I have looked again and I still don't see a link or a "contact staff" button. Clearly, I am missing something that is obvious to those who have been on here for quite a while.

  2. For messaging all Senior Staff+, you can use the link
    For messaging all Developers, you can use
    The Community Manager can be reached with
    An overview of all staff members, including Moderators that do not have a fancy link I guess, refer to
    But I agree, just linking the forums isn't much information.
    The button to start the conversations I linked can be found on the staff member's profile page :)
  3. Interesting.
    I couldn't find any of those links anywhere. And I asked around in-game for help.
    Do they want us to report griefing to all senior staff? Because there isn't a list for mods that you mentioned.

    Players have no way on knowing who is on duty overnight to report problems to. So starting a conversation with each one is pointless. We need to be told who to report to.
    607 and TomvanWijnen like this.
  4. Your best option is to use /report. Even if there is no staff in game or on the forums, they might be on square and they could pop in game or find someone to pop on.
  5. We prefer not to have all staff contacted in one big conversation. It leads to unnecessary spam of staff accounts with each and every reply that occurs. It happens enough in SS conversations over road edits, but is necessary in those cases.

    For issues with another player in-game, /report is still the appropriate way to contact staff. We have a system in place that messages our slack channel with details, even if we don't appear to be online.

    For griefing issues, you can look to the right side of the forums front page and see all staff who are currently logged into the forums, you can then choose to message one of them for help. Griefing issues are generally reported and investigated over a larger amount of time than being instantaneous, due to the nature of needing to search logs, etc. Therefore, we like to keep these to forum conversations.
  6. 1) I'm not sure if it's just me, but the /report command "doesn't seem to be effective" (note: speaking from what it seems like, NOT from experience). It doesn't feel right to just send your report off into the nowhere, to no one, with no expected reply back. What happens to my report? When will it get solved? Will it get solved? Who will help me and who can I ask stuff to, mention extra information, and thank in the end? It's like throwing your "complaint" into a void served by unpredictable ghosts.

    This is not a complaint at all, don't worry. It is just how (using) the /report command feels to me.

    2) Sadly, and sadly understandably, there are not always staff online, so there won't always be someone to click on. Also, it feels (to me) like running after the facts, when when a staff member is there, it shows that they were last online 12 minutes ago... "ugh, they're gone already, it'll take a while until they're back online again, probably" (and your personal "last seen time" isn't even there, so we have no clue when you are/were online :p).

    Again, this is how this feels to me.

    When I need a staff member for something, which one should I message if there is no one online? What if I accidentally message one of the inactive staff and therefore never get a reply back?

    X) It is indeed also true, in my opinion, that the links/pages Lukas linked aren't very easy to find, especially for people who don't use the forum a whole lot, but also for those who do (I only know that the top three links can be found ON specific staff member pages, no clue where to otherwise find them). Also, you usually need regular moderators instead of "higher ups", who to contact then, and where?


    Now, again, all of this isn't a complaint. It is so long because I for some reason felt like typing all of this from my phone (whoops) - good practice for my three English exams in the coming three days. :p I hope it shows some insight from the player side of things, that can perhaps help improve how we get in contact with staff. :) Thanks for reading.
  7. Man that is a much shorter list than I remember

    While staff aren't allowed to AFK in game, I don't think that is a rule on the forums? I have messaged several staff before that were "online" on the forums and haven't received a response... even weeks later.
    Ariesis and KatydidBuild like this.
  8. For clarification:
    1) Reporting another player is what this is used for. Therefore, you are not expecting to be contacted generally. It's most often when someone curses/acts up that a player uses /report to alert the mods someone is breaking the rules. It's not meant to open a dialogue between reporter and the staff, unless the particular situation calls for it.

    2) How immediate is assistance being needed? Griefing situations are not generally an immediate response situation. Logs have to be looked through, coords investigated, etc. I'd need more info as to what types of situations need immediate (less than 10 mins) attention before I can look into what type of system solution could pacify the player in the situation.
    KatydidBuild and Gawadrolt like this.
  9. Yes, quality over quantity, always. We've both unfortunately and fortunately had quite a few staff members hit milestones in their real lives that interfere with their ability to be dedicated staff. While we are extremely happy for the growing families, college/job acceptances/promotions, etc it does mean that we are currently suffering a lack of staff. We recently added both jaqque and deadmon5 to the team, as well as welcomed back fBuilderS. Hoping to get a few more here after some good interviews :)

    If a staff member doesn't respond after a reasonable amount of time, please bump the convo and/or add me. Messages are missed in our not so ideal situation on the forums and we do our best to answer the many messages we get daily. Weeks seems excessive compared to my known interactions with the forums.
  10. My problem is that /report does not work when blocks are taken .... players can't tell who took them - they are gone - there is nothing to see. AND since there is no staff listed as being online or in the forums, then they cannot be contacted at that time.
    If repairs need to be made, then we have to wait until someone is on, so they can survey the damage.

    /report won't work if you don't know a player's name
  11. Report yourself, write the issue in the report and that you want staff to PM you
    khixan and fBuilderS like this.
  12. You cannot report yourself. I have tried to to flag staff but the message " you cannot report yourself silly" comes up
  13. /report is not intended for griefing reports due to need for more detailed information in an open communication. This is why you message staff on the forums with details if none are online at the time.

    You cannot report yourself. This is intended behavior.

    Correct. The /report system is not used for contacting staff for something like greifing, or to ask a question. /report is intended to REPORT another player for acting up. Use /staff to find available online, but if none are on for whatever reason, then use the forums and message. There are very limited circumstances in which immediate assistance is required so a minor delay in response shouldn't be a problem.
  14. And full circle back to not being able to find out HOW to contact staff on the forums.
    There is no "contact staff" button.
    How do players decide which staff to contact about whatever type of issue??
  15. I believe the issue is more that this information about how to report griefing is not provided in-game, rather than that the report command isn't used in instances of griefing.

    I agree- there are no contact buttons on the website that I would know where to find. It would be nice to see a large "contact staff" button on the home page that leads to those links and an explanation of what the appropriate person to contact is for your issue.

    In addition, could /staff provide a link to the page the "contact staff" button leads to? That way we create some access to where those contact options are. It is rather misleading that the in-game messages direct you the forums as an entirety, and yet we expect that no privately handled matters are posted publicly, especially in sections titled "Empire Help and Support". I can see how Katy was led there.
  16. I believe that all staff have the same basic procedures taught to them during the training process, so they can all handle the same situations the exact same way. Starting a Private Conversation with any staff should help, so long as they have been recently active :) ;)
  17. Not saying there isn't plenty of other things going on that take the lead, but why not have some sort of system that DOES meet some of these requests? The report system is there, so why not alter to it to allow a more open dialogue? Or a trouble ticket system that gives a sense of being heard and that something is being worked on?

    Honestly it wouldn't even need to be something that had to be custom made. There are loads of ticketing options that could just be made a link to report to, or an email to reach out to. At least giving some sense of continuing correspondence and continuity.

    Forum PMs are HARDLY a good way to manage your issues, when there are systems out there that are designed to do this, and do it much better. In an ideal world, this could be tied to in game (checking the status of a ticket/report or alerts in game if it has been assigned), but thats just whistles to what is being asked for. I think relying on your staff (and yourself) to use Forum PMs for handling these type of non-social interactions is poor management and will lead to more loss of time/energy than any help it gives.

    The largest issue that I see here is a player saying that the system isn't working, and the same post over and over saying how its being used wrong and to use this less good way to get what you want done. If I were in Katy's shoes here, I would feel a little unheard. People put hard work into things and feel a hit in chest to have it destroyed by someone else. Just stand up some kind of ticketing system (spiceworks or something else free and easy) and just point users to '' or something similar. I think you would be surprised how much you could squeeze out of your limited staff if given the proper tools to manage these issues SEPARATE from the Social nature of the forums.

    I feel that a valid complaint and observation was made, and all the staff related replies simply failed to acknowledge that this wasn't a 'I don't know how to use the system' but a very direct description of the current system not working. She clearly states that she did all of the things staff suggested in this thread, and still felt lost, unheard and disappointed.

    Im just saying, not a lot of acknowledgement and owning of the fact that there are flaws in the way this is expected to be handled. At a certain point, there should be clear movements to get more 'quality' out of that small 'quantity' if that is the stance you are going to continue to hold.
  18. I do like the idea of a ticket system or something along those lines. I've never really had much reason to contact staff myself, but from reading responses from every party in this thread it's clear to me that the moderating system could be improved. It seems to me like the current system is fairly depersonalized and doesn't account for every situation. Even if it's not an immediate response, a dialogue between staff and players is the best way to resolve a griefing incident, and a ticket system could potentially streamline that process

    Also holy crap it's iSmooch
  19. @krysyy Why can't we have a forum page where we submit a contact and staff can use their square panel to reply/answer. This would allow an available staff member to "claim" the message/contact and correspondence could continue. Creates less spam for staffers and still accomplishes things as necessary.
  20. I admit to feeling a little frustrated with this post, overall.
    And I am feeling very "heard" by some other players in the community right now. :) Thank you.

    I know how to contact staff when they are in-game or listed as "online" in the forums. But if I am playing at hours when there is no staff listed online - I don't understand how I am supposed to infer which of the staff to contact for problems that don't fall under the /report uses. And given the world-wide player base that EMC has, this is an issue that I have seen quite a number of times in the overnight hours.

    The issue being reported might not need to be attended to immediately, but if this is the time of day that I play on, then there is never going to be anyone for me to talk to in-game. So, I can't report my issue, if I am not on at the right times of day?? that just won't work.

    Suppose I pick a staffer at random to pm - I have no way of knowing that they are off on vacation and won't be back for 2 weeks. Or if I send the message to every staff listed, then I have gummed up the works, by sending it to the 'wrong' staffers and it gets ignored.

    I think this is a communication issue that is 'broken' and needs fixed.
    I look forward to hearing if there is anyway for a ticket system to be implemented - as that sounds FABULOUS !!