The WarAt the time of writing, 2005-06-11, Anphillia is at war. It's a war of 4 sides:
- The side of the hosts, that's me, Tino, and Sherian
- The side of the DMs who resigned, that's mainly old long term DMs of Anphillia.
- The side of all the other DMs who struggle to keep the server from falling apart.
- And the side of the player, who demand information about what for the hell is going on.
What changed in the hosting agreement
- Decisions of the Hosts are final in all cases and have to be implemented/enforced by the DM team. A reasoning for them has not to be provided
- All DMs are required to abide by the hosting terms and Host decisions at all times. It is the duty of the DMs to enforce themselves in this regard
- Players are innocent until proven guilty. Any punishment - regardless in any form - passed by the DMs has to be proven by the DM(s) in question
1. Host decisions are finalBefore we had following:
H-1) The service has to abide by German and if applicable European Union laws and regulations at all times
H-2) Rulings made by the host are to be implemented quickly and abided after that. There does not have to be a explanation for them. This applies mainly to law and regulations implementations. Failure to do so may result in an immediate shutdown of the service until the problem has been solved
H-7) The Host will only interfere in running the server if the community as a whole is endangerred or any terms of service are not met. If the host choses to interfere the decision is final - regardless of the cause of the interferenceThis only repeats things which were there before! It only sounds more spectacular, but it isn't. In effect, I always was at charge. I can reach out and say: This is my service and you do that, else I have to pull the plug. I was allowed to say "I do not like you, get lost". And I always was able to do things, like completely rewrite the module and upload it without asking somebody else. I never did. Not because the hosting agreement held me back. I never did because I did not want to do it. However I needed this clarification, such that other people understand that they must obey in case I decide anything. As the consequence of not obeying is that I must shutdown the service. Sorry, that's a destructive behavior, but I am required to do so, according to the law. This change was cucial, as before, I always was questioned and challenged about german law. I did not have the time to answer this all. It always looked, as if I do halfhearted things, instead this all were major problems, which I could not escape to fix. Problems I did not want to fix at all.
2. It is the duty of the DMs to enforce themselves in this regardThat's only a clarification. No change at all. Of course the DMs must abide the hosting regulation. We only clarified this, again, because it was our impression that they can do better.
3. Players are innocent until proven guilty.This is a requirement by German law. This already was in effect before, from the previous hosting agreement. Nobody can be punished without evidence. And this was in place before, too.
The postingPlease see in the appendix for the posting we did to the DMs. Was this posting clever? It looks like it was not. Was this posting semantically correct? No, there were errors in it. Was this posting covered by the current hosting terms? You bet! Here is the main part which was implemented:
The hosts will name a Liason DM, who will be the only DM that the hosts communicate decisions through. It will be the responsibility of the Liason DM to see to proper decision making within acceptable time frames and gets a full backing by the hosts. The Liason DM can chose freely to not accept the position or resign at any time of course. The Liason DM is like the press relations officer of the Hosts, so treat this position accordingly. It is safe to asume that at times the Liason DM will have to enforce unfavourable decisions because it is the responsibility of the Liason DM to do so.We did not even name a new DM, we named an existing DM. So we gave this DM more power than she had before.
To be able to do her/his duty, the Liason DM will have the following powers inside the DM team:We gave up some power to the Liason DM like the power of vetoing decisions, setting deadlines, breaking ties. Well, this sounds new. But actually this isn't. We already were in charge. The only thing which hindered us to do so as the Liason DM was, that we were not interfering with DMs. Still, we are not interfering with DMs. The Liason DM is a DM. Only one, with special power. The power to speak as host! Actually the DMs who left did not understand what this means. As the Liason DM can act as host, the DMs get the power of the host. So if they convince the Liason DM of something, they get our backing. This is one more chance to do something, as we might not understand it and veto. However if the Liason DM already decided for them, we will not need to decide against them. There is a common trick to get rid of responsibility: You shift it elsewhere. I am responsible for the server according to German law. Now I give away this responsibility to somebody I trust. In case something goes wrong I can point to the other person and tell, that I trusted everything would be handled correctly. This does not always help, but quite often it is the difference of "you have to pay for it" and "this time you are proven not guilty, but ensure it never happens again". The second trick is, that by the law I am only required to do something, if I must know something is wrong. If I have somebody who does not inform me, I simply do not know, so I am not forced to do something. However if nobody like this person is there, the law says, that I must make sure that I would know in case, so even if I don't know, I am treated as if I knew, simply because nobody else was there. We already told likewise to the DM team some weeks before. However I fear, they did not understand. And how would I be able to tell everything? Write a post of 200 MB or so? Certainly impossible. Therefor we added follwowing paragraph:
- The Liason DM has the full support of the host and speaks in our name. Any disagreement will be settled between us and the Liason in private
- When in doubt, the Liason speaks for the Hosts. Any question sent about it to the Hosts by anyone other then the Liason will get a "we support the Liason" answer. If we won't, we will settle this with the Liason in private
- The Liason DM can set a deadline for votes. This deadline is binding. It should be sufficient for the task at hand
- The Liason DMs vote wins a tie on any poll
- The Liason DM can veto any decision of the DM team. A veto has to be justified to the hosts alone, optimally in advance to vetoing a decision. It may be shared with the remaining DMs if desired. Note that this does not mean that the Liason DM can force a new ruling
- The Liason DM is able to enforce host rulings in any way he/she sees fit. She/he has full host support in this regard
- Any grief about the Liason DM will have to be brought to host attention via a PM. Griefing, flaming or otherwise attacking the Liason DM for any duty related reason openly is not acceptable. Criticising and discussing with the Liason is completely acceptable. Any grief brought to the attention of the Hosts regarding the Liason DM will be confidential.
Final words: The content of this post is to be held secret outside DM team for one week at minimum. This includes tells to players or any other forms of communication. This time should be enough for every DM team to rethink the changes calmly and come to terms with this change, and maybe even test it out a bit. It is a decision of the DM team to make any of the above changes publicly known after one week or not.The idea behind this was twofold:
- I did not have the time this week to handle it, as I have a short weekend.
- We wanted people to discuss this internally and this way answer open questions.