“I like the cover,” he said. “Don't Panic. It's the first helpful or intelligible thing anybody's said to me all day.”
This announcement is intended to illuminate a few ongoing administration affairs that have not been public, but which have been bleeding into the public perception. Essentially, a "state of affairs" or informational announcement made in the interest of transparency. Now, saying that kind of thing always makes people think we're about to go under—which we are not—but if you want people to read you need to catch their attention first. So, before I explain, I will admit to the smallest amount of audience manipulation.
Item 1: Some of you who have made tickets relating to Lore or Events Departments may have experienced a non-staff individual replying, authoritatively, to your inquiry. In an effort to alleviate heavy work load, and try to keep turnaround time on inquiries to a minimum, some of our departments have increased the amount of players assisting with official business. Players assisting staff with official business is not new of course, Arcane Magic lore is a project that was for the longest time managed very heavily by player authors. However, these players have never before had any level of extra forum or in-game permissions—they have always been vanilla players to the fullest extent. This is in the process of changing. Currently, players identified by the banner "Hired Guns" have job-specific forum permissions; permissions to edit threads in certain nodes, and view/respond to tickets assigned to certain departments. They currently do not have any in-game permissions, save for select members of the Lore Dept.'s player Committee section.
E.g.—a Hired Gun working in Lore Dept. can edit threads in the lore node and view lore-related tickets.
The future of this role, and how it will be integrated into our volunteer force, is uncertain. The name is a placeholder and not likely to stay. We may scale it up, or scale it back. We may try to integrate it into existing teams, or integrate existing teams into it. It may evolve into a role which can stand on its own. We're not sure yet, but while we work on it—and it is being worked on—we wanted to tie the community in and keep you all in the loop. As things progress with this initiative, we will keep the community posted.
Item 2: New department/focus group: "Player Retention" Department, AKA "PR." The name is fairly literal, as the department will be focusing on aspects most important to retaining players, both new and old but with a focus on our newer players. This most prominently means that major projects like Spawn Management are under this new department's purview, but it also means that whitelisting efforts (currently managed by the Mentors) are also taken into its purview. Media Dept. and general forum upkeep/node manipulation projects are also absorbed by PR.
The future form and final function of this new department is still being worked on, and it is likely to change. We do know it is here to stay, and we know that Spawn and Whitelisting are permanent fixtures to its purview—we also know that Media Dept. is being dissolved and its responsibilities rolled into PR in one way or another. What we also know (and I think she's going to do a great job) that the esteemed Solus will be managing this department in its infancy, helping us to get it into a stable and operable form.
***See? Nothing to panic over. This stuff is all pretty low impact right now in terms of how shocking or exciting it is, but we do believe that these changes mark a positive trajectory for our community to be taking. As more comes—and rest assured that this is not the last WIP update or notification you will read—we hope that the community will follow along and tell us what they're thinking. Don't be afraid to ask questions, but be aware that we may not have answers to give you right away.