Staff:Codex

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This codex exists for the sake of both the player base and the staff. Everything within helps to ensure that the players will find MassiveCraft's staff to be populated with honest, competent, and helpful individuals who work together to run a professional and fun server. As staff, and as players ourselves, we agree to adhere to these rules and guidelines for the betterment of the server.

Staff Expectations

The sections that follow offer not only a set of rules to follow; they present a set of positive goals. Other staff will make every effort to work with you to help improve conduct and performance. It is important for readers of this document, both players and staff, to recognize and realize that no individual is perfect, and that this Codex cannot be followed 100% to the letter at all times. Individuals within the MassiveCraft organization are Human and are allowed to make mistakes, and more importantly, the Codex is a positive goal to strive for, not an absolute book of law to maintain. As long as Staff members strive to improve their conduct as set out by the Codex, then Massive can be a learning experience, and we should always aim to moderate and improve and reform, as opposed to exclude and punish, where feasibly possible. Always ask a member of Direction Staff if you are concerned that you are not meeting the high standards expected of a MassiveCraft staff member.

Rule One: Staff Respect vs. Player Privilege

Staff Respect in Massive is not something that is demanded, but earned. In MassiveCraft we do not believe that players should be forced to respect a staff member by default, and that if that respect is finally earned, it will be far more rewarding than any respect automatically granted by authority. That being said, Players are expected to acknowledge the energy and time that is dedicated by a staff member on the server, especially when this is backed up by the Activity log. It is additionally important that while Respect is not demanded of players, Disrespect is absolutely not tolerated.

The very basest form of acknowledging a Staff member’s dedication is to at the very least not disrespect them either to their face, or behind their backs. If such a case were to occur, the Staff member in question which was disrespected is allowed to suspend the work and privilege they have afforded the player in question. This does not mean the staff member may intentionally sabotage the player, but more-so means that the Staff member may choose not to work for the player’s entertainment if they can avoid it. Staff members should never be forced to work for players who utterly disregard them as human beings, or disregard their hard work as worthless, just because Staff members are restrained by a harsher moral code than players ever will be.

Other staff are encouraged to help staff who are suffering the aggression of players to allow them to avoid servicing these individuals by taking over their tasks, but they are also permitted to, out of principle, deny service to the player on grounds of their harassment, bullying, or trolling, if they feel it would conflict with their own moral code to continue service to such a player. In any and all cases, the player must still be protected from abuse by third parties, glitches, bugs and other such related problems with MassiveCraft’s services. They may however be denied ticket support or participation in staff-organized projects which are not part of the standard experience of Vanilla MassiveCraft when those projects are solely hinging on the work of the Staff member in question.

  • Staff members are allowed to ignore players who make their work harder.
  • Staff members are allowed to refuse to answer a ticket or question from a player who makes their work harder.
  • Staff members are allowed to exclude individuals from Special Projects for example Crisis of Kings, The Noble System or The Crime System for harassing the managers.
  • Many services afforded by the Server are not rights, but privileges. Privileges are lost when players go out of their way to be harmful to the people providing these privileges

Rule Two: Voice Communication and Centralization

Being able to use Voice Chat is essential, in fact it is a requirement to even be allowed to apply for Staff. Voice Chat offers great advantages in a team based environment, including but not limited to actually making discussions far less aggressive and in your face, because you get instant vocal feedback, and also making it easier to personify a Staff member and put a voice to the name, thus humanize your team members. Voice Communication is so crucial, that it is required for every Staff member to participate in a Staff Meeting at least once per calendar month, unless special circumstances or specific permission due to time zones or working hours is given.

Furthermore, we maintain a Skype and Discord system. We are currently still in the process of transitioning from Skype to Discord, especially with impending Skype updates making the program less suitable for large group cohesion. Skype is currently still used to provide the most important alerts, while most departments have started moving over to Discord instead. It is as such crucial that any staff member have access to both, and log onto both at least once every 2 days unless circumstances make this difficult or impossible. Failing to take note of notifications issued to all staff through these mediums are no excuse to failing to comply, or making mistakes out of ignorance.

Staff is also afforded several social Discords where communication between Staff members is strongly encouraged. Even if a Staff member is not in the same department as another, they are still encouraged to communicate with one another to avoid silo-forming in our organization, and to encourage cross-department communication which is essential to providing better implemented services to all players. For example, Lore benefits from having the backup of Game staff during event hosting so they can focus on the actual lore, while Quest benefits from World staff members building their quest locations to the highest quality possible for the best experience possible.

  • Staff members must be in possession of a microphone and be at least 16 years old. No other verification of age is required beyond a provision of a birthday.
  • Staff members must be able to communicate over voice on a moment’s notice, unless special circumstances get in the way of this.
  • Voice Chat is always superior to written chat. If a dispute becomes heated or cannot be expressed properly in text chat, Staff members should request each other on Voice Chat so the outcome may be more positive.

Rule Three: Player Communication and Interaction

Staff are not permitted to communicate any negative feelings towards the work of another staff member either privately or publicly, when this is framed with the intention of either gathering local popularity, or to just criticize without constructive support. For example, a staff member is allowed to say “I think Factions is a feature that works for a lot of people, but I don’t personally like it and I won’t play it”. Here, the staff member is respecting the feature, avoiding a label that could be carried on by other players, and still stating their personal opinion so they have freedom of speech. A staff member is not allowed to say: “I think Cayorion did a bad job making Factions, and the feature just sucks”. This sort of response offers no positive outcome, and will simply be carried by players to prove dissent and strife among staff, which is harmful to future cooperation and team spirit.

Even if players have the capacity to express their feelings about staff work or other projects in such an orderly and positive manner externally, it is heavily recommended not to do so. Instead, even if a staff member feels their opinion won’t sway the current standard, they are allowed to and encouraged to express their dissent internally, as long as this is done both with a productive outcome in mind, as well as a constructive dialogue. It is recommended that Staff members, should there be no real positive outcome come from drawing any form of criticism or disagreeing stance on the work of another Staff member, not to speak at all.

Furthermore, when Staff member witness something similar occuring in the direction of Staff members, the individual who in question is not present, they are required to encourage a positive dialogue. Players are certainly allowed to express their feelings about staff projects, but Staff should be aware to ensure this does not take a toxic charge. When a player is criticism a Staff member’s work, take note of their method of conveyance. If they say “I don’t like this project, it makes me feel anxious and that sucks”, this is fine. If however they say “I don’t like this project, XYZ is just a shitty staff member”, or if the ridicule against a staff member becomes purely cyber-bullying in nature (for example attacking a staff member based on appearance, workload, sexuality, gender, or other such), then Staff members are expected to defend the honor of the Staff member in question and in the very least request that the players cease their degradation of the reputation of the Staff member. Further action can be taken to correct their views by arguing against their misconceptions, or to report the occurrence to Direction, though neither of these are legally required within Staff.

  • You should do whatever you can to ensure Massive’s 50+ Staff members represent a united front, and not an internally divided group of people with their own ambitions and plans, even if this would be a reflection of reality.
  • Staff should sacrifice what liberties in full freedom of speech they have in public, and console themselves with the fact that they have endless access from the bottom to the top to argue their points with Staff, and to affect how the server is managed beyond what any normal player could.
  • A Staff member should never be in the situation where they hear that a Discord or Faction talked badly about them in your presence, and you just let it happen while sitting there silently. This is very hurtful.

Rule Four: Staff Localization & Grouping

It is very important that Staff members remain consistent with their approachability and reachability for the playerbase. Staff members are usually initially recruited because they are players with a high profile among the player base, or a strong active voice therein. This presence in the community helps them to understand the needs, wants, ambitions, dislikes and likes of the players and the playerbase. It is as such crucial that the Staff member in question retains these links with the players, and that they continue to understand what is good for the community at large, as opposed to individual small sub-groups of the community. If Staff members should slowly sink away into small private cliques, this is not inherently against the Staff Codex, because we won’t force Staff to hang out with people they don’t want to hang out with, but we do require them to respect the fact that if they isolate themselves, they also isolate their capacity to know what is right for MassiveCraft. And when that isolation occurs, they should also respect the fact that other Staff members might notice, and put less weight on the value of their input.

Additionally, it is crucially important that a staff member does not develop an “us” versus “them” mentality. You might catch yourself in a passing conversation refer to the Staff members as “them” when it comes to implementing something. For example, while in your faction, you might comment on Game Staff implementing some sort of new rule, and say “Oh yeah, they implemented that last week”, instead of saying “Yes, we implemented that last week because xyz reason”. The former provides a very jarring lone wolf label for the staff member in question where their creation of “me” and “them” produces a greater divide between them and other Staff. It is important that, even if a Staff member did not personally get involved in the implementation of something, that they still represent the staff as “us”, a unified front, all working towards a common goal. Staff members who try to play a lone wolf and gain popularity among the playerbase for being “a Staff, but one of us”, become increasingly harder to work with as outsiders, and may very quickly also feel left out by other Staff like true outsiders.

Staff members who only argue from the perspective or cause of their friends or personal friends group are allowed to do so but should expect that, even if after assessment, it gets rejected. Staff members who argue on a project or implementation, only with the limited scope of their personal social group, should not aggressively push such an agenda, only make note of it once, and accept dismissal if it is rejected. If a Staff member feels they are becoming increasingly more isolated, it is recommended to contact HR or Direction. HR specifically knows well how to get back in touch with other Staff members and the playerbase, knows all the hot Discords of the here and now, and are willing to help Staff members who have disappeared and isolated themselves get re-integrated as a buddy and helper.

When other Staff members notice another Staff member engaging in the us-and-them mentality, it is important they report this to Direction so HR can make an assessment of the person’s personal investment. People who distance themselves from the Massive Team are more likely to lash out against it, thus early warnings are essential to productive solutions.

Rule Five: Internal Staff Protocols

The most important internal rule for staff, is that while players have the luxury of not being required to respect Staff members, Staff are required to Respect other Staff members within the framework of their communal efforts to work on something everyone loves and wants to see grow. Staff members are allowed to dislike each other, they are allowed to have preferences among Staff members, but each Staff member must be conscientiously aware of the work put in by other Staff members, and respect and acknowledge them for the work that was done, especially when the amount of it outnumbers that of their own. This has some further consequences for internal work ethic outlined below, specifically related to internal communication, but also staff sabotage.

Sabotaging the work of another Staff member is seen as either intentionally or unintentionally undermining the implementation, completion or work of a Project, for whatever reason. The most likely reason is attempting to secure work load or to ensure a Project which is not in the tastes of the individual strands so that it cannot be completed. A good example of this is: “Hey, please don’t do that Project, I wanted to do that when I am done with Schoolwork”, or “Please reserve that for me, I wanted to do that”, without immediately doing any of it. On Massive, producing content here and now is more important than reserving content for the future, especially when another Staff member is available to deliver the same assured quality. Reserving tasks is only for very specific actions like world construction, or district allocation in Regalia, which require very specific skills not every Staff member has.

Additionally, unproductive and downright negative feedback towards projects can be very strong sabotage. Feedback among Staff should never become mean, sassy, back-talk, passive aggression or other forms of personal attacks. If you have feedback for someone else's’ project, be sure to have a solution ready that you think is optimal, for the problem you have suggested, and also a backup solution in case the person who is working on the project doesn’t like your optimal solution, or finds problems with that in return. It is important that you convince the person that your problem is legitimate, and that you have thought of a solution yourself, and then some, and don’t end up forcing another person who is doing work to halt their work to do problem solving that you could have done yourself. Implementing a half functional project is still better than implementing none at all, and any new content for the players is always good, as long as it has properly been considered. If you find yourself having a problem with what someone else is doing in Staff, Project wise, but you are unable to find a solution, at least mention it once to them. If you cannot find a solution yourself, this doesn’t mean you should suddenly silence yourself, but it does mean you should respect the fact that you couldn’t come up with a solution, so you shouldn’t expect the project worker to come up with one for you, and acknowledge that at the very least, they heard out your concerns.

  • It is important that the person who you are giving feedback to does not feel attacked or ganged upon. You should remain friendly, calm, and constructive in your feedback, and avoid overwhelming them with large numbers all echoing the same opinion.
  • Is it important that you always frame your feedback through the scope of which you are applying it. For example, if you are applying feedback on a Magic system because your friends play a Mage and have vented these feelings to you, mention this. It is also important for you to qualify the concerns. “I have heard” and “People say” are like swear words in the MassiveCraft Staff. Always quantify your source group. “14 people I polled”, or “2 of my close friends”. We must not use language deception to get our way in Staff discussions.
  • Direction Staff may label certain servers as “Communication Black-Holes”. Such servers are labeled as such because they are considered toxic to Massive. Elements in their staff or community may harbor harmful intent towards MassiveCraft, its staff or players. If such a faction is labeled, all staff are uniformly expected to avoid all forms of communication with the staff of said server, and avoid presenting themselves inside the community of such a server. All other rules will be subservient to this rule when it has been applied with good reasoning. Explanations for Black-Holes are always provided during meetings. This also extends to staff members of those respective servers coming to MassiveCraft, as they likely have harmful intentions towards a server that they spend a lot of time trash talking.
  • MassiveCraft Staff members must never under any circumstances maintain a staff position simultaneously on MassiveCraft and elsewhere. Discovery of such a position on another server leads to a 24 hour ultimatum to which the alternative is expulsion from staff.

Rule Six: In-Game and Staff Behavior

Staff are expected to obviously hold themselves to a higher moral code than is applied to players. Primarily, Staff members may never break the rules that are applied to players, and then some. Staff members who break rules on the Server or Forums can expect to be punished more severely with less warnings and potential dismissal from Staff also. It is also equally important thus, that Staff members maintain a professional standard of communication towards the players. Non-ironic usage of nya-speech, internet lingo, insider-speech, street language or other forms of non traditional communication should not be engaged in when communicating to players in a formal or semi-formal capacity (but may still be used in banter).

If a Staff member witnesses another Staff member becoming toxic or engaging in flaming communication towards a player, or if a Staff notices themself slipping into this habit, it is crucial for either of them to contact HR or PR or Direction to take over the conversation. A player can never compel a Staff member to speak to them, and conversations and confrontations may always be deferred to other Staff members if the person in question does not feel comfortable, or feels they cannot uphold MassiveCraft’s standard of communication towards players. Stepping aside and letting someone else handle the situation is not weakness, but maturity, and shows the capacity for self-restraint. Pay attention during meetings to learn who are your HR and PR people to reach out to for help, and when they are available to help you. Some of our HR people exist purely to make the lives of MassiveCraft’s Staff easier, and are always willing to communicate to some person’s specific needs.

  • All confrontations with players (including in-game warnings and punishments) must be done in as clear and professional language as possible, while also not using any internet or social slang. Try to keep these based in fact and substantiated by server rules, and if you cannot, defer to the authority or decisions taken by superiors.
  • No one has a one-size-fits-all communication style. Some players need a harsher stern talking to, some need a softer more gentle touch, and some need a very robotic and simplistic answer. No person can master all of these communication styles, therefore it is important that Staff Members are always willing to seek help, and to trust HR individuals to codify their intent and message to a player in the way they need to hear it, for maximum efficiency.

Rule Seven: Hierarchy and Direction

MassiveCraft Staff has a pyramid shaped hierarchy that sometimes, when the situation calls for it, can function like a flat hierarchy structure. In most cases, MassiveCraft is ran from the top down by Direction Staff. Direction Staff is not really a functional department of its own, but more of a collection department that takes exceptional leaders from other departments. Unofficially, the server is centrally owned by MonMarty, but often more in practice, direct control is delegated among the Directors of MassiveCraft. MonMarty is Direction Rank3, followed by Direction Rank2 LumosJared and SpunSugar. They in turn are followed by Rank1 CS_Birb and TheComputerGeek2. The owner does not take a direct CEO approach, but rather delegates tasks to different specialized departments, creating a flat hierarchy. Direction runs the server with a Hierarchical consensus where some department members have executive decision taking powers that exceed the owner’s on a local level. It is important for both players and Staff members to take note of this, because running to a different person when you don’t like the decision made by another doesn’t work on MassiveCraft. Furthermore, if you do not like the decision made by an Admin, running to the owner to get that decision overturned is going to be equally ineffective since the owner has voluntarily surrendered the right to object to the actions of his team mates. Only in special circumstances should a higher up be convinced that another team member did something out of the books, can action be taken by superiors.

On a local level, Rank1, Rank2, Rank3 can all have equal arguing power within their departments, including leaders and even the owner(s). Within Staff, discussions are among equals when it concerns a healthy debate to create a better end product. At some point however, higher ups may end a debate by stating that a consensus has been reached in their eyes, and that those who continue to argue it should accept it and move along. This is not them calling the rank card, but rather ensuring that the hierarchy remains functional and doesn’t get slowed down by endless debates as is likely to happen in a completely flat structure.

  • Disputes amongst Staff, as well as disputes between players and staff should be directly reported to Direction. A complaint section exists specifically for players to log longer complaints against Staff members for a slow review, but complaints can also be directly aired with anyone on Direction who is willing to listen, or defer to another Director.
  • Absence from Staff must be notified to Direction. Whatever message you give and how much you divulge is up to you. The only wrong way to do it, is to not say anything at all and just disappear.
  • Any Staff member discovering critical information or serious anti-staff sentiment from a player or group of players must report this to Direction. There is no inherent punishment for being anti-staff, as players are entitled to their opinions, but anti-staff sentiments do sometimes factor into staff decisions for example with ban-appeals. Having all the facts on the table helps Direction make more evaluated decisions.
  • Any Staff member engaged in an online romantic relationship with another staff member must report this to Direction. Other staff members aware of a relationship should also report it. Nobody gets punished for having a relationship, it is just necessary for Direction to be aware of any romance between Staff members so that in case things don’t work out, Direction is capable of deploying some sort of workable solution that removes any drama.
  • Any Staff member experiencing a dispute with another staff member must report this to Direction. Staff should attempt to not let a situation degrade to where a working relationship reaches a point of inactivity, even if the dispute has already been resolved. It is possible that a dispute may at some point flare up again and not result in a positive outcome, and it is helpful if HR and Direction is aware of the dispute ahead of time to handle it.
  • Any Staff member experiencing a dispute with another staff member must report this to Direction. Staff should attempt to not let a situation degrade to where a working relationship reaches a point of inactivity, even if the dispute has already been resolved. It is possible that a dispute may at some point flare up again and not result in a positive outcome, and it is helpful if HR and Direction is aware of the dispute ahead of time to handle it.
  • All communication to Direction, when specified, is 100% confidential and may only be discussed among Direction. Further confidentiality may be requested and granted on request.
  • For the sake of Central Authority. The highest owner of the Server always retains the capacity to act as the final say and decider in any and all matters when no clear conclusion can be made by team members, or when a person lower on the hierarchy is accused of misconduct, and is beyond reproach of their equals in rank.

Rule Eight: Anti-Corruption Minimalism

These rules are set in place to insure the smooth running and support of both staff and our community.

  • Staff members must not use their rank as an advantage in-game. This is including but not limited to using one’s status as staff to support personal business or to gain special social standing.
  • In social situations, Staff members must not bring up their staff status in a way that goes beyond being proud of one’s accomplishments. A player should never be made to feel lesser than a staff member purely for being a player. *Gloating over any special permissions given, or knowledge not yet available to the player base is frowned upon.
  • Commands may not be used for personal gain or for the gain of close friends. This is including but not limited to using commands such as “/Kick” or “/tpo” for self-entertainment, or to be seen as “cool” or to have fun unless this is done in a safe environment where players cannot see it. If at any point a player, even a friend who was previously enjoying it, protests about such actions, they must immediately cease.
  • Staff members abusing each other with commands for the sake of entertainment of both parties is permitted within a certain social framework, as long as this is not done in front of players, and as long as both parties consent and cease when either party objects.
  • Staff members must recuse themselves in any and all situations where their friends are involved in a rule enforcement or violation situation, or in any situation where a player accuses another player of something.They should also recuse themselves from situations where a friend is a situation of reporting another player. Removing yourself from the situation ensures a fair outcome for all players involved, and maintenance of the staff member’s reputation.
  • Staff members must avoid catering to the issues of their friends, specifically by hyperlinking threads or bringing up friend’s bans in staff chats so that they receive more staff attention than non-friend players would.Staff chat channels are used primarily for work, and should remain free of unnecessary clutter.
  • Staff must avoid false glory events for themselves. This is including, but not limited to, staff-hosted birthday parties, public glorification of a personal staff event by means of staff commands, or drawing otherwise exceptional attention to the personal circumstances of a staff member by means not available to regular players.
  • Staff members are encouraged to search each other’s logs, even if they trust the individual. This does not mean every private conversation is no longer private, but occasional peeks are encouraged with keywords or commands.
  • Staff members must report suspicion of corruption violations to Direction. Additionally, Staff members must do everything within their capacity to halt or otherwise prevent another Staff member from engaging in corrupt behavior or undo any corrupt actions that a staff member has taken, by for example destroying spawned items.
  • Staff members must feel trusted and safe in Staff-only channels. Therefore, leaking any information or personal statements from any Staff channel (including but not limited to Skype, Discord, Teamspeak, Server Channels, and Forums) is grounds for immediate dismissal from Staff.This includes screenshots, copy/pasting, and repetition of any information shared within official channels.
  • Staff confidentiality also covers the private information of staff members and players, including but not limited to identities, protected status, IP addresses, emails, player reports, ban appeals and more. Furthermore, hidden threads on the forum must never have their information spread among players.
  • In-Development matters must never be discussed with players unless the green light was given specifically by a department leader or Director. If in doubt, staff members must ask their department leaders.
  • Confidentiality covers both professional conversations, discussions, but also private social ones. If a staff member confides a personal matter to another staff member in a staff channel, this is covered by confidentiality.
  • There is no immediate confidentiality between staff members in a private conversation unless either of the parties invokes staff confidentiality for their discussion, but this must be specifically communicated to be applicable. *While it would not be a Codex violation to spread information without a confidentiality statement invoked, it is generally encouraged for staff members to not spread information without good reason.
  • Direction Staff may not share confidential information they have received in confidence with either players or staff unless it is cleared by a unanimous Direction Rank 3 discretion.