Fairness is a one of Rising's core values and something that we work very hard to strive toward. Over the past 8 years that Rising has been running, we have:
- Created tools to help the staff team do their job while maintaining transparency and a record of the usage of these tools
- Disabled dangerous commands (like the dropitem command, that most servers have enabled) to prevent creation of artifical items
- Created tools to parse raw server logs to have a view of the movement of every item in game
These tools help us work toward our goal of transparency by allowing us to to see anything that can potentially stop us from achieving this goal. Most servers operate without these tools: items can be generated with commands that aren't logged and there is no accountability or logging of where these items end up.
On Rising, we make a very important distinction between staff accounts and personal accounts. There is a list of high-risk that is used by a job that runs to make sure these high-risk items are not on any non-staff accounts. Our tools allow the staff team to not only see where the high risk items are, but also if theye have been moved or used.
What do these tools look like?
- The coin management page allows certain characters to send coins.
How transparency and fairness guaranteed?:
- Mail logs can not be deleted.
- Coin logs are tied to staff-panel accounts.
- The mail management page allows certain staff members to send mails that contain items.
How is transparency and fairness gauranteed?
- Mail logs can not be deleted.
- All items mailed have a serial number (you can see what it looks like below). This serial number is tracked. If it is a high-risk item, we are notified if it leaves a character it shouldn't leave.
- All mail logs are associated to a staff member.
- We have a series of item-tracking tools that also allow most of the staff team to not only see where items are, but where items were before. This is fully integrated with high-risk items, such as items that were sent for testing or GM rings.
- We have a job that runs and tracks staff-items, to make sure that they stay only on accounts that has at least one staff member (either [OPR] or [GM]), and if they don't we are immediately notified.
- Item Movement Log
Raw Log Search tool
- This tool allows us to search by a serial number to see even more details about the movement of items. This tool was created by Karz1n.
I have been working on this server for over 8 years. If you know me, you know that something I really try to avoid is introducing any artificial items or currency into the economy. Over the years I have developed tools that give the team transparency into how these tools have been used by fellow staff members. Both artificial and normal items are tracked and all the data is visible to most of the staff team so that we can ensure that there is no shady stuff going on.
- In the past, we completely disabled every tool or game command to create items. We quickly learned that this wasn't feasible, and whether it was for support requests, events, or testing purposes, we realized that we needed a way to send items and send coins.
- We left the tools disabled. The dropitem command? Doesn't work. Risky GM commands? Also disabled on live servers.
- We built new tools that give the staff team a view of everything. Nitex sent 125k coins to resolve ticket #471. Notification: Nitex has sent an item to his staff character that is not obtainable. Item is added to tracking.
The whole reason we built these tools was to ensure fairness. On other servers there is no record of anything. [DEV] and [DEKARON] characters can drop items using commands with custom stats. Those commands are not logged. That is why we disabled them. In fact, we don't even have a tool in the Staff CP to create options on items, because that is never something that would need to be done.
The Contradictory Argument
Recently an ex-staff member has been leaking cropped images of some staff panel.. the funny part? The whole reason these logs exist are to make sure that fairness is being upheld. Staff panel logs are visible because if they were invisible there would be no accountability.
The huge "revelation" isn't really a revelation... it's information that is public to ALL STAFF MEMBERS. Why do you think the ex-staff member was able to get the screenshots in the first place? Because the whole reason they are there is so that we can maintain fairness, transparency, and hold everyone accountable.
That said, there is room for improvement.
Tool Transparency Expansion
- We are considering making certain staff tools public-information, which would allow players to also see the logs (in addition to staff) so that transparency is expanded outside of the staff team. We may need to adjust the tools to make them more user-friendly so that they aren't confusing, but it's something I have wanted to do for a while.
Keeping the Community in the Loop
We need to do better at keeping the community in the loop.
- We added a new member to the staff team recently without really giving him a proper introduction. This was at a time where one of our datacenters burned down and the whole staff team was working 24/7.
- In this case, Karz1n contributed over 10,000 lines of code and created over 5 applications to help us restore data from the rollback, check logs, fix launcher issues to reroute to new servers, and much more. Most of this stuff was backend, so the players didn't really notice his contributions, so some were left confused when they heard about how he was compensated.
- We need to be more transparent about new staff members, their roles and contributions to the server, and how they are rewarded.
- If we add new staff members, we should make a formal introduction. If we reward staff members, we should write a message congratulating them, explain how they have contributed to making the server better, and how they are being compensated.