Been some time since I did one of these kinds of posts. But I feel like it’s been a long time coming, there are a number things I wish for everyone interested, curious or otherwise intrigued with the ongoings behind the scenes on NC to know. And this time it’s admittedly quite the doozy, and I wish there were any easier ways of confronting these types of subjects, while also providing assurance to everyone on the site, but alas, this is best way I see fit.
These last few months has admittedly taking a great toll on me and my mental well being, and for anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to the Administration team, may already have realized that something is definitely going down. And I don’t blame anyone for sensing some sort of impending doom from what might be perceived by some as a crashing ship. But I can assure you, we’re definitely not crashing, it just feels like it as we’re in repair mode, of both ourselves and the systems that binds this site and community together.
We’re a lot of people here, all with different, unique and special backgrounds, histories, futures and plans in many different fields out there in the real world. We’ve seen a number of players take their time to depart from the site and older members come back for many different reasons. One of those reasons I intend to try and attempt to address here now.
Due to these things, I want to quickly address some essential bits, a TL;DR if you will:
- The Annual survey is entirely canceled, it was cancelled the minute that this whole thing had begun its’ current phase back in early January.
- I am less accessible as while juggling personal frustrations, I am devoted to improving my own mental health, and this also being the case of a number of other Administrators caught in the middle of this
- While we’re trying to address the concerns of everyone, we are highly likely to introduce new, improved and different tools and methods in dealing with similar things in the future.
- We are fully committed to trying to find solutions and fixing problems, but please bare with us as we're still in repair and fixing mode.
So first off, are we crashing?
Is the ship that we know as NC falling and crashing? Simple answer, no. We’re not crashing. We’re just in a mass amount of turmoil surrounding something that I’ll get into detail on in a bit. This community has been through a lot, a great many years, we started back in 2004, a few breaks and crashes here and there, stumbles and rolls, setting us a few steps back. In this case, without intentionally trying to make it sound overly dramatic, we may have fallen down a staircase.
I get it. This site is a hobby, it’s an interest, a side thing, beyond the great many other forms of entertainment at our disposal during our downtime in life. Movies, video games, friends, board games, family, sports, and so much more. We are a tiny speck of the entire internet culture, and yet here you are, in our little corner, having fun, hanging out, and trying to create and write something with someone for a variety of great many reasons.
We are a culture of writers and entrepreneurs, creators, designers, with numerous talents all throughout the site at large. You might not realise it, but I am forever proud and amazed by our culture and I will always strive for something greater for us. Always imagining, building, designing and hoping to find the right thing to help us expand and further us in some way.
Fun is an abstract!
Everyone has their own definition of "fun", yours might differ from mine, and that other person you just talked with, might have a different definition of what they find fun in our little community. And it is immensely important to try and respect this for everyone on the site. We are in on this together, not everyone can be pleased by everything everyone does. But at the same time finding these differences can sometimes be a part of the fun challenges.
If a player likes playing dark and evil characters out for blood and glory, their greatest challenge lies in, while being this character allowing and giving space to those that enjoy the polar opposite of characters. (According to many I have discussed this with throughout the years point to the manner in which Akkuma used to RP, as many newbies enjoyed writing him into their histories and have something linking to a demon of sorts in their bios.)
The best kind of experiences you can have on a site like ours is ones where everyone gets to be a main character in a way, and this accounts for almost any kind of roleplaying experiences (unless you’re the Dungeon Master / Moderator of course). If you opt to play a bad or evil character, you have try and figure out how best to act against your fellow players while maintaining a certain level of fun with them, otherwise the session just turns into a chaotic mess, as some Pen and Paper enthusiasts knows all too well.
The greatest balance act for a player wanting to play an evil or bad character is this mutual respect for other players opting for not playing a bad character and creating enough excitement, fun and positive experiences for all parties involved. When this respect isn’t a part of the equation most excuses or reasonings that I’ve personally seen provided by the evil character’s player becomes a "because I’m evil", "I wanted to cause a problem because I’m evil" instead of first off checking with the other players or moderators if they’re indeed up for a quick thread or small event surrounding this aspect of the character.
A certain lack of respect towards the moderators or organizers of the village becomes the standard norm, suddenly they are fighting the moderators either OOC or ICly instead of trying to work together to find ways that their characters gets to experience the right things that the player desires for. This results in further disconnects and frustrations from both sides of the argument. One feels ignored, the other feels distrust, it becomes a war of attrition, as either party is just waiting for an excuse to report or throw the problem further up the chain.
Blinded by grievances.
Our minds become clouded by grievances and frustrations when it occurs in front of us, against our fellow players, both parties wound up just waiting for the next issue starting in order to archive or bring forth as it happens. It’s depressive and manipulative at worst, it’s entirely neglecting and rejecting the other side as individuals that has a core reasoning to be on the site. For either entertainment, distraction, a sense of virtue, escapism, all of it valid in this bleak world that we exist within. Both parties in this case are equally under blame for this at first.
There is no easy solution when things manage to reach such a point of which it is has been for awhile now.
And in attempting to find solutions we as site owners attempted to find solutions with the parties in question, it turned into an accusatory and throwing of shade storm which no one can appreciate from either sides of the fence. Solutions became harder and harder to come by.
But we tried, still. And in the end a simple separation became the one solution that we held onto and utilized as our tool for trying to improve things. It seemed to work well, benefiting both parties, some didn’t agree, which brings us back to the inability to satisfy everyone. We did something and at this point we still do not regret it. What we do admittedly regret is our inability to see and respond to this problem when it first arose within the player base.
And due to this lack of proper and timely response we now have a number of players that has been sitting, compiling and gathering information, problems and issues they have had or still have surrounding the Administrative and individual admin’s reactions, responses and dealings with players caught in this fire and turmoil we see ourselves in. Even if you, the average player might not even know anything about it.
It had gotten to the point that, even those that weren't directly involved were being targeted by the players that had gotten together, heated emotional outbursts and harsh opinions and thoughts were shared that could’ve just as easily have been solved by a simple DM, but the damage was done, and the distrust in the management was already to the degree where they simply didn’t believe that anything would have been done if that had been the approach. And this is probably our greatest regret.
But what’s the point?
So here we are now, 3 Admin down, (the other 2 departures were circumstantial and didn't have anything to do with this) and a number of players seeking some form recompense from the administrative team of this site. You might be wondering what all of this has to do with our Administrators leaving? Some were directly caused by this whole thing. The stress, anxiety, frustrations were getting too hard to them, and I wholeheartedly do not blame them, the emotions were and still is running high, there is still grievances between the parties in question, and threats are entirely a part of the weekly digest for me at this point. The fact that it had gotten to the point for some admin that they opted out is fully reasonable in my eyes. And I hope they all get better.
This is also why we haven’t been actively looking to adding more Administrators to the team, we dare not place new members right in the middle of the fray where the tension, stress and frustrations are running as high as it currently is, I would not feel comfortable with placing that on the shoulders of someone that just wants to do good for the site. We need to fix what we can, so we can relax and try to build together with firmer minds and stronger hands.
So where does this leave us, the site, and us the owners?
- We are tired, We are frustrated, and we won’t deny that it gets to us every now and again, we frequently question ourselves "what’s the point?", but admittedly at the same time we continue to fully dedicate ourselves to trying to finding solutions. Balancing personal mental health and progression and health of the site. We have no intentions of dropping off the grid just yet.
- We are one down. One of the co-owners is fully committed to departing and taking their leave from our community. This leaving me and Katsuo. We are fully supportive of her departure, and we hope that the experiences that lies in her future is as bright as it can be. We will of course keep contact and stay as close as we can.
- Work continues, new tools and methods are in active development, and while we’re still working out the kinks, calamities and problems surrounding this, including what admittedly this post itself may or may not cause, solutions will hopefully come in due time. Fingers and toes crossed.
- The site continues, as it always have, we are not giving up and beginning the digging of any graves, We are still maintaining and building within the best of our abilities, without neglecting the foundation we still stand upon.
I hope you’ll all work with us, in trying to help and look out for our fellow players and staff members.
We’re a community, and we need to respect each other’s time, ability, and dedication within this fantastic writing community we call our little home from home.
Thank you for reading,
Yoshi (soon Keiji) Site Owner
Sunahoshi Katsuo Site Owner
Yoshi (soon Keiji) Site Owner
Sunahoshi Katsuo Site Owner