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An Open Letter to CCMC Staff

Discussion in 'Network Suggestions' started by DuxV, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. DuxV

    DuxV Guest

    (Sorry if this is in the wrong place. Please move it if needed.)

    @jflory7 @_stevoism_ @Natzic @CanadianSpark @InfiniteCorners
    (@Material_ @JMW18 @DrVonAwesome )

    To Jflory and the Staff of CCMC,

    I have been wanting to write this post for some time now, but it took me a while to figure out how to say what I want to say without it coming across in the wrong way. My intention is not to be harsh or negative, but there are a few things I think need to be addressed, and I'd like to do so in an open post because a) I have nothing to hide, b) I want openness and transparency, and c) I want to give others the chance to - respectfully - add their observations as well, whether they agree or disagree with the points I am about to make.

    To put it simply, I am concerned about the current state of this server, as I am sure others are. The average online presence on any given day is 2, maybe 3 people at a time. I am a fairly new member on CCMC, having not even been here for a year, however many players I talk to whom have been here for much longer, speak of the days when dozens or more would be on at a time. I hear a lot of reminiscing about epic drop parties, server events, etc., none of which take place currently. "Ah, the good old days", in other words. While I am sure that, indeed, the 'old' days of the server were great, I see very little that is worth reminiscing about at the moment, and I believe there are some very key reasons for this. I believe the reason is not, as some have suggested, the current lack of players/members. While that is an issue, I see it more as a symptom, rather than the cause. I'd like to highlight what I believe the issues are:

    1 - Absent Administrators and Moderators
    I do not want to be critical of individual staff members. That is not my point here. I do not know everyone's personal situation and am not about to get into reasons why admins might be absent from the server, but a general observation is that admins are often absent. In fact, their presence is almost invisible as of late (and I'm not talking about vanish). When the admins are not active, it reflects poorly on the server. My understanding of admins and mods is they are supposed to represent the server, not just in terms of duty and performing bans/unbans/etc., but actually being around to engage with players, to be a presence in-game, to spur on excitement about the server. This happens occasionally, but more often than not, staff are nowhere to be seen. This is a major turn-off for both current and potential members, and leads to issues not being dealt with in a timely manner. I have witnessed several complaints from players regarding: issues or delays registering, dealing with in-game glitches that resulted in death/item loss/etc., questions in chat that need an admin's assistance, dealing with abusive players in a timely manner, etc.

    The absence of admins and staff also leads to other issues.

    2 - Unfinished Projects
    There are a number of features on the server that appear in various states of construction or work but few that ever seem to get finished. When I began playing on the server in February, the armor shop was down. It worked very briefly from August to October, and then was down again. The voting system went down and took a very long time to begin working again. Same with the voter crystal system. Once an admin was actually on to take a look at it, it didn't take very long to fix, but it remained unattended to for quite a while. I've seen a handful of mini-games started with none ever finished or opened to the public. The mob arena is down. I don't want to single out every item, but I think the pattern is clear. Something will be a work "in progress" indefinitely, with little to no progress actually happening. I've had very brief conversations with new members coming on the server and asking about features - such as the mob arena - and how to access them. After having to tell them that a,b,c and d don't work, I've honestly seen some people leave and not return. Obviously not every new member can be catered to, but a lack of features or broken features is a major turn-off.

    3 - Nostalgic Mode
    As mentioned above, there is a lot of talk about how great the server used to be. That's… great? I'm sure old members and those who have been here for a long time can look back fondly on what used to be, but for members such as myself and those even newer, with a lack of current features and no apparent plan for moving forward, the nostalgia actually becomes two things. First, it becomes a kind of elitism shared by long-time members that excludes anyone new. For example, drop parties. "Oh man that drop party was epic!" "Oh we don't really do those any more." These two realities side-by-side tell new players, even unintentionally, that the same kind of effort that used to be put into the server will not be experienced by them because "we don't do that anymore." Old players get to reminisce while new players are left lamenting what they missed out on and what will never be. Two, it gives the impression that the staff are content to let what was great in the past be mediocre now. It basically says, "Yeah, we used to care more, but not so much now." This is not a good impression for new or potential members.

    4 - Stale Forum
    There really isn't much happening in the forums, and I don't just mean post-wise. If you look at players who have been here in the past, you will see a variety of forum badges attached to their profiles. These badges are even advertised as something achievable by members. I really am not trying to make this about myself, but I need to use a personal example here to illustrate how things have changed. I have been the top monthly voter on more than one occasion, and have received no badge for it, even while I see other members with this badge. I was finally given a purchased rank badge for Mage, even though I'd been a civilian and sentry before that, and the badge came a little late, considering I am now a Templar. The badge was given on one of jflory's rare site visits. This is another example of an advertised feature which seems to be neglected. Members like to be recognized for their contributions, which is why, I would assume, those badges are their in the first place. When they are not awarded when they should be, it adds to the overall sense that staff are absent and don't really care.

    There are some good things about the server and I don't want to take away from that. There are wonderful players and a sense of community (albeit a lingering and potentially fading one), but the community is getting increasingly smaller. Five or ten people saying "this community is great" is not nearly the same as one hundred people able to say the same thing. I would like to continue supporting this server. I am happy to play here and really want to see it thrive, but honestly when I look at things now, I wonder how much life CCMC has left? Yes, there are fewer members online. But what is keeping new members here? What incentives are there in place for people to stay? I really feel that, as a concerned member who is trying to do my part to add to and contribute to this server, I need to call the CCMC staff out. If you do not put the effort in, it shows. If you are not present on the server, it shows. If another project is started before a dozen are completed, it shows. This server is not what it used to be and not what it could be, and the onus does not lie with the user but with the administration.

    I am asking the ownership and staff of CCMC to make this server what it can be - a server worth advertising, worth joining, worth staying on, worth contributing to, and worth supporting both by active participation and monetarily. I am happy to discuss any of these concerns with staff members in more detail. I am happy to help in whatever ways I am able. I want CCMC to thrive, not just survive.

    Signed, a concerned member,
    • Agree Agree x 8
  2. MCMCaveman

    MCMCaveman Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2013
    Well written, and a legitimate concern that all longtime members have had.

    But the truth is summed up into two main reasons for the declining active players: 1) Minecraft is simply an old game that is only getting older and gamers like to play latest n greatest entertainment 2) the young old timers have grown up i.e. the 12yo are driving now, 14yo are graduating, etc so life priorities have changed.

    I personally got tired of world resets and raiding/griefing. I still play Minecraft a few times a week on Jflory’s other server, but I have been mostly playing other games for a few months now, and I also make a point to spend more time with my wife and four kids versus being a gaming hermit.
  3. DuxV

    DuxV Guest

    Perhaps not as many people are playing the game any longer, but there are still new players, and new people have come to the server only to leave. This is not on them and has nothing to do with the game being old. People are still interested in playing Minecraft, but to be fair, if I had not been brought here by a good friend and had not established some great relationships with people, I wouldn't see much to keep me here and would likely have done what others have and found a different server.
    Sure, older players have grown up and moved on, but not all. But what keeps a player here? What entices new members to stay?
    For a current example, the holiday maze never got finished, and the holidays are almost over. The North Pole area in spawn, which I'm assuming was for Christmas, never opened. What happened? As a new player, if I came to spawn and saw a bunch of stuff not working and not completed and learned that it'd been like that for a long time, I'd leave.
    Another issue is member registration. Even now, there is a new player who we've been telling to be patient in waiting for her registration to kick in. What is she waiting on? Staff. It's been a few days now. This is simply not fair to new members to have to wait indefinitely to join the community and receive the perks of registration simply because nobody is around to take care of it.

    It's negligent, plain and simple. And regardless of whether the server has 1,000 members or 100, if the staff aren't actually around to run the place, then the server suffers. The players who still want to play suffer.
  4. Natzic

    Natzic Natzic.exe has stopped responding. Staff Member Administrator

    Jan 2, 2014
    Ok, so I'm going to try to answer everything in this thread, if I miss something please let me know.

    I understand completely what you mean about this, a server needs active staff for the server its self to actually grow and improve. Personally I have a lot of things going on in life and have hit a few rough patches in the past few months, and the other staff members have their reason too but I'm not here to tell you theirs and I know since I'm an admin I should be online more and trying to fix the things that are broken on the server. I'm going to try to be more active in the new year, but only time will tell. We also just recently lost a few staff members to them retiring, and this has caused the other admins to try to figure out how the things they worked on actually work so that we can fix it or keep it running.

    So there are a lot of projects that are either broken or never finished. To start I'll talk about the armory, the reason the armory seems to go down a lot or just not be open, is because the way we have the armory set up has changed by recent updates to the game, which means we have to find new ways of fixing it which can take some time, the other main factor is we have to come up with an armory set every month to give out. I believe we have a way of doing the armory now, but @dellman135 was the one who figured it out, so now we have to find out how he made it so we can continue it.

    When it comes to voting rewards, we usually don't have much control over that, the rewards are done by a plugin which is made by other people, so when the server updates there is the possiblity that the plugin does not support that version of MineCraft quite yet.

    For the voting crystal chest, the reason that entire room was broken for a while is because with recent updates to MineCraft changed the way things can be done in commandblocks.

    The Mob Arena is broken right now because there is some bug in the plugin we use, so until the bug is fixed we can't use the Mob Arena.

    I understand that with not having things working or having things always in progress is a turn off for new players, but right now, there isn't much staff who understand the ways Commandblocks work, which is used for a lot of things on this server.

    So there was a time when the server was full of people and it was great and I think there is no point in talking about it because it just distracts us from trying to bring the server to that point. I know for me, I really want to see this server to succeed.

    So the forums are kinda dead right now, which is sad to see, and for the reason it takes forever to get the badges is because they have to be manually added by @jflory7.

    So I'm kinda in a rush right now, so I tried to address everything. If I missed anything or didn't explain something enough please reply regarding it.
  5. DuxV

    DuxV Guest

    Natzic, thanks for the reply. Even having that info regarding the reason why things are down is helpful. Like I said, I don't want to get into the personal lives of staff. I'm sure people have their reasons for not being on, and that's fine. Life happens for sure. But the the absence it has created, perhaps some voids can be filled in other ways? Are there ways that other players/members can help out more often? Is there the possibility of more non-admin roles that can be filled even just to have somewhat of an 'official' presence on the server more often? More mods or trial mods? Maybe some different roles?
    • Like Like x 1
  6. d3ad_man_walking

    d3ad_man_walking New Member

    Nov 4, 2016
    The server taking on more mods might alleviate some of the problems the server is having but i can see problems with that idea as well. Trying to find players on a server with a dwindling player base might be very difficult and even if they do find a player they need to find out if they are the right fit for a moderator position god forbid if we put a griefer in position of power.
  7. DuxV

    DuxV Guest

    For sure, and I'm sure there are already vetting policies in place. I don't think just opening the floodgates and letting anyone be a mod or whatever would be good. But having a few more wouldn't hurt either.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. CGOMER33

    CGOMER33 Member

    Dec 23, 2013
    I'd agree with Caveman, when the last world started, jflory said that, that world would not be reset. Not sure if he was serious or not. I took it so. I built so much as you can see in my older posts and I just couldn't muster enough willpower to play and start over again. Though I did, and I started to build again.

    That being said I would like to play more often and I think the idea of more mods or something would be great, but I share the same concern as Paperbat33.

    Hope to see ya around Nat! ;)
  9. JesterCopperpot

    JesterCopperpot Active Member

    Mar 29, 2014
    As a player going on year 4-5 I completley agree with this. The sole purpose i played on this server was fo rthe community and now I join and its like a single player world.... it's sad
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. TolyTheNinja

    TolyTheNinja New Member

    Jun 12, 2016
    I came from BRAJO and kind of participated in the server getting shut down, when I joined this server it reminded me of BRAJO before it started going to shit.As time went on less and less people were joining and it came to the point where no one would join for a few weeks and the owner started neglecting it.I have no bad blood with anyone here but I can see it going the same path, and I believe it's beyond repair now.I made some alright friends here but I barely talk to them (ngl I can only remember Resource but she seems dead) other than that, Caveman made a good point.Minecraft has lost all the hype and buzz it used to have and the people that played on here are clearly getting older and are moving to more mature games which is perfectly understandable.I myself haven't played Minecraft in a really long time (i play it time to time ironically) since it's gotten stale and repetitive to play.I wish the best for this server and people still playing it but it will be really hard to bounce back.
  11. DuxV

    DuxV Guest

    I disagree that people are not playing Minecraft. I found many other survival servers, vanilla or semi-vanilla, that still have vibrant and thriving communities in my research before I made this post. It is part of what led me to do this. I was not here when the server was "glorious", but I see what other servers currently look like and I see what CCMC could be. So the question is: why are people playing on svanilla servers, just not this one? What is the difference?
    Now, I understand this is a small server, so I'm not expecting it to rival some of the larger ones out there. That being said, however, there has to be something here that is going to catch people's attention when they come on. At the moment, there isn't much of that. The server looks broken down and feels broken down, and so it's going to continue breaking down if new life is not breathed into it. I don't think it's time to write an obituary just yet. I think there is still the opportunity for CCMC to be a fun server with a decent member base in place, and I'm hoping that something can be sparked to make that happen.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Natzic

    Natzic Natzic.exe has stopped responding. Staff Member Administrator

    Jan 2, 2014
    So I have a request for all of the members of CCMC, and that is to go through this Survey. Now some of you have already answered some of the questions using this thread, but the staff team and I would really appreciate it, if you guys could fill out the survey.

    I also want people to keep posting on this thread. I want to hear what you guys think.
    • Like Like x 3
  13. JMW18

    JMW18 Future software engineer

    Nov 14, 2015
    I apologize for the late reply due to some issues with setting up my new PC. With that aside, I appreciate you uploading your concerns to the forums as you share the same concerns as us. I wish to formally apologize to everyone of my recent inactivity but I believe I am able to be on frequently from here on out for the time being.

    We share the same goal: CCMC needs to thrive, not just survive. I will do my best to work with the staff team to get the unfinished projects and broken things of the server to work. As Natzic said, looking on the past will just impede future progress and that is what we want, progress.

    Thank you to everyone who has continued playing on the server even with all of the concerns presented here. I hope my apology is adequate enough for my absence.
  14. jflory7

    jflory7 A Purple Jukebox Staff Member Founder Sysadmin

    Dec 4, 2013
    Hi @Cragnarok (and others),

    Thanks for starting this conversation.

    I think I can answer in part to this.

    In my time running CCMC, I've noticed that staff participation is parallel to the amount of time I invest into the daily activity of the server. When I'm online more often and respond to things faster, it's usually more engaging for the staff to be involved.

    CCMC began from an idea I had in my early high school years. I had more time to invest into the game, my own creativity, and the community. I put in a lot of effort at making the player and staff experience a positive one and I felt confident in this (because I would never have been able to do it alone).

    Over the years, my time has drifted: I'm a full-time university student, getting settled into a career, and more have pulled me away. For me personally, I don't play Minecraft or any games now. It's harder for me to find the same interest and passion for the game. My interest has always been in the community first, and that's why I keep the lights on and try to ensure a stable experience. But my time to commit to the game is less than before and harder for me to regain.

    Perhaps the answer is bringing in more staff with fresh minds and ideas. My flaw now is that I don't spend as much time, as closely, with staff as I did in the beginning of the server. I can promise a stable place to run the community and rely on it being there, but I'm not able to give much more than this nowadays.

    This is also another example of my time dedicated in parallel to staff participation. We've come up with many good ideas over the years, but don't always follow through on them, for various reasons. We have a few things on the backlog we could revive. We need good leadership on a major project.

    I think this is a trickle effect from #1 and #2. I think solving #1 and #2 solves #3.

    The forums are about the only thing I can commit more time to. I used to check them regularly, but fell out of habit. I could work on being more proactive on watching out on the site.

    I'm working directly with the project to try and bring MobArena back.

    This is also definitely one of our challenges.

    As a four or five-year player, I would appreciate hearing more about the things that make you happy and you would like to see. This type of feedback is difficult for me to work with. I understand things aren't as active as they used to be. What can I do to help?

    I closed staff applications a long time ago because we had a large staff team for a time. I'm open to re-enabling them. I'm traveling internationally from 25 Jan. to 05 Feb. When I return and settle back into work, I'll re-enable the applications to offer an opportunity for dedicated community members to have a role in shaping the server's future.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1

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