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So you want to be a moderator...

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mommaCarole's Avatar mommaCarole
Retired Moderator
Level 54 : Grandmaster Witch
Lately, there have been a ton of threads on PMC for people who want to be moderators or admins on game servers. Either people are offering their services, or they're begging for a position. Server owners are offering mod positions to the first few people who join, in an attempt to get more people out onto their game server. But people need to ask themselves "Why do I want to be a mod in the first place?"

I know it's fun to think about having all that power. Imagine! Being able to blacklist, whitelist, kick, kill and ban people! You can give players stuff, and take it away. You can teleport people all over the place! Fun!

But what's the real point of being a moderator on a game server? Why even bother? The point of the position of moderator is to make sure that the players are having a good time, and to increase the quality and reputation of the game server.

In my twenty-plus years of being online, I've seen good, bad and indifferent moderators. I've seen bullies, people on power trips, and absentee mods. I've seen the full spectrum of what is out there when it comes to people in positions of power. As well, I've been a forum moderator, game server moderator, systems operator, systems admin, bulletin board owner, game server owner, and bulletin board moderator. I've been around the block once or twice.

If I were hiring for a server mod (and I don't HAVE a server, so don't apply!) I would ask the following questions:

1) Do you have any experience as a moderator on another server? If I contact your old server owner, would he/she give you a good recommendation?
2) Do you have time to devote to moderating? If you have to share a computer with siblings/parents/roommates on a regular basis, the answer is usually "no."
3) Do you really have an interest in making the game server the best it can be? Or would you rather be playing the game instead?
4) Can you commit to being online at certain times, and if you need to be absent, can you commit to finding a replacement for those times?
5) Can you be impartial and fair when you need to discipline players, even if the players are your friends?
6) What do you consider your most important skills that pertain to moderating? Your ability to give creative suggestions? Your sense of fairness? Your ability to make new players feel welcome?
7) Are your computer and internet connection fast enough to handle the stresses of being in a multiplayer online environment for a few hours at a time?
8) Are you mature, not as much in actual age, as ability to handle gracefully situations where you will be called everything under the sun for enforcing rules that players won't like? Will you be able to handle a mostly thankless, unpaid job where everything is always your fault, and there are no good answers sometimes?
9) Are you willing to do whatever you can to make the game server you moderate one that people will enjoy coming to and will want to invite their friends to?
10) Are you willing to stick with it, and not defect to another server?

These skills are the minimum I would expect from moderators. I've had to "fire" friends, turn friends in who were using their moderator powers to unfairly overbalance the game for their own clans, read through page after page of angry, threatening chat logs, listen to people bitch and whine when the server needed to be wiped and restarted... There are a LOT of downsides to moderating.

So, before you start begging for that moderator position, or before you freely offer it to the first five players on your server, think very carefully about what you want to accomplish with your game server. These questions will make the differences that will make your server just another one-week wonder, or a game server that will last.

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05/27/2019 2:51 am
Level 29 : Expert Demolitionist Engineer
YourBoiFrostyMuffins's Avatar
05/01/2013 8:12 am
Level 30 : Artisan Mage
19dshriver's Avatar
This is a really good blog :D
04/25/2013 3:55 pm
Level 41 : Master Geek
Profoak0117's Avatar
I like how you used a he man picture xD
04/25/2013 4:09 pm
Level 54 : Grandmaster Witch
mommaCarole's Avatar
It seemed appropriate. ;)
03/03/2013 3:46 pm
Level 25 : Expert Unicorn
Eyeless_JackX's Avatar
Well spoke, well spoke...
11/10/2012 9:21 am
Level 1 : New Miner
Nicho_1's Avatar
Awesome information dude, for someone like myself, looking towards applying for mod/admin status on a server, it's priceless.
One more requirement I'd have added would be, If you can't read instructions, (i.e. Don't apply), I haven't got a server, the answer is no.
Cudos my friend and thanks.
11/09/2012 11:58 am
Level 3 : Apprentice Miner
ThaServer's Avatar
Why are people putting mod applications :/. Can't they read
11/09/2012 9:34 pm
Level 54 : Grandmaster Witch
mommaCarole's Avatar
I have my doubts. ;)
11/09/2012 9:43 am
Level 18 : Journeyman Network
zagejk's Avatar
wow.....well put tutorial. I think you are one of my favorite mods, so I shall go and subscribe now. :)

(btw, you SHOULD make a server! :D)
11/09/2012 9:49 am
Level 54 : Grandmaster Witch
mommaCarole's Avatar
ah, but if I made a server, I'd have to ... moderate it. ;) too much work!
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