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Morrigan

Should a staff member be able to reserve playbys/faceclaims and other content?

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So this happened to me actually over the past few days as well as in the past but I've noticed a trend of staff member people being a little incestuous with wanted characters as well which really kills my mojo for a site.

 

So first thing that I mentioned. I was looking at a potential site. Everything was good, the Playby/Faceclaim I intended to use was available, stars were aligning! Lets join a site!!!

 

I copy the application, fill in the basics, go to bed because I'm tired. Next I start to continue to read and get things worked out but I want to double check the playbys. So I do.... and find out that an administrator on the site has reserved the faceclaim/playby I was halfway through apping. Well... fuck me. These reserves last a week and now I, as a perspective member, am now stunted in my ability to apply. I'm now waiting to see if administrator person applies with the playby/faceclaim or if I'm basically screwed out of the character altogether.

 

I understand the argument "Well just change their faceclaim/playby" since they aren't new characters in my head it would be like changing an actor in a movie or TV series partway through. Its jarring and no one likes the second actor anyways (Dr Who notwithstanding here people).

 

The other issue I have is where staff members take all the wanted characters of everyone they like. Not super terrible on the surface but it really makes for a shallow pool of wanted ads when an existing member posts a wanted ad and a staff member takes them all.

 

Now I obviously believe that staff members should get the same respect as a normal member because they have extra duties etc but I also feel like that in some cases they are withdrawing potential from their community by not only taking up reserves but also taking up wanted characters. For Reserves, you know they aren't leaving the site, they are obviously in contact with other members of the site so why is it needed? Create the character and move on otherwise let a potential member steal the reserve, it takes things off their plate if its a canon right? If its a character wanted ad. Why pick up every wanted ad for everyone? It shallows the pool for potential members?

 

Give me your insight both as a member and a staff member from these sorts of things.

 

I personally don't like reserving characters in general. If you want it, talk to the member in question, get some ideas reserve it with them. Don't reserve it in a thread that could be months old. Why do you need to resrve a facelaim. If you want it, create the character or at least post the WIP app. It feels like a cliquey way to keep things between certain people.


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Posted (edited)

I had an incident where I made a character and after developing them for a while in RP I finally settled on a PB.  I messaged an admin and let them know that this was the FC I wanted and they said that was fine because the PB was open.  Months go by, I have over 100 posts with this character and have made top posters per week several times- my PBs face displaying on the main board.  All of a sudden I see another member apply for my PB and I message the Admin about it.  Turns out that admin never actually put down my name for the claim.  

 

I sent the admin the messages when asked to prove my account of what happened and the admin completely stepped out of the equation and told me to talk to the other member about it.  I'm still amazed that the admin refused to just tell the other member that they messed up- especially after I had 100 posts with the character.

Edited by Legends Are Lessons
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The only scenario I can envision is when the physical description for a character needs to be incredibly specific, or if it's been alluded to previously in the RP. Other than that, don't get in your players' way. Especially prospective players. Either have the character using the Playby ready to go, or be willing to give it up.

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I get the attachment to face claims. A lot of us are visual creatures. At the same time - an actor can play many roles. Sometimes even within the same series.

 

Personally, I'm a sucker for mistaken identity plots. To me a shared face claim is just another thread opportunity.

 

Reserves don't typically effect me since I tend to roll new characters, but I can definitely see the frustration of someone squatting popular attractants/wanteds/positions/etc.

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4 hours ago, Morrigan said:

I understand the argument "Well just change their faceclaim/playby" since they aren't new characters in my head it would be like changing an actor in a movie or TV series partway through. Its jarring and no one likes the second actor anyways (Dr Who notwithstanding here people).

 

Thats my response to the bit about attachment. 


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Posted (edited)

Staff should have all the benefits that normal players have. If they allow members to reserve face-claims, then they should be allowed to do the same.

 

This whole ordeal sounds like an avoidable personal problem more than a site problem. If the staff wasn't aware of your intentions and the app wasn't finished and submitted...how is this their problem? They're not mind-readers. And that also begs the question of...if reserves are allowed on this site, then why didn't you reserve the face yourself if you knew you weren't going to finish it then and there? They have this system in place to prevent issues like this.

 

So basically, I agree with @Jaxx. I don't think reserves hurt a game, and I think if it works for the game, it works for the game. If they lose potential members because the member is inflexible and unwilling to make a new character/use a different face (whatever their reason may be, the reasons don't really matter), that's not really their loss. And if your experience is absolutely ruined because you can't use that particular face, welp...that's unfortunate, but there are lots of games out there. Move on and try again.

 

But I think reserves are fine and that they make sense. Everyone writes apps at a different pace, and some people may need more time. The reserve lets them have a reasonable amount of time to write their app rather than jackhammer something out and hope no one else grabbed that face in the meantime.

 

As for wanteds, I can't fathom policing that. As long as everyone is having fun with it, eh, they can do whatever. Just kinda like how I don't particularly care when the same group of people plays with each other without really branching out. It's not my job, or my concern, as an admin to police who plays with who.

 

That said, I don't do reserves or face-claims or anything like that on my games, but speaking as a player who has joined such games, I don't mind it at all and it makes perfect sense to me. I adapt, or I move on. Easy peasy.

Edited by Viscount Rhi-Rhi
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Just to be clear, this isn't about me or my choice as a player and I didn't go running to the staff to complain about it. They didn't even know I was looking at potentially joining their site.

 

The conversation is about admins that just swipe up every wanted ad and every playby/character possible.

 

That's the point of this thread. Thanks.


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Regarding reserves, I think they're important. Even if you're applying with a brand-new, invented-by-you OC, the character probably has connections to other characters in the game, not to mention the setting, so without reserves, there is always the potential of someone doing a ton of work and then finding out they've had their canon/face claim/position/relationship accidentally usurped while they were working on the app. We're all always talking about the importance of communication, and this is just one more example of that. There's no reason to not put your cards on the table, and by doing so, you might avoid hurt feelings or missteps.

 

(As an aside, I have to say it's bizarre to me that any site would not have face claims as part of their reserves. If you don't allow duplicate PBs, that seems like a natural pairing to me, and avoids some of the issues detailed by others above.)

 

@Morrigan I see what you're trying to say with this topic, the conversation you intended to start, but I also agree with @Jaxx and think that if you didn't want to discuss the particular details regarding the face claim, they probably shouldn't have been included. It kind of muddies the argument, IMO.

 

Regarding admin that swipe up the best available characters/spots: I've seen this happen many times, and I think that as an admin, it behooves you to set a standard you'd like others to emulate and then stick to it. In my experience, it can easily create resentment among players when you don't. I think it's pretty standard from the admin playbook: Would you feel compelled to put the brakes on a regular player who was doing this particular behavior? Would it bug you?  If so, you shouldn't be doing it, and should probably be holding yourself to an even stricter standard. People will perceive you differently and hold you to a higher standard no matter what you do because you're the one with the power.

 

By the same token, I think circumstances can vary wildly. How big is the game? Do they add a lot of new players? Are the other players picking up an equal number of canons? How many canons are available? Is the atmosphere more intimate? Etc. If it's just me and a few friends for a year, yeah I'm going to pick up whoever interests me if I think it might be months or years or never getting a canon filled. If the game is large and very active, it's not as appropriate for the reasons detailed above. Context is everything.

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I think there's a middle ground to be had, honestly. 

 

Personally, I don't hold a huge attachment to face claims in the sense that if I can't have, idk, Eva Green for my character, I'll look up another brown-haired beauty with green eyes and figure things out.  So, admittedly, that bit for me is a bit hard to empathize with because of my limited attachment to faces. 

 

However! (big However!)

 

I do think staff/admin have an obligation / responsibility to give players opportunities. I've once seen a forum where one of the admins had over 50 characters on their roster, many of which were hardly in play, and that meant a lot of very popular faces and canon positions were being sat on by one admin. Not super extra-enticing for new players.  Similar to this, admins cornering new player interactions to themselves (what) and calling DIBS on new male characters (sometimes just based on the face) for ships are all  things I've witnessed and which I disapprove.

 

So to sum up: face claims should not be a big deal, and with staff privilege comes great responsibility.

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Posted (edited)

I have had this issue a few times, more than I care to admit.

As a member, I have informed staff and other members I'm interested in using someone as my character's face claim, only to have them go and add it in the reserves for someone else (usually among their own team of staff.) It's not right.

One time, I had a character and I think Asa Butterfield was the face claim. Someone else joined about a month later and wanted to use the same actor for their characters. I reminded the staff that I was using Asa, that he was even in the list as taken, and that my character wouldn't have a twin. They had the nerve to tell me to open up to the possibility of twins because the newcomer begged them to let him use Asa. Needless to say, I left.

Another experience as a member, and one that I find completely absurd, and it's happened twice from two different people. Someone is obsessed with Rain from the Resident Evil movies, who is played by Michelle Rodriguez. She had not even claimed the face claim yet when another member joined shortly after I did and asked to use Michelle for her character. The Rain addict, that's what I would call her, started bashing the newcomer. "No, Michelle is mine! Only I am allowed to use her! All the forums know this rule." Exaggeration. The addict got banned a couple of weeks later because she kept insulting other members and guests. She somehow got through that ban and when another member registered Michelle as their character's face claim, she threatened to sue the forum.

The second experience is from someone who was obsessed with using Lucy Hale for their Charmed character. All 3 witches were already claimed, so there was really no point in making another, and yes, Lucy Hale was already being used. They actually tried to make the admin change the Charmed One's face claim to someone else so they could use Lucy themselves. Thankfully, the admin didn't budge and the person never joined.

 

As an admin, I do include face claims in threads like for canon characters (or on original forums, "pivotal characters." Canons doesn't make sense when it comes to an original idea, right?) But I always mention that they are simply suggestions if anyone wants to change them to someone else, provided that they aren't taken already.

Edited by Ambrose
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CW has always allowed reservations, but we've also included it with the idea that if there is a WIP app on the forum to be polite and not knock them out of their spot. Staff don't get any special abilities with reservations or claims. They're members with more work. 

 

If it isn't on the forum for all to see and isn't reserved by the member, how would anyone know it was in the works? If it was, then dick move on the staff's part and probably a bullet dodged there.

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I don't care if admins take a bunch of characters and playbys, within reason. Mostly as long as the admins are keeping themselves to the same rules as the player base, aren't doing anything that they wouldn't want to see a player doing, and don't do something like reserve a playby because they saw someone else say they want to use it. Plus I've never once in my life seen an admin take literally every single wanted that's posted on their site. A lot of them, sure, but not all of them. 

 

As long as they're not jumping on every single wanted .0002 seconds after it's posted, and other people have a chance to take it if they're interested, then it's fine with me. When a wanted ad has been up for a few weeks or months, then it's up for grabs for anyone and I have a hard time seeing how it's inherently wrong for any one person to take it. I'd personally prefer a staff member takes my wanted because they are much, much, much less likely to leave the site or ghost on me. 

 

And I can't think of a single playby I've seen on a forum that couldn't be replaced by at least ten or fifteen almost identical ones. So I'm not annoyed at all if one I like or commonly use is taken. It just means I have the opportunity to expand my horizons and find more faces that I might love to use in the future, even if it's not for the specific character I have in mind. I almost always have several faces in mind when I'm making a character, unless I'm taking a canon/wanted that has a specific face claim attached to it. 

 

I'm still curious about why you think reserves are related to cliques. 

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On 6/30/2019 at 12:52 AM, Morrigan said:

I also feel like that in some cases they are withdrawing potential from their community by not only taking up reserves but also taking up wanted characters. For Reserves, you know they aren't leaving the site, they are obviously in contact with other members of the site so why is it needed? Create the character and move on otherwise let a potential member steal the reserve, it takes things off their plate if its a canon right? If its a character wanted ad. Why pick up every wanted ad for everyone? It shallows the pool for potential members?

 

While things like canons are their own ballgame, where want ads are concerned, as an admin and a member, I care about the person requesting the character. If they're happy to have it sit in limbo whilst Stuart gets his act together, awesome. If they're not, then they will simply say "tough cookies" to Stuart and then New!Joan is welcome to swoop in.


Keep in mind, though, I've never been a part of the board where it wasn't in the site's culture to get the okay from the requester before even starting an application, so that could certainly colour my opinion on the matter!

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I might not clearly understand the situation, but I guess my issue would be not necessarily reserving a face claim, but rather, if you were clearly apping the character with that face, it's unprofessional and a bit of an abuse of power to then go reserve it because they wanted it after all.  On the other hand, if it was already reserved in a clear place and you did not check or notice, then I would understand, but reserving half-way through is just a jerk thing to do.  Basically, I believe staff should follow the same rules as the members.  Basically as a staff member, if I were aware of the situation, I would at the very least try to point out the reservation asap.  

 

In regards to reservations in general, I have no problem with them.  I like reserves on the occasions when we have two new members vying for the same character because I really don't want it to become a competition.  Better to just have one reserve first as that would be kinda lousy to make people write up a whole app and then not get to play the character.  This being said, I think permanent reservations on the off chance of a staff member making that character is not a great way to run a board.  As long as these rules apply to everyone than it is fine.  We allow re-reserves too if it's very clear the character is being made- regardless of who is making the character.  Likely, though, if this kept happening week after week we would just free up the character.

 

In regards to snatching up faces, want ads etc, I don't see an issue with staff doing it, so long as they are going to be active.  With want ads, the players have a say regardless and final approval on the characters.  Sometimes we've taken on more canon characters because the role was needed in plots or we waited a long time and no one grabbed it and have been able to push things forward now as a result.  I think it's probably just a case by case thing and a matter of fairness, but the staff members taking this roles in and of itself is not to me, unfair.  

 

 

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