I am moving them over here to facilitate discussion about them.
...there needs to be some discussion of what can be done to make the game deserving of such a high bar.... I don't believe the game in its current state gives back anything like enough of an experience to both players and staff to warrant such restrictions on them[OOC communications]
I think this begins with at least doubling or tripling the current junior staff, along with some major discussions about empowering active staff in general to tell bigger and newer stories that shape and re-shape the world
This can be a good conversation with clarifications.
(I hesitate to start with this one given that it's adversarial, but unfortunately it's first on the list.)
What is the "high bar"? The expectation that players will follow the rules and not communicate OOCly?
High implies hard to reach. It's not hard to not communicate OOCly. It's not hard to not do something. It's literally the easiest thing to accomplish. Right now I am doing an amazing job of not being a doctor. I can do nothing else for the rest of my life and I will never be a doctor. Similarly anyone can play here and never communicate with another player OOCly.
What specific elements would raise the bar on the Sindome gaming experience?
Doubling or tripling the staff
Do we know how many staff are currently in the game?
Approximately how many staff would there be if the current number was doubled, or tripled?
More staff is always* good. Similarly, every* M* game, ever has always wanted / needed more staff.
With that caveat out of the way, my only concern with doubling or tripling the staff is the staff / player ratio. Not just staff to player, but staff / active players. In this context I am using active players to denote players who log on daily, or near daily.
It isn't hard to imagine a situation where nearly every regularly active player is a staffer, or a character who has a close IC relationship with a staffer. That quickly becomes a challenge due to staffers having to recuse themselves from plots and other activities due to conflicts of interest with their characters, or close associates of their characters.
I'm not saying that will happen here. It just something to think about when considering increasing the number of staffers by orders of magnitude.
Empowering staff to tell bigger stories
In so far as staff are currently limited by how large or impactful the plots that they are allowed to run, this is worth considering. I have noticed the occasional complaint that players do not feel like they can meaningfully impact the game world in any significant way. Allowing characters to be involved in plots that bring them together with other characters and result in a "permanent"-ish impact to the world could be cool.
Bigger is not necessarily always better, or successful. There was a recent discussion about riot RP and riot plots. Those seem fairly big, but players failed to jump on them. There is also a bit of limitation on how big a plot can be, given the size of the player base.
Given the past distrust between players and staffers, there is the consideration of whether allowing JUNIOR / new staff to make big waves with their plots could have bad results. A compromise could be allowing junior staff to propose big plots, subject to senior approval and oversight.
One suggestion is that senior staff could write the broad stroke outlines of a big plot. Then junior staffers could be given responsibility for moving along one of the factions or groups involved in the larger plot. Weekly or bi-monthly plot check ins could be conducted among staff to re-align and adjust course as necessary.
empowering active staff in general to tell ... newer stories
One of the things that I feel is unique about Sindome is just how player / character centric the narrative is. More so than other games I have played, it feels like Sindome staff are primarily enabling active characters to further their own goals, while at the same time providing push back, creating obstacles and otherwise challenging those characters.
The new stories come from new characters, or established characters deciding to do new things. Every once in a while the staff will make some changes to the game world to freshen things up, like closing down NeoTrans and opening up PRI.
There is a delicate balancing act between creating incentives for players to create RP, and providing RP via staff plots and actions. It is very hard to cultivate a player base of driven players who will create RP. The "norm" is for staff to drive theme. There is nothing wrong with staff driving theme. There are lots of benefits.
There are a few major challenges with staff driven theme.
Staffer burn out / turn over. RL happens. People get over playing the game. When it happens to a staffer with an active plot, things get awkward. When it happens to a staffer with >1 active plots, things get really problematic. On the flip side, when players are driving plots with the support of staff, there is some cushion there if the staffer vanishes.
Plot expectation / entitlement. When players come to expect plots and look forward to plots, they are less incentivized to run their own plots. When those plots inevitably dry up, players get disaffected and leave. The converse is that sometimes staff plots spark creativity in players to take subsequent, plot like actions on their own. This can be great, so long as the actions can be sustained at the player level.
Fresh faces, the ability for seasoned staff to step back and be in answer questions mode and not have to feel like they're obligated to engage given the current state of things
This is a really good benefit.
There does seem to be a pretty significant amount of ... yuck... directed at some current staffers. (I'm assuming that this is what TalonCzar is referring to by "the current state of things")
In so far as that yuck is based on perceptions of actions or actions that they have taken in the past to benefit their characters, it would be great to put those staffers on the bench for a while. Get them out of the business of running plots for 6-12 months. Show the wider M* community that Sindome does provide room for "new / fresh" ideas to grow or wither based on their merits, not the whims of a few long standing staffers.