Let's be real for a minute. ❤️
September 18, 2018, 09:44 AM
Zombie

So, first. Hi! I'm Melee. Some of you know me as the game's "original" creator, some of you may not— overall, I've taken a large step back from the game, and nowadays I mostly participate in the behind-the-scenes management of WOLF, so don't feel bad if you don't really know who I am.

I want to address the elephant in the room. I have a feeling that the majority of the community probably doesn't know what I'm referring to, but there is a very engaged and vocal part of the community that has been voicing concerns to us for several months now. To be frank, there is a lot of "he said, she said" coming at us from all sides, a lot of passive aggressive comments being flung around within the community (especially on Discord), and a lot of passive-aggressive to aggressive criticism of the way the CM team manages the game.

We have always been a 100% member driven community. We are open to your feedback. But this community is, mostly, what you choose to make it. If someone is being toxic, you have the agency to tell them to shut it down. If someone has a playstyle that doesn't break any rules but you don't like, you have the agency to resolve it between yourselves (which we encourage) or to choose not to write with them. If you suspect someone is taking OOC feelings IC, you have the agency to resolve it between yourselves (which we encourage) or to avoid them in the future.

If you feel it is crossing the line into harassment, please do report it to us. Even in the instances where you may feel we are doing "nothing", we are spending volunteer hours every day discussing complaints we receive behind the scenes and determining what actions if any we feel would be appropriate to take. A lot of times, we are being asked to mediate personal disagreements, and that is something we will never do— it's quite frankly none of our business who gets along with who— so we can only take action if people are being extremely hateful and inflammatory in a public space or clearly breaking in character game rules.

Every member here should have the chance to learn and grow from their past mistakes. We rarely give out strikes or bans for this reason.

I would very lovingly suggest that if you find yourself feeling a lot of negative emotions by participating in WOLF, reassess your boundaries and what is in your power to fix. For some, that might be avoiding certain people. That's okay! The community and game world is huge. For others, that might be avoiding Discord. It may even be taking a step back from or a full break from the game. This is a hobby for all of us, and no hobby should feel like a negative or obligatory activity. Another note along this vein is that the CM team members are not mental health professionals. We are not equipped to treat or counsel mental health issues. If you feel your participation in WOLF is a detriment to your mental health, we encourage you to speak to a professional. We just don't have the tools or expertise to help you.

I would also like to be frank that each member of the CM team is volunteering their time outside of real life obligations— careers, homeownership, relationships, other commitments— to manage the game. We love WOLF, but it is just one hobby among many other priorities. We are not paid, professional Community Managers and managing WOLF does not pay our bills or put food on the table. We have no interest in treating WOLF like it is a job or behaving as such. We are still expected to be courteous and abide by the rules just like any other member, but this sentiment that we should be professional has been bubbling up recently and— to be frank— it is an entirely unfair demand and expectation.

The same core team has been managing the game for five years. We've learned a lot in that time. We've pivoted our management style a lot in that time. We have honed our management of the game over time into a style that allows members the freedom to be creative without needing to worry about a rulebook the size of a library. We are managing the game in a way that allows us to enjoy it as members first and staff second. We are managing it in a way that allows us to, for the most part, avoid burning out so we can continue to serve the community. As I mentioned earlier, we are open to feedback when it's appropriate, and we have made several policy changes (even recently) that have come out of feedback from our members, but our overall style of game management will not be changing. We will always be fairly hands off and trust in our community to be the community they want.

What I really want all of you to realize is how much power you have to make this game and your experience of the game what you want it to be without the CMs being required to get involved at all. If you're not sure how to resolve something on your own, reach out to us for help and know that we are here to guide you even if we can't solve something for you in exactly the way you'd like it to be.

Some of you may not like what I've said here, and that's okay. You're a person, just like me, and it is absolutely fine to have feelings. However, if you are upset, about this or really anything else that happens within the game or community, I'd like to ask a favor. That when you feel the urge to reach out and contact staff or other players with concerns about anything related to WOLF, to stop and think about what you would say and how you would say it if we were, instead of communicating via computers, sitting down to coffee. Does it seem like something that'd be silly or cruel to say out loud, in person, to someone's face? If so, it would be a good idea to sleep on it and/or edit your approach. Although we can't enforce it, the Courtesy & Brave Space Guidelines are worth a review for everyone here.

Finally, I want to address the level of power an ACM has: pretty much none. ACMs were instituted to help the CMs out with maintenance tasks, approving characters, and other custodial work. We also introduced them to help members get a transparent look at how the CM team functions behind the scenes, and as such, they do get to participate in the majority of our management discussions. However, they cannot make policy changes without approval from the rest of the CM team, although they may help us out to update the guidebook. They cannot issue strikes or other official punishments without approval from the rest of the CM team.

If you have an issue with how the game is managed, the best thing you can do is sign up for ACM if you are a Pack Manager. Every pack manager is welcome to do so, regardless of history— we have a diverse community, and it has been invaluable to the CM team to get perspectives from the variety of players and playstyles WOLF is home to.
September 18, 2018, 09:45 AM
Zombie

Also, in the interest of transparency: I am in the midst of my work day, as are the rest of the staff, so please be patient as it will likely take us time to thoughtfully respond to any comments. Thank you!
September 18, 2018, 08:10 PM
Hydra
Moonspear
Beta
I think you guys are doing an amazing job. You hear people out and you consider everything before doing what you do on top of what you're dealing with in your personal lives. Thanks for keeping the game running and GIVING ME MY SECOND HOME AND A PLACE AMONG MY WILD WOLF PPL!!!!! This is my fun hobby and I am #blessed to be a part of this game and thanks everyone for playing along with me and stuff 

Also I am DRUNK AND SAPPY but S/O TO THE CM'S!!!!!!!! HOWLS!!!! U KEEP THIS SHIP AFLOAT FAM!!!

I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal