Being an admin on a server with many users is not easy, so firstly, thank you. Thank you very much.
This guide is aimed to be helpful to admins on the main game server, stendhalgame.org.
Commonly used commands are summarised, with examples given, at Stendhal:Administration.
If you just want to help players, for example those who:
- need information and don't know where to look
- point them to the correct source, this may be the wiki, website, or an NPC
- don't know commands to help them
- teach the command and teach about /help
- don't know the rules yet (e.g. think PVP is against the rules)
- educate on rules, point to source of information
then this can be achieved by taking the Stendhal Helper Role.
Admins and helpers also help players who:
- have a technical problem
- a client glitch may be temporary: suggest they try relogging
- help if possible, i.e. if answered in the FAQ or you know the solution
- otherwise advise them to lodge a support request, or wait for an answer which may come later
- have lost their password
- See Stendhal FAQ#Passwords, or below.
In rare cases, direct intervention from admin is needed.
A big difference between an admin and a helper is that an admin can be expected to do detailed investigations when problems arise, they have access to some admin commands which are rarely needed, and admins are expected to use the /support channel for all communications with players regarding problems as this is logged.
It is essential to always use /supportanswer in response to a /support query.
- /supportanswer is logged to IRC and player history, the /msg is not
- Other admin need to see if an issue is resolved
- Players start to use /msg instead of /support if you set this bad example - and then you have trouble later with being bothered by /msg
Do make use of the standard $ supportanswer responses, a list of which can be obtained with /gmhelp support.
If writing your own response, type a # before you paste in a link, for good formatting of any # which happen to be in the link (e.g. wiki sections).
It's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the FAQ so that you can answer questions fast with it (and do look up the $faq shortcuts), and be consistent with game policy.
Communication between admin
Please make sure you join the IRC channel when you are in the game in a support capacity. If you start to answer support questions and have not joined the IRC channel already, please join asap. For example, if you deal with a support question in person because you are there already then please send a quick message to /support so that the other admin know that they don't have to deal with it. Likewise if there is an issue which needs a decision from other admin, you need to tell the other admin about the issue. Preferably tell them before the issue is raised again so there is time for discussion. Finally if something needs extra attention and noone else is around to respond, please create a new Support Request.
Bugs reported through support
Bug reports are very helpful, and are roughly divided into three types. Suggested replies are given below. Politeness is emphasised because we really need players to feel willing to make bug reports.
- not a bug, just a feature
- Hi, what you have discovered is a feature of XXX and not a bug. But thank you for your time in reporting it anyway, as if it was a bug we'd need to know!
- a known bug which is already reported
- /supportanswer $knownbug is ideal for this
- something which sounds like a bug and probably isn't reported, so we would like a report
- /supportanswer $bugstracker is ideal for this
If someone asks for a password reset then it can be done only if they originally signed up with a valid email address to a mailbox that they can access. So,
- 1. For example, reply: Hi, your password can be reset if you signed up with a valid email address originally. Please wait for an email..
- 2. Please create a new Support Request including the player account name who needs the reset. The server admin (those who have access to the database) check this. They will assign the request to themselves and email something like this:
Hi, someone requested a password reset for the stendhal account XXX. This is the email address registered for that account.
Please do the following things:
1. Login with another account (create one if necessary)
2. Tell support this message :
/support Hi, Please ask a server admin to merged my account XXX into this account. The Code is xxxxxxxxxxx.
3. Wait. A server admin will be asked by someone from support to merge the accounts. When that is done, you will be able to play your old characters by logging into your new account.
- 3. When the support message is received, any admin needs to please comment on the tracker item that was created. The server admin who sent the email will confirm that the created account name matched what was in the email (YYY). This acts as the check that the email was read, i.e. the person requesting the pw change is the one who owns the account. They will then change the password and close the request.
In case a player just says 'help' or 'hello' or 'anyone here' then you can either:
- Say Hi, please could you tell us specifically what you need help with? Thanks Or
- ignore it
If you suspect that a player has gained access to another player's account, then the player whose account has been compromised should change their password as soon as possible. If this is not possible, the player should be jailed for -1 minutes. This is not because we think they have done anything wrong, but because in jail items cannot be moved around so in particular noone can steal or throw away their items. Also noone can take their player to dangerous places to kill them etc. They are only safe to be released from jail once they have changed their password. If in doubt, this can be checked on the database, which you need to ask a server admin to do.
If it is not obvious who hacked the account then this can be investigated by looking at the login events in database. Again, a server admin will need to be asked to do this. Please try to establish whether the player has shared any passwords as if they have, the people who knew the password are the most likely candidate for being a 'hacker'. (Which is, of course, why password sharing is prohibited, it makes too many problems.) In this case items will not be returned to the player and further investigations are fruitless.
If you find out that someone has shared their password with others then please follow the same guidelines as for a hacked account. They should change their password asap, or be jailed until they change their password.
The following examples will help you with reacting to different kind of signs which players rented from Gordon.
Situation 1: Player x rented a sign with: "Admins please help, player y stole my items!"
- "Hi all! In response to a sign from a player asking admins to do something about thieves: Sorry to read about stealing, but this is an issue admins don't intervene in. For trading please use right-click Trade - you can learn from Dagobert how to do it. In fighting, with looting from corpses there is some advice on the FAQ #http://stendhalgame.org/wiki/index.php/StendhalFAQ - Thanks"
Situation 2: Player x rented a sign which is including insults in relation to player y like "player y is stupid and dumb!"
- "We encourage peace and diplomacy within Stendhal. Remember that this is a game, and respect is something you should have while playing an online game in which you meet other players. We work to have a nice community here."
Situation 3: Player x rented a sign with: "Please everybody, kill player y for me, he is a thief and stole my items!"
- "We encourage peace and diplomacy within Stendhal. Do remember that if you kill another player you get a red skull for at least two weeks. This warns other players of your danger and NPCs will refuse to help you in many ways. So, think carefully before killing a player."
Being an admin you will be subject to abuse. Players are jealous of your powers (even though you yourself would never use them to your advantage) and they are envious of your position. This can turn players nasty. The best thing to do is not to enter into any nasty discussion, and even leave game if necessary. It is horrible if your day is ruined because of a nasty person so it's better to leave before that happens. Please try not to take it personally. These abusers don't see you as a person. If they did, then in most cases they would never be so rude.
Feel free to go to Skye for some relaxing time if someone is nasty to you.
Most problems are possible to answer using /support and this is logged, so teleport is rarely needed.
Please only teleport to a player if you need to see or solve a problem in that location. Otherwise it is tempting to use public chat instead of /support and then logs are lost and other admins don't have visibility.
In some cases, it is better to observe the situation without interacting.
For non player admins who need to go fast to bank, or DM, first teleportto Skye then walk through one of her clever portals.
As an admin it is important to set a good example to other players. This certainly means you should not be breaking any rules yourself. It is strongly preferable that you do not attack and certainly do not kill other players. If you have clone accounts which most people know belong to you, you should apply the same rules of conduct to them as you do yourself - players do not differentiate between the play-only and the admin characters. Of course, you would not have been chosen to have adminlevel if you weren't already a nice person who behaved well, but it is worth noting these things 'officially'. Also remember, that we admins are not there to solve personal problems between two players. If there is the case that two are having a personal revenge and doing something like stealing from each other corpses, admins should not interfere, neither with their admin chars nor with clones as that is against our admin rules. Also don't give items to players who complained about being robbed by someone with your admin chars/clones as it sets a precedent which isn't part of our admin role.
It can be helpful to keep the creature page open.
For players up to level 300, you should only summon creatures up to half the player level on top of a full health player. If summoning a Plague or using a script make this 1/3 or less.
Players above level 300 should cope with any level of creature or know what to do if not.
Please *destroy creatures have been summoned in error and are killing a low level.
You can on occasion summon a small number potions or a soup if you see that a player is defending against something too big for it but trying hard, do not do this too much please.
Find out what is available with /script -list *Raid.class
Find out what players each raid is safe for with /script NameRaid.class any parameter
Finally - thank you again. I wish there was some concrete way to thank admin without making it look like they have an unfair advantage over others. Hopefully being a contributor to such a lovely game is at least some reward.