So. . not to offend anyone and not to point fingers. I thought I put together some basic rules that I think Mu*'s should at least consider when putting a game together or taking over an existing one. Some games need 'em more than others. . .
1) Is the game there to stroke your ego or is it for the players? Some wiz seem to think that it is "their" game. They should be GUIDING THE GAME and trying to resolve disputes. I tend to get strange looks in RL cause most of the time my job is a network admin. A lot of network admins I've had to deal with over the years seem to look down on masses as being beneath them. My first "real" job was in a sales environment and the owner of the store told me something one day when I was short with a customer. He said that he may write my paycheck but keeping the customer happy and coming back is what gives him the ability to sign my check. So when someone calls me and says they can't get there email I try to treat everyone like they're the president of the company. Now this is not an easy task by /any/ starch of the imagination. And those crazy people from Canada do not make life any easier. But it takes time to change a group's mindset. It doesn't happen overnight. Unless you toss a cyanide capsule in their mountain dew while they're in the server room ;).
If you treat your players like crap one of two things tend to happen. 1) Your playerbase leaves and the game dies. 2) It turns into a pissing contest and you are going to loose. Sure you can @sitelock 'em and what does that get? People going 'Hey why was Bob kicked off the game?' People going to sites and bitching about the game though honestly if it's gotten to the point that you sitelock 'em they're already bitching in the LJ/Forum/Other Games/Mud Listings etc. Now does that mean you shouldn't @sitelock people? Hell no! If someone is cause you trouble then do something about it. But what is trouble? Is saying hey admin you've got your heads up your ass! trouble? It depends on your rules. Usually things like that are going to end up in a bbpost or on a channel. But if you start getting constructive advice before all of it starts you should consider what someone with an outside view is trying to tell you.
2)Trispis@M*U*S*H wrote some softcode several years ago called Sanctions you can find it at http://ftp.pennmush.org/MUSHcode/sanctions.txt. I used it for a couple of years until I started thinking about it. The main concept I liked in Trispis information about the system was "When Judge Roy Bean, aka The Hanging Judge, was asked if the extremely low crime rate in his jurisdiction was due to the severity of his punishments, he replied (paraphrase) "It's not the severity of the punishment that deters crime, it's the certainty of it." I don't care what your rules are if TSing with a goat is an instant @sitelock then when you catch one of your staffers doing it you better @sitelock 'em right that bloody second. If you've got rules on what's allowed to be talked about on channels fine but enforce them on /everyone/. You're never going to please everyone all the time so don't even try. All you can do is try and treat everyone fairly that in itself is hard.
3)Trust your players. I keep hear crap about AUP! AUP! AUP! Delete post! Or whatever. You need to realize that the AUP is a two way street. You are basically entering into a social contract with each other. The AUP or conduct rules is what you expect of your players. But so many places forget to include what the players can expect from staff. If I logged into a game and went news staff conduct and it said, "If you are a member of then you can expect us to be unforgiving, unwilling to listen and think you're about as worthwild as the dog shit that was in the burning brown bag that the neighborhood teenagers leave on my doorstep once a week." then I can go.. Oh.. ok.. its a BSDM game. Cool now I know what to expect. And if you have a code of conduct live by it. That's about all I have for right now but I'll post the code of conduct I use on my games in the next couple of messages.