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The Lurkers Chat Channel and In-Game "Guilds"
01-14-2005, 07:25 AM (This post was last modified: 02-07-2005 09:43 PM by MongoJerry.)
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The Lurkers Chat Channel and In-Game "Guilds"

The Lurkers Chat Channel

The first thing any Lurker should do when starting up a character on a new server is join the "Lurkers" chat channel, which makes finding and communicating with other Lurkers, even those in different guilds, easy. To join the Lurkers chat channel, type:

/join Lurkers

The game will tell you what channel number the Lurkers channel is. For example, it might tell you that it's in channel number 5. In that case, to post in the Lurkers channel, type:

/5 Hi! Anyone home?

To see a list of people in the Lurkers channel, type (if the Lurker channel is channel #5 for you):

/chatlist 5

You can also change the color of the text for the Lurkers chat channel, making it more visible over the noise of the general channels. To do this, follow this procedure:

1. In the chat window, right-click on the General tab.
2. Mouse-over the Channels option to open the Channels tab.
3. Find the "Lurkers" line and click on the colored square on the right to select a new color to display the channel in. That's it.

[Image: chatcolor.jpg]

The Lurker Lounge In-game "Guilds"

The Lurker Lounge is not a guild. Lurkers are free to and even encouraged to find and join guilds not affiliated with the Lurker Lounge on the servers they happen to play on. However, there are many players who come to this site who do not have any affiliation with a guild and would like to play with fellow Lurkers. If a server has enough Lurkers playing on it, the players on that server are welcome to form a Lurker Lounge guild in order to enable better communication between those players. The administration of these "guilds," including minutia like the specific guild name ("Lurking Loungers?" "Lounging Lurkers?" Just "Lurkers?") and tabard design, are up to the players on the individual server.

However, because characters in a Lurker Lounge guild are walking banner advertisements for the Lurker Lounge, I would expect gameplay from anyone creating or participating in such a guild to reflect the higher standards of the Lurker Lounge community, including:
  1. Being considerate of the players around you and recognizing that they also want to enjoy playing the game. This includes things like making sure to distribute loot in a party fairly, not kill stealing, not mineral or herbal node stealing, and not chest stealing. This also includes not lacing comments with profanity and not insulting other players (as tempting as it may be sometimes). This principle of being considerate to other players applies equally whether playing with fellow Lurkers or with the general player population.<>
  2. Not participating in kill-on-sight (KoS) activity on a PvP server. KoS activity means always killing players of the opposing faction no matter what the situation and level differences are among the players. For example, a level 60 KoS player would not hesitate in killing a questing level 30 player, because in the KoS's player's mind, that player is the enemy and must die. There can be legitimate role-playing reasons for playing this way, but because KoS activity is just a hair's breadth away from griefing and harassment, one should not do this while under the banner of the Lurker Lounge. (Note: Killing on sight members of well known KoS guilds is fine. Turnabout is fair play).<>
  3. Not griefing or harassing other players. Griefing and harassment can take many forms. Rather than provide an exhaustive list, I'll simply say that if your intention is to frustrate or harm the other *player* (i.e. the person sitting in front of their computer screen some number of miles away), then you are probably griefing and your activity should stop immediately. Examples of griefing include but is by no means limited to: corpse camping, going to a lower level area for the express purpose of ganking lower level members of the other faction, and killing quest NPC's or quest mobs for the express purpose of preventing other players from completing their quests.<>
    The later two policies are in effect subsets of the first. A Lurker Lounge player should always be considerate of other players, whether those other players are Lurkers or not.

    Lurker Lounge "Guild" Administration

    The in-game Lurker "guilds" exist solely to help Lurkers find each other on-line. They are glorified chat boards if you will, and those who want something more structured are encouraged to join the Amazon Basin or another more structured in-game guild that appeals to them and to also continue to visit and post to the Lurker Lounge website. The administration of in-game Lurker guilds should reflect the casual nature of these guilds, and members and guild masters should not emphasize guild ranks, points, and other silly games that some other guilds get caught up in.

    The Stormrage Exception

    The population of Lurkers on the Stormrage server has become so large, however, that a more formal guild-like structure is needed to maintain and administer the guild, including the limited use of a formal ranking system. I trust Tal and the people he's chosen to be officers on that server to be fair and act in the best interests of the reputation of the Lurker Lounge and in the best interests of maintaining a fun and friendly environment for those in the Stormrage guild. This is an exception being made only to the guild on the Stormrage server. If the Lurker Lounge guild population on another server becomes large enough that a more formal structure is needed to administer it as well, then we can revisit this issue on a case-by-case basis.

    Recruitment Policy

    I ask that the players who are invited into any Lurker Lounge on-line guild (on Stormrage or not) be members of the Lurker Lounge website or to a limited extent close friends and family members of Lurkers. This is not an attempt to claim the superiority of Lurkers over those who are non-Lurkers. This provision is simply to maintain the nature and purpose of the Lurker on-line guilds -- that they be places where Lurkers can find other Lurkers. Good players who are not Lurkers should be encouraged to visit the website and become Lurkers. If a person does not visit the website and become a Lurker, then they should not be invited into the on-line guild no matter how nice the person is or how good of a player the person is. Lurkers still have the option to add such a person to their friend's lists and to invite such a person to instance runs, however.

    There is a lot of confusion regarding this policy, so let me explain it with an analogy. Let's say a group of players start an orc-only guild. The nature of the guild is that it is only for orc characters, and the guild structure allows people to group and go around doing silly role-playing orc things. Then one of the orc guild members meets a really good friendly undead player. It would be perfectly reasonable for that guild member to tell the undead player, "We have a lot of fun in our orc guild. You should make an orc character and join us!" However, it would not be appropriate for that orc guild member to invite the undead character directly into the guild, because by introducing a non-orc character into the guild, he or she would change the intrinsic nature of the guild. At that point, it would no longer be an orc guild. It would be an orc + 1 undead guy guild, and once one non-orc person is invited, other non-orcs will surely be invited and over time, the orc nature of the guild would become lost.

    The situation is the same for the Lurker Lounge guilds. The nature of the in-game Lurker guilds is that they are there to help Lurkers find other Lurkers, and inviting non-Lurkers into the in-game guilds would alter the intrinsic nature of these guilds. Again, this is not to say that Lurkers are better than non-Lurkers. The Lurker Lounge has certainly had its share of wankers come through the site. But the nature of the in-game guilds is that they are made up of members of the Lurker Lounge website, and I ask that this nature be maintained as well as can be realistically be done.

    I leave the actual implementation of this policy to the players and guild masters on the individual servers. On Tichondrius, where I'm the guild master and where the Lurker population is small, I tend to be very casual about things. If a person joins the "Lurkers" chat channel, that's already a clue for me that they are a person who has at least looked at the website. I usually invite such a person into the guild (the initial rank doesn't allow the person to invite others into the guild) and chat the person up for a bit just to be sure the person really is a Lurker. If it's clear the person is a Lurker, then the person will get the quick promotion to Officer. If I'm not sure about the person, I can keep them at the initiate level until I check them out on the Lounge or in extreme cases even boot them from the guild. Thankfully, I haven't run into any situations yet where I've had to do that.

    Problems have arisen on the Stormrage server, however, where the Lurker population is much larger. Here, the guildmaster, Tal, feels that a more formal vetting process is needed to maintain the integrity of the guild, and I defer to his judgement on how best to administer the much larger Lurker guild on that server. However, while I leave the implementation of the recruitment policy up to the players and guildmasters on the individual servers, I ask that the overall policy remain: That only members of the Lurker Lounge website and to a very limited extent close friends and family of Lurkers be invited into the Lurker Lounge in-game guilds.

    The Forums and "Guild" Events and Issues

    If you would like to organize an event on your server (an instance run, for example), then you are welcome to post a thread advertising the event on the Crossroads forum. Please be clear in the title or subtitle what server the event will be on and what kind of event it will be so that those who are not on your server or who would not be interested in the event can easily ignore your thread. e.g. "Van Cleef is Going Down, Tichondrius, Wed 8pm" If these kinds of messages become so prevalent that more meaty threads get scrolled off the front page of the Crossroads, then I'll consider creating a separate forum for events announcements. Please note that these events should be open to all Lurkers, whether they are in a Lurker on-line guild or not.

    Other guild issues, especially those involving problems with individual players, should be handled via private messages with the guild master on the particular server. If the problem is with the guild master him or herself and you feel the issue is large enough that I should get involved, then feel free to private message me about the situation. Again, I would prefer that the administration of the in-game Lurker "guilds" be handled by the players on the individual servers, but if a situation warrents it, I will step in. I simply ask that these kinds of issues be kept off the general forums, as publicly airing grievances like these can lead to a lot of ill feelings in the Lurker community at large.
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