I have a few ideas, which I will list concisely in order and expand on. Again, some of these are subject to my opinion, and input is welcome. Constructive input, that is. This is intended to be a discussion on how to make things better.
- Separate RP and Main Staff.
- Rebuild the Lore Team.
- Establish a concise story-line and system for events.
- Re-Introduce Antagonism.
RP and Main are in essence and practice, two different servers, with two different sets of mechanics, setting, players, and a dozen other minor differences. Having a single set of staff with very minor differences between the two servers is not ideal. Those who are more familiar with Main should ideally, administrate where they know best, and those more familiar with RP should do so as well. I am not proposing total separation, but rather, making the current subdivision more visible in both policy and effect; Staff should communicate to each other as one but administrate separately, and RP should establish it's own set of (stricter) rules to denote the higher level of expectations on a roleplay server where talking gets you farther than mechanics. I think fresh blood and a new set of rules, plus a new SoP and a redux of Corporate Regulations would alleviate a lot of the distaste a lot of people currently have with the state of things.
Rebuild The Lore Team:
Perhaps the silliest suggestion of them all. I know the first attempt at the Lore Team was an utter disaster that ended in ... well, clusterfuck puts things lightly. But lore is essential for an RP server. We can't just let people assume everything and say that's hunky-dory, or go off the lore of another server entirely. To that end, I suggest that we rebuild the Lore Team with Species Maintainers, one or fewer general Lore Maintainers, an Event Planner and a Head of Lore. These are positions that should be applied for on the forums. A Species Maintainer is able to maintain for one or more species, out of our ... vast number. This is to hopefully prevent the lore team from bloating like it did last time. Some species may not require massive alterations to keep their lore in line with others. General lore maintainers should maintain parts of the lore that do not fall under species maintenance, and help work out events with the Event Planner. The only potential for staff powers of any sort would be the Event Planner, who logically would have stricter requirements on their applications.
Lore team members of any sort should be required to submit a decent portion of their writing with their application to prove they can write well, in a non-biased fashion.
Establish a concise story-line and system for events.
I'm not talking massive, universe altering events. Small things that tie into various departments - having an event that gets the entire station involved without it being downright antagonistic is difficult. Having many smaller events which include one or more departments at once is probably the best idea, since it allows more freedom with tailoring events and ensuring things don't go totally tits up. A storyline could go well with this - have a number of smaller events which lead up to bigger ones. We have a wellspring of talent on RP for writing, and it's a shame we're not taking advantage of it to make things more interesting on an admittedly, nearly always sleepy server.
The hardest of my suggestions. As I understand it, staff currently do not want to run antags because it requires them to manually pick people to be antagonists, and suffer through the salt from people. I think these issues can be overcome. It would require a significant amount of rebalancing of all antagonist types, preferably one at a time and starting with the classics. This must be taken slowly, and done carefully. The systems for adding antags in without administrative intervention still exist, which would hopefully take the salt off of the administrator and put it back where it's always been with antags: the person who was picked for antagonist. Hopefully, the most administrators would have to do is punish bad antagonists who go on rampages or abuse the antag system to do whatever they want. What people do not seem to understand is that roleplay antagonists require responsibility. And this should be made very clear. If someone can't handle that responsibility, then they should not choose to be an antagonist. This will have to be enforced, i'm sure.
If you have any suggestions in addition to mine, please feel free to share, or rebut my ideas.