IMMAPPS

Help Immapps

This helpfile is intended to help players decide if they would enjoy the
role of an immortal and whether or not they are qualified / want to 
apply for the role. Some of this is pasted directly from 'help immortal',
most of it is new.

What is an immortal exactly?

The Immortals (referred to as Imms) are the people who provide, manage
and maintain this game. In other worlds, they may be known as Gods or
Admins.  To see a list of current immortals, type 'wizlist'. While imms
are allowed player characters of their own, their main focus is on
helping Aardwolf run smoothly.

What are the main things immortals do?

There are many things an immortal can do and most imms do not have
a fixed role. Some of the main things we constantly need imms for are:

* Being available to players to answer questions and to help 
  players with issues in the game.

* Complete clan and manor upgrades as they get posted to upgrades.

* Help with the creation and testing of new areas and goals in 
  Aardwolf.

* Fix typos in areas and helpfiles.

* Help with researching bugs to verify that the bugs are real and, 
  when a bug is in a goal or Lua code, fix wherever possible.

* Enforcement of the Aardwolf rules. The goal here is always to 
  maintain Aardwolf as a generally harassment free and fair environment 
  for all players, not to demonstrate your power.

* Run trivia games and other special quests as appropriate. This part
  is somewhat optional, but can make Aardwolf much more fun for the 
  players.

There are generally no fixed roles among the imm team - each imm does a 
bit of everything. After a while though, most imms find a "niche" and 
work mostly on a specific area that suits them best such as upgrades, 
building, goals or helping players.

There are also special projects or areas of the mud that tend to 
need a single owner for organization purposes, (such as Goal Conversions, 
the Wiki, Helper admin, etc), but everyone helps with these too.

Why would I want to imm?

Firstly, to get this out of the way, there is no real "power" or "status"
in being an imm. There might be for a week or two, but it quickly fades.

If you become an immortal on Aardwolf it is because you would prefer to
spend more of your time on the MUD helping it grow and run smoothly. You
will get the most satisfaction from being an imm if you genuinely enjoy
helping other people in the game and like to see others appreciate your
work. You need to also understand that not everyone will appreciate your
work and those that don't will often be louder than those that do. 

What qualifications do I need?

There are no fixed qualifications and not having experience in the areas
below is not automatically a reason not to be considered. However, as
almost all imm roles involve helping players, enforcing rules and 
using the mud's building tools for upgrades / bug research, the following
will definitely help:

* Existing Aardwolf player with a good overall knowledge of the
  game. This is probably the most important. With such a large player 
  base, there would have to be a very specific skill or reason to consider 
  someone who is new to Aardwolf. Admin experience on another game is 
  absolutely not required.

* Experience with the Aardwolf building tools - either as an area
  creator, goal programmer or both. A test port also is available to 
  learn and practice on these.

* Experience dealing with general player issues and helping new 
  players get familiar with Aardwolf.

These are very general basics. We always need help in special areas. At
the time of writing this, other useful experience would be:

* A lot of experience with Aardwolf PK and Raiding. A focus on this
  area of the game can be particularly frustrating for imms though, 
  contact Lasher if this is your main area of interest.

* Anyone with web design and particularly graphic creation experience.


Can I still play the game too?

When you imm, you keep your main player character but it is renamed to
something else. Your imm char takes the existing name so that players
are familiar with who the imms are.

You are welcome to continue playing the game and your player / imm 
characters can be online at the same time, but there is to be absolutely
no interaction between the two. 

What does Lasher expect from the imms?

(This section is long, but it is more about the 'softer' side of being
an imm. It is also very important for anyone who wants to take on this
role and really make it work).


Being an imm is a tough job. There are times when it is extremely rewarding
and times when it is extremely frustrating. One of the hardest parts 
about being an imm is keeping cool and treating everyone respectfully
and fairly even if they are not treating you the same way. It is better
to just 'quit' than chew a player out on globals or take a hard line 
because you don't want to appear wrong.

One of the biggest factors that drives people away from games (or any
online community for that matter) is feeling like they were treated
unfairly by an admin. If you act on a rule, have a very good reason why
you did. Do not get into endless debates with people and do not
"victimize" someone who challenges you. Sometimes you will be involved
in a borderline situation where two players disagree and no matter what
you decide someone is going to be ticked off. It goes with the territory.

You also need to understand that it is very difficult to play a game
for hours a day, potentially for many years, and not screw up from time
to time. If someone who is usually just fine is having a bad day, give
them the benefit of the doubt. Don't immediately nochannel them or remove
note access because of a single incident. Ask them to cool it down and
give them a chance to figure it out for themselves. On the other hand,
if it is a brand new character obviously there to spam, don't give it a 
second thought. Applying the rules very much comes down to judgment, but
make sure that the judgment is based on keeping the game running smoothly
and fairness, not who your friends are. With all that being said, you
can't "accidentally" write / install a bot.

Throughout playing the game you will make many friends and no doubt 
encounter a number of people you'd rather not have to deal with. When
you imm, you have to be prepared to give everyone a clean slate. Old
grudges have to go away and while friendships can (and should) continue,
they have to have no impact on your acts as an imm. If you can't handle
this, don't apply. Note that while we ask for it, players do NOT have
to give you the same in return, that is their choice.

Potential imms should also know that almost everything they do is logged 
and there is far less tolerance for any potential rule issues with imms
than there is players. Imms really *are* watched as much as the players
just *think* they are watched.

Lastly, it is ok to be wrong. Imms are only human too behind the keyboard
and I (Lasher) constantly struggle with all of the above. It is ok to 
apologize to a player and undo something if, upon reflection, you could
or should have handled something better. It does not weaken your position
in any way. If anything, it strengthens it.

How much time do I have to commit?

There is no set number for this. Chances are if you're applying to imm
you already spent a lot of time on Aardwolf.

Obviously the more active you are the better, but sometimes real life
just "happens". Sometimes you just need a break. Imms will often take
extended breaks from Aardwolf for weeks or even months at a time and that 
is no problem - but getting back into it can be very difficult when you 
return.

General guideline would be that someone who imms is probably already 
playing for several days a week and the expectation would be that this
doesn't change - but you don't need to worry about suddenly being removed
from imm if you go through a busy time in real life either.

After extended absence or inactivity we do reach a point where it probably 
makes sense for you to "step down" as an imm, but that doesn't just 
suddenly happen overnight (unless it is by your doing), there is plenty 
of discussion first.

What if I try imm and don't like it?

Hopefully you have studied this helpfile and talked to other imms (see
below), so have a pretty good idea what you're getting in to. Please
give this serious consideration and don't imm lightly "just to try it",
that is not the point and you are probably taking up an imm position
that someone else would enjoy much more.

If you do imm and then want to step down for whatever reason, the imm
character is removed, your original player character is renamed back 
(this part is optional, your choice) and you continue as a player. There
are some additional rules applied however:

* Your player cannot join a clan for at least 3 months after you
  stop being an imm (3 months for noPK clans, and 6 for PK clans).

* Information you learned as an imm, particularly about other clans
  or players, is still considered confidential.


Sounds like something I'd enjoy, what next?

We're glad you are interested! Now you've read this, do nothing for a day. 
Sleep on it, then read it again tomorrow.

If you just don't think you'd be a good match, that's ok, don't try 
to "fit" into the role by pretending to be something you know you're not,
it won't work. There are plenty of other ways to get involved without
becoming an imm. You don't have to be an imm to build, create goals, help
new players, promote Aardwolf, etc.

If you DO think this is still something you'd like to do, talk to the
other imms, ask their own opinions about what they enjoy the most and
least about being an imm. Feel free to talk to past imms about why they
stepped down. They will be honest with you. 

Feel free to also ask them if THEY think you'd be a good imm too, but be 
prepared for an honest answer you might not be expecting. Hopefully an 
existing imm will give you honest but fair reasons why they don't think 
you'd fit. Past imms who are now players - well you get what you get.

If you still want to apply after all that, think about what imm roles
would fit you best. Which parts of being an imm you'd enjoy the most
and which you'd enjoy the least. It is ok to have an area or two where
you say, "I'd hate doing X", we just need to know about it.

After that, write a note to "imm" expressing interest in the role and
why you should be considered, what you'd like to do as an imm, which 
areas you think you'll struggle with the most, etc.

One last note, when imm apps open there are always many more people
interested than there is room for. We make a point of keeping the imm
staff small. It is not personal and no reason to feel that you were
"not good enough"  if you don't get accepted. 

We will be honest with you, if we feel that you're just not a good fit 
for an imm position we'll tell you. Most of the time it is more that 
you *could* have been a good imm but were edged out by someone with 
more experience or specific skills more needed at the time. 

Ultimately though, it is a judgment call based on what we know so 
getting to know the imms a little and already being involved in the MUD 
beyond regular player activities (such as being a helper, builder, clan 
leader, etc) allows us to get to know you better. Applying to imm and 
not making it this time around also does not mean you should not apply in 
future.

Good luck, and thanks for being interested!