Refining the RulesRecently, I’ve been running into trouble with the “law” around here, and 1 thing has becoming extremely apparent to myself, and to a lot of other veteran players. The rules governing the community are just too vague. The issue with vagueness is that it allows for gross misconduct and abuses of powers while citing rules that are a quasi catch all. For example, Rule 14 states that there should be no use of objectionable language but doesn’t define what that objectionable language is. We’ve come to tolerate it as a “no swearing” rule, but the issue is, its too vague. Everything someone says is objectionable to another. It’s just a matter of time before someone takes that rule and starts to abuse it to get rid of people they don’t like. I like this community, minus a few here and there. Its the only one that I know of, that has a public zeus server while still hosting quality operations.
Now, I’m not campaigning for the rules to be removed, but I am asking for them to be more defined. Admin’s discretion is just not good enough, especially when players are not allowed to record evidence they may need to make a case in a ban appeal. It can and I seriously wouldn’t be surprised if it has been abused.
These are the rules I take exception to.
General Server Rules: ( https://www.naksquad.net/rules/server-rules/ )
Rule #9 - No playing as infantry while in the pilot slot. This rule is just so horrendously enforced. It just seems to be at an admin’s whim, instead of when a player infringes the rule. I’ve seen admins break this rule repeatedly, yet get annoyed when someone else breaks it. It sets up a double standard that alienates any playerbase.
Rule #10 - Arguing with the administration. I understand this rule is going to be hard to accurately define, but even a simple argument over too strict restrictions can lead to a mute or ban. I would suggest changing it to not excessively argue with admins.
Rule #11 - No pilots, UAV operator, or ATC may play without being on NAK Squad Teamspeak sever. I take a exception to this rule considering it’s completely ignored when you’re a NAK Elite member. It seems like the whole idea behind the rule is so that you can communicate with other pilots, UAV operator and the ATC for increased coordination during takeoff, landings and attack runs, yet you don’t have to do any of that if you just so happened to be arbitrarily picked to be in NAK Elite. Just because you’re NAK Elite, shouldn’t mean you automatically get to ignore a rule that everyone else has to follow. Regardless of whether you’re a NAK Elite, NAK Tac, Nak Donor or even an admin, if you want to fly or operate UAVs, you are required to be on the Teamspeak server, no exceptions.
Rule #14 - No objectionable language. As I stated earlier, this is just far too vague. most players have taken it to mean either no swearing or no excessive swearing, but its just far too vague and varies far too much from admin to admin to the point the rule’s a ongoing joke among the veteran NAK community. The fact that you have to be 16, as stated in rule #12, to join the server yet we’re not allowed to swear is ridiculous. As for the defense of “people play with their kids around and don’t have or wear headphone” it’s a nonfactor. You’re playing a military simulator that is arguable highly politicized around your kid. Welcome to 2021, people swear all the time. Some admins hardly ever enforce the rule, others are far too upright about the rule where they start banning people because they received criticism then cite a previous infraction to make the ban as long as possible.
Rule #17 - No recording or streaming of Teamspeak. This promotes some of the grossest negligence and double standards I’ve ever seen in my life. Admins can take HUGE advantage over this rule and it becomes a hearsay and conjecture in a ban appeal. I’ve been banned a couple of times because people didn’t have the complete story, and a recording of the events would have saved not only myself, but numerous people over the years from receiving punishment they should have never received. I understand that NAK fears legal repercussions, but it just doesn’t make sense. NAK is a third party, public forum, therefore immune to any sort of lawsuits filed over recording. I’ve heard that the main reason the rule is in place is to prevent things like wire tapping, but it’s nonsensical. TeamSpeak does not allow for such a thing, and even if there was a way to do that, any sort of program like that would be twarted by simply leaving the channel or disconnecting from the server. NAK is the only community I’ve ever been in that has issues with users recording Teamspeak. It’s completely pointless. It’s like preparing for rain on a cloudless day.
Rule #18 - No unapproved mods. It’s completely redundant considering you’re not even able to join the server with restricted mods. Judging from the forums, it’s supposed to be a rule against cheating, but it should be specified that you’re not allowed to use performance enhancing or external mods.
Zeus Rules for Players: ( https://www.naksquad.net/rules/zeus-rules/ )
Rule #2: - Play the role you have taken. This is never enforced, at all. In the ungodly amount of hours I’ve been playing Zeus, I have never ever seen any admin enforce this rule. It’s completely useless.
Rule #8 - Do not play as a one man army. I utterly despise this rule. It’s been interpreted as a “lone wolf” rule to try to prevent people from doing operations all on their own, but the way its enforced it completely bogus. Just being a little too far from the rest of your squad (more than 100-200m) is supposedly considered as lone wolfing and players get banned for it. The server tries to promote semi-realism with things like maintain comms discipline, yet running to stay alive is considered to a punishable offense by this rule because you’re just too far from your squad. A perfect example is what happened yesterday (7/12/21) to me. Mortars were coming in and rather than getting killed, I opted to run from the area to make sure I didn’t die. I ended up getting banned for 7 days because I was 153m from the rest of my squad. Other times, I’ve seen players be over 1 kilometer from the rest of their squad and receive nothing, not even a talking to. This rules varies wildly from admin to admin and it’s just not acceptable for a community the size of NAK. It also allowed for admins to ban people based on 0 context. They see someone split from their squad and its an immediate removal from the operation, even if they were given permission from their squad lead. Add in the no recording rule and players have 0 defense against this rule. This rule needs a specific definition of what lone wolfing or one-man armying is.
Implementing New Systems:Removal of Inactive Admins - When you apply for a position on the admin team, you are committing to a quasi volunteer job. As such, if you are inactive for an extended period of time, both in-game and on TeamSpeak, or sit in your “office” or the Staging Room on TeamSpeak all day without interacting with players, your admin position should be called for review, and possible removal with the option to reapply should you become more active. I won’t name names, but there are a lot of admins I’ve either never seen, or seen once. I’ve been around NAK a whole lot for the past couple of months and that level of inactivity is not acceptable for a community the size of NAK.
Periodical / Monthly Performance Reviews - Similar to a job performance, admins needs to be periodically shadowed to see how they’re preforming. By the time a misconduct report is filed, if it ever is to being with, it’s too late. Be more forward with your admin team. They’re supposed to be the faces of NAK, representing the community, yet they’re allowed to run wild until someone has the balls to post a misconduct report. Go undercover, act as a new or returning player and interact with them. Does it take time, yes, everything does but it makes the community a more enjoyable place to be and roots out those that apply for admin purely for the power. Again, I will not name names, but there are admins that do not fit all the qualifications listed on the Code of Conduct. You want people to donate and pay for the servers to keep running, yet you are reluctant to make the community a better place for those paying and potential paying individuals?
More Options:Use the Inactive Servers - Just having an inactive server sitting around (ex: Prairie Fire server) doing nothing is no conductive to the overall community. Set it up for something fun, like a 24/7 modded Zeus server. It removes the need for Volcano and other admins to test mods during a very rare Zeus event and satisfies players that don’t like the traditional vanilla Arma, which is plagued with powercreep issues. Also makes Zeus’ missions more enjoyable with a larger faction variety and their assets for Zeus’ to pick and choose from. Even something as simple as ACE, TFAR, CUP, RHS and 3CB is enough to satisfy.
Commit to More Modded Events - Players really like modded events, yet, they’re so incredibly infrequent and when they do happen, they last for around two weeks before they’re ended and don’t happen again for another four months. We don’t need a new map everytime we do a modded event, we just want the CUP maps and more unit availability. If you don’t have time to spend 15-20 minutes creating a simple base structure, and screening maps for bugs and issues, then you shouldn’t be in the position to do that or be an admin in the first place.
Something More to Do - Use one of those inactive servers to set up a 24/7 Antistasi, Liberation or Hearts and Minds server. Altis gets boring at 15 minutes due to the sheer repetitiveness. Every AO is basically the same, just in a different place. Tanoa rarely has more than 5 people on a time and suffers from the same issue as Altis, getting repetitive after 20-30 minutes.
Promote the Discord More - If Discord is supposed to be some sort of backup when TeamSpeak goes down, why is it not promoted more? Zeus’ struggle to gather enough players for their operations during the day and they can use a channel within the Discord server to better advertise their mission and their intentions. Also allows for people to reserve a time for an operation or get an admin’s attention if there is something wrong.