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Learn more about the recent changes to the staff team structure!

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Staff Structure Changes

Staff Structure Changes!
We're very pleased to announce that the Standing Trials staff has decided to make some changes to our staff structure. As many of you know, our staff structure was previously set up with the following ranks: Poet, Minstrel, Versifier, and Narrator. Most staff members were responsible for running a city and modding threads while also doing development work, player engagement, conflict mediation, and a wide variety of administrative tasks on the side. With our focus all over the place, our team was feeling scattered, burnt out, and unable to focus on the things we're each individually best at.

In order to address this concern, Jade brought us together and solicited ideas for reworking the staff structure. After much discussion, we've decided to create three teams: the Storytellers, the Developers, and the Advocates. Each team has a specific focus, and each staff member can choose the team they want to be a part of depending on their own interests and skill sets. We think this change will give us much more energy to focus on telling exciting stories with you, developing Standing Trials into a more cohesive world, and engaging with both our staff and playerbase in a meaningful way.

Please take a moment to read about the changes below and learn how they may affect you.

Storyteller Team

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A storyteller's main focus is on what the name suggestions: the story. Storytellers are highly important to the functionality of Standing Trials and the overall world plotline driving the site. These moderators mostly handle city moderation and structure, building and updating lore, calendars, locations, approving jobs and wage requests, approving city development requests and sponsoring, planning & completing moderated threads. They review threads, plan and lead global plotlines, participate in Immortal meetups with characters, and organize city events. Another responsibility of a storyteller is to maintain player interest. Storytellers play one of the most critical roles as they are the energy that inspires players to write and remain with us.

Current Team Members:

Developer Team

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Developers are tasked with creating, expanding and/or organizing information for world building purposes. These individuals are responsible for world development, building off of and creating meta-plots, developing history, skills, races, Immortals, blessings and curses, etc. Developers are the suppliers to Storyteller (and player) demand. They provide information for all characters to use within story and create goals for character advancements and achievements. Developers create the foundation for plot and work in tandem with storytellers to ensure all the puzzle pieces mesh nicely. Development-oriented people normally focus on world building, though may also choose to contribute to city development.

Current Team Members:

Advocate Team

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Advocates ensure that the ship remains sailing. What this means is that the responsibilities of an Advocate align closely with community management and player & staff relations. They handle conflict mediation between staff and players, review staff applications, and onboard new staff members. They review Character Sheets, manage the Q&A forum and facilitate the answering of questions coming into the forum, manage the Bugs and Suggestions Forum, make updates to the Player Guides forum, manage the player Suggestion Box and Staff Lounge suggestion thread, run advertising and social media efforts, and much more. Please note that applications for Advocate positions will be reviewed much more closely than any other position due to the sensitive nature of the role.

Current Team Members:
What About City Moderators?
City development and moderation is definitely possible between ranks and is, at times, encouraged based on player/staff activity. Since we’re focusing on an entire world, we need as many hands that are willing.

All team members who are moderating a city may:
  • Develop locations & lore
  • Approve jobs & wages
  • Create seasonal calendars, odd jobs, and bounty boards
  • Approve development submissions
  • Structure and moderate the city from an OOC perspective
Please keep in mind that only members of the Storyteller team may moderate threads without prior permission. Additionally, it is not required for Advocates or Developers to moderate a city should they prefer to focus their time and energy elsewhere.

Team Leads
Team Leads are individuals who have applied to become a guiding hand among their chosen team, to help train new team members, and to ensure that the responsibilities among their team and their peers are following guidelines set by the site’s ToU, the Staff Protocols, and the Prophet Rulebook. They look over information to make sure things line up appropriately, set up meetings, and communicate effectively within and between teams.

Generally, each rank will have between 1-3 Team Leads. There is no set number of Team Leads that can run a particular team, but a ‘check and balance’ system is what we ultimately want to accomplish with this.

Responsibilities:
  • Team development / plot / guide approvals.
  • Drive direction and priorities for team.
  • Drive completion of “to do” list items and discussions/open questions.
  • Be involved in the selection/interview process for players who are applying for staff and want to be part of your team.
  • Advise the Advocate team when there are gaps that need to be filled on staff (ie. more storytellers are needed & where, etc).
  • Has the final say in decision-making
  • Schedule team discussions to communicate goals, activity, ideas, etc.
The current Team Leads are:

Storyteller Team: Pegasus
Developer Team: Jade, Plague
Advocate Team: Rumour

Frequently Asked Questions
1. What about ranks?

The staff ranks have been adjusted to a seniority system. Each rank has different levels of responsibility and access, depending on the team and the amount of time a staff member has been with Standing Trials.

Rank 1: 1-5 months (except for Advocate, which is 3-6 months)
Rank 2: 5-12 months (except for Advocate, which is 6-12 months)
Rank 3: 12-24 months
Rank 4: 24+ months

Staff members may choose to apply for the higher rank and access when they meet the requirements, but do not need to if they would prefer to stay where they are.

The breakdown each rank's responsibilities and access-levels will be posted in a public staff guide write-up so that there is full transparency. With that said, please note that some staff members have been grandfathered permissions so that they have certain access and responsibilities earlier than usual. This is based on current levels of trust and responsibility.

2. Are the staff application requirements still the same?

Yes, the requirements to join staff are still the same, with one exception. We have lowered the age of staff members to 16+. Players who are 16 & 17 may apply to join staff as a Storyteller or Developer, but must keep in mind that they will remain Rank 1 until they turn 18.

3. Can I apply to be on the Advocate team if I'm not currently a staff member?

No. Due to the sensitive nature of the Advocate role, only staff members who have been on staff for 3+ months may apply to join the Advocate team. If you would like to become an Advocate, you are welcome to join the team as a Storyteller or Developer and apply to switch after 3 months is up.

4. Why has the "Narrator Support Forum" been changed to "Prophet Support Forum"?

We have changed the name from "Narrator Support" to "Prophet Support" in order to align with the changes in staff structure. Please keep in mind that more Prophets now have access to the Support Forum, which we hope means your requests will be answered in a timely manner. Any Prophet who is Rank 2 or above from any team may apply to help out in the Support Forum.

5. Who should I talk to if I need someone to mod a thread for me?

Storytellers! Please approach your local city Storyteller if you would like a modded thread. If your city does not have a Storyteller, please ask your Developer or Advocate city mod for a thread and they will either mod it for you or reach out to the broader Storyteller team for support.

6. How can the Advocate team help me?

The Advocate team is available to help any player who may have a player/player or player/staff conflict. We always encourage our players and staff to communicate politely with each other in order to come to an understanding. If, however, you feel like you are being treated unfairly, you need to escalate your concerns, or you need an unbiased third party to help mediate, please PM a member of the Advocate team. We will keep all of your concerns private and will do our very best to help you address and resolve any issues.

7. If I have a thread or plot being managed by a staff member who isn't a Storyteller (or isn't a Storyteller in my area), how does this change affect it?

Your thread or plot will, by and large, remain unaffected. However, please keep in mind that Developers or Advocates running a pre-existing thread or plot are likely to reply slower than Storytellers, as they have other tasks that require their attention.

8. Does this change mean that Developers can't do moderated threads or vice versa? Or that Advocates can't moderate threads or contribute world development?

Not at all. Staff members can still contribute to all three teams, as long as they have communicated with that team and received approval. If a staff member doesn't wish to do a task outside of their role, they aren't required to. ie. If a Developer or Advocate wants to run a moderated thread, they can. If they don't want to, they don't have to. This change is simply meant to help our team focus on specific areas so that our focus isn't split between 100 different tasks that need our attention.

9. Are there any other changes I should be aware of?

Glad you asked! Some small changes that have been or will be rolled out as a result of this update include:
  • The staff now have badges below their usernames to reflect their team and rank
  • 16- & 17-year-olds can now apply to be Rank 1 Storytellers and Developers
  • The "Narrator Support Forum" has been changed to the "Prophet Support Forum"
  • The Staff Application form has been updated
  • The Developer team will be "booping their snoots into" (aka. helping to run) the Creating the World forum
  • The "Narrator's Notes" will be changed to "Prophets' Notes"
  • The Staff List and Prophet Rulebook will be updated
  • The staff medals will be updated
Questions?
We know this is a big change and it might take a while to understand & get used to. If you have any questions, please post them to our Q&A thread and we'll answer them in a timely manner.

Thank you for all of your support and understanding! We adore our playerbase and are looking forward to a wonderful 2017 with you all.
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