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Community hostility, especially towards new players


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Okay. Hi. I'm bad at threads, so I'll keep this short and to the point.

What I've noticed recently is a tendency to completely disregard new faces and automatically avoid them/toss them into the "bald" pile, along with performing mass OOC lynchings of any who fuck up in any fashion, such as calling a restart vote. I won't be naming names, but what I will say is that this behavior is obviously detrimental to our long term player base. Any thoughts? How shall we go about remedying this?

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I hate to get into debate, but I feel I should play devils advocate here and give an example.

New guy in engineering, never seen the character before.

Promises me, atmospheric tech willing to get the engine up, that he has done singularity engines a thousand times

Dude goes into the area, and is killed by an electrified door.

Gets back from medical like, "Okay round two. Let me get the tanks set"

I already got the tanks

Its too late, he's filled engineering with plasma.

He says sorry, then dies.

Five minutes later, another engineer dies because of this.

Is it really so bad to feel at least a little concerned of new people, if this happens. And quite a lot might I say?

Like newbie sec officers promising they've used the gas chamber a hundred times, and filling the room with N20?

Not saying that its alright to blandly say, "Fuck you" to every bald and new person, but I feel that saying people are bad or metagaming for fear of new people, is somewhat foolish.

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I prefer to adopt an attitude of "assume the best until proven otherwise". Basically, if a new guy gets hired in your workplace, you generally expect that management knows what they're doing by hiring them, and the employee you're given will be proficient at their job.

As for people OOCly, be kind to newcomers. They're the lifeblood of the server, and can be really fun to talk to.

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I'd say, in general, that the backseat moderating for new players that mess up really, really needs to be toned down. It can be scary when you're new to a server, call a restart vote unknowingly, and sic a lynchmob on yourself. The staff will already tell them calmly that what they did was an issue- They don't need ten other people shouting at them.

Being new to a community, in general, can be a very scary thing. Trying to fit in and find your niche, especially on Aurora, could be made a lot easier if we all took the effort to practice a little more tolerance and guidance.

I'll start with balds. Oh, balds, how we fear thee. But this isn't always the case. There are many genuinely new players that do want to find out how to get to a position as awesome as the Chief Engineer or Head of Security. When they are constantly brigged for every tiny mistake, scrutinized so much more heavily, and usually thrown out of their departments for things most of us get away with with a slap on the wrist, it makes trying to learn and fit in incredibly hard. If you truly fear what a bald is going to do, adminhelp it. I can assure you, we stay on top of these things almost 24/7.

New players in general, players that don't know things. Players that are having trouble with the mechanics, or just seem new, out of place. I ask on behalf of the staff to please, please help make them feel like a part of Aurora. There is no worse feeling than being the new kid in school, we've all been there. There is a noticeable issue on Aurora. The cliques of IC (or OOC) friends that always group together. It can be hard to fit into these groups, and harder to be a new player that has to see other players being so well-liked. You're doing what you can, but no matter how hard you try, almost nobody seems to be listening to you. It bloody well sucks. And yes-- I understand that people could fall through the cracks. We could get an unassuming welderbomb here or there, or that scientist that was doing well that suddenly bombs medical research. You know what? Shtick happens. Staff talks to the player responsible, we repair the damage, and move on with our lives. Simple as that.

TL;DR: Include people. Don't lynch people for newbie mistakes, they might really be trying to make an effort. Try to let new people into your group, even if just for one round. You might find that they're a really swell RPer. Ahelp balds that you're really, really worried about, and try not to ICly worry about it unless they're actively taking a welder to a fuel tank, beating someone with their toolbox, etc.

TL;DR 2: Be tolerant of the new kids. You were once the new kid, too.

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Oh, yeah. One thing I noticed which might be a semi-problem is actively "hating" on new/bad players as an attempt to be cool. Like, I don't think jokes about balds, or generally laughing at players who are completely lost in deadchat (meaning bald, probably very scared, and completely ignorant that this is a RP server).

However, one thing that's not cool is active displays of hostility towards new players, or assuming they're garbage in an attempt to fit in with the cool kids.

The cool kids don't hate on newbies. The cool kids are the people who actively engage with newbies, offer themselves as RP partners, and teach them the game.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix

I've seen this happen before twice now; when a server is young it's more friendly to new players, but once we all get settled in and the 'established' cliques are cemented, there's a hostility towards outsiders and what the cliques expect from everyone.

Eventually if it's not fixed it's going to alienate all the possible growth in terms of new players and the server is going to slowly depopulate until it's nothing but the same faces OOC and IC, the server stagnates, and the only ones having fun are the hardcore loyalists with a community toxicity rivalling that of another high RP server I won't mention.

I'd rather this not happen, so if everyone could be as welcoming as they could to new players, that'd be great. Current players are going to stop playing, and the population is going to decrease - that is an unavoidable fact of servers, no matter how well the retention. The only solution is immigration to replace the lost numbers.


Cliques and entrenchment are deathknells.

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Hi I'm sparklySheep, was playing when Doomberg asked for opinions and since I have like 2-3 years worth of experience as a min I think I can help.

I'm gonna keep it brief since I hate making text walls:

1. Be very patient with new players, don't ban them for stuff they generally wouldn't know about. Being an admin is a lot like being a parent. You need to be stern and understanding. Place yourselves in their shoes, ask them what sort of play style they want, look for what they want out of the game. Not everyone is going to be a good fit for the server, least you could do is direct them somewhere they would have more fun.

2. Keep any sort of Looc hostility to a bare minimum.

3. Be sure the staff takes the time to help new players but don't smother them. Nothing is weirder than having someone smother you with a block of welcome text. If they are looking to play the game and are new, I recommend spawning them a pAI and getting someone to play with them and help them out. Having someone talk you through the game that isn't doing it through PM's is a lot less stressful.

4. Break up cliques. Encourage people to play new characters regularly. Nothing is worse than having that same five person group shove around a player due to all knowing each other.

I usually bounce around as a new character every 1-2 weeks and try to talk to new folks. Getting a new character prospective allows you to interact with people you usually don't. As well, it's always fun to be someone else than to play the same character that's been flanderized to a pulp.

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I'm with Doom on this one. Over the course of the past couple of months, I've noticed a growing amount of hostility and, to put it bluntly, elitism within the community. I was talking to a few ex-servergoers who said they'd left due to this, and I'm sure there's more, including myself, who feel that it's gotten to a point where it's pushing people away. It needs solved, and the only way to do that is for the community members who have developed this attitude of elitism to drop it.

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I noticed this start to happen weeks ago and have made a point to tell people not to do it when votes get canceled or they spawn in as a bald and everyone panics.

Staff have a system in place to make sure that only one person deals with someone. being messaged by everyone saying that you did wrong, you're a griefer, this person broke the rule, and even the joking(or not? I can't tell anymore) Ban Him! messages. Makes people feel pushed away and unwanted.

I had someone the other day ahelp me every time they did something small wrong because they felt like the community was so quick to snap to tell them they did wrong, they didn't want to be banned for trying to learn. This included, playing the role bad because they didn't know how to play the game, ghosting because they didn't know what to do, accidentally mentioning an antag in looc, and starting a restart vote.

The others weren't so bad (they were still kind of bad because of how they happened) but the restart vote, within a few seconds of it starting there were 7 messages in ooc saying things like 'Bad' 'No' 'No restarts use crew transfer'

It's the same as telling people to stop talking in ooc because it will get muted, ahelp it to request a mod/admin to intervene or let it happen and wait for ooc or them to be muted.

This is backseat moderating, seeing something that is clearly against the rules and deciding as a player to help out by telling the person off or bringing attention to it or saying that they should be banned in some way when you are not a staff member.

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One thing we can do is really publicize the text books. I don't know how it is in other departments, but in engineering we have a book shelf stuffed with books they have embedded links to the wiki which is really really really helpful when trying to teach the fundamentals of engineering. When Cons gets put teaching an apprentice the first thing I do is tell them to pick up a book and skim it so they have at least a bit of an idea what they'll be doing.

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Gentlemen, and ladies,

Allow me to make this point clear and brief.


  • No amount of mechanical tweaking will fix this.
  • No amount of changes to the code will fix this.
  • No amount of talking will fix this.
  • No amount of shifting the blame will fix this.


The only thing that will fix this issue is action.

Allow me to very delicately describe the situation that Staff currently rests in:

We are very quaintly stuck between an n count of people who will attack us if we start trying to mend this here issue with both sides, because hey, we're suddenly going against their fun and trying to dictate how things work.

Now, back onto what'll actually fix this. As I said, actions will. It's really, god damned simple. Stop acting like pricks towards others. I'm sorry, but yeah. Do that. What you perceive as an in-joke is, can be, will be perceived as an act of open hostility by a new player, and make them feel unwanted. Soo, stop:

  • Discriminating against every bald
  • Yelling at people who accidentally call restart votes
  • Backseat adminning
  • Clique-related attitude


If someone does something dumb, you tell an admin. If they're new, moreso. Otherwise it'll end will you lot descending upon someone like a horde of harpies upon someone who may not be deserving.

Oh, and to you veteran folk, who put out lines like this:

Over the course of the past couple of months, I've noticed a growing amount of hostility and, to put it bluntly, elitism within the community. I was talking to a few ex-servergoers who said they'd left due to this, and I'm sure there's more, including myself, who feel that it's gotten to a point where it's pushing people away.


Start working towards fixing the situation. Seriously. Admins can't act without grounds, and you can provide us this grounds. Call me up, tell me, "This dude is being shitler because A, B, and C," and I will do my best re-enactment of this guy right here:

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So, normally, I don't really take an interest in these sort of things, or at least, I don't like to peanut gallery them.

But I'm going to say this: Give people the benefit of the doubt.

I'll take some bald who is willing to acknowledge their mistakes and is willing to learn and be taught then some regular that thinks they know it all and isn't willing to admit fault and learn from mistakes.


Unless they're beating people up, breaking IC, blowing up the station, give them the benefit of the doubt.

Offer them help and advice if needed.

If they reject it and screw things up, offer it again.

If they still reject it, then they're stupid and frankly, yelling at them more isn't going to help.

If you really have a problem with them, then ahelp it.

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Nibbles things about the plasma leak.


I had actually met that player the round before. They were observing the medbay and had some questions about the alien races seen there (because Xenobay). At some point, they must have decided to become a drone because they were working on some construction mechanics. Now I don't know exactly what happened and I won't pretend to, but at some point the player (as a drone) hit a human with a crowbar. I was trying not to meta, but I was also trying to get people to see it's a new player, give them a chance. Well, the drone ended up deactivated. I was apologetic to the player, but the crew transfer shuttle was already there so the player likely didn't miss much in that deactivation.

The next round starts. And know what? There was that player in LOOC! I was so glad I could teach them a bit about engineering as soon as the engine got up. They knew the secure storage had to be opened. They didn't know how to hack the door correctly to safely into the CE's office (because of course minor B&E comes with the Engineer title). They got shocked and I had them sent off to medbay for treatment. Nibbles got most of the engine up and going before they returned. There, they tried to get the plasma tanks up. Well, the tanks were already done as Nibbs pointed out.

The problem there was communication. They let us know they were filling the tanks. They didn't know we had been working on the engine the entire time they were in medbay. We didn't know they had even been released from medbay, but perhaps we should have been checking on that progress. Everyone in that situation was rather at fault. I only hope we see that player again because they really seemed like they wanted to learn SS13.

Communication is a two-way street. Don't hesitate to extend a hand if they look like they may be having trouble. If they don't respond, try making sure they know what LOOC even is! Small tips like that can really open the gate to allow communication.

I know I make bald jokes. I know I'm weary of bald players. I'm not a perfect person and I won't shove shit down your throat by pretending to be. But there's a line in the sand we all need to notice here. No one knows everything. Not you. Not me. Not even the admins. That's why we all need one another to make this work. "Shtick happens" as Jenna said. We fix it and we move on. People learn from their mistakes.

And besides, Engineering had something to do that round at least! That was a real bonding experience, right?!

But at what cost?

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I think it's hilarious when people kick and scream in LOOC or OOC when they see a bald. For obvious reasons and the eventual behavior that follows through with it, this kind of "act and react" kind of playstyle isn't healthy for our server or for newcomers.

Rather than lynching the bald instantly, ICly or OOCly, maybe we can say, "Hello, bald! Wanna learn something new?" and make them want to have hair.

And having hair is the next best thing.

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Ahh, the balds... while there are plenty of horrible ones, I've often been puzzled by the ones who appear to be perfectly normal new players who're willing to follow the rules when told. Like, a few days ago I was playing the AI and was tasked with keeping an eye on two 30-year-old balds in genetics. And I did, confident that at any moment I'd see evidence of self-testing (or similar foolishness). Instead, I monitored reports from one of them about discovering the cold-resistance "gene" and asking how to proceed since they couldn't self-test.

This puzzled me greatly... yes, people do occasionally have the bald hairstyle on purpose, but it's rare enough for men and one of the geneticists in question was a woman. Eventually I came to the conclusion that their defect, if it can be said to be such, was that they didn't have the aesthetic sensibilities to bother setting hairstyles while trying out a new server. I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't figure this out sooner, but I have a rather over-developed sense of aesthetics so this wasn't exactly an easy concept for me.

What I learned from this, aside from the fact that balds aren't necessarily there to be horrible, is that new players often don't realize the disadvantage they're putting themselves at when they show up as hairless 30-year-olds. And it's probably something worth mentioning if you come across a bald who seems interested in learning rather than griefing.

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