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Some of you may know this already, but for those who don't, I'm something of a host. Hosts are probably the most misunderstood of all possible Staff for a game. Depending on the game, a host can either just be a server, or be an active staff member for a game, perhaps a Naruto fan-game of some sort. This post is all about the latter, but some points apply to the former as well.
1st Topic - BYOND - The Host
What is a host?
A host is a person who lets you, the player, take up their computer space so you can have fun. You take up computer space whether or not there are saves stored. You are causing CPU usage to increase, slowing the host's computer. Now most hosts are like, "Ok. Necessary evil. I can deal with it."
Why do hosts host?
It depends on the host. Some hosts are paid to host (for some odd reason) but for the most part, hosting is a charity deal. As a host, you get nothing out of it, except company. And I guess a sense of responsibility. As a host, one does have responsibility, but I'll return to that latah. The point you need to understand now, is that hosts host out of the kindness of their heart.*
*If they have one...
A Host's Obligations
As a host, one has a special job. Their job is to provide an environment for those that wish to play. It can be any environment, but obviously some are preferable to others to the common player.
What BYOND Players Want:
A lagless server - BYOND players don't like lag. It's a PITA to try to play a game through lag. (My servers are well known for being lagless!)
Fairness - BYOND players want to be treated equally. Playing favourites is a good way to get a bad rep. Treat all players the same.
A Good Environment - BYOND players don't like having spammers, advertisers, idiots, and the like in the server. It's just bad for morale. As a host, it's YOUR job to remove these people from the game.
I broke it down into 3 simple things for you. Now with today's standards, it seems like all hosts get some form of Game Moderator status. This is good, this helps them control the server to some extent, and in another edition, I hope to have Yurokei explain what being a Game Moderator should be. Again, another topic. Staying on topic...
Hosts with GM
This is generally a good idea. It affords the host more ability to control the server. Which is what the host should be able to do. Mute spammers, boot advertisers, and ban repeat offenders. However, a common idea that seems to go around is that with a Host as a GM, you should ask them to give you stuff. Why would a host give you stuff? For what reason? Just because you asked? Let me make this clear.
THE HOST DOES NOT NEED TO GIVE YOU ANYTHING. THE HOST'S ONLY OBLIGATION IS TO FOLLOW THE DUTIES OF A HOST, MAINTAIN A SUITABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR PLAYERS! THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE GIVING YOU MONEY, RANK, OR STATS!!!
So when you log in to a game, don't ask the host for stuff. It's a pain to put up with. The answer will be no every time.
On Banning Players
Why do hosts ban people? Because they hate the person! Duh!
Actually no, not really. A host is sometimes required to remove people from the server forcefully. The reason being this person is such a nuisance, that they are destroying the morale of the server. Believe it or not, many people would leave the best game on BYOND because of a bunch of spammers in it. No one wants to be in that environment. So the host's job is to remove these people to save morale. The host will have to ban the spammers, so they can no longer disrupt game-play. Now the duration of the ban is completely rule dependent. But banning is a necessary part of hosting. If you, as a host, do not want to break hearts and ban, you should hang up your cape now. You will fail if you lack the ability to ban people. I'm not saying you should WANT to ban people. I'm saying you should be able to if the need arises. The ban button is like a gun. You shouldn't go around waving your gun because you might hurt someone or even yourself. But if someone shows up with a machete at your friend's throat, you better be ready to pull that trigger and remove the threat.
That will conclude today's post. Feel free to discuss.