PD's optional tips on being a fun GM/player!

Started by PerfectDeath, Jul 10, 2007, 02:17 AM

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I have been a GM for about 2 to 3-ish years.  I've been a GM on 2 servers
The first server was a medium that went low rate.  I was mostly the event GM, but I also did PR and security since there were not many GMs.  Then the server's GM staff joined with another server and I followed, becoming an event GM.

From my Public relation and event GM experience of being the metaphoric "meat tank" for the scripters and admins.  I've decided to share some of my tips to keeping the players on the server you(may) GM on from ripping your head off and drinking your blood with a fresh scoop of brain. =D

Contents <--- organizing is important too =D
[1] Public Relations
[2] Events
[2.1] Event Prizes
[3] Fun Time =D

[1] Public Relations:
A server's ability to hold the attention of its players can greatly be effected by the treatment towards those who play on it

The important thing to take note of is that they are not your nor the server's players.  The players play the server.  Not the other way around.
What this means is that a player's choice to play on the server should be respected.  Now there are boundaries, one player harassing another player is disrespecting the other player's choice to play; therefore, punishment is allowed.  But punishment isn't really the place for any Public Relations.
When a player asks a GM for some info, AKA "were do i train?", if you try even a little bit to give the player some guidance they will leave the conversation with an impression that either you are competent (if you gave a good answer) or that you go out of your way to help (if you put some effort into helping).  If you do not answer the player they will leave the conversation knowing you as an donkey =P

Probably the best way to deal with PR is to be humble and accept that there is a possibility that you are wrong! if you are too busy to look into it, tell them you are too busy, write it down, then go on your way.  EG: i once saw an Admin tell a player that their problem was impossible because there was no way it could have happened. [this was a scripting admin and knew lots about the issue].  Latter on, because of the player's continued efforts to bring the issue up the Admin decided to look into the matter.  The admin then found out he was wrong and baffled that the scripting did that.

Anyway, there are enough rants about public relations to choke an hippo in these forums, so i won't rant about what you can find ample of.  But Public Relations are rather important.

[2] Events
I spent a lot more time doing events than Public Relations, so I know quite a bit about doing events.  Events are very popular in RO because we do not have massive amounts of quests like World of War craft.  Therefore event GMs have to fill that gap by adding things for players to do in between War of Emperium.

Whether they are scheduled or done whenever the event GM feels like it events should generally breakdown into a short 10 min to 1 hour.  This is because it is hard for players to join into events once they start.  Though some events can have players jump in whenever they want.  Also events are also difficult for players to leave, some players may HAVE to leave the event.  Most event types tend to not reward players who are not able to finish or be at the end of them.  Thus making an event as short as possible allows players to see events through so they can get a prize.  Again, this does not apply to all events, but some.

-Some event types are listed below:
PvP: Free for all, team, round robin tournament, elimination tournament, etc.
GvG: Guild battles, scenario, etc.
PvM: MvP summon, mob summon, item hunting, etc.
Exploration: Hide & Seek, landmark search, race etc.
Test: Trivia, Riddles, Crack the Chat[my own specialty, will explain later]
Luck: random draw, lottery, nuclear dice[my own specialty, will explain later]
misc: whatever you can think of =\

-I'll cover my own specialty PD events =D
If you want to use my events feel free to do so.  I'm not a copyright hound D=<
Crack the Chat: GM creates a private chat room with a password on it.  The title of the chartroom gives a slight hint to the password.  The GM may tell players some hints with "/lb" if it takes too long =D
Basically the first one on wins the prize.  It is very easy to figure out who is in first too =D
Just watch out for the password though.  Make sure that you have:
1: spelled it correctly.
2: that the password fits in the 4-7 letter limit. (i think thats the limit =\...)
3: ah hell, just make sure you check to see if you can actually get in with a legitimate character... that solves the entire problem.

An example of a Crack the Chat would be:
Title: My lord and Master!
Pass: efcdah
Hard aint it? =D
Well that is because i "encrypted" it cuz i love being evil, see [2.1].
Basically the answer is "PerfectDeath"  All i did was take out every 2nd letter starting with the "P".  So i took out the letters "pretet".  Now you CAN be nicer with these and give a better hint as a title =\ .  Or you can be even nastier and do this.
Title: 1309
Pass: 96631
If you do a mob search you will find that the monster # 1309 belongs to Gajomart.  I got the pass by taking his HP and flipping it around >=D

This event can be done with any number of players.  Just watch out for spamming... well the GM who makes the chat can sit there, oblivious to all of the spam and just laugh at the frustrated .gif faces ha ha ha >=D
Or you can make it easy and watch 20 people max out your chat the instant you make the chat... <_<

Nuclear Dice
This was my first custom event, though it ran into some management bumps and isn't as good as the crack the chat.  But in terms of fairness players cannot complain about the results of this event... well they can complain about the results after their turn >=D

Basically one player walks up to the GM(i recommend having more Gms when you have more than 20 players participating) and the GM will type /dice to roll a dice image.  Once the GM's rolled number is shown the player then types /dice.  Once the player's number is shown the next step is easy.

Compare the 2 numbers, if the player has the same number or higher than the GM, the GM will record the player's victory and roll again.  This continues until the player rolls a number less than the GM.  Once this happens the GM types @nuke [player's name] and everyone watches as the player runs/spams/cries/laughs/etc.  Then the player blows up =D

Prizes are given out based on the player's consecutive wins.  either they are rewarded for each win or for having the most.

I've had a player go to 17 wins =P no one has come close to that xD

Now some problems with this event are:
1: it takes a lot of work/time to go through each player.  Though the event speeds up as players get used to how it works, it still takes a long time.  Especially when you have more than 20 to one GM...
2: @nuke is a level 99 GM command, though @kill works fine, it isn't as cool ='[

You do have permission to use these events and to change them how you see fit, but for bragging rights, should i ever come across these events being used by someone else, i' like to see my titles used xD
even if your not nuking people =[

[2.1] Event Prises
Prises are either few big prizes to few players, or lots of little prizes to lots of players.  This generally keeps things balanced... though I am in favor for prizes to be few little prises to few players =D

So why not give players big prizes?
Because then you start to get some unbalances.  I would rather have players win 10 events before getting noticeably stronger.  Because if they can win 10 events and be rewarded with big prizes they will become rather indestructible...

I've seen some event GMs give out a Rudra bow for a dead branch event that included 20 dead branches!
Basically that player continued to win my challenging event but shrugged that she did not want my prize because it was not better than a rudra bow.

So when giving out prizes I found that an event GM should NOT be generous because if they are generous they will be inclined to give something too good.  If possible, discuss with the GMs and/or the players (players know best what will tip the balance.  Just watch that they don't try to benifite themselves.) about prizes to be given out.

Anyway, be stingy.  That is my recommendation =D

Now I always find that event GMs take lots of flack from players who do not win events.  While doing an event like the crack the chat event, i would only do 5 different chats+passwords.  Therefore only 5 players could win every event.  I would have some 30+ show up for these events.  At the end I always get players telling me that they don't like my event.  Probably because they did not win =\

Anyway, don't take these personally or anything, I never hear complaints about the events when i announce that there will be one soon.  I always hear, "what is this event?" or "YEAAHH! this event rocks" or "help someone hacked my account!".  anyway, i've gotten good at announcing the rules for my events about 3+ times i do one =\

[3] Fun Time =D
yeaayyy! ^_^

So fun time is basically what a GM does when they are bored... =\
Now this is completely Dependant on your GM level.  The higher it is the better =D

- Some simple pleasures are disguising other players; however, be warned that:
1: they will swarm you like locus... seriously.
2: some monster disguises can allow for players to exploit.  Reduced skill delay, reduced cast time, no flinching, etc.
3: some disguises are rather... large, this makes it hard for players to fight monsters/walk around/etc.  Avoid large monsters... thats right, no dark lord for you <_<

Now, i try to avoid disguising others, i don't mind disguising myself as a tengu and just kicking back as players watch me slurp down plate after plate of sake ^_^

- Monster summoning <--- emphasis on the @summon and not @spawn.
This allows you to summon a monster for players to attack.  This monster follows you around but can be attacked by players.  It gives no exp or items... or shouldn't...
these summoned monsters attack only in PvP or GvG.
Good for players to just randomly attack stuff.

- Cloning: this is useful in PvP when you want to freak players out.  Or if someone wants to see if they can pwn their clone.  Just ask first, some players don't like their HP known to the world...

- GM buffs: this is my favorite activity when having fun with players.
Basically if you have the GM level use @skillid [enter a portion of the buff's name] to find out the skill buff you want to use.
Next once you find the skill's id # use @useskill [skill ID#] 100 [your name/player's name]
this will do a level 100 buff skill on the player... or an offensive skill if you are mean =P

what buffs to avoid:
-avoid buffs that have a long lasting effect.  These are GM buffs and give a lot of nice stuff.
-Bless level 100 gives 100 str, dex, and int.  This basically can give anyone instant cast and insane damage.  Avoid buffing players with this unless they can only leave the map by dieing.  If they log out, kill them when they log back in =P
If i do use this buff on players I usually start by giving it to a random player and telling the others that if they kill that player, they get the buff =P.  usually the last one standing gets the buff since it is hard to type out the command because the guy who killed the guy who killed the guy who had the 100 bless got killed ha ha!

what buffs to love and sleep with at night
-bard and dancer skills. =D they don't last very long out side of the AoE and they effect everyone in them.
-Poem of bragi and assassin cross of sunset is most popular.  bragi reduces cast time and delay, at level 100 it gives instant cast and no skill delay.  Sinx sunset gives max aspd at level 100.
-When i use these AoE buffs skills at level 100, especially bragi, it becomes a "capture the GM's shiny box area" as characters spam instant cast skills everywhere.  Have you ever seen FA and soul destroyer attacking 5 times a second??  Just pray that you are in GM hide or immortal =P

Anyway, I found that I became a lot more popular among players when i started to do level 100 bard/dancer skills in PvP rooms.  Players love them, it became their crack for a while =\

Cause being friendly is for Barney, do you want to be Barney?  NO, so start pwning those nubs! D=<

Pretty self explanatory, but rather difficult to do without pissing everyone off. =P
Just follow this rule, "if they tell you to stop, stop!" Even if it is one player getting upset, stop!  Even if the others are rofling their hearts out.

anyway, thats about it for ethics.  Now how do you go about Terrorizing players? *Note: i didn't bother making that comic link confidential =\ those are just random parodies I've made during my event GM career =P

Anyway, the last thing you want to do to terrorize players is spawn thanatos.  Why? because legitimately he is damn hard to get to legitimately.  So spawning him just legitimizes the lazy buggers' laziness <_< (the players if your wondering).

and randomly killing players on sight as a GM is not a good idea, unless you are killable.  If players have a chance to kill you, they may welcome the challenge.  But i usually avoid killing players with my GM except for these soon to be listed methods.

which will be mentioned soon.

rather soon.

Having a high GM level which allows for @useskill commands are required for this by the way =P
- Find the skill # for sphere mines, the alchemist skill which summons a marine sphere.  Then do it at level 100 with the @useskill [ID#] 100 [yourself] and then hot keying it in your alt+m hot key list to allow for spammer.  This is my "super minefield skill of doom +4" =D basicaly level 100 marine spheres have a hell of a lot more HP than normal sphere mines.  This allows for a LOT more damage when these buggers explode =D and they also chain react to blow each other up =P

Fun Factor: the fun factor for my "super minefield skill of doom +4" is rather high, because all players have to do is run for their life in hopes that they don't get blown up, cause they WILL die in 1 hit.  Heck even i killed myself with this once and i was level 255 with 200 vit @_@...
But This skill gets high scores for the light show =D

Killing Efficiency: moderate, some of the little buggers ALWAYS survive, even if is start spamming while chasing them D=<

Terror Ability: OHHHH yes, especially if they can see the HP on these things >=D

- Offensive dancer skills are also useful for terrorizing players.  They don't even kill them too =D
There are two worth noting:
1: the first drains SP, when it is at level 100 you can find players suddenly lose almost all of their SP after the skill activates.  I get a lot of "WTF, my SP!"

Fun Factor: low, it just annoys players =P good for putting out those skill spammers =P

Killing efficiency: if you mean SP killing then YES!

Terror Ability: more of a piss of ability...

2: the second is a skill that lowers movement speed and attack speed.  When used at level 100 that makes players almost freeze.  And try as those archers might, they can barely fire any arrows =P

Fun Factor: Very Fun for me, and moderate to high fun for players.  Depends if they like being extremely slow =P

Terror Ability: VERY high, i mean they literally run to the hills when green stuff starts to shine around me >=D
This skill has allowed me to demand weekly offerings of virgins in my glorious honor!!! D=<
I also made a comic about it =D

Anyway, you can experiment with lots of different skills, just remember: stop if you are annoying players, avoid favoritism, don't give out too good of items, make players work for their prize, and so on and so forth.  This post is rather long, and i've gotten sleepy now... I had a good rant about stuff, but i'll have to wait till some people reply =\

Anyway, comments are welcome, your own suggestions and the likes are welcome, praise shall be given through offerings of virgins-- if i get male virgins i won't mind, i can always put em to slave work =D


T_T *misses PD* anyone who gets him as a gm is lucky
i love how you balanced things out, ur custom events, everything.
its a lot to read and i actually read it XD i know lots more bout bein a gm now =P too bad im too meh to try =x
anyways, nice info~ u were a fun GM and its totally all true =D
take his advice ppls :o


WHO DARES REPLY TO MY POST D=< *breathes fire*

anyway thanks for the references; however, I'm not opting for a GM position.  I don't want any strings attached to me when i go for my next year and a half of college.  But I'm more than happy to give help to people who are/want to be a GM.

I had even come up with a really long weekly warp event that is very cool, in theory.  But since i ran across some disguising bugs i stopped work on it =\
I found easy and simple events to be better and more balanced =P


Well my only problem is calling this a GM rant or guide. There are only about 3 things, monster spawning, buffing and terrorising people that is particularly GM specific. The rest can be done by any player with some cash to throw around to similar extent. And certainly monster spawning and maybe even the crazier stuff could be written into the system by a competent enough server admin (just like writing in the actual moderation part of GMs can be).

So rename it a guide for everyone, afterall being helpful and doing events shouldnt be only expected of someone being given a neat icon and bunch of powers, but what everyone should be doing  ;D


I believe being a GM shouldn't be about any of the things you list, except public relations, really. You're supposed to help players, moderate the community, and take care of bots/abusers. And that's pretty much it. Boring? Yes. Effective? Yes. Good for the server? Very.

That's just how I see it though.


Well, there are different types of GM. He described the role of what should be a Public Relations GM and an Event GMs.
As far as I know, there areas that a GM can work on are PR, Events, Scripting and Enforcing the Rules. Most GMs probably don't have a predefined role and do whatever (none, part, all) of these tasks at their own discretion.

Bulbasteve is right to a certain extend, many types of events can (and are) automated via scripts, which lets players participate and organize these without the need of a GM. Perhaps the reason a GM is needed is to give out the prize, unless you expect the players to put forth the prize themselves o_O;

About the thread, this was a very interesting read, sounds like you had fun during your GM times, mostly.

(RMS reviews)


I had a rather hard time coming up with a title for this.

While writing it i noticed a lot of things that players can do, heck I came up with some of these while running around on a legitimate character.  But I just tried to avoid being everywhere and confusing people =\

hmmm, I think i shall rename it to "Tips for GMs and Players on being fun" =\

That kinda makes more sense...

And Yes there are different types of GMs and I was referring more towards PR and Event GMs.

I have little or no scripting and security GM background.  But if you are a GM and are going to talk with players, these tips WILL help bolster your rep with them xD

I've seen way to many security and scripting GMs go out into the community and end up creating a firestorm of complaints...


Only thing I don't agree on is the terrorizing things honestly, the others are quite good tips, but the others, keep it in pvp, with you killable and tell pepole that those who want to come can come, that way you keep it out of the way of those who dosn't like it.

But well duties first, fun later. ;)


I'm going to take it one step further and agree with Slaw about the philosophy behind GMs. When you are in any official RO or heck any MMORPG server you will almost never see GMs, and I think there is a good reason. They really are supposed to have a behind the scenes role in moderation and things like that. The whole terrorising thing and a lot of these events bring GMs too far down to earth. You will get a lot of the pissing contest players getting jealous of GMs and wanting that sort of power or others thinking a GM might not be professional. Even if it is human based GMing should at least seem like it is coming from some impartial system. Someone who doesn't know these people personally when making a moderation or something, and not a guy you joke around with every day and may play favorites with and lead to the almost inevitable GM drama that has brought down too many servers to count.

As for the events themselves, I remember the first town invasion on iRO like it was yesterday. And I remember because these things were really "events", since they almost never happened (and even when they did the GM doing it was largely out of sight). At some point the stuff you do is just another server feature like WoE and not an actual "event" that people take part in, where people want to take 100 screenshots to capture the moment. As such, to me an Event GM really should be a crazy good scripter who puts in something really special on the server that will make all the users of the server impressed and having practically everyone come on the game for it, and heck posting your crazy new idea on these forums to get new people to join the server or just to check it out.

But these are just my thoughts, not to say that the way you do it is wrong or anything, but I can sure see how it can lead to a lot of problems. I guess much like GMs in general they are a necessary evil, but whoever is running the server should constantly be looking to put you out of a job. ;)


Oh don't listen to Slaw just because I used to give him no power and he only can do those PR stuff :P jk

PD: too long didn't read the whole thing but i like the terrorist comic, you can open ur GM Academy xD


Reply to bulba:

Lol, starving the people so that events generate more impact? Yeah, that's probably more effective in terms of wow-factor.

However, keep in mind that most private servers do not have the stability nor the professionalism (not as much, but some of them are quite close or even on par) as official servers do. Therefore, we get more casual GM's. I can see how that could be bad in terms of idk, drama I guess, but its good in the long run methinks, since it shows the GM's does give a damn about the game.

My 2 cents~


I agree that GM's and Admins should be more behind the scenes. They get too dependent, and by that I mean asking for buffs, disguise, items, etc. Which in the long run will only get them in trouble.

And as for the "guide". As someone said, I really only agree with the first part about PR, it should be known by any "good" gm, that you have to help everyone out, etc. As for the "custom" events? Im not sure if your aware but they arent "custom", Ive seen those happen among many servers, some over 3 years old. There is  no way I can tell that you made them, or any way you can prove to us that you made them, but Im just pointing that out. Other than that it was ok.

p.s eww gaia.


Well it really depends on the server population's preference.  I know that some players want a GM who can be there for them to be on a more personal level.  Though it may not be that great, it keeps those players on the server, which is essential for starting servers.

But I always find it hard to do events on a server that is continually growing.  Players start to look for professionalisms mostly to organize the events.  Since I am not a crazy good scripter this starts to create some stress on doing events.

When I made this guide I was mostly targeting it towards small servers with less than 100 players active on average.  I don't have any experience GMing on a server with over 300 players though =P

To also comment on my 'terrorizing' tips.  I find that it is VERY hard to do this without upsetting players.  So, like NikitaDarkstar said, "keep it in pvp, with you killable and tell pepole that those who want to come can come, that way you keep it out of the way of those who dosn't like it." is an example of a way to reduce the amount of players getting upset from 'terrorizing'.

Also, I am against buffing, disguising, items(DEFINATELY ITEMS), etc.  I rarely do buffs, and if i do, i do them in a PvP setting to give a bit of a change to the usual 'PvP grind' which just consists of kos(kill-on-sight)ing.

@ArchAngelArtemis: I wouldn't be surprised if someone else had made events similar to the ones i've done, hence why I havn't gone all copyright nazi about it.  I was just saying that if someone did an event based on what they read here, it would be nice to keep the name =D
If i did spot someone doing an event similar to one of my 'custom' events, i'd just assume they came up with it on their own =\

BTW: thanks for the move, didn't know were to put this topic =D

PS: Its good to see this discussion though, I am learning lots about different people's preferences for GMs.