I wrote a short piece on a problem that others and myself have perceived as critical to ILB and has ultimately lead to and will continue to lead to problems in all aspects of ILB. While this is strictly opinion, it is founded in reality. As the last thread in this subforum was from 8 fucking months ago, this is long overdue. ILB is rotten. It's not rotten in the corrupt sense. There are no backroom deals to keep infamous players coming back ban after ban, no power-for-purchase, or anything of that nature. ILB is the type of rotten that happens to the apple that's been sitting out for a month and leaves a gross stain on the counter. At its deepest, most fundamental core, the structure has rotted away, and it is only held haphazardly together by the few bits that haven't gone squishy. ILB is on a date with disaster and refuses to ask for the check. This post isn't to call anyone out, or make anyone feel bad, or hurl baseless insults at authority figures. This is a dire warning to the powers that be: THE END IS NIGH. I'm not in a position to judge if the end is inevitable or not at this point, but it is a forgone conclusion with the course being sailed. Every problem I address, I will present with the solution that my decade of experience with small online communities has afforded me. If you have the authority to carry out decisions, you are not in any regard being demanded to take action. This is your ship, and I have jumped ship at the last port. Hit the iceberg if you wish to do so. The most glaring, most unable to be ignored problem I can see is simple; the community as a whole and those in charge of it are as far disconnected as possible while still technically remaining one entity, but I'd even argue this isn't the case. Every decision made is made by someone that is not a fully participating member of the community. ILB is an oligarchy. Decisions that affect the by far largest portion of ILB's playerbase, its roleplayers, are not made by roleplayers. They are made by disconnected individuals that monitor the server remotely and from afar. They are the monarch separated by an ocean. This is evident in both day to day and long term decision making. Polls are held to gain feedback from the community once in a blue moon, and the vast consensus of these polls is ignored. The few polls issued are generalized and do not ask about the issues players actually have. Grievances raised on platforms like Discord are dismissed, ignored, and sometimes met with reprimand. The MO of staff regarding complaints is "dismiss, dispel, disperse, and ignore". Big Brother does not know best in issues pertaining to roleplayers, because there are none besides the "RP monitors" (hardly staff. They're hall monitors promised more, and a good chunk aren't active anymore) in the active staff team. The staff team is grossly small for the size of the community it deals with. Decisions on bans and general regulations AND their enforcement falls on 3-4 people if I'm generous. Its senior members are well versed in the management of the whole community and server, but not its parts. RP is, again, the big issue. I do not know of any senior staff that frequently roleplay with the members of the community, and therefore, they are less informed on what drives roleplayers than they should be. The issues plaguing roleplay on ILB should not even be addressed until the foundation itself is corrected. How, though? What should be done? My suggestion is that the senior staff (i.e the ones that have full staff powers and make executive decisions) are placed into the Executive Admin caste, where they take on a roll as general community administrators, handling ban appeals, server protections, interpersonal disputes, and technical service. These tasks are what are already handled by these same people. They will also have all the powers of the lower caste(s), but should only fill in if the proper people aren't available. Next, a new caste must be created. These are simply "Admins". They handle the day-to-day kicks, bans, RP whitelist management, and enforcement of rules on the server, including those of the RP hub(s). This caste should be filled with a variety of players to effectively represent the population. I would propose 2 Admins to each Super Admin at the bare bones minimum. These should be frequent players with decent standings in the community and selected via applications voted on by Senior Staff. If this sounds like I'm proposing to take away power from staff and give it to the players, what you'd call "mob rule" in you retort, you're half right. I think it's possible to give players more power while staff retain existing power. I'm not asking for nor do I want a staff role. Like I said, it's your ship to sink or sail. To summarize, the decisions made in the past ~year have conveyed to a notable percentage of players that the current staff team is too disconnected from the players, and sometimes arrogance in the form of "father knows best" decision making. People are seeking greener pastures and they will not stop if you continue this path. Regardless of your intentions, your actions have had effects beyond your anticipated result, and you must deal with it as it is. Restructuring that incorporates engaged members into decision making and enforcement roles is necessary for continued operation. Both of the SB RP Discord servers I'm in feature frequent polling and staff engagement. It's working for them, and it's time to adapt or die. ILB may not collapse, but it could turn into one of the rotting buildings on the side of a backwoods road, long abandoned and one gust of wind from finally buckling. Maybe we're there already.