For those of you who know me and have reached out to say hi (kindly or unkindly), thank you! For those who have not, I'm Spencer Jameson, and I have been a player and an admin on the server since 2012. @sixxy (Johnny Sixx) has decided to step away from the role of Executive Director, and he will instead focus solely on server security, stability and development. @Aachen (Michael J. Aachen), who has also reinstated as an Executive Administrator, will focus on project management from a development standpoint. From here, I will manage the day-to-day affairs and long-term scope of Next Generation Gaming as its Executive Director.
Let's not mince words: the player base on this server is now smaller than at many other points in its 10-year history. A number of administrative decisions, attitudes or initiatives have upset short- and long-term players. Some decisions were restrictive or prohibitive, disincentivizing players from being creative or investing their time. New players are sometimes subject to a coarse experience on the server, made to explore the server's features solo and with little functional guidance. Quite frankly, many people were and are angry with how the server has been managed, and this is an understandable reaction; I felt the same, and I personally do not take your time and energy as players for granted. There is a lot to change, but we are confident in our capacity to do so with your continued trust.
The lasting appeal of NGG is the strength of its community: those who play here, the friends they make along the way, and the memories they leave with. Right now, it is our primary goal to restore this group-based atmosphere for the benefit of current and former players, as well as to empower new players to easily experience it. We consider it important to modernize game play as far as possible within the confines permitted by SA:MP, while amplifying the game play features that have come to define NGG. Surely, this is and will not be the same server it was ten, or even five years ago, but it is important to us that the classic spirit of NGG not be eroded.
Complete Dynamic Group System
Within two weeks, it is our goal to release an update which will allow any player to create their own unofficial factions with dynamic group functionality. This would yield most players the ability to participate in group-related events, like turf and point, as well as to enjoy their group-specific benefits.
This is to include:
The ability to dynamically create, name and define the traits of your own unofficial group. This could include qualities like faction color, the number of ranks and their names, divisions, or other thematic features.
The ability to designate group leaders for your group, and to promote, demote, invite or uninvite players in-game or through the control panel.
The ability to use OOC /family chat, as well as locker functionality and placement.
The ability to share personally owned assets with your faction at will, and to unshare them with the same convenience through a set of commands (for example /vfaction and /pfaction).
By using these commands, you would willingly convert your personal vehicle into a group vehicle, or allow members of your group to share functionality of your home. This would render these assets usable by your group in the same manner faction assets always have been, but can be reversed by the original owners through use of the same command.
Official groups will be retained, and will undergo changes that provide them enhanced functionality in light of this update. As we approach the release of this update, more information will come on technical details.
Revise Mapping and City Appearance
Mapping in Los Santos has been cluttered by ten years of paid-for mapping projects, obnoxious obstacles to thwart Non-RP Driving, and other abandoned initiatives. These objects are often unsightly, and the degree of clutter is known to cause performance issues on older computer systems. Over the next two weeks, our admin team will be sorting through this clutter to remove intrusive and unattractive instances of mapping throughout the city. In its place, we invite the community to be involved in the new design of Los Santos. Additionally, we plan to reallocate and recycle certain high-quality interiors for general use. If you are a mapper and would like to be involved, or if there is a particular instance of mapping you believe is worth retaining in Los Santos, please reach out to @Pearson or @Schamens to touch base.
Return of the Judiciary
Simply put, the Judicial Branch will be reinstated as a functional branch of the San Andreas government to facilitate law enforcement role play and provide environmental context. This faction will have all enumerated powers provided by the San Andreas Constitution, and any interested members of the faction should reach out to me, @kevin_sixx or @MatthewRichard directly.
In the spirit of turning over a new leaf, it is our plan to perform a large-scale wave of unbans in the very near future, excluding any issued following this announcement. Some bans may remain on a case-by-case basis, including recent hack bans. Additionally, we will perform a review of our current disciplinary policies and rules, to ensure that any and all punishments are commensurate with their offenses. We encourage any current or former players to stay tuned for a number of events we have planned to make the server engaging, dynamic and fun, as we get hard at work on new updates. This includes the age-old, classic Zombie Event, and possibly some new ones, so tell your friends!
Moving forward, it is important to us that Next Generation Gaming becomes everything its players want it to be. We will begin polling on certain features in a manner similar to Old-School Runescape's known model of community-driven development. We want players to enjoy this server how they choose to, and we intend to provide an enjoyable game play experience both for the casual gamer as well as the seasoned role player. You can expect to see polls in the future as we tailor mechanics of game play to your liking. Nothing will be developed that the players do not fully, and overwhelmingly, desire to see made.
Administrative Accountability and Organization
Like many of you, I strongly disdain top-heavy staff structures. It is a symptom of misallocated authority, and my guiding principle on this problem is that one should have authority that is equal only with the scope of their responsibility.
Simply put, this means no more infinitely powerful, but purposeless, Executive Apprentices, or floating Head and Senior Admins who become prone to make heavy-handed decisions.
As time goes on, it is our intention to create an administrative feedback system with script functionality in-game, allowing players to have their voices heard when either positively or negatively reflecting on their experiences with an admin. Likewise, we aim to increase the responsiveness of our admin team and to reduce in-game wait times. General Administrators can expect to have their permissions amplified to allow them to complete the vast majority of day-to-day tasks and reports. With time, this will reflect in the layout of the admin hierarchy, and will yield a more favorable ratio which prevents abuses of authority. @Vinnie, @Addison Swagger and @Aachen will oversee these principles as they are implemented.
This is a community with a long, speckled history, and we appreciate those of you who have stuck around through good times and bad. With your help, we want to keep Next Generation Gaming fun and engaging as a group-based role play server, for however many players and groups seek that experience, as long as they like. If you have any suggestions on what we can do to shore up more engagement, or some questions/concerns about any features, please let us know in the comments, in private messages or even verbally on TeamSpeak and Discord.
I'm next president, baby!