Server Admin Tools
With steam beta rapidly approaching I am getting a little worried about what kind of game Eco will be once we are exposed to a more general public group such as steam players. I have been hosting minecraft servers for around 6 years now and have experienced a great deal of negative gameplay, thankfully with the huge minecraft community, server admins were given alot of tools to work with in terms of managing thier servers and communities.
We all know there are players out there who are not interested in playing the game, but are out to essentially disrupt others from enjoying it. We attach terms such as griefers and trolls but basically these kinds of players get enjoyment out of ruining the game for others. In a game like Eco, its very nature will attract people like this and cause a great deal of misery to others who just want to play the game as intended.
Chat Logs - Currently there are no readable chat logs available, having a readable chat log history file would be the a huge help in determining who is playing the game and who is trying to offend others.
Logging tools - This is essential to working out who did what, where and when, in most cases this in itself can limit any potential repeated damage caused by griefers, without knowing who and what they did the potential for repeated griefing by the same person(s) is high, making the entire thing a merry go-round.
Vanish - Many will know this one from Minecraft, but the ability for admins to become invisible so they can monitor griefers is also a very handy tool, stealth griefers are those who try to hide what they are doing when any staff are around, making the entire thing a cat and mouse game, this results in a great deal of time being spent by admins trying to 'catch them in the act'. A silent login is usually attached to this kind of command also.
Law restrictions - Whilst there is a default citizenship law, laws in general can be used in such ways as to completely destroy the world/server, things like granting of all skills, granting of currency and so on means server admins will basically need to either restore a backup or create a new world, both very damaging to server communities, there needs to be a review of what type of laws can be enacted and an assessment of the kind of damage they can cause.
Kick and Ban - Not going to say much on this one as there is a github issue already and being able to use those commands without a server restart is a good start towards giving admins the tools they need to manage thier servers.
I am sure there are many other potential griefing scenarios, tailings left in stockpiles for example (admins can /unclaim those however but a law to force stockpiles with tailings to become public would help alot).
I have seen griefers and trolls completely dominate servers before, they drive players away, not just from the server but from the game itself, people spending 100's hours on something only to be ruined in a matter of minutes/hours. Situations like that and the subsequent bragging will attract more griefers to the game and suddenly those steam reviews will be full of comments like 'Toxic community' and other negative comments that can have a big impact on how well a game is received, if the mood swings like that then some games never recover from the stigma.
That's definitely something that should be implemented before Steam Launch.
Maybe a good RCON Tool can this do too.
We willl see what will be come
I would also like to see the ability to make announcements in game from the server console. This is essential to streamlining server administration so admins don't have to log in to the game to make shutdown and other announcements.