The idea of how DarkRP is to be played has changed over the years. I very strongly disagree with the current set of rules, admin to player ratio and interventionist approach servers generally have nowadays. I have tried to influence this culture through DarkRP updates, but came across a strong resistance and unwillingness to change. My question is simple:
What should I do with DarkRP?
In order, the years have introduced rules about things such as RDM, NLR, FearRP, FailRP, advertising raids and a bunch more. I've argued in the past (in the DarkRP MOTD and in this thread) that these rules go too far. They restrict gameplay far too much and foster a culture of admin micro management. Not a minute goes by in the average server without someone complaining that one of these rules have been broken. This isn't fun for admins, who barely get to actually play the fucking game. It's also not fun for players, for whom it has become impossible to play the game without people complaining that they're breaking the rules.
I have tried to influence this culture in several ways. I've posted messages to the DarkRP MOTD , implementing features to help administration (FSpectate in particular) and most importantly: trying to undermine the gameplay mechanics central to this horrible culture. In particular, you might remember the "/advert" command change: it used to print an advert message to chat. Now it spawns a billboard.
The billboard change met some fierce resistance. Within days, multiple ways of "fixing" DarkRP had popped up on Facepunch and the DarkRP forums , . Videos about reverting it were posted, issues were posted on DarkRP's Github and threads on all sorts of forums have popped up about the change (reddit, scriptfodder, some server's forum).
It's clear. The change is controversial, and it seems that by far, most server owners don't like it.
My opinion, strangely, appears to have wide support. From people agreeing in the "what makes you mad in GMod" thread, to the reddit thread, the server forum thread linked above and even admins I talk to in game. While I've seen the full force of GMod drama about the actual billboard change, I don't think I've seen any opposition to the underlying ideas and reasoning.
The only disagreement I find is whether the cause of DarkRP having become dull is because of the changed rules and culture or because of scriptfodder. I don't think scriptfodder has had a big influence on the way DarkRP is played nowadays, since by far, most scriptfodder addons are merely cosmetic in nature. Very few (vehicles and trade NPCs being some) actually affect gameplay.
What can I do
There are several things I can do with DarkRP:
- Abandon it and/or have someone else take over. I don't think there's any reason to believe this will lead to an improvement.
- Accept the change of culture and respect it. Continue fixing bugs, but leave my opinion aside.
- Keep up proselytising and trying to influence the culture, optionally by discussing such actions with e.g. Facepunch.
- Set up my own vanilla official DarkRP server. I'd probably need help from the community and brilliant people like Joey Skylynx to develop the idea and administrate the server.
- other - this is a very open question
There are many things that I cannot influence. Scriptfodder, shit that lives on the workshop, the age of people playing the game and all that sort of stuff. What I can do is update DarkRP and post messages to the DarkRP MOTD, which is shown in console on join. I could change the DarkRP MOTD to become more visible too. I am administrator on the DarkRP forums, which is somewhat central to server owners seeking help setting up their server. I might be able to reach a big audience there.
What do you think I should do?