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Some Ideas About Liaisons

Many people have ideas about what liaisons are and do that stray very far from the facts! In this page, we list some of the common beliefs we have heard of, and explain why they are wrong.

Belief: liaison is mostly about discipline

The average liaison spends about 5% of his/her liaising time on discipline, at most. As our main focus is to help players, we tend to consider it an unpleasant sidejob - necessary, because it spoils the game for others when players break the rules, but certainly not the main focus of our work.

Belief: liaisons are not creators

> whois keita
That is Curious Keita Aisuru (Liaison) (Creator) the Divine of Gapp, Deific Deliberator of House Sung, Coconut Brain.

See the (Creator) in there? :)

The Discworld creator base is split up in several domains, each with their own area of responsibility. Examples are AM, Guilds, Learning... Liaison is one of these domains, with player communication as its main responsibility. Being full members of the creator team, liaisons have the same abilities and power as other creators; liaisons are not below the others, just as the others are not below liaisons.

Belief: liaison is an easy road into being a creator

Similar to this prejudice is the idea that liaison is a nice stepping stone - a domain to get used to being a creator while you learn to code, so you can move on to become a developer once you are ready. Becoming a liaison with this idea is, unfortunately, a sure way to get a burnout!

Being a liaison creator is a very different path from being a creator in one of the other domains. It is only easier if you're better at communication, swift judgement calls, patience, self-control and multitasking than coding, creativity, good writing and the determination to finish projects. In short, for some people it is better suited, for some it is worse.

If you want to be a coding creator, apply to a coding domain - most of them accept inexperienced creators and train their newbies, rather than teaching them to be liaisons. :)

Belief: liaisons know everything

Obvious, perhaps, but not everyone realises that liaisons are also only human.

Players who become a liaison are usually experienced players who know their way around the disc, and liaisons are told about most new developments and what problems players are likely to have with them. However, there is so much to know about the Discworld, it would be unfair to expect a liaison to be aware of everything - particularly if they spend most of their time liaising rather than exploring, doing all quests and, generally, playing.

Belief: liaisons can not or are not allowed to code

It is true liaisons are expected to give their priority to liaising, but when an active liaison wants to pick up coding, there is no reason why they can't! Liaisons have, in the past, joined other domains' projects, or worked on code the liaison domain is responsible for (like the newbie area and liaison toys).

Belief: liaisons have to be able to code

As liaison is not a coding domain, its members aren't required to be able to code, nor will they have to learn this. I will not deny the skill is useful - mainly the ability to read code - but it is usually not necessary to solve a problem. When it is, it's perfectly normal for a liaison to ask for help from coding creators who have more experience with that.

Belief: liaisons are only there to pass things on to the coders

An important function of liaisons is to bring issues to the responsible coders' attention, but that is not all they do. When players are experiencing problems with the game, either through their own fault, crashes or (other) bugs, liaisons can often suggest a solution or solve these with tools or commands themselves. And they have several other responsibilities, like mediating between players and maintaining help files.

Belief: liaisons set the rules in the game

Liaisons are most seen to be involved with the rules, both in clarifying and enforcing them, and they also have a responsibility in maintaining the help files for the rules. However, the rules are set by admin. The trustees are also the ones to decide on final appeals of discipline.

Belief: liaisons are bugfixers

In a way, liaisons are indeed fixers - when players are experiencing bugs that immediately affect their game, liaisons can usually have a look into it, decide whether it's really a bug, and either correct the problem for the player or pass it on to a responsible coder.

However, talking to liaisons is never a replacement for writing a bugreport. Except in very exceptional circumstances (or when a coder is asked to look into it) the actual source of the problem will not be fixed; liaisons have some tools and experience to fix the consequences - and often that's all that's needed - but it's not their job to change code.

Belief: liaisons are completely arbitrary.

An accusation that by occasion sparks quite a discussion!

Yes, sometimes one liaison will remark on a player being offensive on the talker, where another wouldn't, for example. But what you should realise here is that the rules aren't black and white, and therefore the enforcement isn't either. Liaisons are people, not machines with exact triggerwords on what falls into the "good" category and what into "bad".

So sometimes, when you're hovering in a grey zone, one liaison will consider it bad enough to push you back, while another wouldn't bother yet. The point to realise is that you're in a grey zone when this happens, which you should try to avoid.

Belief: all liaisons are girls.

This one is said jokingly so often there are probably people who believe it by now. But no! Liaison is not a traditionally all female domain. There have been periods where the domain was dominated by women, but also periods with almost only men. Most commonly there are active liaisons of both sexes around.

Back to the main liaison page.