Applications

Posted On November 4, 2014 By In Tutorials With 2024 Views

Member Applications Explained

In this tutorial, I will explain how the member application process works, and discuss tips on how to make yours successful. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, or would like to have another aspect discussed.

I have placed the member application link at the bottom of this article. Please read through this article carefully before clicking it.

Introduction

So, you want to become an official FirePowered member? That’s great! As a growing community of close gamers, we’re always looking for new members to represent us and have fun, both together and with others.

There are some things you should know before you apply. FirePowered membership is not like membership of other TF2 clans. We believe only those who truly interact with the community, contribute ideas and discussion, are mature and respectful, and assist and play with others closely are worthy of FirePowered membership. As such, new member applications come under scrutiny from senior group members to determine if a person is worthy of joining up and adding the [FP] tag to their name.

What is your reason for joining?

So how do you go about applying? The first thing I would recommend is to take a step back, and ask yourself what motivates you to join FirePowered. There are many reasons people have, but here are some generally good ones:

  • Do you have friends who are FP members and admins, and would like to join in their circle?
  • Are you a server regular, enjoy/donate toward the servers, and would like to become officially associated with them?
  • Are you a forum/mumble/IRC addict and want to take the final step toward “naturalization?”

Notice the emphasis on friendship, on community contributing, on having fun with others and conversing with like-minded individuals. There are no passive FP members, or at least passive members who stay for long. When you apply for member, you are showing that you want to join our club and hang out with us, and spend time growing bonds and building a community. You don’t have to be friends with everyone, or even know everyone; plenty of members form groups among each other and converse mainly within that group, which is perfectly fine.

But the bottom line is, you want to join this group for other than personal gain. If your only motivation is to have another piece of “bling” to be able to add to your Steam name and not be committed to FirePowered, then FirePowered membership is not for you. Similarly, if your only motivation for membership is to eventually become an Administrator, your application will likely be denied.

Requirements

Once you have decided your reason for membership, the next step is to know the technical requirements. The application system will automatically block you from applying if you try to apply without meeting these conditions. They are as follows:

  • 1500 Loyalty Points
  • 2 Weeks forum membership
  • 10 Forum posts
  • At least 16 years and up
  • Forum account is Steam-Linked

The Age Requirement

Some people get hung up on the age requirement and why it is there. We believe that having mature and respectful members is paramount to providing the best place to foster a friendly and adult gaming and conversing environment. By allowing only people 16 and up to apply, we can filter out most (but not all) immature, disrespectful people and maintain both an adult environment and keep our image from being poisoned by those who have not grown out of childish tendencies.

That said, we do realize that some people below 16 are mature and respectful towards others and would make great additions to our member roster. If you think you are one of these people, please read the following:

  • You must be at least 13 years old to apply for member underage. If you’re younger than that, you cannot apply at all.
  • Work hard to establish a clear and solid forum and server presence. If you can get onto IRC and Mumble, this will help to boost your reputation more. Much of this is detailed below, but in this case you basically have to “prove” you are mature enough in your discussion and playing to be able to become a FP member. In particular, try to become friends with existing members and admins – this will give you a good support base for your application.
  • Once you think you’re ready, open a support ticket on the forums. Indicate that you intend to apply for underage member. The admin will then decide to either approve or deny your request. Approval for underage apps is not guaranteed, and the admin may deny your request for any reason.
  • If the admin approves your request, you will be allowed to “bend” your stated forum age to 16 in order to use our application system. Please change this back once your application is accepted (or denied).
  • Alternatively, if your 16th birthday is within about six months, it may just be worth waiting for it so you don’t have to go through this process. This gives you more time to build up a presence, easily.

Please do not lie about your age on your application. If we find out that you lied about your age, we will revoke your membership and you may not get a chance to reapply. Don’t risk it; be honest the first time.

The Loyalty Requirement

The loyalty point requirement is another common hang up point. Many people complain that the 1500 LP threshold is exceedingly high, given that you only get 1 Loyalty Point each for 10 kills, 10 assists, and 10 minutes of server time. Again, we do this on purpose in order to make people prove that they are committed to playing on our servers and meeting new friend who frequent them. The maximum amount of time you would have to play on our servers to earn 1500 loyalty points (which would just be by sitting idle in spawn and earning them via time) is 250 hours. That’s a lot, almost 10 ½ days spent in-game. Of course most people who play on our most popular servers will earn kills and assists, making it closer to 5-6 days in-game.

One way to quickly earn lots of Loyalty Points is to join empty servers and start seeding them. Seeding servers is our way of getting our Quickplay-registered servers within the threshold Valve requires for servers to show up in the pool of servers players can select when they click on “Start Playing” on the main screen. This is a good thing to have on your application, because it shows you are willing to help us keep our servers full and fun (something we encourage among our members, and require for senior members and above). When playing on an empty server, alter-ego bots will be mixed in with the standard Valve bots .

Allow me to explain alter-egos. These are representations of members who bear the name of that member as well as their last-used loadout. Their difficulties are also set to Expert to provide a challenge. And in case you’re wondering, no, these are not fake player bots tied to Steam accounts to make our servers seem fuller than they are. These are real bots, which don’t count towards player count, given the names of players. When you kill one, you are instantly rewarded 1 Loyalty Point! If you keep killing them, your Loyalty Points will stack up, and you’ll have 1500 Points in as little as 2-3 days in-game time! So if you want LP, seed the servers and kill those bots!

By the way, you can create your own Alter-Ego bot by donating to our community. Once you’re in-game, bring up the donor menu with the !benefits chat command, select Alter-Ego, and select which class you want as your Alter-Ego. Your bot will use your last known loadout for that class. Your bot will also have its stats tracked on GameMe, but will not have a ranking.

Also, buying Loyalty benefits from the shop will not hinder getting your 1500, since the application system tracks your total earned points, not points on hand. So you can buy as many wintones and custom connect messages as you want, and not have to worry about not having 1500 Loyalty Points. You can check your progress at anytime on your forum profile (if it is Steam-Linked) or in-game with the !loyalty command.

The Forum Requirement

Finally, many people simply apply for member after making a forum account, making ten posts, and then waiting the two weeks. Let me tell you right now that this is almost guaranteed suicide for your application, unless you’re very well-known for your server and/or IRC/Mumble presence. Your forum presence is one of the most crucial factors of whether or not you will be a good member, as most out-of-game interaction takes place there. The reason is simple: the more you post and interact on the forums, the more likely you are to make friends, the more we get to see what you are like, and the more likely you will receive lots of vouches on your application. Unlike the other two points listed above, there really isn’t much to it: if you and another person apply for member at the same time, have similar Loyalty Point amounts, but the other person has 260 posts and three months on the forum compared to your 10 posts, guess who’s more likely to get approved? (Although we don’t have a set limit for members, so it’s entirely possible for both of you to get denied or approved for different reasons, but this generally holds true.)

In addition, if you go for a certain length of time without logging into the forums, you will get kicked into the Inactive Members list, and will be notified of this via email. If you’re inactive long enough on the forums, you will lose your membership entirely. If you’re moved to the Inactive list, be sure to post as soon as possible to retain your membership! If you regularly check and post on the forums, then you won’t have to worry about this at all.  At the time of this writing, it takes 40 days of complete inactivity to be marked as inactive.

Other/Misc.

There are some other miscellaneous “hidden” requirements behind applications, which I will briefly cover:

  • Being active on IRC and Mumble is optional, but encouraged, since it enriches you out-of-game interaction with other members and regulars.
  • Sensible, appropriate use of the !report command to flag troublemakers also looks good on your application (though not !report abuse, which can get you banned)
  • Large amounts of negative interactions anywhere may vastly decrease your chances of getting accepted.
  • Finally, if you were recently banned for a serious offense (porn sprays, bigotry, griefing, etc,) your chances of getting accepted are also very low. If such behavior shows up in your chat history, but you weren’t banned for it, your chances of getting accepted may also be lower than you think.

How to Apply for Membership on the Site

So, now to the actual point of this article: applying for FirePowered membership. Once you have met the minimum requirements and feel you are ready and capable based on what is stated above, go here and click on “Apply Now!” for Member.

The application will ask you for some basic information, which is listed below:

  • Your real first and last name. This is only viewable by staff.
  • Your Steam name (at the time of application).
  • Your favorite FirePowered servers. Please check all listed servers that you frequently play on.
  • Whether you are willing to seed the servers. Please be truthful on this question. As stated above, seeding is not required, but encouraged for members to do.
  • Your hobbies. List some things you do when not playing TF2 here.
  • What entices you to apply. Think about what is stated above and how it applies to you. Make it short and sweet, if possible.
  • If anyone referred you to apply for member, list them in the last question.

Once you apply, your application topic will be brought before a private panel consisting of Senior Members and staff. We will discuss your application in private, and then an Administrator will make the final decision on your application, after which he or she will approve or deny it and then contact you.

Generally, we don’t have a set amount of time in which applications will be judged upon, although we try to address them within 1-2 weeks of being posted.

At any time while your application is active, anyone who is a member of FirePowered may vouch for your application on your application page. Generally, the more vouches you have, the more likely your application is to be accepted, and if a staff member vouches for you your chances of success are very high indeed. If someone vouches, I would recommend taking the time to write them a thank-you message over PM, or just thank them the next time they are on Steam or in-game with you. This resonates well and shows you appreciate people supporting you. That said, please don’t ask for vouches, as this reflects badly.

Accepted or Denied?

After your application gets accepted, congratulations! You will gain access to the private members-only forum, the ability to wear the [FP] tag, and get added to the FirePowered Members Steam group. Make sure you read the pinned threads in the members forum on how to represent the community well with your new tag.

Or, maybe you weren’t accepted. If this is the case, don’t fret! The admin denying your application will usually PM you regarding why you were denied. Most of the time, you just aren’t active enough in the community for us to get a good feel of your character just yet. Sometimes, though, some issues regarding you may have appeared in the past, and you will have to work on these.

My suggestion would be to take whatever advice is given and work on addressing those problems. You will need to wait at least one month to reapply. When you’re ready, just contact an Administrator, who will delete your existing application and allow you to make a new one.

This concludes my article on Member applications. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.

Once again, the link to the member application page can be found here: FirePowered Application Page

About

Dylan is a student at Auburn, Washington's Green River Community College, and also works there as a TA. He serves as one of the game server moderators, and because of his West Coast location is able to address issues and questions later in the night than most.

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