The Higher-Ups: Staff on PS!

By Blitzamirin. Art by Regime.
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Staff Members on Pokémon Showdown!

It's a nice and quiet evening, you've already become tired of laddering, and you want to relax by chatting with the regulars. You soon find that you aren't able to get into the conversation because there are users discussing controversial topics, as well as the occasional spammer. You almost regret your decision and are now willing to continue laddering, but then you realize that something's changed: the spam has gone away, the chat continues its fluidity, and it's all thanks to those beings with bolded names on the top of the user list. Some are shrouded in mystery, but others are familiar faces around the community. Basically, staff members are the ones who regulate the various rooms on PS! by keeping order in the chat, interacting with both new and regular users, and otherwise making sure that their respective rooms are having a good time. This article will cover a bit about those individuals and the ranks that they have obtained.

Qualities and Characteristics of a Staff Member

There are many staff members across the wide variety of rooms, which discuss general topics, Pokémon-related jazz, or even things that you may never have heard of. You may ask yourself how these people even came to be noticed. While there are the obvious things like helpful chat presence and earning the position instead of asking for it, there's more to it that isn't visible to the normal user. It's important to note that these people can either be room staff or global staff, with the former having their rank in a certain room and the latter having theirs throughout every public room on the simulator. Here's a rundown of the common ranks:

Identified by the + symbol, this rank is commonly confused with one associated with authority. However, these people are actually model users in their respective rooms. Always willing to lend a hand, Voices can broadcast ! commands in the chat for everyone to see and can also speak when Moderators or above set moderated (+) chat. Global Voices can cover a wide range of topics, with most of these being authority in rooms, so feel free to ask to ask them for advice if you see them in a particular room. For the most part, these users gain their rank through chat contributions, so it's wise to follow their example.
Donning the % symbol, these users are the first rank of authority. Apart from being model users like Voices and being able to use the aforementioned commands, they can punish anyone that is violating the rules via warns or mutes. They also have the ability to make announcements in a contrasting font. Global Drivers have more commands at their disposal, such as the ability to lock users, which prevents them from speaking in all chatrooms, battles, and private messages with regular users. Additionally, they can also change the names of other users if they're offensive or an impersonation of a staff member. Finally, they have access to the redirect command, which allows them to take users to a more appropriate room for their queries, such as the Wi-Fi Room for trading or Tournaments for competing with others. Drivers are also involved behind the scenes by contributing to policy decisions, suggesting things to make the room more enjoyable or efficient, and discussing promotions. Global Drivers contribute in the staff forums for the benefit of the whole server.
Commonly abbreviated as Mod, these users with the @ symbol are similar to Drivers in that they establish order in the chat and keep it rife with discussion. Room Moderators have the extra ability of being able to ban users from their room, while global Moderators can ban users from the simulator in its entirety, preventing access to the server. These bans can be undone by the Moderator, but otherwise, they last until the server restarts every four or five days. They are also able to promote any user in the room to Voice and start tours in their respective rooms. These users also actively contribute to policy discussions in their room and exert more influence than Drivers. Their time in the position has served as an experience that helps them when it comes to mentoring other staff members and users.

There are 3 more ranks found on the simulator. They can only be granted by Administrators, showing their importance as the most prestigious ranks on the server. These are:

Room Owner
The rank sporting the elegant italics with a # symbol is the highest that can be bestowed to a user without global authority. Commonly known as ROs, they manage the entire staff team of their room, being able to promote and demote all of the previously mentioned ranks. They also lead and have the final say in every policy discussion, make relevant changes that affect how the room is run, and are able to set modchat up to # in order to make announcements without interruptions. Simply put, they control everything in the room. These users know their way around, specializing themselves in the room's topic and everything that encompasses it, which means that you can approach them for more complicated queries that normal staff members can't answer.
In essence, this is the global staff equivalent of a room Owner, able to do anything that they can do. Denoted by their & symbol, these users focus on the internal affairs of the entire Showdown! staff, and in essence, "mod the mods." They can be involved in any room, making sure that there is order between the staff and ensuring that the rooms are being run with maximum efficiency.
The most powerful position that exists on the server, users who gain the rank with the ∼ symbol have a vast amount of tools and resources at their disposal. In addition to managing everything that the Leaders do, the Admins, as they are most commonly known, can alter the server by restarting it, implementing commands, adding tiers, addressing server-related problems, and promoting users to any rank. What many of them share in common is that they have the ability to program, so by all means, contact them if you are experienced in this area.

Getting Involved!

These ranks are not earned by battling prowess, as so many falsely believe, so it's important to consider the amount of work that the staff puts into making the simulator a better place, even if not every user can see what they do behind the scenes. If anyone attempts to strive for any position, be sure to do so with an open mindset. Be aware that this is all voluntary work, because these are users who deal with different types of situations and individuals daily and are ultimately regular people who want to contribute to the bettering of the site. Considering that, get out there and work for the position; there are many users that come and go, and the next one in line could be you.

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