While spending time in some of the more popular clan chats for the past couple of months, I get this question quite often: "How do I become a player moderator?" The easiest way to answer this question would be to simply point them to the Moderator section on RuneScape's main page. Unfortunately, this is the general response I get (usually in not-so-perfect text): "I don't want to read." Already I'm hitting my head on the desk wondering why players even bother to ask how to become a player moderator if they're already not wanting to read the massive amounts of information that would be bombarded upon them should they be chosen.
One of the biggest concerns I have for those wishing to become player moderators are their consistency in being community players. More often than not I've seen players going into clan chats to scout out offenders and report as many as they can, in and out of context, until they get their beloved silver crown. Once that crown was theirs, the reports drift away, but a certain attitude arose. There was a sense of elitism among them, and they would hold the crown as a weapon to push the masses down and away. Sometimes it got down to a point where the community was a black-and-white world only, and that there is no room for interpretation. There was a certain harshness with enforcing the rules too.
Then there were those who continued to report, but beyond the limits of what I felt was right. These players were no longer playing the game. They were looking for something to report because they felt like they were helping the community by reporting and muting one player at a time. This is not to say that they're not doing a great job, only that maybe they're overdoing it to a point where there is no longer time to even play the game they once enjoyed.
It seems some players have forgotten what a player moderator is. There is the impression they are Jagex employees who can help with any account issues (i.e., bans, mutes, etc.). Once they're informed that this is not the case, there is an outcry of rage. "What's the point of player moderators if they can't help players with these issues?" they will ask. Some players even expect that we drag ourselves halfway across the world because someone called them a "noob" or that they're witnessing someone swearing away. By the time we even get there, not only is the player gone, but now we get berated by the "reporter" that we didn't mute the person while we were on our way over from the depths of Kuradel's dungeon or something similar.
Allow me to simply state the basics:
* Player moderators are still players like you who wish to play the game.
* Player moderators are not Jagex employees.
* Player moderators cannot ban players. They can only mute a player for 48 hours. These reports are checked by the Jagex community support team to ensure there is no abuse of powers.
* Player moderators cannot assist you with major account issues. This includes ban appeals, mute appeals, and compromised accounts.
* Player moderators are not always needed to report someone. You have a report button, too. Use it.
* Player moderators need to be present at the time of the incident in order to report/mute an individual (this means same place and time where the incident is occurring).
* Player moderators are chosen based on their participation in the community, not just reports, not combat or skill total levels, not how long you've played RuneScape.
It's been nearly six years now since player moderators appeared on the scene in RuneScape. Yet there are still so many players out there who wonder what the silver/gold crowns mean, despite all measures to inform them. What started as a few hundred has turned into many thousands of players out there trying to do their best in helping Jagex maintain a sane environment. You, the players of the community, can help too. You do not need a silver crown to help. Start by reading up on the RuneScape page on the rules and how to be a community player. You'd be surprised just how much influence a player actually has in the game when it comes to community play.