The '+request' command, under 'help +request' or 'help +ineedanadult' is a way for players to communicate directly with staff for any number of reasons, creating a job for staff to read and respond to. As beta develops, we'll have increasing amount of tools to streamline this and create more automation that will reduce staff overhead and make response times faster, but at the start we will not have this automation, so there's a few guidelines for +requests.
For asking any simple questions: The 'info' channel is read by staff, and the '@askstaff' command also sends a message to all staff currently online without creating a job, and just giving the question. Feel free to use these or the '+911' variant of +request for heightened priority for any role-playing scene that's being held up because players need information to continue, like a thematic question that has to be resolved for RP to continue. If a character should possess prior knowledge that's not covered by their sheet or existing information, feel free to +request about this and we will answer. If a character is trying to find out new information that would not be generally available to everyone, that must be done through the investigation system with +investigate.
Reporting bugs, typos, or giving feedback on game systems: There is a type of +request specific for each of these. The 'bug' command forwards bugs straight to Tehom's attention, since he'll likely have to delve through python code to figure out what's going on. Definitely do this if you ever run into a traceback, with a copy of the message. If you run into a typo in lore, or room description, and want to make Apostate feel like a terrible writer, feel free to use the 'typo' command and report the typo along with where you saw it, and tell Apostate he is bad and should feel bad as well, as is warranted. And if you have general feedback on any system, definitely use the 'feedback' command- we really do want as much feedback on systems and how they feel as much as possible, though many of them will eventually be revamped in beta as we see how they function in play, and cumulative feedback is extremely helpful.
Requests for Player Run Plot Approval: See 'help prp'. It's pretty much just a staff heads up to check for thematic consistency and to make sure there's no drift that'll make the game more of a sandbox. While I'm ecstatic for players to run things, it's extremely important that the game stays accessible to all players rather than develops into a big sandbox of 20 different small groups of players that never interact with one another and cannot do so.
Requests for GMing (see also 'help @actions'): This will all be massively changed as beta goes on, since we'll be adding as much automation as possible (and probably something very similar to the investigation system for player offscreen actions), but we likely won't have that for a while. So for right now, all GMing will be done by hand, which means that we need some practical limitations on the amount of requests for GM time in order to keep things fair with reasonable response times. This is extremely broad, as it could be as simple as a GMing taking 2 seconds to give a 'sure, that is something that is happening' response to a trivial action, or someone wanting an epic personal quest that would need thousands of man hours of GMing to support properly that wouldn't effect anyone else in the game at all. It's impossible for us to reasonably support the latter, and it can be difficult to say so without reading the request, so here's the measures by which GMing is evaluated:
"Is the action onscreen or offscreen?" Onscreen GMing means active storytelling that takes the GM into a dynamically run plot and ties them up entirely, and will be used for major events that will develop heavily as the plot unfolds. Generally speaking, this is something that players should only request extremely sparingly, and only do so if there is no offscreen method of resolution that would make sense for the storyline. Offscreen story resolution will be characters attempting to try specific actions that happen offscreen (say, the Thieves guild organizing a crime spree against a host of nameless NPC targets, as an example), that will be resolved with @checks on the characters involved and their minions. Any direct, antagonistic action against another player character must be resolved Onscreen, so we heartily encourage players to always take care of these themselves (the combat code, through RP, etc). Attacks against their holdings, their retainers, their buddies etc will be offscreen primarily, and ideally will have code to automate this in the days to come. As a general rule, players shouldn't really expect more than one offscreen action to be resolved per week, and it could be slower. Onscreen should be exceedingly rare to start, and will ideally be addressed primarily as we add more GMs from the player base and create a system for active GMing.
"How many player characters are effected by the action? How much RP will be created?" This really is the sole determination for me in how important/critical I view a request for GMing. That doesn't mean that any request for a single character is unimportant- far from it, and I enjoy writing RP. But I need to prioritize any GMing that'll influence the entire player base and create RP for hundreds of people over ones that are smaller and nuanced just by necessity. So generally speaking an onscreen GM'd plot for a dozen players that'll create a story for the entire playerbase will be answered way faster than a small, subtle scene for a single character that is primarily about fostering their character growth. Again this is just a triage until we have a more systematic way of approaching it that'll come later in beta, and is just the most reasonable compromise we can do while keeping a relatively small staff that can maintain story consistency.
"How often have the players involved received GMing?" Generally speaking, we'll try to spread the love. If there's requests in by players that have never gotten GMing versus ones that have, we'll go with the newer people first, all other things being equal. This shouldn't be anywhere near as big a problem in later beta but for now that might be the biggest reason things are slow as players essentially wait their turn.
As a general rule of thumb, I wouldn't expect a request for offscreen GMing to be answered more than once a week, and that is probably unduly optimistic. Requests for onscreen GMing really have to be relevant to a great number of players, possibly involve players that haven't received GMing, and create story for a ton of characters to be answered at all. Hopefully we won't need to be anywhere near as strict later for this as we have more tools and GMs, but to start, yeah it'll be very, very slow.