Our goal is to run the faction with little to no hierarchy, and to generally give players the freedom to do whatever without asking (so long as they're not slaughtering newbies that aren't pvping, or otherwise being a douche). It makes things a lot more fun for everyone, and also makes us highly adaptive - since *anyone* can lead a fight or toss an idea up, so long as they know what they're doing. This also makes us unpredictable, which is always good in a game like this. In short, positive chaos at its finest.
There are 2 keys for the above to actually work, however, the "not a douche" part and "knows what they're doing" part. We've had significant past issues with people wasting huge amounts of resources (generally because they haven't learned how to play yet), and yes, we get the occasional douchebag that needs das boot.
Hiha suggested having 2 non-titled ranks, and I like that idea, and think we should take it a bit further. What I think we should do is this: add a bottom-tier rank system that ensures we teach the game to everyone, and we get a chance to kick the douchebags before they can do any real damage.
This would work as follows:
1. School of Chaos - This is for people who are either absolute newbies, or who we know absolutely nothing about. They would be granted the ability to invite, but no other fac powers. Generally, members will remain here for only a day or two - long enough for someone to teach them the absolute basics, and to make sure they seem like decent people. This would become the default rank (although many people would be instantly promoted to #2).
2. College of Chaos - This is the "not quite a full member" stage, the ability to see levels and observe would be added. How long a player would remain at this rank would depend on activity, overall impression, level, community reputation, etc, but it would typically be a week or two in most cases. The goal here is to get players beyond newbie status, and to make sure we've caught the asshats.
3. Needstopickatitle - You're now a full member, with invite, base, salvage, see level, and observe rights, and may ask for a custom title. (This is identical to the current default rank.) It is of course possible to earn other fac powers, but you need to pick a title first (which likewise, is identical to this title now.)
0. Boarding Das Boot... - Sometimes we got one of those borderline members, where we aren't sure if we need to kick them. This is a probationary title of sorts - it has NO faction powers, and is basically the final warning before the kick, as well as a warning to the rest of the fac to be careful in dealing with this person.