Let's not even speak of "policing" in the EEToEE. That had creativity abound, but was policed only by, "Well I block you with my Stuffblocker 5000 so you can't do that!"
Let's talk, instead, about the AETAS's policing methods. The effort of policing in the AETAS was council-based. It failed horridly as it took ages to make simple decisions. I feel a single GM would fail horribly too as we rely on someone who, obviously, could NOT be a player for reasons of fairness. If they decide to disappear then we either have to find another person outside of the RP or someone has to drop out to GM. More about that later, though.
I, however, now understand what my error is with Steam Cores. Analogies seem to work for me, so lets try a few...
The Steam Core I envision is similar to a large battery. I say it is an "infinite" source because it, effectively, is an "infinite" source. It might not have some mystically infinite capacity, but it does have what I like to call a "functionally limitless" capacity. The heavily pressurized steam contained inside of a Steam Core is heat sealed and will retain usability for quite a while. Often one could last a few generations. There are only true Steam Cores in vessels that need the immense amount of stored power that one can provide, others are less effective creations requiring less massive production facilities. They usually are paired with pressurization and steam replenishing mechanisms, as well as a more "simplified" gauge to denote how much stored steam is in the Core. "True" Steam Cores would be large and would be in things like transports between nations, where the power is required. Standard Steam Cores are in vehicles like steamships. Their primary use would be flying craft as they are one of the few kinds of steam storage system with the kick needed to make a steamship rise into the sky.
Using them in land vehicles is plausible, but as there aren't really many weight limitations on land vehicles, larger yeild "steam batteries" (basically smaller capacity, heavier, higher-power Steam Cores) are used. Steam batteries generally are self-contained steam generators, just like a AA battery is a self-contained electric generator. Steam batteries use steam recirculation in order to vaporize more water before the steam condenses back into a main holding chamber. Condensed charcoal blocks with built-in igniters (Zippo-esque with a flint-and-wheel style system) are used to initially ignite the engine. The blocks are in a spring-pressurized slot so, as they burn, they are positioned to retain ignition efficiency. Although, if you are familiar with chemical reactions that can produce heat using certain compounds and water, a starter method similar to that could be used, I suppose. Steam batteries, aside from this steam generator setup, store steam in pressurized chambers. In short, a large steam battery is a moderate-capacity steam core (when full, mind you) attached to a high-yeild steam generator. Steam battery charcoal blocks are, by the way, heavily compressed and made to slowly burn with little to no exhaust.
Smaller steam-containment units (not as highly pressurized as Steam Cores, better for use in weapons or things like that) would be smart, in addition to refill stations or fixtures that would quickly refill and repressurize a steam-containment unit. These devices would likely be built to fit specific devices and would have built-in gauges that depict remaining amount of pressurized steam (there would be residual left over in any steam storage device) in easily understandable or measurable quantities (such as "shots left" for a steam rifle or "hours left" in heating devices) based on average use and research data. Of course, player-made things would have to use more vague percent or pressure gauges.
Keep in mind, though, that these are suggestions. We all need to work together to make the RP work. Not a council of elevated peoples but a group of friends doing something to have fun, not to gain power or control or any such thing. The ONLY ways I see RPs working is either a D&D style RP with rules and dice and stats and such, or a freestyle story RP where everyone realize and acknowledge what is necessary, what should be allowed, and what should not be allowed under any circumstances. We need to all realize that an RP is not a real thing. Gaining ultimate power in an RP does not give you ultimate power in real life, it just makes you seem like an utter ass at times and will almost certainly reduce the amount of fun yourself and others are having. A self-policing model where all or most people involved realize what limits NEED to be imposed AS those limits are approached or broken. Not before. As in, we all need to actually use our common sense and basically be able to tell someone "No, that is unfair" no matter how much they whine. If it needs to be done then we can always eject someone who just wants to cause trouble from the RP. Things like this, however, need to be done on a case-by-case basis.
I'm actually kind of surprised at myself. Idiota's response gave me a bit of an insight into why older forum RP-ers didn't join in and, frankly, I don't blame them for keeping their distance.
Thaif, I owe you an apology. I was outraged at the conduct of a few people I do know and I seem to have completely overlooked what you were saying the entire time. I thank you for stating your concerns in such a clear and concise manner and I do, actually, agree. I just feel that the problem that has occurred with the Steam Core idea is a problem of pure semantics. I mis-stated that a Steam Core contains infinite amounts of steam, but I think I have cleared up that I did not mean literally infinite, but "functionally infinite" or a very, very long time.
If a steampunk RP is going to work, then we have to figure out exactly how, in our world, steam technology is efficient. Steam storage, power, and use all need to be taken into consideration but we don't need to go into insane and asinine detail like environmental concerns or things like that. We still can, mind you, but it is rather asinine as we are, essentially, creating our own world.
Note I'm using "we". Yes, I'm in a good mood and I might reconsider my hasty withdrawal from the RP, if that is alright with everyone. Of course, the word "might" is in there. Keep that in mind. I don't want people coming after me going, "You said you'd rejoin the RP! What the hell?" or anything.
In short, policing an RP is hard. Making an RP work despite some inconsistencies or irregularities is hard. Make no mistake, RPing itself is hard. You have to do things you don't like, but no matter what you know you are having fun. If you learn anything from Cejer's post describing the importance of limits and how worthwhile and fulfilling something is, then learn this: A good RP is hard to make and a bad RP is easy to make. We will have problems but, if we really want to continue and have fun, we must overcome them as they become apparent. If we do this then, no matter how tough the going gets, we will all realize how worthwhile it is and how much we love it.