Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked?


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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 17:52

Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked?

There wasn't anything objectionable, except that someone had an opinion which differed from more commonly accepted opinions. We've had threads with MUCH more objectionable content, including users insulting one another, which were never locked.

So if I just don't like what someone's saying, for example, 'chei isn't the worst god' can I report the thread and have it locked, so nobody can dare to suggest something that differs from my opinion?

How many people have to disagree with an opinion before the thread is locked?

There were no insults toward anyone in the topic by the OP.

On top of that, making a parting shot like this: "I especially liked the "DESk. Mage with fire storm.", which was araganzar, a player who generally likes to do lots of both melee and magic on his characters. If you add up the action table for melee, there's nearly 2500 actions on this "dedicated Mage". Never mind that these labels are just not a terribly useful concept for making decisions about the game.

I think we've let Berder get painted into a corner with arbitrary reasoning and dubious statistics long enough. There's a report on the thread, so I'm locking it."

Then locking the thread to get the last word in is just awful. That post should be deleted, and the thread unlocked.

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 17:54

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Berder joined Tavern specifically to troll, I'm pretty sure.

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rockygargoyle

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 17:59

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Some might say the same about some other people, but unless you're a mind reader, that's not a real reason. Saying something you disagree with is not trolling.

Mind you, this thread was in CYC.

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 18:05

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Well that's based off his behaviour in ##crawl not Tavern; I believe it's a bigger reason for gammafunk locking the thread than "I disagree".
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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 18:12

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Well since I figure I sorta had a hand in keeping that thread unnecessarily alive (despite Lasty's advice), I just want to say, I wouldn't have engaged if Berder hadn't started that post with all the dumps with "Alright Assholes"... That didn't sit right with me, so I engaged further. Probably a mistake on my part, since after I started writing a response he changed it to "villains". So I can't really fault him too much, but still.
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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 18:14

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

duvessa wrote:Berder joined Tavern specifically to troll, I'm pretty sure.


I almost got mad at you about this post and started to defend Berder, but then I realized I was getting him mixed up with Blomdor.

This is just like when posters confuse me with Xtahua.
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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 18:16

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Being a troll does not mean that person is always wrong.
Also I would suggest people who lock threads not write their opinion right before locking the thread (especially in the locking post) because it is unfair when opponent cannot reply (Edit. oops, I missed it was mentioned by OP too).

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 18:24

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Well, I didn't realize he had edited 'assholes' to 'villians', if that's the reason it was reported that makes sense, but then, that doesn't seem enough to just lock the entire thread, especially when the thread was edited to not be objectionable before it was locked.

And yeah, the parting shot really rubs me the wrong way. It's easy to win an argument if you just get the last word and forbid anyone else saying anything.

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 18:26

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Spoiler: show
For reference, this is the thread in question: https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=14765

And this was gamma's full post before he locked it up:

gammafunk wrote:I especially liked the "DESk. Mage with fire storm.", which was araganzar, a player who generally likes to do lots of both melee and magic on his characters. If you add up the action table for melee, there's nearly 2500 actions on this "dedicated Mage". Never mind that these labels are just not a terribly useful concept for making decisions about the game.

I think we've let Berder get painted into a corner with arbitrary reasoning and dubious statistics long enough. There's a report on the thread, so I'm locking it.


I agree in general that mods should be very careful (and in most cases avoid) weighing in on an issue in the thread, in the same post in which they "put on their moderator hats" and talk about why they are taking some special action against it. I'm not perfect here either, of course, but at the risk of hypocrisy I'll nonetheless offer that I've learned (the hard way) that this tends to give the impression that you closed the thread because you disagreed with what someone said, even if that is not actually the case. That being said, I don't think what gamma wrote demonstrates any unreasonable prejudice, just disagreement with a point made up-thread. He happens to be familiar with how araganzar actually plays, and points out this is not actually an example of what Berder claims it is about.

But anyway, the more important question is whether it was justified to lock the thread. I'm open to being convinced otherwise, and I do think the thread was a judgment call one way or the other (it hadn't (yet?) completely degenerated into spam/ad homs/etc.), but I think gamma was correct in locking it. I had seen the report yesterday, but wasn't sure if I should take action based on how the thread was shaping up at that time; seeing how the thread subsequently developed, in retrospect, I wish I had locked it at the earlier opportunity.

Even if people aren't calling each other shitheads or posting goatse or whatever, a thread can still be ready for locking. Even for CYC, the discussion had really run its course, and it was clear that people were (in the most charitable possible reading) talking past each other. The level of discussion was deteriorating, and it was doing so pretty quickly. I do think mods have the right to intercede early in such cases, although I fully admit that this can be a gray area that is open to reasonable questioning. But, in principle, we shouldn't have to wait for a murder to occur before taking action, so to speak.

The last thing I'll say is that the thread was locked, not deleted, and no posts were deleted, either. You can only report individual posts, but gamma (correctly, in my view) interpreted the report as indicative of the state of the thread as a whole, and thus did not single out that or any other post, but locked the whole thread.


EDIT: I'm approaching this purely from the POV of someone who is involved with the Tavern, I haven't been on ##crawl any time lately. If Berder has in fact been trolling there, then that makes gamma's decision all the more reasonable, given that context.

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 18:31

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

<offtopic>
Please see below part of private message which I had sent to gammafunk before this thread was created.

Why is it important that it was araganzar? It was a typical blaster caster.
26569 | Lair:7 | Learned a level 7 spell: Orb of Destruction
29152 | D:13 | Reached skill level 19 in Spellcasting
29505 | D:13 | Reached skill level 13 in Conjurations
31431 | D:15 | Reached skill level 10 in Short Blades
65105 | Vaults:4 | Reached skill level 19 in Conjurations
68081 | Crypt:2 | Reached skill level 7 in Fighting
</offtopic>
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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 18:44

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

damiac wrote:Well, I didn't realize he had edited 'assholes' to 'villians', if that's the reason it was reported that makes sense, but then, that doesn't seem enough to just lock the entire thread, especially when the thread was edited to not be objectionable before it was locked.


I didn't mean to suggest that Berder starting with "assholes" was what locked the thread. But it definitely changed my attitude when I was posting... I regret getting a little personal with Berder, however, I don't have much patience for what I perceive as arrogance.

Apologies for my behavior in that thread.
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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 18:48

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

I'd say locking the thread was the right call. One side of the conversation had gone almost entirely off topic in protest, and the OP was posting just to announce that like the great minds of science, the OP was both incredibly right and also going to ignore anything other people say. Nothing productive was happening or could happen further in that thread, and letting it continue would only serve to confuse lurkers who were looking for informative discussion.

I think it's important to consider that someone who is dedicatedly insulated from outside information and who has sufficient time on their hands can keep a thread about anything alive forever if they so choose. When that happens, eventually other people get tired of trying to argue with a confirmation bias golem, and people who drop into the thread late may get the impression that there's no disagreement with the golem's opinion. In these cases, it can make sense to lock the thread after every side of the issue has had a chance to lay out their point of view and the discussion is starting to turn pointless.

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 18:52

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

I just have a problem with the idea that if someone doesn't like a certain line of thinking, they can have the thread closed, either directly by reporting it, or indirectly with 'helping' the topic run off the rails. If posts are pulling a discussion off topic, those threads should be deleted/moved/spoilered, rather than punishing the OP by locking the thread itself.

I've definitely noticed a pattern with some posters who will try to derail a topic when they don't like the discussion, rather than just not participating in the discussion.

I disagree that the topic had turned pointless, at least, the OP was still trying to make his point. Why should people be allowed to go off topic in 'protest'? Aren't they the ones then 'dedicatedly insulated from outside information'?

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 19:08

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

A report just draws attention to a particular post and/or thread. Lots of reports do not lead to action from mods, and sometimes the mod takes an action different from (even contrary to) what the person who reported the post actually requested. Outside of obvious "clean-up" work (putting a char dump in code tags, moving something that was mis-posted, deleting spam), I think it is good practice that moderators should be very careful about taking action on a thread that has not received any report. But just because it is reported doesn't mean that action immediately is taken on it. This works out pretty well because (knock on wood) posters on the Tavern themselves do not rush to report anything that upsets them.

Personally, if I got the impression someone was abusing the report feature in order to nettle people, I would respond pretty strongly. Happily, something like this hasn't happened to me (yet); as I said, posters here are good about not rushing to get the "policeman" involved. I think this has a quiet but very large role to play in keeping the Tavern enjoyable for everyone, in the long term.

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 19:25

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

damiac wrote:I disagree that the topic had turned pointless, at least, the OP was still trying to make his point. Why should people be allowed to go off topic in 'protest'? Aren't they the ones then 'dedicatedly insulated from outside information'?

The OP was still trying to make his point, but only by retreading old ground and declaring himself right. At no point in the conversation he had not yet meaningfully engaged with anything said that disagreed with his points.

I don't support going off topic in protest, and I am not a moderator, but no, I don't think doing so constitutes dedicatedly insulating yourself from outside information. It may be that people going off topic are so insulated, but that is not directly revealed or impacted by going off topic. Ignoring someone, even pointedly, is only ignoring outside information if the person ignored is actually providing new information to you.

Put another way, I say with apparent sincerity, "Tartarus is the best level of Pan," and you tell me "Tartarus isn't in Pan," and give a clear account of what that means. If I then say, "TARTARUS IS THE BEST LEVEL OF PAN, AND I HAVE CHARACTER DUMPS WHICH PROVE IT", I'm ignoring outside information. If you then say, "nice weather we're having!", you're pointedly ignoring me by changing the topic, but you are not ignoring outside information.

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 19:28

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

If I disrupt the thread so badly it's locked, I'd say I've done a very good job of insulating myself from outside information.

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 19:32

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

The thread wasn't locked because a few people went off topic. Please see the above posts.

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 19:48

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Right, the thread was not locked because of some off topic posts, but to respond to damiac's main point: Yes, of course, if one sets his or her mind to it, it really isn't that difficult to disrupt a thread to such a point that it derails it beyond redemption.

But if you go around doing that type of thing regularly (even if you are subtle about it) you are probably going to get banned or run off or just ignored until you give up the shtick, once people are wise to it. The threads killed by someone in this case would still be dead, of course, and there's just no getting around that. Punishment doesn't undo the crime; a great deal depends on most people, most of the time, acting in more or less good faith.

In my experience, in the majority of cases, when a thread becomes a clusterfuck on the Tavern, it isn't due entirely to the actions of just one or two individuals, much less the actions of one or two individuals intentionally trying to be malicious. Usually it is a more or less steady decline, which eventually hits some critical point where it goes off the continental shelf and then quickly plummets.
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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 19:55

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

It wasn't my intention to derail the thread with talk of the new Godzilla movie (that deserves it own goddamn thread). I felt like the argument was getting unnecessarily heavy/heated, whatever you want to call it. So it was an attempt just to lighten things up a bit. I know we're talking about derailing as a whole, but in this instance it was most certainly not malicious.
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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 20:02

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

I totally understand Greyr, I'm not trying to suggest you did anything wrong at all. I apologize if I'm coming across that way. I didn't see any malicious intent from anyone.

I just think the end result was that a thread was closed essentially because people didn't like the opinion being presented. I think there was an interesting discussion taking place, which was based on an opinion that went against the commonly accepted ideas on the tavern. I think those types of threads are the ones which are usually run off the rails in that way, which actually was a point Berder was trying to make in the thread. Of course, he did take a somewhat provocative debating style, but that's pretty common here, and it doesn't usually result in locked threads.

It just seems to me that, unintentionally or not, that sort of moderation makes it much harder to ever suggest anything that goes against the current groupthink.

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 20:12

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

damiac wrote:I totally understand Greyr, I'm not trying to suggest you did anything wrong at all. I apologize if I'm coming across that way. I didn't see any malicious intent from anyone.

I just think the end result was that a thread was closed essentially because people didn't like the opinion being presented. I think there was an interesting discussion taking place, which was based on an opinion that went against the commonly accepted ideas on the tavern. I think those types of threads are the ones which are usually run off the rails in that way, which actually was a point Berder was trying to make in the thread. Of course, he did take a somewhat provocative debating style, but that's pretty common here, and it doesn't usually result in locked threads.

It just seems to me that, unintentionally or not, that sort of moderation makes it much harder to ever suggest anything that goes against the current groupthink.

Do you still not understand what arguing in good or bad faith looks like? Nobody is going, oh man this post disagrees with stuff minmay has said, we need to lock this mfer; most of us are actually adults and this isn't high school. We realize that regardless of what the opinions are, the conversation is worthless when one side has no interest in actually getting at the truth.
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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 20:16

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

That thread wasn't locked because of the theory Berder was floating, and even someone who sees groupthink and stifling dissent everywhere should be able to determine that by noticing how no previous thread on the subject has ever been locked (or at least as far as I can recall). The problem wasn't the message of the argument, but rather the manner: reiteration instead of engagement, arguing descriptively for a proscriptive schema, attempting to use irrelevant data as proof, starting from a position of absolute certainty and then doubling down on that when challenged, turning the argument personal, selective interpretation, etc. Berder's posts in that thread were not good faith argumentation.

Good argumentation requires an interest in understanding the perspectives of other people and willingness to attempt to both communicate your viewpoint and understand theirs clearly. It requires a willingness to be proven wrong.

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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 21:16

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Well, I don't know what to tell you. I disagree with your divination of Berder's intentions, but I'm no mind reader myself. However nobody arguing against him demonstrated any willingness to be proven wrong either. As far as I could see, Berder was not repeating himself, he further clarified his points and rebutted other people's points. On the other hand, the people arguing against him typically just said "I don't think labels are good".

When you're on one side of an argument, it's easy to say 'Those guys on the other side just aren't listening to me!'. They might think the same about you. When one side prevents the other from making any more arguments, while sneaking in a parting shot, it looks to me like they're the ones who aren't interested in being proven wrong.
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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 21:29

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

I'm starting to read enough reiteration here that this thread could be locked. No closing statements, mods. :-)
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Post Friday, 16th January 2015, 22:09

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

True that, no need to drive a topic about driving topics off the rails off the rails.

If the mods have made their decision, so be it. Everyone doesn't always have to agree to get along.

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Post Saturday, 17th January 2015, 20:31

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

I would prefer "less moderation" to "more moderation" when it comes to a subforum like CYC, but I'm probably in the minority here.

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Post Sunday, 18th January 2015, 05:00

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Sar wrote:I would prefer "less moderation" to "more moderation" when it comes to a subforum like CYC, but I'm probably in the minority here.


I agree, friend.
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 02:50

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Slightly OT, but the mere fact that this conversation is happening, and everyone is patiently explaining things as well as they can is a huge testament to the tone of edification and positiveness set by the devs and mods. The forum atmosphere is, for me, one of the primary attractions of Stone Soup. I just wanted to say how much I have appreciated y'all.
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 03:12

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Sar wrote:I would prefer "less moderation" to "more moderation" when it comes to a subforum like CYC, but I'm probably in the minority here.

Just to show we mods aren't a united front, I agree as well.

Now off to figure out what's happened in this thread's successor :/
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 21:40

Re: Why was the 'The line between fighters and mages' locked

Well gamma just did the exact same thing, locking one of berder's threads on CYC while throwing out a couple of parting shots. This one didn't even have any reports, it was closed because Gammafunk didn't like it...

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=14857

I don't understand why it needed to be locked, but even more, I don't understand why Gammafunk can't see how unfair it is to get the last word in and lock the thread.

Oh well, I guess Berder's a troll for disagreeing with people with higher thank counts or something. Maybe that was a haiku...

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