Page 1 of 2

Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Monday, 23rd November 2015, 13:11
by archaeo
Do we still want to keep the Counsellor group? Sar recently gave up membership voluntarily, which leaves us with only a handful of active members: Siegurt, KoboldLord, and Nago.

Given that we only have three active Counsellors, it's possible we don't need the group anymore. Us mods discussed it in our super sekret subforum, and we're all agreed that it's not really necessary at this point, if it ever was. Most good advice, including the invariably helpful advice the current Councillors post, gets reinforced with thanks or posts by supporters, and retaining a group for just a handful of people seems unnecessary.

So, let's discuss if we want to have blue names or not. If we do want them, however, we need to nominate some active givers of good advice for membership.

eta: just in case I wasn't totally clear, none of this is a knock on our current Councillors, who really are worth listening to when they give advice. I just figure they'd continue to do so, blue name or not.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Monday, 23rd November 2015, 14:50
by nago
On one hand, I'd totally support the removal of this group, for some different reasons, but especially considering there are at least some undoubtedly better players (from any point of view) of myself active in the forum who don't have a blue strip.

On the other hand, sometimes I read advice that are incredibly awful even considering the tavern's standard and I've seen topics from new players asking for specific or general advices and receiving answers which can only decrease the chance of victory.
When I see this, I'm tempted to say that would be optimal to find a way to differentiate good advices from bad ones, because someone asking for an advice rarely has the experience to determine that.
Anyway this group, especially in this moment with so few members, isn't certainly the best solution to discriminate that - as a blue strip could give nevertheless give bad advices, and often normal players can give good ones.
Perhaps using the thanks system is the best alternative - although I don't agree, as I don't believe they have any value, as bad advice sometimes are thanked anyway, and that system is also used to appreciate jokes, or generally just to say one person agree with whatever is written in that post.

tl;dr: blue names aren't really useful right now, but it would be nice to find a way to differentiate, especially for new players, good advices from bad ones.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Monday, 23rd November 2015, 15:24
by archaeo
At one point, gammafunk was planning on adding username colors to webtiles that would indicate goodplayers, greatplayers, greaterplayers, and centuryplayers; that could be an alternative here, since players that win a lot are likely to be the same players whose advice is worth listening to. Unfortunately, some great advice-givers tend to play mostly offline, while there have been some very talented players who nevertheless haven't given fantastic advice.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Monday, 23rd November 2015, 15:27
by njvack
It would be really great if Thanks were to be used to mean "this is good advice"

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Monday, 23rd November 2015, 16:29
by duvessa
They are, but the people who can't recognize good advice outnumber the people who can, so it doesn't help.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Monday, 23rd November 2015, 18:31
by Sar
would be funny if I ended up killing the counsellors group

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Monday, 23rd November 2015, 20:58
by Siegurt
Fwiw I nearly always play offline (like less than one game in 500 is online), I try to give good play advice, and i try to make it clear and give full explanations. (I don't feel people learn anything if you tell them what to do but not why) I even try to make a note of when some detail that I explain isn't relevant to good play and why it isn't.

But even if I did play online, I frequently don't play as well as I should, mostly because I usually play distracted, and without much care if I die, often just to pursue done sort of thought experiment. I almost never play rigorously. So my win record doesn't really reflect the quality of advice I give.

I don't know if "recognized as commonly giving above average advice" is a category we want to retain, but if it is, I can't see any way of automating that, or deriving it from actual good play, after all describing how to do something is a different skill than actually doing it.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Monday, 23rd November 2015, 21:11
by MarvinPA
Siegurt wrote:I don't know if "recognized as commonly giving above average advice" is a category we want to retain, but if it is, I can't see any way of automating that, or deriving it from actual good play, after all describing how to do something is a different skill than actually doing it.

I don't think that marking out players with x wins or whatever would be an improvement, yeah (and have never been a fan of the idea of the counsellors group).

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Monday, 23rd November 2015, 22:07
by KoboldLord
I don't have particularly strong feelings on the subject, but three people probably isn't enough to make for a useful group to single out. I would bet that most new users don't even know what the name colors mean.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Monday, 23rd November 2015, 23:29
by prozacelf
I definitionally qualify as a "goodplayer", and I like to think that I generally give good advice, but on IRC I find out that I'm just plain wrong on something often enough that I'm not sure it's the best way to go about things here. Honestly, I think the most helpful way to go about things is to direct people to ##crawl anyway, but I'm guessing that there is a significant subset of players that can't or won't get on IRC. In that case, even if there are only 3 of you, it might be worth keeping the "counsellor" tag and the neat blue name.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Monday, 23rd November 2015, 23:40
by Siegurt
Well and there had been enough quality advice floating around that I am sure we could find others to attach the label to if we want to keep it.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 02:49
by njvack
What I actually want is a way for people who know good advice from bad to be able to use a special "this is good advice" thanks method.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 16:25
by Siegurt
njvack wrote:What I actually want is a way for people who know good advice from bad to be able to use a special "this is good advice" thanks method.

But then we need a way to distinguish people who can tell good advice from those who can't, which itself might be harder than judging which advice is actually good :)

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 17:12
by archaeo
what if we went in the opposite direction, njvack, and created a banned-from-DCA group? Amend the DCA rules to make it clear that strict moderation is in effect, and if you are found to repeatedly thank or give bad advice, you can be banned from posting in that subforum?

I don't necessarily know if that's a great idea, but it's another possibility. It would also probably necessitate adding mods, and to be honest, I would have no problem just giving nago, KoboldLord, and Siegurt (and Sar for that matter) the tools to moderate DCA.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 17:15
by Sar
Sure, and I'd start by banning tasonir next time he suggests Chei or UC!

Spoiler: show
Just kidding, I don't really like this idea, actually I really don't like it.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 17:40
by archaeo
Why not, Sar? I'm not totally sure I'm on board either, but I'm not sure I like the idea of mod-approved "Counsellors" much more, or any of the other solutions being suggested. The advantage to targeting egregiously bad advice instead of trying to promote good advice is that, while I think Crawl tends to be easy and broad enough that there are several kinds of good advice, basically everybody who has posted in this thread so far knows bad advice when they see it.

But like I said, I'm not totally on board either. I'm just having a hard time seeing consensus to do anything at all, so I'm just throwing out ideas. Seems pretty likely that the easiest way forward will just be to nominate some new Counsellors and move on, or remove the group and just trust that the community will respond to bad advice with its usual hefty helping of sharp elbows.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 17:57
by njvack
There was an idea, a while ago, for a THANKS_BAD_ADVICE account that would "Thank" bad advice. I felt it was a pretty antisocial idea, but at the same time, bad advice is kind of antisocial.

What if there was a THANKS_GOOD_ADVICE account that a small-ish number of people would know the password to and could...

god it sounds terrible and useless, I would thank this idea with THANKS_BAD_IDEA

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 18:07
by archaeo
half the problem, njvack, is that most bad advice isn't antisocial, it's just people being mistaken. It only starts to get antisocial when, if other posters point out the mistakes, the bad advice giver stubbornly refuses to admit they were wrong. Seems like it wouldn't be terrible to make that against the DCA rules???

Eh.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 18:10
by Sar
archaeo wrote:Why not, Sar?

Because it's really harsh? Most of those people genuinely believe in their recommendations. They might reconsider it afterwards. They might need some advice too.
archaeo wrote:basically everybody who has posted in this thread so far knows bad advice when they see it

I could remember several times where I've seen Crawl-related advice I thought was completely terrible and misleading and was later proven to be wrong, so yeah.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 18:29
by archaeo
Sure Sar, but I don't think those people are really problems. It's not a big deal when someone gives bad advice, and then they're corrected and take that on board. Most posters are perfectly capable of saying, "Oh, yeah, you're right." The problem is people who give bad advice and then refuse to budge from their position.

ETA: of course, I also get the sense this would be unpopular/just cause more drama over moderation, so it's probably a bad idea anyway.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 20:39
by Lasty
It sounds like the issue is a minority of posters who strongly assert bad advice and refuse to budge. If that's the case, perhaps the solution is to issue a "rules" post for that forum that specifies some level of etiquette including the rule that posters who stubbornly and combatitively assert bad advice will be banned from posting in DCA specifically. While bad advice is pretty common, I don't think there are many posters currently stubbornly and combatitively issuing bad advice, so I doubt it'd get invoked much.

Wait, does that mean I'm the one stubbornly and combatitively issuing bad advice?

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 20:41
by Siegurt
Lasty wrote:It sounds like the issue is a minority of posters who strongly assert bad advice and refuse to budge. If that's the case, perhaps the solution is to issue a "rules" post for that forum that specifies some level of etiquette including the rule that posters who stubbornly and combatitively assert bad advice will be banned from posting in DCA specifically. While bad advice is pretty common, I don't think there are many posters currently stubbornly and combatitively issuing bad advice, so I doubt it'd get invoked much.

Wait, does that mean I'm the one stubbornly and combatitively issuing bad advice?

Well, the problem with banning posters from DCA (and YASD/CIP where a lot of character-specific advice happens?) is that then people who give bad advice can't ask for, or receive advice when they want it.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 24th November 2015, 21:00
by triorph
What if instead of a "people who give good advice" group, we have a "people who understand good advice", then we can distinguish their thanks from others somehow.

For what its worth, I had no idea what the darker blue "counsellor" group meant either.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Friday, 27th November 2015, 17:54
by Greyr
What about an anti-counsellor group for users that primarily hang around in CYC and like to make bad jokes? That way there is even a greater distinction between the good and bad advice !

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Friday, 11th December 2015, 11:55
by byrel
When I was a new player, the blue titles were rather useful for a while. Once I started to get a feel for people, of course I realized that there are other reliably good advice givers who just don't happen to be blue.

As implemented, I think it's better than no system for a complete noob.

Of all the suggestions in this thread, the notion of a THIS_IS_GOOD_ADVICE account with a few (blueish) people knowing the password sounds best. Usually a blue name isn't the first reply, and if the first reply is good they may just thank it and move on their way. An account like that allows them to give a 'seal of approval' to it instead. You should probably have an honor code:
  • Don't approve your own post (blue names DO give bad advice sometimes, but rarely will 2 of them give the same bad advice.)
  • Try to only approve 1-2 most-helpful posts per thread instead of all correct ones.

Edit: Just realized this is my 1337 post! That obviously warrants a seal of approval!

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Friday, 11th December 2015, 16:59
by Siegurt
Personally, I wouldn't want to be reading the forum, notice some good advice, log out, log in with the account you suggest, find good advice post again, thank it, then log out and log back in as myself to continue reading the forum.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Friday, 11th December 2015, 17:28
by archaeo
Yeah, the whole THANKS_GOOD_ADVICE plan is really just make-work, unfortunately.

So is there a consensus to do anything? We can just stick with the status quo, but if we do, it'd be good to promote some new counsellors.

edit: here are some nominations I'd make, in no particular order and with the understanding that not all of them would be interested:

tasonir
tedric
n1000
yermak
Bart
tabstorm
Sprucery
WalkerBoh
byrel

I'd also nominate duvessa, crate, and Sar, but I doubt crate and duvessa are interested and Sar literally just gave it up.

I'd also go ahead and add a rules sticky, something like
Advice for Using Dungeon Crawling Advice wrote:Welcome to DCA, the Tavern's advice subforum! In order to keep this part of the site useful to players, new and old alike, we ask that you follow a few additional rules here:

1. The Tavern recognizes knowledgable players who often give valuable advice with membership in the "Counsellors" group, denoted by a darker blue username. Of course, many other posters also offer great advice. If you feel like you or another poster deserves membership in this group, PM a moderator.

2. The Thank function is a great way to indicate that you agree with a piece of advice or found it particularly useful. In order to preserve this functionality, we ask that you avoid frivolous, humorous, or ironic Thanking in DCA.

3. DCSS is a big game with many viable paths to victory, and it's not unusual for posters to disagree about the best way forward or to make minor mistakes in their advice, all of which is perfectly reasonable. However, posters who purposefully and repeatedly give bad or heavily skewed advice despite requests to desist may be warned, temporarily banned, or permanently banned from the Tavern.

Thoughts? If we actually still just want to remove the group, I'm cool with that too.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Friday, 11th December 2015, 19:30
by Sprucery
I appreciate the thought, but you can take my name off the list :)

Otherwise I have no objections.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Saturday, 12th December 2015, 00:22
by WalkerBoh
I'm okay with the counsellor group existing, but I'm also not sure if there's a huge loss if it goes away. If it exists, then I think the disclaimer is important to make it understood that blue names are just "guys who won't completely dick you over with bad advice, probably". Of course, it would be ideal if the blue name only applied in the DCA/CIP forums, since that's the only place where it's relevant.

If you decide to keep the group and want to expand, I wouldn't be opposed to joining. I don't normally post in DCA often (I prefer to chat up players in-game and give unsolicited advice there...), but I wouldn't mind doing so more in the future.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Saturday, 12th December 2015, 02:19
by moocowmoocow
Maybe we are making a bigger deal of this than need be. Compared to other gaming forums, I think here is pretty good as far as getting reasonable advice. Bad advice is generally pointed out as so. Part of the fun of joining a new forum I'd say is figuring out who is full of shit vs those who know the game. I used to feel strongly about good advice being curated, because I had such a bad time starting out with DCSS, because I relied exclusively on the wiki. But the wiki is different because you don't see alternate views and opinions. Here, I think it's active enough, with enough experienced players, that it's hard to go completely wrong like you could following a guide. I don't think it makes much difference if there are counselors or not, nor do I think there are many players quitting the game because of getting bad advice. If someone is determined enough to tough out the game's difficulty, they will put effort into comparing various kinds of advice, and experimenting on their own to find what works.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Saturday, 12th December 2015, 16:13
by archaeo
Good argument, moocowmoocow. And, of course, I should point out that I just listed some people off the top of my head/looking very quickly though DCA and CIP threads. There are a ton of people offering good and helpful advice, and I didn't really see anybody who was offering substantially bad advice.

If I don't hear any objections, I'll go ahead and remove the Counsellors group on Monday. I'll also post that sticky if the other mods think it's a good idea, though obviously without number 1 up there.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Saturday, 12th December 2015, 17:42
by byrel
I'm both surprised and flattered you think I'm that good at crawl. ;P

I don't know; I really think it's a useful concept to keep around in some form. There is a lot of bad advice I've seen around here... and a lot of insincere (snarky, sarcastic) advice which new players sometimes take at face value. I don't have a problem with those existing, but... I think the official forum could stand to offer a bit more hand-holding to new players than we normally do. Even if we just appoint a few more councilors and keep on with the current system, I think that's better than removing it.

I'd definitely second:
tasonir
tedric
tabstorm
duvessa
crate

And further nominate dowan. In spite of being somewhat hostile with devs he's very helpful to people seeking advice.

I'm willing to be blue-named. I'm skeptical that I deserve it.

Edit: It's worth mentioning that I personally don't find the process of figuring out who knows something on a new forum to be fun. From my perspective it's an unpleasant but necessary transition cost, and should be mitigated when possible. I love getting to know people's personalities, mind you, but not really their competence level. I'm sure there are new players who feel both ways.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Saturday, 12th December 2015, 20:18
by Sprucery
You can probably stop speculating about crate and duvessa.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 15th December 2015, 20:51
by tedric
(I don't know if the decision to remove the group has been properly made yet, but since Monday seems to have passed without blue names disappearing I'm guessing this is still relevant.)

To the extent that the counselor group does any good, IMO, it's as byrel describes: giving newcomers a bare minimum of help to get their bearings on the social-informational landscape of the Tavern. I've been lurking/participating in this forum for probably close to 10 years now and it has taken me a loooooong time to figure out who is full of shit, who knows what they're talking about, and who knows what they're talking about but doesn't seem to (or is intentionally obtuse/snarky/weird about it).

As for me being nominated: Thanks! It's gratifying to hear that some folks I respect think I'm not full of shit most of the time (or at least less of the time than the average Taverner).

On the other hand, I don't think I give that much actual advice. I've come to realize that I don't have much of a grasp on what it takes to win the game with a wide variety of combos and playstyles (though I'm slowly expanding my horizons), and so these days I tend to stay out of DCA & CIP threads that are asking "what should I do" questions (also because I find it time-consuming and exhausting to interpret character dumps). But I think I do have a pretty good sense of the resources available to the casual Crawler and am happy to do a quick lookup and/or point people in the direction of relevant information when there's a specific question about a mechanic or a recent change or what-have-you.

Now, maybe that kind of advice is actually more useful or exemplary in a way that's worth giving me a blue name? If y'all think so, I wouldn't object to it -- but know that I would be pretty intentional about trying not to get sucked in by a sense of obligation to post in advice threads I wouldn't normally visit, and about not self-censoring my own obtuse/snarky/weird-ness in threads where I feel it's been earned.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 15th December 2015, 21:54
by archaeo
Yeah, tedric, I got swamped, and I'm pretty sure njvack has been busy as well. As far as I know, we're the only administrators active right now, so we're the only people who can remove the group or add people to them.

That said, I've reread this thread, and the super secret private mod conversation on the topic, and it really does seem like just removing the group is the way to go. None of the mods are fans, most of the current Counsellors are largely indifferent, and the people I nominated don't seem terribly eager either. I encourage everybody to dip into advice threads when they get a chance, because helping new players is the best way to introduce more people to the Tavern MMORPG minigame Crawl.

As soon as I have some time to figure out how to remove groups, I'll pull the plug. All those who disagree can blame Sar, who has already taken responsibility earlier in the thread.
Sar wrote:...I ended up killing the counsellors group

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Tuesday, 15th December 2015, 23:11
by Sprucery
archaeo wrote:All those who disagree can blame Sar, who has already taken responsibility earlier in the thread.

Now that Sar has lost the Counsellor title, you could give him a unique title 'Counsellor Killer'.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Wednesday, 16th December 2015, 00:43
by archaeo
And it's done. Thanks to those of you who were Counsellors for all the good advice you've given over the years; I hope you'll continue to do so despite the cosmetic change.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Wednesday, 16th December 2015, 08:17
by nago
Awwww my thanks don't stand out anymore from others :(
And I really liked that blue, esthetically, there

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Wednesday, 16th December 2015, 17:14
by byrel
FR: Make all thanks blue.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Wednesday, 16th December 2015, 18:56
by Sar
now I am become sar, the destroyer of groups

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Wednesday, 16th December 2015, 19:19
by WalkerBoh
Hey Sar, have you ever heard of this group... I think they're called ISIS?

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Wednesday, 16th December 2015, 20:18
by all before
Besides the enemies list, does the board allow one to create one's own groups or label people? As in, if I were new and still trying to keep everyone straight, could I assign a color to people whose advice I found valuable/suspect? Also, I just want to assign my own labels to you all and make you appear in different colors, everyone being light purple or whatever is boring.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Wednesday, 16th December 2015, 20:21
by Sar
all before wrote:trying to keep everyone straight

that's a very problematic behaviour imo

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Wednesday, 16th December 2015, 20:23
by Arrhythmia
if anyone wants to make a new group for an aesthetic reason i volunteer

e: i am particularly partial to red, btw

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Wednesday, 16th December 2015, 20:32
by WalrusKing
Arrhythmia wrote:if anyone wants to make a new group for an aesthetic reason i volunteer

e: i am particularly partial to red, btw


Greathankers

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Wednesday, 16th December 2015, 20:41
by johlstei
please apply the blink tag to my username in celebration of my translocation aptitude

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Thursday, 17th December 2015, 04:42
by duvessa
if you do go through with removing the counsellors group, i would like to have a blue name for personal reasons

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Thursday, 17th December 2015, 05:56
by archaeo
all before, I have no idea if phpBB has that kind of functionality, but I kind of doubt it, sorry.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Friday, 18th December 2015, 14:38
by Dharmy
all before wrote:Besides the enemies list, does the board allow one to create one's own groups or label people? As in, if I were new and still trying to keep everyone straight, could I assign a color to people whose advice I found valuable/suspect? Also, I just want to assign my own labels to you all and make you appear in different colors, everyone being light purple or whatever is boring.

Maybe someone can work up a greasemonkey script, if one doesn't exist already.

Re: Remove the Counsellor Group?

PostPosted: Sunday, 20th December 2015, 18:12
by Tiktacy
Perhaps adding a reputation system could work?

Maybe implement it like this:

Make it completely different from thanks. Thanks can stay because they will be fairly different from the current system.

Do not advertize how many times a person has been given rep(although people can say if they did or not). When you give click the "+1 rep" on a persons post, there is an invisible meter that is added to the post. Once that meter reaches 2, all +1 rep votes thereafter for that post give them a boost to reputation. This way, if there are a few bad players supporting bad advice, they will be weeded out for the most part since it requires at least 3 +1's on a single post to actually verify that the person is giving good advice and not just spouting useless garbage.

Additionally, you would need to add rules to clarify the uses of reputation the newer members of the forum and what is acceptable and what isn't(so for example you would say that you shouldn't give a person rep in GDD for saying something silly). Additionally, you could have different reputation meters for each board, but that might get confusing.