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Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Friday, 16th August 2013, 20:08
by MarvinPA
As requested by Grimm, starting a topic here:

GDD threads are frequently derailed by off-topic posts that don't attempt to add anything to the discussion. Since there are actually occasionally useful ideas in there, it would be nice to not have to wade through so much trash, so off-topic posts should be more heavily moderated and moved to CYC - either by the current moderators or by whichever devs frequent the subforum (galehar already has mod privileges, myself, mumra? Not sure who else reads it). Personally I'm happy to gloss over half-baked god/species suggestions and so on but having actually worthwhile suggestion threads get filled with rubbish is pretty unfortunate.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Friday, 16th August 2013, 20:21
by galehar
I used to do that, but it's very time consuming. It would be great indeed to have a stricter moderation in GDD. Do you want mod rights MarvinPA? Anyone else volunteering?

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Friday, 16th August 2013, 20:26
by Grimm
If some devs are willing to participate I am very happy to turn GDD into a harshly policed area in order to increase its usefulness. The other three subforums in that section are joke-free and practical already.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Friday, 16th August 2013, 22:04
by XuaXua
Everywhere else is a good place for nonsensical 8========D

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Saturday, 17th August 2013, 01:56
by MarvinPA
galehar wrote:I used to do that, but it's very time consuming. It would be great indeed to have a stricter moderation in GDD. Do you want mod rights MarvinPA?

That'd be good.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Saturday, 17th August 2013, 02:28
by Grimm
I just added you to mods MarvinPA.

XuaXua, that's exactly the kind of non-contributing response that will be purged under the new regime.

I'll rewrite the intro topic to reflect the change.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Saturday, 17th August 2013, 03:55
by XuaXua
Grimm wrote:XuaXua, that's exactly the kind of non-contributing response that will be purged under the new regime.



All is as intended.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Sunday, 18th August 2013, 14:36
by pubby
It would be more constructive new forum, "GDD - dev approved" where threads the developers viewed as useful got moved, rather than moving bad ideas to CYC and laughing at them. Normal users wouldn't be able to make threads in the new forum.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Sunday, 18th August 2013, 16:57
by evilmike
It's not about removing bad ideas, it's about removing off-topic discussion, in individual posts and entire threads. It's not a punitive thing.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Sunday, 18th August 2013, 17:02
by XuaXua
What really sucks is that several of threads that started great get one or two cute posts, but then everyone else suddenly takes a cue and it devolves it into a crap fest and then it gets sent to Crazy Yiufs and then there is no way to recover it. In my opinion, one or two off-topic are fine as long as it gets back on topic soon.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Sunday, 18th August 2013, 18:41
by Grimm
That's the point, there is no way for it to "get back on topic" unless someone prunes the thread.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Sunday, 18th August 2013, 20:15
by BlackSheep
I'm looking forward to seeing this play out. Hopefully after a little while people will get the picture and pruning will become a rare necessity.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Wednesday, 21st August 2013, 18:32
by rebthor
As one of the main offenders, I apologize for derailing threads in GDD. I'll try to be more careful and I think this idea is a good one.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Friday, 23rd August 2013, 19:24
by Grimm
Okay I've edited the intro topic slightly to reflect the new regime. Changes in red. If there are no criticisms in a day or so I will post it and make announcements in the appropriate subfora.


Spoiler: show
This sub-forum is for proposing changes to the game, or discussing existing proposals or game mechanics. Bug reports go here.

Note that this sub-forum is not where Crawl is being actively developed. Visit the dev wiki to see the actual development process. However some developers do read GDD and an idea posted here does have a chance, however small, of making it into the game.

Due to the participation of developers, moderation of GDD is significantly harsher than moderation of the other subforums. Posts here will be deleted without warning if they are offtopic, insulting, derailing, or noncontributing in any way to the overall goal of improving the game we all love. Some devs hold moderator powers for the express purpose of keeping GDD tidy and useful.

There is no appeals process for GDD moderator edits & deletions.


Anything posted here will receive criticism that is sometimes quite harsh, so be prepared. If you want to minimise your chances of being criticised and increase the chances that your idea will be taken seriously, spend plenty of time familiarising yourself with other proposals both successful and failed, and read and understand every point in the list that follows.

To make a proposal, follow these steps:

  1. Study the philosophy section of the manual carefully. All changes to the game must be in line with the stated game philosophy.
  2. Study the Refused and Rejected Concepts List to ensure that your idea is not on it.
  3. Search the forum, the dev wiki, and the change logs to ensure that your idea hasn't already been suggested or rejected elsewhere.
  4. Think hard about what it is you are trying to achieve. Proposed changes must be solutions to actual problems in the game, or genuine improvements to gameplay. Find out if the problem you want to solve is an actual problem that other players experience and not just clustering illusion, a freak set of circumstances that happened to you, or your personal taste. Everyone has encountered a situation they don't like and immediately thought "This should be redesigned!" Ninety nine percent of the time they are wrong. Ask about this before making a design proposal.
  5. Clearly state in your post the reasons for your proposal.

    Examples of good reasons for new proposals:
    ___ seems overpowered in situations where ___ because it allows players to ___. I think this could be resolved by...
    A lizardman species would be an interesting new combination of such and such attributes and abilites, and fill the following empty niche...

    Examples of bad reasons:
    Unarmed combat is broken.
    A rat species would be awesome.
  6. Work hard on your proposal. Provide details, and flesh out ideas as much as possible. Consider special cases and how your proposed changes interact with the rest of the game. Provide numbers and formulas when you can. Try coding at least some of your proposal. For help with coding species, see this post. The more work you put into your idea, the more likely it is to receive serious consideration.
  7. Write clearly and concisely. Avoid rambling. Use paragraphs and lists. Ask for help with your writing if you need to.
  8. Give your thread a clear, appropriate title.

    Examples of good titles:
    New god idea: Emos, god of suffering.
    Nerf Wands of Magic Dart

    Examples of bad titles:
    My idea
    How about this!
    Mooooooo! <3
  9. When (not if) someone criticises your idea, accept it. Listen. Adapt your proposal. Admit when you're wrong. Do not belligerently make the same case over and over. Basic etiquette and the forum rules still apply. If you feel a criticism is personal or unwarranted, use the report button or pm a moderator. Be advised that the forum benefits from a certain amount of astringent criticism of new proposals, and that whining on your part will weaken or destroy your case.
    (point X is new, I can't make a bullet point colored it seems)
  10. Orange names are devs: if one of them rejects your idea, it is almost certainly dead in the water. Let it go. Blue names are highly experienced players: if one of them rejects your idea, it has sustained a hit below the waterline and is listing badly. Prepare to abandon ship.
  11. If your idea is received positively, move your proposal to the brainstorming wiki for further consideration, refinement, and possible implementation.
  12. If all else fails, you can put your idea in the generic brainstorming thread. There's always the vanishingly small chance an idea from there will be picked up. After all, phase bats made it in!

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Friday, 23rd August 2013, 20:49
by jejorda2
Does it make sense to change "Delete without warning" to "edit the post to put the content in spoiler tags, with a notation that a moderator/dev/whatever deemed it off-topic or unhelpful? That way it is clear that we need to change how we post, instead of just thinking there is a problem with the board software and we need to re-post it.

Or is there a setting to notify post authors that their posts have been deleted, if the other suggestion is too much work?

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Saturday, 24th August 2013, 00:51
by Grimm
My thinking was set a high bar in the intro post, then moderate as we see fit on a case by case basis. I don't think we should restrict ourselves to only using one tool from the toolbox. A mildy amusing derail might merit spoilertagging, while a personal insult should I think be nuked out of hand.

For example, right before I locked the recent Ice Magic thread in GDD, ebarrett posted a long paragraph doing nothing but insulting the OP in ebarrett's signature playground style. I x'ed it out immediately. Should have kept a copy I suppose.

Or edit the post, deleting the offensive content completely and replacing it with a notice of what happened.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Saturday, 24th August 2013, 15:10
by Galefury
Damn, I would have liked to read that. Probably it was the best part of the whole damn thread, but there's no way to be sure now. :(

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Saturday, 24th August 2013, 15:50
by Grimm
I'm sure if you pm him he'll write plenty more in the same vein.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Saturday, 28th September 2013, 02:58
by njvack
Hey look this thread happened!

I for one support this (and shall endeavor to aid in its implementation). No more silliness in GDD from me :P

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Monday, 6th January 2014, 22:12
by galehar
I've promoted brendan to moderator so that he can participate in the crusade against GDD bad posting.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Wednesday, 15th January 2014, 17:31
by njvack
Wait, are there devs who are not also mods? I think everyone with an orange name should be able to moderate at least GDD.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Wednesday, 15th January 2014, 17:53
by Grimm
Those are different groups. If you're in one you're not automatically in the other. That could easily be changed of course.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Wednesday, 15th January 2014, 18:56
by and into
njvack wrote:Wait, are there devs who are not also mods? I think everyone with an orange name should be able to moderate at least GDD.


Well, if there are devs who don't want to bother with moderating Tavern at all (which is a perfectly understandable position) then they shouldn't be made moderators.

I also don't think the main problem is *useless* posts, exactly, but unnecessary hectoring. Sometimes those hectoring posts actually have very useful tidbits of feedback or actual insights/ideas hidden in them. Moderation should primarily be about improving the level of discourse, rather than punishment per se, so I think that pruning out the ad homs and inappropriate stuff but leaving any legitimate points intact, with a private warning to the perpetrator in cases that seem malicious (rather than just exasperation / losing one's patience), is probably the best general approach to cutting down on derails and making the discussion in GDD better. It isn't a very good environment right now and a somewhat higher level of moderator involvement is likely called for.

EDIT: Oh, and the flip side of the above is when a newly posted GDD thread is really low content—most common offenders being lack of any justification ("What does this fix or how would this improve the game?"), or the proposal being in such a state of under-development that there isn't yet anything to really discuss. People should feel GDD is a place to flesh out ideas, but you need some substance to get things going.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Wednesday, 15th January 2014, 19:14
by Grimm
and into wrote:I also don't think the main problem is *useless* posts, exactly, but unnecessary hectoring. Sometimes those hectoring posts actually have very useful tidbits of feedback or actual insights/ideas hidden in them. Moderation should primarily be about improving the level of discourse, rather than punishment per se, so I think that pruning out the ad homs and inappropriate stuff but leaving any legitimate points in tact, with a private warning to the perpetrator in cases that seem malicious (rather than just exasperation / losing one's patience), is probably the best general approach to cutting down on derails and making the discussion in GDD better. It isn't a very good environment right now and a somewhat higher level of moderator involvement is likely called for..

This is a good idea - editing people's posts aggressively, not just leaving the crap in spoiler tags.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Wednesday, 15th January 2014, 19:35
by njvack
It is a good idea; however, it demands a great deal of work.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Wednesday, 15th January 2014, 22:38
by galehar
When a post mostly contains aggressive or demeaning stuff, we shouldn't be expected to dig for the insightful bit. If you want people to consider your comments and ideas, it's better to not start by insulting their work.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Wednesday, 15th January 2014, 23:41
by WalkerBoh
If a person doesn't want their entire post moderated they shouldn't be aggressive or demeaning.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Thursday, 16th January 2014, 00:31
by and into
galehar wrote:When a post mostly contains aggressive or demeaning stuff, we shouldn't be expected to dig for the insightful bit. If you want people to consider your comments and ideas, it's better to not start by insulting their work.


That's true.

Maybe this is just semantic, but "aggression" per se isn't as big a deal in my opinion compared to behavior that strikes me as malicious or bullying. Aggression can come from a lot of different places, and an appropriate amount can even be productive. If someone zealously defends an idea that they think is good but grows a bit too personal near the end, I don't think the entire post should be cut, especially if others respond to the substantial matters raised in it.

I also think that saying "Here's this line, don't cross it" can leave room for people to walk just barely on the "passable" side of that line, being not quite mean-spirited enough to break any rules. Which nonetheless has a bad effect on discussion. For GDD, having much less tolerance for active malice might be appropriate, in which case having an option that isn't "erase post, or don't erase post" might be good. Especially because, as Tiktacy puts it above, one bad fiber can spoil the thread (so to speak). But yeah, as njvack said, trying to edit or curate posts is a lot more labor intensive than just cutting it.

Re: Moderation of useless posts in GDD

PostPosted: Tuesday, 28th January 2014, 14:10
by galehar
Somehow, the GDD sticky was missing a rule against multi-topic threads, so I added one:

Don't make a single thread for discussing several unrelated topics. Such threads usually degenerate quickly into several discussions and are very hard to keep on-topic (since there are several topics). If you want to address a transverse topic (eg. documentation, clarity,...) while giving several unrelated mechanisms as examples, state clearly what it the topic of the thread (see above rule). A thread which degenerate in several unrelated discussions is hard to follow and moderate and will be Yiufed.


Feel free to amend of fix it if necessary.