moderation


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

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Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 10:55

moderation

The recent mountain dwarf thread showed that this forum needs more active moderation. I used to do most of it, but RL has catched up with me and I don't have the time to do it anymore. Besides, I think it would be better if moderation were done by players instead of devs.
Some people started throwing insults and I think that this is totally unacceptable. But even before things went ugly, the thread was already plagued by useless whining and off-topic rants. It would be nice if someone could help keep the discussions on track and civil. The other moderators are not very active in this forum, that's why I thought it might be better to recruit new ones here. So is anyone motivated for this task?
Thanks.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 14:09

Re: moderation

Shut up, galehar.

...

If you give me rights, I can do some, but only passively; I'm not as active as you'd think.
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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 15:02

Re: moderation

And anyone who disagrees with minmay is a jerk.
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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 15:13

Re: moderation

minmay wrote:I don't agree. Offensive statements are only a problem if you're offended by them; insults aren't exactly useful, but it isn't like they need to be deleted the moment they appear, and doing so seems like a waste of effort on the part of anyone who does it.

Well, you're free to disagree, I still think we shouldn't tolerate offensive statements. If we do nothing, people will think it's ok and it will only get worse. Also, as I've explained, it's not just offensive statements, but also the fact that with no moderation, we see a lot of useless and offtopic rants. The signal to noise ratio is getting lower and lower and the MD debate was really terrible in this regard.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 15:38

Re: moderation

Granted, removing MD is as much a prominent change as altering the skill system, but people were actively complaining about skills, no one was complaining about MDs.+
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 16:36

Re: moderation

Is the problem going off-topic, or flames? Because those aren't the same. Even when they're both seen as problems, they don't have identical solutions.

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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 16:40

Re: moderation

Sensible moderation seems to be the solution to both. Topics were often split if they spawned side discussions. Flames are a fairly new phenomenon. I believe deleting posts or locking the thread if it cant be salvaged is an appropriate response to that. It handles the problem and sends a clear message: if you cant say what you want to say in a civil manner you should not say anything. Moderators can do both.

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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 16:45

Re: moderation

Galefury wrote:Sensible moderation seems to be the solution to both. Topics were often split if they spawned side discussions. Flames are a fairly new phenomenon. I believe deleting posts or locking the thread if it cant be salvaged is an appropriate response to that. It handles the problem and sends a clear message: if you cant say what you want to say in a civil manner you should not say anything. Moderators can do both.


If flames are new, why are they, in your opinion, starting up now?

What about spambots? I'm new to the site; have you had much problem with that?

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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 16:56

Re: moderation

Flames started up because the MD removal brought a bunch of angry people here who usually lack the interest and attention span for this forum. They will probably stop soon (closing the MD thread helped a lot), but someone keeping an eye out and taking measures if needed would definitely be useful.

Spambots are rare. Also there are enough moderators reacting to reported posts.

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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 17:04

Re: moderation

Galefury wrote:Flames started up because the MD removal brought a bunch of angry people here who usually lack the interest and attention span for this forum. They will probably stop soon (closing the MD thread helped a lot), but someone keeping an eye out and taking measures if needed would definitely be useful.


You mean, people playing a race in a game with many races decided that because the new version left one out--they were going to scream in anger and throw fits? I wonder what they'd do if their electricity bills doubled, or their mortgage was foreclosed, or a loved one was diagnosed with a longterm terminal illness. No sense of proportion. I'm amazed when I discover something like that online. And I agree that closing any threads like that at once and if necessary banning a few people is the best way to go. I've seen a situation where a site owner suffered from a "can't we all be friends?" complex. It literally killed his one of his forums in the end.

Spambots are rare. Also there are enough moderators reacting to reported posts.


Good, though I've no idea how you escape them. They're everywhere and very insidious these days.

o_O

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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 18:18

Re: moderation

Just don't let it become one of those forums where where topic authors have to beg and plead for everyone to be nice and stay on topic so it doesn't get locked. If X is terrible then "X is terrible" is constructive criticism, even if I don't have a better alternative.

But yea cleaning out pointless hate and insults would be a good thing. All this raaage and internet rioting has killed legitimate discussion over anything involving mountains or dwarves or armor restrictions.
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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 19:02

Re: moderation

galehar wrote:So is anyone motivated for this task?
Thanks.


I'd be happy to help...
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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 20:10

Re: moderation

Borodin wrote: And I agree that closing any threads like that at once and if necessary banning a few people is the best way to go.


They should have just banned dpeg from the start; that'd have stopped the need for any of this.








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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 20:20

Re: moderation

Just to point out the obvious: I am one of rather few developers to take part in the forum. If it becomes hostile, I'll just leave. I have other things to do. (And as it happens, I already left SA and ##crawl.) And no, I don't want to read "dpeg is good, dpeg is great" in every other posting. I am as prone to mistakes as everyone else. But if you read the MD thread again, then you'll note: (1) how the first page is civilised, (2) the rest is not, (3) how the tone gets insulting, (4) how arguments are ignored.
I am happy to explain any design decision. Once. If there are proposals, I am happy to look at them and give feedback. I don't have time or energy to repeat everything. If the tavern does not have moderation, it means that you'll lose me and, I dare to prognose, other developers as well. We had lots of polite dissent before, this is possible.
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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 20:26

Re: moderation

I would be willing to moderate (I read every thread and am capable of reviewing them all) but I probably lack the Ideal level of experience and seniority.
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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 21:56

Re: moderation

I'd be willing to throw myself to the wolves and risk the potential negative stigma by taking up the mantle of moderatorship*. I've been a forum moderator on Elfwood's forums since a little after those opened, so I do have some experience. Especially when dealing with spambots since Elfwood gets hit with a ton of those.


*As silly as that line sounds, people do resent moderators who deleted their angry, flammatory posts or, worse, banned them for shouting expletives at anyone who dared to reply to them.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 3rd November 2011, 23:36

Re: moderation

I'd be willing to help too. I really appreciated the way this forum had been free of hatred and crassness, until the recent unpleasantness. Most people came here out of a shared love for the game. I think it's worth maintaining that spirit.

That being said, as new users continue to join, the signal to noise ratio will inevitably worsen. One possible response would be that a group of non-devs who also read the development wiki volunteer to farm the Tavern for suggestions, reposting them on the wiki as appropriate, and fielding questions here. This is starting to happen already.

The larger issue as I see it is that the Crawl development process should be as streamlined and efficient as possible, to keep the game moving forward. If that means the Tavern becomes player-centric, then so be it.

goo

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 00:17

Re: moderation

I think you are confusing criticism and arguments against the MD change as flames, but whatever. Just because people (a lot of them at that) aren't happy with a change doesn't mean they are attacking you personally. Most of the insults came in that thread came from dpeg (flames and insults against him only came after his many snide comments), and the devs arguments were certainly not ignored. (The argument being that of the three races, one had to go, and a race that can't even equip every piece of armor was chosen as the new generic melee race because the devs just hate Tolkien!) If by ignoring arguments, you mean pointing out the massive flaws in your rationale and how the decision was based entirely in emotion instead of logic, sure.

There were a lot of good points in that thread (and the news post on the main page) brought up, that I have not seen any of you guys respond to. Like how the main reason the three races played similarly is because melee has next to no depth, versatility, or differentiation in comparison to magic. There has been almost no effort to make melee more interesting throughout the entire game's lifespan, at least in comparison to other aspects of the game. Wasn't some kind of weapon specialization supposed to be implemented in 0.10? (I thought Polearms all getting reaching was the start of that?) Maybe you could have held off on the MD removal until that was finished? Make the different weapon types all handle differently, and have each of the races specialize in different weapon types?

This is but one of many of the arguments brought against the change, and one of many proposals to make the races play differently. The thread was filled with them. If the above sounds like a flame to you, then you are way too sensitive. When you guys make a bad change as massive as this one (and calling it a bad change is not a flame by the way), of course people are going to be upset. The fact that there are literally hundreds of people now (between here, SA, and reddit) mad about this change should be enough proof that the sudden removal of MD was not the right course of action.

Treating them like babies and brushing aside criticism and arguments as the flames of pissed off Tolkien fanboys is just going to make your community angrier. People aren't just mad about the removal, they are mad about the arrogance shown by the developers in the face of the criticism the change has received. The fact that you guys aren't planning on reverting the change, and are ignoring all the arguments against it is ridiculous. The fact that you feel the need to hire a moderator because you can't handle constructive criticism even more so. The problem here is not the community.

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 00:35

Re: moderation

Encore une fois!

mad

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 00:40

Re: moderation

Parce qu'on n'a pas entendu cela deja...

goo

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 00:44

Re: moderation

You're just proving me right, but ok. I look forward to my impending ban for being a mean internet flamer.

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 00:59

Re: moderation

Let´s be serious guys, I don´t see anything in goo´s post that resembles "flaming".

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 01:02

Re: moderation

goo, I've been reading this forum for almost a year, and I have repeatedly seen the devs respond promptly to player concerns and suggestions - the recent reversal of the food reform is a case in point. And remember megabats? What I have not seen is a pattern of devs dismissing players. The recent accusations of continual dev malfeasance are groundless.

Granted, the MD decision was precipitous, and perhaps could have stood a bit more preliminary discussion, but the devs made a call. If you want to change it, the proper way to do so is to settle in for a long, civil campaign. Perfect your proposals, put some code together, gather support. What won't help is complaining about how one's complaints are being received.

goo

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 01:16

Re: moderation

Grimm wrote:goo, I've been reading this forum for almost a year, and I have repeatedly seen the devs respond promptly to player concerns and suggestions - the recent reversal of the food reform is a case in point. And remember megabats? What I have not seen is a pattern of devs dismissing players. The recent accusations of continual dev malfeasance are groundless.

Granted, the MD decision was precipitous, and perhaps could have stood a bit more preliminary discussion, but the devs made a call. If you want to change it, the proper way to do so is to settle in for a long, civil campaign. Perfect your proposals, put some code together, gather support. What won't help is complaining about how one's complaints are being received.


Until now I have had no problem with any changes, or the developer's attitude towards the playerbase. This is an isolated incident. This decision, and the response to the criticism against it, has been handled completely differently. Until now I have been 100% happy with changes made, and love the developers willingness to engage with the playerbase. This is the best game out there currently, due in part to the developers being so open to feedback.

For what it's worth, I'm not the stereotypical doom and gloom "the whole game is ruined because of this one change and the developers suck forever" reactionary retard. I still like a lot of the other stuff going through. For example, I'm really happy with the new DS mutations in trunk, for instance. And the new Evolution mutation sounds pretty cool. I just think this one change is a big mistake and should be thoroughly reconsidered, at least for the sake of the huge amounts of players upset with it.

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 01:22

Re: moderation

It sounds to me like you're the perfect guy to lead the campaign, and keep it polite and cool-headed. However, this thread is not the best place to do so, as it is about moderation! :D

goo

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 01:23

Re: moderation

Right, right...going off-topic in a thread about moderation. How ironic.

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 01:32

Re: moderation

goo wrote:There has been almost no effort to make melee more interesting throughout the entire game's lifespan, at least in comparison to other aspects of the game. Wasn't some kind of weapon specialization supposed to be implemented in 0.10? (I thought Polearms all getting reaching was the start of that?) Maybe you could have held off on the MD removal until that was finished? Make the different weapon types all handle differently, and have each of the races specialize in different weapon types?


I agree, melee is pretty boring as it is, and I, along with what I assume is still a good chunk of the devteam, would like to see weapon specialization. It would definitely help differentiate melee-based species, and I agree that if it gets involved, then MDs could probably be given another shot. But looking at the devwiki discussions, it seems like the main problem is that the devs are having a hard time working out the best way to do that in a way that makes weapons significantly but not obtrusively different -- not to mention finding an implementation that's obviously good enough to convince someone to write the code. You can't just type "make weapons different" into your C++ editing software.

I remember one of the devs posting here, shaking his head about how there were a ton of ideas that ended with "it might need a bit of balancing and tweaking", as if coming up with an idea was the hardest part, and evaluating, coding, adjusting, and balancing the rest of the game was easy, and I've remembered that pretty much every time I read or think of a suggestion. Saying "you should implement weapons specialization!" is true, but it doesn't really make it any easier to think up actual specifics that you can write up.

This is but one of many of the arguments brought against the change, and one of many proposals to make the races play differently. The thread was filled with them.


Yeah, but were they any good? Simply providing a suggestion doesn't automatically solve the problem (and more so if the suggestion is tucked into a post between "Fuck you!" and "You hate new players!")

A lot of the suggestions read like they were the first cool idea the player thought of, without considering whether it would make an actual major difference between MD or Mi, or make one of those species over/underpowered. For instance, trample resistance would be a cool feature for a MD, but how often in an average game do you actually get trampled? It wouldn't be any kind of difference in actuality. Likewise, it turns out that making dwarves small didn't make things much different in practice. I saw innate berserk (+RAGE) suggested for both MD and Mi, but always-available berserk with no resource scarcity or divine restrictions involved would just be crazy overpowered. And, conversely, suggesting innate berserkitis (*RAGE) for Mi would make them terrible for melee, the one thing they're good at.

That's one of the main reasons I like File200's Forge Dwarves proposal so much, not just because it tries to bring back the cool heavy-armor casting MDs were sometimes used for, but because he actually wrote that shit up and is playtesting it.

Basically, what I'm getting at is this: Yes, dpeg and other devs can sometimes come across as arrogant (sorry, man, it's true (player paralysis is terrible)). But I don't think that they ignored the MD-revival suggestions in that thread simply because they're arrogant elitists who hate the fan base. I think they ignored the MD-revival suggestions primarily because most of them weren't very well thought out.

edit: ah motherfucker you guys already got off that topic

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 02:27

Re: moderation

Guillard wrote:Let´s be serious guys, I don´t see anything in goo´s post that resembles "flaming".


Every post of goo's in this thread is a textbook example of sort of posts we need moderators for. After the last thread was closed for flaming and blatant sockpuppetry, goo has chosen to move to this unrelated thread and start threadcrapping all over the place. Apparently it will not be possible to get anything done until goo is good and satisfied, or until goo takes a few days of vacation.

Look, goo might not be intentionally trolling like whoever made the sockpuppets is, but he's still being an antisocial jerk. By dragging the closed discussion to this new thread, goo is trying to bypass the actions of the moderators. Do we really need to allow individual posters to filibuster the forum by turning every thread into a discussion on Mountain Dwarf Removal? That crap has spilled over into several threads in this subforum, plus more threads in other subfora on the board, and it is not improving anything.

If a moderator shuts down your argument, stop arguing. If you continue, you are the new problem regardless of the original problem might have been.

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 02:33

Re: moderation

KoboldLord and I can be the good cop/bad cop moderator team.

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 02:43

Re: moderation

Grimm wrote:KoboldLord and I can be the good cop/bad cop moderator team.


One of them's a loose cannon. The other plays by the book. But by god they get results.

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 03:34

Re: moderation

I'd also be willing to help (but I don't have much time right now, getting married Saturday morning), but can you specify what things you want mods to do, besides "keep things civil and organized", define the limits of authority, etc. ?
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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 03:52

Re: moderation

Whoever is made a new mod, I think should be someone who doesn't get involved in arguments/debates often. The best mods are people who are impartial, but failing that they are people who usually don't argue much and keep their opinions to themselves. This is just a general observation I have about internet forums, based on what I've seen here and elsewhere.

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 04:16

Re: moderation

KoboldLord wrote:
Guillard wrote:Let´s be serious guys, I don´t see anything in goo´s post that resembles "flaming".


Every post of goo's in this thread is a textbook example of sort of posts we need moderators for. After the last thread was closed for flaming and blatant sockpuppetry, goo has chosen to move to this unrelated thread and start threadcrapping all over the place. Apparently it will not be possible to get anything done until goo is good and satisfied, or until goo takes a few days of vacation.

Look, goo might not be intentionally trolling like whoever made the sockpuppets is, but he's still being an antisocial jerk. By dragging the closed discussion to this new thread, goo is trying to bypass the actions of the moderators. Do we really need to allow individual posters to filibuster the forum by turning every thread into a discussion on Mountain Dwarf Removal? That crap has spilled over into several threads in this subforum, plus more threads in other subfora on the board, and it is not improving anything.

If a moderator shuts down your argument, stop arguing. If you continue, you are the new problem regardless of the original problem might have been.


I'm done arguing about Mountain Dwarves, but to pretend that this thread and the MD thread are unrelated is false. The only reason it exists in the first place is because of the massive discontent over the MD change. Whether or not the devs or community is right on the issue, "negotiations" broke down and things got heated on both sides. The community's feelings over the issue, and the dev's feelings towards the backlash is the real issue here. There has never been a problem on the boards this bad before, and I doubt there will be one this big in the future. To not let people talk about the change on the boards is a putting a bandaid on the real problem.

I propose making a new thread where all MD talk must go, and make that thread much more strictly moderated. No more complaining about the decision (myself included), and let it solely be a place for people to brainstorm ways to make MD more interesting and hopefully get it reintroduced into the game. Any negative comments towards the developers can be a probation/banning.
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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 10:43

Re: moderation

goo wrote:The only reason it exists in the first place is because of the massive discontent over the MD change.

This isn't true. While it certainly triggered it, I was already unhappy about the declining quality of discussions since I stopped moderating this forum.

Grimm wrote:That being said, as new users continue to join, the signal to noise ratio will inevitably worsen.

That's true, but I believe we can do something about it.

dolphin wrote:I'd also be willing to help (but I don't have much time right now, getting married Saturday morning), but can you specify what things you want mods to do, besides "keep things civil and organized", define the limits of authority, etc. ?

On top of pure moderation (warning users, splitting off-topic threads, moving threads to appropriate forum, deleting spam), there's also "debate leading". Stuff like pointing out obvious bad ideas so we don't end up discussing them for ages, clearing confusion when several inter-dependent ideas are being discussed and rejecting arguments based on misinformation for example. There is no need for moderating rights for that, Galefury and KoboldLord already do it often. I just think it would help raise the quality of discussions if someone felt in charge of doing so and did it with the authority and neutrality of a moderator.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 11:20

Re: moderation

Leaving aside weapons specialization, MDs, and the importance of rehashing closed threads, moderation can work only in an environment where a few rules are decided upon, then simply stated, and enforced without attitude (no good cop/bad cop) across the board by mature staff who can commit the time. If this is done, and it isn't easy, a lot can be accomplished.

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 11:33

Re: moderation

evilmike wrote:Whoever is made a new mod, I think should be someone who doesn't get involved in arguments/debates often. The best mods are people who are impartial, but failing that they are people who usually don't argue much and keep their opinions to themselves. This is just a general observation I have about internet forums, based on what I've seen here and elsewhere.


One method that I've seen work reasonably well in smaller boards where moderators are also participators is to designate one particular color of text as the color of moderator action. Moderators there use red text for mod actions, and no one is to use red text for any other purpose. Red sticks out distinctively from the black and white normally on the page, so it's easy to spot a warning when it comes up, and moderators can still participate in discussions without people getting worried that they might have just gotten a warning without realizing it.
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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 13:39

Re: moderation

Hmm.

I agree that GDD needs a dedicated moderator. I don't think we need much more discussion on policy - less whining, more respect, more constructive discussion. No sock puppets. These should be implicit anyway.

I admit I don't read GDD much, although it's interesting when I do. It would be good to keep it that way.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 15:41

Re: moderation

joellercoaster wrote:Hmm.

I agree that GDD needs a dedicated moderator. I don't think we need much more discussion on policy - less whining, more respect, more constructive discussion. No sock puppets. These should be implicit anyway.


Actually, "less whining, more respect, more constructive discussion" sounds like something that could be nailed to a horde of forums I've visited. :D

I think this sort of thing should be put in a simple policy statement, with just a bit of expansion. Maybe something that people who join have to acknowledge having read. So nobody can whine later, "But you didn't tell me that all comments in a thread had to be about the subject! You didn't tell me I couldn't thread-knap! You didn't tell me I couldn't call the developers ****** and **** and what's more, **********!" Then they run to their friends and complain, etc. If a statement of conduct is on the front door, people who are let in can't complain when they're squelched for ignoring it.

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Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 15:50

Re: moderation

Nobody reads those things. Forum rules are always the same anyway, just how strictly the community adheres to them and how strictly they are enforced differs.

Also, specifically for GDD, there are two stickies explaining how things work.

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 47

Joined: Monday, 31st October 2011, 12:51

Post Friday, 4th November 2011, 16:01

Re: moderation

Galefury wrote:Nobody reads those things. Forum rules are always the same anyway, just how strictly the community adheres to them and how strictly they are enforced differs.


Having that in print with their agreement, before they are allowed to post in a forum, really helps. Pinned threads usually don't get read, I agree. If you force them to sign off on something before they join, that's another matter. As someone who moderated a large forum for 6 years, I've seen many people demand to see something that disallows the behavior they've been showing--and if you can refer right back to an agreement they okayed, they'll often calm down. If they don't, they can't claim they were punished without notice.

AtT

Blades Runner

Posts: 567

Joined: Saturday, 10th September 2011, 14:40

Post Thursday, 10th November 2011, 05:57

Re: moderation

I'd love to help, though I doubt that I'm the best candidate.

Even still, I think it's probably best for those who do care deeply about the game to not let themselves get caught up in pointless arguments and at least try not to be (too) rude, as this sort of posting encourages flamers. I can't say that I never get a bit short as I'm sure you've seen, but I'll do my best not to contribute to the recent flame wars.

Perhaps voting for moderators should be implemented?

Spider Stomper

Posts: 195

Joined: Monday, 25th April 2011, 20:48

Post Thursday, 10th November 2011, 06:04

Re: moderation

AtT wrote:Perhaps voting for moderators should be implemented?

Doesn't sound good. There are better ways to choose moderators than popularity contests.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Thursday, 10th November 2011, 09:47

Re: moderation

Grimm and njvack have been chosen as new mods
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

For this message the author galehar has received thanks: 4
AtT, cjo, dassem, dolphin

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