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The Elsweyr Chapter and Update 22 base game patch are now available to test on the PTS! You can read the full patch notes here https://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/discussion/468599

Promoting Constructive Discussion on the Forums, and Adjusting Moderation

  • ZOS_AlanG
    ZOS_AlanG
    admin
    This thread has been left open to discuss means of promoting constructive discussion, and forum moderation. Please do not use this thread to discuss the game or provide feedback. Several posts have been removed.

    Additionally, if you have questions about your specific moderation history, we ask that you PM a moderator or submit a support ticket. Please do not post such questions on this thread.
    Edited by ZOS_AlanG on June 1, 2016 6:14PM
    Forum Rules | Promoting Constructive Discussion | Code of Conduct | Terms of Service | Help Site

    I’ve moved to a new position and I am no longer active on this forum. For assistance, please check the resources linked above[/center]
    Staff Post
  • Arthmoor
    Arthmoor
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    LOL they would not sticky the hacking problem. They want that to slowly fade away so they don't have to face the reality of the situation.

    That seems less than realistic. They acknowledged it, but it would have been far easier to do so via an official sticky than letting the forum clog up with dozens of threads and only answering in one of them. They don't even need to leave the sticky open for discussion. Just post it, tell us what's going on, and then point to it when people ask.
  • CokeVoAYCE
    CokeVoAYCE
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    blah blah blah rules moderation we want a healthy environment yeah i heard it all before thx.
  • baratron
    baratron
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    ZOS_AlanG wrote: »
    Moonscythe wrote: »
    I would love to see a colour variation in the Z to signal whether there has been an answer or response to the discussion as opposed to just the "Keep it civil" or "thanks for bringing this to our attention" notice.
    We agree. Unfortunately a proper fix to the system will require a fair amount of work, so it isn't easy to implement.
    Thanks for this thread, AlanG. Sorry that you and @ZOS_DaryaK had such a wretched time policing this place over the weekend.

    I am thoroughly in favour of a change to the Z colour so we can see whether a thread has "just" been moderated or actively answered.

    While we/you are suggesting redesigns to the forum, would it be possible to get an option to search by post rather than by thread? I was looking for a post which I know is in the ZOS how are we as a community dealing with exploits/hacking? thread, but it was by a player rather than a ZOS employee, so I can't use the Dev Tracker to find it. With 22 pages in that thread, it's going to take me a while to read the whole thing to find one post.

    I'm currently clicking on each page of the thread and using Firefox's search tool to try to find the post I want. Even a "Search within Thread" option would be better than what we have now.

    I also have to admit that I'm looking forward to threads being moved to the most appropriate forum. Since most of us only read the General Discussion, a lot of us only post in General Discussion, even when another forum would be more appropriate. I do think some of the low traffic forums could be merged, although I suppose if the Questing and Exploration forums were, people would whine about spoilers.
    Guildmaster of the UESP Guild on the North American PC/Mac Server 810+ CP
    Martin Draconis - Imperial Sorceror Healer (Aldmeri Dominion) level 50
    Alix de Feu - Breton Templar Healer (Daggerfall Covenant) level 50
    Arzhela Petit - Breton Dragonknight Healer (Daggerfall Covenant) level 50
    Brings-His-Own-Forest - Argonian Warden Healer (Aldmeri Dominion) level 50
    Verandis Bloodraven - Altmer Nightblade Healer & clone of Count Verandis Ravenwatch (Aldmeri Dominion) level 50
    Bjornolfr Steel-Shaper - Nord Dragonknight Crafter & Not-Much-Damage Dealer (Ebonheart Pact) level 50
    Hrodulf Bearpaw - Nord Warden Bear Friend & identical twin of Bjornolfr (Aldmeri Dominion) level 50
    Gethin Oakrun - Bosmer Nightblade Thief & terrible Tank (Ebonheart Pact) level 50
  • SirKool
    SirKool
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    All for this, but maybe when we have hot topics going on (see the threads about PvP) maybe it could be a good idea to throw up a sticky and have one day set aside and have the PvP developers try and discuss it in the thread with players. The most important thing a company can do is answer the hard questions without skipping over them, but also try not to sugarcoat their answer to that question. Neither side may like what is said but hitting it head on will help the community company relations a heck of a lot. Walking away with at least an honest answer is only a plus with everyone.
    "I know now what I was born to do."
    ―Martin Septim[src]
  • thomas1970b16_ESO
    thomas1970b16_ESO
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    This is very much needed. So many outbursts and troll posts lately here. I was on the verge on not reading these forums any more. I had in fact already started to moderate for myself what to read and not to read. So many posts are only complaining in a very unconstructive manner.
    Edited by thomas1970b16_ESO on June 2, 2016 4:44AM
  • Ourorboros
    Ourorboros
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    Sure would like a better explanation of the difference between constructive criticism and bashing of the game and company. Am I bashing if I offer the opinion that crown store items are a bad value? Can I say it's unethical for game changes to make it very difficult to find crown store items that are also in game, regardless of whether it's a legitimate business practice? What's the line that makes it bashing when complaining about how the customer base is treated by the company?
    PC/NA/DC
    Breton Sorcerer Maester.White - BB meets GoT >Master Crafter< { 9 Traits completed 4/23/15 }
    TANSTAAFL--->There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.....Robert Heinlein
    Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea....Heinlein
    All those moments will be lost in time, like tears...in...rain. Time to die. "Blade Runner"
    ESO: the game you hate to love and love to hate....( >_<) May RNG be with you (*,_,*)
  • Blueforge
    Blueforge
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    Yeah, my post was one they removed yesterday. They will remove this one I am sure, but the dissent is self-induced at times.
    Rikin Landonith - CP 660 - Stamina NB - DPS Wood Elf
    Lucius Granbrim - CP 660 - Magic Templar - Healer Imperial
    Green Toe McGee CP 660 - Stamina Dragonknight - Tank Orc
    Rai Landonith - CP 660 Stamina Warden - DPS Wood Elf

    Xbox One Gamertag - Blueforge25
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  • Lord_Dexter
    Lord_Dexter
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    Sometime people are ranting about issues,

    Create a Forum specifc for Rants only. After someone seriously disturb due to some issue then what shall he do?
  • Hamfast
    Hamfast
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    I understand a 3 strike type rule as well as the idea that some crimes are so bad that life without the possibility of posting is warranted... but I wonder if there is a statute of limitations on a minor infraction?
    Atra esterni' ono thelduin
    Mor' rana li'fa unin hjarta onr
    Un du evari'nya ono varda
  • ZOS_AlanG
    ZOS_AlanG
    admin
    Ourorboros wrote: »
    Sure would like a better explanation of the difference between constructive criticism and bashing of the game and company. Am I bashing if I offer the opinion that crown store items are a bad value? Can I say it's unethical for game changes to make it very difficult to find crown store items that are also in game, regardless of whether it's a legitimate business practice? What's the line that makes it bashing when complaining about how the customer base is treated by the company?
    Certainly. With criticism and other "negative" discussion, I'd recommend keeping the following things in mind:
    • Criticize the point, not the person making it. The second you make a discussion personal it's prone to problems.
    • Explain your reasoning. Why do you not like it? Is there an alternative you prefer?
    • Don't insult, mock, or demean the subject matter, or the person making it.

    If someone suggests a balance change you dislike, a good rebuttal would explain why you think this is problematic, or what you feel the current state is preferable. If there is an underlying problem the suggested change is supposed to fix, you may explain an alternative solution, or why you don't find the alleged problem to be concerning.

    The easiest way for a rebuttal to be problematic is for it to be insulting. But beyond that, being dismissive of an idea may be unconstructive without actually attacking anyone. It also doesn't serve much point.

    Disagreement can still be passionate, and some amount of venting is usually acceptable (providing you aren't attacking people). There is a gray area in all of this when discussions are tense but not necessarily insulting. Additionally, being constructive and being respectful aren't the same thing, and it's certainly possible for someone to post very constructive feedback which is also mocking or disrespectful.
    Hamfast wrote: »
    I understand a 3 strike type rule as well as the idea that some crimes are so bad that life without the possibility of posting is warranted... but I wonder if there is a statute of limitations on a minor infraction?
    When actioning an account, we will check one's moderation history, and may weigh the age of past infractions when deciding what to do. However this depends on a variety of factors, such as the severity of the offenses, and whether you've been previously warned for the same thing.
    baratron wrote: »
    I am thoroughly in favour of a change to the Z colour so we can see whether a thread has "just" been moderated or actively answered.
    We'd certainly like the ability to separate moderation from general staff responses, and possibly also differentiate staff support. Given the complexity involved in expanding the existing feature to handle this, it's not something we can easily or quickly enable.
    baratron wrote: »
    While we/you are suggesting redesigns to the forum, would it be possible to get an option to search by post rather than by thread? I was looking for a post which I know is in the ZOS how are we as a community dealing with exploits/hacking? thread, but it was by a player rather than a ZOS employee, so I can't use the Dev Tracker to find it. With 22 pages in that thread, it's going to take me a while to read the whole thing to find one post.
    The search function right now will look up content in posts. While you can't limit by a specific thread, you can limit the forum it searches in, who posted it, and/or provide a time frame for results. After preforming the search, click the large triangle on the right side of the search bar to toggle open the advanced search options.
    Grao wrote: »
    Funny thing how you answered to several posts, but not once addressed posts regarding Zenimax's lack of transparency and useful presence in their Forums, which the majority of the community agrees, is precisely what drives threads to becoming toxic.
    I responded to a similar question here. The focus of this thread is on promoting constructive discussion within the community, and to provide additional context for the rules. It's fine for people to request additional staff discussion, but this is outside the intended scope of the thread and we ask that the discussion not be taken far off track.
    Forum Rules | Promoting Constructive Discussion | Code of Conduct | Terms of Service | Help Site

    I’ve moved to a new position and I am no longer active on this forum. For assistance, please check the resources linked above[/center]
    Staff Post
  • Rohamad_Ali
    Rohamad_Ali
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    ✭✭✭✭✭
    What helps me is keeping in mind there's a person behind each profile . A person with a whole story longer then any written game lore , with ups and downs , success and failures . All of Us come here to escape some of that and relax .

    Even the people that work on the game have the same trials . They aren't some machine that doesn't care . They're not "The corporation" walking away with wheel barrels full of cash . Their just people at work , doing what their job requires , making a living I hope .

    Understanding that much helps me keep perspective . I'm here to relax , not get off on hurting people or disrupt people trying do to their job .

    When it comes to joking , remember people have way different views on what's funny ! Keep that in mind as much as possible and clarify this for people , instead of getting upset that they didn't enjoy your joke .

    Last , try to stay on topic in each thread . Things get sidetracked but real it in so the topic gets hashed out and not the people in the topic .


    Well ... That's all I got .
  • Grao
    Grao
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    ZOS_AlanG wrote: »
    I responded to a similar question here. The focus of this thread is on promoting constructive discussion within the community, and to provide additional context for the rules. It's fine for people to request additional staff discussion, but this is outside the intended scope of the thread and we ask that the discussion not be taken far off track.

    I thought this topic was about discussing rules and the levels of toxicity and frustration in the Forums. Are you saying you believe there is no correlation between those problems and the lack of Dev / Community Admin presence in the forum?
    Only in silence the word,
    only in dark the light,
    only in dying life:
    bright the hawk's flight
    on the empty sky


    - The Creation of Ea
    R.I.P. Graug Altbet
    Level 50 Altmer Sorcerer
    March 2014 - May 2016

    A Werewolf Hunter and Werewolf him self.
    He was a skilled Crafter and a reliable Sorcerer;
    Then came the Dark Brotherhood

    Level 32 Khajiit Dragonknight: Ma'Dovah Kaaz AD/NA
    "Khajiit always dreamed of growing up to be a dragon..."
  • Dromede
    Dromede
    ✭✭✭✭
    Grao wrote: »
    ZOS_AlanG wrote: »
    I responded to a similar question here. The focus of this thread is on promoting constructive discussion within the community, and to provide additional context for the rules. It's fine for people to request additional staff discussion, but this is outside the intended scope of the thread and we ask that the discussion not be taken far off track.

    I thought this topic was about discussing rules and the levels of toxicity and frustration in the Forums. Are you saying you believe there is no correlation between those problems and the lack of Dev / Community Admin presence in the forum?

    What i'm really afraid of is that they are thinking about it the other way around. Remember wroebel's post with blocking calculations on pts forum? I don't think he ever came back there... It must have been really overwhelmimg, with answers ranging from extremely constructive with similar calculation that prove the opposite opinion, to straight up 'bs, me no likee'.

    I agree with Mod's willingness to bring out the first type of comments "I don't like it, and here's why" and maybe save them from drowning in trolled half-answeres, but constructive critisism needs acknowledgment! If you are raising a standard for us users, I think it's only fair we can expect the same from dev's team.
    Skye Cloude - Sorc DPS, Master Crafter. Main, the bestest
    Lae Lenne - Templar Healer Trial grade.
    Dromede - Stamina Nightblade, she's a newb and doesn't know what she's doing
    V'oghatta - Stamplar pretending to be a tank
    Ulville Thonvella - aspiring Fire Mage, be careful around her fire sticks!
    Dromedaris - lost and not found. Named after a shoe, what else can you expect from her? A proper tank in her wildest dreams
    Swims-Naked - too pretty to grind, too silly to quest.
    Sun Flair - Dunmer Templar that can't spell for life. To bad she's too broke to afford a name change... Well, at least she's pretty...
  • Volkodav
    Volkodav
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    ✭✭
    Its hard sometimes to respond with an olive branch of kindness when someone calls you names,insults you,and your opinion.This happens a lot in the forums without anyone getting reprimanded.However,if WE respond heatedly,we are given warnings,or banned,..with OUR comments being removed and NOT the other comments that caused the quarrel.
    Where is the consistency?
    PC/NA Beta tester
    January 2014

    (Oblivion is a playground,..Morrowind is home)
  • r.jan_emailb16_ESO
    r.jan_emailb16_ESO
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pro tip: constructive discussions need someone that can make decisions/post real answers from YOUR side to be active on the forums. The general impression that we, the players, get is that you have some rather active community managers, but that's about it. We can post about whatever we want, it's just ignored all the way.
    Lairgren | DC Dragonknight - August Palatine
    playing for eXile


    I'm done, CU somewhere else.
  • Junipus
    Junipus
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    ZOS_AlanG wrote: »
    This thread has been left open to discuss means of promoting constructive discussion, and forum moderation. Please do not use this thread to discuss the game or provide feedback. Several posts have been removed.

    Additionally, if you have questions about your specific moderation history, we ask that you PM a moderator or submit a support ticket. Please do not post such questions on this thread.

    No.

    Bad ZOS.

    You do not get to promote constructive discussion or moderation when you have mods with free will, personal viewpoints and different interpretations or forum rules.

    Either conduct an internal review of your forum moderation policies, procedures and processes or maintain the current 'hands off parenting' approach you have now.
    The Legendary Nothing
  • ZOS_AlanG
    ZOS_AlanG
    admin
    Grao wrote: »
    I thought this topic was about discussing rules and the levels of toxicity and frustration in the Forums. Are you saying you believe there is no correlation between those problems and the lack of Dev / Community Admin presence in the forum?
    Pro tip: constructive discussions need someone that can make decisions/post real answers from YOUR side to be active on the forums. The general impression that we, the players, get is that you have some rather active community managers, but that's about it. We can post about whatever we want, it's just ignored all the way.
    The purpose of this thread is to provide context to the rules and discuss how to keep conversations civil and constructive. Staff engagement can certainly promote positivity and constructive discussion, but is isn't required. And plenty of discussions on these forums maintain civil and constructive discussions of the game without any staff posts.

    The primary reason to have these forums is to provide a place for the community to discuss the game. This thread was posted to help maintain a welcoming environment here, so it can be a great place for players to discuss the game together. There are plenty of other reasons to have a forum, and we get a lot from it as well. We can collect feedback, gauge sentiment, see emerging issues, post information and announcements, and engage with the community. But first and foremost, they're here for the community.
    Volkodav wrote: »
    Its hard sometimes to respond with an olive branch of kindness when someone calls you names,insults you,and your opinion.This happens a lot in the forums without anyone getting reprimanded.However,if WE respond heatedly,we are given warnings,or banned,..with OUR comments being removed and NOT the other comments that caused the quarrel.
    Where is the consistency?
    Since moderation is kept private, we can't say whether we actioned other people, even if several are involved in the same fight.

    If someone insults you, please report the content and do not reply. Replying embroils you in the problem, and risks escalating it.
    You do not get to promote constructive discussion or moderation when you have mods with free will, personal viewpoints and different interpretations or forum rules.

    Either conduct an internal review of your forum moderation policies, procedures and processes or maintain the current 'hands off parenting' approach you have now.
    We have not changed the rules, nor are we changing our enforcement beyond increasing the strike system.

    We strive for consistency, and if you feel that moderators are not being consistent please PM us or submit a ticket to discuss the problem. If you feel we are actioning some threads and not others, we recommend reporting the other threads - it's possible we simply haven't seen them, or with longer threads haven't seen recent discussion. Much of our time is spent reviewing reports, and while we do peruse the forums as well we don't see everything.
    What helps me is keeping in mind there's a person behind each profile . A person with a whole story longer then any written game lore , with ups and downs , success and failures . All of Us come here to escape some of that and relax .
    Agreed!
    Forum Rules | Promoting Constructive Discussion | Code of Conduct | Terms of Service | Help Site

    I’ve moved to a new position and I am no longer active on this forum. For assistance, please check the resources linked above[/center]
    Staff Post
  • newtinmpls
    newtinmpls
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    ✭✭
    baratron wrote: »
    Since most of us only read the General Discussion, a lot of us only post in General Discussion,.

    ???

    I never go to "discussions", absolutely never

    I just alternate between "recent" and "participated"
    Tenesi Faryon of Telvanni - Dunmer Sorceress who deliberately sought sacrifice into Cold Harbor to rescue her beloved.
    Hisa Ni Caemaire - Altmer Sorceress, member of the Order Draconis and Adept of the House of Dibella
    Broken Branch Toothmaul - goblin (bosmer template) Templar, member of the Order Draconis and persistently unskilled pickpocket
    Mol gro Durga - Orsimer Socerer/Battlemage who died the first time when the Nibenay Valley chapterhouse of the Order Draconis was destroyed, then went back to Cold Harbor to rescue his second/partner who was still captive. He overestimated his resistance to the hopelessness of Oblivion, about to give up, and looked up to see the golden glow of atherius surrounding a beautiful young woman who extended her hand to him and said "I can help you". He carried Fianna Kingsley out of Cold Harbor on his shoulder. He carried Alvard Stower under one arm.
    ***
    Order Draconis - well c'mon there has to be some explanation for all those dragon tattoos.
    House of Dibella - If you have ever seen or read "Memoirs of a Geisha" that's just the beginning...
    Nibenay Valley Chapterhouse - Where now stands only desolate ground and a dolmen there once was a thriving community supporting one of the major chapterhouses of the Order Draconis
  • ZOS_AlanG
    ZOS_AlanG
    admin
    Turelus wrote: »
    One thing I would really like to see from the community and maybe the moderators is to cut out the comments asking for people to lose their jobs.
    Comments like this are against the rules. If you see them, please report them.

    Forum Rules | Promoting Constructive Discussion | Code of Conduct | Terms of Service | Help Site

    I’ve moved to a new position and I am no longer active on this forum. For assistance, please check the resources linked above[/center]
    Staff Post
  • menedhyn
    menedhyn
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    Hmm.

    It seems to me that in encouraging open, honest and frank discussion throughout the forums, with no desire to quieten any particular topic, an environment has been created in which discussion can quickly turn non-constructive. This isn't a criticism of the environment, it is simply an observation. But, sadly, there is an inevitability about it all. By extending this freedom to users of the forums and accepting that disagreements and slightly heated, but passionate debates can be useful - both to you, and to us - such freedom will continue to create scenarios where people occasionally stray too far across that line where moderators feel the need to step in.

    Crucially, this doesn't mean the environment is flawed or at fault. It is our individual responsibility to adhere to the guidelines and Community Rules. It is up to the individual to show respect to other players/forum users. It is also up to the players/forum users to take responsibility for the discussions we create and contribute to. But I do think that there needs to be a bit of 'rebalancing'.

    Slightly off-topic (my apologies), but hopefully relevant - I used to help to moderate a gaming forum (fan-site) many years ago. I would try to encourage discussion by posting questions in the forums, creating polls, creating news articles and seeking the views and opinions of others. This was all intended to gather feedback about the game and the supporting (fan-created) content, but also to encourage discussion within the community. Having a visible and regular presence within the forums certainly helped to build an develop that community, as did joining in with the discussions. We were all gamers, after all.

    I can't help but think that this is partly what is missing with the forums here, although I appreciate that the circumstances in my example are different. In my opinion, moderators are clearly doing their best to do their job (you will always have my respect!) but as others have touched upon, there is a lack of regular communication from certain quarters (again, just an observation) with the large and vocal ESO community. There needs to be a better link with us. There needs to be dialogue, in addition to continuing the open environment of posting opinions and views that is the forums. I accept that this might be difficult if there are resource implications, but I think it is worth exploring.

    As for suggested improvements to the forums - merging or re-naming some might be an idea, if that helps to both moderate more effectively and encourage community dialogue. Seeking the opinions and views of forum users first wouldn't do any harm (see comments above). General Discussion should be viewed as the place people go to if there is no other easily identifiable forum.

    Anyway, a slightly rambling post, but I hope this makes sense.
    HAJ-GEE | Argonian | Warden | Healer
    'Pure rains make sweet rivers'
    PC | EU | twitter
  • Lord-Otto
    Lord-Otto
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    Alan, are ZOS planning on making balancing discussion to be more on even footing?
    What I mean by that is that in the past, players could voice their concerns and suggestions to the devs, but we got little insight on how they interpret our suggestions. It feels like we're putting thought into things and ZOS listen briefly, take inspiration and deliver a tweak we have to accept. The recent shield nerf or Hurricane as an example.
    What I would wish for is more transparency and "voting power" in that little time window between when ZOS listened and realized something needs work, and when they actually release the final tweak. I'm sure more cooperation between the devs and the community could have created a shield tweak that would be satisfying for both sides on that matter, as an example.
  • _Chaos
    _Chaos
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    7a28fd45c13b29612eb70a5e7f6ce340.jpg
    @HoloYoitsu

    In all seriousness though, Zheg hits the nail on the head. There was so many positive and constructive posts in the earlier days, but this community has been dragged through the mud. We're burnt out.
    Edited by _Chaos on June 10, 2016 1:07PM
    'Chaos
  • tinythinker
    tinythinker
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    ZOS_AlanG wrote: »
    In my experience stickying something is often the best way to get it ignored. A lot of people get so used to looking past the pinned threads they don't notice when a new one is there. Having lots of pinned threads tends to make this worse.
    That can be true but it depends on what posters expect. When console players began flooding the forums with vamp/werewolf bite requests, you guys made official threads for it and kept closing new threads/redirecting people until the lesson sunk in. The same can be true with either sticky threads or with a ZOS-approved "thread for all" on a topic. Either way the chosen thread could have a unique symbol/graphic next to it or even a different colored text for the title.

    As for the general level of forum conduct and the selfish/rudeness epidemic, while mods and devs can't read and participate in every thread, they can participate more in threads that reflect the attitude and quality desired, responding to original posts and comments in those posts more often. You get what you feed. If most ZOS comments are in angry rage threads or thread with rude complaints, players will sense that this is what gets attention and response accordingly. Any publicly given attention, positive or negative, from ZOS employees acts like a stimulus to whatever is being reacted to, just like a small child who craves attention from older siblings or parents. Giving more attention on positive/constructive things, even if it's just something small like a short sentence or a meme, goes a long way.


    Fifth anniversary year for ESO - share your best memories! :-)

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    "Light and darkness?

    "Whose light? The muted, sterile glow of Coldharbor? The ominous, deep shades pulsing like menacing glares in the depths of the Ashpit? The jarring kaleidoscope of the Shivering Isles?

    "Whose darkness? The shade cast by Mara's robes as she watches over her children? The cloak of Stendarr covering those in dire peril? The occult pathways of Arkay? Light and darkness, indeed."
  • rootimus
    rootimus
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    ZOS_AlanG wrote: »
    baratron wrote: »
    I am thoroughly in favour of a change to the Z colour so we can see whether a thread has "just" been moderated or actively answered.
    We'd certainly like the ability to separate moderation from general staff responses, and possibly also differentiate staff support. Given the complexity involved in expanding the existing feature to handle this, it's not something we can easily or quickly enable.

    Can we have the hot, dirty nerd details on why this is so hard? There are plenty of forum administrators in your player base - perhaps they can identify a solution for you.

    Surely, posting that sort of thing would be a better use of your time as a member of the community team than deleting "mean" posts demanding x dev should be fired because of y decision?
    Even on the internet, clear communication is important; it can be the difference between "helping your Uncle Jack off a horse" and "helping your uncle jack off a horse"; the difference between "knowing your s***" and "knowing you're s***".
    Greybeards & Gals - Civilised, laid-back, mature gamers. Beards optional. | Rich Lambert on paying customers
  • ZOS_AlanG
    ZOS_AlanG
    admin
    paganach wrote: »
    It seems to me that in encouraging open, honest and frank discussion throughout the forums, with no desire to quieten any particular topic, an environment has been created in which discussion can quickly turn non-constructive. This isn't a criticism of the environment, it is simply an observation. But, sadly, there is an inevitability about it all. By extending this freedom to users of the forums and accepting that disagreements and slightly heated, but passionate debates can be useful - both to you, and to us - such freedom will continue to create scenarios where people occasionally stray too far across that line where moderators feel the need to step in.
    This is true. It is expected, particularly with a fan-base passionate about the game, that conversations will occasionally stray beyond the acceptable. It's also why we have a team of moderators, and why we don't ban accounts on a single offence. As much as possible, we want to try and educate people for this very reason, and that's also the purpose of this thread.

    If it wasn't so time-intensive, we'd love to have a lengthy conversation about the rules whenever someone is warned. The more people understand the rules, and why they are in place, the more likely they are to abide by them. Better yet, it helps get people invested in the forums, and when people are invested in the community they're less likely to intentionally cause problems.

    Unintentional problems are also worth considering, and another reason for handing out multiple warnings. Some communities are more rough-and-tumble than others.
    Zheg wrote: »
    Furthermore, many of the moderator rules do little to actually foster important discussion. Naming and shaming with regards to your current exploit fiasco would be the first case I'd point to. Moderators frequently cite issues as 'baiting' but cherry pick which posts in a long list they consider baiting. In actuality, baiting would cover a huge percentage of posts on these forums, and this plays into the multiple points raised so far in this thread regarding your moderator consistency.
    I don't believe allowing the public shaming of people believed to be causing problems would result in much constructive discussion. In fact, even with the rule in place we've removed a lot of naming and shaming that was erroneous. This tends to escalate quickly, rather than keeping the discussion even-tempered and constructive.

    Baiting and trolling can be very nebulous, or contextual. If it isn't, chances are it's breaking other rules as well: It's easy when someone is being unconstructive and provocative, or insulting, or disrespectful. In other situations, it can be difficult to discern intention. But this is why we try and review reports of baiting carefully, why we try to issue educational PMs and warnings for offences, and why we're open to further review if content is appealed.
    Zheg wrote: »
    Threads have been shut down for including spiderman themed memes, all other memes are fine, but not spiderman ones because moderators don't understand their own rules. Threads are edited/removed because the topic was on firor's interview and his name was in the title. Players on the PTS were warned about divulging exploits because they included a video of how every gap closer was bugged. I could go on and on with examples, but it's hysterical that you expect people to respect the rules when you guys don't even seem to understand them.
    Spiderman memes were being used specifically to cause problems for a while, but generally any thread that devolves into a list of memes has gone off topic and needs to be cleaned up.

    We're more permissive about exploits being discussed on the PTS forums, but actual instructions or evidence should be sent in privately, same as with the rest of the forums.
    rootimus wrote: »
    Can we have the hot, dirty nerd details on why this is so hard? There are plenty of forum administrators in your player base - perhaps they can identify a solution for you.
    We actually have a solution outlined, but implementing it requires arranging the time to develop and test it, which is resource-intensive. This being said, if anyone has alternative solutions we're happy to hear them.

    We need a system that separately highlights developer comments, customer support, and moderation. However, some staff post across multiple categories, so any solution can't simply be account based. While it would be great to have these present different Z icons on threads, the system also needs to treat all staff posts the same for other mechanics, like jumping between staff posts. A toggle on posts, that allows staff to select what sort of post they're making is probably the easiest solution. Preferably one that remembers your preference, and perhaps limits access to the types of categories someone has. Again, outlining the solution isn't difficult, but prioritizing the resources is more complicated.

    In the meantime, developer comments tend to be added to the Dev Tracker. It's not a perfect solution, but it does highlight the posts more players are interested in.
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  • SwaminoNowlino
    SwaminoNowlino
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    @ZOS_AlanG I know this isn't really the job of the mods, but it seems to me much of the problem with discussion bugs, exploits, and cheating is the lack of top down communication. Players will debate back and forth for days on whether or not something is a bug, exploiting, intended, or cheating. I feel like so much of this would be resolved with a simple statement of what is considered cheating, what is considered acceptable in terms of leveraging bugs, or what is considered exploiting. And this needs to not be forum specific, there definitely are not 7 million people active on these forums, so there should be some communication to the player base as a whole. This would remove a lot of grey area arguing and accusations.

    And again, everyone keeps saying to use the in-game reporting system. People feel like they are being wronged/cheated, and report it, and then nothing happens. If they receive anything at all its a copy/pasted response that gives them no answers or feeling of support. So they come to the forums to discuss it, and they find a lot of argument with no real insight from Devs/Mods and a whole lot of arguing. So it's kind of natural for some of the vitriol to ferment in that feedback loop.

    Additionally, we have been advised to discuss privately with mods regarding their actions instead of specifically naming them in public. What are we to do when those private messages, with legitimate questions, are ignored? There are discussions popping up all over these forums and other non-affiliated forums about the moderating habits of particular individuals and whether or not they are nefariously covering up bugs and problems. I know the forum rules explicitly forbid conspiracy theories, but you can kind of see how the unilateral actions of a mod or two with no feedback can foster this.
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