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Author Topic: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.  (Read 7458 times)

Illy-Dan

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Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« on: February 28, 2011, 04:05:06 PM »
Note: I would have used the proper prefix system, but I couldn't find it.  The "Suggestions & Feedback (OOC) Forum Usage" thread doesn't have a link.

I love this server; I love the roleplay on this server; I love the player base and I appreciate the hard work and effort put into the server by the Devs, DMs & CC.  I have spent hours promoting this server to my Recording Group and even plan to promote it at the end of my next Podcast episode over at RPGMP3. In so far as the server is concerned, keep up the good work, it is appreciated.

I point this out to avoid being labelled anti-server and thus receive the very thing I am speaking out against in this post.  That I feel the need to do such illustrates my point splendidly.  Moving on.

Recently I have come to notice, with disturbing regularity, the Leadership (Devs, DMs, etc.) acting in a very aggressive manner towards those who offer forth an opposing view-point - whether through acidic sarcasm, or apparent disregard of an opinion through the "like it or leave it" statement. Although the latter is rarely used in those exact words, something to that gist is.  As I mentioned in another post, I do not always agree with those posts the Leadership respond to, but it is the manner in which the Leadership responds that I feel the need to speak out against.  For it is that very manner that reinforces those voices who speak out against the Leadership, their choices and the Server in general.

I use the following quote as an example:
...anyone not agreeing or accepting this server culture, will have a hard time fitting in and finding fulfillment out of a gaming session.
Is "like it or leave it" what Heretic objectively meant from those words, I cannot say, but that is the impression I get and while impressions are subjective I doubt I am the only one.

If the tone of Leadership posts continues to be equal, or ruder, than those made by it's detractors this server is going to eventually reach the point where people are disinclined to make even constructive criticism for fear of being flamed by their peers.  All this will result in, is a server of "Yes-Men", dotted with "Rantsplosion" threads whenever a player finally has enough.  Maybe a little "ruined forever", but my point remains.

I do understand that there are many voices speaking out against the Leadership & Server, I also understand that this server is free, but the unprofessional way in which certain Leadership replies have been made has been detrimental to this server's image and has recently helped escalate certain threads into the Flame Wars they became.

Remember: "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2011, 05:00:08 PM »
None of us are perfect, and moreover, none of us are paid to be here. We don't have to walk on eggshells when people go on a rant, and we're not going to beg someone to stay when they demand changes "or else."

I think it would be best if everyone just lightened the hell up and stopped acting as if NWN was "serious business." If the dev team makes a change to the module, they aren't out to deliberately screw you over. If a DM makes a ruling that negatively impacts your character, it's not because he hates you and wants you to leave. One can only put up with these kinds of accusations for so long before you can't take it anymore. It's incredibly tiresome and a huge drain on the inspiration of those of us who work on this with what little free time we have.

Like I said elsewhere, this doesn't mean we want a bunch of yes-men (I can't stand that kind of behavior), if we did, we'd never know what problems needed fixing. But if you can't do so in a reasonable, constructive, and civil manner, then we really don't want to hear it. To paraphrase a former DM: "We value your roleplay and your feedback, we don't value your attitude." We aren't obligated to put up with melodrama and histrionics and that sort of behavior, and it really isn't called for when we're talking about a videogame where your pretend elf pretend kills pretend vampires.

Speaking for myself, I've always been a smartass and will reflect the attitude I am given--if people approach me with a bad attitude to begin with, that's what they'll get in return. While I admit this would be bad for a job I'm paid to do, but when I'm on my time, that's just how I am.

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2011, 05:07:12 PM »
Thanks for the advice, Ily-Dan.

As for that quote; you need to read as it is. Like we say sometimes in event planning\advertisement: "It is what it is" - we cannot please everyone and there is nothing wrong with that, we of course, try to make everyone feel welcome, but some players in nwn are really seeking something else we do not offer here in the game.

It is hard to understand what 'the staff' really feels, unless you've been involved in it - I think Blue pointed that out on another thread, we aren't looking for praises at each turn of phrase, but we are getting tired of a very little handful that keep hammering chronic discontentment and negativity against core things that have brought us to be where we are at and who we are, what we are doing, here and now.


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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2011, 05:10:16 PM »
Personally I don't even find anything wrong with the quoted example. I don't understand why people get so insulted when asked to consider whether or not they really fit in to the environment that the DMs & Devs are trying to create and maintain.

Aside from that, Blue and the newb Heretic pretty much said it all.

Illy-Dan

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2011, 05:15:06 PM »
[Going to expand this post, Admins feel free to remove.]
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 05:18:55 PM by Illy-Dan »

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2011, 05:17:32 PM »
If people approach me with a bad attitude to begin with, that's what they'll get in return. While I admit this would be bad for a job I'm paid to do, but when I'm on my time, that's just how I am.

Treat others the way you wish to be treated.
If you come to someone with a problem, don't go ranting that it ruined PotM forever (Unless in a satirical tone, then it's funny.)
And if you approach someone civilly you'll get paid in kind.
At the end of the day it's tiring, people popping up and complaining over every little bit, nitpicking over every little thing.
DMs, Devs, and CC are still people.

And for the 'Love it or leave it' sort of comments is more to say.
"Hey, if you're not having fun anymore. Why play? Do something else, have fun~ instead of sitting around pouting and grumbling over not having fun anymore."

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 05:19:41 PM »
I can respect and appreciate the concern you've shared and the manner in which you've presented the concern.  However, at the same time, I do feel that presenting the concern to the council and dm team specifically outside of the general forum would be preferable, since this sort of thread and topic, while some may be able to maturelly participate in, there are those who are not---there seems too much potential for this thread to turn ugly.  

Regardless of whether or not I agree with the substance of your post, I think it best to make better use of the CC, the folks this community democratically elects to represent and to approach the dm-staff on such matters, and to spare the open forum and community from involvment, especially when it comes to posts that have a strong likelyhood of getting messy.

Then again, maybe I'm wrong and this thread can unfold productively.  Guess we might find out.  :mrgreen:

I also don't find anything problematic in the quote.  I think, as I posted recently, that some players don't understand that what they keep griping about isn't rooted in the server, but is rooted in their expectations.  They want the server to provide an experience that they take for granted as being what Potm should strive for, when the server is purposefully designed to provide another experience, which they clash with.  When these players post, post, and post, eventually, folks, dms, players, devs, do lose patience with them.



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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2011, 05:29:26 PM »
Here's how I see it:

-"Leadership" gives less and less leniency in attitude towards players repetitively targeting of foundations they've set and built upon, and which need to stay in place so they can keep moving on and evolving, which is what they want to do.

-These foundations may be less set in stone with the playerbase as they're not as apparent to them (unless they've played here a long enough). So they don't always see it this way...

"It is what it is"

Possible solution?

Maybe a more comprehensive policy would help, taking all those repetitive arguments into account, for all to see. Then when yet another such argument pops up, you can quote the policy and say: "This is what it is, and you could've seen it before deciding to bring the issue up."

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2011, 05:35:14 PM »
I have found that if you actually take the time to test things before going into rant mode, the Staff are more willing to listen to your feedback. In the years I have played here, we the playerbase, have had a history of jumping into rant mode whenever we suspect a system is horrid!. Think over the system, then test it then think, then deliver feedback, our Devs are usually sensible people

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2011, 05:35:56 PM »
It's proven a constant challenge on any quality server i've played on for the dm/dev team and the general playerbase to communicate. In many cases, it comes down to poor communication from the playerbase. The people that push issues do so with rants, anger, and a bad attitude. Maybe there is a valid point being presented, but its often lost if not presented right. One of the strengths of this server is that between the team and the playerbase is the CC. They are, for the most part, players that are very capabe of communicating with the team and digging into issues. It is, however, under utilized. Whether it is a matter of trust or players simply being unaware i don't know, but by and large they ignore their representitives and choose instead to make things into a public debacle that isn't going to go anywhere.

In short, if you have problems, talk with a cc rep in game or send them a PM. See what bouncing issues off a neutral source can get you.

Illy-Dan

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2011, 05:59:09 PM »
Sorry about the mammoth post, I have tried condensing it as per the Forum Usage guide.

Personally I don't even find anything wrong with the quoted example.
I'll put my hands up and admit its not the best example, but it was the latest and I wasn't about to go hunting through the "problem threads" of the past week to find a better one.  Laziness is my weakness. :)

I don't understand why people get so insulted when asked to consider whether or not they really fit in to the environment that the DMs & Devs are trying to create and maintain.
This is all subjective and relates to Blue's "Serious Business" comment.  I think people get ratty when told to consider such, because it seems to them that you're disregarding their opinion by telling them so.  People feel strongly about this server, about the people they meet here and their characters.  Often when they make criticism posts its because they feel equally strongly about the ideas they propose.

They want to see their voice heard, because they are concerned for the fate of their escapism and the server that provides it.  Remember, if PoTM goes to hell everything they have worked for and enjoyed is gone, nothing but memories will remain.  People are inclined to try and save what they see as a threat to the server's well being - example: this very thread.  When somebody says "maybe this server isn't for you" in response to their ideas, they may be inclined to read that as "your opinion doesn't matter, your concern means nothing to us".

We don't have to walk on eggshells when people go on a rant, and we're not going to beg someone to stay when they demand changes "or else."
I don't think anybody (certainly not me) is asking you to beg the "Ranters" to stay.  That being said, as a Head DM your voice carries a lot of weight and can inflict a lot of damage.  The survival of this server relies on a constant influx of new players.  If a new player without background knowledge, comes to the forums and sees a polite criticism by Aahz - yes he does make them - replied by a member of the Leadership with open hostility is that the impression you want to give?

Perhaps we are suffering a polar difference in ideology here, in which case we will never agree, if that is true I am more than happy to agree to disagree if it would be better.  Case in point: In two weeks I will be involved in a panel discussing whether Roleplay can be considered Art - to me, roleplay is serious business. :D

I think it would be best if everyone just lightened the hell up and stopped acting as if NWN was "serious business."
While the result of viewing NWN as "Serious Business" is not exactly fun, should it not be taken as the highest compliment that your work (and the work of all who make PoTM what it is today) can inspire such passion in people?

Maybe a more comprehensive policy would help, taking all those repetitive arguments into account, for all to see.
While this would be nice I think if overused it would turn into a new way for posters to feel their opinions are being disregarded as per my comments above.  Assuming said comment is accurate.

I do feel that presenting the concern to the council and dm team specifically outside of the general forum would be preferable
Consider it noted, I will try to remember in future.  If I forget, don't take it as ignoring your post, rather I'm just very absent minded.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 06:05:35 PM by Illy-Dan »

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2011, 06:09:32 PM »
Well let me put it to you this way, Ily-Dan:

If someone is upset that we aren't a generic action server or one of those icky social servers and never will be, what should we do? Try to please them by putting stuff in that we absolutely do not want, just for the sake of making them happy? People with that sort of expectation will never be satisfied with what we're offering here.

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Telkar

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2011, 06:19:38 PM »
Maybe a more comprehensive policy would help, taking all those repetitive arguments into account, for all to see.
While this would be nice I think if overused it would turn into a new way for posters to feel their opinions are being disregarded as per my comments above.  Assuming said comment is accurate.

To put it bluntly, they are being disregarded. I just think it would help if the players knew better what 'will' be disregarded and stay unchanged, then they can either put up with it or find this foundation intolerable, and most importantly they'll know they have no say in the matter. It would save up lots of energy and time, and enable the players that will put up with this core to move onto matters that they know they might have a say in.

Illy-Dan

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2011, 06:32:05 PM »
If someone is upset that we aren't a generic action server or one of those icky social servers and never will be, what should we do? Try to please them by putting stuff in...
But my roleplay experience is simply not complete with knowing whether Strahd favours Missionary or the Wheelbarrow. :allears:

Seriously though, that isn't what I'm suggesting at all, I never would.  If PoTM became an Action server then I would be the one rage-quitting - that I can promise you.  What I am suggesting, is that rather than replying in the same disrespectful tones that are presented, the Leadership would be better served by combating emotion with logic and polite words.  If I make a rude post and you reply rudely to it, I am going to get annoyed by your disregard of my opinion and so reply to your reply to my rudeness with more rudeness and so we end up in self-sustaining ring of fire.

To put it bluntly, they are being disregarded. I just think it would help if the players knew better what 'will' be disregarded.
I appear to have accidentally posted a unedited version of the sentence you quoted - merp derp.  I meant to state that I considered your suggestion to be a great idea, I planned to go on and say that it just needs to be used with caution to avoid more of what we have now.  Sorry about that confusion, told you I was absent minded. :D

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2011, 06:36:40 PM »
Quote
Seriously though, that isn't what I'm suggesting at all, I never would.  If PoTM became an Action server then I would be the one rage-quitting - that I can promise you.  What I am suggesting, is that rather than replying in the same disrespectful tones that are presented, the Leadership would be better served by combating emotion with logic and polite words.  If I make a rude post and you reply rudely to it, I am going to get annoyed by your disregard of my opinion and so reply to your reply to my rudeness with more rudeness and so we end up in self-sustaining ring of fire.

That's actually what we -always- do. Unfortunately, even after explaining logically to these players, they push on and on and on. They create more topics about the same subjects. Essentially, they can't take "no" as an answer and want things their way. And they resort to insulting posts and negative feedback to do so. It's only natural that after a point, people will snap back and lose patience.

Quote
They want to see their voice heard, because they are concerned for the fate of their escapism and the server that provides it.  Remember, if PoTM goes to hell everything they have worked for and enjoyed is gone, nothing but memories will remain.  People are inclined to try and save what they see as a threat to the server's well being - example: this very thread.  When somebody says "maybe this server isn't for you" in response to their ideas, they may be inclined to read that as "your opinion doesn't matter, your concern means nothing to us".

Perhaps their opinion doesn't matter. Perhaps we've told them dozens of times before that their suggestions are not in line with our philosophy, but they keep pushing and being insulting. It's demotivating to us and it's a good way to make sure less and less people feel inclined to contribute. If anything, that sort of forum attitude, taking it for granted and assuming the POTM staff will do what they do forever, is what will shut down the server.

Illy-Dan

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2011, 06:45:32 PM »
It's only natural that after a point, people will snap back and lose patience...If anything, that sort of forum attitude, taking it for granted and assuming the POTM staff will do what they do forever, is what will shut down the server.
I concede to the better argument.

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2011, 06:47:27 PM »
It's only natural that after a point, people will snap back and lose patience...If anything, that sort of forum attitude, taking it for granted and assuming the POTM staff will do what they do forever, is what will shut down the server.
I concede to the better argument.

By the way, your post is good and it's something we've also considered on our side (staff-wise). Posts like yours are constructive and phrased in a non-aggressive way. Unfortunately, most feedback we get is not.

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2011, 07:24:16 PM »
"You" is directed to EO as well as other Devs and DMs.
In short - i am as well worried about the way devs and dms tend to answer to posts they do not like (and that does not only include my own ones). It really takes great efforts to bring a discussion to productive results once such a posting has appeared.

That's actually what we -always- do. Unfortunately, even after explaining logically to these players, they push on and on and on.
Bluntly said - that may be the way you want it to be - but it is not as i perceive it. Especially with the word "always", which excludes any exceptions.
I remember way too many threads in which the logical - in fact, ANY - explanation never came before the thread got locked down or died. And many of those threads included one or more troll-postings from a dm or dev.
Quote
They create more topics about the same subjects.
Is that so? Is that the case for all or eben most of the threads that escalate? Or may it be that the initiators differ and they all have the same, not yet resolved problem (may it be due to poor communication or in fact a system/mechanism)? However, a person that previously started a thread usually happily participates in later threads on the same topic.
As i see it, this very sentence is a polemic example of the kind of postings that derail threads. Players that read such generalizations and know that it is not true can't help but being provoked by it.
Quote
Essentially, they can't take "no" as an answer and want things their way.
Well, i know who's server this is... but can you imagine that THEY can answer with that same sentence? That's the downside with people that got too accustomed to the principles of democracy.  :lol:
Quote
And they resort to insulting posts and negative feedback to do so.
Ouuh... yes, i can see why you think some postings are considered insulting. Granted. but that does not make the point invalid. Negative feedback is feedback as well, so be gratefull for it as well - it can't always be "great change man, go on!"   :roll:

But here comes something that distinguishes you from the player base and which has been written as well.
As devs and dm, you have another responsibility here - and if you post a rude response (which in fact happens as often as Illy-Dan implied - the results are way worse than a player who posts in a overly agressive way. Your statements HAVE more weight - and if some of you answer in the same way, that does way more harm than you might imagine. It radiates to the whole teams - and then you should not be surprised if the tone gets more and more rude. In some postings i have the impression that the author of an agressive posting already braces in that way for the impact of anticipated answers of certain devs/dms.
Quote
It's only natural that after a point, people will snap back and lose patience.
And here you have the explanation for at least SOME agressive postings directed at you - those players snapped as well.

Quote
Perhaps their opinion doesn't matter.
Brilliant. This is the best example of a posting that this thread is all about.
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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2011, 07:41:09 PM »
Thoraion, with all respect, I think you should take a step away and try to see if there may be another perspective. Are you sure you are not to some extend guilty yourself of what you accuse? There's been a very large number of post addressing more or less every objection raised against the latest systems, without any of the topics being locked. Could it be that it is not us disregarding valid arguments made?

To Illy-Dan, your concern is relevant and needed. The current state of the forum discussions is unfortunate, but also unusual. As I've stated elsewhere, I hope things are restored to normal soon.

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2011, 07:42:30 PM »
To Illy-Dan, your concern is relevant and needed. The current state of the forum discussions is unfortunate, but also unusual. As I've stated elsewhere, I hope things are restored to normal soon.

Ditto, we have seen better days and I am sure we will see better ones ahead.

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2011, 10:19:05 PM »
All I will say to this is; well. Take a look at many of the other servers, or roleplaying servers on other games, such as GarrysMod, the maturity level of this server is much higher. Believe me, I've been around the block. While this may seem like a 'black and white' post, on my end, It's my personal belief that in order to stay true to something, you have to upset some people, but doing it in a mature manner is much easier to go about it. This is a Gothic-horror/dark fantasy roleplay, In which elements of it are already being 'tossed out the window' Fear roleplay is.. well, I hardly see it done anymore, but that is not to say at the amount of high levels jockeying around the server. While that's understandable, being a high-level tends to make you think 'Well, I can handle this' and without that fear of death, or what have you you will be more brazen to go out and do things that are.. well, sometimes idiotic. I'd like to see the level base be at around level ten, but that'll never happen, or extremely unlikely. Wow, look at that, I got off topic.

Just be mature, and friendly towards one another, I suppose that's all one can do. Professionalism goes a long ways. ( DM Roach- like our little 'incident/accident' last night.) Anyways, good topic.



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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2011, 11:01:14 PM »
.....i expected bitcihing so i demand it.

people forget that when you complain there are atleast 10 others doing the same in some way on and off the server, and not all dms are stressproof if they where stressproof then we should start paying them, ive seen and heard things said to them that they took and swallowed that if that woulda been said face to face it would have been a fist fight and that without pay so go figure.

it basicly comes down to the semi part of the server vs the staff and we players outnumber the staff easely so its not weird some dont logon as they think not today or some dm who thinks yeah gonna run this and that today im really up for it and then gets a lecture or only to deal with problems.

do we have to take everything they say back to us?
NO
does the staff have to take it cause they are the staff
SEMI NO  cant cuss at the people but you can clearly state you arnt happy with things as soren did a page ago.

and people want to change alot but ITS A PERSITAND SEVER.....that means things might get added but change is often not the option.

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2011, 08:07:32 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.

I'd like to elaborate a bit on one thing:

I use the following quote as an example:
...anyone not agreeing or accepting this server culture, will have a hard time fitting in and finding fulfillment out of a gaming session.
Is "like it or leave it" what Heretic objectively meant from those words, I cannot say, but that is the impression I get and while impressions are subjective I doubt I am the only one.

While the above quote isn't the most aggressively worded phrase along those lines I can follow where you're going with it. It can be seen as rather harsh "advice". (or perhaps just rude)

It probably is. But we (dms, devs, admins, etc.) actually follow this advice ourself. For example, I don't play here. I don't have the free time to make the IC connections needed for having fun on this server. Instead I play PnP with my friends or, if we can't find enough people for a session, I play some action game online with them. I don't try to change PotM to fit my limited resources, even though I probably would play on the server if it was, for example, an action server. Still, I maintain the server, because it makes me feel good to do something for somebody else, even if they're complete strangers I've only met over the internet.

The same with DMs. DMs who are starting to get burned out, i.e., no longer likes the game, are asked to take some time away from the game until they want to DM once more.


Darktide18

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2011, 10:57:20 AM »
Quote
I think it would be best if everyone just lightened the hell up and stopped acting as if NWN was "serious business."

Great advice. 

Badelaire

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Re: Forums - DMs, CC & Devs Hostile Posting.
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2011, 11:20:14 AM »

You made me do this. Made me.