Author Topic: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal  (Read 4667 times)

Phantasia

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2023, 02:20:43 AM »
I suppose the pervasive attitude of continuing to believe that reports count for nothing, and subtly/not-so-subtly telling others to be distrustful, or just not to care is the correct tone for a thread that was originally created to discuss better ways to strengthen the Prisoners of the Mists community. It is quite disrespectful and disingenuous to the people who are here to better things, and serve their fellow players as best they are able with the tools and knowledge they have at their disposal.

Try again to have this discussion another time.
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bloodless

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #51 on: September 19, 2023, 11:44:55 AM »
I'd be wary reporting just anyone because you never know what connections and relationships they might have.

I'm quoting this as an illustrative example of a sentiment that remains pervasive regardless of how much the teams actually change with people coming and going. We're all people, we all have our bias, but to ascribe malice and expect retribution for highlighting problematic behaviour is going too far. If you have issues, there are proper channels by which to report them. Rumormongering publicly or in private is not one such, and neither is suggesting that you sit on a list of actionable offenses that won't be reported for whatever reason. I'll once more highlight that part of the community council's role is to forward reports anonymously when there is worry for whatever reason of the person signing their name to it. Not all reports come to action. Not all action is equal when it comes to punishments - we have escalating tracks for a reason. But if there's one way to absolutely guarantee that nothing ever changes beyond the imperative of decision-makers, that is to never report what you find.

I'm reopening this thread in the waning hope that we can have a reasonable conversation about the topic at hand without throwing out accusations that serve nothing but build ill will, foster an us vs them mentality, and poison the proverbial well. Remember to be excellent to each other, always.

RedMoney

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2023, 12:25:33 PM »
I disagree with changing the present system, however purely as a brainstorm session:

My suggestion that might be a middle ground compromise that still largely protects people's anonymity is a simple quarterly report on the raw numbers.  Reports made, reports substantiated, type of infraction, etc.  Obviously it will require people to believe the DMs aren't just slapping random stats on a grid, but assuming the numbers are accurate it could give people some ideas of the problem areas the players are actual reporting and how able the DM team has been able to take action in that particular area.

I imagine there are a lot of reports that cannot be acted on due to a lack of clear evidence and such, so a line for "reports lacking evidence" stat would help give us a picture of how many inactionable reports are being made in actuality rather than just speculation.  From there we can identify areas of reports that are faulty and educate the player base as a whole on how to report things.


« Last Edit: September 19, 2023, 01:02:50 PM by RedMoney »
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ladylena

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #53 on: September 19, 2023, 12:37:03 PM »
I disagree with changing the present system, however purely as a brainstorm session:

My suggestion that might be a middle ground compromise that still largely protects people's anonymity is a simple quarterly report on the raw numbers.  Reports made, reports substantiated, type of infraction, etc.  Obviously it will require people to believe the DMs aren't just slapping random stats on a grid, but assuming the numbers are accurate it could give people some ideas of the problem areas the players are actual reporting and how able the DM team has been able to take action in that particular area.

I imagine there are a lot of reports that cannot be acted on due to a lack of clear evidence and such, so a line for "reports lacking evidence" stat would help give us a picture of how many inactionable reports are being made in actuality rather than just speculation.  From there we can identify areas of reports that are faulty and education the player base as a whole on how to report things.

That sounds like a great solution. It would let people know that there was action taken when they make a report, and it would allow for a means to keep track of what sort of problems keep recurring.
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Loueppi

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #54 on: September 19, 2023, 01:34:16 PM »
I know I'm only on here to binge sporadically and am not 100% 'in it' like many others, so maybe take this with a grain of salt, just giving my semi-outsider perspective on it.

If I were to put myself in the shoes of a DM or developer or what have you, I would be willing to bet that I'd be there because I enjoy RP, story telling, the setting, watching something I helped build take a life of its own etc. I would nope out so hard when I see my hobby start turning into a series of annoying admin tasks. A lot of the input is well written out, logical and (sometimes) well intentioned.... And something I would expect to hear at work - quarterly reports, transparency, efficiencies on handling 'tickets'.

I feel like people need to remember that this is a hobby, an activity to spend free time on, that is supposed to be enjoyable for everyone involved. It is not what pays the bills and it most certainly ain't supposed to be work. Of course a certain level of admin is unavoidable to keep things running smoothly, but I feel a lot of this is admin work for the sake of admin work. I would do everything possible to keep that to a minimum, and yes, sometimes that means that people will feel like they were unfairly treated and if they have enough time on their hands, they'll start interpreting a whole conspiracy of DMs, CC teams and player groups into it. Their loss if you ask me - they should take themselves a bit less seriously.

You can't expect a roleplay server to have transparency systems in place as though it were a financial institution or something. I feel, if anything, that this server has too much of that 'admin': something akin to a corporate structure, an ever expanding set of rules, elections for the equivalent of a work council.... It honestly sounds exhausting, after I clock out of that stuff and finally get home to relax at my PC that is absolutely the last thing I wanna deal with, so I understand if there is resistance from the side of the people that would put in the work to implement these suggestions. It is going to turn into a bureaucratic nightmare if you allow it to.

SardineTheAncestor

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #55 on: September 19, 2023, 01:55:04 PM »
We really don't need more bureaucracy. Nothing is perfect, but most of PotM's big public blunders have been a direct result of it being run more like a business that insists we're all one big happy family, than like a community where we treat each other with patience, learn from each other, and stop to think with an open mind before we go around dictating our unpopular opinions and demanding that policy is made of weird practices that were never needed.

The tighter the rules are, the more they'll be broken. Accidentally. By people with honest intentions. These people will be reported by the foul & fetid types w/ purely cruel intentions.

And the more red tape there is, the more the DMs have to lose sleep doing unenjoyable, inefficient administrative tasks that leave them frustrated.

I'm not up to date on recent drama, nor am I up to date on things that happened years ago. I couldn't begin to guess what led to this thread being made.

Maybe it's indicative of how distant I feel nowadays, but I felt the OP was typed up by ChatGPT.
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cooachlyfe

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #56 on: September 19, 2023, 02:25:57 PM »
I see my post offended some members of staff so as to not derail the thread or "posion the well" I welcome any staff to pm me here or on discord explain how I'm wrong.

RedMoney

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #57 on: September 19, 2023, 02:59:27 PM »
I know I'm only on here to binge sporadically and am not 100% 'in it' like many others, so maybe take this with a grain of salt, just giving my semi-outsider perspective on it.

If I were to put myself in the shoes of a DM or developer or what have you, I would be willing to bet that I'd be there because I enjoy RP, story telling, the setting, watching something I helped build take a life of its own etc. I would nope out so hard when I see my hobby start turning into a series of annoying admin tasks. A lot of the input is well written out, logical and (sometimes) well intentioned.... And something I would expect to hear at work - quarterly reports, transparency, efficiencies on handling 'tickets'.

I feel like people need to remember that this is a hobby, an activity to spend free time on, that is supposed to be enjoyable for everyone involved. It is not what pays the bills and it most certainly ain't supposed to be work. Of course a certain level of admin is unavoidable to keep things running smoothly, but I feel a lot of this is admin work for the sake of admin work. I would do everything possible to keep that to a minimum, and yes, sometimes that means that people will feel like they were unfairly treated and if they have enough time on their hands, they'll start interpreting a whole conspiracy of DMs, CC teams and player groups into it. Their loss if you ask me - they should take themselves a bit less seriously.

You can't expect a roleplay server to have transparency systems in place as though it were a financial institution or something. I feel, if anything, that this server has too much of that 'admin': something akin to a corporate structure, an ever expanding set of rules, elections for the equivalent of a work council.... It honestly sounds exhausting, after I clock out of that stuff and finally get home to relax at my PC that is absolutely the last thing I wanna deal with, so I understand if there is resistance from the side of the people that would put in the work to implement these suggestions. It is going to turn into a bureaucratic nightmare if you allow it to.

I agree. All work and no play makes the DM team a dull boy. I'd rather be involved in more plots than see people be oocly punished.
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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2023, 03:46:08 PM »
I agree that the idea of a disciplinarian admin role doesn't sound fun or appealing, and any steps towards more red tape need to be weighted carefully.

That being said, I think the focus on bureaucracy in recent posts is a bit misleading. People aren't asking for more bureaucracy for the sake of it, or some kind of virtual public pillory where someone is named and shamed: instead, I think a lot of us are suggesting that there could be better communication about policy and what it actually means to people involved in incidents, when the rubber hits the road.

I think it's great to advocate for a community as SardineAncestor advocates, but surely we all agree that this requires good communication and people knowing where they stand vis-a-vis the rules. Now, my interactions with the DM/Admin team have been far more favourable than some more vocal critics in this thread, but even I have to observe that the communication blackhole is a real thing.

Principle doesn't really fill this gap; and ultimately, this doesn't educate a community closer to the high ideals PotM wants to inspire.
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SardineTheAncestor

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2023, 03:52:01 PM »
^ Agree fully - more communication is nice where it fits in. That kind of transparency is fine. With respect to the potential for getting too comfortable and leaking sensitive info of course. And with equal respect, there are certain discussions which are not even fit to be had behind closed doors. Keeping discussions clean and open is what prevents those private lockups from happening. They lead to fissures - or embarrassing, regrettable fiascos.
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myrddraal

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #60 on: September 19, 2023, 04:00:55 PM »
Quite frankly all I think would be nice in terms of transparency is a “rulings” page where decisions that were made are posted.  That way if rules change, or are added, there could be a link to that section in the actual rules page.  No names need be given, no specific punishments, just instances of X are not allowed to occur.  That way you aren’t scouring the forum for information that isn’t in the actual rules, but are still rulings made by DMs.  One example I can name off the top of my head that I’d seen is that vistani don’t care about pvp, one veteran thought that applied to all vistani and while they halted immediately when corrected by several people, it was still an issue even months / years after the decision was made. Iit’s just the two vardo captains in the Dyad.  Just those two.  Every other npc pvp around is ignoring them.

That aside, I feel like when I report things the DM team does get to it when they can.  Be as informative as you can.  If you know the discord, login, forum of the person you have an issue with, include it for expediency as well as ic / ooc chat with them.

If the other persons behavior doesn’t change, either report it again or the ruling is that what they did isn’t against the rules.  Not every ruling is gonna go your way.

Forte

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #61 on: September 19, 2023, 04:41:25 PM »
all that matters is being told at the very least that a report is going somewhere, and that is all we've ever needed

also i missed like three pages of this thread and im not reading all of that
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Maiyannah

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #62 on: September 20, 2023, 01:55:29 PM »
Here May goes again, I can hear some people saying, but well. Loueppi's post is something I can offer some perspective on, because I am someone that codes, builds, and otherwise tinkers with a server for NWN as well.  I'm not going to get into the details as it's a bit gauche to say the least, but I wanted to comment on some aspects of this from the perspective of a developer or creator.

If I were to put myself in the shoes of a DM or developer or what have you, I would be willing to bet that I'd be there because I enjoy RP, story telling, the setting, watching something I helped build take a life of its own etc. I would nope out so hard when I see my hobby start turning into a series of annoying admin tasks. A lot of the input is well written out, logical and (sometimes) well intentioned.... And something I would expect to hear at work - quarterly reports, transparency, efficiencies on handling 'tickets'.

I build what I build because I enjoy building it, it really is as simple as that.  The mere act of making these areas, scripting these scripts, building these classes, is something I have by the by enjoyed.  I make them available to others because it is validating to me to see others benefit from the things I make.

In light of that, one thing that's important to me is that I'm making things that people enjoy.  Commenting, report systems, et al are tools - a means to that end.  And we should regard them as that.  They are not our masters, but rather, we the masters of they.  We use them as they help us achieve that goal.

However, for these things to be effective, first, we must set out with a goal that such happiness is something that we aim to actually achieve.  Not all modules do.  Some are simply some madman's or madwoman's passion project they've lobbed out into the void.  However, I'd prefer to think that POTM does indeed care about achieveing that goal, even as I think that, frankly, they miss the mark doing so.

I feel like people need to remember that this is a hobby, an activity to spend free time on, that is supposed to be enjoyable for everyone involved. It is not what pays the bills and it most certainly ain't supposed to be work. Of course a certain level of admin is unavoidable to keep things running smoothly, but I feel a lot of this is admin work for the sake of admin work. I would do everything possible to keep that to a minimum, and yes, sometimes that means that people will feel like they were unfairly treated and if they have enough time on their hands, they'll start interpreting a whole conspiracy of DMs, CC teams and player groups into it. Their loss if you ask me - they should take themselves a bit less seriously.

I would agree the Community Council seems, at best, superfluous.  Obstensibly, the purpose seems to be to ameliorate the workload on the DMs so they can focus on plots, however every time I approached the Community Council with matters, I was deferred to an admin anyways.  I can only say that is an anecdotal experience, of course.

However I want to pick on one thing there: "this shouldn't be work."  Let me tell you, wrangling with the toolset to any degree can be a lot of work.  And that's fine.  I enjoy it.  But to suggest we should not be expending effort on PotM (or some other passion project) is, to my mind, pretty silly.  Quality RP is not, after all, effortless.  It just doesn't feel like work, because we enjoy it.

Quote
You can't expect a roleplay server to have transparency systems in place as though it were a financial institution or something. I feel, if anything, that this server has too much of that 'admin': something akin to a corporate structure, an ever expanding set of rules, elections for the equivalent of a work council.... It honestly sounds exhausting, after I clock out of that stuff and finally get home to relax at my PC that is absolutely the last thing I wanna deal with, so I understand if there is resistance from the side of the people that would put in the work to implement these suggestions. It is going to turn into a bureaucratic nightmare if you allow it to.

You can have transparency effortlessly if you have a proper ticket system.  Half of the problem with reporting to begin with is its thankless work.  To compile a report I have to take a bunch of screenshots in game, PM a DM on the forums (which you're hopefully not banned from yourself, or you're SOL and just get to deal with it), and then cross your fingers and toes.

This is a terrible hassle for most people and it incentivises people towards just not bothering.

Other games, FF XIV, WoW, you name it, all have in game reporting systems that allow you to make reports in game, and the GM (or DM in this case) can always follow up for screenshots or whatever other information they have.  Having a UI that a user can see: a, their ticket was received, and b, a DM is reviewiing their report, would, I think, quell the vast majority of this.  Too many things have fallen through the cracks for many people to have trust, and so we must build trust through such demonstrations.

PotM need not even code it themselves if they can wait a bit.  As I said, I'm programming such a system based on NUI myself already.  It'll be on the vault when it's complete.  They're free to fold/spindle/mutilate that or any other code I have submitted there to their heart's content so long as they credit me.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2023, 01:58:04 PM by Maiyannah »
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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #63 on: September 20, 2023, 02:21:06 PM »
Quote
You can have transparency effortlessly if you have a proper ticket system.  Half of the problem with reporting to begin with is its thankless work.  To compile a report I have to take a bunch of screenshots in game, PM a DM on the forums (which you're hopefully not banned from yourself, or you're SOL and just get to deal with it), and then cross your fingers and toes.

This is a terrible hassle for most people and it incentivises people towards just not bothering.

Other games, FF XIV, WoW, you name it, all have in game reporting systems that allow you to make reports in game, and the GM (or DM in this case) can always follow up for screenshots or whatever other information they have.  Having a UI that a user can see: a, their ticket was received, and b, a DM is reviewiing their report, would, I think, quell the vast majority of this.  Too many things have fallen through the cracks for many people to have trust, and so we must build trust through such demonstrations
The only functional difference I see in the former and latter is that the latter is handled, or at least started, in game. Nifty, granted, but I fail to see how it will solve anything related to trust. Also assuming that it cannot be used to attach screenshots, it transfers that step of the process on to the receiving DM to reach out. The variables change a little along the way, but the end result is the same, the same work is being done. I would suggest that if your report doesn't receive a reply to the tune of "Thank you for reporting this, I will pass it along", then you poke the person again, or simply send it to a second. A simple poke is often all that's needed to make sure the thing doesn't fall through a crack. Also discord is usually easier than the forums on the sender, if not the receiver.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2023, 02:22:45 PM by bloodless »

Maiyannah

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #64 on: September 20, 2023, 03:00:18 PM »
The only functional difference I see in the former and latter is that the latter is handled, or at least started, in game. Nifty, granted, but I fail to see how it will solve anything related to trust. Also assuming that it cannot be used to attach screenshots, it transfers that step of the process on to the receiving DM to reach out. The variables change a little along the way, but the end result is the same, the same work is being done. I would suggest that if your report doesn't receive a reply to the tune of "Thank you for reporting this, I will pass it along", then you poke the person again, or simply send it to a second. A simple poke is often all that's needed to make sure the thing doesn't fall through a crack. Also discord is usually easier than the forums on the sender, if not the receiver.

I think you'll find if people have a way to report something happened where it's happening at the moment it's happening, you're going to have both more accurate reports (instead of "this is how I remember it"), and people more inclined to report (granted, that can be a double-edged sword.)

You're right, it does put the onus on the DM to respond, but that is a direct response to myself and others whom have not had them respond.  It should not be my responsibility, as someone that is reporting and not the person who can do about it, to chase these things up.  To me what you're suggesting seems comparable to telling me that if the cops don't come fast enough when someone's being murdered I should call again.  Yes, I probably should, but by the time we've reached that point, we have another issue as well.

[edit]:
Moreover, a ticket system can be something any DM or administrator can respond to, not something that you throw at 1-4 DMs and hope one of them gets it.
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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #65 on: September 20, 2023, 03:10:47 PM »
Quote
To me what you're suggesting seems comparable to telling me that if the cops don't come fast enough when someone's being murdered I should call again.  Yes, I probably should, but by the time we've reached that point, we have another issue as well.
A little hyperbolic as far as examples go, but there's an important distinction to make, relative importance aside. The police are paid professionals, PotM DMs are, sadly, not. If the hobby could be successfully monetized, I'd have sent my own DM app yesterday. A growing and intentional trend in terms of development of both rules and systems has been offloading work from the DM team, so anything that instead adds to the list is unlikely to be implemented. At least, not without very compelling reasoning.

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #66 on: September 20, 2023, 03:15:14 PM »
I don't want the staff to feel pressured by the will of the majority, that is an easy system for cliques to mass report the players they don't like.
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SardineTheAncestor

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #67 on: September 20, 2023, 03:26:16 PM »
It's a matter of difference, not better/worse. Plenty of communities have collapsed despite having flawless, up to date, transparent ticket systems, public flogging channels, ban appeal brawl forums, and so on. I'm just one poster, but I'll just say it can be identified as a matter of taste, this new school "ticket for everything" gig. We get more than enough transparency for certain things and too little on other issues, tickets won't solve that.

Anyone who's submitted a report here knows that the DMs will let you know they've received the report, and that's all you're gonna get anyway. They won't follow up - you're not part of the investigation, unless you bring more evidence after the start.
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Maiyannah

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #68 on: September 20, 2023, 03:32:00 PM »
Anyone who's submitted a report here knows that the DMs will let you know they've received the report, and that's all you're gonna get anyway. They won't follow up - you're not part of the investigation, unless you bring more evidence after the start.

My experience directly contradicts this.

A little hyperbolic as far as examples go, but there's an important distinction to make, relative importance aside. The police are paid professionals, PotM DMs are, sadly, not. If the hobby could be successfully monetized, I'd have sent my own DM app yesterday. A growing and intentional trend in terms of development of both rules and systems has been offloading work from the DM team, so anything that instead adds to the list is unlikely to be implemented. At least, not without very compelling reasoning.

I am of the opinion that nothing will be done about this.  This isn't the second, third, or even fourth time this topic has come up in my relatively short tenure on the server.  The outcome is always the same, we'll argue until the respective sides are blue in the face, and someone will lock the topic and it will get stuffed under the rug until someone gets upset again and we're at this again.

I've been around this block so many times I can tell you the only parking spot that's free.  I hold out perhaps a fool's hope that perhaps this time will be different, but even as I type this there's something that I recall hearing about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2023, 03:35:55 PM by Maiyannah »
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SardineTheAncestor

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #69 on: September 20, 2023, 03:33:15 PM »
DMs coming back for additional evidence doesn't contradict what I've said and personally involving you in their dossier fillouts is not what a ticket system is supposed to be about anyway.
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Maiyannah

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #70 on: September 20, 2023, 03:36:58 PM »
DMs coming back for additional evidence doesn't contradict what I've said and personally involving you in their dossier fillouts is not what a ticket system is supposed to be about anyway.

I have only once had a DM even acknowledge one of my reports.

I have made more than one report.

And, in fact, the report that I did get acknowledgement for, was not on my behalf but on that of another whom did not at the time use the forums.
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DM Indolence

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #71 on: September 20, 2023, 03:43:33 PM »
Not getting a response back from the DM Team is definitely frustrating. We try to message people to let them know when we've received and posted their reports, so if you don't get an answer back reach out again. Alternatively, the CC can see our OOC boards. I'm certain the player Reps would be happy to confirm with you if your report was posted, although our confidentiality policy means they can't tell you details beyond that.

Not a perfect system by any stretch, but there's two ways of navigating the imperfections to verify your report is being looked at.
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SardineTheAncestor

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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #72 on: September 20, 2023, 03:47:20 PM »
It's the most you can expect, not the least. I wouldn't take it for granted. The amount of communication - from none to a "we'll look into it" - is directly correlated to the energy level of that particular DM.

A ticket system could provide a sense of uniformity to this interaction, guarantee a response if that's what's important, but if what's being called into question is the actual effectiveness of the DM team's ability to work together and catch troublemakers, a ticket system will not help there, even if it's fully private and there are no stocks to put people in.

If transparency and communication are what's on the board still, all the ticket system would actually do is manifest as a forum or a Discord channel where you can shout into the void and see if the report was processed. There's no guarantee that doesn't get ignored over a private message sent straight to a staff member.
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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #73 on: September 20, 2023, 03:49:13 PM »
What about the transparency to see those whom erroneously report others? I desire to be shown any report made against me, unredacted.
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Re: Fostering a Stronger, More Transparent Community: A Thoughtful Proposal
« Reply #74 on: September 20, 2023, 04:11:57 PM »
There needs to be a proper balance for any sort of transparency to work out. Too much and it becomes public shaming and admin work, instead of dm work, too little and we encounter doubt and lack of trust.

 While it would be nice to know reports made against yourself, I can easily foresee it becoming toxic fast with people retaliating against those who reported them. I don't think there needs to be anything that would put people on display for mistakes.

We are human after all and this is just a video game.

Mistakes happen, the best thing we can do, is learn from our mistakes
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