BattleMaster Community

BattleMaster => BM General Discussion => Topic started by: Tom on August 03, 2013, 05:27:35 PM

Title: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 03, 2013, 05:27:35 PM
Quote
It's clear to me that there are two games, Battlemaster, and Forummaster.
This is from a long-time player, and I have received quite a few similar comments recently.

This is a very serious and honest topic, and I want this to be a constructive discussion despite the obvious potential for degeneration into a flamewar. Destructive and insulting postings will be deleted, even if they contain constructive parts as well.


Those players are right. The forum has 3000-4000 postings a month. That is about the same as most game worlds have player-written messages in a month. It is a considerable volume. The impact on the game is judged differently by different people. Many welcome the forum, others abhor it. One thing is indisputable, though: Only a part of the game community participates in the forum. Only 500 people have ever posted anything, and a couple of those are probably not playing anymore. About 100 posters have 90% of the postings between them. Maybe 200 people can be considered active participants.

The forum does inflate the presence of its most active participants far beyond their in-game presence. If you read the forums, you can easily get the impression that maybe 20 people are running the show. There is also a certain in-crowd phenomenon - the forum crowd is different from the general player base, with different priorities and considerations.


Most of you know that I was very reluctant to open the forums and have always believed that forums are dangerous beasts. While I have come to appreciate the forums as well, I still believe that for every good they bring, they also bring ill and they do damage the game. And more importantly, many players and former players believe the same thing, which is a damage in itself.


I want to keep the forums around. At the same time, we must go back to a world where people can play the game without participating in the forum and feel ok about it. The importantance of the forums - real or imagined - has to decrease dramatically. Stuff that is important needs to find its way to the players who don't participate in the forums. And the negative mood and hostility on the forum needs to drop a lot.

I'm sure that many will violently oppose my assessment. Do so, in a constructive manner. After you've done so, visit this link (http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php?action=mlist;sort=posts;start=0;desc) and find yourself on that list. If you are on the first 2 pages, I believe it is fair to say that you are involved deeply enough that is is difficult for you to understand how an outsider, a player who is not a forum regular, feels.

If you are not a forum regular, I am especially interested in your view and suggestions. And you have my word that any posting that attacks you for posting your opinion will be mercilessly deleted with warning points to the offender. Please do speak your mind, even if - especially if - it is an unpopular opinion.


This is an experiment in community self-policing. My goals are outlined above. If the community can find a way to solve these, I will be thrilled and very happy. If not, I will have a go at it, benevolent dictator style.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Chenier on August 03, 2013, 05:39:58 PM
It's worth mentioning that the d-list had the same effect, though probably reached even less people. Only a tiny fraction of the player base contributed there. Discussions were not always courteous over there, either.

I'm not saying things are perfect here, but the only significant difference I see between the the d-list and the forums are that the latter managed to attract a lot more of the player base than the former had. More rude and unacceptable behavior, sure, but also more constructive and friendly behavior. More of it all. Was the ratio of bad behavior to good behavior better before the forums? Maybe. I can't reject it outright, it's been a while... But I do not believe the difference was all that significant, and I do believe that bad behavior is encouraged first and foremost by the number of participants, and not by the medium of communication used. The more people that listen to what anyone has to say, the more likely one of them is to be offended, and thus the more likely a negative reply is to occur. Keeping things civil between 10 people and between 100 is not the same game at all.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Zakilevo on August 03, 2013, 05:56:19 PM
How about getting rid of 'Locals' since it seems to cause more trouble than its worth?

To be honest, I think the forum only needs helpline and general discussion. A lot of people can't really separate in game stuff and ooc stuff. They take offense to in game actions and try to get back at people through ooc sometimes and I think that Locals subforum is only making things worse.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on August 03, 2013, 05:57:38 PM
One quick comment for now: what you are saying about the forums is exactly what a lot of people say about IRC as well. Make of that what you will.

For any OOG medium, there will be those that will say that it destroys the game. It probably is true that the forum has a stronger effect than most because of the more permanent nature of what is posted. And perhaps for that reason it needs a more stringent and aggressive moderation policy, and perhaps some rules about what kind of postings are permitted.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Fleugs on August 03, 2013, 05:59:56 PM
I agree with what the anonymous long-time player has said. I was in BM before the forum came to life and I have witnessed how it changed the game. It has brought better things, like enhancing a community-feeling and enabling players to get to meet the player behind the character. While the latter should in a perfect world only lead to friendship between players, I have the distinct feeling that the forum often achieves the opposite.

While I am on the second page of those who posted most - and this entirely a surprise to me as I don't think I'm that active on the forum - I still do not feel like one who frequents the forum very much. My activity here often has a hiatus of more than a month, something my ingame activity does not have. Why? I believe many are frustrated because the forum enables conflicts between players rather than between characters. I have that same feeling. I will not state that I am innocent, but I do dislike it. In the past half year I have grown to dislike the forum more and more. Whereas forumposts should have remained written from a casual perspective I believe way too many people take the game too serious now. I read things here with which I totally disagree but I neglect replying because discussion on the internet is a tricky thing. This has lead me to actually start to dislike some people who are active on the forum. People who I now actively avoid ingame because I now know what they represent, and more importantly, because I now know they often operate in groups of same-minded people, meaning that whatever realm they play in is often not subject to change. These groups are too strong.

I was trying to make a list of things I do not like posted on the forum, but I realized that most of what I do not like comes from the "Local" message board. Threads like "Luria" or "Sanguis Astroism" are way too long. And to be frank, it's the same people constantly circlejerking about ingame events and spewing their own thoughts on it. That is what keeps people from feeling involved. Heck, I'm Luria's general and I don't even really feel involved in that realm because of the sheer amount of people posting and defining what Luria is on the forum. For not being a member of Sanguis Astroism I was once the naive believer that the forum thread would enlighten me with what that religion is all about. It's not. It just beautifully summarizes who gets to play a role in that religion and at the same times it sends out an underlying yet clear message that everyone who is not properly involved on the forum has a much smaller chance of getting involved, even if that is not what is actually happening. Do not assume though that I read the entire SA thread - it's so horribly long, soon you can mail it to a progressive-art printer and hope for a new trend in literature to get started.

The worst part is that when you get to know someone's opinion, you realize for yourself that you think person X is a total [email protected]#$%^&. In fact, there is a certain person X in the BM community of who I know most people just entirely hate/dislike him/her.  Don't be fooled, I don't like that person either. Yet the dislike for me only came after the forumposts. Before I barely had any idea who person X was, so I couldn't care less. After all the odds of running into person X at random in the game is so much smaller than running into him on the forums where he actually is himself. I'm not saying this person must change, I'm just giving a clear example of how the forum can poison how you think about someone because you get to read too much of him.

I have been playing this game for over 10 years now, and if you ask me, the forums in their current form are not an improvement or a worthy addition to the game. I will even outright say I believe it contributed to the deterioration of the player base, even though I have no numbers or anything factual to back up my opinion. Just my gut feeling.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Bael on August 03, 2013, 06:18:56 PM
I find myself agreeing with a lot of what you say Fleugs. The forum reveals the people behind the masks of the characters. I have one person from the forums muted.

Also, I try to avoid threads that discuss some matters, because I feel it becomes OOC gossip, to a certain degree.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: jaune on August 03, 2013, 06:37:17 PM
I have wanted this forum from the beginning when i started to play..., BUT, recently... i really feel that this forum is the s*it.

There is a LOT good things, i admit... but all this palyer vs. player or realm vs. realm (i admit, i'm kind of guilty for that too) set up which gets annoying and causes "flames" and bad blood... ofcourse same poop was happening at dlist as well.

As much i luv to read some news from other realm and continents where i dont play, mayby this forum should be strictly out of game and NOTHING ig information should not be posted.

-Jaune
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Telrunya on August 03, 2013, 06:58:21 PM
I agree with the assessment made. While I loved the forums when it started, I've come to dislike them more and more. While I'm not innocent from it either, I agree with the comment made about there being two games. I feel like the discussions about ingame events, especially current ones, influence players in the game, even if just unconsciously. You get pulled into it. I believe it's not doing the game good and lately I've been trying to tone down on participating in ingame discussions. The focus should be ingame, but anything that happens ingame usually gets a shadow-topic on the forums where everything is discussed.

What the forums are great is for communicating with Devs (Feature Requests, Announcements etc.) and to ask help in regards to how things work (To be fair, I believe the latter can be done as easily ingame as well). Or basically anything that isn't ingame.

I believe the forums bring more bad then good. I would have no problem at all just getting rid of them. Otherwise, throw out the 'Locals' subforum and don't use the forums for ingame discussions. I believe that would fix a lot already.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Blue Star on August 03, 2013, 07:07:32 PM
Well I'm not a big fan of the forum I believe too many people still have a issue separating IG and OOC information. I generally think most of the community struggles with it and has for years. I even have trouble once in awhile. I think it's odd people recruit others to their realm via forum I never heard of such until I came to the forum.

What I have grown to realize since coming back OOC is coming into the game more and more and it usually starts in forum and comes to the game. The aggressive nature of certain people gets to them and it breaches on forum and eventually manifest itself into the game. Some I can't blame some I can, EX: Darka and CE players have been at it on forum. I mean the atmosphere is different I enjoy talking to the players OOC messages once in awhile, but forum it just different. I do enjoy parts, but not all of it.

Don't get me wrong but I take nothing from this game personal, its a game and well were on the internet, people are not always friendly and well it parts of being here. We have our VIPs AllStars and so forth, the forum really makes that more obvious.

Forum = just another popularity contest
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: LilWolf on August 03, 2013, 07:09:42 PM
I used to post a lot more. Don't really do it any more. Don't really read much besides things relating to game development. I don't even bother checking the thread I made about the Atamara war because it's nothing but pointless bickering. Nothing of value is said there any more.

One of the biggest issues I see in using the forum for is the magistrates. Every case I've seen there has been nothing but a horrible argument [email protected]#$. Having the cases out in the open does nothing good for the game in my opinion and certainly do not help in keeping the forum(or the game) a pleasant place to visit. You know your accuser, you know the accused, bad blood is bound to happen, and everyone gets to see it. Players get their reputations ruined. It simply does more harm than good to everyone involved. Remove it from the forum 'cause sometimes it's better to be ignorant of what's going on behind the scenes.

The moderation needs to get more aggressive. The people reading the forum need to make use of that report button. The mods can't be everywhere so if you see a message you think is crossing the line, report it. That needs to be encouraged.

The big difference between the forum and the discussion list is that the discussion list was nearly 100% about game development; new features, bugs etc. Maybe the forum needs to go that way too and remove some of the incentives to discuss in-game matters(say, remove locals and if there's a big important even on some island, they can start a thread about in the General Discussion about BM).
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Perth on August 03, 2013, 07:21:51 PM
I think a rule that in-game events can only be discussed once they are [X amount of time] in the past would be very helpful. It is fun to discuss events as they develop, but I do think most of the flaming or damage from OOC influencing IC comes from the OOC discussion of IG events and developments in essential real time.

Maybe things should have to be two weeks in the past before they can be discussed in the "Locals."


Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Shizzle on August 03, 2013, 08:13:19 PM
I wouldn't mind seeing the local boards disappear, and seeing the forum stripped down to a resource for announcements, help with the game and the Magistrates court.

Then again those functions could probably performed by the Wiki as well...

Also we might want to gather some opinions of people who aren't actually on the forums and why.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Swiftblade on August 03, 2013, 09:32:07 PM
The Magistrates cases need to be made private. Whats the point in having dedicated volunteers, if everyone gets a say. May as well not have a council about it and put it up to a vote. From what I have seen the Magistrates have enough trouble being professional and decisive with their decisions anyway, without others muddying the waters.

Its not hard for someone to state their case, and if the magistrates want more info they can contact the defendant in game via the OOC and allow them to post their side of the story. Once both sides are presented the Magistrates can circlejerk about it all they want, without all the outside input, decide what is and isn't breaking the social contract etc and be done with it. Having every man and his grandma involved in a case, having a say, just muddies the water and makes bad blood.

The local forums can all go, it just brings up [email protected]#$ about who started what war and why, and half the cases are because someone seemed to mix OOC from the forums and IRC and bring it ingame or vice versa. Roleplaying is about separating yourself from the character, not using it as a persona.

The helpline, Dev forums and roleplay forums could all be left, a long with anything that doesn't impact on Battlemaster, such as the other games forum. As long as those are moderated correctly then all is good.

The other thing about the forum is that the Dev's/Moderators/Magistrates are all volunteers (i believe) and they are not always professional. In all the times I have been a forum moderator/admin, there has always been one rule, no in-fighting. I understand people are all equal and what not, but when you see the Dev's openly disagreeing, either debatingly or almost aggressively with tom or another dev, it's a bad image. I don't know how the inner team mechanics work but from an outside observer it looks really bad, as if all the Battlemaster team does if fight with each other and circlejerk around issues. Its the same issue as with the magistrates. People can disagree, but its like a couple fighting about their bad sex life in front of their friends and family, its awkward and in bad taste.

Anyway thats my two cents.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 04, 2013, 12:03:31 AM
Tom, I think you're going to get a LOT of confirmation bias from this thread, because anyone and everyone who has an issue with the forum and the way things are run/effects it has are going to comment here, while those who are neutral or feel differently likely aren't.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 04, 2013, 01:10:28 AM
Hmmm, I find in the relatively short time I have been playing, I have found a lot more disagreable people on irc than on this forum. I find it's pretty easy to just avoid having a conversation with someone you don't like on a forum.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Bendix on August 04, 2013, 01:30:54 AM
In my opinion, this is possibly the most important discussion we could be having to improve the game culture.

1. The forums, in their current form, actually discourage a roleplaying atmosphere in-game. This is because players seem to want to share in-game information about their charactersand what is happening in their realms, etc. If we are reading these things OOC, it eliminates the need to do many things IC, and creates what some call 'metagaming', which in this case is not exactly etymologically correct, but essentially means that the player's character knows things they shouldn't.

What personally disenchants me the most is when players define their characters and actions OOC. For instance, some players might be talking about events in a Locals channel, and one player says something like "It looks like Realm A and Realm B are going to war. I wonder how Ruler #1 is going to react to that", and then the player of Ruler #1 says "Well, ruler #1 is a stubborn old bastard who doesn't like it when his allies get attacked, so...."

Instead of actually playing your character as a 'Stubborn Old Bastard', you're just saying it. And now that all the people on the forum know that, they will act accordingly with their characters. No one needed to do anything in-game at all, because an unimaginable number of RP opportunities were passed up because of one sentence in one post by one player.

Do you see how insane it is that we have entire channels devoted to this? In my opinion, players should not be discussing game events in the forums whatsoever. 'Playing' is better than 'saying'.

2. Because it is players talking, it becomes personal. In the game of Battlemaster, we get to play as corrupt, conniving, or downright wicked characters Oftentimes those are the best characters: just look at the Himoura Family: people don't hate the Himouras- they LOVE to hate the Himouras! And that's a good thing, because we're talking about Medieval Lords, not saints- the type of people who would be considered thugs and criminals today. I think one reason a lot of people play Battlemaster is so they can act out that heedless ambition or bloodthirsty drive to conquer.

But when you remove things from the game, its no longer a character talking to another character in a fantasyland 1,000 years ago. It becomes more 'real', and the anonymity of the internet certainly doesn't make people any more polite. Actually, it has been proven that it makes people less likely to be friendly. Possibly because you're talking to strangers, not friends. And don't even get me started on how the IRC feeds into this.

Yet we have a basic rule: "Play the game as though playing a board game with friends." This becomes more difficult to do when the people you should be treating as friendly adversaries are treating you like crap.

Basically we need to reign in the boundaries of this system to accommodate our human flaws.

3. As Tom pointed out, most of the people who play Battlemaster do not post on the forums. Personally, I envy those people. I wish I had never started viewing the forums, and would rather return to a more naive state where I am not disillusioned about virtually every aspect of the game.

My point is that the forums are inevitably going to be exclusionary. For a game where in-game discussion and character-building is not important, like a First-Person Shooter, for instance, this is entirely fine: the game itself is not being affected by anything that happens in the forums. But for a game like Battlemaster, where writing is 90% of the game itself, it makes little sense to encourage players to be writing outside the game.

The true joy of BM comes from the politics, character-building, and roleplaying. So it isn't the 100-200 forum frequenters who are the "elite" of BM- it's everyone who isn't on the forums, who is having a good time playing their character.

Conclusion- I would recommend discouraging two things on the forums/IRC: discussion of game events, and insulting other players.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Foxglove on August 04, 2013, 01:36:15 AM
I think both the forum and IRC have a part to play in this, if we're talking about a negative impact on the game. I actually held off on making a forum account for a year because I didn't feel it added much to the game experience. However, things like the Helpline are extremely useful (there have been times when that's been the only source of help when fellow players didn't know how to do something). But if people posted less on the forum and more in-game, or wrote a roleplay instead of hanging out on IRC, it might increase liveliness in the game and enhance the experience for all the players rather than the minority. I'm fully aware that might just be a biased opinion on my behalf, though.

If you curb the forum, I think you also have to curb IRC (as in remove the 'offical' link from the side menu). But, to act as devil's advocate here, it's possible that many of the negative problems in terms of player behaviours that are being discussed might have existed in the game before the forum and it's just a case that the forum has brought them out into the open and shone a light on them in a public arena. I find it very hard to believe that the OOC "we hate the players of realm X" attitude held by some players didn't exist privately before the forum was created.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: pcw27 on August 04, 2013, 03:24:01 AM
I'm going to respond to a few ideas expressed here most of which I don't really agree with.

1. The Forums create the sense of needing to participate in order to advance in game.

I feel this is completely untrue. I had a very prominent character well before ever visiting the forums. I actually got into the forums to participate in feature requests and development discussions because I frequently come up with game ideas and want to share them.

2. Abusive forum users and people who can't differentiate between character and player.

I've seen this a bit I can only think of one heated argument that I've had myself. I remember in a thread someone complaining that "People who play in Astrum are cowards" not that their characters are cowards but that the actual people are.  I haven't noticed this very often. If it is a problem then some moderators would help.

3. Abuse of OOC information.

Again I haven't seen this first hand too much. There are times when I see people discussing things in the forum which I think would be more interesting if they shared them in character. How damaging OOC info is depends on how good people are at RPing dramatic irony.

Another problem mentioned was explaining the character motivations you play by. For starters the limited number of people on the forum makes this less of a problem. Second I don't think its necessarily a detriment. I'm a very experienced roleplayer and GM for pen and paper games. I like to see these kind of discussions because it shows my players are really thinking about who their characters are. I don't think it's a pure case of OOC information, remember when you talk to people in real life you learn a great deal through body language. On top of that presumably there's a whole world of gossip which supposedly goes on in the background in game. Therefore a player might not be picking up on a personality trait that a character absolutely should pick up on.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Velax on August 04, 2013, 04:04:35 AM
If you want to get rid of 90% of the bad things about this forum, get rid of the Local boards. People get attached to their characters and people get attached to their realms. Those are the things people get emotional about and start arguments over, and those are the things that are talked about mainly in the Local boards.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 04, 2013, 04:19:52 AM
Great discussion, thank you all.

I'm surprised by how quickly everyone converges on the Locals boards being the major problem, because I didn't think in that direction at all when I started this thread, but now that it has been pointed out, it seems to obvious that I don't understand how I didn't see it right from the start.

And yes, I agree that if we close down the Locals forum, we should also close down the equivalent IRC channels, or rather: Ask people to not use them anymore and put their IC stuff into the game itself, exclusively.

I've temporarily locked the locals and the roleplaying board. If we all agree so much, let's see what the effect is and if we can reverse the drain of character interaction. Maybe this is really all it takes.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Valast on August 04, 2013, 04:23:29 AM
I can not even go to most forums any more.  I hate the know it all attitude that many people put off just because they can hide behind a computer and be more cool than in real life.  It reminds me of yahoo answers some times,  where I could say how much does a hen way and someone has to tell me how dangerous it is to have chickens when a bird flu could happen at any moment.

This forum is ok.  You still get the people who want to be overly involved and in your face... and I get a lot of players who think that because they are against my character or against an idea, they can talk down to me... but I know that for what it is...game play emotion thinly veiled under the surface but coming out.

However I doubt most people would think of life and forums the same way I do.  I can see how that would put people off from even coming here. 




Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Valast on August 04, 2013, 04:26:13 AM
Can we please get the facebook threads relocated so that they can still be used?  Or an option on the game interface to contact?  Hmm...or I suppose everyone could just go to facebook and type in what they will for propaganda
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 04, 2013, 04:36:53 AM
You guys realize that people will just start putting local stuff in BM General...
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: SaDiablo on August 04, 2013, 04:49:36 AM
Even if they put stuff in the General section, it should be a quick report/strike it down thing.   But I agree the locals should be removed along with the role-play.  In game communication is lower than I'm used to.

The courthouse is one thing I see as a negative and the questions most of the time are plain manure.  Those things should be kept to a private viewing for those that deal with those issues.  This is one thing I think hurts communication in game because you get to fearful that everything you write could be reported.  Character development then stops and people just turn to power gaming more.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 04, 2013, 04:52:50 AM
Can we please get the facebook threads relocated so that they can still be used?  Or an option on the game interface to contact?  Hmm...or I suppose everyone could just go to facebook and type in what they will for propaganda

Frankly, I don't think the FB threads are very positive, either. But that's a different discussion. There's a thread about FB elsewhere, and the general consensus is that as they are now, those postings do nothing to interested not-yet-players. We'll have to rethink our FB management anyways.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 04, 2013, 04:53:12 AM
You guys realize that people will just start putting local stuff in BM General...

Where I will delete it. It will stop quickly.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 04, 2013, 04:54:51 AM
This is one thing I think hurts communication in game because you get to fearful that everything you write could be reported.  Character development then stops and people just turn to power gaming more.

Which is precisely why the Magistrate cases are public. With the Titans, there were crazy rumours about what they would punish people for, it was just ridiculous. With the Magistrates, if someone claims you can be punished for xyz, you can check if there ever has been a case like that. Or, better, ask the guy making the claim for a link to it.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 04, 2013, 05:29:54 AM
Like I said, confirmation bias. Be very careful about that...
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Daycryn on August 04, 2013, 05:44:47 AM
While I agree with most, I don't think the roleplaying forum need be locked and certainly not deleted. Here's why.

1. The roleplaying forum gets relatively little use at all. It's not a major source of the kind of detraction from the game that, say, the locals fora are, with regards to OOC conflict, metagaming or generalized distraction.
2. The roleplaying forum is a decent place for roleplays that generally never get seen by players who aren't in the realm, religion, or region. This can demonstrate roleplaying to others in a way that otherwise might not be apparent ever and maybe inspire.
3. Eliminating it might have the inadvertent implication that we are generally opposed to roleplaying itself.

Generally I'd like to put roleplays that I particularly enjoy up in the wiki, but wiki-ing is a tad more difficult to someone who isn't familiar with it, whereas posting on a forum is pretty much accessible to everyone. It's quicker too.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: SaDiablo on August 04, 2013, 05:59:59 AM
Actually I read somewhere on forums that I agree with that when you write a letter you are roleplaying your character same for orders, reports, and requests.  Roleplays based on the selecting the roleplay to get that fancy yellow box is really just yourself narrating a moment of time its not really a role play.  I think eliminating that part overall will actually provide a bigger impact if you have people realize that all features you use besides OOC is your character development.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vita on August 04, 2013, 06:10:41 AM
On the matter of Magistrate publicity, I think the process of the decision should be private, but the initial complaint and the verdict public.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Revan on August 04, 2013, 06:19:07 AM
Perhaps conduct magistrate cases behind closed doors and only make the threads public once a case is closed? I share the sentiments of others above. The present public free-for-all in magistrates cases doesn't feel healthy.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Lanyon on August 04, 2013, 06:30:21 AM
I feel  like I'm the only one who thinks closing the local boards is a bad idea. They're the only place that I feel gives a sense of the continent evolving around your realm. Without that, realms might as well be singular islands to me that merge when there's a war and then quickly separate again afterward. It also give's a very, for lack of a better metaphor, "bar-top" feel where people discuss the events going on in a (sometimes) objective way.

At the same time, the local forums have definitely influenced me IC. I hate D'Harans because of the forums and like Niselur. My feelings have definetly changed towards individual players too (though this is more from IRC than anyrthing else)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Ironsides on August 04, 2013, 07:35:59 AM
I feel  like I'm the only one who thinks closing the local boards is a bad idea. They're the only place that I feel gives a sense of the continent evolving around your realm. Without that, realms might as well be singular islands to me that merge when there's a war and then quickly separate again afterward. It also give's a very, for lack of a better metaphor, "bar-top" feel where people discuss the events going on in a (sometimes) objective way...

This here is why guilds are so cool, they cross realm boundaries (even during war times) :)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 04, 2013, 07:56:52 AM
I feel  like I'm the only one who thinks closing the local boards is a bad idea. They're the only place that I feel gives a sense of the continent evolving around your realm. Without that, realms might as well be singular islands to me that merge when there's a war and then quickly separate again afterward. It also give's a very, for lack of a better metaphor, "bar-top" feel where people discuss the events going on in a (sometimes) objective way.

At the same time, the local forums have definitely influenced me IC. I hate D'Harans because of the forums and like Niselur. My feelings have definetly changed towards individual players too (though this is more from IRC than anyrthing else)

I agree with you.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Revan on August 04, 2013, 07:59:11 AM
A thought about unintended consequences (though I've no complaints about the action taken). It wasn't all that long ago that an IRC webclient was integrated into BattleMaster via a link on the sidebar. When you use Chat for the first time whilst logged in to BattleMaster, it will automatically have you join channels for your realms and islands and throw you into the main BattleMaster channel to boot. As such, players are encouraged to engage with IRC in a way that we have just deemed harmful to the community atmosphere here on the forum.

I know that IRC is slightly different. Likewise, that people have been having conversations about events in BattleMaster on IRC since long before the forum came into being (and that's fine!). But it didn't used to be pushed from the login screen. The difference between the forum and IRC is that the forum is administered by BattleMaster. IRC is not. I wonder if it would not be better to remove IRC's semi-official status and inclusion via the webclient. Instead return to having an arms-length relationship with it. It seems both futile and contradictory to try and improve the community atmosphere here while also promoting an avenue for players to continue their heated discussions and rivalries away from the oversight of battlemaster.org
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 04, 2013, 08:03:47 AM
I dont find the discussions to be that bad. if you want to see a bad forum, go to the astroempire forums sometime.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: LilWolf on August 04, 2013, 10:23:42 AM
And yes, I agree that if we close down the Locals forum, we should also close down the equivalent IRC channels, or rather: Ask people to not use them anymore and put their IC stuff into the game itself, exclusively.

The main #battlemaster channel has been around since 2003 and there have been realm channels for probably just as long. As far as I know there haven't been that many problems coming from it over the years. The active user base is very small(we're talking like 20 players, maybe, with some occasionals thrown in) so I don't see it having much of an effect on anything.

The Chat function hasn't really brought that many new users on IRC so removing it wouldn't really make a difference. Those that want to IRC would still come there.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 04, 2013, 10:45:00 AM
Great discussion, thank you all.

I'm surprised by how quickly everyone converges on the Locals boards being the major problem, because I didn't think in that direction at all when I started this thread, but now that it has been pointed out, it seems to obvious that I don't understand how I didn't see it right from the start.

And yes, I agree that if we close down the Locals forum, we should also close down the equivalent IRC channels, or rather: Ask people to not use them anymore and put their IC stuff into the game itself, exclusively.

I've temporarily locked the locals and the roleplaying board. If we all agree so much, let's see what the effect is and if we can reverse the drain of character interaction. Maybe this is really all it takes.

I personally believe there will be no difference whatsoever. I'm honestly sick of this idea that just because we're not writing narrative RP (and I do plenty of that outside of BM), this somehow means that all our other letters are not RP. I'm just going to be honest here and say that Battlemaster just isnt built for narrative RP. At least not anything collaborative, and solo RP is rather boring to be honest, if I wanted to do that I'd just create my own fictional world.

All this is doing is isolating realms into small islands, making it hard to understand anything outside your realm if you have no access to the Rulers channel. That makes for a very dull, narrow viewpoint story, which is very unattractive for the game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Eduardo Almighty on August 04, 2013, 10:46:52 AM
We lost another good way to talk about the game outside the game... while I agree some changes needs to be made to save BM, in the end you must realize that the problem is not the Forum, the IRC or whatever, but people's behavior. If you cannot change their behavior, problems will arise one way or another.

This is just the easiest way to (not)solve the problem. Also, what's the problem with the Roleplay board? I believe many people just post there after post it in realm, giving the chance for more people to read and enjoy a good aspect of BM. Sirion, for example, is silent like a desert... even offering more than 1000 gold and medals, no one cares to do a single RP.

The next discussion will be "stopping Facebook from destroying BM"...
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: jaune on August 04, 2013, 11:34:25 AM
I think reducing IG happenins talks at OOG will help, ofcourse there will be some chatting and speculating at IRC/skype/name any ohter instant message system, but those are not that public and arguing at example IRC doesnt last like 2 months... those are over in few minutse to hour.

Wiki had that diffrence back the days when there was those news papers, that those were kind of in game. Those were public knowledge. You wrote page at news paper was similar as you would send message to whole continent, or even whole world.

Ofcourse those  discussions over the topics heated to flamewars too...
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 04, 2013, 12:35:40 PM
On the matter of Magistrate publicity, I think the process of the decision should be private, but the initial complaint and the verdict public.

You mean, exactly the way it is set up right now? The Magistrates do have a private forum where they discuss cases.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 04, 2013, 12:36:56 PM
I feel  like I'm the only one who thinks closing the local boards is a bad idea. They're the only place that I feel gives a sense of the continent evolving around your realm.

That is why we originally opened them. But I am convinced now that the downsides weigh more heavily.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 04, 2013, 12:45:28 PM
We lost another good way to talk about the game outside the game... while I agree some changes needs to be made to save BM, in the end you must realize that the problem is not the Forum, the IRC or whatever, but people's behavior. If you cannot change their behavior, problems will arise one way or another.

You can channel behavior and that is what we are doing. If you checked the locals forums, you will notice I posted a sticky note to all of them encouraging people to post in-game instead. The game is played in the game, not on the forum, that is the core of the vast majority of complaints about the forums that I have received.

There should be ways to talk about the game outside the game, which is why most of the forum remains open. But I agree violently with the consensus that talk about specific events in-game has a very, very high tendency to get out the worst behavior in people. Because they have personal stakes in the issues. That is the common element in all high-vitriol issues, be it Magistrate cases or the locals forums.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 04, 2013, 12:46:30 PM
Wiki had that diffrence back the days when there was those news papers, that those were kind of in game. Those were public knowledge. You wrote page at news paper was similar as you would send message to whole continent, or even whole world.

And I think they were much, much better. Mostly because you couldn't shout down an opponent, the best thing you could do was publish your own propaganda in return.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: James on August 04, 2013, 01:15:51 PM
Though there was some good stuff talked about in the locals boards (it was always interesting to see other things that were going on that I wasn't directly involved in so knew little of in game) at the same time, it was damaging.

There was at least one occasion where a lot of time and effort had been put into certain events in game, then conversation came on the forums about it OOC complaining about it, suggesting various cheating/OOC plotting and almost ruining something which had been fully planned, organised - with propaganda and misinformation - in game...

So although I will miss some of it, I am leaning more towards it being a good idea (for now...)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Arrandal on August 04, 2013, 03:37:19 PM
Hi Tom,

I'm one of those that only just started and was warned by the guy who got me started here already not to spend a lot of time here, just brush against it every now and then if your bored and feeling like you can say something relevant. I am a forum goer, as per my presence on other games, however, since this place is mostly ooc on the forums, I see no point. Unless I am making a relevant post that isn't flame worthy.

I think the close of the Local forum is good, but that the close of the rp forum is not. the Local forum was a hate on hate from ooc players. Role play, you get to rp your char, which I dont mind doing every now and then, and having a piece of history kept of my characters. Not that I have a lot of time to do so, and I do mostly rp ingame to entertain myself and my fellow Realms-people. But I do think about doing it 'one day'. However, there are a lot of extreme rpers out there, that love to develop their character and write even in a solo aspect, which shutting that forum down denies and I think can be easily watched to makle sure that no ooc content seeps in, although its hard to remain ooc when you rp, since you are making a story, with the use of closed rp in the heading of the rp, then it means that only those invited can participate, etc.

Regards the Magistrates, I think you need to keep it open and viewable yes, but it absolutely should be a rule that none but the participants in the case and the judges can speak in them. IF someone else, has something relevant to say, they need to send it via a judge, for viewing in the private chambers, the magistrates as it stands now is just a hate fest, and holds some of the worst posts I have read, and the worst behavior you can see on any forums.

I think that is what people here are trying to say to you about that.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 04, 2013, 03:55:54 PM
I think the close of the Local forum is good, but that the close of the rp forum is not.

[...]

Regards the Magistrates, I think you need to keep it open and viewable yes, but it absolutely should be a rule that none but the participants in the case and the judges can speak in them.

That is a good idea, unfortunately it is prohibitively difficult to implement with this forum software. I don't think we can "voice" people per-thread, only per-board.


The RP forum moves roleplay from the game where it belongs and is in context with the CHARACTER to the forum where it is out of game and out of context with the character and even the player account, connected to the forum account which for many people is not immediately connected. The disconnect is considerable for readers unfamiliar with the player. I do think that people who enjoy roleplaying should do so in-game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Arrandal on August 04, 2013, 04:04:48 PM
Fair enough on the rp.

Regards the Magistrates, I have some experience as a forum admin, so I understand regards not being able to add people to individual threads, however, there has been some success in having a group moderator for the entire sub-forum to have the power to add and remove players on a case by case basis, and once given access to the forums those players are only allowed to post in the thread relevant to them, and to their case. The group mod retains the right to remove posts that transgress this rule, which doesnt happen often, in fact once in 2 years would be your average, and quickly dealt with even then.

Either way, your game, your design on all things, and I love Battle Master regardless, and much more because I don't get into the ooc fighting. ;)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 04, 2013, 04:11:44 PM
The RP forum moves roleplay from the game where it belongs and is in context with the CHARACTER to the forum where it is out of game and out of context with the character and even the player account, connected to the forum account which for many people is not immediately connected. The disconnect is considerable for readers unfamiliar with the player. I do think that people who enjoy roleplaying should do so in-game.

The RP forum is the replacement for the RP mailing list, which, while it certainly had its problems, I still feel was a net positive for the game.

Even though I haven't been writing many narrative RPs lately to post, I think that closing the RP board is not the right direction to be going in. I would rather see it promoted.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vita on August 04, 2013, 04:33:04 PM
You mean, exactly the way it is set up right now? The Magistrates do have a private forum where they discuss cases.

I mean without the thread that follows the initial complaint that is supposed to be gathering information for Magistrates. It rarely helps and I think it'd be better if they could request information from people privately, rather than into a public forum. Publicly post the initial complaint and the Magistrates' sentencing and reasoning, but keep the whole process of the decision private.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Chenier on August 04, 2013, 05:30:11 PM
I wouldn't mind seeing the local boards disappear, and seeing the forum stripped down to a resource for announcements, help with the game and the Magistrates court.

Then again those functions could probably performed by the Wiki as well...

Also we might want to gather some opinions of people who aren't actually on the forums and why.

I think I may agree. The local boards do bring stuff that we did not really have with the d-list, and is probably the source of most inter-player conflict.

The Magistrates cases need to be made private. Whats the point in having dedicated volunteers, if everyone gets a say. May as well not have a council about it and put it up to a vote. From what I have seen the Magistrates have enough trouble being professional and decisive with their decisions anyway, without others muddying the waters.

Its not hard for someone to state their case, and if the magistrates want more info they can contact the defendant in game via the OOC and allow them to post their side of the story. Once both sides are presented the Magistrates can circlejerk about it all they want, without all the outside input, decide what is and isn't breaking the social contract etc and be done with it. Having every man and his grandma involved in a case, having a say, just muddies the water and makes bad blood.

The local forums can all go, it just brings up [email protected]#$ about who started what war and why, and half the cases are because someone seemed to mix OOC from the forums and IRC and bring it ingame or vice versa. Roleplaying is about separating yourself from the character, not using it as a persona.

The helpline, Dev forums and roleplay forums could all be left, a long with anything that doesn't impact on Battlemaster, such as the other games forum. As long as those are moderated correctly then all is good.

The other thing about the forum is that the Dev's/Moderators/Magistrates are all volunteers (i believe) and they are not always professional. In all the times I have been a forum moderator/admin, there has always been one rule, no in-fighting. I understand people are all equal and what not, but when you see the Dev's openly disagreeing, either debatingly or almost aggressively with tom or another dev, it's a bad image. I don't know how the inner team mechanics work but from an outside observer it looks really bad, as if all the Battlemaster team does if fight with each other and circlejerk around issues. Its the same issue as with the magistrates. People can disagree, but its like a couple fighting about their bad sex life in front of their friends and family, its awkward and in bad taste.

Anyway thats my two cents.

This I strongly disagree with, however. I absolutely wholeheartedly hate the titan system. Being secret, it has absolutely no accountability. I have not had a single good experience with the titans since I joined this game.

But back to the forum, and the talk that it leeches IG communication. I'm not sure I agree with this. I write a lot here... like, a lot... too much. But in any case, I'm never on IRC anymore. When I started playing, I was on IRC 100% of the time, or just about. And for quite a while. I write more and more on the forums, and less and less IG... but is that really the forums' fault, as some would suggest? I don't think so. IG, the realms are getting smaller and smaller. Whenever they grow a bit, they then often break up again. This is especially true for active nobles. Often, the general noble count will rise... but it'll be a bunch of people who barely ever (if ever at all) initiate discussions of their own or even reply to others.  Though I still spend a lot of time on BM, I actually spend a lot less now than I did when I started playing back in high school, where I could easily spend the whole evening reading and writing letters, chatting on IRC in-between. But if so much of the time I do spend on BM is spent on the forums, it's because there's nothing interesting to say IG. On the forums, one talks with hundreds of people. IG, each character can write to 30 or so nobles, out of which only 3 or so ever really seem chatty, and in most cases even if agendas overlap for some things, they remain conflictual for many things. So who do you write to? You can try to reach foreigners to enlarge your discussion pool, but this faces the same problems. Getting rid of the forums would not magically transform all of that activity to the game, much of it would simply be lost or redirected to IRC (which is often said to be no less hostile than the forums).
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 04, 2013, 05:48:37 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Daycryn on August 04, 2013, 06:22:38 PM
That is a good idea, unfortunately it is prohibitively difficult to implement with this forum software. I don't think we can "voice" people per-thread, only per-board.


The RP forum moves roleplay from the game where it belongs and is in context with the CHARACTER to the forum where it is out of game and out of context with the character and even the player account, connected to the forum account which for many people is not immediately connected. The disconnect is considerable for readers unfamiliar with the player. I do think that people who enjoy roleplaying should do so in-game.

It's not an either/or situation. One can roleplay in the game and also post it to the roleplaying forum. I don't know of anyone who does the latter without doing the former... while many people do the former without doing the latter. The roleplaying forum is really just not a problem.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 04, 2013, 06:31:32 PM
Closing down locals is stupid, one of the reasons I decided to play this game was because of the interesting talks and politicking I read reading the Dwilight local. Now I will have absolutely nooooo idea what is going on with the war in the north, or pretty much anywhere at all except in my own realm. This is a pretty dissapointing move and will probably have a negative impact on player attraction and retention.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: stuartalexmc on August 04, 2013, 06:40:56 PM
 I can't say the Forum is a good thing but I do think that closing the Locals Boards will be counter productive. It is the only source I can see of information from outside your realm. It enables people to get a grasp of the politic of a island; when I joined I read the forums purely for the information that they contained.

You would lose a great asset to the game if the Locals board was closed down permanently. As I for one would not know what was happening outside of my realm otherwise.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Perth on August 04, 2013, 06:43:43 PM
I agree that closing down the Locals board is not a good idea. It is probably the most active part of the forum and seems to be where everyone enjoys discussing the game.

What needs to happen is a rule in the Locals that IG events can only be discussed once a certain amount of time has passed. This will cut down on the flaming as well as the influence of OOC discussions on IG events.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Daycryn on August 04, 2013, 06:47:06 PM
I can't say the Forum is a good thing but I do think that closing the Locals Boards will be counter productive. It is the only source I can see of information from outside your realm. It enables people to get a grasp of the politic of a island; when I joined I read the forums purely for the information that they contained.

You would lose a great asset to the game if the Locals board was closed down permanently. As I for one would not know what was happening outside of my realm otherwise.

Well as has been pointed out, there are, or used to be anyway, realm and other player-created newspapers, posted on the wiki. That was a great source of fun, especially back in the day.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Fleugs on August 04, 2013, 06:55:10 PM
It used to be so that realms would actually force their rulers to give e.g. weekly updates of what was going on on the continent, so everyone stayed involved. That way you could easily distinguish the good realms from the lesser ones (or the good rulers from the apathetic ones). I don't think people should get their information from the boards on the forum. It is a OOG medium and will, deny it as much as you will, influence the way your character behaves. Simply put; perhaps it is better you cannot know what is going on everywhere all the time. Your character don't, why should you?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tiridia on August 04, 2013, 07:24:05 PM
Losing the local channels might promote guilds as the means of inter-realm communication. Guilds are nicely IG and IC plus they moderate themselves. The local boards made communication too easy.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Valast on August 04, 2013, 07:37:52 PM
I do prefer the Wiki better.  More like a personal journal that people could link to kinda like those annoying hashtags.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Eduardo Almighty on August 04, 2013, 07:44:49 PM
Well.... more than ever we will need the paperworks again. Maybe more guilds as well, since most of them are just dead and was used just to give fame points.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on August 04, 2013, 07:54:08 PM
Have not read th whole thread, but:

Closing the locals is a good move (I say as someone who posts in the locals quite a lot).

But we SHOULD ALSO remove links to IRC realm/continent-threads, or at least stop automatically shunting players into them. If our thought is that these kinds of politically-based ghettoizations are bad, then we shouldn't just slam the forum. If people want to hunt down Dwilight channels on IRC, fine, but don't have them default into them when they click the IRC button.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Bendix on August 04, 2013, 08:02:29 PM

Wiki had that diffrence back the days when there was those news papers, that those were kind of in game. Those were public knowledge. You wrote page at news paper was similar as you would send message to whole continent, or even whole world.


I haven't been around that long, so I'm not sure which 'newspapers' he is talking about, but whatever it is, it sounds like a great idea. One of my characters did an interview for a paper call The White Tree Times (published out of what is present-day Nivemus, East Continent) and it was one of the richest RP experiences I have been a part of. It allows for character exposition on a scale you cannot find in regular RP interacts OR on the forums.

A lot of people don't want to close down the locals channel because it will eliminate their main source of information about their continent. But, by the logic of what Battlemaster is supposed to be at it core, which is a Roleplaying game that has no end and which cannot be won or lost, doing all your RP work in a single sentence on an OOG is detrimental to the entire point. It is also, as has been pointed out, a source of tension between players. We don't want tension between players. We want tension between characters.

A newspaper feature would allow for a lot of what is discussed OOG in the Locals to be made public.

I guess I'm making a feature request here, but I think this is the write thread to post it in:

In my perfect fantasy world it would be an option either under "Global Information" (e.g. "Political Map, Dynamic Map, Statistics, newspapers") or under "Actions" (e.g. "Visit the Academy, Bounty Board, Read the Newspapers") and would allow whatever is printed by journalists on the continent to be viewed by anyone. Of course there would have to be some restrictions on who posts what and how often, and I think making a 'Journalist' Subclass would probably be going to far, so obviously this is just a daydream I'm having out loud.

My central point is this: a lot of people put a lot of energy into posting on the locals. In a way, it's a crude form of propaganda, either for their realm, or against others. We need to find a way to direct all that energy into the game. We need a way for characters to spread propaganda without having to go on the forums to do it.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Naidraug on August 04, 2013, 08:05:30 PM
I am not sure that closing the locals is a good idea...

The ooc talk is almost none and discouraged inside the game, and it is good to have a place to talk about wars or the island. Maybe all it needs is better moderation to avoid big problems and discussions.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 04, 2013, 08:05:32 PM
But we SHOULD ALSO remove links to IRC realm/continent-threads, or at least stop automatically shunting players into them. If our thought is that these kinds of politically-based ghettoizations are bad, then we shouldn't just slam the forum. If people want to hunt down Dwilight channels on IRC, fine, but don't have them default into them when they click the IRC button.

This would make sense if the same things happened on IRC.

They don't.

In my experience, 99.5% of the bad stuff on IRC happens in the main #battlemaster channel. The continent channels are almost completely unused of late.

The realm channels, by a vast majority, consist of positive, sensible discussion about the realm among players who belong to the realm, and idle, but positive and sensible, OOC chat among those same players.

The former, at its very worst, can exclude those who do not come to IRC from such discussion. Removing the links to the realm channels will do less than nothing to prevent that: indeed, it will exacerbate it, as those who have been going there for years on desktop clients will still go there. All it will do is exclude new players from being easily able to access them.

The latter is the very best of what IRC has to offer. It helps us to get to know our fellow players as people, and bond with them, thus increasing the sense of community.

In sum, aside from a misplaced feeling that we have to be "fair" to all our different out-of-game communications channels, I can see absolutely no good reason to remove the auto-joins to the channels for the realms people belong to.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 04, 2013, 08:13:52 PM
Losing the local channels might promote guilds as the means of inter-realm communication. Guilds are nicely IG and IC plus they moderate themselves. The local boards made communication too easy.
It used to be so that realms would actually force their rulers to give e.g. weekly updates of what was going on on the continent, so everyone stayed involved. That way you could easily distinguish the good realms from the lesser ones (or the good rulers from the apathetic ones). I don't think people should get their information from the boards on the forum. It is a OOG medium and will, deny it as much as you will, influence the way your character behaves. Simply put; perhaps it is better you cannot know what is going on everywhere all the time. Your character don't, why should you?

People didn't stop doing these things when the forum was created. People stopped doing these things (or never did them in the first place) because they are a lot of work and effort, usually for very little return (or in the case of newspapers, no return at all). Closing the Local board is not going to inspire people to do more in the game and on the wiki than they're already doing. It's just going to cut off a source of passion for and interest in the game.

The idea that the forum is somehow responsible for what ails the game (as suggested by the title of this thread) is ridiculous, unprovable, and thoroughly hyperbolic. What ails the game is a lack of interest, passion and inspiration among players of the game, as reflected by a shrinking player base, quieter and quieter realms, and falling activity levels. Battlemaster is getting more boring, not less, and closing off one of the few channels of communication that still inspires passion and lets us still feel like a vibrant community will only exacerbate this trend.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Chenier on August 04, 2013, 08:40:52 PM
Closing down locals is stupid, one of the reasons I decided to play this game was because of the interesting talks and politicking I read reading the Dwilight local. Now I will have absolutely nooooo idea what is going on with the war in the north, or pretty much anywhere at all except in my own realm. This is a pretty dissapointing move and will probably have a negative impact on player attraction and retention.

True, before then, unless you were one of the lucky people "in the know", most people were totally and utterly clueless as to continental events... heck, even about their own realm's politics in many cases.

It used to be so that realms would actually force their rulers to give e.g. weekly updates of what was going on on the continent, so everyone stayed involved. That way you could easily distinguish the good realms from the lesser ones (or the good rulers from the apathetic ones). I don't think people should get their information from the boards on the forum. It is a OOG medium and will, deny it as much as you will, influence the way your character behaves. Simply put; perhaps it is better you cannot know what is going on everywhere all the time. Your character don't, why should you?

I've never seen this. Some rulers did (I did my best to), but often they'd get replaced every now and then by rulers who would never give a single word about global events and I never saw a soul complain. I like to think that the "good" rulers were the active ones that tried to keep the others engaged, but, especially in the days, the popular rulers were often the ones that simply had the most days in realm and never really uttered any words.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Revan on August 04, 2013, 08:56:57 PM
BattleMaster managed for about 10 years without having any forum at all. It is a shame so many now feel that their game experience will be impinged by closing a single section of it. If anything though, probably the place that has been most affected by the advent of the forum is the wiki. Lots more information of all kinds used to get disseminated on there but not so much these days. Newspapers might have been some work to keep going on a regular basis, but it wasn't so much different in content to what you saw on the Island news facebook threads.

If anyone wants to keep spreading information about things that are happening in the game, I heartily recommend starting up your own newspaper. You don't have to build your own templates from scratch. I believe there is a page with pre-made templates designed for newspapers and if you don't fancy using those, just nick any template code you see in other newspapers you like. But you can approach it from all types of angles. You can be partisan to your realm, or focus on continent politics. Perhaps you will focus on your duchy. Or maybe someone will use their diplomat to send diplomatic papers home. It really can be a lot of fun once you get into it.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Chenier on August 04, 2013, 08:59:03 PM
BattleMaster managed for about 10 years without having any forum at all. It is a shame so many now feel that their game experience will be impinged by closing a single section of it. If anything though, probably the place that has been most affected by the advent of the forum is the wiki. Lots more information of all kinds used to get disseminated on there but not so much these days. Newspapers might have been some work to keep going on a regular basis, but it wasn't so much different in content to what you saw on the Island news facebook threads.

If anyone wants to keep spreading information about things that are happening in the game, I heartily recommend starting up your own newspaper. You don't have to build your own templates from scratch. I believe there is a page with pre-made templates designed for newspapers and if you don't fancy using those, just nick any template code you see in other newspapers you like. But you can approach it from all types of angles. You can be partisan to your realm, or focus on continent politics. Perhaps you will focus on your duchy. Or maybe someone will use their diplomat to send diplomatic papers home. It really can be a lot of fun once you get into it.

The forum certainly didn't help the wiki, but feels to me like the wiki started declining in use much before the forums arrived.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kwanstein on August 04, 2013, 09:01:52 PM
I remember that back when Aurvandil invaded Terran D-day style, Vellos and Kale reported it on the forum but neglected to tell anyone in-game. The result was that few players and fewer characters, even in Terran itself, knew what was going on. So there is a tendency to use the forum as a surrogate for in-game discussion.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Revan on August 04, 2013, 09:23:26 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Foxglove on August 04, 2013, 10:18:39 PM
It used to be so that realms would actually force their rulers to give e.g. weekly updates of what was going on on the continent, so everyone stayed involved. That way you could easily distinguish the good realms from the lesser ones (or the good rulers from the apathetic ones). I don't think people should get their information from the boards on the forum. It is a OOG medium and will, deny it as much as you will, influence the way your character behaves. Simply put; perhaps it is better you cannot know what is going on everywhere all the time. Your character don't, why should you?

This mirrors many of my own thoughts. The game should be the core of the game, not people feeling their interest in the game is being lessened by not being able to post to sections of the forum. If you want to know what's happening in the south of an island, and you're in the north, pressure your ruler or ambassadors to keep you updated. Or, even better, make contact with nobles in the realms you want to know about and ask them, increasing in-game communication. Join and promote guilds or religions as mediums to hear or share more news IC.

Having a fog of war in terms of information isn't a bad thing for the game. I also think that many people who use the forums just don't realize that the majority of players in the game hardly ever (or never) visit here. Shunting more communication and interaction into the game is positive, and will help with player retention.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 05, 2013, 12:27:59 AM
I mean without the thread that follows the initial complaint that is supposed to be gathering information for Magistrates. It rarely helps and I think it'd be better if they could request information from people privately, rather than into a public forum. Publicly post the initial complaint and the Magistrates' sentencing and reasoning, but keep the whole process of the decision private.

That is a problem of moderation. I personaly have told the Magistrates and the moderators that I have their back if they decide to mercilessly delete any post that is whiny complaining, even if it does also contain information relevant to the case. But as I gathered from the replies, they would rather put up with a certain level of crap then removing vital evidence. And in the end, it's their call.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 05, 2013, 12:31:25 AM
Well as has been pointed out, there are, or used to be anyway, realm and other player-created newspapers, posted on the wiki. That was a great source of fun, especially back in the day.

Exactly. We need those back, and I don't think it's a coincidence that they died down when the forum opened.

I want to make sure that everyone has read the sticky note. I plan to make the locals boards redirect to the newspapers section on the wiki afterwards.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 05, 2013, 12:45:13 AM
Exactly. We need those back, and I don't think it's a coincidence that they died down when the forum opened.

I want to make sure that everyone has read the sticky note. I plan to make the locals boards redirect to the newspapers section on the wiki afterwards.

They died off WELL before the forum opened up. As I have said repeatedly, you are getting a lot of confirmation bias in this thread, just using those posts that agree with you to confirm your view without looking at the evidence in general.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Chenier on August 05, 2013, 01:10:57 AM
They died off WELL before the forum opened up. As I have said repeatedly, you are getting a lot of confirmation bias in this thread, just using those posts that agree with you to confirm your view without looking at the evidence in general.

Indeed. And one has to wonder how many readers they actually got.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on August 05, 2013, 02:31:39 AM
Back in the days of the Newspaper Wars on EC, I think most of the page views we got were from our own writers reading each others' stories, and then from us writing and revising our own.

It was fun for a while. I really enjoyed creating and writing for the three I did. But it eventually got to be more of a chore than fun. Now... meh. I don't think writing a realm paper would be of any interest to me at all. Maybe an island-wide one, where people from many realms contributed would be interesting. But I would be sad to see it turn into a tit-for-tat propaganda rag. Which is what I see it quickly becoming.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 05, 2013, 04:36:03 AM
This mirrors many of my own thoughts. The game should be the core of the game, not people feeling their interest in the game is being lessened by not being able to post to sections of the forum. If you want to know what's happening in the south of an island, and you're in the north, pressure your ruler or ambassadors to keep you updated. Or, even better, make contact with nobles in the realms you want to know about and ask them, increasing in-game communication. Join and promote guilds or religions as mediums to hear or share more news IC.

Having a fog of war in terms of information isn't a bad thing for the game. I also think that many people who use the forums just don't realize that the majority of players in the game hardly ever (or never) visit here. Shunting more communication and interaction into the game is positive, and will help with player retention.

You're assuming that the forum is taking away from effort people would otherwise put into the game. There's no particular reason to believe that this is, in fact, the case. Nor is there any reason to believe that shutting down pieces of the forum will magically increase activity levels in the game itself.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: de Aquitane on August 05, 2013, 05:14:14 AM
I quite enjoyed the wild speculations of local forums; the "Thalmarkin will totally crush Melhed because vikings and I play in BoM". The problematic part comes when facts are distinguishable, and players recieve information of things they should not, affecting character play. Some people will heed a course of destruction even if they hear from an outside source their risk will not pay off, some will not. It is definately hard not to let such affect your decision making even though our characters are just, well, characters.

I am unsure if a gentlemen's agreement to avoid posting about your own realm, or things you know about, would work, or if the local channel would even make sense with such a restriction. I would, however, like for there to be a place where I can keep guessing on how much money Darka actually has, and recieve an echo of "oh my god it is still totally [email protected]#$tons fo sho".

I post here quite scarceley (0.04/day), and as such have not been involved (to my knowing) in any of the "negative atmosphere" of the forums. I am guessing much of it is just a few competitive people enjoying arguing and using some less empathic methods of sarcasm and such to prove a point without any real personal malice (or belief in being correct). I am undecided on if this is an issue, but I doubt it will be restricted to locals, as I doubt it really spawns from any OOC/IC mix up. Neither do I think it often reveals crucial information.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Daycryn on August 05, 2013, 06:23:47 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Foxglove on August 05, 2013, 06:38:48 AM
You're assuming that the forum is taking away from effort people would otherwise put into the game. There's no particular reason to believe that this is, in fact, the case. Nor is there any reason to believe that shutting down pieces of the forum will magically increase activity levels in the game itself.

Well, I've seen times when events are being discussed IC in-game, and when I've looked in on the Locals in the forum I've seen the players of characters who've been completely silent in-game have posted something about those same events on the forum. To be totally fair, that hasn't happened many times but I have been left wondering why comment on it in the Locals when you've been silent in-game?

But simple activity level isn't entirely what I meant. Part of the thing with the Locals is that they reduce the need to interact IC to find information.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 05, 2013, 10:56:17 AM
But I would be sad to see it turn into a tit-for-tat propaganda rag. Which is what I see it quickly becoming.

If it is in-game propaganda, that would be perfectly fine with me. ;-)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 05, 2013, 10:57:19 AM
They died off WELL before the forum opened up.

You and I have different perceptions. I know a couple newspapers that had issues until 2011 - and the forums opened in 2011. You can look these things up, you know?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: jaune on August 05, 2013, 11:32:49 AM
Even thought many of newspapers fade away before forums show up... forums showed up that those are needed and wanted.

I guess problem is to find good reporters :)

I wouldnt mind to have even council position... or somesort of automagic page created to realms where ruler and/or someone who ruler appoints to head diplomat or minister of propaganda have access.

"Official truth of Keplerstan" page on wiki, or even in game.

-Jaune
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Chenier on August 05, 2013, 12:36:15 PM
One can make an educated guess. Abington First (http://wiki.battlemaster.org/wiki/Abington_First/Newsletter) was according to the page accessed over 3000 times. The individual articles seem to range from about 500 to 1000 hits each. IIRC a lot of people from different realms would read it, even though it was explicitly a single realm rag, because it stirred controversy and spread all kinds of juicy slander and gossip and propaganda. All entirely in-character. I know it stirred roleplays and had a hand in the politics of the realm in question too.

Just one newspaper, that. Albeit a masterpiece created by a veritable genius, of course. *cough*

That was 2006-2007, though.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 05, 2013, 04:52:27 PM
(Yes, I'm way behind. I'll make all my commends in one post.)

At the same time, the local forums have definitely influenced me IC. I hate D'Harans because of the forums and like Niselur. My feelings have definetly changed towards individual players too (though this is more from IRC than anyrthing else)

This is exactly why the locals needed to go. Your character has no IC reason for hating D'Hara, but it sounds like you play your character that way anyways. That sort of opinion should be developed IC.

=======

Quote from: Vita
On the matter of Magistrate publicity, I think the process of the decision should be private, but the initial complaint and the verdict public.

You mean, exactly the way it is set up right now? The Magistrates do have a private forum where they discuss cases.

I would like to see Magistrates not commenting on a case in the public forum, other than asking for information and posting the verict. I see way too many Magistrates posting their opinions in the public forum, that should be in the private side of things. It's unprofessional, for lack of a better word, and detrimental to the system.

=====

Also, I put the RP forum on ignore, out of a lack of personal interest. But we've never had to moderate any of the posts, so I don't think the RP forum is doing much to damage the game.

Perhaps a rule that people have to RP the event in-game, and not simply on the forums, would be appropriate. Make it a place to copy role-plays for posterity.

=====

Closing down locals is stupid, one of the reasons I decided to play this game was because of the interesting talks and politicking I read reading the Dwilight local. Now I will have absolutely nooooo idea what is going on with the war in the north, or pretty much anywhere at all except in my own realm. This is a pretty dissapointing move and will probably have a negative impact on player attraction and retention.

You can now send your character to the north to gather that information first hand. Again, an example of OOC information reducing the lack of IC motivation to act.

======

IRC: no opinion.

======

Wiki: it's hard to use (although I've done plenty of pages and edits). Newspapers in particular represent a fair amount of work. It would be nice if there was an easier way to do a newspaper. I know Indirik started working on something with the Tattlemaster but never got it finished. I miss the Tattlemaster.

======

Well, I've seen times when events are being discussed IC in-game, and when I've looked in on the Locals in the forum I've seen the players of characters who've been completely silent in-game have posted something about those same events on the forum. To be totally fair, that hasn't happened many times but I have been left wondering why comment on it in the Locals when you've been silent in-game?

But simple activity level isn't entirely what I meant. Part of the thing with the Locals is that they reduce the need to interact IC to find information.

Agree completely. Characters should find out information first, not players.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Eirikr on August 05, 2013, 05:11:37 PM
Also, I put the RP forum on ignore, out of a lack of personal interest. But we've never had to moderate any of the posts, so I don't think the RP forum is doing much to damage the game.

Perhaps a rule that people have to RP the event in-game, and not simply on the forums, would be appropriate. Make it a place to copy role-plays for posterity.

I'm also severely late to the topic and have little to add, but I do want to say we should encourage the RP aspect as much as possible; it gives more flavor to the game. The RP forum, to me, is a good place for the longer stories that are just unwieldy in-game. Make it a requirement to post a short summary in-game and a link if you must, but I don't think we should stifle the large-scale creative efforts.

That said, I do not frequent the RP forum myself and have no bearing on whether or not people would accept this or even agree with this rationale.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Dishman on August 05, 2013, 06:40:02 PM
Closing down locals is stupid, one of the reasons I decided to play this game was because of the interesting talks and politicking I read reading the Dwilight local. Now I will have absolutely nooooo idea what is going on with the war in the north, or pretty much anywhere at all except in my own realm. This is a pretty dissapointing move and will probably have a negative impact on player attraction and retention.

Dwilight is one of the easier places to keep abreast of ongoings. SA airs dirty laundry fairly often, plenty of guilds to connect realms, and low noble count means vagabonds are warmly welcomed. Find a few good contacts in each realm and you'll know exactly whats going on. Have a character go on 'holiday' to talk to new people; or do what I had Enoch do, wander the theocracies in their time of need.

I did like how the forum you would get bits and pieces of lore/news/politics....but the newspapers/wiki have just as much information. I'd honestly like to see the newspapers be reborn in the forum.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 05, 2013, 08:44:56 PM
Wiki: it's hard to use (although I've done plenty of pages and edits). Newspapers in particular represent a fair amount of work. It would be nice if there was an easier way to do a newspaper. I know Indirik started working on something with the Tattlemaster but never got it finished. I miss the Tattlemaster.

If someone finds me something that makes Newspapers easy to do, I'll be more then happy to install it. Something like Wordpress might work, but it needs to allow sub-sites with their own owners, and it needs to be a LOT simpler. I doubt it exists, and while I'd love to create it, I don't think I have the time right now.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 05, 2013, 08:47:37 PM
removed a couple posts that had nothing to do with the topic anymore.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Dante Silverfire on August 05, 2013, 09:22:20 PM
Tom,

I think that while closing down the local forums makes some measure of sense in the immediate term, it won't solve any long-term problems. It will prevent some of the bickering that occurs and perhaps relegate a few people to spend more time IC seeking information, but overall I think this will be a negative thing for the game. The Local forums don't need to be removed, they simply need to be harshly moderated.

The fact of the matter is that the local forums are the single most frequented part of the forum if I had to make a guess. I certainly spend most of my time there, and I believe currently have posted over 1600 times on the forum. While the forum is not the game, it is a means by which to retain interest and passion about the game. The local forums allow me to interact with players I don't always interact with and be kept abreast of situations on other continents. I can find out what is happening on East Continent while I don't have a character there, and if something gets interesting I can make one. This is a positive for the game.

While I understand there are many negatives that have come out of the local forums, I firmly believe that these would be eliminated if they were simply moderated with harsh and quick action. Ad Hominem attacks receive fast deletion of posts, and moderation points. Forum suspensions, and bans to be handed out if people are an issue, without mercy. The forum isn't a part of the main game, so there should be no reason to go easy on this. The problem is that if you eliminate the local forums, you eliminate much of what keeps the passion going for some of your heaviest contributing players. It is these players, which I'll include myself in it, that are leading realms, making decisive things happen, and fueling the passion of those who aren't on the forum. Is it particularly healthy for the game that it is dependent upon such a group of players to keep it going? No. But, the game is practically dying anyway, and we don't need anymore reasons to take away interest of your most heavily invested players.

You seem heavily inclined to simply shut down part or all of the forum going into this thread to begin with. While I understand the reasoning, I caution you as well against the simple confirmation bias you may see here. While many have agreed with you. Many have also opposed your views. This action while it may seem like a simple solution to a large problem will have a domino effect that is difficult to fully grasp.

As a personal example: When I play battle-master I usually do so for hours at a time. Maybe 1 hour in the morning, and 2-4 hours in the evening. About half of this time is spent reading and writing letters. I usually write anywhere from 10-75 letters in a single day, sometimes from a single character when I am leading a realm and trying to build fun for other players. About 10% of that time is spent chatting on IRC with people in my realm to either set up RP's, discuss in-game events, or communicate quickly to make plans before sending the real letters in-game to confirm what we want our characters to do. The last 40% though is spent on the forums. I read what is going on with other realms, what people are saying about my realms, and what is being discussed to improve the game. I do this while thinking of what to write in my letters in-game. If the forums are removed, I'd have nothing to keep me held into the game for the long duration that I play, while I wait for letter responses. A large amount of time is sometimes needed by ruling characters and their players to really create a fun and engaging environment for their realm. This one person's efforts can positively (or negatively) effect a realm of 20, 30, 50, or 70 players. These players are also drivers for interactions with other realms and thus you have perhaps 10-15 players on a single continent which essentially control the flow of fun of your game. I would guess that a vast majority (perhaps 90%- made up statistic) of these rulers are played by players with forum accounts in the first two pages of # of forum posts.

If you inadvertently cut out the passion of this player base or don't find some other way to divert it and make it continue, you'll have cut out the legs of your game at the knee. A good ruler makes or breaks a realm's fun. I am not saying that there is an easy solution to this forum post problem, but I believe you could very easily create a far worse situation if this action proceeds without further consideration of its possible consequences.

-Silverfire
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 05, 2013, 09:57:12 PM
Silverfire,
It sounds like you are far from being the typical BattleMaster player. It sounds like you are an outstanding player, at least in terms of the time you spend devoted to the game. And the amount of time you spend on the forums doesn't seem to detract from your game.

But for your more typical player--say someone who spends an hour between the game and the forums--it would make a HUGE difference if they spent that entire hour writing letters instead of spending 30 minutes in the game and 30 minutes on the forum. Imagine what battlemaster would be like if all the effort put into the forums, went in the game. Think about all the interesting plots, religions, etc, that would spring from having that energy redirected. I simply don't have "time" to play the game much because of the time I spend on the forum; and that's bad for the game. My characters are far too quiet. I even have an open character slot because I didn't want to split my "30 minutes" between 4 characters anymore. The people I play with deserve that, at least.

I say we give the lack of local forums a shot. We can always bring back the islands if we need to.

If you are waiting for replies, why not work on the wiki? There's always work to be done; just pick a topic in the helpline forum and make sure that it's on the wiki. If you want to post a link to the new/corrected wiki page in the helpline topic, I can even lock the topic after the wiki is updated to help you keep track of what you've added to the wiki.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Dante Silverfire on August 05, 2013, 10:17:47 PM
If you are waiting for replies, why not work on the wiki? There's always work to be done; just pick a topic in the helpline forum and make sure that it's on the wiki. If you want to post a link to the new/corrected wiki page in the helpline topic, I can even lock the topic after the wiki is updated to help you keep track of what you've added to the wiki.

The wiki is boring and feels like work, while the forums is interesting. It's really that simple.

Silverfire,
It sounds like you are far from being the typical BattleMaster player.

I realize I am likely in the top 1% of those who spend time on the game.

But for your more typical player--say someone who spends an hour between the game and the forums--it would make a HUGE difference if they spent that entire hour writing letters instead of spending 30 minutes in the game and 30 minutes on the forum. Imagine what battlemaster would be like if all the effort put into the forums, went in the game. Think about all the interesting plots, religions, etc, that would spring from having that energy redirected. I simply don't have "time" to play the game much because of the time I spend on the forum; and that's bad for the game. My characters are far too quiet. I even have an open character slot because I didn't want to split my "30 minutes" between 4 characters anymore. The people I play with deserve that, at least.

I think though that based upon the simple sheer amount of time I've spent on the game, that to play the higher reaches of the game requires an enormous input of time. A typical player, who spends an hour between the game and the forums, even if they spent it all on the game, could not hope to rule a realm on Atamara at least. If they did, at least one of three things would happen:

1. Their realm would be put in a bad spot diplomatically
2. Their realm would lack internal interest and grow boring from lack of ruler stimulus
3. They or their realm would be taken advantage of by those spending more time on coordinating efforts.

A good ruler provides positive influence within their realm, positive influence outside of their realm, and a stimulating environment for conflict and action for all involved.

I assert that the #1 problem we face is a lack of good rulers.

Relating this statement back to the topic: The forum provides a means for cultivating good ruler players and demonstrating positive things that other players can emulate in what it means to be a good ruler. While I am completely 100% biased, I believe I have made a very decent example of what a ruler character should provide in their realm. I couldn't have done this without interacting with others on the forums and learning from them. Likewise, I couldn't have influence many more players to them begin emulating my own ideas and trying to be more engaging in their own realms. This may sound like a lot of self-gloating, but I have personal messages from many sources in this regard. I could be wrong, but I believe the forums, and specifically the local forums have been a direct cause for this success.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: jaune on August 06, 2013, 09:44:30 AM
I hope you realize, that even thought many things you did as ruler were inspired by forums... also, things which should have not been known certain people IG got to know those things through forums which eventually caused a lot trouble to you and your realm.

What i find utterly annoying is that there is some things discussed in forums, which has been tried to be as secret for various reasons. It spoils "surprise" effect and you can be 100% sure that some people take advantage of the information they get through forums... were it false or true information spreaded here.

If it is spreaded through game, it has more real effects and it can be reacted in game. If someone on my realm says on forums "Darka is preparing to attack Silnaria!" I cant react on it IG, but you can prepare your self for it. I did enjoy some parts of these discussions, but lately... there is more and more Player vs. Player setups.

I dont mind atleast temporar shutdown of these, maybby we can take em back at some point. But lets see if we get something good from this.

-jaune
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: feyeleanor on August 06, 2013, 03:56:09 PM
I'm surprised to find myself the 116th most frequent poster when I'm very far from being a forum regular, so it's clearly a very small community who're routinely active.

Much of this thread is about how awful the local boards are, and there's some truth to that charge. Particular posters who refuse to separate IG from OOC seem to use any and every opportunity to bash those they perceive as enemies. This is a lousy way to play the game and makes the individuals in question look like the most extraordinary douchebags. However for every one of those there are a half-dozen regular posters in those boards who are friendly, helpful and often insightful.

I don't think those latter discussions hurt the game at all, any more than when any bunch of gamers meet up socially and swap war stories. Indeed as a player I very much enjoy finding out how other players feel about events in parts of the game where I'm active - not to mention getting some insight into events elsewhere.

The question is how to restrain the handful of forum bullies so that the rest of us can enjoy these discussions. Perhaps increasingly severe forum bans for frequent offenders?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 06, 2013, 04:25:11 PM
But for your more typical player--say someone who spends an hour between the game and the forums--it would make a HUGE difference if they spent that entire hour writing letters instead of spending 30 minutes in the game and 30 minutes on the forum. Imagine what battlemaster would be like if all the effort put into the forums, went in the game. Think about all the interesting plots, religions, etc, that would spring from having that energy redirected. I simply don't have "time" to play the game much because of the time I spend on the forum; and that's bad for the game. My characters are far too quiet. I even have an open character slot because I didn't want to split my "30 minutes" between 4 characters anymore. The people I play with deserve that, at least.

So, out of the hour (say) that you have to play each day, you consciously choose to take time away from the game to spend on the forum? How interesting. Why do you choose to do that, especially if you acknowledge that it's bad for your game and your characters are too quiet? Doesn't really make any sense, unless of course you find the forum to be more interesting than the game itself. Do you?

Personally, the time I spend on the forum comes after I have finished whatever it is I'm doing in the game; if time is limited, the game gets what I have until I've done what needs doing, then if I have time and feel like it I check out the forum. I would be very surprised if a large number of the players who post on the forums frequently would say that doing so takes away from what they'd otherwise give to the game, especially considering that the most active forum posters are also some of the most active players in general. People like Chenier, Vellos, Indirik and Anaris are hardly the sort of players who make drone characters or aren't putting sufficient time into the game. Taking away the Local board on the forum isn't going to change anything for them, other than to take away a venue for discussions that they evidently enjoy participating in. What an amazing victory for the community. By the same token, it's not going to magically breathe more life back into the game since the players who post a lot on the forum are already putting as much into the game as they're prepared to. To think otherwise is likely wishful thinking.

Seriously, the people who post here all the time aren't the ones who could stand to be putting more effort into the game; by and large, they are already the most passionate, committed and active players the game has left. All you're doing by shutting down the Local board is taking away something that they enjoy and making it harder for us to get to know each other and talk about the one passion that we all share: Battlemaster. Seriously, no one has yet been able to articulate any demonstrable, concrete benefit that is going to come out of this decision. The only thing you can honestly say for sure will happen is that there will be a little less arguing that might lead to flaming, but that's a pretty natural side effect of taking away people's ability to express themselves at all. "A few people are mean to each other, so let's punish everyone by forbidding them from talking about the subjects that they're most interested in! No passion, no arguing! Everyone wins!"
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Elegant on August 06, 2013, 04:49:31 PM
After reading 7 pages of this topic, I find that there are both advantages and disadvantages of closing the Locals. How about we make a compromise?

1. Let there be Locals in forums. The only purpose should be News papers. There may be a direct link from the game world to its Local in forum. Things must be kept completely civil through moderation.

2. Let there be a different fan controlled website for Local discussions, where people continue doing what they are doing now in locals. This website should not be officially related to BM, but, the moderators of BM may become moderators of that website. This is where all Local-forum-lovers would be supposed to spend their time. Things may go hateful sometimes here but BM game bears no responsibility for whatever happens here (there would be moderators to control the situation).
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Dante Silverfire on August 06, 2013, 05:33:28 PM
I hope you realize, that even thought many things you did as ruler were inspired by forums... also, things which should have not been known certain people IG got to know those things through forums which eventually caused a lot trouble to you and your realm.

I don't believe that my actions were inspired by the forums, but I do agree some things have been spread on the forum about IG stuff which shouldn't have been.

Overall though, I believe the forum, and the locals section of it in particular are a net benefit for our realm.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 06, 2013, 06:44:03 PM
So, out of the hour (say) that you have to play each day, you consciously choose to take time away from the game to spend on the forum? How interesting. Why do you choose to do that, especially if you acknowledge that it's bad for your game and your characters are too quiet? Doesn't really make any sense, unless of course you find the forum to be more interesting than the game itself. Do you?

Personally, the time I spend on the forum comes after I have finished whatever it is I'm doing in the game; if time is limited, the game gets what I have until I've done what needs doing, then if I have time and feel like it I check out the forum.

The forums are interesting because people post here, while half of the in-game messages I get are automated reports. So yes, human communication is more interesting than machine generated messages.

I come here when I'm done reading my IG messages; the problem is, I could be spending more time writing letters, but I don't because the forums are...easier, I guess. I'm also a global moderator so I sorta need to keep up with threads, even if I don't post in all of them.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 06, 2013, 07:30:03 PM
I come here when I'm done reading my IG messages; the problem is, I could be spending more time writing letters, but I don't because the forums are...easier, I guess. I'm also a global moderator so I sorta need to keep up with threads, even if I don't post in all of them.

Sure you could, but would you? Presumably if you had any incentive to send more messages IG, you already would be. That's certainly the case for me.

Nothing about the forums discourages people from sending messages IG. Sure, people can get a lot of information on the forums, but I have significant doubts that if it didn't exist, people would suddenly start reaching out to get the same information IG. Maybe a very few highly active players would suddenly feel the need to develop intelligence sources elsewhere, but those players probably already cultivate them. Everyone else would simply shrug and make do without the additional information. I know I would. I enjoy forum discussions. I don't particularly enjoy writing dozens of IG messages a day to characters that may or may not bother to respond just to get the sort of every day news you can get on the forum.

Look, the only way to increase activity in the game is to make the game itself more interesting. Without considering design changes that means dramatically increasing player density, which means growing the player base or removing islands, both of which topics are already under discussion elsewhere.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: nanakisan on August 06, 2013, 08:00:27 PM
Being a former Admin to a Sci-fi RP community. I can exactly confirm to you how detrimental things like this are. You have your game but people take their discussions outside of it. Something that should never happen no matter what. Because these discussions took place outside of the games environment they end up poisoning the games flow.

That said when i also ran the communities IRC. I made it explicitly clear that if i caught 1 hint of IRC discussions influencing RP's and IC decisions. I would shut it down immediately. Something i actually ended up doing.... After the loss of the IRC (in the community the IRC was the equiv of forummasters and the forums battlemasters) Suddenly you see things become correct and proper again. People started enjoying the notions of PM'ing for the sake of PM's. They started using forum tags to identify if its RP message and such. It simply worked better when the evil was rooted out.

So i for one actually like knowing the locals and RP boards are going to be closed. If people want to preserve their long going stories. They should either write a Wiki page or simply save the discussions to a txt file and carry on in their gameplay.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 06, 2013, 08:04:36 PM
Being a former Admin to a Sci-fi RP community. I can exactly confirm to you how detrimental things like this are. You have your game but people take their discussions outside of it. Something that should never happen no matter what. Because these discussions took place outside of the games environment they end up poisoning the games flow.

That said when i also ran the communities IRC. I made it explicitly clear that if i caught 1 hint of IRC discussions influencing RP's and IC decisions. I would shut it down immediately. Something i actually ended up doing.... After the loss of the IRC (in the community the IRC was the equiv of forummasters and the forums battlemasters) Suddenly you see things become correct and proper again. People started enjoying the notions of PM'ing for the sake of PM's. They started using forum tags to identify if its RP message and such. It simply worked better when the evil was rooted out.

So i for one actually like knowing the locals and RP boards are going to be closed. If people want to preserve their long going stories. They should either write a Wiki page or simply save the discussions to a txt file and carry on in their gameplay.

People don't talk IC (exclusive of the RP board anyway) or plan strategy on the forums. They might on IRC, but we've had an active IRC community for years, long before we had a forum.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 06, 2013, 09:00:24 PM
The forums are interesting because people post here, while half of the in-game messages I get are automated reports. So yes, human communication is more interesting than machine generated messages.

And human communication is in part down because people have taken it to the forums. Even if just 20% of the stuff posted in locals previous can be directed back into the game again, that will noticeably increase the number of messages posted there, which in turn might bring people like you to add to it again, increasing communication in-game further.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 06, 2013, 10:06:08 PM
And human communication is in part down because people have taken it to the forums. Even if just 20% of the stuff posted in locals previous can be directed back into the game again, that will noticeably increase the number of messages posted there, which in turn might bring people like you to add to it again, increasing communication in-game further.

But what percent of the stuff posted in Locals previously was posted specifically because the Locals board provided an opportunity for people to talk with people outside their realm?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 06, 2013, 10:11:15 PM
And human communication is in part down because people have taken it to the forums. Even if just 20% of the stuff posted in locals previous can be directed back into the game again, that will noticeably increase the number of messages posted there, which in turn might bring people like you to add to it again, increasing communication in-game further.

This is an unprovable assumption. I don't think that the forum is even remotely the cause of the problem you've identified; if anything, it is only a symptom of the real problem, which is low player density.

There's just not enough players in most realms these days to generate the same vibrant levels of interaction that you see on the forum and that you used to see when average realms had 50+ characters each. You need a certain number of active players to generate self-sustaining interactions. Most realms don't meet that threshold any more, meaning that driving interaction has become a chore for the few players left who are active in each realm. It's like having a conversation with someone that only replies in one-word answers; it gets very draining after a while to keep the conversation going, so eventually you just stop talking and suffer the silence.

All the forum does is stand in stark contrast to the game in this respect. It may be tempting to blame it for the problem since it's doing so much better, but it's not the cause. It's just one of the few places left where generating BM-related interaction is a pleasure, not a chore.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 06, 2013, 10:51:07 PM
This entire argument reminds me of a paragraph in a course of mine. The elders of an african tribe noticed that the sick villagers would all go to the doctor. They made the link and decided the doctor had to be killed, because everyone that went to him was sick. This would cure the diseased. It was a funny illustration on correlation and causality. (needless to say the villagers started dying from sickness a lot faster and it was to late to revert what had been done)

Battlemaster had a lot of players before, and more activity. Dwilight didn't exist then and neither did the forums. Now Battlemaster is becoming emptier and less players, and there is Dwilight and there are forums. The continent which is most active is the one Tom would rather remove, and the part of the forums which have the most vibrant community is the one locked down.

This seems to me like an oversimplified panicked solution which avoids real issues, based on opinions and with no statistics to support these opinions.

-The local forums are great and provide a wealth of information. I have never seen anyone 'plan' anything on the forums. An extremely simple solution, would be to simply appoint one or two regulars to moderate each local. The idea that a forum would take away player gaming time is ridiculous and based upon nothing.
-Newspapers, I am sure new newspapers will come along, but what is the difference between a newspaper, and a thread like 'the great dwilight war' which I consider to be a newspaper in itself. It is just easier to create a topic, where several people can contribute, and where everyone can comment on the information, than a newspaper where you get no feedback and a lot more work for a small number of people (assuming people work on it constantly and regularly). Furthermore, it has been stated that people that have wanted to make newspapers, have already done so in the past, and that they aren't really inclined to do so again. I'm sure new players would try their hand at it, but there are just less 'new' players.


I'll also make my own subjective correlation causality assumption down here, since everyone seems to be doing so;

I think that there were more people starting to play BM all the time, before, because new continents were popping up. There was opportunity, challenge, without a "X-years +" battlemaster club of players ruling everything and pulling all the strings and important functions to themselves, not to mention all the ooc connections built up through the years (pretty much how it is now, and I have heard older players say as much). I think Dwilight is the least like this, in that aspect.

Yes, the best thing would be to drown two or three continents and start a new one up, which would get drowned every 2-3 real life years. To keep things dynamic.


I already added the classic standard stonewall to the post, because I'm sure everyone will shoot this down.

 NO NEW ISLANDS

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Dante Silverfire on August 06, 2013, 11:00:08 PM
I think that there were more people starting to play BM all the time, before, because new continents were popping up. There was opportunity, challenge, without a "X-years +" battlemaster club of players ruling everything and pulling all the strings and important functions to themselves, not to mention all the ooc connections built up through the years (pretty much how it is now, and I have heard older players say as much). I think Dwilight is the least like this, in that aspect.

Yes, the best thing would be to drown two or three continents and start a new one up, which would get drowned every 2-3 real life years. To keep things dynamic.

This is an interesting thought, and one that I tend to agree with. I believe that the stagnant nature of the old continents due to their history and long-term leadership and entrenched powerbase is what is preventing the game from growing. However, it is also the part of the game that makes Battlemaster so unique. The question is how do you treat a game that has gangrene? Do you cut part of it off and start anew or do we simply wait until the disease festers and the whole thing falls apart?

Personally, I think one clear way to revive the game's growth is to drown all the islands, and simply restart the game with a single new island. Will you lose a lot of players? Quite possibly. Is it possible that this will end up killing the game? Yes. But, in that case you've only hastened the inevitable. A lower character density WILL slowly kill this game. Personally, a long slow death doesn't seem like something that will be fun for everyone.

Even if half the playerbase leaves the game from this action, I believe it would be positive. Quite simply, you make it very easy for new players to stay and become engaged. You remove all of the history which is stagnating the game, and you open it up for new events to occur. I truly wonder how many new accounts are made each year. Is it possible that in a single year, new accounts are made equal to our current number of active players? If so, then if you could drastically increase player retention, even if you lost half of your current userbase, you could easily make it up in a year.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 07, 2013, 03:16:09 AM
This is an unprovable assumption.

It is, but there is good evidence for it being at least partially true, some of it posted to this very topic. In addition, this was not the main reason, the main reason was bickering and fighting and hostile atmosphere.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 07, 2013, 03:24:54 AM
This seems to me like an oversimplified panicked solution which avoids real issues, based on opinions and with no statistics to support these opinions.

You don't always see it, but some of these things were discussed before and/or had been on my mind for a long time.

Dwilight especially. I've been thinking of it as a mistake for years.

Sure it has a great atmosphere. But that's not a Dwilight special, other islands had that, too.


Quote
-The local forums are great and provide a wealth of information.

And BM is in parts a game about limited information, rumours, lies, intrigue and betrayl. I know for a fact that a couple of the stunts I pulled as ruler wouldn't have been possible with the forum around. Important information that I had carefully seeded to key persons would've made the round far too quickly and easily, making it impossible for me to trace the leak, for example, that we once had in Lasanar.


Quote
without a "X-years +" battlemaster club of players ruling everything and pulling all the strings and important functions to themselves,

Kill them.

Seriously. You want to throw EI into chaos? Find 5-10 like-minded people, train up infiltrators and go assassinate a few important key figures all at the same time. When they heal up, assassinate them again. Repeat 2-3 times and that character is effectively out of action for a month.


Quote
Yes, the best thing would be to drown two or three continents and start a new one up, which would get drowned every 2-3 real life years. To keep things dynamic.

Wrong game. BM is not a classic empire-building game where you start from nothing and the game is over and you've won when your base is complete. It isn't, never has been and never will be that kind of game.

You want to reset a continent? Find enough people who share that sentiment and burn it. Loot every region rogue, destroy every realm - it can be done. But it will NEVER be done by GM decree.


You are expecting in-game solutions from the dev team and that won't happen. We guide the game, we don't run it. We set the rules, not the play.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Sacha on August 07, 2013, 04:07:10 AM
Kill them.

Seriously. You want to throw EI into chaos? Find 5-10 like-minded people, train up infiltrators and go assassinate a few important key figures all at the same time. When they heal up, assassinate them again. Repeat 2-3 times and that character is effectively out of action for a month.

You're joking, right?

Quote
Sure it has a great atmosphere. But that's not a Dwilight special, other islands had that, too.

Note the use of present tense for Dwilight, and past tense for other islands.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Stabbity on August 07, 2013, 04:43:12 AM
Hrm. Since the locals have been locked, I have had zero interest in the forums. Kill the locals and you kill the forum essentially. Tom's assertion that information leaks to fast because of the forum is plain wrong. I've been able to track leaks, and even have been able to seed disinformation (which actually had the unintended consquence of making life difficult for a later character, and he actually was involved in discussions about and I about died laughing) and none of it has even been touched on in the forums. The local boards are great. It helps me choose new realms to play in and find other players who I find are doing interesting things.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on August 07, 2013, 04:53:32 AM
IMHO, we don't ned to sink islands: we need to freeze them. Force people to play on other continents periodically, but don't just wipe out all the history on existing continents. Reduce the number of continents in play at any given time, but don't just do a blank-slate approach.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Perth on August 07, 2013, 05:57:05 AM
Dwilight especially. I've been thinking of it as a mistake for years.

Sure it has a great atmosphere. But that's not a Dwilight special, other islands had that, too.

The only damage Dwilight has done is be so good that it makes the other continents look boring and stale.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 07, 2013, 06:01:16 AM
The only damage Dwilight has done is be so good that it makes the other continents look boring and stale.

That's because they are boring and stale. And that's why the player base is shrinking.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on August 07, 2013, 07:01:13 AM
The only damage Dwilight has done is be so good that it makes the other continents look boring and stale.

That's because they are boring and stale. And that's why the player base is shrinking.

This. Do any survey of players by any method you like and I guarantee you Dwilight will get at worst middling reviews and usually among the best.

The consistently worst-rated continent by almost every metric is, totally unsurprisingly, Atamara.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Dante Silverfire on August 07, 2013, 07:37:16 AM
This. Do any survey of players by any method you like and I guarantee you Dwilight will get at worst middling reviews and usually among the best.

The consistently worst-rated continent by almost every metric is, totally unsurprisingly, Atamara.

That's because for all intents and purposes Atamara is now permanently locked in one diplomatic state.

The Central Federation has essentially "Won" the island. By anyone's estimate the diplomatic situation would take at least 2-3 real life years to change away from complete dominance by the Central Federation, and even then most believe it will never happen.

This could change if mortality was in place, but without it, no.

Dwilight on the other hand, has a very dynamic political atmosphere which promotes interaction.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Eduardo Almighty on August 07, 2013, 07:43:08 AM
In the end, this is all about "I have the ball and you will not play anymore..."

Because of few people and "bad atmosphere" and bickering in the Locals, all the rest would be punished because of some particular behaviors. This is like to teach a young player how to play a serious roleplaying game. You must teach them, punish them if they need, but not close everything just because of a minority screaming around and causing troubles.

I want to play and for me the Locals is just a dessert.... but a good one. Mainly the Roleplay board.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 07, 2013, 11:34:05 AM
Because of few people and "bad atmosphere" and bickering in the Locals, all the rest would be punished because of some particular behaviors.

"all the rest" is about a quarter of the player population. Lots of people play the game without ever looking at the forum, and about 80% of our players play the game without ever posting anything at the forum.

Having IC content on the forum splits the player population into two parts, those who know and those who don't.


That's because they are boring and stale. And that's why the player base is shrinking.

Correct. So if everyone agrees that it sucks, why does nobody change it? I'm serious. Everybody complains, but there is nothing in the game that forces this situation. Either enough people LIKE the current state, or even after 12 years, people have still not realized that history in this game happens because players make it happen. Neither sounds very believable.

So it's a stalemate. Anyone enjoy it? No? Then change it. It really is that simple. Insult your ally at a wedding and start a war over it. Accuse someone of cheating at the tournament. There's a million roleplaying reasons to start a war even with your best friend. Provided you want to.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Chenier on August 07, 2013, 12:49:28 PM
"all the rest" is about a quarter of the player population. Lots of people play the game without ever looking at the forum, and about 80% of our players play the game without ever posting anything at the forum.

Having IC content on the forum splits the player population into two parts, those who know and those who don't.


Correct. So if everyone agrees that it sucks, why does nobody change it? I'm serious. Everybody complains, but there is nothing in the game that forces this situation. Either enough people LIKE the current state, or even after 12 years, people have still not realized that history in this game happens because players make it happen. Neither sounds very believable.

So it's a stalemate. Anyone enjoy it? No? Then change it. It really is that simple. Insult your ally at a wedding and start a war over it. Accuse someone of cheating at the tournament. There's a million roleplaying reasons to start a war even with your best friend. Provided you want to.

Wars are easy to start if either party really wants it. If it's just an isolated few nobles, it won't work.

In any case, I know that if I a bunch of continents were removed and my "best" choices were things like AT or EC, at best, I wouldn't make more than a drone. Those continents are too uninteresting to invest oneself in. I suspect many others would.

Having fun shouldn't be a lot of work. What AT needs is a huge conspiracy to shake things up. Not worth it. Best just sink the whole thing.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 07, 2013, 01:35:05 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: jaune on August 07, 2013, 02:17:30 PM
Like in the real world, at some point, something happens which shakes the balance... someone wants more power or wants to become The Big Dog.

Example Atamara, there was quite attempt to reduce this central atamaran alliance power, but it failed. Not because Central Atamara was so strong, but because rest of us sucked and we didnt want it enough. South chickened... north fumbled cause of mixed diplomacy.

But i have no doubts some day, someone will make the CE/Tara block to collapse. There are boring times, then people leave to other islands, that opens up oppurtunities to new players get in power or influence current people at power.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 07, 2013, 02:37:00 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 07, 2013, 02:41:20 PM
those leaders focusing solely on what will maintain their own power

so there you have it. The status quo is maintained because those with the power to change it have no interest in doing so.

That has nothing to do with coding, sinking islands or any other thing we could do. Sinking an island just to "renew" is is a lot like nuking planet earth into a wasteland in order to get the corrupt politicians who have taken over out of power. It's... not strictly wrong, and it'll accomplish the goal, but it is a tiny bit excessive and it will damage the innocent most and those you want to hit least.

If you sink AT because you want to break up the mega alliance, it will re-form elsewhere.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 07, 2013, 03:25:17 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 07, 2013, 03:46:01 PM
That has nothing to do with coding, sinking islands or any other thing we could do. Sinking an island just to "renew" is is a lot like nuking planet earth into a wasteland in order to get the corrupt politicians who have taken over out of power. It's... not strictly wrong, and it'll accomplish the goal, but it is a tiny bit excessive and it will damage the innocent most and those you want to hit least.

You do realize the irony here, right? The exact same metaphor applies to suddenly and arbitrarily shutting down the Local board on the forum just because a few people happen to be dicks. Meanwhile, the majority who generally abide by the rules and enjoy the Local board end up getting hurt.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: jaune on August 07, 2013, 03:50:33 PM
It's not only the dicks because it was shut down... it was also shut down to keep things in game.

To keep me away from recruiting OOCLY people to join Darka :P to keep news about invading armies of CE through X region info ingame. So Darkans would not know they are getting there... To keep character arguing in game, instead of arguing in forums player vs. player...

But i guess all these could be avoided by more violent moderation.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 07, 2013, 04:14:39 PM
Correct. So if everyone agrees that it sucks, why does nobody change it?

Because I can simply stop playing on AT and play on another continent; which is exactly what I did, despite having a decent lordship and even a place on a military council.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Lorgan on August 07, 2013, 04:32:16 PM
You're never going to be able to stop alliances from dominating an island. It's what happens to every alliance that's successful for long enough. People don't like breaking up a winning team.

I agree with Tom that the only solution to this is to kill them. I however don't think that it is realistic considering that infiltrators are weak and would need their chances turned up by around 5000% before they could actually successfully be a drive of political change on continents. Rulers are rich, they have big units. It's already near impossible to stab a guy with a unit and get away with it, let stand one with a BIG unit. And if you try and you fail, you get banned. You won't try again unless you want to get executed and if you get executed you can go and spend another year in the academy before you'll be able to try again.
This is the reason why bounties don't or barely work and it's the reason why there's no such thing as infiltrator guilds anymore. Infils are simply too weak.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 07, 2013, 04:46:40 PM
just because a few people happen to be dicks.

That was not the reason at all, just an additional plus point.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: vonGenf on August 07, 2013, 04:58:53 PM
This is the reason why bounties don't or barely work

Another, bigger reason (IMNSHO) is that gold has become really, really cheap. It used to be that someone walking around with a 1'500 gold bounty on his head was in real danger because 1'500 gold was a lot of money that was needed to train and win wars. Now? Meh, it's easier to get a lordship and rack in the dough. Infils used to kill for fun and profit, now it's just for fun. It's still fun at least, but it makes the bounty board much less relevant.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 07, 2013, 05:07:25 PM
It is, but there is good evidence for it being at least partially true, some of it posted to this very topic. In addition, this was not the main reason, the main reason was bickering and fighting and hostile atmosphere.

That was not the reason at all, just an additional plus point.

Well then which is it? I feel like you're contradicting yourself. Was the main reason you removed the Local board because people were being mean to each other, or was it something else?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: feyeleanor on August 07, 2013, 05:34:24 PM
But what percent of the stuff posted in Locals previously was posted specifically because the Locals board provided an opportunity for people to talk with people outside their realm?

That's pretty much the reason why I dip into the forum - to get to talk with players in other realms, hear interesting gossip and get a better feel for what's happening across the islands I play in.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Dante Silverfire on August 07, 2013, 06:02:10 PM
so there you have it. The status quo is maintained because those with the power to change it have no interest in doing so.

That has nothing to do with coding, sinking islands or any other thing we could do. Sinking an island just to "renew" is is a lot like nuking planet earth into a wasteland in order to get the corrupt politicians who have taken over out of power. It's... not strictly wrong, and it'll accomplish the goal, but it is a tiny bit excessive and it will damage the innocent most and those you want to hit least.

If you sink AT because you want to break up the mega alliance, it will re-form elsewhere.

Tom, I simply have to say that your statements seem to indicate that you have zero clue about what is actually taking place on Atamara. Getting the "corrupt politicians" although a better term is just "entrenched leaders" is quite literally the ONLY thing that will ever change Atamara's future. Unless the leaders of CE, Tara, Talerium, and Strombran are somehow removed via deletion, pausing, or being forcibly removed, the political atmosphere on Atamara will NEVER change at this point.

There is simply zero impetus by anyone in those realms to want change, and it is ONLY the people in those realms that have any power to control the situation at this point. Have everyone else team up against them and try and kill them? It's already been tried, and failed. Then, you have to figure that the leaders of two of those realms have probably been rulers of their realms for a combined total time of 10+ real life years. With clear friends and allies amongst the other ones who would never betray them.

As the person who can honestly claim to be the single largest impetus for trying to change this situation against all odds in the past year, I can guarantee you that it is not going to happen. It doesn't matter if over 50% of the players on the continent want that change. It WILL NOT HAPPEN. Even ignoring the fact that I'd say at least 50% of the characters on Atamara are sheep.

I am willing to bet thousands of dollars that Atamara's situation will not change over the next two real life years. That is how confident I am. It is not as easy or as simple as you think. And neither is it good for the game just because people aren't changing it.

All I see from this discussion is a giant disconnect between what you perceive and what I have experienced in the game over the past few years. And it is that above all else which I think may be killing this game if it is causing you to be unwilling to even listen to what myself and others here are trying to tell you. I have put forth hundreds of hours trying to change the situation on Atamara, and sent thousands upon thousands of letters in the course of that time. Things are not as simple as they appear.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 07, 2013, 06:31:09 PM
Maybe we should split this topic so we can keep this one focused on the forum and have another one about the player density problem. They're sort of related in the sense that this whole debate is becoming about the overall decline of the game and how to rejuvenate it, but I'm not sure it's helpful to mash everything together in this thread... Especially since I'd still like to convince Tom to reconsider his decision about the Local boards.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 07, 2013, 10:49:31 PM
Well then which is it? I feel like you're contradicting yourself. Was the main reason you removed the Local board because people were being mean to each other, or was it something else?

There's an entire topic on the reason. Oh wait, it is this very topic. Please read it, the first 2 pages should be enough to clear up where that came from.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 07, 2013, 10:54:04 PM
Getting the "corrupt politicians"

And here I was thinking that the insertion of planet earth into that sentence would make it obvious I'm not talking about the player characters, but drawing a comparison to illustrate a point.

Please don't try to intentionally misunderstand what I'm writing, ok? I don't have time for that [email protected]#$, the only thing it will get you is me leaving the conversation.


Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 07, 2013, 10:58:12 PM
It doesn't matter if over 50% of the players on the continent want that change.

So basically, you are saying that the majority, or something very close to a majority (i.e. the OTHER 50%) are perfectly happy with the situation? Well, then a vote to shake everything up would also fail to get a majority, right? So basically you are asking the dev team to destroy the game of half the players because of a vocal minority, yes?

I'm not happy with AT, don't get me wrong. But we have come a very long way from the initial claims that almost everyone on AT is unhappy and wants it to change, haven't we?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 07, 2013, 11:34:36 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 08, 2013, 12:05:23 AM
There's an entire topic on the reason. Oh wait, it is this very topic. Please read it, the first 2 pages should be enough to clear up where that came from.

Not really. I've heard several reasons thrown out, and it's not all that clear which one is the most important to you. It's also not like there's broad agreement on this even from the people who agree that the forums pose a problem. Here are the main reasons that have been given so far (by various people), as I see them:

1. There's too much bickering and negative interaction.

2. People are sharing too much IC information OOC.

3. Effort that goes into the forum takes away from effort that would otherwise go into the game.

4. (Related to the previous point) People feel like they must participate in the forum when they shouldn't have to.

In your response to my PM, you cited a form of point number 3, leading me to believe that it was what concerned you most. Then, just now, you said point number 1 was the main reason you closed the Local boards. The reason I want to understand is that, obviously, I oppose the decision.

Points 1 and 2 can be dealt with by better moderation, to the extent that they are problems at all. There's no evidence for point 3, and I don't think you're going to get the desired result out of this action (that people suddenly start to put all the effort they were putting into the forum into the game). Point 4, well I don't know what to say about that. Why should people feel like they have to participate? It's a forum for discussion about a shared interest. As you've pointed out, only a fraction of the community participates. Since the majority that doesn't seems to be doing just fine, I don't know why anyone would come to this conclusion. It's not the like the frequent forum-goers are running everything in the game; far from it. Most of the big-shot rulers on established islands hardly ever post here if they've ever come here at all. Clearly the forum is not a key to success in Battlemaster.

I guess I'm just unhappy that you've taken away something I enjoy, for reasons that seem to me to be rather arbitrary. It seems unjust to do that just because some people, what, don't like it? Then they don't have to come here. If I don't enjoy Battlemaster, I'll stop playing. If they don't like the forum, they can stop reading it. I don't see what's so hard about that.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on August 08, 2013, 12:29:03 AM
Tom,

Most players on Atamara would have more fun if their realms could have a littl more independent agency.

However, they are having enough fun now not to want to destroy their realms' chance at total victory/mere survival to shake things up. If a CE duke seceded, even if he wants to, it'd be terrible for CE and be a big setback to them winning Battlemaster. Hence why we've had Magistrate-case-level hostility directed at the ONE player who actually did try to shake things up, and why CE established a policy of getting island-wide expulsions for their political foes: because they're bent on winning Battlemaster on Atamara. AND THEY'RE DAMN CLOSE TO DOING IT. To which I say: impressive, most impressive. Well done, CE.

But it isn't good for BM. It makes the continent a pit for inactivity and unengaged playing. I have a powerful character with strong RP reasons to do some rabble-rousing on Atamara. Instead, I sit and collect gold. Why? Because there is no gain from causing a ruckus. None. And that's the position EVERYONE is in. We're in a situation where every powerful player has sufficient power to prevent anyone beneath them from toppling them, but can't plausibly increase their power very much. There are a few exceptions, but, overall, not really. Keep in mind that CE's treaty in Eston actually forced us to play Peacemaster for months on end. We're basically forced to twiddle our thumbs or be destroyed.

Now maybe you want to say, "Oh, your fault: you COULD choose destruction!" Sure. Yea. You're right Tom, we could. We could also all become infiltrators and train at the academy for years to engage in idiotic assassinations of other characters. That sounds like a blast. Not.

Battlemaster thrives on dynamism. Atamara is not dynamic, not because of some geographic fundamental reason, but because of the political structures players have created. Again, I don't like the idea of sinking a continent. I like freezing them. But if you must sink one, Atamara is the obvious choice.

Or you can do what Tim said and WAIT FOR ACTUAL DATA PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. Because frankly we're all just [email protected]#$ting here about our pretty well unfounded opinions, and here in a few weeks (months? Guess the timetable depends on Tim, then however much processing is needed to sort out the relevant trends) we'll have some solid data about what the whole player base, not just people on the forum, think. SO WAIT FOR THAT TO HAPPEN.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 08, 2013, 01:14:12 AM
Don't think I don't agree with all of you that the game needs more change, more wars, more chaos. I do.

We disagree about how to get it. You think that we GMs have some magic switch we can push and it'll happen. And I say it won't. On the contrary, the large stable power blocks will be the ones left standing when the dust settles. Just like the rich in the real world are almost always the ones who suffer the least from famine, war or plague.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on August 08, 2013, 01:24:44 AM
Don't think I don't agree with all of you that the game needs more change, more wars, more chaos. I do.

We disagree about how to get it. You think that we GMs have some magic switch we can push and it'll happen. And I say it won't. On the contrary, the large stable power blocks will be the ones left standing when the dust settles. Just like the rich in the real world are almost always the ones who suffer the least from famine, war or plague.



Do I hear you saying you want feature requests for ways to incentivize power blocs to break up?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Qyasogk on August 08, 2013, 01:52:59 AM
You think that we GMs have some magic switch we can push and it'll happen. And I say it won't. On the contrary, the large stable power blocks will be the ones left standing when the dust settles.

You are very good at correctly pointing out that players are in the drivers seat. To the extent that a kingdom is strong stable and boring is a testament to how that kingdom is run by its rulers. GIVEN.

--BUT--

It does seem like you don't acknowledge the massive amount of responsibility that you ALSO have, in creating the rules and process of Battlemaster. To the extent that a system is volatile or stable is VERY much under your control. To the extent that you've reduced volatility and unpredictability into the system (almost no player deaths, very weak monster/undead hordes, lots of costs and obstacles to upset a kingdom, not a lot of costs to keep one together, etc...)

With all the talk on medieval role playing, its shocking that no one has implemented a "marriage" function in the game. So much medieval politics comes down to who's married to who, who wants to be married to who, who has a first born son, etc. BM has none of those dynamics.

In the war of ForumMaster vs BattleMaster, you've clearly picked a side by murdering the Local boards, and BM now is wounded as a result.

It's super heavy handed, and I'm not sure you're really grasping what kind of damage you're already doing.

I too was one of those people that when I first looked at BM I had no idea wtf I was suppose to do. And I've read Game of Thrones, I've been a DM in a D&D game, I've LARPed, etc... I should've have some familiarity but BM was almost completely opaque and not at all friendly to outsiders. Reading the stories about what was going on in the forums was ultimately the way I got drawn in and was able to chose an island to start. Otherwise I was just choosing blind. Playing as an adventurer could be one of the awesomest parts of the game, but its clearly underdeveloped (ignored even) and it shows.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Blue Star on August 08, 2013, 05:19:03 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: LilWolf on August 08, 2013, 06:01:25 AM
Getting the "corrupt politicians" although a better term is just "entrenched leaders" is quite literally the ONLY thing that will ever change Atamara's future. Unless the leaders of CE, Tara, Talerium, and Strombran are somehow removed via deletion, pausing, or being forcibly removed, the political atmosphere on Atamara will NEVER change at this point.

As someone playing in Darka, I'd be pretty disappointed if the GM's stepped in and decided to do something to break up the CE block. I'm also less than convinced the situation is as horrible and hopeless as you make it out to be. Did Merlin get treated badly? Yup. Was some of it his own fault? Damn right. He made some serious mistakes in his diplomacy and how he presented things and how he reacted to certain things.

Look, you seem to think putting hundreds of hours into getting change will mean you succeed. It just doesn't work that way. You have to actually do the right things. Merlin did not do the right things. He had a history weighing him down, he made poor choices and moved too quickly. Had Silnaria been ruled by anyone else but Merlin, the realm would probably be fine.

Now, that doesn't mean someone else can't succeed where he tried. You completely dismiss the chance of the rest of the island ganging up on CE and friends because it failed once. That's the situation Abington, Minas Ithil and Falasan were in many years ago, but they kept trying. And then suddenly Tara was a single city realm and Eston lost half its lands. It has happened before and it will happen again. The mighty will get toned down when people have enough of it.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 08, 2013, 06:29:23 AM
Your advocating that the block be broken up? If so then let the other side prove their own worth and break it up. It didn't get there because of the Dev or Gms bring it about it got there because players used their characters wisely and pushed and shoved and made it that way. 

Sheep? CE? I think your missing something, CE's nobility is not following aimlessly, the senate speaks vocally whether for or against things, takes 3-5 days to decide anything amidst the arguing. Knights even have a say if they choose to speak up. We have plenty of fun and enjoy rping when we get the opportunity. Being a republic it has had a constant revolving door in terms of leadership, not one person has held it for a extended period of time unlike Tara, BoM (Lich King), and Darka. Can you blame a fun realm that has active players who are influential?

Everyone rags on AT, you know what do more than talk. Actually make waves and rattle a few chains. Honestly, if not get off the subject its become so redundant.

Have you been hiding under a rock? Were you not there when ALL the realms besides Talerium, Tara, CE, and Coria teamed up against the CE block? We've tried this.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Dante Silverfire on August 08, 2013, 07:18:40 AM
As someone playing in Darka, I'd be pretty disappointed if the GM's stepped in and decided to do something to break up the CE block. I'm also less than convinced the situation is as horrible and hopeless as you make it out to be. Did Merlin get treated badly? Yup. Was some of it his own fault? Damn right. He made some serious mistakes in his diplomacy and how he presented things and how he reacted to certain things.

Look, you seem to think putting hundreds of hours into getting change will mean you succeed. It just doesn't work that way. You have to actually do the right things. Merlin did not do the right things. He had a history weighing him down, he made poor choices and moved too quickly. Had Silnaria been ruled by anyone else but Merlin, the realm would probably be fine.

Now, that doesn't mean someone else can't succeed where he tried. You completely dismiss the chance of the rest of the island ganging up on CE and friends because it failed once. That's the situation Abington, Minas Ithil and Falasan were in many years ago, but they kept trying. And then suddenly Tara was a single city realm and Eston lost half its lands. It has happened before and it will happen again. The mighty will get toned down when people have enough of it.

I'm not advocating for GM's breaking up the CE bloc. I'm advocating for the GM's to put in place a situation that allows for a dynamic environment.

Any situation as time goes on will seek a stable equilibrium point. As time has gone on, the CE bloc has built a stable powerbase which won't be disrupted without outside intervention. This isn't about good/bad/ whatever, it is about the ideal that over time things will become stable. Raising monster and undead spawns to high levels won't directly disrupt the CE bloc, but it will make a situation where if people wanted to disrupt it, there is a chance that they could. Not that it will happen, but that it could happen.

You are in Darka. You may not see a problem with things, but that is also because you're in the single most powerful realm on the continent. You are the only realm whose distance from CE and military strength allows themselves the ability to do what they want. But, even still you are restricted. The only thing you can do is fight CE or ally with them. You can't be part of a third party conflict.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kwanstein on August 08, 2013, 07:43:55 AM
There is an undue focus on CE. If CE, it's allies and Darka weren't dominant, than some other group of realms would be. As Qyasogk and Dante note, there is a lack of unpredictability to this game. There is nothing to knock down power structures except bigger power structures, which cannot be form under existing power structures. Power structures can only form at the beginning of maps, when there is a vacuum to be filled. Essentially maps begin with a scramble for dominance and end with with a status quo. Once the scramble is over, the map is finished. This is it what happened on Atamara, as well Colonies and East Continent.

There is only one method for prolonging this game beyond the initial scrambles, without introducing destabilising features into the core game play, and that is to routinely switch up the map pool. This method has been shot down, and there is not enough support to code destabilising features, so, unless those things change, there will be no future for this game. Deleting random islands and shoving all of the players together won't accomplish anything, except to temporarily ease character density. Deleting the forums won't do anything either, as the forums have nothing to do with this game's longevity. The methods being considered will be ineffectual.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: m2rt on August 08, 2013, 08:15:51 AM
There is an undue focus on CE. If CE, it's allies and Darka weren't dominant, than some other group of realms would be. As Qyasogk and Dante note, there is a lack of unpredictability to this game. There is nothing to knock down power structures except bigger power structures, which cannot be form under existing power structures. Power structures can only form at the beginning of maps, when there is a vacuum to be filled. Essentially maps begin with a scramble for dominance and end with with a status quo. Once the scramble is over, the map is finished. This is it what happened on Atamara, as well Colonies and East Continent.

There is only one method for prolonging this game beyond the initial scrambles, without introducing destabilising features into the core game play, and that is to routinely switch up the map pool. This method has been shot down, and there is not enough support to code destabilising features, so, unless those things change, there will be no future for this game. Deleting random islands and shoving all of the players together won't accomplish anything, except to temporarily ease character density. Deleting the forums won't do anything either, as the forums have nothing to do with this game's longevity. The methods being considered will be ineffectual.

I completely disagree! No map is finished... Look at how much Atamara has changed. Dont forget that Coria was/is in the CE block too. So not only the north has changed. Sooner or later there will be more changes. And we as players are the only people that should make the changes happen.

As soon as game features/GMs interfere more with the game, I will quit this game. I already see some of the features limiting the game. Make a new island (war islands) if you want resets. But resetting a place where I have built fictional history for 7 years makes sure that I have no ties and can quit without hesitation.

But that all is off topic. The topic was about forums. Delete it and some other place will fill the void and the circle is even smaller than it is now. OOC communication and discussion will not end. Atleast the forum is public and people have to consider their thoughts a bit more than in IM conversations.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: jaune on August 08, 2013, 08:24:50 AM
I think the problem is partly exactly that its public, one silly message can nullify outstanding plan... cause everybody gets to know about it too early.

I'm sure if people want to discuss "secret" things OOCly, they wont do it at forums anyway.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kwanstein on August 08, 2013, 10:26:04 AM
I completely disagree! No map is finished... Look at how much Atamara has changed. Dont forget that Coria was/is in the CE block too. So not only the north has changed. Sooner or later there will be more changes. And we as players are the only people that should make the changes happen.

As soon as game features/GMs interfere more with the game, I will quit this game. I already see some of the features limiting the game. Make a new island (war islands) if you want resets. But resetting a place where I have built fictional history for 7 years makes sure that I have no ties and can quit without hesitation.

But that all is off topic. The topic was about forums. Delete it and some other place will fill the void and the circle is even smaller than it is now. OOC communication and discussion will not end. Atleast the forum is public and people have to consider their thoughts a bit more than in IM conversations.

Most players stick around for 0-3 years, so if the goal is to increase player count then they are who ought to be taken into consideration. Players who've stuck around for 7+ years are statistically not very significant.

Even from my own perspective, as someone who's known this game since 2005 or so, I care nothing for the so-called history that you and Tom preach. A sense of history, like that of any fantasy setting, is of course important. But that sense is functionally the same whether it's based on eleven years of game play, just two, or entirely made up. It's not like the game world would seem any less fleshed out if it were younger.

Again from my own perspective, my main concern is game play. What I care about are Islands that are at peace most of the time, constantly leaking players; players who are functionally inactive, never bothering to write or move; geopolitical structures that have, for the most part, remained unchanged for years on end. Those things are what have an impact on my playing experience. History, the type that you speak of, has no bearing on my enjoyment at all. It's documented on the wiki anyway.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 08, 2013, 11:40:38 AM
But that all is off topic. The topic was about forums. Delete it and some other place will fill the void and the circle is even smaller than it is now. OOC communication and discussion will not end. Atleast the forum is public and people have to consider their thoughts a bit more than in IM conversations.

I want OOC discussions and encourage them. That's why the game always had a place for this, first the discussion list now this.

It is the mix of IC and OOC that has always caused trouble wherever you encounter it. That is why the Locals forums were closed, not any other. IC stuff should remain in-game and OOC stuff shold remain out of the game. It really is as simple as that.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 08, 2013, 01:18:34 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 08, 2013, 05:01:31 PM
I think the problem is partly exactly that its public, one silly message can nullify outstanding plan... cause everybody gets to know about it too early.

I'm sure if people want to discuss "secret" things OOCly, they wont do it at forums anyway.

When has this actually happened?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 08, 2013, 05:04:57 PM
I want OOC discussions and encourage them. That's why the game always had a place for this, first the discussion list now this.

It is the mix of IC and OOC that has always caused trouble wherever you encounter it. That is why the Locals forums were closed, not any other. IC stuff should remain in-game and OOC stuff shold remain out of the game. It really is as simple as that.

So now we'll just talk about it on IRC instead. m2rt is right about that. Besides, what trouble is it causing, really? Nothing that more aggressive moderation can't handle.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Dante Silverfire on August 08, 2013, 05:44:32 PM
I want OOC discussions and encourage them. That's why the game always had a place for this, first the discussion list now this.

It is the mix of IC and OOC that has always caused trouble wherever you encounter it. That is why the Locals forums were closed, not any other. IC stuff should remain in-game and OOC stuff shold remain out of the game. It really is as simple as that.

If this is true, then you shouldn't close the Local forums. You should open them up again and simple increase moderation forcefulness.

I readily volunteer to moderate the Atamara forum. I read every post anyway, and can be quick about it. Just place firm moderation in place, and the locals will be a boon to the game. Deleting them though is a mistake.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Elegant on August 08, 2013, 08:14:16 PM
Please excuse me for a little interruption. The original topic is about Local Forums, but, I feel bad that some people are dragging CE in this whole debate/discussion and are trying to prove something which is unrelated to this topic. I am completely surprised when I see people suggesting strange things like :

1. "Unless the leaders of CE, Tara, Talerium, and Strombran are somehow removed via deletion, pausing, or being forcibly removed, the political atmosphere on Atamara will NEVER change at this point."  I would like to say that please see the history of real world. The rule of great rulers was brought to an end by some ways. You have to play the game right to break CE alliance, please don't suggest to break the game itself.

2. The sheep theory : I disagree. Please have some respect for the intellect of the players playing this game. They are not mindless Zombies who follow their leaders. They apply their own brain and play. You should at listen when they all speak/vote.

(In reply to the post : "most players are sheep. If their ruler says, "This is what you want," and you then ask them what they want, they will say exactly what their ruler told them they wanted. That doesn't mean that we, as devs and GMs, should listen to them when the players of the largest realm on the continent say they want it to remain supreme".)

Some people are bent on somehow proving that CE alliance is the reason of all troubles of BM and are continuing posting against CE, which is completely off-topic. If such people want to post against CE, then please wait for Atamara Local to reopen (then you can continue your regular job of demeaning CE by saying that our friends are actually our puppets, CE is a bully, CE destroys fun, CE is bad for game, more than 50% of continent is cowards as if you are sitting in their minds and know what they are thinking. That's the reason I feel bad whenever I see atamara local and that's the reason why I don't post there for the fear of flame-war)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 08, 2013, 08:24:21 PM
1. "Unless the leaders of CE, Tara, Talerium, and Strombran are somehow removed via deletion, pausing, or being forcibly removed, the political atmosphere on Atamara will NEVER change at this point."  I would like to say that please see the history of real world. The rule of great rulers was brought to an end by some ways. You have to play the game right to break CE alliance, please don't suggest to break the game itself.

Sure. It was brought to an end by their deaths.

Quote
2. The sheep theory : I disagree. Please have some respect for the intellect of the players playing this game. They are not mindless Zombies who follow their leaders. They apply their own brain and play. You should at listen when they all speak/vote.

It's not about intelligence, it's about temperament. I know some quite intelligent people IRL who still prefer not to worry too much about the running of things, but just go with the flow.

Quote
Some people are bent on somehow proving that CE alliance is the reason of all troubles of BM

Nope, just of Atamara ;D
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Dante Silverfire on August 08, 2013, 08:26:08 PM
Well, seeing as the topic is about local forums, and this Atamara discussion is one of the ones of the local forum which is in question, I don't see it as being completely off topic. A tangent perhaps, but not off-topic.

As to CE, I don't think anyone is saying CE itself is full of sheep. CE is quite possibly one of the best realms in the game. It is CE's allies (which at last count is nearly every realm on the continent) that are a lot of times full of sheep. I think CE just gets an overly bad name because people assume it is the one in control, and most of its allies are its puppets.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Elegant on August 08, 2013, 08:41:04 PM
Well, seeing as the topic is about local forums, and this Atamara discussion is one of the ones of the local forum which is in question, I don't see it as being completely off topic. A tangent perhaps, but not off-topic.

It is completely off-topic. If it is not, then please tell me what has the breaking up of CE alliance to do with shutting down of Locals? Will the discussion about "need-to-break-up-evil-CE alliance" somehow save the Local forum section or even contribute towards the first post written by Tom? (please see his starting post for reference)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Dante Silverfire on August 08, 2013, 08:44:40 PM
It is completely off-topic. If it is not, then please tell me what has the breaking up of CE alliance to do with shutting down of Locals? Will the discussion about "need-to-break-up-evil-CE alliance" somehow save the Local forum section or even contribute towards the first post written by Tom? (please see his starting post for reference)

When referencing the first post, I'd say half of the last 5 pages are off-topic.

But, I think the main topic overall is what is destroying battlemaster. Tom is arguing that it is forummaster that is at fault. Others, such as myself, are arguing other reasons.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Fleugs on August 08, 2013, 08:47:17 PM
When referencing the first post, I'd say half of the last 5 pages are off-topic.

But, I think the main topic overall is what is destroying battlemaster. Tom is arguing that it is forummaster that is at fault. Others, such as myself, are arguing other reasons.

And it is the arguing that is the cause.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Elegant on August 08, 2013, 08:52:52 PM
It's not about intelligence, it's about temperament. I know some quite intelligent people IRL who still prefer not to worry too much about the running of things, but just go with the flow.

Okay. Understood. They go with the flow. Does it mean that their opinion will not count when you take any game survey or something like that?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Elegant on August 08, 2013, 09:01:06 PM
But, I think the main topic overall is what is destroying battlemaster. Tom is arguing that it is forummaster that is at fault. Others, such as myself, are arguing other reasons.

And one of the other reasons which is destroying battlemaster is CE? GOD ! Looks like I will have to leave forums and go back to sleep.

Good night guys. Take care.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 08, 2013, 09:03:42 PM
Okay. Understood. They go with the flow. Does it mean that their opinion will not count when you take any game survey or something like that?

Of course not. That's why the idea of the survey is important - the people who post here are far from representative.

I agree that focusing too much on CE is beside the point. I originally mentioned it because Atamara is the stable island I have played on the longest, so it's the one I'm most familiar with. The only reason I brought it up was because I was looking for an example of an established power structure that's too entrenched now to shake up, but I should have known better.

We really should focus more on the question of the forum.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 08, 2013, 10:13:13 PM
And it is the arguing that is the cause.

I think the last page or two perfectly illustrates the point and is a better explanation for the closing of the Locals boards than I could ever put into words. This is the exact kind of bickering that is destroying the friendly atmosphere the game once had.

So, please stop it from poisoning this thread. The point has been made, any and all future posts containing references to CE will be mercilessly deleted. Yes, even if they contain other content. Yes, even if they contain the proof for Riemanns Hypothesis.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on August 09, 2013, 12:32:00 AM
This is the exact kind of bickering that is destroying the friendly atmosphere the game once had.


I'm sorry, I remember the D-List as well as anyone: it was not friendly. It was a hostile place with an extremely low tolerance for new voices where golden oldies commanded a massive influence. Sure it was nice for the club at the top, but for those of us who were mostly new players at the time when the D-List was at its height, it was not the friendly place you seem to be remembering.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfsong on August 09, 2013, 01:28:17 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 09, 2013, 01:35:36 AM
So if we're going to get rid of the local forums, or forums, or whatever - you'd be better served getting rid of the IRC, too. It's an exclusive old boy's club where people orchestrate wars, not-wars, and other things behind the scenes.

To the extent that you are right, IRC is like drugs.

You can't stop people from using drugs. You can ban them, and try to prevent people from buying, selling or importing them, but you're never going to be able to stop it completely.

Similarly, if people want to communicate OOC and hatch plots there, it's impossible to stop them. You're far, far better off creating a place where not only is everyone in the game welcome and invited (heck, it's linked right there on the left of your family page), but it has at least a quasi-official status, and thus can be somewhat regulated under the Social Contract.

And, frankly, if it were such an old boys' club, those of us who have, in fact, been there since 2004 or earlier wouldn't be so enthusiastic about trying to get more people to use it. Old boys' clubs are all about forming a clique and then trying to keep other people out.

So, basically, if IRC were really all the bad things you say, then the very worst thing we could do would be to try to get rid of it. All that would accomplish would be to crystallize the "old boys' club" in its current form and restrict it to only the diehard IRCers.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfsong on August 09, 2013, 01:40:20 AM
Similarly, if people want to communicate OOC and hatch plots [...] it's impossible to stop them. You're far, far better off creating a place where not only is everyone in the game welcome and invited [...] but it has at least a quasi-official status, and thus can be somewhat regulated under the Social Contract.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 09, 2013, 01:44:41 AM
Similarly, if people want to communicate OOC and hatch plots [...] it's impossible to stop them. You're far, far better off creating a place where not only is everyone in the game welcome and invited [...] but it has at least a quasi-official status, and thus can be somewhat regulated under the Social Contract.

OK...yeah, that's what I said. I'm not sure what your purpose is in selectively quoting like that. Unless you somehow think that you're making a point that we should create such a place that's not IRC. Which...doesn't make a lot of sense, because there are already dozens of players who use IRC on a regular basis. Any attempt to create a separate venue would not prevent the IRCers from continuing to do everything they do there, and would leave the new venue without an established base of long-time players to help new players find their way around.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfsong on August 09, 2013, 01:47:22 AM
My point is that the forums are more easily regulated than the IRC, and are a better place for communicating and welcoming new players, old players, etc., - and yet the forums are what's under fire here, unjustly, while the IRC is held up as some bizarre gold standard. Your argument for keeping the IRC works just as well, if not better, for keeping the forums intact. If you're going to axe the forums, the IRC needs to be axed as well for promoting the same behavior. Otherwise, keep them both and regulate/moderate what you can.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 09, 2013, 01:59:04 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 09, 2013, 05:35:40 AM
And human communication is in part down because people have taken it to the forums. Even if just 20% of the stuff posted in locals previous can be directed back into the game again, that will noticeably increase the number of messages posted there, which in turn might bring people like you to add to it again, increasing communication in-game further.
That is simply not going to happen for the same reason that several have already said, many do what they are going to do IG, like my self, and if we have time still we go on the forums.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Perth on August 09, 2013, 07:03:13 AM
Even from my own perspective, as someone who's known this game since 2005 or so, I care nothing for the so-called history that you and Tom preach. A sense of history, like that of any fantasy setting, is of course important. But that sense is functionally the same whether it's based on eleven years of game play, just two, or entirely made up. It's not like the game world would seem any less fleshed out if it were younger.

You make a good point.

The continent with the best sense or atmosphere, creativity, and sense of history is actually the youngest continent.... Dwilight. Not the oldies.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 09, 2013, 09:26:47 AM
My point is that the forums are more easily regulated than the IRC, and are a better place for communicating and welcoming new players, old players, etc., - and yet the forums are what's under fire here, unjustly, while the IRC is held up as some bizarre gold standard.

No, it isn't, at least not by me. But the forums I control. IRC I don't. So how exactly would I shut down an IRC channel? Can't.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 10, 2013, 03:58:57 AM
I hate the forums but I don't think there's much happening that didn't already happen and this all seems like looking for something to blame. Insult deleted by moderator
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Sarwell on August 10, 2013, 05:29:11 PM
Maybe my own biases are just keeping me from seeing it, but I'm not seeing this game-destroying ForumMaster Tom and the other powers-that-be are talking about. I'm just seeing a forum. I have yet to have my game experience damaged by the forum, and cases where that occurred, while hardly actionable anyway in the numbers I see them, are better remedied by better moderation than closing down entire, and highly active, forums because OMG PPL ARE MIXING OOC AND IC TEH END OF TEH WORLD. As mentioned before, the players who are detrimental to the game through the forum - the gossipers, information-leakers, and so forth - will just find new, unregulated, outlets for their discussion (IRC, other forums, and so on).
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 10, 2013, 08:07:36 PM
You have to admit though, the title is hilariously dramatic  :D

But seriously, Tom, why don't you just implement moderators on the locals...?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 10, 2013, 08:55:57 PM
You have to admit though, the title is hilariously dramatic  :D

But seriously, Tom, why don't you just implement moderators on the locals...?

We did moderate the locals. But people hardly ever reported posts, and I'm not going to read all 6 continents when I only play on 3. And we didn't have clear guidelines on what is allowed, and what is not. if someone posts and IC letter, is that allowed? What if it was sent to the entire island? What if it was sent to a single person? What if it was in IC insult, should we moderate it? What if someone gets offended by an IC insult being posted, and replies OOC? etc, etc.

No. If the players can't restrain themselves, then their toys will be taken away. I have kids, and when they break the rules, they get their toys taken away.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 10, 2013, 08:58:55 PM
No. If the players can't restrain themselves, then their toys will be taken away. I have kids, and when they break the rules, they get their toys taken away.

Which would be more of a reasonable analogy, if there had actually been rules that were being broken that caused the Locals to be removed.

You said yourself, there weren't clear guidelines. That doesn't mean we should close the subforum, that means we should make clear guidelines!

Then, if people still can't comport themselves well, and moderation doesn't help, we can close down the subforum.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 10, 2013, 10:05:22 PM
We did moderate the locals. But people hardly ever reported posts, and I'm not going to read all 6 continents when I only play on 3. And we didn't have clear guidelines on what is allowed, and what is not. if someone posts and IC letter, is that allowed? What if it was sent to the entire island? What if it was sent to a single person? What if it was in IC insult, should we moderate it? What if someone gets offended by an IC insult being posted, and replies OOC? etc, etc.

No. If the players can't restrain themselves, then their toys will be taken away. I have kids, and when they break the rules, they get their toys taken away.

I never said I thought moderators were necessary, as I don't think there is anything wrong, and most people didn't either, since as you say nothing was reported. No one has yet shown what type of  'rude' or 'IC' posts the action was taken for, which you would describe as kids 'not restraining themselves'?

I also suggested several times that moderators should be appointed for every local, I am not critiquing the way you are working, or trying to give you more work. I'm sure there's people willing to moderate.

Concerning rules on how to moderate, it'd be up to moderators' sound jugement what is and what shouldn't be allowed to be posted on the forums.


Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 11, 2013, 02:07:21 AM
I never said I thought moderators were necessary, as I don't think there is anything wrong, and most people didn't either, since as you say nothing was reported. No one has yet shown what type of  'rude' or 'IC' posts the action was taken for, which you would describe as kids 'not restraining themselves'?

I also suggested several times that moderators should be appointed for every local, I am not critiquing the way you are working, or trying to give you more work. I'm sure there's people willing to moderate.

Concerning rules on how to moderate, it'd be up to moderators' sound jugement what is and what shouldn't be allowed to be posted on the forums.

There are Magistrate cases referencing things posted to the local forums. Multiple--I think 3. If that doesn't suggest something was seriously wrong with them, I don't know what would. And it is misleading to think there wasn't anything wrong ever posted--I think it would be fair to say that 95% of the moderating that we did do, was done in the locals. Most of the evidence is gone, along with the locals, but I have these:

http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4420.0.html (http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4420.0.html)
http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4430.msg112697.html#msg112697 (http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4430.msg112697.html#msg112697) (although the posts containing the insults were deleted, they are quoted in this post)
http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,3908.0.html (http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,3908.0.html) (ditto)

When the call went out for moderators, very few answered that call. What makes you think that has changed? We never had a moderator for every single board; you can see my name on two of the boards from before I was made global moderator. If you want to be a moderator, by all means, send Tom an email (@lemuria.org).
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 11, 2013, 02:11:15 AM
There are Magistrate cases referencing things posted to the local forums. Multiple--I think 3. If that doesn't suggest something was seriously wrong with them, I don't know what would. And it is misleading to think there wasn't anything wrong ever posted--I think it would be fair to say that 95% of the moderating that we did do, was done in the locals.

I have a very hard time believing that these cases would have been any better without the local boards.

These were cases of people who were simply harassing their victims in every venue open to them. The fact that the local boards were one of those venues doesn't indicate that they cause problems; it just means that people who cause problems were willing to abuse them to do so that little bit more.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 11, 2013, 05:39:02 AM
There are Magistrate cases referencing things posted to the local forums. Multiple--I think 3. If that doesn't suggest something was seriously wrong with them, I don't know what would. And it is misleading to think there wasn't anything wrong ever posted--I think it would be fair to say that 95% of the moderating that we did do, was done in the locals. Most of the evidence is gone, along with the locals, but I have these:
Nearly 40% of all forums posts are also done in the locals which is a real statistic unlike your made up one which makes the locals the largest board by a lot, like 30k posts a lot so there is a reason for there to be more moderating done there than any other board. Also considering there are 43k posts in that board and only three times were the local board used in a Magistrates Case, it actually surprises me the number is so small.
Quote
http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4420.0.html (http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4420.0.html)
http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4430.msg112697.html#msg112697 (http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4430.msg112697.html#msg112697) (although the posts containing the insults were deleted, they are quoted in this post)
http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,3908.0.html (http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,3908.0.html) (ditto)
First Case, the forums were a small part of the problem because the offender used several venues thus the local's board is not the source of the case simply another place the offender did wrong actions.

Second Case, same thing, a very small part of the case was of the forums and was not the source of the case simply another venue.

Third Case, is similar to the first two although a bit more of it was on the forums but at the same time that conversation could have happened on IRC just as easily.

That's not really convincing that the local forums was terrible. And any way if you don't think there will ever be anything bad on a board with over 40k posts than why do have moderators? If moderators decide to delete a post they should always save it somewhere in case a Magistrates case needs to be filed IMO
Quote

When the call went out for moderators, very few answered that call. What makes you think that has changed? We never had a moderator for every single board; you can see my name on two of the boards from before I was made global moderator. If you want to be a moderator, by all means, send Tom an email (@lemuria.org).
When I applied with Indirik, I believe the head moderator he stated they weren't looking for moderators. There are people willing to read every post of the local forums and moderate them though.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Stabbity on August 11, 2013, 07:38:05 AM
Getting rid of the locals means killing the chatter that has made the game more interesting. It gives us a chance to see different viewpoints and interact with individuals who we would not normally interact with. I feel it really adds to the game in a way nothing else can. Yea, it makes infosec a bit harder, but I should think people aught to strive harder to keep secrets secret anyway. I have uncovered several in the past year and none of it was due to the forums. I was already well aware of most of the events being posted about in advance and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. Hell, a plot of mine just came to fruition and I've been working at it for close to a year and the forum didnt harm it any.

I will also say the forum is good for new players. It lets them get a feel for situations they otherwise would be fairly clueless about otherwise. I've had several new players and approach me about situations they read on the forums and wanted to know more about. This encouraged IC interaction and caused them to get involved and stick around.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kwanstein on August 11, 2013, 02:56:52 PM
The players who post on these forums are generally very active in-game as well. If you send a message to a character of Glaumring, Vellos, Valast, etc. you will probably receive a response. So cutting them off from the forums in order to force them use in-game messages isn't necessary, as they already use in-game messages.

As far as the lack of in-game messaging goes, I think it has more to do with people not being very active. I've been going around messaging Dukes about something, and you'd think that Dukes, being in important positions, would be some of the more active players. But apparently not, because the ones I messaged didn't reply back and when I looked at their character locations they never moved either. Also, when I was in Perdan there was some Duke who lost his position due to idleness every other week, but the ruler kept on reappointing him. It happened many times. So, if you're going to blame something for lack of messages, you should blame Dukes... or just inactivity I guess.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: m2rt on August 11, 2013, 04:48:19 PM
Which would be more of a reasonable analogy, if there had actually been rules that were being broken that caused the Locals to be removed.

You said yourself, there weren't clear guidelines. That doesn't mean we should close the subforum, that means we should make clear guidelines!

Then, if people still can't comport themselves well, and moderation doesn't help, we can close down the subforum.

Best thing I have read all day! I totally agree! And I believe there are many more who agree. Even ITIL has it very well defined that you can not measure the performance of a service without signing SLA.

Make rules. And we will follow.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on August 11, 2013, 05:00:43 PM
I have a very hard time believing that these cases would have been any better without the local boards.

These were cases of people who were simply harassing their victims in every venue open to them. The fact that the local boards were one of those venues doesn't indicate that they cause problems; it just means that people who cause problems were willing to abuse them to do so that little bit more.

This is a good point.

Notably, forums make dirty laundry public. Whisper campaigns become known.

I would argue that we have Magistrate cases about the locals because the OOC community of BM is toxic in many cases and once we put even a little light on it we realized there was a lot of cleaning to do: I do not believe the locals caused it because, frankly, I recall a lot of hostility when I was new to the game. I don't think the game is really less friendly than it was several years ago. Retention issues aren't new; we've been having community issues for at least 3 or 4 years, but they were never pointed out because we didn't have a venue to make them explicit.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Eduardo Almighty on August 11, 2013, 09:08:06 PM
Quote
Make rules. And we will follow.

If you cannot control the IRC, you can control the Forum. With rules, and after closed it, I belive the player will take care o eachother, reporting abuses more than before. As was said, I like to play the game and I like to write and interact on the forum... but I do it after or while I play the game. We can survive without the forum, but it's better with it.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 12, 2013, 03:51:18 AM
If you cannot control the IRC, you can control the Forum.

I'm sorry, and this isn't meant as a slight against you, but you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

IRC is not controlled by Tom in any way. It is an external service, run by a third party, that the BattleMaster community is able to take advantage of.

The forum is completely controlled by Tom. He can personally IP-ban anyone who pisses him off, lock or delete boards at a whim, and otherwise do whatever he feels like with the forum any time he pleases.

Not being able to control IRC does not have anything at all to do with our ability to control the forum.

Quote
With rules, and after closed it, I belive the player will take care o eachother, reporting abuses more than before. As was said, I like to play the game and I like to write and interact on the forum... but I do it after or while I play the game. We can survive without the forum, but it's better with it.

This, I agree with.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Miriam Ics on August 12, 2013, 04:56:15 AM
Best thing I have read all day! I totally agree! And I believe there are many more who agree. Even ITIL has it very well defined that you can not measure the performance of a service without signing SLA.

Make rules. And we will follow.

^ This (and Anaris post)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 12, 2013, 05:47:41 AM
Which would be more of a reasonable analogy, if there had actually been rules that were being broken that caused the Locals to be removed.

You said yourself, there weren't clear guidelines. That doesn't mean we should close the subforum, that means we should make clear guidelines!

Then, if people still can't comport themselves well, and moderation doesn't help, we can close down the subforum.

Huzzah!
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 12, 2013, 09:04:09 AM
Maybe my own biases are just keeping me from seeing it, but I'm not seeing this game-destroying ForumMaster Tom and the other powers-that-be are talking about.

It's not "powers-to-be" (whatever that is supposed to mean). Those complaints came from regular players.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 12, 2013, 09:08:43 AM
I have a very hard time believing that these cases would have been any better without the local boards.

These were cases of people who were simply harassing their victims in every venue open to them. The fact that the local boards were one of those venues doesn't indicate that they cause problems; it just means that people who cause problems were willing to abuse them to do so that little bit more.

True. But even if we can't stop them (or not immediately), we can stop giving them forum (in the non-Internet sense).

But again, the insults and harassment going on was only a part of the reason. The main reason was the (justified) complaint that people had moved so many IC discussions into the forum that quite a few players got the impression that they wouldn't fully play the game without participating in the forum as well.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 12, 2013, 09:10:29 AM
When I applied with Indirik, I believe the head moderator he stated they weren't looking for moderators. There are people willing to read every post of the local forums and moderate them though.

Yes, but seriously, we want people to read 43,000 posts just to fish out a few insults? No, we need to teach participants in the forum to report posts more often.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 12, 2013, 09:11:32 AM
Getting rid of the locals means killing the chatter that has made the game more interesting. It gives us a chance to see different viewpoints and interact with individuals who we would not normally interact with.

Once upon a time, people sought out that experience in-game through tournaments, guilds or travel.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 12, 2013, 09:16:17 AM
Even ITIL has it very well defined that you can not measure the performance of a service without signing SLA.

I've done compliance stuff IRL. The absolute last thing I want is copy that into a [email protected]#$ing GAME.

The day this game has a rule for everything is the day I'll walk away from it. Have all of you forgotten the Social Contract you signed? Play as you would with a bunch of friends. Do you make rules for your friends? No, of course not. You establish a very small number of ground rules for the most important things like "no smoking in my house" and leave everything else to sort itself out because amongst friends you don't need to write a law book. The law is not written for friends, it is written for enemies. When you are in a competitive or hostile environment, that is when you need a hundred rules.

I personally think that the rule "don't be an [email protected]#$%^&" is all we need and every ruling we've ever made can be derived from it. The more detailed rules we do have in the IRs and Social Contract just specify what "[email protected]#$%^&" means in a bit more detail.

If the Locals needed explicit rules about what postings were ok and which ones not, then shutting them (they are not deleted, btw., just inaccessible) was the right thing to do, because they stopped being friendspace.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: m2rt on August 12, 2013, 10:39:57 AM
I've done compliance stuff IRL. The absolute last thing I want is copy that into a [email protected]#$ing GAME.

The day this game has a rule for everything is the day I'll walk away from it. Have all of you forgotten the Social Contract you signed? Play as you would with a bunch of friends. Do you make rules for your friends? No, of course not. You establish a very small number of ground rules for the most important things like "no smoking in my house" and leave everything else to sort itself out because amongst friends you don't need to write a law book. The law is not written for friends, it is written for enemies. When you are in a competitive or hostile environment, that is when you need a hundred rules.

I personally think that the rule "don't be an [email protected]#$%^&" is all we need and every ruling we've ever made can be derived from it. The more detailed rules we do have in the IRs and Social Contract just specify what "[email protected]#$%^&" means in a bit more detail.

If the Locals needed explicit rules about what postings were ok and which ones not, then shutting them (they are not deleted, btw., just inaccessible) was the right thing to do, because they stopped being friendspace.

You said that main reason for locals to be shut down was that it was too much IC. Well, make a rule that forum is strictly OOC and DONE! I don't want to see tens of rules, who would bother reading them?

Basic guidelines are needed. If people are not limited, then they tend to touch the boundaries and thus shift the boundaries even further.

People see that other people discuss IC in IRC. Mostly just commenting on IC happenings and voicing their opinion. Not making IC decisions or anything else that would be needed to those who are not on IRC. Then people came to forums and continued, but at some point they went too far. Why? Because there were no guidelines! On IRC if people go too far, then there are other people to tell them that dude, thats not okay.

People are used to have some set of guidelines in forums, because based on what would you report a post if there are no guidelines set other than vulgarity and social contract?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 12, 2013, 11:21:28 AM
People are used to have some set of guidelines in forums, because based on what would you report a post if there are no guidelines set other than vulgarity and social contract?

Show me the book of rules you have about behaviour amongst your friends, at family dinner and when talking to your girlfriend or spouse.

There is no such thing, of course. Social interactions are dynamic, flexible and don't lend themselves to written rules, because - surprise - the genuine aspect of it is what makes it valuable and real. If your girlfriend were to follow a set of rules in your relationship, you wouldn't exactly feel like it were real, would you? It is precisely because there is no rule telling her to not step over that line AND she still knows not to that you feel she understands you.

Group dynamics are the same. It is the UNWRITTEN customs that define a culture.


There is really only one rule we need, everything else is just different aspects of it. You can call it "play with friends" or you can call it "play against each other IC, but with each other OOC" or "don't be an [email protected]#$%^&" - that's all just variations of the theme, the theme being that this is a game and we're here to have fun and anyone who is detrimental to the fun of the others should leave.

And the only context you have to have in order to understand that right is that "fun" does NOT equal "winning". Of course it is a PvP game, of course people will win some and lose some, and defeating someone, even smashing him, is not taking away his fun.


And that's what's wrong with the community right now: We've lost that spirit. As players of BM, everyone has ONE responsibility, and that is to enlarge the game of others. If you fight with someone, you do it. If you argue IC with someone, you do. If you defeat someone, or get defeated, if you make alliances and break them, if you betray people - all those things give other people more play.

Arguing on the forum doesn't give anyone any play.

And I fear some people have forgotten that because to them the forum has become a game in itself.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 12, 2013, 11:27:03 AM
I've done compliance stuff IRL. The absolute last thing I want is copy that into a [email protected]#$ing GAME.

The day this game has a rule for everything is the day I'll walk away from it. Have all of you forgotten the Social Contract you signed? Play as you would with a bunch of friends. Do you make rules for your friends? No, of course not. You establish a very small number of ground rules for the most important things like "no smoking in my house" and leave everything else to sort itself out because amongst friends you don't need to write a law book. The law is not written for friends, it is written for enemies. When you are in a competitive or hostile environment, that is when you need a hundred rules.

I personally think that the rule "don't be an [email protected]#$%^&" is all we need and every ruling we've ever made can be derived from it. The more detailed rules we do have in the IRs and Social Contract just specify what "[email protected]#$%^&" means in a bit more detail.

If the Locals needed explicit rules about what postings were ok and which ones not, then shutting them (they are not deleted, btw., just inaccessible) was the right thing to do, because they stopped being friendspace.
So Tom, is it being an [email protected]#$%^& to post an IG letter? I'd say you shouldn't do it unless you wrote it or its very public but I wouldn't call you an [email protected]#$%^& for doing so. I also informed a newish player today that its poor form to completely copy and paste roleplays or to even use the knowledge without giving a reason for knowing it, but I don't think he is an [email protected]#$%^&, I told him he has nothing to be sorry about because he just didn't know when he said he was sorry about it.

 I also would like to see an example of gameplay being done the forums. I seriously can not think of a single instance. Recently in the Dwilight thread I felt a poster was saying too much about army movements in the thread so I told him and I didn't hear info that I thought was a bad idea to be posting on the forums afterwards. He isn't an [email protected]#$%^& for it though. I would say you are certainly missing out from not being on the local boards because its quite enjoyable and was the reason for several players that i have talked with in the past few days for unpausing there characters and rejoining the game because of what they read on the forums. The local boards in fact is the main reason I joined the forums and is likely the reason I am as involved and active as I am with BM because being a knight was fun while in war although it eventually went to peace and I probably would have quit the game entirely if I hadn't heard about Bedwyr knowing a lot about BM through the forums and introducing D'hara and Dwilight to me which was precisely what I was looking for.

To your reply to stabbity's comment, its certainly is done through tournaments, guilds, and traveling about as I do with my characters because while I might learn a little about stuff through the forums or chatting on IRC like many others, what I read on the forums makes me want to play more and travel about and join guilds. I nearly paused my character on AT but then I heard about some things on the forums and IRC and decided instead of giving up on my character I should put more effort into finding out about and joining in on the fun things I hear about on the forums.

Guidelines would be like: remember that you are talking to the player, not the character on here an issue not caused from the forums but players taking the game to seriously; don't post IG letters that aren't public, wrote by you, or unless you have permission from the author; avoid talking about army movements because we don't people having to make random mathematical choices which i heard someone had to do because they heard a little too much on irc and didn't want to feel like they were cheating; avoid talking about motives or secret events so they can be kept secret/found out in game. Those are all good guidelines that wouldn't make someone an [email protected]#$%^& for not automatically knowing to follow them. They might be an [email protected]#$%^& if they heard about them and completely disregarded them, but hearing about them at all and breaking them doesn't make me feel like the other guy is an [email protected]#$%^&.

Btw, I have probably read 20-30k or more of local's board posts because I make it a habbit to read pretty much all of boards and if you have several mods who read their continents actively you don't need people like me that read all the boards in order  to moderate without the report to moderator function.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: m2rt on August 12, 2013, 11:55:54 AM
Show me the book of rules you have about behaviour amongst your friends, at family dinner and when talking to your girlfriend or spouse.

There is no such thing, of course. Social interactions are dynamic, flexible and don't lend themselves to written rules, because - surprise - the genuine aspect of it is what makes it valuable and real. If your girlfriend were to follow a set of rules in your relationship, you wouldn't exactly feel like it were real, would you? It is precisely because there is no rule telling her to not step over that line AND she still knows not to that you feel she understands you.

Group dynamics are the same. It is the UNWRITTEN customs that define a culture.


There is really only one rule we need, everything else is just different aspects of it. You can call it "play with friends" or you can call it "play against each other IC, but with each other OOC" or "don't be an [email protected]#$%^&" - that's all just variations of the theme, the theme being that this is a game and we're here to have fun and anyone who is detrimental to the fun of the others should leave.

And the only context you have to have in order to understand that right is that "fun" does NOT equal "winning". Of course it is a PvP game, of course people will win some and lose some, and defeating someone, even smashing him, is not taking away his fun.


And that's what's wrong with the community right now: We've lost that spirit. As players of BM, everyone has ONE responsibility, and that is to enlarge the game of others. If you fight with someone, you do it. If you argue IC with someone, you do. If you defeat someone, or get defeated, if you make alliances and break them, if you betray people - all those things give other people more play.

Arguing on the forum doesn't give anyone any play.

And I fear some people have forgotten that because to them the forum has become a game in itself.

You are overreacting. My point is the same Penchant made. New people do not know what is fine and what is not and old people forget it in time. That is why there are guidelines.

And you cant compare "real life" and "internet life". Because the IT culture is not as developed as we want it to be. Still people separate "real life" and "internet life", they dont get it that its the same. People are more bold online and tell stupid stuff. While in "real life" they do not, fearing other peoples looks or what not. Soon this will change when society develops, but not yet.

Your second point about fun, I totally agree! People want to win too much... That is why I secceeded from Minas Ithil, to generate fun, I was sure I am going to fail. But I didnt! The whole process was fun for many, sad too, but still fun.

But NO, the forum is not a game by itself. It just isnt. Its sometimes a good read and helps you as a player to see what other players think. So you would know how to generate FUN for THEM! But if you take this away, then how can I know what is fun for other players? I dont like OOC chatter IG.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 12, 2013, 01:25:32 PM
Once upon a time, people sought out that experience in-game through tournaments, guilds or travel.

They still do, or don't, according to their temperament. I never bothered a lot before the forum, and I still won't now that the Local board is gone. Other people will, and have been all along.

I don't think you're going to see much benefit from closing the Local board in the game itself. The game needs more players to generate more interaction. That's not a problem you can magically solve by chopping up the forum. As you yourself have pointed out, only a small portion of the player base posts on the forums on a regular basis, so your anticipated benefit will have to come entirely from their characters. Considering that players like Indirik and Anaris are already quite active in the game, I don't see where you're going to get your hoped-for increase in IG message traffic from.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Chaotrance13 on August 12, 2013, 02:46:44 PM
In my opinion (and this is as an irregular poster if you go by Tom's standard) there are a few things that spring to mind regarding a toxic atmosphere. As a preface, I'm going to say that thanks to the forums there have been two effects on a personal level. The first is that I've stopped actively recommending the game to others like I did during my first six months or so. The second is I won't put characters in realms with some players because I have little-to-no faith that they will act with any integrity - if they don't here, why should they in game?

One of the first issues is the game's volunteers are just as culpable as the ordinary patrons/players. Many times I have seen members of the Dev Team, Magistrates or Moderators be rude, belittling or downright hostile to other players as if they will get away with murder. Everyone is bound by the Social Contract but yet this goes on and I have zero faith that if I were to use the report function as asked on any member of one of these groups that something would come of it or corrective action be taken. And so it will continue and nothing will change. I've said it before - you do not have the right to treat someone like dirt just because you volunteer for the game or otherwise have power.

That leads me onto Moderation Policy. So far we only know two things about this new stance. The first is that there is currently an attempt at a crackdown in force. The second is that there is a blacklist of three players (currently) who are on watch for any offences. But we know nothing else about it. Many members of the community offered suggestions or ideas but there's been no indication of whether they've been taken on board or not. I offered a couple regarding linking game accounts to forum accounts and they were roundly ignored by everyone and not just the moderation team (no surprise there really, most things I say are either ignored or taken the piss out of, wouldn't be surprised if it happened on IRC either). So this point is two-fold. The first is to ask what exactly is going on? Are new guidelines/rules for conduct on the forum coming into play in conjunction with this crackdown? The second is about this blacklist - what exactly do you have to do to earn such a status? Am I on the blacklist? What for?

The third is linked to Magistrates cases which has been mentioned before but it bears reminding. As it stands, anyone can offer their input into a Magistrates case. This has to stop because it means that groups of players (like with the case I attempted to bring recently linked to the toxic atmosphere cases) can just rise up and barrack or stonewall one side or the other, especially when it's then not moderated out as it should be (this goes back to the role/behaviour of the volunteers somewhat). Posts in those forums should, in my eyes, be for four parties only: Defendant, Plaintiff, Magistrates, Witnesses. You don't allow the gallery to shout out in most RL courts, why should we here?

Yes, there's not much we can do regarding making the forums private or much else without messing with usergroups or the forum software. But anything that isn't from one of these four parties should be deleted without warning. Defendants, Plaintiffs or Witnesses should only respond to specific questions from the Magistrates and nothing else. Discussions/deliberations are already in private and should stay that way rather than it spilling out into public. This would go some way to getting rid of this atmosphere but I am aware it may engender the same issues as we had under the Titan system.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 12, 2013, 03:44:44 PM
That leads me onto Moderation Policy. So far we only know two things about this new stance. The first is that there is currently an attempt at a crackdown in force. The second is that there is a blacklist of three players (currently) who are on watch for any offences. But we know nothing else about it. Many members of the community offered suggestions or ideas but there's been no indication of whether they've been taken on board or not. I offered a couple regarding linking game accounts to forum accounts and they were roundly ignored by everyone and not just the moderation team (no surprise there really, most things I say are either ignored or taken the piss out of, wouldn't be surprised if it happened on IRC either). So this point is two-fold. The first is to ask what exactly is going on? Are new guidelines/rules for conduct on the forum coming into play in conjunction with this crackdown? The second is about this blacklist - what exactly do you have to do to earn such a status? Am I on the blacklist? What for?

The moderation policy is still being discussed and clarified. When it's finalized, I think it will be made sticky at the top of each board.

As far as linking, I think there's a couple of problems with that idea. First, what about the hundreds of accounts that exist currently, but aren't linked? Second, what's stopping someone from making up a player ID for the link? Someone could link to the account of someone else by simply making up a number. And moderators don't have the authority to make that change, only Tom does. So if I'm not listening, it's because I can't do what you want done.

Anyone that I give a warning to--and I think the other moderators as well--gets an email sent to them explaining the reason why, with a link to the post. People who have 10 points, I think, have a "watched" icon under their name when they post; people who have 50+ points are muted, and can't post until their number of points drops below 50. I think one point a day or one point a week gets deducted by the forum software automatically, so people aren't muted forever.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on August 12, 2013, 06:38:49 PM
Everyone is bound by the Social Contract but yet this goes on and I have zero faith that if I were to use the report function as asked on any member of one of these groups that something would come of it or corrective action be taken. And so it will continue and nothing will change. I've said it before - you do not have the right to treat someone like dirt just because you volunteer for the game or otherwise have power.
You are absolutely correct that the Social Contract applies to everyone, both ways. They volunteers/devs are both bound to obey it and protected by it, just as is every other player.

If you see *any* post that you think violates the Social Contract, report it. I'll slap a warning on Anaris or egamma just as fast as either of them should do it to me. None of us are immune. But if you're not reporting, then you're not helping.

Quote
The second is that there is a blacklist of three players (currently) who are on watch for any offences. But we know nothing else about it.
The number and identity of anyone on a "watch list" changes from day to day. People who are given warnings are assigned points along with the warning. If the points get too high, then that user is muted for some time, and cannot post. Points decrease automatically over time. The combination of these means that people go on and off "the list" all the time. I'm not sure if the list is publicly visible, but it's really not important.

Quote
I offered a couple regarding linking game accounts to forum accounts and they were roundly ignored by everyone and not just the moderation team
Personally, I think that's a great idea. Unfortunately, I don't know how much of an effort that would take to code. It is also code that would require checking and possibly fixing every time there was a forum software update, or possibly changes to the game code.


Quote
So this point is two-fold. The first is to ask what exactly is going on? Are new guidelines/rules for conduct on the forum coming into play in conjunction with this crackdown?
New forum rules/guidelines are being discussed right now. They will be posted when ready.

Quote
The second is about this blacklist - what exactly do you have to do to earn such a status? Am I on the blacklist? What for?
See above explanation.
Title: forummaster3
Post by: Anaris on August 12, 2013, 06:50:28 PM
Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: Tom on August 12, 2013, 07:04:27 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 12, 2013, 07:13:31 PM
So Tom, is it being an [email protected]#$%^& to post an IG letter?

It depends on the context, which is why a hard rule doesn't capture it.

If it takes game away from someone (e.g. because it reveals an in-game conspiracy, or spreads information that people wouldn't get otherwise) then it is being an [email protected]#$%^&.

If its only purpose is to paint someone in a bad light, be it character or player, then it is being an [email protected]#$%^&.

If you have a valid meta (ooc) question about it, and the letter is required as context to understand the question, and none of the above holds true, then it isn't.

And so on.


Quote
I also would like to see an example of gameplay being done the forums. I seriously can not think of a single instance.

It is not about gameplay on the forum. Seriously, I've explained this a few times. It is about taking away gameplay from the game. The most simple and obvious case is that there is a lot of socialising being done on the forum - that could happen in-game. At tournaments, on the ruler channel, through guilds, etc.

The other most obvious part is that only the part of the playerbase who frequent the forum get to be a part of it. That's like hanging out with a bunch of guys who all go to the same school and you don't - you will be the outsider in that group.



I don't doubt the forums also have good sides.

But quite frankly, they are a MAJOR distraction. If nothing else, my own time spent on the forum vs. doing anything else for the game compared to my time spent on the discussion list vs. doing anything else for the game - wow.

Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 12, 2013, 07:20:03 PM
Oh come on. You see it, too. I can't recall anyone defending the forum on the grounds of it being really friendly and welcoming, for example. The best anyone posted was that it's less aweful than some other forums for some other games.

You really have been selectively reading our posts, haven't you? The forums are incredibly friendly to new players. The only conflicts I ever see between players is the occasional over-passionate spat between older players from rival realms. I've especially seen this friendliness when new players have asked about what realms are interesting to join.
Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: Geronus on August 12, 2013, 07:23:07 PM
Oh come on. You see it, too. I can't recall anyone defending the forum on the grounds of it being really friendly and welcoming, for example. The best anyone posted was that it's less aweful than some other forums for some other games.

I enjoy them. As with any group of people that's sufficiently large, there is going to be disagreement. That is inevitable. But I do not accept the argument that the forum is so bad that it merits being shut down.

I know you have other reasons (which I also disagree with), but I simply do not see the forum in general or the Local board specifically as an overly hostile place. The Local board features a bunch of passionate people discussing their favorite realms and islands. People are naturally going to have opposing viewpoints and disagree on many things, often stridently, but I think that the number of times that disagreements turn truly hostile in a personal sense is very limited in comparison to the total volume of posting going on, and is something that can be addressed easily enough by stricter moderation.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 12, 2013, 07:32:35 PM
Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: Anaris on August 12, 2013, 07:38:46 PM
Oh come on. You see it, too.

Please speak for yourself. Your massive anti-forum bias is not shared by many people on the forum. For reasons that should be obvious.

Quote
I can't recall anyone defending the forum on the grounds of it being really friendly and welcoming, for example. The best anyone posted was that it's less aweful than some other forums for some other games.

All right, then, now you won't be able to say that anymore:

I think the forum is a good, welcoming place for new players. I haven't yet seen a new player introduce themselves and be ridiculed or met with a hostile reaction. I've seen the Newbie Board be a great help to new players and players who aren't so new, but still have newbie questions.
Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: egamma on August 12, 2013, 07:40:36 PM
I also think that the Helpline and Newbie boards are great.
Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: vonGenf on August 12, 2013, 07:43:50 PM
I've seen the Newbie Board be a great help to new players and players who aren't so new, but still have newbie questions.

The Newbie Board is really helpful - and I am glad it is still open.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 12, 2013, 07:59:41 PM
The second is about this blacklist - what exactly do you have to do to earn such a status? Am I on the blacklist? What for?

You are not or you would know about it. When the moderators add warning points to an account, you get a notice.


Linking forum accounts to game accounts is too difficult, or I would've done it long ago. The forum runs on a 3rd party software.


Quote
The third is linked to Magistrates cases which has been mentioned before but it bears reminding. As it stands, anyone can offer their input into a Magistrates case. This has to stop because it means that groups of players (like with the case I attempted to bring recently linked to the toxic atmosphere cases) can just rise up and barrack or stonewall one side or the other, especially when it's then not moderated out as it should be (this goes back to the role/behaviour of the volunteers somewhat). Posts in those forums should, in my eyes, be for four parties only: Defendant, Plaintiff, Magistrates, Witnesses. You don't allow the gallery to shout out in most RL courts, why should we here?

Because we are not a court and other players can and do add valuable information. I do agree that any and all postings that contain insults, complaints, comments not relevant to the case or anything that doesn't belong need to be moderated into oblivion with extreme prejudice, even if they contain other valuable information. Some mods disagree, they would rather edit out the bad parts and leave the rest. It's their job so I let them do it as they see fit, personally I think they will come to realize that pressing the delete button is less work.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 12, 2013, 08:03:50 PM
Removing the forums would, at this point, be one of the worst things you could do for the game.

I already said multiple times that closing the forums down entirely IS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN on my mind.

But closing down the locals boards does make clear what the purpose of the forums is: To allow the players to talk about the game as players, not as characters. This is the meta-level, and it should stay that way.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 12, 2013, 08:04:58 PM
But closing down the locals boards does make clear what the purpose of the forums is: To allow the players to talk about the game as players, not as characters. This is the meta-level, and it should stay that way.

But closing down the locals board also prevents people from talking about actually playing the game. Which, IMO, is a bad change.
Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: Tom on August 12, 2013, 08:08:14 PM
Please speak for yourself. Your massive anti-forum bias is not shared by many people on the forum. For reasons that should be obvious.

Yes - people who dislike forums are unlikely to participate in them. :-)

Good, I'll speak for myself: The forum has fantastic parts like the helpline and quite often the general discussion. It has some really [email protected]#$ty parts where people shout at each other and create a highly toxic atmosphere and no matter what you say in defense of the forum now, that topic has come up several times and these cases exist and are real, stop being as one-sided on the other side as you accuse me for the other.

And then there is the effect of the forum on the game. The forum DOES create an "in group" of people who are more in-the-loop, better informed, more connected than others. Please don't deny that the sky is blue.
Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: Anaris on August 12, 2013, 08:24:44 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 12, 2013, 09:54:41 PM
Tom, this topic is useless, it should be in announcements, as you've already made your mind up before you even made the topic. You basically ignore 90% of people's post-content and answer by nit picking certain phrases you disagree upon, whilst people are posting huge posts with arguments and solutions. I can understand everyone's frustration at trying to convey their point over to you.

I've pretty much resorted to reading about BM on another forum as I have no idea what is happening on Dwilight & in my paused-character's realm atm, and I wish I didn't have to. I'm willing to bet most of the people here are returning to irc to hear what is going on in other continents or far away realms, which doesn't surprise me. Both of these mediums are way more prone to involve IC discussions than the locals ever had (they didn't).

It's a sad state of affairs.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Chenier on August 12, 2013, 10:08:17 PM
But closing down the locals board also prevents people from talking about actually playing the game. Which, IMO, is a bad change.

I gotta say that since this change, I don't really look forward to reading up the forum, because I know there won't really be anything of interest to read.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Qyasogk on August 13, 2013, 12:38:10 AM
Tom, this topic is useless, it should be in announcements, as you've already made your mind up before you even made the topic. You basically ignore 90% of people's post-content and answer by nit picking certain phrases you disagree upon, whilst people are posting huge posts with arguments and solutions. I can understand everyone's frustration at trying to convey their point over to you.

100% agreed as someone that Tom 100% ignored.

Tom, stop pretending you want to have conversations about these things (closing islands, closing forums, etc), and just rule by fiat and edict so we all know where our place is.  :(
Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: Chenier on August 13, 2013, 12:39:45 AM
Guys, I think you are missing the point:

Truth doesn't matter, impression does. If a player new to or just interested in the game sees a lot of political discussions on the official forum, he will assume that he will need to follow the forum in order to stay up-to-date on in-game events. And with that one impression his mental model will double the estimated time requirement for the game.

It doesn't matter if his impression is wrong. You will never get the chance to discuss it with him and correct it.

On the other hand...

New characters are often not privy to a lot of info. And they lack the contacts and experience to "do something about it" or "force the ruler to do better" or "get someone more competent in place". Many players leave because, after joining, nothing seems to happen and they simply see no point to come back. The forums allow them to read up and learn on stuff, even exchange with other players, while they wait for stuff to actually happen IG. It can also help them choose the realms they will play in, an incredibly serious affair that the game offers really too little help with.

And then there is the effect of the forum on the game. The forum DOES create an "in group" of people who are more in-the-loop, better informed, more connected than others. Please don't deny that the sky is blue.

Yes, it does... but let's consider this: which do we prefer? A source for greater access to info that is available to all, regardless of activity, that they can read up on their own time whenever they want, and that can be monitored and moderated, or a place that holds no logs, that has no moderation, and that basically forces you to be on at all times and to read through a bunch of crap before being able to find the interesting stuff. In both cases, really active players will be able to fetch all the information they need, and seed all of the misinformation they desire. In one case, though, less active players will not have the time to get as much "scoop" as the more active player, and will not have anyone to protect him from hostile behavior. Which would you prefer?

In case you haven't guessed, I'm comparing the forums to IRC, here. It used to be that IRC was the place to be in the scoop. It was a much more elitist medium than the forum could ever be. Here, at least, all of the posts are organized into boards and subjects, and the most blatant crap is filtered out. This "in-group" you mention is a LOT broader with the forums than it was with IRC.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 13, 2013, 01:06:35 AM
100% agreed as someone that Tom 100% ignored.

Tom, stop pretending you want to have conversations about these things (closing islands, closing forums, etc), and just rule by fiat and edict so we all know where our place is.  :(

If you've been here for a while you know that at times I put down the hammer and that's it.

I keep this discussion open for a reason, and that I don't reply to a specific point doesn't mean I didn't hear it. However, do keep in mind the confirmation bias: Everyone here is already in the group of people who like the forum. And most of the arguments are one-sided from the side that enjoyed things the way they are, and in large parts shaped them.

There is also a silent minority/majority/we'll-never-know-what. They don't speak up here. They speak through private mail or by leaving the game. Just like I seem to ignore some arguments posted here, I feel the very real concerns of these people likewise get quite ignored.
Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: Anaris on August 13, 2013, 01:27:06 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 13, 2013, 01:37:47 AM
There is also a silent minority/majority/we'll-never-know-what. They don't speak up here. They speak through private mail or by leaving the game. Just like I seem to ignore some arguments posted here, I feel the very real concerns of these people likewise get quite ignored.

Well, you seem quite willing to take as fact statements about things that have happened on the forum that no one seems to be able to provide any evidence of.

And your accusations of our confirmation bias pale in comparison to you simply assuming the existence of some silent majority/minority/we'll-never-know-what who see the forum and leave the game because of it.

I'm sorry, Tom, but I'm calling BS. Yes, it's possible that there are people like that. And if there are, then I'm sad to have them go.

But you know what? There are real people right here. People we all know exist. People you are pissing off and alienating with every post. People who have stayed in your game. People who are talking to you, and whom you're treating as if we matter less than your hypotheticals. People who like your game, and want to play it and enjoy it, but whose enjoyment you are willfully eroding just because you never wanted this forum in the first place, and now you're taking the excuse of a couple of bad apples and a few heated arguments to rip out one of the most important parts of what makes the forum good for the game.

You have made a mistake here, Tom, a big one. And now you're hiding behind imaginary people to justify it.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on August 13, 2013, 01:58:07 AM
do keep in mind the confirmation bias

Right back atcha!
Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: Meneldur on August 13, 2013, 02:38:43 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: trying on August 13, 2013, 03:00:43 AM
I think locals should just be news so just strip it down to the "post on facebook" stuff.
Title: Re: forummaster3
Post by: Geronus on August 13, 2013, 04:12:28 AM
Tom, I think that whether you're listening to us or not, you've already determined that this decision will not be reversed, which is frustrating to say the least. You've taken away something that was a source of enjoyment and a sense of community for me, and for reasons that I do not agree with. The Local board enriched my Battlemaster experience. Now it's gone. I do not expect to see anything come out of this decision that will make up for that loss. What are you hoping to get out of this decision? More investment in the game? If anything I think you'll see less; the people who don't like the forum and don't use it will keep doing exactly what they've been doing, so no change there. The people who did like it, well, for them the Local board inspired interest in what was going on in the game. Interest drives investment. Less interest means less investment.

I don't think you appreciate the sense of community that the forum created, and even if you did you would be inclined to undervalue it because the game has been declining since before the forum was created. Did it ever occur to you that the forum might possibly have prevented that decline from being even worse than it has been? I can tell you right now that if it weren't for the forum, I wouldn't be playing today, and may well have stopped playing much earlier than I actually did. How many other people might say the same? You don't know, you just assume there's some silent majority out there that agrees with you and that if only you do what they want you to do, the game will be improved for everyone. Well, I know at least one person for whom this will not be an improvement.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Stabbity on August 13, 2013, 05:09:33 AM
If you've been here for a while you know that at times I put down the hammer and that's it.

I keep this discussion open for a reason, and that I don't reply to a specific point doesn't mean I didn't hear it. However, do keep in mind the confirmation bias: Everyone here is already in the group of people who like the forum. And most of the arguments are one-sided from the side that enjoyed things the way they are, and in large parts shaped them.

There is also a silent minority/majority/we'll-never-know-what. They don't speak up here. They speak through private mail or by leaving the game. Just like I seem to ignore some arguments posted here, I feel the very real concerns of these people likewise get quite ignored.

Have you ever considered that there must be something to some of your most dedicated players LIKING the local boards? If myself and the likes of Delvin like it, use and hang around it after playing for around a decade, then maybe its a good thing for battlemaster. Granted, we are a minority of players, but we are also the ones who have played the longest and thus have a better sense of what makes the game more or less enjoyable. Like the old estate system where we were stuck playing regional maintenance master compared to the current estate system. We feel (and are justified in feeling this way) that the locals have been a good thing, as compared to the eight or so years without it. I have seriously seen IRC and the locals cause players stick around who might not have otherwise. We've had a couple of players leave who had activity on the forums yes, but much of those incidents also took place in game as well. If we're going to try and stop player nastiness why not just disable messaging while you're at it?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 13, 2013, 09:44:24 AM
I'm sorry, Tom, but I'm calling BS. Yes, it's possible that there are people like that.

There are, I have their e-mails.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 13, 2013, 09:46:50 AM
As I said: I hear you. I am stubborn but not stupid.

Let's turn this discussion constructive again: If you want the locals to return, work out a proposal that ensures their downsides are considered and avoided. Can we create a place to talk ABOUT a game world or a realm WITHOUT removing content from the game that belongs into in-game messages?

Title: forummaster2
Post by: Tom on August 13, 2013, 09:48:57 AM
Tom, I think that whether you're listening to us or not, you've already determined that this decision will not be reversed,

If I were, I would have deleted the boards instead of just locking them. I am very careful about doing stuff that can not be reversed.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Jaron on August 13, 2013, 10:09:37 AM
Well i think maybe we should set some rules:

1) Only events that have happened should be discussed
2) threads should be event based (?)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 13, 2013, 01:31:58 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Ender on August 13, 2013, 03:28:06 PM
Quote
1) Make more moderators. At least 2-3 different people have expressed an interest in moderating some or all of the local boards, and I'm sure we can come up with more, especially if it's made clear that no Local board will be reopened without at least one dedicated, active moderator.

I think the general consensus in that thread about moderation (and throughout all of these other threads) more or less said the same thing. Just about everyone here is willing to see more effective moderation in place. If people are willing to moderate, let them, set a bunch of guidelines, and enforce them. If you cut down on the jerks being jerks, things would settle down into a more friendly state of affairs and would clean up the problem areas, I think.

And honestly, right now, these forums feel way more toxic to me than they ever did because of this whole ForumMaster debacle and, specifically, the way you, Tom, are treating everyone defending the forums while trying to sort out this issue.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 13, 2013, 04:00:37 PM
Well, you seem quite willing to take as fact statements about things that have happened on the forum that no one seems to be able to provide any evidence of.

It's hard to provide evidence without having access to the boards. I believe I provided 3 examples. Here are three more:

1. Talking about Nazi symbols on a server hosted in Germany
2. Insulting the Zuma GM and anything to do with the Zuma
3. Bad-talking Aurvandil well after the multi-cheater was banned

And that's just the Dwilight local.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 13, 2013, 04:03:32 PM
It's hard to provide evidence without having access to the boards. I believe I provided 3 examples. Here are three more:

1. Talking about Nazi symbols on a server hosted in Germany
2. Insulting the Zuma GM and anything to do with the Zuma
3. Bad-talking Aurvandil well after the multi-cheater was banned

And that's just the Dwilight local.

What, exactly, are you responding to?

These are clearly things that should be taken care of by moderation.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Velax on August 13, 2013, 05:06:21 PM
Hmm. Even though I was one of those who said taking away the Local boards would eliminate a lot of the crap, I have to admit I feel far less inclination to come to the forums with the Local boards gone. They were responsible for most of the [email protected]#$ in the forums, true, but they were also the most entertaining boards to read.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 13, 2013, 05:14:26 PM
Hmm. Even though I was one of those who said taking away the Local boards would eliminate a lot of the crap, I have to admit I feel far less inclination to come to the forums with the Local boards gone. They were responsible for most of the [email protected]#$ in the forums, true, but they were also the most entertaining boards to read.

And interesting, maddening, inspiring, etc. They are literally the lifeblood of the forum.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Revan on August 13, 2013, 09:33:19 PM
If you want the locals to return, work out a proposal that ensures their downsides are considered and avoided. Can we create a place to talk ABOUT a game world or a realm WITHOUT removing content from the game that belongs into in-game messages?

Probably the best suggestions for curbing their downsides have already been made been made by Anaris. Guidelines against discussing planned or ongoing events less than a week old. Meanwhile with a mod for every board you can make sure that threads are nipped in the bud early if they do err on the wrong side of the rules.

I suppose ideally, given some of the negative perceptions of mod involvement in discussions previously, mods should be paired to continents that they are not heavily involved with themselves. That way there can be less of an outcry about them taking sides or getting too emotionally involved in any discussions themselves.

Maybe also have a much lower lower threshold for getting muted just for the locals board. To some it might seem punitive, but it should hopefully get the message across that nonsense or abuse will not be tolerated in the locals area.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 13, 2013, 09:37:47 PM
I suppose ideally, given some of the negative perceptions of mod involvement in discussions previously, mods should be paired to continents that they are not heavily involved with themselves. That way there can be less of an outcry about them taking sides or getting too emotionally involved in any discussions themselves.

This is likely to be impractical, simply because a mod should be someone who is, in fact, active on the board they are moderating. Otherwise, they're not going to know the situations involved or the histories of the posters. Furthermore, if they're actively reading most or all threads on the board, they can moderate quickly when they see something wrong, and not have to wait for a report.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 13, 2013, 10:12:08 PM
This is likely to be impractical, simply because a mod should be someone who is, in fact, active on the board they are moderating. Otherwise, they're not going to know the situations involved or the histories of the posters. Furthermore, if they're actively reading most or all threads on the board, they can moderate quickly when they see something wrong, and not have to wait for a report.

I actually muted the continents that I don't play on; I have no interest in reading those threads. I've also muted other areas of the forum that I don't have time or interest to keep up with. If someone were to report a post, I could then take action upon it, but I'm not going to read it simply because I'm "impartial", any more than I should watch "days of our lives" so that I can post an "impartial" Wikipedia article on it. My time is my own and I'm simply not going to spend it looking for trouble (or watching soap operas).

Also, if someone is disclosing IG information, I have no idea of it's supposed to be a big secret, or if everyone on the island knows about it; so how could I decide what to delete, and what to keep? Best to let those familiar with local politics police them.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 13, 2013, 10:20:25 PM
I'm not sure the "one week after" rules has been thought through.

When is "one week after"? After what? The beginning of an event? The crucial point of an event? The conclusion of an event? When is that? When the revolution is done or when the new government has settled in or is the immediate counter-revolution still the same event?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 13, 2013, 10:20:49 PM
It's hard to provide evidence without having access to the boards. I believe I provided 3 examples. Here are three more:

1. Talking about Nazi symbols on a server hosted in Germany
2. Insulting the Zuma GM and anything to do with the Zuma
3. Bad-talking Aurvandil well after the multi-cheater was banned

And that's just the Dwilight local.
1. There were players complaining on the forums about someone using Nazi symbols in game. That is not a forum issue, that is a players trying to police each other which is encouraged behaviour last I check.

2. I recall the thread and I suppose I should have reported to the moderator, but to be honest until recently I have just kind of phased out the report to moderator button. The posters, which I believe was one or two insulting the Zuma GM and such in the Zuma thread should have been muted with reasons why as simply locking that topic after awhile has not helped the situation.

3. If I would have remembered the report to moderator button I would have done it because I know I posted several times those who repeatedly did that to quit although I believe the moderators are also at fault when a thread was made for the sole bashing of Mendicant after he was locked and the moderators left it. I was simply shocked when I saw that that it wasn't locked almost immediately. Toxic topic by there very nature like that should be locked as soon as a moderator sees it.

I'm not sure the "one week after" rules has been thought through.

When is "one week after"? After what? The beginning of an event? The crucial point of an event? The conclusion of an event? When is that? When the revolution is done or when the new government has settled in or is the immediate counter-revolution still the same event?

Its a bad idea anyways IMO. People don't go, "hmmm yeah remember that thing from last month? That was great." People talk about events somewhat soon after they happen and a week is not that. I could see 2-3 days being fine but I am not a fan of a week being the time. Personally I don't like the idea of trying to apply a strict amount of time because while some things it fine to wait, other things after a certain time the event is no longer worth talking about depending on the event.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 13, 2013, 10:23:42 PM
What, exactly, are you responding to?

These are clearly things that should be taken care of by moderation.

I edited my post; I was actually replying to your previous post, claiming that nothing bad ever happened on the locals.

And yes, those things should have been moderated; I actually did moderate 2 of the 3 things, and I wasn't a global moderator when all the Zuma-bashing was going on. My point is, moderators shouldn't have to moderate that crap. Moderators locked the Zuma thread, so a new one popped up. Anti-Zuma comments percolated half the active threads in the Dwilight board. Anti-Aurvandil commends percolated about a quarter of the active threads int he Dwilight board. Players (some, not all) are too passionate, apparently.

And that passion should be in-game. Work on establishing continent-wide gossip guilds. The 'Moot on Dwilight is a great communications channel, even though it only covers about 1/3rd of the island.

All of you who love Dwilight, and I do, consider this. Wasn't the entire point of SMA to keep it all in character? And yet we have all these complaints about not allowing this OOC chatter.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kwanstein on August 13, 2013, 10:44:52 PM
I have an idea. Currently the forums are easier to communicate on than anything in-game, as forums allow discussions to be organised into topics. So how about allowing forum-like topics to made in-game. Have topics posted at guild houses, then anyone visiting a guild house can read and reply to those topics. Even this wouldn't be as handy as a forum, but it would provide a decent surrogate at least.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 13, 2013, 11:01:14 PM
Quote
All of you who love Dwilight, and I do, consider this. Wasn't the entire point of SMA to keep it all in character? And yet we have all these complaints about not allowing this OOC chatter.
No, not at all. The point of SMA is to make different continents different, SMA in particular meaning the continent has a Serious Medieval Atmosphere. While OOC chatter IG on Dwilight is bad unless its necessary as it breaks that atmosphere when you exit that character you exit that particular atmosphere and that no longer applies as in there is nothing wrong with OOC chatter, OOG on Dwilight.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 13, 2013, 11:06:24 PM
I'm not sure the "one week after" rules has been thought through.

When is "one week after"? After what? The beginning of an event? The crucial point of an event? The conclusion of an event? When is that? When the revolution is done or when the new government has settled in or is the immediate counter-revolution still the same event?

That's why I said "planned, ongoing or less than a week old."

So if there's a tournament that was started 7 days ago, but still has a day to go before the actual contests, it's ongoing.

Obviously a war doesn't count as an "ongoing event"; individual battles, skirmishes, and incidents within the war do. If there's been a revolution, you can't talk about the actual rebellion itself until a week after it's over. If the rebellion succeeds, but there's a counter-revolution is being prepared, then it seems most reasonable to me that those are separate events, one finished, one ongoing.

I'm sure someone will come up with some edge case that is highly ambiguous even with the wording I've given, but I'm confident that with moderators acting in good faith, especially with knowledge of the posters in question, appropriate rulings can be made in any instance that comes up.

In any case, I remain unconvinced that such a clause is really needed in the first place, since it is being added specifically to prevent something happening which no one has yet provided a single shred of evidence of having ever happened.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Eirikr on August 14, 2013, 12:51:01 AM
2) Give people guidelines about what is acceptable, with #1 being "don't be an [email protected]#$%^&" (or something similar). (No, that doesn't mean a set of ironclad rules that can be lawyered and gamed. It means guidelines.)

I would add that when these guidelines are broken, any action taken is noted publicly (with the offender remaining anonymous, if possible). My initial thought would be to add a final post whenever a thread is locked explaining why it was locked. Leaving warning signs lying about leaves clear indicators that certain behaviors are not allowed instead of leaving people in the dark about what happened.

For other actions, I'd just use that case as a specific thing to add to the guidelines. For example, let's say I am clearly posting only flame responses, but I'm not limited to one thread; make a specific note under "don't be an [email protected]#$%^&" saying, "Flaming is not tolerated." etc.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 14, 2013, 12:57:29 AM
I edited my post; I was actually replying to your previous post, claiming that nothing bad ever happened on the locals.

And yes, those things should have been moderated; I actually did moderate 2 of the 3 things, and I wasn't a global moderator when all the Zuma-bashing was going on. My point is, moderators shouldn't have to moderate that crap. Moderators locked the Zuma thread, so a new one popped up. Anti-Zuma comments percolated half the active threads in the Dwilight board. Anti-Aurvandil commends percolated about a quarter of the active threads int he Dwilight board. Players (some, not all) are too passionate, apparently.

So you're basically saying moderators shouldn't moderate stuff that needs moderating? I'm not sure I follow you there...

All of you who love Dwilight, and I do, consider this. Wasn't the entire point of SMA to keep it all in character? And yet we have all these complaints about not allowing this OOC chatter.

The entire point of SMA is to have a serious medieval atmosphere. IC and OOC is irrelevant on that point except to where it applies on normal continents as well. So you're combining two separate cans of worms...
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 14, 2013, 01:02:07 AM
I edited my post; I was actually replying to your previous post, claiming that nothing bad ever happened on the locals.

And yes, those things should have been moderated; I actually did moderate 2 of the 3 things, and I wasn't a global moderator when all the Zuma-bashing was going on. My point is, moderators shouldn't have to moderate that crap.

Should or shouldn't doesn't enter into it. Everyone should play nice with each other and treat each other well, but sometimes people don't, so we need to have ways of dealing with it. Complaining about the way things should be just isn't productive.

So if stuff like that gets posted, absolutely, moderators should be moderating it.

Quote
All of you who love Dwilight, and I do, consider this. Wasn't the entire point of SMA to keep it all in character? And yet we have all these complaints about not allowing this OOC chatter.

Um...this is kind of irrelevant.

Yes, it's true, one of the points of SMA was to keep in-game interactions in character, as much as possible. But the forum is not in-game. SMA does not apply. So...what, exactly, was your point, again?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Perth on August 14, 2013, 01:10:31 AM
Its a bad idea anyways IMO. People don't go, "hmmm yeah remember that thing from last month? That was great." People talk about events somewhat soon after they happen and a week is not that. I could see 2-3 days being fine but I am not a fan of a week being the time. Personally I don't like the idea of trying to apply a strict amount of time because while some things it fine to wait, other things after a certain time the event is no longer worth talking about depending on the event.

Are you kidding me? People hold grudges like no other in this game and frequently bicker about things in the past. See the Glaumring talking about the Terran-Kabrinskia war issue, for example.


I edited my post; I was actually replying to your previous post, claiming that nothing bad ever happened on the locals.

And yes, those things should have been moderated; I actually did moderate 2 of the 3 things, and I wasn't a global moderator when all the Zuma-bashing was going on. My point is, moderators shouldn't have to moderate that crap. Moderators locked the Zuma thread, so a new one popped up. Anti-Zuma comments percolated half the active threads in the Dwilight board. Anti-Aurvandil commends percolated about a quarter of the active threads int he Dwilight board. Players (some, not all) are too passionate, apparently.

And that passion should be in-game. Work on establishing continent-wide gossip guilds. The 'Moot on Dwilight is a great communications channel, even though it only covers about 1/3rd of the island.

All of you who love Dwilight, and I do, consider this. Wasn't the entire point of SMA to keep it all in character? And yet we have all these complaints about not allowing this OOC chatter.


Except that both of those things were OOC complaints about OOC issues. You really want people to take their complaints about how a GM is negatively affecting the game into... the 'Moot? Or people's suspicions and complaints about possible Aurvandil cheating... to in-game guilds? That sounds like a terrible idea. If the 'Moot became filled with OOC messages about "they are cheating!" and "the GM cheats!" I would like literally tell them to shut up and, guess what, take it to the forum... because that's the place for that, not the game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on August 14, 2013, 01:31:52 AM
Regarding forum mods, we now have three global moderators, as well as three forum admins who can also act as mods. I don't think we really need any more mods, unless we want to have mods spread out in various time zones around the world.

What's more important than having a large number of mods is that people report posts. Reported posts send out email notifications to the mods. If posts are reported, then they will get attention faster, and can be dealt with quickly.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Chenier on August 14, 2013, 04:39:42 AM
No, not at all. The point of SMA is to make different continents different, SMA in particular meaning the continent has a Serious Medieval Atmosphere. While OOC chatter IG on Dwilight is bad unless its necessary as it breaks that atmosphere when you exit that character you exit that particular atmosphere and that no longer applies as in there is nothing wrong with OOC chatter, OOG on Dwilight.

Indeed, the harsh attitude against IG OOC messages has no doubt encouraged a number of players to bring it out on the forums instead.

OOC communication will always exist. Trying to control it somewhere, be in IG or on the forums, will only lead it elsewhere. The question to ask is "where do we want it?"
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 14, 2013, 06:32:03 AM
Except that both of those things were OOC complaints about OOC issues. You really want people to take their complaints about how a GM is negatively affecting the game into... the 'Moot? Or people's suspicions and complaints about possible Aurvandil cheating... to in-game guilds? That sounds like a terrible idea. If the 'Moot became filled with OOC messages about "they are cheating!" and "the GM cheats!" I would like literally tell them to shut up and, guess what, take it to the forum... because that's the place for that, not the game.

People should not be talking about cheating without proof, period. It's right in the Social Contract. It shouldn't happen IG, it shouldn't happen on the forums, and it should be dealt with harshly no matter where it occurs.

And people shouldn't have been insulting the Zuma GM, period. They should have talked about the situation more IC. We did talk about it...some. But nowhere near as much as the number of forum posts on the subject. The number of forum posts about the Zuma that were created in a month were greater than a years worth of IC content.

My point is not that people should have IG guilds to talk OOC. My point was that they shouldn't have OOC chat, period; just post IC about how your character feels about the Zuma, or drought, or whatever.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Perth on August 14, 2013, 07:15:52 AM
My point was that they shouldn't have OOC chat, period;

In game, essentially yes.

On the forum.... no.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Revan on August 14, 2013, 09:16:02 AM
That's why I said "planned, ongoing or less than a week old."

I think this is a good rule of thumb for the locals board. Perhaps it can be qualified even further to just apply to 'sensitive' events (rebellions etc.) But we have to recognise that it will only ever be a rule of thumb. We'll never come up with some water-tight rule that covers everything. There will be grey areas, but if posters and moderators exercise good sense then this will still be far better than anything we've had previously.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Jaron on August 14, 2013, 09:26:18 AM
I think a good rule of thumb is also  "dont break other people's secret"
I think it fine to tell in the forum of your own character's plot and stuff as long as it does not involve other people characters.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 14, 2013, 09:53:13 AM
Players (some, not all) are too passionate, apparently.

I think this is the core of what I was trying to get at the whole time: Try to find rules that allow and force people to step back from their characters for a moment, when posting on the forum. Make rules that pull people to the meta level, where they once again see that it's all just a game.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 14, 2013, 09:54:09 AM
I have an idea. Currently the forums are easier to communicate on than anything in-game, as forums allow discussions to be organised into topics. So how about allowing forum-like topics to made in-game. Have topics posted at guild houses, then anyone visiting a guild house can read and reply to those topics. Even this wouldn't be as handy as a forum, but it would provide a decent surrogate at least.

If it were easy, don't you think we would've done it years ago?

We don't have the manpower to create a full-blown forum software from scratch. And even as primitive as it is, the message system is one of the most complex parts of the game, coding-wise.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: vonGenf on August 14, 2013, 09:56:41 AM
Try to find rules that allow and force people to step back from their characters for a moment, when posting on the forum. Make rules that pull people to the meta level, where they once again see that it's all just a game.

I think "Never use the second person when talking about characters or realms" would go a long way towards that.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 14, 2013, 10:07:20 AM
Obviously a war doesn't count as an "ongoing event"; individual battles, skirmishes, and incidents within the war do. If there's been a revolution, you can't talk about the actual rebellion itself until a week after it's over. If the rebellion succeeds, but there's a counter-revolution is being prepared, then it seems most reasonable to me that those are separate events, one finished, one ongoing.

I'm sure someone will come up with some edge case that is highly ambiguous even with the wording I've given, but I'm confident that with moderators acting in good faith, especially with knowledge of the posters in question, appropriate rulings can be made in any instance that comes up.

You'd think that and it would be reasonable to do so, but the real world doesn't work like that. This specific thing is a good example, because there was a billion-dollar court case in the very recent past that revolved around the definition of the word "event" and whether what happened was one event or two events. Much like your revolution example. Except it was the World Trade Center towers. Was it two seperate planes crashing into two seperate towers at two seperate times and thus two events (as the owners argued) or was it one terror strike perpetrated by one group in one action and thus one event (as the insurance company argued)? That wasn't semantics, it was US$ 3,550,000,000 - the insurance policy had a limit of 3.55 billion per event.


I know that most people will do the right thing and mostly agree on what that is. We don't need rules for them. Rules are for the borderline cases and for when people disagree. And if the rule can't resolve the disagreement, and draw an unambigious line, then it's worthless.


I don't think time is the crucial factor. I think distance from the event is. Basically, any discussion that could be had in-character and in-game should not be on the forum. Smack talk about some realm should be delivered in-game. Saying the generals strategy is stupid, or realm X is going down belongs in-game. Whining about the Zuma belongs in-game.

But talk where you step out of your character and look at the larger picture. When you ask whether the Zuma are good for gameplay, or want to discuss the effect of donut regions on siege strategy, or talk about sea zones for other islands, or the Colonies land reform - that talk should have a forum outside the game, I agree on that.

And yes, I agree that means most of the passionate, and to some people interesting, stuff would be gone. And that is the point. This interesting and passionate stuff belongs in the game, which frankly is a shell of its former self and a part of that is the lack of players and another part is that so much stuff isn't being talked about in-game anymore.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 14, 2013, 10:12:02 AM
Except that both of those things were OOC complaints about OOC issues. You really want people to take their complaints about how a GM is negatively affecting the game into... the 'Moot? Or people's suspicions and complaints about possible Aurvandil cheating... to in-game guilds? That sounds like a terrible idea. If the 'Moot became filled with OOC messages about "they are cheating!" and "the GM cheats!" I would like literally tell them to shut up and, guess what, take it to the forum... because that's the place for that, not the game.

Looks like we both arrived at the same conclusion there.

The forum should be OOC, the game should be IC. I think that sums it up nicely, and only leaves the cases where Joe Random tells everyone how much enemy realm Keplerstan sucks and is a pit of evil without making explicit if he is talking IC or OOC. That'll have to be judged from context. If he is talking about their in-game actions, he is IC. If he is relating how they treat new players and demand everyone to log in right after the turn, he is OOC.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 14, 2013, 10:13:27 AM
I think a good rule of thumb is also  "dont break other people's secret"

I agree that should be in the guidelines, too.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on August 14, 2013, 06:45:31 PM
Moderator note: I have removed several of the most recent posts, as well as some posts that quoted them. (Sorry, Atanamir, your post got removed as quoting removed material, not because of its contents.) We are getting too personal, and now just repeating things back and forth. Remember: If you're not adding something new to the discussion, you're not helping.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on August 14, 2013, 06:51:34 PM
Moderator note: If you have something to say to Tom, just say it to him directly. His email address is not hard to find. This thread is about the issues caused by forums, and potential solutions to those problems. If you don't see a problem, and/or you don't have a solution, then there is no need for you to post.

I agree the forum is an in-group. I've said that in Magistrate cases and numerous threads many, many times. You're right: it's an in-group. Which is why I've made numerous attempts to try and find ways to include players elsewhere through advocating for surveys and trying to use data to extract the real story on whats going on in the silent majority of BM players. I've spent a lot of time and effort doing that, and I resent your blatant denigration of any contributions I've made.

Most of us on the forum know it's a socially exclusive group. Tim is right that it's a group with a pretty low barrier (far lower than IRC or the D-List, IMHO, which is why I still mostly boycott IRC, because it's a wretched hive of scum and villainy), but you're also right there is a kind of self-selecting exclusivity. It has a result of exclusivity but not a structural support or intent for it.

But damn it all Tom, don't you realize most players don't want to form a community? Tom, most players aren't looking to sit around and make friends and develop elaborate stories and interesting, complex political narratives. It's a lightweight game. But it only stays fun for "lightweight" players (used non pejoratively, btw) because some of us really put in hard work to invest in making an interesting world. Surprise, interesting plotlines actually don't arise spontaneously. They happen because players create them intentionally, and are motivated to do so for some reason. Internal motivation is swell but, frankly, the social atmosphere of IRC and the forum is a huge incubation chamber for gameplay ideas in what is still a very PvP game.

Tom, if you don't want a BM community, fine. Get rid of OOC talk about the game, limit everything to just nuts-and-bolts conversation, and you'll have your goal.

But some of us like having a BM community quite a bit.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Atanamir on August 14, 2013, 07:15:21 PM
Moderator note: I have removed several of the most recent posts, as well as some posts that quoted them. (Sorry, Atanamir, your post got removed as quoting removed material, not because of its contents.) We are getting too personal, and now just repeating things back and forth. Remember: If you're not adding something new to the discussion, you're not helping.

Sorry, but I had no time to read 18 pages before to check if my suggestions about IRC have been already said.
However, as my first post to this discussion, I would like to state again that realm-only channels on IRC and a general #battlemaster channel on IRC are as much OOC as this game can handle, obviously, and is my opinion on how to solve and prevent many problems.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on August 14, 2013, 07:18:52 PM
Sorry, but I had no time to read 18 pages before to check if my suggestions about IRC have been already said.
However, as my first post to this discussion, I would like to state again that realm-only channels on IRC and a general #battlemaster channel on IRC are as much OOC as this game can handle, obviously, and is my opinion on how to solve and prevent many problems.

I think as many people have bad experiences of and opinions about IRC as the Forum. There's no reason to preference one over another in terms of administering the game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Atanamir on August 14, 2013, 07:28:49 PM
I think as many people have bad experiences of and opinions about IRC as the Forum. There's no reason to preference one over another in terms of administering the game.

I was not talking about administration of game.
This can happen here or whereever admins, magistrates, titans like.
You can leave also only Forums open for these things.
But the sole OOC interaction between players works better in seperated places like realm-only channels, as obviously many can't handle IC/OOC.
If some still feel to open discussions in #battlemaster channel and start arguing there...well at own risk.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 15, 2013, 10:49:17 AM
The reason the d-list never attracted this kind of criticism is because of the flat structure. That every post is always seen by every viewer of the d-list acts as a strong moderation to post topics which affect BM as a whole and not any individual continent, realm or other subset.

Subforums are too effective at filtering and hiding posts. This results in navel gazing conclaves. Continent subforums are especially poisonous, as half of the people there will support anything you say and the other half you hate the guts of, depending which side of the war you are on.

I suggest resolving the forum into a minimalist flat structure. The only subforums would be General Discussion and Development. The parts other than BM (M&F WI etc) don't change obviously.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 15, 2013, 11:32:04 AM
The reason the d-list never attracted this kind of criticism is because of the flat structure. That every post is always seen by every viewer of the d-list acts as a strong moderation to post topics which affect BM as a whole and not any individual continent, realm or other subset.

Subforums are too effective at filtering and hiding posts. This results in navel gazing conclaves. Continent subforums are especially poisonous, as half of the people there will support anything you say and the other half you hate the guts of, depending which side of the war you are on.

I suggest resolving the forum into a minimalist flat structure. The only subforums would be General Discussion and Development. The parts other than BM (M&F WI etc) don't change obviously.

The reason the d-list never attracted attention was because it was extremely limited in the number of people who participated. It never had anything to do with how 'moderated', and i use that term loosely, it was, just the fact that there were too few people for anything to turn into an uproar.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 15, 2013, 11:58:37 AM
Oh yeah making it more difficult helps as well. I think you underestimate how many people were reading though.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: jaune on August 15, 2013, 01:24:20 PM
And d-list was moderated later.

-Jaune
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 15, 2013, 02:30:03 PM
The reason the d-list never attracted attention was because it was extremely limited in the number of people who participated. It never had anything to do with how 'moderated', and i use that term loosely, it was, just the fact that there were too few people for anything to turn into an uproar.

And you, who joined the game in late 2011, know this how?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 15, 2013, 03:41:06 PM
And you, who joined the game in late 2011, know this how?

You're assuming this is my first account Tom. I've been in Battlemaster much longer than the age of this account. and i dont know whose account you're looking at if it says that they joined in late 2011, i created this account in 2010.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 15, 2013, 04:10:05 PM
The reason the d-list never attracted this kind of criticism is because of the flat structure. That every post is always seen by every viewer of the d-list acts as a strong moderation to post topics which affect BM as a whole and not any individual continent, realm or other subset.

Subforums are too effective at filtering and hiding posts. This results in navel gazing conclaves. Continent subforums are especially poisonous, as half of the people there will support anything you say and the other half you hate the guts of, depending which side of the war you are on.

I suggest resolving the forum into a minimalist flat structure. The only subforums would be General Discussion and Development. The parts other than BM (M&F WI etc) don't change obviously.

Moderate? The d-list? I remember more than one hostile exchange gracing my Inbox, some of them as bad or worse than anything I've seen on the forum, and I wasn't a member for all that long before Tom did away with it.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 15, 2013, 04:52:55 PM
Moderate? The d-list? I remember more than one hostile exchange gracing my Inbox, some of them as bad or worse than anything I've seen on the forum, and I wasn't a member for all that long before Tom did away with it.

There were two d-lists. One moderated, one unmoderated. Well, they were the same, really, but one with moderation and one without.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 15, 2013, 05:08:16 PM
There were two d-lists. One moderated, one unmoderated. Well, they were the same, really, but one with moderation and one without.

I was on the digest version if I recall (which I assume was the moderated one), and I still remember some pretty harsh exchanges.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Revan on August 15, 2013, 06:00:56 PM
The reason the d-list never attracted this kind of criticism is because of the flat structure. That every post is always seen by every viewer of the d-list acts as a strong moderation to post topics which affect BM as a whole and not any individual continent, realm or other subset.

Subforums are too effective at filtering and hiding posts. This results in navel gazing conclaves. Continent subforums are especially poisonous, as half of the people there will support anything you say and the other half you hate the guts of, depending which side of the war you are on.

I suggest resolving the forum into a minimalist flat structure. The only subforums would be General Discussion and Development. The parts other than BM (M&F WI etc) don't change obviously.

I'm not sure about flattening the forum entirely, but I do think you're on to something here. If forum users are getting a bit too cliquey posting almost solely on Atamara or Dwilight boards etc. perhaps there should be some sort of merger of the locals boards? Perhaps collapse them into Stable Islands (Atamara, Colonies, East Continent, Far East) and Testing Islands (Beluaterra, Dwilight) and you will hopefully start to see a wider mix of posters and fewer people put-off from participating in discussions.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on August 15, 2013, 06:57:09 PM
I was on the digest version if I recall (which I assume was the moderated one), and I still remember some pretty harsh exchanges.
Either list could have digest or single-message delivery.

We passed the majority of the messages through to the moderated list, until it got bad. Then we were pretty merciless in deleting. If you got a lot of flame wars, then you were on the unmodded list.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 15, 2013, 11:20:37 PM
The reason the d-list never attracted this kind of criticism is because of the flat structure. That every post is always seen by every viewer of the d-list acts as a strong moderation to post topics which affect BM as a whole and not any individual continent, realm or other subset.

Subforums are too effective at filtering and hiding posts. This results in navel gazing conclaves. Continent subforums are especially poisonous, as half of the people there will support anything you say and the other half you hate the guts of, depending which side of the war you are on.

I suggest resolving the forum into a minimalist flat structure. The only subforums would be General Discussion and Development. The parts other than BM (M&F WI etc) don't change obviously.
I am not going to say there are never times where for instance the Lurian and D'haran players both all are on the same side when talking about issues regarding between their realms, but that is more of an issue of perspective between the two sides causing them to disagree, not cliqueyness. It also didn't happen often. Lastly, I don't see how removing the organization helps at all as that just makes it harder for those interested in certain islands to find what they are looking for without actually solving anything IMO.
I'm not sure about flattening the forum entirely, but I do think you're on to something here. If forum users are getting a bit too cliquey posting almost solely on Atamara or Dwilight boards etc. perhaps there should be some sort of merger of the locals boards? Perhaps collapse them into Stable Islands (Atamara, Colonies, East Continent, Far East) and Testing Islands (Beluaterra, Dwilight) and you will hopefully start to see a wider mix of posters and fewer people put-off from participating in discussions.
I don't see why people only posting on one island is bad, why should they have to participate on islands they don't want to on? I myself post on Atamara, Beluterra, FEI, and Dwilight. I have actually posted on Beluterra longer than FEI and probably just as long as I have on Dwilight despite never playing on Beluterra, but I don't see how whether I just post on Dwilight or all the boards I currently post on matters.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Revan on August 16, 2013, 12:05:32 AM
I don't see why people only posting on one island is bad, why should they have to participate on islands they don't want to on? I myself post on Atamara, Beluterra, FEI, and Dwilight. I have actually posted on Beluterra longer than FEI and probably just as long as I have on Dwilight despite never playing on Beluterra, but I don't see how whether I just post on Dwilight or all the boards I currently post on matters.

Well, my impression from the discussion in this thread is that there is a perception that the most vocal players hang around in certain locals sub-forums. There they monopolise the discussion and become perhaps too passionate in their interactions. This perhaps gives out a negative impression to irregular or new forum users who wish to participate and instead choose not to.

Kai pointed out that the present structure of the locals boards might help entrench this. They're shadowy areas far removed from the daylight of the rest of the forum. We're all playing the same game, ostensibly part of a single community, but the locals area divides us into smaller social groups by default. Each of the island boards offered different and contrasting community experiences. Something that went beyond content and affected interactions too.

If the locals area was restructured to just Stable/Testing islands say, or flattened completely as suggested by Kai, the community might mix and gel together better. You don't have to look at threads on things you're not interested in, but you can still get an overview of a wider BattleMaster experience. Hopefully it would encourage broader community participation and curb impressions of forum cliques related to particular continents. You'd be engaging in a larger cohesive community rather than in competing sub communities.

I know that some players frequented several locals areas on a regular basis already and that not everyone might agree with my interpretation of things here, but I do think Kai was on to something.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 16, 2013, 12:17:19 AM
Moderate? The d-list? I remember more than one hostile exchange gracing my Inbox, some of them as bad or worse than anything I've seen on the forum, and I wasn't a member for all that long before Tom did away with it.

Jesus I said "moderation to post topics which affect BM as a whole and not any individual continent, realm or other subset", not "moderation to make people nice to each other".
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tandaros on August 16, 2013, 02:43:50 AM
My two cents:

close the local forums. They definitely contribute to meta-gaming and a degree of OOC grief. I'm glad this discussion about the forums' purpose is taking place, actually, and to see the emphasis return to IG interaction.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 16, 2013, 02:49:23 AM
Jesus I said "moderation to post topics which affect BM as a whole and not any individual continent, realm or other subset", not "moderation to make people nice to each other".

What I was responding to was your implication that people were somehow more "moderate" on the d-list than the forum because they knew that everyone on the list would read what they wrote. And that implication was and is wrong. People were absolutely brutal to each other on the d-list on a regular basis, worse I think than almost anything I've ever seen on the forum. I'm sure moderation kept that to a minimum on the moderated version of the list (which I apparently did not sign up for), but then moderation should be able to accomplish the same thing with the forum which in any case has been on the whole far more civil than I recall the d-list being relative to the total volume of content.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 16, 2013, 03:03:59 AM
My two cents:

close the local forums. They definitely contribute to meta-gaming and a degree of OOC grief. I'm glad this discussion about the forums' purpose is taking place, actually, and to see the emphasis return to IG interaction.

I don't see this at all. If you would like to, point out examples. Besides the fact that most of the people on the forums are also extremely active IG as well when it comes to interaction, so I don't see how the forums effected them negatively in that regard.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: jaune on August 16, 2013, 07:12:04 AM
There was several messages and discussions ongoing events in the game. Example Phoenix Empire's creation, Silnaria's creation etc. Issues which most of the players, or characters had no clue about it were discussed and assumptions made, one direction or to another.

I'm pretty sure that the discussion, were it truth or just speculation, effected many peoples ingame actions and IC behaviour, intended or not.

-Jaune
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 16, 2013, 07:49:46 AM
What I was responding to was your implication that people were somehow more "moderate" on the d-list than the forum because they knew that everyone on the list would read what they wrote. And that implication was and is wrong. People were absolutely brutal to each other on the d-list on a regular basis, worse I think than almost anything I've ever seen on the forum. I'm sure moderation kept that to a minimum on the moderated version of the list (which I apparently did not sign up for), but then moderation should be able to accomplish the same thing with the forum which in any case has been on the whole far more civil than I recall the d-list being relative to the total volume of content.

I never said or implied that.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 16, 2013, 03:23:28 PM
The reason the d-list never attracted this kind of criticism is because of the flat structure. That every post is always seen by every viewer of the d-list acts as a strong moderation to post topics which affect BM as a whole and not any individual continent, realm or other subset.

This is what I was responding to. Whether you meant it that way or not, that is how I read it.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 16, 2013, 11:42:23 PM
An article with interesting thoughts and material outside this forum:

http://www.polygon.com/2013/8/15/4622252/plague-of-game-dev-harassment-erodes-industry-spurs-support-groups
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 17, 2013, 12:17:53 AM
An interesting article, Tom, but that is hardly what is going on here, so I don't see the relevance.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: trying on August 17, 2013, 01:18:48 AM
An article with interesting thoughts and material outside this forum:

http://www.polygon.com/2013/8/15/4622252/plague-of-game-dev-harassment-erodes-industry-spurs-support-groups
It's the same with Youtube.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 17, 2013, 06:17:22 AM
That article was biased in favour of big names. Sorry if I don't shed any tears over Call of Duty, Microsoft and George Lucas being lightning rods for harassment.

I'd love to discuss your blatant disregard for the feelings of the people who work for the companies AND their families, but this is neither the time nor the place, and I have to wonder why Tom posted that in the first place.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kwanstein on August 17, 2013, 08:04:33 AM
I'd love to discuss your blatant disregard for the feelings of the people who work for the companies AND their families, but this is neither the time nor the place, and I have to wonder why Tom posted that in the first place.

The employees of King Louis XVI often had their feelings disregarded too. The lesson to be learned is that working for an unpopular organisation might not be a good career path for emotionally fragile people.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 17, 2013, 08:24:46 AM
An interesting article, Tom, but that is hardly what is going on here, so I don't see the relevance.


So, I assume you read the parts about fanatical devotion, emotional reactions, over-reacting and disregard for the impact of ones actions, but you can not see the connection?


I'm sorry, Gustav. For the past weeks you have come out in many topics and you consistently oppose anything I say, usually with one-liners. I'm not in the mood of wasting a lengthy explanation. I do see a strong connection, with the zeal and blindness we are talking about here springing from the same source.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 17, 2013, 06:45:12 PM

So, I assume you read the parts about fanatical devotion, emotional reactions, over-reacting and disregard for the impact of ones actions, but you can not see the connection?


I'm sorry, Gustav. For the past weeks you have come out in many topics and you consistently oppose anything I say, usually with one-liners. I'm not in the mood of wasting a lengthy explanation. I do see a strong connection, with the zeal and blindness we are talking about here springing from the same source.

There's a difference between people sending death threats, and me being a tad angry that a viable line of communication has been completely severed for getting news of the goings on in realms I'm not a part of and being rather blunt when I say that this was the wrong decision. Have you seen anyone threaten you with death, or the raping of your loved ones, on these forums? I sure haven't seen it.

Furthermore, I don't oppose anything you say, just this issue you have with the forums and the feelings you have about Dwilight.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 17, 2013, 09:50:20 PM
I see the connection. I think Tom was more interested in the parts about how people are far nastier to each other online than they ever would be in a face to face conversation. And it is definitely true; ever checked out the comment sections of most major news websites, or sports websites? They're filled with hate. I don't even know why those organizations bother to have comment sections; anything worthwhile that might ever come out of them is buried in flames because they're barely moderated. On the other hand I have found smaller sites with wonderful communities that form in the comments, and I attribute that to dedicated moderators who don't tolerate any crap. One of the websites I like the most doesn't even post your comments before someone reviews them.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Atanamir on August 17, 2013, 10:09:30 PM
I must say I am kind of shocked of how people are talking to Tom in this forum recently.

When I started this game, everyone was scared to [email protected]#$ when he only read the name "Tom".
You were so afraid that a lightning bolt would hit you that you just closed your eyes when his name appeared on your screen no matter if IC or OOC.
Now I see a much more liberal Tom asking people about their opinions...and getting the bill for it.

I see a forum community, attacking Tom and not showing any respect to the creator of this game.
You all think you know better and you gang up in here against him to teach him better about his own game.
You even put him so much in the corner that he has to become like some here and that he gets insulting as well.
Hell, I just saw two days ago a message beind moderated on him, who is the owner of this game....where in the end he actually can do as he wants.
He could just delete Battlemaster if he wants, and everyone would have to accept it.
So, when he says "white", it is not "black". Even if  you disagree or know better.

Concluding, I think this direction is not good and I certainly can understand why he posted that article.
Maybe the democratic elements of this forum which Tom has allowed over the last years are not good in the end.
Maybe this should become more a tyranny again, as Tom has become too soft with people here.
Maybe people should just leave Battlemaster if they don't like it the way Tom wants it...
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 17, 2013, 10:17:25 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Zakilevo on August 17, 2013, 10:49:08 PM
Haven't this thread served its purpose? I think it is starting to drift away from the focus.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Atanamir on August 17, 2013, 11:02:03 PM
Anyone who tells me that the only reason I hold a certain opinion is that I was a bullied geek in school and now I'm living out a fantasy of being a powerful in-group deserves no respect for that.

Insulted feels only the one who feels talked to.
But his message was a general one, and you are only one person here, out of many.
Yes, you are also a developer.
Yes, you are also a guy that has 3608 posts in this forum.
But also, Timothy, you are, like everyone, only a number here - no offense intended.
You are User ID: 3604.
We are all just players and user ids here, at the end of the day, in front of the game owner.
Now as developer, you are developing this game for Tom.
If you don't like Tom's behaviour to you, quit the developer job.
Now as player, you play Tom Vogt's game and under his as you call it biblic rules. He can do that if he wants and none can force him to change that.
It's not the game of Timothy Collett and his opinions or studies or evidences.
So if you don't like to play Tom Vogt's Battlemaster, quit the game as well.

None is forcing you to stay here and accept the insults if you feel insulted so much.
You always have the choice.
If you want to remain here you have to accept things in the end. It's the way it is.
If you don't want to accept things, you have to take yourself out of the equation.

Staying around and doing the forum ping pong is showing no proper attitude as well - and makes the whole thing -> Forummaster.
I have stayed anyway again too long here, off for beers.
Enjoy your Saturday evening.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kwanstein on August 17, 2013, 11:59:01 PM
Insulted feels only the one who feels talked to.
But his message was a general one, and you are only one person here, out of many.
Yes, you are also a developer.
Yes, you are also a guy that has 3608 posts in this forum.
But also, Timothy, you are, like everyone, only a number here - no offense intended.
You are User ID: 3604.
We are all just players and user ids here, at the end of the day, in front of the game owner.
Now as developer, you are developing this game for Tom.
If you don't like Tom's behaviour to you, quit the developer job.
Now as player, you play Tom Vogt's game and under his as you call it biblic rules. He can do that if he wants and none can force him to change that.
It's not the game of Timothy Collett and his opinions or studies or evidences.
So if you don't like to play Tom Vogt's Battlemaster, quit the game as well.

None is forcing you to stay here and accept the insults if you feel insulted so much.
You always have the choice.
If you want to remain here you have to accept things in the end. It's the way it is.
If you don't want to accept things, you have to take yourself out of the equation.

Staying around and doing the forum ping pong is showing no proper attitude as well - and makes the whole thing -> Forummaster.
I have stayed anyway again too long here, off for beers.
Enjoy your Saturday evening.

I must say I am kind of shocked of how people are talking to Tom in this forum recently.

When I started this game, everyone was scared to [email protected]#$ when he only read the name "Tom".
You were so afraid that a lightning bolt would hit you that you just closed your eyes when his name appeared on your screen no matter if IC or OOC.
Now I see a much more liberal Tom asking people about their opinions...and getting the bill for it.

I see a forum community, attacking Tom and not showing any respect to the creator of this game.
You all think you know better and you gang up in here against him to teach him better about his own game.
You even put him so much in the corner that he has to become like some here and that he gets insulting as well.
Hell, I just saw two days ago a message beind moderated on him, who is the owner of this game....where in the end he actually can do as he wants.
He could just delete Battlemaster if he wants, and everyone would have to accept it.
So, when he says "white", it is not "black". Even if  you disagree or know better.

Concluding, I think this direction is not good and I certainly can understand why he posted that article.
Maybe the democratic elements of this forum which Tom has allowed over the last years are not good in the end.
Maybe this should become more a tyranny again, as Tom has become too soft with people here.
Maybe people should just leave Battlemaster if they don't like it the way Tom wants it...

Tim has been communicating his thoughts to Tom. Their communication appears to have gone a bit sour, but such things can happen when two people beg to differ.

So what is the point of your post? You're telling people to desist arguing their opinions and to quit the game if they don't like the owner's decisions. What sense does that make. What point is there in avoiding compromise and not attempting persuasion. You've made no attempt at substantiating your opinions. There's no obvious logic to them. They don't appear to be arguments at all, but rather an attempts at instigating responses. Their manner of their delivery is blatant brow beating.

The so-called negativity on this forum and the internet can hang -- I care nothing for it -- but what I can't stand is illogical rhetoric. I think that most of humanities problems, including whichever ones are afflicting this game, could be solved if only people would reject nonsensical ideas. Well, we can begin by rejecting yours. "Don't argue, just quit." Screw that, I'll argue about whatever I want.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 18, 2013, 01:21:29 AM
Anyone who tells me that the only reason I hold a certain opinion is that I was a bullied geek in school and now I'm living out a fantasy of being a powerful in-group deserves no respect for that.

You could only find that in my text if you wanted to. What I actually wrote was that many of us geeks can understand how it feels to be an outsider to an in-group, because we've been there.

I fail to see how that is insulting to anyone.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: SaDiablo on August 18, 2013, 01:28:34 AM
Ya,  honestly I think its case closed.  The biggest point is Tom wants the game-play to stay as near 100% in the game.  Is that possible, no and I'm sure he knows that.  But as a prior history player that started a new account I can say that there is typically less communication in the game now than in the past.   As far as Role-play I would remove that tag and make a general statement that all messages are considered role-play unless marked for OOC.  Then add a narrative feature that makes it simple to understand that its a character role-play that generally does not involve others.  So character wise you have zero knowledge unless the narrator leaves clues for you to gain.  That would resolve the issue of the role-play forum imo.   This has been brought up before in different forms so I believe its worth a greater gain than leaving it to sit idly by.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 18, 2013, 03:02:19 AM
MODERATOR NOTE: I've deleted several insulting posts. I've deleted several off-topic posts. I've given people warnings. The next insulting post will get this thread locked.

Can't you people see, from your own posts, the reason why the locals were closed? Keep it up and you'll lose the forums too.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 18, 2013, 03:32:16 AM
Ya,  honestly I think its case closed.  The biggest point is Tom wants the game-play to stay as near 100% in the game.  Is that possible, no and I'm sure he knows that.  But as a prior history player that started a new account I can say that there is typically less communication in the game now than in the past.   As far as Role-play I would remove that tag and make a general statement that all messages are considered role-play unless marked for OOC.  Then add a narrative feature that makes it simple to understand that its a character role-play that generally does not involve others.  So character wise you have zero knowledge unless the narrator leaves clues for you to gain.  That would resolve the issue of the role-play forum imo.   This has been brought up before in different forms so I believe its worth a greater gain than leaving it to sit idly by.

This was already like that before the forums were even opened. closing them won't have the effect wanted.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Stabbity on August 18, 2013, 03:36:28 AM
Ya,  honestly I think its case closed.  The biggest point is Tom wants the game-play to stay as near 100% in the game.  Is that possible, no and I'm sure he knows that.  But as a prior history player that started a new account I can say that there is typically less communication in the game now than in the past.   As far as Role-play I would remove that tag and make a general statement that all messages are considered role-play unless marked for OOC.  Then add a narrative feature that makes it simple to understand that its a character role-play that generally does not involve others.  So character wise you have zero knowledge unless the narrator leaves clues for you to gain.  That would resolve the issue of the role-play forum imo.   This has been brought up before in different forms so I believe its worth a greater gain than leaving it to sit idly by.

Completely missed the point about the roleplay forum. Its not to do with IG/OOG seperation there. The problem with closing it is that good RP now has no way to make its way to a bigger audience than a realm/guild/religion etc.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Sacha on August 18, 2013, 03:41:32 AM
Put it on the Wiki?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: SaDiablo on August 18, 2013, 03:43:25 AM
I would disagree, the game played just fine without forums in the past and would survive going forward.  Does the forums have benefits, yet but as egamma put, are they worth the trouble if it always breaks down to insults?  The simple answer is no even with moderation you eventually have people that will continue to press and press until even the moderators say screw it, i'm done.  The debate is whether its really good for gameplay and honestly imo  its not, it takes away from it.


Stabbity,  I did not miss the point of the roleplay forum, let me ask you a question as it just popped into my head,  what if roleplays went island wide.  That may not fix what you want but it is another option to consider
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 18, 2013, 03:47:39 AM
I would disagree, the game played just fine without forums in the past and would survive going forward.  Does the forums have benefits, yet but as egamma put, are they worth the trouble if it always breaks down to insults?  The simple answer is no even with moderation you eventually have people that will continue to press and press until even the moderators say screw it, i'm done.  The debate is whether its really good for gameplay and honestly imo  its not, it takes away from it.


Stabbity,  I did not miss the point of the roleplay forum, let me ask you a question as it just popped into my head,  what if roleplays went island wide.  That may not fix what you want but it is another option to consider

Except they don't always break down into insults, and the game was not playing fine without the forums, in fact the game has been dying for a long, long time.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Stabbity on August 18, 2013, 03:53:29 AM
I would disagree, the game played just fine without forums in the past and would survive going forward.  Does the forums have benefits, yet but as egamma put, are they worth the trouble if it always breaks down to insults?  The simple answer is no even with moderation you eventually have people that will continue to press and press until even the moderators say screw it, i'm done.  The debate is whether its really good for gameplay and honestly imo  its not, it takes away from it.


Stabbity,  I did not miss the point of the roleplay forum, let me ask you a question as it just popped into my head,  what if roleplays went island wide.  That may not fix what you want but it is another option to consider

That's a terrible solution. Some roleplays deserve mass distribution, and some don't. The wiki is good for preserving things, but who wants to have to dig through a thousand dull pages to find one good roleplay? The forum provides a good way to read new, interesting roleplays you might not otherwise ever come across.

Yes the game functioned fine for years without the forum. I'm aware. I was there. However, I feel the forum adds only positives. The amount of good content completely outweighs the very few incidents were it comes to insults. Anyone saying the forum is nothing but bile and insults and flame wars is wrong, and is exhibiting a terrible bias. Besides, moderation is only a part of the solution. We have the magistrates and titans for a reason. If someone continues to abuse the forum, open a magistrate case. The social contract still applies on the forums, and the only problem I see is a lack of enforcement. When you have a MAGISTRATE going around and openly accusing a realm of cheating for months, there is a problem. I was at the point where if I saw it one more time I was going to take it to the magistrates for repeated abuse, but then the locals were closed.

I challenge anyone here to go through some of the top local threads and compare the number of flames to the number of non flame posts. You're all exaggerating a problem and shutting your ears to any possible solutions that aren't "close it all down" because you're too set in your ways of "forums are bad".

The topic is stopping forummaster from destroying battlemaster, which is frankly, dumb. From what I've seen the forum hasn't detracted one bit from the game of battlmaster, and I have yet to see any evidence that this is the case.

Present evidence that the locals are harming Battlemaster, and I'll listen. Otherwise this entire thread has been just a waste of space.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: SaDiablo on August 18, 2013, 03:56:46 AM
that is still perception,  the game played find like I said imo.  As far as the game dying, that is the typical norm in the game industry.  Once you make a game it reaches a peak then slowly starts to die.  The fact is that battlemaster is not dead.   Honestly this all comes down to opinions so there is no victory in it, it will need compromise.

That is why I posed the question to you Stabbity, I didn't really think it was the greatest of ideas :)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Stabbity on August 18, 2013, 04:02:19 AM
that is still perception,  the game played find like I said imo.  As far as the game dying, that is the typical norm in the game industry.  Once you make a game it reaches a peak then slowly starts to die.  The fact is that battlemaster is not dead.   Honestly this all comes down to opinions so there is no victory in it, it will need compromise.

That is why I posed the question to you Stabbity, I didn't really think it was the greatest of ideas :)

Good, I was worried there. I have always been a fan of not reinventing the wheel. We have a system, it works well, and I challenge you to find a flame war or some sort of inappropriate behavior involving the role play forum. Scrapping it would be a terrible idea. We have entirely too many unfinished features to suddenly switch to something else. Its very squirrel like behavior "Oh we need this!" "Oh lets [email protected]#$ up the forums!" "Oh lets develop a new RP mechanism!" "Oh lets rework the battle code!" then a month later everyone is sitting there wondering why we have all sorts of have finished projects floating around.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 18, 2013, 04:24:27 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: SaDiablo on August 18, 2013, 04:31:48 AM
Then it comes down to finding a middle ground doesn't it   ;D
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 18, 2013, 06:06:46 AM
I agree 100% with Stabbity.

The problem with the premise of this thread is that it starts out with an unsupported supposition, that the forum is actively harming the game. Like Stabbity, I see no evidence of that at all. In fact I tend to believe the opposite (though I have no more evidence to support my position than Tom does), that the forum is a net positive. Tom, after arbitrarily shutting down most of the forum in what I consider to be a significant overreaction, has now challenged us to come up with ways to solve problems that for the most part we either don't believe exist or don't consider to be nearly as apocalyptic as the title of this thread would suggest, just so we can get our forum back.

I cannot fix what is not broken, nor can I make much in the way of meaningful suggestions to solve problems that I do not perceive. The decline of interaction in the game has a million possible causes, but first and foremost I would blame the historically low player density, not the existence of the forum. The solution, which is already being considered elsewhere, is shutting down islands. As far as the atmosphere of the forum, it really is not that bad. People gripe, they complain, they argue. This is not bad in and of itself, and moreover it's human nature. When it comes to the problem of real personal attacks and flames (which are far from frequent in this community, making what incidents do occur stand out all the more), more stringent moderation could easily mitigate what does occur.

Compared to most internet communities, this one is a model of comity. People here are civil to each other 99% of the time, even when they're disagreeing vehemently about something. Conflict, in and of itself, is not the problem; it's only when actual insults are getting tossed around and people's feelings are actually getting hurt that there is a problem, and I don't think that happens every day here. Has it happened? Yes. Can the problem be 100% eliminated? Of course not. Can it be managed and mitigated without completely destroying the forum? Absolutely yes it can. I think stricter moderation would solve the only issue that I do agree exists, which is that sometimes disagreements turn nasty. Hell, if you want a perfect forum, just prevent posts from appearing until they've been approved by a mod. As I mentioned, I know of one site that does exactly that.

Tom, you think the forum is harming the game. Fine. I think that what you've done here is harming the game. It will certainly have a negative impact on my experience.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 18, 2013, 07:25:59 AM
When you have a MAGISTRATE going around and openly accusing a realm of cheating for months, there is a problem.

I was at the point where if I saw it one more time I was going to take it to the magistrates for repeated abuse, but then the locals were closed.
Well, you should have opened a case about said Magistrate. I was much more upset about him continuing to rain down accusations on the remaining players AFTER the multi was removed--and I gave him points and sent him notifications about his conduct. I very nearly opened a case about his conduct as well. But surely Tom saw all those posts, and still felt comfortable having him as a Magistrate?

We certainly should have been more strict as moderators from the get-go. I think the locals would still be here if we had been; I also think they wouldn't be all "fun" and "interesting" like everyone remembers them. There'd be a lot more muted players, deleted posts, and closed threads. Maybe everyone wouldn't like the locals if they had been moderated properly.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 18, 2013, 07:36:35 AM
Well, you should have opened a case about said Magistrate. I was much more upset about him continuing to rain down accusations on the remaining players AFTER the multi was removed--and I gave him points and sent him notifications about his conduct. I very nearly opened a case about his conduct as well. But surely Tom saw all those posts, and still felt comfortable having him as a Magistrate?

We certainly should have been more strict as moderators from the get-go. I think the locals would still be here if we had been; I also think they wouldn't be all "fun" and "interesting" like everyone remembers them. There'd be a lot more muted players, deleted posts, and closed threads. Maybe everyone wouldn't like the locals if they had been moderated properly.
Unless the moderation policy was fun is not allowed, I highly doubt the locals wouldn't have been fun and interesting with proper moderation.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Stabbity on August 18, 2013, 08:06:12 AM
Well, you should have opened a case about said Magistrate. I was much more upset about him continuing to rain down accusations on the remaining players AFTER the multi was removed--and I gave him points and sent him notifications about his conduct. I very nearly opened a case about his conduct as well. But surely Tom saw all those posts, and still felt comfortable having him as a Magistrate?

This stems from my time as a team leader in the army, but I have always been a fan of having things solved at the lowest level possible. The most recent of his posts were condemned publically by persons of port with nice big red letters and I saw the behaivor cease. That was the end of the issue in my eyes until this thread came up.

If a problem can be stopped with a PM, or some big red letters I feel the magistrates don't need to be bothered, but apparently it is a part of some huge hivemind of a forum lead campaign to destroy battlemaster.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 18, 2013, 08:45:28 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 18, 2013, 08:56:47 AM
The topic is stopping forummaster from destroying battlemaster, which is frankly, dumb. From what I've seen the forum hasn't detracted one bit from the game of battlmaster, and I have yet to see any evidence that this is the case.

Present evidence that the locals are harming Battlemaster, and I'll listen. Otherwise this entire thread has been just a waste of space.

You have seen quite a bit of evidence, you (and others) just reject it. The evidence is that people think it does, and complain about it in their leaving-the-game message (when you leave the game, there's a final message asking for feedback sent by e-mail to me directly). There were also quite a few postings to this very topic that support the point.

For soft factors like this, impressions matter. If everyone on the block thinks that the new neighbour is a registered sex offender and rapes young girls, it doesn't matter if it's true or not, they will react as if it were, shun him and lock up their girls. That is an extreme example, but conceptually, it's the same. If people think that the forum is a meta-strategy discussion place and that an in-crowd controls it and that unless you "win" in the forum you can't properly play the game or whatever else it is, then that is the damage, even if it is all made-up lies.

Your arguments refuting these things I don't ignore. They just don't matter. Sorry to say it this plainly. Posting arguments why the forum isn't such a bad place on the forum, where all the people who avoid it because they think it is will never see it will change absolutely nothing.


Yes, it's unfair. But let's get our priorities straight: The forum is there to support the game, not the other way around.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 18, 2013, 09:01:16 AM
removed by moderator

Must disagree there, these people do matter. However, they don't matter as much as you would think from sampling posts in the forum. As I said elsewhere, less than 10% of the active players create almost 90% of the posts on the forum. The forum is very, very far from representing the player base.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Stabbity on August 18, 2013, 09:09:23 AM
So Tom, would you lynch that neighbor then, or get your trusted neighborhood welcome comitee to dispel the rumors?

I agree the forum has a bad rep among some circles. Is it entirely justified? No. Perception is reality, some have said, but you can use reality to alter perception. We have lost some players in some nasty spats the did in fact involve the forums, and I do pay close attention to the harrasment cases brought up. From what I have personally observed most of the nastiness occured in game. I will talk with some of the others I know and respect around the community while I'm [email protected]#$ing off at work, and over the next couple days put some guidelines down for the local boards. I'll pitch them to you and see how you feel about them, and maybe we can institute a trial unlock and see how things go.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 18, 2013, 09:12:14 AM
You have seen quite a bit of evidence, you (and others) just reject it. The evidence is that people think it does, and complain about it in their leaving-the-game message (when you leave the game, there's a final message asking for feedback sent by e-mail to me directly). There were also quite a few postings to this very topic that support the point.

For soft factors like this, impressions matter. If everyone on the block thinks that the new neighbour is a registered sex offender and rapes young girls, it doesn't matter if it's true or not, they will react as if it were, shun him and lock up their girls. That is an extreme example, but conceptually, it's the same. If people think that the forum is a meta-strategy discussion place and that an in-crowd controls it and that unless you "win" in the forum you can't properly play the game or whatever else it is, then that is the damage, even if it is all made-up lies.

Your arguments refuting these things I don't ignore. They just don't matter. Sorry to say it this plainly. Posting arguments why the forum isn't such a bad place on the forum, where all the people who avoid it because they think it is will never see it will change absolutely nothing.


Yes, it's unfair. But let's get our priorities straight: The forum is there to support the game, not the other way around.
And I could get a list of people who came back to the game or who decided to actually try out BM by reading the locals forum. Every person who started playing again or for there first time negates one player who quit. Also if its the impression that is the issue, then we can work on getting rid of the false impression. Some people have a bad impression of the game is a terrible reason to get rid of the forums because the impression can be changed, and the problem solved without having to get rid of a forum people enjoy.

And Tom, people saying I don't like the forum for such and such reason is not evidence, thats an opinion. You saying people quit the game over the forums truely isn't evidence either. Posting at least a number of people who gave the forums as a reason for quitting could be considered evidence, although actually quoting the emails you received where people said that they quit because of the forums is real evidence. If you believe there has actually been evidence of the forum being bad for the game, then quote just one piece of evidence posted. One false piece is egamma's Magistrates links because they all also happened outside of the forums and the forums was a small part of it, where another venue like IRC could have been used if the forums didn't exist at the time.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 18, 2013, 11:18:56 AM
actually quoting the emails you received where people said that they quit because of the forums is real evidence.

Uh, this topic started with such a quote?


Quote
So Tom, would you lynch that neighbor then, or get your trusted neighborhood welcome comitee to dispel the rumors?

Personally, I wouldn't care because it's not my problem. But to answer the actual question: Everything I'm doing here is an attempt to clean these things out, including dispelling the rumours. Which, btw., is the hardest part because many people don't speak up at all or only when they've had too much.


But restructuring the boards and re-opening them with new guidelines in place AND posting about that on the announcements will do a lot to restore confidence among those silent forum-rejecters.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 18, 2013, 02:52:41 PM
Uh, this topic started with such a quote?

That quote appears to be from one of those players who have gotten the impression that people have been actually running realms through the forum, or that you need to post on the forum frequently to be allowed to participate in certain in-game groups.

That is a problem that is, so far as I have ever been able to tell, entirely illusory. Yes, if people are getting that impression, then it's problematic, but since nothing of that kind is happening now, or has happened in the past, I really don't see what we're supposed to do to change it by changing the forum.

It seems to me that that's exactly the kind of problem that needs to be changed by presenting the reality more clearly to the people who are experiencing it. But if they just silently go away without letting anyone know they feel that way, then there's really not much we can do. Just like we can't do anything about the people who leave because Tom is actively changing the game specifically to prevent them or their group from getting ahead. It's not a real problem, and if they don't tell anyone they're feeling that way, we have no way of knowing that they, specifically, need to be reassured that it's not happening.

Quote
But restructuring the boards and re-opening them with new guidelines in place AND posting about that on the announcements will do a lot to restore confidence among those silent forum-rejecters.

Tom, this is the most positive thing I think I've seen you say in this thread, and the first clear indication I've gotten from you that you really do plan to reopen the Locals in some form. Thank you.

And for what it's worth, I completely agree.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 18, 2013, 03:50:48 PM
Uh, this topic started with such a quote?

It's not a full quote though. You reference an email you got and directly quote a single line out of it, but it doesn't appear to be the entire email so there's no context. Was this player quitting? What reasons did he or she give to support that line? What specifically did this player object to? The same questions exist about all these others whom you purport to speak for. What reasons exactly are they giving, and are they entirely and exclusively the same reasons you've been giving in this thread? As of right now we have only your interpretation of the situation to rely upon, which those of us who disagree with you are not inclined to accept without a chance to examine the same evidence that you are using for ourselves. Maybe if we actually saw what you are seeing, some of us would change our minds. Even if we didn't we'd certainly have a better idea than now of what the problems really are, and hence we might be better positioned to make good suggestions.

There is also Penchant's point; it may well be the case that for every player who has cited the forum as a reason to leave the game, there is another player out there who stayed or came back because of them. Both myself and Dante Silverfire have already stated plainly that we probably would not have started playing again after once pausing all our characters if the forum had not re-sparked our interest in the game. You don't hear from those players Tom because there's no prompt that pops up when you unpause all your characters asking "Why did you decide to start playing again?"
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 18, 2013, 04:13:05 PM
I will stop posting in this topic, I've been warned for 'insulting' Tom for changing Gustav's name in Tom's post, with Tom's name in this post. (I think, this is it since I can't see what post I have been warned for)


So, I assume you read the parts about fanatical devotion, emotional reactions, over-reacting and disregard for the impact of ones actions, but you can not see the connection?


I'm sorry, Gustav. For the past weeks you have come out in many topics and you consistently oppose anything I say, usually with one-liners. I'm not in the mood of wasting a lengthy explanation. I do see a strong connection, with the zeal and blindness we are talking about here springing from the same source.

From this I can presume, it's okay for Tom stonewall people out of a discussion by implying they are blinded by zeal, but not ok when you do the same for Tom. If it's considerd insulting for me to imply this for Tom, why is it ok for Tom to do the same?

"No Gustav, you can't be part of this conversationg because you are crazy?" I don't know Gustav at all, but thought the post was uncalled for, hence mine.

I haven't insulted anyone in this entire thread, and have pretty much stopped posting since it's been clear Tom won't change his views, whereas I have consistently seen Tom slandering others, most notably in the deleted posts where he calls all forum-goers loner-nerds pretty much acting like someone who knows there are no consequences for his own actions.

Guilty as charged, and not apologizing.

If someone makes up an arbitrary rule in an open communication, other parties are under no obligation to honour it. It takes consent and consensus for that to happen. Obviously, there was no such consensus.

Please post your reply without using the letter "e".

I understand that forum-discussions can get heated, but the double standards have achieved what the closing of the locals haven't, make me not want to come to the forums. It's ironic people keep referring to this thread to 'proove their point' about the forum being bad, when this is the first thread I have seen which has this kind of behaviour.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 18, 2013, 05:43:57 PM
I will stop posting in this topic, I've been warned for 'insulting' Tom for changing Gustav's name in Tom's post, with Tom's name in this post. (I think, this is it since I can't see what post I have been warned for)

"There, fixed that for you" is, at best, a passive-aggressive way of attempting to get your point across, and you're not the first person to be warned for it.

A better way to get across the same general idea you were trying to convey would have been along the lines of, "Tom, I feel that what you are saying about Gustav applies to you, as well."
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 18, 2013, 05:53:50 PM
It's not a full quote though. You reference an email you got and directly quote a single line out of it, but it doesn't appear to be the entire email so there's no context.

Of course not. I don't post private e-mails on public forums. I'm shocked that needs to be pointed out.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 18, 2013, 05:57:18 PM
"No Gustav, you can't be part of this conversationg because you are crazy?" I don't know Gustav at all, but thought the post was uncalled for, hence mine.

You are reading stuff that isn't written anywhere.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 18, 2013, 06:07:21 PM
You are reading stuff that isn't written anywhere.

Clarification:

You forget that there's a power imbalance on this forum. If I really wanted to shut someone up, I wouldn't have to tell them, I could just do it. From that follows that the inverse is illogical: Why would I try to shut someone up through words if I can do it with 10% the effort through the admin interface?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 18, 2013, 06:33:29 PM
"There, fixed that for you" is, at best, a passive-aggressive way of attempting to get your point across, and you're not the first person to be warned for it.

A better way to get across the same general idea you were trying to convey would have been along the lines of, "Tom, I feel that what you are saying about Gustav applies to you, as well."
I agree that posts like mine and Tom's aren't acceptable, which is why I reposted the ftfy, but with Tom's name, and I'm fine with being warned for it. Conveying general ideas doesn't seem to work so well here,  you and Geronus are the only ones left not frustrated enough to have quit this 'constructive discussion', seems like 90% of the forum-goers have stopped forum-going, and you guys are going to have to represent them.


You are reading stuff that isn't written anywhere.

It goes without saying I didn't mean literally 'to-shut-him-up', but claiming the other side is fanatical and zealous, is an often used stratagem to effectively ignore that person, since, all they're saying is fanatical anyway.

Obviously, you'd make yourself immensely unpopular by deleting people's accounts whenever you don't agree with them.


Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 18, 2013, 07:37:06 PM
Of course not. I don't post private e-mails on public forums. I'm shocked that needs to be pointed out.

It's not hard to get someone's permission, then remove any personally identifying information from the text, which in an email is generally the address and the signature (if any). You clearly considered this email to be very significant for some reason, or you wouldn't have done what you did. In that case, wouldn't it serve the community to also read what this anonymous player wrote? Evidently he or she had some important things to say, things that are now having far-ranging repercussions for the game and for the community. As far as the leaving the game messages go, presumably those players left them with the understanding that they wrote would be read and considered by someone, if not multiple someones.

The point is, you're the only one who's seen the evidence, such as it is, which leaves the rest of us relying solely on you to define the nature and parameters of the problem, and you give the appearance of being biased. Maybe you're not, but we can't know since we haven't seen any of the evidence you're using to formulate your position. We don't even know how many emails you've gotten, or how many players specifically mentioned the forum in their leaving the game message. We also have no conception of what it is that those players had a problem with. We only know what you've told us, but frankly some of that sounds more like problems that you have with the forum than problems that potentially many players have with it. The lack of interaction in the game for example; I have never, until this thread, heard anyone blame the forum for this problem. I think many people would agree that sometimes the forum gets toxic, but the most reasonable approach to solving that problem isn't shutting down a huge portion of the forum in a knee-jerk reaction, it's to improve moderation. More moderators, armed with better guidelines, and some education to the community about what to report and when should prevent or mitigate the vast majority of what problems there have been.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 19, 2013, 01:16:04 AM
There are enough moderators but most have too much skin in the game, and some of them just aren't very good. Also you just made up a solution without giving any reasoning or evidence.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 19, 2013, 04:06:06 AM
There are enough moderators but most have too much skin in the game, and some of them just aren't very good. Also you just made up a solution without giving any reasoning or evidence.

Your post does nothing to advance this thread in any fashion; this, along with your constant negativity, is why you keep getting moderated. You make two negative statements about the moderators, but provide no evidence to support it.

I suspect you are a little sore at all the moderator attention directed at you. As one of the four moderators who has given you points, I'm interested to know if you think all 4 of us were wrong for giving you those points, or just some of us.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 19, 2013, 08:05:59 AM
Wasn't aware that 'negativity' is an offence. Most of them were plausibly fair, but one or two made me question reading comprehension skills. Since there is no straightforward recourse I didn't do anything. Moderating my previous post:

 
There are enough moderators but most have too much skin in the game, and some of them just aren't very good. Also you just made up a solution without giving any reasoning or evidence.

Just makes no sense to me. I can't say that the current mods have conflict of interest in game (obviously true statement, whether they act on it or not), and some of them aren't very good (probably true, unless you think 100% of mods are good)? What a joke.

It advances the topic by directly refuting a claim in the previous post that the silver bullet solution to Forumaster is more moderators.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 19, 2013, 08:35:36 AM
It advances the topic by directly refuting a claim in the previous post that the silver bullet solution to Forumaster is more moderators.
You will also notice that they said with clear guidelines so moderators and posters alike can better understand what is ok and what is not. When a very clear policy is made, moderating posts becomes much easier, although at this time I don't believe the moderators to have clear guidelines yet. Clearer guidelines allows both the mods and posters to know what is ok and what is not, which for posters means they will be able to abide by the rules easier (its hard to abide by rules when you don't know what they are) and for the mods because they will then be able to decide if a particular post is an issue much easier than before. My apologies for some of the redundancy in the post although I am leaving it.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 19, 2013, 08:44:00 AM
Yeah I grant better guidelines would help.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: cenrae on August 20, 2013, 02:24:59 AM
I just wanted to add my 2 cents to this discussion. First off i'm a low forum poster but read the Dwilight locals nearly daily. When it shut down I felt a huge void in my participation of the game. Aside from a few people having some issues with others on the forums I felt the locals gave me a better understanding of what was going on island wide even if it was ooc. Other then Sanguis Astroism there is in my opinion little realm to realm interaction on events out side ones own realm. Can the forums influence players, sure but I feel most are able to effectively play their characters even with a little ooc knowledge.

Bring back the locals forums please.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Zakilevo on August 20, 2013, 05:11:34 AM
Sadly people confuse ooc and ic quite often and I am very happy that locals are gone.

If you really want to find out what is happening on the other side of your continent, contact people in game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 20, 2013, 05:53:03 AM
Sadly people confuse ooc and ic quite often and I am very happy that locals are gone.

If you really want to find out what is happening on the other side of your continent, contact people in game.

I actually think that was hardly the case, and besides why should I message random people (using the OOC chat by the way, something that is very immersion breaking) on the other side of the continent when people could just be discussing it freely in a forum?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Zakilevo on August 20, 2013, 06:43:25 AM
Why don't you ask him ICly then? Why do you insist knowing Oocly?

If you want to know Oocly, you can use IRC for that.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 20, 2013, 06:50:43 AM
In order to ask ic or ooc, I would first have to have him either my contacts list or in a guild/religion that I'm in. Outside of that, I find that IRC is a horrible experience, especially because it is mostly unmoderated in comparison to the forums. Besides, you can only really talk to a relatively small number of people on IRC, because I feel that most people really don't want to pay attention to a chat constantly in case they might miss something, while in a forum you can just leave a post and read the new ones whenever.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Sacha on August 20, 2013, 02:56:53 PM
So you want to know everything, but spend as little effort as possible to do so?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: cenrae on August 20, 2013, 07:14:21 PM
No I do not want to know everything but I do like reading about other peoples issues. Yet at the same time can't understand why some get so worked up about things. Its only a game which wee all like or we wouldn't still be here.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 20, 2013, 07:34:01 PM
So you want to know everything, but spend as little effort as possible to do so?

Seeing as I was in charge of the second largest city in dwilight, which left me little time to move outside my realm to meet said people and get them on my contact list, and starting an OOC chat inside SA just seems rude. Besides, I want to know whats going on in OTHER continents. So talking to someone who is on the same continent isn't exactly a recipe for efficiency.

You see, I'm a pragmatic person who wants to do things the most efficient way possible, and prefers not to bring OOC questions into the game itself.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Lacedaemon on August 20, 2013, 11:58:03 PM
As a silent forum lurker, it does look like Tom is attempting a self-amputation of an itch.

I say, just make the local boards a kind of in-character interaction forum, where everyone would only say what their character would say. Players should communicate in a way that reflects their character's reputation. Ideally, like honorable or at the very least, "prim and proper" medieval nobles, at least in the Dwilight boards.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 21, 2013, 01:49:53 AM
As a silent forum lurker, it does look like Tom is attempting a self-amputation of an itch.

I say, just make the local boards a kind of in-character interaction forum, where everyone would only say what their character would say. Players should communicate in a way that reflects their character's reputation. Ideally, like honorable or at the very least, "prim and proper" medieval nobles, at least in the Dwilight boards.

Negative. That would make the forums a required part of the game, which will exclude about 80% of the players. And that would put the moderators into the uncomfortable position of moderating good/bad roleplay, and so on and so forth.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Lacedaemon on August 21, 2013, 05:26:47 AM
Negative. That would make the forums a required part of the game, which will exclude about 80% of the players. And that would put the moderators into the uncomfortable position of moderating good/bad roleplay, and so on and so forth.

I suppose the best way to have a decent well-behaved forum with less moderation would be to have no forums that need moderating. Sounds like a plan.  ;D
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 21, 2013, 05:27:42 AM
I suppose the best way to have a decent well-behaved forum with less moderation would be to have no forums that need moderating. Sounds like a plan.  ;D

And as was said before, several of our most active players WILL leave if this occurs. Have fun in the silence that follows.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 21, 2013, 05:52:54 AM
Wow. Just wow.

Quote
Your arguments refuting these things I don't ignore. They just don't matter. Sorry to say it this plainly. Posting arguments why the forum isn't such a bad place on the forum, where all the people who avoid it because they think it is will never see it will change absolutely nothing.

Way to quote out of context, in an effort to paint Tom in the worst possible light. Did you even read the part that I have underlined for you? Read it a couple of times, and then read the paragraph again. Read what Tom was replying to. You'll realize that Tom was completely correct:

If a bear speaks in the forest, and there's nobody in the forest to hear the bear, it doesn't really matter that the bear can talk.

(Did I mangle that enough?)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 21, 2013, 07:05:06 AM
Way to quote out of context, in an effort to paint Tom in the worst possible light. Did you even read the part that I have underlined for you? Read it a couple of times, and then read the paragraph again. Read what Tom was replying to. You'll realize that Tom was completely correct:

If a bear speaks in the forest, and there's nobody in the forest to hear the bear, it doesn't really matter that the bear can talk.

(Did I mangle that enough?)

That doesn't really change the context of the quote actually, egamma.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 21, 2013, 10:47:35 AM
And as was said before, several of our most active players WILL leave if this occurs. Have fun in the silence that follows.

I don't care if a few prima donnas leave because they don't have a soap box. If they're so invested in this game I find it hard to believe they would quit over a forum we never had for however many years. Also the d-list will be back, presumably.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 21, 2013, 02:14:43 PM
That doesn't really change the context of the quote actually, egamma.

Just the "Sorry to say this plainly" immediately after the sentence. I'd say that changes it quite a bit.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Lacedaemon on August 21, 2013, 05:25:43 PM
Players who want to become heavily invested in the game usually find their way to the forum, even if they just lurk like me. Players who aren't in the forum usually won't become committed to the game anyway. It's absolutely hilariously to alienate your most loyal players to hope that it would some how make the come-and-go crowd of players feel more comfortable.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on August 21, 2013, 06:25:15 PM
Also the d-list will be back, presumably.
This is not a given. In fact, I would venture to say that it wouldn't be brought back.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 21, 2013, 11:06:22 PM
This whole discussion needs to be restarted so there is an 'ok' proposal by the time Tom returns.

Some people want the forums shut down completely, others want the locals returned completely.

Compromise people. I'm sure we can do it, heck, even Belgium got a government after almost two years without.

It must be somewhere in between.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 21, 2013, 11:22:10 PM
This whole discussion needs to be restarted so there is an 'ok' proposal by the time Tom returns.

Some people want the forums shut down completely, others want the locals returned completely.

Compromise people. I'm sure we can do it, heck, even Belgium got a government after almost two years without.

It must be somewhere in between.

First of all, there are a number of people who believe that the original concerns were vastly overblown, and the closing of the locals was a knee-jerk overreaction. For them, asking that things go back to exactly the way they were is far from unreasonable.

Second of all, I think it's optimistic to think that we can come up with any one proposal that everyone involved will, in fact, agree to support. When you've got people saying in all seriousness that we should close the forums down, do you really think they'll be willing to support the same proposals as people who think the forums have been a great boon to the game, and that closing them down would be a huge loss?

Third of all, I don't believe that anyone is, in fact, asking that things go back to exactly the way they were. From what I've seen, everyone who wants the Locals to reopen agrees that they should do so with considerably stricter moderation and clearer guidelines for both players and moderators.

So, there's my proposal: Put together some solid, common-sense guidelines for what's considered acceptable, and make it clear that anything that deviates from them will be ruthlessly deleted, and the offending poster given an official warning. Then, reopen the Local boards, and see how things go. Give it a trial period of a few months, at least. The game has survived this long with the allegedly terrible, awful forums; a few months with a significantly less lawless Locals section is certainly not going to kill it, even if the worst of the accusations here are true. At the end of that time, evaluate whether the boards seem to be causing undue trouble, and if not, let them stay. If they are, then we will need to work out something else to do with them.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 21, 2013, 11:52:31 PM
Here's my attempt to take into account the various concerns I have heard in this thread. Critique away.

Quote
1. The Game Discussion board is for OOC discussion about the game. Here you are a player, not your character. Think and act accordingly.

2. Do not quote messages from within the game under any circumstances, even ones you sent.

3. No spoilers. Do not discuss events that are not public knowledge in at least one realm.

4. Respect the Social Contract. Here, that means be polite to your fellow players at all times. It is acceptable to disagree with them. It is not acceptable to abuse them because you disagree with them.

5. Remember that every character and every realm has a player or players behind it. Please refrain from over-the-top criticism, excessive negativity, snarky comments, or trolling of any sort.

6. If someone makes you angry because they have violated any of the first 5 rules, don't respond in kind. Stop, breathe, and then use the Report function. The Moderators will deal with the situation.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Stabbity on August 22, 2013, 01:45:00 AM
Well damn, that looks near identical to what I was writing up. I approve.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 22, 2013, 03:38:37 AM
Here's my attempt to take into account the various concerns I have heard in this thread. Critique away.

The only interesting rule there is 2. 6 is just feel good snake oil. Rest seem ok. Still thing the best moderation is to flatten it so that everyone has to read every thread title.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 22, 2013, 05:10:14 AM
Players who want to become heavily invested in the game usually find their way to the forum, even if they just lurk like me. Players who aren't in the forum usually won't become committed to the game anyway. It's absolutely hilariously to alienate your most loyal players to hope that it would some how make the come-and-go crowd of players feel more comfortable.

The majority of long-term players I know, aren't on the forum. I'm talking about people who have been playing for 3+ years; 80% of the players I know aren't on the forums much.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 22, 2013, 05:34:50 AM
The majority of long-term players I know, aren't on the forum. I'm talking about people who have been playing for 3+ years; 80% of the players I know aren't on the forums much.
Random statistics, are random statistics and overall useless. I would say that the forum has a much higher amount of people viewing then posting, although I have no easy way to check that.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 22, 2013, 06:14:39 AM
The only interesting rule there is 2. 6 is just feel good snake oil. Rest seem ok. Still thing the best moderation is to flatten it so that everyone has to read every thread title.

Six is probably the most important one in terms of the impact we want these rules to have. The entire point is to make it so people don't feel like they have to leap in to defend their character/realm/whatever from negative comments posted by others. They have to be able to trust that if they report an offensive post, the Moderators will handle things appropriately.

Also, please give the people who volunteer to try to make this community a better place a break. The Moderators will respond to reports. They will do that because they are good people who have volunteered their time for the benefit of all of us. Therefore, Rule #6 is not snake oil. It is a solemn promise that there are people out there dedicated to making the forum a better place, and with everyone's cooperation, they will succeed.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 22, 2013, 06:58:29 AM
There are only like 50 people using this forum per day. The mod ratio is at worst 1/10. If that's not sufficient, no number will ever be.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 22, 2013, 08:00:04 AM
There are only like 50 people using this forum per day. The mod ratio is at worst 1/10. If that's not sufficient, no number will ever be.
Posting, yeah. On a daily basis I doubt there is even 50 different people posting. Using the forum, like reading or posting, I would say there is very likely many more than that. How many people use the forum though doesn't matter, its the amount of posts that does.

In a busy month like March of this year, there was somewhere between 54 and 297 with 29/31 days being above 100 posts, with 6/31 days being above 200 posts, an average of 164 posts a day that month, and 5080 posts overall. A slower month, like May of this year, had only 12/31 days above 100 posts, somewhere between 31 posts and 158 posts, an average of 87 posts, and 2704 posts total. while slower months with generally less postings isn't bad overall to moderate, 158 posts still is going to be quite a bit that day, and a month like March much harder to keep up with everything when the average is 164 posts. While there are some statistics on the the business and slowness of the months, thats still not one of big issues.

Until about a little over a month ago, there was no posted moderation policy for mods to be able to use, thus they were dependant on the report to moderator button much more than now because moderating without a specific policy makes it hard to really be able to say that shades of grey went too far without having something to refer to. A real policy, for both mods and posters to read, makes it easier for posters to be civil by having something they can refer to and moderators to be able to more easily moderate through less clear issues.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 22, 2013, 08:27:36 AM
Are there really no guidelines at all? Explains a lot. Giving random people mod and expecting it to just work is unlikely. Post volume isn't that bad. Even with only 5 mods/admins a day, reading 20 posts each isn't hard. Should limit the number of posts per person per day. Would probably fix things.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: vonGenf on August 22, 2013, 08:52:24 AM
Until about a little over a month ago, there was no posted moderation policy for mods to be able to use,

There is now? I thought we were still debating that. Where can we see it?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Lefanis on August 22, 2013, 10:37:38 AM
Ever since the locals were frozen, I haven't made more than a post or two to the new forum (granted, it comes at a point where I am very busy IRL). It reminds me of the dlist, where I subscribed but hardly bothered writing to. I didn't consider myself very active on the forum, though I guess my post count says otherwise. I used to post about once a day, tops. I used to look forward to reading the locals, and not just for the islands I was on either, and they were easily the most fun boards. Now the only reason I log on to the forum is hoping some sort of consensus is being reached towards getting back the locals, and for the other games section.

Apologies if the thread has moved beyond this, I have been busy and have scant Internet access, and have been unable to read all 25 pages of this thread. I think the rules outlined by Geronus are good ones, something to build upon if the locals are brought back. I don't believe that freezing the locals will turn me away from the game, but it certainly lowers my long term interest and desire to participate in the game itself.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 22, 2013, 01:03:47 PM
Stuff

I agree,

I would like to add a rule like:

-Do not write the following types of posts "My character thinks xxx about yyy" or "My character's character is like xxx" and of the like.



I know one or two people who have a tendency to do this sometimes.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: vonGenf on August 22, 2013, 01:18:28 PM
I would like to add a rule like:

-Do not write the following types of posts "My character thinks xxx about yyy" or "My character's character is like xxx" and of the like.

Why?

I think the main issue is IC/OOC separation. I often see people say "I think xxx about yyy is wrong", and then you don't know it's their character thinking, them thinking zzz would have been a better choice then xxx given what their character knows, or them thinking xxx is OOC-ly wrong. That leads to problems and aggressiveness in the long run.

When the separation is made clear, then it's ok. I think the forum is the perfect place to say things like "I never understood why Kepler Keplerson torched this city in last year's war - it clearly cost them as they could have taken it over instead", "My character Kepler Keplerson was not so much interested in new lands but mostly to punish the City Lord for an insult he made to him a few months before".
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 22, 2013, 01:20:05 PM
Maybe you're right in that it's harmless... Idk, what do others think?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 22, 2013, 03:25:38 PM
Saying "my character thinks xxx about yyy" is removing something from the game that should remain in the game. People don't bother to roleplay their character as a schemer; they just come on the forums and say "my character is scheming, ha ha ha". It's a shortcut and cuts out the players they are playing with, in the game. This is exactly why Tom didn't like the forums (well, this plus the negativity and whining and insults). If you want others to know what your character is thinking, have your character tell others what he is thinking, in game. Or, post a roleplay with your character asking NPCs certain questions or sending out messengers all day or whatever.

The forums are NOT the game. If you want to play a forum game, go down to the OTHER games section and play werewolf or find a link to some other game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 22, 2013, 03:38:03 PM
Saying "my character thinks xxx about yyy" is removing something from the game that should remain in the game. People don't bother to roleplay their character as a schemer; they just come on the forums and say "my character is scheming, ha ha ha". It's a shortcut and cuts out the players they are playing with, in the game.

I don't see this.

First of all, it seems to me that it doesn't "cut out the players...in the game", it cuts out the would-be schemer from the players in the game. Because if the whole point is to take a shortcut to give characterization to their character, and the only people who will be seeing that are the ones on the forum...then most people won't know about this supposed character trait, and it won't matter.

Second of all, I have never seen anyone do this. To the best of my memory, I have only ever seen people explain their character's thoughts when people have posted explicitly stating that they are either confused about what the character thinks, or that they think the character thinks something else. (Or when there's a thread that's just generally people giving their character's opinions about something...which, again, seems pretty darn harmless.)

To me, this seems to be one more instance of trying to prevent behaviour that has never actually been a problem.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Stue (DC) on August 22, 2013, 08:22:17 PM
Players who want to become heavily invested in the game usually find their way to the forum, even if they just lurk like me. Players who aren't in the forum usually won't become committed to the game anyway. It's absolutely hilariously to alienate your most loyal players to hope that it would some how make the come-and-go crowd of players feel more comfortable.

not true at all. there has always been number of players who are very committed to game while ignoring forums. it is my feeling that such base of players is diminishing as many feel to have been out of game if not visiting forums, but still dislike forums.

the sole statement that players who like forums are the most active ones, and depriving them of forums will cause their departure and ultimate degradation of the game seems to imply two things:
- players who are active on forums are more worthy and important than others
- players who are active on forums actually like forums more than the game, so they will leave if forums will be closed.

on contrary i have my very personal feeling that players who become too active in forums become worse in-game players, and that complete closing of forums would give much more incentive for in-game play to all.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 22, 2013, 10:00:05 PM
Let's please not continue this discussion and focus on the setting of rules for the locals. I think you guys were heading in a good direction.

Also, probably some more people will have to volunteer for moderatorship of the locals.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 22, 2013, 10:50:33 PM
I've honestly given up. I have paused all my characters, put them into cold storage. I'm not sure if I'm going to delete my account or not, but in all probability I will. And do you guys want to know why? People like Stue, who have this arrogant belief that they are better in-game players than people like me who visit the forums. Well, congratulations Stue, you're right, I guess I'm not a better player since I'm leaving the game and you're not.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on August 22, 2013, 10:56:12 PM
not true at all. there has always been number of players who are very committed to game while ignoring forums. it is my feeling that such base of players is diminishing as many feel to have been out of game if not visiting forums, but still dislike forums.
Out of curiosity, how do players who ignore the forums get the feeling that if they aren't participating on the forums, that they are being left out? I mean, if they ignore the forums, then how do they know they are being left out? How do they feel that participation on the forums is mandatory, if they never read it? Are people in-game constantly telling their realm-mates to come visit the forums so they can participate? Are they telling the people in their realms that their war strategy will be determined via forum-based discussion?

If they aren't reading it, then how can they develop an opinion that participating in it is so important?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vita on August 22, 2013, 11:21:08 PM
Meh. I've read each post here and found it more and more disheartening. And now people are potentially quitting over this thread? So now, allegedly, there are people quitting because of the forums and people quitting because of anti-forum sentiments. Neither is good. Can't we just play the game without having to quit because of what someone else on the forum? I really dislike seeing people quit because of what other players have said. There's been enough forum drama for BM's lifespan already. -.-
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Chaotrance13 on August 23, 2013, 12:57:28 AM
Meh. I've read each post here and found it more and more disheartening. And now people are potentially quitting over this thread? So now, allegedly, there are people quitting because of the forums and people quitting because of anti-forum sentiments. Neither is good. Can't we just play the game without having to quit because of what someone else on the forum? I really dislike seeing people quit because of what other players have said. There's been enough forum drama for BM's lifespan already. -.-

I don't think he was the only one. While we won't actually know as he just left suddenly, Ender (the player of the Neill family) deleted his account as well in the past week. This is now going way too far.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Lorgan on August 23, 2013, 01:44:04 AM
Pretty much all that's left to do on the forum is nag about the forum, or the game. There's no place to talk about the good stuff anymore. Like war and conquest and lots of both.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 23, 2013, 05:41:28 AM
Pretty much all that's left to do on the forum is nag about the forum, or the game. There's no place to talk about the good stuff anymore. Like war and conquest and lots of both.

Besides in your realm, your guilds, your religions, and your current region, you mean? Have we all really forgotten that the game has a messaging system?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 23, 2013, 07:32:34 AM
Besides in your realm, your guilds, your religions, and your current region, you mean? Have we all really forgotten that the game has a messaging system?
You are missing the whole point. He wants to talk about it OOC, not IC, with his fellow players on the matter.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Lorgan on August 23, 2013, 11:22:15 AM
Besides in your realm, your guilds, your religions, and your current region, you mean? Have we all really forgotten that the game has a messaging system?

Pretty much all that's left to do on the forum is nag about the forum, or the game. There's no place to talk about the good stuff anymore. Like war and conquest and lots of both.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 23, 2013, 03:33:27 PM
So no one has any feedback on my attempt at creating some guidelines for forum users? Should we take it to Tom then?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on August 23, 2013, 03:56:20 PM
I suggest we do, as the opposing party doesn't seem to be willing to work on guidelines.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 23, 2013, 04:33:49 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Miriam Ics on August 23, 2013, 04:38:07 PM
Out of curiosity, how do players who ignore the forums get the feeling that if they aren't participating on the forums, that they are being left out? I mean, if they ignore the forums, then how do they know they are being left out? How do they feel that participation on the forums is mandatory, if they never read it? Are people in-game constantly telling their realm-mates to come visit the forums so they can participate? Are they telling the people in their realms that their war strategy will be determined via forum-based discussion?

If they aren't reading it, then how can they develop an opinion that participating in it is so important?
^This.

And, I would like to know also how Forum make worse players as Stue said.

My feeling is that people have a wrong idea that those on IRC or in forum are band wagoning, wagon gaming or whatever is the word (I never remember).

All I know is that since those discussions about forum, magistrates and sinking islands started, I have seen so many players quitting. Old players quitting with no reason.

Is not "the forum" the problem. Is how much importance people give to it, and what is said on it, forgetting that each one of us is a person, that we would like probably very much if we meet in person, because it would be very funny to talk about the game, and about all stories, and because if we choose this game and we like it, we probably have a few things in common.

Seriously, 25 pages is too much. I left the forum because there's nothing interesting FOR ME. I like to read RP's, but most of them are out of context so I cant know what happen before or after and then I stop reading.
I like to read the experiments Artemesia does with his advies. I like to read developments of a war, but stop to read it when the whining start. I like to know when Lilwolf update his book link. I like to know a little more about everyone by reading their posts.
I get to know that Fleugs and Stabbity are sweet guys and that Zakky is not the monster I thought he was when he destroyed my first Realm. I like to know about the couples, the kids, the marriages, the university, the real life of the players around me, as I would be doing if we were around a table and I don't think this is wrong. This is what make me keep a good separation between players and characters. But this is me and NO ONE can or should judge me, or anyone else.

The problem here, IMO, is that people (including me, despite my efforts to not do this) are constantly judging others for what they say, or how they play.

At the end, what I think we should do to stop this is to avoid any and every critic unless it is about something, and not someone, and I invite you to read this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructive_criticism).

I truly believe that if you take out forum and IRC, people will open a forum, use skype, msn, gtalk, google, whatever they can find to share OOC opinions about the game, so, removing the forum is not a option, IMO, moderating it, is. Making clear the rules, and I need to say, I never saw before a community that actually follow the rules and accept them like this one of Battlemaster, and I have been saying how much I like this community since the day I started the game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Bael on August 23, 2013, 05:09:00 PM
... I never saw before a community that actually follow the rules and accept them like this one of Battlemaster, and I have been saying how much I like this community since the day I started the game.

You know, I believe you are right. I reckon Battlemaster is very much the exception when it comes to online gaming - people accept the environment and generally get along with most people. There is no 1337-speak or other strange abominations.

When it comes to the forum, however, it is pretty much on par, if not below, other forums online. There isn't the same feeling of respect as there is in the game, or even in other forums.

I suspect I am just reiterating what many others have said, but there it is.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 23, 2013, 05:24:34 PM
You know, I believe you are right. I reckon Battlemaster is very much the exception when it comes to online gaming - people accept the environment and generally get along with most people. There is no 1337-speak or other strange abominations.

When it comes to the forum, however, it is pretty much on par, if not below, other forums online. There isn't the same feeling of respect as there is in the game, or even in other forums.

I suspect I am just reiterating what many others have said, but there it is.

I feel you are very much incorrect. There are hardly the large number of trolls or newb-bashers that patrol other forums I happen to be on. And besides that, as can be seen with the rash of Magistrate reports of harassment coming from within the game, I would hardly say that the game is more friendly.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on August 23, 2013, 06:15:33 PM
So no one has any feedback on my attempt at creating some guidelines for forum users? Should we take it to Tom then?
The Moderators are working on a set of forum rules. They are, mostly, along the same lines as what is being presented here. If I can get enough of the mods/admins to agree to them, then they will be posted for public comment. (That means you, too, Anaris... *poke* ...)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 24, 2013, 12:50:59 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 24, 2013, 01:43:55 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 24, 2013, 02:35:32 AM
Thus speaks someone with an Astroist bias, methinks ;D

Guilty as charged  8)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Kai on August 24, 2013, 06:02:31 AM
Its funny how people are trying to make rules but are all playing different games.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 24, 2013, 08:16:53 AM
Its funny how people are trying to make rules but are all playing different games.
Feel free to elaborate.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Penchant on August 24, 2013, 08:18:22 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Revan on August 24, 2013, 01:10:02 PM
Oh man, I think this has gone too far and too long now. I want Tom to come back and just start making executive decisions. Tell us what continent is going, what's happening with the forums, then we can all move on. We're just going round in circles here and it's a real shame to see some folk get frustrated with one another on this thread, of all threads.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on August 24, 2013, 03:06:13 PM
Oh man, I think this has gone too far and too long now. I want Tom to come back and just start making executive decisions. Tell us what continent is going, what's happening with the forums, then we can all move on. We're just going round in circles here and it's a real shame to see some folk get frustrated with one another on this thread, of all threads.

Tom has stated that he's taking a temporary break (http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,5034.0.html) from the forums, so he won't be chiming in for a while.

And frankly, I think we need to learn to get along OK without him delivering a Word of God proclamation.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gustav Kuriga on August 24, 2013, 03:15:12 PM
Oh man, I think this has gone too far and too long now. I want Tom to come back and just start making executive decisions. Tell us what continent is going, what's happening with the forums, then we can all move on. We're just going round in circles here and it's a real shame to see some folk get frustrated with one another on this thread, of all threads.

Yes, like the executive decision to close the locals, because that went over so well with people.

As Anaris said, we do need to learn to get along without needing to fear a thunderbolt, because otherwise people will just ignore etiquette once they feel they can get away with it.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 24, 2013, 03:16:21 PM
If the Mods are working on their own set of rules, there's not much we need to be talking about. More discussion about what rules would be good and why will probably benefit the Mods just so they can see a range of ideas and feedback, but that's about it.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Revan on August 24, 2013, 04:01:48 PM
Yes, like the executive decision to close the locals, because that went over so well with people.

As Anaris said, we do need to learn to get along without needing to fear a thunderbolt, because otherwise people will just ignore etiquette once they feel they can get away with it.

It would be lovely if the atmosphere here improved. Long may efforts to ensure that continue.

I think half the problem here though is that we all think we have the solution to BattleMaster's problems or what should be done next. I like that Tom chimes in here on the forum and we can discuss things with him and the devs, but it feels like there are getting to be too many cooks in the kitchen. Maybe it's even partly Tom and the dev's fault for trying to be so accomodating to the player base with every change and move they make. But I, for one, would be quite happy to see Tom and the devs just get on with things with much less of the player input. It's nice that we're all so passionate about BattleMaster, but it feels like we're all trying to pull the game in different directions. It doesn't feel like it's helping.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Sacha on August 24, 2013, 04:16:43 PM
You know what, I agree with Revan. I think many of us here forget that this is a free game, and a very unique and compelling one at that, yet we talk and act like we are entitled to have all our ideas and opinions worked into the game. I remain of the opinion that there is nothing majorly wrong with the game itself, and that a lot of the current problems could be solved if we would stop looking to Tom and the devs to make it all better, and start looking at ourselves to make some improvements.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on August 24, 2013, 06:42:27 PM
If the Mods are working on their own set of rules, there's not much we need to be talking about. More discussion about what rules would be good and why will probably benefit the Mods just so they can see a range of ideas and feedback, but that's about it.

It's nice to see that the basic rules that we've come up with are basically a match for what you came up with--that shows that we're on the right track and that the rules make sense.

The only point we're still discussing is what sort of policy to have around IG messages being posted to the forums. Should we allow island-wide messages to be posted? What about messages that your character sent? What about death roleplays? etc.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on August 25, 2013, 12:20:14 AM
It's nice to see that the basic rules that we've come up with are basically a match for what you came up with--that shows that we're on the right track and that the rules make sense.

The only point we're still discussing is what sort of policy to have around IG messages being posted to the forums. Should we allow island-wide messages to be posted? What about messages that your character sent? What about death roleplays? etc.

As I already responded to Anaris, I think there is value in having an all-encompassing restriction. Roughly, here are the reasons:

1. Black and white rules are much easier to enforce than rules with exceptions and gray areas that are open to interpretation.

2. There is no positive argument I can think of the permit it.

3. Banning all such quotations helps to emphasize and enforce the separation between the forum and the game.

4. It helps to prevent people using the forum as a way to spread propaganda that should remain IC, and whose spread should be bound by the restrictions on communication in the game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 26, 2013, 01:06:19 AM
The forums are NOT the game. If you want to play a forum game, go down to the OTHER games section and play werewolf or find a link to some other game.

The list Geronus posted is an excellent start. I think the above should be turned into a rule as well, something along the lines of "do not post anything to the forum that others need to know in order to play with your characters. always assume that other players don't read the forums and that they can still interact fully with you in-game." - basically, the core idea is exactly that: The forums are not the game, they are not a part of the game, and you don't get to make them, or they'll be taken away (again).

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 26, 2013, 01:08:25 AM
Out of curiosity, how do players who ignore the forums get the feeling that if they aren't participating on the forums, that they are being left out?

Because they know they exist.

If you know all your buddies go to a party, you can feel left out, even if you've never been to that particular party before.

Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on August 26, 2013, 01:12:56 AM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: cenrae on August 26, 2013, 09:34:34 PM
Well I know IRC or whatever it is called is there to chat with others yet I have never used it nor do I ever intend to. I don't feel I am missing out on anything.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Gloria on August 30, 2013, 07:49:03 AM
Well, I was one of the first people to use and embrace the forums when they started.  I don't post that much anymore because I don't play anymore.  I got busy.

The roleplaying forum was fun.  To me, it is not about playing the game outside of the game, but definitely a kind of metagaming that is needed.  It is us, the players, talking about our characters. Even in a face-to-face game with friends you usually get play-angry (not really angry) at players who do things against your character.  It is part of the fun.

Some of us enjoy arguing with other players about why a war started or whose character is the villain in the story.  The discussions can be heated, but they are interesting.

I have not seen the forum become more hostile than the d-list was.

What makes people mean and hostile and negative is not ForumMaster or the Roleplaying subforums.  Hostility starts when someone accuses someone else of cheating or powergaming or bad roleplaying. 
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Miriam Ics on September 05, 2013, 05:03:18 AM
It would be lovely if the atmosphere here improved. Long may efforts to ensure that continue.

I think half the problem here though is that we all think we have the solution to BattleMaster's problems or what should be done next. I like that Tom chimes in here on the forum and we can discuss things with him and the devs, but it feels like there are getting to be too many cooks in the kitchen. Maybe it's even partly Tom and the dev's fault for trying to be so accomodating to the player base with every change and move they make. But I, for one, would be quite happy to see Tom and the devs just get on with things with much less of the player input. It's nice that we're all so passionate about BattleMaster, but it feels like we're all trying to pull the game in different directions. It doesn't feel like it's helping.


You know what, I agree with Revan. I think many of us here forget that this is a free game, and a very unique and compelling one at that, yet we talk and act like we are entitled to have all our ideas and opinions worked into the game. I remain of the opinion that there is nothing majorly wrong with the game itself, and that a lot of the current problems could be solved if we would stop looking to Tom and the devs to make it all better, and start looking at ourselves to make some improvements.

I agree with both.
Sometimes is good to have someone that simply put a end on all discussions and keep it in the right path and we have a community that accept it.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Eldargard on September 06, 2013, 09:16:01 AM
Hello all. I have not read all 28 pages of this thread and have not played the game for months but wanted to throw in my thoughts regardless.

Things I like about the forum:

* General news on what is happening on various islands. Those facebook updates. Helps me decide where to create my next character. Love it.Twords the end of my time playing BM those threads were the only things I used the local forums for.

* Getting help from others. Things that range from "Where's the button?" to "How can I maximize my regions taxes?" Tutorials, guides, personal advice.

* Having a place to post new feature ideas, requests and discussions.

* Getting info on what the Dev team is working on and being able to provide input.

* The Magistrates.

At the same time, I like one stop shopping. I would prefer to see as much of this functionality brought into the game as possible. I would rather have an in game method of submitting feature requests, tracking current wars on all islands, and getting help from others.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: cenrae on September 25, 2013, 03:35:21 AM
Well I've found that since the locking of the locals forums, I find less and less reason to even visit the forums. Overall my experience of the forums lately is rather boring.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on September 25, 2013, 02:30:25 PM
Well I've found that since the locking of the locals forums, I find less and less reason to even visit the forums. Overall my experience of the forums lately is rather boring.

I've found that since the locking of the locals forums, I find less and less reason to even visit the game. Overall my experience of Battlemaster lately is rather boring.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Woelfy on September 25, 2013, 03:00:14 PM
I think the end of 'Forummaster' is the greatest thing to happen since sliced bread or bottled beer.

Good form.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on September 25, 2013, 03:03:48 PM
I've found that since the locking of the locals forums, I find less and less reason to even visit the game. Overall my experience of Battlemaster lately is rather boring.

Was it the game that was exciting before, or was it the forums?

And, have you tried putting the time and effort previously put into the forums, into the game?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on September 25, 2013, 03:05:57 PM
Was it the game that was exciting before, or was it the forums?

And, have you tried putting the energy previously put into the forums, into the game?

Are you still of the mistaken impression that people have one pool of energy, that they can use up if they frequent the forum, and not have any left over for the game?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on September 25, 2013, 03:06:30 PM
I think the end of 'Forummaster' is the greatest thing to happen since sliced bread or bottled beer.

If the forum dies, it will be just one more step towards the game dying.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Jaron on September 25, 2013, 03:45:22 PM
Closing down the forums also did not brought back more content into the game itself, which was one of the arguments used against the forums.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Woelfy on September 25, 2013, 04:14:42 PM
If the forum dies, it will be just one more step towards the game dying.

I do not think the forum needs to die, by any means, but a more controlled environment with less IG content (and ooc blending of said content) is definitely an improvement over the state of affairs from when I departed the game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Tom on September 25, 2013, 05:27:21 PM
Are you still of the mistaken impression that people have one pool of energy, that they can use up if they frequent the forum, and not have any left over for the game?

As a matter of fact, no matter how much you deny it, people have one pool of time that they divide up between various parts of their life.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on September 25, 2013, 05:34:35 PM
As a matter of fact, no matter how much you deny it, people have one pool of time that they divide up between various parts of their life.

Time, yes. But egamma has been consistently using the argument of limited energy, not time.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on September 25, 2013, 07:28:37 PM
Time, yes. But egamma has been consistently using the argument of limited energy, not time.

Okay, is "time and effort" more acceptable to you?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: cenrae on September 25, 2013, 08:24:32 PM
When I have the time and there are no new messages in game or the need to write some I would check only the Dwilight thread. Read some of the topics and perhaps post a reply. I found it enjoyable as a supplement when things were slow. Never in my case did the forums rule my experience of the game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Valast on September 25, 2013, 08:26:44 PM
Time, yes. But egamma has been consistently using the argument of limited energy, not time.

We should argue more about definitions of words and how they improve arguments on a forum...  You understood the meaning behind what was said but you argue about it because the word energy was used instead of time?

I think you argue just because you enjoy it.  I have not seen a positive thing from you in a long time.  I believe you should reconsider your attitude towards the world around you.  Not meant to be offensive, but consider the negative energy you put out to everyone (no not time... Energy).  Hubris and negativity.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on September 25, 2013, 08:33:30 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Zakilevo on September 25, 2013, 08:42:09 PM
If there is no message, why don't you write one? People complain all the time when they themselves do nothing.

If nothing is happening, you should be trying to change that shouldn't you be?

How did people even play without the forum in the first place?

Also, if you really want a forum that badly, why don't you make one yourself to discuss things you want to discuss. Tom won't be able to stop you in your own forum :p
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: cenrae on September 25, 2013, 08:49:56 PM
I of course said when there is no message or the need to write one....then I look to the forums. Do not put the burden on me to stimulate the game. I do my fair share and am by far the most active in RP for the Farronite Republic.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on September 25, 2013, 08:50:46 PM
How did people even play without the forum in the first place?

There was the discussion list before the forum.

Also, the fact that one can play without the forum does not in any way change the amount of frustration that results from losing a forum that has become established.

Quote
Also, if you really want a forum that badly, why don't you make one yourself to discuss things you want to discuss. Tom won't be able to stop you in your own forum :p

Sure, and if you want a given feature, you're welcome to make your own BattleMaster clone that has it in. Good luck getting enough people to make it worthwhile, though.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Zakilevo on September 25, 2013, 09:14:10 PM
Sure, and if you want a given feature, you're welcome to make your own BattleMaster clone that has it in. Good luck getting enough people to make it worthwhile, though.

You do know people can just make a forum without making their own game right? They can just make their personal forum where they can discuss BM stuff :p

I was actually in one although it only had 5-10 people or so. Discussing mainly about creating a religion and stuff.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on September 25, 2013, 09:18:37 PM
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on September 26, 2013, 02:24:47 AM
And, have you tried putting the time and effort previously put into the forums, into the game?

Doing what? Spamming the realm channel?

Besides, it won't accomplish anything. I'm not allowed to talk about game events with other players anymore on game-sanctioned channels and my loathing of IRC is well-known. There's no crowd to play for, no community to commentate... nobody's going to hear what's going on through a rumor chain and get involved because it sounded fun.

Don't really see the point. I'll probably be pausing some characters in the next few days or weeks.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vita on September 26, 2013, 08:03:55 AM
I do believe one of my characters sent a message to a region Cyrilos Vellos was in. I don't recall a reply. One would've thought that someone who found the lack of out-of-game Local boards discouraging for their actual gaming experience would at least jump at the opportunity to write someone in-game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on September 26, 2013, 02:31:15 PM
I do believe one of my characters sent a message to a region Cyrilos Vellos was in. I don't recall a reply. One would've thought that someone who found the lack of out-of-game Local boards discouraging for their actual gaming experience would at least jump at the opportunity to write someone in-game.

Cyrilos is one I'm considering pausing.

And again, you're all misunderstanding how human motivation works.

Giving a person fewer opportunities to engage does not necessarily make each opportunity more valuable. If there are "economies of scale" (and there almost always are), then reducing opportunities to engage makes each opportunity LESS valuable.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: egamma on September 26, 2013, 02:43:40 PM
Cyrilos is one I'm considering pausing.

And again, you're all misunderstanding how human motivation works.

Giving a person fewer opportunities to engage does not necessarily make each opportunity more valuable. If there are "economies of scale" (and there almost always are), then reducing opportunities to engage makes each opportunity LESS valuable.

You have...what, 12-30 people in each of your realms? Send each of them a private letter; make up a reason. Maybe starting a guild, religion, or secret society?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Wolfang on September 26, 2013, 02:45:37 PM
People underestimate the value of the forums. I liked reading through them to pass time between reading messages (not that many as a knight-only player).
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on September 26, 2013, 03:08:22 PM
You have...what, 12-30 people in each of your realms? Send each of them a private letter; make up a reason. Maybe starting a guild, religion, or secret society?

Again, you're completely missing his point.

Without the extra engagement that the Locals provided, he just doesn't feel the urge to interact in BM at all. (Sorry if I'm misinterpreting you somewhat, Vellos, but I think that's what you were trying to say.) Their removal has sapped his motivation to actually play the game, because they really provided an extra spark of fun and interaction that is now lacking.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Perth on September 26, 2013, 03:45:40 PM
It's like sports, folks. People don't just want to watch sports they want to talk about the sports they watched, discuss upcoming games, players, injuries, hires, etc.

Removing ESPN SportsCenter/friends who also like sports doesn't encourage people to watch more sports because there is no sports commentary to watch anymore... it actively decreases their interest in watching sports because they no longer have a community to talk to about those sports.

The very same with the forums.


I'll probably be pausing some characters in the next few days or weeks.

In the past month or so I've paused all my characters except for Kale. Reasons for that are combination of factors not least of which is the fact that I'm super busy this semester, but the lack community interaction has certainly played a role in my in-game interest/motivation to play.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on September 26, 2013, 06:15:46 PM
It's like sports, folks. People don't just want to watch sports they want to talk about the sports they watched, discuss upcoming games, players, injuries, hires, etc.

Removing ESPN SportsCenter/friends who also like sports doesn't encourage people to watch more sports because there is no sports commentary to watch anymore... it actively decreases their interest in watching sports because they no longer have a community to talk to about those sports.

The very same with the forums.
Awesome summary, Perth. Thanks for restating it like this.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Geronus on September 26, 2013, 06:25:19 PM
I too have lost interest in the game lately. I can't say for sure that the forum is the direct cause of that, but I can tell you that the forum often used to provide me with motivation/inspiration to be more active in the game.

Energy is not the simple zero sum game that egamma keeps relating it back to. Energy in this context isn't a limited commodity, and it can feed on itself to create more. When I used to visit the local boards, I would read about things going on in other places that sounded really great, and I would get other players' perspectives on things that were happening that my characters were involved in. Reading about these things made me want to play the game more, not less, which led to me spending more time on both the forum and the game in a self-reinforcing cycle. Other people's interest in the game made me interested the game.

Again, I will not say definitively that the closure of the local boards is the only factor in why I suddenly find myself logging in, at best, once every couple days (I also have been traveling an absurd amount for work). That said, the correlation is there, and since they've been gone I've simply found that I no longer have as much interest as I did before, so that even when I have abundant free time I just don't bother to log in. Sure, I could make a conscious effort to try to make interesting things happen in the game to renew my own interest, but that involves a significant expenditure of energy. It used to be that the game itself or the forum gave me energy, made me want to play. Now it's the other way around. I have to spend energy to motivate myself to try to make things happen. It's not sustainable for me.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Foundation on September 26, 2013, 10:08:40 PM
BM thrives as an ecosystem. When you gather with your friends to play a boardgame, it's not just the game itself that contributes to the mirth, but also getting to know your friends better through social interaction outside the boundaries and characters of the game. If everyone restricted their interaction to purely within the boardgame, I doubt the night would be as fun.

Yes, social interaction takes potential time and energy away from focusing on the boardgame itself, but without it people may simply choose to not come at all.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on September 27, 2013, 12:29:37 AM
It's like sports, folks. People don't just want to watch sports they want to talk about the sports they watched, discuss upcoming games, players, injuries, hires, etc.

Removing ESPN SportsCenter/friends who also like sports doesn't encourage people to watch more sports because there is no sports commentary to watch anymore... it actively decreases their interest in watching sports because they no longer have a community to talk to about those sports.

The very same with the forums.

Bingo.

Again, you're completely missing his point.

Without the extra engagement that the Locals provided, he just doesn't feel the urge to interact in BM at all. (Sorry if I'm misinterpreting you somewhat, Vellos, but I think that's what you were trying to say.) Their removal has sapped his motivation to actually play the game, because they really provided an extra spark of fun and interaction that is now lacking.

HOW DARE YOU CORRECTLY SUMMARIZE MY OPINION!
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Atanamir on September 27, 2013, 08:50:43 AM
At least for EC, Erik and Atanamir have founded at the begin of September an inter-continental guild, which should become a channel where everyone can talk with everyone and gossip can be exchanged, no diplomacy borders etc... but all IG.

The feedback is tremendous, we have already guildhouses in 8 cities and members from almost all realms with more guildhouses coming soon.

Only the guild/religion actions bug stopped things from going even faster.

An example where you can transfer local forums to IC means.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Jaron on September 27, 2013, 09:04:51 AM
The thing is the guild is IC though, and the local forums serve a purpose by allowing for discussion amongst players.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Atanamir on September 27, 2013, 09:32:45 AM
The thing is the guild is IC though, and the local forums serve a purpose by allowing for discussion amongst players.

For that there is the General Discussion thread on the Forum.
No need for the Locals.
The Locals are the the reason why IC none talks about IC things and why people prefer to talk about it here.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Lacedaemon on September 27, 2013, 02:37:42 PM
For that there is the General Discussion thread on the Forum.
No need for the Locals.
The Locals are the the reason why IC none talks about IC things and why people prefer to talk about it here.

So what we really need, are IC forums!
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Perth on September 27, 2013, 04:31:08 PM
For that there is the General Discussion thread on the Forum.
No need for the Locals.
The Locals are the the reason why IC none talks about IC things and why people prefer to talk about it here.

1) You really want people to start making topics in the General Discussion for "Lurian-D'Hara War!" and "Barca Thread!" ? I don't. It's not the place for it. It's not organized enough for every island to discuss their stuff there.

2) You clearly have not been listening if you are insisting that the forums deplete IC activity. Multiple people have now testified that the lack of OOC discussion is significantly contributing to a lack of motivation for IC "talk" and events. It is quite the opposite. OOC forum discussion spurs IG/IC activity.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on September 27, 2013, 06:00:38 PM
OOC forum discussion spurs IG/IC activity.
While I do agree with you, we also need to be careful about this. We need to do a better job of making sure that IC stuff stays IC, and that we need to make sure we avoid even the impression that the forum is somehow be used as a surrogate for IC action/discussion.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Foundation on September 27, 2013, 11:04:14 PM
While I do agree with you, we also need to be careful about this. We need to do a better job of making sure that IC stuff stays IC, and that we need to make sure we avoid even the impression that the forum is somehow be used as a surrogate for IC action/discussion.

Forum should always be player-player interaction. We rely on mods with clear guidelines to keep it that way.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on September 27, 2013, 11:28:25 PM
While I do agree with you, we also need to be careful about this. We need to do a better job of making sure that IC stuff stays IC, and that we need to make sure we avoid even the impression that the forum is somehow be used as a surrogate for IC action/discussion.

Agreed.

When the locals were removed, you may recall (or may not), I wasn't very vehement against it. They were getting pretty out of hand.

But how things are now is not a solution. It's worse than it was with the locals.

Let me be clear: Battlemaster is not a fun game. I don't mean that pejoratively; I mean that the mechanics of battlemaster, the button clicking, isn't that fun. We all know this; it's rare that players get their primary enjoyment of BM from button-clicking. What Battlemaster is is a really fun framework for an awesome community of storytelling. And removing the locals did a lot to make that a whole lot harder.

ALSO:

I've been reflecting on when I joined BM. When I joined BM, probably 50% of the message chatter in the realms I was in was OOC. We had no forums, but that didn't mean we we did more IC: it meant that in-game interactions were more out-of-character. We gave orders that referred to mechanics, chatted about realm matters in OOC headings, and after-battle banter was as frequently a bunch of drunkass college kids good-naturedly heckling each other OOCly as it was high-minded RPers doing so ICly.

But the last several years have seen a SYSTEMATIC AND INTENTIONAL in-characterization of Battlemaster's in-game experience. OOC chatter is frowned on even outside of Dwilight. Explicit references to game mechanics are not usually encouraged. The in-game OOC component of BM, which could substitute for BM, is no longer a big part of BM culture, and that kind of rapport and habit takes a LONG time to build. So eliminating the forums has left us with an OOC-socialization vacuum we've never had before.

Also, I should say, I think the in-characterization of the in-game experience is mostly a good thing. The problem is that we allowed an in-characterization of the out-of-game experience.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Indirik on September 28, 2013, 04:09:00 AM
But how things are now is not a solution. It's worse than it was with the locals.
Did you notice that Tim re-opened the locals?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Vellos on September 28, 2013, 05:23:15 AM
Errr.... what? I don't see them anywhere?
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Jaron on September 28, 2013, 05:50:50 AM
Are the administrative restrictions still in place? Cause i remember when it was closed, some people (including me) could still see the local forums and while others could not.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Anaris on September 28, 2013, 02:29:20 PM
Errr.... what? I don't see them anywhere?

Please check now.  :)
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Perth on September 28, 2013, 03:50:33 PM
While I do agree with you, we also need to be careful about this. We need to do a better job of making sure that IC stuff stays IC, and that we need to make sure we avoid even the impression that the forum is somehow be used as a surrogate for IC action/discussion.

Absolutely.

If it wasn't clear, I simply meant that having a community to talk about things with helps spur people into doing more in the game.
Title: Re: stopping ForumMaster from destroying BattleMaster
Post by: Stue (DC) on September 30, 2013, 10:37:47 PM
So what we really need, are IC forums!

exactly!

and i will reveal the small secret... we have them already! they are called guilds.

the main usefulness of this forum board, in my humble opinion, would be to direct players to them.