Pann

Incoming changes to Rules of Conduct

Recommended Posts

This has been a while in the making. If you are a regular in the [un]Official Crowfall Discord channel, you may have been there when I asked about which forum rules people dislike and why. The following is based on that feedback and our own observations in dealing with forum warnings and Support tickets. 

As always, we are presenting these changes here first so everyone has a chance to look them over, ask questions and discuss. 

NEW:

Bumping: Responding to a thread with no substantive contribution to the discussion in order to keep it at the top of a forum or to ‘bump’ it back to the top of a forum is a form of unconstructive posting and is not permitted.

Why it is being added: “Bump” and “bump spam” posts can pile up and make it more difficult for people to find actual content in threads. This can be particularly problematic in high vs. low traffic areas such as the Guild Recruiting forum. If you want your thread to get attention, post something of substance and value. (Emphasis on the last part of that sentence.)

Non-descriptive topics: When starting a new discussion thread on the forum, use a subject line that is relevant to your post. Further, avoid using all caps in the topic title.

Why it is being added: Using relevant, descriptive subject lines is important so that people can see at a glance what’s being discussed in the thread. This can bring more people to conversation as well as reducing the chances of multiple threads being started on the same topic.

Attacks on Crowfall staff: Calling out, insulting or degrading members of the Crowfall team, Art+Craft employees or its partners or agents is not permitted.

Why it is being added: It is not okay to troll or attack anyone on our forums, not even members of the Crowfall team.  

Acknowledging warnings: When a warning is given, the user will receive a notification. Acknowledgement of this warning does not constitute an admission of guilt; it merely confirms that you received the notification. You will be unable to post until the notification is acknowledged.

Why it is being added: This isn’t a rule so much as information. We often hear from forum users who refuse to acknowledge the warning, effectively banishing themselves because they disagree with the reason for the warning. If you disagree with moderator actions, the best recourse is to email support@crowfall.com to discuss it.

CHANGED:

Off-topic/Nonconstructive Images: Posting single images or animated GIFs that are not on-topic with the discussion is not allowed. Quotes of previous posts without an actual response are not ‘substantive content’. Images may be removed and users may be disciplined for repeated offenses. Please note that using images to support your discussion is fine as long as the images follow the forum rules (no adult content, politics, religion, defamation, trolling, personal attacks, racism, etc.).

What is changing and why: The rule was that you could not post an image without “substantive accompany text”. However, as the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Often, a screenshot, meme or GIF can say at a glance what might take five paragraphs to say in writing. Additionally, we’re removing the image size restrictions. So long as these changes aren’t abused, it should be a good thing. If it is abused, we can adjust as needed.

Naming/Accusing: Openly accusing another player or group of cheating or some other type of misbehavior is not permitted. You may discuss the type of behavior at issue, but specifically naming individuals or groups is not appropriate. In cases of exploiting, harassment or other violations of conduct, please use the Report tool or send an email directly to support@crowfall.com instead of engaging with the user.

What is changing and why: The word “cheating” was added to put a finer point on the rule. We also added a request for people to email Support if they suspect someone may be cheating or exploiting in-game.

Confidential communications: Do not share, publicly or privately, any communication you receive from a member of the Crowfall team, the Art+Craft staff or representatives.

What is changing and why: This rule has always been in place, but the wording was a little loose and could be misconstrued as only being applicable to communication about forum warnings.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say it looks good so far. Maybe except of this:

20 minutes ago, Pann said:

Confidential communications: Do not share, publicly or privately, any communication you receive from a member of the Crowfall team, the Art+Craft staff or representatives. 

I would suggest to revise the wording.

In my eyes it is too strict and therefore too open. What if in the (un-)official discord channel #crowfall-chat the user playerX asks about 5.3 and a staff member answers: "5.3 will probably come next week, playerX." The recipient is playerX, so playerX is now not allowed to share that? What about the others who read it but are not the recipient? Are they allowed to share or are they deemed "secondary recipients? What about postings in forums or even the news? Thats conversation we reveive from the team.

This rule, with this wording, equals more or less a partial NDA, while the rules also say there is no NDA. Sure, it covers any possible situation, so everytime it is not enforced, it's some kind of goodwill. But it would automatically be broken  - and getting people used to break the rules is never a convinient thing when trying to enforce them is a serious goal and often also spreads into other, even more clear, rules. I can't recommend it.

On a first glance, possible solutions could be to build the borderline at "personal/private communication" (or something like that) or to add the famous amendment "except where specifically allowed by ...", while for example adding to the NDA section that informations shared by the team publicly are free to be shared with others (or something like that). Just two fast examples.

If it stays this way, it will educate to break the rules.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Kraahk said:

I'd say it looks good so far. Maybe except of this:

I would suggest to revise the wording.

In my eyes it is too strict and therefore too open. What if in the (un-)official discord channel #crowfall-chat the user playerX asks about 5.3 and a staff member answers: "5.3 will probably come next week, playerX." The recipient is playerX, so playerX is now not allowed to share that? What about the others who read it but are not the recipient? Are they allowed to share or are they deemed "secondary recipients? What about postings in forums or even the news? Thats conversation we reveive from the team.

This rule, with this wording, equals more or less a partial NDA, while the rules also say there is no NDA. Sure, it covers any possible situation, so everytime it is not enforced, it's some kind of goodwill. But it would automatically be broken  - and getting people used to break the rules is never a convinient thing when trying to enforce them is a serious goal and often also spreads into other, even more clear, rules. I can't recommend it.

On a first glance, possible solutions could be to build the borderline at "personal/private communication" (or something like that) or to add the famous amendment "except where specifically allowed by ...", while for example adding to the NDA section that informations shared by the team publicly are free to be shared with others (or something like that). Just two fast examples.

If it stays this way, it will educate to break the rules.

 

 

Adding the word "private" as in 

Quote

Do not share, publicly or privately, any private communication you receive

could also solve the example of the discord channel and any communication that is given to more than one person, which is what I think the intent of the rule is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Pann said:

Confidential communications: Do not share, publicly or privately, any communication you receive from a member of the Crowfall team, the Art+Craft staff or representatives.

As mentioned above this needs to be clarified more. The News Letter is a communication from Ace which I'm sure doesn't fall under this rule. Perhaps making this apply to "confidential communications" rather than ALL communications to match the title of this rule.

Quote

Attacks on Crowfall staff: Calling out, insulting or degrading members of the Crowfall team, Art+Craft employees or its partners or agents is not permitted.

Why it is being added: It is not okay to troll or attack anyone on our forums, not even members of the Crowfall team.  

Calling out a member is FAR too vague. Feedback alone is "calling out" Ace and it's staff. Telling GW that we didn't appreciate what happened to UO or saying "Todd the Shadowbane.exe was a  massively frustrating experience" would fall under this. I don't see these things as insulting nor attacking a person but it does bring attention to something already public. 

Edited by Keaggan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Pann said:

Off-topic/Nonconstructive Images: Posting single images or animated GIFs that are not on-topic with the discussion is not allowed. Quotes of previous posts without an actual response are not ‘substantive content’. Images may be removed and users may be disciplined for repeated offenses. Please note that using images to support your discussion is fine as long as the images follow the forum rules (no adult content, politics, religion, defamation, trolling, personal attacks, racism, etc.).

mrw

osmo7Kh.gif

Edited by elvo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the risk of another warning, I cannot believe that the majority of people on discord think that what's wrong with the forum is that it isn't moderated heavily enough. But go ahead and make more rules and excuses to hammer us for speaking our minds. At least you'll have a good time with the forums!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty simple. Don't use the forums if you can't follow the rules they make. 

I personally think they are pretty draconian, and that was before the changes. Oh well. 

I am sure the other nice folks here will step up and fill in. <grins>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, srathor said:

Pretty simple. Don't use the forums if you can't follow the rules they make. 

I personally think they are pretty draconian, and that was before the changes. Oh well. 

I am sure the other nice folks here will step up and fill in. <grins>

@srathor is correct.  It is pretty simple.  

i am confused.. and sad..  I feel like a lot of time, effort and funding was just wasted.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Pann said:

Off-topic/Nonconstructive Images: Posting single images or animated GIFs that are not on-topic with the discussion is not allowed. Quotes of previous posts without an actual response are not ‘substantive content’. Images may be removed and users may be disciplined for repeated offenses. Please note that using images to support your discussion is fine as long as the images follow the forum rules (no adult content, politics, religion, defamation, trolling, personal attacks, racism, etc.).

This is a little too harsh IMO. This is a game forum so unconstructive posts are a given. Memes and funny images are really useful in making the forum feel alive.

I also have more then once quoted a huge post just to write "This." or "+1" at the end. A totally useless text if you pay attention but a valid post in a internet forum.

IMO this change makes the forum rules too strict. Like i said before this is a game forum. I came here to talk freely with my fellow gamers and not to send a message to my boss. Too restrictive i say...

Edited by BarriaKarl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder why this was only asked on the unofficial Discord server only and not here on the official forums as well? Not everyone reads everything there. It's easy to miss the important things between the pile of garbage posts in there. It's weird you ask something about the forum rules/moderation on a Discord server.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So no calling out of ACE? I mean, the common if not 'accepted' definition of calling out is "To verbally hold someone accountable for their words or actions." 

Interesting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, BarriaKarl said:

This is a little too harsh IMO. This is a game forum so unconstructive posts are a given. Memes and funny images are really useful in making the forum feel alive.

I also have more then once quoted a huge post just to write "This." or "+1" at the end. A totally useless text if you pay attention but a valid post in a internet forum.

IMO this change makes the forum rules too strict. Like i said before this is a game forum. I came here to talk freely with my fellow gamers and not to send a message to my boss. Too restrictive i say...

Yeah I am curious what is the trying to combat? Images are already under the same rules as text so they will be moderated. But posting and image/meme/gif/or some simple reply is the norm of forum discussions. It's as common and unoffensive as "lol" and "RIP" have become. The internet has it's own language that has been developing for 20 years so I'd ask again what is this trying to combat?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually take the biggest issue not with the rule, but with how menial of a job you've created for yourself. Are you encouraging people to report "Bumps" or posts of "no substance"? Feels like you'll be inundated with nonsensical reports. Worse, how do you punish these offenders? Warnings? For bumping a post? I don't think any rules can truly bring about the kind of forums your team might be hoping for. I just don't see it happening.

When devs reply to the whiniest of complaints, and people who argue nonsensical points... THAT encourages the same behavior, because other people will see if they too are whiney and complain loudly, they'll also get attention.

The best way to encourage quality posting is not to impose rules across the board, in the hopes of stopping bad behavior. The real truth is you need to engage your community that is having positive well thought out discussions. I've seen next to little of this type of engagement. The forums are a barren wasteland as a result.

I understand the dev team is busy working on patches, and putting out fires, but your community lives and breathes by its interactions with you.

 

Try a little of the carrot, and less of the stick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/30/2017 at 4:09 PM, KrakkenSmacken said:

Adding the word "private" as in 

could also solve the example of the discord channel and any communication that is given to more than one person, which is what I think the intent of the rule is. 

That's a great point. Thanks for pointing that out. We'll edit the text. 

On 10/30/2017 at 7:57 PM, Keaggan said:

Calling out a member is FAR too vague. Feedback alone is "calling out" Ace and it's staff. Telling GW that we didn't appreciate what happened to UO or saying "Todd the Shadowbane.exe was a  massively frustrating experience" would fall under this. I don't see these things as insulting nor attacking a person but it does bring attention to something already public. 

The crux of this is that the same rules about personal attacks and trolling are applicable in regard to members of the dev team the same as they are for members of the community. You can say you don't agree with design decisions. What is not okay is name calling, insulting and trolling. 

On 10/31/2017 at 11:45 AM, BarriaKarl said:

I also have more then once quoted a huge post just to write "This." or "+1" at the end. A totally useless text if you pay attention but a valid post in a internet forum.

IMO this change makes the forum rules too strict. Like i said before this is a game forum. I came here to talk freely with my fellow gamers and not to send a message to my boss. Too restrictive i say...

A post, whether it's in text or image form, supporting another user's post is constructive. That's why I wanted to change this rule that prohibited all image-only posts.  

On 10/31/2017 at 2:25 PM, Caenth said:

I wonder why this was only asked on the unofficial Discord server only and not here on the official forums as well? Not everyone reads everything there. It's easy to miss the important things between the pile of garbage posts in there. It's weird you ask something about the forum rules/moderation on a Discord server.

Historically, we have always posted here before any changes to the rules have been made -- it's what this specific forum was created for in the first place -- and it's why I have posted about these changes in advance of formalizing them. 

I try to pop into the Discord channel for at least an hour or so every couple of weeks. It's nice to chat in real time with people from the community. I rarely go in with an agenda -- unless it's because I have space in the newsletter and want to offer folks a chance to promote their guild or projects. This was just something that popped into my head as I was chatting that day so I brought it up. The rule revisions are something Gordon and I had been discussing for months (or longer), and with Jack on board now I finally had enough time freed up to give those changes some attention. 

P.S. I did a quick look through the number of forum Reports we received in October versus the number of warnings that were issued. 
Here are the stats: 
Reports: 15
Warnings: 6, three of which were for ads/spam 
Bans: 0

Edited by Pann
Added P.S. about metrics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...so I want to start out by saying that these changes seem perfectly reasonable to me, especially in the context of a previous statement by Blair (I think? Might've been Todd or even Pann - y'all say a lot of things and I've been here a while...) about the nature of these forums: they are going to be more moderated than the game itself because they serve a different purpose. The forums are here to share information and knowledge, and for recruiting and teaching. There may be some overlap with some of those functions between here and the game, but there will also be a lot less moderation in-game because in-game rivalries and escalations are a completely different and desirable thing, compared with a totally unregulated forum that may well be a new player or prospective new player's first experience with the community. I see a lot of people complain about carebears, but the reality is that a lot of people are willing to put up with a lot of competition so long as "competition" is not defined as "people being poorly made socksty to each other all the time." We want people who see this game and join these forums to WANT to play the game, and once they do so, we can let the game experience dictate whether they stay. It's not about trying to appeal to carebears at the expense of the hardcore playerbase - it's about trying to make sure enough people play this game for it to turn a profit so it doesn't go under in a year.

Any complaints that the forums are too heavily moderated because the rules make it possible for the dev team to protect their playerbase and their investment without violating the agreement between us strike me as begging for a safe space to be a terrible person in without any consequences. I see no reason why you shouldn't have that, but I also see no reason why you should have that here. Again, that isn't what these forums are for. Also, given the metrics Pann posted, I'd argue that the entire assertion is nonsense to begin with, but that's neither here nor there...

If you're upset because the devs reserved the right to punish you for breaking the rules (even if they never do so), I don't know what to tell you. None of this is new. I can only say that personally, my experience with the devs exercising their power to regulate my speech has been very even-handed and justified. Every time I've received a warning, I knew it was going to happen before I hit Submit Reply. The rules really weren't very confusing, nor unusual in their content, either before or after these changes. If you are earning punishments that you don't see coming and that you truly feel are not warranted, it might be worth considering that the devs aren't the problem. I mean, maybe they really are and you really don't deserve that warning, but all I can speak to is my own experience and what I've seen on the forums, and all I'm saying is that a little bit of introspection never hurt anyone.

Edited by goose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.