Spring's Broken Windows

Spring's Broken Windows

Various things about Spring that do not fit in any of the other forums listed below, including forum rules.

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MasterBel
Posts: 263
Joined: 18 Mar 2018, 07:48

Spring's Broken Windows

Post by MasterBel »

ivand wrote: 07 Feb 2021, 12:18
Silentwings wrote: 07 Feb 2021, 09:41 Please report posts instead of using replies, see https://springrts.com/wiki/Reporting for why.
While I fully agree with rationale of "why", I can't help, but notice the forum is filled up with troll posts from a very few individuals, who for some reason receive very lenient treatment.
Soon (if not now already) all normal people will stop posting here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory
I feel this deserves to be discussed more so I'm dragging it over here. (Hopefully 1 less derailed thread yay!) Oh – and that celebration should say something: far too many threads have been derailed recently – most of them circling back to problems that came up before but were never resolved.

Anyway, I fully agree with Ivand here. For evidence we have the BA debacle, how afaict that has catapaulted everyone with connections to BA 10 off the forums, and also this post viewtopic.php?p=596657#p596657 and viewtopic.php?p=597069#p597069

The moderators appear to be aware of an issue, somewhat evidenced in Silentwings' messages in the links above. Locking threads doesn't appear to be helping the situation.

So: What's our plan to promote positive engagement and eliminate the negative?

For starters: I think it's time to stop taking "wontfix" for an answer. Something far more suitable would be "this is what someone could do to make things better". You don't have to volunteer to do it, just at the very least don't stand in the way of it.
But this hardly touches the core of the problem.
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Peet
Malcontent
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Joined: 27 Feb 2006, 22:04

Re: Spring's Broken Windows

Post by Peet »

Yes, let's throw the entire issue at the feet of the few remaining productive developers
raaar
Metal Factions Developer
Posts: 950
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 12:17

Re: Spring's Broken Windows

Post by raaar »

forum is filled up with troll posts from a very few individuals,
There's a gradient between valid criticism and toxic negativity. And then there's just trolling.

generally i consider toxic posts that, while they may contain valid points, also feature
- high % bullshit (exageration, misrepresentation, false statements)
- repetition
- derailing unrelated threads


While i agree that toxic behavior from people is damaging and very draining to deal with as a dev, I think thread locks and bans should require strongly tending to one or checking multiple of the previous conditions.

It seems to me that at times in the past moderation was too heavy handed. Threads about issues were too quickly judged as pointless/toxic and locked, which led to long time players and contributors disengaging.

So, while the signal/noise ratio may be increased by reducing the noise, it can also be increased by increasing the signal (more posting and threads about various stuffs).
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FLOZi
MC: Legacy & Spring 1944 Developer
Posts: 6238
Joined: 29 Apr 2005, 01:14

Re: Spring's Broken Windows

Post by FLOZi »

Everyone that moans that moderation in Spring has ever been too heavy handed should be forced to wear the hat for a few months.
MasterBel
Posts: 263
Joined: 18 Mar 2018, 07:48

Re: Spring's Broken Windows

Post by MasterBel »

To address what other people have said:
FLOZi wrote: 09 Feb 2021, 10:38 Everyone that moans that moderation in Spring has ever been too heavy handed should be forced to wear the hat for a few months.
Could you elaborate on what the experience would be like for someone who wore the hat for a few months?
Peet wrote: 09 Feb 2021, 01:28 Yes, let's throw the entire issue at the feet of the few remaining productive developers
As far as I can tell this issue is at their feet whether they like it or not. I'm simply trying to name it, get us actually talking about the problem and seeing how we can do something about it.The developers are both affected by this and the only ones who have any substantial power to do anything about it. I have tried my best by providing a rational and hopeful voice to the forums, but I don't think this is enough. If the problem exists, then we must either eradicate or avoid it. It seems this community has decided that we must keep the forums (for the record, I agree), therefore we need to get rid of this weight that is dragging our few remaining productive developers down.

It's good to see Peet comment here, but honestly, I wish I could have heard from some of the developers and other current major figures in this community.
raaar wrote: 09 Feb 2021, 04:45 So, while the signal/noise ratio may be increased by reducing the noise, it can also be increased by increasing the signal (more posting and threads about various stuffs).
My experiences on this forum indicate that the noise seems to increase proportional to the signal, since those producing it are intending to hijack others' efforts to meet their desires. Afaict others on this forum are coming to this conclusion too.

So what would a solution be?

Before you read on: I have little experience in moderation and I want to hear from those with experience. I am saying what I know since it seems no one else is addressing these problems. I don't know if what I'm suggesting will work, it's just my best guess and I'm giving it because what's happening now has to change.

Roughly speaking: To decrease the noise, we need moderators to dedicate time and emotional energy to proactively encourage, guide, and protect discussions. These moderators can't (shouldn't?) be Spring's developers, since due to their technical expertise, their time, mental, and emotional energy are all better spent addressing technical problems. And we need sufficiently many moderators that they can respond in reasonable time, and should one or two be discouraged there still enough to maintain order. As much responsibility should be delegated to this team as possible, so the devs need to trust them and a system of transparency would need to be in place. (If they don't trust them already, they need to build trust and accountability for the new moderators.) The intention is to not burden the devs or the moderators with having to seek permission. This would allow moderators to set forum rules, guidelines, and policies without having to bother the devs. That said, I have no problem with the devs having final say (they probably should!)

I don't pretend it would be easy to find people. At this point, it appears most people on the forums are either active developers, or are disinterested, or are involved in getting in the way.

I'd suggest additional regulations & policies:
- Enforce one-topic-per-thread. This would come with more proactive thread-splitting. The intended effect is to prevent thread derailing entirely, without silencing anyone.
- Lock threads with duplicate topics, and no other threads. Threads that are "going around in circles" shouldn't be locked, else their topics will be dragged into other threads or new topics will be created. Locking them seems to be like plugging stormwater drains on a highway.
- Some policy about dealing with single posts that add nothing to threads. E.g. removing them, alongside an expectation on moderators to communicate with the poster (in PM or in the thread) to provide more detail.
- Misrepresentation & Misinformation should be dealt with somehow – without silencing dissenting voices. Responsibility should be given to support a fact by the person who posts it. If we have a sufficient moderation team, they could also carry the role as fact-checkers and be expected to leave the original statement + the correction.
- Moderating the developers themselves – e.g. "wontfix"
- Promoting contribution + progress by encouraging those who see a problem towards solving that problem, and where appropriate & necessary creating bug reports (of course – if the person with the complaint is willing to report the problem themselves, then by all means let them. The moderation team should not do things that other people can and will take care of (with exceptions for things like urgency, of course))

Now it's your turn. Please discuss.
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FLOZi
MC: Legacy & Spring 1944 Developer
Posts: 6238
Joined: 29 Apr 2005, 01:14

Re: Spring's Broken Windows

Post by FLOZi »

MasterBel wrote: 25 Feb 2021, 03:24 To address what other people have said:
FLOZi wrote: 09 Feb 2021, 10:38 Everyone that moans that moderation in Spring has ever been too heavy handed should be forced to wear the hat for a few months.
Could you elaborate on what the experience would be like for someone who wore the hat for a few months?
In the past, constant complaints that moderation is too strict and far too lenient, depending on which case works better for the troll in question at the time in question. Now it consists almost entirely of the thankless tasks of deleting spambots.
The rest & ...
I don't pretend it would be easy to find people. At this point, it appears most people on the forums are either active developers, or are disinterested, or are involved in getting in the way.
Engine devs should never have been forum moderators, I referred to this in the past as 'separation of church and state', but we're past playing that ballgame. Abma is the only admin left, and moderators are few and far between and less active on the forum than abma. Consequently the path of least resistance is sometimes taken; fingers in ears, 'no you're wrong', thread locked, end of discussion.
I'd suggest additional regulations & policies:
- Enforce one-topic-per-thread. This would come with more proactive thread-splitting. The intended effect is to prevent thread derailing entirely, without silencing anyone.
- Lock threads with duplicate topics, and no other threads. Threads that are "going around in circles" shouldn't be locked, else their topics will be dragged into other threads or new topics will be created. Locking them seems to be like plugging stormwater drains on a highway.
- Some policy about dealing with single posts that add nothing to threads. E.g. removing them, alongside an expectation on moderators to communicate with the poster (in PM or in the thread) to provide more detail.
- Misrepresentation & Misinformation should be dealt with somehow – without silencing dissenting voices. Responsibility should be given to support a fact by the person who posts it. If we have a sufficient moderation team, they could also carry the role as fact-checkers and be expected to leave the original statement + the correction.
- Moderating the developers themselves – e.g. "wontfix"
- Promoting contribution + progress by encouraging those who see a problem towards solving that problem, and where appropriate & necessary creating bug reports (of course – if the person with the complaint is willing to report the problem themselves, then by all means let them. The moderation team should not do things that other people can and will take care of (with exceptions for things like urgency, of course))

Now it's your turn. Please discuss.
A mixture of 'too late' and 'will suppress any remaining discussion that happens here anyway'.

As someone who was admin here for many years, much of the criticism of forum moderation is valid, however it all gets tangled up with complaints about the decisions of engine developers and infrastructure control... None of which the non dev moderators ever had any power over. Consider knorke blaming me for the problems that occurred when EvoRTS launched on steam. I had literally nothing to do with it, yet somehow it was all my fault for not 'leading the community', a title i never claimed (died with Tobi & neddie) nor could ever reasonably claim.

I made some cool games from time to time, though.
saturnV
Posts: 102
Joined: 03 Dec 2020, 07:58

Re: Spring's Broken Windows

Post by saturnV »

Soon (if not now already) all normal people will stop posting here.
To me it seems that already happend, several years ago.
Already In the last 5-8 years many games were discontinued.
Also look at the decline of the page-count of the yearly random-WIP threads. It is not a recent trend.
the BA debacle, how afaict that has catapaulted everyone with connections to BA 10 off the forums
BA10 never used the forum much.
From the beginning they had pushed for discord.

It is however a good example for the "broken windows" problem:
When gameplay of BA was discussed, too many people who did not even play BA raided the discussions. Despite not playing BA, they still wanted to give their opinions on it. Or they posted how in general gameplay/balance/updates should work.
Or they just wanted to say that they do not care. :roll:
That made discussions tiresome and in the end the actual BA players just stopped posting.

Or take the posts by Forbording Angle and PicassoCT.
The first repeatedly made wrong assumptions about how BA's gameplay and engine code worked. He vandalized threads by abusing mod-powers. (for some reasons he could moderate in the BA-subforum)
The second posted gibberish jokes or insults, I honestly do not know what he means half the time. Both made forum and discord unreadable.
Actually this not limited to BA threads, much of spring is very straining to read because of similiar problems.


The #main chat of the lobby died due to similiar problems when zeroK automated their advertisement spam.
I have heard that the #moddev channel suffered a similiar fate when the shitposting and memes took over.
Was is it ever tried to moderate these chats?
FLOZi wrote: 27 Feb 2021, 14:39 In the past, constant complaints that moderation is too strict and far too lenient, depending on which case works better for the troll in question at the time in question.
You make it sound like there is a contradiction. To me it simply reads as if moderation was not neutral.
I wish I could have heard from some of the developers and other current major figures in this community.
Who would those figures be and what should they say?
I look through the list of Spring games and notice: Except for Metal Factions and Tech Anni, all are dead. Their developers left long ago.
The interest in those games is minimal on the forum. raaar is posting all alone in his subforum since the beginning. Tech Anni is considered yet another "cancerous alphabet soup mod", why should those players or devs be active in the forum?
Instead of supporting the active games, there was lots of talk about already dead games or vaporware. Or BA.
Similiar, engine devs left or never were very vocal.
ivand
Posts: 279
Joined: 27 Jun 2007, 17:05

Re: Spring's Broken Windows

Post by ivand »

Funny you showed up in the thread, that started as attributed mostly to you and so-called "Balanced Annihilation Developer":
ivand wrote: ...but notice the forum is filled up with troll posts from a very few individuals...
And of course you couldn't resist putting your BA-drama fingers in every pie.

To continue broken windows theory, I see that moderator leniency unfortunately persists and those who have long deserved their lifetime ban ticket continue breaking glass.

Moderators/Admins/Owners: I don't know what you guys expect. This is really puzzling. Do you really believe that giving 100th warning will make someone change their behavior? The reality proves it doesn't happen. More like the other way around: impunity of the one lures others.

This place lost a lot of activity. The last engine dev left, frustrated by the resistance to make legacy->104+ changes on the game side, the changes that take one day at most and persistence to spam hundreds posts with absurd accusations instead.

Please state your goals clearly so others can set their expectations and decide if they have reasons to stay.
saturnV
Posts: 102
Joined: 03 Dec 2020, 07:58

Re: Spring's Broken Windows

Post by saturnV »

This thread links to my posts, you attack me in this thread, and now you act suprised that I post here?
This place lost a lot of activity.
....years before I had started posting. :roll:
Years before botflags were invented, years before spring 104.
See the project subforums, when were the last postings, when were the last releases?
The last engine dev left, frustrated by the resistance to make legacy->104+ changes on the game side
Do you mean BA?
I will just link this older post instead of repeating yet again: viewtopic.php?p=597968#p597968
Why does this even still matter, the botflag system was put in place excactly as the engine developers had wished.

Why are you still so focused on BA anyway? It is one of many Spring games.
Why is nobody talking what happend with the dozen other games that used to exist?
The only reason why a game with old lowpoly models, shitty textures and 2 active battlerooms still mattered is because all the other games failed.

Did you read the posts by Master-Athmos viewtopic.php?p=597268#p597268 and his old threads?
The hate he got when annoucing his game did not come from TA-players. It was the "other" gamedevelopers.

gajop: 1 month banned issue for constant drama & trolling. next will be perma
raaar
Metal Factions Developer
Posts: 950
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 12:17

Re: Spring's Broken Windows

Post by raaar »

saturnV wrote: 05 Apr 2021, 01:32 Did you read the posts by Master-Athmos viewtopic.php?p=597268#p597268 and his old threads?
The hate he got when annoucing his game did not come from TA-players. It was the "other" gamedevelopers.
I doubt this. I don't get that information from his actual post. What's the original thread?

saturnV wrote: 05 Apr 2021, 01:32
This place lost a lot of activity.
....years before I had started posting. :roll:
Years before botflags were invented, years before spring 104.
The decline in activity happened throughout the past decade for a variety of reasons, including drama on the forum.

The reason for this thread is that basically you and Ares' recurring posts are off. There's no conspiracy against BA. The hostility you get comes in response to the drama you keep reviving yourselves (related to the 103 restriction and BA10), from which the community moved on.

The excessive and repetitive negativity drives people off the forum. Every time you cross the line between "concerned member" and troll helps further the decline.

If your intent is constructive, demotivating people who did and still do useful stuff regarding spring (helping users, updating wiki and various other development activities) is a really dumb move.
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