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27-07-2019 02:01

After recent events spawning the course of a month or so..

I'm wondering about the Mod selection process. Is there a way for players to be more involved in the selection of, and removal, of Moderators without it becoming a blatant popularity contest?

I feel like I am seeing more and more ignorant mutes and unjust punishments. The players will react to the mute and receive further punishment. To be fair, the reactions typically violate the rules, but the original mute in question wasn't just to begin with. Instead of further punishing the players, I think the Mods should be reprimanded. I would prefer if the Moderators did not haze this thread. I am not asking about punishments (as that would be against the rules.) I have no interest in discussing specific punishments (as that is between the staff and individual players and intervening is against the rules.)

I am only interested in discussing the Mod selection process and the removal of Mods who are not upholding a certain level of integrity. (Which is open to debate, of course.)
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27-07-2019 02:19

The current selection process, if it's anything like the selection process when I was around is probably still:

Any candidates were basically debated on a forum thread for X amount of time with anyone currently there and people tended to voice individual concerns or whatever about that person. Then the threads were removed just before they joined. It was however an awful lot of "who knows who" and "I think this person is good for the role" with a lot of personal opinions on individuals weighting the process. You somewhat have to as it builds a picture but it does mean a group can dominate the decision. At the time that was The Dark Warriors, (HAIL DW!). That group can collectively help paint a picture of candidates as better or cast doubt on people that are perhaps undesireable.

I am curious though about the current selection process and since it's unlikely to come up again in my favour or for me to ever get on the list I will freely disclose that I went for the recent batch of applications that went up. After filling out more details than I'd have been expected to provide in a genuine job application form including some almost personal level questions you'll all be happy to know I got declined at the second stage. I don't necessarily know why and I never got told. Could have asked but the response felt very copy/paste to make it worth while, which was disrespectful for the amount of information I'd been expected to provide I might add. It could be that they didn't like an answer, maybe I'm just not popular with "The Old boys club", who knows.

In terms of the accountability this is it's own problem. Staff in general have to try and present a united front as any hint of dissent or disagreement in public weakens the overall position and the best any of us can ever hope to achieve in a public sense is a senior advising "This will be reviewed internally". It's a cop out but we have all probably done the same in our own workplaces and not thrown a colleague under the bus. However realistically short of some catastrophically bad decisions it's going to take a lot to actively get someone removed. This is because so much can be put down to either a questionable judgement, contextual arguments or simply experience. Took a lot of punishments and me breaking the rules myself and getting myself muted before M2H finally email'd to advise I'd had my Moderator status removed. You'll get the same here and while some may object to individual punishments it'll take some very very severe and/or numerous issues with specific individuals before you'll get some actual change of guard.

Edited on 27-07-2019 02:23
This is the story of a man named Stanley.
27-07-2019 03:02

The selection process is similar to what Calgor says but with an extra restriction. Born put a limit on how many people we can have per clan as when there were too many from one clan in the past it caused issues. I'm not giving an opinion on it either way just saying it happened.

The removal process is similar. All actions leading to removal are logged and reviewed, it is discussed before it happens and takes more than one issue to be removed.

I won't post anymore and let everyone else discuss it, I only posted to give information and not sway opinions. Who knows? we may even get a better process out of it.
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27-07-2019 03:17

How would we go about reporting what we feel is poor moderation as the last attempts I know of were met with a "stop it"
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27-07-2019 03:26

it is what it is... most of these things build up due to a player "feels" this or that. this causes them to do more things they know is against the rules. they get muted more, and more people whine about it, and then join them in the mute box, etc, etc, etc.

one thing i have always noticed is when events are going on nobody gets muted, only the times nothing is going on do people feel like they need to test the system.
27-07-2019 10:40


I think there is a level of bias however nothing that's not been around for ever and I dont think this is x player doesnt like y player so punishes them harder as punishments are pre defined by offense and record.

I think other elements come into play such as culture here in england you can get prety offence in friendly banter. Also words can have higher offense in some countries than others as I heard of one of the clan leaders being muted for one of my favourite sayings from her which in her country isnt offensive at all but could be deemed it here...

Regarding selection those who are liked by most usually get through the process and to be fair are probably the right people if most can get on with them then they can work as part of a team. While there can be individual bias stopping a player which doesnt feel as good I would hope our mod team are mature enough to simply say they dont like x player but will work with them if it's just me that sees the issue... as an example!

You can always report an issue you dont agree with if you feel someone is being picked on by mods ?

I'm sure if one mod has 10 complaints from the community and no one else has any a senior mod would realise there is an issue there. Though it could highlight that one mod is actually keeping to the rules and the rest are taking a more relaxed approach. So you could be pooing in your own nest...

Edit - also I have many a time heard of a player mute being overturned if its questioned in the correct manner or context added to what was said / being said. Those that wait till being un muted and flip out posting forums calling the mids *#($^^ obviously just end up re muted and forums deleted. I think it's more about how you approach what you feel is a bad call than who you are. Mods do make mistakes or can react to a report without seeing full context so long as your smart and go about things correctly you shouldn't find yourself in bother.

And let's be honest if your muted in a game that tells you what will get you muted it's either a wrong chat, your stroppy/drunk/out of controll or a complete and utter tool. Do X get punished is prety much like speeding up for a speed camera your just seeing if it works

Edited on 27-07-2019 12:40
Luck is when skill meets opportunity.
Scary Bacon
27-07-2019 16:54

I will add my 1 cent. I didnt really know the mods when I applied, and didnt feel like I was given the position by being buddies with them. When Ive been asked who I feel might fit in the team, I dont suggest players just on my being friends with them. I try to suggest players that are on a lot and either play quietly or seem to get along well with the playerbase. Ive even suggested a player or two that I didnt like as much as other for various reasons, but I felt I could still work with, because I felt they would be fair and active.
As a tagged mod, Im ok with players assuming Im the one thats giving out mutes and am willing to take the heat. It can be frustrating watching chat after a mute, seeing players challenge it without being able to respond and defend. I think in the end, not constantly defending a mute from the team is nice, because I dont feel it would ever get any where. We have rules that some desire to be upheld, and some want disregarded. I dont agree with all the rules in every case. But its not my right to pick and choose what I will enforce based on my personal beliefs, within reason. We do have some discretion, and yes, it might seem some players are treated differently than others. Not every fact is known, or can be made to be known to the player base. Not always does the muted person give all the facts in forum posts or public chats when challenging a mute either.
I dont like working in secrecy, I would rather see a lot more transparency. If our reluctance to be transparent seems like a cop out, there isnt anything we can, and in many cases will do about it. I will be more forthcoming about a mute or warning in a ticket than I will in chats. Please send a ticket rather than challenge in chat. Feel free to ask for a second mod to look at it. We dont work in lockstep. We have mods from all over the world.
To answer the question about mod removal, I havent seen that process yet, and if I step out of line, will have my experience to answer about. I can say that senior mods can see everything chat mods do. Every mute or warning I give I know I may have to defend to a senior mod, admin, or even Borneo. If I cant give good reason, I shouldnt be giving the mute/warning. Many more reports are deleted without action than public will ever know, and when I give a mute or warning, I try to act as if the player isnt purposely breaking a rule, that they may have just forgot, even if its been a few hours since they last forgot.
I hope this might clear some things up, if it hasnt, I apologize. Much of it is from my perspective from my short time as a moderator, and none of this is the view of the full moderation team. If there are things we can change I try to keep a look out for them to make the relation between players and staff better will. Thank you all for reading.
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27-07-2019 21:37

I have never seen a situation where I disagreed with a moderator. They always seem mature in their enforcement of the rules and I appreciate that they are there to keep the riff raff under control. I also appreciate that there are rules to keep things respectful and family friendly. On the other hand, I have seen many cases of players breaking the rules and being obnoxious about it.
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28-07-2019 01:04

The Bacon, for what they are worth (which is the highest praise you're permitted), makes an interesting point. What is the reason for the current staff roster to be hidden? It seems that the anonymity is something to hide behind, hell I used to do it back in my day. Never said it was right to do so either but it helps give someone a distance which means you can make a lot more questionable decisions since nobody knows who you are.

Is it worth at this point something official like a "Meet the staff page" listing the administration team (of whoever), any development team, community team, events, whos checking multi accounts, chat etc? Your net result of this is:

1 - The staffing system actually looks more professional, we have a clear sign of departments and who does what instead of either chat slip ups or the individuals like Bacon who are choosing to do so.
2 - It allows people to know who is actually doing these jobs. Now some of you may have a personal disagreement with anyone on there, that's your problems.
3 - It also actually gives some degree of a personality to what is otherwise a rather cold and clinical moderation. Everything is being handled very stand-offishly That isn't necessarily the right way to do this and is continuing to foster this atmosphere that the current team are a problem.

Anyone who says anything along the lines that such an idea would lead to individuals being harassed specifically, completely incorrect. Case in point, anyone who works on a service desk you may find that if anything gets directed to you specifically and it's nothing you are working on, process means you are to direct the person to follow proper channels. Politely. If you continue to wind someone up though remember, they are still staff and can still punish if necessary.

If any staff disagree, again, why? You sign on to agree to help the game so why would anyone NOT want to be named for providing support?
This is the story of a man named Stanley.
28-07-2019 01:46

Never thought I'd see myself saying this .. but +1 Calgor
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Mr Tiddles
28-07-2019 04:38

As a Guide it's a similar process for us as well.
I've always seen every member of that team throw Biased choices to the side for the greater good of the game.

I have voted No to players I like.
I have also voted yes to players I dislike.

If you have what it takes. You will get noticed.
If you think you have what it takes, and get denied...
The truth is you probably would do a great job as well, however IF the Mod staffs are like the Guide staff. They are only as big as the game needs.

Guide staff has 3 or 4 members right now who are active. (there are currently others on standby if the need is there as well)
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28-07-2019 07:02

you know in my opinion, the notion of having mods is something m2h conceived when he was making the game, maybe it even served some purpose in the early stages of the game. but at this stage, what is the point of having mods in the first place. it seems to me like something m2h casually made up and the people who want to feel a certain degree of power cling to it. there is honestly no other puprose to moderating in syrnia other than to execute a certain power over others.

we have no spam bots, nor gold selling bots because we are too small for those to bother with us, the community is relatively small and solidified at this point.

it is just my opinion and why I like to troll and bend the rules because I don't see any reason for muting players or popping into chat with the (Mod) tag dishing out warnings other than to execute power over others.

it honestly reminds me of the Stanford experiment...

Edited on 28-07-2019 07:04
28-07-2019 08:00

What Calgor & Luther said, all the way. The time of mods has come to an end.
The mention of the Stanford experiment is chilling.

Edited on 28-07-2019 08:01
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28-07-2019 10:25

Hear is my 2p

I dont see the the point in having the Mod tag next to name that just indicates who is a mod, and gives players a chance to avoid different mods or take a personal dislike to specific players because they are doing there job. the way i see it just having red mod chat is better because it leaves the uncertainty to what mod is on and who has carried out the action.

i think a lot of players are forgetting the age rating of the game. its so easy to start a adult conversation in world chat but the mods have to stop the chat from braking the age rating.
Would you want your 7 year old kid seeing some of the chats what go on? there is clan chat or whispers what are not monitored where you can talk more freely.
I have world chat turned off because i dont want my children looking over and reading some of the comments in world chat.
28-07-2019 10:54

While I think moderators are still important to the game to enforce the rules, I have to say the anonymity doesn't have to be part of it.

In another game I play they have a page where they list all the staff: the coder, the admins, the supermod, the forum mod, the general moderators, the art team.
I won't say harassment never happens, they did share some cases of players being very disrespectful and downright insulting in tickets (without going in detail), but overall the community is rather respectful towards the moderator team. You can't tell me a game based around Pokémon is more mature with dealing with mods than this game is.
The mods in that game are just as much a part of the game as everyone else, but they enforce the rules. We can see who of the mods edited a post. They even have a public ModWatch where you can see what they have been doing (general things like 'deleted a thread', 'locked a thread', 'claimed a report', 'resolved a report', 'locked user12346', 'removed lock on user 45689', no specific details are given that would identify a player)
Their moderating is transparent and it creates a pleasant atmosphere.
Of course the moderators there have their own forum and they don't share any behind-the-scenes discussion about the game and future updates, and any reports are resolved between a player and a mod, the rest of the player base isn't informed about. Which is how it should be.

But this game could use a bit more transparency. If the player base is mature enough to handle it. We should be able to see chat rules be enforced by someone without getting angry over it.
Don't forget that people as young as 13 are allowed to play this game and the world chat should be PG-13 for that reason. Overall, mods are rather lenient in chat if you keep that in mind.
We can only be who we are, no more, no less
28-07-2019 11:25

fyi, i was talking about ingame chat moderation, stuff on the forum definitely needs to be moderated imo.

ingame, players can chose to opt out of a chat and/or to ignore players. this amount of self moderation is enough for most games, i don't see why it shouldn't be enough for syrnia. bans/mutes should happen only in extreme cases like spam/hatespeech etc. not for general trolling/BS.

but w/e man, it's how it is, there are tons of other games out there, just typing out the deranged crap my brain produces lol

Edited on 28-07-2019 11:41
28-07-2019 14:36

All I would like to say is that I saw a warning in chat 2 for a topic to be moved along and a mod that I will not name continued to voice what he/she had to say anyway. I just dont like to see that but I dont have anything to contribute to the topic.
28-07-2019 15:13

"Recent"? Hahaha
Dark Neroxus
28-07-2019 15:50

+1 Calgor I am all for a list of postilions with names. I know things are kept quiet for reasons but I believe moderation should be about being vocal and understanding with the community. how can the community be the same when they do not have the understanding there.

Edited on 29-07-2019 12:25
When a King holds up his Sceptre, it can be for many reasons, friends, justice but what holds that sceptre up is the strength he puts into his right hand!
28-07-2019 16:32

speaking of mutes was wondering if can we left unmute in clan chat unless youre muted something cauze of clan chat...
Dark Neroxus
28-07-2019 16:38

its very rare if ever you are muted for something in clan. and secondly no, a lot of people play with world off anyway, it aint much of a punishment if you can go back to clan chat and talk.
When a King holds up his Sceptre, it can be for many reasons, friends, justice but what holds that sceptre up is the strength he puts into his right hand!
29-07-2019 08:46

Maybe your first x number of mutes dont restrict you from clan chat and everything after that does? Thats fair I think.

Also, in response to the ‘being able to talk in chat 3 is not much of a punishment’ comment, in my opinion muting is hardly a punishment at all. If I want to keep talking ill just message someone and url them a free chatting website

Edit: Mutes are designed to stop people from speaking inappropriately in-front of our youthful audience. From what iv noticed clans who want to be able to speak freely dont recruit young players and clans who want to keep chat clean do- With that being said, seriously, why not not just mute them on every chat except the one they're not breaking the rules in?

Edited on 29-07-2019 08:47

Edited on 29-07-2019 09:00
29-07-2019 11:08

I am of the opinion that as soon as the general playerbase start banding together to decide on guidelines for how moderation is done, is the day that moderation fails. I don't think it's any of our business. If a player feels a personal grievance and thinks they were punished unfairly then they are free to open a ticket to argue their case and discuss it directly with the mods. To drag it into the open to start a witch hunt is the wrong way to do it and might lead to further punishment.
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Dark Neroxus
29-07-2019 12:23

^ This right here!
When a King holds up his Sceptre, it can be for many reasons, friends, justice but what holds that sceptre up is the strength he puts into his right hand!
29-07-2019 13:33

you know it's a game right lol
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