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My opinion of this game has changed

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So something happened with one of he moderators roughly 36 hours ago.

I'm not going to go into detail or name names as its done now.

But it has changed the way I view the game and community as a whole.

And just to paint somewhat of a picture, I was given a 5 min kick from a team games lobby.

For those less in touch with emotion, you might laugh at me and call this silly. But I wear my heart of my sleeve and my amended review on steam goes into my reasoning behind being upset and it pretty much amounts to me realizing this is not the looked after community I thought It was before. If I could be made to feel the way I was made to feel - by a dev, someone who has made this game, I don't feel comfortable bringing my child into this community when he is of age as I previously wanted too or anyone else for that matter.

I doubt that It will get seen by anyone and I don't care anymore, I've had 24 hours to think about stuff and even gave the mod a chance to approach me to open conversation, instead they just lurked in the team games lobby as a spectator and did not make any contact.

I don't appreciate spending 1,000 + hours on this game and having a moderator ( also a dev ) make me feel terrible for not playing how he wanted me too just because I am playing in a team game and they were too busy focussing on what I was doing incorrectly.

It will never be the same again. It felt personal, very personal, and despite some of the community weighing in and being like " I understand how tumnus would feel" The admin carried on stone walling everyone with his opinion and god like status.
You ruined this game for me, you alone.

There are not many negative reviews on steam with this many hours played, so some may consider this a rare case for that reason I suppose.


MrTumnus
+11 / -1
6 months ago
We've had threads about moderator abuse in the past. First come the dismissive arguments, then come the low rank supporters that lurk on forum just to shut down any new ideas, and finally the thread gets locked and moved to asylum. History repeats itself. Godspeed.
+3 / -0
USranknop
6 months ago
The lack of apology is pretty bad leadership. Mod's attitude towards the whole thing has been overall dismissive.
+6 / -1
FIrankFFC
6 months ago
What did you do
+2 / -2
6 months ago
This particular mod action resulted in roughly 3 hours of discussion in the admin channel. The findings as according to the majority were that the action was consistent with our policies on team game moderation. Though I personally think that it would have been better to not take the action unilaterally and let others chime in with a poll kick, AUrankAdminAquanim believed that people were more upset by GBrankMrTumnus actions than they seemed to be post game and kicked GBrankMrTumnus post-game, thus giving him a 5 minute "you can't play" penalty. And regardless of of my personal opinion that the situation could have been handled more delicately, Aquanim was still acting within our guidelines of how to respond to the situation.

While I also personally think that the standard of play is a little too high for a room labelled "Teams All Welcome" we have had in-game kicks and bans for similar play to what GBrankMrTumnus did in this game. Being an admin requires you to enforce the standards laid out for the community, regardless of your feelings about particular ones, and if the team had voted to kick GBrankMrTumnus for that game no fault would have been found with them in this instance. If I had been called to look at the game afterward in that case, I would have been forced to conclude that the kick was acceptable. It is hard to justify an admin not being able to kick someone in a situation where a team would have been within their rights to kick that person, so it is a little hard in my opinion to argue this one.
+4 / -0
6 months ago
What the heck, you got banned?

You've spent 1,000+ hours on this game and you were temporarily banned for having a little fun? Only one word sums this situation up: toxic.

I happened to watch your game and I had no qualms whatsoever about you doing that boat thing, it was kinda inefficient but so what? There's a reason the lobsterpot is tagged "casual". As long as you weren't actively trying to make your team lose, you're good.

Situations like this, when a person is doing an off-meta strategy and disgruntled people belittle him for it, this drives people away from the community.

Please don't feel so bad GBrankMrTumnus, you're a fun guy to play with and this should have never happened, least of all to you. DM me if you wanna play some tonight, I assure you members of my clan are friendly people.
+2 / -3

6 months ago
Skrid, no one was banned. Not even for 5 mins.


I would suggest that having moderator guidelines discouraging taking action for behavior in a game the moderator was a part of could reduce the negative perceptions that this has generated. There's probably situations where this guideline doesn't need to be followed, but as a general rule it prevents the perception that a moderator can use their power for whatever they want. It may not be reasonable to ask for this since the moderation staff isn't large but I'd ask that it at least be considered
+2 / -2
USranknop
6 months ago
USrankAdminBakuhatsu your post describing mod deliberation behind closed doors comes off as hiding behind the CoC and policies.

What was the intended outcome of the modkick? Do you think it achieved this outcome?

It sounds like a conclusion was that there was an error in reading the team's attitude towards the player. Do you think there should be an apology for this error?

Do you (or anybody else) think if AUrankAdminAquanim had started a kick vote that it would have succeeded?
+6 / -0
6 months ago
> enforce the standards laid out FOR the community

This right here is the problem imho. It should not be the role of mods to actively try to police things so everyone behaves in some standard way. Mods exist to introduce new players and help build the community. Patch the game and keep servers alive.

For handling abuse we have other tools (like vote kick). Or we can build such tools. The community can handle it itself.

Maybe mods can have super powers to unstuck a server or something like that. Maybe they can also resolve cases where two players disagree with each other and neither is clearly in the wrong. Or plain over-the-line racial swearing in the chat, stuff like that. Anything past that is not the job of mods but of the community itself.

I think it all went wrong when we thought that we needed some mod police to enforce the CoC and vote kick was not enough.

ZeroK is the most over-moderated game I've ever played.
+2 / -7
quote:
USrankAdminBakuhatsu your post describing mod deliberation behind closed doors comes off as hiding behind the CoC and policies.

What was the intended outcome of the modkick? Do you think it achieved this outcome?

It sounds like a conclusion was that there was an error in reading the team's attitude towards the player. Do you think there should be an apology for this error?

Do you (or anybody else) think if AUrankAdminAquanim had started a kick vote that it would have succeeded?


Personally, I think of moderator work as being an entirely bureaucratic process. My entire job as an admin is to enforce the CoC and policies. How can I hide behind them? I did my best to explain both the overall conclusion of both the moderator team in response to the incident as well as my own personal beliefs where they may differ from the moderator team's as a whole.

I would assume that the intention of the modkick was to show that the play involved in the game was considered negligent of the goal of trying to win the game, but I would leave that question to AUrankAdminAquanim to answer. I would leave the second question to GBrankMrTumnus.

I don't have a position as to whether an apology should be given over potentially misreading the team's level of annoyance with GBrankMrTumnus. That is a AUrankAdminGoogleFrog issue. That being the case I am not sure that it matters whether Aquanim misread the team's annoyance level or not because GBrankMrTumnus was playing in a way that justified the kick, anyway.

In hindsight, I would give such a poll a 50%ish chance of passing. Before Aquanim did the kick, I would have expected a higher chance of it passing.

As an aside, I am not sure about you but personally I've only ever been in one community that didn't have its administration discussion behind closed doors, so I'm confused why this is brought up as though it's something sinister or strange?




quote:
> enforce the standards laid out FOR the community

This right here is the problem imho. It should not be the role of mods to actively try to police things so everyone behaves in some standard way. Mods exist to introduce new players and help build the community. Patch the game and keep servers alive.

For handling abuse we have other tools (like vote kick). Or we can build such tools. The community can handle it itself.

Maybe mods can have super powers to unstuck a server or something like that. Maybe they can also resolve cases where two players disagree with each other and neither is clearly in the wrong. Or plain over-the-line racial swearing in the chat, stuff like that. Anything past that is not the job of mods but of the community itself.

I think it all went wrong when we thought that we needed some mod police to enforce the CoC and vote kick was not enough.

ZeroK is the most over-moderated game I've ever played.


I am just going to allow AUrankAdminGoogleFrog to address why this is not a position.
+2 / -0
quote:
Personally, I think of moderator work as being an entirely bureaucratic process. My entire job as an admin is to enforce the CoC and policies. How can I hide behind them? I did my best to explain both the overall conclusion of both the moderator team in response to the incident as well as my own personal beliefs where they may differ from the moderator team's as a whole.


USrankAdminBakuhatsu I appreciate your time addressing the community.

quote:
I would assume that the intention of the modkick was to show that the play involved in the game was considered negligent of the goal of trying to win the game, but I would leave that question to AUrankAdminAquanim to answer. I would leave the second question to GBrankMrTumnus.


I think it is odd that the moderation team discussed this for three hours and you don't know the intention behind the modaction. Maybe this indicates that the goals of the bureaucracy are unclear, or that the process doesn't include answering this seemingly important question?

Seeing as GBrankMrTumnus started this thread I don't think the assumed intended outcome is what happened.

quote:
In hindsight, I would give such a poll a 50%ish chance of passing. Before Aquanim did the kick, I would have expected a higher chance of it passing.


Have you played ZK with GBrankMrTumnus before? What is your impression of his character? Has he ever demonstrated behavior you would consider malicious or purposefully negligent?
+1 / -0
6 months ago
I mean I know what Aquanim said, but I'm not in his head so I can't tell you what he thought as he was doing it. What Aquanim said was that the kick was "for playing ships on akilon despite repeated requests not to do so, then contributing absolutely fucking nothing the entire game".

I might have played a 1vs1 with GBrankMrTumnus before, but I have played something like 4 team games in the 3 years I've been playing Zero-K and don't remember anyone who was in any of those games :P Tumnus isn't accused of deliberately negligent play but play that is disrespectful to his teammates (and negligent here implies no intentionality).
+1 / -0
USranknop
6 months ago
From where I'm sitting it seems like the bureaucracy has produced an unfavorable outcome by performing an unwanted action, checked all the boxes, done all the paperwork, dusted off their hands and called it a day. It's like watching a Dilbert cartoon unfold in real life.

Have there been any reports about GBrankMrTumnus play that we are not aware of?

Do you think it is ok for a mod to unilaterally kick a player out of anger? Because based on AUrankAdminAquanim description it sounds like that's what happened.
+3 / -0
USranknop
6 months ago
quote:
As an aside, I am not sure about you but personally I've only ever been in one community that didn't have its administration discussion behind closed doors, so I'm confused why this is brought up as though it's something sinister or strange?


I don't think it's sinister or strange, I think it's negligent. If even a few minutes of those three hours had been spent reaching out to GBrankMrTumnus this thread would probably not be here.
+2 / -0
6 months ago
Since you were there when the event happened, I know you are aware that Aquanim spent quite a bit of time in #zk discussing the kick with everyone. It is partially during that time period that discussion between admins was taking place. I made some attempts to communicate at the time as well but no one was really listening :P We also need GoogleFrog to participate for any discussion to have meaning and he is usually not around until around midnight my time, so that makes things difficult.

I will leave this to GoogleFrog for now, that was a lot of words from me for today and I don't know that I can tell you the things you want to hear now.
+1 / -0
6 months ago
quote:
Personally, I think of moderator work as being an entirely bureaucratic process. My entire job as an admin is to enforce the CoC and policies.


If that's the case, then the COC has a problem and needs to be fixed, since it's pissing innocent players off.

quote:
ZeroK is the most over-moderated game I've ever played.


This exactly.
+2 / -2
I know from previous threads that everyone here has read the CoC, so lets get right into it. The most relevant part of the TLDR is:
quote:
Play in a way that is respectful to your team.

Essentially, it is a team game. Most people put some level of time and effort into their team winning the game, and expect their teammates to respect this effort by putting in some effort themselves. This is simply something the moderators have noticed about public team games in this community. It's an impression built up by years of threads, reports, conversations, and drama. We shouldn't be surprised by this since many other online games appear to have a similar standard.

To come at it another way, a player who is the kind of teammates that many people actively do not want on their team is a problem, regardless of the cause. There are obvious issues, such as fighting or drama within a team, but the more insidious issue is that of people spectating rather than playing just to avoid a particular teammate. The overall result is that the agreeable people filter out until the community is comprised of abrasive/disrespectful people and a few agreeable people with particularly thick skin. This is especially bad for attracting new players but is also not the type of community I want to participate in. Besides, in my experience there are more agreeable people than abrasive people, so going the "nice community" route is better for the size of the community.

This sounds like a slippery slope argument, but from my experience it accurately describes a lot of the internet. In short, communities tend towards toxicity unless moderated.

To move on to specifics, here is the game in question: Multiplayer B1230627 14 on Akilon Wastelands ZK v1

The minimum standard of play is really quite low, and attitude plays a big part in it. Remember, we're not making up an arbitrary standard of play, we're trying to learn what the average player will accept from their teammates and moderate to that level. Being responsive and communicative while pursuing a weird strategy is much more likely to make your team happy with it. Saying the following in response to explicit requests to not make ships is the opposite:
quote:
MrTumnus added point: THEY WILL NOT HARM ME


Here is what happened in the game. A few members of the team asked GBrankMrTumnus to not go ships. His only response was the marker quoted above. He then makes Mariner, takes and grids some safe mexes, makes some turrets that are countered, and spams Hunter to deal with lobbed Halberd. By the end he has 1% of the team's value killed, and by that point in time it is unclear if it is deliberate.

The team is essentially down a player, and with his rank and experience in a 7v7 the game is very hard for the rest of the team. The pregame communication shows that enough players on the team didn't want this to happen, and the response from GBrankMrTumnus gave those players little hope of being able to talk about it. This falls under playing in a way that disrespects the team.

The communication here is vital. If GBrankMrTumnus had said "Can I try ship tricks" and the team responded with "sure", or even no response in such an edge case as this, then the team would have accepted the strategy. As it is, members of the team predicted what would happen, requested to not play the resulting game, and had that request denied. Such a request has weight because players have the right to play without their efforts being invalidated by a teammate screwing around. Again, this isn't a right arbitrarily imposed on the community. Many players demand this right to some extent, so it was put in the CoC enforced.

The moderator response was a kick from the room once the game ended. This has a duration of five minutes, so at worst it causes the recipient to miss the next game. I empathise with the OP though, as any penalty stings, and feedback about behaviour is hard to take on at the best of times. This possibly should have been a formal warning rather than a post-game kick, but I wasn't there and things are always clearer in hindsight. I don't know what everyone knew or was thinking, or the state of the battle room post-game. I don't know what was said or done in previous games that day. I can say that the kick was made with the intent to curb a behaviour that the moderators agree is an issue, and not with the intent to bully or abuse. Situations can always be handled better, but we're in agreement that it is the type of situation that should see some sort of moderation.

So GBrankMrTumnus, I apologise to the extent that a kick rather than a warning affected you, with the hindsight from the discussion in #zk. I think this case was an outlier but we will try to err a bit more on the side of warnings.

quote:
I doubt that It will get seen by anyone and I don't care anymore, I've had 24 hours to think about stuff and even gave the mod a chance to approach me to open conversation, instead they just lurked in the team games lobby as a spectator and did not make any contact.

I was not aware that you needed further conversation. You had a long discussion in #zk shortly after the event and seemed to go back to playing as usual. As far as I'm aware most of what I have said was covered there, but I am writing this in case it wasn't an also as a resource for the future.

In general, the moderators do not have the time to spend hours on publicly discussing every minor penalty over multiple days in multiple channels. This is even covered by the CoC.
quote:
5. Respect Moderator Actions
Moderator arbitration is intended to resolve disputes, not prolong them; as such, we expect you to respect and abide by their decisions...

I would be concerned by patterns in moderation rather than individual cases. If you thought the community was almost entirely kick-free before, then it is still almost entirely kick-free. And yes, obviously people have "gotten away with" worse without any penalty. Moderation is always going to be spotty and base on judgement calls in a grey area such as this. Success looks like people complaining about over-moderation and under-moderation at the same time, not an absence of complaints. The situation would be improved by more reports and more active moderators.

Finally to the elephants in the room. GBrankmrdetonation, USrankSkrid, GBrankFumica (and possibly USranknop), you pile in to every thread like this. I don't know if we have a fundamental disagreement about the goals of moderation or if you just have a barrow to push. As far as I can tell, we've already talked about everything you have to say. I am not going to respond to you at this time because I have learnt it is a waste of time. Please stop blowing everything out of proportion.
+16 / -2
quote:
Being responsive and communicative while pursuing a weird strategy is much more likely to make your team happy with it.

There is one point I would like to emphasise and clarify here. The Code of Conduct says in section 3.2:

quote:
Understand that not everyone on your team will be willing or able to communicate and cooperate to the same degree; have patience with them and do your best even so.

This section of the Code of Conduct is based on the idea that, all other things being equal, we should assume that other players of the game are acting in good faith.

However, if somebody is deliberately pursuing a weird and self-aggrandizing strategy like launching bombs with Newtons, rushing a Paladin, or building ships on a land map, that gives your teammates (and the moderators) reason to think that you might not be acting in good faith.

This leads us to the following conclusion:
If you are pursuing a weird strategy such as the above, you have more responsibility than you would under normal circumstances to "coordinate with your teammates and to work for the mutual success of the whole team", as per Section 3.1 of the CoC.

--

USrankNiarteloc
quote:
I would suggest that having moderator guidelines discouraging taking action for behavior in a game the moderator was a part of could reduce the negative perceptions that this has generated.
...
It may not be reasonable to ask for this since the moderation staff isn't large but I'd ask that it at least be considered.

This is already a guideline, though in practice for the reason you have outlined it is not always practical (especially in off-peak hours or lulls in moderator availability).
+1 / -0
USranknop
6 months ago
AUrankAdminGoogleFrog I appreciate your response and commitment to having a good community. It's a worthy goal.

quote:
To come at it another way, a player who is the kind of teammates that many people actively do not want on their team is a problem, regardless of the cause. There are obvious issues, such as fighting or drama within a team, but the more insidious issue is that of people spectating rather than playing just to avoid a particular teammate. The overall result is that the agreeable people filter out until the community is comprised of abrasive/disrespectful people and a few agreeable people with particularly thick skin. This is especially bad for attracting new players but is also not the type of community I want to participate in. Besides, in my experience there are more agreeable people than abrasive people, so going the "nice community" route is better for the size of the community.


I agree with all of this, but having played games with GBrankMrTumnus all week I can say that he is one of the agreeable and nice people, not one of the abrasive ones. This is also the only modaction I've seen personally all week. I've also seen bad/uncooperative play by players who are also abrasive not get kicked all week. That's why I'm here.

If AUrankAdminAquanim is allowed to kick teammates out of frustration, I'm allowed to post about it on the forums out of frustration. Doesn't that seem fair?
+1 / -0


6 months ago
The paragraph you quote is about why moderation actions are applied to behaviour of this type. If we agree that
  • this behaviour should be moderated, and
  • GBrankMrTumnus behaved this way in the game,
then I think we agree on the most important aspects of the situation. The remaining disagreement will about precisely how bad the behaviour was, what sort of minor moderator actions should have been applied, and context. To some extent we have to leave that up to moderator judgement, otherwise nothing will get done. I have to be able to trust the moderators to be well calibrated to the community standards so that, if they come across sufficiently frustrating behaviour, they can hand out a warning or minor penalty.

It is really a problem of information. I would love for GBrankMrTumnus to be as agreeable as you say, it would make this penalty a one-off thing. I have not seen him enough to tell though, and this type of thing is rarely reported even though similar behaviour clearly frustrates players. So we're left with relying on memory and judgement.

The big thing you can do to help is to submit reports. You say
quote:
This is also the only modaction I've seen personally all week. I've also seen bad/uncooperative play by players who are also abrasive not get kicked all week. That's why I'm here.

but from what I recall you haven't made any reports in the last week. Uneven moderation is a result of players not submitting reports for behaviour they would clearly (judging by their interactions) rather not occur. More reports means more even application of warnings to nudge people in a nice direction. More reports also improves the correlation of reports to agreeableness, which reduces the size of the judgement calls required by moderators to be effective.
+4 / -1
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