Goblinworks Blog: I Heard It through the Grapevine


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Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

I think D&D was popular because it was a fun game you could play with your friends more then any specific content to be fair.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

baalbamoth wrote:
{bloodlust}

Actually, I think PFO will be better off if you aren't a member of the community. I don't need graphic violence and sexual content to enjoy a game- and I have specific outlets for when I do want graphic violence and sexual content.

Goblin Squad Member

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baalbamoth wrote:
"KEEP GAMING EVIL!"

What's in a name?

I stopped reading after seeing you named yourself after Baal, but was intrigued by Decius's reply so I went back and read your whole post.

baalbamoth wrote:
Because unlike previous generations where people developed this weird mutation called "thick skin" and could handle some brash language and racial slurs, today's generation cant seem to hear anything offensive without quivering in a corner rolled up in the fetal position, begging for their mommy to call the cops and an attorney.

First, I expect Blaeringr to come by any minute and quote the Emperor: "Good. Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you."

Second, I'm curious to which "previous generations" you're referring. Would that be the generation in which men fought a duel because one called the other a "puppy"?

Goblin Squad Member

baalbamoth wrote:

When I read the blog post about language... I was annoyed, just one more freedom ripped away, why?

Has nothing to do with freedom of speech... GW's House - GW's Rules. Just like when you come into my House you respect my rules or you're invited to leave. That's called "property rights".

I support your right to say whatever you want in your own home or in the public arena, no matter how offensive. Once you enter some-one elses home or establishment that goes out to door.

P.S. There is a huge difference between how you aught to be allowed to behave and how you aught to behave.

Goblin Squad Member

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@baalbamoth - in previous generations, if you acted like an a##&+#&, I could punch you in the face. As many times as necessary.

How do I replicate that in an MMO?

Goblin Squad Member

Morgen wrote:
I think D&D was popular because it was a fun game you could play with your friends more then any specific content to be fair.

I disagree, in large part, because there are thousands of games you can play with your friends.

When I want to play DnD with friends, I don't want to play Scrabble, and I don't want to play Stars Wars DnD, nor do I want to play generic DnD, I want to play DnD in a cool setting that brings to mind all of those cool fantasy books found in the original Appendix N. What does that for me now? The Pathfinder setting.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

@baalbamoth - in previous generations, if you acted like an a~~+!@+, I could punch you in the face. As many times as necessary.

How do I replicate that in an MMO?

USB shock helmet that requires active brain activity to keep you logged into the game, and reacts to the /punchFace command.

Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:
USB shock helmet that requires active brain activity to keep you logged into the game, and reacts to the /punchFace command.

We often joke about putting electric shock or spring-loaded spikes on our users' chairs...

Goblin Squad Member

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GrumpyMel wrote:
Has nothing to do with freedom of speech... GW's House - GW's Rules. Just like when you come into my House you respect my rules or you're invited to leave. That's called "property rights".

Agreed - the latest post is spelling out the table rules for all of us. And since there will be 100s of people at the table, and some of them will be kids or women, one table rule will be "don't be a jerk with what you say."

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

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While i agree with most of what the blog said about the community Goblinworks looks to foster, there is one thing that leaves me feeling a little sore - the "no appeal, no reconsideration" bit. There is a reason why we don't generally execute people for parking violations.

The blog talks about measured responses, but the very next sentence talks about "you'll be booted for without appeal" for not only the most common violations, but also some that really don't seem too severe to me.

Imagine you lost some PvP fight. Some important fight, maybe burning down the settlement you build for months on end. In your frustration, you write "Company XYZ really f...ed us up here", and you are "booted without appeal" for the sexual reference? Seems like severe overkill to me. For something like that, on first offense, maybe reminder or at most a day off. If you used the r... word, maybe something a little more drastic.

I certainly hope Goblinworks does not actually turn out as draconian as they claim to be. Otherwise I'll imagine there will be a lot of players booted from the game who'd otherwise have contributed to it. Especially given that the more engaged you are, the more time you spend in the game, the more chances you have to slip up one time.

Goblin Squad Member

@TerraNova - Dropping the F-bomb due to a frustrating loss doesn't equal the type of "sexual reference" i believe GW will react strongly to. Think more along the lines of abusive sexual innuendo and misogyny as the type of thing that'll bring down the Banhammer.

Although they've not stated explicitly, I seriously doubt the process of oiling up and delivering said Banhammer isn't going to involve at least one set of real eyes, and probably several. Also, we're talking about public channels, perhaps analogous to City-wide, Hex-wide, Trade chat, etc. If you're in a chat channel devoted to only your company, and you type in some f-bombs in context of a frustrated loss (and not in reference to another person, action, or so on) I seriously doubt you'll hear a 2nd word on the matter, provided your Co doesn't have a problem with it (intra-company reporting as an issue).

Now, that said, calling someone a racial slur, implying any sort of sexual act, or laying down some hate-speech is very very likely to earn someone a 3 day vacation.

Just my 2 cents on the matter of "draconian" enforcement.

Goblin Squad Member

GW doesn't want to explicitly spell out how they are actually going to enforce their rules. Otherwise people will game them. Rather they're giving us guideline for us to follow, in the hope that we'll err on the side of caution. At this early stage we need to have faith that they'll enforce their rules appropriately.

I also feel that the rules apply to comments directed to the person behind the avatar. I seriously doubt you'll get in trouble for calling an elf a panty mouthed fairy, if its part of good RP. This also is my 2 cent on how this will be doubt with.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

TerraNova wrote:


Imagine you lost some PvP fight. Some important fight, maybe burning down the settlement you build for months on end. In your frustration, you write "Company XYZ really f...ed us up here", and you are "booted without appeal" for the sexual reference? Seems like severe overkill to me. For something like that, on first offense, maybe reminder or at most a day off. If you used the r... word, maybe something a little more drastic.
Goblinworks blog wrote:

We'll have a multistep process for bad communications. You'll be warned, suspended, and/or banned depending on the frequency, the severity, and the situation of the infraction. But there are some things you'll be booted for without appeal.

* Don't use racial slurs.
* Don't use gender slurs.
* Don't use sexual preference slurs.
* Don't use religious slurs.
* Don't threaten anyone.
* Don't compare anyone to any person or group of historical infamy.
* Don't talk about bodily fluids, functions, or make reference to sex or sex acts.

I'm not going to make example lists of what should and should not be covered under the last point, but if I have to look it up in The Urban Dictionary it probably qualifies. I suspect that it is intentionally vague, to avoid people trying to argue "I wasn't technically talking about a sexual act, I was talking about a scatological act."

I also love the idea of "Come down the the office, let Ryan and the mod staff punch you in the face as hard as they want to, and then you can have any type of ban removed." I don't think such a policy would ever be implemented, but it's nice to dream.

Goblin Squad Member

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I know it's not a democracy, but I vote for the Ryan Dancey punches the offending douche bag in the face alternative to banning.

Goblin Squad Member

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You want to avoid getting banned for smack talk that goes a little off the rails?

Be awesome as a part of our community. Build good will with Goblinworks and your fellow players. Make it obvious that you're having a bad day, and that it's an anomoly not a pattern of behavior.

That's how societies work.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
First, I expect Blaeringr to come by any minute and quote the Emperor: "Good. Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you."

I really want to comment on this, but I'm so sleepy right now. Just imagine a witty, evil sounding comment from me in response.


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I wanted to talk about the subtleties of managing an world spanning online community. I got compared to a pedophile at a BBQ, and generally treated like an idiot.

At the other end of the spectrum, baalbamoth brought up the same thing, though in a far more antagonistic way for sure, but the response from the CEO of Goblinworks was to threaten him with bodily harm and an insult, breaking one of his very own rules I might add. Followed by others encouraged by this behavior, pontificating on additional tortures that he "deserved".

Insult and derision has been encouraged against anyone not in complete agreement on this subject.

I can't possibly fathom how you intend to manage an MMO when your forum already has a toxic environment.

This isn't a company I can trust to be reasonable, to see more than one side of a debate, or even hold themselves to the same standard they hold others. I said I was only going to lurk, but I feel I have more than enough information to make an informed decision, and I will not be playing this game, nor will I advise others to. In fact unless things change I will be doing the opposite. As much as you look down on me personally that isn't a good thing for a niche game, in a bloated genre, that's expecting players to be the content.

Goblin Squad Member

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@Forlarren - I think you proved my point. Again.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

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I love sandboxes. Giving rise to so many professions the developers probably didn't even see coming. Rarely have I seen such a good setup for the "Agent Provocateur" profession ;) Can't beat them in a straight fight? Rile them up with barely-acceptable harassment until they f-bomb themselves out of the game.

Don't discount this, I've seen it happen in a MUSH, and I bet if Eve online was stricter, it would be a very common and highly profitable profession there, too.

Generally, I think most MMO communities are caustic, and love the idea that something is being done. About what is being done, I am less sanguine, though. Strict speech codes lead (to me, at least) to not speaking in public. That leads to less community, not more.

One huge step into the right direction would be to split that list, and apply the "tiered response" talked about earlier, instead of going the route of "generally, you're dead - but we might spare you, if you were good X times before"


@Morgan- D&D had that satanic element in the MM, those slightly too sexy drawings in the deities and demigods, as well as some pretty gory scenes in the mods. D&D was evil, and churches banned the game... which of course just lead to more young people wanting to play it. Honestly if D&D was just fluffy dragons and pillow fights I dont think it would have become more popular than monopoly.

@CEO dancy- This generation came up with a much better way of dealing with the issue than punching somebody in the face.

It's called an ignore button. Amazingly it tells the person they are being ignored (slight sting of emotional pain and notification that they should change their ways.)and you never have to punch somebody in the face a second or third time, or deal with assualt charges if the wuss wants to file.

An even more amazing invention is called "content options" where if you dont want to see blood, or hear obsenities, you can turn off the adult or mature content! (even AOC had this)this has also proven to be useful to the gaming company in that now, you need less secrete evil spies waiting with raised banhammers to read what people are posting in general chat.

The people who are paying you for your game will even have a better time playing as they are now more in control of the game itself, and dont have to worry if they said something not so PC in a time of severe frustration.

who knows, you might even be able to design a feature I havent seen... like an auto-ignore feature you can activate which ignores anyone who ever used racial slurs or any other words that offend your sensitive ears.

but the bottom line here... why do you want to create a strict set of rules and stiff penalties for people who want to pay you money, when its much more easy (not to mention profitable) to put the responsibilty and control in the hands of the players themselves?

@Forlarren- his point being that he'd rather loose 20% of his potential profits via negitive reviews before alpha than having "jerks" like us paying for and playing his game?

@grumpymel- yes but when you sign a lease agreement and accept money from somebody IRL, it can take months or years to kick somebody out of your house for using language you dont like... renters have rights too, and even if you violate your lease, you can make an appeal to a court.

@Nihimon- the duel info was neat, though the duel was caused more by a dissagrement over voting rights than a puppy comment... voting rights are something that I think are worth dueling over...

and its kind of funny that in a sandbox game where the players are adding content and entertainment... they are also being told they can be banned for almost no reason and have 0 rights, and no right to an appeal regardless of how much they may have paid or contributed to that community... anything sould a bit off about that to you?

And the name is Baalbamoth, yes its one of the names of the devil but the exact translation is: "lord of high places" (heh) and has often been used by conspiracy nuts to biblically explain UFO's and their connections to the antichrist IE. satanic flying saucers :-)

Goblin Squad Member

@Baalbamoth - Now it's YOUR turn to prove my point. This is AWESOME!


Right, dont take this as a chance to address issues of player control vs. dev control.

I guess I was expecting a stoic professional diplomatic "recognize the difference of our viewpoints..." posting or something along those lines, something I would expect from a respected CEO, instead I get "I know you are but what am I.. neener neener neener!"

Pathfinder Online, created FOR 13 yr olds, BY people with the mentality of 13 yr olds.

done.

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

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Yeah seeing the Actual Co of the company acting a bit like a 5 year old is not filling me with confidence in this.

Goblin Squad Member

@Baal & Kevin: Just mellow a bit. Take a step back (not outside!) ;). Take the longer picture: We are very fortunate to have a CEO spend time interacting and in a level to level manner at times, not exclusively a parent-child* interaction 100% of the time to everyone regarding dissemination of information and/or status.

Because your reaction just has the effect of asking for that to be the status quo... Please, no. I find the discussion to be very interesting and we can always express ourselves willing to agree to disagree on certain points, instead of take entrenched positions and say, "The problem is - there is no solution!":D

TerraNova wrote:
One huge step into the right direction would be to split that list, and apply the "tiered response" talked about earlier, instead of going the route of "generally, you're dead - but we might spare you, if you were good X times before"

I referee and actually use this even though the rules don't codify this! There's plenty of fuzzy space to allow this to influence a decision I find and allow a player to be penalized but not "punished" (huge part is the intention). Conversely a cheater, gets their "credit" completely removed for a long, long, long time indeed. :)

*(that's technical definition to be clear)

Goblin Squad Member

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I very much get the impression that this game is not intended to be a money grab. They're trying to efficiently created the game they personally would want to play. They're of course getting feedback and a little direction from the community, but losing a few customers isn't going to tempt them into spoiling the vision they have for their creation.

Goblin Squad Member

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TerraNova wrote:
Rile them up with barely-acceptable harassment until they f-bomb themselves out of the game.

This is exactly why they can't have bright line rules. They need the flexibility to be able to use their own judgment to determine who is provoking whom.

Goblin Squad Member

I love getting trolled by Goons. You are Goons, right?

Goblin Squad Member

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@Forlarren - I don't see any threats. Ryan simply stated what he could do in times past and asked how he could replicate it in an MMO. Valkenr and Nihimon offering alternatives, while I suggested that players have the option to opt out of a perma-ban by having Ryan punch them in the face for real. Face punching is PG rated by the way.

@Baalbamoth - There was nothing satannic about DND. It was Occult. Yeah, our moms tried the whole church ban thing and got pwned by the priest the called to the house. He told them it was nothing more than math and problem-solving. The citied the "pictures of devils", he responded with, "oh like the stained glass windows we have at the church?" RIP Father Joe.

But seriously, this is the best shot in a long time that we have of bringing something tangible into the world. Hasbro and Co aren't gonna do it... and if they did, it wouldn't be up to your "standards" and they would have just enough foresight to see six months down the line to the first expansion and their next cash cow.

GW has a vision. It's their vision. It's their IP. IP holders have rights... you know like renters? Consumers have rights too. Buy it or not... in sure the license agreement will be published before hand. GW has already outlined something that will take around two years to work towards and see high end rewards. Two years. No company does that. No one with a "money, money, money" mindset makes an MMO and says he guys, you won't see end-gameish till two years from now. They don't want WoW bunnies or AOC cronies.

They want players who want to create something great with them. Positive influences to make the game interesting for all involved. No game, save EvE, has done that on such an epic scale. Who was a major force behind EvE? Ryan. Oh by the way, he was also behind OGL, which if you know anything about DND... it's pretty much the reason we are on this forum having this conversation. Pathfinder would have been a much harder product to make if people like Reynolds, Cook, and Dancey hadn't been there to develop 3rd and put that license in place. Why do you think Hasbro scrapped it for 4th? Oh and Lisa Stevens? Ever heard of Vampire the Masquerade? Yeah, she was one of the people behind that.

These people know what they are doing. Granted, Ryan and I only agree like 40% of the time, but I respect their judgement... and in the end it's their game and they don't HAVE to be this open with their game. Look up World of Darkness... see how much player input they are taking over there... uh none. Unless somethings changed in the last few weeks.

No matter what Ryan does... he's damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't. For enduring that to make a product for all of us, a appreciate him enough to not be condescending and respect his judgement. Maybe you should too?

Goblin Squad Member

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Oh, and by the way? The tactic of saying someone said something that's blatantly false (or at least a wild exaggeration or clearly out of context), then complaining about that false post as being unfair/hurtful/dodging/etc, then commenting that someone in authority shouldn't post things like that, then commenting about how shocked one is about such a post? Seen that before.

So, just to be clear: My point is that if you give people a rule about what is or isn't permitted in social interaction, some folks will treat that as a license to act out in harmful ways right up to the very edge of that line, and if they go over a bit to plead ignorance/passion/misimpression/etc. They will game the system, feeling that the rule protects THEM, not the community, from harm.

No rule? Arbitrary enforcement? Playing favorites for people with good reputations and social credibility? That makes it hard and not fun to jerk people's chains for the lulz, and even removes the post-ban 3rd party forum whines about unfairness and developer misconduct, and how one's rights have been violated, etc.

Pathfinder Online will be judged on its actual community tenor, not its theoretical limits. And I'm very confident that it will be graded highly by the kind of people interested in a healthy, reasonably non-toxic, mutually respectful, vibrant society we want as customers.

Goblin Squad Member

@Obakararuir - It's incumbent on me after your really nice post just to clarify that I got to CCP at the tail end of 2007, after the game had been out for 4 years and 7 years after they started developing it. I wish I could claim credit for helping it to the success it reached before I got there, but that wouldn't be fair.

I did work, every day, with the people who built that success. And I asked them constantly about what they had done, seen, planned, and dreamed about while doing it, some feel I have a lot of good insights about what actually happened, and that knowledge informs everything we're doing now.

Goblin Squad Member

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Ryan Dancey wrote:
You are Goons, right?

Made my day!

Ryan Dancey wrote:

... feeling that the rule protects THEM, not the community...

... forum whines about... how one's rights have been violated...

I simply can't think of a fitting punctuation to this, but it is profoundly perfect in the way it strikes the truth.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Forlarren wrote:

I wanted to talk about the subtleties of managing an world spanning online community. I got compared to a pedophile at a BBQ, and generally treated like an idiot.

At the other end of the spectrum, baalbamoth brought up the same thing, though in a far more antagonistic way for sure, but the response from the CEO of Goblinworks was to threaten him with bodily harm and an insult, breaking one of his very own rules I might add. Followed by others encouraged by this behavior, pontificating on additional tortures that he "deserved".

Insult and derision has been encouraged against anyone not in complete agreement on this subject.

I can't possibly fathom how you intend to manage an MMO when your forum already has a toxic environment.

This isn't a company I can trust to be reasonable, to see more than one side of a debate, or even hold themselves to the same standard they hold others. I said I was only going to lurk, but I feel I have more than enough information to make an informed decision, and I will not be playing this game, nor will I advise others to. In fact unless things change I will be doing the opposite. As much as you look down on me personally that isn't a good thing for a niche game, in a bloated genre, that's expecting players to be the content.

This is not something that it is reasonable to have significantly different opinions on. As much as you want a solid line that you can walk right up to and 'not cross' with no fear of disciplinary or corrective action, that's not how the real world works. Note that ridiculing players for their choices isn't on the insta-ban list. That's because it is not always unacceptable, in the way that comparing them to groups of historical infamy is always unacceptable.


* Don't compare anyone to any person or group of historical infamy.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
You are Goons, right?

/facepalm

Goblin Squad Member

@Ryan - Oh I fully understand you weren't behind development, but you've been around the RPG business scene for long enough to where you made significant contributions to the furthering of the game.... hence "A" major force not "the" major force.

Ryan Dancey can predict the future.

This is proof. "...One of my fundamental arguments is that by pursuing the Open Gaming concept, Wizards can establish a clear policy on what it will, and will not allow people to do with its copyrighted materials. Just that alone should spur a huge surge in independent content creation that will feed into the D&D network." - Ryan Dancey, 28 FEB 2002

Here we are... 10 years later. So Baalbamoth, Forlarren, Kevin Mack... take a step back and take a deep breathe. Realize that the guy at the head of this ship has done more for the RPG industry than arguably anyone else on these boards. Couple that with his sharp business mind, "fans" of "D&D" are closer to the melding of MMOs inspired by D&D than ever before with Pathfinder Online.

Before this, the closest thing was NWN2... and that was a ways off the mark. DDO was even more removed. DNDNext is very much focused on clearing the cobwebs from the power punch known as Pathfinder. Pathfinder is proof of one man's vision and that man is in charge of making Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson's dream, the game just about all of us grew up on, more a reality than ever before.

I think we're in good hands. I still don't think there should be portals for teleport... but I trust Ryan and the GW team to make the right calls when push comes to shove in-game. They want this as much as we do.

/soapbox off

Goblin Squad Member

Forlarren wrote:

* Don't compare anyone to any person or group of historical infamy.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
You are Goons, right?
/facepalm

/feign shock

Oh wait... what "Goons" are persons of historical infamy? Just googled, Goons... no Taliban, AlQaeda, Wahabis, Takafiri, IRA, Vietcong, Nazi's, Mongols, KKK.

So I'm assuming you just /facepalmed due to your inference that Ryan just violated one of his own rules. If this is the case, please elaborate or /facepalm yourself repeatedly until you have sense.

Goblin Squad Member

Forlarren wrote:

* Don't compare anyone to any person or group of historical infamy.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
You are Goons, right?
/facepalm

The cops told me to put my hands up, but they aren't putting their hands up! This is so UNFAIR!

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

No rule? Arbitrary enforcement? Playing favorites for people with good reputations and social credibility? That makes it hard and not fun to jerk people's chains for the lulz, and even removes the post-ban 3rd party forum whines about unfairness and developer misconduct, and how one's rights have been violated, etc.

Pathfinder Online will be judged on its actual community tenor, not its theoretical limits. And I'm very confident that it will be graded highly by the kind of people interested in a healthy, reasonably non-toxic, mutually respectful, vibrant society we want as customers.

I certainly hope you succeed here. You have a lot more experience building online communities than me, that is for certain ;) Still, benevolent dictatorship (and that is the take-home message from the elaborations on the blog to me) just sits wrong with me. I realize it is the de facto standard, but just because something is common, I need not like it.

I would really prefer to have some guidelines beyond "we might permakill your character for any four-letter vocabulary, but maybe we won't." However, if that is not in the cards, I feel you're losing a chance, but certainly can't stop you - and probably shouldn't be able to, either.

Goblin Squad Member

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TerraNova wrote:
I certainly hope you succeed here. You have a lot more experience building online communities than me, that is for certain ;) Still, benevolent dictatorship (and that is the take-home message from the elaborations on the blog to me) just sits wrong with me. I realize it is the de facto standard, but just because something is common, I need not like it.

So wait...do you really expect a business in a capitalist society to run itself "democratically" in the sense that it will let its customers have a representative say in everything? There's no way for any company to stay in business except to be run as a, as you put it, "benevolent dictatorship".

Although frankly, it is quite clear your understanding of political systems is very flawed: it doesn't work like that to just transfer terms across from politics to economics. The only way for a business to be a dictatorship is for them to have the power to force you to buy their product. Making outrageous comments like that really undermines the credibility of any point you're trying to make.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

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Blaeringr wrote:

So wait...do you really expect a business in a capitalist society to run itself "democratically" in the sense that it will let its customers have a representative say in everything? There's no way for any company to stay in business except to be run as a, as you put it, "benevolent dictatorship".

Although frankly, it is quite clear your understanding of political systems is very flawed: it doesn't work like that to just transfer terms across from politics to economics. The only way for a business to be a dictatorship is for them to have the power to force you to buy their product. Making outrageous comments like that really undermines the credibility of any point you're trying to make.

I expect little ;) I would have preferred this particular business to choose to impose upon itself a set of rules in their interactions with potentially troublesome customers. In essence, a code of conduct they hold themselves to. As it happens, this is not at all an uncommon thing for a company to do.

As for the term "benevolent dictatorship", it is (as I suspect you well know!) a shorthand for "trying to achieve the best overall result for their constituency by means of arbitrary and unaccountable case-by-case decisions without an overarching body of rules to govern their behavior". While the latter description might be a micron more accurate, its also over 10 times longer.

Goblin Squad Member

They have laid out rules though. Their point, which is what it appears to seem that you are trying to make some kind of vague, poorly worded point against, is that they want to be as flexible as they need to with those rules.

But even if they did not have any rules they were holding themselves to, as you so very falsely claim, that still doesn't make them a dictatorship because you are not being forced to play their game.

What they've stated here is no different than you'd expect to see from any business. If you want to make some kind of point, let's begin with that: explain how you believe any other business out there is any different. All businesses have their own rules. Some choose to follow them rigidly, some not. But the key there is that it's always up to the business itself how rigidly it does so. You want to make your point? Cite one example that does not choose how rigidly it follows its own internal rules.

Goblin Squad Member

I still think people are taking the openness of the product design for granted. They could not tell us anything, and we just deal with what the end-product is.

@TerraNova - "We might permakill your character for any four letter vocabulary, but maybe we won't" is a distortion of what was actually said. You people should really learn to read... and yes, I just said you people. Now for the third time, I will quote what was actually said. Just so you know, like two other people have quoted it too.

From the blog wrote:

We'll have a multistep process for bad communications. You'll be warned, suspended, and/or banned depending on the frequency, the severity, and the situation of the infraction. But there are some things you'll be booted for without appeal.

* Don't use racial slurs.
* Don't use gender slurs.
* Don't use sexual preference slurs.
* Don't use religious slurs.
* Don't threaten anyone.
* Don't compare anyone to any person or group of historical infamy.
* Don't talk about bodily fluids, functions, or make reference to sex or sex acts.

Imagine that. Guidelines... in black and white even. So, you know at the very beginning of this post... the link that looked something like Goblinworks Blog: I Heard It through the Grapevine? Click it, read it, and you too will understand.

This actually makes me think of a very real situation in which Ryan's "landmine logic" has worked and has been working for over 50 years. The Korean DMZ. There is only one place that you can walk right up to that line, that's the JSA, and daring to cross it is suicide. For the rest 160 miles, there is an area 2.2 miles wide that if you wander into, you are fair game for either side. There are plenty of landmines there, too.

And he is exactly right. That one location where we can walk right up to the line and look right directly into the eyes of Communists who want to kill you is a tourist attraction for US Soldiers. You want to see how close you can get. But when that line is in the middle of landmine riddled brush and people can shoot at you while you try and cross... very, very, very few people attempt it. Even fewer survive. A testament to it's efficiency.


Obakararuir wrote:
This actually makes me think of a very real situation in which Ryan's "landmine logic" has worked and has been working for over 50 years. The Korean DMZ. There is only one place that you can walk right up to that line, that's the JSA, and daring to cross it is suicide. For the rest 160 miles, there is an area 2.2 miles wide that if you wander into, you are fair game for either side. There are plenty of landmines there, too.

So this game will be as fun as taking a stroll though he Korean DMZ, the only place quantifiably worse than North Korea on the entire planet. With friends like you who needs enemies?

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Forlarren wrote:

* Don't compare anyone to any person or group of historical infamy.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
You are Goons, right?
/facepalm

I'll take that as a yes, then.

We both know EXACTLY what is intended by that rule, and I'm going to call you out on DELIBERATELY misinterpreting it. That, by the way, is a good illustration of why you won't have well-defined rules: They cannot be exactly describe the behavior that is prohibited, even when they are complicated enough to be unreadable. If they can be read so as describe any behavior which is appropriate, then the trolls/griefers (treifers) will point out how the rule is relaxed in those cases; if it is well-defined enough so as to make appropriate actions well-defined, then the (treifers)will find a pattern of behavior which falls within the protected lines but is abusive, and hide behind the rules in that manner.

If the rulewriters try to combat the treifers with better rules, then it becomes a game of who can write rules that cannot be misread vs. who can misread the rules better. The only people who win that game are those who like to play it- typically not the rulemakers and not the players as a whole.

In other words, the more well-defined the rules are, the more 'fun' it is for fewer people. If you have some other motivation for wanting well-defined rules that you can have a lawyer say you didn't break, let us know.

Goblin Squad Member

Forlarren wrote:
So this game will be as fun as taking a stroll though he Korean DMZ. With friends like you who needs enemies?

Only if you approach the game with the intention of pushing the boundaries as far as you can.

If you haven't pushed the boundaries far enough though, my associates and I may very well be getting contracts with your name on it, so you can think of us as a kind of buffer zone: when you're getting assassinated more than once a day, you might take that as an indication that you're getting too close to a perma ban.

We'll be keeping our ear close to the community and asking other companies for their internal blacklists. If you've got a bad reputation, don't expect to be able to hire our services too easily, and it would also mean your name is likely on our discount list.

Goblin Squad Member

Forlarren wrote:
Obakararuir wrote:
This actually makes me think of a very real situation in which Ryan's "landmine logic" has worked and has been working for over 50 years. The Korean DMZ. There is only one place that you can walk right up to that line, that's the JSA, and daring to cross it is suicide. For the rest 160 miles, there is an area 2.2 miles wide that if you wander into, you are fair game for either side. There are plenty of landmines there, too.
So this game will be as fun as taking a stroll though he Korean DMZ. With friends like you who needs enemies?

With intelligence like yours, who needs ignorance? Allow me to quote myself.

Obakararuir wrote:
But when that line is in the middle of landmine riddled brush and people can shoot at you while you try and cross... very, very, very few people attempt it. Even fewer survive. A testament to it's efficiency.

The conversation... in case you haven't been following and have just been spitting random words out that seemed like a good bandwagon to jump on... is in regards to how effective Mr. Dancey's policy would be. A policy's efficiency is what we are discussing here, not how fun the game will be. Please do try and keep up... I tend to make short work of those who don't.

Goblin Squad Member

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, I took that non-denial as admission to being a Goon as well. Unsurprising given the m.o.

You want to make a name for yourself on Something Awful? Troll a forum. If you get the denizens riled up, that's a win. If you get the mods riled up, that's sweet, sweet tears of rage you brag about. You get an owner riled up? It's as good as counting coup! Put that trophy on the wall and brag about it forever!

I'm not much fun for Goons.

@TerraNova - We'll be very open to a dialog with the community. We'll likely even have some sort of community body that forms in some sort of official advisory capacity. We're not running a dictatorship, we're running a dictocracy. That's where everyone has a fair chance to make their point and vote on a direction, then I decide what to do. If I thought I could create from whole cloth a functioning, healthy society all by myself by fiat I'd be delusional. It takes community effort and community involvement to make a society work.

I always think it's interesting when people focus on the worst case scenario. "What if I accidentally type "F#~% you"?!?!?!?! I'll get banned without appeal and lose everything!"

Come on guys. We're not idiots here. Nobody wants to ban anyone. Nobody at Goblinworks has the time or the inclination to go looking for one-off derp derp and go through the immense hassle of banning an account. It's the Nuclear Option. We use it when there's no other good course of action.

Let's focus on the best-case scenario:

People who actually do want to rile others up just for the lulz are kept to a minimum, and the community views that behavior as so aberrant that it self-policies to a large degree the kids trying to be cynical/tough/ironic/sarcastic/hip/cool who just don't know any better, and acts like the body's immune system when it's someone who is actually interested in pouring gasoline on the place and burning it down just to watch it burn - identifying them quickly, bringing attention to them swiftly, and being happy to be well rid of them when they're forcibly removed from the premises.

The quality of community thus engendered attracts a great audience of folks who have been looking for that kind of community attached to a fantasy sandbox, and have been turned off by the toxic, degenerate, schoolyard bullies that seem to populate all the others. That's a positive feedback loop as the healthy nature of our community becomes a feature of the product, used by evangelists to recruit their friends.

Societies tend follow the ground rules laid down at their inceptions. They build momentum. Barring major disaster or a significant change to the environment, societal patterns tend to reinforce themselves. If you have good patterns from the start, you tend to get a good development long term. If you have unhealthy patterns at the start, you fight the tide forever trying to fix the problem.

Just look at the difference here, on the Paizo forums, which have been well groomed from the start to engender a healthy society, and compare them to what you find on other RPG discussion forums. This isn't rocket science. The days when all this had to be figured out by black-boxing the community or operating on conventional wisdom and guesswork are long over. There's tried and true practices for managing great on line communities, and we're just going to use them.

RyanD

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

Obakararuir wrote:

I still think people are taking the openness of the product design for granted. They could not tell us anything, and we just deal with what the end-product is.

The process is not open as a special favor for us, or because we're super nice people. Its open because Goblinworks believes that early customer feedback will improve the end products chances of earning back the investments. This is what we do here. Provide feedback about a decision we feel will be detrimental to the final product.

Obakararuir wrote:


@TerraNova - "We might permakill your character for any four letter vocabulary, but maybe we won't" is a distortion of what was actually said. You people should really learn to read... and yes, I just said you people. Now for the third time, I will quote what was actually said. Just so you know, like two other people have quoted it too.

Alright, lets go over the blog part, once more. In detail.

From the blog wrote:
We'll have a multistep process for bad communications. You'll be warned, suspended, and/or banned depending on the frequency, the severity, and the situation of the infraction.

Translation: "We'll be reasonable about things that we feel should not occur in Pathfinder online public channels..."

From the blog wrote:


But there are some things you'll be booted for without appeal.

Translation: ... but some things we feel about strongly enough to not give you a second look, or a chance to explain your actions. We'll just delete your account.

From the blog wrote:


* Don't use racial slurs.
* Don't use gender slurs.
* Don't use sexual preference slurs.
* Don't use religious slurs.
* Don't threaten anyone.

If relating to real-world groups, and not applicable to "You fight light an elf-girl, Grognir. Show them your manhood, or I swear you'll suckle on Iori the eunuchs cold teat like you always wanted to", I'm not going to raise much of a stink if any of these result in some kind of response - but not necessarily a chopping block ban.

From the blog wrote:


* Don't compare anyone to any person or group of historical infamy.
* Don't talk about bodily fluids, functions, or make reference to sex or sex acts.

And here comes the really sticky part. "I went full Attila on them" is, by a strict reading, a statement worthy of an instant, irrecovable booting. As is "You piss on everything you used to stand for, FallenPaladin918." This is what prompted my request for clarification. I'll deal with the result after your next statement.

Obakararuir wrote:


Imagine that. Guidelines... in black and white even. So, you know at the very beginning of this post... the link that looked something like Goblinworks Blog: I Heard It through the Grapevine? Click it, read it, and you too will understand.

I have read it, several times because I was dumbfounded by the rigidity and vicious, uncompromising tone. To me it read like something typed after a flamewar that dragged down some well-beloved community. This is why I asked for clarification. The answer i received was along the lines of "well, if it suits us, we'll play favorites, because society works that way."

I respect GW's right to govern their own house as they see fit. I just find this approach disheartening, and wish they would reconsider.

Sovereign Court Goblin Squad Member

Ryan, thank you for your post. I hope you admit that the "nuclear option" kind of came across as par of the course, though.

I am very pleased to see some kind of advisory body being considered - I think the CSM did some very good things for eve (which despite my better knowledge I still keep coming back to...)

As for managing communities, I am maybe a burnt child of too many being destroyed either by lack of oversight (death by fire), or too much oversight (death by freezing solid). The middle path is hard to find, and "don't be a jerk" is a rule this forum seems to be able to follow to a good degree - but barring a few exceptions this forum is filled with intelligent people who deserve the benefit of doubt. Something, I'm sad to say, I've yet to find in an online game. Hence my request for a more open and tiered moderation policy than "we'll figure something out."


DeciusBrutus wrote:
I'll take that as a yes, then.

@ DeciusBrutus

You and the rest of the fanboys have taken every statement to date not wildly praising Ryan Dancey's greatness, however it pleased you, before you even bother to read them. So feel free to take my words and mangle them beyond all reason and propriety.

I have already been compared to a pedophile at a BBQ, repeatedly accused of not reading the blog post like I am some kind of illiterate, had words put into my mouth, and my opinions made up whole cloth, while Ryan Dancey fuels the fires. What's the worst that can happen? You going to take my birthday away?

@ Ryan's Toadies

I have had everything from my integrity to my experience questioned without cause. Every mean spirited post by Ryan is followed by a small hoard of me toos, piling it on with hyperbole and insults.

The guidelines become rules and vise versa as it suits your argument, moving the goalposts.

How can you even make statements like:

Obakararuir wrote:
Guidelines... in black and white even.

It's literally an oxymoron. This is a guy that thinks others haven't read the blog post, or that we are too stupid to understand.

And yet I'm suppose to be OK with being told I hate women because I'm not one and something is going to be done about it?! That's why we have vague/landmine/guidelines/rules/grey area/black and white/trustworthy/unexpected whatever I lost count.

Ryan you have become a bully, you encourage hate from your fans against anyone you disagree with. You push away anyone that disagrees leaving only those that will never tell you when you are doing wrong. The few that try to speak out are drowned in misrepresentation and bullying from your fan club creating a clear us vs them dichotomy. And your "I think you proved my point." is about as mature as Pee-wee Herman's "I know you are but what am I?" Instead of communicating, or even agreeing to disagree, or even politely disagreeing, you have gone out of your way to insult and dismiss any opinion not yours. Are you trying to make enemies? Do you want people to hate you? Do you want bad press?

At this point I am hoping you don't pull down Paizo and Pathfinders name down with this project. This is what happened to MC Chris when he got a little to big for his Pee Pants. He believed he was combating bullying also, became the bully himself. That's already happening here.

Edit: Now I'm a goon apparently... next I'' be communist, then probably an anarchist, and finally you will hit the bottom of the barrel and start making 4chan accusations. Because anyone that dares have another opinion or maybe even experience is obviously part of some conspiracy to destroy your community. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with your actions. I've been around since before the endless September, I have seen more than my fair share of mods, imms, owners and masters make the same mistakes over and over.

First I tried to contribute, you picked a fight. Then I tried to reconcile, then you insulted me. Your driving away perfectly reasonable potential customers in your refusal to listen. I don't need a crystal ball to tell me this future.

Goblin Squad Member

Is this blog topic still an issue? I thought we had it settled days ago.

GW's house. GW's rules.

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