Forum Moderation and Trolling


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I've been a regular forum participant since 2011.

When I first started posting on the Paizo forums, I loved the general frendliness and openness of the Paizo online community. Many (most?) of the creative staff regularly engaged in the discussions. While things did get heated from time to time, the mods had a very good handle on keeping things civil.

Fast fowrard to now.

Over the past year or so, I've really seen a sharp increase in the overall negativity and amount of outright trolling on the boards. I think it really increased shortly after Liz Courts (the community coordinator) left Paizo for greener pastures. That left just one forum moderator. At the same time, Paizo creative staff seem to have pulled back significantly with engagement on the forums. I think that's a loss to the community, although I understand that creative staff have other priorities and need to kerp themselves safe and sane.

In the current climate, I really think that the forums need much firmer and more active moderation to keep things civil. While the forums were a big draw for me to play Pathfinder, I've heard many anecdotes that the current level of hostility on the Paizo forums is turning some people away.

With the imminent launch of Starfinder and the probable influx of new people to the Paizo boards, I really hope that Paizo will be able to increase the moderation. I know that they have said they don't want volunteer mods. Would it be posdible to hire a dedicated full-time moderator/forum administrator?

There are entire sections of the boards I now hide due to their toxicity. ("Rules" and "Advice" are at the top of that list.)

Moderation is a thankless and taxing job. I truly appreciate all the hard work done by the current team. It's a Herculean task, and I applaud you.

However, unless and until the moderation team can be strengthened and backfilled, I fear the forums will continue to lose utility and value to the community. And that would be a shame.

Thanks for your time to read this.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Funny, I've found the exact opposite. Paizo forums have gone long ways towards long-neglected actions such as eliminating sock puppet accounts, shutting down politics threads and keeping me in line.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I agree with both of you. :)

They've taken some great action in recent months (thanks, Chris and Sara Marie!) but I think there is still a different feel to the forums than "how it used to be".

Partly that's no doubt due to the community being bigger now than it was ten years ago but I do wonder if we've grown a bit complacent and allow ourselves to snipe at one another more than we used to.

It seems to me that the quality of the community is really up to its members. I think it's great if we respond to disagreement or conflict with other posters in a more measured way than we are sometimes prone to do (sometimes you even see people say things like "this is going to get deleted but...." and then escalate the issue. That clearly can't help and just makes more work for the community team).


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Can he do that?

Shadow Lodge

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Gorbacz wrote:
Funny, I've found the exact opposite. Paizo forums have gone long ways towards long-neglected actions such as eliminating sock puppet accounts, shutting down politics threads and keeping me in line.

The last being the most important.


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TOZ wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Funny, I've found the exact opposite. Paizo forums have gone long ways towards long-neglected actions such as eliminating sock puppet accounts, shutting down politics threads and keeping me in line.
The last being the most important.

And the most difficult. ;)


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Haladir wrote:

...

I think it really increased shortly after Liz Courts (the community coordinator) left Paizo for greener pastures.
...

I miss Liz. :(

That's not a comment on the current moderation team. I just miss Liz.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gisher wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Funny, I've found the exact opposite. Paizo forums have gone long ways towards long-neglected actions such as eliminating sock puppet accounts, shutting down politics threads and keeping me in line.
The last being the most important.
And the most difficult. ;)

It's not so hard. Throw out a few "Can I charge money for my Laori and Sorshen erotic fan fiction retelling of Cagney And Lacy" threads and let him feast until someone spills their drink nearby for him to absorb. :-)

Sovereign Court

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Greetings,

Since we are trading anecdotal experiences I dont know a single person who has an opinion on the Paizo forums community. It's impact on the hobby population at large might be a tad bit overestimated, IMO.

I think its better around here than in '09 when the E.war was raging like white iron. A few years after that, we had the LFQW conflict which has simmered, but occasionally flares up. Of course, this year we had an incendiary election season, which predictably caused a lot of headaches. (In my opinion, it simmered and was pretty contained, but I get the effort on Paizo's part is not worth it.)

The biggest change is the sad reduction in Paizo staff posting. I do miss reading staff post on myriad of topics. I will say I think they do a good job of moderating the site and dont think additional mod staff is necessary, but may be nice for Chris.

Clearly, YMMV.

Cheers.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I mostly agree with Pan.

I think we're potentially on the cusp of some positive changes here that have been brewing for some time. In the last year or so, some very incendiary posters have left or been removed. Banning political threads is probably overdue, considering the moderation workload.

I do miss hearing from some of the staff, but I have a feeling that if the community in general calms down, we might see more of their participation. Guys like James and Jason get far more grief, and far less credit, than they deserve around here.

-Skeld


There are just as many jerks back in "the good old days" and as there are now. What changed was a lot of the nice(or at least more polite) posters have left. That and the industry itself has changed along with how the company does things.

E.war? LFQW?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
There are just as many jerks back in "the good old days" and as there are now.

I do not agree. The number of jerks on these boards basically exploded with the start of the PFRPG open play test (to be fair, as did the number of forum participants). Probably the law of numbers, because in a small community where basically everyone knows everyone else, you might be more willing to give the benefit of the doubt as if talking to someone whose nick you might just have seen see for the very first time. Also, in a small comm, it's just easier for the moderational powers to extinguish a fire before it got out of control.

But that was a time way before 2011 and the events around the edition war and the introduction of PFRPG made me lose interest in these forums for quite a while, so I actually can't say for sure how the comm of 2011 compares to the comm of 2017.

Though I can imagine that discussions heated up quite a bit because we are all being influenced by the world around us, and in the last six years things certainly have heated up in the political and societal arena on a worldwide scale.


I think you guys are alright.

Actually I've seen other forums and I think this one is way better then any others I've seen.

Can't really speak about "the old days"

Scarab Sages

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Dragon78 wrote:

There are just as many jerks back in "the good old days" and as there are now. What changed was a lot of the nice(or at least more polite) posters have left. That and the industry itself has changed along with how the company does things.

E.war? LFQW?

Edition wars

Linear fighter / Quadratic wizard

Myself, I haven't noticed a particular increase in trollishness and these boards remain one of the most civil places on the Internet. Though I mostly just lurk, I do appreciate them quite a bit and read a lot on here.

One thing I've noticed is that over time particular commenters annoy me more, where I roll my eyes when so-and-so shows up and says exactly what I think they'll say. But I think that's something to do with the contempt of familiarity, not me being crankier or said posters being worse. It's like how your siblings annoy you more than anyone else in the world is all.


Newcomer here, mostly I read and post on Rules Forum.

The only times I ended up missing some Staff attention are on a few posts that are a back and forth about certain rules and I became more confused than before with no faq/official answer to rely on.

Some troll intended accounts and posts are even fun to read.

I also noticed that some users are more 'severe' when they answer something or quote people, but nothing to complain about. You can't force people to behave always like a polished exquisite gentleman everytime. But that's just my point of view of course.

Cheers everyone!


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I don't blame designers and developers for not posting more. They literally can't make a single post without being harangued and harassed for what they just posted regardless of the content or intent. It's usually just a matter of time until someone jumps in with a "this is why Paizo disappoints/angers/frustrates me" post directed at said designer.

The single best thread on this site (Ask James Jacobs Anything) is closed - without explanation - but it is easy enough to look through and see the number of posters taking delight in posting ridiculous comments and questions that ultimately destroyed a great resource for this community.

Community & Digital Content Director

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Removed a post. Constructive criticism of our own moderation policies are welcome. However, if that criticism is presented in a way that defames another online community, it can devolve into dog-piling onto the individual poster who makes the comment, or on that other community itself.

Additionally, our moderation staff very much acknowledges that politics are an important part of the lives of many of the folks in our community, even though we've recently made the decision to limit political discussion on our site. Please leave negative remarks about those who enjoyed those threads out of the conversation. Thanks!


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Haladir wrote:
In the current climate, I really think that the forums need much firmer and more active moderation to keep things civil. While the forums were a big draw for me to play Pathfinder, I've heard many anecdotes that the current level of hostility on the Paizo forums is turning some people away.

I'm one of those that has been turned away -- or at least limited my time here -- due to some of the hostility and just general levels of grar around here. As others have said, having developers post was nice, and having them continually berated and/or (as Brother Fen mentioned) the whole "disappointment" bit just grates on my nerves and reduces the benefits of logging in here to get any information and/or to be social.

I have hopes that, like most cycles, it will go back down to a tolerable level. I think the moderators do the best job they can to thread the line of keeping the peace without stifling conversation. Some days are harder than others, however, and there are elements of the community that are harder to moderate than others.


Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed a post.

Ugh, sorry.

In hindsight I shoulda known better. I have strong feelings about the ...website in question... but I should not have been specific in my reference.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
knightnday wrote:
As others have said, having developers post was nice, and having them continually berated and/or (as Brother Fen mentioned) the whole "disappointment" bit just grates on my nerves and reduces the benefits of logging in here to get any information and/or to be social.

I'm not saying you're wrong here. On the other hand what I've seen as the even bigger problem is that in the meantime you can't direct even the slightest amount of criticism against the work of the designers, no matter how constructive or how moderate it is without having certain parts of the community jumping at you and trying to belittle your opinion. We used to be more constructive than that I can easily see how that could help to escalate the issue.

I'm also not quite sure what's wrong that disappointment thing (can't rememmber what was in the original post bringing that up.

I know that I have been disappointed by some of the decisions Paizo made over the years. Sometimes it was amisunderstanding from my side and I would have never found out if I hadn't formulated my disappointment on that matter. Other times, I could at least understand the reasoning behind it even if I didn't agree with it. Again, I probably wouldn't have gotten the explanation without speaking out my bit.

I'll admit that I might only see a part of the picture, because I mostly refrain from any part of the forum that has something to do with the actual rules. I also know from my own experience in this business that your skin gets thinner over time, if you get constant flak for what you're doing, even for things you didn't even have a hand in.

Generally I'm with Vidmaster7 on this. Most of the time, it's quite peaceful and constructive here and I still see the officials post here and there, so I'm not even sure if they stopped posting because of the hostility level at the boards or if it is more that they have so much work to do shortly before the Starfinder Release.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It's also convention season. :-)

Outside of promoting stuff the creative staff is usually less active this time of year. :-)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Brother Fen wrote:

I don't blame designers and developers for not posting more. They literally can't make a single post without being harangued and harassed for what they just posted regardless of the content or intent. It's usually just a matter of time until someone jumps in with a "this is why Paizo disappoints/angers/frustrates me" post directed at said designer.

The single best thread on this site (Ask James Jacobs Anything) is closed - without explanation - but it is easy enough to look through and see the number of posters taking delight in posting ridiculous comments and questions that ultimately destroyed a great resource for this community.

Yeah, I can feel James. If I woke up to see one person spam 50 super-detailed questions phrased more as interrogation and less as genuine curiosity, I'd also give up on the matter.

And then there are all the "calling out something as 'stillborn fustercluck written by a brainless monkey' is valid, constructive criticism and I see no way how somebody could ever get upset about their work being called so, professional writers should take that in stride AND OMFG I'M BEING OPPRESSED BECAUSE ONE OF THOSE WRITERS SHOT BACK AT ME HELP HELP" people.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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I agree that more mods--or especially hiring a weekend mod/having a volunteer mod on weekends, as trolls know staff aren't around on weekends and actively exploit that--are a good idea. This really is something Paizo needs to examine/re-examine/continue to examine.

However, the community should also be expected to do our part. There's after all a handful of mods and a lot of us.

The community can help first of all by being positive. When someone says something you like, post vocal agreement and support for them--instead of always posting only when you disagree with someone or dislike what they say. When someone attacks another poster, don't reply to the attacker, reply to the attackee instead: say, "Hey, I thought what you said was cool." Emphasize the legitimacy of the good people, not the bad.

The community can also by help a considerable deal by trusting in the staff to do their job whenever they CAN appear to do it.

That means following their key advice: "flag and ignore."

While there are many fine persons here, several posters here are frankly too proud and not trusting enough of the mods to do this. They think THEY are the ones who will magically say the thing that will make a troll self-examine and never say a terrible thing ever again, ever. This is how the political threads were locked: not because of horrible trolls, but because of the people who wouldn't stop feeding them, and thus enabling the trolls to say more and more and more awful things. If the trolls hadn't been fed, I expect there's at least some small chance we'd still be allowed political discussion now. But the people who ruined that for everyone wasn't the trolls, it was the people who kept talking to them and thus legitimizing and encouraging their presence.

Trolls know they are saying terrible things. They KNOW. It is why they do it. They KNOW it will provoke a reaction. That is exactly what they want. Someone's pointing out what they are saying is terrible will not make them--EVER--suddenly realize this and stop. Because they already know. THEY KNOW. And they WANT TO BE BAD. It gets them off, and people getting vocally upset about it, by expressing all their silly castigations and actual facts, gets them off further. All the clever quips and information people bring to fight the trolls just makes them happier and makes them post more and more and more.

Sadly I know pointing this out will do nothing. As proof of the fact that nothing you say on the Internet will ever change behaviors, I know no one who likes feeding trolls will be convinced not to by what I have said here. They will continue to believe that they are right, that they have the magic powers to stop trolling forever if they JUST manage to say that one right thing. And oh how I wish they did have those magic powers! But I've never seen it work. Not ever. The only thing that makes a troll go away is ignoring them. Period. This is why the mods ask us to ignore them. But certain members of the community don't trust the mods to do their job, and ignore what they ask us to do, and so the problems continue.

It's not that I don't think people can change, but you need the right environment to have a kind of conversation that might inspire someone to self-examine. That environment will never, ever be the Internet, not even an--honestly--fairly cool place like this. Someone who shows up to intentionally say horrible things and get a kick out of pressing other people's buttons is not here to change. Most people who come to the internet to discuss things don't come here to change--they just come here to be right and have their existing beliefs affirmed. You want to have conversations that might be life-altering? You've got to go out to real life to do it. Sorry. It's the only way.

(Not to mention the old adage: "be the change that you want to see.")

As an aside and FWIW, I don't think things here are better or worse than they've ever been. If anything I'd say they're actually better (I remember how contentious things could get during the playtest nearly a decade ago). I'd largely stopped posting because of BS I was sick of, but it was because I was sick of it, not because it was new. The awesome people have always been here. So have the MiseryBrigades and the WrongBadFunBridgades. From my POV, the issue isn't new problems, it's just fatigue from the problems we've always had; it's kind of like a kink in the neck--you shrug it off at first but eventually you keep noticing it and it gets to you. And also FWIW these are problems most communities have--this IS actually a good community compared to a lot of Internet communities and people work hard to make it so. Still I think Internet communication itself is a fairly terrible form of communication so it's only ever going to be so good, and it's always going to have problems, unfortunately.

TL;DR: Be excellent to each other, and when people are not being excellent, trust the mods and do as they ask: flag and ignore. And don't be surprised when most people will do neither of these things, because it is more important to them to be right.


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DeathQuaker wrote:
TL;DR: Be excellent to each other, and when people are not being excellent, trust the mods and do as they ask: flag and ignore. And don't be surprised when most people will do neither of these things, because it is more important to them to be right.

DQ, I love you sugar (hope that doesn't sound condescending or offensive, it is meant as true admiration). I feel like your whole post is an extrapolation of any culture or society's moral expectations, and thus completely agree with you when you say, "Do this, but don't be surprised if nobody does this." It's a microcosmic look at basically all life.

Sovereign Court

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I gotta disagree that nothing of value comes from communication via the internet. I've learned a lot just from these forums about others different than I am. Things that would never have occurred to me. Important aspects of individuality and community. I have learned a lot about what I want out of TTRPGs from many discussions folks would probably brand as incendiary and trolling. I have learned how to report and ignore a blatant troll, and how to positively respond to postings that are negative in nature. Many of these discussions I probably never would have had due to both lack of exposure to different individuals, and the lack of moderate forums for those individuals to speak.

I feel like a better and more intelligent individual due to my interactions here on the forums. It never occurred to me to thank the contributors, but id like to do so now.

Thank you Paizo community, and Thank you Paizo staff.

-Pan


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I'll chime in with my own take.

I have to say, only a few years ago it wasn't all that odd for me to spend at least an hour a day(if not multiple) here posting and reading. In contrast to currently, where this is the first day I have even logged on and bothered to check Paizo in several days. While I think Paizo moderation has improved over the last year, I do think the change perhaps came too late. Many of the posters I enjoyed most reading from disappeared, playtests stopped, and staff largely disengaged from forum participation. Many of the forums I most enjoyed also dropped off in activity (activity on the Campaign Setting forum in particular seems to have diminished).

I don't think all of that is JUST moderation....I am sure the success of 5E has drawn off some folks for instance, and the maturity of the system and setting means many questions and points of speculation have been addressed.

Still I would say that the main thing that keeps me coming back to Paizo is a sense of community, and gradually over the last year that feeling has diminished.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also, social media are slowly and surely killing forums. It's only a matter of time before Paizo throws in the towel and follows the footsteps of Bioware and WotC.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
DeathQuaker wrote:
...As proof of the fact that nothing you say on the Internet will ever change behaviors, I know no one who likes feeding trolls will be convinced not to by what I have said here....

Your post is excellent as usual - the advice to flag and move on in particular and your reminder of the fact that trolls come because they enjoy the conflict so that arguing with them isn't going to get them to scale back their toxic behavior but rather spur them to continue.

Your advice to reply to the positive people is one of those great insights that is obvious now but that I wouldn't have thought to articulate. The reason I pulled the above fragment out of your post is to highlight that something positive can come even out of the overall negativity of forum grar. Like Pan, I've learned an awful lot from helpful and friendly people here - both about gaming but also about how to live on the internet.

So I guess although I agree that nothing you say on the internet is going to change toxic attitudes, I think there is still an upside from modelling good behavior and spelling out the issues when they come up. The trolls may not change their approach, but the rest of the community can benefit.

There are many fantastic paizo posters and the forums are a great opportunity to learn. I've definitely got better as a poster and a person by going back-and-forth with people I disagree with and sometimes that's included uncomfortable discussion about feeling 'under attack' or being dismissed. I've also had that realisation that the person I'm chatting with is really not interested in achieving anything other than to make me type "You are right. I was wrong."

I think the key is to identify (privately) who you consider is just here for conflict/reinforcement and who it's worth engaging with.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Also, social media are slowly and surely killing forums. It's only a matter of time before Paizo throws in the towel and follows the footsteps of Bioware and WotC.

Bring back printed forums, I say. What's wrong with nice, old fashioned "letters to the editor"?

Sovereign Court

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Gorbacz wrote:
Also, social media are slowly and surely killing forums. It's only a matter of time before Paizo throws in the towel and follows the footsteps of Bioware and WotC.

Man, I hope you are wrong, but I dont think you are :(


I have been gone on and off for a bit and not on as much as I used to but have noticed more I can tell which type of threads that get heated in a way I do not like and I just exit not worth the stress.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Pan wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Also, social media are slowly and surely killing forums. It's only a matter of time before Paizo throws in the towel and follows the footsteps of Bioware and WotC.
Man, I hope you are wrong, but I dont think you are :(

I hope I am not wrong. Forums are a throwback to Internet 1.0, clunky, difficult to use on mobile, anonymous (hence, an invitation to jerk around) and requiring the use of arcane formulas to bloody link anything.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Forums are essential to have a vibrant community. Killing your forums is killing your companies fan base.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I doubt it. And nothing says the company must run their own forums.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Forums are essential to have a vibrant community. Killing your forums is killing your companies fan base.

Wizards of the Coast disagree. 5E and MTG are doing great despite the lack of forums.

Forums, these days, are mostly places for vocal minorities of hyper-invested fans. Out of my 20+ players across 3 groups, exactly two have Paizo accounts and one of them reads the forum. On the other hand, pretty much everybody follows Paizo's Facebook page.


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I don't follow facebook, twitter, or any of that other garbage. If the forum dies here more then likely so would my interest to this company.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Forums are essential to have a vibrant community. Killing your forums is killing your companies fan base.

Wizards of the Coast disagree. 5E and MTG are doing great despite the lack of forums.

Forums, these days, are mostly places for vocal minorities of hyper-invested fans. Out of my 20+ players across 3 groups, exactly two have Paizo accounts and one of them reads the forum. On the other hand, pretty much everybody follows Paizo's Facebook page.

Yup GAMES WORKSHOP recently started up reaching out to thier fanbase again but I dont know if they've re-instated forums and they are doing fine. I mean the release of 8th Edition helps but still...

I also agree that if Paizo nuked thier forums they'd be just fine. There's a lot of toxic self-entitlement that goes on on forums and I think most of the people who are actually playing and enjoying the game are doing so without the benefit of the forums. You really see the toxicity during open playtests. There's no way these people would speak to the developers the way they do in real space as they do here.

Sovereign Court

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Gorbacz wrote:
Pan wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Also, social media are slowly and surely killing forums. It's only a matter of time before Paizo throws in the towel and follows the footsteps of Bioware and WotC.
Man, I hope you are wrong, but I dont think you are :(
I hope I am not wrong. Forums are a throwback to Internet 1.0, clunky, difficult to use on mobile, anonymous (hence, an invitation to jerk around) and requiring the use of arcane formulas to bloody link anything.

Maybe, though my experience with social media is just folks dropping ignorant one liners on each other and no real discussion.

Sovereign Court

Gorbacz wrote:
Pan wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Also, social media are slowly and surely killing forums. It's only a matter of time before Paizo throws in the towel and follows the footsteps of Bioware and WotC.
Man, I hope you are wrong, but I dont think you are :(
I hope I am not wrong. Forums are a throwback to Internet 1.0, clunky, difficult to use on mobile, anonymous (hence, an invitation to jerk around) and requiring the use of arcane formulas to bloody link anything.

Maybe, though I dont see the discussions forums provide on facebook and certainly not twitter. Though I agreed in my opening post that the customer base at large isnt effected by forums. Though I think there is a staunch difference between Paizo and their involvement and the other folks who are nuking their forums in favor of mobile friendly one liner services.


I agree Pan, that is my experience with social media as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Of course, getting rid of the forums won't decrease their workload, it'll just shift it to customer service as they get inundated with calls about orders, subscriptions and every time the website does something wonky or weird.

They might even have to hire a few extra people as it takes a lot longer to get through a phone call then type an answer on a forum. :-)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't do social media. The only account I even have is from google, and I have never posted on it, it just came with my gmail account. If the forums were closed, I would still play Pathfinder or Starfinder, but my spending would probably slow to a trickle, because I come here and get excited about new products that are coming out. Also, I would not participate in anything that did not allow the anonymity. There are very few people who can connect my 'real world' name and my alias here, and that is on purpose. I will never be a PFS Venture Officer because they are expected to have an alias with their real name. It's not a matter of freedom to say things without consequences, it's a matter of being a person who wants to keep my private life private.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

And anyone that thinks people won't be as rude or opinionated about Paizo or their products in person as they do in the forums has obviously not worked in American retail.

Americans can be just as ugly at home as they are abroad. :-)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:

Of course, getting rid of the forums won't decrease their workload, it'll just shift it to customer service as they get inundated with calls about orders, subscriptions and every time the website does something wonky or weird.

They might even have to hire a few extra people as it takes a lot longer to get through a phone call then type an answer on a forum. :-)

Simple solution - get rid of the phone, handle all customer communication via e-mail.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Pan wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Pan wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Also, social media are slowly and surely killing forums. It's only a matter of time before Paizo throws in the towel and follows the footsteps of Bioware and WotC.
Man, I hope you are wrong, but I dont think you are :(
I hope I am not wrong. Forums are a throwback to Internet 1.0, clunky, difficult to use on mobile, anonymous (hence, an invitation to jerk around) and requiring the use of arcane formulas to bloody link anything.

Maybe, though my experience with social media is just folks dropping ignorant one liners on each other and no real discussion.

my experience with social media varies and I'll include forums in that bunch. I nuked my Facebook account a year ago because it's pretty much the wild west and got to be pretty toxic.

I'm on twitter pretty frequently and find that the ability to straight up block toxic content and people makes my day. It's possible to have a conversation on Twitter but of course utilizing word econmony and getting your point across efficently is a skill.

As a result I find that I've made more freinds on Twitter in 4 - 5 years than I have here in little over 10. Twitter is also vastly more diverse than any aspect of the TTRPG community so that also helps. I guess my point is that there are some social media that works well for me and some that do not. I use a fair amount of social media (Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr) so I cant say it all sucks. I have been over the course of many years been on many TTRPG forums and for the most part they all have very similar crowds and dynamics which have worn thin for me. Paizo BY FAR has the most civil boards that I've been on though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Has any other company with something to sell done that.

Maybe you live in Futureland™ but a lot of people don't.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:

Has any other company with something to sell done that.

Maybe you live in Futureland™ but a lot of people don't.

There are many companies in the Futureland™ (sometimes known as Europe) which have done just that.

Sovereign Court

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Im not a member of the "end the forums and kiss my money goodbye" club. I just enjoy the format for both discussion of products and whatever else. I'd prefer not to go to the toilet of the internets to get product info, but seems like dems da breaks.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I rely on the forums to get a better idea of products before I buy them. I suppose I could simply rely on endzeitgiest reviews, but it really helps me to be able to look up errata and ask questions about how others play out a specific rule or theme.

I'm not an early adopter, so I'm often mining older threads and finding my questions were already answered.

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