one thing that has become very clear since I originally posted this is that Hammertop does not think the edited version of his comment actually states his case.
I am a bit confused by this as I didn’t change his words (although I removed many) and felt that my summaries of the removed portions were accurate. I still feel that way.
But nonetheless, I don’t have to understand why Hammertop disagrees with my version of his comment, it is so regardless, even if he hasn’t attempted to explain which parts or why.
So when you read this, bear that in mind.
[edit again – a busy day today indeed] Hammertop appears to be a Vaultie named Factor. Playing a very long
con troll. My apologies for unintentionally giving him/her(?) a soapboax.
Last week, while discussing all of the many resources and websites available to the DDO player, I touched on Turbine’s DDO forums as well as the “alternate” forum, the not-in-any-way-Turbine endorsed DDO Vault. It is a topic that seems to draw an emotional response: the people who love the forums really love them, and even more so for those who love the Vault.
The topic is still drawing comments, including a very long and seemingly heartfelt missive from one of the DDO forum’s most long and seemingly heartfelt posters, Hammertop, who turns out to be named Darren. Hi Darren! And thank you for the time you spent writing all that!
Some of Darren’s comment violated my sense of what is appropriate for this site in that it contained a sustained series of personal attacks. I’ve edited Darren’s post, lightly but thoroughly, in the effort to present his topic fully but without the personal attack. Editing is marked with square brackets . Hopefully the editing will not be detractive, but either way it had to be done: I encourage opinions of all kinds, even those that vehemently disagree with me. But you need to stop short of personal attacks, I will remove those every time.
Enough with the chatter. Let’s see what Hammertop had to say:
Geoff, It’s terribly disappointing to read that wrote such a slanted article regarding 3rd party forums, a wasted opportunity.
[Darren feels that Turbine’s moderation encourages favoritism on the DDO forums]
Nearly free reign has been given to several very high profile posters on the DDO forums, and these individuals will preemptively attack and belittle any new players or posters who ask questions in good faith.
[Darren goes on to describe how there is a clique of people who are blindingly pro-Turbine and stifle other viewpoints]
[Darren feels that there may even be an intent by Turbine to encourage this cliquishness]
Now before you try to discount me as someone who was banned and just has sour grapes, I’m not. I have been playing for 4 years, and only began posting on the forums in the past few months, and I am still “not banned” but not for lack of trying.
My forum name is Hammertop, I’m right there on the forums, and I have been subjected to over 180 ToS breaking attacks/trolls/insults in just the past month. While I have been active I have had to spend more and more time trying to craft my posts so carefully just to avoid a infraction but at the same time refusing to [be silenced]. The correspondence I have had to compile and constantly refer to with Turbine to avoid a ban is enormous and ridiculous, scratch that, it’s absurd. I have had to endure the kind of abuse that has seen scores of my new guildmates, and Khyber players just toss the game and leave.
It’s a vicious cycle, start playing the game, fall in love, want to know more, start researching, begin mastering content, look forward to updates, look for updates, then post questions about content and updates, be ridiculed for start date, try to ask more questions, be ridiculed for post count, defend you questions, be accused of being a sock, defend and invite Turbine to vet account, be trolled, become exasperated and post, be infracted, become more exasperated, Be trolled by the same 5-6 posters over multiple threads, waste time reporting dozens of posts for harassment, get trolled even harder by the very posters you reported for abuse, try to defend yourself calmly, be called passive aggressive and holier than thou, watch your mates get even more abuse, see them baited, see them banned, [edited], defend yourself, get trolled, get infracted, and eventually give up.
You have to put up with all that, just to support a game you have found and fallen in love with, all that abuse because you are new, all that abuse because you don’t agree with the attack dogs.
None of this is a secret, it is acted out daily week after week and it drives new players and posters like me and my friends away again and again. But you didn’t even mention it, not one word, instead you attacked the vault and [Darren here mentioned his disappointment that the article did not label Turbine moderation policy in a manner that agrees with his experience and opinion].
Well for the record, the vault is a pack of juvenile half-wits more interested in cheating than actually playing the game, I find very little useful information there, and most time spent there is wasted trying to figure out all the stupid inside jokes. But as obnoxious as they are you miss the point, they are powerless, all they can do is make noise in their tiny little sandbox, a sandbox easily avoided.
[Here Darren defends the way that the Vault population makes constant personal attacks versus Turbine employees]
[Here he makes an ironic statement about the effectiveness of those personal attacks]
Anyone objective, who took a few hours to read the DDO forums in a detached manner can see that, and when it was time for you to write this article you should have done that. Instead you produced some puff piece that [Darren continues to express his displeasure with the state of the DDO forums and Turbine policy]. You ignore the alienation of the new players and posters.
Who do you want to help? the game or your apparent friend Cordovan?
In closing I have avoided using other posters name here to avoid giving you a excuse to delete my comments, or engage in the type of public shaming I and my friends have been subjected to on the forums.
But if you would like to have them. or if you are thinking about trying to dismiss my facts and experience [with Turbine moderation policy], let me assure you that I have all the names, the incidents, archived versions of removed threads, and the extensive and surreal correspondence I have had to have with Turbine since I began posting just a few months ago.
Being able to have access to Turbine and report and support the game as you do is not just a privilege, it is also a responsibility, a responsibility to the game and it’s community. And right now the community and the game are in danger, danger of chasing away all the new players and posters who will replace the players who eventually leave, we are the future of the game, we will be the ones who pay for content and fill pug LFM’s.
[Darren references the cliquishness of some on the forums combined with Turbine moderation] run the risk of chasing us off and strangling the game if they continue as they have. So now you have to choose whether you will help them do that, or really be a fan of the game instead.
Whew, that is a lot!
I continue to be amazed that so many people subscribe to a theory that Turbine, or a specific Turbine employee, or some combination of the above, is out to get them, or executing some kind of hidden agenda, or for sure doing something sinister even if no one is certain exactly what.
Let’s fact-check some things here, and see if I can add some bullet points of common sense to this thorny topic.
- Fact: Everyone at Turbine is very busy. The kind of detailed moderation you want is very time-consuming; it took me an hour to properly edit this one post! If I was facing a thread full of dozens of such posts it would take all day. No way Jose.
- Fact: Everyone at Turbine is in favor of players, and especially, having as many as possible. In other words, they like paychecks.
- Fact: The forums are not a court of law: skirting the rules and playing rules-lawyer with the terms of service is not going to result in a win.
- Fact: In that vein, there is no “win” in the forums in any case. Does it matter if six people all post in your thread that they disagree with you? Does the world improve if you find a way to get them infracted? No.
- Fact: The forums are a Turbine PR activity. Even something that is perfectly crafted and perfectly within the ToS is going to attract moderator agro if it flies in the face of their PR efforts.
- Fact: You have mistaken DDOGamer for a site of privilege and responsibility, rather than one of useless inanity and drivel. Someone needs to introduce you to the tripe vendor.
- Opinion: No one has said anything like this to me or inferred it, or even hinted, but if I was moderating and I had to choose between people that were being nice to me and people that were being unpleasant, it would hard to avoid an accidental bias towards the nice ones
Less bullet pointy but still true, all of us have made mistakes. One of your comments that I had to edit mentioned the “tin-foil hat crowd” comment that Cordovan once made on a Twitch broadcast, and I agree that was a poorly-chosen statement. I would also mention the tone-deafness that Cordovan and Tolero projected over the Wayfinder bridge protest while on DDOCast that week.
Okay. Two mistakes. I’m sure there are more. On the other hand, I am also sure that there are more than two mistakes in this article. And in your comment.
I am running out of time for today which is a shame, I still have a lot to say. So I will summarize by saying that you and I are not as far apart as it may seem to you, although we differ greatly in presentation. As evidence, I would like to include a quote from the original DDOGamer article:
But it is not all unicorns and rainbows. The forums are not a free-speech zone; they are a corporate PR activity, and are kept scrubbed of detritus that detracts from the corporate message. There are topics that one cannot even mention without undergoing some form of discipline. For instance, the DDO Vault, which we will discuss in a moment.
A bigger issue with the forums is the way that opinions coalesce into groupthink and stifle many forms of input. Every internet posting site attracts people who rage about anything with which they disagree, and the forums are no exception. Many issues attract one cluster in favor and/or another in opposition, and it is common for posts to be drowned out by the back and forth of the various cliques and factions, to the point where the original post becomes irrelevant. Even developer posts which are intended to gather original ideas and input.
Also, as I pointed out in one of the comments on that article, I too am in favor of changing forum moderation. I favor open moderation, with everything right out there in public for all to see. In fact I’ve written about this, more than once. Hidden moderation encourages speculation and conspiracy theories. Public moderation has drawbacks too but at least everyone really knows what is going on, and to whom.
Thank you again Hammertop for such lengthy thought-through input, and for giving me a serious topic for today’s article instead of the fluffy polls I was going to inflict on everyone to get input on my latest character build.
Just for the record, it took me two hours to moderate and properly respond to this one comment, and even that wasn’t really enough, I had to cut myself short. Still, two hours! That means something, in and of itself.
🙂 😀 🙂