What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

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DaloLorn
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by DaloLorn »

There is, I feel, also a certain attitude of hostility - a self-perpetuating cycle of fear, anger and hate - that permeates a disturbing proportion of our interactions. Fear of the other's motives leads to OOC disagreements. One disagreement increases the likelihood of another. And before you know it, these disagreements lead to hatred and/or exclusion of the other side, all the while making you more afraid of their every action.

Left unchecked, these fears and disagreements can then be projected to anyone, to anything. Perhaps the new player isn't as new as they claim, but instead intends to pursue their personal vendetta under a new name. Perhaps the person you've known over a year was only trying to earn your trust so as to better plant the metaphorical knife in your back. Step by step, whatever caution might once have been used in determining who or what you exclude from your overall openness, is retooled to identify what you may include in an increasingly narrow world. And when everything foreign is excluded, all that remains is the familiar: That which you had long ago branded as acceptable. But can it stand the test of time, or will it wither and die as real life draws your carefully-chosen peers away from you, or changes them until you no longer accept them?

I have experienced this before. I have done it myself, and suffered the consequences. (Heck, way back in SWTOR, I was the not-so-new player sneaking into a community that hated me... though with the arguably better motive of showcasing my growth. It failed miserably. :lol:) And while my vision may be clouded, or my mind jumping to conclusions, I have witnessed the early signs here, over the past months. Maybe it's an anomaly. Maybe it will correct itself, and my warning is wasted. But we cannot shield ourselves fully against the bad without also shielding against the good, and of late, I have come to believe that too many people have been overestimating the benefits of their defensiveness, or perhaps underestimating its costs. It must change, or we will all be worse off for it.
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by Eternity »

I kept my opinion to myself as in regards to this topic, as I've been pretty much trained to do on these forums, but here's me speaking my mind and likely being admonished for it:

This is exactly why I stay away from the forums as much as I can. A member of the community raises a valid question and people jump down their throat. In fact, even some of the staff members, who do in fact come off a bit... well, not ideal. And to end it all the post gets locked without having anything resolved. In essence it seems (at least to me) to scream "Quiet peasant. Begone!"

And I found that to be a pretty common way of handling things on the forums, in one shade of it or another. It is a private server, a private forum, in essence a private playground that the people in charge allow us to use, so I can't really complain too much about it. And I don't, but in case you still wished an answer as to why at least I stay away from the forums, well now you have it.
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by YYA »

LivT wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:59 amI am certain that there is still a ton of PBP RP happening over discord or shared docs; perhaps players should start being rewarded for posting those stories? Receive XP, unique items, or some such recognition for contributing in that way? or even kick this off with DMs, or volunteers, to run a RP story on the boards?
How many of you like Game of Thrones? Maybe not so many with the flop of the television series' ending, but I do recall that quite a number of players sang their high praises for the novels written by one Goerge R.R. Martin. If you like someone's books, it is fabolous and great, but I have to admit that I could never get into the Song of Ice and Fire. The writing style itself bored me to death before first or second chapter of the first book. I recognice how everything is not for everyone, and how that is very much fine. But let us say that there are XP, item, and other such rewards handed out for Role-play posts -- I would just like to ask who gets to decide who gets what reward? I am biased, you are biased -- people are biased -- and it is simply due to the individual nature of humanity itself. So let us entertain the idea that I am in a position to judge and hand out these rewards; I can strive towards objectivity, but I will naturally lean towards rewarding the stuff I like far more than the stuff I do not. And you know, at first it will be easy to reward everyone objectively, but eventually some players will notice that you can get XP, item, and other rewards from writing role-play related forum posts. Thus, more and more people might start to write them, but what doesn't change is the amount of time I have available to spend on this server. There might simply be a point of time when I cannot read everything. Thus someone who has in all due earnestness earned these rewards, just doesn't get them while some other people get theirs. I can say that I will get around to do it, but there might just not be enough time, and there will always be distractions and then things are easily forgotten. In otherwords; it will not take very long for such a system to foster feelings of animosity and accusations of nepotism.

Now, I suppose I could try to be clever and say that I do not really need to read everything, I just need to copy and paste the clear text to into some word processing software and check the word count, which in turn would be used to determine the XP, item, and other rewards. It would be easier to do, and everyone would get their rewards. But that said, what would prevent someone from just pasting random snippets of 'Lorem Ipsum' within their supposed role-play forum posts to increase their length and thus the rewards? You can make it a bannable offense, but what if someone simply uses such gibberish to represent languages or ideas a character would not understand? I suppose someone could just describe an evening at a campfire where two or more Wizards speak of "arcane theory" -- where the 'Lorem Ipsum' is lined between a character's struggles to make any sense of it. You could even have, and with very little effort, understandable English turn into the gibberish of 'Lorem Ipsum' and then back again. Thus even if you say that you only get 1 point of experience for every 25th word... it would still let some to level up their characters with relative ease.

And here is the final thing, would these role-play sections even be filled with content you would like to read? And I am sure that are people around who have had some 'iffy' experiences when it came down to getting that 1k experience reward for writing a character biography on these forums.

So, even if it would be lovely to get various rewards... The only question that matters is how do you put a system in place that is fair to all, and it includes even those who would not partake in it.
athornforyourheart wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:37 am .....after reading this, I literally give up. Good luck BGTSCC Forums on getting your (#2) sorted.
And good speed on the effort!
Shadowspinner70 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:58 am YYA, I can't help but disagree with several of your statements and agree with Darra's as a whole.
YYA wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:46 am
Darradarljod wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:28 pmIt comes down to respect.
Since you mentioned respect... It is earned, not given. The former is voluntary admission, the latter forced coercion.
I firmly believe in the basic respect of the knowledge that there are still other people behind the screen. I've seen people on this server, myself included, forget two things: that there is another person behind the screen and that respect is not always deep admiration, but simply acknowledging another person's feelings and rights. That's it.
In other words, respect in your eyes is showing consideration for, treating courteously, or kindly -- and once again I would repeat that; respect is earned, not given.
Shadowspinner70 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:58 amAs for the conversation you listed, from what I've seen, that won't fly here unless yourself and the other player know each other--and knowing how they are on the forums doesn't count, I mean having a genuine, private conversation with them. We might be friendly on here--all of us--but we're not friends. I might engage with Hoihe, but we haven't had a private conversation a day in our lives (yet!). I might be friendly with Darra, but there's no way I would consider talking to him like that on a public forum.
But the thing is, it used to fly, and that is the difference of the server that is now long gone and the one that exists today. It might not even be a matter of time and player numbers, but also of server player demographics, men and women tend to be very different in their interactions with other men and women.
Shadowspinner70 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:58 amIt is very, very difficult to read tone in text and if a a player I don't normally talk to approached me like that, those conversations often reach the ears of DMs. Most people wouldn't talk that way in public so why aren't forums any different? Because we're all behind a mask of a screen?
In other words, the moment you hear something that displeases you, you run to issue a complaint about with the dungeon masters? Who then contact this other player and inform him how there has been complaint made, without any actual mention of what was said, when it was said, or anything else related to the matter at hand? I think you are acting as nothing more than a server bully who uses the Dungeon Masters as a personal cudgel to swing around.

As for inability to read a tone of a text, back in the good old days, players would just see where the text leads and take a note of the outcome for the future. Players would break the role-play in order to get out of character clarifications right on that very spot. You know, the type of behaviour that earns respect, and allows in character conflicts to remain in character.

And as for the ways how people speak, two men talk to each other very differently than they would with a woman, and two women talk to each other very differently than they would with a man. There will also be cultural variation with these interactions. The problem here is that you do not know the gender of the person you are talking to, and the gender of the character, or forum user name, might offer no indication of the actual gender behind the screen. Thus, unless you have the power to mandate and maintain a constant Zoom call between every single member of this online community -- the only real approach to take is the one where you just live and let others live. In other words, you simply decide that you are not going to be offended, and instead you just talk things through and see where the text leads.
Shadowspinner70 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:58 am
YYA wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:46 am People get angry, and most healthy people rid their anger by shouting it out. People get annoyed, and most healthy people get rid of their annoyance by complaining, in other words doing something about it. You might shun the vulgarity of the above, but it bears levels of honesty not seen here for more than a decade, and whenever people are allowed to remain honest -- they will earn the respect of those around them.

The one responsible for the toxicity in this community, is none other than you yourself, my dear reader of this post. It is your demand to be shielded from the mildest and most miniscule offenses that makes the whole community grow ever the more toxic by the year. And yes, a number of people will complain about the toxicity a year after a year, and yet they themselves revel in all that toxicity. They may claim to care about the community, but not really. They simply live to win the neverending game of feigned platitudes and veiled insults, they love their little cloak and dagger schemes, and year after a year they attempt to twist the rules of the community to be more in their favour. Therefore, at some point, most people will simply realize that it is far smarter to not interact at all -- or at least no longer link their in game, forum, IRC, or discord accounts simply because it is the easiest way to avoid the petty vendettas of little would be kings.

I honestly think it is far too late to course correct, the bed has been made, and you have no choice but to lie on it.
This sardonic attitude is not healthy...
Sardonic is a word that describe something that is scornful or cynically mocking. Thus allow me to clarify myself, my attitude here strives towards nothing more than objectivity.

And yeah, role-playing on BGTSCC can become quite a suffocating ordeal, and it was not until I rolled a character on a different server that I noticed how much more fun it was just a role-play a character and see where the text leads. It lead to my character getting a bunch of +5 equipment for basically free. Now, in all due fairness, the longer anyone plays on any server the more stuff you tend to acquire -- and sometimes people just do their spring cleanings -- so don't take this as a claim that I am the very best role-player this server has ever seen.


As for the late response, well, been busy.
If you are offended by what I said have said above, I have recieved my last warning, I have discussed Intuitive Attack, so report - for I do not mind. Getting me banned is nothing special, it happens every week. But you could also choose not to be offended, this place needs more banter, your choice.
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by edmaster »

Rather than trying to seperate them, why not intergrate the two?
Have a few things pushed from the forums onto Discord. There is no point to seperate the two mediums.

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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by Ewe »

The forums are toxic (outside of the RP areas).

Proposed change is to allow a person to reply ONCE to a non-RP thread (or maybe once per 24 hours or something). Then allow people to upvote the posts they agree with.

Problem is you get people (even in this own thread) who just quote every single sentence and debate/refute/put down point-by-point what you said. Then the next person quotes the quoted quotes and argues each of those points and then people come in and just post mean spirited jokes watching others argue.

It's just not fun.

Also, I personally don't find forums "focused" content. I mean, it takes hours of forum searching and research to find something I want, and much of the info is disinformation or no longer relevant. No different than using Discord search features, except that Discord search is easier to use.
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by Lockonnow »

well if is easy to add screen shoot as it on discord
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by Planehopper »

The forums are what we make them. Seems that, aside from a few obvious incidents, things have been fine lately. You'd think if things were toxic we'd see that, and be getting reports.

I dont think any internet communication between anonymous strangers with divergent opinions will ever be perfect, but as long as everyone is respectful (and I'm not going to argue what that means), things work out just fine.

I enjoy the instant communications of discord, and I enjoy the documentation and segmentation of the forums. Both have their (sometimes serious) drawbacks, but they both have their strong points as well.

Seems much ado about nothing, to me.
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by Shadowspinner70 »

No, it's not fun opening up the forums, being excited to see a notification, and when you open it, it's all a mean-spirited response. I'll say once more: there is basic respect, and earning respect beyond the basics.

With upvotes, I do worry about a culture of buying votes, but it may help staff in regards to development. We already utilize polls, but they cannot effectively communicate every side and groove of the coin. "These posts have many upvotes, why is that?" "These posts have many, but are opposite in terms of ideas. Why?" It can help collect trends.

The one bit where I disagree, Ewe, is limiting posts. If people spam, that can be taken care of, but people don't always put the entirety of their thoughts into a post. Someone may respond, and once a day passes, the conversation has already moved on.

We're already a long-standing NWN2 server, albeit with people avoiding the forums, people leaving, some people returning. Why not figure out why people stay, why they leave, why our trends are what they are? Figure out trends for the best way to go forward?
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by Xorena »

Shadowspinner70 wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:03 pm The one bit where I disagree, Ewe, is limiting posts. If people spam, that can be taken care of, but people don't always put the entirety of their thoughts into a post. Someone may respond, and once a day passes, the conversation has already moved on.
This can always be a metered option for people on forum probation. Limit posts for people communicating with bad intent until they prove they can be a bit more civilized. I am not a coder so I don't know if that's hard to do with this current setup.
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by Shadowspinner70 »

What's inherently superior about the forums is while we do have to sift a bit to get what we want, what we say isn't lost to the void with enough chatting. One bet is rewarding forum usage. Another is mere encouragement. One thing that made me feel awesome was getting compliments when writing my PC's journal.

On the subject of journals, imagine if we wrote journals for our PCs on discord! :lol:

In regards to Xorena and Dae's idea, it's gotten me to brainstorm. If it's limited, maybe it's for that one person, for that one thread. Two, three people become the only ones going back and forth in a thread and there's really no headway. They can be asked to slow down. Other people can be encouraged to come on in. It has its pros and cons.
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by Xorena »

If you are looking for some real feedback without people being influenced by the forum echo chamber, you can always do a google form poll where people can comment anonymously. I suppose it depends what you are looking for (but this seems to be a bit of a digression).

I think we all need to remember we are all people trying to have fun in a video game. It sounds trite but try empathy. Try to understand there are different points of view and experiences. I personally like the forums, particularly for advancing RP because it feels more inclusive to people in different time zones. I may never meet that person from New Zealand in-game, but I can react to their character's actions via forum posts.
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by Steve »

The Forums called me on the telephone today—a land line to boot, can you believe it?!!—to say that she doesn’t like being called toxic, takes offense at your lack of effort to help her be better, and thinks that if you kids can’t do anything but sling insults about her, then you’re just as much the “problem” as anyone is.

EDIT: just in case it’s not obvious, using the term “kids” is being sarcastic about how users of the Forum are considered by some old, stuck or incapable of using another same-but-different medium.
Last edited by Steve on Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by Grendunor »

The forum is a tool for a specific purpose.

In broad strokes it's here to provide an easy (relatively) organised space to access relevant setting and world building information. Rumors of X location threads and Guild RP threads, along with OOC information and announcements for the community.

Staff are the ones who largely have need to use the forums while players are free to engage / not engage with them as much or as little as they like. With the most productive use by players being

1) Character Journals
2) Following up on DM plots via guild rp threads or PMs
3) Posting in the IC rumors threads

What a lot of people call toxic behavior on the forums can be summed up by people being over invested in either their idea of balance or a character concept leading to an unhealthy and combative approach to conversation that plays into a large majority of these offenders' main issue, which I would claim is a need to control or influence not only their environment but how other people interact with the environment as well. Something I can't throw the first stone on having been a right salty so and so in my day as well.

To address the OP's main point about asking what would get users back on the forums I would recommend a step by step process of figuring out

a) What is the main purpose of the forum

b) What about the medium is impeding or otherwise stopping it from achieving this purpose

c) formulating a method to correct this issue if it is indeed fixable

d) Implementing the method and responding to critique and flaws in implementation

e) Taking a step back to assess if the changes have helped as well as allowing time for people to adjust to changes.

Now personally I don't have an issue with the forums playerside, staff side i think a ticket system would work wonders to help abate the flood of messages that come in to DM inboxes and inevitably leads to loss of messages in the flood of communication. I'm no longer am on staff to know if such is still an issue or if it's long been fixed under the new administration but it's something I would have liked to see in my day.

TL;DR
The forums and discord serve separate purposes, toxic behavior comes from over investment, any real change should be planned out carefully behind the scenes to fit to a cohesive design philosophy and better suit the purpose within that philosophy.
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Re: What would get Users back onto the BGTSCC Forums?

Unread post by YYA »

Grendunor wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:40 pmStaff are the ones who largely have need to use the forums while players are free to engage / not engage with them as much or as little as they like. With the most productive use by players being

1) Character Journals
2) Following up on DM plots via guild rp threads or PMs
3) Posting in the IC rumors threads
1) Character journals -- If your in game role-play requires some journal keeping; a text document on your computer will do just fine. Not to mention that since most people probably play NWN2 in the windowed mode, the text file can be up and visible along side with the game itself. Thus a forum for these character journals is not actually needed, and a text document is actually a lot faster to search through than a character journal split between multiple forum pages -- if given enough time to add multiple entries.

Thus, it is not the ease of use that would see write their character journals on the forums, instead, the primary reason would be that it is a way to garner attention of others. Perhaps someone just wants to give their own character a spot in the limelight, or simply have others read what was written. But at the same time, it is not necessarily the end of the potential consequences or effects of said attention. A public character journal is a way to build and acquire both in-character and out-of-character reputation and influence, which in turn might make it easier to rub shoulders with powers that be and receive the boons that come. After all, if a particular Dungeon Master quite enjoys a character journal one puts out, our Dungeon Master cannot help but feel more amicable towards plot and event related suggestions from our journal author. It will also make it far easier for that one Dungeon Master to reward our journal keeper with a special sword, or a cape, or a pair of boots -- after all -- just look at the effort that was put into 'role-playing.' It is a sad fact of NWN persistent worlds that if someone role-plays in the middle of a forest, and if there is no dungeon master to make note of it, the chances are that no one will ever hear of it. If we keep that in mind; it is easy to see why people would encourage others to write character journals, after all, there are other player characters that are deserving of that special sword, etc. But sadly, a public character journal is not always a sensible thing to do. For example, imagine that a character of evil alignment and organization is infiltrating another organization. The player behind our spy could see great effort to describe the whole process, perhaps even portray how the character feels about the infiltrated organization and its members -- and then someone with a character in the infiltrated organization reads through it all. People can be mature, people can say it is just role-play, and that is that. But unfortunately, even if that were the case, the actualy behaviour of the infiltrated organization is likely to change in favour of rooting out the spy. In the worst case, flimsiest of excuses will be used to create the thinnest veneer and facade of having 'discovered' this spy in character. A public character journal is a great thing for characters that sit around a 'role-play' hub without anything more meaningful going on -- because the player can just open up the chat log text file, copy and paste its contents, and rephrase it all into a journal post. I think the client extension has some option to rename these text files so that the file doesn't get overwritten with the next run of the game. What I would like to ask is if editing those text files is truly more exciting than actually interacting with the other players characters?

2) I suppose real life blessings of Talona may have allowed some to spend more time indoors during the year or so, but time nevertheless remains ever so limited. Not to mention that big public Dungeon Master events are slow and cumbersome for all involved, where most player characters cannot help but fall into the role of a silent NPC that occasionally beats up whatever the Dungeon Master spawns in front of them -- and it is simply because otherwise the Dungeon Master will have no idea what is going on. I suppose one could spend time reading about these events on the forums as a way of fleshing out the setting itself, but at the same time, is not more exciting to actually ask about these latest news in game and by doing so have a reason to interact with other people?

3) It is more less the same as the above.
Planehopper wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:55 pmThe forums are what we make them. Seems that, aside from a few obvious incidents, things have been fine lately. You'd think if things were toxic we'd see that, and be getting reports.
Another way to look at it is that the server has finally achieved its long utopian march towards the perfect community of amorphous, indistinguishably grey, and utterly interchangeable blobs of humanoid shapes that have nothing original or interesting to say. The toxicity has consumed all, and it is all.
If you are offended by what I said have said above, I have recieved my last warning, I have discussed Intuitive Attack, so report - for I do not mind. Getting me banned is nothing special, it happens every week. But you could also choose not to be offended, this place needs more banter, your choice.
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