The MUD Connector

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Hades_Kane on February 23, 2018, 1:38 PM

Title: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Hades_Kane on February 23, 2018, 1:38 PM
Going off of the discussion of the more general moderation stuff from here:

http://www.mudconnect.com/SMF/index.php?topic=81200.0

Something that has come up repeatedly is the issue of promotions.  I figure it would be beneficial to have a separate, focused discussion on that issue specifically as to not derail the more general moderation discussion.

Currently, it is against the rules to derail a promotional thread from its original intent and purpose.  More specifically, this has meant that a poster can not criticize any aspect of the promotional thread, but that questions or comments about the game or post are permitted, provided they aren't critical or negative in nature.

This was a rule that was in place before general moderation of the forums was introduced and was a rule that was laid down by Icculus.  The reason being is because at the time it seemed every other MUD promotion was being flamed or would turn into a flame war and was creating an environment where promotion a MUD would basically place a target on you, the MUD, or the thread.

That said, even if the community and moderators are all in agreement that this should be changed in some way, that doesn't necessarily mean that Icculus will agree.  To be clear, I haven't spoken with him about this in years, but if we, as a community, can come to a consensus and IF that consensus is to change this rule in some manner, then we can reach out and see if he is agreeable to the change.  This was the only rule that I can recall he seemed insisting remain intact whenever moderation was initially introduced, but that has been many years now and his stance may have changed.

I figure there are mostly two primary prongs of discussion to be had and examined here...


1) Should the rules with regards to responding to promotion threads be changed, and if so, how?

If changed, potential ways forward could be:
A) Promotion threads are under the exact same rules and treated equally as all other threads; people are welcome to discuss anything/everything related to the topic of the MUD being promoted provided nothing is flamey, even if critical or negative.

B) In the interest of keeping promotion threads from derailing and continuing to serve as a means for MUD owners to recruit players, critical posts still aren't allowed, but a post linking to concerns or criticisms of the game is allowed via a short, to the point comment followed by a separate link to another post that addresses the concerns, and all further critical discussion should be focused in the new thread.


2) Should posts that are mostly promotional in nature be confined specifically to the MUD Promotions forum.  This would be largely intended to cut down on the amount of obviously self promoting posts that may occur in somewhat unrelated discussion.  For example, say I post asking for code help on a maze generator code (as I have recently) and then someone were to respond with "That looks like some good code and I hope you figure it out.  How we handle this on Hades_KaneMUD is we dynamically load and generation blah blah and the several players that login and enjoy this daily yada yada."

Likewise, should there be a limit or policy on frequency or amount of recommending your own game in "looking for" posts and do we try to determine and police genuine recommendations vs. borderline spam?  If we do limit or police, what types of posts are acceptable?  Full on promotional posts, or just "Hey, Hades_KaneMUD meets your requirements, check out <promotional post link> for more information!"  What about someone who has asked for specific things, are point by point replies based on the OP's original requests acceptable?  If so, is there a difference between that and a wordy, full on promotional post reply?



Other things that need to be considered and discussed...

-How frequently should a new promotional post be allowed to be made on the forum?  Before the new forums, there was a vague "promotion posts should be limited to every 1 to 2 weeks" but there's never been anything put in place specifically since the new forums were introduced.

-What about bumping your own promo threads?  Should an "update" or additional post be more lienient or should it be under the same rules?  Should there be a limit on bumping?

-What about other posters bumping a post?  Sure, questions on a post are one thing, but replies that are basically testimonials supporting the game are obviously just "let's bump this post".  You can't really hold the OP of a game responsible for what others choose to reply on their thread, can you?  Even if you have reason to believe (but no way of proving) the MUD owner has encouraged others to do this or that several new posters replying to a thread may in fact be the same person using a proxy?



There's a lot to cover here, so please give input.  I'll reply with my input separate from starting the topic.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Hades_Kane on February 23, 2018, 2:23 PM
Icculus has reached out and let us know that any change that is decided for promotions is fine by him.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Epilogy on February 23, 2018, 2:26 PM
1B

2 weeks
If it's been 2 weeks, and you don't see the need to make a new promo, sure.
Testimonials are a means of advertisement, and promotion, and should be treated as if it were the OP themselves bumping it. If a player wants their testimonial included so badly, it should be given to whomever control's the mud's account to post themselves alongside their promo, or included in an edit after the fact. This is 2018, no one should believe testimonials.

Further, I think promo and EVERYTHING else should probably be divided. I won't suggest how, but it would discourage the use of flooding the forum with plugs in places where they're not intended, and leave the general activity, and conversation of the forums to their business without being interlaced with promos that many may not desire to view.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Thraxian on February 23, 2018, 2:39 PM
I tend to look at MUD promotions as the forum equivalent of a TV commercial.  The purpose of a commercial is to convey information about your product to a wide audience.  Commercials do not provide opportunity for the viewers to provide feedback, either positive or negative.  Authors of the commercials are held accountable for false advertising.  Commercials for the same product are typically not run back-to-back, as there is a cost associated with running them.

In the same vein, I would suggest that MUD promotions could be treated in a similar manner:
- Promotions would be a one-way communication from the author to an audience about what their MUD has to offer.
- Promotions would be contained in the "Mud Staffing and Promotions" category, so as not to disrupt regularly scheduled programming (all the other categories).
- Each MUD would be limited to a single promotional thread in the forum at a time.  The thread should either be autolocked, or replies should only be allowed by the original author as a means of bumping or presenting a list of changes. 
- Feedback about these promotions (questions, criticisms, player-advertising) would be conducted elsewhere in the forums (perhaps a new Promotional Feedback board?)
- To enforce a "cost" on running a promotion, impose a 2-4 week delay on posting/bumping.  It may be possible to reduce this delay through active participation on the community, or other critieria at the discretion of the administration.
- Any misleading or falsified information in a promotion should be met with penalties.  One potential penalty is the removal of a promotional post and a reset (or extended) delay before it can be reposted.

For reference, I was looking through the MUD promotions forum today.  My browser shows 20 threads per page, and there are 13 separate threads (exlcuding stickies) updated since February 1st.  Even with a 4-week delay between posts, all of these threads would still be displayed on the first page of the board.  If the number of promotions increase to the point where more than 20 threads are actively being updated, then the 4-week delay could be reduced.  As long as a MUD is still on this first page in the promotional forums, I don't really see the incentive in bumping it.

I'm just a player, and that's how I see things.  Certainly, there are multiple opinions on the subject, and I look forward to reading them.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Hades_Kane on February 23, 2018, 2:50 PM
As far as my feelings on it...


I'm really on the fence.


On one hand, I think being able to call out MUDs and promotions for deceptive, dishonest, illegal, immoral, or "community offensive" behavior/practices is important.  Potential players have a right to know what they are getting into, AND consistent with my feelings that community pressure is the best tool for stamping out certain things in the community (such as license violators or code thieves), disallowing critical replies cripples the most effective means of community pressure.

On the other hand, posting a promotional thread that is open to critical responses can feel a bit like navigating a mine field, and ultimately promoting and seeking MUDs hav been for the last few years more or less the life blood of the forums.  Opening promotion threads to critical responses could reduce the frequency in which they occur, further eroding activity here that I don't think can really be afforded.

I feel like a post basically equating to:

"This MUD has been known to violate licenses and use other people's code without permission.  Please see <link to separate thread> for more information before playing this game."

could be a good compromise.  That would be option "B" for issue "1" I suppose.

But what happens when everytime a MUD that a handful of posters have issue with posts a promotion thread such a reply is posted on every. single. promotion.?

Is that acceptable?  I'm not sure.  Again, on the fence with that.  On one hand, if the posters have a real, undeniable complaint (clear license violation, for example) then is that a bad thing?  But what about the recent bit of drama?

It could be argued that simply creating another thread would suffice, but others have expressed concern that this still largely sidesteps any effective counter measures since it is an entirely separate thread.


With regards to issue #2, whether promotional replies should remain in the promotional thread... Again on the fence.

Its annoying to be discussing one thing only to have someone chime in with a thinly veiled promotional post.  If I'm discussing my maze generator code issue, how is a reply helpful that is just talking about how your MUD handles a similar system completely different or how your players feel about the end product or whatever.  But is this actually harmful?  Is something being generally useless and annoying enough to make it against the rules?

I do think that promoting your game in a "looking for" post is appropriate, and that "just post a link to a promo thread" isn't generally helpful.  My gut tells me that when someone is posting looking for a game, they don't want to have to follow links to a general promo thread that doesn't address specifically what they are looking for... that would prefer a reply directed at them and what they are looking for specifically.  Sure, someone writing up a novel in response (of which I'm guilty of, in these situations) might be considered annoying or overkill... is it really harmful?  I've replied to promo threads in such a manner, going point by point on their list of wants, and even some of my lengthier responses have been met with gratitude and further questions on specific points.  Personally, I think this is exactly what people in "looking for" posts are looking for, and that making that against the rules because certain posters are tired of seeing posts for certain games is a bit silly.  There's also the thought that if someone is like "Hey, anyone know of a MUD where I can play a Werewolf, Vampire hybrid?" and someone replies with a wall of text unrelated to the OP's original request, they only hurt their own promotion so it kinda works itself out.

Is there a compromise?

Maybe you can reply with lengthy responses only if the responses are directly addressing the wants in such a post, and any extra information can be provided in the form of a link to a full promotion post?



Frequency of promotion posts...

This is hard to say for sure.  2 weeks apart feels too long, once every 7 days feels like it could be a bit overkill on a forum not super active, but any other number in between feels unintuitive.  I do feel like there needs to be something listed though, but this is really more of a "just incase" because we really haven't had any issues... but if we did, I'd rather have a rule to point to rather than having to be all "knock it off even though you didn't know better".

I feel like a poster should only bump their posts if there is a significant update, or otherwise follow the same time period rules for new promotion posts.  However, this is so easy to circumvent with using a proxy and another account, I almost wonder if its worth bothering.  I have had to ask someone to stop making update posts on their own threads every other day or so, because that did seem outright abusive, but I would have preferred to have been able to handle that situation with a rule I could have pointed toward.

As far as multiple accounts posting positive testimonials that really just serve to bump a post?  Annoying as sh**, but I don't really feel like there is a way that can be policed that is fair.  If we can't prove that someone is doing something wrong in that situation, we risk punishing, silencing, or otherwise running off actual legitimate new posters to the forum.  Even with as suspect as a recent promotional thread that saw this happen was, there's every chance that every one of those accounts was a new individual and new legitimate registration to the forums, and while none of them ever came back for any other sort of discussion or interaction on the forum, IF they were all original, legit new members to the forum, there exists that possibility of new blood (and even new potential players for the other MUDs here).  What does more harm, potentially running off innocent parties, or being annoyed a barrage of testimonials?  I can't help but to feel the "other people bumping a post" is something we just have to suck up and deal with.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Tijer on February 23, 2018, 3:15 PM
Could we not just allow comments on the mud promotions from all and split them if they become an issue, dealing with them in the same way as other threads are dealt with?  I do think i was one of the people who was all for no comments on them originally, but my thoughts on this have changed over the years.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Darkozx on February 23, 2018, 4:07 PM
Nah, he rather lock the post and force me to make a repost so I can post more updates on my own topic. Too hard to split his buddies.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Hades_Kane on February 23, 2018, 4:12 PM
Nah, he rather lock the post and force me to make a repost so I can post more updates on my own topic. Too hard to split his buddies.

Continued intentional derailing, trolling, and baiting will incur further moderator action.  Consider this an official warning.  Keep this topic on-topic.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Teryel on February 23, 2018, 5:39 PM
if we, as a community, can come to a consensus

This will never happen, because it's some people's goal in life to swim upstream. Not going to name names, but you know exactly who I'm talking about.

That being said, I'm in full support of 1:B). I don't want to see every single promotion thread get derailed either, but I think being able to link to a separate thread detailing issues would be healthy. That is, in fact, something that some of the more 'heavy handed' moderators used to vault and ban for.

As to 2) It really depends. Obviously some people use the tiniest thread of connection as an excuse to promote ("Hi, I'm looking for a pirate themed MU*" "Oh, well these two MUDs aren't really pirate themed, but they have a single pirate class! We also offer blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah"). I think the better way to handle that would be, "Hi. We've got a pirate class at X MUD. Here's a link to our TMC listing, our promotion post, and a couple reviews!"

In the case of what you were talking about, with the code thing: Saying, "Over on Hades_KaneMUD we use a maze generator. We handle it like this. If you want to come over and see the results on our test server, send me a PM." or something to that effect. But again, saying, "We use a maze generator, and blah blah blah blah blah blah" isn't even remotely necessary.

RE: Bumping; I really don't see that much problem with it, and frankly I would really rather someone bump their own promotion post than spam other posts. That being said, I do think that within reason is a necessary caveat. Like you said, a bump every week or two. Preferably two. And yes, obvious bump is obvious. If it's being bumped, by players or the OP, every day or two, and it isn't an actual discussion, then lock the thread. Leave it, but lock it, and allow the OP to start a new one.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Hades_Kane on February 23, 2018, 5:45 PM
if we, as a community, can come to a consensus

This will never happen, because it's some people's goal in life to swim upstream. Not going to name names, but you know exactly who I'm talking about.

Let's please not derail the thread by opining as to whether or not we will all settle pretty close to the same place on this... the more productive line of discussion is going to be how each of us would like it to work.

With Icculus already chiming in that he trusts whatever is decided will be fine, that really means at this point that the moderator team just needs to come to a consensus, and I would much prefer that consensus be drawn from community input as much as possible.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Teryel on February 23, 2018, 6:02 PM
Here, I think, is a prime example of what should be allowed in a promotion post. It was, in fact, posted in a promotion post, and might be considered against the current forum rules. Regardless:

So, one rather significant problem right out the gate is that I created a Miraluka character (unsure if the species mattered) and was completely incapable of understanding anything that the tutorial NPC's spoke. At all.

I also couldn't change the language I was speaking using the provided syntax in the help files. And Speak without anything else returned that I could not speak... Lekku, due to lacking the required body parts.

Skills learning has a serious issue in that when I was trying to learn force skills, you cannot specify two word skills to learn. So I cannot learn Heal Self because fskills learn heal # just automatically defaults to heal others (despite the fact that heal others isn't even on my list of force skills I can learn)

Given the two skill systems work the same way, I assume learning normal skills has a similar issue though I could be wrong there.

Essentially I'm finding this a bit unplayable in the current state it is in, honestly. Apologies, but you really really need to spend a bit more time on basic bugtesting and playability in my opinion given this is just what I found in about 5 minutes.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Tijer on February 24, 2018, 7:27 AM
I think that there is no need to limit their bumping of threads, as long as there is new content that has been added.  I seem to remember one mud back in their say that would continually post new promotional threads which were exactly the same.  The rules ideally  should prevent people making multiple threads with the same information in them and not about bumping previously created threads up, so they show on the front page.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Hades_Kane on February 24, 2018, 4:21 PM
One thing I'd like to see: simple post deletions of off-topic posts in promotional threads. Example:

OP: I'm looking for a mud that has A, B, C, and not D. I'd accept E but I'd prefer not to, and if I find out a month in that I need F, it's a deal-breaker.

Responding post: "Hey, we don't have A, B, C, and only have D sometimes. We have E all the time, and I simply won't mention F. Try us, we're great!"

Delete the responding post completely. It's not a "violation" but it is basically just an advertisement that takes away from the OPs request. No need to put it in the vault, or point out that the post was deleted, or even inform the person posting that their post was deleted. If you stop giving ANY attention to these posts and make them disappear, they'll cease to become a bone of contention on the forum.

I actually agree with this.

We have traditionally been very anti deletion... people typically react poorly to having posts deleted (myself included), but I think we should open this point up, specifically, for conversation.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Orpheus on February 24, 2018, 4:48 PM
For what it is worth, I agree too.

When a player is actively looking for a game that meets certain requirements, but the game advertised only meets about 20 percent of what he or she is looking for, that does get a bit irritating.

No player should expect to find a game that is perfect for them, but if a game doesn't have at least 50 percent of what they're looking for, why even bother trying to recruit them?
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Ateraan on February 24, 2018, 10:35 PM
For what it is worth, I agree too.

When a player is actively looking for a game that meets certain requirements, but the game advertised only meets about 20 percent of what he or she is looking for, that does get a bit irritating.

No player should expect to find a game that is perfect for them, but if a game doesn't have at least 50 percent of what they're looking for, why even bother trying to recruit them?
I disagree with this because who determines what 20 % or 50 % is. That is extremely subjective. I also have not seen this as a problem as you usually only get one or two new people a month asking about a certain type of mud they are looking for. I don't recall anyone ever suggesting their game based on Desharai's example of the OP asking for 5 things and the responder suggesting a their game that only has the 1 thing the OP is asking not to have.

I've have noticed some suggesting various muds to a requester and some of the suggestions are not what was requested. Though the example seems rare.

Having said the above I do recognize that in the past I have been guilty of much to large and often of advertising about Ateraan and will in the future be more circumspect on that.

What is more common I think, however, are snarky comments in promotions or flame responses in posts that are completely unrelated to the topic but personal attacks that are obvious subjective flame. While comical and entertaining it tends to make our community amateur and sophomoric.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Teryel on February 25, 2018, 1:47 AM

I've have noticed some suggesting various muds to a requester and some of the suggestions are not what was requested. Though the example seems rare.

Not as rare as you seem to think. Which is the issue here.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Tijer on February 25, 2018, 5:34 PM
Thread is starting to drift off-topic can we please get back to subject in hand... Thanks :)
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Epilogy on February 25, 2018, 6:22 PM
If criticism is civil...

Constructive can be a relative thing, and sometimes these things can be helpful to a MUD as far as advertisement goes.

I figure if people need to have a long, back-and-forth debate about personal slights, maybe they could just leave that one criticism, and move anything past that to PM. That's where things seem to get really hairy, when there's an accusation against MUD staff.

Yeah, it can illuminate the personality of the posting staff member. It also usually involves a lot of sewage. If people knew they could no longer back-and-forth, it'd probably keep replies somewhat more to the point.

Might be useful in general. An argument is cool when it's actually an argument, and people are actually listening to one another. Crude language doesn't necessarily suggest a lack of argument, but words intended to hurt, not debate do.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Ateraan on February 26, 2018, 4:12 AM
Okay now that everyone's yelled at everyone and complained let's get back on topic.

I think that Promotions should only be moderated when they are obviously (by the bulk of the moderators) self promoting on threads that did not ask for in input by the promoter or that are overly often or updating itself far too often without reason. I'll give a few examples:

1). Looking for a specific game.
OP Thread Topic: I'm looking for a good hack & slash game.
Response: Hey try out Ateraan. It isn't hack and slash but we have some great roleplay that's enforced and it's better than h&s.
Action: In this case I think a warning to the responder would be enough. If they keep doing it, delete their post and warn again. But this should be specific and obvious not obtuse or gray area.

2). A general post.
OP Thread Topic: Fantasy with some Sci fi is great.
OP Post: Anyone remember those old sci fi games that had fantasy in them.
Response: Yeah I remember them. In fact, on Ateraan we have sci fi mingled with fantasy. If you try out our game you will really get nostalgic!
Action: This should be deleted and warning given. There was no request for a game or need for a promotion here.

3). A too often update.
OP Thread Topic: January, February, March update.
OP Post: It's now a new month and check out what's going on on Ateraan!
This can be a bit annoying if every week, 2 weeks, month someone is promoting their game with the latest shiz. Every so often this is fine but let's be a bit judicious.
Action: I think just a warning here. No need to start deleting unless it is obsessive.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Teryel on February 26, 2018, 4:43 AM
Okay now that everyone's yelled at everyone and complained let's get back on topic.

I think that Promotions should only be moderated when they are obviously (by the bulk of the moderators) self promoting on threads that did not ask for in input by the promoter or that are overly often or updating itself far too often without reason. I'll give a few examples:

1). Looking for a specific game.
OP Thread Topic: I'm looking for a good hack & slash game.
Response: Hey try out Ateraan. It isn't hack and slash but we have some great roleplay that's enforced and it's better than h&s.
Action: In this case I think a warning to the responder would be enough. If they keep doing it, delete their post and warn again. But this should be specific and obvious not obtuse or gray area.

2). A general post.
OP Thread Topic: Fantasy with some Sci fi is great.
OP Post: Anyone remember those old sci fi games that had fantasy in them.
Response: Yeah I remember them. In fact, on Ateraan we have sci fi mingled with fantasy. If you try out our game you will really get nostalgic!
Action: This should be deleted and warning given. There was no request for a game or need for a promotion here.

3). A too often update.
OP Thread Topic: January, February, March update.
OP Post: It's now a new month and check out what's going on on Ateraan!
This can be a bit annoying if every week, 2 weeks, month someone is promoting their game with the latest shiz. Every so often this is fine but let's be a bit judicious.
Action: I think just a warning here. No need to start deleting unless it is obsessive.

Thoughts?

Mostly, I just.. I can't even.

I agree with 3, to an extent. I think a monthly bump/update from the OP is fine. I think bumps from other players are fine, so long as it's not an obvious bump, like, "Yeah, it's great!" But saying things not included in the original post that are positive should absolutely be allowed, and giving critique about pros and cons, constructively, should also be allowed.

As to 1 and 2, I think you've got the severity of those pretty backwards. Spamming something when it has nothing to do with the original post, or goes completely contrary to the original post, should have far harsher penalties than a 'subtle' plug or offhand mention.

And in either case, a brief mention is 100% better than a page long spammy post.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Molly on February 26, 2018, 11:04 AM
So, this thread has spun a bit off topic, like several others before it.

And this time I actually loved it, because the last 24 hours have been very enlightening for me.

I sometimes feel a bit out of the loop,  because I don't know, or cannot remember, which posters really dislike each other, and why.

But this thread has made things a lot clearer to me, and actually mostly without the usual invectives and mud-slinging.
And for this I thank you all.  :)

Now, that said, could we please get back on topic?
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Hades_Kane on February 26, 2018, 11:07 AM
I split a whole lot of posts throughout this discussion here and moved it to the vault.

If you need to argue with someone directly, please take it to PMs.

http://www.mudconnect.com/SMF/index.php?topic=81212.0
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Hades_Kane on February 26, 2018, 1:09 PM
Okay now that everyone's yelled at everyone and complained let's get back on topic.

I think that Promotions should only be moderated when they are obviously (by the bulk of the moderators) self promoting on threads that did not ask for in input by the promoter or that are overly often or updating itself far too often without reason. I'll give a few examples:

1). Looking for a specific game.
OP Thread Topic: I'm looking for a good hack & slash game.
Response: Hey try out Ateraan. It isn't hack and slash but we have some great roleplay that's enforced and it's better than h&s.
Action: In this case I think a warning to the responder would be enough. If they keep doing it, delete their post and warn again. But this should be specific and obvious not obtuse or gray area.

2). A general post.
OP Thread Topic: Fantasy with some Sci fi is great.
OP Post: Anyone remember those old sci fi games that had fantasy in them.
Response: Yeah I remember them. In fact, on Ateraan we have sci fi mingled with fantasy. If you try out our game you will really get nostalgic!
Action: This should be deleted and warning given. There was no request for a game or need for a promotion here.

3). A too often update.
OP Thread Topic: January, February, March update.
OP Post: It's now a new month and check out what's going on on Ateraan!
This can be a bit annoying if every week, 2 weeks, month someone is promoting their game with the latest shiz. Every so often this is fine but let's be a bit judicious.
Action: I think just a warning here. No need to start deleting unless it is obsessive.

Thoughts?

Mostly, I just.. I can't even.

I agree with 3, to an extent. I think a monthly bump/update from the OP is fine. I think bumps from other players are fine, so long as it's not an obvious bump, like, "Yeah, it's great!" But saying things not included in the original post that are positive should absolutely be allowed, and giving critique about pros and cons, constructively, should also be allowed.

As to 1 and 2, I think you've got the severity of those pretty backwards. Spamming something when it has nothing to do with the original post, or goes completely contrary to the original post, should have far harsher penalties than a 'subtle' plug or offhand mention.

And in either case, a brief mention is 100% better than a page long spammy post.

Setting aside "which deserve what action"...

We could simply start with "what we do and don't want to allow".

I don't really want us all to get into splitting hairs over every tiny detail, nor do I think trying to break it down into tiny details would be that productive since the mood is so argumentative overall.

In anycase, the general tone overall seems to be "let's change what we have."

Generally everyone wants to see off-topic promotions addressed, which include advertising a game that isn't right for the given promotion or advertising a game in a non-promo thread.

The consensus I feel like I'm seeing here with regards to responding to "looking for" posts is that responding to the specific points addressed in the "looking for" is fine, but it would be best to link to an external promo post for advertising points that aren't what the OP is asking for.



And then there seems to be two camps with regards to posts on the promo board...

-Lock down all replies, one and done.

-Allow replies that are on-topic, constructive IF critical, and linking to criticism based threads if not necessarily constructive within the specifics of being on-topic to the promo.  Examples of constructive criticism in the thread would be:

"Hey, I tried to create a character but I can't get past the race selection"
"I tried your game and its cool and all but the overuse of colors made it difficult to play"
"This promo would be more helpful if you actually posted the address" (snarky, but constructive)
"I liked the game, it had some cool descriptions, but the newbie zone was confusing and I couldn't beat the first mob"

Examples of "non constructive" criticism that would not be appropriate in the thread but would be allowable as a link to a separate thread:

"X MUD is based on Diku but allows you to purchase in-game benefits for real world money"
"Y MUD doesn't have the Smaug credits on the login screen"
"Z MUD has an out of control admin that bans you at the first sight of disagreement, but would be  a perfectly playable game if not for that"
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Epilogy on February 26, 2018, 3:02 PM
An additional, non-front page section for linking disputes on promos might be best...

I'd hate to see more junk up in the normal feed.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Darkozx on February 26, 2018, 3:55 PM
I don't get it...why do you guys get so butthurt over people advertising their MUD? Where else are we supposed to advertise? The reason I use butthurt is because of the rules like if you advertise too much or if you bump your post too much. What's next, you can only update your MUD listing once a year? Come on guys, stop worry about if a MUD is advertising and if you don't like the spam. It's been proven again and again that these advertisement posts(bad or good) bring players to our MUDs. I get not wanting them to turn into flame wars but some of these suggested rules are making it so we're going to be walking on egg shells just to write up our own advertisement. Who wants to be like "ok, when was the last time i posted, how many posts did it have and will this annoy someone?" before they make a new advertisement post. Next step is to make sure your playerbase ignore the topic and never posts so they don't break some rule about bumping. Once again, I get that we need rules but don't make rules that determine what we can do with our own advertisement posts. The rules need to govern the outsiders trolling our posts and that's all.

Also, an advertisement post should never be locked due to "troll" responses, those responses should be deleted so a repost is not required. Even though, I think reposting to update your topic will be against the rules due to hogging too much front page time. Which is another funny issue here, front page time. I honestly feel like rules about posting too much has to due with "hogging" the front page from the MUDs who don't have players anyway and will never get any.

So here's some simple promotion rules.

1. Post your advertisment
2. Update it
3. Keep tabs on the responses
4. Report troll responses
5. Mods delete troll responses
6. Topic is NOT locked
7. People who do not like it, ignore it(you know the command that we're all told to use but no one uses)
8. Update when needed(not restricted due to people being jealous)

Don't deny it, a lot of this is stemming from people getting jealous of someone having a successful promotion post that lure in players.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: MrDowntempo on February 26, 2018, 4:30 PM
This site is and has been the premiere place to find new MUDs for years and years. I've used it to find almost all, if not every MUD that I've dipped my toes into. And every time, it was via the search engine. If I'm looking for A, B, C, and not D, the search engine allows me to search for A, B, C, and not D. If I find too little or two many results, I can further refine my search. Not once, however, have I ever been tempted to even look at the promotional threads except to respond to a promotion of a game I'm already playing and give it a bump. I might not be the standard use-case, but frankly, if y'all dropped the promotional threads entirely, I wouldn't miss them. And I'm currently without a MUD and willing to find a new one. The promotional threads to me, are like looking for a business in the advertisements of the yellow pages, instead of just using google. That's just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Tijer on February 26, 2018, 4:37 PM
Don't deny it, a lot of this is stemming from people getting jealous of someone having a successful promotion post that lure in players.

No its nothing to do with posting promotions and jealousy... the thread is in regards to people trolling the promotional threads, with unimportant unrelated stuff, and how the Community Moderators deal with it, with either Rules, Moderation or both!
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Hades_Kane on February 26, 2018, 5:56 PM
Darkoz - that's why we are discussing it.  During all of the recent bits of back and forth, there have been a few very vocal and contradicting calls for how things should (or shouldn't) be moderated.

The start of this discussion wasn't so much "this is how we feel we should change things" so much as "how can we, as community servants, serve your interests better".

In that vein, its important to hear from all corners of the community and the variety, both to gauge what the community wants and to suggest things that we have perhaps not considered.

By and large, your outline for promotions seems to fall pretty well in the middle of where everyone is landing.


MrDowntemp - With the propensity for so many MUD listings to link to inactive, dead MUDs or ones with virtually a ghost Admin presence, the promotions board can be useful for trying to find MUDs that are more likely to be active than just looking in the listings.  That's the main use I see for it.  Also, people coming to promote games is a lot of the activity here (which has significant spillover as someone coming to promote their game is also likely to engage in other conversation), and if people couldn't post to promote I'd be willing to bet there'd be overall a lot less activity.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: MrDowntempo on February 26, 2018, 6:22 PM
MrDowntemp - With the propensity for so many MUD listings to link to inactive, dead MUDs or ones with virtually a ghost Admin presence, the promotions board can be useful for trying to find MUDs that are more likely to be active than just looking in the listings.  That's the main use I see for it.  Also, people coming to promote games is a lot of the activity here (which has significant spillover as someone coming to promote their game is also likely to engage in other conversation), and if people couldn't post to promote I'd be willing to bet there'd be overall a lot less activity.

Yeah, I see your points. IMO, the poor maintenance of the listings is the bigger problem, but that's offtopic from the thread.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Teryel on February 26, 2018, 8:44 PM
MrDowntemp - With the propensity for so many MUD listings to link to inactive, dead MUDs or ones with virtually a ghost Admin presence, the promotions board can be useful for trying to find MUDs that are more likely to be active than just looking in the listings.  That's the main use I see for it.  Also, people coming to promote games is a lot of the activity here (which has significant spillover as someone coming to promote their game is also likely to engage in other conversation), and if people couldn't post to promote I'd be willing to bet there'd be overall a lot less activity.

Yeah, I see your points. IMO, the poor maintenance of the listings is the bigger problem, but that's offtopic from the thread.

And still off-topic, but possibly warranting a new one, is how many defunct MUDs there are, which is part of the maintenance problem. The issue is the sheer volume of MUDs out there, and having to go through and click 'check connection' and then remove them outright. And then who's to say what MUDs should be deleted? If you log on, and there's nobody at all there, is the mud defunct? Or is it just awaiting a revival?

I was going to respond to Dark's comment, but there's just too much negativity and egotism in it to do so productively, so screw it.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Darkozx on February 26, 2018, 8:46 PM
Respond in PMs then if you don't want the public to see it, plus I'm just trying to fit in with everyone else.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Zandy on February 26, 2018, 9:39 PM

I was going to respond to Dark's comment, but there's just too much negativity and egotism in it to do so productively, so screw it.

Your response was fine up until this point.  Just don't...  I don't care what someone else says, just stop.  We're trying to let you guys discuss things here but this contributes nothing.  If the behavior continues that has been happening the past few weeks we're going to be forced to step in and have a heavier hand.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Teryel on February 26, 2018, 9:57 PM

I was going to respond to Dark's comment, but there's just too much negativity and egotism in it to do so productively, so screw it.

Your response was fine up until this point.  Just don't...  I don't care what someone else says, just stop.  We're trying to let you guys discuss things here but this contributes nothing.  If the behavior continues that has been happening the past few weeks we're going to be forced to step in and have a heavier hand.

And this brings us to an earlier point that was brought up. When one poster's negative comment is left up, and someone else responds to it, and then the responder is the one that gets slapped.

If that's the way it's going to be, then go ahead and ban me now, because no, I'm not going to stop responding to negativity with negativity. I didn't flame. I didn't insult other people's muds. I pointed out that the comment he made negated any and all desire to respond to it, even though he had a couple valid points. The egotism of "My MUD is functional and all other MUDs are sh** and don't deserve to have their promotions seen" needs to be taken care of, and seems to be one of his primary arguments for this whole conversation.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Zandy on February 26, 2018, 11:07 PM
And this brings us to an earlier point that was brought up. When one poster's negative comment is left up, and someone else responds to it, and then the responder is the one that gets slapped.

If that's the way it's going to be, then go ahead and ban me now, because no, I'm not going to stop responding to negativity with negativity. I didn't flame. I didn't insult other people's muds. I pointed out that the comment he made negated any and all desire to respond to it, even though he had a couple valid points. The egotism of "My MUD is functional and all other MUDs are sh** and don't deserve to have their promotions seen" needs to be taken care of, and seems to be one of his primary arguments for this whole conversation.

He didn't mention you or address you directly.  Other than his "butthurt" comment I thought it was actually a pretty decent post.  He expressed an opinion, which we're encouraging.  It might have been a little direct but in the past week or two it pales in comparison with some of the things that have been posted.  We've encouraged people to start using the ignore function if you can't refrain from trying to get a dig in.  If you won't make use of it we will be forced to do so for you.

Edit: By the way that goes for everyone.  We've gotten to the point where everyone has had enough time to figure things out but if we can't discuss, and even argue, with some civility then actions will be taken.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Jodah on February 27, 2018, 2:37 AM
I guess we're back to walking on eggshells.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Drizzt1216 on February 27, 2018, 2:46 AM
Even mentioning the ignore function is silly.

It literally does nothing. If you don't have the willpower to ignore someones posts then you're still going to click "View Post" to see what they wrote when you see they posted. "Ignore" is basically a meme, it's so ineffectual so as to basically be satirical in nature.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Ateraan on February 27, 2018, 4:12 AM
Getting back down to business and the point of this thread which is to allow promotions and responses to promotions, when to allow them, and what type to allow.

After reading all the posts and comments I personally think we shouldn't change the rules. That's my stance.

So the question:

A) Change the rules to more strict.
B) Don't change the rules.

I vote B.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Epilogy on February 27, 2018, 10:44 AM
I vote B.

Considering you're the reason we're attempting to even change it, I'm pretty sure even the trees are aware of your support in that. That said, I'm not sure why anyone should listen to anything you have to say about MUDs in general, nevermind the moderation of the forum dedicated to them.

Not a personal attack, just the truth. You're evasive, and dissembling about your own game's finances, and consistently exhibit a complete lack of knowledge about any other MUD, or codebase in existence besides your own. The namedrop of Smaugmud the other day pretty much cemented that perception into permanence. I'd reference the creation of mudlistings as precedent for your need to attempt control, and assertion of authority based upon hot air.

A constant attempt to manipulate conversation to your favor is also getting old. There's a pattern of you intentionally inciting argument, then attempting to lead the conversation at your convenience. This isn't your mud, and the tactics you use to control your population aren't going to work.

tl;dr: Cut the sh**. Pushing the envelope is what brought us here, and you're dangerously close to shoving it completely off the table.
Title: Re: Forum / Moderator Policy on Promotions
Post by: Zandy on February 27, 2018, 10:47 AM
Thank you for your input and contribution, we feel we have what we need to make decisions on how to proceed from here.