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Official Suggestions Thread

Fig

The Altruist
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Location
Smash Realm
This is probably a minor suggestion, but would it be possible to add more games to the arcade? Don't get me wrong I love the current games in the arcade, but it would be really cool to see more games implemented into the arcade. Speaking about the arcade, it would be nice if events could occur again such as the tournaments and such. This is just a small suggestion so I won't mind if this were to be pushed aside for more important matters for the forum.
 

Garo

Boy Wonder
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Location
Behind you
The biggest problem is that no one with the power to do so is willing to act. Everyone seems to be caught in a loop of not being sure about their jurisdiction or not sure about this or that, needing input from an admin, etc. I think the problem is worse than a lack of leadership; there's what seems to be complete apathy to the point that people are so deluded they will believe anything no matter how absurd, so long as they don't have to do anything.
Alright, everybody, pull up a chair, because it's time for Rendezvous in Moderation: The Garo Story.

I joined the forum in June 2011, not too long before the release of Skyward Sword. I stuck around for a bit, but more or less kept out of anything resembling a sense of community. I posted enough to be a recognizable face, but that's about it. I posted an article draft in the Article Center, got it edited, and watched it get gradually pushed and pushed until it was finally published some months after posting the initial draft. That was frustrating. Coupled with a general increase in my senior workload, I sort of fell off the forum and gravitated toward other things.

That first article was published in January 2012. I immediately followed it up with another draft, which Hanyou took a noted interest in, given that it dealt with a favorite topic of his. Working with Hanyou on that article was a very nice experience, as I connected with him quite strongly and we had some wonderful conversations. It brought me back to the forum with more frequent posting habits, and I started to get slowly integrated into the community here. In May, Axle asked me to come on board the Article Staff as a recurring contributor, which I gladly accepted. I contributed roughly an article a month for the next year, the first one going up less than a week after I joined the staff. It was a prolific bit of writing for me, and I was very thankful for the opportunity to get out my often contrarian viewpoints.

Throughout this time, I posted on the forums with relative frequency. I was always a more verbose poster, and tended to post less than some of the more active people, but my posts tended to be noticed and were generally well received. There were a few clashes with certain other passionate members (sup JJ) but nothing too severe. I don't recall ever being part of the "forum politics" at the time, though I am assured that there were plenty of forum politics happening in the fringes of my vision. Nevertheless, I was enough of a presence in the community than in July, I was elected a Hylian Knight. Despite the controversy that has surrounded the rank of late thanks to the actions of certain members, at the time it felt like a pretty substantial honor. The monthly promotions were an anticipated event and were generally met with a reasonable bit of fanfare. I didn't expect to be elected, but was very pleasantly surprised and honored to have been so. It was one of the first times I felt a sense of kinship with this community, a sense of actually being part of it rather than being an outsider on the fringes of it.

I continued my activity and posting throughout the year, until early December when Mases contacted me and informed me that my name had come up in discussions about new moderators, and asked if I would be interested in the position.

I did not immediately say yes, and in fact was incredibly hesitant. I hadn't been involved with forum politics at this point, but I was certainly aware of them - especially as an HK - and was not particularly fond of them. It seemed like unnecessary controversy and stress on the part of both members and moderators, which seemed to be the primary struggle (I think the "Head Moderator" rank controversy was the most significant bit of politics that I recall). I didn't want to accept a position that would bestow upon me unwelcome stress and disdain, so I was very slow to accept the rank.

Ultimately, I did accept the rank.

As a moderator, I pledged to abide by a simple directive. I didn't want to be at all tyrannical or to overuse my mod abilities, so I was going to operate by the adage, adopted from Thomas Jefferson, "He who mods least, mods best." Keep the peace, and nothing more. And for the most part, I feel like I abided by that pledge. I don't think I overstepped bounds in the year and a half since. I don't think I gave out unwarranted warnings or infractions. I don't feel I closed threads that didn't need to be closed. But I think the bulk of the reason I didn't do those things is because I didn't do much of anything. Because ultimately my philosophy of moderating as little as possible began to manifest itself as barely moderating at all.

One of my pet topics in my time as a moderator has been administrative transparency. I always saw complaints of nothing being done in certain situations, of the moderators rarely giving out infractions when they were deserved. And while perhaps we could have been doing more than we were, I also think we were doing more than we were being given credit for. So one of the things I have pushed for is greater communication with the users about goings on of the staff, admins, and moderators. But these calls almost always fell on deaf ears, for the most part. I considered taking unilateral action, but ultimately decided against it, as this is, in the end, not my site, not my forum to run and make decisions on without consulting my peers and the site staff. And so, despite our need for better communication (or, at least, what I saw as a need), little was done.

I realized this a bit too late - about a year or so into my tenure as a moderator. And at about that time, my obligations and schedule became quite intimidating, and I grew a bit more distant from the forum. I kept up with it and did what I feel is my due diligence to it, but I haven't taken initiative for the past seven months. The blame for the lack of things being done is as much on my shoulders as it is on the other mods, admins and site staff.

But no longer.

I have since gotten over my fear of unilateral action, as I have lately decided that inaction is considerably worse than unilateral action. Most of my recent initiatives have been more or less my doing, despite my claims that they were the doing of the moderation team as a whole. Yes, I continued to consult the other moderators and Locke during the MD Policy Thread's early stages, but ultimately took action on my own. Whether or not this has been effective is anybody's guess, but I remain dedicated to actually making things happen.

In my time as a moderator, I have felt that at times our advise and counsel has been ignored, if solicited at all. We are entrusted to keep the peace of the forums, but given little of the tools necessary to do so (so much of the forum's backend permissions rest only with the administrator; things like the name change policy were frequently discussed, but because the power to actually do that only rested within the Administrator prior to the Community Coordinators, little could be done) and are very rarely consulted. I am really and truly sorry that I have not done as much as I could be doing to help the forum, and am dedicated to remedying that in the present. I can assure you that there is no apathy here, but real love and care for the forum.

But honestly? I feel trapped.

I came to this forum because there was a walkthrough on the main site that helped me find a Piece of Heart I was missing in Wind Waker during a playthrough in 2011. I stayed on this forum because the people I was interacting with were pleasant and enjoyable to talk with. I contributed to the main page because I got a lot of positive feedback and felt like I was growing as a writer in the process. I accepted a moderator position because I cared about this community.

I still care. I still think this is a pleasant and enjoyable place. But I feel very trapped between a sense of duty to help the forum, but an inability to do so with the limited tools at my disposal.
 

Jamie

Till the roof comes off, till the lights go out...
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Gender
trans-pan-demi-ethno-christian-math-autis-genderfluid-cheesecake
Great post Garo, and I think you ultimately highlighted why Locke either needs to considerably pick up his activity level or step down. The moderators have a lot of great opinions to work with but if no one is there to listen then it is a waste of time to even try. It's extremely facetious to say well the community coordinators are here now so it's all good. If you don't find a problem with the fact that Locke has hired people to do his job, I'm not sure what to tell you. ALIT and Thar over the last couple of weeks have done more for ZD than what has been done during my entire time here.
 

Emma

Eye See You
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Location
Vegas
Well Garo, we can't argue with the lack of communication. One of the most serious problems with dealing with MD is the complete lack of any communication whatsoever. Whenever mods try to deal with issues in MD, it's, at least from an external perspective, in response to people complaining that they're offended by something someone said. It almost never actually violates any rules. But it has resulted in unwarranted infractions and bans. When there are serious suggestions to improve the area, they're almost always ignored. An example is this here. It was absolutely, totally ignored by the entire staff. It was never acknowledged. It never was publicly discussed. It was absolutely ignored. Terminus quoted it a few other places and it got ignored. I myself made a number of suggestions that also got completely ignored by the moderators. Locke though, responded to about half of them.

A huge problem with all this is the absolute refusal of the moderators, yourself included, Garo, to actually discuss these things with the members. You just make an ultimatum "This is what's happening." and then everything explodes into a huge ordeal because none of you bothered to communicate with anyone. You just looked at it from the outside and decided "yeah, this'll work." When in fact it's the exact opposite of what the people in MD want. And it's usually in opposition to the idea of minimalist modding (I also think a minimalist approach is better). You'd have a much better starting point if you just looked at our suggestions and going from there.

If you'd read my past posts that talk about authority, which I'm going to assume you haven't, you'd see that I think that authority in any form, whether it's a government or a forum, needs to respect people's individual liberties, but there also needs to be an authority and some enforcement to protect those liberties from those that would try to take them away. For example a bully saying "shut up, you idiot!" Simple but you get the point. Thus far the actions the mods have tried to take in this kind of thing have all been from the authoritarian approach. Banning people from doing certain things, from saying certain things, from offending someone. And that just is never, ever going to work. You cannot expect to predict when people are offended. And making it an official rule, which has been attempted many times before, will open the door for abusive people to use it to silence people they don't like and don't agree with. We already see people attempting to use the reporting feature for exactly this purpose and we've had mods who have done this themselves before. These same mods also insisted the forum was basically a dictatorship that could do whatever it wanted and people had to like it. That's a horrible way to think. If you treat people like crap, tell them what they can and can't say, enable bullies who exploit the system to hurt their enemies, you are going to get a very well-deserved bad reputation and they may leave and tell others not to go there. Then you'll end up "filtering" the remaining people until only the worst of the worst remain. Prime example, Legend of Zelda.com before it died. It was exactly that. It became that, and it was a horrible place where bullying was a passtime of the staff. Zelda Informer is a close second and currently the worst remaining one. They have bad reputations that they deserve. People here have, at this comparison said that, that could never happen here. Well... it can. It has. It very nearly did with a few really, really bad moderators who were being abusive. It's horribly naive to think it cannot happen here.

So... that's why you need to respect people's freedoms even here on the forum. And why these measures that restrict them are not going to work. We need something that is more involved. More about diffusing problems before they're problems. Keeping the peace rather than winning a war. That post above I linked to is a good start.
 
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Djinn

and Tonic
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 29, 2010
Location
The Flying Mobile Opression fortress
Meh, I learned a while back that I was incapable of doing much of anything around here that does not raise the ire of a large group of people in and around this forum. But I acted any way regardless because I accepted that was a part of life around here for the most part. And I was told do cease and desist acting like an admin myself and stick to infracts and bans around the same time.

http://zeldadungeon.net/forum/showthread.php?t=30276&page=2&p=526986&viewfull=1#post526986
I made a post a long time ago about trophies, arcade trophies, and things like temp event trophies like olympics, world series etc. Never got much of a response out of it.

Point market badges are mostly limited to my finding/creating images to add and for the longest time I was never satisfied with any dog pic so it just sort of fell off from there since I added a large amount of badges in the first place. I was more interested in adding other unique things through the markets.
 

Garo

Boy Wonder
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Location
Behind you
An example is this here. It was absolutely, totally ignored by the entire staff. It was never acknowledged. It never was publicly discussed. It was absolutely ignored. Terminus quoted it a few other places and it got ignored.
http://zeldadungeon.net/forum/showthread.php?t=49379&p=886865&viewfull=1#post886865

It wasn't ignored. It was taken into account, and politely declined. Choosing not to act on a suggestion is not the same as ignoring it. In fairness, we have been bad about communicating when we have considered and decided against suggestions. But the issue is communication, not ignorance.
 

Emma

Eye See You
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Location
Vegas
I'm gonna vent. Please hear me out.

http://zeldadungeon.net/forum/showthread.php?t=49379&p=886865&viewfull=1#post886865

It wasn't ignored. It was taken into account, and politely declined.
Except what you said wasn't true. The key part of that suggestion was not protecting ideas. People are taking any criticism of their beliefs as a personal attack against them. No matter how polite and passive that criticism is. And what's worse, the mods have been backing up and supporting that complaining. The rules, as they stand, do protect ideas from being criticized strictly by their current wording. So As for rule #2, while there is no official rule stating this, it is certainly being unofficially enforced in the spirit of fostering good discussion. The moderation team is constantly riding this fine line between allowing for ideas to be freely discussed and criticized, while also upholding your own rule #1. There has historically been a considerable bleeding effect where people get far too zealous in their disdain for an idea and begin to attack individuals. It is then, and only then, that the moderation team feels it necessary to step in. is completely false. Regardless of what you think is going on, it's not the history that has been happening. Rule 1 in the current MD rules explicitly defines the exact opposite (that "insulting" ideas, a very ambiguous concept, is strictly forbidden) so that trumps what you just claimed. Especially since actual moderator response to issues falls in lines with that rule and those who are accused of offending someone are guilty until proven innocent. There is no "fine line" when it comes to this. If you insist there is one, mods and individuals can and will abuse that by saying something they do not like from someone they do not like crosses that line and who is to argue because of how ambiguous it is? Every single "solution" proposed by the mods thus far has been this gray area stuff that is so very easily abused and next to impossible to fairly enforce. And you wonder why we get angry?

We will not stand idly by while individuals are baited and flamed, and the perpetrators hide behind the excuse that it is fair to attack ideas. The people you attack for "baiting" were doing so such thing. And it was in fact someone else who just couldn't stand people disagreeing with them and complaining to the mods and the mods caving in. The definition of what constitutes "baiting" is essentially up to the whim of the moderator looking at it. It's why you cannot have this kind of policy. It just begs to be abused and there's too much gray area. It's better to just permit ideas to be criticized. Use better judgement. It is not fair to criticize people for holding them the people you just accused of doing this were doing no such thing.

These thinly veiled accusations are not something that the moderation team takes lightly, and we would like to strongly object to them and reiterate that this is never the case. It WAS the case. Your very own arguments in that post say that you support the side that complains about being offended. Besides the newbies, the only mods I can think that would even claim this are yourself and Locke. Locke never pays attention to MD. And you've admittedly been gone from it for a while and only recently got reinvested. You used your own "thinly veiled accusations" by accusing the people being targeted by these "I'm offended" complaints of baiting and flaming just a few sentences earlier. By taking this stance, you're encouraging people to get offended and defensive if they do not like someone's opinion. You are encouraging them to abuse the system to try to silence those they do not like.

no thread has ever been locked or deleted simply due to a moderator's dislike of the topicThen clearly you were never around for the reign of three particular bad mods. Everyone knows their names. They're quite hated. They are no longer mods, haven't been for a couple years. You probably know who I'm referring to. They did exactly that. A lot. And handed out infractions just because they didn't like someone, or because they defied them. That's how LegendofZelda got banned, that's how Seth got a really long ban back then. Mod abuse has happened. These problems I'm referring to are no secret, Most of the current mods admit that those three were a problem. Maybe you simply didn't know. But ask them about it, they'll tell you "yeah, those three were pretty bad, it's great they're gone now." But you probably won't get admissions that infractions or bans were wrong. All the mods have treated that like a sacred cow, that once in place, mustn'y be touched. They've only ever undid, or reduced, a ban or infractions that never should have happened when put under immense public pressure to do so. Even if they admit what that mod did was wrong, they're almost always unwilling to do anything about the infractions that mod gave out that never should have happened. And now, when we don't have any mods like that, we still have the same feeling about poorly thought out infractions and bans that shouldn't have happened. Too unwilling to touch it once the decision has been made. Only time anything changes is when a big public ordeal is made about it.

You're going to get a very angry response when you deny that mod abuse has happened. Particularly from people who were victimized by these three. As for currently, we do have a clear case. Kitsu was getting infractions long before he was doing anything really wrong. What was he doing? Defying the staff, questioning their integrity. Questioning their policies. It's not that big of a secret that the moment he started questioning their decisions, he started getting infractions for the stupidest stuff. Then when his incident happened, he got a huge ban, that was eventually shortened due to public backlash over it. When people who have actually being abusive, consistently, for a long time, and have been banned, briefly, for abusive behavior barely get two week bans. It sends the wrong message when an abusive bully gets two weeks, and another user who acts out and does something stupid, but harmless, gets four months. What was the difference between these two? User A kisses up to the mods. User B constantly questions them and defies what they want. And what is their biggest problem with what he did? Impersonating a mod. Sending, admitted stupid, fake warnings and fake infractions to bullies that the mods have been disregarding. You must understand what this looks like. No matter what your intentions are, or what you think they are, it plainly looks like you care more about the image of the mods than actually dealing with real bullies. That's the crux of this issue, misplaced priorities. Your own statements, like "These thinly veiled accusations are not something that the moderation team takes lightly" really stresses that image is a higher concern than real safety.

Choosing not to act on a suggestion is not the same as ignoring it. In fairness, we have been bad about communicating when we have considered and decided against suggestions. But the issue is communication, not ignorance.
Given that your response to the suggestion was full of... well... false information, and you showed blatant support of the "I'm offended" camp, you can see how we don't see much of a difference. Also, I doubt your claims that the mods deliberate about everything. Word is, a very reliable word, is that the mods are not communicating very well with each other. Making it very unlikely they ever make any progress discussing all issues and that they're all in the same chat at the same time to see it. Also, it's painfully obvious that there is next to no moderator participation in MD. So I severely doubt their awareness of the issues and their capability to deliberate on them. I could be mistaken, but I do believe that in your linked post, you just made that decision yourself without really consulting anyone. That's not in essence wrong, but being dishonest about it isn't. At the very least, you were the ONLY one in that discussion, if it happened, that knew anything about what was going on, so it landed on you anyway. And my point stands that, prior to you responding to that quote, none of the mods even acknowledged that proposal. Much of that proposal, besides the ideas are fair game part, was more about better presenting the rules for what they actually mean, and how they relate to MD. That can be useful to help people understand.

Out of hand dismissal carried with the "you're just baiting and flaming" insults hardly is any better than totally ignoring. I made suggestions, you accused me of wanted to turn MD into a lawless wasteland. Terminus made suggestions, you passively accused him of supporting baiting and flaming. Everything we suggest either gets ignored, or dismissed with insults. Implying that we're too troublesome to be credible. You deny everything that is going on. Resent being accused of enabling bullies, while you go about enabling bullies, making grand declarations of the purity of the mods that goes beyond the history you have been here to see. Who has the greater right to be protected when they're hurt? Someone complaining that "what they're saying offends me, silence them!" Or someone who has been constantly attacked for what they believe, told the shut up or else, and been targeted by the mods, if not for their own reasons, then by proxy of the people who wish their silence? Every statement you have made on this issue thus far has supported the former group. Effectively telling people that they should know when to shut up, and let their lives be run by people most willing to exploit a system to their advantage.
 

Stitch

Lost
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Point market badges are mostly limited to my finding/creating images to add and for the longest time I was never satisfied with any dog pic so it just sort of fell off from there since I added a large amount of badges in the first place. I was more interested in adding other unique things through the markets.
What if members from the forum helped make one? It would be a nice project and we have a lot of artistic members here that I'm sure would love to help.
 

Justac00lguy

BooBoo
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
NZ
Gender
Shewhale
What if members from the forum helped make one? It would be a nice project and we have a lot of artistic members here that I'm sure would love to help.
Yeah I think this came up a few times, I remember I suggested something similar a couple of months back, but apparently something creative wise was already discussed (by Djinn I think) it's just that such a role never came into fruition. In my opinion, like we have event staff and competition leaders, we should have a group that are dedicated to the creative side of things. I'll bring this up to Alit, if he doesn't see this first, but I think it would be a great chance to not only improve the community's involvement but also the actual forum. Hell, Kitsu just getting the chance to create a new theme was a breath of fresh air considering such things rarely happen around here.
 
Yeah I think this came up a few times, I remember I suggested something similar a couple of months back, but apparently something creative wise was already discussed (by Djinn I think) it's just that such a role never came into fruition. In my opinion, like we have event staff and competition leaders, we should have a group that are dedicated to the creative side of things. I'll bring this up to Alit, if he doesn't see this first, but I think it would be a great chance to not only improve the community's involvement but also the actual forum. Hell, Kitsu just getting the chance to create a new theme was a breath of fresh air considering such things rarely happen around here.
I'll bring this up in the ZD Mod Chat since Locke added Thareous and I to the group this morning. There would be some overlap with the Event Staff; however, if such a rank is implemented, I agree with the distinction as it will be involved in more rigorous forum projects.
 

CynicalSquid

Swag Master General
Joined
Aug 1, 2012
Location
The End
Gender
Apache Helicopter
Am I the only one who thinks Article Editors should have a rank? They are an important part of the site, and they help users get their gold. So, why can't they receive a bit of resignation?

I also think the Article Write rank should be stricter. It's so easy to just write one article and get the rank forever. Maybe active writers should keep the rank, and after a certain length of time in between articles you get demoted? I think that's also help with activity there too.
 

Jamie

Till the roof comes off, till the lights go out...
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Gender
trans-pan-demi-ethno-christian-math-autis-genderfluid-cheesecake
Am I the only one who thinks Article Editors should have a rank? They are an important part of the site, and they help users get their gold. So, why can't they receive a bit of resignation?

I also think the Article Write rank should be stricter. It's so easy to just write one article and get the rank forever. Maybe active writers should keep the rank, and after a certain length of time in between articles you get demoted? I think that's also help with activity there too.
To your first point, no you are not. I'd say the majority of the Article Editors wanted a rank, perhaps even a username color, but Locke said he would wait until he finished rethinking the conventions of ranks first. Why we can't get one in the meantime...not so sure. But as you can see, some users have taken the liberty of adding the rank to their postbit through the exploit (credits to Terminus for creating the userbar).

For the latter point, I have already suggested this directly to Keith, but he has informed me he doesn't want to make any big changes until Locke has finished with the rank stuff. He doesn't want to step on any toes, I suppose.
 
Am I the only one who thinks Article Editors should have a rank? They are an important part of the site, and they help users get their gold. So, why can't they receive a bit of resignation?

I also think the Article Write rank should be stricter. It's so easy to just write one article and get the rank forever. Maybe active writers should keep the rank, and after a certain length of time in between articles you get demoted? I think that's also help with activity there too.
I would add the Editor rank, but I don't have file transfer protocol access; in other words, I'm unable to add ranks to be directly hosted on ZD. This needs to be fixed with the Event Staff badge first before adding another rank. As far as I'm aware, inky Locke can do this. Perhaps mods can; I'm not familiar with their permissions.
 
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Ganondork

you touch her butt and she moves away
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
For the latter point, I have already suggested this directly to Keith, but he has informed me he doesn't want to make any big changes until Locke has finished with the rank stuff. He doesn't want to step on any toes, I suppose.
I'm waiting on Locke to finish up with his decision on the future of ranks. There is no point in me changing the rules if the rank itself were to disappear.

With that in mind, I've been heavily toying with the idea of there being a 3 article requirement before you can get the rank. If Locke decides to keep ranks like Article Writer around, I'll put that rule in immediately.
 

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