EQ2 Forums: See Something? Say Something!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, SOE Wants Feedback

see_something_say_something

Not everyone reads the EQ2 Forums, but those who do have likely had their fill of disruptive, attention-seeking posters who derail one discussion after another. Further, such posters cherish the knowledge that they can push the buttons of other players and goad them into confrontation, and then laugh when well-intentioned players trying to confront this behavior are banned for their trouble. Some would say to just use the Ignore feature, and that works for the individual, but as someone who has administrated forums for 12 years, I can tell you that such posters can be very effective at poisoning even the nicest community.

If you see a poster who is attention-seeking or posting random gibberish nonsense, that is disruptive behavior as per the Forum Rules and should be addressed using the Report function.

Trolling is posting provocatively with reasonable expectation of provoking an emotional response (intentional or not). Trolling can include.

  • Non-constructive feedback or comments.

If you feel that my posts on the EQ2 forums fit this definition, then by all means use the Report feature or, if you prefer, shoot me a PM or e-mail and I will constructively address my viewpoint with you.

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Comments (32)

  • Brasse

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    A very interesting post, and thank you for making it, Feldon.

    I am the first to admit that we have a relatively small team at SOE to cover a relatively GINORMOUS volume of posting across our forums. I am talking in the meeelions of comments.

    Unless we are actually perusing the forums when something comes up, we do indeed rely on players helping to keep the forum community a reasonable and comfortable place to post… by reporting disruptive or inappropriate posts.

    Most reported posts cover lewdness, direct and clear abuse, etc. Those are EASY to deal with.

    The challenging ones stem from arguments between players or when a player continually skirts the line with non-constructive and disruptive comments. These are the most challenging to moderate, and take up a great deal of our time.

    A couple of suggestions if you find yourself in such a situation yourselves:
    - some threads dissolve into arguments between individuals. We hope all sides keep civil, avoid snark and rudeness, to carry on constructive discussion.
    - always keep in mind that words are very powerful. With great power comes great responsibility – always consider how others will view your expressions.
    - never post angry. Never post drunk. Never post emotionally to an argumentative discussion.
    - if someone is driving you crazy, but you don’t see any disciplinary action taking place, it’s usually because we do so quietly. You may not notice if they’ve been suspended for a day, or two, or five. Believe me, if they are disruptive, you’re not the only one reporting them. We ARE aware of them and we ARE dealing with them.
    - if that someone is really driving you crazy, put them on ignore, just like you would in game. You will feel better, I promise.
    - never lower yourself to a disruptive person’s level. Trading insult for insult puts you both in the wrong. Two trolls do not make a right.
    - likewise, if you start reporting every post you can of a particular player, this makes YOU the bad guy. We consider it a form of harassment – it wastes moderator time, and may result in action against you for abuse of the report tool.
    - no one ever wins an argument on the internet. Ever; there is a universal law of physics to describe this, I am sure. Be the bigger person, allow your brilliantly expressed points to demonstrate your superior opinion, and WALK AWAY. Let them have the last word.
    - take a deep breath and understand that all of this too shall pass. Ten minutes or ten years from now, that forum argument will mean NOTHING to the universe. Let. It. Go.

    We want to spend more time engaging with players, not moderating the negative actions. Thank you all for helping us out.

    ~Brasse

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Thanks for your comments. Two points:

      A few individuals have been consistently disruptive on the EQ2 forums for half a decade. They have not learned from any number of 1, 2, or 5 day temporary bans. The definition of insanity is to repeat the same action and expect different results.

      I created this post to crowdsource the reporting of disruptive posters so that no 1 person breaches the “multiple reports/harassment” rule.

      Reply

    • Surgen

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      Never post drunk.

      Bugger, that’s my forum posting career done for before it starts!

      Reply

    • Malade

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      I would change all the above to just read, post only happy loving items, don’t disagree with what we are doing.

      Subscribe to the rss feeds and you will see a lot of posts asking not to change certain things about the game etc that are all forum modded just because they don’t cater to $OE. modded before most people ever see them.

      Reply

  • Icklathid

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    no one ever wins an argument on the internet. Ever; there is a universal law of physics to describe this, I am sure. Be the bigger person, allow your brilliantly expressed points to demonstrate your superior opinion, and WALK AWAY. Let them have the last word.

    truly well put a well thought out response well done.

    Icklathid

    Building worlds while others play games

    Reply

  • Finora

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    Good article. And some good advice in it and Brasse’s response. Especially the walk away part. It’s hard, but sometimes you just have to do it. =)

    I sincerely hope I’m not much of a problem on the forums for either other players or the moderators (because I have reported stuff before).

    Reply

  • vonTugboat

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    A friend of mine recently (yesterday) got one of these nice notes. It struck me as odd, given that he’s not a troll, and not given to hassling anyone but me. Because we’re friends and old farts that hassle each other. His post was something to the effect of ‘Maybe SOE can give us an iron portcullis for the extra wait time.’ Something like that. That strikes me as frustration, not really trolling behavior. Maybe my threshold for trollish behavior is too high for that to trip it. But my first thought was ‘Really? Thin skin much, SOE?’ Am I just too jaded to trolls in general to see it as SOE’s forum monitor does? But a single ‘non-constructive comment’ describes a lot of posts on the forums. If that’s the standard, the forums will shortly be depopulated. I am not defending trolling, but having such a low threshold for it smacks of hypersensitivity. Just my 2 coppers, YMMV.

    Reply

  • S1lence1

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    I think each individual troll has their own specific targets. Feldon you are as guilty as anyone at targetting specific players who don’t agree with your viewpoints and in my case even crossing threads to contradict me.

    I’ve called you on it a couple of times but in general I shrug it off because it’s not worth it to respond and escalate it.

    In your specific case you should have a little more slack because of the invaluable resource you provide to the eq2 players but at the same time maybe you should be held to a higher standard.

    Quoting you :”I (still) owe you a new keyboard).

    Reply

  • Brasse

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    I should have added that in the early days, I was a CLASS A TROLL.
    I was a passionate player and posted with great conviction, emotion, brilliant, incisive wit (or at least I thought so) and a serious degree of absolutely justified righteous dirsuptiveness. I knew exactly where that “line” was and stuck my toe over it every chance I could.
    I was an idiot.

    In the intervening years (and long before I was hired at SOE), I learned the values that I posted above. It was a hard-won and painful path for me, and I hope to make a difference in how others communicate over time.
    There is the high road, and the low road. The low road ain’t worth it, I can tell you.
    ~Brasse

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    no one ever wins an argument on the internet. Ever; there is a universal law of physics to describe this, I am sure. Be the bigger person, allow your brilliantly expressed points to demonstrate your superior opinion, and WALK AWAY. Let them have the last word.

    The effort regularly expended to try to disprove this statement is astounding. :grin:

    Reply

  • vonTugboat

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    My personal rule of thumb regarding forum posts and emails on hot-button issues is: Write a reply. Wait 10 seconds, re-read it. Rewrite. I typically do this 4 or 5 times, before hitting send. It’s saved a lot of stress and grief, and generally, comes out being a better thought-out missive. Much more diplomatic, which is always nice when one is striving to remain friends with others in the community.

    Reply

    • Dethdlr

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      I’ve lost count of how many emails and forum posts I’ve written and spent quite a bit of time editing and refining, then never actually hit send.

      Once I’ve finished writing it, then wait 10 mins or so, then re-read it, the high level of emotion has passed and I realize the futility in posting it. It’s as though all that anger/frustration/whatever the emotion may be, has been purged by getting it out on paper (electrons?). For some reason, I feel better after I’ve written it. But the feeling isn’t undone if I never send it. Making the call on when the response/reaction for hitting send is worth it is the tough part.

      Reply

    • Anaogi

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      I have a similar one: Write. Read. Ask yourself, “does this add anything of value to the thread?” If the answer is, “Nah bro”, delete and go about your business.

      I delete a lot.

      Reply

      • Feldon

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        If Talathion did that, his post count would be 0. ;)

        Reply

  • milliebii

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    Thems Fighting Words

    I have seen many a thread become derailed because of the meaning of words and phrases. As an example consider:rascal
    ˈrɑːsk(ə)l/
    noun
    noun: rascal; plural noun: rascals

    a mischievous or cheeky person, especially a child or man (typically used in an affectionate way).
    “a lovable rascal”
    synonyms: scallywag, scamp, devil, imp, monkey, mischievous person, mischief-maker, wretch; More

    Except if you live in Papua New Guinea where a “Rascal” is a gangster, a thug.

    In an international forum with “”english”" speakers from around the world words often do not mean quite the same thing to everyone.

    In a recent long running thread on EQ2 forums I have come to consider that much of the argument revolved around the use of the word “qualify” with one side taking a very narrow meaning of that word and the other using it much more broadly.
    With moderators coming from one particular national background it is far to easy to “cross the line” when the line is in a different place because of the cultural differences and the consequent different English usage.

    This can occur with images and imagery too. I once was banned (on a Trion forum) for using an image of a “drop bear” that the moderator considered to be far too graphic. Here in Australia the image had received wide circulation and was regarded as PG rated.

    Similar issues arise in this article and in the forum rules. Particularly with the use of the term “non constructive” this term seems to me to be particularly vaguely defined from an intentional point of view.

    Reply

  • Toran

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    I want to troll you guys right now, but Feldon scares me… :)

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      • Malade

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        If I could ‘like’ that a million times I would.

        Reply

  • Hoot

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    Depends on how you define ‘troll’, especially since many consider the “He disagrees with me therefore he’s a troll” as a valid way of thinking.

    That said, the EQ2 forums are barely active anymore. To the point where many forums even General Discussion have only a few active threads each week with only a few hardcore dedicated users left.

    Reply

  • Deveryn

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    I have to agree that there are people out there who are a bit hypersensitive. I think these people tend to carry around a lot of RL baggage with them wherever they go. As polite as you try to be with your opinions and facts, you are seen as trying to ruin the one good thing in their life, so they rage on, but you eventually get the note from the mod. :p

    When dealing with one of these people or a traditional troll, I like to follow the same basic approach. I call attention to what’s going on in the thread. If there’s another response in the same vein as the other posts, I simply stop responding and report if it’s trolling. Sometimes, all it takes is a polite smack in the face.

    I don’t like to use of /ignore unless someone is truly pushing buttons. There are some people who you will disagree with one day and agree with the next.

    Reply

    • milliebii

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      Are you sure that ‘they’ do not agree with you one day because they agree with what you said on that topic and disagree with what you say on other days because they disagree with you on other topics?

      No one ever agrees with anyone 100% of the time.

      Reply

  • Malade

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    Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t make them a troll.

    I’ve had posts removed for ‘trolling’ when I point out how bad some things are. They really just want praise on their forums, anything else is labeled ‘troll’ and down it comes. a few of the Mods are worse, SOe-02 and SOE-07 come to mind.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      I am so tempted to make up T-shirts “I am SOE-MOD-02″ and hand them out to everyone at SOE Live. That would be hilarious.

      Reply

      • Malade

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        2 gave me a week vacation once. 7 just removes my posts.

        Reply

        • Feldon

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          At this point, there is really no upside for me to post on the EQ2 forums. Why jeopardize my ability to play? Also, when it comes to Data Feeds/Census stuff, I have more efficient means of communication.

          Reply

          • Notclownshu

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            SoE-MOD-07 logs in and see’s these posts, how does he/she react?

            A.)

            YEA HI I CAME HER TO TROLL AND CHEW BUBBEL GUM AND IAM ALL OUT OF GUM.

            #REkT

            B.)

            ‘I disagree and feel wards should doublecast for x,y, and z reason and additionally you’re ignoring the fact W healers already benefit from Q’

            C.)

            ‘Everquest 2 is a fun game’

            —-
            1. Delete all 3 because fml I work for SoE
            2. Delete B. and temp ban C.
            3. Perma ban B. for non-constructive posts
            4. All Above and eat someone else’s lunch in break room

            If you chose:
            1-3. Doing good work; lay-off in August imminent.
            4. You’re SoE-MOD-02 material.

            Srsly though, you cannot raid this game and not become a tad cynical and seriously question the broad usage of ‘equal opportunity employment’ act.

            Reply

  • Nicolos

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    Some would say to just use the Ignore feature, and that works for the individual, but as someone who has administrated forums for 12 years, I can tell you that such posters can be very effective at poisoning even the nicest community.

    I have to say this is the truest statement I’ve ever read on here. Back in 2004, the forums were filled with pleasant people. The lore boards were very active and in general it was a nice place to visit. Over the course of the last 10 years, the discontent, trolls and know-it-alls have destroyed the EQ2 community for me. I know it’s not fair to group the whole player base into one barrel, but the bad apples were just too previllant and deep that I got tired of digging through them. I visit this forum time to time and not going to say I never revisit EQ2 but the damage is already done and don’t think it can ever be repaired. As far as the eq2 forums go; I can’t even make myself click on there. I do hope though, the worst contributors (who also tend to have a a lot of negative to say about EQN) just stay in the sespool they helped to create and don’t spread it to the next version. It won’t happen, but one can dream.

    Reply

  • griffonlady

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    Saying something doesn’t do any thing. One ass**** on my server keeps trying to cyber me (from alts or when I’m on an alt and he figures out who i am by the general chatter) and other female players, keeps trying to get people to get in voice chat with him, and he’s gotten banned for 24 hours once that I know of. People that tell other players to kill themselves and rip them up one side and down the other are online 24 hours a day without so much as a temporary bad after being reported. It’s a free playground for all kinds of trolls and unsavory people. Such is life. :\
    It would be nice if our ignore lists were account wide. Then I wouldn’t have to try and remember lists of alts of people every time I make a baby toon.

    I know the following would be too complicated to implement (and probably cause hella lag), but it would be kinda interesting if there was a public moderator program. (I base this idea on trolls desire for attention.) On the drop down menu there would be a like/dislike option, and when some one says something good, people can vote for them (like when people legitimately try to help some one) and when some one is being a troll or spamming the channels, there could be a “dislike” vote. If you get so many likes, you get some small prize, or a token for a special section of the market place. if you get so many dislikes, you are banned from the channel you were chatting in. Some of the big time trolls would have nothing left but tells (and if ignore was account wide, that would disappear too.)
    Admittedly, there could be some griefing and popularity contests based on this, but this carrot and stick method might get trolls to seek positive attention instead of the much easier to attain negative attention. =P

    Reply

  • badcat

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    Too bad they don’t handle in game trolls like on the forums, case in point on Guk we have a troll, who just loves to keep stuff stirred up. Why nothings been done about it is beyond me. He even says he talks with soe daily about his issue lol.

    Reply

  • Katz

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    Right now I”m more concerned that the forums seem very inactive.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      A good forum feels like you’ve got a tough coach that will bust you for being wrong, but defend you to the ends of the earth if you are right. Such a coach takes personal responsibility for communication and never shies away from the issues. Useless posters who constantly distract and demand attention get shown the door, while effective, motivated posters (whether their posts are glowing praise or critical analysis) are nurtured and supported. A good forum cannot be a democracy.

      Having these SOE-MOD accounts lurking in the shadows, seemingly sniping people at random and answering to no one is incredibly unhealthy.

      Reply

  • Striinger

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    Just like the kids who think the best way to handle serial griefing is to shoot random people, many internet dwellers lack even base tolerance and coping skills. When someone says you’re opinion is wrong and proclaims you’re an idiot…well…am I the only one that sees the irony in that?

    In posting I generally read from the beginning of the thread. When I hit the end I either add something or move on. If it’s an irritating thread that I hate myself for wasting life reading I’ll sometimes chuck a grenade and move on (usually of the sarcastic variety). I never look back.

    The main area I can see for legitimate tension often labelled trolling stems from tones not translating well via posts (unless, as a friend recently highlighted, you use copious emoticons). A close second are statements of opinion, assumption, or observation as “fact” or “law” when it simply isn’t. THAT’S a FACT (not really). :grin:

    Reply

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