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Old 08-25-2010, 08:40 PM   #1
Lasher
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Forum admin's dilemma.

Curious, if you woke up tomorrow and suddenly ran TMS (and it can happen out of nowhere, believe me! ), how would you answer these questions?

What percentage of posts have to be blatant (and sometimes lightly disguised) promotion of a single MUD before an admin steps in?

How many "helpful answers that always somehow manage to lead to why someone should play mud X even if the original question was 'what should I have for dinner?'" are too many?

I've kind of been hands off on this figuring the forum as a whole would call it out for what it is if it went too far, but that doesn't seem to be happening...
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:34 PM   #2
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Many of the people who post here do so to promote their own games. As long as there was some attempt to actually respond to the original post (and I wouldn't even try to judge if it was a good response), I wouldn't worry if someone suggests trying their own game.

If someone was derailing a thread by promoting their own game without addressing the contents of the thread then maybe it would be worth dealing with it, but then would you want to step in on every thread where someone throws some comment in that knocks it off track. And, even then, it may not be worth the headache.

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Old 08-25-2010, 10:54 PM   #3
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Most days, TMS seems to get about 2-5 posts every 24 hours. I don't think the deluge has become so thick that you need to step in and start selectively stemming the flow.

Sorry if that offends.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:35 PM   #4
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

As long as people use the TinTin++ Mud Client to connect to New Worlds I'll let it slide.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:39 PM   #5
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scandum View Post
As long as people use the TinTin++ Mud Client to connect to New Worlds I'll let it slide.
ROFL!!!

You are so sneaky, Scandum.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:36 AM   #6
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasher View Post
I've kind of been hands off on this figuring the forum as a whole would call it out for what it is if it went too far, but that doesn't seem to be happening...
Maybe the posting rules have kinda been lost somewhere. I have no idea if I'm in violation or not. That might be true for a lot of us. I basically post how I feel others find acceptable most times, and I'm sure others are doing the same. If we are misbehaving, please let us know. (Though, maybe this post is an attempt of that!)
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:27 AM   #7
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

If someone asks whether there's a game with features X, Y and Z any post for a MUD without X, Y and Z isn't called for. They typically start with "We don't have..." and the like. If a person only wanted Y and Z, they wouldn't have included X. If no game exists which meets the full criteria, it's up to the original poster to decide which of their preferred features are less important. After all, X may be their most important feature and they'd prefer a game with just that over one with Y and Z. My point is that if someone suggests a game that doesn't meet all of the criteria of an appeal for suggestions it shouldn't be there and would constitute a case of unsolicited promotion.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:35 AM   #8
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasher View Post
What percentage of posts have to be blatant (and sometimes lightly disguised) promotion of a single MUD before an admin steps in?
If it is over-advertisement that keeps going on then the user should be warned. The problem might partly also be that the traffic on these forums aren't that high. Most sub-forums you can reach 2009 by scrolling down slightly(or 2002)... so if posters promote their games it will likely feel more recurring due to lack of other posts. Obviously no player of a MUD will suggest someone to try a MUD they don't have much experience with themselves.

What gets a bit silly is when you see someone ask "What MUD should I play?" and you see the same poster as always reply, suggesting that their game is a perfect fit. How general are those games?

Quote:
How many "helpful answers that always somehow manage to lead to why someone should play mud X even if the original question was 'what should I have for dinner?'" are too many?
That's bringing a thread off topic and the thread could be split into two. If a poster does it very often then maybe give a warning. A moderator could try push the thread back to the original topic. A thread might seem to go off topic though while it is the natural progression of the discussion.
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:33 AM   #9
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

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Obviously no player of a MUD will suggest someone to try a MUD they don't have much experience with themselves.
Actually that done happen - I've done it myself, and have seen others do it as well. When a player asks for a specific set of features, you may well know muds that meet their criteria, even if you've not actually played those muds yourself.

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What gets a bit silly is when you see someone ask "What MUD should I play?" and you see the same poster as always reply, suggesting that their game is a perfect fit.
To be honest I think it's rather silly that players even need to ask - Top Mud Sites has an extensive mud list, and most of the features players request are quantifiable. In most cases they should be able to put their criteria into the search engine and pull up a list of potential muds, refining their search if it's overly broad or specialised.

I think the problem is twofold:

Firstly, there is no auditing or verification of listings, and as a result entries can sometimes be misleading or even outright false. I'm sure some people would post on the forums rather than doing a search even in the listings were accurate, but at least then they could be directed to the search engine.

Secondly, expectations have shifted over the years, while the listings haven't really kept up. This is the sort of thing where MSSP would really help out, but in my opinion even manually extending the listings would be an improvement.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:09 PM   #10
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
To be honest I think it's rather silly that players even need to ask - Top Mud Sites has an extensive mud list, and most of the features players request are quantifiable. In most cases they should be able to put their criteria into the search engine and pull up a list of potential muds, refining their search if it's overly broad or specialised.
I'm inclined to disagree with this. Finding a viable, playable game with the 1000's of MUDs listed and 90% of them virtually inactive is the one reason players ask in a post.

The second reason is because you want a recommendation from active players and the arguments as to why this or that game is good. The process is much better than randomly trying games from a search as shown in the recent requests and the responses from the OPs who found a game via this method.

As to the main question, I took a few hours to research the latest posts and threads of the last few weeks and didn't really see this issue at all. I didn't really see any particular MUD advertising more or less than anyone else or derailing topics. In fact, as of late, it seems everyone has been fairly cordial and promotional of everyone else.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:07 PM   #11
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Maybe the over advertisers could just get a little warning in their PM box? If they ignore it, then possibly a post.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:50 PM   #12
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
If someone asks whether there's a game with features X, Y and Z any post for a MUD without X, Y and Z isn't called for. They typically start with "We don't have..." and the like. If a person only wanted Y and Z, they wouldn't have included X. If no game exists which meets the full criteria, it's up to the original poster to decide which of their preferred features are less important. After all, X may be their most important feature and they'd prefer a game with just that over one with Y and Z. My point is that if someone suggests a game that doesn't meet all of the criteria of an appeal for suggestions it shouldn't be there and would constitute a case of unsolicited promotion.
I don't know. I've always thought "We don't have X or Y, but we do have Z" responses were more useful than no response or a "Sorry, I don't know of any muds with X, Y and Z."

Obviously, some suggestions are just silly ("You're looking for an RP-enforced game? Our mud is teh premiere gaming destination for non-roleplaying 12-year-old DBZ fans!!!1111one! Come check us out!") Mostly, though, I think "we have a game sort of like what you are looking for" responses should be given the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:57 PM   #13
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Yes but if you would all play GateWay MUD then it would all be academic.

;-)

;-)

;-)
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:11 PM   #14
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
I'm inclined to disagree with this. Finding a viable, playable game with the 1000's of MUDs listed and 90% of them virtually inactive is the one reason players ask in a post.
Inactive or inaccurate, yes - but that's my point. Top Mud Sites has an extensive mud list that was designed to help players find muds. If it's no longer serving that purpose, surely something should be done about it? If players are forced to ask on the forums, because the listings are too unreliable, then what purpose does the mud list actually serve?

Quote:
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The second reason is because you want a recommendation from active players and the arguments as to why this or that game is good.
Sometimes perhaps, but most of the mud requests I've seen simply list the desired criteria.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:20 PM   #15
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

There are probably a lot of players who use TMS for exactly what it is: a mud listing site. They never sign up for the forums, and they never ask. There are the people who bother to post asking for other people's feedback, but we get players from TMS that don't seem to be involved in the forums. I'm not sure that an overhaul is actually necessary.

Having said that, I do wish that we could help clean up the defunct muds, or the mud listings that now point to a totally different mud than what's advertised.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:33 PM   #16
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milawe View Post
There are probably a lot of players who use TMS for exactly what it is: a mud listing site. They never sign up for the forums, and they never ask.
Perhaps, but there definitely seems to be an increasing number of players posting their criteria on the forums - and on TMC as well. Could it be that the newer generation of mudders are more used to asking than searching? Maybe. But a lot of the criteria I'm seeing people ask for isn't covered by the listings, so searching wouldn't help then anyway...and yet many of those things could be added.
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:01 PM   #17
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Could it be that the newer generation of mudders are more used to asking than searching? Maybe.
I definitely think this is true. I've been MUDding a long time, but I definitely feel that there was a "generation" before me who are far more hardcore. The generation before me boldly logged onto MUDs and figured them out with very little to go on. My first mud has an extensive help file system, and I was able to find most of the things where I needed help. In the MMO realm of Thottbot and Wikis, I think people are pretty used to getting instant answers via channels, forums, and other mediums.

Quote:
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But a lot of the criteria I'm seeing people ask for isn't covered by the listings, so searching wouldn't help then anyway...and yet many of those things could be added.
That's true also, but I do feel that a lot of those players are looking for things that are VERY specific. Often, they'll list features that they know a certain mud has but say that they don't want that specific mud. So they're basically looking for a game exactly like the game they played as long as it is not that game.

At the same time, I do agree that the more unreliable the listing becomes, the less likely a potential player will use it. They'll either post, or they'll just not use TMS at all. Even before adding new information, it's probably important to weed out the broken listings and the listings that send a player from a completely different game than what the listing says. It's probably also important that if more options are added to a listing, they are options that a PLAYER wants rather than what we admins think would be cool, if that makes any sense.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:06 PM   #18
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Inactive or inaccurate, yes - but that's my point. Top Mud Sites has an extensive mud list that was designed to help players find muds. If it's no longer serving that purpose, surely something should be done about it? If players are forced to ask on the forums, because the listings are too unreliable, then what purpose does the mud list actually serve?
That is a good point. And it seems most of us would like some mods to the search engine, but this could be very controversial on what should be changed or not changed and then an agreement from Lasher to do so and then his time to do it. Whatever is done I think good representation, leadership, and thought should be put into it while also understanding the work it could cause of the Admin here.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:15 PM   #19
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

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. Whatever is done I think good representation, leadership, and thought should be put into it while also understanding the work it could cause of the Admin here.
I think this part is extremely important. Most of us here have multiple projects and very limited time. I think a lot of good discussion and planning needs to be put into any changes before we present them to Lasher. I already see that the discussion has been started, but since I'm one of the people who thinks that pruning the list and making it reliable as-is is more important than adding more options (even though more options would more accurately depict our own muds), I haven't really been able to weigh in.

Regardless, we've all got limited time, including Lasher, so I'm cautious about suggesting things that require a lot of work on his part. (Assuming it will. I'm WWW impaired.)
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:27 PM   #20
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Re: Forum admin's dilemma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milawe View Post
I think this part is extremely important. Most of us here have multiple projects and very limited time. I think a lot of good discussion and planning needs to be put into any changes before we present them to Lasher. I already see that the discussion has been started, but since I'm one of the people who thinks that pruning the list and making it reliable as-is is more important than adding more options (even though more options would more accurately depict our own muds), I haven't really been able to weigh in.

Regardless, we've all got limited time, including Lasher, so I'm cautious about suggesting things that require a lot of work on his part. (Assuming it will. I'm WWW impaired.)
I agree that the listings themselves could definitely use a cleanup. I had written a program to check their connections at once point then I saw something shiny and went after it and never came back to that program. Links taking people to MUDs other than what they claim to be is a tougher thing to resolve as that's pretty much manual.

I'm less convinced that adding new categories is going to help anything. They may already be too granular. High level categories are great for steering someone towards their big preferences but "RP Y/N?" "PK Y/N?" etc really isn't enough to get a good feel for a MUD, its community or the way it plays. Each one is unique (mostly) and the only way to really know for sure is to try it, and for more than 15 seconds.
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