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Old 07-31-2007, 11:52 PM   #61
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molly View Post
I think the only way to attract players in the content of the site, outside the ranking lists would be to offer things there that really interest them - and also to treat their posts and opinions with some basic respect. (In that context I don't see attitudes such as the one displayed by Threshold helping much).
You might want to try occasionally posting without attacking or insulting someone. Just an idea.

I didn't treat anyone without respect. I made an honest evaluation of what I see from players. I'm not just pulling this out of nowhere, incidentally. I've been doing this professionally for over 11 years now.

The evidence shows that most players really don't care about MUDs in general - they care about THEIR MUD specifically. Take the case of TMC. It has been around forever. It is probably the most popular general MUD site on the net. It has clearly tried to cater to "the player" from the beginning. And what is the result? A forum that also lacks significant traffic - and certainly pales in comparison to the forum of even a modestly populated MUD.

The same was pretty much true back in the usenet days of rec.games.mud.* (man I miss usenet... such a better interface than web forums... but I digress). The majority of the traffic was developers or aspiring developers.

As a group, it is only developers, coders, builders, etc. who are interested enough in muds generally to actually participate in general forums like the ones here. The fact that TMS caters more towards mud operators is the major area where it distinguishes itself from TMC and actually justifies its existence as a separate site. Take that away, and it no longer has a USP.
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:17 AM   #62
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
As a group, it is only developers, coders, builders, etc. who are interested enough in muds generally to actually participate in general forums like the ones here. The fact that TMS caters more towards mud operators is the major area where it distinguishes itself from TMC and actually justifies its existence as a separate site. Take that away, and it no longer has a USP.
I don't think anyone is advocating "taking away" the facet of TMS that allows developers to chat about our pet issues. We're just advocating "adding" other facets that cater to general player interest where we can.
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:34 AM   #63
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
You might want to try occasionally posting without attacking or insulting someone. Just an idea.
So making sweeping insults to a large number of posters is OK, but when someone points out the potential negative impact, it becomes attacking or insulting someone? Try going back and reading your own posts. Just an idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
As a group, it is only developers, coders, builders, etc. who are interested enough in muds generally to actually participate in general forums like the ones here. The fact that TMS caters more towards mud operators is the major area where it distinguishes itself from TMC and actually justifies its existence as a separate site.
I don't see any significant difference in the audience that frequents TMC from here. In fact, it seeme so be more or less the same posters and discussions in both places, except that TMC usually is a bit more active and has a slightly better review system. Does anyone else see this alleged difference?
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:01 PM   #64
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

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Originally Posted by Lasher
Although it received great feedback on release, the new forum is getting very little use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ide
Perhaps if the forum posts were front-paged a little more prominently you would suck more people into the site.
I agree, I have actually recently heard people that asked me, "Topmudsites has a forum?", when I mentioned something about being in another window and reading a post here when they tried to talking to me on a mud while i was browsing the forum.
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:51 PM   #65
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
You might want to try occasionally posting without attacking or insulting someone. Just an idea.
Some of your comments in this thread:

"I occasionally read a few reviews off the front page here, and the overwhelming majority of them are still fanboy/flame reviews. They are complete garbage."

"Moderating them MIGHT reduce the most extreme offenders, but the ones that get through will still mostly be junk."

"You will still have given these kinds of misanthropes a forum to spread their lies for however long the review is up"

"But the majority of reviews get written by people who are unbalanced for one reason or another."

"The people who actually end up taking the time to write reviews are more likely to either be blatant suckups or enraged haters."

"The more normal folks with less virulent opinions can't be bothered to post."

"That is why MUD reviews that are not written by "staff" are doomed to always be mostly junk."

To which Molly remarked:

"I don't see attitudes such as the one displayed by Threshold helping much"

And you have the gall to accuse her of attacking and insulting you?

I think you've made it pretty clear what you think of players who write reviews. However Molly is correct - if Lasher wants this site to appeal to players, then referring to those players as "unbalanced misanthropes" who write "complete garbage" to "spread their lies" is hardly going to make them feel welcome.

You've made it more than clear that you want the forums to remain as they are, but it's becoming equally clear that many other posters favour change. Rather than attacking those posters, how about showing us some of this "professionalism" you keep talking about, and try presenting your views in a civil manner? You might be a big fish on your own mud, but on here you're just another voice among many, and losing your temper doesn't make your arguments any more compelling.
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Old 08-01-2007, 07:51 PM   #66
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
And you have the gall to accuse her of attacking and insulting you?
Yes, and it shouldn't be hard for you to understand why. I made general statements about the fact that most of the reviews are of the fanboy or flame variety. I did not name any names. Molly attacked me personally. That is a very significant difference and I shouldn't have to explain it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
I think you've made it pretty clear what you think of players who write reviews.
No. I have made it clear what I think of the reviews. There is a big difference. I think actual players of MUDs tend to be of above average intelligence, are generally very creative, and are certainly superior (as a group) to the general game or MMO population.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
You've made it more than clear that you want the forums to remain as they are, but it's becoming equally clear that many other posters favour change.
That is another factually incorrect statement since I have actually suggested specific changes that might attract the interest of more players. I have also made clear my belief that catering to players will not accomplish much, and could actually have a negative impact on the developer community that actually DOES use these forums.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Rather than attacking those posters
I did not attack any posters. That is what... the third patently false thing you have attributed to me in this one post?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
how about showing us some of this "professionalism" you keep talking about, and try presenting your views in a civil manner?
Fortunately, every post I have made has been completely civil and professional. Unlike some respondents, I have not attacked anyone personally and I have not lied about things other people have posted. This even includes my reply to your brazen flurry of attacks directed at me. Apparently your definition of "civil" and "professional" is "a post that agrees with KaVir's opinion."


Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
losing your temper doesn't make your arguments any more compelling.
I have no idea what you are reading, but I have not lost my temper here. That is just a silly and (yet again) false accusation.

Since we all make text games, I do not think it is too much for me to expect that people actually READ the posts they are responding to and avoid attributing things to posters that they never wrote.

This thread is a great example of the real reason these forums are not very active. I posted some opinions, and because other people disagree, they have to savage me personally, lie about the things I posted, and then accuse me of being unprofessional, uncivil, and of losing my temper.

No wonder people don't want to post here. God forbid you have a different opinion than KaVir.

Last edited by Threshold : 08-01-2007 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:28 AM   #67
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Re: Promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Fortunately, every post I have made has been completely civil and professional.
Putting on my moderator hat for a moment, I can't say I agree. Having re-read the thread, it seems like I am not alone in this interpretation of your posts. Take some of the fire out of them in the future.

Molly's point, which I think is worth (civil) discussion, is that if a diverse group of site users (here, players who take the time to write reviews) are often negatively labeled or ridiculed, they're obviously not going to participate in the future. It's reasonable to assume that new contributors (articles, interesting forum posts, etc.) would come from users who were, initially, casual users.

It's analogous to keeping a MUD newbie-friendly. Maybe a new player comes on, and makes some suggestions that you personally aren't fond of. If you publicly blow that player off and say something like "New players' ideas are complete garbage.".... well, you aren't going to retain as many new players as you could.
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:12 AM   #68
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
That is another factually incorrect statement since I have actually suggested specific changes that might attract the interest of more players. I have also made clear my belief that catering to players will not accomplish much, and could actually have a negative impact on the developer community that actually DOES use these forums.
Even if those two statements seem to immediately contradict one another, I'd be interested in seeing which 'specific changes that might attract the interest of more players' you've suggested. I must have missed those while browsing the posts.
Please specify.
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:29 AM   #69
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emil View Post
Even if those two statements seem to immediately contradict one another, I'd be interested in seeing which 'specific changes that might attract the interest of more players' you've suggested. I must have missed those while browsing the posts.
Please specify.
Here you go. From earlier in this very thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
I think the only way to get players posting on TMS would be if you took the suggestion someone gave and let MUD admins have a sub-forum for their mud. Make them the moderator of it, and let them have up to 2-3 categories. Then you'll get people coming here to post about THEIR MUD with people from THEIR MUD. Then perhaps they'll browse over to some of the more general categories.
I have some other suggestions as well, but I've honestly resisted posting them because of the nature of this forum community. Any idea that is contrary to the Ruling Clique gets shouted down and the poster gets attacked personally until they just leave.
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:40 AM   #70
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valg View Post
Putting on my moderator hat for a moment, I can't say I agree. Having re-read the thread, it seems like I am not alone in this interpretation of your posts. Take some of the fire out of them in the future.
Of course you aren't alone. There are cliques on this forum that shout down anyone who doesn't agree with them. That's part of the reason the forum is so dead. Rule #1 in the handbook is attack the Evil Commercial Mud Operators (ECMO) by name, and then accuse THEM of being the one on the attack. It works every time too, because after a few days the ECMOs simply can't afford the time to keep responding.

I didn't attack, insult, or criticize a single person by name, though multiple people responded by attacking me by name. Multiple posters outright LIED about things I have done or said in this thread. And yet somehow I am the one who had too much "fire" in their posts? And this is with your "moderator hat" on? If you really want to put your "moderator hat" on, perhaps you should start by removing posts that attack me personally and directly?

This kind of "moderating" is yet another reason why these forums are so dead (and will remain dead unless something changes).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Valg View Post
if a diverse
group of site users (here, players who take the time to write reviews) are often negatively labeled or ridiculed, they're obviously not going to participate in the future.
(obvious sarcasm)

Oh no! You mean there will be less horribly biased reviews spamming the system and causing nothing but arguments and flamewars on the forums? That's terrible!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Valg View Post
It's reasonable to assume that new contributors (articles, interesting forum posts, etc.) would come from users who were, initially, casual users.
I don't think it is reasonable to assume that at all. I think most review writers have a very explicit agenda that has absolutely nothing to do with contributing to the forums or writing articles.

My evidence for that is the content of the majority of the reviews and the fact that most of those review writers are not posters on the forums and have not submitted articles.

What is your evidence to the contrary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valg View Post
It's analogous to keeping a MUD newbie-friendly. Maybe a new player comes on, and makes some suggestions that you personally aren't fond of. If you publicly blow that player off and say something like "New players' ideas are complete garbage.".... well, you aren't going to retain as many new players as you could.
It isn't analogous at all, because new players are actually a valuable resource. People writing terribly biased, overly subjective, flame/fanboy reviews aren't. Who cares if the people writing those terrible reviews stop writing them? That would actually IMPROVE the site. I think the site would be better if they got rid of reviews entirely. That feature adds nothing to TMS and doesn't distinguish it at all from other sites that already have more traffic in that area (like TMC).

TMS is distinguished by its voting lists, and by the fact that it has a forum with good software, and a readable layout. TMC and some other MUD sites have forums that look more like a hacked up guestbook than an actual forum.

Now, TMS can play to those strengths, or it can try to duplicate features already present on other sites that are already known as "the place" for that feature.

If Lasher wants to improve the traffic on the forum, my suggestions are:

1) Remove all existing moderators and start over with new ones. Keep the ones that are NEVER involved in flame wars or controversies. Similarly, pick new ones who are never involved in flame wars or controversies.

2) Instruct them to moderate heavily: No personal attacks... period. No attacking people by name... whatsoever.

3) Squelch the clique mentality that currently dominates what is left of the forum.

I would love for TMS to become more popular and more heavily trafficked. It really bothers me that there are no MUD related sites out there that generate significant amounts of traffic and buzz. It would be great for all of us if TMS could up its profile and its usage. But there really isn't any hope of that happening unless Lasher can put a stop to the personal attacks and break the crippling clique mentality here.
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:55 AM   #71
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
I made general statements about the fact that most of the reviews are of the fanboy or flame variety. I did not name any names. Molly attacked me personally.
You referred to players who write reviews as "unbalanced misanthropes" who write "complete garbage" to "spread their lies". Those are insults.

Molly said "I don't see attitudes such as the one displayed by Threshold helping much". That is not an insult, but it is a very valid statement, particularly within the context of this thread.

Attitutes like yours are indeed the sort of thing that will discourage players from participating on the forums. You seem to be terrified of the idea that players might be able to write reviews about your game, and now I'm starting to understand why.

Quote:
Since we all make text games, I do not think it is too much for me to expect that people actually READ the posts they are responding to and avoid attributing things to posters that they never wrote.
Every quote I attributed to you came from one of your posts. It's rather pointless to accuse me of lying when anyone reading this thread can simply scroll back and look at your posts themselves to confirm that you really did say those things.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:25 AM   #72
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
You referred to players who write reviews as "unbalanced misanthropes" who write "complete garbage" to "spread their lies". Those are insults.
nd look at your posts themselves to confirm that you really did say those things.
Can you please cite the NAME of the exact person I insulted?

Oh right. You can't.

Are you denying that people post "lies" in those reviews? Are you denying that there are no reviews in there that are "complete garbage"? Are you denying that some of those posters have a personal axe to grind when they write their review? Are you denying that some of those posters write their review to kiss up to the admins of their MUD? Can you deny that any of those things are false or inaccurate?

Oops. You can't do that either.

It isn't an insult to post the truth, and it certainly isn't an insult when talking about a generalized phenomenon rather than an individual.

Furthermore, it is my honest opinion of what happens when you have open reviews that can be posted by anyone. You get junk.

You can't "insult" an amorphous blob that has no name. To say I was insulting people is just ridiculous when I never mentioned a single name of a single person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
You seem to be terrified of the idea that players might be able to write reviews about your game, and now I'm starting to understand why.
And there you go again with your direct personal attacks and insults. You just can't help yourself.

I really am sick of having honestly given opinions and suggestions responded to with personal attacks and direct insults.

I am officially done with this thread.

You win KaVir. Your campaign to destroy and ruin these forums continues, and I really don't have the time to combat it.
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:46 AM   #73
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
You referred to players who write reviews as "unbalanced misanthropes" who write "complete garbage" to "spread their lies". Those are insults.

Molly said "I don't see attitudes such as the one displayed by Threshold helping much". That is not an insult, but it is a very valid statement, particularly within the context of this thread.

Attitutes like yours are indeed the sort of thing that will discourage players from participating on the forums. You seem to be terrified of the idea that players might be able to write reviews about your game, and now I'm starting to understand why.
That's really exactly what he's talking about isn't it? You're accusing him of being 'terrified' and implying that it's because he has something to hide. Molly was doing the same thing earlier in the thread, writing, for instance, "It boggles me why some mud operators are so afraid of reviews. If you have any confidence in your own game - which you should if it is a good one - what is there to be afraid of? People are usually not that easily fooled, they will see through the disgruntled-player flames as well as the fanboy fluff."

It's got nothing to do with fear, of course, as is clear, I'm sure, to everyone interested in seeing both sides of the issue, so how about we stop throwing around the insults and implying that people who hold a different opinion (one backed up by considerable experience in some of our cases) have some sort of nefarious motives, or that their games are "bad" because they're coming from a position that she doesn't understand.

I mean really, do you have any idea how much work it'd be to actually be nefarious? I, for one, am far too lazy to bother.

--matt
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:59 AM   #74
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

I meant to consider the following a little more carefully back in the thread but I didn't have time. Unfortunately Aristotle is done with the thread, but to quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
I checked out TMC's forums because of this thread, and honestly, they seem pretty dead to me as well.

If players are going to participate in a MUD forum, it is going to be a forum hosted by their MUD for discussions about their MUD. [....]

Most people in games don't even participate in forums for their own game. [....]

Threshold's forums get hundreds of posts per day, and our community is not gigantic. We get significantly more traffic than TMC and TMS put together. I don't think this is anything special. [....]

I think the only way to get players posting on TMS would be if you took the suggestion someone gave and let MUD admins have a sub-forum for their mud. [....]

You aren't going to get players coming here to discuss general mud concepts. They just don't care enough. Most players just want to play and have fun... they don't want to analyze why they are or are not having fun.
Like some people have said, I don't think it makes much sense to have sub-forums here for specific muds.

On a lark I compared the TMS and TMC forum activity:

Quote:
TMC:

Out of 16 forums, I looked at the top 8 in activity, with 34 active threads in the last 5 days. Out of 34 active, 15 were promotional. Out of 15 promos, 10 were ads for staff, and 5 were ads for players.

TMS:

Out of 18 forums, I looked at the top 10 active, with 15 active threads in the last 5 days. Out of 15 active, 6 were promotional. Out of 6 promos, 2 were ads for players, 1 an ad for staff, and 3 in the 'mud announce'. Out of 3 in Mud Announce, 2 were ads for players, and 1 was this thread .
Needless to say, I might have missed one or two threads. It's 3 AM. However, I think I got the general trend. Interestingly enough the promo % is roughly equal. I would expect a higher % at TMS. Needless to say, TMC activity dwarfs that at TMS.

I'm not surprised that game forums such as Threshold's and IRE game forums would also dwarf TMC, given the populations involved, and probably, interest. Maybe Lasher should host a 'TMS mud'. He could use stock diku.

I think what's happening here is that the majority of TMS hits come through voting. Few of those voting look at the forums. They vote and leave, or vote and click through on a mud in the top # list and leave. If there's little interest in the current forums, then folding reviews into the forums as Lasher mentioned is the way to go.

Someone else brought up (I think) folding articles into the forums as well, is this possible Lasher?

edit: I suppose a bunch of people could be lurking on the forums as well. short of lurking myself and monitoring viewing activity in all the threads, and comparing this against some other statistic to filter out bots or whatever, I don't see a way to gauge this very well. Maybe someone else has some ideas.

Last edited by Ide : 08-02-2007 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:37 AM   #75
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Can you please cite the NAME of the exact person I insulted?
Worse - you insulted all players who write reviews. This thread is titled "Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS", and Lasher has said he'd like to see more players involved in these forums. You referred to players who write reviews as "unbalanced" "misanthropes" who write "complete garbage" to "spread their lies". You are insulting the very people we're talking about trying to attract.

Pointing out that such an attitute won't encourage players to get involved is not an insult, it's simply a statement of fact. As the owner of an LPmud, would you participate in a mud forum where LPmud owners were referred to by other posters as unbalanced misanthropes who write complete garbage?

If we want to attract more players, then the first step should be to try treating them with a little respect. No matter how many cool player-oriented features there are, you're not going to get many players hanging around if regular posters are calling them names and treating them like dirt.
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Old 08-02-2007, 07:51 AM   #76
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ide View Post
I think what's happening here is that the majority of TMS hits come through voting. Few of those voting look at the forums. They vote and leave, or vote and click through on a mud in the top # list and leave. If there's little interest in the current forums, then folding reviews into the forums as Lasher mentioned is the way to go.

Someone else brought up (I think) folding articles into the forums as well, is this possible Lasher?

That's what is already planned with reviews - to roll them into a special area of the forums.

On the subject of player involvement, have to be very careful how I word this because I don't want it to be taken as meaning that we wouldn't like more player involvement on TMS. The original thread was a comment on lack of forum activity period, from admins, players, anyone. A few good suggestions were made that might get players involved but generally, players care more about the MUD they play than any general MUD site. One area that came out that I think we really could do better on is general MUD information for people "just browsing", which won't necessarily drive forum usage but will definitely help the value the site provides overall.

On moderation, heavy moderation just isn't my style. No tolerance for spam, but beyond that things have to get pretty out of hand before I see a need to close threads or edit comments. It's a discussion, in this case a heated discussion, discussions people feel strongly about need to play out and die on their own or the feelings just come back in another thread a month later.

I would ask that folks consider if the thread has gone off topic and is now more about taking shots at each other than new ideas that help the original goal of the thread, but imho heavy moderation is just as much of a community killer as outright flame wars.
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Old 08-02-2007, 08:12 AM   #77
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasher View Post
That's what is already planned with reviews - to roll them into a special area of the forums.
Good idea, that might encourage reviewers to look at some of the other forums as well. Will there be any sort of grouping for different mud types, or will they all be under a single section?

For example, could I choose to have the GW2 review forum placed into a section for PK-mud reviews? Then people reading reviews for other PK muds might glance at the other muds in the same category.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:03 AM   #78
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
I didn't attack, insult, or criticize a single person by name, though multiple people responded by attacking me by name. Multiple posters outright LIED about things I have done or said in this thread. And yet somehow I am the one who had too much "fire" in their posts? And this is with your "moderator hat" on? If you really want to put your "moderator hat" on, perhaps you should start by removing posts that attack me personally and directly?
1) You don't have to name names to insult people. If I said "The majority of New Zealanders are unbalanced misanthropes.", New Zealanders reading my comment would (correctly) feel insulted.

2) I've very rarely edited or removed posts, in concordance with my discussions with the previous and current site administrators. All I did here is ask the person I'm seeing as the aggressor/escalator to tone it down some and stick to the topic.

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Oh no! You mean there will be less horribly biased reviews spamming the system and causing nothing but arguments and flamewars on the forums? That's terrible!
If people causing arguments and flamewars on the forums are the problem, I think there's a more proximate cause than player reviewers.

TMS has a number of flame wars in the archives, but the vast majority of them have nothing to do with reviews, since reviews of a single MUD are generally of interest to people who play there, administrate there, or are interested in trying one out. Most of the 'hot' topics concerned broad issues, notably intellectual property, business models, advertising methods, etc.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:08 PM   #79
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

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Originally Posted by Valg View Post
1)
If people causing arguments and flamewars on the forums are the problem, I think there's a more proximate cause than player reviewers.
Threshold may be done with the topic, but I'm just getting started.

Flamewars are exactly why I usually don't bother to post on TMS, and it's originally why I quit posting on TMC. I've never gone back to TMC, but I try coming back to TMS every few months. I've given it a go several times over the course of 7-8 years with two or three different posting names because I forget my original posting name between the times that I try. Why do I keep coming back to TMS? I feel like it's an extremely valuable resource to the mudding community because of its lurkers: players who stop in to vote but see an interesting topic, players who are thinking of becoming mud devs themselves, players who simply want to know what goes behind the scenes of running a mud.

The proximate cause for the flame wars is the quick hostility that seems to flare up immediately when specific names post regardless of what they're posting. Most of you respond to the poster and not the topic. People seem far more interested in policing other people's activities and harshing on posters than discussing topics and staying on topic. Most of the people who are posting reviews are RARELY discussing them on the forums. They come, they post their reviews or their flames, and they go. Their damage or their promotion for their mud is done. The end. They don't give a crap about KaVir's opinion of Threshold. They don't give a crap that The_Logos is being flamed AGAIN for whatever topic he had the misfortune of starting or participating in. They don't give a crap if Threshold is being a jackbutt, rude or flat out crazy. They don't give a crap if I'm posting or not posting.

Having said that, there are always the exception, and some people who post reviews WILL come stop in and look. What will they find? They will find a few futile attempts at a discussion on running muds or RP where it's mostly Brody or Warhound responding, and they will find promotionals. They will, however, find REAMS of people telling The_Logos, and to a lesser extent Threshold, how they are crap, how their behavior destroys the mudding community, how they are horrible human beings who really should just go kill themselves right now. (Okay, that last bit was an exaggeration, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see it posted somewhere.)

I work for Threshold. I have for years. I'm not into flame wars, and I detest them. I do, however, love discussion and sharing of ideas, especially between people who I feel are peers. Every time I start a positive thread to discuss some aspect of game building, I get replies from just a few posters that I classify as "positive posters". We struggle to keep the thread alive and chat back and forth until something on our own muds finally takes us fully away. Yet, if certain people on this forum decide to get into an uproar about somebody, people come boiling out of the pixelated woodwork to comment on that person's behavior.

So what if Threshold's behavior is crap? So what if you feel The_Logos is an evil capitalist bastard? If players are as intelligent as you believe, and I fully believe they are, then they can see it for themselves. They don't need 20 posts with you instructing them on how someone offended your sensibilities by their choice of word or topic or how they choose to write something. They don't need to be told how someone needs to be put in a corner for a time out. If that person needs a spanking, then that's what moderators are for. If you want activity to increase, start practicing what you preach and police your OWN activities. Don't judge people and topics by whether or not they work on a commercial mud or whether or not they are associated with someone else. Don't make every thread about you and how you're offended. Don't like how someone posts or choses their words? Put them on ignore instead of writing a treatise on how they should behave and post the way you think they should behave and post. Then make an effort NOT to ignore posts where you can't go gangbusters on someone. Put the energy into participating in the positive threads that you guys put into tearing someone or tearing some mud down. Applaud in the success of your fellow MUD developers instead of trying to find out ways to point out how they're so horrible.

This whole flame subject reminds me of the jokes I see where police are not even allowed to ask questions about someone robbing a store by the color of their skin anymore because it's not PC. ("Ma'am, was he tall? Did he have curly black hair? Did he have a REALLY dark tan, or would you say that his coloring was mocha or dark chocolate?") Most mud reviews are horrible, and I'll be happy to illustrate exactly why they are in a different discussion. (This poor thread has been hi-jacked enough.)

Right now, the most active people on TMS are the MUD devs, and we're lucky enough to have a ton of variety there. We have small mud devs, big mud devs, free mud devs, pay mud devs, pay for perk mud devs, new mud devs, veteran mud devs, coders, builders, etc. While players may not have much to SAY, lots of them do read the discussions, especially on creating muds. Lots of them simply don't have much to say. Players also use this site as a resource where they can check up on the latest developments of muds they don't play much or muds they use to play. The POTENTIAL for involvement is there, but we have to keep in mind that just about every mud out there has its own forums. Players tend to be active on the forums where they play. They are sharing their ideas and such with the people who have the most in common with them - other people who play the same game. MUD devs, however, don't really have a community besides this one where they can share in what THEY do best and what they have interest in. Thus, we should really work on developing this community as it is, and when the community is healthy and viable, posters will come.

The question here is do you want to increase ACTIVE activity on this site, or are you okay with just increasing the PASSVE activity on this site? I do recommend the following changes to the forums if you want people to more easily participate:

1) Change the "active" forum bar (on the left) to be more like the one on the front page. As it is now, you can't really make out what the topic is, and I love being able to see who the last poster was. If it was me, then I don't need to check that thread again. Right now, I find myself clicking back to the main page rather than using the bar on the actual forums page. That makes for inconvenient browsing.

2) Make the active forum bar on the forums list the top 10 most recent topics. That way, things can't get spammed off if several admins happen to make announcements at the same time or if one admin wants to make several announcements.

3) Seriously, encourage people to adjust their attitudes here. Posting here often feels like you're walking in a mine field, and you're just waiting for someone to take offense at something and go ape-poopies on you. You need moderators who are able to diffuse the situation instead of just adding to them.

4) People who volunteer as moderators should be asked to think up positive topics for discussion and starting them at least once a week. That is what we do on our own forums, and it works out really well.

Improvements for the page to encourage passive participation:

1) Look for people to write articles again. I used to do that regularly until I started getting flamed for putting my mud's name in the signature of my articles, which was completely allowed. I'd be happy to do it again, and perhaps other would as well. In this way, you create a resource we can send people to when they're looking for specific help in building a mud or just want to know why things are done the way they are sometimes. People could use help on all sorts of things.

2) Have one place where you link to resources that devs, new and old might use. You could easily get help finding the links and compiling a list. It's a one stop shop for programmers, builders, and area designers alike!

3) Totally contact as many devs (mud or otherwise) as you can to come participate here via email. You only need one simple email on the type of community you're trying to build and push the exchange of ideas and players. Encourage mud administrators who sign their mud up for ranking to visit the forums and contribute. Players will often follow where their admins go just to see what makes them tick.

4) Honestly, if we can figure out a way to get TMS to be the portal between mainstream online gaming and text gaming, it would make TMS the most valuable mudding resource out there. I think tons of people who use the "gateway MMO" to get into gaming have no idea that MU*s exist, and there are personalities that play those games that would probably prefer the richness offered in mudding than the graphical constraints of some of the more popular games. This could be something we brainstorm as a community because I'm really unsure how to go about it except by possibly taking out ads on IGN or other such sites. (That could be totally cost prohibitive, though.)

===

Anyway, this post has gotten long enough. I'm well aware that I'm one of those who crawled out of the woodwork when things got ugly, but I'm not here to pile on or to get flamed. I simply would like to point out these forums need a serious attitude adjustment and to point out that TMS is a valuable resource for ALL of us.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:23 PM   #80
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Re: Reasons to promote/discuss your MUD on TMS.

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Originally Posted by Lasher View Post
On moderation, heavy moderation just isn't my style. No tolerance for spam, but beyond that things have to get pretty out of hand before I see a need to close threads or edit comments. It's a discussion, in this case a heated discussion, discussions people feel strongly about need to play out and die on their own or the feelings just come back in another thread a month later.

I would ask that folks consider if the thread has gone off topic and is now more about taking shots at each other than new ideas that help the original goal of the thread, but imho heavy moderation is just as much of a community killer as outright flame wars.
Moderation doesn't always have to be about closing topics or editing posts. It's often about diffusing situations, PMing behind the scenes, mediation, and constant reminders to stay on topic. It's about moving off topic posts to a different thread to keep one on topic. One of the biggest problems here is that several of the moderators have vested interest in promoting their own views. They will do it over actually moderating the topic. They will throw in when a situation gets heated.

We've seen in the past that letting things play out definitely doesn't keep them from coming back again. In fact, they tend to repeat themselves over and over and over and come back like a bad case of herpes. It's not productive to come to TMS and read for the 100th time why IRE shouldn't be listed the way they're listed or why commerical games suck or why they don't deserve a spot on the rankings. This will continue until there's a reason for it NOT to continue anymore. Moderating just keeps people in line and discourages bad behavior.
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