My problem with the Classifieds section

Should we allow people who haven't met the requirement to only view Classified section's post


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Puffer

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Classifieds section is on the best thing this forum have to offer. It's very convenient, because it allow people like me to my portfolio for paid work , without having to create a website for it and such. But there is one problem I have noticed for a while is that there are a lot of people who is not a member of this forum (for a month) or haven't made 30 meaningful posts yet.And according to the rule, they won't be able to see this section, which could make some commissioner lose a good amount of potential customer.

So I was thinking that we should allow people who haven't met the requirement to see/use the section are still able to view post, but not reply or giving like and such, can only view.

What is your thought about this?
 

Dungeonmind

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My thought is that their gonna do what they want to do and this poll isn’t gonna change that lol
 
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Philosophus Vagus

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It's a nice idea, at the very least (in additon to your points) it might curb the new members posting requests for paid work in the wrong spot because they don't realize classifieds exist > mod locks it since they aren't allowed to post there yet > new member gets pissy cause they feel they've been singled out chain of events that I have seen play out several times since I've been here.
 

Andar

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It WAS that way for several months, but then the problem users who couldn't post directly simply send PMs to the people who posted in the classifieds sections.

And that resulted in some problems like an increased number of disputes where the artist didn't get their payments and nobody ever heard of the users commissioning something again...

There is a very long pinned topic explaining why the current settings were choosen after every less restrictive way had been tested and failed. I can't link to it at the moment, please search for it.
 

Shaz

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And because people could SEE the classifies but not post in it because they didn't qualify to advertise, they would just post their advertisement threads any-old-where, defeating the entire purpose of the post requirement.
 

Poryg

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Even without visible classifieds I receive plugin commissions from people with sub 30 posts. Looks like I've already established a name here :D.
Luckily I'm a plugin maker though, so I'm not afraid of people willing to just run off with my script.
 

Wavelength

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I'd be strongly in favor of this, for the Classified - Requests section at least.

I've hired several people through Classifieds (before the 30 post rule came into effect), and some of the best, most dedicated, talented, and loyal people I found were either near or below that 30 post threshold (and are still below 100) - notably @DrDhoom and @VanillaBrocker, who have put hundreds of hours of work in for lots of different members of this community (it seems like any time I take a commission, I find that they're part of the team already :guffaw:). Several other low-post members have also been really helpful and honest in their commissioned work for me. I'm so happy that the rule wasn't around when I was looking for people.

I think this is especially true for users whose first language is not English - it can be time-consuming at best, and intimidating at worst, to try and contribute to Help threads and Design discussion when your command of the language is functional but not yet free-flowing. I can speak some Japanese, probably enough to communicate in commission work (with the help of auto-translate), but I would be very intimidated to post on a Japanese forum.

It's true that I've also been burned once by a low-post member, as well, but it taught me the valuable lesson to only trust hires with an established body of personal or professional work. By following that rule, I've never been burned again. If anything, I think a Sticky (or similar) with should-be-common-sense guidelines like this, and tips for handling payment timing to ensure neither party gets screwed, would have been more useful to me than a 30 post requirement would have been.

The fear that people would join the forum just to advertise with one thread and then never come back is justified - as is the fear that unestablished members could hire people, receive work, and never pay for it. Offers could stay hidden until 30 posts (perhaps with a placeholder shown on the main page's directory of topics saying "The Offers forum will be unlocked when you become a more experienced member."). But I don't think that Requests is usually subject to the same abuse.

This would also clear up the confusion that occurs when new members make paid-request or advert threads in Resource Requests/Workshop subforums, and then it needs to be moved but it can't be moved (as the member is too new) and ends up getting locked instead.

There's no perfect solution here, but I hope that the guys and gals in charge do give some serious consideration to re-thinking the 30 post rule.
 

Shaz

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There IS a sticky with should-be-common-sense guidelines. People don't read it.

The problem in opening the Requests forum up is that people who wouldn't qualify to post in the Offers forum can then see request threads, and PM the poster. That did actually happen. In fact, I think there was someone who was told they couldn't do commissions anymore until a dispute had been sorted out, who would do exactly that.
 

D.ray

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Classifieds section is on the best thing this forum have to offer. It's very convenient, because it allow people like me to my portfolio for paid work , without having to create a website for it and such. But there is one problem I have noticed for a while is that there are a lot of people who is not a member of this forum (for a month) or haven't made 30 meaningful posts yet.And according to the rule, they won't be able to see this section, which could make some commissioner lose a good amount of potential customer.

What is your thought about this?

I think a good artist/composer/freelancer who makes money or intends to make money, wouldn't rely solely on one stream of revenue. This means they probably have different sources of income and an actual website. I would be highly skeptical of the restriction of the classifieds negatively impacting someone who works for commissions because users who don't have 30 posts can't hire, or are themselves users who can't access the classifieds. I mean if it does/did effect someone, that probably means they need to diversify, expand, or optimize the way they do business. I wouldn't blame the forum rule change for personal business decisions I made. Or the lack of ones I didn't make.

In this day and age, it isn't hard to make a website either. You can literally have a free one up and running in a matter of hours or maybe days, depending on how tech savvy you are.

And if someone is interested in RPG's and not just in gaining access to the classifieds, they should take the time to meet the requirements (the 30 posts). Which really isn't that hard to do.

I don't know much about how the classifieds used to operate, since I only joined a few months back, when the classified restriction was already a norm, but I'm ok with it. It isn't perfect, but I don't think any system would be perfect. This is coming from a composer with under 30 posts who is looking to be hired for a RPG game. But I don't rely on one site or source for work, and have different ways of getting hired so this isn't a big deal. In the meantime I've been learning about the RPG engine and getting to the know community since I'm genuinely interested in RPGs.
 

Wavelength

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The problem in opening the Requests forum up is that people who wouldn't qualify to post in the Offers forum can then see request threads, and PM the poster. That did actually happen.

This is the exact intention of the suggestion!! The idea is that, as a new member, you can't use the boards for shameless public advertising, nor can you try to recruit people for a "paid" project that will never happen. But you can see which established members are looking for talent, and if you have that talent, you can PM them and they can add you to their team if they believe you're qualified. This is a win-win: established members get a wider field of people who can help them, and artists/musicians/coders who are actually qualified can join a team from day one.

I know that 30 posts seems trivial to you and me, as we've got thousands and enjoy conversation. But I still believe it acts as a genuine obstacle to non-native/non-fluent English speakers.

In fact, I think there was someone who was told they couldn't do commissions anymore until a dispute had been sorted out, who would do exactly that.

Admittedly this is a drawback, but isn't is also true in the current system? If you've already taken a commission and are in a dispute, then you already know how things work, and you can still PM people to get around it. I feel like this particular problem is exogenous to the question of read-only access to the Requests section, though maybe you're seeing something that I'm not?

There IS a sticky with should-be-common-sense guidelines. People don't read it.

The "Rules for Classifieds - Read this" thread talks mostly about rules like Tagging, Paid Resources Only, and Dispute Resolution. It does say "Do not offer to complete a request unless you are certain the request can and will pay you." but that's all I see as far as common-sense guidelines.

It's good that we have that thread, but expanding it to include some wisdom for how to select the right people would be a gigantic help to first-time commissioners. Not to mention some wisdom for people ready to take those offers about what joining a project generally entails.

I definitely agree that some people aren't reading these guidelines - maybe it would be better if the guidelines were visible on top of the thread list itself, rather than in a sticky thread that needs to be opened to read the guidelines?

I think a good artist/composer/freelancer who makes money or intends to make money, wouldn't rely solely on one stream of revenue. This means they probably have different sources of income and an actual website. I would be highly skeptical of the restriction of the classifieds negatively impacting someone who works for commissions because users who don't have 30 posts can't hire, or are themselves users who can't access the classifieds. I mean if it does/did effect someone, that probably means they need to diversify, expand, or optimize the way they do business. I wouldn't blame the forum rule change for personal business decisions I made. Or the lack of ones I didn't make.

It's not just the freelancer being affected, though. I think it hurts our established members who are looking for talent every bit as much as it hurts new members who are looking for work.
 
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Andar

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But you can see which established members are looking for talent, and if you have that talent, you can PM them and they can add you to their team if they believe you're qualified. This is a win-win: established members get a wider field of people who can help them, and artists/musicians/coders who are actually qualified can join a team from day one.
No, this isn't a win-win, it is the biggest problem and was the reason for the change.
The classifieds section was hidden because it was intended to prevent new users from sending PMs to people offering or requesting commissions.

Just check the old discussion about this - I think I remember you participating in it years ago, and I don't want to restate all the reasons why users with less than 30 posts need to be forbidden to circumvent the rules about classifieds.

One of the things you all keep forgetting is that this is a forum under corporate law, and it is pure goodwill from Degica that allows private paid commissions here without taking a percentage as fee for providing such a platform. And they have to handle (or let the unpaid moderators handle) all disputes which arise from classifieds that went wrong - and there were more of those disputes before the access was restricted.
 

Wavelength

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I hope I'm coming across as respectful and not stubborn when I defend an idea (in the OP) that I think is a very good one.

No, this isn't a win-win, it is the biggest problem and was the reason for the change.

I guess one man's trash is another man's treasure. I can't envision a world where PM users were the biggest problem (compared to spammy advert threads, commissioners who had no intention to pay, etc.), but even if that's so, it would need to be weighed against the positives, which I feel are being overlooked.

Qualified artists, musicians, and coders are around on the forums, often "lurking" as Guests (who contribute nothing to the forums themselves but absolutely provide something to Degica as RPG Maker users), and giving them a way to see that members exist who are looking to hire not only gives them opportunities (and a reason to take the plunge and join the community), but also gives the members a wider selection of resource makers that are willing to help.

...there were more of those disputes before the access was restricted

Of course there were more disputes beforehand - there were more people eligible to view and perform commissions beforehand, and therefore more commissions being taken!

Just check the old discussion about this - I think I remember you participating in it years ago, and I don't want to restate all the reasons why users with less than 30 posts need to be forbidden to circumvent the rules about classifieds.

No need to bring them up again - I understand the reasons it was done. They are good reasons, but I think that our implementation badly throws out the baby with the bathwater. I guess the two points that really should be considered are (1) since both pros and cons exist in restricting both access and knowledge-of-existence to "trusted" members in the Commissions section, do the pros outweigh the cons - I feel they don't, but I see a lot of people feel they do; and (2) is having 30 Posts really the best way to gauge how much a member should be trusted - I feel it's arbitrary and reductive.
 

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