On Clarity or Rules and following them.

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by WickedWolfy, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. WickedWolfy

    WickedWolfy Touch Fluffy Tail! Veteran

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    Before I begin - I am in no way, shape or form suggesting that moderators are "bad" or otherwise at fault of doing something they should not be. In my opinion, they are doing a splendid job and should be commended!

    My issue, however, is with the rules. Not even as much with "the rules", but with how they are communicated.

    In particular, I would like to ask about the "Game Development > Game Mechanics Design" board.
    Per inspection, the rules are as follows (35)
    Numbers 3 and 4 are quite clear. Its the 1 and 2 that I would like to raise a question to.
    In one of the discussions (98090) I have linked to a physical implementation - an RPG MV Plugin that, in my opinion, was on topic. The discussion was about the same Hit Rate of both Melee and Ranged weapons. And the plugin in question discussed (and implements) how the melee weapons should not be reaching "back row". @Kes has issued me a friendly reminder that my link to the plugin is against the board rules and, per further discussion, it was explained to me that the issue is not with the 1st rule, how I originally thought, but with the 2nd - Where physical implementation reference is considered off-topic at the discussion board.

    Note: I will repeat myself just in case... I no way shape or form do I imply that Kes has overstepped his or her duties as a moderator. My goal is to better understand the rules myself and to potentially resolve the embarrassment of friendly reminders for others. As far as I have seen across the board Kes is doing a splendid job and I am very grateful with their initial tossing of my early threads into correct boards. I have noticed it takes a bit to learn where to post when you are still fresh to the boards.

    To my confusion... In parallel I was reading another topic, on delaying combat exposure (99537), where many board members were making comparison to other games and actively discussing how one or the other practical implementation has treated the mechanic in question. I have not seen any warnings issued. Friendly or otherwise.

    If discussing detailed items is considered off-topic, I'd like to kindly request to please outline or mention this in the rules. It is hard to follow the rules when they are not communicated clearly.

    Actions taken on thread in question:
    After partially clarifying the issue, I have marked my clearly off-topic posts up for deletion but have a screenshot of the conversation in question for reference, available on request.
     
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  2. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Actually that is something we'd had under discussion for a while is possibly setting up the forums in a way to better clarify things and/or get rid of a couple areas that are redundant. So far there has been no good resolution that we are convinced will be better than the current set up for most of them.

    But I think one on the sources of confusion is the name Game Mechanics Design. Where I am that also includes implementation. Here if you ask someone to design something, that also includes details on how to implement them which may or may not be specific. But in other countries, that might not be the case.
     
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  3. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Yes, we do realize that things can be confusing here. Sometimes we mods/staff don't even always agree on where things should go or what discussions should be allowed in certain forums. As bgillisp said, we have been in discussion about how the forums can be better organized to make it easier to know where to post, and the purpose of Game Mechanics Discussion and what it was intended for has heavily been discussed and I know that we are wanting to rewrite the rules for that section. It just takes a while to get around to a major overhaul.

    I don't which thread you are referencing where you feel discussion was allowed that shouldn't have been (it's better to actually link the topic, not put the topic number) so I can't really comment on that.

    But I guess it's confusing because we typically say "How do I" or "How to" questions go into the support section for the engine you are using. So when you get into referring to specific, that is getting into the specifics of how to make a mechanic work in a specific engine. The more broad, non-game specific implementation might be:

    I want to have a friendship system mechanic in my game. What do you think makes a good friendship system?

    Then, people can respond on things that they think make this a successful mechanic. They may even reference games that have specific features in their friendship system,

    That is different from "How can I make a friendship system in my game?" where the poster is looking for how to make friendship meters show up in their game, or how to store interaction points in a variable or whatever,

    I hope maybe that example helps clarify a bit.

    And hopefully we can get around to these forum changes soon that will make things a bit more clear.
     
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  4. WickedWolfy

    WickedWolfy Touch Fluffy Tail! Veteran

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    I am curious. Is it possible to issue a warning "in private"?
    I would understand that a note is left when a post is moved, or a physical action is taken publicly. But what is someone is in simple error? In my case, and that is why the issue is so frustrating to me... I think both men and Kes are right and both of us wrong. I am multi-lingular and quite often, especially when I get to use three language in a span of an hour, my ability to properly form sentences in English is definitely sub-par. (But if not being able to form sentences in English is an offense, this forum will get very empty very quickly =3) And let's face it... Sometimes people say silly things.
    I would like to say that most people on this board that I've read the thoughts of and interacted with are highly intelligent, capable and responsible. And if someone is in error, I would think that it is not in malice, but probably in miscommunication or misunderstanding. I know for a fact that if I would receive a private message, detailed or brief, and I would be able to edit my post or move it, or otherwise handle my issue without involving the Moderating powers, I definitely would.

    Is there a possibility, read forum feature, of a "private" report, rather then public? Where maybe the message is only seen by the poster in question and not by anyone else? Or send via direct to the person in question?
    I would like to think that could be a simple solution to influence a learning curve.

    P.S. I would also like to extend my gratitude to you, @bgillisp for doing a splendid moderator job. You were also very helpful when I was starting on the boards.
     
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  5. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

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    No, I'm sorry, as someone who has moderator duties, I would resign if we had to send every "warning" privately.

    The way it is set up now, most of the blue messages are preprogrammed, to make it faster and easier. The problem is with people interpreting them as "warnings". There is no ill intent in the blue messages. The blue color is simply a visual way to let members know we are acting as a moderator, not as "we are angry with you for making a mistake". Mistakes happen. Heck, sometimes I question where to post a new thread.

    A blue message is a courtesy. For example, members do not have the ability to move threads. If we sent a private message that you posted in the wrong section, you could do nothing about it except start a new topic in another section. Then we would have to deal with duplicate threads. It's much easier to simply move it, then give you the courtesy of letting you know that we did so, so that you are not confused when your thread is not where you posted it.

    With the exception of a 2 or 3 paid staff members, all of us moderators are volunteers. I do not want to have to spend even more of my time sending personal messages for every moderating task. It would greatly increase the work for us, and we are spend a lot of our free time trying to make this place a good community.

    And of course, we do not mind people not speaking perfect English. I have never seen anyone called out for not speaking perfect English. Just please don't take the blue messages as you are in trouble. That is not their intent.
     
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  6. WickedWolfy

    WickedWolfy Touch Fluffy Tail! Veteran

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    I have seen one or two moved and moved posts by multiple moderators. Quite entertaining to watch. Sorry. =)

    I understand and agree completely. I would like to think that "Mechanic's discussion" is different from "Mechanics Implementation". One can span from the other, but sometimes there might be a point to keep them separate. There is no easy decision here, I don't think. Because I could name both good and bad things to either split or together treatment.

    The question I am trying to raise is not exactly about this, but clearly on discussion. While discussing a topic, technically according to my above-mentioned rules, linking to a, say, RPG MV Plugin would be making it "project specific", since you do tie it to RPG maker. But, to beat on my specific case, this is the best physical example I could make to describe my point. YEP, while adding technical description about the plugin, described the frustration about treating both "melee"and "ranged" weapons the same way and same mechanic. As I've mentioned before... At the end of the work day I can be brain-dead and quite illiterate. And for that I've apologized a number of times on these same boards.
    In terms of discussion, I understand some limitations, but I would think that it is truly important to allow anything (besides the obvious insanity or insults of course) to express an opinion. And if there are harsher requests on some things to not be done, then please outline them. That is all I am asking. It is both proper information for us board users and extra protection for the moderators.
    If I can help the debate on rules in any way, I would be more than happy to.
     
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  7. WickedWolfy

    WickedWolfy Touch Fluffy Tail! Veteran

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    My apologies for not responding quickly enough. USA Corporate Media blocks this board because "games" and the notifications don't come quickly enough. Most of the time I have to reset proxies (which are also, technically, blocked) just to be able to see the board.

    This. Very much this! Is this outlined or explained anywhere? I have to say that to someone who is a new-ish board member and is not familiar with the ways of the moderators, this is exactly how that looks like. In my case, I think that I'd like to know the rules better, so I could follow them better. But I have seen feathers ruffled here and there.
    May I suggest maybe a link to general description about the pre-recorded messages. Something along the lines "Why am I seeing this" or "Why was this posted in response to my post".
    I'd like to think that if I understand the message clearer, it would help my learning curve slightly better then treating this as a "slap on the wrist.

    Please forgive my suggestion. I am definitely not looking to create more hustle and nuisance for the moderators. You guys are doing an outstanding job. I am struggling to make your life easier, not harder.
     
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  8. slimmmeiske2

    slimmmeiske2 Little Red Riding Hood Moderator

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    Excuse me for doing this, but

    WickedWolfy, please avoid double posting, as it is against the forum rules. You can review our forum rules here. Thank you.


    In the future if you want to add something after you posted, please use the 'Edit' button. Thank you. :)

    I have no idea which topic you are talking about, but if you see something that you think breaks the rules, you can always report the post and we'll check whether or not it did. Sometimes we just miss stuff.

    As for the posts that sparked this topic, I just want to say that as someone who uses RMXP, your post in the other topic wasn't (very) useful to me. I can imagine that would be true for others as well, so that's why I feel it didn't belong in a discussion thread like that. Those threads should, after all, strive to be useful for all engines. (I hope you understand what I'm getting at here. As you can read, I'm not an English speaker myself. :aswt:)
     
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  9. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

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    And you have no idea the discussions that go on behind the scenes. :p


    As I said, we've discussed changes to the Game Mechanics Rulesand the way they are written. We are also trying to be more clear in other areas where they are not. We do realize there are places that we can improve the boards and are trying to get there. We just need time to implement the changes.

    At the same time, if we go through and attempt to outline every discussion detail we have a pages long rules topic for every section. That is why it is up to moderators to determine if a topic is following the more general rules outlined.

    It is touched on in our rules, but it could perhaps be written more clearly.

    We really are here to help, not get angry or constantly get people in trouble. We just don't want to go around changing things without explaining why. Take slimmmeiske2's message above about double posting. We could have simply merged your posts into one with no blue text explanation so you didn't feel you were in trouble, but that would likely have resulted in a lot of confusion for you as to what happened to your posts and why they were one now. You may have started a new topic saying "What happened to my posts?" And if we did similar to everyone, we'd have a lot of confusion and be having to answer a lot of "What happened to my posts?" topics.

    In simple, just try to assume the best of us - that the messages we are posting are to try to help, not make you feel bad.

    It's not a problem, we don't mind suggestions. I just wanted to explain why it is not really feasible for us to do that.
     
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  10. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    BTW, I know why the double post happened more than likely. If you hit quote it starts a new post with it, even if you are in edit mode. That is why we recommend using @ (user's name) to tag them instead, it gets around that. Hope that helps.

    As to why it isn't private messages, what would happen is you would get 3 from three different moderators who didn't know someone else sent one. So that is why it is the way it is. This way we know it's been dealt with so we don't end up with 3 or 4 different people telling you to do something while you are asleep and you are like I took care of it to the other messages.
     
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  11. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

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    That is indeed a very good point as well.
     
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  12. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    For me, the confusing part of "Game Mechanics Design" is that things I think would fall in there, moderators don't. I once created a topic on "Quest Tracking", which would be a mechanic of the game. Is it done via arrows, a line drawn on the ground, ! over the head of an NPC, a Quest Journal, etcetera? How does it affect the gameplay? Because, it does affect gameplay in a major way depending on implementation or even just whether or not you include it...

    But, I was told, "It's not a Game Mechanic. It's a UI Feature so it belongs in General Discussion". At which point I just go, "huh?". I mean, I get the point that it CAN be UI, but it can also be a Mechanic.

    There's a lot of issues like that with the "Game Mechanics Design" portion of the forum. There really isn't a "concrete line" drawn anywhere about what is or isn't a game mechanic. To my mind, anything that overtly affects player behavior is a "Game Mechanic", which is also a "system". But, where moderators draw the line on what constitutes "Game Mechanics Design" is fairly muddy.

    I'm not asking policy be changed on that one particular issue (or any particular issue, to be honest), but I think it would be helpful to have more concrete guidelines. Namely, what is the difference between "General Discussion" in Game Development and "Game Mechanics Design" in Game Development? Judging just by the topics posted in each, "General Discussion" is packed mostly with people asking about Personal Preferences about features and mechanics while "Game Mechanics Design" is about all the ways possible to implement features and how those features affect gameplay in a general sense... which tends more towards "advice" type topics.

    I hope in the future when a revamp of the rules go into play, they are a little more specific and less nebulous.

    It's probably worth noting that the rules for both sections are exactly the same. The descriptions of both are vague enough to allow too much interpretation between users on what belongs there. I can't imagine how much extra work that creates for mods having to move topics around as a result.

    Just my two cents. :D
     
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  13. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    When I'm discussing in mechanic design, I always refrain from mentioning a plugin implementation (and I hope everyone too). Since I'm capable to bend RM(VXA) at my own will including creating some unusual and odd mechanics that haven't been done (totally not bragging), I prefer to discuss something broader that ignore default engine limitation, and a specific engine implementation. The time I mentioned plugin was when I created a topic about "Armor Scaling". I put Yan's plugin of Armor Scaling there as a context. However, I wasn't asking "How to", but rather asking "When to implement this? and how it affects gameplay?". People can still answer why or why not to use.

    Most of time, I agree with how Kes handle the moderation. A reply or continuation of reply that strive toward implementation is when discussing a certain mechanic, then someone mentioned a limitation of the engine and began to suggest a plugin or some sort of workaround. Mentioning a specific plugin itself as a reply and discussing how the plugin works as an illustration falls into a grey area in my opinion. It's an engine specific reply, but it can be used as a context for illustration, not for implementation. However, I believe you can still illustrate a reply without mentioning a specific plugin (unless you reeeaally need to).
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
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  14. WickedWolfy

    WickedWolfy Touch Fluffy Tail! Veteran

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    @bgillisp Thanks for the heads up about using @ ... After I've hit the "quote" button about a dozen times. =(
    Unfortunately I have to report that @ does not always work for me - there is either a crazy delay to look up a name or my corp network has blocked the rpgmakerweb domain already and I have to kick it in the shins again. So I might be known as that "doubleposting wolfy" from time to time.

    @slimmmeiske2 I will have to apologize ahead of time but I will be guilty of double-posting now and then. Sometimes it just happens. I can go into further reasonable explanation, but let's just leave it at that without too much off-topic.
    In terms of me linking to the physical plugin, I've tried to back it up with a description, but words got in the way. There I would agree with the responding moderator - I can see how that would look off-topic.
    But yes... I understand "English as not first language" very well. Sometimes, when it all gets jumbled up, it gets strange. =\
    Although its a precious moment when my wife would spend an hour patiently listening to me speaking a language she does not understand that I didn't notice switching to.

    @mlogan I'm not a graphical wolfy, so it might be a bit hard for me to do, but I would think if there would be a "graphical" guide to the forums, in style of VN engine or RPG Maker talking face. I would think that would be educational and fun. And if it is referenced in every blue/red automatic warning, it should be very useful, I think.

    @Tai_MT I would like to think that in your case and possibly many others its the fault of words getting in the way and miscommunication happening. Honestly, if you are talking about quest arrows, that does sound like a physical implementation... But if you asking what would people think about guide back to the Quest NPC or their objective, like in most MMO RPGs nowadays, that would spark a discussion, I would think. I try to hop onto some discussion topics and adjust questions for better idea generation. Looks like some of my efforts are working. Don't fret at the moderators - they can't see inside your head and try hard to help.

    @TheoAllen I understand where you are coming from. I would think that practical examples in terms of plugins should be refrained from due to possible conversation pollution. But in this case, and that was my original question in a way - should mention of "other big titles" implementing a functionality be restricted as well? Want to FF8 Magic Draw functionality? Nope! Refer to storytelling of Secret of Mana? Can't let you do that... that would be "practical implementation".
    After all, my case with linking to a plugin was niche - I wanted to talk about "reach" as part of "to-hit" calculation and the plugin was supposed to be a supporting example. If I would talk, instead, about any other game, no matter how old, which has a physical implementation. That, to me, sounds like the same kind of offense - practical/implementation example. The only difference is the application to the same engine - RPG Maker, as was in my case. Or if I make an example of someone doing a good implementation of a certain mechanic being discussed in an RPG Maker game, without realizing it was made in RPG Maker, which criteria would that fit?
    While discussing theoretical gaming practices, should _all_ physical references be restricted? Or should only some be allowed, with discrimination against the home-engine of RPG Maker? Slope gets slippery here.
    I understand that there are many more savvy game developers on this board, who are much more experienced in game making with RPG Maker and otherwise than I would ever be. So for someone like you to discuss a theoretical topic without physical references is much easier than it would be for me - I would need to spend months and years to get to the level of understanding you have currently. In my world, the only thing I can do to grow that I know of is _to_ look at a physical implementation - take it apart in my head and try to build form there.
    In case of "Game Design" values, with restriction of physical implementation, that seems to be geared more towards the experienced "elder" developers, effectively barring newbs like myself from ever being able to understand, relate or participate in the topic, because our imagination is not on that same level and we can't think out of the box (yet). And if we might have ideas or thoughts on the topic that might even be valuable, they are doomed to rot in our heads because we are not able to express them on a level of someone much more experienced, without having to resort to practical examples.

    I wanted to bring it up earlier... Take a look at the level of experience of everyone on this thread alone. By the amount of time spent on the forum and discussions and questions in thousands and tens of thousands to your name... Me with my mere 90,making a correction for double-posting, is not even an infant in comparison. @TheoAllen, you say you can put together any kind of functionality. How long did it take to get to your level? How many hours? How many questions and answers later are you able to say with confidence that you can be unstoppable in your passion to create? You are able to swim with the current, someone like myself would be happy if we do not get washed out the shore again.
    This is truly my frustration - I am trying to push my own glass ceiling of game development experience. I struggle to learn and expand my horizons... And I would love to ask for help, but I don't even know how. With the rules in place, it feels terrible breaking them and creating hustle for moderators, they are people too, who sacrifice their time to manage the gigantic board worth of people and ideas.
    The only think I am left with is being a (very bad) copy-cat and doubting myself for posting... And I am afraid I am alone.

    This is why I am asking to take a look at the rules and make them clear in the least. So folks like myself know that some boards are not for us, the territory not to venture into... Because we are not at the level of experienced developers' ability to hold a conversation without having to resort to practical examples - we are not "tall enough to ride".
    I can't speak for others... I would hate to speak for others following the same path I do. But, with rules clearly outlined, I would respectfully have to bow out of using "Game Mechanics" board, because I hate to break the rules and I won't be able to lay out my thoughts without breaking them with my limited ability to express myself on the topic I am trying to learn about.
     
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  15. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    It does depend on your browser a little. I've found that when I use the @ sometimes it takes right away, and sometimes I have to delete it and try again. Mobile browsers are usually very bad with the @ in my opinion.

    As for how to get the experience...I did it by mainly doing. Make the game, and then get others to test it and give you honest opinions. Also I read every thread on the forums (or as much as was practical) even if not related to my game just to file the information and solutions in it away for later.

    For coding, depends on the engine, VXAce has some online tutorials for how to script that are pretty good. There's probably similar ones for MV, though I'd not recommend trying to use them right away as you will want to see what you can do by default first.

    Otherwise, just learn general programming. Many of the concepts learned in even learning how to code C or C# carry over to any other language. I learned to code with a book dedicated to teaching it, and then just did every single exercise in the book. It worked. Of course, I was 14 and very bored that week too (how I wish I had that much free time again).
     
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  16. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    As Kes said in other thread, it serves as illustration. You will have to know the difference. But when u hits up specific "how to" in a certain engine, you crossed the border. It also crossed the border if you're the OP and you disagree / rejected replies because it doesn't fit with your project, since it will be a specific project feedback.

    It will fit. There're some discussion that mentioned some of RM games without touching the area of "how to implement". They only discussed it in the level of "how they designed", not on the level of "to achieve this, you have to use variables and do this and that".

    I'm not sure what do you mean by physical reference. But there is the difference of "how to drive a car" and "how to behave on the road". We discuss the latter on that forum assume you know the former. If that answers your question.

    This case is not only on the game developing. But also in software engineering colleges. The first few years into the college, you will be entering the class of how to code. The later semester, you will be learning some of algorithm, and how to design a software. They will never mention a specific language implementation, rather they discuss how to design a software that meet the customer expectation, how to design a software structure, how to maintain a software life cycle.

    True, and I know where that comes from. You might be thinking of discussing something but you hit the wall of "is that even possible in RM?", thus you were having hard time to express yourself. But there are support forums to answer "how to implement". If you're having a problem of understanding how things work and how to make things work from game mechanic design forum, you can ask there. And to make it fair, from what I understand the "how to implement" forums also prohibit you from criticizing or giving feedback on any design that the OP asked on the thread. Because that is where two kind of forum comes together. You want to learn to make something, even if it's really weird mechanic, well you can without someone questioning why would you do that in implementation question forum (Learning RGSS/JS and Engine support forums).

    It took roughly three years. The key is to understand scripting and all inside the default scripts. So you know where to inject something on it to make it works like I want. It wasn't easy I'd say. I was just having free time to learn and didn't have active project I was actively working on. So I spent my time reverse engineering almost the whole engine of default script, thinking why it structured that way and how to create a workaround. When I was stuck on the idea, I looked at support forum, and see if I could make something for people who was asking for assistance. When I was stuck on the understanding, I created a topic on learning rgssx.
     
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  17. Sharm

    Sharm Pixel Tile Artist Global Mod

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    @WickedWolfy You know, if you spell it right it doesn't matter if the pop up comes up or whatever, the forum will still treat it the same. Just @ the person anyway, type it in normally, and you don't have to worry. The notifications and name links are just a bonus anyway. BTW, I just typed yours in to test it out. Did you get a notification?
     
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  18. Dankovsky

    Dankovsky Veteran Veteran

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    To be honest I've often felt that Kes can be a little overzealous sometimes.

    Slamming people with moderator warnings (and that's what they are) for the most minor infractions and honest mistakes is not good moderation or community management to me.

    In my humble opinion the mods should mostly stay out of discussion and allow members some freedom, and only intervene if things get heated.
     
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  19. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    @Dankovsky no, that would only result in a toxic forum environments like the steam forums.
    And blue is Moderator info, not Moderator warning - that would be red in color.
     
    #19
  20. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    This happens quite a lot. By definition you do not know, and cannot know, when Mods decide to do nothing.
     
    #20

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