Monday, February 9, 2009

Like a Wrecking Ball to a Community Building

For those of you who don’t know, I spend a lot of time on my realm forums. I enjoy the community, which is not as “trollish” as most people assume. It does have its own subculture with rules and traditions, but it is an amazingly good way to build a community in WoW. It’s where you find out about the ninjas, the bad raid leaders, coordinate cross-faction events and trading, and even make friends.

And, well, lately, it’s been a little crazy there. Here’s what I posted on the Customer Service Forum:
I would like to preface this with stating I am not against moderating the forums, I am simply confused about certain decisions and the increased, if activity, and wish to have this confusion cleared up if at all possible.

Lately, on my realm forums (and perhaps others), there has been a rapid increase in the amount of threads and posts deleted, as well as a sharp rise in suspensions and bans. While this in itself is not bad, the choice of what stays or is deleted, as well as the sudden activity when prior there was little to none, is off-putting and confusing.

For example, it was only a few weeks ago that an individual was spamming the Dark Iron forums, literally, with posts that contained the same two words (if I recall correctly, they were "and again") ad nauseum in a block/wall of text. He did this in multiple threads for an extended period of time. Many people reported him for spam, as did myself. His posts were never deleted and, from that, I can only garner that he did not receive a suspension.

Now, posts and threads disappear without warning and, as far as I can tell, little reason. Posts which have been deleted have included:

-A post asking if someone was still on the server or had left/quit the game
-A post thanking a guild for friendly game play
-A post asking where someone had gone

To give a more elaborate example, this is how the third example ("A post asking where someone had gone") was dealt with. The post was laid out like this:

Subject: @[Playername]
OP: Inquiry as to the location of [playername]
1P: Polite, short response
2P: Insult directed at [playername]

The first deletion was the OP. This was shortly (perhaps an hour) followed by the deletion of 1P. Then the thread was left with 2P (the insult) as its first post for almost a full day before the entire thread was deleted.

I have reviewed the rules for the forum recently. I have been able to find nothing wrong with the prior stated posts, as well as many others which were deleted. I understand that it cannot always be revealed why things were deleted or suspended, but I am honestly unsure of what I am allowed to post at all anymore without worrying it will be deleted or I will receive a suspension/ban for what I say.

Thank you for your time.

I can only hope it receives some attention, and the confusion can be cleared up. It is absolutely ridiculous what is going on. The community is dying because it seems like no matter what people say, half of the time it’s deleted.

Another forumite of DI introduced this thread to the Customer Service Forum, but the response was…less than satisfactory. We can only hope it becomes more stable and predictable sometime soon. I want to get back to talking to my friends cross-faction, the ones whom I can't in game.


Averna said...

Wow, really well done.

That was a well written, well thought-out post. I hope they respond in a similar fashion. Keep us updated!

Pies said...

Well, at least you're not limited to our little European Forums ghetto.

Chris said...

I wonder if it's just the forums themselves being buggy? Some database issue or something and nothing from the moderators are doing?

Bell said...

@Chris - nope, it's the mods, because people are being suspended/banned left and right for things we've never been moderated for before. Even me. >.>

Pankly said...

I'm not sure it is solely the moderation.
For all we know this has always been Blizzard's policy towards reported posts, just that nothing has been reported as badly as it is now.

But then again it could just be someone taking advantage of Blizzard's crack down.