Hello Sporum! Lately things have been getting more than a little out of hand around here, so I thought we'd do what a couple of my favorite blogs do when that happens there: Have a little chat about the Sporum rules and the state of the Sporum.
Unfortunately, it seems that there has been a breakdown in communication between the moderation and regular users. The biggest problem is people ranting in a thread when a moderator posts instead of doing what the moderator says. When moderators post in a thread, we are posting because there is something wrong and it needs to stop (unless we are joining the discussion). What we are not doing is posting so that you can then state your opinion about the moderator's decision and why you are going to ignore it. If you have a problem with a moderator's decision, that is what the PM box is for. A few people seem to think that when we receive PMs, we delete them; this is not true. I respond to every PM (and even email) unless it is a thread lock request or one of 10 PMs about a recent spammer. So let's go over what you should and shouldn't do with some examples: What you shouldn't do when a moderator posts in a thread
AnAnnoyedUser wrote:Slyth, I think you're wrong and your decision and is stupid. I'm going to keep doing X, Y, Z because it is not right for you to make me stop and everyone else should keep doing it too. The moderation here is SPORE.
What will happen if you do something like this? You'll get banned. You'll also get even more annoyed than AnAnnoyedUser is in the original post because not only do you have to do what the moderator says
, but now you are also barred from posting on the forum for 24 hours to an entire week, during which your anger will either burn out or fester and you will finally join Darth Sidious and rule the galactic empire. What you should do when a moderator posts in a thread
AnAnnoyedButUnderstandingUser wrote:OK, back to the original topic of discussion everyone. Let's not ruin this thread for the OP.
And then he sends a PM. And then we have a discussion instead of a rant-at-moderator-destroy-thread-get-banned situation. Now sending a PM is not a guarantee that the moderator will change his mind or do what you want; it is, however, a much better alternative to being suspended and using someone else's thread as toilet paper (and really, folks, this is what you do when you make someone's thread your soapbox).
The other problem we seem to be having stems more from a lack of understanding on your part of how the suspension system is supposed
to work. Unfortunately, this is in part, the moderation's fault. So let's clarify a few things. How suspensions are supposed to work
A few of you may remember, long ago in a distant land when, I, Aku, shape-shifting master of--I mean when it was the year 2009. Around this time, the Sporum was still in its infancy and we had a regular administrative presence on the forum. It was also around this time that moderators were given the ability to suspend users following the very first "spam attacks." As a result, what I'll call the "steps of suspension" were laid out:
1st suspension: 24 hours
2nd suspension: 24 hours to 1 week (depending on infraction)
3rd suspension: 1 week to 1 month (depending on infraction)
4th suspension: 1 month to permanent ban (depending on infraction)
5th suspension: PERMANENT BAN (this means you don't come back! even on a really cool alt that spams a lot!)
Now there was some room to alter this slightly; for example, if someone had not done anything for a couple months, the cycle might sort of reset itself. Or maybe someone sent an apology email; that can help too and a few users have done this and gotten back on the forum in a much shorter period of time. There was even one case where a user sent a very sincere apology after a permanent ban and remained on the forum on an alternate account posting happily along with everyone else until he did something stupid and was never seen again.
So no doubt some of you are sitting here reading this twiddling your thumbs and thinking "Gee, Billy, I'm pretty sure I have 5 suspensions. What's going on?" What's going on is something called "lenience" and also an inability for moderators to suspend users permanently (or even for a month). We can only apply 24 hour and 7 day bans. The administration does not often visit us these days and when they do, it is only to permanently ban a list of users we keep in a dark cellar. But wait, there's more! What's going on? Why does JimBob have 30 suspensions?
Some people on the forum may think that moderation is very harsh. Bizarrely, many of these people were the ones around when the 5th suspension meant you weren't coming back. Today, even the 10th suspension means you might be coming back, however, I would like to change this because it is the result of lax moderation (though also the lack of administrative personnel). Here's what's going to happen (and in some cases, though often beyond the suspension limit outline below, often does):
When you reach your 5th suspension, you may
(I would like to stress this as a possibility and not an absolute) find yourself in a permanent suspension limbo. What I mean by this is that your account may continue to receive a 7-day suspension each time the old suspension ends with the reason listed as "Rotating ban" or "Rotating suspension" (or if you are just a really bad spam account, simply "Troll"). So once you're there, how do you get out? Escaping suspension limbo and saving the princess
Unfortunately, the princess is in another castle, so you won't be saving her. However, you might still escape suspension limbo. How do you do this? It's easy: Send me an email. If you are part of the Sporum Steam group, you might also catch me or Slyth on Steam (my current name there is "B is for BEHTLE BROTHERS" and Slyth's is "Lithium") though this will be much less reliable and you should not immediately expect either of us to drop our gaming experience to talk about suspensions; we are not paid for this and we are not on any clock.
Sometimes, due to the high volume of alternate spam and rant accounts currently in suspension limbo, users in this situation may also find that their account is temporarily unsuspended because we have either forgotten to re-suspend it or because it has been buried under a page or two of existing suspensions. This does not mean that you can once again frolic in the fields of the Sporum if you are receiving suspensions with the reason listed as "Rotating ban" or "Rotating suspension." It does, however, offer you a chance to communicate with the moderation through PMs if you are not comfortable using email or do not catch one of us elsewhere. Alternatively, you may use an alternate account expressly for the purpose of contacting myself, Slyth or DOGC through PMs.
And lastly, there is one more thing I would like to discuss with everyone.
DoomsdayProphet wrote:AND YOU KILLED IT YOU HORRIBLE MODERATORS!
Now folks, the Sporum has been around for about 4 years now. Unless the game is an international sensation like Starcraft or a soul-sucking time-hole like World of Warcraft, forum communities naturally diminish. The moderation here is actually a lot less harsh than it used to be. No one killed the forum community; it's just doing what all forum communities eventually do: getting smaller. We are all lucky that the forum has even lasted this long and that is partially owing to perhaps the best aspect of SPORE, the creators. Quite a few forums for excellent games that came out after SPORE and are still kicking receive far fewer posts and activity than here; for example, I just visited the Dawn of War 2 forums a few days ago to see what was happening with part of the game called "Last Stand." What did I find? Barring one thread, the last post was a few weeks ago. Now this game still has quite a few people playing. You can log in and see a few thousand players going at it most of times of day and it just had a free Steam weekend. Everyone here should be very happy to have the Sporum as active as it still is.
I'm going to leave this up for about a week and hopefully (barring flaming/spamming/ranting) unlocked and available for users to post in.