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Points for consideration

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Thyiad, Jan 24, 2018.

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  1. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Reading a few things recently, I wanted to address a few things which have come up. If you aren't willing to read the whole thing with an open mind, then don't even bother getting past this paragraph. This isn't a RFD, it's a post to hopefully make some people think. This is why the thread is locked. :p And I deliberately haven't done headings because I don't want people skipping to their person little pet project section.

    This won't be my last post on these subjects, but I want this out there and digested before posting anything else. (Plus, still I'm still ill and I want to go through all the other posts about three more times.)

    The first thing I wanted to mention was the attitude that "You've not been here long" = "You aren't worth listening to". That's not true. If it was, my PM box would only open to people who've been here six months and have two dozen posts. However ... someone who has been here for ten years obviously has more invested than someone who turned up yesterday. They've shown that this is a community they liked enough to join and continued to like enough to stay. Particularly if they've been actively instrumental in major parts of the forum (writing guides, running tourneys, helping with Stickies etc). It shows that they have a long-term history of contributions. I'm not saying that a 10 year lurker means nothing; there's a LOT more lurkers than posters. It's always a pleasant surprise when then pop up ("been here ten years and 129 posts ... wow"). Over the years they've been here, lurkers and non-lurkers have shown that they liked the forum when they joined it and it still meets their needs today. People will come and go naturally over time; time and interests change. But that investment over a long period should be recognized. Not pandied to, but recognized.

    As I stated elsewhere, this does not mean either that the long-term members are or should be fireproof. They can be just as dodgy as someone who arrived yesterday. Or their whims acted on without proper thought for consequences. Someone snidely remarked that we have ATMA bugging because "long term members had the mods ear". At 47? No. I do what I feel is right based on the long-term ethos of the community, the consequences of actions and what's going to cause least harm to the community as a whole. That's what Mods do; irrespective of it being popular. Sirpoopsalot and I talked about it and we both had the same point of view. (I'll try to avoid covering it again somewhere in this post but will certainly be doing so in the next one.)

    I missed the "ATMA wars" but the creation of that muling utility caused a huge ruckus here. People left here because they felt that a muling utility was a "hack" or "cheat". Because it "wasn't available in game". Or "wasn't what Blizzard intended". Well this is probably the start of the creep away from pure vanilla. And the fact that I'm pretty sure NONE of us play pure vanilla anymore is an important one. Consider what "pure vanilla" is. Out of the box. No muling. No multi-instance and certainly no no-CD use (pre Blizzard creating that).

    But even given that, the SPF has been to the "purer" end of the spectrum from the get go. That is why people seemed to have come and stayed for over a decade. That's valuable. The SPF is alive when so many other D2 forums have gone by the wayside because of the demographic and the demographic is directly related to the ethos regarding "hacks", "cheats", "mods".

    There's a scale here from "out of the box DII or LoD" to "any hack you fancy". There is no logical argument for what we do or don't allow here. So don't even try to create one. It doesn't matter if it's "out of the box" or "possible on the Realms" or "what Blizzard intended", at some point pretty much anything you care to specify which we allow will break one of the "reasons why it's allowed/isn't allowed".

    Here's a handy list you can use as a basis to play "what's possible/can exist on the Realms" and "what Blizzard intended" and "what the SPF allows"[edit for clarity: (some are deliberately not allowed in the SPF)].
    RRM
    RWM
    ATMA/GoMule
    multi-instance dll
    Daemon tools (yes we all knew this happened before Blizzard sorted the disk requirement, we just didn't mention it)
    In game ilevels
    auto pickup of <x> (gem, rune, elite uniques)
    map seeds
    editors
    act 5 command
    duping
    time travelling items forward
    eth bug for armour (the "Blizzard was fixing a bug and created a new one" incident)
    having unlimited characters

    Do we think Blizzard expected us to have 20000 items? Do we think they expected us to be able to use rune words in single player even though you can on the Realms? Do you think Blizzard anticipated items from 1.07 to be moved forward to 1.13?

    It's crucial to remember that incgamers have had a superb relationship with Blizzard over many years. Given the competition for their attention, that is a phenomenal achievement by the incgamers admins. If you were a game developer, who would you want to work with; a forum which allows any old cheat and does pretty much nothing to keep the information or discussion of it off their forum, or a a forum which has a strict policy of not only not only not allowing the mods/cheats to be discussed or pimped, but banning those who do? By being strict on mods/add-ons, sharing/linking to CD keys, item-selling sites and power levelling sites, incgamers contributed to the longevity of D2 and that has to be recognized by Blizzard. Yes, Blizzard are predominately Realm-focused (see D3 for evidence) but the SPF contributed to that "keep it clean" attitude. And you can see it in the join dates of members, and the activity level of this forum. If you can remember the names of the other forums; go and have a look at them now. The kiddies who wanted to cheat because they couldn't be bothered to play the game and learn the mechanics have gone and the forums are dead. The SPF survives. Because we're the bunch of weirdo's who run naked characters with maps we've learnt by heart and fight our urge to pick up every item because of inventory management.

    People came here because of those ethics. They stayed because of those ethics. And Blizzard worked with incgamers because of those ethics.

    Now the SPF has a little leeway. But it's stance is and always has been "you can do what you want on your own computer but don't pimp hacks or cheats and certainly don't bring it into our MP/trade pool". Sometimes we allow stuff because it was in the MP/trade pool before we found out. Sometimes we allow it because it caused "the least harm". Doesn't mean it's ideal. But it's best for the community as a whole. To reduce fragmentation and to prevent penalizing people who did nothing wrong.

    Someone asked about "why do we have <X>" (either RRM before 1.13 or HC to SC transfers for items; I can't recall which). Because a member was using it/did it, MP and trading and the Mods at the time only found out after the fact. It was in the MP/trade pool, so it was dealt with in the best way possible; the alternative was pretty much a forum-wide restart. Sometimes, fire-fighting is the name of the game. Doesn't mean anyone is happy about it; it just means it's the best that can be done. Let me give you another analogy. You ignore the cough you had for a year, go to the doctor and find it's stage II cancer. Which is worse treatment/prognosis than if you hadn't ignored the cough and gone sooner. Nothing you can do about it now, you deal with what you have. (Before anyone gets snitty about that, pretty much every single one of my mothers family have died of cancer.)

    The SPF has always tried to ensure that people can play pretty much how they want, whilst not fragmenting the MP/trade pool. "You can do whatever you want on your own computer" has been in the rules for as long as I can recall. The line comes when people start posting about it; that's never been accepted. Partly because it gives the wrong impression of the site. A Google hit with this site and a load of posts containing the names of mods we don't allow, gives totally the wrong impression of the forum and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. People see the results and come expecting info, they post more, more Google results are created, and on and on. So you remove the mention of them and people's first impression is not that we condone or accept those mods or practices.

    This is a similar rationale to not allowing mod-making discussion in the SPF. We couldn't guarantee what the mods was, if it had any "extras" we didn't know about and it would fragment the MP/trade pool. There was and is a perfectly good place to do that with like-minded people at the Phrozen Keep. We've been directing people there for decades, and allowed the SPF to keep it's own particular flavour. There have been a couple of exceptions; silospen with GoMule because it was much ATMA 2.0 and (eventually) CRM. And CRM had a fight on its hands, despite RRM being "accepted".

    Of course the other issue with allowing mod-making here is becoming reliant on a few people when that mod no longer works. We've been lucky with people able/willing to update RRM prior to 1.12 and RWM. But could 1.15 break GoMule? Possibly. Could it make DII online only and thereby break everything we use? Entirely possible. In which case Blizzard can go suck a duck. And sliding back on topic ...

    One of the biggest challenges within the SPF/SPTF is to "KISS" (keep it simple stupid). With members from all over the world and of varying ages, something that was easy to translate is imperative. "No going back in versions" is pretty simple. "You can move freely between 1.12a, b, c" not so simple. As I mentioned elsewhere, everyone needs to think of how busy this forum was and the implications of even a minor screw up. Members have done complete restarts (despite being told they needn't) because they think that an item might possibly have been tainted.

    Even when I joined, I can't think of any other forum that had such a good MP/trade in vanilla. Pretty much everyone used mods (most of whom we didn't support). Given that the SPF has also had a very hard line on hacks/cheats and it's always been a tough line to walk. Hence the alphabet soup we get in the SPTF. The idea is to make it clear to your trade partners what you do.

    The downside of that clarity is fragmentation. However, if you were around when the patches started coming out (1.11/1.12 a b etc etc and then 1.13), you may recall that Blizzard pretty much dropped them. It also dropped them with it's customary lack of information. Difference between 1.12 a and b. Buggered if I knew at the time. Anyone who has used the Arreat Summit for info, will know that to trust Blizzard's published info is pretty much folly. You wait until someone has dug in the code and figured out the real info. Luckily the SPF generally wasn't in a hurry to update (with the exception of the rune drop increase patch). But still "no going back in versions" made a lot of sense. Who wanted their characters and items corrupted by a Blizzard faux pas?

    Going back a few paragraphs to the logic of what is and isn't allowed here ... there isn't any. It's historical and working with what we have. Without asking the entire forum to do a restart. Yes, I did read the post that "The Realms have had 17 resets, why can't the SPF have one?"; well if you'd like to tell and then make sure every member of the SPF is working with a completely clean install and no old items, then you go for it. I think it's an incredibly amount of arrogance to suggest to people who've played a game for 15+ years, amassed thousands of items that they delete them all because you feel they should. I frankly won't tell them to do it. And if someone asked me to do it, I'd tell them to piss off.

    Should we ban an item which was rebalanced by Blizzard or insist that it shouldn't be moved forward because it's "over powered". What's your plan to police that? What's your defence when someone says (rightly) "but I worked for that"? What's your take on the impact of every forum member who won't play nice and delete items and either reduces the MP/trade pool even further? What's your plan when they say they've deleted it, don't and then continue to MP/trade. Will you be happy to ask everyone who has interacted with that person to start deleting items? That's one example but it can be applied to pretty much every post in that "suggestions thread".

    Someone posted about the "line between having it their own way and quality of life improvements". Everyone seems to forget that their suggestion that "you should do this" is equal to "everyone should do this" or "no one should be allowed to do it because I don't like it". Just because YOU don't like a practice, it doesn't give you the right to tell everyone else to start deleting their items when they didn't realize it was a problem. Similarly if you want to turn your Sigons blue, then lovely, but please don't suggest that everyone else does because it is going to impact everyone who MPs or trades or takes part in tourneys which exchange items. It's that "Community thing".

    A really good idea is to look at the Question thread I made. I believe that the reason we are so good at guides and helpful advice and inspiration is because we haven't moved so far from "quality of life improvements" to "any old hack goes". We know how to play the game, we haven't gone "Pay to Win". There is a VERY fine line between Quality of Life improvements and hacking.

    Ask yourself where you think these are in the QoL-hack scale are (some are deliberately not allowed in the SPF):
    RRM
    RWM
    ATMA/GoMule
    multi-instance dll
    Daemon tools (yes we all knew this happened before Blizzard sorted the disk requirement, we just didn't mention it)
    In game ilevels
    auto pickup of <x> (gem, rune, elite uniques)
    map seeds
    coloured gems
    editors
    map seeds
    act 5
    respecing infinitely
    duping
    time travelling items forward
    having unlimited characters which don't expire

    Now tie up your answers above with "what's possible on the Realms" and "what Blizzard intended". Got a headache yet? Good. Then you're thinking about it properly.

    In closing, the community seem to forget that this isn't a democracy. Yes, Mods have PM boxes. Yes, we read them. Yes, we respond to them. But just because you get a petition together and the result is "jump", our response isn't "how high". I've said before, this isn't a popularity contest and with good reason. Those who shout loudest have good lungs, it doesn't mean that they have good ideas, nor the energy to carry out their new whim. We're here to ensure that no one is left in the cold and the SPF continues to be the most active D2 forum. That the minority or the quietest aren't ridden rough shod over by those who have more time on their hands to post.

    We had rules when you arrived. You agreed to them. As for "I'm not going to follow an unjust rule", well, then you will be leaving a private forum. Rules aren't going to be changed because you think it's a jolly jape and haven't thought about the consequences. Pretty much any question has been asked before; shoot a PM to me and I'll answer it. With the caveat that Mods are not beings who are awake 24/7. We sleep, we work, so while we will respond, it won't be within three minutes; please have a bit of patience.

    So what if the SPF doesn't currently meet all your needs? Well I don't just get my news from one source. Why would you expect the SPF to meet every single one of your needs? Do you start a petition at CNN asking them to ensure greater coverage of the Japanese bonsai trees? No, you'd go and find a site that covers that. Same deal. The vast majority of people are here to learn/gain inspiration. They care little fighting over whether runes should be green, gold or purple.

    Every place has elements that you like and elements that you don't. This goes for countries, work places, people. You choose whether the good outweighs the bad or vice versa. You don't always get to choose and mold places or people to your exact preferences. In fact; good luck with that. Has anyone here had a partner who you did not want to kill at least once? Would you go into work and tell them that the work times don't suit you and you'd prefer to start 90 minutes later and finish at the same time? No, because you agreed to the hours as part of your contract when you joined.

    I am looking at the hamster thread and the poll and I'll post about it later in detail. Again; not today, not tomorrow and maybe next week (this flu needs to suck a duck). There may be some rule changes. There may not. But in the meantime, I would ask everyone to go and read what I wrote above. Actually think about the consequences of what you are suggesting. Don't just pull a suggestion out of an orifice and think "that's a good idea". Does it fit with the SPF history/ethos? Does it screw over members whose names you don't even know? Is there a good reason for your position? I don't like tomatoes; I don't expect them to be banned from supermarkets, and stop people growing them. I can live perfectly well without buying them and not reading "Tomato Growers' Weekly".

    Finally, if you don't get your own way, you need to work out of you're still happy here, or if somewhere else is a better fit for you. I'm not going to allow the frag fest of the last few months to continue. As I said above, people come and people go. That's natural.

    As always, my PM box is open.

    Thank you for your time.

    EDIT:

    The original Question thread asking "Why are you here" - https://www.diabloii.net/forums/threads/question.960458/
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
    zoo, zemaj, DiabloTwoinDC and 7 others like this.
  2. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Bumping because I can. :p

    And feel free to PM me with thoughts.

    The question 2 poll closes tommorow IIRC.
     
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