Hello all. If you are reading this for advice in how to progress ingame, feel no need to read any further. This is my thoughts on the forums as they are now, and how I think we can work together to improve our budding community. If you are reading this in the hopes of me preaching how to solve the problems that are clearly present here, feel no need to read any further. I do not know how to solve such problems, nor will I pretend to know—instead, I can only share my thoughts, my ideas.
First off, perhaps I should go off on a bit of a tangent and address the fact that this will be my final post on the forums. You may have seen me about after my departure was announced, but that was because I was waiting for m4 to end. Now that it has, (and thank you to all involved in that era) I will be gone for good. I apologize for not sticking around and trying to help solve some issues that have been brought to light.
This ‘guide’, in short, is a collection of my thoughts about the Battledawn forums and the community that inhabits it.
Allow me to begin the serious portion of my little spheal. Perhaps we should consider first before we try to ‘fix’ this community, what we are trying to ‘fix’ this into. My idea of an optimal Battledawn forum is this: A site that promotes intelligent and constructive discussion, both related to Battledawn and other subjects that the community finds interesting and worthy of discussion.
This forum should not be seen purely as a supplement to the game, although that indeed should be its primary focus. The forum should be a way for members to interact and build a community that they could not in the game due to a lack of communication tools.
With that in mind, let us look at the first flawed part of these forums: suggestions
. The primary goal of suggestions is to provide a tool by which the community can attempt to improve an aspect of Battledawn.
I have always been a staunch supporter of a mandatory reason for every vote, simply because it is the best way to maintain the quality of discussion of suggestions and the quality of passed suggestions. There have been concerns about disrespect towards people who do not wish to have their opinions known. To that point of view, I would say that I understand, but it in the best interests of the community to enforce such rules. People need to take responsibility for their votes. If we allow people not to do so, then we have the trolls that frequent the forums today. If, on the other hand, people do take responsibility for their votes, perhaps they will put more thought and time into casting a vote. Their reasons and their vote reflect back on them.
However, this is unlikely to be enforced anytime soon, as the recent community polls have shown. And so, I would like to encourage everyone to put down a well thought out reasons for every vote you put. Take responsibility for your votes. Voting no in a 11-0 suggestion is fine, as long as you justify that vote. No votes should be discounted if properly justified. And also, stop labeling all no votes, justified or not, as trolls—it’s rude and makes you look insanely immature.1. Always put down reasons for votes in suggestions.
Now to discuss a slightly more controversial subject, staff
. Staff should only use their power if the community is being negatively impacted, as they are not running or guiding the forums, but helping to facilitate discussion and the growth of the community.
Topics being locked by moderators especially get on my nerves—locking denotes that the topic will no longer be discussed, and if there is no discussion or communication, there is no community. I understand the locking of threads that do not contribute to the community (I want flying units, unban me, etc.) but if there is a discussion in the thread, it is my opinion that it should not be locked. The most common reason for locking discussions is flamewars. It is my opinion that some moderators are way too sensitive. Staff should only lock flamewars when constructive debate has stopped. If someone is calling an admin out on being unfair, that discussion should not be discouraged purely on the grounds of “it calls the staff out on something.” Remember, discussions are the backbone of any forum community. Drama from flamewars is what keeps people reading the forums. Too much is never good, but such arguments are a way for people to have fun. Furthermore, if the community sees no need in a thread, they will drop it. If they wish to post, it is a hint that you should take that the discussion has not finished. Abuse the lock tool, and you will find that gradually, there will be less and less things to lock.2. Never lock if a related discussion is ongoing in the thread.
Right. Staff treatment
should be brought up here. As I have said before, staff do not run these forums--they merely regulate it, it is still you, the community, who ultimately holds the power of driving the forums. Mods should be able to take a joke as well as any other. However, there’s been some anti-staff hate going around these days, and personally, I think that’s pretty stupid. If you’re going to be taking a shot at a staff (probably admin) for something you don’t agree with, be my guest, as long as it’s a well structured and thought out argument. Disagreement is fine. However, when that crosses into ‘hate’, there is a serious problem. Respect the staff please, they work to make the forums and games a better place.
Sure, talk with them over stuff that needs to change, criticism is the driving force of most games, but make sure that you always keep the discussion confined purely to the game. Don’t harass or do anything dumb like that. Also, and perhaps more importantly, staff—yes, you probably do have a thankless job. However, don’t start off on the foot thinking that the community should be honored by your presence. As someone somewhere (sorry, forgot name) in these forums said, Battledawn, you are a business. A business needs its customers, not vice versa.
If you think that the customers need you and go around all high and mighty, you are wrong.3. Community should treat staff with respect, and vice versa.Maintaining the quality of posts
is a must for a forum, and this is something vitally important that every one of us should pay attention to. But what makes a post of high quality? Allow me to put it this way: A constructive post adds something to the thread, the thread would be positively changed because of it, and discussion would be promoted.
For example, the following posts are strongly discouraged:
The above posts obviously did not contribute to the discussion at all. If you are posting things like the above, you are effectively ruining the forum, little by little. Make your posts have meaning! Put a bit of thought into everything you say! Even in spam, try to make each post funny or meaningful, please? Ensure that after your post, the next poster has something to say something humorous on and that your post doesn’t kill the conversation. Don’t post trash just because you can and it’s spam. Grammer is a really nice thing--it keeps everything readable, and makes you seem smarter! Remember, your posts reflect back on you.4. Post with meaning, post with thought.Signature artists
, I call you out. I am not the best artist by far, but one thing that can be said about my signature making is this—if I say that I will make a sig, I will make it. Always get back to your customers within 24 hours with a first draft, a revised sig, or a request for alternative ideas. There are a lot of artists are there that accept requests and end up not doing anything. If you create a sig shop, you are making a commitment to help your ‘customers’ get the sigs they want. Take responsibility for your title as a sig artist. Don’t toot your horn, “I’m the best, I’m the best, I rule”, and then not do any sigs for your customers because “I’m too busy and you’re not important enough”. That’s douchy. If your shop is open, and if you accept a request, do the job.5. Signature artists should only accept requests when they are free, and when they accept requests they have to do it.And finally, the obligatory have fun.
This rule may be more important than a lot of us realize. I've always tried to keep this in mind during my time here, and maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much while it lasted. Stop the doomsday predictions: ahhh spam is dying!!! Chillax and have fun. If you're having fun, people will see and will naturally want to join in. Battledawn is going to die, blah blah blah...seriously? You're not here to do a long term analysis on the economic stability of Tacticsoft. If the community lightens up a bit and uses this great resource we possess to create a few good memories, heck, I'd bet that would be a more effective marketing strategy than the doomsday predictions. The more you hassle, the less fun you're going to have. The less fun you have, the more you're going to hassle. Why?
Move on, Battledawn community. Move on and grow to what you can be. I salute you. "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."