Author Topic: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?  (Read 4612 times)

John

  • Posts: 4039
Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« on: June 17, 2017, 07:22:05 PM »
So apparently we can't make polls anymore (or my forum-fu is just failing). But do people think staff overuse their DM Fiat?

Nergal certainly sounded offended when he was accused of it:
Quote
I find the notion that this thread was only posted to eventually ban words to be ridiculously accusatory and offensive.
And yet, one hour later here is what we got from Nergal
Quote
Staff would like to see players stop using the word necker to refer to elves, and stop using sexist insults framed against people (e.g. bitch, dick, cunt). We'll be taking the word bitch out of the curses helpfile for its lack of thematic sense. We do not find the word necker to be as thematic as other established words for elves such as sharpear and it is not in the curses helpfile. There is clear evidence that the word "necker" is used as a stand-in for the word "nigger", and regardless of whether it started that way or devolved to hold that place in that game over time, staff believe that this is the best way forward.

We will give players a month or so to phase such words out of their characters' vocabulary. By August we will expect such words to not be in use anymore, and approach players who do use them on an individual basis.

Thread locked.

Now this thread isn't to discuss whether or not certain words should be banned. The avenue for that discussion has already been locked and I do not want this thread to be locked. This is to discuss whether or not staff overuse their "We're in charge, this is what we're doing" card.
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sleepyhead

  • Posts: 244
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2017, 07:33:22 PM »
I believe the way this particular thread was "handled" was all sorts of inappropriate. I already put in a complaint using the request tool, so there's not much more for me to say about the matter here. I'm just here to say you're not alone in feeling the way you do about this incident.

Zenith

  • Posts: 747
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2017, 07:39:57 PM »
I do wish that thread had ended differently. I thought it stayed pretty reasonable right up until the end, and I was surprised by the way it felt like Nergal's temper went from 2 to 100 in a single post.

We're all human, we all lose our cool sometimes, but I do think this particular situation might have been better handled by taking a few deep breaths and stepping away from the GDB for a little while.

I think that it is hard to generalize that staff overuse their DM powers, especially from this single instance (and I don't believe they do), but that you CAN say that this was not a well handled situation.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2017, 07:47:39 PM »
Shhhh, they're gonna ban you for having an opinion that criticizes them!
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7510
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2017, 07:52:16 PM »
I interpreted the whole thing differently (not surprised are you?).

In my head - my imagination - I was thinking:

Two reports come in from different people complaining about words.
Staff says "hey - are these isolated situations and those two people need to just get a thicker skin, or are there other players being made personally uncomfortable by these words?"
Nergal posts to see if there are any others.

Turns out, those two weren't the only people who thought those words were being used for oocly-hurtful things. The majority disagreed, however - the fact remained, it wasn't an isolated situation afterall.

So a decision was made - and while the decision was made, the thread devolved. As a result, Nergal's final post on the matter was less than syrupy sweet.

No idea if that's how it happened staffside, but that's what it looked like to me, in my imagination.
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Yam

  • Posts: 7582
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2017, 07:58:42 PM »
I think the staff in general, but especially Nergal, handle GDB discussions poorly. Extremely poorly.

It doesn't help that some of the loudest voices, like Armaddict and Melkor, are too stupid to be argued with. But I think the blame rests on staff for being able to handle discussions with both the reasonable majority and the unreasonable minority on the GDB.

Refugee

  • Posts: 1592
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2017, 08:02:39 PM »
Until today I would have said that, while in the past it was that way, many strides had been made to better the problem and that I hadn't seen that kind of attitude for a very long time. 

This left a bad feeling in my gut and I feel like I'm flashing back to an unhappier time when I did not even care to post on the GDB because of this kind of thing.  I don't like the rule but more than that, I don't like the way it was handled.  The way we the players who cared enough to participate in the thread were handled.  It has gotten to where we could discuss just about anything and staff would let us, so long as nobody got stupidly out of line.  That was such a big improvement over when I started playing this game.  I hope it remains that way.

I wrote a letter of resignation after this happened but I thought about it awhile and deleted it.  Maybe it's just an isolated incident.  Anyone can have a bad day.  Maybe he didn't realize how it came across.  Everyone's experienced that.  I have.

« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 08:06:45 PM by Refugee »

hylomorphic

  • Posts: 2
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2017, 08:07:12 PM »
I interpreted the whole thing differently (not surprised are you?).

In my head - my imagination - I was thinking:


...

No idea if that's how it happened staffside, but that's what it looked like to me, in my imagination.


While an active imagination is certainly a great asset in game, it is singularly unhelpful when trying to decide matters of fact or propriety.

The fact is that the staff member in question reacted with anger at the suggestion that he might do--exactly--what he ended up doing.

It was a highly unprofessional display however you slice it. People in positions of leadership should always be cognizant of how their actions are likely to be interpreted. In this case, staff gave the appearance of instituting game-wide rules in a fit of pique at having their words questioned.

That is not how good leadership behaves. It's amateur hour in here.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2017, 08:10:34 PM »
Quote
It doesn't help that some of the loudest voices, like Armaddict and Melkor, are too stupid to be argued with.

Can't argue with that, the intellect is too staggering.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7510
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2017, 08:12:06 PM »
hylomorphic - they ARE amateurs.  I'm guessing that not a single person on staff has ever been to "internet based game leadership" class. And none of them are, and probably have never, been paid for it. They're not professionals, and there is no professional standard that they can even live up to. I've played games where the staff get paid, and believe me, they [edited to add - the professionals] are much - much worse.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 08:14:02 PM by Lizzie »
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Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2017, 08:17:42 PM »
hylomorphic - they ARE amateurs.  I'm guessing that not a single person on staff has ever been to "internet based game leadership" class. And none of them are, and probably have never, been paid for it. They're not professionals, and there is no professional standard that they can even live up to. I've played games where the staff get paid, and believe me, they [edited to add - the professionals] are much - much worse.

They have always been amateurs.  That does not prevent one administration to the next from being compared with ones that were smoother, more efficient, or more effective, nor does it earn confidence from the playerbase as we are repeatedly told to have via assurances of trust me, believe me, etc.

By your argument, you're basically saying anything goes because no one can be held accountable for anything anyway, so who cares, which can be realistically true and entirely unwise in terms of the game's survivability at the same time.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Large Hero

  • Posts: 561
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2017, 08:20:05 PM »
1. Both sides need to work on trying to understand the other's position before posting.

2. Both sides need to work on being more civil.

3. In this community, there are those who should say very little, but instead say the most. There are very vocal and frequent posters who ruin discussions because they are bad at having discussions and don't know it. They're frequently adversarial, illogical and confusing.

It's unfortunate, because their participation in discussion isn't ban-worthy, but the community would be better if these posters stopped vomiting their half-formed thoughts into every thread. They set the tone by posting early and often, and so many threads become toxic and derailed as a result.

This is a pretty mean post, but I'm also pretty tired of it. I rarely read or post on the GDB largely because I feel it's impossible to have a productive conversation with about four or five individuals, and they post multiple times in every thread.

This also isn't a constructive post; it won't help anything. I guess I'm just expressing frustration.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 08:22:03 PM by Large Hero »
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John

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Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2017, 08:32:34 PM »
This thread isn't about staff's beavior. Please make a new thread if that is what you want to discuss. This thread isn't about whether or not staff should use DM Fiat. All good DMs do from time to time.

This thread is about whether staff overuse their DM Fiat ability. I think they do.

Good DMs will disagree with their players from to time. They don't poll their players and then disregard what their players say and do what they wanted in the first place. I feel that has happened at least once and is a good example of overreliance on DM Fiat.

I think the game would benefit by staff using their DM Fiat less.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 08:35:13 PM by John »
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nauta

  • Posts: 2239
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2017, 08:38:42 PM »
This thread isn't about staff's beavior. Please make a new thread if that is what you want to discuss.
[...]
I think the game would benefit by staff using their DM Fiat less.

Heheh, you said staff beaver.

I'm pretty sure staff have a DM Mini Cooper, because Fiats really do suck.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5958
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2017, 08:41:00 PM »
I contributed to the derail.  Roping it back in, I tie in 'decrees' with many of the problems I see happening.

My position on that is clear; It's what my posts on those threads is always directed against.  New rules just created out of nowhere to correct things that aren't actually problems, generally based on minorities stating they don't like something.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Jo

  • Posts: 105
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2017, 12:29:16 AM »
The undeserved and unjustified indignation here is rediculous; I am honestly okay with the way the hammer dropped in that thread. Just so we are clear: I do not support the banning of the word "nekker". I am just so against some the constant and whiney bitching I read on these boards...

We play a game for free and staff volunteer their time to make it happen, and then people get mad when ANY decisions are made. I could give examples, but randomly select any thread on this board and there's a good chance you'll find a plethora of whiney, self-absorbed, and entitled posts. Shit... This might even be one!! I can't honestly tell if people are trolling or if they are that damned delusional it's been getting so rediculous.

I am sure that staff have utilised DM Fiat inappropriately in the past. Sure. They're human. They aren't paid. And if you've worked a day in the real world, you know that douchebags and tyrants sometimes find their way into leadership positions. Shit... They often seek them out. But... I think that as a whole, staff don't abuse their power. I personally haven't had any bad interactions with staffers.  And ive been at this for over 10 years. Instituting a ban on the word "nekker" and then locking a thread where people talk themselves in circles doesn't constitute an abuse of power, IMO.




« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 12:39:18 AM by Jo »

Dar

  • Posts: 1169
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2017, 01:04:15 AM »
The undeserved and unjustified indignation here is rediculous; I am honestly okay with the way the hammer dropped in that thread. Just so we are clear: I do not support the banning of the word "nekker". I am just so against some the constant and whiney bitching I read on these boards...

We play a game for free and staff volunteer their time to make it happen, and then people get mad when ANY decisions are made. I could give examples, but randomly select any thread on this board and there's a good chance you'll find a plethora of whiney, self-absorbed, and entitled posts. Shit... This might even be one!! I can't honestly tell if people are trolling or if they are that damned delusional it's been getting so rediculous.

I am sure that staff have utilised DM Fiat inappropriately in the past. Sure. They're human. They aren't paid. And if you've worked a day in the real world, you know that douchebags and tyrants sometimes find their way into leadership positions. Shit... They often seek them out. But... I think that as a whole, staff don't abuse their power. I personally haven't had any bad interactions with staffers.  And ive been at this for over 10 years. Instituting a ban on the word "nekker" and then locking a thread where people talk themselves in circles doesn't constitute an abuse of power, IMO.

Latest example of a staff decision is the Karma change over. Where in that thread is an example of what you speak of, Jo?


PS:On another hand. Why is this thread unlocked? The issue kind of died down. No need to bring it back up. Crap. Why am I typing this? I shouldnt be helping beat this horse. Okey. I'll stop typing after I write this ... and this, and this, and th .. an ... a

shadeoux

  • Posts: 970
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2017, 02:56:35 AM »
So is there now a list of Banned words we can't say IG?
(If there isn't a a list of banned words ignore the rest)

For a Roleplaying environment where you can use Murder, Corruption and Betrayal, to better yourself and get ahead
but can't toss out hateful racial slang about a group that is a staple of the game, this is starting to sound more and
more like Real Life.

1) This is a ROLEPLAYING game. :)
2) We need to rename the Pah to Neckerville. :)
3) If I am completely off base, it is because it's 2am where I am at, and I'm really tired.
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Riev

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Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2017, 08:52:57 AM »
In the end, the issue wasn't about "Necker". There were certainly some issues surrounding it, and there was a discussion to be opened about it, and some vocal people were on both sides.

The issue was that the discussion was asked for AS A DISCUSSION and then the thread got locked with a "I don't even care anymore, this is banned because I said so". It doesn't matter if you supported it or not, from the outside it looked like "We're only asking for your opinion because you complain when we don't, but the decision was already made".
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AdamBlue

  • Posts: 744
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2017, 08:42:34 PM »
In every single MUD I've ever played, it seems the administration tries to curb players aggressively rather than allow them to reach a point where they'd 'get bored' of playing by killing their characters off.
I've seen it multiple times, and the worst aggressor, being Armageddon.
I've seen points where I nearly lost a character to a game-breaking bug, that until I was nearly losing my mind, that they finally recinded and realized that it was, indeed, a gamebreaking bug. This led to the changing of the climbing system.
I've had a long-time character killed almost directly through admin intervention through spawning multiple AOE attacks on a group of characters through every single place they moved with little to no animations given.
I've bashed heads with the administration here despite having extremely little say or speak in the GDB as a whole. I was thinking about giving the game another try, a -real- try considering other muds have let me down again and again.
But when I heard that real world politics were leaking into a game about fucking cavemen elves, men, and dwarves, and that preceived IC racism was 'wah this word sounds too similar to another word', I was fucking shocked.
It may seem like a small thing, but the implications of it insist that even pretend racism against fucking elves using a word that is supposed to be in-characterly derogitory is not allowed because it sounds 'similar'?
You're seriously policing words?
People should be allowed to say what they want, despite your preconceived notions of flagellant racism against dark-skinned people, when in fact it's a referral to an actual fucking factual different race of demi-humans entirely during which racism is and should be a thing considering they're battling for survival of the fittest. Unlike human to human, where skin color doesn't matter because we're all human beings, elves are not fucking humans, and like the setting clearly defines, they should hate and distrust the other because they want their species to be the dominant one.

Racism in the real life variant shouldn't even be considered in a game like this. If you want to call an elf a necker, call them a fucking necker because they have long necks that you want to strangle. If you want to call them a sharp, then call them a fucking sharp because they have long pointed ears that you want to shove into their eye-holes.

And on the other hand, if you're an elf, look at those stupid little fucking men with their high-and-mighty attitude, their shitty little round ears. They're god damn morons. Their legs aren't even good enough to carry them across the desert, they're weak-ass punks that have to rely on animals to get them around??? They're about as lowly as beasts if they have to rely on them as such.

I mean, god damn, there's no real life racism in my god damn game about men, dwaves, and elves, so stop fucking pretending like there is. Don't ban words. Whoever thinks there's any link between 'necker' and 'n****r' (blocked to spare your compassionate eyes the strain of seeing an UGLY word that may hurt your fucking fee fees) is a god damn neanderthal subhuman, no matter your race, religion, creed, or culture, and should be fucking beaten over the head with hundreds of years of history and oppression that exists to give that word it's own offensive meaning.
Fuck.
Jesus christ.
God damn.
Stop bringing your politics into videogames, it's fucking stupid.

Marauder Moe

  • Posts: 12660
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2017, 08:54:49 PM »
I don't agree with this change either, but if you equate referring to people by the N-word with "politics" then you have some messed up political views.

th3kaiser

  • Helper
  • Posts: 371
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2017, 09:05:20 PM »
How many elves have you met with exceptionally long necks? It just doesn't make sense and frankly it's not a big deal we can no longer use the word Necker in the game. As Adhira said, it's also the only word you cannot use. Everything else is still fair game. Enjoy.

AdamBlue

  • Posts: 744
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2017, 03:17:39 AM »
I don't agree with this change either, but if you equate referring to people by the N-word with "politics" then you have some messed up political views.

Part of the general consensus of freedom, is of course, freedom of speech. This gives a voice to each and every person and allows them to speak their minds no matter their color, creed, or any other factors of their life. This includes people who would say unkind and unpleasant things.
In some public domains, some words find themselves censored, usually for morality reasons instanced. These are 'curse' words. 'Fuck, Shit, Cunt, Piss', ect.  You'll find that public media, at least in America and some other countries, take these words away simply because they are offensive. It is within the right to do so, because they are offensive to some people. I do not deny that the creators of Armageddon have the right to censor words as they see fit within it, but I do think it is an incredibly foolish and reactionary measure that does not fully understand itself in it's meaning.
What is the word 'Necker'? It means an elf, who is a 'neck taller' than an average man, also antiquated with hanging them by the neck for simply being elves. Is it a racist term? Yes, in game, it is racist, and as the setting confirms, racism is widespread.
But censoring a word that was used simply because it sounds like another word makes no sense. It would be like censoring 'heck, freaking' and 'darn' because they sound like hell, fucking, and damn.
In the actual, real world, 'necker' doesn't mean anything. It's the name of an island, an optical illusion, and a swiss banker, to name a few. If you called someone a 'necker' on the street, they would be confused, and ask if you meant 'rubbernecker', which means gawking at something awkwardly, usually on a freeway.

Saying that my politics are 'flawed' because I think that associating 'necker' with the n-word as stupid, then by all means, call them flawed, that's your opinion, and your right to claim so. But it is also my right to call you a fucking idiot. Claiming that the word 'necker' is as severe as the 'n-word' and comparing them as such is not only offensive to people who have had the displeasure of being called that, it is laughably foolish to even give it the association and acknowledge it. By claiming that 'necker' = 'n-word', and then banning the word necker, you've given strength to the idea that it was racist as a 'n-word' equal, when in reality was literally just a word to describe elves in a fictional online game, a racial slur towards them.

People have been involving 'personal politics' into things by getting rid of something that could remotely offend anyone because they live in an incredibly sterile environment. They're so focused on living in their own bubble and hitting anyone who has a different opinion as their own with labels, in an attempt to ostracize them from society for having a different mindset. I've been called many bad things in my life by many bad people. I wish they wouldn't, but I understand it is their right to be bad, just as it is my right to be good, and rise above it. Through adversity, people become stronger for it.

I'm expecting a cherrypicked, strawman, likely one-line response, or an indepth extradition of every single one of my words. Save it. I'm done talking about it. I wanted to voice my opinion.

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9443
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2017, 04:56:31 AM »
I'd like to know if there were any actual black folks who were legitimately concerned about the use of the word necker, or if this is just some kind of "look how ENLIGHTENED we are" virtue-signalling kind of thing.

Ultimately, though...if you're the kind of person who's going to get triggered by a word sounding like a word that has a history rooted in slavery and racism...a gameworld built around slavery and racism prooooobably isn't gonna be your cup of tea, man.  Just sayin'.  So, I mean...what's the target demographic here?  Appeasing players who are fine with roleplaying human supremacists (who also enslave other humans, by the way), but using anything close to "the N word" is just one step too far?  I mean...is this actually a thing?  It seems absurd.

I mean, come on.  I roleplayed cutting a dude's hands off with his own pickaxe once, then pissing on him...and staff are banning the word necker.  It's like...yeah, wow...you can mutilate and piss on me, but don't call me a necker...that's just going too far.

But...uh...yeah.  Next thing you know, we're going to have to have a consent rule for racism.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 04:59:33 AM by Synthesis »
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Black

  • Posts: 17
Re: Do staff overuse their DM fiat?
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2017, 06:54:04 AM »
Personally, I am okay with the change, because I'm not staff, this is not my game, but in my honest opinion, it's a word which has been used for many years on Armageddon as I recall. It's basically taking a fair bit away from the IC culture. Now personally, I can see where some people can make that link between the words, however my issue is more 'is this all they do?' I'd like to hope this change is the only one that needs be made, because once you start doing things like this to specific words, sometimes it will eventually lead to other changes. So, do I agree with this move completely? No. But I wouldn't say that the topic is exactly right. I mean, 'overuse their DM fiat' is not something I've seen much of here except in few cases, but even then, I'd have to say they don't. I'd have to say. I am okay with this change to some extent. I'll leave out my personal views on the matter because I don't speak for people who might or might not actually be upset about the word.