This topic is important. General Chat is a mess. One night an under level 10 player sent the word “help” every few seconds for over 40 minutes. I did report that as spam, but feel that was legitimate. The amount of sexual banter is out of hand. I am in no way a prude or narrow minded, but truthfully, I feel like I need a shower when I step out of General Chat. The lack of clear rules for the forum makes it a problem.
Peer Support used to be a place to go for great answers to game questions. It still is, but many of the high level players who used to frequent it have backed off because of being reported for numerous things. I’ve seen the evidence. It’s not mine to share. Let me tell you that after seeing the evidence, I think SG has a very narrow view of context in which certain things are said. THAT is part of the problem with the report feature. One major problem is that people will find a way around an in chat profanity filter, yet if they do and are reported, they get a ban after multiple reports. Interestingly enough, that reporting can be done by a game player named (as an example similar to what I have seen): Fuk Uall. So one gets a ban and the other gets to run around all day in any chat room without an issue. HOW is that keeping chat free from profanity when you’re forced to look at a player name such as, Peter Pness, one slang term for male genitalia and a filter work around for male genitalia, or Fuk Uall? In the USA, there is a legal concept of equal protection under the law. It means that while two things may be different, they still receive equal consideration under the law. SG should, by comparison, apply bans to player names that include profanity. You cannot have a community respect a profanity filter without equal application. Oh, Peter Pness is a real name of a player who took top position in one category in Grimforest recently. As for complaints that questions don’t get answered in Peer Support, they almost always do. Sometimes they get lost in discussions, but the volunteer players who are in that room usually stop whatever banter they have going on to respond, especially to a new player.
I said before that I’ve been an admin/moderator on three large international message boards. SG should strongly consider adding a role of moderator to the chats because it would help clean up and keep the chats on topic, safe for children (who I’ve seen targeted by older players), and the report feature use would decrease. Giving moderators the ability to determine what goes to SG as a violation would also help ensure that context of a reported posting is included.
Alliance recruitment is a mess too. Ads move so fast it’s hard to read them, you can only scrol back so far and read, something needs to change. I made a suggestion in another related post about how SG could look to improve alliance recruiting. But also not allowing players under level 20 (or even 25) to create alliances would help keep clutter out of the rooms because more experienced players tend to understand the in game etiquette a bit more than the low level players. I run a training alliance (going on 9 months now) and I have sat as a volunteer in Peer Support answering questions and in General Chat looking for new players who are confused so they can be in an alliance that will teach them. My new players take time to settle into “game mode.” At about 2500 TP, they seem to have a grip on the game and game etiquette.
Numerous times, I have seen others say they’re going to report people for various things. Occasionally they are warranted. Occasionally they are not. I’ve reported people for a few things, but I’m extremely selective in doing it. Post something over and over again every few seconds for two minutes will earn one of my reports. Many people, however, are not so selective. I say that from over 5 years of experience moderating international message boards and reading personal responses to why people reported things. I am no longer shocked that people will go to great lengths to make someone’s life miserable for any reason or how they will argue with you as an enforcer. I’m also trained as in negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution, and i am professionally trained to be objective and make arguments on either side of a situation. So perhaps my perspective on what merits reporting and what doesn’t is a bit skewed. Lol
In any event, things need to change. SG seriously has a problem on its hands and HeyAlexa’s situation is just one of them. SG needs to step up and seriously consider changes to prevent the abuse of the report button to get people banned because of a personal vendetta, spite, or whatever invalid reason another player has against a particular player or the world in general. When you get very experienced players who have invested significant amounts of time (and money) into the game quitting because of being reported and/or banned repeatedly for no discernible reason, it’s an issue. Not having a dialogue with a reported player is an issue. Not taking entire conversations into consideration is an issue. Not providing logs of conversations resulting in warnings is an issue. SG should show good cause, in context, for bans and should give a player a chance to respond. It may not change anything about the ban, but it does give insight into that person and their personality or surroundings of the reports. Pay attention to who is reporting and how often, especially multiple reports against specific players by one person. Trends in reporting are important and telling.
PAY ATTENTION, SG. THIS IS BROKEN AND NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED QUICKLY.