How to - give constructive criticism/feedback


During the last few days, discussions have arisen around Aegir and Zimkitha, which were personal or have aroused the appearance of becoming personal. These kinds of discussions are the most useful in my eyes. Any how, the Forum Rules - Please Read and Community Guidelines have been created with a reason.

If you read through them carefully you will notice that (especially in the discussions about both topics listed above) some people ‘violate’ these rules, but mainly there are several people who deviate from the guidelines. That does not necessarily have to be a bad thing, because it sometimes clarifies an opinion and makes arguments more powerful. This is not always the case, unfortunately, hence my post to clarify some things.

Some points from the rules and guidelines that I want to emphasize, with their definition, are:

  • The forum is intended to be a fun and safe platform to interact with other players across the globe - of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Fun: adjective | amusing, entertaining, or enjoyable.

  • We ask that everybody keeps the conversation constructive and civilised .

Constructive: adjective | having or intended to have a useful or beneficial purpose.

Civilised: adjective | having or showing polite and reasonable behaviour

  • We encourage respectful dialogue as in (see points below);

Respectful: adjective | feeling or showing deference and regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.

  • We do not tolerate any vulgar or offensive behavior. Please be mindful of the way you treat other players.
  • Any kind of harassment, hate speech or offensive language towards other players is not tolerated. Please be mindful of the language you are using.
  • Do not provoke or inspire others to act against the Forum Rules or Terms of Service
  • Be respectful. Think before you write, ask yourself how would you feel if someone wrote this to you.

I get it. Criticism is expected. We should be careful however not to smudge the line between negative or opposing responses and personally attacking. Giving feedback with a very different position or belief is one thing and could be one of the most used purposes for a reply to someone else on this forum. But it’s a different thing to confront a person based on their writing, guidance or video and question their beliefs and intentions and criticize them on a personal level.

I also think that if your morals, integrity and ethic gets questioned you won’t take that lightly. There’s more to a person than we see on the surface and who knows how much someone struggles and tries to succeed in any way without the need to be criticized and torn down. Not receiving answers from a person in exactly this situation is a logical consequence. Next, I’ll share how I think we should give feedback to each other. I’ll add some examples to it in regard with the recent topics about hero grades.

My experiences with feedback tell me that feedback is successful when it’s:

  1. Specific feedback. It’s easier to deal with and it will more likely understood and seriously considered.

Which specific hero grades do you find out of line and why? Are all the individual grades of each category out of line also?

  1. Descriptive feedback. Describe the errors and offer ways to avoid similar mistakes in the future. It’s almost like coaching. I have seen it being more effective as opposed to evaluative and puntive feedback.

Us talking to Anchor: I noticed that a major part of the community thinks Aegirs grade is not reflecting reality. Would it be an option to discuss hero’s on this forum before you give them a grade or talk about them in your video’s? - Luckily he has announced that he’s thinking about doing exactly this.

  1. Your feedback; own it. It’s ineffective to pass the blame to someone else.

Stand behind your view. Say things as ''I see it this way" or “in my view”. If anyone asks what you think about a hero, include someone else his or her opinion only when it’s relevant for yours. It can be tough, but it’s needed for showing and earning respect.

  1. Addressing the issue and not the person. Don’t tell someone they are bad at something.

Don’t tell someone they are bad at defending their point of view. Or bad at writing guides. Instead, use describtive feedback from #2 to reinforce a growth mindset for the reader(s). Over time, everyone will benefit more from this. We want Anchor his guide to be as great as possible for all of us, don’t we? So let’s put our mind to that and perform to reach that goal.

  1. Giving limited feedback to one person. Don’t give too much feedback to a person all at once.

If you notice a person is feeling down or tension starts to rise, it’s probably better to wait a day. One person can handle more amounts of feedback than another. Don’t give them so much feedback that they start to feel unconfident or disliked. We often see posts in which people quote nearly every sentence and reply to it with counter arguments. Ask yourself if it’s always neccessary and if it’s relevant for the topic?

  1. Being respectful. Ask yourself if you are being respectful before submitting your reply or post.

Care about someone else his or her feelings. Grown-ups deserve respect as well. Just because some of us are mature, doesn’t mean we take everything lightly. I get that sometimes we need to bite back or stick up for ourself, but be respectful when doing so. Show admiration for someone elicited by their abilities, work, qualities, perserverance or achievements.

Saying a post, video or guide is useless or terrible doesn’t show respect. Express your thoughts with the above points taken into account.

If someone tries to bring evidence into play by collecting a certain amount of samples, which either are wrongly obtained or not big enough, simply tell them how they could improve their work. Don’t burn them down as they have put effort into constructing their feedback properly, for you.

To say that there are mean intentions behind a message, video or guide does not contain any respect either. It is permissible to say that if you really think so, but do not repeat it if the opposite is addressed again and again.

Leave out your sarcasm if it only serves the purpose to bring down someone else. By doing so, you simply provoke someone to act against the Forum Rules.

Be careful with saying ''I don’t care". Nearly everything on this forum, other websites, Facebook and YouTube is meant to honestly support other players. Honest help always deserves appreciation, even if it doesn’t concern you. The community is made up out of all of us.

I think it is refreshing for some of us to be reminded of this. I believe that no one has evil intentions. I also believe that if you really engage a conversation then respect for each other and others is always shown. Hopefully the examples above will result in fewer flags or warnings being distributed to future posts and players!

P.S. I, of course, am fully open for feedback. Just don’t raise my guard, alright? :wink:


This will be the epitaph on my headstone



Well said !

20 chars


Very well “spoken”, should be added to the Guidelines and/or pinned.


Well said… er, written. A timely reminder :smiley:

split this topic #7

A post was merged into an existing topic: Can we just get rid of Field Aid already?