The amount of players is increasing fast, lots of new faces (well, names) are seen online every day and while most are kind, helpful and fun to play with, sometimes tempers flare and complaints, and player reports, fly. I have decided to write a bit about player reporting and the current challenges we are facing in the area – and what you can do to help us.
Back in February when I started in Reto-Moto, one of my first tasks was to write our F.A.Q where this topic was also addressed, this is the Q&A’s from the F.A.Q on the topic;
What type of community are you aiming for?
The Internet is very unpredictable. It is our wish, to have a respectful and constructive community, where harassment and personal attacks are limited to a bare minimum. Being a small independent developer, it will not be easy for us to constantly keep an eye on everyone; neither do we wish to do so. It is up to the community itself, to build the atmosphere they want. We will have easy to use processes in place, so that our community can report a player who breaks the Terms of Service* (ToS).
How will you react to cheaters/hackers/exploiters/trolls?
By creating an account for Heroes & Generals, you will accept our terms and condition that limits this kind of behavior. If you break it, we will take the necessary disciplinary actions that we deem fit, on a case by case basis. We strongly encourage all of our community, to swiftly report players who do any of the above actions.
It is one of our absolute highest priorities, to keep a “clean” gaming environment, where everyone can have fun, on equal terms.
The above statement still very much applies, we the developers, have absolutely no desire to police our community and swinging our ban-hammer around all the time, but it is important to say, that we WILL do so if you break our Terms of Service and fail to abide to the warnings that we give.
Over the last couple of months, the number of harassment reports I am receiving in our ticket system, is on a vast increase and this makes me a saaaaad panda…
Many new players have joined us and many more will come as we progress in the development stages, and there is no doubt that the general tone used in the chat rooms is getting more aggressive and provocative from what I have been seeing in the chat-logs.
I have personally left a couple of games that I found interesting due to the community being a war-zone, where the standard answer to any question/dialog you may try to start was <Insert profanity> you n00b lolzlolzcoptorskate!!1!one!
Now, we are all different human-beings and come from different countries and different cultures – but in Heroes & Generals – there IS room for everyone, regardless of your background, country and culture.
I know that I sound like an old grumpy man when I say this, but it is important for everyone to consider, that being from different cultures that in many instances people are translating their language directly into English and there will be meanings lost in translations and it is easy to misunderstand each other, simply due to translation.
With more than 15 years’ experience as a gamer on the web, It is my opinion that “most” gamers tend to go on the offensive if they feel insulted in any way, even though what they are reacting to was in no way an insult, simply a misunderstanding or an attempt of a joke that misfired.
What I am asking of you the community, is to take a breather before you blow off at someone if they said something that offended you – try diplomacy first, and if the other part was truly a <insert another profanity word of your choice> who only wanted to provoke you, simply ignore it! Don’t feed the trolls!
It works on small children, and it will work on trolls as well. A side note to this is that we are working on a ignore function for the chat.
Many of the incidents I have been reviewing are from my assessment exactly as described above, two individuals who blow off on each other over some meaningless comment and in several cases the two individuals report each other – which is a bit funny when you think of it. Both parties are wrong and both parties are right – but both parties are breaking our Terms of Service by attacking each other verbally.
Something else to consider, is that for every time we need to address a player report, that is in fact time lost on the game development. What is kind of ironic is that what started the argument that lead to the report, could be regarding balancing a weapon that may now be postponed because we have to address the report.
Now don’t misunderstand me, it is not that we don’t want you to report other players – but before you do, consider all of the above and if you still assess it to be important that we look into it then we will!
We at Reto-Moto truly believe that a respectful community is possible, even in an internet game in this day and age, but we can’t get there without the community having our backs and supporting us in getting there.
If you made it this far in my wall of text, I must give kudos to you. You must care about our community and I hope that you will be a visible champion for it – we can get there, together!
These pandas are eating bamboo – NOT playing concert flutes.
And when we are there, we can happily eat bamboo together!
Reto.PandaBacon (hope no animal rights activist groups will sue me for that, though it sounds delicious does it not?).