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Why is everyone quitting beamdog forums?

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Thank you for your time and effort in dropping by. 

If my absence from the forum helps the community more than my presence, then I do take comfort in that thought.
Because I love the Beamdog community. 

I am not asking to be unbanned. Instead I was giving you feedback.
You moderators talked a lot about me and my behavior but hardly ever with me. 
And never directly with me before my ban.

Edited by Shandyr
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58 minutes ago, JuliusBorisov said:

The moderation team of the Beamdog forum is acting independently from Beamdog developers.

...Which is why lots of people still like Beamdog and support their products, and just don't like the forum moderation team.



 Cooperation of the user in question plays a big part in all this, their understanding and willingness to admit a mistake.

This is honestly, perhaps, the most aggravating part of their behavior.  Every moderation decision turns into a weird moralizing session over PM.  "We value your contributions and we don't want to ban you... but we want to see you prostrate yourself and confess that you are a dirty dirty sinner in order to move on."  Discussion of the matter like adults cannot happen; any points you make get a response to the tune of "we aren't going to acknowledge what you are saying because you don't seem very submissive."

You guys are engaged, as you yourself pointed out, by a website owned by a company.  It is business.  You are not teachers, or parents of the forum users.  The moderation process attempts to infantilize people, which is deeply offensive.  And you don't even get that.  You offend people to their face in the same breath that you berate them for being offensive, even if unintentionally so. 

Frankly, I don't believe for a second the moderators are really blind to the insulting nature of their own conduct.  It's just too convenient.  Rather, it's just a classic miniature version of the Stanford Prison Experiment: a few people have some measure of power within a certain set of circumstances; whether a lot or a little doesn't matter, what matters is that the exercise of that power is not constrained by accountability.  (Try reporting moderators themselves for rules infractions... see what happens.)  Experience tells us that that those people will tend to veer into cruel and unfair behavior. 

We know how to manage groups and enforce rules.  We know that social accountability keeps people fair.  We know that transparency keeps people honest.  We know that mediation that brings offender and complainant together encourages contrition and social harmony.  Yet the Beamdog moderation policies are secret, they isolate the supposed wrongdoer, and there is no check on moderators' actions or decisions.  Does anyone really not understand what kind of behavior will result from such a situation? 

More to the point, does anyone really think the community is better off without an excellent person like @Shandyr in it?  If the result of policies is the loss of such people, maybe it's worth considering whether those policies should be revised... no?

EDIT - Shandyr said it well:


You moderators talked a lot about me and my behavior but hardly ever with me.


Edited by subtledoctor
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 2 hours ago, JuliusBorisov said:

We firmly believe and support all moderation decisions taken over the years. There are big reasons why they were taken and there were long discussions prior to each of them.

All I got was two private messages from a moderator that was not in the thread that should not be named. I didn't get any messages from the two moderators that I had problems with. And I was banned in less than a week so I really don't know where you see long discussions...


2 hours ago, JuliusBorisov said:

I personally have put a lot of effort and time to improve community management and introduce better practices since I had taken over in 2016.

Congratulation, you completely fail at this.


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16 minutes ago, Shandyr said:

@JuliusBorisov @semiticgod

Then why are you two here doing something that would be prohibited by yourselves on your own forum?

There's a thin line that JB walks here, and I assume he would stay quiet about subjective matters, aka if you ask him for example why x was banned, he would not answer unless he was sure that you were x and the answer would be a PM.

Not that I actually know anything about this... as in, I have no association.

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55 minutes ago, Shandyr said:

Can you imagine a forum where this thread  - as it is now - would be closed, probably deleted, many users getting a warning and some be banned for it?

Yes. That is precisely what would happen to this thread over there. You can’t discuss moderation policies. You can’t mention prospective or hypothetical acts of moderation. You can’t engage in 100% polite, constructive discussion about how moderation policies might be improved. 

EDIT - actually there is an exception: you can break the rules and discuss acts of moderation, in detail, IF your post concludes with a sufficiently obsequious passage like “I deserved my violation, and I love the moderators, and we are all lucky to have them.” Then you get a pass. 

EDIT 2 - whoops, removed this. Was mixing up an SHS thread, sorry.  

Edited by subtledoctor
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13 minutes ago, Shandyr said:

That is not what I meant. Even this thread as it is right now would not be allowed on the Beamdog forum.

Can you imagine a forum where this thread ... ?

Yes, I can. Throw in poop bags on how the sites admins manage their work, how the moderators are no where to be seen, and ... and be agressive about it, and sure you get a ban from here too. And a closed topic. This is a case of revealed perspective that you have no freaking idea of what you are on about.

I suspect, even if I didn't know anything about you, that you wouldn't like me calling you ugly. And you are...

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5 minutes ago, Clockwerk said:

this thread reminds me of that time dorotea banned jcompton and it makes me feel old

You'll feel really old when you realize that a lot of the current users might not know who dorotea and / or jcompton are... (sigh, good old times, although I think that ban was before my time, too.)

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1 hour ago, JuliusBorisov said:

it feels wrong to explain in one community something that happened in another community.

If you don't like people taking the conversation to a different venue, perhaps you should reflect as to why it happened in the first place. Because this is entirely on you, the moderators and the frivolity with which you remove posts and ban people.

It makes sense, though, that you'd complain about it. Suddenly, you can no longer shut down the conversation just because you don't like where it's going. In other words, you are no longer in control of the narrative, something which you and the moderating team seem obsessed with.

I may seem harsh, but it's the most generous explanation I can come up with in regards to how you guys behave.

1 hour ago, JuliusBorisov said:

We have very high standards for conduct on the Beamdog forum.

For a long time now, I've seen people say the BD Forums are generally more civil and welcoming than other gaming forums. And you know what? Not only I think it's true, but I also agree that the only way to achieve that is with zealous moderation. During the first years I was there, I saw this policy being applied to good results.

However, over the past few years, "high standards" seem to have become "double standards", as the rules are used more and more often go after users that get on the bad side of moderators, either for personal reasons or simply for criticizing Beamdog and their products.

You see, Julius, you keep going on and on and on about how neutral and consistent you are when enforcing the rules, when it's clear as day that you are not. If you were, this thread wouldn't even have gained this much traction. If you were, you wouldn't get so many long-time contributors and popular users being banned, all of them with one thing in common: they started becoming vocally critical of BD and their treatment of the games. Either that, or their banning left other users confused as to why, indicating that it was all based on behind-the-scenes drama.

Then there's the fact, which anyone can observe, that being less than friendly or civil usually gets a pass when it's in defense of BD. I would know, because I've been one of them. The tone of my posts (and the way I've engaged with people there) has always been pretty much the same, except I only started getting in trouble once my opinion of the studio and the EEs started shifting to the negative side. 

1 hour ago, JuliusBorisov said:

I personally have put a lot of effort and time to improve community management and introduce better practices since I had taken over in 2016.

Hate to break this to you, and I know correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, but I see Dee Pennyway's leaving and your taking over of the community as the exact point in which things started going downhill. And this is because unlike you, Dee didn't take it upon himself to be the judge of what was valid criticism and what was not. Between 2012 and 2016 (both before and during the SoD drama), there was plenty of negative opinions on BD and the EEs going around. People didn't get banned as often, and the most common reason for it was advocating piracy - not breaking arbitrary rules such as "you can't argue with a moderator in public". I had never been accused of making a personal attack, and if I had, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be for saying "I think this community has become very insular".

And that's my point, really - I don't think you see that it doesn't hurt to have a diversity of opinions on the products a forum is supposed to support. If you did, you wouldn't  do things like replying to people saying they don't like the game by posting links to favorable reviews as if you had to prove them wrong, as it makes the studio you represent seem petty. I don't even understand why you think it's your job to prove critics wrong. Has anyone told you to do so? Hell, I don't even know what the hell you're doing *here* - I mean, don't you have other things to do? It's one thing when a moderator like semiticgod comes along, but you're a BD employee - does Trent Oster know you're stalking former users and trying to rebut their opinions *outside* of your company's turf?

Not to mention how sanctimonious you come across when saying things like "we have high standards" and "we're not some random community" - as if other communities had low (or no) standards and every other IE-related forum was /b/ in comparison. I like to think, however, that the overall tone-deaf way you communicate with people has less to do with your disposition and more with your less than perfect domain over the English language. Which is, of course, perfectly acceptable in any other circumstance, except when you're involved in customer service for a primarily English-speaking company.

1 hour ago, JuliusBorisov said:

The rules of our forum say that if a person is banned then it's permanent. We are human beings as well, so there can always be an exception. However, all the requests in this thread asking about such exceptions, and I'm really sad to say that, have to be denied. 

Wait, what? Who's asking to be reinstated? Have I missed that from one of Shandyr's posts, maybe? Because as far as I can see, the consensus is that your policies are so ass-backwards that being banned nowadays is gradually becoming a badge of honor.

And here's just one more remark: the BD forums may not be dying right now, but they will be. As time goes by and the enthusiasm around NWN:EE and the console versions fizzle, it's going to be hard for you guys to maintain a thriving community, since you keep alienating the very people that have kept the flame alive before the EEs came along. These are the same people that will keep the IE community going on in the coming years, except they may not be very inclined to do so in your forums, where they're subject to you and your team's whims.


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I have to create a second post here because I feel I have to adress a few points raised by @Kilivitzabove.

During my presence, nobody was banned or warned for criticizing games and the company. Not one user. Even all the folks present here got moderation action for other reasons.

The amount of bans decreased greatly after 2016. What you say about the 2012-2016 period is completely untrue but I don't feel I should explain it.

The high standards are not double standards.

Being a long-time contributor or popular as a user is not a guarantee against moderation action.

I came here not to stalk former users but because I felt I could be helpful in a way. I'm not against people taking conversation to different venues.

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