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Arthas

Why is everyone quitting beamdog forums?

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8 hours ago, AL|EN said:

What's BWL Drama? 😃

Right, you haven't been around then, have you? Man, you missed out on so much fun🤣 Try here for starters, the only difference with current situation is we don't have a Sikret v2 butthurting over his mod being criticized, just a Baronius v2 caring about nothing but perceived offenses against his forum.

10 hours ago, jastey said:

Please don't do ... country-ism? like putting all people living in one place into one box as it usually discriminates against a lot of them (unless you know more than I do and are referring to an actual law).

Just counter trolling, is all. Been poking fun at the fact one can call themselves a pro rule of the law socialist yet simultaneously disregard the existing local law (at least I believe it's an actual offense there).

Edited by Ardanis

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Hi, guys. Some of you may know me from the Beamdog Forums. I'm one of the users who were banned after the latest debacle.

In my case, I was "charged" by one of the mods (Skatan) under breaking site rules. I asked him to point out my transgressions, since the posts had been deleted. They replied by quoting  stuff I had said a month prior, on a different thread, and then one of the deleted comments. After a day and a half went by without a reply from me (RL got in the way), I got banned and that was that.

I'll let you be the judge of whether my comments were worthy of a ban. Skatan's last message to me is inside the spoiler tag.
 

Spoiler

Hello,

You can check the below;

"everyone who hasn't drank the BD Kool-Aid eventually leaves (or gets banned)."  - https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/1100741#Comment_1100741
Still there, for everyone to see. Violates the rule #10.

"I feel this community is now more insular than ever." and " the fact that voicing your frustration will usually entice the aforementioned apologists (which include moderation and staff members) to try and rebuke criticism with an arsenal of logical fallacies"
from the same post, is rude towards all the users who defend BD.


"The few people who will claim there's nothing wrong with the UI are usually the type of player who will defend Beamdog no matter what - players who are usually contained within this community."https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/1103770/#Comment_1103770
the same rudeness towards other users. 

The below is part of was what moved:

"Antagonizing critics has been the current community manager's MO since like, ever. He seems to believe that in order to be a good representative you can't just allow criticism - you have to prove it wrong. Even if it's not. Even if it challenges common sense or, you know, reality."
a personal attack on a 
forum user.

Regardless, I think it's relevant to point out that in 7 years, the tone of my posts has always been pretty much the same. I only started getting into trouble after becoming critical of BD's treatment of the games and the way forum management reacts to said criticism.

It's a sad thing that the Beamdog Forums currently operate under a thinly veiled policy of zero tolerance of criticism of the studio or their products. This is disguised under merely enforcing the golden rule of Being Excellent to Each Other™.

In practice, aside from blatant violations such as compromising the site's Teen ESRB rating or advocating piracy, the rules are mostly used to harass (and eventually ostracize via banning) users whom the mods don't like. And the easiest way to get on their bad side is to say anything unfavorable about either Beamdog or the EEs. How civil your comments are is of little consequence - constructive criticism is at best begrudgingly tolerated, unless it's too frequent. Needless to say, posts containing praise, support or defense of the studio are under nowhere near as much scrutiny.

The way they do it is by trapping users in a loop of sorts:

If you get into a debate, mods will accuse you of breaking Rule #7 (no flaming or personal attacks). If you argue with them, you're breaking Rule #10, which says "Moderators’ decisions are final. Privately discussed matters are not open for public discussion." This is a disingenuous way of saying that the judgement of the mods is beyond questioning. It also says "If you have an issue with one moderator, address it with a Private Message (PM) to any other moderator" which implies that you *can*  challenge the mods' decisions, just not in front of everyone. And as other people in here will tell you, this is an exercise in futility.

In other words, anything they say is against the rules, is against the rules. Claiming it's not is also against the rules.

Now, let me clear: I completely understand that those forums are privately owned/maintained and as such, Beamdog staff members and their appointed moderators can rule it however they see fit. They don't owe anyone a platform. But as jastey pointed out in one of the removed posts, it's one thing if it was a fan site, but we're talking about the official forums of the developers.

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For me the beamdog forums was the new place where the most new mods where collected. I presented my (weapon) mods there, shared ideas and tried to help other modders (and players). It was a forum of great joy for me and wasted many hours on the Meme and Art topics. But since a few years I barely logged in and when I logged in I sometimes got a request to use my mod in an pack, or somebody translated my club (great, that's what I love about the BG community).

But since a few months the only things I saw where discussions between JB and forum members, a lot of bashing and complaining. It's a shame really.

My mods are also on SHS but there is not much discussion on the forums, and it's sometimes down for a couple of days.

That's why I came here. To talk about mod ideas, share my mods with others and find mods to play (like I did for the last ~15 years)

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Wow, I had no idea any of this was going on. I just got linked here from reading on the BG Reddit. I never saw the argument happening, as I have just started reading again after taking a several weeks long break from all online activity. I don't really have a dog in this race, so to speak, but I'm glad I know now what happened.

It seems like a really bad business practice for Beamdog to let their forum moderators alienate the G3 modding community. I wish they had made some better choices in the matter. Sympathy and respect to all of you. 

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7 hours ago, Vlan said:

Larian Studios getting the rights to BG3 really broke them, huh?

I think it's a bit more complicated than that.  The SoD trolling saga really hurt their reputation; I'm pretty sure they were planning a big BG1 expansion as well as a big bg2 expansion - which is why there were plot threads left unresolved in SoD.  But with all the hullabaloo, and with probably less-than-stellar sales, I think WotC pulled the rug out from under them and refused to let them make the BG2 expansion.  And now they take flak for those unresolved plot points, and are probably under NDA and can't even explain the reason for it. 

I speculate that WotC is still dangling the possibility of once again using the D&D license over Beamdog's head.  But that will immediately disappear if Beamdog doesn't fully and vocally support WotC in all things, even its projects with other developers.  So the Beamdog forums perforce become a cheerleading site for a Larian product, and if you breathe a word that is critical they shut you down, hard.  (How?  Kilivitz demonstrated the formula: JuliusBorisov, the only Beamdog employee among the moderation staff, antagonizes you and draws you into posting in response.  Then he flags your responding posts and gives you violations based on pretense (see the communications with Skatan posted above... they are basically the same as what the moderators have told me) until you get banned.

Which is just sad.  The culture of the company seems only to involve forced smiles covering up latent terror.

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Can an NDA contain that you are not supposed to tell that you can't say anything because you are under NDA? I never thought about that. What a nightmare thought.

Doesn't excuse anything, though, of course. Still.

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@subtledoctor: if that comes close to the truth it just breaks my heart. The thought that we could have seen further professionally made "mods"/expansions to the original game in the style of SoD and won't because of this stupid overblown culture war is just depressing. SoD wasnt perfect, but I think it really showed some beautiful things that could be done with the engine and world of BG.

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10 minutes ago, Isewein said:

SoD wasnt perfect, but I think it really showed some beautiful things that could be done with the engine and world of BG.

I second that. The thought of the lost chances are really sad.

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54 minutes ago, Isewein said:

@subtledoctor: if that comes close to the truth it just breaks my heart. The thought that we could have seen further professionally made "mods"/expansions to the original game in the style of SoD and won't because of this stupid overblown culture war is just depressing. SoD wasnt perfect, but I think it really showed some beautiful things that could be done with the engine and world of BG.

To me, that's the only logical conclusion.  And I agree it's a shame.  People had issues with SoD but it's still a new, high-quality campaign in the Infinity Engine.  Is it a glorified mod that just has some extra eye candy and QA?  Um... maybe but that sounds great to me?  People have plenty of issues with IWD as well (too linear, too many mobs, to much undead) but I still enjoy IWDEE every once in a while.  Another BG2 campaign would have really been great.  Any more true BG-style gaming would be great.  Instead we will get "BG3," which is a YADA (Yet Another Dragon Age).  No thanks.

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There has been a lot of talk about the NDA, and it’s long reach. WoTC seem to control what’s being said to some degree (and perhaps a whole lot more).

But what we do know is that the NDA exists and sours the discussion greatly. People ask questions of this and that, and Beamdog can’t answer because of the NDA.


An NDA has a long reach and lasts a long time (if done properly). As a lawyer I tried making them myself, and you can really shackle people to the point where they can’t move a muscle - and I consider WoTC being so professional/cautious,  so that they have all the tickets and Beamdog owning all the fines. The result is that we aren’t getting anywhere WoTC hasn’t approved off.
 

So some might feel we are stuck in a information limbo - and perhaps we are. But making potshot at Beamdog and at the forums is not getting you anything or anywhere.

 

Beamdog has signed the NDA it seems, and we just have to live with that. They gave us a an update on the IE that is easier to mod (so I have heard) and some new content.


The modding community has already provided mods for most of your hearts desire, so why not just be thankful for that and live with the crumbs of information that Beamdog is allowed to serve.

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The NDA comes up a lot lately. Yes it may be hard for them to handle a very strict NDA but the way it usually comes up is to dismiss user complaints. I see this as a very lame excuse. It's not the NDA fault if the EEs are still buggy (especially for everything that touches the UI). And it does not give them the right to ban/warn everyone that does not blindly agree with everything they say.

Edited by lefreut

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4 hours ago, subtledoctor said:

I speculate that WotC is still dangling the possibility of once again using the D&D license over Beamdog's head.  But that will immediately disappear if Beamdog doesn't fully and vocally support WotC in all things, even its projects with other developers.  So the Beamdog forums perforce become a cheerleading site for a Larian product, and if you breathe a word that is critical they shut you down, hard.

I don't think that's the case. First, there's plenty of criticism of Larian and what is already known of BG3 over there. Julius may argue with pessimistic points of view, but no one's being banned over that. The only way to get in trouble while discussing BG3 is to claim that Beamdog lost the opportunity to make it because they haven't proven themselves competent enough.

 

1 hour ago, StummvonBordwehr said:

An NDA has a long reach and lasts a long time (if done properly). As a lawyer I tried making them myself, and you can really shackle people to the point where they can’t move a muscle - and I consider WoTC being so professional/cautious,  so that they have all the tickets and Beamdog owning all the fines. The result is that we aren’t getting anywhere WoTC hasn’t approved off.

An NDA doesn't prevent you from patching games in a timely manner, making good on the myriad promises made regarding NWN:EE, etc. Lack of information is but one of the things people complain about. Everything else is on them. To assume that WotC is to blame for all the problems with Beamdog is a gigantic assumption.

 

1 hour ago, StummvonBordwehr said:

But making potshot at Beamdog and at the forums is not getting you anything or anywhere.

You've got some nerve, I'll tell you that. You're one of the people who would gang up on critics. And now you decide to follow me and others over here to keep doing it. Please take your sycophantic attitude back to the BD forums where it belongs.

Edited by Kilivitz

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@KilivitzIf speaking up for the Beamdog forums is really so upsetting then I won’t. I have failed to notice that I wasn’t allowed here. People come here for answers and I’d reckon I was more than welcome to chip in.
 

.Yes I have expressed my point of view, and will take that liberty in the future as well. Being positive is not a major offence as I see it, and expressing a positive attitude is not ganging up on anybody imho. If it is so here, I will quickly take my leave.
 

And btw. I haven’t flagged a post over there for negative or flaming remarks - although I did it twice for the ones who made the double accounts. If that is a major insult, then I -‘ sorry, but I really don’t like people who make multiple accounts on forums.

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