Panini

A Controversial Commentary

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Good day, evening or morning or whatever time it is over there. Personally for me, it's 12:28 PM by the time I'm writing this, I'm hungry and I'm sitting in my room wondering when the summer sun will have it's last gasp and give way to a hopefully tame and rainy fall. 

 

It looks like we've all had ourselves a fairly rough year, for one reason or another. And naturally, as human beings, we are all inclined to search for an outlet to our woes and our stress. 

 

I have been a role player for a very long time. I find that it helps me create endearing stories, flawed but deeply relatable characters and very fun, or just fascinating scenarios. As a dungeon master on Paragon, it's taken me quite a bit higher. And it has enabled me to express my own woes, and scratch down my own stress. Well, mostly.

 

However. 

 

As the years pass me by and I grow more and more as a person, I've grown to realize that our community has been left with quite a few marks, in the long run. No one who has been on Paragon for more than two years can't say that they've seen some ... colorful personalities. In fact, no one who has been on paragon for that long can say that they haven't felt some degree of anger, resentment, indignation, bitterness, jealousy. All in all, quite a few feelings, aren't they? I so wish to say that they're completely justified, after all, as humans beings we need to feel those feelings in order to grow psychologically.

 

Envy and jealousy can help us learn quite a lot about ourselves, what we want out of life and such. But it can also lead us painfully astray. We'd often end up getting the things we wanted, only to turn them into fast fading after-thoughts by the break of the next day. Why? Well, to be honest, probably because they're short-lived and never truly contributed to our character's journeys. It's rather funny, isn't it? We get into conflicts, we get defensive, we get angry. Sometimes for the stupidest of things. I've definitely been there. And in the end, I must express the following: I deeply regretted it. Not because it wasn't a teaching experience, but because I ended up thinking that it was always about me against others, my character's growth and development against another group. My character's prestige and achievements. My character's journey as a deeply flawed mortal being, with deeply rooted fears, weaknesses, insecurities. And Dreams.

 

And I was right!

 

In a way, it is about that. But where I was not right was in letting myself believe that it was Me Against The World. Which it never was. It only made me angry and unsatisfied. It made me a bitter person towards others out of character ... something that just never was worth it. But it also made me smarter. Because in the end I realized that what mattered most was being patient with my many flaws and working towards having fun with the people in the community. A deeply flawed community, just like any other. Yet one that can only be made better, when we each acknowledge that we make up its bits and pieces. And that it can only get better when we each work towards that. Not just the moderators. Not just staff. Not just managers. 

 

But all of us. 

 

You. The person reading this. You make up a part of this community. 

And although many of you will think of me as pretentious, I put my foot down and request that we all each take the time to acknowledge the objective truth: You cannot place all of your blame upon the moderators or those with authority in the server. Our community cannot and will not thrive as well as it could, if we do not grow past the idea that it's about "Us Against Them." 

 

Because it isn't. And many of you might think that you never had this idea, or carried this notion. Many don't. But many of us, sometimes even I, do struggle with it. And that's okay, because it's a work in progress.

 

And if we learn to acknowledge our faults, if we learn to better communicate, if we learn to make better compromisesand maybe even apologize every now and then, because being an asshole to someone on any community is never okay, we could maybe all develop our community for the better. And most importantly, ourselves. 

 

It's not easy, I know this. I'm not going to say that it's as simple as everyone being nicer to one another. It's definitely not that simple. But it's a start. Because ultimately, the primary source of our conflicts that burden many of our interactions aren't black and white. There is growth to be found when we learn to question if perhaps we made a mistake as well. 

 

Because that doesn't make you any less. It makes you a shining example and someone who contributes to a greater community. 

And I believe we can all get better at it, one step at a time. 

 

Thank you. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Panini said:

"Us Against Them." 

I talked with Sif abit about the server before he posted this.

It really does feel like many people on the server have this mentality, that the Managers, Moderators, Admin and the previous Owners are trying their best to stop everything they do, and try to stop having fun. That whenever we make a mistake or misunderstand a person, it is because we hate them and want them off the server, or heavily dislike the idea they are doing.

 

There are several times, where I have felt I have had to prod and poke at people to try and make them speak their mind, or speak the truth. There are times where I have just seen people angry for X reasons, without them actually ever trying to resolve it. I recall, at one point that a person wanted to roleplay a half Dwarf, which was not "legal" at the same, and their friend threw out quite a few nasty words, and called every single moderator and rule useless. I talked with them, and after a day or two the Halfbreed rules we have now were created. I never saw these two again, and I never received an apology for being thrown dirt at for a good half an hour.

 

Many times, we do listen to feedback or what people would like and we try and see how we can make that work without stepping on the toes of everyone, and keeping true to the fairly basic rules we have on the server. Are there some rules I don't agree with? Definitely, but I do try to see if I can get them fixed or re-worded to fit the server better.

 

At the end of the day, we are just a bunch of nerds trying to roleplay on a Warcraft server. We didn't ask for these positions to have power over others or dictate what people should and should not rp. We just want people to be able to rp, and enjoy making fun little stories.

But for some reason, it feels as if people have forgotten to have fun. Personally I have always followed a saying of "If it is fun, do it, if it isn't don't do it".

 

At the end of the day, we are regular people too, we make mistakes and we try to fix them. I might be good hearted, but I do know that most people aren't trying to destroy your rp, or your ideas. Respect each other, and respect that people have different things they like about rp and wanna do, and don't be an asshole.

 

Enough rambling from my side.

 

Kind Regards,

Scottie

 

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Creative Team

I used to be of the mindset that the mods controlled everything, and from my observations, I learned that couldn't be further from the truth these days.
Upon entering the Manager channel, what I saw was in fact a group that's constantly having to bite both bullets and their own tongues. My initial mindset was that I would have to purge myself of any prior bias which I carry quite heavily due to previous misgivings with other members of the community, and oddly part of me was relieved to learn that the mods and admin are all fighting their own hatreds as well.

I won't lie that I personally would rather see certain people here just erased from the equation to never be bothered with, but so would everyone else, and thus we need to take a higher stand. What people believe to be some inner circle of people plotting the downfall of a player or a reason to ban or mute someone is a cluster of people walking through a field of landmines, trying to find the most reasonable and amicable solution to any problems without taking shortcuts.
I never saw abuse of power, and any that claim they did were either from the old guard, a group of people who have long since passed on from either the role or their once childish mindsets, or are gravely exaggerating and misusing the benefit that comes with being part of those that better associate with a person who initially has no power but in fact have a lot more social sway than even we do.

The recent changes made to better lift restrictions is a response to the present mindset, an attempt to try and better bridge the gap between us and the regular player, something to do away with as much bureaucracy as we possibly can without allowing the playerbase to run ABSOLUTELY roughshod with the story, narrative and/or lore.

Our most notable lifts mainly involved removing a lot of barriers surrounding equipment and forces as long as they were resolved in-game through the aid of a DM.

As far as placing blame on the mods and anyone else associated with the foundation and structure of the server, it needs to be remembered that we're still human. We're emotional, can get tired, can burn out very easily and are doing all of this off our backs not for power, but because we believed we were of a proper mindset to help it along and are able to suppress those human desires to act as people think we do. I'll say this once more, but the mods and the managers aren't against you, and it's only by starting fights instead of dialogue do you cause yourself any harm.

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50 minutes ago, Cagi said:

As far as placing blame on the mods and anyone else associated with the foundation and structure of the server, it needs to be remembered that we're still human. We're emotional, can get tired, can burn out very easily and are doing all of this off our backs not for power, but because we believed we were of a proper mindset to help it along and are able to suppress those human desires to act as people think we do. I'll say this once more, but the mods and the managers aren't against you, and it's only by starting fights instead of dialogue do you cause yourself any harm.

 

This is more or less paramount, and needs to be kept in mind by everyone in the long term.

I simply want to state that, no matter how emotional or burnt out we are, it gives us no excuse to mistreat our community members. :)

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3 hours ago, Skohtea said:

I recall, at one point that a person wanted to roleplay a half Dwarf, which was not "legal" at the same, and their friend threw out quite a few nasty words

 

Currently bawling with laughter at this--I apologise for all of the grief I've ever put you through, Scottie

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2 hours ago, Bulo said:

Currently bawling with laughter at this--I apologise for all of the grief I've ever put you through, Scottie

 

Wasn't you :P
But it was strange to find out that Half Orc (Orc-Human) doesn't really exist in lore, and only in the rpg. Good thing we changed that, so Bulo was no longer an "illegal character". Rules are dumb sometimes.

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Creative Team

I haven't been part of the DM team very long. But, I have seen a lot of give and take between the community and the teams in the very short time that I have been here. When, at the end of the day, the split between the general community and the teams is simply a perception. It is our job and our goal to make a living, thriving and dynamic setting for everyone to enjoy, that includes us as well as you.

We are all in this community together, all of us. Every single person, be it the DMs, the Moderators, the builders...have all joined their perspective teams for the single aim of making this community a more enjoyable, vibrant and alive place for the community to enjoy. We all have sacrificed our free time to make that happen.

Just as the community has sacrificed their free time to spend it with us and make the world that vibrant and alive place we strive so hard to create. In truth, there is no separation. We are all one community, that works together for the betterment of the rest of us and to simply have a great time in the company of one another.

 

It takes two to Tango, as they say. You can't have a working and functioning admin team without the community to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The community, in turn has less events, stories and areas to enjoy without the work that the teams put in to make that happen. We all need one another. Quite honestly, that's the most beautiful thing in the world to me. A community that grows together despite differences in backgrounds, ideals, opinions and inspirations for the betterment of everyone involved.

Comradery and community is what makes Paragon great. The more we work together to achieve that, the better it becomes and the closer all of us get.

This is what makes me look forward to what is to come and what I myself, and all of us really, can do to help this community to grow, to prosper and to simply be a wonderful place to have fun.

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I'm not one for flowery words, so in short: I agree with the general. Or rather, I think I've been pushing this point for forever. But now I want to push a different point. As much as I'd like to say we should expect everyone to sort themselves out, that doesn't work in practice.

 

I have been making a point to talk to my friends every time I see them have an attitude of distrust and blame toward Paragon because I don't want them to stay in that mindset. It's bad for them and for us. I think if we want to really make this work, we have to go one step further from becoming self-aware individuals. We also have to help our peers see their own self-destructive behavior.

 

If we do that, I think we can do away with the obstacles and stumbling blocks that keep hurting us. That will finally bring us to being a strong, tight-knit community of friends.

 

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11 hours ago, Syth said:

I'm not one for flowery words, so in short: I agree with the general. Or rather, I think I've been pushing this point for forever. But now I want to push a different point. As much as I'd like to say we should expect everyone to sort themselves out, that doesn't work in practice.

 

I have been making a point to talk to my friends every time I see them have an attitude of distrust and blame toward Paragon because I don't want them to stay in that mindset. It's bad for them and for us. I think if we want to really make this work, we have to go one step further from becoming self-aware individuals. We also have to help our peers see their own self-destructive behavior.

 

If we do that, I think we can do away with the obstacles and stumbling blocks that keep hurting us. That will finally bring us to being a strong, tight-knit community of friends.

 

It's the primary reason why I titled my post as a controversial commentary. It's not meant to make people comfortable, but the opposite. It's supposed to make people uncomfortable because it has to strike the thought of "could it be that im part of the problem?" rather than living with the mentality of "No! It's the mods/staff/x person's fault! >:CC" 

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On 8/30/2020 at 5:31 AM, Panini said:

You cannot place all of your blame upon the moderators or those with authority in the server.

I can't think of any sane person who'd really think the mods are to blame for everything, given how rare it is for actual moderation to take place on Paragon. Most of what the role encompasses is grading apps and telling Stranger he can't bring his Nerubian to the broken isles. If the argument is that they won't 'fix the server', I implore you to try it yourself - even if you had the most agreeable and logically consistent admin and team on planet earth, you're still left with a core issue.

 

The occasional schizophrenic turbulence, drama, dry periods, etc., are exactly the result of what you inferred them to be. The community. The mods can be blamed for specific actions, given they make specific decisions, but they can't control the lack of trust, drive, or mental fortitude within the community - nor can they stimulate those things into existence with tweaks in the rules.

 

The server's framework is fine, it just expects autonomy, trust, and a bit of thick skin and self-awareness in order to function. It just so happens that people attracted to this sort of environment tend to lack those traits. Posts like these wouldn't exist if people didn't have an extreme emotional attachment to this server. I like you Sif, I'm not trying to call you out, but I'm saying you're right, probably more right than you wanted to be. Everyone wants this server to be fun, but we struggle to make fun out of it. Why? 

 

The server's been rewarding the wrong kind of behavior for years. Untouchable powergamers, unjustified mega-interiors/armies/etc given to people with the right friends while others struggle to play anything mildly interesting to them, hypocritical rule enforcement. General mismanagement can be seen constantly. You can attribute it all to the fact that nepotism and immaturity are in this server's blood and nobody want's to admit that they've been on the wrong side of history, and that's what you'll find is hard to remove.   

 

Ask yourself, with all this in mind, if the goal for all of us at the end of the day is to have fun roleplaying, then what's getting in the way of that for so many people? Is it the rules we constantly change? Is it really just the people in charge, even though they too change constantly (big hint right here)? Am I just an old-fag that doesn't enjoy the server's direction anymore? 

 

On 8/30/2020 at 5:48 AM, Skohtea said:

That whenever we make a mistake or misunderstand a person, it is because we hate them and want them off the server, or heavily dislike the idea they are doing.

This sort of defensive sentiment is among many of the social blockades that prevent people from getting along here. In a community where 99% of the interaction is text-based, it's no wonder emotions flare so wildly.

 

Solution to all of this?

Unironically, start using voice channels, you cowards. 

 

 

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@Yoker Very insightful post. 

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I should note the voice channel thing isn't a shit-post. Weeks of arguing over text have been resolved in 15 minute voice convos, ages of misunderstanding and personality conflict too. It's not the end-all-be-all, but don't ignore the psychological implications of only interacting with people via words on a screen. The lack of facial legibility is already an issue but there's at least some humanity to be gained in those channels.

 

 

Suggestions: 

1)Whenever they propose a big change or want feedback, Admins/Staff should sit in an open channel for a couple hours and give the floor to anyone who joins it. 

No more private moderator meetings over server changes.

 

2)Delete mall. Just have a starter zone for character creation alone that you can't return to. 

In the past, when we tried that, we had flimsy skype groups. You have discord for OOC interaction now. You should be logging in with intent. I'm seeing with my own eyes how that's already more engaging, albeit a bit alienating at first. 

Idk that probably won't work lmfao

 

3)Does DM/builder manager still exist y'all can remove that too

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Yoker said:

No more private moderator meetings over server changes.

I have my doubts about this getting traction from any of the current team, and I am hesitant about this. Not against it, as I...think moderators have permissions over the voice channels. If not we probably need them.


 

 

53 minutes ago, Yoker said:

2)Delete mall. Just have a starter zone for character creation alone that you can't return to. 

Ehh. This isn't a half bad idea, but people will just find interiors to hide in.

 

 

53 minutes ago, Yoker said:

3)Does DM/builder manager still exist y'all can remove that too

stop targeting me, god damnit.

In all seriousness, Is this a serious suggestion?

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2 hours ago, Yoker said:

1)Whenever they propose a big change or want feedback, Admins/Staff should sit in an open channel for a couple hours and give the floor to anyone who joins it. 

 

Open discussion prior to a change is fine. I think forums would be better. But at this point, this suggestion feels moot. They already have brought up every issue that's been changed in the past few months, and it's never really a surprise. The only surprising part lately is that the leadership is taking action.

 

 

2 hours ago, Yoker said:

2)Delete mall.

 

No point, it will be replaced. People idle by nature; sometimes they just want to hang out. Removing the mall won't discourage this, just spread out the idles inconveniently.

 

Time and experience have told me this: A full mall is a healthy server. What makes people idle isn't a place to goof off, but a lack of connecting and committing.

 

"Logging on with intent" actually addresses those problems separately rather than being some kind of mall work-around.

 

 

2 hours ago, Yoker said:

3)Does DM/builder manager still exist y'all can remove that too

 

Ah yes, remove the managers so that we will finally be immune to karens. I have no particular opinion on the matter, I don't think the roles are bad or good.

 

At this point, the 'power' that was associated with the Managers has been removed, however. They're just roles of responsibility now, expected to organize and distribute the workload and keep track of what people are doing.

 

The 'power' they had has been returned to the moderators. Uh, there was an announcement about this at some point.

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7 hours ago, Sage said:

In all seriousness, Is this a serious suggestion?

Yeah, I made it when I was a mod last time but ppl shut it down calling it a power-grab. Here we are a couple months later and it happened anyway, for the most part.

 

6 hours ago, Syth said:

The 'power' they had has been returned to the moderators. Uh, there was an announcement about this at some point.

3) I read the thing about the managers. I'm still on the side of streamlining all of their responsibilities to the moderator role entirely. This whole 'keeping track of what's going on' thing should be part of the moderator's job and not designated to a single individual, or pair of. 

Sure the 'powerful' parts of the role are transitioned but, that wasn't the ultimate point of the suggestion. It was to make moderators a more active, in-game role that works closely with other parts of the staff (but getting rid of DM monopolies was also in the equation). 

 

It's meant to change the role from feeling like a bureaucratic pseudo-politician role, to more of an actual roleplay moderator role. Granted I'm not sure if that's actually going to have the cultural shift I'm implying, but it wouldn't be a bad step in that direction. 

 

 

2) Also yea removing mall is pointless, solid point. 

 

 

1) Still think Voice is better but it's gonna be a back and forth there. Perhaps we should take this to voice...

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Donator

Deleting mall doesn't sound like a bad idea, but most people will probably find other areas to be OOC in. 

I don't blame people for wanting to be OOC. Tony once told me that Paragon is also a social platform, which made me realize that sometimes we wanna hang back, design our gear-sets and shitpost. 

 

I've always wanted an environment where when we log in, we're already in an almost IC situation, but I don't think our role playing platform can sustain that in the long-term.

 

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5 hours ago, Yoker said:

'keeping track of what's going on' thing should be part of the moderator's job

 

Eh. DM's actively do the DMing, Builders actively do the Building. They're more in the know about what's going on in their respective fields than mods, who's chief concerns are apps, rules and roleplay-related decisions. I think it makes enough sense to appoint one of them to manage the workflow. Whether or not trying to manage it at all is effective is a different matter.

 

5 hours ago, Yoker said:

1) Still think Voice is better but it's gonna be a back and forth there. Perhaps we should take this to voice...

 

*prepares for baritone*

 

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Donator

Paragon as it is, is a result of weak leadership and moderation during 2013 - 2016. This period was earmarked by cronyism on both admin and gm level, with certain cliques being put in effective control for extended periods of time and allowing their friends to get away with a lot of things that should've been heavily scrutinized in general. If you spoke up about a player having these coveted things, you were effectively silenced by their GM buddies, and what followed would be nothing less than a smear campaign. Someone you 'slighted' would begin to 'meme' aggressively about something you never did, forcing it out into the wider community and having them take it up in order to 'fit in' with the 'cool kids'.

 

As a result, there'd be tons of bullshit swirling about you and you'd be vilified by the community as a result. Envy and jealousy were a natural result of these things. People couldn't speak up about blatant bias, and began to harbour hatred towards the people who did have all the nice things. New people on the server picked up on this and a self-perpetuating cycle developed.

 

So here we are, nearly a decade since Paragon's creation and nothing has changed for the past five years. The community is still divided and toxic, with any chance of RP disappearing if you've managed to upset the wrong person in the right clique. Although leadership has marginally improved, it's still a very far cry from what it should be in order to wrangle the server back into the fun place it once was.

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9 minutes ago, Drottseti said:

Although leadership has marginally improved, it's still a very far cry from what it should be in order to wrangle the server back into the fun place it once was.

I am curious on what you think we should be doing to achieve this?

 

8 hours ago, Yoker said:

Still think Voice is better but it's gonna be a back and forth there.

I...actually agree that Voice might do better for some things, after talking with Blaine last night over the rule change. I don't think public voice discussions are needed for every major development or change, but it could start getting used more.

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8 hours ago, Sage said:

I...actually agree that Voice might do better for some things, after talking with Blaine last night over the rule change. I don't think public voice discussions are needed for every major development or change, but it could start getting used more.

 

Here's the problem with Voice: The words disappear. Nothing is recorded, the dialogue is lost. So even though it was public, whatever you and Blaine talked about is something nobody else knows about unless they happen to be there in the right place at the right time. I'm interested in contributing to these discussions, but I can promise you that "right place right time" will never be me.

 

Forum posts and even text messages in Discord hold more permanence than Voice, and that's why they're better. I can live without seeing the emotion behind every word, but I won't get anywhere if I can't see the words at all.

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I think voice can be useful in certain circumstances.

 

I think we often forget that tone can be tough to deliver consistently in a purely text format. It's easy for one person to read a sentence and think the OP is raging really hard and another to think it's a perfectly rational approach. Voice can get rid of that imprecision by letting you actually hear the tone of voice the person suggesting something is making.

 

I feel like very often Paragonians evolve disagreement into argument because it can be hard to gauge sincerity for an open dialogue in just text.

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Donator

It may look abit memey to post. But I think this Key and Peele Sketch showcases the thought of Voice vs Text pretty well.

 

 

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Donator

@Syth we have hands. We can type on google docs or write notes or get a program to do transcripts? There's work arounds though

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