Constructive Criticism

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SteamedEcko, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. I've been putting this off and off for quite some time now, but I've finally realized that this needs to be done.

    I love EMC. It was the first Minecraft server I connected too, and it has been the only one I have ever played on (besides some hunger games servers :p)
    It might surprise you that I have been on EMC for 1070 days. "But ecko, it says only 490 days?" /p bertone_alfa. Don't worry, the staff knows about this past account, I won't be banned for making this public lol (at least I hope not, but then again it doesn't matter) Actually, SteamedEcko is my 4th account on EMC, the past 3 have all been banned. Bertone_Alfa, Marklea, and KoenJanssen have all been previous accounts I've had banned on this server. Again, the staff know this as well. I'm not going to go into why these accounts were banned, but if you really want to know PM me. Anyways, with these 4 accounts I have run numerous malls, dealt with millions of rupees, and have created, managed, and destroyed the largest EMC subcommunity I know of, the EMC Militia. I've invested days. if not weeks, into EMC, and I think its time I call it quits. However, in typical Bertone-Marklea-Koen-Ecko fashion, I'm not leaving until I speak my mind about what this server has become. Not really intended to be a trigger thread, but I will say some things many people will not like or agree with, but I feel they need to be said. I will not be aggressive or rude to anybody in the following commentary, however if you are easily offended by even the smallest criticism, I kindly ask you to move on. Staff, I'm not writing this to get banned, I am doing this to offer some much needed constructive criticism. If you feel the need to ban me, let me know before you do because I want to give away all my stuff.

    The number one problem I have with EMC right now is how there is a push for more and more new players, without any attention to those of us who have been here awhile. The staff seems more and more eager to recruit new players than they are to look after the needs and concerns of the veterans. Fact is, EMC has an AWFUL turnover rate, with 325,907 registered members, but only 15375 (as of 12/7/15) have been active the last month. That's less that 5% active members from total members. Obviously, the push for more members has yielded nothing except an inflated total, and has not benefited the community in any way, and I would argue that it has actually damaged the community. These new members are often the culprits of griefing and spamming, and can cause negative effects to those who are actually trying to have fun. So my first piece of criticism regarding EMC today is stop pushing for new players and start catering to those of us who actually play. '

    I also am starting to develop an issue with the community on EMC. When I first joined, everybody seemed real nice, fun to talk to, and not afraid to state their own opinion. Recently, I have noticed a huge spike in the amount of butt-kissing and conformism on the forums and in-game. People seem to be afraid to state their opinion on just about anything, because as soon as they do they are bombarded with quoted forum posts and contradicting statements. While it may be true that people genuinely like how things are going, I just have this sense that people are just sucking up and not sharing how they really feel. There are also some people I see on the forums who frequently voice their opinions and are not afraid to stand by what they say. To those people, I commend you. Another issue I have with the community is how self-righteous people have become. For example, when somebody uses mild caps or mild profanity and everybody starts going "ermahgerd stap". It's not needed. Telling other people to follow the rules does nothing but make you look like there's a stick up your rear. If you are actually bothered by something, tell staff and let them deal with it, you don't need to get involved. So my second criticism for EMC is to start appreciating the opinions of everybody and to not be so systematic in how you interact with everybody else.

    Next, I want to share my opinion on "babying" in EMC. First, I will talk about what I call "baby rules" that EMC has opted to enforce. Baby rules are rules that are added after an addition of a new feature or item, or after a specific event, that have no purpose but to "protect" the ignorant, who are usually new players (see first point). One example is the ban on selling those chests with a random item on it due to "scamming". This rule was met by praise from the community (see second point), however, I feel it is nothing but detrimental to those of us who want to gain economically (see next point). There are many rules like this, and it seems like most of them were created to deal with scamming. Now, if people could actually think for themselves and make informed decisions, scamming would dramatically decrease and perhaps be non-existent. Instead, the staff create rules so people don't even need to be aware of what is happening, and just do what they are told. Babying also occurs on the forums, often when threads are shut down when things get too "heated". I cannot express how much I dislike threads being shut down, for any reason. First of all, some of my best moments on EMC were from heated forum discussions (New Republic lol) and I don't think I have ever seen a thread get so bad it legitimately needed to be closed. Some of the best breakthroughs and resolutions occur when things get heated, and I don't think people's thoughts should be suppressed because a small amount of people got upset. I am almost 100% sure this thread will be closed, either because people got upset and started having a meaningful discussion, or staff didn't like the content. Instead of treating everybody like the babies who can't handle a little arguing, the staff should allow these discussions to happen in order to allow everybody a chance to partake and offer their ideas. My third and final criticism for EMC is to stop babying it's players and to start letting people think for themselves.

    Thank you to those who took the time to read what I wanted to say. Again, I am not writing this to start a flame war, but I feel like this needs to be put out there. I am interested in hearing your thoughts about what I wrote, and I'm up for questions in this forum.
    Thanks again!
  2. It's actually 5%, not 0.05%. For MC servers, this is actually a very good rate, as many servers are only attractive for a week or a month tops.

    On your last point about babying, the truth of the matter is many of the players on EMC are ignorant, I was when I joined(fortunately I wasn't active on the forums) as I was only 12 or so. I've come a long way in these years and I've also seen the threads you mention be shut down. The thing is, the threads would only create contempt for one another in the community and people would keep arguing far past the threads original intention. I think debating is fine, as long as it stays on topic, and it is okay to close a thread once people start bickering about every little thing they dislike.
    Dramanya and Byeforeverthe2nd like this.
  3. Forgot to x100 lol its summer I forget things :p
    Anyways, as far as ALL servers go, 5% is really good, however for such a community-focused server, I find 5% to be very low. Also, many of the 15,000+ players online this month are new themselves, and I would guess many would not stay active. I would be curious in seeing the stats on which players are active this month who were also active last month.
  4. Thank god someone grew the balls to say this.
  5. While it is important to show this kind of respect to EMC's veteran players, the new players need the attention closer to the start so that they can get a hang of the rules, the community, the economy, and other stuff that makes the server what it is.
    Being one of EMC's older active members, I do sometimes get disappointed about how most people don't know or couldn't care less about me, but I still feel like we need to put effort into getting EMC's newer players to stay active.
    codygraw101 likes this.
  6. You kidding me? People say this stuff all the time, its nothing new. I agree with most of it but not all. The baby rules i agree with 200% it is very simply: Ridiculous! As far as people speaking their mind, I don't see any lack of that. As far as the fancy nancies parading the rules, well sometimes its needed but most of the time it just comes across as pretentious.

    High five for effort however execution is a little lack luster there. For the build up: I'm gonna blow my top! For the climax: well I just think people are being weak kinda sorta! and for the point: what? point please?

    See we speak our minds :eek::D

    Edit: Oh yeah there was some "I'm an old player and don't get any attention" stuff in there too... was that the point? You did say you were leaving though, how much attention does that require?
  7. 2 part message (yes, I feel strongly about this, this is a rant / essay).

    Ok, you spoke your mind and I like it as I usually like people speaking their mind. To be honest this is one of the things I deeply respect about EMC (staff basically, but IMO it applies to EMC as a whole): you can do just that.

    BUT... action = reaction and well.... yah, it's still somewhat the weekend for ;)

    Do keep in mind that I am going to be just as critical as you, but like you I also don't intend any offense here. No hostilities but I am also going to speak my mind on this.

    The reason should be obvious: you broke several of the EMC rules. And not once, not twice, but three times. No offense intended on my part but that does put this comment into a whole different light for me. I'll respect you not wanting to go in depth as to why you were banned, but I will share that this is public knowledge for everyone to see. All we need to do is /p <name> in-game. And well.. you now comment on how EMC should look after its community some more, but that does have a weird ring to it coming from someone who got punished for scamming other players. Those players were also part of that community you know...

    Anyway, I don't think too highly of some of those ban reasons to be honest but I do agree that there are always 2 sides to every story. Even those which ended in a ban. But like I said: I am just as critical as you here. Cause & effect.

    Alas; back to your comments...

    So how exactly do you picture that "looking after veterans", because that's an essential part which I'm missing in your story here. It's one thing to share criticism (trust me: been there, done that) and stating that you don't like something, but it takes more to come up with actual suggestions on how to change things for the better. I don't see that here.

    I think the main problem here is that people take some things for granted way too easily..

    For example.. what would your ideas be on our own Dramanya who has been appointed as the official events organizer? Now, this is just my 2 (very biased) cents here, but I'm 100% sure that if you have an idea on how to host an event to (quote): "look after the veterans" (end quote) she'll be all ears for it. (note: this is just my uneducated & personal opinion).

    A community works both ways you know... It's not all about getting and taking but also about giving. The staff can only do so much here, but in a community the players will also participate. And it works... Only this evening did I suddenly see my beloved home server (smp2) almost explode because a regular (yes, I'd call her a veteran) was holding a drop party. Even a staff member was present and although it could have been coincidence I wouldn't be surprised if he was there because of the event.

    So yah, how exactly would you describe the many events which the EMC staff organizes? Friday Night Mining? Staff vs. the World (PvP event)? Mob Arena? "Kill that Chin" (PvP event)?

    And make no mistake about this: some of these things already happened when I joined EMC 200 days ago. So basically: for at least half a year did those staff members manage to organize these events on a regular basis. Honestly... Try pulling something like that off yourself, maintain the streak for half a year and then come back to comment again on this matter.

    There is another issue I have with your comment here: Minecraft in itself is a game which is all about making your own game in the first place. A truly open world game where there are basically no goals other than those you set yourself. And surely you realize that EMC tries to remain close to the vanilla way of gameplay?

    Couldn't it be true that the underlying problem here is that you might have grown a little tired of Minecraft as a whole?

    Since when does quantity make quality?

    Catering how exactly? Once again that's a critical piece I'm missing from your comments.

    Uh huh. So yah, action = reaction. What's the problem with that?

    If you share an opinion you should be ready to receive comments on it, sometimes positive and sometimes negative. I also sense a dangerous tendency here because what you pick up as butt-kissing could just as well be someone who honestly & truthfully agrees with the staff and likes what they did. Just because you had a negative run-in with the staff doesn't automatically mean that everyone else who actually agrees with them is totally blind to the stuff they do.

    Talk is cheap. I'm one of those players who actually can be extremely critical sometimes. That wasn't me on my best though (the trigger for that post was all wrong) but the post & message itself did hold truth to it. And I still stand behind what I wrote. Read it & weep I'd say, that's also a good example of some constructive criticism for you. And for those who don't want to follow the link: me 'accusing' EMC of scamming players? That's... touchy ;)

    And please; also pay attention to the comments.

    So yah, another question for yah: is this butt-kissing or.... (you do the math ;)). That's the aftermath post on my criticism above.

    And this is only one example.

    Have you read our suggestions forum lately? Players coming up with tons of ideas and suggestions to make EMC better?

    Or what about... People speaking up on how PvP is being regulated? I give you the AGA and the anti-AGA. So basically those players are speaking up on how EMC runs its PvP arenas. And the AGA takes it one step further by more or less "enforcing" some rules of their own (lets not get into this here!).

    My point: you claim people are afraid to speak their opinion, the AGA is a movement who doesn't only have an opinion but they will back it up with force as well. Carefully within the rules, but even so also somewhat opposing those rules.

    You may like or dislike the AGA, that is not the point, the point is that this (recent) movement proves your comment quite wrong. People do speak up, people do criticize and...

    Yes; and most off all the staff actually listens. Did you spot that "Aikar" figure in that thread where I more or less "accused" EMC of scamming players? I dunno, he seems to be an important person around here... Could be just me ;)

    Oh, ok, sorry, that might be a little harsh on my end ;)

    I actually agree with you here, to some degree anyway. It's true, sometimes players jump on someone like a pack of dogs. Can't deny it, I've seen it myself.

    And you're right: sometimes it works counter productive. Or, as I call it: letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law. I'm not going to go all in-depth about that here, but lets just say that sometimes not taking action against a (small) violation of the rules will actually help you to uphold them.

    But... Having said that I also think that you should realize that a community isn't, and can't be, "perfect". You got to take the good with the bad. And that mixture is exactly what makes a community tick.
  8. PART 2


    If someone bothers you and doesn't violate the rules then there's no reason to get staff involved. Second: what if someone breaks the rules but they don't realize it? In those cases having people to point it out to you can actually be very helpful. I've also seen this happening, where people honestly didn't know and were actually happy that people pointed it out to them.

    And that is IMO a flaw in your reasoning: I agree that some players can overdo it. No arguments there. But there are plenty of others who honestly only want to help out. By just pointing out the rules. They don't feel better than you, they're not self-righteous, all they want is to help make our community a better place.

    Thing is: there is another side to your issue. It's all too easy for us to just /ignore you and be on our way. Instead some of us go the extra mileage by trying to point out your mistake hoping that you see what's up and won't make it again.

    In other words: you forget that these "self righteous people" are actually putting in effort into this while they also could just ignore the whole thing.

    Like it or not: this is a part of our community: people trying to help other people.

    You completely lost me here.

    Because just a moment ago you called people who shared their opinion to someones face "self righteous" and now you're saying that EMC should start appreciating peoples opinions? That doesn't add up for me.

    I shall speak my mind here because I feel I have a right to that because I actually (edit): got (/edit) moderated on this issue and the result of that was the criticism I shared earlier. Ergo: I believe to have a right to speak my mind on this here.

    Lets just say that hearing this from someone who has a reputation of scamming other players makes me think that your opinion on this matter is kinda flawed and biased in a negative way.

    Nonsense. (I was going for a much harsher comment here).

    You now easily overlook the fact that Empire Minecraft is a family friendly server for a very good reason.

    Here's an eye opener for you: there are actually minors on this server. Players who are 8 - 12 years old.

    No offense but... honestly... First and foremost: this is a game. And that comment comes from someone who might take this game a lot more serious (maybe a little too much, could be).

    Second... Previous point. With all due respect for 8 year olds (some of those are actually quite smart!) but... puhlease.

    This is a family friendly server for a reason; there are actual families playing here.

    Seems you forgot that "small" (some pun intended here) issue.

    Links or it didn't happen.

    I've been here for quite a while and trust me: I can be quite the critic. When I see censorship... hmm... esp. on a weekend.. (this post is me being relatively mild). But when I read this all I could think of was "nonsense".

    I'll also be the first to admit that I don't see all threads out there. But I've seen threads getting closed. Like mine! But yah, thing is; that was on my own accord. And most others were really getting out of hand.

    Aha. So that would also include my thread which got shut down on my own accord (yes, I play the devils advocate here).

    I did :(

    And that's just one example, not willing to share more here :(

    The only reason I see for this thread to get closed down is if it risks to spiral out of control.

    Staff closing because they don't like it? Yeah right, I've seen threads like those as well. No closing, no moderating. And trust me: I highly doubt staff liked it.

    See? You're writing all of this up with a large dose of bias as well. Bias against the staff (in my opinion). Nothing wrong with that perse, but ... As much as I hate movie quotes this one is true: I think it clouds your judgement.

    So yah, that's my saying on this matter.
    Luckypat likes this.

  10. I got half way through part 1 and then scrolled down to see how long it went, saw there was a part 2 then scrolled down to see if anyone read all that... You are one weird shell. I did read your being "critical" with the million disclaimers and barely critical post, yup weird shell lol.

    What I did read mostly made sense, I skimmed most the rest. Most of it makes sense, a lot of talking in shells though :D

    I swear by looking at your quotes I would swear that echo's post was ten times longer than it was.

    I love your hyperlinking everything, very very convenient.
    ShelLuser likes this.
  11. <whistles>

    Well, I could summarize my post for you, maybe that helps: "I disagree for reasons stated above". There, that's better, right?

    I will admit that I am biased and when I speak my mind... whole threads sometimes explode ;)

    Sorry, smp8 made me do it! :D
    (runs for cover! :p)
    Defne_The_Boss likes this.
  12. I 100% agree with this entire post, a lot of the older staff were more social and actually interacted with the community a lot more than the current ones do.
    bitemenow15 likes this.
  13. OLD: dusty and outdated. less work to be done to maintain the EMPIRE. Bureaucracy and maintenance have a way of demanding attention as something AMAZING grows into something HUGE and AMAZING. what? Go be social :p
  14. Noting that you have been here 16 months I don't know what you mean by "older staff".(apologies if you have an older alt) The new staff run WAY more events now and the thing that is even better about it is that they are on a weekly schedule. It used to be one event a month and it would be announced 6 hours before it started(causing many to not even have a chance). I personally am not active on EMC much anymore, but if you want to be, staff events are a great place to do it.
    Gawadrolt likes this.
  15. I have an alternate a little over 250 days older than this current account, I enjoy the events we have currently,there are definitely a lot more than there used to be, but I'm talking about how the older staff members used to be a lot more social and more part of the community rather than just moderating it.
    georgeashington likes this.
  16. As one of the few people in the (almost) four year club, I have to agree with a lot of this, especially the turnover rate. It feels like everytime we have a celebration for X amount of members is really just us saying "We had X amount of people log in once." In my honest opinion the community has gone down hill especially on the forums. Every thread that has the possibility of having a debate on it turns into a flame war no matter if it's about the mob arena of the Fourth of July, someone has to get butthurt and rant on it constantly. I've said it before and I will again, EMC just isn't as community driven as we all like to think. We have a staff event here and there and not much inbetween. I also feel like that we as a community tend to turn our heads and say "okay" at every choice the staff make. I'm not saying the staff do bad things that hurt us as a community but it feels rare that on the occasion that something dumb might have been done that anyone says anything. To quote He Who Shall Not Be Named (points at avatar) I think some of us are being "sheeps."

    We didn't really agree on much of anything with the NR, Steamed, but I can agree with you on this.
  17. I'm surprised to see this kind of criticism now, as I feel that EMC did have this problems more in the past than it is the case now.
    My impression is that EMC is improving.

    It is true that EMC is not a community run server, but in the end that doesn't matter much.
    If EMC does not suite the community, it will fall apart, like it was falling apart before Aikar took over.

    So, a bit harshly said, the community gets the server it deserves in the end.
    If the community really wants improvement, it will happen.

    EMC does slowly gain maturity with its members gaining maturity.
    This is a slow process, yes, this takes years :)

    Push for new players

    This was necessary and I think it was right decision to get quite some fresh blood.

    Is it sustainable to please new members and neglect the ones that stay for longer than few weeks?
    No, of course not.
    Community culture needs time to develop and a server like EMC without community culture makes little sense.

    Butt-kissing and conformism

    You remember censorship, thread closing and silencing of criticism in the "old days"?

    Yes, there are still "no drama" rules there which are quite ridiculous, but - again, this has something to do with maturity, and yes, this takes time...

    You see this ban on selling bonus chests instead of a (common sense) ban and sanctions on making false promises when selling anything.
    Do you think that the community applauding to such rule is just conformism?
    I'm not sure about that.
    Well, a part of it is conformism, a part is just people disliking promos or being envy.

    But anyway, if the majority applauds to such rules, then that are just the right kind of rules for this community.

    My impression is that regarding this topic there is quite an improvement on EMC since the old days.

    "Babying", "baby rules", patronizing

    This is a problem on EMC from the beginning and I've been writing about this for years.

    Protecting younger players (age somewhere 8-11 I guess) is important,
    but my opinion is that this can be done even better without "baby rules".

    "Do not scam" rule very well covers any false promises while selling anything, so a special ban on selling specific item just does not make sense.

    To address the specific problems around bonus chests, a commentary to the rule could be added saying "any promises regarding bonus chest contents while offering one for sale are considered scamming."

    I think that "baby rules" really do no good to EMC.

    But the bottom line on discussions about that in the past was "Us. Staff. Know. Better. Period."

    If you love them - set them free.
    Gawadrolt and ShelLuser like this.
  18. Thank you to all who have replied so far. I really appreciate reading what you think on the matter, and I will do my best to address most of the points made by you guys here.
    In order:
    I fully agree that new players need help and attention in order to get a grasp on how this server ropes. My issue isn't with new players themselves, but rather with the push for more and more new players, many of whom don't even use the help offered to them and will quickly leave.

    Somewhat confused by what you meant here, but if you are asking for the point of my post it is just to highlight some concerns I have (and I'm sure others share) with EMC. There was no specific goal I was intending to reach except to express my thoughts.

    Wow, you made a lot of really interesting point here. I'll do my best to address each one but I might miss something :p
    First of all, the reason I didn't want to go deeper into the bans is because I didn't want to use up too much space lol.
    As you mentioned, each side has a story and I just didn't feel like it was necessary to post mine at this time. Anyways, the reason I added that point in was because it was originally intended to be a goodbye thread, then I changed my mind halfway through and I didn't really adjust my original points.

    When I speak of more and more new players and less attention to older players, Im not exactly referring to the "physical?"(for lack of a better word) aspect of EMC. What I mean by physical is the actual events and features offered to the players. I am referring to more of the "feeling" in the server, and how many components work. What I'm trying to say would be harder to understand if you had not been here to see the shift from old players to new. I'm sure some of the older players on here know what I'm talking about. To try and give an example, when I first joined EMC you had to work for rupees, almost NOTHING was given out (except the 1,500r starting bonus). This made it seem like you really had to work to become more wealthy or successful, and you felt accomplished if you broke the 100,000r mark. Nowadays, we have promos that are given out to every player, and can be sold for tens of thousands of rupees without any work being done. 100,000r means nothing anymore, and not just because of inflation but because players just don't have to work anymore. To summarize, the less work new players have to do to become just as wealthy as old players who actually had to do work makes it seem like the focus has shifted from being involved to just "being there". I'm not sure if this makes any sense to those of you reading this, but I tried :p
    That's exactly my point, but I'm referring to the total amount of players, while you are referring to the active players.
    And I agree, I would rather see 15,000 fun, involved active players than 15,000 sticks in the mud, but the point of that statement was to show that people just aren't staying on EMC, and the push for new players is fruitless

    To address what you said about action=reaction; I agree that people need to be mindful of the results of their statements and actions, but I was more referring to when somebody has something meaningful to say and others tell them they are wrong with quoted staff posts and such. For example, if in this thread somebody started to quote something a staff member said about the need for the promo chest rule in order to make what I said invalid. The key point is opinion vs. opinion, but they would "win" because they are using a staff's opinion

    Next about "butt-kissing", this is more of an observation I've made, and it could be completely incorrect or perceived differently by other players. I'm talking about how it seems players uphold the staff like gods, and for nothing more than them being a higher rank than they are. And it's not just staff, I see the same "classism" among people with supporter rank and those without. An example of this would be how a staff head or signed book is worth more than a regular one by a regular player. Now, I'm not saying staff don't do a good job, but instead I am just pointing out how there is a certain class system that seems to be active in emc.

    more to follow, I got to go out IRL lol i'll post the rest latter[/quote]
    Galantisizer and ShelLuser like this.
  19. *claps* I'm rewarding you something tomorrow. This really needed to be said.
  20. I'm back now, so I'll continue on what I was saying before :)
    I've kind of lost track on what was being said and such, so I'll make just a few summarized points of clarification in regards to what has been said before.

    First of all, while I have no problem with younger kids (8-12) being on EMC, I thought there was a (technical) "rule" about players needing to be 13+ to play. Now of course this is not enforced, but given that it is stated I think it is fair to assume the people you deal with are at least 13. It's not always true, but because it is written it would be appropriate to act like it is. I think the same should apply to rules. By that I mean that if a rule is in place to protect somebody who is naive, it should also be considered the age of what people (should be), so for example say we completely cut out gambling because children under 13 kept losing because they didn't understand how things worked. Rules should be appropriate to players who are 13+

    I would also like to make the quick point that I had no knowledge of the AGA when making this post lol, and so I do not have enough information on the matter to comment on that aspect of what was said.

    Anyways, Shel I greatly appreciate what you said and that you took the time to do a thorough analyzation of my original post. I agree with many of the things you brought up, but also disagree with some of it too. Thanks again.

    Thank you for your addition. One thing I would like to touch on is that I feel the EMC was mature, and it has recently become less and less so. I suppose this could chalk up to "your experience may vary", but that is just how I have perceived things.

    I really like what you said here and I agree 100%. Thanks for your addition :)