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Moderation process

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:12 am
by AndreasR
Freeciv-web now has a new and improved moderation process in place! Please use the following e-mail address to contact a game moderator:

This e-mail address can be contacted when other players misbehave, cheat or any other issues in the game which needs the attention of a moderator. Thanks!

Great idea. I really hope some people will volunteer!

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:02 am
by Lexxie
This is a fabulous idea. Yay! Applause! :D Longturn has the ability to be "discovered" as the most amazing free diplomatic/social/strategy game on the web! It just needs a little promotion and press and time to catch on.

I am rather social and have chatted with many people in the longturn community, so I want to make a quick observation. Generally, people feel that there are a lot of games running concurrently now. So if we don't immediately get people volunteering to start new games, please don't take it as lack of interest. I think people want to see a few games finish up before starting some new ones. So I do expect people will take their time to think about it, probably take their time to download it and play around with setup on the computer, and things like this. I have talked to people who definitely are interested in doing this. So, please give the community some time to finish up existing games and play around with the installation on their own computer. ;)


Many people would probably prefer to play a game than to moderate it, but realise if no one moderates then we will have no games. One solution is that two people agree, "I'll moderate one if you do also", that way each one gets to play in a game also.


I believe there should be a very short, simple, elegant, and effective set of community rules and guidelines. "Be polite and don't cheat", this hasn't really worked up until now. It should be simple and clear, so less than 8 rules. It should address rules that allow us to get back basic functions like naming cities, doing fair and legal diplomatic transactions, and so on.

The moderator can be approached by a player who makes a short request about a certain situation. The moderator attempts to make a fair judgment about the guidelines, and a proportionate response.

Proportionate responses require good common sense and a spirit for the happiness of the community. Often it's simple, like "this is your first warning, next time I will do x." X is neither too lenient nor too severe. It does resolve the situation, but with minimal interference and minimal tampering of the balance of power of the game players.

These are just my thoughts about how we can embrace this great idea, but be careful to execute it well. What do you all think? Andreas has asked before for our suggestions and ideas for how to make this whole thing run easily and smoothly. I think it's up to us now. He's giving longturn a second chance. Let's brainstorm and propose ideas, desires, and guidelines from which he can select.


First idea for moderator guidelines

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:21 am
by Lexxie
I’ll post my ideas over the next days one at a time or as they come. I hope other people do too, and give their input and reactions to other people’s ideas too. Here is the first!

1. The spirit and purpose of moderation. Simple, smooth, easy, fair, balanced, minimal interference.

One thing most of us may have seen before, which usually happens with moderators, is they take their job too seriously. Bias and "power tripping" over one's authority is actually more common than a fair judge. So I propose part of the guidelines have very simple stipulations about the spirit and goal of the moderator: Make very simple and fair decisions that promote the easiest and simplest path to fairness and happiness, without overly interfering with the game and people's ability to be free, creative, and expressive. Exercising the least power necessary to keep people happy, fair, and not too worried about biased decisions, draconian abuse of authority, or heavy handed decisions which totally alter the game balance. For example, if Player X insults me in a personal message, do I really need to complain to get him banned, causing his allies to lose the game they've been playing for months? Or could the moderator say, "I'll give him a warning, and please consider the /ignore command to mute him. If that doesn't work, then we'll escalate stronger actions one at a time." Keeping it simple here is important. Banning would be the nuclear option after repeated warnings, severe transgressions like public defamations, slandering, cheating, etc.


All moderation and rules would be done in the spirit of the simplest, smoothest and easiest way to be completely fair, while having the minimum of interference on the game and its players.

Second idea for moderator guidelines

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:35 am
by Lexxie
2. Politeness and Abuse.

A certain degree of competitive banter and free speech should be allowed, but with a very clear line about what is going too far and is considered as abusive. Judgments of abuse require interpretation, which is why it should always be a soft process of first discussing, questioning all parties, and warning. Instantly making quick interpretations and doing swift severe decisions on what might be misinterpretation, is not what the community wants from moderators. That would promote fear and slience the community. National leaders aren't always polite when they are at war, or when they are betrayed by an ally. Even allies may have heated disagreements over what they should do next.

Crybaby snitching isn’t to be encouraged, and definitely shouldn’t be a powerful tool to influence the game in your favour. On the other hand, if someone repeats many times “I find you saying things like this to be abusive and against the guidelines, please stop”, and then it still continues, that would be when action is taken. Not, “mommy, mommy! They called me something not nice, can we ban them?”

Naming cities to abuse and insult other players shouldn’t be tolerated. Primitive, crude, or obscene insults in public chat should not be permitted. However, being critical of a player and publicly informative about them should be permitted, as long as it's not obscene, abusive, or slandering/false accusations which wrongly hurt reputation. When public disagreement becomes too uncontrolled, lengthy, spammy, or heated, the moderator may decide when enough is enough.


Free speech and competitive banter are allowed and encouraged, but a simple progressive sequence of actions will be taken when impoliteness or abuse becomes too severe or repeated. Obscenity and crude insults ("retard", "idiot", etc.) should be kept out of public. Public chat and names of cities are considered public.

Re: Community administrator for LongTurn Freeciv-web games wanted!

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:28 pm
by Tommo
Hi all,

Agree that this is a fantastic idea. If by helping out in this way we can free up Andreas to carry on developing freeciv-web (and relieve him of some stress) then that is a win for everyone :)

I am only taking part in 2 of the current longturn games and would be more than happy to help moderate a future game.

Some thoughts of my own..

First off I would pretty much agree with everything Lexxie has said. Moderation should be a 'light touch' to encourage participation and prevent any abusive behaviour. I have not come accross any of this yet myself (although am fairly new to freeciv). I would certainly be put off if I did.

With regards to chat, would it be worth considering moving this to IRC for longturn games? This would remove any issues around chat from the freeciv server and allow it to be monitored/moderated seperately. In my opinion it would also make it easier for players to manage their chats - there are obvious limitations to having hundreds of people potentially trying to chat in one tiny window which also provides game status updates.
(Not suggesting removing the current chat functionality from freeciv-web completely, just for longturn games.)

Not sure how easy it would be to arrange, but the moderation might work best if it could be done by a small team of 2 or 3 people (maybe with ony one 'on duty' at a time)? This might encourage people to volunteer to help with something that could end up being quite a long term commitment (also partering relative newbies like me with more experienced admins/players).

Anyway, just some thoughts.

Thnks for everything you have done so far Andreas - hopefully longturn can continue and grow :D


Split work between different staff positions

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:56 pm
by Caedo
I believe it would be a good idea to maybe divide work between different people. No single person is good at everything, so I'd propose different positions. Some people would feel more at home focusing on development, designing and implementing new features ("developers"). Then there could be people focusing on moderation, enforcing rules and keeping order, for which Lexxie has put up some great ideas ("moderators"). And we could have someone focusing on the community aspect, doing PR stuff, relaying ideas from the community to the developers and in general keeping an environment where people will be willing to contribute ideas and constructive criticism ("community manager").

I'm sure there are some people here who'd be well-suited for some of these positions, while not able to rise to the responsibilities of a full-blown administrator. Some potential moderators that can be fair and pragmatic and aren't easily offended or controlled by their anger. Someone socially competent who could work with the community, but doesn't know jack about hosting a server.

If I were to decide this, I'd look for moderators and possibly a CoMa now, get a working team together and then discuss the future. Decide what changes need to be made, what future games should look like, when they should be started and so on and so forth. Then we can look for people who can test their ideas on their own.

Re: Community administrator for LongTurn Freeciv-web games wanted!

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:16 pm
by Zelrond
I would like to know the requisites and the extend of what this GM could and must do, also like others said if continue playing could be ok or not, before submitting a name.

I'll explain why: if its only a GM thing where controlling public chat or having an complain inbox about private chat and city names could be easy to handle and would also allow the GM to keep playing games. If the job is like that i would be glad to do it. I already did similar job when playing on a cloned lineageII server and was supermod in an online gaming forum (both now extinct T_T) in spanish (the place is down, this is my profile on waybackmashine: ... 5-zelrond/).

If any info is needed i can submit to you via PM.

Re: Community administrator for LongTurn Freeciv-web games wanted!

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:08 pm
by AndreasR
Zelrond wrote:I'll explain why: if its only a GM thing where controlling public chat or having an complain inbox about private chat and city names could be easy to handle and would also allow the GM to keep playing games. If the job is like that i would be glad to do it.

Yes, this is quite an accurate description of the job. Please read through the entire post and make sure that you understand it fully before possibly applying to it though.


Re: Community administrator for LongTurn Freeciv-web games wanted!

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:17 pm
by Zelrond
Thanks for the reply! i'll do so!

Re: Community administrator for LongTurn Freeciv-web games wanted!

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:49 am
by Lexxie
I don't believe a moderator would only police chat and city names. He or she has to understand how to do the setup and the install, set up the game and ruleset, and maybe hear about problems and correct issues. Currently, the largest problem is unquestionably multi-accounting (cheating).

Game 3 has been completely and utterly, totally ruined and irreparably destroyed by cheating. It can't be fixed, it is already organising into a global world war of normal players vs. the multi-accounters. Game 4 is in danger if action isn't taken quickly. It's the same (very small) number of players who do it (from what I can see). For some reason, the other games seem mostly ok so far, though Game 2 had a rather costly incident that made one side suffer badly.

Cheating should be easy to detect if you can inspect everything. A few minutes here and there every so often, would combine with players suspecting something and giving you a clue where to look. If you can inspect everything, that doesn't really qualify you to be playing though. Sadly.

For chat, half the community already uses Discord. It could literally be a one hour project to allow registered players to put a Discord id# in the registration info, and make the player name into a link. Apparently Discord also has a very easy way for outside developers to program in "a few lines of code" which allow messaging to go this way. What's great about that is all the functionality it already has: like a main lobby, ability to make separate rooms for allies, rooms for questions, for moderator talk, voting, etc. The ability to mute / ban / invite, and so on, is already in it. Or, there might be some other public service that is easy to connect it to. I don't know how easy or feasible IRC is, as I'm not a developer.