An apology regardng recent name changing

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An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Jirato » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:39 pm

One of the complaints we've received a couple times since mid-June was regarding allowing a name change of an established character that did not have a bad name. I was originally going to type out a long apology and list some reasons here, but I'll keep this short instead.

First off to anyone pointing fingers at a certain GM and crying favoritism, GM abuse, or corruption, please know that this was my suggestion and only happened with my consent. There were reasons for this, unrelated to the character's IC actions and RP. I felt that a name change would be in everyone's best interest. This was my mistake, not hers. I felt that this was going to be like a "witness protection" thing to help alleviate the constant scrutinizing and OOC bullying she was suffering. All it did was make it worse. We all know that in a community this size you can't really have many secrets, plus for such an established character you can't really just change your name and pretend to be someone else, you have to still be that person. So it wasn't much of a change at all. Everyone sitll knew who she was, most people still knew she was the PC of a GM or figured out from others who have publicly called her out on it or complained about it in OOC tells or out-of-game.

Second, I want to state that this isn't happening again. If any other player came to me with an elaborate story with why their name should be changed, the answer is going to be no, regardless of how well written it is. This would have always been my reaction to such a request. I merely let my emotions take over, was sad to see such a well-known character (and friend) quit, and thought the name change would be a good opportunity to have her stick around. It was my fault.

Lastly, please be aware that the name was reverted to the way it was before the name change. Lets just drop this and move on now, please.
[GMCHAT Uyoku]: Octum is when the octumbunny comes around and lays pumpkins everywhere right?
[GMCHAT Rias]: Dimmes says "oh hai :) u need healz? ill get u dont worry thaum lasers pew pew pew lol"
[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: Here's how elemancy works: The freeblegreeble and the zippoflasm have to be combined with the correct ration of himbleplimp, then you add the gargenheimer and adjust the froopulon for the pattern you want, apply some tarratarrtarr, yibble the wantaban, and let 'er rip!

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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Vaylon » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:17 am

I have a couple of things to say. As soon as I heard about this nonsense -- because that's what it is: nonsense -- I became angry. So angry, in fact, that I decided to wait a day and think about what I was going to say so that I could post a measured response instead of an angry one. Trust me, I'm still angry.

First of all, let's stop this tip-toeing around the issue and get the facts straight so everyone knows what's going on:
1. People started harassing Zoiya out-of-character to the point where it was unbearable for her to play Lae, her player character.
2. Jirato came up with the idea to change Lae's name in order to deflect the harassment, and he changed it to Ohielle. Zoiya worked on a roleplay reason in order to explain in-character why Lae's name was changed to Ohielle.
3. It didn't work. People interacted with Ohielle, she told them who she was, and word eventually got back to the people who had initially harassed her. When they found out she was renamed, they complained to Jirato about it.
4. Jirato changed Ohielle's name back to Lae and posted the apology above.

Now, I can't be the only person who thinks that this chain of events sounds insane. Why the wringing of hands, the shrugging, the saying, "Oh, well, I guess there's nothing we can do about the people harassing you"? I don't understand how this issue wasn't resolved in two easy steps:
1. Jerk harasses someone.
2. Jerk gets warned about his harassment. Person he harassed is told matter was handled.

(To be fair, in any other game, changing your name in order to avoid OOC harassment is actually a fairly reasonable idea -- if the GMs in the game you're playing fail to or refuse to stop OOC harassment. The bigger issue here is that the harassment itself isn't being addressed by the developer.)

I don't know about everyone else, but I expect people to treat one another decently. I understand that there's a culture of being non-confrontational in CLOK, but pointing out to a bully that they're behaving badly and asking them to stop is not confrontational -- it's being a decent person; it's enforcing a minimal standard of decency, even if it's as simple as telling someone OOCly, "Hey, don't be a jerk." If you aren't willing to do that, Jirato, then you need to find someone who will do it for you. And you know what? If you don't do something about people being harassed, I'll start doing something, and I'll be public about it, too, so everyone will know all about the vicious little bullies who apparently have CLOK by the throat.

At this point, if Zoiya quit as a result of this, I wouldn't blame her a single bit; in fact, I would be supportive of her quitting. That's how angry I am at the clumsy and inconsiderate way that this was handled. Based on what I have seen myself, she has been jerked around like a dog on a chain, and I'm frankly amazed at her continued ability to endure the harassment and the lack of support while still managing to contribute to the game.

In the end, this is not just about Zoiya. Other people on CLOK have been victims of OOC harassment. Most people who harass others are either repeat offenders or have a long campaign of it; either way, in a community as small as CLOK's, it shouldn't be challenging to weed out those people. The problem lies in an apparent unwillingness to enforce minimal standard of decency. It is not unreasonable to expect people to treat each other decently, and it is good to ask people who refuse to treat others decently to leave.

I know that this post was ungentle, and I am not sorry about it. Jirato, I am incensed that someone, a friend of yours, was harassed repeatedly, and your first instinct -- not even as their friend, but as a fellow human being -- wasn't to tell the harassers to knock it off. With respect to managing the CLOK community, I have zero faith in you. I strongly recommend that you get someone else to deal with it.
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Zoiya » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:28 am

I'm only going to post here once, then I'm going to go back to what I was doing before I saw this.

Jirato is not a bad person, in fact, he's a really good person. He did what he had to do, and I hope that all of you will treat him with respect and realize that he's just doing what he feels is right.

No attacks on the DEV, it's unnecessary and it's unhelpful. Keep things constructive, I can't stress that enough.
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Kent » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:32 am

What?? Zoiya was playing Lae all along? I am knocked for a loop by this revelation.

If this is true please give Lae a year-long RPA as she played the part so well, I never would have
guessed she was also a GM. Thought she was a player only. Two thumbs up.
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Kunren » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:34 am

Kent wrote:What?? Zoiya was playing Lae all along? I am knocked for a loop by this revelation.

If this is true please give Lae a year-long RPA as she played the part so well, I never would have
guessed she was also a GM. Thought she was a player only. Two thumbs up.

+1 I didn't know Lae that well, but I would have never guessed either lae nor her apparent short incarnation as Ohielle were Z.
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Vaylon » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:46 am

Zoiya wrote:Jirato is not a bad person, in fact, he's a really good person. He did what he had to do, and I hope that all of you will treat him with respect and realize that he's just doing what he feels is right.

I was too harsh in comments toward Jirato, and for that I apologize. As I've said elsewhere, I recognize that many of the problems in CLOK existed long before he became head developer, and I have seen that he's made positive changes. However, I still think that he should hire someone else to manage the community, if only because the stress of managing us band of irate children is too much.

Regardless, the people whom I hold ultimately responsible here are those who are harassing others. Nobody should have to tell you to stop harassing people, and if they do, you should consider whether or not playing a game with other people in it is really what's suited for you.
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby blindndangerous » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:57 am

I agree with post 2 and 3. Jirato has done a lot of good for the mud, he really has. Hopefully something is done about this. That's all I have to say on this matter.
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby vidor » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:57 am

1 - Jirato, Zoiya, and the rest are doing a fantastic job. It's hard to code a game and manage the community, all on top of RL obligations, responsibilities, and engagements.
2 - Those who legitimately feel the GMs are being unfair, I welcome you to make use of the institutional method for reporting your concerns: e-mail Jirato or, if you feel it's him, e-mail the entire team.
3 - If you reach out to the GMs and don't like the anser, or refuse to reach out to the GMs, you have two choices: get the hell over it, or get the hell out. I'm fine with either, and I assume most of the community is too. But if you want to keep complaining to your friends, causing problems, and wining when things don't go your way, I recommend taking first grade over again. There you can be among your peers, and enjoy the added benefit of naptime and a juice box.
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby preiman » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:00 am

why do they get a nap and a Juice box? I want a juice box.
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Jirato » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:44 am

I very much meant what I said in my post. If another player were to approach me and ask if they could change their non-policy-violating name, regardless of the circumstances, IC justification and how it was written up, the answer would be no. This has only happened one other time in the history of CLOK, and that person has been removed from the game.

I've seen a couple people mention, "Well, looks like the abusive players are getting what they want and won.", but I just don't really see it this way. The fact is, I provided special benefits that would have normally been against policy to someone because I care about them as a friend. I was showing favoritism, despite constantly saying, "GM PCs have no advantage over regular PCs." I broke my own rules, and decided to fix it.

Policy 3 does not just apply only to players, I will not tolerate harassment towards GMs either. One person has already been banned for this since I've taken the helm, and it's probably not going to be the last time.
[GMCHAT Uyoku]: Octum is when the octumbunny comes around and lays pumpkins everywhere right?
[GMCHAT Rias]: Dimmes says "oh hai :) u need healz? ill get u dont worry thaum lasers pew pew pew lol"
[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: Here's how elemancy works: The freeblegreeble and the zippoflasm have to be combined with the correct ration of himbleplimp, then you add the gargenheimer and adjust the froopulon for the pattern you want, apply some tarratarrtarr, yibble the wantaban, and let 'er rip!

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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Rias » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:55 am

Vaylon, you're making a lot of assumptions:

1.) That you know all the facts.
2.) That the only people who expressed concerns and critical feedback were bullies who were harassing someone.
3.) That Jirato has not told those who ARE harassing to knock it off or taken action against it. There's no need for Jirato to make a public announcement and say "By the way, this is the action I took regarding someone's personal issue they were having with harassment".

Your insinuations that Jirato is not a decent human being were flat out messed up.
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Vaylon » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:12 pm

Rias, when someone is getting harassed, I expect a decent person -- especially if they have the power to stop it -- to stop it. To Jirato's credit, he did ban someone.

From what I've seen and heard, this harassment was ongoing during your tenure as head developer. Is that the case? If so, what did you do about it, and why didn't you feel that banning was a sufficient response?
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Rias » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:37 pm

First off, see point 3 in my previous post. I won't be giving any specific examples and details, because I've always held the belief that that kind of thing is nobody's business but the harasser's and the harassee's, and sharing it publicly only fuels fires that are better left burning out.

I never held the belief that everyone who claimed to be a victim should be avenged with aggressive action by the staff. I expected people to deal with personal issues in a mature manner and not demand to have a staff member come in and solve their personal conflicts for them. In cases when I felt it went beyond what I could expect a person to handle on their own, I had heavy conversations with people, issued various restrictions, and occasionally banned people, depending on severity of the situation.

Some people believed I didn't ban people whom I should have (people seem to be quite eager to see bannings handed out). You'll never please everyone, and I accepted that. I didn't feel the need to act aggressively just because someone's feelings were hurt. Some people can get extremely offended, upset, or feel victimized at things that I feel are exceptionally minor.

I also believe that more than a few people have claimed they were being harassed beyond their ability to handle when that wasn't the case, and they just wanted someone else to step in and deal with the problem for them. I've always respected someone's right to disagree, but I stand by the assessments I made.
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Fayne » Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:25 am

Personally, I think Zoiya's unhappiness and unjust harrassment have been well-known to anyone who took the time to get to know her even a little, or who just observed things that go on in-game and on the BBS. Did Jirato mess up when he made it a special case and did something he normally wouldn't allow? Yes, and as such he can't punish the real problem people for their continued harrassment, because now it has justification. However, I would like to see bans used more readily in the future. If someone is being harrassed on an OOC level to the point of wanting to quit, especially if that person is a GM, then the person doing said harrassment should not be welcome in this game, especially since I suspect these people have been addressed in one way or another at least once by now. I think one strike on harrassment is all thag should be allowed, though if you're really hesitant to weild the ban hammer, three strikes is always a good choice.

The thing that makes Zoiya's case in particular so bad is the fact that it was by no means a secret that she was getting harrassed and wanting to leave the game. At one point, she did leave. And then she was convinced to come back, and she's still getting harrassed? I'm sorry, but if you can harrass a person that badly without feeling a huge twinge of guilt, you are not a decent human being by any means, and I personally hope you are removed from this game I enjoy playing, because I consider the CLOK community my friends, and I do not want to be friends with such a person. I seriously don't understand how anyone can be that small-minded and shallow.

Anyway, Jirato, I appreciate your efforts to try to keep around one of the best players we have, and one people's favorite GMs.
Zoiya, I don't know how you put up with all the BS, but I'm glad you somehow find a way. You bring a lot of character to CLOK, and your NPCs always get people excited, even when they aren't handing out items and they're simply interacting with others.
Vaylon, I understand that you're angry about this, and I am too, but the blame game isn't going to help it. Jirato knows he didn't handle the situation well, but I'm sure this was an attempt at compromising after a lot of frustration. If there are a select few individuals dishing out this harrassment repeatedly, I think they should be given an ultimatum or just outright banned. Any type of harrassment, no matter how "big" or "small" as Rias said, should be addressed by the staff if it is taking place on the BBS or in the game, IC or OOC. There is a big difference between harrassment and petty squabbles, and I hope that's what Rias was alluding to, rather than saying some forms of harrassment just aren't enough to be bothered by.

I enjoy this game, and the people in the community, I really do, but there are some serious issues that I really hope are settled soon. The way sone players are allowed to treat GMs and other players just makes me sick, especially when it is done on chat or on a post on the BBS so that everyone, long-time players and newbies alike, can get a front row seat to the ugliness. I love CLOK, but we're going to destroy it this way, either by driving newbies off, or driving the GMs off, and frankly if we can't keep that from happening, then maybe it's the slow and painful death that CLOK deserves. I seriously hope that isn't the case.
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Re: An apology regardng recent name changing

Postby Jirato » Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:42 am

Well said, Fayne.

And with that, I think it's time to lock this thread. It probably should never have been open to begin with. I probably didn't even need to post it. I've been trying so hard to be open and transparent on anything and everything to keep people happy, but some things should only be shared between the people involved.

I've had two long conversations with Rias and another friend of mine who is a veteran MUD implementer and administrator with 20 years experience, and have come to realize I've made some mistakes over the past couple of months. There are a lot of situations that could have been approached differently, and a lot of ways I approach things that are more harmful than helpful to the long-term growth of the MUD.
[GMCHAT Uyoku]: Octum is when the octumbunny comes around and lays pumpkins everywhere right?
[GMCHAT Rias]: Dimmes says "oh hai :) u need healz? ill get u dont worry thaum lasers pew pew pew lol"
[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: Here's how elemancy works: The freeblegreeble and the zippoflasm have to be combined with the correct ration of himbleplimp, then you add the gargenheimer and adjust the froopulon for the pattern you want, apply some tarratarrtarr, yibble the wantaban, and let 'er rip!

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