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Improving The Reputation of CM

Discussion in 'Clans' started by MonkeyMagic22, Aug 11, 2022.

  1. Before I start this post:
    I want to make it clear that this post isn't to promote toxicity. There's a difference between negative oriented discussion and toxic discussion, and with the dire state of clans at the moment, there's not a lot of positive things to say about it. I'd rather us keep our observations and complaints civil than risk getting this thread locked by a CM member for not promoting positive discussion. We're all here because we're passionate about clans and want it to succeed, and when that's not happening, things can look pretty bleak, and that can produce a toxic atmosphere. Clans is a toxic game, that's just the way things are now. Hopefully it won't bleed into this thread. I'm going to start this thread by discussing how Clans Management can improve their relations with the playerbase and hopefully things will evolve from there.

    The Situation
    I don't think it's any secret that the clans management team is not liked or respected by the current clans playerbase. The relationship between the moderation team and the average player is at an all time low. I went ahead and ran a little experiment by going on my main clans server, and the only one with any consistent playerbase, Clans-7, and asked everyone if they think Clans Management is doing a good job of running the game.

    Not a single player said yes.

    Personal opinions may differ, but I think Clans Management definitely deserves its poor reputation. But that's not what this post is about, as I'm here to discuss how this relationship can be improved from the angle of CM. I'm going to try and keep these methods low effort, things that don't take a considerable amount of time and resources to implement, as I want these to be quick fixes that aren't reliant on AlexTheCoder to develop into the games, nothing that would require a whole update and reset.

    That being said, here's how I think Clans Management can improve it's standing with the playerbase and aim to regain some of that lost prestige.

    Bias towards specific players, groups, and clans has and always will exist in Clans. It's part of the game, it's subconscious, and there's not much anyone can do about it. The most obvious example of this would be when GrandpaNguyen allowed a player by the IGN LineGraph to go unpunished for a war point evade. This event was probably one of the biggest PR disasters Mineplex has ever had, and I'm sure did a number on destroying the image of Clans Management in the eyes of the players.

    I wasn't going to talk much more about issues concerning Bias, as I figured they were old news that Mineplex had fixed Policy side a while ago, however, something happened yesterday on Clans-7 that pissed me off, and pissed off a few others online at the time.

    A Clans management member joined the server and joined a clan. This clan will remain nameless, as well as the staff member involved, however any CM member can go into chatlogs from last night and check this out. This Clans Management member acquired legends, presumably from this clan, although I can't confirm this, and then killed at least one player with them. What's the issue here? The clan in which this CM member acquired legends from contained a network banned player, which the CM member admitted himself, calling out this player in public chat as network banned. Under the assumption the CM received legends from this players clan, and given the state of the game, under the assumption said player was network banned for hacking, there's a decent chance a Clans Management Staff Member killed a player with legends that were taken via hacking.
    For a real life analogy, this is essentially a police officer stopping a bank robber, and then buying a purse with some of said money he stole.

    The CM claimed they simply joined the first clan that invited them, and didn't know one of the members was network banned, however this is still not a good look. Especially killing with legends that could've been given to them.

    "The CM member could've logged with the legends, they could've been acquired legit!"
    True, but they still killed in the name of a clan with a player who was network banned still online. Instead of fixing that and deservedly banning a network banned player, killing someone else with legends. Still not a good look either way.

    Fix these problems policy side Mineplex, please. Have CM perform background checks on clan members before joining a clan. MAKE CLANS MANAGEMENT PLAY THE GAME!! I haven't seen a Clans Management Member consistently active on a Clans server yet this season. Why is that? How often are Clans Management members required to play? What are the specific duties of a Clans Management member? Making this information publicly available will only help Clans players hold the staff accountable for their actions during play. The two incidents i've described, particularly the top one, illustrate how clans management has destroyed it's own reputation. The answer isn't so simple- As implementing these kinds of governance mechanics behind the scenes takes time and effort, however as this is policy side I trust CM can handle it.

    One thing that the Clans Management staff has struggled with since the inception of the gamemode is transparency. It has been 914 days since the last clans reset, and the last major update. What do we know surrounding the future? Nothing.
    The response from CM regarding this lack of transparency has been incredibly disheartening for everyone who is still passionate about the game. There's usually one of two excuses:
    "We don't know"
    "We can't say"
    Obviously Clans Management is only limited by what they know, and that's the responsibility of those higher up. However, the playerbase will interpret these continued deflections as a lack of care rather than a lack of transparency. The Clans Management team may be limited by the restrictions of upper level management here. The Clans community has been requesting information regarding the future of the game for years now, with no positive results. I'm speaking directly to higher ups here, and I'd appreciate anyone with the capabilities to forward this message to them, SAY SOMETHING! ANYTHING! Will there be more for clans? Is SOMETHING in the works? Can we get a timeline? This is information that the playerbase has been starved of for years and it's destroying their perception of Clans Management as deflection is perceived as laziness and an overall lack of care. Again, accountability from higher up regarding the consistent issues the game has faced for years will do wonders for community relations

    There's things that can be done to give back to the playerbase to say thanks for the consistent waiting and neglect the community has been facing recently. I'm sure others can think of better ideas, but i've got one that I think Clans has been overdue for.
    Dyed leather armour used to be so fun, mixing and matching colours, dying your gear a certain colour, it used to be so awesome and then mineplex got rid of that fun and locked it behind a paid box on the store.
    Does anyone even buy the dye boxes? I don't think i've seen a dyed armour piece since season 4, and I have yet to see a single one this season. I understand the server is struggling right now and needs as much money as it can get, but locking something as simple and easy as DYED LEATHER ARMOUR behind a paywall comes off really poor in the opinion of me and many others
    -I went on a bit of a tangent there, this post is supposed to be productive. Give back to the community, dump the dye boxes, give us dyes back. We've earned it. I don't know a single individual who would be against this change, other than the staff team trying to make money for the server. There's more than enough revenue streams, and keeping dyed armour in clans free would clearly not hurt the servers profits very much at all.

    I'm ending the thread here because these are the lowest effort and time consuming ideas I could come up with. I have a few more that would take some more meaty investments that I think defeats the purpose of this post. It's supposed to be for easy, cheap, quick ways Clans Management can improve it's deteriorating reputation with the playerbase. If you're unsatisfied with the game in it's current state, but still enjoy it enough to play it, that's fine too. I'm in that state, and so are many others, that doesn't mean things can't be improved, and that staff can't be doing more for the poor beggars that remain playing Clans.
    If you have any other ideas, or anything to say at all (Dear god don't be toxic, this is a "Positive" thread), feel free to reply, i'll read them all. If you're a Staff Member, tell me what you think about these changes, how you feel about your relationship to the players, and what YOU can do to improve that personally. It's always nice to see your acknowledgement of the problem, that accountability is admired by the community. That's all from me.
    Posted Aug 11, 2022
    BlockGameEnjoyer and Ian923 like this.
  2. First of all, I'd like to thank you for voicing your concerns in the most appropriate manner and avoiding the usual toxic behavior that most of the community portrays. For that, I will try my best to address every single point mentioned in your post. I'll try to be as brief as possible, while trying to keep it clear and concise so the message is properly delivered.

    Every team has an area of opportunity, and Clans Management is no exception. I do agree that we have things to improve on, and we have tried going over many solutions, all of which have seemed to fail due to the same old issue we've had for a long time: lack of updates and, hence, player activity. I won't be bringing it up much in my reply beacuse you seem to be knowledgeable about it and it won't serve much purpose since it's a topic that's often talked about in the community.

    I love taking feedback from the community, as everyone's opinion and usually help to form a bigger and better idea or solution to a problem. However, I disagree with the reputation of Clans Management (CM) relying solely on the opinion of the current community. The actual playerbase is formed mostly by either network banned players or those who are blacklist evading, which inherently cause a form of bias against the team in the first place.

    Now, disregarding the previous pool of players, comes what players see and don't see. Everyone has a different perception of the team, and that's because they've all had different interactions with them. While you may not see it, we're online pretty often, though you may not be able to see us because we like to stay hidden so players who are either cheating or will be disrupting our workflow don't figure out we're in their current server. From personal experience, I have accumulated an absurd amount of hours doing moderation work and being on Mineplex while staying in vanish, just so I cannot be detected by rulebreakers who I'm looking to punish.

    Before bias is addressed in the following reply, I'd like to separate two terms from each other so they aren't confused. There's a big difference between leniency and bias. CM like to be very lenient with rules, more often than your average Mineplex staff member, mostly because we know our community is much older and we do acknowledge that there are situations in which it's unfair for someone to be punished for something we believe is unnecessary. This doesn't mean, however, that bias does not exist as a whole and for that I will address your further points.

    You speak of transparency later on in your post, so I'll be as transparent as can be, though I think it's worth mentioning that the CM member you're talking about in this scenario is me, so take this piece of text as you wish.

    The situation happened as follows: I decided to log on and play for the first time in a couple of weeks. Note that I emphasized the word play in the previous sentence, as I have been logging on quite frequently, though haven't gotten the chance to actually play as a normal user, which is an issue I'd like to address later on. After logging on to play, I decided to join a random clan which I had no knowledge of because they seemed to have a random clan name, and also members I hadn't heard of in the past because they were on alternate accounts I had not yet encountered.

    After fighting a fight or two, I was notified of the members of my clan and - without me needing a confirmation from an administrator via the use of IP checks to corroborate if the players are indeed network banned because, no, we cannot check who is and isn't network banned on the spot - I decided to leave.

    You seem to be quite concerned about the fact that I used a couple of legendary items to go outside and start fighting. This is something we do quite common, where we take legends from the vaulted items in shops, and go outside and give them to the community, not without putting up a fight first. We love doing this because it's our way to fix a huge issue we had before were items retrieved from rulebreaker's clans were put into the shops territory, which ended up with a ton of items taken out of the economy. We tend to do drop parties, go out with the items until someone kills us, or put them in disbands without much loot to retrieve.

    I fought against everyone without preference and, in fact, you can see me killing the players you were concerned about in your chat log from yesterday. I, however, took back the items whenever I discovered that the person who killed me happened to also be network banned, after I discovered that most people online in the server at the time were too.

    This is the exact reason we cannot play. We should not need to run background checks on every clan we join, because it takes a huge amount of effort and time to track everyone's previous accounts and clans. It is impossible for us to actively play without a player asking us to run an IP check on someone either online or offline, request a disband on a clan, request for us to spectate a hacker, check their reports, review their evidence to see if they can report, or quite literally any question they have. I sometimes like to play on alternate accounts because I like to stay up to date with who plays on the server and what happens with it.

    This is going to sound quite exaggerated so again, take it as you wish, but a very big percentage of the current active playerbase in Clans is either blacklist evading or network ban evading. It doesn't sound right, but from my personal experience I can assure you every clan has had at least one interaction or piece of history with one of these players, making it impossible for us to cross paths, currently.

    As you mentioned, we usually give very vague responses regarding the future of the game, and you seem to have already addressed the issue yourself. The Clans Management team, which also includes Flaym, doesn't know what's going to happen, which also means that the rest of the administrative team doesn't either, because Flaym would be the first to know. I understand it may seem careless to you how we respond, but I don't think you'd rather have us lie about a date to encourage players to log on, only for them to be disappointed when something happens. We have gone over this issue countless times in previous CM meetings and it all comes down to the same thing: waiting. All we can do is wait, and players have seemed to do that as well.

    I see you talk mostly to higher positioned staff members here, but I can assure you there's not a single person that knows when Clans will receive an update, other than Alex. A total of zero people know what's happening to it. Everyone you could possibly think to talk to regarding the state of Clans, we have already talked to, multiple times.

    I'm not a business expert, nor do I know what happens economically behind Mineplex, so I can't really speak from a buisness standpoint here. I could only assume it's just another way of revenue, and we can't exactly blame them for finding a business opportunity. I don't exactly love the idea of hiding cosmetic armor behind a paywall, but you have to acknowledge that it's not only dyed armor, but also a multitude of blocks that allow you to have a much prettier base. While these could be lovely to have, they aren't necessary. And I'd rather address an issue that does require immediate attention before looking towards dye boxes at all, though I do believe we shouldn't leave them untouched.

    I would love to hear any and every ideas you have to improve any aspect of our team, so I'm open to any private messages on my Discord or forum conversations, though preferrably Discord as it is a better streamline of communication, and I'll make sure to bring them up in CM meetings. I thank you, very much, for voicing your concerns, because it really helps us think of what we need to change on our team from the perspective of a community member. I acknowledge that we have many issues, but I just wanted to clear some things up before jumping to conclusions. Thank you for your post.
    Posted Aug 11, 2022,
    Last edited Aug 11, 2022
  3. Regular information updates for clans is a must. As you said this season has been going on for 914 days without any information regarding future updates. It feels as if we have been abandoned by the clans management. Some reparations for this waiting would certainly be welcome. I have only seen one person use dyed leather in this entire season. Removing dye boxes would be a great start. It would also be cool to see monthly events with runes,dyes,or possibly legends as rewards.
    Posted Aug 11, 2022
  4. I completely agree, but we have zero ways to provide said information. We just don't have it, and we're stuck giving the same response over and over, making it look like there's lack of care for the game from Clans Management.

    This map has been live for a long time, but we have received information regarding the next update. The update was talked about by Alex in a Town Hall meeting in a Mineplex Discord. I know what you meant is we haven't been told when it's going to happen accurately, but we have been trying to telll you as much as we are able to, and you quite literally know everything you need to know and, in fact, everything we know as well.

    This is not the case. We're constantly online checking to see what we can do, but it's just very hard for us to do anything with a lack of tools and information. I do apologize for how you've been left in the dark, but I must say that is not Clans Management's fault.

    We have tried before, and it ended up going pretty well. However, we don't possess the same amount of active players and, last time, it was a very taxing job for both Flaym and I to do because we'd need to constantly hold meetings for both CI (me) and CM (Flaym) to get planning going. There are plans for events in the future, but I'd rather save that for later as to not ruin what the team has in store for you guys.
    Posted Aug 11, 2022
    danb76 and rejudge like this.
  5. Clans has gotten so dead you can hardly even have a clan anymore.
    Posted Aug 11, 2022
  6. I would have to disagree. I don't believe clans is even that toxic and CM isn't doing as horrible as a job that you're saying
    Posted Aug 11, 2022
  7. I'm new to the forums, at least, since Mineplex moved off of Enjin, so excuse any poor quoting, i'm still getting used to it.
    Negativity promotes negativity. I'm not here to stir the melting pot of toxicity, as I think this thread deserves more than a quick lock.

    Although these two quotes are reassuring, and i'm glad to see you're still playing the game, it seems you've missed my point. I'm mainly referring to community perception here, you might be playing on alternate accounts and although that's great and more comfortable for you i'm sure, the community doesn't see that SR.MOD tag online and assumes you as a mod aren't actually playing the game. Back in Seasons 1 and 2, I saw so many moderators in Clans on their mains, playing with that SR.MOD tag out and proud, and that was great to know that someone in charge of organizing the game and it's future was happily enjoying it alongside you. However as the years have gone on, I don't see that anymore, and it's disheartening for the community.
    i.e. My assumption was that no clans management was actively playing the game as that wasn't what I, as a regular player, was seeing.
    I'm not claiming that forcing CM staff to play on their mains exclusively and deal with the harassment from the community is the solution, but that performing a majority of gameplay on alt accounts for convenience enforces the idea that the community has concocted that Clans management doesn't care because they never see them online playing the game. There are ofc issues that come with playing on your main that I go into farther down below

    This in and of itself isn't the problem.
    I'm glad you came out and told your side of the story concerning the incidents that happened yesterday as it gives me an opportunity to further push my point about how perspective impacts reputation.
    You didn't take legends from a cheating clan, but it LOOKS like you did. All the community, including myself, saw was the Clans name beside yours, and that full legend set. Although drawing conclusions isn't entirely justified, and I would like to personally apologize for doing so
    Sorry about that
    You're still cool in my book
    However, By joining a clan with legends, on that account, you opened the door for those conclusions to be drawn.
    It's a perspective issue, what happened yesterday may have been a totally awesome way to give back to the community, which I fully support, turned negative when the label of a clan became attached to it. There's simple solutions here too - perhaps require CM to remain clanless when using vaulted legends to prevent these kinds of conclusions from being drawn.
    Or, again drawing back to transparency - Announce when vaulted legends are being used to give back to the community.
    You were doing a good thing, that was perceived badly due to a simple label, a mistake, one command. There's easy solutions here- all policy side, that can prevent situations like this from arising in the future and allow CM to continue doing these kinds of things for the community (Perhaps making them their own little sub events, good idea thank you GateOfSteiner)

    This is definitely true, and part of the reason why playing on a main mod account becomes tedious. As you're almost garunteed to have some sort of interaction with a cheater regardless of positive or negative, and not have evidence for a ban on the spot. There's been cases of Moderators playing with cheaters in the past, I think Chuchi from Season 2/3 is a good example of this, whereas they were eventually disbanded, that causes problems. Seeing Clans Management members online is great, but there's an immense amount of pressure and risk that comes with every interaction when playing on a mod account that I hadn't previously thought about until you replied, you're GARUNTEED to play with a cheater at some point, legit or not, and it's just become part of the game. It sucks, but that's just how it is.

    Clans, as a permanent gamemode, is being treated similarly to that of a minigame, whereas sparce updates over the course of long periods of time is the status quo. This is simply mismanagement of the gamemode at the highest level, the development. Clans Management obviously has little insight into the behind the scenes regarding the development of clans, however they take all the blame for the lack of any meaningful content additions. This drives the reputation of CM into the ground when they are not at fault, which I genuinely feel bad about.
    THIS!!! This is the kind of Transparency the community wants to see from Clans Management!!!!!!
    Knowing that a meeting went down is more than the community has recieved in years, very exciting, and i'm sure many will be excited too. Thank you for sharing this shred of information with us!!!

    STRONG Disagree here
    As a member of the staff team you might be required to always promote purchases, so i'm not going to judge, but dye boxes strike me and many others as greedy. Dye's used to be fun ways to colour up your armour sets that were completely free, locking them behind a paywall isn't a "Potential Revenue Stream" When I've never seen anyone buy it, as it's not necessary at all and dyes aren't worth the ~2$ you pay for a box to nearly all of the Mineplex clans playerbase, they may as well be removed from the game at this point

    Good Response Rey, Thanks for the updates big man!
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Aug 11, 2022
  8. I do agree that we should strive to give a better image as a team, and playing on alternate accounts or not playing the game at all doesn't help the situation. But much like you said, that's just how the situation is. I, from personal experience, can tell you that I have tried playing on my main account and it's just not possible to do so.

    I think that situation is just a big misunderstanding. I wasn't actually in that clan at the time. I was in that clan before but left, however, the game doesn't update your nametag to remove the clan you're in whenever you leave. I was clanless on my screen in tab, but on your screen, I wasn't. I can see where the issue lies and I do agree with you on having to announce the mini-event. We usually announce it but I honestly just forgot, my mistake.

    Here's what Alex leaked for next season. We've had an update planned for a while but he mentioned some of the most important parts of it. They're pinned in the Clans Discord if you want to see them.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I speak as an actual player here. Anything you lock behind a paywall is potential revenue. If one person buys it, then you're getting a profit, and that's just how it is. The fact is, we all love dyes, and Mineplex realized that, so they made us pay for them, and it worked at the start. I do understand you want them back because they're cool. I want them back as well, but I don't see it happening, because any revenue is revenue.
    Posted Aug 11, 2022
    BlockGameEnjoyer, danb76 and rejudge like this.
  9. Pardon my asking, but do you happen to have access to the changelogs? I understand they are publically available, but I haven't had access to the document link in years.

    Very awesome to hear all of this, I believe most of the community with myself included have been struggling recently. It sucks that a majority of the current community is affected by cheating, but hearing that from a staff member makes me more hopeful that the situation is made more aware of.

    One question lingers for myself, however. If Mineplex can't prevent cheating, at what extent should the game be balanced around these clients fairly? I'm afraid the issue will still strongly persist even into next season, and I have concerns about the community. It's very easy to anyone cheating to have a big resource advantage over the average player, which discourages them from playing and decreases the player count (especially if they have no access to efficient recording software). Assassin for example is inherently harder to fight in the 1v1 scenario if the opposing player is cheating thanks to its- in my opinion, at the least- overtuned abilities. Why not balance it out and tune down those abilities while buffing other parts of the kit, so that it is less abusable?

    Thank you very much for your replies!
    Posted Aug 15, 2022

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