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Modmen Fail to do Their Job Properly Once Again

Discussion in 'Server Discussion' started by Ducksicle, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. I have made numerous threads regarding teaming in pvp games (epecially SSM) and the issues that have risen as a result in inconsistent moderation by modmen. Clearly, staff does not listen, nor do they make enough effort to fix this inconsistency, which is why this server is going down in player count. Before I continue, I just want to say please DO NOT REPLY to this thread if you are going to comment anything useless, try to argue that this isn't an issue, or reiterate anything that has been spoken about in the past that everyone already knows. Believe me, I've been on about this topic for a very long time and already have a decent amount knowledge about the consequences of teaming.

    The situation today involved my friend and I, and two other friends that often team in SSM. I hardly play on alts, but today I was on one, and I learned that similar names, skins, or just being in a party will put you at higher risk of punishment. I let my friend 1v1 another player as I stood to the side because I did not want to interrupt their fight. Next thing you know, my friend and I are warned for teaming. How many times do we need to go over this? We've talked about this so so many times on forums already. BY DEFINITION, letting someone 1v1 is NOT TEAMING. If a player FEELS as if they are being teamed on because one person is doing absolutely nothing on the side, then any bystander can assume that this person is also teaming. Allowing a 1v1 is certainly not an appropriate situation to hand out warnings/ban. I just thought I'd repeat this for the hundredth time so that all the irresponsible modmen can see.

    Some modmen never fail to disappoint me. At this point, I'm convinced that half the staff members that spectate games to deal with reports don't even watch what's going on, but instead trusts that the person who made a report is always correct. In my case, I was with legitimate teamers yet my friend and I got the warning, simply because they were able to write a report before we were. It's like a race of children tattletaling each other, and whoever complains first doesn't get in trouble. Forum reports go through so much review before any action is taken, so why isn't it the same on the server? So many teaming reports with video evidence are denied because they are considered insufficient evidence, yet a modman can just warn and ban players on the server without watching the game? It doesn't make sense. Every modman should know that teaming literally means two players targetting another player without fighting one another.

    You know who you are, and you are not only disappointing me, but the entire community. Staff is one of the biggest issues on this server, and whoever disagrees is simply in denial. This is not a one time occurrence. I'm wasting my time on this thread and repeating a lot of stuff I've already discussed before because modmen never learn or listen and are too stubborn to accept the fact that change might be a good thing. If you are interested in past discussions about teaming, feel free to check my other threads.
    Posted Apr 23, 2021
  2. I think I understand where you are coming from. But, I don't believe the player count decrease is caused by the actions of players teaming with each other in PVP games. Nor do I believe the moderators aren't doing their jobs to create an equal and balanced system for everyone to enjoy. It's true that not every moderator is as informed as they should be, but it's not their fault to act on what they believe is right or wrong. They are just doing their job. Don't blame the player, blame the system?
    Posted Apr 23, 2021
  3. Reduction in player count has to do with the terrible and inconsistent punishment system and attitudes of many staff members, not just teaming alone (though teaming has recently been a very serious issue in SSM). Though there are many flaws in the system, lots of individual staff members are doing their job poorly. There are frequent false punishments because many staff members get confused, many who are not knowledgeable enough in a given area/game. Therefore, they should not be given this position, especially if they aren't willing to learn from their mistakes.
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Apr 23, 2021
    Paladise and user60a6e78b3cfbc like this.
  4. I think the evidence required to get teamers ban is a bit too much, the other day a staff had to spectate 3 whole games of teaming to ban people who were very obviously 4v2ing in SSM2
    Posted Apr 23, 2021
    user60a6e78b3cfbc likes this.
  5. I think they are working their hardest at their positions, it's just difficult to prepare for every single possible situation.
    Posted Apr 23, 2021
  6. Gonna have to disagree with this. Maybe SOME work hard, but from what I've seen this isn't the case a lot of the time. Lots of modmen are extremely stubborn
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Apr 23, 2021
  7. indeed
    Posted Apr 23, 2021
    user60a6e78b3cfbc likes this.
  8. I can agree, and like you said, it's definitely one of the many issues Mineplex has. Since I had a similar experience in cw, except I was the one 1v1ing and still got banned for "teaming." Which doesn't even make sense.
    Posted Apr 23, 2021
    Ducksicle and Pumpedpixel like this.
  9. Running in ssm?
    Posted Apr 23, 2021
  10. Hey! Let's break this down.

    I'm sure lots of players appreciate the attention you've brought to teaming in SSM. I was on Reports Patrol for a few months during my last stint as a staff member and there were lots of reports for it. It's an area that needs work, but the problem is I don't exactly know how. In part, due to the nature of the game itself.

    As a normal Moderator, when I'm dealing with teaming I have to follow the specific guidelines laid out by RC, as everyone else does. This consists of criteria that has to be fulfilled by the players before we can ascertain they are "teaming" (by definition set out by the rules). For example, two or more players running/fighting together, or refusing to fight each other when in melee range. Now, as you know, the issue is that anyone with any relative experience can loophole this with ease by making teaming look like a case of targeting the better player. And the trouble arises whereby we don't know whether they actually are or not. The idea is that intent cannot be proven and that we cannot be 100% sure (which we need to be before issuing any sort of punishment) the suspects are teaming if that specific criteria outlined above is not met.

    This is more so to do with the subject of your other threads, but how do we differentiate between the teaming defined as meeting the criteria in the guidelines and the "teaming" cleverly disguised as typical FFA gameplay? That isn't a rhetorical question at all; I'm genuinely wondering if someone can tell me. Because to me it seems like that's something which is extremely difficult to find a workaround for. Players will always have the excuse they were targeting and not teaming when they aren't meeting the criteria in the rules. And it seems this is simply due to the nature of SSM as an FFA gamemode, so how is that always not going to be an issue?

    I'm expressing this on this thread as it's your most recent one that references teaming, even if this focuses more on staff members than the general issue of teaming in SSM.

    If your sole expectation right now is for the moderation team to issue sufficient punishments based off the guidelines we have to follow (by the rules' definition of teaming, in other words) then of course that's fair. You were on an alt so I can't check out the details of the punishment, but assuming things happened how you described then your frustration is understandable. Staff will make mistakes when it comes to issuing punishments, that's a given, but if they misinterpret the situation because they don't properly understand how teaming works in SSM (as opposed to understanding it and simply making a small human error in judgement, as anyone might do occasionally) and it's your word against theirs constantly (due to the lack of evidence for gameplay offenses punished for at the time they occur) then we have a problem.

    I'm not going to go out and deny there are staff members who don't put enough of an effort into watching the game and confirming their suspicions, because I can't know for sure there aren't. But I can't use a few people to make a giant statement about the entire staff team. If you want to argue that staff are an issue, argue that these particular staff members are an issue. Maybe that's what you meant, but it wasn't clearly expressed. I know for a fact that people don't talk about the rule-breakers who are dealt with correctly. I've done plenty (just came from a game with three); however, it's more likely I'll be called out on that one time it was false instead of the hundreds of times they weren't. I'm not trying to downplay the issue by saying unjustified punishments are in a minority; everyone knows that anyway, I'm just stressing how these staff members who do it are generally in a minority too.

    There comes a point where you have to be empathetic though. Staff members with the best intentions can often end up issuing a false punishment, and sure, that's on them, but what about the fact there are limited resources? The best one available to anyone is getting a second opinion, and there can even be a stigma around that sometimes. Staff may feel pressured by players to prioritise dealing with the rule-breaker as fast as possible, rather than taking a few minutes to ask another staff member to avoid possibly whisking away an innocent player. I know I've felt like that. You're probably thinking they wouldn't always need a second opinion if they had more training, and yes, that's true - but as far as I know there aren't any open-access resources for that. Perhaps they should take more of an initiative to ask their mentor (or anyone on Staff Management)? If this was more encouraged then maybe it would happen more often. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself why staff who may need assistance don't ask for it a lot. I think it just doesn't occur to us sometimes that it's a viable option.

    On a side note, the length of gameplay punishments being increased will greatly help in relation to the teaming issue. Four hours is just not enough for a justified teaming ban.

    I would really like to hear your thoughts because I hear a lot of what you're saying. Change is definitely a good thing, which is precisely why I'm looking for more players to respond - so that ideas and possible resolutions can be bounced around, as opposed to talking about the issue without considering what can be done.
    Posted Apr 23, 2021
    Fusafez likes this.
  11. Hi Caleb, thanks for taking the time to reply.

    Absolutely no actions can be proven as intended in a certain way, other than having a player openly admit to their actions and intentions. However, you can look at chat-related punishments and say the same thing. People get warned and muted for saying inappropriate things, whether they are being generally rude, encouraging others to break the rules, bypassing the filter, etc. Yet you will never know if these players were joking or not. Either way, it is still considered inappropriate in public chat. Chat-related punishments are much more common than gameplay punishments (teaming in particular). Like these mutes, something still has to be done about teaming whether you completely understand a player's intentions or not.

    It's simple. Fix the guidelines. I don't know exactly how modmen learned these things while they were trainee, other than working with their mentors. This is my opinion of how punishments involving teaming should be handled;
    if a modman is spectating a game and there are 2 people 1v1ing while another player is not interfering, there is nothing to be done. This is 100% allowed, even though SSM is a FFA. If a player is unhappy about this, you need to understand that this player also has every right to attack the bystander. But they should not expect their targetter to stop chasing after them just because they initiated an attack on a different player mid-fight.
    True teaming is when 2 players are selectively targeting another player, like you said, refusing to fight in melee-range. It's not difficult to differentiate these two kinds of teaming you were saying, because all you need to do is pay attention to the players and keep track of who is attacking who. It's hardly ever "cleverly disguised," in fact in most cases it is extremely blatant. I think why a lot of teaming reports are denied is because of the natural progress of the game. 2 people can be fighting, then 1 dies, and then the other person comes in and continues working on the same person. This is certainly still teaming, simply because two people are refusing to fight, yet target the same person. I feel like I'm not explaining this as well as I could, but hopefully you get the idea. Bottom line, these different scenarios should be listed under "teaming" as a guide for modmen, especially those who are not used to handling these kinds of reports. This way, there is a smaller range of varying opinions of what is considered punishable and not between staff members.

    There is no doubt that these players know exactly what they're doing. They understand that teaming isn't allowed, and any player with common sense will know that selectively targeting someone who is also being targeted by another player will appear as teaming, whether intended or not. That's on them.

    This is exactly my concern; based off the crazy amounts of false punishments that occur because of this teaming issue, I'm convinced that there are several modmen genuinely did not learn what is and is not considered teaming while they were trainee. I've also had several occasions where a modman would unofficially warn me for targeting them and accuse me of teaming because of it. I've had to remind modmen multiple times that targeting is a strategy allowed in this game mode, and initiating a 1v1 with no interruptions is not considered teaming.

    In a way, yes individual staff members are the problem. I also partially blame the RC team for doing a poor job making these rules, since there is always so much uncertainty between modmen and the punishments they give out. The only reason I'm even bringing this up is that I've contacted the team myself to talk about some serious flaws in the punishment system and suggest many different solutions. And to no surprise, every single thing I suggested was denied, not even considered. Behind the scenes, staff members are extremely stubborn and simply refuse to believe that changes are necessary in this system. They are in denial that these flaws have a serious impact on the player community. If there could just be more clarity and reassurance, staff would be doing a much better job.

    Because this is literally expected of staff; it's their job to deal with these people correctly. The point of this thread is not to praise staff for being responsible, but to point out the issues having to do with the modmen that don't. People who complain about this on forums are here to be constructive, not to waste our time just to say "good job."

    I don't know how this works, are there seriously no guides and such? I know trainees are mentored, but is there nothing online that can guide them to progress a report step-by-step to prevent them from making mistakes? If not, I would be even more concerned. Having limited resources makes me think that staff are set up to make mistakes, kind of like malpractice.

    and this is a problem. There are never enough staff members online in a given time, so few that they are always in a rush to deal with the next report. There are tons of modmen I hardly even see online, and I know there is a online-time requirement for staff to keep their positions. What are those modmen doing the entire week? AFKing just to meet their requirements, and not fulfilling their job? If so, it's time to open up to more applications.

    In general, my solution is to create a document guide within the staff team and base your actions for punishments partially on that instead of just your judgement. Not just for teaming, but for other things like chat-related punishments, different kinds of hacks for modmen/QA, and more, especially for those that aren't comfortable handling pvp-related punishments or are new staff members.

    yikes sorry for the long reply
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Apr 23, 2021,
    Last edited by a Moderator Apr 25, 2021
  12. I agree, I think what staff need to bring forward here is less leniency. Sometimes I moderate SSM when I get reports for teaming and it is not that hard to see. It's difficult when it's more of an "ignoring" situation, but more often than not the two+ players pass each other without dealing damage or stand beside each other at peace. We just gotta wait, it'll happen eventually.

    I can understand that but we shouldn't punish for this - who knows, the two people that ignored each other are teaming or simply one avoids the other because they don't want to lose to them (say if the kit the other person is playing is their direct counter or they are just really good at the game so they don't wanna get all up on them). It helps to not falsely ban too: staying in the lobby, becoming absolutely sure they are teaming and not just avoid each other for other reasons. That's why I stay and encourage others to do so as well for the future. Eventually there will be that moment of clear they-are-in-each-other's-faces-and-not-fighting which is sufficient enough after all of the uncertainty.

    If someone actually warned you for targetting them you can bring that up with their mentor - that's not a rule (unless it's against content creators). If they warned you for teaming when you know that is not at all what you were doing you can bring it up too. If you can, record the past couple mins of your gameplay (a feature on some graphics cards), I'd imagine that'd be enough. Just bring it up with whoever manages them (or submit a support ticket) as seen on the Mentee Distribution Document and they can take it from there

    I think the most uncertainty is around gameplay offenses which I understand. There have been a lot of suggestions to change some of the rules but it's not up to us to do that. However as I'll mention in a bit more detail below we have resources to clarify offenses for us so that we can punish as accurately as possible. It's not common that we, or I at least, come across something that we get completely flustered over (and if that happens, then at least we can contact people for help).

    Personally, after looking at the rules page right now things to do seem pretty clear to me, especially compared to the rules pages of some other servers. But then again, naturally I know more about the rules than, say, a new player, so I can't really chat there.

    What rules did you suggest to be changed? What solutions did you bring forward to the system? I would like to know, maybe I could comment. It's all up to RC to do anything about it, but I'd still like to see what you have to say. I could potentially forward some things directly as well and see what happens.

    We have plentiful resources and documents that help us deal with certain situations, with more specialized resources in the works to help with certain games (sadly I can't say a lot more). Plus, our mentors and other staff members help if we have questions.

    I'd say these things are really helpful, and without the clarity some of them give us, there would be a more mistakes. imo we are pretty well equipped.

    Staff numbers have drastically dropped over time. We can't AFK so that doesn't really happen. Especially since we're monitored, it's difficult to really cheat your way through your time requirement - they see where we spend our time. They all do different things, I see Moderators mainly doing /reports or sometimes answering StaffRequest, and then others play games. Sr Mods are not that commonly seen since they have their teams but sometimes they're still online processing reports/doing their work

    I personally spend about 7hrs a week online and almost all of that is spent in lobbies. We can't handle /reports as Trainees (although that's planned for the future and rightfully so because it would be really helpful + we are meant to moderate and that's an excellent thing to do) so I pretty much sit and wait for StaffRequest or moderate random BLD lobbies. Usually when I'm on the playercount is at it's lowest so not much is happening :/
    Posted Apr 24, 2021
  13. Don't worry about the length of the reply, all the detail helped me understand. I'm not going to respond to all of the points as I don't really have anything to add onto them, so that's why I'd like to make this post more about resolutions. I know you touched on them, but I'd like to clarify things further and bring us one step closer to possibly taking action outside of discussion on this thread. As part of that, I'll be asking you to do two things later on if you don't mind.

    I like what maeve said about not exercising as much leniency. Like not just punishing if the ongoing scenario is two players running/fighting together or refusing to fight each other all the time, but also if these instances happen a few times while they're attempting to loophole by making it look like a classic case of targeting. It will happen eventually where teamers have a moment they fulfill one of the instances. I guess we should become more accustomed to acting on them when it's clear they're selectively targeting; however, I'm not sure how well that will be received. Like I said, the idea is that we can only be 100% sure (or as close to that as possible) when the players are being "blatant" (in other words, not making it look like targeting; fulfilling all of those instances in the guidelines without really trying to hide it). If they're "selectively targeting" and refuse to attack each other say, once or twice for while doing so, I just don't think it'll be trusted that we were confident in the punishment, despite how we can look at the players and pretty much know what they're trying to do. It's such a dilemma, because we could be told that isn't enough to go on whereas those players who know what they're doing typically aren't going to slip up any more than that. Being less lenient is great until it's deemed insufficient. Is this where you're suggesting the guidelines change - that they should be adapted to allow for less leniency to be given without the punishment being considered false?

    As for the resources, to clear up any confusion there aren't any for teaming specifically. We have general guidelines that cover everything but there aren't many specialised documents for individual offenses. If staff have prior experience with games, teaming, etc. (like I did) then I guess they don't really need more than the general overview - but yes, if not, then at your disposal you only really have your mentor/StM and the second opinions of other staff members.

    Onto the most constructive part now, the brainstorming - though by the sounds of things, it seems you've already directly forwarded ideas and suggestions in the past. Either way, it would be great if you could outline them again. The two questions I have are as follows:
    1. If I were R.C and I asked you to specify the exact changes that should be made to the guidelines, right now, for teaming, what would you say?
    2. If I were an StM mentor and I asked what I can do to help Trainees and Moderators become more competent in dealing with teaming, what would you say?
    There's other points you brought up - such as the low amount of staff online - that maeve addressed for you. What I'm most interested in is the whole "working on it" part. I will potentially do whatever I can with your responses to those questions above, which is why I would really appreciate you answering them even if you end up reiterating some things.
    Posted Apr 24, 2021
    Fusafez likes this.
  14. In a case like this, I could understand why it wouldn't be punishable; because it's just so unclear. My suggestion is for modmen to /a the reporter to try and get both teamers closer together, in melee range, so that you can really see if they are teaming or not.

    I took a look at the mentee document, and the issue is that the modman I was talking about who falsely punished/accused me of teaming IS a mentor. This person is also well known in the community for teaming himself, which is quite ironic. There's nothing I can do about that though, because I have no evidence. I'm just letting you know that this is an inconsistency of knowledge about the game, not even some mentors are certain about the rules. On top of that, several other mentors have explained a lot of other rules incorrectly to me, and I only know this because when I bring up exactly what a mentor explained to me in conversation on forums, suddenly I am the one who is confused and incorrect. This is simply because of the excessive amount of leniency when it comes to dealing with punishments; some staff are basing their actions way too much on judgement, they don't realize that they aren't handling reports appropriately and go on to spread false information about how these reports shall be dealt with.

    Basically, everything discussed on my thread titled "Mineplex's Inconsistent Punishment System." This thread is quite long, but in short, I discussed how many severity 1 chat offenses should not be punishable. Things like 'ez', 'L', 'loser', 'bg' all could certainly be considered generally rude, however there are other things to prioritize and these little comments should not warrant a mute. If someone legitimately cannot handle comments as mild as this, they should not be playing video games. There will always be people saying these things, whether punishable or not, and people should just learn to deal with it.
    I also discussed the inconsistency between sev 1s and the easy mode taunt, basically just saying one or the other should not exist. If sev 1 chat offenses exist, easy mode taunt should not. I argued that they should keep the easy mode taunt, but remove some sev 1s as described above. RC said they couldn't do anything about this because "the easy mode taunt is a cosmetic, not a rule" but if different areas of Mineplex are not intertwined then there is a guarantee for inconsistencies.
    I know I mentioned a lot of other things, but the last thing I can remember was discussing stuff from my thread "The word "Fat' is Now Punishable" basically stating that I was warned for jokingly calling someone fat, yet fat is a word in DMT. If modmen are concerned about hurting players' feelings because they have body insecurity issues, then why are you asking them to literally draw a fat person in DMT? It doesn't make sense. 'Fat' should just not be punishable. Basically they said they will talk to those in charge of DMT about it, but I doubt anything has changed.

    Please don't tell me modmen playing games are fulfilling their time requirement by doing so.

    Not much should be changed as for what is and is not punishable when it comes to teaming (2 people selectively targeting someone else while refusing to fight one another melee-range). What does need to be reiterated within the staff team is that targeting in 1v1s are allowed, where the third person is off to the side and not interfering. People are falsely warned and banned because some staff members think targeting is not allowed, which isn't the case. As for changes that need to be done, I suggest that in a scenario where a player is reporting teamers in staff request or asking a modman to spectate their game, the modman must ask the reporter in /a to change their playstyle and try to get the potential teamers closer together to see how these people will react while in melee range. This way, you can see more clearly whether they are fighting one another or targeting one person and completely refusing to fight. This will make the report much quicker, efficient, and accurate. Another thing to consider is having modmen not only spectate the game, but spectate from the reporter's point of view. It gives a better perspective and can help you understand why the reporter might feel like they are getting teamed on (1v1s can just be mistaken as teaming, and you would have to make sure the player knows this is allowed).

    If a mentor finds out that a modman made a really bad mistake, like a false ban due to targeting (mistaken as teaming), make sure every other modman knows about this mistake and clarify what rules are in place so that it never happens again. Often I hear modmen saying "we learn from our mistakes," but this is a serious issue when every modman makes the same mistake because it's an endless cycle of false punishments. Instead, learn from other people's mistakes. Make a document listing different scenarios, and how they were handled inappropriately vs how they should've been handled (without exposing the names of those who have messed up). Make announcements, assuming there's some sort of group chat for staff members. Threaten consequences regarding the position of staff members if they do not handle reports appropriately, especially if higher staff already explained how NOT to handle a report yet a modman does it incorrectly. Malpractice in a certain field will remove a worker's position, and it should be the same here. You cannot keep waiting for modmen to mess up for them to learn how to do the job properly; that's the point of their trainee session. This all goes for more than just teaming, but any punishment really. Regarding teaming, same thing I described to the first question.
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Apr 24, 2021,
    Last edited by a Moderator Apr 25, 2021

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