Read-only sections on the forum

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I was wondering if it would be possible to have read-only sections of the forum where only a specific number of people (from a given group, for example) can write to.

Specifically I am referring to the balance team having this option. Not because I don't think they are doing a great job but because I think their discussions can provide a great deal of insight to (new) players.

If this would be possible, the balance team has a clear section in which they can discuss everything without interference. And the community can read this and make new topics to ask questions and / or make suggestions in the 'general balance section'. The original section that is 'read-only' for anyone but the balance team remains concise.

An example of why I think this is relevant:

I'm not 100% confident if these are guaranteed balance changes or not, but if it would be, people are generally unaware (beforehand) unless they stumble upon it accidentally. And then you can ask 'why', which is not explained in the pull requests. I bet there has been a discussion about this somewhere that reveals all kinds of insight but I can't find it and I'm confident that a lot of other members are unable to find it too.

And again: without judging whether the change is good or bad: I think the discussions can provide insight to (new) players. And those insights are key to the game and I feel they should be on the forum. But, if and only if it can be protected by the suggestion mentioned earlier. Otherwise I can see myself (accidentally) diving into a topic with a context that I'm clearly not aware of, or ask questions that have been answered months ago and cluttering up the whole (original) discussion.

As a visual example:
example.png

Where the 'internal' balance discussions can only be written to by members that are part of the balance group (as there is a 'council of setons' group, 'moderator' group, etc)

edit: I do not speak for the balance team - this post is the result of a discussion I had with another member. I hope someone from the balance team can come on in and share their tale.

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Yes, this would be possible.

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Then I suppose the two real questions are:

  • Is there interest for this in the community?
  • Given 1, is there a developer that wants to spent time to implement it?

I'd love to hear some other opinions.

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I can setup a group that can manage itself. No development involved.
Just the question if the balance ninjas actually want to do this?! (Do you speak for the whole team?)

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I would like to know more, those PRs are popping out of nowhere. Changing our lives.

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I'm not speaking for the team - this emerged from a discussion between me and @archsimkat. I read somewhere that the balance team disappeared from the old forums because a lot of discussions got derailed. I don't think that argument holds on this forum anymore given Brutus's response.

And given how valuable those discussions can be to provide insights to (new) players I think they should return. Regardless whether you agree with the PR's or not. And I'm hoping someone from the balance team can join in on this discussion and tell their tale - at the moment I don't know who they are 🙂 .

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Like on the Nomads discord we have developers channels where only people with certain role can write, for all other peasants it's read only and they have their own public channels to comment on things.

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that would actually be very interesting. You hear a lot of balance talk, but relatively little from the balance team and their reasons for things, and it can make some things apparent that otherwise go unnoticed by most and make what can feel like meaningless nerfs/buffs

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I think @JaggedAppliance has to make a call here.

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There is quite the demand for such a thing from the community already...

https://forum.faforever.com/topic/559/bomber-and-scout-balance-changes

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i dont think you know what quite a demand means

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I think it's quite pedantic, and irrelevant, to argue whether or not a demand exists (did demand for smartphones technically exist before they were created?), but it's clear that the community stands to benefit from such a change. Instead of members of the community having to guess at reasons behind why balance changes were made, the reasoning behind balance changes can be accessible for everyone. Instead of the most prominent balance suggestions on the forums coming from less experienced players, the discussion of pros from the balance team will be front and centre. This is especially important considering forum threads will exist for a long time. Players from the future can visit and view these threads, and see the thinking behind decisions that were made.

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@archsimkat said in Read-only sections on the forum:

I think it's quite pedantic, and irrelevant, to argue whether or not a demand exists

You're the one who brought it up my man

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Doing all of this is useless if the team doesn't use the channels, this is the most likely scenario - there isn't much of a gain for them to move and they probably don't get any value from reading yet another derailed forum post discussing their discussions.

I think a more eloquent solution is a github feed or just someone to make basic posts on the forums. That's more of a promotion thing.
Second option is just more basic moderation, we've been crying for that for weeks now.

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I understand that if they don't want this that it won't be used and therefore there is no need. I feel that someone from the balance team should explicitly state it if this is the case - assuming here that you (biass) are not part of the balance team.

I think your (biass') alternative approaches to this are okay - but in my opinion far from perfect. I understand that seeing your suggestions to balance being derailed (in another topic) is annoying, but to me that feels as an inherent part to a community and the original topic can be guarded from being derailed.

I'd like to back up @archsimkat that right now the popular and 'prominent' balance discussions on the forum (which is the center of our community - after all it is linked to by the faforever.com website) is from players that I believe are not part of the balance team. This is a bit odd because these will be the threads that will be visible in years to come (!), where as they do not represent the thinking and realizations / insights that made the balance into what it is today.

And last, I feel we already have an example - given the discussion from Moses about T3 being being nerfed a few years back. Without starting the discussion as to whether it was a good or bad change - where are the insights that caused this change written down? Because I feel it could've changed the discussion after 1 post containing a bunch of references to the corresponding change.

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Balance team was already approached and offered by Gieb to self police the balance forums. They did not want to do it. I imagine they also will not feel like obligating themselves to fill a forum restricted purely to the handful of dudes on the team.

Personally I don’t really see why it’s necessary. Balance team aren’t going to post what they discuss on the forums so all you’ll really get is a giant forum that serves the same purpose as the current patchnotes + balance feedback threads serve.

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Thanks for coming in - does this mean that all their insights are lost over time again?

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How are they lost?
Good insight -> becomes balance change -> is a part of FAF

In addition, the team itself isn't some committee set up by the Balance Councillor but rather more of an association in itself. This means that there are always old dudes around that can say why certain things were ignored/discarded/whatever to the newer members that get recruited. Not to mention having the game competency to recognize insights independently is kind of expected of someone joining the team.

The forum would just serve as another thing for dudes to read, digest, and ignore because their cheese got nerfed and they don't really care about the 1000 pages of reasoning you wrote explaining the necessity for it (almost like people already do that on the balance forums). Same as people do for current patchnotes with their synopsis and same as people do in every balance patch release thread.

I mean the real solution here is active/heavy-handed moderation of the forum so things going in circles stop in their tracks. That's all that's really necessary.

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I firmly disagree. Just proposing a change without providing some insight as to why you change it means the insight is lost in my opinion. Especially when time passes by. I don't know how to derive their train of thought from these changes:

knipsel.PNG

Yes - of course there are other members that can tell you why it happened. But why would you burden people with the same questions, over and over again? With the same discussions, over and over again? Having some reference with even the tiniest trace of the reasoning of the change allows someone to simply reference to the trace.

I'm not entirely sure what you are referring to in your second paragraph - I'm not promoting people to join the balance team. I'm promoting the idea that the insights that are made by better players and / or players with more time on their hands would be interesting for the community as a whole to be able to read - considering that they found them worthy enough to change the balance. I'm not asking them to write a book, I'm just asking them why they thought the scout needs to cost a tad more.

As an example: a sentence or two can be sufficient and will take up less time than what they are writing right now (https://github.com/FAForever/fa/pull/3192) which is a duplicate of the change log of GitHub - written in their own format.

Yes - there will be people that will ignore them from some perspective. But isn't that a minority, people that can be counted on one hand?

Without dragging Brutus into this discussion, I'd like to take his blogs and announcements about changes as an example:

They provide insight to the changes and are interesting to read. Given: I may have a bias because I tend to think myself to be a developer.

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The insights are right here: https://content.faforever.com/patchnotes/

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