State of the Forums

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Dear Magic Community.

I feel it is a real shame that these official forums, for the game we all love so much, is dwindling both in user number and in content quality. It feels as though post counts are way down and the fun appears to have been taken away from meaningful discussion and interaction. So much so that many people simply refuse to participate in threads, opting instead to use third party forums and hence fragmenting the discussion on Magic Online topics.

I have expressed my concerns of overmoderation and I have also expressed my concerns of the minortity of users who in my opinion belittle threads and users so much so that any meaningful discussion is stifled. The official forums have been through several iterations in the past but it is my opinion that the current setup and heavy moderation is not working to deliver a fun and interactive community.

I dont pretend I speak on behalf of the community and it is not my intention to start a troll war, but I am personally tired of the state of these forums and hope together we can make some changes to improve them for the benefit of the Magic Online Community. Do you share theses views. What would you like to see changed / improved to increase the visibility and fucntionality of this resource.  

Regards,
- Hammer

 
Looking forward to Hex TCG MMO
Hah! Amen, brother!


When I first joined (ref; my 'Date joined') I posted some s*** in New Members, to say hello.

After a while posting some s*** here and there, I all of the sudden took notice of the date of previous threads(!) The youngest (post) being 2 months old, and the oldest (post) several years old!!?!


I was scratching my head and started to oogle the google to find a reason... ...because online there are more players there than many other new and popular games.


...I read something about people boycotting because WOTC had 'ruined' the game, for several reasons.
I was thinking wtf. Whatever happened, get over it. It is a product. You all love it, you would whine equally much if the game disappeared totally. Things do sometimes change y'know.
It's called being dynamic. Aren't there someone out there in the mud screaming something like Improvise, Adapt and Overcome?! -Every day? Volunteerily?

Yes, there are/has been a great majority of immature, spoiled persons that has been provoking, but hopefully, with some more posting, to show the forum is not dead, the game of MTGO can reach out to even more people. Mature or not, this game deserves the same respect as chess and poker, and other intelligent games.
Dear Magic Community.

I feel it is a real shame that these official forums, for the game we all love so much, is dwindling both in user number and in content quality. It feels as though post counts are way down and the fun appears to have been taken away from meaningful discussion and interaction. So much so that many people simply refuse to participate in threads, opting instead to use third party forums and hence fragmenting the discussion on Magic Online topics.

I have expressed my concerns of overmoderation and I have also expressed my concerns of the minortity of users who in my opinion belittle threads and users so much so that any meaningful discussion is stifled. The official forums have been through several iterations in the past but it is my opinion that the current setup and heavy moderation is not working to deliver a fun and interactive community.

I dont pretend I speak on behalf of the community and it is not my intention to start a troll war, but I am personally tired of the state of these forums and hope together we can make some changes to improve them for the benefit of the Magic Online Community. Do you share theses views. What would you like to see changed / improved to increase the visibility and fucntionality of this resource.  

Regards,
- Hammer

 



I don't know of a great solution other than WOTC doing something about it but I agree 100%.  Everytime a new player comes in here and asks a question they are basically made fun of and put down and we don't see them again.  WAY TO GO you won the argument and lost the battle.  WOTC could also better integrate the forums into the MTGO client and show the top threads in MTGO general which would probably provide a huge boost to them. 

PureMTGO.com
Cape Fear Games located in Wilmington, NC. Get 20% extra MTGO credit for your paper cards.
I've also been annoyed lately by some of the posters around here being overly snide, and not just with new posters. Unfortunately, there isn't much I can do from a moderation standpoint to modify this behavior, and the ORCs have become too removed from the community and tied to strict CoC interpretation to be effective in this matter. Confronting them is also ineffective, as it often just results in a flame war and a bunch of off-topic posts that derail the thread. The best option would seem to be to report the offending posts as baiting and hope the ORCs deal with it in a sensible manner.

As for moderation, I obviously disagree as it pertains to the moderation for which I'm responsible (thread moves and duplicate closures). But I am generally open to discussion on these (in the proper place: Boards Business) and have reopened or reversed moves in the past in response to a convincing argument. As for ORC moderation, I don't always agree with ORC moderation either, though in general I think most do a good job. Unfortunately, the poor examples stick out in our minds (and a couple are really egregious).

Moving to Boards Business.

P.S. Incidentally, the thread moderation which I believe precipitated this thread was made because of these concerns.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
History is doomed to repeat lest it is learned from. WoTC cares nothing for reembracing the forums because they cant erase the 8+ years of mismanagement of the game and the forums. I honestly dont know why they keep the boards live. I mean, move the FAQs to a static page that will be ignored like it is now and keep a bug/tech forum live. Everything else is censored unless it is in lockstep with Marketing/Sales goals.

I love the game, but hate the company that makes it.  
 
History is doomed to repeat lest it is learned from. WoTC cares nothing for reembracing the forums because they cant erase the 8+ years of mismanagement of the game and the forums. I honestly dont know why they keep the boards live. I mean, move the FAQs to a static page that will be ignored like it is now and keep a bug/tech forum live. Everything else is censored unless it is in lockstep with Marketing/Sales goals.

I love the game, but hate the company that makes it.  
 



Well. can't really argument for or against the topic of mismanagement. It is quite subjectiv, really.

In my opinion a well-defined mismanagement results in a complete shutdown.

WOTC has obviously been to busy (with something) to avoid neglecting the MTG/O sphere.
It is not neccesarily a conscious choice made by them, but whatever deciscion they made, it did make some ripples in the water. Lets just hope that when they realize that that creature of a videogame they call Tactics goes Titanic, They do an inner search, and realizes that their Buddha is their child, namely MTG/MTGO. MTG/MTGO might not procure a high yearly increase in percentage in their investors pockets, but maintaining and improving the thing that created the business can only be a good thing in the long run.
I've also been annoyed lately by some of the posters around here being overly snide, and not just with new posters. Unfortunately, there isn't much I can do from a moderation standpoint to modify this behavior, and the ORCs have become too removed from the community and tied to strict CoC interpretation to be effective in this matter. Confronting them is also ineffective, as it often just results in a flame war and a bunch of off-topic posts that derail the thread. The best option would seem to be to report the offending posts as baiting and hope the ORCs deal with it in a sensible manner.

As for moderation, I obviously disagree as it pertains to the moderation for which I'm responsible (thread moves and duplicate closures). But I am generally open to discussion on these (in the proper place: Boards Business) and have reopened or reversed moves in the past in response to a convincing argument. As for ORC moderation, I don't always agree with ORC moderation either, though in general I think most do a good job. Unfortunately, the poor examples stick out in our minds (and a couple are really egregious).

Moving to Boards Business.

P.S. Incidentally, the thread moderation which I believe precipitated this thread was made because of these concerns.





I'm not going to comment on being mean or rude to new players.  I don't know if it happens or not, but it's not good.



I will comment on Bubba moving moving threads.  That is killing these boards.  The boards do not have enough traffic to warrant multiple subforums, yet Bubba is constantly moving many of the very few threads posted to the subforums that no one even looks at.  If site traffic picks back up, I'm all for moving threads to reduce board clutter, but as of the last couple of years it's been completely unnecessary, and just kills some potentially good conversations, and probably further reduces site traffic.

I completely agree about the comments about moving threads.  As sperry describes above, one of the key flaws related to the organization of the forums is the splintering that has occurred.

Honestly, I don't know what to post in Magic Online General since there are so many forums that a thread could be posted in.  That and I wonder whether it is worth my time responding to a post since I am not sure (1) where that thread will wind up, and whether it will die a slow death and (2) whether my post will be edited or deleted due to a perceived infraction of the online moderation rules.

The splintering of the forums is probably the most egregious issue with these forums.  By splintering them, you require posters to search out information in multiple areas...which most posters simply won't spend the time to do.  In addition, the splintering of the forums also result in many posts on the first page being weeks or even months old...since the most recent topics have been moved to other forums.

I think we need to take a hard look at how many forums are really necessary based on the low posting volume that these forums currently have, and then consolidate them as much as possible.  For example, I would suggest that Magic Online only have the following forums:

1)   Tranquil Thicket
2)   Boards Business
3)   New Player Forum
4)   Clans & Recruitment
5)   Magic Online General

I would propose that all of the following topics would be discussed in Magic Online General - based on the volume, I do not believe this would currently "clutter" the board, which has to be the worry about losing these extra forums:

a)  Magic Online Bugs and Technical Issues - I think each of us would be interested to hear about bugs that the program is currently experiencing, and general themes may be identified in a general forum.

b)  MTGO Online Feature Suggestions, Customization, and Player Run Events - this is where you talk about the future of the program, and also the building of community.  Seems like everyone would have a say-so in these matters, so putting them in the most visible area seems ideal.

c)  MTGO-Only Formats - lots of energy is spent talking about these formats, so why not put them in the area where you could maximize the number of people talking about them?

For those of you worried about volume, from what I just tallied forums (a) through (c) above had less than 30 threads that were posted to in the past week.  That seems manageable, and would make sure that threads over a week old get moved to page 2 and beyond, which is where they honestly should be.

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/magic/images/whatcolor_isred.jpg)
One of the big reasons I used to come here a lot was the WOTC staff as they were very active here.  They would post very often and we had some great discussions here.  Over time people got more and more negative towards them and everytime they would post here they would just be attacked.  So what do  you think happened?  They quit posting.  Can you blame them?  Not really.

There is a difference in constructive feedback and attacking.  What I saw was attacking. 
PureMTGO.com
Cape Fear Games located in Wilmington, NC. Get 20% extra MTGO credit for your paper cards.
...and with that move, this thread will die a slow, agonizing death.


That and I wonder whether it is worth my time responding to a post since I am not sure where that thread will wind up, and whether it will die a slow death




I guess I could not have Preordained this any better.  I'll go back to lurking in the shadows again.
IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/magic/images/whatcolor_isred.jpg)
Honestly, I don't know what to post in Magic Online General since there are so many forums that a thread could be posted in.


I can understand thinking there are too many forums, but I don't understand not knowing where to post. The roles of the forums are fairly well defined.

As for the number of forums, we did trim them quite a bit not too long ago. I *am* considering eliminating the feature suggestion forum, which I'm not sure is necessary anymore. I think the New Player Forum has been a success, if for no other reason than responses over there have generally been more helpful and less snarky than General. The PRE forum has likewise been a success, despite dire warnings when it was first created that it would kill the PRE scene.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert

I guess it depends on what the typical poster's browsing habits are.

For me, it's pop onto Magic Online General, see what's going on, and if I have extra time maybe I'll pop into the New Player Forum or the PRE Forum.

Most of the time, I pop into Magic Online General, see that there's only two threads that have been posted in in the past 24 hours, assume "nothing's going on", log off and then go to another website.  The other forums would not get a sniff from me based on the inactivity in Magic Online General.

This is the conundrum when posting...if I know that this may be the browsing habits of other users, wouldn't I naturally be tempted to post items in the forum that may get the most attention?  Or, more importantly, would I be disincentivized to even start a thread if I had a reasonable expectation that it would likely get moved to a forum that receives very little attention?

I think this is the issue that needs to be addressed.  The dilution of the forums have created a bit of a cannabalizing circle that causes less posting, less interest and more migration to other websites.

I think this thread is a great example of what I'm describing.  I'm guessing that since it has been moved to Boards Business, it will likely not receive any substantial degree of attention from the community.  I know I would not have noticed the thread or had the incentive to post in it if the thread started out in Boards Business to begin with.

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/magic/images/whatcolor_isred.jpg)
I give up ! Really you move the thread to a defunct subfolder. Good Game
You prove my point entirely.

Hammer- Bangs his head and signs off. *SIGH*
Looking forward to Hex TCG MMO
Alright, a question to Hammer and everyone else who over the years has made the same assertion that I don't understand: why do you go directly to general rather than use this page that shows all of the Magic Online forums at a glance, along with the last post date? Presumably, everyone had to go through that page at one point to find the forum the first time, so why not use it now?

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert

Ask yourself a similar question - when you read a newspaper, do you tend to read the first couple pages of the front section of the paper, and then maybe (if you feel like it) go to one or two sections you always have an interest in?  If so, do you normally miss the great article on a topic you might be highly interested in buried in the middle of the Business section?

That's why newspapers put as much as they can on the front page or two of the newspaper.  It gets people's attention.  It makes them want to dig deeper into the newspaper to find other articles they might be interested in.  It makes them want to buy tomorrow's newspaper.

The Magic Online General forum is that front page of the newspaper for MTGO players.  Not the index to the various forums...that is basically a search tool.  Again, there may be a great post in the Boards Business section of the forums, but it will go largely ignored if it is buried in the Classifieds Ads section of the newspaper.  If it were on the front page of the newspaper...you might actually have a healthy debate over something.

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/magic/images/whatcolor_isred.jpg)
Just seen the debris of a thread that was censored and locked because someone pointed out to a new player that they will get better value by waiting until release events start.

I'm amongst a few participants on these forums who like to direct new players how to get the best value out their MTGO experience, by pointing out it's best to trade for individual cards, rather than rip boosters. I've been silenced in-game by certain ORCs who enforce their own made-up regulation of "no trade-related talk is permitted" - even though the COC only says we cannot make actual trade offers in public chat. And now something similar is happening on the forums, when we cannot tell a new player that they will get better prizes and cheaper entry if they wait a week.

While I'm not amongst the very top tier of contributors here, I do feel that lack of official support in the forums and the disdain in which we are treated is making my contribution somewhat pointless, and I'm beginning to reconsider why I even bother contributing at all.


I *am* considering eliminating the feature suggestion forum, which I'm not sure is necessary anymore.



I enjoy reading and participating in the feature suggestion forum. Although, without ANY official communication or acknowledgement of each idea's feasability, its becoming pointless. I almost shudder with embarassment when an ORC provides the link for players in-game who open up ideas for general discussion in the chat - it often sounds like "You are not allowed to talk about that here, go THERE instead", and we all know that the person may as well be posting the idea to /dev/null.

Ask yourself a similar question - when you read a newspaper, do you tend to read the first couple pages of the front section of the paper, and then maybe (if you feel like it) go to one or two sections you always have an interest in?  If so, do you normally miss the great article on a topic you might be highly interested in buried in the middle of the Business section?

That's why newspapers put as much as they can on the front page or two of the newspaper.  It gets people's attention.  It makes them want to dig deeper into the newspaper to find other articles they might be interested in.  It makes them want to buy tomorrow's newspaper.

The Magic Online General forum is that front page of the newspaper for MTGO players.  Not the index to the various forums...that is basically a search tool.  Again, there may be a great post in the Boards Business section of the forums, but it will go largely ignored if it is buried in the Classifieds Ads section of the newspaper.  If it were on the front page of the newspaper...you might actually have a healthy debate over something.



Seems like you're using a faulty paradigm. The superforum is more like a table of contents than an index.

Here's a slightly more radical idea: what about eliminating Boards Business? I know it's been around since Day 1 when it was the Metaboard and every other area has one, but there's really only one sticky that I think we need stickied (mod requests), and that one could reasonably be added to those in general. Other threads are far between and most would more naturally fit amongst the General posts than technical issues or PREs.

BTW: I'm moving this thread back to General, both to get more pub and because there seems to be an intermittent bug in displaying the correct last post date on the superforum pages.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
Seems like you're using a faulty paradigm. The superforum is more like a table of contents than an index.



I would say that those are pretty similar to the users of a forum.
IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/magic/images/whatcolor_isred.jpg)
As MaRo always says, you cannot CANNOT go against human nature. It may work well on paper to have a neat little box for every topic, but let's face it, the ppl here just don't want that.

I certainly don't.

Similarly, some doofus thought it would be a marvelous idea to create this special group somewhere in the failure that is wotc.socialwannabe.com and put all the useful communications in em. We never asked for it and are we really expected to run there with a rapturous smile on our faces like it's the next best thing to sliced bread?

Last victim: downtime announcements.

Ppl posted here saying "hey, where's this vital piece of info that I used to always find here" and some ivory tower nitwit comes in and says "you're supposed to go to this other place we decided was more useful for you and find it there".

Seriously, I wonder lately, what the heck IS this forum for anymore? Wasn't the total wrecking of its usability enough? Do we now also have to suffer the systematic hollowing out of its content? Why not just scrap it and be done with it, and we'll just move to a forum on some site where our discussions ARE appreciated.

There used to be a time where if I didn't visit the forums daily I would be hopelessly behind on all the posts. Now I can come here days in a row and maybe see one or two new posts...

What the hell.
Free Speech
Free speech is the right to speak your mind without government censorship and without fear of extralegal retaliation like harassment or violence. That’s all! Free speech doesn’t include the right to speak your mind on any forum anywhere. The government may not prevent you from speaking, but private parties, like blog owners or corporations, aren’t required to let you use their property as your platform. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be believed or to be taken seriously. People may mock, ridicule or laugh at what you say, or they may reject it outright. Free speech doesn’t include the right to be listened to. People who don’t desire to hear your opinion can hang up on you, block you on social media, change the channel, close the browser tab. Free speech doesn’t give you the right to bombard people with harassing messages or otherwise force them to pay attention to you against their will. And free speech doesn’t include the right to suffer no consequences whatsoever for your expressed opinions.
Alright, a question to Hammer and everyone else who over the years has made the same assertion that I don't understand: why do you go directly to general rather than use this page that shows all of the Magic Online forums at a glance, along with the last post date?

I'm not interested in most of the forums in that page, and it doesn't provide me with enough detail about the information I am interested in ("Magic Online General", the forum that I find interesting). I am not a new player, I only care about bugs if I just ran into one myself, I only draft, and I only visit Boards Business when there's an issue I'm motivated to raise. Therefore, I skip the entire "Game Help" section, "MTGO Formats - Tournament", "MTGO Formats - Recreational", "Boards Business", "Magic Online Feature Suggestions", and the entire  "Community Section".

These boards are so dead we don't need to sub-divide even further. Why fracture the community even further by splitting us up?

I have a set of 9 pages bookmarked and open them all at once (tabs are so magical). Four of these tabs are to WotC pages (Online General, Announcements blog, Magic Online page, and Daily MTG). From Online General, I can see at a glance all new thread activity and pick up threads from where I last left off by going down the list and opening them up in new tabs. I have been doing this since Firefox first started supporting tabs.
The superforum is more like a table of contents than an index.

Exactly, and when was the last time you looked at the table of contents of a newspaper? Perhaps small newspapers, one or two sections, need a ToC because the Business "section" is buried on page 5 of the first section. For the newspaper I read, I go straight to the Business section without any help.

What I would rather see is a system more like what Google's implemented for email. One big forum for all threads and the ability to apply one or more tags to them. Users can view all threads with a specific tag if they want to restrict the type of threads they browse.

I *am* considering eliminating the feature suggestion forum, which I'm not sure is necessary anymore.

You have my vote for this.

It's just incredibly difficult to use these forums.
If it were fun I'd make the time, but it's not, so I don't.


And I really wish that we could get rid of the whole "groups" thing but that's probably asking for too much at this point.

Guess what? Chicken butt.


Magic TV: Extra – Mark Purvis Interview
on CF.com (from beginning of Jan-2012).

Promising interview, never seen anything like it when it comes to anyone employed in wotc.


Just posted this post in case someone wasnt aware of the existence of it/hadnt noticed.
- This is, honestly, a grotesque advantage. Noah Weil on scouting, an attorney from Seattle with 20 Pro Tour appearances.
Alright, a question to Hammer and everyone else who over the years has made the same assertion that I don't understand: why do you go directly to general rather than use this page that shows all of the Magic Online forums at a glance, along with the last post date? Presumably, everyone had to go through that page at one point to find the forum the first time, so why not use it now?



I have no interest in any other forum, in fact I'm mostly just a lurker even here (hence my 2 posts a year average ;) ), but I'm a dedicated lurker. I have Online General bookmarked and that historically has been all I've needed/been interested in.
Well, perhaps its got something to do with the fact that these forums are no longer a place to talk about things getting better.

Over the last while we've seen more changes for the worse than the better and the responses we do get amount to nothing more than polite ways of telling us that our voice isn't important enough.

After a few years of that and any community would die.

So someone new comes in and about the best we can say is either "you're preaching to the choir but nobody at wotc is going to do anything about it" or "well, here's why wotc thinks you're wrong".
DCI Certified Level 2 Judge
Alright, a question to Hammer and everyone else who over the years has made the same assertion that I don't understand: why do you go directly to general rather than use this page that shows all of the Magic Online forums at a glance, along with the last post date? Presumably, everyone had to go through that page at one point to find the forum the first time, so why not use it now?



I do link to that page, but by definition it's not the page where the stuff I want to read is.
It tells me when the last post was, but not if that post is going to be useful to me.
I can only browse one forum at a time. 
When we browse forums we normally do it differently from posting to them. When browsing you want to see everything that's new in one place. When posting you want to be in the most relevant place to post.
Your page supports posting well, but doesn't support browwsing well. 
Funny thing, all the recent and most viewed items there are dnd related, so it looks like that community are enjoying the place.

What I do on every other forum I use is to link the closest equivalent to 'view all posts since your last visit'. This usually works well, showing me a page or two of subject titles, and I only need to click into the ones that look interesting. The only forum it doesn't really work on is mtgsalvation where there are thousands of active threads, but I really love scanning the range of topics, mafia games, theology, relationship advice and so on, sometimes even magic related; they really do permit real people to express themselves there, and their mods are tough but fair.

I think if wotc wanted to recapture the attention all of those thousands of magic players they'd have to be more like the popular sites. Forum software that works as well as the best forums. Mods that publish their rules and stick to them.
Alright, a question to Hammer and everyone else who over the years has made the same assertion that I don't understand: why do you go directly to general rather than use this page that shows all of the Magic Online forums at a glance, along with the last post date? Presumably, everyone had to go through that page at one point to find the forum the first time, so why not use it now?



I have no interest in any other forum, in fact I'm mostly just a lurker even here (hence my 2 posts a year average ;) ), but I'm a dedicated lurker. I have Online General bookmarked and that historically has been all I've needed/been interested in.


If you aren't interesting in any other forum, isn't that an argument to keep stuff where it belongs, so you don't have to see all that stuff you're not interested in? Can't have it both ways.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
As for the boards software: there's not a lot I can do about that. I think everyone up and down the chain knows that this outsourcing to OneSite has been a disaster. ORC moderation likewise is out of my hands, though certain individuals have been made aware of this thread and are watching.

As for things I do have some control over: I'm now definitely planning to close the Feature Suggestion forum and the Boards Business forum. The latter could still be vetoed, given that every other area has one. Since most protested thread moves are to one of those two areas, it should also mostly eliminate those complaints. Complaints about moderation will still not be allowed in-thread: you will be directed to start a new thread so as not to derail the topic.

Magic and Magic Online Volunteer Community Lead. On Strike

I'm trying to make my official VCL posts in purple.

You posted saying my thread was moved/locked but nothing happened.


Show
Unfortunately, VCLs do not currently have the tools necessary to take moderation actions directly. VCLs submit their actions to ORCs, who then actually perform the action. This processing can take between a few minutes and several hours, depending on how busy/attentive the ORCs are.

If you see something that needs VCL attention, please use this thread to make a request and a VCL will look at it as soon as possible. CoC violations should be reported to Customer Service using the "report post" button. Please do not disrupt the thread by making requests of either kind in-thread.

General MTGO FAQ

Yes, the Shuffler is Random!
The definitive thread on the Magic Online shuffler.

Magic Math Made Easy
Draw probabilities, Swiss results, Elo ratings and booster EV

Event EV Calculator
Calculate the EV for any event with a fixed number of rounds and prizes based on record

Dual means two. A duel is a battle between two people. Lands that make two colors of mana are dual lands. A normal Magic battle is a duel.
Thanks to PhoenixLAU for the [thread=1097559]awesome avatar[/thread]!
Quotables

Show
"While a picture is worth a thousand words, each lolcat actually produces a negative wordcount." -Ith "I think "Highly Informed Sarcasm" should be our Magic Online General motto." -Ith "Sorry, but this thread seems just like spam. TT is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion." -WizO_Kwai_Chang "Stop that! If you're not careful, rational thinking may catch on!" -Sax "... the only word i see that fits is incompitant." -Mr44 (sic) "You know a thread is gonna be locked when it gets to the hexadecimal stage." -Gathion "It's a good gig" - Gleemax "I tell people often, if you guys want to rant, you've certainly got the right to (provided you obey CoC/ToS stuff), and I don't even really blame you. But if you see something you think needs changing a well thought-out, constructive post does more to make that happen." - Worth Wollpert
Alright, a question to Hammer and everyone else who over the years has made the same assertion that I don't understand: why do you go directly to general rather than use this page that shows all of the Magic Online forums at a glance, along with the last post date? Presumably, everyone had to go through that page at one point to find the forum the first time, so why not use it now?



I have no interest in any other forum, in fact I'm mostly just a lurker even here (hence my 2 posts a year average ;) ), but I'm a dedicated lurker. I have Online General bookmarked and that historically has been all I've needed/been interested in.


If you aren't interesting in any other forum, isn't that an argument to keep stuff where it belongs, so you don't have to see all that stuff you're not interested in? Can't have it both ways.



I wasn't arguing in favour of having it all lumped in to one - I was just answering your question of why people like me go directly to general.

I don't know the answer to the decline in forums use. One of the reasons Monty Python gave for splitting up was that the felt every new skit they wrote could be described as an earlier skit. "That's just the Cheese Shop sketch with the following change", etc. Maybe that's us too, to some degree. Now it seems that whenever someone posts something 'new' it often gets greeted with 'that's just the shuffler thread in a different version'. Maybe we've talked the unique aspects of pantless Magic to death.

That said, I know one sure fire way to see the posts (and attendance) go up here - remove the gag order on the Beta testers ;)



Thanks for making me ruin my post average. Now I'll have to shut up for the rest of the year ;) 
Ooh. ooh. I feel that I have to throw in a few words here. Blame it om my ADHD making we want to have the final word...


First thing. I do believe that this thread has got it covered pretty much what has been, is and maybe will be the future. -We don't really have much new to add, so it turns into a jibber-jabber with less constructive thoughts being the end result of a fair amount of threads...
As previously stated, ideas are brought forth, but the response, if any is; "Naah, we'll think about it..."
That quickly leads to a black spiral of doom, paranoia and removal of incentive to try again.


2nd, thing. The Beta COC-issue. Aye. I, as a newly approved betatester cannot/shall not/will not utter any words that concerns the beta, but I must admit that a forum, like this, would be the best place to discuss it. Even a heated debate would inspire the beta-testers to do their voluntary 'duty' better.

I cannot speak of this in any way, but other betatesters out there has perhaps noticed the amount of activity in the Beta 2 group in the Community Group? What do you guys think for your selves. Is the activity up to par with any other betatesting you've been doing? -I know that you other betatesters cannot/will not/shall not answer this, but give it a thought. Could we somehow get a more inspiring enviroment somehow.

Gag-removal could actually be good. There would be an increase in interest in the product. If the interest is being turned in to something negative, well, then it tells me that the product is not yet up to standards, and really needs to be worked on. 


A terrible, terrible thing in the world of computerprogramming is to isolate the developers from the users. If the users cannot inform the developers where things go wrong, you'll end up with a multimilion-failure. -Happens all the time everywhere.


I understand that the limits put on the testers are important. -Figure out what is working and what's not. They should also put some serious weight into; 'This part works, but people hate it, why? Is it not cognitive enough?' -And improve it. Ignoring human habits, and forcing people to do it a certain way is like the eternal fight between PC and Apple-computers. They do the same sh** but in a totally different fashion. If only they would look through the brick wall of patents and copyrights, etc, and accept that somethings are actually userfriendlier than other solutions. -Everyone would be happier.


The MTGO online concept is beautiful, but somewhere there should be room to work with the users, not just stepping all over them, just because they can. -Or ignore them, just because they can.

It all reminds me a little bit too much about another game I was betatesting. Funcom's Anarchy Online. A supergreat game. Buggy beyond belief. Exeptionally bad communication, people stayed in the testing eventhough you had to reboot the computer due to bsod every five minutes. There were vast amounts of posting in their fora regarding this exceptionally bad bug. Finally, on releasedate... ...guess what. It was still there, and now you even had to pay for it. People ran screaming away from funcom afterwards.

Please, please, WOTC. DO NOT ignore your community. When they open their blabbermouths over and over again for years, even. -Then there might just be a teeny weenie little issue at hand to address.   


I am still trying to unravel the labyrinth of fifferent foras, groups, communities, sites, faq's and whatnot, to properly comment on the beta (if ever allowed to) so I might be wrong in any critique, if taken as one, but i feel that the whole back and forth thing about why the froums are as they are is quite... ...ridiculous. I am not the one to say what will happen next, I can only sit on the fence and watch out for any changes if any. If there aren't, well, then there aren't any and I'll have to accept that fact. Bubba & co is imo doing a great job.
Alright, a question to Hammer and everyone else who over the years has made the same assertion that I don't understand: why do you go directly to general rather than use this page that shows all of the Magic Online forums at a glance, along with the last post date? Presumably, everyone had to go through that page at one point to find the forum the first time, so why not use it now?



I have no interest in any other forum, in fact I'm mostly just a lurker even here (hence my 2 posts a year average ;) ), but I'm a dedicated lurker. I have Online General bookmarked and that historically has been all I've needed/been interested in.


If you aren't interesting in any other forum, isn't that an argument to keep stuff where it belongs, so you don't have to see all that stuff you're not interested in? Can't have it both ways.



There are threads moved all the time from general that I have interest in.  I agree with the others that the average user is going to log in and check magic online general and leave.  I agree that some threads should be moved but overall I think it's a bit too aggressive.

Bubba I think part of the problem is you see things from your perspective which is much different than the average user.  You have been on these boards and been moderating them so they make sense to you but to the average person logging in they are very confusing and not user friendly.  
PureMTGO.com
Cape Fear Games located in Wilmington, NC. Get 20% extra MTGO credit for your paper cards.
Alright, a question to Hammer and everyone else who over the years has made the same assertion that I don't understand: why do you go directly to general rather than use this page that shows all of the Magic Online forums at a glance, along with the last post date? Presumably, everyone had to go through that page at one point to find the forum the first time, so why not use it now?




Because general actually has some activity on it while the other forums have significantly less. Therefore general is the one I have bookmarked and is the one I visit.


 


What I would like to see:



  • Announcements moved back to the forums.

  • More input from WOC staff.

  • Less forums. At the moment I only read general.

I should add that if wotc join the bandwagon of sites jumping onto facebook or other social media for article feedback/comments then they will have lost me for good.
1) They're blocked at work.
2) I don't want to prejudice employment prospects by broadcasting my magic related activity on my facebook profile. You might ridicule my caution, but as a 40-something professional in a competitive job market I have an image to protect.

Sites that have lost my participation due to facebook: starcitygames, raredraft, puremtgo.
I should add that if wotc join the bandwagon of sites jumping onto facebook or other social media for article feedback/comments then they will have lost me for good.
1) They're blocked at work.
2) I don't want to prejudice employment prospects by broadcasting my magic related activity on my facebook profile. You might ridicule my caution, but as a 40-something professional in a competitive job market I have an image to protect.

Sites that have lost my participation due to facebook: starcitygames, raredraft, puremtgo.



What do you mean we allow commenting via facebook and our site.  Is it just because of the facebook integration on our site that your work blocks it out?
PureMTGO.com
Cape Fear Games located in Wilmington, NC. Get 20% extra MTGO credit for your paper cards.
agree with Jmason here. what was wrong with writing comments to the website? i dont use facebook, why do i have to have an accout in facebook to post comments on articles? I dont think this is the case for puremtgo though
I should add that if wotc join the bandwagon of sites jumping onto facebook or other social media for article feedback/comments then they will have lost me for good.
1) They're blocked at work.
2) I don't want to prejudice employment prospects by broadcasting my magic related activity on my facebook profile. You might ridicule my caution, but as a 40-something professional in a competitive job market I have an image to protect.

Sites that have lost my participation due to facebook: starcitygames, raredraft, puremtgo.



So, you are 40 something and worried about gaming hurting your professional image. That makes sense I guess (though the bigotry that implies is irksome). Why not exclude anyone whom you don't want to see your facebook activity from doing so? Facebook's controls aren't 100% intuitive but they aren't that hard. You can make posts private to everyone but yourself if you want. Or to just your mtg friends, etc.

Also (as Seydaneen points out) you can choose to not use the Facebook plugin, since I and others argued for being able to continue commenting on the site itself. (Because facebook is awful for feedback purposes.) This should be a nonproblem imho.

Winter.Wolf

I should add that if wotc join the bandwagon of sites jumping onto facebook or other social media for article feedback/comments then they will have lost me for good.

Me too! I've been Facebook-free for 6 months now. If participating here ever required me to use Facebook, I'd become a lurker for sure.
What do you mean we allow commenting via facebook and our site.

Until just today, I thought I had to use Facebook to leave article comments on your site. It wasn't until I looked at the top of the article and found the login link that I discovered there was an alternative.

not sure if this is the case with starcity though? i cant even read the comments anymore