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Community Moderation Team | Beesfriends

Good day Travelers!

We wanted to take an opportunity to discuss a sometimes controversial topic, but a very important one. Moderation. This is normally a daunting topic, however we don’t think it should be. Rather, it should be something we are open about. In that spirit, we wanted to spend a little bit of time to discuss how we handle moderation, and what our plans are concerning it going forward.

Alongside this I also want to provide a big shout out to all of the community members who make up our community moderator team, and all the work they’ve been doing to help out with our community. Thank you for all of your hard work with us helping out all the players, and working to keep a great environment for players to learn and have fun in Last Epoch!

What moderation means to us

In many games and communities, moderators are scary people who tend to lurk in the background, hammer ready to punish those who fall out of line. That’s not what we want within our community. We have three core principles we follow when it comes to moderation within Last Epoch:

Setting the stage

Our moderators are not passive, lurking in the shadows. Our moderators are community guides and helpers first, moderators second. Moderators lead by example within the community. By actively setting the stage, moderation action becomes much less necessary as more players will become willing to adopt the positive environment being set. Our goal is to strive to help the community grow in a positive way, rather than simply address negative actions.

Guiding the conversations

Our moderators engage the community, not shut down the community. If a conversation starts becoming abusive, excessively vulgar, or otherwise becomes too “hot”, moderators will try to step in and reign in the conversation by changing the topic, or if necessary asking players to change topics.

Moderation action

Our moderators strive to be fair and unbiased in action. We provide coaching and guidance towards this goal, as well as providing full opportunity for peer discussion of events. We try to avoid implementing action whenever possible, preferring to provide players the opportunity to chose to be part of a healthy community. However, sometimes conversations can simply get a bit too heated, or a player goes too far in violation of the Code of Conduct. If this occurs, our moderators will take all reasonable steps to ensure fair warning is provided, and that they do not participate in any bias if action is required.

How we plan to implement this style of moderation

Community Moderator Program - Codename “Beesfriends”

We’ve mentioned in posts a few times in the past helpful community members who help us out. We refer to this as our “Community Moderation Team and Beesfriends” (name to be finalized). This team is comprised of handpicked players who have gone above and beyond within the community to make it a great place for new and experienced players alike. These players operate on a completely volunteer basis, out of their passion for the game and its community. Because of this, we do have zero tolerance for any abuse targeting these volunteer members (as we do any players).

These community members often already follow the first two principles of our moderation principles before joining the team, and are then empowered to implement short actions in the third principle when necessary. Whenever an action is taken by one of or moderators, a report is automatically generated and submitted to us so we can provide oversight and guidance to our moderation team. Any time a more severe moderation action may be required, it is discussed with EHG staff and implemented directly by EHG if deemed necessary. Though because we’ve had such a great community with all of you, this has rarely been necessary.

Empowering players to be involved in moderation

Currently, for all players, to report another player it requires directly submitting a support ticket with information regarding the event. Going forward, we want to provide all players more power in shaping their community. With the new chat system being developed alongside multiplayer, all players will have the power to report users in game. This chat system will also provide further utility for our team in regards to moderation such as helping clarify when someone is an appointed community moderator or a member of the EHG team.

Further, we provide a route for all players to be able to dispute a moderation action. If you believe an action was taken against you incorrectly, you can submit a support ticket and the action will be reviewed directly by EHG staff. Even in the event it was a staff member who implemented the action, it will not be touched by the person who implemented the action to ensure a fair review.

Why this style of moderation?

By having a community moderation team rather than solely an in house moderation team, we also help ensure that we are never ‘pushing an agenda’, or biasing our community’s conversations. Moderation action is never taken for criticizing EHG or our policies. This allows for a healthy community in which all members feel welcome and able to participate in. Our community moderators are also allowed to put forward other community members to join the team, helping to keep this self regulation within moderation to prevent a overarching bias to actions.

However, this is not to say that the community moderation team is completely autonomous. All community moderators are expected to follow the same Code of Conduct as all other players, and do have a set of guidelines to follow in their actions. The team is provided support directly by us here at EHG, providing oversight as well to ensure there’s no abuse of power within the community moderation team, and that the three core principles are being maintained.

Most Importantly, this approach to moderation is that the first two core principles don’t require any sort of special power. It’s something any community member going above and beyond is capable of. It is important to us to be involved in the community, and the community involved with us, as all of us not only come from it, but are still a part of it.

Joining the Beesfriends

As the player base continues to expand, so will our efforts in this. With multiplayer on the not so distant horizon, we are looking to expand our community moderation team including in game, Discord, Steam, Forums, and on our official Reddit. Reddit in particular we want to be as hands off in moderation as possible to ensure the integrity of discourse there, that it is always fair, and completely unbiased. For in game, we’re looking to expand our roster of community moderators to assist our global community in different languages.

If you’re interested in joining our community moderation team, here’s a general outline of what we would be looking for:

  • No history of moderation actions in the LE community
  • Preference given to players with longer tenure / more consistent activity within the community
  • Either generally helpful within the community such as answering questions for new players, or discussing friendly topics in chat without pushing the Code of Conduct. Let us know how you participate in the community!
  • Preference would be given to players which are online with a regular frequency. There are no obligations or schedules for our moderation team, but we would be looking for members who will be able to regularly help with the community.

If you feel like you would make a good fit for our community moderation team, please submit your application as a support ticket.

Looking forward to seeing you all in game, and may the bees guide your drops!

13 Likes

That sounds awesome!

One thing sticks out here, which is not the common in some online communities:

Another thing I think a lot of people will be happy about is:

There are some language-communities, that have suffered from non-existent moderation due to the lack of moderators speaking that language and especially moderations against colloquial language.

Moderators reporting racist or otherwise inhumane insults will be a big step forward!

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All of this sounds good, but I’m a bit concerned about giving players the ability to apply to be a moderator. In my experience, the only type of person who could possibly make a good moderator is the one that doesn’t want to be a moderator and would never even consider applying for such a position. All the good ones I’ve seen and appointed were people who had to be offered and convinced, and ended up reluctantly accepting.

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Does that mean we could (at least in theory) report cheaters (nb: proven cheaters)? And, following this question, how does EHG plan to handle cheaters while preparing for multiplayer launch and after?

FYI: I know the typical deflection answer << but once we go server authoritative, cheating / file manipulation will be almost impossible >> and while I agree with that statement, keep in mind we’ll still have offline mode, therefore content creators could (and given their past actions, most likely will) cheat items in offline mode, then present them as guide for online players.

TLDR
will moderation imply cheating handling, and if so, how?

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This is already currently possible by submitting support tickets. With the coming in game system, it could also be used for such a report.

As for how it will be handled, we have a standing policy to not discuss disciplinary actions, and this is included in the Code of Conduct. The reason for this is not in any way to hide or shadow how we operate for disciplinary actions, but due to the harassment it may draw to players which may receive associated actions.

More serious ToS violations are handled by us here directly at EHG, rather than community moderators, and are currently handled on a case by case basis. With multiplayer launch, we would be implementing more clear outlines regarding cheating through various methods in Last Epoch. To be clear, with multiplayer there will be a zero tolerance policy regarding cheating, but we would want to ensure this is clear to all players to know what to expect.

Reported cases of offline ToS violations, such as content creators violating the ToS to create content, would continue to be handled on a case by case basis. Community events, and things such as leaderboards are currently planned to only be available for online players for greater integrity.

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I really like the idea. And I definitely see the need for it.

I totally agree. Specially on the 2nd part.
I personally would like to see other languages communities to grow further, as right now LE is totally english based in terms of communication.
For instance the spanish community is almost unexistant due to the lack of information in that language as well as spanish channels on the forums and discord. I remember to have asked for such channels many months ago, but the answer from EHG was that they had no moderators for other languages. Hopefully the “Beesfriends” will be able to help here in the future.

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@EHG_Kain will this programm mean, that we will get non-english sections in the discord and forum? Or is this solely for in-game chat?

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It’s certainly something that we could look to expand on for sure if we’re able to put together the members to support it. I think it would be great to do anything we can to help our global community.

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I have already responded in game chat to players who asked for help in Spanish. Sometimes, on dares ask.
The worst of all this is that you could also speek English with another guy, and one hour later discover he is Spanish like you!

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I just wanted to say that when submitting my application, I definitely poured my heart, and soul out to you people. In times when I feel, or have felt absolutely lost, This community has always had my back, and I would be honored to be empowered to help my community more. I may not be a high arena pusher, or a high corruption player, but I think my biggest strength is that I’ve always tried to be positive with everyone i’ve met on here. If it wasn’t for this game, and everyone ive met here, I couldn’t imagine what other community I would be as involved in, as with this one. To me, it’s an honor to even be here chatting with people, hanging out in le discord, forums, and le streamers, and players on twitch over the years.

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+1

Overall, I applaud the initial post, and expanding the moderation team by utilising the player base will probably be a necessary thing especially once MP hits and servers go live.

However, over the years I’ve seen more cases of “community moderators” becoming bad apples than I could shake a stick at. Granted, the majority of these players come mods mostly do a fantastic and thankless job without pay on their own time. They often turn out to be the unsung heroes of a lot of servers. Sadly though, there always seem to be bad apples that creep into that bunch. It’s almost always driven by personal Ego. People get a tiny bit of power and it goes to their heads and they become mini dictators with their ego’s being fed.

I have to say that this is why I would never, ever apply to be one myself. I get would up too easily, I do have an Ego, and I also find it tough to become impartial on some issues. I recognise those personality traits within myself. Sadly, it’s those same traits that normally drive people to apply for these types of roles.

Being here for a long time is a great thing, as is helping people out. You have to look at why people “help out” though. Sometimes, they do it out of a need to feed their own ego and their perception from others. I know of one poster here, who lives a lot in the Tech section who would make a fantastic mod but I won’t mention his name as it is not my right in this context. He is about the only one I have seen in these forums who has never got antagonised by another poster, never posted to seek praise, always goes the extra mile in trying to solve tech issues. He’s never trolled, or taken anything even addressed back at him personally. He was the first person I had a lot of contact with on arrival here, when I was having tech issues and he spent some hours trying to help me figure out my issues. He knows from this who he is.

Sadly, others I have seen, while appearing helpful and no doubt trying to actually be helpful, I get more of a sense of it being due to feeding ego.

In summary, I do think it is a great idea devolving some of the mod tasks to community mods. However, I would caution against taking a “great, we’ve handed that off” approach. I do think that while it would reduce your workload, the dev team then need to keep a very close eye on the actions & posts taken by those new community mods to ensure that no mini dictators have been created! So, reduce the workload modding the community, but instead Mod the Comm Mods :smile:

Just my tuppence hapenny’s worth.

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Yeah but bad apples can be sorted out rather quickly. I think so far this is a good step by EHG and some form of moderation is needed.

On the other hand I ask myself if People are allowed to recommend people who seems fit to do the moderation part ^^.

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I completely agree. They CAN, but in other games that has not always been the case. However, everything from the Dev Team I have seen in the time I have been here would indicate to me that they would be different here. As long as those types of people are “nipped in the bud”, and an example made, then the problem diminishes over time.

Personally, I think that this is quite a good idea. In a lot of circumstances I would give more credibility to a nomination than a self application. As long as it’s not one of their mates doing it, a community nomination would be a great thing. Especially in cases like I mentioned above where one community member spent hours helping me out personally for zero recognition, ego massaging, or personal gain.

I think as a good guideline is thinking to yourself, always on one thought. "Is what I say, and how I act going to help the community, at least from a self observation point of view. Then to further iterate on that point would be, “does the majority of my community like how I handle things?” I think having a lot of communication, and feed back about yourself from your community will help shape you to be consistent, and confident, in what you do, so as to not stray from the primary goal, and point of it all. In that it’s not about you the moderator, it’s about the people.

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Yes and no. Someone might be intrested in it because the person is looking for a job in the industry and this might be a chance of an entry point. Some people are intrested in a clean and civil enviorment to play in whitout beeing inquisitoryal.
The community mod programm looks like a first floor of moderation to me without having any real power at all. Maybe an easier time to get to a CM when things go the wrong way and topics get racist or whatever but out side of this I don’t think EHG is looking for people who realy “moderate” rather then people who calm and friendly and spread their attitude.

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I solemnly swear that I am up to no good and will only use my powers on Llama when it is warranted, which is all the time

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I tend to agree with this, but also think people should be able to nominate community members. It’s real easy for me to put in a resume showing my previous history of positions, but not so easy for people to know whether I’d actually be a good moderator.

Like if @daedaleus wasn’t already a mod I’d nominate him, because we need someone to keep @Llama8 in line.

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I don’t want to sound disheartening but…

community moderators from players you say, oh boy here we go grabs popcorn

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Good luck with that.

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