Council Appreciation

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Council Appreciation

Postby FtXCommando » 11 Jun 2018, 05:03

So over the last couple days I've done some introspection about what precisely my game plan was with regards to my relationship with the Council and have come to seen that I wasn't approaching things from the right angle. Mostly, this change in perspective comes from a member of the Council, MisterK, and his comparisons related to his situation with regards to the Mapping Team controversies and my current situation. I realize some of what I've done over the past couple days, while they may have been done with a good intention, have not really led to anything other than increased alienation with those I once wanted to help improve the community with.

I feel just as I often misunderstand the Council and their actions from looking at the actions from the outside. Some of what I wrote was pointlessly antagonistic. It served no purpose other than to vent at the expense of people that didn't really see things from my point of view which in the end only led to their alienation. I am referring to several things here. My PMs to Sheeo were clearly an unreasonable attack and a situation that could and should have been handled much more delicately. Some of my actions during the week were likewise poor choices such as hosting a game with a title that mocked Voodoo. Likewise, my forum post, while having some proper points buried in it, could also have been worded in a more tempered tone.

I feel like a lot has already been stated about my PMs to Sheeo and there isn't much more I can go into about it other than to apologize again. And so, I once again do apologize to him about the way I approached him. I can only ask that he understands that I do view myself as a person that wants to help contribute to the community in the role and the reason for my reaction, even though no reason can exist for such behavior, was because I felt like I was being completely blindsided.

When it comes to issues like mocking Voodoo, the issue was something that MisterK's explanation helped me understand properly. In the end the Council is a group of volunteers not a group being paid to operate FAF. You can't really expect people to work with others that they dislike for free. While others on the Council were respectable and understanding enough to look at me with a clean slate during the application process, I did not show them the respect of doing the same. This is a major flaw in my character that I am now working to address and can only hope for others to attempt to understand the reason for my exclusion with that in mind.

With my forum post, the main thing I noticed throughout it is Sheeo's professionalism throughout the entire exchange. While I clearly did not understand the situation properly with regards to how the voting system was operating, he never berated me about it. This is something that I have been trying to work on in regards to assisting players new to FAF during the last few months but it also seems to be something that I should start adopting into my tone on the forums.

Likewise I have been thinking a lot about Downlord's words with regards to how people see the Council and I realize that it is often a thankless job. That's the major reason for the title of this forum thread. Mainly, I'd like to state what the Council has done for me that I'd like to point out.

JaggedAppliance was always willing to discuss balance and my concerns about it. He was perhaps the most available person on the Council and the one I never had any issue with. It's hard to explain any growth that happened with my relationship with him due to the fact I don't really think I had any adversity with him. He did nothing but encourage me to set up tournaments to increase competition on FAF and share my ideas.

MisterK on the other hand began in a slightly different direction. While my major interactions with him only started with the Mapping Team controversy he has shown me a lot through my constant discussions with him. He was the first person to ever make me feel heard in regards to the Council and I appreciate the fact he has tried his best at every turn to keep me involved in his process. He does in fact see the wasted passion in a large segment of the community towards the game and does not want to see that passion degrade into utter apathy. His drive to do so has personally inspired me more than nothing else to make this post as well as to look at a lot of my past actions.

Voodoo as head of moderation has one of the hardest "publicity" jobs on FAF. While there are several decisions of his that I may disagree with, it cannot be denied that he is at least willing to change his mind. The fact he can accept the fault in his own actions when presented with reasonable evidence is a commendable quality and I can only hope it translates down to the rest of the moderation team.

JJ has served as one of the only daily community valves that the Council has towards the community. He has stepped up in an area where I feel the last PC was somewhat slacking and gone above and beyond his duty in my eyes. It is only a quality that can be praised and I do not know if other people understand that he does not exactly need to be as open as he makes himself. This is a quality that I view as imperative to a PC and I hope the other candidates in the running for the slot can see his representation as an example of proper behavior. He did not ignore me when I asked him difficult questions about my exclusion even if it might have been an incredibly difficult position for him to be in, for example.

Sheeo has likewise done nothing but try to make things as transparent to me. I see what I would usually attribute as apathy or maliciousness is simply people trying to work with the little resources they have. In the end, everyone ultimately wants to see FAF grow and no one barring a few examples that prove the rule are here to harm the community. I respect his patience that seems to never run thin and it serves him well as a sort of "face" of FAF.

With regards to IceDreamer and Downlord, I do not have much experience with them. I'm sure they do a lot of work on the coding front but as a computer illiterate individual myself, it's hard for me to think of many examples of my interactions with them. I obviously can thank them generically for contributions like the java client or improving the performance of the game, but it would feel like a very cold thanks to do so.

Finally, I'd like to end with an amendment to my PC Pledge, whether my exclusion is ultimately veto'd or not:
- I promise to uphold a professional manner that extends to all duties of the PC
- I promise to maintain an extreme level of respect for the persons on the Council and purely keep disagreement in a reasonable but respectable manner.
- I promise to do my best to act as a bridge that above all, makes no member of the Council or community feel like they cannot understand the other.
The best apology is changed behavior
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Re: Council Appreciation

Postby Evildrew » 11 Jun 2018, 19:14

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Re: Council Appreciation

Postby lilSidlil » 12 Jun 2018, 12:05

You have years of experience writing to chat every day, I think that the text turned out short, you can do better. The next time you need to move away from the form of a short story and swing at the novel.
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Re: Council Appreciation

Postby Sheeo » 12 Jun 2018, 18:00

Hey FtX,

I would address each of your paragraphs individually, but I think a more coherent reply is appropriate.


As you bring up the council is run by unpaid willpower and is not infallible. During this process, multiple errors were made, and we should have been more communicative about our decisions initially. I think we've all learned some important lessons.


In light of your evident will to change character, we've decided to restart the vote with your application added as an option.


With Regards,
The Council of Setons
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Peek at our continued development on github: https://github.com/FAForever
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Re: Council Appreciation

Postby ckitching » 12 Jun 2018, 19:29

Just saying, the original title still makes sense: "council abuse" can mean abuse of the council, not abuse by the council :D

Anyway. Yes. Just wanted to chime in on the "thankless task" point, especially what Downlord and IceDreamer said on the other thread (and which you mentioned above). Contributing to FAF can be an appallingly unpleasant experience.

Not sure how well I'm remembered, but I used to contribute technically quite extensively back in 2015-2016, and I eventually stopped when the abuse led to a mental breakdown. I received actual hatemail (through the post, that is, in addition to via email/slack).

The experience was pretty crazy. My first few contributions (fixing some longstanding bugs in the in-game lobby) were met by all-caps raging from an existing contributor. If it werent for sheep's excellent handling of the situation I'd have walked away there and then.

I ended up working with sheeo on a much needed server overhaul (which is, among other things, why we dont have to reboot the server every few days any more). While doing that, people whinged about us spending so much dev time on "cleaning up instead of doing user facing work".

I spent time overhauling the ancient and broken coop mod (which used to be pinned to an ancient version of faf). I caught *vast* amounts of abuse from several sources because the result was not perfect instantly. And yet, without that work it would still be broken.

I fixed numerous issues in the game code. The github stats page says a lot:
https://github.com/FAForever/fa/graphs/contributors
When I made progress, I was never thanked. When I made a mistake, I got abuse. For months. When I did work that observers didnt think was important enough, I got complaints about that. Here I was, a highly qualified software engineer, contributing my time for free to make my favourite video game better, and I realised it was stressing me out more than my actual job at a fucking startup.

On the forums, I'd read people making the ridiculous " ivory tower" claims about how developers think, about how there's some sort of conspiracy, or how some work I'd done was "unacceptable" (or worse). It was all a toxic mess.

I finally snapped when I received a paper letter inviting me to kill myself, and then on the same day someone ranted at me on Slack about how "grossly incompetent" I was.

The situation has somewhat improved. Somewhat. The most abhorrent people from back then have gone, and the irritating ones have mellowed (and we gained a bunch of cool new people). FAF remains a challenging community to get into, and the way certain people behave can be really damaging when it comes to retaining even the most stubborn of contributors. There's a tendency for people to get defensive, to siloise, and to form militant cliques instead of working together. But maybe we're getting somewhere?

Anyway. Pointless ramble over. Just seems like I should probably tell my story at some point, and this seems like a vaguely appropriate moment :D
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Re: Council Appreciation

Postby Wesmania » 12 Jun 2018, 21:31

ckitching wrote:<snip>


You motivated me for a brief moment to work more actively on the client :) From my perspective as a client dev FAF community has been extremely supportive, even when client updates would occasionally break some things.
FAF python client dev. You client misbehaves? Pester me.
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Re: Council Appreciation

Postby Farmsletje » 12 Jun 2018, 23:17

ckitching wrote:When I made progress, I was never thanked.

I don't know how your situation was, but even though i'm active in the community i can only name a few devs and what they do (Brutus GW, ozonex FAFeditor and mazornoob some client related stuff). Out of these three both brutus and ozonex keep a forum thread with their activities updated and they both get quite a lot of community support. I think if mazornoob would do the same you'd see the same thing happen.

I'm sure that there are quite a lot of people doing other important tasks for faf, but unless i actively search on other platforms such as github or slack it's hard to figure out.
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Re: Council Appreciation

Postby Brutus5000 » 13 Jun 2018, 00:24

I wanted to say something to the whole topic. It's not really related to council appreciation, but I don't know where to put it otherwise. I noticed a this on the first Player Councilor election and on the current one I see similar things.

In the applications for the last PC vote, people popped up as candidates, that were never quite active in the forums or on Slack. Yet they claimed to make everything better™, make broken things come back etc.. As soon as the vote was over they vanished as fast as they popped up.

Would these candidates have made good councilors? I don't think so. Being a councilor does not give you a higher salary, make you work more productive or lets you solve problems more easily. The only thing you get is: more attention - from the players and hopefully from the devs. The contributor part is the same work as before - maybe even more because now your every move is critically reviewed by our players, you are a role model etc.

Being councilor does not make you a good contributor.
But being a good contributor may increase your chance to be a good councilor.

So, dear applicants for PC, even if you do not get elected: just because you are not a councilor does not mean, that you cannot improve FAF. Don't turn away from us. We can achieve more if we all work together. The council and all contributors I have met so far are always open for improvement, and if it is not realizable today then maybe it is in the future.
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Re: Council Appreciation

Postby Downlord » 13 Jun 2018, 09:38

Brutus brings up a good point, it appears to me that some people think only councilors can/do contribute

@Farmsletje Interesting how you seem to have missed many news posts as well as the devblog (https://faforeverdevblog.tumblr.com) for so long ;-)
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Re: Council Appreciation

Postby Farmsletje » 13 Jun 2018, 10:13

in the last year (excluding the one from a few days ago) there have only been 3 updates on the dev blog and 2 of them are from people i already talked about. yes it was used more frequently before that, but you can't expect me to remember which dev did what 1 year ago :/

What posts are you referring to?
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