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Just venting (Long)


Faelwolf
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Some background, and an example.

So, I fly in a certain well known combat flight sim, one that is known for being a bit buggy at times, more than a bit at others. :)  I am not mentioning it by name so this doesn't come up in a Google search and cause problems for me in it's community, as will be explained (much) later in this post. I haven't played it for quite a while, so had a lot of work to do getting all my flight gear working again, etc. due to the developer changing file layouts as well as changing how mods are handled, etc. They can really throw a wrench in the works via an update with undocumented changes!  (One of the reasons I stopped playing for so long, just got tired of having to rebuild the software side of my setup or adjust it after almost every update)  So I am already tired of the whole thing when I get it working and run into the latest issue with my current main aircraft. It took several long nights to finally get it working right, along with some hardware issues, since Win10 likes to play it's little games with hardware, too.
The latest major issue is the the HUD in the A10C is overscanned for many who aren't using VR goggles. For those who don't know WTF I am talking about, basically the HUD (Heads Up Display) is a glass plate in the cockpit that uses a projector to display a lot of information for the pilot, and is critical in modern air combat.  The game has been changed so it looks perfect in VR, but in 2D it is projecting too large for the glass so the information can only be seen if you have head tracking, and move your point of view around dramatically. You can't see all the data at once like you should be able to.  
The developer is pushing hard to be "the" sim for VR, and forgetting, or doesn't care, that at least 80% of it's player base is still 2D, so are dragging their heels fixing it. Not everyone is having the issue, oddly enough, but for those of us that do, it makes the plane a total PIA to fly or attack targets in. 
I worked with some adjustments in the default head position, and a small tweak to a file in the game to adjust the field of view for the HUD (it's treated as a separate virtual monitor in the game), and it worked very well for me.  Very simple and easy fix. So I pass it along, with the usual caveats like "it worked for me, it may not work for you"  "YMMV" "You may have to experiment with this setting a bit more, depending on how the game reacts on your system" etc. I covered the basics both for typical trolls, as well as folks who don't quite understand what the setting is doing, but have basic mod skills.
I got a few "thanks man, that really helped" so I guess that was a signal for the trolls and the prima donnas.  Now the posts are flooded with "now my game is broken!" (not possible if they did what I said, using the right editing software, adjusting head position in the game, and tweaking the HUD field of view in one file won't break the game. Using the repair utility would correct it easily if it did, though that means they did a lot more than this while they were in the files). Then there's the people basically wanting me to hand-hold them over the forum step by step because they claim they don't have even the most basic knowledge of how to mod a file or adjust position in the cockpit (they claim, but other posts from them don't match that) trying to waste my time. (If they were legit, I'd point them to several good resources for learning to mod, but I'm not wasting my time and energy on a troll.)  One guy (prima donna) even posted  "before" and "after" pics claiming it didn't work, when the pics clearly showed he isn't experiencing the problem, but had adjusted his POV in the game to try to fake it! (And the metadata and file names of the pictures are exactly the same? hmmmmm.....) He's a well known modder and frankly much more knowledgeable of the files in the game than I am, it makes no sense for him to do that other than to troll, and he would darned well know his default head position is incorrect. It just goes on and on. I get the strong impression that if I had just posted some cynical, "so adjust your head position, dweeb" type post with no real helpful information I would have been left alone.

So WTF!  This isn't an isolated incident, just the last straw in a good number of them lately as I've tried to help some new players out or posted a fix for some old bugs they are coming across, or in this case, a new one. It always plays out the same way. There have always been forum trolls, but the flight sim community wasn't so bad for it, and it was never this bad in general, especially when someone was legitimately working to help out on issues with a game.  Has the internet in general devolved this much? 
I can answer the rest of the questions pretty easily.
"Am I going to ever again share a fix for an issue in this flight sim in the forums?" NO
"Am I going to find a good squadron to fly with, share information internally if at all, and the rest of this sim's community can shove it?" YES  That, or I am going to just fly my own missions offline, and withdraw from the community entirely, it's just not worth the time and hassle.  
"Has this caused other people to stop trying to help, or leave the game altogether?"  You better believe it! I am (was) one of the few old-timers still posting to the forums, though I do run across them online now and then, so they are still flying, but have given up on the community at large. I am now one of their ranks.
And that's the real shame of it.  Just like GTA V and RDR2, there are lots of good people playing the game, and some are having issues that can be fixed, or could use a few tips, but the narcissists and sociopaths are ruining it for them both in the game and out. It's even showing up in YouTube videos on occasion when people are recording themselves flying on a public server to make a tutorial video or share their flights with others. Running people over on runways and taxiways, disrupting attack runs, team killing, etc.  It seems to me to be a lessening of the overall mental maturity of the player base, and a "It's all about ME!" attitude that just wasn't there before. I am also seeing in the flight sim community that "Prima Donna" syndrome has gotten much worse. (For anyone reading this that doesn't already know, that's when a player sets themselves up as the "leader" of that particular forum or game and puts down anyone who posts a fix they didn't think of, gives advice, or otherwise "challenges their supremacy".  I am sure many here are familiar with the type.) There were always a couple of "those guys", but before, they usually found themselves shunned, while the "real deal" guys, like professional pilots, military crew chiefs, etc. where honestly looked up to and pretty humble. Now the Prima Donnas set up YouTube channels and promote themselves shamelessly, while other players pander to them. I am pretty sure, based on prior experience, that in a few days at least one of the Prima Donnas will reword my post, repost it themselves, and claim it as their own work after trying to run me off the forum. (They may not even reword it, some of them are pretty darned lazy) Maybe even make a YouTube video to try to make some money off of it. I will be surprised if they don't. Maybe the monetization is the real issue now?
Before, if someone posted a fix, and it didn't work for someone else, that person would then experiment a little, then post what did work for them, and we as a community would work out the best method, or have a list of things to try.  We would work together to solve the issue for all of us.  Now, well, I've already written what you get. 
This isn't a moderator issue on those forums, IMO, as this isn't limited to just one or two guys causing trouble, this is a "cultural shift" that has become pretty negative.  I know there isn't really anything I can do about it, the community as a whole has to stand up to it. But I just don't see that happening at this point. Given that the same prima donnas (and trolls) go to the few flight sim forums there are, if I posted this there, I would have no end of trouble as they would hound me to the ends of the Earth to make sure I submitted to their "authority". (Yeah it's gotten that bad, even to bans from corporate on some who tried to point out a bug)  I am sure missing the old days when the flight sim community was a pretty laid-back, fun loving group of folks who just wanted to fly the virtual skies, have fun, and help others do the same. A lot of other games were like that, too!

Well, if you've actually read all this, bless you, I do ramble on! Some of this applies to RDR2, and the gaming community as a whole as well, and kudos to the folks of this forum, and the moderators, that I can feel safe posting this here. It's nice to have at least one oasis on the internet where I can just get this off my chest!

Edited by Faelwolf
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Yeah, it's frustrating to go through this experience. 

All you can really do is prioritise your own enjoyment and surround yourself with people who share your positive outlook.  There's always going to be people intent on trashing you (or completely misunderstanding you), but you just have to shrug this off.

I know from personal experience that getting heavily emotionally involved in an online community can reap rewards, but it can also damage your home life when it goes wrong.  At the end of the day, you and your loved ones are far more important that people on the internet.

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As another old dog on the net I get where you are coming from.  From the old VBulletin boards where communities really grew and great friends were made have turned into pits of random despair.  Bear in mind most kids now go to Discord for support and rarely type more than 3 letter responses.  I kind of like the fact that this forum is relatively quiet bearing in mind it's the first port of call for a AAA title.

The gaming world and online communities have changed a lot over the years.  But s you said it's always nice to find a place where the community is pretty decent, understanding and willing to help.  That's all its about.

If you're looking from some players to run with let me know.  We use TeamSpeak for comms and are relentless night owls.

~Peace.  Boot.

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2 hours ago, Boot Smith said:

As another old dog on the net I get where you are coming from.  From the old VBulletin boards where communities really grew and great friends were made have turned into pits of random despair.  Bear in mind most kids now go to Discord for support and rarely type more than 3 letter responses.  I kind of like the fact that this forum is relatively quiet bearing in mind it's the first port of call for a AAA title.

The gaming world and online communities have changed a lot over the years.  But s you said it's always nice to find a place where the community is pretty decent, understanding and willing to help.  That's all its about.

If you're looking from some players to run with let me know.  We use TeamSpeak for comms and are relentless night owls.

~Peace.  Boot.

Let's not forget IRC chatting for hours on end.  Some people even ended up getting married after getting to know each other through VB boards and IRC. In fact I'm one of them, I met my wife on a message board and it's worked out quite well for going on 20 years now. 
Yeah, we live in the world of Twitter and Discord, but that doesn't excuse the overall behavior, IMO.  It seems their brains are limited to 144 characters or less now, they have lost the ability to think rationally, or have any empathy.
I'm turning off notifications for those boards and walking away permanently at this point, they can fight amongst themselves.  I have noticed on further reflection that quite often I have enjoyed a game, but all the negativity on the forums colored my perception of it and had taken some of that enjoyment away. Other than here, I'm just going to ignore them completely.
When I can get RDR2O to play without dropping me within 10 minutes, I will take you up on that offer to team up.  Retired now, but decades-long 3rd shifter here, still quite the night owl so it should work out :) These games are a lot more fun with friends.

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I've walked away from forums like that. Im over the half century mark myself so I can relate as to how the gaming community, etc. has changed.  

The temperament of this community here and general maturity of it is why I stuck around. I also like that they don't tolerate some of the same stuff that goes on in other forums, social media sites, etc. which is why I accepted being a mod when approached.

Personally, that's why I am quick to remind some (the very few that do) that what they may be used to getting away with on Reddit, etc. is not necessarily appropriate here. .....especially when it comes to disrespecting others of the community.  I've got a real pet peeve about that. 

When people here continually comment about how welcoming and friendly the community and atmosphere here is, it's good to protect that IMO.

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You've been a good moderator, but along with that, this has been a good group of folks backing you up, too.  A moderator can only do so much, and when a community slides like that community has, moderators get overwhelmed. The main forum for my particular sim has banned over 1500 people in the past 5 years, and it is still bad. They finally gave in recently and lifted the bans due to lack of participation in the forums, they basically ended up banning most of the people there. One of the 3rd party forums now sees about 3-6 posts a year unless there is something major going on that spills over, and needs to really just pull the plug.  A bad community kills not only a game, but can kill the whole genre. 
So far as RDR2, I'm not going anywhere, and I accepted the game is really in early release/beta so can be patient with the bugs.  Though I admit it isn't an easy wait, as what I got to play of the game I greatly enjoyed for the most part. (When I get good at the game, I'm going "griefer hunting" who's with me? :D )  Until they do get the game killing bugs fixed, I don't know, jacks or better to open, quarter ante? :) 

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5 minutes ago, Faelwolf said:

You've been a good moderator, but along with that, this has been a good group of folks backing you up, too.  

I appreciate that and yeah, the community is what makes the forum which was the point I was trying to make.

This forum isn't huge but its growing and remains active.  The community here has set the tone and it's a positive one.  .....as mods, we simply try to help maintain that by assisting fellow members, help nip problems in the bud, etc.

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Just my two cents here but I think the mindset of internet or "online communications" changed around 2008/2009 when every day people began socializing online with little to no experience in doing so thanks to Facebook and Twitter getting popularized. This made them become adapted to a selfish mentality of things being all about them and their problems but also this strange desire to fit in so bad, they end up being complete douche bags. I have been a part of a few forums and have seen them go through the massive change of level headed people to  hypersensitive cry babies, trolls, etc. basically destroying forums and them having to be rebuilt from the ground up. Sometimes they never get back to what they were and eventually just close.  

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6 minutes ago, MadMatt said:

Just my two cents here but I think the mindset of internet or "online communications" changed around 2008/2009 when every day people began socializing online with little to no experience in doing so thanks to Facebook and Twitter getting popularized. This made them become adapted to a selfish mentality of things being all about them and their problems but also this strange desire to fit in so bad, they end up being complete douche bags. I have been a part of a few forums and have seen them go through the massive change of level headed people to  hypersensitive cry babies, trolls, etc. basically destroying forums and them having to be rebuilt from the ground up. Sometimes they never get back to what they were and eventually just close.  

You could well be quite right, that fits the timeline. IIRC that was also about the time of the internet becoming a lot more politicized, with paid shills, etc.  We might be watching the results of an electronic "perfect storm". In my case, it is limited to my particular area, because that's where I've spent the most time these days. I admit my point of view is limited because of this, I generally don't socialize extensively on the net like I did back in the 90's.  Old age, work, and family has a tendency to do that :) 

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I hear you Faelwolf.  IRC, damn.  I think to this day it's probably one of the only applications I actually paid for the lifetime license.  It was all underground then, before Napster, everything was good... no phishing, ransomware, nobody really exploiting anybody they could for money.  It's was a busy, hectic world, unseen.

~K33PiN.iT.FR33~

Used to run a couple of release racing boards back in the day.  EQUiNOX & HeVeN  ;)

Rocking on 50 next year so I know what you mean about old age, although compared to our peers I still think we are younger at heart due to the development and change we been through with tech.  I'm sure it will be the same for the next few gens after us, it's why gaming is such a lucrative business.

Not sure I like the way the beta releases have slowly become the norm for games though.  What ever happened to a final release and plenty of QA?  don't get me wrong, I was a bit fan of RUST and others that never came out of BETA, and I kind of like the fact that ongoing development beings new elements to the game as you go along, but isn't that what DLC's are for.  Just seems companies are so keen to get releases out now they  pick up the pieces after the fact and create dire environments for their client base to just moan and complain, demand refunds etc... it's this greed to a certain degree that has polluted communities and reduced them to troll havens.

 

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I was part of a forum for many years. I watched it switch from great conversations and lasting friendships to people just insulting each other, every other person asking to ban someone else, constant complaints, political non-sense (had nothing to do with the forum itself), and just general trolling. Small groups were formed that bullied everyone else too. I was a mod on there and I remember the owner coming on one last time telling us he is closing the place. We said our goodbyes and he never signed on again. About 2 months later, it was completely gone. 

People have changed for the worse when it comes to online discourse but I feel with places like this, there is hope for things to get better. 

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On 1/22/2020 at 6:10 AM, mizTik said:

...but I feel with places like this, there is hope for things to get better. 

There's always hope, but it does rely on the quality and intelligence of members.  Kean_1 comes across as someone who 'walks softly but carries a big stick'.

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A lot of the regular participants here lead by example in being both polite and helpful to other users.  This is a huge help in keeping forums as respectful as possible and limits problems.  A good forum is marked by how little work the moderators have to do.

A lot of the time, if established users habitually act like jackasses, then new members also think it's ok to act like jackasses and you end up with a forum that isn't friendly to anyone who isn't a jackass.

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2 hours ago, Foxtrot said:

A lot of the regular participants here lead by example in being both polite and helpful to other users.  This is a huge help in keeping forums as respectful as possible and limits problems.  A good forum is marked by how little work the moderators have to do.

A lot of the time, if established users habitually act like jackasses, then new members also think it's ok to act like jackasses and you end up with a forum that isn't friendly to anyone who isn't a jackass.

Couldn't agree more....

The RDR2.org community's generally pleasant demeanor sets the tone and helps it the oasis that it is IMO.  It's common to hear folks comment (especially new members) on just how friendly and refreshing the atmosphere is here.  ......more mature, helpful, etc.  

As for jackasses, a big problem IMO is that I notice they also have the tendency of suppressing the silent majority when they are left relatively unchecked. Many (if not most) folks will simply keep their mouth shut to keep from provoking toxic exchanges with these individuals.  .....so naturally, it's a no-brainer why those forums are the way they are.  More about people arguing, insulting and disrespecting each other than actually discussing the subject.  

2 hours ago, Boot Smith said:

There's always hope, but it does rely on the quality and intelligence of members.  Kean_1 comes across as someone who 'walks softly but carries a big stick'.

......not exactly the persona I would have thought or liked to think I present.  🤔 I do like to nip things in the bud though before they get to a point where threads need to be closed, etc. but my intention was never to give anyone the impression I'm inches from coming down on them.  In fact, we want to encourage folks to participate in discussions and/or create some of their own.   .....just please do it with respect toward fellow community members, forum rules, etc.  

Most of what I/we do is simply participating in forum discussions as part of the community, organizing and moving threads around, answering PMs from members to help them with their accounts or other forum related stuff, screen new posts from new accounts, etc.  .....behind the scenes stuff but nothing overwhelming.  

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10 hours ago, Foxtrot said:

A good forum is marked by how little work the moderators have to do.

This has to be the most truest statement when it comes to forums. When you have a solid community of members, the only things the mods should need to worry about are spammers and the occasional hot head one off poster that loses their nut over something stupid. I have been on a handful of forums over the years and the ones that I stayed with, the mods were a part of the communities just like other members and rarely had to step in to solve issues. 

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I hope that the Forum stays like this for years to come. I've been here for slightly less than >1 year, but seeing posts from 2017 and stuff in the Forums before the game came out made me realize that this forum wasn't like the ones that pop up for games right before releases of games to try and garner a following. This is a forum of people genuinely interested in the game, who are decent and polite. The mods do a great job of pinpointing and removing trolls, which is a great thing to keep a forum an active and non-toxic place. Thanks guys. 

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I honestly don't remember when I joined, I am sure I can just check on my profile but meh, too lazy. lol

I just know I joined before the game was released and everyone was always friendly on here. There was only like 2 cases where I can remember someone getting carried away.

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