Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Banhammered, Part II

Started a new post, since the comments section of the last one is getting cluttered, and there's more to talk about now.

So, Dark0ne released the big report, today.

I've read the entire thing, now; and I'm sorry but I still have to side with EARACHE42.

Near as I can figure, it went something like this:

A "mod author" sees that "his" resource is being used by EARACHE42, but credited to someone else. Rather than send a PM, noting as much and asking for a change, said author hits the "report mod" button.

Now, I use the quotes on "mod author" and "his" because from what I've read, and from the comments made to the last post; the resources in question appear to be "ported" from other games, and not original creations - meaning that they do not in fact belong to the "author" who thought he was being intentionally slighted by EARACHE42. My theory is supported by the fact that said person got banned, himself; once attention was drawn to the disputed resources. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, eh? Guess it doesn't occur to most people that if you're going to break the rules, at least keep a low profile.

Moderator noticed mod reported; slaps review mode onto ALL EARACHE42's mods without being shown any evidence beyond "I didn't say he could use it".

EARACHE42 comes home from a horrid day, in a pissy mood, and believes he is being targeted by an overzealous moderator-in-training. I never saw any evidence to dispute that, by the way. EARACHE42 and Dark0ne talk it out; seem to come to an amenable solution on the whole thing that doesn't require banning.

"But Nos!" I can hear you saying. "He did get banned!"

Yes, he did. On reading the full report, all this crap about model usage and credit and reporting is totally immaterial.

EARACHE42 got banned for what I will eventually get banned for: he was not nice to stupid people in the file comments. After being assessed two strikes for profanity and unkind comments, he blew a seal and asked specifically to be banned, rather than keep dealing with the morons and being punished for trying to help his players.

So. As I said before: rather than punishing people who troll, or lack the fourteen brain cells required to RTFM; the Nexus mods punish the modder who is stupid enough to try to support his mods - and in the process, said modder decides: "Hey, is it really worth going to all this trouble; just to be bitched out by people who can't write a script themselves to save their life? No? Then what the fuck am I doing it for...?"

As for Nexus moderator policies, I've noticed a few in the course of this little event that I find amusing.

Firstly is Dark0ne's claim in his report that modders shouldn't feel like the situation is guilty until proven innocent. Well, guess what? It is. That's exactly what the situation is. And you know what? That's okay. It's all but impossible for you to prove you didn't give someone permission to use your resources, unless you have an archived PM in which you categorically deny them said permission. Since most thieves don't ask beforehand, there is a low likelihood of this existing. Still, have the courtesy not to bullshit us about it. Don't whitewash it.

And yes, modders do get pissy when you accuse them of stealing someone else's stuff. All it takes is someone having a bad day and wanting to take it out on someone; then deciding that you aren't giving enough credit to them or whatever, and bam: "No, I didn't give him permission!" Meanwhile, the modder has no idea anything is going on; and only finds out when his mod is pulled and he's accused of theft and/or copyright infringement. It's going to chafe, no matter how diplomatic you are in your approach.

I also found the declaration amusing that they need to set up some sort of procedure for verifying evidence before pulling a mod. That means that up till now - something like nine years - there has been no such system, and it's been up to the whim of the moderator. Yeah, no way that could ever go wrong or be abused...

Lastly, in reading another thread on the banned/strike assessed forum, I saw something else Dark0ne said that bears mention: "We support the people and companies who give us the games, tools and other entertainment mediums we all take for granted and believe that all of you should too."

Okay. See, games are generally a business. I, the consumer, give them, the producer my currency, and they in turn give me a product. This is called commerce. We are not GIVEN games. We buy them (well, most of us). If not we, ourselves, then it is purchased by a relative or friend as a gift. One could argue that even the tools are not given, since mods are one of the things that are expected to be one of a modern game's capabilities. I personally would argue that the only reason FNV has sold more than ten percent of its copies is because of the modding community; and has nothing to do with the quality of the base product (which is, quite frankly, abysmal).

I just find it absurd when someone tries to deify game developers or movie stars or anyone who works in the entertainment industry. Game developers get paid. Movie stars and musicians and artists and writers; all of these people make a living doing what they do. They may make entertainment available for us to acquire; but they do not give it, under most circumstances. Sure, you'll find those who do - but those (especially around the internet) are primarily derivative or "fan" works, which would get the holy living shit sued out of their "authors" if they tried to sell it.

29 comments:

  1. That's pretty much what I got from it all as well.

    I wish I could say that it's some sort of consolation that the shit-head who started the whole mess with his accusations and reports to the moderators was also banned, but it's really no consolation at all.

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  2. Nope, no consolation whatsofuckingever. We're still down all of EARACHE42's mods, and will have to go to greater lengths to reacquire what has been released; should our archives ever be lost.

    What's more, Ling's Finer Things will never be updated to keep up with new Type 3 clothing; and XCal will never be updated to new versions of CALIBR (assuming we ever get one of those...).

    It just plain sucks, and was a complete waste all around.

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  3. I suppose I should note that my FO3 RR Scouts mod is currently blocked from public viewing (blocked by me, not by the Mod Squad) because it requires two of EARACHE42's mods that were yanked when he was banned. I haven't decided what I'm going to do about that just yet (and, being the fickle feline that I am, that may very well end up being absolutely nothing at all).

    I should also note that my companion pack that is currently included with the NCCS download requires the NV version of one of those same mods. Unless Nos has another idea, I'm thinking that the companion pack will need to be omitted from the file until I can figure out what to do about them as well.

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  4. I have several ideas. They all involve sex or violence...

    ...oh, you meant about the mods; and not what just happened to be running through my head at the moment? Well, that's different.

    That's going to be problematic. While the FNV conversion plugin is still available, it requires downloading the original FO3 mod - which is not available. We might be able to switch the dependency over to the hair pack; rather than Ling's; since the two are objectid compatible. Did you just use hair from Ling's, or eyes and such, too?

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  5. Eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes, eye-patches... you name it, I used it on at least one character. Gwen Richards the one-eyed sniper really wouldn't be the same without her eye-patch...

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  6. Well, I can't help much on the eye lashes; but looking through the FNV-GECK here, I see that there is a base-game eye patch. Looks like it covers the right eye, though. Don't recall what you used in your mod. Pretty sure FO3 had the eye patch, too. I think I remember using it in a tutorial, once? Dunno.

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  7. Oi! So it wasn't even about right to use, it was about misattribution to someone else who used a resource without permission.

    Followed by a lot of yelling, back and forth, with Earache trying to call the mod's bluff, in turn making the mod make good on what probably was a bluff to begin with.

    I have not used any of Poop's mods, and after this I don't think that I ever will - he should have used a PM - Earache HAD attributed the work, and would almost certainly have reattributed the work properly.

    Poop has picked a good name. Cause the way he handled it was pretty shitty.

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  14. Many apologies for the comment spam; I've been trying for ages to post my comment but this blog has a mind of it's own. At first my comment was too long, so I split it in to two, and it just deleted both my comments without warning. Tried splitting it up even more and it still removed half the comments so it just looked dumb and disjointed.

    The only solution I found was to just put it up as an HTML file on TESNexus for you to read. You can find it at http://tesnexus.com/blogpost.html

    If you want to respond to it then you can reply here and I'll catch it when I can. Another bank holiday coming up, May bank holiday + tomorrow (Friday) is the royal wedding, so I'm in London.

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  15. Well, even looking at the whole mess impartially, it still is very frustrating that many of us need to either totally re-work or simply scrap our mods because of this. I realize that this of course is nobody's fault but my own for making my mod dependent upon someone else's mod; I'd be in the same situation if, for example, Nos decided to remove his mods from public use or was for some reason banned from the Nexus and his mods were removed. But regardless of who ultimately is to blame, it doesn't change the fact that it is extremely frustrating to have one of one's most popular mods rendered useless due to another member being banned.

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  16. I can absolutely understand that Herculine but I think it's unfair to be blamed for that inconvenience. This situation is very annoying; a good modder has been banned from the sites and a mod/mods that lots of folks are depending on has/have been removed.

    I really hope you can understand that "this is going to inconvenience lots of people so I can't ban this member who is repeatedly breaking our rules and ignoring our warnings" just isn't going to work. We already get accused of impartiality, and I understand where those accusations are coming from...it's another one of those lose-lose situations I spoke about in my report.

    Lots of people have thrown their hands in the air and been upset by this, lots of people have pointed the finger at me, or the moderators at the Nexus and to those people I ask, "what would you do about it?". It's easy to rant and throw blame, it's not so easy to actually come up with a viable alternative or action that would have been better.

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  17. Slightly relevant to this is something I wrote recently in another thread on the forums. Here goes:

    It is extremely easy to attack the site on the top and to look to other sites in the community and think "yes, they've got it right, and the Nexus hasn't". That is, as Gary Winston said, the nature of the business. It's far easier for these sites to provide a better, more personal service, because they haven't gone through all the experiences that I have had to go through with these sites, yet. They're not at a point yet where every change or update is met with damning scepticism and negativity. They might get there, and I'd be happy to provide them with tips on how to avoid the pitfalls I fell in to when I reached them, as I have done for many webmasters who have sought my advice over the years.

    When you are the "go to" site for mods you get every type of individual come to your site. You get the 4chan and Something Awful pubbies, you get the casual gamers, you get the hardcore gamers, you get the casual modders, you get the hardcore semi-professional modders...you get everyone. When you host a more niche community site you only get what that niche caters to, so if you're catering to mod authors and high quality mods then the environment is going to be that much more friendly because you're not mingling with all the other...less desirables, according to your tastes. That makes absolute sense. We've always had a strict moderation system in place because, while we get every type of individual coming to the sites, we're trying to cater for the individuals whom we value most; the modders and the mature, respectable game player who wants the mods. Up to a point this system was working brilliantly; mod authors were happy because they felt their work was being protected from the mindless trolls of the community and they were still getting great exposure for their files, they had their cake and they ate it. Somewhere down the line this attitude changed and I can't quite put my finger on where.

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  18. I've had more than one job where I've been a supervisor in charge of a group of people; I totally get that you can't play favorites and everyone has to abide by the same rules. When you don't stick to that yourself it ends up being nothing but trouble. That's why in this situation I'm trying to remain neutral and look at things objectively (trying, perhaps not successfully at times). Still it's just frustrating and I can't help but vent that somewhere.

    I'm still thinking that my companion add-on will simply need to be removed from the NCCS package. I'm not withdrawing my participation from the mod by any means, but I think rather than reworking the existing companions it might be better to simply create a "vanilla" package that will contain different new characters.

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  19. You are absolutely welcome to vent and take out your frustration and I don't judge or begrudge you it, however it becomes annoying for me when rants actually turn in to lies and slander.

    You know the reason why people say they want to be the only ones to choose where they host their mods; so they can do proper version control and ensure the versions are up-to-date so that people don't email them about bugs that don't exist in the latest version? The same thing sort of applies to me and the Nexus sites; when people start telling lies on other sites it confuses people and I regularly get people PM'ing me saying "why don't you allow this" or "why have you done that?" and I *facepalm* and wonder where they heard it.

    RE: the mod dependency issue is the problem that Earache42 is now hosting his mods on F3Underground which can't be linked to on the Nexus sites? Have you asked him if he can host it somewhere else as well, like at Planet Fallout? You know there's no problem with your file being dependent on another file that isn't on the Nexus, right? Having written that there might also be an issue with some of the mods using ports from other games, which can't be linked to either...at which I see the predicament!

    I don't actually know which of Earache42's mods are using such content and which of the mods it is that your mod is dependent on, but if the mod is clean and the site it's hosted on is OK then there is absolutely no problem with your mod linking to his mod(s). If you haven't used it the mod dependency system on the Nexus allows you to specify remote links to files not on the Nexus as well as files on the Nexus.

    I'm in London now so it's going to be harder for me to respond but I do understand why this is a serious ballache.

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  20. Ye Gods allfrigginmighty, Dark0ne; does Blogger hate you or have you just forgotten your blood sacrifices lately? I've got like twenty comment notifications from you in my inbox (thirty on this post total since I went to bed last night). Give me a few minutes to sort through it all; remove any deleted entries that may need it, and I'll see about reading whatever comments did get through and responding. I just got up.

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  21. Well, I've decided that I'm not going to clean up this comment thread. I'm going to leave all the comments you removed, Dark0ne. I have no idea why you removed them, though. I did, however, take screenshots of all twenty-four of your comment notifications in my inbox, just in case.

    I tossed this around in my head all afternoon; and a bit of this morning too, since I saw your initial comment hit before I went to bed. Would have responded at the time, but it was around 0500 local and I've found it's not a good idea to do anything that requires thought and nuance when I'm about to keel over from exhaustion.

    I have to confess, I didn't read all your comments. I stopped at the part where you call me a liar.

    I was going to be conciliatory; explain that I do know moderatin' is a tough job; but that you and I have fundamentally different outlooks on the situation.

    After the lies comment, I was going to be combative; defend my position aggressively. Justify my outlook, even.

    After some more thought, however, I've decided not to bother.

    It can't be that you, as site owner and head moderator see things differently than I, as a modder do.

    I'm apparently not allowed to be bitter because I've seen half or more of my favorite mod authors for the Gamebryo games driven off either by moderator strikes and bans, or by the idiots that those moderators protect. Yes, fair treatment for all. I got that. What about the modders? Do you have any idea how many "missing master" questions ALONE I've had to answer in the last two years? When the answers are right there in a text file that is in the archive with the mod files? But no, I can't call someone a genetic defective for having the reading comprehension skills of an autistic chimpanzee; that would count as a personal attack and get me a strike. I can't call out the people who rate down my mods, or the mods of my friends because they're too stupid to read the instructions on how to run it properly. Again, personal attack.

    No. If I don't agree, I must be a liar; and intentionally misleading my little bit of an audience here to cause... what? It's a private set of servers that you own. It's not like we can lead an serf insurrection and take control of yonder keep.

    Now, maybe I wasn't as clear with my little disclaimer as I could have been. I know now that you're a resident of the UK, and thus may not be familiar with American parlance. When I say "as near as I can figure" that means it's been run through my personal mental computer - that it's my own personal perspective on what happened. You don't agree? Fine, that's your prerogative. But I'll thank you not to denigrate my integrity across the board.

    Since you already believe I'm a liar, there's no point in my defending any of my positions; since I'd probably just be lying about that, too.

    I'll also have to decline your offer to take this discussion to a Nexus blog post. Here, it's my own turf - small and unimportant though it may be. On Nexus territory, any textual misstep I make is grounds for a strike or ban, as a personal attack on your or the other moderators.

    The best I can offer is that - provided you don't decide to ban me - I won't let any of this bleed over into Nexus file comments or forum topics.

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  22. For those who may be interested, I have uploaded said comment screenshots into one of my Picasa albums.

    Strictly in the interests of full transparency, mind you.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/108698055646991399247/BlogComments?feat=directlink

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  23. I rather thought that Earache42 might use f3Underground to host his mods now. Access to his work will be somewhat restricted now, though. One cannot just sign up and start downloading there (I know first hand XD).

    I do hope he does host his work someplace else as well. Not doing so will cause issues with more than a few other mods on the Nexus, not just Herculine's work. Blackblossom comes to mind right off the top of my head.

    I won't join in with the pointing of fingers or ranting and raving; I don't know exact details. It is a real drag this did happen, but it did happen, so now we have to deal with it :(

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  24. Yeah, I recently started posting to the Underground.

    I've, umm, started dusting of a mod I started two years ago. If (big IF) I get it finished then I will likely put it on the Underground, not the Nexus. (Yeah, I joined Underground because I want to make something, not just download stuff. Kind of embarrassing.)

    Largely because of what is going on with Earache. I kind of want to avoid the politics that seem to be oozing from the ground.

    As for the reliability of posting here... I have gotten into the habit of copying my text before hitting Post. I have had three attempts in a row vanish on me, and once it listed me as someone named Boston.... (I was logged in as TheAuldGrump at the time - that is the handle that I use Everywhere.)

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  25. Indeed theauldgrump, I posted something here last night before I went to sleep that isn't here now. Damn annoying! At first I thought it could be Nos deleting the comments but then I realised it was happening far too fast for that, so I PM'd Herculine a few times to try to get to the bottom of it. In the end I just had to post it in that HTML file linked above as no matter what I did I couldn't get all of it up. Nos, it's not a conspiracy theory; you'll find those deleted comments are all simply a part of what I wrote, specifically for your blog (and not linked anywhere except here...it's "off-the-grid" of the Nexus, so to speak), at http://tesnexus.com/blogpost.htm

    I'm actually glad now that my post didn't make it through last night. It was much more heated than what I'm writing now. I am like that; sleep mellows me out and allows me to act a little bit better in these situations.

    Lies might be a strong word, but mistruths would be fair. You can't cover up mistruths as being "as near as I can figure" aka "in my personal opinion" and expect no one to get upset when your personal opinion isn't based on the truth. "It's my personal opinion that Nos' blog is written about squirrels in their natural habitat. It is written by a blue-nosed dolphin from the Pacific", because that's my personal opinion does that mean you can't question it or refute it because, for some reason, personal opinions are beyond refute? Or should you be allowed to come along and bring light to the mistruths that they are? That's what I was aiming to do. Entertain my stupid little analogy, I'm struggling to think up a better one this close to waking up!

    Anything else I have to say can wait as there's absolutely no point speaking further unless you read through all the comments I've written that you've refused to read up until now.

    You will find that my tone and writing often mirror the tone and writing of the person I am responding too. Your blog posts have been stern and candid, so my responses to your blog posts have been the same.

    If you're not going to read my comments just let me know, I'll leave you to your blog and not worry about it any more. And no, of course I won't ban you on the Nexus for this. But if you want to read through what I've written and come back and chat to me constructively about what you think the problem is and how YOU think I can solve the situation then I shall remain and work it through with you, and anyone else, to the best of my ability.

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  26. Actually; while I skimmed/skipped much of the torrent that came in while I was in the rack (seriously; I wasn't doing that - it's a thing Blogger has; I've never been able to figure out why it happens to who it does, but it's not unheard of for my own comments to not show up for three or four hours), I have been reading the others that came through. Even when a comment botches and doesn't show, I still get a copy of it in my gmail inbox; so I've seen it all - even the stuff that didn't show.

    I've cooled a bit, myself. I've meditated, modded, talked it out with my owner, and wasted more than a bit of time looking at very useless (but very cool) gun parts in various Google searches.

    Candid, and downright asshole-ish though they may have been, I stand by my comments and whatever consequences or opinions of me that may bring.

    That said, I do want to correct one point. The screenshots I took and posted were not to insinuate that you were commenting inappropriate things, and then removing evidence or what-have-you; Herculine had expressed a curiosity towards what all the deleted comments had held, and I figured others would be curious as well - and I wanted to as I said be transparent, and show that I wasn't deleting sound arguments in an attempt to make myself look better (or at least less bad).

    Regrettably, I don't think I'll be able to offer you any constructive comments on the whole idiot situation. Not because I'm incapable of reining in my vehemence, but rather because I am an ardent fatalist in this area, and don't think the problem can be solved. It can be mitigated, yes; but will never be done away with totally. At least that's how I feel.

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  27. I'm glad you agree with me at least on one thing; that the problem can't really be solved. There will always be idiots, and we shall always hate them.

    If you don't report the trolls on the Nexus at the moment, please consider it. Many mod authors have a direct line to me on MSN and AIM and often get in contact when they think they've been trolled...if I agree (which I tend to) then they're gone. It's at least some consolation for mod authors who are getting trolled. Not good, not ideal, but better than nothing.

    I shall leave you to it. Off to Hyde Park to watch the royal wedding :)

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  28. I'll keep the report function in mind for future reference, thanks.

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  29. I tried to make a comment yesterday and found that comment posting was massively broken too. Might have been a server side problem since it also showed up on other blogger sites.

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