Some of you may have noticed that earlier today the Wizkids Rules Forum went down. What many may not know is why.
Earlier today I was going through my usual routine of checking all my Heroclix social media. The Rules Forum has recently become a part of this routine so that I can keep up with the latest rulings, being a Judge and doing a [mostly] weekly video segment on the rules of the game. When I checked in the morning everything seemed fine, then when I checked in the afternoon, well everything was kind of wonky.
The first thing I noticed was the large amount of unread posts. At first I thought nothing of it, just yesterday there had been a flood of posts that had accumulated over the weekend and only showed up Monday morning when the WK Rules Team got the chance to answer them. However when I started reading them multiple red flags went up. I was suddenly able to see posts that were listed as ‘awaiting moderator approval’. Then I noticed that I was able to Edit and Delete these posts as well as Warn or Ban members. It didn’t take me long to recognize that my account had been given Moderator Status.
I have spent most of my Internet life on various forums and many of those years were spent as a Moderator myself. Which left me well aware of how much power this actually gives someone. Instantly I felt this was something bad and after a bit of investigation – watching post views and checking the registered user list – my worst suspicions were confirmed. I was not the only person this had happened to, in fact the ENTIRE list of registered users had suddenly become moderators.
Now I’m not a dick, and I feel no ill will towards the company that has made a game I have spent over a decade of my life playing so I started on a quest to let them know what happened. The first thing I tried was the forums own Private Messages, which unfortunately was not active at the moment (apparently I hadn’t made enough posts in the forums to be given access to that feature) I continued on and messaged Wizkids directly on Facebook, though given that I’ve messaged them in the past and not received any answer I wasn’t sure how often those messages were read. So then I tried to email the Rules Team directly only to be given an automatic response letting me know their email was no longer active. Feeling a little frantic and defeated I went back to the forum itself and put up a post marked URGENT and let them know what was going on. I still didn’t feel like this was enough, that’s when I remembered I was actually friends with Wizkids Rules Arbiter on Facebook and messaged him directly. Finally results! He was able to let the people that needed to know, know and the forum was shut down for maintenance.
Now I did say I’m not a Dick, I am however curious. While I didn’t use my new found powers for the forces of evil I did do a little investigation for the forces of good. I had momentary access to the Moderator’s Log and I saw some really awesome stuff.
When the forum was first announced I was really happy about it. It gave players a direct line to the Rules Team where they could receive answers that would be made public for everyone to see and it would be Moderated and I do mean Moderated not Monitored. The Moderators would have full control over which posts were made public and which were deleted. This is brilliant, this stops the Internet from being ‘The Internet’ and I got to see it in action. I can’t even explain how happy it made me to see log messages such as “Not Appproved: Not relevant to topic”
Wizkids doesn’t feed the trolls.
Some might say that this kind of control is too much, that voices are being suppressed and no one is allowed to tell them they’re wrong and so on and so on. However I think that this is exactly the kind of approach they should take. No one wants to see the flaming, the name calling the general Internet-ness of a public forum. People want answers without criticism, explanations without insults. The only trolls we want to see are on the map.
So Thank You Wizkids for not only making this forum that was so desperately needed but for making it the way it needed to be made. (And if you ever want to actually make me a Moderator I would not refuse)
If you have not already done so check out the Wizkids Official Rules Forum