IRC/Discord etiquette

Hey All,

I wanted to take a quick moment to discuss IRC etiquette. In the beginning I was hesitant to add support for WebChat, IRC, etc... but decided to go ahead with it anyway as there was a lot of back-and-forth happening on the forums which I felt could be more easily addressed with real-time chat.

Since then, there's been a growing number of people hanging out in IRC. While I think it's great the community is banding together and socializing, IRC, WebChat, etc... does bring with it a certain set of drawbacks. And (un)fortunately, this isn't just any community IRC channel.

This is the official IRC channel and the devs want to continue to have a presence there. The fact that the devs are there, listening to conversations, answering questions, etc... means you have direct contact with us. That's not something often seen in the gaming community. However, it does mean unlike any random fan-made IRC channel, we do request you follow a few guidelines.

Here's the general guidelines I ask the community to follow while in the official IRC.

`1. IRC is great for lengthy discussions, but it doesn't create any visibility on the forums. When people come to the website and see no posts for several hours, they wonder whether there's any community developing here or not. They don't know there is an active community that just happens to be active elsewhere.

Solution: Use IRC for lengthy discussions, LiveChat, or off-topic community building, but do try and keep game-relevant stuff on the forums whenever possible. And, whenever possible summarize the conclusion of lengthy conversations on the forums.

`2. IRC is transient. When someone asks a question on the forums, especially once we add search support, the answer exists forever. When a question is asked and answered in IRC - the answer is gone. This leads to the same question being asked (and answered) multiple times.

Solution: My staff and I have been using IRC as a place to leak information to those community members dedicated enough to come into IRC and chat with us. Going forward we will be more selective about what information we reveal so you can feel comfortable sharing any information received over IRC in more permanent locations - such as the forums.

`3. Stay positive; stay patient. Games are difficult to create - and they take time. We know the risks and challenges we're facing. Camigwen and her team have triggers, alerts, monitors, and eyes all over the Internet. We know, in general, when and where negative feedback is happening. If you see it, feel free to send us a link of PM so we can take a look.

Try not to come into IRC with "people believe devs are doing X wrong", "they're going to lose their customers if they do Y", and my personal (least) favorite "I've read somewhere that everyone thinks Z, so they have to make changes to be successful". These types of messages stay in the channel long after you're gone.

Solution: First, don't use "they", "people", "everyone" when talking to the devs about peoples' attitude toward the game. Tell us how you feel, and let us worry about everyone else. If you have a concern, feel free to share it. We want your feedback, but by putting "they", "people", and "everyone" in front of your concerns it unnecessarily adds weight where it doesn't need to be.

Second, we realize that everyone in IRC wants the game to be successful. You're a passionate community and we think that's great. But negativity is contagious. If you have a statement about how you feel we're doing something wrong or are making business mistakes privately message us. This shares the important information with us, and doesn't plant seeds of doubt in the mind of everyone else in IRC. I say unnecessary because this game is more than just a job for us. For many of us it's the culmination of our life's work and over a decade of hard lessons learned. We've already spent, and continue to spend, significant amounts of time thinking about the difficult problems. Chances are good if you've got a concern, we have the same concern. Chances are also good we've already thought of a solution for it. So rather than get everyone riled up, either trust that we've got it under control, or send us a PM and ask.

`4. Spread of misinformation. Finally, IRC, WebChat, etc... can be a bad source of misinformation. Someone says something which then gets passed on to someone else. The first person logs off and the second person misquotes the first person. The process continues until by the end of the day, the final message no longer resembles the message at the beginning.

Solution: When in IRC, it's always best if you cite your source. Point people to the forums, game guide, wiki, etc... with answers to their questions. Otherwise, if you rely solely on hearsay, you may be participating in the continued spread of misinformation.

That's all folks. If you follow the above rules it'll ensure the community gets the most value out of the IRC channel, and that it'll continue to be a place where the developers want to come and hang out.

9/8/2015 10:01:43 PM #1

You should add the "no creepy comments should be added in the IRC chats" =P

Kidding, but regarding this issue, there should be an "icon" bellow the "explore elyria" both thingy, like "Elyria live IRC" or something. I always find myself going back to find the website link and channel name to the old post and it would make the front page of the CoE site look more modern (cause the IRC ends up being hidden among the 1000000 posts... ok one of them is pinned but still). Or is the idea to just have ppl there that actually frequent and read the forums? If its that, than OK i guess =P

9/10/2015 2:04:35 PM #2

@Caspian can you please sticky and lock this thread?