I'd like to open a discussion on how the rogue forums are organized. I'm generally happy with the way these forums are set up, but there's always room for improvement. There's a couple of changes in particular I've been pondering, but I'd be interested in hearing if people have other suggestions as well.
To give an example of what I'm talking about: it has traditionally been the case that we on EJ don't give personalized advice. We discuss theorycraft, and build tools, and its generally up to individuals to read the discussions and use the tools in order to figure out how this applies to them. However, a couple of the other class forums have been experimenting with relaxing this rule - you can check the mage and druid SQSA threads for a general idea of what I'm talking about, but the gist of it is: in particular threads, they've been relaxing enforcement of forums rules 6, 7, and 10 to let people ask "help me please" type questions, provided that its limited to specifically designated threads, and enough information is provided to make a reasonable answer possible. Hence the question is: would you (as a community) be interested in doing something similar in the rogue forums? Would people be interested in having a thread (either SQSA, or perhaps a new "help me" thread) where more handhold-ish discussions can occur? If people asked questions in such a thread, would you answer them?
Similarly: it seems to me that the 4.1/4.2 Changes threads to some extent make the Blue Post Thread obsolete. How would people feel about eliminating the Blue Post Thread and just have the patch notes get posted in the relevant path discussion thread? Or is having all the blue posts in one place for reference purposes something people find useful?
These are the sorts of ideas that I'd be interested to see discussed. If you have thoughts on these (or other) potential reorganizations and/or policy changes for the rogue forums, this is the thread for that discussion. Clearly there are limits - we're not going to abolish all moderation and allow the forum to become wholly redundant with the official Blizzard forums - but if there are ideas that many people seem interested in, I can at least talk to the other moderators and see if there's a way to make them work.
I find the Blue Post thread useful, simply because it is devoid of the noise and clutter. While the Changes threads are great for getting into the finer aspects of the patch notes and how they'll influence our play in the future, I would hate to see the Blue Post as a casualty to that.
On the "handhold-y thread" issue, I'm not sure I like it. I suppose having a designated area for those is decent, but I wouldn't contribute to it. I'm not trying to come off as a jerk or anything, but generally speaking one of the things I've always liked about this forum is that they expect a certain degree of self-sufficiency.
I am mostly a lurker, but have asked a few questions and was given one infraction before. I check this site multiple times a day for specific, in-depth, meaningful facts and theory-crafting. I am glad I was given the infraction because it made me use my brain and <not> be hand-held. This site's stellar reputation is <because> you are elitist jerks. I would not change a thing. Too many things in this world are becoming watered down and politically correct. Keep doing what you are doing. The brilliant minds that post here are doing a great job. I can find the light-hearted talk, speculation, and opinionated hand holding on any other site. Don't do it to the only place where we can find unbiased, intelligent responses to the hard questions. Thank you. For everything.
As far as blue posts, it’s definitely nice to have a thread to reference to specifically for blue posts and to keep the discussions separate elsewhere. Though in honestly, all of the past patch notes are easily found on the Blizzard site. A suggestion that could work is to have the OP of the individual patch threads update their post as changes happen for that patch if you want to eliminate the blue post thread.
As far as having a more handhold-ish thread, I can certainly see a reason for it as if would give a place for those grey-area questions which in my mind are those not straight forward questions that have been answered in the past and are buried somewhere that only people that are really good with the search function can find. Though, would those people asking those questions really know that their question belonged in the help me thread or the simple questions thread? And would we eventually find more questions that are bending the rules even further?
What I find most confusing is the inconsistency among the different class forums as to what is breaking the rules and what is not (I do realize part of this is because each forum has a different audience). While I may have in my mind what I think are good and bad questions I don’t really know for certain how closely that aligns with what the moderators have in mind. For the most part, I think the level of the discussion is pretty much where I would like it. Lowering it too much will only make it more difficult to find information and probably lead to more problems.
I mainly lurk this site, but I have also posted a bit in the past. A pure handholding thread should stay on wow forums. If someone wants to know what poisons or spec to use, it's not worth answering here. On the flip side, I hesitate to post anything in fear of getting an infraction. Regardless, I like this system as it reduces clutter but it also discourages new posts that might be useful. There was very little discussion to DMC Hurricane's EP value after it could crit. I spent quite a bit of time calculating it myself, but I never posted it because of the sticky and because I doubt my calculations are 100% accurate. Regardless, if the site policies remain the same I would have no issue as it's the best source there is for information.
However, just because you are the best doesn't mean you can't get better. As previous posts have stated, it's difficult to know what's a good question and what isn't. Any new player's perception of what is appropriate probably isn't. So in this case, the moderation here is excellent. However, if it also discourages people asking legitimate questions that go unanswered I think it should change.
If the hand-holding rule was to be loosened, it seems necessary that it be limited to one thread. The reason these forums are the best place to learn your class is because you don't have to sort through 20 pages of, like goat said, people asking what poison to use because their friend directed them here. Conversely, however, is the constant hesitation to post, because what one person might consider hand-holding wouldn't fit the next person's description. A single thread, where anyone could ask any question without fear of reprimand, which was supported by whichever members of the rogue community felt like being a good Samaritan and helping out, seems reasonable. If you don't want to read through the drivel and stupid questions, don't go to the thread, but it would be a great "Start Here" place for people to learn the way the website works without getting banned within 10 minutes of punching in the URL.
Regarding blue posts vs. change discussion, my opinion would be that Blue Posts are available at so many different websites that it would be rather redundant to keep a thread just stating them here, on forums that are aimed towards hardcore raiders, who no doubt subscribe to other WoW news sites. An upcoming rogue change discussion thread will generally provide more useful information to potential lurking theorycrafters than a thread re-posting information they read on MMO an hour before.
It's intirely possible that a hand holding thread may clear up some of the innane questions that are asked on the other threads over and over again. Then again, the innane questions could spread to the more theory-based threads. That is definately a risk. I myself, have had 4 infractions. Three of which have come as a result of answering simple questions. There have been many times when I see a real basic question and say to myself, wow if I answered that I'd end up being banned; only to have Aldriana or Ieatpaperbag answer it and it doesn't even get deleted. There are other times when I see a question asked that I would like an answer to as well only to see it deleted before someone can respond. So to answer the question, yes I would respond to some questions in a hand holding thread if there were no worries of repercussions (so long as I was polite and correct). And while other sites may have boards where "stupid" questions get answered, those sites also get out of control with a lot of insults being thrown around. That's something that I just don't see happening here.
As far a the blue post thread is concerned, I feel that since this is only rogue related, it can at times be easier to find information here than at MMO. I don't think it matters if a separate thread is kept for blue posts and for a 4.1/4.2 type discussion. None of these types of threads are so long that information gets hidden.
a) Scrapping blue posts in favor of the patch discussions had already crossed my mind, there are currently too many threads and everything in the blue posts is eventually posted in the patch discussion anyway. I would, however, like to see new blues reflected in the OP to make all the hard data easily accessible.
b) I do not camp a lot of other wow sites specifically because EJ provides me with (almost) everything I want to know. Blue posts are definitely a part of that.
c) Perhaps a middle ground in the n00b discussion can be found? Maybe if we relax the rules in the simple questions thread? 'We' could decide to continue giving people who disobey forum rules in SA infractions but make them all warnings worth no points? Yes I agree the bar is currently too high but the next time I see someone asking whether OH IP makes more sense I'm going to spank something (other than the monkey).
d) Minor point but perhaps the names for the spec threads could be homogenized? I can imagine first time users being confused by the, admittedly quite trendy but ultimately confusing, differing titles.
e) Designate a new area for temporary discussions. The java-app whatever discussions are fascinating, really they are, but people come here for the compendiums. As such they deserve to stand out.
I'd personally say that the Rogue forums fine how they are at the moment. Don't fix what aint broken.
The Assassination, Combat and Subtlty guides are perfect (including shadowcraft reforging tool) and if anything they're as hand-holding as you can get without actually going to someones house and holding their hand and reforge or spec right.
On a side note, I get people asking me how to play a rogue, spec, reforge....etc... and all I do is redirect them to this site... and they say thanks afterwards.
Great job, keep it up, don't change I'd say.
Not too bothered either way about the Blue Posts thread as I usually read them via other sources before I spot them on here.
I like the idea of perhaps a slightly more relaxed forum for asking how to improve. I don't think it should be quite to the level of "ZOMG am rouge in Int letherz, wtf is up wif ma deeps?!!!" but the type of forum where you could say "I'm doing X,Y,Z but just not seeing good DPS, how can I improve/where am I going wrong?" would be good. There are obviously guides all over the place of how to play all classes, but they can be very generic. Sometimes when you end up getting into more detail and discussing rotations etc... you can try something you hadn't considered or gain a better understanding of why something is done and how to time it better. This sort of level of discussion could be quite valuable.
Edited to add - Also that sort of thread would be useful for people that are experienced players to get much more in-depth info about how to play a different spec. For example, I've played mostly as Combat, dabbled a bit in Assassination but haven't tried Subtlety yet as I struggle to find places that answer various questions that I'd like to know for me to feel confident I'm going to learn it "right" from the start before giving it a go.
I'd like to keep the Blue Post thread as a compendium of all rogue changes. Sure, they'll all get posted in the various threads anyway, but it's good to have them all at one place for quick reference if you're searching for one specific change (which you surely wouldn't find in megathread haystacks).
As far as a hand-holding thread goes, I have nothing against it, as long as it really sticks to this thread, which would have to be made crystal clear. The problem is, it cannot be really made crystal clear, as this requires you to read before posting, and if the people posting these type of questions right now would have read, they wouldn't be posting them. It is however a chance for more decent people to ask questions which they otherwise wouldn't have dared, which could be a good thing.
I'd also like to support Grimwolf's PoV. I'm in the very same situation.
Originally Posted by Grimwolf
I myself, have had 4 infractions. Three of which have come as a result of answering simple questions. There have been many times when I see a real basic question and say to myself, wow if I answered that I'd end up being banned; only to have Aldriana or Ieatpaperbag answer it and it doesn't even get deleted. There are other times when I see a question asked that I would like an answer to as well only to see it deleted before someone can respond. So to answer the question, yes I would respond to some questions in a hand holding thread if there were no worries of repercussions (so long as I was polite and correct).
I'd also like the moderators to better communicate among each other. I have received warnings and infractions for completely idiotic (forgive my ramblings) reasons, at least in my opinion, and for things that I saw before and afterwards being done/used without consequences. Inconsistency is a bad thing, except if you clearly communicate when and where it is used (like in such a hand-holding thread).
A lurker myself, I don't think a "Post your WoL here" thread would be very useful to us, as rogues. As someone who plays both a rogue and a druid in raids (4/13), I think there is a huge difference which makes a "Post your WoL here" thread relevant for healing, but irrelevant for us. And that difference is the fundamental difference between DPS and healing: more DPS is, with very few exceptions, always better, more HPS isn't. To simplify a bit, people in your raid are alive or they aren't; if they are, then your healing team is doing its job.
Moreover, another reason I don't see such a thread being useful is that I just don't really see what we could contribute. If I were to take a bet, I'd bet that most WoL posts with people complaining about insufficient DPS will be either because a) they did some horrendous blunder, such as letting SnD repeatedly fall, b) they did not have the appropriate buffs (caster-orientated 10-main raid for instance) or c) they made a combat-specific mistake costing them DPS (not using/saving CDs for Magmaw's exposed head for instance). All three categories are mistakes that I don't think these boards are meant to answer. The three spec guides are very well written, we have an excellent simulator with shadowcraft, and we have a thread detailing combat-specific details. Like Velgore says, this community can hardly help rogues more without actually entering their homes and playing in their stead.
I don't think a relaxed SQSA thread is going to lessen any clutter and I'll just point out my reasons in a simple list.
New (and sometimes old) users don't search. Most theorycraft type questions asked in the current thread have been answered multiple times. All relaxing the standards would do is to increase the number of questions and answers. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but it is what will happen.
Individual gear advice is most accurately handled by the current Shadowcraft model. Sure there are some cases where the fights might dictate that some non-BiS gear might be optimal but if the poster is smart enough to ask the question, they probably already know the answer and are just looking for confirmation.
The three spec threads have almost all the needed information in the initial post. Honestly, this is about as simple as it can be to consolidate information.
That said, I do think there are somethings that can be done make things more "idiot-proof" to alleviate some clutter and preemptively answer a lot of questions.
Make the search function more prominent, it's basically a small hidden box on the corner of the screen. It's the first way I can think of to encourage it's use and would be of benefit to every part of the EJ forums.
Make the Shadowcraft link very prominent; basically slap users in the face with it. When someone comes to the rogue section on EJ with a question about gear, it should be blindingly obvious that their answer is there. I'm not sure how to do this in the framework of the EJ site but I'm sure it can be done.
Clearly label the spec threads as having compiled info in the initial post. If you just look at them in the forums, they appear to be discussion threads (which is also true) but they don't expressly say that the initial post aggregates all the info. Users simply see the post title and say, "Looks like I'm supposed to ask Combat questions in this thread."
More warnings, less infractions. Players make mistakes, I've got a few myself but I think warnings are more effective than infractions. I think multi-point infractions are probably also a no-no. The rules at EJ are what I'd like to think of as common courtesy but most of the internet is not like that. It's a bit of a shock to a lot of people when they first post here and getting a temp-ban on your first post is crushing. Infractions (and bans) should be for patterns of poor behavior and not simple indiscretions.
Retain the Blue Tread as is -- I like having the bluenotes collected in a clean, easily reached location, and
A thread with a *moderately* relaxed Rule 7, together with *stiffened* rules in the main threads. By this, what I'm thinking of is a greater adherance to data, and less about "How does this apply to me?". For the main threads, just present the data, discuss the collection methods, discuss the data and what it means more globally, but leave the "What about me?" stuff to the proposed thread.
Truthfully, I have never used the Blue post thread and prefer the individual patch discussions instead. As for it going away, I'm indifferent. On the subject of a hand-holding thread, it's unnecessary at this point given the plethora of information contained here. The already low volume of dumb posts attests to this and I rather enjoy knowing that hitting 'new posts' will only include relevant material. I see no reason to admit questions that would have otherwise ended up on the dung heap.