We staff have been discussing the current state of the various modding sections for some time now, and we have identified some important issues which we hope to be addressing shortly. Basically, the modding forums lack the structure and clear policy found within the rest of the boards, and this has led to the disillusionment of a number of modders and section regulars.
We appreciate that the majority of you toe the line, and we recognize our own failures in adequately covering the section and installing effective policy to maintain it. You may have noticed an increase in the number of moderators active in the modding sections, and we are now acting to rectify the faults that have caught our attention.
Our aims are to streamline the section, making it easier for both the modders (in regards to finding information, asking questions, and showcasing their work) and mod fans (in regards to more easily finding information on the mods that appeal to them.) With these aims in mind, the modding sections will be undergoing a slight structure change.
Each game-specific modding section will now contain the following subforums:
Game-Specific Modding General Discussion
- For all questions about modding, and questions on mods without their own dedicated threads (e.g. the location or status of a mod currently not featured on the forums).
- For all discussion relating to mapping and maps
- Approved tutorial threads are moved here, and tagged for simple searching
- Discussion of all modding projects, be they full race mods or stand alone textures / models etc
- Showcase subforum for all completed modifications
In addition, the following policies regarding thread structure and moderation will be enforced:
We will still be enforcing the "No Requests" rule. Discussing a concept you would like to explore further before committing to it is fine, "hay wldn't it be kewl for spess lizards lol!" or "plz make me this mod" is not.
Question threads, once answered, will be given adequate time for any follow up questions (and answers), and then locked to prevent bumping.
We will be more strict with the closing with vague or unintelligible question threads, since (in theory) modding information will now be much easier to find. To help others to answer your questions, the time should be taken to post well-worded questions that deal with the specific issue that you want addressed; questions where it is clear that the poster didn't bother to even do a quick search for the answer will be locked, as will questions where the poster doesn't get around to telling what they really want.
Backseat moderating is a large issue in the modding forums, and though it may understandable in cases where moderators aren't present it will now be treated in the same way as the rest of the forum. Warnings will be given for backseat moderating, and other punishments may be implemented for blatant repeat offenders. We expect you to use the report function where appropriate, and you can expect us to respond in a more timely manner than the past (hours rather than days).
We will also be giving more concrete guidelines on things taken as "modders etiquette" but not specifically ruled against currently, such as use of assets and respect of others. Once the new guidelines are in place, the recurring questions concerning these issues should no longer be brought up every few months because forum policy will be better defined.
Tutorials will be handled in much the same way that they are currently. Indexing of tutorial threads will be made clearer and threads will be tagged to aid searching.
The map sections will run in much the same way as they currently are, with better indexing and tagging.
Mod leaders will now be much more responsible for their threads. They must make sure their mod thread opening post is structured in such a way that any browsers can quickly and easily find all the information on their mod without needing to sift through long discussions. Thread titles will be required to display the version of the game the mod is for, the full mod title, and the date or post number of the last update. The updates themselves should either be posted or linked to in the opening post. This change is being implemented in order to help fans (and potential fans) of the mod find relevant information quickly, which will in turn help the mod to experience an increase in exposure.
For our part, we will be clamping down on thread bumping and spam. This is especially true for comments regarding "when will it be finished"; information on mod progress will be given at the sole discretion of the mod team, and will be reflected in their opening posts. "Praise spam" will be limited to a short initial period after the release of screenshots or other updates, after which all comments will be expected to be more constructive than simple "ohhs" and "ahhs." Off-topic chatter will be dealt with much like it is in other forums, though fluff discussion will be given more leeway provided that it is relevant to the mod.
Along with the redesign, policy will be instituted to assist with the advertising and distribution of mods (including maps, textures, and game mods.) While rules are currently in place for allowing the advertising of game mods in other sections, the majority of modders either don't know about them or don't make use of them. We want mods to be successful, and we're going to try and help you get the word out when you have major version releases. Our rules concerning the advertising of mods will be clarified and posted prominently, and we're working on ways to help you get the word out and give your modding projects additional exposure as well.
This thread will will left open for your comments and queries for one week (aka until August 17th), and you are highly encouraged to express your thoughts, opinions, and concerns on this change in forum policy. Questions and requests for clarification will be handled as best we can, so don't worry that your questions or concerns are going to go unanswered and ignored. After the thread is locked, the staff is going to discuss all of the points brought up in it further before we make any changes... remember, we're doing this in order to try and make the modding community more productive and enjoyable for all involved.