Problems with the Queues

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Mathdino
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 7:06 pm

Hey.

So the site is dying. I don't think that's a controversial statement. The topic's been talked to death in the Long term health thread. With the combination of users leaving/migrating, users restricting themselves to modding, newbies not sticking around, and games not firing, just in the span of 6 months the site is noticeably quieter.

I think that can largely be attributed to queue management. Significant overhaul to the queue system has been repeatedly suggested in the long term health thread, and nothing happened. So here's my try.

It pains me to make a cliche thread like this, because it's hard to detach a queue with the listmod(s) running that queue. I can't pretend I'm not specifically complaining about the administration and listmod team, all of whom I think are fundamentally decent people. I don't know if it's ruder to say "I'M NOT NAMING NAMES BUT" or to specifically call out specific mods. I'm more comfortable not naming names so as to not make this personal.

It specifically pains me because I was a mod on a gaming site where every decision made from higher up drew everyone's endless complaints. I get that you can't please everyone. People would regularly make threads saying stuff like "The site's dying, it isn't what it used to be, thanks to the admins/mods". But people got over it and moved on, and the site grew larger as the community evolved.

The difference is that that site grew through the changes, while this site shrunk.

I think there's a major sentiment among the community that the administration/listmods just don't care. Whether or not they actually do (shouts out to everyone improving the back-end of the site), the vast majority of the evidence says otherwise.

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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 7:07 pm

1. The queues are not managed well or promptly.

Newbie Queue: A game that filled last Saturday took until today (Wednesday) for the game mod to be given permissions to make the thread. This hurts newbie retention. I don't have to write an essay on that point. The SE and IC queues are currently empty, and there seems to be no effort to actively get good SEs and ICs into newbie games. The Newbie Queue should be the focus of efforts to keep the site going, not an afterthought.

Open Queue: A game I'm running filled on a Friday night and took until Monday morning (the entire weekend) to be greenlit. 2 players /out'd in that timespan, one thinking that the game wasn't starting.

The queue now generally has 1 game in sign-ups at a time. It's been over 4 days since an /in was posted in the currently sole game in queue. This is literally the slowest that the queue's been in months -- in my experience, the only times that the queue's been slower are when it's held up by multiball games (which many people avoid).

This is unfair both to mods and players that want some variety in the games they choose to play.

Micro Queue: Despite the rule for games being pulled being 14 days (already too long for what should be by far the fastest queue to fire), one game was left in queue for 19 days, and another game was left for 17 days. The mod of both of these games did not even fulfill moderating requirements. And before that, another game was left for over a month.

As a result, only 5 games have filled in the Micro Queue in the past 5 weeks. Micros historically fill faster than any other games. That rate is abysmal. Somehow, my game is the only ongoing micro game onsite. And it's not even really a micro game -- it had 18 players.

Mini Theme Queue: A game I ran filled on Saturday afternoon and took until Tuesday for me to get permission to make the thread, despite the listmods being active onsite. Same pattern as with the other queues. This hurts activity and player investment, and is a disservice to both the mods and players.

The actual queue post hasn't been updated in about a week. Over the past couple months, it's been updated very sporadically. It's unfair to expect newbies (who often find the queue system confusing) to dig through the thread to find what games are even in sign-ups. One game was pulled and I don't even know how close it was to being full because the queue is rarely updated. I also don't know what games are coming up (or how many are ahead of me if I were to mod) without digging through the thread.

I understand that the listmod has been V/LA. But my understanding is also that the listmod team assigns people to take over in the case of a V/LA or inactive listmod. This queue has been consistently slow for months now.

Normal Queue: Review is still a bottleneck for this queue, and most of what I've heard point to the NRG still taking a long time to get things done. In fairness, there has been a change of management and recent restructuring. I get it.

But as I and others have rehashed in the Changes thread, if the problem is not enough active reviewers, the solution is to recruit and train more reviewers. 3 different users applied for the NRG in the past year and got 0 response. My understanding from checking the usergroup is also that an NRG reviewer has actually been removed recently.

There is no clear avenue to join the NRG right now, and there hasn't been for years. So it's hard to see the attempts to solve the review bottleneck as being in good faith.

Replacement Requests: This thread is almost never updated. Hasn't been for over a month. This is of course the least of the problems.

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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 7:07 pm

2. There is no attempt to queue up games that the community actually wants to play.

Newbie Queue: In short, the 2d3 setup is potentially more flawed than Matrix6 and has a D1 optimising strategy that's brought up in about half of Newbie Games. On top of that, I heavily suspect that over 50% of possible setups are benefited by a D1 No Lynch due to how many unchecked investigative roles there are. It's no secret that the setup is swingy and imbalanced depending on the column.

Matrix6 was not as swingy and had fewer roles that solved the game by way of "Follow the Investigative".

Bringing up those concerns has been met with a response of "let's just see how it plays out", essentially "don't knock it til you try it". There has otherwise been no substantial response to community input.

Open Queue: The majority of current approved open setups are ridiculously outdated, and good setups are not being added to rotation as promised by the queue rules. The list hasn't changed in years. There are issues with balance, swing, and breaking/optimising strategies for different sides that unfairly disadvantage newbies inexperienced with mechanics.

A few of them have been fixed or replaced -- that was the point of the Open Setup Autopsies thread. No actionable response.

I also proposed to administration that they assign someone knowledgeable about setups to find out what setups are popular, fill fastest, are broken, or have been effectively replaced. That "listmod assistant" would handle all of the listmod's duties actually related to the setups themselves, including updating the wiki's stats and database. (Yes, I obviously recommended myself, but I don't actually care if it's me as long as SOMEONE changes things.) No response.

Normal Queue: I think the complaints about the recent changes, specifically the removal of the greylist rule, have been sufficiently discussed in the Changes thread.

Micro, Mini Theme Queue: In short, since these queues should in theory require the fewest extra duties, it shouldn't be difficult to verify that the reviews for these games actually validly occur, that mods don't flake, and that these are games that people actually want to play.

- The modding requirement is important because people don't tend to join games run by complete newbies onsite. Yet someone bypassed modding requirements and held up the queue for 2 months. This breach of requirements was brought up to administration, to no response.

- The ratio of unbalanced games (not advertised as such) in 2018 in these queues has been ridiculous. As a mod in both queues, there was no oversight to make sure my reviewers actually signed off in good faith.

3. The team seems continually invested in doing the least amount of work for the queues possible, rather than delegating work to people willing to do it.

None of the above problems should have happened.

There have previously been listmods that went above and beyond in advertising for their games, or even allowing game advertisement in their queue threads (hyping up games is now banned in all queue threads since the change in management). It's possible to run the queue efficiently AND get people into games.

I get it though, not everyone needs to be above and beyond. The mod team has seen repeated changes in the past few months, in combination with real life creeping in. So for each individual listmod/admin, this is all understandable. That's why I'm adamant about not singling a particular listmod out.

The fault is in management as a whole, not any particular listmod.

- There's a backup listmod position. Besides that, listmods are capable of filling in for each other, or splitting up the work.

- Assistants can be brought in to do the busywork of the queues, like tracking sign-ups and giving mod permissions. Or running NRG or Open Setups.

- Queue automation has been promised for years to relieve the listmods of said busywork. It's unclear how much progress has been made, and waiting for this is no excuse for poor queue management.

- The wiki group could be put in charge of someone who is active onsite. As of now, the talent in the group is being wasted because we don't know what we're supposed to be doing, or don't have the permissions to do what's asked of us.

- The NRG could have added more members instead of shrinking in size.

- The Scummies Steering Committee and Judges are in large part outdated with no advertisement for joining them.

Solutions exist. These problems are not complicated. I'm not asking for some massive overhaul of the site. Big Grand Gestures aren't necessary.

All I'm asking for is indication that the administration/listmod team gives a fuck about the site staying alive, and shows dedication to the fundamental duty of firing games in their queues.
Last edited by Mathdino on Wed May 16, 2018 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mathdino
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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 7:10 pm

I brought up a lot of side issues, many of which already have their own threads. Specifically, there are already MD threads for the 2d3 setup, Open Setups in general, the Normal Queue changes (and NRG issues), the declining health of the site, and issues with the scummies.

In the interest of promoting actual changes, please try to keep this thread civil and on topic. The point is in the overall pattern shown by administration -- not those side issues, and CERTAINLY not a particular listmod or admin you don't like.

Outside of that, comments, discussion, or pointing out parts that particular resonated with you, all are appreciated.

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Post Post #4  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 7:26 pm

I think one of the issues in Open Queue and maybe also the newbie queue is that Llama Fluff left as the mod March 30, we're nearing two months where Penguin Power is pulling double duties. He seems to be okay with it publicly, but if people are struggling to keep up with one queue, why is one person pulling double duty including the queue that needs to be handled efficiently to draw people in and keep them here?

The Newbie Queue should be considered the most important queue for the site, and I don't know that it is right now.

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Post Post #5  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 7:33 pm

Absolutely.

In addition, I think the Open Queue has become a sort of post-Newbie Queue, in that most newbies playing their first non-newbie game play there. Most new mods start there as well.

However, I think the way the queue is structured and the available setups in rotation are unfriendly to both new players and new mods. It's outdated.

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Post Post #6  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:01 pm

Literally everything you say I can pretty much echo, EXCEPT:
In post 2, Mathdino wrote:- The Scummies Steering Committee and Judges are in large part outdated with no advertisement for joining them.
Actually, the SSC is like less than a week's worth away from making a public announcement and there are a number of new members. There was advertisement to join, too. (That being said, not nearly enough in my opinion.)

Also, the NRG did in fact have at least one new member join very recently. (I believe it's two in fact.) There's a concern about the new members with the new changes there, but we're doing what we can.
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tn5421
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Post Post #7  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:04 pm

I would like to add & chime in, because I know it will be brought up, other mafia sites are growing, not dying.
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Mathdino
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Post Post #8  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:10 pm

In post 6, mastina wrote:Actually, the SSC is like less than a week's worth away from making a public announcement and there are a number of new members. There was advertisement to join, too. (That being said, not nearly enough in my opinion.)

Also, the NRG did in fact have at least one new member join very recently. (I believe it's two in fact.) There's a concern about the new members with the new changes there, but we're doing what we can.

Thanks for the corrections.

- I was unaware of the SSC call. Might be an oversight on my part, but evidence for not enough advertisement.

- I'm still concerned with the lack of a clear outlined way to join the NRG. The application is buried in the forum and a number of users got no response to it. Glad that it's expanding though.

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Post Post #9  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:24 pm

In post 8, Mathdino wrote:- I was unaware of the SSC call. Might be an oversight on my part, but evidence for not enough advertisement.
A post was made global asking for applications....
Tbh if you tried to PM Zor or Reck about it you might be able to get in late, idunno, ask them.

As for the rest of your post, it is the most cringeworthy thing I have ever fucking read.
“The newbie queue gave permissions for one of his games late” fucking lmao the other queues sure that’s fine because this has been a long trending problem. The newbie queue however this is wrong.

Look, the staff doesn’t see themselves as a problem
I am a big believer in just let the site die if no one wants to fix it, because if its in a state of emergency then something will be done.
But if you want REAL CHANGES?
And someone that actually CARES?
Then get Zoraster to quit.
But good luck doing that LOL.
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Post Post #10  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:27 pm

Seriously Zor is the root of the problem but you will never be able to change it.
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Post Post #11  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:31 pm

In post 9, Alisae wrote:A post was made global asking for applications....
Tbh if you tried to PM Zor or Reck about it you might be able to get in late, idunno, ask them.

As for the rest of your post, it is the most cringeworthy thing I have ever fucking read.
“The newbie queue gave permissions for one of his games late” fucking lmao the other queues sure that’s fine because this has been a long trending problem. The newbie queue however this is wrong.

Gotcha. Oversight on my part.

The newbie queue thing literally just happened this week. Long trending problem, I don't know, I haven't looked into how long thread creation takes. But it has happened, and if there's one queue that it should literally never happen in, it's Newbie.

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Post Post #12  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:33 pm

In post 11, Mathdino wrote:The newbie queue thing literally just happened this week.
IT HAPPENED ONCE, INFREQUENTLY, AND INCONSISTENTLY
ITS A HYYYYYGE PROBLEM.
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Post Post #13  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:35 pm

I don't want to sound extreme or anything, but, if mods ignore the concerns, should it be that the community members who like others here should find a new site?

I tried Mafia Universe, by the way, and did not like the style there nearly as much as I do here, but maybe we as players and active members need to literally jump ship as a wake up call to the people running the place.

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Post Post #14  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:37 pm

In post 13, brassherald wrote:I don't want to sound extreme or anything, but, if mods ignore the concerns, should it be that the community members who like others here should find a new site?

I tried Mafia Universe, by the way, and did not like the style there nearly as much as I do here, but maybe we as players and active members need to literally jump ship as a wake up call to the people running the place.
This is a good post btw
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Post Post #15  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:49 pm

Mulch gave a pretty damning account of MU's leadership and white supremacism on Discord. I'd avoid it more than I already have. I regret actually playing there.

Last I saw of EM it was split between people that don't get good players in the queues and the only good players playing in toilet queues.

There's another website. The people that run it are probably less shitty of people than MU, but they're not exactly the company I want. I'd rather not advertise Alisae's funhouse considering how badly e wants this site to die, tbh.

FWIW, I don't think Zoraster is the problem.
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Post Post #16  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:57 pm

In post 15, Lycanfire wrote:There's another website. The people that run it are probably less shitty of people than MU, but they're not exactly the company I want. I'd rather not advertise Alisae's funhouse considering how badly e wants this site to die, tbh.

FWIW, I don't think Zoraster is the problem.
ok look.
I am all for making MS a better place.
I just like doing it in extremes because I don’t think doing it normally gets attention.
You can’t do anything from the inside because if you WANT to do something in the inside you won’t even be let near anywhere close.
You can’t do anything from the outside because....Look how that went out.
Are you going to give medical attention to the guy who has the flu first, or the guy who literally just got shot and could survive?

Like, what do you actually do to bring change if you want it.

Also, I’m interested to hear why you think Zor isn’t the problem when he’s showing signs of actively being burnt out and kind of not caring and being slow.
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Post Post #17  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:57 pm

I've still got membership to SA, but the mafia section for goons is pretty small last I checked.

I mostly like the LPs, don't think I've posted there in literal years.

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Post Post #18  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 8:58 pm

Like apparently it was Zor who wanted to cut Mandatory Reviewing from the Normal Queue.
If Mandatory Reviewing was cut from the Normal Queue that Queue would be in a way worse form then it currently is.
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Post Post #19  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 9:00 pm

Like what else
Scummies took 2 months longer then it should have cuz of Zor
Zor was originally not going to run TM because he thought that it would go all the way till May and that’s lol in of itself.
Not to mention he had me modding the mini-normal for his TM because from what it looked like, all of the other mods were apparently “better” (Bork and Hito, respectable people) at designing themes or whatever.
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Post Post #20  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 9:01 pm

In post 9, Alisae wrote:Look, the staff doesn’t see themselves as a problem

sup
No access from June 25th through October 25th.

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Post Post #21  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 9:02 pm

Like Zor took weeks to setup his TM to finally cancel it.
Elli did it in 10 days.
10 D A Y S
AND IT WAS A HUGE SUCCESS

Pedit: UT I love you.
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Post Post #22  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 9:03 pm

Actually if I were to single someone out on a positive note, I found no flaws in how the Large Theme Queue is run, and have always gotten extremely prompt response regarding Large Themes.

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Post Post #23  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 9:04 pm

In post 22, Mathdino wrote:Actually if I were to single someone out on a positive note, I found no flaws in how the Large Theme Queue is run, and have always gotten extremely prompt response regarding Large Themes.
Yeah its a good queue :]
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Post Post #24  (ISO)  » Wed May 16, 2018 9:08 pm

But that aside
I think the queues that could use the most focus that isn’t the newbie queue because that queue is always use improvements due to the nature of newbie games is
The Open Queue, which apparently was getting a rework but no details have been really talked about it?
The Normal Queue, which Implosion is working on!

Other queues are fine tbh if you’re worried about the attentiveness of the list mods then sure, that could always be improved.
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