Problems with the Queues

This forum is for discussion related to the game.
Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #0  (isolation #0)  » 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.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #1  (isolation #1)  » 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.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #2  (isolation #2)  » 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
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #3  (isolation #3)  » 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.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #5  (isolation #4)  » 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.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #8  (isolation #5)  » 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.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #11  (isolation #6)  » 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.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #22  (isolation #7)  » 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.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #70  (isolation #8)  » Thu May 17, 2018 3:20 pm

I concede that was an unfair misgiving about the replacement requests forum, although I think including it illustrates the broader point that a LOT of tasks difficult for humans (like frequently updating a rapidly changing thread) are incredibly easy to automate, which would free up that same time for other projects onsite.

I mean the replacement request already requires a very specific format. Or a bot could literally quote any posts less than a week old and without any [strike] tags and paste all the quotes in the OP.

Edit: I resonate with that "lack of job description" thing, haha. Exactly the same thing with the wiki group.
Also why I don't mean to single you out in particular when I'm more describing a broader issue of what seems to be lack of organisation/direction/communication.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #72  (isolation #9)  » Thu May 17, 2018 3:23 pm

In post 68, brassherald wrote:I have an idea which may or may not work. Maintaining separate queues, but make one master thread that has a listing of all the games that are in queue. It doesn't need much, but like one post that has like "Open 727 - 9 to 12 (9 players)" with a link the post where Penguin puts it up for signups.

You just centralize the information as a directory, so that people have a one stop thread to see what's in signups, whats been filled, etc.

Maybe don't include the Large Theme, maybe do, but it would certainly be more convenient as long as it was kept up to date.

I think that's what chamber was going for with the beautiful viewqueue page.

I'm really confused what argument could possibly have led to discontinuing that project for 3 years.

In response to the idea that there are a lot of backend projects going on, I would point out that in 2015 the forum announced a Instagram plugin, while the last 5% of complete queue automation remains incomplete. There's a question of priorities, basically.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #74  (isolation #10)  » Thu May 17, 2018 3:27 pm

In post 71, xRECKONERx wrote:okay are you volunteering to go ahead and whip up all those automation projects or are you just saying "hey someone else should do this very complicated and time consuming thing for free"

I've already volunteered for what's in my skillset. Wiki group, NRG, open setup review, etc. I have a role PM generator in the works that's on hold because I still don't know what "standard" role PMs should look like.

I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that a lot of volunteer skillsets onsite are being wasted due to mismanagement. If you compiled all the time KMo has ever spent updating her thread, I think it would be at least 10 times greater than the time it would take to code a bot that literally quotes posts without [strike] tags. Those who have worked with forum bots can correct me if I'm wrong.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #76  (isolation #11)  » Thu May 17, 2018 3:34 pm

In post 74, Mathdino wrote:
In post 71, xRECKONERx wrote:okay are you volunteering to go ahead and whip up all those automation projects or are you just saying "hey someone else should do this very complicated and time consuming thing for free"

I've already volunteered for what's in my skillset. Wiki group, NRG, open setup review, etc. I have a role PM generator in the works that's on hold because I still don't know what "standard" role PMs should look like.

I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that a lot of volunteer skillsets onsite are being wasted due to mismanagement. If you compiled all the time KMo has ever spent updating her thread, I think it would be at least 10 times greater than the time it would take to code a bot that literally quotes posts without [strike] tags. Those who have worked with forum bots can correct me if I'm wrong.

Like there's an incredible amount of human capital on this site. As Alisae's pointed out, the majority of people that want to help and change things rarely get any response from administration on that.

It's not a matter of "ugh why hasn't [person] done this yet".

It's "why continue putting out applications for someone to take over replacement requests, when you could literally just ask the forum to code a bot for you?" There are willing people. And this extrapolates to the position of listmod.

Edit: Do I have to personally have the skills to implement potential solutions to comment on the vision for the site?

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #77  (isolation #12)  » Thu May 17, 2018 3:37 pm

I would point out this thread as a fantastic example of engagement with the community, transparency, and caring about the site going in the right direction.

I'm sure a lot of the critiques of my OP are spot-on: I don't actually know what's going on behind the scenes.

But... shouldn't we know where the site is heading?

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #111  (isolation #13)  » Sat May 19, 2018 3:44 pm

I mean, this is all in theory because I doubt the Open or Micro Queues will actually be substantially changed as they are. But

Open Queue:
- Separate multiball queue (so these stop holding up the queue)
- Separate all-vanilla or mostly-vanilla setups queue (White Flag, Red Flag, Black Flag, Cop 13er, etc)
- The rest (Stack the Deck, Pick Your Power, Tit for Tat, newer setups)

Micro Queue:
- Separate micro open AND normal queue (these fill faster than most)
- Separate tiny queue (this was successful, I see no reason to bury a fast-filling 5p game behind 5 other games)
- The rest (themes)

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #114  (isolation #14)  » Sat May 19, 2018 3:53 pm

I disagree that a bunch of people coming up with Large Themes all at once is really a problem.

There are countless examples of games sitting around in queue, and the moment they get pulled, another game fills within 2 or 3 days. Much of the time, queued games are not what people want to play, and there's no way to really make that clear when the listmod team doesn't really play many games themselves.

The Open Queue was held up for weeks with two multiball games in queue. Given that the mods control which setups newbie mods are allowed to run, this is silly. New mods should not be expected to know what setups will be most popular, and are often given 3 bad choices. 2 multiball games should not be allowed in a row. If they are, queue them up separately from singleball.

And the Micro Queue was held up by a multiball game and a blitz setup that people didn't really wanna play. This was mitigated by the fact that a Tiny Queue allowed people to bypass those games and fill games despite the holdup.

That's beside the fact that my games have always filled relatively quickly and in general face delay to getting permissions to start.

There's demand for games, both modside and playerside. Just not the games that are in queue all the time.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #130  (isolation #15)  » Sat May 19, 2018 5:48 pm

Yes, the thread exists in the wiki group, and hasn't been touched in weeks.

I started it as a wiki group member, by request from NRG and listmods. The obstacle was exactly what you're describing -- I don't know what different standardized roles should do. I proposed the idea of us as a wiki group just making the call by what we think it should be, and I was told it was up to the NRG, and to wait for the Normal changes.

This was actually part of why I applied for NRG -- I was hoping to speed up the process that would allow me to finish the wiki overhaul.

Until I receive some word across every normal role what "standard" means, I don't see much purpose in preemptively publishing (or crowdsourcing the work).

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #131  (isolation #16)  » Sat May 19, 2018 5:49 pm

To be clear, the standardization of role PMs and role pages was listed as the very top priority for the wiki group. My understanding is that Open Setups are the next priority but that also hasn't received any attention or direction.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #133  (isolation #17)  » Sat May 19, 2018 5:59 pm

Hilariously, wgeurts (the guy who basically designed the wiki as it currently is) and Lycanfire (who had been doing probably 2nd most work on the wiki) both applied for the wiki group and were unaware of the subforum because they weren't added to it until someone realised the mistake.

The whole point of a wiki is that all the work is completely crowdsourced. I think the original point of having it be hidden is that we were going to do SEO and social media stuff (which should be kept partially hidden I think). But none of that has happened, so.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #137  (isolation #18)  » Sat May 19, 2018 8:27 pm

That's on me. I left it incomplete when I didn't get feedback on whether to go through with it. I also didn't realise that {{SetupPage}} had already been used on a bunch of setups, and I can't find a list of ALL pages that use it. You're right that ultimately every page is going to have to be done. The Role PM generator primarily exists so that if we decide to change standard wording, it can be changed across the entire wiki, rather than forcing us to manually edit every single setup page with relevant roles.

If you're on Discord, I've set up a Wiki channel for better realtime communication. It's mostly for me/wgeurts/Lycanfire/NSG. Shoot me a PM if you are and I'll add you.

I was under the impression that the NRG had continuously been working on standard wording for the past few months. Hearing that I've been waiting on absolutely nothing is incredibly disappointing (and obviously not disappointed in you).

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #145  (isolation #19)  » Sun May 20, 2018 10:00 am

There's just as many who applied for a bunch of positions and got no response

Reliability is the single most important part of being a listmod

Yet one is doing double duty

That's what we're saying, there's seemingly no interest in passing off the work to people who actually want to do it

Literally one position that does none of the list modding duties except counting /ins and firing games would fix at least 70% of the problems here

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #151  (isolation #20)  » Sun May 20, 2018 2:26 pm

In post 149, Micc wrote:So I’ll ask again, how does someone with no coding experience get involved with improving this site? I’ve got about 30 minutes a day that I’d love to deticate to something, I’m just waiting for someone to ask for the help.

Just imagine if people like this were allowed to literally just count /ins in a queue, update the thread, and sitechat whatever listmod is online to give mod permissions and start the game

What reck isn't getting is that
Yes, it's a thankless volunteer job

Yet so many people are volunteering for bits and pieces of it and are getting the cold shoulder from the admin
While the thankless volunteers overwhelm themselves and fail to keep things fully operational

I have sympathy for the listmods, I'm not blaming THEM
I'm blaming the idea of making them do all the work when the team as it's currently structured is consistently failing at that

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #167  (isolation #21)  » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:04 am

I suppose a mod response from someone other than UT (whose queue has 0 critiques) or Aristophanes (who isn't in a position to change anything) was a bit of a pipe dream.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #184  (isolation #22)  » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:37 pm

This is great, thank you Kison.

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #186  (isolation #23)  » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:52 pm

And wiki forum is going public.

Both very appreciated!

Mathdino
Survivor
 
User avatar
Joined: February 24, 2013
Location: Right Behind You
Pronoun: He

Post Post #194  (isolation #24)  » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:57 am

So I'm guessing that's a request to hurry up with role pm standardization


[ + ]

Return to Mafia Discussion