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#1
Zaku

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As many of you know, leadership at Ace Combat Skies has been reorganized in an effort to increase participation and decrease the random and pointless squabbling that goes on between not only normal members, but moderating and admin staff as well.

I am putting forth ideas for the community at large to discuss and evaluate proposed options that would enhance the individual experience for forum members. This is an effort for every member here to get something back from the website.

First on the table:

I. New Front Page

There was a time when we had a front page. We had links to areas of the site that weren’t the forums, and members were able to get an idea of what each game had to offer. Essentially, we restart the front page into a news and info feeding area. This new and maintained front page would address the ACS Wiki, info on each game to a standard not done before by game discussion in the forums, and other proposed sections that could be put in place and maintained. A headline area would be developed, and emphasis for new members would be placed in this section. The problem of the last page was dwindling upkeep and activity. We will look to ensure that is ended.

II. Media Group

We have two members that can create media very well, and another member who has been allowed back on the website. Bleh, Elude and Vinny are good at what they do, and it would be a prime offer to allow them to start a new graphics section that would set standard pertaining to the Ace Combat section. Focusing on all the games, and other side projects, it would be a standardized area where members would be invited in, and be expected to produce for the community. Not only this, but it would serve as an area for mentorship and enhancement of skill sets for all users on Ace Combat Skies looking to do well enough with graphic design on a hobby set scale.

III. Reintroduction of the Pubs

The pubs of old were a place where members would sit, spam and have a few laughs. We had problems with members acting like children, and eventually the call was made to effectively shut them down. The staff, myself included, made those calls, and though the intentions were in the right place, we have seen little to nothing get done. Now that we're not limited by crappy servers, a standard pub for each squadron would not be out of place, and for many members would drive activity and keep members active for each squad. Every single squadron on this forum is facing downtime here, and its become a bore for everyone. A reintroduction of the pubs would enhance activity, and would be subject to scrutiny under a defined set of rules that would enhance the enjoyment of teamwork, but would look to end the former nonsense that took place. Should members of this forum be open to the idea, the guidelines would be evaluated.

IV. Squadrons

To start, a revaluation of standards set forth to grant a “squadron folder.” Teams play, and certainly, a case-by-case basis for squadrons to get their own forum could be put in place. Simple threads around here have turned into spam folders for each team. Many of the folders are inactive, and frankly, a squadron “home” as it were, would make it easier for groups to work with one another and hammer out details for tournaments. What I’m saying is, we make it easier for people to get folders, but there would be some low-key guidelines, and upkeep would be maintained thoroughly. Squadrons CO’s, and possibly some designated members who are active on squadrons with CO approval be granted access to a Squadron Folder designed for planning and discussion, as well as conflict resolution and score keeping would be an addition that would keep matters concise and well planned. Many of us talk on MSN and such, and develop fights on a whim, but Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. More activity from squadrons would be needed, and interim squadrons for members wishing to be active would also have a hand.

V. Examination of the mod staff and guidelines for action

Moderators around here are picked because it is believed that they can do what is best for this community, and keep a level head. We will be discussing amongst ourselves here in a few days the necessity and availability for positions, but it is my best guess that moderators will continue as they were. Moderation around here is too strict, and members are constantly looking for suspensions and bans from each moderator and administrator based on preference. Moderating is a job that requires that simple rules are kept, and members can look to them for advice and guidance. Frankly, there is too much nonsense and bias, but to err is human. My hope is that we will reduce the forum Gestapo that is known to happen, and instead of closing topics for new members, they work to create a more positive outlook on this site. I’m saying, we look less towards moderators to punish, and more for them to provide.

VI. Tournaments

Development of tournaments and gaming would be a step towards developing the purpose of the squadrons. Allotments for all Ace Combat games in play, as well as AC6 would be desired. We took lengths a while back to incorporate other games, and the idea was not bad, but this website is about Ace Combat after all. We need to have some sort of reward system in place, one that actually means something. Discussion on this further would help, but a King of the Hill system for rewards would be adapted for squadrons, and would boost activity.

VII. General attitudes.

There are a lot of problem members, from all sides. Give it a rest. Now. The debates on gaming, the debates on anything, the general stupidity that happens, all of it needs to end now. Really, nobody aside from a dozen or so of you cares about QAAMs either way. Clean slate time. Work to help this place, and develop rivalries that don’t piss off the active community.

VIII. Senior Members

You have responsibilities as Senior Members. Complaining and acting like children isn’t helping anyone. Having enough posts doesn’t mean jack, and each member who is active will be evaluated for an OK for Senior Member status. There are bonuses to being a Senior Member, but we are looking into other means to truly show the value we should place on members who are active, and show dedication to the growth of this site. Senior Members are just that, Senior, and that needs to be recognized.

This thread is a discourse for the community. Evaluate what was posted here, and weigh the good and the bad. I see potential for all of this to make a difference and grow the community, and with a balance of membership abilities, and the job that is performed by staff; we can make these changes work properly.

Now ACS, its your turn.
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#2
Elude

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When is all this going into effect?
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#3
Scherzo

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So, in terms of III and IV, are you favoring a sort of "Self Determination" system, where if a squadron CO puts in the effort to maintain an active squad folder, they can do as they damn well please? That would work for me.
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#4
Scherzo

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I agree. If you members have ANYTHING to say, speak up, and give your ideas. You all grumble about how this place sucks. Now its time for you to tell us how'd you like to see it be better.
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#5
reido

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The biggest problem I can see with most of these ideas is finding people with enough time and patience to dedicate themselves to the job/idea they volunteer for. Next thing you know, we're back to square one.
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#6
Dr Ownage

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What about if the non-folder squads have to battle the folder squads for a folder? The winner keeps the folder and the loser loses their folder. That would be fun.
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#7
Scherzo

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I feel that if A squadron can show it has a healthy base that can maintain a presence on ACS, it should be allowed a folder. If it can't keep it active, it looses it. As simple as that. Now, what active means is an entirely different matter.
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#8
SilverHawk7

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There was an old system of awards and decs in place for the community, as a way to recognize members for defined levels of particpation/contribution. That system could be reinstated with the right person at the head of it. It'd have the potential to be almost a full-time (relatively) job though.


Justin
§
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#9
Stunod

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There was an old system of awards and decs in place for the community, as a way to recognize members for defined levels of particpation/contribution. That system could be reinstated with the right person at the head of it. It'd have the potential to be almost a full-time (relatively) job though.


Justin
§



What if, instead of sorting through all the members this time, you apply to a board for which ribbons you think you deserve, and if they believe you deserve them, you get the ribbon.
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#10
Richard Nixon

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Thats not a bad idea, we are working out more ideas for an new ACS Awards system.
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#11
Solo Wing Demon

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Wall o text, GO!!

I. The only parts of that which really require member input are those pertaining to the boards, and not the front page, but I feel like mentioning a few thoughts I had after reading this section. You're right, Zaku, the front page should be more informative. I personally liked the sidebar, that had the most active topics of te day in it. Made it easy to see where the serious discussion was taking place, and where everyone would be. But beyond that, perhaps the bar can be moved to the right side? The left side can have a bar as well, to welcome new members, and give a general introduction to what we are and who we are comprised of. Perhaps a link within that welcome spiel to a separate, full duty page for the prospect? The center can be reserved for staff-picked topics which are worthy of serious attention and or purvey, mixed with ACS news and announcements about upcoming forum-wide competitions and gaming gatherings. Up-keeping this can be done on a bi-weekly or even monthly basis, and wouldn't require much beyond two or three dedicated moderators to keep the page fresh. I think Zaku would be a good choice here, as our global admin, and perhaps one other active moderator.

II. The purpose of this media center....would be to produce ace combat graphics? We have an area like that already, so I assume a re-structured graphics area, with a clear leadership of some sort, which would produce official forum graphics and provide moderation for the media section. Grudgingly, I do admit that Bleh is a good choice here. Bleh, your skills with Photoshop are great, and we definitely need a mod staff for that area with skill. But I also want the maturity there too. Perhaps one of these talked about Senior Members can lead a media team in this effort?

III. Reintroducing the pubs would indeed be a great bringer of activity and interest to the floundering squadron situation. Though I admit I don't know how to go about this. On one hand, I like the interaction aspect, but on the other, squadrons already have places like this on their personal forums, and should this pub topic become a central unit in which prospective members can ask questions, such topics are already allowable. If we bring the pubs back, having them focus on inner squad communication, and streamlining of information should be stressed. We don't need OVER 9000 reply spam boxes. Save that for Zaku's PM box.

IV. From what I can see this has been an issue for some time, but every time we come together to set standards for this, we squabble and argue, and nothing gets done. As much as I value the input, we need to have the current heads of the community, including the moderation and admin teams, come together to develop this fairly and evenly. Matching squadron folders to squadrons with active ACS members can become moot, as I know plenty of active people who happen to be on every day, but post maybe once per week. Can we really call someone who has nothing to comment on, inactive? Change this up, somehow. The minimum member requirement seems to be the easiest implementation, but those numbers can fluctuate heavily as well. Someone back me up on this with an idea! Up-keeping these folders should fall to the squadron COs and XOs (or whoever the COs designate). The mod team shouldn't have to run around after spam topics that crop up in squadron folders, and become veritable war zones of rage and spam. I believe that if a squadron cannot keep its own folder neat, and under control, they don't deserve to have a folder in the first place. Prove you deserve that folder. Furthermore, purvey of the topics posted in squadron folders should be at CO discretion. Form guidelines to be followed, sure, but beyond that, let a squadron make their folder... well, THEIRS. Let us personalize it a bit! Also having the ability to link to an information page via forum redirect link (not some link within a post) would be nice too, for those squadrons wishing to contain their recruitment information on their own customizable web page. Let the squadrons decide how to do that, but the option would be nice.

V. This requires little comment. The moderators are doing a good enough job as it is. Most are deserving of their position, and act for the good of the community, nipping problems in the bud before they become large ones.

VI. Tournaments. MMMMMMMM, tasty. But be careful here. Not every tournament is good for every squadron. I'm interested in this rewards system, if I might gain an example of this? I have no clue what you mean by a "king of the hill" scenario. Offering monetary or material awards is too much, I doubt we have enough of a financial base from a good number of people to keep that going for long. I'd love to offer such things myself for my squadron, but the sad truth is I work and go to college full time Outside that, I have a car to upkeep, and a girlfriend. I have very little funds to myself at the end of a moth, especially working my own home business and a part time job outside of that. And we tried leader boards, I think at one point. Unless someone can automate that and keep it cheat free, that's just too much of a time consuming monster for any group of moderators to handle. Rewards, to keep it simple though, should be kept on a squadron to squadron basis. Managing rewards for over 2500 people is hard work, and the resource to do that are thin or non-existent.

VII. Actually Zaku, clarifying, debates are fine. I enjoy a good meaty debate. But as long as the charged bullshit that comes when people let it fly off the handle is most certainly not welcome. I've watched it ruin more topics than I care to recognize (yes I'm being a bit of a hypocrite, bite me, at least I realize that). We seem to be lenient on this, in terms of moderator use of the banner hammer, pardon the urban speak, but this needs to be enforced. If we are going to have rules against excessive flaming, punishments for breaking these rules should be handed out unilaterally. None of this endless string of forgiveness notes. Lessen the punishments some (2 day suspensions anyone?) and hand these out where they are due. I'm not saying to start this immediately after this sentence has been read, but we should start everyone with a clean slate, and go from there. Perhaps as someone reads this, and Zaku's post above, they are rethinking the way they have been acting. I know a few people who could stand to look at the way they act a little more. That's all I'm saying on that matter.

VIII. Didn't know senior members needed to be reviewed before gaining that status. Question though! Is this determined by time spent as a member on the forums, number of posts, a combination of these, or none of the above? All I can see is a post discrepancy determining this status.



I really hope this all comes to fruition. I remember joining ACS for the idea that I could spend time with and talk with people who shared an interest in the same game I did. After the first few months, that illusion died and was replaced with a bitter, spiteful group. I know we've all argued to hell and back. But I've been making restitution with people, and letting things go. Zaku for one. You're not bad at all when you're not busy being a sarcastic guy. And Bleh, hell, I'm not pissed anymore. Now you're just a minor annoyance sometimes, and that's just fine. And no Ender, your Revolution is invalid. In short, and this goes for everyone:

Bury the hatchet.

It's been tearing ACS apart, and keeping us separated for far too long. It definitely showed when it essentially came down to XBL Forums Vs ACS on Ace Combat 6, and we assembled a "dream team." I'd like to see ACS united to the point where we can bicker amongst ourselves as rivals, but band together solidly and kick the ass of anyone who comes here thinking they're the baddest people just because of their clan association. Friendly rivalries do need to be built. This two sided stuff has gone on long enough, and I'm going to be the breakthrough artist here.

People of ACS, open this gate! People of ACS, tear down this wall!

Edited by Solo Wing Demon, 30 December 2008 - 12:42 AM.

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#12
Halo

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I've been kinda inactive lately, because mainly it's gotten boring except for the sig hall. But then this guy was all like, "man, something's going down!" and all of a sudden I'm actually paying attention again. So I think you're doing a great job already by just doing new stuff.
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#13
Blaze1234

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I agree with Solo on the part of burying the hatchet. There are people on these forums who I honestly think legitimitley hate other people because of all of our bickering and complaining. WHen the TOPGUNS showed up, it was honestly an awesome time, because everyone wanted to kick the TOPGUNS ass, myself included. For a breif while, it gave ACS a sense of unity, but when it ended, we went back to bickering and complaining. AC.net was really never like that (as I recall), so I don't see why ACS has to be like that.

Zaku, I like your suggestions, especially bringing back the pubs. If people are gonna spam, do it in a pub. THe only thing I'm worried about is spaming to the point of actually fighting over the internet. Of course, we could set limits, and have a disciplinary system. But, the majority of people will just post in the pubs to get their post count up, so i think that turining the post count off in the pubs is the way to go. AC.net I believe had that. Other than that, everything seems good.
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#14
Dr Ownage

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I agree except for one thing:

Perhaps one of these talked about Senior Members can lead a media team in this effort?

No, we already got Dao, and he's good enough.
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#15
Solo Wing Demon

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My mistake, Dr. O, I never visit the media section, and therefore know not of who runs the place currently. It was merely a suggestion from the outside in, but if Dao is doing a good job, I don't see reason to replace him.
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#16
modnar101

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VII. General attitudes.



......As an older member (34) most of my AC6 online time is spent in matches with older players, 25years +, people who have played Ace (Air) combat since Playstation 1 and have a genuine love of the whole series.

I have sugested to countless numbers of these people to come here, sign up and join a squad. They came here to look but not one of them have done so because of the often imature nature of the topics, replies and the way certain members act here. Of course, there are a lot of younger members that are mature enough to function in everyday life, but its not the rule. The same goes for behaviour within squadrons too, I've seen squad memebrs become inactive or leave because of the way members conduct themselves within off-site squad forums.

Keep the spam and shite for the proposed 'pub' sections and raise the quality in the general topic areas.
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#17
Captain Haddock

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No objections to the points mentioned. Hopefully it'll stir up the community and give them something *productive* to do til there's another AC game (or something) to talk about.
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#18
Green Giant

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Some of these Ideas, if executed properly could benefit ACS. but one thing that we really need to learn from is the past. As we know, the pub topics can get quite out of hand and flame wars start. This is where the immaturity really shows through. I'm not saying that bringing back the pubs isn't a bad idea, it will, hopefully isolate the spam to those areas.


You also talk about the SENIOR MEMBERS setting the example, that is always a good idea, in theory, but you have to get them to cooperate. They need to try and defuse situations of hostility, not initiate them.
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#19
Firegal

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I couldn't agree more. If the senior status was used to award good behavior as I had proposed before it would go a long way to encourage things. Hopefully the policy will stick and not get done/undone based on admin friendship. Those who are returning must also do their part and be treated without bias. If they can integrate into the site and help it run then they should be welcomed back. If it all goes bad, we're back to start with a new administration. In order for this to work, everyone has to do their part; the staff and the membership. I know I've said it before, but its up to you to act accordingly; participate when you can and help each other instead of dissing each other. Save that for online games. If this is what you wanted, you better work your butt off to make it a success. Getting the position is only part of it, living up to expectations in maturity and behavior is the rest.

It was the decision that I remain and I am still here to assist with things. Oddly enough my powers as admin weren't much more than global mod anyway.
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#20
Toby

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Perhaps one of these talked about Senior Members can lead a media team in this effort?


I'll be leading the future team with Elude at my side. I'm hoping DaoFu will join our endeavor. ;D
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