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Why are D&D discussions so angry?

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diaglo

Adventurer
ColonelHardisson said:
I have to say I simply don't see it. Yeah, there are plenty of flamewars. Don't get me wrong, I see that. But most end in flamewars? I disagree. But I guess some see it differently. :shrug: (it's too bad the shrug smiley isn't here, by the way. Love that potato-looking thing).

point of fact. i have yet to have someone ask me my opinion about why i love the edition i do and it not turn out badly.

even with me ignoring the obvious trolling. others jump into the mess for or against.

so i have yet to complete a thread on the subject.

i simple just end up saying my usual: OD&D(1974) is the only true game. All the other editions are just poor imitations of the real thing.

b/c that is about as far as can be discussed.
 

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Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
diaglo said:
i simple just end up saying my usual: OD&D(1974) is the only true game. All the other editions are just poor imitations of the real thing.
With respect, David, if you prefaced that with "I think" I suspect you'd have a lot easier time discussing it.

Like I said up-thread, any time you declare an opinion as a truth, you're going to have problems. Stating it as gospel truth annoys everyone who disagrees with you and makes them more argumentative; stating it as your opinion is unimpeachable, easily accepted, and paves the way to actual discussion.
 
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ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
diaglo said:
point of fact. i have yet to have someone ask me my opinion about why i love the edition i do and it not turn out badly.

even with me ignoring the obvious trolling. others jump into the mess for or against.

so i have yet to complete a thread on the subject.

i simple just end up saying my usual: OD&D(1974) is the only true game. All the other editions are just poor imitations of the real thing.

b/c that is about as far as can be discussed.

Yes, but that doesn't mean all the threads we're talking about end in flamewars. Plus, really, don't you think that the way you present your argument has a lot to do with that? People have the perception that you are of a certain mindset, and respond to you thusly. I don't recall seeing you saying anywhere when you first began posting "here is why I like this edition of the game, and not this edition." You spent a lot of time posting exactly the kind of things you just posted above, and, in effect, bashing another game. Doesn't matter that after your persona was established that you wanted to try to be reasonable and discuss it civilly; people remembered the established persona and answered in kind.
 

ThirdWizard

First Post
On the topic of being pointed to other RPGs:

It's worth pointing out that people who say "You should try X" aren't usually saying "Get out of my D&D, freak!" They're saying "Hey, come join us in playing X, its a great game, and I thnk you'll enjoy it too." It's not an excluding thing, its an including thing. When someone recomends something, they generally like it, and they're recommending it because they think others will enjoy it as well.

To many people, RPGs aren't a pick your favorite and only run it type of thing. There are flavors for different types of games. If you want to run horror, or sci-fi, or whatnot, then they change which RPG system they're running. So, when someone mentions that they want to make D&D into X and they've been playing X for years successfully for years under a different system, then of course they're going to recommend that system.

And, when they do, it isn't a put down toward D&D. I know people nowadays are used to hardcore fanboyism, Sony vs. Microsoft vs. Nintendo or Microsoft vs. Macintosh, but you'll find a lot more inclusiveness with roleplayers actually, in my experience at least, with regards to alternate systems than you will with the majority at large with regards to competing systems.
 

diaglo

Adventurer
Piratecat said:
With respect, David, if you prefaced that with "I think" I suspect you'd have a lot easier time discussing it.

Like I said up-thread, any time you declare an opinion as a truth, you're going to have problems. Stating it as gospel truth annoys everyone who disagrees with you and makes them more argumentative; stating it as your opinion is unimpeachable, easily accepted, and paves the way to actual discussion.


yeah, i was trying to help big dummy see an example.
 

green slime

First Post
ColonelHardisson said:
Really? Bugaboo trolled me mercilessly once upon a time, when I was new to the internet and didn't have the acumen to let his nonsense roll like water off a duck's back. I also swear I remember him having a flame-out (here or at an earlier incarnation of Nutkinland), ironically enough, where he petulantly related how he just couldn't take all the meanies who couldn't take a joke. May have been another of his trolls, but it seemed genuine at the time, and I haven't seen him back since.

That's how I remember it is as well. Strange thing though, it got kind of funny once you knew what he was up to, with some of the baiting he did, which could be really well set-up, and it usually only took a page or two for the truth to out.

*sigh*

Guess I just kind of miss some of the oldtimers. Hadn't seen you around for a while either, for that matter....

*peers at CH intently*

But I seriously don't see more flamewars or trolling than in the early days, do you? Nowadays it seems sedate, almost geriatric in comparisson. Everynow and then, something sort of flickers in the distance. Maybe its because I tended to get myself mired in those debates more often. Or maybe because the moderators are doing a better (more draconic?!?) job?
 

BSF

Explorer
diaglo said:
point of fact. i have yet to have someone ask me my opinion about why i love the edition i do and it not turn out badly.

even with me ignoring the obvious trolling. others jump into the mess for or against.

so i have yet to complete a thread on the subject.

i simple just end up saying my usual: OD&D(1974) is the only true game. All the other editions are just poor imitations of the real thing.

b/c that is about as far as can be discussed.

In all fairness diaglo, this is an easier topic to discuss in a more dynamic medium. Such as over [insert beverage of choice] at [location of choice]. As I recall, I asked you why you like OD&D the first time we met and I understand your preference. But seeing your general enthusiasm and body language really helps for that topic.
 

James Heard

Explorer
green slime said:
Maybe its because I tended to get myself mired in those debates more often. Or maybe because the moderators are doing a better (more draconic?!?) job?
Everyone watch out, just a few more levels and they'll get their breath weapons and wings.
 

Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
green slime said:
But I seriously don't see more flamewars or trolling than in the early days, do you? Nowadays it seems sedate, almost geriatric in comparisson.... Or maybe because the moderators are doing a better (more draconic?!?) job?
Anyone remember the flamewar over the cover of Relics & Rituals, regarding pagan symbols? Or Son of a Preacherman's thread on fireball pellets?

It doesn't feel to me like the moderation is more draconic. There are more of us, of course, but we seldom need to permanently ban people. I think we've better codified what's okay and what isn't. More importantly, the members know too; I credit Eric Noah with establishing clear, easily memorable guidelines for self-moderation. I really think it's made an inestimable difference in the friendliness here.

The other thing that has changed is our size. I remember when we were one forum, then we went to two with story hours, then three with rules. There's more people around now!
 

hexgrid

First Post
ThirdWizard said:
On the topic of being pointed to other RPGs:

It's worth pointing out that people who say "You should try X" aren't usually saying "Get out of my D&D, freak!"

It's not always that way, but I have seen this sort of sentiment expressed on these boards. Heck, I remember a while back there was an entire thread questioning why people who aren't fans of 3.x would be posting on enworld at all.
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
green slime said:
*peers at CH intently*

But I seriously don't see more flamewars or trolling than in the early days, do you?

Not really, no, especially taking into consideration the enormous difference in size between the site now and the site back then, as Piratecat mentions. He also points out some of the more notorious flamewars of years past. So, no, I don't think the proportion of flamewars or troll threads to civil threads has changed, and may, in fact, be smaller than in years past.
 

Whisper72

Explorer
hexgrid said:
It's not always that way, but I have seen this sort of sentiment expressed on these boards. Heck, I remember a while back there was an entire thread questioning why people who aren't fans of 3.x would be posting on enworld at all.

Because we are such a bunch of fun people!!!

Take a look at this very thread here... it has not (yet, and only in my humble opinion naturally) developed into a flamefest!
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Well, I will say this: I would rather see more "X day suspensions" than shutting down threads....even if it meant that I was the one suspended. I have seen "I hate this kind of thread; stop talking about it" type posts far too often....shortly followed by the thread being closed.

Of course, to me, even a few examples is "far too often".

I don't like Kender, so if I see a thread about Kender I just ignore it. That seems easy to me. I like threads about comparing current to previous editions, so if I see a thread about that topic it is all too soon closed.

With respect to CH, if he could just point out one of those non-flaming still open threads he mentioned, I'd love to participate amicably. :)
 

iwatt

First Post
JustaPlayer said:
Or is it simply creating a Level 100 halfdragonhalfweretigerhalfvampire dark elf ninja?

Actually it's a:

Level 100 halfdragonhalfweretigerhalfvampire dark elf ninja pirate

:p
 

green slime

First Post
Piratecat said:
Anyone remember the flamewar over the cover of Relics & Rituals, regarding pagan symbols? Or Son of a Preacherman's thread on fireball pellets?

It doesn't feel to me like the moderation is more draconic. There are more of us, of course, but we seldom need to permanently ban people. I think we've better codified what's okay and what isn't. More importantly, the members know too; I credit Eric Noah with establishing clear, easily memorable guidelines for self-moderation. I really think it's made an inestimable difference in the friendliness here.

The other thing that has changed is our size. I remember when we were one forum, then we went to two with story hours, then three with rules. There's more people around now!

Oh yes, Eric did a fantastic job. As did his Grandmother. :D

IMO, part of it does come down to the fact that moderators act more quickly, giving warning before the thread in question disappears underneath a flood of lava. Probably in part due to more people reporting questionable posts. I know these days, if I find myself getting irritated at something, I'll start a retort, then midway, realise I should actually report it and let the mods handle it. Having that report button helps keep the number of warnings I recieve down :D

Are we really that many more active posters these days? How many more people are actively posting per day/week now as opposed to three or four years ago? Anyone have the statistics for ENWorld? Is there a breakdown per forum?
 

Lonely Tylenol

First Post
diaglo said:
point of fact. i have yet to have someone ask me my opinion about why i love the edition i do and it not turn out badly.

even with me ignoring the obvious trolling. others jump into the mess for or against.

so i have yet to complete a thread on the subject.

i simple just end up saying my usual: OD&D(1974) is the only true game. All the other editions are just poor imitations of the real thing.

b/c that is about as far as can be discussed.
You don't suppose that the implied antagonism in "all the other editions are just poor imitations of the real thing," might have something to do with the lack of interest in your opinion? I know that when I go to a party and meet new people, when I open a conversation with "wow, your taste in music sucks," it does not generally go well for me. Perhaps the same principle is at work here. I am beginning to suspect that people don't like being told that their fun hobbies are "poor imitations" of anything, much less other hobbies that they have no interest in. In fact, I theorize that people more or less universally dislike it when things they like are compared unfavourably to things they don't care about, when the comparison is couched in the language of fact or even simply authority. I also believe that, upon becoming offended by a speaker, there exists a tendency to look forward to a chance to tell that speaker "where to stick it," so as to convey to the speaker the regard in which his opinion is held. This is, I hypothesize, how flame wars get started.

Strange, I know. But who understands these silly hu-mans?
 
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Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
green slime said:
Are we really that many more active posters these days? How many more people are actively posting per day/week now as opposed to three or four years ago? Anyone have the statistics for ENWorld? Is there a breakdown per forum?
Not including lurkers? We have about 2600 unique registered people active in the forums on any given day, and are adding 40 registrations a day. There are about 2500 posts made per day, and somewhere between 100 and 150 threads are created. Many, many more people browse without registering -- we have between 15,000 and 16,000 unique visitors per day. For instance, right now 432 members and 1772 guests are on the site.

That's much bigger than three or four years ago, when the server couldn't even handle more than 200 people active at once.
 
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gizmo33

First Post
big dummy said:
Why is it that any time any discussion about D&D comes up which could even remotely somehow be construed as some kind of criticism of D&D as-is, a select few of the forum regulars swoop down with such venomous, vicious spiteful attacks to shut it down?

I'm not sure of your exact experiences, but I think a big part of the problem in what you're mentioning is that these kinds of threads are construed as part of the Edition War. I don't exactly know what's really motivating the Edition War. Any criticism of any edition can lay the ground-work for another battle in the War. I used to think that being a big fan of 1st AND 3rd edition would somehow allow me to make comments in those kinds of threads without getting my virtual head ripped off. That doesn't seem to be the case.

Then there is the "Thespian vs. Munchkin" War. Seems to be a crusade for some folks.

I think people should post intelligently, but at the same time, I think communication is a two-way street and if you go ballistic because of one statement where someone forgot a smiley face, IMO you have a problem that you can't blame on someone else.

I'm sure others have remarked on this - but when I think for a few moments about two people who play some version of Dungeons and Dragons getting angry at each other, it seems so ridiculous. You would think us geeks would bond more than we do. Oh well, I'm not calling for an EnWorld group-hug or anything.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
So why do so many of these discussions end badly?

Because we're all socially maladjusted freaks who can't cope with people. :heh:


A bit more seriously, we're enthusiastic hobbyists. We have favorite aspects of the hobby and defend them and can't really understand why other people don't share our clearly well thought-out opinions and judgements. If we were more casual about our hobbyism, we probably wouldn't participate in such online discussions at all and our blood pressures would all be much lower.

And if you're like me, you tend to react to the tone of other people's posts more than the actual content. That's a real recipe for escalation of flamewars. People talking crap (as I see it) but being polite about it are a lot easier to ignore than people talking crap and being jerks as well.
 

green slime

First Post
Piratecat said:
Not including lurkers? We have about 2600 unique registered people active in the forums on any given day, and are adding 40 registrations a day. There are about 2500 posts made per day, and somewhere between 100 and 150 threads are created. Many, many more people browse without registering -- we have between 15,000 and 16,000 unique visitors per day. For instance, right now 432 members and 1772 guests are on the site.

That's much bigger than three or four years ago, when the server couldn't even handle more than 200 people active at once.

Firstly, thanks for that information, Pkitty!

mmm.... that was impressive! BTW, what counts as a "unique visitor"? Could it be, for instance, glancing by from work (without logging in a "Guest"), and then surfing in after work from home, on a different IP-address? Do I then count as three seperate unique visitors if I visit from my 3G-mobile on the way home on the train? I suppose to some extent, the same behaviour was prevalent even 3-4 years ago, and so maybe irrelevant.
 

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