comment by Aestu ·
2011-05-02T00:31:22.645Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I've never posted on this site before. I read this thread after being directed here from a discussion about the same topic.
I'm blunt and on-point by nature, and I say it like it is. So forgive me if my words come off as undiplomatic, because I am going to say it exactly like it is:
The OP's putative, whimsically feigned query whether or not EJ has done it's job "too well" is disingenuous. The reality is that they have done their job too badly.
EJ mods are the schoolyard bullies who wind up crying because no one wants to play with them. Those responding to the OP in meaningless technocratese do not understand the issues at work. The "issues" affecting EJ have nothing to do with format and everything to do with intentions.
Saying that they've "kept their garden tidy" is a telling if disingenuous remark. There is a difference between snobbery and moderation. That difference is not a gradient. That difference is one of apples and oranges. Make no mistake which motivates EJ as an organization.
The name of the site - Elitist Jerks - is literal. EJ is a unique product of the WoW culture and community, where a punkish arrogance is viewed as a necessary accoutrement of status and skill. But in the WoW community as much as anywhere else, the same basic laws of human nature apply: if people have a choice between dealing with people with an attitude, or not dealing with people with an attitude, it's no mystery which door they will choose.
In their hubris , the EJ mods turned the site into a parody of itself. The sophistic flourishes described in this thread - making boards public or not, paid or not, changing the rules, whatever - have no bearing on what is purely a matter of intentions.
When well-intentioned posters have made valid inquries or comments, more often than not they are infracted within the first few posts on the most ludicrous pretexts in what is nothing more nor less than snobbery and bullying. Patrons who have egos and are recognized by others according to their preference make endless pages of vacuous, pedantic, rhetorical questions and "observations" with absolutely no value.
The net result is an insular and impenetrable forum with some useful stickies (often written in flatly insulting or even profane language) and a bunch of nearly useless monster threads dozens of pages long with a few grains of gold here or there.
WoW itself is not that complex a game (no, seriously, it isn't), and as of late what EJ brings to the table is very marginal. So with the general community offered only a very marginal gain in terms of knowledge, at great cost in terms of effort and aggravation, the community, in general, doesn't have a reason to go to EJ.
The bit about simulation craft, "their impact emerges in lengthy runs of simulated combat, but is washed out by random factors (critical hits, etc) in the 5-10 minutes of a typical raid encounter", is fundamentally accurate. The OP then makes an remark characteristic of the EJ mentality, which is that the "average person" is unable to shut up and multiply, and that is why the EJ contributors are lamentably watching their sandbar sink into the ocean. The problem, however, has nothing to do with the "average person's" deficiency and everything to do with irrelevancy of the models to anyone but a few pedants.
The "washing out of simulation results by random factors" in effect means that these models are the province of snobs engaged in a fool's errand. Only those snobs, who put on a pretense of modelling scenarios in which subjective and individual real-world conditions that can't be modelled (example: which encounter is engaged, what strategy is used on an encounter, the mechanics of an encounter, latency, the tactical situation of the raid, amongst countless others), and those who are insufficiently critical or intelligent to grasp the futility of said errand, have any interest in it.
It's like comparing rotisserie baseball to baseball. If rotisserie baseball was an accurate reflection of the realities of baseball, those hobbyists would be the wealthiest gamblers in the world. They're not, because in reality, subjective and unquantifiable factors wield a greater influence.
The relevant numerical factors are quite simple and easy for players to work out for themselves with napkin math using in-game tools such as tooltips and Recount. Mathematical wizardry isn't typically needed to figure out which stat is best for a class, especially not in modern WoW (this used to be somewhat less true).
None of what I describe can be fixed by cursory gestures like changing the format of the site. You can't legislate what's in people's hearts, and you can't change the nature of a beast. Elitist Jerks will be elitist jerks, and like any community of elitists and/or jerks, unless such a group has some sweet incentive to get people in the door, they will inevitably face what all such groups face, which is isolation, attrition, and decline.
Now some posters will no doubt say things to the effect of, "You got it all wrong, we're not really like our names suggest", or "You're jumping to conclusions/ making generalizations", or "You're being uncivil", or "This magic formula solves all problems." If people want to flatter their vanity by trying to appear intelligent in saying nothing at all, or avoiding murky subjective truths, or practicing "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" as a means towards self-righteous pretense, "anyone who says these people are not good must be evil", or otherwise cloaking their incredibly petty motives behind an intellectual facade, that's their choice.
For those who want the truth of the matter, I've said my piece.
comment by Montegomery ·
2011-05-02T19:31:04.576Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
For those unfamiliar with the Elitist Jerks website, comments such as this one appear periodically in other World of Warcraft related forums, and are a facet of the quandary currently facing the community.
Generally speaking the authors of such comments made a post on the Elitist Jerks forums and received an infraction informing them of a forum rule they had violated. The moderators of these forums include a remark regarding the nature of the violation with every infraction, and these remarks are often sarcastic. Infractions are public, and you can see Aestu's here:
Infraction for zeida
It is not uncommon for the recipients of infractions to take issue, resulting in confused or angry private messages to the moderators, or condemnations such as Aestu's comment. Angry would-be contributors rarely return to the website.
The quandary facing Elitist Jerks is to what extent is it worthwhile to make the website more accessible. This is a nontrivial question for a website that has intentionally used harsh rules, harsh enforcement and harsh words as filters to maintain the quality of their discussions.
comment by Aestu ·
2011-05-09T03:52:36.230Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
First off, Montegomery, you're contradicting yourself: if the goal is to "maintain the quality of the discussions" then why do you bog down moderation with "sarcasm"?
Your strawman to the effect that anyone who disagrees with EJ's moderation style is an "angry would-be contributor" is nonsense. It also amounts to circular reasoning, and the very fact that you apparently think it's a worthwhile goal to make "would be contributors" "angry" both contradicts your putative goal of "making the site more accessible" and boils down to a rationalization for e-punkery.
Which is, of course, what this is really all about: an immature bully who is now crying that he doesn't have anyone to play with.
This nonsense about EJ's desire to "make the site more accessible" or "change the format" is nothing more than red herrings about style what is really a question of intent: how EJ's desire to annoy and harass the community has run headfirst into its ability to appeal to that community and keep it coming back.
It's not specifically because I was infracted that I harbor a certain viewpoint about EJ. Surely, my observations are far more detailed than would be the case was I motivated merely by some sort of grudge.
I would also like to point out that I posted under a completely different username on EJ than I did here (because that post, which I barely even remember, was made about four years ago) and there is no information specifically connecting the two usernames. So I'd like to know: exactly how did you make the connection between the two?
And more to the point, why did you go to the trouble of doing so?