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PRO's Moderation Discussion

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Logan

Game Master
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Hello everyone,

Moderation is a big part of PRO ever since the game was created, it evolved over the years but the groundwork was laid years ago. We would like to ask our community how they feel about it and what their thoughts are.
We (Community Coordinator Team Lead Shinohara, Moderator Team Lead Qeight and Game Master Team Lead Logan who also represents Trade Moderators) decided that its time we ask the community what they want and not go by what was laid down years ago.

We want to be as transparent as possible, therefore we will not delete or "censor" anyone or anyone's opinion. No topic is off-limit here, we want you guys to have the opportunity to ask freely.
The purpose of this thread is to figure out if there is something wrong with our moderation and if there is, then how we can fix it. Not everything will make sense to everyone but some stuff is just fundamentally integrated and can't be changed (anything related to cheating, anything related to harming the game, anything related to harassment are some examples that will never change).

We will answer everyone to the best of our ability, explain why certain things are the way they are and whatever is needed for you guys to understand why we act the way we act.
As reference you can take the following threads:

Our current Moderation Team has a good history of changing rules, evolving for the better and improving what we feel like wasn't working, was too harsh or what was simply wrong.
We do not moderate the official Discord, Discord Moderators are not part of the staff team. They receive discord specific training and we as moderation staff do not have any influence over that. For any complaints or suggestions use the Discord Hub

This thread is for discussing moderation, our policies, rules and such. This is not a thread to harass staff or single out certain members of staff, complain about your bans however we can gladly explain why we take certain steps for certain actions.

  • Community Coordinators:
    In-Game Moderation, Forum Moderation
  • Moderators:
    PvP & Chat related Reports and In-game/Forum Moderation
  • Trade Moderators:
    Trade related Reports and In-game/Forum Moderation
  • Game Masters:
    Higher Moderation, enforcement of all rules but mainly Severity 3 and 4 on the Punishment Policy

Best Regards,
The Moderation Team Leaders
 

Nifton

Youngster
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
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I feel like every player should at least get a warning before getting muted on chat..... I got muted for something that someone else was warned for and I didn't even see the warning until after I got muted and decided to scroll through the chats
 

Belzebel

Junior Trainer
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Dec 13, 2016
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Great post! You guys already know my opinion. I will just read everybody's comments and see if anyone has the same opinion as mine.
Meantime, I will eat potatoes with olive oil and oregano.
 

DRDoctor

Newbie Trainer
PRO Member
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Feb 19, 2018
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I feel like every player should at least get a warning before getting muted on chat..... I got muted for something that someone else was warned for and I didn't even see the warning until after I got muted and decided to scroll through the chats
Well mine isn't really about not reading the previous warnings to other players more or less having warning before a mute like even if we catch our self in chat a lot of the newer moderators / apps just mute people out and its killing all chat on gold. A lot of the problem isn't them having power its knowing when to use it, and how to give warnings. Like shoot them a pm and tell them to stop not just instantly Mute for 1-5 minutes at a time it kills the social aspect of the MMO.
 

Qeight

Moderator
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I feel like every player should at least get a warning before getting muted on chat..... I got muted for something that someone else was warned for and I didn't even see the warning until after I got muted and decided to scroll through the chats
Well mine isn't really about not reading the previous warnings to other players more or less having warning before a mute like even if we catch our self in chat a lot of the newer moderators / apps just mute people out and its killing all chat on gold. A lot of the problem isn't them having power its knowing when to use it, and how to give warnings. Like shoot them a pm and tell them to stop not just instantly Mute for 1-5 minutes at a time it kills the social aspect of the MMO.
Just to straight jump into this, you are only instantly muted for heavy insults, slurs and such. You can always expect to have a warning in Chat before you get muted.
It is staff depending whether or not if they want to warn you directly or warn the chat however it makes not a whole lot of sense to warn everyone for everything.
If there is a warning in chat about swearing just two minutes prior and you start to swear, it wouldn't be logical to warn you here.

Apprentice are staff in training so they obviously will get something wrong from time to time that's why they are training. It comes with experience to issue quality warnings and fair mutes however the current Apprentice are doing a good job about it.

You are not instantly muted for 1-5 minutes, there is a strict procedure in place when you get muted and for how long you get muted. By now its no secret that the first mute is always 60 seconds, the next one 120 seconds, the third one 300 seconds and after that you will be quiet-banned.
It is obvious that after the 4 time breaking the rules that you are not getting it so a quiet-ban would be issued. This is actually very rare in my experience (in my almost 10 months now and over 300 hours in-game moderation, I muted maybe 40 times for 300 seconds and not even half of those resulted in quiet-bans).

Complaints about moderators in game always shuting down topics even if there not bad and geting mute banned for no reason
You are never banned for "no reason", a staff member who bans or mutes for "no reason" will be removed rather quickly (hasn't happened in my time as staff yet). There is a different definition for everyone, some think its okay to discuss murdering people with axes in a kids game, some think its okay to talk about sexual things in chat in a kids game but our stance on that is very clear that we do not allow such subjects. I don't know the specifics of what you are talking about but in a nutshell we avoid sensitive subjects as much as possible.

Complaints in general are dealt with in the Complaint Area just for the sole purpose of explaining everything in detail, in about 90% of those cases the users' end up realizing that they were wrong or just didn't properly understand why they were muted or why certain rules were enforced the way they were.
 

Nixs

Newbie Trainer
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Feb 17, 2018
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Singapore
Just some questions regarding reports.
1) The recent change on what evidence we can use.
What about if there are players who are trolling periodically? Can we still use the evidence gotten over the span of those days/weeks/months even if they're old?
- For example, a player keeps asking the same questions, "where is cut" (even though they have it already), over a span of a few hours every day and even weeks or months.

2) About bans.
What's the reason behind not showing evidence used against the banned player when appealing? How will a player be able to defend themselves? (as the evidence might be cropped out to suit the accuser's claims)

Thank you for your time.
 

Qeight

Moderator
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1) The recent change on what evidence we can use.
What about if there are players who are trolling periodically? Can we still use the evidence gotten over the span of those days/weeks/months even if they're old?
- For example, a player keeps asking the same questions, "where is cut" (even though they have it already), over a span of a few hours every day and even weeks or months.
If you give us the exact dates the screenshots were taken then it can be used as supporting evidence however if you claim all of those were from yesterday and it comes out those were from 2 months ago you will see yourself in trouble. Chat reports should be done within a few days.
If a user is repeating the same offense over and over again the punishment will increase obviously.

2) About bans.
What's the reason behind not showing evidence used against the banned player when appealing? How will a player be able to defend themselves? (as the evidence might be cropped out to suit the accuser's claims)
I posted that in another thread:
The evidence in each and everyone of our cases is available to Admins and GMs/Teamleaders who can evaluate their legitimacy if necessary they can interfere in cases where they believe the evidence was lackluster.
We preserve the right to not show evidence to ensure the privacy of each reporter is secured and to ensure that our techniques are not given away (E.g in cases that require special moderation permissions ).

In some cases we may quote parts of the evidence we have collected or show screenshots if the offense was done in public but this is only done if the staff in question believes the punished user has no clue about their offense. I hope this clarifies your concerns but we take the privacy of our reporters very serious henceforth this will not be changed.
We are trained to collect as much evidence as possible, ask for more evidence when we believe the evidence wasn't the full story (example if the the private message is scrolled down to show just a certain aspect). The context does matter but we often times find ourselves having evidence of rule breaking offenses and those have to be punished regardless of circumstances. Lets make up a scenario, User A insults User B, User B insults back. User A screenshots how User B insults them. User A reports it, we would ask about the context/backstory and for more evidence. User A doesn't provide anything but User B still did break our rules by insulting User A.

We have to take actions regardless if and we actually hope for that, User B has taken screenshots of how User A insulted first, User B would in most cases be unbanned and severe sanctions would be issued against the user who provided half the story.
 

teerav

Advanced Trainer
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One of the best changes made is allowing people to ask for help in all chat. It simplified the rules and made sense to the community. I think this should be a guide to future rule changes or additions. Rules should be simple to explain, understand, and make sense to a majority of the community.
__

I am a huge fan of the recent trade auction rules. I have been very vocal about this subject for a long time and excited to watch its impact moving forward.
__

I am extremely concerned about the amount of begging or spamming for help in the form of free things done through PMs. A majority of these are spam with clear intention to SCAM other players. I have expressed my concerns about this several times. Scammers pressure people into 1 on 1 conversations away from the eyes of moderation. Some very commonly used phrases are:
  • "Could you please give me 5k so I can travel to another region?" - They are simply spamming as many people as they can to earn a quick buck.
  • "Could you please give me any high level pokemon you do not use so I can beat the elite four?" - In reality, they have already beat the elite four. They just want free things with the off chance a noob gives them an epic.
  • "Could you please give me money, I am new." - Shameless begging. No one would ever type this in trade chat.
  • "I gave away all my stuff awhile back. Do you have any pokemon you could give me?" - Advanced form of manipulation to make you feel sorry for the scammer. How could you not give pokemon to someone that was so kind in the past?
Common responses from staff members are:
  • "You can just ignore them." - This is not effective. As soon as the PM pops up, the feeling of frustration and disappointment has set in. Also, I do not worry about me falling victim, I fear others falling victim to the scammers.
  • "If it annoys you, just turn off your PMs." - PRO's advantage over the Pokemon franchise games is the ability to socialize and play with friends. Having to set myself to offline because I am PM'd for free things every other time I walk into a PC is frustrating.
  • "Asking for help is not against the rules." - This is true, however, this is what the scammers hide behind. They mask their scams through asking for help in the form of pokedollars or free pokemon. There needs to be rules preventing or discouraging scammers from hiding behind this reasoning.
  • "If they are scamming or spamming, you can report them." - Sure. However, as a player, when someone tells me they need some money to travel to another region how am I supposed to know they are also asking 100 other people the same thing? How am I supposed to know the person they asked before me already gave them 5k and they are simply asking more people in hopes to get easy money? How am I supposed to know the sob story of giving away all their things last year to attend college is a lie devised to get me to feel sad for them?
The bottom line is, asking for free things should not be permitted through PMs. Asking for help is not a crime and should not be punished. Asking for free things should be though. I have been extremely vocal about this topic and provided several real situations to multiple staff members in ways PRO scammers operate with begging via PMs. There must be a more aggressive rule that prevents this predatory behavior and encourages the community to report it. Feel free to moderate how you feel, but educating the community on how to identify and report these types of scams will make it a much more enjoyable game for players at all stages of the game.
 

PkmnRangerAlex

Youngster
Donator
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
5
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2
One of the best changes made is allowing people to ask for help in all chat. It simplified the rules and made sense to the community. I think this should be a guide to future rule changes or additions. Rules should be simple to explain, understand, and make sense to a majority of the community.
__

I am a huge fan of the recent trade auction rules. I have been very vocal about this subject for a long time and excited to watch its impact moving forward.
__

I am extremely concerned about the amount of begging or spamming for help in the form of free things done through PMs. A majority of these are spam with clear intention to SCAM other players. I have expressed my concerns about this several times. Scammers pressure people into 1 on 1 conversations away from the eyes of moderation. Some very commonly used phrases are:
  • "Could you please give me 5k so I can travel to another region?" - They are simply spamming as many people as they can to earn a quick buck.
  • "Could you please give me any high level pokemon you do not use so I can beat the elite four?" - In reality, they have already beat the elite four. They just want free things with the off chance a noob gives them an epic.
  • "Could you please give me money, I am new." - Shameless begging. No one would ever type this in trade chat.
  • "I gave away all my stuff awhile back. Do you have any pokemon you could give me?" - Advanced form of manipulation to make you feel sorry for the scammer. How could you not give pokemon to someone that was so kind in the past?
Common responses from staff members are:
  • "You can just ignore them." - This is not effective. As soon as the PM pops up, the feeling of frustration and disappointment has set in. Also, I do not worry about me falling victim, I fear others falling victim to the scammers.
  • "If it annoys you, just turn off your PMs." - PRO's advantage over the Pokemon franchise games is the ability to socialize and play with friends. Having to set myself to offline because I am PM'd for free things every other time I walk into a PC is frustrating.
  • "Asking for help is not against the rules." - This is true, however, this is what the scammers hide behind. They mask their scams through asking for help in the form of pokedollars or free pokemon. There needs to be rules preventing or discouraging scammers from hiding behind this reasoning.
  • "If they are scamming or spamming, you can report them." - Sure. However, as a player, when someone tells me they need some money to travel to another region how am I supposed to know they are also asking 100 other people the same thing? How am I supposed to know the person they asked before me already gave them 5k and they are simply asking more people in hopes to get easy money? How am I supposed to know the sob story of giving away all their things last year to attend college is a lie devised to get me to feel sad for them?
The bottom line is, asking for free things should not be permitted through PMs. Asking for help is not a crime and should not be punished. Asking for free things should be though. I have been extremely vocal about this topic and provided several real situations to multiple staff members in ways PRO scammers operate with begging via PMs. There must be a more aggressive rule that prevents this predatory behavior and encourages the community to report it. Feel free to moderate how you feel, but educating the community on how to identify and report these types of scams will make it a much more enjoyable game for players at all stages of the game.
Hi. First of all I thank you for creating this space to improve the game. It really helps and speaks greatly of you all.
I found this topic specifically relatable to me due to I've seen it happen many times. I didn't think about it as scamming until now, but what matters most to me is that users learn how to play in a safe and fun environment. I'm against begging for things not because I'm mean, but because I understand the importance of obtaining them with hard work and patience.
So, if you can do somethig about it like helping the community identify this type of scam or get them used to report it, that would be great. Meanwhile, I will keep trying to do it on my own like tellig them to try in trade chat and buy stuff, explaining how to use dig spots, etc.
Thank you!
 
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