Whom do strict crafting standards help?

NiaNia TrashyMember Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
edited October 2016 in Idea Box
Hi everyone,

Nearly a month ago I created a thread here asking about the word-limit on craft designs. As it turned out, the issue was neither a bug, nor an intended feature, but an imposed limitation of the game's engine. Prior to @Keroc clarifying this, the thread generated some interesting tangential discussion. A lot of people made clear their stances on writing standards and the craft approval system. Since making that thread…
  • I begrudgingly trimmed down the examined desc of the relevant item to conform with the line-limit, resubmitted it, and got it approved (with some modifications!)
  • I noticed, later, that a solution was found around the word-limit, and that we now have a new command which lets you use the editor to enter the examined desc. Thanks, staff!
  • I've read, reread and triple-read all of the relevant design help-files to make extra sure I understand all the various nuances of crafting rules.
  • I've gotten a lot more practice using the crafting system and talked to others to learn their thoughts and experiences with it.
For the patience many people have shown me in answering my endless questions on the crafters channel, I'm very grateful. Thanks particularly to @Becue and @Kanivara for helping me painlessly see through one incident involving a very expensive ostrich. I'm having a lot of fun on Aetolia and don't intend to be a source of negativity in the community, but I've become increasingly frustrated with the craft approval system of late, and want to raise it for discussion once more.

From HELP APPROVAL, for approvers:
Keep in mind that you are not looking to make sure designs are perfect, but rather that they are suitable for the game and meet what they need to.
[You should not be] 'Improving' designs to meet your own quality standards. Your opinion on wording is not valid. What is valid is the above stated items.
You do not have to wear it, you do not have to sell it. Your only problem is ensuring it is correct as far as language goes.
Across my multiple experiences with more than one isolated incident thus far, approvers have not, by and large, been adhering to the above standards given to them. This isn't about any specific design, but the general attitude I've come across in even in the first crafting-related thread I created — which is why in the end I thought it best not to reply. So I want to raise the question in the title for staff and players alike to consider, but first:

Whom does the craft approval system benefit?

If I had to guess, I would say...
  • It provides quality-assurance for one of the game's main target audiences: readers and writers, who require that the environment possess linguistic integrity in order to get immersed, invested, and spend their money.
  • It preserves the theme of the game for the above category, so that they don't get annoyed and leave when someone rolls out a Beyoncé-style leotard.
  • It keeps things 'PG-13'... supposedly. (To be honest, I don't really understand this one. I mean, have you been to Tcanna? Bloodloch? We have crucified child slaves and cats whose faces have been ripped off and you're worried about dildos?!)
  • It ensures that the game's graphics, which are made of text, are legible and easy to interact with. (E.g., trying to grab a pair of trousers when the craft's ID is actually 'leggings' would make life difficult.)
  • It keeps things fair and balanced towards other players. If you want to make something fancy out of starstone and spidersilk, you need to either make the same investment as other players (buy/quest for the relevant commodity) or settle for the same commodities that everyone else who didn't want to go through the extra hassle had to, and make your craft more ordinary. If you buy tailoring, you shouldn't be able to use it for the same ends as someone who's spent credits to have both tailoring and jewelcraft.
  • It saves the crafter embarrassment should they happen to make a typo.
That's it. The end. It doesn't and shouldn't do anything more than what I've listed above. Rules should exist for practical reasons. They are meant to benefit as many people as possible. If they aren't doing that, particularly if they're doing the opposite, they're only getting in the way. Rulings should follow the same pattern.

Now watch this informative video by one of the most eloquent logophiles of our time, Mr. Stephen Fry:


So if you catch yourself doing any of the following:
  • Scoffing that a coat is described as having 'less than five buttons'
  • Being frustrated by improper usage of the words 'bemused' and 'demur'
  • Complaining that a comma-splice should be replaced by a semi-colon
  • Complaining that a hyphen should be replaced by an en-dash
  • Correcting other people's interchangeable use of 'lying' and 'laying' to refer to prone objects
Ask yourself: Who am I helping? Am I a logophile?

My answer for you in most cases would be 'yourself' and 'no'.

It's not that there isn't a time and place for stringent grammar, that's what copy-editors are for. But I'm going to take a leap and assume that most of our staff, approvers and players aren't copy-editors, journalists or English professors, going, for example, by the fact that HELP GRAMMAR itself has multiple errors. I also doubt that this is IRE's target audience. I doubt that even an English professor would shun someone who hasn't spent years studying what they do over a comma-splice. (Like the one I made in the first sentence of this paragraph in order to prove a point. Did you notice? Did you care?)

When I ask for someone to review my writing, I take their advice on board. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I thank them but decide to stick with what I've got. I admit, nonetheless, that I'm a little galled by pedants having the power to review my writing whether I'm interested in their opinion or not, particularly to the point of being able to decide what I can and can't write; particularly if I can spot errors in their own writing.

A few people in other threads have made the comment that, 'Well, that's life for you, sometimes at work your boss who knows less than you do also tells you what to do.' True. The problem is this game isn't a job, it's a hobby and a purchase. No one's profits depend on my ability to correctly use a semi-colon; they depend on my ability to have fun.

So...

Whom do strict crafting standards benefit?

Beyond the purposes of the craft approval system listed above? They don't. It's a case of players, and possibly volunteers, being a bit mad with power, in my opinion.




I want people to consider this for its own sake, as I think that if they do, it will suffice for improving the current state of the craft approval process. But I also want to propose a number of suggestions for coders to change the way things are done:

Suggestion A:

DESIGN # CORRECTIONS [FORCE/REQUEST]

Add an option to pay an extra 1000 gold per craft to have the Trade Guild force corrections on any grammatical errors, typos or material conflicts they find in your craft. Useful for people who are underconfident with their English. The sum will be split between the player approvers on the other end, regardless of whether or not they find any errors with the craft. The approvers will be given commands to edit all fields of the design, including adding commodities or corpse-types.

The craft will still be rejected if there is something else wrong with it: e.g., it's deemed inappropriate thematically in a way that can't be corrected. In this case, the designer will still lose the gold, but the player approvers will not receive it on their end. (As if they did receive it, they could just repeatedly reject crafts to make more.)

Once forced corrections are made, the craft will then be semi-approved. At the Craft Office, you have the option to either pay the fee and accept the edited craft, or if you disagree with the corrections that have been made, you can edit it, comment with the issue and send it back. This will cost an extra 1000 gold every time you do it. In other words, you're better off accepting the changes that have been made if you risk this option.

The default mode for this option is 'request' and is free. If you want your corrections made by request, no edits will be made to your craft, but the Trade Guild will comment on any corrections they want you to make before they approve it.

Suggestion B:

Simplify the grammar rules dramatically.

Sentences should start with a capital letter and end in a period. Other words should be lowercase unless they are proper nouns. Obvious misspellings should be corrected. Beyond that, if the design is legible, doesn't break the theme, uses all the proper commodities, has the correct identity and is made using the right craft, it should be approved. If the Trade Guild spot grammatical errors (e.g., they object to the use of a particular semi-colon or want to make the designer aware of the difference between 'less' and 'fewer'), or even have suggestions for improvement such as: 'Hey, love your craft, but have you thought of using spidersilk instead of gossamer for an added cool-factor?' or 'I notice you've used a lion to represent Spinesreach in this craft. Are you aware that the mascot has been changed to a gyrfalcon?' They can make them, but it's up to the designer whether or not they take those suggestions on board, whatever they are. With a semi-approved craft notated with suggested edits beyond the mandatory ones, they can either say 'thanks, but no thanks' and keep their grammar as it is to receive the approved design, or make the changes and wait for it to be rechecked.




If you read through all of this, I'm hugely impressed. If you didn't, the tl;dr is that we should have werecoons, and I thank you for reading.
Post edited by Nia on
DraimanXeniaAishiaTragerLinMariena
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Comments

  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭
    But ya I mean I've literally never even gotten involved in crafting because of the above, just sounds like a headache. My other big thing was/is always "Expand and improve how designs are made available publicly so that non-writer people can still feel compelled to use crafting skills" I bet there's 1000s of really awesome items inactive players made that would really round out what was available in game. Something to be able to submit a design as a PUBLIC design and not have to pay any fees on it would be neat. Not to say EVERY design should just automatically become public when it expires but an option to set it so it WOULD, would be great.




    NiaXenia
  • TenshyoTenshyo Member Posts: 376 ✭✭✭
    Aishia said:

    But ya I mean I've literally never even gotten involved in crafting because of the above, just sounds like a headache. My other big thing was/is always "Expand and improve how designs are made available publicly so that non-writer people can still feel compelled to use crafting skills" I bet there's 1000s of really awesome items inactive players made that would really round out what was available in game. Something to be able to submit a design as a PUBLIC design and not have to pay any fees on it would be neat. Not to say EVERY design should just automatically become public when it expires but an option to set it so it WOULD, would be great.

    I know I myself will glady submit any woodcraft designs for people! If I need comms for it, only thing I'll charge the person is the comms (If you bring me the design and get all the comms for it, I can take 5.89 seconds and make you the dang thing. You did all the 'work')
    (Barring Tarot of course. That is where I draw the line)

  • NiaNia TrashyMember Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
    I'm really glad that as a result of this thread, the community is now in full agreement that werecoons should be implemented. :smiley:

    Your move, @Razmael?
    TenshyoIshin
  • TenshyoTenshyo Member Posts: 376 ✭✭✭
    Nia said:

    I'm really glad that as a result of this thread, the community is now in full agreement that werecoons should be implemented. :smiley:

    Your move, @Razmael?

    Oh... son of a...

    UGH.

    baited so hard

  • NiaNia TrashyMember Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
    Tenshyo said:

    Nia said:

    I'm really glad that as a result of this thread, the community is now in full agreement that werecoons should be implemented. :smiley:

    Your move, @Razmael?

    Oh... son of a...

    UGH.

    baited so hard
    Hey, no, I was actually serious about the original topic.

    This isn't an uncommon sentiment:
    Aishia said:

    But ya I mean I've literally never even gotten involved in crafting because of the above, just sounds like a headache.

    Sent By: Name-removed-unless-they-say-it's-okay-because-quoted-without-permission on 10/01/2016/22:20
    //Congratulations! You have confirmed my suspicions that picking up craft skills would be an absolutely terrible idea.
    Now I may be newish, but I've also heard senior crafters express the sentiment that many of the crafting standards are obnoxious, illogical, or plain wrong. (Grammatically and historically, i.e., regarding rulings of what is and isn't suitable for the theme. Apparently someone had a lead pipe rejected for being too modern, when those have existed since Roman times and we literally have them described in the Spinesreach/Enorian Sewers?)

    If everyone feels this way...
    Rashar said:

    Poor Nia.

    She's still fresh enough to fight the crafting system.

    Maybe it's a good thing someone is fresh enough to neither 'roll over', nor simply decide they're not going to bother with the crafting system at all.

    The current system seems counter-productive based on everything I've heard. Altering the standards it's based on would benefit everyone, including IRE's pockets. More people take up crafting => The queue moves faster (I mean seriously, I've been waiting on some designs which haven't even been rejected for over a week now) => Less headache, more fun for everyone. Isn't that the goal?
  • DraimanDraiman Dr. Drai Member Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2016
    It's less fun for the pedants though and we have to find middle ground. What will they do with their free time if they can't reject improper comma splices?

    Edit: Did I use the word pedants right there? I stole it from the video. Crafters help me out.
    "You ever been divided by zero?" Nia asks you with a squint.



    Nia
  • NiaNia TrashyMember Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2016
    Draiman said:

    What will they do with their free time if they can't reject improper comma splices.

    That's a fair point. May I recommend the time-honoured British pastime of hind-pulled vocabulary trolling:


    XeniaDraimanTeaniIrruel
  • RasaniRasani Member Posts: 119 ✭✭✭
    If I'm not mistaken, approvers used to be able to make grammar fixes as needed, but crafters weren't exactly huge fans of it. Not to mention, people fixing your mistakes doesn't exactly aid you in learning how to do it right yourself. I also get the feeling you are VASTLY overestimating the "power" approvers have. Simply adding more cost to the situation isn't going to please anyone, and more often than not it will just lead to people sending it back anyway because nobody likes being told they're wrong. As it is, approving is slow going, adding another step and hurdle to this isn't going to make things go any faster and I can promise people will continue to complain, perhaps complain even more, if things slow down further.
    Finally, you've got to remember, Approvers are doing this for free.

    There's a lot that's still being gone over for crafting, the system used to just be a free reign of stuff that lead to T-shirts and converse sneakers being craftable items. In the interest of making things fit the theme, they're STILL working through stuff and fixing things as they come across. Part of it is honestly being patient and not being so, frankly, condescending. If I'd gotten a response like the first one you sent when a simple "This grammar rule applies here -link-" would suffice? I'd be annoyed as heck, it's not directed at me and even -I- feel like it's condescending. As I said to someone in a different thread, being nice goes a long way.

    I've said it before to people and I'll say it again, Becue is super easy to talk to and really all you've got to do is shoot 'em a message and say "Hey, here's what's on my mind." As you saw and learned with the Ostrich thing, I saw Becue try to be real helpful to you, and the same applies here. As long as you're polite and nice and, again, maybe not so condescending, Becue will hear you out.

    And to cap it out, good luck in all your werecoon endeavors.
  • ZsadistZsadist Member Posts: 815 ✭✭✭✭
    Something to remember, not everything said is condescending.

    I would personally feel like someone giving me a link to an explanation is rather insightful. Speaking from experience (I had my artifact gloves rejected for grammatical issues), someone gave me the link of where and how the grammar is supposed to work. While I still don't completely comprehend the grammar behind it, it makes sense (sort of).

    Be patient, yes I agree with. However, I don't feel like she was condescending by providing a link. She merely provided insight on what she was going by vs what the approvers are going by.
    (Oasis): Benedicto says, "There was like 0.5 seconds between "Oh hey, they're in area. That was quick." and "OMFG THEY'RE IN THE AREA STAHP STAHP!""


    NiaTeaniMariena
  • RasaniRasani Member Posts: 119 ✭✭✭
    Zsadist said:

    Something to remember, not everything said is condescending.

    I would personally feel like someone giving me a link to an explanation is rather insightful. Speaking from experience (I had my artifact gloves rejected for grammatical issues), someone gave me the link of where and how the grammar is supposed to work. While I still don't completely comprehend the grammar behind it, it makes sense (sort of).

    Be patient, yes I agree with. However, I don't feel like she was condescending by providing a link. She merely provided insight on what she was going by vs what the approvers are going by.

    Of course she wasn't condescending in providing a link, that's all well and good! What -is- condescending is the paragraph or more that came with it, as she showed in the other thread, instead of "I disagree, here's a link explaining my stance". A whole paragraph of "Oh it's such a common mistake, counter intuitive I know but educate yourself" is overkill. As stated above, if I saw that I'd be far less inclined to try and work with someone who spoke to me like that. It's like when someone at work talks down to you, it's irritating and they may not mean to do it, but damn if it doesn't make you want to ruin every order they send your way.
  • TeaniTeani Evening Sky SwedenMember Posts: 1,854 ✭✭✭✭✭
    There seem to be many people who read condescension into things where none is intended (especially in text where tone of voice can't help). I know, personally, that I have been accused of this when all I've intended is to explain something (like my point of view, but without necessarily attempting to push a personal agenda, just to provide insight) and use, perhaps, a different way to go about it. It's not that I believe I'm better than others, it's simply that I'm used to explaining things for students in several ways (because everyone learns differently and as a teacher one has to try to reach everyone). Perhaps a bad habit of mine, but I prefer adding to people's insight rather than leaving them in the dark.

    In other words, if someone comes with an explanation, try not to take it as them being condescending at first glance. More often than not, there will be specifics thrown in to make sure you get how superior a -truly- condescending person is to you. If not, I try to assume the best and I'm pretty sure I'm happier for not taking offense too easily.



    Emelle
  • XeniaXenia Member Posts: 886 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rasani said:

    Zsadist said:

    Something to remember, not everything said is condescending.

    I would personally feel like someone giving me a link to an explanation is rather insightful. Speaking from experience (I had my artifact gloves rejected for grammatical issues), someone gave me the link of where and how the grammar is supposed to work. While I still don't completely comprehend the grammar behind it, it makes sense (sort of).

    Be patient, yes I agree with. However, I don't feel like she was condescending by providing a link. She merely provided insight on what she was going by vs what the approvers are going by.

    Of course she wasn't condescending in providing a link, that's all well and good! What -is- condescending is the paragraph or more that came with it, as she showed in the other thread, instead of "I disagree, here's a link explaining my stance". A whole paragraph of "Oh it's such a common mistake, counter intuitive I know but educate yourself" is overkill. As stated above, if I saw that I'd be far less inclined to try and work with someone who spoke to me like that. It's like when someone at work talks down to you, it's irritating and they may not mean to do it, but damn if it doesn't make you want to ruin every order they send your way.
    Oh weird. When I read what she wrote, it was not assuming a condescending tone. I thought it written with a sincerity. Sometimes a short, 'hey this is wrong, here's the link,' can be taken as terse or rude; I read the last half of the paragraph as attempting to humanize the whole process.

    Whatever the case, can we all take a moment to amuse over the gravity of this thread?
    image
  • RasaniRasani Member Posts: 119 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2016
    I suppose it's just a difference in what people see as condescending. I don't think anyone ever MEANS to be condescending, unless they're an unicorns, it just happens..
  • RasharRashar Member Posts: 1,609 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Some people just have thin skin.

    Didi
  • NiaNia TrashyMember Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2016
    I don't like responding with a temper, so thought I'd take a few days to reflect before I did. I apologise for the delay; I wasn't ignoring, just chewing on the food @Rasani gave for thought.

    My intention wasn't to be condescending towards the approver on the design being referred to, although I apologise if that's how I came across. From my perspective, a significantly shorter reply — 'you're wrong, here's the link that says so' — would have sounded dismissive, but maybe that's just how I've been socialised. I recognise the difference between intent and result, nonetheless, and accept responsibility for both. I wasn't happy with the rejection at all, and while I try not to let that show, to a certain degree it's inevitable. Context, though:

    This wasn't the first, nor the only instance of a design rejection for reasons I perceive to be unduly particular. What prompted me to post on the Pet Peeves thread (visibly in frustration, at that point) was more akin to a last-straw situation. That kind of argument has been had on a bunch of designs, and I've tried different approaches on many of them. The first time it happened, I wasn't even dismayed. I thought, 'Oh! Well this comment is fair, but that other one is a bit strange. I'll let them know, perhaps they weren't aware,' and I did so in a manner that I don't think can be described as anything but polite. When it was still rejected, I didn't respond further, but messaged @Becue to sort it out. She indicated she'd be willing to let the design through on my terms, but explained why she thought the approver's issue with the wording had merit, and that changing it as requested would provide better clarity for my purposes with the design. After listening to her reasoning, I came to the conclusion that she was right, and changed the wording to have the design approved per request. After that, though, I stopped receiving responses for any messages, no matter how politely worded, and began to just feel like a nuisance. I understand she's busy, but the overall impression I got was a silent indication from all angles of, 'You need to learn to work with the system.' This may just be coincidence, but it even seemed to me like my designs were being delayed significantly longer and longer. A good friend of mine, whom I assume I must have in common with other Aetolians, said I was being a 'problem newbie'.

    So I don't think you're correct, Rasani, that a shorter reply would have sufficed, no matter how politely worded. Considering even the longer reply was rejected, as has been every instance of trying to disagree with the Trade Guild in any way, shape or form, clearly a shorter reply wouldn't have sufficed; this really isn't about the tone being used, but the fact that issues are being raised at all. While I agree that it pays to be nice, I think that in this instance, 'being nice' is actually code for 'capitulating'. In which case, no, it doesn't pay: not for me, not for any other designers who have to use the system, and not even for the present approvers who may feel like they're coming under fire. This thread might be a headache for the players behind the Trade Guild at the moment, but I think it's a worthwhile headache to have if it prompts discussion, and potentially panacea, for the migraine-inducing system that would otherwise continue unchecked save for various passive-aggressive forms of absent communication, which doesn't help anyone.

    I know I'm not the only one. Since making this thread, multiple people have sent me in-game tells, messages and forum PMs saying, 'Hey man, I totally agree with you. That's why I [don't craft / am sick of crafting / disagree with the system, as a crafter / have tried to email @Razmael before about this issue, as a crafter / want you to email Matt / used to craft on MKO, but am not willing to shell out the credits to buy a craft on Aetolia, as it doesn't seem worthwhile].'

    To reiterate, this thread isn't about any specific designs I've had issues with, nor any specific grammar rules that approvers follow. It's about the problematic mindset under which these are made. To use the example of the one design I posted about (here, for reference), I don't at this point want to say, 'let's all agree that collective nouns should not always be treated as singular, and get that rule changed'. I like to think that I have pretty good grammar. It might not be perfect all the time, but on the whole I'd say that it's better than average. From this position, I think that if someone's going to correct anything other than my obvious typos, they had best know what they're talking about. That's not a shot at the designers; I'm sure they all have their individual talents, but I assume that most of them are not, specifically, English professors, journalists or professional copy-editors. I assume that Becue doesn't vet for that, for very good reason. So with that in mind, if we can all accept that we're most likely amateurs to the craft from different backgrounds, maybe we should agree that trying to police to a high standard of grammar that we most likely don't have isn't feasible, and is a mindset that should be changed: for all of the reasons listed in this post and in the OP.

    You mentioned, Rasani, that time is a factor. The queue is really slow at the moment. So wouldn't it be better for everyone, and save time, if approvers weren't required to check for high-level grammatical errors that they aren't qualified to verify?

    Regarding converse sneakers and T-shirts: as addressed in the OP, we agree on that. That's not what this thread or its proposed solutions are about.
    Post edited by Nia on
  • PhoeneciaPhoenecia Somewhere in AtticaMember Posts: 475 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2016
    I've been a crafter for years. I enjoy it, and it's a large part of what I do with my time on Aetolia. I'll admit the crafting system isn't perfect, and does have it's frustrations, but once you know how things work and how to play the system to make things easier, it's mostly a breeze.

    The big thing to keep in mind with crafting is that while you do have a lot of creative freedom, it's still very much a give and take sort of thing. Crafting is ultimately overseen by Becue, but much of the approval process is left to designated approvers that are selected from existing crafters. Just because there's more crafters doesn't mean the approval process gets any quicker. The queue can get flooded with designs, and having to look through dozens, especially when more than a few can get insanely verbose (I'm guilty of submitting those kinds of designs on occasion), can cause burnout real quick. There are only a handful of approvers now that have to sift through dozens of designs daily - more when the queue starts piling up.

    You want your stuff approved quicker, or your stuff isn't getting approved? Consider the length and verbosity of what you're submitting. A lot of players here don't enjoy looking at a gigantic wall of text, and the same is true of crafters. Back when crafting approval was open to all crafters, I dreaded looking at designs that took up my entire screen AND had all of the extra descs filled in. Why? It's a lot to sift through, and the more text there is, the easier it is to miss minor things like a misspelled word, improper worn tags, or missing commodities. First impressions are everything, and sometimes even the approvers might just glance at something and go 'newp, not dealing with this one' and leave it for someone else.

    Items still not getting approved or getting a lot of rejections? Maybe it's time to consider that maybe there might be something wrong with your writing and not a fault of the system. Crafting approvers have varied opinions, and it requires three rejections before a design gets booted from the queue. If you're getting a lot of similar feedback, it might be time you look at what YOU can adjust rather than railing against the system immediately or crying injustice. 90% of other designs go through just fine and with few issues.

    Another thing about approvers? They've always had the ability to forcibly change things in the design queue and alter wording, but it's generally not done because people complained about their designs being edited. Now? Approvers reject things so the crafter can see and correct their own mistakes.

    Also, another thing that would help crafters is reading the damn help files. HELP DESIGN GUIDELINES is a big one, along with a lot of the related help files. Also the Crafters news posts. Guidelines for crafting change all the time, and sometimes things that were acceptable before no longer are while things that weren't allowed before are allowed now. 

    Also, I keep hearing about these numerous people that complaining about how horrible the crafting system is and what a pain getting things approved is and how crafting isn't worth it. Well, as I mentioned before, I've been crafting a long time. Most of the well-known crafters and shopkeepers have also been doing it for a long time, and are still doing it, and enjoy doing it. Why? They've taken the time and effort to learn the system and how to work with it, and have the patience to persevere through rejections and disappointment until they get to the point where crafting is pretty much a breeze. You have to really love designing to stick with it. Most of the people who get fed up with it and drop crafting after a few rejections, not so much. 

    I always encourage anyone interested in crafting and designing to take it up because it really is fun, and not the huge headache it's made out to be. When you know exactly what you're doing, and the limits you can push, and what makes things easier, crafting is effortless, but it requires experience, and a lot of trial and error. And most importantly of all, it requires perseverance and patience. 
    FaerahMariena
  • EmelleEmelle the Seer Seer's WoodMember Posts: 711 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2016
    I think the updated guidelines are actually closer to your second suggestion in the OP, @Nia. The problem is, a lot of this stuff is a little bit subjective. Approvers come from various backgrounds with regard to grammar and style (as do crafters), and the process surrounds people's original ideas, which are sensitive.

    I'm guilty of once rejecting a design over incorrectly used hyphens, not to be a pedant, but because I do have an advanced degree and was taught that said usage was an unalienable offense, as well as because I thought it would be an easy fix for the designer based on the otherwise good quality of the writing. The designer was not happy with my suggestions, it escalated to Becue, she decided this sort of fix was more specific than is useful for our needs, and I ended up with a better understanding of what the approval expectations are in this context.

    I guess this is just to say that most approvers aren't out for a power trip, and we don't derive joy out of rejecting designs. We're learning the system with everyone else, all the time. Which isn't to say some people can't be jerks about it, but we aren't out to make designers' lives more difficult. I know individual people have had bad experiences with the crafting system -- approvers have dealt with our fair share of rude feedback, too -- I guess I just want to advocate for everyone on both sides of the system to try to understand the other's position.

    (and also I will probably still correct people's dangling modifiers because they DO NOT MAKE SENSE GRAMMATICALLY sry)
    Post edited by Emelle on
    Nia
  • TeaniTeani Evening Sky SwedenMember Posts: 1,854 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Phoenecia said:

    Consider the length and verbosity of what you're submitting.

    This. Very much this. It's alright for a few select items, but if the queue is -flooded- with "oh so special, must be at least 20 lines of descriptive writing that bedazzles everyone" it will take time and I remember looking at those back in the days thinking just like Phoenecia wrote: "Newp, not today. I have better things to do with my time".

    No matter the number required for a rejection to go through, it is still frustrating to watch an approver, assigned to check for grammar mistakes, reference incorrect reasons for rejecting a grammatically correct sentence. It has happened to me on numerous occasions, and I've started altering full sentences (correct ones from the start) to a simpler language just to make sure that the less qualified approvers might not find any faults just so I can get designs through the queue more speedily. That's not how it should be, but the reason I "cave" like that is because previous notes on grammar rules have seemed to upset people more than is reasonable.

    Trust me, I too love crafting. I recommend people to give it a try if they like it. It's just really frustrating at times. I also know that the approvers are volunteering their time and are subject to making mistakes. It happens. However, if one approver makes a mistake, perhaps it would be good if a second approver posts a comment negating the first rejection? Rather than simply approving it and moving on, I mean.

    For example:
    Examined: Hugging the wearer's form tightly, this silk creation spins in diagonals around the body...

    Comments from the Trade Guild:
    Timestamp 1: There is no such word as "wearer".
    Timestamp 2: Wearer is a common way to describe the person wearing the item in Aetolia. Feel free to keep it as is!



    NiaRasaniEmelle
  • FaerahFaerah Member Posts: 216 ✭✭✭✭
    I normally just message Becue when I have a concern with a comment made. I don't wait for it to be elevated to her. This has helped me multiple times and also prevents a lot of drama.
    Emelle
  • DraimanDraiman Dr. Drai Member Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I can't click that 'lol' button, because that's not funny.

    It's true.

    And it's unicorns sad.
    "You ever been divided by zero?" Nia asks you with a squint.



    DidiAtrapoemaIshinZsadist
  • AlexinaAlexina the Haunted Soul Member Posts: 851 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Of course there is such a word as wearer.

    Also, the very least I would expect from any design is that there are no spelling or grammar errors. I have no idea why OP thinks designs where lying/laying have been used incorrectly is such a minor error that the people responsible for approving designs should let it pass; if there is an error, it needs to be corrected. That's not being unreasonable. It's the opposite of being unreasonable.

    I can't be the only one that thinks that a primarily text-based game should contain as few spelling or grammar errors as possible. Personally, I was super upset every time I realized one of my designs had passed the approval process only to realize there was an error. I always had to resubmit it again, because I'm not going to walk around with textitems that aren't texteven properly textspelled.
    image
    ZailaErzsebet
  • NiaNia TrashyMember Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
    Alexina said:

    I have no idea why OP thinks designs where lying/laying have been used incorrectly is such a minor error that the people responsible for approving designs should let it pass; if there is an error, it needs to be corrected. That's not being unreasonable. It's the opposite of being unreasonable.

    Because the rules of grammar are so complex, nuanced, and ever-changing, that you would have to be a professional (read: qualified) wordsmith of some kind for your opinion to actually count for something. And even then, there are differences in opinion between certain formally-recognised manuals of style as to what is grammatically acceptable or not; what is grammatically better than something simply deemed acceptable; etc. These rules are updated on a regular basis, and on the whole, Aetolian approvers are not qualified to be giving their opinions on this subject.

    There are certain objective grammatical rules that matter wholeheartedly, particularly for the sake of clarity. I gave the example of sentences beginning with a capital letter, ending in a period, and all other words in the sentence being lowercase unless they are proper nouns. This is one basic rule where I'm unfamiliar of any formally-recognised manuals of style that would disagree.

    But for example, some of the rules listed in HELP GRAMMAR are plain wrong, to the point where no formally-recognised manual of style would agree. See for example the notion that collective nouns are always singular, which I've been asked to change in one of my designs (P.S., I stubbornly refuse because it's 100% wrong, and the now three-week-old design has still not been approved). Some of them are subjective and do not affect the clarity of any designs they impact.

    To give you another example of how anal grammar can be, a common mistake that many people make is double-spacing after a period. This is objectively wrong, by all modern standards of style guides today, but it used to be correct. So recently, in fact, that you can generally tell a person's age on the internet (or on their resumé) by whether or not they make this error, as it indicates that they grew up in the 80s or prior, when they were taught in school that double-spacing after a period is correct, and that single-spacing is incorrect. I know plenty of MU*s made by Gen-Xers where the double-space after a period is upheld as the correct form, and trying to get into a heated argument about things people were actively taught to do differently would be hopeless.

    A number of people (including @Becue, during a conversation I had with her) have brought up the fact that approvers and crafters alike all come from different backgrounds, levels of education, regions, etc. I'm not sure why this argument keeps being brought up against relaxation of stringent grammar rules, as to me, it's one of the best arguments in favour of it. Anyone cognisant of this ought to be well aware that their way may not be the only correct way, or even a correct way (presuming they are not some kind of erudite linguist / English professor IRL). They ought to be more accepting of standards that differ from their own, in situations where they're aware those standards go beyond the most basic rules of grammar that almost everyone literate would agree on.

    It's clear from your post, @Alexina, that you do have a more than basic grasp of the English language, and I hope that my post reads well enough to your standards as well. So logophile to logophile, tell me: do you honestly feel your immersion is broken when someone emotes at you with incorrect punctuation around quotation marks? Or when you see a misplaced semi-colon in a player's description? If not, why should designs be held to any different standards? It's fine to hold yourself to whatever high standards you please, but I don't think it's fine to hold others to your own standards, which based on your location, age and education, are bound to be flawed from someone else's equally-qualified perspective.
  • RasaniRasani Member Posts: 119 ✭✭✭
    Wow, it's real wild to hear "I didn't mean to be condescending" right above a post that basically calls approvers uneducated.
    You don't know the backgrounds of the approvers. I'm sure we have approvers who do study the language. I'm sure we have approvers who are teachers or students of that kind, or even writers so it's wild to see you act as if you know what qualifications people have.
    The reason why designs are held to a higher standard is simple. Because it's something that will outlive a new person joining the game and learning how to properly emote or use any number of language tools. It's something that will be part of the game for a good, long while. And, more than that? A description is easily changed, easily altered if a problem is found. A design goes through? An admin has to do and correct that, becomes a headache.
    These things are held to the standard of admin designed items and places because of course they are. At the end of the day, this is a game that people are actually trying to make money off of. Like anything you make, you want it to be polished and, yes, that means if players can add items to the game, you want to hold them to the same standards you hold your game writers. If you think that's unfair, well, I disagree. This is a product for public consumption, the items people are making are often for public consumption. When you make things for public consumption, you have to expect that you will be held to higher standards. And I don't think that's unreasonable! You get to make anything you want that fits within the timeframe and isn't something idiotic like a dildo or something. You get to add items to a game, you get to customize your experience in a way you don't get to in many other formats, without having an immense amount of coding and modeling knowledge. Having to hold yourself to some higher standards is such a hilariously small price to pay for the ability they're giving you.
    TragerAisling
  • NiaNia TrashyMember Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2016
    Rasani said:

    Wow, it's real wild to hear "I didn't mean to be condescending" right above a post that basically calls approvers uneducated.

    You're really reading into things here, and at this point it's going to descend into a straw-argument.
    Emelle said:

    The problem is, a lot of this stuff is a little bit subjective. Approvers come from various backgrounds with regard to grammar and style (as do crafters) [...]

    Becue said:

    The Divine voice of Becue echoes in your head, "However approvers, just like crafters, are volunteers, and human."

    The Divine voice of Becue echoes in your head, "[...] They are human. Each person in the crafting community, just like the game, comes from a different point of entry - culturally, geographically, what language they natively speak, what education they had in English, etc. People are trying their best, and will make errors. Rather than treating them as opposition to conquer, consider what room and understanding you would want for yourself, and give it to them."

    Comments from the Trade Guild:
    2016/09/30 17:55: […] English is an inconsistent and subjective language in many instances, and there are grammatical rules that change depending upon nation and region, and formality of writing.

    Nia said:

    A number of people (including @Becue, during a conversation I had with her) have brought up the fact that approvers and crafters alike all come from different backgrounds, levels of education, regions, etc. [...] Anyone cognisant of this ought to be well aware that their way may not be the only correct way, or even a correct way (presuming they are not some kind of erudite linguist / English professor IRL).

    Nia said:

    Because the rules of grammar are so complex, nuanced, and ever-changing, that you would have to be a professional (read: qualified) wordsmith of some kind for your opinion to actually count for something. […] These rules are updated on a regular basis, and on the whole, Aetolian approvers are not qualified to be giving their opinions on this subject.

    I don't think that making the statistically-plausible assumption that the vast majority of Aetolian approvers are not 'erudite linguists / English professors [of some kind]' equates with 'basically [calling them] uneducated'. It's just so improbable that I'd be willing to hedge monetary bets on it, as someone with a lifelong disinclination towards gambling.

    You're right, I don't know the backgrounds of the approvers, which is precisely the point. I'm pretty sure that you and Becue don't know either. This being a game for amateur writers (amateur here in the literal sense — not professional, not by trade), there is no vetting process for who is or isn't 'some kind of erudite linguist / English professor'. Which is great, because we really don't need them. We just need to not give people the authority of one.

    I wouldn't trust a random Aetolian Cabalist player to operate on my leg, so why should I trust a random Aetolian approver to operate on my grammar?

    If I sound condescending in this post, though I hope I don't, at this point it's because I've had to defend in detail words which I didn't say. I'd rather leave that to American politicians.

    Finally, regarding your point about 'higher standards' — the point I'm making (see the offending post above yours) is that we aren't talking about higher standards, we're talking about different standards, and in some cases, outdated or objectively incorrect standards that remain as a holdover in an inefficient system of conformity. This problem would be solved by everyone agreeing to hold themselves to whatever high standards they have for themselves — I like to assume that everyone is doing the best they can — without imposing those standards, arbitrarily, upon others.


    EDIT: Added in a quote from the design comments previously quoted on the Pet Peeves thread.
    Post edited by Nia on
    Erzsebet
  • TragerTrager Raiding your underwear drawer.Member Posts: 568 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This situation is similar to half a dozen people saying, "This is an orange," with you sitting here saying, "No, it's a banana." Please just stop with the perceived insult and stick with the heart of the problem. Of what the OP wrote, I agree wholeheartedly. The crafting realm has always had this problem, that 'elitist' mentality. It's unnecessary, and approvers should revert back to the base statutes that they originally followed.

    NiaZsadistMariena
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I mean the fact that it's being held it to such a crazy high standard makes it unappealing and inaccessible to a lot of people that seems like a bogproblem in of itself. Even if people could keep fixing designs with rejections it's still going to be demoralizing and they're going to feel like they're getting nitpicked on and discriminated against.




    DraimanIshin
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