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To Our Players Regarding OOC Chat Groups
I have put off making this post in hopes that things would calm but we keep receiving complaints about things going on in a player's AoE Discord server. As I have told those making the complaints: we will not get involved in any disputes happening within any unofficial game chats, be it Discord or other group messaging service (the only exception being if alt information is being shared and those screen caps are brought to us). Joining these services is not necessary to enjoy the game, but if you do join and find you don't like the topics that are being discussed, the best thing you can do for yourself is leave said group chat. Unless the specific aforementioned TOS is violated (alt sharing), we don't want or need to know what is going on in OOC chats. And hey, if you do want us involved in a discussion, let us know! We'll set up a time to talk one-on-one or open up a group discussion for the whole community to be involved.
When the Discord server was first created, we made a collective decision to not join so players can have a safe space to talk about the game, blow off steam, and interact without worry of a "big brother" presence. We have always operated with the unspoken understanding that players will reach out to us if they have serious issues they need to discuss. If anyone on the server claims to be a member of staff, they are lying. If anyone is claiming that other users on the server are members of staff, they are lying (or terribly misinformed). We are always willing to discuss and hear players out if they have ideas, questions, or complaints so remember this: we can't fix a problem if we don't know about it.
The only thing I ask of those participating in OOC group chats is to be mindful and respectful of your fellow players. Mean-spirited and toxic behavior only serves to harm the community we love.
If there is anything staff can do to help alleviate concerns some of you may have, please reach out. We appreciate all of you and the time you take out of your lives to help create this little world.
In addition to in-game chat lines, the following emails can be used to reach out to specific staff members:
topsy 'at' allegoryofempires.com
roo 'at' allegoryofempires.com
kjell 'at' allegoryofempires.com
To contact all staff:
staff 'at' allegoryofmpires.com
Yes yes so much yes. I was indeed terribly misinformed about which players were also members of staff. A couple of the players who joined the Discord chat more recently have been complaining in the chat to no end about the Discord server being used as a place for players to blow off steam about things that frustrate them, which of course isn't something for staff to hear because it's just venting, which isn't constructive but is sometimes necessary. This drove me nuts to the point where I lost it and lashed out at them. I had been misinformed that they were staff and had assumed that they had joined the chat to police it, and it certainly seemed to me that their behavior was very chat-police-like. Thank you so much, Roo, for making this post and also thank you so much to all the staff for making the decision to stay out of the chat group. I have massive respect for all of you for making that decision.
Thank you for your honesty. Misinformation spreads like wildfire, especially in our small community where our players put so much trust in each other. My sincere hope is that people are not taking advantage of that trust by intentionally spreading false information. I hope it's just a difference of opinions discussion that got a little too heated.
With any chat room or social media group, it's up to the creator to lay down ground rules for what is and isn't acceptable behavior, and then to make sure those rules are being enforced. I know I know, I'm a stick in the mud with all this "rule" talk, but it is necessary in today's society where there are so many different walks of life converging together in one tiny space (how cool is that really?). Without this, everyone is going to operate with their own personal understanding of what is acceptable and there will inevitably be problems when one group wants to blow off steam and another thinks that is inappropriate or inflammatory behavior and a third group just wants to share cat memes. This might make for fun conflict in a game setting but not in a real life setting.
Again, how players want to handle these OOC group is up to them but if I can offer a little advice:
- Make sure there are clear guidelines for the group and that there is active moderation of said guidelines.
- If you join a group and aren't happy with the guidelines in place, you don't have to stay. Join a different group or make your own!
- If you find yourself blowing off steam about the same thing over and over, it might be time to talk to a staff member about what we can do to help out.
- Don't blindly believe everything you hear!
I understand the importance of the OOC friendships that are made and those bonds are what make people feel at home here. It's okay to disagree. It's okay to not get along. There is room for everyone, I promise.