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Better than a council?


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In relation to: http://magicduel.invisionzone.com/topic/13456-council-approval-rating/

Some people clearly think the current iteration of the council is bad. So whats the suggestions of a better thing?

Keeping in mind we still need people to decide what gets coded, who gets what tags/items and manage important things like payments of bills and other rubbish?

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[quote name='awiiya' timestamp='1356972881' post='129370'] Actually Maebius, I'm not sure that's a fair assessment. I think that you could make an equally convincing argument for it being skewed i

I would like to see that the Council forum (or what ever way they communicate with each other) be revealed to the public. I want to see the decision making process between them, and how they came t

Chewett, I'm not sure the sideline comments are helping much either... I think I may put a vote out with some of the ideas culled from this topic to see what people think of them. I would love to

I suggest a new group of people, known to the Community, lead by BFH.

Ergo, a Council with faces, lead by someone we can all trust to be unbiased.

Edit: im sure ill get criticized for this opinion, but at least im giving one. Im sure my ideas has flaws, but i just thought id throw this out there.

Edited by Fang Archbane
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There are a number of options, I think, if we wish to change the Council. They fall into two broad categories: abolishing the Council, and significantly modifying the Council.

[b]Abolishing[/b]

1. A single King of the realm, much like Mur.
2. A splitting of duties into a number of people. One person handles rule breaking, one person development, another roles, another coding, another bills, etc. They could either have an overseer, or they could make large decision about the game much as the Council does. Preferably non-anonymous, but they could be mixed: the person who pays the bills doesn't really need to be known, so they are anonymous; the person who handles rule breaking, to promote trust, may be public; the person handling tags and such may be anonymous or public.
3. A vast voting system compromised of some or all of MD's players. Players make the rules, decisions, etc. The only things that would still have to be appointed are bills, coding, etc.

[b]Changing[/b]

1. Revealing some or all of the Council's identity to promote trust and accountability.
2. Having more open forums in which the Council discusses exactly their plans for things and how they make decisions.

These are ideas, I'm not particularly promoting one over others. Feel free to rip apart, take, exalt, etc.

Awi

Later comments:

It just occurs to me that voting truly could offer a serious alleviation of some of the Council's duties. We already decide who becomes a citizen and who doesn't. While that process has some kinks, it could be expanded to who gets a tag, who gets items, and a ranking of what we want coded. There is of course the problem of who has what power of vote, if we're all equal or if it's weighted. Perhaps it could tie in with heat or one of the other ways we have of expressing ourselves (items?). We need a real economy anyways, this might be a way of encouraging that.

Again, bill paying and coding stil have to be handled by a Council-esque group or individual.

As a third aside, those of you who know me or have good memories know that the Council and I have had our differences, and my dislike of them goes rather far back. I've railed and called for change a few times. But it seems to me here that anger and calls to attack will do little good here, so I'm instead being civil and objective. I encourage you all to do the same.

Edited by awiiya
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My two cents on this.

Personally I'd prefer a "single king of the realm" However, to my mind, the only one really capable of having this role or function is Mur. So this option appears not to be a viable one.

As to a "vast voting system as Awi puts it. Well, I'm not a big fan of democracy, in MD as in the real world it will quickly degenerate in to a popularity contest and veiled favoritism. Some things may be put up to public voting but most certainly not the majority of individual player related things.

A division of council duties and more openness in some of the decision making process might be the best way to go.

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I really like the idea of the Council discussing their plans and why they take certain actions. That seems the best option to me. I believe they have to be anonymous to prevent them getting spammed constantly, but a Council forum account would be nice. And the Council needs to be changed somewhat frequently, with the old members in it being revealed when it does change. Theres no reason for them to continue being protected after they're no longer on the countil.

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Long Long ago, when Mur still ran the game I remember the game being built, evolved, and flourishing when the people WERE MD. At a time the decision's, actions, and sometimes unkowning rp decided what MD became. Now with the council I feel that its some "greater force" that decided, passes judgement, and acts all on its own, often against the people opinions as has been seen several times in the forum.

As with any game, or in real life, people hold their own views and are judgemental. You put a group of those with the same general views ans you get a one sided council. Say the whole council loves cheese. Who is to stop them from making all our candy into cheese? As far as we have seen, even mass negativity twards the council by the public on views doesn't change anything.

True councils are voted in, much the same way as we did kings. Councils hand picked by "a higher power" tend to make one sided decisions or gear twards a specific goal that the people view are not their own. Kings as we saw eventually were "overthrown" and replaced. I still view that some Kings/Queens were excellent representatives of their land as leaders. Some were not. At least than the people got a say in the matter.

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Perhaps the Council should be able to be voted out and a new Council appointed if public opinion drops too far. Either that or do what Phantasm suggested, but make bothering a person about council decisions on their account punishable by something huge. All things to the Council would still have to go through email or whatever else is used.

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I would like to see that the Council forum (or what ever way they communicate with each other) be revealed to the public.

I want to see the decision making process between them, and how they came to such conclusions. It seems ridiculous that this anonymous group is making all these incredibly important decisions for the rest of us. Who voted them into power? Mur? I don't think that is a decision Mur should have made. It IS his game, but it goes against all that MD was.

If someone in the Council steps down, how do they decide a new Council? I would like all the inner workings of the Council revealed. None of this secrecy. It just makes me feel like we are not smart enough to handle these decisions if they are being made for us.

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[quote name='Seigheart' timestamp='1356924804' post='129326']
I would like to see that the Council forum (or what ever way they communicate with each other) be revealed to the public.

I want to see the decision making process between them, and how they came to such conclusions. It seems ridiculous that this anonymous group is making all these incredibly important decisions for the rest of us. Who voted them into power? Mur? I don't think that is a decision Mur should have made. It IS his game, but it goes against all that MD was.

If someone in the Council steps down, how do they decide a new Council? I would like all the inner workings of the Council revealed. None of this secrecy. It just makes me feel like we are not smart enough to handle these decisions if they are being made for us.
[/quote]

THAT!!!

exactly that is needed change, some of you already stated that you want council to have faces, in fact with that type of demand ppl want council transparency, they want to monitor council, sure np with me that members are anonymous but decision making shouldnt be

we need press/judicary for council, some body that would monitor council, and what better body is there than whole community

moreover public opinion voted distrust to how council deals with things, while oppinions for/against council as whole idea is divided, which means that those who voted against council are also not satisfied with it, if we make such change of council transparency then we could remove council trust problem, the same problem that also voted against council as whole idea

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Here's what I think:
1. Council at any costs should be anonymous. If they become known, all it'll be is a 'like-dislike-hate' situation. For example- if xyz is incriminated for something and gets punished by the council, they are bound to be disliked by a certain sect of people friendly and loyal to the guilty. Also, the number of personal attacks will rise just because they will be a certain 'n' number of players who'll always have had issues with them in the past.

2. The council, i suggest, should be re elected after a certain timescale. Like maybe every 2-3 months. Of course its a great responsibility to elect the council. I would suggest Mur or the members of the previous council to elect the members. There should be a strict policy of no re election in any of the consecutive terms.

3. Council should contain an equal proportions of a fossil, a vet, and a new player with basic understanding of coding and mechanics.

4. I suggest council post their ideas for open poll before they are decided upon.

5. I'm totally against the idea of a single 'king'. I've seen enough in game and out of game bum-kissing get rewarded. I'd prefer the ruling body stay anonymous.

6. I suggest the voices of the council to be the ones to gather public feedback and complaints after every announcement and relay them to the council.

7. I suggest the council reply to all the pms they get. Within 48 hours. That would sort out a lot of issues. If they fl they are understaffed, they might as wel get more people.

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1. IF we will have a council who will be anonymous in the future why they don´t have trust points like the kings and special players always had? This would be the easiest and fastest change possible.

2. A secret organization or government always leads to conspiracy theories which is always leading to distrust - there must be the biggest change. If MD is THE community based "game" then MD should be in the "hands" of the community.
But there is something coming with the wanted change. It means that the community needs to do more. At the moment only a few are doing "jobs". In a community everyone has a "job" to do, even if it is a small thing, but we need to have things equally shared not only the enjoyable ones.

3. So I suggest everyone with a proper Age ingame needs to do some kind of job matching his/her time limit he/she has. That means we all need to grow together and all those ego games we play need adjustments too. Without feeling closer to each other and without the awareness of a "we are all sitting in the same boat" idea, we will only change something for a short period of time. We should think of long term solution.

4. All other things which were in my mind are already mentioned above and need proper discussion in the MD community.

Edited by Menhir
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[quote name='Liberty4life' timestamp='1356931427' post='129328']
THAT!!!

exactly that is needed change, some of you already stated that you want council to have faces, in fact with that type of demand ppl want council transparency, they want to monitor council, sure np with me that members are anonymous but decision making shouldnt be

we need press/judicary for council, some body that would monitor council, and what better body is there than whole community

moreover public opinion voted distrust to how council deals with things, while oppinions for/against council as whole idea is divided, which means that those who voted against council are also not satisfied with it, if we make such change of council transparency then we could remove council trust problem, the same problem that also voted against council as whole idea
[/quote]
This.

I think a council system itself is fine, and it has to stay anonymous. What should change though is the decision making process. Discussions, decision makings should be totally transparent. Even better if each council has a forum account (with their council name). Alternatively, posting a chatlog of each discussions for the community to comment and feedback before they continue on with the decision making steps.

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[font=comic sans ms,cursive][color=#006400]The council should not make some decisions which can be made by the Community.[/color][/font]

[font=comic sans ms,cursive][color=#006400]They can do the administrative and important stuff like coding, bug-removing, bills, etc.[/color][/font]

[font=comic sans ms,cursive][color=#006400]But things such as deciding TK leader (just an example) should have no say from the Council. The one chosen by the majority of the Community should be selected without doubt[/color][/font][font=comic sans ms,cursive][color=#006400].[/color][/font]

[font=comic sans ms,cursive][color=#006400]This would fix the "less staff problem" (not sure if it is there, just quoting Nim), leave them more time to answer questions, emails, requests and there would be no need for them to be revealed.[/color][/font]

[font=comic sans ms,cursive][color=#006400]On every single major announcement, open up a thread in the forum for discussions about it.[/color][/font]

Edited by DARK DEMON
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[quote name='Azull' timestamp='1356917926' post='129317']
Personally I'd prefer a "single king of the realm" However, to my mind, the only one really capable of having this role or function is Mur. So this option appears not to be a viable one.
[/quote]
This was tried last time, it didnt work, see Shoeps

[quote name='Seigheart' timestamp='1356924804' post='129326']
I want to see the decision making process between them, and how they came to such conclusions. It seems ridiculous that this anonymous group is making all these incredibly important decisions for the rest of us. [b]Who voted them into power? Mur? I don't think that is a decision Mur should have made. It IS his game, but it goes against all that MD was.[/b]
[/quote]
Im sorry sieg, but this is absolutely hilarious. If a new player had said this i might encourage them to look, quote some Mur. but really you?

Firstly you have the audacity to attempt to say that Mur has no right to decide how his game, something that he has worked on for years, is run. Try go telling him that, im sure he will reply with gusto :))

Then you mention "it goes against all the MD was"... Im not sure where you have been, but mur has repeatedly said MD is no a democracy. Saying that an undemocratic body running things isnt MD is funny, because thats how we have always had authority in MD.

[quote name='Nimrodel' timestamp='1356931480' post='129329']
7. I suggest the council reply to all the pms they get. Within 48 hours. That would sort out a lot of issues. If they fl they are understaffed, they might as wel get more people.
[/quote]

Personally some decisions that council have to ponder should not be taken "as fast as possible" unless you want big issues. I see MP7 as an example of this occuring. Someone has begged mur so much that he has decided to grant them something which breaks multiple established game concepts...

[quote name='DARK DEMON' timestamp='1356937968' post='129336']
[font=comic sans ms,cursive][color=#006400]On every single major announcement, open up a thread in the forum for discussions about it.[/color][/font]
[/quote]

Why dont you do this? Council has not gone "WE FORBID YOU TO TALK ABOUT ANY NEW FEATURES" so this is certainly in our power no?


------

havent got an opinion yet, and not the time to properly read everything, just picking out a few funnier points.

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[quote name='Chewett' timestamp='1356946244' post='129343']
Personally some decisions that council have to ponder should not be taken "as fast as possible" unless you want big issues. I see MP7 as an example of this occuring. Someone has begged mur so much that he has decided to grant them something which breaks multiple established game concepts...
[/quote]

What I meant was atleast reply the person with a "your mail has been read. We will work on it shortly" or something like that saying yes the mail was read not not just deleted or left.

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[quote name='Nimrodel' timestamp='1356947118' post='129344']


What I meant was atleast reply the person with a "your mail has been read. We will work on it shortly" or something like that saying yes the mail was read not not just deleted or left.
[/quote]

Sounds like a good idea but have you tried attaching a read receipt to your mails? thats what i do when i want to know if they have read it? Again something we can do lol

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My thoughts on this are that Council is all but required to be completely annonymous. Knowing them would cause much more damage than benefit, in my mind, for the overall "running of things".

From Awiiya's poll, it seems there is a slightly negative opinion on some aspects of council. However, statistics are a good starting point for discussion, but not the end-all of opinion. In any "community" the most vocal tend to be the ones who are dissatisfied with something. Thus, polls can tend to skew slightly unfavorably. This doesnt' mean they are not useful, just potentially non-accurate 100%.

However, that being said, there are some good suggestions here.

Rotate members yearly/periodically? Perhaps that is good. (perhaps it's already done? I just can't know.)

Mails to council with questions have tended to result in a quick "We read it, if you have not heard back soon, please remind us", at least in the past. Is this not happening in more recent messages? Perhaps it could be reinstated or made a more standard proecdure if not already done?

I also really like the idea of more community voting, for the more "social" stuff.
Administrative issues like scams, bugs, codes, adverts, and such are great things for Council to handle, as well as adjudicating complaints. The Trials are a great use of council (or a potentially related sub-group that may or may not be public?). Lesser things, which in my mind include "community/player" driven events, could be setup with votes too. I understand that risks popularity contests, but in real life "leaders" tend to be less domacraticly chosen, and as said above, MD has never been a Democracy either. That's one charm of it, for me. Working within the system, even if the system is not your preferred one.


So, in summary: I think Council is good the way it is, in general, but could possibly benefit from either more members, or more translucency (not transparent, but better P.R.?)
Having a single ruler, like Mur would be nice, but it's his game, and for all our suggestions, he is the only one I could comfortably rely on to Rule over All. (unless he nominates someone else, which is still Mur deciding) Mur chose Council. For now, that works for me.

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[quote name='Maebius' timestamp='1356966982' post='129361']
From Awiiya's poll, it seems there is a slightly negative opinion on some aspects of council. However, statistics are a good starting point for discussion, but not the end-all of opinion. In any "community" the most vocal tend to be the ones who are dissatisfied with something. Thus, polls can tend to skew slightly unfavorably. This doesnt' mean they are not useful, just potentially non-accurate 100%.
[/quote]

Actually Maebius, I'm not sure that's a fair assessment. I think that you could make an equally convincing argument for it being skewed in the opposite direction: because the people who approve of the Council notice a trend for those with a negative opinion to speak up strongly, they are more likely to vote, and vote strongly. And if you look at the board, you and SkyArmy were the only two to comment on the voting with an opinion - both of you spoke positively of the Council (despite my explicit request not to post your opinion). You, in fact, felt the need to encourage people to vote positively, in a thinly veiled statement which you probably shouldn't have posted.

There's of course the possibility of skew in every poll - but it's a lot more holistic of a picture than attempting to read through forum posts and ascertain public opinion. In a forum, the strong opinions, both positive and negative, are more likely to manifest, masking the less opinionated in the group.

I don't think that the poll represents a more negative picture of public opinion. I think, to be honest, it's rather fair - and because of the outspokenness of Council disapprovers, it may in fact be skewed positive.

Awi

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[quote name='awiiya' timestamp='1356972881' post='129370']


Actually Maebius, I'm not sure that's a fair assessment. I think that you could make an equally convincing argument for it being skewed in the opposite direction: because the people who approve of the Council notice a trend for those with a negative opinion to speak up strongly, they are more likely to vote, and vote strongly. And if you look at the board, you and SkyArmy were the only two to comment on the voting with an opinion - both of you spoke positively of the Council (despite my explicit request not to post your opinion). You, in fact, felt the need to encourage people to vote positively, in a thinly veiled statement which you probably shouldn't have posted.

There's of course the possibility of skew in every poll - but it's a lot more holistic of a picture than attempting to read through forum posts and ascertain public opinion. In a forum, the strong opinions, both positive and negative, are more likely to manifest, masking the less opinionated in the group.

I don't think that the poll represents a more negative picture of public opinion. I think, to be honest, it's rather fair - and because of the outspokenness of Council disapprovers, it may in fact be skewed positive.

Awi
[/quote]

And i dont think thats a fair assement. Its all rubbish. The entire idea of a poll is skewed. All you guys are doing is offering random opinions with nothing really to back it up, its useless commenting really, as useless as the data itself. Espically when the aim of the poll is for some specific outcome.

There are three types of lies; Lies, damn lies and statistics.

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The council cannot be truly transparent. Many things require opacity, such as the planning of community events and especially quests or discussions of things that may impact player privacy.

That said, I loved the updates from the council posts. I'd also like to see more members of the council with specialized roles. If you need this, go to this person. Some things should require consensus of the council, but other things can probably be delegated to individual council members. This would be more efficient I think.

The council and coders are working towards a system where players have more control (the first stages of citizenship are a step in this direction). We may be impatient that these things aren't happening that quickly, but things are probably going as fast as they can.

I'd encourage you to make the most of what you have as you wait. We certainly haven't done that yet.

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[Quote] There are three types of lies; Lies, damn lies and statistics.
[/quote]

70% of all statistics are made up.

Haha no, but i dont agree with any of that. About the voting, the only thing I dislike is the agree and strongly agree options. You should only be able to agree or disagree, no strongly.

About this whole thread: I think the council is good for the health of MD, i mean without it (and Mur) we definitely wouldnt be in a good situation, its a good thing we have them. But, I think there could be a better way of doing things (transparency).

Oh, and to quote myself here:

[Quote] if you say that them having names will cause trouble then thats something they should have to deal with as part of their jobs.[/quote]

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[quote name='Mallos' timestamp='1356976012' post='129376']
if you say that them having names will cause trouble then thats something they should have to deal with as part of their jobs.
[/quote]

Im not entirely sure why this is always put to council. Mur choose them not to have names, i was talking to him about council recently and he is adamant that he is not going to reveal who is in council ever. Unless someone can persuade him otherwise (LOL) i doubt that he is going to go back on what he has said whether council want to or not. If they did and he didnt want to im sure he wouldnt be very happy (read: angry).

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[quote name='Fang Archbane' timestamp='1356914443' post='129314']
I suggest a new group of people, known to the Community, lead by BFH.

Ergo, a Council with faces, lead by someone we can all trust to be unbiased.

Edit: im sure ill get criticized for this opinion, but at least im giving one. Im sure my ideas has flaws, but i just thought id throw this out there.
[/quote]

BFH, no way. BFH is BUSY.

Council, just need to fix the things that makes them have a bad perception and hence fall into inefficiency category for many.

So they can start by reading this, looking to the community concerns, stating their points, and taking action.

[indent=1]Things they can improve are many like:[/indent]

[indent=2]Email replies[/indent]
[indent=2]Keeping community updated[/indent]
[indent=2]Community perception[/indent]
[indent=2]ETC[/indent]

[indent=1]BUT you guys can't expect to have a good perception from a community based game if you stay silent.[/indent]

[indent=1]B[/indent]

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Ok. As to why I say that myself Chewett, its because ive been leading an oligarchy in another game for about a year and a half now (and administrating our own personal alliance's forum for the same time). Weve had an on and off playerbase from 50-80 players within us, many of which have left/joined over time. Mind you this is a time based war game though (ogame). To not bore you with the details:

Our oligarchy is public as to who runs it. A lot of the time we have friends and sometimes people who dislike us. We hold complete power. Point is we make all the decisions that are of any importance and nobody questions us and there havent been any complaints. Id like to attribute this to the fact that they know who we are and know we are suitable for the job at hand.

Considering one of us wasnt found suitabe, I could imagine there would be complaints. With the amount of discontent I hear about the council ingame and now in this topic

(which even though the votes are balanced, balanced is -bad- and there should be a majority of approval for even the bit of discontent to be overlooked)

I find that perhaps the council members are not suitable for the job. But how do we know? We dont know who they are.

At any rate something should be done in my opinion.

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