This is mostly a crosspost from ingame, but nonetheless.
You might have missed them, or you might have filled them out. As most of you will know I released two surveys this week regarding the official UK forums. Avid forum users will know me as an administrator on said forums. With eRepublik becoming more and more centered around logging in and doing damage and less about domestic politics the forums have had to deal with a steadily declining userbase. Parties have changed their recruitment strategies; in addition to attracting them with policies and dreams they have started to employ financial incentives for joining.
The forums, too, are trying to find their place in this new type of game. After some smaller attempts on the forums yielded less results than we had hoped for, I decided to take it ingame, on a much larger scale. And thus the surveys came forth.
I designed two separate surveys, one for active forum members, and another one for players without activity, or an account at all. This is mostly due to gdoc’s technical limitations, but that’s of lesser importance. The questions were moderately simple; are you an active member, if not why not, how happy are you, any suggestions etcetera etcetera.
We received a total of 59 responses. This is a lot less than I had originally hoped for, mostly because ONS didn’t send them out but I had to rely on shouts to spread them. Nonetheless, there are a few very good suggestions in there, and we are happy to have so many opinions. We analysed all responses and came to a conclusion.
But before that I will quickly go through statistics. A total of 40
active members filled out the survey. Their average mark is a 6.1(I haven’t filtered out any anonymous 1s or 10s, though we only have 2 of them, so they should balance out.). In addition to this 19
inactive members filled out the survey. Excluding the permanently banned jamesw(No, you’re not getting unbanned again) they all have their reasons for refusing to use the forums, the most common being a lack of activity on the forums and the forums not being useful anymore.
Now, for the results.
I will start out by saying that the most commonly used noun was “rule”. The rules are too harsh, they say, or are not being enforced fairly and equally. The solution to this, they suggested, was simply making them less harsh. And that is exactly what we are going to do. Our dear Butjam is, as I write this, writing the new ruleset, which we(in the team) have come up with.
We will also be adding one new rule to combat the perceived bias: people are not allowed to moderate a discussion they have taken part in. What this basically means is that if a moderator is in a discussion with a player he can’t infract the player, or himself(why would he), but that if a rule has been broken by either of them a moderator who is not involved has to step in. Some might see this as common sense but it has happened in the past on multiple occasions and some people have been banned while they shouldn’t have been. As such we are also removing all bans besides jamesw’s.
A few people have complained about the layout being too messy, and the forums being too difficult to browse through for newer members. We recognise that the forums are cluttered and have begun to get rid of anything we can miss, and simplifying the layout. We have something technical planned which will greatly alter the forums(And assist in this issue), and I will look into making the forums even simpler to navigate once that is done.
Another point which has been raised is a lack of activity and things happening. While what congress and government do is up to them and we have no direct influence on that(THOUGH CONGRESS IS ALWAYS WELCOME YOU GUYS <333) we can tackle the activity problem ourselves. For this reason we have created a “Forum promotion team”, which butjam will personally oversee. This team will look into promoting the forum and activity on the forums in any way or shape they can, be it ingame campaigns, forum events, games or handing out money.
This team will get its own shiny forum name and title, my eternal gratitude, and whatever benefits butjam thinks he should hand out. Anybody who is interested can and should message butjam
As you can see we made a few plans following the survey. I would like to thank everybody who submitted a response for doing so and I hope that this article makes them believe it has been worth the 5 minutes. Perhaps these were not the changes some people were waiting for, but I hope that this shows to them that we are indeed willing to listen.