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[Devblog] Volunteer Moderators + Introduction


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Hello, Im Mod Hohbein. Ive been a member of the RuneScape Community Management team for a few years and, in this blog entry, Im going to talk to you about one of the core areas the Community Management team focus on, which, notoriously, weve always been quite secretive about: no, not coffee to milk ratios; volunteer moderators.




Most people reading this will think they have a good idea of what a moderator is and what we want from our moderators. They report people, mute people, and generally stop rule breaking in-game and on the forums, right?




Not quite! Weve changed our focus and, now, instead of focussing mainly on reporting things to us, our moderators are concentrating on getting involved in the community and encouraging other players to do the same. Weve always made it clear that theyre players first, moderators second, and this change in direction will really emphasise that. The RuneScape community is made up of an incredibly creative, vibrant bunch of people who belong to all sorts of sub-communities. Rather than trying to rule these communities with an iron fist, we want to encourage them, and encourage players to join them, and well be doing that with the help of our moderators.




Moderators are, of course, still able to escalate dodgy situations straight to us. This combined with their silver crown means that theyre able to deter and help remove rule breakers from the game in a flash, which is unquestionably important. Later in this blog, well talk about growing the mod community, and this is something that will really help reduce the amount of reporting that moderators have to do, allowing them to focus much more on community involvement.




Going from a team of several thousand moderators whove always been asked to concentrate on reporting things, to a team who focus more on community involvement, is no small task. In doing so, weve looked at two key areas:








Current mods


Weve been working with our moderator communities to help them step away from the moderating the community approach and towards encouraging greater community involvement. Weve done this by offering re-written guidance, putting much less emphasis on excessive reporting, and making sure our moderators are given all of the support they need via our moderator only forums.




Naturally, its taken some getting used to after years of fairly rigid reporting procedures, but Im happy to say were getting there thanks to the incredibly adaptable, passionate people we have among our two moderator communities








Future mods


Up until recently, one of the main criteria wed look for when inviting moderators would be how many reports theyve sent and how good those reports were. This had to change as, although weve found some absolutely brilliant players using these criteria in the past, given our new focus, we stand a better chance of finding suitable players if we look more broadly at the RS community. There are so many like-minded players who hook up together and build communities, so it made sense for us to look in those. Weve started to look at clans, fansites, role-players, high-level players (both F2P and member), community minded forum users, regular events organisers and many other communities for the people who have got what it takes to help move our moderating teams in the right direction. Going back to the beginning of this blog entry, I spoke about the creative, vibrant people we have playing RuneScape. These are the people who can help us change the focus of the moderating community, so these are the people well be inviting to help us do just that.








By changing who were looking for, we havent forgotten the importance of how were looking for them. Were still looking for players with incredibly secure accounts, players who havent been persistently breaking rules or been horrible to others, and players who have shown absolute dedication to RuneScape and the communities they belong to. To make sure were selecting the best players, every moderator we choose is put through a strict selection process involving five teams here at Jagex, and only those we feel would genuinely make great additions to the team are invited. We really want to make sure this change in focus doesnt have any impact on the quality of the moderators we invite.




After we had established what we were looking for, the next step was to start looking. We recently started a big push on moderator recruitment and were bringing two extra people into the CM team to help us do so. This push will continue for months to come, until weve bolstered our numbers and feel confident that our moderating communities can really have a much more positive impact on the RuneScape community as a whole, both in terms of encouraging involvement in the RS community and in removing rule breakers before they have a chance to do any damage.




Its still relatively early days and theres loads of work to be done. We are, however, completely confident that this is a big step in the right direction. Weve always hated the bad press moderators often receive, and this change will not only empower our moderators to let their hair down, have more fun and get more involved with our players, but, over time, itll change the perception players have of moderators altogether.




We've set up this forum thread for feedback on these first two CM blogs..














Greetings from Community Management!




This is the first CM blog - if youve not come across me before on the forums, Im Mod Kelvin, Head of Community Management here in Player Support.




In the coming months, J-Mods from CM will be posting blogs to give you insight into what we do and how we do it (starting with a blog from Mod Hohbein about volunteer moderators, but, for starters, we thought itd be a good idea to introduce ourselves:




The RuneScape Community Management team is headed up by Mod Paul M and covers quite a lot - volunteer recruitment and communication, forum moderation, events, game update support, competitions, community building, clan support, fansite communication and support, emergent gameplay, player suggestions - all in multiple languages (English, German, French and, more recently, Portuguese, Dutch and Finnish). Were looking to do more all of the time.




Fundamentally, Community Management is here to help build communities, recognise community and in-game pioneers and endeavours, channel communication from various teams to players, to listen to players, and to pass their feedback on to the rest of the business.




We have a great team, were all focused on doing the best we can for players, and we have a giggle while were doing it!




I took the role of Head of Community Management back in February, after working for Jagex in Player Support for over four years, and genuinely enjoy it more and more as time goes on. As luck would have it, my appointment came immediately after Mark Gerhards as CEO, and he has placed the importance of community management higher than ever before - that's great for me, the Community Management team and, most importantly, you, the player.




As a company, we wanted (and still want!) to be more open and honest with our players. We want to recognise the true community pioneers such as high-level players, events organisers, volunteer moderators and fansites who put a great deal into our community. We want to increase the amount of volunteer moderators, run more competitions and events, and spend more time in game and on the forums.




Much of this has really just started. Quite quickly, we changed the way we were moderating the forums to be much more friendly and less punitive. Weve asked our Player and Forum Moderators to do the same; weve opened up communication with fansites; weve been attending player and fansite created events on the weekends; weve increased the amount of language community support we provide; weve tightened the link between the Community Management and RuneScape Content teams; weve run the Clan Cup; weve improved the level of technical support on the forums; weve increased the amount of time we spend posting on the forums; and were constantly reviewing not only what we have done, but also what we can do in the future.




Of course, nobodys perfect, and theres always more to be done; however, weve made a start, and will continue in the same vein doing our best for you, the players. With the community being what it is, were also constantly learning. Learning from our own mistakes, from player feedback, from RuneScape Content, from Mark Gerhard and from within the Community Management team itself.




Thats it from me for now. Look out for future Community Management blogs and initiatives and let me know your thoughts on this forum thread.




Have fun!











The new motive of the mods seems better. No more WMB'ing?


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[Ability Bar Suggestion] - [Gaming Enthusiast]

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TLDR kinda. I skimmed through most of it to get the main gist, and I like what I saw. There will still be WBMs, especially since most people probably won't even read this, but it ensure that the new moderators will be of higher quality. It is hard for them to justify if someone is mature enough to have the moderator position purely off reports, they don't get to see if the person is good with people, they don't get to see how mature the person is, and they don't really know anything about them. With this new criteria you will most likely start to see more high ranked members of forum communities getting modship.

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Might want to put the [DevBlog] at the beginning of the title, for consistency :P




Two Dev Blogs at once...nice ;) It's good to see that they are pushing for more PMods in the right areas of the communities. Hopefully some more TIFers will see a crown next to their name ;)




Mod Hohbein on RSOF:


Hi guys,




Thanks for all your feedback.




To answer a couple of questions:




Masterfuron (p2) - this hasn't really changed, players with black marks from previous offences aren't necessarily ruled out of becoming a mod! If they've obviously learned from past mistakes then there's nothing to say they can't ever become a moderator.




Reinier09 (p3) - absolutely, being an active player is useful. Having played for a long time is also great, but it's not the be-all and end-all.






Mod Hohbein

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Wow, they're really going for the whole community thing now, and I really like it. It's true that Mods should be about being great members of the community as well as reporting well, so they're going in the right direction. Three thumbs up from me. :mrgreen:

~ W ~



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To be honest, I'd rather they worry more about content then a sense of community. While these updates are fine and good I think that as a result the content as suffered. This has to be one of the worst years for updates and now they are trying to make a sense of community? It just seems like the wrong time.


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Hm, so they're removing most of the "If you see ___ do ___" rules for mods? Might be nice I guess, especially for them. I saw a leaked Pmod center before, and it had a section on how to report certain rules, when to report, report with mute, report and don't mute, warn, don't warn, ect. Pretty complicated.

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Jeez i wouldn't mind too much modding this forum, but i don't think i could cope with the RSOF forums. The majority of the posts are just, well... stupid and painful to read. Not to offend anyone, but the level of maturity winds me up - which i why i tend to go on tif ( <3: ) all the time.




I think it's good that they're getting the community involved though, will be interesting to see what happens.


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Sounds like a good plan and maybe we'll see less rude and power abusive p mods now.

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To be honest, I'd rather they worry more about content then a sense of community. While these updates are fine and good I think that as a result the content as suffered. This has to be one of the worst years for updates and now they are trying to make a sense of community? It just seems like the wrong time.


What? It's not an update, it's just what they're doing. Their ENTIRE team doesn't focus on one thing at a time you know? How could content have suffered when the community management people are just moving their focus to something different?


I edit for the [Tip.It Times]. I rarely write in [My Blog]. I am an [Ex-Moderator].

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The RuneScape Community Management team is headed up by Mod Paul M and covers quite a lot - volunteer recruitment and communication, forum moderation, events, game update support, competitions, community building, clan support, fansite communication and support, emergent gameplay, player suggestions - all in multiple languages (English, German, French and, more recently, Portuguese, Dutch and Finnish). Were looking to do more all of the time.





Only part that picked my eye - not that i'll be using them, but it's good to know that they're coming, looks like the spanish will have to wait a while longer

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This will be nice. Now they can see what people are like on forums, and what their peers think of them.

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I think it's a good step towards a better community.


Exactly my thoughts as well.




This is actually good news for thoses played who deserv to be a mob now, great idea Jagex :thumbsup:




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Granted it's cool and all but I find it kinda creepy that somebody on their end is skimming about in here on a regular basis.




Nothing wrong with that, I just get that "being watched" feeling now. :?




Heh, not that anything I do is of much importance anyway. :P


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If they wish to get more community involvement, active and dedicated players, why don't they just incorporate the whole TET team? Why reinvent the wheel? You'd be hard pressed to find another group more dedicated and experienced than those guys.




At the same time, I still won't trust any TET with moderation power.

All I learned in life, I learned on Tip.it

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I wonder how they're going to start judging players for modships. I mean, how do you measure how helpful or community based a player is? Forum posts? That's basically all I can think of.




The alternative is having Big Brother Andrew watching you...

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I'm not sure if this would lead to an increase in wbm'ing or a decrease. On one hand, those report-happy players might slow down since they realzie its not as worthwhile. But then again, they still have nothing to lose by reporting everything they see, and now there's more of an incentive to do so because of the huge mod recruitment drive.




Wow this sounds like a lot of work! That's my first reaction. Imagine being a members RS player Pmod - you basically pay Jagex for you to do events and moderate for them. Gosh.




I used to make events and judge for a clan, it's a lot of work!




Well its not as if they're paying solely to moderate the community. They still get to play the gamr normally which is what they're paying for, and they've been given the priviledge of a higher status in the community.


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Its good to see Jagex finally taking a step forward in P-Mod recruiting. I got tired of seeing level 60's who just reported hundreds of players become a moderator and couldnt even talk proper english. I know there are a lot of lower leveled players out there who deserve to become a moderator, but tbh I would rather like to see some more higher-leveled players with years of experience to be at the front of the queue. Those players are the most experienced (so can help players better) and are role models to most of the RS community.

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