Open Letter to our Community

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Heisenberg

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Hello Croosaders,

I dislike making posts like this and in itself it is kind of sad that I have to, but I've been feeling that it's necessary for some time now, so here we go anyway.

There are two main points I'd like to talk about.

Offering criticism
I regularly see people who are excellent at offering constructive criticism in discussion and suggestion threads. But there are also some bad apples who I feel simply use every opportunity that presents itself to throw mud at the server (this mostly occurs ingame and on Discord). Snide remarks that are only one level above "lul the fuck is this shit that was added/proposed there" don't help anyone. I get that not everyone is eloquent and often it isn't trivial to be constructive and suggest improvements. But if you have nothing meaningful to contribute at all, it'd be better if you kept your remarks to yourself, or at least utter them in some private place where the whole server doesn't have to see them.

To be clear, we're not trying to quell criticism or "silence anyone who disagrees" or any such thing. What matters is the spirit said criticism was given in. We fully understand that a server's long-term survival heavily depends on community input and the community criticizing things that are not going well - that's not even at question here.

Everyone that holds an Administrator title on staff has relatively thick skin. It's basically a requirement of the job. We don't let most things get to us (on an emotional level), else we'd probably have given up a long time ago. Naturally, this is not the case for everyone who gets involved with Croosade, though, and neither should it be. With this I mean both, volunteer staff members and players. Always keep in mind that the negativity of people also has a direct effect on who stays around long enough to even become a real part of the community and stick with the server. I'd thus like to ask everyone to try and be more considerate in how they express themselves.


Toxicity in the community
The previous topic was perhaps but a symptom of a larger issue that has been going on for a long time. I've recently been told that Croosade has earned a "reputation" of having one of the most toxic communities of all private servers, and here I do have to say that this is something that saddens me deeply. Of course, this is a broad over-generalization and I mean it when I say that there are many great people here, but regardless I can see where this sentiment is coming from.

In part, it's certainly our fault because we let things slide the majority of the time. Certain people think they can utter whatever they want without having to fear any consequences. What I mean specifically is behaving in a very mean spirited and antagonistic way that, taken by itself, seems "innocuous enough", "just memeing" and so on, but quickly becomes unbearable when the instances of it add up. Time and again I've also seen a sort of mob mentality on Discord, where like-minded people then join in, go along with it, and rile each other up.

When taken to task for their behavior, these people regularly play the victim card (some of them I guess are truly convinced that there's nothing wrong with what they're doing). They'll claim they're being silenced, that there's no basis on which they can/should be punished, etc. We're going to take a more aggressive stance on such people from now on. We no longer want Croosade to basically be a safe space for toxic players.


Closing remarks
Taboo and Bombmouse quit in large part for the aforementioned reasons (i.e., waking up and having to deal with toxic community members first thing in the morning), and Blue has had negative experiences in recent months as well. I am really sick of having to see well-meaning people who only have the best intentions - and always remember they're spending their free time on supporting this project, without compensation - leaving us because they just can't take it anymore. This is not an environment we want to work in. So if nothing else in this post convinced you, take that as a justification for everything I wrote.


After all these serious points, a lighter appeal: Treat others with respect, get along, we're all just here to enjoy a 15-year-old mushroom game.
 
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