Skulltag Archive

[Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]
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Author:  IcyMew [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:47 pm ]
Post subject:  [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

So it was another early morning as the alarm blared in my ear. Reaching over to silence it, I fell asleep mid-reach, getting nowhere near the needed sleep the night before to even think about rising at 03:00. I fell from my bed to the floor at approximately 07:25, realizing that I had massively overslept, I called the day's cardio a loss and dispensed about my routine. I idly flicked my phone, checking for any messages of importance. Seeing none, I proceeded to the living room, draped in my blanket, to thump my laptop's mouse, bringing the screen to life.

I reconnected XFire, opened up Skulltalk, and pulled up my site, and walked away, deciding to skip a legitimate meal and eat Trix ceral for breakfast alongside a glass of orange juice. As I took my concerta for the morning I glanced idly out the window, noticing the dreary, misty morning as the sun attempted to break free from the horizon. Guilt immediately washed over me as I remembered the cool breeze running over my skin, immediately demoralized at the thought of missing my opening routine for the week.

Seeing no outstanding messages on IRC, no channel activity whatsoever, no contact messages from XFire or the tenatively connected MSN, I pored over my site. Nothing but the residual guest posts from the self-vacated Dark Pikachu were of any interest, their repetitive nature offering nothing to challenge my mind even at such an early point in my flow of consciousness for the day. I sighed, stretched woefully at the neglected form of my legs, and flipped open DoomSeeker.

I noticed a few 1v1's going on on ZDaemon and flipped onboard, rapidly flashing to an active Deathmatch. First and foremost I noticed was the lack of any hostility whatsoever even in a rampaging match such as that. The only things said after each game were what one would come to expect. A simple stream of heartfelt letters, "GG". I flashed back in my mind to Skulltag, hearing all the whining, screams of hackers, and watching on as the victor would proceed to let his ugly ego rear up in the face of all who would have the eyes to see it.

Disgusted by my thoughts I dragged myself to an Entryway server to watch. I witnessed nothing but good sportsmanship. Suddenly my trance was interrupted, my silence broken when familiarity entered in the form of Prospekt. I warmly greeted him, more than happy to break my silence. We of course exchanged nothing but friendly words as there had been no ill will between myself and him at any point in time. And then the fun truly began...

We spoke at length of training. I had already mentioned that ZDaemon, while quite nostalgic, was not suitable on this connection. He concurred as he felt similar movement problems. The solution was quite simple, to Skulltag we moved! Deciding upon the 98e no spectator's server, I quickly surmised that I would have to port over my executables from my other laptop. And thus I did with much haste, eager to join my friend in combat.

We fought many duels valiantly, I came out with narrow victories as his incredible aim gave him a fighting chance. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I trudged onwards through the demoralizing spikes that slashed through my entire being, gravely placing shot after shot, gritting through death after death.

At last, I felt a surge through myself as an idea sparked to mind. Unto him I laid out the challenge of a 500 frag shoot match, slapping down a zero frag callvote. As it passed, we were spirited away to the dark den known as Shoot. The forboding music cut an electrified note through my heart as the duel lurched into being. Shot after tedious shot, we slashed on. Dozens of deaths, scores of minutes, ethereal spikes of latency. All regal and glorious did they stand before the slowly climbing numbers.

As we passed the 500 mark my aggression built, and I unleashed my entire mind upon the battlefield. As he would spawn I unleashed my new construct, the albatross death dive, upon his unsuspecting body. As he would kite away, my two barrels would deal a devastating blow, utterly crushing him. As the red chain of domination appeared over me, the ugly face of failure rearing over his own, his morale broke. I could not let my friend give in to such treachery, and as he fell, I reached out to steady him. As he could feel the genuine friendship between us, he immediately slapped two new shells in and the fire from the last burning coal flashed up, building back into a raging inferno.

The flames consumed all, sweeping those last minutes up to the final death, at which the numbers standed, locked in a ripple of time that reverbated through us both. After a long, ragged breath of relief, I exchanged my pleasantries with him, bidding him well. The server returned to it's primal state, the state of static vacancy as we both went our separate ways.

I hastily found the demo, compressing it into a rar as fast as I could manage, and typed up a simple thread to tribute the incredible moment. As I uploaded the demo to my site, I felt a sense of harmony wash over me. I thought to myself, "I hope this brings enjoyment to any who lend their time to it's visage.". And with those thoughts I pressed the all consuming post button.

Walking away to take stock of the day, I decided that I would merely fast for lunch, queasy from the excitement of the game, it's residual energies pouring through my veins. I gazed out the kitchen window to see the sun smiling down upon me, flooding the room with it's life. I raced back to the laptop to check a few mundane things before checking back to the thread. I saw that it had come alive with a single post in my absence, and I went about preparing a simple response. As I posted my response I went back to working on my site, working out the kinks in the templating.

I gazed over at my other laptop and checked the progress of the demo transfer. As it had long ago finished, I snatched it up and began to work about turning fraps on and working with my tracklist, deciding how to go about the music list. I pulled up the site list on the music wad, thankful that I had posted the details to it. My XFire began to light up with messages as I worked between it and my other laptop at my side. The time to record had come upon me as the day slowly faded from the room.

Noting the hunger that began to edge at the tears of my sanity, I began frapsing and juggling my conversations, taking time to listen to the songs, switching between them in timely manners. My conversations began to consume my heart, as the emotions flowed freely between them and myself. I decided to do a bit of cooking and scurried to the kitchen, bringing out the skillets and taking a look through the pantries in the back closet to select appropriate goods.

As I juggled the food on the stove with the fraps operation and my conversations, I watched as the time ticked nearer for encoding to begin. Night had set itself firmly into the land beyond my vision, and I had finally collected all sixty-nine gigabytes of raw fraps avi into one place. As Virtual Dub flickered to life and all of my codec information dragged itself grudgingly onto the screen, I appended each segment to the running list of frames and samples exploding to life in front of me.

With a yawn and the flick of a wrist, Virtual Dub had begun it's work, re-encoding throughout the tapestry of night. I wearily closed up the conversations and placed the pans on the counter to wash in the morning. Sleep came quickly for me, as I set the alarm far later to find a compromise between sweet sand and the grinding gravel to greet me as consciousness would inevitably crash down upon my mind.

As I woke to nothing but the chirping of birds, I again found that I had overslept. Furious at failing myself yet again I wrenched my hips off of the bed and landed on the floor with a slight mush of the carpet. I stared, disoriented, at the green numbers before me to deduce that it was indeed 07:00. Cursing under my breath I checked the alarm. It had indeed gone off. I stormed out of the room without another thought.

As I eyed myself up and down in the mirror, going about taking care of hygiene, I decided that I was going to restabilize my routine whether I liked it or not. I yanked my phone from the charger and grabbed my earbuds, tossing on some lightweight clothing and rushing out the door to begin my three hours of cardio.

As the sun blazed high in the sky, I returned from my sets to the comfort of indoors. I turned to the bathroom, snatching a razor, looking for my conditioner, I hopped hastily underneath the steaming drops. I thought of the rest of the day to myself quietly, as the bubbles of cleanlyness ran through my hair and down my body. Quickly deciding that I clearly had no work for the week as of yet, checking the calendar on the way out of the bathroom, I grabbed my W-2's and tossed them on the table.

Tussling with my worldly worries, I settled back in front of my laptop after running a sink full of soap to let the pots and pans soak. I flipped back through the threads to my own and saw a silly argument had erupted upon it. Reporting the earliest post that I found to be unneeded, I quickly scanned down to see the depth of the conflict beginning to form. Of all things it was the map that was criticized, nothing more.

I took a long, airless breath and settled under the blanket once more. I could sense where this would go. After glancing over Mobius's post the day before and witnessing the silly drama that ensued I knew that my post would soon be overrun as well. I dragged my hand across my arm slowly, attempting to redirect my attention elsewhere. I suddenly remembered the encoding and settled in to check it out.

My laptop had come unplugged throughout the video, most likely early on, and clammed itself into hibernation mode near the end of the video. Satisfied with the performance, I whizzed back into the kitchen to finish the dishes. As I dried the last glasses and drained the sink out, I walked back into the living room, assuming my position on the couch with my beloved ASUS.

To my dismay things had merely gotten worse on the thread. To further my distress I had noticed a thread directly attacking the legitimacy of the map itself! I let out a concerned sigh, knowing full well what the discussion would devolve to. I immediately jumped on IRC and contacted one of the participants in the discussion, Iced. I found that my opinions and statements were duly disregarded and met with open hostility.

Vacating the channel in the face of thinly veiled threats, I saw nothing but arrogance and constant personal attacks unfolding upon the face of the threads at hand. I steeled myself, my cold intelligence ticking against the clock. I pulled up Dynamo in a query and the discussion of the state of the implementation of current rules began. I would quickly find that my assumptions were well founded...

Quite simply did I find that the entirety of staff had asked him to remain silent upon matters of competitive interest, essentially asking him to turn a blind eye to clearly unwarranted and petty insults, personal attacks, and general topics of little relevance. As the conversation slowly unwound I found that I was literally standing alone in the face of all as the trolling flowed in torrents, unimpeded by the very rules that supposedly bound all.

Taking this directly to the staff channel, Dynamo voiced me as I spilled out my feelings, ensuring that each point was clearly backed and true. To this very moment of writing I have recieved no tangible response regarding this topic, nothing but detached messages of little regard, or the general siren song that sings time and time again, "Get over it, deal with it, ignore it.".

And now I present to you my current set of mind. Honestly things cannot remain in their current state for long as a shift will be seen in one of the two directions. Something must give, and I assure you that it will not be me.

If the policy regarding abuse becomes as it is moving towards now, we will see an increase in personal attacks, and eventually the drama will rise to an apex, driving away those who would not put up with it, those with a shred of decency will leave, to another port perhaps or maybe even to another community altogether. It is entirely possible that those people will even find a real life hobby to fill the hole in their lives.

The end result is the fracture of a community. I have personally seen new players that I have talked to for a time leave the competitive side altogether, settling into other small niches such as Zombie Horde or MegaMan 8-Bit Deathmatch. I've witnessed countless people go through unnecessary pain, trolled by others for a cheap laugh. I've seen corruption and bias spread all around, constantly sinking it's venomous fangs within those of power...breeding stagnation for all.

I bluntly must say that this is not something that I will tolerate. When someone is clearly abused for no reason on the Skulltag forums, on Skulltag IRC, or on a Skulltag Server that carries the appropriate rules and has a team of players to moderate it, those rules should be enforced as they were written. Moderators and Administrators have a job to do, and it is clear that a laissez-faire attitude has been taken regarding competitive drama.

It's clear that the current moderators are not equipped to do their job regarding competition. A person is needed who isn't afraid to hand out punishment to those who would break the rules. A person who is utterly unbiased, one who would not spare their own friends from such. One who would not be afraid to challenge existing things, one who would drive others onwards, not hold them back into their comfortable niches.

No one here wants to rock the boat. Well I will. I want an open and intelligent discussion about this entire thing. I will put forth a few links as examples. Read, understand, consider.


Original 1000 Frags Shoot Thread:

Shoot Map Validity Thread:

Conversation with Dynamo:

Staff Conversation:

Author:  Razgriz [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

Competition is chaotic, and can be negative, but is needed for growth. That's how people get better, and how rivalries and memorable times are created. From what it sounds like, you're asking for everything competition-wise to be locked down at every moment, every insult and attack, and that is in fact a hard thing to do considering you're (advising?) that every part of ST be moderated to prevent such a thing from happening. It's way easier said and done, and probably happens more often than anything. However, I do agree that the current moderators aren't equip to deal with competition, but at the same time, it probably is better that they're turning an eye to some degree because then the question for them becomes 'how much is too much shit talking, etc?' And thus you get to the point where any ounce of competitive touch to any thread gets locked, posts get edited/deleted and whatever else they feel is appropriate when in fact it may not be.

Author:  Synert [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

There's a difference between friendly rivalries and just bashing someone simply because of a map they played on

Author:  IcyMew [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

Allow me to be the first to say there's a massive difference between competitive and retarded. When a thread of genuine goodwill devolves into a pissing match of what map is better, and then a thread appears that's questions the validity of the map, furthering the arguments onwards into undulating threads of agony, that is where I draw the line. Things such as these should be attended to in places specifically meant for them. And not just that, but on topics worthy of affiliated discussion. How does the thread talking about my match need discussion on how the map choice was not good? How is that constructive or pertinent to any discussion whatsoever? How does linking to a match of the same quantity of frags on a different map help at all?

To top it off, the incredible hostility and the sheer volume of personal attacks outweighs any intelligent discussion. To tell someone something and to do it with a degree of respect are entirely different things and things that you quite clearly cannot differentiate between. I am sad to say that you are also clearly biased with some unnatural hatred of me which is undoubtedly influencing your tone. I assure you that if I were someone with whom you have the proper jives you might take a different stance. For example let's take a look at how you reacted to Mobius's purgatory sentencing. You showed up in #staff and were content to discuss it tooth and nail along the same lines that I am.

Don't like being lumped with me? I cannot fathom why other than some personal problems you have with me which are not at all related to a discussion that sets things like that aside for once. I understand that there will always be people that you don't like but I think it's high time that some respect be had between people. This is a public place for all to see, and I assure you that many can share my sentiment in being utterly fed up with this know-it-all, holier-than-thou mindset that has spread virulently between the competitive crowd that resides within Skulltag. It's not right and it's against the godforsaken rules and it's time someone stepped up and stamped this kind of behavior out. I could say the in reciprocation to the, "Staff doesn't know competition and should keep their nose out of it," that in turn the competitive players should keep their trash out of the streets because we all use this forum and we don't want crap muddying things up.

To summarize I am disappointed with your stance on this but I should not be surprised, all in all. While I disagree with you I at least acknowledge your points and have responded to them sufficiently. There's a time and place for things and your own websites and channels are those places not here.

Author:  Decay [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

Author:  IcyMew [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

It's not funny. At all. This is the exact arrogant, pompous attitude that I'm pointing out. I was pointing out the sheer stupidity of that thread. Threads like those stopped being funny a long time ago. Secondly you failed to address yourself barging in on the thread I had made and slapping down the typical map bashing comment which was wholly unwarranted.

I reported your post and not jack was done. And the difference between myself and you is I straight up apologized to Alan for what I did to him. Go ahead, ask him yourself. I paid my dues because I clearly had no reason in doing what I did. Or at least none that you're entitled to know. This is an example of tossing out personal things for all to see. Is that all you have to refute my points?

You talk about yourself as though you are so important and that my opinion does not matter. I personally find that inline with everything I've said in this entire thread. The types of attitudes exhibited by fine people such as yourself is so far out of line that I cannot fathom how you manage to get away with such indecency.

I will not partake in this behavior. It's base. It really is. You know things would be a lot easier if people just stopped parading around with their egos and used their minds instead. I'm not asking you to be all chummy, if you haven't got anything nice to say or really want to be disrespectful as all hell, why don't you take that up with me elsewhere instead of slapping it onto a thread that I just wanted to use as an exhibition of the 1k fragger and to possibly get more going.

Again, I disagree with all four points, the second less than the rest. I've decided that I had enough of this behavior. I went to get something done about it, and here I am again.

Author:  Decay [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

Author:  Razgriz [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

Author:  IcyMew [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

It's not worth pointing out that shoot matches are worthless. That's your opinion and if you had a problem with my match or the fact it was shoot by the same token you should have contacted ME instead of posting that with a link to another match in the thread. The reason I didn't come to you is because of the attitude I've seen you put off. I felt it would do no good and as such I went straight to the report button. And when it was ignored and a new thread popped up...well hey, I think I'll just report that one too considering its about the exact same thing. That's quite counter intuitive.

You said, "It's my thread and I can request locks and shit."

I went directly to Dynamo and even staff about this. I didn't bother even talking to you after this whole deal blew up to what it was. When a second thread appears about the same thing but rephrases it in the way that yours did, what good would come out of it? I find that difficult to accept that a simple PM would make you take down a thread that is sprawling past two pages of arguing now. Extremely difficult. Furthermore I can request the exact same thing and it essentially amounted to that.

I'm doing that very thing right now. I want a change. And I will not stop until I am heard.

Razgriz: It was not being criticized it was being clearly ridiculed. Being made a sport of. Is that what you would condone? This is not your forum, and those are clearly infractions against the general rule sets that guide these forums. Things have been abyssed for less. Crying? Please. Your attempts to demotivate and insult me will not dissuade me from picking you and your points apart.

I like how you call me conceited but offer no support for your accusations. You will not bait me with your fruitless and silly attacks. I am quite inclined to wholly disagree with the rest of what you've said because you offer nothing to support yourself specifically, relying on generalizations. I can point out your attacks, trash talking, and general bad attitude in various points. As a matter of fact you're making it quite easy. Give it time Razgriz.

"Disappointed with my stance? Are you my mother or something? I don't need to please anyone with my stances, and I do what I like, when I like, and that means posting here and having you become 'disappointed' with me, too bad."

I find this to be the trademark of your kind. You seem to have nothing but ill will and no respect at all. And what it means is you posting here with half baked insults and generally trying to look cool. It's not going to work, buddy.

Author:  Razgriz [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

You should go back to being a mini-mod, albeit you suck at it and try too hard, at least you might have a small chance of actually becoming one.

Author:  Decay [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

Author:  IcyMew [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

Are you aware that I have never held any capacity of leadership in this community whatsoever?

At least I care about this community genuinely, and that's more than can be said about you. I try and be as friendly as I can to people and I go out of my way to help them instead of running them into the ground like you do. You should really take a step back and look at yourself. You talk so much trash and what do you have to show for it?

Your demotivations just strengthen my resolve.

Decay: You still have failed to answer why you acted as you did. And in acting as you did, as I said before, it drove me to discount you as someone who would even be reasonable about it at that point. Look at it from my view, it appeared to be muckraking in it's prime.

Author:  Razgriz [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

I have ran 0 people in the ground, I don't know where you are getting your info from.

Author:  John Zombie [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

Author:  IcyMew [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

Razgriz: Are you to tell me that you treat all of your friends with respect? You never ridicule or troll anyone and are helping people constantly? Is that so?

Quite. In any case you're still failing to refute any of my previous points at all. I've been around and seen, don't play coy.

Author:  Decay [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

Quite simply, I did not anticipate you getting bent out of shape about it. I would've thought you would just brush it off. Apparently I was wrong.

The thread was designed to troll JZ, not you.

Author:  IcyMew [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

Okay, so how does accusing me of getting angry as you would put it contribute anything at all?

Furthermore you're assuming I did. Perhaps I just got fed up with trolling in general. Your assumptions leave much to be desired.

Trolling. I can not stress how sickening it is enough. I paid my dues for what I've done each and every time and now I am standing up to it.

I suggest that others start doing it to. Clearly we need to make ourselves clear that we will not tolerate it. And yes there is a we. I know there's others out there who feel my words strongly.

Author:  Decay [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

I'm not going to get into a deeper discussion about this on the forums, mainly because I don't give enough of a shit to do so. Like I said, if you want to actually talk to me about it, you know where to find me.

Author:  John Zombie [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]


Author:  IcyMew [ Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Essay] Skulltag: Abuse Goes Unpunished [Narrative]

This idiotic favoritism and bias needs to end, straight up. Get someone who will drop the hammer on all offenders regardless of who they are. Equality is the basis of justice.

Decay: I should say the same to you. However I will call out the fact that you played the "I don't care" card. That's a cop out and it's cheap. If you want to not participate at least be frank about it. That said, if you want to discuss it then you can come to me, it won't hurt you. I left #MXU for a reason. As I have left most channels. Some things are best left unsaid at times but this is not one of them. Silence can only drone on for so long.

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