This suggestion came forth out of another description thread, where this specific suggestion cannot be discussed anymore, so feel free to continue discussing your thoughts here!
This thread is about this idea:
Make the descriptions insta-approved. In other words: no mod queue anymore, what you put in your dragon description box is instantly visible for everyone.
Make the description guidelines extremely relaxed (compared to now) if not remove them. (Why? Read below**)
The report button for descriptions will only be used for abuse, ie. spam and abusive language, and mods will be able to remove descriptions.
This idea was born out of the question "What can we do to make describing dragons more streamlined?" A big issue is the very big approval queue that mods have to sift through, and them simply not having enough time to do that quickly.
The idea of having instant descriptions came along, but I felt like just implementing instant descriptions wouldn't work with the current rules we have. Why? Because the current rules are there in place to have a certain standard about the descriptions, to have good grammar and blend in well with the established lore, for example. Which are good rules on their own, but that changes if we have insta-descriptions and those not adhering to those rules become reportable.
**I think keeping the current rules in combination with auto-approved descriptions is a bad idea because
1) All the descriptions that are currently in the queue that are eventually NOT going to be approved, are going to be reportable, and will get back into the queue that we're trying to shorten (sure, it might take a little longer before they are seen & reported, but in effect you're just moving the problem one step away). Don't forget that even a little mistake such as a misplaced comma would go right back into the queue for mods to look at.
2) It means that until someone with power (a mod or such) personally "approves" (in a conversation, not actually by a button or anything) your description, you will have to wonder whether one day your description will get deleted. Which is a very backwards way of thinking considering you'd have "free editable descriptions" yet what's supposed to be in them, would not be so free. You could have a description you love and worked hard at for well over a year before someone sees it and reports it and suddenly it needs to be changed.
Pros of having an auto-approved description, and having laxer rules:
- More people may become interested in describing. The reward is immediately there, there's no worries about whether or not it's a good description, if you like it (and it's not spam/abusive), it's good. With less strict rules and the instant reward, the bar to start describing is next to non-existent.
- The queue that once had up to 10000 descriptions pending, will now only have very simple reports such as "spam" or "abusive language" which you can near-instantly identify and remove. (No thinking hard about whether this is correct grammar, no re-checking lore) No more waiting for the users, no more hard work for the mods.
- With no lore rules in place, there's a much bigger scope of subjects we can touch on: people can write about cyborg dragons, people could even do a scroll theme and make all their dragons match a certain theme, the descriptions are there instantly so it wouldn't be a tedious progress. People could make entire lineages with themed descriptions. People could start writing poems instead of descriptions. Etc.
Cons of having auto-approved description, and having laxer rules:
- Spam! People can absolutely put in stuff like "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" and press submit.
▶️ Don't forget a spamfilter for links, abusive language etc. can be put into place, which might remove a lot of the problem. Another thing to consider is this: how much harm does spam do if no one ever sees it? If someone sees it, they can report it into the queue that should be much faster now!
- The quality of some descriptions will absolutely drop if there's no rules. People can submit stuff like "This is Pete and he loves to ride a helicopter".
▶️ This is a trade-off (for instant descriptions) that I personally am okay with, because sometimes it can be fun, and I know there will be people who still want to describe in the way we do now, and I'll probably simply associate with those people. And the thing that really disregards this con for me mostly: I don't really care about descriptions THAT much. If I see something that makes me raise an eyebrow, I just ... raise an eyebrow, and continue doing something else. 🤷♀️ It's the same for me as seeing a dragon named with a less-than-tasteful name. Some people like that, I might not so much, I move on.
- It's immersion breaking to have weird, inconsistent descriptions.
▶️ I disagree, because there already isn't that much immersion because of another mechanic on the site that has (near) free input: names. I have a description about a dragon that's literally named after a real-world-franchise and product that probably does not exist in Valkemare. Still, the description got approved, and it's one of my favourite ones even though it's not immersive at all. It made me bond with another description writer, it makes me laugh, it created a silly and fun moment with other people (the parents aren't mine) and those moments are what I really like about Dragoncave.
So what should these rules be changed to, then? Here are the current description rules.
I personally would go for something like
- No spam/abuse (with a filter, similar to what we have now)
- English only, but perhaps add all forms of English (accents, British spelling, etc)
- No HTML
But this is up for discussion!
Make describing easier and faster --> remove the queue mechanic, instead make all descriptions appear instantly --> no more strict rules on grammar and lore as that conflicts with the idea of "free" descriptions
(Obviously, read the rest of the post for the "why" of it all.)
What do you think?
Can you think of more pros / cons? Or is there something wrong with the things I've written? Do you think the trade-off of more freedom vs faster queues is worth it? Would you make other rules? Discuss!
Keep in mind that this thread focuses on faster queue by auto-descriptions and changing the rules and whether this all is a good idea, only. If you have other ideas for making describing more efficient, go to this thread.
Don't worry about fine-tuning, especially coding issues - that's something for TJ to worry about. (Something he has said in the past and a mod has also recently said)