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I just read a blog article that made a lot of sense about how self-professed geeks like me tend to deal with debates with other people coming from different viewpoints. And why those debates often wind up bruising egos.

It struck me that this could easily apply to the STO Forum community by changing the words "geek" into "gamer".

Gamers revere truth and loathe lies, mistakes and partial truths. Our conversations are usually collaborative attempts to find, reveal and articulate objectively verifiable reality. We can't allow mistakes or partial truths to be left unchallenged. We passionately pursue dispassionate objectivity. Unfortunately, our commitment to truth is hard to distinguish from an egotistical need to be right. But there is one important behavioral clue that demonstrates our much more noble intentions: It is rare for a gamer to continue to argue for an idea that has crumbled in the face of hard truth. We will explore our own ideas until they are proved wrong or confronted with superior logic or elegance. In the end, we are committed to being on the side of right, not to being right.
Now I realize that doesn't apply to everybody. But I bet it applies to a lot more people here than we normally give credit for.

Just a slight change in tone and a little bit of consideration could make all of the difference.

1. Instead of always focusing on what we disagree with, we should take the time to acknowledge what we do agree with.

Most gamers aren't in the habit of explicitly acknowledging that they've heard things they agree with. Instead, they latch onto the points of agreement and refine, clarify or qualify them, leaving the impression that they need to be right.
2. We should make sure we understand what the topic is and what the other guy is trying to say instead of making assumptions that might be bad ones.

Before launching into a well-reasoned refutation of someone's statement, make sure that you really know what is meant. There's nothing more annoying than listening to someone launch a long-winded attack on something you never said.
Here's the original article, if anyone cares to read it:


Live Long and Prosper,

Volunteer Community Moderator for the Star Trek Online forums -- My views may not represent those of Cryptic Studios or Perfect World Entertainment. If you wish to speak to someone on the community team, file a "forums and website" support ticket here, as we are not able to respond to PMs regarding moderation inquiries.
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Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,444
# 2
05-01-2013, 07:53 AM
Thats an interesting point, we've all had our debates. Ive been shouted down, and ive snapped back a couple times too. When we put ourselves out there and achlowledge we are here, we might as well be in a dunk tank, its a lot like politics and running for an office. Some conversations can be like a day at wall street =@.@=

Others can be as pleasant as a gathering with friends at your local coffee shop. Ive met some on here that wheather they agree with me or not, are still polite and honest, but Ive been attacked too, wasent fun. But im not innocent myself, just a day or so ago I spoke ill of CBS bosses, even though ive never met or heard from them, retracted it because I felt guilty =U.U=

Going on what bluegeek stated... i had my eye on a certain ship I want released, and have been focused on it all week. Im not sure if my points are valid for wanting the ship, but I wait to see if it will be granted. What ever happens, I/we will always be back, because we all like this game. It also does make the environment more enjoyable if we where all to get along and not take things personal...its a human being on the other end of that chat too! Remember Francis from youtube, and his tantrums...lets not get that far!

This pointless cat chatter was bought to you by CatStar =^.^= be sure to buy my products at your local Space Station..lol

...and now a song, jk jk im done XD

How Picard dealt with ARC!
Join Date: Sep 2012
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# 3
05-01-2013, 08:16 AM
Very interesting indeed I support this thread.
Kathryn S. Beringer - The Dawn Patrol

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Career Officer
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# 4
05-01-2013, 08:26 AM
Originally Posted by cmdrscarlet View Post
Very interesting indeed I support this thread.
I support the whole ball of yarn! Sry, couldnt resist :3

How Picard dealt with ARC!
Join Date: Jun 2012
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# 5
05-01-2013, 09:58 AM
I agree that this applies to much of the STO community and the srs bsns of the meta. If you would, take this characterization of the community and filter through it the inaccessibility of accurate game mechanics coming out of Cryptic.

Now I don't wanna get off on a rant here, but STO tooltips are about as helpful as Russel Brand describing the Twelve Steps from memory. I mean, the basic syntax in STO has more inconsistencies than my explanation to my girlfriend about where my hickies came from. Take Maintenance Engineers, the battery doff variety recently puked out again. +10% dmg when using a weapons battery. Wouldn't that say to you that it functions like other things, like APO, which get rolled into a multiplier like this: Base * (APO + APA + etc.) which use the same words in their description? Cause it seems to me that it would. But no, in fact, it gets tacked on to base damage. And what is base damage?

Well, that's a question. It's different for everything. For a beam array it's 100, before mk, rarity, lvl, consoles, etc. And that's what +10% from a Maintenance Engineer gets you, +10 to that 100. Of course, that gets worked on by tac buffs so maybe at the end of the day you're getting 17 or so damage when it's said and done, but it's certainly not in the manner of APO. So the description should probably say "+10% base damage," except nowhere in-game is "base damage" actually defined.

Base damage is something defined here in the meta. It's one of a hundred things we had to come up with ourselves. I was in a ridiculous "debate" (those are air quotes) over what +12 to targeting actually does for you. He rejected the skill point spreadsheet and BRJ's breakdowns because they're UGC (lol). He said that until a dev posted something he wouldn't believe it. There was literally no way to move forward with the exchange because we couldn't agree on the basic in-game values.

Imagine the reduction in vitriol between community members if we had something concrete from Cryptic.
Gamers revere truth and loathe lies, mistakes and partial truths. Our conversations are usually collaborative attempts to find, reveal and articulate objectively verifiable reality. We can't allow mistakes or partial truths to be left unchallenged.
Now take this and through it filter the Lead Designer being wrong about what Power Insulators do.
We will explore our own ideas until they are proved wrong or confronted with superior logic or elegance.
The refusal to do this ^^^ is what garners nerdrage and vitriol. I'm not saying that the needs of the few forum radicals should outweigh the needs of the many casual gamers. Quite the opposite; we are a group that is prone to Chicken Littling about the effects of a change. Now let me be clear, I think this community is prone to proclaiming that a change means doom, but they're spectacularly accurate at describing mechanically how things function and would potentially function after a change.

What STO should be, that's a question for the devs. But what STO is, the mechanical interactions of abilities, the consequences (intended and unintended) of code changes, the finer points of in-game communities (Casual PvE, ESTF PvE, Premade PvP, Pug PvP, etc.) and the relative value of individual things to each community can best be understood by engaging the community.

I want a STO led by a geek/gamer who espouses the philosophy from that blog post. But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
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# 6
05-01-2013, 11:52 AM
No argument that some of the hard, cold facts are "behind the veil" where the Devs are.

I've stopped trying to understand the "math" and listen to what experienced and skilled players are saying about how something actually works. That might be as close as we can get to the truth in some cases.

But it's not just about the math. There are many debates about "softer" facts, such as whether or not Romulans and Klingons would ever get along, what's wrong with cruisers, the best way to balance X etc. There might not be a definitive answer, especially since we're all aware that Trek lore occasionally contradicts itself.

So in the end, do we have to be Right? Or is Not Wrong good enough?
Volunteer Community Moderator for the Star Trek Online forums -- My views may not represent those of Cryptic Studios or Perfect World Entertainment. If you wish to speak to someone on the community team, file a "forums and website" support ticket here, as we are not able to respond to PMs regarding moderation inquiries.
Link: How to PM - Twitter @STOMod_Bluegeek
Starfleet Veteran
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# 7
05-01-2013, 01:08 PM
I think it has to do with levels of "commitment" to a subject.

Some people are naturaly perfectionists that don't listen to the content of the post rather the grammer or tone of it.

My GF infuriates me when in the middle of a statement she will correct my grammer or volume level. Also she tends to know everything about everything regardless of experience and if proven wrong will just change the subject. Also remember, Familiarity breeds contempt. This means the homeless guy on the corner can provide better advice about the same subject that is my current profession as she "knows me."

The only recourse in these situations is just to walk away. Of course this has a much better effect in person than in a forum post.

Also I believe people are degress of Geek. I'm sure there is someone somewhere that believes "Ctrl/Alt/Del" is a "cool" computer control method, whereas those of us with GFs know it is not.

"Geek" is currently "In." That doesn't make it "Cool" however. People have varying degrees of Cool and that usually grates against geeky things in direct proportion.

I usually associate Cool with right or correct. I'm sure there are others that do this as well. Following the above equation (which in itsef is a geeky thing and not cool) would lead one to believe that geeky is wrong, however several geeky things feel right to me. Then again I look upon myself as half geek and often confuse my Biker friends when talking about what I feel are neat things.

All of the above leads me to believe that THE answer to this conundrum is 42.

(Part of me cringes at this statement)
If your post is anything like, "I have a sandwich so you can't be starving" it's time to rethink posting.
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# 8
05-01-2013, 06:18 PM
Originally Posted by thlaylierah View Post
"Geek" is currently "In." That doesn't make it "Cool" however.

Personally, I think a lot of the blame lies with the Big Bang Theory, and now everyone wants to be a physicist... A few points to note:

- Sheldon is an infantile sociopath who in reality would likely be sectioned for the safety of himself and others. He mocks Howard for not having a doctorate and 'just' being an engineer, yet always misses the point that without an engineer, he would have no equipment to use...
- Leonard is a serial killer/sex offender in the making. Everything about him screams 'date rapist' and he just creeps me out
- Raj and Howard are the safest out of the two, but even they're not without their own flaws (just less of a danger to others)
- Amy is a hideously possessive closet lesbian (nothing wrong with that, but for fraks sake, STOP PRETENDING!)
- Penny and Bernadette are the only 'normal' main characters on the show...

For the record, I actually like the show (mostly because of the writing and Jim Parsons' amazing portrayal of Sheldon) but that doesn't blind me to the internal flaws, and it disturbs me to see the younger generation emulating these personalities

Last edited by marcusdkane; 05-01-2013 at 06:21 PM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 109
# 9
05-01-2013, 07:51 PM
Big Bang Theory honks me off for setting geeks and nerds back twenty years.

As far as the topic. . . I agree and disagree. The idea of being on the SIDE of right, rather than BEING right, is a good thing to aspire to. . . but sometimes there IS no right, and there IS no wrong.

Take the constant debates over which Star Trek movie/series/captain/starship was the best. NO ONE is right, and NO ONE is wrong. Personally, while I loved Patrick Stewart's portrayal, I was never really keen on Picard, and I think the Galaxy-class ship looks ridiculous, inside and out. Too plush, too cushy, trying to hard to be "elegant" and just coming off as pretentious. Now, I'm not WRONG in that assessment, it's what I think. I know people who think Picard is the greatest Captain of them all and the Galaxy-class is most beautiful sci-fi spaceship ever designed. That assessment is not WRONG either. They are simply opinions, held by the people who formed them for their own reasons. Nothing wrong with that. No one needs to prove to me that Picard is epic or the Galaxy-class are awesome, and I don't need to prove to them that he's not that great and the Galaxy-class is stupid.

Or, as a plucky Scotsman once put it, "Everybody's entitled to an opinion."
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,326
# 10
05-02-2013, 03:24 AM
I often get very annoyed at the problem of misunderstandings that arise from one of two things: A) Reading Connotation where only Denotation was intended. That is to say "reading into" something that was typed. I generally type in a very precise fashion and avoid too many colorful metaphors or inputting too many emotional connotations into my words. Sometimes others feel the unexplained need to force these metaphors and connotations where there never were any. That can make communicating difficult and eventually will lead to them going off on a tangent instead of actually debating the point.

B) Totally failing to either grasp or make the position clear... It is very difficult to get into a proper discussion or debate when either the one who begins the conversation fails to make their position clear or the person joining the conversation completely fails to grasp the position of the starter.

The other thing I find vastly annoying is the faith based evidence... In this case I am not actually talking about Religion but instead talking about cases where you can cite the math and make it very clear that your position is correct but the other party refuses to budge because they "believe" that the reality of the situation is another way and refuse to let little things like "facts" and "cold hard evidence" get in their way. Though ultimately there is no point in continuing a discussion with someone like that as you cannot persuade them to change their mind anyway so it is pointless.

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