By Espark on Sun 21 Mar, 2021.
March 21, 2021
“The only literate tribe deserves the best in information and entertainment”
Compared to previous years, the number of server staff is low. For example, in Sept 2019 there were 23 people on the moderation staff (mods plus appointed TLs). In February an admin acknowledged, “We are understaffed right now, and it has been hard to find good mod candidates.” As of the beginning of March, the server had only 13 people as moderation staff.
However, last week Kahuna, one of the admins, asked for feedback on the state of the moderation staff. They also posted a form for new moderators to apply for the role. Then, on March 16, four new mods were announced - Jusnip, AttilaTheHun, HelloIamBush, and The Druid Heiman- bringing the number of moderators up to 17.
One admin explained, “About the new mods, the process was fairly standard. We started to notice a lack of activity and brought in a fresh set of hands. The application process was a new thing, though. It's helped provide a very useful list of potential candidates we may not have thought about before.”
However, the promotion of the new mods has gone mostly unremarked on the server. When asked for their opinion about the new staff, some users gave the following comments:
jkenny said, “Jusnip, Bush, Attila, Druid. Yeah i think they're all great choices. i think they'll all do great as mods”
Dragon said, “I like three of the four [new] mods. I have had unpleasant experiences in the past with Bush on polychamps, and since that has been my only interaction with them I don't really like them. Druid does a great job administrating [in Ai-moya] and will do well on main. Attila is regularly active especially in server feedback, so I think they will also do well. Jusnip already does so much on polycraft that I don't know how they have time to also be a mod, but I think he should do fine... I don't know enough about Bush to know if they will be a good mod or not.”
Chex said, “New mods. Cool. Wow. I gotta be more careful who I yell at.”
Bardur Giant said, “There are new mods?”
Mod applications are still open. If you want to apply, fill out the form.
Also the Mod Handbook has been made public for those who would like to read.
Art contest outcome and voting bias
The winners of the album cover contest are:
1st: @suspiciouswaterfowl with 204 votes
2nd: @jorandp with 164 votes
3rd: @Tommyrocket4 with 137 votes
Shortly before the voting began, people were debating the fairness of how art contest winners are decided. The idea that the last entry to be posted has a higher chance to win has been discussed in the past. Several album cover art entries were posted and then reposted, possibly to gain a spot lower on the channel and exposure to more views.
Of the current album art contest, P mark said “Out of the last 8 posts 5 are reposts. And the 6th post wants to repost and there's another repost coming up. If the 6th person would always repost and there are 6 people who want to be last and would repost, then you would create an endless repost loop. This turned from an art competition to who can post his work nearest to the deadline competition. It's... sad.”
Shoppa said, “Ya ppl reposting. Sad moment I can see why though...People are just too lazy to check every single post. If something doesn't change then all the competitions will be filled with people reposting to be the last, and people just voting for the first 5 because that's in their field of view.”
A few people even promised not to vote for entries that were reposted.
One server admin said, “As for the likelihood of [art] submissions toward the top or bottom being the winners, it's an unfortunate byproduct of having a text-wall channel and a general crowd of people who all likely aren't extremely involved with the event and just look into the channel for a moment. We discussed several ways around this but they all had several uncertainties and potential cons that outweigh the pros.”
The Ai-Mo Times performed an analysis showing that posting an art entry later does, in fact, significantly increases the chances of winning.
Over the last eleven art contests, seven times (64%) the first place winner was in the last quarter of the entries posted (and the first viewed by voters). Five times (45%) the first place went to the very last entry posted. That also means posting in the last quarter gives an entry a 3.5 times higher chance of winning first place.
Perhaps it is because later entries are higher quality. Perhaps it is because voters are lazy and don’t look at all the entries. Whatever the reason, it is not pure luck that grants later entries in a contest a higher chance to win.
On the 20th of March, there were large number of users with so-called “female instagram pfps” arriving on the server. These 50- 100 users have been considered bots and banned from the server.
AttilaTheHun, a recently promoted mod, said this about the situation: “There has been a small, possibly very amateur raid on our server. [They looked] like accounts with names, created by some worse version of the Game name generator and random number. [They] joined and did some malicious stuff I know nothing about. They mostly had pfps of some girls, probably stolen from IG and their accounts were mostly made this week. The raid was kinda badly managed. They didn't all join in one time or use the speed of bots to do their action, so the [person responsible for the raid] is not being very smart. [Its] nothing that would endanger the proper running of the Server.”
‘And so the monk sat viewing all he knew, it was different now and quite silent, all he could decipher were idle murmurings upon the wind. The bustle had slowed but it always had so rest assured all he needed was to wait for the tides to shift and the winds would surely bring him new word.’
This has much been the state of Ai-Mo. We have seen new members and quite the idle discussions, but there is little new to report on despite the talks in #newspaper-discussion.
Ai-Mo Times and the moderation staff in main want to hear from you. Take this one minute anonymous survey and tell us what you think about the activities in main. Your feedback can help decide what events and contests we might see in the main server in the future.
Interview with Loki
The following is an excerpt from the Polytopian Interviewer, a weekly podcast with occasional bonus content. You can read the full transcript or listen to the podcast through the RSS feed.
Tntmasta: Welcome to The Polytopian interview, where I interview people on their experiences and views on the polytopia discord community. I have Loki with me this time. How are you doing?
Loki: I'm doing great. I was surprised and a little bit of a self esteem boost to be asked to be interviewed about my polytopia experience. It should be interesting. My teammate Tnt, one of our newer junior players, he's done great so far. Really happy to have you as part of the Vikings now. Vikings, which were formerly the cosmonauts. Tntmasta: Yeah, I'm still making quite a few mistakes. I'm still working on that. Loki: Hey. I have been playing polytopia seriously for about a year, and you can see all the mistakes I make. All the terrible plays I make. So don't worry too much.
Tntmasta: How did you first get into Polychampions?
Loki: So Ickykarma, who of course, you know, because he's the other team leader, and our main team leader of the Cosmonauts now the Vikings, he felt we played a game together. I really don't even remember. It was a one on one I'm sure, ‘cause that's what I was playing, and he asked if we kept playing some games together. He doesn't want to play some team games together, like two v twos with him. And he was coaching me a lot. He ragged me, because in the first several games we play, he was able to get hits on my giant boats. I did not upgrade my giants as soon as they hit the water.
Tntmasta: Gasp Sin.
Loki: I know. I was terrible. I just, it was a bad habit. And so he killed them. He railed on one of my giant boats for our first game. And he said, you shouldn't do that. And so like the next couple of games, he was watching out for me to do that, because I just kept doing it. He was like I told you, you can get like fog hit on battleships on my giant boats. And he was like, you're doing really good, but this is terrible. So he was giving a strategy and advice and he mentioned polychampions you should get into and you should come and see, because you're definitely a pretty good player, and you'd learn a lot. It's a lot more competitive. It's all about the teams and stuff. And the thing is so I've been a sports guy my whole life. I grew up playing sports. I played sports all year round in high school. I'm American. So that's, secondary school. We have high school, we call it and I played, played American football, I played soccer. I was a wrestler, I did track and field and cross country at different points. And pretty much every year of high school, I had a sport I was playing all through the year. [The Cosmonauts] was very talented, obviously had some great players and they were playoff team or cap playoff caliber almost, but they just needed some more and they needed some more leadership. And the leader that headquarters Prophet who's well known and had the highest ranks across the board, sort of this legendary super aggro player who was still a teenager. Still in high school at the time when I joined Cosmonauts, and it was funny. Him leading this team and I think that was an aspect of what was going on, but he reached out and recruited me heavily. A couple other teams contacted me and Prophet was the first and Icky told him about me, and so that's how I got into the cosmonauts. Also, I thought cosmonaut was a cool and unique name. It was different. And when I got onto the team I start playing, also Joyoung, who of course is the best, it's ridiculous like he and I started kind of a little bit before him. So it's funny because the very beginning I was kind of telling him some stuff and so there's this brief moment where I was like coaching Joyoung before he completely became the player right like just shoot your board and dominate everybody. There's a couple of games we played together friendly. I was like, oh, you should do this and there's some things I've heard and learn, just to play with Ickykarma and others and we played this one epic game where we were playing two v two just, ranked but, just random and it was like I was imperious and he was Lux and we came up against kickoo early and I thought we could I could rush him, but I couldn't, and then his teammate was on a separate continent up above and I knew what was coming. I kept saying he was gonna kill me and I was like just trying to gear up. I felt really good ‘cause I geared up for that and so the rush didn't work. I was trying to play a Prophet strategy had been learning a bit about rushing with riders. Didn't work, but I was able to hold them off just enough which, and that's kind of a style thing. I've found is my style a bit. I jokingly say that I'm diehard Loki. I'm a Loki McLean from the die hard movies because for some reason I'm able to fend off imminent death when I'm in a bad position. Or I just know that that's what's going on. That was my experience. This was season seven. I played the second half of season seven as a junior space cadet. And that was me and Joyoung. And is it Godogs came in about that same time on our team? And then the next season, we're really got a whole bunch of talent you are familiar with now, who were real leaders and stuff. ...And that's when stuff really started to come out about what some of the players on our team, including Prophet were doing. It was heartbreaking. So you may have some specific questions that might want to kind of guide this better. And I was kind of all in the middle of it.
Tntmasta: Yeah. So do you have any idea of how it started?
Loki: Well, the way it started is that Prophet and Voppo, who were the kind of the two main people really involved in, that was the how they played. And there was a general consensus, and this something Prophet told me was that that's what all the top players do. They use turn resetting. And the real problem is not there's different things with turn resetting, right? And this is from before moonrise. So it's not even a real applicable thing anymore. I'm very glad about that.
Loki: Prophet convinced me of this, I think, really what happened, in a sense is that Prophet made it appear to a lot of us that this was standard operating procedure for all the top players. All the teams were doing it. If we weren't doing it, we were at a competitive disadvantage. And what I didn't realize is sort of like it slowly gets more and more, and you don't realize that you're going beyond the boundaries. You would have been separate yourself until you've done it, right.
Tntmasta: Already set the mindset.
Loki: Yeah, it's already got out of hand. So there's two things going on here. One is the out and out cheating that was happening, which was Prophet and Vopo. And they tried to draw some of us into it. And he got me to do it in a season game, which was to reset for vision. Now, that's the thing that is clearly cheating and is not right.
Tntmasta: Yeah definitely.
Loki: As you get an explorer on the city and then go back out of the turn and like clear your data and the turn would start over, essentially. But you can take a screenshot to know what vision was. And then you could still do a workshop and all the stuff with that afterwards. Some players did. And you can see this conversation going on in different places at different times. Keep a city not upgraded for turn after turn after turn. Because what they're doing is taking explorers from that city over and over and over.
Tntmasta: Oh. That’s a whole ‘nother level.
Loki: Exactly. So in one season game, this is what I got banned for. But then my ban was lifted, because what they realized was that Prophet encouraged me to do that. I wasn't down in a sense, right? They could tell that, and it wasn't something I continued to do. But I didn't realize that really was something that apparently Prophet and Voppo were doing it consistently in every game, right? And so there was this the famous incident which the great epic video that Pomthom came out with about Bardur. Icky and I had the same problem in a channel. So bear what happens is that is that they would have private conversations where they were sharing the screenshots of the vision they grabbed and really going at it, and then in the channel, they would sometimes let things slip because they weren't paying attention. So Voppo says, “Oh, this I'm on a two city island”, and from the vision you have in the start of his spawn, you really would not think he was on a two city island.
Tntmasta: Yeah. How do you know that?
Loki: Right, exactly, and that's what happened. I kind of messed up. I mean, I didn't mess up, I just asked an honest question that a new senior player would ask. Well, how do you know that? I thought he had some way of kind of telling from the trainer's higher level player, right? And they just sort of didn't answer. And then IckyKarma saw that comment of his and he doesn't pay attention at all to the game channels all the time. He’s not as high strategic player as some of our other teammates are. We're both good team leaders, but we're not like the highest top level players. So we input and we give advice, but we're not going to be like, the ones who give the best advice. So he'll check in and he said, “Oh, well two city islands are bardur. Well then bardoo.” It’s kickoo. So that's the thing. How did they know that? Well because they were cheating. And how is Icky not aware that that's happening? So that's why the whole team got in trouble was that we should have been able to tell that this was happening.We shouldn't have let it go to where it got as far as the actual real cheating. The other stuff was cheating too, but I'm gonna go to why the other stuff that was going on, I was more understandable to me. And that's why the bans were lifted for several of us especially who were juniors when it was really starting to happen…
Read or listen to the rest of the interview with Loki on the Friendly Polytopia server.
Mute ban column
Disclaimer: Many mute and ban commands are executed on admin only channels. Some fields below will show ‘unavailable’ because the commands were not performed in public channels. In some cases, the data can be inferred from context and will be placed in parenthesis.
|Mar 19||Bush||SPJ||tempmute||24 hours||sexual image with no nudity|
|Mar 20||Paxu||Cata||tempmute||10 min||oOoOoOoo|
Thanks to all our contributors - Druid, Espark, Dust, Tintin, and tntmasta. Thanks to Paxu and Kahuna for their cooperation with the newspaper. A big thanks to Artemis for setting up a new website for the newspaper. Also, thanks to our faithful readers for encouraging the paper to continue.
Keep up Ai-Mo!