By Espark on Sun 05 Sep, 2021.
Sept 5th, 2021
“The only literate tribe deserves the best in information and entertainment.”
Beta Leakage Causes Glitches and Server Outages
On Aug 31st, reports of players being unable to connect to multiplayer started to appear. Some players also reported that they were unable to open the app. Moreover, some players reported beta changes appearing in non-beta games such as ruins appearing adjacent to villages.
Players in PolyChamps said things like, * “Don’t kick me in my games. My beta Polytopia version keeps crashing.” * “Cant open multiplayer in the game without a crash.” * “I'm not beta. Can't connect. And yes, I've tried all the usual bullshit like closing/refreshing/praying to Midji.”
Soon after the issues with the server were identified, PolyChamps and PolyMain suspended skip/kick for timeouts.
Later that day, one of the game developers, Midjifar, said relatively few players were experiencing problems and that they were working on a fix.
However, the next few days players continued saying things like,
- “Multiplayer is crashing forever.”
- “My game is crashing each time I open it again, welp, sorry. I don't know when I can finish my turns next.”
- “Haha nerds, I would play my turns, but poly says no and immediately crashes when I open a multiplayer game.”
Then on September 5th, a new announcement was made letting players know the server issues were fixed.
Players Struggle To Switch PolyChamps Teams
On August 30th, PolyChampions posted an announcement about several team members being banned. One of the banned users, Kirby, had multiple alts: Vroom, Serendipity, Flowar, and StarChaser.
From talking to a few players, including Kirby, many players just want to make new friends, get some new mentors, or are curious to see what another team is like. They aren't spying; they feel ashamed for asking for a trade. For some, it is simpler to make an alt and join another team than ask for a trade.
Yakmilk said the reason he made his alt, ForgottenReality, was because he felt trapped on his team. “I made [the alt] because of my frustration with the overall organization of the novas at the time. I chose Dragons, which I had no idea how close to crumpling it was. I was (still am) a pretty bad Poly player, and that kind of leaderless environment made it hard to leave or get permission to leave my team. There was no real way to get better without outside help, so I “deactivated” Yak and made a jump.”
Sharkbr00 had a relatively easy time asking for a trade, but even he said he initially felt bad, even a bit guilty, about asking to leave his team. He explained it this way, “First, I felt embarrassed, because I had just got in Lightning. They might think I didn't like their team. But I saw that trading was a normal thing. It took courage to ask if I could go to the Jets because I had a friend there and wanted to play with him. In the end, it was easy.”
Sam da Mad had been unhappy on the team that drafted him, the Ronin. After less than a month, he’d decided he wanted to switch teams, but didn’t know how to ask. He said, “I felt like [switching teams] was the best thing for me at that moment, but I also felt bad for the time they spent on training me thus far. I was doubting my decisions for the entire time. Even four days after swapping. Luckily, after that everything calmed down, but I doubted everything I had done… Right now I'm happy being on Sparkies. Everyone’s been really nice.”
Front DoorMatt, a former mod on PolyChamps and co-leader of the Jets, also said he felt guilty wanting to be traded. He said, “I felt kind of nervous about what my old friends on Bombers would think. Those were really my first thoughts and why I was very hesitant to leave. Eventually I started focusing more on how I wanted to be on Jets rather than how I didn't want to leave the Bombers and that made it easier.”
Emjaydee, a co-leader of Wildfire, said he had wanted to switch teams for 6-8 weeks before finally speaking up. “I felt bad about it tbh. Bombers had spent fats to draft me, and a few other people had quit or traded around that time. I waited as I wanted to finish my games and be certain I wanted to go.”
Everyone who was interviewed recommended speaking up if you want to switch teams.
Front DoorMatt said, “Yes you'll break a few hearts by asking to be traded but you keep your integrity and follow the rules. Honestly, it feels a lot better to be clean and have nothing on your conscience than to constantly think about the fact that you're doing something wrong.”
Sam said, “I’d say that if the player really wants to leave, but doesn’t feel comfortable telling their leadership, to be able to contact other teams themselves and figure out a deal.”
The players who’d admitted to making alts also recommended being honest and asking for help. Yakmilk recommended , "For players who want a new team, try and get a trade. Seek outside help or ask a mod to remove you from a team in bad situations, my alt is two years old and still came back to bite.” Kirby also recommended reaching out for help. “If you dislike your team I can recommend that you get in touch with other teams, take part in their communities. If they seem to like you and you get along there then ask if you can be traded. If you dislike your team you can also go back to being a nova or you could just make an effort to do something to improve the team yourself! If something is wrong, then the most reliable thing to do is step up and make the change.”
Emjay thought the league could take steps to make it easier for players to switch teams. “[Make] trading 'windows.' Allowing players to be traded only at certain times (for example, off season). It would legitimise the system and maybe make people more comfortable to trade. Plus you could do it in an open channel and make it an event similar to the draft.”
What do you think about switching PC teams? Fill out this annonymous survey to share your thoughts. The results will be published in next week’s newspaper.
On August 30th, Ai-Moya put out a call for new tribe leaders. The announcement said, “It has been a while since we added new tribe leaders here. If you are interested in becoming a prior and helping lead the Ai-Mo tribe, please post in #ai-mo-prior-applications.”
So far, Ai-Moya has received applications from eight people. The current tribe leaders are discussing who to promote and a decision should be made soon. In the meantime, the application channel will stay open for the foreseeable future.
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 Interviewer, where I interview people on their experiences and views on the Polytopia Discord community. I have Zoy with me, the community manager. How are you?
Zoythrus: I'm doing fine.
Tntmasta: First question I have: How did you first get into the Polytopia discord, or probably Polytopia first?
Zoythrus: Much like a lot of people I just stumbled on the game. I'm a big fan of Civilization, the series and civilization, that's relevant. I'm a big fan of the game series, you know Sid Meier's Civilization and I'm like, “Oh, hey. This game looks kind of cool”. So I just downloaded it, thought it was nifty, and asked myself, “Hey, I wonder if they have a Discord?” And then I found itty bitty tiny little discord with like 100 people made by some dudes who just wanted to play multiplayer.
After a whole bunch of time, and a whole bunch of coincidences, I was eventually given moderator, then given manager, and then was told to keep manager, then was given the opportunity to turn that discord, which I now owned, and transformed into the discord you see now, the official one, after reaching out to the Midjiwan company. That's actually how I became Community Manager. It's kind of funny, it was kind of by accident. But it just sort of all worked out and I moved from a random dude who just happened to stumble upon the game to the guy you've been interacting with for quite some time now.
Every year has a whole bunch of new stuff that happens. By this point in time, my memory’s a lot of fuzziness. A lot of things have come and gone and I'm like, “Okay, well, I got promoted and eventually worked my way up to the manager title then became Community Manager.” It all happened so fast.
Tntmasta: Within about a year, or…
Zoythrus: I became manager, the first thing I did was I contacted the Midjiwan team. They established that as official pretty soon and then about four to six months afterwards, I became Community Manager. They were handing me responsibilities, like “Here, help out with our Facebook page. Here, help out this. Here help write blurbs and stuff.” But then after a while they're just like, “Hey, we want to hire you.” And they did. Kind of an interesting success story. I hate giving job advice, because it's pretty bizarre. “Hey, kids, just do what I did. And be lucky.” No, please, this is terrible. Don't do that. Work hard. Eat your vegetables.
Tntmasta: You mentioned writing blurbs and managing the Discord and all that. Is there a rough percentage of all your community manager responsibilities, or is it just whatever needs to be done at any given week or so?
Zoythrus: Yes. Yes, both those. I am not a lot like most community managers. I wear a lot of hats, because we're such a small company. Many of the people on the team will often have to wear multiple hats. I'm doing this and doing this and doing this. And I'm no exception. Usually my responsibilities involve a) managing the various social media b) making sure all the various company e-mails are answered, c) writing social posts/blurbs d) interacting with people like you, being part of these sorts of things, and talking with the average common folk.
Most importantly, my job is to work as a liaison between the team and the fans. Sort of a two-way thing. I tell Midjiwan what you want and I tell you what Midjiwan wants.
Tntmasta: It sounds like a lot of work.
Zoythrus: It can be. There's definitely easy days where little happens. Let's go around, check the e-mails, make the standard rounds. Say “hi,” kiss babies, that sort of thing. And then other days where everything's on fire and I have to go in there and clean house. I spend like 9-10 hours trying to do a whole bunch of paperwork and make sure things aren't exploding.
Tntmasta: For those of us that joined before or right after the tribe leader system in the main server was abandoned, what was it like back when it was still in place? Or why was it implemented in the first place?
Zoythrus: Way back in that time, we had our admins or moderators, a handful of people who would help us out with things. And then we had these tribe leaders. Okay. We had established them as sort of these mini-mods. We gave them small amounts of power. We on the Discord have allowed people to choose a tribe, which is their favorite. And we think that people will kind of get together and talk about strategies and make fan art. That sort of thing. And they do. But we've added these tribal leaders to kind of watch over these small groups of people, like the Imperious or whatever. But mainly, they were a mini-mod of sorts. Yeah, this just to help us out so we wouldn't have to be managing literally everything. That's just how hierarchies work.
Over time, some of the people who were tribe leaders, I guess you could say, were maybe not abusing their power, but maybe taking the position as a little bit more important than it actually is, or was. Over time, we started to run into issues with these tribe leaders, and things like elections and things like what their duties were. Because sometimes they would cause problems. Maybe these people will take the position too seriously, maybe there'd be some sort of internal power struggle over the role. I kid you not. It kind of evolved from just a small mini-mod position that you kind of laughed at like, “Hah ha, leader of the Imperius,” to some fans who genuinely thought these people lead the entire Imperius tribe, or ‘insert tribe here’ and that would cause us issues.
Sometimes these people in their power struggling would cause issues with other people. You find lines in the sand and people divided and people trying to make their own thing. And it was a lot of fan servers based off of the tribes. It wasn’t unheard of for people to take the current tribe leader on Main as the current leader of the tribe on their server, and then we get people who complain to us. “So and so was elected. We're trying to establish a coup against so and so. They're doing a terrible job.” And we're thinking like, “Oh my gosh, this has gotten out of control.” As riots are happening and people are unhappy.
Now, there were definitely some people who took the position with respect and understood the responsibility and handled it well. But there were also some people who, I guess you could say, sort of ruined it for everyone else. After three elections and the various issues that were part of those, we decided to abandon it. We were like, we would make changes to some of the rules, give them different directions, try another election. And do it again, again, and again. And over time, we're just like, this just isn't working out, because it seems to fall down to a bunch of power hungry individuals who are taking this to be far more serious than it actually is.
And that's why we ditched the system, because it just wasn't doing what we were hoping. They weren't mini-mods anymore, they were just a source of constant headaches. Once again, we are sad that those who were taking the position well and respectfully, don't get to do so anymore. And we are a little disappointed in the lack of tribe leaders. Every once in a while we're like, man, I kind of wish we still had these. But over time, we learn from our mistakes and agreed. Yeah, this just isn't doing what we were hoping it to be. So we've sacked it.
Tntmasta: Last question. What's your favorite part of the discord Polytopia fandom as a whole?
Zoythrus: I think as I've said before, it's the people. It's the community, not just on the main discord, but everywhere. On the Facebook groups, the WhatsApp groups, on Twitter. Polytopia fans are some of the coolest people I've ever met. And once again, this isn't just me as community manager, this is me, as a guy, as a dude out in California, saying that you're not gonna find any better.
This is it guys, this is the top. This is the pinnacle. And I am nothing but proud. Proud to meet these people, proud to befriend these people, and proud to be the community manager of these people. So my favorite aspect of the community is the people and the fan art they make and the events they run and the love and the welcoming nature I experienced from every single one of them. I mean not everyone, but most people, nearly everyone.
Nothing but proud. Not just me. But the whole Midjiwan team. We're all proud. We're all happy to be making this game for all of you. And we're all happy that you guys get to play it. You give us suggestions, and you make things and you do things and you make us nothing but happy. So thank you, from all of us at Midjiwan ab, we thank you.
Thanks for being cool people. Thank you for doing this interview. It's been fun. Adios.
Read or listen to the rest of the interview in the Friendly Polytopia server.
Mute ban column
|Aug 29||Paxu||SPJ||tempmute||12 hours||Discussing nsfw stuff again|
Thanks to all our contributors: Espark, Druid, Noru, and Tmas. A big thanks to Artemis for setting up the website for the newspaper. Also, thank you to our faithful readers for encouraging the paper to continue.
If you want to submit a piece to the newspaper—art, news article, opinion piece, puzzle, etc.—let us know in #article-suggestions.
Keep up, Ai-Mo!