Meta-PokéBase Q&A
21 votes
782 views

Hey everyone! This post is something a bit different.

As always, there is a bit of uncertainty regarding what questions are OK to ask here and which aren't. Historically, not a whole lot has been done about that, so I'm going to try something different.

I've made an anonymous Google Form below that you can use to give your thoughts on some types of questions whose standing in PokeBase is unclear. There are also some general questions about us as staff.

Click here to go to the survey!

We can use the answers to these questions to decide on some standards for what posts will or won't be allowed on PokeBase. This could also lead to some changes for the actual rules list some time soon. Please do answer honestly; if there's a change you quietly want to see, this is your chance to voice that.

If you guys vote for it on the form, I'll post an answer here in a week or so with the results of the survey. You can use this thread to raise any concerns about moderation/ the rules list, as well.

by
Cool..
Discord doesn't work for me however, due to firewall.
Just a quick question, when will the results be revealed?
Tomorrow, Fizz said in a week, and as you can see, that was 6 days ago.
Oh, I missed that.

2 Answers

9 votes
 
Best answer

Here are the results of the survey – 93.2% of people voted in favour of these being released. There were 46 responses in total (subtract two blanks). Thanks for responding everyone! I wasn’t sure if people would be interested in this, but it worked out well (and there are some clear messages from the results), so I might do it again at some point.

There’s a way to share the results straight out of Google Forms, but this would mean showing complete answers to the last question, which I wanted to keep private seeing as they’re more identifiable than just sets of numbers. So I’ll do this a different way (and I’ll still talk about that last question).


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I asked this question to get a general idea of what people value this platform for. Predictably, answering questions was the most voted result, but it’s also clear from these results (and really, just from looking around) that people like it for the interaction. I can see from the data set that the vast majority of people who voted ‘Talking with the regulars’ also voted for ‘Sharing knowledge…’, so these groups of people fortunately don’t seem to be at odds.

I removed an option that said ‘I’m a lurker/not very active’ last minute, but a few people submitted words to the effect manually, so that’s another one we’ll bear in mind.

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Google Forms does this nasty thing with the x-axis that makes it look like more people voted for a given option than they truly did. The highest voted option was selected by 22/44 people, so none of these options actually captured a majority of the userbase. (Probably a good thing!)

Still, it’s clear that the approval system and privileges systems should be explained better. I’ve taken some steps toward improving this with the starter’s guide (and trying to link into it in various ways), though we’ll probably not see the effects of that unless it’s put somewhere extremely visible (e.g. the rules page). Do you guys have other ideas for how we could communicate this better?

None of the options here were distinctly unpopular, which shows there’s some work to be done making this place easier to understand. (Thanks to the person who mentioned that section-based points totals are confusing – I recently added a line to the starter threads about points explaining this.)

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The average for this question is 3.98, which is alright, but hopefully we can push it higher in the not-too-distant future. I think people are predisposed to answering a question like this in a kind way, so I think the reality is we have a bit to improve upon. Lots of people gave clear indications for where they want to see improvement and I/we will be taking all of that on board.

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Another question where the x-axis is a bit confusing, and again, none of the options captured a majority of the userbase. I’m not surprised by the top voted checkbox and I/we will try to address that. Again, none of these options were unpopular, and that makes a lot of sense given the reaction to some of the questions that follow.

A few people elaborated later that their votes for ‘handling drama’ and ‘time zone coverage’ were related to the chat room, which also makes sense. It’s a shame that kicking privileges are totally bound to staff roles that don’t always have much to do with the chat room. Aside from pedalling the chatmod and chat prereq suggestions again, I’m not sure what to do except say “keep pinging us when things go bad”. Maybe I can do some development work, but that’d have to go through Pokemaster first (PHP is not really in my wheelhouse).

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I considered making this question a 1-5 scale like the previous one, but I wanted to see how people would react to the descriptions I added. Not a whole lot of people made the jump to say a crackdown is needed, but almost everyone at least agrees there are some low-effort posts about, so watch this space :)

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Once again, the x-axis tells a bit of a lie here – none of these results represent a majority of the userbase. However, about half of us think the rules list is missing some things, and a touch under that proportion think that the list is unclear about some things. A good amount of people also think the page is too long.

I actually agree with all the options here (though I didn’t fill out the survey), so these results have at least helped me personally see what issues people are most concerned about (and maybe that people don’t think the rules list is that urgent).

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The first of a few strong statements made in these results – people don’t like Game Freak logic questions much! The proportion of people who think they shouldn’t be on PokeBase at all is almost a majority, and only two people said outright that they like those questions.

As far as I know, you guys have the total backing of the staff on this one, so expect some changes to be made.

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Another strong statement – interestingly, this pie looks a lot like the previous one, just with the proportions shifted around slightly. More people came to the defence of trivia questions as opposed to ‘Game Freak logic’ questions, but the exact same proportion (75%) at least said they need tighter moderation.

Overall, people seem a touch more sympathetic toward these questions compared to Game Freak logic questions, but I still think it’s clear changes will be made here.

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I realised after the fact that the ‘No’ option should have said ‘They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere’ to create a distinction with the ‘main section’ response, but these results are still revealing. A majority of people think in-game team questions should be allowed in some form on the RMT section, but a big group of people are against the idea. I think this topic needs some more discussion to see if we can come to a consensus.

My personal opinion is that we should at least “try” allowing in-game team advice on the RMT section, provided it’s well-organised and not terrible to read, a bit like the red option in the poll. We can pull it all back if the results are bad.

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Perhaps another poorly-asked question by me. In short, I think there is a distinction between questions that ask for an outright in-game team rate, and questions that supply an in-game team and ask for help with one particular thing (e.g. the final member, or some key battle). I wanted to see where people think the latter belongs.

The results for this question were the most divided in the entire survey, so again, I think this topic needs some more talking. Somebody made a very good point that in-game team advice generally only serves the person who asked for it, and I think that’s another parallel you could draw with the content already on the RMT section. It could be a helpful way to decide what belongs on the main section (i.e. repeatable problems/questions that many people may find useful) and the RMT section (i.e. help with individual people’s strategies).

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For those who don’t know, we already do moveset rates in one thread on the RMT section. But I always felt they were a bit cramped there (and the thread was destined to die like it has, given how badly it’s advertised), so I wanted to see what other people thought. It seems the majority of people are happy with the current idea, but a good amount of people do think they should be in separate threads. I think this is yet another topic we could discuss, fleshing out the advantages and disadvantages.

At least, most people agree moveset rates should be allowed in some way.

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More strong statements in these results. I’m glad people voted for the ‘battle format’ option, because I would’ve pushed for it again anyway. :’)

As I mentioned in the poll, we’ll be encouraging all of these regardless of the results, so this question is a matter of which ones ought to be a total necessity. I was a bit surprised that the ‘explanation’ option pulled in front of all the others to become outright second, so that’s something we’ll definitely be taking into account. ‘Bare minimum literacy’ also got a vote from a majority of people.

Once again, none of these options were unpopular, so all of them are at least actionable. My opinion is that enforcing all of them at once is a bit harsh – maybe we should try them one step at a time to see the effects they have on post quality. I think the ‘battle format’ rule alone would have noticeable effects (but there’ll probably need to be more if we want to get RMT where we want it to be).

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Really interesting results on an issue I think is currently poorly addressed by us at the moment. A fairly strong majority of people think open ended questions should be allowed in some form, and a touch over 50% of everyone liked the ‘controlled’ approach most.

I am personally torn between the red and blue options. I think the moveset questions cause a ton of clutter that shouldn’t be worsened, but it’s very clear from their popularity that people like them, so we should at least entertain a discussion about allowing more open-ended style questions.

This is another one where I think we should discuss a bit more, and maybe where “try it and see what happens” is a solid approach.

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I was a bit surprised by these results given how hard people came down on trivia/theory questions earlier. I’m personally in the yellow camp, because I think people should at least try a google search before they ask a question (and I think the current rule gets hairy in areas PokemonDB is not perfect with, e.g. locations). But it looks like most people don’t think so!

Perhaps this could do with a better discussion of what an ‘easy to search’ question looks like? There is quite a spectrum and I’m sure people would draw the line in different places.

Discussion for the final question is in the next answer!

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In light of the upcoming changes and revisions, will we have a new promotions post soon?
If the results of the survey are anything to go by, then we're understaffed, so we'll probably do promotions faster than usual (again).
February to now would be a pretty quick turnaround, so I think we'll let the current userbase settle a bit longer and then see who's putting their hand up.
9 votes

The last question

Over half of you wrote something in this box – thanks again for your input. I’ll personally respond to each of the issues in an indirect manner. All the staff will have your precise feedback.

  • A good potion of the responders just said that they really like PokeBase, which is nice to read :)

  • The most repeated feedback here was about low quality questions, low effort questions, point-hungry questions, meaningless/ unhelpful questions, questions that ask for lists of things, and the like. This matches the sentiments from the results above, so again, a strong message is being sent here. We’ll know from this point onward to hit a bit harder with these sorts of questions. Hopefully, we’ll come to some agreement on how it could all be phrased in the rules page to help people ask questions that other people will like.

  • Another repeated topic was the chat room. People spoke variously about drama that happens there and some inappropriate discussions, but all of it is underlined by the fact we’re not really active on there. One person directly recommended the chat mod feature, which again, I think all the staff are in favour of. It’s just a matter of making the feature exist. (Again, in the meantime, send us Discord pings. I’m only “available” for a few hours each day and usually during Western off-hours, but I’ve added a ‘DB Staff’ role to the Discord that you could use to catch us all in one hit.)

  • A few people mentioned that Pokemaster is not very responsive/attentive, which I can’t really speak to except to say that I agree. I’ll ask him if he’d like direct access to the survey results.

  • The ability to post anonymously (as in, take your name off a post) is interesting, though I do think having a name behind each post has some value in the Q&A format we’ve got, where a person certainly would want to know who they’re getting their info from. The person who gave the idea said it would remedy a ‘bias’ problem on the site – let me/us know if there’s more to be said about that.

  • Closing RMT questions that don’t show bare minimum knowledge of competitive play was popular in the survey, so it’s likely you will see that come to fruition in some way. We will definitely have some guides on hand that will make it clearer what ‘bare minimum’ should mean, and we are definitely aware that the RMT section attracts bad players.

  • There’s no problem with answering an RMT thread by explaining why it doesn’t need improvement. People just don’t seem to do that (maybe because there aren't many teams like that). Should we go out of our way to mention it in the rules?

  • Do other people agree that important Meta questions should only be answered by staff, even if the answer is obvious? I’ve personally never been bothered by this – if somebody says something that’s not accurate then we can just say so.

  • I would post suggestions for the format of tourneys as a Meta thread. That has more stakeholders than just the staff alone.

  • I agree that people shouldn’t be posting entire answers copy-pasted from somewhere else. I think that people should use their own words and simply reference where they found the info (or at least summarise what the page is saying), unless quoting the source directly has some important function. We’ll talk about this more.

  • Age restricting PokeBase is actually something Pokemaster greenlit years ago, but never formally implemented. I think a solid chunk of the userbase is below 13, so it’s something we’d have to be very very sure of before it’s ever done.

  • Knowing PokemonDB’s guide is incomplete, I agree location questions should be allowed on PokeBase. Though, I think questions like ‘Where to find Toxel in Sword/Shield?’ are low effort, and we should encourage research first and more thoughtful questions like ‘Where is Toxel in the Wild Area?’.

  • Answering questions with a link is already frowned upon via the rules page – though one person’s inability to access a website for whatever reason is not something I think we should form rules around.

  • We changed the rules for promoting experts years ago – people have been promoted for long-time contribution multiple times. The 6000 option still exists, but I think almost everyone who crosses that boundary would be manually promoted by us anyway.

  • I agree the rules page is out of date in a lot of areas, and I agree there needs to be documentation of moderation practices (somewhere, if not on the rules page). Stay tuned on both fronts. Bits and pieces are present already in the starter’s guide.

  • To the person who wrote about the Discord server’s shortcomings: thanks for your candour, and I’ll go a step further and say that I personally have been pretty asleep at the wheel with that place. I do care though, and I hope to show that from this point onward. I’ll be asking people what they think of the issues you brought up (I agree with them for the record), and hopefully some simple changes will cut a lot of the fat. I also have a vague plan for an alternative to manual verification, but I won’t make promises because it depends on a few things.

  • If Gligurr wants to be unbanned then he should talk to us about that.

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A blanket ban on age restriction is completely unfair to the users that are under thirteen. Granted there aren't many, but there are several that have routinely posted quality content and contributed to the site positively. A case-by-case basis might be a bit more work, but it's better than ostracizing the users under 13 that are actually helpful.
That could be better, also, I'm just now realizing, how would we figure out their ages other than just by guessing based on their maturity/knowlege? I guess I didn't think this through, but definetly a ban on the ones that don't contribute good content, that I know.
@minikyu, my guess would be having to input your birthday upon sign up, or going based on what the user says in chat. The second option seems most likely
Okay, that makes sense.
I personally don't agree with age restricting the site because of what everyone else has covered, that being the actual good users under that age group.  However, I do agree there are some users under that age limit that are plenty annoying.

Maybe something like having slightly stricter rules or something along those lines of having to have their posts approved for a until a higher number of points or something like that to increase the quality.