Mystic removal discussion - The good and the bad

Cyan Ryan

Netcode Nancy
D6EFTyOWwAIimlg.jpg
words
The community would be a better place with Live. 😭
 

Cue

ALAM STOP BREAKING THE S
The community would be a better place with Live. ��

In hindsight trying to implement such a beast into a C application would have been an incredibly masochistic thing for me to do

Funnily enough I’m basically implementing such a feature into the system my studio uses for making arenascale VR games now. That however is not a tale for this thread
 

MotorRoach

Roach when Sonic
Sonic Team Junior
Internally, ideas were often shot down immediately without discussion because that one person didn't like them.

I can confirm this used to be the case even long after your departure and within recent years. Mystic would die pretty much on any hill possible, no matter how minor something being proposed would be, and if I dared argue, it was incredibly easy to make him pull the "OH, so YOUR opinion matters more than the opinion of others then!" card... and when he said "the opinion of others", he actually meant his opinion and his own opinion alone. Mystic was anything but an agreeable figure, and yet he was the one in charge of shooting everything down.

Hell, the most notable example I have in mind is when I proposed to redesign the continue screen, and he made a big deal out of how much he found the old one with the baby looking Sonic sleeping to be iconic to the game, and when I said "yeah, sure, but we're not making something just for you", he instantly took it as a personal attack and started accusing me of dismissing his view on it. Yes, over the continue screen.
 
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I'm used to most places', including the SRB2 Discord server's rules about controversy like this (namely, don't talk about it), so to see a thread where people are free to talk about this is weird and at the same time, refreshing, especially since, as others have said, most of the time the discussion is civil, supportive, even therapeutic and cathartic to those who have had to deal with the abuse from the higher-ups in the community. I was driven away from the community by the mentality many have mentioned here, and to return to find a much more welcoming community all these years later was jarring.

I'm glad everyone in this thread has finally gotten closure for what has happened here, and I look forward to what the future holds. Maybe some more official versions of SRB2 on other platforms? Like, maybe, Android? (I know there's Android, Switch, and Web Browser, but they aren't exactly official afaik)
 

CobaltBW

Community Noise Maker
Sonic Team Junior
Well, now that a lot of the edge is off.... I really don't think I have anything important to say that hasn't already been said, but I guess I'll add some of my own perspective just so it's out there. Forgive me if this is a bit long-winded.

I think I was fourteen when I first joined the community, and to be honest I probably couldn't have cared less if the game was centered around Sonic or Mario or Bomberman. I had a fascination with fangames and fan content generally speaking -- the flaws, the creativity imbued in them, and the sort of sandbox nature of their communities. Sonic Robo Blast 2 was the embodiment of this -- not only was it my first exposure to online play, but it was a highly varied experience with half a dozen modes of play and near-full moddability. I wouldn't have fully understood it until several years later, but I've always had a very strong interest in game design, and the expressiveness of community content, with all of its best and worst qualities, always spoke toward my fascination and my desire to really pick apart what exactly it is that makes games "tick".

I was blissfully unaware of any grooming that had been taking place, but I had sided with Spazzo before and during the major split that happened along with 2.0, and when Spazzo was banned I had pretty much left the community out of contempt for everything that had happened up to that point. Fast forward over one or two instances of me reappearing to make an ass out of myself; judging from my infraction history (nine infractions and never a tempban. How did I do that??), I didn't really reenter the community until after lua was introduced. 2.1's reversal of 2.0's more restrictive elements brought back the creative vigor that had always appealed to me, and I was much happier to pop in from time to time. Ever since then, the content I've seen produced from everybody has only gotten more and more impressive. The SUGOI trilogy is a triumph in community collaboration and engagement. I can't even believe the number and diversity of high quality characters 2.2 has received in just the span of half a year. The ceaseless and overwhelming amount of creative output this community is capable of makes me proud to consider myself a part of it.



As for Mystic...

Ritz's post really strikes a chord for me; in addition to being extremely thoughtful, well-written and insightful, I feel like I had undergone sort of a similar arc, maybe with some varying caveats. I had always had respect for Mystic -- not so much because he was an authority figure, but because I perceived him to be the "voice of reason". I honestly admired the way in which he tried to consistently explain his point of view as clearly and rationally as possible, with absolutely no bullshit and no sugar-coating. That sort of edgy "facts over feelings" mindset is the same thing that got me into a Richard Dawkins phase later on (though I was already an agnostic by the time I had joined the community). Looking back, it definitely shows in a lot of my much-older posts.

My ideological shift must have started when I decided to spy on a hangout server to record logs for rule-breaking, before realizing a couple of hours later that I was just ruining someone else's good time under cynical pretenses. For maybe the first year of Mystic's management I had agreed almost by default with the position of "ban the noobs", but it didn't take me long to realize that outright banning servers and setting hard character restrictions -- set in large part to spite hosts and content creators who weren't playing the game in the way that suited our tastes and aesthetic -- is intimidatingly authoritarian, a lot of extra busy work, and frankly rather counterproductive in the long term.

To that end, the point of conflict for me had always been the way in which the community was managed, and anyone who remembers "SigSev[sic] Cafe" knows this. Our aura of elitism disgusted me. Seeing infractions handed out for minor grammatical offenses made me feel like the "good boys" were part of some English literature club. In fact, I'm still not sure if we ever got rid of the forum's ridiculous "they're/their/there" CAPTCHA system.

At some point, I had just taken the presence of the "old guard" and the culture that followed as sort of a given. My distance from the community must have numbed my perception of things, or maybe I had just assumed my own misgivings were simply my own. I have chatted with plenty of past and present devs, and whether their grievances were social, personal, or related to development, I can easily count the number of people that didn't have a problem with management on one hand. And in the one year that I have been active on the team, it was not hard to see why; I can say from personal experience that trying to gain traction on any issue required playing a lot of politics.

My music thankfully did not suffer nearly as much from the kinds of beaurocratic obstacles that many other members felt, and there was only one or two particular instances where I was pressured to change things at the last minute, which did frustrate me a little bit. But being met with outright obstruction after Nev3r and I had spent hours prototyping ability reworks was genuinely insulting, and I know that many former and current team members could share similar experiences that discouraged them from wanting to work on anything. The super discussion is probably the dumbest recent example of needless gatekeeping, and if there was any "vocal minority" that was being catered to, I think many will agree that there was at least a little bit of projection at play. I tried to bend over backwards to reach a solution that would please everybody, but it honestly felt more like I was trying to play diplomat between a king and his serfs, rather than two parties trying to find common ground. This is to say nothing of his recent actions towards the community and specific individials in particular. I always knew Mystic to hold a grudge or to be stubborn, but his behavior as of late just felt petty. Considering his overall trajectory, I guess it was really only a matter of time before Mystic left on bad terms with the community.

It's easy enough for me or anyone else to just say "fuck him, I'm glad it's over with" and move on, but I've never harbored any ill will toward him and I hope no one else does either. Many of us go through a point where deep soul searching is required, and I think it is past time that Mystic reflects on his own situation, what he really wants in life and how he is going to pursue it. Does he want to be a critic? An analyst? A teacher? Something else? Does he need love? Does he need to create? Both introspection and exploration are necessary to answer those questions. In spite of our disagreements, I sincerely hope that Ben finds what he is looking for.



On a lighter note: I feel like I was fortunate enough to be placed onto the team exactly when I was. The vast majority of the people I've worked with are awesome, passionate people. That first week of being on the private discord gave me a high I hadn't felt in a long time, to the point I almost wondered what ever made me left. The months that followed was a thrilling challenge to see just how much of the soundtrack I could finish in a short amount of time, and I enjoyed nearly every second of it. I have no grievances with anyone who is on the team at this present moment, and I feel strongly confident about the direction we have taken with the team's cohesion, as well as our approach to community management. For that matter, the amount of community solidarity I have seen from this thread alone positively reassures me that we can build a future for the community that is grounded in trust, empathy, and mutual respect for one another.
 
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In fact, I'm still not sure if we ever got rid of the forum's ridiculous "they're/their/there" CAPTCHA system.

I don't know exactly when it changed, but yes, that's gone.

Edit:

Yes, cobalt, the forums somehow still use the their / they're / there test. :u

No, it has random Sonic-themed knowledge questions now, like you have to type in the release year of the first Sonic game.
 
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DylanDude

Overeager Raposa
Yes, cobalt, the forums somehow still use the their / they're / there test. :u

It's also just as buggy as it's ever been. Users still come into #help asking for assistance with a test they've correctly answered. I had to deal with this myself; the test simply does not work.

EDIT: Posted at the same time as the post above. If they have been changed it was very recently.
 
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glaber

Emblem Radar Ready
That super disscussion I think was the most escalated it ever got with mystic making an arguement so bad, it resulted in the disscussion spilling over into Sonic Retro's forum.
 
That super disscussion I think was the most escalated it ever got with mystic making an arguement so bad, it resulted in the disscussion spilling over into Sonic Retro's forum.


To this day that's one of the few times I could not buy Mystic's/Rob's arguments on the issue. It's not even the fact they didn't want Super forms for other characters, but they seemed to not want any reward whatsoever for collecting all the emeralds with those characters, someone mentioned the only incentive you need to do it is the satisfaction of doing it.



I have no doubt that many people went along in such discussions, not even out of fear of the mods, but just because it was a well established thing, if Mystic gives his reasoning on an issue no one questions it any further.
 

glaber

Emblem Radar Ready
Well, no one but me. I even fought him on one of the older super topics on the existence of super Knuckles going so far as to record "how to get Super Knuckles" videos for KiS2 and S&K just to prove him wrong.
 

wolfs

Watch Symphogear
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
Judge
I have no doubt that many people went along in such discussions, not even out of fear of the mods, but just because it was a well established thing, if Mystic gives his reasoning on an issue no one questions it any further.

That discussion came up several times in dev. To be quite honest, Mystic's stance on supers flat out didn't make sense, but he would never budge on it. Arguing with him was like arguing with a brick wall. I lost the energy to debate him on it early on and gave up.
 

Frostiikin

Insert funny hahas here
That discussion came up several times in dev. To be quite honest, Mystic's stance on supers flat out didn't make sense, but he would never budge on it. Arguing with him was like arguing with a brick wall. I lost the energy to debate him on it early on and gave up.
Now that he's gone do you think we may be getting allsuper at some point? Ofc should be toggleable for custom characters, but there's literally no reason for the base cast to be unable to go super, 'specially since metal, a character who has literally never been seen going super unless you count that golden aura he got in mania adventures episode 5 is able to, but knux ain't.
 
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Smash Corliss

~=Fighter=~
wait so this super discussion
i remember a time before 2.1 I think when the option to give a custom character a super transformation via S_SKIN was removed. Is that related to this debate?
 

Fred

Member
it resulted in the disscussion spilling over into Sonic Retro's forum.
You mean when you dragged it there apropos of nothing and then sorta just dropped it when you didn't get the unanimous support you wanted?

Yeah, get the fuck out. And wear a mask when you do so.

As for Mystic, all I can say is that in retrospect, he never should have given me +o in #srb2fun only to later shame me by taking it away in public ("alright, we all know this was coming") when I was so young and unable to articulate.
 

I'll Begin

🐑✨
Man, Mystic thread or not, I'm so incredibly floored that the stuff with JTE is just out in the open now. Too many people had to suffer in silence for far too long thinking they were the only victim, some for well over a decade. There's gotta be least half a dozen victims that have spoken either publicly or in private at this point.

Please understand I have a lot of heavy trauma that I can't bring myself to speak about publicly, but I really want you all to know that you're not alone.
 

CobaltBW

Community Noise Maker
Sonic Team Junior
Well, no one but me. I even fought him on one of the older super topics on the existence of super Knuckles going so far as to record "how to get Super Knuckles" videos for KiS2 and S&K just to prove him wrong.

In truth, I didn't feel like all of your posts and arguments were in the best of faith in that discussion (no offense), but I do agree that there was very clearly a consensus that most people didn't actually care what kind of super forms everyone got so long as they got something.

To answer Frostiikin's question, it's too early to say with certainty what our plans are, but a more liberal approach to supers is definitely something we're looking into.
 

cookiefonster

Wiki Admin
Giving all the characters super forms is long overdue and the arguments I've seen against doing so are weird and don't make sense. As long as Super Fang gets to zoom around on his bike, I'll be content.
 

glaber

Emblem Radar Ready
In truth, I didn't feel like all of your posts and arguments were in the best of faith in that discussion (no offense), but I do agree that there was very clearly a consensus that most people didn't actually care what kind of super forms everyone got so long as they got something.

To answer Frostiikin's question, it's too early to say with certainty what our plans are, but a more liberal approach to supers is definitely something we're looking into.
None taken. The super Everyone debate kinda brought out the worst out of everyone, myself included.

To Neo, I wasn't looking for unanimous support. I was more looking for what the majority opinion was. Plus that topic wound up being more interesting and Civil than any of the Super topics I've seen here. Plus, neither Mystic nor SRB2 was never brought up in the poll nor topic. Just his argument.
 
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