This Developer Blog is copied verbatim from the RuneScape website. It is copyrighted by Jagex.
It is written by Mod Kelvin and is dated 17 September 2009.
Community Management's Answers

Mattonline asks: Trolling can be an annoying problem on the forums, why do you think this is? Also, some trolls seem to get away with a lot. Do you think that someone should be given a permanent forum mute after 20 temporary mutes (even more in some cases)? I understand wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt, but in some cases it ruins the community when trolls are just given a slap on the wrist.

Mod Paul M: Trolling can, indeed, be annoying. Why, though? Well, in essence, I’d say that it’s largely down to the anonymity that forum posting tends to provide as it gives some people more confidence to be unpleasant to others without the fear of any physical retribution. It’s no doubt equally true, however, that some people just enjoy getting a rise out of their fellow players.

Do we allow some trolls to "get away with a lot" more than others before we take action? I think it’s fair to say there are many degrees of troll and so some comments will cross the line quicker than others. Where should that line be, though? Well, that tends to depend on who you talk to (and what mood they're in).

I agree with your final point that a forum troll can take away from a community and, although we try to avoid permanent bans whenever possible, it's true that a ‘slap on the wrist’ doesn't always do the trick. As I mention above, when a 'slap on the wrist' should become a permanent ban really depends on the context of the situation and your level of tolerance. Whatever action we do take, though, we aim to deal with forum problems quickly, so if players do get trolled excessively, we do our best to ensure that you’re not more than 15 minutes away from one of the CM guys looking into it for you.

Houndof3vil asks: Will there ever be a point in time where players who express their interests in serving the community as Player Moderators be given a chance to show their worth?

Mod Kelvin: That time is now! :)

Have a read of the Volunteer Moderators Community Management Blog by Mod Hohbein, and there’s also the Are You Community Focused? thread.

As we had such a huge response to the blog, with almost 2,000 overwhelmingly enthusiastic posts, we had a think, and came up with the idea of wanting players who are interested in becoming a volunteer moderator to let us know about them.

Since then, we’ve reviewed nearly 1,500 potential moderators and sent a great many invitations for players to become P-Mods and F-Mods. The majority of these have come from those posting on the Are You Community Focused? Thread. :)

Soldier 1033 asks: What convinced you to start looking into the community more for potential Moderators?

Mod Kelvin: It’s something we’d been thinking about for quite some time, as we were trying to move away from the (not always correct) perception that all P-Mods and F-Mods were only there to report players.

When Mod MMG became the new CEO earlier this year, part of his vision for Jagex was for us to recognise players who have put a lot into the game, and into the community, and find new ways to support them and help them grow.

Where better to look for volunteer moderators than to seek out those who are high achievers in-game and community pioneers - that’s what we’re in the process of doing right now.

Migy Matty asks: Do you plan to recruit considerably more P-Mods, because many people think we need it! XD

Mod Kelvin: Yes, and F-Mods too. Not only because we need it, but also because there are so many players out there whose involvement in the game and community we would like to recognise.

Kendrone asks: My friend Djdex90 and I come up with ideas for the game all the time. Sometimes they are little fixes here or there, other times they are massive things. My most recent large thing being found here: 84-85-776-59290215

My question is, how can we players submit our ideas as large as the one I used as an example to really influence the game. We have ideas, sometimes we draw up the graphics and everything. I read about making a Game Concept Document, but I don't have the time to come to Cambridge (or the money) and so I feel it would be like another forum post but sent by snail mail.

Is there anyway whatsoever that we can submit these large things and more importantly, get feedback on them?

Mod Paul M: I'm intrigued to know what your big ideas are, so will be checking out those links shortly. I do think that it's possible to get the big ideas across succinctly. CM pitch ideas to each other constantly, so to make sure that we see as many as possible, we always start off with the bare bones of an idea. The great ideas are then fleshed out as needed.

I guess it's also worth saying that before spending months on an idea it's well worth considering the feasibility of it first. While it may be awesome to have spaceships, electric monkeys and free lemonade for all in the game, would it move the game away from our planned direction too much? Would it change the game too dramatically? Would it require a team of twenty people to spend the next six months working on the idea? If the answer to those questions is yes, then put the idea out there by all means, but keep it succinct so that other players can check it out and help you build on it. The briefer the idea, the more chance there is that your idea will be read and thought about by other players, which will then provide you with the best feedback possible.

While we're talking about suggestions, I should mention that Mod Crow is our man in Community Management who makes sure that all the good suggestions are noted and passed to the right people. He spends an awful lot of time looking at a huge number of ideas, so he's well-practised in filtering out duplicate ideas and searching for the gold.

Magimage60 asks: How will jagex be more involved with us the community?

Mod Kelvin: Have a read of my Introduction to Community Management blog - it answers your question fully. :)

T H 3 I F Z asks: Do you find it hard to recruit Moderators for the Forums? Or are there people who just stand out instantly ? (Also, do you plan (if you're allowed) to make the forums more visible ?

Mod Kelvin: It is much harder to find forum moderators than player moderators - mainly because, even though our forums are massive, there are fewer players actively involved on the forums than in game. We’re trying to change this through opening up the forums to free players with over 12.5 million XP, and, in the future, we will extend this further.

As for making the forums more visible, I’m not sure quite what you mean... They will be getting a two-stage overhaul, but this will take quite an amount of time, and we really don’t expect to see any changes until next year. But the idea is to make them easier to use and, hopefully, more visible.

Issachunt69 asks: We see your efforts to up-hold the community amongst the forums, but do you have any plans for J-Mods to be more of a 'normal' thing to see in-game?

Mod Kelvin: We’d love to have more J-Mods in game. It’s not straightforward, but it is something we’re working towards.

Recently, we’ve increased the size of our Community Management teams, both for English-speaking players and for the multitude of language communities in game. This means we can turn up to more player events, have a greater presence on the forums and recruit more volunteer moderators.

We still have far more abuse reports and account appeals than we would like, however, and we need at least 60 J-Mods just to keep on top of those. We’re working hard to see what we can do behind the scenes to reduce these work volumes. As we do that, we will have more and more J-Mods available to work in Community Management.

Right now, though, we’re trialling J-Mod/player surgeries - the ones we’ve done so far have gone extremely well, both for us and for players - so we’re looking to see how we can do much more of these from now on.

Master V65 asks: I've noticed no one from jagex posting on forums that much. I see about one mod post every 80 pages of forums. Are you planning on posting on the forums more?

Mod Kelvin: We’d love to post more on the forums, but see my answer to the previous question. The answer to this is just the same: we will put more J-Mod time into the forums and game once team members are freed up from other areas in Player Support.

Issachunt69 asks: Would you ever consider holding a CM event, alike the Gaming Convention in Germany here in the UK?

Mod Kelvin: We like the idea and have considered and talked about it, but no decisions have yet been made, so no promises.

Milandabest asks: What do you like and dislike about the runescape community that you generally do not in other communities?

Mod Paul M: I think I'd have to say size. I love that RuneScape has such a massive and diverse community of people from all over the world with such different backgrounds. The only disadvantage of that being it’s that much harder to meet you all.

Userexpired1 asks: with release of new content, will we be seeing more Jmod/player interaction? (like the poison arrow grand opening) because i feel that these gave players a great experience and it got a chance for the Jmods to see players feedback. I for one enjoyed taking part in this events and hope to see you all in the future...

PS. Perhaps with release of new quests Jmods could go into quest areas and perhaps give a helping hand aswell? Obviously this wouldnt happen all the time because they are working but its just a thought.

Mod Paul M: The short answer to that is yes! There are so many ways that J-Mods and the rest of the community can get together that I won’t spam up the forum by listing them all here. Instead, I’ll just recommend keeping an eye out for the next CM blog and J-Mod surgery. =)

A Cole asks: Are you going to continue to give 3rd party sites exclusive concept art, etc. without posting it on your own site? (Whether it be a day or a week after the initial release on the 3rd party site - You don't want to encourage site advertising to fake sites now, do you?)

Mod Kelvin: The short answer is yes. :) We’ve been building relationships with fansites, and releasing exclusive concept art to them is our way of saying "thanks for being awesome; we absolutely love what you do for our community".

If someone is dead set on copying images, they’ll do so regardless of whether we release concept art to other sites or have it on our own. Rest assured, however, that the ICU team in Player Support invest a significant amount of time in looking for and removing fake sites - we take copyright issues very seriously.

Find Emotion asks: You've stated in the Player moderator blog that you will be looking at members of fanstes to help choose new player moderators - will a member of a unsupported site still have the same opportunities as a member of a supported site? Would you be biased depending on which fansite a certain player supports?

Mod Kelvin: Anyone can recommend a player or forum moderator on the Are You Community Focused? thread and we will check out every single one. Quite simply, if you’re a great community-minded player either in game or on the forums, then we’ll see if you can be a potential moderator.

Bluemagic176 asks: Are you planning to rewrite the article in the knowledge base anytime soon concerning player moderators "not" getting any behind the scenes updates?

Mod Paul M: We’re actually planning to update the moderator section of the KB entirely in the not too distant future, as it’s been a while and the team has evolved a fair bit since it was last updated. Player moderators still don’t receive any behind the scenes information on updates, though, so that section won’t change massively.

We’ve already updated the section called "What tools do Player Moderators have for their role?", as people were interested to hear about the P-Mod room, P-Mod surgeries and what crazy options they have when sending a report.

Clonewars3 asks: The new P-mod method of choosing. Will this affect the community members who aren't really active on a fansite, or really take a role in a clan? I've been playing for almost 4 years this October, and I'm not one of those players' that really take apart in a fansite/clan. Will this affect all players' who are like myself, and do not take apart in a fansite/clan?

Mod Kelvin: You don’t have to be a member of a fansite or a clan to become a moderator.

You can:

  • Be active on the forums.
  • Create your own events.
  • Regularly take part in player events.
  • Be a high level player.
  • Be involved in the role-playing community.
  • Find your own way to add to the RuneScape community.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it gives you an idea that it’s not all about being a member of a fansite or clan. :)

Icemaster X1 asks: How EXACTLY do you choose Player Moderators? Is there some way you monitor ingame behaviour other than looking at the amount of black marks people have. Is it more of other Player Moderators recommending people.

Mod Kelvin: Well, you’re not expecting me to give away trade secrets are you? ;)

I’ve already said above what we look for in potential moderators and where we look for them. If I may, let me answer your question about how EXACTLY we choose moderators by letting you know what we definitely don’t want - you can then put two and two together. :)

We don’t want:

  • Cheaters or bug abusers.
  • Macroers.
  • Someone who has hijacked other accounts.
  • Someone who uses fraudulent means to pay for an account.
  • Someone who consistently breaks multiple rules over time, either in game or on our forums.
  • Someone who continually reports other players for things like calling others a noob.

Irojo5 asks: What plans do you have to involve the community?

Mod Paul M: As the RuneScape Community Manager, I look after a team of people whose whole raison d’etre is centred on community involvement. I know I speak for the whole team when I say that, to us, it’s the best bit of the game, and without community involvement, RuneScape wouldn’t be the game it is.

We’ve long taken player suggestions, attended player-created events and used polls to get community input on what we’re doing and what we’re planning. This summer, we increased the size of the Community Management team so that we can get even more community involvement. We’re putting more team members onto the Suggestions forums, making more J-Mods available to work with you on your events and, most recently, have created extra forums dedicated to player-created content (or, as we geekily like to call it, emergent gameplay). We are even getting the community involved in Jagex by flying some of them to our door to come and party with us (sorry for using party as a verb, I’ve jabbed a fork in my leg as a suitable punishment).

That’s just the start, though, as we’ve plenty more up our sleeves.

For example:

  • The clan community gave us valuable feedback on the Clan Cup, which we’ll be using to make the next one better.
  • We’ll be running competitions that will see the community designing merchandise for the community.
  • We’ve been getting input on how we can best run a community-driven, -written and -inspired newsletter, and will soon be putting that into action.
  • We’ll be doing more to take your ideas for emergent gameplay and turn them into massive events.
  • And, as ever, we’ll be looking to the community to see how you want to be more involved in the future.

Heavenlyevil asks: You reveal a lot of information at many different websites now. These include social networking sites, fansites and sites dedicated to the gaming industry (interviews). Rather then having your members search the internet and perhaps come across malicious pages in the process, is there a possibility of a sticky or web page that links to all off-site information you've released?

Mod Paul M: That’s a great question and is something that we’re looking at right now. In the meantime, a sticky on the forums that keeps all that info in a one-stop, tidy and safe place makes total sense, so we’ll do that. =) (What was I saying about community involvement? ;))

Heavenlyevil asks: You often create a 'Spotlight Suggestions' sticky for high/elite level skill suggestions. Could you shed some light on what happens if there's a suggestion made that's particularly good?

'Mod Kelvin: Okay, so, the Spotlight Suggestions sticky is agreed between Mod Crow in Community Management and Mod Mark in RuneScape Content. Once suggestions have been made, Mod Crow puts them all together and goes through them with members of the RuneScape Content team.

We then find out what RuneScape Content think are good or bad ideas - what can/can’t work in the game, what fits/doesn’t fit in with current content - and then, finally, whether there’s a developer free to do the work.

The reason we ask for a particular area of suggestions is because we want players to input into a particular area of the game - but please bear in mind that we have a team of awesome and creative content developers at Jagex and that they wouldn’t be in their role if they didn’t come up with excellent content ideas themselves. That said, we’d be plain daft if we didn’t ask those who play our games what their ideas and thoughts are. :)

So, what’s the point of players making suggestions, I hear you ask. Well, often, an idea from a player will spark something off at Jagex Games Studios, and the development team will then work on it themselves - it may not be the exact idea proposed by a player, but their idea would have helped the RuneScape Content team to either refine or add to new content, or change existing content.

Kabutocool 1 asks: Will you have J-Mods posted on World 31 to keep an eye out for dating parties? Dating parties encourage the breaking of two rules: Offensive Language and Solicitation. That is because people ask other people to be their boyfriend or girlfriend in the game. I've been keeping an eye out for those to stop these parties in Rimmington. But it gets tiresome... Will you please put a J-mod or two in Rimmington to watch out for dating parties?

Mod Paul M: We do regularly have a number of J-Mods in game with an emphasis on supporting events and, although I think it would be a shame to cut that support short to deal with dating parties, we’re keen to do our best to make sure everyone’s playing safely.

Fortunately, our P-Mod community do a really great job in bringing things like this to our attention, so J-Mods are able to put time into both areas.

Of course, the best course of action is for the community to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and send us a report whenever you come across a dating party. We review your reports pretty quickly, and this is also the way to really put the community in charge of itself.

Bentomat asks: I think it's great that you're trying to get Mods more friendly, and Jmods into the game, but I still have yet to meet a Jmod ingame. It would be great if you could have some Jmods do Bounty Hunter, or Duel Arena, or even something like Trouble Brewing to draw more people to it. Mostly, would it be possible to use a Jmod account in combat with other players?

Mod Paul M: Oh, how I’d love to come into Castle Wars for some epic pwnage on my J-Mod. Still, armed with my rubber chicken, pink skirt and old-skool Santa hat, I don’t think I’d be of that much use.

Generally, we don’t jump into combat with the community because we can’t do it 24/7, which means some players would have an advantage that others wouldn’t. We’d get complaints of being unfair and general misery would surely ensue. I’d never say never, but for something like that to happen, we’d have to find a way around that kind of problem.

There are other ways to meet up with J-Mods, though, if you so desire. We recently introduced J-Mod surgeries, which are proving to be a lot of fun. If you’d like to check one out, take a look at this forum thread.

Another way to meet up with a J-Mod is to attend one of the many player-created events on any given weekend. We do our best to support the community’s events and put on a number of our own too, which are all advertised on the Events thread.

Finally, why not create your own event? If we love it and can support it, we’ll be in touch to see how we can best make your events and ideas work. For that, the Events and Emergent Gameplay forums are your friend!

Yevano1 asks: -Will there ever be any updates to how the forum works? It would be great if you could have your own signature without having to type in each post. And new smilies and different fonts would be cool, too.

Mod Kelvin: You would not believe the size of the list of forum improvements we’d like to make, but it’s not that straightforward...

We’re fiercely proud of our forum community - it’s the second largest in the world and we created them ourselves! This means that we need to invest a great deal of time to make any changes, and to add in cool new features is actually quite difficult.

We are looking at things like formatting, quoting, avatars, ways to enable you to see who’s on the forums when you are, improved searches, etc... This isn’t a definitive list of improvements, simply an idea of what we’re looking at and, unfortunately, I have no timeframe on this. Speaking to the developers, we may be able to add in one or two additional features over the next few months, then look into a larger forum update for next year, but please don’t hold us to that.

C0smic1 asks: Does Jagex every intend to allow the use of BBcode on the forums, and does Jagex ever expect to allow posting of URLs for non-advertising purposes and mentioning websites?

Does Jagex ever plan on developing a system for the I need a mod sticky which would allow moderators to flag posts as dealt with but would not allow users to read active reports?

Will users ever be able to close/change the titles of their own threads?

Mod Kelvin: Wow, so many questions! The above answer covers most of your points. As for the "I need a Mod/Forum emergency sticky" point, we are looking at a much better system for players’ forum escalations for next year.

Treeman851 asks: Will we players ever have our own Runescape Homepage? (sort of like a Facebook but for our characters)

Mod Kelvin: It’s a nice idea, but one that would require a significant increase in servers at our end, so that may be a show-stopper, I’m afraid. We are going to be making some changes to enable you to have a much more extensive view of your account - not quite a homepage, but an improvement on what’s currently available for you to view. And you won’t have to wait too long for this... :)

Lol A Pic asks: Is there going to be another Jagex Cup this year?

Mod Paul M: Well, we’ve already had the 2009 Cup, but there will certainly be another one in 2010. =) Mod Kathy and Mod Timbo have taken on the feedback from the last cup and will be using it to make a bigger and better Jagex Cup for next year.

Tcool Guy asks: are there hired people that browse the forums for unappropriated material, or are the people who browse the forums players that have earned a special title? Or both? I know there are modes for the forums, I'm just asking are they specifically paid to browse the forums, or is it a side job for when things get dull?

Mod Paul M: The quick answer to that is: both!

The player community itself highlights areas of the forums that we need to look at for whatever reason. We also have our wonderful forum moderator team, which is made up by some of our most prolific and community-minded posters. They do an awesome job in quickly picking up anything on the forums that, well, shouldn’t be there.

Finally, we have J-Mods monitoring the forums 24/7. Moderating forums is a key role for Community Management and, whether it’s answering questions, supporting ideas, passing on feedback or creating new threads and forums, there are stacks of J-Mods involved. It is certainly not just an area we look at "when things get dull". ;)

Crazy Foo997 asks: Hi, i have a question. Okay.. so with all the new updates and all the complaints that people are having... Do you honestly think that this is worthy of *spending* your time reading and answering when there are so many more important topics that should be adressed first to, you know, make your customers happy?

Mod Kelvin: Crazy: your question is a bit vague, so feel free to post a clarification on the live Q&A thread if this doesn’t answer it (especially what you mean by "more important topics" that you feel should be addressed first). :)

The way we look at it is that we’d love to have a J-Mod on every forum page, continually responding to player feedback and questions, and when we have the opportunity, we do put more J-Mods onto the forums.

Also, player opinion is important to us, so it is worth our while reading the ‘complaints’. While we know it’s difficult to please absolutely every player with each update, the development teams try very hard to create great content.

We strive to have happy players, and part of this is allowing players to vent their frustrations and tell us what they do and don’t like. We can then consider all of the feedback, make changes if we need to, or, alternatively, speak to you about why we made the choices we did.

Hughmister asks: What is your favourite working beverage?

Mod Paul M: Anyone that knows us will be painfully aware that without a trusty pot of coffee at our side, we’d be lost. Really, I’m 100% serious.

Mod Kelvin: STRONG black coffee.

Themyth2004 asks: Hey there! My question is... RuneScape hasn't had a huge amount of advertising, as far as I am aware the growth of RuneScape has been fairly unique in that it has consisted mostly of word of mouth and then later on mini-clip, yet there is over 1 million members nowadays and a huge number of F2P players.

Advertising has picked up for MMORPGs for the last year or two... I was wondering if there is any plans to expand advertising for RuneScape, and if you could tell me what other kinds of advertising RuneScape participates in at this moment in time?

Mod Kelvin: As you correctly observed, RuneScape has grown over the years through word of mouth and very little advertising - it’s another key point that makes RuneScape unique. That said, we’re not complacent, and we’re always looking to evolve as a company, so your question is actually bigger than just RuneScape - it concerns Jagex as a whole.

If you look at our site, you’ll see that we’re looking to recruit a Head of Online Marketing.

Stuvis asks: Will you ever start responding to the players posts on forums?

Mod Paul M: Does this count? :P

Bobacupcake asks: How hard is it to read 2000+ posts and answer most of them?

Mod Kelvin: Hard. On the basis that it takes around five minutes for threads and posts to be read and answered, it would take almost 170 hours from Jagex staff to answer 2,000 posts! On a weekly basis, we have over 400,000 posts on our forums (and over 40,000 threads added), so we’d need 3,333 hours and 133 people to respond to every thread. That’s almost as many people as we have in the whole of Player Support!

Tygirltaco asks: After reading up alot about Jagex Mods and them playing in the game. I also read that Jagex had started seperating themselves more from the player community more. For instance they weren't joining the regualr players as much lately. Maybe this is all mislead speculation on the part of whoever wrote what I read, but just incase, would this new Player Mod community involvement project soon extend to the 'big mods' as well?

Mod Kelvin: I’d be interested to see what you’ve read; can you let me know where you saw this?

One of my earlier answers explains about the many requirements we have for J-Mod resource in Player Support and how we’re trying to increase the amount of J-Mod time in the game and on the forums - in fact, we’ve just started experimenting with daily in-game J-Mod/player surgeries. Have a look in the Jagex Lite forum for a timetable.

So, no, far from separating ourselves, we’re looking at more ways in increase J-Mod interaction with players. :)

Wcing Isfun asks: Any chance we will see the JMODS try to make a bigger effort to be active with the players? IE: Hosting events like Jmods vs Players in clan wars or something?

Mod Paul M: We’re always looking for more ways to actively support the community, both in and out of the game. We do host events (which you’ll find details of in the Events forum) and also love to support events that the community itself creates (which we do predominantly over the weekends).

We want to do more, though, and, as the Community Management team grows, we’ll be able to do so. As for J-Mods vs players in Clan Wars, that’s not a possibility right now, but is an awesome idea and something I know we’d really get a kick out of.

I do know that a couple of weekends ago we had a clan battle, with a J-Mod assigned to each clan, who then battled it out to the death to decide which clan won. I’d like to do that again, but next time run a book. ;)

Poison730 asks: Will JaGeX become more involved with the clan community? If so, how will this happen?

Mod Paul M: Directing more support towards the clan community is something we’ve been really keen to do in 2009 and, currently, we have two J-Mods assigned to that support in the shapes of Mod Kathy and Mod Timbo. They ran the Jagex Cup 2009, are in the process of preparing for the 2010 Cup and, in the meantime, creating and supporting a variety of events.

They also answer questions, pass on feedback, take clan suggestions and badger me on a weekly basis to get them implemented. (Sorry, Mod Timbo and Mod Kathy, but you’re not getting space hoppers to replace your chairs and, frankly, I don’t see how having plastic-horned bouncing blimps would help the clan community in any way. Nice try, though. :P)

The clan community is a massive part of RuneScape and, although I feel we’ve made a good start, the support we’re offering is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a huge amount more we want to be doing; 2010’s going to be busy for us, I think. ;)

Dark Kirby 0 asks: Why can we no longer post on News & Announcement forum? all the updates are now immediately locked.

Mod Kelvin: It’s quite straightforward, really - we want News and Announcements to be what it says on the tin, where players can simply view news or announcements at a glance. We also create a thread in Recent or Future Updates at the same time where players can post their thoughts, feedback and opinions. It’s a tad clumsy, but we feel this gives the best of both worlds. :)

Humra7 asks: How exactly do you become player moderator and what are the chances of becoming one? What exactly is the duty of player moderator?

Mod Paul M: This is an age old question and I think the KB will go a long way to showing you the light there. We also created a thread not so long ago that invited players to let us know if they wanted to be considered to be a moderator. The lead post on this thread explains exactly what we’re looking for. In short, though, if you’re community-minded, pleasant to talk to and aren’t a cheating, macroing scumbag, you’re already on the right track. ;)

What is the duty of a Player Moderator? Well, as a volunteer forum or player moderator, the key thing to remember is that moderators are, first and foremost, players. So, their first duty is to play the game, enjoy the game and continue being the same player they were before we asked them to join the team. After that, it’s really up to each player how they want to take their moderator crown and use it to benefit the community.

Some like to spend time in game answering other players’ questions, such as the guys looking after the "Ask a Mod" sessions. Others like to find player events and help publicise them to increase community attendance, such as Outreach. Then we have moderators who continue just playing the game, but who keep an eye out for any players in need, should one come wandering towards them. Then we have mods who love nothing more than a damn good pwning session, and so organise competitions and events to ensure that happens.

Basically, it takes all sorts and, as with the community at large, the moderator team is made up of a great number of very different people of all ages, skills and backgrounds. Blimey, I wrote a bit more there than I meant to - sorry about that!

Sohrab19 asks: Will you be adding events where people in runescape and mods do things?

Mod Paul M: Yes, my friend. If you check out the Events forum, you’ll see moderator-related events in there. There’s a thread that immediately springs to mind called Player and PMod events and, although it’s a bit messy at the moment (we’re in the process of getting that sorted!), it’ll give you a good idea of what’s going on.

If we’re talking J-Mods then, again, various forums will note J-Mod-created events. We also attend community events at the weekends, but, as I write, I’m thinking that a central resource would be helpful. Hmm, thanks for that thought. =)

If you're the Twittering type, then you can also get a heads-up on events through following us there. ;)

Saphirajfire asks: RS Times the paper of our future! will it be possible to have the old varok newspaper tossed out and something fresh put in its place? It would be nice to have a paper that was not years old. If it could be updated one time a month that would be great.

I know a lot of things that could go in the paper, letters you guys write I know they come out a lot I never remember to look at them or ever read them. same with the god letters. there are so many possibilities for a fresh paper. it does not need to be just in varok it. would it ever be possible for something cool like this to come out in game? I do have a thread dedicated just for the future RS paper lol.

Mod Paul M: Funnily enough, this is something we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately. I can’t say any more than that, though. ;)

Tcool Guy asks: what is the maximum responses a forum thread ever had? Does it stop at 20,000? (EDIT meant to say the thread becomes locked, not stop at)

Mod Paul M: If you create a thread, you can get 2,000 posts on it (as 200 pages of 10). J-Mods, however, are able to create threads with an infinite number of pages and posts. Well, I say infinite - we haven’t hit the limit yet. ;)

13th Murder asks: I read the Volunteer Moderators Developer's Blog and there's one thing im not clear on... Does this mean that in the future player moderators won't be asked to be so... formal and more be themselves?

Mod Kelvin: That, my friend, is spot on. :)

Grave R0883r asks: Would Jagex consider posting in-forum polls, open to all F2P where applicable, after game updates, as a more efficient means of measuring player feedback?

Mod Kelvin: The best poll of all is player numbers! If we release an update and players play more, or we attract new players, then that’s the best poll we could have! If we release an update and player numbers drop, then we know something’s wrong. We can then also look at player feedback on the forums and get a good feel for what players like or don’t like.

I don’t feel we need player polls after game updates - decent suggestion, though. :)

Ryking27 asks: When will player moderators be held accountable to the rules of the game in ALL sections of this website? Because don't you think that they should be out muting spammers rather than be spammers? I don't know, whatever, your perogitive.

Mod Paul M: Other than the additional tools we’ve all talked about, Player Moderators are players just like any other and that, of course, includes the rules. From the tone of your question, I imagine you’ve experienced a situation that leads you to a different conclusion, in which case, I’m sorry to hear you’ve experienced the exception to the rule.

I’d like to make it clear that just as reports by moderators are viewed as a priority report, so are reports against moderators. That means if a moderator breaks the rules and is reported by another player, we are very quick to view the report.

If you’ve witnessed a moderator breaking the in-game rules and you really want to tell us about it, please feel free to send a report. If it’s on the forums, feel free to follow the regular forum reporting procedure.

Ivl 3 Man asks: Why do you honestly have twitter...I mean C'mon.

Mod Paul M: We use Twitter for much the same reason as anyone else does: to open up more avenues of communication. There are some cool Twitter apps for phones too, so if we're putting on an event or want to help support a player event, Twitter just helps to get that message out to players who may otherwise miss out.

That’s not to say you need to go out and get Twitter! We will still continue to provide information on our forums and website.

De Roll Le asks: How many jars of coffee and bags of tea does Jagex Towers consume within a month?

Mod Kelvin: Jagex Games Studios consume roughly... Sorry, I’m still waiting for the Office Support guys to get back to me...they’re still counting it all up, so it’s a lot!

Xxjenn1 asks: Recently, Jagex made an outreach to various well-known social networking websites and assorted inofficial RuneScape communities and fansites. Several of this media target mainly adult audience. Additionally, it was alleged that attemps are being undertaken to restore RuneScape's allure towards more mature public, while maintainig a youth friendly environment. Could this approach be interpreted also as a step in the direction of moderating the excessive rules about personal security and sharing of (seemingly innocent) personal details? Meaning, will the policies be adjusted to suit the status quo?

Mod Kelvin: Firstly, in terms of the community-building work we have done with social networking sites, fansites and others, this is all aimed at connecting with all players, not simply an adult audience.

Secondly, we recognised that we were treating players as kids rather than players of all ages, so we’ve been changing our approach across the board to speak to everyone on a level. I hope you can see that we’re not just targeting a certain group of players.

Our rules state,
For our players' privacy and safety, you must not ask for personal details such as full name, email address, instant messenger handles, telephone number or your home/school address or age. You also must not post anyone's personal contact details (including your own) on our in-game chat or forums.

We have this rule in place to protect your privacy and ensure your safety. Not only may giving out your personal details affect the security of your account (as they may be used to make a false account recovery request), but it is also risky to tell people you meet over the internet your personal details.

Please remember that you do not know any of these people in real life. That is not to say that they are not as nice in real life as they act in game - they most likely are - but it's sensible to keep a safe distance from people you only know online.

In addition, users of social networking sites are governed by the rules/terms and conditions of those sites, and must abide by them.

So, I don’t feel we need to amend the above rule as it’s aimed towards the users of RuneScape, and designed with player safety and security firmly in mind.

Xxjenn1 asks: One of the rumoured future updates is some sort of adult/mature players' servers. If this would come to fruition would you consider integrating options such as voice chat within these?

Mod Kelvin: Okay, firstly, there’s no definite future update for an adult server - we have considered it, but we’ve made no decision as of yet.

Secondly, voice chat is something completely new for us to consider, and it has many things for us to think about, such as creating the infrastructure, how we would moderate it and if the game really needs it. So, for now, it’s not on the cards.

We’ve also been making steps to reduce the kiddie image of RuneScape by reducing the number of restrictions in our chat filter and to allow words such as ‘damn’ and ‘ass’ (and even allow our NPCs to use these words).

Troacctid asks: Is there somebody assigned to trawl through forums and/or fansites on a regular basis? Who exactly does all of that, and about how much time is spent on it?

Mod Paul M: There sure is. Posting on the forums and checking out the community's posts is a key function for any Community Management team - and we're no different. It's a great way to get feedback; gather suggestions; advertise events; check out what's hot and what's not; what the community loves; and, of course, what the community hates. Some of us specialise in certain areas like clans, high-level or moderator forums, while others enjoy off-topic forums and emergency threads.

It's not just Community Management who post on the forums, though. The RuneScape Content guys are always keen to check out feedback and suggestions and I know Mod MMG can often be found gazing at his monitor with a notepad around lunchtime. So, all in all, we spend a huge amount of time on the forums, such that I can't begin to guess how many hours we clock up each week.

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