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Old 4th Mar 2018, 8:21 PM DefaultChanges to Queue Bypass calculations #1
Tashiketh
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Hi All,


Mod The Sims is always working to improve the quality of our uploads, and our Creator Guidelines and rubrics evolve over time to reflect this - especially in cases like The Sims 4 where early game modding is much different from later game, with a few EPs under our belt.

To that end, I have adjusted the Queue Bypass system so that it checks to see the number of approved uploads within the last 6 months. If you have 3 or more approved, and previously held bypass, then you still have it. If, however, you have not uploaded anything in the last 6 months ago, and want to upload again, you'll need to go through the normal moderation queue as per usual. This ensures that you are up to date with our latest guidelines and checks, and ensures the best quality of items on the site.

To view your bypass status, have a look at your scorecard.

Edit - No longer happening!

In the future I will also be modifying the rubric system so that it is per-game, and more specific to certain sections - this means that, again, in the future, if you gain bypass in, for example, Sims 3 Lots & Housing, you wont automatically have it in Sims 4 Lots & Housing, or Sims 3 Body Shop, as you do now.

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Last edited by Tashiketh : 6th Mar 2018 at 4:12 PM.
Old 4th Mar 2018, 9:18 PM #2
SummerGlau
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I haven't yet formed a certain point of view on this update, in all honesty, but are suggestions accepted?

I know there are a few PM bots on MTS that handle duties like notifying users on upload submission, mentions in posts by other users etc.
Is it possible to set up a PM notification for an upcoming bypass status change? Like "you haven't uploaded anything in N months, so you might not be up to date with Creator Guidelines. Please, try to make sure to complete and upload any projects you might currently have on hold to keep your Queue Bypass". Note that this is a dummy text off the top of my head, though.

Also, if a creator happens to lose Queue Bypass... does that mean going through 10 uploads all over again to regain it or...? Shine a light on this, please. Thank you =)
Old 4th Mar 2018, 9:19 PM #3
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I have to admit that I do not quite understand this change for other games than Sims4. It is quite disheartening to learn that I will loose my queue bypass for not being fast enough in producing content. I think it takes time to release quality stuff and there are always RL issues to deal with so releasing 3 things in just 6 months is VERY hard.

I am afraid it is not a step to gain more quality content. I believe it is quite the contrary - pressing creators to release just "something" to keep their bypass

I am pretty sure I am not the only creator who sees it this way and I hope you can think this over

Would it be possible to apply this new rule only to the sections which really have been changed? (After all it means more work for the queue moderators...)
Maybe you could also notify people of the changes more "visibly"? I havent noticed any. Maybe the changed part could be on the top or something?

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Old 4th Mar 2018, 9:41 PM #4
Norn
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This seems to put the cart before the horse. So you want to make sure that people read any changes to upload requirements? Notify them of changes then (like you have to agree to TOU before registering at any website, for example). Highlight changes. Or, in extension of what SummerGlau posted, use your mail bots to notify users of guideline changes. If it's major changes, maybe it's even worth a news post? Guidelines shouldn't be a mystery anyway.

But to punish those who only upload rarely seems the wrong signal. It sounds like a call for quantity instead of quality. What difference does it make if someone uploaded 20 lots or 2 in the past 6 months if both used to have a bypass? Neither of them will have read the guidelines.

How often do the rubrics for Sims 2 and 3 actually change? And for Sims 4? Even if having to use the queue - you can still perfectly ignore all those guidelines and rules. Just click "next" and you're done. You're not getting what you aim for, you're just scaring away uploaders who don't produce lots of content.

Having more specific bypasses sounds reasonable though. Guidelines are different for different content (and games).
Old 4th Mar 2018, 10:10 PM #5
gummilutt
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I have to second that I think this change could use some modification. I am not familiar with TS4 community, but in the TS2 there are several very talented creators who only upload maybe a couple of times a year (some of whom are moderators on the site, and I presume know the guidelines very well). It seems a bit mad that they should have to start over and get three uploads passed in order to have bypass again. I understand the concept of wanting to make sure creators are up to date with guidelines, but I think you are going to lose creators by making them lose bypass. Not to mention that it's bound to create extra work for the moderators. I check this site many times daily, and have done for years, but there are periods in my upload history where I've gone a few days short of six months without uploading. Doesn't mean I'm out of tune with the site and changes to guidelines, just means I had other things going on and wasn't uploading at that time in life. There are many of us, so to me this spells high probability that the already overworked moderators will have even more work on their hands, and that a certain type of creator will feel shunned.

That said I do think that having bypass per area makes sense, though I hope it doesn't take 10 uploads in each sections to get bypass. After all only a part of the guidelines is different in each section, and it doesn't take 10 uploads to grasp the concept But I really hope you'll reconsider the 6 months and 3 uploads, because that will hit hard on the creators who take longer but make really great uploads and I'd hate to see them leave MTS for tumblr or livejournal.

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Old 4th Mar 2018, 10:28 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowkeeper
I have to admit that I do not quite understand this change for other games than Sims4. [...] I think it takes time to release quality stuff and there are always RL issues to deal with so releasing 3 things in just 6 months is VERY hard. [...] I am afraid it is not a step to gain more quality content. I believe it is quite the contrary - pressing creators to release just "something" to keep their bypass


This. For older games like TS3 and TS2, a lot of content has been released already, so it's not trivial to generate interesting mod ideas that are also easy enough to be pulled off every two months. This will disproportionately affect modders who choose to take on larger, more complicated projects.

Frankly, perhaps the more pressing issue for MTS is not the quantity of mod moderation, but, rather, its quality, to put things delicately. I've seen some questionable items slip through (granted, those might have cases of queue bypass).

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Last edited by Butterbot : 4th Mar 2018 at 10:32 PM. Reason: Clarity
Old 4th Mar 2018, 11:40 PM #7
heaven
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I completely understand where y'all are coming from. I am a slow ass creator (hides the upcoming 6 year marker on my world) so I've lost bypass myself.

However, something I want to point out from the way I am looking at things. If you consistently follow the guidelines, regardless of how often you upload, you're not the issue (I'm not the issue, lol). Quality creations that aren't questionable on the guidelines are usually easy approvals so hopefully those things won't take that long to approve anyway once they're in the queue.

Right now, this is the way that things are being evaluated. It's been awhile since bypass was introduced and, just like the rubrics and guidelines, these things need to be reevaluated as time goes on. As is the case with most of the world, the bad eggs are the ones that stink up the whole room. That's not to say that this particular criterion is permanent; we may discover a more effective way to weed out the issues or a more concise way of keeping everyone up to date on the guidelines. It's always subject to change as we learn what works and what doesn't.

Just remember that bypass is not some kind of stamp of your worth as a creator. No one can see it but you and the moderators anyway. If you're a good creator, but slow, you're still a good creator. *pats self on back as reminder*

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 12:33 AM #8
Butterbot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven
I completely understand where y'all are coming from. [...] Quality creations that aren't questionable on the guidelines are usually easy approvals so hopefully those things won't take that long to approve anyway once they're in the queue. [...] Just remember that bypass is not some kind of stamp of your worth as a creator.


This is hardly the point. Personally speaking, queue bypass is not some kind of ego-stroking gimmick, but an important practical convenience as a modder. I put a lot of thought into the layout/presentation of the description page of my mods, and the upload wizard has some minor formatting idiosyncrasies that I would alter manually once the mod's page is up. This is very trivial to do with queue bypass, since I can just upload the mod and then immediately edit its page. It's also easy to quickly reserve the first few comments for further explanations/instructions, should that be necessary. Both of these tasks would be more onerous sans queue bypass.

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Last edited by Butterbot : 5th Mar 2018 at 12:35 AM. Reason: Typo
Old 5th Mar 2018, 1:21 AM #9
heaven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterbot
This is hardly the point. Personally speaking, queue bypass is not some kind of ego-stroking gimmick, but an important practical convenience as a modder. I put a lot of thought into the layout/presentation of the description page of my mods, and the upload wizard has some minor formatting idiosyncrasies that I would alter manually once the mod's page is up. This is very trivial to do with queue bypass, since I can just upload the mod and then immediately edit its page. It's also easy to quickly reserve the first few comments for further explanations/instructions, should that be necessary. Both of these tasks would be more onerous sans queue bypass.


To some, it IS an ego-stroking gimmick akin to a feature trophy. Strange, but true.

I wasn't joking when I said 'I get it'. Can't tell you how many times I've done as you've pointed out and edited a post immediately (though usually because of my own typos which would have gone live and been seen immediately had I not been around when it was approved). However, what I was trying to get it was that we know it's not perfect. But the bypass criteria needed to be adjusted for some issues and this particular adjustment is the one that was decided on at this time. Can we adjust the criteria in the future? Sure. And looking at Tash's original post, it's already in the works. But what a lot of people seem to be forgetting is that MTS has not always had bypass nor is it promised that it will always be there. Sure, it sucks to lose it, especially if you've had it for the 4 years it's been available and grown accustomed to it but, it is, at most, a convenience.

Sidenote: If you're concerned with formatting, especially for complex mods or things that need reserved space in the comments, you can always use Creator Issues to prepare a thread for upload. When it's ready, you ask for it to be moved to the queue and therefore you bypass the wizard that way. You still need to go through queue because the upload has to be CRed (to add game category, EP requirements, etc that isn't present in a standard forum thread) but then you can get the formatting how you'd like and the space you need in the comments. I've got one I am working on at the moment for my world; it's far easier to add info as I go than try to remember *everything* that I'll need for a large world upload at once.

Also, I'd love to know what idiosyncracies you're editing out from the wizard. I know there has been discussion of revamping the wizard and it'd be good to get some feedback (though preferably elsewhere, in a thread of its own perhaps?).

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 3:04 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven
But what a lot of people seem to be forgetting is that MTS has not always had bypass nor is it promised that it will always be there. Sure, it sucks to lose it, especially if you've had it for the 4 years it's been available and grown accustomed to it but, it is, at most, a convenience.


No one so far has claimed that bypass has always been available or that it was promised for perpetuity. People have merely pointed out that 1) it exists right now and it's useful, and 2) the current changes to its availability probably won't increase the qualities of mods shared here (especially for TS2/3) and might alienate some modders. The issue is not whether bypass has always been around, nor whether something should be done to improve the quality of mods shared, but whether the current changes to bypass might do more harm than good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven
If you're concerned with formatting, especially for complex mods or things that need reserved space in the comments, you can always use Creator Issues to prepare a thread for upload. When it's ready, you ask for it to be moved to the queue and therefore you bypass the wizard that way.


Thanks for reminding me of this feature. Still, it's not as convenient as queue bypass since having to ask for the thread to be moved into the queue is yet another hoop to jump through. It's not without its uses though--I've found it very helpful when putting together tutorials in the past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven
I'd love to know what idiosyncracies you're editing out from the wizard. I know there has been discussion of revamping the wizard and it'd be good to get some feedback (though preferably elsewhere, in a thread of its own perhaps?).


The wizard can certainly use a revamp, but the formatting stuff is really so minor that they're likely down to personal preference. It's probably fairer to say that they're my idiosyncrasies rather than the wizard's.

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 3:31 AM #11
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Just to be sure here... if one ONLY does Sims 2 - there are no changes? (Except maybe the "upload something before 6mo runs out".)

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 9:24 AM #12
Tashiketh
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Hi All,

Thanks for the feedback. There seems to be a little bit of confusion as to timings, and how many uploads, etc, you need. It seems to boil into 2 categories: timings, and notifications.

To clarify:

- Do I have to get 10 uploads again after 6 months to get bypass?

Absolutely not. You only need to get 2 right now approved, and from then on you can upload one every three months.

- Do I have to upload 3 uploads every 6 months?

Basically yes, but you could upload 2 now, and then one every 3 months, to keep at the 3-per-6-month limit.

- What does this have to do with the guidelines and modders? Why bypass like this?

Guidelines change fairly regularly (an example here is the credits guideline). No matter the notifications systems currently in place (somebody inactive is not going to read PMs, or read site news), or the pages within the upload wizard currently (people just skip through the page that lists the guidelines), we still need to find an effective way to get the message out to people in a way that doesn't cause too much hassle. The best way of doing that is to simply have people go through the queue again.

About notifications: I will be building a new upload wizard which includes all changed guidelines/rubrics since your last upload, but even with that system, it's probably still better to have people go through the queue if they don't upload very often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatherineTCJD
Just to be sure here... if one ONLY does Sims 2 - there are no changes? (Except maybe the "upload something before 6mo runs out".)


This is regardless of games. The only thing you need to be aware of is uploading once every 3 months (assuming you did 2 now, and 1 every 3 months), or just simply... upload as usual. This only affects people who do not upload very often and who may not know about the rules. Because we cannot make exceptions for specific people (or even staff), the only way we can do this is to have it check everybody.

Yes, to some it feels like we are taking something away, and for that I understand the concern and the confusion.

One last point that was raised: "I hope the number of uploads wont be 10 per section". No, definitely not. The current figure we intend to use is the same as it is here: 3 approved uploads in a specific area for a specific game will get you bypass in that section only. In essence, the changes now are preparing people for the changes to come.

Hope this clarifies things!

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 12:35 PM #13
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Hello everyone, this is a little bit confusing. Like I myself, as a creator would rather have an ability to not bypass every time the quee, simply becouse there always is a slight chance of having something incorrect therefor as I have no chance to send a specific upload (that i am unsure about ) to be checked by the moderator it may contain some incorrect stuff and due to that i will have to start again to gain 3 uploads which weren't requested to corrected by the moderator? This is a little bit strange that this ability is gone even though it was very helpful.

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 12:44 PM #14
Tashiketh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyctopile
Hello everyone, this is a little bit confusing. Like I myself, as a creator would rather have an ability to not bypass every time the quee, simply becouse there always is a slight chance of having something incorrect therefor as I have no chance to send a specific upload (that i am unsure about ) to be checked by the moderator it may contain some incorrect stuff and due to that i will have to start again to gain 3 uploads which weren't requested to corrected by the moderator? This is a little bit strange that this ability is gone even though it was very helpful.


I'm a little confused about what you are trying to say, but the ability to still send an item to the queue even if you have bypass has not disappeared. This is merely changes to the actual ability to have bypass in the first place prior to uploading.

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 12:50 PM #15
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I didn't even know there WAS a queue bypass before now. XD
Old 5th Mar 2018, 6:09 PM #16
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I can see the decision has been already made and there is probably nothing we can do about it but I still feel a need to adress a few things.
Uploading to MTS is hard and it takes a long time. You come up with something (the bypass) which makes it less of a hassle to upload something only to put it down because of a few "bad incidents"? Or as Heaven said "bad eggs"?

And what does the bypass have to do with ego? What it does is that it saves time both for creators and moderators and gives creators the possibility to fix things immediately after uploading which can prevent possible misunderstandings for downloaders.

Quote:
Guidelines change fairly regularly (an example here is the credits guideline).


Can you please specify „fairly regularly“? How often is that? I would really appreciate if you could be more specific regarding the changes especially for the older games which do not change anymore.

Quote:
No matter the notifications systems currently in place (somebody inactive is not going to read PMs, or read site news), or the pages within the upload wizard currently (people just skip through the page that lists the guidelines), we still need to find an effective way to get the message out to people in a way that doesn't cause too much hassle. The best way of doing that is to simply have people go through the queue again.


When someone doesn’t upload it doesn’t mean they are not active. So chances are good they would read a pm, news post or a latest site news announcement. And as you said yourself - even going through the queue doesn't make uploaders read all those new guidelines so I dont think it is the best way to achieve your goal (making sure creators follow the guidelines). It's basically putting the queue moderators into the roles of educators.
Careless uploaders will still be careless and you are only making it harder for the ones who are carefully creating posts.

Quote:
Do I have to upload 3 uploads every 6 months?

Basically yes, but you could upload 2 now, and then one every 3 months, to keep at the 3-per-6-month limit.


so say, you upload just enough to keep the bypass. Are you better informed than someone who uploads only every 4 months? NO!

You said that there have been changes made to the credit guidelines. So let’s imagine someone uploads frequently enough with no CC to have a bypass and now decides to upload with cc and doesn't give credit according to the guidelines. The upload goes through!
So what have you actually gained?

Also I am not sure how you calculated that one upload every 3 months will be enough. Can you clear that up please? It seems only applicable for the first few months.

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 7:04 PM #17
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I have to second Crow. Yes you are free to do whatever changes you like, but it just doesn't make sense. How is going through queue going to make uploaders more likely they read? Upload manager is the same either way, the only thing that changes is the button you press at the end. I don't see how this change would have a positive impact on any of the things you say the change is intended to fix. The only "benefit" I can see is that you can correct peoples mistakes less publicly, but why should the ego of the bad eggs be more important than everyone else?

For me it's not really about the waiting, or the not being able to fix right away. That I can deal with. But the being nitpicked and judged over things that have little to do with quality of the upload or being a better creator. I know you moderators do the best job you can, and most of the time you do it great. But sometimes some moderators and some uploaders just don't agree on aesthetics, or how you name an upload, or a hundred other little things and for me the magic with bypass is not having to deal with that. Maybe that makes me sound like a bad egg, but to me getting a 3/5 on title for going with something descriptive rather than inventive and fun takes away some of the fun of uploading. I'd rather stick to my descriptive title and be blissfully unaware rubrics think I should be more fun in my upload naming. And yes I do understand bypass will still exist, but the X uploads per Y months thing just doesn't make sense and sends such a weird message. The idea of having to keep track of how long since my last upload and to produce content every so often just to not have to go back to queue is just depressing. I want to create and share when I feel like it, not because time is about to run out.

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 8:04 PM #18
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About the 3 uploads in the last 3 months to keep the bypass: Does this mean there have to be 3 uploads in the past 6 months for every category ever uploaded?
Like I upload food and careers.
Do I need to upload 3 foods AND 3 careers in the past 6 months or is like 2 foods and 1 career enough?

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 8:21 PM #19
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Honest opinion: it really does seem like you're "punishing" everyone who has bypass because of the few who just don't read and continue to do the same things over and over again. Those creators are the ones who should have their bypass status at risk - which is already in place but doesn't work as intended because PMs are sent for "little things" instead of uploads being sent to the queue. Fix THAT instead. Bypass was intended to make certain things easier on creators and moderators.. yet the PMs for the little things mean those uploads need to be monitored to see if the changes were made. May as well have gone through the queue in the first place then, eh? Stop the "little things" PMs, send those uploads to the queue and maybe, just maybe, Creator123 will start following the guidelines when uploading. If not? Then it's on them, not on every creator who has bypass.

I seem to upload here enough that I wouldn't lose bypass. BUT! Having bypass does mean that I'm more likely to upload here. If I were to lose it? I honestly doubt I'd bother trying to get it back, which means I'd be way more likely to NOT bothering going through the upload/queue process here.
Old 5th Mar 2018, 8:41 PM #20
Tashiketh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowkeeper
Can you please specify „fairly regularly“? How often is that? I would really appreciate if you could be more specific regarding the changes especially for the older games which do not change anymore.


Looking at the edit logs, there have been 5 changes in the rubrics within the past 6 months, not counting new ones that have been added.

Quote:
When someone doesn’t upload it doesn’t mean they are not active. So chances are good they would read a pm, news post or a latest site news announcement. And as you said yourself - even going through the queue doesn't make uploaders read all those new guidelines so I dont think it is the best way to achieve your goal (making sure creators follow the guidelines). It's basically putting the queue moderators into the roles of educators.
Careless uploaders will still be careless and you are only making it harder for the ones who are carefully creating posts.


Just because somebody is active doesn't mean they read the site news (statistics show that they don't). Nor do creators read the guidelines - as gummilutt said, they just want to create and share, without bothering to read any of the pesky "guidelines".

Quote:
so say, you upload just enough to keep the bypass. Are you better informed than someone who uploads only every 4 months? NO!


Informing creators of the changes to the rubrics is, indeed, an issue, and it's something that I am aware of for future updates.

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 9:02 PM #21
Tashiketh
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I want to thank everybody for the comments and feedback. This change was introduced to basically get people to read the guidelines, and adhere to them, but as many have pointed out, bad creators wont read the guidelines anyway even if they go through the queue, and will do a "minimum" to get bypass back. So this is, as rightly stated, penalising the good uploaders who do regularly keep up with the guidelines and the rubrics.

Judging by some comments here, I'd like to clarify some things:

The guidelines here on MTS exist for a reason - they are not suggestions. They are not just there for guidance - they are there because we believe that the downloader has a right to see all information about an upload, be that a correct lot price, floorplan pictures, etc. You (as a creator) may not agree with the guidelines but they exist to help the downloader out.

We check every single download on bypass. You cannot just think that you "get away with" not changing anything, or not comforming to the guidelines, just because you have bypass. We have seen a number of people who try to get bypass in one section, then switch to another, and produce poor quality items, that inevitably cause a lot of headache because they then refuse to change them. It is a creators responsibility to check each and every guideline that applies to the upload - if you do not adhere to these, and a moderator asks you to change something that is within the guidelines, and you do not change it - you will be sent to the queue and lose bypass status. Again, it is in every creators best interest to check everything first.

I realise that this change has been controversial, and I am going to revert it. I am still going to go ahead and introduce per-game per-section bypass later on (which means that unless you only ever upload one type of thing, you will have to go through the queue again), which will also include a much better notification system for the rubrics.

Again, thank you for the comments and feedback. I do appreciate them and welcome them on any aspect of the site.

Regards

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 9:16 PM #22
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Thanks for reverting the change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tashiketh
I am still going to go ahead and introduce per-game per-section bypass later on [...]


I hope that for TS2 and 3, where the games themselves now remain essentially unchanged since their product cycles have ended, there will not be a release schedule requirement (as in one must upload X number of mods per Y unit time). This is not Patreon.

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 9:37 PM #23
lientebollemeis
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Thanks for reverting it.

I know not every creator would do it, but if I were to upload let say like a residential lot on MTS for the very first time, I'd send it to the queue anyway. Just because it's the first time.

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 9:51 PM #24
Crowkeeper
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Thank you very much for this decision.

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Old 6th Mar 2018, 12:35 AM #25
gummilutt
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Thank you very much for reconsidering and reverting. The per game and per section does make a lot of sense. I know it might not sound like it sometimes, but I really appreciate that MTS has guidelines and try to keep a standard of creating on the uploads we get here. That, and the wonderful TS2 community is the reason I choose to share 98% of my stuff on MTS.

I know you guys continuously evaluate and clarify rubrics, but sometimes things are maybe not as clear as they ought to be. I got corrected over something a while back, and when I asked where it was so I could double check I didn't miss more things, not even the moderator could find it. I skim guidelines every time I upload, just to refresh my memory and make sure I don't miss something, and couldn't remember ever reading that part. Perhaps it would be good to accompany the per section/per-game change with a thorough re-read of the guidelines? Make sure everything you want them to include is clear and included in all the different sections

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