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Stig79: That is how the Beamdog forums work. If you are critical of anything in the EE versions and the "expansion", you get attacked by trolls. Beamdog sits by and let it happen. If you try to dish something back, against the personal attacks and the like, the admins step in an issue a warning to you.
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JusticeSpark: Many years ago, when Beamdog started, I was a voluntary mod on their forum. I can confirm several people were banned, not for any rule violations, but simply because they complained that the forum rules applied to some and not to others. Afterwards the individual(s) doing the banning spread lies as to why these people were banned. We lost some great fans because of this, but no one dared say anything.

I retired shortly afterwards as it was clear strange things were going on, both on the forum and the direction in which the games were going.
Yeah I saw stuff like that happening. One fellow got banned for "racist remarks" or something like that. He never said anything remotely racist, though. He was complaining about Viconia being in SoD was a plot-hole, because of the timeline.

Someone claimed he just said that because Viconia is black, and off it went. People were all over him and the mods let it happen. He got banned for it.
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JusticeSpark: Many years ago, when Beamdog started, I was a voluntary mod on their forum. I can confirm several people were banned, not for any rule violations, but simply because they complained that the forum rules applied to some and not to others. Afterwards the individual(s) doing the banning spread lies as to why these people were banned. We lost some great fans because of this, but no one dared say anything.

I retired shortly afterwards as it was clear strange things were going on, both on the forum and the direction in which the games were going.
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Stig79: Yeah I saw stuff like that happening. One fellow got banned for "racist remarks" or something like that. He never said anything remotely racist, though. He was complaining about Viconia being in SoD was a plot-hole, because of the timeline.

Someone claimed he just said that because Viconia is black, and off it went. People were all over him and the mods let it happen. He got banned for it.
That's insane. Drow aren't black people. Each game has black characters; and you can clearly see the difference. Just look at Dynaheir in BG1 and Valygar in BG2.
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Stig79: Yeah I saw stuff like that happening. One fellow got banned for "racist remarks" or something like that. He never said anything remotely racist, though. He was complaining about Viconia being in SoD was a plot-hole, because of the timeline.

Someone claimed he just said that because Viconia is black, and off it went. People were all over him and the mods let it happen. He got banned for it.
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jsidhu762: That's insane. Drow aren't black people. Each game has black characters; and you can clearly see the difference. Just look at Dynaheir in BG1 and Valygar in BG2.
Yes it is insane. Some people seem to (want) to think Drow elves = african-americans.
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Stig79: Yeah I saw stuff like that happening. One fellow got banned for "racist remarks" or something like that. He never said anything remotely racist, though. He was complaining about Viconia being in SoD was a plot-hole, because of the timeline.

Someone claimed he just said that because Viconia is black, and off it went. People were all over him and the mods let it happen. He got banned for it.
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jsidhu762: That's insane. Drow aren't black people. Each game has black characters; and you can clearly see the difference. Just look at Dynaheir in BG1 and Valygar in BG2.
Beamdog forum is well known for insanity. People were being banned left and right for criticizing their EE releases. That's even before the shitstorm that followed SoD.
Beamdog's forum is one of the most sycophantic hellholes I've been to on the internet. I spent a half hour there and decided not to bother even making an account.
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I was also on the receiving end of trolling as well, not just from "fans" but judging by the blue backgrounds, Beamdog admin were in on it to.
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DirectorStyle: I was also on the receiving end of trolling as well, not just from "fans" but judging by the blue backgrounds, Beamdog admin were in on it to.
It seems like it's so common there there are [url=https://steamcommunity.com/app/228280/discussions/0/371918937275136476/]a threads about it on Steam and at least [url=https://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/4j8go5/banned_from_beamdogs_forums_for_questioning_their/]two on Reddit.

Beamdog is a parasite of the industry.
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https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?topic=349130.0

People got banned for pointing out stuff like this. Especially the lore-issues. Beamdog really didn't like those.
The moderation team on the Beamdog forum has been approached by GoG users about things mentioned in this thread. We have conducted an investigation and here's what we have to say.

During the course of years there have been many emotional events in our community. Like on every forum, there have been conflicts between users, site violations, warnings and bans. There can be no surprises that users don't always agree with decisions made by the moderation team (which could explain those threads on Steam, Reddit and other sites).

This is why we feel we have to highlight the following. The moderation team consists of volunteers, users who willingly decided to become moderators. Moderators are not Beamdog employees. Also, as time goes by, the moderation crew changes, with people going in and out. Their opinions are their own and do not reflect the company's opinion. More important, nobody is forced to be a moderator. Moderators have stepped down in the past and chosen to become normal forum users and it may happen again in the future.

There're no personal decisions. Any decision (a PM, a warning, or a ban) must be approved by more than one moderator. No moderator punishes any user without approval by the moderation team unless it's about software or any other kind of piracy. That will result in an immediate banishment.

Sometimes, it may seem like that a moderators’ reaction is harsh and doesn’t match user’s words in a thread. Sometimes, it may seem that there's no moderators’ reaction to what is happening in a thread at all. But the work of moderators is a little bit more complex.

For several reasons, no public warnings are issued except for very general warnings, such as get the thread back on topic, for instance, those are never nominal and are just a general call for order. The Forum uses a Warning system that vary in severity level from 1 to 5 with progressive restrictions on the forum, including the prohibition to create a new topic in higher warning levels. Sometimes we decide to give "one last informal warning" in a PM instead of issuing a formal warning. So if you don't see someone being punished for breaking the rules, it does not mean the person is not being punished. We just chose not to make the punishment public.

We don’t warn a user at once, we warn a user only for the sum of incidents. It may seem that a certain incident didn’t deserve a ban, a warning, or a remark from a moderator, but a measure was still taken. It means that in that particular moment the sum of all the incidents, in which that user had taken part, was accumulated. Any warning that is going to a user can be seen only on their profile, so others don't see it unless they check the user's profile. Moreover, all discussions with the user leading to a warning and following it are private, and thus for a third party it's difficult to imagine the scope of the site violation and the amount of these violations by each user. There're even cases when site violations happen in PMs.

Beamdog, as a company, has never given the moderation team any instructions to persecute certain topics or people with certain beliefs. Constructive criticism is welcome. Even critique which isn't particular constructive is generally taken in a positive light, provided people are doing so without insulting other forumites. There has never been a precedent with an opposite approach.

We don’t use any selectivity. If two people had a quarrel, the measures are taken towards both parties. A user can’t see it. We send warnings to both parties, but of course, these parties are not interested in informing each other or other forumites. This is why a user can get an impression that only he (she) was punished, and his (her) offender wasn’t. But it never happens like that.

After the SoD release we have had a lot of different topics on the forum. There have been people with polar opinions. The reason some of those threads were closed is that sooner or later in the those threads’ comments people had begun insulting not only the subject of the discussion, but also each other. It’s exactly those mutual insults, and not critique of the game, which led to closing discussions. If people only told each other: “I like that for these reasons” or “I don’t like that for these reasons”, we would never have to close such threads. Peaceful arguments are encouraged. Any unpopular opinions can be shared, if their author doesn’t write: “Those who don’t agree are idiots”. Because a phrase like this violates the Site rules of the Beamdog forum.

We don't care if you are defending something we personally believe in, or even Beamdog itself. If you break the forum rules, a reaction will follow accordingly.

During our investigation, we haven't been able to find any confirmation of what JusticeSpark had mentioned.

We also want to highlight that there was no ban in the situation Stig79 mentioned. You can see it yourselves in forums.beamdog.com/discussion/52431/kind-of-a-big-plot-hole/, the OP hasn't been banned and they still keep posting on the forum.

As for the message by Alonshow, that user reported he was being trolled by another forumite, we took actions and in the end the violation was stopped, and another forumite was warned. But Alonshow continued to think they were trolled by another forumite and created a thread about "how to troll on the forum and get away with that". We had a discussion with that user, explaining stuff, but in the end, it seems, the user decided to leave the forum."
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juliusborisov: We also want to highlight that there was no ban in the situation Stig79 mentioned. You can see it yourselves in forums.beamdog.com/discussion/52431/kind-of-a-big-plot-hole/, the OP hasn't been banned and they still keep posting on the forum.
That wasn't the thread I was talking about. I know because the user who started the thread you just linked is me - which I suspect you already know. I never got banned. In fact I never had any problems with the moderators personally. It happened in the middle of a long thread. I think it was about the writing in SoD.

People got banned for all kinds of reasons - sometimes correctly, sure - other times...not so much. Users who had some criticism got ganged up on and basically just driven out of the forums. Flaming genuine complaints seemed to be the norm for awhile. The moderators (not all) certainly didn't come down hard on the people who were "defending" Beamdog that way.

I think the links Goral added a few posts up has some examples in it.

Beamdog has gotten a bad rep, and it isn't for no reason. Blaming it on that trans character just isn't a good explanation at all. Bioware has had several trans characters. They aren't getting bashed for it. The Witcher 3 had one too - no backlash.

You guys need to look at the criticism you are getting and take it to heart. A lot of it is harsh - I agree, but it wouldn't be there if the fans of BG didn't care a lot about it. See what actually caused this and that, and maybe even admit to making a mistake or two. Throwing a large part of the fanbase under the bus and labeling them bigots and gamergaters right off the bat didn't help much, did it? Oster did do some damage control later, after it all backfired, and all that - sure. But the damage had already been done. The whole thing looked like what Sony did when the new Ghostbusters was getting thrashed (it WAS a bad movie). Blaming it all on sexism.

http://i.imgur.com/vZ0wqFw.png?1

http://thegg.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/dee-pennyway-beamdog.jpg

Just look at this. Blaming Gamergate for the bad reviews etc.

https://us.v-cdn.net/5019558/uploads/editor/qz/42isa4r87ng5.jpg

This transwoman is a GamerGater too?

You guys need to do some serious soul-searching and try to regain some trust with the fans. That whole mess sliced your fanbase in half.
Post edited April 19, 2017 by Stig79
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juliusborisov: Moderators are not Beamdog employees...

Their opinions are their own and do not reflect the company's opinion.

... violates the Site rules of the Beamdog forum.
That's cop-out bullshit, as to be expected from anything Beamdog. The forum is an official Beamdog forum. The fact that the moderators are voluntary has no bearing on their behaviour, which reflects directly on Beamdog, therefore they must (or should) be held accountable by Beamdog; their actions reflect directly on Beamdog. To say a moderator in an official forum does not reflect the company rules or opinions is crap, plain and simple.
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juliusborisov: Moderators are not Beamdog employees...

Their opinions are their own and do not reflect the company's opinion.

... violates the Site rules of the Beamdog forum.
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Hickory: That's cop-out bullshit, as to be expected from anything Beamdog. The forum is an official Beamdog forum. The fact that the moderators are voluntary has no bearing on their behaviour, which reflects directly on Beamdog, therefore they must (or should) be held accountable by Beamdog; their actions reflect directly on Beamdog. To say a moderator in an official forum does not reflect the company rules or opinions is crap, plain and simple.
You do have a point.
The moderating team has actually stood up to defend Beamdog's critics many times. Shawne, a longtime member of the forums, was banned specifically for attacking people as bigots.

You here, folks, complain about people being ganged up on for posting unpopular opinions that were critical of Beamdog. You might not believe us, but the moderating team never took part in that behavior, and more than once we've issued warnings to people who attacked Beamdog's critics.

Just look at the wall post by shawne - forums.beamdog.com/profile/shawne#Activity_3065920 - It's a public proof that the moderating team has taken a concrete action against people who attack Beamdog's critics for alleged bigotry. Shawne there flat-out accuses the moderating team of "protecting transphobes".
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juliusborisov: The moderating team has actually stood up to defend Beamdog's critics many times
Stop avoiding the issue/s.
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juliusborisov: The moderating team has actually stood up to defend Beamdog's critics many times. Shawne, a longtime member of the forums, was banned specifically for attacking people as bigots.

You here, folks, complain about people being ganged up on for posting unpopular opinions that were critical of Beamdog. You might not believe us, but the moderating team never took part in that behavior, and more than once we've issued warnings to people who attacked Beamdog's critics.

Just look at the wall post by shawne - forums.beamdog.com/profile/shawne#Activity_3065920 - It's a public proof that the moderating team has taken a concrete action against people who attack Beamdog's critics for alleged bigotry. Shawne there flat-out accuses the moderating team of "protecting transphobes".
This is true. I don't even have to look at his posts. I remember him being rather extreme in his "defense" of whatever he accused people of "attacking".

But as you see, people did get ganged up on. Shawne certainly wasn't alone. Although he might have been the worst of the lot. He was a longtime member, though. He got to attack people a lot. And He wasn't getting banned when that SoD mess was going on. Shawne has 2.1K Likes, 691 Insightful, and 2.7K Likes. 10 Promotions too. It is clear that a lot of people agreed with his "arguments".

But Beamdog spinning a narrative, right off the bat, that transphobic gamergaters being behind all the criticism kind of set the standard, no? When the dev says the whole thing is a transphobic attack, it is no surprise that people like Shawne thinks He is doing the right thing by attacking people. Food for thought.

Edit: It struck me that you are singling out a user as a defense. If Shawne actually sees this, you might get in trouble. Even if you are spot on and all that, you are technically stringing out a user\fan here.
Post edited April 20, 2017 by Stig79