I see an exponential growth of #development-discussion threads every day, and I don’t think it would stop growing either. But, because of its popularity and the diverse number of topics there, people would default to this category for topics that should belong elsewhere.
There are four main issues with this category that’s pretty prevalent overall:
- Off-Topic Posts
- Game Design Issues
- Duplicate Topics
- Rants about New Features
These are posts that don’t belong in this category, such as talking about how someone scammed one person or new members going on the forum just to have a little chuckle at their ability to troll. These posts are sometimes offensive, NSFW, and violate the TOU, but also attract a lot of attention. This is a big problem, as the attention it draws is also negative, causing people to mass reply to that topic saying “Hey, this isn’t allowed”, “This is inappropriate”, among others, which is considered spam. I don’t want to shame anyone replying to these topics, but people usually have two goals when replying to these topics:
If someone already said it’s wrong, please don’t say it again. Instead, you can like that post to say you agree with them. #development-discussion isn’t Reddit!
Game Design Issues
Now, I’m not particularly concerned about this one, although it is considered off-topic (it should belong in #help-and-feedback:game-design-support). I understand why people would post design issues here, and it’s something we can all work on.
Developers who are new to the forum will look towards other people to see what they’re supposed to do: how to post, what’s wrong and what’s not, etc. But, due to many people misusing categories, people would eventually follow, thinking it’s the right thing to do. I can’t blame people for posting game design issues here (such as “so and so doesn’t work anymore” or "how does so and so work?).
We should all make an effort to post in the right category, so people who are new to the forum will abide by the correct rules.
This one is self-explanatory. Many people have made duplicate topics in this category. Now you might say people do that in every category but think of it this way: in scripting support, people don’t know the correct terms for different things that involve their issue, so doing a quick search will be quite unlikely to fix their issue. And, if they find one, they’re probably not going to understand it. The same logic can apply to other categories.
The times where the most duplicates occur are:
- Roblox releases a new feature, which spurts topics like “What do you think about this feature?” (this should be discussed in the announcement post itself, except when replies aren’t allowed)
- Roblox releases a controversial feature, which spouts topics like “Roblox should listen to developers”, or topics such as “This feature sucks, remove it” (this should also be discussed in the announcement post itself, except when replies aren’t allowed)
- People copying others because they see that they got a ton of likes from that topic. Examples include: “Are free models this and that?”, “UGC this and that”, etc.
Rants about New Features
I believe this is probably the most potent out of them all. Not only is it highly spammed, sometimes offensive, and talked about already in the announcement thread, but it’s also going to make people’s views about the new feature much worse. These types of topics should be avoided. Instead, talk about it in the original announcement post.
It seems as though this category is also becoming similar to Reddit, posting threads that begin with, “What is your”, “What was your”, “Why did you”. Now, some topics that begin with these words are fine, but the vast majority don’t provide anything useful at all.
Topics similar to, “Show your best creations”, “What is the best thing you made”, “What is the worst thing you made”, and “How did your first script look” are quite spammed in this category. For one, most of them talking about “the best thing you made” belongs in WAYWOC (What are you working on currently?), and other topics such as “What is your worst…” don’t really contribute anything to developers and therefore shouldn’t belong in development discussion. It’s got to a point where I’m thinking that development discussion is getting worse than scripting support, and should be restricted like it originally was. Over half of the topics in this category are taken down and I believe more than 50% of them are these kinds of threads.
“Should I”, “How do I” and Similar Themed Topics
These topics are pretty prevalent in this category. This category isn’t for getting help about problems you have. Although these topics encourage discussion, it doesn’t mean that they should belong here. Topics like “How do I Make my Scripting More Efficient” also spark discussion but would fit better in #help-and-feedback:scripting-support. This is because these topics have a purpose of solving problems but not talking about them.
Now I understand that these are quite negative and it might seem like the forums are getting worse, but I don’t believe that. I just believe that people learn the wrong things from others (which probably also learned from others) and the fact that so many people join the forums every day causes these kinds of issues. This can be avoided once more and more people get to know the forum a lot better.