Community and I-Novae - An open letter


While the issues extend far further than critic, this is definitely one of the issues people will want to discuss. It has been acknowledged by inovae staff that the handling surrounding how he was banned was not perfect:

  • You acknowledged in the discord earlier that the reason that the ban being “permanent” was down to just lacking the tools for temporary discord bans.
  • A miscommunication about critic being properly warned in private has come to light. Considering the ban was “voted on” before you all even had all the right information…
  • The context of the ban was someone telling critic to “get fucked” and then asking hutchings to ban him… this is a weird situation to ban someone, why not just ban critic when he actually does something worth banning him for.

Being so committed to keeping a single person banned forever seems oddly specific especially when most community members do not agree that he was disruptive enough to warrant said perma. It’s like being committed to a course because it’s the course we are committed to. If i felt as strongly as you all seem to about critic, at this point i would still just make some kind of compromise like a conversion to a temporary ban, especially now that you have the tools for it, just because such a large portion of the veteren community is in agreement. Many seem to think he shouldnt have been banned at all, but you don’t need to just do exactly what everyone wants, nobody is expecting that. Comprimising is a consideration of the special context and circumstances.


The CEO has a personal grudge against critic, there is no way they will unban him.


Thanks Keith and Team for the willingness to talk directly to the community. As I mentioned yesterday in voice chat, it seems that communication works much better trough voice then the forms we have been accustomed too.

I will do my best to prepare and moderate the town hall meeting. If anyone has anything they think should be on the agenda (beside what has been brought up in the letter), please write it here or PM me on the forum or discord.

Even though I would also like the issue of the ban to be resolved, I don’t see that it is possible at this point.
Both sides are locked in currently.

I strongly disagree though that the only solution is to try to uphold the current situation. It is ok though to postpone resolution to a later date. Preferably some tangible one.
As it stands I think a one sided solution won’t work without some casualties. I hope we can find a compromise at a later date.
If not, these casualties should at least be recognised.

As such I would ask everyone who is rallied up about the issue to try to focus on building up a basis on which all issues can be communicated, both ways.
This is a chance we all should recognise, al be it while upholding the purpose for all of this, creating a good environment where a multiplayer community can thrive.

On the other hand I can really understand that people, especially critic, are extremely offended by the whole ordeal. Trough now countless chats I was able to understand the reasons of such and still can’t anticipate what is next to come or if some approach is really the way to go.
I just try my best to get the most out of this guys. I am sorry.


For reference critic, since you weren’t in the discord when we pressed for an answer (though a lot of other critics were…), Keith did finally give us an ‘official’ reason:

critic repeatedly instigated fights and talked negatively about the game, frequently misrepresenting the truth, to new players

I didn’t see at the time how rules were broken here though.


Am I correct that this will be on 10/05 at 18:00 CET?

I’m always confused by AM-PM switch, you have 11AM -> 12PM -> 1PM, and then 11PM -> 12AM -> 1AM

There are game related discord servers where you are banned for doing that once… No fights, trolling, negativity and racism are like general rules…

p.s. as a thought: expressing your criticism as opinion is one thing, talking negativity to other members is another.


Thinking about all of this it seems like a huge loss of trust has happened at some point and/or (probably and) over time. Everyone has reacted differently to this.

Some have left, others have changed approach, some are starting to exploit weaknesses shown.
What I see is a very strong urge in everyone for answers, a truth, that can be trusted again or for some trusted for the first time ever. I feel it myself, very strongly, it just manifests a bit differently.

The aggressive accusations and exploitation of weaknesses (Like accusations of personal interests and controversial nominations) are one form of that, I think. Trying to dare the negative image that has formed or was there all along to stop hiding and manifesting itself and as such, finally reveal an answer that can be trusted as it would be far less ambiguous then conclusions based on derived information.

The urge is so large that it pushes people to do these things.

I don’t think its meant to harm. Not yet at least or at least not from everyone.
It would once the battle to rebuild trust is completely lost and the image of the antagonist is seen as much more likely to be the truth that can be trusted rather then what previously has been believed or endured as a status quo.


“Instigating fights” seems like a rule violation (If thats indeed what happened and If that was intended by Critic).
Bad mouthing the game can also be seen as a violation of the “Be kind”-Rule. I personally would not have banned Critic for it though, even if it happened repeatedly (I don’t know if thats what happenend). I would not ban anyone for “bad mouthing” the game…
Banning “negative” voices is always a slippery slope, but I can understand it on a personal level. To me this just highlights the need for a community manager again because to maintain a healthy community you need someone who has no reason to feel personally offended by just or unjust criticism.

@cybercritic Did you do the things you are accused of (in your view)? And if you did: Have you considered apologizing, so we can have you back?


I never instigated anything, it implies some sort of malicious intent or planning to cause trouble, that was never the case, I had arguments with people on the internet, that’s it.

You know I might have even considered some sort of apology for my constant criticism, but not after how they behaved and what they did.


As you probably didn’t see this, more context:

Searching for ‘repeatedly’:

(probably after this there was the discussion with mods about them being representatives of the company and opening a direct channel for any issue)

and excerpt from 2nd May wall of text discussion:



It’s very easy to claim things that are not true when someone doesn’t have a voice.


You’re speaking right now…


Do you have a point? Other even more poorly run discord servers exist, that’s a fact. You havent made an argument for why a you seem to think it would make sense for the devs people to ban people for criticizing the game, though, just that other people do it therefore it is normal and fine and good. How about no?

You are also unaware of the context here. Coach who was upheld as a moderator for a long time for example had also “repeatedly instigated fights” as have i and many others throughout his time on the server given the lax definition of “instigate a fight” we seem to be using. The nature of discussing things with other people online is that sometimes people disagree and historically, we haven’t needed to ban people for it, nor is it a good reason to ban someone.

Keith has proven to us that “misrepresenting the truth” to him means “disagree with keith”. Moderator abuses their power? You are “misrepresenting the truth” for not going with the “but it was only a mistake”, not noticing that the mistake was the abuse of power. If you do not understand what i mean, its likely you havent been paying very close attention lately.


Answered very coolly. Damn he’s strong.

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I have context, I was following the discord drama. You were not disagreeing, you were harassing in a group a single individual. If the bot was in place and there was a 3rd party community manager he would have issued some temporary bans. But it’s only my opinion and the world is great because you can express your opinion. Peace, have a nice day/night. I’m out playing some games.


Thank you Keith, very cool!


I am currently formulating an agenda in my head. I will start writing it down in the next two days. Then plan to show it to INS and share it here following potential adjustments so people can prepare themselves for the town hall.

This thread is supposed to be productive.

I see that, what I presume to be sarcasm from @pictbrige and @lysktrevise, let’s try to be direct here, even if it’s not the ‘modus operandi’ we might normally use. As much as I enjoy picts postings…
Also, it can be misunderstood. The very thing we try to avoid in the future.

So are you trying to say that the things said by INS members are less trustworthy because you were not around when they were said, as you would have been able to refute them otherwise?

Are you interested in him elaborating why he feels like he doesn’t have a voice or how that is relevant or are you just trying to disagree. If you disagree and think that him being able to post here is proof that he has a voice then maybe also consider being more direct.

If my interpretation of what he said is correct, your answer would not answer his accusation of the statements in the screenshots being untrustworthy, as he wasn’t able to directly engage in the discussion wherein the statements were made.


Yes, @lomsor they can say anything they want to and go unchallenged by the person they are speaking about if that person is not there. Making things worse is that they are in a position of power, they are the developers and the owners of this forum and discord, what they say will always carry more weight than any community member.

They can delete and censor, the other thread addressing the problems in the community was de-listed twice, basically deleting it, the thread about removing moderators has been locked with no reason.

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What a bunch of power hungry cowards, delusions of grandeur.


It went off topic and there were a few very unproductive comments. That’s probably the reason but we can only assume.
The reason for it going off topic though are the answers to this comment that focused if pushing was the ban reason, rather then focus if too much pushing was a problem:

I agree with pointing out that there was more then enough pushing been done in the years prior … I am glad you pointed that out as that’s what I tried to convey with me not feeling like there was a difference in the avenues that were open to me.

The resulting discussions due to Flavien and others answering to that comment and the post itself brought it off topic though.
Maybe continue this in here i-Novae's community management is a disaster #3?

I hope we can hear from INS perception in the town hall. Stuff like how much pushing would be ok would have been something I would have loved to know for years.
I just assumed I post until I was sure Flavien has read it, then let it be until it annoys me again. :man_shrugging:
But that’s a very one sided decision if you know what I mean.

I feel like it really shows that INS is concerned about their image and that is ok to some extend. It shows too … but they could tell us and maybe we could help with the issue.
We see the weaknesses anyway … it’s not like there’s something to be hidden
Lately @Crayfish gave me following quote he has heard somewhere else:

they need to learn that love, language and leadership always beats force, fear and intimidation


That is correct. As for the other thread addressing the problems in the community that was deleted twice, critic forgets to say that it contained a direct and pretty severe personal insult towards Keith, and that after Mattk talked to Keith and edited out the personal attack, we agreed to let the third thread alive.

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