Community and I-Novae - An open letter


For those of you who weren’t around in Discord earlier today I wanted to give a quick update. We’ll be hosting a town hall sometime soon, the date/time will probably be announced tomorrow, and if anyone has any recommendations on the medium to use we’re open to suggestions. We’ll also be adding a bot to the Discord channel sometime this weekend.

Infinity Community Discord Server

Another update, a bot has been added to our Discord.


Can I join this town hall @inovaekeith?


Edit: keith has clarified this here: We are removing all community moderators from our Discord

Further update, it looks like @INovaeKeith has demodded the founder of the community discord TopperFalkon, in likely retaliation for his previous post in this thread, though Keith has declined to clarify the specifics.

This after previously refusing to address community outcry regarding a different moderator abusing multiple other community members. A simple post trying to help the project is apparently far more significant to Keith than direct abuse of other members.

Just highlighting that it should be obvious that we’re trying to help the community survive here, and there is a warranted issue of nobody being able to trust the actions of I-Novae. This action is directly going to make this issue worse, again, and there is obviously no transparency in this decision.


Demodding Topperfalkon seems like a spiteful action, he didn’t even sign the open letter.

Dwarden is on the Discord server now offering some good advice. Please listen to him and learn everything you can from his extensive experience of community management.

If possible, and if he has time, approach him directly for advice, please.


And they always will be.

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The town hall will be held at 12pm EST on Sunday, May 10th (roughly a week from today). @Lomsor has agreed to be the town hall moderator and will collect questions from all community member participants. The town hall will be held in the townhall voice channel on our Discord and speech will be disabled for everyone except members of the I-Novae dev team. We are currently looking into the possibility of temporarily enabling voice for each person asking a question so that they can ask their own question.

The agenda will be set by those asking questions, however we will not be answering any questions regarding the banning of @cybercritic. We’ve already repeatedly explained why we banned him and have nothing more to say on the issue.

@cybercritic as for your participation in the town hall we are willing to temporarily un-ban you for the duration. If at any point we deem your behavior unacceptable we will re-ban you no questions asked. After the conclusion of the town hall you will be re-banned.

This is a big experiment for us and if it goes well we’ll look into doing these town halls semi-regularly.

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What did I do to you @inovaekeith I don’t recall insulting your mother or anything like that, something would require a permaban without any warning. @INovaeHutchings never warned me in DMs, you never spoke to me in DMs, @inovaeflavien never warned me in DMs. I don’t recall doing anything wrong, but moaning?

I’m not a rabid dog.

i-Novae's community management is a disaster #3

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.