Disclaimer: I will name a lot of people here. I don't care if you are fine with me naming the people I am not happy about being moderators or not but without naming the persons who are causing the problems we can't really get far. This is not meant to attack anyone personally or anything, in fact I like most of the people in the moderation team and I would call some of them my friends even, but it does not change the fact that some of them are doing a very poor job as moderators.
All dates mentioned here are DD/MM/YYYY, the superior format :P
With that being said, let's start:
The current situation of the KH Leaderboard moderation team right now is terrible. While a lot of games actually have a functioning and active moderation which are BBS, DDD, 0.2, KH3, Re:Coded and Days. The moderators of these games verify runs pretty quickly and mindfully, answer questions that are asked quickly and reply to requests or proposals with either a precise answer or a discussion between moderators. Chain of Memories and Re: Chain of Memories don't have any real activity or changes recently so I can't really say how well they would work if any changes would be requested there.
However there are two games that are moderated terribly if you can call it moderation at all. These are KH1, KH2 and their respective Final Mix counterparts. And I will elaborate now the problem both with these games as well as with the moderation in general by showing off examples of what is wrong:
Topic #1: Verification of runs
I am pretty sure that we all know this already, but I will say it again. The verification of runs is sometimes pretty terrible. I know that speedrun.com has a message after submitting a run that sometimes says verification might take 1-3 weeks, but that amount is pretty arbitrary and it shouldn't take that long to be real. Whenever verification works well in KH (for example on the games I mentioned before like BBS) it takes up to 2 days to get your run verified or rejected. Up to a week is already pushing it in my opinion and that only for longer categories like a Platinum RTA.
This does not work properly, a lot of runs are stuck in verification for over 2 days, sometimes even longer than that.
For KH1 the only person that verifies runs is Wyatt. Sometimes Saiyanz helps with this, but that doesn't happen all to often and I will elaborate on this point later again. And as of recently Sonic verifies whenever people are start getting upset about the verification. He verifies runs for a few days and then stops again for a while. One example of this is pretty recent triggered by a tweet from Wyatt (https://twitter.com/wyattw8_/status/1108412047467954177)
For KH2 we have Wyatt, Crispy and Crystal (Who isn't even an official KH2 mod!) who verify runs which is actually not that but with Wyatt having to moderate KH1 on top of that and Crystal being a KH3 mod we usually only have one KH2 mod verifying runs every now and then.
The people who don't verify runs at all are Tojimaru, Biz, Ninten, Neraigo and Drazerk. These persons have not verified runs for any of these two games in a long while, some of them since I joined the community in October 2017. On top of that Saiyanz and Sonic do not verify any runs outside of KH1 either.
We have 4 (KH1) or 7 (KH2) mods that are inactive in the verification process. On top of that, except for Sonic in KH1, all of the series mods do not verify anything in these games which is just laughable.
Topic #2: Mod inactivity
I don't even know why I even have to talk about this but inactive mods should be removed. There are 4 mods in particular that haven't logged into sr.com in a while, which are:
Drazerk (17 days; https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/562240372697333773/562240540008120320/unknown.png)
Biz (8 months; https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/562240372697333773/562240760456675358/unknown.png)
Neraigo (1 month; https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/562240372697333773/562240933354274827/unknown.png)
Ninten (12 days; https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/562240372697333773/562241057413398528/unknown.png)
These Screenshots have all been taken on 1st of April 2019
The only person I that has an excuse for this is Drazerk as she is in the hospital at the moment. The other people have no excuse to not check speedrun.com every so often being moderators of some KH games. I am honestly surprised that for example Biz has not been removed yet.
Topic #3: Legacy Mods
This topic melds in a bit with the inactivity but I feel like some mods are mods just because they joined the community a long time ago. This mainly goes towards Tojimaru, Bizkit and Ninten as they haven't contributed anything to the moderation of the KH series in a long time. They might've been more active at some point but recently there hasn't been any action from these people and should therefore be straight up removed as moderators. I think similarly about Sonic, he has been active a while ago as one of the more active mods from my perspective but recently he has not been doing anything except for cleaning up after people complained about it. It's more than the other three mentioned people have done but still not enough in my opinion to allow the moderation of the entire Kingdom Hearts series.
For Tojimaru: From what I heard he is the "grandfather of the KH Leaderboards". That is fine at all but on the outside it seems to me like he does not do anything to sustain the leaderboards anymore. He is not active in the KH Community discord anymore (Last message was from 14.02.2019) and is only knowledged in KH1 from what I know.
Topic #4: Innaccurate game moderators
We have a few mods that should not moderate certain games. This will mainly show which persons haven't really ran the respective games at all or at least in a long while and don't provide enough knowledge about these games
Wyatt (Re:Coded, Days, Re:Com, DDD)
Ninten (Re:Coded, Days, Re:Com, DDD, BBS)
Drazerk (KH1, KH2, KH3, 0.2, BBS, DDD)
Tojimaru (Every game but KH1)
I shall be corrected if some of these aren't accurate but these people have no runs in the corresponding games and have therefore most likely not the knowledge moderators should have in my opinion. I know Ninten ran Aqua Crit Any% but there are 2 more characters and 5 more main categories. It's the same as if I would learn KH2 up to Olympus Coliseum 1 and say I know the entire run. This has also been discussed a year ago before, and I am dying of laughter that this has not changed yet (https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/379378567286358016/562272715092918277/unknown.png)
Topic #5: Community activity
A lot of the mods (Mainly the innaccurately chosen game moderators and the legacy mods) show no activity in the Community discord or the games they are supposed to moderate. Moderators are supposed to be knowledged about the games they moderate and if they can't help out with questions they should not be moderating these games. This point isn't as strong currently as we have a lot of community members trying to help others as good as they can so it might be that the question is getting answered before they can even read it. I doubt however that this is the case 24/7 as I haven't seen any activity from a lot of the games moderators in the discord in general.
I covered the general topics that moderators of any game of any series should be able to cover. I will now continue with more KH specific topics and some events that were handled ridiculously bad by the moderation team.
Topic #6: The Merge
I will mention this first as this topic is pretty fresh and was handled terribly.
A brief recap: Saiyanz had the idea of merging the leaderboards to make them less cluttered and have KH3 on the first page of the KH Series website once it releases. This merge happend just as quickly as the idea emerged and Saiyanz was already in the middle of the process of this. However I've been told by several moderators that this merge was forced upon the mods for most of the games which is inacceptable from any point of view. I don't know how this appeared to Saiyanz but I believe that if the Game mods, who were chosen to regulate their own respective games, say that they don't want a merge more than once this should be accepted regardless of your position as a moderator, whether you are a super mod or not. But I personally have not heard of other proposals as alternatives for the merge, mistakes were made on both sides.
This is definetely something that has to be changed regardless and more discussion rather than persisting has to happen if we want to mod team to work as efficiently as possible.
Topic #7: KH2FM JJ timing
We have already talked about this on the community server several times and still have not come to a conclusion. The debate here is about ending the timing on either showing a finished Jiminy's Journal or beating Final Xemnas for a second time.
In my opinion there is almost no reason to end a run about the completion of Jiminy's Journal after finishing the Journal and beating the Final Boss again. This goes for any game and is already applied in similar categories as Plat% in KHFM. It is an arbitrary ending of the run and the only advantage it has is that it shows a 100% completion of the Journal.
However that argument can easily be debunked by just checking the Journal manually. If you have all the Mickey Mouse symbols on Jiminy's Journal it means you finished the Journal. This is where the category should stop in my opinion as it just makes more sense.
The reason I mentioned this is that every single time this topic has been talked about people have stated their opinions but from what I know there hasn't been action concerning this in the moderation discord, the topic gets dropped in no later than a week. And even if it was there was no result presented which means it is still not finished.
Topic #8: Up-to-date Leaderboards
Another smaller topic. I believe that moderators should be submitting their runs every so often. I am mainly talking about Ninten as he oftentimes just does not submit his runs. The best example of this was the 2:53:52 in KH2FM Beginner Any%. He accomplished this time while derusting for the KH2FM Beginner Any% marathon and has not been submitted for a long time. As a leaderboard mod you should be doing your best at keeping the leaderboards up to date. I can understand that one maybe is not content with his time and want to improve but it took several months until that run was submitted. This is also to prevent missunderstandings about the leaderboards for people who maybe aren't as involved with the community.
Unfortunately I don't have the exact day of submission anymore due to the merge, but I am sure that I am not the only people remembering this.
Topic #9: The Timer issue
Now this is a big one. Around august the topic got raised of modernizing the timer rule. Any KH run used to always require an on-screen timer for verification. This has been an ancient rule and has finally been updated at the 2nd of September 2018 stated in this post https://www.speedrun.com/kh/thread/5y170.
This was a nice adjustment and was more than welcome. It has been adapted to BBS, Re:Coded, Re:Com, Com and Days with the exception of emulator runs still requiring an on-screen timer. It was adapted to 0.2 and 3 after a while as well.
However KH1 and KH2 still seemed to not have come to a conclusion. I have heard from a few mods that it has been touched upon a few times, talked about for a day and let go off again. It is a pretty important topic and should not be just let down like that. For 8 months this has not been resolved yet and as a little test to see how much the moderators seem to be taking this topic seriously I posted another message about this topic in the Community discord. The only person responding was RebelDragon, and he solved that issue pretty much immediately for the games he is moderating. KH1 and KH2 have been ignored. I have gotten confirmation that even in the moderators discord none of the 7 (KH1) or 10 (KH2) mods have even mentioned this topic in response to the message. To be fair it has been only 36 hours since the post but given how old that topic is and with the amount of mods we have I can't be asking much by wanting that topic to at least be considered being finished. A little response or acknowledgment takes up to 30 seconds and if you don't care enough or can't spend a minute on adressing this I don't believe you should be a moderator. And now for the biggest thing that in my opinion has no room for excuses:
Topic #10: Transparency
This is ridiculous in my opinion. The transparency on discussions and results in the KH moderating community is horrendous, and I am surprised that there was only one person speaking out loud about this.
Way to many of the decisions that are made for any of the runs (Mainly considering KH1, KH2 and KH3, but a few series wide discussions as well) are made without the community being consulted about this thoroughly.
There are five straw polls that have been made in the moderators discord without taking the community into the final decision. A few of them were smaller things but there was 1 topic that was pretty big which are is the one I will be talking about here, but I will post all the straw polls I got told of here so everyone can see the results as I believe that even if only mods will decide on smaller things at least the result of these should be made public:
#1 When should timing end https://www.strawpoll.me/17349218
#2 What constitutes using the pre-order Keyblades? https://www.strawpoll.me/17376842
#3 Pre-order keyblades https://www.strawpoll.me/17374658
These were smaller decisions on which at least the result got made public, posting the straw poll results would have been nice as
#4 INTERNAL kh3 poll https://www.strawpoll.me/17462755
This poll was handled properly from what I've been told as it seems like the general opinion by most of the people even after
asking the community was to keep the consoles the same. It was the wrong decision in hindsight and should be thought about again
especially now that we had more time to think about it. People that know a lot about the game and are voting for a separation would
be for example CrystalCrown13, Wyatt and SwiftShadow. However there is a different site to this as well. Gamebrain already made a
pastebin about how that situation has been handled. You can read up his feeling about that topic in this pastebin
And now for the one big topic that was not community driven but just decided by moderators and kept the way they decided it:
#5 Subject: Timers on videos being compulsory for submissions https://www.strawpoll.me/16270627/r
This is the biggest thing that confuses me. The timer rule was outdated, and we all know that but the community (or at least most of
the mods) seem to be scared of change as that means effort and stepping out of the comfort zone. This topic was almost exclusively
discussed inside the moderation team and the straw poll that resulted was only available to mods even though it is probably the most
important topic of these five pastebins. This is just ridiculous and least an information or anything about the poll would be nice
but the timer rule has just been decided and the "adjusted".
The reason I put quotation marks on this word is because while all the games I commended earlier (BBS, DDD, Re:Coded, 0.2, 3 and
Days) have adjusted their ruleset to that 1(FM) and 2(FM) haven't done that yet. After over 8 months a topic like that should've been easily been concluded which shows how the moderation team works right now.
I'll finish this section off by talking shortly about the most recent event as well.
Topic #11: T-Series
Most of us saw what was probably a terrible april fools joke with a lot of different boards on speedrun.com getting changed by a hacker. He changed background pictures, URLs, added runs and even deleted categories/games as a whole. This is an unfortunate event but luckily the administrators of the website keep backups (daily or weekly, not sure) for cases like these.
The hacker managed to get into Sonics account and vandalize with his account. How did he manage to get into his account and many others? Most likely because some people including Sonic and others that got hacked did not change their password after the XSplit leak affected speedrun.com a while ago even after the administrators advised everyone to do so.
It is fortunately not a big deal as the admins are prepared for these kinds of events but this did not have to happen if passwords would've been changed as advised and shows that some mods seem to not pay enough attention.
These are the topics I felt needed to be addressed. I will now post a little chart of which mod is actually verifying runs (As this is part of a moderators job) recently in their respective games and which haven't.
Game: Active | Inactive
KH1: Wyatt, Sonic (and Saiyanz rarely) | Toji, Ninten, Biz
KH2: Wyatt, Crispy, (Crystal) | Toji, Sonic, Saiyanz, Ninten, Biz, Neraigo, (Gamebrain)
KH3: Wyatt, Snap, Crystal, Crispy | Toji, Sonic, Saiyanz, Ninten
BbS: Wyatt, Rebel, Gamebrain | Toji, Sonic, Saiyanz, Ninten
DDD: Jel, Rebel | Toji, Sonic, Saiyanz, Ninten, Draz, Wyatt
Days: Draz, Saiyanz, Jel | Toji, Sonic, Wyatt, Ninten
Coded: Drazerk, Jel (and Saiyanz maybe?) | Toji, Sonic, Wyatt, Ninten
CoM: No runs recently so no data
Note: Gamebrain and Crystal are put into brackets as they aren't official KH2 mods, they were added to help with the merge.
This lets me conclude that:
→ Toji, Ninten and Biz don’t seem to be doing anything from what I see and should probably be either removed or clearly state their role as a moderator
→ Sonic and Saiyanz aren't totally inactive. Sonic seems to only be closing gaps if he does anything at all and Saiyanz isn't doing a lot of verification either considering how many games he is a mod in (The whole series). If people don't have time to spend on the moderation then they shouldn't be a mod in my opinion.
→ Neraigo doesn't verify runs for a while anymore. He is not active in the community anymore either except for making comparisons. I don't want to discredit his comparisons as those are very well-made and helped us a lot as well as the work he has put into checking Moon_Lx's runs for splices a year ago but that does not make him a good moderator of KH2, especially as the splice check was the last thing done towards moderating his game. He doesn't fit as a KH2 mod anymore.
→ Wyatt apparently didn't even know he was a KH1 mod for the longest time which is obviously a flaw by Wyatt as well but a communication issue as well. If you see that he hasn't been doing anything for that game in ages why is he a moderator still? The only good thing about him not being removed is that we at least have somebody who verifies KH1 runs :P
The sad part about all of this is that these issues were already present at the beginning of 2018 and basically nothing has changed since. Timmiluvs made a pastebin back then that I will link right here so you can look for yourself how much has happend since then https://pastebin.com/cFrsPbQY
This is just straight up disappointing, but the best thing we can do now is trying to solve it in a better way.
Now, how can we solve this issue?
The communities response to the problems at the start of 2018 was a change of the mods. Back then the proposed solution was adding game specific mods. The mods created a Google form and asked community members to tell the mods if they want to be moderators for specific games and if so which games they want to moderate. This did seem like it would be a good solution and the result of this is that the following people were modded for the following games (According to messages on 22nd February 2018):
RebelDragon95 | BbS, DDD
Crispy | KH2
Abandon | CoM, Re:CoM
Jel | Re:Coded, Days, DDD
D_Winds | Re:CoM
Neraigo | KH2
BTrue | KH1
Gamebrain | BbS, 0.2
Out of these people most of them are still active, only BTrue let and Neraigo is inactive. However with the recent inactivity of other mods that were moderators before this form we have gaps in 1FM and 2FM, however all series mods but Draz (Who seems to be mainly active for handheld games so only half the series) seem like they don't work much or at all on the leaderboards. Furthermore, they don't seem to be as active in the community either may it be due to not having as much time anymore or just not being as involved into speedrunning as they might've been some time ago.
I believe that, if we keep the current system we have as it is, we would need at least 2 more permanent KH1 and 1 more permanent KH2 mod, maybe even more, while removing inactive mods like Bizkit, Ninten and Neraigo, fix the moderation roles for other mods like Wyatt and Draz and maybe think about a change of the series mods as well, mainly Toji and Sonic. These slots should be filled with people who are knowledged about the game they will be moderating and ran a lot of different categories in these games. As for KH2 maybe someone who has ran Any% as well as categories like Gold Crown, Data Org and similar miscellaneous ones and is actively answering questions people ask in the discord and interacts with the community overall. The same would apply for KH1.
As for series mods I believe that it would be very good to have a 1-2 new people filling these spots to bring new ideas into the community as well as someone who is knowledged as many games as possible so that they could verify runs in every game as well as interacting in discussion for every single game.
But no matter what kind of solution to these problems we will come up with we have to change our mindset, and this is mainly directed towards the people who are moderating the games for a long time already. It looks like most of you are scared of change or maybe just to lazy to change something. A good example would be the On-Screen timer rule that got changed recently (and still not completly) or the merge of the leaderboards, but I covered those topics already, so I will not pick them up again.
I am pretty sure that I am not the only one feeling this way and if we all put our heads together we can come up with a good solution. My proposed solution obviously doesn't have to be the one and only way to work with this problem, so I want to encourage people to think about the situation critically, see what the problems are and try helping to change something.
That being said I'd like to commend the mods I think are doing a good job and I am proud of calling moderators of the KH Series:
CrystalCrown13, CrispyMe, OhhSnap, Jel, Drazerk, RebelDragon95, Gamebrain and Wyatt.
To finalize this pastebin I'd just like to say that I think as a community we need to find a solution to improve the performance and communication of the leaderboard mods, I feel that this is a discussion that should be promoted and is long due as well as avoided oftentimes. Once again, I am not attacking anyone personally here, I am going over why I think they should or should not be moderating a specific game or the serious.