On February 23rd, 2019 YouTuber Rahetalius uploaded a 30 minute video outlining all of the corruption, cronyism, drama, and double-standards employed by the chat moderators and game guides within the Warframe community. The video even managed to get responses from the Digital Extremes team, but it most resulted in them dismissing everything mentioned in the video to criticize the language that Rahetalius used.
The video centers around a handful of troublesome individuals within the Warframe moderating community who have made life difficult and unpleasant for the rest of the community, specifically: Telluric, Shadow, Server, and Misan.
You can check out the full video below.
The video starts by going over some of the infractions committed by former moderator Telluric, covering his misanthropic behavior, caustic interactions with the community and generally causing discord for Warframe players by engaging in antics like advocating for the ban of certain words like “trap”.
The video goes on to explain that Telluric was also selling Warframe merchandise on a Redbubble account without permission from Digital Extremes. Rahetalius did some legwork to find out if Digital Extremes sold their merchandise on Redbubble and if front-facing community manager Danielle had control over the Chat Moderator program. Community coordinator, Taylor King, replied by saying…
“Hi Rahetalius, sorry for the delay! The studio was closed yesterday. Given the care needed to run something like the Chat Moderator program, it really is a team effort. It doesn’t rest solely on the any one staff member’s shoulders.
“Oh and as for the Redbubble site, any officially supported Warframe merch will be available only on store.warframe.com or on sites that we have publicly partnered with: Iam8bit, FanForge, etc. If you see Warframe stuff on sites like Teespring, etc, it’s safe to assume that it’s not officially licensed.”
According to Rahetalius, this goes against the terms of service, under section 4, limited use license.
Later in the video he also points out that Friendzoning Misandrist (who later shortened their name to Misan), another chat moderator, had leaked early artwork of a Warframe that had yet to be fully announced, which Rahetalius points out is against the code of conduct.
In the code of conduct guidelines, in section 3, it explicitly forbids users from leaking, promoting, or sharing data-mined content. However, the actual passage seems to limit the terms to the forums, but at the top of the guidelines page it also states that it also relates to in-game activity or any Warframe platform.
The video details how an unofficial Discord channel – that various developers from Digital Extremes participate in – is ran by a fellow going by the handle of Tobiah who has apparently taken a hold of user privacy data for his own ends, and doesn’t mind infusing the community with his own megalomaniacal tendencies, where the only people who become moderators of the Discord are those who are close friends with Tobiah. However, since it’s the largest Discord channel for Warframe, even though it’s an unofficial channel, Tobiah manages to get away with doing certain things that Rahetalius feels is unbecoming toward the Warframe community.
The video also covers other instances of double-standards, where Digital Extremes allows certain people (who don’t engaging in foul-mouthed rants and belittling fellow players) to be a part of their partner program but not others (even though some of the people who are not partnered have one of the largest and friendliest communities within Warframe).
It’s pointed out by Rehetalius that none of these issues seem to be resolved in the way that they should be, and given that many of the people committing these infractions are still part of the moderation team, it means that topics outlining the corruption and cronyism get buried, closed, or censored when the topics are broached on the forums.
This has been a common complaint from many Warframe players who have brought their grievances to One Angry Gamer over the course of several months. But even after multiple gaming outlets brought some of these issues to light, changes have still been slow or non-existent.
Rahetalius does note that two of the moderators have stepped down due to various reasons, including Telluric and Shadow, both of whom caused plenty of grief within the Warframe community. Rahetalius goes on to makes a few other suggestions for Digital Extremes to consider, though, including removing Misan and Server from their moderator positions, and getting rid of the moderator guides altogether since it seems to be a redundant position.
Digital Extremes game director Steve Sinclair actually acknowledged and responded to the video, but instead of addressing any of the concerns he proceeded to criticize that Rehatalius used explicit language to describe some of the Warframe moderators.
Your critique has always been welcome but I cannot abide personal attacks against my team. Shameful. I hope you fix this.
— Steve Sinclair (@sj_sinclair) February 25, 2019
Community managers Rebecca Ford and Megan Everett both chimed in to echo Sinclair’s comments, focusing on Rehatalius’ commentary rather than the content of the video.
Very disappointed in the choices made in this video, both personally and professionally. The intention baffles me, and a lot of respect has been lost today from this appalling regurgitation.
— Megan Everett (@moitoi) February 25, 2019
After receiving a ample supply of criticism from the community for what they called “apathy”, Ford did respond by stating that they would be working to further audit the new moderation team, and that it is a continued work in progress.
Except I have audited our new moderation since it begin in December, and worked on the on-boarding of professional moderators, and all changes listed here: https://t.co/Aj3XRmg3CZ
This is why we have moderation, to deal with the below report provided by our pro. team. pic.twitter.com/jk91nLzzOz
— Rebb Ford (@rebbford) February 25, 2019
Many still pointed out that this came after years of misuse and abuse of the moderating powers afforded to people like Telluric and Misan (the latter of whom is still on the moderation team) and that these issues should have been resolved earlier by removing those causing strife within the community from the moderation team.
There wasn’t much feedback from Digital Extremes in terms of further addressing Rehatlius’ points, but I imagine if this topic keeps coming up they’ll eventually have to face it head on.
(Thanks for the news tip Arthur Meira)