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Official Announcement

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:07 pm
by durban
Please take time to read the following messages, if you have any issues with this (or indeed you feel something should be worded differently) please send me a private message, my door is always open.

Firstly, let me make this clear, this it is NOT a discussion - it is a message to the whole of the KOA, existing members and new, so please do not respond to the topic.

Please note that this will be the first time I have ever acted as an Admin to lock a topic in this manner, and I trust you all understand the reasons I am doing so.

I will take a few of the things discussed over the past week and deal with them in turn, this may take a few hours to be completed.

Re: Official Announcement

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:26 pm
by durban
The Kick Off Association and the reason for our existence.

Call this a mission statement if you will -

The Kick Off Association has a purpose to build and develop friendships, create competition and to push the boundaries and knowledge of the Kick Off 2 family to those who wish to be a part of it.

The Kick Off Association is a group that has been running for over 15 years, it is held together by pieces of string, tape, and the hearts of those members who have stayed with her through thick and thin to keep her going.

Not one of our members does this as a professional job, no one is paid (although many have given up hard earned money and time to the cause) and we will all make mistakes, or say something in a way that doesn't immediately become clear to others.

In the time of it's existence many thousands, perhaps millions of Forums will have come and gone in the entertainment sectors and in the 'real world' sectors equally.
We have survived, is this luck, or perhaps the people who have kept it going have managed to do the unthinkable without any real thanks or fortune.

The KOA is about heart - A little piece of everyones heart goes into keeping her heart beating, and with that piece of heart comes an equal sized piece of personality - we are here for the same thing, and we fall out sometimes as all good friends do, but we move on, hopefully together.

I think it has become abundantly clear over the past few weeks that the KOA could do better in celebrating those who have done so much for the cause, in letting new people know the names of those who have come and gone, or who have remained. To tell the stories of these 'warriors' of old, and to make people understand the history and the commitment they have given to allow us a place to come and visit and discuss, even if we don't always see eye to eye.

These people are not picked out of thin air, they are given the unenviable task of looking after the forums when others are not around. Some of these people take breaks, perhaps a few days, perhaps a few years, but when you put so much effort into something I believe those people deserve to be given some time off to spend in the real world without a single voice of opposition being raised about their inability to continue what they have done for so long.

Anyone who becomes a moderator in this forum, or indeed any forum, immediately opens themselves to criticism (and who in the world enjoys being criticised, or their every move being questioned for morality).

Some Moderators are given this role because they are 'middle ground' and able to see both sides, some are given the role because of their ability to make decisions - all of them are given the roles because we, as the KOA, have trusted them for years and years and whilst they may make errors in the eyes of some they have never diverted their path, they have stuck to their guns, and that is 100% what I want to see in a team of moderators.

At some time in the future there will be new moderators given the honour (or perhaps the fate) should they accept it, and the task of carrying on this tradition - it is not simply a closed group of clandestine people behind the scenes trying to make this a locked down community - it is the complete opposite.

People can question the ethics in the moderating team if they wish, that's fine, but they also need to keep in mind that if they want to attack an individual's ability to moderate fairly then they attack the whole ethos of the KOA - a family that will grow and build with trust and understanding.

What will not happen is that a moderator will be forced out of the trust that I have for them, especially when a certain moderator who has been singled out this week has done more for the KOA in his life than he probably has for his own family and friends - he works tirelelsly and thus when he sees something that he feels will unsteady the ship he has piloted for so long he feels strongly about cutting that at the root. Some of us will go along with the problem to appease it and hope it goes away, but one moderator will make a decision and thats the exact reason he was put there in the first place, he is doing his job, the one I asked him to do, the one for which he will never be thanked - and he is doing that 100%, and in turn I support his decisions 100%.

We need to make new members aware of what we do, the reasons people have 'more access' than others so for this reason I will work on putting in place an Information page, containing the details of those who have accepted the task of moderation (or admin) and where I can find the information I will detail the reasons and their achievements in keeping the KOA going.

For the record, one particular Moderator, one who has been singled out this week, will remain front and centre of the KOA decision making engine, regardless of the length of his absence, as he deserves our respect 100 times over for his efforts.
We all agree that we find enjoyment playing Kick Off, and we all disagree on the perfect settings to ensure a fair and equal playing field.
This is fine, nothing in live is black and white, and neither should a game we all feel passionate about.

I am making the following changes to the Moderator group.

1) Steve Camber will be promoted to become the Global Moderator of the Forums. He is a person who stands above the arguments, he removes himself from the equation, and he gives us all hope. I cannot trust a single person on this Forum more than I can trust Steve, I could actually extend trust beyond the forum of course.

2) I am creating a new 'Honorary' group of moderators. People who are being added to this group are being given this honor in recognition of their commitment to the KOA, both in the Forums and the Tournaments they have looked after, hosted, or been part of. This position is granted to them without the need for them to be active, it is a position that I feel we owe to them to give them something back as thanks from all of us.

3) I am clearing up the current list of moderators, its a mess and should be clean. I will make the list of moderators available to all on the KOA via a link (we have one for 'our team' currently I will simply extend that).
The remaining moderators are people who are active enough to be here when they are needed, they will continue to moderate with a light touch as appropriate but remember that there have been many occasions where moderators have had to make hard choices in order to keep the happiness of the KOA intact (as much as people may see differently). They perform a role outside simply 'annoying' people by locking and deleting topics, they also clean up a lot of SPAM attacks we see in the forums, and quite often there have been unsavour remarks that have had to be cleaned up before most of us are awake.
It's a thankless task, I therefore thank each of them for giving their time, and putting up with the abuse they will get, to undertake this role.

4) I will put together a short piece (when I get time) on each moderator explaining the reason they have the position they have. New and old members can then see what it has taken for them to get to this position, and understand that sometimes whilst they may seem like a bunch of people with power in their eyes, they are infact just like us, normal everyday people who are doing a job, with no training, or thanks, to keep this forum going from day to day.

Remember, it is the simplest thing in the world to stand and make assumptions on how someone is doing their job, and how they could do it better. We all do this every day watching a football match and questioning the managers decision - but in reality would you be any better at that role, or would you just be more aligned to your own views and understanding of how things should be rather than a wider view towards the good of the forums as a whole?

At the end of the day, as cliche'd as it may sound, we are a family. We bicker and argue and fight, but no member of that family can simply decide they no longer want one of our brothers to be the 'eldest' brother, and try and question what exactly they bring to this family.

A family doesn't have a defined purpose, it doesn't need to have one, it exists simply because someone wanted it to exist and it grows through love and the effort of those who have been part of it.

Re: Official Announcement

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:42 pm
by durban
The Kick Off Tournament Rule Set

I can say no more than Robert has put in his post -

His words sum up the way we have run the KOA for years, I don't think some of us realised this until we read them written down.

So if people want the information then here we have it, however I will endevour to make an Information page with this detail in place.

I suggest we can also put a table in place which lists the rules for a World Cup / Country Championship tournament and clearly states what rules are Static and which are available, should it be agreed, to be voted upon.

It will also clearly state that so long as the Primary rule for ANY ranked event is followed, that we keep matches time boxed to 2x5 min halves, then the other rules can be agreed upon by all participants.

The other rule around a minimum of 4 players is required to make this an official tournament will be clearly stated also.

Re: Official Announcement

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:46 pm
by durban
The BID process

I like the idea of a formal timeframe for Bids. I like Danny's idea on this, and I personally think its good to plan and understand the boundaries.

I suggest we look to adopt this going forward, perhaps on a year by year trial until we are happy the process is sound and works as we would like.

I therefore propose (based on input of other people of course)

1) Post the World Cup, anyone wishing to host a future world cup should formulate an official Bid that must be submitted onto the forum by 31st January (date to be agreed, but going forward should remain constant).

2) This gives people in the KOA time to get 'over' the happiness of the previous world cup and think about how they want to move on to the next. Somewhere new, somewhere we know would be well organised, somewhere that deserves a second chance for example?

3) More importantly this 'window' gives those who wish to Bid a cooling off period so they can make sure they can actually deliver this great ask.

4) At no point during the BID process should we have any rules discussed, so no one can say 'pick my world cup and you can play with Super PBD'. We are judging on merit, on location, on cost, on the organisation team - we are not judging on rules - lets keep this simple.

5) Once the window closes, we give the KOA 2 weeks (maybe 4) to vote on the Bid they want to see.

6) During the Bid process, BID teams are free to contact each other and ask for help, or to offer a joint bid, or even offer some sort of deal where 'if you pull your bid, perhaps you could join our team and make it amazing to beat xxxx'
That's all perfectly fine, but if we hear of any underhand tactics being used (promises offered that don't come tru, bribes, death threats etc) then the team behind that BID will be suspended from the process until the truth can be uncovered.

7) Once we have agreed on a location we can start discussing the rules set, but I would like to think we can keep this to the agreement we mentioned in the Rule Set topic above so no crazy off the pitch options please!

I feel this will help formalise a process which, whilst working for the past few years, hasn't had any real synchronicity around it.

I would also like to discuss further the points Danny Made about media accounts, I believe that this is an excellent suggestion and allows us to utilise both technology and the knowledge that previous hosts have had. Of course this shouldn't be forced on anyway, but we certainly would benefit from having a more controlled approach, especially around the way we keep people informed both prior to, and during, the world cup.

Re: Official Announcement

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:51 pm
by durban
The Rankings

I feel strongly that we do not take over the rankings.
I feel that Alkis has done a job on this for many years, and has always delivered.
His time keeping skills leave a lot to be desired, but this is something he does in his OWN time, when others would be sleeping, after working more than a full day and seeing his family - an unenviable task that I would not like to do myself.

My belief is that if we 'took' over this role, we would soon lose interest and things would be worse, we may even break something he understands so well. We would probably argue, or want to change something that has worked so far. The Rankings work better than most, let us celebrate this and appreciate it, rather than look to improve it - if we get our way we will end up with the FIFA rankings and Belgium (Jorn) will end up #1 in the world - no one wants this!

Therefore I would like to offer Alkis my assistance in setting something up (although I am not sure what) that will make his life easier without removing his role.
Perhaps something online, that would store the data in the cloud, to be accessible from wherever, and would allow him to dynamically update the system without so much manual effort on his part (so when he is sat in an Airport lounge, a few clicks of his Phone and he could upload direct from a CSV file to an online page that would in turn update, backup, and refresh and do the mundane part of his job for him).

Again we owe it to the fact Alkis has done this for so long, without any real benefit to himself or his family, and with only the calls of AUA? to keep him company.

We all feel strongly about 'handing things over', it's removes a purpose we have, a sense of pride and ownership perhaps, but more importantly we worry that we will be putting to much onto other people and that they may not actually like what they get.

Re: Official Announcement

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:59 pm
by durban

Dino is the creator of the game we love, and he is still a valued member of this community if he choses to be so.

Perhaps we all have too many different views or visions, that is neither the KOA's fault nor Dino's it's the way some things happen in life, it's a shame but ultimately it is a decision that Dino has to make for himself, and we have to respect that decision.

Personally I, and many others, would welcome him back as often and as many times as he likes - he is, after all, the reason we have been here for so long. If he doesn't want to be a part of this, it is understandable but our loss, and the door will never close on him.

Perhaps he does deserve to be listened to a little more than others, perhaps he also needs to understand that we, as a community, have a tribal system in place - we will never conform to a set of rules as the nature of the online world simply doesn't give us the ability to enforce this, mainly as we have lived without them for so long and they seem to make things all too political - politics have NO place in the KOA as I have said before.

His thoughts on the KOA as a vehicle to bring more attention to the game, to devlop our forum into more of a landing platform for new and old members and to make this place more open is an honorable view, and one that is well merited in my eyes. But in creating a more open world, we would in effect be putting more controls, and thus the end result may be a less open forum perhaps?

The KOA is like a very old, but memorable car, that has been lovingly kept together, taken out once in a while for a spin, and whilst not looking the same as she did the day she was first released from the garage - we can't simply put in a brand new engine, replace the headlights and change the doors and say 'look at her now isn't she beautiful'.

What we would have is a car that may be amazing, but equally may be terrible with no way of her going back to the way she was - old as she may be, she worked that way and got us through year by year.

Change is NOT always the thing people make out, there is a risk involved, and when you have put so much of your life into something (and we are talking life here) you have the right to say 'no thank you we would like to keep her like she is, she may not last much longer but we would like to keep her in our minds the way we loved her when she was young - if she dies that way then at least it was our choice to keep her in our memory the way we would like her to be remembered'

As a namesake of one of the most iconic Sport's cars in History, I hope Dino understands that point in some way - it is meant with good intention, it is not a rejection of his belief, its just a simple statement to point out that we like her the way she is and he is welcome to take her for a spin any time he feels the need.

Re: Official Announcement

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:26 pm
by durban
Rules of the Game

Kick Off, as with everything in life, is all about perception.

One person's 'perfection' is another persons 'nightmare'.

What one person sees as the 'beautiful goal' another will see as a 'utilisation of poor code'.

At the end of the day we are playing a game using software, a game that can never be perfect as perfect means boring.

Let me give you an example of what I am trying to say here -

Every day I drive my car home from work. Around half way home there is a left hand turn that takes me down a country road - one day I decided to try going that way, and to this day I have taken that turn.

Every day my Sat Nav tells me to 'make a U-Turn when you are able' as I am not following the Sat Nav's rules of the main road being quicker.

Every day I ignore my Sat Nav and carry on down the country road, I make it home avoiding the traffic and seeing some nice scenery.

I'm going against the system, I have learned to work around the 'bug' in the software and I have managed to get home in time to see my children go to bed.

If I posted a similar story about Kick Off 2 I would probably be called a cheat, or that I am mis-using the system to my own benefit and there would be a demand that Steve Camber CLOSED the country road so I could no longer use it.

No, I became aware of another way, I learned that way and after time I realised it was acceptible. I am neither right nor wrong, I am just doing what I have done for years. Adapting to the limitations, opening my eyes to options, and learning new ways.

The Rules of Kickoff are similar. Over time we have removed the 'factors' that we found ruined our fun. The Game crashing, the person being red carded and coming back - things that clearly NEEDED to change.

We have also made available other options, things that SOME people wanted and some people didn't - we gave options!

Some of these options, over time, became so well used that they became options that could be used in official tournaments without creating 'too' many people to leave and quit.

We will continue to give options, but they are just that - preferences some have over others, just admitting there is an issue doesn't mean people who have been aware of this are automatically cheating or spoiling your ability to play the game you love.

If someone takes my journey home, I will NEVER demand they are to take my route, I will let them know it exists and let them choose. If they prefer the Sat Nav route then that is perfectly fine, maybe they will find another way and over time we can both use it, who knows?

We all know a keeper running behind the goal is not 'real world' but then again how often do you get to press Escape and start again in the World Cup Semi Final when your country is 2 nil down to Germany?

People here who want to keep the basic engine of Kick Off two do NOT want to cheat you, they do NOT want to spoil your fun, they just want to keep the game as similar as they can to that which they have played for over 20 years.

Whilst I agree change is good in certain situations, please also understand that to try and change things completely, and then to say people not wanting to change are some how cheating or abusing a system is wrong.

If enough people want an option, they will no doubt get it (we have the Man for the job, he never hides away).

If that option is something you wish to use in a local tournament, then great, let people know and they can vote on it, or just accept it - this is fine.

To expect that after 15 years the World Cup should suddently adopt this 'blatant' bug, you are being unreasonable. Its been there, clearly obvious, since the beginning of the game - we have all noticed and disliked it, some have carried on regarless, some have decided to use it to their advantage, some people get the advantage by accident. Over time perhaps it will become more commonly used, at which point we can review it and make it more of a common option who knows.

As you can understand some people have put many years of their life into learning the game, reacting to their opponents, and in some cases overlooking their own feelings to better themselves.

to turn around to these people particularly and say - Actually you are wrong lets change all of this - is a little bit un-respecting of their efforts.

I think we can all discuss these sort of things in a far less fiery manner, agreed, but we also must understand that people feel passionately about changes and whilst there is a fine line between discussion and argument we need to ensure we keep things civil and respect the views of others (on both sides)

I think as a whole we can agree to continue discussing and raising options for the KO engine, but at no point can we demand changes just because we feel its for the good of our game and that of those who happen to agree with us on this particular topic. We move forward as a team, we will change at our own pace and adopt the changes that fit the spirit of our game most of all - our flawed and old game but one that we have played for 20 years lovingly with ALL these so called bugs in place.

I do not wish to see anyone's FIRE go out, I love seeing discussion on rules and options and changes to the code - I just hate to see it when new and old members seem hell bent on breaking each others grasp of their own chosen flavour! Let us all agree that sometimes we are right, and sometimes we are wrong, but both in equal measure.

Re: Official Announcement

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:37 pm
by durban
New Members

The KOA will always welcome new members, and we hope that every single new member is a keeper and will want to stay.

New Members have kept us alive for many years, and that is respected and we thank all the 'good' ones for what they have given to us.

However, you do not simply walk into a new job and on day 1 and tell the boss that he is doing it all wrong - that is madness, you take your time and earn a little big of kudos and then, that moment when you realise you have his trust, that's when you drop the bombshell!

The KOA is similar, we don't mean to dismiss new users thoughts - in fact we WELCOME them with open arms.

However we will disagree with a lot of points at first, not because we disagree completely, or that we don't think you have a relevant voice - just simply because we want you to feel like you understand our points before you start making your own.

Remember that there is a high likely-hood, over 15 years and thousands of active members, that you are not the first to discuss whatever it is you are about to discuss. But equally we should not simply be dismissive of a topic just because in 1954 user Dave brought up something similar.

This approach is not something that should be intimidating, it is common human nature - and we really hope that all new members understand this and are not put off by what may seem to be disapproval as first.

Without new Members we lose something special - we all agree that we need new members and once who contribute - we just ask that you understand us as much as you are asking us to understand you until we get to know you as part of the furniture.

There have been to many examples, over time, of people who have come into the forum, dropped a bomb or two, caused an issue then left....we just hope that each new arrival is going to be far more than that to us and if you feel you are then you will be welcomed as part of the family.

I never want to see a new user just lurking for ten years without rocking the boat, I love it when new members are active and passionate about their feelings - but again please do realise that sometimes we just need to get to know you first before you can start getting a true impression of what we are about as individuals.

So New Users are welcome, if they feel unfairly treated then they can speak to me, I will back them up if it's right to do so.

They are welcome to discuss and argue on topics they feel strongly about, as long as the appreciate people will argue back with them at times!

But most of all, welcome to the KOA, make yourself at home just don't mess with the colour of our walls!