On day three during mYinsanity’s mod appreciation week, our next guest is Susan “Jagtress” N. An eSports enthusiast who fell into modding, she has gone through it all and is willing to share her experiences with us.
Please introduce yourself, and tell us a bit about you.
My handle is Jagtress and I moderate for Lowkotv, Fenn3r, Temp0_sc, Poizon28, Feardragon64, and BaseTradeTV.
What inspired you to become a mod and how did you get started?
I literally fell into moderating. It started because my brother showed me some Husky videos; I decided to research everything about the game from build orders to players and to the pro scene in general. At that time I had no idea about eSports. For a long time I was watching Demuslim’s stream and appreciated that he was very calm and explained why he was doing everything. But I knew I was a Zerg player so I eventually came across Lowko’s stream though YouTube (this is how I found Fenner too).
One of the mods was essentially “quitting” and Lowko said he needed a new mod. Everyone in chat was begging and I just sat back watching. I just wanted to learn the game and maybe form my own team. Suddenly he says “Jagtress, you’re always here and always talking. You seem nice. Do you want to mod?” I had only been in the stream for a couple of months at that point but I was there every day and actually talked to people in chat. I obviously said yes and thus began my legacy of modding.
What was the biggest challenge when you began and how did you overcome it?
I remember very clearly messaging Eseipha on Skype going “people don’t like me because I’ve timed them out. I just want people to like me.” She said that no matter what you do, being a moderator will make you look like a mean person to the average viewer, it’s nothing personal and you’ll just have to accept that. This was a couple of years ago but I remember having to set aside a few of my own beliefs to be able to mod properly. How I overcame it was just simply stepping back from the situation, not taking things personally and especially taking a step back from modding when I’m having a bad day – because then I want to time out everyone.
Why do you do it?
Amazingly enough I enjoy the chat. The viewers are jerks sometimes and try to get you riled up but I’ve had fantastic conversations about anime and other games while being in chat. I have felt that since I was always a talker in chat that I try to keep a connection with the viewers. Everyone is there for the same reasons as you so, you can still talk to everyone. It’s not like we live in some bubble and you never know who the people are behind the names until you go to events. That is a totally other story but I find getting to know people is the best part.
…while you think freedom chat is a good thing, you are still affecting the streamer…
Are there any advantages to being a mod?
I feel as though modding has helped me become a more mentally strong person than I was before. I was always pretty tough but nothing quite prepared me for modding. Since I am a talker, when I walk into channels, I get spammed HI’s and hearts. On a day where I’m having a rough time, it helps that people know who you are and like your presence. That’s definitely an advantage for me.
Another is that you get to talk to people across the world. On social media like Facebook, most people only add the people they know (or at least I do), whereas with Twitter anyone can follow you. That element is fascinating. I would never have met my other half if it wasn’t for modding.
How important is a good chat to the success of a stream?
I’m going to attack this question from a slightly different angle. On the co-optional podcast, Totalbiscuit said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that regardless of what you think about the people you send messages to on social media, you still affect people. So, if a video is released on YouTube that people don’t like, or you are playing a game people aren’t interested in, they can tell you directly. 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, those people can tell you their opinion. Eventually it all stacks up on a person.
This is evident from watching any regular streamer of any game; at some point they snap if they don’t take a break to unplug from it all. So, while you think freedom chat is a good thing, you are still affecting the streamer. Spamming of emotes doesn’t really affect the streamer but hate speech and politics do. Those things put a downer on the mood and that’s the kind of thing that we as mods are preventing. Knowing the previous statement will help a person’s success as a streamer.
Who has the best/worst chat?
Worst: Avilo. I walked into his chat one day after a match and I swear it was like walking into a full blown battle field. Not only that but his posse came into the chat I was in, and they started being jerks. Because of the whole freedom chat thing I literally just leave the stream. It’s not fun for me to see people insult a streamer who is not only good, but who is enjoyable to watch. Avilo wrecks all of the lines that mods for other streams have set up. I’m also not a fan of his sportsmanship because he’s a sore loser. Get over yourself son – seriously.
Best: Temp0! I swear to god in all the time I’ve modded for him, I’ve timed out maybe a handful of people. He sings, he is laid back, and he just has an awesome personality. All we have to do is get him to have normal EST streaming times and we’ll be all good…. LOL!
What are some suggestions for streamers to grow a good chat?
Firstly make sure you give mod to people who actually care about your stream. They will ensure that your chat isn’t going crazy because they want to be there. The longer they are a viewer, the better their understanding of the chat style they’ve become accustomed to.
Secondly, trust the people you give mod status to because you can’t really see who has timed out who. It causes some confusion sometimes but basically if they don’t trust your decisions as a mod, then why have moderators at all?
Third, make sure your mods can throw down when needed. Trolls will troll the trolls. There have been many times where instead of timing out comments I’ve trolled them back, or asked questions to prove how dumb their idea is in front of the other chatters. Peer pressure is a big thing in this community and if people see how retarded the person is being, you don’t need to time them out. Generally they will say something stupid to be straight up knocked out or they will back down and stop talking.
I see some people who are mods in other channels and they don’t know the first thing about it. It’s not always just sitting there and clicking a button. You have to consider what the streamer wants and follow that. If you don’t do that, chances are you aren’t keeping mod status. Make sure you have clear rules for your mods to follow and having communication with the other mods is a good.
How much do streamers interact with their mods?
This is highly dependent on the streamer actually. I talk to Fenner and Temp0 all the time on Skype. Feardragon doesn’t talk to his mods except for a shout out on stream, which is fine. Lowko used to talk to his mods all the time in Skype but now it’s just a shout out on stream as well. It’s not a requirement for the streamers to talk to their mods because we can handle things on our own, but a check in once in a while is good.
…be willing to set aside what you believe is true about modding because it will be shaken at first…
Are there any kickbacks to mods from the streamer?
For the most part, the kickback is usually a really big thank you for modding today and that’s about it. This isn’t something that surprises me. Streamers are self-employed and have things they are paying for, so personally I don’t expect anything. The thank you is all that’s really needed. I wouldn’t still mod if I didn’t enjoy it. It has nothing to do with what we get as rewards.
What is one chat feature you would like to see implemented in the future?
The one and only thing I really want to have as a chat feature is for the streamer (at the very least) to be able to see who did the time out and for how long! It used to be that even timeouts were shown as bans in chat, when it could have been a simple purge. Honestly being able to know it was just a purge would really help. Being able to see who did the timeouts and for how long it is for, would lessen the confusion for the other mods. This would especially be helpful in much larger chats like in BaseTradeTV. Many things happen behind the scenes regardless of what people think and I won’t speak more about that.
Any advice for someone looking to become a channel mod?
Be willing to set aside what you believe is true about modding because it will be shaken at first. I would also say become known because if you are only in one channel and don’t talk much, chances are the streamer won’t know who you are. Also, be willing to learn. I didn’t use IRC but now I have to because of the channels I’m in, this includes ones I don’t mod for.