Okay, folks, time for a pow-wow. (For those of you who have not recruited or played through Hexxat's content yet, this post contains some major plot-spoilers; I recommend you skip the next several paragraphs.)
Hexxat, one of the new characters in BGII:EE, first appears in the Copper Coronet as a purple-haired woman with some... issues. Those issues are immediately apparent, so it comes as little surprise when she turns out not to be who she says she is.
The controversy that seems to be dominating these forums at the moment is whether or not Clara should remain an option as a permanent member of the party, or if she should remain dead. There have been a lot of discussions and debates about how she might be saved, what might be done with her character after the event, and how it might affect Hexxat's storyline or the game as a whole.
Okay, that's it for the spoilers. Suffice to say that there are compelling arguments on both sides of the issue, and that's not what this is about.
This is about the tone
of that debate.
I've spoken proudly about the high level of discourse that populates these forums in the past; I think that as a community, you have all helped to create a welcoming environment for both new and old players, and even for people who don't enjoy the games at all. You've shown compassion for Android users, waiting more than a year for the opportunity to play the games on their tablets; you've shown understanding for international players, waiting months upon months for their needed translations; you've shown patience and optimism for the developers, working hard to bring patches in a timely manner despite a collection of roadblocks (both developmental and external) that would give the Doctor pause.
These last couple of weeks, however, have seen a dramatic shift for the worse. I see players who would otherwise have been friends--who have gotten along quite well in plenty of other discussions--tearing each other's eyes out over what ultimately amounts to a difference of opinion.
Part of it is my fault. I've been busier than usual lately, and I make no excuse for it. I should have stepped in much sooner. I thought that this community could manage itself responsibly, because up until now it has done just that, and admirably so.
But what's done is done. I'm still busier than usual, but this needs to be said, and because it's important I'm going to say it in bold:This is a community of inclusion. We welcome all opinions that pertain to Baldur's Gate, so long as they are voiced respectfully and are not used to harm others. If you disagree with someone, we welcome that too, so long as you express your disagreement respectfully and without harming that person.
Ad hominem attacks are not acceptable forms of debate.
Hyperbole and assumptions about intention or motive are not acceptable forms of debate.
Anger and bigotry and hatred are not acceptable forms of debate.
If you cannot discuss an issue with someone without resorting to verbal violence, then do not discuss that issue with that person.
All of this is in the Site Rules, and has been for a year now. If you haven't read them, or if you haven't read them lately, I encourage you to do so now.
Over the last year this community has built a (well-earned) reputation for being a strong environment for everyone with an interest and enthusiasm for Baldur's Gate. Please, don't let that reputation falter just because you forgot how to keep your conversations civil.
So, before you start talking about something you know might be controversial (and Hexxat, as it turns out, is quite controversial), read this post, and think very carefully about what you intend to say and how you intend to say it.
If you understand and accept all of this, sign your (user)name in response to this post.@Dee