As far as I can tell, besides retiming RTA (Why?), moderators don't verify runs based on watching them but instead on whims.
And what's worse is that moderators verify their own runs...what gives?
To clarify, why does verification exist if it serves no clear and present purpose?
That's still better than letting anyone be able to submit obvious fake times until they get removed. I don't expect that to happen here, but I've seen that happen on other leaderboards that had no verification.
What whims are you talking about? I'm not sure what exactly your grievances are.
I do agree with you that moderators shouldn't be verifying their own runs, but I am absolutely not okay with any run being submitted here without a verification step.
It's mainly to prevent spam
To be a bit more detailed:
I'm assuming that what you want is a higher standard for the verification process. I am not categorically against this, but can you provide some more detail about how you would change the process for how mods should verify runs?
I have long admitted that I don't spend all that much time verifying any individual run. I am willing to spend more time, but not orders of magnitude more time, like if we were required to watch VODs in their entirety, especially VODs of lesser quality runs.
An example of a run that I agree should probably have undergone more scrutiny was Aliens's recent offline 0:59, which contained a lot of lag and was verified only 1 minute after it was submitted. I am absolutely not accusing him of cheating, I'm only using this as an example.
As someone who moderates a lot of other games and also advocates for high verification standards, I'd like to chip in with my two cents.
The two specific issues that seem to be getting discussed here are self-verification, and time spent verifying a run. Both of these need addressing individually:
Self Verification: I agree with Jack that this is a generally poor practice that should be avoided when possible. I remember when this game was moderated purely by you, Skull, and in that case it would be perfectly reasonable for you to verify your own run should you submit one. There's no one else to do it, after all.
This is no longer the case, however, and this game now enjoys an extensive moderation team, which is great! What's not great though is how a lot of moderators are still verifying their own runs. There is no reason for this to be the status quo if there is an active team of moderators since as Jack correctly said, it undermines the verification process entirely. Humans in general are more prone to overlook their own errors and mistakes, and the point of verification is twofold; to ensure the legitimacy of a run, and to proofcheck mistakes in submissions.
The first point should not really be a problem. I would not expect moderators to knowingly and willfully submit illegitimate runs, as they ideally have demonstrated a degree of trustworthiness in the past to have earned their position in the first place. Holding that position does not make them immune from the second point though; the fact that they can still make mistakes in submission. Maybe they incorrectly entered a time value, or a version, or a date. If these details are not correct, and a second pair of eyes never looks at that submission, the problem should be plainly obvious. More than anything else though, I personally see self-verification as an indication that the submitter doesn't feel the need to be subject to the same standards as everyone else. I never self-verify in the games I run if there are other mods to verify my runs, because I don't think I should be able to skip the queue just because of my status. It's my job as a moderator not only to enforce the standards that I expect others to follow, but also to set a good example for people. It would be hypocritical for me to expect others to follow a code of conduct if I don't follow it myself.
TL;DR: Self-verification is in my opinion a bad habit which has no place in a game that has an actual team of moderators. Exceptions should be made for games with only one mod, and this game does not qualify.
Time Spent Verifying Runs: This one is somewhat trickier because there are many different interpretations for how stringently a run should be looked at. Although I agree with Jack on self-verification, I don't agree with him on this issue, specifically his point about runs being verified in under the length of time the run actually takes. This point implies that all runs should be watched in their entirety, and whilst this is certainly ideal, I don't think it's necessary. If this game were super-active, I do not believe it would be logistically possible for the mod team to watch every second of footage whilst watching for potential splices or other indications of cheating. I do not believe it compromises the integrity of a moderator to "skim over" a run instead, unless a run is WR. Those runs should be subjected to the highest level of scrutiny, but for the majority of runs submitted I am more than happy to do an 'integrity check', that is, make sure that the entire run is present with decent quality and that the submission details are correct, then make sure nothing is amiss by checking certain key areas in the run. This will vary from game-to-game, but the mods of this game will obviously have a better handle on what that would entail than I.
Those are just my opinions on the matter, but I hope everything I said makes sense and is relevant to this game.
I'm going to say this as a moderator of a different game (Twilight Princess), with runs a fair bit longer than the average Prime 1 run. I at least have always preferred to watch the run in its entirety, regardless of length, as only then can I be sure the run is legitimate. Not all of us are like that; some of us do not watch the entire run but skim through it. At the end of the day, though, as long as runs are being correctly verified or rejected how it is done is ultimately up to the moderator doing so, and if moderators disagree on the validity of a run, it should be discussed amoung them (possibly with the runner who submitted as well).
In regards to runs being verified in a timeframe that indicates the run was not fully watched, most video sites support playback at double speed, so keep that in mind - the run may have been watched through completely, but faster than innate speed. It does not automatically mean the run was not watched in its entirety.
^ Whilst that is true, I would also argue that watching a video at increased playback speed is not advisable if you're looking for signs of cheating.
Depends on circumstances. I don't know for Prime 1, but for TP, most of the video can be watched at double speed with little issues (slowing down to normal rate for some tricks).
I'm on board with mods not being allowed to verify their own runs. We can put that rule into effect immediately.
^ Yeah, Moderators can no longer see or edit the mod list. Not entirely sure if it's a site issue.
Final note: Said pastebin (linked above) was removed.