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Old 01-15-2004, 05:36 PM   #21
Jherlen
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Although I'm guilty of the same thing about to attack, I've realized Jazeula's point above about this thread getting hijacked. If you want to have a discussion about muds charging money, lets make another thread. This thread started off about an improper MUD review, and now it's totally off topic.
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Old 01-16-2004, 05:13 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fharron @ Jan. 15 2004,14:58)
I’ve always been confused by the statement ‘commercial but free’. At best it is a deceitful header akin to ‘we want to have our cake and eat it’. At worst it is paradoxical statement that does little but compound the logical ignorance of those that purport its value.
I invite you to check out one of the most popular online games ever to exist:

Neopets

They have over 60 million users.

Their web site, its games, and 100% of its features are free. It doesn't even have banner ads.

However, it is a commercial operation.

They make their money by selling merchandise (clothes, plushie toys, stickers, keychains, and tons more) based on the neopets. They also hire out their flash game programming services to large companies for whom they make "themed games" for the users to play.

For example, when Disney was coming out with the Lilo & Stitch movie, they hired Neopets to make (and run) a Lilo & Stitch themed flash game.

Users of Neopets could then play the game if they wanted to to earn neopoints (the currency of the game). Every single flash game on Neopets earns you neopoints, so there is nothing special about the themed games.

The point is that Neopets is a multi-million dollar enterpreise that is most certainly FREE *and* COMMERCIAL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fharron @ Jan. 15 2004,14:58)
Time and money are independent resources that have no direct bearing upon each other.
Er...... In what universe? Honestly, that is one of the most absurd statements I have read on these forums in months.

Time and money have a DIRECT bearing on each other. If you don't believe me, try hiring a lawyer or a plumber, for example.
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:27 PM   #23
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Threshold

Perhaps you would do better to spend your time actually reading posts rather than jumping to respond to them, for the puerile goals of points scoring and sophistic artistry.

Your Neopets example did little to clarify the issue or support the point you where trying to make. They do, as part of their operations, provide a service that is free for people to use, however this does not classify them as, or give them a claim to be, a charitable institution. I’m almost certain that if you looked at their tax returns and their corporate listing you would clearly see them singularly identified as a commercial operation, I don’t think free would be mentioned anywhere in such documentation – other than as a possible tax concession for running costs.

I sincerely doubt they would describe themselves as a free but commercial organization. They would, possibly, be more inclined to state something along the lines of ‘We are a commercial organization that provides free access points to enable the public to experience our product range’.

Traithes post was far more cohesive and worthy of reading. Indeed the problem of ascertaining the specific nature of the claim was why I used the at best and at worst outline for my comments. The inclusion of such a statement does little to clarify the nature of the game, but it could lead players into assuming that it is free from financial costs and financially induced impediments to the quality and fairness of game-play. Perhaps this is why some muds choose to place an emphasis on Free by placing it first and foremost in the statement, when it is obviously a secondary consideration in their operational mandate. It gives them the self-purported appearance of being free, and the draw that brings along with it, without identifying the specific nature of the game – it allows them to have their cake and eat it.

In respect to your time/money comment, I stated that time and money have no bearing upon each other and then identified the context of this bearing in terms of being able to cancel each other out. One would naturally expect that the accompanying example would have been enough to identify the train of thought supporting my argument.

In the context stated time and money do not have a direct bearing and in my universe, the one of common sense, there is nothing absurd about such a statement. Time and money are separate resource categories and the identifiable spheres of influence surrounding them do not have a common grounding, despite the falsehood that the social and economic structures of mankind might wish to lead people to believe.

At best there is a trivial association between the two in response to transactions, and in no way does this minor association wholly support the declaration that such separate resources are mutually interchangeable. If that was the case then not only could you employ a lawyer and plumber with your money you could also buy back your childhood, or the time you spent writing your misinformed response.
 
The overall thrust behind my argument was that introducing money does not alleviate the discrepancies arising from the amount of time people can spend playing a game. Furthermore, the introduction of money reduces game balance by bringing into, and subjecting the game and all its players, to RL situational differences. The inclusion of these external differences makes a mockery of any attempt at game balance.  

It has been stated that this is a valid model, I think by Atreyu, and perhaps it is. Providing the goal is to appease players with little time, money to spend, and the value of consistent, fair, and challenging game-play is a secondary concern of the game owners.

Then again I could be wholly wrong and such a system could be the holy grail of gaming operations. Being that I have little time available to train and some spare cash to spend perhaps I should approach the Olympic Committee, with the purpose of entering the upcoming Olympic Games. I could, with the widespread acceptance of such a fair system, buy myself a 90m head start in the 100m or a few thousand points in the decathlon. I’m sure my fellow athletes would support such a move and in the spirit of fair play the committee would do likewise.
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Old 01-16-2004, 11:03 PM   #24
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Ya know, I tried being polite, and I tried being humorous. Neither worked. So now I'll be abrupt and in your face:

TAKE YOUR DISCUSSION SOMEWHERE ELSE. IT DOES NOT BELONG IN THIS THREAD, WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE DIRECTED TOWARD PEOPLE WHO INSIST ON REVIEWING GAMES THAT DON'T ALLOW REVIEWS ON THIS WEBSITE.

Now shoo! Get lost, go away.
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Old 01-17-2004, 12:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
The inclusion of such a statement does little to clarify the nature of the game, but it could lead players into assuming that it is free from financial costs and financially induced impediments to the quality and fairness of game-play.
Huh?  It couldn't be any more clear.  Anyone with even the most tenuous grasp on reality is going to know the money has to come from somewhere.  And even the most feeble-minded of these should be able to quickly deduce that there is probably some sort of pay-for-premium-access, pay-for-extras, and/or pay-for-reduced-time-expenditures scheme involved.  If they choose to play such a game on the cheap, they should, if they have any sense at all, be fully aware that their fellow players who are coughing up the cash probably have some extra game content or alternative avenues for advancement available to them.  That all seems quite fair to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I should approach the Olympic Committee, with the purpose of entering the upcoming Olympic Games. I could, with the widespread acceptance of such a fair system, buy myself a 90m head start in the 100m or a few thousand points in the decathlon. I’m sure my fellow athletes would support such a move and in the spirit of fair play the committee would do likewise.
Interestingly enough, in games like Achaea and Threshold (which has a different model, but which does provide more goodies for higher character registration levels), this is effectively what the paying player's "fellow athletes" have done.  Granted, in both of these cases I think it is quite easy to demonstrate that the head start is nowhere near the 90m mark.  But the fact that non-paying or low-paying players continue to support both of these games suggests that many of them probably do not accept your assertion that "consistent, fair, and challenging game-play is a secondary concern of the game owners."

Now, to bring things back on topic:  yeah, people who insist on reviewing games that don't allow reviews on this website are bad and should be spanked.  Or something.
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Old 01-17-2004, 03:25 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fharron @ Jan. 16 2004,21:27)
Threshold

Perhaps you would do better to spend your time actually reading posts rather than jumping to respond to them, for the puerile goals of points scoring and sophistic artistry.
Please take your own advice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fharron @ Jan. 16 2004,21:27)
I sincerely doubt they would describe themselves as a free but commercial organization.
From the front page of http://www.neopets.com/

Quote:
Originally Posted by
http://www.neopets.com/

Best of all, it's completely FREE!

At the bottom of the same page:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
http://www.neopets.com/

NEOPETS, characters, logos, names and all related indicia are trademarks of Neopets, Inc., © 1999-2004. All rights reserve. Privacy Policy | Safety Tips | Contact Us | About Us | Press Kit Use of this site signifies your acceptance of the Terms and Conditions
See the Neopets, Inc. part?

Sounds like free and commercial describes Neopets perfectly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fharron @ Jan. 16 2004,21:27)
Your Neopets example did little to clarify the issue or support the point you where trying to make. They do, as part of their operations, provide a service that is free for people to use, however this does not classify them as, or give them a claim to be, a charitable institution. I’m almost certain that if you looked at their tax returns and their corporate listing you would clearly see them singularly identified as a commercial operation, I don’t think free would be mentioned anywhere in such documentation – other than as a possible tax concession for running costs.
You took issue with the supposed contradiction of a game calling itself free but commercial. Neither you nor the games you are attacking said anything about "charitable organizations." Now you're just floundering and flailing about, desperately looking for a safety line to pull yourself free of this quagmire you're immersed in.

Furthermore, many events, services, etc. run by or provided by charitable organizations are not even free. So regardless of the fact that you pulled this "charitable organizations" malarkey straight out of your pucker, you're still wrong.

You have tried to change the terms and argue against a straw man, but even the straw man pounds you into a pulp.

Honestly, every time your fingers touch the keyboard, stupidity gushes forth. Now would be a good time for you to make a new handle. You've sullied this one beyond repair.

Quit while you're behind.



Jazuela: Relax. It's called topic drift (And for topic drift, this is mild. It is still reasonably connected to the original post). Accept it or don't waste your time with usenet or web forums.
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Old 01-17-2004, 11:24 AM   #27
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If you read my prior posts you will plainly see that I did not take issue solely with a proposed contradiction, it was merely one of two benchmarks of possibility I used within my posts. Perhaps you need it repeating once more, my issue is with the ambiguity surrounding the statement ‘free but commercial’ and it’s corresponding worth.

Along with the secondary point that introducing money into a game does not counteract the imbalance of available time, but it does further destroying game balance.

I’m quite happy with my position and my defense of it, regardless of your juvenile attempt at character assassination. Rather than feeling sullied I’m more than comfortable sitting on the shore watching you drown in the murky waters of your own argumentative ineptitude.

In my posts I’ve attempted to be clear and concise in the portrayal of my thoughts, with concessions made and hat tipping when subsequent responses deserved such graces. This seems to convey a more commendable appearance in my view than the one generated by some of the responses that have been posted. Such responses being little more than piecemeal pot shots and pipe dreams, with one instance being nothing more than unwarranted abuse.

The area of contemplation, which you chose to specifically take issue with, was how they would describe themselves in their corporate documentation, documentation that is subject to legal scrutiny and the necessity of stringent clarity. I did not attempt to make the case that commercial organizations where attempting to pass themselves of as registered charities, merely that they could not. They may well say that they offer free services on their website but this has little to do with how they define their company in their legal documentation.

I then proceeded to postulate that they wouldn’t describe themselves as free but commercial, specifically including the words doubt and possible to HIGHLIGHT that this was an assumption. Obviously this assumption was false, since you pointed out that they do, but I don’t actually recall pointing to it as a statement of truth.

However, this does not add any weight to your argument. It simply points to the fact that other large companies employ the same ambiguity in detailing their services. Referencing such users does not constitute a viable counter-argument, being that they are tenuous in their value, groundless ‘appeals to authority’. It is a form of argumentation that is only marginally more substantial than the straw man form.

Because x is large or successful and x does y then y is justifiable.

If I had attempted to follow the line of reasoning you have invented for me then I may well have been guilty of introducing a secondary straw argument. The only reason you choose to address this mute point is simply because you could provide nothing of further relevance to say on the matter. Aha he used the word charity I can pick up on that and make it the focus of my response. I can develop two straw arguments from that and use them.

Argument – free but commercial is ambiguous and potentially misleading

Piecemeal Rip - He mentioned charity in a sentence.

His argument is now - commercial organizations are claiming to be charitable institutions

Logical retort - Neopets isn’t a charity, it offers free portals to experience its product range and it is commercial

Outcome – his entire argument is false

This is further supported by your second inference

Argument – free but commercial is ambiguous and potentially misleading

Condition X - Some charities partake in transactions of a financial nature

Condition Y - Charities are commercial organisations

Condition Z – There is no distinction between charities and commercial organisations

Outcome – there is no ambiguity because charities and commercial organizations are one in the same

If we are talking straw then your own reasoning in this matter, and in previous matters, contains enough straw to thatch a Devon village, with enough left over to weave the back and seat your own little retirement rocker. To be honest I’m actually quite flattered by all the responses, messages, and attention devoted to a relatively minor observation. I almost feel part of an instrumental being orchestrated from afar. If I was of a more cynical bent I might even give a name to the piece, perhaps something along the lines of ‘The Lackeys of the Logos’.

On a seperate note, while i do not condone the ambiguity of the 'free but commercial' statement' I do think it is more commendable than blatantly hiding references to the commercial aspects of a game - which is certainly the case with Thresholds chosen approach, even the website has little to draw attention to the registration aspect of the game.
 

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Old 01-17-2004, 12:16 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atyreus,Jan. 17 2004,00[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]0]
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I should approach the Olympic Committee, with the purpose of entering the upcoming Olympic Games. I could, with the widespread acceptance of such a fair system, buy myself a 90m head start in the 100m or a few thousand points in the decathlon. I’m sure my fellow athletes would support such a move and in the spirit of fair play the committee would do likewise.

I have been reading these type of posts all over the place and time and time again I have held my peace. The fact people repeat this type of thing again and again has annoyed me into action.

Saying that the purchase of equipment in Achaea or similiar places gives a huge advantage over those who can't purchase them is similiar to saying people who can afford better running shoes will win a foot race. If the ability to sink money into were a measure of success, you would expect more people from the US to win the NYC Marathon - the top 3 in men and top 2 in women's division this year were from Kenya

Similar to the Kenyans, success in places like Achaea is a result of investing time and thought into developing your skills and tactics. Certainly being able to program your client with macros and triggers is a larger determinant of success in Achaea than money is.

Now I will certainly agree that at a certain point, purchasing enough favors makes you nigh invulnerable on Achaea, but there are few people who can afford that and they are expert combatants already. (They would just die more often if not for their enhancing items.)

Of the 400+ people logged on to Achaea at any one time, I would conservatively estimate that  200 people have purchased at least one enhancing artifact or additional lessons with OOC cash. (I am sure the number is closer to 300) Added to them are about 25-50 people who have spent alot of time playing the game, accumulated in game coins and used them to purchase enhancing artifacts and lessons.

Of the 400 people logged on, 200 of which have OOC purchased advantages and 50 of which have IC purchased ones, two would be considered "artifact whores"--people whose large number of purchased artifacts make them an incredibly difficult opponent to kill.  Certainly there will be people with artifacts who are hard to beat because of them, but who see death quite frequently for various reasons (being cocky about their ability to beat others by grace of their artifacts among those reasons.) Two people out of 400 doesn't seem like a large enough ratio to support an assertion that Achaea's system creates a class of privileged and powerful haves and cowering masses of have nots.

There are quite a number of tales of people in Achaea who were superb fighters with normal weapons and far from ultimate skills. They took what they knew and exploited every advantage they could conceive of from those skills.

I think in the absence of the type of combat system Achaea possess (for example one in which you type kill X and sit back and watch combat play out) then certainly the person who purchased the weapon with better stats and ring of accelerated healing would win more often and the game would be grossly unbalanced in favor of those with money. But that isn't the case with games like Achaea.

Just as a disclaimer--while I have played Achaea, I stopped a number of months ago because I grew to prefer a more RPI setting. I have no vested interest at this point in saying nice things about the game.
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Old 01-17-2004, 08:10 PM   #29
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Before I dive in, I would like to first admit and apologize for not actually reading all of Fharron's posts. I skimmed, so I probably lost some of the important information that would have made his point. Fharron: brevity is a byword for success around here. Verbosity gets you labeled a troll or a ranter.

This debate comes up about every month or so, and people from all sides start getting heated up for a lengthy debate...and although stances are starting to change and people are starting to believe more in the system Achaea has set up..

Why are we treating the MUDding community like something other than an evolutionary largely capitalist system? If Achaea ends up having a large player base, we should be studying it and attempting to find its strong, or attractive points, in hopes of mimicking (sp) them in our own games. Mimicry is the highest form of flattery, you know.

Jazuela, sorry but I have no factual knowledge on rejecting all player reviews. I personally think it's a good idea; soljax is only a symptom of the much larger issue with reviews, namely that all reviews are written by a person who has grown into someone other than me, and will react differently to different situations and structures than I would. English is a good language for accuracy, but it does fail in player reviews and other situations of high emotion, when words are used improperly and misinterpreted. And that's the best case scenario, not even taking into account how many reviews are wrong or lies. Quite unfortunate.

-Visko
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Old 01-17-2004, 08:39 PM   #30
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visko, I'm not sure what your paragraph directed toward me is about. It doesn't address any of my posts in this thread. In fact, I only created the thread because the guy who posted his review had no e-mail address for me to send a private message and I have no idea who he is here in the forum, if anyone.

In case you're confused (and I believe you very well may be, based on your response)...the point of the thread was merely to remind the reviewer (and all reviewers) that this website allows mud admins to choose whether or not they allow reviews, and that decision should be honored. Further, that posting a review in a game OTHER than the one you are reviewing, simply to get your review to appear *somewhere* reeks of major snertishness and is deplorable behavior.
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