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Old 09-25-2002, 01:23 PM   #21
Molly
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I wouldn't want anyone coming to my game and having debates on public boards about how I should run it - how presumptuous is that?
What's the problem with a free debate? This is a Discussion Forum, right, so why wouldn't we discuss things? Should certain topics be banned from the Forum? And who's to say which topics are allowed and which aren't?

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If you have legitimate concerns and suggestions, rather than posturing in a public debate, why not just e-mail Synozeer? I've always found him to be quite responsive. If he likes ideas, he'll implement them. If he doesn't, he won't. It's that simple. But, were I him, I'd be getting plenty aggravated right now at the gnashing of teeth going on from game operators who are carrying on about the diminished value of their free advertising when they could boost their visibility by purchasing banner ads.
Actually I think an open discussion is good, much better than e-mailing. It shows if the general opinion is leaning in one direction or another. It also provides some input to ideas tossed out by one person, that you wouldn't get in an e-mail dialogue.

Also, I think Synozeer is mature enough to handle the discussion in the same spirit that it began, as a suggestion to how the boards could possibly be improved. (And if I were him, I'd much prefer the open debate to being spammed by e-mails. But then again, I am not him. Nor are you, Brody. So let's not make assumptions about what he thinks, when the only assumption we really CAN make is how we would prefer to handle the situation ourselves).

As to the topic of the discussion, I am all for showing which muds are pay-to-play in the list - or better still make two different lists, one for free muds and one for commercial ones. After all, this IS the big dividing line between muds, (for better and for worse).

The pay-to-play muds have a big advantage when it comes to advertising, since they actually make money on their game. I, (and lots of other implementors of 'free' muds), put a lot of unpaid work into the mud, because it is a hobby and we love creating a world and see it grow and interact with players. But I draw the line at paying for banners, I just don't have that kind of funds.

Adding this type of info to the list would add a very valuable information for most players, while at the same time helping the free muds to even out that difference, at least to a minor extent. And regardless of what someone stated further down in the thread, it is not always obvious that a mud is pay-to-play immediately when you log on. In fact, many of the pay-to-play muds, especially those that offer 'donation equipment', use very devious tactics to snare new players. Far from giving clear and simple information about it on the log-in screen, they offer a free 'trial period', up to level 20 or so, in the hope of the new player getting hooked before then. There are also those that CLAIM to be 'no charge', but where your chances of advancing are very limited, unless you pay or 'donate' to get the extra features, like certain commands or pieces of good equipment.

For most of the commercial muds money and large player numbers are the big issues, the more players they can get, the more money gets into the pockets of the owner. Which perhaps explains, if not excuses, some of the slightly shady business policies you occasionally encounter.

And speaking about that, I also find it slightly disgusting that some mud owners apparently are prepared to stoop to any depths to inflate the votes for their mud, (as is currently being discussed in another endless thread). It may not be illegal, it may not be breaking the rules of the List, but I think most posters would agree that it is morally and ethically dubious. If people are prepared to tamper with ip addresses to be able to multiple vote, or to hassle or bribe their players to vote, that's just cheesy. One would think most potential players should be able to draw their own conclusions from it, but apparently that isn't so. Maybe the world wants to be ripped off?
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Old 09-25-2002, 01:34 PM   #22
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There already is a marker to distinguish pay-to-play games from free games. It's right there in the "info" of each game on the mudlist. Just click on that, go down around half-way to where it lists "features" and voila - you can see without linking to the game's website, right on the good ole TMS info link, that it's a pay-to-play.

If it says free, and you link to the game's site and it turns out not to be free, then you send a snappy e-mail to Synozeer letting him know the information on his listing info is incorrect, and he'll likely thank you, and then contact the game's admin to make sure it's corrected.

If it doesn't specify, and it turns out to be a pay-to-play, then maybe Synozeer would consider requiring pay-to-play games to include that in the info link. But that's his option and not ours. I also find it a little (just a little, honest! presumptuous of Seraphina, who said

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I think it is better to try to help Synozeer build on a strong foundation than it is to try to copy what he is doing with different twists.
It's presumptuous, because you're presuming that Synozeer wants us to help him - do anything. This is his website, and he does a damned good job with it. If he wants our help, he'd certainly ask for it. He's a big boy, and I, for one, would not presume otherwise. It isn't our place to help him with anything. It's our place to enjoy what he's provided, or not enjoy it. He has asked for our opinions on things in the past, and no doubt if he feels the boards might need specific changes, he'll ask us for them again.

While feedback and commentary about TMS is a wonderful way for Synozeer to see "how he's doing," it should not be construed as our trying to "help him" do something that he already does, and quite nicely. I know I for one would be rather insulted if my mother came to visit and decided she needed to "help me" make dinner without my asking for help first. I'm a good cook, and she's my guest, and until and unless I ask for help, she can damned well sit at the table and talk with me while I prepare her meal, or she can rent a kitchen somewhere and make her own supper.
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Old 09-25-2002, 01:54 PM   #23
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Disclaimer: I am not trying to tell anyone what to do.

Yes, Adam makes money of this site and it is his site to do with as he pleases.  At the same time, he makes money by providing a valuable service to, in essence, the consumers of the product he provides.  As such, it seems quite appropriate that the consumers be able to offer feedback in a public forum about what they would like to see in the product to which they subscribe.  Moreover, I would think that, as the administrator of this forum, he would not only be interested in, but appreciate, the willingness of people to express how they feel the site can be changed for the better - whether he agrees with them or not.

In my own opinion, I think there is no need for two separate lists.  I have no problem competing against the p2p muds.  I just think it appropriate they be designated as such.

Finally, it seems that most of the opposition to incorporating a $ sign on the rankings list comes from the p2p muds.  If the product is as good as you say it is because you have better resources and offer a better product - supposedly proven by the fact that people pay to play when there are free muds available - then why are you so opposed to the sign?  Are you so afraid you'll lose business?  If people can find out on the info that you are p2p, why not let them find out immediately.  Why must they scan through 20 muds to find out which ones are p2p and which ones are free?  Why not let them find out immediately?

Muds are so anxious to provide information in their abstract on the rankings list about being the #1 mud in the world, or being the oldest, or the biggest, or the number of players online.  You don't make people go to the info page to find that information out!  Why should they, then, have to do so to find out about the fact some charge over $30/month to get the full benefits?
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Old 09-25-2002, 02:59 PM   #24
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Muds are so anxious to provide information in their abstract on the rankings list about being the #1 mud in the world, or being the oldest, or the biggest, or the number of players online. You don't make people go to the info page to find that information out! Why should they, then, have to do so to find out about the fact some charge over $30/month to get the full benefits?
MUDs aren't required in their abstract to post the average number of players online, or whether they are RP enforced, playerkill restricted, or are capable of handling ANSI colors, or anything else for that matter. Most will just post whatever they think will attract someone to take a closer look. Any reasonably smart person is going to click the info button and make sure the MUD has at least some of the features they are looking for before they check that MUD out. At the same time, there is nothing keeping free MUDs from noting this in the information that appears in the abstract (and some already do). Pressing the info button based on four or five lines of hard sell only to find that a MUD is pay-to-play is hardly an imposition.

Some of it, I guess, is just a matter of priorities. For some people, whether or not a MUD charges to play might be important. But for others it won't be. I'm far more interested in whether a MUD is RP enforced, allows playerkilling, and saves equipment at logoff than I am in whether they charge money to play. It would get pretty cumbersome to create a whole system of silly little icons for all of us who just can't wait for the info page to load to see if MySuckMUD has the features we want or not.
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Old 09-25-2002, 03:01 PM   #25
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Molly O'Hara says:
What's the problem with a free debate? This is a Discussion Forum, right, so why wouldn't we discuss things? Should certain topics be banned from the Forum? And who's to say which topics are allowed and which aren't?
Yikes! I never said "Hey, Synozeer should lock this thread and shut down the entire line of discussion." I never said certain topics should be taboo or forbidden.

I said, in essence, that on topics like this, I think it's better to make such suggestions in a low-key fashion, rather than turning it into a matter of public debate. Because, around here these days, debates tend to turn into unproductive flame wars. This entire discussion thread - and one other perpetual thread - all focus on the perceived evils of pay-to-play versus free-to-play games. It all comes down to the free-to-play games trying to claim a piece of turf that the pay-to-play games are now infringing upon. Look at it objectively, folks: We're getting bent out of shape because the commercial dogs are running loose on in the streets.

But the problem with this so-called "debate" is that the good suggestions will ultimately get lost in the white noise generated by the flamers. Just look at what happened in the other thread. Eventually, because it turned into a bone for everybody in the pound to chew on, the entire *point* of it got lost.

If you handle it low-key, via private message or email to Synozeer, then your suggestion gets to him without having a lot of flaming baggage attached.

I've actually seen Synozeer take suggestions from people and post the topics as discussion items himself. He also gives credit where credit is due. When he wants suggestions for change, he asks for them. If the site works for him as-is, so be it. It's not up to you, me, or anyone else to try and change his mind.
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Old 09-25-2002, 03:17 PM   #26
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I don't think it is appropriate to to compare this thread with the other. It seems quite clear that people are attempting to engage in a reasonable, though disagreeble, discussion regarding this matter. In fact, this appears to be the reason this thread was started - to engage in a real debate as opposed to getting lost in the flame war.

To propose that no suggestions be brought up simply because they might turn into a flame war is to support the proposition that NO threads should ever be started because they might end up in a flame war.

I think my previous post explained quite well why these debates should take place on an open forum.
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Old 09-25-2002, 03:27 PM   #27
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I prefer open discussion to email because through discussion others can point out factors I had not thought of that either support implementation or indicate why it wouldn't work out. This section is entited "bugs and suggestions" so it seems as though public suggestions are welcome.

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Finally, it seems that most of the opposition to incorporating a $ sign on the rankings list comes from the p2p muds. If the product is as good as you say it is because you have better resources and offer a better product - supposedly proven by the fact that people pay to play when there are free muds available - then why are you so opposed to the sign? Are you so afraid you'll lose business? If people can find out on the info that you are p2p, why not let them find out immediately. Why must they scan through 20 muds to find out which ones are p2p and which ones are free? Why not let them find out immediately?
I am not sure who is or isn't opposed to a sign. I am a player at a p2p mud. I don't think p2p muds are necessarily "better" in an inherent sort of way. They have both strengths and weaknesses. I was reading a thread on how many players online people prefer. The numbers are so low that most players in DR would consider it a problem but perhaps that is because our world is so enormous. 100 characters would maybe be enough to loosely populate the main entry city. We are more accustomed to complaining about under-populated areas, in a game that regularly has 1000 players on line.

On the other hand the smaller muds have greater control over the world in the sense of greater gm participation. Not being a business enterprise also allows for higher requirements for membership and a more controlled membership. The creator can more easily impose stricter roleplaying guidelines. Individual players are more able to make an impact in smaller games. Business muds can invest more resources in creating more advanced combat and experience systems. They are better able to support a wider variety of player styles as like-minded players gravitate to one another.

I don't see the two gendres as really being in direct competion. Some players might like both gendres others may strongly prefer one over the other.

I know that p2p in any form is a hot topic and that paying to play and particularly paying for ingame advantages contravenes traditional roleplaying ideals. I don't believe anything about paying is inherently immoral or unfair but I do believe that potential players should know up front how payment affects their in game status.

I don't know if the reference to having to pay 30$ was directed at Dragonrealms or GemstoneIII but both do have higher priced alternatives. I want to underline that in these cases basic membership covers everything needed to advance to the highest levels available. I played on a basic account for five years and my character's advancement was never hindered by not purchasing extras.

Of course extra cost items have to hold some appeal or no one would choose them however the basic game is so huge and offers so many different alternatives there is no "need" to buy into more.

I have heard that in some p2p games rather than a "trial membership" they offer full membership free, but then require players to buy in order to advance beyond X level or obtain special items that heavily impact a character's ability to function. Personally I don't like that kind of system at all. Other games are completely free. I do think those games are better able to set strict standards for participation.

I agree with the poster that this is key information for people looking to explore a variety of muds. I absolutely love Dragonrealms and encourage anyone interested in muds to check it out even if they don't intend on playing it longterm just to see what kind of game it is. It is a different kind of gaming experience. That is why I feel that it would be helpful to add a small designator differenciating between free games and games with some form of charging. Because they are different styles of RPGs, not because one approach is inherently better than another in a global sense.
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Old 09-25-2002, 05:18 PM   #28
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It's presumptuous, because you're presuming that Synozeer wants us to help him - do anything. This is his website, and he does a damned good job with it. If he wants our help, he'd certainly ask for it. He's a big boy, and I, for one, would not presume otherwise. It isn't our place to help him with anything. It's our place to enjoy what he's provided, or not enjoy it. He has asked for our opinions on things in the past, and no doubt if he feels the boards might need specific changes, he'll ask us for them again.
Jazuela, this discussion area is entitled "Bugs and SUGGESTIONS" which led me to believe this is the place to make and discuss suggestions. I am not therefore being presumptuous or stepping out of place. It has nothing to do with whether or not Synozeer is "a big boy". I certainly mean no disrespect to him in discussing the issues that have come up. I am sure you mean well but these are the kinds of comments that generate flame posts. That is, expressing opinions about the posters or their right to comment rather than sticking to the subject at hand.
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Old 09-26-2002, 02:56 AM   #29
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Hello, I’m fairly new to the TMS forums and I when I read this particular topic I was pleasantly surprised.  I was going to suggest something along the lines of some of the previous posters.  What I was thinking was to add a new field to the each muds information.  Along with the fields such as “Codebase”, “Category”, “Theme”, etc..  add “Commercial”.  This would distinguish which games are a ‘pay to play’ and which are ‘free’.  To do this the corresponding field for each mud would either put a YES or a NO depending.  A YES would indicate that that game either required a subscription that was needed, or in some way offered some kind of benefit for players that paid them a fee.  A NO would indicate that they game was completely free of charge and that all players were treated the same (in the sense that nobody was given a purchased bonus).

I realize that it does not put to ease the concerns of previous posters as to alert people browsing the initial rankings page, but what this would do is inform any visitor about the particular game that they are looking at (IE: when they select that game’s information icon).  It would give a straight forward yes -or- no.  A potential player would know up front what to expect and could inquire further as to what is involved.  

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-26-2002, 06:13 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by (Seraphina @ Sep. 25 2002,12:37 pm)
I would like to see a small indicator letting me know which games charge (be it for extras or for the core game) at first glance rather than having to visit each game to check.   The most popular game that is competely free works within more limited resources.  It's not fair to judge them against a p2p game and it seems likely that they will attract a different population.

It's significant information for those looking to try out new games.   For example, my daughter (13) doesn't play yet and I would like to introduce her to rping.  She is very busy with school and other activities and I can't afford to pay for a second account for her to develop a character on.  I would want to try some of the free muds myself to see what they are like.  
I agree that information about potential MUDs to play is a good thing, but there's no reason to prefer listing pay-to-play vs. free than there is to prefer PK vs. non-PK. You can classify a MUD by an almost infinite number of categories, and I just don't see a reason to place more importance on whether you pay or not than whether or not it's a stock code-base. Personally, as I'm willing to pay for MUDs, I'd much rather see a sign for stock vs. custom. Whether it's free or costs money is irrelevant to me. I just want to play MUDs with original systems and content. To other people, paying vs. free is important. To still others, Pk vs. no-PK is important.

My point is just that you can draw a line between MUDs wherever you want, and any of them are just as valid as free vs. pay, so why treat that distinction as something special?

--matt
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Old 09-26-2002, 07:27 AM   #31
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Seraphina said:
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Other games are completely free.
I would just like to point out that no, they aren't (unless by some odd chance they are on a free site).  The admin pay for the MUDs to be up in general, and are not supported by the players in non-P2P games.  I'm not flaming you, just something that bugged me.  
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