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Old 08-31-2003, 09:45 AM   #41
Molly
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Hephos:
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Value is based on demand and availability...

And you disagree with this Molly?
Value is also based on merit and quality.

You disagree with this, Hephos?
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Old 08-31-2003, 09:52 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Aug. 31 2003,09:45)
Hephos:
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Originally Posted by
Value is based on demand and availability...

And you disagree with this Molly?
Value is also based on merit and quality.

You disagree with this, Hephos?
Of course not.

But now we were comparing two people with same merit and same quality, just in different proffessions. Where one of them is from a proffession where there is much more demand and a lot less people available.
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Old 08-31-2003, 05:25 PM   #43
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Oh well…
I figure we could hash this back and forth for weeks, without ever agreeing on anything, except for the fact that we disagree.

But I am not about to do that. I’ve made my points of view clear, and I am not about to repeat them ad nauseam.
So. I propose that we instead discuss the topic that the_logos, brought into this discussion, the one about the paedophile on his mud.

Now, I’ll admit that my instinctive gut reaction to this was to ignore the subject, since I suspected that he brought the incident up mainly to divert our intention from the original subject of this thread – namely Builders’ right.

But then I read his post again.

And, if his intention really was to divert the attention – well, he succeeded, at least as far as I am concerned. Compared to the scenario he paints, ‘Builders’ Rights’ suddenly seems rather petty.

I mean, take a closer look at what the guy actually is saying:

Here is a Mud, and not a small stock Mud run by some immature teenager either. It’s one of the big, commercial Muds, in fact the one that tops the voting list of this site, and that he himself likes to refer to as ‘the # 1 Mud on the net’.

Now, this owner of this big, commercial Mud, with hundreds of players, discovers that one of his top staff members is a sicko, who likes to ‘play with himself’ in front of a web camera before an audience of some of the Mud’s players, some of which by his own admission are minors. Apparently there is some hard evidence about it too, judging from the details he provided. So what does he do about the situation?

Does he report the pervert to the Police or the Net Abuse authorities? Judging from his own story - no he doesn’t.

Does he warn his players about the pervert (considering that the latter most likely already has established a network, has access to players’ e-mail addresses, etc)? Again, judging again from his own story – no he doesn’t.

His only action, as it seems, is to remove the pervert from his imm position, while – again by his own admission – trying to be ‘nice and letting him have his old mortal back to log in with now and then’. Leaving him free to hunt down some more prey to his sick game. Not until some of the players protest, because they are feeling ‘uncomfortable to have him around’ does he finally kick this sicko out of his game.

And that is not all. From what it sounds like, he is expecting applauds from the audience – us – for the way he is handling the situation too. Just look at the way he is taunting me: ‘Perhaps you would have kept him on but I sure hope not.’

So, who was he trying to be ‘nice’ to here? His players, the paedophile, or his own wallet?

Again, this is a person who frequently stresses how  ‘professional’ his operation is run. In Swedish there is another meaning of the word ‘professional’, but let’s not get into this now.

Maybe this is a knee-jerk reflex on my part, but considering the details of his story, I believe my reflex is understandable. Paedophilia is something I really hate profoundly.
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Old 09-03-2003, 04:53 AM   #44
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You hope that is why. I wish I could remember where I read the survey, but about 3-4 years ago a study was done within Fortune 500 companies, and it was found that "Benefits" was the #1 reason why disgruntled employees stuck around a job they didn't really like.
Indeed, but being your average Fortune 500 company employee is a miserable soul-sucking job. Being a builder on Achaea generally (but not always) involves getting to roleplay one of a handful of Gods. I mean, it's fun! No required hours, no forms to fill out, etc.

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As for the horrific situation you described the_logos, I don't think that has anything to do with the discussion up until then. The discussion was more about disgruntled builders and situations that could possibly be handled or discussed. Because, in a situation like that, I would think you would want to remove his/her areas since just seeing the name of the person could invoke further problems/harm.
I'm not sure how disgruntled builders can cause problems for a decently-run mud. Any trouble they can cause is easily protected against. I also don't really see why one would disrupt one's world by removing an area from it. Imagine Wisconsin suddenly disappearing from the US. Highly distrubing to nearby residents no doubt! I suppose it's understandable if you're running a non-coherent world, but if you've got a world that's attempting some sort of conceptual coherence then removing an area is just not an option this side of a major roleplaying event.

From my point of view as a mud player too (not that I claim my player POV represents anyone but me), I wouldn't like to see treasured areas removed.

--matt

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Old 09-03-2003, 02:29 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Aug. 31 2003,17:25)
Oh well…
I figure we could hash this back and forth for weeks, without ever agreeing on anything, except for the fact that we disagree.
You're free to disagree. I'm not really giving you an opinion though. I'm just pointing out what the reality of the situation is, and the reality is that coders get paid more than writers because they are worth more to the people doing the paying. I'm sorry if that doesn't sit well with you but it's your hangup, not mine.

The rest of your post isn't going to be dignified with a public response.

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Old 09-27-2003, 12:03 PM   #46
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Some of this discussion parallels the old war between yui and angelbob about which is better, c or c++...

Yui took the position that 50 mediocre programmers working on the same project in C++ (which is apparently easier to learn and use...) would, given similar work days, produce a lot more viable code than 1 brilliant C++ or C programmer working equivalent hours (to one of the mediocre programmers, assumedly).

The parallel is builders v. coders for MUDs.  Now, my friends and I have always made a distinction with regards to coding: patch monkeys, and generally people who add in the freely distributedcode of others, add color options to their channels, and then use specslay or other kid-toys to increase the "variety of their imm powers" don't count as coders.  They just dont.

That being said, there aren't a whole lot of coders out there.  I'm not going to get into the argument of who is more/less motivated on average, builders or coders; for now lets assume that the interest and motivation is similar enough not to be discussed.

If I hire 20 13-year-olds, set them on a separate port, give them a few nifty toys on the main site with their mortals, and tell them to go build, chances are I'll have 10-20 crappy but workable areas in the same time as I would have had 1 really good area from 1 really good builder who I managed to coerce into building for me.  Possibly less time; crappy areas don't exactly take months to kick out.

I take those 20 areas, rotate the builders, let them all play with each others' areas and tell them that they all get "in-game benefits" from making the areas acceptable for the pbase....

And in a slightly longer period of time than it takes a good builder to create 1 or 2 areas, I have 20 usable ones.

I'm not a fan of quantity over quality normally.  But in a situation where it's obvious that you can mass-produce mediocrity and approximate good work, why not?  (I wouldn't PAY for it most likely, but I'd figure out something the builders consider worthwhile.)  Hephos is just working a numbers game at the moment; grab 2000 builders, get 1 in 200 areas usable for your MUD, and you have 10 new areas lickety split.  Plus, other areas from the pool that seem to have potential can get emails back to their creators saying keep up the good work, and you will eventually get money too.

I wouldn't do it.  I'm not sure I'm completely opposed to it though; especially for a commercial enterprise, it sounds like a smart way of doing things.  The NDA and retention of copyright needs to be played with more, from what I've seen, but the rest of the idea is fine.

Besides.  Hephos's "ethical ambiguities" strike me as relatively minor when compared with current major businesses we're reading about in the news lately.

-Visko

Quick edit:

P.S. Crappy coders crash things, and unless you're INCREDIBLY lucky and have free unlimited hosting, or a nice fat checkbook, you probably don't have a separate development port (although you should, all of you out there.) Much more painful things happen when you crash MUDs as opposed to just putting in a bunch of idiotic areas with typos.
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Old 09-27-2003, 07:03 PM   #47
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Logos,

‘I'm just pointing out the reality of the situation, and the reality is that programmers get paid more than writers do because they are worth more to the people paying their respective services.’

The reality of the current situation, regarding the payment offered to builders and programmers, is irrelevant to the stance you are taking. One could easily say that men are still paid more in the workplace and that employers paying for their services are justified in doing so, based upon traditionally supported and conventionally accepted salary calculations.

The reality of the current salary climate may be that male employees are allocated higher monetary awards and in some cases esteem than their female counterparts. However, this does not necessarily support the illogical deduction that one of them is of greater value to an organisation than the other party. It is organisations that think in this limited manner that are frequently suprised when their vital employess hand in their resignations, after being head-hunted by a more astute company.

If we wish to employ a broader-based comparison with another field of construction why not refer to the reality of house building. A MUD is after all a collection of built areas and components for the use and amusement of people. And in this appeal to reality, who is paid the highest salary in the development of a house, the constructor of the house’s shell (the programmer), the interior designer that furnishes the house (the builder), or the architect (the game designer).

Arguments centred upon our current conception of reality are often very poor arguments, just because it ‘currently is so’ does not entail that ‘it will be also be so tomorrow’. The world is constantly changing and with it our conception reality, the construction industry framework might well become the accepted game-design framework of tomorrow. After all programming involves a language and recent advances have created translators for a number spoken languages, how long will it be before we have Online Code-creating tools with simple interfaces? And if such tools are developed what commodity will command the highest salaries? I dare say it will be creativity.

In the case of a specific scenario, such as graphical games, it may be safe to say at the outset that programmers warrant a higher salary. When dealing with the rendered eye candy and tile based approach of graphical building tools the basic skill requirements of a builder are relatively low. Even the creation of original actors is based around a small collection of tools that are quickly mastered in relation to the skills required to develop the supporting systems infrastructure.

However, I am certainly not saying that all graphical builders are created equal and that mastering the technical requirements of graphical building tools is all that is involved. To use a metaphor, two woodcarvers could be taught how to use the tools involved in their craft. The first, after many hours of failed inspiration could produce a very tidy pile of shavings and wood chips. The second, after a similar length of time but with the creative muse seated upon his/her shoulders, could produce a veritable work of art.

Mastering the tools used in a piece of work is only one of the aspects used in determining the worth and value of a crafter. As Molly, in my opinion rightly pointed out, the difference between a great programmer and a competent programmer is often their ability to write creative code. By this I mean code that takes the program in novel new directions and squeezes every ounce out of the resources available to them. It is one thing to modify an existing function and give it minor twist, it is another thing entirely to write function that opens up a new and previously unexplored dimension to the activity of gaming.

Viewing a working system in one game and replicating it another is the work of a competent programmer. A great programmer would simply view the working system as a source of inspiration, recognising its contents, its limitations, and its relation to other functions employed elsewhere, similar or otherwise. Then, by using their creativity, they would improve upon the general idea and code a fresh version – propelling the idea forward through a number of evolutionary or revolutionary phases.

The same is true for builders and in the case of textual games this value multiplier is of tenfold importance. Not only do they have to fabricate zones, without access to preformatted tiles and rendered textures they have to create every visual elements of each room they build virtually from scratch. It is creativity that defines the difference between a great builder and a competent builder, not the mundane mastery of tools.

Having visited more than my fair share of MUDS the general quality of building IS pitifully low. Grammatical errors, spelling errors, descriptions with engagement factors reminiscent of watching paint dry, historical inaccuracies (a cuirass is a back and breastplate it never covered arm slots), replicated rooms (either direct copies or shallow semantic facsimiles), objects without extra descriptions, rooms without any extra descriptions. Object placements and obstacle settings that meet with gaming stipulations/agendas but have no sense of realism or logic, and above all else a distinct lack of thematic or creative originality (I’m new here where is the nearest goblin village/cavern). I could go on, I haven’t even mentioned scripting, but it is relatively safe to state that GOOD builders are few and far between.

The misconception relating to the number of GOOD builders available commonly arises from the lack of building knowledge exhibited by those hiring. One need only place a zone built by a GOOD builder into a game to highlight the difference and quality such a person includes in their work. Most employers believe they are merely looking for a needle in a haystack when attempting to attract a GOOD builder. However, most employers have never seen the needle in question because they are so rare. Only when they are confronted by the work of a GOOD builder do they finally realise what they have been mistakenly calling good work and what it was they where really looking for all along.

The intrinsic worth of a GOOD builder is every bit the equal of GOOD programmers. In relation to their importance to a game the two positions are also equally important. A GOOD builder involved with a poorly coded project will have few options available to maximise their creativity. A GOOD programmer will be able to code a great project but to the players it will appear sterile, disenchanting, and possibly unfinished - if it has not be furnished by a GOOD builder.

Programmers provide builders with the tools their creativity needs to glorify the finished project. Neither a builder nor a programmer can create an engaging and enjoyable end product by themselves, unless an individual is highly skilled in both areas. The work of one is required by and exemplified by the other, it is a symbiotic relationship and as a direct consequence each party must be accorded equal value. To allocate either party less than equal value is to be guilty of naivety and gross indifference to their particular talents and contributions to the creation of a GOOD game.

On a more specific note I would be interested to hear how you define the worth of contributors to the franchise operations of iron realms Entertainment, such as Imperian.

Being that the engine used is - or one would realistically assume - already developed to a high degree of completion, would a programmer involved in such a project be accorded a lesser value than the one attributed to its builders?

Are we to assume that the code changes a franchise project requires are extensive enough to warrant the allocation of equal billing to programmers involved with such projects?

And if so what would be the point of starting out with the limitations of the Raptor Engine? Other than having something to strip down to its core and virtually rebuild.

If the programmers of such a franchise are merely modifying an existing game engine then surely they have little value. In this situation the builders are directly responsible for generating the diversity required to distance the franchise from its parent game, along with the simple thematic code changes made by the programmers. Wouldn’t the builders be of greater worth to such an enterprise?

-------------------------------------------
Never mind the width feel the quality
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Old 09-27-2003, 08:42 PM   #48
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by (visko @ Sep. 27 2003,12:03)
Some of this discussion parallels the old war between yui and angelbob about which is better, c or c++...

Yui took the position that 50 mediocre programmers working on the same project in C++ (which is apparently easier to learn and use...) would, given similar work days, produce a lot more viable code than 1 brilliant C++ or C programmer working equivalent hours (to one of the mediocre programmers, assumedly).
I don't think I took that position =).

Usually I prefer quality over quantity of coders. I find that the brilliant workers can do far better work in far less time for far less money overall than an army of mediocre workers However with proper guidance your mediocre workers could turn into brilliant workers, so it pays to nurture a few of the more promising ones =).
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Old 09-27-2003, 09:02 PM   #49
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Hrmf. Will I didn't check archives and my memory isn't as closely resembling a steel trap as it used to...

Apologies if I misquoted you or mistook you for someone else.

-Visko
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Old 09-27-2003, 09:31 PM   #50
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Fharron, your points are interesting, but allow me to nit-pick for a second...

"What may happen in the future" is something to think about wistfully and with much eagerness, but it doesn't translate into "what is available right now." Until the magic utility that translates the ideas in my mind into code becomes reality, I'm still stuck with the mundane task of ripping out 30k lines of Rom source and attacking a completely new codebase with my limited knowledge of C and a lot of motivation. (Redoing 30k lines of code isn't a task engaged lightly; there is a LOT of work involved, not only with writing, but thinking about multiple complex infrastructures and where they touch, merge, and rely upon one another).

I recognize that a lot of the process involved with building follows the same path as programming: get an idea, work out how the flow should proceed, make a tentative working model, and then fill it out where necessary. I also admit to being at best a mediocre builder; I was more interested in figuring out how to give MOBs an unfair advantage using building tools, and less interested in plot, characters, and room descriptions. That being said, I claim credit for some of the best areas on my previous attempt at a MUD; everyone else was less interested and much less skilled.

It has been my personal experience that neither good programmers or good builders exist in wide abundance within the community at this point. (Then again, there aren't a whole lot of good players to go around anymore either.) However, programmers have a slight advantage over builders in mantality: they're divas about the quality of their code, rather than its function. In this, they are (sometimes, more often than builders, perhaps?) more approachable with an interesting idea put forth by administration or pbase. Coders don't necessarily care if they're implementing a grapple skill or redesigning equipment; they care that the code is tidy, expandable, efficient, and most importantly, syntactically the way they want it.

Builders, on the other hand, rely completely on creativity for their work. A builder doesn't usually build an area someone else talked about; they build THEIR area, the one they want that integrates into the MUD in a way that they understand. This, you have to admit, is less of a flexible attitude in regards to the overall development of the game than a coder who is given an interesting idea and makes it part of the overall engine.

Also - your scenario about a MUD in need less of code and more of areas is interesting, and something that I specifically may encounter in a few years (after the code gets written). It seems to me that this is an unusual event; usually players want a million new skills/classes/races/clan benefits, and try to work within the current world's state searching for advantages in the game no one's seen before.

Disclaimer: I'm a PKer from PK-oriented Muds. I don't know how RPers work; they're a mystery to me. Perhaps they want lots of new areas to explore and interact with, but that's out of the scope of my experience.

If tomorrow I found a beautiful 20-something blonde who had motivation and good building capabilities, I'd probably reconsider my current ban on emotionally-charged relationships That being said, I have more of a chance with finding a beautiful blonde 20-something programmer. So I'll put forth more effort and care towards that group.

-Visko
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Old 09-28-2003, 05:09 AM   #51
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The set of things creatable by a builder is a vector space spanned by a finite set (the OLC tools). This set can be very large, even infinite, but still linearly dependant upon the available tools.

The set of things a coder can create is, by comparison, almost infinite and if you were to enumerate a set of tools that spans it, it would be a mind boggling huge set of tools. Also, the coder can add new tools to the spanning set of what builders are cabable of. Builders cannot.

Of course a building guru is a much bigger asset than a mediocre coder.

To illustrate the idea of linear dependance, if all the builders in the world collaborated for 1000 years on a DIKU mud, it would still be beyond their power to create a graphical MUD. But 1 coder could do this in several months to a couple years.
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Old 10-01-2003, 08:45 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Aug. 28 2003,00:35)
Now it seems this is extended to being second rate serfs for commercial muds too. I bet people who start commercial Muds don't expect their coders to work for 2 cents an hour and give up all right to their work on top of that. Or?
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More likely bias against commercial guys who prey on the work of others.
Is securing the future of your mud against the possibility that a builder goes nuts and decides to pull all their work from it, using copyright as leverage 'preying' on the work of others?

Is this 'preying', if he's preventing a situation where large portions of his world could disappear due to a disagreement between staff?

You say that builders get a lousy deal in all muds, which they do. The reason for this is skill based.

Good building requires good english skills and imagination. Roughly 30% of all mud players have this at the level of which I'd hire them, if it were up to me.

Good coding requires good coding knowledge, english skills, imagination, and experience. Good coding knowledge is something which is worth a lot of money in the real world, especially combined with experience.

Builders do provide a vital contribution to muds, but unless the mud involved is just another crappy stock dikurivative a coders work is more important as it underlies what a builder does.

I won't provide an analogy for this, as it'll probably be ultimately flawed and used as a counter argument for the rest of this thread. To not recognise that coding labor requires higher skill than building IMO, is really quite stupid.
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Old 10-01-2003, 10:47 PM   #53
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Yes, I work for free.
BUT - I work for free in a Mud that values and respects my work, and the work of all Builders.

I would never even dream of working for peanut money – or even somewhat bigger money - in a place where the owner publicly states that the work of Builders isn’t worth a tenth of the work of Coders.
Molly, in this world there exist shades of grey.  Not everything is yes, or no. By saying that coders are more valuable than builders, he is not saying that builders are worthless.  Welcome to Logic 101.

Matt never stated that 'the work of Builders isn't worth a tenth of the work of Coders.' Don't put words in his mouth. The only negative public statement about Achaea's staff that I have seen has been made by you.

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Hephos: Value is based on demand and availability...

And you disagree with this Molly?

Molly: Value is also based on merit and quality.

You disagree with this, Hephos?
Of course he doesn't. The fact of it is this:

If a doctor had the very highest levels of merits and qualities, and a streetsweeper had the same, the doctor would be worth a great deal more.

Why?

Because the doctors skills are worth a #### of a lot more.  He put in years of work educating himself in how to do his job, he just didn't pick up a broom and start sweeping.

Why are his skills worth more?

Because they're rarer, they're wanted by more people, and they took a #### lot more effort to develop.

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Here is a Mud, and not a small stock Mud run by some immature teenager either. It’s one of the big, commercial Muds, in fact the one that tops the voting list of this site, and that he himself likes to refer to as ‘the # 1 Mud on the net’.

Now, this owner of this big, commercial Mud, with hundreds of players, discovers that one of his top staff members is a sicko, who likes to ‘play with himself’ in front of a web camera before an audience of some of the Mud’s players, some of which by his own admission are minors. Apparently there is some hard evidence about it too, judging from the details he provided. So what does he do about the situation?

Does he report the pervert to the Police or the Net Abuse authorities? Judging from his own story - no he doesn’t.

Does he warn his players about the pervert (considering that the latter most likely already has established a network, has access to players’ e-mail addresses, etc)? Again, judging again from his own story – no he doesn’t.
You mustn't be reading the same thing I did.  Why did his players react with revulsion when they were told who he was if Matt didn't tell them?

Molly, I'm seeing a worrying trend where you see what you want to see on this thread and spout garbage from your assumptions in an unseemly attempt to defame people.
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Old 10-03-2003, 11:43 AM   #54
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Well, I am a programmer, I work as a programmer and I thing my work is worth quite a lot of money. And I think my work cannot be done by everyone. You need training, an a certain kind of mental abilities. But training will help quite a lot, even making you a good programmer if you give it time enough. Almost everybody can be a programmer if interested and dedicated enough.

I value builders just because I wouldn't be able to do their work, as I lack the skills. Nobody can be a builder only by training. As we're talking about text muds, is very important the way the builder describes each room, and is a big work. You can learn to make programs, you won't learn to write well unless you're somehow a bit gifted in this aspect.

So, if you think a zone by someone will be great for your mud, act as if it were a work of art and buy it at the right prize the builder wants to sell it. But paying only $20 per zone will only attract the kind of people who would do it for free, and who probably will never do anything with the zone besides giving it to you. So... the copyright thing is giving it too much importance than it has.
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:43 PM   #55
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So... the copyright thing is giving it too much importance than it has.
Care to elaborate that a bit? You mean the copyright thing is not important?

Well since we are running a commercial business it is important, in fact it is critical for us to be able to run the game without having to remove things or getting into unecessary arguments with builders.

And we pay $30 now. Will probably increase in the near future too.
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Old 10-03-2003, 08:21 PM   #56
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Heph, I think he means that the earliest posts in this thread (The ones demanding 'How dare you buy the copyright!!' ) were a tad over the top

-Leigh
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Old 10-06-2003, 02:54 AM   #57
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Thanks Hard, it was meant to say "is geting".
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Old 10-12-2003, 08:42 AM   #58
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Akward how this thread ended up in the legal issues.

It is a thread for attaining staff.
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