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Old 08-26-2004, 03:23 PM   #121
Rundvelt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Aug. 26 2004,13:39)
Proven? You have an odd definition of proof. "Proven" would mean there's been a court case and the court has issued a ruling.

Are you even a lawyer? Are you even an American lawyer? Are you even an American lawyer specializing in IP law? No? Then perhaps you should talk to one first.

--matt
Ok, time for a little review!

Rundvelt Quotes!

"I don't know if they'll win or not. But I'm know they have a case. Despite what your lawyers say."
(Page 9, 3 from bottom)

"I've made my arguements very clear. This isn't about Kimberly. I think the discussion on this thread is "is achaea totally protected from legal action given their system".
I think it was proven very clearly that it isn't."
(Page 11, second from top)

So, what I have said (if you could actually read and put your bias aside), is that it could be argued that the players under your system acted inappropriately (not in the Kimberly case, but as a general statement). And because you authorised them to impact your players directly, you are responsible for their actions. You then would have to sue the player.

Using your own statement (ooh, I love doing this), you cannot provide any proof to discredit my arguement because there has been no court ruling in the matter.

So, you cannot prove your point that a case cannot be made unless the court case that can't exist is brought forward.

So, let me try this again. If I was to bring this case into court, I would have a legitimate claim. (ie. they would not force me to pay your associated costs for a frivilous lawsuit.)

They can take it to small claims, they can argue the case. Who knows if they will win? (where did I see that before?)
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Old 08-26-2004, 04:12 PM   #122
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Except for maybe the fact that he HAS consulted lawyers and the fact that he is the owner of said game...and he's been doing this for what, 7 years now, without a lawsuit? Including banning some people that have spent into the thousands of dollars
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Old 08-26-2004, 04:29 PM   #123
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I want to make sure I'm understanding the concern here.

Some people pay for points that can be spent in the game on certain things.

Some people don't pay for points and get them anyway, eventually.

Some people earn points in ways other than "paying" or "not paying."

Those are the facts as I know them.

Another fact as I know it: Some of those things that points are spent on, are things that can be taken from characters if those characters break a rule or disobey an IC superior officer or otherwise "higher ranking" character.

Please note the above has no bearing on players - it's an IC situation and affects the characters after the points are distributed.

Now...using OOC means, you get IC benefits. Once you put those benefits to use, it becomes an IC situation and has nothing to do with whether or not you acquired those benefits ICly or OOCly. The reprocussions of abusing those benefits are dealt with ICly - by stripping the character of those benefits.

The issue as I think I understand it, is that some players are given the ability to strip another player's character of certain benefits, even though that player paid cash for the points that were exchanged for those benefits.

Do I understand that correctly? Yes? Good. Now we'll get to the issue at hand:

It is no one's business but the staff and the individual player that the player paid cash for those points. HOW those points were acquired - is not YOUR business. If you are playing a guild leader character, it does not give you the right or privilege to know that Joe Newbie paid cash for his points. That is confidential information.

How do you suppose the guild leader can say "Well he paid cash so we can't kick him out, but she didn't pay cash so she's outta here?"

And how do you feel this would affect the integrity of the game, if the "haves" in real life got things that the "have nots" didn't?

By arguing against an even spread of treatment throughout the playerbase, you are suggesting that paying customers receive benefits that non-paying customers aren't entitled to.

And THAT - is the REAL issue that started all this crap. The primary basic accusation that Achaea gives things to paying members that non-paying members can't get. And because that accusation is just plain wrong - false - untrue - BECAUSE of this non-truth - Achaea cannot allow those paying customers to abuse the privilege of acquiring points and spending them inappropriately, while preventing non-paying customers from doing the same thing.
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Old 08-26-2004, 04:53 PM   #124
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Ok, let me state the following.

1) A player could bring this situation to small claims court.

2) It would require Matt to go and defend himself.

3) It MIGHT require the time of his lawyers. (Although they cannot appear in small claims court under california law)

4) Should the Player lose, Matt might have cause to sue him for the costs of lawyers and time lost from work (this is rare and only applies in a few states, that's all the info I could find) This is because the very nature of small claims is to deal with parties who havel little to no legal knowledge.

So, people can file claims against you. It was my original intent to say to you "this could be a problem for your mud." The player might not win, just that you'd be out X amount of dollars for showing up.
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Old 08-26-2004, 05:58 PM   #125
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Cool

Matt, you say time is valuable for you

Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Aug. 26 2004,14:26)
Money and time are both currencies. For me, my time has more value to me than my money for the most part, as more money can be made, but more time cannot.

....
--matt
Yet you spend a lot of hours a day replying to these boards with mostly no other content than just attacking other people's small and non-significant for the discussion errors while leaving most of the relevant points unanswered, so, do not pretend you are a so-busy businesman that you cannot spare an hour because clearly, you have too much spare time in your hands or so many people doing the work for you that you, apparently, couldn't care less about lossing another hour in mindless replies.

Now, for the subject being discussed, I think that whether Matt wants to listen or not to your legal advice is up to him and should not involve all other readers of this site Rundvelt, I think many of the readers of the site would agree that this discussion has not only left the original poster's concern, but also has entered an area where not only nobody will win, but also where nobody will benefit from it. Since Kimberly has been already dealt with (money refunded) and anybody who cares about IRE's practices that is also reader of this forums has had more than enough time to make their own impression and to decide whether they agree or not with them AND whether they want to keep playing (or start playing) their games. If a discussion on whether there are legal grounds for a player in a similar situation to sue or not, I don't think it really belongs to this specific board or to the specific all-caps subject under which it is being discussed.

So, please either start a new subject, under a new more meaningfull for the discussion title, on the appropriate board; make a new contribution to the specific issue being discussed (anybody mind to explain if it has any resemblanse to the original one and to the title of the trend?) or just let it die as it should have several pages ago.

- Spoke.
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Old 08-26-2004, 06:16 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Dask wrote:
If someone is outguilded on a whim, the Admin will come down hard if the person complains - provided the Guild did not have just cause to outguild the person.
Strange, because earlier in the thread the_logo clearly stated "...we're just very reluctant to mess with the structures players have created and empowered. They're important parts of the world and it's hard to know how radical changes to their level of power will cascade down to the rest of the world". So which is it? Do the staff interfere with the player structures, or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I wrote:
What I find preposterous is the idea that another player could permanently strip me of something I've paid real-life money for, simply on an IC whim.
To which...

Quote:
Originally Posted by
The logos replied:
That's fine, you're welcome to find it preposterous. And yet, it's true.
So it is true that another player could permanently strip me of something I've paid real-life money for, simply on an IC whim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by
You don't like roleplaying at all, as you've stated here before, so I don't really expect you to understand why in-character actions can and should have consequences.
I've been roleplaying for 17 years, and was running an RP mud long before Achaea went online; I'm well aware of the differences between IC and OOC, and the consequences associated with them. Yet I still find OOC consequences for IC actions to be a poor solution in (almost) all situations, and when those OOC consequences affect real-life money, and can be applied by other players simply on a whim, I cannot help but shake my head in amazement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Kimberly broke the guild rules willfully and was kicked out for it.
It's not this specific example I'm talking about - I really couldn't care less about some whiner being banned. It's the policy in general, and the vast amount of potential abuse it opens up by placing so much real-world power in the hands of the players.

Or to put it in more simple terms: Allowing guild members to kick out players they don't like sounds perfectly reasonable, but why let them strip those players of paid-for assets? Why not refund them the credits back, or reassign them to something else, or allow the players to convert them over to the next guild they join?
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Old 08-26-2004, 06:21 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Aug. 25 2004,16:49)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moiraine,Aug. 25 2004,17:48
Ya'll still arguing over this?  very productive, seeing IRE $boyz and IRE yesmen create new accounts, and send folks flocking to post here.

If someone needs lawyers to make sure they can rip folks off without having to refund, shouldn't folks be suspicious?

"Oh, my attorney said we can grift 24/7, and not a court in the land can touch us, kinda like AOL.  Aren't you proud of us, we compare ourselves to the largest internet con-game going... AOHell! Yay! Go Special Ed... I love chucky, and I love cheese..."
So young, so angry! Perhaps you are feeling upset because mummy hasn't burped you yet today. Or do you just need a changing?

--matt
the_logos is John Kerry? Flip-Flopping? Waffling?  You mean in the post prior you did not say??? -->Hi there. The law isn't black and white, but this is pretty cut and dried. We've gone over all this extensively with our legal team. We are 100% within our rights to ban players and not refund them, at any time, just like AOL is.<--

Again Sen Kerry Logos.... The swiftmud vets ask... "And you are proud of being like AOHell?  And you are proud of having the power to rob your customers left and right, and be leagally protected?"

Me.young? Nooo Dear.  You could only wish that a MUD admin/builder with my talent and reputation would even grace your MUD with a login.  I have openly oppossed the so called "Pay-to play" scamuds.  In fact, my boss at my MUD has had thoughts along your line, and I have told him exactly how I feel about it.

My snide remark was in reference to the length of this thread on such a useless subject as some clown whining about a MUD stealing from her, when she was refunded...  And how  folks with less than 10 posts seem to magically appear in support of Iron Realms Entertainment.
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Old 08-26-2004, 08:04 PM   #128
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Fine fine, ruin my fun. *sob
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Old 08-26-2004, 08:56 PM   #129
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Arguing by insults gets us nowhere. Arguing that Matt can't write a decent MUD is even worse than that because, clearly, enough customers disagree that he can make a living. You may find him abrasive, obnoxious, and reprehensible, but that has nothing to do with the MUD in question. Leave the Logos out of it.

Now I'll take a crack at explaining the MUD.

Guild leaders have the power to kick someone out of a guild. If the person so kicked is below a certain rank in the guild, he or she loses access all guild skills. Those who are still of the apprentice rank get a full refund of lessons whenever they leave a guild, whether by choice or by executive outguilding. Once past apprentice rank, anyone who leaves a guild, either by quitting or by being given the boot, receives back only a portion of the lessons invested. At a higher rank, a character who is ousted from a guild or who chooses to leave it retains all class skills. Should the character quit class, a different process, it loses all class skills and receives that percentage of lessons back.

Clearly there is a window in which players can strip other players of what they have earned through an investment of time, money, or both. However, the scope of those who are able to do this is limited. The guildmasters are democratically elected by guild members, and the guildmaster in turn appoints secretaries. GM and secretaries have the power to outguild. Since one is chosen by the guild as a whole and the others are chosen by this trusted person, one can hope that all these individuals are worthy of the powers granted to them, much like we hope that our government officials, both elected and appointed, are doing their jobs right.

Is there potential for abuse? Yes. Someone could arbitrarily punish another player with an outguilding for no reason at all. In practice, however, outguildings are very, very rare. It is far more common for a character unsuited to a guild to quit by choice, usually before they incur a loss of lessons in so doing. When Matt says that the admins don't interfere, it's because they don't have to. Players self-police enough that it simply isn't a problem.

This is Matt's assertion, and I second it. The burden of proof is on you to find evidence of abuse of the system. As far as I have seen, it has worked quite well as a system of justice and enforcement. It is extremely effective when used, but it rarely has to be used. More than anything else, outguilding is a deterrent and a punishment of last resort. Find examples of when the power has been misused, not when it might be misused, and you have a case.

On another note, the worry about snooping on tells is understandable but unjustified. The ability is costly enough to prevent casual use. It is always clear when it might be in use, though not necessarily when it is currently in use. Thus, one can avoid sensitive tells (incoming and outgoing), and use the more private message system instead if necessary. I have seen the ability come up in diplomatic settings, where incautious individuals end up giving away organization secrets to more canny counterparts on opposing sides, and nowhere else. It's scary, but it's not as much of a potential abuse as it may first appear, especially when players are well aware of when and how their conversations may not be entirely private.

Finally, your argument of making a case in court over lost credits is ludicrous. The disclaimer states that "your actions have consequences, and the actions of others can result in consequences for you." Your credits are guaranteed, and they are never stripped in the absence of criminal activity. What you do with those credits becomes your problem.
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:16 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
I've made my arguements very clear. This isn't about Kimberly. I think the discussion on this thread is "is achaea totally protected from legal action given their system".

I think it was proven very clearly that it isn't.
I think IRE's lawyers would be better at saying that than the hobbyist lawyers here. Real lawyers don't do research using Google, and base their ideas of laws and precedence, not prejudice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Someone's going to have to explain to me what the difference is between:

1) Taking away credits.
2) Letting you decide what you want to spend your credits on, and then taking that away.
Ok. I'm starting to seriously expect some people here are being deliberately obtuse.

Here is a timeline of Kimberley's actions, from the information presented here.

Kimberley starts to play Achaea, and joins a guild.

Kimberley decides to buy credits to invest in her skills.

Kimberley converts those credits into lessons, and learns happily away.

Kimberley starts to make an ass of herself within the guild. This is evidenced by this statement by Alyosha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
We made /every/ attempt to treat Kimberly like an adult, and every chance for her to act like one. She refused. This was not her first, nor second, nor third major problem with her in the guild. I have had several lengthy conversations with her, during the last of which (before the event we are talking about), she admitted fault and said she would try to do better representing the guild and city. Which was quite obviously a lie, as she got herself into essentially the same sort of trouble.
Kimberley was given several chances, and then offered some sort of pennance to not be outguilded, as evidenced by this statement, again by Alyosha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
The person who did remove her wasn't some power hungry person flaunting their position and screaming "You must respect my authoritah!" She's an ex-guildmistress who left on her own terms, who is entirely dedicated to the good of the guild. Kimberly was on her last chance, and she knew it. The request for an essay was a final offer of reconcilliation extended to her, and the response was a slap in the face.
Kimberley chooses to respond with 'a slap in the face', and is outguilded as she was told would happen.

I am amazed at the opinions presented here. As mud administrators, or people who know enough about the industry to post here you should appreciate the challenges of a RPI guild based class system. In particular, without some sort of disincentive for people to change class, some people will change it nearly every day to suit a whim. This is damaging for the roleplay of the realm, particularly when people go back and forth from good to evil. Not ONLY is this sort of rule beneficial to the RP health of the realm, Matt Mihaly went so far as to refund all her lessons when she complained, and changed the rule to be much less damaging. How can you people still rant about this?

In response to your question Valg; The difference between taking away credits and taking away things they were spent on is obviously that several players and admin staff went to great lengths to try to deal with Kimberley, giving her in excess of 3 chances and warnings, refunding her lessons and when all else failed refunding her money.

How can you say this as shady? Is it because its done by IRE?

Moving right along..

Quote:
Originally Posted by
So, what I have said (if you could actually read and put your bias aside), is that it could be argued that the players under your system acted inappropriately (not in the Kimberly case, but as a general statement). And because you authorised them to impact your players directly, you are responsible for their actions. You then would have to sue the player.

Using your own statement (ooh, I love doing this), you cannot provide any proof to discredit my arguement because there has been no court ruling in the matter.
One anagram. EULA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Matt, you say time is valuable for you

<snip>

Yet you spend a lot of hours a day replying to these boards with mostly no other content than just attacking other people's small and non-significant for the discussion errors while leaving most of the relevant points unanswered, so, do not pretend you are a so-busy businesman that you cannot spare an hour because clearly, you have too much spare time in your hands or so many people doing the work for you that you, apparently, couldn't care less about lossing another hour in mindless replies.
As pointed out by several people in this thread, this is a form of advertising. No doubt IRE gets traffic from this as people go to see for themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Strange, because earlier in the thread the_logo clearly stated "...we're just very reluctant to mess with the structures players have created and empowered. They're important parts of the world and it's hard to know how radical changes to their level of power will cascade down to the rest of the world". So which is it? Do the staff interfere with the player structures, or not?
This doesn't impact on the structure itself.

If someone outguilds without due reason, causing a player to lose lessons that individual is typically punished by the administration when the outguilded player complains.

The structure still retains all its power, but those who abuse it a dealt with accordingly.

Leigh
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Old 08-27-2004, 03:14 AM   #131
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Dask @ Aug. 26 2004,12:13)
The skill is an IC skill called Angel Mindread. It allows me to see all tells to and from players in the same room as me. I use my  Guardian Angel. It is an IC skill, an IC action, and, therefore, IC information used to make the decision
Tells are IC communications snoopable by players?  Is there any non-player snoopable OOC communications on this game?
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Old 08-27-2004, 06:28 AM   #132
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yes i think it is snooable in IC way... Priest, Monk, and i dont know other than i know can snoop.

for example, monk link your mind and snoop by using certain ability to hear what you say.

i think.. at least.
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Old 08-27-2004, 06:39 AM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Moiraine @ Aug. 26 2004,18:21)
My snide remark was in reference to the length of this thread on such a useless subject as some clown whining about a MUD stealing from her, when she was refunded...  And how  folks with less than 10 posts seem to magically appear in support of Iron Realms Entertainment.
So sayeth the person with 5 posts....
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Old 08-27-2004, 06:40 AM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Tyche @ Aug. 27 2004,03:14)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Dask @ Aug. 26 2004,12:13)
The skill is an IC skill called Angel Mindread. It allows me to see all tells to and from players in the same room as me. I use my  Guardian Angel. It is an IC skill, an IC action, and, therefore, IC information used to make the decision
Tells are IC communications snoopable by players?  Is there any non-player snoopable OOC communications on this game?
Messages are undetectable and commonly used for such OOC communication
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Old 08-27-2004, 06:42 AM   #135
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If I may add what is undoubtedly a "yes man" comment, I have been in a position of power in Achaea and abused it, and was censured heavily for it.

When I was active in Achaea, a novice who was kicked out of a guild received back 100% of their lessons spent on guild skills, and lost the guild skills. A probationary member who had not yet reached the third guildrank who was kicked out received back HALF of them.

Now, my guild was an assassin style guild (the Naga), and that class's novices are more deadly than most novices. That class gains the ability to afflict paralysis on someone, the cure for which was a rare and expensive herb which few novices had. So one troll decided he hated druids. He made a string of characters which would join one of the four assassin guilds, paralyze druid novices in the novice areas, and then kick them to death because they couldn't move or cure paralysis.

I despise that. Novice areas are inaccessible to older players (level 21 and up) and so the druids could not get help or be defended. So I made an alias which would use my guildmaster power to title the troll appropriately (Farty Pants _ McCankersore was by far my favorite. The alias then PROMOTED the troll within the guild structure and then outguilded him. The crucial promotion part means that the troll loses 50% of the lessons spent. That negates the use of that character. At level 5, all the lessons you have are what you gained on the tour, and you can't go back through.

It didn't take long (perhaps a day) for an announcement that such activities were over the line and that it was not to happen again. The announce post did not call me out directly but as I'd been crowing about the punitive effects of it, I got the point.

A few days later one of my guild secretaries who had not seen that announce did the same thing to a troll newbie. The secretary received a 90 day disfavour, lowering his skills, increasing the damage he takes, decreasing the damage he deals, and increasing the need for food and sleep. It's quite a burden. And the usual penalty is for 3-7 days.

The_logos' team acts this sternly against someone who cost a newbie 200 odd lessons that they did not pay for. And they were outguilded for sexual harrassment and use of an anatomically explicit epithet for the pudenda. But even so richly deserving of a beating, the_logos decided we'd beaten the kid too hard.

"Reprehensible?"
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