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Old 01-12-2006, 06:18 PM   #81
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The non-profit muds will fit in very nicely with the non-commercial category. The dividing line would be whether or not you get any in-game benefits for RL money.
Selling t-shirts and mousepads on the Website is fine. So is accepting donations to pay for the server, as long as it doesn’t affect the gameplay in any way.
Selling beefed up Swords-of-doom or practice points in the game is not.
What if they accept donations in excess of server costs and use it to advertise or buy themselves meals? There's effecitvely no way to tell where the money being sent to a MUD is going. They might say they're using it to pay for the server, but there's no public accounting available.


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1. The listed muds get divided in two main categories; Commercial and Non-commercial.
(A game is commercial if you need to pay to play it after an initial free trial period, or if you can buy any type of in-game benefits, otherwise not).
This doesn't fit any standard definition of a non-commercial enterprise. There's absolutely no reason a non-commercial enterprise couldn't offer in-game benefits for money if they're not doing it to make a profit but just to stay afloat on server costs and whatnot. What makes an enterprise non-commercial isn't how they obtain money to stay afloat, it's the idea that the money is not being used to realize a profit for anyone.

And there's the problem. How are you going to demonstrate that a MUD is or isn't trying to turn a profit? Again, no public accounting. I mean, I happily proclaim that IRE muds are commercial, but there are definitely MUDs out there that are taking in more than they need to stay afloat while maintaining the illusion of being non-commercial.

--matt
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Old 01-12-2006, 06:48 PM   #82
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Anything that requires you to give your credit card number can't be considered free in my book, I.E. Second Life.
Having to give up information makes something not free? Weird. I wonder if there's anyone else in the world that shares your view.

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It's not that these games are not free, it's just that the average American isn't going to pay for these. Sure, some Koreans will play these but between pay games and mind-numbing shoe-factory job there's not much else to do.
I'm pretty sure that the internet reaches the whole world and given that some frequent posters here (like Kavir) are not American, who cares whether the average American will pay for those or not? The average American wouldn't ever play a text MUD. And?

Your attack on Koreans is incredibly ignorant and mildly racist. South Korea is a highly developed, highly educated, highly "wired" country.

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I also disagree with what Matt said about an online search for free games.
This is what I said: - Google (Go ahead and search for 'free game' for instance and note the ads that come up for games that are free to play but offer the opportunity to pay extra for whatever. Google ads are patrolled, incidentally, and they shut down ads that make false claims.)

There is not an intelligent way to disagree with that, because searching for 'free games' on google brings up RealArcade. Real Arcade is one of the top games sites on the internet, and it operates a business model whereby you can play for free, but can pay to gain access to more options.

If you don't believe me, just google up "free games" and watch Real Arcade's ad come up. That there are other games that advertise themselves as free and use a different business model doesn't change the fact that Google, which moderates its ads, recognizes that RealArcade can validly claim to offer free games, even though you have the opportunity to pay for more options.

--matt
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Old 01-12-2006, 10:58 PM   #83
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Glad to see legitimate points like my own and a few others' are tossed out the window by people like the_logos in favor of perpetuating the argument. Just goes to show how much more some people favor the fight rather than the end of the battle.
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Old 01-12-2006, 11:07 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by (somied @ Jan. 12 2006,04:47)
And herein lies your ultimate truism:  players are (generally ) not stupid.  They will find out for themselves if you were misleading in your advertising or not, and will only play a game if they enjoy it, not just because you advertised it a certain way.

And to all the IRE competitors (Carrion Fields, GodWars, and others represented in this thread):  you have nothing to worry about.  Potential players who try out IRE games and decide they aren't for them, because of the 'pay-for-perks' aspect or something completely different, will continue searching for a MUD that suits their needs - so stop treating this issue like it's a problem that's taking 'business' away from you and/or affecting your potential playerbase(s).  It's rather insulting to the players to be treated like sheep who need to be herded towards the right pen.
No player has time to try every game. Accurate labeling of business models would help a player narrow down which ones to try.

It's not calling players stupid. It's respecting their time.
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:33 AM   #85
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the_logos @ Jan. 12 2006,19:18
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This doesn't fit any standard definition of a non-commercial enterprise. There's absolutely no reason a non-commercial enterprise couldn't offer in-game benefits for money if they're not doing it to make a profit but just to stay afloat on server costs and whatnot. What makes an enterprise non-commercial isn't how they obtain money to stay afloat, it's the idea that the money is not being used to realize a profit for anyone.

And there's the problem. How are you going to demonstrate that  a MUD is or isn't trying to turn a profit? Again, no public accounting. I mean, I happily proclaim that IRE muds are commercial, but there are definitely MUDs out there that are taking in more than they need to stay afloat while maintaining the illusion of being non-commercial.
That is exactly why the definition is set as 'in game benefits', and not 'making a profit'. Additionally it is how the DIKU licence, which, whether you like it or not, still governs the largest part of mud owners, makes the distinction. And this is a website for muds.

As you say, it is impossible to establish whether a company makes a profit or not, or even if they are aiming at a profit or not. No doubt gameowners like Vryce would lie through their teeeth about that part, if it gained them any advantages.

However, I doubt that anyone would get very rich by selling a couple of t-shirts or mousepads with their game logo from their website. The real big money, as you well know, you'll get from selling the in-game benefits, because that is what players will keep paying for.

Again, the definition is specifically chosen because it is practical, easy to track and also makes good sense.

And again, an easy way to separate 'free' muds from 'commercial' ones is what a lot of people would like to see, whether you like it or not.

I still don't understand why you are so against this. A lot of players obviously love your system. So what is wrong with showing up front which system you use?
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:59 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by (Anitra @ Jan. 13 2006,04:33)
And again, an easy way to separate 'free' muds from 'commercial' ones is what a lot of people would like to see, whether you like it or not.

I still don't understand why you are so against this. A lot of players obviously love your system. So what is wrong with showing up front which system you use?
I'm not against being labeled commercial. We're commercial, and we make no bones about it. But, if there's to be a commercial label, then I want distinctions made. Not just "commercial" but, for instance, "commercial and free-to-play". I'd imagine that's no different than someone wanting his/her MUD to be listed as "Bashing with PK" rather than just "Bashing", for instance.

I'm against being forced to put a feature of our MUD in our marketing blurb on the front page, as I view it as no more relevant than a host of other factors. Other people may view it as irrelevant or highly relevant. If players are so interested in specific features, they can search for them.

I tend to agree with Kavir in any case and say just get rid of any labels regarding business model though to just avoid the problem altogether. As many posters have pointed out, players are not dumb sheep that need coddling.

--matt
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Old 01-13-2006, 05:42 AM   #87
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No, I think specifying is useful for the average player. As Valg says, their time deserves to be respected.

Matt, you want to have your little blurb and still be categorized with the "free-to-play" MUDs(which are largely, 100% free and not skirting around the edge)? I would not be against a specific system, like this one.

Examples:
Achaea["Free-to-Play, Pay-for-Perks"]
Legends of Karinth["Free-to-Play, Donations Accepted"]
Threshold["Pay-for-Registration"]
Dragonrealms["Pay Monthly, Pay-for-Perks"]

It would take an hour to come up with 4-6 terms that every MUD could find its way into. Then, a simple tag or color-code could be added, with a key/etc for the player to use. It is being made out to seem like drawing the lines in the sand is too difficult a task to be undertaken.

It is not. I agree that the economic-model should either be removed or specified further and made easier to access for the users of the site. I prefer the latter by about 200x more than the former, however. No player is going to feel cheated if you give them more knowledge at their disposal.

Achaea["Free-to-Play, Pay-for-Perks"]

Makes sense to me. Does it not to anyone else?
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:08 AM   #88
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DonathinFrye @ Jan. 13 2006,06:42
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I agree that the economic-model should either be removed or specified further and made easier to access for the users of the site. I prefer the latter by about 200x more than the former, however. No player is going to feel cheated if you give them more knowledge at their disposal.

Achaea["Free-to-Play, Pay-for-Perks"]

Makes sense to me. Does it not to anyone else?
It makes sense to me too.
As long as we are still in agreement that the main dividing line between commercial and non-commersial still goes at anything that affects the actual gameplay.

If a mud wants to accept 'donations' to pay for the server, they should keep any rewards to out-of-game things, like mousepads. In fact I don't think there should be any rewards at all, apart from a simple 'thank you'. A donation by nature is a gift. If you expect, or get, anything in return, it's not a donation, it's either a bribe or a purchase, depending on the circumstances.

If any of the so-called 'donation muds' are in the habit of giving in game benefits in return for the donations, they should change that habit, if they want to be labelled as non-commercial.
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:23 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by (Ilkidarios @ Jan. 12 2006,05:21)
It's not that these games are not free, it's just that the average American isn't going to pay for these. Sure, some Koreans will play these but between pay games and mind-numbing shoe-factory job there's not much else to do. I don't want a free tissue if you charge me every time I blow my nose, or clean something with it. I'd rather just buy a box of tissues.
I am EXTREMELY insulted by your implications that Koreans are a bunch of unskilled people working in a shoe factory. I'm an American that has lived in Korea for the past three years and have a Korean wife, have you ever been here or even met someone from Korea? Korea and Japan are right next to each other in economics and technology, both are far more technicalogical than America. Korea is the most wired country in the world. 75% of Korean homes have DSL or better, where America around 30% of homes have dial-up or better. A lot of the technology you use every day, expecially cellphones, was invented in Korea or Japan. Learn what you speak about before you throw out racist comment.

As for the topic on hand, half of you are argueing about the word "free" while the other half are argueing about the phrase "free to play" those are different. IRE games are not free, but they are free to play.

EDIT: I know quite a few Americans, that have never been outside of America, that play Korean games such as Kart Rider, Lineage and Maple Story, all three fall into the category of graphical mud.
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Old 01-13-2006, 02:28 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by (Valg @ Jan. 13 2006)
No player has time to try every game. Accurate labeling of business models would help a player narrow down which ones to try.

It's not calling players stupid. It's respecting their time.
While I can respect wanting to make it easier for potential players to find games that fit their criteria, somehow you just can't convince me that this is your motivation behind arguing this topic.

After all, I don't see a 9 page thread about the subtle differences between and inbetween 'unrestricted PK' and 'restricted PK', and believe me, there are just as many models when it comes to this aspect of a MUD as there are in the commercial aspect. It stands to reason that providing more choices for models in this aspect (or several others that don't seem to be argued here... gee, I wonder why) would save a player just as much time as the one you're all bickering about.

Personally I think I hit the nail on the head. Some of you feel threatened by the fact that there is a large commercial entity with 4 top 10 MUDs advertising to the same demographic (players looking for 'free' muds) as you are.
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:28 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by (Hajamin @ Jan. 13 2006,13:23)
I am EXTREMELY insulted by your implications that Koreans are a bunch of unskilled people working in a shoe factory.
Hi, I'm extremely insulted by your implication that it takes unskilled people to work in a shoe factory.
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I'm an American that has lived in Korea for the past three years and have a Korean wife, have you ever been here or even met someone from Korea? Korea and Japan are right next to each other in economics and technology, both are far more technicalogical than America.
Wrong. And even if it was right, just look at the majority of what kind of 'technology' both of these countries boast: American.
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Korea is the most wired country in the world. 75% of Korean homes have DSL or better, where America around 30% of homes have dial-up or better.
Again, wrong. As with 99.9% of statistics spewed forth by forum posters, yours was made up on the spot with no factual information backing it. Check out the real statistics here, as reported by the CIA and other sources. South Korea only has ~2.7% higher internet usage per capita than the United States. Both of which are hovering around 65% of total population (where on Earth did you get your 30% figure?). As far as broadband usage goes, ~50% of Americans have broadband. About ~60% of Koreans have broadband, however, this is largely due to the population density in Korea. They provide all this connectivity with just 13,760 miles of fiber optic cabling throughout the entire country. By comparison, Verizon laid over 20,000 miles of fiber optic cabling in West Virginia alone.
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A lot of the technology you use every day, expecially cellphones, was invented in Korea or Japan.
Wrong. Last I checked, Martin Cooper, Rudy Krolopp, and John Mitchell were all Americans. http://www.cellular.co.za/cellphone_inventor.htm
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Learn what you speak about before you throw out racist comment.
The same could be said about you throwing around your anti-American ignorance.
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:57 PM   #92
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It's not really complicated. The IRE games aren't free if you want to do more than dabble, and use the word "free" to advertise and attract people.

Oh, and the cell phone was invented in Norway  
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Old 01-13-2006, 04:37 PM   #93
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Exclamation

Now, this didn't take long to go from a terminology discussion to figuring out which country is more leet.

As for who invented the cellphone, TV, radio, hellicopter, the bicycle and the wheel... I am amazed that there is any confusion - as all those inventions are patently and unmistakebly Russian.
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Old 01-13-2006, 08:20 PM   #94
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I only read the first page, because I have things to do.

Sooo... why all the debate? All the IRE games are free to play. How can you argue that? You can PLAY them without spending any money. You can't get all the 1337 skillz and l00t, but nowhere are any of their games labled as 'Free to get all the skillz and l00t'. Not only is there no legal argument to be had, there's no linguistic one.

I'm guessing by this point the discussion has gone totally off-topic and I'm making an idiot of myself. Meh.
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Old 01-14-2006, 02:47 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by (somied @ Jan. 14 2006,05:28)
Again, wrong. As with 99.9% of statistics spewed forth by forum posters, yours was made up on the spot with no factual information backing it. Check out the real statistics here, as reported by the CIA and other sources. South Korea only has ~2.7% higher internet usage per capita than the United States. Both of which are hovering around 65% of total population (where on Earth did you get your 30% figure?). As far as broadband usage goes, ~50% of Americans have broadband. About ~60% of Koreans have broadband, however, this is largely due to the population density in Korea. They provide all this connectivity with just 13,760 miles of fiber optic cabling throughout the entire country. By comparison, Verizon laid over 20,000 miles of fiber optic cabling in West Virginia alone.
http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=1422
http://www.technet.org/tnd_news/sfchron_031305/
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.08/korea.html
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Old 01-14-2006, 04:52 AM   #96
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Gorgulu @ on Jan. 13 2006,21:20
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I'm guessing by this point the discussion has gone totally off-topic and I'm making an idiot of myself. Meh.
You are correct abouth both things. Entering a discussion without reading through the entire thread is usually not a wise thing to do.
And yes, the discussion has been thrown off-topic, as usual.

In case you or anyone else are interested, the most valid parts can be found on the pages 8 and 9.
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Old 01-14-2006, 05:22 AM   #97
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Ah, nothing like off-topic US vs. Them rubbish to start the day...

Did you just cite Wired as a source? ... Man.

FWIW, 42% of the total US population (61% of US Internet users) has broadband, as of September 2005. And as far as I know, Sweden and Hong Kong are still kicking everyone's ass, South Korea included.
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Old 01-14-2006, 01:43 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by (eiz @ Jan. 14 2006,06:22)
Ah, nothing like off-topic US vs. Them rubbish to start the day...

Did you just cite Wired as a source? ... Man.

FWIW, 42% of the total US population (61% of US Internet users) has broadband, as of September 2005. And as far as I know, Sweden and Hong Kong are still kicking everyone's ass, South Korea included.
The point Hajamin was making was that Ilkidarios was engaging in completely ignorant cultural slandering with his dig at South Koreans as having nothing to do but work in shoe factories.

And Hajamin is also correct about South Korea leading the world in broadband penetration. Here's another link:
http://www.itu.int/ITU-D....04.html

1. South Korea
2. Hong Kong
3. Netherlands


--matt
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Old 01-14-2006, 02:28 PM   #99
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While I understand that is it not generally considered a good idea to post without reading the entire topic, I grow tired of wading through semantics and mudslinging (pun intended), and thus have only read about half of the ten pages here.

That said, I do believe it would be wonderful for a deeper classification system to be created for the MUDs listed on TMS. However, if that is going to happen, it should at least be accurate. My experience with MUDs have largely been with IRE games, and they are indeed free to play. Some characters in Aetolia that I've had, have never once purchased credits, and one or both have gotten to be publically known during their day and age. I was a decent fighter (in comparison to people with as much MUDding experience as I, I didn't expect to be a top ten fighter when I started MUDding), I was well known in the circles I ran in, and most of all I enjoyed playing for free.

Now, in Lusternia, I'm regarding as someone with extraordinary wealth, primarily due to the fact that I finally have a decent job. But could those things that I've purchased be gained without credits? Indeed they could! In fact, as I've stated in the past here and elsewhere, there's a fantastic example of a player that rose to lv100, had many sets of skills fully learned, and the only time she got credits from outside the game, was when someone purchased a small amount on her, to make sure that if she ever went inactive, she wouldn't eventually be wiped.

I've seen an heard about other MUDs that advertise free to play, but are not. These are the ones that require you to pay a fee up front, and then the rest of your gaming experience is "free". Now, is making you pay to play free? Er, no. Is IRE falsely advertising because it says it is free to play. No! Just because you can accelerate your character's growth with the possibility to purchase credits does not mean that the game is not free, because I know there are hundreds of Lusternians that have never purchased credits.

So, in summary, there's no reason why we could not have a more in-depth system, but it should accurately reflect what the game really is.
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Old 01-14-2006, 02:29 PM   #100
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The point Hajamin was making was that Ilkidarios was engaging in completely ignorant cultural slandering with his dig at South Koreans as having nothing to do but work in shoe factories.
I am aware of this. He also claimed that 30% of US homes have dialup or better, which is complete nonsense (see recent statistics).

Equating Korea to Japan economically was pretty silly too, considering that Japan's economy is roughly 4 times as large as South Korea's. I'm not saying that justifies Ilkidarios's comment, but come on. Ignorance does not justify further ignorance.
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