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Old 05-06-2006, 09:00 PM   #41
DonathinFrye
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Those alternatives, as well as many others, have been discussed in length. Tags, lists, search options, MUD profile additions - nada. It is simply an idea called for in various forms by many, that will not succeed until something changes Syno's mind about buttering up his best customer.
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Old 05-06-2006, 09:34 PM   #42
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I disagree Threshold that being a t-shirt customer gives most rational human beings the idea that when they buy a tshirt that they're entitled to anything more than a tshirt. I don't even expect a thank you. Just a tshirt.
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Old 05-06-2006, 11:20 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fifi @ May 06 2006,22:34)
I disagree Threshold that being a t-shirt customer gives most rational human beings the idea that when they buy a tshirt that they're entitled to anything more than a tshirt. I don't even expect a thank you. Just a tshirt.
Then clearly you have only been a player, and not an admin.

I guarantee you that it is indeed quite common for people's expectations and demands to increase dramatically the moment they send a single penny to you for any reason - whether its merchandise, a donation, or a payment. And honestly, it isn't even an unreasonable expectation. It is quite logical.
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Old 05-06-2006, 11:29 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Threshold @ May 07 2006,00:20)
Then clearly you have only been a player, and not an admin.

I guarantee you that it is indeed quite common for people's expectations and demands to increase dramatically the moment they send a single penny to you for any reason - whether its merchandise, a donation, or a payment. And honestly, it isn't even an unreasonable expectation. It is quite logical.
As an admin, I still haven't noticed that from our players. I think I've had one player in total try to play that card on me, and it was because he was being banned from our website and thought it mattered. Other than that, it doesn't get mentioned, and since I'm the one handling the receipts you'd think they'd go to me.

I also disagree that it's a logical expectation that buying a T-shirt or whatever entitles you to special treatment in other arenas unrelated to the purchase. I mean, I don't demand that Banana Republic employees go fetch me a soda.

That might change if we had a hefty fee like Threshold does, however, but the small change we deal in doesn't seem to carry those problems.
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Old 05-07-2006, 12:49 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Threshold @ May 07 2006,00:20)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fifi @ May 06 2006,22:34)
I disagree Threshold that being a t-shirt customer gives most rational human beings the idea that when they buy a tshirt that they're entitled to anything more than a tshirt. I don't even expect a thank you. Just a tshirt.
Then clearly you have only been a player, and not an admin.

I guarantee you that it is indeed quite common for people's expectations and demands to increase dramatically the moment they send a single penny to you for any reason - whether its merchandise, a donation, or a payment. And honestly, it isn't even an unreasonable expectation. It is quite logical.
I have been an admin, for a mud that did sell shirts, though through a link to cafe press. I have no idea who did or did not buy the products or if anyone did.
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:56 AM   #46
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Threshold, May 07 2006,00:20
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Quote (Fifi @ May 06 2006,22:34)
I disagree Threshold that being a t-shirt customer gives most rational human beings the idea that when they buy a tshirt that they're entitled to anything more than a tshirt. I don't even expect a thank you. Just a tshirt.

Then clearly you have only been a player, and not an admin.

I guarantee you that it is indeed quite common for people's expectations and demands to increase dramatically the moment they send a single penny to you for any reason - whether its merchandise, a donation, or a payment. And honestly, it isn't even an unreasonable expectation. It is quite logical.
I think this is one of the examples of the different cultures between a free mud and a commercial one that gives out perks for money.

A player in a free mud would normally assume that by buying a T-shirt from the website, he'd be doing exactly that; buying a T-shirt, no more, no less.
Why? Because nobody ever got any in game advantages for buying T-shirts in a free mud. It just never happens, so it's not expected.

On the other hand a player in a commercial mud would assume that when buying a perk, he'd not only be buying the actual perk, he'd also be buying better treatment from the Admin, in case he got into a conflict with another player, who was not a paying customer.
Why? Because in commercial muds that use the pay-for-perks system, this is how things work. The players that never pay any money for perks may be allowed to play the game 'for free', but they will also be regarded as second rate citizens.

And in case you think I make this up to be mean, here is a quote directly from 'the horse's mouth';

I give you Matthew Mihaly, 17th Feb 2000 on Mud-dev:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
>
> Customer service on free muds is generally bad, but from what I've heard
> from pay-to-play players, the customer service on commercial muds is rarely
> any better.

Well, I'll give you an example of what I consider to be good customer
service. In my world, if a player is willing to pay for it, he or she can
get nearly anything that won't make him/her an unstoppable killing
machine. Elaborate houses with custom servants and bartenders, pets who I
will code to respond specially to the player's friends and enemies, and so
on. I've never seen a free mud (which doesn't mean they don't exist) where
individual players can get this kind of attention. Now, granted, that sort
of thing is not cheap, but it's like a really nice hotel. Not everyone can
afford it, but if you can, you get fantastic service. Our game is slightly
different in our charging structure from most of the commercial muds, in
that we are not pay-to-play. All paying is voluntary. Pay as little or as
much as you want (of course, rewards are commensurate with what you
pay). Naturally, the best customer service in this situation will be going
to the best customers, whereas non-customer players will get service that
is not as good (though still pretty good I'd say, as we value them due to
the fact that they make the game more entertaining for the big customers).

The flip side is that people who are playing Achaea as essentially a free
mud (ie they never become customers...we do have 1000 hour+ players who
have never paid a dime) are less valuable, and the threshhold of
punishment-worthy behavior is lower for them.
See what I mean?

By the way, as for the specific services he mentions, I've seen several free muds where players can buy exactly those things, but of course from in-game currency, not real money.
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:10 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Shane @ May 06 2006,18:21)
"The strategy: start a virtual world in a
game of truly massive scale, so that millions can use it at any time. Make the game free.
Allow people to use their credit cards to make transactions. Then wait for the society and
markets to develop, and invite Earth retailers to open 3D stores in the virtual space. At
that point, your Lara Croft lookalike avatar will be able to follow up her tough day of
adventuring with a run into the nearby virtual JC Penney -- to buy her owner a new suit,
for real money. The commercial potential of the new virtual worlds is impressive, and
makes them well worth a first look. "

The man Himself

More similar to the Homestar business model. Basically, the virtual world turns into advertising/marketing for the actual product.
In other words, the VRML crash of the 90s. Making 3d virtual shopping malls is a terrible idea. There's a reason that Amazon, Ebay, etc use a web interface rather than a 3d interface. It's far, far more efficient to be able to click around than have to actually waste time traveling between 'links' (whether that link is a store or a product in a store, etc).

Randy Farmer (one of the pioneers in graphical virtual worlds back in the late 80s at Lucasarts) has something about that from the Roadmap to the Metaverse conference (http://metaverseroadmap.org/) this weekend: http://www.fudco.com/habitat/archives/000047.html

He reprints something he wrote way back in 1986 as the precursors to VRML and whatnot were starting to be tossed around:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Now in 3-D!

3-D isn't an interface paradigm. 3-D isn't a world model. 3-D isn't the missing ingredient. 3-D isn't an inherently better representation for every purpose. 3-D is an attribute, like the color blue.

Any time you read or hear about how great 3-D is and how it's going to change everything about computers and services, substitute the word blue for 3-D.
--matt
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Old 05-07-2006, 04:29 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Threshold @ May 07 2006,10:20)
I guarantee you that it is indeed quite common for people's expectations and demands to increase dramatically the moment they send a single penny to you for any reason - whether its merchandise, a donation, or a payment. And honestly, it isn't even an unreasonable expectation. It is quite logical.
I have to agree with everyone else when I say I disagree that a t-shirt sale would elicit such a response. If I found out (as in, had proof and not just pure rumor) Armageddon's Imms were favouring one player over another because that player had bought merchandise, I would be understandably angry and expect the Higher staff members to do something about it.

If you honestly think favouritism is an acceptable and logical consequence of buying t-shirts, I'm just damn glad I don't play on your mud.
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Old 05-07-2006, 05:44 AM   #49
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Having the distinction between the two has been and always be a good idea. The majority of us have asked for it. Although I'm sure one person will deny this.

But as Don has pointed out many times, it will never happen unless logos signs off on it. Rather sad how it appears that one person controls a website that means so much the community...
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Old 05-07-2006, 06:49 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by
Because in commercial muds that use the pay-for-perks system, this is how things work. The players that never pay any money for perks may be allowed to play the game 'for free', but they will also be regarded as second rate citizens.
Not in Medievia. In fact many players we have purged due to discipline reasons try to bring up the fact that they donated and think they should be treated differently. We treat and discipline everyone the same, regardless of how much money they have sent us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
But as Don has pointed out many times, it will never happen unless logos signs off on it. Rather sad how it appears that one person controls a website that means so much the community...
I'm really tired of hearing this argument. Synozeer makes the decisions around here, not Matt. I know that Synozeer has other sites to run and that revenue from TMS is not the deciding factor on whether he can eat dinner tonight or not. If he wanted to make more money off his advertisers here, he could for sure, but he doesn't. To insinuate, over and over, that if Matt pulled his support here that the site would fold or shut down or whatever is ridiculous. In addition, I highly doubt Matt would pull IRE from here. He's told us that this site has brought his games thousands of players. Why would he choose to get rid of that?
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:02 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Naturally, the best customer service in this situation will be going
to the best customers, whereas non-customer players will get service that
is not as good (though still pretty good I'd say, as we value them due to
the fact that they make the game more entertaining for the big customers).

The flip side is that people who are playing Achaea as essentially a free
mud (ie they never become customers...we do have 1000 hour+ players who
have never paid a dime) are less valuable, and the threshhold of
punishment-worthy behavior is lower for them.
Not an attack, I am genuinely curious -- why would anyone play without being a "valued customer" under those circumstances? What keeps someone on a mud after this has been so clearly spelled out.

(I am taking the post at face value and assuming this is a genuine quote from Matt, although I am skeptical).
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:36 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Aardwolf @ May 07 2006,09:02)
Not an attack, I am genuinely curious -- why would anyone play without being a "valued customer" under those circumstances? What keeps someone on a mud after this has been so clearly spelled out.

(I am taking the post at face value and assuming this is a genuine quote from Matt, although I am skeptical).
I don't know if you were expecting Matt to answer that, but the bottom line I think is that we are talking here about borderline behavior from people who don't pay making the game harder for paying customers to enjoy. It is not at all unlike the resteraunt with the sign out front that says, "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."

I personally would like to see a mud go pay per month, or even pay per quarter, and then improve their service to the point where they could charge more per month and still keep a player base. The pay for perks model is just flawed at its core to me.

If some muds actually manage to "make money" simply off donations, how can it be that hard to implement one that people would pay $5 a month to use? Start low and build higher....

Meh, easy to say I know.....
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:40 AM   #53
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aardwolf May 07 2006,09,02
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Not an attack, I am genuinely curious -- why would anyone play without being a "valued customer" under those circumstances? What keeps someone on a mud after this has been so clearly spelled out.

(I am taking the post at face value and assuming this is a genuine quote from Matt, although I am skeptical).
It's a genuine quote alright. I didn't copy the URL, but feel free to check it out for yourself. There are several other interesting statements from the_logos in those archives too.

It seems that he talks a lot more bluntly there, probably because those forums are generally frequented by commercial Mud administrators, and not very many players. Don't expect him to comment on it here though, he generally ignores posts that are uncomfortable to him.
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Old 05-07-2006, 10:22 AM   #54
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I'm sorry but if you purchase a t-shirt and think you deserve special in game treatement for it, you might want to seek professional help. Its like me saying "Gee, I bought this t-shirt from my cable company, and now they owe me better service." Ha, ludicrious! A thank you note with the purchase however would be a nice thing but not expected.

If the mud I am currently helping to develop reaches the point where we market merchandise I can assure you that I will not cater to such selfish demands either. You purchased a t-shirt, not the sub-servience of my staff, or myself. So wipe your eyes, blow your nose and move on with your life. You bought a t-shirt. Wow. Good for you. I bought one from Wal*Mart last night. Deal with it. Get a grip. Move on.
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Old 05-07-2006, 10:31 AM   #55
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I honestly don't give a #### what you are tired of hearing Soleil. Until I see a post from Synozeer replying to any of our threads on this topic, I will take logos implied threat of removing his advertising here as the deciding factor on a couple of different topics. And I'm sure many others feel the exact same way.
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Old 05-07-2006, 12:59 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
To insinuate, over and over, that if Matt pulled his support here that the site would fold or shut down or whatever is ridiculous. In addition, I highly doubt Matt would pull IRE from here. He's told us that this site has brought his games thousands of players. Why would he choose to get rid of that?
I don't think TMS would shut down if Matt pulled his advertising. However, IRE is certainly Syno's best customer both traffic-wise and advertising-wise.

As far as Matt goes - I can only assume that there was at least some amount of promise behind his words. But if you are really curious as to why he would do it - you should ask him. He's the one who made the comments. We have just reacted to them.
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:31 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by
However, IRE is certainly Syno's best customer both traffic-wise and advertising-wise.
We rock.

--matt
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Old 05-07-2006, 04:22 PM   #58
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Hmm...I was surprised to see this thing up and running again. I feel strangely proud...

But my agenda may be a little different, now.

I'm interested in making a new option for the discerning player, but not in giving pay-for-play/perk muds a black mark to deliberately try to hurt their business, and I feel like that's what's on the agenda for more than a few folks.

If it can be done tastefully and in the spirit of fair play, I'm all for it. But I'm having trouble thinking of a good way to go about it even after all this time, and so I don't blame Synozeer for any hesitancy or outright washing his hands of the topic.
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Old 05-07-2006, 04:29 PM   #59
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And as an aside, I don't appreciate that kind of input, Splork, and I'm not the only one. There are a lot of times I have to take a few minutes to backspace an entire post and do it right (consult a girlfriend if you have one, mine's my better half) and you've probably seen a few where it's obvious she wasn't around to help me calm down. Just chill; I'll keep trying if you do, too.

I think Shane's a good example of the objectiveness and professionalism we all claim to have, and seeing folks like him refuse to get bogged down in all this nasty #### gives me a little more hope for humanity. Bravo, Shane, and keep up the good work.  
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Old 05-07-2006, 04:55 PM   #60
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When a person posts on public forums, they are apt to receive all types of input. We are not robots and some of us are not afraid to show their true thoughts and feelings on a subject or person. You should easily be able to understand the substance of the post rather than concentrating on one sentence.

I'll apologize if anything I've written is ever proven incorrect.

Thanks for the advice on how to post, but I think I'll continue about my path. The day I need to ask my gf to proofread what I have to write is the day I stop posting. I guess I just haven't cared enough to write such offensive material to have needed to backspace and delete it, shrugs... although I guess I could of left out the first sentence-) But one slightly rude sentence out of the 100 I have written is hardly call for a proofreader...
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