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Old 09-19-2002, 02:24 AM   #1
Aeledius
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Wasn't sure where to put it, but it may affect many administrators.

As most of you know, Achaea has been trying to pass itself off as the #1 MUD in the world for some time now, and as a shock to many people, overnight in the lists they have not only beaten my MUD, a first (and mine is only in alpha, with a player base of about 5), but everyone elses as well, including Medievia's constant online playerbase of, 500+ is it? 600+? not sure exactly.

In any event, just so the rest of the mudding community doesn't think that Achaea has grown overnight or added something spectacular, or changed ownership, their latest attempt is simple: bribery.

After making false claims, false quotes, and many other false things, this is the next step in the series that once again sets Achaea at the top of the laughing stock of the mudding community.

They have they're website scripted so that when one of their players, whois is online, clicks on the vote link, the website searched the playerlists, finds a matching IP and gives the player a 10% experience bonus for gaining xp, and a 10% cut in loss of xp for dying.

I'm not sure if this is ethical or not, but I just thought I'd give everyone a heads up.

In defense of Achaea, it is a very well written piece of code, and I have nothing against the programming, but it is backed by one of the most corruptable staff the mudding community has yet to see.

James Meyer
aka Aldyn, Creator and Founder of Aeledius
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Old 09-20-2002, 05:50 PM   #2
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Synozeer banned Medievia from the listings, after it was proven that they were violating the Diku license. However there are indeed several other muds with "large" playerbases. I'd be interested to hear what the official take is on such a script - because if it's allowed, I can see a lot of other muds following suit.
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Old 09-20-2002, 07:53 PM   #3
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My mistake, I wasn't aware Medievia had been banned. I had heard much talk of it, but wasn't sure if it was ever followed up.

Congratulations on that point.

And yes, it is not a very hard script to create. I was thinking about employing such a script myself a while ago just because I was curious as to whether it was mostly players or non-players visiting my site.

Personally I find it bad ethical practice, but that is what I have come to expect from Achaea's governing staff.

Aldyn, Creator and Founder of Aeledius
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Old 09-20-2002, 08:47 PM   #4
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Smile

I think it's a bad ethical practice, personally, but you're basically giving Achaea free advertising every time you write about them in a thread - anywhere . All you're doing is giving them free advertising and telling prospective players about this place that will automatically give them XP for voting.

I'd recommend taking this complaint directly to Synozeer so he can make a call, and do less to keep Achaea on the radar.

Nevertheless, your concerns are in my opinion quite valid.
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Old 09-21-2002, 03:42 AM   #5
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It seems a little sleazy, but there also doesn't seem to be a rule against it.
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Old 09-21-2002, 06:33 AM   #6
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Heya all,

I think it smells a tiny bit, on the other side as an objective and distrusting mudder (yes, I think I am), I'd say it's strange they need to promote their mud like that, and apparently that's their way of xp-ing, *shrug* don't see much challenge in that, nor do I see a rp reason for it (I voted on a website in the outerworld and I gained 10k xp in this fictional world?!?).

But that's just me...

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Old 09-21-2002, 09:45 AM   #7
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Angry

It's slimy.
You shouldn't have to pay for votes.
More importantly you shouldn't be so smarmy that you think that it's a cool idea.

Personally I don't care much about rankings.  Might be different if my mud were higher ranked, but it isn't, and that's cool with me.
I do care though, that people that work on muds where ooc rewards of any kind are a big nono are going to always lose out if stuff like this isn't crushed.
I'll never ever play the mud that did this.  It feels dirty and slimy... like I've just been groped by a used car salesman.

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Old 09-21-2002, 04:32 PM   #8
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Angry

Its evil. Pure vile evil.
Yeah, it's been nice for me to see our Realms as #1 at TMS.
Yeah, often I've myself been asking people to vote for our mud. But I never seen any immortals doing this, and I would've been surprised to see it.
And I think (and hope with all my heart! ) that people who created such system as you are telling (if they really exist) I hope, that all they will be banned to the Burning Hells, where they belong !

Grrrrr......
They're de-te-ri-or-at-ing (ugh, I hate long words ) image of the Noble Immortals : Fair, kind, and un-selfish. Ugh.
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Old 09-21-2002, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Shao_Long @ Sep. 21 2002,4:32 pm)
They're de-te-ri-or-at-ing (ugh, I hate long words ) image of the Noble Immortals : Fair, kind, and un-selfish. Ugh.
You know, I play RoD as well and because I know you on RoD as well, I'll just give you a Funny Look(tm) instead of wondering wether you really play RoD if you got such an image of the current immortals/staff...
 
Old 09-21-2002, 07:12 PM   #10
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Big deal. RoD has bots constantly spamming a vote link. No one cares.

Frankly, Achaea is the most newb-friendly MUD I've ever played, and the system is quite a bit of fun (not playing it right now, but I'm not playing anything else...)
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Old 09-21-2002, 07:23 PM   #11
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GenmaC, you cannot "spam" the votes. Even if you set it up to remove the cookies each time, Synozeer would quickly see that all the votes were coming from the same IP address and remove them (and if a mud kept repeating the process, I suspect they'd have their entry removed).
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Old 09-21-2002, 07:46 PM   #12
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I'd like to know if the experience gain that people are said to get for voting to Achaea can be confirmed. If this is true it certainly is slimly. Since there is no message board or news on the site relating to this topic it's a bit hard to find out for sure. Is there an offical word on this subject that i could find anywhere?

Also i've heard that the quotes on the site are bogus. "The only MUD that still matters" -RPGplanet.com for an example. I, personally was having problems finding ANY meantion of Achaea at RPGplanet.com. That being the case, I find it hard to believe that it was thought to be the only MUD that "still matters."

What i've heard is that the quote did in fact come from RPGplanet.com, but as a "player review". No one who works for RPGplanet.com said that. To me, that seems pretty misleading.

If anyone knows the offical stance on this topic, please share.
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Old 09-21-2002, 09:04 PM   #13
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2Ingham :
Quote:
Originally Posted by
...wondering wether you really play RoD if you got such an image of the current immortals/staff...
Thats just what I saw... And I saw pretty much imms, and had some bussiness with them

2GenmaC :
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Big deal. RoD has bots constantly spamming a vote link. No one cares.
I never saw anything like that, and I play RoD just for a year or so (not much )... Show me any bot like this - and I'll duel its owner, or smite him illegaly, even thought it'll get my char to hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Frankly, Achaea is the most newb-friendly MUD I've ever played, and the system is quite a bit of fun (not playing it right now, but I'm not playing anything else...)
For me, it didnt seemed too newbie friendly... but I dont think this thread is about quality of particular muds

2Scorpcrys :
I wasnt playing it for a year now, since I've tried it for the first (and I hope last) time ... but one guy I know says there is such thing as XP for votes...
sounds hard to believe.. but it might be, this world is sooo evil...
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Old 09-21-2002, 10:13 PM   #14
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I realize the thread has gone off tangent, but the idea that rewarding players for voting is evil has me curious. Haing just read through the terms of service I didnt notice anything about rules to encourage voting.  Running scripts that spam the count is brought up, as it should be, but why does anyone care how i entice people to vote for the my site.  Its seems as though you are complaining about people using a system the way it is setup.

Pretty much everyone with any kind of common sense realizes that the list isnt based on the "best" mud but instead on the most populated.  It seems to reflect that pretty well.  Who cares if they reward exp, titles, or whatever.  If I reward players who frequent XXX sites will everyone get upset because im giving in game rewards for ooc activities?  I run a pay-to-paly game and I offer a free month for referrals is that an unethical way to promote my game?

Provided that the new tops of the list are not encouraging the players to cheat the current system through scripts or whatnot ( or doing it themselves) I don't really see the reason everyone is so upset by it.  We are getting exactly what the system promotes.
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Old 09-21-2002, 10:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Scorpcrys @ Sep. 21 2002,7:46 pm)
I'd like to know if the experience gain that people are said to get for voting to Achaea can be confirmed.

-Scorpcrys
Anyone who has an account there can confirm it.  Every few minutes, if you haven't voted for them that day, it sends you this messing within the MUD:

[Tip]: Did you know that you could be getting a 10% bonus to your experience gain? Read HELP BLESSING for more info.

Contents of HELP BLESSING:

The blessing will give you a 10% bonus to all xp you gain, and reduce any xp you lose from death by 10%. They all wear off at midnight GMT with the Orphean Serenade, but you can easily get one again.

All you have to do is:
1. Go to http://www.achaea.com/main.html
2. Click on the 'Vote for Achaea as #1 MUD' button.
3. Click on the 'Click Here To Enter' box.

That's it! Any character online from the same internet address (more formally called an IP address) will receive the blessing within a minute or so. The blessing will last until midnight GMT, at which point you simply vote again to
get the blessing again. We appreciate you doing this for us, and the blessing is our thank you. Thanks!

INFO: We know that some people are unable to get the blessing even though they have voted. This is a result of your ISP (often AOL) forcing you to use a web proxy. Most of the problems can be fixed if you're an AOL users by simply using a browser different from the AOL one. For instance, a standard Internet Explorer installation will work fine.
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Old 09-21-2002, 11:51 PM   #16
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Hiya...I actually joined the board because I was poking through the listings and I was nosy about this thread. *laugh*

1) Yes, Achaean management does give out this blessing for voting. Yes, this is blatent bribery. Is it against the rules? Not that I'm aware. Is it kinda sleazy? Yeah, sure. But to me there's not a huge leap from being so focused on the topmuds listing that you want to encourage all your players to vote and being so focused that you offer them some kind of reward for doing it. I guess the draw is that being on the list makes new people look at your site and maybe try the game. So really you've given in to the economic model just by being listed...welcome to The System. Anyway, yeah, if you say it's sleazy I'm not gonna argue. But I will argue if you try to insist it's some huge crime against nature.

2) The quotes are not faked. I've read the reviews from which they are drawn, and they reflect the spirit of the reviews, which you can't always say for quotes people use to promote themselves. Do people use quotes to try and make their mud look like the best thing out there? Sure they do. It's called advertising. And like I said, if you are listed on topmuds, you are advertising too...If you place any value on advertising at all, why should you sit in judgement of those who do the same? Because they have reviews that say nice things about them and want people to know that the admins aren't the only people who think the game is swell? Because they are proud of their game and want people to play it? I don't really see what's so criminal about having quotes on your web page or in an advertising blurb.

3) I'd also like to remind you that as Tavish said, topmuds ratings are weighted because they're based on numbers of players, essentially. I mean, maybe if there was some kind of class system where the votes of smaller muds counted for more,it would even out. But let's do some math here... Mud A has 500 players. Mud B has 100 players. If half the players of each mud vote once every twelve hours, that's 500 votes a day for mud A and 100 votes a day for mud B. Suppose every player on mud B votes twice a day and half the players on mud A vote once a day. That makes 250 votes for mud A and 200 votes for mud B. Mud B has a higher percentage of players voting the maximum amount of times, but they have an upper limit on their number of votes which means they can never beat mud A unless almost no one on mud A votes. See? Math. I'm not trying to prove a point here, except that topmuds ratings are based more on the size of your playerbase than on how good your mud is.

4) Maybe you think that the imms on Achaea are slimey for giving out bribes, but please don't try to tell me how they are "tarnishing" the "fair image" of the "noble" immortals. At least the imms on Achaea have a reason to be honest, even if it's only because their income (they being the top few, not all of them are paid) depends on it. I have been on more than a couple muds where imms know they can screw the players without consequences. Am I saying all imms are scum? Of course not. I'm sure there are muds where every single immortal is the noble epitome of honesty, cleanliness, and virtue...I just haven't played any yet. Whatever you may think about Achaea, every mud has its scuzzbags. If you're an admin you don't need me to list out all the ways immortals can twink, or cheat, or screw the players, or just fail to give a darn about anything in the mud besides their own egos. I'm sure you are familiar with the types, if not from your own experience than from the experiences of others. I guess the point here is...if the image of mud imms has been tarnished, it probably happened on the first mud that ever was. Fact of human nature.

5) Finally, for those who may be bothered by thinking that Achaea itself or its playerbase are being somehow hurt by the actions of the admins on this matter (although most of you don't seem to be). Achaea is not an experience-based game...oh, people work to gain xp, but it's not as important to most people as the other parts of the game. My prime example of this fact is that the top level of the game is 100...but the highest level player is only 93. Until recently the highest player was only 88, but there's currently a competition between the top few players to be the first player in game history to reach the top level. Anyway, the point is, the xp bonus is like giving somebody a shiny quarter for voting in a real-world election. Maybe it makes somebody go and vote since it takes 10 seconds of effort and they might as well, but it's not a big prize. If you think Achaean admins should burn in hell for this, never mind since you think it's morally wrong whether it's one cent or a million dollars that's being paid. But as far as I can see, all this really does is point out something that should have been realized already- topmuds is based on number of players more than any other quality.

Oh, and it also strikes me as peculiar that Achaea is "tarnishing the good name" of mud imms by encouraging their players to vote on topmuds...but it's ok for Simutronics, the epitome of pay-for-play mudding, to go to the top...I have more problems with Simutronics policy of giving special areas and events, as well as expedidited customer service, to higher-paying players than anything Achaea could ever do.

Just imo

Rhaky
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Old 09-22-2002, 12:25 AM   #17
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Angry

probbly its just my opinion, yet, well, I always thought that p2p muds are evil. And also I thought (and I think) that any rewards in muds for ooc stuff are, well, evil too... I never liked adverstiment, let the deeds speak for themselves !
So, when you tell its okay to to 'encourage' players to vote - well... my personal opinion is that it is very very wrong...
just my opinion, that is
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Old 09-22-2002, 12:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Sep. 21 2002,7:23 pm)
GenmaC, you cannot "spam" the votes.  Even if you set it up to remove the cookies each time, Synozeer would quickly see that all the votes were coming from the same IP address and remove them (and if a mud kept repeating the process, I suspect they'd have their entry removed).
There are bots that sit there and say "Vote for RoD on topmudsites!" and then list the link to do so. I only played for a couple of days (99% of which I spent in hell, for *gasp* PK, the most deadly of sins).

In other words, big deal.
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Old 09-22-2002, 12:42 AM   #19
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And frankly, the voting system is skewed toward high player numbers.

In my opinion, the review system is far more broken and should be fixed - there are system uptime/downtime notices posted as reviews, for crap's sake!
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Old 09-22-2002, 12:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Shao_Long @ Sep. 22 2002,12:25 am)
probbly its just my opinion, yet, well, I always thought that p2p muds are evil. And also I thought (and I think) that any rewards in muds for ooc stuff are, well, evil too... I never liked adverstiment, let the deeds speak for themselves !
So, when you tell its okay to to 'encourage' players to vote - well... my personal opinion is that it is very very wrong...
just my opinion, that is
Well i kind of agree with you on the "p2p" muds are evil thing. The only reason I stayed in Achaea long enough to become attached to it is that you don't HAVE to pay.

You're entitled to your opinion on the matter...like I said, I won't argue it's not sleazy. I'm just making sure any judgements people make are based on facts...

And I'm not accusing anyone in particular, but there seemed to be a thread of achaea-bashing and calling the admins liars and complete jerks based on...well, I don't know what.

Rhaky
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