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Old 09-30-2007, 10:32 AM   #541
KaVir
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Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
The reality is, you will see this happen and happen often. Already this thread is filled with misinterpretation and innuendo. The fact that we can't even define what is free after 500 posts is a clear example of that.
I already covered this the last time you claimed we were still arguing about the definition of "free":

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
It was established by Lasher on page 2 of this thread (in post 37 - this post is post 409) that the users of TMS are not going to agree on the definition of "free". Since then, most of us have instead moved on to trying to catagorise muds in such a way as to avoid that word entirely.
This thread is no longer about the definition of free. It hasn't been about the definition of free for over 500 posts.


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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
I think the reason most will choose against the two box is that most do not want to accept that payment/donation/perks/coffemug purchase is all the same thing. Either you are free or you are not. Very simple.
Intentionally over-simplified to the point of uselessness as a distraction by another poster who will do anything to avoid accurately listing his payment model. Apparently you're the only one who doesn't see that, but answer me this: Do you honestly think it's useful for the players to place a "pay $10 per month to play" mud in the same category as a "completely free to play, but you can purchase t-shirts with the mud's logo from the website"?

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
Donations or buying of product on a game whether you give "premade perks" or not will always affect how the administration deals with its client base.
Debatable, and in the context of this thread, also irrelevant; the 4/5 option system also provides exactly the same distinction you're arguing in favour of. It puts the muds that don't accept any donations or payments of any kind into a separate category from the others.

The difference is that it also provides further details on the exact nature of those payments. If you honestly feel that "$10/hour required" is the same as "$1000 in perks needed to compete" which in turn is the same as "you can buy t-shirts from the website", then the 4/5 option system can still be used to search in that way.

On the other hand, if you don't care about donations with no in-game benefit, you can also search for that. Equally, if you specifically want a pay-for-perks game, you can search for that. In short, the 2 option system is a subset of the 4/5 option system - the latter covers everything that the former does, but also provides a lot more information for the player.
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Old 09-30-2007, 10:58 AM   #542
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Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

I'm not sure why the mood suddenly struck me to reply, I've been looking at this thread for a long while. Instead of taking a side, because honestly that'd be rather fruitless, I'm going to try to rationalize why the disagreement exists here, and I won't use words like 'selfish', 'for the good of the MUD playerbase' et cetera.



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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Intentionally over-simplified to the point of uselessness as a distraction by another poster who will do anything to avoid accurately listing his payment model. Apparently you're the only one who doesn't see that, but answer me this: Do you honestly think it's useful for the players to place a "pay $10 per month to play" mud in the same category as a "completely free to play, but you can purchase t-shirts with the mud's logo from the website"?
This is pretty much the point of contention here, I believe. As KaVir says, an oversimplified model will consist of categories broad enough that they're: 1) not helpful, 2) unfair to the categorized MUDs. It's not really fair to categorize a MUD that requires a subscription fee with one that accepts donations or sells t-shirts. It will cost the latter searches that would have potentially brought in new players. A number of people will simply avoid searching in the category, not because they care that you can buy t-shirts in one MUD, but because they want to narrow their search in a way that excludes MUDs that require subscription.

Now, in very much the same vein, 'donations/payment has an effect in game' is going to categorize MUDs that offer restrings for payment with MUDs that sell the 'slay' command. It's not fair to categorize all of those MUDs together in a way that tends to completely ignore the actual impact of the distinction on gameplay. I believe those arguing against the implementation of this are simply concerned their MUD isn't going to get fair consideration and is going to be discarded off-hand by a number of potential players that will simply not click that checkbox because: 1) they have a preconception about what kind of rewards paymend would provide and have a dislike for the particular practice, 2) they want to narrow down their search and simply ignore the category because they know it contains a number of models they'll never try.

I hope the MUD admins in this thread can have the respect for each other to avoid questioning each others' motivation for their stated opinions in such a way as to imply it being self-serving and detrimental to MUDing in general. Every one of you wants what is best for their game, I'm sure.
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:07 PM   #543
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Thumbs up Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
I already covered this the last time you claimed we were still arguing about the definition of "free" <the rest is snipped>
Good post Kavir. Much better than just slapping my post with a negative rating.
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:10 PM   #544
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Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

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Originally Posted by Atyreus View Post
When did this happen? In post #360 (yes, I actually waded through pages of back-and-forth about RMT, sock puppets, and poser v. poseur, to find this), Lasher wrote:

Every post since then that has actually described the systems under consideration has assumed that the text box was still a part of the deal. Maybe it was retracted in there somewhere, but I can't find it.
Thank you Atyreus! Good work. I must have been off on that. Perhaps because it just wasn't mentioned much.
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:40 AM   #545
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Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

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Originally Posted by Hadoryu View Post

It's not really fair to categorize a MUD that requires a subscription fee with one that accepts donations or sells t-shirts.
Of course it is fair. Either you take money or you don't. I guarantee you this is what matters to the majority of players out there. They want to know if money ever changes hands between players and admins. There is nothing more basic or simple as that fact. The details of exactly what they get for that money are interesting, and important to some, but to most people they are just extraneous details.

Is a store that sells t-shirts any less of a commercial operation than a gym that sells memberships? Of course not. Web sites like Penny Arcade, Neopets, etc. make their money from selling merchandise. Are they commercial enterprises? Of course they are.

The statement that this is "not fair" gets right to the root of the problem. The MUDs that sell merchandise want a marketing advantage over other MUDs. So they want the search options changed to make them look best at the expense of other games.

It really is that simple. From the beginning, this entire issue has been a handful of admins wanting TMS changed to benefit them specifically. They wanted to choose their own label for other games, while maintaining the freedom to describe their own games however they saw fit. One of those admins even slipped up and admitted it in THIS VERY THREAD. And that is precisely why the change should NOT be made in the manner these admins are requesting.
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Old 10-01-2007, 04:13 AM   #546
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Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Of course it is fair. Either you take money or you don't. I guarantee you this is what matters to the majority of players out there. They want to know if money ever changes hands between players and admins. There is nothing more basic or simple as that fact. The details of exactly what they get for that money are interesting, and important to some, but to most people they are just extraneous details.
I'd like to know what you're basing that (to be clear, that players only care about differences in money policies) on. Even Wikipedia would flag that with a 'needs citation'. As much as players have posted in this thread, they've disagreed. While that's hardly a proof that players feel the opposite, it would seem to disallow calling your version the basic and simple truth.

Taken into non-MUD parallels, your assertions seem even more ridiculous: it equates Enron-at-its-height or the corporation of your choice with the Salvation Army, because they'll both accept money in some form. No one would ever want to differentiate them based on how they accept and what they do with money. The YMCA and the professional health club of your choice? Completely equivalent! If someone asks which model they're under, they should steadfastly refuse to answer. (Personally, I prefer a health club run more professionally, but that very kind of thought is clearly a lie perpetuated by YMCAs attempting to screw everyone.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
It really is that simple. From the beginning, this entire issue has been a handful of admins wanting TMS changed to benefit them specifically. They wanted to choose their own label for other games, while maintaining the freedom to describe their own games however they saw fit. One of those admins even slipped up and admitted it in THIS VERY THREAD. And that is precisely why the change should NOT be made in the manner these admins are requesting.
The motive doesn't matter if it's ultimately useful to people who want to find a MUD. It matters in judging the actions of said admins, but not in judging whether it's a useful change or not.
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Old 10-01-2007, 04:20 AM   #547
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Re: Obfuscation

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Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
If you don't see OOC, it doesn't affect you, so it doesn't matter whether you know it happened or not. If I, as an admin, am chatting OOCly with my fellow admins or, in private with a player (in order to resolve a customer service issue or something), it has absolutely zero effect on your experience. Presumably the idea here is, after all, to provide information that impacts a player's experience (not sure what the point is otherwise).

Further, it IS possible for an admin to actually enforce these rules 100%. It IS possible to monitor all communication in-game and enforce a policy that bans certain types of communication (OOC, x-rated, whatever).

That's not the case for RMT/first-party sales. An admin can never honestly say it doesn't happen in his MUD because it doesn't happen in his MUD. It happens outside of it - outside of both his control and knowledge.
Just wanted to raise a question on this point: Would you say that there's no difference between a game that allows/encourages first-party sales and one that attempts to disallow/discourage it?

The parallel that comes to mind for me is alcohol vs. heroin in contemporary America. If I have enough money and persistence, I can pay and get either; yet, one of these things is (more or less) completely legal, and one of these things both I and the person selling it to me can potentially go to jail for a long time over, even if we may not be caught. That seems like a world of difference in both ease of exchange and the culture around them.
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Old 10-01-2007, 04:41 AM   #548
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Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Either you take money or you don't. I guarantee you this is what matters to the majority of players out there. They want to know if money ever changes hands between players and admins. There is nothing more basic or simple as that fact. The details of exactly what they get for that money are interesting, and important to some, but to most people they are just extraneous details.
*sigh*
How many more times will we have to listen to these same tired arguments?

So you claim the details of what they get for the money are uninteresting to most players? I claim that these details are exactly what matters to most.

Do you really think that it doesn't matter to a player whether he has to pay some money to even play the game, whether he has to pay a hefty sum for various 'perks' to be competitive, or whether he can choose to buy a t-shirt if he feels like it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Is a store that sells t-shirts any less of a commercial operation than a gym that sells memberships? Of course not.
Is a store that sells t-shirts no different from a gym that sells memberships?
In this context? Of course it is.

The t-shirts you can buy if you like, and leave if you don't feel like it.
But you can't even enter the bloody Gym, let alone use the machines, without the membership card, for Christ's sake. And if the owner of the Gym charges money to use the machines too, do you claim that doesn't matter to the customers either?

How dim can you be to not see this difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
It really is that simple. From the beginning, this entire issue has been a handful of admins wanting TMS changed to benefit them specifically. They wanted to choose their own label for other games, while maintaining the freedom to describe their own games however they saw fit.
You keep making these allegations of shady motives as if they matter to the actual question about a search engine.

I suppose you also want us to believe that your own motives for fighting against that search engine are all pure and unselfish?
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:14 AM   #549
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Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Of course it is fair. Either you take money or you don't. I guarantee you this is what matters to the majority of players out there. They want to know if money ever changes hands between players and admins. There is nothing more basic or simple as that fact. The details of exactly what they get for that money are interesting, and important to some, but to most people they are just extraneous details.
Count me then in the minority, because I distinguish greatly between a game that takes money for in-game results, and one that takes "donations" and gives you a T-shirt in return.

And, FYI, I am a pure player. I've never admin'ed, hell, I've never even staffed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Is a store that sells t-shirts any less of a commercial operation than a gym that sells memberships? Of course not. Web sites like Penny Arcade, Neopets, etc. make their money from selling merchandise. Are they commercial enterprises? Of course they are.
There are plenty of charitable organizations that give you merchandise for a certain level of donation. Listen to NPR or watch PBS during a pledge drive sometime. Does that make them "less" of a non-profit?
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:34 AM   #550
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Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
The statement that this is "not fair" gets right to the root of the problem. The MUDs that sell merchandise want a marketing advantage over other MUDs. So they want the search options changed to make them look best at the expense of other games.

It really is that simple. From the beginning, this entire issue has been a handful of admins wanting TMS changed to benefit them specifically. They wanted to choose their own label for other games, while maintaining the freedom to describe their own games however they saw fit. One of those admins even slipped up and admitted it in THIS VERY THREAD. And that is precisely why the change should NOT be made in the manner these admins are requesting.
The statement that this is "not fair" gets right to the root of the problem. The MUDs that have a pay-for-perks model want a marketing advantage over other MUDs. So they want the search options kept the same to make them look best at the expense of other games.

It really is that simple. From the beginning, this entire issue has been a handful of admins wanting TMS to remain the same to benefit them specifically. They wanted to choose their own label for other games, while maintaining the freedom to describe their own games however they saw fit. One of those admins (a Mr Threshold) even slipped up and admitted it in THIS VERY THREAD. And that is precisely why the change SHOULD be made despite what these admins are requesting.
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:26 AM   #551
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Re: What does "Free" Mean?

As a player, I make a huge distinction between a MUD that sells merchandise (to whit: I don't care about it) compared to one that is pay-for-perks. I want to know what I'm getting into before I join the game.

I've actually changed my opinion (shock, horror!) towards pay-for-perks. I don't mind them now, as long as I can get whatever they get with a reasonable amount of time invested. None of this "Buy the Sword of Leet for 20 or spend 1 million hours playing to get it".

So before people claim it's a bunch of admins wanting the change, I support it based on my experiences searching for MUDs as a player. I don't currently run any game, admin on any game, or play any game. I also stand by my previous assertion that just because someone is an admin does not mean that they stop being a player. Even the ones (especially the ones?) who don't play their own game often have at least one other game they play for when they need to unwind.

Questioning the motives behind the change doesn't mean it's a pointless change. If you really, really believe that Threshold as a game would be disadvantaged by this, I'd like you to explain why. As someone who's never played it I don't see why the 4/5 option system would be so detrimental to you. Feel free to PM me instead of reply here if you'd feel more comfortable.
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Old 10-01-2007, 12:11 PM   #552
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Re: What does "Free" Mean?

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Originally Posted by Xerihae View Post
Questioning the motives behind the change doesn't mean it's a pointless change. If you really, really believe that Threshold as a game would be disadvantaged by this, I'd like you to explain why. As someone who's never played it I don't see why the 4/5 option system would be so detrimental to you. Feel free to PM me instead of reply here if you'd feel more comfortable.
In short, the disadvantage would be categorizing what Free means with this 5 box system. Forcing certain games not to appear on a search engine, because of a category that is a misnomer. I think it is important to know that this 5 box system is set up to hurt Commercial MUDs by lowering searches that point to their games. While that in and of itself shouldn't stop a change in searches, I wonder what is next after this gets put into place. I wonder why so many didn't like my option of 2 boxes with multiple sub boxes if you checked box 1, basically defining out how the game utilizes payment MUCH more robustly than a simple 5 box check? I can answer this for you. It would be a greater disadvantage to non-commercial muds.

Its boiled down to who gets the advantage, not what players want. I saw this when the 2 box system with multiple options wasn't even listed on the poll or even mentioned.
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:08 PM   #553
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Re: What does "Free" Mean?

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
Forcing certain games not to appear on a search engine, because of a category that is a misnomer. I think it is important to know that this 5 box system is set up to hurt Commercial MUDs by lowering searches that point to their games...

Its boiled down to who gets the advantage, not what players want. I saw this when the 2 box system with multiple options wasn't even listed on the poll or even mentioned.
You still haven't explained why Threshold, or any other commercial game, would suddenly lose out. I just went and looked at the current search option and it either seems to be "pay-to-play" or "anything else", which as a player isn't sufficient for me. Say if I want to be able to search for pay-for-perks alone, I have to wade through all the other types of MUD that aren't pay-to-play. You claim commercial games would lose out as if every person searching for a MUD is automatically not going to look for a commercial one, which is a fallacy. People interested in pay-for-perks are going to pick the options that bring them up. People not interested in them were never going to magically start playing them just because they appeared in the current limited search unless you've been mis-labelling your game, which is your problem and not a fault with the system. By the way, this is the hypothetcial "you" again

As for the fact your system didn't appear on the poll, that's down to the fact it seemed to get no merit here from anyone. The 2 box and 4/5 box systems were the ones being mainly debated, so I added them. I told you to feel free to vote "Other" and put a link to your system in the thread but since you've failed to do so I can only assume that it doesn't really bother you. If you had done that and enough people piped up to say they liked that system, I would have created a different poll (since I can't seem to edit one).
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:09 PM   #554
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Re: What does "Free" Mean?

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I think it is important to know that this 5 box system is set up to hurt Commercial MUDs by lowering searches that point to their games.
Is the "codebase" option only there to hurt muds based on stock codebases?

Is the "average players online" option only there to hurt muds that have no players?

Is the "world originality" option only there to hurt muds with stock areas?

Is the "quests" option only there to hurt muds that don't have any sort of quest system?

Is the "pay to play" option only there to hurt subscription-based commercial muds?

The answer to the above is "no", and this new proposal is no different; it's there to provide more information to players, and to allow those with specific criteria to narrow down their shortlist.

I've heard numerous proponents of the pay-for-perks model arguing the reasons why they prefer it (not enough free time to compete, etc), just as I've seen numerous players write posts (usually on TMC) asking specifically for mud suggestions which don't have any sort of perks. This implies to me that the new search option will benefit both types of player - those who want non-payment muds, and those who want pay-for-perks.

The fact that this is an advanced search option means that people are only likely to use it if they have a strong preference about the payment model - in which case they're unlikely to play a game that doesn't meet their preference anyway, unless it advertises itself so misleadingly that the player simply doesn't find out until much later. All you're doing is wasting their time by making them manually check each game first.

Quote:
I wonder why so many didn't like my option of 2 boxes with multiple sub boxes if you checked box 1,
I've already explained twice before in detail (and others have done the same), but in short: Because your proposal was extremely ambigious, easily gamed, and too confusing.
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:31 PM   #555
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Re: What does "Free" Mean?

Okay, to pull the 2 box, multi option off the shelf so no one has to find it, here it is. Remember, these sub options were multi choice and only examples. Several more could apply. I just find this system more explanatory than the simple 4 box set. We are talking about helping players find what they want, well, wouldn't this assist them more?
---------------------------------------------------



[ ] This mud has some donation, registration, and/or payment features.
(Sub options, click as many as apply)
{ } Paying registration is required to play.
{ } Paying registration is required at certain levels.
{ } Donations are required at certain levels.
{ } Donations are encouraged but not required.
{ } Rewards are part of donations/registrations/payments.
{ } Rewards are not part of donations/registrations/payments.
{ } All rewards in this game can be received without paying registration.
{ } All rewards in this game can be received without donations.
(There could be several more option boxes but I think you get the picture)
[ ] This mud does not accept money (donations/registrations/credits) in any form.

---------------------------------------------------
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Old 10-01-2007, 04:11 PM   #556
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Re: What does "Free" Mean?

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
We are talking about helping players find what they want, well, wouldn't this assist them more?
No, it wouldn't.

Hey, you did ask.

At some point, too many categories is confusing, harder to categorize accurately, and/or less helpful. The 4-5 category system is a better compromise between useful detail and brevity.
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:54 PM   #557
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Re: What does "Free" Mean?

It seems to me that you are trying to argue that you indeed agree with most people that more information is valuable for players searching MUDs. This is how I interpret your insistence on the multiple sub-options system. Now, I do believe that you can potentially group several of those you list together, say,


Quote:
Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
...Several more could apply. I just find this system more explanatory than the simple 4 box set. We are talking about helping players find what they want, well, wouldn't this assist them more?
---------------------------------------------------
[ ] This mud has some donation, registration, and/or payment features.
(Sub options, click as many as apply)
{ } Paying registration is required to play.
{ } Paying registration is required at certain levels.
{ } Donations are required at certain levels.
{ } Donations are encouraged but not required.
{ } Rewards are part of donations/registrations/payments.
{ } Rewards are not part of donations/registrations/payments.
{ } All rewards in this game can be received without paying registration.
{ } All rewards in this game can be received without donations.
(There could be several more option boxes but I think you get the picture)
[ ] This mud does not accept money (donations/registrations/credits) in any form.
---------------------------------------------------
Since it seems you no longer have a problem with requiring a donation for a service as you mentioned earlier, you can safely go with
[ ] Payment and/or donations required to play.

Since we can now group together payment and donations (as your example allows for donations to be required as well),
[ ] Payment and/or donations required to access some content.

would group the 2nd and 3rd options, as you no longer care for non ultra specific information (you complained about the meaning of content before, but you now use words like "certain", "levels", "rewards" without a formal definition so I guess you are cool with the use of "content".)
For the 5th, 7th and 8th you can use,
[ ] Payment and/or donations accepted, has results in-game.

though it conveys a different type of information, in your wording it lets people know what they would get for their money without understanding (if they have not checked into the game beforehand), in the presented form it lets the searcher know whether the game is designed so that money will have a measurable impact in the game experience. (I am not entirely happy with the "has results in-game" bit though, "provides with bonuses during game" or something that cannot be as easil(L)y marred by nit-pickers would be prefered)
As for your 6th option, the obvious replacement is
[ ] Payment and/or donations accepted, no results in-game.

Previously your argument against this presentation was that anybody giving money would immediately compromise the integrity (if they even had some to begin with) of the MUDs staff regarding their game, which would inherently lead to them getting disproportionate advantage over everybody else who did not donate. Yet you are o-key with adding an option that says "Rewards are not part of ..." which leads me to think that you understood your previous complain was somewhat groundless.
And lastly
[ ] Neither payment nor donations accepted.


So it seems to me that both things convey a very similar message, both move in the direction you and others seem to want for the searching options (that is, towards giving players more information -see quote above-), and thus would be preferable to the 2 box model where nothing changes.

Now, the two main arguments I read over and over against the MUDs that would potentially click the "no results in-game" option is that people cannot be trusted to follow their own policies, be it on well established games or new ones and that a mouse pad or coffee mug WILL impact your game experience no matter how little coffee you drink or how good a mouse pad you had before. Oh, the_logos argument has been addressed in a prior post so I will not repeat what the_Disciple said at 6:20 am today. (no idea how to quote multiple posts)
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:46 PM   #558
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Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

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Originally Posted by TheDisciple View Post
The motive doesn't matter if it's ultimately useful to people who want to find a MUD. It matters in judging the actions of said admins, but not in judging whether it's a useful change or not.
The motive always matters.

And considering this whole movement started by and has been driven by admins, not players, the usefulness of the information is extremely questionable.

The most useful information for players is simply whether or not money changes hands. The rest is just obfuscation created by admins who want to create a system that serves their own personal interests at the expense of others.

Last edited by Threshold : 10-02-2007 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:50 PM   #559
Zhiroc
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Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
And considering this whole movement started by and has been driven by admins, not players, the usefulness of the information is extremely questionable.
Considering this is a site mainly for admins, by admins, is it really that surprising? It's like complaining that laws are all created by politicians...

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
The most useful information for players is simply whether or not money changes hands. The rest is just obfuscation created by admins who want to create a system that serves their own personal interests at the expense of others.
You keep saying that as if you have some insight into the minds of players. As I have said, I am only a player, have never run a MUD, and have never been a staffer, even. And yet, I have an opinion 180 degrees opposite from yours. I can't say that I definitely speak for most players, yet you, an admin, can?

Can you cite any other "players-only" who have posted here that support your position?
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:50 PM   #560
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Angry Re: The Non-Cold Non-Hard Non-Facts

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
The rest is just obfuscation created by admins who want to create a system that serves their own personal interests at the expense of others.
I continue to find it fascinating that commercial MUD operators get to say this sort of thing as often as they like, but if anyone impugns their motives, the silencing of the offending voice is swift and sure.
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