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Old 11-05-2017, 10:57 AM   #1
Bronn
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Armageddon: A well-coded game with a toxic and stagnant community and setting

Armageddon is an RPI that has, thus far, withstood the test of time. Its primary appeal to the players is roleplay backed by code, which can lead to fame or permadeath. It has earned a lot of hostility over the years, often from disgruntled players who get frustrated with the staff. As a former player and staff member who's been away for a while and has recently checked out the current state of the game, I'm writing to offer a different perspective, and hopefully, a fair one.

Game Mechanics (3/5):

The game's mechanics are fairly simplistic, but that's not a knock on them. The six guilds and numerous subguilds provide an ample amount of opportunity to create a character with a unique skill set, and a guild revamp is underway. Characters have four attributes - strength, agility, wisdom, and endurance. High values in these scores are handy, but tend to matter less as your character becomes more skilled. Skills advance through failure, as failure grants a chance - often 100%, provided enough time has passed since the last failure - to gain a point in your skill.

Eventually, this system does become rather stale, and it's harder to find unique skillsets that are actually useful in-game. A cultural stigma where some players throw out all roleplay to hunt down petty thieves that stole their worthless item make the pickpocket and burglar guilds undesirable for their actual stealing ability. Some crafting subguilds are easier to game than others, because players refuse to report wonky item costs and abuse them by selling trinkets that should be worthless for hundreds of coins. The skill-growth-by-failure system is one of the most abused systems I have seen in any game, with some players eschewing roleplay for an opportunity to fail at something, coming up with a weak excuse for their character to want to mess up at something they're trying to do. Consider this: when is the last time you got out of bed hoping to completely screw something up, possibly injuring yourself in the process?

Feature Set (5/5):

Armageddon has talented programmers who consistently add and update game features. The game’s code is written in C, and scripting is in JavaScript. Practically any practical activity you can possibly do in Armageddon's world is coded, and they often take ideas and input from players when determining what to work on next.

Game World (2/5):

At the risk of seemingly looking at the past with rose-colored glasses, I will carefully explain a clear phenomenon with any game world. On Day 1 of starting a new game, the game's setting seems vast and exciting. Every place to explore is new. Every creature or character you can run into is a new experience. But play through the game, and start again, and that setting loses some of its luster. You already know it.

It stands to reason, then, that to keep a setting interesting, new things must get added to it. Unfortunately, once you hit Armageddon's borders, that's all there really is to them. Staff have ideas on expanding the world, but they tend to fall through or get shelved. I sincerely hope I am wrong about this statement, but I don't see Armageddon's world growing any time soon. And that is because the trend suggests shrinkage, not growth.

To some extent, it's shrinking because it's practical to shrink. With a smaller playerbase, fewer players will actually interact with one another if they are spread out across longer distances.

Armageddon had two major, opposing playing areas: Allanak and Tuluk. At some point a couple of years ago, Tuluk was closed. Although the high-level staff made this decision with good intentions, they ignored reports from lower-level staff as well as clear metrics from the players showing that Tuluk was gaining additional interest and more time investment from players. Suddenly, Tuluk, which has more documentation than Allanak and was more fleshed out then Allanak, was set to close, with a final storyline to ensure that it would be plunged into chaos and swept under the rug. And while I had fun observing this storyline, it was bittersweet. The community has a loud and obnoxious subset of Allanak fans who gloated over Tuluk's closure, but what they failed to understand is that it removed outside conflict for their precious city.

Since then, the stagnancy of Allanak has been put on full display. While the staff do focus on the players there, and give them opportunities to participate in storylines, the setting as a whole does not change significantly enough to hold a player's interest for long. Staff interest has turned outward, to make minor playing locations like Luir's Outpost and Red Storm Village more interesting. But with Allanak as the recommended starting location for new players, and the main hub of activity, it sets a poor example for the setting as a whole.

(continued in next post)
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:58 AM   #2
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Re: Armageddon: A well-coded game with a toxic and stagnant community and setting

Community (0.5/5):
Staff (2/5):
Roleplay (2/5):

I am combining these three categories because, in Armageddon, they are severely intertwined. And not usually in a good way, unfortunately.

Before I continue, I will say one good thing about each of these things, because there is danger ahead.
- Community: Player helpers, the official ones with the Helper title as well as the unofficial "players who just happen to be helpful", are awesome and dedicated to their work.
- Staff: There are a lot of creative minds on staff. They are always looking to flesh out even the most minor aspects of the game's setting through additions of lore.
- Roleplay: As far as RPIs go, Armageddon is one of the giants. If, over the course of months of time investment, you establish a compelling and driven character, your investment will pay you back.

The MUD community as a whole is fraught with dramatic people, haughty people, and, yes, even unstable people. It's the fact of life for any gaming community. So when I say that Armageddon's community - a term I use very loosely to describe the amalgamation of internet people that have gathered to play it on a regular basis - is easily the worst I have encountered in any MUD, and indeed, among the worst I've seen in any game, with only online first-person shooters getting lower, I want you to understand precisely what I mean. To do that, I'll break this down into a few parts.

1) Elitism and privilege. This game is a very old RPI, and there are players who have been around for ten, fifteen, twenty years or more. They expect, and often enjoy, rights, second chances, and storylines that the average Amos does not get. This is not an equal opportunity game. If you join this game, expect to play for a long time before you are involved in anything more complex than tavern roleplay and sparring. Expect to have to gravitate toward and kiss the boots of whichever character has the most attention at any given time. Expect that these old players will do stuff out-of-theme just because it's fun and cool. And if you die, expect to start all over again. Staff, at best, do nothing about these privileged players, and at worst, hire them onto staff, despite all the headaches they create for the staff team.

2) A significant portion of the community completely ignores standards regarding out-of-character communication about in-character events. This is one of those things that's meant to maintain the mystery of the game. Cliques of players openly discuss in-character events, spread rumors about unpopular characters, coordinate out-of-game to screw over or kill characters they dislike, and more. It's horrifyingly easy to become a member of one of these cliques: just talk to someone that you think is in one and pretend to be an asshole, and you'll get a Discord invite or Skype handle quickly enough. As of now, staff do nothing about these cliques, and are seemingly resigned to accepting that they exist.

3) There is more sex roleplay per capita in Armageddon than in a sex MUSH, and I wish I was kidding. I have nothing against it, and I'm certainly not a prude when it comes to such matters, but it's not the most story-packed roleplay. Although polyamory is common to the setting, it tends to devolve into soap opera dramatics, which will likely be the peak of a sexy character's roleplay.

4) Many players do not trust staff, and many staff do not trust players. This results in a subculture where many players simultaneously avoid communicating with staff and complain they do not get enough positive attention from staff. For staff's part, they try to reach out to players, but it is easy to burn out when the response is distrust. Like any long-standing conflict, it's hard to trace things back and see who insulted whom first. It's also not important. Players and staff should work together to mend rifts, and they don't.

5) My own anecdote about my experience with this game's community is an unfortunate one, and I won't claim that it is the norm, but it has certainly informed my opinions of the game:

I started playing Armageddon in 2007. I had a lot of fun. I was even invited to staff, but I declined because I was having so much fun as a player. Eventually, though, I was between characters and felt a desire to give back to the game that had provided me so much fun. So I applied for staff, and I was accepted. I worked very hard on providing fun for the clan I was assigned to, and providing new plots, game elements, and scripts.

Looking behind the curtain was a bit of an eye-opener. Seeing how mysterious things worked was nice. Seeing how players operated when they think they're alone was not. Up until this point, I had a rather naive view that because I was roleplaying, and the characters around me were roleplaying, that everyone was roleplaying. This was far from the truth. While I was on staff, I saw code-abusers and people skilling up when they thought no staff were online. I infiltrated player cliques, often to find that big and small players alike were plotting against characters outside of the game, so that the staff body could be aware of them in case those plots came to fruition. I saw storylines created by staff and players alike speculated on and spoiled. I even witnessed, and sought to do something about, staff misbehavior, investigating things from unfair use of staff avatars to sexual harassment.

But I think what hurt the most is when I woke up one morning to a new e-mail in my personal, not staff, account, addressed to my staff handle. It listed my full name, my home and workplace address, and my cell phone number, and it stated that if I were to ban anyone else, that the information would be posted publicly. I did end up banning a player after that, and the information was not posted, but the experience soured me like no other. I think that is when I truly started to burn out. Concerned about the possibility that another staff member was involved, I elected not to tell anyone about it until I sought a legal course of action. Eventually I realized that Armageddon's toxic community had made me into an angry person, one that I did not want to be, and I stepped away, never to return.

Even after leaving, I continued to be harassed with messages and e-mails. Additionally, my personal e-mail was signed up for porn newsletters and other nonsense. Early this month, I resolved to cut Armageddon out of my thoughts. But my story continued to nag at me. So, I post this review in its entirety in an effort to provide myself some relief, so that I'm not held back by it anymore.

Armageddon players and staff will likely be tempted to reply to this review with one of their own. I welcome anyone who can prove me wrong to do so with their own actions. Don't focus on me. Focus on fixing your game and your community. I'm not the one who broke it, but I tried to fix it anyway. The least you can do is do the same.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:26 AM   #3
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Re: Armageddon: A well-coded game with a toxic and stagnant community and setting

> A cultural stigma where some players throw out all roleplay to hunt
> down petty thieves that stole their worthless item make the pickpocket
> and burglar guilds undesirable for their actual stealing ability.

If you invest your time into pestering and harassing other playercharacters,
disguised as a "pickpocket", then why shouldn't other players invest
their time into eliminating such playercharacters? Where is the fun for
the victim?

I played PPs too but I played social PPs in the sense of not aggravating
others (that is, to not steal from other playercharacters), unless there
would be a "need" for it (such as to penalize and punish those who are
on a rampage spree against pickpockets). That model worked for me very
well and it worked for others too. There is a basic saying - quid pro
quo. Don't harass others if they have not harassed you.

> The skill-growth-by-failure system is one of the most abused systems
> I have seen in any game, with some players eschewing roleplay for
> an opportunity to fail at something,

You wrote that it is a RPI setting but the game mechanics such as the
milking-by-failure system is a powergaming related mechanics. Better
skills, less chance for failure, right?

This is in some way similar to the GEAS mechanics too, although the
skill system is slightly more complicated than linear "failure leads
to improves". In GEAS, similar problems exist though, where some
players focus on powergaming and min-maxing rather than roleplay.

So this is not dissimilar to Armageddon or, assumingly, any other
MUD that can not decide whether it wants to be a RPI game or another
game.

> when is the last time you got out of bed hoping to completely
> screw something up, possibly injuring yourself in the process?

Again, this is a failure by the design of the SYSTEM itself that
leads up to such awkward playing styles. You have a similar set
of problems in GEAS, e. g. people doing tangible in-game action
just to milk for more skills. In the middle of a conversion,
people look at everything (appraise skills), look at nearby
"room" areas (training scout), doing practice moves (iron will),
reading books (study language/font skills) and so on and so forth.

Making a system that puts RPI at the center is difficult. Most
people who are good at designing game mechanics, are AWFUL when
it comes to RPI and "roleplay-enforced settings".

The reverse applies too. Some MUSH games have had wonderful RPI
setting but had no idea whatsoever about game mechanics.

Unifying both is difficult. I also think that those who are
more interested in roleplay in the first place, will have less
interest in the game mechanics, IF they are game designers too.

> Armageddon has talented programmers who consistently add and
> update game features.

That in itself never means that a game is getting better.

You can have regressions and mass retirement of players after
lots of code changes happen.

Retaining a player base when a code base gets worse, is very,
very difficult.

> The game's code is written in C, and scripting is in JavaScript.

Awful. And, awful.

Not that LPC is any better, mind you. It was created by a C/C++
programmer to just avoid having to deal with memory issues and
similar (to handle the objects and mudlib behaviour), but it is
not a good "world builder language".

Ideally any good language should be a simple but powerful DSL
that does not get into the way of the one adding content.

> It stands to reason, then, that to keep a setting interesting,
> new things must get added to it.

You probably haven't had a lot of experience with MUSHes or
player-driven game content. Good roleplayers can have their
own dynamics - the life histories of their characters can
lead to an interesting game where you don't necessarily have
to add "new things" all the time. And, again, very often these
"new things" make a game worse - at the least that was my
experience in the last 25 years (though admittedly, by now,
I have not even played MUDs more than 50% during that time;
people who hold the monopoly over the game code always knock
me out of games, simply by making a game worse).

> And that is because the trend suggests shrinkage, not growth.

You have the same problem for other MUDs, and even many years
ago. The whole world literally changed all around - it is
difficult for any text-based game to "stand the test of time".

> With a smaller playerbase, fewer players will actually
> interact with one another if they are spread out across
> longer distances.

That has also always been the case.

I can give you two examples, Xyllomer and GEAS.

On Xyllomer, PO Ash made area-related changes in the main
city. As a consequence, accessing and leaving the main
inn become harder and more annoying. Net effect? The old
inn no longer served as an interaction hotspots. Playerbase
also went downhill, although this was not solely related
alone to nerfing the area; other stupid changes also were
made, and as always, without discussing these changes with
the players prior to making the change.

On GEAS, PO Turian added an area, Karrsomething, which
further diluted the player base, right between the two
last major interaction areas of the game (Arborea and
Elvandar). Admin also killed off the old crossing area
years ago, and they do not even understand why this made
the game worse. Two non-admin wizards also stole the old
'who' functionality and replaced it with a ****tier
interface, further decimating the playerbase.

The thing is that in most of these games, someone who has
a wizard account wants to make changes, ends up doing these
change, ruins the game for others, then retires from the
game as well. It's an awful decay-cycle.

Jonas (PO Glasp) on the latter game brought the analogy of
a tavern-style based MUSH setting, with only few rooms,
being "brilliant because there were no distractions" in
regards to roleplay/RPI. Something similar could happen in
LPC-driven MUDs as well (and other MUDs), but it always
requires the people in charge of a game to KNOW what they
are doing, WHY they are doing it and HOW they are doing it.

Since in particular admin tends to no longer play their own
game after a while, they tend to lose touch and focus with
a game.

I do not know whether this is the case on Armageddon. I do
not know Armageddon so I can not judge. But I can relate
with some comments to a few other MUDs.

> And while I had fun observing this storyline, it was
> bittersweet. The community has a loud and obnoxious
> subset of Allanak fans who gloated over Tuluk's
> closure, but what they failed to understand is that
> it removed outside conflict for their precious city.

That is often the case. People don't understand the long term
situation of any game. In all the situations I know of,
though, fewer players means a smaller game. So the above
description actually sounds like mass-retiring players
away from the game. Pretty stupid, but Armageddon is not
alone in doing stupid decisions either.

> Since then, the stagnancy of Allanak has been put on
> full display.

Well, that only shows that it was a stupid decision. Recovering
from stupid decisions is VERY, very difficult. You need to have
a lot of momentum going to overcome any inertia that can arise
out of nowhere (or may already be in the game, just disguised
by the fact that you may assume that lots of players are
playing anyway).

> - Roleplay: As far as RPIs go, Armageddon is one of the
> giants. If, over the course of months of time investment,
> you establish a compelling and driven character, your
> investment will pay you back.

I can not comment on your promo since I do not know Armageddon.

However had, roleplay "investment" can only be "paid back" if
there are other players. It makes no sense to roleplay solo.

> The MUD community as a whole is fraught with dramatic people,
> haughty people, and, yes, even unstable people.

That may be your observation alone, I have no idea. In general
I found the universal truth to be:

- Either you have players. Then you have people who may complain,
be it a valid complaint or an invalid one.

- Or you don't have players. Then nobody will complain anyway
really, since there is nobody there to complain about anything.

> They expect, and often enjoy, rights, second chances, and
> storylines that the average Amos does not get.

This, to a lesser extent, can be found on other games too.

Usually the big demigods run the show and the others are their
perpetual cannon fodder. I consider this to be an awful
setup or any RPI driven game, but I am not an admin on anywhere.

I actually had some ideas for a better MUSH/MUD style setup
but ... time is the biggest problem overall for me these days.
I am also not entirely sure what features I'd want to have and
offer initially either. Coming up with REALLY great game mechanics
is also not so trivial. I'd rather focus on roleplay and storylines
first, but game mechanics must not be boring, as otherwise many
people also won't want to play (even if the focus is on roleplay
first).

> This is not an equal opportunity game

Are you quoting PO Abharsair from GEAS there?

I found this quote, or the statement in general, to be AWFUL. It
taps right into your elitism-comment. Some players get the goodies,
others are expendable cannon fodder. I generalize here too, by the
way, since it also depends a lot on the individual player at hand.

Some players can easily adjust to literally everything, others
struggle. I, for example, fail to adjust to the random preferences
of whoever holds the monopoly over any game code. It's just too
annoying to have to adjust to any game state that progressively
gets worse.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:27 AM   #4
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Re: Armageddon: A well-coded game with a toxic and stagnant community and setting

> If you join this game, expect to play for a long time before
> you are involved in anything more complex than tavern roleplay
> and sparring.

Again, this depends on the player involved. I am sure that even
on Armageddon, you can find people who can adjust really easily
so, whereas others struggle. Even new people who manage to adjust.

It happens on every game, really.

> And if you die, expect to start all over again.

A general problem of perma-death games. I don't like perma-death
in practice in regards to gameplay. I understand that it makes
for some kind of ... more intense atmosphere, since you have to
keep in mind that mistakes can cost your characters. But I feel
that it is much easier to just play a game without having to
worry all the time about who gun-nukes your character.

> A significant portion of the community completely ignores
> standards regarding out-of-character communication about
> in-character events. This is one of those things that's
> meant to maintain the mystery of the game. Cliques of
> players openly discuss in-character events, spread rumors
> about unpopular characters, coordinate out-of-game to
> screw over or kill characters they dislike, and more.

To some extent this also happened on Xyllomer and GEAS.

Not all parts, for example. Cliques played almost no real part
in GEAS for example.

The OOC discussions, though, yep, sounds familiar. Some players
have an obsession with OOC. Usually it's players who have no
interested in RPI/roleplay and are incompetent roleplayers.

But as always, it depends on admin to deal with this and as
long as an admin is not willing to permaban people who use
OOC to disrupt gameplay, so long will this continue.

Cliques are also annoying but you can group punish them. But
again, if an admin is inactive, then you can not do much,
and to me, these problems were never the primary ones. I
think the biggest factor to ruining a game simply is by
ruining the game code - mixed with a small or dwindling
playerbase. That can literally and easily kill EVERY game.
Whereas, even in the above problems and even IF you include
multiplaying cheaters, it's still better to have other players
rather than to have ... no other players. Not that I am in
any way advocating ANY of the above, mind you. I just think
it is a problem that happens on the second row rather than
the first row.

> It's horrifyingly easy to become a member of one of these
> cliques: just talk to someone that you think is in one
> and pretend to be an asshole, and you'll get a Discord
> invite or Skype handle quickly enough.

I played MUDs past 2008 without any OOC communication.

Reason was simple: I did not want to be unfair to any other
player in the first place.

So when you claim the above to be the case, I doubt it still.
Not everyone will go the clique-route or cheats in other
ways. There are also non-clique OOC connections possible
by the way. Admittedly these are rare, since "friends who
know each other OOCly, will be more likely to be friends
in a game" too, I understand this.

> As of now, staff do nothing about these cliques, and are
> seemingly resigned to accepting that they exist.

Yeah. Similar situation on Xyllomer and GEAS to some extent.

Although on the latter, cliques never were the primary problem
really. Most problems that GEAS had in regards to cliques
were players coming from Xyllomer. Including OOC talk -
this also happened mostly by some players from Xyllomer.

It's really strange to see ...

But as I wrote above, if an admin has no interest in solving
this, then nothing is solved.

> There is more sex roleplay per capita in Armageddon than
> in a sex MUSH, and I wish I was kidding. I have nothing
> against it, and I'm certainly not a prude when it comes
> to such matters, but it's not the most story-packed
> roleplay.

You can have any style of roleplay in addition to the above
too and I could also give various examples (although not
in a permadeath setting).

What are your alternatives to "story-packed roleplay"? And
can these alternatives happen with affectionate-driven
roleplay?

Granted, some players prioritize their own OOC interests
to the point of not really wanting to roleplay at all
whatsoever in the first place. But you have the same
problem with players min-maxing ad infinitum for the
ultimate badass PK-demigod, so I don't quite see why you
were to pick something that disturbs YOU specifically -
otherwise you would not have mentioned it - but don't
show what alternatives you would like to see OR not
pointing out other gameplay styles. Nor do I think that
any of these are mutually exclusive, either. You can
combine stuff. If you as a player are not interested
in something, well then you won't have an interest towards
any particular playing style.

> Although polyamory is common to the setting, it tends
> to devolve into soap opera dramatics, which will
> likely be the peak of a sexy character's roleplay.

Wait a moment ...

You wrote here that you dislike it aka soap opera dramatics.

So HOW does it affect YOU when you don't partake in any
of it?

Because I have a slight feeling that there are also
players who have no interest in "soap operas" so to speak,
who also won't make it a habit to talk about this so ...

I also can't help but feel that you dislike it, which
is revealed by the choice of your words. It's totally
fine to dislike whatever you want to but the same applies
to the reverse. From a game designer's perspective, they
will attempt to preserve the major theme of a MUD, but
this of course requires that you first DEFINE what the
theme is. In GEAS the theme is conflict, which means
PvP and PK (though ironically, that dwindled when idiotic
changes were made, such as the trap miracle killing the
little group PvP that was still left in the game).

People have different interests all the time. You want
more or fewer players? If you want to have more, then
you have to get them to play. And in general, the best
number one asset to play is called - other players. For
literally everything.

You can't have PvP if there is nobody else playing a
game.

> Many players do not trust staff

After having played at the least two MUDs, but also a
third one to a lesser extent, I would not blindly trust
anyone who is staff. In GEAS, due to the old admin team
fatiguing, non-admin wizards were put in charge at will.
So what am I to do there? Accept any random change coming
from random people? Nah ...

> and many staff do not trust players

Also understandable.

> This results in a subculture where many players simultaneously
> avoid communicating with staff

I can speak from experience in GEAS.

When you have admin not really discuss or talk about anything,
WHAT IS THE POINT of "communicating"?

I understand OOC problems here, mind you. Lack of time is a
big one. You don't get paid for a hobby project, yet you may
have to invest time into it, and then you get yelled at by
players for changes. I understand that this is no fun. It
goes both ways though.

> and complain they do not get enough positive attention from
> staff.

Very often for a reason, even though you brought the example
from Armageddon. But I am 100% sure that this is a problem
in many games/MUDs.

> For staff's part, they try to reach out to players

Armageddon then must have a better staff than GEAS has had.

> but it is easy to burn out when the response is distrust.

Also understandable.

Does the staff of Armageddon discuss changes prior to making
any change?

> Players and staff should work together to mend rifts, and
> they don't.

Eh. You have this in GEAS too.

I think lack of time is actually the bigger reason altogether,
but it is strange that you don't mention it.

Is the Armageddon staff paid to work on the game? If not, how
does it so happen that lack of time is not a problem to them?

> Seeing how players operated when they think they're alone
> was not.

Eh. You mean, you found out that people may cheat? And you
were unaware about this when YOU yourself played the game?

Seriously?

That's like thinking how the world records in sports are all
legal and valid because nobody roid-cheats or whatever.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:27 AM   #5
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Re: Armageddon: A well-coded game with a toxic and stagnant community and setting

> Up until this point, I had a rather naive view that because
> I was roleplaying, and the characters around me were
> roleplaying, that everyone was roleplaying.

You will always have some players who are more interested in
roleplay than others. I also fail to see why this should be
the primary problem, unless you think of yourself as the roleplay
police.

Admittedly it CAN be a problem when nobody roleplayers, but
this is why I wrote I am for a RPI game, where the other
elements come secondary.

> While I was on staff, I saw code-abusers and people skilling
> up when they thought no staff were online.

Well, here is the problem again - the code is obviously a problem
since it makes erroneous assumptions. Such as the skill grinding
part. This is admittedly happening on GEAS to some extent too,
but the skill system is more complex and not fully linear. It
also takes time investment into consideration (and admittedly,
the skill system also distracts from roleplay to some extent;
see the example given above, how characters behave in certain
ways to achieve tangible improves; the XP system has a similar
problem... the whole game would have to be rebooted internally
which, after 20 years, is very, very, very difficult).

> I infiltrated player cliques, often to find that big and
> small players alike were plotting against characters
> outside of the game, so that the staff body could be aware
> of them in case those plots came to fruition.

Yeah. Players get clever and creative, but I found it trivial
to see where cheating happens. Though, I assume that on a
permadeath MUD, cheating like this is even worse, since the
character may die as a result from this OOC setup, right?

> I saw storylines created by staff and players alike speculated
> on and spoiled.

Just because staff creates some random storyline, does not mean
that everyone has to like it. Same with non-admin wizards.

Some examples.

On Xyllomer, some wizard had this demon thingy take over the
Satai castle. Since the LQ was never ... finished, that demon
thingy stayed literally for many years.

I am all up for a dynamic story, mind you, but it also is sort
of bad if nothing changes even years lateron. And it's just
text, so trivial to change even by players. Build a replacement
castle and what not - that's just some text. Write an explanation,
that's also only some text.

And what does "spoil" mean, anyway? If I have a storyline and
e. g. different religions, guilds, and guild goals, then it
is natural that they will have a different opinion and act
accordingly.

I think there is still too much roleplay police in you ...

> I even witnessed, and sought to do something about, staff
> misbehavior, investigating things from unfair use of
> staff avatars to sexual harassment.

Abuse can happen all the time really.

> But I think what hurt the most is when I woke up one morning
> to a new e-mail in my personal, not staff, account, addressed
> to my staff handle. It listed my full name, my home and
> workplace address, and my cell phone number, and it stated
> that if I were to ban anyone else, that the information
> would be posted publicly.

That's pretty unfortunate. But ... how did someone else get all
that information in the first place?!?!

Do you people REQUIRE that transmission of information?

Because if so, then this is pretty outrageous.

I mean, I assume that perhaps you were stalked, which is
unfortunate - you have my sympathy cringes for that.

I can't think of many people who'd do so though. Perhaps you
over at Armageddon attracted the wrong people in the first
place.

> I did end up banning a player after that

Was it the one who stalked you? Or was it someone you took
a personal dislike?

> and the information was not posted, but the experience soured
> me like no other.

Welcome to being staff then, I guess!

> I think that is when I truly started to burn out. Concerned about the
> possibility that another staff member was involved, I elected not to
> tell anyone about it until I sought a legal course of action.

What. The. ****.

Dude, I can't really relate to any of that because that never happened
to me. Is it actually a real story or just made up? I mean, the latter
can also be the case.

> Eventually I realized that Armageddon's toxic community had made me
> into an angry person, one that I did not want to be, and I stepped
> away, never to return.

Eh ... I am having some slight doubts after reading what you wrote
above.

> Even after leaving, I continued to be harassed with messages and
> e-mails. Additionally, my personal e-mail was signed up for porn
> newsletters and other nonsense. Early this month, I resolved to
> cut Armageddon out of my thoughts. But my story continued to nag
> at me. So, I post this review in its entirety in an effort to
> provide myself some relief, so that I'm not held back by it
> anymore.

Provided that it were true.

I did not have anywhere any problem whatsoever near as much as you
did on Xyllomer or GEAS. Well, except the "staff does not communicate
with you" on the latter. And the former having made tactical erroneous
decisions in regards to code changes a long time ago (GEAS made a lot
more mistakes past 2011, largely because PO Turian is unable and/or
unwilling to listen to players. And I mean ALL players, not just the
few select who give ideas, when the others already threw in the towel
before).

> Armageddon players and staff will likely be tempted to reply to this
> review with one of their own. I welcome anyone who can prove me
> wrong to do so with their own actions. Don't focus on me. Focus
> on fixing your game and your community. I'm not the one who
> broke it, but I tried to fix it anyway. The least you can do
> is do the same.

I have no idea if you broke anything; or if Armageddon broke anything.

But the fact that you potty-mouth players on Armageddon actually
makes me think that you have some kind of problem in general.

For example, despite any problems I have had with any admin or
non-admin wizards, I always found that the overwhelming majority of
players on, e. g. both Xyllomer and GEAS, were really great. But
they also were never the reason why I retired - it always was by
people who hold the monopoly over the game code and take out the
fun of a game by ruining the game. Ironically enough, PO Jezz
pointed this out in his post-retirement addendum in 2010 in
GEAS already. Years later, same problem keeps on happening. It's
like deja-vu style repeating itself here.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:28 AM   #6
shevegen
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Re: Armageddon: A well-coded game with a toxic and stagnant community and setting

PS: by the way, could the forum here be updated?

My posts all appear top-down and this confuses me to no ends.

Also, could the word limit be increased from 10.000 chars to 15.000 or so?

It's annoying to have to chop up replies.

Thanks for (hopefully) considering.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:34 AM   #7
Bronn
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Re: Armageddon: A well-coded game with a toxic and stagnant community and setting

To be fair, I wrote a review of Armageddon, not Xyllomer or Geas, and that's the context in which my review applies to. If something isn't relatable in the context of a different game then that's not terribly surprising.

I stand by the opinions and experiences expressed in my review as it pertains to the particular game I was reviewing.
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