Malus' post on Sparkle board not on the forum?

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Makfly
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Malus' post on Sparkle board not on the forum?

Post by Makfly » 16 Oct 2018 19:47

It seems that Malus' post on the general board in Sparkle has not been transferred to the forum, so it can be read here. Strangely enough a later post has, so it seems that it's just his post missing?

I don't know if this is the right place to post, or who to PM, so I thought I'd ask here, if anyone knew what was up?
Mortimor Makfly - Gnomish Xeno-Anthropologist

Raelle
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Re: Malus' post on Sparkle board not on the forum?

Post by Raelle » 16 Oct 2018 20:32

curious..


Code: Select all

Reading note number 48.

Re: Korin                                  50 Malus       Liege   15 Oct 2018

Hi Korin,

Like you, I don't see Genesis as a place designed for incrementing integers.
Incrementing integers is obviously something done in code for various purposes,
but Genesis clearly set out to be different than other MUDs by keeping such
matters out of view. To me, it is clearly a game built to encourage role-play
and immersion.

Ultimately, people recognized that the game is still built on incrementing
integers and understandably set out to take full advantage of it. How can you
blame them? However, many were disappointed to discover that the Administration
did little to compensate when this first became problematic many years ago.
This ended up causing many people who were here for the role-play and immersion
to leave the game, leaving a larger population of grinders and botters.

The "compromise" to make up for the dull and repetative chores required to
increment such integers has been to allow supervised scripting. This
theoretically prevents mindless bots from running around everywhere. However,
as I've discovered, the rules and warnings about botting are largely lip
service. The reality is that the Administration bends over backwards to avoid
punishing botters. Excuses like, "I was in the bathroom" or "I went to make
tea" are sufficient to avoid any kind of punishment. The penalties are also
reset after a period of time, so repeat offenders end up with warning after
warning. It's not that you can't make your botting enough of a nuissance to be
punished, but there is no proactive effort to catch or prevent unsupervised
botting.

So this game is not anti-bot. The mechanics of the game are pro-bot, the rule
enforcement is designed to keep botters playing, and the Administration blocks
efforts to curb the power imbalance created by botting.

If you haven't noticed, the metrics used to evaluate the success of the game
are driven by botting. By these measurements, someone grinding with a bot for
eight hours each work day without interacting with anyone is worth more than
someone who logs in and role-plays for a few hours in the evening.

And something less evident if you haven't been a wizard and actively tried to
pursuade the Administration to make a change: There is no serious interest in
making a change. The people who have incremented their integers the most are
the people regarded as the core playerbase. If the advantage they have obtained
through incrementing their integers is at stake, they are against the change.
If those people are against the change, the Administration won't even consider
calling their bluff and will refuse to risk losing them.

So, the real competitive game in Genesis is the metagame: Can you arrange your
life so that you can monitor scripts as they run for hours throughout the day?
If yes, then you have a chance of competing. Otherwise, enjoy learning how to
role-play being polite to evil monsters.

Malus

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Drazson
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Re: Malus' post on Sparkle board not on the forum?

Post by Drazson » 16 Oct 2018 21:35

<3

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Mersereau
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Re: Malus' post on Sparkle board not on the forum?

Post by Mersereau » 17 Oct 2018 01:47

Someone seems butthurt. Does he want all triggers removed?

Genesis is not a LARP.
"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."
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gorboth
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Re: Malus' post on Sparkle board not on the forum?

Post by gorboth » 17 Oct 2018 04:07

Strange ...

The only reason I can think that the post didn't make it to the forum is that the forum might have mechanics that prevent duplicate threads with the same title. On the "General" board, there is already a thread titled "Re: Korin" that was posted by Poultry. My guess is that when Malus created his post on the Sparkle Board with the same title, the forum rejected the port of a new topic with the same title as one that already exists in a given Forum Section.

If people are suspecting that there has been an attempt to suppress this post, please rest assured that is not the case. Firstly, it would not be logical for us to allow the post to stay in the game, but prevent it from coming to the forum. What is more, I think Malus has very accurately described the situation.

G.
Mmmmmm ... pie ...

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Re: Malus' post on Sparkle board not on the forum?

Post by Cherek » 17 Oct 2018 10:21

Sometimes if a poster for example finds a typo in their post, deletes it, and reposts it, it can confuse the auto-transfer thing and the post is not automatically transferred. Since I am prone to making typos this has happened to me a few times. So that might be the reason too.

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Re: Malus' post on Sparkle board not on the forum?

Post by sylphan » 17 Oct 2018 12:54

gorboth wrote:What is more, I think Malus has very accurately described the situation.
Wow. That is super troubling to hear, given that he wrote "If those people are against the change, the Administration won't even consider calling their bluff and will refuse to risk losing them."

I don't know how to read this otherwise than "We the admin know people are cheating, have caught them at it and threatened to punish them, but continue to allow ourselves to be bullied by the biggest, cheatingest players in the game." This essentially means that huge old cheating players mean more to the admin than the many, many rest of us who enjoy the game according to its rules. This could make a bunch of people feel like quitting.

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Arman
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Re: Malus' post on Sparkle board not on the forum?

Post by Arman » 17 Oct 2018 13:24

sylphan wrote:
gorboth wrote:What is more, I think Malus has very accurately described the situation.
Wow. That is super troubling to hear, given that he wrote "If those people are against the change, the Administration won't even consider calling their bluff and will refuse to risk losing them."

I don't know how to read this otherwise than "We the admin know people are cheating, have caught them at it and threatened to punish them, but continue to allow ourselves to be bullied by the biggest, cheatingest players in the game." This essentially means that huge old cheating players mean more to the admin than the many, many rest of us who enjoy the game according to its rules. This could make a bunch of people feel like quitting.
I interpreted it differently when I read Gorboth's note, but you probably weren't the only ones who thought that. Anyway, how you have interpreted it isn't the case. Gorboth has no problem punishing cheaters, and has. As Mers alluded to, different people have a different interpretation to what 'cheating' is... even though it is pretty clear in help rules I thought.

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Dhez
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Re: Malus' post on Sparkle board not on the forum?

Post by Dhez » 17 Oct 2018 14:57

Arman wrote:
sylphan wrote:
gorboth wrote:What is more, I think Malus has very accurately described the situation.
Wow. That is super troubling to hear, given that he wrote "If those people are against the change, the Administration won't even consider calling their bluff and will refuse to risk losing them."

I don't know how to read this otherwise than "We the admin know people are cheating, have caught them at it and threatened to punish them, but continue to allow ourselves to be bullied by the biggest, cheatingest players in the game." This essentially means that huge old cheating players mean more to the admin than the many, many rest of us who enjoy the game according to its rules. This could make a bunch of people feel like quitting.
I interpreted it differently when I read Gorboth's note, but you probably weren't the only ones who thought that. Anyway, how you have interpreted it isn't the case. Gorboth has no problem punishing cheaters, and has. As Mers alluded to, different people have a different interpretation to what 'cheating' is... even though it is pretty clear in help rules I thought.
I didn't interpret it as the administration tolerating cheating, but rather as: what is commonly perceived as cheating, which could be defined as gaining a power advantage over other players by automating their players, isn't really cheating. We define cheating as unattended scripting for longer periods of time and with no justification whatsoever if a person is caught doing so. If a person is caught cheating by definition, they will be warned once, twice, or more, and eventually will be punished. This punishment, however, can be revoked if we see it fit to do so (without any disclosure to the cheater's reporter so as to protect the alleged cheater's privacy). Even if the apparent intention of the game is role-play and immersion, what objectively earns you an advantage is size, and that can be acquired only via incrementing integers, which you can freely do according to what was stated previously, if you intend on doing it efficiently, of course. Furthermore, the success of the game is based in statistics, and those statistics care about players online, not about role-playing and immersion. Even if those players contribute nothing to the game's fundamental philosophy, as long as they do this within the established rules, there is nothing that can, or need, be done. Au contraire, it is actually a boon since the statistics now paint a picture of a very lively world.

I think Malus' argument wasn't about the text found in 'help rules' not being applied, but rather how those rules don't reflect what he understands are the fundamental aspects of the game, and it expresses his frustration at how his attempts at changing the status quo to reflect his vision haven't yielded the results he wanted.

On a sidenote: If the game places emphasis on players not being driven by numbers, why is it driven by statistics?

On a bit more sarcastic note: I wonder how it'd be if we changed the "There are currently # of players in the game,..." to "The game is slightly/moderately/halfway/etc... full", and the reports wouldn't talk about percentages or numbers but rather "A huge amount of players joined this guild" whilst "A tiny bit of players are active in this other one".
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Cherek
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Re: Malus' post on Sparkle board not on the forum?

Post by Cherek » 17 Oct 2018 16:25

I changed the botting rules some 4-5 years ago and when doing so I gave everyone a "clean slate". I did it because a changed the punishments to become a lot harsher, and since some players had 10-15 year old warnings from a time when both rules and punishments were quite different, I felt it was unfair to count those old warnings and punishments from an old system. The clean slate thing was something we did ONCE and to my knowledge has never happened before, and definitely not after that, even if the punishments have changed again (slightly) since then.

I can also safely say that we definitely do NOT care if the player caught botting is an old "core player" or if it's a new player. The botting rules are the same for everyone, and we would not let some old player "off the hook" if we catch them botting just because they are old influential players and we don't want to risk losing them. Nor do we accept lame excuses. If you don't respond within a reasonable amount of time, or end up getting thrown in bot jail by the captcha, you are botting and will be warned (if it's the first time) or punished according the the rules. And If you cheat enough to suffer harsh penalties, and thus decide to leave Genesis due to it, you have yourself to blame.

If anything we have very actively sought to find and weed out the old experienced players that often get reported for botting, and if someone thinks they are beyond punishment they should really think again. The most well-known example in recent times is of course Irk, who suffered the final penalty at the time (removal of all combat experience without recovery), and thus lost all XP he ever gained from botting, and more. Irk is far from the only player has been monitored very closely, but one of few that was announced in public, which we usually don't do, but Irk's case was special due to his size, history, and all the rumours and complaints surrounding him. Obviously our hope was that by making it public it would help deter people from botting, and show that nobody is safe if they cheat. Regardless of how old your character is.

Fact is though, that the majority of players we approach are not botting. Yes, players can set alarms for captchas and stuff, but for serious cases we also use much more sneaky ways to check, and believe it or not, most players are NOT bots. Scripters who glance at the screen while surfing the web? Yup. Being dragged around by a leader while watching a movie iRL? Sure. But as long as players swiftly respond when approached we can't and shouldn't punish them for botting. Some players, rightfully, report scripters who they suspect are botting, and then perhaps are disappointed when they find them scripting around in the same area the next day, week, or month, and think we don't care. We do care, but again, there is a difference between running a script and botting. In my experience, Genesis has quite a few players who use scripts, and/or get dragged around in teams, but not that many actually break the rules about botting.

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