Discord and Drama

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Joined: 13 Sep 2013 16:58

Discord and Drama

Post by Carnak » 07 Apr 2021 15:28

Greetings Folks,

To comment on the rumours which have flourished on Discord in
the past few days. It would seem that a big dramatic mess was
created from people knowing about the white hits before the note
on the board. It would seem that this information came from me.

I talk to people I know, friends I have had in the game for many
years and family who play it. I even speak to new people who
approach me with questions and ideas.

This discourse is what keeps me in Genesis, what makes me want
to bring new content into the game and ideas on what needs to
be improved.

I try to keep the conversations civil and within the bounds of
what players should know. Some players know very specific
information and often prove to know more than myself on some
subjects, in these situations I may have blurred the lines on
what information they should have received.

I wish to make it clear, that I dont want to provide any player
with information that give them an advantage in any way.

I seem to have overshared and I will try to be more careful in
the future with what I discuss with players. Having to play
the role of politician when talking to people I know about a
game I have played for decades is still abstract for me, so
there is room for improvement there.


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Re: Discord and Drama

Post by Cherek » 07 Apr 2021 17:25

I would also like to comment on this situation, just to make sure everything is clear and there is no confusion about what happened and what actions we will take to prevent this from happening again.

First of all, we take cheating wizards very seriously. The last two years, four (!) wizards were deleted for various forms of cheating. Three of them also had their main mortals deleted as part of the punishment, while the fourth "only" had their wiz char deleted and a large chunk of combat XP removed from the main mortal. They were all new wizards who clearly were not serious about being wizards, or simply feel for the temptation of having access to stuff. They did things like explore guild halls they had no business exploring, used their wiz char to influence others which benefitted their own mortal, and/or give money to friends/their own mortal. So, nothing "huge", but still, things that mean instant deletion, and in three of four cases, deletion for the main mortal as well. So, we really take wizard cheating seriously, and wizards caught cheating are punished more severely than mortals cheating.

I know some players feel there has to be a punishment for a wizard revealing details about an upcoming change, and yes, that is certainly not and okay thing to do. In this case, me and the rest of the admin (and Carnak himself) agree that a big mistake was made here. However, I think it's important to also consider what the _intent_ was. In all of the above cases the intent was to cheat. I do not for one second believe this was Carnak's intention. Based on my investigation it seem quite clear that Carnak took part in our community, he listened to concerns and opinions from players, and also discussed Genesis with old friends. Unfortunately, in one discussion, he revealed some things he should not have revealed.

As many of you know, I am a social person but really not a super-skilled programmer. The reason I am Keeper is not because of my programing skills, it's because I am (in my opinion) good at seeing the big picture, know how to manage people, and I also think I am pretty good at being a "link" between players and wizards. Part of why I think I am good at that is because I _enjoy_ discussing Genesis, and many of you reading this have probably at some point discussed something with me in a PM on Discord/forums, or using ingame mail/tells. As you know, I always try to answer questions, listen to concerns, and sometimes just talk Genesis for the fun of it. I like being part of the community, and talking about Genesis keeps me interested, and it also helps me to keep up to date with what goes on in the Genesis world. Carnak and I are quite similar in this regard, and in his role as AoB I also think it's good to keep up to date with what goes on, and listen to player opinions and concerns.

That said, some wizards prefer not to engage with players. They like to create stuff, and want to do so in peace and quiet. That's perfectly fine too, we're all different, and I can see the appeal of that as well sometimes, because engaging in discussions with players also come with a risk. Sometimes we get carried away and write before thinking, or we get very involved, want to make a point, or simply get emotional, and risk crossing the line of what's okay and not okay to share. This is tricky, and we're all human after all. I have Genesis friends that I've known longer than my wife (and we've been together 20 years now). So... obviously I talk Genesis with my old friends, and new people I've gotten to know through our wonderful community as well.

During the years, and despite my best intentions, I probably shared something I should not at some point. I don't think I've shared actual numbers and really sensitive stuff, but I have likley made some mistakes too. Like when I accidentally gave away the location of an item during a Scavenger Hunt to a player by sending a "tell" meant for a wizard to a mortal... And speaking of "wiz-info", when I accidentally coded a backdoor into my workroom during the latest Yule lottery, which allowed some random mortals access to some wizard-only bulletin boards. They didn't contain anything really sensitive. But still... ugh. Bad mistake. We all make mistakes. Cotillion and Gorboth have crashed the game (more than once), Mirandus has admitted to making a bad call on a fairly recent AoP case, Arman unintentionally created something that was used by some players to earn lots of money, and Carnak has now joined the club by giving some people advance, and detailed, information about an upcoming change.

We mess up sometimes, deal with it :)

Carnak knows he made a mistake, and has promised to be a lot more careful in future discussions with players, which of course also includes when he talk Genesis with close friends/family. He has also left the unofficial Discord channel, and will stick to the official one when discussing ideas and changes in public. Also, I won't be as kind if anything similar happens in the future. This was a silly newbie wizard mistake, and Carnak should have known better. Now, I also feel this is a "warning" for myself, and I will also be more restrictive about what I say to players, to avoid any similar situations from happening again. I also urge any other wizards who likes to engage in discussions with players to be more careful in the future.

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Re: Discord and Drama

Post by Cherek » 07 Apr 2021 17:34

I will also make a comment about a question some players have asked in PM's and on Discord.

Will the players who gained advance information about the white hits change suffer any form of consequences?

The answer is no.

First of all, this info seem to have spread to a fairly large portion of the game, and all kinds of players (goodies and evils) apparently knew details about this change before it was announced. The benefits of knowing this 2-3 weeks before it happened instead of 1 week is honestly not a very big benefit. The other part was that we announced globally, before the change, that the damage would be "slightly more than double", and it turns out some players had received early information that it was specifically 2.5 times the damage. So, their benefit was knowing it's 2.5 instead of "slightly more than double", and knowing it a couple of weeks (at most) before other players. You decide how big of an advantage that is in the game.

In the end, it didn't even end up being exactly 2.5, so that information wasn't 100% correct either. And yes, I am revealing numbers now, something wizards never should do. But, since it's out there already, I think it's best to tell everyone. White hits now make about 2.6 times more damage than before. There you have it.

Honestly, the advantage here is in my opinion less than knowing the exact hit/pen numers or AC value of some of our equipment, and using that knowledge when selecting gear. And we all know A LOT of players somehow have that information. In 30+ years a lot of "wiz-info" has spread in one way or the other. This may come as a surprise to some of our newer players, but that's how it is. How it spread? Who knows, several hundreds of people have been wizards during this time, and the entire code for the game was even stolen at one point in history. A lot of stuff has happened. So, we do not punish people who know hit/pen numbers of weapons and use it to their advantage, and we aren't going to punish people who learned the exact white hit damage multplier either. Yes, I know you can learn a lot of by experimenting without having access to actual numbers as well, but some players DO have numbers, and my point here is that we do NOT consider you a cheater because someone at some point told you the exact hit/pen values of weapons, or because some quest doc contained information about the exact QXP you get from specific quests, or because some wizard at some point told you which stat is used in your guild's special attack calculations. Or whateever else it may be.

The fault here is ours, the wizards. We need to be more careful when talking about stuff, but we can't go around and punish players for knowing things they shouldn't, especially when WE told them. And really, if we start punishing people for knowing and using information they should not know, I'd have to punish half the game, and that would be pretty silly. Just ask yourself, do you know any numbers or other stuff that likely originated from the wiz world? Have you ever used this information to your advantage at some point? Do you think YOU should be punished for it? I don't think you should be. Unless you hacked the server to get it, or used the info for some sort of exploit or bug abuse... but that's another thing.

Okay. I hope this explains everything, and I hope we can learn from this and move forward now. As this is an announcement forum section, I have locked the thread so it doesn't spam away. Wanna discuss it, create a thread in another forum section.