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Posted by Rufus on 03/30

How to begin something as probably unpopular and grating as this is going to be is difficult for me. Let me start off by saying Legend has been my 'home' for quite some time. I have approximately eight thousand hours logged on as my immortal. In that time I've constructed two areas, working on a few more, aided in creating other areas, learned what I know of C in order to start coding here, participated in the overall game design of LegendMUD and all in all, had a pretty good time.

Over the course of this over two-year stint as an immortal, I've been accused of favoritism, cheating, coding mobs specifically to react harmfully to certain players, etc. Up until recently the rarity of these was enough to deal with on a case by case basis. Now I find myself and my fellow immorts challenged on a daily basis on many levels -- our integrity, or ability to run a game, our ability to make a game that is fair and complete and serves our intended purpose. I would have no problem had the immortal staff shown consistent signs of this, nor would I have a problem if the attacks did not immediately degrade into personal slams or gross overgeneralizations that carry as much truth and weight as a government spending report.

What I see lately is not creative nor constructive. It is definitely players unhappy with what they've got, and probably some of that can be alleviated by the staff of Legend. Unfortunately, the manner in which these problems and concerns are expressed has digressed into a mudslinging competition where the goal is not change but is aimed at getting emotional reactions out of players and the immortal staff. I cannot in any way express the level to which this is counterproductive in any efforts to bring around change on Legend.

Part of it boils down to a matter of trust. Some morts have been extremely vocal about the distrust of immortals. I do not know whether this is because there has been ample evidence to support such accusations, or a general attitude of mistrust because we are in a position of power. I'm inclined to believe the latter more than the former, but then again, I happen to be 'one of those in power' so obviously I have a more secure position. I would personally like to know how this barrier of mistrust can be overcome in a civilized manner. If the answer from your lips is 'it never will' then I suggest you take a good long look at your own view as to how things evolve and are constructed on Legend, and where you fit in, and why you feel that way.

I've heard a lot about how mortals feel a lack of stock in the game, how they are part of no decisions made and how Legend isn't a democracy. Well, I hate to break the news to you, but Legend is not nor will ever be a democracy. Attempting to create a game playable by thousands of people and keep it balanced and fun will not happen by a comittee of people who hold no more interest in a game beyond their personal gratification. The immortals on Legend begain with a coder and three game designers, being some of the finest stock from which game designers could possibly be from. They were (and some still are) responsible in large part for bringing on a staff of qualified immortals whom they (and we, as the rest of the immortal staff does have a fair amount of say in new immortals) feel can and will do the job of designing and maintaining a persistent online game and gaming community. Beyond popular belief, immortal do listen to mortal concerns, and many of the major changes have been the result of long debates, listening to bug and idea reports, and holding many many discussions over the course of the last few years. Given all this, there is still discontent. I hate to put it this way, but morts have always had a say in things. They have always had the right to vote, and that vote is with your feet. If you do not like it here, if logging on always seems to raise the hairs on the back of your neck and make your ears fiery red with anger, do not log on. No one has ever forced someone to telnet to port 9999 of mud.sig.net, it is by your own choice that you are here. And as much as this might sound like a cop-out, if Legend were so drastically imbalanced, riddled with overbearing immorts that didn't give a damn about the players, rampant with cheating, a totally imbalanced game, it wouldn't have outlasted most muds by three years. If everyone left we wouldn't have a playerbase to support, and hence no reason to keep the mud running.

To look at what Legend is now and what Legend was, I'm not going to go into 'how it was' stories because at any time in Legend's history, there have been problems. I've become increasingly aware that these are 'nature of the beast' type problems but I refuse, I absolutely refuse to stop combating problems I think that I can have a hand in resolving. I find myself, however, at an impass with the current state and atmosphere at Legend. No longer are these problems at a state where they could be resolved, because they have degraded into a personal and rather vicious slamming match. I've seen cycles of this, and they come and go, but I grow increasingly concerned as this current wave seems to be building and building and showing no signs of coming full circle again. This in particular worries me. If the atmosphere of Legend remains the way it is, I don't see the game persisting much longer. But you must realize that the atmosphere of any game of this nature is not set by the immortals, it is not set by the players, but it is set by the immortals AND the players. If those two sides are at constant war, there is no chance for the atmosphere to get better.

I've gone so far in this note without mentioning any specifics and I think I will keep that pace as much as I would like to point-by-point rip each of the current issues to shreds. What exists on Legend now is an atmosphere of gross overgenralized discontent. I see it twofold because at the same time I see players leaving or becoming unhappy, I see immorts doing the same thing. A lot of their reasons tie in together and I can tell you, as much of the burden falls into players hands as it does immorts. I'm willing to accept blame for part of the atmospheric problems on Legend, the question is, are you?

I've wondered as of late why there are very few true newbies on Legend. Imagine logging in and seeing some of the arguments that go on on chat about accusations of cheating, calling each other 'fag' or any other various array of names, making personal attacks on the players behind the keyboard that resemble the annoying flames on internet newsgroups. Step back and wonder what they think? Apparently, if you're still here, you're entertained by the prospect that this game will persist. If your actions can be interpreted and perceived as 'scaring' a newbie off, before you go jumping to conclusions about how sensative said person is, question your actions. I remember logging on here for the first time, this being my first mud, and being overwhelmed and almost discouraged by the difficulty of grasping commands. If I had to deal with some of the things that get said now on the public channels as a newbie, I doubt I would still be around.

I'm not sure what writing this will achieve. I assume by the majority of the people who read this it will appear as mere fluff, a ploy in order to mask things really going on or just a vast whinefest from an immortal who occassionally makes these kind of posts. I'm not here to say 'get off my mud' because it's not my mud, it's not anyone's mud. Ptah and Kaige pay the bills, the immortals make and administer the game, the players make up the playerbase. We need all three of these in order to get along, and without any one of those groups, there would be no Legend at all. I think it not unreasonable to make a call for a bit of introspection into everyone's motivations for why they do the the things they do concerning Legend. Players are becoming increasingly insecure with 'the man' or 'big brother' when it seems to me that this is a paranoia hightened not by actual evidence but a more societal mistrust of anyone in authority. Players and immorts alike lose track of the fact that what we are dealing with are people. Believe it or not there are real human beings behind the keyboard. And being people, they react, they feel, they hurt, they have stakes and goals in everything they do on Legend. Remember that next time your insults and accusations become personal. Remember that next time your actions are aimed at prompting an angry reaction in hopes of gaining the one-up or entrapping someone into doing something that you can then call them on. And you must remember that people make mistakes. No one is perfect and if you think we should be, you're way way way off mark. There is not a single immortal on the staff right now who won't admit it when they are wrong.

I could pass the degredation of the Legend atmosphere as a declination in the maturity level but that is not fair to me nor to the other immortals nor the players. I will say though that I have not seen this level of back- biting, mudslinging, general distrust, and general unhappiness in a long time. It's come time where this needs to change, and it needs to change in a mature and organized fashion. So in all this bitching and whining, what this really is is a call out to players. You apparently have concerns. Voice them directly to me (either via tells or mudmail) and I will address them point by point at a meeting scheduled for friday at 8pm system time. I will not promise solutions, but I will discuss possible solutions and the immort perspective on the issues you choose to bring up. I want resolution to all of this and the sooner the better. If it takes a million meetings, I will be there to do them. I am, however, sick of the constant bickering and unpleasantness on the public channels.

Thank you,

-Rufus

From: Karyn Monday, February 10, 05:01PM

Being among the few players from Europe, I feel in many ways this is an American problem. I have come to understand that most of the players are from the US and many of you know each other in real life.

I have heard of many conficlts from real life, that have been chatted here, and it surely does not belong.

Having only one character, being me, (RL) I have never been in a situation where I faced the opportunity of acting differently from how I am (RL), unlike many characters that feel they can step across the line of acceptable behavior, hiding behind a character.

Neither am I a pkiller, and I have a good relationship to most every character here, probably because I behave properly, more or less.

Legend has become to me a place to meet new people, more fun than IRC and news, and I wish people could put the hatred, envy, anger and mistrust away when they log on to Legend.

None of us are better off if the mud becomes a "ghosttown" of ancient mudders that has no other joy online, than to throw remarks to each other.

Any unacceptable behaviour is tearing this mud apart, little by little, and if we don't stop, it will be gone for good, and maybe sooner than you think.

Please weigh Rufus' message with the weight of two now, I am fully behind him, and I am outraged some of the accusations made at him and the other IMMS. Imagine one day logging on, and there is ANARCHY........

If you have something you disagree in, or in other ways wish to express to another PLAYER, do it otherwhere. If it is to a CHARACTER, please ROLEPLAY it, and leave it at that, don't SPAM us, don't ANNOY us, and don't make this mud any more unpleasant..

Please

Karyn Trader, NorseTrader
karyntrader@geocities.com

From: CLeo Monday, February 10, 10:36PM

Well here's my two bits about this...

I have to agree with Rufus on one thing... If you don't like it here, please don't start bashing on public channels on how much you hate the place and how this or that should absolutely be. By doing that, you're only part of the problem itself since you are spamming people with negative stuff.

It is ok to discuss about things you might think better like this or like that... But please, do it in a mature way.

Also, if there is something you think should be fixed or changed you can always write a letter about all of the 'this and that' that you don't like, and send it to an immortal of the administration board.

You can also set up a meeting to talk about certain of your points of view and invite some of the immortals to join in and give their point of views.

Please people, remember that Legend is what it is. It's not another mud, or it's not another video game. It's LegendMUD pure and simple. We can't have LegendMUD looking like other games and be exactly like them as well.

If you simply don't like the game at all, just please leave. ABSOLUTELY NO ONE FORCED YOU TO CONNECT ONTO THIS GAME! REMEMBER THAT PLEASE!

CLeo of the Circle of Angels

From: Rufus Tuesday, February 11, 12:00AM

A note on the meeting, please mudmail me with you questions, they will each be dealt with in the order I received them, and will be dealt with anonymously (that is I will not give out the name of the person that asks.) If you have any doubts of my integrity, please mail any one of the following: Ptah, Kaige, Sandra, Sabella, Gail, Chocorua, or Leila with a header saying that this question is to come to me without your name on it. Please have all questions in by midnight, thursday. -Ruf

From: Psytrac Tuesday, February 11, 12:28AM

I mostly agree with the posts here, but i also think there needs to be some chilling done on the part of the immortals. True, we dont need to bash immortals and accuse them of conspiracies on public channels, but it seems absurd to me if every single one of those chats are taken personally, as most, to my knowledge, are more done so jokingly, and most of the players really dont have: A) enough personal conflicts with the imms to go on a mudslinging fest B) or naive enough to believe whatever is said on public channels...

oops, got a little messy there, but hope you get the point.

I personally enjoy this mud, have left for a while, and came back accepting whatever. I still voice my opinion on things through idea, bug, pray, mud-mail, whatever, and i admit that i do whine on public channels from time to time as well. But the fact is, I like this mud, i made the decision to stay, and even if i do get whiny, plz dont take it personally and be able to chill and see if there is anything reasonable in the whining, instead of threatening us--your presence in the mud is as much a feature as the hard coding, and you are threatening the players by announcing to remove your presence.

Psytrac..whose train of thought never stays on the tracks

From: Morwynn Tuesday, February 11, 12:35AM

Okay all, no offense here but I think I wrote something to this effect a while ago on the welcome board...

True I'm just a player still, one that has been around a while to be sure, not as long as some who have been here for 3 years or longer, but longer than most

I don't know why, or how this mess began anymore, nor do I really care. I know that people have been very frustrated as of late with things going on in the game...

I can think of a lot of examples, I don't think these events were Rp things either, I was involved in some as well, and some people think I'm perfect ;)

Anyway I digress, I wish to say that I STILL feel that Legend is a wonderful place, and even though there are some very serious problems right now facing us all, if we relax and look at them through clear lenses... not those covered or scarred by anger, greed, or jealousy, we might be able to find just the things that are nearer to the core of these issues than the name calling and threats that are spamming public channels

If anyone wants me to explain more, feel free to mudmail me, and I will explain why I feel the way I do. I must apologise about one thing, my old post was erased off the Welcome board so ignore that part of my message

Morwynn Old sage and still clueless newbie

From: Helios Tuesday, February 11, 06:13AM

seems to me that the gist of the problem is the atmosphere of hatred that goes on around here...

do any of you know what I mean? The other day on as another player in the middle of a roleplay with one of the more popular players on this mud the conversation degraded to the person wishing my char was deleted and if they could they wo degraded to the person wishing my char was deleted and if they could they would. I was baffled by such a statement. I have had no real interaction with this char with any of my chars because I don't like this person but because of this ridiculous us and them attitude that goes on around here this guy hates me.

Honestly, I could care less and I guess that is why I still play here but this atmosphere is what is responsible for the general discontent around here.

Everyone thinks that just because you hide behind a terminal and keyvboard that they can afflict everyone else with their raw emotions and throw civility to the wind.

I don't know what the point is really. I think the whole problem could be avoided by people making a half-hearted attempt to just be civil and let water pass under the bridge.

Christ, just because I killed you in pkill 2 years ago or disagreed vehemently with you on chat one day doesn't have to mean that you hate this individual.

This is a game. Even if I extremely dislike someone I don't make it one of my priorities to insult them or cack over their misfortune every chance I get.

I see this kind of behavior all the time.

Helios, considered by some as the true Son of God.

From: Ptah Tuesday, February 11, 10:05AM

In response to Psytrac...

Believe me when I say that the immortals are not likely to flip out at mere joking chats, or the like. They can get tiresome, but they are easy to deal with. I think that what prompted Rufus' post are things like these:
- hate mail directed at immortals via mudmail and email
- blunt and clear accusations of immortal cheating, with no details given
- constant insults and harassment between players, in public
- a general atmosphere of distrust, dislike, and unhappiness

I understand the point that Psytrac is trying to make, but I feel that the negativity around here is more than enough to make it desirable to take action.

-Ptah

From: ParticleMan Tuesday, February 11, 06:47PM

Wow... This is all I can say about what has been going on.

I have played on Legend for 2 years now (with a recent 6 month interuption) and I have seen some rough times on here. In fact I have been involved in some of the rough times, but that has never slacked my thirst for more Legend, like what

From: ParticleMan Tuesday, February 11, 06:55PM

O.K... So I messed up.. Maybe I should learn how to do this right.. :) See, even us "experienced" players mess up at time.. :)

Alright, back to what I was saying. All the stuff that has been going on recently has actually made me feel like leaving the MUD for good. Why? you ask. Well it seems that whenever I log on there is another person flaming over chat. If I wanted flaming I could go to the newsgroups or to IRC and get flamed to my hearts desire. I really dislike flaming, especially when it interferes with my game play. I've made friends, and enemies (more friends though), helped my share of newbies, been involved in PKill, had a character deleted, and through all of this I have continued to play a few characters, all without ever seeing any of this "immort conspiracy" or seeing the imms provide special favors to any player.

I still remember when I first logged on. Boy was I lost. I was a 'net newbie, and came onto the MUD not knowing a thing about what I was supposed to do. I ran around Lima and Sherwood killing rats up to level 5 not knowing I had to wield up to level 5 not knowing I had to weild a weapon. The first meeting OOC I ever went to was hosted by Ptah ( I had to ask how to get to OOC). I still remember the topic, "Is LegendMUD a society?" At the time I was dumb and had no clue what was going on. I did stand up and make a point, which was slammed very quickly, showing my newbieness. I had people help me out, I made friends, I learned about PKill, I died many times, I found out that if you cheat, and your friends find out they will report you, and you will get deleted. I learned the limits of the MUD, I paid the price for my stupidity, I found that Legend is a society. Albiet not a normal society, but one that can degenerate into anarchy rather quickly as I have seen since my return to Legend. Players need to start acting responsibly, and taking action to help others play responsibly. I have seen a ton of changes in 2 years, some of which I disagreed with, but I think that they all have helped, and not hindered the MUD. When auction first left the game I was pissed, and I voiced my opinion very vocally along with a lot of other players. Auction hasn't worked since, and the game still goes on, and I don't even miss it now. If players could stop yelling and screaming long enough to take a look around and try to figure out why things are going so badly, then maybe we can help to bring the fun back to Legend. The imms can't do it by themselves, we as players need to help to make it work. Take a deep breath before you start flaming, and see if you were in the wrong before TELLING to an immort about your problem.

I don't want to see it, and I'm sure most others dont either...

So lets get it done ourselves. O.K.. I have to appologize for rambling, but I do love this MUD and my imotions take over at times...

Peace...

From: Rufus Wednesday, February 12, 10:41AM

as of this morning I have 1 topic of discussion that has been mailed to me. If your worries of anominity need to be secured, use a guest in which to mail the note.

-Ruf

From: Kahn Sunday, February 16, 02:33AM

wish I knew what this meeting was about or I woulda been there. Ptah, you said in response to psytrac that morts were accusing immorts of cheating with no details given, but if you go read all these posts on this particular message people are being accused of doing all sorts of things and no details, names, etc are given. I'm sure they happened, but why not name names and give details. That in itself would cause part of the distrust to go away. I mean if you sit there and read your post about some players, which players automatically come to mind as being associated with the kind of stuff you are talking about....probably the people who are bitching on chat etc, (me being one of them), and therefore it does cause distrust cause it puts people either on the offensive or on the defensive without them actually knowing the truth....ie, who sent personal threats to imms via mudmail?

it certainly wasn't me, but now the people that read your post probably start guessing immedietly, and are probably way off but that doesn't matter because those who are most vocal arguing points against the immorts probably would be thought of as doing these things...I dunno I felt threatened by that post and I did not do any of those things except about the whole vial thing with daavya but you posted pretty specificaly about that one, thanks =) Anyhow this has dragged on, but don't point fingers unless people know who you are pointing them at. At lest when the imms are accused of stuff you have to pick on out.

-Kahn, the person who thinks the distrust of the immortals stems directly from them having too much work to do and not playing enough mortals so the separation becomes HUGE which is unlike it was in the PAST which is what rufus was refrerring to I think. Plus, rufus you have spazzed a few times yourself and gotten personal, I can think of one imparticular agasinst agyar after he whomped your level 10 clanned for no reason prompting the taking out of what level you are showing up on the wholist....do you think if that had happened to a 'real mortal' such changes would have taken place so fast? When fionn, rus, birdy, bart etc used to play morts more than there imms almost, but then again they were allowed to have clanned and there imm on at the same time.... I persoanlly think every decision you all made based on jag/madcat's wild accusations should be seriously rethought....I don't believe in an immort conspiracy and neither does the rest of the 'sane' mud....we could see each other as people a lot better when we played alongside each other....this problem doesn't really affect me because I know all of you pretty much on a personal level....meaning I can say hey what's up and start talking about life stuff etc, but I've PLAYED the mud with you all, I've helped your morts reequip and you've helped mine, as for the newbies and newlyns and even the people who have been here since the restructuring of the immortals I don't see how they can see you as people behind the keyboard when you don't give them a chance too.....I know people ask to fix bugs etc and it's hard as shit too balance the mort/immort thing but I think it is important for them to see you as people like you said, and really the only way to do it is to play with them or it isn't gonna happen... Look at who are the most vocal morts....those who feel comfortable arguing with you all...i.e. those who see you as people and not some being in the skky looking over my shoulder trying to catch me doing something. And the rest just argree with you whole heartedly -poke karyn- and btw karyn you can take your europeon attitude and keep it over there...how can you say this is an american problem....I don't even want to start arguing THAT point....anyways it's 4 am, and yes I AM SOBER so I don't want to hear anything about that, but if rufus gets to rave on the board, then so do I =p....I was on at 8 also and had no idea that it was about this....I should start getting the lt and reading the boards more often.

From: Point Sunday, March 30, 05:34PM

Umm, one other thing, if this was to work at all, numerous quests that can affect alignment would have to be altered/removed to prevent people from randomly killing who they wished then taking 5 minutes to get good again so they could ren

Doh, line too long

to prevent people from killing who they wished and then taking 5 minutes to get good again so they could rent

Point

From: Point Sunday, March 30, 05:36PM

One other thing, if this was to be considered as a possible solution, numerous quests would have to be removed/altered, specifically the ones that can affect align.

Otherwise, people would simply randomly kill everyone without regard for align, then spen 5 minutes going good again so they could rent.

Point

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