recent crashes and thoughts about them
Over the past few days, I have heard of and personally witnessed a few cases where players have lost valuable items due to bugs in game code, whether directly or indirectly as a result of them. As players, we accept the fact that there are and will always be bugs in the code - as a consultant doing development for large corporations, I know all about bugs :P What I think the immortal staff fail to see is the impact this has on players. Here are two cases in point which bothered me.
first, player trades an item with another player for a SL run. Player one saves, player two does not. Mud crashes within a few minutes due to a bug verified as somebody trying to pick a door that wasn't locked. The color-strung item owned by the first player goes into item heaven, as he saved without it and the other player did not save with it. The player asks for a reimbursement after the crash, and receives no response.
secondly a player is trying out some eq, drops his bag with a coupon and other stuff in it, the system autosaves him, then the mud crashes. Again, the result of a bug in the code, but again a loss to the player.
If I were the immortal involved, I would have thought a reimbursement under the circumstances was warranted. Especially in the first case, where the color strung item is well known to many players here. If I may quote the helpfiles on reimbursement, a REIMB will ONLY be done when the loss is caused by a bug in the game code. Seems straightforward to me.
Now I'm not an immortal on this mud, and although I've been very interested in becoming one someday, I'm starting to change my mind. The role of the immortal, to me, is to enhance and improve the mud, as wel as to improve the atmosphere and provide an enjoyable experience for the players. We players may not like everything the immortal staff does, but in most cases we can understand the reasons.
I fail to see the reasoning here, and I hope that there is a reasonable explanation for it.
As a side note, to assure players and immorts alike that I'm not simply whining (I wasn't involved in either case), I took the time to write a lengthy and detailed email to the imp staff regarding some other opinion opinions and suggestions I had regarding recent happenings. The recipient of that email thought enough of it to forward it to the godlist, and yet didn't think enough of it to reply to me, good, bad, or otherwise.
If I may quote the closing of my email:
I hope you'll consider some of the above, and provide an explanation so that at least one more will understand. If not, then perhaps some of the whiners are right, and the imms really don't care about the players here. I find that hard to believe, but I guess I will find out soon enough. Just don't lose sight of the reason you started and continue to run this mud - ultimately it's for the players.
Sent Friday, November 14, 1997. and no reply.
Perhaps we all now know the answer
Fenris, who's deciding whether the fun is worth the frustration.
Since I have been here I have reported numerous bugs, minor and major, through the bug channels, in notes, and in tells- at least one of these was a bug which got me pkilled, which could easily have been exploited with no possible chance of detection, and I could have done very nicely keeping to myself. I have never once received so much as a thank-you, either verbally, or in a note, nor any response telling me that a bug was known about already, or had been investigated and confirmed, or anything else- except from Leila, who sent thank-you notes to a couple of my other characters.
The thing is, when you discover something and report it, you are often intensely curious about it and it is nice to get a response. I do not get, offended because people do not say 'thank-you', or take the time to get back to people with an explanation when they have taken the trouble to report things, but I certainly think it is a good policy to do both. However, this is probably not the place to have a whine :) One thing that has occurred to me is that if is probably often very difficult for immortals to decide how to handle something like a reimbursement request on the spot. To ensure consistency, perhaps such requests should be recorded and referred to a particular person, who ensures that the same policy is applied in each case? I mean that suggestion for cases where there is some ambiguity about the validity of the request- obviosly there will be some cases where a reimburse is clearly indicated or not indicated.
The mud autosaves infrequently, so to be safe you should save yourself manually.
The lost item due to one saving and the other not is not the fault of the game, but the fault of those that chanced and didn't save. While I know what its like to lose eq, be it old or strung, I can't do much about this one. =\
The ONLY instance of reimbursal is if you lose eq because of a bug in the game.
A bug in the game being not the general code of the game itself, but something such as when the lion would eat corpses and the eq in them. Or somebody intentionally crashing the mud(that which would not only reimb those that lost their eq, but delete the offender).
In any case, if you are not happy with an answer an immortal has given you regarding your complaint, please feel free to bring it up with me, or the Imps.
I hope this clears some things up.
The same applies to putting yourself over rent. If you chose to do things outside the region where save is guaranteed to work, then IMHO, that's a risk you're taking.
Admittedly, cases where you just don't type save in time are harder to justify not granting re-imbs for. The justification there basically is that players basically never claim losing eq was their fault. If re-imbs are granted to everyone who says they couldn't save in time, basically you just get an always-reimb policy. Obviously if there's some evidence they couldn't (like them dropping the item that put them overrent caused the crash) then it's different.
While I'd agree that maybe the circumstances under which re-imbs are granted should probably be expanded some, there -is- a mechanism to prevent eq-loss in case of crashes, so I don't think that aside from exceptional cases, losing eq in a crash is grounds for a re-imb.
After all, this seems to be the biggest problem here, and the biggest threat right now to all us veterans leaving in frustration.
But hey, that's my suggestion. It'll just get shot down like all the rest of them, so why do I bother?
I guess I just hope somebody cares enough to listen for once.
Earthworm, the wiggly surgeon
aka Fenris (ooc we're the same person)
Having run a mud of your own, perhaps you also know that in a free-reimb policy, you end up getting a call from EVERY SINGLE PLAYER every time the mud crashes. :) (Well,a bit of hyperbole there, but...)
The sad fact is that players DO regard the mud as a competition, to reach the goal of level 50 or whatever--at the very least, many do. And to get what they see as their goal, they lie about what they have lost in order to get reimbed.
There is no way to say, "ah, he didn'thave time to save" in any way which can prevent this lie from getting through. It is simply a case where it is better not to reimb than to end up giving away free items to people who then maybe use them in pk against others, or who simply end up more powerful more quickly, and thus irritate the rest of the playerbase.
On top of that, there's all the imms who make a judgement call like that getting accused of playing favorites. "You said he didn'thave time to save but I didn't either!"
Call me cynical, but no, I don't trust the players to be as fair as the imms are trying to be. :( I base this on what are by now many years of doing this. :P
I fail to see where anything in either my, or Joachim's, post shows any of the 'imm vs players' type thing that you mention. Again, as I said in my append, neither of the parties that lost their eq have spoken, or written to me about the matter, so I don't know what happened.
Yes, it does take one command to load an item, as long as that item doesn't have the same keyword as any other of the items out there, then in that case, you have to search that item out, etc, etc. And it can take a bit to load an entire set of eq for a person. Though, I've done it before, and don't mind doing it if a reimb is called for. You said in the first post that a few min later the mud crashed(after playerA gave playerB their weapon, and playerA saved). That, we will not, have not, and probably won't ever, reimb for. I'm sorry, but its just not something that's unavoidable.
I can't judge something that I really know nothing about, other than hearsay.
And I'll admit that Fenris' closing "deciding whether the fun is worth the frustration" is something that has crossed the minds of many immortals lately as it seems we're damned if we do or damned if we don't.
Enjoy it while it's here... enough policies like this and we'll find elsewhere to mud.. and NO that's not a "change it or i'll leave threat", I just don't give my time, money, and advice to a mud that doesn't want it. Maybe I should have posted this on the welcome board, and gotten some additional player input on it, because I know lots of people are getting frustrated all to heck with the policies.
But it is your mud, so I'll just keep my mouth shut from now on.
Fenris/Earthworm/Zark/Solitaire/various chars that actually cared at one point, but now realize that the players don't matter.
Fact is, most of us enjoy working to get our stuff, and we know there are DTs etc..., but to lose eq
because you keep fiddling with the code, giving out crash bugs on public channels, and other events causeing crashes, lost eq from those is plain stupid. chimera , tyche, stephen, just few recently lost stuff because of fast crashes. and imms clearly knew that was why things were lost, yet flat denial, if you dont trust us , and think all we do is cheat , shut down the mud.
maybe if you tried to keep the poeple who actually play here long term, and want to with a small amount of trust, people wouldnt complain.
with another char another time, i was being a nice guy and decided, "sure buddy, i can repair your wormy for ya." Big mistake. I ended up lo losing all my eq to a bug. I happened to be at the wrong place with the wrong eq i guess would be the write wording? while repairing i autosa autosaved. I pretyped rop dagger save get dagger. In the time it took fo for my repair lag to wear off, we crashed. I wasn't reimbursed.
This obviously is a bit of a worse scenario. SO i guess i could say I've had the good and the bad. The imms' aren't all bad, though i do like to argue with them:) I just think you guys need to cut some slack when it comes to reimbursing. I don't know about everyone else, but i work hard to get alot of my eq. To lose it just really sucks. Its so fusterating to know it wasn't your fault, but to still be screwed. -shrug-, my 2cents i suppose.
-Asmodean, the confused
Although the idea of 'guidelines' is a very kind one, and in the ideal world it would work amazingly well, it unfortunately would cause many more problems and frustrate many more people than the policy system. We can't just make judgment calls based on vague guidelines, because inevitably we will be accused of playing favorites and many people will feel like they were treated unfairly. I sympathize with your frustration at having to deal with a system that cannot change for every separate player, but it is the only way everyone as a whole will be treated fairly. Every single immort on the staff has played or is still playing mortals and we all know the frustration of losing eq, xp, etc. and we aren't out to 'get' the players. We're just doing our best to make this mud enjoyable for everyone, not just a few people.