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recent crashes and thoughts about them

1997 Topic Index

Posted by Fenris on 11/25

I thought I'd offer a few words in support of some of the excited player reactions I've seen of late to the general attitude of some members of the immortal staff. Perhaps in bringing the issue out in the open, the immortals involved will have their equal chance to explain why they are responding the way they are, such that all of us will understand

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.

From: Chimera Sunday, November 23, 03:33AM

being my color string that got lost, I have to agree with Fenris. I was told that I couldn't get a reimb for it but I don't believe that because I've BEEN re-imbed for something VERY similar to this case. I don't feel that the imms give re-imbs nearly as much as they should; often I've seen people be rejected despite the fact that they had NO control over the events.


From: Ishtar Sunday, November 23, 05:25AM

Hmm I hesitate to say this but.....yes, if I had to name my biggest personal 'whine', it would be that attempts by morts to help improve things are not often acknowledged, not in my experience anyway.

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.

From: Sandra Sunday, November 23, 09:24AM

While I don't know the specifics of either case, neither has thought to bring it to me as of yet, I suppose, here is part of the HELP REIMBURSE help file and an explanation afterwards:

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.


From: Joachim Sunday, November 23, 09:21AM

I was always under the impression that reimbs were only given for known bugs, and bugs that caused 'save' to not work right. known bugs, because then the imms should have fixed it, the latter, because there's absolutely nothing a player could have done. In the vast majority of cases of eq loss due to crashes, it was avoidable. There already is a mechanism for players to prevent eq loss in case of crashes, the save command, that's precicely why it's there. So, in any case where the words 'didn't save' are used, I question whether a re-imb is warranted. Generally, (having seen more than one re-imb done), a re-imb takes the imm doing it a rather considerable amount of time and energy, asking an imm to do a re-imb becau considerable amount of time and energy, asking an imm to do a re-imb because you (or someone) didn't type a one-word command, the command that's there so that you won't lose stuff in a crash seems to be a bit much to me.

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.

-Joachim Becher

From: Earthworm Sunday, November 23, 01:31PM

Sounds to me like a lot of fluff to avoid being fair. "You didn't save, so so you lose out"? Come on people. This is not a competition, this is not an "Imms vs. Players" type thing, it's a game. It's a game where people ar here to have fun, eliminate some stress, take on an alternate personality, and again, have fun. We all know how long it takes to string an item, and having run a small mud of my own, I know how long it takes to load an item. Exactly one command. Now don't give me this fluff about time and effort, and these whiney storys about all the policies that would have to change, and walls that would come down, and how many starving people in africa will die if we give a reimb due to somebody else crashing the game. If it's so much work to type a line or two to satsify a player that got screwed by a bug, then it obvious that the imms are going to do nothing to benefit the players I've seen lots of muds with problems, but at least the immorts care enough about the people that come back every day to respond to them without it having to be brought up on a board. Maybe what we need is some more imms responsible strictly for player relations and improving the relationships between imms and players.

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)

From: Ptah Sunday, November 23, 03:39PM


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


From: Sandra Sunday, November 23, 03:37PM

Hmm, ok, lets try this again.

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.


From: Kaige Sunday, November 23, 04:07PM

The above email in question was forwarded to the immortal mailing list before reading it to the entire because that's how it was addressed. However after reading it, I found much of the information and questions in it was dealing with issues that I was unclear on many of the specifics felt unqualified to reply. I suggested that Ea! reply to this instead.

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.


From: Earthworm Sunday, November 23, 04:06PM

Well, I guess the players are right them. A few players take advantage and you put a policy in place that screws the rest. Treat us all the same due to the attitudes of the few? Policies are exactly the reason that people get hurt. That's why any mud I've been involved with in the past has used "Guidelines" which then left it up to the god involved to make a judgement call balancing the fairness of the act with the impact on the player. What's the point if all the policies assume we're all a bunch of crooks? I've heard it from the top, so I guess now I know that I might as well just play and keep my mouth shut and not care, becaus because nobody else gives a wet hankie about it.

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.

From: Arsene Sunday, November 23, 05:30PM

well, imms chase off anothe player who was beginning to be very good at th because they think everyone is out to get ahead

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.

From: Asmodean Sunday, November 23, 05:36PM

I do'nt know what to say. This is all kinda confusing. For my part, one of my chars once hit a dt in a new area. THe problem was the dt wasn't lit due the the builders mistake. I was totally reimbursed and was extremely happy. To tell the truth, -and I hope nobody gets in trouble for this-, i had a piece of old eq reimbursed also. Now, obviously this was a good senario. I didn't LIE to get eq i didn't have, and i didn't want to waste the imms time anymore. The only problem was they didn't believe me. It took me 30 min to convince them you couldn't see the dt in the dark. Finally after i convinced them they reequiped me. Now, i can see why they have to be sure. But why would i lie? Don't i KN KNOW there gonna check it? I mean i don't know. Anyways...

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

From: Govan Monday, November 24, 12:45AM


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.


From: Chimera Tuesday, November 25, 11:18PM

well, I never blamed the person who lost my surfboard. but he went LD before the crash and was further unable to save.


1997 Topic Index