player towns

SotA Developer “Stand Up” Made Public

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180

 

Well this is an interesting one. The Dev Stand Up Corner has been made public. The Dev Stand Up Corner is a pretty simple and lightweight concept; the Devs get together once a day in a scrum and pop out what they are working on. That is all it is, just a line next to a name. Example:  Richard Garriott – Story

So it isn’t overly detailed, yet it was still locked behind a 50$+ pay-wall to get access to it. Unfortunatly it doesn’t really give anyone any detail on how much time is spent on each item or any idea at all about the cost of the item in development time. It kind of leaves us to believe that in the example above Richard spent the entire eight hour working day on the Story, but see if this were the case there would be a lot more going on in the game. Unless it is all true then take a look back and see all of the things drawing the Devs away from the Core game, anything that says “POT” or “Player Town” next to it.

Why did this come to pass? Well you have to read this steam review:

http://steamcommunity.com/id/wbz115/recommended/326160/

 

Yeah that is quite correct my friends, someone left a negative review and a Portalarium Staff member got all pissy with them and said they should read the Stand Up Corner notes. The very same notes that cost 20 bucks more than the Steam buy-in. Lawl.

So they are going to unban Caliya now right?

 

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Follow Up: Player Town Discussion – Caliya BANNED

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flhammer

Molenix Claims Latest Victim – Caliya

 

Not long ago in forum right smack in our face, there was a discussion about Player Owned Towns started from a Poll by Spoon. This was one of the better discussions out there to take place on that forum, but that means it was getting a little bit hot in Portalarium’s chair. When we turn up the heat, they tend to just lock the thread in question, remove all of the posts within said thread cos “troll,” and just pretend it never took place. That is what was done here, and if you would like to read as much as the tread as you can at this point before Portalarium started to clean it up, you can download the PDF here.

Ok, so enough about the Trolling from the SotA Forum-Norm you can read about that in the article linked. What is this post about? Well mainly the unfair banning of Caliya from the Shroud of the Avatar Forum. But first, lets have a very short history lesson. I was perma-banned twice(lulz), and the second time I was perma-banned it was for asking Portalarium what they planned on doing about the Dev+ leaks from the MGT470 guild, and others.

Now we can move forward! But first. This:

POT Conversation Flow

 

oh yeah, click this puppy to enlarge or get higher res pdf here

Objects:

Blues = Thread Commenter   |   Greens with Blue border = New Topic Branch

Reds = Rule Violators   |   Greens with Orange border = New Interesting Branch(imo)

Yellow = Thread Derail Troll   |   Greens with Red border = Topic Violation

Purple = Banned User   |   Yellow With Blue border = Thread Derail Branch

Arrows:

Small Red Dash = Comment to Topic

Large Green Dash = New Branch Starter

Large Red Dots = Comment to Violation

 

As human beings, social animals, and people able to read and write, you should be familiar with the idea of a conversation tree. Hell you’re an Ultima player probably, you’re VERY familiar with a conversation tree. This is an attempt for me to visually map out that POT Poll thread started by Spoon. I was curious to see how a Poll can be started and end up resulting in the ban of a player for something totally unrelated and the answer is going to surprise the hell out of you. So I began and I will help you to understand what is in the picture.

You start with people. The first few posts were on topic(I couldn’t always place direct topic comments where they cropped up and moved them to the front due to size of this conversation). But of course it is a Forum, right, so even the initial posters are going to make a comment that is going to branch the conversation out from the root. It is natural, and nothing to be afraid of. Great examples of this early on were posts produced at the very start by Ashlynn, Kendric, and Xandra7, this too is to be expected as it would have been the first related thing to the poll discussed.

As the conversation continues, more posters reference the current branch and start new branches of their own. It really is all at the mercy of the community what is brought up and what is discussed. One of the most interesting topics brought up for example, by unicornslady, was the simple fact that developers underestimate the demand for Virtual Property. I agree, but really the only person to talk about that was Blake Blackstone.

Lets not get bogged down, as I said it was an interesting conversation and it was painful but enjoyable to map out like this. Moving on to all the red stuff which is standing out in there, but just before that now is a good time to mention what Caliya was banned for. Caliya was banned for disclosing information about the “Dev Standup” from the Founder Forum. There are three levels of access. Pleb, where you post. Founder, where you have access to the Dev Standup. Dev+, where Whales compare the sizes of their…POTs.

What is the Developer Standup? Well, it is a “Scrum.” In short, you get whoever is available at whatever time you can get them and stick them into a room. Go around the room and simply ask everyone “hey what are you doing today” and expect a one line ten second response like “I’m working on Player Owned Towns.” This isn’t anything special, it takes five minutes, and is strictly high level with no drill down to any detail. In any case, you aren’t allowed to discuss the information in the Founder or Dev+ blogs in the main Pleb forum. Despite Portalarium not requiring anyone to sign a NDA, and people leak stuff from both the Founder and Dev+ all the time both on the SotA forum and their own fan sites.

RED. The first name you’ll see half way through the conversation is Sean Silverfoot. He was the first SotA forum user to reference the Dev Standup Comments from the Founder Forum directly. Further on in you can see that cartodude joined in with his own direct disclosure of information from the Founder Forum, not only that but he continued to do it three more times. Next up forum favourite Duchess Wyldemane had to be sure to include her insider knowledge also, a couple of times. So there you go, count them: seven rule violations across three people.

So Caliya was banned. No wait, what? But she doesn’t have any big red dotted violation lines! She did reference what others mentioned and discussed the Dev Standup Comments Insane! Yeah she did, but she was addressing what was already disclosed to her by the other users. She didn’t go to the Founder Forum and start nor continue the conversation on the SotA forum with any “insider” information at all. So then how did this conversation lead to her banning!?

After the thread was locked, Caliya came over to the Shroud Unlimited forum to discuss the topic out in the open. There while in discussion on the matter some information from the Founder Forum did make its way onto Shroud Unlimited in a round-about way. So Caliya was banned, after the POT topic was locked, after three other people violated the same thing that got her banned, seven times before her… And, it is still there:

 

So what can we possibly take away from such a heavy-handed moderator & community response like that? Was that fair to everyone involved?

Not by a long shot! Message to Caliya is:

chauvinist-ad-mens-tie1

 

Why are you guys still here? Oh! All the yellow stuff down at the end? Totally nobody you need to worry about guys, so inconsequential!

 

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Player Town Discussion Trolled To A Halt

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TeenageTroll-Computer-Quote.0

Today, a topic has been locked. The topic was created by Shroud of the Avatar pledger Spoon on the Shroud of the Avatar Forum.

Original SotA Forum Topic: https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/petition-poll-please-portalarium-put-a-hard-cap-on-sales-of-player-owned-towns.33853/

Backup of the Topic before posts were deleted: http://shroudunlimited.boards.net/thread/309/put-hard-sales-pots-moderated

Now I don’t usually write a page on threads that get deleted, but due to the recent topics here on this blog and in my forum, Player Towns are at the top of the list. Not only that, but this is also another black mark against Shroud of the Avatar’s moderators and Portalarium for letting the topic get so out of hand that it needed to be locked down in the first place.

Where to start… Firstly I will present to you a map of exactly what this trolling looks like in the thread(click the image for full size):POT Troll Map

I will break down that map for you a little. The source is obvious and no surprise. People in red have been marked as having over the top comments against others, mostly Caliya. Blue = dudes. Purple = dudettes. Connecting lines show various levels of support in which these trolls showed one another in this specific thread. The bigger the line, the more support between the connected trolls.

Aside from the initial Troll, Baron Drocis Fondorlatos, one name stands out; Koldar. Not only did Koldar, and all the other moderators, not engage with users to keep them in line in this thread… Koldar deemed it necessary to make a snide trolling comment of his own as he locked up the thread:

“This thread seems to have taken a turn for the worse. I can’t say I’m surprised. :/”

 

– Koldar

Do you know why Koldar wasn’t surprised? Because he and the other mods read through this topic as it played out, and did absolutely nothing positive to it in order to keep discussion civil. They have used this tactic in the past and it allows them to lock up topics and delete posts which don’t adhere to Portalarium’s wishes, that is, posts with critical thought in them about how Portalarium are doing things.

Moving on. Here is the event which kicked off Baron Drocis Fondorlatos’s initial troll and created the basis for this thread to be killed, in a quote to another forum user he insinuated that the person was either ignorant or foolish and recomended a book to read in form of a snide trolling comment:

“I have a book recommendation for you. Marketing and Sales 101, by people that understand marketing and sales.

 

I love that we have a forum where people can voice their opinions. But I dislike it when people state opinions as fact. (i.e. everything quoted above) The idea that somehow not having limited housing or POTs is some kind of “magic formula” that would ensure the success of this game is either ignorant or foolish, in MY opinion.”

 

– Baron Drocis Fondorlatos

So that was a top notch reply, violating several forum rules at once. If I was to have posted this as InsaneMembrane they could have justifiably used it to ban me on the spot for breaking more than three forum rules. But they didn’t ban, or even seemingly warn/moderate Baron Drocis Fondorlatos. Why? Not only did they not moderate that comment, they didn’t moderate the following comments either:

“@Spoon ……. really isn’t worth the time responding.”

– Envy

 

‘People disagree with you because you are argumentative, self contradicting and quite often wrong and not because you are the martyred champion of the people. Also that load of tripe really wasn’t worth clicking “show ignored content”. “

– Thermo Lock

 

“I often disagree with you, and it is not because it is you saying it. It is because I often believe you are wrong.”

– Womby

 

“^ lol”

– Thermo Lock

 

“Sorry but you’ve twisted the logic wrong.”

– cartodude

 

“this is all water under the bridge and non constructive as its already implemented.”

– Ravicus Domdred

 

“there is no list, she is just fear mongering. Message me if you want more information.”

– Ravicus Domdred

 

Oh please…lol. What I don’t like is personal opinions based on speculation masquerading as fact.

– Duchess Wyldemane

 

“Yeah I already pointed that out pages ago, but to no avail. 😀 Which is why I think that beating a dead horse is pointless.”

– Duchess Wyldemane

Wow. That is a lot of trolling done. Wait, that isn’t all. In addition to all of the comments above, including a few of his own there, further comments made by Ravicus Domdred are far beyond obvious trolling and border the toxicity levels of myself. Ravicus you see, seems to be a big fan of popping out lines of text into threads asking basically “why hasn’t this thread been locked yet?” I was banned a couple of times, for quoting the rules to someone… So the conclusion is that the Shroud of the Avatar Moderators don’t enforce the rules, unless you quote someone breaking the rules and then they punish you for that? What bizzaro world are we in over there on that forum?

Ravicus Domdred not once… not twice…but three times in that same thread did the above:

pot-lock-3 pot-lock-2 pot-lock-1

So there you have it. The Shroud of the Avatar “Forum Norm” and Portalarium wins again, by trolling. A thread with very few critical thinking individuals have been trolled, belittled, and has resulted in exactly what most of them wanted; to lock and delete elements of the thread which do not agree with their views and investments in Shroud of the Avatar.

Really takes me back to how I got started doing this, thanks for the memories Mods.

 

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Starr Long Confirms Player Owned Town Delays Shroud of the Avatar

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delaySimple illustration on effects of delays to a project.

Let me just say one thing, because I don’t think enough people know this. I want Shroud of the Avatar to succeed.  You read that correctly, I do. What I really wanted from Shroud of the Avatar was an awesome single player game from the days of old. That ship has sailed however and we will not get that. The MMO driver was too great, too attractive for Portalarium to ignore as a business. Do I still want something good to play from them? Yes.

More delays though. This release has included a new batch of 133 Player Owned Towns. That is correct, one hundred and thirty-three. 100+33. That is a large number of Player Towns, and certainly a lot of work went into them, right? According to a lot of the people on the Shroud of the Avatar forums, no!

“Again, it’s complete speculation on your part that PoT design and development has been at the expense of the majority of players.”

duchess pls giv me ur drugs gurl

“My point remains – PoT implementation is NOT the*main* *single* or *major* culprit when it comes to a delay of game release. End. Of. Story.”

duchess pls giv me ur drugs gurl

Duchess Wyldemane, Multiple Player Town Owner.

duchess pls giv me ur drugs gurl

Duchess there seems pretty certain about all this, I wonder if she is defending Player Towns because she owns a couple of them? Her first quotable was a bit different, where she said that PoT implementation is not the culprit at all when it comes to game release. “End. Of. Story.” Clearly she saw the error of her ways and edited the post..

Forget about the community members defending their investments, what do the actual Developers and Project Managers of Shroud of the Avatar have to say about the matter though? We have a pretty good indication now thanks to this recent write up byRed Thomas, CEO of Texas company RedKnight marketing. Red here is no stranger to Shroud of the Avatar:

“During my recent trip to Austin, Starr Long and I had a chance to have one of those bigger picture conversations about the state of Shroud of the Avatar.”

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

“Up to this point, developers have been working with town owners to customize each instance, and that’s taking up a lot more time than anyone really expected or desired.”

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

– Red Thomas, CEO RedKnight marketing

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

Right, Starr has disclosed what most of the critical thinking minds already knew and wished everyone would just accept and understand: Player Towns are sucking down Development resources. Not only have they been working with the owners to customize their instances, we have to assume around 100 of them now, in conjunction with that they created and deployed the Player Town tools on top of that work. This came out of Starr’s mouth, in person no misunderstanding to an interviewer(maybe?) who visited him on premise.  The SotA Forum-norm may now accept it, acknowledge it, and live it.

One final thought here, and I’m not sure this ever clicked with me before I suppose because I could give a flying frack about housing. It appears that the reason we have this small and ill-conceived dual scale map system with the Overland map was simply to cater for house lot investment by high level backers.

“Probably the biggest lesson learned from Ultima Online was that people want to have their own housing. The second biggest lesson was that players would rapidly turn intended wilderness into trans-Britannia suburbia in rapid order…”

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

“They solved the issue by creating instanced communities, with some of them being NPC controlled and central to game plots.”

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

– Red Thomas, CEO RedKnight marketing

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

Damn. Our gorgeous monoscale map was killed by housing. /sadface