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Year 18 Day 94 7:39
Argo, this system works.
1- If new and want to start a manufacturing faction,
look up the rules.
2 - Research the multitude of open forums and even those archived for any possible rule suggestions
3 - Don't forget to ask Simkin Dragoneel for his irc logs to see what is possible too

According to others who have posted, the rules are clear and so are the multitude of conversations held over a year ago. After all,...

@Jastan Vul : " if people were not in on these discussions, how would the[y] know better?" Because it was publicly discussed - #swc-members #swc-help / etc. on IRC, forums, and SimNews, and because clearly the majority of players Know Better (evidenced by their compliance with the membership requirements), and Tal and others ought to, as well.

- Kay Dallben
 



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When they will not see the light, expose them to the heat.

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Year 18 Day 94 7:42
Sarcasm from Jastan, another member of The Ashla Covenant. Works SO well in written form. Ignorance and willful blindness of the Golden Rule's application aren't good arguments here, except to the extent they go towards whether you fall into the categories of intentional abuser, unintentional exploiter, or someone who just doesn't pay attention to their falling membership numbers.


Customer Compensation:
How about the factions which never should have misused/abused the system in the first place? If there was a coded revokation timer customers would have still gotten that loss earlier. It still falls to ICly blame and hold accountable the faction that sold you the DCs, but you can OOCly hate on the Admin if you like - it's your choice.

Refunds are completely trackable. All you shipyard/factory owners/etc. see the revokation messages on DC deletion/selling so you have proof of having been sold the DC and the quantities remaining, and you know more or less what you paid - or can guess/extrapolate. You can come to an arrangement with the sellers, and deal with Scamming in the Trader's Lounge as necessary. I've never seen 'frustration of contract' really come up as a common defence, and it still wouldn't work in this case IMO.

Rule Clarification First, then Enforcement
Argo, you're trying to cite a legal principle that one should not be punished for breach of a law that came into effect after the breach. This isn't that case. The law existed and the intention existed from the outset, and the breaches weren't "prior to the law". The Rules are the legislation. The ASIMS are the Judges/Court. You don't get away with murder just because the law has an ambiguous interpretation of whether something is murder, if the Judges/Court decide/confirm that it is murder.


Edited By: Kay Dallben on Year 18 Day 94 8:04
Year 18 Day 94 7:49
Argo Viridian

@Ulrike: I too had interpreted the text the way it is enforced now. However, the text is only clear for purchase. Tomas noted that at the outset.

A DC-rules text, ought to also spell it out for maintenance and could note possible consequences to violations, so no one can say 'they did not know'.


Edited By: Argo Viridian on Year 18 Day 94 8:29
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Year 18 Day 94 9:08
Coleman Rendar

Well this discussion could have been made abit more public. First i'm reading this thread is AFTER the panic of seeing all these DCs being unassigned and the sim news being posted.

I'm getting a string of angry DMs from customers AND all my production plans are out the window now.

Aside from all that...


Is this crack down going to extend to factions using sitters? Since sitters are not "playing" in that faction and along the same lines of DC abuse it should be an abuse to pay people not working for you to keep your member count up for said DCs.


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Year 18 Day 94 9:34
Coleman, its pretty hard for Asims to decide who is a sitter and who is not. Besides, if they are paying members to sit in their faction they have a tradeoff of paying members to not actively contribute to the benefit/sales of the faction.


Year 18 Day 94 9:36
I don't believe there's a time-efficient way of differentiating a "sitter" from that factionmate who just trolls on faction forums and doesn't do anything in Darkness. Patterns of member-joining and leaving in faction events are illustrative. I suppose also a periodic review of slots and memberships could be conducted. As I said earlier, I'm fairly sure the intention isn't to just instantly screw factions that get a drop in members on an ongoing basis, just to prevent significant misuse and abuse of the system.

The argument about what constitutes "playing the game" and tying the definition of "active membership" to same is not likely to succeed. Can talk about it elsewhere, but not relevant to this. Try the Leader's Forum. I think it came up as part of a discussion on Sitters, generally.


Year 18 Day 94 10:21
Dan Hakim

I had always assumed that there was an automatic (coded) restriction on buying more DCs than your member count allowed, I just expected the last purchased DC to disappear when the member count dropped below the required level.

I never thought there would be a possibility of the DC remaining after the member dropped below the requirement, and I think any honest players probably had more or less the same view of the situation.

It's quite clear that someone discovered an exploit and chose to use it, which is clearly not in the spirit of the rules and as far as I'm concerned is little more than cheating by another name.

As for people saying "Oh sorry I didn't realise that I lost 10+ members" I find it hard to believe that you never noticed all those "Member XXX has left your faction" notifications, you're either a barely competent leader or just an outright liar.

As far as I'm concerned if my faction had DCs for a membership count higher than we actually had, one of the faction leaders would have asked the Admin if there was a problem/bug, I'm not trying to say we're saints or anything but we have enough intelligence to know that if we exploit a bug we will get punished for it one way or another at some point.

Is it really so hard for people to say "OK, what I was doing was against the rules, I understand that the situation needs to be rectified" instead of trying to pretend they deserve what they acquired while bending/breaking the rules, whether it was intentional or not.


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Year 18 Day 94 10:30
Is it really so hard for people to say "OK, what I was doing was against the rules, I understand that the situation needs to be rectified" instead of trying to pretend they deserve what they acquired while bending/breaking the rules, whether it was intentional or not.

- Dan Hakim
 


Yes


Year 18 Day 94 14:42
Carth Falte

Sarcasm from Jastan, another member of The Ashla Covenant. Works SO well in written form. Ignorance and willful blindness of the Golden Rule's application aren't good arguments here, except to the extent they go towards whether you fall into the categories of intentional abuser, unintentional exploiter, or someone who just doesn't pay attention to their falling membership numbers.

- "Kay Dalban"
 


Right, I wanted to remove myself from this discussion. However I want to set a few records straight.

1. Even if I weren't in The Ashla Covenant. I would've still kept the same stance on this situation as I did now. People can't force others to stay active or in a faction, people can have crudy recruitment months and people can try their hardest to play by the rules yet still be demonized by staff, as is quite apparent in this topic (*cough cough* Kay).

2. There is no willful blindness or ignorance. I mean I swear to god I see someone else in the Sim News topic say this..

I had the active member count at the time of purchase which is all I believe I needed. I don't remember any stipulation at the time of purchase saying g I had to maintain those numbers.

- "Lorenzas Atticus"
 


So no.. the Rules were quite open to interpretation. Some people actually thought that the status quo before this was the intended system. I too thought this to be the case.

3. Kay, your black and white view of the world, and in that regard the rules of this game, is the biggest kind of ignorance and, though it's enviable to keep such a simple look on matters, does not help one bit.

There are genuinely factions out there like TAC Who didn't break rules on purpose and/or with the fullest intent, who didn't abuse the system and who didn't do it with nothing but dollar signs in their eyes. So I can definitely understand Jastan's angry sarcasm on the matter.

Also Dan Hakim, read back. Have there been any "oh I didn't realise I lost 10+ members"? have there been any whining that we haven't broken a rule? No. A rule was broken. That is certain, though not intentionally and not with abusive intent. Just simple lack of new members and people being people, living their own lives.

I wanted to stay out of this discussion from my last post on out... But I feel that by taking such a simple and blind black and white approach to it all you are all missing the exact point the SWCombine Golden Rule brings out.

"Use the Combine features in the spirit in which they have been designed. Don't try to exploit the features, use your common sense when using them. Ask yourself what is the purpose of the feature you are using and as such, what is the normal use for it. Abuses will be punished."

To me it says: take the rules as guidelines. Mostly because both for abuse and non-abuse you can not put every single rule and detail in there as real live and any community driven game will bring up situations where rules, laws and what they dictate do not bring the appropriate response. The golden rule itself, to me, states that the rules aren't all and that situations shouldn't be treated black and white and yet I see here two maybe three members of staff and another combiner do exactly that. Taking it as black and white.

Now. Rant over. Rip me a new one for my less than calm demeanor if you want to but it would only mean you have no actual response to the points I am bringing up.


Edited By: Carth Falte on Year 18 Day 94 14:44
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Year 18 Day 94 15:27
You're welcome to your opinion, and to rant it if you like. It's totally possible that the majority of the complainers are all from The Ashla Covenant coincidentally, but you're all making the same arguments (repeatedly) and ignoring each time any of Ulrike, I, or any of the ASIMs show you how those arguments are faulty. You departed from the conversation and now that you're back, your argument is just another variation on We didn't intend to break the rule, and compliance with the rule is a punishment, so it's wrong to force to comply with the rule.
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(EDIT: gist is I don't have time to respond fully, so kindly go satisfy yourself that you're wrong for now.)


Edited By: Kay Dallben on Year 18 Day 94 15:45
Year 18 Day 94 15:56
Anyone who purchased their dcs from a faction that lost the dcs due to this issue should handle that IC by asking the faction for a refund. IC/OOC separation.

I lost some rentals myself, but I don't hold the Team responsible i'll hold the factions responsible.

Glad the team caught this and is fixing it.


Edited By: Dane Star on Year 18 Day 94 15:57
Year 18 Day 94 17:38
Ulrike Rayne Schultheiss

people can try their hardest to play by the rules yet still be demonized by staff, as is quite apparent in this topic (*cough cough* Kay). 


Just throwing this out there, clearly, you WEREN'T trying your hardest to play by the rules considering you were outright breaking the rules. If you were, you wouldn't have broken the rule and would have dropped the DCs yourself!

have there been any whining that we haven't broken a rule? No. A rule was broken.  


Yes. You've been whining that you haven't broken a rule. Did you like... Entirely forget what you wrote earlier in your own post? I'm glad you did finally admit to breaking the rule, though. I can sleep easier now.

To me it says: take the rules as guidelines. 


No. The golden rule doesn't imply or even suggest that the rules are "guidelines". It's pretty much saying "the rules are always more strict than they're written. Read them more strictly than they're written." They're not "guidelines". It's entirely on you that you CHOSE to read them as "guidelines" and CHOSE to assume the golden rule meant "go ahead and do what you think is best! It doesn't matter in the end!"

End grumpy ranting of an angry interwebz lady.


Edited By: Ulrike Rayne Schultheiss on Year 18 Day 94 17:41
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TriNebulon News: Y18 D30 - ???
Voted worst art team member of Y19
ulrike_r
Year 18 Day 94 17:45
To me it says: take the rules as guidelines.  

Wow. That's an outrageously liberal interpretation that opens up a whole lot of questions about your gameplay...


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swcforumsig

Year 18 Day 94 17:57
You're welcome to your opinion, and to rant it if you like. It's totally possible that the majority of the complainers are all from The Ashla Covenant coincidentally, but you're all making the same arguments (repeatedly) and ignoring each time any of Ulrike, I, or any of the ASIMs show you how those arguments are faulty. You departed from the conversation and now that you're back, your argument is just another variation on We didn't intend to break the rule, and compliance with the rule is a punishment, so it's wrong to force to comply with the rule.
69293117.jpg

(EDIT: gist is I don't have time to respond fully, so kindly go satisfy yourself that you're wrong for now.)

EDIT2:

Okay, so to respect Carth and reply to his points as he's apparently daring someone to do.

1. I appreciate you want to make a distinction between Bias in supporting one's comrades and honestly holding a poorly-defended opinion. Jasten made the 3rd member of TAshC showing up and saying the same bad arguments regarding your self-serving interpretation of the Rule. His spammy DM* to me in response to that confirmed he had nothing else to contribute but a sense of entitlement apparently informed by how hard TAshC tries to get members and how they '[are] not greedy'. I've said before in this thread that I know the difficulty of attracting and keeping active, engaged membership. I empathize with that struggle. Failure despite best efforts is not an excuse to be bandied about or a meal ticket for rule exemptions. It's just not relevant to a consideration of whether factions need to comply with the damn rule ongoing.

*He dmed me a few paragraphs of his thoughts and a massive list of all the characters TAshC has DMed to try to recruit.

2. You people were ignorant of the intention of the rule and apparently of how the Golden Rule works - either willfully or inadvertently as the case may be - look up the definition of Ignorant and you'll notice it's one of the main defensive arguments your people consistently have made. I don't know how you purport to withdraw that admission when you literally re-admit it in the next sentence. You either kept yourself ignorant of the intention of the rule by letting your preference for an interpretation of the rule that Helps you prevent you from really thinking about it, or you just didn't think about it at all, and only now that it's come up that you've been in breach, you're scrambling to find some argument to let TAshC keep a benefit you've enjoyed (unfairly) for a long time. The latter seems most likely to me, but it doesn't matter. Either way, it doesn't mean the rule shouldn't be enforced against your group.

3. Not changing an opinion in the face of faulty arguments doesn't mean I have a black and white view of the world. That's also quite proper and reasonable to eliminate irrelevant values or properties of objects, people and events. Sometimes considerations that might matter on a grand scale really don't matter concerning a particular issue such as "should a Rule be enforced equally across the board, or should certain factions get preferential treatment?". When you eliminate the irrelevant considerations, sometimes you're really left with only two conclusions.

3b. Yes, you've all whined you didn't break a rule. You've all stated that the Rule didn't mean what we said it meant and therefore you didn't break it. You're right almost everyone either didn't break the rule, or broke it through some kind of ignorance.

4. Golden Rule: The point of the Golden Rule is a backstop for poor Rules drafting to avoid exactly these issues - lengthy arguments and appeals based on technical and convenient misinterpretations of rules. It doesn't mean that every rule is liable to be disputed because you think of yourself as a Good Person/Group.


Year 18 Day 94 18:18
Dahn Vassic

Disclaimer: I am not a member of TAC, or affiliated in any way with them.

That out of the way...

I see three issues here.

One is that the rules people were going by had a few vaguities. That they are now being changed to be clearer is undeniably a good thing, but still. Writing clarity in after the fact is great, but not great form.

Two is that the enforcement of this rule went literally overnight from nonexistent to absolute. While it is true that those who break rules shouldn't be surprised when they're caught, it is odd considering that in the past almost every time a situation came up where a new rule was going to be enforced, or an existing one that hadn't been enforced was going to be, some level of warning was given to allow the offenders to fix their mistakes, or in other cases come clean.

Three is that this is an enforcement that has immediate IC repercussions to people who had nothing whatsoever to do with the factions that did break Generic DC rules. I've watched IRC light up for most of the day with people discussing how all of a sudden their own factories are encountering problems because the DC's they rented were revoked. This is affecting a lot of people who have had nothing to do with the violations.

The rules were being broken by at least a few factions, and it's great that they've been fixed and clarified now, don't get me wrong. But this whole thing has a very knee-jerk-reaction feel to it, and it could have been handled without affecting players whose only involvement was that they were engaging in the business of renting DC's.


Year 18 Day 94 18:32
Ulrike Rayne Schultheiss

I'm only going to address 1 part of your response, Dahn.

Three is that this is an enforcement that has immediate IC repercussions to people who had nothing whatsoever to do with the factions that did break Generic DC rules. I've watched IRC light up for most of the day with people discussing how all of a sudden their own factories are encountering problems because the DC's they rented were revoked. This is affecting a lot of people who have had nothing to do with the violations. 


I'm not sure why that matters. Players broke OOC rules, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally. It's their responsibility, not the staff's, to compensate the people they screwed over by breaking a rule. They should refund the DC sales that they made. They should have plenty of credits to afford it, especially those that were abusing the system and selling these DCs out.

If they don't refund the money to their customers? Flay them. There's plenty of good avenues, including posting up warnings and, in some cases, getting them listed as scammers (if possible). They should have known to interpret the rules more strictly than they appear to be worded and should have immediately assumed that they need to maintain the member count that's required to get the DC.

Claiming the rules are vague is hardly an excuse. If they were vague, players should have (and would have) asked. They shouldn't have assumed that the rule didn't mean what it clear does mean now.

Edit: At least that's my opinion of the whole situation.


Edited By: Ulrike Rayne Schultheiss on Year 18 Day 94 18:42
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TriNebulon News: Y18 D30 - ???
Voted worst art team member of Y19
ulrike_r
Year 18 Day 94 22:33
Tal Dorn

Yes, I'm back.

My issues concerning the apparent condescending (mostly made by Kay) replies to TAC members comments on the "rule" in its current form.
I am not saying TAC is asking for special treatment, only clear rules. To which end I offered a rule change and the leader of our GEC actually C&Ped ,with minor changes, then posted the change in the Rules Suggestion forum.

I still say that there is a difference in non-intentionally breaking the "rules" and exploiting the "rules" - I am not saying the enforcement or penalties should be different. In fact I agree with most of the recommendations in this topic made by both Kay and Ulrike - not with the action of how it was hastily carried out. If I hop in 40 members and purchase DCs then drop out those same 40 members, that is exploiting the "rule"
Again, - I am not saying the enforcement or penalties should be different.

Going from 16 members with 15.5 slots of DCs to 10 members, we have today in the GEC, with an overall member count of 16 over a 1.5 year span, is a lot different than going from 46 slots of DCs to 5.5.
Tomas - "The original faction I referenced just dropped from 46 to 5.5 slots."
Again, - I am not saying the enforcement or penalties should be different.

1 - Purchasing a generic requires slots*5,000,000 credits and the total number of active members in your faction must exceed the total number of slots of all generics that your faction owns.
Generics can be sold to free up slot room, in this case no money is returned.".

No, a simple comma does not fix the issue of misinterpretation of the "rule", many other replies by non-TAC members have noted that, Even the reply Tomas made to Kay's first reply. Tomas - "Right, but that's discussing the requirements to purchase new datacards, not keep the ones you already have."

If the "rule" is so clear, when implemented, why were there so many forum and IRC chats?

OK, back to my condescending comments....
Kay - "This was (I recall) discussed publicly at the time so people should know better. We have ASIMs now, Sic em!"

Kay - "Ah I see. You're concerned about being grouped in with people and being subject to punishment for having "abused" the system, and you think that'd potentially be unfair to you for 'honestly' following your (faulty) interpretation of the rules."

Kay - "Albeit there should be a comma before the conjunction "and" to be proper, that's literally all the rules on Generic Datacards. You can't seriously believe it's intended to apply only for purchase, or what I said above would be perfectly fine!"

Kay - "@Jastan Vul : " if people were not in on these discussions, how would the[y] know better?" Because it was publicly discussed - #swc-members #swc-help / etc. on IRC, forums, and SimNews, and because clearly the majority of players Know Better (evidenced by their compliance with the membership requirements), and Tal and others ought to, as well."

Kay - "Oh, so somebody else evaded paying a billion dollars in taxes, and you just made a mistake in deducting a couple expenses twice. Tell me more about how we're being unfair to you when talking about making people pay their taxes owed. Billion Dollars Evasion - in the order of 46 slots worth of Generic DCs; Deducted your copier purchase twice - in the order of being a few members short of your current held DC Slots... Any chance of real punishment* to most is slim to none, but Tal's vehemently trying to maintain that unfair advantage his factions have enjoyed for the past years, and that's not worthy of sympathy or defense, Carth."

It was already stated that RL examples don't apply here.

After a lot of chasing down old forum posts and reading Sims' IRC log, people can clearly see that possible abuse, intentional or otherwise, was discussed. But still there is no clear reference that member count must be maintained and no final way to monitor, revoke or overall enforcement was decided upon... until today or last night.




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Year 18 Day 95 0:12
The administration was aware that the system could be abused, how it could be abused, did not implement a way to prevent that abuse and are annoyed that people have abused it. After 18 years of multi's, feature exploitation and rule breaking it should be apparent that you cannot expect people to police themselves. You should expect that eventually someone will abuse or exploit a feature to gain an advantage if it is possible. The administration screwed up there.

Datacards should be removed if the faction does not have the members to maintain them and the administrations decision to remove them from offenders is sound. Whether a faction intentionally abused the feature does not matter because they still benefited from the feature abuse. So when they lose those datacards and have to face the resulting backlash then that is the punishment. For those that intentionally abused the feature then the backlash and punishment is greater that those that accidentally abused it.

Accept it, deal with the backlash and move on.


Year 18 Day 95 3:18
Samuel Ashen

How amusing, masters trow scrapes of food of they table down to dogs and when try to take away the scraps and punish the dogs for eating the scraps LOL.

Inability to right comprehensive rules on the subject of Generic Datacard in no way or form a fault of players, the game administration is responsible for righting rules, if anybody should be punished it is the Asim tasked with the righting of the rules, if no one was assighned the task whom should we blame?


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Year 18 Day 95 4:20
The intent of generic datacards was always that the member count had to be maintained in order to keep the generics purchased. As far as I recall, this was stated publically during the DC draft and subsequent generic implementation. If not, Simkin provided logs of Mikel and Selatos discussing this exact issue and how they could prevent it. While we obviously could not see those private logs for the last several years, the conversation makes clear that they have always considered this abuse. How you could see "you need X members for X datacards" and NOT draw the conclusion that you should have to maintain that level of membership is silliness. Common sense dictates otherwise, but I have a feeling people quickly realized that you could keep the generics despite your membership and, with the lack of automated policing or manual intervention, simply opted to play dumb and keep their generic datacards.

That faction that went from 46 slots to 5.5 is the precise definition of willful abuse. There's no way that these numbers are the result of natural inactivity and membership loss.


Overall, there does not appear to have ever been a light shined on this issue, so it was never thought to enforce it. Erek & Selatos likely concentrated on everything else because this was never brought up as a glaring issue of abuse. Due to this thread, the issue was brought to light and Erek went on a "midnight raid" (his words) to remedy the situation.


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