Darkfall Relentlessly Moving Through Ultima Online's History – This Week, GM Scandals!

Keen has the write-up of GMs supposedly being selective with service based on who’s city you’re pwning. Fact? Rumor? YOU MAKE THE CALL (because I’m a horrible carebear who doesn’t own the game and should pray for death, so I can’t).

Aventurine continues to open its online shop at brief random intervals so that you (yes, YOU) may be allowed to buy Darkfall soon. Which is good, because some have already bought it twice.

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34 Responses to Darkfall Relentlessly Moving Through Ultima Online's History – This Week, GM Scandals!

  1. geldonyetich says:

    I’d say it’s not that the Darkfall admins are providing biased service, it’s just that they’re too incompetent to execute unbiased service.

  2. Sinnach says:

    It’s an extremely volatile no-win situation. Developer who doesn’t play their own game? Not interested enough to eat your own dog food, how can we ever take your word on a game you admittedly don’t play? Developer who plays and has a known identity in the game? Utterly biased hack who is devoted to furthering *insert class here* and everything *insert guild here* has ever done is thanks to mystical dev hacks. Developer who plays casually or won’t divulge their identity? Knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers who wouldn’t recognize group/raid zones/bosses or end-content if it camped their corpses.

    Then again, sometimes it is true, like EQ2’s five star fiasco.

  3. Freakazoid says:

    Oh, just favorism during city raids? Was hoping we’d gotten to the part where a GM gives his girlfriend a tower and blessed (no-drop) items. I can’t remember correctly, but I think that was the last major grievance until Trammel showed up.

    Then we get to go through all the lessons of AC Darktide and Shadowbane. We would go through DAoC Mordred but by then they will resort to free play/rmt in a last ditch effort to stay alive.

  4. Longasc says:

    EVE had a problem with favoritism quite some time ago, a dev was giving rare blueprints to BoB, the corp/alliance he was playing in.

    I think it is good that devs play their own game.

    BUT they should have a player account, with no special extras, no special rights, and not even the GMs should know that the guy that just petitioned them is “their developer”.

    This separation is necessary.

  5. VPellen says:

    Man, I can’t wait for the Darkfall equivalent of Trammel.

  6. gyrus says:

    Longasc :

    BUT they should have a player account, with no special extras, no special rights, and not even the GMs should know that the guy that just petitioned them is “their developer”.
    This separation is necessary.

    100% agree. Well, actually – 75%…I would take it further.
    Developers, Forum Mods, GMs and anyone involved with the game should have two accounts for both the game and the forums.
    Their ‘Admin’ (or work account) and a player account they use to post personal opinion on the forum or actually play.

  7. Raad says:

    @Longasc
    Your not in GS are you? Granted that little thing was bad, very bad, but these days just about anything will get GS’s panties in a righteous twist.

  8. Klaitu says:

    Darkfall is lame!

    More Maple Story news!

  9. Rog says:

    I was wondering when you’d pick up on this GM deja vu thing. =)

  10. EpicSquirt says:

    “a few members of our raid group fell through the world” – looks like a feature from AoC.

  11. Longasc says:

    I am not playing EVE anymore at all. Part of the reason is that big alliances somehow feel like members have to act like total idiots to keep up Corporate Identity, especially in the case of the Goon Swarm…

  12. Jeff says:

    “All this has happened before…”

  13. dartwick says:

    t20 again
    DFO is EVE with swords.

  14. Hudson says:

    I’m still counting the time. I claimed 4 months for this game to blow over. Almost there.

  15. Vetarnias says:

    Developers playing their own game comes with the territory. Otherwise they risk being called aloof, especially if players report problems that go unaddressed. How conspicuous should they be in playing? After the EVE problem (and I believe there was a similar controversy in Shadowbane with duping), I think I’d prefer a cards-on-the-table approach where everyone knows who you are and what you do. But the flip side is that players won’t behave “normally” if they know a developer is around to observe them.

    But Darkfall, well, Darkfall (based on what I read) has always been lacking in the technical expertise department. I do remember reading on the Darkfall site that the developers prided themselves on being gamers who made a game for their fellow gamers. And it’s part of the problem. As much as I like the Indiana Jones films, I can’t start filming my own Indy adventure in a nearby park pretending I’m Spielberg. Well, I could; I’m sure it could be turned into wonderful YouTube stuff (if it doesn’t get pulled up for copyright reasons), but there is no guarantee of quality. In fact, I’m expecting it to be the other way around.

    Sure, I’m expecting developers to be enthusiastic about games (instead of being hacks solely in the business for the paycheck), but you have to move beyond being a gamer to be a successful developer. And everything I’ve seen of Aventurine is leading me to believe that they don’t have a clue. Their website — the easiest thing in the world to fix and update — still talks of “there will be a public beta test” (unless this is it).

    Billing problems? Really, is there anyone who didn’t see that coming?

  16. Jeff says:

    “…and all this will happen again.”

    Except this time we will write the show better, actually know wtf our characters are so we don’t have to have them disappear, and will keep our technology thank you, because voluntarily throwing ourselves back to the stone age makes no sense.

    Er…Darkfall thread…right.

    You guys are forgetting about the housing hacks and the stand on top of the bank and hang out clubs.

  17. Paks says:

    Come on, get to the GMs cyb0ring with players already!!

    …oh wait that was AoC…

  18. Arkenor says:

    The GMs and forum moderators are drawn from the long-term Darkfall community, so far as I can tell. Given that a large portion (Not all!! Before I get yelled at) of that community have, umm, rather fluid ethics so far as cheating is concerned, we ought not to be particularly surprised.

    Of course, the GM team ought to have checks and balances in place to prevent abuse, but Aventurine don’t seem to be much into foreseeing issues before they occur.

    That there is only one server just makes it harder, as you can’t make it so folks only GM for the servers they don’t play on.

  19. EpicSquirt says:

    GMs… Once upon a time in EVE one could kill them – in game ( http://www.crymore.de/rehosted/www.eve-offline.de/gm-xhagen-dead.html ).

    CCP’s GMs were highly incompetent at the start of the game.

    I don’t know how companies recruit GMs or CSM stuff, but in my opinion only people who know the game should be doing such work. Maybe recruiting them from internal beta testers would work.

  20. Gx1080 says:

    Game developers should be passionate about a game (an unpassionate one like the SOE combo is horrible), but the DarkFall devs and GMs NEED to understand (aka: being forced) that they need to be the parents instead of being the childs. If you are giving somebody a paycheck for being police, you should check that they do their damn job instead of enjoy the players ballsucking (and in UO, i remember it being literally ballsucking).

    Its like in many countries where the politicians are just teenage cheerleaders that only know how make scandals instead of well, governing.

  21. Ritchian says:

    As great of a walk down memory lane of the many failures and scandals of early Ultima Online watching the coverage of Darkfall has brought up, I’m a little disappointed. I mean, I was expecting new and original mistakes, not rehashes of lessons first learned more than a decade ago. The parallels between the two games have been interesting and all, but at the same time kind of sad. A little studying of the history of the niche they’re trying to fill would have paid off greatly. Instead, they seem determined to make all of those mistakes for themselves.

    Someone wake me when they make their own Trammel.

  22. geldonyetich says:

    BUT they should have a player account, with no special extras, no special rights, and not even the GMs should know that the guy that just petitioned them is “their developer”.
    This separation is necessary.

    It’s a noble effort for a developer to try to subject themselves to a level playing field by having a character with no more advantages than the other players. However, they will nonetheless be at an advantage.

    They know where the best experience and loot is because they put it there. They know how the most efficient way to play because they invented the system. They know how to get the secret ship part blueprints because they invented the rules to obtain them. They know how to become a Jedi because they invented the secret method. They know the exact odds and conditions to fish up a rat. They know exploits that players won’t discover for months because it’s filed away in crib notes as something they didn’t quite get around to patching from internal testing.

    These kinds of advantages are an inseparable of being amongst the guys that made the game, and this is why playing the game as a player is automatically usurping the balance.

    It’s a somewhat naive complaint amongst the players that a developer that never plays doesn’t know how to play the game: they know it in ways that most players can only dream of.

    Well, with one exception: sometimes the players will do something the developers didn’t anticipate. However, only rarely would playing the game yourself as a player allow you to stumble across this beforehand. These are the fruits of thousands of perspectives scrutinizing the same thing – one more won’t make a big difference.

  23. Angelworks says:

    I believe T20 was a database admin. He probably didn’t have GM access to exploit the game…

  24. Wufiavelli says:

    I think it would be safe to say these are mostly conspiracy theories at this point.

  25. Rog says:

    Yes, devs should be allowed to play their own games. But there’s this feature that most adult human beings should have, it’s called restraint.

    There’s a big difference between playing your game and using your knowledge / resources to attempt to dominate the game.

    Although I’d also argue that there’s a wide gap between a developer and a GM.

  26. Tom says:

    I have friends in the clan that supposedly are getting help from GMs based off of one Alliances rumors. I personally don’t think it is happening. I do however think there are a lot of people who complain and make outlandish claims just for the sake of being heard.

    The Darkfall forums are a giant black hole of the 4chan level. You have the odd post that isn’t some sort of rant but the majority of the forums is what would happen PS3 vs 360 debate. No matter who is correct they all sound like morons.

  27. Arkazon says:

    There’s another simple solution, as well: force GMs to play on a different server than the ones they are responsible for assisting. They do their GM job on EU-1? Then they make a character on EU-2.

    And if GMs are trading favors between each other? Well, then they’re just sleazy and it’s the employer’s fault for hiring them. Fire the pair, hire new ones, and reiterate your policy of not being a jackass in your game.

  28. Montague says:

    Arkazon :There’s another simple solution, as well: force GMs to play on a different server than the ones they are responsible for assisting. They do their GM job on EU-1? Then they make a character on EU-2.
    And if GMs are trading favors between each other? Well, then they’re just sleazy and it’s the employer’s fault for hiring them. Fire the pair, hire new ones, and reiterate your policy of not being a jackass in your game.

    If Darkfall had more than one server, that might be viable.

  29. Not Richard Garriott says:

    The road to Trammel is paved with good intentions.

  30. Jeff says:

    Not Richard Garriott :The road to Trammel is paved with good intentions.

    Or with crappy design and a failure to learn from the past. (Darkfall that is, UO did not have that much past to learn from. But you would have thought with the MUD/MUSH backgroud those guys had they would have had a better design philosophy than “Players Gone Wild”

  31. Flimgoblin says:

    @Montague
    Surely you meant: If Darkfall had a “policy of not being a jackass” that might be viable 😉

  32. IainC says:

    Not Richard Garriott :
    The road to Trammel is paved with good intentions.

    “Come to the dark side, we have raid content.”

  33. Wufiavelli says:

    Jeff :

    Not Richard Garriott :The road to Trammel is paved with good intentions.

    Or with crappy design and a failure to learn from the past. (Darkfall that is, UO did not have that much past to learn from. But you would have thought with the MUD/MUSH backgroud those guys had they would have had a better design philosophy than “Players Gone Wild”

    Darkfall is a lot of fun when it is fun. But it is a little to real lifish. The fun requires some real work and grind. building cities and preparing for major battles.
    to continue with your comparison there are never any bored girls in girls gone wild, but they had to grind hours at the gym to make sure they did not show up portly to the fun.

  34. Drakks says:

    DF is craptacular on multiple levels, film at 11.

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