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f13.net General Forums => News => Topic started by: UnSub on March 16, 2009, 11:03:20 PM



Title: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: UnSub on March 16, 2009, 11:03:20 PM
Let's not pretend for one second that the MMO industry is a friendly place, full of friendship, flowers and bunnies. When a multi-million dollar product and dozens of jobs are on the line, competition will be fierce and taking market share (read: players) from your competition is going to be a basic business practice.

However, there are lines you don't cross because 1) even competition should follow some rules of professional conduct, and 2) it opens the door for everyone to do the same thing to you. Representatives of Cryptic Studios (http://www.crypticstudios.com/) crossed this professional line in the sand recently by going into City of Heroes / Villains (CoH/V) - their old product, which they sold to NCsoft - and, using PMs sent through the forums and allegedly through in-game message systems, attempted to lure players into the Champions Online (ChampO) beta test - their new product.

Here's a copy of the forum PM:

Hey <name>, this is Diamonds from Cryptic Studios.

We would like to offer you beta access to Champions Online (if you don’t already have it). We’re specifically reaching out to you so that you can get a chance to see the game before it goes live. If you already have applied for beta, then we would like to accelerate your application.

If you are interested in the Beta for Champions Online please feel free to email me at <emailname>@crypticstudios.com.

Thanks!
Diamonds


According to all my attempts to validate this, it is a genuine message. Their might be other phishing scams going on around CoH/V right now, but this is a real attempt to pull players out of CoH/V and get them into ChampO. Diamonds is a recognised yellow name - it's Chris Stewart, who is a Web Programmer for Cryptic . 

For those playing at home wondering why this is bad, the use of one title's communication methods to true to steal them to another title is just plain wrong. It's unprofessional, it looks incredibly petty for Cryptic to try to steal key players from their old game to their new one and that it is being done in such a sneaky fashion shows that the people involved know that it is wrong. To use an internet analogy, this isn't just two restaurants competing for the same customers, this is one restaurant sending service staff into the other and trying to get people to walk across the road with them. It's. Just. Not. Done.

There would be no issue if Cryptic was open about this grab for CoH/V players out in the broader internet. If they'd put up a web page saying, "We'd like players of superhero games to beta test ChampO - please send us your details" and perhaps one of those fields included your CoH/V user name, that'd be fine. That's open and transparent competition. CoH/V could do the same thing to ChampO players post-launch. It's not nice, but it doesn't have to be. But actively going into the game and recruiting? Unprofessional. Sloppy too, since it's easy to trace. Finally, it's not like there is a shortage of players trying to get into the ChampO beta. Scarcity of numbers isn't the issue - this is all about trying to hamstring the competition. 

What hurts Cryptic even more is that theoretically they worked alongside the very same people they are now trying to steal from in an underhanded way. It reinforces every negative comment made about Cryptic's behaviour towards the sale of CoH/V or its attitude towards its old title. Doing this kind of thing is a reputation killer for a studio - they are willing to stab old friends in the back to win, apparently, so how low could they go? I've asked for some responses from some people at Cryptic regarding this process (IronAngel is "looking into it") so there is no indication whether this is the proverbial a few bad apples or goes right to the top, but regardless it just makes Cryptic look incredibly bad.

In response, NCsoft NorthCal (current developers of CoH/V) have released a general warning about outside solicitations (http://www.cityofheroes.com/news/news_archive/a_word_regarding_outside_solic.html), with CoH/V players recounting their experiences (and healthy dose of internet cynicism) in this thread (http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=13176856&an=0&page=0#Post13176856). Jill Henderson (aka Ex Libris and CoH/V's Community Relations Coordinator) has an official 'no comment' on the matter, but I'd have to expect that this kind of behaviour would have led to a lot of internal fuming, especially in front of CoH/V planning to launch a new boxed version.

However, here's the action point for Cryptic: STOP IT.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: sinij on March 17, 2009, 12:50:39 PM
All Studious/Developers have few guilds they like to work with, these guilds are always given access to betas, new content and heavily relied on to provide player testing and feedback. Unless this message was spammed to general population I don't see a problem inviting these few key players with existing relationship to help with the new title. Would this be any different if message was sent via e-mail?


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Samwise on March 17, 2009, 12:57:23 PM
Would this be any different if message was sent via e-mail?

It would be a hell of a lot more tasteful.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Riggswolfe on March 17, 2009, 01:26:17 PM
Wow. That is petty. It leads me to believe that Cryptic is holding a grudge over NCSoft leaving. It's also totally turned me off of Champions since it goes right to the heart of my trust in the company.

Unless this is a reverse con. NCSoft is doing it themselves to sour people on Champions. Hmmm.... :tinfoil:


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Lum on March 17, 2009, 01:37:42 PM
If I'm not mistaken, Blizzard did a very similar solicitation of EQ guilds prior to the WoW beta.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: sam, an eggplant on March 17, 2009, 02:23:59 PM
I believe you are mistaken, yes. Blizzard didn't contact those uberguilds in-game, or through their messageboards. That's what's inappropriate.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Dtrain on March 17, 2009, 02:25:55 PM
That has a bad feeling of a form letter. Like someone in CR couldn't be bothered to do anything more than spam.

If I recall correctly, the courtship of the former EQ guilds by Blizzard was a little more elegant. And the difference really is in the details.

Little things like... finding out who the leader is, doing this thing called "having a conversation," and finally making a judgment call followed by a personal offer.

I doubt every member of EQUberGuild01 woke up to find a form letter in their email - if that's really what happened with COH/V.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: HaemishM on March 17, 2009, 03:41:56 PM
That's just about as slmy as it can get. It makes me want to  :nda: about the ChampO beta. I won't, but I am chomping at the bit for the NDA to drop.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: stark on March 17, 2009, 04:11:10 PM
I didn't believe it when I first heard about it, disgusting.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: squirrel on March 17, 2009, 06:26:45 PM
Would this be any different if message was sent via e-mail?

Yes it would be completely different. All businesses target their competitions customers, it's just common sense. That's why they're competitors, they share a market.

What's unethical here (primarily) is Cryptic doing this within the game or using services provided by CoH/V. One of the hard parts of targeting your competitors customers is *finding* them. If this was an email campaign, it would be 100% fair game as they would have the contacts from their own marketing/promotional efforts.

Plus, as the article states, there's no shortage of willing testers I imagine. So this isn't about bettering ChampO, it's about hurting CoH. Which is fine, but they need to do so using their own tools.

It's bad practice without question.

EDIT: Grammar snake hates their | they're errors.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Ingmar on March 17, 2009, 06:44:13 PM
Is there a screenshot or other thing proof-like of this kicking around anywhere? I've seen a couple skeptics and/or fanboys elsewhere doubting the f13 brand integrity over this, predictably.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: schild on March 17, 2009, 06:50:40 PM
Quote
I've seen a couple skeptics and/or fanboys elsewhere doubting the f13 brand integrity over this, predictably.

Who cares, they've been wrong every other time they've done that.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 17, 2009, 08:00:24 PM
Wow, what a tempest in a teacup.  Am I the only person who isn't horrified by this?  Every complaint so far in this thread seems to be saying that its ok to try to get your competitor's market share, but that Cryptic's actions lacked elegance.

Well, fuck elegance.  Cryptic is trying to get customers, and we are saying that trying to get customers for a superhero MMO by appealing to people who like superhero MMOs is wrong?  Because they crossed some imaginary line between guild message boards and in-game emails that causes ya'll to faint like Victorian women in bad period-piece movies?  As far as I am concerned, go Cryptic.   


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Numtini on March 17, 2009, 09:27:33 PM
Going to guild's message boards is just smart. It's a way to build hype. Same reason some people have come here. (And I think a reason why some people don't anymore!)

But spamming on official message boards and even more in game? The former is sleazy, the latter is utterly unacceptable. It's so noxious it's hard to believe it's actually happening.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: sidereal on March 17, 2009, 09:40:28 PM
I dunno.  DirecTV uses Comcast's pipe to tell me to switch to cable, which seems like pretty much the same thing.

It does have a feel of douchebaggery, though. . using NCSoft's bandwidth, technology, and servers to take their customers.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: squirrel on March 17, 2009, 09:45:42 PM
Wow, what a tempest in a teacup.  Am I the only person who isn't horrified by this?  Every complaint so far in this thread seems to be saying that its ok to try to get your competitor's market share, but that Cryptic's actions lacked elegance.

Well, fuck elegance.  Cryptic is trying to get customers, and we are saying that trying to get customers for a superhero MMO by appealing to people who like superhero MMOs is wrong?  Because they crossed some imaginary line between guild message boards and in-game emails that causes ya'll to faint like Victorian women in bad period-piece movies?  As far as I am concerned, go Cryptic.   

Beyond the RAWR capitalism tone, you're mostly correct that it's ok to try and steal market share. As a marketer (20 yrs now, ugh) there's a general rule you follow though which is "If we all do this is it going to cause a net benefit or net loss for each of us?" Being aggressive, haunting guild boards, chasing top players, advertising - all net benefit activities. This isn't.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Trippy on March 17, 2009, 09:47:21 PM
I dunno.  DirecTV uses Comcast's pipe to tell me to switch to cable, which seems like pretty much the same thing.
Except that DirecTV paid somebody for that privilege. There are also probably laws in place that prevent Comcast from blocking the purchase/showing of such ads.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: squirrel on March 17, 2009, 09:56:00 PM
I dunno.  DirecTV uses Comcast's pipe to tell me to switch to cable, which seems like pretty much the same thing.
Except that DirecTV paid somebody for that privilege. There are also probably laws in place that prevent Comcast from blocking the purchase/showing of such ads.

Problem with that argument is someone who doesn't get the big picture will say "Nah-uh - Cryptic pays for those CoH accounts! It's the same thing!"

Which, of course, it isn't.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Trippy on March 17, 2009, 10:00:05 PM
They may have paid for the account but they are violating the Rules of Conduct and the EULA.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 17, 2009, 10:22:18 PM
They may have paid for the account but they are violating the Rules of Conduct and the EULA.


People here do lots of things that violate the Rules of Conduct and the EULA in MMOs.  If you've ever let your little brother play your account for five minutes, you've violated the EULA.  If you've ever bought gold, you've violated the EULA.  Hell, if you ever destroyed your MMO's CD, that probably violates the EULA. 

The moral of the story is people here, as is trendy, routinely laugh at the suits and their pathetic EULAs.  When did we turn into the Divine Auxiliary Legion of NCSoft Lawyers?   

What I suspect is happening here is COH/V fans, afraid of massive migration that renders their game less populated (and accordingly less fun- nobody wants to play in a ghost town) are veiling their butthurtedness with a sudden and less-than-convincing cloak of morality.

 EDIT: @squirrel:  Please to be explaining why this isn't a net benefit.  If it gets players who move to your game long-term, how is 1 or two days of faux nerd emorage on rant sites sufficient to counteract that? 


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: squirrel on March 17, 2009, 10:24:48 PM
For the record, I have never played CoH. Not interested in it or CO. And I still think it's a shitty tactic.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: schild on March 17, 2009, 10:26:15 PM
They may have paid for the account but they are violating the Rules of Conduct and the EULA.


People here do lots of things that violate the Rules of Conduct and the EULA in MMOs.  If you've ever let your little brother play your account for five minutes, you've violated the EULA.  If you've ever bought gold, you've violated the EULA.  Hell, if you ever destroyed your MMO's CD, that probably violates the EULA. 

The moral of the story is people here, as is trendy, routinely laugh at the suits and their pathetic EULAs.  When did we turn into the Divine Auxiliary Legion of NCSoft Lawyers?   

What I suspect is happening here is COH/V fans, afraid of massive migration that renders their game less populated (and accordingly less fun- nobody wants to play in a ghost town) are veiling their butthurtedness with a sudden and less-than-convincing cloak of morality.   
I'd wager NDAs and EULAs get fucking serious when companies start dicking around. In fact, that should be the only time they get serious.

Also, you're a really strange guy.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 17, 2009, 10:33:19 PM
They may have paid for the account but they are violating the Rules of Conduct and the EULA.


People here do lots of things that violate the Rules of Conduct and the EULA in MMOs.  If you've ever let your little brother play your account for five minutes, you've violated the EULA.  If you've ever bought gold, you've violated the EULA.  Hell, if you ever destroyed your MMO's CD, that probably violates the EULA. 

The moral of the story is people here, as is trendy, routinely laugh at the suits and their pathetic EULAs.  When did we turn into the Divine Auxiliary Legion of NCSoft Lawyers?   

What I suspect is happening here is COH/V fans, afraid of massive migration that renders their game less populated (and accordingly less fun- nobody wants to play in a ghost town) are veiling their butthurtedness with a sudden and less-than-convincing cloak of morality.   
I'd wager NDAs and EULAs get fucking serious when companies start dicking around. In fact, that should be the only time they get serious.

If NCSoft thinks they have an actionable case under applicable law (for intentional interference with business relationship, or something like that), then by all means they are free to sue.  And if Cryptic's actions fall within the ambit of such laws, then they deserve to lose the case.  I have no problem with any of that.

What I don't get is the rage here.  People keep drawing a distinction between What Blizzard Did (tm) (that is good and wise and again shows Blizzard's genius) and What Cryptic is Doing (Robot Hitler). 

There are three possibilities for such rage:
(1) COH/V fans being butthurt
(2) Everyone here thinks it is always 100% despicable when any company does something possibly technically actionable under civil law, or
(3) Something else.

(2) is clearly ridiculous even though some are now trying to sell it that way.  (1) is likely, but if its wrong, I still don't understand (3) and the huge gap between guild message boards and an in-game email.       


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Rendakor on March 17, 2009, 10:46:30 PM
If we're talking about private* guild message boards and in-game email the difference should be obvious. A private guild message board is not the property of your direct competition; using your competitor's PRODUCT to advertise your own (without paying for or otherwise obtaining consent to do so) seems wrong, to me. It's not because of the EULA nor because I'm a raging CoH fanboi; it just seems like a dick move. I could invent fictitious real-world examples to attempt to clarify the point, but if you don't find this sort of thing wrong I can't change your mind.

*As in, paid for and handled entirely by the guild. I don't think that there are official CoX guild boards; I know SOE offers them for a fee but to the best of my knowledge NCSoft does not.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Dtrain on March 17, 2009, 10:49:45 PM
People keep drawing a distinction between What Blizzard Did (tm) (that is good and wise and again shows Blizzard's genius) and What Cryptic is Doing (Robot Hitler). 

See, that's the problem - we're not calling them Robot Hitler - more like Retard Stalin.

It's just bad form. On a professional level. It's a lot like if you and I were both plumbers in the same small town. You are going around to your customers and I'm having a slow day, so I follow your truck around and offer to beat your deal and harass your customers. Sure, I can do it, and no, there's probably not a law against it - and I might even get a few customers doing it. It would still make me a flaming douche.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 17, 2009, 10:59:28 PM
@schild:  Er, did you miss sam's and dtrain's posts in this thread?  And the Broken toys thread?  People draw lines awfully quickly between Blizzard's genius and Cryptic's villainy. 

@Rendakor and Dtrain:  Trying to use real world analogies doesn't work here, because, as most on this site readily acknowledge in other contexts, such analogies are hard to apply in the virtual context.  Also, Dtrain, read again the email that was actually sent.  It does not criticize CoH/V or "harass" anyone, its merely an offer. 

I could just as easily say that its villainy for McDonalds to buy a billboard next to the Burger King parking lot.  Or that McDonalds can't text people about how great Big Macs are when potential customers are sitting in Burger King.  Hell, lets say the Burger King customer is using a special Burger-King themed cell phone he bought with "prize points" from eating 1000 Whoppers, and McDonalds texts him while he's in Burger King.  Is that wrong? 


As much as people here insist they know its a business and people compete, the MMO industry is young enough that people still fancy there is some sort of gentleman's dueling code that makes the industry different and special compared to every other business.  That's wrong, and I'm not going to go all self-righteous holding Cryptic to some sort of unwritten chivalric code that was around when neckbeards were setting up tray tables across from each other at the mall and selling $5 games in plastic baggies. 

EDIT:  Ultimately, as squirrel said, if the positives outweigh the negatives (getting players vs. possible lawsuit, possible strained future commercial relationship with NCSoft) then it was a brilliant decision.  If those negatives outweigh the positives, it was a bad decision.  Time will tell, but people's rage here isn't based on that sort of cost-benefit analysis.  Its apparently based on irrational expectations about how Duke Cryptic took 9 steps before firing its flintlock pistol at Count NCSoft, instead of the civilized and gentlemanly 10 recommended by the Marquis of Queensberry. 


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Rendakor on March 17, 2009, 11:05:13 PM
First you say real world analogies don't work here, then you use one.  :uhrr:

But to carry on your retarded analogy, this is like someone from McDonalds going into BK and offering free samples. No magic prize cell phones, no paying for legal advertising. Are you a moron?


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 17, 2009, 11:06:24 PM
No, it isn't.  That's the whole point.  Someone was sent a FUCKING MESSAGE.  You know, like what your email does.  Or your mailbox.  Nobody was giving free samples, it was merely an invitation to a beta. 


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 17, 2009, 11:13:00 PM
Triforcer:

Also, it's not about gentleman's dueling codes or some shit. You don't know (or appreciate) how small this industry is, especially the mmorpg industry. This dude Diamonds, if he doesn't give up the information on who said what (and even then) is probably going to have a tough time advancing. This is burn bridges distasteful rude shit in the gaming industry. It's not about chivalry, you just never ever know who your next boss will be or who's going to be in a position to fuck you next. It's a problem, of course, but if you're gonna have to dig deeper to get to the core of it. Fact of the matter is that the gaming industry is an industry of fraternity and grudges.

I agree with all of that.  But thats a problem that Diamonds has to worry about.  You are not Diamonds.  The rage pouring out of Unsub's original post, and the "this is wrong" posts following are not because people are worried about Diamonds.  Its something else.  Your point is correct, but it isn't relevant to why non-Diamonds/non-NCSoft personages are aghast at this. 


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Rendakor on March 17, 2009, 11:13:58 PM
An invitation to beta test a game is not similar to a free sample?


Fake edit: fuck this I'm done, following the old axiom:
"Don't argue with idiots; they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience"


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: squirrel on March 17, 2009, 11:16:35 PM
using your competitor's PRODUCT to advertise your own (without paying for or otherwise obtaining consent to do so) seems wrong,

The issue. It not only seems wrong, it is wrong. It's not ok to attack your competitor using their property in violation of the terms of agreement, no matter how little you think of them.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 17, 2009, 11:23:00 PM
Interesting.  So you condemn every violation of the Rules of Conduct or the EULA under any circumstances (the little brother playing for five minutes, buying gold, etc.) as equally wrong?  If not, and you are ok with some violations of the terms of agreement but blast others, the aforementioned Divine Auxiliary NcSoft Lawyers defense doesn't play. 

Every time a respected F13 poster admits they bought gold or at least are ok with it, why isn't there a front-page story highlighting selected portions of the EULA and calling said poster a terrible person?  All I want is for people to be honest about their reasons for hating this- EULA violation doesn't cut it, because most here ignore or mock the sacredness of the EULA in other contexts. 


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: sidereal on March 17, 2009, 11:25:55 PM
Don't feed the troll


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 17, 2009, 11:39:23 PM
I'm not calling you hypocrites, and I don't think you should call out the 13 year olds.  That's my point.  As people who aren't working for the MMO companies, we don't equally condemn all EULA violations we hear about.  We condemn things that happen to be EULA violations that otherwise offend us on some other, deeper level.  The fact that such offense is also an offense against the EULA is incidental.  Hence, the "its wrong because it violates the EULA" argument doesn't fly here.  I just want to know the deeper reason why this is offensive to so many people.  Usually, even if I disagree with people, I can understand where they are coming from.  But I just don't understand at all why bystanders (who are not stockholders or employees of NcSoft, or who are not Diamonds) would care about this. At all.  Its like I am trying to understand why everyone here feels its important to sukarrup their blagopork in baseball.      


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: squirrel on March 17, 2009, 11:46:32 PM
Interesting.  So you condemn every violation of the Rules of Conduct or the EULA under any circumstances (the little brother playing for five minutes, buying gold, etc.) as equally wrong?  If not, and you are ok with some violations of the terms of agreement but blast others, the aforementioned Divine Auxiliary NcSoft Lawyers defense doesn't play. 

Every time a respected F13 poster admits they bought gold or at least are ok with it, why isn't there a front-page story highlighting selected portions of the EULA and calling said poster a terrible person?  All I want is for people to be honest about their reasons for hating this- EULA violation doesn't cut it, because most here ignore or mock the sacredness of the EULA in other contexts. 

Dude. Learn to read. The EULA issue is not even a major portion of my complaint. Read what I've posted. It's bad to to try and scalp your competition using tools they build. That's it. It's unethical. Go after the guild sites, post on boards, recruit via email - all fair. Don't use someone else's product against them. It's unethical. Why? Because it's bad for all of us.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 17, 2009, 11:48:24 PM
@schild and squirrel: Ok, that's fair.  You believe that eventually such practices will negatively affect the genre as a whole (and by extension us as players and our enjoyment), and I can understand that even if I do not agree on your predicted result. 


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: squirrel on March 18, 2009, 12:01:13 AM
Of course the upside now is that we can assume that the ChampO EULA/Terms of Use are irrelevant. After all if they don't respect others, why respect theirs?  :drill:

EDIT: I keed. I keed.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 18, 2009, 12:11:58 AM
I wasn't wrong about anything.  Everyone was being dishonest about why they opposed this from the beginning (tossing up reasons like it hurt Diamonds, it was against the EULA, etc.) and you finally admitted the reason was naked self-interest, not morality.  I won because you finally admitted that. 

Plus, anyone debating you has to do so with one hand tied behind their back, for obvious reasons.  So I don't respond to your repeated personal insults, because giving it back to you in equal amounts is dangerous.  Sorry to break it to you, but you're not a brilliant debater, you're the guy holding the banstick. 


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: squirrel on March 18, 2009, 12:13:58 AM
Oh dear. Now you have to start class all over! Your parents will be very dissapointed.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 18, 2009, 12:20:56 AM
All I know is I ended the discussion on a conciliatory note, saying I understood your position.  I was done with the thread at that point, but you decided a final insult was necessary.  Assuming you don't feel the need for a final kick (Prediction: I'm wrong about that), I'll say what I said before:

I now understand your position even if I don't agree with it.  Thank you.



Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: squirrel on March 18, 2009, 12:21:26 AM
Also, finally admitted? Once again, you're incorrect. I play too few MMOGs to care (as in amount of time played). But I do care about the industry as a whole. I just used myself as an example because I often lead Bat Country and I have a platform from which to throw rocks at companies and cause pain.
Edit: In fact, my reasons are entirely selfless given that I don't actually care about what happens to me, as if anything could in this situation.

Unlike Schild I am actually a MMOG gamer primarily, although my consoles are getting more work lately. I currently have active subscriptions to EVE, LoTRO and WoW. Point being, what Cryptic did was fucking stupid. It's a small industry and they shit in the bed. Your defending them makes you smell like shit. Sorry mate, but it's not happy happy fun time. They're being assholes and using they're competitors tools to do shit they shouldn't do and you're defending it. Cool.

EDIT: "I now understand your position even if I don't agree with it.  Thank you."

That's a reasonable response. I'm not being sarcastic either. That's a fine position.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 18, 2009, 12:24:50 AM
EDIT:  Never mind.  I will go back to my forum, and not walk the Newsthread Plane for 100 years. 


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: UnSub on March 18, 2009, 12:25:52 AM
First off, I'm a fanboi of CoH/V AND of Cryptic (at least, until recently - now I'm into 'meh' territory). I'm not butthurt about Cryptic chasing CoH/V players - actually, I think they refer to CoH/V too much and shouldn't run down their old title.

My complaint is that going onto the official CoH/V boards and start soliciting for players. Now, I'd have a lot less objection if they'd gone to CoH/V fansites and done it, or tracked down different CoH/V guildsites and gone for it. That's the way I'd expect it to go. But aiming to recruit key players off the CoH/V board? Ugly and unprofessional. It's not much above going into CoH/V and spamming RMT-style 'FAST RELIABLE CHAMPO BETA KEYS HERE!'.

Personally I don't care about Diamonds - Schild can confirm my reluctance to name him at all, but ultimately it lends credence to the event by providing a recognisable name. I care about the act here. That Cryptic did it now makes it acceptable for DCUO to try to recruit off the ChampO boards, or for Gargantuan's Marvel MMO to come by and try to steal off Cryptic too. Ultimately you don't punch another guy in the balls because then it makes it acceptable for someone to punch you in the balls. End result: everyone ends up with hurt testicles.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Xuri on March 18, 2009, 03:02:08 AM
Ahhh. And here I thought goldspam was my only worries. I may be stating something obvious here, but if Cryptic doesn't get their hand spanked over this, soon every MMO developer and/or publisher will have their own "Recruitment Squads", their only purpose being mass-inviting players from other MMOs, through their competitors' in-game chat/messaging systems.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Reg on March 18, 2009, 03:16:12 AM
This is the kind of thing the Shadowbane guys did back in the UO days. They took a lot of heat about it at the time.  But since it's a well-known fact that MMOG developers don't learn from history or each other I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see it happening again.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Tebonas on March 18, 2009, 04:58:52 AM
That is bad. Spammers are a bane to online games anyway, and now companies are doing it as well? Hope Cryptic gets kicked to the curb for this soon.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Arthur_Parker on March 18, 2009, 05:25:32 AM
I started the process to switch telephone companies yesterday because various marketing companies working for BT won't stop calling me and BT apparently doesn't care that I'm on the UK version of the "do not call list" and x-directory.

Somebody link the beta application for this new game, I don't like superhero games but have a sudden desire to contact lots of people ingame and tell them how great LOTRO is.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Dtrain on March 18, 2009, 09:20:04 AM
Let's play a game.

You are a community manager tasked with creating hype for a new game (details are up to you.)

Your two employees are Diamonds and Triforcer. Please describe the tasks you would create, and to whom they would be assigned.

(Triforcer, if you wish to play, your second employee can be Schild, without the attachable ban stick.)

...and go.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 18, 2009, 09:55:38 AM
If I worked with Diamonds and schild, I'd assign them the task of shooting themselves in the face, and then I'd turn the gun on myself.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: schild on March 18, 2009, 10:00:59 AM
I would imagine players would be *lucky* if I was the one wielding the banstick.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Moorgard on March 18, 2009, 10:47:08 AM
If I worked with Diamonds and schild, I'd assign them the task of shooting themselves in the face, and then I'd turn the gun on myself.

Congratulations on mastering Community Management Rule #47: Leave a big mess for your replacement to clean up.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Merusk on March 18, 2009, 11:40:24 AM
I can't wait for the EQ2/ Conan/ LoTR/ War spam to start-up in WoW using trial accounts.   Yay!


Title: Stealing from Friends: Things That Evil Inc. Should Stop Doing
Post by: Volusus on March 18, 2009, 12:00:06 PM
Hello everyone.  I just want to bring to everyone's attention the horror that I have witnessed recently within my local gaming community!  Apparently, another company is soliciting me-- ok, well, not me PERSONALLY, but a friend of a friend of mine-- to play THEIR competing beta!  It's downright low, isn't it?  They send me-- ok, well, a friend of a friend-- this PM of the whole thing.  Here's a word for word copy of the PM (I can't supply a screenshot of anything because my screenshot button, and my friend's, and my friend's friends, is broken)

Here's a copy of the forum PM:

Hey <name>, this is KnownDevName from Evil Inc. Studios.

We would like to offer you beta access to Fantastic Awesomesauce Online (if you don’t already have it). We’re specifically reaching out to you so that you can get a chance to see the game before it goes live. If you already have applied for beta, then we would like to accelerate your application.

If you are interested in the Beta for Fantastic Awesomesauce Online please feel free to email me at <emailname>@evilincstudios.com.

Thanks!
KnownDevName



Can you believe this??  And KnownDevName is a recognized yellow name!  It's Seymour Buttz, a Web Programmer for Evil Inc. Studios.  Now... why Seymour, a Web Programmer who literally would never have any business sending out a request like this, (and also have NO reason to sign it personally… since, you know, they are only a WEB PROGRAMMER) would send such an e-mail out doesn't matter.  The simple fact their name is ON this PM (which I copied here, of course, but I've seen the actual PM.  Trust me) proves it's real, right?

Everything I've done to validate if this is real has proved it's real.  I won't go into all the details of course of WHAT I did to validate it being real, but oh yes, it's real.  Really.

Anyway, let's all get mad and start this whole trash talking session about Evil Inc. Studios!  Because after all, the internets is serious business, guys.


P.S.  Please ignore the fact that all this info has come to light AFTER an official post by my game was released saying to ignore solicitation mentioned that was about "another game company trying to lure you to their competing product."  I know it's a rather broad statement, but they are CLEARLY talking about Evil Inc. Studios.  That's why I've started telling everyone about this PM... that um... my friend of a friend got way BEFORE this statement was released.  Yeah.

There is no reason why after they made that ambiguous statement suddenly this PM surfaced clearly pointing the finger right at Evil Inc. Studios.  Also, can't you just tell by how the PM I typed is worded that it's true?  I know I can, and I typed it!  They said " accelerate your application" for Pete's sake!  That's clearly evil alliteration people!

Evil Inc. needs to STOP IT!


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: schild on March 18, 2009, 12:03:16 PM
What in the nine hells was that?

Edit: Looking through the logs, I blame Massively.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: tazelbain on March 18, 2009, 12:09:37 PM
I think it was fanboy LARPing.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: sidereal on March 18, 2009, 12:19:19 PM
I think naming their company Evil Inc Studios was their first mistake.  That's just a terrible business decision.  Also, can I get a beta invite for Fantastic Awesomeness Online?  That sounds awesome.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: schild on March 18, 2009, 12:20:04 PM
First of all, it's Fantastic Awesomesauce, second of all, no. Beta invites are limited.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Yoru on March 18, 2009, 12:21:29 PM
Couldn't've come from Massively. The post doesn't have enough "Next Page" links.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: sidereal on March 18, 2009, 12:21:36 PM
Ah, that's why googling didn't turn it up.

After I got the name right, I got in.  It's not as awesome as you'd think, but  :nda:


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: sinij on March 18, 2009, 01:39:56 PM
This pisses me off because:

1. I don't want it to become common practice.
2. As a gamer, this sort of shit is pretty insulting.
3. It's like they think the folks in City of Heroes don't know about Champions or aren't planning to try it, and that's just absolute crazytalk. The only people left in CoH are people that love that particular section of the genre and would play anything involving superheroes. Kind of like sociopaths and Darkfall.


As a gamer I really don't care if this practice becomes commonplace, aside from potential extremes where it becomes spam. Yes, whole thing could have been done more tasteful, but living according to some 'mmorpg gentleman's code' is setting yourself up for a failure. Next ruthless fucker that doesn't will eat your lunch and get your job.

Yes, this could be part of being Darkfall-loving, SB-playing sociopath... but there is more of us than there is of you AND WE WILL FUCK YOU UP.

Also, in closing I'd like to say:

SB.EXE



Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: HaemishM on March 18, 2009, 02:51:18 PM
I dunno.  DirecTV uses Comcast's pipe to tell me to switch to cable, which seems like pretty much the same thing.

And they PAY for the privilege of doing so - i.e. they make media buys to use that pipe. This is not even remotely the same fucking thing.

EDIT: Nevermind, I see this thread was fagged up super quick by Triforcer soon after the quoted post. Nothing to see here.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: sidereal on March 18, 2009, 02:56:03 PM
I dunno.  DirecTV uses Comcast's pipe to tell me to switch to cable, which seems like pretty much the same thing.

And they PAY for the privilege of doing so - i.e. they make media buys to use that pipe. This is not even remotely the same fucking thing.

Totally covered on page 1.  Cryptic theoretically paid for accounts to send their little spams as well.
But I was mostly playing Devil's Advocate.  I'm on board with it being a shitty, stupid thing to do.  Almost certainly against the TOS which, yes 12-year-old brothers break with impunity all the time, but which companies with lots of resources to sue for are very, very careful about if they're smart.






Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Samwise on March 18, 2009, 03:34:08 PM
this could be part of being Darkfall-loving, SB-playing sociopath

That's pretty much what I'm thinking here.   :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Ingmar on March 18, 2009, 04:02:50 PM
I wonder if that sarcastrobomb Massively guy is just the first of many?


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Rendakor on March 18, 2009, 04:43:12 PM
I wonder if that sarcastrobomb Massively guy is just the first of many?
I suggest moving the thread to Politics before that happens.  :ye_gods:


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: sam, an eggplant on March 18, 2009, 05:17:48 PM
My favorite part about Cryptics CO beta is that they do a shitload of previews and send out more mail than any other company I've ever encountered. Ever. It's approaching spam.
Seriously. I think we're up to four or five emails just in the past week. Every time they turn the servers on they send two emails. It's a bit much.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: d4rkj3di on March 18, 2009, 06:30:02 PM
 :awesome_for_real:

This does not surprise me at all.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Soln on March 18, 2009, 06:49:29 PM
fanboy LARPing. :awesome_for_real: :awesome_for_real:

WHERE DO I GET MY F13 BETA KEY!!


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Evil Inc. Should Stop Doing
Post by: UnSub on March 18, 2009, 08:41:31 PM
Evil Inc. needs to STOP IT!

Weak parody. 4/10. Also, I can provide screenshots if you really want, but then you'll say I faked them too.

Seriously, if I'm wrong, all Cryptic has to do is post a message saying "This didn't happen" and it's all done. They are paying a PR company money to do their PR, so get them onto it. Or admit it happened, apologise and move forward.

I find it amusing that people might imagine that either I or my sources have some axe to grind against Cryptic - I started following Cryptic / CoH/V back in 2001 or so, have been a fan of them for years and have always been really excited by what Cryptic  planned... up to this point. Or that I get some kind of advantage out of posting this. Net result: I'm no longer in the ChampO beta, user name and password no longer accepted.

So be it.

EDIT: There's a small chance I can't get in for other reasons - maintenance, technical errors, etc - but I did expect that putting my name to this would be the end of ChampO beta experience.


Works now.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Evil Inc. Should Stop Doing
Post by: lamaros on March 18, 2009, 09:02:58 PM
Evil Inc. needs to STOP IT!

Weak parody. 4/10. Also, I can provide screenshots if you really want, but then you'll say I faked them too.

Seriously, if I'm wrong, all Cryptic has to do is post a message saying "This didn't happen" and it's all done. They are paying a PR company money to do their PR, so get them onto it. Or admit it happened, apologise and move forward.

I find it amusing that people might imagine that either I or my sources have some axe to grind against Cryptic - I started following Cryptic / CoH/V back in 2001 or so, have been a fan of them for years and have always been really excited by what Cryptic  planned... up to this point. Or that I get some kind of advantage out of posting this. Net result: I'm no longer in the ChampO beta, user name and password no longer accepted.

So be it.

EDIT: There's a small chance I can't get in for other reasons - maintenance, technical errors, etc - but I did expect that putting my name to this would be the end of ChampO beta experience.

Se now this strikes me as being more unprofessional than the original post.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: schild on March 18, 2009, 09:03:37 PM
It strikes me as "guilty as charged."


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 18, 2009, 09:28:01 PM
They can't really have expected that NO ONE they sent the emails too would break this story (or at least post on a forum somewhere leading to the story breaking).  That's pure idiocy....

...nevermind  :oh_i_see:.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Lum on March 18, 2009, 10:06:22 PM
People here do lots of things that violate the Rules of Conduct and the EULA in MMOs. 

People acting as official representatives of their company are held to a higher legal standard than "everyone else does it".


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: sinij on March 18, 2009, 10:09:10 PM
People acting as official representatives of their company are held to a higher legal standard than "everyone else does it".

As experience clearly shows, this is unreasonable expectation.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Evil Inc. Should Stop Doing
Post by: UnSub on March 18, 2009, 10:17:30 PM
Net result: I'm no longer in the ChampO beta, user name and password no longer accepted.

So be it.

EDIT: There's a small chance I can't get in for other reasons - maintenance, technical errors, etc - but I did expect that putting my name to this would be the end of ChampO beta experience.

Se now this strikes me as being more unprofessional than the original post.

I've shown that I can't be trusted and can't keep a secret. It's Cryptic's beta and they can kick me if they want to. I'm not so  :heartbreak: about it because I was pretty sure it would happen as a result.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Evil Inc. Should Stop Doing
Post by: lamaros on March 18, 2009, 11:45:32 PM
Net result: I'm no longer in the ChampO beta, user name and password no longer accepted.

So be it.

EDIT: There's a small chance I can't get in for other reasons - maintenance, technical errors, etc - but I did expect that putting my name to this would be the end of ChampO beta experience.

Se now this strikes me as being more unprofessional than the original post.

I've shown that I can't be trusted and can't keep a secret. It's Cryptic's beta and they can kick me if they want to. I'm not so  :heartbreak: about it because I was pretty sure it would happen as a result.

Strange idea of 'secret'!


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: MahrinSkel on March 19, 2009, 01:32:08 AM
I'm having a hard time understanding the outrage here.  Cryptic is reaching out to the most concentrated nexus of their target market.  NCSoft (in partnership with Cryptic) created the most target-rich environment *possible* for Champions Online to go after for beta buzz, every single current player of "Underwear Fetishists Online" games is on one site.  And they aren't being sneaky about it, pretending to astroturf their way into extending these invitations, they're just doing it.

The only difference is that NCSoft operates the forums in question, and Cryptic doesn't (anymore).  So nobody is ever allowed to try and poach WoW players using the exact same techniques they used against DAoC and EQ1 (and that Mythic used against EQ1 in their turn), because they've morally inoculated themselves against it by putting them all into one site and providing in-game mail (so few people have their guildmate's email addresses)?

Was it immoral for people to talk up Camelot in EQ1 guildchat?  Or AoC and WAR in WoW's chat?  Or is it only immoral because these are employees of a competitor who openly identify themselves as such?  What if it were members of their families?  Close personal friends?  Guildmates?  People who met them once at a fanfest or other convention?  How wide must the chinese wall between employee and shill be, before the moral taint no longer attaches?

Or are you just frightened that the community you belong to is about to fission, and this un-named dev gave you a convenient target to unleash teh haet on?

Let NCSoft defend themselves from this.  Nobody "owns" the community, or the subscription revenue they provide.  Or does Comcast have the right to decide what online games you're allowed to play, and charge the providers for using their pipes to do so?  Why should you be allowed to play CoH, if they sign an exclusive with Cryptic?

--Dave


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Triforcer on March 19, 2009, 01:56:10 AM
Don't even try.  Ever answer will be some variation of "Explain mahself?  Scahlett, all I know is such ungentlemanly actions gave me the vapahs!" 


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Tebonas on March 19, 2009, 02:36:29 AM
Wow, I'm glad my angle wasn't morality but the annoyance and immersion breaking factor. I don't want spam and advertisment in my game. And the provider of my game enforcing that is actually one of the reasons I give my money to that particular game ( or more specifically, them not enforcing it or worse showing they have no qualms about doing it themself is a reason to withhold my money).



Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: UnSub on March 19, 2009, 03:16:54 AM
The only difference is that NCSoft operates the forums in question, and Cryptic doesn't (anymore).  So nobody is ever allowed to try and poach WoW players using the exact same techniques they used against DAoC and EQ1 (and that Mythic used against EQ1 in their turn), because they've morally inoculated themselves against it by putting them all into one site and providing in-game mail (so few people have their guildmate's email addresses)?

If you think it is fine for a competitor to come into your business and use the tools you provide to try to take your customers, good luck to you. It's not the attempt to take the customers, it is the method used.

I'd expect Cryptic to contact guild sites, or even have an open recruitment attempt on their website. But if this kind of thing becomes acceptable behaviour I think PMs on official forums will become a thing of the past.

Quote
Was it immoral for people to talk up Camelot in EQ1 guildchat?  Or AoC and WAR in WoW's chat?  Or is it only immoral because these are employees of a competitor who openly identify themselves as such?  What if it were members of their families?  Close personal friends?  Guildmates?  People who met them once at a fanfest or other convention?  How wide must the chinese wall between employee and shill be, before the moral taint no longer attaches?

The difference between the importance of what a redname says and what an ordinary player says is immense. The gap probably has to be a bit wider than "direct employee of Cryptic". That Cryptic was giving away beta keys next to the CoH/V stall? That's fine. But the second s/he crosses the threshold and starts handing out ChampO beta keys while standing in the CoH/V stall is where things get tricky.

Quote
Or are you just frightened that the community you belong to is about to fission, and this un-named dev gave you a convenient target to unleash teh haet on?

God no. Bring on the better MMOs. CoH/V is in its last stages (unless I14 is a huge success) of major reinvestment. Cryptic's act was worth commenting on because the act was underhanded. If Cryptic wants to complete with CoH/V, fine, do it in open competition, not by trying to directly steal players off the official forums.

If Cryptic didn't think this was a bit underhanded, their response would have been "so what?". They'd have been open about it.

Quote
Nobody "owns" the community, or the subscription revenue they provide. 

Hear that? That was the sound of thousands of CSR people doing a simultaneous /facepalm. You don't own the community, but you own its integrity, its management. You attempt to keep it together. I've got no idea of Comcast so I don't even understand your last point.

Cryptic can't feel they have any ownership of the community - they sold their rights to CoH/V off to NCsoft. The money they got wasn't because they made a shiny IP, it was because 150k players played it and paid for the privilege.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: lamaros on March 19, 2009, 03:22:59 AM
I'm not sure if the Home comparison works. It's more like I have a party and my neighbour I don't know rocks up and starts telling everyone there's a better party down the street, and people should check it out. (Except of course, games aren't excusive like a such partys would be, you can play two games at once.)

Which is pretty low, but it's not the bottom of the barrel.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: apocrypha on March 19, 2009, 05:08:00 AM
I'm a bit confused I must admit.

Some of you seem to be expecting things such as honour and morals from companies that are in direct competition with each other. Gaming isn't some magic paradise rainbow unicorn fairy land that exists outside of capitalism you know. And yes, I know that point was made on page 1. I just think it's such an important point that it bears repeating.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Xuri on March 19, 2009, 07:28:41 AM
Thieves don't steal from thieves? Unless they can get away with it. Which Cryptic didn't. :P


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Numtini on March 19, 2009, 07:44:27 AM
Right now there's a spam in the MMO forum for a powerlevelling company and chances are that by the time most people read this message, it will be gone and denned. It's categorically different than someone like Schilling who comes here to chat up their game and engages us as fellow gamers--even if they act like a douche.

There's a world of difference between a dev doing PR by conversing with people and someone spamming someone. And the in game angle just makes it worse.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Arthur_Parker on March 19, 2009, 08:09:20 AM
For me it's exactly what Numtini said, it's lazy marketing and ignores the fact that spam of any kind is really annoying.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: UnSub on March 19, 2009, 09:26:04 AM
... and now I'm back in the ChampO beta. Perhaps unbanned, perhaps hit by an account bug I've never experienced before.  :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Mrbloodworth on March 19, 2009, 09:52:39 AM
wow, what happened in here. I know what this thread needs.

(http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z298/cdump06/Images/hugs_kisses/images/hug00066.jpg)



Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: UnSub on March 19, 2009, 09:55:15 AM
I'm not sure if the Home comparison works.

Should have said 'business'. Editted.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: HaemishM on March 19, 2009, 11:31:43 AM
My favorite part about Cryptics CO beta is that they do a shitload of previews and send out more mail than any other company I've ever encountered. Ever. It's approaching spam.
Seriously. I think we're up to four or five emails just in the past week. Every time they turn the servers on they send two emails. It's a bit much.

They send out more email than they have playsessions open.

EDIT: And as for why this is bad...

Black Snow, WoW gold sellers. Spamming advertisements in someone else's game is JUST FUCKING WRONG. If a WoW gold seller can get banned for trying to sell gold in spam tells or on forums, why shouldn't a competitor be held to an even higher standard? It would be bad enough if you were astroturfing on your competitor's forum with "guerilla marketers." It's even worse when it's blatant. It's like rubbing your balls in your competitor's face and daring him to do something about it.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Reg on March 19, 2009, 12:03:46 PM
It was just in the forums though wasn't it? That's bad enough but not as bad as spamming their beta invites in the game itself.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: SnakeCharmer on March 19, 2009, 12:49:19 PM
The mistake people are making here is in parallel to a word in the title:  "Friends".

It's business.  It's not personal, it's just business.  Every company that I have worked for, I've taken business from when I left them.  I've taken business from close 'friends' in the industry, and I've had close 'friends' in the industry take business from me.  Hell, I've hired people in the last year I knew could take business away from their current company.  I can't imagine that game developers are any different in that regard with headhunting for people they've worked with in the past with particular skill sets.  Is it possible that Schilling hired some of the EQ/SOE people because he knew they could bring in players based upon name recognition alone?

The people doing the solicitation aren't slandering (or is it libel?) NCSoft.  They aren't saying bad things about them.  They're just saying "Hey, we've got a superhero MMO too!  Come check us out!".  Had Cryptic been saying "CoX is a steaming pile of dung, CO is freaking awesome", I could see the froth.

Would it be any different if they had people datamining the NCSoft forums for people that post their email address and soliciting that way? 


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: sinij on March 19, 2009, 01:40:08 PM
I find it ironic that you feel posting private correspondence to prove your point is fine (and it is), but trying to get few Ubers to test your game isn't (and it is also fine in my book).

What I really want to know is why f13 staff has a bone to grind with Cryptic. At this point it is clearly past 'yellow journalism' or even 'ranting' and well into 'flaming' territory. Not that there is anything wrong with good flame war for no good reason, but it not something you normally do around these parts.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Evil Inc. Should Stop Doing
Post by: IronAngel on March 19, 2009, 01:40:47 PM
EDIT: There's a small chance I can't get in for other reasons - maintenance, technical errors, etc - but I did expect that putting my name to this would be the end of ChampO beta experience.

Hey UnSub -

You haven't been banned, and we'd like to try and figure out why you can't log in.  Please email support@crypticstudios.com and we'll look into it.

Thanks!
IronAngel


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Rendakor on March 19, 2009, 01:42:53 PM
I think its amusing that they had to get someone in PR to talk to you after some "restructuring".  :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Evil Inc. Should Stop Doing
Post by: UnSub on March 19, 2009, 07:00:40 PM
EDIT: There's a small chance I can't get in for other reasons - maintenance, technical errors, etc - but I did expect that putting my name to this would be the end of ChampO beta experience.

Hey UnSub -

You haven't been banned, and we'd like to try and figure out why you can't log in.  Please email support@crypticstudios.com and we'll look into it.

Thanks!
IronAngel

I'll PM this to you as well, but after about 8 hours of not being able to get through the login process, I was then able to.

I did post an update in this thread, but I'll edit my original post in case people skim and think I suffered any sort of punitive  action as a result of bringing this to light.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: UnSub on March 19, 2009, 07:31:37 PM
It's business.  It's not personal, it's just business.  Every company that I have worked for, I've taken business from when I left them.  I've taken business from close 'friends' in the industry, and I've had close 'friends' in the industry take business from me.  Hell, I've hired people in the last year I knew could take business away from their current company.  I can't imagine that game developers are any different in that regard with headhunting for people they've worked with in the past with particular skill sets.  Is it possible that Schilling hired some of the EQ/SOE people because he knew they could bring in players based upon name recognition alone?

Headhunting is one thing. I've been headhunted. What I didn't do was then walk out with every file I could carry to take to my new employer. I'm certainly not on my old work's mailing list so I can see which new clients they might have picked up would be good to approach for work. But headhunting is a slightly different thing.

The ethics of this are 1) the channel that was used and to some extent 2) going after their 'old' title. The second one is a bit unique in MMO circles since most MMO studios don't divest their game to other studios, then start a competing title, but it is something that will happen again. It's issue #1 that is the main problem.

First off, it ignores the EULA / TOS of the official forums and if competitors start doing that, it's open slather. I could see all official forums locked to non-subscribers (at least make them pay for an account, right?) and PMs would be a thing of the past. In fact, I could see official forums killed in favour of completely trackable in-game communication methods, or communication methods with a lot of security around them. Secondly, violating EULAs / TOSs is a slippery slope. If you do it for a few, why not do it for all? In fact, why not PM every single player a title has and offer then free time to come over and play your game? Why not try to cripple your opposition? It's not a nice path to go down.

Now, I'm sure that EULAs / TOSs are ignored when certain titles are reverse engineered but that isn't a direct grab for player base (especially given the success of recent major MMO launches). And I'm not bothered if players are recruited off fansites because their focus is different. However, there are players who only post on the official forums yet make major contributions. For CoH/V, I can think of Arcanaville - I'm unaware if she posts anywhere else, but when she posts about something, the NC^2 devs listen intently. Arcana has found major game bugs, design flaws and recommended system changes that have been implemented (after a fashion), provides proof of all commentary and generally thinks things through. Now, she isn't right all the time ( :grin:) but she is thorough and generally well spoken. She is a major asset to have, but that doesn't justify going onto the CoH/V official forums and using their communication tools to try to poach her. If she posts somewhere else - that's fine, contact her there.

Quote
Had Cryptic been saying "CoX is a steaming pile of dung, CO is freaking awesome", I could see the froth.

There are a group of CoH/V players who see Cryptic doing this in every ChampO interview they do - every time things like "CoH/V is our old game and we've completely improved on it for ChampO" or "CoH/V is old and limited" or "We are doing all the things in ChampO that we couldn't do in CoH/V" they see it as a veiled swipe. Sometimes I think they are being over-sensitive, but it does come up in almost every interview

It was just in the forums though wasn't it? That's bad enough but not as bad as spamming their beta invites in the game itself.

One allegation was that Cryptic representatives were actually looking for specific players in-game: they had a list they were looking for. However, no-one posted any screenshots or hard evidence, so it remains an allegation.

EDIT: As a final point regarding negative backlash, this stunt annoyed players who felt Cryptic was being unethical AND also annoyed players who weren't invited this special way who do feel that they are important CoH/V players (EDIT 2: and important ChampO forum members who aren't getting a look in). It's bad PR, regardless of where you look.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: UnSub on March 31, 2009, 09:40:33 PM
From here (http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/66078):

Quote
Their beta however hasn't gone without controversy, and recent posting by Cryptic's Marketing/Community Team on the City of Heroes forums stirred up drama a few weeks ago. Roper thinks things might have gotten a little out of hand, "Every game tries to get the people that will play it. When I was at Blizzard, World of Warcraft did exactly that. 'Hey EverQuest 2 and Dark Age of Camelot players, you should check out our beta test!' It's less about stealing people and more about getting feedback from experienced players. It's the kind of thing that makes a sexy and controversial story." While it did raise a number of eyebrows, he believes this is how good beta testers are found and that's all there is to it.

Hear that? It's one of the senior people at Cryptic saying its okay to try to recruit players from the Champions Online / Star Trek Online / any Cryptic title straight off the official forums because that's just the way things are done!  :uhrr:

When the NDA lifts, I'll have more to say, but given the number of long-time and well-known CoH/V players who have already announced that they are in the ChampO beta I can surmise that they aren't short of experienced players currently.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Tebonas on April 01, 2009, 05:04:26 AM
Wasn't the problem it was done Ingame, not on the forums?


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: UnSub on April 01, 2009, 10:20:52 AM
Wasn't the problem it was done Ingame, not on the forums?

Allegedly both, but I've only seen the PMs sent through the forums.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Krakrok on April 26, 2009, 08:21:26 PM
If you think it is fine for a competitor to come into your business and use the tools you provide to try to take your customers, good luck to you. It's not the attempt to take the customers, it is the method used.

I don't have a problem with it. Frankly I think it is kind of stupid and just shows how backwards game companies are at marketing. I mean really. Turn on the fucking AdWords firehose and you will have 1000s of beta testers. NCSoft can ban the account if they don't like it.


Feels in line with the whining of the companies suing Google for letting people advertise when someone searches for their trademarked word.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Samwise on April 26, 2009, 08:56:11 PM


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Krakrok on April 26, 2009, 09:18:06 PM
I got lost looking for the thread about the subscribe link.


Title: Re: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing
Post by: Musashi on June 02, 2009, 04:39:49 PM
I give this thread two thumbs up.  Thanks guys.  Would read again.