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Author Topic: Stealing from Friends: Things That Cryptic Should Stop Doing  (Read 61886 times)
schild
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Reply #70 on: March 18, 2009, 07:03:37 PM

It strikes me as "guilty as charged."
Triforcer
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Reply #71 on: March 18, 2009, 07:28:01 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  Ohhhhh, I see..

All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu.  This is the truth!  This is my belief! At least for now...
Lum
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Reply #72 on: March 18, 2009, 08:06:22 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".
sinij
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Reply #73 on: March 18, 2009, 08:09:10 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.

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
UnSub
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Reply #74 on: March 18, 2009, 08:17:30 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.

lamaros
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Reply #75 on: March 18, 2009, 09:45:32 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'!

Expect poison from the standing water.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #76 on: March 18, 2009, 11:32:08 PM

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

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Triforcer
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Reply #77 on: March 18, 2009, 11:56:10 PM

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!" 

All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu.  This is the truth!  This is my belief! At least for now...
Tebonas
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Reply #78 on: March 19, 2009, 12:36:29 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).

UnSub
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Reply #79 on: March 19, 2009, 01:16:54 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.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 07:55:41 AM by UnSub »

lamaros
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Reply #80 on: March 19, 2009, 01:22:59 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.

Expect poison from the standing water.
apocrypha
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Reply #81 on: March 19, 2009, 03:08:00 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.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
Xuri
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Reply #82 on: March 19, 2009, 05:28:41 AM

Thieves don't steal from thieves? Unless they can get away with it. Which Cryptic didn't. :P

-= Ho Eyo He Hum =-
Numtini
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Reply #83 on: March 19, 2009, 05:44:27 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.

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
Arthur_Parker
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Reply #84 on: March 19, 2009, 06:09:20 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.
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Reply #85 on: March 19, 2009, 07:26:04 AM

... and now I'm back in the ChampO beta. Perhaps unbanned, perhaps hit by an account bug I've never experienced before.  Ohhhhh, I see.

Mrbloodworth
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Reply #86 on: March 19, 2009, 07:52:39 AM

wow, what happened in here. I know what this thread needs.




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Reply #87 on: March 19, 2009, 07:55:15 AM

I'm not sure if the Home comparison works.

Should have said 'business'. Editted.

HaemishM
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Reply #88 on: March 19, 2009, 09:31:43 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.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 09:35:58 AM by HaemishM »

Reg
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Reply #89 on: March 19, 2009, 10:03:46 AM

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.
SnakeCharmer
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Reply #90 on: March 19, 2009, 10:49:19 AM

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? 
sinij
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Reply #91 on: March 19, 2009, 11:40:08 AM

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.

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
IronAngel
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Reply #92 on: March 19, 2009, 11:40:47 AM

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
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Reply #93 on: March 19, 2009, 11:42:53 AM

I think its amusing that they had to get someone in PR to talk to you after some "restructuring".  Ohhhhh, I see.

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Reply #94 on: March 19, 2009, 05:00:40 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.

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Reply #95 on: March 19, 2009, 05:31:37 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 ( Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?) 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.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 09:51:36 AM by UnSub »

UnSub
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Reply #96 on: March 31, 2009, 07:40:33 PM

From here:

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!  swamp poop

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.

Tebonas
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Reply #97 on: April 01, 2009, 03:04:26 AM

Wasn't the problem it was done Ingame, not on the forums?
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Reply #98 on: April 01, 2009, 08:20:52 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.

Krakrok
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Reply #99 on: April 26, 2009, 06:21:26 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.

Samwise
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Reply #100 on: April 26, 2009, 06:56:11 PM


"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Krakrok
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Reply #101 on: April 26, 2009, 07:18:06 PM

I got lost looking for the thread about the subscribe link.

Musashi
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Reply #102 on: June 02, 2009, 02:39:49 PM

I give this thread two thumbs up.  Thanks guys.  Would read again.

AKA Gyoza
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