Thursday, May 04, 2006

Change is Never Good

I'm sorry, but I have to interrupt the 2006 Stupid awards.

Sort of.

There has been a major change in the MMORPG community, as a whole, and the FFXI community, specifically.

One of the main forum sites for these types of games has been purchased by a parent company that also deals in Real Money Transactions (RMT).

Note: for those of you new to the scene, RMT basically breaks down to the trade of online currency, such as gil or gold, for real world money.

Now, this begs the question: can the forum remain unbiased when their parent company wholly endorses an activity that the majority of players find terrible?

One of the things GMs do is occasionally read through forums to gain a better understanding of the player base. By reading your posts, GMs and our respective companies can make changes that make our world better for you.

Plus, it makes it much easier for me to undate my "this moron needs to be fed to a dragon" list.

The fact that this particular forum may now start endorsing a group whose actions are against the terms of service of practically every MMORPG on the planet is quite disturbing.

How can players be expected to respect a forum for players that is owned and operated (and whose revenue supports) actions that cause all players grief?

I wish I had a funny story or some witty comments to pass on, but honestly, I don't find this very funny.

I will not post the name of this forum because I don't want to give them even one extra reader, but users of this forum will know which one I'm talking about.

Perhaps nothing will come of this. Maybe the forum administrators will maintain a certain level of objectiveness.

But, personally, I wouldn't hold my breath.

I mean, would you trust a lung cancer forum that was owned and operated by a tobacco company?

I don't think so.

Right now, I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Also, trying to figure out how to feed an entire website to a dragon.

But for now, I can only do one thing:

The 2006 Stupid Award of the Day goes to the...

"We're lining our pockets with your grief" Forum.

37 Comments:

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Wickerbasket said...

I took your first post virginity Dave. Never forget it.

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger Galkizzle said...

I know which site.. I used to always go there..

Never again.

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Bellemithra said...

I know what forum you speak of. While I do not agree with or condone with RMT, I still feel the forum has some valid information. I go there often for guides, item infomation, map information, mob information, etc. So what's going to happen? RMT banners and pop ups? Sorry to say, but almost every forum having to do with MMORPG's have RMT banners and popups.

I'm not going to get into the politics of it. If you don't like it, don't look at it. Just because a banner pops up, it doesn't force you to click it and go spend your real money on fake money. This doesn't mean the information is going to change, or the members of the forum become untrustworthy, or give unworthy information.

Maybe it comes down to morals. But the site isn't forcing us to buy "gil". I personally will continue to navigate through the website, and many others which are bookmarked on my PC.

My 2 gil.


P.S. Please feed someone to a dragon. We all need our daily fix!

 
At 1:23 PM, Blogger Cailean said...

If the site at any time features any CPM advertising (as most high-traffic sites do), they'll make money simply because they get traffic. By supporting the forums in any way (even by visiting), you may be supporting the company that owns it.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger freezinglimbo said...

Feel the blacklist in effect. Im just going to have to use mysterytour again. I like the layout better anyway.

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Michiel said...

"the forum remain unbiased"

By definition, any post on a forum is biased in some way.

And virtual economies will thrive wether they are sanctioned or not: there is a demand so there will be a supply. You better get used to it, and gaming companies should adapt or be buried by the inevitable competition that will actively promote (and profit from) real/virtual market interaction. I predict pretty soon some virtual economies will circulate more money than several third world countries.

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger Rich said...

I used to be a paid subscriber to that form. Not any more. Firefox does a wonderful job of blocking the offending ads using the Adblock plugin.

I've used that forum and a couple other well known sites for a while. It's always bothered me that they promote RMT, but unfortunately they provide the most complete information for those sticky situations where I have NO clue what I'm doing.

The shining star in the bunch is Vanaguide.com. They're currently under a major redesign and progress appears stalled from the outside, but once they complete the process and launch the new system, I hope it rivals the RMT promoting forums.

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger cmwilli said...

Ehhh....Give it some time. Any long time poster on that forum will know that the owners are very much against RMT. Yes the company that now owns them also own IGE, but not a cent of the money they make will ever see IGE's hands. Also the owners of the website still have complete creative control. THERE WILL BE NO RMT BANNERS OR ADS. Any database that may have you personal information is still kept secret and will not be given or sold to IGE or any other part of the company.

I am very much against smoking, so you will never see me endorsing Molboro but wearing shirts or hats, or using anything that advertise for them. You will however see me eating Kraft Mac & Cheese almost daily. Altria own both companines. When was the last time you saw an ad for smoking on your mac & cheese or vice versa.

Everyone just needs to calm down. There will be changes but I think they will all be for better.

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger Keilyn said...

Business is business and while it's sad internet sites are going to have ads that may not appeal to everyone and be owned by companies that have practices people may not like. When SoE decided to have RMT servers on eq2, my fiance decided he wasn't going to support that. I do hope that the information on teh forums doesn't change because of money virtual or otherwise.

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Tigerlily said...

I just found out today which "forum" you were addressing, and am absolutely shocked since this was a site I visited often. Banners I can block, but when the entire site itself is owned by IGE then that is time to say stfu and go find another website to hang out in.

Personally I prefer FFXIclopedia, is less cluttered with noobish crap and opinionated walkthroughs, and is kept up to date by the players, not just the site owner.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger James Kilton said...

cmwilli, you're post, while technically correct, is not the reason that people (like me) are so up in arms about this decision. The merger of the site with IGE is just a simple merger, I'm fine with that.

The issue here is that the creator, of the site has stated time and time again that he will NEVER bow down to RMT companies. IGE has been after the website for years, we want to know what happened for this guy to completely reverse his promise and backstab the community. He has completely destroyed any trust the community had for him, he's a laughing stock now.

So yeah, the issue isn't the merger in itself, is the complete reversal of morals that hit many of us right below the gut. Then we find out that this deal went down in November 2005, and the betrayal is complete.

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger Feba said...

Please. Erawyn->A Horde of Chigoe.


That's all I ask.

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger Master Dingo said...

Why do you care, man? You do something that's against the rules for a GM by feeding hapless players to digital anomalies. It's very funny, but would be considered wrong in Square's eyes. So, this company does something that's also wrong in Square's (and a few other player's) eyes, but supports an economy that is thriving nonetheless. So, being who you are, and doing what you do, why do you / should you care?

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger cmwilli said...

First to make things easier, the website in discussion is Alla's. Alla is merging with ogaming and thotbott which has been aquired by the holding company that also owns IGE.

Dave, I know that you didn't want the website mentioned but anyone who reads your blog more than likely plays FF, and I have yet to meet a person that plays FF who hasn't been to Alla's.

James Kilton, You are right, I don't really understand why there is all this hype over the deal. Alla and IGE are not merging. They are legally and practically seperate entities. The fact that Alla has stated "time and time again that he will NEVER bow down to RMT companies" is the very reason why I'm not upset. I trust his intentions and know that his actions won't betray his feelings.

I will admit that Alla is dancing close to the line, but he I trust,more than anyone else, will not cross it.

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Kage said...

Too bad you don't like change. It happens. Get used to it. No sympathy.

 
At 5:34 PM, Blogger Galkizzle said...

Kage, one more rude comment to our savior, Dave, and he shall feed you to Jormungand. Do you understand?

Now apologize.

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger Fircefairy said...

I find it so hard to comprehend that people trade in actual Money(read hard earned dollars) for Monopoly Money ~shakes her head~
It is sad that people buy fake gil instead of earning it on their own.
If there was no market for it in FF then the problem would not be so bad....but too many lazy people and *kids* with Mommy and Daddys credit card decide to skip all the hard work and just buy gil.In the end we are surrounded by hordes of inept players that ~buy~ their way thru the game!

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

personnaly i'm not offended byt gilselling, yeah it's ammoying as hell, but think of it this way, imagine u work all day and only get on 3-4 hours at random intervals, it's barely time to start getting money, so since u work more than most people you decide to split with a few dollars and save ur time from making money. I don't support it, but i don't have a probvlem with it, i just think square enix should have been smarter and came up with the idea on their own to make extra money. ON a second note gilsellers that use bots are not fair, i think they should have to work their asses off like we do to make money

 
At 5:55 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

OH and GM Dave, i kinda need a job and i'm wondering how to be a GM, so i can be drunk and help rid the FF universe from retards...

 
At 6:44 PM, Blogger Evil said...

Oh dear god, I'm having GameFAQs/ClNet flashbacks...O_O

 
At 7:15 PM, Blogger Slaneyder said...

It's such a shame that this forum decided to make such a terrible, terrible move. How in the world did they think that a deal like THAT would ever, ever fly with the core usergroup?

Your guess is as good as mine.

A good portion of the userbase has decided to migrate to FFXIonline.com. It's a great forum site, but it lacks the material that the offending party has.

So instead of a one-stop-shop, we have several sites to visit.

A minor inconvenience when you consider the cause of the problem...

 
At 7:17 PM, Blogger BarBieGrL said...

IGE does NOT own THAT FORUM.....its a parent company...sry isaw some said ige owned ????? and please understand it doesnt

 
At 7:58 PM, Blogger [GM]Dave said...

The company that purchased the forum in question was created by the owners of IGE to act as a controlling company for multiple subsidiaries.

So, the parent company is helmed by the people who run one of the largest RMT businesses on the net.

Oh yeah, no problem there.

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger Renarudo is a nub said...

I'm glad ige is taking action cuz I dataflow of gilgamesh buy alot of gil and I also love french people + GM dave u r my hero even tho you dont like ige u are still funny and i love funny.

 
At 8:58 PM, Blogger Artos said...

I hate that site. It's full of ill-informed n00bs, general fools, and MTVmo DRKs.

I can't say that I'm not shocked. But I am aghast at my use of double negatives.

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger Dantaro said...

*Sigh*, I was really hoping that our saviour [GM]Dave (All praise [GM]Dave!) would keep distence from the Alla debates.

Well, here's my two gil-

I think everyone is over reacting. Now, understand, I see WHERE everyone is coming from, I really do. Alla was hardcore against IGE and all RMT, and he, in a sense, sell out. But what this really comes down too is how you, the posters, choose to take action against it. Bitching, moaning, and switching boards won't make the change not happen, but you still have ways of fighting "the man" without losing the community.

Consider this: every dollar you spend on Premium services goes to Zam.com (read: IGE), and every dollar you (read: idiots) spend on gil also goes to IGE. So I propose this: CANCEL your premium status and make a point to explain to newbie players/board members that RMT is bad on multipul levels.

We all know how Alla "backstabbed the community," but it also presents a unique situation in which you can literally short the bastards at IGE (and if your so inclinded, Alla) and still keep the community that has been so tight at Allakhazam.

2000 people leaving a board isn't going to end IGE, face it people. Rather then leave take up a stance on the boards of the enemies. For every 1 of you posters that explains to a newbie about the evils of RMT, you potentially steal a customer. For every one of you that runs to another board to bitch and moan to each other, another possible RMT customer is uninformed of the evils of RMT.


Ok, that got a bit longers and more preachy then it was meant to, but I think I made my point. We all know RMT sucks, but how about we finally take a stand eh?

 
At 2:12 AM, Blogger Aeriel said...

/sigh
I wonder if people will be banned for keeping topics and posts titled about the evils of IGE and RMT high up on all the forums now the controlling interest of Alla is the same as IGE. Cos i'm sure that the people who stay and try and make sure that nothing gets all F^&ked up there have pretty much only that as an option.

damn i wanna feed all the IGE employees to Jormy now lol

{peace} [GM]Dave

 
At 2:48 AM, Blogger Keilyn said...

WoW. I knew without checking that this was about alla. I'm not able to play any online games at the moment so I haven't been to the sight in a couple of months. With EQ2 and with WoW...alla,ogaming,and thotbott were the only three websites I used to look up things with much sucess. I really do hope that this doesn't ruin the quality of information.

 
At 7:00 AM, Blogger Meroduin said...

Bwahahahaha.... who mentioned Vanaguide as non RMT? And I quote from their OPENING F**KING PAGE:

"Fantasy XI is set in the world of Vana'diel. Vana'Guide is a Final Fantasy XI Leveling Guide, Crafting Guide all in one. Valuable information about FFXI Astral Ring, Scorpion Harness and Bonecraft Recipes.
Buy FFXI Gil, and Buy FFXI Armor. Now you can buy ffxi astral ring and a lot more. Do you need to know Where to EXP on FFXI, Check out the our FFXI EXP Camp guide. Synthesis Directions,Synthesis High Quality (HQ) Tiers
If you want to play FFXI in a window, you can download the FFXI windower, ffxi crafting recipes, ffxi crafting database, ffxi crafting, synthing, A complete and ultimate ffxi armor list, beast weakness chart clothcraft synthesis,"

I'm sorry, they are the scum of the earth. Their entire site is an exercise in plagarism and violations of the FFXI EULA.

One can only hope Somepage.com resists better than Alla did. I wonder what lube IGE, I mean RPG Holdings offered for that experience.

 
At 8:05 AM, Blogger Dez Posener said...

I never particuarly valued comments from people on... that site too much. I can't see a change in ownership affecting either the quality of those opinions nor their bias.

A balanced opinion needs to take in more than one website, no matter who owns it. If the GMs are basing their views on the player base on that one site, we are in trouble indeed.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger Noranda said...

I vote [GM]Dave expands his blogger site into an all-powerful all-bow-down FFXI information site to trump all others and run Alla out of business. I'd pay for that!!

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger Feba said...

If you want more info on the sellout, check out Therealtaru.blogspot.com post "What's your price?"

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger Rich said...

"Bwahahahaha.... who mentioned Vanaguide as non RMT? And I quote from their OPENING F**KING PAGE:"

Uh... that was me. I'll admit, at first I thought you were a raving lunatic because that text doesn't appear anywhere on my screen with either Explorer or Firefox. But then I looked at the source code. The text you refer to is embedded within a "Noscript" tag. Apparently, someone did some SEO research to put Vanaguide higher into the rankings for commonly searched terms relating to FFXI. While the "normal" text of the site doesn't advocate RMT in any way, their SEO optimization has taken advantage of popular search terms.

For the moment, I'll retract my recommendation of Vanaguide. I'm going to send an email to them to see if I get a response on their questionable SEO strategies. It'll be interesting to see their response.

 
At 1:05 AM, Blogger Retsuken said...

......Just remember...some people only exist because it's illegal to kill them.

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger Tigerlily said...

Of course having 2000 people leave Allakhazam will not run IGE out of business, nobody said it would. :P What it will go is give Allakhazam less funding if they realise people are outraged enough to no longer visit the site and perhaps make them reconsider using IGE as a source of funding their web hosting and look for an alternative means of funding.

 
At 9:01 AM, Blogger Tigerlily said...

[GM]Dave>> What do you want?
Player>> I need you to settle an argument.
[GM]Dave>> Yes, you're retarded.
[GM]Dave>> Can I help you with anything else today?
Player>> That's not the argument.
[GM]Dave>> So we all agree that you're retarded?
Player>> I'm not retarded.
[GM]Dave>> See?
[GM]Dave>> There's an argument.

*giggles*

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger Aniero said...

DIY is the ONLY way to go! Plain and simple. I don't support any site that has connections with RMT companies. Dataminers, botters and others that are worthy of dragon bait simply aren't worth the clicks or the attention.

 

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