Dear Frogboy

By on August 5, 2010 10:24:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

dragoaskani

Join Date 04/2008
+28

I know people have been ragging over stupid things lately. I understand your annoyance and frustration with their petty comments. I just wanted to create a small thread to thank you for your work and I am excited to hold my copy of Elemental in my hands in a few short weeks.

That being said. I think I will make a frog the size of a dragon as a monster in my game and have it eat whiny villagers and what not.

 

Cheers Bud!

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August 6, 2010 5:41:27 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Luckmann,


Annatar, the fact that it's an automated system with even less of a recourse doesn't make things better. It makes it worse and even less reliable.

I think so too, but I guess I have to keep arguing relevance to even get to the point where some people will even consider this position.

Or maybe since one person part of the already slightly off topic topic thinks what I said is linked to the conversation, we can drop this "don't count" accusation and continue yes?

Quoting SpaghettiMon,



Quoting Nesrie,
reply 40


Valve has a huge multiplayer network, Stardock doesn't. 99.999999999999999999999% of the time VAC bans are justified, and honestly it does a pretty damn good job at keeping most games cheater free. Valve doesn't go around banning people suspected of cheating either. They have VAC which is an automated service, which will report users who have been flagged for changing important game files other than maps and mods. VAC didn't mess up here either, there was a situation where a certain file that was on the retail disk was setting off VAC flags when it was patched. Valve quickly realized that VAC must have been triggering a file that didn't need to be and fixed the situation by unbanning everyone and giving them 2 free copies of L4D2. VAC didn't make a mistake(it did exactly what it was designed to do), VALVE didn't make a mistake.

 

Something like VAC is necessary for serious multiplayer gaming, and VAC is probably the best one out there. It's time for you to to realize that any service you use online, hell any time you use any service provided by anyone but yourself, you are going to be left at the whims of the people running that service. It's just a matter of who's behind that service. Valve is one of the better ones, and so is Stardock.

 

I don't get why people feel entitled when on the internet. If you don't act like a douche, and follow the rules, you're going to be fine most of the time.

You spent your entire post talking about VAC and then resorted to accusing people, maybe even me, as acting entitled on forums. VAC, especially in this case, had nothing to do with how gamers were behaving. I think it is insane that you would claim the VAC didn't make a mistake, Valve didn't make a mistake and yet 15,000 people had the legally purchased products temporarily unavailable to them, not playable as intended. To me, that suggests a flaw, a pretty serious flaw with 15,000 people to attest to that. It doesn't matter that they made it "right" by giving customers a game they may or may not have wanted in the first place.  The system is still in place as is and my understanding, according to playing a free weekend in MW2, the cheating problem is still pretty bad.

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August 6, 2010 5:53:34 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Luckmann,

[...]There was nothing poor about my behavior on the Bioware forums.

Confrontational, asshattardly, provocative, annoying and let's-throw-some-bricks-ery - but not poor.

Sorry, I didn't make my original point clear. They were "unfairly" banned on the PREMISE of poor behavior, when in reality they are just providing constructive criticism for a game, which is what I said in my first post. The second post was mostly about banning trolls. 

--

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August 6, 2010 6:00:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

And now, a friendly intermezzo.

 

Quoting awuffleablehedgie,
Sorry, I didn't make my original point clear. They were "unfairly" banned on the PREMISE of poor behavior, when in reality they are just providing constructive criticism for a game, which is what I said in my first post. The second post was mostly about banning trolls.
I'm sorry. My joke about "poor" was just a joke. Lost in translation, I suppose.

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August 6, 2010 6:17:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nesrie,

You spent your entire post talking about VAC and then resorted to accusing people, maybe even me, as acting entitled on forums. VAC, especially in this case, had nothing to do with how gamers were behaving. I think it is insane that you would claim the VAC didn't make a mistake, Valve didn't make a mistake and yet 15,000 people had the legally purchased products temporarily unavailable to them, not playable as intended. To me, that suggests a flaw, a pretty serious flaw with 15,000 people to attest to that. It doesn't matter that they made it "right" by giving customers a game they may or may not have wanted in the first place.  The system is still in place as is and my understanding, according to playing a free weekend in MW2, the cheating problem is still pretty bad.

 

First I want to admit that I was wrong, and that Valve did make a mistake.

 

However, the rest of your argument is completely bogus, and I will demonstrate why. The first thing I want to point out is that anything ran by humans is prone to mistakes, because of human nature. The topic which we were discussing was PEOPLE being "over-zealous", which obviously entails an aspect of malice. A forum moderator banning someone because they rub off on them the wrong way, an abuse of power, is completely different than an automated anti-cheat system a game developer and publisher signed up for when they made the game, and game players signed up for when they bought the game. Unless you want to argue that VAC is a sentient being, I don't think you can argue that any malice was intended here.

 

Now you might want to argue that Valve is over-zealous with banning people for cheating. Here I'd like to point out that cheating is a huge problem with online games, and VAC is used as an impartial judge for specific cases of altering game data. VAC tells you what is safe and what is unsafe. It is a decently programmed service that works almost all of the time, but as we see has flaws due to human nature. Also, the nature of cheating, and the abundance of it, I think requires VAC's policies to even work. Zero tolerance for cheating is not over-zealous in my opinion. People who want to cheat in online games get what they deserve. Also Valve reconciled their mistake, admited to it, and even went further than correcting their mistake. That DOES count as an argument that they are NOT over-zealous. No matter how much YOU don't want to admit it.

 

In this specific case, there wasn't any person, or anything acting over-zealous. A program had a bug, the designers of the program fixed it, admitted to the mistake, reverse the mistake, and gave $100 in games to everyone affected. That is not being over-zealous at all. Yes some people were wrongly affected, but the fact that it was more than fixed for them shows that the Valve example here is irrelevant to what we were actually discussing. The only flaw with Valve's system is human nature. On one side you have idiots who want to cheat and ruin games, and on the other you have guys that want to limit that as much as possible without any tolerance to it. I say I'm on the side that tries to create an atmosphere without cheaters and hackers. Even if a few innocent people are sometimes caught in the net, and then those innocent people get let free with some gifts, that's good enough, and that's better than you can expect from just about any other service that actually works against cheating.

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August 6, 2010 6:46:50 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting SpaghettiMon,


 

Now you might want to argue that Valve is over-zealous with banning people for cheating. 
 

In this specific case, there wasn't any person, or anything acting over-zealous. A program had a bug, the designers of the program fixed it, admitted to the mistake, reverse the mistake, and gave $100 in games to everyone affected. That is not being over-zealous at all. Yes some people were wrongly affected, but the fact that it was more than fixed for them shows that the Valve example here is irrelevant to what we were actually discussing. The only flaw with Valve's system is human nature. On one side you have idiots who want to cheat and ruin games, and on the other you have guys that want to limit that as much as possible without any tolerance to it. I say I'm on the side that tries to create an atmosphere without cheaters and hackers. Even if a few innocent people are sometimes caught in the net, and then those innocent people get let free with some gifts, that's good enough, and that's better than you can expect from just about any other service that actually works against cheating.

No, that is not my argument. My argument has never been that banning people for cheating makes Valve or anyone over-zealous. Banning people who are suspected of cheating is the problem. The assumption of automatic guilt. The entire way Valve runs Steam is set-up in a ban first ask questions later fashion. If a credit card charge doesn't go through, lock the account as fraud for all games, not just the one game associated with the  charge. If someone is gifted a game and that charge doesn't go through, lock both accounts as fraud.  Charge back for a game that was purchased but never received, account banned. If VAC thinks some account is associated with cheating, lock that game. They have this whole system of ban ban ban, ask questions later, sometimes not even asking questions later because the people who send e-mails to Valve about these problems, especially VAC violations, get cookie-cutter too bad so sad e-mails. Sure, much of it is an automated process, or just a strict policy but that doesn't make it any better than some power hungry mod patrolling the forums. It's a system in place, put in place by humans, and as you have said, humans make mistakes.

I don't have a problem when people make mistakes, or their tools make the mistakes for them. Mistakes happen. I have a problem when there is no recourse available to customer to fix a mistake. A lot of those people that got banned got nothing from Steam, nothing. Automatic cookie-cutter responses from CSR that pretty much tell you to buy the game again. That's a flawed process, and it should be fixed. Sure, are actual cheaters going to try and claim they didn't cheat, yes, yes they are. So what? That doesn't mean you screw the people that got stuck in all the automated processes at no fault of their own.

I am not a fan of any company that ban's people from their legally paid for game leaving little or no recourse for a paying customer to take to try and prove they are not at fault. 

The fact that Valve's system is mostly automated and EA/Bioware's is often manual doesn't change the fact that once it happens, neither company really cares enough to look into the matter again. Valve wasn't really clear on what caught their attention, but my guess it was the number of accounts being banned, not the actual e-mail from customers saying I didn't do anything.

Now look at the atmosphere that Stardock/Frogboy's policy creates here. Are the forums a little rough, sure compared to game forums but not compared to some online communities. When something sounds wrong, what is the answer a lot of people give to an OP, talk to Stardock. Even if it takes a while, especially around weekends, most of us are convinced a human being is going to answer that ticket and actually look at it. If someone rants on the forums, they're not going to get banned from Stardock, all their games, or have their Impulse account locked down. You have to get pretty abusive with the employees to get that kind of a response and even then, there are warnings.

So back to the original topic, yes thanks. Thanks for running a private forum in a fashoin that doesn't feel like some sort of dictatorship we're all supposed to bow down to and be thankful for the experience. Thanks for running a company that responds not only when things go well but when things go wrong. And thanks for taking the lumps alongside the praise and encouraging a diverse community.

PS: L4D2 has not been selling for 50 dollars for some time, but yes it was a nice gesture to make beyond just apologizing for sure.

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August 6, 2010 7:39:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Okay, Nezrie, I'm no Valve fanboy but as a fairly frequent user of Steam, your argument is completely wrong. Valve does not operate on a "ban first, ask questions later" basis, unless it's a VAC ban. For credit card issues, they will first send you a warning, I believe, then they resort to restricting measures. VAC itself is very sound, and just to reiterate the points already made, it only goofs up very rarely, and is fixed relatively quickly. It's a very small price to pay for a cheat-free online atmosphere. I play Team Fortress 2 often and I have never seen a cheater on the Valve servers. It's also extremely accurate, and only in rare situations like the one described will it ever make a mistake. There is no "assumption" there has to be proof first before VAC even bans the cheater. Plus, Valve themselves are quite forgiving, and will automatically inquire into any bans that might not be for the right reasons, as I've experienced with my friend and his issue where he was wrongfully banned on the forums. His account was restored in a only bit more than a day. So I'd say no, there is no situations where people lose their purchases on Valve services, and support is always readily available and will help you out for whatever you want, from my experience. No evil internet conspiracy overlords there.

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August 6, 2010 7:44:20 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Vermillion_Hawk,
Okay, Nezrie, I'm no Valve fanboy but as a fairly frequent user of Steam, your argument is completely wrong. Valve does not operate on a "ban first, ask questions later" basis, unless it's a VAC ban. For credit card issues, they will first send you a warning, I believe, then they resort to restricting measures. VAC itself is very sound, and just to reiterate the points already made, it only goofs up very rarely, and is fixed relatively quickly. It's a very small price to pay for a cheat-free online atmosphere. I play Team Fortress 2 often and I have never seen a cheater on the Valve servers. It's also extremely accurate, and only in rare situations like the one described will it ever make a mistake. There is no "assumption" there has to be proof first before VAC even bans the cheater. Plus, Valve themselves are quite forgiving, and will automatically inquire into any bans that might not be for the right reasons, as I've experienced with my friend and his issue where he was wrongfully banned on the forums. His account was restored in a only bit more than a day. So I'd say no, there is no situations where people lose their purchases on Valve services, and support is always readily available and will help you out for whatever you want, from my experience. No evil internet conspiracy overlords there.

Your experience is different than mine. That doesn't make it a conspiracy or me wrong. The people I know who had problems with valve, had the problems as I described. 

It's pretty silly to call it a conspiracy. I am not a fanboy or antifanboy, I use Steam actually. MW2 was full of cheaters. I experienced that in a period of 3 days.

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August 6, 2010 8:00:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, the whole overarching thing is that if you follow the rules properly, you won't get VAC banned or anything. But the whole purchases being rendered unaccessible thing is ridiculous, and only EA, the most unscrupulous video game company ever, would condone such a thing.

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August 6, 2010 9:30:28 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Vermillion_Hawk,
Well, the whole overarching thing is that if you follow the rules properly, you won't get VAC banned or anything. But the whole purchases being rendered unaccessible thing is ridiculous, and only EA, the most unscrupulous video game company ever, would condone such a thing.

I am supposed to take your word over someone else's based on what exactly? I know the other person. I don't know you. Me, i've never been banned from any account by any company.

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August 6, 2010 9:42:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Luckmann,


So yes, it does happen. Unless you want to call me a liar.


 

I can play all my DLC for those games without logging into the servers at all. So I guess I have to call you out.

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August 6, 2010 10:03:46 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

:/ You have a flawed concept of how DLC works. 

You download it, then you can run it locally because it saves your registration data locally (I imagine you could hack that without too much work). 

However, if you ever log onto the profile (most people do for Achievement tracking, etc) then BAM it picks up you've been banned and invalidates your DLC. Let's say you didn't even KNOW you were banned, so you log on maybe to purchase a new DLC... BAM. Invalid registrations. 

Impulse works the exact same way. Look at RegistrationCache.xml in AppData. 

Offline Steam is the same as well. 

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August 6, 2010 10:31:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It is A Brave New World, just take your Soma and everything will be OK !

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August 6, 2010 11:33:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm a bit late here but I'll post my thanks

 

Only problem is I'm going to college 2 days before the game ships, so I won't really be able to play it... and I won't have my boxed LE for a few weeks

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August 6, 2010 11:43:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting dragoaskani,
I can play all my DLC for those games without logging into the servers at all. So I guess I have to call you out.
You have no idea how the DLC download, installation or verification process works.

In the case of Dragon Age, you have to use your account to log in in-game, download and install your DLC. It then verifies the DLC again every time you log on or your profile is reset. Another way to do it is to download the .dazip files and use the updater outside the game to install the various DLCs, but you will still have to authorize it when you start your game or it won't launch the DLCs. You will have a message saying "Unauthorized" next to your DLCs on the DLC screen.

Note that not all DLCs require authorization. There are also illegally available cracks that patches all installed DLCs to not require authorization.

I don't even remember how Mass Effect 2 works, because even though I had a sizable amount of DLC for Mass Effect 2 too, because I had authorization issues from the beginning and just plain turned it off early on.

So while you can play all your DLC for those games without logging into the servers at all, because they're already authorized, you can't actually install and authorize them to begin with, without an account (with those specific DLCs registered).

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August 7, 2010 1:55:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I know people have been ragging over stupid things lately

And then the comes the MASSIVE thread hijack about forum bans, holy cow. Irony!

Only read the first page but I'm sure a lot of people said a lot of stuff in very well-thought out polite arguments. Anyway.

 

Thank you Brad! I simerly anticipate the arrival of this MOM successor, and look forward to building my own tyals on my recreation of a mod I'd made in Nwn.  Here's hoping launch is bump/hiccup free. Cheers.

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August 7, 2010 4:02:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Luckmann,

Quoting Nesrie, reply 40The topic was actually thanking Frogboy.Which we should do every day.
Our Frog who art at Stardock,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for these games
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for betas,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.

Muahaha!!

Shin Megami Frogboy

 

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August 7, 2010 6:47:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

That being said. I think I will make a frog the size of a dragon as a monster in my game and have it eat whiny villagers and what not.

While we are at it....my favourite game devs are both obsessed with frogs! Yeah, I am talking about Tarn Adams aka Toady One [developer of Dwarf Fortress], and Frogboy. Weird stuff.

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August 7, 2010 9:00:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tormy-,
While we are at it....my favourite game devs are both obsessed with frogs! Yeah, I am talking about Tarn Adams aka Toady One [developer of Dwarf Fortress], and Frogboy. Weird stuff.
And this is where we realize how awesome it'd be if Stardock took up Dwarf Fortress.

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August 7, 2010 11:42:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Luckmann,

And this is where we realize how awesome it'd be if Stardock took up Dwarf Fortress.

I'm sure at least some of the DF fandom would view this in the same light as Stardock getting bought out by EA

Pretty 3d graphics? Game balance, bug fixes!? A UI that isn't painful to use!!? A whole team of people polishing DF into a finished game - zomg, they're selling out to a [relatively speaking] big corporation!

(Note: I love DF, even with all its flaws. But imagine if a larger, better-funded game company got behind it and actually finished the game, including all the features people expect from a modern game nowadays - the changes would be so massive at least some would harken back to the 'good olde days' and accuse them of 'selling out.' Hell, there are people that still play the 2d version instead of the new fangled 3d one.)

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August 7, 2010 1:48:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Meh. We know better. We'd just tell them to stuff it.

I don't really care for the graphics and would actually be kinda pissed if it ever got full 3d graphics (it just wouldn't work, with animations and god-knows what). All I'd really want is a workable, intuitive UI.

I really like Dwarf Fortress. I've just got a hard time getting into it, since I'm absent-minded and easily confused. I need overview and control.

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August 7, 2010 2:10:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ANTI-HIJACK!!!

Thanks frogboy, really looking foward to the full 1.01 release of the game, and hope your looking foward to your time off to relax and mod

/end-anti-hijack

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August 7, 2010 6:43:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Okay, I'm REALLY late on this, but on the topic of the Dragon Age DLC's, I have the actualy game, and I can attest to the fact that if you have the dazips for the DLC's you DO NOT need to run an authentication check or even connect to the internet.

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August 7, 2010 6:51:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Vermillion_Hawk,
Okay, I'm REALLY late on this, but on the topic of the Dragon Age DLC's, I have the actualy game, and I can attest to the fact that if you have the dazips for the DLC's you DO NOT need to run an authentication check or even connect to the internet.
This is only true if you run a crack, or download the cracked .dazips. Also, again, note that not all DLC requires authentication.

Anyone can literally download the .dazips directly from Bioware. You honestly think they'd offer their premium DLC for free, on their own servers, if they didn't require authentication? Are you that daft?

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August 7, 2010 6:52:31 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Vermillion_Hawk,
Okay, I'm REALLY late on this, but on the topic of the Dragon Age DLC's, I have the actualy game, and I can attest to the fact that if you have the dazips for the DLC's you DO NOT need to run an authentication check or even connect to the internet.

I have DA and ME2. I can't load my saved games without connecting to their servers. It tells me, unable to load saved game. These are only the games with DLC attached to it. I can, however, load the game, lose my connection and be fine as long as it was able to connect when the game started.

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August 7, 2010 6:57:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well for starters, I don't have an online account since I normally avoid multiplayer on most games, and second, I'm running a PIRATED copy, so how does my illegal version have more priveleges than your legal one?

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