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About mara_planter

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  1. Regarding "Something is Missing": President Lyndon B. Johnson once commented, "If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read 'President Can't Swim.'" Bot Nuke Day and the continuing efforts to keep bots out of the game take a lot of effort. Changes to the engine often ripple through applications, and require reworking of code that is already "complete". If Jagex is holding back on releasing quests and skill improvements so they don't have to write them twice, I approve.
  2. As someone in your age group, I wanted to comment that this paragraph rings very true with me. I wanted to say what Jaklumen (and by incorporation Hugh_Mannity) said, but: 1. I sort of said it last week 2. What Skeptic said 3. Plato railed about the self-centeredness of youth 2000 years ago, and elders have been doing one riff or another on that theme ever since. Someday the ungrateful youth of today will themselves complain about those younger than them. Hows that for irony? (And if thats not enough irony, we can add some contemporaneous recursion. We have people on this thread complaining -- instead of quietly giving up reading the Tip It Times -- about people who complain instead of quietly giving up Runescape.) So if ranting and raving about youth doesnt work, what does? Well, its not grandiose, but working with kids one at a time seems to. Regardless of whether Jagex pleases this or that individual with its choices in Runescape, it performs an invaluable service by keeping latchkey kids, who have very few choices, out of trouble, entertained, and even educated a bit. Perhaps I will write an article about the kids Ive met on Runescape who have to find something to do on a limited budget while Mom and Dad work (its amazing how many of their parents are divorced), how a little adult attention in-game improved their lives, and how theyve paid me back many times over because often they know more about Runescaping (or other things) than I do. If you can handle more irony, the reason Id have trouble writing said article is the same reason Racheya needs to cut back on her Runescaping I have responsibilities in real life. So to mirror Mirror - best wishes, Racheya, and thanks for your service to the Tip It community.
  3. Thank you for giving us a glimpse "behind the veil". I have a few questions, for you if you're following the thread, or for other F/Pmods, if they want to answer. 1. The post by Mod MMG that I described in my previous post - did any Jmods ever try to communicate that content to Pmods? or was this the first any of us heard about this? (Did anyone by any chance save his post, and if so, could they repost it on this forum?) 2. In a bureaucracy, interactions with one or two people can affect how people see an entire company. Without providing names, do you think this is a personnel issue or a corporate culture issue? 3. Is Jagex's stonewalling of Pmods only on the botting issue, and they're actually quite approachable on others? From an outsider's view, I think Mod MMG is by nature an engineer, and is still struggling with management skills. I am hoping that the board of directors brought in investors who will provide him with sound management advice.
  4. The red carpet treatment the Gower brothers gave to players set unrealistic expectations for how Jagex would behave once creating and maintaining Runescape became a livelihood instead of a hobby. How else could people have come to believe that their $5.95/month payment or their exposure to adverts on the side gives them the right to tell Andrew how to live his life, or trumps the hundreds of thousands?/millions? of dollars investors have put into the company? I believe that the reason Jagex has trouble communicating with players is the "drinking from a fire hose" nature of the forums. I assume staff has more efficient tools to read threads than the average player, but still, it takes a long time to sift through the rants and "me too's" to find the thoughtful posts. And after a while, regardless of the desire to serve the community, people who are repeatedly attacked shut down the sympathy/empathy centers of their brains as a survival tactic. I am amazed at how patient Fmods are. On Jiblix's thread, Mod MMG (the CEO) took three hours to compose and post a substantive reply to the thread. He said that Jagex loses money because of botting, is working on a solution, but cannot talk about it, and cannot give a time frame for when he can talk about it. He also said that when the company could talk about it, it will. He believed players would approve, and understand why it could not be discussed. I believe him that Jagex loses money on bots (for reasons I have not yet seen posted anywhere), that they are motivated to solve the problem, and that they are diligently working to solve the problem. I believe him and others that investors are interested in the long-term health of the company. But I reserve the right to judge whether or not I approve of said solution. Too often in the past, a solution eliminated the target problem, but introduced unwanted side effects. I'll wait to see if the cure is better than the disease. Any speculation on what this mysterious solution might be? Honeypots? Working with law enforcement? Some new anti-bot technology?
  5. How much authority does a player moderator even have in this game? Jiblix wasn't part of the organisation, he was part of the community. Ideally, a moderators role is to act on behalf of the community not on behalf of Jagex (see quick chat for what player moderators alledgedly do, and compare to what Jagex actually want them to be). For a while there, this actually overlapped which was great as both Jagex benefitted and the community benefitted. Now, what the community wants is at odds to what Jagex wants. A moderator has the ability to enforce Jagex's rules of conduct. That gives him/her quite a bit of authority, and certainly more than other players. (I appreciate your attempt to educate me further on Jagexs expectations for player moderators, but all Quick Chat did was allow me to embarrass myself in the bank by quoting trite phrases. :oops: ) For the record, if Jagex really is demodding people simply for disagreeing with their policies, then I think they are shooting themselves in the foot. But there is plenty in this situation that leads me to believe this is not the real issue. Think of it this way: Would you expect a clan leader to keep someone in his/her clan who encouraged other clan members to vote against it in a poll? Backseat moderation is against the forum rules, as Jiblix being a former Fmod would be fully aware of. It isn't his place to tell people what to do if he doesn't have the tools to follow this up. The RSOF has enough name calling of 'WBM', and previously being a mod won't stop this. I start with two assumptions. First that those who are chosen to be Fmods want RSOF to be a friendly place, and second that personal insults against other players do not make RSOF a friendly place. There are a range of tools that can be used to discourage rude comments, some of which are available to and used by those who create threads who are not also Fmods. Some examples: a pre-emptive remark in the OP that asks that replies be polite, expressing disapproval of remarks which are not polite, and countering rude remarks by indicating respect for the opinions of those who disagree with the OP. I dont see WBM attitude in any of these, just simple human kindness.
  6. Lol couldn't resist it. Just love the irony :grin: Not as ironic as you might think. There are plenty of volunteers who serve in low-level positions who would like to see civility in politics. It sure would make it easier to get real work done.
  7. Re: Interview with Jiblix I have more than half a century on this earth, and I have worked in business and the non-profit sector, and currently serve on a governmental board. I not only understand why Jagex took away Jiblixs Fmod status, I agree with it. One cannot be in a position of authority in an organization and also do things which undermine that organization. It is one thing to criticize what an organization is doing; it is quite another to goad others into doing things that are against that organizations interests. It never should have been necessary for Jagex to take action against Jiblix. The honorable way to voice the level of criticism he offered is AFTER one resigns, or at the very earliest in the letter of resignation. In the thread I read that Jiblix created about his dissatisfaction (I believe it was called Ground Control to Jagex), some of the same players who complained about Jagexs unwillingness to listen to complaints were insulting to other players who disagreed with them. Two behaviors that are sure to shut down communication are name-calling and impugning others motives, which were present in abundance. If players are serious about keeping communication with Jagex open, they themselves need to stop inhibiting it. Moreover, I saw no attempt by Jiblix to discourage these behaviors on his own thread, which one might reasonably expect an Fmod (or a former Fmod) to do. (I did not read the whole thread, but I read more than half, and saw him pass over opportunities to do so.) Regardless of his previous contributions to the community, I think it was time for Jiblixs position as Fmod to end. It is a shame that the very valid issues he raised are now obscured by his lack of understanding of business ethics. John Stewart did a segment on the Daily Show about how politicians of all stripes claimed to know what the people wanted. At the end of that segment, he came to the conclusion that the more someone made that claim, the less likely it was to be true. I am extremely skeptical that the entire Runescape community feels one way or another about this incident, or any particular issue, or that the author has any way of judging how an entire community of over 1million people feels. I agree with Tidgy that much of the first paragraph of the article is hyperbole.
  8. I have a lot of sympathy for the Gowers after reading this article and related ones. Imagine you are a young man who invents a cool game that you like to play with your friends. You form a company so that it can become self-sustaining. Ten years later, you find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time fending off parasites who want to cash in on your talents. I would consider shedding the responsiblities (owning stock and being board member) that kept me away from doing what I love (making games). The terms of the sale probably included an agreement to continue working for Jagex for X years, and a non-compete agreement for Y years. But at least I would get to do what I love, and I could leave it to others like MMG to deal with the stuff I don't. MMG's quote about "patent trolls" probably sums up the feeling of the Gowers and Jagex staff. And while everyone has been ranting on the forums about how RS is failing, this is what they've been dealing with. "Seven figures" - that's anywhere from 1,000,000 to 9,999,999. That's potentially a big chunk of corporate income. And I'll bet there are other Pal-Talks waiting in the wings - although Jagex's willingness to defend itself probably is a disincentive. Is it any wonder Jagex wants to generate the income that is needed to sustain the game by bringing back the wilderness? "Sustaining the game" now includes costs most of us haven't been considering. ~Mara
  9. Hi there! Thanks for responding to my thread request regarding your and your husbands ages. It's good to know that not everyone is a teenager.

    Happy 'Scaping


  10. I don't post often, but I do try to read the Tip.it Times regularly along with the associated forum topic. I was born in 1957, and my husband (who also reads the Times) was born in 1952. Being this old, I have lived through many corporate dramas. This flourish (bringing back the Wilderness) on the part of Jagex reminds me of things other companies have done just before they try to access capital markets. Could be going public, could be owners want to sell a portion of the company, could be they want a loan for a project. Thoughts, anyone?
  11. I understand that sometimes even the smallest of improvements can take a lot of time to develop, but you're responding from the perspective of the employee, not a customer. How or why would you expect gamers to applaud an update that has no immediate effect on their gameplay, unless you are seeking some form of self-gratification? It may seem short-sighted, but all a gamer can do is comment on what's in front of him, especially with a company who enjoys keeping most things a surprise. I have worked with customers who understand the difference between instant gratification and delayed gratification. They are much easier to work with/for that the ones who only understand visible results, and the products I produced for the former were generally superior to those I produced for customers who valued flash over substance. It is in YOUR best interest to acknowledge/tolerate/support those things that benefit the game in the long run. Here's my opinions on the Orb. Why go through so much trouble creating an object that you have to carry around with you, and cater it to a minor percentage of the population? Instead, why not simply create a first-person option, which would seem roughly the same effect, and it becomes something the whole community could enjoy? I think that's the point that is being made. Why not make an update that everyone can benefit from directly in the game? It could've been a huge universal update, but ended up something a handful of players might find useful while the rest of the community treats it as a novelty item for 15 minutes before moving on. I don't know what "the Orb" is, and I don't know why Jagex chose that particular way to implement Machinima support. It could be bad, it could be good, it could be mediocre. What I object to is the idea that Jagex should not provide Machinima support. It can't be easy to wag your finger at other players for not putting in community service when you began your post by explaining you don't participate either. Is it because you only play 1-2 hours a day? I understand. That's my excuse, too. First of all, community service and participation in Jagex-sponsored events are not the same thing. I don't participate in "official events"; I do provide "community service." Community service doesn't have to be through an organization. Whenever I log on, there are usually younger less experienced players who need help. Sometimes they're already on my friends list, sometimes they're strangers asking for help. (Sometimes they're just obviously floundering.) Sometimes they need an item, sometimes advice, sometimesan older person to look up something for them at a fansite like Tip.it. Anyone like me who responds to those requests is not only helping the player, but helping him/herself by building a stronger RS community. When you help other people, you get to see their perspective, and how their needs and wants might not be exactly the same as yours. You start to care about whether the game works for someone other than yourself. The article was originally a post on the official RS forums. "Dinosaurs" are perfectly welcome not to become involved in any community, but it seems ironic when they use a tool that Jagex provides to support the existence of communities to tear down Jagex's efforts to build communities. I have a sister, and I have two kids. I have seen sibling rivalry from both sides. There is often the feeling that Mom is playing favorites. It is only very young children who feel that the parent would be justified in ignoring the needs of a sibling, which is essentially what the article is advocating. The green-eyed monster called Jealousy has visited all of us, but we are better human beings for trying to overcome it, rather than indulging in it.
  12. I, too, am a skiller/quester who doesn't participate in the Jagex-sponsored community activities, but I have a completely different perspective than Me_Hate_Libs. I play 1-2 hours/day, and I feel like I am falling behind in taking advantage of the game content that has recently been introduced. I am impressed with the number of small improvements that Jagex has made recently that make my skilling experience better, such as making the first click on pineapples "Use" instead of "Eat", or the ability to race through the gates between Al Kharid and Lumbridge without conversing with the guards. With the introduction of Notes and Objectives, I've got in-game ways to plan and track my progress. Jagex has said they have been spending time making improvements to the less visible aspects of the game, such as the game engine, that will result in future game play improvements. As a former software engineer, I can completely sympathize with how much work goes into the less obvious enhancements to a body of code that supports the more visible enhancements. It is very frustrating when customers give their accolades only to those updates that provide immediate gratification. I don't spend a lot of time on the Official Forums, but It does seem like Jagex staff have begun spending more time observing what is posted there and responding to posts. Although there is development lag time, I am seeing suggestions made in the forums incorporated into the game. I don't have time to make Machinima videos, but I enjoy viewing what others produce, and am impressed with the creativity I see there. I will benefit from Jagex enhancements that support Machinima by the additional hours I spend watching videos and reflecting on the time I spend in the actual game. I appreciate player use of Machinima to create videos that offer tips about how to use various features of the game. I don't belong to a clan, but I enjoy joining a clan chat to hunt penguins. I can access Tip.it, but many of the younger players are limited by parental controls on their computers to in-game features. I applaud Jagex's efforts to give them the ability to access the accumulated wisdom of the RS community, and to have organized events to attend. I wish more "dinosaurs" would consider some community service time to help these younger players, and to recognize that they themselves have been helped by the kindness of strangers. I disagree strenuously that the perspective of the author is mature. Part of maturity is recognizing that you are not the center of the universe. Rants are something mature people indulge in, not something they are proud of.
  13. Would you trust me to sit on my proposed Socio-Economic board? Should there be elections (jagex selects 200 people who can campaign, and we all get to vote for 10)? If so, consider this my application, Jagex ;) Ts_Stormrage, I didn't mean to target any particular player with my remarks. In fact, paradoxically, the more useful a person is in a community, the more likely s/he is to have conflicts of interest. But too often on forums I read posts followed by a response pointing out that the person's motivation behind both the complaint and the solution is their own enrichment and not the overall welfare of the community. That someone's paycheck depends on the continued goodwill of the majority of the Runescape community is a likely check on the tendency to favor one mode of play when making gameplay decisions. I don't think the Internet provides a robust way of determining whether a person one cannot meet in real life has the qualities necessary to carry out a task. I am even more skeptical of the robustness of the narrow communication channels to which Jagex restricts player communication (all in a good cause, the protection of the privacy of children). I don't think elections are meaningful unless the voter has a way to fully inform him/herself. ~Mara
  14. WOW, what a wonderful pair of Times articles, and what a great thread following them up. They have clearly gotten a lot of people thinking not just about the definition of the problems, but about possible solutions. I only have a limited amount of time to play RS each day, but it's worth it to give it up to participate in this discussion. I am not sure the proper way to measure inflation is how much GP something costs. It's more how much time a player spends to get whatever advantage one attains. In the case of magic, not only the cost of the runes, but the time one spends getting the XP needed to be able to cast the spell, figure into the cost. I don't do PvP, and don't consider myself a skilled combat player, but I think part of the problem with the herblore update is that 1) there is a lack of intermediate steps in skill leading up to an exceedingly powerful advantage (it's all or nothing because unlike the lower level potions it's not tradeable) and 2) a lack of similar combat advantages gained by training in other skills. There should be pathways to supremacy with small boosts all along the way, and there should be multiple pathways to supremacy. The combat triangle is an example of the latter, and players enjoy figuring out the trade-offs of various paths. It certainly is true in skilling, as I am (for example) called upon to decide whether putting my time into agility or summoning will best support a drive to raise runecrafting. Less obvious ways to counter the advantage of a high herblore level may be discovered as time passes, which could eliminate the feelings of low-level herblorists being put at a severe disadvantage by this update. I think a better solution than taking the use of the new high-level potions away on all PvP worlds would be to, whenever a new object or skill confers a large PvP advantage, make it only useful on some PvP worlds for a period of time. Those who have the new advantage, or who are willing to play at a possible disadvantage, can use those worlds. The others can play on the PvP worlds where its use is not yet permitted. After a period of, say, 4 weeks, the advantage can be permitted on all PvP worlds. This division into tiers is already used in Pest Control. I agree with TS_Stormrage posts that the advancement curve is becoming too steep for mid-level players. The play value of the game depends on a balance of effort and reward. Too hard and players get frustrated, too easy and they have no sense of challenge or accomplishment. I've been playing about 4 years (my how time flies!), and I wouldn't look forward to levelling up a new character in today's environment. I have said in posts to the RS official forums that Jagex is not paying enough attention to game balance issues. As the game gets more complex, it does get more difficult to foresee some of the subtle impacts of a change. But many of the updates have had immediate and obvious impacts that make the game less fun. Too many of their updates have reduced the value of rewards gained from difficult quests. In a former life (i.e. before kids), I was a computer programmer, and I understand all too well the mindset of an engineer. The ability to see an event from multiple points of view is not a common trait among engineers. Jagex needs to hire people with that trait, as well as good engineers, to keep their game balanced. Asking a select group of players to perform that function is too susceptible to conflicts of interest. ~Mara
  15. There is something players can do. The G.E. has become a fast, easy way for merchant clans to hoard items, driving the price up. One answer is to refuse to sell items on the G.E. that clans have targeted for price manipulation. Before the G.E., we all sold our goods by word of mouth. If those of us who sell (for example) prayer potions refuse to sell on the G.E., we can stop the clans cold. We can sell them in small batches to individual players, and we can even sell them at below market price, if we are feeling generous. It is easy to say to oneself, "I worked hard to be able to make and sell prayer potions. Why should I not profit a bit from this?" The answer is that this kind of price manipulation will eventually hurt you. Maybe not today, and maybe not prayer potions, but someday it will be something you need or want in the game that will be targeted, and your ability to play the game will be blocked. Each of us was at one time a low-level player. Most of us have been the recipient of some sort of charity. Not only is this a chance to pay forward for the blessings we have received, but a chance to build community, which is in our best interest. Free markets only work when there are a large number of small players. When a small number of players (a cartel) is able to control the market, the system breaks down. There is something Jagex can do. When fulfilling trades, it can give priority to those who own small amounts of the commodity. This will make it more difficult to hoard items. I don't know if their back-engine can support this, so such a change may take them a while to implement. ~Mara
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