Open Letter

This is an Aaro Soapbox Production. There’s a Pearz Post under this; go read that.

As far as forums go, I generally don’t post. I obsessively stalk threads and the entire Megaten forums in general, but that’s another story. I’ve generally not come head-to-head with someone else, so I don’t think I can say I have personal experience with people – mainly, the GSes.

That said, I remember JonGhost from my DOMO days (might be mistaken; the days have started to blur together), and I remember not having antagonistic feelings towards him. He wasn’t great, but he wasn’t bad either. He seemed competent at his job as forum moderator. I’m sure he still is. But this post is really annoying me.

To end a thread with that post, a thread that you’re locking, is quite immature. It shows an abuse of power that you would want to get the last word in – and, yes, when you’re basically flaming what was said before, that is getting the last word in. A true moderator post, in my opinion, would be only the first part, wherein you state the reason for locking the thread. Was there any real reason to get in that extra snipe?

Perhaps it’s unfair of me to criticize his actions, because I am not the moderator. So, fine, let’s forget that. This line is more annoying: “Get out and look at real life a little and you will understand that.” That is pretty much the same attempt at winning an argument as this line: “You’re still a child, and don’t understand the World of Adults.” Not that they’re correlated; my point is that it’s a copout.

Now that my basic problems with JonGhost’s post are over, let’s breathe and move on.

Main Argument: Are GSes regular/normal players?

(This was spurred by this line: “Once again, we can all clearly see that GameSages are REGULAR Players and have no privileges whatsoever,” courtesy of Mahouto.)

According to Merriam-Webster, regular “stresses conformity to a rule” and the synonym “normal”, in turn, “implies lack of deviation from what has been…established as the most usual.”

Most players, ergo “the usual”, do not have contact with GMs. However, the argument has always been that GSes are the same as any other random player, except for the fact that they have frequent contact with GMs. Fine.

However, the argument also was that GSes do not get financially compensated for their role, and so they are volunteers.

Once upon a time, GSes got 2kAP/month and the argument was that AP is not real currency; it’s simply a representation. You know what? There are people who do not understand this concept, so here it is: a $20 bill is not really worth anything. It is a representation of the value based on the GDP of the nation. If I took a $20 bill to another country and they do not know of this currency, then I can say that I have no money. Similarly, AP otherwise is worth nothing. But you took it to an environment where it is recognized – ergo, it is now a representation of the value based on Aeria’s market.

I would also like to point out that getting something on a monthly basis for your work is known as compensation such as a salary; whether you get paid in currency or goods, it is still compensation. Only when you do not get it on a regular basis can it be called a “reward” and you are a “volunteer”.

I hear the AP compensation is no longer in effect. So GSes, once a “paid” employee of Aeria, are now volunteers again. You can be a volunteer without relinquishing your status as a player; that makes sense.

(Edit: It was brought to my attention that it was only speculation that the AP compensation was taken away. I strongly understand it to be true that GSes of Aeria once got 2kAP a month, although it is questionable whether they still get it or not. Either way, the rest of the post will operate under the assumption that GSes are volunteers.)

It was also said by JonGhost: “All players get rewards (raffles, random gifts, get to level X first, etc.).”

How raffles work: You fulfill a qualification (either by buying something, or answering a question, etc, etc) and your ballot is entered into a box. At a later date, one or more ballots will be drawn from the box, and the winner(s) will get the prize. This is said to be fair, because drawing blindly from a box means that, logically, all ballots have an equal chance of winning (unless you were allowed to enter more than once, but that’s beside the point). Yes, this is a reward.

Let us look at the fiasco that happened with the Abyss Cloak and Shadow Voucher. It can be pretty much undisputed that three (3) GSes had the Abyss Cloak straight off the bat (while a raffle was being held), and two (2) GSes had a Shadow Voucher. While I didn’t keep up with the Abyss Cloak, GM Xandamere did admit that the Shadow Vouchers were given to the GSes, as a reward for good work.

Now, the real discussion of this point: For a GS to get what is a promotional item, what is being raffled away, without actually participating in the raffle means that there was another category, “Rewards for GSes”, that was not announced.

If you look here, we learn that CB GSes were given the demon Alice, broken or not, for their help with CB. What about the other CB players? I seem to recall a thread that wanted players to post bugs with detailed reports. There were many that posted extensively, meaning they extensively tested the game, and yet where are their Alices?

Yes, the GSes get rewards – and it annoys people that no one side consistently owns up to this fact, instead hiding it and making excuses until backed up against a wall and almost forced to say the truth. Even now, people staunchly speak of the GSes being just like normal players.

I want the GMs to pick a player out of the game, to randomly give a gift to – like the Abyss Cloak. Oh, but you have raffles for that purpose, to remove the potential bias of the GMs while picking, right? Oh, but the GSes also show up with the Abyss Cloaks, outside of the raffle. Hm.

My ultimate point: GSes are not regular players.

Yes, they play the game and are therefore part of the community. But they are the only players that get consistent rewards – unfortunately, no matter how you coat that, that’s favouritism.

They are volunteers in the sense that they do not have a fixed compensation like before; they get rewards just like many other volunteers outside of Megaten and Aeria. But, compared to other players, the GSes are shown to hold greater favour with the GMs, able to “circumvent”, to an extent, raffles and FCs and whatever else.

In that event, I think all most players are asking for is to be told. It is completely illogical to say the GSes are just like all other players and then show blatant favouritism. It’s even more asinine to say that they worked hard and thus got rewarded and that is fair – others work just as hard but don’t get recognized because of the uneven playing field.

If the GSes are going to get favoured and given random things, there will be community backlash. But that criticism will be taken down considerably if you advertise it to begin with. When GMs show up with 5-slotted COMPs, generally people do not say that that is unfair, because we knew beforehand what was attached to being a GM. So if a GS shows up with a red Phoenix Outfit, for example, on the day of the release (or before), less people will say that it’s unfair, because we will then know beforehand what was attached to being a GS.

Don’t lie and expect no community anger.

This has been an Aaro Soapbox Production.

Disclaimer: This was not an attack on JonGhost. His words, as well as Mahouto’s, inspired this argument. The words spoken by these two individuals were used as a frame of reference to construct this rant, which ultimately veered into a long-existing problem in Megaten.

~Aaro off