Thursday, March 20, 2008

I am like, so totally hurt...

I looked in my mailbox this morning to see this anonymous post:
Bildo, you just lost the last bit of respect that I had for you. This blog was such a schoolgirl type of thing that I'm removing your blog from my favorites. Ass. I hate people like you as much as I hate bad leakers, the kind that only sees one side of the story, and one side only.
Now normally, I'll just ignore this sort of thing and move on, but I feel compelled to comment back and mayube invite some more discussion on the topic.

The poster of this comment left it on this post... which is now over a month old. I'm not sure how much of a "favorite" my blog could be if 6 weeks later he's just now reading this old post. Maybe he was new around here though. Maybe he was the person who posted said Beta Leak, now famously catalogued at Common Sense Gamer. I dunno. Maybe he just doesn't like it when bloggers state an opinion that differs from his own. I'm sure we'll both find other people. Life does move on, even through trials like this.

No to the topic at hand: said beta NDA leak and my chastising of the person who did it here. I stand by that post. I stand by the belief that beta testers have a responsibility to their fellow gamer geeks to uphold the NDAs they agree to. It's not committing murder when you break it, no. But it does reflect badly on the entire gaming community when JUST ONE person comes out of the beta and publicly lambasts a game that's still in testing and months away from release.

It's no secret now that the game in question is Age of Conan. Massively even reported on the beta leak. It's also no secret that I'm working for Age of Conan @ Ten Ton Hammer these days. So now, when the person who left that comment saw my post, don't you think they'd put it all together and realize that I wasn't only making a personal opinion piece out of that article, but also defending the game I'm now devoted to for the next so many months? I mean really... before you post a rude comment on my blog take some time to think.

And as for seeing BOTH sides of the issue. I do. I really do. Now, I'm not condoning breaking the NDA for any game. But if you really want to do it, do so towards your friends, your family, your work buddies. Don't go to a large as f**k public forum seeking attention and causing trouble for the game companies who actually (perhaps too idealistically so) expect you to uphold your part of an online agreement.

Yep, there are definitely two sides to the issue, but I still am pretty damn positive that I'm on the side of NOT breaking the NDA. I don't really see a reason why I should convert, either. Maybe, it's the fact that I play a Lawful Neutral character when it comes to D&D... who knows.

I'm sory for ranting folks, but I had to get this off my chest this morning when I saw the anonymous comment. Perhaps I've already done the offender a favor by bringing light to what he wrote, but whatever. That felt good.

I still think Tipa said it best about the whole NDA thing:
When you sign an NDA, you are making a pact with a company that you KNOW you will be seeing an unfinished game with placeholder assets, broken things, crashes, unbalanced elements, and all that sort of stuff. You agree to find these things and try to help the company make the game better so that everything works well, is playable and fun, by the time they throw open the doors to the public.

If you don’t feel this is the sort of thing you can do — don’t sign the NDA, don’t play the beta, and just wait to play it in its finished form just like the rest of us.

Betaleaks — bad idea


Tipa said...

Whenever someone makes a PROMISE and then BREAKS it, their justification always follows closely. Oh, it was a bad game and people needed to know. Oh, they expect people to break the beta, they want the news to get out. Oh, this game is in an unfinished state (duh?) and it's not very much fun.

You get the same thing from people who break EULAs in games. Oh, the company is taking money from gold sellers anyway, they expect us to buy it. Oh, leveling characters and farming epics is a waste of time when I can just buy a epiced char. Oh, maybe they shouldn't have given members access to the guild bank if they didn't want me to clean it out.

Excuses are excuses. You've BROKEN your word and now nobody trusts you.

If you can't be trusted to even keep your word in a GAME, how can you ever be trusted in things that matter? What must you be like in real life?

Way to go, Anonymous. I'd hate to be as craven as you.

Tobold said...

Welcome to the club of bloggers annoyed by anonymous trolls. I just posted an angry rant about them yesterday. I was told it's the price you pay for being "famous", so now you're "famous" too. :)

Oh, and I'd love to hear your opinion on the EQFlames story, because it seems to me that betaleaks and EQFlames are basically the same type of site.

Tipa said...

It's EQ2Flames, and they are not the same sort of site.

EQ2Flames is an EQ2 community site, and is primarily for community things -- it has sections for servers and classes, etc. Take a look, it should be immediately clear what kind of site it is.

They DO break a lot of controversial SOE stories, but where are you going to read about them? Not on SOE's forums.

Hudson said...


You are so totally not cool and rad anymore! I hate you!

Keen said...

Now all you need is to get hacked for your initiation to the club to be complete! ;)

Tipa said...

Ha! I was hacked! Back when I ran the blog on SimplePHPBlog, and I think once since I moved to Wordpress. I get a checkmark for that one.

No anonymous flames, though, so I'm still on the outside looking in, there.

Thallian said...

lol, well Bildo I have to say I agree with you. And I think the person throwing accusations is usually the one who isn't looking at both sides of the fence. NDA is about trust and if you erode trust by breaking it bad things happen between companies and testers.
@Keen maybe I don't want my blog to become part of that club :P, sounds nasty

Bildo said...

Thanks for the comments guys... except for Hudson. That guy's a tool. I hate you, Hud.


Really, this post today was just me firing back at the guy who posted anonymously. I know it does no good... but it sure felt nice on the inside. Heh.

Aaron Miller said...

Obviously, you're right.

I think it happens largely because of the context, though. People often apply the same morals differently depending the environment. Think of business. How many people use the adage "it's just business" to pretend different rules apply in that environment? To me, that seems to be most people, unfortunately.

The internet and MMOs are still new, so cultures are still developing to decide whether "it's just internet" -- whether internet interactions get the same exemptions that business gets.

@Tipa: I'm not sure the fact that you wouldn't hear those stories otherwise justifies the breaking of one's word. The end doesn't always justify the means. I think leaks in journalism are usually just as wrong as breaking NDAs.

Essentially, press leaks like that represent a lowering of standards. Rather than expecting insiders to have the courage to speak openly when the end does justify the means, we instead encourage cowardice by letting them speak anonymously... not to mention the terrible impact it has on diminishing people's capacity for trust. It's a bad system.

Openedge1 said...

Personally..I am of a different sort. I will read their stuff, and if they wanna post it...well goody for them..
But, I also know two things
1. Take what the poster who broke NDA says with a grain of salt as they probably are 2 revisions behind what the Devs have...
2. Never break the NDA when I am in a game...

Simple really. I noted on Tipa's site two different beta's (been in more...but I always feel like those Asian based MMO's just don't count for much anymore) I had been in...and boy did I want to give it all away..
They were junk.
One went on and made something of themselves (LOTRO,,,where the game you see today is pretty darn close to closed beta...but some "visual" issues were fixed...some were not, and that UI? We hated it WAY back...but at least it had some cool looking bits back it just looks worse...and the boars and bears? We asked if they could get rid of those stupid quests)
And Gods and Heroes. As soon as I saw the announcement of layoffs, all I could think of were the many complaints on the boards about not being able to test for weeks on end...yep...the servers were already hosed with a release date months away, the game was a major bore, combat was slow and tedious, deaths were cheap, and rubber banding was a past time (kinda like collecting shinies in EQ2)

So...I hope they DO post their issues,, and like has been stated,,I can see who has more problems (WAR) and which has potential (AoC)...but, will still buy the one I am interested in (ask Tipa...just bought I am a glutton for punishment) and wait for the news on the other one..


Relmstein said...

I have bad luck getting into Betas much like Tipa so I have to live vicariously through leaks. I've been around long enough to know that games in beta are not finished products and I can usually tell when a tester is ranting because they were expecting a finished product.

I would never break an game NDA because I would like to maintain a trustworthy reputation and get into more Betas. However, I don't think morality can really be called into question here since the agreement is with a company and not a person. Companies are designed to make money and don't really follow morals unless you count worrying about bad PR. As such I think breaking a NDA is really a legal issue rather then moral one.

Anonymous said...

While I do not really agree with the flamers original comment, I do agree that you blog is kinda school girl affair,lol

You chime about the next and greatest game all the time, then once you get into beta or what's not your posts change to more somber tone, then once you get bored of it and move on you start chiming about the next great game again. This pendulum tone of posting doesn't really make your blog very creadible. Not at all :P

Bildo said...

(First, let me say how glad I am to see another one pop up. Tobold and I seem to be sharing them these days... though admittedly he gets more the lucky Euro.)

@Anon: Hi there. It's spelled "credible". I have no idea what the hell "creadible" is, so maybe it's okay that I'm not whatever it is.

If you think my intent is to be credible (not creadible), then I'm afraid I mislead you. My intent is to post what I'm thinking about games and whatever else here (mostly games).

Like all things in life (and I reckon I'm not alone here), my excitement for anything is subject to change upon experience with said "thing", and I'm going to go ahead and reserve the right to continue to express such feelings. Just as you can sure as hell continue posting about how much of a school-girl I am.

If writing what I think is school-girl... then I'm glad to be in such great company with fellow school-girls: WEB DuBois, Henry Thoreau, Rene Descartes, Cicero (the traitorous bastard), and even that Socrates guy who liked to chat even before drinking in his death.

Hell, if expressing myself truthfully and earnestly is school-girl... dress me up in bobby-socks put me in a skirt and send me off to get molested.

I'd rather be a truthful flake than stubborn liar.

Oakstout said...

To address the anonymous person, why hide? If your proud of your remarks let people know who you are. You have an opinion, your entitled to it just like Bildo is, so why not just say who you are?

Breaking an NDA is bad. I also believe that posting about a game sans NDA while its still in beta is bad. You should give the manufaturers time to fix the bugs prior to release, then its open season. But why be vicious before its even on the shelves?

Tabula Rasa cleaned up its act, but people had already made up their mind before seeing the final release? Why? Give it a chance. I'm not saying it will be awesome, but give the game a chance to be on the market first before you slam it.

Also, so what if Bildo changes his mind about games? Until WoW, I hadn't made it to the end of any game I've ever purchased. I have games that I play once or twice that are awesome, then move on to something else. WHy is that a problem?

Look if you don't like a blog, create your own and stop bothering us. I don't mind critizism from my peers, but anyone that just trolls and fires random shots at people is stupid

Martuk said...

NDA's are in place to keep rampant speculation that the game is doom ed from happening. Bad perception can sink a game faster than anything. When a game is in development it is not always pretty. The gameplay often sucks, the servers crash, quest don't work, people fall through the world, and characters disappear for no good reason. That my friends is beta.

Beta is when all these problems are found. The job of the beta tester is to help find these problems so that the developers can fix them. the NDA is there for two very good reasons.

1. They prevent people from getting the idea the game is doomed because someone says it doesn't work, but guess what. Its beta and things don't usually work. That is why said tester is there.

2. To keep any game information from leaking before it is ready.

When a tester violates that trust they are not helping the game or the development process and they reflect badly on the rest of us gamers. When you break an agreement that you made with a developer to help, you make all of us look bad and thus I have no pity for you if you get kicked out of beta or flamed hideously.

When the NDA lifts and the game is where the developers feel it needs to be, by all means post your information be it good or bad, but until then, honor the agreement you made.

marnie said...

i think your blogging style is ok , unlike tobold's blog thats a bit too sanitized. its good to see tobold showed his real feeling (anger?) when he came under attack by some people.

blogger should post in a more natural way and shouldnt treat it so seriously. blow some steam (yay tobold) and show more grit

i like how you handle negative commment, dont be sad by negative stuff because you cannot please all people all the time..


Melmoth said...

"Nolite te bastardes carborundorum", as Margaret Atwood once wrote.

Hudson said...

Umm Anon. Have you ever thought that we all play many games and having a diverse blog that talks about them is what makes the blog fun to read? Have you SEEN my blog? I play a different game every week! I have MMO ADD but I like to write about them. Bildo talks about XBOX360, comics, all games. He writes what he wants to write about. I personally do not read too many blogs that focus on ONE game.

Tobold said...

Someone hacked my computer and stole some private files..

Tobold said...

The above comment isn't from me. And on *my* blog there was a very insulting and un-Bildo like comment that I deleted. Anyone know what's going on?

Tobold said...

Ah, apparently the fake Tobold/Bildo is just using the Name/URL function to post troll stuff. Note how the icon differs from mine.

Thallian said...

eeeeeevil :(