The Pied Piper of Hamelin

I post and break my own rules again because I don’t like to leave things open and because I don’t want to push the flames any further in the place that produced all this.

I’m referring to the thread on F13, the first post from Mark Jacobs, my reply later on the thread, and all that happened afterwards.

Lum took offense and I should have imagined that before writing what I wrote. But my point wasn’t against Lum, his site, the bans and all the drama. My critics were about what happened AFTERWARDS. The U-turn in Mythic’s stance toward the community. The order from Mark Jacobs to Mythic’s staff to never post again on those forums. The delegitimization of the community that legitimated them in the first place. And then, along the years, the progressive, constant deterioration of that relationship with the community.

In fact I always PRAISED what Mythic *was* doing on ltm/SND as I always praised devs that are genuinely interested in a discussion and that keep in touch with the community. Those who know me also know that I always sided for a more open, sincere and constructive relationship and nothing changed in my stance.

I DO believe that ltm/SND was the real “Camelot Herald” but I also believe that the good feedback wasn’t malicious and it was also coming from that close relationship. Keeping in touch with the community, interpret its needs. I do believe that that process was positive both for Mythic, DAoC and the players. But as I said there was an U-turn at some point, that I identified with that post from Mark Jacobs I quoted and that then progressed along the years. Till today. Today Mythic is completely out of touch with the community and that is also one of the reasons why what is left of DAoC is only a very pale shade.

Why I went necroposting that quote? Because it was happening again. It was as new as it has always been.

My point is very simple: I don’t believe that Mark Jacobs is genuinely interested in a discussion.

That request to open a private forum for him was stupid and wrong on many levels. Mark Jacobs NEVER looked for an honest, passionate discussion. He NEVER participated in our communities. He NEVER gave a damn about anything if not “bullying” his community of choice tricking people to welcome him like a king by promising gifts, beta slots and “WAR swag”.

There are other devs that ARE part of our communities. Brad McQuaid has often used FoH’s forums in the last years to hype his game, Smed and in particular Scott Hartsman also participated in our discussions and today Scott is one of the most respected and esteemed out there BECAUSE of his attitude and sincerity in dealing with the community. The newly born GMG also had a strong presence on the forums and blogs. Raph Koster has always been everywhere and the one who THE MOST always looked for a real participation, who really wanted and encouraged that dialogue more than anyone else.

So what’s the difference between all these people (and I left out MANY) and Mark Jacobs? That ALL these peoples have demonstrated along the months and the years that their interest is GENUINE. That they share a passion and that they are interested in a real dialogue.

Mark Jacobs has NEVER given a damn about anything. If not appearing a few days ago on F13 after not having written ONE post in more than two years and abruptly asking them to open a private forum for him where he could do as he please and feel (along with his game) the center of the attention (actually he’s even confused about what he’s asking). When I saw a bunch of long time members of this community taking the “bait” I felt the need to say what I said.

In the meantime he flamed me back, trying to make believe that I registered on F13 just to troll him. Excuse me, my ideas may be considered shit, but I think I HAVE demonstrated along these years that my passion in these games is SINCERE and that I do love to talk about game design and that I DO look for that kind of constructive, collaborative dialogue MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE ON THE INTERNET. And sorry if I’m not modest in this case, but my passion is not questionable. With this site and my constant participation in the community I believe that AT LEAST I demonstrated that.

If Mark Jacobs was TRULY interested in a participation with the community then he would have done it before. There are hundreds of ways to look for and have that dialogue. From blogs that would fit exactly his selective mindset, as they allow you to discuss what you want to discuss, give credit to who you want to give credit and ignore who you want to ignore, to forums of all kinds.

Other devs are already encouraging that dialogue without any stupid dedicated private forum to bully. But the real point is that, private forum or not, Mark Jacobs couldn’t care less about that kind of involvement and participation. Because he thinks he is superior to all that. And because of that superiority he went asking for the “special treatment” that NO OTHER DEV has never even imagined to ask before.

As on a game forum it is valid the principle: “Who you are is secondary and what matters is that we are equals talking about games”.

So what you say and not the color of your name.

Asking to open a private forum devoted to you and where you decide who has the right to speak and who doesn’t, surely isn’t a good way to encourage an honest and unbiased discussion. It’s just an attempt to manipulate things as you please. Later in that thread (and in a MILLION of other occasions) we have demonstrated that we can have that meaningful, honest discussion about games without the need of any private forum or special policies. But of course Mark Jacobs deserted the thread at that point.

In the end I do HATE perpetuating drama and flames because it stresses and empties me to no end and I don’t take back any satisfaction. If Mark Jacobs is honestly interested discussing games and ideas then he is more then welcome to prove me wrong. I’m just forcing him to drop his mask.

(and my apologies to Lum because he was brought in a wrong discussion)

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