I like drama, especially when I’ve missed it all. To begin with a post written by Mark Jacobs that it is even more interesting today than it was back then. Then two (uncensored! :D) posts written by Coke. The first was going to appear in a doomed thread on Lum’s blog, an answer to Myschyf’s post. The other is a repost of a supposedly banned article on ltm.net written by Eldin (Coke quoted it, I pasted the complete version).
As of this morning I signed off participating at SND (formerly Lum’s site). In my post I also indicated because of personal issues that I feel the man who is running the site has with some Mythic personnel (Scott, Sanya and myself) that the site would not be able to post objective (neutral) criticism or praise regarding Mythic or DAoC. I stated that I was going to ask that Mythic personnel would no longer cooperate with any SND writer nor were we going to post there any longer. Just to make one issue clear before I get to the real reason for this post, I want to see that I could care less what happens to SND. I have never asked Scott to shut it down, take away assets, whatever. Whatever fate has in store for SND it will have earned it on its own. But who knows, maybe I did do something when I was sitting atop of the grassy knoll, dressed in black after my return from Area 51. happy :)
So, the real reason for this post is a thank you. It’s a thank you to all the folks at the former “Lum The Mad” site who made it possible. For many months LtM was my first stop in my morning “check all the new sites” review. While they weren’t always right and while they weren’t always fair, the site was a valuable and precious resource to the MMORPG community of developers and players. It was where some cool stories would be broken first, where developers and players of multiple communities could exchange ideas, stories and occasional rotten fruit. It was a place where I felt comfortable posting and talking about things in general as long as doing so violate my rule of not slamming other developers. It was part of my daily routine and I loved it and I miss it already. It was thanks to that site that we were able to find a man who became a very important part of Mythic at a very critical time in the development of DAoC. Without that site we wouldn’t have been fortunate enough to discover that Lum (Scott) was also a talented programmer as well as a writer.
Thus, I want to thank Scott for creating the site and making it what it would become. I want to thank some of the talented writers there (Mys, Arcadian, Tick and others) who helped keep the site vibrant and fun. I also want to thank the community there, those who liked us and those who disliked us as well. I loved being a part of it and I will miss it greatly. For those there who supported us I thank you for your efforts and your support and we will not let you down. You haven’t yet seen the best of Mythic nor of DAoC, things are only going to get better. For those there who criticized us, flamed us or worse, I also extend my thanks. All of that was part of what made LtM what it was for me and for the industry.
I would have posted this there but since I said I wouldn’t be back, I could not do so. However, since I know that many people here are also readers of SND and that some of the writers get their information from these boards, I figured it wouldn’t take long before this message gets out to SND and to the community there.
Lum killed the thread before I could respond so I’ll respond here.
The original post from Mys:
“You know if some folks had an ounce of sense they’d be dangerous.
I guess it never occured to folks that the reason Mythic didn’t get bashed as much as some of the other companies was because they didn’t make the same mistakes. They didn’t have GMs selling houses on ebay. They didn’t have the whole counselor/time reporting/volunteer problem. They didn’t have Abashi. They didn’t have developers telling customers to fork over cash so their porshe could get a tune up. Their servers didn’t go down once an hour because their infrastructure didn’t suck eggs. They didn’t have tanks that could fly. And tons of other stuff.”
Mythic had a whole host of OTHER problems however. Such as the end game content wasn’t even finished on release. Relics not working. Exploits and duping, RvR bugs not to mention half the stuff that was promised on release didn’t make it into the game until a year after… no, I remember there was as much fodder for front page material as any other game…
“For the record there were no rules that we couldn’t bash Mythic. There was editing that went on when newer writers wanted to bash any company just for the sake of doing so. That would be stupid.”
I have it on high authortiy from ex-Lum writers that although what you say it is technically accurate (there was no official policy against Mythic bashing), that when it came to game bashing the “unwritten” rule was that Mythic was off limits. I understand a lot of behind closed door arguments took place because of this and certain writers felt they were unfairly muzzled.
“I’m not seeing where finding a job in a field you love and not having a site that bashes that job all at the same time is unethical.”
What would be unethical is having a well read website that is funded by your readers, then getting a job at a game company and not allowing negative press about the game company you now work for to end up on the website – while at the same time the site continues to bash the competition. Even when Lum had nothing to do with the site and Eldin took over, Eldin decided to allow stories about DAoC to appear on the front page again. Lum at that point had nothing to do with the site but he apparently didn’t like what he read and hacked the site and took everything down… I guess you don’t think that is unethical either, huh?
“I cannot fathom the thought process that makes some of you folks think that Lum’s choosing to earn a living and feed his family should somehow be secondary to running a free website for your entertainment.”
If Lum had simply shut the site down and walked away I am sure that would have been the end of it. But whether is it true or not there was at least the *perception* of some conflict of interest. And the whole hacking the website and taking it down, the bannings and the vitriol all left a lot of people with a bad taste in their mouths… even so many years later…
Of course in my opinion the worst judgement call Lum ever had was handing the reigns over to you. If Lum was one of the most loved online personalities – you were one of the most hated. And whatever Lum may have done, IMO it was the weight of YOUR ego that brought the site down like a flaming Zeppelin.
WHEN A COMPANY GOES SOUTH WITH CORRUPTION
2001-11-07 06:58:00 /Filed by Eldin/
I have been careful. I have been cautious. I have tried to be fair and impartial. I took my high road. You know what this site got in return? It got Mark Jacobs.
Mark Jacobs has claimed no employee of Mythic will post here.
After all, we’ve been critical, and we’ve wondered why this company hired such well-known community figures. One would ask why a company with nothing to hide would ask for that kind of spin control.
Let’s be frank, first off.
Do you think, honestly, for a second, that Mythic hired Tweety because she was the best possible woman for CS Representative, or that Lum was the best possible back end programmer for CS?
Absolutely bullshit. There are, I am certain, better, more experienced people for these positions, would these positions be advertised elsewhere. If Tweety is the best chick available for customer service out of everyone in the DC area, anyone who has really read her site where she lambastes companies and players alike in less than respectful or understandable terms, well, call me an idiot. Thinking this woman was an impartial person experienced in CS of any kind of online game was known to be flat out false. What was Tweety but an ex EQ Guide with an eloquent, yet significant complaint against her former employer? Hiring her was a coup in player relations of the worst kind. If you believe she was hired for her player skills and not because of her position, you underestimate Mark Jacobs.
Mythic never gave a shit about the players. Don’t please head off and read Abashi’s posts. In case you aren’t up to date with the Mythic attitude and who they admire.
Now that we’re beyond that.
Mark Jacobs tried to nail this site in the worst kind of way. Under the old guard, Mark Jacobs was the nice, reasonable guy. He answered questions and gave suggestions. After all, this site was run by his friends. What could he possibly have to fear? This site was about to give him a pass based on personal friendships.
He didn’t like it so much when those friendships had passed, and we went back to being objective. Horror of horrors, but we resumed our original position of being suspicious of companies, and looking out for the player. He loathes us for it.
Do you want to know how much he and his company hates us? We’ll tell you, though I bet you won’t see our front page or boards come the end of the day, since they own it.
Our boards and back end are owned by Lum. While we had permission to use them, we had our problems in code, and that basically made us run to Scott to remedy them. We had done it more than once since he left for Mythic. Not a peep from him in complaint. In fact, for the past few weeks, since Pander banned the world, we’ve had no problems. You remember the banning of thee world, no? That was the last problem I ran to Scott for, in case you think I’m on top of the guy all the time, every minute, for every moment he’s at Mythic. While I felt guilty for asking Lum for help, and realized it needed to change in the future, the situation continued. We had no recent problems, and had 3 weeks of relative peace. Thing is, Lum can nuke us in a heartbeat, and has threatened us so, even if we haven’t run to him with probs
So, my explanation about needing Lum to fix our php? Valid, but full of bullshit. It’s been awhile since I’ve asked him for help. Do you want to know how Lum asked for our back end pulling? One reason and one reason only: A poster called Coke. You must understand Coke to understand how it went down.
Here’s a poster that annoyed everyone and lambasted Mythic. However, I felt being contrary wasn’t enough to ban the guy. I will never accept the banning of a poster who has contrary opinions to a company. Some said he lied, by implying things about a response Tweety gave to a guild who loathed DAoC. I felt he was just giving his opinion. Thus, I would not allow him to be banned.
Lum, through various parties, heard that we would interview Coke and give him a voice on the front page, even though we had no intention of doing so. (This goes along with ex writers with admin board access telling Mythic exactly what we were saying amongst ourselves).
We had no intention of interviewing Coke. Yes, one writer brought up the possibility, but myself and almost everyone else went “Oh, hell no.”
Lum messaged me. He said “Delete my board accounts.” I asked why. He said “I can’t post or respond to Coke’s conspiracy theories, and he knows it.”
I panicked. How could I lose the great Lum the Mad?! I was more than ready to ban a poster than to lose the great Lum. So, I was far more receptive to banning that poster, on principle alone. Then SoulFlame, chimed in. “If we ban Coke, where do we draw the line?” And I agreed. So, I reversed my own decision. I said “We cannot ban someone for having it out with a company. We haven’t banned for disliking a company in the past. We won’t do it now.”
You know what happened? Lum pulled our front page. He got rid of our software. He told us “If you don’t agree with me, you can’t use a single thing!”
Wait, no, he didn’t tell us. He just did it. And, right then, one our writers updated. And we thought that writer broke the front page. So, I loaded up a back up. I hit up the FTP, loaded the back up, and figured it was a glitch. I had no idea Lum pulled it all.
I learned later that day, that it was pulled because we refused to ban a user. I learned, hours later, Lum had gotten rid of it all. No one told me. No one warned me. We allowed a poster to criticize Mythic, and our back end was killed without any warning as a result.
I have traveled the high road. As much as I wanted to kill this company and their employee for actions taken against a contrary opinion, I have not done so.
Enough is enough, Mr, Jacobs. Your employee will kill this site for a contrary opinion. I don’t expect the front page to be here after today. I don’t expect the boards to be there. But this isn’t about Lum or his site. This evil is begun by you. You can do it.
And should you kill our front page. Should our boards disappear? We’ll know you gave the sign. And we’ll know you’ve done it, no matter how you spin it.
We’ll be objective. We’ll criticize your game. But, we don’t live in DC. We don’t attend your parties. And we certainly won’t buy into your plot to hire community leaders. You may have fooled a lot of peeps, and hired people who can spin, but you cannot spin us sir, no matter what your worshippers think of your money.
If you have a beef, you have my phone number. If you dare. I think you’d rather kill this site than face me one on one. But, I’m always open to personal debate, one on one, man to man. If you and your company dare. Prove me wrong.
I won’t hold my breath.
EDIT: added a title.