Paul Barnett on EA Mythic’s employee policies and procedures:

[We] haven’t got time for people who have no morale or don’t think we’re going to succeed, and mess around in palace intrigue. Heretics must be burned publicly. It doesn’t matter how talented they are. If they’re a heretic, they go, because cancer spreads.

Believers are wonderful people. I hire less talented believers over talented heretics every time. Three-star ability with five-star drive is how you want it. The other way around leads you to hell.

Well, I suppose organizing ritual sacrifices for the encouragement of company morale is one way to deal with employee attrition. I probably would go with something other than medieval religious metaphor when dealing with corporate quality of life issues, personally. Also, I wouldn’t actually strive to hire team members who have more enthusiasm than actual ability.

I guess that’s why I’m a heretic! (who totally spec’d in rejuve)

Yes, I Know

Haven’t posted much recently. Things are in flux at the moment and bloggery has been low on the list of concerns. Will update more later. WATCH THIS SPACE WITHOUT BLINKING.

This Just In: Anonymity Makes Some People Sociopathic Jerks

New York Times, once again at the forefront of modern reporting.

Today the Internet is much more than esoteric discussion forums. It is a mass medium for defining who we are to ourselves and to others. Teenagers groom their MySpace profiles as intensely as their hair; escapists clock 50-hour weeks in virtual worlds, accumulating gold for their online avatars. Anyone seeking work or love can expect to be Googled. As our emotional investment in the Internet has grown, the stakes for trolling — for provoking strangers online — have risen. Trolling has evolved from ironic solo skit to vicious group hunt.

Prokofy Neva, who has been accused of trolling more than once, and has been griefed more than twice, would like them to be called something else, please.

Some of the acts described in this NYT piece are criminal, and they should all be investigated by the FBI and prosecuted. While that no doubt difficult process goes on, people of good will can at least rise up and say unequivocally, “That’s wrong, and we will condemn it when it occurs among us, and discourage it” rather than saying “the solution to trolls is to stop taking them seriously”.

The fact is, trolls and griefers are far more deadly serious than you or I. They are so ragingly Puritanical and extreme that they insist on controlling what other people feel and do on the Internet, compelling them “not to take it seriously* by force, and refashioning the Internet into a totalitarian space in which only the boot on face has any validity. This simply has to be resisted; to say that victims of trolling need to shrug off cyber-bullying and harassment is to capitulate to their evil.

At this point I may be suffering from online fatigue. I’ve experienced so many online worlds and communities, and watched so many of them corroded by “lulz” or “goons” or “trolls” or “griefers” or “toads” or “snerts” or “k-rads” that I just don’t care. I Just Don’t Care. All I ask for is the maintainers of said communities, and what I try to provide as maintainer of my own communities, is providing enough weaponry to deal with the slavering zombie anonymous hordes.

Because when the zombies come, you can’t solve the problem by yourself. You just shoot any who get close to you and yours in the head.

Hellgate: Korea

Rumors have been flying around the intertubes all day about Flagship Studios, Hanbitsoft, Hellgate: London and Mythos – here’s probably the most complete recap.

What it looks like happened was that Flagship put up the rights to its intellectual property as collateral on loans for operating expenses; and when money got tight, Flagship collapsed to the point that most of its employees were laid off, and (probably not coincidentally) those rights were foreclosed on. Flagship and Hanbitsoft (the distributor of Hellgate in Korea, the area it was most popular in) are currently dueling very publically via press releases (a sure sign that more discreet negotiations have completely fallen apart).

It’s a mess, especially for the players most invested in what was promised to be something akin to a massively multiplayer Diablo.  And Mythos (the “side project” by Flagship which has consistently gotten better buzz and reviews than its er, flagship title), under heavy development by Flagship’s Seattle studio, will hopefully survive the Battle of Duelling Legal Press Releases.

Glitchless Lives!

And what’s more, they’re sending me email.

On July 6th, 2008 Nodiatis, a new online multiplayer RPG went live. It is not your ordinary carebear RPG with cookie cutter class builds, goofy graphics, and amenities for the weak.

If you don’t know the history of Glitchless… um… don’t ask.