Biased GM’s… a scary thought

Last night while traveling to the siege on the many cities on Yssam a few members of our raid group fell through the world.  When  a GM was petitioned, the GM asked the person which siege they were apart of…   Now you tell me – why does a GM need to know that?  What relevance does that have on the GM being able to remove the player from falling through the world – especially when the person is 20+ minutes from any siege?  When the player told the GM it was none of his business, the GM said that he couldn’t help him then.

It’s also widely known and acknowledged that GMs have their own personal characters on the only server (EU-1).  There might be a conflict of interest here, right?  No confirmation here, but the rumors are circling that entire clans are experiencing random disconnects during sieges – even for some of their members across the world.   Coincidence?  Maybe.   GM interference?  Maybe.

There is a city owned by (I think…) Kill Cult.  Whenever anyone attacks their city, the attackers are all disconnected.  It’s pretty blatant that either the game is broken right in this exact spot or something fishy is going on… [cue the paranoid music!]

GM’s have even been spotted appearing at the site that is the target of a siege… are they scouting or are they just early? dun dun dun…

Although some of the above are conspiracy theory, some of it is serious (especially the first).   The more people are aware of this going on the more Aventurine will be forced to investigate.

Spread the word.

  • To be fair the most infamous member of Kill Cult is Claus Grovdal, the Lead Game Logic designer of Darkfall Online

    Now I am pretty sure he does not actualy play anymore, but i’m just stirring the pot for drama purposes

  • I guess that is one drawback of smaller more hands on ‘companies’. Eve had those issues, but they have been doing a lot of formalizing as of late it seems.

    The fact they they asked and did not help seems pretty blatant.

  • The same Kill Cult that duped gold in Shadowbane for the entire run? No way. Those guys are clean as a whistle.

  • Thanks for the help in Yssam, good to have you guys with us. There is definitely something going on with the GM’s, they randomly show up at cities and start threatening people.

  • now that’s even more dramatic than your sunday night thriller. darkfall just isn’t a game for me, but all this conspiracy stuff before and after the release of the game makes it hilarious.

    keep us updated! =)

    btw. keen any intentions checking out jumpgate evolution? closed beta is just ahead afaik.

    so far
    tom

  • Jumpgate is intriguing. I was given a demonstration by some of the marketing guys back at E3 08 and it looked fun. They couldn’t answer most of my questions, so I’m still very much in the dark about where they’ll be taking the game, but it looked neat.

  • GMs should not have personal chars, especially if there is only one world/server.

    This guarantees a conflict of interests.

    The disconnect thing is maybe a bit far-fetched, but recruiting GMs from the players or fanbase is a recipe for trouble.

  • I was banned in SWG due to a CSR conflict of interest, I killed his friend. My ban lasted almost a week before I got through to a manager who checked some logs here and there and got to the bottom of it. In the end, the guy supposedly got fired and I got my account back.

    Just pointing out that this sort of thing can and does happen

  • I can’t count for all of the GM’s but so far all of my /gm_help requests have gone to GM endo, and as far as I can tell they are completely legit, and extremely helpful.

  • maybe the GM was trying to solve some bug or problem with massive battles and wanted to observe behavior of the game before and during a siege?

    /devils_advocate

  • This just in from the patch notes: “We are investigating reports of client crashes during sieges. These aren’t server related so it’s harder to pinpoint the source of each crash.”

    O rly?

    Check your GM’s, Aventurine.

  • Now, that, boys and girls, is hardcore. To win, you must get past:

    1. buying game
    2. skilling up
    3. beating queues
    4. beating bugs
    5. get a man on the inside

    Your sandbox has gods. Ally with them, lol. Worship them if you want their favor.

  • I hate to be “that guy” but Screenshot or it didn’t happen.

    We bitch that GMs don’t know anything about the game, and we bitch if GMs have play accounts. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  • lol it would be funny if two guilds attacked each other, both with GMs on their side. People on each side getting kicked from the world until only the GMs were left standing.

    If this proves to be true then that’s pretty sad. I’ve seen a lot of discussion and screenshots showing GMs to be very immature etc (for example threatening players etc) in Darkfall and that is one of the reasons I’ve kept my distance from the game.

  • Sorry for the double post:

    @Jose

    Players typically don’t complain that GMs don’t know anything about the game, we complain that Devs know nothing about the game. If they are the same people (very rare) then that is one thing, but GMs typically don’t have to know much about the game…they just deal with customers and fix problems with their magic wands. Devs on the other hand implement changes and if they do not know what’s really going on in game you get poor changes that drive players crazy.

  • @Sto

    Dev or GM the point is the same, if you want the people in charge to understand and see first hand the game, they need to see it from a player’s POV. Granted they should know better than to take sides (and I honestly doubt these claims are true).

    In short, you people who say Devs and GMs should not be allowed to play their own game are so many kinds of wrong.

    On another note, anybody who reads the game forums will see there is at times a “OMGWWTF I BEEN KICKED” posts, after a few replies it will be concluded to have been only a server disconnect due to faulty internet. Paranoid bloqs and statements such as this do not help the game, only drive off would-be players. I hope if new information is revealed you will update this information. If it proves to be true i’ll gladly eat my words.

  • I was involved in the Yssam siege. It was very coincidental that I DCed at the same time that many of our allies DCed. I lost my mount as well. My client was running perfectly fine for me before the sudden DC. And we were kicking ass.

  • Eve Online is a prime example that biased GMs/Devs do indeed happen and on a massive scale as well. It’s not all paranoia.

  • You know, unless Darkfall handle their GM/CM stuff completely differently to like every single other MMO out there; It’s impossible for them to do pretty much everything you said.

    GM’s aren’t allowed to login to their accounts with powers from home, and I don’t believe they have any outsourced/long distance staff.

    So, unless people are communicating with the GM’s from home to make this happen, which is also incredibly unlikely since everything from messages to disconnects to kicks from GM’s would be all be comprehensively logged, I’d say you’re just having a bit of a bad luck run.

    There’s a big difference between the “commonplace” GM/Dev corruption you see such as strat/info trading, and what you’re suggesting which is these guys are literally kicking the competition.

    I don’t play so I won’t say offhand you’re totally wrong, but I would be fairly amazed if what you say is true.

  • At least Warhammer is comming out with theyre version of Darkness Falls i may sub for 1 month to check it out.

  • Considering the lessons CCP has learned from Eve you would think Aventurine would be on the slightest hint of impropriety right away.

  • @Knqui

    The scenario would go like: GM/Dev’s clan owns a home at X. The GM/Dev is at work, doing whatever they do, when he notices that X is under attack. To keep his home safe, the GM/Dev does naughty things to the attacking players.

    As I was saying earlier, when you have just one server (at least so far), where pvp actually has conquences and where GMs/Devs have characters in guilds/corps/clans/etc, then these things have a high probability to happen. As did in Eve Online.

  • Do you seriously think a GM is going to risk his job by doing something so incredibly obvious, such as kicking 50-100 players instantly?

    Apart from it ringing alarm bells within the automated logging system, it would take ONE single player out of everyone dced to report it and that GM to get fired.

    Coming from a background where I was a GM for a long time, you wouldn’t believe how much scrutiny and monitoring they are under from the higher ups to avoid exactly this.

    Scandal like this can potentially cost a company millions of dollars, it’s hardly a free for all for corruption, especially considering GM’s are essentially glorified call centre operatives.

  • Only AoC GM drama I ever saw was when one of them tried to cyber a guy player pretending to be a girl XD

  • These things happens. They have happened in AoC, EVE before and happen in almost all online casinos everyday. This is something that you have to learn to live with, specially with just one server up and incompetent/noobs GMs/Devs.

  • Knqui you underestimate the stupidity of man and how unprepared Aventurine is for running an MMO.

  • There was also the issue of the taking of the Oru city. The enemies hamlet clan stone was destroyed the siege should of ceased. But it continued and Oru lost the city (but got some shabby ass hamlet).

    In recent patch notes tasos admitted their was a glitch in the siege system. City is still gone however.

  • Knqui at 28 Says: “Apart from it ringing alarm bells within the automated logging system,…”

    You’re assuming that they have an automated logging system at all, much less one that would capture this specific incident. In my experience, 1st time developers of MMOs usually don’t see a need for this tool, underestimate how full-featured it needs to be or dump it because of time constraints (“We have to launch; we’ll put in all that logging stuff later on.”).

    This is because such tools normally get lumped in with Customer Service Tools… most of which are also generally the dumped from development when the schedule slips. Don’t know if this happened with DO, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Since 1996, damn near every launched project I’ve been called in to consult on dropped most CS and logging tools to get launched… and then were surprised to find that a GM or two took advantage of it to help their buddies.

    That said, in this particular case, I doubt there is a tool that would allow a GM to dump 50-150 players in a short period of time; he’d probably have to issue individual commands to boot each one. The DCs were more likely just unstable code, something that is also a feature for *most* MMOs on launch, not just 1st time developers.

  • What Jessica said.

    Remember Shadowbane and the de-ranking bug? The one where your Tree of Life and/or your buildings de-ranked (or sometimes just plain vanished) for no apparent reason? The one where Wolfpack said the most they would do was restore them at rank 4 (this for buildings and NPCs that had cost weeks of time and millions of gold to get to rank 7) because they had no way to verify what they’d been before they deranked. Yeah, that Shadowbane.

    The Shadowbane where guilds were duping so blatantly that the price of gold on eBay crashed by 90% in a couple of weeks (they’d neglected to prohibit gold-selling in the rules, too) and the players knew long before the company did. The Shadowbane where flying over your own city’s walls might get you teleported to 0,0,0 (which was the bottom of the ocean) for no apparent reason, and the CSR’s couldn’t get your stuff back because they had no record of what you’d had when you drowned. And most memorably, the Shadowbane that had a CSR godmode switch in the client, and absolutely no control over who could turn it on or what they did with it … and hence the Shadowbane in which the Rolling 30’s got bored and started doing things like moving player cities to the bottom of the ocean and other crazy stuff … and it STILL took 3 days of that kind of craziness before they were caught and banned.

    There are a lot of things that Shadowbane was lacking when it was shoved, half-finished, out the door, but the one that hurt both the company and the players was, at least from what I could tell from a player’s perspective, the complete and total lack of a logging system. They couldn’t correct the results of bugs, they couldn’t identify the causes of bugs, and they couldn’t tell that a whole guild was going ape with the godmode switch. Whether that would have saved the game from being a truckload of fail, I don’t know, but I’m sure that lack of it contributed greatly to the disasters.

  • “I doubt there is a tool that would allow a GM to dump 50-150 players in a short period of time; he’d probably have to issue individual commands to boot each one.”

    I have watched a video where a gm walks into an area full of macroers (the acid pools). Every player in the video disappeared at the same time. This proves to me that gms can kick multiple players at once.

  • How could they selectively dc everyone only from an enemy force? Even if you could disconnect an entire area surely it’d hit the defenders as much as the attackers?

  • I was part in both the KC attack and later the Apollo (KC ally) hamlet attack. The KC d.c happened due to a memory leak issue and zone lines. Over-simplified, too many players were crossing a zone line at one time, and some were getting dc’ed. By the time we reached the KC city (far away), we had lost a ton of people, not to mention the guy holding the shard.

    For Apollo, both sides were reporting connection issues once the fighting actually started. When our raid was traveling the the hamlet, connections where fine. Once we started jumping down the waterfall into Apollo’s city, you saw both sides losing people.

    Its an error in the game, one that disconnects people when too many players are in one area. It also seems random, as I never got a dc during the Apollo fight, and had only one during KC. Other guild members reported multiple dc both fights. The worst is the bug that places you back at your bind stone, rather than where you crashed. That truly takes people out of the fight.

  • I don’t know, all of the corrupt GM stuff sounds like bullshit to me. In both those seiges that KC allegedly pulled the plug on SA, they waited to do so until 3-4 hours into the seige, effectively wasting their time and all their allies as well. That doesn’t really sound like a recipe for keeping your allies happy by jerking them around for 4 hours.

    And then the disconnection ‘specifically’ of one alliance simultaneously. I seriously doubt that the GM’s have this ability as the possibility of abuse would greatly outweigh the need for such a tech built into the game tools.

    People want a conspiracy because it allows them to turn their eyes away from the true issue: this game has some serious problems and cannot handle the type of massive combat that it promised.

  • I love it when these crazy ideas come around. I was at both sieges and only disconnected (manually) once due to the alt tab issue with the white textures.

    However people all over the 3 zones that different players where coming from where losing connection hitting server lines on their way. Meh.

  • I don’t buy the GM disconnecting people – the “bug” explanation makes much more sense.

    Selective petition answering is much more likely. I know for a fact it has happened in both Eve and Everquest, and given the way Darkfall is run I would be shocked if it wasn’t going on there.

    Especially when the game is buggy as hell this can make a huge difference. It’s the difference between:

    “I’m sorry, we couldn’t verify that your death was due to a server failure and therefore we are unable to reimburse you”

    and

    “Sure, here’s your reimbursement.”

  • @Knqui

    “GM’s aren’t allowed to login to their accounts with powers from home, and I don’t believe they have any outsourced/long distance staff.”

    Does anybody know for sure that the GMS are actual Aventurine employees? Their “Community Staff” (boards and IRC mods, for example) are volunteers and are located around the globe. “Signus”, for example, is an IRC Moderator from Massachusetts. His signature states:

    “Community staff are not paid employees of Aventurine. In all business our opinions are entirely our own, and do not represent official Aventurine opinions.”

    I’ve seen posts stating that GMs are volunteers, too, which makes sense if the mods are volunteers.

    ~Ripper

  • This has happened with Kill Cult literally every time someone has tried sieging, and other fishy things involving them. Most likely a non-GM character in Kill Cult has learned to crash part of the server and this bug won’t get fixed any time soon.

    There could also be a bug considering KC is on an island by themselves. Could be some sort of weird bug relating to max users in an area. The main problem with this is KC doesn’t get DC’d, pretty much only attackers are getting DC’d.

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