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Author Topic: Ateraan  (Read 1921 times)

Drizzt1216

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Ateraan
« on: February 18, 2018, 6:10 PM »
Can we please get back on subject? There are several threads about Ateraan. We don't need to be going over old ground....

It'd be "old ground" if I were responding to posts he made months ago and continuing to bash him for behavior he'd stopped doing.

That's not the case. Also, yes, there were other threads. Most of them are also locked.

I don't much care about Ateraan's morals. Pay-for-perks games are trash as far as I'm concerned, but they're legal, and he's free to run one.

I however am not willing to look the other way while he advertises such a game as not being pay-for-perks, or while his website contains things like the quote below.

Quote
Donations do not afford the donator any special access to the game, administration, or staff, nor do donations grant any special rewards, options, abilities, or status.

That is not ambiguous. It is not a moral grey area. It is a boldfaced lie and is false advertising.

It's not a matter of, hey, I don't like the wording of your post because it suggests something that isn't quite true. That quote directly from their donation page is enough to sue them  and have the game shut down.

And unlike most of the MUDs that violate the DIKU license that aren't worth suing because you wouldn't get anything due to their non-commercial status, there's something to gain from suing Ateraan, I could get a lawyer to take the case, and I have little doubt I'd win.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 6:13 PM by Drizzt1216 »

Zandy

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2018, 7:39 PM »
I'm not going to comment here with any opinions.  I'm just going to caution anyone and everyone to not get into a flame war here.  Best I can tell this is a discussion of the legal issues at hand.  Let's not stray from there and get personal to the posters.

Teryel

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2018, 10:16 PM »
I would also like to point out that many many forums have rules against posting the same, or nearly the same, post in multiple threads. Perhaps it is time TMC enact similar? As Zandy suggests, posting a link to a promotion thread should be more than enough.

Jodah

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2018, 3:37 AM »
Drizzt, why don't you take 2 or 3 other dead horses and just keep beating those too.

Teryel

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 4:18 AM »
Drizzt, why don't you take 2 or 3 other dead horses and just keep beating those too.

Jodah, why don't you go to reddit or 4chan with the rest of the trolls?

Drizzt1216

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2018, 9:43 AM »
Drizzt, why don't you take 2 or 3 other dead horses and just keep beating those too.

I'm genuinely curious why you're defending someone who is absolutely, clearly, without any question falsely advertising their game.

You, he, or anyone else can argue all they want that you can advance in the game without paying, doing so is a strawman and irrelevant. You irrefutably are granted options, status, and special access for "donating" money to the game.

And as for this exact topic, no it's not a dead horse. Epilogy made a thread complaining about a bunch of things he considers unethical or unpleasant, but which aren't technically illegal.

I'm not asking him to do the right thing, or be a good person. Neither you or he are likely ever going to display moral behavior I consider acceptable - but I can't force you to do that.

I can force him to stop committing a 2nd degree misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to $10,000 in fines and up to a year of jail time.

I'm merely giving him a chance to change his sites wording before proceeding with litigation.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 10:00 AM by Drizzt1216 »

Ateraan

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2018, 6:38 PM »
All right enough of your nonsense Drizzt. Your threats need to stop immediately. Please check with your attorney as what you are doing in considered a threat on the light side and in some cases extortion. You need to stop your libel, harassment, and continual threats to me, the game, and the members of this community.

As stated before and numerous times and on the website, Ateraan is free to play. That has not changed nor will it change.
New Worlds Ateraan
www.ateraan.com

Drizzt1216

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2018, 6:45 PM »
All right enough of your nonsense Drizzt. Your threats need to stop immediately. Please check with your attorney as what you are doing in considered a threat on the light side and in some cases extortion. You need to stop your libel, harassment, and continual threats to me, the game, and the members of this community.

As stated before and numerous times and on the website, Ateraan is free to play. That has not changed nor will it change.

Libel?

"a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation; a written defamation."

What have I stated that was false? Damaging your reputation is not false unless I have knowingly lied at some point. The only one knowingly lying is you.

Quote
Donations do not afford the donator any special access to the game, administration, or staff, nor do donations grant any special rewards, options, abilities, or status.

That is a crime. Do not play dumb, we both know no lawyer in the world would interpret this to not be in violation of the above:

Quote
Rings:
------
Signet rings have various rankings and can only be obtained
through donating. The rings are also considered in character
and a mark of some service or action.

The rings are roleplay only and have special roleplay features
associated with them that can only be discovered in character.
Both the rings and tokens are obtained through rankings in
donating. To toggle your ring presence on or off read help
reward.

Rewards are cumulative so your account will continue to grow
as your donations are received. Each ranking has special
roleplay rewards associated with them and at certain ranks
you receive a signet ring. Most roleplay rewards are found
in character and to a large extent in the Shadow Market found
in Jempek. The shadow market is ic and can be discussed in
character including talking about its location.

Amount     Reward
--------   ---------------------------------------------------------
$  10.00   Player Picture and Link on Website.
           Accessibility to Copper Room in the Jempek Shadow Market.
           
$  25.00   Copper Signet Ring
           Hours online shown in Time command.
           Maximum Munitions Increase.
           
$  50.00   NPC Interaction in some locations.
           
$ 100.00   Bronze Signet Ring
           NPC Minor Roleplay Gifts in some locations.
           
$ 150.00   International visitor status to foreign countries.
           
$ 200.00   Maximum vault space increase.
           Bell at your residence.
           Maximum munitions increase.
           
$ 250.00   Brass Signet Ring
           Maximum mail in mailbox increase.
           More NPC Recognition in some locations.
           Accessibility to Brass Room in the Jempek Shadow Market.
           
$ 300.00   Maximum clothing vault increase.
           Residential Pantry.
           
$ 400.00   Maximum personal weight increase.
           Maximum vault space increase.
           Residential Wardrobe.
           
$ 500.00   Silver Signet Ring
           Personal Journal that can be archived in town library.
           Higher NPC Recognition in some locations.
           Maximum mail in mailbox increase.
           Accessibility to Silver Room in the Jempek Shadow Market.
           
$ 600.00   Maximum vault space increase.
           Residential Storage Closet.
           
$ 750.00   Gold Signet Ring.
           Major NPC Recognition in some locations.
           Accessibility to Gold Room in the Jempek Shadow Market.
           
$ 800.00   Maximum vault space increase.
           Residential - Mail Room.
           
$ 900.00   Personal Emote.
           Brief Control.
           
$1000.00   Emerald Signet Ring.
           Emerald Lounge Access.
           Maximum personal weight increase.
           Maximum vault space increase.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The NPC roleplay rewards you see at certain rankings above must be
discovered in the game. They are not always the same and can be dynamic
in nature.

Please explain to me how none of that bestows the donator with any special rewards, options, abilities, or status, or special access.

You can't. You know it's a bold-faced lie. You know you'd lose in court, so you're seeking to intimidate me. It won't work. Your time of getting away with whatever you want is at its end.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 6:49 PM by Drizzt1216 »

Drizzt1216

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2018, 6:56 PM »
As stated before and numerous times and on the website, Ateraan is free to play. That has not changed nor will it change.

This is completely irrelevant to the explicit lies on your donation page.

Being able to play for free is not the same as:

Quote
Donations do not afford the donator any special access to the game, administration, or staff, nor do donations grant any special rewards, options, abilities, or status.

Repeating that you consider the game free to play is nothing more than a strawman attempt to shift the focus.

Ateraan

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2018, 6:59 PM »
What you have done is called a "rail split" in legal terms and a "spin" in political terms.

The full information on the website is as follows:
LIABILITY: New Worlds Ateraan is FREE to play and donating to the game is entirely an individual decision. No liability, promises, commitments, or warranties of any kind are guaranteed or implied by donations of any amount. Donations do not afford the donator any special access to the game, administration, or staff, nor do donations grant any special rewards, options, abilities, or status.

SERVICE and AVAILABILITY: New Worlds Ateraan may close at any time, go offline, or block anyone's access to the game at any time for any reason. Donating to the game does not guarantee access or usage of the game or server. While efforts to maintain reasonable game availability, availability and termination of availability is at the sole discretion of the Administration.

REFUNDS AND TRANSFERS: Refunds and transfers are not allowed for any donations. Donations are based on the set character name given at time of payment. Return of donations or gifting of donations will not be allowed at any time. If you wish to gift another character with your donation you must enter that character name at time of donation.

FEES: Because of transaction and administration fees a minimum of $10.00(US) is required for any donation.

DISPUTES: In the event fraud or disputes the Administration will work with the donator and in cases of possible fraud, the administration will contact the appropriate authorities (FBI and INTERPOL) if necessary to resolve any fraudulent activities and handle the transaction as required by United States and International Law.


What this means is that regardless of donating to the game you (as a player) are not entitled to anything. While there are help files on the game and sometimes benefits these are NOT guaranteed in any fashion whatsoever, can change at any time, or can be removed at any time. No access to the staff, game, or anything is guaranteed with donations. In other words, the game can close tomorrow, block you, remove you, or give you nothing. That is the policy and disclaimer.

You are trying to make it something that it is not.

If you do not like the game, don't play. If you can make a better game. Do it. But constantly threatening and complaining and moaning only will make others not respect you or the game you are trying to build.

Perhaps this is a hard concept for you but it is really basic marketing and business practice.

New Worlds Ateraan
www.ateraan.com

Drizzt1216

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2018, 7:23 PM »
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%22rail%2Bsplit%22+legal

"Rail+split" legal
returns 0 relevant results on the first page. You're making up terminology.

There is no way your donations page was written by a lawyer unless they were unaware that donations infact "do" buy ingame benefits, and that those benefits are the driving motivator behind most donations. They're  not really donations, they're purchases.

Most games have clauses stating they can close or change the rules, they don't however write things like:

Quote
Donations do not afford the donator any special access to the game, administration, or staff, nor do donations grant any special rewards, options, abilities, or status.

If they're obviously untrue.

Lets compare how the big boys do it:

https://www.pathofexile.com/legal/terms-of-use-and-privacy-policy

Quote
Cancellation of Membership: Grinding Gear Games reserves the right, acting at its sole discretion, to refuse to accept your registration request for a Member Account. To the greatest extent permitted by law, Grinding Gear Games also reserves the right, acting at its sole discretion, at any time to cancel your registration and access to your Member Account or to restrict, limit or otherwise change your existing rights of access to your Member Account, or any specific feature or benefit afforded to you in relation to your Member Account, including without limitation in respect of any Virtual Items, if it believes you have breached these Terms of Use or any other agreements you may have with Grinding Gear Games or for any other reason whatsoever. In such event you agree that Grinding Gear Games will not be required to provide you with prior notice or explanation in respect of such action. Notwithstanding the cancellation of access to your Member Account in any case, you agree you will remain fully liable for any outstanding liability owed to Grinding Gear Games. Grinding Gear Games may also, where it believes such action is necessary, without notice block IP addresses of any users who have breached the Terms of Use.

Points: Grinding Gear Games may offer ‘game points’ for sale (“Points”) which can, in accordance with the procedures and further terms specified by Grinding Gear Games from time to time, be used to pay for certain goods and services, including without limitation Virtual Items, as may be offered from time to time by Grinding Gear Games in relation to the Website, Materials and Services. You must have an active Member Account in order to purchase Points. Grinding Gear Games reserves the right to offer or cease to offer Points for purchase or to restrict the purchase of Points by you at its sole discretion. To the greatest extent permitted by law Grinding Gear Games reserves the right to alter the terms and conditions relating to any Points which you have previously purchased. Grinding Gear Games reserves the right to provide Points at no charge to any users of any of the Website, Materials and Services on such terms and conditions as Grinding Gear Games at its sole discretion deems appropriate.

Cost and Payment: The cost of any Points or any specific quantity of Points will be as specified by Grinding Gear Games at its sole discretion from time to time. Any Points available for purchase may only be purchased by such means and in accordance with any further conditions as Grinding Gear Games at its sole discretion may specify.

Non-transferable: You are not entitled to transfer any Points you purchase (or any rights in respect of any Virtual Items including without limitation those you may purchase using Points) to any other person or entity, use such Points for the benefit of any other person or entity or deal with the Points or any rights or interest in the Points in any way, except as explicitly provided for in these Terms of Use.

Points Cancellation: Grinding Gear Games reserves the right at any time without notice to cancel any Points previously acquired by you, as Grinding Gear Games at its sole discretion deems appropriate. In addition, in the event of the cancellation of your Member Account any unused Points you currently hold will automatically be deemed to also be cancelled. To the greatest extent permitted by law Grinding Gear Games will have no further liability to you with regard to any cancelled Points including with respect to any obligation to refund to you the purchase price paid for such Points.

Notice how they do reference their right to terminate your account, void your purchases, and set their own prices, but that they acknowledge that what they are doing is selling ingame items, as opposed to the deceptive contents of your donations page?

We can also compare with my former employer:

https://legal.innogames.com/staemme/en_DK/agb

Quote
2.4 In addition to the free Licensing Agreement described in 2.3, we offer Services subject to a charge ("Premium Services"). It is your choice whether or not you want to make use of these Services. Prior to such utilization, you are advised of your obligation to pay for these Services by an appropriately clear marking, and you must specifically confirm this use. Further details and information on Premium Services, in particular conclusion of the contract, description of the relevant Premium Services, payment, and revocation notice are specified in Art. 8 under "Premium Licensing Agreement".


Quote
Art. 8 Premium Licensing Agreement
8.1 The contract for Premium Services ("Premium Licensing Agreement") is concluded both via browser games as well as Mobile Apps as soon as you click on the button "Pay Now" or similar, once you have selected the Premium Service and through sending an order confirmation via Ingame-News or e-mail in which you accept the offer.
8.2 The Premium Services in particular, but not exclusively, include the provision of virtual currency (e.g. "Premium Points, Gold”) and the use of game advantages by way of virtual goods ("items").
8.3 The content, features and preconditions of the Premium Services that are valid at the time of the order and in the manner they are presented on our website and in the Mobile Apps as well as the corresponding baskets shall apply; this is conveyed to you accordingly in the relevant order confirmation.
8.4 Generally, as User, you can utilize items for a certain duration. You can also lose items during the course of a Game, for example if they are destroyed during gameplay or are taken away by other users.
8.5 Premium Services can only be purchased through a separate order. There is no permanent or repeated obligation to purchase a Premium Service.
8.6 With regard to the use of the Games via browsers, the prices valid at the time of the order, as presented in the relevant baskets and transmitted in the order confirmation for the corresponding order, shall apply. Prices include possible statutory value-added-tax.
8.7 In some instances, costs or fees ensuing from various payment providers are not included in the prices. As far as you could incur additional fees or costs through your chosen payment provider, this will be expressly pointed out. If you are playing in a browser, you can change the payment provider prior to finalizing the payment process. We do not have any influence over costs or fees raised by the payment provider. Binding information on incurred fees and costs can only be given by the payment provider.
8.8 With regard to Mobile Apps, the prices indicated in the relevant stores (e.g. App Store or Google Play Store) and in the order confirmation sent to you for the relevant order apply. Prices include possible statutory value-added-tax. Payments for Mobile Apps are processed through the relevant stores. In this case, the stores' Terms of Use and Terms of Payment apply. These GTC apply supplementary. Where there is a contradiction between the stores' GTC and these GTC, the stores' Terms of Use and Terms of Payment shall have priority.
8.9 As far as the Games simulate currencies, e.g. Premium Points, these are Premium Services and not real money. A reconversion of the Premium Services (i.e. currencies, etc.) in real money is only possible if the operation of our website and Mobile Apps as a whole are permanently discontinued. In such a case, any payments you made shall be refunded if the purchased Premium Services or items have not been unlocked.
8.10 Service payments are due in advance with the purchase of a Premium use.
8.11 As User, you are not entitled to a specific payment method.
8.12 You are liable towards us for any cancellations or reversal debits for which you are responsible (e.g. due to insufficient funds on your account). You shall also bear the costs (e.g. fees charged by the payment provider) and handling fee of EUR 4.00 incurred through such a default. We are entitled to charge these amounts together with the original payment to your account. You have the right to prove that no damage occurred, or that there was no damage equivalent to the amount demanded.
8.13 If you are in arrears with your payment, we are entitled to cease our services and to block the Account, notwithstanding your continued payment obligation. No service payment is due during this period. However, we are entitled to charge a handling fee of EUR 3.00 to unblock the account upon full settlement (provided you are responsible for the default). You have the opportunity to prove that no damage occurred or only to a minor degree. Furthermore, we are entitled to charge the statutory interest on arrears of 5 percentage points above the relevant valid base interest rate.
8.14 As part of adapting and updating the Games in terms of Art. 7.2 and Art. 7.3 of these Terms of Use, we may offer new Premium Services, items or currencies, or change or completely discontinue existing Premium Services for future use of the Games. In the event of such adaptation or cessation, we undertake to give you the opportunity to apply and use Premium Services, items or currencies you have purchased against a fee within a previously notified deadline. Alternatively, we give you, as the User, the option to convert the Premium Services, items and currencies you have purchased against a fee into a credit that you can use otherwise. In the event that a specific Game is discontinued, you have the right to use those Premium Services, items and currencies until the actual date of discontinuation and convert these into a credit, which can then be used for another Game. Further claims on your part are excluded.
8.15 We are entitled to change the prices for Premium Services at our discretion.
Art. 9 Right of revocation, revocation notice with regard to Premium Services
If you are sending your revocation by e-mail, we recommend that you enter your name and the name of the Game in the subject line to ensure speedier handling.
Revocation instructions
Right of revocation
You have the right to revoke this contract within fourteen days without giving any reasons.
The revocation period is fourteen days from the date of concluding the contract.
To exercise your right of revocation, you must inform us (InnoGames GmbH, Friesenstrasse 13, 20097 Hamburg; Tel: +49 40 7889335-0; Fax: +49 40 7889335-200, e-Mail: info@innogames.com ) of your decision to cancel this contract with a clear declaration (e.g. a letter sent by mail, fax or e-mail). You can use this sample form to submit your revocation, although it is not a condition.
To meet the revocation deadline it is sufficient that you send the notification before the end of the revocation deadline stating that you wish to exercise the revocation right.
Consequences of revocation
If you revoke this contract, we shall refund you all payments we received from you without delay and no later than fourteen days from the date on which we received your notification to withdraw from this contract. This refund includes the delivery costs (with the exception of additional costs that were incurred because you chose a different type of delivery than the most cost-efficient standard delivery). For such a refund, we will use the same method of payment you used for your original transaction unless something else has expressly been agreed to with you; you will not be charged a fee for this refund.
End of revocation notice.
Special note regarding the premature expiry of the revocation right:
Your right of revocation ends prematurely if, prior to the expiry of the revocation deadline, the contract has commenced after you, as User, have given your express approval for this and are aware that, as a consequence, you lose your revocation right once the contract has been executed.
Special note on contract wording:
We will confirm the conclusion of the contract to you, the User, via Email by sending an invoice and confirming the contract wording.

Note how they also are upfront about their in-game purchases, but also withhold the right to ban players as they see fit.

Your site is deceptive in a way that no large company would dream of operating, because they'd get sued for it.

Quote
Perhaps this is a hard concept for you but it is really basic marketing and business practice.

No, it isn't. I spent half of the last decade working for Innogames. They made 130 million euros last year and are among the worlds leaders in the browser-based gaming segment. I have more experience working with legitimate gaming companies than you do from the looks of it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 7:47 PM by Drizzt1216 »

Teryel

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2018, 8:12 PM »
I have more experience working with legitimate gaming companies than you do from the looks of it.

Well, I mean, more than 0?

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 12:26 AM »
Ateraan, Drizzt, This is looking like a rivalry on steroids, Ateraan, Post a link to your ToS. If you don't have that... well please write one so you can get players who know what they are getting into. Drizzt, some people ARE going to want to fork over money to a game... by the hundreds. I saw it on lost souls, I will see it many more places before I die. That doesn't justify threatening a community member that from what I see. is an active MUD admin. I have played his mud, it is fun for me, but not something I would commit to. So I am a neutral party here. Listen to my arguement that you guys have a serious problem with each other. I WAS hunted like a dog on a mud, I played it for 5 years after that. I was the better person and I moved on. I don't know what to suggest with this much hatred though. Writing a novella? I write best when I am angry. Anyway, if an community manager sees this wall of text. Know this is a can of worms at best, and a trap for screaming and arguement at most.

Drizzt1216

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2018, 1:12 AM »
Drizzt, some people ARE going to want to fork over money to a game... by the hundreds.

You seem to be misconstruing my issue with Ateraan.

I specifically mentioned that I spent half of the last decade working for a company that makes commercial games and made over $160 million USD last year (130 million euros), I don't have a problem with people running commercial games. I have a problem with deceptive business tactics and games falsely advertising themselves as not being pay-for-perks.

The way he runs his MUD is not legal.

It's not "hatred" to put your foot down on criminal behavior. It's the "right thing" to do.

Quote from: Breaker_Asylum
That doesn't justify threatening a community member that from what I see. is an active MUD admin.

I don't see how being a MUD Admin makes you above the law?

It's not particularly relevant, but I've worked on MUDs longer than Ateraan has existed. I also contribute to the community, whereas he just leeches from it. He's acknowledged multiple times he's never played MUDs other than his own. His code is not public, he does not go out of his way to help others. The only reason he posts here is because he likes to advertise his game because doing so makes him $$$. He cares not one iota about the greater MUD community.

I'm also not making threats. He made it clear he thinks his business practices are fine and that he won't change them. From now on I'm not asking him to adhere to the law, I'm making him.

https://i.imgur.com/JjglR5H.png I already filed a formal complaint with the FTC, and contacted SoftCom his hosting provider to make them aware of his violations of section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commision Act.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 1:54 AM by Drizzt1216 »

Grogslinger

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Re: Ateraan
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2018, 2:24 AM »
I specifically mentioned that I spent half of the last decade working for a company that makes commercial games and made over $160 million USD

That's pretty cool. In what capacity did you work for said company?

As weak as it may or may not be, the agreement posted from Ateraan's site seem to be the contract a user abides when "donating".  Does it not state, in a reasonable interpretation, what the user should expect when sending in money? (That would be: absolutely nothing).