View Full Forums : conflict of interest? SOE paid for VIP's and Community leaders to go to Fan Faire


Wolfshead
11-04-2004, 04:35 AM
Today I read a post on the Mage's Tower/Compendium that SOE paid for the hotel and airfare for certain EQ Community Leaders and VIP's (people who attended the EQ Guild Summit this past summer). Presumably they paid for the Fan Faire registration as well.

Here is the Fan Faire report by Xalmat:

http://forum.magecompendium.com/viewtopic.php?t=18681

"How did I get there? Very simple. Much like they did for the guild summit, SOE paid for air faire and hotel reservations for the "Community Leaders" and special VIP, including most of the guild leaders that went to the guild summit and admins for the various class sites. We got a bag of phat loot on arrival (and its a big bag), a special VIP badge, and we got to have lunch with all the devs."

Am I the only person that feels there is something unseemly about certain members of the EQ Community being treated differently then others when they get special VIP status at EQ events and are essentially paid to be there? I really have to wonder if SOE is trying to somehow influence the opinions of the EQ Community when our community leaders are flown out to SOE functions, wined and dined and given special gifts. Is this really ethical?

I have to ask how readily will EQ Community leaders critisize SOE if and when the need arises when issues come up if they are in fact given special status and rewarded with perks, free airline tickets, free hotel rooms and other gifts? I am not accusing anyone of bias but just bringing this matter to the attention of everyone as I believe this is a questionable pratice by SOE and seems unethical. I've read a few Fan Faire reports from Gemdiver and Loral and not once did they mention if they were flown out to New Orleans at SOE's expense.

Why should regular rank and file attendees to the EQ Fan Faire have to pay for their transportation, accomodations and registration while special VIP members get it for free? I also wonder why these VIP's had special lunch with the EQ Devs at a time when they have all but ceased communication on the various class boards and on their very own forums?

If our so-called community leaders are going to represent *us* the community then shouldn't we be given full disclosure of their relationship to SOE to avoid a potential conflict of interest? This goes for every community in EQ regardless of class. I'm very concerned that the advocacy of our class issues will be somewhat potentially hampered if SOE continues to provide perks at SOE events such as the EQ Guild Summit, Fan Faires. Please note this is not an accusation but just attempt to examine whether or not this practice by SOE is really in the best interests of the various class communities. Thank you.

Onetree Tallbarque
11-04-2004, 06:19 AM
When trying to develop a community, if there isn't enough of a grassroots effort going on you have to step in and give the process a boost. You do this by enlisting cheerleaders. No, not the kind with pom poms. In this world the cheerleaders are writers of influence. People who frequently command eyeballs.

Makes you wonder if their opinions are wholely their own or the result of subtle marketing tactics. It makes you question their authenticity, doesn't it.


(This aspect can be applied to many types of communities. The world of gaming is but a brush stroke in the big picture. See it. Recognize it. Understand it for what it is. Accept only the real part. Only by policing the thoughts that enter you do you maintain individual self-control.)


"Everyone is equal."

"Some are more equal than others."

--George Orwell, Animal Farm

Tiane
11-04-2004, 06:43 AM
Well I didnt go, and nobody around here mentioned getting a free ride within my earshot. /shrug.

http://www.legendmud.org/raph/gaming/smallworlds_files/frame.htm

All your answers are contained in the slide show, brought to you by our old friend Raph Koster! 8)

Thicket Tundrabog
11-04-2004, 07:39 AM
I think it's perfectly Ok for SoE to pay for EQ notables to come to the Fan Faire. It's not the slightest bit unseemly. Why should it upset me that someone got a nice perc? I'm happy for them.

Anka
11-04-2004, 08:23 AM
You can't expect volunteer representatives to pay for travel and accomodation to all these events. Conversely, they wouldn't be much good as representatives if they didn't attend.

Remi
11-04-2004, 09:57 AM
First, this is all about a game. We're not talking about Judges or Housing inspectors or anything similar where bribes and pay offs would actually make a serious difference.

Second, the community leaders do, in fact, provide a service to SoE, albeit indirectly and voluntarily. Like OneTree mentioned, the communities are like Cheerleaders and help build up enthusiasm and interest in the game.

I have absolutely no problem with SoE rewarding the community leaders' efforts by paying their way to the fan faires. After all, some folks on the Grove would be as interested, if not more so, to meet Sobe in person as they might be interested in meeting a developer. Having the Community Leaders at the Fan Faires also builds interest in attending the Fan Faires. It also allows those Community Leaders to get first hand information to communicate to the rest of us, that they might otherwise miss if they didn't attend the fan faires.

Having said that, most Movie Critics frequently get the movies they review for free. They are sent pre-release to the Critics on CD. This is convenient for the Critic, can help generate pre-release publicity. Critics are also invited to the premiers for free as well as to the Oscar post-parties for schmoozing. While some might be influenced by these freebies, most aren't and continue to critique movies honestly. I think the same can be said for EQ's Community Leaders.

To summarize, I don't see it as a conflict of interest, but rather good business on the part of SOE that doesn't hurt anyone, and rewards the Community Leaders for what they do for the game and for us.

Chenier
11-04-2004, 10:36 AM
As someone who has been honored by SOE with a voice and access to those who can effect change, you're asking me to defend myself. Makes me sad.

Yes, SOE paid for my plane ticket, hotel room and Fan Faire registration. Unless Xalmat got a different bag than I got, I got the same bag of goodies that every other attendee received (t-shirt, name badge, demo cd to Champions of Norrath and EverQuest Starter Pack cd, which I think is just old world, to give to a friend). If SOE had not sponsored my trip, I would not have been able to attend.

Can I be "bought" for so little? Probably little I can say that would convince those who want to believe what they want, but to say it plainly, no.

Am a raving, frothing-at-the-mouth, rabid, bitter EverQuest player, pinning their perverable butts to the wall on every issue? Uh, no, because no one listens to those people. Am I persistant? Hell yes. Do I feel like I'm fulfilling this honor that SOE and you, the community, have bestowed upon me? I am certainly trying my hardest.

I will tell you one opinion of mine for certain that has changed since I attended the Guild Summit and is reaffirmed nearly daily; I am amazed at the level and amount of negativity many EQ players can have and how they can absolutely refuse to see anything positive or as a step forward. Perhaps it's just common human nature. I get very depressed by seeing it here and on other boards - to the point where I want to say "fine, I'll just ignore all of this, stop being involved and just play the game"....but that's giving in. I choose to live real life and this, right here, online life less negatively.

Am I going to toot my own horn on every issue or point I feel like that I personally have effected change upon just to prove and defend myself? Good lord no. I am just a single, lowly, humble member of a larger group, a team of people, working, many times cantancerously, together to effect change.

If the millions of dollars of free hardware and world travel I receive as a part of my real life job aren't enough to "buy" me for particular hardware companies I work with, I don't think a plane ticket and a hotel room will either. =)

Stewwy
11-04-2004, 10:40 AM
You don't need to defend yourself Chenier! Anyone who frequents and is a member of this community knows you're not a fanboy (or girl) and that you can't be bought.

tnias
11-04-2004, 12:08 PM
... after having traveled over half the planet to attend the last Fan Faire, I was lucky enough to have met and spent time with Chenier. I'm a nobody player from a non-uber guild, formerly from Rodcet server. I just want to note that I was very impressed by Chenier's honest efforts to speak with the GMs and developers at the FF. I had no idea SOE paid for her trip, but the end result is that she can bring up to date and accurate information to the player base at large. To lil ol' me, knowing Chenier couldn't have made it to the FF without the paid trip, I'm glad she got it. IMHO SOE paying to bring non-employees to their sponsored functions in order to build trust with the players and get feedback from the community is a good thing. While SOE may never pay for me to go to a Fan Faire, I don't mind paying my own way because when it comes down to it, we all do this in the spirit of fun. :wiggle:

Len the Druid
11-04-2004, 12:30 PM
You're only now figuring this out? :dance:

Cassea
11-04-2004, 01:26 PM
It only becomes a bribe if the people who attended for free let it.

Of course I wonder how many people will be invited back next time if they wrote a bad report ROTFL.

-Cass

P.S. I'm more concerned that there was little or no representation of the "non-raider" or non-large guild player which is the majority of the players.

P.P.S. It's been said that this was just the first of many and that perhaps the casual player will be represented at the next one - well when is the next one? :)

Sobe Silvertree
11-04-2004, 02:38 PM
------------------------------------------------------------
United Airlines (US Airways)
09/07/04 972.40 Master Money Purchase
UNITED WOODALE IL

10/26/04 571.40 Master Money Purchase
AIRTRANAI ATLANTA GA

Hilton (Reservation)
09/07/04 164.59 Master Money Purchase
HILTON HOTELS ADV NEW ORLEANS LA

Hilton
11/03/04 1363.54 Master Money Purchase
HILTON HOTELS NEW ORLEANS LA

Hilton (Reservation)
10/29/04 148.77 Master Money Purchase
HILTON HOTELS ADV

Still waiting for one more charge.

SoE
10/19/04 12.95 Master Money Purchase
SOE*STATION EVERQU858-537-0898 CA

Any questions?

Len the Druid
11-04-2004, 03:15 PM
Yes. When is the epic going to be fixed? :dance:

Cassea
11-04-2004, 03:26 PM
My prior post was about the big summit. I don't think anyone got free portage to the Fan Faire.


Hey Sobe... I thought they had direct flights from Chicago to New Orleans?

-Cass

Sobe Silvertree
11-04-2004, 03:35 PM
Yes. When is the epic going to be fixed? :dance:
You might want to ask your Druid Class Representative in this thread (http://thedruidsgrove.org/forums/showthread.php?t=9971).. that would be Scirocco..

Hey Sobe... I thought they had direct flights from Chicago to New Orleans?

I live in NH (MHT) - I believe what your reading is just where it was billed (as in there address) - thats on my Web Statement and is the Address of United Airlines when you purchase a ticket on line.

Cassea
11-04-2004, 03:48 PM
Ahhhhh then Chicago or Atlanta it is :)

Considering how cold it is in Chicago now Atlanta was the better choice.

Now if you want a real fun time everyone should fly to Chicago and take the party train down to New Orleans :)

Next time

-Cass

oddjob1244
11-04-2004, 04:03 PM
Am I the only person that feels there is something unseemly about certain members of the EQ Community being treated differently then others when they get special VIP status at EQ events and are essentially paid to be there? I really have to wonder if SOE is trying to somehow influence the opinions of the EQ Community when our community leaders are flown out to SOE functions, wined and dined and given special gifts. Is this really ethical?

Not really diffrent from any other company in the world. One trip to Las Vegas will show you this.

Nanyea The Wayward
11-04-2004, 04:35 PM
Sobe dropped some major cash at this fanfaire!

Arienne
11-04-2004, 04:41 PM
Am I the only person that feels there is something unseemly about certain members of the EQ Community being treated differently then others when they get special VIP status at EQ events and are essentially paid to be there? I really have to wonder if SOE is trying to somehow influence the opinions of the EQ Community when our community leaders are flown out to SOE functions, wined and dined and given special gifts. Is this really ethical?What it makes ME think is that perhaps it will influence others to come out of the shadows and step up to the plate! But influencing them? It might make them more interested in helping make things in the game RIGHT. Honestly, if SOE paid for say... the druid rep to go... it wouldn't affect the feedback from ME or any other druid that I know. What it might do is give the druid rep some one-on-one with the right people OR even help build a rapport with thoes they have to work with at SOE to successfully represent us. If you honestly think that a person representing a class FOR the players TO the devs has to have an adversarial relationship you are sadly naive about how to be successful in any business. If SOE is willing to help foster a relationship to BOTH the players' and the game devs' it's a win-win for all!

**edit**
Sobe, maybe you need to submit those expenses to SOE for reimbursement!! It would sure pay for a lot of server bandwidth for The Druids Grove! :grin:

Remi
11-04-2004, 05:41 PM
LOL Given the timing of the post (Fan Faire just ended), I guess I glossed over that it related to the Guild Summit, and wasn't specific to the Fan Faires. But, as applied to the summit, not only don't I think it was a conflict of interest, but I also think it was actually appropriate for SoE to pay the attendees' expenses. Such attendance was by SoE invite only and for the benefit of their game. It was also at the SoE premises.

Indeed, if the Guild Summit was limited to only those who were not only able, but also willing, to pay to travel to San Diego for a weekend, I think that might have skewed the results and limited the spectrum of possible suggestions made by the attendees.

This was similar to, if not the same as, the many polling and survey companies who pay people to participate in surveys and polls about various commercial products. Nothing wrong with that, nor is it considered a conflict of interest.

LauranCoromell
11-04-2004, 05:44 PM
That Sobe or Chenier feel the need to answer to people about this trip is very sad.

I appreciate all you do guys, thank you for taking your time. And Sobe for not only the time but the large investment of your personal funds to not only run this site but also attend these functions to help keep druid interests in the forefront and to bring us information straight from the devs.

A big hug and thank you to Sobe and to all of our admins here, appreciate it guys.

Larellion
11-04-2004, 07:00 PM
I have complete faith in our representatives to represent us to the best of their ability and if SoE pay for the flights and so on so that they can attend more events and represent us more often kudus to them as well.

Some people are just small minded or jealous perhaps, our class representatives have been long standing members of this community and are widely respected by what I figure as a vast majority of the population here.

The entire questioning of their interests with regards to their roles as class/community representatives leaves a bad taste in my mouth, keep up the good work I for one trust that you do all you can for us and our class.

Tiane
11-04-2004, 07:33 PM
Nah, to be honest, you should always question those with power and authority. It's only when you dont, when you blindly buy whatever line that someone is selling, that you become vulnerable to being misled.

Some people dont seem able to distinguish between practical cynicism and outright distrust/disloyalty... some might say a notable world leader has trouble with that very thing... But others believe that it's their duty to question those who would lead. Not out of pettyness or small mindedness, but out of a sense of responsibility, so that we are never blindly led down any path that ends in terrible mistakes.

So question away, it's good for you! Just dont be saddened when there turns out to be no conspiracy or bad intent. 8)

Wolfshead
11-04-2004, 08:24 PM
As someone who has been honored by SOE with a voice and access to those who can effect change, you're asking me to defend myself. Makes me sad.

Chenier, I directed my question openly to the EQ community at large. I did not mention you or imply you. In fact until you replied I had no idea who among the members of the Grove had been the recipient of the generosity of SOE if at all. I specifically stated twice in my original post that this was not an accusation directed at anyone, just a question on whether or not the practice of a company paying for expenses for certain influential people was ethical. I posted on the Grove because I know it's a respectable EQ forum where one can engage in polite discourse and reach many EQ players.

Yes, SOE paid for my plane ticket, hotel room and Fan Faire registration. Unless Xalmat got a different bag than I got, I got the same bag of goodies that every other attendee received (t-shirt, name badge, demo cd to Champions of Norrath and EverQuest Starter Pack cd, which I think is just old world, to give to a friend). If SOE had not sponsored my trip, I would not have been able to attend.

Can I be "bought" for so little? Probably little I can say that would convince those who want to believe what they want, but to say it plainly, no.

I never once questioned your integrity. I just asked a few basic questions that speak to the possible ethical issues raised by a company that feels it has to pay the expenses influential community leaders, EQ website owners and other EQ luminaries to attend their promotional events. Chenier you have my honest thanks for anything you have done to communicate the issues of the players to SOE.

Am a raving, frothing-at-the-mouth, rabid, bitter EverQuest player, pinning their perverable butts to the wall on every issue? Uh, no, because no one listens to those people. Am I persistant? Hell yes. Do I feel like I'm fulfilling this honor that SOE and you, the community, have bestowed upon me? I am certainly trying my hardest.

I will tell you one opinion of mine for certain that has changed since I attended the Guild Summit and is reaffirmed nearly daily; I am amazed at the level and amount of negativity many EQ players can have and how they can absolutely refuse to see anything positive or as a step forward. Perhaps it's just common human nature. I get very depressed by seeing it here and on other boards - to the point where I want to say "fine, I'll just ignore all of this, stop being involved and just play the game"....but that's giving in. I choose to live real life and this, right here, online life less negatively.

You are entitled to your mischaracterization of those of us that are passionate about EQ as "negative". Your style may be entirely different then my style. Fair enough. Please do not confuse genuine passion about EQ with unproductive negative ranting. SOE has consistantly demonstrated in the past it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease as far as how they react to those of us in the general community that are concerned about issues and want to see some change. SOE has nobody to blame but itself for creating an adversarial system between itself and more vocal members of the community. We tried the quiet, reserved way but gave up long ago when that didn't work. SOE is reactive instead of proactive and is infamous in the industry for how they've ignored the players. Only when major guilds started leaving EQ did they bother to concoct a "summit" in order to save face in light of growing player disatisfaction with SOE's handling of EQ.

Getting back to the topic at hand, the fact of the matter is until the post on the Mages Compendium by the attendee to the Fan Faire nobody knew that SOE was paying for airfare, accomodations, etc. for certain attendees. In fact it was not mentioned on this forum until I brought up the matter. Why were SOE and the Community leaders so secretive about this? I think in the best interests of EQ SOE should publish a list of all of the members of various EQ communities that are getting perks and other forms of compensation for their services as Community Leaders and Honored Guests. Now maybe this kind of thing is not important to some but it is important to me.

As far as I know this is the first Fan Faire that SOE has held where Community Leaders had their expenses paid. I know many people that would have like to have attended but could not afford to do so. Those people's opinions and love for EQ are no better or worse then yours and just as valid--yet SOE decided to pay your way.

The EQ Guild Summit was different in that it was a one time only event and everyone there had their expenses paid unlike the Fan Faire where rank and file attendees had to pay for everything. Therefore it would be understandable that on rare occasions this kind of thing would be done. I don't think it's necessary to attend a Fan Faire to be an effective community leader. Certainly the EQ Devs do not have to wait for a private lunch affair with VIP community leaders if they want to communicate with the EQ community at large. I also don't think that SOE needs to segregate the EQ community into leaders who get perks and the rest of us poor slobs who don't.

We live in a day and age where agressive marketing departments of gaming companies are desperate to sway public opinion and will do all they can to achieve their goals and control the editorial opinions of major EQ fansites. We see cases of a major EQ fansite that has succumbed to the infuence of SOE.

Gezak a former staffer at the EQ Vault has much to say about this:

http://www.gezak.com/article103.html


As i see it, the goal is not to inform the customer, the goal is to create interest in the game and the website, to sell copies of the game and earn advertisment money for the hits o*n the site. If you are looking for a place where someone will inform you and not listen to paid officials run the company line, look elsewhere.

EQ2 Vault has, in the past, especially through its paid officials, released many reviews and articles that can o*nly be described as "not corresponding to reality", and they seemingly have no intention of changing that.

There is a large amount of smaller websites run by individuals that will give you a much better picture, because they dont get paid to glorify the game.

It's disturbing comments like that have me very worried about the depths that SOE will go to influence opinion. Today the video game industry rivals the motion picture industry for revenues and obviously it has deep pockets. Our community websites seemed to be the last haven for the players free from the influence of SOE's marketing budget. Please let that noble tradition continue.

We need true leaders not compensated cheerleaders. Perhaps I'm naive when I think that each class community should operate at an arms length from SOE's marketing department and that all EQ players have an equal voice. However I think it's vital to the best interests of the players that we all have full disclosure about who's getting what from SOE. At least then we can make an informed choice about what websites and community leaders we can trust.

Xalmat
11-04-2004, 08:24 PM
Wolfshead, if you believe I've been bought out by SOE, just say so. And do it to my face please. You'll see my email, ICQ, AIM, and YIM links below this post.

Wolfshead
11-04-2004, 08:31 PM
Wolfshead, if you believe I've been bought out by SOE, just say so. And do it to my face please. You'll see my email, ICQ, AIM, and YIM links below this post.

Xalmat all I did was copy a portion of your excellent Fan Faire report and included it in my post. I have made no such accusations about any Community Leaders being bought out by SOE including yourself. Instead I brought up concerns about the ethical propriety of a gaming company extending perks to a select group of people. Thank you for having the honesty to openly acknowledge to the Mages Compendium that SOE did in fact pay for your airfare and lodgings at the Fan Faire in New Orleans. Other Community Members had the same benefits but did not acknowledge assistance from SOE in attending the Fan Faire to their respective communities.

If you wish to address the substance of my posts on this subject I'd welcome the opportuntity to comment on them. Thank you.

Scirocco
11-04-2004, 08:42 PM
Getting back to the topic at hand, the fact of the matter is until the post on the Mages Compendium by the attendee to the Fan Faire nobody knew that SOE was paying for airfare, accomodations, etc. for certain attendees. In fact it was not mentioned on this forum until I brought up the matter. Why were SOE and the Community leaders so secretive about this?


I wouldn't call it secretive. It probably wasn't brought up because it really didn't matter, and these particular invites probably didn't go out until fairly close to the FF date. From SOE's perspective, it's good public relations, it fosters the player community, and they garner good ideas and good discussions. And players who weren't otherwise going to go get an opportunity to do so.

If there were evidence of someone being bought off, you might have something to grind. But Chenier always was an SOE fangrrl....:)

jtoast
11-04-2004, 08:58 PM
I don't see it as a problem. The day that the first dripping nasty slimy bit of sludge climbed out onto land and called himself/herself "salesman" was the day of the first "business lunch" and it all progressed from there.

Professional sportswriters get tickets/expenses paid to go to sports events, restaurant critics eat for free and Intel has paid my way out to more than one channel conference in the last few years (where I received a ton of free hardware/tshirts/etc to boot.)

Gaming is big business and reviews/opinions can make or break a game. If you want proof just look at what happened when Woody over at Gucomics (www.gucomics.com) started started his boycott thread in regards to OoW. He pretty much singlehandedly caused the delay of the expansion by 4 weeks.

Are there sites out there that cater to companies instead of giving honest, intelligent reviews? Of course there are.

There are also sites out there like TDG who have proven time and time again, day in and day out over the last 5 years that you don't have to compromise the truth to be successful.

Chenier
11-04-2004, 09:02 PM
Oh that helps Scir....pfft

Yes, I like this game. It's why I still play, it's why I still care. There was a time when I didn't and I left the game. But I came back because I wanted to play.

I stay involved now with these politics and with moderating and with working with devs because I believe that we can effect change and is worth fighting for and is worth working on.

To Wolf, basically, you're trolling for an argument, so I'm not gonna reply. You're entitled to your opinions, I'm entitled to mine. I know who I am and what I represent and most of this community here does. Perhaps if you spend a bit more time here, you can get to know us too. =)

Xalmat, you are the man. Don't let this get you down. /hug =)

Stormhaven
11-04-2004, 09:07 PM
Actually I think SOE has to pay for people like Chen to go to the FF because it's like "recharging her" to see the positive side of EQ again, after we all beat her down with the negative here ;)

Xalmat
11-04-2004, 09:33 PM
Xalmat, you are the man. Don't let this get you down. /hug =)
Since when did I care what other people think about me? :P

Cassea
11-04-2004, 10:11 PM
Call me a rebel but I most certainly "do" thing it's important to publically acknowledge when such a huge perk is given. This was not a free mousemat after all but basically a pre-paid junket like companies give some politicians.

Does this mean that I would pass up a free vacation? Heck no! but I would be open and honest about it and I think that was done here so no harm no foul IMHO.

Now if this individual was being paid to be "our" community rep or reporting under the guise of being an "objective" reporter then this most certainly would have been inproper but as a community volunteer.... take the free trip and enjoy!

It's a small price to pay for all your hard work.

Don't let anyone fool you. Gaming is now big business which is why "most" (yes I said most) gaming magazines are near useless these days as they take bribes in the form of full page ads when they give good reviews or free coverage. This is why I stopped subscribing to these magazines - their reviews are not worth the paper they are printed on. The small game companies get average reviews at best (they can't afford those expensive ads) and they are lucky if they even get a half page review - most only get a few paragraphs.

So back on topic.

Should community reps accept free vacations from the company? You betcha - why not - but IMHO they have to disclose this up front. If it was found out later that you accepted a free vacation without disclosing it anything positive you say about the company (even if it is factual and objective) will get tossed into the dumper by many people as being a "storebought" opinion.

-Cass

Chenier
11-05-2004, 01:24 AM
I'll be sure to let you know the next time a certain company flies me to Spain to review their new product line as well, k?

/sigh

If we had posted in big, fat red letters on the front page "Hey SOE's paying for flights and hotels for some of us to go to FF!", don't you think that would have opened this discussion sooner and more than likely, with worse results? And to what end? Nothing.

I'm done discussing this - you wanna make me and those who were honored with this out to be bad guys, fine. But it'll be in the Unkempt Druids section.



someone tell me again WHY I try...

LauranCoromell
11-05-2004, 01:46 AM
Chenier, keep your chin up and that smile, thank you for working for TDG and for druids in general :).

Gloriana
11-05-2004, 02:22 AM
Hey Chenier, I didn't get a goodie bag :(

*edit* Did you make me a sig? I don't remember doing that!

Fenmarel the Banisher
11-05-2004, 06:01 AM
i think it's very appropriate to ask questions like this. I think alot of people will be asking such questions when EQ2 is released in the state it is in.

For the record this isn't the first time that SOE has given certain people a free ride and, why not? They get great milage out of the money they spend.

Thicket Tundrabog
11-05-2004, 07:49 AM
I was somewhat mild in my first post on this thread, but the more I read and think about things, the more it annoys me.

The original poster questioned the ethics of the individuals that accepted free travel and percs from SoE. Despite his defensive protestations, that's exactly what he did. If my personal ethics were challenged, I would be royally ticked off, so I can appreciate the concerns of Sobe, Chenier and others.

Perhaps it wasn't the original poster's intent. It doesn't matter. It wasn't fair, in my opinion.

Judging from the original poster's later responses, he is able to dish it out, but can't take it. Sucks to have your motives questioned, doesn't it? Motives such as jealousy, trolling, seeking to cause controversy, attacking the integrity of respected folks etc. Not particularly fair maybe, but you reap what you sow.

Thicket

Darlyn
11-05-2004, 07:59 AM
To all that received such a great incentive to get to the New Orleans Fan Faire, discuss further issues of the Summit congrats and I hope you had an awesome time.
To all that didnt get a free ride, (cause you contribute how much to the community?)Too bad so sad!!

/huge hugs to TDG staff that went.

Shadowfrost
11-05-2004, 09:02 AM
Actually there's no basis for this thread whatsoever.

A "conflict of interest" in the sense you're complaining about happens when someone who is a paid agent of one party in a business matter also receives a payment from another party, and then allows that second payment to influence their conduct to the detriment of the first party.

Did you pay Chenier or Sobe or any of the others to represent you at the Fan Faire? (Note that donations given to the Druid's Grove website don't count as paying people to represent you.)

If you didn't, then the whole question of "conflict of interest" simply doesn't arise and I'd remind you that the Fan Faire attendees have no duty to any particular individuals at all.

SummerDruid
11-05-2004, 09:19 AM
Personally, i just have to say that I dont think anything is wrong with a paid trip involving something you put a lot of time and effort into.

Just last week, I decided it was time for me to finally get OoW, so I head on over to the EB. While I was there searching for a copy, the kid that works there was following me around and asking me if I am going to play eq2, that it looks really good, he is in beta and I should get it, and so forth...

I told him I wasnt interested in eq2 (cause im really not at this point) and I wasnt done with EQ1 yet. He said that SOE is offering a prize to whichever store (I was in Electronic Boutique, dont know if it applies to other stores as well) sells the most copies of EQ2 in a certain time period. The entire staff of the store is awarded with free eq2 accounts and a free lifetime subscription to EQ2, never have to pay a monthly fee...

Its just a bit of incentive, thats all. Its business and they want to look good :)

I hope everyone that got a free trip had a blast! :band:

beasthealer
11-05-2004, 12:08 PM
I don't give **** who get what.
If someone who is supposed to represent a community (be it druids/mages/whatever) and he get paid to go to fan fair and other places then it may or may not affect his actions in the future but from a logical and financial point of view it make NO sense for such a person to change his action.

If it affect his actions in the future then pretty fast the community will stop following him since they will feel he does not represent them. if he will lose his place in the community SOE will not buy him future trips to fun places since he is no longer representing the communtiy.

So
IF SOE don't pay people to go to fan fair then they are less affective in doing there "job" for us i.e. representing us but it wont affect how they think about Soe and how they do there "job" only in how well they can do it.
If Soe Does pay them it make sense for them to go and do there "job" better so they can get those parks again.

I hope this answer your question.

sunpuppy
11-05-2004, 01:08 PM
EQ2 Vault has, in the past, especially through its paid officials, released many reviews and articles that can o*nly be described as "not corresponding to reality", and they seemingly have no intention of changing that

If you see the main sites IGN, Gamespot etc as anything other than mouthpieces of the gaming companies 99% of the time then you're a fool. For EQ you need to come to the sites like druids grove.

The druids grove reps that went for free, personally I trust them to be fairly unbiased despite the free trip because they have consistently shown in the past that they work for the members of this community.

I think the way you brought this issue up was rude and a bit too much "j'accuse!!!" but at the same time the people ripping into you for even mentioning it are over the line. It's important that people know what SoE is doing with the various communities. Forming opinions without all the possible facts in hand is a very bad habit to get into.

Arienne
11-05-2004, 02:08 PM
I dunnooooo....

Chenier has already admitted to actually LIKING EQ and I'm beginning to think that she may be influencing others to jump in that bed with the devil, too. I say, if you can't HATE EQ then you can't play it effectively and CERTAINLY can't be expected to represent those who do! And I'll bet *that mage* likes EQ as well.

I haven't seen such a TRANSPARENT Communist plot since the Cold War!! :frocket:

Artio
11-05-2004, 03:04 PM
I see no problem with what they did. It's a business practice plain and simple. No plot. SOE knows that most of these representatives have these sites because they like the game and are doing a service for the community for free. They don't get paid to keep the sites going. So, they help the representatives with the expenses so that they can attend the fair.

I think Sobe and the others have proven time and time again that they won't sell out.

my 2cp

Artio

Chenier
11-05-2004, 04:31 PM
Chenier has already admitted to actually LIKING EQ and I'm beginning to think that she may be influencing others to jump in that bed with the devil, too.
Would it make you feel better that I was very sad Absor wasn't there so that I could "express the druid community's reaction to the druid epic quest, specifically the goblin hider event"? =)

Sobe Silvertree
11-05-2004, 04:52 PM
As a community we been up for over 5 years. We are the OLDEST class site in existence and we will remain.. a community for the community site. All I expect is those that can.. please donate.. those that can't please support us, post (or psot!) and tell others of our site.. no matter the game.

If you EVER see us doing anything you feel that is against the "entire interest" of the community STAND up. We will correct it!

As for the bonus trip we got for Chenier.. Just so you all know.. I requested it - I called her.. I asked her to go.. I told her I pay for the trip. She was like you don't need to do that. I talked to SoE and told them of my intentions of bringing a lot of the Grove over this time, they offered to help pay. We got 1 slot from them. You think me to be a moron.. hell its a free trip who wouldn't turn it down.. there was NO strings attached and they know I can't be manipulated anyhow.. it was an offer of generosity on their part and they had it in the budget to do it.. I don't even feel its a perk.. perks are for salesman.. This was a Bonus! Quite frankly They didn't have to do it! - Now those sites that bitched because some of them were told that they HAD to pay.. because they make REAL money off EQ.. yea I bet you didn't know that.. I say KUDO's to SoE for that! And yes some did bitch and didn't show up.. because they didn't get a free trip!

This is a hobby though its expensive.. I enjoy making sure "our" community stays strong and continues to stay with the times. As for the only person Chenier answers to.. thats me.. as to who I answer to.. Thats the Community.

So who all went.. how much did we personally spend?
I went (North East US)
Rahjeir went (North East US)
Koldriana went (Canada eh?.. love your accent!)
Ladred went (Down South!)
Scirocco was going to go but had to cancel.. that boy works more then me!

Chenier (West Coast) You think they payed for her food and drinks.. (she can DRINK too!)

As for how much we personally spent.. Who cares.. we were there.. (for my bill its up above!)

The question I have is .. Did the original poster go to the Fanfaire? If so.. did he provide feedback to the Community? How far does he go day in and day out to take part and make sure the communities have a place to talk.. to vent.. to just say this IS my home? I don't want to attack you in anyway but this type of post is purely destructive and quite frankly an assumption and not a fact.

Anyhow this thread is down right pissing me off.. I won't close it.. but right now it just get my goat so to speak.. SoE does something nice and someone bitches about it.. WTF over! - what do you want them to do.. Nerf the budget .. Not everyone has money but they are willing to help the community out as much as they can - none of them expected a free trip.. and if they do.. then! THEN! you have an issue.. I am almost betting that Xalmat was Invited.. and it was more of a surprize .... THEN A PERK!

As to the original Summit.. IT WAS SHORT NOTICE! I think they gave them 1 Week Notice.. maybe a week and a half.. of course SoE was going to pay for it.. that was the RIGHT thing to do. We are real people.. saving for our kids college.. or our next meal.. or that Porche 911.. (NM).. but I think you get my point.. we all come from different lives.. we do different things.. we have different budgets and we try our best in our communities we partake and call our home.

Sobe Silvertree
11-05-2004, 05:05 PM
Oh and one more thing.. you know what I was doing there (and Rahjeir).. You have to remember MY job here on the Grove is to Administer the Entire TDG Network.. it was working with 2 International Customer Service Management team members and the Customer Service Supervisor making sure we are prepared.. both with Languages and Board Functionality to a whole new world of EQ'rs and to create alternative means to help our community and other communities like ours so that when we as the Staff see Customer Service type issues that we can direct their attention to and possibly provide direct feedback to that thread. - So yea.. I was working for you!

As to those that provide positive notes.. I apologize straight up for my candor in this thread .. My apologies, I usually try to post a bit more tactful.

Gnizmo
11-05-2004, 05:22 PM
someone tell me again WHY I try...

Because there are those amongst us that care and truly appreciate your effort?

As for you Sobe, don't apologize for your reaction. It was more than called for. I was about to do a similar post, but eh ya beat me to the punch. Anyone retarded enough to react in this manner to absolutly nothing at all deserves anything he gets.

guluvasea
11-05-2004, 06:45 PM
wow dude...

you are still responding to the initial idiotic post of this thread?

You, and everyone else who is associated with TDG plays everquest. Your love for the game is at least equal to mine. If you can weasel some air faire out of SOE to attend at faires....go for it...

If it weren't for you and others, the druid class would be a lot worse off...


hmmm... as to buying Chenier's loyalty....


Candy, little girl?

;)
dekkon

Sobe Silvertree
11-05-2004, 07:00 PM
Actual its me that respects her.. and I am loyal to my entire staff and community.. I just don't have the money to send you all there :( sorry. Where's my winning powerball numbers!

Cassea
11-05-2004, 07:00 PM
I think almost everyone has stated, including me, that there was nothing wrong with going.... heck I would have gone.

I did say that I would have told people about it and they did so I hope no one is mad because I expressed an opinion that I would have taken the trip but been public about it.

Had I paid for it.... well it's your own hard earned $$$ so do as you wish. Had the cost been reasonable (and I was invited ROTFL) I would have loved to go.

Can I ask one thing about the trip if you are allowed to talk about it?

I'm dying to know what a typical "server" looks like. Is ECI, my home server, a room with "ECI" on the door and inside are a hundred computers - one for every 3-4 zones? Do they have an auditorium sized room with a thousand computers. I would die to see their set up :)

Thanks and I hope you all had a great time!

-Cass

P.S. I picture each server witha "HAL2000" in charge saying "Welcome Sobe - can I get you a danish or a coffee and BTW Karrnors is down and Cassea, that raving nutbag, is on a roll again as I monitor the net. Shall I erase her character or simply move her to VP deep inside the zone and take away her ability to port?

:)

Arienne
11-05-2004, 09:42 PM
I'm dying to know what a typical "server" looks like. Is ECI, my home server, a room with "ECI" on the door and inside are a hundred computers - one for every 3-4 zones? Do they have an auditorium sized room with a thousand computers. I would die to see their set up :)I picture Fennin Ro as a single server wedged in between the water cooler and bathroom entrance with dust bunnies hiding in every crevace. Any dust-free spot is covered in silver duct tape, and the power cord stretches across the walkway to reach the plug in on the opposite wall. :D

Stormhaven
11-05-2004, 10:11 PM
IIRC, the EQ servers are a huge cluster, and multipler servers could be hosted on a single machine - but not a whole world, just a few zones here and there. So a computer might have SolA for the Cazic server, along with Karnors for E'ci, Time for Luclin, and Freeport for ARo, etc.

Cassea
11-05-2004, 10:20 PM
I picture Fennin Ro as a single server wedged in between the water cooler and bathroom entrance with dust bunnies hiding in every crevace. Any dust-free spot is covered in silver duct tape, and the power cord stretches across the walkway to reach the plug in on the opposite wall. :D
ROTFL!

-Cass

Cassea
11-05-2004, 10:22 PM
IIRC, the EQ servers are a huge cluster, and multipler servers could be hosted on a single machine - but not a whole world, just a few zones here and there. So a computer might have SolA for the Cazic server, along with Karnors for E'ci, Time for Luclin, and Freeport for ARo, etc.
Hmmm I wonder if they can load balance this. What if a zone suddenly becomes popular and you end up with one server with multiple popular zones.

Rem when we could crash the server when they held an event and 150 people zoned in at once? LOL

-Cass

LauranCoromell
11-06-2004, 03:24 AM
Sobe you're just protecting Chenier, no reason at all to apologize for that :). In fact, this guy doesn't know you very well, that was a fairly mild response. I'm glad you were able to have a way provided for Chenier to attend, she is pleasant, always seems to be happy in the pictures and makes a great rep for the druid class.

Chenier
11-06-2004, 10:33 AM
I'm dying to know what a typical "server" looks like. Is ECI, my home server, a room with "ECI" on the door and inside are a hundred computers - one for every 3-4 zones? Do they have an auditorium sized room with a thousand computers. I would die to see their set up :)
During our tour of SOE at the Guild Summit, we were taken through the server room.

My company has a server room too. The difference? Theirs was more crowded and had way better "enter this room and we cut your nuts off" signs on the door.

Pictures were not allowed, but, it was a buncha racks and a buncha computers and a whole LOTTA of air conditioning. =)

Cassea
11-06-2004, 12:06 PM
The difference? Theirs was more crowded and had way better "enter this room and we cut your nuts off" signs on the door.LOL

And if you lack a certain part to be cut off you're ok then :)

So no HAL2000 for each server :(

-Cass

Lumenus
11-06-2004, 04:12 PM
I attended the guild summit and I feel that it served both SOE and us the players very well. Think about how many changes EQ has undergone since the guild summit. Now how many of those changes would have happened without a face to face meeting with the folks at SOE?

For those that viewed it as a pleasure trip, you are only partially correct, I had a blast but, it was not how i would spend a short vacation. Our time was there was planned almost minute to minute. I had 2 hours free before the scheduled ballgame on the day we got there. We got in from the game past my bedtime (but we still hung out in the bar). We met with folks for breakfast in the hotel, then our entire day and evening were planned. By the time we got back to the hotel, you certainly weren't going site-seeing. The next morning I had time for breakfast then it was off to the airport. So view it how you would like but it certainly wasn't a free trip, we paid for it with our time and we rewarded by having some input upon the state of the game. Definitely didn't feel like a buy off, lol.

Loral
11-07-2004, 10:10 AM
Different community reps got different things paid for. Not everyone got airfare, not everyone got a room. It's generally uncomfortable to talk about who got what.

Loral Ciriclight
http://mobhunter.com/

Chenier
11-07-2004, 11:04 AM
I think we've beaten this into the ground. Say goodnight thread (goodnight thread).