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All Posts by fnorgby

All Posts by fnorgby

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151 posts found
Originally posted by LadyEuphei
Originally posted by worldalpha
Yes, the BBB is probably your best bet.

I have tried the BBB for issues before and they are a joke.

The reason you think they're a "joke" is because, like a lot of people, you assumed they had some authority.  They don't, they never claimed to, and they never will.  It's a non-profit organization that collects complaints and attempts to mediate between customer and business.  That is all they do.

If the business doesn't care to resolve a problem or doesn't agree that there *is* a problem, then all the BBB does is register the complaint in their database.

When you're looking for service, and are unsure whom to deal with, you can call the BBB and ask for information about complaints and how they are handled.  In some industries, having a clean reputation with the BBB is important.  In others, it's meaningless.

tl;dr: No one ever said the BBB was a business police force, or that they could force companies to be nice.  Somehow, the American public invented that bullshit all on their own.  The fact you fell for it isn't the BBB's fault.

Originally posted by maskedweasel

Well,  not yet,  but it could be!

"It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person."


Troll.  Go to Jail.  What do you think?


The Supreme Court generally won't allow bans on speech that are content-based, so the "lewd or profane" part will not fly.  They have allowed bans on obscenity, but it's not easy to craft a law that will pass the Supreme Court's test for this kind of thing.

The ultimate evidence that this won't survive a court challenge is the very tone of this discussion -- if the community is concerned that otherwise normal speech would now put you at risk of criminal charges, then the law will be seen to have a "chilling effect".  If you think forums will be empty, that's evidence that the law is FAR too broad.

tl;dr: Don't worry about it.  It's unconstitutional on its face.

As far as story goes -- I think Sith Warrior wins.  Darth Baras is one of the best voice-acted characters I've ever seen in a game.  I don't really like the character but I keep playing him because Baras is awesome.

I'm rotating through four:  A lvl 20 sith marauder.  A lvl 17 merc, a lvl 14 inquisitor and a lvl 15 guardian.  I think my favorite so far is the Merc.

Hey, I've heard there's a controller for people with physical handicaps.  They even wwebsite as on the internet since before you were sperm in your daddy's balls.

(sorry, bad joke, no offense but I couldn't resist)

Originally posted by zymurgeist

 The standard of proof in every country, in every court,  in every jurisdiction is the same? Don't think so.

Small claims is peculiar to the US, so I assumed we were talking about the US.  My apologies for not being clear on this.

And if we are talking about the US, then yes.  Absolutely.  The standard of proof in civil courts, regardless of jurisdiction, regardless of the level or degre of formality is always the same:

"Preponderance of the evidence".   That is, if the jury believes that it's 50.001% likely that you're telling the truth, you should win.  If it's 49.999%, you should lose.

Technically, I believe it's possible for a state to establish a higher standard of proof for civil cases without violating due process.  However, I'm pretty sure that all 50 US states and the federal system use preponderance of the evidence as the standard in civil cases.

There are exceptions, but only with regard to specific portions of the case.  So, while a libel case always uses preponderance as the standard, if you're trying to prove libel per se (that's the one I referenced earlier where you can prove they knew it was false and did it intentionally to harm you), then as to the knowledge and malice portions of the case there is a higher standard of proof required.  It's called "actual malice", and it's definition is too technical to get into here -- suffice to say it's higher than "preponderance" but slightly lower than "beyond reasonable doubt".  However, the US Supreme Court has mandated that states may not use a standard lower than actual malice for libel per se cases.  So yeah.  I don't even think a small claims court is equipped to deal with libel per se, but if they were it would unconstitutional for that court to have a lower standard.

SO, yeah.  The upshot of all this is that bacon is delicious.

Also, you have about as much chance of winning a countersuit for "mental health" as you do of skiing to the moon.  This is another misconception about US tort law.

Many states in the US simply don't allow lawsuits for emotional distress, without some physical harm involved.  I slammed into your car, causing injuries AND you can't sleep any more -- that's fine.  *IF* you can get a doctor to testify in court (at $400 per hour for examination, report writing and testimony -- expect to pay $5000 or so per doctor) that the insomnia is directly related to the injury.

But what you're talking about is called Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.  In the states that allow this cause of action to stand on its own, it is extremely difficult to win.  Judges, and particularly appellate judges, **hate** IIED cases.  They scrutinize everything beforehand to make sure the jury only hears evidence that has some factual support.  If you present your case to the jury, you'll have to prove that your quality of life has been *noticeably* or demonstrably damaged.  I don't expect that "I'm so upset that now I can't play any video games so my quality of life is very bad" will convince a jury.

You usually need some physical manifestation of anxiety or distress -- insomnia, hives, hysteria, change in personality.  Despite what you see on TV or may have heard, these conditions are very difficult to fake.  The case will take two years, during which you'll be spied on by private investigators and evaluated by the other side's medical experts.  If YOUR ATTORNEY believes you're lying, your attorney can face disciplinary charges for going forward with the case.  If you get caught lying, you can do prison time.

Originally posted by zymurgeist

 Oh it's possible for a customer to win if a representative of a company says something really really stupid. People have sued for defamation in small claims courts where there's a lower standard of proof and less cost involved. You don't even need a lawyer. It's an unlikely event but the best way to avoid it is still to not talk about bans.


Hmmmm...  The standard of proof in court is always the same -- you have to show that your side is more likely to be the truth than the other side.  Small claims is less formal and cheaper since neither side can bring a lawyer.

I'm suspicious of your claim that libel actions can successfully be brought in small claims.  The reason is that to win a libel suit (this is in the US, btw), you have to prove certain things that are not easy to prove.

FIrst, if you can prove that the people who made the statement knew it was false AND that they said it intending to hurt you, then you don't need to prove you suffered monetary harm.  However, proving what someone else knew or intended is very difficult.  You'd need something like a copy of an internal memo showing malicious intent.

If you can't prove that they knew it was false and acted maliciously, then you have to prove actual harm.  "They hurt my feelings" won't do.  You have to show that your reputation in the community was damaged, and that this damage resulted in some loss of status or loss of business.

Invective -- meaning things that are said to be mean, without regard for the truth -- don't satisfy either standard.  "Don't listen to him, he's just a lowlife loser who likes to eat bugs!" would not count, because people hearing it would know it's not true.  It doesn't matter how malicious the intent is. 

I'm not a lawyer, but US libel/defamation law isn't simple or straightforward.  Just because someone lied about you and was mean about it doesn't automatically get you a big payday.

Originally posted by CityHam

If you stay at a Hotel, you pay when you leave, if the Hotel messed up, you get discount, if they fucked up royal, you pay nothing, if they fucked up the booking and have no room for you, Hotel is forced to find an equal or better place and pay the traveling cost to get there.

A hotel has no legal obligation to arrange for alternative service.  They *might* have to reimburse you if you stay at a similar hotel for more money.  And that's only if you sue them.  Lots of hotels will do what you described, but for PR purposes not because of the law.

Contract law in the US is a peculiar thing.  There are no penalties.  There is no "fault".  There is no right or wrong party. 

Let that sink in -- most people have a hard time accepting this.  In contract law, there is no blame, no morality.  Bad faith dealing is assumed -- no matter how much you are counting on the deal, if I can get a better deal from someone else I can rip up a signed contract and tell you to pound sand.  The *worst* that will happen to me is that I reimburse you for the difference in cost if you arranged a substitute service (like a similar hotel room but for $150/night instead of the $120 a night we agreed on.  I pay you $30.  That's it).  Breach of contract cases don't pull in the big bucks unless one party or the other invested a lot of money or turned down other lucrative offers in reliance on the deal.  And even then, there are no punitive damages.

Here, there is no alternative service.  So regardless if BW acted in bad faith, you get (at most) the box price refunded to you and a foot in the ass as you walk out the door.  Your deal with them is that as long as you are playing the game, you have to pay.

And in the business-internet world, no one offers 100% uptime.  It's completely unreasonable to *expect* 100% uptime, and a court is going to recognize this.  If you had an explicit contract for 100% uptime, you'd be paying $100 or more per month easy.  You're not paying $100/month, so you're not going to get 100% uptime.  Period.

My go-to quote for times like this:

"This game sucks ass.  I should know -- I play it every day."

But srsly, I'm having too much fun pewpewing with my Merc or ripping stuff up with my Guardian to be bothered by the flaws.

WoW's success wasn't innovation, it was consolidation and polishing of ideas that worked.  SWTOR is kinda the same way, and I'm optimistic about the long-term prospects of the game.



Originally posted by Dibdabs
None of the above. Purely gameplay video - no rigged-up art or CGI at all. I've seen too many films/games where the trailer was actually better than the actual film/game ever was. I never buy a game based on the mega-hyped CGI vids and art concept pics because the guys who make these could make a turd sparkle like diamond.


q f m f t

No one's suing anyone yet.  Bethesda are claiming that the word "scrolls" is part of their brand image for The Elder Scrolls series.  To establish this, they have to send letters to other companies using the word.  Often times, a small publisher has nothing to lose by agreeing to change their title.

If you want to get mad about this, get mad at the state of IP law in the USA.  Bethesda, being a corporation with shareholders, has a duty to maximize the value of their properties.  This means scaring off potential competition with threats of lawsuit, or arranging a licensing deal so that no one has to go to court.

For Bethesda's management *not* to do this would be more or less malpractice on behalf of their shareholders.

One is content development (usually artists and scripters).  The other is engine design.  Spending labor/money on one is not necessarily taking money from the other.

More freedom of movement requires more QA -- more looking for ways to get stuck in the terrain and more testing to make sure gameplay elements aren't defeated by someone finding a shortcut.  It's something I do when bored at other things -- see if I can get from zone X to zone Y by climbing/jumping/etc.

The QA (or the bug reports you get if you skimp on QA) probably costs more than the content/engine design resources spent to make it work in the first place.

This is how Diablo 2 worked, and it didn't work.  There were level-based limits on the amount of cash you could carry.

So the economy turned to a different medium (perfect skulls and Stones of Jordan).  Farmers farmed (or duped) those, and you could go online and buy 100 SOJ's for like 50 bucks.

It's a reasonable idea at face value.  But it's not new.  It's been tried and doesn't work.

It's not barter, but Eve's marketplace system is two-way.  You can place items for sale.  If somoene buys at your price you get the cash and they get the stuff.  Or you can place an order, which fills automatically when someone accepts your bid price.

The main thing that Eve has that all AH/markets need is pricing history.  On Eve you can see a graph of the selling price over time for any item you're buying/selling.

Permadeath in an asian F2P is going to  turn into "pay for tokens that reduce/eliminate your chance of dying".

I still play Rappelz and currently Forsaken World.  I don't care generally how fast I level.  If what I'm doing is fun, it doesn't matter. 

Games aren't p2w if you don't care about "winning".

Originally posted by Loke666
 If you pay for an IP you should make a game forthe fans of the IP, if you just want to make a game for average MMO players you don't need an existing IP. WAR did the same thing.


I agree with you.  But when big companies buy a popular IP, it's because brand awareness is already established so they save on marketing costs.  Not because they want to make a true experience of the IP.

Played beta.  That's probably not a "fair chance", admittedly.  But what I saw was not compelling for a subscription based game.

I don't like 2.5d space games, in general.  I want a proper Z axis.  Not a deal-breaker, but it's immersion-breaking to have enemies directly beneath you but have to spiral down to attack them. 

Definitely needed top & bottom shields for the same reason.  As I'm turning relative to an enemy above or below me, their targeting would rapidly cycle through front/side/rear/side shields faster than I could possibly adjust.  Again, frustrating and immersion breaking.

No properly playable Klingon race didn't bother me since I'm a TOS guy. Klingons are the enemy, period.  Kill on sight, or at least cleverly outwit and make miserable ("where they'll be no tribble at all" :)

The tactical part of the engine just didn't work for me inside bases and around narrow corridors/turns.  It was difficult to keep team members firing at the right targets.  Been a while, so I don't remember exactly why I didn't like it but I didin't.

No bridge view was a problem.  I don't mean the ability to view what the bridge would look like if it mattered.  I expected the bridge view to matter in some way.  Not "star trek"-y enough somehow.

Surface missions and base environments weren't varied enough.  I liked the dynamic mission concept (warp into an area and be automatically joined with people seamlessly), but difficulty scaling seemed problematic (tho I don't remember which direction...)

Eventually leveling (even to the cap allowed in the beta) seemed grindy.

I'm sure that most of that's been corrected or changed since beta, but if you want my money, you've got to make a good initial impression.  Even still, though, I doubt I'll give the F2P version a look.  I tried it with CO, EQ2 (was a paying subscriber for 2 years at one point), AOC and DDO and none of them hooked me.

And it's not anti-f2p bias.  I played rappelz for 18 months and currently play Forsaken World.

I'm really disappointed, too, since reakktor made Neocron -- which was weird and grindy but very cool.  BP has none of the cool.

I guess I'm one of the weirdos who can play f2p without spending any money, so I can't comment on the cash shop.  The crafting in BP sux because it takes 20+ minutes during which you have to be logged in and docked at a station (at least that was my experience, only tried once and got all wtffy and never tried again).

The rest of the game is very meh.  Unskippable cutscenes, repetitive missions, no real focus.  Not sandboxy enough to be fun like Eve, not enough content to be a themepark.   PVP is instanced, and some PVE quests force you to go there.   On the plus side it wasn't very ganky.  Respawn was pretty much instant.  Hard to tell the AI enemies from PC enemies. 

I didn't see a whole lot of point to the pvp but then I'm mostly a PVE'er.

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