Monday, February 20, 2012

A Rebuttal from Mickey

The following is a comment from Mickey that got cut off and flagged as spam, and is a rebuttal to the comment from "anonymous". For those of you interested in the comment that this post is referring to, check out the comments on this post.


The following is my line by line reply to a comment by "anonymous". My replies are inside of asterisks [italicized] to differentiate. All of my references to National and how it acts, behaves, and so on exclude Bill Tobin, Dan Comstock, and Noah Mason unless I say otherwise. They're good people trying to help.

This conversation about nero and its proposed future rules should not be discussed in public. Nowhere in any documents about being staff for NERO National office does it say to go to the public to discuss possible rules changes.

I would think player feedback would be welcome. Heck, even pretending to care would be an upgrade at this point.

There is a specific Rules forums on the NERO LARP site at that should be used.

As already mentioned, Bill didn't want people to inflate the post into something official yet. This was a low-key way to get input.

The idea that people on this blog site will give better feedback than people on the nerolarp forums is false.

They will, however, likely get more feedback since this blog is a more active posting community

The idea that everyone who is a LARPer and on the NET is connected to this site is also a false statement.

Ok, so the internet is a world wide computer network that, absent limiting software (ex. workplaces, parental controls, Iran) or other odd circumstances, lets everyone who is on it see any site. Thus, and this is the subtle point you apparently missed, Bill posting the policy idea here wasn't meant to be private or secret and so clearly it's ok to repost it elsewhere if someone felt strongly about discussing it elsewhere.

The NERO LARP forums are seemingly empty because the NERO LARP forums have been 'overrun' by a few people who are promoting thier own LARP website on the NEROLARP forums, who are repeatedly putting links to thier own website blog to get nero members away from the nerolarp forums. Offering discussion points about nero LARP on non-nero forums and promoting that to NERO Members seems like a way to get people off the nerolarp forums.

If my 8 posts announcing a new larpcast episode (including one today!) constitute an "overrun" of the forums and are enough to drive away readers to the point where it is the empty wasteland it currently is... the problem is not 8 posts. The problem is the lack of community building, content, attention to customer concerns, failure to update the site, failure to follow through on promised explanations, and so on. Basically, "anonymous" (with an amazingly distinctive writing style), 8 posts should be a drop in the bucket and it's sad that it's even noticeable. Oh, also, this is a blog about LARPing and the forums are a place for members of one LARP to talk amongst themselves, why would you consider the sites themselves to be in some sort of zero sum competition? Amazingly, you can check both! Actually, it's very easy to check both, this one is the one with actual new content from time to time. See below for new content on the National site... that went away.

NERO Owners and NERO Members give the feedback that NERO management wants to hear. The feedback should be given via the NERO LARP forums.

See above as to some of the reasons this wasn't on the forums. And if "NERO management" wants to hear it, here it is. Enjoy it and whine less about where it is.

NERO Policy is the same for every NERO Member. So it would seem logical that policy that benefits only Staff who are basically given what-ever number of goblin points an Owner or more likely, a Staff member of a Chapter, is not a policy that NERO National will put into place.

It benefits anyone with goblin stamps. And if the people with the most goblin stamps happen to be staff members, then you have a situation where the people who work the hardest have an additional outlet for their rewards. Sounds good to me. If your concern is that Owners give too many goblin to staff in the first place, take it up with them. This policy idea won't make that better or worse.

As soon as a policy goes into effect that gives donators magic items for goblin points, every nero member will get a magic item as neighboring chapters compete for donations and goblin points awards skyrocket at each chapter - this has happenned before why will it not happen now?

Ok, this is some feedback about the idea itself. A concern about donation competition. Bill has posted an answer to it in reply so I'll let that speak for itself. Though, I know that this was intended as part of a bigger policy update to the goblin stamp system. Heck, that system was even posted on the National Forums for a couple days before National took it down from public comment. Which is rather funny in conjunction with your earlier comments about how the National Forums should be the center of these discussions. Clearly they're unsuitable, the discussions get removed. But anyway, hopefully we'll get a chance to see the full system somewhere where people can comment on it in a useful, and non-transitory, fashion.

The cost to buy a magic item with goblin points actually has to be low enough for everyone to buy one, and the maximum needs to be high enough so that players do not need to find a magic item in game if they do not wnat to.

Everyone would be able to buy one, they just have to contribute to the game enough to earn the goblin necessary

Having 5 players with 10 columns of life spells show up at a game you are running absolutely causes the staff to run things differently. more monsters, bigger monsters, and more defensive skills, to name but a few of the ramifications of excessive magic items / additional skills.

What is a 10 column of life spells? 10 life spells? 90 spells, 10 of which are life spells? Regardless, apparently you missed the 1 item per player per year limitation that would keep this from coming anywhere close to the effects you're worried about.

Having 25 players arrive with 4 effect per day life items each, or 4 effect imprison, or any portions thereof, will absolutely effect the way the scaling of the game.

Two things. First, if 25 players all donated or NPCed or staffed or otherwise contributed to NERO sufficiently to each get a magic item... Good! We should encourage that, it's good for the game. Second, even if these hypothetical 25 players all coordinated their efforts in some secret meeting to all get the same magic item effects to maximize the game impact, my experience tells me that any competent staff can handle it with ease. It's just not that big of a deal. It's a little more longevity. Luckily, unlike the anonymous commenter, people know who I am and can weigh my experience when deciding how much credence to give my predictions about scaling impact.



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  3. I leave you guys alone for one week and this is what happens. *Sigh*

  4. Wow. I don't always see eye to eye with Tobin or Mickey, but in this case, ~golf clap~ gentlemen.

    Seriously, can't we all get together and buy Anon...Joe out? He's clearly not happy with it anyway. When your own "employees" give you the finger Joe, it's time to step aside, or step down. Srsly.

  5. Last I heard...and this could be false, but Joe was asking 1 million for the purchase price of NERO.

  6. Someone told me before (also could be false) that Wizards of the Coast attempted to buy Nero and Joe shot them down..

    1. @Leon - Close, but not entirely correct. Back around 1999/2000 WotC was investigating the whole LARP thing. Through contacts John Bacon had, they did in fact speak with Joe about NERO. They did Secret Shop and rate many of the chapters at the time (Nerida got #2 in the rankings, New Hampshire got #3, I forget who got #1, it was a chapter outside of New Engand. Avendale (Joe's chapter at the time) got close to rock bottom. Ironically, they secret shopped what was then NERO Alliance also.

      WotC, after reviewing the status of LARPs as a whole (not just NERO) decided to not invest any money in them. On NERO the shoppers had good things to say about individual chapters, but crucified the national organization.

  7. I'm not surprised. Joe V was one of the reasons I left NERO many years ago. The one time I went to Avendale...his irresponsibility with serious injury treatment as well as his lecherous (and possibly stoned) actions disgusted me even more in person than his mandates creating McNero when he took control of National ever did.

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