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Two Sleuths with one Brain
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Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin
Tale Spinner

Nov-17-2006 00:24

“Never explain yourself. Your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.”
--Elbert Hubbard

I’ve been putting off addressing the growing dissonance over what some players believe to be unfair abuse of the agency system. There have been several reasons for my hesitancy. First, I wanted to see if the community could come to some sort of consensus (or near consensus) without a dictatorial decision from me. Second, it’s a complicated issue and I wanted to decide on an official position before jumping into the fray. And lastly, navigating this kind of social minefield is always tricky and I’m a much better game designer than I am a conflict mediator.

It seems that patience with my hands-off approach has now run its course. I’ve gotten several direct appeals from players that I should intercede, clarify, pontificate or proselytize, and that the time for me to speak up is now.

Many sleuth players have voiced the opinion that it is unfair to combine cases from multiple accounts in order to raise a single detective’s standing in the High Scores List faster than would be possible without sharing cases. This basic argument has given rise to several related disagreements, along with a healthy dose of finger-calling and name-pointing. There are several threads in Sleuth Talk devoted to these debates, so I’ll assume that everybody reading this has a grasp of the arguments on both sides.

First off, I think it’s important to note that everybody on the high scores lists has put an enormous amount of time and energy into a difficult game and should be proud of what they’ve accomplished. We’re not talking about a bug that allows for solving mysteries in under a minute or an exploit that gives you thousands of free experience points. Every detective on those lists represents thousands of solved cases and many, many hours of game play.



Replies

onenanna
onenanna

Nov-17-2006 11:53

Question Ben regarding subscriptions. I play from my home on my primary and second identy. One young adult daughter plays from home on both her primary and secondary identities. Another adult daughter plays from her own home with hers but I purchased all the subs personally. We all either work from home (I, for example, am a medical transcriptionist) This is something we do together with 3 other friends. How is this going to work out with me being the purchaser for more subs than my own? One of the players and second identities is overseas with an 8 hour time difference. If password sharing is eliminated we will lose the only access our agency has to a specific contact. Often being able to check a single alibi is the difference in solving a case and having to trash it (or "gasp" give in to the often uncontrollable urge to guess). Plus it would take quite some time if all of us needed one agent to check a number of items for us. What if that one agent dosen't log in for a couple of days? As well, we all keep our last favor when logging off pending a possible hunt. Our overseas player would not be able to participate in hunts unless one happens to carry over because any favors would be unaccessable. This will remove most of the benefit of even being in an agency. Of course you have file storage and equipment locker but you could have those in a small agency with only you and your second identity.

onenanna
onenanna

Nov-17-2006 12:06

Perhaps instead of doing away with password sharing, do away with high score lists.

Hawkeye Harris
Hawkeye Harris
Battered Shoe

Nov-17-2006 12:27

As the game designer Ben has final say on this matter. However, it seems he is enacting these (pretty major) changes with some reluctance. Logan Creed stated in the Unwritten Rules thread that “there are currently 14,654 active players in the game”, but only a very vocal minority has been posting to these threads. Many palyers are hesitant to join the (sometimes) heated discussions, and others simply are involved in playing the game and do not visit the boards often. If Ben is making changes based on the Sleuth community’s wishes, then I agree with BA that a poll would allow all interested players to provide their input in a manner other than posting to the boards. If he proceeds without additional input, at least a temporary information page at log-on would alert unaware players to the changing winds in Sleuthville.

Solve A Lot2
Solve A Lot2
Assistant Librarian

Nov-17-2006 12:27

onenanna - good point.

I also agree with the idea about getting rid of high score list.

sunny
sunny
Lady of Shadows

Nov-17-2006 12:36

The limitations on password sharing have not yet been implemented or finalized, so just hold your horses! Ben is a smart guy. He is and has been considering all the ramifications of limiting password sharing. Don’t worry, as the creator of the game he will do what’s best for Sleuth. We appreciate your concerns because this tells us that you all are invested in the game.

Sleuth is not just a game for us, nor is it just a business. Sleuth is something that we are very emotionally attached to for a number of reasons. Be assured that when we make decisions on major changes, we don’t make them lightly or reckless abandon. In fact we spend many hours discussing and hashing and rehashing Sleuth topics with care. When we do come up with changes like those posted in this thread, we mean them as fact. The changes are not up for vote or discussion, this thread is just to inform you of the upcoming adjustments. Although we do value your input and suggestions, there are boundaries we feel need to be in place. In these changes, please respect our decisions as creators, owners, and administrators of Sleuth.


Gabby Kar
Gabby Kar
Well-Connected

Nov-17-2006 12:39

I agree with Hawkeye and Badass about polling. I am one who does not like participating in heated discussions :-)

Chelsea Bando
Chelsea Bando
Well-Connected

Nov-17-2006 12:50

I was very glad to hear that you were dissolving agencies, as I thought you were coming to join the forces of evil. Apparently you are not quite here yet as you changed your mind but do not worry. I will help you through the difficult process.

Regardless of how people will view this issue of password sharing, I will give you a round of applause for not rushing in and making a statement prematurely. As an admin one must think through the outcomes, consequences, and possible externalities of an official statement. Hopefully the implementation of the password sharing blocker and other options will be as successful as the design phase. You have done an excellent job at stating your operational objectives in a way that is easily comprehensible to the community. Further down the road you should review the policy recommendations you have decided on today.

Arabella Parker
Arabella Parker
Well-Connected

Nov-17-2006 13:03

I have a question that has been bugging me for a long time. Are there any official or unofficial rules or policies about how many detectives a person subscribes?
I know the rule is “A single player should not be the primary controller of any more than two detectives in a single agency”, but can someone ‘control’ agents in multiple agencies? Can we have two agents in Agency A and two in Agency B, or maybe even 4 subscribed detectives in 4 different agencies?
I think this has been discussed, but after several hours, I have not been able to find any mention of this issue.


njl13
njl13
Well-Connected

Nov-17-2006 13:06

I have a related concern about the proposed ban on password sharing. I play another online game where password sharing and multiple accounts are not allowed. There are several players I can not interact with because our IP addresses match. I'm not sure if it's related to IP sharing from my home network or using my laptop in public wireless spots.

There is a mechanism in that game to investigate this and I hope that one is built into any changes in Sleuth.

The proposed changes to agency password sharing feel to me a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. As fas as I know it has been common practice within some agencies since long before I started playing Sleuth.

I'd also like to suggest that the new and/or soon-to-be-enacted rules of Sleuth be added to the HELP file. I'm a hundred-something day old detective and while i read some of the message boards when I started, I didn't read them all. However, i did read the help file.

Solve A Lot2
Solve A Lot2
Assistant Librarian

Nov-17-2006 13:41

Sunny,

All of us appreciate all of the hard work you & Ben have put into this game.
I know it can not be easy to manage such a large group of people.
I do agree that games need rules, and I do not think you make those decisions lightly.

However, this game has been successful up until now, Why fix what is not broken? I think BadAss's request to have a poll, is a wonderful idea, because it would give you & Ben a chance to see how many people REALLY have a problem with the way things currently are - agency & detective usage wise.

Having an unsubbed detective in an agency, who can not check PE or donate their cases for treasure hunts, destroys part of the reason to have an agency.

Again, all of us love sleuth, and most of us do not feel that a change to this aspect of the game should be made.



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