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