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ctown28
ctown28
Tireless Tiger

Apr-16-2009 10:18

I wanted to start this thread to get some opinions from others in the community about the advantages that some players/agencies have over one another. I am not saying my thoughts on them are right or wrong nor am I saying that anybody else’s is. In fact, you may see me flip flop on the topics from time to time as I sometimes like to look at both sides.

What I do not want to see here is for this to turn into a flame war and/or any name calling. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you have been here for 10 days or 1000 days. Every opinion of someone that pays to play the game carries just as much weight as the next person.

A good debate can be healthy for the community and I ask you to all stay respectful here even if you disagree with something that is said here. I will start with some topics and would like to see them discussed and if anyone thinks I missed something or would like to add a topic, by all means go for it.



Replies

nicnic
nicnic
Battered Shoe

Apr-17-2009 00:51

Not gonna bump the thread because it wouldn't add anything to the community right now and there were very different happenings back then and it is a different time.... but

From Sleuth Admin:
Nov-17-2006 00:24

I’ve always been hesitant to state rules that cannot be enforced by the game system. We tend to have a fairly civilized and community here, but that doesn’t change the fact that Sleuth is a competitive game and many of the players take that competition seriously. It is very difficult and time consuming to enforce such rules effectively.

There are four “honor system” rules that we do expect all players to follow. I’ve never listed them all together like this but they all have been publicly stated at various points in the past.

1) Abusive, obscene and uncivil posts are not acceptable on the public message boards, and repeated, unwanted private messages will get you banned.
2) Taking advantage of bugs or exploits to gain an advantage in the game is forbidden. This includes URL manipulation, cookie editing, server attacks, network sniffing, etc.
3) Repeated theft of items from agency lockers can get you blacklisted. When these situations are brought to our attention, we usually do what we can to inform agency directors and help them keep track of the perpetrator’s current detective name, but we do reserve the right to block the user from the system entirely.
4) A single player should not be the primary controller of any more than two detectives in a single agency. The only time when we can positively identify individual players is at the subscription purchase. So in practice, this is interpreted to mean that no more than two detectives in a single agency can be subscribed by the same person.

Those four rules are pretty much it. Up to this point, anything else that the system allows you to do has been considered legal.


Lolita Marinez
Lolita Marinez
Sleuth About Town

Apr-17-2009 02:12

A rule that can't be enforced is not a rule. It's a wish.

I have only been here a couple of months and I'm still learning about the site and the community. I was shocked when it was stated that some full agencies are run by only 1 or 2 people. As Ddog said "Get a LIFE!" There I said it! And I don't think they have any reason to complain about not being able to make it to the top of the list. They chose to take on such a huge load for themselves and if it is not working out that they get the high scores then they learned a valuable lesson. They ought to share the fun and enjoy some communication and pleasant interaction with other people.

I personally love sharing the hunt with my agency buddies. We chat about it in the Bar and egg each other on wondering who will get the next clue and we get excited and cheer each other when we are successful. I had thought that was the point of the Hunt. Fun, sharing, laughter and camaraderie within an agency. If there are some agencies out there who don't do it for the fun and only for the numbers on the board then I can only say "You don't know what you are missing, mate!"



Lolita Marinez
Lolita Marinez
Sleuth About Town

Apr-17-2009 02:29

And Anikka, password sharing is hugely different to controlling 2 or more of your own subs.

Your own subs means twice/thrice etc etc the work for you.

Password sharing only makes life easier for the agency enabling access to contacts and favours when the Real Person is away.

Hypothetically :- I live in Australia so my time frame is different to my American team-mates. Having access to my contacts might help them solve that extra case that means they can access their last favour for the day. They have had to do all the work while I was sleeping but it meant they didn't have to wait until I logged back in to get help. And the same for favours. It only minimizes time on a Hunt. And yes that is the big advantage but it is an advantage available to every agency so....no foul there.

InTheShadows
InTheShadows
Old Shoe

Apr-17-2009 04:58

I thought I might as well post a short notice here too. Being one of the younger detectives I might give my thoughts on this debate, since it seems the main argument is that the new detectives will feel discouraged and quit the game because of these "advantages" other detectives/agencies have.

When I first discovered Sleuth I played around with Shades and Noir at the same time for a few days under a different profile, and discovered that even though Noir isn't all that flashy as Shades is I still liked Noir better. Since I didn't know what the game was about I made a few mistakes, and after 2-3 days I gave up that character and created Shadows. I still hadn't seen what a subscription would lead to, so I decided to try it. Even though I had no tools or free cases I still reached the top of the High Score list for the novices and were contacted by a few agencies about joining them. Some required me to give up my password, others said it was optional. I'm of the opinion that my profile is MY profile, and will not share my password, even though I can see the advantages and the security in doing so. I respect that some agencies has this as a requirement and that some detectives do this voluntarily. Ddog was so kind as to accept me into Hunters even though I didn't share my password, and for this I'm thankful.

Once I joined Hunters I got some travel money (4000$ was a LOT back then) and joined the agency in Delhi. In Delhi I got a lot of help solving cases, but I feel this just gave me more experience (not measured in exp, but real experience) and confidence. I went from solving perhaps hard cases to solving the toughest cases my exp let me (at least up to IH cases). During this time I had browsed around on the message board and found out that there were programs to be used to help you solve things faster. I asked around about these programs, and Ddog told me about Irene's program. I asked Irene about the program, and she willingly let me download it.

InTheShadows
InTheShadows
Old Shoe

Apr-17-2009 04:59

I don't think I'd even talked to her before, but still she let me have her program. Just because I asked. I downloaded her program and forgot all about it. I still haven't used it, because so far I don't need to. And still, I'm not far behind on the Top Score ist... I'm a very competitive person, and I want to reach the top of those charts every time I enter a new list, but I don't feel cheated because someone uses a system to get higher than me. That just motivates me to try harder. And if we were to criticize the programs used to solve a simple case, why not mention the AVH-maps, Little-Jobs-answers, Scripted Mystery guides, Shangri-La guides and so on? In my book that's more cheat than a program which just lets you process the information you've found yourself (if I've correctly understood how the program works).


InTheShadows
InTheShadows
Old Shoe

Apr-17-2009 04:59

As for doubles and trebles and so on: it's a lot of work to keep track of all of them. I'm doing my best to keep track of one profile, and even that doesn't always work out.
And another thing: when you open the message board "Sleuth Talk" one of the sticky posts says "what can we do to help sleuth" or something like that. Well, I might be wrong about this, but I'm guessing that making a site like Sleuth takes a lot of time and money. And making money to pay the expenses, and maybe even making some money too, might lead to expansions of the game abd advertisement, which might lead to more people getting interested in Sleuth. And I might still be wrong about this, but I think that people that truly gets interested in Sleuth will play it even if other people have advantages. Otherwise there would be no subscribed players complaining about advantages.
So basically there's two ways to get money:
1. Have a profile limit, and hope people will discover Sleuth and stay for more than a month.
2. Let people have more than one profile (more than one subscription, more money, more "people" active at the same time, more "activity", maybe another reason for new people to stay - since it seems more popular and stuff), and hope people will discover Sleuth and stay for more than a month.

Just wrote down what came to mind at the moment, and hope it's coherent and that nobody got offended, because that wasn't my intention.

Vampiric Smile
Vampiric Smile
Safety Officer

Apr-17-2009 05:44

1. Helpers
If a program allows you to solve the cases faster then you have an advantage. If the program is only helping you to organize a case (like Watson’s) then it is ok.
2. Controlling or having access (through password sharing) in more than 2 characters
Is boosting Agency and individual performance thus giving advantages. The more characters you have access… the greater the advantage. Excuses for password sharing (like security reasons against thievery) are not really valid as all equipments are easily replaceable.

What can be done?
We all know that these advantages are being used extensively the last 2-3 years and have already created an established status. Restricting access to them now is not solving any problem as the status will not change. For example let’s assume that player A and agency AA are hi at the score lists because of these advantages. Restricting them and all the others from the usage of the advantages will only safeguard their position as they will not only remain in their hi positions but additionally those following will never have a chance to get them!
My proposal is to approach the whole subject with a fresh view
a. Let everybody create any number of detectives he/she likes and allow Ben to gain profit. In this way he will have the motive to further invest in the game and we all benefit!
b. Remove the Individual and Agency score lists from the game ! In this way we brake the importance of the status and we decrease the motivation of using the advantages in a less ethical way …not to mention that the game may become a bit faster!
c. Do not allow the “parking” of a character on a favor! I feel that it is very easy for Ben to make every character do 3 cases every time that the detective is activated before a random new favor. In this way nobody will be able to cheat in TH and the number of the controlled characters will not play any role. So it is very easy and simple…character is logging out-> holding favor is lost!



Aknas
Aknas
Lucky Stiff

Apr-17-2009 07:05

The Use of Automated Helpers

These I think were primarily created to save time in playing, thereby giving us more time for RL. First, I used pen and recycled papers (papers used for printing, but the printer didn't do it's job) Then I tried Pigeot's helper. Very useful indeed and I realized how much time I saved from using this. I heard of a very effective helper, have not tried it yet. But I heard it works wonders. Now guess what I am using? No more pen and paper for me, no helper even, not even Word or notepad... I use my mind. Just memorizing them. Goodness, do I sound like a nerd now? But yes, I just memorize. Saying in my mind, Bharati, heavy, curly, waiter, Nosveli, curly, fortune over and over again, while eliminating those with real alibis. I know it's probably weird, but it's my way of sharpening my memory. ;)

Password Sharing and Case Sharing

Tell me, whose agency isn't doing this? I think we are all guilty of PW sharing and case sharing. But where do we draw the line? There's also the very sensitive issue of the private messages being read by the third party. That thought is scary to me. Even if I've got nothing to hide, but the other person may use my account to sabotage my relationship with other players. Yes, I know this is a very sensitive topic. But this is what scares me the most. What if person X who knows my pw, logs on as me and sends a negative message to all or some of my friends. Of course, all those who will receive that message will think that it was me who sent that message. Let's face it, that scenario could be possible.



Aknas
Aknas
Lucky Stiff

Apr-17-2009 07:07

Multiple detectives by a single player

So there is a four "honor system" rule the admin posted not so long ago. Perhaps it was forgotten by some and haven't heard of by the others. There are those who abide by it, and there are others who won't. Nevertheless, it is an honor system.



Over all, I've got nothing against a single player having multiple detectives, agencies doing case sharing and password sharing, and with people using helpers. Just as long those who are doing all that knows his or her boundaries. That there's a limit and that one should be aware not to abuse the privileges he/she has over the others.

These are all in my humble opinion.
Aknas

Eudaemon
Eudaemon
Nomad

Apr-17-2009 07:22

My humble thoughts:

There might one intended word missing from the subject line - 'Unfair' Advantage. Personally there's no doubt the things mentioned here give advantages in the game. The bigger question is probably whether the advantage gained is unfair, perhaps to the point that it is/could be affecting everyone's enjoyment of the game.

Case helpers - An advantage of cos, but not unfair - because everyone has access to them. None of them are so automated as to spoil the fun of case solving for you, they just help by taking out the mundane elements and stuff you might be doing on paper and pen instead. Analogy would be all the game spoilers online. They are an advantage too, it's up to the individual whether or not to use them. So this one is pretty clear to me.

I'll touch on the other areas based on topics instead:
1. Advantage from case sharing to exp up (high standing in high score list)
Not unfair - because someone paid for that subscription, so it's up to them how they wanna use their cases. Demoralised by the high score list? Just look at the number of online games out there where the high scores were plain hacked. Here people need to invest their time and money to get there. For all online games, I've learnt to just look at my own score as a way to challenge myself.

2. Advantage from multiple sub/password sharing in TH
Unfair, since there is an honor system on limit of 2 subs. But thankfully there's a new TH that comes out once one is completed. So I don't think this is something that will break the game for everyone.

My summary is that if there are those of us out there who are willing to spend more time and money on Sleuth than myself, I'm not going to deny them. The people who are hooked obviously take up multiple subs to enjoy the game even more and have a little edge. Eventually most will get tired of playing alone or always winning. I don't think anyone is abusing the system and affecting everyone's enjoyment of the game.

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