Thothie's Dev Journal

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Thothie

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Funny thing is, I remember specifically saying I'd never make a dev journal, but seeing as how that was due to how it'd cut into development time...

THE END OF MSC

All the games and social systems I have, willingly, been a part of, are designed to help people, see people, as people. The hope being they will help people communicate better, see eye to eye, better, usually regarding difficult topics, such as romance, grief, or politics. When I picked up the torch for MSC and aimed to turn it into a community built project, it was no exception.

Problem being, I decided this could be done by politics alone, as that was the target, and the players would just provide the emotional reinforcement themselves.

In the case of MSC, this method turned out to be fundamentally flawed, as is, well, politics.

I realized this pretty quickly, and tried to retcon lore to make it work, but alas... Rules and lore alone were not enough for a success, at least not in any way we could hope to integrate in a timely fashion in reverse order. Some of the early visionaries of the Internet had similar hopes that, through increased communication, certain social issues could be resolved. The invention of the "social media nuke", in addition to this game, should give you some idea as to how well that approach works.

Additionally, the game has reached a coding/scripting deadlock, where we can't patch it without wiping what seems to be every other character.

The decision that the game's time was limited was actually made back in 2016. The final ruling came late 2020, after failing to turn the situation around for an Olympiad, when threats and potential legal issues were added to the mix. The opportunity for execution, April 2021.

I can say many other retail games have tried similar experiments, without the community building aspect (though in at least one case with, but it was dumped for other legal reasons). It's actually a common game development tactic, save that it is usually employed to exploit, rather than enhance its player base, coupled with classic emotional conditioning addictions.

I'll name some exceptions, and some other projects of similar ilk I've been a part of, later, though nothing I've not said before elsewhere here. European laws are actually quite a bit more restrictive than American ones regarding "criminal social negligence", and most of those projects have been European or Asian based and in some instances, even government funded, but never continuous, like good ol' American MSC. Sadly, US laws here are rapidly catching up. So all this "show" and change, is ultimately for legal reasons, as well as my friend's family's safety.

That all said, it is also true I tried to save the project, and really did hit a wall resulting from lack of skill, skilled support, and lack of physical health.

So to make it clear:
I HAVE NEVER BEEN THE ONLY PERSON POSTING ON THIS ACCOUNT, save in PM's.
Many individuals have access to this desktop as it relates to our shared projects.

I'd say about 50% of my longer posts have gone through like-minded editors, some of which have been squashed outright, just for being hazardous, conceptually. For yes, my training is incomplete, and I am inept, my meritocracy is as weak as it is presented. I just have a "uniquely wide set of skills I've honed" - but unlike the other fictional character who uses that line, they are as wide as they are shallow, for the most part.

For the past few months all of my public posts have been monitored via a Discord or in person, as I read them allowed as I typed - and I was actually barred from posting as Thothie for quite some time, only allowed reactions. That's also why the final "show" sounded awfully robotic. That was going on in rapid succession, in real time.

@Lucifer Majiskus was not in on the plan or that Discord. He did indeed step forward, all on his own... However, social psychology is one of my deeper disciplines, so I, and others, did predict his response, and just found it too delicious that he chose that name and the date of @The Man In Black's birth. So yes, we manipulated him, to make him a better person, and PROVE to you all, he was the better person, despite all the repeated community calls to ban him, for being a "bully". We saw that he was a bully who KNEW his function, early on: To make people better.

That's what MSC was - an attempt to create a school that people came out the better for and moved on from to do greater things.

That's why we made no attempts to retain our most talented mappers and coders. They had already "graduated the class". In some cases, before they came in. We were wasting THEIR time.

But, sadly, some people just could not graduate, and increasingly, took that personally. Some, started to take that out on the school itself or even the inept headmaster, and TRIED TO TRACK HIM DOWN.

I leave a pretty good winding road, but six degrees of separation means they'd eventually find someone near me, as they always do.

I have similarly, divorced Thothie from MSR to insulate it from such reprisals.

Why?

Because the issues go beyond profession, they affect friends and family. The emotional energy I waste here, does not go unnoticed by loved ones, and it began to affect them, in addition to the real potential for a physical threat to their safety, and I had another profession, which provided several juicy targets, I have since withdrawn from.

That outfit had it on good authority there was a player "Red Flagged" by US state law, who had been with us long enough that their time here likely had a hand in his condition.

Yes, I really have a mother on the verge of death. Yes, I really have a live-in gal whom I'm getting married to after the funeral. Yes, she really is in physical medicine, and saw some SERIOUS SHIT during 2020/21... And came down on me and this project accordingly, as did several ex's turned business associates, and loves previously threatened by my forays into various social industries in the past.

I've never lied about who I am. I've just been vague enough and salted it with enough parables that it could be traced to any number of individuals.

So yes, I am pussy-whipped. Not a white knight though, at worst I play the part of tin dog, I've no issues alerting them when I feel they are wrong or taking unwise actions, if, sometimes, a bit robotically, if I too am uncertain.

Here, I play tin god. "Saint Thoth" So I couldn't take up that voice, until, well, April 2021.

I will continue to play that role in off-topic discussions and in discussions regarding the history of MSC, but as to be stated in the upcoming "play", no longer as lead developer for Master Sword. Only as retired failed headmaster of that school, once known as Master Sword: Continued. @Rhudeanlorat will be used primarily by me for any future the project may have, but the persona operates on a much stricter set of rules than @Thothie did. ...and Thothie may comment as a "submissive" when summoned, inside a dragon's declarations.

So, that's all there is to it.


doubleank-gif.5685

BOTTOM LINE/TL;DR: The project became a threat to my family, my friends, and a potential future threat our gracious host. (From here on out only to be referred to as "THE HOST", who has almost no idea what goes on around here, for THE HOST hosts many things).

Thus MSC must end.
doubleank-gif.5685


But graciously, we've been allowed the opportunity to start anew. The outpouring of support has been rather phenomenal. Not enough to break the development deadlock or undo the past, but we do have new fiscal and even legal support, and could start over - maybe having working elves and dwarves from day one, with an entirely new play style starting in Deralia and branch out from there until we have our near hundred maps back.

Even if, as always, we'd much rather you work on MSR under Unreal (or MSU or MSS, if that's where your skills lay and you feel unable to contribute to Unreal).

We'll consider other prospects, but the requirement is that the project must be forced to start from nearly scratch, and must be under an engine that has stood the test of time to evolve with Windows for near two decades. Lucifer or The Man in Black can make another GoldSrc Master Sword mod, but it cannot be connected to me or this place for the aforementioned reasons.

No one who hasn't been on this project for at least five years will be allowed onto the development board, without payment.

No one under 30 will be allowed unto the development board, period.
(Inverse of the old 'Never Trust Anyone Over 30' rule - believe me, it's a saying for a reason.)

Folks can donate all the maps and materials you want, as always.

But the requirement for developer tag is: 5 Years of Community Service and 30+

No more youth shall be wasted here for sake of greater authority.

That said, most of you remaining do indeed qualify by that first term, and a few of you by the second.

You know who you are, and so do we.

Over the coming weeks, there will be a play to say goodbye to Thothie as an authority avatar, and rather extensive forum rearrangement in preparation for MSC's "new deal". There will be a final release "MasterSword: Classic" under the NOV2015 build, with some fixes to the default configs and repackaging. Still debating what to call the new effort. Hopefully have a poll running before then.
 

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imo, a character wipe is a great idea. Would be fun to see where the balance issues lie as people re-skill, and which exploits they use.
 

dot_rich

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You do what you gotta do Thothie, or I guess Rhudeanlorat. You should have done this as soon as your family started getting threatened. Life comes first, afterall. I'm sure it feels great to finally set the conclusion.

imo, a character wipe is a great idea. Would be fun to see where the balance issues lie as people re-skill, and which exploits they use.

Although I have had characters from early 2000s I cannot speak for others on how precious their characters are. I personally wouldn't mind a wipe if it meant the game could be put in a final, fixed state, that any developer would be happy with. In fact it would be fairly exciting. A community poll would be wise, though, some decisions are best left up to a developer. ;)

People cannot cling to the past forever.
 

Monika's_BFFEx0256

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And none of you believed I would be able to do this! Thanks Thothie I will take MSC to the next level as the new lead of the project.

[The Host] give me admin now that I lead this project. I will ban those first who need to be purged for legal reason and keep oyster ban in place.
@Dark Fox @Dridmar will be the first to go and anyone who oppose me can go with him because we need to start scratch without influence from these toxic and illegal elements. I don't feel angry but rather I feel angry for them as a great man once said.

A new tide is comin all!
 

The Man In Black

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Congratulations are in order for you and yours for being literal sociopaths, I guess. Love to manipulate and toy with those around me because I fancy myself a "psycho-ologist" who's somehow above these things. We are not your social experiment. We are not your play things.

I like to think I've grown a lot since the old days. I'm not one to rage post anymore, but honestly f*ck you.

As always, you'd rather execute your own insane plans rather than just listen to the f*cking community. Who gives a damn about your "play" or all these accounts where you dress as dragons? If you wanted to fix this game you'd stop all this nonsense and just focus on fixing all the mistakes you've made, but instead you'd rather burn it all down because you think yourself the god you play.

I could go on for hours, but I'm going to go back to my life, back to my daughter. Have fun with your marionettes whose strings you think you are due, you sad little man.
 

Monika's_BFFEx0256

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Congratulations are in order for you and yours for being literal sociopaths, I guess. Love to manipulate and toy with those around me because I fancy myself a "psycho-ologist" who's somehow above these things. We are not your social experiment. We are not your play things.

I like to think I've grown a lot since the old days. I'm not one to rage post anymore, but honestly f*ck you.

As always, you'd rather execute your own insane plans rather than just listen to the f*cking community. Who gives a damn about your "play" or all these accounts where you dress as dragons? If you wanted to fix this game you'd stop all this nonsense and just focus on fixing all the mistakes you've made, but instead you'd rather burn it all down because you think yourself the god you play.

I could go on for hours, but I'm going to go back to my life, back to my daughter. Have fun with your marionettes whose strings you think you are due, you sad little man.

It'll be okay you meet the requirements for dev. You can still be with me.
 

Skillasaur

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Man, dressing up as a dragon would be awesome.
 

Thothie

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like to think I've grown a lot since the old days. I'm not one to rage post anymore, but honestly f*ck you.
Only did for you what I do for all my friends and all my friends do for each other, tried to make you a better you. If that's sociopathy, that's a form of it I want to see more of.

MSC will continue on the main servers for the foreseeable future.

Bro, what. It's just a Half-Life mod.
It's all fun and games until people start taking it so seriously your loved ones start getting death threats from registered offenders.
 

Thothie

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As always, you'd rather execute your own insane plans rather than just listen to the f*cking community. Who gives a damn about your "play" or all these accounts where you dress as dragons? If you wanted to fix this game you'd stop all this nonsense and just focus on fixing all the mistakes you've made, but instead you'd rather burn it all down because you think yourself the god you play.
Unfortunately, we need another layer of abstraction to prevent a repeat of the event. If we don't make a serious effort at change, we'll lose the new support we've found, and risk legal issues. Certain individuals take the game far too personally... Hopefully a conglomerate that's more clearly roleplaying will be less of an issue. The game changes themselves will also hopefully be less apt to inspire people to attempt to be the largest arse in the room, and go agro when they can't take over.

...I suspect the pattern where 90% of the decisions are based on community input will continue, though my solution to deal with the age old problem of treasure frequency, is to put an end to it all together, and instead purchase uniques with reputation points from various factions by completing quests on various maps of various values, leaving the rest to random treasure tables similar to those we already have. I'm not kidding when I say we're building from the ground up - none of these items are going to work the same or have the same stats, nor will the characters. If that's too offensive, that's what MS:Classic is for.

It's not as if the game can gather enough support to continue under the current model anyways, we've been at an impasse of paradox, development wise, for almost four years now.
 

Monika's_BFFEx0256

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I dont much care for my personal effects being used.... even if it is a bit funny... but why?
 

Thothie

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Only did for you what I do for all my friends and all my friends do for each other, tried to make you a better you. If that's sociopathy, that's a form of it I want to see more of.
I've had several thoughts on this in the past and recently, and said as much, but this is way too far. As a proclaimed psychologist, you know sociopathy is a serious condition and, whether you're joking or not, that's not endearing whatsoever. MiB is right, at first I thought it was either the result of onset dementia or a serious penchant for theatrical flair and obscure stream of consciousness, but you seem to genuinely believe this has been a legitimate psychological experiment, and at this point it's become a bit of a sickening feeling in my gut.

You will respond to this, as you always do, but before you launch into a thought I want you to know, I took a day to think through this to avoid responding with emotion - there is nothing you can say in defense of your mentality and your actions on this topic specifically that will bring me, personally, back around. Waste your breath attempting to convert others, but as long as you crusade for self-righteousness, and put up the facade that it's to help anybody but yourself feel better, I'm out. Were this to ever become a democracy, I will support your opposition from hereon.
Unfortunately, we need another layer of abstraction to prevent a repeat of the event. If we don't make a serious effort at change, we'll lose the new support we've found, and risk legal issues.
I haven't the faintest clue what this means, but as far as I'm concerned, it's too late for you to do right by MS:C. You may one day, before your heart gives out, actually manage to re-build the mod and turn it into something worth playing, but your actions from April to now have been utterly appalling, and, knowing the reason behind why you chose to drop this bombshell of a thread 'out of the blue', I for one would fully support you stepping aside, and letting someone else take the wheel, especially if it has been as taxing on your personal life as you claim. Sadly, I think it's too late for that as well. You've said, if not publicly, then at least privately, you never intended to take the mod to your grave; that you would hand it over when the time comes. Yet, the time has come, you've seen the writing on the wall, gotten wind that the community collectively was on its way to requesting that you give us the time of day, and rather than, as you've been so good at historically, at least put up the illusion that you were listening, you've dug in deeper than ever. You are now stonewalling any attempt to be civil (yes, despite your grandstanding and ability to write a powerful narrative to control - literally, apparently - the conversation, what you've done is not remotely civil, it is a total shutdown of policy, a takeover.

You have a legacy in this game, one that never would have disappeared, neither fully positive nor negative, but now everything is on the line for you. As it stands, your legacy is in the gutter, you've cemented yourself as the progenitor of the end. MS:C is collectively written off, and your name is in the headline. Should you succeed in pumping out a fully fledged reimagining of MS before you up and die, I'm sure there are those that will forget the past once they're given their favorite toy back, but if this current framework of yours is put in place for the development and community, I personally won't be coming back, and will take up activism in that vein.

I wish this post were more coherent, but I'm at work and have been interrupted a dozen or so times in the process, and don't care to rough draft it, just attempting to string the thoughts together as I remember where I'm going. I'm not even involved in the fight for the future beyond deciphering the inane minotaur's maze you've decided to build recently (or, just expand upon from the last 20 years..) but I'm exhausted from the mental gymnastics going on. At first, I thought it was a sobering glimpse into the faltering psyche of a man that is losing the fight with sickness, but with your insistence to keep this bullsh!t rolling, it's becoming more evident you lost that battle long ago, and we're only just catching on.

Let it be said, if anybody is still listening, since this was supposed to be a community hearing, I vote nay.
 

Thothie

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As a proclaimed psychologist, you know sociopathy is a serious condition
A sociopathy in which you attempt to help people be their better selves and do the best they can, basically describes all of psychology. I don't think this qualifies for the term, but if you want to look it at that way, I suggest you look outside, as that's how the world has been working since Cain founded Enoch, in hopes that man wouldn't have to learn his hard lesson the way he did. We each contribute to that lesson in our own way, some of us tell stories, some make art, some make games, some perform, some have kids, and throw all of the above at them and more, and hope for the best.

We all raise each other and defend our families and their potential futures, and when those paths conflict, well, bad things tend to happen.

Every piece of media is part of that same "psychological experiment" that dates back to the first time someone told a story around a camp fire, and unlike most modern ones, this one had no ulterior motives. It was never going to make money, it was never going to change anyone's political alignment, or even give a specific outlook on the world. Best hope for it was that it'd let people interact who normally wouldn't, as most cooperative online games do.

Alas, everyone wants to rule the world, no matter how tiny and insignificant that world is, to the point where they'll threaten lives over it.
 

Thothie

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They are two different schools, save for governance of interaction, but I can't describe the game as unethical, lest maybe were it allow to continue as is, knowing what it inspired... Albeit, personal freedom to be one's self is my highest ethical ideal, after perhaps defense of family, so I rarely tell people the difference between good and evil, so much as hope they can demonstrate it or find it themselves, and certainly never did in the scope of the game, beyond may haps "death and disharmony is bad". (Even then, had planned to give options to align with Khaz and The Lost as alluded to vaguely in the game.)

The only declaration of principles the game has made are all in concordant opposition to each other and can apply to any ethical outlook. Though I'm recognizing the flaw in abandoning The Lost in this latest effort.

In what way do you believe this persona acted broadly unethically beyond ineptitude? I suppose we could go on about the usual treasure drop rates, balancing flaws, and maybe a crest, but beyond that... Can't say it's been perfect, but can't describe the effort as unethical.
 

The Man In Black

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You literally started this off by saying you manipulated someone into doing what you want. You know, like a sociopath would do because other people are just objects to be used in their game. How the f*ck are you this thick
 

Thothie

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I attempted to create a community built world in which people would work together to overcome obstacles and themselves.

That's as much as "getting people to do what I want" as I've enforced. No one has ever done anything against their own will here, and I've specifically removed elements that have tried to make it otherwise. No cooperative multi-player game has ever done less, and the few single player games I've worked on, merely encouraged people to have hard conversations about hard topics, and the clubs I managed, only encouraged romance and conversation.

People are the only objects that really exist in my world, everything else is ancillary.
 

The Man In Black

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@Lucifer Majiskus was not in on the plan or that Discord. He did indeed step forward, all on his own... However, social psychology is one of my deeper disciplines, so I, and others, did predict his response, and just found it too delicious that he chose that name and the date of @The Man In Black's birth. So yes, we manipulated him
 

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In what way do you believe this persona acted broadly unethically beyond ineptitude?
I mean, informed consent would be a big one. That's like the big difference between a psychological study and just playing with people.

Honestly, I've got a psychology degree, and to list the ways in which this isn't psychology would take more time than I care to say. I mean, by all means embrace it as a form of sociopathy - there isn't actually a board of bearded men judging you, nodding at your decisions and approving you in an ends-justify-the-means way.

People aren't happy. Maybe you think that's an intended result of your little experiment. Maybe you think whatever data you're going to publish for the benefit of mankind is worthwhile, or maybe you are genuine in expressing a desire to "better" people. I don't know. Does it matter? Does any of this matter at all?

Question really is could you have achieved your goals without alienating everyone who seems to care about the mod? I'm sorry that real-life threats have come to your door - this happens to a lot of online creators. Hell, it might even happen to me one day. There are plenty of people who would kill me for my sexuality or my hobbies, but that's by the by.

I don't expect to be able to influence you in any way, Saint Thothie. I don't think it's even my place to influence you. Hell, I barely even contributed half a map to this project. But I do feel for people like MiB who have ended up hurt and confused by this "experiment". It's not worth the effort to try and work out whether things could have gone differently.

You do you, Thothie. We'll all be fine in the end. I hope you will too.
 

Thothie

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Predicting a response is not making someone do something. If he hadn't stepped forth, there were other options.
 

Thothie

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People aren't happy. Maybe you think that's an intended result of your little experiment. Maybe you think whatever data you're going to publish for the benefit of mankind is worthwhile, or maybe you are genuine in expressing a desire to "better" people. I don't know. Does it matter? Does any of this matter at all?
No, people being unhappy - particularly unhappy to the point of being legally declared emotionally unstable - is the failure bar of any social effort. So no, that's specifically why we're putting the lid on this.

Again, I specifically let the game wind down so as to minimize the impact, as it looked increasingly likely we were going to have to call in quits, and then we had that bit of overflow that made it mandatory.

SOME people being unhappy, however, is inevitable in any game or broad social effort. In politics, you're failing when people start offing each other, in a game, more the point when they are threatening to.
 
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