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Sheriff Belor Hemolock

Scott Betts's page

Goblin Squad Member. 6,899 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:
It should be obvious which ones are the more racist of the posts to tell the truth...

You're essentially pulling the activist version of "If you don't know why I'm mad I'm not going to tell you!" Do you think that's how a healthy dialogue works, GreyWolfLord?

but if you want to look at some...look at the first two pages, it's awful.

We should comb through literally 100 posts to try and figure what meets your personal standards of racism (that no one else appears to share)?

In addition, after reading the original TOR post, and from what I've seen here, I'm not so certain I'd ever want to go to Gen Con...I'm part of a minority, and if they are that racist against an Asian who merely pointed out demographics and asked for ways to get more minorities gaming...I can only imagine how horrendous they'd be towards me.

Oh my gosh I know they were just soooooooo horrible.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
I actually did point out quite a number of the posts to Paizo...they did not take action.

It's almost as if the incredibly inclusive people at Paizo do not necessarily share your (to be honest, rather extreme) perception of what qualifies as racism and racist support!

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GreyWolfLord wrote:

This is a very interesting thing for people to note. There IS discriminatory posts in this thread that are derogatory towards some minorities.

I imagine this could be a good test. Most minorities probably can see it...and those who have experienced it could as well.

Those who deny it...perhaps there should be a re-examination of how you view the world.

Or maybe - maybe - you could actually point out which posts you feel are discriminatory and defend your accusations of discrimination, instead of pulling this "If you have to ask why you're being called racist, it just proves that you're a racist," nonsense.

The only post I can even think of that you might latch onto is the "I don't see race" one, and even that was simply an issue of vocabulary, not any actual discrimination.

LazarX wrote:
Having been several times to GenCon, I'm going to have to say that A.A. George's article is right on the money. The number of nonwhite attendees is still vastly outnumbered by the nonwhite cleaning and service staff.

The only possible argument you can make from this is, "It must be racist, because it's full of white people!"

It is... it can't help being racist, because the people that founded the hobby like most of us grew up in a racist culture with certain preconceptions for norms.

And, what, somehow the entire hobby was left in the dark ages? Hell (no disrespect to them), many of the people who "founded" the hobby aren't even alive anymore!

"It can't help being racist," is just an enormous cop-out. Both of the major players in the industry (Paizo and WotC) now take major pains to foster inclusiveness and diversity. Actual racist incidents are quickly identified, publicized, and condemned because this community loves to be outraged by things.

I have seen zero evidence that there is a widespread and debilitating racially prejudiced undercurrent in the tabletop RPG community. Is it possible that such evidence exists, and that I've just managed to miss it entirely? Absolutely. But it does mean that you have to actually produce that evidence.

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
You have a guy who blogged a post similar to those posted by people part of racist organizations (most notably stormfront...though you could probably find similar items on Arian Nations, KKK, or other racist sites)

It has some questionable elements, and people are rightly saying that they disagree with those elements.

and people all over this thread are posting their support for it.

No, they aren't. At the most, they're saying that they understand some of Correia's points and that they disagree with George.

Then again, racist people almost never consider themselves racist

Which makes it okay for you to accuse anyone who doesn't meet your personal standards of zealotry of supporting racism, right?

In regards to racism this is basically, white=right and minority and anyone else are wrong.

I don't see anyone, anywhere in this thread stating or even implying that.

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GreyWolfLord wrote:

I am not really focused on George's statement or document.

In fact, what infuriated me was NOT George's post, but the racist statements made by Mr. Correia, and even more shocking the acceptance of Racism and discrimination among individuals on these boards.

I don't see anyone accepting racism or discrimination on these boards. (At least, not in this thread.)

What a see a whole lot of is people accusing others of being racist or supporting racism - including members of this board - without little or no evidence supporting it.

So you'll either come up with defensible proof that the people you're talking to are supporting racism, or you'll kindly keep your accusations to yourself.

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Kittyburger wrote:
Wait, people literally running around GenCon in Nazi paraphernalia isn't a specific actual incident?

I want you to read what you just wrote, and then try to see how you might have inadvertently used radicalized language here to describe the event in question.

I read Correia's article. Then I read George's article. Then I read the article that George's article linked to describing the Nazi "incident".

You said "people" - the article mentioned a person. Singular. You said "literally running around GenCon" - the article placed the cosplayer outside of GenCon, on the street. And the "incident" in question was a costume. There was no confrontation. There was no show of support for what was being worn. There was no context at all for what was going on.

Convince me that you're not taking an utterly context-free situation and fabricating your own context whole-cloth to fit a narrative. Because, based on my understanding of the situation, you just said a bunch of things that either aren't true at all or are total guesswork on your part and passed them off as fact.

Which, you know, probably isn't something you should be doing.

If I was a person of color, knowing that white people are eager to latch onto any excuse to ignore the experiences of people of color that don't reinforce white supremacy, I'd be reluctant to share specific examples from my own experience, too.

"These situations totally exist at GenCon it's just no one's talking about them because they're too scared!"

I don't buy it.

So, given that this is the perception, and it seems to be a fairly widespread perception among people of color given that it's one that I've seen online and heard in person many times before, might it not behoove us to examine our own behavior and see if it might actually possess merit, instead of rejecting it out of hand?

I think you're talking to a whole bunch of people who have examined their behavior - repeatedly - and have made changes to their behavior when they have found that behavior lacking.

You don't need to "try and start a discussion" - we're having it. You don't need to convince us to start examining our behavior - we've been examining it. You don't need to start shining light on these events - light is shone on them every time something happens because this is an extremely vocal community.

We're past that. How about you tell us what's next?

thejeff wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Kittyburger wrote:
Correia dismisses discussion of actual incidents of sexism by women, discussion of actual incidents of racism by people of color, actual incidents of gender identity and sexual orientation bias by LGBTQIA+ people (notice a running theme here?).


George never mentioned any actual incidents of racism, sexism, or sexual orientation bias. He insinuated that the predominately white, straight, male makeup of GenCon is the result of racism, sexism, and sexual orientation bias, but never actually bothered to identify the actual source of any of those problems. I'm guessing this is primarily because: a) Insinuating that racism is a problem is easy to do (and doesn't require pesky evidence), while actually identifying its source is hard; b) the primary cause of the lack of diversity he sees probably isn't actually racism, sexism, or sexual orientation bias - that's a far less parsimonious explanation than, say, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and so on; and c) bringing up actual incidents would open George up to people actually involved in those incidents offering alternative (contradictory) explanations for them.

In short, Correia literally cannot be dismissive of something that was never mentioned there to begin with.

I believe Kittyburger actually went back and read Correia's other posts to establish a pattern of dismissing such discussion.

If that's actually the case, Correia seems like kind of an unpleasant person. I can't say I'm much enamored with him based on the one article I did read, and being genuinely dismissive of those things would put him firmly in the no-love category.

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Kittyburger wrote:
Correia dismisses discussion of actual incidents of sexism by women, discussion of actual incidents of racism by people of color, actual incidents of gender identity and sexual orientation bias by LGBTQIA+ people (notice a running theme here?).


George never mentioned any actual incidents of racism, sexism, or sexual orientation bias. He insinuated that the predominately white, straight, male makeup of GenCon is the result of racism, sexism, and sexual orientation bias, but never actually bothered to identify the actual source of any of those problems. I'm guessing this is primarily because: a) Insinuating that racism is a problem is easy to do (and doesn't require pesky evidence), while actually identifying its source is hard; b) the primary cause of the lack of diversity he sees probably isn't actually racism, sexism, or sexual orientation bias - that's a far less parsimonious explanation than, say, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and so on; and c) bringing up actual incidents would open George up to people actually involved in those incidents offering alternative (contradictory) explanations for them.

In short, Correia literally cannot be dismissive of something that was never mentioned there to begin with.

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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Saying someone has white privilege is NOT the same as saying they are personally and offensively racist.

Then you have a language problem.

When I hear "told they bear a share of responsibility for a state of racial, gender, or similar inequality in society" that sounds a whole hell of a lot like saying they're part of the problem.

We've gone around and around this on this thread and somehow people are still coming up with this strawman, that people who are saying "check your privilege" are actually saying "you're a racist m*!#$@@+&*$*". A statement that a person has racial privilege is NOT a statement that they are racist.

You're not simply saying that they enjoy racial privilege. You're saying that they enjoy racial privilege, that they are responsible for it being perpetuated, and that they have a duty above and beyond what they are already doing to fix the problem they are a part of, regardless of what they are actually doing.

This is radicalized language. It isn't grounded in reality.

Well, if a person is benefitting from the oppression of minorities, and isn't doing a thing to mitigate that, how is that not being part of the problem?

You aren't making any distinction here between those who are doing something to mitigate it and those who are not. Your insinuation is blanket - that all whites, males, and Christians are part of the problem and are not part of the solution.

I'm actually white, as well, and of course I wasn't saying that everyone is harboring unconscious fears of those things.

You aren't? Because that's exactly what your phrasing said.

You said:

The reason people become uncomfortable with being told they bear a share of responsibility for a state of racial, gender, or similar inequality in society, insofar as they benefit from it in ways that minorities cannot, is because they are scared, subconsciously, that their privileges are going to be taken away.

I've highlighted the relevant bit. There is no such thing as "the reason" people are uncomfortable with that. There are a whole bunch of reasons people are uncomfortable with what you are describing, and some of those reasons are simply that they're not part of the problem but that you keep insisting that they are.

If I had meant that I would have said that. But I suppose someone had to come in with #Notallmen.

See, right here: You didn't need to throw that hashtag out, but you did because - to you - someone who disagrees with your methods must also disagree with your goal.

What a person is fearing when they are told they have privilege may not be the loss of a job, or of having their kids become atheists, but they're afraid of SOMETHING, even if it's just fear of being called racist, and this fear is what causes defensiveness.

Or - or - just maybe they're not fearing anything except being unfairly characterized as part of the problem by some guy on the internet!

To come at it from another direction, it seems, to us, that the only reason you would characterize our reaction to being told we're privileged as fearful is so that you can paint us as working consciously or subconsciously against it - it makes it incredibly easy to hop from "They're afraid of change" to "They're afraid of change and that's why they are hostile to it."

The 8th Dwarf wrote:
I liked one of Scott's comments. it's like the 3rd time

*notches bedpost*

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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

If we stop using the word 'privilege' and use a different word, then pretty soon THAT word will become the emotionally charged one that Caineach and those coming from the same position will be advising us not to use because it turns people off.

To hell with that. The reason people become uncomfortable with being told they bear a share of responsibility for a state of racial, gender, or similar inequality in society, insofar as they benefit from it in ways that minorities cannot, is because they are scared, subconsciously, that their privileges are going to be taken away. White people are scared of having more trouble getting jobs because they don't have a built in advantage over everyone else when being hired. Men are scared of having a harder time getting laid because they have to acquire enthusiastic consent before having sex with a woman. Christians are scared of having their children being taught that other religions, and nonreligiousness are the legal and logical equals of Christianity, because it may make it harder to keep their children in the faith when they know that there are other options.

These are not conscious fears, but they are one of the reasons why people get defensive and upset when you discuss their privileges.

I think you're going a bit far with the insinuation that every white person, every male, or every Christian who is made uncomfortable by being told that they are personally and offensively racist is harboring subconscious fears of losing privileges they are not even conscious of enjoying.

I think there are plenty of people who are consciously afraid of those things. And there may be some who are subconsciously afraid of those things. But that every single white person, male, or Christian who objects to being accused of being part of the problem is subconsciously trying to avoid losing out is going a few steps too far.

I'm going to be blunt: You need white people on your side. You need men on your side. You need Christians on your side. No matter what major social shift you are trying to make happen, you need these people to be on your side. By all means, assign blame where it's due. But restrain yourself from becoming so zealous in your rhetoric that you end up causing those who are already on your side (to say nothing of those who aren't, but who could be) to question whether they want to be associated with that kind of fervor.

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Both of the articles in question are terrible.

George's article is an exercise in purposefully shallow thinking, and while I can forgive Correia being dismissive of George's eminently dismissible argument, the fact that he decided to respond in the first place is awful. George is making some really horrible allegations about the con and the gaming community at large with literally nothing to back it up. No one is stopping him from feeling marginalized, but it's on him to identify why he feels marginalized, and is not incumbent on the rest of the gaming community to figure that out for him, because that's simply not possible.

George's article could have said meaningful things about gaming and race, but it didn't. Correia's response starts a "dialogue" that is really just bringing the level of discourse surrounding the topic down to the level of bickering.

Drejk wrote:
Wrath wrote:

15 million would employ far more than 100 people when you consider most folks in the industry aren't making big money. We're not talking triple figure incomes here I'm guessing.


As far as I understand it 15 million is sales at shops and other channels. Subtract what shop gets, subtract printing and shipment costs, taxes, and what is left is probably much lower number.

How much shops get? 10-15%? Transport? 10-15%? Taxes?

Retailers take a huge chunk (in excess of 20%). Logistics is a significant chunk. Production is an enormous chunk. Non-salary overhead is another chunk (utilities, equipment, non-salary employee benefits, office rent, etc.). By the time the industry gets around to actually cutting checks for employees, that $15 million is probably down to a few million. I wasn't forecasting huge salaries for RPG industry employees; around $50,000 per annum, plus benefits.

I'd be astonished if, based on these figures, there were even 100 people in the world who derive the whole of (or close to the whole of) their income from working on tabletop RPGs.

Thelemic_Noun wrote:
Pan wrote:
My gamer buddies complain all the time how much more expesive Magic is than your typical BG or TTRPG. If cost is a huge berrier why does Magic-pokemon-yu-gi-oh make cash hand over fist?
Because they manipulate customers using the same mechanisms that casinos, bookies, and B.F. Skinner developed to make people gamble away their money.

Casinos and bookies don't feature a robust secondary market that allows those "gambling away their money" to recoup losses and trade risk and reward among other players.

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Kthulhu wrote:
Did anyone actually think that it was big?

No, but the idea that the entire tabletop RPG industry can support (and this is being charitable) fewer than 100 full-time workers is sort of jarring.

John Kretzer wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I think the actual numbers are meaningless (and they are just estimates) - it's the relative numbers I find surprising.

Again I think the medium of the survey (IE just counting Gaming Stores sales numbers) are also a bot skewed as I think people are more likely to buy collectible games via a store than the internet as opposed to RPG books which I pretty much buy all of them online.

Not saying that CCG and the like does not out sell RPGs I just don't think it is by as high as a margin as this would lead you to believe.

I agree. In my experience, enthusiast TCG players to purchase TCG boosters in store where they can play/trade/sell on the spot. RPG players also buy in hobby stores, but they are much more inclined to simply order from Amazon (or Paizo) and receive shipments when they come - their needs once the book arrives are less immediate.

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Tsoli wrote:
I'd be surprised if it got two quarters. One, sure, because people will just buy what there is to take a look at it, but all in all, I wasn't terribly interested.

Ah, yes. The "My personal lack of interest practically guarantees its widespread commercial failure!" hypothesis - nigh unassailable.

At this point, given the game's reception and sales, the only thing I can see preventing it from holding the top place on ICV2's list is if WotC decides to stop putting new books on the shelves.

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I thought this might be relevant to this thread: this afternoon D&D broke through to the number one spot on Amazon's bestseller list.

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Danbala wrote:

If that was happening it wasn't clear where that was. Wizards had their own zone in Hall D which was a literally walled off area. Behind the wall they had something like 30 or so tables where they were running their demos. Not all of the tables were for D&D (some were for Waterdeep, etc). On Thursday morning, I tried to reserve a demo for any time during the Con and was told that they were all sold out before the con started.

(In comparison, Pathfinder was in the Sagamore ballroom with 150 tables -- they were doing about 900 players per slot. The space was large enough that they could accommodate walk ins.)

In addition to a prominent position in the Exhibit Hall, Paizo had these massive banners flying at all the entrances. they had a local pub redone to be Pathfinder themed. Wizards had nothing in the exhibit Hall but they did have a banner up at Hall D and a castle themed wall around their space. But mainly their presence seemed to be low key by comparison.

This was particularly striking when you compared Wizards small and out of the way D&D area to its large and centrally placed Magic the Gathering space. Unlike the D&D zone, the Magic area was adjacent to the Exhibit Hall and featured a huge (Sagamore-like) play space. Magic promotional materials were prominently placed through the convention space. I only saw two 5e banners -- one at the entrance to Hall D and another in St George street across from the food trucks. It was clear that Wizards saw the convention as key to their promotion -- of Magic.

I'm not sure how you managed to miss all of this, but D&D's presence there was much larger than you're making it out to be. Again, you can check the Gen Con event listings if you don't believe me (or the photos) to confirm how many players they were running.

Darkbridger wrote:
If Obsidian does a good job with a CRPG and Game Space comes together eventually, I don't think WotC stands much of a chance. I'd give them 2 quarters and that's it.

Uhh. Obsidian definitely will not have a CRPG out within two quarters (more like two years). Hell, it's doubtful that Paizo will have Game Space fully released in two quarters. Neither of these will play any role in whether WotC will hold the number one spot for more than two quarters.

Danbala wrote:
I just got back from Gencon and was disappointed by the level of 5e support from Wizards. i hoped to get in a demo game of 5e to test drive the new system, but Hasbro only had a handful of tables and they were all booked up. They really seemed to have a low key profile -- especially considering this was their big year. Bummer.

I've never attended GenCon, mind you, but from what I understand (and from flipping through the GenCon schedule) WotC was running through somewhere in the neighborhood of 500-600 players per four-hour slot, in addition to a 700-player shared game epic on Saturday evening. I'm guessing they had upwards of 100 tables set up to handle this volume. Is that a "handful", in GenCon terms?

(For what its worth, at a cursory glance it looks like that's in the same neighborhood as the number of tables running Pathfinder Society games; please correct me if I'm mistaken, though.)

Played the beta, and found it immediately and reliably satisfying.

This is the game that will put an Xbox One on my shelf.

Ashram wrote:
Pathfinder setting world with Fallout's engine? Yes please.

I think it's best if we leave that engine as a stepping stone on the way to another, better engine.

More to the point, Fallout: NV was built on the Gamebryo engine, which by itself doesn't mean anything (to give you an idea, Gamebryo lies under games as diverse as Epic Mickey, Civ 4, and Rocksmith). I think what you mean is that you want it to use the visual style and branching interactions that you see in FO3, FO:NV, and The Elder Scrolls. Licensing issues aside (all of those technologies that define the FO/TES style are almost certainly owned by Bethesda), this isn't anything that Obsidian doesn't have the capability to purpose build for a project like this.

I think it's much more likely, regardless, that we'll see a Pathfinder CRPG that isn't done in full first/third-person-OTS 3D.

Alex Cunningham wrote:
I am delighted that Paizo as a whole has made money off of a genre of gaming born out of consumer exploitation (having to pay for things you will never use because they are bundled with things you will).

Is this the part where we tell him that the people running Paizo were some of the driving forces behind Magic: The Gathering back when they were at WotC in the 90's?

Also, "tasking" makes it sound like Obsidian is being forced to make the PACG game against their will. Obsidian has any number of projects they could be tackling. They're making this because they think the product is good, and because they think they're a good fit to develop it.

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Karui Kage wrote:
3. Leave out Mass Effect style "choices", put in D:OS style choices. Mass Effect made it very clear which path would be "good" and which was "bad". D:OS (and a few other games) are a lot less clear about what personality you're ending up with.

This seems sort of antithetical to the spirit of reproducing a traditional RPG experience in video game form. When you're playing a tabletop RPG, you typically do know when you're making a decision with good intent or evil intent, and you are certainly in control of the personality that your character ends up embodying. I understand that there is some merit to the idea of stripping some of that power from the player as a way of making them focus on consequences rather than intent, but I don't think that makes Mass Effect-style choices less valid - in fact, they cleave much more closely to the sorts of choices you'd find yourself making in an actual tabletop roleplaying game.

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For those of you who are looking forward to Obsidian developing a Pathfinder CRPG, I think the most helpful thing you can do is to purchase Pillars of Eternity. Nothing will motivate them to continue to create solid "traditional" CRPGs like their first big traditional CRPG project turning out to be a huge financial success.

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Skeld wrote:
Right, I get that it sometimes comes down "kickstarter, or nothing." I just get the feeling that a growing number of projects are turning to Kickstarter first as a way to mitigate some of their own financial risk, to avoid more traditional funding avenues, or use it as a long-lead pre-order system.

But that's...that's the whole point. I mean, what else would Kickstarter even be used for besides those three things?

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Could they? They could!

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About. Damned. Time.

Also, a development studio in my city is working on a digital Pathfinder project? How interesting.

Andrew Crossett wrote:
The new edition will of course alienate most of the players who came on board with 4th edition, just as 4th edition drove us old-schoolers away.

I don't think 4e drove most "old-schoolers" away, and I certainly don't think that 5e is going to alienate many 4e players. Nearly every 4e player I know is cool with playing 5e. And I'm only using the word "nearly" in case I'm forgetting someone.

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EltonJ wrote:

Reddit posters have nailed it.

"This is the D&D we deserve."

For doing what?

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Buri wrote:
Blazej, I'm not calling you a liar, but I'd really like an example. Granted, I've only stuck to the 5th ed. forums, but I haven't seen that kind of behavior there.

I've seen it, but it's been relatively uncommon (compared to the vitriol going the other way) and it's usually leapt upon rather quickly by other posters (myself included) who don't see that behavior as desirable in a given online community. I think at this point it's mostly a relic of the past.

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Auxmaulous wrote:
You did state earlier up thread that you (personally) did not feel that Wotc did anything wrong with the pdfs (a sore spot for many people here) and that they (Wotc) were in the right both legally and morally. You have to understand that while you feel this way, many people here do not.

I certainly do understand that. But people get upset at a wide range of things. It's not always reasonable or fair to get upset (or worse, hostile) at a given person/event/company, but I feel like that idea isn't given the time of day in the gaming community. When someone questions whether a certain hostile reaction is reasonable, it tends to be met with additional hostility. I'm not surprised by this, but that doesn't mean I think it's appropriate. It's unpleasant, and it makes actual discussion very difficult (if not outright impossible). I don't feel like the gaming community tends to have stronger emotional reactions than other communities, but I do feel like the gaming community tends to react with those strong emotions to relatively minor issues. It's a matter of proportion.

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Auxmaulous wrote:
I don't think you are being uncivil Scott - but you are being dismissive and showing a considerable lack of empathy on the matter and that's what seems to be causing the problems.

It's difficult (for me, at least) to be particularly empathetic to the sort of person who refers to an entire company (a number of employees of which I have met, gamed with, and shared drinks with, and who struck me as genuinely cool people) in a hostile or insulting manner. You can call the decision shortsighted or whatever, that's fine, but "savages"? You may view a lack of empathy on my part as the root cause of hostility in this thread, but I don't - this thread's tone was hostile well before I started posting in it. The only difference is that the hostility became personal, rather than simply being directed at a company people don't like, once people realized it could be directed at people disagreeing with them instead.

That said, I appreciate the support, as it were.

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Skeld wrote:
Honestly guys (Steve, Sissyl, Wraithstrike, et al longtimers), there's not any reason to engage Scott in these arguments. He's been on these boards for 6 years now, defending WotC against any and every slight, real or perceived. Continuing to argue with him and let him get under your skin only serves to ruin everyone's good mood and get blood pressures up.



4E is dead and he may literally be the only person left on this board defending 4e and WotC's action leading up to its release (and some of their other actions, like yanking the PDFs willed to no warning). At this point, his comments on WotC/4e can safely be ignored.


Let's ignore, for right now, the fact that there are multiple other people in this thread saying things very similar to what I'm saying. Is it your opinion that these forums (and this sub-forum in particular) should make a point of ignoring anyone who disagrees with this community's prevailing opinion of a particular game or the company that made it?

This isn't the only tabletop gaming community that I frequent. It is, however, the only one that seems to be unable to handle disagreement with civility. I post with the same "tone" here and elsewhere, but where I'm met with reasonable discussion elsewhere I'm met with insult here. Again, not particularly flattering for this community.

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brad2411 wrote:
Some of this thread is really getting off in a bad way. The OP asked people for there opinion on if they trust Wotc anymore and why. If you want to say you trust wotc that is ok but attacking other community members for stating their opinions and beliefs of what they think is being a jerk. Please state you opinion and then read what everyone else thinks there is no reason to post again in response to another persons opinion.

This is a discussion forum. It's okay to have opinions on other people's opinions. If you find someone having an opinion about your opinion difficult to handle (or difficult to handle without resorting to personal insults), it might be time to take a step back. There are a number of people posting here who are able to have a discussion - including disagreement! - without resorting to personal attack, but there are many others who are not.

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Vhayjen wrote:
OK, so after reading halfway through this thread I've noticed something. I'm not going to get into a debate because, in particular, and who will remain nameless, -coughcough- , Scott Betts, I won't be put to task and go round and round because your brain can't seem to register we have a voice that will not be walked over by your inconsistent and belittling tone. You're like a playground bully who won't take an opposing logical voice and let it stand. To the contrary, yours is the right one and all others are at fault. You are faulty. Hit your reset button, dude, and listen for a change.

This is what hostility sounds like. For those watching, if you want to accuse me of a lack of civility, go through this thread and find all the places where I called someone (not their reasoning, but the person themselves) faulty, a playground bully, belittling, etc. You won't, because I don't use personal attacks (precisely because I like to be able to draw a contrast between myself and those who do).

You can continue to act like this, Vhayjen. I typically don't report posts for hostility. But I don't feel it reflects well on you. You can make your points without resorting to insult, and if you feel you can't, then maybe your position ought to be reconsidered.

This thread is a really solid example of a long-running trend in this sub-forum: It's considered acceptable by this community (even though it's against the rules) to direct hostility at WotC, but it is considered unacceptable to defend those companies in the face of that hostility - and, worse, the community considers that defense hostility, no matter how civil, and reacts with additional hostility because it cannot bear to be disagreed with.

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The Silver Prince wrote:
Scott Betts, I came back to see what's going on as far as discussion and what do I see? I see YOU being uncivil in the tone of your comments, then getting offended when people return the snideness.

How is that even possible? I hadn't even posted in this thread until at least two other participants made hostile comments directed towards another company in the industry. I haven't been anything close to hostile myself, but even if I had I certainly wouldn't have been the one to introduce hostility to this thread.

If you see it, you are free to report it. I think I've done a decent job of remaining civil despite the - at times - overtly hostile tone of other posters.

Would you like to continue to make this personal, The Silver Prince?

Who are you to tell her she shouldn't feel that way? Did YOU lose money on pulled PDFs because of WotCs decision to suddenly remove all PDFs?

Yes, I did! Though I wouldn't characterize it as "losing money". I paid for PDFs, and I received PDFs.

If you did, then you have a right to disagree with her point and have it mean something.

I didn't realize that I had to buy my way into this thread! My bad!

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
I will note that the single day's notice thing was shady...
In my view, this was the only part that makes me level the accusation against WotC. If they'd given "fair" notice (whatever that is) I would be agreeing with you completely.

Then you and I essentially agree; we're merely quibbling over how whether pulling them in one day makes them untrustworthy or merely bad at customer service (or, perhaps, untrustworthy when it comes to customer service?).

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Steve Geddes wrote:

Sure they did - they allowed third parties to offer multiple downloads over an extended period. They're not legally responsible, but the fact that they were acting in a certain way and then stopped means that they violated (some people's) trust.

It's not a question of liability or legality, it's a question of actions. Even people who understood they didnt have rights in perpetuity didnt think WotC would tell the other sites to pull the PDFs - that just wasnt the done thing. WotC were allowed to change their minds, but without warning everyone they were about to, they were breaking that trust.

It doesnt matter that other sites offered something they werent allowed to. WotC still took an unexpected action suddenly - that's where some people lost trust.

I understand that some people felt that their trust was betrayed. What you and I are going to have to simply disagree on is whether feeling betrayed by WotC was reasonable (and, by extension, whether holding a grudge for it four years later is reasonable). I don't feel that it is, because WotC had no obligation (legal or moral) to their customers to constrain their business decisions for the sake of a distributor's broken promise. Again, it was discourteous to do it as swiftly as they did, but that simply means that they didn't provide their distributor's customers a courtesy. That doesn't make them awful, or "d-bags", or any number of other choice insults. It just makes them not particularly good at customer service. And let's be honest, customer service has never been WotC's forte.

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Steve Geddes wrote:
When I buy a Paizo AP instalment, I trust that I'll get full color pictures. To the point that I dont check each time, just in case. If they suddenly release a product in black and white, it would be a violation of trust because they've set it up as a reasonable expectation.

A fairly minor violation of trust, but absolutely!

Except that WotC never set that expectation up in the first place.

DTRPG did, and they didn't have the ability to follow through on it.

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Rathendar wrote:
If a company i purchase from goes in a direction i do not wish for or desire, then i can no longer trust them to make what i like.

But you don't need that "trust" to continue to purchase from them. You can simply wait and see what they come out with. If you like the base game (which, again, you can try out without investing, so no need for "trust" there), you will probably continue to enjoy the supplements they release (or, at least, enough of the supplements that you won't feel left in the dark).

There's trust in a company, which is the surety that your investment in their product will not be devalued (or will cause you suffering) over time (through security breach, damage, etc.), and then there's "trust" in a company, which is simply the likelihood that they will make things you find worth buying. You're not at any point locked into purchasing their products blindly, so the latter isn't a concern with D&D. You can simply buy as you see fit, no "trust" required.

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Adjule wrote:
Scott's white knighting for WotC always blows up a thread.

That doesn't speak very highly of this community.

Of course, hostile, personal attack posts like yours above don't help matters at all. (I wonder if, perhaps, there is another term you could have used besides "white knighting" that describes it in a less offensive way?)

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wraithstrike wrote:
I get what you are saying, but it was still a poor move to make. I might not tell my gf that I will never cheat on her, but it is just assumed to be that way until otherwise stated.

I really don't think that the nearly-universal idea of relationship exclusivity is analogous to the idea that tabletop PDFs would remain re-downloadable in perpetuity. There are a number of digital products available today, all over the internet, that do not allow for re-download after a given window has expired. Not a safe assumption to make; in this case, it does make sense that users would believe that they could re-download those PDFs in the future, because that's what DTRPG deliberately led them to believe in order to make their service sound more attractive, despite them not actually having the ability to follow through on that promise.

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bugleyman wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
So a business shouldn't have the ability to determine who gets to distribute their product? That's wrong, to you?
That's extremely disingenuous of you. There's a big difference between "decide who distributes their products" and "make unavailable something that has already been paid for."

I don't think it's disingenuous at all. From the view of WotC - and, I'll be frank, the view of any reasonable company in a similar position (i.e., one which had no agreement with the distributor to provide re-downloads in perpetuity) - the customer had already received what they had paid for. At best, the ability to re-download previously purchased PDFs was a courtesy provided by DTRPG, one that WotC did not license them to provide and one which took advantage of WotC (placing them in a really uncomfortable position in the event that they every decided to, for example, switch or drop distributors, which is probably why it was not a provision of their license).

Again, there are two reasonable ways to treat a digital product - either it works the same as a physical product, in which case you (the consumer) are responsible for it once purchased (absent warranty), or it works as a service, in which case it is subject to the terms of the license under which it was purchased.

So, choose. In the former situation, the "legalese" doesn't matter because you aren't entitled to have it replaced, ever. What you download is what you get, and you have to purchase it a second time if you want a second copy.

In the latter situation, the "legalese" is of critical importance because it lays out what you get for your money. You, as the consumer, do not get to unilaterally dictate what your purchase entails. There are a number of people operating under the mistaken belief that giving an arbitrary amount of money to the company does give them the right to dictate what they get from that company, but they are wrong, and we call that gamer entitlement.

You cannot pick and choose. And, equally importantly, it's simply not fair to shackle WotC's entire digital distribution business to a set of terms they never agreed to. If someone tried to do that to you, you'd be (justifiably) furious. You got shafted because WotC wanted to change their digital model, and DTRPG's deception resulted in you having something that you thought you had access to stripped from you. Place the blame where it belongs.

I will note that the single day's notice thing was shady, but that doesn't obviate DTRPG of blame (and, I suspect, this decision was one borne more out of ignorance of the level of outcry it would generate). Don't attribute to malice what can be equally well-explained as a dumb choice.

Furthermore, this is precisely the sort of argumentation for which you're constantly taking others to task.

Noooope, I really don't think that it is.

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Red Velvet Tiger wrote:
Ok, I see this conversation is getting nowhere because, apparently, you miss the salient point. You're too tied up in all the legalities and other nonsense to get that's it's not all bout the business model and what they CAN get away with, it's about what was a series d-bag moves on their part that showed a blatant disregard for their customers.

Those "legalities" and "nonsense" are the terms of the purchase that you made on the site. Do you believe those to be unimportant? Do you consider PDFs a product or a licensed service? That's an important question, and one that you seem eager to avoid answering (because it would force you into one of two positions, neither of which aligns well with your take on the situation).

No, they didn't have to make the decision that they did. On the other hand, making the decision that they did doesn't make them a bad company. If DTRPG had never made that promise, and consumers had never been provided the ability to re-download PDFs (without WotC's consent!), the outrage (or most of it) would have vanished because people's expectations would not have been elevated past what DTRPG was capable of providing.

You want WotC's business decisions to be constrained by a promise that DTRPG made to you. That isn't fair to them, and it doesn't make them "d-bags" (nice) to make those decisions. Giving one day's notice? Yeah, not a brilliant move, but at worst simply discourteous (and, again, never would have been an issue if DTRPG hadn't purposefully deceived its customers).

It's also apparent that a civilized conversation cannot be had with you, so I see no point in continuing and have this turn into a flame war.

Red Velvet Tiger, this is the 4e (and other) sub-forum, and has some special rules. One of those rules is that attacks on other companies in the industry (including - but not limited to! - calling them "savages") are not acceptable (I believe it's a site-wide rule, but it's particularly harped-upon here and mentioned in this sub-forum's description because of its repeated problems with anti-WotC hostility). I have made a concerted effort to remain civil, and you are free to report any insulting comments you feel I may have made, but you don't get to lay the blame for a less-than-civilized conversation at my feet here. Your first post in this thread was hostile, uncivil, and broke the rules.

I will respectfully leave this thread with a suggestion: apply for politics, Scott, because THAT'S where all of what you are speaking of belongs. I really believe you would excel at it. Good day, sir!

This, for example - a less-than-civil comment; a thinly-veiled insinuation that I lie or twist words. Not a particularly mature response, and certainly not constructive in any way. I normally don't mind when people get testy, but I do mind when they accuse me of hostility and then in the very same breath spout off crap like the above.

You can be better than this.

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Red Velvet Tiger wrote:
You should know, if you own a computer and I assume you do, that computers break down. They may not have deleted them from people's hard drives, but they DID keep them from redownloading the files if the computer crashed, which is what happened to me. And I asked WotC if they could get me a download link to the files I purchased and they said no, that I would have to buy it again.

Maybe next time, back your files up? If you were under the impression that DTRPG was your backup, because they'd promised you that your files would be available there forever despite them not being able to make that promise, why aren't you upset at them for making a promise they can't keep?

No, but giving them permission to sell it THEN choosing to remove it just so they could make more money is a total d-bag move to anyone with a moral compass. And no, I don't care about the legalese, so feel free to keep that to yourself.

"Spare me the legalese" is, in this case, just another way for you to say, "I don't care about the factors that actually make this DTRPG's fault, I only want to hear about the things that allow me to continue to believe that WotC is solely to blame!"

I'm not being an apologist, I just believe in KEEPING WHAT I PAY FOR!

You paid for a PDF. You got to keep it. Your computer's hard drive failed and was utterly unrecoverable? That sounds like the sort of thing that could happen to an actual possession!

Are PDFs real products that you own, giving you the rights of ownership? If yes, then you have to accept responsibility for their loss! Or are PDFs licenses for a service? If yes, then that legalese suddenly becomes critically important, because the terms of the license (not what you believe in your heart of hearts!) dictate what you're entitled to!

You don't get to have it both ways.

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wraithstrike wrote:
As for your trust comment--->Trust is a very large key to getting money from people, and any smart company will try to build it.

My argument is that a very, very small amount of trust is required for a tabletop game company. And most of that can be waived by providing the ability to try the game out for free, which has happened for the last three editions.

We're not talking about a medical insurance company, an airline, or a university. We're talking about what is, at its core, a bunch of people who write books.

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wraithstrike wrote:
WoTC is the one that took their toys back. DTRPG may be wrong for saying "the toys will always be in our house", but that does not matter to some people.

Clearly. It ought to matter, but it doesn't. Much easier to blame the big company making a business decision than it is to blame the small company that lied to you because it made their service sound more attractive!

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