Friday, April 4, 2008

Player's Choice - Part 1: Our Voice

(Because some players complained that the Special Reports are too long, I'll be breaking them down into 3 parts for this month, Enjoy)

As EAL is starting to form together as a big post-merge community, we're finding that our choices for sources of news and feedback is not only limited but also discouraging.

The Sims Online(older EAL) used to host it's own message board at it's older site "". There, players could discuss problems and have actual one-on-one interactions with Maxis devs. With the major overhaul of the site in 2003 came the termination of the Official TSO boards. Players were left to scatter across the internet and find sites that had TSO boards. Stratics has been, since 2003, the most popular TSO/EAL message board for players to voice their concerns and feedback. Parizad comments that "Stratics is not the official EAL board" and that "EA and Stratics have no relations". Meaning there is still no one site for players to gather all of their information. Because of Stratics being the largest EAL fan community, it is dubbed by players as the "unofficial EAL boards." But posting at Stratics brings new TOS rules that were never present at the old TSO boards. Rules that deny you of helping others and protecting the community.
One TOS from Stratics states,

"C. Personal attacks are prohibited. This specifically means any text/post that is blatantly attacking another person on or off the forum, especially in a personal way. This includes accusing anyone of cheating, using exploits, or scamming. Stratics does not have the ability to follow up on these claims to verify their validity, therefore they are not allowed. "

The advocates for the rule say that it protects the misaccused or innocent. But how many times has a player cried wolf over scams? For a recent example, I'll use the Bradleys. The Bradleys are the most well-known scammers in EAL. A few weeks ago the EA devs finally took care of the problem by terminating their accounts. The EAL Herald reported on it(exclusive ;) )and it so happened that we had a link on the Stratics board. The link did not even lead directly to the article. We were instantly messaged by Stratics to take down the article or remove the link from their site. We found that the truth should remain lit so we deleted our link on the Stratics site and parted ways. Stratics dosent realize how many sims.....avatars will get scammed in EAL because of the rules that restrict us from protecting other players. Even when the scammers are well-known and the EA devs took serious action because of their scammings.

Players are starting to stop and stare at Stratics's TOS and reevaluate their choices. Players have started to create their own sites with boards on them for other players to talk and discuss EAL topics freely without having to limit their speech or thought. A few examples of these sites include EA-Land Mania, EA-Lander, and EA-Land Forum. Players see are starting to see how unfairly Stratics is treating the EAL players and how they will take advantage of their high membership for their own benefit. Players are also starting to see their choices grow from one to many, as we continue to grow as a community and keep our bond strong.

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