I don't pretend that I don't make grind missions - I did, I had one KDF side that was largely popular.
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If you want to make it your stance that we can not make grind missions, that's fine - as I have personally said before, I will stand by their legitimacy until there is such a time that a clear indication of them being against the terms of service is made. This generic letter does not cut it.
Yes, you will make the argument that they pulled it, and so that's their sign that it is the reason, but this is not a clear letter. They simply state it violated the EULA, and pointed you to the STO EULA, which addresses issues not directly related to the foundry, and the Foundry EULA predominately deals with the rights to access to Star Trek properties.
I am not asking you to concede to allowing Grind Missions, but what I am asking you is to make a very clear open *verbal* stance on this.
If it is your intention to make grind missions against the EULA/TOS, it should *say so in them*. Right now, the EULA link provided links to the STO EULA, and does not include the Foundry's EULA, which it should. And somewhere in the EULA, or in *any* of the Foundry FAQS, threads, or official postings, there needs to be an official statement that clearly defines that this is not the way to go.
Why, you ask? Yes, the people who had made these missions did get a removal notice. That doesn't stop anyone, and it isn't really informative to have angry anti-grind mission players throwing nonsensical reports or threats in forums, in channels, or in threads. Just make it a clear notice, and people can just point it at someone, and go.
Ambiguous mailers don't work, unclear EULA/TOS notices don't work. You need to be clear and concise, and we can just get this over with and move on.
The missions are either a violation, period. Or they are not a violation, period. You don't help yourself any by every once and awhile clearing out through the missions that will crop up as long as you don't visibly put your foot down on the matter.
Like I just said, I agree they need to make the rules clear. But theres no way I'm going to believe you honestly thought that grind missions were how the Foundry was intended to be used. In all the interviews and PR they put out about the Foundry(and it has been quite a bit), not once did they say "and you can make your own grind missions too". No, all their comments were about how you could create your own stories and Trek episodes. So should they have been more clear about the rules? Sure. But you also should have know this was coming.
I stand by the legitimacy of anything until such a time that it is proven otherwise.
Do I consider grinds "what they expected"? No, I certainly don't. But that doesn't mean that they should be punished because something they weren't entirely expecting occured, either.
With no established rules and regulations, you sort of expect people to do things unexpected or even unpopular. There should be clarity on this.
Having spoken to Mirror, his entire Foundry rights have been revoked. He can not publish *any* map at all, and that is from a result of the maps he published that were neverly expressly stated as being against any of the terms of service or end user liscense agreements.
Sexuality is spoken of, crude language is spoken up, drug and alcohol use is spoken of. "Grind missions" or even "missions that could provide an unfair advantage in the progression of the game" are never touched upon, and yet he has been punished and had his rights revoked without even so much as a warning.
No where was a notice about this issue, and that seems to me to be a problem.
Punishing players instead of fixing the mechanic that made the space grinds possible is uber poor form. And it would be a simple fix. You don't want people to "abuse" the Foundry for power leveling? Fine; just take Warp Core Breach out of game. Or if you want to be subtle, make it so you get no SP from kills that happen after you're "defeated." Problem solved. End of story. Ship grinds go away; everyone is "happy."
Instead you choose to revoke access to the tool for players who did nothing more than use the tool that you, Cryptic, gave them. That's just lame. You created the problem, so how about YOU fix it, rather than blaming it on your paying customers. That would be a lot more respectable than slapping Foundry authors with "EULA violations" and pretending it's their fault. This isn't a hack or cheat code or something; it's just the logical extension of a mechanic that you never saw the full implications of in your own designs. Don't punish players for highlighting your own phail.
"Grind missions" or even "missions that could provide an unfair advantage in the progression of the game" are never touched upon,
I'm sorry, but you are mistaken. What you seem to be forgetting is that regardless of what the EULA may say or not say, you had to agree to another set of rules before logging into the game. Those rules are called the Terms of Service, and those rules say you cannot use the game in a way that was not intended to gain an advantage over other players. So if someone agreed to those rules, and then directly went against them by creating a mission that was not how the Foundry was intended to be used, then they are responsible for their actions. And to quote you:
Do I consider grinds "what they expected"? No, I certainly don't.
You freely admit that you do not think that grind missions were how the Foundry was intended to be used, so for someone who knows that to then do so is a direct violation of the TOS.
While I agree that the missions where you spawn in a group of enemies, blow up and get 100 kills are obviously a misuse of the Foundry, I'm curious exactly where the line gets drawn.
I've played missions that had a significant amount of combat in them, and really enjoyed it too. There was not much dialog and what little there was could be considered "average" at best. Would that be considered a "grind" because the story was lacking and the enemy count was high?
At what point does an intense combat mission become a "grind" mission? In a mission focused heavily on combat, it's expected there will not be a lot of dialog. I think just because a mission has a lot of enemies it shouldn't be red flagged as an "accolade exploit mission".
I hope we get some very clear feedback from the dev team as to what is acceptable in terms of creating combat heavy missions so authors are free to push the envelope without crossing any lines.
In fairness, I would say that the later terminology is blanketed by the TOS, I don't neccessarily believe that grind or accolade grind missions are expressly against the TOS.
Actually, even rethinking of what I said, I don't know if I can even phrase it as unfair advantage against any other player, because the Foundry missions are inherently available to all players.
In regards to being an unexpected, that doesn't not really mean a terms of service violation.
Think back to the old days of ramming speed, when it could be used to clear the Crystalline Entity. That was not operating as it was expected, but that is not a direct violation of the terms of service, either.