Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
04-19-2011, 05:37 AM
i fail to understand why players are getting hit for creative use of game mechanics, which everyone has access to, therefor there is no unfair advantage to any one player.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
04-19-2011, 05:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenMirror
But its not getting an advantage on other players because in reality, all players have access to it.
So your excuse for breaking the rule is telling other people they should break it too? Let me know how that works out for you
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
04-19-2011, 06:18 AM
I don't care at all if other players level faster or not and I don't care much about what the EULA says about this.
But, honestly, I'm glad that Cryptic finally does something against these grind missions.

Not only are they a disgrace for such a great tool, they take up space on both the servers and the mission-list - and wonderful mission get buried under them.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 24
04-19-2011, 06:43 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
If grind missions are not to exist, they just have to state that they are not. It is not that difficult.
If grind missions can exist, they absolutely need a way to filter them out at least, by allowing us to identify our mission as "grind" mission. (possibly also explicitely stating that "grind" missions not marked accordingly can be removed and is a breach of the EULA).
I'd like a clear definition of what a "grind" mission is? My opinion (for what it's worth) defines a grind mission as one which is pretty much all combat and you are just grinding your way through the enemies. I don't think a mission that is light on dialog and heavy on combat should be a violation of the Foundry even if it could be defined as a grind mission.

The last thing I want to worry about in my missions is putting too many enemies on the map and being banned from the Foundry. In my final mission, I want to create this epic, climatic battle but now I worry about being called a "grinder" should I end up with too many enemies on the map.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 25
04-19-2011, 06:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patarival View Post
Not only are they a disgrace for such a great tool, they take up space on both the servers and the mission-list - and wonderful mission get buried under them.
Those wonderful missions were not "buried" by the 5 or 10 "grind" missions that Cryptic removed. And there were never more than a dozen or so of these at any time. Those wonderful missions are, however, absolutely "buried" by the hundreds of other starbase, RP, recruitment, and "training" missions; not to mention the literal thousands of lame, stupid, illiterate, trivial, experimental, and just plain WTF? "story" missions that are still clogging up the listing.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
04-19-2011, 06:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trueheart
I'd like a clear definition of what a "grind" mission is? My opinion (for what it's worth) defines a grind mission as one which is pretty much all combat and you are just grinding your way through the enemies. I don't think a mission that is light on dialog and heavy on combat should be a violation of the Foundry even if it could be defined as a grind mission.

The last thing I want to worry about in my missions is putting too many enemies on the map and being banned from the Foundry. In my final mission, I want to create this epic, climatic battle but now I worry about being called a "grinder" should I end up with too many enemies on the map.
I think what they are taking down are those one-map missions that are maxed out in NPC numbers. They don't tell a story in any way.

I don't think they are taking down missions that involve you working your way through a couple maps and then ending with a massive battle.
Lt. Commander
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# 27
04-19-2011, 06:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagorak View Post
How exactly do grind missions work anyway? Is it just that you fight a lot of enemies, or is it where you blow up constantly and your explosions kill the enemies?
I don't know if this can even be discussed, considering that people get their authoring rights revoked for it. It might be considered an exploit going by such extreme measures.

Quote:
There is a very important paragraph in the Foundry EULA that you all seem to have forgotten...

"Cryptic Studios and CBS reserve the right to remove any New Game Materials for any reason at any time, without providing cause or recompense."

Done.. end of story. Like it or not, you agreed to that paragraph as part of the EULA.
That is not the end of the story. The authors don't seem to primarily complain about getting the missions unpublished. That is clearly stated as a possibliity at any time for any reason.

But revoking the rights to publish new missions (which might not be - and after the forced unpublishing, probably would not be - grind missions)? Without any clear indication in the EULA or other rules that this would be wrong? It just feels excessive and unfair.

Sure, in the end they can do whatever they want. But even if you can do what you want, what you do can reflect badly on you.

I am designing a mission kinda intended as a "PvP Training" mission. There are lots of enemies going there, because that's the only way to come even close to mimc to the amount of damage PCs put out in PvP. You don't have to kill them mostly, they won't kill each other automatically by their warp core explosions or whatever. But it is definitely not a story mission, the excessive amount of text it contains is all on a metagaming level describing ingame abilities, and trying to describe basic tactics and strategies for tanking, healing, damage and crowd control.

If Grind missions are unpublished and the author barred from making new missions, based on vague allusions to giving "using the game in a way not intended to gain an unfair" advantage, will this mission be forcibly unpublishe, will I no longer be allowed to use the Foundry.

Am I using the foundry in a way it was not intended and give people an unfair advantage because they learn stuff they otherwise might not learn? Or because they _could_ try to kill all those enemies, and there is no story, so they have an unfair way to earn a lot of skill points?

I don't know the answer. I can understand they can#t give another answer but: "We know grind when we see it". But if they are that vague, their must be a policy distinguishing "first offenders" and "repeated offenders", especially if the interpretation that Grind missions are an EULA violation in the first place was not communicated before.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 28
04-19-2011, 07:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
I don't know the answer. I can understand they can#t give another answer but: "We know grind when we see it". But if they are that vague, their must be a policy distinguishing "first offenders" and "repeated offenders", especially if the interpretation that Grind missions are an EULA violation in the first place was not communicated before.
All of the issues with a "policy" solution to this are why smacking down paying customers for simply using the tools Cryptic gave them was the worst possible response. The "fighter grinds" don't happen on ground maps, because your toon doesn't explode when it dies. Simple problem; simple solution. Rather than taking responsibility and fixing the mechanic so that people wouldn't bother with the splosion grinds, they just decided to blame it on their customers and take a senseless, ham-fisted approach based on a vague "policy" which does nothing to actually fix the problem.

I agree that the overwhelming force scenario does present some useful learning opportunities. I learned a heck of a lot more about my sci captain's survival abilities by trying to extend my endurance under 100 torpedo salvos than I ever would from doing endless ridiculous DSE and explore templates. It's also a good setting to practice precise timing and sequence of ability usage, especially under high lag conditions. The fighter grind was just funny when I first saw one, but I wound up playing with it for a while just to see how many more seconds I could last and how many I could take out before I went down.

And I agree that your PvP training mission is a good example of something that seems "legit," but may become rather hard to distinguish in any principled way from a splosion grind. So you put the enemies a little farther apart; so what? That really means something? What if they all aggro while I'm flying around, and then I die, killing a bunch of them in the splosion. Does it become a grind then?

If the penalty was just removing the mission, then "we know it when we see it" might be ok. But since the punishment appears to be a ban hammer on using Foundry at all (which is a part of the product that the customer is paying for), then Cryptic is going to need to be a whole lot clearer up front about what people have to avoid in order to steer clear of trouble here.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 29
04-19-2011, 07:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rejak
There is a very important paragraph in the Foundry EULA that you all seem to have forgotten...

"Cryptic Studios and CBS reserve the right to remove any New Game Materials for any reason at any time, without providing cause or recompense."

Done.. end of story. Like it or not, you agreed to that paragraph as part of the EULA.
Right, as I said earlier, falling back into a legal gray area is neither clear nor concise. And while it is certainly within their right and ability to do so (Since you can never fully account for EVERYTHING), it is also not helpful to anyone to do so, because it does not clarify your stance on the situation.

Regardless, my point is *not* one of "Can we do grind missions?" - I know that their removal of the missions means their stance is no. What I am asking for is *clarity* on the matter, because right now they are doing just that - falling back into a gray area. It is not concise, and the offense is not listed. It *should* be noted *somewhere*. Even if it's not a legal notice, because of the terminology necessary, it should be on the forums, for example, as a notice that these types of missions are not valid for such reasons, because it HELPS to prevent this from happening, and it is also more useful to point someone toward an OFFICIAL notice, other than simply being told it's exploitive, or it's hacking, or whatever things that often get associated with negative criticism for this mission style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trueheart
I'd like a clear definition of what a "grind" mission is? My opinion (for what it's worth) defines a grind mission as one which is pretty much all combat and you are just grinding your way through the enemies. I don't think a mission that is light on dialog and heavy on combat should be a violation of the Foundry even if it could be defined as a grind mission.

The last thing I want to worry about in my missions is putting too many enemies on the map and being banned from the Foundry. In my final mission, I want to create this epic, climatic battle but now I worry about being called a "grinder" should I end up with too many enemies on the map.
This is part of the reason why I would like clarity on this. The blow-up-your-ship missions were taken out, fine. But some missions that were story-light missions with lots of ships that spawned that you had to legitimately fight were taken out, as well. I suspect largely because they said "grind" in their name or description somewhere, or were flagged as being 'potentially offensive' by people who hated the idea. I suspect that cryptic didn't have the time available to actually look through these missions, and just heavy handed their way through. WIthout clarity, issues like the above pop up, reviewers will consider missions 'grind' if they felt there was too much combat, and there just becomes issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commadore_Bob
I think what they are taking down are those one-map missions that are maxed out in NPC numbers. They don't tell a story in any way.

I don't think they are taking down missions that involve you working your way through a couple maps and then ending with a massive battle.
They were also removing accolade kill missions, which actually involved you doing killing and fighting. There were a couple of "grind" missions, where you had to go back and forth through space, blow up NPCs of a ship class, and repeat. They were not clustered together, you had to put in time and effort into fighting them, and they did not make it easy for you. There was no difference between some of these missions and going out into, say, a deep space encounter - in some cases, some of these I'd run into were *harder* than the DSEs, and yet they are now gone, as well.

Again, I should reiterate that I am not asking for the grind missions to become valid. It was always in a gray area, especially to the degree at which a "grind" missions could spawn itself. I have always stood by the stance that I will personally consider them legitimate until such a time that Cryptic chooses to say that they are not. Yes, Cryptic made a minor pass at this by removing the missions. But the effect missions were so widely unrelated in design approach, and such that I almost am beginning to suspect that they just passed over missions with the word "grind" in them, that had had any single person accuse them of being grinds.

But MANY of the grinds had as much or more story than some missions with the same amount of combat than some 'intro' missions that people have done to get their feet wet in learning how foundry mechanics work. And that is a primary cause of concern for me for the future of the foundry.

We need some sort of clarity so people can understand what is legitimately a mission, and what becomes a grind mission for two reasons;
1) It causes people to not worry that if they're making a combat heavy mission they're not going to get flagged as making a grind mission, and
2) Reviewers now have a point of reference for what's offensive as a grind mission, and to not waste cryptic's time if everytime they see a mission whose story they didn't like that has combat isn't just automatic 1-star "this is lame/grind/awful" with a report.

The other issue I am having is players who had multiple maps in this nature who had them removed and flagged for violation now *can not publish any mission at all*. Considering that there is a legal gray area on what is and is not legitimate, to be prevented from doing anything at all anymore because a lack of clarity is, in my opinion, largely overreacting. The missions did not deal with drugs or alcohol abuse, had no sexuality, and no swearing, and did not use any material from the intellectual property that was prohibited by the clear rules of the EULA. There was never an *CLEAR INDICATION* of what is against the EULA in this case.

Did you not like it? Maybe you didn't. Did YOU consider unfair? Maybe you did. Does that CLEARLY indicate a violation of the EULA? No, it does not.

Did Cryptic decide it was against the EULA? Yes, and that is well within their right to do so. I am not complaining about that. But because there was no clarity of purpose, some legitimate authors now can not use the tool, and will not be able to work with it. Not only is this in of itself harmful, this could certainly disenfranchise some people from working with it, as well. A simple advanced notice of "We are going to be removing such and such missions in the next such and such days because of such and such a reason, and we will be giving infractions. We would like to let you know ahead of time our stance on this matter to give you the opportunity to remove these missions. AFter such and such a date, any mission found in such and such a way will be considered a violation of the EULA.". But they did not. And they still have not made any such notice.

That is my concern.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
04-19-2011, 07:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commadore_Bob
I don't think they are taking down missions that involve you working your way through a couple maps and then ending with a massive battle.
True, but what happens if they decide that having friendly NPCs in a fight is exploiting the system. A few missions (my first mission included) have you fighting among allies in a fairly good sized skirmish. There is a lot of action going on around you involving a fair number of enemies, some of which are going to be killed without any effort on the part of the player. Is that going to be considered "exploiting" at some point and any mission where you have non-player kills is going to be removed and the author banned?

I certainly am not advocating the dev team sit by and do nothing to prevent the Foundry from being abused. But when a situation arises, even if it seems so blatantly obvious that even a caveman should have seen it coming, there needs to be some communication indicating exactly what they feel the problem is and what they intend to do about it. I also think an author should be given an opportunity to voluntarily pull a mission, even if that author SHOULD have known better.

At the very least, I hope one of the community reps could let us know which missions were removed, what the penalty to the author was (are they perma-banned from making foundry missions or what?) and exactly what was within those missions that caused their removal (was it just the "blow up and kill enemies" missions or was it more than that).
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