Jul. 13th, 2008

niennanir: (Default)
PlaneShift-y

I'm normally very enthusiastic about the open source community and the free exchange of ideas so to start off I don't want anyone who does or has participated in an OS development project to be at all slighted. It is, in fact, my previous positive experiences in this area that make me feel so disgruntled at the moment.

A friend of mine sent me a link and asked me to check out an MMO and 'see how it is'. (I'm withholding the name so as not to be incriminating, my poor friend had no idea what they were getting me into) I love problem solving games and I love giving out my opinion so when I canvassed the PlaneShift site I was delighted. Here was an MMO that wasn't based in the accumulation of wealth and the death of less intelligent life forms (like goblins, ex boyfriends and GM's) And as if that weren't enough the screen shots were absolutely breathtaking. My inner artist was doing cartwheels. To say I was enthralled would be an understatement.

So I downloaded, I installed, I wasted a perfectly good friday night... but what did I care. Ok, the game is still in Beta, ok it's a little buggy... but, OMG lookie!! (I bounced a lot) and if I wasn't having a squeeing fangirl moment I was deeply entrenched in solving the more than complex quests. I was challenged, I was in heaven. I burned up most of saturday morning and forgot to go to bed Saturday night until my dogs got sick of it and whined until I finally turned out the light.

It was like crack, only better because I wasn't paying for my fix.

Sunday dawned and without even realizing it I burned up 2 hours searching for a secret garden and a mushroom. And then the inevitable happened in any beta testing. I hit a bug. I hit a -huge- bug.

Now I actually enjoy bugs, I especially like the lil squishy sound they make when you squelch them. I was undaunted, having beta tested in the past I knew what I was in for. I hit the forums and ran every search I could think of relating to the error I had just observed. There were a few that were close but none that were exact, but in Beta we take the 'close enough is good enough' approach. So I tried all the fixes in the forum.

Only they didn't work.

For most people this would be annoying. To me it's like Indiana Jones uncovering a new ancient tomb. I looked for the most closely related thread I could find and added all the details of my problem, thrilled that I might have uncovered something never before seen.

It only took a mod a few minutes to respond... with a statement that made it clear she didn't think I could read. I was a little deflated. Ok, I'm new to the game and I hadn't read the entire forum but I'm confident in my search abilities. (not to mention my precise english and trouble shooting skills) I replied with the insistence that I'd already properly run all the updates and that there was no documented reason that I could find for my error. And I wasn't alone.

While I was attempting to see if I could get out of the error on my own someone else posted on the thread with a problem identical to mine. The same mod insulted their intelligence in the same way and when he defended himself as I had.... the thread was deleted.

I'm feeling a bit betrayed right now. This was a legitimate error, and though it was clearly only affecting a limited configuration, in an open source community that shouldn't matter. I can understand the need to prune laziness out of a board, there will always be people who would rather gripe than hunt for a solution. But this was not griping, this was 3 users with similar errors who were dismissed by the dev team out of hand because the problem wasn't wide spread.

I'm disenchanted now. I don't think I'll be tempted to go back to PlaneShift soon if ever. If my clear and well researched bug report written in proper english can't be taken seriously then I don't think their dev community is deserving of either my time or loyalty.

I'll be searching for a new opiate now... I guess I'll have to go back to the bookstore, I can always get my fix there.

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