Thursday, December 29, 2011

it's bound for the graveyard cart

Later the next day...Yes. This is more oddity from City of Heroes' Help channel...This all started over a very simple question, namely, this one:

[Help] Dark Thorn Oppressor: is there a way to rename a character?

That's clear, right? Simple, to the point, asking--on the global Help channel, sure, but at least it is a question...if there's a way to rename a character, once made. And the answers--at least to start--were also simple:

[Help] Agent Vangier: Buy a rename token. 800 points.
[Help] Anti Light: buy a rename token
[Help] DJ P0N-3: Yep, you can buy character rename tokens in the store.
[Help] Blackbird.: If you have $10, sure
[Help] Dark Thorn Oppressor: or wait a couple months then buy one
[Help] Anti Light: Or if you want to be sneaky about it, if you are VIP and have saved up some transfer tokens, transfer to another server, make a new alt there with the same name, transfer back, presto, name change


And thus were the seeds of disagreement planted. And boy, did they sprout in fertile ground.

[Help] Blackbird.: Yeah Anti, but that's technically an exploit.
[Help] Anti Light: No, it's not.
[Help] Blackbird.: You're abusing game mechanics for an unintended benefit.
[Help] Blackbird.: that's exploiting.
[Help] DJ P0N-3: If it were considered a sploit, it would have been plugged after the first free transfer weekend. It wasn't, therefore it isn't.
[Help] Blackbird.: It can't be plugged.
[Help] Lovely Lara Lava: If it was considered an exploit, the moon would have exploded. It wasnt, therefore false logic is bad.


Here we see the beginnings of the logic machine grinding to a halt. First, they charge for both server transfers and name changes, but if you're a subscriber to City of Heroes--a VIP--you can do this, and it's not exploitative.

More accurately, it's more of a hassle to do it (at least properly) without paying the fee to the Paragon store; because...well, this is involved, but the simplest breakdown is if you transfer a character back with the same name as an original character, to the same server, you don't end up with a name change, you end up with two characters with the same name, and that's just not going to work unless you have the character slots open and active for it. (If you do, then at that point, one of those characters will be granted a free rename, so it works out.)

However, the disagreement was escalating.

[Help] DJ P0N-3: Did the devs ever speak out against it? If so, where?
[Help] Stainless Steele: Mild exploit at most. It still requires you to sacrifice something. just maybe not as valuable a something as real cash..
[Help] Lovely Lara Lava: The evidence is inconclusive as it whether it is or isnt. Cant say either way.
[Help] Blackbird.: In technical terms, it is an exploit. You are utilizing game mechanics in a manner which they are not meant to be, in order to gain a benefit or advantage that you are not supposed to gain from those mechanics.


See, it's not an exploit. If it was, it would be addressed by the developers by now. It's actually a feature, not a bug.

[Help] Volcanohead: the transfer/rename thing is actually endorsed by the devs as a good idea
[Help] Blackbird.: [citation needed]
[Help] DJ P0N-3: Volcano, got a link for that?
[Help] Alliisza: it's not an exploit cuz u have to use up transfers to do it
[Help] Volcanohead: I've read it somewhere on the forums, when I was looking up whether or not it was possible, so no, not atm, but it's there
[Help] Blackbird.: Alli: It's an exploit because it fits the definition of what an exploit is.
[Help] Agent Vangier: Server transfer tokens are 800 points each. A rename token is 800 points. So to do this "exploit" you're burning 1600 points worth of benefits to get 800 points' worth.


Perfectly put.

[Help] Blackbird.: Agent: You get transfers for free with a VIP subscription.
[Help] Anti Light: So for VIPs, it's not an exploit it's a benefit and a feature :)
[Help] Blackbird.: It's an exploit.
[Help] Blackbird.: By factual definition.
[Help] DJ P0N-3: Black... by factual definition, nobody of consequence cares.
[Help] Blackbird.: ...That's the best argument you can come up with? "Nobody cares"?
[Help] Blackbird.: Did you go to the 4chan School of Logic?
[Help] DJ P0N-3: No harm, no foul.


Blackbird--oh, excuse me, Blackbird., because the player wanted a period on the end of their character's name...just wouldn't let it go, however.

[Help] Anti Light: How about this, you write up a nice detailed bug report on the subject and send it to the Dev team and let them handle it. Arguing on help isn't really productive.
[Help] DJ P0N-3: What else you want?
[Help] Blackbird.: Anti Light: It's an exploit that can't be fixed due to the nature of server transfers.
[Help] Anti Light: And I will continue to advocate it's use until such time as there is an official word on it.
[Help] Blackbird.: Okay, so what you're saying is that you advocate the use of exploits to get an advantage in game.
[Help] DJ P0N-3: ...how is a character rename a gameplay advantage?


You know, I was wondering this same thing around this time.

[Help] Ackburn: done it plenty of times as well. Whether it is technically an exploit or not, I seriously doubt the devs care
[Help] Harold Rime: It's not factual definition Blackbird. It is your interpretation of the definition given, which means it is your opinion, not factual.
[Help] Anti Light: No, I'm saying all that I want to say on the subject, simply re-read my previous two statements. And with that, have a nice evening everyone and happy new year!


Anti Light has realized that they were arguing with a brick wall, and made their best effort to back away and get out of the argument. Unfortunately, others were not so bright.

[Help] Blackbird.: Harold: Okay, define 'exploit' for me.
[Help] Blackbird.: No matter your definition of 'exploit', the abuse of server transfers to rename your character is still an exploit.
[Help] Harold Rime: No, I won't. The definition has already been given. Your opinion doesn't mean shit. Neither does mine. The only interpretation that matters is that of the devs.


Intriguingly, the devs are not on the side of the final-stop Blackbird; they've made that quite clear four years ago. In fact, at that time, they said that it could be used. So...the entire argument was pretty damned pointless from the start.

[Help] Blackbird.: Harold: What is your opinion on the definition of the word 'exploit'?
[Help] Ackburn: and once again exploit or not, show me where the devs care that we use 2 transfers to get 1 rename.
[Help] Harold Rime: I already said my opinion or interpretation doesn't matter. Neither does yours, so shut the fuck up about it and report it if you really feel that strongly that it is an exploit.
[Help] Blackbird.: So basically, you know I'm right, so you won't enable me to prove it.


But you're not right.

[Help] Blackbird.: Essentially your logic is "LOL! I CAN WIN IF I DON'T ACTUALLY ARGUE MY POINT!"
[Help] Blackbird.: Nice going there, Harold. :)
[Help] Project 03: can you take the nerd fight to a venue other than /help, please? This channel does have a purpose, and pointless bickering to prove you're more right than someone else isn't it.


Excellent suggestion! ...Pity no one listened.

[Help] Harold Rime: No Blackbird. I am saying it doesn't matter, period. Your opinion and interpretation don't mean jack shit. As I said before, the only interpretation that does matter is that of the devs. If you want to prove your point, report the supposed violation
[Help] Blackbird.: See, your brain and the brain of every other person is wired to win arguments. It's not so much about being -right- as establishing your dominance over someone else. When you lose an argument -- when you don't get to establish that dominance -- youget mad. You try to change the subject.
[Help] Blackbird.: You try to block the enemy's win.


He didn't change the subject. He's explaining to you--rather more politely than I would have done at this time--that your internal definition of "exploit", not matching the devs' definition of "exploit", makes your definition meaningless. As was the entire argument at this point.

[Help] Harold Rime: Who said I changed the subject? You're the one doing that because you know I have a point and don't want to acknowledge it.
[Help] Blackbird.: And when you can't block it? When you're shown in front of everyone that you are wrong? You get real, real mad about it. Go ahead. Keep swearing. Keep claiming "LOL NOBODYS OPINION MATTERS."


Yes, but...you're not right. Harold's right. Actually, more to the point, there is no right, just what the devs have established. And the devs already established--and remember, this was back in 2007 when they established it--that it's just fine to rename a character this way. They have no problem with it, "Blackbird."--therefore you don't get to have a problem with it, either.

[Help] Riot Hour: Hihi, outside the conversation here. I know trolling can be a -real- blast, but if we could keep it out of global help channel that would be just tops and I'm sure the server would appreciate it.

Another excellent suggestion! Sadly, it was mostly ignored.

[Help] Blackbird.: Keep trying to use my own argument against me. I'm sure it'll work sometime.
[Help] Ravenous Wraith: not a chance, riot. dubstep gets off on this shit.
[Help] Blackbird.: And keep trying to selectively choose what you want to argue against and ignore everything else.
[Help] Ackburn: ah, it is dubstep, that explains it
[Help] Harold Rime: I wasn't trying to use your argument against you. I was simply pointing out that it is stupid to bash your keyboard and cry exploit when the matter is subjective and you do not have any control over a "correct" interpretation.
[Help] Blackbird.: The closest interpretation you can get to 'correct' is the factual definition of the term.
[Help] Harold Rime: Yes, and the only "factual" definition is the opinion and interpretation of the devs. Period.


Yep. Exactly. Unfortunately "Blackbird." is impervious to all logic.

[Help] Blackbird.: This definition is agreed on by the majority of the people who speak said language - that's what makes it a definition. You could say that's arguing for the majority, but the entirety of language and communication depends on everyone agreeing with something.
[Help] Assistant.: TROLOLOLOLOLOL HAHAHAHAHAHAH ARGUING ON THE HELP CHANNEL EPEEEN TROLOLOLOL!
[Help] Assistant.: Does it really matter? Help is for help people. Move on.
[Help] Blackbird.: I am helping, actually. I'm helping this guy to understand how wrong he is.
[Help] Ravenous Wraith: it matters because someone is WRONG ON THE INTERNET.
[Help] Assistant.: ^
[Help] Derek Fray: *Brain cells start to die from reading help channel*


Which is what all of us were thinking at this point...well, except for "Blackbird." who was insanely convinced that there was Right in the Universe, and Xie was It.

Pffft.

[Help] Harold Rime: see Blackbird, that is your problem. You are using your opinion to tell someone what is right or wrong in a subjective context. That really is funny.
Help] Blackbird.: Yes, Grandma, welcome to the internet. Did you come out of a time portal from 1995? Hey, I hear there's this really cool video of a dancing baby! Why don't you log on AOL and check it out?


And I guess this is when we all realized that "Blackbird." was no longer in it to win, but just to be mean and strike out.

Again, all of this was happening on one of the global channels for chat in City of Heroes--something that transcends redside or blueside, in mission or out, whether you're a hero in Atlas Park or Peregrine Island, or a villain in Port Oakes or St. Martial. It goes to everybody logged in to that server.

[Help] Blackbird.: Watch out for viruses, though. They can infect your Windows 95 floppies.
[Help] Harold Rime: ooh, zing, good one. Nice gradschool insult.


Of course, Harold wasn't much better at this point.

[Help] Ravenous Wraith: pointless agression.

Indeed so.

[Help] Harold Rime: so, tell me Blackbird, has my counter-trolling pissed you off yet or are you still getting warmed up?
Help] Blackbird.: Harold: When all else fails, apply the ultimate fall-back: "LOL I TROL U"
[Help] Assistant.: ^Did that five minutes ago.
[Help] Harold Rime: Yup, thought so. I bet you thought you were good at trolling, then you took an arrow to the knee I bet.
elp] Assistant.: ^Did in fact take an arrow to the knee.
[Help] Overlord Shadow: How's life in whiterun
[Help] Mu'Kanerak: Lightsaber battle on CoX, Brought to you by E-Peen!


See, and I can't even say I've never done this. What is it about internet conversations that bypasses that internal sanity check? The one that usually starts saying, long before this point, that we might be the merest bit out of line, and we may want to stop fighting back?

Or is it just that people, as a general lump sum, are so frustrated, angry, and feel so ultimately powerless with all the other events in their lives that arguing on the internet becomes some twisted form of accomplishment? I don't get it. I don't get it even having done this.

[Help] Harold Rime: See, you can't give up yet. You're still trying to piss me off. It isn't going to work. I got passed that stage on the internet in...I think it was 1993.
[Help] Overlord Shadow: Internet came out in like 95 didnt it


That clunk you just heard was my jaw completely falling off my face and striking the floor.

[Help] Blackbird.: And you keep implying that I'm trying to piss you off.
[Help] Anti Light: more like the 70s, but didnt take off til the 90s
[Help] Blackbird.: Not that I had to try, mind you. You offered me plenty of swears and insults this entire time.
[Help] Harold Rime: the relentless insults pretty much prove that you are
[Help] Blackbird.: LOL STFU NOOB LOL UR OPINION SUCKS
[Help] Ravenous Wraith: GONE TO THE AMERICAS UR ALL BAD OMG NERF AS
[Help] Blackbird.: ^- that's you. That's how DUMB you sound.


*sighs* Yes, "Blackbird.", thanks for descending to the level of "Nuh-UH, YOU are!" Honestly, some peoples' children.

[Help] Agaris Sirilye: Dubstep, shut the hell up. Most people here are way beyong caring anymore
[Help] Harold Rime: And how do you know that was or was not sincere? Oh, that's right, your almighty opinion tells you that.
[Help] Apocalypse Pony: It's times like this I wish Help was moderated somehow.


WE ALL DO.

[Help] Blackbird.: Harold: Because you're using the classic "LOL I WAS ACTUALLY TROLLING YOU LOL YOU TOTALLY FELL FOR IT" argument.
[Help] Harold Rime: since when? Also, who made you an authority on psychology?
[Help] Derek Fray: *Eye's burn out of there sockets*
[Help] Overlord Shadow: Thats better
[Help] Blackbird.: The university where I got my master's degree from, Harold.


Gods help us all, it's accredited.

[Help] Blackbird.: I'd say they made me an authority on psychology.

Oh hell, it's an accredited psychologist.

..Wait, is this Stiv??

[Help] Harold Rime: Link your degree.
[Help] Derek Fray: lol
[Help] Blackbird.: Very well.
[Help] Zak Saturday: Remember when the platform was sliding into the fire pit and I said "Goodbye" and you were like 'NO WAY' And then I was all "We pretended we were going to murder you?" That was great!
[Help] Blackbird.: Here you go http://bit.ly/18m6vd


.....

Yeah, that was helpful, you idiot.

[Help] Harold Rime: See, this is the problem with the internet, people like Blackbird who think their opinion is fact and that anyone who disagrees with them is inherently wrong.
[Help] Ravenous Wraith: replace "internet" with "people" rime.
[Help] Blackbird.: Harold: You have yet to prove that you are right.


Not right. And again, really, since I'm posting this on my blog, I'm essentially offering up side protests on a conversation already having occurred, so I'm protesting against myself really...A new definition of "pointless", people.

[Help] Blackbird.: I've proven that I'm right through factual dictionary definition, and, on a more minor note, by calling out your numerous logical fallacies.
[Help] Overlord Shadow: Lol jinx
[Help] Blackbird.: Shadow: We're arguing about arguing right now.
[Help] Blackbird.: It's a meta-argument.


It's mind-numbing, is what it is.

[Help] Overlord Shadow: I love you internet
[Help] Harold Rime: wait, -my- logical fallacies? Please tell me what those were. I bet you can't.
[Help] Overlord Shadow: Part of me feels like you and harold are both in on this


About this time I was thinking the same thing.

[Help] Mu'Kanerak: just shut up and kiss already...
[Help] Blackbird.: Basically, "HERP DERP! I WAS ACTUALLY TROLLING YOU THIS WHOLE TIME"
[Help] Tentaclown: Harold Rime and the Blackbird? Sounds like JK Rowlings newest novel
[Help] Harold Rime: that's not a fallacy, if it is a fallback, as you believe, then the actual term is cognitive dissonance
[Help] Blackbird.: The actual term is "I did your mom"
[Help] Blackbird.: OH SNAP
[Help] Blackbird.: Okay. Okay. Hang on. Let me go alt to my cold defender so I can get you some ice for that burn.
[Help] Operative Korag: oh for the love of....
[Help] Lovely Lara Lava: Honestly, its at this point I wish I owned a hotel. these guys need a room, badly
[Help] Harold Rime: seriously? that is the best you can come up with after claiming to have a psychology degree? Come on, you can do better than that Blackbird
[Help] Overlord Shadow: I wonder how many global ignores im on
[Help] Overlord Shadow: The silence probably answered that


Which is about when the argument, which apparently went meta when the participants forgot what the hell even they were arguing about, for the most part...trailed off and died a small and whimpering death.

See, the real problem here is not that this happened and wasted all of our time. The real problem is that, since City of Heroes went free to play, this kind of idiocy drives the chatter in Help about ninety percent of the time, twenty-four hours a day.

When it's not spam ads from the Chinese (GDay2010.com is out of Hebei, and cuIngame.com is from Nanking), which are, taken honestly, about equally as irritating as this one when it was scrolling along.

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