Announcement

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ZEALOTRY Users: Critical Notice on Continued Use

Edit: Our new HTML5 client (Orchil) is now open for beta testing in The Eternal City and Grendel's Revenge. Feel free to try give it a whirl at http://test.skotos.net/orchil/

Edit: We have made great strides toward a new HTML5 client, which should offer a replacement to Zealotry. We're hoping to release that in the very near future, but in the meantime, using Pale Moon remains the best method for ensuring there is zero interruption to your game playing during the transition.

As of November 14, Mozilla will be auto-updating all copies of Mozilla Firefox to Mozilla 57, a new edition of their browser that will disable all legacy add-ons. This will probably include the majority of the plug-ins that you use on Mozilla, including the Skotos Zealotry plug-in.

This is a big problem for us because Zealotry is the most stable of our clients at this time, and the one that we believe is in the widest use. There's unfortunately no easy way to update it, because we'd have to rewrite it from practically scratch, using their new programming system.

There are tricks that you could use to to prevent Mozilla updates, but we don't particularly suggest them, as you want to have a clean, secure browser. Fortunately, there are two alternative browsers that will support Zealotry. Each of them branched off of an earlier version of Mozilla Firefox, and each of them continues to be updated for important security issues.

Pale Moon Browser

The Pale Moon browser is our suggested replacement. It is a totally separate browser that branched off of Firefox some years ago. It will continue to support the classic plug-ins.

To install it:
  • Install Pale Moon (Windows & UNIX only)
  • Install the Zealotry XPI on Pale Moon
  • Restart the Pale Moon Browser
  • Play on Pale Moon

The official version of Pale Moon only supports Windows and UNIX, but you can also get a slightly less official version of Pale Moon for the Mac. We've tested it out and it looks like it's clean and works correctly, but use your own level of caution in working with the Mac variant.

If You Have Errors

Some users are experiencing "Content Encoding Errors" when using Pale Moon and Zealotry. As best we can tell, this is due to an incompatibility between Windows 8.1, Pale Moon, and Plugins. If you have this problem (or any other), we suggest instead using Mozilla's extended-release version of Firefox, which branched at Firefox 52. It's expected to remain supported until at least June 28, 2018, by which time Mozilla is planning to jump their ESR to a post-plugin phase. This is therefore a short-term solution, but we expect to have full release of our New HTML5 client well before that.

To install it:
The Big Picture

Our larger-scale goal is to introduce a new client that will be usable on any browser and make our games generally more accessible. We've had a HTML5 client in process since last year, but are currently hitting roadblocks that make a deployment before November 14 problematic. We've also just started a second project, which would be more specifically focused as a Zealotry replacement, without worries about new bells or new whistles. Both of these possibilities are being done out-of-house, by Skotos players, but they're receiving our highest level of attention for whatever support they need, as this is all our top priority.

So, consider this a short-term fix, but in the meantime if you use Zealotry, please download one of the alternative browsers and test them out ASAP.
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Plotter & VP Tip #4

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  • Plotter & VP Tip #4

    TWEENERS

    One of the main responsibilities of a Lead on the Lovecraft Country team is to have a care for our customers. Not just handle customer service issues, but to put aside the fact that we ourselves are paying Skotos customers and take the mantle of responsibility for ensuring the game we work for has happy, satisfied customers.

    When bringing on a new plotter or veteran player to the LC team I try to underline the guidelines that emphasize good customer service in our staff practices. That is because a plotter, while telling stories, has direct interaction with all the LC customers coming to play the game, and could find themselves in the middle of all manner of situations as any given moment.

    Recently, a question was posed to me that went something like this:

    “If I am supposed to have a care for the customers, the paying players of Lovecraft Country, who is supposed to have a care for me? Am I not also a paying player of Lovecraft Country? Are we not all customers together? When do my feelings and opinions matter if ‘the customer is always right’?”

    I found this question quite intriguing, because I couldn’t give a clear, decisive answer to the asker. But it is an important question. It’s a question that every Skotos game staff volunteer should address every day, it’s a question every player who wants to volunteer for staff should address in themselves before they apply for their favorite game, and it’s an issue that every member of the Skotos community should keep in mind as we all work to play together.

    My answer in regards to LC staff was that the paying customer who volunteers to be game staff is a “tweener”. Basically we fall in between the cracks of things, and therefore, it will take a specific mind set that I look for in a volunteer for the LC plotter staff. As LC staff, to some degree you are no longer a player the moment you get your staff powers. In accepting these additional abilities you agree to help develop the game through coding, plotting, or guiding. Each and every one of those roles includes customer service. Therefore each and every staff member has a responsibility to do their utmost to have a care for the customers that come to Arkham By Night or Tomb of the Desert God looking for a good time. Even to the point of putting your own customer needs aside.

    While this may seem extreme, I feel it is imperative for the success of our little world. Without players we have nothing. We could code a kick ass game. We could write the most mind-bending plots ever imagined. But without players to enjoy the fruits of our labor it all means nothing.

    I’ll admit it again. Yes, this is an extreme view. Basically I am saying that the LC team members are paying their Skotos fees just like everyone else, and are giving up their customer status to be pseudo-employees with no compensation other than the expectation that they must put in an agreed upon number of hours a week to further the game.

    But wait. There is intrinsic compensation. Those okay with this arrangement get to experience the camaraderie of a team of dedicated people working together to achieve a common goal, and they get to enjoy the adoration of some hard core Lovecraft fans who cheer them on while they work. As a Lead I also try to make sure I the team doesn’t fall too far between the cracks. In Plotter & VP Tip #3 I try hard to make sure the staff is having fun. If that means I have to juggle scalpels while balancing on the back of a nightgaunt in flight to ensure they have fun, then that’s what I do to make sure my team is laughing and smiling while they pick up that next assist, code that next object, or plan that next plot.

    A happy staffer will be more likely to give good customer service. But a staffer must also be prepared from the get go to give customer service at all.

    On the other hand, I can not automatically demand the LC staff to give up their own needs and desires as paying customers. That is something you must find within yourself. Do you feel okay with such an arrangement? Do you feel a burning desire to help others? This is where you must ask yourself if you are up to the challenge. And on days when you aren’t, don’t log in. But in order to be staff, be ready for your players to expect this of you.

    On the player side of things, I often see that players new to Skotos don’t realize that game staff are volunteers who are amateurs at game development and amateurs at customer service. How could they know? Yet it’s bad form to preface every conversation with, ‘Hey man, I’m just a volunteer, cut me some slack.’ As customers, how you approach game staff is up to each of you. I can’t speak for every Skotos game either. I know LC is all volunteers. I naturally figure that anyone I interface with staff-wise is also a volunteer. Even so, when I go into a regular business, like the post office or a restaurant, if I open up with a royal tirade it is natural that the person I unload on will not want to help me. So, I find I get my way more often if I’m polite but persistent than when I bitch up a storm.

    So, the next time you file an assist in your game of choice, I do hope that you’ll receive the level of service you want. At Lovecraft Country we want your feedback. Let us know how we’re doing, good or bad. We’re here only as long as you’re here, and I promise you all that as long as I am part of the Lovecraft Country staff that I will not let my fellow teammates forget the imprortance of customer service, and I will try my best to make it fun for them to be a Tweener.
    SH Willow
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