The Great Skotos Split Is Here [UPDATED]

The long-planned Skotos split is here. We are going to be separating Skotos into the four games that we're passing off to individual players (Marrach, TEC, the game formerly known as Ironclaw Online, the game formerly known as Lazarus Sleeping), and in the near future the core Skotos site will shutdown.

Here's how it will work:
* On Monday, we will turn off the ability to make any purchases through the main site. This will be the end of credit card purchases for Skotos games.
* We will run final automated credit card purchases on Tuesday morning. This is typical, in that our regular subscriptions are always set to run on the 1st through the 28th.
* On Wednesday, we will begin converting the games over to the new auth server that I've been working on for the last month and a half. All data will be converted over from the moment I grab the database. This means that all of your account information, including all payments (but not including any credit card information or Paypal information) will be duped to all the games: you'll be able to play any of them for the time you'd previously paid at the main Skotos site.
* We'll then start integrating the individual sites for each game with the new stand-alone setup.
* And likely I'll be resolving bugs in the auth server that only turn up through extensive usage.
* Meanwhile, we'll start handing off games to the individuals who will be running it in the future. I'm at this point over the time I'd initially committed to Skotos by a bit more than three weeks, but I'm expecting I'll need to offer support a little into May to make sure everyone is running well and that I've helped Christopher, Skotos, and the game leads deal with any intricacies of the hand-off.
* We'll request that all games remove all information from users who didn't stick with their game within a year.

I hope this will go as smoothly as possible. There will surely be bumps in the road. In particular, expect some random downtimes on Wednesday, when I convert over the games to the new servers, and expect the potential for problems on *next* Thursday, when I see how things work in the new setup.

A Few Updates as of 5/3:

1.) Castle Marrach, TEC, and Allegory of Empires are now split out from the main Skotos UserDB, which is the first (and biggest) step in separating these games. Multiversal Revelations will follow on Monday.

2.) Each site has a new login page of the form login.itsdomainname. This is the proper place to login to that game, and where you should access all UserDB functionality. Anything you do on the main Skotos users pages will no longer be reflected. Yes, that means you should be using the new pages to update your accounts, purchase months of play, and purchase subscriptions. Credit card payments are no longer possible, but Paypal is.

3.) Skotos is still running the games as of this moment, but they'll be transferred to the individual teams by this time next month.

4.) We've had some problems with credit cards continuing to run on the older UserDB system. We've refunded any bills that went through on the main system following the split, and apologize for the inconvenience. The plan is to turn the old UserDB off tomorrow, so that will absolutely stop the bills at this point. If you were accidentally billed, do note both that the amount was refunded the same day AND it isn't reflected on the new systems. [And as of Monday morning, those old charges seem to have been halted entirely.]

5.) We've discovered that about 20 accounts have credits of various amounts of them. This is a concept that is no longer supported in any meaningful way on the new UserDB, so we'll convert those credits to days of play at the most generous ratio.
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How to Handle Your Alternative Characters

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  • How to Handle Your Alternative Characters

    In Marrach we permit all accounts to have a minimum of TWO characters. In some cases, people have more, either grandfathered from older accounts or purchased via storypoints. Our alternative character interaction rules are simple.

    1. Do not share items between alts.

    Your characters should never possess items given to them by your alternative character. This means, even if you are retiring, killing, deleting or otherwise ending a character, that your new character or other characters that are yours should never benefit from such. IE: Acquiring items, be it food, jewelry, clothing, etc.

    2. Do not interact with your alternate characters.

    They should not be in the same room if it can be helped. This includes public and private rooms. There are some extenuating circumstances such as Royal Court or Winter Ball which are considered special circumstances due to the magnitude of the event. However, day-to-day activities such as practices, guild meetings, general socializing, minor duels, impromptu parties, orgies, etc, do not fall into the 'special circumstances' category.

    This also includes talking to, writing to, talking up or otherwise pushing your alternative characters with your other character(s).

    Character A should not be expressing about how awesome Character B was at their job and how crappy Character C of another Player is.
    Character B should not be talking about Character A's accomplishments, waking status, dating status, sleeping status etc.

    In the most extreme cases, writing to your alternative character is fine IF and only IF there is absolutely no other route to go. In addition, if a character ASKS Character A about Character B, they can give a neutral answer or direct them elsewhere. If you have a healer alt, and your martial alt sees someone get stabbed, do NOT conveniently log on your character to go heal the stabbed person. If one character asks another about your alt in front of your alt, don't randomly have them appear etc.

    Thank you.

    StoryGuide Samael
    StoryGuide Samael

  • #2
    Just a reminder, as this is a recurring issue.
    Samekh, SG


    • #3
      In regards to this posting;

      This issue continues to be a problem. There is this posting and several other discussions. Individuals who have played this game more than 4 months should very well know the regulations on alt interaction.

      Starting November 10th, I will place an inquiry with the StoryHost for permission to RETURN an alt of someone in a room or social situation that another one of their alts is simultaneously in.

      So, for example, if you are in the dining hall with 2 of your characters, I or another Staff member will +return one of your characters to their rooms.

      Asking and laying the rules out is clearly not working.

      Thank you for your attention.
      StoryGuide Samael


      • #4
        So just, double checking, you don't have permission to do such already and if this had been done to someone that would be because you actually @paged them and addressed the issue instead of just abusing your power as staff to +return someone to their room with out telling them why you felt the need to use such staff powers?
        ~ Initiate Kaori Zaihou ~
        OOC: Signature last changed on 3/24/2018


        • #5
          Originally posted by Samael View Post
          If you have a healer alt, and your martial alt sees someone get stabbed, do NOT conveniently log on your character to go heal the stabbed person.
          I've done this, but in my defence, a) I only did it if my character saw someone blow a healer's whistle which Enamar would have heard if awake and b) I had awful trouble finding anyone for Enamar to heal because all the violence tended to happen after we GMT people went to bed. I suppose I could add one more; c) I always logged out the non-healer.

          I think there are sometimes extenuating circumstances, cases where I could agree with bending the rules for the sake of making the castle a more interesting place. If a few newlies suddenly appeared, it might be in everyone's interest to switch to switch to newlie-friendly (whatever they were called; Welcomers or something) characters.

          On the other hand, I can see how someone might cry foul if your martial alt stabbed someone and then swapped to their healer.



          • #6
            I'm really not sure what part of DON'T abuse alts isn't understood here.

            1) if one of your characters SEES something done and you bring out another character who just happens to know what to do, but weren't around to respond to whatever it was used (duckcall/whistle/a comment of oh man no whatever your alt happens to be are around) that's crossover.

            2) Having your alt heal/teach/interact with one of your characters, that's alt abuse.

            3) Having one of your characters give your other character stuff to hold onto for awhile, or have them give them items to keep cause they would get more use out of it or for whatever reason, is alt abuse.

            4) Having one of your characters decide to advocate for or even against your alt is crossover. If they are asked, what do you think of character B, which you happen to play, they shouldn't even know character B that well to be able to give an answer.

            5) If one of your characters is told something your other characters shouldn't miraculously know all about the situation or even to ask about a situation that ONLY ONE of your characters knows about. That's alt abuse and crossover.
            Samekh, SG


            • #7
              Originally posted by Samekh View Post
              I'm really not sure what part of DON'T abuse alts isn't understood here.
              The bit where the game stops being fun. I can see where you are coming from, I really can, but I think there will always be a point where a strict and literal interpretation of the rules as written can detract from the game.

              Where do you draw the line? If I logged out an alt who didn't know anyone currently online in favour of one who was better known, that would technically be 'crossover' by your standards, but makes the game more fun.

              The whole messaging system (an integral part of the game-code) is a violation of your purist ethos too, since one of the most common uses is for one player to contact another to say they are online and often even to engineer a 'chance meeting' for the sake of having someone to talk to.

              On the other hand, I could leave all of my characters logged in when I join the game. Building on my example above, having Enamar sitting alone in his room inactive would let him hear a healer's whistle and react to it without violating your rules, but is not very different in practice.

              What if a player logs in their healer alt after seeing an injury, in case a whistle is blown, or a guardsman after a crime, in case of a duck-call? In either case, the character in question will receive a legitimate call which they are obliged to answer.

              Sometimes, doing the right thing means ignoring a chance to enrich everyone's experience.



              • #8
                Enamar - Playing the game and following the rules is what makes it fun. It is pretty basic stuff.

                Don't cheat and play by the rules = fun for everyone. Whoa! What a concept?!

                The only person who wins from breaking the rules and cheating is the cheater.

                Unless "the part about being fun" is you cheating and using alts to cheat? And thus, you are the one 'having fun'?

                Just saying.
                Silver Belle


                • #9
                  Relax. I think you are stretching my words a little further than you realise. All I said is that sometimes, when the castle is almost empty, I can see a case for logging in the most appropriate alt based on the people you see there.

                  I agree with 90% of what the staff are saying, but was just expressing my opinion that case one from Sarekh's list (about logging in an alt based on events you saw) might benefit from a little wiggle-room.

                  It's academic anyway, just suggesting an alternate point of view, since I am not currently subscribed and barely ever played my alts even while I was. I wasn't looking for drama, just offering an opinion.



                  • #10
                    I hope I'm not offending anyone when I say stop over-thinking this, stop over-analyzing this, and pack away your paranoia already. The SG staff in my experience are pretty darn fair and I'll be the first to admit I've made some poor choices in the past that have gotten my hand slapped by the SG staff, choices I've learned from.

                    I log on to my alts and I don't see anyone I can easily or interestingly interact with? I'll head over to my main because yes, it's easier. Choosing to play a character that's more entertaining isn't cheating. But using your alt to call your healer main when someone is hurt is cheating. Using your alt to call for your Watchman alt is cheating. Introducing your alt to someone else via your main? Cheating.

                    There are times dual occupation can't be avoided. For example, Royal Court. I've seen staff be courteous about time limitations on instances like..Ali, for example. If I can only make ONE trading session, I might have my alt show up once my main ducks into the tent. So there's going to be some time overlap.

                    But in this case, this isn't what Samael isn't talking about. Imagine if I had Briseis and Euphelia sitting in the refectory at the same time. There's no special event going on, they're just socializing with their own crowd.

                    If a friend dragged Phee into a crowd where Briseis was involved, I'd suggest to said friend 'let's go sit somewhere else.' You're given time to logically separate toons with roleplay. It's not like Samael is saying "OMG UR IN SAME ROOM 0.0001 second, you BANNED!"

                    As for the teleportation? If these people have already been warned and are still engaging in bad behaviour, I'd say teleportation to their room is too nice a step. But then, I'm mean that way. I know when I was told by SG 'Hey, this is bad, and this is why,' I didn't go back to doing it. It's not a difficult choice to make.


                    • #11
                      Personally I'm rather sensitive to people suggesting that I use alt knowledge for my characters. I even heard someone OOC that they suspected one of my characters obtaining knowledge from crossover. I'm not sure if they knew that they were saying this to the controller of the character, or if they were just venting about what they thought was crossover. But it was rather offensive considering the knowledge that my alt had was right on the boards.

                      Is it crossover for one of my characters to know something that's written in a chronicle because my character is a chronicler? I'm not saying that my alt should go around saying 'Did you see that chronicle that was written by Kaori, it's blah blah blah.'

                      But is it crossover for one of my characters to hear someone talking about say these Penny Pot socials, and for them to say "Ya, I saw a chronicle about those. It seems like it might be fun (or it seems rather foolish to me)" to save them the time of explaining something that I as the player already know about?

                      Sure Kaori wrote a chronicle about the Penny Pot, but so what? It's posted publicly, and it's not as if my alt brings is talking about the chronicle. Just that they heard about this thing called a Penny Pot and that it seems interesting (or stupid).
                      ~ Initiate Kaori Zaihou ~
                      OOC: Signature last changed on 3/24/2018


                      • #12
                        I'm going to agree with Phee's player here when I say you are over-thinking and over-analyzing this. Go reread Samekh's post; their examples were pretty clear to me.

                        Chronicles, by their nature, are public knowledge. Just like the various crafters guidelines are public knowledge, the Great Chain is public knowledge, the Capitulary is public knowledge, and so on. If it's written somewhere in the IC forums or Public TWiki? Public Knowledge.

                        If my alt is a chronicler, can my main read a chronicle my alt wrote and use the information she learned from the chronicle? Yes. Can she use information that was not in the chronicle about the incident the chronicle was about if she wasn't present for it but my alt (the chronicler) was? No. That would be crossover since my main automatically would not know all the details the way my alt does, only what is written in said chronicle.

                        It would however be acceptable to use that information if she is told about it by someone else's character who was either present themselves when the thing in the chronicle happened, or was told everything by another character who was there and that character then told my main.

                        It's f***ing common sense, really.


                        As for the whole duckcall/healer whistle thing, the main reason it's frowned upon is basically because staff said multiple times in the past that when a character is not online, they are ICly considered to be sleeping/in meditations/whatever you want to call it but basically they're not reachable.

                        Also, it can be seen as a way of powergaming, especially if your character is the one that blew the duckcall or whistle. In the sense that you are pretty much taking control of the scene, and potentially robbing other players of taking part in the scene itself.

                        If no Watchman or Guardsman is present when a fight breaks out in the refectory and a duckcall is blown, it can create a fun scene out of conflict and intrigue and what not. Guaranteed RP for the next X amount of minutes or even hours as people try to stop the fight, tend to anyone who might have been wounded, and so on. Logging your Watch/Guard on to answer that duckcall, no matter who blew it, makes it far less interesting because it's probably gonna end if one of more people being dragged to a dungeon cell while other people present are told and expected to not interfere.

                        What's more interesting, RP wise? Watching Bob and Joe go at it in the refectory while Duelists Jack and Jill try to pull them apart and then witnesses have to go gather snow and towels afterwards to put on everyone's bruises while Joe and Bob continue throwing insults at each other from afar, and then people having all a nice beer together once everyone has calmed down and Joe and Bob made up? Or Watchman Bill waking up, putting a stop to it all, and leaving Jack, Jill, and everyone else in the refectory to sit and stare at each other?

                        Even more dickish of a move if there are other characters online who could have heard the duckcall or whistle, but could not have responded as quickly as your character because they were farther away in the castle, or currently engaged in another scene and had to excuse themselves to tend to their duties. Yes, it happened in the past.
                        Proud member of: WWMHSBA

                        "Why don't you all just go submit some plots where you can get pregnant, give birth to you own alt as an annoying child character, have it grow up to be a drama queen, and then you can use IC/OOC crossover to hide the goods you stole and escape from the dungeon that you're locked in due to a badly run rape plot?!" - Age


                        • #13
                          Yeah, I was over-thinking it.

                          The thing is that I don't have to like or agree with a rule to follow it. I did what I did because I thought it was okay, but knowing that it makes the staff sad suggests that I shouldn't do it ever again. I thought it was just frowned upon (and maybe it was at the time), but now it appears to be considered cheating. Now I know, I'll have to be sure I don't do it if I come back.



                          • #14
                            Making the staff sad? Either you're a fail troll, or you have a very odd way of interpreting what was said, dude. This is something that has been frowned upon since as early as 2001 when I started playing, so it's hardly something new.
                            Proud member of: WWMHSBA

                            "Why don't you all just go submit some plots where you can get pregnant, give birth to you own alt as an annoying child character, have it grow up to be a drama queen, and then you can use IC/OOC crossover to hide the goods you stole and escape from the dungeon that you're locked in due to a badly run rape plot?!" - Age


                            • #15
                              A fail troll?

                              I think this thread is suffering badly for the lack of emotional context. Somehow, I think we're all having very different conversations based on what we infer from the limited information.