Contemplating the latest EVE brouhaha, I began to wonder why I did not give CCP the benefit of the doubt. This is not a question of whether CCP lost trust over the t20 incident (and he still works there, right?); I assume the best of people, to a ridiculous degree unsupported by the past several millennia of human history. And it is not as though I am ignorant of who the Goons are. I think it was the firing of the volunteer. I feel rather alone in thinking that is a larger issue than having a direct line to the developers.
I am with Lum on not having an issue with direct developer-player contact. In A Tale in the Desert, my main guild included a GM and the company president’s wife. If you were not in at least one guild with a GM, you were some kind of anti-social hermit who was avoiding the core game. Of course, there were/are running accusations of the game’s being rigged to the advantage of a favored clique.
Yes, I see the huge problem if one side of a PvP war can get its problems fixed in a few minutes while you wait a week on a bug report. But neither that nor the spying claim set me off. It was the claim of unfairly banning a volunteer.
Part of that is having been a volunteer, in-game and IRL. We have seen the in-game volunteers abused in a variety of games. It is like kicking a puppy. I will go on the record as opposing puppy-kicking. So when I hear that a company solicited volunteers then banned them, I (1) react sympathetically and (2) am not surprised. I gave the banned party the benefit of the doubt.
The ISD reporter’s claim was that someone didn’t like his being in the solar system, so he made up a grievance and had a developer-friend ban the reporter. The official CCP response was to show the petition and allude to unspecified complaints and attitude problems.
Digression, can we pursue that one for a moment? Because that is what CCP is facing right now: a complaint and a history of complaints. “There have been allegations in the past” does not mean that any of them have been true or valid, and you might want to go to the bother of saying whether the current one is. Is “he bumped my dreadnought” something that can be checked? If it seems plausible to you that your players have formed a massive social engineering conspiracy to undermine your company, you might also find it plausible that your players will make false complaints to get rid of volunteers they don’t like. If the volunteer really does have a laundry list of problems, this is your chance to air them. He brought it up, he made it a public issue. Nail him to the wall, because if you do not, we assume you cannot.
Does everyone else see the potential parallel between banning the volunteer and players’ quitting EVE? From CCP’s (stated) perspective, they have had a list of complaints against this person (whether or not they are valid), and this latest petition (whether or not it is true) was the straw that broke the camel’s back; even if he did not do it, his response to the complaint in the public channel was inappropriate enough to serve as the last straw. The other side of that parallel is left as an exercise for the reader.
Okay, digression over. As a process guy, I think you really need to have HR/volunteer policies in place and follow them. In my line of work, there are laws about how to fire people, and breaking them means someone may go to jail. Allegations that you violated or circumvented the system are very serious.
And frankly, it is rude to be mean to the help.
I should probably care more about that accusation of GM spying. If I gave you access to a database I have at work, I could be liable for $300,000,000 in fines. We have privacy laws, too.