The Great RoD Conspiracy

I post this anonymously because concepts such as “tact” and “descretion” are foreign concepts to most of the people who will undoubtedly read this blog.

Let’s start with the basics — Realms of Despair (RoD) is a privately owned entity based in Canada. RoD, as we know, is owned and operated by Thoric (Derek Snider) who pays 100% of the operating costs. So anyone who has logged on to RoD is essentially a guest of Thoric. Thoric has appointed some people to act as his representatives on the MUD, namely Blodkai, Kali, Edmond, etc — collectively know as the “Council of Elders” or CoE. Thoric has also empowered the CoE to appoint additional members of the general public to help in the administration and general day-to-day running of the MUD — these people are collectively known as the “Immortals” or Imms.

When you log in to the MUD for the first time, you are presented with a lot of text. Some of this text is known as “The Rules of Gameplay” or “The Laws of Gameplay.” By logging on to the MUD you are agreeing to follow these “laws” and you’re also agreeing to follow the direction of the Administration of the MUD. If you choose not to read these laws, you will still be held to them. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. These “laws” do not supercede any International laws or Freedoms set down by the nations of the people who visit RoD. You are, however, still a guest of Thoric when you are on RoD and thereby expected to follow his intentions in regards to the MUD. You are entitled to your “Freedom of Speech,” however the Immortals, who are empowered by Thoric, are also entitled to ask you to follow the guidelines set out or face sanctions. If you cannot or refuse to follow the directions of the stated laws or the direction of the Immortals, then you will be asked to leave the MUD. If you refuse to leave, you will be removed.

Access to Realms of Despair is provided to the general public, indeed the world, free of charge provided that the user agree to abide by the rules that have been layed out by both Thoric and the Immortals. Rules aren’t made on a whim, nor are any rules made without Thoric’s knowledge of them. The content (text, mobs, rooms, objects, etc) of the MUD has largely been provided on a volunteer basis by several individuals who, for their own reasons, have decided to contribute to RoD. These individuals do not get paid for thier contributions.The Immortal staff also does not get paid for any contributions made.

Having said all that, we come to the rights of the player. The player has the right to play Realms of Despair provided that they follow the generally simple rules. If the player decides not to follow those rules, the player has the right to type “quit.” You have no “right” to play the game at all. Game play is a courtesy given by Thoric and it can also be taken away.

Realms of Despair has no obligation to indulge those who feel that the rules set out are for other people. There seems to be an element on RoD that thinks that they can do whatever they please whenever they please to whomever they please and when they are called on these actions they begin to complain about the Administration. Is it the Administration’s fault that you choose to use vulgar language on channels when it’s clear that that sort of language is not tolerated? How many times must people be warned? Why should an Immortal have to give you a warning when you know it is wrong? Why must an Immortal who has warned Player A that his language is inappropriate now warn Player B on the same channel for the same thing? And yet people will say, “You warned him, you didn’t warn me.”

Q: Why doesn’t RoD post a list of words that are unacceptable so that people know which words they can’t use?
A: If RoD posted such a list, then people would go out of their way to find a word that is not on the list, use it obsessively, and then claim that they cannot be punished because the word was not on “the list.” Then the word would be added and they would go off and find another word to use, ad nauseum.

Q: Why doesn’t RoD post a list of punishments for each offense?
A: If RoD posted such a list, then players would immediately complain that, according to the list, swearing should only garner a 5-day silence. The player would then argue with an Immortal that they should only have a 5-day silence, regardless that the player in question probably has 10 other offences on their record for the same thing. Punishments are generally set out according to the severity of the crime and the player’s record. A player’s record is not limited to the player that they are using at that time, it applies to all the characters owned by that player.

Punishment isn’t limited to swearing on channels, this is probably the simplest of examples, “punishment” applies to everything from harassment to theft to “kill stealing” and so on.

“Immortals should lighten up.”

Why should the Administration lighten up? Just because you choose to curse and swear and generally make an ass of yourself doesn’t mean that everyone else on the MUD should have to put up with you. The vast majority of the people on the MUD are there to play the game and have fun, there are others who are solely there to cause trouble. Just because you “heard it in the school hallways” doesn’t make it acceptable. Just because the word was found in a description on the MUD doesn’t make it acceptable on public channels. Just because a word is quite proper in the English language (words like “bitch”) does not make them acceptable for public channels no matter what their context. Calling someone “gay” is not an expression, it is harassment — as much harassment as racism or sexism and it is not appropriate. People, in general, do not want to contend with someone saying “fuck you dickwad!” on the various public channels. Oh, but they can turn channels off if they don’t want to hear it — Wrong. They are in the majority, not you. You will be asked to stop, then told to stop, then made to stop.

The Administration of RoD and the general RoD public are not there to entertain you. If you want to play the game, then play within the rules, if not, then leave. If you feel that the “MUD sucks” then contribute something. If you’re not willing to contribute something to make the MUD better then you have no right to complain. If you still feel the MUD sucks, then leave. If for some reason you feel that Realms of Despair or the Administration of RoD owes you something, then you are dead wrong. If you don’t like what you see, go somewhere else.

[The opinions expressed herein are not the general opinion of the Administration of the Realms of Despair, nor are they condoned by the Realms of Despair. They are one person’s opinion, expressed anonymously to avoid finger-pointing.]

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