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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:54 am 
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Slightly off-topic but picking up on this:
Marten wrote:
There's no list of related sites anymore (there used to be).

The information is still here on the MOUL forum, developed from ArticWagon's original list: Groups, guilds and organisations: useful links

But I guess that the fact that the thread was missed well demonstrates the original point: the information is difficult to find. Perhaps more of us need to include rel.to links in our signatures here (including myself).
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:43 am 
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@Luanne: Your post seems to be written in a defensive way, but i have never insulted PyPRP, i only stated that i doubted that it would have every single feature that Cyans Plugin does (Which Includes the URU Live compatibility). Community projects generally only have features which are needed by the community rather than everything the developers needed when they made the game which is why i doubted that any community plugin for a 3D Modelling Tool would have all of the features that Cyans has.

Dot wrote:
But I guess that the fact that the thread was missed well demonstrates the original point: the information is difficult to find. Perhaps more of us need to include rel.to links in our signatures here (including myself).

I guess there is no chance that Cyan would modify the MOUL website to have a links button at the top(Beside the Home, Play, etc). That would be the ideal solution.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:16 pm 
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Frankly I'm not sure how many of the last two pages of posts have anything to do with the topic at hand. Nalates asked: "what is it we are going to change that would interest people in logging in every day?"

Only two things come readily to mind, and they are two sides of the same coin. Both would be necessary. First would be to develop a mechanism for personal accumulation, coupled with the creation of objects to collect. Second would be to develop a currency based economy. Both of these ideas are so unlikely to occur that it seems strange to even state them.

Only living things grow. Frankly, the only method for significant growth and player retention is through deep and significant changes to the very nature of the game. It seems highly unlikely that enough fresh, new and creative energy remains in the community with the ability to overcome the stagnant and repetitive thinking that refuses to recognize that one can't have her cake and eat it too. Most of what is left of the community seems to be those stuck in the idea that Uru as it is can be salvaged without major, identity changing alterations. Not being able, or worse yet, refusing to see the forest for the trees is as crippling as the increasingly arcane technology at the foundation of the game.

Uru failed to grow after putting millions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of hours in highly skilled professional labor into it. The reasons are clear. It is a game, not a Phoenix. Trying to significantly rehabilitate the same mechanism employing only superficial changes by hobbyists is an exercise in futility. Most everything in the world has changed around it while Uru has remained stuck.

I might be tempted to log in if I could see the game as anything other than a dried out husk.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Stucuk wrote:
i have never insulted PyPRP


Stucuk wrote:
im willing to bet that any existing community tools won't have all the bells and whistles that Cyans 3ds max one has.


You will find that people do not like it when work that they have dedicated several years to is insulted--even in the slightest way. You should really watch your mouth. The collective mouth of this forum could very easily drive away the handful of people who are actually managing to do anything with the code. Just a suggestion.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:14 pm 
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AdamJohnso wrote:
Stucuk wrote:
i have never insulted PyPRP


Stucuk wrote:
im willing to bet that any existing community tools won't have all the bells and whistles that Cyans 3ds max one has.


You will find that people do not like it when work that they have dedicated several years to is insulted--even in the slightest way. You should really watch your mouth. The collective mouth of this forum could very easily drive away the handful of people who are actually managing to do anything with the code. Just a suggestion.


I don't see an insult in the quoted text AdamJohnso, unless you're unsure of the future of PyPRP and open source in general. If all it takes to kill development is a few factual facts about how your development is a bit behind the times because you haven't finished with it yet(imagine that, it being in development and not being finished), perhaps you never had the drive to work on the project in the first place.

Reading the above quotes, I see a few cold hard facts about a software that's probably got a long way to go or a lot of changing to do before it can be comparable to the "offical" plugin, true.

I also see a challenge to the existing PyPRP developers, that challenge is to shoot for the sky!

Cyan's own plugin is dead in the water as far as new features and development(from Cyan anyway). It's also the "offical" way to make ages, thus being limited by having to be "standard".

PyPRP, from what I understand, is not, on both counts. Thus, clearly, PyPRP has the potential to be "outside the box", and do what Cyan's plugin does but even better. The only question I see is...will it? With access to Cyan's source code for their own plugin, I'd have to say the answer to that is simply up to those working on the plugin to decide, through their own actions.

I'd like to add that personally, I don't have time to help out, nor the resources/knowledge to do much, nor do I even really know much about what PyPRP does besides being an open source alternative plugin to making ages for "Uru Stuff". So I'm really just babbling off the top of my head and am in no way an expert. I lurk here quite a bit though.

But from a purely outside standing point, unless something major is causing the PyPRP to fall apart at the seams, I'd think since it's actively in development instead of being dropped out into the field it simply needs some time to grow into something even better then what Cyan did. Possibly, PyPRP as a plugin could even automate lots of functions that arn't automated in the Cyan plugin, or even offer some features of the Uru engine that Cyan didn't have time to implement in their 3dsMAX plugin. (I don't have a clue what features those would be, remember I'm talking mostly generic and as a normal person, not a code head.)

I'd also like to add that while what Stucuk said above may be harsh, it's a welcome glimpse into how the more normal, non codeheads around here think. To us, we see what is there, not the work done to get there. So of course everyone outside of the programming loop will, for now, say that PyPRP cannot possibly stand up to Cyan's plugin. But that's because PyPRP simply isn't finished yet, not because your own work hours and persons are somehow inferior to what Cyan did/was.

My 2 cents, hopefully to stop this from getting ugly.


EDIT: Back on topic:

"what is it we are going to change that would interest people in logging in every day?"

The thing that kept me logging in each day during the proluge way back when was simple, and yet complicated. The story.

Let me elaborate a bit before you all tear that apart with the usual arguments on Cyan story, cannons, and other things that explode or injure people.

I say "Story", not in reference to Cyan's, but in reference to the whole IC type of play on the server.

I say "simple" because it only required a few RP players and a few hours a day to create something happening in the Story. Things like a character from the story making an appearence and simply strolling through the city, on their way to check on something, and answering a few questions from passerbys that happened to be in the area. Or I log on and a friend tells me "Hey, did you hear that Person X was in the City checking on Object Z again? Wonder what they are up to?"

Sometimes the "simple" was in the form of a new book, linking to someone's office, providing some insight into where the characters have been living in the world or what they've been doing in their more "private" lives. One of the main draws for me was not the "Age Z just got a whole new area, time to explore it, WOOT!", but simply the smaller updates or even RPed story with no updates needed.

I say "Complicated", because this requires two things that are very much lacking in the Open Source type of Uru.

First, there needs to be orginized storytelling going on. Note that I say storytelling, not age discovering. If a story or characters are interesting enough, no one will mind that the entire storyline is told in the City and one particular, already explored age where someone keeps a journal sparcely updated under a rock. One major aspect of this is the Role Playing, because by Role Playing a character, you do two things. You let the players influence that character IC, letting them help you play and direct your story. And you create dynamic gameplay sessions without needing new content except for a purpose of that character and someone to play them live, on stage.

Secondly, there needs to be updates. It doesn't matter how big or complicated the updates are, because sustaining the game on "Oh, new areas and puzzles" is NOT going to work, no matter how fast you develop them. Why do we need the updates then, you ask? Because they draw people into the Story. New people, that can be part of the Story as much as anyone else. They may pop in for a look at the update(say, oh look, a new journal was updated with a page), and then overhear some discussion between players about the event that they missed out on a week ago. In turn, they hear of the event, and become another spreader of the Story. As more people realize how dynamic the storyline is, and how much they can influence the story by participating or even just telling others their points of view, more players will be inclined to play the game. Oh yes, and importantly, these updates MUST be RANDOM, or based on Story, NOT on "It's time for the monthly update of doom". If people don't know what will be updated when, but do know something, somewhere, somehow will probably be revealed in the story sometime, they will be more inclined to log in and ask around to see if anything changed or if the story progressed further.

The entire reason I don't play regularly is because no one is telling any stories. The entire problem with Uru, as it is now, is that OOC, once you solve the puzzles in the game, there's nothing but a chat room left. A graphically rich chat room, but just that. Obveously, this is because Cyan is no longer telling their story. But, Cyan has left us a pretty big prebuilt stage, and a lot of props to use.

Everyone is so concerned with new features and updates that they are forgetting the very reason all these features, updates, and Uru exists in the first place, and that is to tell stories. For me, that's what kept Uru addicting, not as a "Better MMO", but as a unique RPing experience that was welcoming, spontanious, and open to explore at any time I had the extra time to do so.

For an example of just how strong this Story element is, just look where we are now. People still sign up for Uru, they still log in to uncover the incomplete story Cyan told a long time ago through talking to others and experiencing the worlds the acts once took stage on. It's insane how long this game is still around, and it's all due to the heavy storytelling that once was happening in the game.

Development of features, gameplay, and so on is well and good, but without the key ingredent of Story, there is nothing for the players to immerse themselves in in the long term.

Unfortunetly, ultimately developers can only make telling stories easier for the storytellers. They can make tools(talking both IC with in game ages and OOC with the plugins), but without a storyteller connecting those tools to something that dynamically, continually, evolves as people play with the actors/sets/props, any new features are going to be simply extra fluff on an already dead game.

Or worse, change Uru into another plain old MMO, forcing it to compete with other MMOs for the general audience and in turn losing what made it so special in the first place. That is, that Uru was a 1000 times better at interactive story telling then anything else I've ever played. It fits a theme, sticks with it, immerses the players in it, and then (with a storyteller, mind you), never stops introducing new people or new thoughts of those people to the player in a never ending, building on the old, gameplay.

The day Uru becomes another "popular MMO" with grinding/ranking, monthly or scheduled predictable updates not tied to storyline time, and random levels designed just to be puzzles is, in my humble opinion, the day the Uru I have come to know and love dies.


Last edited by darkgriffin on Wed May 18, 2011 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Maybe it's because I have a slightly different perspective on it than you do. As a developer, I have worked for the past 6 years on a variety of things for Plasma fan content creation. I have contributed to PyPRP, PRP Explorer, and libHSPlasma--I have also written (completely on my own) WhoM, a very popular application (this admittedly has nothing to do with UCC). To be able to do this, I spent an unimaginable amount of time reading the x86 assembly of UruExplorer.exe from MOUL, PotS, UU, and even Myst 5's eoa.exe.

Now, coming in here and reading someone (Stu) who has obviously not done any sort of research on the age creation process (this is evidenced by his not knowing about PyPRP, which has been around for longer than I've been doing Plasma Development) dismisses several years of my work as "not having all the bells and whistles" without even trying the program, I get pretty angry. Criticism is one thing, but utter trivialization of not just mine but several other people's work is just not cool. What is cool: "The waveset AlcScript is horribly complex. Why don't you do X feasible solution instead?" or "I really dislike AlcScript. When will we get proper GUIs?"

I do hope that you (all) will hear and understand what I am trying to tell you (all). Unfortunately, experience tells me that doing so is quite futile.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:01 pm 
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@Regnad Kcin01: I don't think that game breaking features like ingame currency are needed. The reason URU wasn't a success in my opinion is because alot of people proberly didn't think it was worth paying a subscription fee to get a new age each month. The problem is that Myst games generally don't have replay value, but MMO's need to be designed so that players always come back as often as possible. I understand that Cyan was working on some ages which were meant to have replay value but they never made the light of day.

I personally believe that if players have a decent amount of repayable contents (Preferably team based contents, especially contents which could have a League setup so there would be regular "Matches") then more people would keep returning. You can do all of this without destroying what URU is at its core.

Also alot of MMO's that have gone down the subscription route have failed. The main problem is that you limit your player base. People who already are subscribed to other games are far less likely to try URU when it has a subscription fee and others may not be 100% convinced that they would get there monies worth and never bother trying it. When you have a game thats free on the other hand anyone can see what its like. Alot of MMO's have recently changed from subscription fees to the Free To Play model. So because URU failed as a subscription based game doesn't mean that its doomed to failure as a Free to Play game.

@darkgriffin: You are correct that updates help keep the community alive. Every time you update a program you get a surge of activity no matter how small the update is. If i release updates to Original War (A game i maintain) slowly then i find that the community activity drops as a result, but if updates are more common then you find that you get more community activity(And more ideas from them).

------------------------------
Off Topic:

lunanne wrote:
People have worked for years and years on Pyprp. Saying that it doesn't really count because it is not up to "Cyan's standard" is kind of an insult imo.

No one has stated that. I asked if people could now make a plugin which has all of the features Cyans does as the source code is now available (Meaning that people could see how Cyan did stuff and integrate any features into existing plugins or make a new plugin). AdamJohnso replied rudely with "Wow, talk about being asleep at the wheel. PyPRP ring any bells?", he effectively states that PyPRP can do everything that Cyans plugin can do. Given my experience at supporting other communities for years, i know that community tools generally don't have every feature that plugins made by game developers do. Because of this i said that i doubted that PyPRP had all of the features that Cyans plugin did(I doubted that anyone would have integrated any of Cyans Plugins features so quickly after the source was released. I know form personal experience that things can take time).

Based on your posts, PyPRP doesn't have all the features that Cyans does currently, this in no way means that its a bad plugin, nor does it mean it will never be updated to have the same features that Cyans does. All i ever did was ask a question because people were stating that 3ds max was too expensive for "normal" people.

AdamJohnso wrote:
You will find that people do not like it when work that they have dedicated several years to is insulted--even in the slightest way.

If you take offence at the fact i didn't think PyPRP would currently have all of the features Cyans plugin does then thats upto you. Based on whats been said in this thread it doesn't have all the features of Cyans plugin currently.

AdamJohnso wrote:
You should really watch your mouth. The collective mouth of this forum could very easily drive away the handful of people who are actually managing to do anything with the code. Just a suggestion.

If the community is not allowed to say things which turn out to be true then i don't see how the community will survive(You can't identify things that can be improved without talking about them). There is no I in Team as they say, if one person leaves it will be a loss but it won't be the end, the Myst community is resilient.

AdamJohnso wrote:
Now, coming in here and reading someone (Stu) who has obviously not done any sort of research on the age creation process (this is evidenced by his not knowing about PyPRP, which has been around for longer than I've been doing Plasma Development) dismisses several years of my work as "not having all the bells and whistles" without even trying the program, I get pretty angry.

I actually did research in June 2010 but i never tried running PyPRP(Iv know of its existence for a while, i just never did indepth research). I was more interested in reading the actual Age(As evident by my post on GOW) and PRP files than making actual ages. I said that i doubted that it would have everything that Cyans Plugin had, that is far from being an insult. Community related projects are generally never finished and always under development, so thinking that a plugin may not have all the features that are possible is far from a stretch of the imagination.

AdamJohnso wrote:
I do hope that you (all) will hear and understand what I am trying to tell you (all). Unfortunately, experience tells me that doing so is quite futile.

I more than most understand that communities can be harsh in there criticism, but i hope that you will understand that i have never criticized your work.

(The Original War community has more than once been harsh about the fact that Original War still has alot of bugs in the game which have been there since before i started to maintain the game. Even though the same people don't want to help beta test and give me feedback.)

darkgriffin wrote:
it's a welcome glimpse into how the more normal, non codeheads

Actually i am a programmer. Though i don't know Python (Had some experience with Lua though. Delphi is the main language i know) so i couldn't chip in.

darkgriffin wrote:
Thus, clearly, PyPRP has the potential to be "outside the box", and do what Cyan's plugin does but even better.

I agree.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:36 pm 
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AdamJohnso wrote:
I do hope that you (all) will hear and understand what I am trying to tell you (all). Unfortunately, experience tells me that doing so is quite futile.

The main problem with understanding your point of view is that people don't realise just how hard it was for you guys to develop it all. And how patient you needed to be. And motivated.

About content and replay value...
I realised that this talk about finishing an Age completely misses the point of Uru: Uru's Ages were never meant to be finished. Teledahn II, anyone? Gahreesen III? Gira II? Ae'gura? K'veer? City Proper? Great Shaft? These Ages were and are still unfinished. Most of the content we have is unfinished. It was supposed to be expanded but MOUL forgot about that and instead we got pretty new Ages.

Story and expansion of Ages/new Ages would keep the game fresh all the time. I do believe that with Cyan's staff at the time they could have pulled it off. How about fans working with Cyan on their Ages? I know it's been said a lot, but since Cyan let the fans grab the engine and tools and make them better, why not let a group of fans that know how to use the plugin, a group of devs and a group of testers finish the stuff that's almost done? The reason stated was because of legal reasons, but I am sure Cyan could solve that.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:39 pm 
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I saw the question about tools as a simple request for information -- then there was yelling. In my humble opinion, one gets the word out by repeating info, having the dialogue, even if it's many, many times, cheerfully if you can, or at least without rancor. I really think that's how you spread the word. Telling people to watch themselves -- I end up thinking "wow, that's one really grumpy person, even if their tools are spectacular!". And hey, if you want to go on here and yell at me -- that's ok. i do see this as the curse of the hobbyist developer.. and of course a hobbyist developer can have quality just as spectacular as someone you pay, but they sure can get grumpy!

----------
Back on track. Is there a market for big beautiful games, particularly MMOs? Of course there is -- but you need a track record, lots of talented people experienced in the industry, lots of money, and a way to clue in to what people might want. Sometimes you can do it even without a track record -- Trion is a new company, but founded by people very established in the MMO industry, they got good people, and their first game, Rift is doing quite well. Cyan can't do any of that -- no track record on a successful (as in lots of sales an subscriptions) MMO, small staff (suspect not a lot of MMO heavyweights on the team), no millions of dollars for development.

Natales, I think you want to take the model of a smaller game, as in social game -- but I think you have to design a game like that from the ground up. Aside -- haven't played Ravenwood Fair, but I think that's probably the social game to play, right now -- very talented development team, experts in the industry, not just on social games, and they got their millions of subscribers really fast. I'd also look at what's coming out of Loot Drop. Anyway, what I'm saying -- I look to my facebook games for a different experience than Uru.

I think Aloys comments are interesting, as always. I still want Uru to be Uru, and if we radically redo it, it won't be Uru.

But -- what would get me to logon more? Here's where we get back to games in general, both big games and social games. Regnad Kcin01 talks about a money economy and things to collect. This goes along with what I call progress in the game, or doing things for a reason. I believe it's also called gameplay. I logon to online games when there are things to do, and not just things to do, a reason for me to those things. Collecting things and buying things are one way to do it. The reason is tied into gameplay -- even if I buy new things in Facebook games, I have to do something with them, my progress is rewarded. So are levels -- each level giving you access to more stuff, more things to do, more ages, more "stuff". I'm playing World of Warcraft (though I haven't for a couple of weeks) and when I logon, just like in my facebook games -- there is always something to do, and I get rewarded for being there, completing quests, finding things. The experience of being in the WoW world is enjoyable, and it's beautiful (different look than Uru), and I love exploring, but if I wasn't doing something, making progress, getting stuff -- I would not logon.

I like Second Life, and I have friends in SL, but since I don't make content, I only logon to SL for the events, the parties.

I think you'd have to change Uru to much to get that to work. But -- if you have more events and new ages, I'd logon sometimes, even if there wasn't much of an idea of progression, of doing things for a reason. And maybe that's the best you can do.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:48 pm 
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dragossh wrote:
About content and replay value...
I realised that this talk about finishing an Age completely misses the point of Uru: Uru's Ages were never meant to be finished. Teledahn II, anyone? Gahreesen III? Gira II? Ae'gura? K'veer? City Proper? Great Shaft? These Ages were and are still unfinished. Most of the content we have is unfinished. It was supposed to be expanded but MOUL forgot about that and instead we got pretty new Ages.

Once ages get to a certain standard they would be considered "Finished" and ready for public use but that doesn't mean that they can't be updated in the future with new additions/changes.

dragossh wrote:
How about fans working with Cyan on their Ages? I know it's been said a lot, but since Cyan let the fans grab the engine and tools and make them better, why not let a group of fans that know how to use the plugin, a group of devs and a group of testers finish the stuff that's almost done? The reason stated was because of legal reasons, but I am sure Cyan could solve that.

I think the easiest way around the legal problem is to find a group of people who have the skills to finish Cyans ages off(and are willing to commit themselves) and try and get Cyan to give them an NDA, allowing them to work on Cyans Ages but not to release any of its materials to the public. That way Cyan get to cover themselves but at the same time the Ages can be completed. Since it would require Cyan to release the "Finished" ages themselves there would be a good level of quality control which should make Cyan more open to the idea.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:54 pm 
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OK, from a moderation perspective, the side discussion on any alleged misrepresentation of PyPRP's capabilities is concluded as far as this thread is concerned. If anyone really wants to continue that, then take it to another thread; leave this one for the purpose that the OP intended. Continuing that discussion here will result in posts being removed for "Going off topic" per forum policies.

Please continue on topic.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 10:08 pm 
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Stucuk wrote:
I think the easiest way around the legal problem is to find a group of people who have the skills to finish Cyans ages off(and are willing to commit themselves) and try and get Cyan to give them an NDA, allowing them to work on Cyans Ages but not to release any of its materials to the public. That way Cyan get to cover themselves but at the same time the Ages can be completed. Since it would require Cyan to release the "Finished" ages themselves there would be a good level of quality control which should make Cyan more open to the idea.

The way I was thinking it would work was as with the open source release of the code. Find a trusted group of people, work with them to build the content without any NDA, and release when ready :)


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 10:14 pm 
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JWPlatt wrote:
aloys wrote:
(We now have the 3ds Max plugin, and it is really great, but nobody has the 6000$ to buy a Max license).

I see this a lot. Yet there is student pricing. And it also seems most community developers currently are students. And many who say it's too expenseive somehow come up with a copy. Interesting, no?

I have to comment on this, because it's just so wrong. I am not a student. I cannot afford 3DSMax. I do not qualify for Robin's temporary solution. I have yet to "somehow" come up with a copy. More importantly, if I could afford this, I have more important expenses (food, utilities, other games from companies who actually support their communities) that would make shelling out money for this software absurd. Anyone who suggests that an open source project should support an antiquated licensed product over the free alternative is delusional.

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Last edited by Whilyam on Wed May 18, 2011 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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